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Ivory Kingdoms merchants

Ivory Kingdoms merchants

The Ivory Kingdoms consisted of a collection of smaller principalities (with the rulers bearing the title of Raja) united under the rule of the Maharaja. The Ivory Kingdoms are similar in culture to real world India. They have had limited economic and diplomatic contact with the Rokugani Empire over the course of both cultures' history.

SocietyEdit

Appearance Edit

The Ivinda had round eyes, dark tan or brown skin, and dark straight hair. Some have thin builds and lean, narrow faces while others had far taller and more muscular bodies with broader faces. They dressed in cotton garments, favoring loose shirts and pantaloons; the nobility wore silk along with splendid jewelry. Nobles and common folk alike wore turbans wrapped around their heads. [1]

CasteEdit

The Ivory Kingdoms maintained a social caste system similar to that of Rokugan which was led by a warrior caste called the Kshatriya, who were much like Rokugani samurai. The Kshatriya were organised into Houses that mirrored the Rokugani Great Clans with a Raja leading each House, though the territories of the Houses acted more like separate nations or kingdoms with deep political divides fostering animosity between them. Ruling over all the Houses was the Maharaja, a monarch who occupied a position analogous to that of Rokugan's Emperor. In the Kingdoms' earliest history the monarchs were known as Ikshwaku. [1] However, the Ivory Kingdoms' caste system was much more strict than it was in Rokugan, as individuals were not allowed to marry outside the caste of their birth, and were discouraged from even associating with those individuals who belonged to another caste. [2]

Some known Houses of the Kshatriya:

Views of outsidersEdit

The Ivory Kingdoms were a very large and powerful nation, and had one very distinctive trait that made its culture differ from that of Rokugan. This was the Ivory Kingdoms' tolerance for outsiders. The inhabitants of the kingdoms did not share Rokugan's xenophobic views of the world. They had sent many ambassadors to various nations in the world, including a strong presence in the city of Medinat al-Salaam. [2]

Science and MathEdit

With their dislike of magic use, the Ivory Kingdoms did not rely upon it much and as a result had advanced in math, science, and medicine to a far greater extent than Rokugan had. [2]

Religion and MagicEdit

The Ivory Kingdoms were polytheistic, believing in several powerful gods who ruled over various aspects. These gods did not always cooperate with each other, and their priests and followers could find themselves in opposition. Two of the most powerful of these gods were Shiva the Destroyer and Vishnu the Preserver. Each major god had at least one wrathful aspect, which often had cults associated with them, such as the Cult of the Destroyer, a group devoted to Kali-Ma, the dark aspect of Shiva. [1] The brahmin priests taught about the gods and led the rest of the people in worship, but they firmly eschewed magic. [3] Kshatriya held a deep and fearful respect for magic, seeing it as a force belonging only to the realm of gods and demons. [2] The Ivinda built their temples from large blocks of stone, covered with intricate carvings and crafted with many different shapes alien to the Rokugani. [4]

WarEdit

The general philosophy of the Ivory Kingdoms on war was that it was a last resort for defeated men. This was however not to say they did not enage in, or were unskilled in the arts of war, they had fought seven different nations in war, and were masters of many combat styles. [2]

Arms and ArmorEdit

This is a list of weapons, armor, and shields of the Ivory Kingdoms: [5]

ShieldsEdit

  • Dhal: A small cicular shield made of steel or brass. A type of buckler shield.

ArmorEdit

  • Jazerant: Light armour constructed of scales and horns fastened to a vest of cloth with straps. Worn with an armored skirt. Often used by Kshatriya while in the Burning Sands.
  • Chain Mail: A Heavy armour, made of interlocked metal rings, Very protective, but weak to arrows and spear like weapons.
  • Brigandine: Light armour made of small metal plates quilted in between layers of cloth.

BowsEdit

  • Lezam: four foot long bow, tension was held by a large chain allowing 150 pounds of pull.

Melee WeaponsEdit

  • Ankus: Sometimes called bullhook, elephant hook, or elephant goad, this was a tool used in the training of elephants. It consisted of a sharp, pointed hook (usually bronze or steel) which was attached to a two- or three-foot handle.
  • Bagh-Nakh: Also known as a tiger claw or a wagh nakh, this was a hand-to-hand weapon designed to fit over the knuckles or concealed under and against the palm. Usually made of metal, it featured between two and four claws, and was designed to slash through skin and muscle.
  • Chakram: A circular disc of metal with a sharpened outer edge. This was thrown at an enemy much like an oversized shuriken.
  • Jambiya: A small curved dagger that was generally decorated in some fashion.
  • Kukri: A weapon that ranged in size from a dagger to a short sword with a curved blade and a very sharp inside edge.
  • Tulwar: A curved sword that beared resemblance to a sabre, but was wider than a shamsir.

Language Edit

The Ivindi was the language used in the Kingdoms. [6]

Schools Edit

LocationEdit

The Ivory Kingdoms were located south to the Great Void and he Western Steppes, [7] and southwest of Rokugan on the opposite side of the Shadowlands. The Naga once inhabited this region but fled north after the First Burning of the World. Tales of a 'Cult of the Destroyer' continued to draw refugees from that race into the extreme south. The Ivory Kingdoms are located on the same continental landmass as Rokugan, and have access and trade agreements with societies in the Burning Sands and several other nations. While the exact size of the Ivory Kingdoms is still a subject of debate, it would seem their lands are larger than those of the Rokugani Empire, but this is only conjecture.

Rokugan and the Ivory KingdomEdit

The Ivory Kingdoms was a land whose culture celebrated peace, wisdom, and intellectual pursuits, but the Rokugani view came from underground groups and criminal organizations who dared to perform the illegal trade with the Emerald Empire. More legitimate organizations feared pro­longed contact with Rokugan out of fear that the Empire might take offense and declare war. [8] In Rokugan, stories of the Ivory Kingdoms included reports of assassins who left burning footprints, and ruthless warriors known as Kshatriya who wielded strangely curved swords. [citation needed]

Reign of the Rakshasa Edit

The Ivory Kingdoms were once ruledd by the Rakshasa a race of powerful shapeshifting demons with an appetite for carnage, they treated humans as cattle. Revan, the King of the Rakshasa, was overthrown by the hero Arun, avatar of Vishnu the preserver. He led a an army of mischievous but good-hearted shapeshifting spirits who the Rakshasa's reign of terror. Several of the Rakshasa survived, and several fled to Rokugan. Due to their immortal life they affected the Rokugani affairs in the following centuries. [9]

Cult of Rhumal Edit

The Cult of Rhumal, worshippers of Kali-Ma the Destroyers, was a cult who sought the destruction of the Kingdoms to a greater glory of their goddess. In the 7th century the rulers of the Kingdoms made an alliance with the Order of the Ebon Hand, a powerful organization who had been enemies of the ruhmalists since decades. The alliance ended quickly, upon the political dissensions between the factions of the Kingdoms. [10]

TradeEdit

The first contact with Rokugani happened through sheer chance when a Mantis kobune was blown off course. During repairs on an unknown island they met another group whi had come from the Kingdoms to harvest timber there. Since that they the island was used as intermediate base between the Mantis Islands and the Kingdoms. [11] The Crane and Mantis Clans fostered trade with the Ivory Kingdoms and they in turn were granted the right to post an ambassador to the Imperial Court. One of the Houses, House Suresh, would then become the primary trade partner of the Ivory Kingdoms with the Crane Clan. The Ivory Kingdoms maintained a wide variety of trade agreements. [2]

Aramasu's WarEdit

In 1147 [12] during the War of Spirits in Rokugan, Yoritomo Aramasu led the Mantis Clan in a different war. Within the Ivory Kingdoms a coup lead by the Cult of the Destroyer was under way to remove the Maharaja from power. Since the Mantis Clan was a long-time ally of the Maharaja, it came to his aid and with the help of the remaining loyal Houses of the Kshatriya, these allies restored the Maharaja to power. [13]

Rama SinghEdit

Rama Singh, a native of the Ivory Kingdoms, was fluent in Rokugani, and had a great deal of experience with the Mantis Clan while acting as an ambassador to the Rokugani Empire. He had for the most part been charged with maintaining a supply of ginseng for the Maharaja. Rama was aware of Rokugani xenophobia and understood their reasons, yet at the same time he hoped to help prove their ideas wrong through his and his people's example. In 1167 he swore fealty to the Mantis Clan, becoming Yoritomo Singh. [13]

Fall of the Ivory Kingdoms Edit

In 1168 [14] worshippers of Kali-Ma, enacted a bloody ritual, where they willingly gave their blood and flesh, turning upon one another until only the strongest and most horrible remained. [15] In 1170 [16] the Ivory Kingdoms were put to the torch while Kali-Ma fought the gods in the heavens. Fueled by Jigoku, the gods fell before Kali-Ma's power. One goddess remained alive with its form broken and its mind shattered; Kali-Ma transformed her into something else: the God-Beast, a impossibly gigantic creature. The few cities that remained within the realm were destroyed utterly by its power. [15] The Destroyer hunted down and slain the other members of the Ivinda religious pantheon. Nine tenths of the entire population of the Ivory Kingdoms was sacrificed to the Destroyer, their souls imprisoned in metallic shells to create a vast army of demonic monsters, known as the Destroyers. [17]

Ruined Kingdoms Edit

When a Mantis fleet attempting to get information on Kali-Ma reached the kingdom's shores in 1172, it found it essentially empty. The cities had been abandonned and there was little trace of its inhabitants. Only a few of them, former friends and family of Aramasu, had remained on the coast, watching on his fleet called Fourth Storm. [18] After the revelation of the Ivory Kingdoms' fate, they became known to Rokugan as the Ruined Kingdoms. [19] The wood in the jungle was well suited for building, and the food was plentiful and required no tending. The Mantis claimed the area as theirs. [20]

Monsters Edit

The Ivory Kingdoms kept at bay monsters that usually roamed there, but after this area was depopulated its spawns spread beyond there, and were first time seen by the Rokugani. [21]

Rokugani colonies Edit

In 1173, following the defeat of Kali-Ma, Empress Iweko I sent the tainted members of the Spider Clan to join the Mantis. They were called the Iweko's Conquerors. [22] A colony was founded there, the Second City. [23] In 1198 despite the decades of tireless effort by the Mantis, the Spider, and the Spider Clan's overseers, much of the former Kingdoms were still a vast and largely unexplored wilderness. [24]

Under the Rokugani Rule Edit

About ten percent of the Ivinda had survived the wrath of the Destroyer, and once the Rokugani settlers arrived many natives submitted to their rule, but also were amny who chose to continue to live in the wilderness of their former kingdom, forming small isolated communities. [25]

Known Champions Edit

Kali-Ma  ? - 1173

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Emerald Empire; Fourth Edition, p. 254
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Complete Exotic Arms Guide, p. 71
  3. Second City - The City, p. 82
  4. Second City - The City, p. 91
  5. Complete Exotic Arms Guide, p. 72-73
  6. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 276
  7. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 296
  8. Secrets of the Mantis, p. 92
  9. Secrets of the Mantis, pp. 90-91
  10. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 265
  11. Masters of Court, p. 169
  12. Imperial Histories, p. 222
  13. 13.0 13.1 Strangers, by Rich Wulf
  14. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 266
  15. 15.0 15.1 Unleashed, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  16. Imperial Histories 2, p. 249
  17. Second City - The City, p. 4
  18. The Ruined Kingdom, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  19. The Ruined Kingdom, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  20. The Haunted Lands, by Rusty Priske
  21. Insurgency, by Shawn Carman
  22. Goddesses, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  23. The Hand of the Empress, by Shawn Carman
  24. Rulebook story (Forgotten Legacy), by Shawn Carman and Rusty Priske
  25. Second City - The City, p. 9



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