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

I have an example for you: the founder of the Han Dynasty was originally based in the Shu Region in China which is a mountainous region of rivers, mountains, and hills.

He managed to carefully consolidate his forces, provide a stable refuge for people fleeing violence, and build an army then he swept out and took over the Central Plains and from there he managed to defeat the Chu and establish the Han.

It is doable but it will require a lot of juggling. Above all, you need to ensure that the refugees you take in don’t have a Kryptast or six in them who’ll assassinate you the moment they can. The main problem with that strategy though, is that if you can’t escape from Wiendrj you will be encircled and destroyed. It’s as much as a future gravesite as a massive advantage.


How many soldiers guard the gate? Would it be possible to unite those behind in Xaos lands to attack the gate? They obviously have not done it before since they are not welcomed in the hegemony and would be hunted as Xaos demons. If they learned of a rebellion then they would be more incentivized unite together and join since there is an organization that will take them in, plus I doubt anyone would willingly want to remain in Xaos lands so wouldn’t most jump at that opportunity.

Also if you are the only survivor of the rebellion you would probably need a new army, this seems like the only way that you would get one in that kind of play-through.

Though this entirely depends on how many people live in Xaos lands and if there are any theurges, and how many soldiers are stationed at a gate.


As much as I’ve enjoyed talking about messing with the Gates, I’m pretty sure that they fail closed. That is, if the gate is damaged, it won’t break and be impossible to close, but instead it will break, close and the Ward reassert itself.

So to take the Gate, you’d need people on both sides to eliminate the guards And all of this comes with the caveat that we haven’t seen the Gates in play.


I’m with you the gates are where the Hegemony’s eye of Sauron is focused. Need a asymmetric strategy to defeat the wards.


Not to mention, that theoretically there are a bunch of angry immortal mages that might be based there who probably can kill us all.

Sorry to be mostly absent from the forum lately. We’re seriously screwed in my neck of the woods for the next month at least, and it’s been a distracting, busy time to be responsible for a couple of hospitals. I’ve had one dose of vaccine and am hoping I’ll be able to get a second soon, which will hopefully reduce the chances of CoG having to bring in Brandon Sanderson to wrap up Choice of Rebels.

Alas for plans for the MC to become an awesome scaly Xaos-beast – with which I sympathize – I’ve written myself into a corner where it’s basically impossible for me to give you that choice before the Wards start coming down (not possible until the end of Game 3). As others have noted from earlier discussions, the primary function of the Ward is to exclude Theurgy-transformed flesh. Once a Storm Changes you (in any way that you can’t cut/burn off like Yed), you’re not going to cross the Ward – except through a heavily guarded Gate manned by people who want to kill you.

Attacking a gate is a tall order, given that you’re fighting on either side of a practically infinitely tall/deep barrier through which neither weapons nor magic can pass. That does also make defending it an interesting tactical challenge. If you could take and securely hold one side, someone from the other side would have a hell of a time dislodging you. One side’s fortifications could be cut off and overwhelmed by a sufficiently clever surprise attack.

By the same token, though, you’d have almost no chance at actually breaking through; by the time you’d subdued one side, the defenders on the inside would be fully alerted and prepared to slag anything that passed through the cart-sized gap in the Ward, and you’d have no way to get at them without going through that gap. It wouldn’t take a lot of soldiers and Theurges to make it effectively impassible; and the Thaumatarchy keeps a lot of soldiers and Theurges on each gate and its environs.

So as noted, you’d need to attack simultaneously from both sides to be able to take a functioning gate. You don’t (yet) have a force on the Shayard side that could have the least chance of doing so, however well Game 1 went for you. While mustering an army of Xaos-landers from the doomed city of Sojourn to take the southern fortifications of the Abhuman-facing Wardgate may be a possible tactical option in Game 2 – and one which would give a nice boost to the old Anarchy score – there’s no realistic way that would get you through the gate. Your best conceivable outcome would be closing the Gate from the far side until such time as the Hegemony managed to bring sufficient force around from another Gate to reconquer it. And without a Theurgic corps of your own, yet, you’d struggle to have any chance of taking and holding it.

Thus I can’t write you the option to become a walking tree or beetle-person in Game 2, because that would keep you “on the bench” for too long in rebellion-leading terms. I need to write the Xaos-lands section such that you avoid being Changed by a Storm and can thus slip back across the Ward when the time is right… far from the woods and brecks where Plektoi with your scent are on the hunt and the local folk have a chance of recognizing you.

In later games you’ll have options to Change and be Changed. We’ll see how extensive I can make those and still have a chance of finishing the story! If I don’t end up including the option that would make you happy… well, there’s always fic.


Let’s hope so. As much as I like Sanderson’s writing, it would be a wheel good thing if you finished it yourself. :slight_smile:


Stay safe!


It’s good to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear about the situation in your country, I hope the situation improves soon.

I have a few questions I’ve been wondering about:

The first is pretty simple, how do I pronounce the x in Xaos and Xthonos? I’ve been saying it “Zay-os” but it could be pronounced like “chaos” for all I know. I don’t speak Greek.

One question that’s been bugging me for a while. In my main playthrough, my rebels fled the woods to blend in and spread word of our cause. I wasn’t able to assault the camp and save the prisoners though, because I’m a theurge, not a soldier. What happened to Breden? They didn’t mention them as a prisoner, but I’m still concerned as she didn’t accompany me to the Xaos lands (how do you get her to do that btw?).

The other thing I’m interested in is the idea of expanding the Hegemony once you conquer it, should you do so. For example, if I amass an army of Xaos Landers, could I convince them to join my new nation?

I also have to wonder if the various religions and ideologies will be mutually exclusive. If I am a devout Xthonos worshipper, but sympathize with the Hallasurqs or the Litch Necromancer, can I have some kind of syncretic faith? (Although I think the Litch may be an antitheist).


Something I’d like to point out is that syncretism works as long as the typical policy isn’t.


The Hegemony is intolerant to other religions and thus, the heretics are firmly entrenched, while the believers are also firmly entrenched.

It worked in Rome because the Central Priesthood was basically determined by patronage and was window-dressing. The establishment of a single supreme deity (Sol Invictus) was a belated measure to counter Christianity in the latter days of the Roman Principate as they transitioned into the Dominate.

There are no competing faiths allowed in the Hegemony so it’s why you’re introducing a Heresy to your followers. Or, as people who do it would argue- a reformed belief. The only good Prot is a dead Prot.


“X” in Greek is pronounced “kh” as in “chaos.”

Regarding syncretism, I think Havie has mentioned that you can try to do that later. It’s likely that the easiest syncretism might be to attempt to blend the Common Angelic Voice with Abhuman religion, but we haven’t seen the latter. Blending the Compassionate Angels with Nyrish skepticism or the Halassurq gods might take some doing…


Perhaps when you are sitting at the top and can dictate down to your subjects… but until then, it’s best to at least stray towards some form of Orthodoxy.

That makes sense. I was also wondering if, as the rebellion grows and more resources and theurges and the like become available, we may construct our own Plektoi? I always thought they were cool.

We might be able to, but remember that, when asked “what does it do?” your response is “it wastes money!”


Why is that? They sound very useful.

This post has an excellent analysis of why the Plektoi were clearly designed by a government committee.

TL;DR you’re spending a Harrowing’s worth of blood on an inefficiently-designed terror weapon.


If you go Greek, as earlier noted, the answer is a hard “K”. So Chaos and K’thonos (both of which are actually real words, not just tongue twisters I made up to infuriate GooglePlay reviewers). But I’ve never been picky about canonical pronunciation, and IMO the people who’ve been pronouncing Xaos as “Zaoss” have awesome on their side.

So the only way you can have a Xaos companion other than Yed the one-armed bandit is to successfully evade or defeat the army sent after you in the woods. If the Phalangites and Theurges end up scattering you and capturing any significant amount of your rebels, you’re just going to Xaos in Yed’s company. Breden would in that scenario (if alive) be one of the scattered and fleeing rebels in the wilderness, and would reappear in Game 2 Ch 2 as a leader of the ongoing “Rim Commotion” (the name assigned to your revolt in other parts of Shayard).

Depending on your choices, the Xaos-landers could end up being one of the factions in the final Game 5 disposition. Expanding the Hegemony to include the Abhumans, Halassurqs, or Unquiet Dead is likely to be impossible – it’ll be work enough just to replicate it, let alone absorb a major neighboring power! – but we’ll see.

Some will always see them that way, but you’ll have the option to try to promote a syncretic understanding – though as Bryce says, you’ll be swimming upstream against a thoroughly unsympathetic majority religion. Regardless of your choices, one of the major new religious movements that fires up in Game 3 (as a potential pacifist rival to your rebellion) will involve some syncretism between Xthonism and the Abhuman faith.

Yes, Ghaesh is a non-believer, though his devotion to knowledge approaches a level that some might consider religious.

You can either reproduce something like the Hegemony’s Plektoi – which as Ramidel noted in that Laguz quote were built by humans according to the Rule of Scary and are thus massively inefficient – or if you’ve become sufficiently friendly with the Abhumans and learned their arts, you could design much more efficient Theurgy-beasts (which would however completely sever your relationship with the Abhumans, who believe plektosis is only OK if you’re doing it to yourself).


Eclecto-Xthonism with Abhuman characteristics


I’m expecting a Ten Kingdoms and Six Dynasties level of population decline even during the most smoothly handled transition periods.

Just because of all the agricultural failure.


Is modification of plants considered plektosis? Do abhumans disapprove of that as well? I’m thinking mullow and whatever changes they are making to food crops to support the Hegemony’s population.