zodiacal_light: Humour: Because angst is not jolly. (Default)
So I'm rereading LR in preparation for yet another Dominion-Jewel-goes-to-Sarain AU, and I'm struck by how Liam describes the civil war. Apparently, I remembered it all wrong:

  • Adigun is the third jin Wilima ruler of Sarain. Apparently his transition to power was peaceful; no mention that it wasn't.
  • The text implies, but does not outright state, that the jin Wilima took over the Saren throne from the zhirit Kaufain, and does not imply that this happened particularly brutally. (Random question: is "zhirit" plural or singular, or both? "jin" seems to be both.)
  • Two years prior to LR, rebels try to put zhir Anduo on the Saren throne. Their reason is that he is a descendant of the Kaufains; that his surname differs suggests the Kaufains' main line died out.
  • According to the timeline, this rebellion is three years after Adigun ascends to the throne. No mention of prior problems or challenges to Adigun.
  • "Last spring" - i.e. approx. halfway through the rebellion, Adigun hired mercenaries (from where?) that "destroyed towns, crops - people." Liam uses this as proof that the Anduo partisans might now win, because Adigun is no longer strong enough to maintain his hold on the throne.
  • Liam also states explicitly that it is after this mercenaries' rampage that the K'mir rebelled against both sides, and that they "promise to fight the winner" of the Saren/lowland civil war.
  • No problems with the K'mir are even hinted at before this.

And as we all know, Adigun married Kalasin and had a daughter, who was twenty in LR and thus must have been around eighteen when the rebellion started - nineteenish when the K'mir rebelled. Adigun must also have married Kalasin well before he was even warlord, because he became warlord when Thayet was ~15.

This, to reiterate, is what Liam says about the effects of Adigun's mercenaries:

  • They destroyed crops, towns, and people - implicitly, this caused the famine and utter systems collapse evidenced in LR.
  • Prior to the hiring of these mercenaries, Adigun was in a much stronger position; Liam implies that the Anduo partisans could not have unseated Adigun until Adigun destabilized his own position by hiring mercenaries.
  • The mercenaries were what triggered the K'miri rebellion against both factions of Saren lowlanders.

The further implication here is clear: Adigun couldn't control the mercenaries. Liam speaks of them in terms almost more suited to a natural disaster, and the implication is that they slipped their leash and went on a campaign of terror against everybody in Sarain: not just against Anduo partisans, which is what Adigun hired them for, but against the K'mir and even Adigun's own partisans.

Later WOG talks almost as if it's lowlander vs. K'mir, but that's explicitly not what Liam and Alanna describe in LR. Except for one thing: Liam also explicitly states that the war is in the mountains and highlands, not down by the coast, which implies that the war has become Saren vs. K'mir.

I also see no implication that Adigun married Kalasin for political reasons. All it says is that he married her, and that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. I do suspect they were a love match, and that Adigun, and possibly most of the Saren, had no problem with the K'mir until the K'mir decided they had a problem with all the Saren.

I'm not, incidentally, blaming the K'mir for this. If Adigun's mercenaries did go after them and, say, torch their land, it's entirely reasonable for them to a) blame Adigun for not controlling them/think he let them loose deliberately and b) think that the lowland war has gotten out of hand. The mercenaries might be ethnically lowlander, as well.

This puts the crackdowns against the K'mir Buri mentions later in a new light. The laws against the K'mir must be relatively new - only a year old, if that. Buri does imply a longer, much more entrenched animosity towards the K'mir - lowlanders taking them for slaves, stealing their horses. But part of me wonders if that is all that longstanding, or if it's new since the war; it's not explicit either way in text. The laws forbidding the K'mir to meet are new, and seem to be a wartime imposition; this is bolstered by the fact that Kalasin and Thayet's pleading doesn't change Adigun's mind. I wonder if the lowlanders have only been enslaving prisoners of war - or perhaps using the war as an excuse. It wouldn't be unheard of for either case, at all. The horse-stealing could even be justified by military or economic necessity.

I also find it interesting that Adigun apparently passed "laws" - as in, more than one, forbidding the K'mir to meet in groups - and that these are apparently the only anti-K'mir laws he passed.

But Liam also says that "in five years, Adigun has destroyed the work of generations" - implying not only that Sarain was peaceful for generations, but also prosperous. This squares with the suggestion that the jin Wilimas took over from the Kaufains or whoever was in between peacefully, but also suggests that Adigun has, from day one, been a bad king destroying his country - which is somewhat contradicted by Liam's earlier timeline for the rebellions, unless the reason zhir Anduo made his play was that Adigun had spent three years running the country into the ground. Which is possible.

I've also been wondering about Thayet. She speaks some K'mir, and is implied to be fluent; Buri says Thayet's "K'miri-taught," but contrasts it to her being "K'miri-bred," yet implies that Thayet's basically as good as a pure K'mir. When did all this happen? Given the timeline, I assume before Adigun even assumed the throne - i.e., before Thayet was fifteen. Yet Buri doesn't say Thayet was raised K'mir, so it wasn't like prior to Adigun's ascension Thayet was living full-time from birth among the tribes. It does, however, bolster the notion that pre-war Adigun didn't have a problem with the K'mir, or even with his half-K'mir daughter learning and even celebrating her mother's heritage. Which goes towards the notion that the antipathy towards the K'mir as a whole is recent and driven by their sudden rebellion, but does not square with how Thayet and Buri talk about the Saren court so virulently hating female warriors and K'mir. It also doesn't square with how Kalasin sent Thayet to the convent - but given the timeline, that could be something Kalasin only did after the war broke out.

Also, given how Buri refers to Thayet as "Kalasin's daughter," as if this means something significant, I wonder if Thayet is twice-royal - she's the last jian Wilima, though not Adigun's heir, but she might well be Kalasin's heir among the K'mir, and possibly to a position of high power, if not necessarily an explicitly royal position.

On the question of zhirit - Coram talks like it's a higher title than zhir, in which case it's likely to be both singular and plural, like jin seems to be. On the other hand, since I can't quite figure out how to feminize zhir - you can't pull a jin/jian - and we know that the K'mir are at least partly matriarchal, part of me really likes the idea that the last true Saren royalty was a matriarchal line, and that zhirit is the female equivalent of zhir. This does not square with Thayet's insistence that no woman may sit on the Saren throne, or with Liam's insistence that Thayet is not the heir, but that could be a relatively recent rule, perhaps made because of however the Kaufain line fell.


zodiacal_light: Humour: Because angst is not jolly. (Default)

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