The Redline History
A History of the Lunar Empire: The First Wane
by Greg Stafford
originally published in Wyrms Footprints 11
This document is Copyright © 1998 Issaries, Inc. It may be
freely linked to, and one copy may be printed for personal use, but
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Table of Contents
- The Redline History: Zero
- The Redline History: First Wane
- The Redline History: Second
- The Redline History: Third
- The Redline History: Fourth
- The Redline History: Fifth
The Blood Kings War
source: The West Reaches ballad cycles
The west reaches of the new Lunar Empire erupted into war almost
immediatly following the ascent of the Goddess into the sky. Heirs to
Carmania, true and false, launched a furious war in the misguided
hope that the Empire would be weaker without their Goddess present.
The Red Emperor led his army to meet the invaders and gained the
first of many victories. He left Vakthan, one of his sons, in charge
of securing peace upon the West Reaches, and returned home with most
of his army.
The Vakthan-ilart clan ruled the Oronin Sultanate at the time, and
waged a private war against the foes afterwards by maintaining an
aggressive position. Forts were established in the Brass Mountains
and were used as bases for war.
The entire Wane was spotted by war in this sector as the Empire
and the Sweet Sea Confederation raided, prodded allies to war, and
attempted to seize land. The area was more of a place for skill and
adventure than large-scale invasions, although the latter did occur.
We have no dates or names except for the opening fight, mentioned
above. This long struggle was a triumph for the Vakthan-ilart clan.
It officially ended in the next wane (2/12) when the Joker Prince of
Worian threw his children into the raging Assail river and beheaded
himself atop his fortress.
Dara Happan Rebellion and Jannisor’s War
The Tripolis of Dara Happa had been liberated from the Carmanians
in the Zero Wane by the Goddess, but although bound by treaty and
oath, the Tripolis was not a portion of the Empire. Additionally the
god Alkoth had never sworn to a treaty with the Goddess.
When the Emperor forbade Dara Happan river boats passage north of
Elzast, the Tripolis ejected Lunar government officials from their
cities. Lunar agents incited some Kostaddi tribes to revolt, but
failed to bribe the Sable High Queen. The Tripolis seized all the
property of Lunar citizens and sent them into exile, then began
searching for allies.
Jannisor the Hero, a native of the Imther region, was one of the
allies. He had gained his great fame and Herodom for the feat
performed in 1/15 called “Jannisor’s Triumph,” wherein he imprisoned
the Crazed Tribe. This tribe of mad people were the survivors, and
descendants, of the (first)
Battle of Chaos fought in 0/12. They had been wandering south
through Jarst and Garsting wreaking havoc upon land and spirits, and
defeated several terrible armies which attempted to fight ohm.
Jannisor made new magics, depending on the local earth nymphs to
imprison the mad people with the nets which the Hero had made. The
act was successful, and the first of the Mad Sultanates was formed in
Tork. From this Jannisor gained the name Chaos-Binder.
In 1/24 Jannisor answered a Dara Happan plea and raised an army of
Laramite and Wilktar tribal warriors and magicians to accompany him.
Two successive battles were fought at Einar’s Farm (1/24) and
Vashpolis (1/25) where Jannisor led the Dara Happan army and allies
to crushing victories. In 1/26 the Red Emperor was maimed and his
spirit bound within his body after a personal duel with the enemy
In 1/28 Jannisor led a volunteer army
against the city of Glamour. The Outer City fell easily to his
eager and skilled troops. The Great Bridge was assaulted and carried,
and the cheering army entered the sacred city upon the wake of a
Sable war band. Jannisor was aware that the Sable Folk were immune to
the Lunar influences outside of the Inner walls, but he seemed
ignorant of the deeper contacts between the “Lunar Deer” people and
the Red goddess. This proved his undoing, and the Hero was killed by
the Elder Star Twin, while the Sable People received the secrets of
inspiration from the Younger Star Twin. The army of Glamour drove the
rest of the invading army mad, to death or to slavery.
There followed ten years of sieges to conquer the Dara Happans.
The cost was great, but the Dara Happan river allies were bought off
and their mighty fire deities were dimmed by the growing Lunar Glow.
By 1/38 the city of Alkoth, always the most powerful, surrendered,
and their deity humbled before the Goddess, and accepted the
The Char-un and Skyburn
source: Char-Un legends, especially the “Daka Panishi”, or
Chores of Panishi
The reason for the deterioration in Lunar and Char-Un friendship is
not known at this time. It may have been longstanding, as hinted by
their non-appearance among the troop lists at the first victory
against the Blood Kings mentioned above. A famous Lunar
vase illustration shows a mounted warrior assaulting Glamour, but
we do not know if this was Char-Un.
The Char-Un legends state that their Kahn, Panishi, was cheated in
a game by the Red Emperor, and robbed of his inheritance. When
Panishi complained, the Emperor calmed him with a promise of “more
land than you came from, more richness than your spirits could
count.” The Hero accepted, then learned that the Emperor had given
hirn the realm of Erigia (the Emperor later used this method to rid
himself of Ethilrist).
Erigia was, at that time, a dense conifer forest whose northern
reaches were unknown to men, and whose Aldryami population had
swollen after the overthrow of the elvish kingdoms of the Second Age.
The prospect of nomadic cavalry overthrowing elves in their own woods
looked dim, except that Panishi stirred his own magics and created a
The ritual was begun in 1/30, and maintained by refugee priests
from the cities of Yuthuppa who had taken refuge with the Char-Un
Kahn. It ended in 1/32 with the spell and event called Sky burn.
Skyburn began at dawn,”pale fire dripping from boughtips,” and
increased in intensity until at noon “Hellfire pouring from the sky,
burning stone and soul.” By dusk the entire land was naught but
glowing embers, which still smoked the next day as the Kahn led his
tribe to explore their new lands.
A large number of Aldryami survived, preserved by the most ancient
magics of the inner forest. They assembled and met Char-Un in a
battle called Elf Hate Won, fought in 1/32.
Afterwards the Aldryami turned westward, and moved over the
Greystone Mountains into Fronela. Panishi then set upon his final
Quest. He accomplished this by performing three tasks for Erigia’s
goddess, Mother of the Forest, whom had been badly offended by his
actions. The successful completion of these heroic labors earned him
his Herodom, and later immortalization as Founder of the Tribe. The
land suffered cleansing winter until Panishi completed his task, but
afterwards burst into renewed splendor for his people.
Southern Expansion and Moonburn
The southern lands of Peloria had maintained an uneasy peace with
the Empire since their aiding Jannisor. They were fearful of the
Empire, which erupted into a war in 1/4 when the Butterfly Princess
was killed. Despite foreign intervention the land fell to the Emperor
within two years.
Dara-ni, a previous subject state of Alkoth, provided refuge for
the River People and Dara Happan refugees, and held a firm alliance
with the elves of Rist, and maintained powerful allies among the
barbarians of Sylila.
In 1/44 the Emperor ordered a Moonburn begun, modelled on the earlier Char-Un event. The different forms of Lunar magic required
five years to complete the spell, and allowed the defenders to
prepare some countermagics as well, which dampened the final effect
in comparison to the original Skyburn. Many portions of the land were
The Elves, caught without allies and in open ground by the Lunar
Army, were killed or forced to leave their native land. They kept
their old Centers which survived, but most of the race abandoned
their roots and moved into haunted Dorastor.
Colonies were planted at Rist, and warfare against Dara-ni
continued. No decisive battles were recorded between 1/49 and the end
of the Wane.
Illustration of a Lunar Vase
This drawing is taken from a Lunar vase from the period about
1/49 (1276 S.T.) and was created by the much reknowned, and much
copied, artist Tattis Clayshaper. Upon the left is a mountain,
actually the Crater itself, which far overshadows the city of Glamour
in this representation. Other vases of the same period show the
barbarian attacks upon the city (which took place in 1275 ST.) and
show the capital city rather than the Crater. I interpret this to
indicate that Jannisor’s attempt was a much more serious threat than
the later invasions, reaching to the Crater itself rather than being
halted at the city gates.
the mountain are the Lunar Star Twins who converted the Sable people
and slew Jannisor. They were popular among the Sable people
afterwards. The Ringing Bridge connects the Crater with the Outer
City and is crowded with attackers. Jannisor himself leads the
assault. Note his magical shield, named Brighteye in the legends. His
most important daemon familiar, Karash’arll follows. (This creature
later appears as a Lunar slave of the dead.) Third comes an elf,
representing the host from Rist who fought, says a tale, “to avenge
themselves against the stars before Fate burnt their chances.” Fourth
is the Queen of the Sable people, whose betrayal of the Hero has been
exalted in Lunar annals as the Grand Sable Conversion, and marks a
holy day in their calendar. Fifth is a cavalryman, possibly a Char-Un
warrior. Sixth is a representative of the Dara Happan Tripolis,
notable for the extraordinary spear spear being wielded. Last is a
representative of the barbarians who followed Jannisor, possibly the
champion named Onstheus of Imther legend.
Beneath the bridge, waiting to take the casualties, are three
deities from the Lunar Underworld:
The naked woman is the “Holder,” whose jar can imprison any
soul for up to seven earth years. This deity was a real terror to
Jajagapa is a borrowed/adopted deity from the Dara Happan
pantheon. He is the armed psychopomp of the Underworld. He has the
ability to go and fight the souls of the powerful dead, and drag even
great magicians to Death. His net is crowded with less powerful
Finally, Annara Gor is called “Terror and Eater” in non-Lunar
texts, while the Red Goddess called her the “Guardian of