The World of Gorania: Goran The Not-So-Great

Again, I leave the stage for Kuslov to entertain us with his knowledge…what he claims he knows…

Lesson 2: Gorania’s First Emperor

I don’t blame you for not believing a word I say. Not because I’m drunk. A couple of flagons of ale never make me that drunk. It’s the clerics who write the damned Tales; they are the ones who get really, really drunk.

What? Shocked? What were you thinking? They are not holy men as they claim. They are just men, my friend. And men are renowned for doing horrendous deeds. Those hypocrites, whom you think holy, have been lying since the dawn of time to please and glorify their tyrant kings. What? Not all kings are tyrants? You are so green, my friend. You don’t know what a throne turns a man into.

Goran the Great? He is the greatest tyrant of them all! How do you think he managed to conquer the six realms and rule them for four decades? Of course, you will find nothing shameful in the Tales of Gorania about Goran’s Golden Reign. But this is how history is written, my friend. Defeated kings usually don’t live long enough to tell their part of the story, and the commoners…heh! The commoners always hail for their rulers whoever they are. None of those wretches—me included—is interested in the bloody game of thrones and politics between kings and lords. As long as I can earn my bread, ale, and a warm bed, I’m a king myself.

You know, what really surprises me is the fact that Goran let the Tales of Gorania not be called after him. I mean like Tales of Goran. Ah, I didn’t tell you; it was him who started writing—not with his own hands of course. History is full of battles the kings won by the arms of their soldiers.

Anyway, it is said that Goran spent seven years to find the three Seers who existed during his reign. They were enough not only to help him write the history of Gorania before him, but also to defeat every single opponent standing in his way. Don’t listen to the songs that praise Goran’s prowess in battle. If it hadn’t been for those Seers, who could see beyond time and place, he wouldn’t have become the King of Bermania, and then the King of Bermania and Byzonta, and then the King of Bermania and Byzonta and Skandivia. And after becoming the ruler of the entire western side of Gorania, he was able to field an endless army that outnumbered any other opposing force by far. What is the greatness in winning a battle in which your army is twenty times stronger than your enemy?

Anyway, it is said in the Tales that Goran passed the task of recording history to the clerics. What happened to the Seers? It is never written. As if they just vanished. But you know what I think? I say they abandoned Goran as they couldn’t live with their sins. Aye, all that bloodshed was their doing. Maybe they lost their talents because of the curse of a thousand thousand innocent souls. Whatever their fate was, they deserved it.

You think I wouldn’t say that about Goran if he was a Rusakian? You don’t know me, then. Ask everybody here and they will tell you that I care not about that notion of motherland. The land where I earn my coin is my motherland. Got it?

And to show you I’m fair, I will tell you what Goran’s only achievement is. It’s the Goranian Tongue. He believed he would deter conspiracies and ploys by forcing all factions to give up their tongues and use a common tongue that everybody in Gorania can understand. I doubt that idea had deterred anything, but ironically, it was the only thing that remained from his Golden Reign. The merchants across Gorania embraced that new common tongue, even after Goran’s death. And by time, everyone dealing with merchants was obliged to use their tongue. And by everyone, I mean lords and commoners, westerners and easterners. That’s why a Rusakian like me can be hired today by a Byzont, and tomorrow by a Murasen.

What did you say? I somehow owe Goran? Shut up! You know what? You owe me a dinner tonight!

So, what do you know about Gorania before Goran? Let me tell you.

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