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

How does everyone think the following would perform as acting captain while the MC is away from the band?

de Firiac

Korszata (for Cosmopolitan)

Bethune (for Homelander)

I usually pick Zvad because he seems the lowest risk, but I also don’t think he’ll be brilliant at growing the movement, so I’m thinking about other people. My primary MC is an arrogant aristo, so for roleplaying purposes she would never put a former helot in charge of anything.

Yeah, Simon made Caroline de Serin almost cringe her face off when he talked about killing poachers on the sheep raid with her mostly yeoman band of outlaws. Not hard to imagine there would be a lot more faux pas like that.

I agree, I’d even say I can see Korszata end up being the most useful lieutenant that can be recruited in game 1 when all is said and done. A veteran officer like him joining up really highlights the potential of a well-run Cosmopolitan revolt down the line in terms of being able to attract technical specialists and professionals from all of the different nationalities that make up the Hegemony.

My primary MC is a Homelander, so unfortunately Korszata won’t be an option (I may choose him for my secondary MC). As for Bethune, she seems competent to me as far as the combat side, but not to the outstanding degree that Korszata or de Firiac seem to exhibit. Her main advantage would be in her connections to the yeomanry in general and Cabelites in particular. Being the granddaughter of a follower of Esther Cabel would likely allow her to start out with more credibility than the other two I’ve mentioned despite being a newcomer as well. I’m leaning towards picking her for my MC, because Caroline is a jail break MC and has mostly been recruiting from yeomen so far, though she’s managed to stay on the good side of everyone except the merchants. I’m thinking Bethune might be best among the options for helping further a yeomen-based rebellion. I don’t think she’d do too much to make the nobles angry which is the other constituency Caroline most wants to cultivate.

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Would be great at convincing like minded nobles to the rebellion’s cause, but they’d struggle mightily in effectively reaching yeomen and especially helot recruits. The band themselves would also likely be suspicious of their leadership, given how often some of their more…aristocratic takes cause friction with other rebels. Their absence during the winter is another mark against them, even if they’ve been around longer that the other two.

I don’t play homelander runs very often so I can’t speak to Bethune’s merits, but Korszata would ordinarily be an ideal choice for leadership in the MC’s absence. Unfortunately, they’ve been around for an even shorter time than de Firiac, and likely haven’t had the time or opportunity to form the kind of bonds and intimate knowledge of the band they’d need to successfully lead in their own right. I’d wager they’d be a more effective leader than their noble counterpart, but would probably face similar mistrust in the opening months that would be a struggle to deal with.

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How much room is there for head cannon regarding the pre-conquest status of an aristo MC’s family? I imagine for my MC that the de Serin’s were a prominent Rim family 400 years ago and they have fallen over the centuries because of refusal to assimilate to Karagond culture (at least as much as they could refuse), but I was wondering how far I could reasonably go with that. Were they a baronial family at most or could I imagine them as having a higher title once upon a time?

Well I can’t speak for Havenstone…but at the end of Chapter 3, the main character mentions that his grandmother talked about “great deeds” to “revive” your house.

“Revive” means that at some point, the house was more prominent than what it is now.

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Lefse. Lefse everywhere.

(I’m holding off on the actual answer until I have time to do more work on crops and cuisine. Sorry that this makes the history of the Hegemonic waffle unknowable for now.)

Go to town! But sadly it’s really hard to keep these kinds of institutions from being taken over by the corrupt forces they’re meant to keep in check. I’ve been working in a country with a constitutionally established anti-corruption watchdog that (a) was largely coopted for a long while by political forces and (b) nonetheless managed to make normal officials so scared about being “audited” that they stopped taking risks on the job.

And when I say stopped taking risks, I mean things like an official telling a company: “I agree this is clearly how the law should be interpreted… but because that would be favorable to you, and I don’t want to be accused of corruptly favoring you, I need you to sue me. When the court delivers a judgment in your favor (as we can be confident they will, because this is how the law clearly should be interpreted) then I’ll be delighted to comply.”

It makes money for the lawyers, but it’s no way to run a country.

Yes. Whether they’ll be willing to (sincerely) take those opportunities is another question entirely. I can confirm that if you were to pardon them, the ex-helots of the Outer Rim would not be the least bit mollified by the fact that it might be consistent with your earlier track record of lamentable softness to the oppressor.

“Peirates” is a Greek word in the first place, so “pirate” is clearly the Koine for pirate. :slight_smile: I really should be using that rather than the Latin-derived “corsair,” but too late for that. Smuggling is “lathraia” in Greek; not sure that’s going to lend itself to a catchy enough word to make it into the text of the game, though. And there are no privateers.

Alaine will be conducting business in the Rim, not engaging with Zvad – once he’s left the Whendward band, he’s no longer a relevant contact for her. Her life goals will depend on just how hostile an environment you’ve created for trade in the Outer Rim.

I think the rest of your questions in that post fall into the category of “the author declines to answer those right now.” :slight_smile:

Theoretically – though for it to be an effective strategy you’d have to convince the people who care about it most (the Laconniers and their sympathizers) that you’ve got the bloodlines for it.

Hmmm. Hard for me to see Breden, Kala, or Suzane accepting that. It would rankle pretty hard for the helots to be passed over for a more socially acceptable political match, and Suzane would be morally appalled at the idea.

Not if there was the least hint that they had once been a helot. The distinction between slave and free is huge. The least respectable of the nouveau riche would still come from a free yeoman background – never a helot one, not in the Hegemony. By the same token, a male helot couldn’t credibly offer Calea the queenship; it would be like Dred Scott promising to make his sweetheart the First Lady of the Confederacy.

This, on the other hand, is totally going to be possible – and for helots as well as aristos. The role of “Eclect” is a high-charisma anomaly, outside the ordinary social hierarchy. In a revolutionary context, an alliance between a self-proclaimed Eclect channeling popular fury and the elites of the established aristocracy could be not only thinkable but formidable.

You can certainly try, though it will be primitive – no full-fledged Enlightenment democracies.

Your family used to be more prosperous, but there’s no evidence that you used to be a great house. Most families don’t really have records going back before the conquest, anyway, just stories. You’ll have plenty of scope to spin a good story… but it won’t be based on anything particularly concrete.

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Thanks I was thinking more along the lines of tribal elders as due to their authority being largely based on respect I figure they may be able to actually control helots that have been taught to use theurgy. For that reason I was thinking of only teaching theurgy to helots.

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Yep, again the very reason why no half-measures can be taken there and the caste system has to be extirpated root and branch.

So this:

is now definitively proven to not be an “effective” strategy for helot “social climbing” then?

It is also a despicable invention of the Hegemony’s theocracy that there may be a loophole that doesn’t completely close off the theoretical possibility of a helot being designated as such by the “merciful” angels (as if!) my mc would never do it, even if he was charismatic enough.
Also a former helot “eclect” would still be a helot and as such would be expected to act subserviently and show deference to those “elites”, at least in public, except when “speaking with the voice of the angels” I would imagine. Which would make the whole act even more distasteful to someone like my mc.

It also seems to confirm that the high-int mage helot is destined for a radical path as otherwise there is quite literally no place for them in the world that is even remotely fulfilling.

Hence the need for political tutelage (except for maybe the model province, if we get lucky and the game spans long enough) and trying to, in a sense, pull of what dr. Sun and Nationalist China never could.

That is if you are even offering my mc would see no value in either Hector or Calea. The one that may be more difficult, based on what you have shared about the state of agriculture and the kind of research they are engaged in would be prince nippletwister, as unlike Hector and Calea he seems to potentially have something very valuable to bargain with with regards to feeding the population.
Hector and Calea on the other hand have no such worthwhile knowledge and research to barter with and thus do not seem worth even contemplating making a despicable compromise with.

That is true but that still leaves the huge chasm between slave and free even if you would want to use other methods of social climbing that go beyond maybe becoming a feedman sharecropper.

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Havenstone’s comment was specific to the Laconniers, I note. Who neither of us care about.

While I’m not going to say that they don’t care, the Karagond nobility (and Shayard’s as a whole, for that matter) have less invested in “the right bloodline” than the Laconniers do and have other interests that you can exploit if you choose and if you’re not trying to restore the old dynasty. (Which you’re not going to, of course. Those interests include the safeguarding of their wealth and power.)

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Now posted my first attempted acapella of the above parody lyrics on Soundcloud (Stream Toss A Coin To Your Rebel (XoR) by Sushi Ozpin | Listen online for free on SoundCloud); hope you guys enjoy it!

Interesting; I’ve never heard of (or ate) lefse before!
(apparently, Google says it’s some sort of Norwegian potato carb that resembles a tortilla).
From your personal experience, how does lefse taste compared to the average Mexican (or Americanized) tortilla?

No worries, take as much time as you need! But even if there is no pre-existing history/precedent for a Hegemonic waffle, then I suppose it will be up to our MC’s to make our own history.
Or better… perhaps instead bake our own history! :waffle: :sunglasses:

Clearly, you’ve led a very informative (and eventful) life; as usual, I’m intrigued!

#1: When you say “coopted”, were you referring to my earlier suggested “(insert current leader) is framed for an egregious crime that they didn’t commit” scenario, or did you perhaps instead have a different action/example in mind? (from what you witnessed of the real-life country)

#2: And based on the “was” and “for a long while” descriptions, is it safe for us to assume that the coopting has finally come to a long-deserved end?

Never have I ever heard of such a scenario! (in which both the defendant and plaintiff co-conspire to work towards the same ‘no-brainer’ verdict in a sham trial, all because the plaintiff is too afraid to do their job)
Once again, real life turns out to be stranger than fiction! :thinking:

Okay, so it’s just as I suspected/feared: complete pardons = political suicide (aka my ex-helots will probably splinter away from me in retaliation).

So what if the aristo MC instead handed out mitigated punishments instead? (to communicate a more nuanced “forgiven, but not forgotten” stance)

(More specifically, Hector and Calea are spared from retaliatory maiming/killing, but the two will still have to make amends in other ways, e.g.

#1: They pay considerable fines to the victims (or families of victims) that they’ve previously wronged and/or killed (moderate enough for Hector and Calea to not suddenly go bankrupt, but stinging enough to communicate to the ex-helots that the aristo MC is willing to hold his fellow aristos accountable for bad behavior).

(and PS, for bonus flavor, perhaps Calea makes a sassy G1 callback comment about the fine,
e.g. “You once promised me that you and your rebellion would make yourselves accomplices to my continued tax evasion; what you’re suggesting is a violation of our arrangement.”)

#2: Or if Hector and Calea are feeling too possessive of their money, then an alternative would be to compel them to submit to one winter of house arrest (living in a helot home that obviously doesn’t have the luxuries they’re accustomed to, while also being put under constant surveillance).

Would it be possible to do the usual “homelander vs. cosmo” stat allocation treatment for pirate vs. corsair?
(with self-proclaimed pirate MC’s gaining cosmo points while self-proclaimed corsair MC’s gain homelander points?)
However, this is hinging on my assumption that “corsair” originated from Shayardene language (and not from other provinces), so I’d like to know your stance on this.

Here’s another angle to consider: what if, instead of using “lathraia” as a commonly used verb, Lathraia simply becomes the name of your latest smuggler NPC? (whose gender is either nb or “ala Breden” gender flippable)

Is it because the very concept of privateers hasn’t even been invented/considered yet, or instead because most XoR nation-states simply don’t want to hire privateers?

I know you previously stated how it was impossible for the MC to personally forge anything by himself, but if MC taught enough of his rebellion colleagues “their letters/numbers”, then could MC outsource the “forge archeological records/birth certificates/family trees” task to his followers?
(or instead hire the best counterfeiters from G2’s drudge/day laborer population to do the forgery on MC’s behalf)

Out of curiosity, is this because of her own common sense/personal code, or perhaps because of old-school Shayardene teachings (e.g. “polygamy is despicable, or instead allowable but frowned upon”) that she learned from her tradition-oriented family?

Dang, prejudices certainly do die hard, don’t they?

And on another note, might it be possible for a male helot MC to perform a Theurgic makeover on himself to impersonate Abelard? (thus, secretly usurping control over the entire Laconnier faction)

And if G1’s remaining confiscated blood supplies are not enough to cover the cost, perhaps MC could trick the Laconniers into footing the bill? (by marketing the impersonation as a way for MC to act as Abelard’s “most useful decoy/body double/bodyguard”).

Wait a minute, both Elery and Bethune have yeoman backgrounds!
Could an aristo MC successfully pass off either of the two as his “nouveau riche entrepreneur plus one” during G2’s Grand Shayard parties?

At the very least, this makes for an amusing “if pigs fly”-style comment to incorporate, right? :wink:
(assuming we edit out the real-life names for XoR counterparts)

Fantastic! :smiley:
By the way, how high of a charisma stat check would MC need to pull off my suggested stunt/alliance-builder?
Does he have to fully specialize (e.g. upgrade from 2 to 3 CHA, thus missing out on G1’s Theurge Build), or if lacking, can he instead rely on high-CHA NPC’s (e.g. Breden) to make up for the difference?
(e.g. acting as “Heralds of the Eclect”)

Speaking of the Eclect, I would like to revisit a previously discussed topic (regarding G3’s syncretic Xthonic/Abhuman religion).

Because my Eclect MC has an obvious interest in brokering a peace (or at least tolerance/co-existence) between his “normies” (aka his current “Church of Xthonos” denomination/flock) and the “syncretics,”
what if he had enough CHA/INT/Cosmo (or “conveniently unearthed” archeological evidence/records, if he goes down the forgery route) to re-contextualize the (otherwise pagan/heretical) Abhuman pantheon as mortal, foreign Eclects who were deemed worthy of performing great miracles on Xthonos’ behalf?

Looking forward to the “Fortune Restored” achievement for aristo MC’s who rebuild (or exceed) their family’s historical net worth! :sunglasses:

And speaking of money, might there be an optional G2 side quest for MC to help Carles covertly steal back his earnings from Gellard?
Last I remembered, Gellard became quite rich from extorting/intimidating Carles, and perhaps (our now older and more experienced) MC might now be in a position to help Carles settle the score?

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It’s explicitly stated that male helots lived in mortal fear of Calea taking an interest in them and Hector hunted your band for sport so I don’t think helots would be satisfied with any token punishments

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Yet. If we do drop the coastal wards and need a deterrent fast, until we can build up a proper navy eventually…offering certain incentives to private individuals who are willing and crazy enough to menace the corsairs and occasionally Hallasurq shipping would be tempting and would create the first privateers, as in fight pirates with pirates.

Heh, seizing the ill-gotten wealth of the nobles and priests will happen anyway and not stop at just a paltry 3/4ths, except maybe in the case of people who have far more knowledge or skills of value to barter with than the likes of Hector and Calea…most of those people would seem to be agricultural and medical theurges with maybe some of the few non-theurgical scientists and some naval officers thrown in. Hector and Calea are none of those so they have nothing that my mc would consider of considerable worth to bargain with. The Keriatou and most other nobles do not seem worth the bother of a morally despicable, deplorable compromise.

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Good point. Then I suppose more creativity (and concessions) on my end will be required.

Option #3: Aristo MC initially sentences Hector and Calea to 30-40 years of imprisonment, but with a caveat - they can gradually earn back their freedom by successfully completing enough assignments for MC’s “team of expendable/deniable criminals who are sent on high-mortality-rate missions” (aka a Suicide Squad of sorts).

The Suicide Squad suggestion achieves the following pros:
a. Hector and Calea’s respective skills can still be put to practical use for aristo MC’s agenda.
b. Being conscripted into the Suicide Squad is karmic punishment for people who have abused their privilege/power to make innocent people live in constant fear of death (so now it’s Hector and Calea’s turns to live in constant fear for the foreseeable future).

As for oversight, perhaps explosive Theurgic runes/tattoos are placed on both Hector and Calea (to be triggered in case of betrayal/relapse, but also to be eventually removed once their sentences/quotas are fully cleared), with the trigger being put in the hands of an impartial overseer.

And when I say impartial, I mean…
a. Somebody who’s not vengeful enough to immediately/discreetly kill Hector and Calea behind my back, before the two have had a proper chance to redeem themselves
(FYI, I still remember how my previous G1 decision to show mercy to Fedrel was quickly disregarded, so I’ll need to be a bit more cautious this time around)
b. Somebody who has a sterling reputation for being incorruptible, so that Hector and Calea can’t simply bribe the overseer into prematurely freeing them
c. Somebody who’s unquestionably loyal/friendly enough to MC, thus not having any funny ideas about coopting Hector and Calea into a conspiracy to subvert MC’s agenda

Perhaps Suzanne can be my MC’s Rick Flag/Katana? :thinking:
(unless the inherently dark/gritty nature of the Suicide Squad is too much for her sensibilities)

Option #4 (aka upscaled Option #1):
The “considerable fine” is now a “financially backbreaking fine”, with half (or 3/4ths) of Hector and Calea’s combined wealth being seized and repurposed to build shelters/orphanages for ex-helots, while the remaining half (or quarter) ends up being placed under a trust fund supervised by MC (FYI continued use of the trust fund will be contingent on Hector and Calea’s loyalty/good behavior).

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Wait, is Eclect a CHA exclusive thing? That might explain why I’ve had trouble getting it again. I keep playing INT characters and couldn’t figure out how to become Eclect again.

Menacing the corsairs is certainly an appealing option, but it’s not the only option that could be considered interesting in my MC’s eyes.
In addition to the other “private individuals” you mentioned, why not simply outright buy every single corsairs’ services as additional full-time privateers? (during later games, if MC ever reaches the absurd, Scrooge McDuck-levels of wealth needed to outbid his competition)

Hector is an accomplished hunter/tracker who could provide training for my more open-minded/pragmatic recruits (during the times that he isn’t urgently required for Suicide Squad business), while Calea, in contrast, has demonstrated proficiency at both intelligence gathering and political intrigue (skills which my aristo MC especially appreciates and would like to see used for his cause, instead of being wasted via banishment/execution).

Which is of course, perfectly understandable for a helot MC who’s grown very jaded/resentful towards the tormentors who oppressed him and his friends/family.

But from the perspective of my aristo MC who personally grew up alongside Hector and Calea (and was familiar with Hector’s softer/sympathetic side through their former romance), family ties mean a great deal to him (the “Thicker than Water” trope is very much in effect here).

And considering that MC’s still very shaken from having recently lost his father (who he still loves/mourns, despite their many past disagreements), he would indeed go to great lengths to keep his cousins alive and healthy (as functioning and cooperative members of MC’s new world order).

And even though MC’s torn loyalties between his helot followers vs. his remaining aristo family members qualifies as an obvious hindrance which will complicate my playthrough (from a gameplay perspective), this dangerous balancing act promises to be a very emotionally compelling subplot that I’m looking forward to experience! (from a narrative/reading point of view)

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Because I don’t think it is worthwhile to try and outbid Halassur for the services of the Corsairs, especially since we’d be in dire need of resources to rebuild basically everything after the war as well as contain and subdue troublesome warlords. Also in my mc’s case to build the grand canal and the more minor canals as well as the roads that need to be redesigned and build anew in a lot of cases to no longer require the potentially destroyed and uninhabitable Aekos as the hub of everything.
Oh and build that actual navy.

Privateers would in that context be a cheap and somewhat desperate option to provide a temporary deterrent that may nonetheless still be plausibly deniable enough to counterbalance the Corsairs paid by Halassur in a cold war environment.

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I like this idea of a suicide squad, as it reminded me that helots have been religiously conditioned into believing they have a duty of self sacrifice which I feel could be taken in interesting directions from kamikaze style attacks to the mainstream Christian being willing to sacrifice your personal wants for the benefit of others/in this case the movement.

Hector this might work for but Calea seems like exactly the wrong combination of clever and disloyal. Especially if you want to put her back into aristo society and thus outside of direct oversight

also the person loyal enough to you and impartial enough to run the kill switch is Korsatza (I might be spelling his name wrong)

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You can get Linos to declare you eclect without high charisma

That’s what my 2 Int 1 Cha aristo does. An MC who does not have high Cha is likely going to need good relations with a faction of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to have the priests support the claim to eclect status. My MC recruited Bleys and really angered the merchants over the winter so she could have money to throw at the priests and make up for the inevitable backlash when she revealed that she was a Theurge.

Being eclect for a non 2 Cha MC is going to require getting people like Linos to support you which will entail behaving in ways that will be incompatible with the goals of many MC’s. Linos and those like him may be heretical by Karagond standards, but they are still committed to a religion that glorifies social order and hierarchy and are consequently pretty conservative in outlook.

I also always pick the Karagond’s corruption of the true faith of Xthonos as one of the reasons my MC opposes them when talking to Breden which increases the Devout stat. That may help too.

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I was vaguely hoping that the hegemony would kill Linos and I could turn him into a father Gapon figure. Which would have the convenient side effect of him not being able to contradict me. The hegemony seem brutal enough to do it without really thinking through the obvious propaganda value. (maybe a ruthless MC could do it themselves and frame the hegemony)

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holy shit… great game. wonderful and one of my favorite games. Incredible story amazing lore and worldbuilding. an actually challenging text game to play… fuuuck I can’t wait to get more of this what you are cooking right here.

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