Almost a third of the humans of Genertela reside in Kralorela-Teshnos. They don’t get a leading role in the events of Dragon Pass as they are separated by 1000 kms of Pent and the Wastelands. But they are worth being aware of
The God Learners – who conquered both in the Second Age – considered them to adhere to a Solar Religion but with a similar myth cycle to what they encountered in the East Isles. I’m going to use God Learner titles here because it cuts through some of the confusion.
The Eastern Dynasty of Light. The eastern portion of Genertela developed from a different cultural milieu than the central and western portions. The east was originally settled by men and gods during the solar Golden Age, and it never lost its original bias even after the (standard) Gloranthan Time began. Their culture, then, predates the Great Darkness. The ancient genealogies record eras which came and went before the origin of Death threatened the world. The casual entry of Yelm as one of the rulers in the dynasty denotes an entire mythological eon equivalent to over a hundred thousand years, in our historical context. It takes careful reading of the official documents to find the facts of the struggle against Storm, Chaos, and Time.
The ruling dynasty of god-kings maintained a rigid, though philosophical, magical attitude which gave them great personal and social strength. They confronted each issue, major or minor, as part of the same mundane fabric which they chose to see as an enemy. Thus they view Orlanth, Kajaboom, and the Seshnegi invaders of 770 as part of one problem which can be treated using the same timeless methods. The fourth ruler of the dynasty was the first person to label the political entity he ruled the Kingdom of Splendor. Before that the land was part of the Golden Empire.
These are the rulers of the land which we call the Kingdom of Splendor:
- Aether, the immutable unity of all existence, Keeper of the Whole. He thought several sons and peoples into existence, then retired behind the sky.
- Yelm, Emperor of the Cosmos and God of All Fire. His rule was the Golden Age of the world when all was perfect and grand. All of existence was his realm, and he organized the world into its parts.
- Metsyla, the Light of Enlightenment. When Yelm was young and making his first journey around the Wheel of Life, he met an eagle phoenix at this spot which taught him the secrets and wonders of Enlightenment. From his learning Yelm made Metsyla to teach others and serve as a living example of the Light of Enlightenment. Metsyla never ventured from this spot and took the region under his influence. He constructed the magnificent Palace of Eastern Light which served to attract and educate gods and spirits and people as long as it existed. The problem with this emperor is that he only knew a small portion of the lessons of the Wheel of Life. Thus he was always clear-sighted in his enlightenment, but he never learned to be close to things, or to be wise, or to search his inner feelings for their truths. This problem was common even to the simpler peoples’ beliefs and would plague the region for all of its history.
- Shavaya, the Emperor of Splendor. The reign of the emperor Shavaya is one of parable wherein the Enlightened One and his saintly followers are beset by the (short-sighted) temptations of the Beasts and the (self-indulgent) temptations of the Kingdom of Ignorance. Shavaya is regarded as the ideal ruler even by some peoples outside of his cult. He invented measuring tools, and his daughter discovered rice.
- Daruda, the Dragon Emperor. He was a princely son of Shavaya’s who traveled the great Circle of Life during the troubled times of the Storm Age. Since his father was also the Emperor of Animals, Daruda went to Hykim, Dragon-father of Beasts, to study. Later he also studied and consulted with the Ancestral Dragons and learned the methods of attaining the harmony called the Dragon Power. When Daruda became emperor he maintained the measures of his ancestors, but modified the Circle of Life, transforming it into the Circle of Dragonpower. He made a magic circle of dragonspawn in his land. This attracted many dragonewts from the west to live there. Soon dragons guarded the Light of the East. It is said that in his elder life Daruda witnessed the slaying of the Mover of Heavens and the sorrowful event caused him to retire from active life. He passed beyond the world in peaceful meditation. The other kings who followed him were known as the Dragon Emperors.
- Thalurzni, Balancer of the Elements. This emperor traveled about adjusting the four corners of the realm, confronting angry spirits in each. All statues of him were always made of many metals, though there is no set order or given quantity for any metal to appear: his wife’s images were always made to include wood, stone, earth, and water, also without order or quantity. Thalurzni discovered the Pill of Immortality and gave it to his wife. She ate it and retired to the Islands of the East, a paradisiacal site reserved for virtuous initiates of their cult between incarnations. Thalurzni quietly faded from the world on the trail of his ancestors.
- Mikaday, Watcher of the Populace. This emperor, Mikaday, was well known for disguising himself and wandering among the peoples, occasionally even venturing outside of his own flock. He rewarded the blessed and virtuous and punished the wicked. He made the first set of written laws and had them erected in great stelae in city squares. He also established the examinations for applicants joining the celestial and mundane administrations.
- Vayobi, this king’s name tingles the tongue. Vayobi was challenged to a magical contest by the demon god Sekever, who had secretly learned the forbidden martial arts of the Sky Tyrant. Sekever defeated Vayobi twice, and then threw him into the depths of the sea. Vayobi was humbled by that and studied under the sea for a long time. Sekever used that time to oppress all of Kralorela. Vayobi then rose from the sea, again confronted Sekever, and this time prevailed so that the Demon Lord was chased back to the Underworld.
- Vashanti, this king created the Web of Righteous Knowledge, whose devotees took examinations to qualify for government posts. He organized the grand army, summoned sea gods to protect the navy, and opened Imperial Temples throughout the Kingdom of Splendor. He went to the underworld to return the Viceroys of Day and Night from the Underworld, and Vashanti departed the world to rule the celestial realm.
- Yanoor became the tenth king at the Dawn. He achieved mystical liberation in 375, after meditating for many years upon a mystical symbol and calling upon the Dragon’s Eye to shine upon him. Despite achieving liberation, the Dragon Emperor chose to remain in this world to guide and succor the people of Kralorela.
So we get Yelm, the Good Wife (Dendara), Gorgorma, Lodril (the Fire God and a War God here), Aether/Dayzatar, the Grain Goddess (Rice), Chalana Arroy, and Uleria – a whole host of Golden Age deities. So far looking an awful lot like Peloria.
But the difference comes that the Kralorelans claim to have survived the Lesser and Greater Darkness through the efforts of the Dragon Emperors. Shavaya distinguished Men from Beasts (ie elevated the Kingdom of Splendour from the Hsunchen). Daruda had the Dragons defend the Kingdom of Splendour from the turmoils of the Lesser Darkness. This established the Dragon Emperor dynasty which still reigns.
So Kralorela and Teshnos escaped from the Greater Darkness relatively unscathed like Pamaltela? Unscathed might not be the right word – what all these cultures claim is continuity with the Golden Age.
So the big change for the Kingdom of Splendour is of course the Dragon Emperors. They carried that Golden Age society into Time.
Now something I find interesting is that there have been only two Dragon Emperors in Time – Yanoor and Godunya. Their long reigns and great personal power provides support for the claim that the Dragon Emperors are True Dragons who protect Kralorela (and not merely humans that somehow have gained draconic powers). It is known that the dragonewts of Kralorela have no Inhuman King and obey the Dragon Emperor.
There was a gap of over three hundred years between the reigns of Yanoor and Godunya.
Here’s an old summary:
Worshippers are all in the land of Kralorela. The pantheon is headed by Emperor Godunya, who is not quite a god, and includes the deities worshipped by the commoners. On the God Plane they have a small territory surrounded by a ring of mountains that is a dragon, and in it many dragons rest.
Deities are: City Gods, Daruda, Dendara, the Exarchs, Godunya, Gorgorma, Grain Goddess, Hykim & Mikyh, Lodril, Path of Immanent Mastery, Metsyla, Mikaday, Rice Mother, River Deities, Shavaya, Thalurzni, Thief Gods.