Bootable image works fine but shows an empty list of installed rpms

Hi folks

I have built a bootable image using the kickstart recipe here

which I use through livecd-creator like this (with stem being set to some arbitrary name)

    livecd-creator \
        --verbose \
        --fslabel $stem \
        --title=$stem \
        --config=rocky-live-base.ks \
        --releasever=9 \
        --cache=/var/cache/live \

the resulting ISO boots off fine
however from the running system rpm -qa shows … nothing at all

((just in case I tried to manually repair/rebuild the rpm db, but neither rpmdb --initdb nor rpmdb --rebuilddb fixed it))

I was expecting of course a rather beefy list of packages in there

What did I do wrong ? As much as I know how to set releasever in a fedora context, I was unsure what is the expected value for rocky (I have tried 9 and 9.1 but to no avail so far)

thanks for any insight