Coráni Empire - Architecture

Shealladh's picture

I've been thinking about the spread of and creation history of the Coráni Empire and in it's scope of history how it influenced the building design and style of western Hârn.

From all the sources and materials at had, it seems to me to range from Pre-Romanesque (Merovingian/Carolingian, Ottonian, Asturian), Romanesque, and heading into early Gothic styles when looking at the western areas of Réthem, Thârda, and Kandáy.

The overall picture paints a good amount within Romanesque in my opinion, yet i'd also like to think that each area had their own spin-off style, like say Thârda being influenced by Roman Imperial architecture and since the Coráni grew around Côranan and the area, did any of the architecture have much influence from the Àzeryáni? As I assume they would have have trade with their vast empire.

So to the question at hand, does each of the areas and regions within what was the Coráni Empire have a particular style to regional locations. Such as Spanish, and Byzantine elements, or do some draw influence from France, Germanian, even far east, such as Romania and eastern orthodox influences. Each would cross each during a period of economic boom like at the great height of the Coráni Empire's advancement period.

Then as each split off into their current ares, have other changes that trend when a local area has some boon, like a wealthy merchant, some special event occur, that spurs on the next phase of building.

Be intersted to see all your thoughts, as I'm writing and drawing up some ideas that will show all this growth in the style and character of a particular location.

pokep's picture

For the Corani, I would start

For the Corani, I would start by considering the ideas of Órcharan el
Lanádes - the first architect to merit being named in the Venârivè and Summa Venârivè publications. His fame rests on his role in the rebuilding of Livélis, c.TR307+. That corresponds roughly to the apogee of the Azeryani Empire and the beginnings of the Corani, so it seems likely that the Corani would have been strongly influenced by him.

According to Summa Venârivè, the Imperial Style was augmented by "techniques from Emélrenè" over roughly the next 200 years. I agree with your reading - I believe the result was something akin to Romanesque. "Over two thousand significant temples and other religious buildings were built across Venârivè between tr300 and tr500." Surely a few of those must have been in the Corani Empire, and given the general implication in the text that these were mostly Laranian, I would assume that Kanday would have most of these examples.

Summa goes on to describe the later works in this style in some detail. According to Summa, Shélcomb Minster, in Tríerzòn, was built in TR509 and it sounds very reminiscent of Romanesque style. The architect is named - Álmos al Daváles - but of the 20 temples he designed, none seem to have been on Harn. Still, I'd imagine that his works would have been influential in Aleathia and the later Kanday, as those states surely would have been looking for models appropriate to their Laranian and Peonian sensibilities - and as far from possible from Morgathian, Agrikan, and Halean aesthetics in Golotha, Coranan, and Shiran.

Summa also mentions Agrikan - really, Pamesani - architecture spreading to Harn in this period, as well. And there is a statement on residential architecture (in Meókolis, at least) - "notable ... for the idea that individual citizens could contribute to the civic architecture ... The trend towards individualism began in this era, and it would accelerate in the next."

One final note from Summa - modern architecture seems to fall short of it's pre-plague excellence. "Even when the structure is sound, the modern efforts are visibly inferior to their older models in both detail and workmanship."

It seems like there's plenty of meat there for you to start with. I imagine a Corani style as a base, drawn from Órcharan el Lanádes. Later, a southern (Romanesque?) style emerges from Tríerzi/Laranian influences, and a more individualistic style in the cities of the Thard, influenced by the later Meokolis/Agrikan styles. Finally, a retrenchment due to the Red Death.

I'd love to see what you come up with for interpretations of these architects and their "schools". And I know I'm not alone - I love the fact that we have a game world where this sort of project is actually meaningful for a lot of people.

Shealladh's picture

Thank you for the feedback

Thank you for the feedback, exactly what I was hoping for.
You're right, and where I was starting with the influential architects, periods of rebuilding, economic booms, and other advacnements in technique, style, and the spread of these factors.

Aside from that, am trying to get my head around the various religious doctrines and their influence on building, which brings shifts in style, as well as wealthy patrons contributing to the formation of groups and being fed by the influx in followship of flock. In short, popularity of a certain style alongside growth of the society around such structures.

Other big factors in this, are such historic influencers as King Andasin I, the Order of Hayvrik, in the period around the forming of the Order of the Checkered Shield (for example), and a shift in a new era of buildings with a flucuation of "the" style of the moment. Something atkin to a shift in the newer buildings like the Normans in England that built new fortifications and creating a new style in the process, and later absorbing outside ideas that mould it into another, like gothic.

What actually got me to thinking, aside from Coráni, was the other minor Kingdoms such as Aléathia, Moleryn, and how these smaller groups grew and expanded bringing in change in styles, right down to say Rolin and Taryn of Melesen, immigrating from Mèlderýn to Aléath, they are joined by Genin, contact with Sindarin, and when Thay is founded becomes a cauldron cooking up the next batch of style into yet another.

The growth of Àgrík(& Pàmesáni etc.) and their influence is something I'm not too familiar with, but using various sources such as Summa Venârivè and Summa Venârivè helps in the reasearch part of this process. (from Móralin the Wanderer through to Mámaka and his building programme, outside contact with pilgrims coming to Lysâra).

Pity there isn't a source that describes the civilisations such as Coráni and Ázeryàn and others like Târgan and their influences on building (like cement) and so on, into a history series. Especially if it was split into the inluencing factors such as Economics, Religion, Politics, and spread of new ideas and technology through expansion, migration and wars. The hardest part is adding ideas to expand the growth of a tribe into a new Kingdom, or how the contact with such tribes changes the way in which things unfold.

I wonder too, how much influence do you think Guilds and other institutions like the Shèk-Pvâr chantries influence change?

pokep's picture

Writing that history series would be fun . . .

. . . but getting the artwork would be a huge challenge. Usually getting the artwork for a module takes longer than writing it - by a factor of two or three. Oh, well. For now, Summa is what we have. I'm looking forward to seeing what you can add to that slender frame.

Summa does mention cement. It describes the invention and diffusion of certain types of domes. And even mentions at least one way in which the Shek-P'var influenced architecture. "Unlike Anzelôrians, who often carved stone columns to look like palms, the Venârivans never engaged in ‘petrification’. Even in their earliest works, the distinction between stone and wood was unambiguous. P’vâric philosophy almost certainly contributed to this attention to the properties of their materials." So there has been a little bit of thought put in these directions.

My opinion of the Shek P'var would be that they would be a conservative force. P'varism generally is backwards-looking - there isn't a general notion of progress and the ancients are generally assumed to be superior to the moderns. But I don't know how much that matters - there aren't a lot of *new* chantries being built. With the Mangai, you could argue otherwise, but my feeling is that as parvenues, they would copy shamelessly from the "classics". However, in recent decades, "Venârivè has seen a resurgence in localism in architecture", and perhaps the Mangai has been part of that trend.

Shealladh's picture

Good research is key - Pardon the rant

I agree. "A picture is worth a thousand words" and is only backed up by the artist(s) involved. Getting artwork and paying for it is one thing, getting the right artist is like finding an architect that can draw what you tell him without much personal variation away from what you want. The time and money spent is one thing, the design and fulfillment is a different beast.

If you look at the artistic style and evolution, and have heard of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, that is taken from concept to finalisation into what is desired by the designer, then the artist has created what is required, rather than what they think it should look like. Have a look at Tomáš Duchek's concepting, or Pavel Beskeyd's application of art pieces, who were directed by Mikuláš “Miki” Podprocký to create hitoric artworks to enhance what will become the true atmosphere of what the player feels and sees as "real". Even down to taking a person from real life and creating a medieval artpiece that not only feels right, buut fits in well to the overall aim. (see: to see what I mean.

Various snippets from Summa do make it easier to build a concept of the task here, as you said like the cement, domes and their use/development, down to the Anzelôrians different technique allowing for a good range of styles and overall look.

A good starting point, as an example of where to start, would be say Golótha's Temple of Agrik, which seems to be based/influenced by the Ottonian architecture found in Germany and lasted from the mid 10th century until the mid 11th century (see Ottmarsheim monastery for example). The temple being first constructed between 380 & 390, with the vaulted second floor and dome being added in 501.

Then other examples are: Jmôrvi Chantry at Glenoth, established in BT700 by Emélrenè scholars, goes on to bring a new style, and then over time, develop it's style for this local region. ie. influence factor 101.

Another would be the Temple of Save-K’nor in Karveth founded in 515, using a Azeryani architecture. Now this can be seen in Beldira, Ekenon, in Tharda have a number of institutions having a Azeryani pedgigree and good evidence of it's influence on Tharda's legions, so this would indicate a major influence on defensive structures (in my opinion) as well. The you can have a look at the trappings that show lavish variety in decorations used on and within a particular building, which may or may not influence all the buildings around it's completion.

If you also look at this from another perspective, the Caer Karveth (sp per COL5723 page 7) have evolved from 120 onwards with new additions over four stages in time. Most artwork seems to not take this into consideration, from either the artist making a drawing, or from the map creater, how does each stage look from each period, and a good artist would be able to show the evolvement of style but take into account the blending of each into a structure that does not look like it was built in one go, or making it look like an eyesore that breaks the illusion of the surrounding setting.

As for Shek-Pvar and P'varism being backwards, this does conjure up elements that would be preferred by such construction of each new Chantry. So for example, maybe they're holding onto some sort of tradition such as the "classic" style and the trapping be something like the Masons of Freemasonry, they have their own unique style and way of doing things, yet the outside may show the era it was constructed by the style of the building, yet the inner trappings and internal architecture (form and style) could be almost "old-style" if the outsiders got a chance to see it.

Like stepping into a freemasonry hall or like looking at some old Knights Templar Byzantine influenced style. Which can add intrigue to players and the locals and look odd, like the Templar Temple Church in London: "The church building comprises two separate sections. The original circular church building, called the Round Church and now acting as a nave, and a later rectangular section adjoining on the east side, built approximately half a century later, forming the chancel."

Now this is the type of things that I conjure up when thinking of creating an additional building not mapped. You take say the Knights of the Checkered Shield on a crusade (my favourite) or any other Fighting Order that has ventured far on their crusade, they get some form of religious inspiration from lands afar and then bring that style home and inspire a new approach to constructing the new building. Like taking the newly begun Catherdral at Korri, how is it's design is influenced not only by the contributors (money) but moulded by the desire to inspire and amaze those using the building from this point onwards.

In essence, architecture is the artists' canvas, set only by the timestamp when a part is built. ~ "Venârivè has seen a resurgence in localism in architecture" - this should apply every where by what is happening at the time.

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