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Leingod

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Leingod last won the day on December 20 2018

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About Leingod

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  • RPG Biography
    Not very much. Mostly I started in Dungeons & Dragons like a lot of people, experimented with White Wolf Games, got into Pendragon because of my love of Arthurian mythos, then found Glorantha and Chaosium through King of Dragon Pass.
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    Right now? None.
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    California
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    I actually havent' played many games, even though I read a lot of gamebooks.

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  1. Leingod

    The Lore of Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

    Also, I'm a little curious on what information we can extract about the development and trajectory of the various Hyalorings. To do that, I'll start by reviewing what we know about the ancestors of the various Hyaloring clans, the Four Clans: The East Clan was founded by “golden-eyed Zenangar of the Zervusa family.” When the four clan founders hunted with Dostal as children, Zenangar kept Nameforgot from crying out when they spotted an elk, learning the value of keeping quiet when you spot your quarry. After Hyalor suffered the second of the Three Wounds that killed him, Zenangar was one of the two chieftains of the Four Clans who tried to save him by “riding to the Gods War,” i.e. performing a Heroquest, but it failed without all four of them. When Hyalor made a circuit to all the clans to give them his last bit of advice before leaving to die, his advice to Zenangar was to “teach his people the difference between cleverness and wisdom.” The North Clan was founded by “the one who would become known as Nameforgot, from the great but doomed Shilevasa line.” When they hunted with Dostal, Nameforgot saw through an illusion sent by the sorcerer Yenfar to distract them by spotting a detail Yenfar had gotten wrong, learning the value of remembering all you see. Nameforgot was one of the two clan chiefs who doomed Hyalor by refusing to ride with Zenangar and Basikan to save him; unlike Stelfor, he did it “out of fear.” Hyalor's last advice to him was that “his failures would one day be redeemed, even if he himself would not. Everyone needs someone to blame.” The West Clan was founded by “squat and muscular Stelfor, who was a Bayyasa.” When they hunted with Dostal, Stelfor didn't stay his hand when the wounded elk pleaded for mercy and cut its throat, learning the lesson that the hunter must strike without qualm. Stelfor also refused to ride to save Hyalor, but unlike Nameforgot it was out of malice: he wanted Hyalor to die so that he could try to conquer the other clans. When the dying Hyalor approached him, Stelfor knelt before him and wept, asking forgiveness. Hyalor embraced him, and his advice was that he “should not seek forgiveness, but grant it to others.” The South Clan was founded by “Basikan, grandson of Hyalor, from the Vashyasa, root of all our clan's families.” The Vashyasa are named for Hyalor's eighth and last wife, Vashya, who was captured and mortally wounded by his enemy Yenfar the Capturer; the son she bore (presumably Basikan's father) survived, but she didn't, and this was the first of the Three Wounds that Hyalor eventually died from. During the hunt with Dostal, Basikan stopped Stelfor from rushing the wounded elk, telling him they should wait until it had sapped its strength, thus learning the lesson that “to catch your prize, be willing to wander.” He also tried to chase after Yenfar's illusion to catch the sorcerer but was dissuaded by Stelfor, and afterward he was the one who recognized that Dostal could have dropped the elk immediately and was just using it as a teaching exercise for them (though I suspect other clans would give that role to whichever founder is their own). Basikan rode with Zenangar to try to save Hyalor, but it failed without Nameforgot and Stelfor. Hyalor's last advice to him was that “curiosity meant nothing if it did not extend to the ways of other peoples – even enemies, even the forces of Water, who had killed him.” The South Clan, of course, is the ancestor of all the clans who, as of Ride Like the Wind, have settled the furthest south, right at the northern banks of the Black Eel, just across the river from a bunch of Vingkotlings, which obviously fits in with Basikan apparently being the one most willing to wander and travel far, and who is characterized as being the most curious. Hyalor's advice to him, of course, is directly related to what will allow you to complete the game; you're pretty much obligated to explore and treat with the Vingkotlings and others to succeed as a clan, and the good ending is Beren and Redalda marrying and their two peoples mingling and learning from each other as friends. The implication seems to be that the North Clan and Nameforgot were wiped out and serve as some kind of cautionary tale for the other Riders. At least part of it might be that they were too timid to range far enough away from the Glacier and some calamity (or series of calamities) occurred because of it. I think that the East Clan founded by Zenangar were the line of Hyalorings that went on to produce Ulanin the Rider, who married Orgovale and founded the Orgovaltes tribe of the Vingkotlings (who, incidentally, will appear as "horse-riding Rams" who invade and either wipe out or assimilate you as a bad end if you screw up badly enough that Redalda doesn't marry a Beren). Ulanin is, after all, said to have come "from the east." I'm not sure if that means the Eastern Riders went as far as Prax or the Wastelands as people assumed, though I don't know enough to rule it out. Stelfor's the one I'm least sure about, and is actually why I decided to lay this out and ask this question. Does anyone more versed in the West know what might have happened to the Western Riders, who seem to have been more warlike than the rest?
  2. Leingod

    The Lore of Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

    Yeah, that's the one. I hadn't known it was a Larnste thing, though I suppose I should've guessed (I guess it migrated south over the years). In that context, it's kind of interesting that it's so friendly to you (pretty much the only offer you can make that doesn't seem to work is offering it Elmal's protection). Maybe it's because the Hyalorings themselves are very different in their attitudes on change and freedom than the Dara Happans they broke away from, that they don't approach a weird magic rock inscribed with one of the Runes of Rebellus Terminus himself as something inherently dangerous.
  3. Leingod

    The Lore of Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

    So, I didn't really pay it much attention until the Spirit class called "Where the Rock Speaks" was brought up elsewhere, but something interesting about the Hyalorings is that they seem to invoke spirits a lot more than the Orlanthi do. Unlike in King of Dragon Pass, shamans can be nobles and can serve on the clan circle, and in fact the game rewards you for having at least one shaman or Raven's chosen on your circle, as it gives you more options and makes you more successful in your dealings with spirits. So shamans seem to have a lot more prestige among the Riders than the Rams... though of course that could just be due to living in the Lesser Darkness, where gods are often busy fighting each other and sometimes outright die. We don't really get a close-up view of the exact similarities and differences between Hyalorings and Vingkotlings (as opposed to Heortlanders moving into Dragon Pass) in the game, though we see some interesting tidbits here and there. Something I hadn't really encountered before (though it never occurred to me until now), is that spirits are apparently attracted to stones. Your clan has "spirit stones" that apparently help attract and impress spirits; you sometimes get an event where someone has pilfered or defiled them somehow and you need to do something about it like look for more or your spirit magic is going to suffer. And there are at least two events that involve spirits inhabiting stones. One is the "Traveling Stone," a stone with the Motion Rune inscribed on it, which moves around on the map every time you visit it and is inhabited by a friendly spirit (which may or may not be related to the powers of Motion it possesses) that can improve your explorer's stats or make them younger. The other is the "Whispering Stones," which foretell the future and whose existence is apparently a common rumor/story among the Hyalorings, as it's one of the few things you discover where your explorer has heard of it before.
  4. Leingod

    Where the rocks speaks

    The only reference I can find is the passing one given in the Guide to Glorantha vol. II. Unless it's from some older book or adventure I haven't read, it's probably just one of those things that you're meant to use in a story as you see fit and is deliberately kept vague and evocative.
  5. Leingod

    Chalana Arroy's Mirror

    Yeah, that seems more a Truth thing to me. In fact it reminds me a lot of "Elmal Guards the Stead" (which happens to be fresh in my mind right now), where Elmal defeats the shape-shifting Teller of Lies by going inside of it and revealing that there its true form is Nothing, that there is only emptiness inside.
  6. I'm pretty new to this whole thing, too, relatively speaking, and yet I've managed to find myself with a very strong opinion on which is better. Funny how that works. When I try to consider Elmal and Yelmalio as the same god, I tend to think that, once you strip out obviously cultural stuff like the phalanxes and such, the major difference in how the deities are viewed is that Yelmalio places emphasis on "what" Yelmalio does, while Elmal is more about "why" Elmal does it. That is, the cult of Yelmalio lionizes the strength that comes from enduring, while the cult of Elmal lionizes those who help others by enduring. Yelmalio's myths always seem a lot more impersonal and abstract than Elmal's; there's no real identity attached to the people Yelmalio helps through his actions, which makes them feel more like an afterthought IMO. Like, in "The Hill of Gold," Yelmalio just kind of decides that he wants to go face off against Inora, with no real focus or value attached to his motivations for doing so. Yelmalio endures and Yelmalio sacrifices, but you get the idea that the value comes from the act itself more than anything. Elmal's myths, on the other hand, tend to give a lot more focus on Elmal's reasons for doing things and how that relates to those around him. He doesn't defend against Chaos in "Elmal Guards the Stead" just because, he does it because the people of the Storm Tribe are counting on him. He doesn't keep faith in Orlanth despite all the temptations of the Teller of Lies simply so he could say he was true and pure the way Yelmalio does when he spurns Inora, he does it because he believes in the man he's accepted as his king. Yelmalio and Elmal are both big on duty, on truth, on endurance and sacrifice for something nobler than yourself. Where they seem to differ is how much they focus on the intrinsic value of the act itself. Of course, maybe that's just my pro-Elmal bias talking.
  7. Leingod

    A little about Kralorea and China

    On the other hand, the jiangshi is at least rooted in older Chinese ideas of a dualistic soul: an ethereal soul called a hun that leaves the body after death and a corporeal soul called the po that remains in the body. This idea dates back possibly as far as the 6th century BC. The idea that you have to appease your ancestors with sacrifice or else they'll come back as "hungry ghosts" stems from this idea that there is a soul that remains behind even when the body has died.
  8. Leingod

    A little about Kralorea and China

    You could also preserve more of the shamanistic traditions of Shang and Zhou as well, with oracle bones used for divinations that affect government policy and a proliferation of bronze ritual wares like tripod cauldrons and animal-shaped wine vessels. You could also make the written language look more like Shang oracle bone script, or the latter derivatives that proliferated in the Zhou like the "bird and worm scripts" of the southern kingdoms of the Warring States. Another interesting practice was people wearing masks or speaking behind statues during rituals to "become" departed ancestors or gods, and there's speculation that things like the dragon and lion dances practiced at festivals grew out of dances where people wore the masks of animals and mimicked their movements for ritual purposes, stuff that seems like it would definitely fit into a spirit magic tradition in Kralorela that's been marginalized but can still be found on the fringes of society.
  9. Leingod

    A little about Kralorea and China

    The dagger-axe declined in importance because as they started moving away from battles between small numbers of trained aristocrats to larger armies of infantry fighting in packed formation, a long polearm with no point for thrusting that needs to be swung around just isn't ideal. But it didn't disappear, it just evolved into the Chinese halberd later in the Zhou Dynasty. It's actually kind of a funny transition you see in Zhou; to compete with each other more effectively, many of the aristocratic rulers of the feuding Zhou duchies and kingdoms enacted innovative government and societal reforms to create the kind of bureaucracy needed to fuel an effective war machine, meaning that the gradual shift from a feudal to a bureaucratic system was by and large carried out by aristocrats (more than a few of whom didn't come out the better for it, even). You could definitely draw from Zhou border states like the kingdoms of Yan and Zhao, with the former in particular adopting a lot of the ways of the "northern barbarians" in order to more effectively fight and sometimes even conquer them, a strategy that often involves intermarriage that the more protected central peoples might find weird or even shocking given that the border people tend to be the most aggressive in campaigns. And combine that with the mixed feelings that arise from the fact that they often hire mercenary cavalry from said barbarians... You could probably get away with something like the heqin ("peace marriage") system pursued early in the Han Dynasty, whereby the empire married off princesses from minor branches of the imperial family (or just well-trained servants and ladies-in-waiting at the palace; not like those barbarians will know the difference, right?) to rulers of the northern tribes, which usually led to more frequent "tributary missions" between the two. And like the Xiongnu did, the Pentans probably make sure to marry defecting Kralorelan officers or officials to their daughters or sisters.
  10. Leingod

    A little about Kralorea and China

    The Japanese took that idea directly from China (and a lot of other things besides), the only difference being that they placed hereditary warrior elites at the top rather than the meritocratic scholar-gentry. Yeah, pretty much. Shavaya the Emperor of Splendor is the closest analogue to Shennong of them, given that he introduced rice and built dams and ditches. However, most of the Kralorean Emperors are far more esoteric and mystical in their contributions than the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, who usually are ascribed far more practical and down-to-earth things to humanity. I imagine all the high-minded enlightenment stuff is probably the stuffy, official religious dogma, but that on the ground the average person would be more likely to worship the emperors and gods for the more practical benefits, in much the same way that Daoism as a literary philosophy and Daoism as a popular religion could be totally different but still operate under the same name and basic ideas. In that way, a Shennong or Lodril analogue (maybe Shavaya) could have a lot less emphasis on his more high-minded achievements and more on an aspect as a "divine peasant."
  11. Leingod

    A little about Kralorea and China

    Well, I personally can't speak of any canonicity, but I actually do have some ideas on where you might find inspiration in Chinese myth for how to portray Lodril or a Lodril-analogue as viewed in Kralorean society. Chinese myth venerates (among countless others) eight divine or semi-divine figures usually referred to in English as the "Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors." The Three Sovereigns, also called the Three August Ones, are demigods or god-kings who improved the lives of the people by imparting a lot of the essential skills and knowledge needed for civilization. The Five Emperors are exemplary sages who possessed great moral character and virtue, lived to incredible ages, and ruled over a period of unsurpassed peace and plenty. The exact identities and chronology vary greatly depending on who you ask, several sources considered authoritative have different lists and the reasons for that are many and would take a long time to explain. Incidentally, the Chinese word for their emperors is huangdi (皇帝), whose characters derive from the Sovereigns and Emperors respectively; the founder of the Qin Dynasty invented this title, which was used thereafter, because he claimed that his reunification and expansion of the lands previously ruled by the Zhou Dynasty was even greater than the accomplishments of the Sovereigns and Emperors. In Chinese, they are the "San (Three) Huang, Wu (Five) Di." Anyway, for our purposes, Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian is the list I'll be using. In Sima Qian's list, the Three Sovereigns are titled as the Heavenly Sovereign, the Earthly Sovereign, and the Human Sovereign, and their identities are Fu Xi, Nu Wa, and Shennong. Shennong, in my mind, is a useful analogue for Lodril if you want to give Kralorea such a thing. Shennong's name can be translated as "Divine Farmer" or "Divine Peasant." Another of his names is Wugushen, which translates to "God of the Five Grains." As you might guess, Shennong is credited in Chinese myth as the inventor of agriculture; he discovered how to cultivate grains and invented the plow so that people could do so (much as Lodril is credited with among the Lodrili, who use fire-sharpened sticks to make simple plows). Because of this, it is considered inappropriate to sacrifice cows or oxen to him, as they are better put to use in the fields, and instead pigs and sheep are sacrificed to him. Since he also invented the storing and trading of crops in storehouses and weekly farmers' markets, traders also worship him. In addition, he is also revered as the "Medicine King," because he personally tasted hundreds of herbs and plants to determine their effects, identifying poisons and antidotes and figuring out what was good for people and what was bad; some legends claim he died when he tasted 70 poisons in a single day, and so he is sometimes venerated as the progenitor of traditional Chinese medicine. Most portrayals of Shennong in art show him tasting some kind of herb or plant to test its effects. Finally, Shennong is often identified with a mythical figure or a family dynasty called the Flame Emperor (Yan Di), who was an early enemy of the Yellow Emperor (who is usually one of the Five Emperors, though he's sometimes one of the Three Sovereigns instead). It is believed that this title is a reference to the practice of slash-and-burn agriculture, wherein fire clears the fields and the ashes fertilize the soil. In Chinese foundational myths, the last of the Flame Emperors (who according to the Records of Emperors and Kings authored in the 3rd century AD was the 8th generation descendant of Shennong) was forced northward by the powerful warlord Chi You and came into conflict with the Yellow Emperor. The two fought a series of three battles, which ended with the Flame Emperor's surrender, after which the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) united the two tribes and renamed them the Yan-Huang Tribe, and the now-unified tribe later went on to defeat Chi You and other threats and became the progenitors of the Chinese people. In fact, one of the names for the Chinese people is the "Yan Huang Zisun," the "Descendants of Yan and Huang." Some records also state that the Yellow Emperor himself was related to Shennong; while Shennong was the creator of the basic necessities of society (farming and the like), the Yellow Emperor and his court were considered the foundation of Chinese culture and identity, with inventions like writing and the production of silk credited to them. As a Han Dynasty tomb inscription reads, ""The Yellow Emperor created and changed a great many things; he invented weapons and the wells and fields system; he devised upper and lower garments, and established palaces and houses." Incidentally, Chi You is also a very interesting figure. In Han Chinese (i.e. the majority ethnicity of China), Chi You is presented as a wicked tyrant, described as a cruel and greedy warmonger, but certain ethnic minorities in southern China (most notably the Miao ethnic group, a Chinese umbrella term that actually accounts for a wide range of peoples like the Hmong, Xong and A-Hmao) consider themselves descendants of Chi You and regard him as a sagacious mythical king. But that's getting into another long post all it's own.
  12. Leingod

    A little about Kralorea and China

    Yeah, a big part of the appeal of Glorantha is usually the way it departs from the stereotypes of fantasy and makes something all its own, but Kralorea really is just another Fantasy China, just with a bit of a religious thing going on at the top levels that isn't really Chinese. As for the isolationist policy, that's actually not quite as "later" as you might think; the first haijin ("sea ban") policies were issued in 1371 by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). For most of Ming, all foreign trade was conducted by official "tribute missions," handled by representatives of the Ming government with representatives of the "vassal" states. Basically, in order to trade with Ming (but only a set number of times per year, with a set number of ships, at a single port), you had to recognize yourself as an inferior vassal to Ming and trade was ritualized into the payment of tribute and the receiving of "gifts" as reward for being a good vassal. The reasons for this policy are many and various; to put a stop to rampant piracy, to keep silver bullion from leaving the country, to weaken the mainly commercial southern areas of China which had once been the capital but was not the Ming's primary power base, etc. In most of its goals, it failed miserably and was in fact horribly counterproductive and eventually made the piracy so bad that there needed to be this whole decade-long struggle to put an end to it that probably contributed to Ming's eventual collapse, but that's a story for another time. In the Qing Dynasty, something similar was done with the institution of the "Canton System," whereby all trade with Europeans was to be done at the port of Canton (now Romanized as Guangzhou) with merchants specially licensed to the do so (the Thirteen Factories). This was an attempt to limit the destabilizing political, religious and commercial influence of the foreigners, and it worked for a while, up until Great Britain decided it really didn't want to have to pay for its addiction to Chinese tea with silver and instead decided to peddle one addiction for another and then started the First Opium War to protect their drug deals. As for the propaganda and false sense of unity? That's basically completely true to its inspiration in Imperial China. Even in China, there is a tendency to see it as a very static, unchanging edifice, subject to wars, sure, but always a unified China by the end of things. The reality is considerably more complicated, and I presume that's what you'd see if we could do more than scratch the surface of Kralorea. Well, a sacral kingship isn't quite unknown to China; reverence and worship of the emperor was especially pushed for in the later years of the Qing Dynasty, and was probably similarly pushed for most strongly during times of upheaval and unrest, and religious rites were always one of the major duties of the emperor. It's just that the Chinese emperor was viewed as divine because he held the Mandate of Heaven through virtue of his... well, virtue, and thus if he lost the empire he had clearly lost the mandate, so it was used to legitimize the succession of dynasties. That said, in its more obviously sacred nature, and in the Solar imagery that's crept in and the way it at least pretends that there is only one discrete faith in Kralorea, and the way it tries to cover up some iffier successions and assumptions of power and pretend it was all one long unbroken line, it's actually more like Japan. In some ways you could argue that Dara Happan society is something a Confucian would recognize: the "top-down" model of society and virtue where the fortunes of the empire rest on the virtue and justice of the emperor, the importance of knowing one's place in the social order and the rigid adherence to tradition, mainly. On the other hand, Confucianism is philosophically very anti-aristocracy, promoting an educated scholar-gentry on the reason of merit rather than a hereditary nobility (which China has had and Confucian scholar-gentry have very frequently been used by the emperors as a counterweight against). In addition, Confucianism rests upon the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, and teachable, improvable, and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor, especially self-cultivation and self-creation. It all rests on the idea that anyone can cultivate these virtues in a morally organized world. It also lacks a disdain for rural life or agricultural pursuits; one of the common and accepted ways for a currently unemployed Confucian scholar to support himself, in fact, was through farming. So in a lot of other ways, Dara Happan isn't very Confucian at all. The attitudes of the nobles toward their "lessers" is extremely entitled and arrogant (the latter in particular would disgust a good Confucian, as arrogance is extremely unseemly and the sign of an inferior man), and the dismissal of the Lodrili as incapable of understanding the higher things in the world and the characterization of them as less moral aren't something a Confucian would agree with, or at least he would argue that this is only because their rulers don't bother to cultivate proper virtue and education within them and so it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  13. I started really reading into the Guide to Glorantha and simultaneously looking through the Group Read threads for it, and a question came up on Kralorea that convinced me to make this thread. See, I consider myself an initiate at best into Gloranthan lore, but East Asian history is something of a hobby of mine, so I realized that some knowledge I take for granted might not be something others are aware of, and I thought I'd address one or two things. First, the question that made me decide to make this thread: What's up with the Archexarchs? Kralorea's highest functionaries are called the Archexarch of War, who is in charge of military affairs, the Archexarch of Work, who manages disciplining of mandarins, investigation of wrongdoing, and public works, and the Archexarch over the Masses, who manages the imperial finances, provincial reports, and the appointment of mandarins. These seem oddly named and these duties seem weirdly portioned out. Well, although they may seem odd at first glance, these are taken directly from real positions that have existed in Chinese history, specifically from the Han Dynasty (206BC-9 AD & 25-220 AD). In Han, the three highest government positions were of equal authority, and were the Sangong, translated variously as "Three Ducal Ministers," "Three Excellencies" and "Three Lords" because gong was a title of nobility in Zhou usually translated in English as "duke." And "minister" isn't used by itself to refer to them because just below them in the government hierarchy were the Nine Ministers. In the latter half of the Han Dynasty's reign, these three positions (which had gone through a lot of name changes earlier) were settled as the Excellency of Works (Sikong), the Excellency over the Masses (Situ) and the Excellency of War/Grand Marshal (Sima). Together, the Three Excellencies formed a tripartite party as the emperor's highest advisors and a sort of cabinet; any or all of the three could directly draft and submit suggestions and recommendations on state policy to the emperor, rather than having to wait until they were given permission to speak at a court conference. They also each had supervisory powers over separate sections of the court below them (each of them supervised three of the Nine Ministers, for example), but there was deliberate overlap in their powers to investigate, promote and censor officials so keep any one of them from having too much power over the government. And, of course, they were in charge of bureaus that had their own duties, like public works and so on (but these, too, were sometimes made deliberately nebulous and overlapping). Though, I'll note that unlike in Kralorea, by the time of Eastern Han (25-220 AD), the Excellency of War had actually shifted into a primarily civilian office; his various bureaus mostly handled (in addition to the stuff involving supervising and investigating other government officials) population registers and agriculture, the upkeep of transportation facilities, post offices and couriers, civil law cases, granary storage, and military affairs. Logistics, in other words. Actual generals were appointed by court order to deal with a specific campaign and surrendered their authority after that campaign was over, keeping the title bestowed on them as a sinecure if they did well (titles like "General of Chariots and Cavalry on the Left," for example). You can see the obvious influence on the Archexarchs, down to their names, their position in the government bureaucracy (minus the part where they're actually worshiped in their own right and all that stuff, of course), and the fact that they've been not-so-subtly designed in a way that encourages infighting and jockeying to ensure a check on their powers and keep any one of them from having too much influence in the government. --- As a whole, Kralorea is a pastiche of various aspects of Imperial China throughout its history. A bit of Han, a bit of Tang, a bit of Ming/Qing. It's the usual way to make a Fantasy China, even in China. The bit about the standardization of language is probably the only non-Imperial bit of Chinese history; the Republic of China was the first time they tried to standardize a proper "national language" in an empire that had (has) hundreds of mutually-unintelligible dialects; Mandarin Chinese is the result, its actual Chinese name even means "official speech," and its mostly taken from the Beijing dialect. Kralorea's attempts seem to have been more successful and sweeping than China's, where regional dialects and language groups still get a lot of play even in major cities, especially in the south. That "horse-chopper" the imperial soldier is shown holding is a guandao (more properly called yanyuedao), a polearm somewhat similar to a European glaive or a Japanese naginata. It actually wasn't a weapon that saw wide use in the field (though it was used by infantry in the Green Standard Army of the Qing Dynasty, which was formed of ethnic Han Chinese in contrast to the Eight Banners that were manned by Manchus), but weighted versions were popular both for martial arts training and as testing equipment in tests given to prospective military officers. The first name comes from its entirely fictional origin as the personal weapon of Guan Yu, the second means "reclining moon blade." Also, the actual role of being a "horse chopper" more properly belongs to either the podao (with a similar but smaller blade and a shaft about 6 feet long) and/or the zhanmadao (a large, single-bladed, two-handed sword), both of which are recorded as being designed and used specifically as anti-cavalry weapons. If there are any other questions about Kralorea and its Chinese influences... Well, I can't guarantee an answer, it's not like I have an actual degree in this stuff, but feel free to ask me about it.
  14. Leingod

    The Lore of Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

    It doesn't seem like it. The Brithini and Vadeli stance is that the gods aren't really "gods," while the Third Eye Blue person doesn't deny their godhood, he just asserts that the gods are "doomed" somehow. That too.
  15. Leingod

    The Lore of Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

    Well, the dwarves probably figured that since the moon was doomed they might as well get something useful out of it, much like they do with their own dead. Since the Mostali don't really live on after death in any real way, they just have different attitudes about "respecting the dead." So what they're doing to the moon is probably nothing personal and they might even find the idea that the Red Moon would hold a grudge for that incomprehensible. --- Speaking of dwarves, you can meet the guys who would go on to steal the secrets of iron from them before it happens: If you ask them about their armor, they will explain that they cannot fully share their secrets with people who still worship the gods, which are doomed. You will then be able to choose again from the rest of the options. If you tell them what you know about dwarves, they will give you some goods, although if your knowledge fails to impress them the amount will be very small (as low as one cow's worth). Defeating them will get a small amount of goods. Incidentally, I was never aware that the Third Eye Blue are (or were) non-Theists, so that's interesting.
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