Many Lunar sources suggest that the Lunar religion is new and revolutionary. That was certainly true in the Zero and First Wanes, but the Lunar Way is now over four hundred years old.
I often look at the Islamic Caliphates as a source of inspiration for the Lunar Empire, as so if we imagine the birth of the Red Goddess in 1220 as being the equivalent date as the establishment of the ummah in 622, we get the following crude comparisons:
|Islamic Caliphates||Lunar Empire|
|622 CE – establishment of the ummah||1220 ST – Birth of Red Goddess|
|649 CE – reign of Caliph Uthman||1247 ST – Rise of Red Moon|
|751 CE – establishment of Abbasid Caliphate||1349 ST – conquest of Saird by Hwarin Dalthippa|
|842 CE – height of the House of Wisdom||1460 ST – defeat of Sheng Seleris|
|874 CE – Zanj and Kharijite Rebellions||1492 ST – Sartar becomes King of Dragon Pass|
|1004 CE – al-Hakim the Fatimid Caliph establishes House of Knowledge||1602 ST – Lunar Empire conquers Dragon Pass|
|1027 CE – Avicenna writes the Book of Healing||1625 ST – the Dragonrise in Dragon Pass and the Revolt of the Redlands.|
So by 1625 the Lunar Way is as well establish and entrenched as Islam was in the Islamic Golden Age – in other words very much so. The loss of Dragon Pass is even less a threat to Glamour as the “Frankish Wars” in the Levant were to Baghdad.
Now the Lunar Empire is MUCH smaller than the Caliphates but this hopefully gets the imagination moving in some different directions. After four centuries, we are in a Lunar “Golden Age,” but as with many real world comparisons, the Lunar Empire is also now quite brittle and about to experience significant turmoil and set backs. But even with the end of the Lunar Empire in 1648, that hardly means the end of the Lunar religion, any more than the end of the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258 meant the end of Islam.
One thing that strikes me is how early Hwarin Dalthippa’s campaigns were. She was active about a century after her grandmother, running amok in South Peloria, building giant viaducts, and conquering the hill barbarians. But even then, the Lunar Way had been well-secured in the Heartlands.
No mortal human alive at her time could remember the time when the Red Moon was not in the sky, but their great-grandparents might have experienced it. And so the Red Moon might still be considered “new”.
But by now, the Red Moon’s rise is confined to legends and ancient history. Stories might begin “this took place back after the Sun rose but before the Red Moon rose” as a way of expressing that it took place in ancient times (but not in the God Time).
It radically overturned (past tense) established social orders. It now is the established social order for much of Genertela, and has been for centuries.
Those White Moon folk make some pretty solid points after all – as an aside, sects like the Kharijites, Isma’ilism, and the Qarmatians are all good sources of ideas for them. Those White Moonies figure they actually have the Lunar Way figured out right, and it is the orthodox Lunar Way around the Red Emperor that is old, ossified, unjust, and hopelessly corrupt.
And to remind people again, the White Moon movement is not a different cult. It is a movement within the Seven Mothers and Red Goddess cults.