Forum Xanarium
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Author:  Grettir [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Forum Xanarium


Over at the Stahl subforum, stuh42l has created a very useful thread, the “Serf’s Field”. Its intent is to present all first ideas and desires for Stahl here, so as to avoid cluttering up the subforum. In his own words:

stuh42l wrote:
If you would like to contribute, then by all means, use this thread to introduce yourself and your desires!

I would also like to use this thread for presenting basic ideas, preferring not to clutter up the rest of the board with half formed ideas. If the idea seems to have merit, or at least warrents further discussion, a thread will be created for it.

So please, post here first with any ideas, desires, or wants.

This thread, the Forum Xanarium, is to serve the same purpose for the Seat of the Xanarian Empire. So be welcome and post away, fellow citizens!

Author:  Daeruin [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

Hi. I just have one small comment on something for which you specifically asked for feedback: names. I found the sample names you listed easy enough to pronounce, but as player I would have a very hard time remembering more than a couple of NPC names. A big part of it is the requirement that every male NPC have at least 3 parts to their name, sometimes more. A bigger issue is the fact that 90% of the names end in "us", making them all seem very similar, especially to those unfamiliar with Latin. I don't necessarily want to suggest that you get rid of the suffix, because that would put a hole in the linguistic consistency of your project. It's based on Latin, after all. I don't know what the solution might be, but I just wanted to mention it as a potential usability issue.

Author:  Grettir [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

Welcome, Daeruin, and thanks for the comment; much appreciated.

I am so very used to Latin and Roman names that I am somewhat blind to these problems, especially when native speakers of English are concerned. But even so, I have already guessed at what you mention becoming a problem and have already actually changed some of the name endings; any cognomen ending in –is is almost certainly not original Latin.

But I can do one better. Basing the Empire on both Roman late antiquity and Byzantium, I can add a number of Byzantine name endings, mainly –ion. That should help to add some diversity and make names more memorable.


So, the names ending in -ion somehow didn't fit the linguistic flavour of the others, but I have added some 50 new names to the cognomen-list not ending in -us and still being either late Latin names or very nearly so. Together with the other names not ending in -us this will hopefully offer enough variety to those who find the names difficult to remeber.

Author:  stuh42l [ Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

Ah, Grettir

I wanted to run this idea by you that has become pervausive in my own games. The idea of a 'holy order' in Stahl.

Not only does it fill a Teutonic void for Stahl, but having an order of knights running around in a country that is aethistic and opposed to the church as a political power would cause all sorts of trouble. (unless they had their own provice or something)

Anyway, I wanted to run it by you to see if its plausible, and to get an idea on what type of structure they might impart from the church (you bit off the whole religion when you picked Xanar my friend ;) )

Author:  Grettir [ Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

stuh42l wrote:
Anyway, I wanted to run it by you to see if its plausible, and to get an idea on what type of structure they might impart from the church (you bit off the whole religion when you picked Xanar my friend ;) )

Basically, a real-world knightly order had the following types of members:

Man-at-Arms: non-noble fighting members of the order, having taken a vow of obedience, but of a rather mild and revokable form. Still answerable to authorities outside the order.
Sergeant: like a man-at-arms, but with a lifelong vow of obedience. Answerable only to superiors within the order and no other secular or ecclesiastic authority.
Knight Brother: a noble having sworn a lifelong vow of obedience and of monastic chastity, poverty and humility. Answerable to absolutely nobody outside the order.
Priest Brother: an ordained priest having taken the some vows like a knight brother. Answerable only to his superiors in the order. Would be called presbyter ordinaris in the Imperial tongue.
Half Brother: an unordained clerical member of the order, about the same as a monk, having taken the same vows as the priest brother. He, too, is only answerable to the order. Would probably be called monacus in the Imperial tongue.

Organisationally, the order is divided into several provinces, each with a regional leader, often called a master (magister in the Imperial tongue). They are only answerable to the leader of the entire order, the grand master (magister generalis in the Imperial tongue). The grand master in turn is answerable solely to the pope.

And that’s the problem. Would the Stahlnish allow a powerful military entity loyal to the Xanarches within their country?

There are two possibilities for the order’s presence in Stahl: after or since before the secession. If they came in later, it is hard to see how the High King would have allowed this at all – the order is answerable only to the Xanarches, not to him. For the same reason, it seems improbable that an order tht was already in Stahl would have been allowed to stay on, if driving it out would have been a possibility.

I guess that an order in Stahl would have had to be so well established at the time of the Stahlnish rebellion that driving it out would have been awkward. But with the Imperial Church being viewed as an enemy, the Stahlnish would sooner or later certainly have tried to either force an order out or to get it under secular control. I therefore think that a knightly order within Stahl would have had to sever its relations with Xanarium; the grand master might to some extent be answerable only to the High King instead of the pope. And it would have had to be powerful enough that the High King did want to avoid a direct confrontation. Maybe it holds important fortresses along the frontier with Savaxen and the mountains to the north?

Author:  stuh42l [ Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

I therefore think that a knightly order within Stahl would have had to sever its relations with Xanarium; the grand master might to some extent be answerable only to the High King instead of the pope. And it would have had to be powerful enough that the High King did want to avoid a direct confrontation. Maybe it holds important fortresses along the frontier with Savaxen and the mountains to the north?

That was sort of my intention. The only way such an order would be tolorated is if there was no other alternative. To see this, I imagined them perhaps responsible for the capture of the Magyarfold or something similiar. On the border with the Heathens and all that.

On the other hand, it is just so alien to the idea of Stahl that I am developing, so perhaps it is best left shelved. Nothing says Oustenreich can't have an oder, after all.

Author:  Grettir [ Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

In the thread on the history of Weyrth, the discussion of the impact of the rise of ever new moons led to the topic of a canal having been built across the Fregellan peninsula, connecting Xanarium with the western ocean.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
So how wide are you envisaging the canal? Is it the width of one ship most of the time with regularly spaced locks that allow two ships to side-step each other?

Considering the heavy traffic the canal is going to see, I think about a canal broad enough for one galley with oars extended, plus another galley with oars drawn in. Thus, galleys, which are due to their oarblades effectively broader than mere sailing ships, could pass by each other when one draws in its oars and remains stationary while the rows past it. This width of the canal is then easily enough for any two sailing ships to pass by each other.

For ships overtaking one another, something that might be necessary if warships are to be transferred quickly through the canal, there would be regularly spaced “bays” with locks, into which civilian craft would have to move if the canal has to be cleared for the navy.

The canal would be some 35 miles long, with Xanarium at its eastern terminus, and a large port city with a naval base at its western terminus. The canal is called the “Xerian Canal”, after Imperator Xerius, who initiated it in 595 Weyr, after the rise of the Fourth Moon in 550 Weyr had made shipping in the Helenan archipelago somewhat hazardous because of the treacherous currents in the straits between the islands, a result of the increased tides after the rise of the moon. I settle on this time for the creation of the canal as MRB p. 199 seems to imply that the Fourth Moon was the first which had noticeable detrimental effects, and as the Empire is in around 600 Weyr prosperous enough to excavate a canal this size.

The canal is unsuitable for square-rigged ships, for two reasons. The largest of these ships have drafts that preclude them from using the Xerian Canal, and all of them are unable to sail against the wind; sudden unfavourable winds would strand them in the canal, and block it for other vessels. Square rigged ships would therefore have to nload their goods at the western terminus of the canal on canal barges, or they would have to use the dangerous Helenan Straits.
(Considering the violent and treacherous currents of these Straits and the fact that square-rigged ships are rather unsuited to maneuver nimbly, this might even effectively block the northern square rigged-ships from entering the Sea of Fallen Gods at all)

It need not be said that the Seat of the Xanarian Empire exacts a hefty toll on the use of the Xerian Canal.

Author:  Grettir [ Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

An account of first impression of Xanarium, as experienced by a Cyrinthmeiran youth, travelling by ship to Xanarium to study at the academy:

As our ship drew nearer, I could discern that what had seemed a bay was in fact the broad mouth of a river, its shorelines eroded by the force of the tides into a funnel over a kilometer broad at its mouth. This was the mouth of the Xyris, lifegiver and mother of Xanarium since the dawn of time.
On its right shores, the riverbank was rather flat, and here I could discern a small and somewhat impverished looking town, but my gaze was drawn to the left riverbank. Here, the river skirted a hillock rising rather steeply from both the Xyris’ banks and the shores of the Sea of Fallen Gods, rising to a height of more than a hundred metres and blocking my view into the interios of the land. But I did not desire to gaze past it anyway, for this was famed Mount Bucolius. And there, on its uppermost summit, forever gazing out over the Sea of Fallen Gods it was, making my jaw drop in its glory – the celebrated monumental statue of Xanar Shardfinder. For seven centuries it has stood there on its high pedestal of white marble, cast in bronze to well over twenty times lifesize, glittering in the sun. It wore the military accoutrements of a bygone age, but with apeaceful, open robe over the warlike attire, its sword sheathed and its helmet tucked under its left arm, the right lifted to the ocean in an eternal gesture of benediction. Many accounts had I heard of this wonder of the ancient Xanarians, but no mere word can ever hope to describe this colossal testament of human faith and industry.
The captain finally tore me from my rapture at this sight by pointing out a tiny archepelago of insulas at the foot of Mount Bucolius. These were the Bucolean Insulas, he explained to me. Once, people said, these islands had been just two larger islands, outcroppings of Mount Bucolius, but the rising tides had long since eroded them and broken them up into a multitude of much smaller islands, the largest maybe a hundred meters across, the smallest not even a dozen. An army of gardeners had over the course of centuries groomed and sculpted this archipelago of half a hundred islands into a pleasuregarden nonpareil, into a veritable earthly paradise, if ever there was one. Idyllic groves dotted the islands, and here and there were pavillions and collonades of marble to be seen, and gracefully arched walkways connecting some of the islands. As we drew ever nearer, barges decorated lavishly with garlands of fresh flowers came into view, and the sound of song, music and laughter were to be heard, and I was able to make out a few scattered groups of people, frolicking in these most wondrous of gardens.
“Like to be over there, wouldn’t you?”, snorted our captain. “Well, so would I lad. But reserved for the Imperator it is, and for those he grants the privilege of access, y’ know? For all others, coming too close means death by arrow or Xanarian Fire.”
And he pointed out a small Xanarian war galley lying alert close by, jealously guarding this island paradise for the chosen few.
So we passed the Bucolean Insulas and finally approached the broad mouth of the Xyris, and here I beheld yet again the next miracle. A hundred metres above us, up on the summit of Mount Bucolius, there sprawled an edifice of white marble, gilded cuppolas, lofty balconies and sheer endless porticoes, following the bank of the river for well over half a kilometer. This, I realized without having to be told, was the Bucolean Palace, seat of the Imperial court and the very heart of the once huge Xanarian Empire. Below this huge complex of buildings, larger than most towns back in Cyrinthmeir, the steep slopes of Mount Bucolius had been sculpted into a number of lush garden terraces, descending gracefully to the riverbank. Desiring to see more of this famed father of all palaces, I begged our captain to steer his ship closer to Mount Bucolius, but he denied: “Nay lad, ‘tis forbidden, you see? All traffic has to stay near the opposite bank, on threat of ballista bolt, catapult stone and Xanarian Fire.”
And he gestured towards the base of Mount Bucolius, and truly, the foot of the mountain and the very shore was hidden from view by a wall rising directly out of the water, and fortified with many strong towers. This wall skirted the entire length of the Bucolean Palace up on the heights, until finally ending in a massive and rather ugly squat tower of some twenty meters height.
“Behind this wall is the Imperial Harbour, lad”, explained the captain. “Reserved for the Imperator’s private craft it is, but there are always a few warships at hand in there, too, I reckon. And yon tower, the massive one jutting a bit forth, you see? That’s the Tower of Varronius, where the controls for the harbour chain are located.”
And now I beheld the massive chain emanating from the tower several meters above the waterline, with links as thick as my thigh. At the moment, this chain led in a rather steep angle somewhat slackly down into the river, which here was still a third of a kilometer broad. Back on our bank of the river, I saw the chain reemerge from the water and vanish into a similar, but somewhat smaller tower, which was part of a massive fortress. This fortress was our ship’s immediate destination, as it was here where we would obtain our permission to sail up the Xyris and berth in the harbour of Xanarium.
And it was while lying at anchor before this fortress that I got my first good glimpse of Xanarium, Queen of Cities! For many kilometers, as far as my eye could see, it sprawled on the opposite bank, a huge moloch of brick. Across from my vantage point, where Mount Bucolius sloped gently down to the center of the city, there where the villas of the rich, scattered amid gardens and parks, but only a bit further upriver, the trees vanished, and only a landscape of houses remained to be seen. Like ships on the ocean, so rose some buildings out of the surrounding lower ones. I beheld the huge Saint Xanar’s Cathedral on Mount Oppius, most holy of all temples of The-Three-Gods-Become-One, I was stupefied by the vastness of the Hippodrome, I marveled at the size of the Amphitheater, I gazed in awe at the Senate House. And then, tiny in the distance but still larger than any castle in Cyrinthmeir, I saw it: the Academia Xanaria, goal of my journey and all my ambitions.
We soon lifted anchor again and made way for the harbour. The high tide was by now coming in with full force, reversing the course of the river and carrying us quickly towards the heart of the city. Some two kilometers past the harbour fortress, the river, which had by now narrowed to little more than hundred meters, suddenly become broader again, widened by human hands on the side of the city for a stretch of almost two kilometers to almost twice its normal width. Here was the civilian harbour of Xanarium, bustling with ships. While the pilot we had taken on at the harbour fortress steered the ship to its berth, my gaze was captivated by yet another marvelous sight. At the far end of the harbour, there was a bridge stretching across the Xyris, the only one anywhere in sight. But what a bridge it was! Far from the riverbanks did its stretch commence, climbing high and higher, high above the roofs of the houses, and soaring in a graceful arch far above the river. No more than three buttresses rose out of the water, forming four ways underneath the bridge, the middle ones of which were high enough to admit even the largest of ships. This was the Bridge of Flaccilius, famous and unequaled masterpiece of engineering, and a testament to the skill of the scholars of the Academia Xanaria.
While I was still gawking at this monumental bridge, we had reached our docking berth. Not much later, I finally entered ancient Xanarium, most wicked and most holy of cities. May Xanar protect me.

A sketchy first-draft map of Xanarium:

Author:  Crow Caller [ Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

Hey Grettir there seems to be a waterway near the border of Gelure that connects the Sea of of Fallen gods, with the western ocean. It s a River that forks about 50 miles from its source, one branch runs south into the Sea of Fallen gods, the other branch runs west into the Ocean.

Another route, especially for Stahl is now the large river into the crescent shaped lake/inland sea, and then down the South-West River through Cyrinthmeir into the Sea of Fallen gods.

I see these, especially the second one, as being major trades routes connecting the North-West with the Sea of Fallen gods.

Cheers and God Bless!

Author:  Crow Caller [ Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

Hey Grettir, I love the name list it is very cool, however something that would be a great use would be meanings of the names, ecspecially the Cognomens.

Anyway, just a suggestion.


Author:  Grettir [ Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Forum Xanarium

Sorry for being slightly late in replying, Crow Caller. :oops:

About that waterway: I can't seem to find it. Is it one of the light blue or one the solid black lines on the map? If the latter I think this is meant to represent province and country borders, not waterways. In addition, looking at the map of Gelure and surrounding areas, it shows heights and suggests that the interior of Gelure is mountainous. Which would pretty much preclude the area from having any coast-to-coast waterways.

And as to the names: These are inspired or taken from original Romannames, which did indeed all originally have meanings - originally. In practice, these meanings became ignored to the point of them becoming meaningless very soon, no different from our modern surnames. Often, these names did derive from nicknames of the first, original carrier of a name, and if one took a look at their meanings they would often be ridiculous and potentially off-turning for players. It's things like 'big-nose', 'pig-man', 'bald one', 'dog-meat' and so on. So unless there is an overwhelming demand for the meaning of the names, I'd rather refrain from giving them.

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