Choice of Rebels Part 1 WIP thread


Any gunpowder or firearms?


“Miner’s powder” has been in widespread use for a century – but, as the name suggests, for earthmoving. It has been employed occasionally by daring sappers in intractable sieges, but otherwise has not been put to military use.

Because of its volatility, igniting black powder with Theurgy requires barely any blood, and causes an explosion whose scale is extremely hard to control or predict. Deploying it in pretty much any form against Theurges would be suicide, and as Theurgy has been the determining factor of nearly all military conflicts for 300 years, there has been very little incentive to develop powder-based weaponry. Theurges themselves prefer to use oil of vitriol for their battlefield pyrotechnics, as it’s easier for them to stay in control of the resulting fireball.

If firearms were invented, Alastors could in theory put them to use, as they’re highly unlikely to face Theurges. However, for a variety of reasons the Thaumatarchy prefers to keep its internal security enforcers armed primarily with iron-shod clubs.

PS: On this issue as any other, I welcome anyone who wants to poke holes in the internal logic of my world…

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Is it just me, or does the beginning make the rebellion seem doomed to failure and the MC is just a footnote in history?

Oh and I really hope that we get the option to bring down the border forcefield.

The way I see it: If it was just a matter of protecting people from some chaos worshipping barbarians, well what exactly stopped them from just building a wall they can't get through instead of maintaining a forcefield along the entire border requiring constant human sacrifice to continue functioning?  

So I'd have to say I'd imagine the forcefield's purpose is to trap people inside, an excuse to kill people for their blood, and protecting the state religion from competition.   

Or perhaps there is a civilization out there that is more than a  match for the regime, either superior technology, more abundant or stronger magic, I somehow doubt it that the regime managed to conquer four nations and then just said "Eh, that's enough, put up a forcefield."

So if one brought down the forcefield and the regime was shown to be lying through their teeth, well that’s quite the black eye.

If I’m wrong? Well then the MC’s enemies will actually have to take time from oppressing and slaughtering peasants to defending their government from hostile powers, that can still work to our advantage, especially if they’d like a friendlier person in charge.


Hem @Havenstone

Your grossly underestimating what a 5 men with rifles can do.

Here read this and think of the people with muskets to be a phalanx.


@stsword the frontier have a parallelism Adrianus wall in Britannia that wall maintains the Scots barbarians out of Britannia. It was a incredibly wall with fortress each miles and a wonder even today. The cost was astronomical. But more cheap than thousands of angry blue painted naked barbarians raid your cities each two or three years. The cost of a enormous army in Britannia in that time without our modern transports…

The blood wall here its a mixture of Berlin wall and Adrianus wall. Also keeps people angry with the harrowing not focused in the real problem the empire itself. It’s a good tactical, they built a religion around a wall. And that gives blood for free magic, and make less powerful lessthe people who could be more dangerous angry peasants. I just believe than the wall even don’t require blood magic. And Harrowing its only a sly maneuver. I hope i could create my own sly system to slavery imperial mages. Maybe their blood is more powerful? less harrowing only for mage . Jail them in circles. Damn i seem A dragon age templar lol.


Thanks, @Player. I didn’t read the entire manga, but the tactics displayed in the early pages would be counter-productive against Theurgy (let me know a specific pageref if you have something different in mind). Even at rifle range, any Theurge who could see the rifles could mince the whole squad with a couple of blood phials, using solely the gunpowder in the adversary’s own guns.

In the first half of Game 2, the MC will get tutoring in more of the detail of how Theurgy works – including some new skills that will make @HomicidialFrog happy. For now, I’ll just say that there’s a sense in which black powder really wants to explode, more than any other substance in the gameworld. That volatility is conspicuous to a Theurge who’s looking for it, so it’s not easy for someone carrying powder to remain concealed. And it’s very easy for Theurges to accelerate that potential, creating a much bigger and more destructive explosion than you’d get by simply striking a spark to the powder.

So bringing black powder to any fight involving Theurges would be foolish – a bit like trying to use liquid nitroglycerin in combat. It’s much more likely to kill you than your enemies.

Now, you’re right that if the rifle had been invented in the gameworld, its long range and accuracy would still make it an effective assassin’s weapon. Under circumstances where you were taking on up to four Theurges from cover… it would be a gamble, but if you had a good rifle, you’d have decent odds of taking them all out before one of them sniffed out where your gun was and blew you up.

But the evolution of firearms on Earth took centuries, starting (in the West) with adapting bell-casting tech to make cannons. I’m suggesting that in the gameworld, that process of evolution stalled before it had a chance to get started. Just as cannon-making was properly taking off, Karagond Theurgy was developed, and the armies that had started to use crude artillery were literally “hoist by their own petard.” The lesson of those early conquests was that black powder weapons are worse than useless.

So rifles don’t exist, because even if a visionary imagined the idea, s/he would have no practical tech base from which to work. Whatever early attempts there were at making hand-held cannons, they never got anywhere close to the stage where someone would think to experiment with something like barrel rifling to make it more accurate over long distances. And at short distances, or long distances with poor accuracy, firearms vs. Theurges is suicide.

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Choice of Rebels: Uprising — Lead the revolt against a bloodthirsty empire!
Choice of Rebels: Uprising — Lead the revolt against a bloodthirsty empire!

Indeed I simply did not think about the theurges just making the gun powder explode.

Okay mass kinetic weapons…Mass effect style.


Making the realm of fantasy with its depth crush against the sheer crazyness of science fiction.


When I get the materials, I’d make sure to try exploding those Theurges into Plasma. :-w See how they like being explosive.


For those who’ve been wondering what the Karagond Empire looks like… I played around with Hexographer this evening, and here’s a draft map with the bits of the world that have been mentioned so far in the story (plus a couple that haven’t).

@Galador: this one’s for you.

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Awesome map. It looks different than i thought, but that only made feel better and more real. loving the world you’ve made here more and more.


Hmm, now that gives me the idea of getting around the blood mages by using two part explosives: two completely stable compounds until they’re mixed together and then it’s boom time

So how about air guns?


It’s great to finally see the provincial boundaries. I wasn’t expecting all that water surrounding everything, but that isn’t a bad thing. It’s interesting that Shayard ends up being more “central” than Karagond, despite being the southernmost province, since only Shayard has boundaries with each of the other provinces.

Regarding the wall, does it surround the maritime boundaries of the empire as well? Or only the land boundaries? BTW, having read the index/glossary, I’m skeptical that the Southern wall on the border with the Abhuman Confederation is necessary.


I’ve been putting trying this off for far too long. It looks amazing. Hoping to fill a free afternoon with it next week :slight_smile:


@P_Tigras, the Wards completely surround the Empire, including those extensive coast lines.

That said, the coastal Wards are generally set back a short distance from the actual shore… so there’s a not insignificant population that lives inside the Empire but outside the Wards. Mostly fishing villages, but one or two larger towns in Erezza as well. These settlements enjoy a much lower day-to-day Imperial presence (no Alastors or Theurges), but the smaller ones especially are bait for pirates and Halassurq raiders.

The Imperial Navy has two major bases entirely outside the Wards: on the craggy island off the coast of Shayard on the map, and on the northernmost peninsula of Erezza.

The major coastal cities usually have a district known as the Merchant’s Pale which is set outside the Ward. The Pales are heavily garrisoned with Phalangite troops, Theurges, and Kryptasts, with a Gate in the Ward allowing Imperial forces to be rapidly reinforced/rearmed in the event of attack. (Normal trade never takes place through that Gate – it’s strictly for emergencies).

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@Havenstone the funny thing about snipers is when you have 100 people trying to hack you into peices in front of of you you usually don’t notice the four people hiding in trees with primitive rifles until four of your four most high value targets are already dead, and after you notice them assuming that you do on the first volley you have to find out were they are keeping in mind that you are still about a moment’s hessitation from being hacked to shreds, and that th people in charge of leading the freindly forces have all come down with a bad case of shot in the face syndrome.
Obiously rifles would be a dissaster if used in mass however assuming it is around as advanced as a kentucky long rifle it would still be quite effective if given to an elite few for the mission of taking out high value targets while keeping themselves hidden.


@817819, good thoughts, thanks! But in the gameworld, the evolution of firearms stopped at the hand cannon, for the reasons outlined above. So there were never muskets, let alone Kentucky long rifles.

Because it’s not easy to reliably defend oneself against a Theurgic assault, in any battle where both sides have magi, the Theurges effectively turn into snipers – or at any rate, they try to stay concealed from each other while doing as much damage to the other side’s forces as possible.

So the sniping-in-battle you describe is a very plausible scenario… but in this world, it would happen with Theurgy rather than firearms.

Bows work very well for ambushing an unsuspecting Theurge. In battle, though, any Theurge will be causing her/his clothing to repel projectiles (including a scarf wrapped tightly around the head), so you’d have to be quite lucky to get a shot in.


@Havenstone what about poison and biological weapons? some sort of gas sarim or a laugh gas could defeat theurgy? If i poison the water fountain or the blood supply. There are some snake poisons how destroy blood and make it almost solid. i could imagine methods where magic don’t work if there aren’t prepared . Of corse, that kill almost half of population . But i don’t care in this example . Could poison and biological weapons work


@Havenstone well their is one mor use for gun powder… if the mc had something like a rouge magic user on their side. you mentioned earlier that theurgy could be ussed to magnify the explosion so… Kamikaze!!!


EDIT: I was slow to the draw. Not used to posting from my cell phone…