The Lunar Occupation

It is easy for most Sartarites to see the Lunar Empire as a monolithic Chaos-worshipping entity. However, the truth is that that it is culturally and religiously diverse. Its political objectives are not completely unified.

The followers of the Red Goddess are a tiny, albeit extremely influential, minority in the Empire. Other peoples include the sun-worshipping Dara Happans, who acknowledge the Red Emperor as the heir of Yelm the sun-god. Pelorians, Camanian Dualists and bird-worshipping Rinliddi are a few of the many peoples of the empire, and there are as many languages spoken as there are peoples. In all cases some aspects of their religions have been co-opted by the Red Goddess. For example, in Tarsh, just north of Dragon Pass, many gods of the Orlanthi religion have been swapped with Lunar gods or modified and integrated into the Lunar Pantheon.

By comparison with the barbarian tribes of Sartar, many of the Lunar peoples are civilized, with great cities linked together by an internal economy built on trade. Works of craftsmanship and luxuries barely known in Sartar can be found in the Empire. This great wealth is the foundation of the most powerful military in the world. Its diverse units are able to work together seamlessly thanks to the unifying, harmonizing influence of the Red Moon.

The Occupation Army

The Lunar Provincial Army controls most of Dragon Pass and Prax. It comprises veteran regiments formed from the provincial Kingdoms (Aggar, Holay, Vanch and Tarsh) and commanded by loyal Lunar officers. It is bolstered by some powerful heartland regiments (currently including the Beryl Phalanx). No large magical units are normally present in the Provincial Army but in 1617 the Emperor ordered Tatius the Bright, Dean of the Lunar College of Magic, to prepare for a new, more magical phase of the war against Orlanth.

The Provincial Army is based in Boldhome, the capital of Sartar. Most soldiers garrison the cities and tribal centres and patrol the roads. General Fazzur Wideread makes regular use of flying columns to harry and pillage anti-Lunar clans. At the start of 1618 the Army had 10,000 soldiers, but since the beginning of the year it has grown rapidly with the arrival of more Heartland and Tarshite soldiers and looks set to double in size.

Major figures in the Army include:

  • Fazzur Wideread. One of the greatest military captains in the world, a man with considerable political skill and insight into the workings of Orlanthi society. He personally rules through the Sartar puppet Prince Temertain and reports to Appius Luxius the Provincial Overseer at Mirins Cross who in turn is personally responsible to the Emperor.
  • Anqus Farquinils. Chief of Wagons, the Lunar quartermaster.
  • Dagius Furius. Chief of Intelligence. Said by some to command a cult of assassins.
  • Gordius Silverus. Chief of Liaison, who is responsible for ‘Barbarian Affairs’. He is known as ‘The Detachable Right Hand of Fazzur’.
  • Horatio Hostilius. Chief of Fazzur’s band of Companion guards and a first cousin to the General.
  • Jomes Wulf. A field commander from Aggar, who defeated the Telmori werewolves on their own land and was awarded many estates there.
  • Jorad Sideburn. A field commander who rose from the ranks to become Fazzur’s most competent commander.
  • Sor-Eel the Short. A field commander who is currently the commander of Prax and Pavis, the lands and city to the west. He is a smart political operative who gets on well with the Praxian peoples.
  • Tatius the Bright. A pious priest of Yelm. Chief sorcerer of the Lunar Army and the most feared man in Dragon Pass.

Taxes

Under the terms of the peace following Starbrow’s Rebellion, each clan is assessed a tax of one cow per two free adults, though this is reduced for those favoured by the Provincial Government. Tax is collected not by the government but by tax farmers, who purchase collection franchises from the Governor-General so that they can extort even more out of the clans.

Corruption is rampant. Taxes, reparations, tributes and fines are all names given to what is effectively the theft of Sartarite property on a massive scale. Resisting any request of a Lunar official or tax farmer is treated as rebellion. Resistance has but one outcome: brutal retaliation. The Provincial Army has no qualms about enslaving Sartarite civilians, burning whole steads and crucifying their inhabitants. Entire clans have been sold into slavery and everyone remembers the vicious destruction of the Fire Bull Clan in 1615.

Magic

The Lunar College of Magic calls upon many different types of magic: deities, sorcery, spirits, demons and Chaos. It is capable of large-scale magic beyond the capacity of heroes or hero bands and now is deployed in Sartar.

The Lunar Army is also backed by fearsome monsters of colossal power, such as the Crimson Bat, which is large enough to carry a band of Lunar heroes on its back and which swallowed an Army whole at the siege of Boldhome.

The Lunars have been known to hire mercenary forces, such as the zombie army used to attack Runegate during the invasion of Sartar. At vast cost they even hired the Dragonewts that stormed the walls at Boldhome when Sartar fell.

Finally, the Lunars can also call on Jar-Eel the Razoress, a demi-goddess and one of the greatest heroes of her age. A warrior poet of awesome power and bewitching beauty she is almost worth an army on any battlefield. She was instrumental in leading her legion of Bloodspillers up a sheer cliff face in the final assault on Boldhome and also led a magical conspiracy to capture and dismember the Pharoah of the Holy Country. But her most famous conquest was that of Beat-Pot Aelwrin, a savage horse nomad who had been made into a kitchen slave. Armed with kitchen utensils, Aelwrin led a revolt that savaged half of Kostaddi. Jar-Eel crushed the revolt and captured its leader. But rather than execute him she took it upon herself to teach right action to the young man. After many hours of conversation and physical instruction, Aelwrin relented. Now he and Jar-Eel are inseparable.

The Lunar Occupation

The Book of Kendring Percyprune