Though, as it would so happen, an early morning discussion in the waiting room spurred a bit of thinking. Originally intended as a political conversation, I quickly found out more and more information of how very interesting History can be, and how it can be applied to Valanas!
Any time I learn something new or find something interesting, I try to apply it immediately to something I can relate to, or in this case, Valanas. Valanas, in my mind, was the absolute perfect way to apply this knowledge, as it is related to a strong Dynasty that has fallen into rebellion and war, and it is up to the players to do whatever they can to keep it all from getting out of control...
From Politics to GamingDuring the morning discussion, a number of elements were referenced in relation to the political field currently going on in the United States. People seem to want more and more money from taxes (that they have helped pay for originally) and there seems to be less and less money actually being used for the ever growing debt that seems to be amounting constantly.
In this particular instance, what was originally implied and what was taken out of context made me look for answers, and as it often does, opened my eyes up to the wonderful mind of Alexander Fraser Tytler. It was his belief that a Democracy was at best temporary.
Upon further research, as it would so seem, this type of behaviour happens fairly regularly. Very quickly I happened upon the Dynastic Cycle as well, which relates to the cycles by which China has gone through changes. Although not strictly limited to 200 years, the cycle seems to be fairly consistent and deals heavily with the Mandate of Heaven.
"Mandate of Heaven" and "Legendary Grace"In Valanas, this seemed to hit fairly close to home to what I had in mind with how I saw the world Developing when players find themselves in this world for the first time. I had envisioned the players being trained under the command of Katome after the fall of both the Terran and Ugandi Empires due to a combination of greedy and corrupt governments.
Typically, the Mandate of Heaven was a blessing by the divine given to a Ruler of a Dynasty when they proved to be the embodiment of a collection of virtues, typically in relation to family and the community. These elements were considered universally accepted by the populace, making it something that many dynasties fought to uphold, until the people become complacent allowing for corruption to take it's hold, lending itself to the endless cycle that seems to occur regularly.
As I have it now, Valanas as a world finds itself vulnerable more than ever to the corruption of the dark forces that hide within the reflections of all, and most notably within the current Dynastic Rulers.
Katome, one of the few Immortal Legends, establishes her city on Sushuno Harbor, where the players are recruited, trained, and given details about the current situation of her efforts to restore Legendary Grace amongst her people and the political states within her influence.
To restore, let alone gain, Legendary Grace within their nation Katome will have to use whatever power she has available to her in order to gain the respect and admiration of not only those immediately around her, but those within the view of the Ancestral Legends and those who sought to uphold their ideals.
This fit perfectly within the conceptual Dynastic Cycle referenced by John E. Wills when he wrote the book Mountain of Fame: Portraits in Chinese History. Similar to historical China, the current dynasty that was working to maintain peace between the Terrans and the Ugandi nations (two very influential powers in Valanas) has recently fallen out of Legendary Grace, resulting in widespread famin, corruption, and now war. It really felt good and intriguing that I had seemed to have this all worked out! My muse be praised! Perhaps I'll get a good roll on my next idea!
Where to take it from hereValanas is still very young, though the world is becoming more and more rich. I can only hope in time that I can share it with those that have expressed interest in it so far, as I have at least four potential players in the pipeline for it. Of those four, two already have put together brief characters, and all I need to do to really polish things off is to provide enough content, drama, and intrigue to provide the players with plenty to provide a tangible and believable world for them to explore and make their own!
As always, thoughts and comments are welcome, and I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week! Preferably without any of the horrible sicknesses going around!