Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas to all, from Pecháno.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday, and that Santa Ssü brought you lots of presents.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

With Christmas fast approaching things are settling down at work, and that gives me some days off during the week. I was able to use today to actually paint some miniatures, something I haven't done in months.

I recently discovered this box, which I received as a Christmas present many years ago, and never actually got around to paint the miniatures. They are absolutely amazing sculpts with what can only be described as delicate details. They easily hold up to today's standards, even though the were made in 1991!

There's 10 in the box, in a variety of poses, and they will be great as NPC  Aridáni. I have decided that I will paint them as a different warrior/adventurer from one of the Five Empires, and possibly some of the smaller nations; the first one on the left, top row will make a fine  Pecháni I think.

The first one I finished was the second from the left, middle row, and it was done as a Tsolyáni. It really came out very nice. I'll post the finished miniatures shortly.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Commerce, Taxation, and Currency.
            Pecháno's main industries consist of mining and forestry. The two major clans of Pecháno, the Beneshchán in the west and the Rekhmél in the east have monopolies on both of these commodities. In addition to these two main industries there is also a relatively small, albeit well established, and high quality, arms and armour manufacturing trade. Located in Teshkóa some of the finest steel weapons and armour on Tékumel are produced in its narrow and winding streets.

Pecháni Merchant
            Pecháno, as with the other nations of the Five Empires, impose customs and tariffs on goods imported for sale. As soon as one crosses a border a horde of officious inspectors, guards, and scribes appears to demand their due. This procedure can be both costly and time consuming if the proper inducements are not tendered. Although the Pecháni are not as pedantic as the Tsolyáni nevertheless, duties must be paid unless one tries to enter Pecháno outside of the official border crossings. This is possible however, if caught one risks imprisonment, death, and losing all of one’s merchandise for trying to defraud the state. Officially, the Pecháni only collect tariffs (which consist of a percentage of the merchants purchase price for his cargo, as proved by his receipts and manifests) from Salarvyáni merchants, and charge an exorbitant 5-9%. Many revenue officers deliberately exaggerate the amount owed and pocket the difference. Other merchants are technically allowed to cross without restrictions, but reality is quite different, and bribes and unofficial tariffs are quite common.
Pecháni Tax Collector takes his due.
            Tax collectors are among the most venal people on the planet, and the officials of Pecháno are amongst the most oppressive; the naïve and illiterate are frequently hoodwinked into paying as much as five times the correct tax. All too many tax gatherers treat their assigned areas as fruitful farms, which can be joyously harvested over and over. It is hard to get one of these scoundrels removed; witnesses and evidence are needed, and a tax collector is invariably accompanied by an entourage of scribes, guards, assessors, etc., all of whom are in his pay. Occasionally a powerful clan or temple can have a particularly high-handed official transferred or arrested, but most average folk simply pay and remain silent. The government is satisfied as long as it receives its revenues and the economic base is not depressed to the point of ruination. The post of tax collector is therefore a much sought after, although it carries strongly negative social prestige. 
            Pecháno, like the other nations of the Five Empires, charges every resident, citizen and non-citizen alike, a percentage of his yearly gross income, and the temples, the clans, and private individuals commonly offer inducements for reduced assessments. The taxation rate in Pecháno is 1.5%, and 4% for any Salarvyáni. All income is susceptible to taxation, and includes: wages, business profits, interest, ‘inducements’, treasure finds, spoils of war, loans, gifts, and bequests –in short everything! Not surprisingly, much of the revenue of the state is derived from this simple form of income tax. Technically, non-monetary income –works of art, weapons, jewellery, magical devices, land etc., –is also liable to tax, no matter how acquired. The base used is the likely price were the item to be sold at once, and this amount is added to the individual’s gross income. This is usually imposed upon acquisitions worth over 1000 Nzúggesh, and most tax collectors accept a rough estimate rather go to the trouble of having things appraised. There is thus considerable room for bargaining.
            The Pecháni divide their currency like the Salarvyáni, in the following way: 1 Nzúggesh, which is the equivalent of 5 Tsolyáni Káitars as a comparison, is divided into 4 silver Nzái, and each Nzái contains 50 copper Vrél. Even though the Pecháni have and mint their own currency they will of course accept coins from other nations for a nominal fee or exchange rate, usually 3-4%. It should be noted that the Pecháni use the Salarvyáni names for their coins.
Ok, things are beginning to calm down in the "real world" and I'll be putting up some new stuff in the next couple of days. I just updated my post from July 23, 2016. For some reason I didn't include the section on Tomb Police in the initial posting and I have rectified that now.
 In the mean while, I have included a most curious image that was presented to the Chægósh. Recently an expedition returned from Ssuyál, and they brought back with them several functioning devices of the ancients, including one which was able produce an exact reproduction of what we normally would only see with our eyes. The image below is of warriors from the Nchésh of the Protectors of Life, and the Nchésh of the Dragon outside of the Royal Palace in Mechanéno. This device is currently being examined by the Lord Pogórto Nradésu, Patriarch of the Temple of Tsómeq, to determine what else it may be able to do. 

Pecháni Royal Guard.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The last few months have been quite hectic in the "real world" and what little free time I have has been mostly spent on prepping for my game. The campaign that I started in April has continued to gain momentum. We had a new player join the group recently and he has really gelled with the rest of the party. He has never gamed with our group and he brings an interesting approach to the table. As a result of this addition our sessions have been a lot more boisterous than usual and he really is a wild card as far as what his character's motivations are. All in all a great infusion into what was already a steady and creative group of players! 
I am still debating whether to keep this a purely Pecháni blog or make it a Tékumel blog. We'll see...
I recently found a blog, which has sadly become defunct, called The Shen Blog.
Created by one of MAR Barker's players, who also happened to be one the illustrators of Swords and Glory, this blog is hilarious. His game reports, which I believe are from one of Chirine ba Kal's old campaigns,  had me in stitches the first time I read them. Certainly worth a peak in my opinion. It really is a shame that he walked away from it.   

Medium Infantryman, Nchésh of the Ever-Present Power


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sákbe Road Guards

Sákbe Road Guards are also part of the military, and in Pecháno they are also responsible for patrolling and guarding the borders, especially the Salarvyáni border. The borders with Ssuyál are guarded by the Pecháni army. Not surprisingly, the bulk of Pecháno’s army is in the north of the country locked in almost perpetual warfare with the Ssü. The exact number of troops is deployed on the northern marches is unknown, and kept secret by the Pecháni, but may be as high 20,000 men. The Sákbe Road Guards in Pecháno are extremely well trained and disciplined. Their overall commander has the rank of General (Pecháni: Sreddék), and unlike Police Commandants he answers only to the Assembly of Lords and the Chægósh. The Rekhmél and Beneshchán individually have no authority over him.
A typical Guard officer somewhere on the Salarvyáni border.
The Sákbe Road Guards are armed as Medium Infantry, although typically they tend to patrol without armour, carrying a spear, sword and shield normally only wearing armour when posted in more dangerous locations. Their armour tends to be golden in colour, either made of brass or painted Chlén hide, trimmed in a reddish brown, with a silver helmet, trimmed in gold for officers. Guardsmen wear rusty orange kilts with blue and white tassels, and with rank-and-file guardsmen and NCO's wearing a  dun coloured tunic under their armour whereas, officers wear a brown kilt, trimmed in blue and white tassels, and a brown tunic. NCO's are identified by their sword belts which will have their ranks painted on them: a blue half-circle edged in white denotes a commander of 10, an
Olmég, while the same pattern but with the addition of a yellow circle with a black dot in the centre denotes a commander of 20, a Grumég.

  The Sákbe Road Guards normally employ plain, large, circular shields, painted a reddish-brown terracotta colour. Occasionally veteran troops will paint stylised geometric designs on the shields, but this atypical of the Guards as a whole.
A veteran Grumég  posted near Teshkóa.
Contingents of 20-40 men (1 to 2 Gruségh) traverse the major roadways, with intervals of 2 to 4 hours between patrols become typical around major urban centres like Mechanéno, Ogréjja, and Teshkóa, whereas more remote sections may see weekly patrols. Areas near the Salarvyáni or Ssuyál border can sometimes have hourly patrols, but this is not typical. The primary duties of the guards consist of garrisoning the watchtowers and roadside fortresses, keeping the peace along the highways and at way stations, and inspecting caravans for contraband. They will also ensure that all duties have been paid, and that smugglers are punished. 

Tomb Police

The Tomb Police in Pecháno are exclusively drawn from the guards of the Temple of Su’úrkha and those clans that worship him. In Mechanéno they are responsible for guarding the Royal Necropolis where the kings of Pecháno are buried, and the Hall of Bones, where the heroes of the realm are interred. They are typically liveried in browns, blacks and yellows, and are poorly equipped, usually having to employ cast off arms and armour from the Pecháni Army. Their duties during the day primarily consist of directing mourners and sightseers. At night they patrol the City of the Dead, tramping between monuments and pyramidal tombs in groups of 30, holding flaring torches aloft in order to keep away those who would despoil the dead.
The Temple of Su'úrkha in Ogréjja also has their own small, private detachment of Tomb Police that guard the tombs of the leading clans, but these are not as effective as their counter-parts in Mechanéno. In Teshkóa the tombs of the Rekhmél are guarded by one of their vassal clans (the Kháru) who worship Su’úrkha and Kazhérh.  

Relief from the Hall of Bones, Mechanéno showing tomb robbers being apprehended.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

A quick post today.
I am getting around to posting some pics of my finished miniatures. Sorry for the poor quality pictures. The first one is a stock Ral Partha one, see my post from February 22, 2016, and the second one is a Nshe, and my first attempt at a sculpt. I am quite happy with how they both turned out.
Priest of Vihár

Nshé and Priest of