This is some material in the new Big Rubble and Pavis books and is circa 1625-1626.
Note the embryonic Magical Union! Those watching the White Bull campaign have likely gotten a preview of this in play.
All Praxians khans are in theory at the service of the White Bull for the final battle, but in practice, the khans are largely free to come and go as they wish. They flock to his banner when they see an opportunity for loot and plunder, and then return to their herds. At this time, the largest Praxian contingent in New Pavis is that of the High Llama Riders, led by Khan Yazurkial Blue Llama (see below).
The four regular units that comprise the personal army of King Argrath White Bull are different. These include the Bullocks, a cavalry unit made up of Praxians from many tribes; the Swordbrothers, a small unit of Humakti cavalry; the Twin Spears, an elite unit of hand-picked royal companions; and the Magical Union, a small embryonic organization of magicians and their bodyguards. Argrath welcomes talented individuals regardless of rank or social status, to join the ranks. However, these units are not organized on clan or tribal lines, and have officers appointed by Argrath. Each of these units have their own cult initiation rituals and requirements that distinguish members from the rest of tribal society.
Members of Argrath’s personal army must swear loyalty directly to Argrath. This loyalty transcends traditional boundaries of clan, tribe, and even nation. In return, members are supported and protected by Argrath; they are provided with food and drink. When in New Pavis, they may reside in the Barracks (D-3), in the camp outside of the city, or in whatever lodgings their officers arrange. Argrath protects them in the case of any legal disputes with outsiders, placing members outside of the normal Orlanthi or Praxian legal system. However, this also means that Argrath may impose whatever punishments he wishes on errant members. The primary function of Argrath’s personal army is to serve as his bodyguard and as an elite reserve. Their loyalty to him is direct, and outside of the filters of kinship and cult.
This veteran Praxian cavalry unit is the core of the White Bull warrior society that Argrath founded. Members swear loyalty to Argrath for all Time, and it requires more than mere death to the sever their contract with Argrath. It is made up primarily of riders from the High Llama, Bison, Sable, and Pol-Joni tribes, all of which can act as sub-units to each other if desired.
REQUIREMENTS: Candidates must provide their own mount, arms, and armor. Must succeed in a test of three of the following skills: Ride, Battle, Lance, Sword, Shield, or Javelin. Successful candidates must join the White Bull spirit society and swear loyalty to Argrath White Bull in all circumstances, including over any existing clan or tribal loyalties.
BENEFITS: Supported and protected by Argrath, May lodge in barracks, food and drink provided, right to a share of the plunder taken in war, and regular gifts from the White Bull. Members are taught spirit magic from the White Bull shamans.
ORGANIZATION: Approximately 500 members. Two commanders, Narmeed Whirlvishbane and Roneer the Hue.
Veteran heavy cavalry. The members of this unit swear terrible oaths to Humakt the War God in exchange for powers. Membership was open to all qualified candidates. Lifetime service.
REQUIREMENTS: Candidates must be initiates of Humakt and swear personal loyalty to Argrath above all things. BENEFITS: Supported and protected by Argrath and by the Humakt Temple.
ORGANIZATION: 190 members. Commander is Zamalanth Blue Llama (Yazurkia Blue Llama’s half-brother)
TWIN SPEARS (D-1)
The members of this elite cavalry unit are hand-picked companions of Argrath; it is said that Argrath knows each of the warriors in this unit by name. They are all of Sartar blood.
REQUIREMENTS: Candidates must be initiates of Orlanth Adventurous or an associated cult. Many are members of the White Bull spirit society, but that is not a requirement. Candidates must succeed in a test of four of the following skills: Ride, Battle, Lance, Sword, and Shield. Members swear personal loyalty to Argrath in all circumstances, including over any existing clan or tribal loyalties.
BENEFITS: Supported and protected by Argrath. May lodge in barracks, food and drink provided, etc. Members are given the best choice of all loot.
ORGANIZATION: Approximately 80 members. Two commanders, Krogar Wolfhelm and Jarang Bladesong.
MAGICAL UNION (D-1)
This is a small collection of Rune priests, Rune Lords, and shamans hand-picked by Argrath and taught magical secrets by him and his household. Members learn to work together, despite belonging to different cults.
REQUIREMENT: Must be a Rune master or shaman of a cult, and swear personal loyalty to Argrath (60% or higher). Members must sacrifice 1 point of POW upon admission.
BENEFITS: Supported and protected by Argrath. Members get training directly from Argrath and his household in Battle, Auld Wyrmish, and in Meditate, Spirit Combat, Spirit Dance, and Spirit Travel. Members are also taught Arkati secret lore. Those who impress Argrath may learn draconic magic. Each such use slightly affects the human’s personality and soul.
ORGANIZATION: About 20 members. Although Argrath is the undisputed leader, Orlaront Dragonfriend and Mularik Ironeye are the main teachers.
Now personally I think you can see the next 30 years of Glorantha in that section.
How did the Twin Spears get that name? I believe it is because each warrior has a lance and a thrusting spear.
By some accounts, by the final stages of the Hero Wars, the “Sartarite army” had nearly as many dragonewts as people and the Orlanthi rode atop wyrms and dream dragons.
My players have recently joined the Magical Union and seek to learn from Argrath. Several can speak Auld Wyrmish at 25% – that has got to be a good thing, right?
There is one Argrath. But he had many companions.
How does he get Waha to accept horses? He’s the White Bull. Waha even says so. The White Bull has a LOT of authority.
Sartar after the Battle of Queens is a mess. And falling apart fast. It seems inevitable that the Lunars will get their act together and reconquer it. If only there was an heir with his own army and resources!
Storm Bull is ambivalent about horses. His cult is very strong among the Pol-Joni, second only to the Rhino Riders.
Yes, the Praxians are known from time to time to ally with the broo. They are far more pragmatic than people give them credit for.
No Argrath did not use Chaos at the 2nd Battle of Moonbroth. But he did have the Pol-Joni who are his allies.In my games, Storm Bull is not bound by Waha’s taboos.
And Jaldon Goldentooth – Mr. I Broke Pavis – does what the White Bull tells him to do. Are you going to question Jaldon? Or Yazurkial Blue Llama? Or Roneer the Hue who slaughtered his own kin for the White Bull? Really?
more than that – this is a core event of the setting that RQ was in fact created for.
They still dislike horses, won’t ride them, won’t eat them, and hold their riders in disdain. But they don’t kill horses or their riders on sight. Any more than the Pure Horse People kill cows on sight.
Hate does not equal murder.
They still hate horses. But what do you do when the warlord says you have to tolerate them? Same thing happens when Greydogs and Orlmarthing, or Varmandi and Orlmarthings fight for the Prince of Sartar. Both the Red Emperor and Prince Sartar lead multi-ethnic forces.
Argrath is not making Praxians ride horses.
And that has always been the case. As has the case that the Praxians have always been known to make pragmatic short-term alliances of convenience with the broo. See Nomad Gods for the first print of both this AND the Praxians themselves. Or see Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the US-Soviet alliance for real world examples of this.
In short, like most mortals, the Praxians are bundles of contradictions.
The Praxian shamans made a determined effort to wipe out the Pol-Joni but they were decisive defeated by the Pol-Joni and their Sartarite allies in 1489 and the Battle of Denzi’s Water. After that, we have cooperation between the Praxians and Pol-Joni (intermixed with the usual Praxian tribal warfare). But when Sartar was conquered by the Lunar Empire, the Praxians decided to get rid of the Pol-Joni and defeated them in 1607.
Which ironically weakened the Praxians as the Pol-Joni did not muster against the Lunar Army at Moonbroth in 1610.
Praxian history is full of this sort of kaleidoscopic tribal alliances and betrayals. However, Jaldon Goldentooth is able to lead all the tribes and Jaldon serves Argrath. That’s unique.
Guess what, it is punishable by death to consort with Chaos. And at the same time the khans make decisions to make pragmatic alliances with broo. That’s been in the setting since 1977.
One might say most heroes are cults of personality.