May 1, 2015

The Winds of War

An Iranun joanga, a galley with outriggers

Sea raiding is the primary kind of warfare practiced in the Hari Ragat setting, which ties war squarely to the cycle of monsoons.

I’m basing this pattern on my research sources, specially W.H. Scott’s Barangay and James Warren’s Iranun and Balangingi: Globalization, Maritime Raiding and the Birth of Ethnicity. Warren quotes his sources, noting that the Iranun and Balangingi raiders would sail to Palawan and wait for the southwest monsoon to bear them north up the Philippine archipelago, while at the time of the northeast monsoon their activities would focus on the Malay and  Indonesian islands, and as far as Indochina, to the west and southwest.

Map of the Janggalan Isles

In the Janggalan Isles, everybody guards against raids and goes raiding when they can and have cause. The winds dictate targets and strategy. Raiders generally prefer to have the winds with them on approaching the target, to speed their approach and hinder interception at sea.

Sometimes, though, raiders will also sail with the wind against them going out, to have the winds with them on the escape if pursuit is expected.

If the approach to target is made with the prevailing monsoon winds, chances are escape will be made via a roundabout route, both to tack against the wind, and to throw off pursuit.

2 comments:

  1. Looks like we're going to need a Winds table. When the winds blow at what season

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  2. Yes. And I can make two maps, one for each monsoon, as a DLC. I also want to try to nail down which passages may have fitful/weak or unpredictable winds during each monsoon, because that's where Karakoas can 'hunt' best.

    ReplyDelete

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