Choice of Rebels: Stormwright (XoR2 WIP)

A mixture of the Austro-Hungarian diarchy and the United Kingdom union, with a separated executive, legislative and judiciary at the local level and a stronger federal type of union at the “national” level.

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Personally, I’m still holding out hope for clerical nationalism. Shayard is the Eclect among the Nations and its Codex the true will of Xthonos and the Compassionate Angels. Karagond nonsense can be safely dismissed as forged heresy.


Analogy-wise, is your MC taking inspiration from Crusades-era Sicily/Naples/Tripoli/Antioch? (Forming a temporary alliance with “heathen” Halassur/Saracens, thus prioritizing political expediency over religious solidarity with fellow “Christians”/Xthonic Erezza)

An interesting model, indeed!
Anyways, I decided to ask ChatGPT about your model, and I got the following response:

"The fictional government will be called the Shaywiendrjan Union (SWU), which is a federal union that combines the political system of the Shayard and Wiendrj nations. The SWU is composed of several self-governing regions or provinces with their own separate executive, legislative, and judiciary system, while the federal government controls specific aspects of the nation as a whole.

At the federal level, the SWU has a dual executive system that consists of a Monarch and a President. The Monarch serves as the head of state and represents the unity of the union, while the President is the head of the federal government and is responsible for running the country’s affairs. The President is elected by the federal parliament and serves a term of six years.

The federal parliament is divided into two houses - the House of Commons and the House of Provinces. The House of Commons consists of elected members from each province based on population size, and they serve a term of five years. The House of Provinces consists of representatives from each self-governing province or region, and they serve a term of three years. The federal parliament has the power to legislate on matters related to the federal government and any issues that affect the nation as a whole.

Each self-governing province or region has its own executive, legislative, and judiciary system. The executive branch is led by a Governor, who is appointed by the Monarch upon recommendation from the province’s legislative assembly. The legislative branch is called the Provincial Assembly and is composed of elected members who serve a term of four years. The judiciary is independent and operates according to the laws and regulations of each province.

The SWU also has a Supreme Court, which serves as the final court of appeal in matters of federal law and constitutional issues. The Supreme Court is composed of judges appointed by the Monarch upon recommendation from the federal parliament and serves a term of 15 years.

The SWU also has a federal police force and military, which are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the nation as a whole. The federal government controls the national defense, foreign affairs, and trade policies of the country.

Overall, the Shaywiendrjan Union is a unique and complex political system that seeks to balance the power of the federal government and the autonomy of the self-governing regions. It aims to create a strong and united nation while respecting the diversity and unique needs of each province or region."

I’m interested in finding out how accurately ChatGPT captures your intended vision; please revise as much or as little of the above memo as you’d like! :slight_smile:

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If Erezza maintains the Hegemonic Codex it’s a heretic state and between a heretic and a heathen, the heretic is always worse. Even if the post-Hegemonic states of the region were willing to accept the Shayardene Codex, political expediency to secure the freedom of Shayard means they will have to be thrown under the bus. In both cases, the alliance with Halassur takes priority.


Can we turn the birds as Plektoi to serve for scouting and aerial assault for our army🤔?


Ride of the Valkyries plays.


Saw the demo about a week ago. Played through it and I enjoyed it immensely. The Xaos lands were dangerous, desperate and stoked my curiosity. Well deserving of the book length chapter you gave it. The newly introduced characters were enjoyable and I look forward to interacting with the three spies again. More so M’kjar and Jevahir than Erjan. Boo Halassur, I don’t want to overthrow one oppressive regime by becoming buddy buddy with differently oppressive regime. I cannot stress enough how much I adore being able to transition. Played through the demo a second time. Still I wanted my Xor so I proceeded to go through the entirety of this topic and I find out XoR not only has transitioning, it has becoming a furry. I saw the possibility in the demo but the confirmation brings great joy. Sadly there is the exclusion of poly relationships, I understand why. I’d rather not have it, versus it being tacked on. Keeping with relationships, but having it more bittersweet, can’t wait to romance Elery. Though as I understand that is quite a ways away. All of this caused me to replayed Uprising, finally reaching 70 hours in it. I will have to suppress even more meta knowledge for my heavy RP playthrough now.

Side note, I’m now giggling about my plan to make a Helot named Gryphon de Syrnon and the absurdity of it. That makes me wonder what would happen if an aristo’s family name is already de Syrnon with a gryphon crest when they meet the Lacconiers.


Errors I’ve noticed:

“I killed [Breden] myself.” → He had played the whole rebelllion for fools.

(Rebellion is mispelled.)

“Swap jokes and songs with my companions.” →

Simon keeps his singing low, but he has a fine voice and knows the whole Lay of Samena off by heart. You listen with tears stinging your eyes; it’s your late mother’s favorite song, which you grew up hearing at least once a month. You’d last heard it sung by Carles the jongler, nine years earlier; but after it got him killed by the Alastors, no one dared sing it again.

(This run, my character was an ex-helot with a love for Shayard, and I had chosen the playtesting options that he had saved Carles the jongler & had him return to camp, and also that he was in an ace relationship with Simon. I did playthru XoR1 to check if all of that was possible, and it is. So there should be something about Carles visiting the camp, instead of Carles being dead.)

It would be cool to have an option to discuss Vigil with Cerlota, assuming you’ve been there & looked at it in a Theurgic trance.

Ciels’ joke during the rest period after meeting Cerlota is my favorite one. The letter mixup is really funny. But there is something about S. singing the Lay of Samena…

Now, on to some questions. I’ve skimmed through the posts in this topic, but I haven’t had the time to read it thoroughly—or XoR’s first topic, for that matter. I apologize if any question has been asked before. But I think I saw something about how changing yourself to take on more obvious animal traits will give a relationship malus to people from the Hegemonic nations. Would simply changing your eyes to cat eyes (slitted, not round) be the same opinion decrease as becoming a true catperson? I feel like it could be lesser, since it’s not visible from a distance like, say, cat ears and a tail would be. Also, if you do that, what would the Seracca think? There was, if I recall correctly, a comment on how among the Seracca such a minimal change would be very strange for them. Obviously they are not a monolith and each would have their own opinion—but what would M’kyar think, if you stop there? Also Laj-jas’s opinion, but as we haven’t met them yet, I am not as interested as I am in what M’kyar would think.

Also, I am thrilled that our characters can be transgender. Thank you for that. It means a lot.

Anyway, I love what I’ve read so far, and I’m very excited for Irduin and Grand Shayard. (And the printing press! “Harrowing requires the harvesting of brains more than blood! Stop the atrocity!” “Anyone can be a Theurge! If you can read, you can eventually learn! Here’s how!..” Well, maybe printing those things would get Grand Shayard firebombed by Theurges. But my main might be okay with that. “The more you tighten your grip, Thaumatarch, the more conties will slip through your fingers.”) And of course I’m excited to meet up with more foreigners in Grand Shayard, too. My ex-noble character is quite hated by nobility, so trying to get Leaguers on their side may or may not be fruitful, IDK. But they might be able to sow Xaos among the Loyalists.

Thanks for sharing, Havenstone. :slight_smile:


I know we’re a long way from release, but I figured I’d ask here cause I’m worried.

Will there be any way to delete save files? I ask because I’m pretty sure I have so many Uprising saves that loading the saves might crash my computer, or worse crash the Choice servers.


Out of my hands, man. Not sure whether CoG has found a way they’re happy with to move ahead on that.


Nope. Plenty of imperial founders have had talents other than intellect.

Yes, as an American and Christian I’m very mindful of how empire-building can follow from a liberating creed you want to spread (or an evil you want to banish as conclusively as possible), not just from greed or naked will-to-power. An anti-imperialist MC will still have people from other areas begging for their intervention to break the Harrower and prevent a neo-Thaumatarchy (or reinvention of pre-Karagond serfdom) from taking root. Personally, I’m anti-empire as I am anti-violence – and I recognize that both those stances involve living with evils (to myself and others) that I’d otherwise have a chance to defeat. They’ll be possible stances in XoR, but not without tradeoffs.

Yes, absolutely. My intent is that the MC will be able to choose a role as advisor/supporter/critic rather than actual authority when it comes to any rebellion, including the original one you started and led in Game 1.

They’re present in all the oceans surrounding the continent, but there are more of them in the northern ocean (i.e. the Erezziano and Nyrish coasts) where there are far fewer eel-hunters than in the south. No one has ever managed to study Great-Eels closely enough or capture enough of them to sustain a Plektosis project.

Great question! The famine-stricken refugees aren’t a “faction” you can win to your side with a land grant, like the Vikings-in-England example you mentioned on the old thread. And I’m now in a better place to answer your question I dodged then (“By the present day, how much vacant Shayardene land/acres is not yet owned/cultivated by its native citizens?”). With the caveat that I reserve the right to tweak these numbers more if needed, Shayard looks a bit like this:

Cultivated land: 48%
Pastureland: 22%
Forested estates: 9%
Waste/wild/desert: 21%

This level of arability is the result of massive Theurgic investment in irrigation systems, land levelling, etc. and relies on ongoing Theurgic maintenance of those systems. (The Westriding, though, has had a long-term dip in yields and loss of significant arable area due to the Scouring after Cabel’s Revolt.)

The population density of Shayard varies by region, but runs from 60 people/sq mi in the Rim and Reach (lots of waste/pasture) to 111 in the Westriding, or on average 175 ppl/arable sq mi. These densities are I understand high for the medieval/early modern period, reflecting the fact that Theurgy has pushed the gameworld’s demographics in a more modern direction (while the annual harvesting of around 5% of the adult population also keeps it from exploding in a fully modern way).

It’s of course possible to fit more people into that amount of land (as you can see by comparison to modern countries’ pop density). But in the middle of an imperial collapse (and for some time after) you’re not going to be able to bring significantly more marginal land under cultivation, with the infrastructure investment that requires. And settling people on marginal land isn’t an option at scale; the reason they’re fleeing en masse is that they come from agriculturally marginal land, where they were sustained by an imperial grain trade that has now collapsed.

So any resettlement of refugees is going to be almost entirely on owned land – inhabited by people who have already experienced a world-historic boom in population over the past century and thus feel that things are already too crowded, even before refugees possibly equivalent to around 40% of the existing rural population show up on their doorstep.

At present 83% of Shayard’s arable land is owned by the noble 2% of population (though it also hosts the helots, retainers, and most of the Alastors, collectively making up almost two-thirds of the population). 1% of land is directly owned by monasteries and priests, and 16% by yeoman smallholders. Of the noble land, about 35% of the acreage (29% of total) is now dependent on Theurgy to get a harvest and will have a massive drop in the yields of the exhausted soils with any disruption to the blood economy.

No more than Elon Musk was able to use repurposed SpaceX rockets for his Boring Company. Different purposes, different tech.

No, though they’re eaten in parts of Erezza.

Major physical changes of any kind – sex transition, becoming a leopard or dragon – are going to be saved for the late game. There won’t be time for multiple changes, even if that were something the MC wanted.

Alternative religions can be effective “glue” over wide areas – but “all of Shayard” is too wide an area for something novel to sweep in and hold it together. Spreading a new religion would help with some social-order problems, but the problem of Shayard’s internal diversity isn’t one of them.

Great question. Yes, but “average” wouldn’t necessarily be the way it’s calculated – it would depend on the circumstances.

Yes, but the lot of a serf wasn’t one that a post-revolutionary helot is going to be happy with either. :slight_smile:

It’s much, much easier and less blood-costly to do scouting and aerial assault with flying Theurges than with flying Plektoi. Plektosis doesn’t involve mind control (no Theurgy does or can) or increasing animals’ mental capacity (too poorly understood), so you can’t make a pigeon or falcon into an effective scout.

You can give humans wings and hollow out their bones… but that involves some pretty severe tradeoffs. In the words of longtime friend-of-XoR and design consultant Laguz: “If wings are so good, why hasn’t everyone evolved to get them? Well, they make you fragile as all cack AND consume an enormous amount of energy to the point that you can quite easily kill yourself if something goes wrong.”

In the gameworld magic system, it’s easier in every way to temporarily change your weight and impetus so you can fly, and drop vitriol bombs that you trigger Theurgically, than going through the agony and cost of Plektosis to be able to do the same things through higher-risk biological mechanisms.

Ha! That may be a case where I need to tweak the code to make it impossible. Anyone named “de Syrnon” or adopting a gryphon crest would have been killed long ago. :slight_smile:

No. It would have some effect, but not nearly the same.

By and large, they’d wonder if you were serious, i.e. trying to become Seracca, or just messing about like the udud Theurges do in various ways they don’t respect at all. M’kyar would be sympathetic with the former but not the latter. Laj would be amused.

Thanks so much for the bug reports and all the encouraging words!


By way of comparison here are the Lower 48 States in the US from 2017:

Land type Land use (%) Land area
Forests 27% 842,400 mi²
Shrubland 24% 748,800 mi²
Agriculture 17% 530,400 mi²
Grasslands and Pasture 17% 530,400 mi²
Wetlands 5% 156,000 mi²
Other 5% 156,000 mi²
Open Space 3% 93,600 mi²
Urban Areas 2% 63,400 mi²
Total 100% 3,120,000 mi²

@Havenstone how much of the theurgically modified land will remain productive as the blood economy collapses? What is your rough estimate in yield drop?


A wider comparison from other countries is here. Shayard isn’t quite as thoroughly cultivated as modern prewar Ukraine, but it’s closer to that than to the USA.

I’m working the numbers for the “normal” collapse scenario now. :slight_smile:


Problem for helot mc’s is that they’re not viewed as people, so support will be tacitly assumed, assuming whatever noble is ruling thinks of helots at all ever, critics in systems like the Hegemony have a way of being fed to the Harrower or fed to it a bit sooner if helots and nobody will take advice from a helot seriously.

Okay, a good baseline to start from for resettlement is to try and put the refugees on the land owned by the 3% and trying to shield the yeomen and the 16% they own from the worst of it and, assuming we can get a relatively high degree of control concentrating the building of new towns and cities on the 1% now owned directly by the Xthonic church who need to be stripped of worldly possessions in any case.
My mc was gonna take a hard line against most of the nobles and priests anyway that they collectively own 84% of the land in Shayard that will then become available for redistribution is a very nice bonus.

Good thing my mc already wants a religious free market for lawful religions in any case then.

Two words: Administrative redistricting. My mc has no problem and in fact wants to break down the current huge provinces into more manageable administrative units/districts if he can do so along the lines of pre-existing regional identities all the better and we already talked about how it can be a possible way to reach an understanding with Cabel’s faction.

No slavery and that most certainly includes serfdom. So did ancient Shayard practice serfdom? I thought it was just smallholder farmers and a class of itinerant, but still nominally free landless/seasonal labourers? If ancient Shayard did in fact practice serfdom then my mc will really try to weaponize that against the Laconniers as being slavery and helotry by another name. He’d also use it to tar the heretic priests and their Shayardene codex for, at the very least, being far too passive on the issue of slavery
Tearing down the caste system and abolishing slavery is pretty much the core principle that my mc tends to build everything else around. Of course I am not blind to the excesses committed in the name of theoretically liberating ideologies and we’ll see how many of those tradeoffs the mc needs or chooses to make.


I honestly don’t see how you can read that in the data provided. Virtually all the land is worked by existing helot populations as mechanization is limited. I can’t read it as anything other than a time bomb waiting to go off. Certainly Shayardines will be able to feed themselves, but there is going to be staggering migration wave of starving people that simply cannot be fed.

Ukraine for example feeds 10x its own native population.

I would speculate on a 40% drop in yield. That’s roughly what the absence of modern fertilizer would do to modern yield. So basically half of the population that is currently being fed will be starving if you factor in price increases. And that is an enduring yield drop its not temporary like from a storm or flood.

Huge swaths of the population are already near subsistence as they are urban drudges or in other resource extraction tasks. Just because they moved to the farm doesn’t make them farmers and doesn’t necessarily improve yields. It just brings the hungry people closer to the food. They will probably make things worse my eating crops that aren’t ripe, and raiding and killing skilled farmhands.


You have to put them somewhere, unless you want to put them all through the harrower and better on former noble estates than the few bits of land that are actually yeoman owned and the cities seem like pressure cookers as it is already, plus it is not as if there is an abundance of jobs waiting for them in the cities either, yes, moving industry from former Karagond to other cities might help a tiny bit but that is very late game and the mass refugee situation will start well before that.

By shielding the yeomen farmers and their farms from the worst of it my mc would hope to kill two birds with one stone, to preserve both skilled farmers and their farms that are run on a model that is at least better than the huge noble slave plantations and gain and retain the support of people my mc hopes to turn into a key part of his coalition.

Yes we will need to throw everything and the kitchen sink at the famine problem including dropping luxury or export crops for things more suited to human consumption but you forget that at least a percentage of the refugees are likely skilled farmers or farmhands themselves, more than there would be in modern situations where farmers are a tiny percent of the population. I figure that here about 50% of the population has some farming skills even with the moves towards modernity the Hegemony has made.
Ultimately the only way out of the coming famine is through as neither an internal agricultural revolution nor sufficient external support would be forthcoming. Even if we could get our hand on every bit of what prince nippletwister is researching it will be too little to late, although it could probably still help a tiny bit, for those so inclined.


Isn’t there already helotry and yeomantry living on noble owned land on feudal contract or slavery (in helots case) basis? Even if you will take the nobles nobles out of the picture, the land is already cultivated and inhabited by former servants


To be honest even if some nobles want to re-impose serfdom after the liberation of Shayard, I feel it will be hard after the collapse in population from the potential famine, so I feel this will be seen as a never before opportunity for social mobility from the lower classes, while there will be incredible disruptions toward the aristocrats, clergies, even wealthy merchants or yeomen so I doubt they can wield effective opposition to any radical reforms an MC may implement (though I know that this is contingent on how much chaos there is, and me being a hypocrite for prefering low anarchy rebellions, that why I plan to only establish a small stable area of control then exploit the chaos made by other post-hegemony forces to methodically expand)

The problem I think is that regional identities don’t often focus only on one singular contiguous geographic area but can overlapped with each other, so I think making administrative divisions on regional cultures may be a somewhat flawed approach, not to mention if what Havenstone said to me then Earlund itself is also an umbrella (though lesser) hiding a calvacade of regional identites, and most Cabelites may be somehat appeased by an increased socioeconomic conditions (an end to heavy taxes, cracking down on mismanagement, etc…) so my nationalist noble MC plans for them is maybe made all of my non-upper class followers direct vassals to the King (which is me) so they don’t have to to deal with any aristo shenanigans (I know that this will exclude a large number of helots but my main goal is ending the mass harrowing of helots which will already considered a huge achivement by my MC) and also with me also being eclect of nations things may be more stable. Also most yeomen and helots due to lacking education may not have conception of a higher identity beyond their immediate surroundings (their location, faith, kin groups, etc…) so I think nothing beyond a general toleration towards regional mores are needed.

Also another question to @Havenstone if you don’t mind?
Though conception of identities may have exist before complex societies, most modern nationalist ideology tends to began to germinate in the 18th or19th century, do the Laconnier fits modern nationalist ideologies or do they have somewhat a less “modern” understanding of Shayardene. I know that they are somewhat close to romantic nationalism in their dreams of an idealised Shayard before the conquest (which may not be true) and conception of “original” Shayardene cultures, nostalgia about the past are common throughout history and to me the Laconnier are more like an elitist movement more concern with acting like “true” Shayardenes among themselves than imposing it across all aspects of Shayard’s society (That’s not to say top-down cultural influence won’t happen since it undoubtedly occur throughout our own history), due to post-Hegemony Shayard can’t have the same degree of control it had like before. (I may have phrased my thoughts wrong, due to me typing everything that’s on my mind right now so it’s okay if you may find my text wall a bit hard to read, I will try to condense it better)


Do you have some similar(to your economic/land statistic that you have shown) detailed stats about military strength about each faction? If so, can you tease us if some of our actions in Game 1 and Game 2 can influence it even before we will encounter them directly?

Since we can take on abhumans name for theurge if we learn in Stormwright will any of characters react to it when we get back?