My countrymen and countrywomen, my friends, I call to you and request your help with a straightforward task. I would like to discuss with you all that is iconically Taldan - the things that make Taldor great. Perhaps I will compile it into a tome (not to be licked) for the benefit of both current and future generations.
If I might start off, I am something of a swordsman, and I would mention the Falcata. It is a sword design so unique that no nation has developed one better. The weight and balance and style and form of the Falcata is unmatched.
And the style of it's use with a buckler is also Taldan. The Rondelero style is a popular one although personally I have developed my own which I have named the Emilior style in honour of my family. The Falcata seems well paired with a Buckler and while a buckler might not be iconically Taldan, the pair of Falcata and Buckler I would say is.
Then I think of the wigs of Taldor. A wig is an item of high fashion and provides an opportunity to wear ones hair in the latest style even if one has none. Other nations have wigs, but they are not so vital an item of clothing and styling as in Taldor.
The ways of Aroden perhaps are iconically Taldan since his ways have been forgotten in many lesser nations (and perhaps were never known in some others). If I sought a god who defined what is Taldor more than any other, then I think I would choose Aroden.
So my friends, what else sets us apart form the others. What makes Taldor the great nation on the rise that it is? What defines Taldor? What are our strengths? And to be fair, what are our weaknesses? (my never ending oration for one)
Viscount Ottavio Emilior of Cassomir
Lover of Taldan culture, language and tradition
Admirer of Taldan beauty in its people, its landscapes and its cities
Believer that Taldor is eternal and touched by glory
A Taldan is not a Taldan without a complete wardrobe. While Osirians may settle for dingy robes or -shiver- Silver Crusaders their flea-infested armor, a Taldan wears fine accoutrement that befit the occasion. When one must wear a protective carapace one branded with the Comfort enchantment (even on a suit of light armor, 5,750gp is a small price to pay for that small touch of serenity) is almost a must.
Likewise, a Taldan uses words as precisely (and much more prolifically) than a master swordsman; she always has the perfect joke to break the ice and the perfect insult to rile the BBEG.
|Matthew Morris RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8|
Ottavio brushes the air in front of him as if smelling something foul (or fowl)
Get that bird out of here. Where do they come from? No I don't want to know.
Mayim, you are right that not all fit the typical Taldan appearance. We are all differnet in our own ways. But I am asking what is iconically Taldan, not what do a few Taldan do, but most don't. In my book I want to celebrate what makes us Taldan and distinct from others of Avistan and Golarion.
An odd question about armor. I wear armor anyway. In fact many of those who face the danger of melee combat prefer to wear armor. If you are one so brave that you face those dangers without armor then I salute you. In fact, I, like Illeist, am fond of the comfort enchantment. When wearing something as cumbersome as armor can be, why not do what you can to make it more comfortable and shiny and clean. A very Taldan notion.
I think it is Taldan to use words well, but I am rarely the jokester. Perhaps more the wordsmith. I use my words to beguile and flatter where such notions are appreciated. But, sometimes words are not enough, and on occasion they fall flat. A sword, in fact a Falcata, is a fine backup, and a dazzling display of Falcata mastery is a fine way to put an opponent on the back foot.
I fear you may find some of what has become iconically Taldan will be at odds with what brought Taldor to it's pinnacle and will hopefully return it to that height.
Honor is a must, though when facing a less than honorable opponent one may forgo the niceties.
An eye, or ear or whatever sense one relies upon, for detail to identify the intrigues that surround us all, especially when one mingles in the higher ranks of society.
Art, whether it be made with music, paints, stone or a blade, should flow in the veins of a true Taldan.
Appreciation of the finer things certainly, but it should not be the sole focus of a true Taldan. What good does surrounding yourself with riches if the Empire crumbles around you?
Comfort I would say falls within this same category. A true Taldan will appreciate the comfort they have, but will not lay about when the Empire calls.
My dear Abraduchess, I am a Pathfinder Chronicler and my skills at compiling a list of what is iconically Taldan will be sure to focus on what will return the empire to ascendancy. It is all in the language used. Please have faith in this humble Viscount.
Honor is something that I respect and uphold when possible, but we must not be naive. When facing an opponent without honor, I will not let honor tie my hands behind my back. If only all felt the same way about honor as we Taldan folk. I will mention honor in my book.
An eye or and ear (or I've heard recently that some use a tongue) to get to the bottom of intrigues. I must confess that I am not always one to pick up on suck subtleties (perhaps from lack of using my tongue for this purpose). I think intrigue itself is more a Taldan iconic concept than the ability to discern the intrigues that surround us.
I feel that we of Taldan blood have art and culture flowing through our veins, but to put a finger on what exactly we have can be difficult. I think that great art is a reflection of a depth of spirit. is that what Taldan people have? Perhaps so.
On the point of appreciation of the finer things, I could not agree with you more. It is the nobility of the Taldan spirit that graces use with such appreciation, but it must be tempered with an appreciation of the moment. The empire must rise.
Do not be concerned sweet Abraduchess, I will not stand idly when I hear the call for true Taldan hearts. The comfort of my armor will only release my attention from the burden of my armor and allow me to better focus on the burdens of my great nation.
Let my book speak of the ways of the great Taldan people and inspire a new age of Taldan passion.
Ah yes, honor is not universal, hence my caveat. But amongst those of Taldor it must be something that is held to. Those without honor cannot truly be Taldan, and those that refuse to act honorably do not deserve to be treated with such. On that front we agree, I do believe.
Intrigue is indeed at the core of Taldor. Perhaps it is my interest in connecting the dots that draws me to discern the intent from the impression.
Depth of spirit ... artful words my dear Viscount Ottavio.
And please, do not take my comments on comfort to be indicative of you or any of our heritage, whether by birth or the paths of Fate, within the Society whom I have had the pleasure to meet. I was attempting to indicate the issue behind the iconic image. No more. If I expressed that poorly, I do ask your forgiveness.
"More like Ironically Taldan..." a well-dressed man in the back of the room muttered under his breath with a snicker, watching the oh-so-proud patriots and their musings. Standing so tall, so full of themselves, so confident in their country and their people's superiority...
His spined tail coiled idly around the leg of his chair, the tiefling thumbed the wide brim of his hat, tilting it back to look around at the others over his boots, so irreverently propped up on the back of the chair in front of him.
"You know," he piped up with a wide, fanged, smirk, voice sporting a definite Varisian accent, "I will give Taldor credit where it is due. I have never met a people so supremely confident in their abilities..."
"Or so arrogant!" chortled the little blue bird sitting on his shoulder, her master's snickering apparently her goal.
Again Ottavio waves his hand in front of his face, this time to dismiss what seems to be the smell of brimstone
Pardon me sir. I think you have left something behind that you should have taken with you.
Turning to the Abraduchess
My dear Abraduchess, conversation with you is a joy and you would have to try hard indeed to warrant any need for an apology. I would not stifle our discussion by taking offense to any comment that you would make, and my book will be the better for our discourse.
I am a man who likes his comforts and perhaps that is a weakness on my part. If so then I think I more than make up for it with my energy in other pursuits. I cannot be the man I am without my vices. I am no plain grey monk, rather I am a man of vivid color.
I think we have very like thoughts on matters of Taldor's future and I hope that this coversation will continue and hopefully be joined by others of merit and note.
Abraduchess, I feel that if there were more Taldans like you then we would be a better nation for it. Perhaps that is something that only a man with depth of spirit would notice.
Ottavio bows and smiles
Mayim noods her head slightly, as if acknowleging a touch
What seems to be typically Taldan is crowing about the past, rather than emulating it, I fear.
Taldor once reached across the Inner Sea region, his standards and culture touched everyone in his reach. Taldan knights ruled the battlefield, and his nobles ruled his lands. Looking outward, was Taldan's view. Taldor stood, a giant among men.
Now it seems my ma- mentor's views are true. Even in the heart of Absalom, far from the gilded roads of Oppera, all I hear Taldans speak of is nobles this, nobles that. Matchmaking from an ever smaller pool while dreaming of an ever growing empire. So to answer your question; What is Iconically Taldan? The answer is, it depends. To some of us, being Taldor is expanding and rebuilding the empire as it stood, crushing Qadria under his grace and wisdom. Being again the giants of the world, under a strong queen. To others however, it is to be inward facing, living in past glories... Like ogres.
Ottavio looks over and smiles at Mayim, then speaks softly
Mayim, there may be something to what you say, but if you can accept the words I am about to say in good grace, "your words will not inspire Taldor to greatness".
My book, Iconically Taldan, is to be informative and interesting, scholarly and thought-provoking, definitive and yet entertaining. Yet, to be clear, I write to inspire the people of Taldor to realise their potential.
Taldor will rise again. The sun will rise in Taldor for many years to come. There are imperfect things in Taldor, but one only has to meet a Taldan person in any city to recognise the heritage of greatness there - not perfection - that is best left to gods - but greatness. Look and you will see it.
Taldor has its detractors yes. There are many. I meet them and travel with them unfortunately often. But they are not Taldan. They see things from an outsiders perspective and many are envious.
TO be clear, I don't look down on those who are not Taldan. I have both Taldan and non-Taldan friends, but my heart is Taldan. So that is the cause that I champion.
Whatever the truth of Taldor in the eyes of others, in my eyes - the eyes of the author of this book - Taldor is great and we can find many iconically Taldan things to talk about that are great. What do you think?
The icon that says "Taldan" - the craft that just rings "Taldan true-and-true" - the jewel that others try to improve but simply miscut a flaw into the true Taldanness of it - that iconic Taldan quality must be true nobility.
When our smiths burned low, our gems were cracked and flawed, and our hearths had a dearth of silver and gold, it was Taldan armies led by the Empire's nobles who conquered and ordered lands until trade could be re-structured and gems and wealth could flow again. The Taldan armies, led by noble leaders following noble ideals, wrought a civilization of stability, trade, wealth, exchange, and order, all enmeshed in a fine, elegant chain of Taldan noble connections. The people of the Inner Sea were freed from civil war, starvation, and fear of invasion because of the blessings of the Taldan imperial order.
My kin remembers, and we Dwarves who benefited are here to continue to serve, support and expand the Empire's noble missions. However, there are others who have been touched by Taldan nobility and warped it beyond recognition when crassly trying to smith it into a tool of their own personal gain.
Undoubtedly some Andoran leaders leaned many noble lessons from the example of Taldor, but in reality most seem to pervert noble ideals in such a way as to prevent order, leadership, and proper assignment of craftsmen and tradesmen to get something done, rebelling at any natural, strong leadership and direction.
The pretenders of Cheliax have taken other noble facets, using their "noble" ideals to enslave others and enrich themselves solely, not to build a prosperous society for all where the nobles prestige guides and protects the flourishing work of their underlings. Many Chelaxians would rather torment, take, and steal their way, a decidedly ignoble focus.
Taldan's unique contribution to the Inner Sea is it's true nobility - proud, strong, able to assert its will, rescue and protect its people, and receive the support, blessings, and goods in return. Where others have tried to adopt this, the usurpers have perverted it so very greatly. Ihe home of true imperial nobility lies in Taldor, even if Taldan nobles sometimes have their own minor distractions away from the true prize. But, after all, what is nobility if you don't make more of them, and treat yourself as well as you deserve? That, too, is iconically Taldan.
The nobility of the Empire and their noble pursuits - that is what I see as the most precious gem of Taldor. In this I stand by my beard and my hammer, a true Hammer of TORAG.
|Matthew Morris RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8|
I believe you are missing one other 'Iconic Taldor' moment. Taldor rewards his citizens. Even the lowest of the beardless has the potential to rise, through his own skill, via the army. Such tales are inspirational.
These words ring far too true to my heart. Even in my position as Baronet, I mustn't forget my origins in the accursed land of Cheliax. I think back to the days of reading tales of knights and expeditions, only now knowing that many of these things were of Taldane origins. I remember being taken away from that filthy orphanage and thrust into my first existence as a Taldan boy. I remember traveling the countryside as Sir Esteban's squire, seeing the land for what it was. True potential. Seeing the historical sights gave me true insight as to what I could accomplish. I had only dreampt to be amongst the bearded by this point in my life. Now, I live my dream. Any other man, given the effort, can also claim the same.
However, seeing those sites also taught me things must always end. The problem with many Taldans today is that they are oft too shortsighted to realize that an ending is merely the beginning of something new. A new age that can be greater than before, and crafted by our blood, sweat, and tears, no less. This leads me to the topic at hand. What I find to be truly Taldan.
To me, the one thing that is truly "iconically Taldan" is pride. Pride in knowing that we can achieve even more than our forefathers did. Pride in knowing we can live out our most grandiose fantasies, given the input. Pride that will drive us to astonishing, new heights. The very same pride that some would admonish as our biggest weakness is also our biggest strength. Tell me, when a Qadiran warship decided to fire upon a Taldan trade vessel oh so long ago, was it not the massive hull that they attacked first? That is simply the biggest target. Pride is such a big facet of our culture that it is also the biggest target. And I will say with utmost certainty that while it is our biggest weakness, it is also our biggest strength.
When General Maramaxus recieved a medal from Grand Prince Tralian V, do you think he did what he had to, simply to "get by"? No. He did it for the pride he had in his country. Pride in Taldor. Pride that he knew would reward him through the endless reaches of time. Even now, we continue to honor him in Oppara's National Park. Such a source of history brings morale in our armies today, from the lowest soldier to the highest-ranked general. Pride, in essence, is Taldor's greatest resource. It is renewable and potentially limitless.
With such an abundance of pride, I believe that one can achieve more than any one individual has achieved has in the history of Golarion. Think of what we once had. Look at our war heroes gone past. We can achieve even more now, thanks to them. More than any number of Armies of Exploration did. More than Stavian I. More than the entire noble lineage. By utilizing our pride, we can achieve ANYTHING. In the coming eons, the Crown as a whole may very well achieve EVERYTHING. And I am sure that even then, we will explore even further to find more achievements place upon our mantles. At that time, our pride shall shine through the vastness of space. Whatever meets us on the other side will immediately know who we are, merely from our pride.
Our iconically Taldan pride.
Hm, it seems to me that a big Taldan export is its public speakers. I've always liked its culture, its ideals, but from Absolom to Oppara, everyone seems to try to fiddle with other nations' issues then dealing with their own. "Pride" won't mean much if you don't back it up with a solid effort.
I still have one of those "iconically proud" letters at home. Some older Pathfinders might remember them:
"Dear Loyal Pawn,
I'm just writing to tell you that I'm much, much wealtheir than you. Also, would you mind stealing something for me to show off at a party I'll throw next week? Nothing says 'Confident Glory' like ill-gotten trinkets!
Snootily yours, Baron What's-his-name"
Folk like that give a bad name to whatever nation they're from, so I always tried to do what I believed in, instead of just talk about it. I think Mr. Quadir was right, with what he said. Let's make sure that later on, people will talk about Taldor and its people now, the way they do about it then.
...Oh, there I go, getting in on the public speaking myself! I just want to say that when I'm not off on a mission, I work at the Baltwin orphanage and cook for the Morilla estate, and just because I like fanciness and good manners, I'm not afraid to do the dishes and laundry.
Ottavio I'm not one for lists.. or horses with lances and very weighty armor. Oh yes greatness. Dear fellow greatness is simple... it is inherited by birth first for all nobles clearly come from the finest stock. Just not everyone inherits equally. Then by inner truths for one can not lead without a proper spirit. Hence we train our children in the finest schools available. Then comes the twofold blade virtue and honor. Then courage which flows in every Taldan vein. Surely our nation will rise again. For eternal Taldor shall rein supreme and the glories once again flow amongst our citizenry.... I can see it just over the horizon.
Greetings fellow Taldan, I've come across a recent dilemia. I've been offered my choice of noble title now seeing my dear uncle as departed. And as we know titles seem to come and go, but the choice of which title to be called has me perplex a little. Does the choice of viscount or marquis suit a stormborn sorcerer of my calibre, or should I go with something else.
|Violetta the Enchantress|
"Ah, Dovian... it's lovely to see someone carefully consider the implications of every little detail. These things matter!
Viscount versus marquis... well, let's think about the origins of these titles. Marquis, of course, derives from the old Taldane "marchis" or "march", a reference to a frontier or borderland, and such titles were granted to noble families who represented the Empire's interests at its frontiers; so, the title might be said to confer a sense of intrepid adventure, one who dares tread in the wilder places, and seeks to impose his or her will upon it.
Now, viscount - I prefer the High Taldane vicomte, myself - has its origins in a Royal appointment as a keeper of the Emperor's justice in a region, what some nations refer to as a sheriff. It's a lesser title, in terms of peerage rank - just above baron - but it does confer the social utility of allowing one to catch people mispronouncing the title... always a certain indication of pretension to higher birth than actual.
I am a sorceress myself - an enchantress - and from my perspective "marquis", with its promise of conquering the wild places of the world - and what is wilder than inherent arcane power? -is the more appealing; the notion of "keeping the peace" and so on sounds dreadfully pedestrian, which would tend to sway me against "viscount".
Whatever you choose, I suppose I shall be seeing your name in the social registers soon? I shall have to invite you to my monthly soiree at my place in the Petal district."
Lady Violetta d'Armand Countess du Plessis