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



Because I don’t feel like replaying XoR just to get Kalt and go on the sheep raid, does anyone have a transcript with that encounter?

Kalt/Kala's life story:
            *label kaltlifestory
            "Very well then, ${kuria}.  We'll see what you make of me."
            You sit in silence while ${zhe} plucks a fennel stem and chews meditatively on the seeds.  At length, ${zhe} glances over at you and says, "You know the first thing I remember my ma teaching me? 'Do as you'd be done by, ${kalt}.' It wasn't that some Diakon had said it to her, either.  Ma'd figured it out for herself when she was a girl, along with all kinds of other oughts-and-shoulds. And she loved to talk about them.  She loved that the pattern Xthonos put in the world was as clear to her as to any highborn or priest.
            "Our lord kurios… well, he thought it was funny to have a helot pigkeeper who'd tell him what was right and wrong."  A small, bitter smile settles on ${kalt}'s face. "He'd stop by to argue with her after Helsday services, sometimes.  They'd go back and forth, and she wouldn't hold back, she'd speak her mind about how she thought things were faring on the estate.  Always friendly-like, and with a smile, earnest as anything. 

            "And sometimes it'd change things.  One time he came swearing that he was going to flog and sell off a young couple who'd got themselves caught in a hayloft… but he'd waited until he spoke with Ma, and after they'd argued for a good hour, he stormed off to the Diakon and had the two married instead.  If I ever spoke up when he was about, he'd smack me across the head, tell me to mind my place.  But he didn't lay a finger on my ma.
            "His chamberlain, on the other hand…" ${kalt}'s lips twist, and ${zhe} looks down at the grass. "He reckoned anyone who'd speak so bold must be… well."
              *if aristo
                #"Say no more."  I don't want ${zhim} to shame ${zhim}self or ${zhis} mother by speaking of it further.
                  "Well, there won't be much of a tale if I shy away from this bit, ${kuria}." ${kalt} doesn't look up.  "It
              *if helot
                #"Doesn't take much boldness for them to use that excuse."  I don't want ${zhim} to think the shame is ${zhis} alone.
                  ${kalt} shrugs, still looking down.  "It
              #"Did you kill him?" I wouldn't put it past ${kalt}.
                $!{zhe} laughs, still looking away. "I was nine, ${kuria}—too young to even understand what was happening. It
              #I stay silent.  Best to say nothing.
            had been going on for about a month when the kurios found out about it.  I found out too, then, 'cause he came and had a shouting fight with my mother.  Called her unchaste and other names I hadn't heard before… while she yelled right back about his not protecting the folk in his care, and blinding himself to the liberties his retainers had been taking.  I was hiding in with the pigs, wondering if his guards would kill me when they came to kill Ma.  But instead kurios Anthanos walks back up to the grand house and dismisses the chamberlain as a scoundrel."
            "Truly?"  You'd also been braced to hear the story of ${zhis} mother's death.
            ${kalt} meets your quizzical stare, and you can see tears standing in ${zhis} eyes. "My ma was so happy. Thought it proved what she'd been saying all along.  Most people see the pattern. Most folk understand [i]Do as you'd be done by.[/i]  There aren't many folk who are too bad to be reasoned with… and if you run into one of the bad ones, get help from someone else who can be reasoned with."
            $!{zhis} voice trails off. Both of you look up at the stars for a minute without speaking.  "And then?"
            "The kurios kept coming back for those chats with my ma.  At different hours than he had before. Doing as he'd be done by." ${kalt}'s voice is savage for a moment. Then ${zhe} sighs, shakes ${zhis} head. "The lady kuria had just died, and my da'd been Harrowed when I was five, so no one living had reason to complain.  In truth, ${kuria}, while that lasted, I don't think my ma was all that troubled."
            *if aristo
              You shift uncomfortably;
              *if bred_lover > 10
                whatever your own judgment on the chastity code, 
              it's a strain to hear someone talk thus about their mother.
            *if helot
              It's not hard for you to imagine what's coming.
            "But it didn't last?"
            "Kuria Aline arrived. And my ma had another shouting fight with kurios Anthanos.  She thought it was ten-ways obvious that things had to end then.  He didn't think so—and in the end, he didn't give a damn what she thought." ${kalt}'s hands clench at ${zhis} sides. "Four more years, he'd make his visits.  No more friendly chats in the pig-yard; no one wanted the new kuria to see them together, and besides, they didn't have much to talk about any more. 
            "I had a brother and sister, both older, both big enough to make the kurios nervous at their looks.  Soon they got moved out to work-gangs on far bits of the estate.  We didn't hear that they'd been sold until a month after it had happened.  Also had an aunt, who tried to shame the kurios by talking loudly about what the Angels and Canon have to say on unchastity and abuse of widows.  He heard her out for about five minutes… then declared that if he ever heard some letterless yaud quote Canon at him again, he'd send the Ecclesiast round our camp to sniff out heresy.
            "My ma stopped smiling the way she'd used to. After a few months, she stopped crying, too." ${kalt}'s voice is completely steady despite the tears streaming down ${zhis} own cheeks.  "And she knew that if she didn't keep eating mullow, the lord kurios would sell her away from me in a heartbeat.  Of course, every year without
            *if aristo
              breeding makes the Theurges look closer at you for Harrowing.  Four years… and it was her time."
            *if helot
              breeding…"  $!{zhe} doesn't need to finish the thought; you both grew up knowing that the barren are more likely to get Harrowed. "Four years, and it was her time."
              *if aristo
                #"$!{oath}… I'm so sorry," I breathe, trying to imagine myself trapped in anything like the same morass of shame and fear.
                  "Sorry's no help to anyone," ${kalt} snaps—then stops, wipes ${zhis} cheeks.  "Forgive me, ${kuria} ${fname}.  You deserve a bit better than that."
              *if aristo
                #Nothing I can say will do justice to this. I sit in appalled silence.
                  ${kalt} wipes ${zhis} cheeks but says nothing.
              *if helot
                #"Taken, never gone."  The well-worn helot words for acknowledging the memory of the Harrowed come to my lips.
                  "Gone before she was taken," ${kalt} says desolately, wiping ${zhis} cheeks.
              *if helot
                #"Damn him," I growl fervently.
                  "Maybe one day," ${kalt} says, hoarse-voiced.  "Done my part now, I suppose."
              #It's just the way of the world; I say nothing.  But I know it's always hard to lose a mother.
            After a time, you venture: "So his son… there was more revenge to that than you'd told us."
            "Aye, Markos." ${kalt} sucks in air between ${zhis} teeth and blows it out again. "The lord kurios' only child by the late lady kuria.  The first time he showed up in the pig-yard, I thought he was there to kill me, even though my mother'd been gone a good five years by then.  Took me a time or two to realize that no, I'd somehow caught his eye, and that he was trying to find some corner where he could know me better."
            "So you took the firedog to his skull."
            ${kalt} nods, but with nothing like the vehemence you were expecting. After a long pause, ${zhe} says, barely audible: "Not the first time." When you just sit in silence, ${zhe} eventually tumbles on. "I hated his father.  I didn't hate him—didn't know him.  That first time he caught up to me when I was digging roots in the woods…  how could I say no?  He could have… ah, he could have done whatever he wanted.  Angels, did I even want to say no?  He didn't have the look of his father.  He seemed more honest. Straightforward, anyway."
            "The second time, you killed him?"
            ${kalt} closes ${zhis} eyes. "Took me a month and more, ${kuria}." 
            "We'd talk sometimes, too.  Young kurios Markos was a cheery fellow afterwards, liked to talk about his estate.  He loved the land, loved finding ways to get the most out of his kine and his grain.  Seemed to enjoy listening, too; seemed fond of me.  Had me wondering for a bit whether I could live with it.
            "Then there was a day… we'd just finished butchering a few pigs outside the Great House, for the lord's table.  Pigs had been screaming, as they do.  Some young guests of the family came out to complain about the noise, saw a few of us helots washing up, and thought they'd have a bit of sport.  Took a horsewhip off the stable wall, had us run round naked, then roll around with the pig carcases for a while in the blood and shit."
            *if aristo
              You have
              *if arrog < 1
                to admit, you've
              seen similar games.
            *if helot
              You shake your head grimly at the all-too-familiar tale.
            "Markos too?"
            "No.  He just watched.  Said nothing, did nothing." ${kalt}'s bared teeth are shining in the moonlight. "That day I knew.  No hope of any of Them ever treating me anything close to how I wanted treating—let alone how they'd like to be treated themselves.  We were just so many more swine to Them. Had I thought twice about butchering the pigs, however loud they'd scream?  Why would I expect anything more from an aristo?  The next time the young kurios got me alone, he started by telling me he 'regretted' how his guests had behaved.  I told him I didn't want his swiving regrets and I bashed his swiving skull in.
            "I've seen what happens when 
            *if helot
            *if aristo
              your noble cousins
            see us as friendly, or reasonable, or humble, ${kuria}.  I've seen how far appeals to the Angels or the pattern of Xthonos get us.  If we're ever going to be any freer, we need their fear.  They need to see us for a ruthless pack of killers—too strong to beat, too hard to crack, and absolutely sure to hit back."


@Havenstone Is it possible for Theurges to make themselves invisible (not so much from Telos-vision but at least in the visible light spectrum)? The MC still seems caught in the ancient Greek misunderstanding of light claiming the eyes emit light, but it is not hard to find problems with that belief such as if my eyes emit light then why can’t I see in a dark room. If invisibility can be managed, then while the cost in aetherial blood might be high, not being seen while flying overhead scouting could be really useful.

Regarding aether, is its presence in the human body tied to brain activity? We know its concentration is higher in newborns than adults, but does it only start appearing in fetuses once their brains are sufficiently developed? What about adults that have a serious head injury and are left brain-dead? Will their aether remain as long as the rest of the body still lives even if higher brain function ceases?

Also, it occurs to me that even if blood transfusions do sicken or kill affected Theurges, that just means the Hegemony would need to be more selective about who becomes a test subject. I don’t think that field is something that would ever be abandoned simply because the potential benefit once understood is too huge to overlook. I think it is more likely that captured “miracle workers” or Theurges that were not deemed suitable for instruction in more closely guarded knowledge would instead be used as test subjects. Oh, and credit where it is due, I realized while doing a quick search of this thread to link the earlier relevant post that @idonotlikeusernames was the first on this thread to suggest blood transfusions.


What exactly is a yaud?


This is a world where blood fuels magic. Are you sure that all the Aristotelian science is a misunderstanding? :slight_smile:

That said, invisibility is something into which Theurges have poured massive effort without success. Maybe a mistaken understanding of optics is at the root of that failure.

Aether is not tied to brain activity. I’m still on the fence about transfusion technology, but thanks for continuing to share ideas on it.

Google is your friend… :slight_smile: It’s archaic English for “mare.”


Are you implying that blood does not fuel magic in the real world? :scream: (cancels order for silver dagger and black robes…)

I did not claim all of Aristotelian belief was wrong in the XOR world. It would have to be internally consistent though and that can be… difficult. For example, it was possible to construct a model of planetary motion with the Earth as its center. I imagine those models would get even more complicated if the body you observe is actually a moon in an elliptical orbit around another planet in a different elliptical orbit around the sun. I am not claiming it is impossible, but finding an alternative force to gravity other than wishful thinking to drive the whole thing would be… challenging.

I still wonder whether the Ayleid view that “fire” is an impure form of light might be correct in this world.


Trying to make real world science in a high magical world building is always a big error. As the point of a high magical society is the physics are different and that affected everything in world.
The elder scrolls lore is a big example with the Dragon breaks events and the changeable timeline. People trying to add real quantum physical laws fail spectacularly. Because this is a universe where believe something is god makes it so. Where a event could be complete same time with three winners and a person could be dead and alive same time in different places and an entire civilization changed of existing plane using mathematics.
Here is same even if in minor scale… Copernicus haven’t flying magic and mutants lol


Hey, some of the best minds to ever live bought the idea of Humorism for about 2,000 years, It’s not that hard to believe that even a high intellect MC would accept such a theory given the time period, hell, there’s probably a lot of wacky shit that we consider “common sense” that people several centenaries in the future will laugh at us for believing in.


I disagree. The scientific method always works. In a world of magic, you’ll obviously end up with different results, but the process is the same. Whether magic exists or not, the world still needs to be internally consistent. For example, if the belief that eyes emit light is actually true in a story, then there need to be plausible explanations in the story universe for the real-world contradictions in that belief.

Well even an INT 2 MC presumably had a limited education by the standards of what would be available to Theurges in the Lykeion of Aekos. So my concern is not the MC having that belief. I’d be concerned if trained Theurges have that belief. Disputing the idea of everything in the night sky orbiting the Earth may require a telescope, but poking holes in the idea of the eyes emitting light does not require special equipment. When it comes to believing nonsense, I am also less inclined to cut slack for people with Telos-vision. I can well imagine them declining to share their discoveries, but if none of them manage to realize when such beliefs are wrong even after centuries of Telos-vision observations, then that seems less plausible.


Scientific method is impossible on a world that can’t SCIENTIFIC proof experiment anything. LOGICAL consistency is not same SCIENTIFIC methods. You can’t measure proof and empirical value anything that doesn’t exist in real life so any scientific method is by definition IMPOSSIBLE. Logic consistency is what is the use to make all believable. Not scientific method


So, yes the scientific method always works. Whether the XOR world has started using it is another matter.


You can’t apply in our world scientific method to something doesn’t exist here. You could grab aerhwr blood and measure it in your home? Not… You can’t So you can’t use ACTUAL Science in a FANTASY world . It is kinda insult scientific method that was created to NOT use fantastic non sense in real work.

IN fantasy character you could try to use in lore science… But that’s never REAL science and will never working like that. Trying to use our scientific method in a world with mutants flying people and blood that works like a energy… Is kinda no point. As we can’t measure that


The scientific method is roughly: you make a hypothesis, you test it, you observe the results, and you amend your hypothesis based on the results. That is exactly what MCs that choose to experiment with blood magic will be doing. Such experimenting is also presumably what the first Thaumatarch did. If some MCs have no desire to actually understand something and are willing to settle for ignorance, well that is their choice.

I would also point out that @daydreamsincolor did what I thought was an excellent job of including Laws of magic in Keeper of the Sun and Moon.


That’s logical consistency not science. You can’t measure or proof any hypothetical fantasy stuff. So by not means is not science. It could be scientific IN LORE but it will be based of in lore science that is NOT our science at all. Different maths different in light different in physics chemistry etc… So assume light will be EXACTLY as ours same planets or speed of light is well fantasy as YOU can’t proof it .

As I said real world One science. Fantasy world other total different fuel by imagination


Well… I can test ideas actually. It just requires asking poor @Havenstone what will happen if I do such and such. Then he gets to apply logical consistency to answer.


You aren’t testing lol. You are PRAYING to the good or Oracle old Havie to have a divine response… That’s by all means all contrary to scientific method.

I am just tired of people using Science to explain Jedi powers and Harry potter powers… It is just tiresome…

Edit I know I am a grumpy lady :wink:


Interesting. I get tired of people assuming that if magic exists in a story, then that must mean science has completely stopped working or stopped being useful. I have never seen what I would consider to be a reason why magic could not be studied as rigorously as a non-magic world would be.

I get the impression from the XOR lore I have read that Theurges know from experience (trial and error) that some things will work and certain other things will not work. But I do not get the impression that they actually understand WHY some things work while other things do not. My MC and I just want to UNDERSTAND! (This may explain why so few people ask my MC to dance… that and my MC FINALLY yelling at Breden.)


I don’t consider science should stop working. Harry potter universe has a very great mathematics of magic and great scientific IN LORE rules. Same for Star wars or Elder Scrolls.

Logical consistence with that On lore rules is key to any world building.

However what many people does is trying hard to use our real scientific theories in high fantasy and that’s in many cases ridiculous. And miss the point of real lore.

I like the theories than use magical maths in harry potter and the in lore science. I want to understand that too.

However using String theories to explain why alohomora opens doors… is well Boring and without sense… for me.

Magic worlds exist to use magic science rules not to use our boring science. lol


Scientific curiosity and the scientific method of experimentation still works and I believe Havenstone already said the top minds in the Hegemony at least know and actively use the scientific method. It’s just that in this world it seems to result in a high degree of divergent tech with steampunk and magitech flavours. “Real” technology as we know it is likely possible too, the fundamental physics do not seem to diverge to the degree they do in the Elder Scrolls universe, for example. It has merely been established that the aether stuff that really fuels magic let’s people break the ordinary laws of physics and probability. Which is why I said by the time we can, hypothetically, advance tech far enough to easily establish a space program that makes harvesting of pure aether possible one of its most intriguing uses would be as FTL fuel.
On the other hand “steampunk” and “magi-tech” are real in universe and criminally underused in the provinces, particularly when it comes to actually improving quality of life for ordinary people. And steam and water seem, at least to some extent viable, if less efficient replacement power sources for some things currently running on “magic” power.

That depends on if the setting’s rules of magic are internally consistent, even if the mages practicing it, much like our scientists today, still have an incomplete and imperfect understanding of its underlying fundamentals and rules. If that is true then the scientific method and experimentation and documentation of said experiments (this is likely where the Hegemony’s blood mages are weak even compared to early modern scientists, which might stifle and frustrate development and adoption of breakthroughs to some extent) are still useful for advancing the understanding of even, divergent, fictional universes.

But we’re going in circles here. Wish we’d get some new material for our baseless speculation thoughtful well-considered and intelligent debates. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:This text will be blurred


Well, the light-emitting eyes is something that the MC sees in Telos-vision. So either it’s a fact of the gameworld or Telos-vision is fallible. Take your pick. :slight_smile: