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jeffjerwin

Tell me of Sheng Seleris

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Two points:

Sheng's Empire was constantly beset by the vengeful former masters of Peloria, forcing Sheng to remain in force. 

The madness that accompanies the Lunar Way especially in places like SIlver Shadow or Graclodont is almost indistinguishable from the nightmares accompanying Sheng to the non-illuminated or non-initiated (Seven Mothers). The Spolite ways are part of the Lunar Way, and they can make the Shadzorings look civilized.

There can be more rational leaders in the Empire who can create tolerable conditions for the citizens. They aren't exactly in the majority.

Sheng did not have unlimited numbers of Zolathi at his side. Possibly enough to equalize the Lunar College of Magic with its demonic Full Moon Corps and their magicians.

The Lunar resistance certainly was "all heroic and not at all bad for the population", much like the rebel outlaws in Lunar occupied Sartar. They caused a good portion of the hardship in the Sheng-occupied lands.

I can see we are simply going to disagree, but...

1. No one is forcing Sheng to engage in brutal conquest. That's on him. The Lunars are unlikely to have bothered with him if he had stayed in Pent. In fact, I suspect no empire wants Pent. Peloria, on the other hand, has a reasonable claim to needing defensive acts of conquest if you want to sustain an urban polity - particularly one that others fear for its ideology.

2. Similarly, there are two chief victims of the Lunar Way: barbarians and rebels fed to the Bat; and people who end up taking a wrong turn on the way towards Illumination. The first is more problematic than the second; despite the lack of guard-rails, mystic striving is still mainly a consensual choice. The chief victims of Sheng's Empire are: random peasants who happen to occupy grasslands and oases, and have no stake either way in the fates of empires, and Sheng's own Zolathi and the people around them, who are forced into a mind-bending journey of pain and lose their own free will. That the actual intent of Sheng's 'cooked' almost-illuminates. The Lunar way really does want to liberate people.

3. There are more rational leaders in the Empire relative to SS because so far as I can tell, the only leaders Sheng's empire had was him, his Pentan warlords, and a bunch of Yelmic chauvistists in Dara Happa and maybe bandits and Ignorance mandarins in Kralorela. Oh, and some Tolat and Shargash cultists.

4. Lunar strategy did involve trying to keep the population semi-safe. The Emperor even withdrew into seclusion because direct battle with Sheng was self-defeating and wasteful. I doubt Gorgorma would have trysted with the Emperor if the result wasn't an act of vengeance against oppressors.

5. Finally, some of the darkness of the Fifth and later Wane Empire is a result of learning bad lessons from the who Seleran War. The Arrolians seem to preserve the pre-Fourth Wane idealism a bit better.

I don't think the Lunars are clear-cut heroes. But the Pentans are clear-cut villains under Sheng, and I don't see any way around that. 

 

Maybe we can move on from this. I don't feel like budging from my view, and I can see that you are steadfast in seeing the Lunars as sinister and chaotic (at least in this context).

I'm mostly interested in the following more practical discussions:

A. Do you think there was a Dara Happan pretender? If so, I could imagine a slightly more nuanced view of the Celestial Empire. (Though I'm not fond of the DH patriarchal crap, at least they're not a malevolent form of despotism)...

B. Sylila is the largest coherent part of the Empire that escaped Seleran conquest. I'm trying to figure out how they were so central to the survival of the Lunar Way yet we know almost notion of that period, who was ruling them, and why they got semi-sidelined after. Carmania became much more dominant instead (I know that's where the Battle of Kitor occurred, but... well, you mention Spolite witchery. I suspect that's a Fifth Wane+ phenomenon in the Heartlands, not earlier.

C. The nature of Magnificus interests me. He is said to have been a weaver-woman's husband in Doblian for 11 years before 1460, but that story seems vaguely incomplete. How did he 'realize' he was the Emperor. Did he somehow gain a severed portion of Takenagi's soul? It's not a straightforward reincarnation, as Takenegi was slain either on the Moon or by the Mad Sultanate in 1449, and he was clearly a grown man in 1460.

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Just realised: the model for the Red Emperor's life as a peasant in Doblian is obviously (in part) the story of Karvanyar, the DH Emperor who defeated the Golden Dragon of the EWF, including the curious importance of playing a board game and the alliance with the Westerners (Carmanians).

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I can see we are simply going to disagree, but...

1. No one is forcing Sheng to engage in brutal conquest. That's on him.

Nice argument, could be made for any conqueror, like e.g. Hwarin Dalthippa, Hon-eel, or Phargentes.

No one is forcing the Lunar resistance to take back the lands that they conquered (from the Carmanians, in the Zero Wane, or from others in the Second Wane). They all could just stop and lay low.

Which is what happens in Kralorela, which fares much better in the Seleric Empire.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

The Lunars are unlikely to have bothered with him if he had stayed in Pent. In fact, I suspect no empire wants Pent.

Indeed. The Pentans don't exactly want pent. They want rich pasture and subservient cities providing them with the luxuries of civilization.

The Horse warlords want Peloria back. Simple as that. It used to be theirs, and Sheng is giving it back to them.

Think of them (and their Dara Happan supporters) as the Alt Right, and you get the idea.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Peloria, on the other hand, has a reasonable claim to needing defensive acts of conquest if you want to sustain an urban polity - particularly one that others fear for its ideology.

Some of the Dara Happans were quite willing to adjust to the new regime and had no problem taking up their old importance without those Lunar upstarts pretending at nobility. Mainly the rice-growing urban nobility - and all their dependents. 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

2. Similarly, there are two chief victims of the Lunar Way: barbarians and rebels fed to the Bat; and people who end up taking a wrong turn on the way towards Illumination.

No, there is a third group you are under-estimating - the Old Day Traditionalists.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

The first is more problematic than the second; despite the lack of guard-rails, mystic striving is still mainly a consensual choice.

Not with the ambush-style riddling the Lunar Mobs inflict on their unwitting Pelorian contemporaries. Madness may be a holy state of being in the Lunar Way, but it is hardly a happy one.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

The chief victims of Sheng's Empire are: random peasants who happen to occupy grasslands and oases, and have no stake either way in the fates of empires,

So what's the news? Random peasants have ever been the victims of military conflicts. Sheng's troops are worse than Jaldon's raids only in that they are staying. And a major portion of Sheng's troops are willing collaborators who accept the solar warlord as the just (in Dara Happan definition) imperial authority.

Sheng doesn't claim emperorship of Dara Happa, he claims superior emperorship, and leaves that detail to a brother.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

and Sheng's own Zolathi and the people around them, who are forced into a mind-bending journey of pain and lose their own free will.

Seriously: what exactly is your source for this? Where do you get this from?

Yes, there were massacres, reminiscent of Bartholomew's night, Magdeburg, or the crusaders' conquest of Jerusalem. Or Assyrian "examples", pour encourager les autres.

I bet that there were places in Sheng's empire where you could leave a pile of gold in the marketplace, and you'd find it complete when you return, just like in Vlad Dracul's county.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

That the actual intent of Sheng's 'cooked' almost-illuminates. The Lunar way really does want to liberate people.

Does it want to liberate people, or does it want to liberate the Goddess, with the population becoming an organ or similar of hers? Reminds me strongly of the EWF Great Dragon.

The Empire doesn't care about the individual, or about happiness of the inhabitants. It cares about security and control.

Individual enlightenment is rather meaningless, only deep advances in Lunar enlightenment is reflected back on the empire, spreading more madness.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

3. There are more rational leaders in the Empire relative to SS because so far as I can tell, the only leaders Sheng's empire had was him, his Pentan warlords, and a bunch of Yelmic chauvistists in Dara Happa and maybe bandits and Ignorance mandarins in Kralorela. Oh, and some Tolat and Shargash cultists.

Yelmic chauvinists, indeed. Business as usual in Peloria. And mandarins and even exarchs in Kralorela. The imperial bureaucracy in Teshnos. And bureaucrats transplanted, so that you would find Kralori and even Teshnan bureaucrats - all beautifully chauvinist solar, Kralorela is as much solar as it is draconic. TarnGatHa, HeenMaroun and Metsyla correspond to Aether, Yelm and Antirius.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

4. Lunar strategy did involve trying to keep the population semi-safe. The Emperor even withdrew into seclusion because direct battle with Sheng was self-defeating and wasteful. I doubt Gorgorma would have trysted with the Emperor if the result wasn't an act of vengeance against oppressors.

Gorgorma can be awakened in the Empire at any time. Yelmic Justice is never just to the peasants, and has never been. At best, it is established.

Sheng re-ordered the land, plundered the Lunar nobility and their clients. Look at the distribution - the ancient Dara Happan cities all lie in the rice area, whereas the upstart Lodrili-turned-Lunar nobility come from the pasture belt Sheng and his horse folk re-establish. (Which is hardly distinguishable from the Reforestation plan of the elves except in the outcome.)

It is a clash of systems. Sheng's new system did not have a chance to remain, otherwise he may have become the Gloranthan Ghenghis or Alexander. As it happened, he only made it to the Gloranthan Attila.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

5. Finally, some of the darkness of the Fifth and later Wane Empire is a result of learning bad lessons from the who Seleran War. The Arrolians seem to preserve the pre-Fourth Wane idealism a bit better.

The creation of the Glowline, expanding the madness belt from the Silver Shadow to the entire empire, is a reaction to Sheng, and does impact the anti-Lunar population quite adversely. There were three Dara Happan contenders for the Emperorship after Yelmgatha's death. That doesn't sound like a happy Dara Happa. Jannisor had little problem raising half the Heartlands against the Red Moon.

The Arrolians have de-coupled the moon worship from the Empire, and that gives them a liberated experience.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I don't think the Lunars are clear-cut heroes. But the Pentans are clear-cut villains under Sheng, and I don't see any way around that. 

The Pentans aren't nice. The Char-un aren't, and most of the Grazers aren't really, either. But then, neither are the hill barbarians.

The Lunars have long been presented as villains, which was wrong. But in the war with Sheng, they aren't exclusively the victims. The Pentans have been bloodily expelled from their ancient homelands in Peloria time and again, and they have re-established themselves on occasion. It was the Horse Warlords who led Peloria out of the Darkness, a feat all too easily forgotten and suppressed in Peloria. They are about as reviled as the Kitori.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Maybe we can move on from this. I don't feel like budging from my view, and I can see that you are steadfast in seeing the Lunars as sinister and chaotic (at least in this context).

In the Seleric war, the only innocents were the victims of both sides.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I'm mostly interested in the following more practical discussions:

A. Do you think there was a Dara Happan pretender? If so, I could imagine a slightly more nuanced view of the Celestial Empire. (Though I'm not fond of the DH patriarchal crap, at least they're not a malevolent form of despotism)...

Yeah, hear me arguing from a Dara Happan position...

I am long on the record for disbelieving the benevolence of Dara Happan despotism. The reign of Brightface was started with a coup and expanded at the cost of decency. Yelm is to blame for the corruption of the many masks of Sedenya.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

B. Sylila is the largest coherent part of the Empire that escaped Seleran conquest. I'm trying to figure out how they were so central to the survival of the Lunar Way yet we know almost notion of that period, who was ruling them, and why they got semi-sidelined after.

Sylila was the weird fusion of Orlanthi values, Dara Happan values and Lunar liberation which had developed quite the momentum, until Arim's Kingdom struck back and liberated Hwarin's conquest south of Sylila proper one by one. Yanasdros had unified the traditional Orlanthi to the extent that they could be unified (like the raid for the Ivory Throne upon his (imminent?) death). He did ally with Sylila to deal with the horse barbarian intrusion at the Battle of Quintus Vale, recognizing the greater common values even with Hwarin's perversion vs. the horse warlords, but then he had had his own problems with the horse warlords to his south, and had come out victorious.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Carmania became much more dominant instead (I know that's where the Battle of Kitor occurred, but... well, you mention Spolite witchery. I suspect that's a Fifth Wane+ phenomenon in the Heartlands, not earlier.

The Spolite heresy is a big issue for Dara Happan illumination, and happened even before Syranthir arrived at Lake Oronin. Syranthir came down hard on the Spolite homelands, allowing the Dara Happans to ostracize the Spolite doctrine as much as possible, but they didn't manage to eradicate it from their culture. Jakaleel inherited much of that when the Seven Mothers rebelled against the bull shah emperors.

Like Sylila, Carmania had the enthusiasm of the recently converted. The houses who had joined the Lunar Way had profited greatly in the earlier wane, and weren't about to lose that advantage to their traditionalist rivals of old, so they became one of the most fervent agents of the moon, proceeding to inflict their Lunar version of harm on those who had succumbed to Sheng's rule.

I would assume a certain revival of sinister Spolite or even deeper blue-skinned sorcerer ways already among the Lunarized Carmanian nobility.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

C. The nature of Magnificus interests me. He is said to have been a weaver-woman's husband in Doblian for 11 years before 1460, but that story seems vaguely incomplete. How did he 'realize' he was the Emperor. Did he somehow gain a severed portion of Takenagi's soul? It's not a straightforward reincarnation, as Takenegi was slain either on the Moon or by the Mad Sultanate in 1449, and he was clearly a grown man in 1460.

I guess that a visit to the Moon was involved where he was recognized as one of the Egi, and chosen as the mortal shell to house the Red Emperor. He may already have been an Egi, or a promising candidate for an Egi, when Takenegi still was around. Not all of the Egi spend all of their time on the Red Moon.

Sheng would have hunted down the Egi similar to the Lunar assassination wave against the House of Sartar initiated by Moirades, who appears to have had a special grudge against Tarkalor's offspring. As a result, many established Egi would have been eliminated, enough so that the former shape of Takenegi was lost.

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10 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Just realised: the model for the Red Emperor's life as a peasant in Doblian is obviously (in part) the story of Karvanyar, the DH Emperor who defeated the Golden Dragon of the EWF, including the curious importance of playing a board game and the alliance with the Westerners (Carmanians).

Desderius tried the same route - the 'Poor Wife's Son' method (p.52, Fortunate Succession) when challenging the rule of Takenegi in c111,260 (1260). We know, therefore that a challenge where the forfeit is the heart and eyes is part of this heroquest.

Thus living as the husband of a weaving woman in Doblian was not entirely out of a desire to escape Sheng, but (like the playing of board games - ravenkaaz in the Fourth Wane, and enznestu in the 9th century) part of the process of mustering the 'Every Man a Sun' magic and formal challenge against the Dara Happan Emperor. Despite his unnamed status in the Fortunate Succession, this means that someone indeed passed the Ten Tests and disolodged the Emperor from the status of ruler of Dara Happa.

Note this from the Redline History: 'The citizens of the city were sent away and the Emperor began a game of ravenkaaz with the bastard child of the Blue Moon, patiently awaiting the arrival of the barbarians. The Blue Moon Daughter found that she was losing in her game with the Emperor and enlisted the aid of Aronius Jaranthir to finish it for her. The Emperor could have easily completed his win over his old friend, but instead he conceded the game and granted this prince of the Citizen Foreigners special rights and privileges for his victory.'

The Bastard Child/Blue Moon Daughter is Great Sister, who seems to testing or opposing the claims of the 'Doblian' emperor. She may have tried to become Empress. Jaranthir (and Carmania?) is her ally.

Now in the story of Karvanyar, he emerged as the son of a blind carpenter, Urvanyar, son of the earlier Dara Happan emperor. Urvanyar had been blinded after challenging the Sun Dragon (at Zeranos, which I suspect is a result of a Draconic perversion of the Hill of Gold quest). Similarly, Takenegi had been maimed by stealing his sovereignty over Kostaddi and by massacring the Egi on the Moon. 'Blindness' is the loss of the Sight Portion of the Soul (typified by Antirius, or justice) - created by Yelm and thus the critical part of sovereignty over Dara Happa. By slaying the Sight Egi, Sheng could rightly claim that the Lunar Emperor was no longer Emperor. The Karvanyar workaround is for the blind prince to father a son who can see. In this case, we see Hon-Eel born in 1445 to the 'emperor' and a common woman; there may be some sort of conflation of Magnificus with his father, who might be an Egi (and ex-Satrap of Doblian?). Or perhaps Hon-Eel was the child of the Emperor of the Karvanyar method - note she was 13 when she freed Doblian, meaning she was very precocious. Is it possible that her 'brother' was 11 when he became Emperor?

The 'weaver woman' is a known metonym for 'Earth Goddess', and Doblian belongs to a sacrificial Earth Cult, typified by Naveria and Hon-Eel herself. The 'Red King' ritually sacrificed. Not being Emperor of Dara Happa, the resurrection of the status of 'Red King' for a time provides a magical resource against the horsemen. The 'Wise Son' who is Naveria's son by the Red King is a clearly magically precocious child, which may suggest a process of 'expedited adulthood' sufficient to create a proper Solar hero quick enough to harness the power of the coming Wane.

I think an Egi was sacrificed (or blinded and castrated) to the Earth to father a son and daughter (Magnificus and Hon-Eel). This may reflect the same method that brought about Yara Aranis. (And resembles Belintar's constant 'taming' of the Earth and Volcano by sacrificing his mortal shell).

Edited by jeffjerwin

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Re. the Hill of Gold - I've come to the conclusion that Sheng adopted the persona of the Cruel God (Kazkurtum-Zorak Zoran) to steal authority and the 'soul' from the Antirius part of the Emperor. He proved to the Dara Happans that the Black Sun is a equal or greater manifestation of Yelm than the Red Moon. The fact that this entity shared attributes with the troll god of pain and terror is probably not made obvious except to initiates of his cult/association.

The revelation of 'Every Man a Sun' used to expel the inhuman Sun Dragon comes from the use of the 'Man Rune' with the Sky Rune. This interferes with the Dragon Rune from being paired with the Sun if the revelation takes root. Desderius presumably tried to use a similar method to fight the equation or equal footing of Moon with Sky. Sheng probably had a mystic pain/suffering rune he promoted as integral to Solar Heat and burning fire, possibly related to Daga, drought, and the wasting of land (the body of the universe is itself subjected to torment). To Dara Happa on a Horse, the endless grassland is the 'pure land', the 'land without distraction'. Compare the Skyburn.

Naturally, Life-Earth and Benevolent Light have an issue with this ritual desolation. Thus the 'Weaver Woman' weds the maimed Emperor. Against rule without mercy, the magical response is to re-erect the loving family (the basis of Lodrilli resistance), but with the defunct father dying to make way for the vital son/Sun.

I think it interesting also that there's a quiet set of references in Pelandan (and presumably Naverian) legend to the Moon's rebellion against the Tyrant Father, and to a parallel matriarchy of the hearth that Yelmic cultures always overlook.

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

The Lunars have long been presented as villains, which was wrong. But in the war with Sheng, they aren't exclusively the victims. The Pentans have been bloodily expelled from their ancient homelands in Peloria time and again, and they have re-established themselves on occasion. It was the Horse Warlords who led Peloria out of the Darkness, a feat all too easily forgotten and suppressed in Peloria. They are about as reviled as the Kitori.

 

The Pentans moved away or were expelled by peasant/urban rebellions. The Lodrilli have as much or greater claim to be native to Peloria, and a right to life and survival. The Pentan claim to pasture their horses on the ruins of cities and in fallow fields is a right that is profoundly elitist ('We are Yelm') and without empathy ('Farmers/City peoples are Dirt').

I'm on the side of the peasants.

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6 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Re. the Hill of Gold - I've come to the conclusion that Sheng adopted the persona of the Cruel God (Kazkurtum-Zorak Zoran) to steal authority and the 'soul' from the Antirius part of the Emperor. He proved to the Dara Happans that the Black Sun is a equal or greater manifestation of Yelm than the Red Moon. The fact that this entity shared attributes with the troll god of pain and terror is probably not made obvious except to initiates of his cult/association.

You are almost literally on fire. Are there periods within time when we can say the spear god won Hill of Gold free, proud and unhumiliated? What does that look like? Who helped the moon burn Rist?

Also how old is collective Lowfire worship?

To me a lot of this raises more questions around historical and mythic "solar" aspects of Kralorela. What does Kargzant look like when (if?) horse tribes make any headway across the Shan Shan, maybe coming up through Teshnos and seeding those sun gods in their wake. Were the archaic dragon emperors also suns or something more exotic buried in the official histories.

From the POV of the mystic ravenkaaz board of consciousness I am on the bright side of illumination (lunar) because it's generative. It takes time to new places that myth on its own never unlocked and tradition refuses to contemplate. Sheng's world-destroying approach gets in the way of that by resetting the board to zero. But we got that with Arkat too, he is a black god against bright empire.

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Just now, jeffjerwin said:

The Pentans moved away or were expelled by peasant/urban rebellions. The Lodrilli have as much or greater claim to be native to Peloria, and a right to life and survival. The Pentan claim to pasture their horses on the ruins of cities and in fallow fields is a right that is profoundly elitist ('We are Yelm') and without empathy ('Farmers/City peoples are Dirt').

I'm on the side of the peasants.

So against the evil overlords, may they be the Dara Happans, people conquering Dara Happa, or evil Argrath who disables Kalikos.

Being a peasant in Peloria has always been an underprivileged existence since civilization had been introduced. And it is not about second amendment barbarian farmer warriors. There are no peasant heroes in civilized Peloria, only nobles hiding as peasants, or their low-born wives who heroically take them in and cover for them. Danfive Xaron might be the closest to a peasant hero the Pelorians have.

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Being a peasant in Peloria has always been an underprivileged existence since civilization had been introduced. And it is not about second amendment barbarian farmer warriors. There are no peasant heroes in civilized Peloria, only nobles hiding as peasants, or their low-born wives who heroically take them in and cover for them. Danfive Xaron might be the closest to a peasant hero the Pelorians have.

You make me suspect that the Pelorian peasants who "win" become something like lowland storm tribes or give birth to lowland storm gods. Some say Lodril some say Larnste some say Humath. The first rebel who spawns the terminus.

Also I missed it in the flow but am I alone in thinking Magnificus is an abstraction like Argrath, there were many magnifici on their separate quests only converging into the great work of the man who finally restored the empire? Too many records lost or buried.

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34 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Naturally, Life-Earth and Benevolent Light have an issue with this ritual desolation. Thus the 'Weaver Woman' weds the maimed Emperor. Against rule without mercy, the magical response is to re-erect the loving family (the basis of Lodrilli resistance), but with the defunct father dying to make way for the vital son/Sun.

I tried to look around, but couldn't find any evidence for this line of thought, however, I was wondering: could there be a mythical connection between an archetype of a Weaver Woman and Dendara, the Good Wife of Yelm?

4 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

You make me suspect that the Pelorian peasants who "win" become something like lowland storm tribes or give birth to lowland storm gods. Some say Lodril some say Larnste some say Humath. The first rebel who spawns the terminus.

Well, or a more profane solution: the peasant rebel who wins is elevated to a noble, his genealogy faked, and it "turns out" that he was always a noble. Social hierarchy preserved.

Although the idea of Umath as a son of earth and fire who actually "won" is a very interesting perspective.

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3 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

You make me suspect that the Pelorian peasants who "win" become something like lowland storm tribes or give birth to lowland storm gods. Some say Lodril some say Larnste some say Humath. The first rebel who spawns the terminus.

Also I missed it in the flow but am I alone in thinking Magnificus is an abstraction like Argrath, there were many magnifici on their separate quests only converging into the great work of the man who finally restored the empire? Too many records lost or buried.

No, you're not alone. Making an Emperor involves many (well, seven) Egi

 

11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So against the evil overlords, may they be the Dara Happans, people conquering Dara Happa, or evil Argrath who disables Kalikos.

Being a peasant in Peloria has always been an underprivileged existence since civilization had been introduced. And it is not about second amendment barbarian farmer warriors. There are no peasant heroes in civilized Peloria, only nobles hiding as peasants, or their low-born wives who heroically take them in and cover for them. Danfive Xaron might be the closest to a peasant hero the Pelorians have.

Yes. Or being a peasant and 'losing one's peasant-ness' - the path of becoming the Emperor involves turning one's back on anything but aristocratic family mythology. Technically, however, Lodril, the Carrot God, Teelo Norri, and Valare Addi are all either plebeian city people or dirty peasants. I can think of more.

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Just now, Sir_Godspeed said:

I tried to look around, but couldn't find any evidence for this line of thought, however, I was wondering: could there be a mythical connection between an archetype of a Weaver Woman and Dendara, the Good Wife of Yelm?

The 'Weaver Women' are the Earth Tribe among the Theyalans. Seems to be straightforward to me.

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5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

You are almost literally on fire. Are there periods within time when we can say the spear god won Hill of Gold free, proud and unhumiliated? What does that look like?

The spear god probably won Hill of Gold before the Darkness came to the surface, which is probably why he went there in the first place - in order to repeat a mythically significant feat that benefitted the emperor.

5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Who helped the moon burn Rist?

The Char-un example.

5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Also how old is collective Lowfire worship?

Probably as old as the theft of fire by Trickster.

5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

To me a lot of this raises more questions around historical and mythic "solar" aspects of Kralorela. What does Kargzant look like when (if?) horse tribes make any headway across the Shan Shan, maybe coming up through Teshnos and seeding those sun gods in their wake. Were the archaic dragon emperors also suns or something more exotic buried in the official histories.

Kralorela is a solar empire with lots of dragon mystery. But then the dragon emperor of Dara Happa may not have started with the EWF take-over, but may have much older sources - at least if you can trust Sandy Petersen and his choice of representation of the Yelmic hero.

 

5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

From the POV of the mystic ravenkaaz board of consciousness I am on the bright side of illumination (lunar) because it's generative. It takes time to new places that myth on its own never unlocked and tradition refuses to contemplate. Sheng's world-destroying approach gets in the way of that by resetting the board to zero. But we got that with Arkat too, he is a black god against bright empire.

I think that Sheng is terraforming rather than destroying. This does have bad consequences for anyone with ideas contradicting Sheng's ideas of a perfect world, but I do think that Sheng has a vision of a perfect world, and it is one with the horse nomad equivalent of the Norman forest in former dry-farming lands.

4 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

You make me suspect that the Pelorian peasants who "win" become something like lowland storm tribes or give birth to lowland storm gods. Some say Lodril some say Larnste some say Humath. The first rebel who spawns the terminus.

Lodrili rebels win by getting their overlords to cave in to their demands, then go on being nice little proletarians doing their assigned jobs. It is like capitalism with working trade unions, where it is rare for a union member to rise to a position of authority in the state.

If anything, the Pelorian peasant hero is a tragic hero, much like Jannisor (who was a hill barbarian). His rebellion might achieve what it meant to achieve, but the leader will be eliminated by the ones in power, for the greater good. Stepping up as a rebel leader is similar to volunteering to the role of the sacrificial king.

4 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Also I missed it in the flow but am I alone in thinking Magnificus is an abstraction like Argrath, there were many magnifici on their separate quests only converging into the great work of the man who finally restored the empire? Too many records lost or buried.

I think of the twenty or so Egi that made up Takenegi, maybe a few of the original ones survived, and of the prepared runners up too many didn't make it, either. Magnificus is the best that the Empire could come up with after a long hiatus of training replacement Egi.

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4 minutes ago, Joerg said:

the Pelorian peasant hero is a tragic hero

All out of reactions for the time being but thanks. Not quite convinced with a few of these . . . the "fire pantheon" outside Dara Happa is very strange and feels more likely to have been forced together to fit theoretical (GL) or political (Sheng) needs . . . but in these eight words I see the young sun god who goes up a hill of gold and comes down an ass-kicked subordinate. 

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4 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Yes. Or being a peasant and 'losing one's peasant-ness' - the path of becoming the Emperor involves turning one's back on anything but aristocratic family mythology.

While there are a number of Lodrili (i.e. non-Yelmite) Lunar clans which have come to the ranks of (previously exclusively Yelmic) Overseers (like satraps), none of these have managed to replace the Emperor, at best his mortal shell (like in 1607). But again, the vast majority of Lodrili Lunar nobility derives their status and acceptance from having a child of the Red Emperor among their ancestors.

Denesia all over again and again. (Or Hon-eel.)

4 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Technically, however, Lodril, the Carrot God, Teelo Norri, and Valare Addi are all either plebeian city people or dirty peasants. I can think of more.

Teelo Norri and Valare Addi are deified Lunar heroines. Both were illuminated - Teelo when she was killed, Valare before she set out and provided a mythical truth that shows how the "aboriginal Yelmic nobility" were nothing but rebellious upstarts when they took on rulership.

 

4 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

All out of reactions for the time being but thanks. Not quite convinced with a few of these . . . the "fire pantheon" outside Dara Happa is very strange and feels more likely to have been forced together to fit theoretical (GL) or political (Sheng) needs . . . but in these eight words I see the young sun god who goes up a hill of gold and comes down an ass-kicked subordinate. 

Not at all what I was about to say. The Pelorian peasant hero who makes a name for himself will be the named rebel who is punished, even after his cause may have been resolved - a martyr for the cause.

The Sun God (by definition a "son of Yelm") who gets defeated at the Hill of Gold becoming a peasant usually loses his imperial inheritance. Karvanyar is the only Dara Happan emperor prior to Magnificus who hid out as a peasant.

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OK, what about Prax?

The c.1450 map in the Guide shows Prax under the dominion of the Celestial Empire, but I can find little to nothing about how that functioned.

Does this mean a Pentan tribe is occupying the Zola Fel valley (perhaps with the aid of the Sun Dome people) or does it mean they paid tribute to Pent at an encampment along the Snow Line? Or something else?

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2 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

OK, what about Prax?

The c.1450 map in the Guide shows Prax under the dominion of the Celestial Empire, but I can find little to nothing about how that functioned.

Does this mean a Pentan tribe is occupying the Zola Fel valley (perhaps with the aid of the Sun Dome people) or does it mean they paid tribute to Pent at an encampment along the Snow Line? Or something else?

There are beast riders outside of Prax, in the Wastes, especially near the Iron Forts or the Fever Trees where they can go raiding those civilized targets. These would easily be recruited by a confident Zolathi leader, much like Intagarn of the Hiording clan was in 1440 to stage his raid on Bagnot. After initial successes, they can accompany the warriors back to their clans, then invite the entire clans to go on a rampage. I wonder whether there are more Praxian-descended folk in parts of Kralorela than there are in the Wastes. (The Pelorian descendants from their Dawn Age settlement there either were assimilated into local culture or remained clan-sized like the Sables of Kostaddi. Unless you count their non-tribal bastards.)

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44 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There are beast riders outside of Prax, in the Wastes, especially near the Iron Forts or the Fever Trees where they can go raiding those civilized targets. These would easily be recruited by a confident Zolathi leader, much like Intagarn of the Hiording clan was in 1440 to stage his raid on Bagnot. After initial successes, they can accompany the warriors back to their clans, then invite the entire clans to go on a rampage. I wonder whether there are more Praxian-descended folk in parts of Kralorela than there are in the Wastes. (The Pelorian descendants from their Dawn Age settlement there either were assimilated into local culture or remained clan-sized like the Sables of Kostaddi. Unless you count their non-tribal bastards.)

Where do you derive the notion that Intagarn attacked Bagnot on behalf of a Zolathi? It's plausible, but there are plenty of other quarrels that could have drawn him there... like the feud between the Tarsh king and the Grazers. Or the feud between Tarsh and Sylila.

I notice Jaldon Toothtaker was active till c.1420. Perhaps he was awakened by the Celestial Empire, and used as their figurehead in the Wastes.

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Also, isn't Godunya in Dragon Pass at the time? (Edit: No he wasn't)

There's an interesting correlation between the domination of the Earth Rune post 1460, the defeat of Sheng, the appearance of the Feathered Horse Queen (1455) and the crowning of Queen Bruvala in Nochet, too.

Edited by jeffjerwin

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1 minute ago, jeffjerwin said:

There's an interesting correlation between the domination of the Earth Rune post 1460, the defeat of Sheng, the appearance of the Feathered Horse Queen (1455) and the crowning of Queen Bruvala in Nochet, too.

If you can shoehorn this into a sense of a "Later Classical Demi-Birth Period" I for one will be so happy. 

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14 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

If you can shoehorn this into a sense of a "Later Classical Demi-Birth Period" I for one will be so happy. 

Well, Hon-Eel was born in 1445. If anyone is an Earth avatar it's her.

The 'Earth Strikes Back!' in other words. This does seem to correspond to the period in the Darkness when the Earth birthed a large number of 'avenger/protectress' gods. Here, of course, the threat is the Burning/Black Sun... Note that Sheng's Zolathi are 'turned into stone' at Kitor.

 

Demi-birth refers to the birth of demi-gods, does it not?

Edited by jeffjerwin
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13 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Demi-birth refers to the birth of demi-gods, does it not?

No idea. I've been waiting for that one to be followed up on since WF 2.

Earth is definitely in play. Hon-Eel and even Hwarin Dalthippa are earthing it up, the Twins are active, etc. But not just a season for witches, Sartar himself emerges at this time.

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Where do you derive the notion that Intagarn attacked Bagnot on behalf of a Zolathi?

I didn't mean to imply this, but you're right, there is a good chance that this is related. I meant to show Intagarn as an example for a non-beast-rider who was able to attract a significant force of Praxians for a raid on a civilized place.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

It's plausible, but there are plenty of other quarrels that could have drawn him there... like the feud between the Tarsh king and the Grazers. Or the feud between Tarsh and Sylila.

Intagarn was a Hiording, hardly involved with either Sylila or the Grazers. I suppose he chose Yanasdros' capital as the hardest target available in Dragon Pass, to prove his worthiness as the future Colymar king.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I notice Jaldon Toothtaker was active till c.1420. Perhaps he was awakened by the Celestial Empire, and used as their figurehead in the Wastes.

Quite possible, although I have no information about Jaldon raiding anywhere but Dragon Pass (and of course Pavis).

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

But not just a season for witches, Sartar himself emerges at this time.

Sartar Ernalsarsson.

Everyone assumes Ernalsar was a man. Regardless, the root-word in his parent's name is Ernal[da].

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