Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

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Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

Post  Admin on Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:56 am

Just to get things started ! Very Happy

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Re: Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

Post  seneschal on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:37 am

OK ... so where do we get started? The Akamen Empire is a continent-spanning civilization that has absorbed but not homogenized the many cultures it has conquered. It has an official religion (Mazdaism) and three official languages (Akamen, Hazarian, Oromedon). Ethnic Akamen, descendants of equestrian raiders who overthrew the former Oromedon Empire that had ruled the Land of the Sun, form the warrior caste that runs the government. The Magi, the Mazdan priestly caste, oversee the empire's morals and religious life and have a lot of political clout, too. The artisan caste, which is pretty much everyone else, performs the labor that makes daily life possible. Ironically, now that they're civilized, the Akamen have to fend off northern horse-riding barbarians themselves as well as thwart the schemes of the rival Tarkasian Empire to their east. These duties have kept them too busy to pay much attention to what those scruffy fishermen/pirates on their extreme western border have been doing, until now.

The Mineans, meanwhile, have traded at the Akamen port of Kandaria (particularly for horses during the Umbrian War) but haven't gone much further inland. They tend to assume (incorrectly) that opulent Ishtar is the kingdom's capital and that the local satrap is king. The Desert kingdom invaded the Land of the Sun several times, but that was long before the Akamen took over the region. So far, they haven't perceived the King of Kings' South Sea canal project as a threat (the stated purpose of the canal is to facilitate trade). The Tritonians have had the most dealings with the Akamen Empire and are helping to construct a trading fleet in Kandaria. The sea lords dream of marching inland to seize Ishtar and claim the Land of the Sun as their own, not realizing that it is a prosperous but minor province of a much larger entity.

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Edonite Scripts

Post  andypearce on Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:18 am

Going back in time to the beginning of the Age of Magic (the Second Age). What kinds of government & society existed then in Kandaria? Kandaria, it seems, was the main city of the Edonites. I assume that - at this time at least - the Edonite culture was quite advanced. If their development parallelsd their 'real-world' equivalents, then as well as being great mariners, the Edonites would have been the inventors of the first true alphabet - as opposed to the hieroglyphs of the Desert Kingdom, or the cuniform script of the Hazarians. The Edonite alphabet - one guesses - would have been a consonant-only script, with vowels addded in later as diacretic marks and accents. The Edonite script would be transplanted to the Minean lands, and also to Midia. It was the Mineans who first added vowels to this script, making it 'truly alphabetic' (at least in the way that our modern Western world would understand it). The Midians later (perhaps in the 3rd Age) adopted this Minean convention, as also the Umbrians & Tritonians. In more conservative Kandaria, the Edonites persisted in their original 'consonant-only' script - which was still a considerable advance in comprehensibility on the High Khem hieroglyphs still employed in the Desert Kingdom.

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Re: Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

Post  seneschal on Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:40 am

Yes, the Edonites would have been the equivalent of the Phoenician/Philistine/Canaanite coastal civilization in our world. Lots of cultural influence from the old Proteusian civilization, and the Anakites (Minotaur No. 3, Page 36) hail from there. They would have started out as independent colonies/city-states and eventually been united under kings who battled rival monarchs from the powerful Hazarian Empire to the east.

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Re: Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

Post  andypearce on Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:01 pm

Okay, Edonite religion (which clearly would be a major influence on Midian religion in its formative period): I understand that the old Edonite pantheon (later partly merged with those of other Land of the Sun cultures, then overwritten by the Akamen Mazden religion), as developed during the Age of Myth, consisted of four main deities: Asherah (Mother Earth goddess, fond of poles - the wooden types, not central Europeans); Ishtar/Astarte (Wanton goddess of love, equivalent of Aphrodite); Baal (god of rain & agriculture, brother & lover of Astarte); and Moloch (sinister god of human, esp. child, sacrifice, possibly the Titan Kronos in another guise, possibly an ancient Minotaur god - almost certainly not native to the Edonite region, but certainly widely worshipped - and feared - there by the beginning of the Age of Magic.

Is this a reasonable summary?

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Re: Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

Post  seneschal on Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:53 pm

Yes, with what I've gotten so far. There's also a Mazdan bull/minotaur tie-in; one of their gods/heroes is protecting a sacred bull which will be sacrificed at the End of Time. Stealing the bull or killing it early would play havoc with Akamen cosmology. As I've mentioned to Oliver Legrand, there are a lot of other local deities to choose from. The ones I've described so far as just a representative sample.

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Re: Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

Post  andypearce on Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:23 pm

Excellent. I've taken your four gods/godesses from the Edonite pantheon (there may be other minor deities, as you've suggested to Olivier, but having these four as the 'main' ones gives a good starting point), and I've sketched out (see the Thoughts & Facts about Midia thread) how your 'Edonite Four' could have evolved into my 'Midian Three' - the critical point is that Moloch ends up being sidelined/expelled from the Midian pantheon - but he's still hovering there in the background! This allows the whole Midian (pseudo-Carthaginian) child-sacrifice issue to be treated from several angles. Is it just libellous propaganda on the part of Midia's enemies? Is it something the Midians did in the past, but are ashamed of now, and utterly repudiate today? Is it something that a secret cult of Moloch-worshippers continues (much to the horror of most Midians if they found out?). Or - shock horror - is it still going on fairly blatently, so that even though most Midians know nothing of it's full horrors, they're the ones who are really in serious denial - the 'yes we suspected something bad was happening, but we never would have guessed how bad' syndrome.

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Re: Basic Thoughts & Facts About the Land of the Sun

Post  seneschal on Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:18 pm

Yeah, the imperial authorities near Kandaria will have to deal with similar Moloch issues. Only they're coming in as outsiders trying to deal with the crimes without offending Edonite religious sensibilities and touching off a local revolt.

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