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Toward a Better Kralorela

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So I finally found the time to look at the 'Kralorela is not China' document I started writing for myself a few years ago, so here are some thoughts. 

I still think the fundamental issue with Kralorela is that it is firmly based on a single culture (China, Fantasy or real), which is a thing (in software engineering, they talk about design anti-patterns, I think this is a Gloranthan example) -  that has been steadily broken down and challenged over the years for other Gloranthan cultures. Linguistics are a terrible mess, but that was true of a lot of Glorantha, and we can change names that are particularly egregious. I don't think Kralorela is unfixable - but I do think it needs a lot more work. It just isn't ready for prime time (not that anywhere in Glorantha outside of Central Genertela is that close right now). 

The contrasts and interplay between Historical China, Fantasy China, and Kralorela are interesting to consider. And when I say Fantasy China, in practice that really often means Orientalist China as seen from a mostly European perspective. 

Kralorela is intensely isolationist and xenophobic, even more than historical China. Historically China was isolationist, but largely because it had strong natural borders and was large enough to be self-sufficient, plus a powerful autocratic central government that sees innovation and external forces as a threat . Kralorela doesn't have the same strong borders (not against Ignorance and Teshnos) and mythically at least a big overlap with the East Isles - plus its centralsed autocracy is a bit of a fiction itself, with an Emperor who really doesn't care about government. Why is Kralorela so isolationist? The official answer is that they consider all outsiders to be God Learners, but a lot about that doesn't stand up under close examination. 

Historical China has a wide diversity of ethnicities. Fantasy China and Kralorela are both conservative monocultures. I agree that one of the best ways to make Kralorela Better is to make it clearer that the image of a Darudist Imperial monoculture is propaganda - and reveal the internal diversity in different parts of Kralorela. 

Kralorela is presented as  firmly united by a single overarching mystical philosophy, over a range of other traditions (most of which we could see as roughly analogous to Chinese folk tradition). Which Historical China are we talking about? Bronze Age China (roughly the Shang and Zhou dynasties) had the folk religion and multitude of deities thing - but there was never really a period in which one overarching philosophy dominated, with Taoism and Confucianism originating about the same time. There doesn't seem to have been a Kralorelan equivalent to the Contention of a Hundred Schools of Thought period. So that is one of the big differences between Kralorela and China - China went roughly from a range of theist deities, to adding multiple intertwined philosophies of different kinds, while Kralorela either is, or claims to be, have been dominated by a single mystical philosophy for thousands of years. 

But we don't get to make Kralorela like Bronze Age China. The dominance of Darudism/draconism is too well established. Do we want to either embrace diversity of philosophical thought like historical post-Qin China, and having a lot of philosophical alternatives to Darudism co-exist, or do we want to embrace this as a point of difference with China? 

Why is Kralorela so obsessively socially conservative? As presented, it is basically the same system as the Rokari - four castes (quite different ones to the Rokari, effectively the mandarins are both scholars and leaders, and the soldiers are outside the system), zero social mobility (apart from by the mandarin exams, which provide only an illiusion of social mobility for most people - though it does allow for the possibility for the wealthy to buy an education for their children).

The most interesting thing about it is that it is clearly an ideal that is false in practice - there are explicitly huge parts of society, including basically most professional warriors (eg most PCs) that are outside it. Slaves are also outside the social order, which is basically an admission that the Empire just pretends it doesn't happen though it clearly does. The 'official' social system is clearly a giant hypocritical lie. 

The lack of social mobility sort of corresponds to Historical post-China, the mandarin system a bit too close for comfort - but it is very much at odds with Bronze Age China, which saw a lot of social mobility. The peasants were free, not serfs, so could change occupation if they had to money to do so - and in the chaos of the warring states period it was easy for a warrior to rise up. There are Emperors and generals who began as peasants or worse. In part this later reduction of social mobility was a result of a lasting period of relative peace, which could also apply to Kralorela, but there are quite a few questions. Do we go with social mobility as genuinely lacking in Kralorela, or do treat that as an official fiction?

Anyway thats enough ramblng for now/

 

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On 8/2/2019 at 11:22 PM, davecake said:

But we don't get to make Kralorela like Bronze Age China. The dominance of Darudism/draconism is too well established. Do we want to either embrace diversity of philosophical thought like historical post-Qin China, and having a lot of philosophical alternatives to Darudism co-exist, or do we want to embrace this as a point of difference with China? 

Every culture in Glorantha should have the depth, complexity, and contradictions of the Orlanthi and the Lunars. It's better for gaming and better for storytelling. So I'd say more philosophies is critical. So also should there be more religions, languages, dissidence, and true versus false history. In terms of importing imagery, folklore, and symbolism from other cultures, I'd suggest ancient Malaya, the Hundred Yue, but also - viz. the Kingdom of Ignorance, maybe the Inca and other New World empires?

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On 8/5/2019 at 11:22 AM, jeffjerwin said:

So I'd say more philosophies is critical.

I agree. Darudism is the official religion - while I've got no urge to revive the RQ3 game mechanics, a bit of an awkward hybrid of draconic mysticism and something rather more materialistic and practical, even sorcerous, while masquerading as yet another folk religion for the purpose of collecting power from the populace? Currently it really does seem quite EWFish - and this could, in fact, be a post-Godunya innovation, Godunya having been involved in the EWF. 

But NiangMao seems more orthodox passive mysticism in the Eastern style, Metsyla kind of Nysalor-ish but without the Chaos, and Thalurzni draconic mysticism mixed with sorcery and alchemy in a way that seems overtly modelled on Esoteric Taoism but can certainly be more Gloranthacized at some point. And that is just mysticism, with a first pass within the stories associated with the Emperors. There is a lot of room for a far more diverse Kralorela. 

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Just as the GRoY is a piece of religious propaganda, IMG so is the idea of a unified Kralori Empire under an unbroken succession of draconic emperors (except of course for Shang Hsa (mhnba). The folk religions are downtrodden and unrecognised (officially) remnants of previous pantheons, hints of the Vithelan gods and anti-gods are to be found, especially on the borders, mystic movements from across time and before the Dawn abound.  Oh yeah, and the mandarins and ambitious others follow the imperial cult of draconic emperors. 

I do love unnecessary complication 😇

Edited by Ali the Helering
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3 hours ago, davecake said:

I agree. Darudism is the official religion - while I've got no urge to revive the RQ3 game mechanics, a bit of an awkward hybrid of draconic mysticism and something rather more materialistic and practical, even sorcerous, while masquerading as yet another folk religion for the purpose of collecting power from the populace? Currently it really does seem quite EWFish - and this could, in fact, be a post-Godunya innovation, Godunya having been involved in the EWF. 

I would rather say that Darudism is the officials' religion, and sort of the umbrella path to the afterlife (the Book of the Dead function of the Dragon Emperor to ferry the souls from the waiting place to ascension upon his utuma).

3 hours ago, davecake said:

But NiangMao seems more orthodox passive mysticism in the Eastern style, Metsyla kind of Nysalor-ish but without the Chaos, and Thalurzni draconic mysticism mixed with sorcery and alchemy in a way that seems overtly modelled on Esoteric Taoism but can certainly be more Gloranthacized at some point. And that is just mysticism, with a first pass within the stories associated with the Emperors. There is a lot of room for a far more diverse Kralorela. 

There is plenty of theism, animism and sorcery in Kralorela, all with its cults or schools or animal totems, and with its semi-acculturated invaders.

The case of xenophobia is overstated, IMO. Foreigners having undergone a minimal acculturation are tolerated.

Most of the Kralori sages predate Daruda by a dynasty or three. They aren't (or haven't been) draconic in origin (unless you reckon that Wild Man and Allgiver are high eastern deities equal to dragons).

If Kralori subscribe to a thesis of multiple souls similar to those of central Genertela, then a distributed afterlife is possible. If that's the case, then the departing emperor will only be responsible for ascending the Darudic soul of a deceased individual.

 

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On the Four Occupations thing - there are two Kralorelas, The Empire, and What Is Not The Empire. The Empire is designed, defined, constructed and administered according to the Rites of Shavaya. 

The Empire consists of Villages and Cities. Villages consist of Farmers that grow rice (and other food, but especially rice), that supports Cities. Cities consist of Artisans who make things, and Traders who trade things. In the centre of the city (which is a square) is an inner walled complex, which is full of mandarins, who rule. The rest is hierarchy. A group of cities has a bigger city, which had an Exarch. Above the Exarch are the Arch Exarchs (three real, some divine), and the Emperor. A perfect system, all laid out. That is how Shavaya describes the Empire, so that is what The Empire is. 

Everything else is a superfluous flaw, no matter how necessary. Including anyone who performs work that is not included in this scheme, anyone who lives in a different way, etc. 

It’s also notable that the mandarins are included in this scheme, even though the true examination system was not created until Emperor Vashanti, and also there is essentially zero evidence that pre-Darkness Kralorelan civilisation was draconic/Darudist in any way (they just refer to some early Emperor/gods as dragons that everyone else does not), so what the Rites of Shavaya refer to as mandarins are clearly very different to the modern mandarins.

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5 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Just as the GRoY is a piece of religious propaganda, IMG so is the idea of a unified Kralori Empire under an unbroken succession of draconic emperors (except of course for Shang Hsa (mhnba).

Totally. Emperors pre-Daruda don’t appear to be draconic at all, for one thing. 

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Speculation/Invention - when Thalurzni expels the Four Wrongs as I call the (Shadow Cancer, Earth Eater, etc), he actually judges all those who follow those paths, and some are not expelled. There are those who are not expelled, but allowed to remain within the Empire but under constant suspicion - these are those who are present in the Empire, but outside the Four Occupations and thus not true citizens. 

My first draft is:

The World of Fire is the martial world (roughly intended to be equivalent to the Chinese trope of jhianghu, though literally switching elements), and includes both good soldiers (good because they acknowledge the Minister of Fire, including all soldiers of the Empire), but also other warriors. In theory also includes Teshnos, and is associated with the South

The World of Water, which is the world of sensuality and sex, though also literally the oceans, so includes both brothels etc (in some places literally on boats), bath houses, etc and entertainers. Also the Zabdamar, and is associated with the East. 

The World of Earth is the world of untamed nature, and includes hunters, anyone who lives in wilderness, also the hsunchen, and is associated with the West. 

The World of Darkness is the world of ignorance and criminals, and includes both workers at jobs so unskilled and gross no citizen would want them (E.g. waste disposal), and career criminals who flourish at night. Bodkartu etc are the ‘good’ version, protecting good citizens by controlling criminals. Associated with Ignorance and the North.

offered as a speculation, please critique both the idea and the detail. 

Also, intended too be Kralori self-justification, not reflecting the reality of anything at all, really. 

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42 minutes ago, davecake said:

Totally. Emperors pre-Daruda don’t appear to be draconic at all, for one thing. 

Are some "solar" though? Or are some things we call "solar" now part of them?

Starting with their persistence seems a natural way to go. Separately I forgot about this.

hykimi.png.c1f71e81148d2df61eb46cd7d8c10695.png

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14 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Are some "solar" though? Or are some things we call "solar" now part of them?

 

Well, the Pelorians (Or was it Nochet Lhankor Mhy Sages?) certainly seem to think so, equating the descent of TarnGatHa and downwards with the emanationist ideas of Aether, Yelm, and so forth. Being a foreign interpretation it's obviously not reliable.

It'd be interesting to see how the Kralorelans themselves - at various points in time - saw these beings.

Comparisons to still-Vithelan East Isles would be interesting too. Vith may be compared to Yelm (or was it Aether? I forget), but his depiction in Revealed Mythologies gives him a dark side too. If this is a depiction from Time, then that could be explained as the sun during night or something, but if from before, then it might not be so easily translateable, especially since Vith is explicitly depicted as a god that both practices mysticism himself, and accepts theistic offerings from his lower kin.

The degree to which early Kralorelans held similar or related beliefs, and the degree to which some of that has survived the Draconization of Kralorela could be fertile ground of creativity, but then again we hardly know much about the East Isles deeper lore either.

Speculation: The Kralorelan "Draconization" is their equivalent of I Fought We Won, the survival secret (this might be incompatible with how Kralorelan sources seem to almost ignore the Darkness though).
 

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Based on what Greg once said about there being fewer gods than everybody thinks and Jeff's incorporation of this in Gos of Glorantha (ie Elmal and Antirius are forms of Yelmalio or that Buserian is a form of Lhankor Mhy), my current thinking is as follows:

TarnGatHa: ur-dragon cult.  An associate of other dragon emperor cults that provides them with draconic powers.

HeenMaroun.  Suppressed solar nobility due to disgraceful actions in the war against Sheng Seleris. Its magics can be obtained by other Emperor cults through associate worship.

Metsyla: Kralori Yelmalio.  Meditative priests and no rune lords.  Widely considered useless.

Vashanti: Kralori Lhankor Mhy.  God of the Mandarins and most prominent of the Imperial Cults.  Threw the skull of Atyar somewhere eastward (Treak Markhor may have been a Vashanti). Saved the world through the web of righteous knowledge which even ignorant barbarians admit is the case although they worship the spider).  Believe they represent the acme of Kralori sophistication and all prior and subsequent forms are flawed.

Daruda: A shamanic cult.  Deeply embarrassing to other sophisticated Kralori (a RW parallel is the Manchu dynasty which claimed to be orthodox Chinese in their Chinese documents but make shamanic oaths in their Manchu documents).  Moved along wherever possible.

Vayobi: Kralori Humakt/Yanafal.

Godunya: mixture of EWF and God Learner Sorcery.  Although potent (It's that Mastery Rune!), its lack of ethics (not a reproach on the Emperor!  Perish the thought from your very mind!! ) and *whispers softly* foreign origins make it harmful to the moral fibre of most Kralori.  Practiced by eunuchs whose cruel rapacious nature only confirms the standard judgment and by unscrupulous Kralori.

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2 hours ago, metcalph said:

Based on what Greg once said about there being fewer gods than everybody thinks

I don't suppose you remember when he said this? His Cambellian Monomyth phase, his Post-Modern phase or another entirely?

The answer could change the implicit understanding completely. 

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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

What does it even mean for one god to be the same god as another god?

For one thing, it makes heroquests to gain additional powers work very differently.

If your mountain-god has no special "Shield Stuff" in his myths, but that other culture's mountain-god does, and they turn out to be the same... then you have a hq about hidden paths and identity and self-discovery.

If they're different gods, you may need a hq about mugging the other one for his powers (ZZ / Hill of Gold style) or sneaking in and stealing them (Orlanth / Sandals of Darkness style), etc.

For another thing, it makes their followers into natural allies... once they see each other as worshipping the same god!

Etc...

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On 8/3/2019 at 8:22 AM, davecake said:

Historical China has a wide diversity of ethnicities. Fantasy China and Kralorela are both conservative monocultures. I agree that one of the best ways to make Kralorela Better is to make it clearer that the image of a Darudist Imperial monoculture is propaganda - and reveal the internal diversity in different parts of Kralorela. 

For what it's worth-- we've only explored Northern Shiyang so far, but we've already found three different human cultures:

  1. People of Ignorant descent living under Kralori rule. Some of them are OK with that, some others resent it, some others mind their own business. They worship the monstrous demon who lives below Tzu Ling.
  2. Kralori of various clans and origins. Mostly worship Kralori deities but some of them worship other deities eg Thrunhin Da
  3. The Untouchables. They speak Kralori but don't belong to any of the Kralori clans. They clean the city and handle the dead. They live in their own quarter where they herd giant insects. They worship Gorakiki.

Plus we have the following non-humans:

  1. The Slug-Men†, who act as intermediaries between the Kralori and the Ignorants,
  2. Trollkin (mostly slaves)
  3. Sentient cats‡
  4. Merfolk in the river

† inspired by https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/144820/YoonSuin?language=en
‡ inspired by https://imagecomics.com/comics/series/monstress

Edited by GianniVacca
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48 minutes ago, g33k said:

For one thing, it makes heroquests to gain additional powers work very differently.

If your mountain-god has no special "Shield Stuff" in his myths, but that other culture's mountain-god does, and they turn out to be the same... then you have a hq about hidden paths and identity and self-discovery.

If they're different gods, you may need a hq about mugging the other one for his powers (ZZ / Hill of Gold style) or sneaking in and stealing them (Orlanth / Sandals of Darkness style), etc.

For another thing, it makes their followers into natural allies... once they see each other as worshipping the same god!

I'm unconvinced, but this is drifting off-topic, so I'll be brief. If you worship Elmal, you couldn't do the Yelmalio Hill of Gold (nor could the Yelmalians do Elmal Guards the Stead), nor is there any reason to think you'd be on good terms with Yelmalians (probably the opposite). Going by the real world, people who in theory worship the same god but with serious theological differences tend to hate each other worse than people worshiping completely different divinities. Heretics are far, far worse than pagans.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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10 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I'm unconvinced, but this is drifting off-topic, so I'll be brief. If you worship Elmal, you couldn't do the Yelmalio Hill of Gold (nor could the Yelmalians do Elmal Guards the Stead), nor is there any reason to think you'd be on good terms with Yelmalians (probably the opposite). Going by the real world, people who in theory worship the same god but with serious theological differences tend to hate each other worse than people worshiping completely different divinities. Heretics are far, far worse than pagans.

If and I do mean if one was feeling in a sufficiently God Learnery mood, one could claim that Elmal Guards the Stead is part of the myth of the Hill of Gold, specifically Day 4: the Summit. (Going from Arcane Lore's version of the quest.)

The Hill of Gold in this case is Kero Fin, the great mountain, the foes Elmal faces are the Chaos Parasites/various entities of disease. Even the start of the quest is based on the ancient feud of Yelmalio and Orlanth, but instead of a fight they both hand over a prize willingly. (Orlanth's Shield is given to Elmal, while Elmal gives his liege the Lightning Spear.)

The reason why people vanish if they go with the Teller of Lies at the end is actually because they successfully complete the quest and end up in Vanch, with no way home. That stage of the quest is deliberately failed by Elmali, who just keep their rewards.

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One perspective from a gloranthaphile newbie (compared to you grognards): I was impressed with the Dragon Pass and Prax stuff and dived into the Guide To Glorantha to learn more about the setting.
I was very disappointed with the depiction of Kralorela, because it seems like fantasy china/fantasy japan, which is something that doesn't impress me much. I had played in mythic asian settings in the past.

Glorantha is very refreshing and unique when it comes to Dragon Pass, Prax, the oceans, the elder races, the lunar empire etc., but Kralorela leaves me cold. At least its description in the Guide.

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5 hours ago, scott-martin said:
6 hours ago, davecake said:

Totally. Emperors pre-Daruda don’t appear to be draconic at all, for one thing. 

Are some "solar" though? Or are some things we call "solar" now part of them?

They used to be known as a Solar Empire. I certainly remember Kralorela being described as being Solar.

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I am not into any eastern stuff et all. Can´t stand it. 
Glorantha is no exception. The less Kralorela, Vormain the better IMHO. 

I like ideas of the Kingdom of Ignorance and Teshnos nevertheless. 

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Kralorela has always been the land of the dragonewts. An unbroken string of Inhuman Kings/Dragon Emperors should be assumed in order to enable the Kralori dragonewts a survival in strength, as opposed to the survival in weakness their Dragon Pass cousins suffered. Whether this unbroken string of emperors applied as much to the humans as it applied to the dragonewts is another question.

Did the dragonewts require an Inhuman King for re-hatching from their eggs prior to the arrival of Death?

The False Dragon Ring with Shang-Hsa MHNBC somehow failed to interfere negatively with the dragonewts. It looks like Shang-Hsa was a sufficiently draconic entity to allow continued rebirth of the dragonewts despite his other failings.

To my knowledge, Sheng Seleris never interfered with the dragonewts of Hum Chang and Fanzai. (Neither is there much evidence of Sheng doing anything with or about the Bridges of Godunya.)

So how are the Kralori humans tied to the emperors?

There is an old theory that the Kralori humans are descendants of dragon hsunchen, but that may very well be a God Learner fallacy misunderstanding the Korgatsu rites of the eastern Hsunchen.

All Korgatsu hsunchen are dragon hsunchen. (Hykimi are Serpent Brothers, Fiwan follow the Horned Serpent Amuron, who is the Namahs of the Pamalt pantheon, or possibly his fetch.) The False Dragon Ring apparently takes the approach that a (reverse-engineered) Hsunchen-like transformation into a dragon (or at least a very advanced dragonewt) is secret to how the emperor rules over the humans.

 

Several modern Kralori subgroups bear clear relationships to extant or former hsunchen populations, creating significant variety in the Kralori descended from this kind of ancestry. It is possible that Daruda integrated a great mass of former hsunchen into the imperial population. That would make him something like an apostate shaman (but then, that's a fair description of Sheng Seleris, too).

 

 

 

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Personally, I don't think we have just a single parallel for Kralorela in China.

We have China through its ages, with lots of quite different dominant ethnicities. And a lot of uninformed impressions of westerners of China.

And yes, I am going to ignore the upset about cultural appropriation here. All of Glorantha is about cultural appropriation where it isn't wildly original, and even those keep appropriating elements from cultures that never were asked. Take for instance the Praxians with their plains American native loans - about as politically incorrect as you can get. But then, people are invested on the Praxians (which keeps astonishing me, frankly - in my Glorantha they are a side effect comparable to the Ducks, established, but not a place I would base my gaming on).

 

Kublai Khan's china as reported by Marco Polo is the source for many a fantasy china. This in itself isn't the most typical period of China, although a group of horse nomads ascending to Emperorhood wasn't unique at all. Kublai Khan combined the unparalleled might of the Mongolian horse armies referred to as hordes with the conquered bureaucracy trained to worship a powerful ordering hand.

This makes me wonder whether Kublai's Cathay would be a good model for Sheng Seleris's empire. True, this is usurping the Mongol trope on our Pentans, which have been portrayed as something closer to the Yamnayan successor cultures in the Pontic steppe in recent years.

Sheng Seleris has been demonized by his opponents, and is about to be demonized again by Argrath - the very fellow who is going to bring him back from a deeper Hell than Arkat and Talor ever experienced (and they, too, had been imprisoned by an illuminated and chaos-using empire). There are sides to Sheng or his minions which should make us wary about accusing him to have brought an era of invigorated prosperity to those who accepted his rule, but on the whole, something like this appears to have been the case.

 

Another major source for our uninformed Western impression of mythical china comes from the kung fu action movies churned out by Hongkong. Leaving aside all the ones playing in modern times, there are many set in a historical context. And apparently, the target audience isn't necessarily the western market, as you don't really see dubbed versions of these in your cinemas. Wuxia movies are a fringe market in western media, although a well-beloved one by its fans. I don't recall Marco Polo reporting anything notable about chinese martial arts, he was way too busy admiring their technology, food, and administration. What military and martial exploits he described was that of the mongol rulers, like their postal system.

Yet there are dojos (what's that Japanese term doing here) of martial artists all over Kralorela, and for some reason quite a lot of those martial arts involve weaponless combat.

A friend of mine has given me a couple of textbooks from his Wing Tsun martial arts classes (which he practices now in the lowest teacher grades, last things I heard). Yes, that's the same school that Bruce Lee branched off when he included opera styles in his movies.

 

Another source for Asians looking at their old history that is open for the uninformed Westerner are mangas, manhwas or whatever else they are called locally. They vary as strongly in their choice of artistic styles as do American or European comic books/Graphic novels, but there are quite a few going for quite realistic depiction of people and using mythological themes unrelated to Western or D&D influences. (Those abound, too...)

 

I don't think that mythologies can be taught by anything but immersion. The uninformed Westerner with a fascination for mythical Cathay has a few avenues to draw the sources for his immersion from. Hong Kong movies and their spill-over to Hollywood are a common avenue. The travels of Marco Polo and all the literature spawned off from his book, and the archaeological reconstruction of his observations are a common avenue. Our museums with exhibitions like the terracotta army (which doesn't do a very good job of conveying the context, IMO) are an avenue, though heavily tinted by their Imperialist origins in private collections of cultural appropriation. Mangas, as mentioned.

 

Does Kralorela need real world influences other than China? I don't think so. It already has Gloranthan influences that are wildly different from anything any version of these Chinas have, like the Hsunchen origin of the population. Can it do with less China? Probably yes, although its role in exchange with the God Learners is pretty much this, as may be the case for Vormain.

I have a somewhat different problem: leaving aside whether there are traces of Cathay in Kralorela or (even less so) traces of Nippon in Vormain, we are dealing with another stratified Celestial/Solar Empire here.  Vith is somewhat interesting as he represents both the Upper, Celestial Sky and the Lower, Underworld Sky in a single entity. None of the human successor states, whether Kralorela, Vormain or the greater East Isles leader cultures, embrace that dualism or transcendence of that dualism.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Joerg said:

that Wild Man and Allgiver

Ebe the Wild Man is Grandfather Mortal, Allgiver is Uleria. 

The Runes assigned in the Guide are usually a dead giveaway. 

TarnGatha is both Aether and Vith - Vith is Aether as the source of mysticism, in the same way Bamat is Pamalt as the lord of shamanism. But with such an abstract entity it hardly matters. 

HeenMeroun is just as it says in RM - Yelm as ruler, equivalent to Murharzarm. Which is the same as Govmeranen. I don’t think there is anything draconic at all (at least, no more than any other deity). Pre-Darkness Kerundarath is solar and mystic, but not draconic, except only in that the modern Darudists refer to them as dragons to imply a continuity that never existed. 

Metsyla is essentially Nysalor but not Gbaji - God Time Nysalor, uncorrupted. 

Shavaya is Shavaya - he is uniquely Kralorelan, because he is the Culture hero of Kralorela and the god of the Empire (compare Heort) 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Speculation: The Kralorelan "Draconization" is their equivalent of I Fought We Won, the survival secret (this might be incompatible with how Kralorelan sources seem to almost ignore the Darkness though).

I agree. 

Sekever worships the Black Sun, who is a god of Illusion among other things. Like the Adpara story, this is about mystic insight overcoming Illusion, and thus it possible to not just survive, but transcend, a hostile and deceitful universe. 

And I don't think they really do ignore the Darkness, the land is devastated and Sekever rules over all - it is just they focus on the mystic not the physical.  And the Kralorelan sources we have are largely from a modern Kralorelan perspective, and so very slanted - sure, the sun disappears and the land is invaded and everyone dies and the land is full of walking corpses and monsters, and the Sun doesn't rise again until 5 Emperors later - but think of the spiritual development, and be grateful!

It is as if GROY was written about the glorious spiritual developments going on inside the Ice Age Dome.

And one way of interpreting the 'Mikaday walks unknown among the people' story, and the odd idea of an Emperor who is supposedly about laws and Imperial civilisation, yet has the Illusion rune (in an Empire seemingly quite opposed to it) and seems to spend most of his time sneaking about, fathering illegitimate dragon sons and such, is that the Empire is very weak and he is establishing institutions but without the power to enforce them. 

Another way of interpreting this is that Sekever represents Illusion, Thalurzni represents fighting Illusion with logical knowledge and practical warfare, Mikaday represents a synthesis - the Empire respects mystical Truth, but actual real physical truth? No so much. Not sure if this is true or not, but I'm sure there is a sect somewhere that believes it - might be a secret doctrine of Can Shu. 

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

Kralorela has always been the land of the dragonewts. An unbroken string of Inhuman Kings/Dragon Emperors should be assumed in order to enable the Kralori dragonewts a survival in strength, as opposed to the survival in weakness their Dragon Pass cousins suffered. Whether this unbroken string of emperors applied as much to the humans as it applied to the dragonewts is another question.

There is pretty limited evidence of dragonewts in Kralorela outside Hum Chang island, so Kralorela as the land of dragonewts overstates things a lot. There are more dragonewts there, but whether you think it is a survival in strength or in weakness depends on whether you think Kralorela is ruled by humans using dragon magic who also control the dragonewts, or if you think the dragonewts have subverted a human empire to protect them. Jury is out on that. But which ever you think, there is still no evidence that that arrangement was in place prior to Daruda. Daruda could just as much be a Darkness survival story for the dragonewts as well as the Kralori. 

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