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

I have been re-reading the code of the game recently and found something interesting. So if you try to ambush the enemy Theurges in Chapter 4 with your Laconnier spears using Theurgy, the attack may fail if they somehow gained knowledge of you having the spears:

To your horror, however, the Theurge whirls and halts the spear in mid-air with a gesture. "So.  The famous Halassur-forged spear," he says in a loud voice, grinning. "I've been wanting to see how well it works."
              
Drawing on more blood than you possess, he wrenches the spear from your ${wisardric} control and flings it back at you.  Your last, furious question is how they knew…and then the blade passes through your brain, taking all thought with it.

And if I’m correct it seems like there are only two conditions in which the enemy learns about your Theurge-forged weapons: if you let the deserters leave your band before the battle without hunting them down… and if you let Zvad leave the band before the battle.

What do you think this means?

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I still think that Sybla is a Kryptast.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but I also believe if you make some really stupid choices with a romantic Breden, she can desert the band after you get the spears and before the battle starts.

Jinkies, we have a traitor in our midst!

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Nice catch! Looks like there’s quite a bit more for me to discover by not saving everyone in the beginning.

The theirintel variable increases if Zvad leaves, but I think that you need to tell the band about the spears before the enemy can know about them. My theory is that someone, not necessarily a winter traitor, cracks after his disappearance.

Blockquote #I want to keep them a secret. No one but ${deputy} should know, for now.
*set pleksecret true

Then there’s this right above your quote:

Blockquote*if ((theirintel > 2) and (theirintel != 6)) and not(pleksecret)

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:slight_smile: That was the intention.

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I’ve completed my review for Choice of Rebels: Uprising. Thanks for reading!

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Potentially useful (albeit weird/horrifying) solution 1: Could Theurgic self-transformations allow my population to survive on water and photosynthesis? (instead of needing to eat conventional food)

Potentially useful solution 2: How costly would it be to Theurgically “detoxify” the Xaos-land vegetation into edible food? (to supplement our insufficient Shayardene grain reserves)

Does this mean the Gryphon is going to be perma-locked into becoming a future rival/antagonist towards Laconnier claimant MC? What a shame. Here I was hoping that the Gryphon could turn out to be an exciting opportunity (instead of a dreadful, inevitable obstacle).

Unfortunately, after the Battle of Aekos, Phaedros will be an exhausted prince who’s lost control of the Hegemony that he was “supposed” to inherit.
There’s a reason why I previously compared Phaedros to Manuel Palaiologos; a pragmatic desire to survive/adapt in a dangerous new world may override any stubborn pride over lost, out-of-reach inheritances/birthrights. :slight_smile:

“Cramming the temple’s outer gallery, the helotry had no line of sight to the aristocrats’ balcony, but Helsday remained the only regular occasion when they and their masters came so close and shared the same purpose.”

How frequently does Helsday occur on XoR’s yearly calendar? Is Helsday the XoR version of Sunday?

What is your helot MC’s opinion of a wider-targeted “Harrowing lottery”? (in which randomly selected people of all walks of life (not just helots) are Harrowed)
Or would it be preferable for your MC to do merely as much as possible with self-sacrifice Theurgy (no Harrowing whatsoever), and then apologize to the unlucky people who you couldn’t feed? (or given that your MC is okay with being remembered as a monster, perhaps skip the apology altogether?)

Are XoR falcons capable (and numerous) enough to act as efficient messaging/mailing system?
And is it within Theurge MC’s means to enlarge plektoi falcons into becoming ridable, flying mounts?

Today, I learned that “koinonia is a Greek word most closely associated with concepts of a holy, covenantal fellowship,” a description which leads me to ponder upon the theocratic direction of MC’s fledgling koinon.

What do you think are the tradeoffs of an Eclect MC vs. Common Voice MC’s guidance of a koinon?

Would citizens/worshippers be okay with endlessly re-electing Eclect MC to be their “no term limit” president? (or at that point, do we just drop the “koinon” pretenses and declare the Eclect MC to be the “pope for life” monarch of a theocratic empire?)

And in the context of a koinon, perhaps the Common Voice is a useful shared outlet that could inspire wider-spread political participation amongst a population?
(though on the darker side, perhaps the more extreme/radical Common Voice elements might end up becoming nationalist demagogues that threaten to destroy the multi-province harmony that MC worked hard to setup?)

And last, but not least, how many Leaguer atheists/“separation of church and state” opposition can a theocracy-seeking MC expect? (In the context of MC joining up with the Leaguers)

An Eclect isn’t going to stand for election. So, if you want a koinon with an Eclect, you’re accepting that the Eclect’s position is not up for vote - and therefore you need to carefully delineate what powers are ceded to the Apella and what authority remains exclusively with the Eclect (this is by no means insurmountable). The Common Voice, by contrast, can be used as a tool for destroying the very idea of a theocracy.

The concept of “separation of church and state” doesn’t seem to exist in this world yet, and would likely only need to come about in the context of an Eclect with limited powers.

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I feel like a separation between church and state would be anathema to most codex followers. legitimate authority in society seems to stem from enforcement for moral virtue less the world be devoured by xaos. This takes on a literal character due to the supernatural dangers surrounding the hegemony. Even for your rebels outright rejection of the angelic order is unacceptable.

The battle for legitimacy brewing is more who actually has the mandate of the angles rather than whether or not it exists or is appropriate for the state to assume that mantle. I suppose with sufficient social destruction and enough faith crisis level events that idea could be introduced, but even with all the depredations the MC’s rebels endured (or could have endured) it’s not sufficient to break their faith in the angles.

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Yep, secularism was a result of the Roman Catholic Church losing the ability to enforce their primacy over secular rulers.

Typically, if you enraged the Pope or the Primate of your region. He would declare you Excommunicated and free your vassals from their oaths of fealty. The gradual erosion of Temporal authority accelerated with the Reformation and the secular rulers trending towards centralizing authority under themselves and their ministers.

The Pope typically relied on the German Kaisers or the Kings of the Franks and then Kings of France to defend them and champion their primacy. The Reformation was catastrophic for Papal control because the German Kaisers were busy dealing with religious separatists who were contesting their right to rule. While the French were in the process of tearing themselves apart in the same crisis.

Having a full break from the traditional religious enforced rule in which the Thautmarch is both the greatest Temporal figure and the greatest secular ruler would be very hard to do.

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That and the Pope’s value proposition it a bit more ethereal. Obey me or you will suffer a fate worse than death that I can objectively prove lands a little more forcefully. Oh and I can kill you with my brain.

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There’s also the practical bit. The Clergy is a natural counterweight to the Aristocrats and Burghers. The reason why the early Capets and German Kaisers under the Ottonians established so many Bishoprics was to create state appointed clergy to serve as a counter to their vassal Dukes who typically worked to undermine them.

When you overthrow the Hegemony. The only people who you can turn to administer your conquests are ex-Hegemon officials. If you want it done semi-efficiently. It’s intolerable and infuriating, but unless you want to start your regime with inexperienced ideologically reliable figures who will do a lot of damage then this is what you got.

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Give it time, it’s only Book 1 so far. Soon enough, we’ll unleash the cult of kenon over the entire Hegemony.

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Love it. :slight_smile: But no, we’re not at that level of weird science yet.

If you had the blood to do that, you wouldn’t have a food crisis in Shayard. It’s a lot easier to get enough grain from irrigated farmland than from a desert, even before you take into account the plants changed by Storms into toxic or predatory forms.

No, just that the regency scenario you outlined is impossible. Wait for Ch 4 for a better idea of why.

And yes, Helsday is the weekly day of worship in the Hegemony.

I don’t think falcons are messenger birds in real life – correct me if I’m wrong! I’ve not written any sort of pigeon post into the gameworld; my gut feeling is that the early prevalence of Theurgy has probably filled the space where people would develop messenger bird “technology”.

And no Plektast has yet figured out the massive logistical challenges involved in making flying mounts.

The connotation of koinonia (“fellowship” or “common life”) in our world is shaped by the fact that Christians have been the primary users of it for centuries; it’s tinged by Christian ideas/values of what constitutes the ideal common life. (E.g. “covenantal” – no ancient Greek user of the word would have included that word in the connotation, before the particular mash-up of Jewish and Greek civilization inaugurated by Paul of Tarsus.)

But both before and after the Christian era, koinon kept its secular usage as “league” or “alliance” – see e.g. League of the Macedonians - Wikipedia So while it’s fruitful and interesting to consider how the collision of theocracy and koinon could play out for a high-Devout, high-Cosmo MC, we should be clear that if you followed Horion in wanting to set up a Great League to succeed the Hegemony, people wouldn’t necessarily assume that it would be a “holy” league.

They wouldn’t be surprised by the idea, though. You wouldn’t expect the Leaguers to resist the idea of a holy alliance with the Eclect (or Common Voice) and “mandate of the Angels” at its center; they’re not atheists like (most) Nyr. Certainly not in the name of the separation of church/state, which as noted would still be an alien concept to any citizen of the Hegemony.

I’d say definitely, to both. :slight_smile:

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And yet that is exactly what my mc wants to do as he will not be beholden to any priests.

That it is bunk…as the burdens would still mostly fall on the helot class with wider additions of the yeoman and urban poor groups…if it is a mathematically “fair” lottery the chance for priests, aristos and merchants to have their number come up would still be quite low as they are a comparatively smaller part of the population, but since they used to derive a vastly outsize share of the benefits such a lottery would still be manifestly unjust.
Either we do with self-sacrifice theurgy (or if really necessary switch to babies, like Halassur) or we harvest the enemies of the people first. At least that is how my mc sees it. In practice the enemies are mostly aristos and priests, the merchants would probably still have surprisingly good luck in any such system my mc were forced to set up…which to be clear my mc would only relent to such a thing in the first place under extreme duress.

Anybody who goes for truly radical change will probably have to do some pretty radical things to get there…most likely the things that are not exactly looked favourably upon by modern historians and ethicists.

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Omelettes and eggs come to mind.

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As exciting as it is to imagine a “nominal koinon” (in which a Palpatine-inspired Eclect treats their “Apella” as a rubber stamp legislative body of yes-men), I suppose the following (more earnest/good-faith) power split suggestions come to mind:

Scenario 1- The Eclect can institute any decrees/“executive orders” he wants, unless he’s vetoed by a 2/3rds (or more) majority of the Apella

Scenario 2- Alternatively, the Eclect can’t directly propose new laws/policies from his end, but instead holds veto power over the Apella’s proposed laws (unless that veto is overridden by a 2/3rds (or more) Apella majority)

Scenario 3- Under the “judge, jury, and executioner” model, perhaps the Eclect could be the Supreme Court judge, the Apella is the jury, and the military (and/or Theurges and/or Alastors) are the executioners?

Scenario 4- Perhaps instead of officially being a part of the koinon’s conventional chain of command, the Eclect is the head of the “Defenders of the Codex” (FYI independent bureaucracy of “auditor monks/knights”), thus (hopefully) ensuring that both the Apella and its Head of State doesn’t abuse its power to unfairly target minorities and “the lesser orders” (aka yeomen and ex-helots).

Scenario 5: To break the (potential) gridlock of the Apella, the Eclect can/should be granted Roman dictator-inspired emergency powers in times of crisis (aka Game 5’s anticipated crisis).

Unless, of course, a High-CHA Common Voice MC manages to achieve an unofficial “first among equals” celebrity status amongst his fellow worshippers, thus positioning himself to endlessly win (secular) re-election to the koinon’s presidency (and then maintain a theocratic direction for the decades to come).

@Havenstone, will there ever be a future dialogue option for MC to boast (or pessimistically/melodramatically lament) how “Xaos is a ladder”? :slight_smile:

Quite the geometric religion, if you ask me. Perhaps the true authors of the Codex were mathematicians all along? :wink:

As fun as it is for me to speculate the outcomes of an Eclect-Laconnier monarch alliance, I sometimes ponder if it would be much more efficient to “skip the middleman” (by having MC simultaneously claim both the Eclect role and the Shayardene throne).

I was very pleasantly surprised to learn how much money we could make during Game 1’s Winter (if we recruited Bleys).
It certainly makes me ponder how much benefit MC could get from recruiting (or at least allying with) Phyrgia (especially if Phyrgia becomes an in-law after MC marries Teren).

Actually, it just now occurred to me that we do have precedent for a plant-person in XoR: Yed (the Game 1 guy who was partially transformed into a tree).
Did Yed’s dietary need for regular human food change as soon as he became half-tree?

During Game 1, I vaguely remember Breden excitedly gushing about the old stories of Shayard being able to grow its own food (without stooping to the Thaumatarchy’s Harrowing-based Theurgy).
Was this merely a hint about Shayard’s past use of self-sacrifice Theurgy-fueled agriculture? (or are there other “lost to obscurity” Shayardene agricultural tools/methods that are waiting to be uncovered by MC?)

New idea: what if Yed later chose to embrace his “plant transformation” freak accident to fully transform into XoR’s version of Swamp Thing? (from DC Comics)
Could Yed potentially supplement MC’s forces with an army of renewable plant elementals? (including the toxic/predatory plants you just now mentioned)
I can already visualize the XoR version of the Piranha Plants (from the Mario games) wrecking havoc on enemy infantry!

In a brilliant example of “turning one’s weakness into a strength” it turns out that Britain’s falcon pest control problem (aka “peregrine falcons that lived in abundance along the coast” were picking off British carrier pigeons) inspired MI5 “to establish a special falconry unit to train the very species that was killing the domestic pigeon population” (for the purpose of intercepting German carrier pigeons during World War 2).

That’s indeed true, but if blood is going to become scarce/highly contested during Game 5’s crisis, then it makes sense for most (if not all) factions to start considering low-tech alternative methods of communication (e.g. messenger bird fleet).

And if the messenger bird fleet does become a widespread practice, every animal tamer who specializes in training/operating birds (that prey upon the messenger birds) is now a potentially useful counterintelligence asset. :wink:

Now, which Game 1 NPC (and their entourage) conveniently happen to be avid falconers? Hector (and whichever bunch of unnamed Shayardene aristos he happens to hang out with)! :slight_smile:
And perhaps we could add Ganelon to the list, too?

On a separate (but related) note, I’d like to recommend Extra History’s lecture series on the First Crusade. And P.S. there’s a lot of mileage to squeeze from the “why let (insert) get in the way of a good crusade? catchphrase” :wink:

I prefer poached eggs/eggs benedict; what about you?

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Why stop with Shayard’s throne when you can seize the whole thing? This is a time period in which the rules are determined by the strength of your sword arm and your ability to wield it. There is no lip-service to a rules based order. Hera didn’t forge the Hegemony or unify Karagond by just being named Eclect. She got that privilege through the Rite of Conquest.

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Winning the war is many times easier than winning the peace. Hera’s assassination is enough evidence of that in world. The mandate of the angles is just the easiest way to secure that peace (and probably with the most existing infrastructure intact as possible). Certainly there will be other fonts of legitimacy as @Havenstone as alluded, but they will likely require more anarchy to effectively replace the angles. If the MC limits their ambitions to Shayard though that arithmetic probably gets easier. Especially with the Gryphon Throne as a preexisting (nationalist) source of legitimacy.

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One of the things, that I think was suppressed and you’d probably be able to speak on this more than I would be that. I think Hera was struggling against the Empire. The Xaos Storms were probably ravaging the West (I did a reverse Patrick Star and originally wrote this as East) Provinces and our Legions were just being grinded down in costly siege after costly siege against a rival empire that managed to recreate a form of Aetherial blood that put them on parity.

Her assassination was probably triggered by mounting unrest in the West, a stalemate in the East, and probably a daughter who felt it was her time to rule.

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