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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:46 pm 
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:09 pm
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The Moiety Empire: A History

The story of a culture that grew, evolved, and ultimately rose to become one of the leading powers in the post-modern multiverse, begins on the Island of Riven in the Age of Riven, some time in the late 17th century (Surface Time).

I - Pre Exodus:

Some would argue that the story begins with the birth of Katran. I on the other hand will argue that the story began with the arrival of Gehn. Gehn was a brutal tyrant who reigned over the Age of Riven for over 40 years.
He believed that he had created Riven and all its inhabitants. This was false. He rid himself of all who disobeyed him and disrespected him - in theatrical ceremonies of execution
that he himself designed to infer fear into the hearts and minds of the Rivenese. He also used the Wahrk, a creature long revered by the Rivenese, against them, turning their loyalty and respect of the animal into hatred and fear.
He would feed the so called "outlaws" to the wahrks in public ceremonies, utilizing a sort of gallows that he had ordered to be constructed. This was his theatre - and he was both the playwrite and the director.

In Katran's early years, Gehn taught her - like every other young Rivenese - the Art, in his hopes that the natives would somehow replenish and reform what used to be his vision of an awesome D'ni Empire. Katran showed from a very early age that
she had talent in the area of writing. Gehn saw this and selfishly decided to make use of it for his own benefit. Somehow, knowing that he was not the most talented of D'ni writers - perhaps subconciously even - he engaged himself to be wed to Katran, her being his most prized
student. He knew that this act would aide him, perhaps not by his own self improvement, but by using Katran as a means to write him Ages upon Ages more. Atrus was quick to intervene.

Two acts spurred the beginning of the Moiety movement, these were Katran's written addition of the daggers to the Island of Riven, and the defeat of Gehn at the Star Fissure. The Great Moiety Dagger which has come to represent so much since then, was at the very cusp of the fissure, stabbing it so to speak, upon the defeat of Gehn. Several Rivenese witnessed these final events, such as the mysterious "vanishing" of Atrus and Katran and the final humiliation of Gehn,
and the elusive dagger marking the spot of and for escape.

Upon Katran's return to the Age, the Moiety had already become something worth note as a separate culture on Riven, and a serious issue for Gehn - having adopted their own religion - mostly praising Katran as the messiah and the dagger as the symbol of her powers and their constant struggle against Gehn. The Moiety vowed never to be seen - adorning themselves in full
body costumes, masks, and red cloths in an attempt (and quite succesfully) to scare the villagers, and make themselves seen as ever more threatening to the constant watching eyes of Gehn.
The Moiety also made use of an ancient Rivenese tool - the scythe - which was originally used for overturning the bodies of Sunners after a hunt. The scythe served as a constant physical reminder of their past - a past existing prior to Gehn and their knowledge of the art and all it's powers. Happier times many would argue.

During Katran's short stay on Riven, she managed to write the Age of Tay - a new home for the Rivenese.

1807 CE - This year marked the destruction of Riven. Katran, with the aide of Atrus' mysterious benefactor, evacuated the entire village population to their new home, Tay. The villagers and the Moiety would now have to learn to work and to live together, as one culture.

II - Tay: The Early Years:

After the Moiety and remaining villagers had settled down in the Hive, post their escape from Riven - it was clear that they needed to build anew. They needed to define what their new culture was and was destined to be, and how it would function as a whole.
The Moiety Rebels, of course, had the upper hand on this issue. They were the ones who forged and ultimately, permanently shaped and transformed the Rivenese culture into something entirely new - the Moiety culture. Riven was the past. Here they wanted to redefine who they were...and no one would stop them from doing it.

Katran, Atrus, and Yeesha made frequent visits to the Age. Katran gave as a gift to her fellow people, her first Age - Torus. It was placed next to the broken Riven linking book in the link in cave. In that same cave was a book to Releeshahn. Atrus and Katran encouraged the Moiety to aquaint themselves with the D'ni, as they believed the two cultures would benefit from each other in many subtle ways.

The use of the color red became ever increasingly frequent among the new culture as the years went by. Some radicals proposed that the simple shade of red represented them entirely as a new entity, and that the dagger as their current symbol had to be done away with. These few radicals believed that the dagger represented a past that they wished to distance themselves from - much like the D'ni upon finding their new life in the cavern.

An official written language was developed in the hundred years following the Exodus, and new areas of Tay were being colonized every day. The area containing the Hive came to be known as "The Valley", and in later years as "The Valley of Kings" or "The Valley of the Ruler".

III - Juq and the Empire:

Juq's family tree:

Eti + Ko
Nelah + Sirem
Juq + Nadra
Qin, Prad, Cheen, Enfel

Juq, grandson of Katran's dear friend Eti, grew up at the end of Katran's life. To Katran, Juq was a well spoken and bright young boy - "a son I wish I could have had". Several months after these words were spoken, Katran died.

The book leading from Tay to Releeshan served from this point onwards as a link from Tay to Katran's Tomb Sanctuary on Releeshahn. The area which was once the Moiety courtyard was converted into funerary garden with Katran's stone sarcophagus at its center.
Juq was only 8 years old when he attended Katran's grand funeral on Releeshahn - which was attended by a majority of the D'ni people and the entire Moiety population. After a public ceremony was held, there was a private burial at the tomb site - one which Juq and his grandmother attended.

Juq, having seen the fall of his people's greatest leader, dreamer, and Goddess, was striken with both a sense of grief and national pride. From this point onwards, he felt it to be his duty to unite his people once again, and for the better. He wanted the Moiety to have an ultimate goal in their existence - progress.

At the age of 16, he had already risen to be the most well respected nobleman of Tay. He was regarded as a philosopher, and his surprising young age, combined with his maturely delivered and prophetic ideas and visions, aided him even more into gaining admiration and respect from his fellow Moiety comrades.
The country still had no leader by the time he was 18, and thus Juq took it upon himself to organize and hold a vote to induct a new leader, with all the Moiety noblemen as candidates. AS you could predict, Juq won by about 91% of the vote. In his first year as leader, he and with the help of the other Moiety noblemen and intellectuals (these were people who had the good fortune of having spent a majority of their lives studying on Releeshahn with the D'ni scholars and the high ranking officials, even Atrus himself),
expanded and refined the language, and created five different kinds of script. Juq believed that their writing should be a work of art, which all citizens could appreciate.

Following the completion of this task, he wrote a small book in which he spoke his desire for the Moiety to have not only a "leader", but for this leader to be a king. He wrote that "The King is an icon of social unity. He is an image, a symbol, and the human representation of an idea. He does not provide anything different in terms of politics than any normal leader would, but he provides unity by the means of his image"
These high ideals were received well by the Moiety population, and without even a vote, Juq was officially recognized as the King of Tay and the King of the Moiety People.

During most of his reign, he spent his time advocating and also physically realizing his vision for expansion beyond the Valley. The west mountains, named the Kri Mountains (after one of the Rivenese animals that went extinct during Gehn's reign) were explored, and villages were set up there. He imported D'ni technology from Releeshahn to begin construction utilizing metal and cut stone, instead of wood which had been used since.
During this time, Yeesha made frequent visits to Tay, and strongly voiced her opinion that Katran was not a God. In many cases, she claimed that she was, if anything, the true Messiah, because of her growing belief that she was indeed the Grower who was fortold by the Watcher.
Juq realized that Yeesha was the daughter of the woman they viewed as their Lord, and thus she was granted pardon on the part of her lineage, but with a warning. Juq informed her that despite who she had been begotten from, when on Tay, she must abide by their rules and beliefs, or be silent. Yeesha was quick to accept, and foolishly so, as she later spoke out her beliefs many times after this agreement, and as a result, was banished from the Valley. Apparently, various journals hint that she constructed a makeshift hut into the base of a tree far off in the Napa Woods, far from the hub of Moiety civilization, where followers of her beliefs lived with her in a small village to hear her teachings. This little village has yet to be found, although it could have very well since have been abandoned, although some suggest obliterated by a later government.

Juq colonized what became the Kamko Grasslands that ran adjacent to the dense mountain range, named the Jilah, in which the Valley was situated. He constructed the great bridges and sumptuously decorated doors that quardened off the Valley area and the entire Jilah range.

By the end of his reign, at which he was around the age of 26, he began speaking of the Moiety people's true goal. He both wrote and spoke his belief that Gehn had linked to Riven for a reason, and that Katran had liberated them for a reason. It was by the will of the Maker that they had been chosen to learn of the Art, he said, and thus he concluded that because of this divine intervention, it was the Moiety's duty to become Age writers and Age colonizers themselves.

And at 27, he died. Some claimed that he was murdered by Yeesha, others claimed that he was murdered by either a Xenophobic D'ni (many Moiety still held a grudge against the D'ni even long after the events that conspired on Riven, and viewed them as still holding the prideful and racist beliefs that were hallmarks of Gehn's persona), or even a member of their own culture.
In any case, it was clear that he had been murdered. Poison was found in samples of his blood, and with this news, the Moiety took their first step towards a stricter, more religiously dogmatic, and imperial future.

The culprate was never found, and that made their blood rise.

IV - King Cheen:

Following the death of Juq, Cheen was chosen among the children of Juq to succeed his father as King. The majority of Cheen's reign has been considered to be an uneventful one. He was although, the king responsible for the creation of the Moiety secret police, known as the Taja. The Taja were the ever watchful eye of the king in making sure that the kingdom remained stable and without conflict. Later they served a much more sinister purpose - insuring that every Moiety obeyed the strict, dehumanizing laws of their religion, that they obeyed the king no matter what, and also serving as the kingdom's mercenaries - ordered to kill anyone who showed any hint of disobedience to the laws of the culture.
Cheen believed in everything his father had believed in, and that proved to be his downfall. As a king, he failed to offer any new points of views to his people, and so the ever growing Moiety population began to take it in themselves to create and define a structure to their rapidly expanding and changing culture. It was out of the people's efforts and beliefs, especially in regard to their anger at the murder of their first beloved king, that a new Moiety was born.
Cheen eventually died of old age at 83 years. He left the throne to his daughter Eti.

V - Queen Eti:

Eti, named after her great great grandmother who was close childhood friend of Katran, was appointed to the throne by Cheen during the very last moments of his life. Records point that she was chosen because of her insightfulness, curiosity, beauty, and the simple fact that she was female. Writings point to Cheen's belief that the Moiety should once again be ruled by the caring, nurturing, and beautiful sex. He believed that only women could dream as Katran had, and that dreaming, as philosophy when ruling and writing, was the only path towards a bright future for the Moiety. A legend states that his last words were "I will follow you Katran. To Releeshahn!" Releeshahn literally meaning "The Whole".

Eti began her reign at 22, by unifying her people under religion. It was during this period - 69 years to be exact - that the Moiety underwent a great religious and national transformation. Strict rules and guidelines for what enticed "being a Moiety" were instituted. The Moiety were no longer allowed to be seen - at all - beyond the Valley. Instead, when venturing to other Ages or other regions of Tay, they must always, and I stress "always" be in full body costume. The color red became for the first time, an even more powerful icon then the dagger. It was illegal to not wear, or to have less than 40% of of your body covered in red.
The Taja were an exception - they're color being an ink black. All Taja structures, which were in most cases tents, were of this color, and often decorated with black flags with white script, and black and white geometrical tapestries. It was an artful way of saying to anyone, Moiety, D'ni, or other, "don't mess with me".

Eti ordered construction of a temple dedicated to Katran to be placed on Torus. The temple's final design was, oddly, pentagonal, considering that that was the key geometrical shape that was the ultimate representation of Gehn. The temple was situated at the edge of the great vortex, which marked the center of Katran's impossible Age. A path to the temple was lined with daggers of all sorts, most of which were based on the original five that Katran had written into Riven.
The inside of the temple was lined with books, handwritten and crafted by the highest of the high Moiety artists. The scripts within these books have been described by scholars as to being 'The whole point of visiting the temple, and not for their messages".
The ceiling was a painted dome with an oculus letting sunlight in to shine upon an breathtaking painted floor. The ceiling was meant to depict Riven before the arrival of Gehn, and the floor was an equally rich and detailed depiction of Tay upon their first arrival.
Objects said to belong to Katran were placed on display in the temple, and an altar with a primitive microphone (probably borrowing technology from the one Gehn used in his throne room) were placed at the front of the main circular room where a priest would give sermons dealing with the story, the wisdom, and the powers of Katran. Five minorets rose high from the corners of the temple, each with a small onion-dome like compartment, with twisting spiral windows. These compartments, located at the very top of these towers, had another variation of microphones placed on the ceiling. Moiety citizens were encouraged to chant in these chambers songs of praise to Katran, that could be heard through speakers placed around the Age.
At the far end of the temple, a massive twisting staircase was excavated, leading down through the vortex to the night side of the Age. The night side was a place for private contemplation, thought, and meditation.

Nothing much is know about Eti as a person beyond the fact that she was an extremely religious woman. Some did doubt that Cheen was right in his beliefs about the female sex, questioning whether the woman was able to dream at all. The men although, respected her quite a bit, but for the wrong reasons.
Throughout her whole life she managed to be quite beautiful, even in her old age, where at this point she was rather more "elegant" than sexually attractive. Her choice of clothing pulled that off for her. Much of her of her wardrobe took inspiration from D'ni formal attire, but combined with the more primitive approach that only the the Moiety could provide.

Eti died of old age at 91. Without a heir to the throne, the Moiety were now faced with the task of electing a new King or Queen. They chose an influential and rich Moiety nobleman named Ra.

VI - King Ra:

What marked Ra's reign was personal gain, that and poor judgement. The man was not evil or uncaring by nature, but simply selfish and inconsiderate. He was, most notably, the first Moiety Emperor.

Ra took the throne a mere five days after the death of Eti, and within another mere five days, he had appointed himself as the first emperor of Tay and an expanding array of Ages. The people did not protest. They simply accepted this act and went on with their lives. Of course, they acted this way because the Taja were now watching them vigilantly. If any discontent was even suspected, the people in question would be dead within the hour, and thus any protestation was quelled before it could be noticed by anyone.
Numerous anonymous sources that I've been in contact with have informed me that Ra even went so far as to alter the original writings of both Katran and Juq, to further infer the notion that the Moiety should be an imperial power which could rival the D'ni, by making it read that Katran and Juq had both advocated these ideas long ago.
During his reign, he made deals with the D'ni Writer's Guild to teach his people the art of writing successful Ages. Later, it's been reported but not confirmed that Ra did not pay up his end of the deal - instead threatening the guild masters with torture if they did not continue their teaching.

By the age of 50, in around 1976 Surface Time, the Moiety already had an imperial public library at their disposal, housing Ages where villages and even small cities had been erected. Some evidence, although sketchy at best, points towards some of these Ages housing sentient creatures. I have again been informed by anonymous sources that apparently, the Moiety, under Ra's reign have conquered sections of these inhabited Ages.

VII - Sadi:

I'll finish by referring to recent events. In 2002 Surface Time, Ra was confirmed to have been murdered - poison is believed to have been the weapon - and most information that I've gathered points to the murderer being, shockingly, the now current Emperess, Ra's daughter Sadi.

23 year old Sadi has only been in reign for 5 years as of this writing. I must admit, that so far, from having observed the characteristics of her reign, the future looks bleak, and not for them, but for the D'ni and us.

She wants Releeshan.

Notes on the Moiety:

Gender Issues:

This is the first culture I've encountered where I can say that, without a doubt, men and woman are equal. There have been some reports of abusive husbands and/or wives, but the ratio of male/female abuse reports is pretty much 1:1, meaning, for as many abusive husbands there are abusive wives.

The Taja:

The Taja are quite an interesting people and aspect of Moiety culture, one which I think is probably the most interesting to dig into and discuss.

First off, unlike the rest of the Moiety, their signature color is black - a deep ink black.
The Taja wear full body black robes with hoods, and this following part is probably the weirdest aspect of their official attire - they have no faces.

Those who wished to become a Taja had to be recognized by the king as being one with the spirit of Katran - devoid of all feelings and emotions, impartial to all desires, focused only to please the king and their Lord Katran. As an act of initiation, and a test, their faces were literally skinned off, both because it was believed that they had to truly suffer to understand true beauty, of Katran, the Multiverse, and the Art , and that when they would kill for the king, they would not kill and cause imbalance, for through their suffering, they would become equal to their victims.
The Taja were considered dead - now physically living, breathing spirits who remained on Tay to bring order to the Age by the will of the king and Katran.
Nailed to their bare flesh were sacred metal masks, decorated with ancient Rivenese patterns dating back to the days before Tay, Katran, or even Gehn. The masks were then strapped with extremely tight black cloth to the head, never to be removed.

The Taja are also demanded to ritually smoke the Beztigo - a fat grey worm native to the soils of the Valley, that when smoked, usually with the aide of a specially decorated and carved stick, was believed to make one's mind closer to that of Katran's. The truth is that the worm contains fluids that makes one go into a hallucinogenic trance. The Moiety interpreted this as having one's brain evolve, for only a brief instance, to a state nearing that of the divine mind of their Lord.

Taja members erect small triangular tents in the Gahms Desert, where they often meditate and plan their next move. Here, they receive orders from the king, via a mesenger Taja - normally a new low ranking member.
They live, for the most part, in the desert, building bon fires in which they cast the many Moiety whom they were ordered to liquidate, as well as any documents the king wishes to rid himself of.

They also make beautiful, yet melancholic, black and white tapestries during their spare time. They use these tapestries as a means of decoration for their tents. It is a humble and respectful way of showing beauty - true beauty as they believed - which is devoid of colorful arrogance. The Taja's art focuses on propagating the notion that true beauty was Katran, the Multiverse, and the Art, and that man should not polute this true beauty with his own arrogant vision of beauty.

Moiety Names:


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