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

No really, you say its done- then you impose punishment. Make it a death penalty offence to enforce the Hegemonic caste system. With slow harrowing the punishment.

Then you’ll just be killing the prejudicial morons.

In that case the only and I mean the only position my mc might accept, assuming the caste system and the old nobility’s influence are properly finished and the religious market has been opened to healthy competition with church and state permanently decoupled would be if they let him build the canal and properly fund the effort. Otherwise, no deal. Again he has neither “hobbies” nor material desires that would bearably sustain a retirement as we know it.

But that’s mostly academic, since accomplishing the above would require a significant time in government post-rebellion to accomplish in the first place.

You know as well as I do that the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent, always has been always will be.

Good, then you just have an excuse to kill idiots. That’s my point. If you make it a public decree in your neck of the woods and people refuse to heed it then they invite the consequences. Namely a Slow Harrow. Then it is not your fault, you are simply upholding the law.

You forget that, if the caste system is not properly root out beforehand, the new government will either not quite bother to properly enforce it (this is after all what happened to many of the more progressive anti-caste laws in India) or immediately rescind it.
In that case even if they don’t dare to touch (and re-enslave) my mc directly it will all have been a Pyrrhic “victory”. As my mc does not care much for the idea of retirement, no matter how much (or little) wealth they try to send him off with.

Ah, but aren’t Pyrrhic victories the unique flavour of XoR? (look at me picking up the lingo, used to abbrev it CoR)

One of the things I loved most about it is the ability to fail and I hope future installments will continue to give us that opportunity - to not succeed against insurmountable odds. Even though I re-played/re-read (re-pread?) it enough times to disperse any feeling of newness I still find it closely aligned with unique appeal of the title. I fondly recall my first “preadthrough” when poor Starn Oakfell a compassionate, true Shayardine helot, too smart for his own good faced off against a plektoi and a theurge and evaporated all the blood in his body, dying in process but bringing down the entire mountain with him and killing his enemies. Perhaps he would become a symbol for future rebellions but his own personal story ended abruptly.


Right–I’m back after a week of Christmas celebration, tending sick children, and moving house. (Rather more of the latter two than the former, especially given that our new flat was flooded by a careless workman on Christmas day…)

Well, I’ve been dropping hints and outright spoilers for years now (on the old WiP thread as well as here), and people have been adding their own speculation to that stew. Sorry for any confusion that results! Feel free to ask if there’s a reference to something you didn’t see in the actual game–we can put in a link to the earlier discussion to help catch you up.

I’ll kick off another WiP (open alpha) thread for Game 2 once I’ve written a stretch I’m happy enough with. Don’t worry, all, I fully intend to write it as I did Game 1.

Jumping back upthread a ways… although the injustices of “not proven” highlighted by idnlun and Mara would make it an excellent fit for the Hegemony, I’m afraid it would require a rewrite of too many trials in Game 1. Thanks for the suggestion, though, @Norilinde–I didn’t mind the diversion into Scottish law. Under most scenarios in which you run into Breden again in future games, xhe’ll have a sizeable following that would complicate the process of bringing xhim to trial…

Absolutely. But on your path, there’s no reason for anyone in the band to think twice about Breden. The bandits never knew xhim, and while I’m sure anything Mara de Jade said about xhim was negative, I can’t imagine she’s spent too much time smearing xhim as a heretic coward, either. Mara doesn’t know that Breden will pop up again, after all. So I’d expect the band to be mildly hostile rather than adamantly hostile, especially if the popping-up happens while Mara is away…

Glad you liked the rest of it! :slight_smile: For what it’s worth, the mechanic originally intended for those characters was having someone from your non-preferred gender fall for you. They’re only ROs at all because I don’t want to exclude bisexual MCs.

Stand trial? The only relevant corpses are the secret god-kings of the world. They’d never recognize anyone else’s jurisdiction.

Love it. :smiley:

Choice of Rebels is a very different setting to Robin Hood. You can’t really have a kindly king beloved of (all) the commoners when the system relies on the dehumanization and systematic slaughter of commoners. The closest real world parallels, like the traditional South Asian caste system or US chattel slavery, pushed privileged people into roles where they had to perpetrate or at least condone vast amounts of brutality in order to preserve the social order.

The aristos who do evil things in Game 1 generally don’t do so because they’re sadists, but because they’re afraid and/or able to deceive themselves about the full impact of their actions. Most don’t have a personal bent for cruelty, but they’re at the top of a system that relies on cruelty to perpetuate itself. This certainly applies to the Keriatou and Pelematou, for notable example.

If you don’t want to preserve the Hegemony–incuding the idea of an extensive common law enforced more or less consistently across a vast area–then the revival of local enforcement institutions is a reasonable thing to aim for. Some have been in abeyance for centuries, but as we’ll see in Game 2, some aristarchs have preserved traditional ways more than others, so there’ll be something to build on. The most modern aspects of the Hegemony are based on the blood economy, and will thus in any case be challenging to sustain.

There’s very little difference, in the Outer Rim.

I’m delighted to hear it. :slight_smile: I hope I can continue to write interesting failures. I certainly intend to.


Ahem, I think you’re forgetting Hector and his merry little band of murderers there, they are unnecessarily cruel, even for the Hegemony.
In any case Hector seems like the perfect example of a sadist, not just to my mc but to me as well. Calea may also be one, with her helot “lovers”, but that is more subject to interpretation and gray areas.

Sure, and one of the features of the caste system is still the utter lack of social mobility, which is why helot mc’s like mine who want to move upwards in the world need to break it in order to be able to do so.

Hope you and the family have a better and nicer new year’s celebration in the new house then. Hope you also have an actual garden with it, as kids (well anybody really, but they’re particularly vital for kids and senior citizens) could use (more) green spaces, imho.


In Game 2, will we be spending one or two chapters in the Xaos-Lands, and will the Grand Shayard chapters be the final two?

“Unnecessary” cruelty is hard to judge in a system that relies on high levels of systemic violence, especially when facing a rebellion that openly threatens that system. A Shayardene noble doesn’t need to be a sadist to decide that what’s needed in the face of revolt is some salutary brutality; many social currents will nudge them in that direction.

The most cruel thing that Hector and co. do is in essence a crucifixion… And of course one of our own world’s most successful empires took for granted that this was a necessary level of cruelty when it came to putting down slave revolts. The Romans had an impressively horrific arsenal of cruelties, not (I suggest) because they had more sadists than neighboring cultures, but because empire encourages the development of such an arsenal.

From the perspective of the helots, of course, it doesn’t make much difference whether Hector is cruel because he gets off on it or because he’s an angry, fearful young man willing to do whatever he deems necessary to preserve the social order on which his family depends.

We do have more green space around our new place, happily.

@KuriosIasoun: my plan for Game 2 is one (long) chapter in the Xaos-lands, one chapter in rural Shayard, and two chapters in Grand Shayard.


For me as a modern jurist it does figure quite heavily into it tho. But that is probably something where my sentiments as the reader play a relatively big role over me roleplaying my mc. However I think it is not out of line for my mc to perceive Hector as even worse than most of the other nobles, exactly because he seems to be getting his jollies from acts of wanton cruelty.

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Apologies if this is too spoilery, but is the rural Shayard chapter going to be spent travelling and checking on your band(assuming you’re not travelling with them)?

For various reasons, mainly to do with Plektoi/Theurge teams combing the RIm with your scent in their nostrils, you’ll spend that chapter remotely engaging with your band. They’ll periodically come out to meet with you, but you won’t go into the Rim to meet them.

Meanwhile, you’ll also get to see the impact of your rebellion on rural areas outside the Rim, and the ways the anarchy you’ve fostered is affecting institutions both unsympathetic and sympathetic.


That sounds really interesting, However due I have two on anarchy and have not killed or even stole a single chicken… I suppose I didn’t cause any change except hope and paranoia. Oh I dying to kill Breden in a public jury and then to the pyre for heretic. Except if there is other way to Shayardene of old execute traitors and heretics …


Happy New Year @Havenstone and everyone :slight_smile:

So there aren’t any yearly celebrations in this world ??

Would the Halots get extra foods or holidays from their Aristocrat lords here ? :wink:


I imagine that would be entirely up to the Lord, consider the mc was a Keriatou piece of blood-cattle and they are noted to be harsher with their livestock then many of the other noble families, I’d guess no.


Angelday and Barningday.


Who leads Halassur?

Will there be any major battles in Game 2 or will it be more subterfuge focused?

  1. Halassur is an Empire, led by an Emperor, at least nominally. We don’t know enough about it to accurately gauge its power structure. So their Emperor could be anything from an absolute dictator to a mere figurehead, for all we know.

  2. Only the author can answer that one.


Yet the narrative already allows for such a judgment to be made. Should the player go for trials at Rim Square and choose the merciful option, they’re indeed making a distinction - specifically, you’re executing the Thaumatarchy’s enforcers for unnecessary and (even by Karagond standards) unlawful violence, which nearly all Alastors are involved in (and many of the aristocracy are also guilty of - but not the MC, Simon/Suzane or Mikal de Rose, for example). This is also part of the ruthless MC’s complaint to Breden. So there’s clearly a line to be drawn somewhere.

Of course, to most helots, the distinction between a corrupt Alastor or noble and an idealistic defender of the Hegemony is a moot point. But making such distinctions and upholding the concept of justice and the rule of law is absolutely helpful if you want to bring the existing aristocracy, clergy and bureaucracy to your side. (If, as @idonotlikeusernames would say.)


Hector and Calea being the prime examples, Hector is pretty much an outright sadist who seems to delight in cruelty. Calea might or might not be one too, even if she keeps it more circumspect and confined to her involuntary helot “lover boys”.

If indeed! Though my mc does need at least the some of the merchants and the lower-echelon bureaucrats, like Bleys, for example. So it does apply to him, only he himself applies it more selectively than some other mc’s might choose to do.