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The Otherworld Project • View topic - Thoughts on Pyranism

Thoughts on Pyranism

Development of the project in general.
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Thoughts on Pyranism

Postby Vince » Fri May 04, 2012 8:38 pm

One religion we haven't heard much about is Pyranism. Since this is now located in the East Asian sprachbund the name needs a rejustification, but there's a rather easy one in 白日, Mandarin bái rì, meaning "White Sun". I'll detail how this is important in a bit.

In 1.0's , there was a dualist cosmology between Uddu and Ammi, rulers of the day and night. With the somewhat parallel dualism of Vaestism it seems worthwhile to think about reworking this and giving it a new twist. My idea is to have the dualistic religion sketched out in the previous version be a predominantly historical stage in Pyranism's development. This dualism was brought to an end by a sect focused on the worship of the White Sun, the powerful and semi-eschatological manifestation of the God of Day. This restores the one-sided bias that characterised the religion in Esh 3 whose name I've now forgotten, where different antagonistic sects chose the specific worship of flesh or spirit, but in this case one sect has triumphed violently over the others.

My basic historical vision here is that the area in West Lestria where Pyranism is predominant was inhabited by a Sinophone civilization that worshipped the dualist Pyranism until about the 16th or 17th centuries. At this stage the White Sun sect arose and converted to its side an invading Korean-speaking force which had been displaced from elsewhere in the continent -- maybe by climatic or even colonial disruption. The White Sun sect also associated with the lower classes of the society, promising a Messianic kind of religious vision and a radical transformation of the order -- the invaders were thus depicted as liberators for the lower classes. After their victory, the White Sun sect was institutionalized and forcibly marginalized its opposition, effecting a radical reformation of society.

Outside of Neutralia, the Pyranist region basically comprises one state. I'd like to propose, based on the above sketch, that this state be predominantly Sinophone (speaking various dialects of Chinese) and ruled by a minority Korean-speaking elite. My provisional name for this is the Baygil Empire or formally Empire of the White Sun (白日帝國, 백일제국, baeg-il cheguk).

Any thoughts on that very basic idea as a foundation to expand upon?
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Re: Thoughts on Pyranism

Postby Michael-on-Ryde » Sat May 05, 2012 12:04 am

I'm put in mind here strongly of both the Taiping Rebellion and a more "religious" take on China in the early Communist period - both of which sound viable as foundations. Bai ri, to my mind, works fine, and even allows for the retention of some of the fire motifs that I was playing with in v1 Thora.

Given Arden's geography, it seems most likely to me that the Siur would have made the first contact from the further north with this community, probably during the early Golden Age period when Siurskeyti was in colonial-expansion mode; that suggests parallels with the Inca in South America, although I'd lay odds that the two sides would be more evenly balanced here. (It would probably also be possible to throw in aspects of pre-Meiji Japan as well, making the Empire a kind of isolated, inward-looking theocracy.)

On the map, the Sinophones look well to the south; how this Pyranism worked its way up to southern Ascesia and began overlapping with Isealism/Bhramavada (if that's accepted) would be an interesting story in itself. Already the Empire doesn't sound like somewhere that welcomes casual visitors, so travellers taking Pyranism back with them may not work. Wars of religious conquest/proselytism seem much more viable - and for John Q. Public in Messenia or Joriscia, almost completely unknown. (Yes, not very inward-looking, I know, but conflict is grist to the mill of a well-textured narrative.)

I like this and I can definitely work with it. Count me in.

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Re: Thoughts on Pyranism

Postby Vince » Sat May 05, 2012 12:38 am

As a note: With Michael's positive response above and people agreeing on MSN I made a draft on the Pedia for the Baygil Empire which people are welcome to contribute to.
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