Ok, a fan theory based on two sentences in the History timeline on the wiki.
Key words are in bold. 13 XE: The Theurgic Revolution begins. Hera of Aekos discovers how to use other people’s blood to fuel Theurgy.
12 XE: Hera claims the title of Eclect, Chosen of the Angels. She kills the Oracle of Aekos and begins the forceful integration of the Karagond city-states into a single Hegemony.
Ok, I think that Hera did not come up with the process of aether extraction on her own, and was instead told the secrets behind it by the Oracle of Aekos, who she killed to stop the secret getting out.
My read from that was more about suppressing native non-Xthonthic religious traditions and rituals, and properly clearing her way to an undisputed Eclect-hood. But the Oracle being a more active early rival would be interesting.
Here’s one thing I keep forgetting: the Thaumatarch’s heir’s gender is flippable and defined by Breden’s, right? So, if Breden is female, that’d make Simon and Kalt male and the heir would also be male, or am I getting something wrong?
In that scenario, Breden’s following and yours would be very distinct from each other. You wouldn’t learn that Breden has in your absence acquired significant influence over “your” rebels. But the Rim’s a big place, and xhe’s very charismatic. You can’t really keep xhim from attracting a following.
Messages of state are written, sealed, and couriered by flying Theurge; others go by riders or boat, often paying to use the Syntechnia network. There is no equivalent of heliography or other primitive telecommunication. Theurges can make their voices loud enough to be heard over long distances, but thankfully for the otherwised deafened populace that’s not standard practice.
Hera probably looked fairly young, as she’d have kept renewing her body from about the age of thirty onward. Theurges in the post-Ward era, however, usually wait as long as possible to extend their life through Theurgy… since once they’ve done that, their Changed flesh will no longer traverse a Ward, and they’ll have to live with much more bureaucracy when they want to go in and out of a major city through a Wardgate.
Outright reversing the visible signs of age is difficult by that point, and thus a sign of excessive vanity, so most well-preserved Theurges look old but spry. If you were to see a very old Theurge who looked twenty, they’d be politically powerful enough that they didn’t have to care about (a) the vast amount of blood they’d used and (b) what others would think of their shallow self-regard. Even the Ennearchs don’t usually get to that level.
No known gameworld drugs could reliably knock someone unconscious without a meaningful risk of killing them pre-Harrowing (e.g. hemlock) and thus wasting their blood. Of course there are various drugs used by surgeons to sedate people, but not to a level of unconsciousness that would stop people screaming in agony through a Harrowing…so there’s not much humanitarian justification to waste them on the vast number of helots who are Harrowed every year.
Nor has any Theurge yet figured out pain well enough to stop it entirely, even using lots of blood (which would of course in any case be counter-productive for Harrowing). Theurgy is great for freezing muscles in place, so Theurgic surgery tends to involve getting someone really drunk/high and then immobilizing them while you do the cutting; that, combined with good post-surgery healing, produces good enough results that Theurges haven’t poured massive research into making the process genuinely painless.
All the real-world parallels for truly effective anaesthesia/hypnosis are 19th-century developments, so I think it’s reasonable not to write them into the gameworld.
And will be defined by Breden’s–unless you’ve come to realize in Game 2 Ch 1 that you’re cetero, in which case the heir will be nonbinary. (One of three planned nonbinary ROs, along with Jevahir and Laj-jas.)
First Kyklos work, for sure. A chance to practice your flying and extend your network of places you’ve been and people you’ve met (at least briefly).
I haven’t broken down all the responsibilities by Kyklos yet, so afraid I can’t give a systematic answer to this question. I’ll work on it.
As for your other thought, Harrowers simply aren’t built to harvest pregnant helots. The machines are built to extract living tissue directly from the relevant organs of a living person, thus maximizing aether extraction. They include no way to effectively extract anything from a fetus in utero, notably its brain. Even if the ethical taboo against child-harvesting didn’t get in the way, trying to add a function like that would be an extraordinary mechanical challenge in any technological era, not just the very early-modern industrial one of the gameworld. And as a matter of population dynamics, as any hunter or farmer will attest, you generally don’t want to cull your breeding mothers if you have any sustainability concerns. For all these reasons, as noted in the game, pregnancy is a very effective way to defer your Harrowing.
Well… we really can, it just requires being a bit more proactive/“tragically” late in the first game.
On the plus side, conveying messages by flying Theurge is an area of wasting aetherial blood. So that may be one expense we can cut eventually.
@Havenstone Does the Hegemony have some sort of system to authenticate Theurges delivering messages? Just because someone is wearing black robes and can use wisardry, that does not mean they are actually working for the Hegemony. If the Hegemony overlooked this due to it not being a wide-scale problem earlier or because the Hegemony did not like the idea of non-Theurges challenging Theurges, that could get interesting.
Nonexistent. When you’ve figured out a way that people can fly unaided, there’s not much incentive to invest in flight technology…particularly the kind that easily catches on fire while you’re trying to work it out.
A hypothetical visitor from our world to the Hegemony would be able to provide lots of ideas for alternative technologies filling the functions currently reliant on Theurgy. Unfortunately, in the gameworld, those ideas are highly unlikely to occur any time soon. It takes a genius to think outside the main technological paradigm, and geniuses in the gameworld tend to become Theurges…
@Havenstone Havie now it comes a Mara rant about your Judas figure aka Breden. You are giving Breden godlike powers xhe Is most charismatic more spy more loved like me. WHEN SHE WAS NEVER NEAR MY MEN EVEN ONCE. and I am supposed to be more charismatic and the angels prophet for my men.
It causes plot holes big as mountains. And make all not funny. It doesn’t matter What Mara did the Judas is there with more followers I mean if Breden is so superior why is not the hegemony leader. I am about giving up it is soooo annoying.
The Hegemony is huge, what’s the speed limit on a theurge? I suppose as long as they accelerate with human tolerances no in an earth like atmosphere would be problematic. Hitting insects would not be fun…
At passanger jet speeds they could get from the capital to the war zone in 3 hours or so.