Friday, 19 May 2017

Reassessing the Ovosto Dynasty

Part 2 of the Realist Papers
Reassessing the Ovosto Dynasty
As I discussed previously, the murder of Muharzarm was an actual period of warfare, involving the assassination of Emperor Murharzarm. I described it as involving a siege, which some of my fellows took umbrage at, claiming there would be evidence of such a thing.
To this I reply to merely look at the evidence again. In this case we must look to his immediate successor, Emperor Khorventos.
During his reign it is mentioned that the land of Dara Happa was besieged by the followers of the Rebel Gods, invading the cities and plundering what they could. Given my earlier discussion on the role of these Rebel Gods as representations of their peoples, we can conclude that this is a continuation of the same invasion which led to the death of Murharzarm.
Khorventos' reign would have thus been over a empire of one city, barricaded within Yuthubars while the great Empire started to fragment.
It is during this time that the Ovostans rise.
Khorventos and his successor Dendeneus are both recorded in legends as trading away the Imperial Treasures for food, specifically with Ovosto. Because of the foreign armies, this would have had to have taken place in Yuthubars.

The purported Death Mask of Ovosto
Ovosto is described as a child of Gerendetho, and as coming from the Jord Mountains. His government of the mythical city of Senthoros was described as misrule and he himself a Lodrilite, and thus not of noble birth. As such, his original occupation was likely that of dry farmer.
Here we have a peasant, given some measure of political power (his description of having governed Senthoros is likely a myth, given no trace of that city has ever been found) found within Yuthubars when there was no food. He was able to get some, and even provided for the Emperor in exchange for Imperial Treasures.
His seizure of power occurs after Khorventos' death, when his heir seeks the Imperial Treasures. Instead Ovosto uses them to become Emperor.
When Emperor he performs several actions described by Plentonius: he opens up the cities, letting his friends loot the nobles goods; he forced the nobility to mingle with the commoners; he made deals with those who came to invade Dara Happa and shared dinner with them.

I hold that Ovosto was a smuggler, bringing food into the city despite the besieging armies. He profited from this, and provided food to both the rich and poor. When the Emperor died, he seizes power, likely through a popular uprising by the hungry masses. (Their hue and cry are the origin of the howling found in the Ovosto Rites)
After this, he creates peace with the invaders, breaking the siege but giving up much of the riches of the nobility.
Without their riches, the nobility are reduced to living as commoners, working for a living. In this way, he created a new peace for Dara Happa, although one which was undesirable for the nobility.

Ovosto's death has been blamed on choking by a fish from Karasal. This was also where he had banished his rival, Dendeneus, making this an early form of assassination, like the dart wars which are conducted amongst our great Empire to this day.
Karasa and Orogoros, in the Navarian style of the Storm Age

Ovosto's successor, Orogoros was said to have been the son of Ovosto and the goddess of Karasal. He is also said to have come from near Mount Jernotius which lies relatively nearby. This origin points to the infamous lands of Darsen and Naveria, ancient lands of Karasal. He is commonly associated with a snake, also said to have been his father's spirit. This points to a connection with the hills' chthonic serpent cults, such as BernEel Arashagern or Ursturburn. These are ecstatic cults of life, in the form of a serpent (which also bears a connection to the progenitive organ of males. Something despaired at by more prudish Dara Happans)

Orogoros is famed for his iniquity. The Glorious Reascent of Yelm includes a tale of how he makes the people of Dara Happa bare their head and feet -- an obvious Dara Happan euphemism for the progenitive parts. He is similarly recorded as banning incest, prohibiting the Dara Happan tradition of ensuring that divine blood is not diluted by inter-family marriages.
The claim that Orogoros is the child of Ovosto is a spurious one. He has little in common with his supposed father, and dwelled in a separate realm. The claim of kinship is a way of covering up the truth.

During the reign of Orogoros, Dara Happa was ruled by foreign powers, the realms of Karasal, Naveria, and Darsen were the heartland of this kingdom, ruled by the serpent-worshipping King Orogoros. The iniquities and sins appointed to Orogoros are in fact the Lodrilli rites and traditions, vilified by later Dara Happans who seek to ignore this foreignness.

Orogoros' death is given in several different ways. His reign is said to end in the great Deluge of Anaxial, and sometimes he is said to have drowned in the flood itself. But the most important account of his death is in the Glorious Reascent of Yelm. Here he is described as being slain by Avivorus using the Sunspear.
The Sunspear is the divine weapon used later to slay another evil Emperor. And is almost certainly a justification for an uprising, for if Antirius blesses the action, how can it be wrong?

After Orogoros, came the reign of Oravinos.
This Emperor is only found in the Unity and Yelmgatha's Lists. He is described as an orchard god, and as the enemy of the bear. This bear is likely a reference to Arakang, the bear god of western Peloria. His feud with Oravinos is likely the same story as that which is told on the Gods Wall, the fight over the Yarm Tree. This figure is commonly said to be Orypsus, god of pleasure.
Because of this, Oravinos is likely the original figure behind the mythology of Orypsus. A former Emperor who is remembered only as a god of wine and plenty.

But this speaks of an even greater revelation. Arakang is likely a stand in for Western Peloria, the Kingdom of Orogoros. Oravinos, far from being his successor, is his usurper. This is the point where Dara Happa reclaims its independence from its occupiers, and becomes its own nation once again.

This Dynasty ends with the Deluge of Anaxial, the legendary flood which is said to have wiped away all that was unclean, and the return to righteous Emperors. But its legacy remains in several ways:
  • First, there are the Ovosto Rites, used over the centuries to become Emperor through popular approval, rather than by imperial descent.
  • Second, we see the great truism of the Dara Happans, that they would prefer to remember an unjust Emperor, than a foreign tyrant.
  • Finally, that even commoners can become Emperor. And that if necessary, Imperial Descent can be found.

But make no mistake, I do not write this to condemn the Ovostans, but instead to show what they can teach us about the truth behind the myths. That when we ignore the mortal origins, we miss out on the great history of our Empire.

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