New Pavis: The Lunar Occupation


As we all know, in 1610 New Pavis resisted the Lunar Army for a single day, then opened its gates to the besiegers. There was mutiny, but the ringleaders were caught and slain. Those who would resist were butchered systematically, or killed impromptu, depending upon your point of view. The conflict with the Yelmalio ruling family was a surprise to many: the purge of Dorasar’s kinsmen was less so.

For the next 14 years, the city has remained in Lunar hands, though the original army went home long ago. The first Lunar Governor, Sor-eel the Short, maintained peace with the barbarians and the trolls, and keep the city’s coffers full. Although the Orlanth cult was suppressed during this period, the political clout of Orlanth’s priests allows some of them to remain in the city despite the repression.Sor-eel also preferred to allow the city to more or less govern its own affairs, although he reserved the right to intervene directly in civil or criminal situations as he pleased. A polite fiction was maintained that the city council was independent of the occupation forces, and Lunar rule was generally benevolent and unoppressive. Sor-eel had a sincere interest in the well-being of the city and he tried to cooperate with and coop the local authorities.

Sor-eel was dismissed when Tatius the Bright became Governor of Dragon Pass, the result, no doubt of changing Imperial politics. His successor, Halcyon var Enkoth, was a very self important man, and had been an aide of the Provincial Overseer. Halcyon was not trustworthy, found it easy to lie through his teeth, would stab a friend in the back for a decent profit, and stole from the elderly for fun. Needless to say, the Provincial Overseer considered him perfect for the job. He had previously been responsible for the Balazar Precinct, and had also carried out illicit covert missions in the Holy Country on behalf of the Provincial Overseer. Although greedy and duplicitous, Halcyon was appointed for his personal loyalty and utility to the Provincial Overseer. He was accompanied by his right-hand-woman Marusa the Shrew, and quickly brought Gim Gim the Grim into their counsels and confidence.

For the next three years, Halcyon’s regime was ruthless, thuggish, and thoroughly disreputable. However, he retained support in Boldhome and Mirin’s Cross because of his willingness to do whatever he was asked by his superiors. The Orlanth Temple was closed, other temples were forced to make personal contributions to Halcyon, and the barbarians were treated with contempt. However, the wars in the Holy Country and Dragon Pass meant that Halcyon has less military resources available to him than Sor-eel. He was forced to rely more on the detested Raus of Rone to maintain order in the Grantlands, granted much unofficial authority to Count Solanthos, and relied upon Sable Khan Inire the Red in Prax.

In short, Halcyon was the sort of thuggish, corrupt governor that robs his charge blind. But he wisely sent a portion of his profits up to his superiors, never refused to do dirty work on their behalf, and used Gim Gim the Grim to far more effective use.

During these years, the Moon Masks became more of a paramilitary/crime organization. They served as a private army of Gim Gim the Grim’s, and was thought to include many Lunar soldiers.

Was Halcyon designed to be an Orc in the original Griffin Mountain? In the original? No, he was a nasty self-important young man who served as the Lunar Empire’s agent in Balazar.

Greg rewrote a lot. But even in Griffin Island, Halcyon is not an orc but is an evil sorcerer who commands the orcs.But every time I open up Griffin Island, I cringe a little bit.

Halcyon is derived from Alcyone (“kingfisher”), I like to borrow a little Huey Long for Halcyon. Ambitious, ruthless, demagogic, and very dangerous.

The key takeaway points are that from 1622-1624, the Lunar occupation of Prax is led by Governor Halcyon. The Seven Mothers temple is initially divided between Porusa and Marusa, but I suspect Porusa’s tenure is brief. And Gim Gim the Grim is considered by many to be the real ruler.

Gim Gim should be a frightening guy. In command of the thuggish Lunar paramilitary/criminal enforcers/organized crime gang/off-duty soldiers, who is willing to play footsie (or more) with Chaos cults, assassins, and more – he’s a wonderful villain.

Jennell Jaquays says

No… he was always intended as a Lunar provincial administrator.

Halcyon var Enkorth was not in the pre-Gloranthan version. He came when we added the citadels at Greg’s request and that there was a Lunar presence in one of the citadels.

Halcyon var Enkorth was one of my player characters… the name at least. I liked the name enough to use it in Griffin Mountain . He didn’t survive the RQ campaign I had been playing him in, murdered by another PC who had been possessed by a powerful troll spirit. I’ve kept the original for that art ever since.

I had no idea. Always amused/amazed to find out what my characters have been up to after I finished my telling of their stories.

Mob says

Halcyon goes to Pavis after his stint in Elkoi, Balazar (and he considers the appointment a major step up😆)

Halcyon’s age is given as 25 years old in Griffin Mountain. Marusa’s age is not stated, but she is described as a “young priestess”. So I’m going to assume she’s about Halcyon’s age. If Griffin Mountain takes place in the late 1610’s, say 1618 (you are meant to go there after completing the adventures in RQ2’s Borderlands, and that kicks off in 1615), that means both these scoundrels are in their late 20’s – early 30’s during their escapades in Prax.

 Marusa’s well-known in New Pavis, but her nefarious actions are pretty discrete in Sun County. “Somehow the priestess Marusa learned that Duke Raus had placed the Wand of the Seven Phases in the Sun Dome vault. An heirloom that Raus and his family – as ancestor worshippers – had no practical need for, the Red Witch knew the wand would be of incredible use to an ambitious Lunar magician like herself, not to mention being extremely valuable. Through the compliant Light Guide Laertes she sent a coded message to Invictus. She offered him one last tryst, and by Jakaleel swore she would trade the wand for the magic stopper.Marusa had secretly set herself up in the river town of Stablefort, not far from the Sun Dome Temple. Invictus’ desires finally overcame his conscience, and late one night he retrieved the wand from the temple vault and slipped away to meet her….” – ‘One Last Tryst

While serving as governor of Prax after the recall of Sor Eel, Halcyon’s own natural rapacity clashed with his superiors’ insistence that the province now pay for itself, and his insatiable appetite to enrich himself was continually vexed by Tatius the Bright’s relentless demands for men, beasts, equipment and slaves, all needed for the Reaching Moon Temple project in Dragon Pass.Pavis County was taxed relentlessly and the Grantlands were simply bled without mercy. Halycon also looked upon the Sun Dome Lands greedily, but much to his ire the Articles of the Armistice prevented his tax gatherers preying there. This was something even his accomplice Marusa the Red Witch couldn’t beguile Count Invictus into modifying.

During the Great Winter Halcyon insisted those seeking Lunar food relief in New Pavis must prove their names were recorded in the official paper lists (before that the Teelo Norri kitchen had welcomed all comers). Even then the hungry only received a tiny millet cake that seemed to be mostly sawdust – though it was said the governor had brought tremendous quantities of food with him from the Heartlands. Certainly throughout the crisis Halcyon and his entourage never stopped looking sleek and satisfied.With starving refugees converging on the city, Governor Halcyon also imposed a ruinous entry fee that few of the desperate farmfolk or stranded nomads could afford (and even then, once inside there was no guarantee they would be fed). Even his Lunar soldiery were now on short rations, though the governor made a fortune selling barrels of “salted mock pork” of mysterious origin.

In 1625, despite boasting he would “crush the nomads”, Halycon decamped back to New Pavis from Moonbroth literally moments before the Praxian assault, leaving the Lunar forces there to be annihilated by Jaldon’s horde. He then later managed to escape the city after Argrath broke the siege, a few days later. Although Rurik the Restless thinks he personally slew the governor during the sack, the resourceful Halcyon cunningly switched clothes with a flunky, and it was actually the luckless double’s head that got paraded around afterwards, not his.Halcyon manages to flee New Pavis and eventually finds his way back to the Empire, along with Marusa who makes her own escape. Later on, rumor has it the couple were both among the very few survivors of the Dragonrise.