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 Khitai Information

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Jingfu



Posts : 11
Join date : 2011-03-29

PostSubject: Khitai Information   Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:16 am

Khitani Characteristics
- The Khitani are an oriental people and they display markedly different physical characteristics to westerners.

As they are isolated from the west by the Great Wall and very few venture into the wider world, the Khitani seem to be highly exotic when compared with the western races.

Their eyes: Like most oriental people, Khitani have an epicanthic fold and usually only a single crease to the eyelid.

Hair: All Khitani have dark, straight hair. the colors differing from dark brown to raven black.

Hair is traditionally worn long by both sexes but neatly tied and secured with a variety of fixings (plaits, crossed sticks, ribbons and so forth). Beards are seen as somewhat uncouth in polite Khitani society although mustaches are considered to lend gravitas and importance. Amongst the common classes its common to shave the forehead into a tonsure, removing the hair laterally back to the crown and than wearing the long hair plaited to hang down the back. Hairstyles are commonly used to denote rank and station, with the highest placed in society possessing the most elaborate hair arrangements.

Stature: Khitani are typically shorter than westerners. The general stature for Khitanis is a proud and upright posture, especially amongst the higher classes. Peasants, when in the company of the higher rank, adopt a natural deferential stoop to emphasize the social division.

Clothing: The Khitani use two fabrics in their clothes: silk and cotton. linen is rarely used and leather reserved for functional items such as armor.

It is divided into 3 main types:

* the pien-fu is a two piece ceremonial costume consisting of a tunic like top extending to the knees and than its either skirt our trouser to the ankles.
* The k'ang-p'ao is a one piece garment extending from the shoulders to the heels, common amongst the peasantry.
* The shen-i is a cross between the pien-fu and the k'ang-p'ao.

All examples of Khitani clothing are characterized by wide and voluminous sleeves and a very loose fit. The tunic and trousers or skirt, use the very minimum number of stitches for the amount of cloth used. As the main clothing forms are relatively plain in design and structure, embroidered edges, decorated bands, d****d cloth or silks, patterns on the shoulders and sashes are an ornamentation.

Dark colors are preferred to lighter shades so the high classes uses mainly a dark based color as the peasantry uses lighter colors.

Khitanis associate certain colors with specific seasons:
Green for spring.
Red for summer.
White for autumn.
Black for winter.

Armour: Only nobles and ranking soldiers are permitted to wear armor
Leather forms the basis and most warriors tend to wear only a leather cuirass with either bronze or turtle shells stitched onto it to form an overlapping design. In battle, shoulder plates and guards for the lower legs are also worn. the arms are typically unarmored so that mobility is unrestricted.

The richest nobles or most prestigious warriors, such as those of the Imperial Guard, wear mountain armor. This is, again, a cuirass of leather but the scales are iron or steel and shaped to form the Mandir character for the word mountain.

Helmets are generally a leather, iron, or steel cap sometimes supplemented by bronze, iron, or turtle scales, which form a skirt to protect the neck and the ears. The richer designs are extremely elaborate, adding horns and such to impress and reflect rank and status.

Language: The predominant Khitani language is called Mandir and it has both high and low forms. High mandir is the language of the bureaucracy, aristocracy and artist. It is a fast fluid tongue with an emphasis on vowel sounds with few hard consonants. Low mandir is the language of the street and the low orders. It's a coarser, even faster language that uses abbreviated forms of high mandir and sounds clipped when compared with the high mandir. It's forbidden by the lower order to speak in high mandir although written communication can be conducted in high mandir.

In the south of Khitai the Min language is common. Min has but one form and is functionally very different from the mandir language, with a mixture of vowels and hard consonants. A Min speaker will have a hard time to make himself understood to a Mandir speaker and vice versa.

Merchants and traders have therefor adopted a trade cant, know as Fu, which mixes mandir and Min and is used only for commerce. It is a peculiar tongue but allows the language to be bridged by those merchants who travel widely.

Both Mandir and Min use ideograms rather than individual letters in their written forms, An ideogram conveys single words but also whole expressions, including tense, inflection and emotional weight with thousands of ideograms making up both Mandir and Min tongues.
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Jingfu



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PostSubject: Re: Khitai Information   Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:17 am

The social hierarchy

Although Khitai presents itself as a unified nation under the rule of the god emperor, it is in fact a loose and frequently fractious collection of small kingdoms, each with their own design and agenda upon the highest seat of power in the land. A kingdom can be as big as a province or as small as a city-state. Much depends on the ambition and political will and expertise of its ruler.

Khitani society is highly stratified. The position of one's birth is generally set for the rest of his life, although sometimes mobility between ranks is possible.
The people honor familial relationships above all, using family to maintain social status distinctions.


THE FOUR CLASSES

ZHOU;
The imperial court and those who claim a relationship, either directly our indirectly, with the god emperor or god emperor's family.

At the top is the god emperor also called Huangdi, who is backed by seven counselors. Some believe the god emperor is but a figurehead and the seven counselors rule but the common belief is that the god emperor occupies the status of a demigod. The seven counselors are three Huang (god kings) and five Di (sage kings).

The emperor title is passed from father to son but not necessarily the eldest son. Also, Khitani politics allow for a change in dynasty, so emperors can be replaced by a successful rebel leader. Members of the Zhou class are entitled to hold up or administer armies and official rites.

Positions within the Zhou:
- God Emperor: The emperor of Khitai rules as a god king. He is the head of the cults in Khitai, so he usually has sorcerous powers in addition to his lineage. It falls to him to make sure his ancestors are worshiped by the people as gods; else he can be overthrown.
- Crown Prince: The heir to the throne, normally the eldest son. He has no rank as Wang, and lives with the emperor, but his status can be changed at a whim of the emperor.
- Tongxing Wang: The wang is a title for a prince, he is essential a king but of the same family of the emperor, usually sons or brothers of the emperor.
- Yixing Wang: This is the title for a vassal king who is from a different family than the emperor, usually a gong with so much wealth that he declares himself a Wang.


ZHUHOU;
Beneath the emperor are the nobles. They own the land, raise taxes, and pledge alliance to a member of the Zhou. All members of the Zhuhou pledge alliances to the god emperor.

If the nobles actually govern a place, then the name of that place is also in his title. The eldest son inherits the title of his father, retaining the same rank. Other sons from the consort or concubines and mistresses are given a title one rank lower than their father. Most titles are for military merits.

Any female member of the Zhuhou is simply called Gongzhu with the same rules as for the sons.

Positions within the Zhuhou:
Gong: A duke or prince, rules a large domain and holds an army.
Hóu: A marquess.
Bó: A count our earl.
Zi: A viscount.
Nán: baron.

QING;
Beneath the nobles are the gentry, the Qing. These are often court officials assigned to the nobles. The lesser sons of the Nán (barons) are in here too. Their foremost task is the defense of the realm.

Positions within the Qing:
Qingche Duwei: Generals.
Qi Duwei: Commander of the knightly order.
Yungqiwei: The military officers and adjutants.
Enqiwei: A knight.

HAN;
The Han is our low class, this is the peasantry and the wealthy.

Positions within the Han:
Daifu: These are doctors, teachers, merchants, the more wealthy peasants.
Shi: These are artisans, farmers and craftsmen.
Shumin: These are the commoners of Khitai.

ETIQUETTE;
The demonstration of position within society is immediately apparent through bearing, dress, quality of residence and the language spoken. Lower positions within a class must always defer to a higher one in all matters. Low orders must always bow to the higher rank. Lower ranks are forbidden to openly disagree with the opinion and decisions of a higher class, no matter what the consequences might be. Only a written petition is permitted, outlining the disagreement, the reason, and the alternative solution. If the solution is not accepted then the petitioner must accept it and not mention it anymore.

Courtesy is of prime importance is Khitai. Even the lowest peasant is entitled some courtesy from his superiors.

Justice; All Khitani believe in justice and it is not the same as freedom. Justice is the justice of the ancestors, which means receiving that to which somebody is entitled according to one's station and through one's deeds. Justice is therefore predicated on expecting no more and no less than one's entitlement.

Denying what a man is entitled to is injustice. Denying one's position is injustice.

The Khitani notion of justice includes hospitality. A good and just Khitani is hospitable to anyone who comes to his house or seeks aid.

A peasant seeking refuge in the house of a nobles will be welcomed but will be given a stable floor to sleep on and bread and water to eat. It is not the peasants right to expect more but neither is he expected to accept less.

Foreigners are viewed with suspicion and disdain. Every Khitani knows that it was foreigners who brought disasters to the world and that Khitai was blameless. In the eyes of every Khitani, westerners may have worked hard to build a civilization, but they still remain barbaric. They are not banned from Khitai, however. They prove to be good for trade and mercenaries. Still, foreigners have almost no rights in Khitai.

TRADE;
The merchants of Daifu, they can work on their own or by order of a Zhuhou our even a Zhou.

The higher classes consider the trade and commerce beneath their status.
Khitan caravans trade with Kusan, Turan,Stygia, Meru, Vendhya and Iranistan, filled with all sorts of exotic merchandise (gold, lotus, silk, jade and so on...).

These caravans and a few exiled ones are the only contact outside Khitai, so the trade happens mostly internally.

The general economy of Khitai is based on three coins:
* Sai: golden coin (carved and larger than a Dao)
* Dao: silver coin (same as a Hin but larger)
* Hin: copper coin (small square coins)

The currency is based on twelves (I interpret this as 12 copper coins = 1 silver coin). Every coin has a hole in the middle, allowing them to be strung onto Thongs that are then worn attached to the sash. Most cities trade with coins but outside mostly the trade is based on goods or services. Sometimes jade is considered as payment to as every Khitani adores jade.

SLAVERY;
Slavery is common in Khitai. Slaves are either condemned Khitanis or captured foreigners. Slaves are property,therefore, have no status at all. They are given a new name and are refereed to as 'Ono' (the low mandir for slave).
Only Zhuhou and above are permitted to have slaves but sometimes a Daifu is permitted to have a slave.

For a Khitani, to become a slave is the worst shame of all. His own family and friends will disown him completely. As a slave is nothing, he's denied any justice and it is quite legal to kill a slave.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT;
Khitani law is documented in the ancient documents know as the articles.
Almost every aspect of the Khitani society is in it. The crime decides the punishment. A public beating with bamboo for public insults is considered mild, as thievery is punished with brands on the arm up to amputations of limbs.

Punishments for women are hash and aimed at enforcing social compliance.
The most shameful crime is treason to the god emperor, which means death for that person; along with his family being sold into slavery.

Life is cheap in Khitai and based around the ancestors of the family. Everything happens at the will of the ancestors, even death in the family.

Human sacrifices are common in Khitai. Most are condemned prisoners but the nobility is permitted to make any sacrifice it wishes. So slaves, peasants, or even willing family members can find themselves en route to the sacrificial altar. A sacrifice is seen as a noble undertaking; the surest, most courteous way of proving one's loyalty to the God Emperor and the Ancestors.

Sorcery is viewed with disdain by many western cultures, but in Khitai, great sorcerers are revered.

Demons, the dark creatures of the underworld, are summoned and worshiped as gods in Khitai. The belief is that, upon death, the soul is split in two. One half ascends to heaven, where it resides with the Ancestors. The other half will go to the underworld, where it will learn many secrets and live on unhindered by mortal bounds; perhaps one day becoming a demigod. Such a soul can be summoned and used for own use, for good or ill. Where demons are seen as only evil in most western cultures, they are seen as a balance of the cosmos in Khitai.

Jade is seen as a divine gift sent by the Ancestors. It's very valuable in Khitai and used for their art or trade.
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Jingfu



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PostSubject: Re: Khitai Information   Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:17 am

KHITANI CALENDAR

Khitanis measure time from the building of the first Great Wall, 1600 years before Conan. Each year is divided into 12 months, with each month named for its position. Each month is 30 days long and 5 days are segregated for special holidays.


First month -New Year's Day
Second month
Third month - Emperor's Day
Fourth month
Fifth month - Ancestor's Day
Sixth month
Seventh month - All Gods' Day
Eighth month
Nine month
Tenth month Spirit's Day
Eleventh month
Twelfth month

The five special days are a time of great celebrations and public holidays. Feasts are common amongst the wealthy orders and the lower classes enjoy whatever treats they have managed to save during the year.

New Year's day;
New year is celebrated with fireworks and feasting. A serpent is made from paper and traditionally burned to symbolize the passing of the old year and the rising of the new from the ashes. People wear green, which is a lucky color, for the new year. Small gifts meant to bring prosperity are exchanged between families.

Emperor's day
On Emperor's day it is customary for a member of the Seven counselors to read the proclamation from the God emperor that is meant to benefit all people. This might be a reduction in taxes for a month or prisoners of certain crimes might be set free.

Ancestor's day
All ancestors are worshiped most reverently on this day. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom the night before and, at dawn, whole communities troop to the major ancestral shrines where the priests lead prayers and offerings. A sacrifice (mostly a condemned prisoner) is made and then a feast is held, with a place reserved for the ancestral spirits.

All gods day
The day on which all gods; whether residing in heaven, the mortal world, or the underworld are venerated simultaneously. This is a day of great reverence given over to solemn prayer and complex rituals. In Paikang (capitol of Khitai) 1000 Prisoners are sacrificed on the public square in front of the imperial palace.

In the evening people wear costumes to represent the gods and parade through the streets.

Spirit day
This is the Khitai equivalent of the Harvest festival. The nature spirits are venerated and thanked for providing a bountiful harvest. There are no sacrifices that day, but offerings of food and drinks are made at the countless shrines through out the land.
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Jingfu



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PostSubject: Re: Khitai Information   Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:18 am

KHITANI PANTHEON

The Khitani pantheon hosts more than 9000 gods. Most are revered ancestors, kuei (demons) summoned to the earth, powerful kuei who stays in the underworld, or mythical and powerful heroes. The pantheon is made so that every Khitani can find himself in it.

In the beliefs of the Khitanis the gods lives as men do; in a hierarchy much like that of Khitai's heirarchy. All the gods serve an emperor god named Yun. The lesser gods are served by demigods, the demigods by spirits and human souls.

The major gods of the Khitani:

Cheng-Ho: She is the moon-goddess of Khitai. Her myth tells that she was once a water spirit who developed an all consuming desire to posses the August Opal of Heaven, which was a gem created by the source of All Things. She snuck into heaven one night and took the Opal from its hiding place, but she woke the three Heavenly Dragons who guarded it. The dragons chased her out of the Heavenly palace and into the night sky. Cheng-Ho pleaded to the Source of All Things to spare her whatever fate the three dragons had in mind for her. Out of mercy the Source of All Things saved her life and merged her with the opal she had stolen, creating the moon.

Every night she watches over the world and controls the tides of seas, which was once her home.

Yu Huang: Also know as Shang-Ti, he is the august emperor of the jade. He was once a human, favored to become the God emperor, but he declined the jade throne and ascended to heaven to seek the wisdom of the Source of All things.

Now and than he visits the earth to help people. He comes in many forms; a jovial old man, a young woman, and so on. He's the god of wisdom.

Ch'eng-Huang: The protector of humans, he safeguarded humankind when Yen-Wang, king of the dead wanted all mankind to join his realm. He's the judge of the dead and decides how the two souls of a person will act when they descend to heaven and the underworld.

Chi-Fu-Shen: The collective names given to the seven gods of happiness, sons of the Source of All Things that represent the seven happinesses of food, drink, poetry, music, love, sex and jade.

Chi-Ku-Niang: A daughter of Yu Hang, she's the goddess of maidens and the betrothed. Its her duty to bring visions of the intended husband to any maiden who makes an offering of food, drink, or jade at one of her shrines. The vision shows the man the maiden one day will marry.

If the maiden is already engaged, the vision will show the true character of her husband to be.

Chi-Ti: The sky god, through his breath he keeps heaven and earth separated. His domain is the clouds. He once freed 100 spirits to fight Yun and is therefor also seen as the god of the rebels and protector of bandits.

Chi-Wen: The dragon of the waters, one of the three heavenly dragons that chased Cheng-Ho when she stole the opal. Now forbidden to return to the Heavenly Palace, he stalks the water, the place Cheng-Ho once lived. He's her enemy and the bringer of storms when he rages at his exile.

Yang Sung-Tzu: The god of rain and fertility, represented as a woman. He took the waters of the sea to make rain when a great drought struck the land and all was at the edge of death. Since that day he has been cursed as the bane of the Khitanis for its flash floods and mudslides.

Chih Yü: Half man andhalf bull, he's the god that invented weapons and gave it to the Khitanis. He lives in the underworld after a rebellion he once led to overthrow Yung and was defeated. He has 72 brothers and many temples are guarded by 73 statues of bull headed men.

Yun: The emperor of the underworld and the emperor god. He's the head of the Khitani pantheon and almost nothing is know of him. All kuei obey him and some see him as the equivalent of the Source of All Things. His priests are warrior monks and great necromancers.
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Callesto

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PostSubject: Re: Khitai Information   Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:51 am

Hehe...by any chance, do you like Khitai characters? Wink

Great write up, thank you for all the time you spent to inform everyone!
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Jingfu



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PostSubject: Re: Khitai Information   Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:17 pm

Callesto wrote:
Hehe...by any chance, do you like Khitai characters? Wink

Great write up, thank you for all the time you spent to inform everyone!

*coughs* Whatever would give you that idea. I abhor the Khitan. >.>

Lol, not really. I really do love the Khitan characters and lore. I'm really glad that they added it to the game.
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Ravenwrath

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PostSubject: Re: Khitai Information   Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Very nice write up...been looking for some good reading regarding this the Khitan. Will be very helpful when creating a backstory.
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