Boldhome is the largest settlement in Sartar, comparable in size to all of the other cities of Sartar put together. It is the religious, political, commercial, and cultural center of the kingdom – the center of the Orlanth Rex cult, and so much more. It is also physically BIG. Check out how big it is by seeing how much space it occupies in the Quivin Mountains. And imagine it surrounded by high snow-capped peaks.
But there is also so much right around Boldhome. The strange dragonewt city of High Wyrm. The terror birds of Bird Site. The gorge of Enothea’s Cut. The mountain refuge of the Broadview Inn. Not to mention the amazing stone road that cuts right through the Quivin Mountains, with the stone Geo’s Ridge Inn as a refuge and hospice. One might even think that it would make a perfect home base for a Sartar campaign!
Now what should be obvious is that most Sartarites have at least some familiarity with Boldhome. They’ve been there for religious ceremonies, or for trade, or on tribal business. And it is amazing. And even the rural tribes folk can’t help but be influenced by it.
It is about a day’s journey from Boldhome to Jonstown, or from Boldhome to Swenstown. Wilmskirk is a bit farther – it takes about two days to go from Boldhome to there. But if you lived in any of those cities, regularly traveling to Boldhome would not be out of the question, and of course if you are on tribal or clan business, you can always guest at your tribal manor.
Clearwine is about four days away, which is a bit of a discouragement for ordinary travel.
Which really helps to illustrate the Colymar and Lismelder as the most backcountry of the Old Sartarite tribes. The Colymar might be numerous and powerful, but they are also hillbillies.
Bird Site is a Demi-bird breeding and nesting place. The Demi-birds are terror birds and the mounts of the dragonewts. I imagine there are hundreds, perhaps even more than a thousand demibirds there. No doubt the dragonewts provide them well fed with meat, but still I imagine bands of Demi-birds range around the Quivin Mountains hunting for meat. But it is pretty interesting that there is a dragonewt city so close to Boldhome!
Ice Wall is also pretty cool – it is a small hanging glacier along the side of the narrow valley!
As an additional source of inspiration, here’s what we were basing Quivin Mountain on:
The point is that I often combine US and European points of reference for Glorantha. The Rocky Mountains and the Alps. Northern Italy and the US Southeast. The American Southwest and Andalusia. And so on.
From Geo’s Ridge Inn on the road is easily blocked by a handful of warriors. Afterwards there is Orlaman’s Keep, as a garrison and watchpoint. The entry into Boldhome valley itself is fortified and easily blocked, so any force trying to get it has a problem with supply, as there is nothing there to forage or scavenge.
The whole place is a murder hole. The Lunars took it largely through magic, rather than siege engineers. The Crimson Bat, Jar-eel and the Red Emperor all were present.
I suspect by 1490, people just went along with whatever crazy idea Sartar suggested. By that point, he’d pretty much proven that he was always three steps ahead of everyone else. He was clearly divinely guided. He could resolve every dispute with a Pareto superior result. His wisdom was infallible, his rightness self-evident. He was charming, and even had a sense of humour. He clearly had some history with Belintar, but as to the details, Sartar never spoke of them and the God-King never betrayed his confidences.