Knights of Gram and Tanith

Knights of Gram and Tanith

John A. Anderson - March 2009

1. A Whole Cargo of Scrolls

H. Beam Piper's novel Space Viking is set in the Seventeenth Century of the Atomic Era, a new period of feudalism in the far future. 'Trask's efforts to explain the political and social structure of the Sword-Worlds met the same incomprehension from Bentrik. "Why, it sounds like feudalism to me!" "That's right; that's what it is. A king owes his position to the support of his great nobles; they owe theirs to their barons and landholding knights; they owe theirs to their people. There are limits beyond which none of them can go; after that, their vassals turn on them."' Note-1 Although Piper does not name it, this era can be called the 'Neo-Medieval Age'. It occurs after the millenium-spanning Terran Federation collapses, just as the Medieval Age (or Middle Ages) occurred after the thousand-year Roman Empire collapsed. The 'Neobarbarians' who appear after the fall of the Federation Note-2 parallel the Germanic barbarians who destroyed Western Rome, and the Space Vikings who later raid the planets of the Old Federation are therefore based on the historic Vikings who caused so much havoc in the post-Roman barbarian kingdoms of Western Europe.

Historically, the institution of feudalism was on a continental scale, pretty much encompassing all of Europe. In Space Viking's futuristic setting, however, the new form of feudalism is on an interstellar scale. Monarchs rule entire planets, or even multiple worlds in several systems. There are Princes (at least two of which rule a whole planet under a biplanetary king), Dukes (who possibly rule entire continents), Counts (who may govern the equivalent of countries), Barons (states or provinces), and Knights.

As the last title suggests, the institution of chivalry has also been resurrected. New orders of knighthood are created. This brings us to the point in the story when the Space Viking ship Space-Scourge first returns to Tanith from Gram, one of the Sword-Worlds. The ship is commanded by Boake Valkanhayn, on whose 'heavily braided captain's jacket...was a large and ornate knight's star, of unfamiliar design, bearing, among other things, the sword-and-atom symbol of the house of Ward.' Note-3 Valkanhayn has 'a vellum scroll the size of a blanket to prove' that he is now a Baron, and his ship is also carrying 'a whole cargo of scrolls. One says you're Otto, Count Harkaman, and another says you're Admiral of the Royal Mardukan [sic] Navy.' Note-4

Like the new feudalism, this element of the Neo-Medieval Age is also true to history, as vellum scrolls were--and still are--given to recipients of nobility. 'Monarchies...tend to maintain the nobility as an institution, and usually have an office for issuing grants of noble status. This requires the issue of documents assigning or recognizing noble status.' Note-5 These documents are known as Patents of Nobility, and the newly-ennobled usually also receive a grant of arms (coat of arms) to symbolize their elevation to the peerage. 'In Great Britain, grants of arms have always consisted of sheets of vellum, known as Letters Patent, that is, an open document addressed to all who care to read it...In them the reader is informed by the king of arms making the grant by what authority they act and what they are granting to the recipient of the patent.' Note-6

Thus, the vellum scrolls making Valkanhayn a Baron and Harkaman a Count are actually Patents of Nobility, presumably issued by a 'Wardshaven King of Arms'. It is possible that they also receive Letters Patent granting them coats of arms, but it is more likely that Valkanhayn and Harkaman design their own. 'Basically, everyone is free to choose his own arms. Not everyone takes advantage of this, but a person who does so needs to have his choice ratified by an appropriate authority.' Note-7 Boake and Otto could therefore choose their own baronial and county arms, but would have to submit them to the king of arms on Gram for approval. Assuming that the Sword-Worlds follow the historic rules of heraldry, the design process may involve back-and-forth suggestions and modifications, so that the arms are heraldicly correct.

The scroll elevating Captain Harkaman to Admiral also falls under Letters Patent, which 'are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch…generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation.' Note-8 (Figure 1.) The scrolls specified in Space Viking therefore document the bestowing of titles (Baron, Count) and commissions (Admiral), but knighthoods are also 'proven' or accompanied by a scroll. The knight's star on Valkanhayn's jacket means that Boake should have a vellum blanket for this as well.

Letters Patent creating the office of Governor-General of Australia, and a grant of arms

Figure 1. Letters Patent creating the office of Governor-General of Australia, and a grant of arms. Note-9

Though left unsaid by Piper, can we deduce what are contained in some of these other scrolls?

Since two of them document the ennoblement of Valkanhayn to Baron and Harkaman to Count, there must be one that elevates the erstwhile Baron Trask to 'Prince Trask'. And since Otto has a separate scroll making him Admiral, Lucas must have another one proclaiming him 'Viceroy of Tanith'. This is in fact the meaning behind the next few sentences. Boake continues with, " 'And you're his trusty and well-loved Lucas, Prince Trask, and Viceroy of his Majesty's Realm of Tanith.' Harkaman bristled at that. 'The Gehenna you say. This is our Realm of Tanith.' 'Is his Majesty making it worthwhile to accept his sovereignty?' Trask asked. 'That is, beside vellum scrolls?' " Note-10 So like Otto, Lucas gets at least two scrolls.

But there may be a few more in here. The 'Admiral' scroll of Harkaman suggests that Boake Valkanhayn has one confirming his hypership command, probably as Captain in the Royal Gram Navy. Furthermore, the knighting of Boake implies that there are also two scrolls knighting Lucas and Otto. In other words, each man receives three scrolls. Added to their names, that would make their full titles Prince Sir Lucas Trask, Viceroy of Tanith, Count Sir Otto Harkaman, Admiral of the Royal Gram Navy, and Baron Sir Boake Valkanhayn, Captain of the Royal Gram Navy. The question then becomes, what order of knighthood is this?

2. A Royal Order of Gram

a) 'Of Unfamiliar Design'

As we've seen, Letters Patent (including Patents of Nobility) are issued by monarchs, which means a monarch should have sent all those vellum scrolls to Tanith. And the star on Boake's jacket is 'of unfamiliar design', which implies that it is a new order of knighthood, created after Lucas left Gram. While he's been away, the only major event has been the establishment of the planetary monarchy. " 'He did it!' Trask cried. 'He made himself King of Gram!' 'That’s right.' " Valkanhayn replied. Note-11 So the new order of knighthood is most likely a 'Royal Order of Gram'. No longer a duke but a king, His Majesty Angus the First would need to create a royal order of chivalry, both to reward his loyal vassals and to cement their allegiance to him as the new global monarch. Since the deduced Order of Gram is founded by the ruling member of the house of Ward, that explains why the sword-and-atom has a prominent place among its symbols.

The knight's star of the Order of Gram would then parallel (and possibly precede) two other chivalric orders named by Piper; the 'Grand Star of the Order of Odin’, and the 'Knight's Star of the Order of the Empire', both mentioned in 'A Slave is a Slave'. Note-12 The historical model for Piper's future knight's stars are of course the European orders of chivalry. Some of these emboss their emblems on crosses, which are often worn tied with a ribbon around the neck, while others appear on stars, which are fastened to dress tunics. Note-13 The number of points on such stars varies, but the most common number I have seen is eight, as in the Most Noble Order of the Garter. And several are surrounded with what are called 'sunbursts', like the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. (Figure 2.)

Stars of the Order of the Garter and of the Order of the Star of India

Figure 2. Stars of the Order of the Garter and of the Order of the Star of India. Note-14

Using the star of the Garter as a model, the star of the Order of Gram that Valkanhayn wears on his jacket could have eight points. But the number of points may depend on the type of atom that the house of Ward chose for its symbol. For example, the emblem of the United States Atomic Energy Commission employs an atom of beryllium, which has four electrons orbiting the nucleus. (Figure 3.) These orbits are depicted as extreme ellipses, and each ellipse has two vertices. The eight total vertices gives the symbol an eight-pointed appearance, so if the atom of Ward is one of beryllium, putting it on a star with eight points would be a natural choice.

Shield of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

Figure 3. Shield of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Note-15

However, my interpretation of the Gram emblem displays a lithium atom, which has three electrons orbiting the nucleus. (Figure 4.) This was chosen for two reasons. First, because Gram means 'Wrath' in Old Norse, Note-16 and toward the end of Space Viking, the wrath of the people and nobles of Gram against King Angus reaches the boiling point. As Baron Rathmore informs Prince Trask, 'It's more than anybody can stand! There isn't one of the old great nobility he hasn't alienated, or one of the minor barons, the landholders and industrialists, the people who were always the backbone of Gram. And it goes from them down to the commonfolk. assessments on the lords, taxes on the people, inflation to meet the taxes, high prices, debased coinage. Everybody's being beggared except this rabble of new lords he has around him...' Note-17 In the feudal system of the Sword-Worlds, King Angus is therefore crossing 'the limits beyond which none of them can go; after that, their vassals turn on them'. It doesn't take long before Prince Trask believes that '[T]he situation on Gram [was] fast approaching critical mass.' Note-18

Given that Angus' emblem is atomic, the nuclear metaphor is perfectly appropriate. This brings us to the second reason for the choice of a lithium atom, which is that beryllium does not appear to be used in nuclear weapons, but lithium is. The definition of Gram's symbol as a 'wrathful atom' would then be reminiscent of the 'Lithium-Hydrides; real king-size jobs' in Piper's novel First Cycle. Note-19 These tremendous thermonuclear weapons devastate Hetaira. '[T]he entire planet must have been swept by storms of incandescent gas, at from five hundred to a thousand degrees Centigrade.' Note-20

In a lithium atom, the three ellipses of its electrons have six vertices, which would make the star of the Order of Gram a six-pointed one.

Proposed version of the sword-and-atom symbol of Gram, the 'Sword of Nuclear Wrath'

Figure 4. Proposed version of the sword-and-atom symbol of Gram, the 'Sword of Nuclear Wrath'. Note-21

Using the Star of India as a model, the Grand Star of the Order of Odin could be surrounded by a sunburst. That would be appropriate, because the emblem of the First Galactic Empire is 'the Sun and Cogwheel', also described as 'the gold sun and superimposed black cogwheel of the Empire.' Note-22 So for the Star of Odin, the gold Sun would replace the sunburst, and the black Cogwheel would replace or surround the circular motto-belt behind the star. The Star of India may explain why at one point, Prince Trevannion 'pressed the stud in the middle of his Grand Star of the Order of Odin' Note-23 Notice that in Figure 2, the center of the Order of India seems to have a tiny button, or stud. I'm not sure what this is; perhaps a fastener attaching the star (and possibly the motto) to the sunburst. Note-24

The Order of the Garter is a royal order of chivalry, established by King Edward III about 1348 AD. The Order of the Star of India is an imperial order of chivalry, established by Queen Victoria in 1861, near the height of the British Empire, and not long before she became Empress of India. These facts also support the royal Garter as a possible model for the Royal Order of Gram, and the imperial Star of India as a possible model for the Imperial Order of Odin. Note-25

In the feudal system, dukes and other nobles had their own knights, so Duke Angus must have some in his service even before he becomes King of Gram. Thus, the new royal order of chivalry may well replace or supercede a previous ducal one, presumably a 'Ducal Order of Ward' or Wardshaven. Knights are of course soldiers, so among Angus of Wardshaven's knights will be the commanders of the ducal (and later royal) forces.

However, these are not very numerous. Of Sword-World monarchs, Prince Trask says that 'Outside a personal guard and enough men to police the royal city and hold the crown lands, the king has no troops.' Note-26 At Trask's wedding, Duke Angus and his party are preceded by 'A platoon of guards, in red and yellow', and are followed by 'More guardsmen.' Note-27 These men are therefore Angus' personal guard; some of his troops. We can assume that the commander of his personal guard, at least, is a 'Knight of Ward', and later, 'Knight of Gram'.

Star and livery collar of the Garter, and of the Star of India

Figure 5. Star and livery collar of the Garter, and of the Star of India Note-28

b) 'Among Other Things'

The phrase 'among other things' implies that on Boake's star of unfamiliar design are other symbols besides the sword-and-atom. With the examples of the Garter and Star of India, we can now deduce that one of these things could be a motto on a stylized sword-belt, surrounding the central emblem. A sword-belt on a Sword-World emblem of chivalry would seem appropriate, the more so because pledging allegiance to a planetary monarch involves offering your sword.' "I've come out to offer my sword to the King of Tanith," [Baron Rathmore] said. "Prince of Tanith, for the time being," Trask corrected. "The sword, however, is most acceptable." ' Note-29

Is there anything else besides a sword-belt and motto? Piper does not say, but his phrase suggests at least a few more symbols. And to their most senior members, the historic orders of chivalry also awarded heavy necklaces, called livery collars. These were embossed with symbols, and hung with a pendant. Let's look at our examples again, showing the full award. (Figure 5.)

For the Order of the Garter, the symbolic 'other things' on the collar include roses alternating with knots (a little difficult to see at this scale), and a St. George and the Dragon pendant. The symbolic other things of the Star of India include Tudor roses, alternating with palm branches and lotuses; also a Queen Victoria pendant above which is an imperial crown.

The Tudor rose is a combination of the emblems of the House of Lancaster (a red rose) and York (a white one). So combining the emblems of noble families may also occur on Gram. When Angus becomes King, he is married to Flavia, sister of Duke Joris of Bigglersport. Note-30 Since she is the first Queen of Gram, the 'other things' on the Star of Gram could therefore include 'the daggers and chevrons of Bigglersport.' Note-31 Another appropriate symbol would be a royal crown, emblematic of Angus' elevation to planetary monarch. Thus, surrounding the deduced belted motto on the Star of Gram, or perhaps replacing it, is a circle or 'collar' of other symbols. And among these symbols are a crown and the emblem of Bigglersport.

By extension, the circle of symbols could also include the emblems of the other noblemen who supported the elevation of Duke Angus to King of Gram. 'The Count [Lionel] of Newhaven, the Duke [Joris] of Bigglersport, and the Lord [Alan] of Northport, all of whom had favored the establishment of a planetary monarchy, had immediately acknowledged Angus as their sovereign.' Note-32 All these men would be members of the Royal Order of Gram, and the resulting collar on the knight's star would then symbolically 'surround' the royal sword-and-atom with the emblems of its loyal supporters.

Another nobleman who acknowledges Angus as his king is 'the Duke of Didreksburg', although admittedly he does so only 'with a knife at his throat'. Note-33 Nevertheless, his submission may mean that he is also dubbed a Knight of Gram. If so, the emblem of Didreksburg would be another symbol added to the star of the Order.

c) Knights of Gram on Tanith

Over on Tanith, the most important Knights of Gram would be the aforementioned Prince Sir Lucas Trask, Count Sir Otto Harkaman, and Baron Sir Boake Valkanhayn. But as the phrase 'a whole cargo of scrolls' suggests, there are undoubtedly many others, and Piper later reveals the total; 'the half-hundred members of the new nobility of Tanith'. Note-34

With 50 members, then besides Trask, Harkaman, and Valkanhayn there are 47 other Tanith-based Gram-knights. Vellum proofs of their knighthoods, titles and commissions are therefore also contained in Valkanhayn's cargo of scrolls. Fifty nobles times three scrolls each equals a total of 150 scrolls, though this would be the upper limit; some of these new noblemen may in fact just be knights, with only one or two scrolls each. The lower limit would be fifty (one scroll per nobleman), making a final range of 50-150 scrolls. The median would be 100, or an average of two scrolls each, which seems a reasonable approximation.

Knighthoods and titles are usually bestowed by monarchs individually and in person. But with Gram 'three thousand light-years' away, Note-35 it is of course impractical for Angus to do this for the new nobility of Tanith--though we can assume that Valkanhayn at least receives that signal honor, during his time on Gram. But with Boake bringing back about a hundred scrolls the size of blankets all at once, this would indeed be a 'cargo' of nobility; a veritable flood of feudalism descending on the planet. Tanith is quickly blanketed--pardon--with the framework of the new feudal system, but it will take some time to become fully established. Trask's cousin Nikkolay says that 'We're taking over a whole planet; it’ll be another Sword-World in forty or fifty years.' Note-36

Thus, in the first flush of becoming King of one and then two worlds, Angus is handing out titles (Prince, Count, Baron), commissions (Viceroy, Admiral, Captain), and knighthoods (Boake Valkanhayn and 'Sir Garvan Spasso' Note-37), to reflect his newly elevated status. And each one of these is individually 'proven' or documented by a vellum scroll.

d) Levels of Distinction?

Piper's future feudalism seems to be rather more egalitarian than its historical counterpart, perhaps because the Sword-Worlds are 'all low-population planets, and nobody wants to be a servant.' Note-38 The scarcity of people means that 'There's still too much free land and free opportunity on the Sword-Worlds...Nobody does much bowing and scraping to the class above him; he's too busy trying to shove himself up into it. And the men who ship out as Space Vikings are the least class-conscious of the lot.' Note-39 Moreover, in these class-unconscious societies, 'The king was simply the first nobleman of the planet.' Note-40

3. Feudal Planetary Estates

a) Available Land

Boake apparently becomes a baron because he's returning to Tanith, an uncivilized, newly-conquered world, where plenty of land is now available for feudal estates to be granted. Garvan Spasso, however, only receives a knighthood because he is remaining on Gram, where there are apparently no available estates to immediately ennoble him with. At least, not until he proves his worth. Angus apparently sends him to 'crush the adherents of [Duke] Omfray', Note-43 and upon the successful completion of that task, the King makes him 'Baron Spasso...Of about half of Glaspyth.' Note-44

This puts the royal seal of approval on Spasso's habit of seizing the lands of Angus' enemies, after killing them off or driving them out. 'He is Chief of Police at Glaspyth, now, and nobody can call what he's doing there chicken-stealing, either. Any chickens he steals, he steals the whole farm to get them.' Note-45 That of course was standard practice in the historic Feudal Age, as evidenced in classic costume dramas like 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' (1938). When Sir Robin of Locksley (Errol Flynn) is declared outlaw, Prince John (Claude Rains) says 'His possessions are forfeit to the Crown. Seize his castle and his lands. Everything he owns.' Note-46

At this point, Duke Omfray of Glaspyth has fled into exile and is technically an 'outlaw' on Gram, so his possessions are therefore forfeit to the planetary Crown. But Garvan is only awarded half of Glaspyth; one wonders if the other half goes directly to King Angus, who thereby increases his crown lands. Or perhaps it is awarded to other subordinates for their services (such as the policemen working under Chief Spasso), thus creating more Gram-knights loyal to Angus.

Garvan's continued success in King Angus' service later gets him 'promoted from Baron to Count', a higher social position that is supported by more 'estates confiscated from alleged traitors'. Note-47 (As we will see below, Baron Valkanhayn may also be promoted to Count, after the time of Space Viking.) This brings in the Robin Hood example again. King Richard's return foils Prince John's treasonous attempt to seize his power. The Prince and his followers, including the High Sheriff of Nottingham, are banished from England. For his services in defeating the traitors and saving Richard's throne, Robin Hood is restored to rank and even promoted, being given lands confiscated from the King's enemies. The erstwhile Sir Robin of Locksley becomes 'Baron of Locksley, Earl of Sherwood and Nottingham. And lord of all the lands and manors appertaining thereto.' Sherwood and Nottingham are presumably the former estates of the now-exiled High Sheriff. Note-48

b) Mapping the Planet

Thus, though also glossed over by Beam, Prince Trask, Count Harkaman, and Baron Valkanhayn undoubtedly have landed estates on Tanith. Not only to give their titles substance, but also to supply them with the 'revenues' necessary to maintain the title. Note-49 No actual grants of land on Tanith are mentioned in Space Viking, though with Piper's abbreviated style of writing(there always seems to be a lot more going on than he puts into words), that does not necessarily mean anything. The feeling I get from the book is that King Angus simply sends the scrolls, and leaves the granting of specific estates to Prince Trask. However, the timing of events would actually allow Angus to have some knowledge of the geography of Tanith.

When the Nemesis and Space-Scourge return from their initial three-planet raid--and this is before Valkanhayn goes back to Gram--they find that 'Alvyn Karffard...had done considerable mapping, in some detail of the continent on which [Rivington] was located, and, in general, of the rest of the planet.' Note-50 Although its main purpose is undoubtedly to provide them with basic knowledge of the planet they have recently taken over, this cartographic effort would also be used in the foundation of the new feudal order. If we assume Boake takes copies of the maps along with all that loot to Angus on Gram, then the new King himself does the granting. But in the beginning, Angus is a good sovereign who doesn't try to be anything more than 'the first nobleman of the planet'. So my guess is he leaves such matters in the hands of his loyal Viceroy, the first nobleman of Tanith, who, being more familiar with his men, would be better able to match them with the best or most appropriate estates.

Assuming Alvyn continues the mapping project in later months and years, a completed 'Atlas of Tanith' would show where the fertile land is, the good grazing land, the mountainous areas likely to be rich in iron, silver, gold and other metals; the best fishing areas, and other such information. With all the fighting that occurs in the book (not to mention the sustained effort to recivilize Tanith), the new noblemen might not have much time to look these maps over and determine parcels of particular interest. But after the hectic events of Space Viking are successfully concluded, they might finally be able to get truly settled. The granting of estates--and the adoption of coats of arms, for that matter--may therefore occur when Lucas becomes King of Tanith. Indeed, Trask himself might not even establish his own estates and arms until that time.

So now, let's look at some possible

c) Feudal Estates on Tanith

Prince Trask. As the planetary viceroy, Trask's estates undoubtedly include the capital Rivington and the surrounding region, just as King Angus' estates include the capital of Gram, Wardshaven, and its hinterland. Royal estates have historically been called 'the crown lands', and Piper uses exactly this phrase to describe these planetary regions. As quoted above, ''Outside a personal guard and enough men to police the royal city and hold the crown lands, the king has no troops.' Note-51 The Duchy and City of Wardshaven are therefore elevated to the crown lands and royal city of Gram when Duke Angus becomes King. On Tanith, Lucas is at first a Prince, so his estates could be called the 'Principality of Rivington'--not to be confused with 'the Princely State of Tanith', the political name of the entire planet. Note-52 The Principality and City of Rivington would then become the crown lands and royal city of Tanith when Prince Trask becomes King Lucas I.

When Trask lived on Gram, he was Baron of Traskon, a 'farming and ranching barony', Note-53 which is about twice the size of the city of Malverton on Marduk. Note-54 It is therefore interesting that Rivington on Tanith is situated on topography similar to Traskon. 'It was accessible only by oxcarts traveling a hundred miles across the plains; it had been built by a contragravity-using people with utter disregard for natural travel and transportation routes.' Note-55 Seemingly comparable to the Great Plains of North America, a region of much farming and ranching, the implication is that the Principality of Rivington becomes a bigger version of Traskon; Lucas recreates the life he knew on Gram, but on a larger scale.

This is supported by the very first planet Trask raids, Khepera. One of the cities that gets hit was 'the center of a considerable cattle country. The cattle were native to the planet, heavy-bodied unicorns the size of a Gram bisonoid or one of the slightly mutated Terran carabaos on Tanith, with long hair like a Terran yak. He had detailed a dozen of the Nemesis ground-fighters who had been vaqueros on his Traskon ranches to collect a score of cows and four likely bulls, with enough fodder to last them on the voyage. The odds were strongly against any of them living to acclimate themselves to Tanith, but if they did, they might prove to be one of the most valuable pieces of loot from Khepera.' Note-56 'The little herd of long haired unicorns--the Khepera locals had called them kreggs, probably a corruption of the name of some naturalist who had first studied them--had come through the voyage and even the Battle of Beowulf in good shape.' Note-57 On Tanith, 'the kreggs continued to thrive after the Space-Scourge departed [for Gram]. Several calves were born, and seemed to be doing well; the biochemistry of Tanith and Khepera were safely alike... Someday, he hoped, kregg-beef would be an item of sale to ships putting in on Tanith, and the long-haired hides might even find a market in the Sword-Worlds.' Note-58

Over time, one can easily envision the original 'little herd' becoming large herds in the plains country around Rivington. So in addition to being the capital of the planet, Trask's royal city will presumably become 'the center of a considerable cattle country'.

Assuming so, then the Principality of Rivington includes at least some of the villages mentioned as being near the city. 'Most of the people Spasso and Valkanhayn had kidnapped and enslaved came from villages within a radius of five hundred miles.' Note-59 And on the way back from their first trip to Tradetown, Trask and Harkaman 'looked at a few [of these] villages. One or two dated from the Federation period; they had been plantations before whatever it was had happened. More had been built within the past five centuries. A couple had recently been destroyed, in punishment for the crime of self-defense.' Note-60

'Plantations' imply agriculture, and 'a hundred miles across the plains' suggests a large area. Using the equation A = pi r2, and 100 miles for the radius, results in Rivington begin at the center of over 31,000 square miles of farming and ranching land. If we use 'a radius of five hundred miles' to include the plantation-villages, that becomes a little over 785,000 square miles.

Either way, Trask's new Principality is undoubtedly far larger than Traskon on Gram. As stated, Traskon is about twice the size of Malverton. Malverton's area is not given, but it is the capital city of a planet with two billion people. In 1965, Terra had almost 3.5 billion people, and Los Angeles, one of the largest cities at that time, only had an area of 458.2 square miles. Note-61 If Malverton is about the size of Los Angeles, that means Traskon is less than 1000 square miles in area (458.2 times 2). Even if we assume Malverton is several times larger than L.A. (being the planetary capital, which Los Angeles is not), the resulting two to three thousand square miles is still far smaller than 31,000 square miles, let alone 785,000.

All that fertile land would be needed to support the growing livestock industry on Tanith, but still more to feed a burgeoning human population. The Principality of Rivington would therefore seem an ideal place to begin the recivilizing of Tanith. (See Appendix 2 for more on The Relative Location of Rivington.)

The mention of Lucas and Otto's aerial reconnaissance around Rivington brings us to

Tradetown. The only other populated center on Tanith mentioned by name is Tradetown. Tradetown seems to be fairly close to Rivington. It's 'a big town down at the forks of the river', Note-62 and 'The next morning, [Trask] and Harkaman took an aircar and went to look at the city'. Note-63 Tradetown is apparently to the east of Rivington, because when they finish looking it over and head for home, 'They turned the aircar west again and along the river.' Note-64 While Trask, Harkaman and the others are away on the three-planet raid, Alvyn Karffard's mapping project includes a visit to the place. 'And he had established friendly relations with the people of Tradetown and made friends with their king.' Note-65 This person is referred to again. 'The former slave guards had all become sergeants and lieutenants in an infantry regiment that had been formed, and the King of Tradetown borrowed some to train his own army. Some genius in the machine-shop altered a matchlock musket to flintlock and showed the local gunsmiths how to do it.' Note-66

Calling him a 'King' implies that the lord of Tradetown is a feudal sovereign of sorts. The local weapons include at least one medieval type; 'thrusting-spears and throwing-spears, crossbows and quarrels'. Note-67 We can narrow it down further to a late-Medieval equivalent, because 'They have gunpowder', Note-68 plus the previous reference to Tanith-made matchlocks improved by the Vikings. These are 'heavy guns, crude things but carefully made.' Note-69 My guess is they point to one of Beam's favorite historical periods, the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century. Tanith may therefore be close to a Renaissance-parallel period, which the arrival of the Space Vikings accelerates. Note-70 And a pre-Renaissance, late-Medieval Tanith would prove that the King of Tradetown is in fact a feudal monarch.

Thus, the local political system should mesh quite well with the 'neo-feudal' system brought in by the Space Vikings. And that could partly explain why the recivilizing of Tanith appears to go pretty smoothly in Space Viking.

The question is, when Trask becomes King of Tanith, is it advisable to have another 'King' on the planet, even if he is only a municipal monarch? The question is probably moot, as Trask seems to have no problem with the title when he is only 'Prince' of Tanith. He is so securely in charge that it doesn't matter whether he's called Prince or King. ' "Just call yourself Prince of Tanith," [Lord] Valpry said. "The title won't make any difference in your authority here, and if you do lay claim to the throne of Gram, nobody can say you're a foreign king trying to annex the planet." [Trask] had no intention of doing anything of the kind, but Valpry was quite in earnest. He shrugged. The title meant nothing.' Note-71 Lucas is the 'sovereign Prince of Tanith', Note-72 so what the lord of one town on that planet calls himself is no threat to his planetary throne.

On the other hand, the recivilizing of Tanith means that the local people will become more like their Space Viking conquerors; a process accelerated by intermarriage. (See Assimiliation, below.) As the two groups slowly become one, it would seem like a good idea for the King of Tanith to bring the King of Tradetown more fully into the planetary system, by granting him estates and making him a Sword-World Count or Duke. This would not be a demotion, as Trask would be wise to confirm his (meaningless) royal title to Tradetown. But by accepting lands and titles from the planetary sovereign, the King of Tradetown would officially become Trask’s vassal.

However, the man might not relish becoming subject to an 'offworld' overlord. And even with all the benefits Trask has brought to the planet, we note that there is some friction between the two groups. 'They had contragravity scows plying between Rivington and Tradetown regularly, now, and airlorries were linking the villages. The boatmen of Tradetown rioted occasionally against this unfair competition.' Note-73

So it is possible that the King of Tradetown, with his now more advanced army, uses one of the occasional riots as a pretext to revolt, perhaps while King Lucas is off-planet. The revolt will be crushed, of course, which would then pave the way for Trask to appoint his own man as lord of Tradetown. This brings in

Count Harkaman. As Trask's second-in-command, this (presumably) second most important city on Tanith could become Count Harkaman's fief. As we‘ve seen, Tradetown seems 'close' to Rivington, and making it Otto's estate would reflect the personal closeness between him and Lucas. Given Harkaman's fondness for ships named 'Corisande', Note-74 he could style his estates the ‘County of Corisande'.

He could rename Tradetown, too. Unlike Rivington, which is an Old Federation city Note-75 and was called by the locals 'Rivvin' until the original name was rediscovered, Note-76 Tradetown is a new creation, and has no preexisting (that is, elegant) name. 'It was completely new, in the sense that it had been built since the collapse of Federation civilization and the loss of civilized technologies ...The locals simply called it Tradetown.' Note-77 So Corisande might be a better name for the place, especially if the recivilizing of Tanith causes it to grow into a proper city. (See Elevations in Rank, below.)

However, it might be too much of a good thing if Otto has a ship, city, and county all with the same name. Harkaman is from the planet Colada, and seems to have fond memories of his childhood there. Note-78 So he could name the town and county Colada, his little home (planet) away from home (planet).

Thus, Otto’s ship, the Corisande II, or second of that name, would be paralleled by his fief, which would be the second 'Colada' he has lived on.

Baron Valkanhayn. Of the three named Gram-knights on Tanith, this leaves Baron Valkanhayn. And he himself mentions that there is in fact one more city on the planet. 'There's a big local city, maybe ten or twenty thousand people; temples and palaces and everything. Then, there are a couple of Old Federation cities. The one we're at is in good shape, and there's a big spaceport. We've been doing a lot of work on it.' Note-79

The big local city is Tradetown, and the city Valkanhayn and Spasso are at is Rivington. So there's another Old Federation city out there, probably on another continent. Since Boake and Garvan chose to occupy Rivington, this other city was presumably not in as good of shape. It may not have a spaceport, or at least a smaller one. And it is undoubtedly smaller than the capital, because Rivington was supposed to ’become the metropolis of a populous and prospering world.' Note-80 The original city-center of Rivington possessed 'three of the high buildings, literally vertical cities in themselves.' Note-81 One was destroyed in a post-Federation conflict, leaving only two still standing. Note-82 Thus, the other Federation-era city probably has only one of these super-skyscrapers.

As the process of recivilizing Tanith continues, however, this unnamed city will certainly be reoccupied. And during his time as co-ruler in Rivington, Valkanhayn gained experience in beginning the work of cleanup and reconstruction. So it might make sense for Trask to grant Boake the other Old Federation city as his fief, assigning him the same task.

Alternates. Other possibilities come to mind.

1. The King of Tradetown may well bow to the inevitable and accept King Lucas as his overlord. He really has no chance fighting against the Royal Army of Tanith, and his acceptance would make him the first Tanith-born nobleman in the new order. (Again, see Assimilation.)

Assuming so, then Count Harkaman could be granted the other Old Federation city instead of Baron Valkanhayn. That would put Trask's second in command in charge of what would inevitably become the second most important city on Tanith. It's already a small metropolis; it just needs to be cleaned up and reoccupied. In that case, Otto could still name his fief the County of Colada, which would now be the region around the second Old Federation city. He could even call the city itself 'Colada', though as an interim measure, until the original name is discovered.

2. Or again, if the King of Tradetown does make trouble, then the order could be: King Lucas in Rivington, Count Otto in the other Old Federation city, and Baron Boake in Tradetown. This option presumes that Valkanhayn is the one who puts down the revolt, and the result seems to best reflect the relative status of the three men.

The only objection to Boake ruling Tradetown is that he and Spasso raided it several times; he would not be remembered kindly there. So it may not be a good idea to put him in charge of the place. And that brings us to

The Moon of Tanith. Another barony mentioned in Space Viking is found on Gram; the lands of 'Lord Sesar Karvall, Baron of Karvallmills.' Note-83 The mills of Karvall are 'steel mills', Note-84 so it is a mining barony, and the Karvall lands are therefore rich in natural resources.

On Tanith, this role is filled by its Moon, on which steel mills are soon established. The Moon of Tanith is 'almost solid nickel-iron, and [has] fissionable ore deposits.' Note-85 When the Space-Scourge returns from Gram, its cargo includes 'Mining robots, for use on the iron Moon of Tanith, and normal-space transports for the fifty-thousand mile run between planet and satellite...[also] A small, fully robotic, steel mill that could be set up and operated on the satellite.' Note-86 'There had been mines on the Moon of Tanith before the collapse of the Federation…the mines were reopened and the steel-mill put in, and eventually ingots of finished steel were coming down by shuttle-craft.' Note-87

Given the similarity to Karvallmills, one then wonders if the Moon of Tanith, or at least the mining area, becomes a 'lunar barony'.

Parenthetically, Piper does not supply a name for the Moon of Tanith, although it probably has one. In the Fuzzy novels, the planet Zarathustra is named for a Persian religious leader, the founder of Zoroastrianism, and its two moons bear the names of Persian rulers (Darius and Xerxes). Because of that, back in the 1980s I suggested to John Carr that the satellite of Tanith, a Carthaginian deity, should bear the name of a Carthaginian ruler. Zarathustra, Darius, and Xerxes are all males, but Tanith is female; the Carthaginian moon-goddess. So the Moon of Tanith could be named Dido, the legendary Queen of Carthage who ruled when Aeneas the Trojan landed there on his way to found Rome.

That could make the postulated lunar fief the 'Barony of Dido' or of Didomills.

However, the satellite also seems to play an important part in the planetary defense system. To face the rising threat of Andray Dunnan, Trask 'installed more missile-launching stations both on the moon and on the planet'. Note-88 This could be the makings of a powerful Lunar fortress, like the Moonbase of Marduk.

Such an installation would defend not only the planet but its economically-important lunar resources, and should therefore be under the command of a high-ranking and loyal nobleman. This could be Count Harkaman or Baron Valkanhayn, assuming they live long enough to trade a fighting hypership command for a more defensive garrison one. Such changes are usually accompanied by promotion, so if that person were Count Harkaman, for example, he could become Otto, Duke of Dido. Note-89

But whatever estates Harkaman and Valkanhayn wind up with, the mention of promotions brings us to the fact that, when Prince Trask becomes King Lucas I, his vassals will also receive

4. Elevations in Rank

a) Count to Duke, Baron to Count

The first result of Lucas' self-elevation to global monarch should be the parallel elevation of his loyal vassals all the way down the planetary hierarchy. This could then be related to the actual granting of landed estates. Count Harkaman will likely become Duke Harkaman, and his fief would rise from the County to the Duchy of Colada; Baron Valkanhayn will henceforth be Count Valkanhayn, thereby catching up to his ex-partner, Count Spasso; and so on. These elevations will open up titles at the bottom, so we would also expect to see ordinary knights become lower nobility like barons, and distinguished civilians (including meritorious Tanithers) become knights.

In other words, there will be an expansion of the nobility, and Tanith at this point will have plenty of land to support the new titles. Though a newly-recivilized world, there's still lots of room for growth, and since Lucas is a wise and strong ruler, his raid-and-trade policies have increased the planet's wealth rapidly, which would also serve to support the feudal expansion.

Over time, other centers on Tanith probably grow into large metropolises with spaceports, beginning with Tradetown and the other Old Federation city. However, prosperous urban centers ruled by powerful nobles would create the potential for internal or dynastic conflict. This happens on Gram between King Angus and his nobles, and on other Sword-Worlds like 'The Oaskarsan-Elmersan War on Durendal, into which Flamberge and now Joyeuse had intruded.' Note-90

Trask does cut loose from the Sword-Worlds, so Tanith should avoid their fate. But he institutes feudalism, which is fundamentally a warrior-based system. Conflict can start at any level, even the highest, because 'Our rulers are the barbarians among us. There isn't one of them--Napolyon of Flamberge, Rodolf of Excalibur, or Angus of about half of Gram--who is devoted to civilization or anything else outside himself, and that's the mark of the barbarian.' Note-91

However, King Lucas is not only a student of history and one of Piper's self-reliant men, he is devoted to something outside himself--civilization, the betterment of his fellow Terro-Humans. He recivilizes Tanith, helps planets like Amaterasu and Beowulf redevelop spaceflight and/or hyperdrive, is the catalyst behind the allied fleet that rescues civilization on Marduk, and works to create a League of Civilized Worlds. Note-92 So we can assume that internal or dynastic conflicts do not occur on Tanith, at least during his reign, and probably for quite some time afterward.

b) Assimilation

The expansion of the nobility, and especially the creation of Tanith-born knights and noblemen (possibly including the King of Tradetown), may begin a process of assimilation that, over time, will unite the people of the planet with the offworlders who conquered it. This is a desirable outcome, for as Piper paraphrases Machiavelli in Uller Uprising, 'It must not be allowed to seem that the city [or planet, in this case] has come under foreign rule.' Note-93

As a wise ruler, Lucas probably follows that dictum. This will allow Tanith to avoid the fate of Aditya, another planet taken over by Space Vikings. In 'A Slave Is A Slave', we learn that the Viking conquerors did not assimilate with the inhabitants of Aditya, but enslaved them, very much as Valkanhayn and Spasso initially did on Tanith, before Trask set them straight. Seven and a half centuries later, Aditya has 'Twenty million people, held in slavery by ten thousand!' Note-94 By establishing an exclusive ruling class, Note-95 the Space Vikings condemned their descendants to be viewed as foreign rulers by the native Adityans, even though these Lords-Master have been native to the planet for many centuries.

And the Lords-Master are ripe to be replaced, for over that stretch of time they have become a corrupt and dissipated lot. Unlike their marauding Space Viking ancestors, their activities now 'consists of feasting, making love to each other's wives, being entertained by slave performers, and feuding for social precedence like wealthy old ladies on Odin.' Note-96 By the end of the story, the native Adityans revolt and nearly wipe out the Lords-Master. Their stated reason is 'the just vengeance of the outraged victims of their centuries-long exploitation.' Note-97

The process of assimilation on Tanith may have already begun by the end of Space Viking. 'There was an awful lot of Em being converted to Ee off Marduk, today. Including [Captain] Manfred Ravallo; that grieved him. Manfred was a good man, and a good friend. He had a girl in Rivington...Nifflheim, there were eight hundred good men aboard the Black Star [when she blew up], and most of them had girls who'd wait in vain for them on Tanith.' Note-98

Captain Ravallo is (or was) probably one of the 50 members of the new nobility on Tanith. As a hypership captain, he is at least a Knight, and may also be a Baron like Captain Valkanhayn. We can assume the situation on the Black Star is representative of the entire fleet; the men and noble captains of the other ships have girls on Tanith, too. And since most of them survive the Battle of Marduk, they probably return to Tanith and start families, making the next generation of Tanithic nobility only half Viking. Later generations will be more and more native Tanither, although this process may be slowed somewhat by intermarriage between the new nobility.

Prince Trask himself does not marry a woman of Tanith. His wife is (or will be) Lady Valerie Alvarath, whose closeness to the Royal Family of Marduk suggests she is a relative of theirs, or at least a member of one of the noblest families of the planet. Assuming she is of royal blood, however distantly, then Lucas is simply following the tradition of feudal monarchs, by intermarrying with other royal houses. A secondary reason for marrying Valerie would be to cement the alliance with Marduk, and thus, the foundation of the League of Civilized Worlds.

And we note here that King Angus, after divorcing Queen Flavia, does not marry a royal, or even one of the higher nobility, to the great detriment of his house. This is not due to blood, but behavior. 'Her name meant nothing to Trask; he did know of her father, a Baron Valdive. He was lord of a small estate south of the Ward lands and west of Newhaven. Most of his people were out-and-out bandits and cattle-rustlers, and he was as close to being one himself as he could get. "Nice family he's married into. A credit to the dignity of the Throne." ' Note-99

c) A Royal Order of Tanith

Along with the expansion of the nobility, another result of Trask becoming King is that the chivalric Order of Gram would become an anachronism on Tanith. When Lucas severs ties with his birth-planet, he would have to change it to, or replace it with, a 'Royal Order of Tanith'. This action would parallel King Angus' original creation of the Order of Gram; King Lucas must also reward his supporters, as well as cement their allegiance to him as the new planetary monarch.

If there are distinctions in this order, they could include Knights of Tanith (KT), Knights Commander of Tanith (KCT), and Knights Grand Commander of Tanith (GCT). The last would include Count Valkanhayn; Duke Harkaman could be Grand Master (GMT) under King Lucas, the Sovereign of the Order.

As for the symbol of the new order, the sword-and-atom of Gram would of necessity be replaced with Trask's emblem. But what is Trask's emblem? When he trades Traskon for the Nemesis, 'the bisonoid head, tawny on green, of Traskon, was no longer his'; while the 'skull impaled on an upright sword' he emblazons on the Nemesis, Note-100 though appropriate during his Space Viking career, would not remain so when he becomes a civilized king. So back in the early 1980s, I suggested to John Carr that King Lucas would probably adopt a new emblem, perhaps by replacing the skull with a Moon. As we've seen, Tanith is the Carthaginian moon-goddess, and her symbol is the full moon; the 'Disc of Tanith'. Since 'Emblematology of planets conquered by the Space Vikings always included swords and stars', Note-101 Trask could keep the upright sword, and add a many pointed star above, representing his dream: the League of Civilized Worlds.

In May 2010, however, I came up with a better design. This was to superimpose the star on the Moon, symbolically combining Trask's efforts to recivilize Tanith with his larger goal of recivilizing the Galaxy. (Figure 6.) The 'full' Moon of Tanith (white) now became a 'new' moon (black, seen in outline behind the sword), emblematic of the new civilization on Tanith. And the original star of twelve points became a twenty-pointed morning star, symbolizing the coming dawn of a new day for Terro-Human civilization. The fact that Tanith is 'Almost completely Terra-type, third of a Class-G sun' Note-102 implies that there is an almost completely Venus-type second planet, which serves Tanith as its morning and evening star.

Proposed emblem of the Planetary Kingdom of Tanith; the 'Sword and Morning Star'

Figure 6. Proposed emblem of the Planetary Kingdom of Tanith; the 'Sword and Morning Star'.

The four main points of the morning star represent the four original members of the League as named by Trask. 'And there would be the treaty--Tanith, Marduk, Beowulf, Amaterasu; eventually, treaties with the other civilized planets.' Note-103 The other 16 points of the star represent 'Odin and Balder and Isis and Ishtar and Aton and the other civilized worlds', Note-104 which are approximately sixteen in number at the time of Space Viking.

Now, if we set the proposed emblem of Tanith beside the proposed emblem of Gram, the former is seen to be derived from the latter. (Figure 7.) King Lucas retains the Gram-sword, symbolizing the origin of his monarchy as a colony of Gram. But he replaces the atom of the House of Ward (representing his early dream of planetary unification under Angus) with the new moon and morning star of Tanith (his later, much more ambitious dreams of recivilizing Tanith and then the Galaxy).

       Proposed emblem of Gram    Proposed emblem of Tanith

Figure 7. The proposed emblems of Gram and Tanith.

I always pictured Trask's sword-impaled skull as having a white on black color scheme, because the emblem seemed to be Piper's version of the Jolly Roger of pirate fame. Note-105 By changing the skull to a moon, and adding a star, he could retain these colors; the final emblem being a black moon behind a white sword, embossed with a white star, on a black field. White and black would then become the planetary or royal colors of Tanith. This is perhaps suggested in the 'robes of white and black Imhotep furs' Note-106 that Prince Trask wears when he renounces his allegiance to King Angus. Though in truth, their historical model seems to be the ermine robes of medieval royalty; white fur with black splotches.

Paraphrasing Piper's original description of what we deduced was a Royal Order of Gram, the new Royal Order of Tanith could be described as 'a knight's star, of previously unfamiliar design, bearing, among other things, the Moon-emblazoned sword-and-morning star symbol of the house of Trask.' The 'other things' in this instance would be a sword-belt and motto around the central symbol, surrounded in turn by a collar embossed with the new feudal emblems adopted by Trask's major nobles, including Duke Harkaman and Count Valkanhayn.

5. Gram and Tanith

a) The Royal Order of Gram and Tanith?

Another possibility comes to mind, that the deduced Order of Gram was actually intended by Piper to be a 'Royal Order of Gram and Tanith'. This option would allow King Lucas to modify rather than replace an existing order, by just dropping the 'Gram' and changing the central symbols. Modification rather than outright replacement could in turn provide chivalric continuity, supporting feudal legitimacy.

This alternate scenario presumes that Boake Valkanhayn arrives on Gram after Angus has become King (which seems to be the case in the story), but while he is still instituting the mechanisms of the new order, including the royal order of chivalry. King Angus, quickly grasping the situation with the arrival of the Space-Scourge, then changes his nascent Order of Gram to 'the Royal Order of Gram and Tanith' as an overt expression and codification of the two-planet monarchy. This would tie in his later statement, 'We, Angus, King of Gram and Tanith'. Note-107 The levels of distinction in this version would be KGT (Knights of Gram and Tanith), KCGT (Knights Commander of Gram and Tanith), and GCGT (Knights Grand Commander of Gram and Tanith). Note-108

But whether the Order is of Gram or Gram and Tanith, as a 'Prince', Lucas is the second most important member of the Order, because he is the second highest nobleman of the two-planet monarchy, after King Angus.

And this may actually put Trask next in line for the throne.

b) A Royal Order of Tanith and Gram?

Though also unstated by Beam, if Angus dies without issue, Trask could lay claim to the throne of Gram, by right of status. Similar to a Vice President, he is a Viceroy; that is, a 'Vice-King'. And as (apparently) the only 'prince' on Gram or Tanith, he is therefore in a sense the 'crown' prince, and could legitimately be considered as such.

That may be part of the reason why Baron Rathmore, when he comes to Tanith and offers his sword to Prince Trask, tells him 'Lucas, you have enough ships and men here to take Gram. Proclaim yourself King of Tanith and then lay claim to the throne of Gram and the whole planet would rise for you.' Note-109

By proclaiming himself King, Lucas would become an independent sovereign and the equal of King Angus, so that in any future conflict, he would--at least, technically--not be a subject prince rebelling against his lawful monarch. He may even have a legal claim to the throne of Gram, since Angus would not have become king in the first place if Trask hadn’t given him Traskon in exchange for the Nemesis, a deal which saved Wardshaven from bankruptcy. Note-110

Now, if Trask had followed Baron Rathmore's advice, he could have succeeded King Angus, but in the opposite direction; 'Lucas, King of Tanith and Gram'. This would fulfill, only much more quickly, his earlier observation that 'if things prospered for the next century or so, his successors would be ruling Gram by viceroy from Tanith' Note-111 And since when Rathmore arrives, Lucas inquires whether he has 'been sent out as the new Viceroy' of Tanith, Note-112 the reverse could again occur--Baron Rathmore might become the first Viceroy of Gram, for his Majesty Lucas the First of Tanith. In that event he would be promoted to 'Prince' Rathmore, and given 'the Principality of Wardshaven' for his fief.

The only other detail to note in this scenario is that the royal chivalric organization would be modified by reversing the planetary order, becoming the Royal Order of Tanith and Gram.

6. The Invasion of Gram

a) The Rival Claimants

Getting back to our original line of reasoning, the Royal Order of Gram may soon change anyway, even leaving out the secession of Tanith, because King Angus' throne is about to fall. 'Let Viktor of Xochitl have it. Or Garvan Spasso.' Note-113 Also, ''There was a rumor that Omfray of Glaspyth was laying claim to the throne of Gram, in the right of his great-grandmother's sister, who had been married to the great-grandfather of Duke Angus. It was a completely trivial and irrelevant claim, but the story was that it would be supported by men and ships furnished by King Konrad of Haulteclere.' Note-114

Prince Viktor, Viceroy of Xochitl. The rumor is true, for the invasion force turns out to be 'a fleet of eight ships, furnished by...the King of Haulteclere. They are commanded by King Konrad's Space Viking cousin, the Prince of Xochitl.' Note-115 Though again not made explicit by Piper, Prince Viktor appears to be the Viceroy of Xochitl, under the King of Haulteclere. The natives of Tanith 'aren't as savage as the Xochitl locals were when Haulteclere took it over. You've been there; you've seen what Prince Viktor does with them now.' Note-116

Prince Viktor therefore parallels Prince Trask, who is Viceroy of Tanith under the King of Gram. Parallel conquests of Old Federation planets, parallel granting of rank and title by reigning Sword-World monarchs. If Prince Viktor conquers Gram, he could become King Viktor I of Gram, but remain Prince of Xochitl under the King of Haulteclere. That would parallel William, Duke of Normandy, who conquered and became King of England in 1066, yet remained Duke of Normandy under the King of France.

In that event, the Order of Gram's emblem could change to include the symbol of Xochitl, which would probably replace or at least supercede the sword-and-atom of Ward in the prominent position.

King Konrad of Haulteclere and Xochitl. Since Prince Viktor is the Viceroy of Xochitl, that means King Konrad's official title should be 'King of Haulteclere and Xochitl', paralleling KingAngus of Gram and Tanith. And since King Konrad is supplying the men and ships for the expedition, Viktor may actually remain a Prince. By conquering Gram (a true Sword-World) Viktor gets a much better planet to rule than Xochitl (which is a recivilized Viking base planet like Tanith), but he is still a vassal of the King of Haulteclere. So if Viktor becomes Prince and Viceroy of Gram, Konrad would then become a triplanetary monarch, superior to the ex-king Angus who was only a biplanetary one. He could then style himself King of Haulteclere, Xochitl and Gram. And with Prince Viktor on Gram, King Konrad would then award Xochitl to another top lieutenant.

In this scenario, Omfray of Glaspyth is conveniently disposed of after serving his purpose in gaining Gram for Konrad and Viktor. Piper may hint at that in the quote 'Let Viktor of Xochitl have it. Or Garvan Spasso'--note the absence of Omfray. Plus the fact that his claim to the throne is trivial, and that his backers are a King and a Prince, while Omfray is only an ex-Duke.

Emperor Konrad I? However, Konrad's support of Omfray's irrelevant claim, plus his deduced attempt to become a triplanetary king, might actually betray an ambition to found a 'Sword-World Empire'. In that case, he would indeed allow his cousin to become 'King Viktor I' of Gram, but only if Viktor swears allegiance to him as Emperor Konrad I of Haulteclere. Piper's reference to a 'Napolyon' on Flamberge would then gain meaning, as an indicator of some kind of empire in the making. Note-117

Another possibility is that Duke Omfray is indeed installed as King of Gram (paralleling his predecessor, Duke Angus), while Viktor is elevated to King of Xochitl (paralleling Lucas, who becomes King of Tanith), both monarchs under the Haulteclerean Emperor.

Garvan Spasso and Omfray of Glaspyth. If Garvan Spasso or Omfray of Glaspyth conquers Gram, the Order of Gram might change by replacing or combining the sword-and-atom with the emblem of Glaspyth. Glaspyth is Omfray's former duchy, and Count Spasso currently holds half of it. Unlike Omfray, Spasso has no claim whatsoever on the throne of Gram, but he could replace the childless Angus as Duke of Wardshaven and then King of Gram by right of conquest; there are plenty of examples in history for such an outcome.

If so, the aspiring 'Duke' Garvan could actually be supported by the lords of Gram like Duke Joris and Count Lionel, to whom he is undoubtedly a lesser threat than the invading Xochitlers and the 'bloody-handed murderer...some even called him a fiend in human shape…Omfray of Glaspyth.' Note-118 And because Spasso is in possession of so much of Omfray's former duchy, he will almost certainly fight these offworld invaders, placing him squarely on the same side as the native Gram nobles.

b) The Threat to Tanith

Various scenarios are possible, since it is stated that the dynastic conflict on Gram will go on for a long time. But whether Viktor, Omfray or Garvan becomes King of Gram, the ultimate victor may also become a serious threat to Tanith. Angus was King of Gram and Tanith, so whoever conquers Gram could lay claim to Tanith. And if the new King of Gram owes allegiance to Emperor Konrad of Haulteclere, the threat would be even greater. A new emperor would be keen to extend his empire, and given Konrad's support of Omfray's irrelevant claim to Gram, his support for the much better claim of Gram to Tanith could be considered a given. His main reservations against such a plan would be the military might of Tanith, its powerful and civilized allies such as Marduk and Beowulf, and the high quality of its leadership. When Prince Trask apologizes to Princess Bentrick because she trades 'Zaspar Makann's frying pan' for 'Prince Viktor's fire', she laughs. 'I'll take my chances on the fire. I seem to see a lot of good firemen around.' Note-119

This potential dynastic threat is probably another reason why Prince Trask resolves to 'cut loose from the Sword-Worlds; especially cut loose from Gram.' Note-120 By renouncing his allegiance to Angus, Note-121 Trask is no longer a Viceroy under the King of Gram, so whoever wins the war on Gram has no legal claim to Tanith. It's now an independent planet. The main reason Lucas gives for cutting loose is that 'the Sword-Worlds are finished; they're half decivilized now...I won't send the men and ships and wealth of Tanith in any Sword-World dynastic squabble...Great Satan, Otto, you were in the Durendal War. This is the same thing, and it'll go on for another half a century.' Note-122 The unstated reason deduced here is that Tanith itself is vulnerable to those squabbles, as long as she remains connected to them--particularly Gram--by trade but especially by title.

7. Conclusion

The current paper was originally an appendix to 'Space Viking--Piper's Black Swan?' Inspired by 'the knight's star of unfamiliar design' and the ‘whole cargo of scrolls' on page 105, it is perhaps a bit much to write an eighteen-page paper (thirty-three, counting title page, conclusion, appendices and endnotes) about a few phrases on a single page of Space Viking which always intrigued me. But as the paper progressed, other issues were drawn into the main thesis, which has resulted in at least some solid information. Including:

That the cargo of scrolls contains from 50 to 150 vellum blankets, with a median of 100; that nine of these go to Trask, Harkaman, and Valkanhayn; that they cover titles (Prince, Count, Baron) commissions (Viceroy, Admiral, Captain), and knighthoods; that these vellum scrolls are in fact Letters Patent, with the ennobling ones being Patents of Nobility; that the knight's star of unfamiliar design on Boake Valkanhayn's jacket is a new order of knighthood instituted since they left Gram; that this order is therefore a 'Royal Order of Gram' established by the newly-crowned King Angus; that this order parallels the Order of Odin and other planetary orders; that the Royal Order of Gram supercedes or replaces a previous Ducal order of Ward or Wardshaven; that Boake Valkanhayn is probably knighted by King Angus himself while on Gram; that the fifty new nobles of Tanith must have landed estates; that Trask's estate is the 'Principality of Rivington' centered on the planetary capital; that this becomes the center of a considerable farming and ranching country and is elevated to the crown lands and royal city when Trask becomes King; that upon his elevation, Count Harkaman and Baron Valkanhayn will also be elevated, to Duke and Count respectively; that Lucas will institute a 'Royal Order of Tanith' to replace the now-obsolete Order of Gram; that he cuts loose from the Sword-Worlds, and Gram in particular, to prevent any future King of Gram from laying claim to the throne of Tanith; that Prince Viktor is Viceroy of Xochitl under Konrad, who is King of Haulteclere and Xochitl; and that the biplanetary monarchy of Prince Viktor and King Konrad closely parallels that of Prince Lucas and King Angus.

It also revealed other possibilities; that the models for the orders of Gram and Odin may be the Order of the Garter and the Order of the Star of India; that there may be levels of distinction in Piper's planetary orders; that Duke Joris could be Grand Master of the Order of Gram; that the phrase 'among other things' may initially refer to a belted motto surrounding the central emblem, but that there may also be a 'livery collar' of other symbols on the knight's star; that this collar may include a royal crown, plus the feudal emblems of Bigglersport, Newhaven, Northport, and possibly Glaspyth; that Alvyn Karffard's mapping of Tanith is the foundation of the new feudal order on that planet; that Rivington may be located near the geographical center of its continent; that Trask's capital and crown lands would then be the 'heartland' of the continent, and thus of Tanith (actually, See Appendix 2); that the estates of either Duke Harkaman or Count Valkanhayn are centered on the other Old Federation city, which is cleaned up, rebuilt, and repopulated; that Otto could name his fief the Duchy of Colada; that the Moon of Tanith may become a powerful military-industrial fief under the planetary king in Rivington; that this fief could fall under the command of Duke Harkaman or Count Valkanhayn, who then retire from an active hypership command; that the King of Tradetown may become a Sword-World Duke or Count when Lucas becomes King; that Captain Ravallo of the Black Star may be a Baron and knight like Boake Valkanhayn; that Count Spasso will probably side with the local Gram lords against the Xochitl invaders; that if the Haulteclere-supported invasion of Gram succeeds, Konrad will become a triplanetary king; that he may therefore be aiming at a Sword-World Empire; that if Prince Viktor is elevated from Viceroy to King of Xochitl, this will again parallel Prince Trask, who elevates himself from Viceroy to King of Tanith; that Lady Valerie Alvarath may be related to the Royal Family of Marduk; that her marriage to King Lucas will therefore help cement the alliance with that fully-civilized planet; and that this alliance--the foundation of the League of Civilized Worlds--should secure Tanith against any future Sword-World squabbles, or at least balance the scales.

The last will occur if King Konrad is aiming for a Sword-World Empire. In its early years, the League of Civilized Worlds might find itself a balance-of-power alliance; civilization against the barbarians, or at least a rising civilization against a declining one. But since Piper says that the League evolves into the Galactic Empire, cementing the ties between Tanith and Marduk not only secures Tanith, it eventually leads to the conquest of the Sword-Worlds themselves, including Haulteclere.

One possible way it could begin is this. An 'imperialist' threat from Haulteclere would serve to strengthen the young League, by giving the Civilized Worlds a common enemy in the Sword-Worlds; specifically, Haulteclere and Gram. The conquest of Gram by Haulteclere eventually leads to a claim on the throne of Tanith. Trask's descendants appeal to the League for assistance, and to put the enemy on the political defensive, they may even assert a counter-claim to the throne of Gram. Thus, possibly the very first combined fleet of the League, consisting of Mardukan, Tanithic, Beowulfian, Amaterasuan, and possibly Kheperan ships, may be assembled to defend Tanith from the Empire of Haulteclere.

An initial offensive target for the League would be the Planetary Kingdom of Xochitl, which is not among the Sword-Worlds, but in Old Federation space, and therefore probably the most vulnerable planet of the Haulteclerean Empire. Successfully wrenching Xochitl away from Haulteclere would make the Kingdom of Gram the Civilized Worlds' next objective. And if the Haulteclerean Emperor is so unwise as to not sue for peace, Gram could then be delivered from the chaos it has known since the later days of King Angus; thus gaining the first foothold in the Sword-Worlds for the nascent Galactic Empire. Note-123

Appendix 1. The 'Order' on Durendal

Eventually, all the Sword-Worlds are conquered by the Galactic Empire, but the mention of the Order of Odin in 'A Slave is a Slave' brings us to another topic from Imperial times--the system on Durendal from 'Ministry of Disturbance'.

Emperor Paul XXII describes the Sword-Worlds as having 'monarchial and rather picturesque governments; Durendal...was a sort of quasi-feudalism.' Note-124 This ties in Piper's statement about the origin of the Sword-Worlds' system of government. 'Development of loose feudalism from earlier and even looser town-meeting democracy.' Note-125 The current monarch is 'Ranulf XIV, Planetary King of Durendal'. Note-126 He is largely a figurehead, because 'The whole object of Durendalian to get possession of the person of the King' and Ranulf is in the hands of 'Lord Koreff, the Marshall'. Note-127

Since the Galactic Empire only allows one government per planet, Note-128 it is probable that the dynastic wars of earlier times, which brought about the decadence of the Sword-Worlds, were ended by the Imperial conquest. Assuming so, then the current system on Durendal may have begun as a result of that event. The Empire's forcible ending of the long-running 'Oaskarsan-Elmersan War' Note-129 could have involved a marital union of 'the branches of the Royal house contesting fratricidally for the throne.' Note-130 The current Durendalian King Ranulf XIV may therefore be of the 'House of Oaskarsan-Elmersan'. An example from medieval history would be the Wars of the Roses mentioned earlier, which ended with the union of the warring parties, the Houses of Lancaster and York. Note-131

The ending of the dynastic war on Durendal should lead to a strong (or at least stable) central government. Under the Empire, ambitious men like Lord Koreff could simply overthrow the monarch and take his place, as happens to the Lords-Master on Aditya in 'A Slave is a Slave'. But with their long history of dynastic conflict, any such attempt in the Sword-Worlds could potentially just restart the dynastic wars, which, if they are as bloody and long-lasting as their predecessors, would undoubtedly provoke Imperial intervention. 'No interference with anything that passed for a planetary government, but only one sovereignty on any planet with nuclear weapons'. Note-132 Two parties contesting for control over a long period would make a mockery of 'one sovereignty', especially if both sides have nuclear weapons, which Sword-Worlds like Durendal undoubtedly do. Fortunately, these cannot be used, because the Galactic Empire controls 'All hyperspace ships, and all nuclear weapons'. Note-133

If one cannot overthrow the monarch without risking dynastic troubles, then in order to gain power, one must control the legitimate source of that power; the monarch himself. This system on Durendal (and perhaps similar ones on other Sword-Worlds) may therefore have evolved to prevent the dynastic wars from restarting, and thereby invoking the wrath of the Galactic Empire.

This brings us back to Lord Marshall Koreff. In the chivalric Feudal Age, a Marshall was a 'Master of the Horse'; a cavalry commander. In Piper's future feudalism, however, 'cavalry' is contragravity based; 'aircavalrymen' are mentioned, whose atmo-steeds are 'egg-shaped one-man air cavalry mounts'. Note-134 Lord Koreff is therefore most likely an Air Marshall, or Commander of Air Cavalry, rather than a Field Marshall, as in ground-based armies. One then wonders if he gained possession of the King by a surprise air-assault on the Planetary Palace, taking the monarch away from whoever held him before; perhaps one of Durendal's major nobles. King Ranulf's mention of 'rackety old air cars' would then gain significance, as his planet's air power is in the hands of his Lord Marshall, who accompanies him to Odin.

Assuming that there is a 'Royal Order of Durendal', then Lord Koreff is probably a member—though whether this was awarded before or after he gained possession of the King is anyone's guess. It is likely that many of the other parties plotting to gain control of the king’s person are also members of the order.

A final note of interest. Durendal was colonized directly from Excalibur. Note-135 In the time of Space Viking, the monarch of Excalibur is 'Rodolf', Note-136 which is very similar to the 'Ranulf' of Durendal in 'Ministry of Disturbance'. Since King Ranulf is the 'XIV', it is quite possible that his ancestor, who was contemporary with King Rodolf of Excalibur, was also a King Ranulf, perhaps the VI or VII.

Appendix 2. The Relative Location of Rivington

As stated in Feudal Estates on Tanith, Rivington and Tradetown seem to be fairly close to each other. Tradetown is 'a big town down at the forks of the river', and Trask and Harkaman take an aircar trip to look at it. Moreover, Tradetown is apparently to the east of Rivington, because when their reconnaissance is done and they leave for home, they turn the aircar 'west again' along the river.

This might suggest that the river flows east, from Rivington to Tradetown. But rivers are 'natural transportation routes', and Beam states that Rivington is not along any. To raise cattle, however, one does need water, and the American Great Plains are in the watershed of the Mississippi/Missouri, with several major rivers and many smaller ones. So there must be some smaller rivers in the general vicinity of Rivington, perhaps tributaries of the larger one on which Tradetown is located.

Thus, if the American parallel is applicable, Tradetown at the forks of the river might make it a parallel of St. Louis, where the Missouri meets the Mississippi. Being at the junction of two major rivers would explain all the boat traffic at that location. The Missouri flows southeast, so if the river on Tanith does also, Rivington would indeed be located west of Tradetown, in a plains area paralleling northern Kansas. That could put it distant from but between two sizeable rivers, which would parallel the Platte and Arkansas Rivers. And if we use 100 degrees West longitude and 39 degrees North latitude as the reference point, a Rivington-parallel city in northern Kansas would be about 100 miles north of Dodge City on the Arkansas, and about 100 miles south of the Platte. That would tie in Piper's reference to 'a hundred miles across the plains'. In an east-west direction, the postulated city would be roughly midway between Denver and Kansas City.

Another possible American parallel of Tradetown is Omaha, Nebraska, situated near the forks of the Missouri and Platte rivers. This parallel would put Tradetown to the northeast of Rivington, which is actually not too different from how I always pictured it (though my mental image has Tradetown north-northeast, and actually upriver, from Rivington).

In Figure 8 below, the Rivington-parallel city is the circled star in the center-left, at roughly N39, W100, just above the 'K' in Kansas City. The Tradetown-parallel is either the large red circle at St. Louis, or the smaller one just above the first 'S' in United States, at the site of Omaha.

Possible Rivington and Tradetown parallels in the Great Plains

Figure 8. Possible Rivington and Tradetown parallels in the Great Plains. Note-137

If Piper had Omaha in mind, then Trask and Harkaman fly northeast about a hundred miles to a Platte River parallel, which they follow roughly east until they reach Tradetown. The return flight would follow the Platte-parallel roughly west until reaching the southernmost bend, then again over a hundred miles of plain to Rivington.

If Beam had St. Louis in mind, then the flight of Trask and Harkaman covers several hundred miles of plain to the east before reaching a Missouri-parallel river, which they follow downriver to Tradetown. On the way back, they follow the Missouri-parallel west again until it turns north, at which point they leave the stream and again fly several hundred miles over the plain to Rivington.

The St. Louis model seems to be supported by Piper's phrase 'down at the forks of the river'. To a northern-oriented society, 'down' means 'south', and St. Louis is just a bit south of our Rivington-parallel. Another supporting reference is 'Most of the people Spasso and Valkanhayn had kidnapped and enslaved came from villages within a radius of five hundred miles' from Rivington. This implies that 'some' of them came from a distance greater than 500 miles, and St. Louis appears to be slightly more than 500 miles from the Rivington-parallel. A St. Louis-parallel Tradetown would then be near the edge of Spasso and Valkanhayn's approximately five hundred mile radius of aerial planetary action.

If these deductions are correct, then our Rivington-parallel city would be near the geographic center of the United States, and in fact North America. (Figure 9.) Rivington itself could therefore be near the center of the continent on which it is located. The crown lands of King Lucas would then be the 'heartland' of that continent, and thus the planet. Note-138

Possible Rivington and Tradetown parallels in the Great Plains

Figure 9. Possible parallels of Rivington and Tradetown, in the heartland of North America Note-139

Notice that by drawing a circle around our Rivington-parallel, using the distance to St. Louis as the outer edge, we actually enclose the vast majority of the Great Plains (plus a large region of the Rocky Mountains), only leaving out a bit in Texas to the south and the Dakotas to the north.

In any case, free from the constraints of locating their cities on natural transportation routes, a contragravity-using people colonizing a pristine North America-parallel during Federation times might well choose the center of the landmass, rather than a coastal location, paralleling such excellent harbors as New York or San Francisco. Not only because the site would be in the middle of a very large fertile region, but because no place on the continent would be more than a few hours flight-time away from it.

This would parallel the historical practice by political entities of locating or moving their capitals to the geographic center, for ease of communications and administration. In his introduction to Empire, John Carr mentions the transfer of the First Galactic Empire's capital from Marduk (which he says is 'close to the frontier of the Old Federation') to Odin ('close to the center of human worlds'), and compares it to Alexander the Great's transfer from Macedonia to Persia. Note-140


1. 'A Whole Cargo of Scrolls'

Note-1. H. Beam Piper, Space Viking (New York, NY: Ace Books, 1963), pp. 148-149 As for the specific date of Space Viking, Lucas Trask says that it took the Sword-Worlds 'eight centuries' to reach 'three and a half billion people', and this has been 'since the Ninth Century, at the end of the Big War'. (ibid., p. 10) The Big War, or System States War, ends in AE 854, meaning that a literal interpretation of the date of Space Viking should be AE 1654 (854 plus 800 years), or the middle of the Seventeenth Century. This interpretation is supported by 'The Future History', Beam's summary of the THFH. There, he says that the Alliance refugees from Abigor found Excalibur in 855 A.E., just one year after the System States War ends. (John F. Carr, H. Beam Piper: A Biography (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2008), p. 213) That would adjust the approximate date of Space Viking to AE 1655.

The date is also supported by the literary source of the novel, as Piper appears to have modeled the plot of The Black Swan, by Rafael Sabatini. (See my paper on that subject.) And in the film version of The Black Swan, the Royal Warrant from King Charles II appointing Henry Morgan Governor of Jamaica is 'given at Our court at Whitehall, on the sixth day of Novembre, one thousand six hundred and seventy-four, in the twenty-sixth year of Our reign.' That means there is a mere nineteen years' difference between the relative dates of Space Viking and The Black Swan; AE 1655 compared to 1674 AD. Since Trask's 'eight centuries' is obviously an approximation, and his search for Dunnan lasts some years, Beam's book could actually end around AE 1674.

In 'The Future History' it is also stated that Space Viking occurs in the 'Early XVIII Century'. (ibid.) But that would seem to render Trask's statement invalid, for instead of taking 'eight centuries' to reach 3.5 billion people, he should say 'eight and a half' centuries (AE 855 to 1705), or at least 'well over eight'. So I question the accuracy of that reference. And there is at least one other date in 'The Future History' which is demonstrably false. Beam says that Four-Day Planet occurs in the 'Mid-IV Century' (ibid.) But internal evidence actually places the story in the Mid-V Century. Walter Boyd says that the planet Fenris is colonized 'at the end of the Fourth Century A.E.', or about AE 399; the Chartered Fenris Company then 'went bankrupt in ten years', or about AE 409; and it’s been 'fifty years' since 'the town-meeting pseudo-government' currently ruled by Mort Hallstock was established, resulting in a final date of approximately AE 459, or the Mid-Fifth Century. (H. Beam Piper, Four-Day Planet/Lone Star Planet (New York, NY: Ace Books, 1979), pp. 6, 48)

Since Piper's 'Mid-IV Century' date for Four-Day Planet is incorrect, so may his 'Early XVIII Century' date for Space Viking. In my considered opinion, AE 1664 is probably the best approximate date for the start of Space Viking; splitting the difference between the literal AE 1655 and the 1674 date from The Black Swan. Trask's 'eight centuries' would then actually be 809 years; AE 855 to 1664.

Note-2. Piper, Space Viking., pp. 11-12 By way of reply to this very first mention of Neobarbarians, Otto Harkaman asks, 'Just who do you think the Neobarbarians are, anyhow?...Some race of invading nomads; Attila's Huns in spaceships?' (ibid., p. 12) Although he then emphatically denies it with a 'Nifflheim, no!', the historical comparison is in fact perfectly apt. The early Neobarbarians parallel the Germanic barbarians, many of whom were pushed over Rome's borders in the early Fifth Century by the arrival of Attila's Huns in Europe. This rather quickly led to the fall of the Western Empire.

However, Piper's Neobarbarians do not come from outside the Terran Federation; Harkaman says 'These are homemade barbarians.' (ibid.) Thus, Otto is also right when he states that there is no parallel of Attila's Huns in late Federation times; fleets of nomadic hyperships sweeping in from the unknown reaches of interstellar space. Those are a product of B-grade science-fiction writers; such as Lin Carter, whose Rim Barbarians or 'Star Rovers' plunder the remnants of the once-mighty Carina Empire. (Lin Carter, The Star Magicians (New York, NY: Ace Books, 1966), pp. 5-6) --Not that I haven't enjoyed some of Carter’s books!

Note-3. Piper, Space Viking, p. 104

Note-4. Ibid., p. 105

Note-5. Ottfried Neubecker, Heraldry (London, England: Tiger Books International, 1997), p. 38

Note-6. Ibid.

Note-7. Ibid.


Note-9. Image on the left is Ibid.; image on the right is from

Note-10. Piper, Space Viking, p. 105

2. A Royal Order of Gram

Note-11. Ibid.

Note-12. H. Beam Piper, Empire (New York, NY: Ace Books, 1981), pp. 78, 85 It depends on when the monarchy on Odin is created. Assuming Odin is a constitutional monarchy like Marduk, then it became so after the breakup of the Federation, and the Order of Odin already exists at the time of Space Viking. This is supported by the historical model. Odin is partly modeled on Constantinople (the Thoran bodyguard of the Galactic Emperors seems to be based on the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine monarchs), so the Order should already exist, as Constantinople was an empire from its founding. Also supported by the fact that it is called a 'Grand' Star, and is reserved for royalty like Prince Trevannion. Lesser noblemen like Commodore Shatrak receive the more common Knight's Star of the Order of the [Galactic] Empire.

I would therefore deduce that the Order of Odin was originally a royal order, whose members included the King of Odin and other high-ranking planetary nobility. It becomes an Imperial Order when the capital of the Galactic Empire is moved from Marduk to Odin, which probably involves a dynastic merger between the royal houses of the two planets. The elevation of the monarch of Odin to Emperor or Empress would then be accompanied by the elevation of the Order of Odin to imperial status.

This may actually be concurrent with the creation of the Order of the Empire. King Stevan IV of Marduk is presumably the first Galactic Emperor, and it is he who 'proclaimed Odin the Imperial planet and Asgard the capital city.' (ibid., p. 136) One would then surmise that he marries a Princess or Queen of Odin, who becomes the first Galactic Empress. The Order of the Empire might therefore be established by the Imperial couple to cement the new political order. It is also possible that the Order of the Galactic Empire began as the Order of the Mardukan Empire, and was then transferred to Odin along with the throne.

Note-13. David Cannadine, Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 97. Piper mentions dress tunics early on; Baron Sesar Karvall wears a 'blue coat' which is 'gleaming with orders and decorations'. (Piper, Space Viking, p. 3)

Note-14. and


Note-16. Gram 'is the name of the sword Sigurd (Siegfried) used to kill the dragon Fafnir.' (ibid) For that reason, I used a Viking sword for the emblem of Gram; also appropriate because, like the other Sword-Worlds, Gram is the home of Space Vikings like Lucas Trask.

Piper appears to have been inspired by a real-world model for the sword of Gram. In John Carr's biography, he mentions that during Beam's first trip to France, he visited the Louvre in Paris. There, 'he inspected the crown jewels and the state swords of monarchy.' (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 121, emphasis added) Both crown jewels and state swords appear in Space Viking. At the wedding of Lucas Trask and Elaine Karvall, Duke Angus is preceded by 'An esquire bearing the Sword of State', which is a 'two-hand' sword, 'heavy enough to behead a bisonoid'. (Piper, Space Viking, pp. 20, 22) The Sword of State plays an important part in the marriage service, when Lucas and Elaine lay their hands of the pommel and swear fealty to Angus. (ibid., p. 22)

Beam also mentions crowns and 'regalia', which probably includes scepters and other bejeweled accessories that are among a monarch's crown jewels. At his first court reception on Marduk, Prince Trask notices that 'King Mikhyll wore a golden crown topped by the planetary emblem, which must have weighed twice as much as a combat helmet, and fur-edged robes that would weigh more than a suit of space-armor. They weren't nearly as ornate, though, as the regalia of King Angus of Gram.' (ibid., p. 159) And when the relationship between Angus and Lucas sours, both men appear wearing their crowns, and seated on their thrones, in the audiovisual messages sent to each other. (ibid., p. 128)

Piper's trip to the Louvre may not only have inspired the Gram Sword of State, but the Sword-Worlds themselves. Because after visiting the Louvre, he 'added a trip to Napoleon's tomb.' (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 121) And one of the Sword-World monarchs mentioned by Trask is 'Napolyon of Flamberge.' (Piper, Space Viking, p. 123) This character neatly combines Napoleon with a famous French sword.

Note-17. Piper, Space Viking, p. 129 It is interesting that the man describing the rising wrath on Gram is named 'Rathmore'. Presumably this is a play on 'more wrath', since the situation on Gram finally explodes into war, although this involves an invasion from Haulteclere rather than a rising by the planetary nobles. (ibid., p. 204) 'Rathmore' would then be one of Beam's subtle touches, adding depth to the story.

Note-18. Ibid., p. 192

Note-19. H. Beam Piper, First Cycle (New York, NY: Ace Books, 1982), p. 199

Note-20. Ibid.

Note-21. When Baron Trask is about to marry Lady Elaine Karvall, 'At the head of the landing-stage escalators there was a glow of color and the ducal party began moving down. A platoon of guards in red and yellow, with gilded helmets and tassled halberds. An esquire bearing the Sword of State. Duke Angus, with his council...' (Piper, Space Viking, p. 20) Red and yellow are therefore the colors of the House of Ward, and probably become the colors of the Planetary Kingdom of Gram when Angus ascends the throne. Piper does not say whether the sword in the emblem is red or yellow, but when coloring my version, I thought that a yellow sword on a red field looked better than the reverse.

Parenthetically, I may well be wrong. At the beginning of Space Viking, the view from the parapet of Karvall House includes the phrase 'the huge red sun hung in a sky as yellow as a ripe peach.' (ibid., p. 1) Thus, the 'red and yellow' Wardshaven colors are probably based on the sky of Gram itself; one of Piper's subtle touches that I never noticed until now (2013). That makes it entirely appropriate for Duke Angus to become king; the Wardshaven and planetary colors become one, and a red sword on a yellow field would match the sky of Gram. In defense of my version, however, a yellow sword on red would differentiate Angus' color scheme from that of Baron Karvall, whose emblem is 'the yellow flame and black hammer' (ibid., p. 6). I always pictured that as a black hammer on a yellow field, or flame.

The atom is based on 'A stylized representation of the Rutherford model of a lithium atom (nuclear structure anachronistic)', from It is anachronistic because 'Despite its inaccuracy, the Rutherford model caught the imagination of the public in a way that the more correct Bohr model did not, and has continually been used as a symbol for atoms and atomic energy.' (ibid.) Aside from the US Atomic Energy Commission, the Rutherford model is also found on the flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) enclosed in olive branches, and on maps, marking the sites of nuclear power plants. (ibid.)

The sword is modeled on 'The Viking Edge', a recreation of a Viking sword by The Noble Collection, dealers in reproductions of historical weapons and armor (1994 catalogue). I simplified their very ornate design, replaced the blood-grooved blade with a central ridge, and reduced the number of grip windings to twelve, in order to symbolize Gram as one of the twelve Sword-Worlds. (There may appear to be fourteen windings, but the top and bottom ones are actually part of the hilt and pommel, securing the grip at each end.) In the postulated star of the Order of Gram, there could then be six smaller points between the six main points. If so, the resulting twelve points would also represent the Sword-Worlds.

In the wikipedia article’s picture of a Rutherford atom, the electrons and their orbits are mostly black, with some gray, while the nucleus is blue and pink. At first, I had planned to color the entire atom yellow, like the sword, because Beam implies that Angus' colors are red and yellow only. However, since the atom was going to take the most time to digitally color, I saved it for last. The result was that the black and gray electrons seemed to set off the red background and yellow sword nicely, so I decided to make the entire atom black.

Then I realized that the fully-black atom can be rationalized as a symbol of Angus of Wardshaven's descent from 'old Baron Zarvas of Blackcliffe', his maternal grandfather (Piper, Space Viking, p. 124). This element of his lineage is called 'The bad blood of Blackcliffe' (ibid., p. 133), because of the mental instability of some of the family's members. The black color can therefore represent both Blackcliffe and the psychoses attached to the name. The captain of the Blue Comet tells Prince Trask that Baron Zarvas 'was what was called an invalid, the last twenty years of his life. He was always attended by two male nurses about the size of Otto Harkaman. He was also said to be slightly eccentric.' (ibid., p. 124)

This seems to be a euphemism for being committed to a mental institution, or the Sword-World equivalent, where there are no such government-run hospitals. As Prince Trask explains their system to some Mardukans, 'Well, we don't use the word government very much...government always seems to us like sovereignty interfering in matters that don’t concern it...If you means schools and hospitals and keeping the city clean, the people do that for themselves. The government, if you want to think of it as that, just sees to it that nobody's shooting at them while they're doing it.' (ibid., pp. 171-172)

Baron Zarvas' great-grandson, Andray Dunnan, is cunningly insane, so Andray seems to have inherited the Blackcliffe strain to a large degree, but not enough to incapacitate him. And Zarvas' grandson, King Angus, is also affected by it, although at first this is not apparent. He starts out as a good Duke and then King, but 'the hereditary taint of the Mad Baron of Blackcliffe' (ibid., p. 205) plays a major role in Angus' slow descent into megalomania. His increasingly erratic behavior results in the overthrow of his regime, albeit from an unexpected quarter; the return of Duke Omfray of Glaspyth from exile on Haulteclere, with 'a fleet of eight ships'. (ibid., p. 204) Assuming Angus is not killed in the process, it is possible that the shock of losing his throne might unhinge him completely. He could then be an 'invalid' for the last few decades of his life, just like his grandfather was. Indeed, since Angus is probably replaced by the former Duke of Glaspyth, who is 'a bloody-handed murderer' and said to be 'a fiend in human shape' (ibid., pp. 204-205), it might suit King Omfray's sadistic nature to have Angus suffer--and be seen to suffer, both physically and mentally--rather than killing him outright, the usual fate of captured ex-sovereigns.

Note-22. Piper, Empire, pp. 73, 85 See my paper 'The Emblem of the Galactic Empire' for a discussion of that topic.

Note-23. Ibid.

Note-24. And the five-pointed star at the center of the Star of India could be replaced by the emblem of the Royal Order of Odin, which would then be surrounded by the cogwheel, belt, and sunburst. This would be the main visual difference between the Order of Odin and the Order of the Empire; the latter may simply be a black cogwheel on a golden sunburst.

Incidentally, in using an emblem of rank as a communication device, Beam was apparently twenty-five years ahead of his time. In 1987, Star Trek, The Next Generation premiered on TV. Starfleet personnel no longer had to carry communicators as in the original series; the badges on their tunics served this function.

Note-25. Gram is a Sword-World, but the first one was Excalibur. So the very first royal chivalric order in the Sword-Worlds was presumably a 'Royal Order of Excalibur'. Given the name of the planet, it is tempting--and just conceivable--to suppose that its name is actually the 'Order of the Round Table'. Or, given the futuristic setting, perhaps a better name would be 'Global Table'. In that case, one can imagine the nobles of Excalibur gathering in the city of Camelot for annual or quarterly meetings, which are held at a round table embossed with a map of the planet. Symbolic of the fact that at these meetings, the lords and knights discuss global issues; matters that concern them all.

Note-26. Piper, Space Viking, p. 149

Note-27. Ibid., p. 20

Note-28. and

Note-29. Piper, Space Viking, p. 129

Note-30. Ibid., p. 130

Note-31. Ibid., p. 203

Note-32. Ibid., p. 106

Note-33. Ibid.

Note-34. Ibid., p. 207

Note-35. Ibid.

Note-36. Ibid., p. 11

Note-37. Ibid., p. 105

Note-38. Ibid., p. 166

Note-39. Ibid., p. 148. The serfs of history, degraded and brutalized, are therefore not paralleled in Piper's Neo-Medieval Age, probably because in the Sword-Worlds, the intensive human labor involved in maintaining a feudal civilization is replaced with atomic power and high technology. There is a much higher general standard of living for Terro-Humanity, as evidenced by the so-called 'peasants' of Durendal. ''Such quaint, charming people. Of course, they’re all poor, and they wear such funny ragged clothes, and travel about in rackety old aircars, it's a wonder they don't fall apart in the air.' (Piper, Empire, p. 154) Living in the supposedly high-technology age of the early Twenty-First Century, I for one wouldn't mind flying to work every day, even if my contragravity vehicle was 'rackety'.

Note-40. Piper, Space Viking, pp. 122-3

Note-41. Admittedly no expert on the subject, I believe that Grand Masters are usually higher-ranking noblemen, not the monarch. After Angus, Prince Trask is the highest-ranking nobleman of the two-planet monarchy, but 'distance and voyage time' (Ibid., p. 33) would make it impossible for him to be Grand Master. Assuming there is such a position, Duke Joris would be the logical choice on Gram, being the highest-ranking nobleman there under the King, as well as being brother of the Queen. With Piper's apparent preference for more simplified chivalry, however, it is certainly possible for King Angus to be Grand Master.

Note-42. In Ornamentalism, 'GC' can also stand for knight 'grand cross'. But in Beam's secular future, Christianity is replaced with Rationality. No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus; at least there's no Christmas in the Sword-Worlds (Piper, Space Viking, p. 2). So there are probably no crosses on knight's stars, which is implied by Prince Trevannion's grand 'star', plus the fact that Space Vikings regularly swear by 'Satan' and 'Great Satan'. (Ibid., p. 206, for example) Also, the replacement of crosses with stars makes sense in an interstellar feudal society.

However, Piper's Neo-Medieval Age seems to contain a great variety of worlds. John Campbell wrote to him that 'One of the beauties of this set-up you've got is that it allows the exploration of cultures of almost all conceivable levels of complexity and technology.' (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 176) Since Chermosh is a Buddhist planet (Piper, Space Viking, pg. 115), it is actually possible for there to be a few Christian planets, in which case there may indeed be a few knight’s crosses out there. But my guess is these would be fringe societies; the last remaining holdouts of the Nazarene creed.

3. Feudal Planetary Estates

Note-43. Piper, Space Viking, p. 105

Note-44. Ibid., p. 125

Note-45. Ibid., p. 105

Note-46. King Angus' increasing animosity toward Prince Trask over the administration of Tanith causes the latter's former lands on Gram to become forfeit to the Crown. 'He found his cousin, [Vicar-Baron Sir] Nikkolay Trask, at Rivington; when he inquired about Traskon, Nikkolay cursed. "I don't know anything about Traskon; I haven't anything to do with Traskon, anymore. Traskon is now the property of our well-loved--very well-loved--Queen Evita. The Trasks don't own enough land on Gram now for a family cemetery." ' (ibid., p. 187) Like Prince John, King Angus essentially ordered his men to 'seize Traskon New House and the Traskon lands. Everything he owns.'

This is part of the tipping point on Gram. 'Angus is building ships too. I don't know whether he's going to use them to fight Bigglersport and Newhaven, or attack you, but there's going to be a war before another year's out.' (ibid, p. 188) Added to Angus' myriad other outrages, the seizure of his old barony causes Lucas to immediately renounce his allegiance to Angus. (Ibid., p. 189)

Though also unstated by Beam, Trask undoubtedly compensates his cousin Nikkolay with estates on Tanith, probably raising him to Count in the process.

Note-47. Ibid., p. 195

Note-48. In Piper's Neo-Medieval period, 'Chief of Police' seems to be a parallel of the 'High Sheriff' of medieval times. Garvan Spasso can therefore be considered the High Sheriff of Glaspyth.

In 'The Adventures of Robin Hood', the High Sheriff of Nottingham, a villain like Spasso, is actually outranked by Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone), who is the true equal of Robin, his nemesis in the film. Prince John says that Gisbourne is 'our most powerful friend in these shires', so the Gisbourne lands should also be forfeit to King Richard when he resumes the throne. And since Sir Robin kills Sir Guy in single combat, one then wonders why Robin didn't receive the lands of Sir Guy instead of the High Sheriff's. Did King Richard have his eye on the Gisbourne fief himself, or for one of his own 'personal guard', the Crusaders? Or was Nottingham the better (or, given his affinity for Sherwood, most appropriate) of the two fiefs to give Robin?

Note-49. Piper, Space Viking, p. 21

Note-50. Ibid., p. 98

Note-51. Ibid., p. 149, emphases added

Note-52. Ibid., p. 193

Note-53. Ibid., p. 5

Note-54. Ibid., p. 155

Note-55. Ibid., p. 58

Note-56. Ibid., p. 80

Note-57. Ibid., pp. 98-99

Note-58. Ibid., pp. 101-102

Note-59. Ibid., p. 72

Note-60. Ibid., pp. 64-65

Note-61. The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1969 Edition (New York, NY, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc., 1968), p. 408

Note-62. Piper, Space Viking, p. 60

Note-63. Ibid., p. 63

Note-64. Ibid., p. 64 See Appendix 2 for more on the relative location of Tradetown.

Note-65. Ibid., p. 98

Note-66. Ibid., p. 101

Note-67. Ibid., p. 60, emphasis added

Note-68. Ibid., p. 64

Note-69. Ibid.

Note-70. As shown in my paper 'Piper's System', the Old Terran Federation is partly modeled on the old Roman Empire. So it is possible that the historical model for the revival of interstellar civilization is the onset of the historical Renaissance. That would make this a 'Second Renaissance' in Terro-Human history, perhaps reflected in the dual revival on Tanith (planetary renaissance) and the Old Federation in general (interstellar renaissance).

However, since the thousand-year Roman Empire parallels the millenium-spanning Terran Federation, and the Viking Age is paralleled by the Space Viking Age, the real historical model should be the early revival of Western civilization. This occurred at the end of the Dark Ages, and long before the Renaissance of the Fifteenth Century. Known as the High Middle Ages (1000-1300 CE), this period witnessed the 'Revival of Empire, Church, and Towns'. (Kagan, Ozment, and Turner, The Western Heritage (New York, NY: (Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1979), p. 257) It is also sometimes called the 'Twelfth Century Renaissance', or the 'Quattrocentro Renaissance', as opposed to the better-known Italian Renaissance. (Pierre Vidal-Naquet, editor, The Harper-Collins Atlas of World History (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1992), pp. 122-124)

Support for this deduction is found in the parallel timelines, which seem to be offset by about 500 years. Rome lasted roughly from 500 BC to 500 AD, and the Terran Federation lasts roughly from AE 1 to 1000 (actually about AE 31 to 1097). Subtracting 500 years from the Atomic Era date should therefore give us the approximate AD date. In Endnote 1, we showed that the literal date of Space Viking should be AE 1654. 1654 minus 500 years would then parallel 1154 AD. Not long after 1154 (actually in 1159), the Hanseatic League was founded, and not long after AE 1654, Prince Trask establishes the League of Civilized Worlds. A chart may help demonstrate the general idea.

Rome 500BC 1BC 1AD 500AD 1154AD 1159AD 1454AD
late Viking age Hanseatic League Renaissance

Terra AE1 AE500 AE501 AE1000 AE1654 c. AE1659 AE1954
Space Viking League of Civilized Worlds interstellar renaissance

That Space Viking parallels the onset of the High Middle Ages is supported by King Mikhyll of Marduk. 'You know, sometimes I think a few lights are coming on again, here and there in the Old Federation.' (Piper, Space Viking, p. 162) Plus the fact that the historical 'revival of Empire' specifically refers to the Holy Roman Empire; the successor of the Western Roman Empire, and whose seat was transferred from France to Germany after Charlemagne's heirs divided his conquests. The revival of Empire in the THFH is the rise of the Mardukan Empire, which seems to be the successor of the 'outer' Terran Federation, and is apparently the new nucleus of civilization after Poictesme's attempt to create a new Federation failed. The revival of the Holy Roman Empire was engineered by Otto I, 'the Great', and Piper's prominent inclusion of an Otto (Harkaman) in Space Viking therefore gains meaning.

Thus, as seen in the above chart, the true 'Interstellar Renaissance' in Piper begins about 300 years after Trask, in the Twentieth Century of the Atomic Era. This should be a period of great vitality, and we note that in 'The Future History' by Piper, the 'Twentieth Century AE Corresponds to the First Century Imperial' (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 214). A lot happens during this time; the once-mighty Sword-Worlds are conquered by the fledgling Galactic Empire (only about 50 years old in AE 1904), by the end of the century 'the House of Bentrick [is] firmly established', and the 'center of [the] Empire [is] transferred from Marduk to Odin by Stevan IV'. (ibid.)

The seeds of the conquest of the Sword-Worlds--presumably closer to Marduk than the inner systems of the Old Federation--may in fact be sown early in the history of the League of Civilized Worlds; see the Conclusion and endnote 123.

Note-71. Piper, Space Viking, p. 188

Note-72. Ibid., p. 189

Note-73. Ibid., p. 102

Note-74. Ibid., pp. 33, 118

Note-75. Ibid., p. 56

Note-76. Ibid., p. 98

Note-77. Ibid., p. 63

Note-78. Ibid., p. 66

Note-79. Ibid., p. 51

Note-80. Ibid., p. 56 The recivilizing of Tanith means that this can finally come true. A dream interrupted by the end of the Federation, Rivington may now 'become the metropolis of a populous and prospering world.' If so, then Piper's use of the phrase is a harbinger of things to come.

Note-81. Ibid.

Note-82. Ibid.

Note-83. Ibid., p. 21

Note-84. Ibid., p. 6

Note-85. Ibid., p. 36

Note-86. Ibid., p. 107

Note-87. Ibid., p. 110

Note-88. Ibid., p. 117

Note-89. No pun intended, though it does sound a little funny.

4. Elevations in Rank

Note-90. Piper, Space Viking, p. 192

Note-91. Ibid.

Note-92. As stated in note 70, the Terran Federation is partly modeled on the Roman Empire, and the Mardukan Empire is partly modeled on the Holy Roman Empire. This explains the 'German' elements in Space Viking; the pseudo-Nazi takeover of Marduk, and their hatred of the Gilgameshers, a parallel of not just modern, but also medieval, German anti-Semitism. The historical model for the League of Civilized Worlds, an organization in the peripheral (from Terra) vicinity of Marduk which grows into the Galactic Empire, was shown to be the Hanseatic League, which for several centuries was a very powerful league of cities in the northern Germany and Baltic Sea areas (far from Rome), and which was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Piper's inclusion of a planet called 'Beowulf' may be a hint in both regards. First, Beowulf is a Germanic name, and Beam's Beowulfers also have Germanic names, as evidenced by Captain 'Gompertz' of the Grendelsbane (ibid., p. 230). Gompertz speaks in a 'staccato Beowulf accent' (ibid.), which always suggested to me German-accented English. Second, the poem Beowulf is an early medieval document, and the current civilization on Beowulf undoubtedly began in the early Neo-Medieval Age, after the Terran Federation collapsed. Moreover, the literary Beowulf's people were the Getes, or Goths; Swedes of the Baltic. Baltic Swedish cities such as Stockholm were members of the Hanseatic League, just as the planet Beowulf is part of the League of Civilized Worlds.

Note-93. H. Beam Piper, Uller Uprising (New York, NY: Ace Books, 1983), p. 135

Note-94. Piper, Empire, p. 79

Note-95. Ibid., p. 80

Note-96. Ibid., p. 81

Note-97. Ibid., p. 121

Note-98. Piper, Space Viking, p. 230

Note-99. Ibid., p. 130

Note-100. Ibid., p. 38

Note-101. Piper, Empire, p. 85 I reused the Viking sword of the Gram emblem to symbolize Trask's origin as a native of Gram, his original position as Viceroy for King Angus of Gram, and his Space Viking career. Placing the star right on the blade is emblematic of Trask's efforts--military, when necessary--to defend the recently-recivilized Tanith and create the League of Civilized Worlds.

Note-102. Piper, Space Viking, p. 35 By way of rationalizing the new design, one could speculate that the newly-crowned and -married King Lucas gazes from a balcony on the eastern side of his royal palace in Rivington one early morning. Looking out on the new day, he connects King Mikhyll's words about how Space Vikings are helping to ignite new lights of civilization in the Old Federation (ibid., p. 162) with the morning star of Tanith shining in the dawn sky above. That inspires Trask to adopt the morning star as his new 'civilized' and royal emblem, with the additional symbolism of heralding the start of his new life with Valerie Alvarath.

Of course, morning stars are also evening stars, and King Lucas could further reflect that, in that aspect, it represents his correct assessment on the declining state of the Sword-Worlds, as well as his decision to cut loose from them. As Rovard Grauffis said on Gram, 'Well, maybe this is all new to you, Captain [Harkaman]...but Lucas Trask's dirge for the Decline and Fall of the Sword-Worlds is an old song to the rest of us.' (ibid., pp. 9-10) The evening/morning star of Tanith would then reflect Trask's position in Piper's future history. His lifetime includes the 'evening' of the Sword-Worlds and the 'morning' of the League of Civilized Worlds/Galactic Empire.

It also occurs to me that Trask's postulated royal emblem can be connected to the emblem of the Galactic Empire, through the League of Civilized Worlds. The wheel-like morning star design of Tanith could inspire the emblem of the League; possibly the morning star minus the sword, with all points equal in length, all pointing to a ring of planets around the star. The morning star would then become a real star, a 'new star' or sun of civilization, just flaring into existence, with its circle of attendant planets. In turn, the wheel-like new star of the League could inspire the emblem of its successor; the 'Cogwheel' and (fully risen) Sun of the Galactic Empire.

Note-103. Ibid., p. 242

Note-104. Ibid., p. 159

Note-105. This ties in his apparent inspiration for the book; see my paper 'Space Viking--Piper's Black Swan?'

Note-106. Piper, Space Viking, p. 128 The Neo-Medieval Age of Space Viking, as seen in endnote 70, could make Trask's black and white color scheme a decent parallel of the Teutonic Knights, whose colors were the same. Lucas is proactive in his efforts to recivilize the neobarbarians, and the Teutonic Knights were proactive in their efforts to civilize the heathens in the eastern Baltic region. The Teutonic Knights were of course Germans, and Trask is a Space Viking, or 'Space German'. And he is originally a subject of King Angus, whose deduced black, red and yellow color scheme gives the emblem of Gram a Germanic flavor.

5. Gram and Tanith

Note-107. Ibid.

Note-108. By having an extra consonant, these four-letter abbreviations would parallel an order from history, the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Reestablished in 1868 to unify the elites of the entire British Empire, the order's distinctions were CMG (Commander of Michael and George, humorously known among recipients as standing for "Call Me God"), KCMG (Knight-Commander of Michael and George, or 'Kindly Call Me God'), and GCMG (Grand Commander of Michael and George, or 'God Calls Me God'). (Cannadine, Ornamentalism, pp. 86-87)

Note-109. Piper, Space Viking, p. 129

Note-110. Ibid., p. 34

Note-111. Ibid., p. 108

Note-112. Ibid., p. 129

6. The Invasion of Gram

Note-113. Ibid., p. 242

Note-114. Ibid., pp. 189-190

Note-115. Ibid., p. 204

Note-116. Ibid., p. 60, emphasis added

Note-117. Though if so, it will be a short-lived one, as Napoleon was Emperor for only ten years; 1804-14. Bonaparte's ambitions and aggression caused the other European powers to combine against him, so a declaration of Empire by the King of Haulteclere could cause a similar reaction among the other Sword-Worlds. If the result is a period of 'neo-Napoleonic Wars', or general war in the Sword-Worlds, this would undoubtedly accelerate the decline of their civilization.

Note-118. Piper, Space Viking, pp. 204-205

Note-119. Ibid., p. 201

Note-120. Ibid., p. 242

Note-121. Ibid., p. 189

Note-122. Ibid., p. 206

7. Conclusion

Note-123. Admittedly, this scenario is not what Piper seems to suggest. At the end of Space Viking, Trask says that 'Sooner or later, civilization in the Old Federation would drive them all home to loot the planets that had sent them out.' (ibid., p. 242-243) And in 'A Slave is a Slave', Lanze Degbrend mentions that the Sword-Worlds 'still had a lot of [advanced technology]...two centuries ago, when we took them over.' (Piper, Empire, p. 80) The story takes place in the mid-Third Century Imperial (Carr, Piper Biography, p. 214), meaning that the Sword-Worlds are conquered in the mid-First Century of the Galactic Empire.

The statements by Piper's characters therefore imply that the Sword-Worlds' decline, and the Galactic Empire's rise, occur in isolation from one another. This may be due to distance, as the Sword-World 'cluster' is presumably at no little distance from Old Federation space; the two regions being separated by a swath of cosmos incognita. The Space Vikings on the base-planets are forced to return home through this swath, and with nowhere else to go, begin raiding the declining Sword-Worlds. Meanwhile, the rising League of Civilized Worlds grows into the Galactic Empire by absorbing Old Federation planets. Some of these worlds are probably ruled by rival civilized powers, such as Baldur or Isis, while a few may be the rival powers themselves, defeated in the 'Period of Interstellar Wars' mentioned by Beam (ibid.) It is certainly possible, however, for the Galactic Empire's wars with the Sword-Worlds to originate in the former dynastic connection between Tanith and Gram.

Appendix 1. The 'Order' on Durendal

Note-124. Piper, Empire, p. 137

Note-125. Carr, Piper Biography, p. 213

Note-126. Piper, Empire, p. 136

Note-127. Ibid., p. 139

Note-128. Ibid.

Note-129. Piper, Space Viking, p. 192

Note-130. Ibid., p. 7

Note-131. The Houses of Lancaster and York were united in the House of Tudor. Henry VII, the first Tudor, was an illegitimate descendent of the Lancastrian line, and he married Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Edward IV of the York line. The Lancasters and Yorks were actually branches of the old Plantagenet line, making the 'House of Tudor' more or less a reunion of the House of Anjou.

It is therefore interesting that the names of the two Durendalian branches end in -san. The reunified Royal family could then become the 'House of Twosans', or 'Tusan'. Although a humorous possibility, it is more likely that the planet undergoes the parallel of another British event; a 'Durendalian Restoration', in which the overall name of the planetary Royal house (which Piper does not provide) is once again used. But just like the Wars of the Roses in England, the Oaskarsan-Elmersan War may give Durendal several kings in an 'Oaskarsan Line', as well as several in an 'Elmersan Line', before the deduced Restoration.

Note-132. Piper, Empire, p. 139, emphasis added

Note-133. Ibid., p. 89

Note-134. Piper, Space Viking, p. 78

Note-135. Ibid., p. 123

Note-136. Ibid., p. 10

Appendix 2. The Relative Location of Rivington

Note-137. The Editors of Life and Rand McNally, Life Pictorial Atlas of the World (New York, NY: Time, Inc., 1961), p. 43

Note-138. We could add that the Great Plains parallel is also suggested by the 'bisonoids' of Gram. Lucas Trask's original emblem was essentially a buffalo (or buffalo head), and he himself a 'bisonherder'. But, with its large red sun and cloudy yellow sky, Gram is not very Earthlike, nor does Trask continue living there; it is Tanith, with its single moon and starry sky that resembles Terra. So the introduced kreggs from Khepera will become the 'buffalo herds' of Trask's new home planet.

Tanith already has cattle, as evidenced by 'The locals were inclined to take a poor view of the kreggs, at first. Cattle ought to have two horns, one on either side, curved back. It wasn't right for cattle to have only one horn, in the middle, slanting forward.' (Piper, Space Viking, p. 99) And Beam even compares the size of kreggs to the bisonoids of Gram, as well as 'the slightly mutated Terran caribaos on Tanith' (ibid., p. 80). This is another North American parallel. Caribou are widespread in Alaska and Canada; their range extends down to the continental American border, which on the map in Figure 9 would be the region around Winnipeg and the Lake of the Woods.

I would therefore assume that the Tanith caribou are generally found far to the north of Rivington, while the planet's cattle around Rivington may be similarly mutated Terran stock. The sense I get is that the caribou mutated over the centuries of living on Tanith, but it occurs to me that they may have mutated due to the radiological effects of the Fourth World War, which devastated the entire Northern Hemisphere of Terra.

Note-139. Life and McNally, Pictorial World Atlas, p. 43

Note-140. John F. Carr, Introduction to Empire (New York, NY: Ace Books, 1981), pp. 7-8 Alexander's capital was Babylon. (Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon (Garden City, NY: The Country Life Press, 1947), p. 204) Consulting a map of the period, Babylon appears to be about midway between the western and eastern ends of Alexander's empire; Pella in Macedonia and Bucephala on the Hydaspes River in India.

Prior to its conquest by Alexander, Babylon was in the Persian Empire, but being the old capital of Babylonia, it was technically not part of Persia proper. Lying in the valley of the Tigris-Euphrates, Babylon was the winter capital of the Persian Empire, while Susa up in the hills of Persia 'had been the favorite resort of the Great Kings during spring and fall' (ibid., pp. 206-207). Persepolis and Ecbatana were the other two capital cities of the Persian Empire (ibid., p. 208).

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