Tarsh (Lunar)

Overview

In the northeast corner of Dragon Pass, the lands of Lunar Tarsh run along the length of the Oslir River.

Political Situation/Current Ruler/Pretenders

The political situation in Lunar Tarsh is complicated. King Pharandros rules in Furthest. Fazzur Wideread, once a favoured general and the Governor-General of Dragon Pass, has set himself up as a rival, ruling from his clan’s seat in Dunstop. In 1627, Fazzur married Mirava Saiciae, a descendant of Sartar whose family line has been hiding in Nochet within House Saiciae.1According to RQG, as of 1625 the civil war was not yet out in the open. Mirava Saiciae is a creation of our game and is the sister of Varanis.

Lunar Tarsh is divided into 11 districts:

City/ DistrictRulerSttmt #CultsNotes
FurthestPhargentes26Mostly Lunar, Temple of the Reaching MoonNew Pelorian, Maize cultivation
DunstopFazzur231/3 Lunar, mostly Ernalda/ BarntarOrindori Clan, Kordos Island
TalfortHaragos Greave13Mostly Lunar, but open worship of OrlanthGovernor appt by king
Copper Town13Mostly Lunar
Borni’s LandingThorikos the Cruel12Mostly Lunar
Slave WallTarkalor Siv12Ernalda/ BarntarHereditary rule
Sikithi Landvacant?12Similar to Dunstop?Heavily Orlanthi, currently managed by Dunstop after governor was assassinated
BagnotPyemstab10Orlanthi?Governor appt by king, predecessor was assassinated
GoldedgeYelmalio High Priest9Ernalda/ Barntar, some sttmts Yelmalio, Goldedge Sun Temple
Ever-New GloryYelmalio High Priest4Ernalda/ Barntar
Tarshford1Governor appt by king
Districts of Tarsh, as per Jeff Richard (2019, Nov 16)

Culture

Lunar settlers and their descendants make up 20% of the population and are concentrated in Furthest and the surrounding area.2J. Richard 2021, Oct 19 They believe themselves to be more civilised than the native Tarshites, or indeed anyone else in Dragon Pass.3RQG 126 The nobility are loyal to the Red Emperor and rule in the traditional Lunar fashion – where Lunars do not hold the power, those they have appointed from the local population do.4RQG 126

The Lunar Tarshites speak New Pelorian, but the Theyalan Tarshite dialect remains in use in the rest of the population.

Lunar-appointed officials resolve disputes, etc. Most are converts to Lunar cult.5J. Richard 2021, Oct 19

Dominant Cults/SubCults/Represented Species

The official cult of Lunar Tarsh is the Seven Mothers. The king of Lunar Tarsh is the titular head of the cult.6RQG 126, 128 Hon-eel is worshipped by the Royal dynasty, while Ernalda and Orlanth remain popular cults, despite Lunar efforts to quell the worship of the Storm god. The Temple of the Reaching Moon is important to the cults of Red Goddess and Yara Aranis. Yelm is worshipped amongst some of the nobility.7RQG 128
Yanafal Tarnils is worshipped by members of the Tarsh Corps; Hwarin Dalthippa is another significant war goddess. Humakt is worshipped by many of the native Tarshite warriors.8RQG 128 There are two Sun Dome temples for Yelmalio (Goldedge and Ever-New Glory), the leaders of which serve as governors for their respective districts.9J. Richard 2022, Jan 15

Among the commoners, Barntar and Lodril

reorganize – nobles, warriors, farmers/commoners?

ii

Pie chart of cult distribution in Furthest and surrounding area
Cult Distribution in Furthest and the district associated with it. Data comes from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/2147413725434615/

Economy

Much of the land is owned by Lunar immigrants, especially in the area around Furthest.10RQG 126 The farmlands produce barley and maize.11J. Richard 2020, Apr 8

Hundreds of trade caravans pass through the kingdom regularly. One of the most important trade items is silk, which is imported from the Holy Country into the Lunar Empire by way of Tarsh – as much as 4-6 tons of silk come this way annually.12J. Richard 2021, Dec 3

Climate

Lunar Tarsh tends towards warm summer seasons, with temperatures reaching the mid-30s at the height of Fire Season. Dark and Storm Seasons are cold and snowy, with temperatures falling below zero and cold northerlies blowing in from Peloria.13RQG 129

Notable Locations and Map

Bagnot

Once the capital of Tarsh, Bagnot remains important to the traditional Tarshite cults.14RQG 129 Right at the edge of the Glowline, Bagnot fell to the Lunars in 1582, just after the Battle of Grizzly Peak. The Moiradean walls still defend the city.15RQG 129

The administrative district of Bagnot includes 9 other settlements, the sacred hill of Grizzly Peak16The site of the famous battle of 1582 and the Dinosaur Graveyard. As of 1625, Pyemstab, captain of the Bagnot militia had been appointed govern Bagnot.

Copper Town

A major source of copper for the Lunar Heartlands, Copper Town is a fortified settlement centred on mining in the Barastaros Hills. The population of 2000 are primarily miners and crafters, mostly following Lunar cults.

The administrative district of Copper Town includes 12 additional settlements. The governor is appointed by the King of Tarsh.

Stone over Souls (Stone-Above-Souls)

Stone over Souls is a Dragonewt city on the western side of the Oslir River, facing Dunstop. The site is a complicated collection of structures typical of Dragonewt architecture, including a number of ziggurat-like buildings. At the centre of Stone over Souls, there is a magical stone model/map called As Above. It is possible to watch figures move about the map and interact with them. The city is connected to Highwyrm and Giant Bones by the Dragonewt roads.

Dunstop

The hilltop city of Dunstop, the second largest city in Lunar Tarsh, is ruled by Fazzur Wideread and the Orindori Clan.17RQG 129 The city is laid out in concentric circles, with Fazzur’s citadel and the temple of the Seven Mothers standing at the centre. Diverse civic buildings, other important temples (Ernalda, Hon-eel, Irrippi Ontor, among others), and the homes of the nobility fill the inner ring. Dunstop’s middle ring houses minor temples, prosperous homes, and high-status crafts and workshops. The main market, with its temple to Issaries and Etyries, is also in this ring. The outermost section of the city is crowded with the homes of the poor, lesser crafts, and other undesirables.18J. Richard 2020, Apr 8

Draft 3D model of Dunstop by Matthew Cole. Source: app.sketchup.com/app?3dwid=38a05546-dfac-4861-b206-ef2c839254e2

The district of Dunstop covers Kodros Island, which includes 23 settlements. The majority of the population worships Ernalda and Barntar.19J. Richard 2022, Jan 15

Falling Hills

In 1362, the twin children of King Arim and Sorana Tor dropped a range of hills on a Lunar army, leading to the Tarshite victory at what came to be known as the Battle of Falling Hills.KoS 97, J. Richard 2022, May 31 This includes the Orvendang Ridge and Big Orven Hill. Orven, a giant who helped King Arim build his kingdom, took a nap after the Battle of the Falling Hills in 1362. He remains here to this day. There is a major temple to Maran Gor by his toes. Mining in the region includes: tin, gold, and silver.20J. Richard 2021, Jan 30

Close up of Orven, the sleeping giant.

Furthest (and its hinterlands)

Ruled by King Pharandros, Furthest is the capital of Tarsh. Built in 1492 over an older settlement on the Oslir, Furthest is a planned colonial city of the Lunar Empire and the centre of administration and trade for Lunar Tarsh. It has regularly laid out streets, substantial walls, and all the trappings of a Lunar city in the furthest reaches of the Empire, including several Great Temples and the University of the Provinces.21RQG 129 The city straddles the Deathline, the invisible wall built by dragonewts after the Dragonkill War to bar humans from Dragon Pass. The Deathline has been defunct since the time of King Arim.22KoS 85, 97
In many ways, Furthest is more Lunar than the Heartlands (“More Lunar that the Silver Shadow”). New Pelorian is the predominant language of the city. Some 70% of the population worship Lunar cultists, though the Lightbringers are worshipped too.23J. Richard 2021, Oct 19 There are 20 000 people in the city and its immediate hinterlands.

The city gives its name to the administrative district, which includes 25 other settlements and the Temple of the Reaching Moon.24J. Richard 2022, Jan 15 The Temple of Heruvernalda is the largest temple to Ernalda in the region.25J. Richard 2022, Jan 15 Much of the arable land in this region belongs to either the city or the Temple of the Reaching Moon.26J. Richard 2021, Oct 19

Map of Furthest and the surrounding area
Map depicting a stretch of the Oslir River, with Furthest and the region around it. Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/2079461498896505/

Karnge Village and Farm

North of Furthest, at the edge of the Falling Hills, stand both the farm and village called Karnge. At the Battle of Karnge Farm in 1555, King Palashee and Sartar’s Prince Jarolar defeated a Lunar army, killing the Lunar king. Palashee was ambushed and defeated shortly thereafter by Phargentes at Axefield, where the grass remains red to this day.27G2G 144, Sourcebook 24

Stopover

A fortified settlement on the opposite side of the Falling Hills from Furthest. Built at the juncture of three main trade roads, this Lunar settlement in the Maize Belt is popular with caravans.28J. Richard 2021, Oct 19

Temple of the Reaching Moon

The temple stands near the top of the Teslir River. It anchors this section of the Glowline and is maintained by regular sacrifices. The temple is well-guarded by warriors and magicians.29RQG 129

Sources: 
Jeff Richard. (2019, Nov 16) Political structure in Tarch [Comment on S. Bray]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/1452414288267899/ 

Jeff Richard. (2020, Apr 8) A few notes on the Tarshite city of Dunstop [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/1597633260412667/

Jeff Richard. (2021, Jan 30) This is a tentative summary of the main mining sources [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/1876761162499874/  

Jeff Richard. (2021, Oct 19) About 35% of the population of Lunar Tarsh... [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/2079461498896505/

Jeff Richard. (2021, Dec 3) Volume of Trade in Dragon Pass [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/2114544765388178/

Jeff Richard. (2022, Jan 15) So let's talk about Tarsh a little [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/2147413725434615/

Jeff Richard. (2022, May 31) Dragon Pass in the Third Age, part 1 [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuneQuest/permalink/2254729878036332/