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    Canonfire :: View topic - Thoughts on the Thrones of Aerdy
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    Thoughts on the Thrones of Aerdy
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 13, 2020
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    From: Emigre from Mystara

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    Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:22 am  
    Thoughts on the Thrones of Aerdy

    Posted by Woesinger on the CanonFire Discord and too good to be lost.

    Thoughts on the Thrones of Aerdy
    The Malachite Throne has become a metonym for the overkingship of the Great Kingdom – but the physical Malachite Throne is of relatively recent origin – dating back to the Turmoil Between Crowns. It is said to have been hewn from a seam of malachite discovered within the stygian depths of the Cauldron of Night on Asperd Isle (doubtless at the cost of many souls – most notably those of Ivid and his descendants until the end of time). The first public display of the Malachite Throne was before the walls of Rel Astra, when seated upon it, borne aloft by a phalanx of “dark champions”, his hosts arrayed about him, Ivid demanded the fealty and obedience of the ancient city and the Celestial House of Garasteth (which he swiftly received). The unhappy conclusion of this tale is well known – the piteous fall of Rauxes, the tide of noble blood that followed, and the smashing of the old Throne of the Sun for firewood by the soldiers of the Naelax.
    The Malachite Throne that was set in its place quickly gathered about it such a reputation of infamy that the metonym has come to be used for the rulership of the Great Kingdom even before the accession (many would say usurpation) of the Naelax. But this is not strictly the case. Before the Naelax, the seat of the Overkings was the Throne of the Sun – for the blazon of Sol (or, depending whose opinion you seek, Pelor or Pholtus) has been the symbol of Aerdy and the Aerdi since the age of the Hidden Empress.
    It is likely – as the esteemed Smedger suggests – that there has been more than one Throne of the Sun in the past – both as a concept and as a physical object. Certainly when the followers of the One True Path ordained their realm between the Yol and the Rakers – amongst their many claims was they were the true keepers of the legacy of Aerdy. That it was the Blinding Light of Pholtus that had guided the Aerdi to the sea and their great destiny and that, though the rulers of the Great Kingdom had turned their faces from that Light – lured from the Path variously by blood and conquest, honour and glory, or wealth and power – that they remained True. The world without had fallen into shadow, but within the Pale, the Light had its last bastion. Thus, the Theocrats claimed the title of “Throne of the Sun” as their seat and symbol of sovereignty.
    As physical artifacts (with or without a capital A) – there may well be several Thrones of the Sun. There would have been one or several from before the age of Nasran Cranden. He would certainly have had a new throne made for his proclamation of the Great Kingdom and the Universal Peace. When the Crandens faltered and gave way to the Rax, it is probable that one of the first of their many follies was to put aside Nasran’s throne in favour of one that better flattered their history and heritage. This may have been the one that warmed the Naelax men-at-arms as they rested from the sack of Rauxes, though even today, you will doubtless find peddlers and charlatans in the markets of many cities in the east willing to part with a few splinters of the fabled Throne of the Sun for but a modest purse of gold crowns. Of the other thrones – who knows what came of them or what powers they might have been imbued with. Open possession of such objects would have been seen as a mark of defiance during the reign of the Naelax, and so, if they persist yet, they are certainly secreted away in forgotten or well-warded corners – perhaps in Rel Deven, perhaps elsewhere – hidden suns, awaiting a new dawn.
    At least such are the rumours and whispered scraps of lore that have come within the cognizance of your most humble scribe and servant.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:28 am  

    You are too kind, sir. I thank you! Embarassed
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    From: Emigre from Mystara

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    Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:16 pm  

    Further Discord musings from Woesinger:
    Thank you for the kind words!
    So real talk, inside baseball, on the level, off the record - when I wrote that Cauldron of Night piece (14 years ago!) I missed the Throne of the Sun ref in the Pale writeup in the LGG. And yes, it's plain that various published sources use Malachite Throne to refer to the office of the overkings before the Naelax (as far back as at least the Folio, the Furyondy entry, for example). And it's not surprising - it's a cool title/metonym. That said - I like the idea of the Naelax Malachite Throne being _THE_ Malachite Throne, not just _A_ Malachite Throne.
    On the other hand, malachite has a long history of use as a protective talisman on Earth (there’s some interesting stuff in the Wikipedia article mentioning sun symbols being used in conjunction with malachite, and how the Egyptians regarded it as the colour of death). It’s almost certain it has some actual powers on Oerth. That old Dragon article about the effects of precious stones lists it as providing “protection vs falling; with Sunstone - wards against evil spirits, spells and poisons", which is ironic and probably not directly relevant here. Still, there are grounds for the ancient Aerdi to value it enough to integrate it into the trappings of royalty.
    Talk to me more about the Palish Throne of the Sun having no relationship with Aerdy. The LGG is pretty explicit about the Palish being at their core, Pholtines who migrated out of the heartlands of Aerdy to a new homeland in the north (along with the Flan natives of said homeland). I take the point that if Throne of the Sun were a title in Aerdy – it’d be a _statement_ for the Palish to adopt the same title for their sovereign. But my thought was that was exactly the point – that it’s basically a statement of independence from Aerdy, of the unworthiness of the overkings to hold the divine right of sovereignty. And by the mid 300s, I’m not sure the Rax in Rauxes can do much about it.
    The Malachite Throne as a concept and an object probably does date back to the origins of the Kingdom of Aerdy. Early thrones might have been of wood and/or metal inlaid with malachite.
    As the Great Kingdom grew, the office of the overking and the seat itself acquired subsidiary titles and elegant variations – of which “Throne of the Sun” is a pretty obvious one. It was also the title that spoke most to the religious beliefs and temporal ambitions of the Theocrats of the Pale, and so they chose it to claim the legitimacy it offered in defiance of the increasingly ineffectual overkings in Rauxes.
    As the Great Kingdom grew, the office of the overking and the seat itself acquired subsidiary titles and elegant variations – of which “Throne of the Sun” is a pretty obvious one. It was also the title that spoke most to the religious beliefs and temporal ambitions of the Theocrats of the Pale, and so they chose it to claim the legitimacy it offered in defiance of the increasingly ineffectual overkings in Rauxes.
    The Naelax – never known for their subtlety – were the first to actually hew the entire thing from a block of (intensely magical) malachite. And if “Malachite Throne” might have been only one of several metonyms for the overkingship of the GK before this time, it became the dominant one in everyone’s mind after Ivid’s accession (along with the Fiend-Seeing Throne).
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