Greg Sez: Second Age Peloria and Carmania (2007)

Questions by Innerworlder2000, answers by Greg Stafford. Published 1st Apr 2007

Q:The first question I have concerns economics and technology for Peloria in the Second Age.
A:I am having some trouble answering some of the questions because of the time element. The Carmanian Empire exists for centuries, and things do change. Nonetheless, I will try to answer things clearly. Another difficulty is that (from the nature of your questions) I THINK you are often asking about Pelandans, not Dara Happas. Pelanda is approximately the region of the Oronin River valley and its tributaries, while Dara Happa is the Oslir River. So I am going to presume you mean Pelanda here when you had said Dara Happa. I have gone to the extent of replacing Dara Happa in this with Pelanda. It’s important to differentiate between Pelanda and Dara Happa. Pelanda is a region of small city states with a long history and prehistory of innovation, art and change. Dara Happa is huge, monolithic and stable to the point of being ultraconservative and unchanging.
Q:It seems we are looking at a feudal society (Carmania) conquering an (agricultural?) society. I’m unclear on this.
A:Not exactly so. The first problem is with trying set feudal vs. agricultural. But here are some guidelines.The first Carmanians are refugees from Fronela, fleeing from God Learner oppression. They are rather feudal, but by the time they get to Lake Oronin they’ve marched 300 miles, lost half their original numbers and picked up people from all along the way. Then they settle in as mercenaries and (thanks largely to their superior horses) take over one city after another. They first settle in the land of Pelanda, a region of city states. If you study the information in The Fortunate Succession you might be able to discern that innovations in art, etc. crept into Dara Happa several times from Pelanda after it was conquered, etc. Then there was a purge, during which most of the innovations were thrown out (at least among the ruling classes).
Q:What is the previous economic culture of Pelanda?
A:Small holding farms held by families in the cities.
Q:Is their technology more advanced than the Carmanian technology?
A:In some ways yes, probably in engineering but probably not in farming, etc. Almost certainly in art and sculpture, but probably not in military organization, especially the mounted heavy cavalry charge.
Q:Do Carmanians use Pelandan engineers or their own engineers to design equipment and buildings?
A:The Carmanians were deficient in engineers when they got there, and they found Pelandan technology superior and more than sufficient.
Q:Are Carmanians building cities as they conquer, or will they do that later?
A:The cities are mostly extant when they get there. Think of pre-classic Greek cities.
Q:I notice that Carmania uses Persian terms for government. Do you see Carmania as Persian or more Roman in concept?
A:Once empires reaches a certain stage they tend to be similar, with regional satraps reporting to the central authority, etc. If you can differentiate between imperial Persian and Roman governments, I can probably tell which characteristics are Carmanian. Nick Brooke is responsible for much of the ground-breaking work on Carmania and his insight has left its imprint here, so we go with the pseudo-Persian analogy. But the key isn’t so much in the government as in the religion, wherein Carmania became a dualistic religion, like Zorastorism. THAT is the real distinctive feature of the empire.
Q:Are Carmanians building roads as they are moving into Pelanda, or are there already roads there, or something else?
A:Roads existed beforehand, although the rivers are (as always) the main thoroughfare where they can be navigated.
Q:Are Pelandan towns well protected with walls and fortifications? Roman or Babylonian in style?
A:Yes, and once again, picture early Greek style cities. City states, with lots of local rivalries, etc.
Q:Are the wars of Carmanian conquest affecting trade between cities? Are Carmanians instituting coinage, changing coinage, or not using coinage at the present time?
A:There was plenty of intercity war and rivalry before the Carmanians came. They managed to unite the cities as they went and take everything over. The Carmanian overlords eventually issue their own coinage. I presume coins existed before they came, since they were in use in neighboring Dara Happa earlier.
Q:Are the size of the ‘cities’ like small medieval towns or are they large like Jerusalem.
A:Small cities, probably a thousand or two thousand people at max.
Q:Which cities of Peloria are as large as Jerusalem or larger?
A:What size is that? But most were small. The ones on the rivers of course would tend to be larger.
Q:What percent of city population does Carmania leave as guards/sentries after it conquers a city?
A:Good question. I would think it varies. Some cities need few, since they would have befriended Carmania to get at at their rivals. Others might be very rebellious.
Q:Who is paying for the war?
A:Which war? The invasion of the land by the Carmanians? It is paid for by plunder from the lands conquered. The defenders have their various city governments taxing citizens for money.
Q:Are the common people buckling under the burdens of taxes? Is waste piling up in the streets? Is the disposal of bodies causing a problem?
A:Naturally these vary, depending on the time and place.
Q:Do bands of people follow the armies to loot and pillage?
A:Yes, as always.
Q:Are Pelandans becoming the common slaves of Carmanians?
A:In general, yes.
Q:Do noble Pelandans or priests retain their positions, or are temples burned and nobles and priests killed?
A:They largely retain their positions, subservient to the overchurch of the Carmanians. The underclass largely retains their way of life, except for being unfree.
Q:Is the building style of Pelandans wattle and straw, or primary cut stone?
A:Wood, I think. Stone public buildings and temples, and walls. Wattle and daub would be in the countryside among the poorest people.
Q:Is the Carmanian style of building different? Are Carmanians adopting the engineering styles of Pelandans?
A:Yes, the Carmanian style hardly touches the countryside. In the cities as I mentioned, there are too few Carmanians and virtually no architects.
Q:Has the flying buttress been invented yet?
A:No. That is invented elsewhere, not here.
Q:Have any alchemists discovered tin or steel?
A:There is an iron shortage, and tin is one of the basic metals.
Q:Do either Carmanians or Pelandans possess chariots?
A:Pelandan chariot traditons exist, though I am not sure if they were used militarily when the Carmanians came. Up to you.


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