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[Fanmade Dark Era] [Leviathan/Mage] Entwined Dragons

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  • [Fanmade Dark Era] [Leviathan/Mage] Entwined Dragons

    Hello, people. I am a native Korean who usually talks in Korean RPG forums, which are relatively small. This is my proposal for another Dark Era setting I wrote in on of them. I thought I should share it with Onyx Path forum, since it has much more members and diversity. It is an open project, any contribution or constructive criticism is welcome. Also, my English could contain errors.

    Entwined Dragons
    Korea, Yeomal Seoncho[여말선초, 麗末鮮初, End of Goryeo, Beginning of Joseon]. 1374~1422 AD

    Goryeo dynasty is at ruins. Once an independent, strong, and proud nation that defended the Cathay's invasion successfully, Goryeo was forced to kneel at the mighty Mongols after 30 years of war. Since then, Yuan dynasty of Mongol has never stopped meddling. Young women were forced to sent to Yuan to become cocubines, kings were toppled if resistant, and Yuan collaborators turns farmers into their slave by force, intimidation and crimes.

    That was until Gongmin-wang(공민왕, 恭愍王, King Gongmin) was enthroned at 1351. Like any other kings, he was married to a Yuan princess Noguk(노국대장공주, 魯國大長公主). But that did not stop them from enacting reforms. Yuan was suffering from Han Chinese rebellions, and Gongmin seized the opportunity. Intervening Yuan officials were banished, collaborators were thrown out from offices, and lost land was reconquered. Reforms were making notable progresses.

    Then the Hong-gunjuk(홍건적, 紅巾賊, Red Turban Rebels)s came. And the Wae-gu(왜구, 倭寇, Japanese Pirates)s. Because of the corruption and meddling, Goryeo's military strength was barley enough to handle them. The King was forced to flee from capital many times. In the end, Honggunjuk was driven out, and onslaught of Waegu has stopped for a brief moment, but Goryeo lost valuable time for reforms.

    The royal couple did not have babies(there were some miscarriages) for a long time, then in 1365 the queen went into labor. Despite Gongmin's frantic attempts to save her, both Noguk and her baby died in childbirth. By losing his true love, only guide and ally, King Gongmin was depraved, but he could not give up his country yet.

    Then Sin Don came. Sin Don was a lowly Buddhist monk. His origin are unknown to this day, but Gongmin trusted him, and granted him absolute power to continue the reforms. Sin Don returned noble's illegally gained farms to rightful owners, freed slave that were once free people, revived the Sung-gyungwan(성균관, 成均館, National Confucian College). His methods were straightforward, quick, and effective. Because of this, nobles and powerful families despised him. Neo-Confucian reformists called Shinjin Sadaebu(신진사대부, 新進士大夫, New wave scholar-official) did not like him because of his background of Buddhist monk. Furthermore, it is said that Sin got lost in power, having mistresses and acquiring fortune. Gongmin also was afraid of Sin's growing power, and he was executed.

    That was the end of reforms. King gave up everything. Some say he went insane. He turned to perverted sexual acts toward both men and women. He ordered his male sex partners to rape his cocubines, and when one of them turned pregnant, he tried to kill them all. Unfortunately, the rapists got him first. Gongmin was brutally murdered in 1374.

    Yi Inim(이인임, 李仁任), a pro-Yuan noble who was the target of the reform(to be fair, he was a reformist in his early days, it was the death of Gongmin that shook him and corrupted him) took over the government. 10 year old Woo, who was Gongmin's only son from Sin Don's housemaid was appointed King. A corrupt but shrewd and effective ruler, Yi Inim negates all reforms, but runs country smoothly without any noise. But still, shadows are creeping from every corner of the country.

    This is the start of Yeomal Seoncho. It is probably the most popular era in Korean History due to its importance and interesting characters. It has been made into historical dramas many times featuring different interpretation each time. It is a time of conflicting ideologies, shining ideals and necessary evils, Korean society was forever changed after this. After Yeomal Seoncho, a golden age of Korea begins by Sejong the Great.

    1374: Enthronement of Woo.
    1376: Choi Young wins battle against Waegu
    1380: Choi Museon defeats Waegu by using new weapons- cannons.
    1380: Yi Seonggye destroys Waegu army. Organized attacks from Waegu are ended.
    1383: Jung Dojeon meets Yi Seonggye. Jung becomes Yi's most trusted advisor. Many say Jung is the designer of Joseon dynasty.
    1388: Yi Inim is removed from office by Choi Young and Yi Seonggye.
    1388: Choi Young and King Woo order Yi Seonggye to attack Ming China. He refuses and does Coup d'etat.
    1388: Woo is removed from throne, his son Chang becomes king.
    1389: Chang is removed from throne, Yi Seonggye's relative Gongyang becomes king.
    1389~1392: King Gongyang and Jung Mongjoo resists and politically attacks Lee Seonggye and his men. Yi Seonggye's greatest crisis
    1392: Yi Seonggye's son Yi Bangwon orders to kill Jung Mongjoo in broad daylight.
    1392: Yi Seonggye becomes king(Taejo). Goryeo's end. Joseon's beginning.
    1392: Yi Seonggye makes his youngest son Yi Bangseok crown prince.
    1392~1398: Jung Dojeon passes various laws, leading to reforms. Many royal family is enraged, thinking Jung Dojeon is more powerful than the king.
    1398: First Strife of Princes. Yi Bangwon commits coup saying "it is wrong to make a second wife's son heir while firstborn is alive." He kills Yi Bangseok and his brother Bangbeon, Jung Dojeon and many more. Shocked by his best friend and son's death, Taejo resigns from throne and goes to his northeast hometown. Yi Bang-gwa, then eldest son, becomes king(Jeongjong).
    1400: Second Strife of Princes. Yi Bangwon's elder brother Bang-gan tries coup. Yi Bangwon easily stops this. Yi Bang-gan is spared. Bangwon becomes king(Taejong).
    1402: Rebellion of Jo Saui. This rebellion was supported by Taejo Yi Sunggye. Taejong Yi Bangwon surpresses the rebellion. Taejo admits defeat and returns to palace. It is known that Taejo and Taejong made up later.
    1408: Taejo dies.
    1409: Fearing the meddling from queen's relatives. He purges his two brother-in-law. They are killed a year later.
    1409~1418: Taejong purges his former helpers and lieutenants, none of them were killed. But most are forced into resigns, cast out to frontiers, or moved into just honorary titles.
    1418: Taejong changes crown prince from Yangnyeong to Chungnyeong.
    1418: King Sejong takes the throne. Taejong resigns and becomes High King.
    1419: Taejong purges Sejong's in law. Sejong's father-in-law Sim on is killed, his family made into slaves all except the Queen.
    1422: Taejong dies.

    Inspirational Materials
    Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty-A official history book renowned for its accuracy and independence from political powers.
    Tears of the Dragon-1997 Korean Historical Drama
    Jung Dojeon-2014 Korean Historical Drama
    Six Flying Dragons-2015 Korean Historical Drama

    This is all for today. I will be returning with supernaturals, themes, moods. I hope you liked it.
    Last edited by tg0098; 02-02-2018, 09:16 AM. Reason: Fixed some typo/editing

  • #2
    Curious to see how you are going to integrate Leviathan and Mage's themes with this.

    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."


    • #3
      How did I miss this thread?! Glad to see another Korean. I'm weak on history, but fare better on CoD.

      I'm surprised you chose Leviathan, since it's a fangame and thus relatively lacking in materials (especially 2E) to work with, and I admit I didn't look closely into Leviathan ever since Beast came out... Was it the dragon imagery?

      Anyways, I look forward to what you have prepared for this.

      MtAw Homebrew:
      Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
      New 2E Legacies, expanded


      • #4

        Leviathan: the Tempest

        "You call me a son of Sin Don, but we Wang families are descendant of dragons! Come here and look." Onlookers came and saw Woo's armpit gleaming with fish-like scales. It was the most peculiar thing. - Yi Junghwan, 'Taekliji(택리지, 擇里志, Determining Advantageous Lands)'

        Past and Future

        It is said that Jak Jegeon, grandfather of the Goryeo's founder Wang Geon, married a daughter of western sea's dragon king. Since then, blood of the dragon flows in Wang family's veins. In order to keep the bloodline pure, early Goryeo kings would marry their relatives. Although this tradition stops by powerful nobles demanding royal marriages with their family, Goryeo's royal family always carried the trace of Tannim Strain. Gongmin is the last royal Leviathan, one that had not been born in a century because of the sea-fearing nature of Yuan.

        Most Leviathans of Goryeo pledge their allegiance to the Wang royal family. In return, they are granted prestige that few could match. They are rulers of rural seaside village who the governors cannot interfere, traditional nobles whose ancestors helped Wang Geon found this great nation, head monks of Buddhist temples which own the local mountains and rivers.
        But as always, change of tides sweep the Tribe. Tribe was torn in two because of the Gongmin's reforms. One side said it was necessary, that they have to give up the privileges or Goryeo will crumble. Others argued the king is not respecting the way of the Tribe. Sure, maybe corrupt mortal nobles should be cleaned out, but to do the same on God-Monsters? No, us Leviathans should be the exception.

        The only thing that stopped the civil war was death of Gongmin. Anti-reformist was pleased at Yi Inim's rule, pro-reformists were worried about the future, but they weren't passionate about reform enough to give up their privileges when no one is asking them to. But history marches on as generals start to gain fame from defeating invaders, and more and more Shinjin Sadaebu s are gathering for revolution, seeing no hope in current regime.

        Once Yi Sunggye's coup succeeds, the Tribe is forced to choose. Will you stay royal to the king, risking your own life? Are you going to collaborate with Yi, to ensure some of the Tribe will survive to next dynasty? Or will you choose the third path, betraying some of the kings but saving the nation? Perhaps is there fourth, or fifth way? The reforms are getting more drastic, stripping many powers that Tribe enjoyed for centuries. It is becoming clear that Neo-Confucianists don't just want some government posts. They want to remake this nation completely, and Leviathans aren't part of it.

        The fall of Leviathans begins with Joseon. The country forges Sain geom(사인검, 四寅劍, Four tiger sword), a blade that is only made on tiger year, tiger month, tiger day, tiger hour which fills it with pure Yang. Used correctly, sain geom surges with electrical power, making it deadly bane for Leviathans. The new government organizes hunters to locate and kill the Tribe. Many lives will be lost, including the collaborators who were promised safety in return. After Taejong is inaugurated, the hunt stops and remaining ones are officially pardoned. But Leviathans will continued to be persecuted through Joseon dynasty.

        I should probably write strains and schools, but got lost in ideas. Do you think all strains and schools should include Korean names for them? There aren't a lot of sea monsters or gods in Chinese&Korean mythology so I could use some help with them.


        • #5
          This looks very promising and it's focused on a time window I know little about. Will keep an eye on this, it does seem interesting.

          Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

          I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


          • #6
            Considering what the Wake does to people, this says some... interesting things about the general mental state of the royalty and the higher nobility, as well as the country itself.

            There are seven Strains, right? Buddhist lore mentions eight "dragon kings," i.e. Naga Raja. Maybe you can have seven of them as the Strains' names? Buddhist culture did flourish in Goryeo, after all.

            MtAw Homebrew:
            Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
            New 2E Legacies, expanded


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cinder View Post
              This looks very promising and it's focused on a time window I know little about. Will keep an eye on this, it does seem interesting.

              Thanks for your interest. I really enjoyed your "The Forest that Weeps".

              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
              Considering what the Wake does to people, this says some... interesting things about the general mental state of the royalty and the higher nobility, as well as the country itself.

              There are seven Strains, right? Buddhist lore mentions eight "dragon kings," i.e. Naga Raja. Maybe you can have seven of them as the Strains' names? Buddhist culture did flourish in Goryeo, after all.
              That's a really good idea. I thought about borrowing Yongsaengguja(9 sons of dragons) for Lahmasu's name.


              • #8
                Originally posted by tg0098 View Post

                That's a really good idea. I thought about borrowing Yongsaengguja(9 sons of dragons) for Lahmasu's name.
                You can always use the Nine Children for Hybrids in Leviathan. Or perhaps entirely different mythic beings for Mage, like cryptids and spirits.

                Alternatively... Proximi in the Alexandrian age were thought to be descended from Classic heroes. What if Proximi in Asia were thought to be of draconic descent? (Hey, DnD got away with it with their sorcerers...)

                MtAw Homebrew:
                Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                New 2E Legacies, expanded


                • #9
                  Strains and School

                  Leviathans are a dying race even in Goryeo dynasty. There are estimated a hundred Leviathans in Korean peninsula, not counting Lahmasus. In Korea, Leviathans call themselves Haesoo(해수, 海獸, sea monsters), which could be also read as harmful monsters. Since Korea have a vary diverse nautical ecosystem, there are no sea life could not be manifested in Leviathan's forms.

                  Strains are called Jipa(지파) in Korea. The Lahmasu's names are originated from Yongsaengguza(용생구자, 龍生九子, Nine sons of Dragon). Strain somewhat defines how do you feel about this moment. The exceptions are there, but usually the same strain shares the same attitude.

                  The Bahamutans call themselves Gon(곤), which is a giant whale appearing in Zhuangzi's book. They are most gentle and caring strain, usually landlords, and tend to stay in local regions albeit not too far from capital. They make their cult self-sufficient, emphasizing on farming and fishing, and do not care for politics or reforms. This is tradition, and they will continue to keep it no matter what happens. Their Lahmasu's name is Bihui(비희)

                  The Dagonites call themselves Agwi(아귀), name for big mouth fish. They are most numerous among the Korean Leviathans. They make their cult in very secluded areas like small islands, and do not care for neither Confucianism nor Buddhism. Aside from Tannim, Dagonites are least favorable toward Joseon, not because of their loyalty, but because they oppose Joseon’s policy of centralization. Their Lahmasu's name is Docheol(도철).

                  The Lahamins call themselves Chodo(초도), a monster that likes to lock things. Many Lahamins form a cult that is considered heretical to most Buddhist. Like cult of Mireuk(미륵, a future Buddha who will come and fix all the problems in the world). They frequently enjoy this chaos, since this gives them more followers. They name their Lahmasu Heonjang(헌장).

                  The Nus call themselves Hondon(혼돈), primordial monster of chaos itself. Despite its name, Nu are probably the most mainstream strain. It isn’t numerous, but it has no problem joining Buddhists or Confucianists, studying scripture and practicing belief. Cults think of themselves as followers and disciples. They are the ones who is obsessed about making a jokbo(족보, family tree) for all tribe. Their Lahmasu is known as Gongbok(공복).

                  The Oceanids call themselves Shinjikki(신지끼), mermaid goddess of the sea. They are the ones who stay in capital and make political factions. The most powerful and prosperous Strain, they are known for perversion and many marriages. They remain fairly neutral about Joseon. It is just another opportunity like always. They have survived the Mongols, surely they can get through this. The problem is, they are the most hated Leviathans to the Shinjin Sadaebu. Their Lahmasu is known as Gyo(교).

                  The Tannim call themselves Yong(용), the dragon itself. Every Tannim in Korea is Wang family, through birth or by giving Wang surname to her. They are the most loyal Strain to Goryeo. That doesn’t mean they are counter reformists, as you can reform without changing the dynasty. But they are ready to throw their lives to stop the usurper. Their Lahmasu is known as Yimoogi(이무기).

                  The Thassalans call themselves Tam(탐), endless hunger. Once prosperous due to active foreign trade policy of Goryeo, they are struggling these times. When China, Korea, Japan are all in civil war or chaos, it’s hard to make money through trade. Nevertheless, they are contacting with various regimes to ensure their profit. They do not like Neo Confucianists, since they think merchant are lowly class who produce nothing and only exploits, but are eager to set deals with the new regime. Their Lahmasu is known as Suwoo(수우).

                  Schools are called Hakdang(학당, 學當) in Korea. Schools represent how you react to problems. Of course, having the same problem makes it easier to look for same solutions, but not always. There is no School of Sand, and School of Clay got split into two.

                  Dowon Hakdang(도원학당), the School of Abyss tries to retreat to Dowon(도원, 桃園, Peach garden), which is a island far away in ocean, an ideal place for Leviathans to live in. This school tries to solve problem by cutting all contacts with human society. This is somewhat different from western School of Abyss, which views sea as their final resting place and not an island.

                  Juja Hakdang(주자학당), the first School of Clay borrows its name from creator of Neo Confucianism Zhu Xi(Korean name Juhui, or in reverence, Juja). Since this philosophy-religion teaches its followers everyone can become a gentleman, Malkut’s believe they, even if monsters and gods, could clean their body and fix this county’s problems. If you are using only English name, call it “School of Bamboo.”

                  Bulbub Hakdang(불법학당), the second School of Clay believes in Buddhism sincerely. There are many stories of Buddha turning his attention towards lowly beasts, saying every creature lies a fracture of Buddha, and has the chance to become enlightened. Dragons and Nagas became protector of Dharma. So why shouldn’t we? If you are using only English name, call it “School of Lotus.”

                  Murim Hakdang(무림학당), the School of Fog are hostile towards its enemies, especially Yi Sunggye and his followers. They say Tribe should unite and fight with the warlord. Having keen interest in the new weapons, they are trying to control Hwayakguk(화약국, Department of Gunpowder).

                  Bango Hakdang(반고학당), the School of Moon reveres Bango, a Giant who willingly sacrifice himself to create the world as their creator. They contact other countries and gather information, believing that if they could figure out how Bango created this world, they could do the same with a new nation.

                  Dangun Hakdang(단군학당), the School of Sun’s Korean name comes from Dangun, title of a legendary priest-king from the first Korean nation. They believe by expanding cults and eventually seizing the government, they could rule like Dangun did.

                  Living as Leviathan in Goryeo is easy and comfortable, but it is constantly anxious. This is why the Tribe is forming Cohorts more than ever before. To solve the countries problem and confirm their survival. In Joseon, Cohorts are not choice, but necessity if you do not want to get killed by hunters.
                  My default option about Leviathan Chronicle is that it will be a tragedy. Joseon will be born, Tribe will be on the verge of extinction, if you are lucky you might get to survive until Taejong's pardons, which most don't.

                  In Entwined Dragons, Leviathans reflect people who were at the wrong place at the wrong time, more specifically, a good man who benefited from corrupt systems and didn't think much about it. Sure, we could blame them for some mistakes and selfishness, but in reality, they were ordinary people. Woo’s only fault was that he wasn’t a skilled ruler. Chang’s only fault was that the 7 year old was Woo’s son. But in Joseon’s perspective, they had to be killed. Their existence itself was a threat to the new nation. The same could be said with some nobles and Buddhists who were mercilessly persecuted in Joseon era. In western history, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are somewhat of a good example. Yes, they were part of the “Ancien Regime”, they did take profits from people’s pain. But did they deserve it? Well, maybe the best answer is for the success of the reform and new system, some collateral damage are unavoidable.

                  This will be further explained when I write about theme and mood. Next time, I will be returning with Mages.
                  Last edited by tg0098; 02-02-2018, 09:14 AM. Reason: OK. The editing was horrible. Added some new stuff.


                  • #10
                    Mage: the Awakening

                    While determining the new capital's boundaries, there was an argument between monk Muhak, a mentor of Taejo, and Jung Dojeon, Taejo’s best advisor. According to Pungsu(풍수, 風水, Feng Shi) if the Seon rock was inside the capital boundary, Buddhism would flourish, if outside, Confucianism will flourish instead. Muhak believed in Pungsu, and wanted to put Seon rock inside. Jung Dojeon thought it was nonsense, and wanted to put it outside for practical reasons. Taejo stopped the argument, saying they should decide it tomorrow. It was snowing that night, and when morning came, only the snow outside Seon rock was melted. Seeing it as omen, Taejo decided to put it outside the capital walls. Muhak cried out loud. "Alas! Is it fate? Is it heavens will? We monks will be little more than slaves for five hundred years." - Folklore of Seoul

                    Past and Future
                    Korea always had a rich tradition of magic. Shamans serving pagan gods and spirits who could bring rain and cure diseases, Buddhist monks who could read destinies and compel evil spirits, skilled craftsmen forging magical flutes to harness ocean and drive away invaders, they were the mages of Korea. They were always close to society, but not in politics. They obeyed king's orders, but never did they tried to interfere in the matters of the state.

                    This time, it is different. Neo-Confucianism teaches that principles of universe, morality of individuals, governing of nations are not separated. Awakened who are motivated by it plan grand schemes, both in magic and mundane, trying to change Goryeo. They use spells to further their mortal ideologies, and use mundane politics to complete their supernal plan. Mages who don't want to meddle in Fallen World's affairs have no choice but to step in and stop their colleagues.

                    During Yi Inim's rule, many Awakened wander to find their patron, be it a young king who is desperate to be freed from Yi Inim's shackles, a local landlord who is known to be generous, a famous general renowned for his martial prowess. This is the time when many foreign elements are flooding into Goreyo, Neo-Confucianism is the most important, but there are many more, like Taoist alchemy, Japanese Shinto, Mongolian Tengri religion. Some try to find the answers hidden in the lost history of Korea. This is the time for preparation, sharpening your ideologies and earning trust of your patron.

                    Yi Sunggye's coup divides Mages, especially those who believe in Neo Confucianism. Many view it as heretical, clear opposite of what Confucius said of loyalty and duty, others view it as prime example of revolution theory of Mencius. As the debate continues, many will be shocked to find how their ideologies differ, when they thought they were sharing the same ideal. These will often result in violence and purges, as lifelong friends tries to kill each other. Buddhists and other Awakened are no different when it comes to infighting, since it is clear the new dynasty will bring change of cultures. In the end, everyone is forced to take a side. You can't be neutral on a moving train.

                    These fights will continue to end until death of Taejong, after that it is clear who are the winner of this ideological and cultural warfare. Mages who built Joseon will face witch hunt and purges, since to Yi Bangwon, they have outlived their usefulness. Jung Dojeon's death is a clear example of this. Even if you help Yi Bangwon to become Taejong by betraying some of your ideals, your fate could be no different. But Mages are more hopeful than Leviathans, since pupils of the fallen will continue to teach and educate the young, they will rise once more. Whether or not this is a good thing to Korea, none can tell.

                    Orders and Paths
                    There are many mages in Korea with various magical traditions. Since Goryeo dynasty occasionally traded with Arab and Southeast Asian countries, some mages practice truly esoteric ways. Koreans call the Atlantis Ju(주, 周, Zhou), an ancient kingdom of China that all confucians idealized. As one could easily translate both Mage(술사, Sulsa), and names of the Orders(Silver Ladders came from Platonic origin, so they are called differently). I will only note names of the Paths.

                    There are five Orders in Korea. Orders all called Gyeolsa(결사, 結社).
                    The Adamantine Arrow, like always train martial arts and weaponry. People of Korea a long known for their archery skills, so their are many sharpshooters in the Order. Talons typically fought against the Honggeonjeoks and Waegus, and will participate in short civil wars. They also act as wandering gosu(고수), a skilled person, and stops corrupt nobles from exploiting the weak. Few even become bandits, either working only for their own gain, or helping poor people by stealing from the rich.

                    The Guardians of the Veil are hesitant about today's situations. Too many Mages are using their power without caution. But some of them are active participants of the revolution, since Joseon dynasty aims for meritocracy, and are not afraid to commit necessary evils. The Order approaches social pariahs such as beggars, gisaeng(기생, female performers), and butchers, and have made those people work in Gaebang(개방) in order to collect information and to spy on the powerful.

                    The Mysterium is mostly unconcerned and focuses on preserving and guarding knowledge from era of chaos. They are leaned towards Neo Confucianism, since they value knowledge and records more than anything, but they are also afraid of its puritan nature. Mysterium values every knowledge, including Buddhism, heretical philosophies from warring states period, and pagan religion. Neo Confucian don't burn those books, but they shun preserving them. Another mission of the Order is to maintain contact with other country's Awakened, and share each other's knowledge.

                    The Silver Ladders is called Gentleman Society(군자회, 君子會). They are the main participants at Yeomal Seoncho era. Most of them join the political factions, trying to make the world Ju once more. They tries to bring the Diamonds into politics, believing they should work together to achieve victory. They also tries to recruit Nameless Mages in the name of enlightenment and humanitarianism. Almost every single Theraches believe in Neo Confucianism, though the exact opinion, especially on accepting Buddhism and changing dynasty varies from person to person.

                    The Nameless are mostly consisted of commoners and foreigners. They are cynical about the Diamonds, saying they don't represent true people. Although they will admit some of the reforms made life better, they also think little about revolution and political debates. Nameless mages typically tries to make their own rules in small communities, where everyone could live without fear of death, starvation, and violence.

                    Surprisingly, Seers of the Throne, who are the corrupt and sadistic nobles of Goryeo, are quiet neutral about the revolution. They are not enthusiastic since they know the reforms could strip their powers and privileges, but they sense the tension between the Yi family and the Neo Confucian. By flattery and submission, Seers are positive they can turn the tide against the Diamonds. Even if the new dynasty begins, Seers of the Throne will be victorious in the end.

                    These are the five paths of Korea. Paths are called Bubdo(법도, 法道).
                    Acanthus are called Geukto(극토, 棘土, thorny earth). They are a Gwansangjaengyi(관상쟁이, Facelookers) who warns people of ill omens, a Buddhists monk who are well versed in accidents and inevitability, a trainee who wants to become Shinseon(신선, 神仙, a person who gained immortality) by being freed from time. Though shunned by scholar-officials, many royals and nobles come looking for witches for their advise, either to find comfort or to prepare for danger. It is said that Yi Sunggye himself visited facelookers many times. Enchanters are very few, but continued its legacy throughout the dynasty.

                    Mastigos are called Yeoksoo(역수, 疫水, scourging water). They are a scholar who studied Jonghwengga(종횡가, 縱橫家, a philosophical school in Warring States period that focuses on diplomacy) and could move peoples mind by simple words, a practicer of Pungsu who could predict nation's future by looking at king's tombs, a gosu who could climb entire mountains by blink of an eye. They use trickery and deception to get what they want. Warlocks and Psychopomps were both valued even in Joseon, although some puritan scholars rejected them.

                    Moros are called Pilgeum(필금, 必金, inevitable metal). They are a confucian who have mastered the five elements, a merchant who studies both Arabic and Taoist alchemy, a governor who just listens to ghost's stories and persuades them to leave the earth. Korea had a tradition of honoring ancestors, and it was amplified by the introduction of Confucianism. Officially, Confucianism reject ghosts, saying they are only honoring them because it is proper manners to do so. Necromancers flourished, although in half-ignored way, in both Goryeo and Joseon, Alchemists were treated less and only understanding, never practicing, of elements were encouraged.

                    Obrimos are called Bunhwa(분화, 憤火, raging fire). They are a devout Neo-Confucian who studies the principle of the universe, a pro-Yuan noble who secretly practices Tengri religion, a soldier who chants simple spells that could deflect arrows. It is the most venerated path in Yeomal Seoncho, because of its connection to Neo Confucianism. They try to fix Goryeo by changing the connections between the Prime and people. Force Arcanum is looked down upon, and only used practically.

                    Thyrsus are called Yumok(유목, 遊木, playful wood). They are a medic who uses acupuncture to fix people's diseases, a mudang(무당, shaman) who worships spirit of the mountain, a local landlord using rituals to make the crops grow faster. Because Korea was always an agricultural state, Ecstatics were always welcomed, and government brought a lot of effort into increasing the skills of farmers and medics. Shamans on the other hand, are indeed treated as pariahs, although sometimes the nation officially give rites to major spirits.

                    In Entwined Dragons, Mages represent self-righteous interllectuals who want to change the world. Jung Mongju, Jung Dojeon are most famous examples. Once lifelong friends, Jung Mongju tried to execute Jung Dojeon in order to save Goryeo dynasty, Jung Dojeon was saved because Yi Bangwon killed Mongju in a nick of time. Jung Dojeon became the top Vizier and tried to make Joseon a state where King and his subjects ruled together, but killed by Yi Bangwon, who thought power of the kings are more important.

                    Confucianism heavily emphasizes on intellectual’s responsibilities. If a person is learned, she shouldn’t be satisfied with herself. She should do her best trying to make the world a better place, even if it means die trying. In Neo Confucianism, more so. Countless Scholar-Officials of China and Korea tried their best to save the people.
                    But to do that, compromise is necessary. You could be forced to harm innocent people whose only sin was not agreeing with you. Many Confucians became corrupted, or used as pawns of powers that be. Worse, maybe history will judge you as nothing more than well intended extremist who stopped progress and started a dark era.
                    These will be further explored in themes and moods, which I will write next time.

                    Last edited by tg0098; 02-03-2018, 09:24 PM. Reason: Got the names of the Paths. Thanks a lot.


                    • #11
                      I’d assign the Five Energies (Wu Xing) to the Paths’ names, like how Hellenistic mages named themselves after the Classical elements, and Kemetic mages after the five-part soul. Taoist and Confucian mages would especially identify themselves with the Wu Xing, while Buddhist mages follow the five tattva (basically same stuff as the Classic elements, but with akasha instead of ether).

                      In fact, here’s what I had in mind, separate from yours. By all means please do take them apart for anything you can salvage from them. (Since they hardly fit with any of the nicknames you already have in mind for them)

                      The Path of Wood resonate with the direction of east, the virtue of compassion, and the color green. The Blue Dragons walk in the sylvan mountains, honoring its gods and binding beast-demons.

                      The Path of Fire resonate with the direction of south, the virtue of propriety, and the color red. The Vermillion Sparrows walk in the five-day markets, striking bargains that warm when fulfilled but burn when broken.

                      The Path of Earth resonate with the direction of center, the virtue of trust, and the color yellow. The Yellow Snakes walk among both rising powers and fallen graces, unshakable in their conviction over both society and nature.

                      The Path of Metal resonate with the direction of west, the virtue of honor, and the color white. The White Tigers walk in bloody battlefields and ravaged countrysides, confronting human failings so that they may rise above them.

                      The Path of Water resonate with the direction of north, the virtue of prudence, and the color black. The Black Turtles walk in the desolate and uncanny places of the world, speaking to things that which ought not be alive.
                      Last edited by 21C Hermit; 02-03-2018, 03:45 AM.

                      MtAw Homebrew:
                      Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                      New 2E Legacies, expanded


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tg0098 View Post
                        As one could easily translate both Mage(술사, Sulsa), and names of the Orders, I will only note names of the Paths.
                        Does Mysterium translate easily? I mean, it's already the one Order whose name isn't translated because it's a highly specific Latin word.

                        Also, how much sense does 'Silver Ladder' make in this period? I mean, it's a direct reference to the Great Chain of Being from Platonism.

                        I didn't decide what to call each paths, do you guys have any idea what each path's name means?
                        They're mostly in To The Strongest.

                        A Thyrsus is a short stick with a pine cone on it. It's associated with Dionysus and the Mystery religions devoted to him.

                        Moros is a Classical Greek embodiment of Destiny/Doom/ the inevitability of death.

                        Acanthus comes from a Classical Greek word for 'thorns/thorny'.

                        Obrimos comes from a Classical Greek word for 'Raging One'. It might have slightly more complex implications.

                        Mastigos seems to mean something like 'scourge' or 'punishment'.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael View Post

                          Does Mysterium translate easily? I mean, it's already the one Order whose name isn't translated because it's a highly specific Latin word.

                          Also, how much sense does 'Silver Ladder' make in this period? I mean, it's a direct reference to the Great Chain of Being from Platonism.
                          Well, the Japanese players translated Mysterium to Hiouden, I don't know its Chinese characters. If I knew, I could translate it from Sino-Japanese to Sino-Korean. I myself used "Shinbidang(신비당, 神秘黨, Mystery Party)" when introducing MtAw to Korean players. And you're right. Silver Ladder doesn't fit to this era. How about "Gentlemen society(군자회, 君子會)" ? Since the term "Gentlemen" both apply to a person born with status of nobility and a person who made himself eminent by training.

                          Originally posted by Michael View Post

                          They're mostly in To The Strongest.

                          A Thyrsus is a short stick with a pine cone on it. It's associated with Dionysus and the Mystery religions devoted to him.

                          Moros is a Classical Greek embodiment of Destiny/Doom/ the inevitability of death.

                          Acanthus comes from a Classical Greek word for 'thorns/thorny'.

                          Obrimos comes from a Classical Greek word for 'Raging One'. It might have slightly more complex implications.

                          Mastigos seems to mean something like 'scourge' or 'punishment'.
                          Thanks, I will think about it. Or perhaps I should name them after where they were awakened.


                          • #14
                            Thanks to Micheal and 21C Hermit, I used both of their contributions. Paths are now named after five element+origin of Greek names.
                            Acanthus is Geukto(극토, 棘土, thorny earth, could also mean heavenly land).
                            Mastigos is Yeoksoo(역수, 疫水, scourging water, could also mean head of rebels).
                            Moros is Pilgeum(필금, 必金, inevitable metal, could also mean absolutely forbidden).
                            Obrimos is Bunhwa(분화, 憤火, raging fire, could also mean eruption).
                            Thyrsus is Yumok(유목, 遊木, playful wood, could also mean nomad).


                            • #15
                              Theme: Necessary Acts
                              "I will carry all the evil deeds with me. Your majesty, please become a benevolent king." - Taejong to Sejong, Veritable Records of Joseon Dynasty
                              "If I had died earlier, my name would be honored. But still, I will do what I must do." - Jung Dojeon to Taejo, Sambongjib(삼봉집)

                              In times of chaos, you cannot do what is right, only what is necessary. There are few innocent people in Yeomal Seoncho era.
                              King Gongmin executed his generals, who saved his country from countless invasion, fearing they would cause rebellion.
                              Choi Young, a solemn guardian of Goryeo who is known to "look gold as if it were stone", turned a blind eye on corrupt Yi Inim.
                              Jung Mongju, a person of "unmatched integrity and morality", a final loyalist of Goryeo, fabricated false claims and resorted to calumny to ensure survival of Goryeo dynasty.
                              Jung Dojeon, who always said "the king solely exists because of its people", ordered a genocide of the Wang family, and tried to kill pardoned politicians with torture.
                              Yi Bangwon is a perfect example of this. Modern historians view him as a wise and generous king to his people, building the foundation of Joseon, but he killed many enemies, including his brothers, in-laws, and Jung Mongju and Jung Dojeon who were like uncle to him.

                              Everyone's excuse is the same: "I did what I had to." It is true. The tragedy of this era, is that everyone had a point, either by Neo Confucian standards, or today's standards. Yi Bangwon was a final victor of this era, and it is true his vision was successful, but maybe Jung Mongju or Jung Dojeon's plan was also valid. But in order to make them work, violence is necessary.

                              Player Characters, either Leviathan or Mage or something else, will face the same dilemma. Keeping your hands clean will mean none of Korea's problems is going to change, fixing problems will mean putting your integrity at risk.

                              Mood: Transition
                              There are many political upheavals in Korean history, but the reason Yeomal Seoncho is so famous is that it isn't just about changing kings. It is the first full scale ideological and cultural warfare in recorded Korean history. Goryeo put equal emphasis on Buddhism, Confucianism, and pagan Korean mythologies, the power of local aristocrats were powerful, culture was decadent and luxurious. While Joseon was pure Neo Confucian state, focused on absolute centralization, and treated simple and clean life as best. Of course, it doesn't change by the nick of time, but tendency is very clear. Joseon will slowly but steadily become the country its founders dreamed of(though some changes were made here and there).

                              Player Characters will be the participants of this great transition, whether they think it is good or bad, they must act. Either in order to secure victory for the people, or to stop this totalitarian madness happening. Storytellers are advised to show both side's pros and cons. Goryeo is harmonious but in overall, more corrupt. Joseon is intolerant but cares more for the common people. It is best not to vilify one side.

                              I think this is the end of introductory phase. What do you want to see? Sample characters? Life on Yeomal Seoncho era? Important historical figures? Other supernaturals? Just let me know.