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Author Topic: Krean Society (Like the concept so far?)  (Read 4840 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 09 April 2006, 14:43:00 »

Do you like the concept so far? Do you think it fits this tribe? I need to know before I go on elaborating :)  Thanks!




A synopsis:

- General Notes on presentation
- Origins
- Organization (class, gender, ethinicity, age, other factors)
- Social Hierarchy (classes, interactions between)
- Sense of Community
- Family Structure
- Social Issues (Social deviance, disability, minorities, ?)

Edited by: Coren FrozenZephyr at: 4/13/06 21:43
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« Reply #1 on: 10 April 2006, 03:34:00 »

KREAN SOCIETY


General Notes on presentation & method
Many of the social traits which are considered by scholars nowadays as characteristically Krean were formed during the millennium of 5700-5400 BS. It is essential therefore that the reader acquaints him/herself with the political situation of the time. It is our belief that remembering the socio-economic circumstances from which the first Krean culture arose would greatly assist in the appreciation of the subtler aspects of the social issues mentioned in this paper. It may also present a plausible rationale for the Krean idea of what the mores of society entail. Further, the comprehension of certain historical facts will help accentuate the nuances in the Krean perspective Sarvonians often find difficult to fully identify with and are as such frequently misinterpreted. These pointers have also been included in several subsections where the Compendium felt the need for in depth explanation.

Where appropriate, we have attempted to apply a comparative approach throughout the entry. Contrasts have been made as well as similarities with other tribes of the Krath Empire emphasized at several places in the text.

It is hoped that all these stylistic features will enable the reader to place this entry in its socio-political context rather than inspect various features of the Krean culture in isolation.


Origins
The 5700-5500BS era marks a period of continuing disarray for the early Krean men. The Peninsula of Shár is in great turmoil; constantly skirmishes erupt between its inhabitants, oftentimes resulting with a tribe fighting several others all at once, not to mention numerous conflicting factions within.

We find the Lillivear and the Aestera, the two tribes that will soon unite to form the Krean people, in a similar state of chaos. Five relentless decades of war has left both weak, their societies fragmented. The scene reflects a very frail composition on either side. The state of affairs in both kingdoms seems to belie the then-incontestable advancement of the two societies compared to the other inhabitants of the Peninsula. Everyday more of their realms is left in ruins from the endless and uncompromising battles between themselves. The continuing and increasingly frequent raids spurred by the jealousy of the other tribes have also taken a heavy toll. It is not long before the unpleasant realization strikes that unless they, the Aestera and the Lillivear, unite, neither will survive this most atrocious of ages.

So, the first fact to commit to memory here is that it was this sheer multitude of skirmishes and prolonged atmosphere of insecurity rather than a single major war that brought the Aestera and the Lillivear together.

As soon as they unite, the other kingdoms of the Peninsula immediately realize just how strong these two tribes would be together. Out of a fear of extermination, warring communities all over Shár are forced to join forces to move against the Krean Twin Realm for a final strike. It is this epic struggle recounting the death of the first Krean High Queen, Mseria of the Aestera thatis mentioned under the timetable in the tribe entry.

In the end the Krean win, but this victory, though definitive, comes with very heavy consequences. The mega-scale war leaves the already distraught Krean kingdom terribly impoverished. The departure of some of the most talented individuals of the Lillivear who rejected the idea of uniting with their nemesis, the Aestera, on the eve of the colossal war the other tribes of the Peninsula threatened to wage against the Twin Realm had also traumatized the fledgling Krean state. This splinter group (the Orihirim) which separated itself from the Aestera Kreankra Lillivear (full name for the “Krean Men” meaning “the Aestera and the Lillivear United as One”) under the leadership of Salohar the Bright would be treated for centuries to follow with great suspicion and enmity by the Krean.

This Orihirim issue, also tangential to an entry on culture, is an important historical fact to remember as it helps explain the why Krean had such a tense relationship with the legendary Grand-Karoth Dearan Asaen (to the point that he admitted to feeling like an outcast in his own society) instead of welcoming him, the first and only Krean Emperor of the Krath Empire, with open arms. When the emperor introduced his (in)famous Dearan Revolution, a massive collection of reforms based primarily on logic and his interpretation of the Orihirim socio-political utopia, his scheme met riots in the Twin Realm. The Krean, already upset by the Emperor’s relationship with General Celeres, the commander of his elite forces, were outraged when they found out that he proposed to restructure their society in several areas after the model of their ages long rival, the tribe that had betrayed them when their help was most needed.

To continue with the story from where we left after this digression, the people that were once affluent Lillivear and Aesterans can no longer afford to spend resources for the finer moments of life let alone find the funds to improve the splendour of their kingdom.

It may have already occurred to some of our attentive readers that this accumulation of misery might have prompted the Krean’s extreme dislike of open warfare, the main reason they are regarded as pacifists by outside societies. The newly forged tribe was sick of “wasted resources”, which of course comprised not only of fiscal but also human expedients, and the unnecessary diversion of their energy called by war efforts. In less diplomatic words, the Krean (of the time) were too into comfort and the enjoyment of life and its aesthetic pleasures to sacrifice their lives and invest time in warfare.

The following centuries see the rise of the first Krean Empire, which within several years controls a good three fifths of the peninsula. A key point to note here about the Krean society and its culture is that they did not bring the other tribes under their rule out of a passion for conquest, like the later Krathaszar, or the incentive of martial glory, like would be expected from the Sarvonian Erpheronians. The Krean motivations can be put into layman’s terms as follows: If these tribes are left unattended, doubtlessly more wars will crop up. Hostilities are bad for trade – unless one is in the armament sector, which we (un)fortunately are not. No trade means no prosperity. No prosperity means no riches for luxuries and works of art. No luxuries and no art? That simply cannot be allowed to happen! Also, it is not very easy to fully appreciate (wall) painting when there are arrows shooting out from them.

The tribes of the Peninsula had already enfeebled one another with centuries of war and famine. Even after the Aestera and the Lillivear united into a single people and defeated them, they continue to battle and raid each other. Now with the two major powers of the Peninsula of Shár working together instead of against each other, overpowering the other tribes does not take too great an effort.

Commerce blooms under the exceedingly precise and orderly rule of the Krean Empire and Krean society flourishes beyond imagination. The affluence of the age facilities an even greater refinement in the already cultured society of the Krean. Soon a culture of sophistication (notice I resisted the urge to say ‘cosmopolitan veneer’ :p        ) and the fine arts spring into existence in the Twin Kingdom. The highly civilized Krean community now regards many of the customs and practices of the other tribes as barbaric and approaches them with approaches them with a certain degree of scorn and antipathy in their dealings. The rest of the Peninsula gets alienated from everything to do with the Krean and their “civilization”. They hold disdain to be too high a price to pay for a flourishing social order and within a few centuries the 1st Krath Empire, who has had enough of that air of superiority the Krean (rightfully) wore all the time – even without realizing it, takes over.

Now let us rewind the timeline a few hundred years to that era of turmoil when the Aestera and the Lillivear existed as separate, warring tribes to more meticulously analyse certain aspects of the later Krean society:

Magnificently spectacular (does this make sense?) and terrible multi-layered battles (1) flare between the two exceptionally magic-oriented communities. Multiple shards of ice speed through several strata to strike with deadly accuracy a fleeing Lillivear diplomat, a small earthquake causes a number of companies of soldiers rushing down levels on a gracefully spiralling Aesteran staircase to collapse on top of each other, the quiet river suddenly roars and the group of priestesses hurrying across a grey, stone bridge are sucked into the animated waters, numerous vines simultaneously sprout around the ancient trees on the nearby banks and rush to the priestesses’ rescue, a few dashes away poisonous thorns flower on the ground piercing the feet of the archers running to the battlefront…

Examining the situation form two distinct angles will provide us valuable insight into the composition of the later Krean councils. At one hand we have the Lillivear with their powerful priestesses of the Earth Goddess Ankriss and at the other the brilliant mage of the Aestera.

Let us first examine the Lillivear: Here the women wield the greater magical power as impeccably trained priestesses and as such are given the responsibility of protecting their realm. This arrangement also makes perfect sense since the priestesses are the only healers among the Lillivear and thus can heal their comrades as they fight at the battlefront. Consequently, the men become engrossed in daily work. Since the women cannot both fight and sit in the councils the men are also in charge of all matters and decisions concerning the state – trade and foreign policy being the predominant affairs under discussion.

Now, our focus shall shift to the Aesteran communities across the River Amaris. On this side exceptionally talented mages (men) hold the greater skill and thus the finer control. Hence, the logical conclusion is for the Aesteran men to constitute the ‘military’. The majority of the women carry the burden of attending to affairs of the state. The Aestara (NOTE SPELLING), the female water priestesses of Arlea, serve as the healers. As a natural outcome of their work, they often function as the bridge between the wounded & deceased on the battlefield and their aggrieved families & the society “back at home”. Out of this duty will be born the unique Aesteran occupation of a “Soother”.

When one puts the two pieces of glass together to assemble a looking-glass into the later Krean society, the following scene comes into view: Though there are exceptions, in the now-united government of the two tribes, one sees Lillivear men and Aesteran woman.

The Krean society’s relaxed attitude towards extramarital sex and marriage after the death of a partner as well as their oppressive and rather ruthless approach to homosexuality which sharply contrasts with their extremely liberal mindset on almost every other issue, the Compendium asserts, is a legacy of the multitudinous wars of this age. All these, we suggest, were adaptations the Krean society had to undergo to compensate the reluctance of Krean females to bear more than 3 children (2) whereas the culmination of female fertility was celebrated as a blessing in other societies and women gladly bore in excess of a dozen children in their lifetime.


Footnotes:
1. The ancient Krean forest cities of this time- as many of their later towns under the Krath Empire – consisted of several “echelons”. These twirled in a dazzling symmetry from the forest ground around the GARGANTUAN trees up to the clear sky above the canopy. So: traffic flowed not only on horizontal but vertical & diagonal axes as well (simultaneously). This is why Krean maps are characteristically three-dimensional.

2. This figure is reduced to 1 in the (relatively) poor families who feared they could not otherwise support their offspring properly, and 2 in the upper echelons of society, who feared any more would prompt quarrels over the family fortune.


Organization
Sarvonian scholars judge the prime organization principle of the Krean society to be an individual oriented meritocracy. An individual’s status within society is evaluated on his own personal merits. Of course the repute and wealth of a person’s family influences a fellow Krean’s opinion of him, however, lineage is not as pivotal as in many other human societies (contrast with the Sharosar, another human tribe of the Grand Krath Empire, for instance). The determining factor remains individual quality.

But what exactly do we mean by “merit”? Is this to say that Krean social relations revolved around an individual’s moral worth or even one’s physical prowess? Hardly. Based on Krean ideology, “merit” is best defined according to some measure of ability (or rather: ‘able-ness’). Intelligence, resourcefulness (the natural prerequisite of which is deemed by the Krean to be creativity), efficiency in performing the relevant task (education (primarily) and talent seen as the main contributing factors), and rationality feature as the predominant facets of this “able-ness”. Productivity and the capacity to create beauty in one’s work – though not strictly one of “form” like in the Zhunite culture – no matter the occupation are also essential elements of this concept of “merit”.

On the personal level learning is paramount to a Krean’s overall ‘merit’ or ‘worth’.  Enthusiasm and the quaintly Krean term “learning aptitude” are two crucial traits in this regard. Incidentally, “learning aptitude” is used by the Krean to represent the ability to absorb information and assimilate that knowledge into what the Krean call his “framework of association” from which he can later drawn upon to ‘create’.

On the grander scale (society at large) access to positions of power are also according to merit. Even the “High Queen” and the “High King”, the Heads of State of the Twin Realm are elected to their posts and as such cannot automatically transfer the title down the lineage. Appointments, especially in the government sectors, are oriented entirely towards finding the right person for the job – unless of course scheming, which the Krean are notorious for, is involved. What has to be understood here, however, is that these intrigues are also seen as a test of one’s abilities (“able-ness”) and thus suitability for the position. Of course some of our readers, especially those of Evalaris origins, might object at this point, alleging that wealth and family might effectively put one applicant at an advantage over another when plotting is in question. The Krean however, do not see this as an “unfair advantage”, regarding family and wealth instead as a part of one’s “assets” – important, yes, but not mandatory. If one, despite the relatively low standing and influence of his family, for instance is cunning enough to outmanoeuvre his opponents or is resourceful enough find a way to step around the plots and shift the playing field, there are absolutely no social restrictions to bar him from acquiring his desert.

It should be safe to claim that social hierarchy is thus structured mainly around career; one’s occupation is a significant mark of her ‘class’. Being a high-tier priestess (among which Healers, Growers & Dreamers are most revered), an architect-mage or occupying an important post for example is a sure way to command respect – and even voluntarily-offered preferential treatment! It should also be mentioned that unlike in many of our contemporary tribes, strict & highly specialized educational requisites existed for certain vocations in the Krean Twin Realm since as early as 4200 BS. Often one not only needs a certain level of knowledge but specific educational qualifications for the more ‘elevated’ vocations. One might write several tomes on the subject and yet may not stress enough the significance of education in a Krean society – so great indeed that many around the world today consider it to be an “obsession” with the Krean. Reflect on this interesting example: The valedictorian of the Academy of Sihitara at nineteen (who would still be a student and therefore technically without a vocation) would be treated with greater esteem than a member of one of the ‘ruling houses’ of the city.

It should be repeated over and over and over and over again until one feels the fact driven and engraved as an axiom into the flesh of one’s brain that THERE IS NO ARISTOCRACY AMONG THE KREAN. Titles such as “Lord”-“Lady” are in fact blatant mistranslations resulting from the fact that Tharian simply cannot offer exact equivalents for the 300+ designations not to mention the countless variations of each. Verbatim translations like “Ant Queen” or “Lavano (vanilla) Splendour” become parodies of the terms. When a conceptual approach is followed – as is usually the case, the closest substitutes become the terribly inadequate (not to mention misleading) “Lord” & “Lady”. Even these titles should be contemplated as ENTIRELY HONORIFIC – usually either bestowed upon individuals of great standing in their field or used by the public in praise/approbation of a particularly well-reputed family. (3) In the latter case, only those members of the House whom the public feels deserve the tribute would be entertained with the honorific. Of course as our readers surely appreciate what constitutes as the measure of ‘ought to have’ may change from person to person! At either instance no-one who does not wish to apply the relevant honorific would ever be obliged to – though, denying a person who has devoted an entire life to his work such meagre recognition is deemed to be awfully rude among the Krean.

[...]

Footnotes:
3) These are very complex for non-Krean and even after a lifetime of study may not be totally mastered. To illustrate the intricacy: The eleven year old daughter of the High Queen would be referred to in a conversation by her first name even by a commoner because she has not yet personally achieved anything worth acclaim. Similarly, the husband of the High Queen (which is frequently not the “High King”) does not directly get an own title. But even the so(and meaninglessly)-called “Crown Prince” is expected to salute even a lowly novice at the High Temple. A boy particularly successful in his studies might be greeted as ‘Lord’ by locals when his father walking beside him might not. A 40-year-old lady of House Asaen, one of the most respected Krean lineages although not the wealthiest, may never be called “Lady” in her lifetime whereas the wife of a rich merchant, who herself does not have any outstanding deeds in the public sphere, might be greeted and curtsied before as such because she is seen as a vital force behind her husband’s success. Yet again the entire family of an illustrious diplomat or a ‘genius’ artist might receive a “blanket honorific” from the citizens of his hometown…


Other Factors:
Wealth: Compared to the Orihirim, the Krean social philosophy becomes an amalgamation between principles of meritocracy and plutocracy. A Krean’s wealth is deemed to be a rather dependable sign of his “class” or refinement. The Krean possess an unshakable belief that their society is a true meritocracy – whether or not outsiders agree with this. They infer the correlation between wealth & achievement (or “merit”) from two angles:

1. Money provides the resources and therefore the possibility of achievement. Wealth, when properly harvested, gives that vital push indispensable for great accomplishments. Money removes obstacles, allowing one to focus more of his mental facilities on the task at hand. The Krean society believes in specialization: If your roof is leaking and you have the funds, you should not try to fix it yourself but hire a mason, the “expert” for that specific task, to carry out the repairs. An individual cannot be expected to do everything by himself. The larger and the more sophisticated a society grows the more complex become the needs and problems of its members. Consequently, the more elaborate (and thus difficult) the tasks assigned to particular groups within a society get. In a small fishing community a man might fish in the morning, build nets in the afternoon, school his children at night and do household repairs all by himself, but the same cannot hold true in a larger and more complicated community. The same mindset would lead to a diversion of energy and subsequently a loss in productivity in a city environment. A cook is there to cook; a cleaner is there to clean; and the lady of the house is there to oversee all the arrangements, making sure that the activities are completed in the most efficient manner. Money saves energy and hence, buys ‘time’. A well-off man, who does not have to worry about survival and constantly divert his energies into acquiring the basic conditions of human flourishment, has more personal resources left to himself and thus a greater potential to discover his true talent and let it shine. In so many words, it is more probable for a rich person to reach self-realization and contribute something of permanent value to the evolution of humanity than a poor husband who has to work four jobs (none of which by the way might parallel his gods-given skills).

2. The Krean trust that in their competitive, free-market society, the key to attaining wealth is merit (i.e. the wealthy are wealthy because they are successful [“meritorious”]). Either wealth facilitates accomplishment or accomplishment draws/earns wealth.

Merit is not solely a person’s individual assets but equally comprises the collective accumulation of generations. Family A, who is richer than Family B, might not have turned out any “prodigies” like the son of Family B, but has nevertheless deserved their better fortune because they have consistently produced successful offspring (‘successors’) generation after generation. Thus, through their “accumulated” merit Family A can triumph over Family B, notwithstanding the more gifted members of the current house of B. To put simply: In the Krean society wealth signifies merit (and therefore “class”) precisely because “accumulation of wealth” leads to ‘refinement’ and a consequent increase in the qualities of each generation.

Also, in a society where inherited attributes like “nobility” or “social ranks” are not allowed to turn into permanent impediments, wealth does not become a ‘constant’. Even the greatest of fortunes if managed poorly will eventually be consumed – and that can happen quite quickly too in competitive Krean communities…

Edited by: Coren FrozenZephyr at: 4/12/06 16:05
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #2 on: 11 April 2006, 14:56:00 »

Why does everything I write have to be so lengthy? I'm not even a third of the way through!

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"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #3 on: 12 April 2006, 06:20:00 »

Carlos is about to wake from his lunchtime -sleep, so no time to read it (I just started with the first paragraph). But I just wondered, how you will write when you are 27 or 37? ;)  Probably I won't understand anything! It  will be like the list of papers Jung Min's father has in the internet about his work - I didn't understand a single thing about what he is teaching and doing (He is professor for law and economics and co-dekan(?) on the most renown university in Japan in Osaka. )

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« Reply #4 on: 15 April 2006, 11:13:00 »

Looks ok so far, apart from a few things. You have a tendency to go in a "meta" state all throughout - like talking about your text as an "entry" (you should find something else for that - even "compendium entry" would sound better), or a few paranthesis pointing more towards the development process (that I guess you will eliminate in the final text). Also I think you should avoid using terms like "socio-economic" or "socio-political" - try to find other equivalents for them - perhaps even "utopia" (though the word is so deep rooted in our culture that I don't think it matters anymore, just like with saying "sun"). "Free market" is another problem - it breaks the immersion - as "socio-political" and "socio-economic" also do. Try to replace it with an equivalent, or use an explanatory sentence instead of the word.

It's hard for me to say something about the structure yet, because it's not finished. But at the moment, it looks a bit loose, and gives the impression that you might be able to use fewer words/sentences to express what you are trying to express. Anyway, this is only a feeling, as the entry is not done yet.

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« Reply #5 on: 15 April 2006, 14:05:00 »

That is very interesting Coren and quite good to read (in terms of understanding it the first time ;)  )
I agree with Smith
, that you should replace some words - the whole text looks a bit modern too me, I don't know, if it would be written like this in the middle ages.
Maybe you set you political introduction in paranthesis or choose a smaller font, so it is not so distracting from what you really want to tell. If somebody wants to skip this intro - ok, he will soon see, that he needs it and can go back.

For more detailed comments I need to reread it. And the Krean tribe entry first!
Maybe you should add (as a footnote), the basics of the two tribes?

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« Reply #6 on: 24 April 2006, 16:04:00 »

I have a problem with this sentence.

Now let us rewind the timeline would people living without any audio visual recording device use the word rewind a few hundred years to that era of turmoil when the Aestera and the Lillivear existed as separate, warring tribes to more meticulously analyse certain aspects of the later Krean society:

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« Reply #7 on: 01 August 2006, 22:21:07 »

Your section on wealth, although easy to understand, raises a few questions. If money comes from merit and merit comes from spending money how does one attain either without the other? Are people without merit and money simply not part of the society? Are all Krean either talented or Rich?

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« Reply #8 on: 11 March 2007, 07:14:47 »

Self-notes:

[1] What needs to be mentioned: Wealth ~ Merit because social norm is that

i) Enormous quantities of money are spent for education (not only academic, but especially the fine arts & sports) - especially the education of the next generation. So a continuous cycle of education > merit > wealth > education > merit.  Priorities for the expenditure of excess of earnings: 1 self-improvement/education 2 luxury 3 beauty

ii) People should spend their free time with a mind to improving themselves. So when money helps you 'buy' time by delegating mundane tasks, the social expectation is that you utilize that emancipated time to refine your potential, devoting your attention to your true calling


[2] Language needs to be sanded down from baroque excess to simple elegance. Take a red pen to offensive passages like "Sarvonian scholars judge the prime organization principle of the Krean society to be an individual oriented meritocracy" - reduction to: "The prime organizing principle of Krean society is individual oriented meritocracy" or "There is a consensus among Sarvonian scholars that Krean society is organized primarily around the principle of an individual oriented meritocracy"

[3] Comments to address:
- Xera (remove 'rewind' > need to fix ez-code first)
- Decipher
- Talia: introductory passage or footnote on the general characteristics of the two tribes
« Last Edit: 11 March 2007, 07:21:42 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: 12 March 2007, 05:01:48 »

'Rewind' is perfectly acceptable - for any society which uses or did use scrolls as part of their record-keeping system!

Greco-Roman culture would have been quite comfortable with the concept of 'rolling forward' or rolling back a passage, for example.  Don't know about the Krean....
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« Reply #10 on: 12 March 2007, 05:08:34 »

Ha ha that is very interesting Judith! I never thought of that :)
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"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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