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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    Formations of Empire

    Discussion thread for Formations of Empire. If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.

    I'm reading through some of the information written regarding the Masetians and I'm not sure where some of the ideas expressed here came from. Maybe it was a misread of the original source material, but if the foundation is the actual TSR/WotC products, then that should be the foundation that appears here.

    Example: The Basarji didn't consider the Masetians inferior, if one reads the histories in Cities of the Sun, the Masetians were exploring the oceans and quite advanced while other cultures/tribes were quite far behind. The Masetians gave the Basarji/Khinasi the notion of the Five Oaths etc... If there is contradictory material, not unusual, then it should be cited and perhaps discussed to make it "official" in the Birthright.net sense.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Arjan; 04-18-2007 at 07:50 PM.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    What two sources to you find in conflict?

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Well I wrote most of that one so it's my fault if you don't like it.

    I was trying to come up with a reason why the Masetians were annihilated as a people so quickly, even if as many as 5% of the male population died at Deismaar (which would be probably everyone sent to Deismaar and then some) they should have been fine as a culture - unless someone stomped on them - hard - everywhere on the mainland... (The Serpent took care of the island Masetians) The only likely culprits that I could see were the Basarji, who wound up owning all of their land, cities, etc and to carry out that kind of genocide you need to have a certain mindset.

    If you want, add a contrasting point of view - I generally tried to show alternative viewpoints on contentious issues - didn't realise this was one, that's the great thing about a wiki, it's not carved in stone.

    And yes obviously some of the Masetian culture remains - but not a lot. I think of it somewhat as a Roman and Greek thing - but while the Romans liked many aspects of Greek culture they still thought of themselves as superior (to pretty much everyone mind) - and they did far less damage to the Greeks than the Basarji did to the Masetian - not a single Masetian city remains, heck aside from the Serpents Isle not a single pure-blood Masetian remains - and that change happened within a few generations, pretty much genocide by any definition.

    But whatever fits your game :-)

    The 5% estimate by the way is based on a realms military as 7-12% of the population, some of which would be infantry and not sailors, some would have stayed at home to guard against the monsters, goblins, Vos, etc). Even though more soldiers may have been raised as a short term measure, the death toll at Deismaar simply shouldn't have destroyed the population - Anuire should have taken far more casualties for example as more soldiers could be sent to Deismaar, while the Basarji should have faced more trouble from Vos and Goblins.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    5% is really high for a militarized society, normal medieval numbers varried from half a percent to two percent. Of course an event like Deismaar is special.

    I suspect that inter-marriage explains the disappearance of the Masetians, especially if they didn't arrive in numbers like the Basarji.

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    Senior Member Dcolby's Avatar
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    Perhaps not quite Genocide...but a merging or absorbtion of the Masetians as put forth by Kgauck. Perhaps the Masetians were never very numerous, perhaps their casualties at Deismaar left them very vulnerable to a cultural if not genetic extinction.

    That Basarji Culture displays some of the Masetian philosophies might indicate a slightly more peaceful elimination than we conventionaly tend to think of when a culture fades from history.

    People tend to not think that two or three human generations is a rapid period. However the amount of change in the U.S. from WW2 to today is quite drastic and in history books written hundreds of years from now will seem to be a dramaticly short period of time.

    If a weakened Masetian people were bred from cultural existence in 60 to 80 years it would seem like an eradication to those looking back from nearly 2000 year down the road.
    Good Morning Peasant!!

  6. #6
    There's a map of the migration patterns somewhere, showing the Masetians settling willy-nilly amongst the Khinasi people instead of staking out their own chunk of land. So I'm leaning towards the "they got outbred" theory.

    As for Deismarr, that the Masetians had a Queen(Nesirie) would indicate some egalitarianism. That they were throwing biologically-valuable women into battle alongside the expendable men.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The only way I can see inter-marriage destroying the Masetian people is if there was a major influx of Basarji into Masetian lands to mix the population (which would almost certainly not occur peacefully) and then any mixed child was raised as a Basarji - and I don't see that happening unless there is some serious stigma against the Masetians / a clear perceived benefit to being Basarji; otherwise the two people would have blended more evenly, with many areas of relative purity or the populations would have remained relatively distinct - see the English and the Scots even 200 years after the two countries merged. The Masetian issue by contrast is closer to what occurred in North America or Australia between the settlers and the natives.

    The obliteration of the Masetian does strongly suggest to me that the view of the boxed set was somewhat rose-tinted from a Khinasi perspective to say the least.

    Possibly I'm in a minority...

    But heck, 10 mins of wiki and a discussion! Great stuff!

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    Senior Member Dcolby's Avatar
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    Maybe we are also looking at this with the mindset of a stable nationstate.

    Perhaps the peoples from the period of Deismaar being more Tribal than "modern" nations hold with "adoptions" of conquered peoples like other tribal cultures have evidenced in earths own history. This would lend a mixture of conquest and interbreeding to the vanishing of the Masetians.

    Certainly the winner writes the history book and the Basarji if conquering the Masetians would put a positive spin on things. However the conquerer rarely commits wholesale genocide on the conquered (Someone has to work the land as in Normans and Saxons for example) and the survival of Masetian ideas would seem to set pure genocide out of the Basarji goals.

    Eventualy even the Normans and Saxons are one people and I think it is the same with the Basarji and Masetians.
    Good Morning Peasant!!

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I have always felt that adoption of a new Khinasi identity in place of either a Basarji or Masetian identity indicates a middle path between destruction of one culture and dominance of the other. Both might have recognized at a critical turning point (el-Arasi?) that a new combined path had been forged.

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    Senior Member Dcolby's Avatar
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    Another interesting twist...in reading Rich Bakers notes from 1995 on the subject of expanding Birthright into Aduria and the Southern Empires he mentions an idea that the Masetians may have been a powerful and advanced empire in the south (Based on a Greco/Roman model) and that the other tribes may have been allies/clients to the Masetians.

    The Masetian empire resisted another power devoted to the worship of Azrai and when no longer able to resist fled with the other tribes north.

    Perhaps the battle of Deismaar was just the last straw that broke the back of the already shattered Masetian Empire and the Masetians simply melted into the genepool of their more numerous former clients??
    Good Morning Peasant!!

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