Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Realmslore
 Sages of Realmslore
 Do we know who ruled Aryvandaar before Vyshaan?
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

varyar
Learned Scribe

102 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2024 :  13:57:01  Show Profile Send varyar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
As it says on the tin - do we know who the ruling family or unrelated ruling coronals of Aryvandaar were before the Vyshaan took over?

TBeholder
Great Reader

2394 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2024 :  13:49:46  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AFAIK, no. The first mentions of either in the Cormanthyr timeline (p. 29) are:
quote:
-23,900 Establishment of the first settlements of Aryvandaar (Modern: High Forest).
-15,300 The Vyshaan clan rises to power in Aryvandaar under Coronal Ivósaar Vyshaan.
-14,700 Aryvandaar's rulers begin attempts to diplomatically and peacefully annex Miyeritar into their realm and under their control.
-13,200 Skirmishing and trade interference starts between Aryvandaar and Miyeritar.

So they could be the first.
Once the dragons were out of their way, the elves seem to have expanded and migrated fairly easily. So how did Aryvandaar went from "alliance of growing settlements" (most likely) to "empire" at all? We can only guess, but... not much of an enigma, considering the FR elves in any relevant way are no different from our world's humans. A situation must have formed where one clan could go from "maybe the first among equals" to "ruling dynasty".
How? The most feasible path is: power gradually consolidated around a few clans. Who could not avoid conflicts, and had no strong framework enforcing resolution thereof in "more civilized" ways, and how they would treat the rest was entirely up to them. Eventually one clan not currently entangled in a massive blood feud could make a bid for sovereign level power, at the time when the notion had enough of support that the others were unable and/or unwilling to gang up against it.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 11 Mar 2024 14:51:24
Go to Top of Page

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6651 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2024 :  14:42:30  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In "our Realms", Eric Boyd and I have set out how Aryvandaar was ruled by a council known as the Arlharuthim made up in the beginning by the senior, elven elders that had come from Faerie. As needed, the Arhlaruthim appointed suitable elves to command the realm’s armies in times of war or strife. This office of Corshantar was used only in times of emergency and was endowed with full authority to resolve the specific problem for which the individual in question had been selected, subordinating all other offices, titles and minor rulers save the council itself. The term of office was limited to a century at most (but the office could be relinquished prior) and the Arlharuthim still exercised oversight and authority over the Corshantar. As the centuries passed, the office gained ever greater power and status until the Vyshaan used it as their vehicle to achieve sole rule over the realm, with Ivósaar "the Savior" appointed Corshantar in -15371 DR, and then Corshantar for life in -15325 DR and then crowing himself Coronal in -15300 DR.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
Go to Top of Page

TBeholder
Great Reader

2394 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2024 :  15:32:12  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

This office of Corshantar was used only in times of emergency and was endowed with full authority to resolve the specific problem for which the individual in question had been selected, subordinating all other offices, titles and minor rulers save the council itself. The term of office was limited to a century at most (but the office could be relinquished prior) and the Arlharuthim still exercised oversight and authority over the Corshantar. As the centuries passed, the office gained ever greater power and status until the Vyshaan used it as their vehicle to achieve sole rule over the realm, with Iv�saar "the Savior" appointed Corshantar in -15371 DR, and then Corshantar for life in -15325 DR and then crowing himself Coronal in -15300 DR.

So the classic way: the emergency position made permanent.
The question is why the others supported them (if tacitly). But we already know the most likely mechanism.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
Go to Top of Page

varyar
Learned Scribe

102 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2024 :  18:45:56  Show Profile Send varyar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

This office of Corshantar was used only in times of emergency and was endowed with full authority to resolve the specific problem for which the individual in question had been selected, subordinating all other offices, titles and minor rulers save the council itself. The term of office was limited to a century at most (but the office could be relinquished prior) and the Arlharuthim still exercised oversight and authority over the Corshantar. As the centuries passed, the office gained ever greater power and status until the Vyshaan used it as their vehicle to achieve sole rule over the realm, with Iv�saar "the Savior" appointed Corshantar in -15371 DR, and then Corshantar for life in -15325 DR and then crowing himself Coronal in -15300 DR.

So the classic way: the emergency position made permanent.
The question is why the others supported them (if tacitly). But we already know the most likely mechanism.



Perhaps Ivósaar was effective in resolving a major crisis (or at least appeared effective)? Foiling an invasion of orcs with his brilliant leadership in battle or the like.

At any rate, this is all great to know. Thanks to both of you for the replies.
Go to Top of Page

TBeholder
Great Reader

2394 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2024 :  06:59:24  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by varyar


Perhaps Iv�saar was effective in resolving a major crisis (or at least appeared effective)? Foiling an invasion of orcs with his brilliant leadership in battle or the like.

I'm not sure "an invasion of orcs" was a problem before Orc Gate incident and with High Magic running smoothly thanks to still-intact Weave. Per timeline, from First Flowering and on, the first time orcs on their own became a military grade menace for the elves (rather than raiding outposts) was the Gods Theater, and only because the elves were too distracted on fighting each other to notice any other threats. Even long past their prime Illefarn and Eaerlann were able to stop incoming orcs on their own, with only token help from nascent Netheril.

Either way, resolving a finite crisis (orcs fail to maintain pressure even when almost unopposed, dragons are broken and attack in numbers mostly under Dracorage) does not suggest changing the form of government. It would make sense to give such a hero relevant position (in charge of military, in this case), rather than throne. But if a crisis is always near and internal...
To me the most likely was problem impossible to suppress in any other way seems obvious: oligarchy.
Healthy clans can be reasonably expected to naturally favor simple democracy, and they do. We know the elves indeed had Ruling Council of clan representatives repeatedly: aside of early Aryvandaar, Elven Court and Evermeet (between the Fifth Crown War and Moonflowers) were explicitly stated to have one.(*)
Of course, the Houses would not be inclined to give up their power... unless de facto they were already losing it.
The problem here is that clans might be equal, but some clans are always going to be "more equal" than others.
Short version:
Oligarchies naturally emerge from positive feedback loops on power and resources, and in absence of a power structure strong enough to keep the aristocrats in check they can quickly grow utterly intolerable. The usual result is that vast majority (up to the second tier power groups, as they are big fat targets and fear first tier the most) embraces with great relief any workable way to stop this, and cheers.
It was so in Athens (once they managed to rebalance clan alliances as Ten Tribes, but even they failed to make a reliable procedure for this), Rome (more than once), Moscow (more than once), Venice and so on. From what we know of Cormanthyr, elves did have the same problem.
Long version:
For our world, see History of Florence by Niccolo Machiavelli (and maybe The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom by James Burnham, while you are at it). People who could see how it is to be caught between the likes of Biancha and Nera naturally supported coordinated power capable of restricting their excesses, thus became either Monarchists or Papists. And in the end, so did Biancha and Nera themselves. Ironic, yes.
For the FR elves, clan politics were covered in Elminster in Myth Drannor and Cormanthyr sourcebook (and in SSE threads here as well). The Satyrdance Pool conspiracy plot line had it spelled out explicitly: the elves supported a Coronal, even Eltargrim with his weird ideas, because of deep (and adequate) distrust toward the strongest clans, and because as much as an interregnum at a bad time could very easily turn into a bloodbath. It took only a little bit of good sense to see this.
quote:
"we'd better work as hard as we can to see that Eltargrim is still our Coronal, and not one of these ambitious ardavanshee - in particular, not one of the oh-so-noble sons of our three highest houses. They may consider humans and the like no better than snakes and ground-slugs, but they look upon the rest of us elven Cormanthans as no better than cattle. The Opening will make them scared for the security of their lofty positions, and so, ruthlessly desperate in their acts."

The context enhances the point: it was said by a member of maybe second tier noble House to its head, and accepted without doubt. Which really paints a picture, and it's recognizable.
For example, Ivan IV accused the top Boyars of trying to make him their puppet. Their attitudes were such that they stole precious tableware from the crown prince for their own use and referred to a minor noble as "slave" in correspondence between themselves. We don't know how they treated common people, but we know he gave the people ultimatum: either he purges such and such "traitors", or abdicates... and in a few minutes went from figurehead hiding under a bed during disturbances in "his own" city to the most popular monarch in a long while... and kept this status for centuries after his death, even despite his temper problems and various nasty fallout from his purges (though he handled the latter responsibly).
So if the elves of Aryvandaar were not somehow very different in this regard from both Cormanthan elves in Eltargrim's time and our world's humans, the likely reason would be that whatever misgivings one might have about monarchy, it's obviously much better to have one king than a handful of kings in one country.
The first time they needed an emergency dictator specifically to curb the infighting or excesses of the first-tier Houses, the people would start asking: it's a constant problem, so why not just have a permanent monarch to keep it down, rather than wait for things to grow too ugly again?

(*) As an implicit historical note, the drow cities usually have Ruling Council. In this context, perhaps they retained it, but accepted its fallen state (basically, "we all know there are very few Houses that matter, we don't need a choir of their meatpuppets"). To keep the top Houses in line they require a power even more absolute and uncontestable than any mortal monarchy.
Who turned Telantiwar into Great Rift? Well, not the priesthoods of Dark Seldarine, those ran away from impending self-destruction. What other power structures were left there to continue escalation? Obviously, the Houses.
What incident destroyed a big chunk of Menzoberranzan and killed its founder? Escalation of hostilities between the great Houses: Nasadra and Thaeyalla. Why did Lolth designate Baenre the First House, and let it keep this status for millennia? They had sense to stop that one from immediately continuing into more bloodbath.
The rest follows from this.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 13 Mar 2024 07:27:43
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2024 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000