Greg Sez: The Kingdom of War (Jul 1998)

Question From Didier Escodemaison. Answer by Greg Stafford. Published Jul 1998.

Q: Can you tell us something about the Kingdom of War, even if only the bare bones? It is the main problem to playing in Fronela, because the rest is fairly easy to extrapolate. But I’m dying on this one! Why so much hate?

A: Here are some reflections and facts on that mystery which no one in Glorantha knows. In fact, the HERO WARS heroquest in Fronela will be to investigate the inner secrets of the Kingdom of War, which even they do not know, and then find a way to magically disarm them.

The Kingdom of War is the “shadow” of Fronela/Loskalm. It is everything which they deny and fear. Hate is an emotional cancer which grows wildly and without logic, and the dominant peoples of Fronela pride themselves in their staunch dependency upon Malkioni logic. Thus whenever the Loskalmi see something fearful they think it hates them. Thus much of the hatred which is always reported about this place is from the perceiver. This is what the Malkioni call the Devil.

The Kingdom of War doesn’t really hate (although some war bands there certainly do). In fact, the Kingdom of War isn’t really a kingdom at all, and its leadership is based on the most basic facts of martial dominance, with the toughest guys on top.

The first entities in the Kingdom of War weren’t even really humans, but were a sort of demon, come from a part of the Land of the Dead because they had to.

Basically, during the Syndics Ban the Loskalmi and other isolated Fronelan peoples (generally) made their homelands better and better because they were a homogeneous people with no external enemies. In similar conditions on our earth nations might tend to internalize those conflicts, but in Glorantha the western sorcerers sort of shuttled it off to an invisible place that doesn’t exist.

That “place which didn’t exist” really did, of course. Remember that the Malkioni exploit the material realm with their magic, and deny the consciousness of the gods as well, and as a result this “invisible place” is very strong in just those powers. Infused with hate and violence, these spiritual manifestations are demonic.

The Kingdom of War is responsible for the “wedge” of land which seems to appear in the Third Age. Maps of the Second Age and Third Age show different coastlines and internal landform relationships. This happened when the Kingdom of War was manifested from the spiritual right into Fronela, creating something which had not been there before. The natives, by the way, noticed nothing like their lands moving around.

Now here’s an odd Lunar observation: the Kingdom of War is also precisely what the Loskalmi can not recognize, being something good. The Lunars of the Arrolian Cities view it as a manifestation of Ganesatarus, the Carmanian Dark God, and they are right. From their Lunar Moonboats they saw the Kingdom of War as the cosmic force which brings change, and which is morally neutral. In fact, it was probably them who first loosed the Kingdom of War to break down the Syndics Ban.


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