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

I hear that childrearing can be a rocky experience.


My kids just take us for granite.


I don’t have children of my own, but my husband has four from his first marriage. Would that make them my step(ping) stones?


At least kids can be gems


Chips off the old block of granite they are.


A spectre is haunting the thread. The spectre of the pun-rebellion.


Pausing the rock-puns because I just learned that one of my influences passed away:

I don’t know how many people still read McKillip, but the Riddle-Master of Hed trilogy was a significant influence on my writing/plotting (though its impact is so far only lightly seen on XoR, which is much less mythopoeic), and my sons have joined me in loving the Throme of the Errill of Sherill

Read her, if you haven’t already. She didn’t write massive tomes, but the worlds she created lingered – at least for me. RIP.


I will take you at your word (with regards to McKillip’s writing/worldbuilding prowess), and have now accordingly wishlisted McKillip’s entire catalog on Audible (let the bargain/discount waiting game begin!).

FYI, was recently trying out @HughMyronBrough’s latest XoR Discord build outline
(“2INT Helot build - keep Bleys, get Merchant Support, and Jailbreak Start.
Winter fairly straightforward, but Act 3 a bit tricky to proc the attribute bonuses.
2INT/1CHA Helot
Low Anarchy - Jailbreak Start”)

So far, I (mostly) copied the Winter strategy/numbers from the “Backcountry Plot” walkthrough (which similarly had a Jailbreak Start), except for any INT-specific skill check choices.

I’m currently at a roadblock where my Architelone raid has ended on a bittersweet note (my followers are cheering my MC at the raid’s end, but have also killed the Architelone and her guards (behind my back), thus preventing me from sparing the Architelone and framing Isme as planned).
For the raid, I chose “got everyone from the band to help”, and “used theurgy discreetly”.

And because Isme wasn’t framed, Bleys got the blame as the sole suspect, his family flees across the Ward, and now my MC has lost the chance to recruit Bleys.

Can anyone precisely identify where I went wrong?

And on a separate “character creation sheet” note, here are my current (inspired by both history and fiction) varying takes on @HughMyronBrough’s 2INT Helot build:

Catherine Romanov, “the second coming of Queen Samena”

#1: “Upstart (aspiring) social climbing wife who pines for Abelard/the Laconniers (especially since she feels as if she owes a life debt to the “handsome nobleman who freed her from prison, thus giving her a new lease on life”), though Catherine might be content to settle for Simon (or Teren), if her courtship attempts towards Abelard don’t work as planned.

#2: " In 1764 Catherine resolved the problem of Poland, a kingdom lacking definite boundaries and coveted by three neighbouring powers, by installing one of her old lovers, Stanisław Poniatowski, a weak man entirely devoted to her, as king of Poland."
In my opinion, Simon certainly fits the bill of being a Poniatowski counterpart (and could be utilized as XoR Catherine’s appointed puppet king/governor of either (future subjugated) Karagon or Nyryal).

#3: “In 1774, the year of Russia’s defeat of Turkey, Grigory Potemkin, who had distinguished himself in the war, became Catherine’s lover, and a brilliant career began for this official of the minor nobility, whose intelligence and abilities were equalled only by his ambition. He was to be the only one of Catherine’s favourites to play an extensive political role. Ordinarily, the empress did not mix business and pleasure; her ministers were almost always selected for their abilities. In Potemkin she found an extraordinary man whom she could love and respect and with whom she could share her power.”
Catherine entertains the idea of courting Teren (as both her most potent political ally, and as a potential soulmate).
And because she’s already tested out the idea of a moot (in her early G1 rebellion days), Catherine is more than willing to make herself (and every future Sharyadene monarch) accountable to “the Grand Moot” (after having subverted/expunged the “douchey nationalist” elements from the Laconnier ranks).

Horace Slughorn, “nicknamed Oster while in his G2 (and beyond) aristo persona”

#1: “Upstart (aspiring) social climbing husband who initially pines for Calea/the Laconniers, though ultimately, he might be happier (and safer) to instead romance (the less murderous/more reliable) Suzanne”

#2: Much like his Harry Potter counterpart, XoR Horace similarly “likes his comfort. He also likes the company of the famous, the successful, and the powerful. He enjoys the feeling that he influences these people. He has never wanted to occupy the throne himself. He prefers the back-seat; there is more room to spread out.
Horace’s “helot-led change disguised as aristo-led change” endgame will probably involve being “The Man Behind the Man” (trope-wise) for Calea and the Laconniers.
However, if Horace falls prey to the “Becoming the Mask” trope (losing sight of his bigger picture goals while surrounded by the customs/comforts/intrigues of the aristo lifestyle), then there’s a considerable risk that he becomes a borderline sellout who comes dangerously close to throwing his fellow ex-helots under the bus (later down the road, and perhaps without even realizing it!).


Hey if anyone’s interested, myself and Ledd are drafting more minmaxed runs in the XoR Discord.

After all these years…I’ve decided I like (Ruthless) Helot builds more than Aristocrat ones. The former is simply much purer a gameplay experience, and more demanding in its planning to get the most optimal run and defeat the Karagonds at their strongest.


Could you link the discord?


Speaking of demanding planning, I have now recently finished your recently posted “2INT/1CHA Helot Comp/Dev(V)/Home” build, and have now also completed both the “Katharina/Samena” and “Horace/Oster” playthroughs.
Quick FYI (for other readers considering this build): Now that I’ve done more brute force “trial and error” testing, the key to the “Frame Ismene/Recruit Bleys” plan’s success is to “bring everyone” (Radmar and Zvad), but DON’T “discreetly use Theurgy”.

And on another note, thank you for your continued, tireless work at making detailed builds for our enjoyment (and decreased frustration)!

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Darth Alya: In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Commonwealth will be reorganized into the first IMPERIAL KOINON, for a safe and secure SOCIETY!
(or does Alya have a different preferred title for her new world order?)

Harkening back to my earlier topic (about the interesting real life historical overlap between politics and espionage), how much opportunity will there be for statesman-Kryptast career overlap in Alya’s administration?

Duly noted. Then I will instead assign the “recruit both Leaguers AND Laconniers” miracle for my Katharina playthrough to-do list (please refer to my recent posts/interpretations concerning @HughMyronBrough’s 2 INT Helot build, FYI).

I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly, it’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly stupid.” -Jack Sparrow.

FYI context: notoriously dishonest/untrustworthy Jack (despite his bad reputation) manages to successfully backstab Barbossa (by co-opting/teaming up with reputably honest/honorable Will Turner at the very last minute).

And to address another example, in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Cassius (the greedy schemer) manages to manipulate Brutus (the “scrupulously honest, loyal and patriotic statesman”) into joining his conspiracy to assassinate Caesar (by successfully portraying Caesar as a threat to the Roman Republic).

With regards to which aristo could be the Jack/Cassius that potentially turns Simon against Alya, I have two candidates in mind:

  1. Calea, if she were to escape Alya’s Laconnier massacre (and then later interact with Simon via a new persona/alias)
  2. Teren (if his/her “Machiavellian attitude” leans more towards the ruthless “Evil All Along” interpretation, in contrast to my personal hopes that Teren turns out to be a likable antihero/antiheroine)

Well, remember that Alya prefers a reorganized Thaumatarchy, but would accept a Koinon.

She’ll appoint Kryptasts wherever she needs them. Ideally she’ll keep them away from overt positions of power, but there’ll definitely be plenty of ears among the aristocracy in general.


Hi sorry, it’s been a long time since I saw that build, and I stopped updating the guides that are not my Steam guides. If you come on the Discord I could stream/comment a run for you, but otherwise it would take a lot of work to figure out the issue on my end.


Good catch; apologies for my slip-up there.
I was initially considering just shoving “Hegemony Lite” into the paraphrased Star Wars quote, but since Lite (probably?) isn’t officially part of the XoR vocabulary, my next instinctive thought was Imperial Koinon.
Will Eternal Thaumatarchy suffice as the title? (and then just leave it at that)

A couple years ago, your old “Arrogant Aristo Secret Theurge” build suggested offing Breden at the end (as soon as he/she outlived their usefulness).

Does your current “incarnation” of Alya still intend to dispose of Breden? (or instead wishes to keep Breden close to her this time around?)

Unsure if (a still alive) Breden would be the “CIA Director”/“Head Kryptast” or (the more overt) Minister of Propaganda for Alya’s regime.
(or if Alya has an entirely different career choice in mind for Breden at that point of their story)

Anyways, on a different note, Katharina (and Horace) both see Breden as an adorable, precious, and misunderstood cinnamon roll who TOTALLY isn’t a traitor, and should be protected at all costs. :grin:

At this point, both history and fiction have taught me that it’s impossible to kill ideas/dreams (even when the ideamakers/dreamers themselves die).

Case in point: FYI, the Laconniers have an established history/notoriety of surviving purges (against both military and Kryptast-related means); clearly, the idea of “Shayardene aristo/royalty supremacy” is alarmingly resilient enough to stand the test of time in the XoR-verse.

What will Alya’s Kryptasts do differently (compared to the old Hegemony’s Kryptasts) this time around? (that will ensure the Laconniers stay buried (or at least submissive/compliant) this time around)

Thank you for being response/timely as ever. Anyways, I was actually considering editing my earlier post to include an FYI/update (about having already solved my “Bleys roadblock” on the 2 INT Helot build), but the edit/pencil button vanished (thus why I instead created a new post yesterday to inform you).

Anyways, I saw your new Discord notes about the Winter guide for the Peaceful Run, I look forward to trying them out soon(ish)!

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“Thaumatarchy” is fine. No need to get overly dramatic.

Dispose. Bad cooking is a terrible crime and Breden is too charismatic and too pro-helot to really fit well in the New Order.

No idea, first I need to find out more about how the Laconniers survive. I don’t think that killing the idea will be as necessary, though, if the majority of the Shayardene noble class as a whole can be co-opted (shouldn’t be too difficult) and eyes can be kept on potential troublemakers.

One thing about the new Thaumatarchy is that, if mass Harrowing can be eliminated (I’m waiting and seeing how possible that will be), the calculus around rebellion will change and Alya will prefer clubs engaging in a little light treason over the current model where rebellions actually break out. Imagine the Laconnier “conspiracy” becoming a social club for young Shayardene nobles who want to do something naughty without having to become actual outlaws.


This is probably just unhelpfully tantalising-- but I spent this morning playing through different paths and I’m really happy with how Stormwright Ch 1 is coming together.

Can’t wait to share it with you all when it’s ready… :slight_smile: