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

There’s a lot of modern economic language and concepts in this proposal. Joint stock companies and equity ownership are relatively recent inventions in our world and don’t exist in the gameworld, let alone being familiar enough that helots and yeomen could structure their livelihoods that way.

Debt, of course, is ancient. The Syntechnia lends to the state and to the great Houses, and many low-level merchants act as moneylenders to local people (though mostly to nobles and prosperous artisans rather than supporting yeoman livelihoods). Within the guild, which has enforcement power through various sanctions, merchants can be reasonably confident of getting back the money they lend to each other to get various ventures off the ground.

But even debt isn’t seen or treated the same way in the gameworld as in our modern economies. We benefit from sundry safeguards and laws that reduce the prevalence of debt slavery and encourage competitive, non-usurious interest rates, allowing many of us to take on debt as a path to prosperity. That’s not how it’s worked for most of human history, though, where debt has commonly been wielded as a tool of exploitation, extraction, and regressive redistribution – as it mostly is in the Hegemony.

We also benefit from the rule of law and various systems that make it hard to simply disregard the obligation to pay back a loan. 1990s Afghanistan shows what happens to the economy when rule of law collapses and no one is sure that obligations will be paid back other than at gunpoint…and even if you play as low-anarchy as you can, the G5 post-Thaumatarchic war will put some deep dents in the rule of law in Shayard and its neighbors.

So maybe you can see how asking the nobles to reconceptualize themselves as moneylenders to your followers will not be enthusiastically welcomed by anyone concerned. No one is likely to perceive it as a happy pathway to shared prosperity. The nobles will see it as a massive loss of privilege and economic security. The yeomanry will either see it as a chance for sanctioned looting (by not repaying loans) or recasting the old feudal order as debt slavery.

The lead barge has a paddlewheel crafted to drive the boat forward. The Theurge drives the wheel.

No one is going to unite against the late-game threat of invading ice zombies. As I’ve said before, my Martin homage goes only so far. :slight_smile:

G2 Ch4 will give you the sense of who that claimant might be. You’ll need to wait a couple more games before any actual individual emerges…

And Tamran is an innovator, not the heir to a long tradition of mysticism.

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I see you’re presenting that as a when, not an if.

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Seems logical. The Hegemony needs to fall for some reason, and that is most likely due to a supply crunch on aether. Have to start picking and choosing what demand is satisfied. I’m guessing agriculture in rebellious provinces is low on that list.

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While that is true some things, such as the rise of farming cooperatives, should some bright cabelite think to pitch it to my mc is possible to achieve with more primitive financial tools. For example: although any administration of my mc giving money to the cabelites to kick-start farming cooperatives as part of post hegemony reconstruction would likely be seen as patronage to the cabelite faction, rather than agricultural subsidies it may still have much of the same effects. And lending money to members of the cooperative at better terms and conditions than the established regent families and their big merchant houses is how the co-ops first branched out into banking in my own country to begin with.

Although I think it is still a pity that the gameworld culture is just a tad too primitive to use all the useless, confiscated hegemony gold to cause a currency/economic crisis in Halassur.

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News update from the writing front: I’ve resisted signing any sort of contract for XoR2 over the past few years, knowing that I had limited time and energy for the writing and not wanting to set milestones that would only be a source of stress.

But today I signed a contract. :slight_smile: I’m sure the milestones in it will need a bit of flex, but I’m hopeful that it won’t be too far off.

On a minor but very satisfying note, today I also got a green light from Richard Adams’s estate to use the term “streel” in Stormwright. Ever since I read Shardik, with its haunting Streels of Urtah, every gorge too dark and deep to see a bottom has been a “streel” to me. The streels of the XoRverse will appear in G2 Ch1 – and I’ll get to use Adams’s coinage for them. This makes me very happy. :slight_smile:

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Will it be possible for low-anarchy MC to mitigate the problem via “doomsday prepping” grain vaults in later games? (Similar to how Joseph proactively prepared Egypt against famine in the Bible)

Or will the demands of operating a larger band (and/or multiple provinces) be strenuous enough to constantly leave MC grain-poor? (thus not in a position to create the surplus necessary to shield against famine)

And on another note, how much of an uphill battle will it be for MC to convince his aristo allies to temporarily reduce their “conspicuous consumption” for multiple years in a row? (in favor of providing resources for MC’s above-mentioned doomsday prepping, up until a reasonable “replacement for Harrowing” option, aka Phaedrx’s biotech could be implemented on a massive scale)

Phaedrx may have been raised to be Kleitos’ heir, but from what I understand, they’ve always been a bit of an oddball (and their “reduce society’s dependency on Harrowing” agenda feels very uplifting/inspiring).
Are you truly sure there isn’t any heroic (or antiheroic) potential to cultivate here? (under MC’s influence)

Despite GoT Season 8’s controversial direction/outcome, I think it was a reasonably good cautionary tale about how a mix of distrust/paranoia, stereotyping/prejudice, and betrayal could end up isolating antiheroes (e.g. Daenerys) into becoming “self-fulfilling prophecy villains.” (aka the “Then Let Me Be Evil” trope).
Public backlash be damned, I will dedicate at least one MC to pursue the “let’s give Phaedrx and the Karagonds a chance to redeem themselves” route; I refuse to let Phaedrx become the next “villain-batted Daenerys.”
(and if MC has anything to say about it, he will inspire Phaedrx into becoming an unexpected “champion of the koinon”, and reform Karagond into XoR’s take on “lost the war, but won the peace” modern-day Germany)

In my playthrough, Ganelon will still go to jail (for his crime of being Hector’s accomplice), but my INT2 helot MC still feels sentimental enough (against their better judgment) to occasionally (and privately) visit Ganelon to provide the occasional gift/amenity (e.g. favorite books and foods).

Could these dents be mitigated by an “honor before reason” MC who has never broken their word/oaths in their dealings with other characters? (and has likewise inspired that attitude to become a key value held by most (if not all of) the other members of his faction)

Identity speculation aside, with this new information in mind, will it be possible to Laconnier MC to style themself as a “steward of Gondor”-inspired regent?
(similar to how in LOTR, Denethor’s family acted as Gondor’s stewards/regents up until Denethor committed suicide by pyre and Aragorn took his rightful place as Gondor’s returning king)

(e.g. MC openly acknowledges that the ancient Gryphon claimant (with the (even stronger) claim) is still “lurking out there”, but until said claimant feels comfortable stepping out of the shadows, MC (with his forged bloodline credentials) will faithfully serve the Shayardene throne/royal family as its steward)

Laconnier MC’s intentions (for this above tactic) are as follows:
1- He (maybe?) still gets to lead the Laconniers for a considerable length of time (at least until the ancient Gryphon claimant resurfaces)
2- MC creates a pathway for the ancient claimant to peacefully claim power (instead of risking a civil war amongst the Laconniers), thus shielding himself from any accusations of being an usurper
3- And because of MC’s (presumably tried-and-tested) stellar leadership/accumulated goodwill across multiple games, perhaps the claimant might feel grateful to give MC a new job: his/her “Hand of the King/Queen” (aka second-in-command, and reliable, go-to regent)

What direction of innovation does Tamran lean towards?
Xthonic Inner Voice, Abhuman Syncretism, Hindu-esque Xthonic/Kenon mix, or something else entirely different?
Or is this topic instead meant to be discovered in a G2 demo?

And on another note, prior to getting murdered by Hera, did the “Oracle of Aekos” leave behind any heirs/students? (whose descendants MC possibly encounters during their visits to Karagond)

Does MC choosing Eclect/Inner Voice prevent (or at least discourage) Ellery from pursuing a kenon path?

Who will be the primary teachers that MC will need to rely on for their CHA/COM increases?
(e.g. COM characters can pick up tips from their “Game 1 Ch 3 new hire”, de Firiac or K; and in de Firiac’s case, maybe they also get MC in touch with the de Firiac household’s blademaster?

Meanwhile in K’s case, maybe they introduce MC to underground fight clubs/helot gladiator rings?)

(other e.g. CHA characters can learn statecraft/rhetoric from their Laconnier and/or Leaguer allies; or alternatively, the “not so chummy with aristos” MC could instead learn how to more efficiently haggle/con from their interactions with the “fixer”/white collar elements of the XoR underworld)

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Only to a very limited extent. You need the seven good years to pull off a Joseph strategy, and those aren’t really going to happen…

This wouldn’t help much with the famine, I’m afraid. If and when the Theurgic economy starts collapsing, your food shortages will stem from absolute scarcity, not access problems that could be solved by redistribution of one kind or another. There won’t be people willing to sell you grain in quantities meaningful enough to solve the problem.

Again, I’m afraid not. The breakdown of social order is a bigger problem than one leader’s personal probity can fix.

Don’t get too attached to the idea of being the Gryphon’s steward-regent. :slight_smile: And I’m not sharing more about Tamran yet, or the Oracle of Aekos.

No one founds the cult of kenon if you don’t.

Your Game 2 Ch 1 stat boost teachers will be Erjan or Mkyar for COM, Erjan or Jevahir for CHA, and Cerlota or Mkyar for INT.

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Can’t express how excited I am to see game too.

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“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

The dying being quite literal in the relative dark age immediately following the collapse here and of course my mc is striving to be the “monster” who most shapes that new world.

If there’s no easy way out then the only way out is through.

So, I’m figuring that for this series the “time of monsters” starts somewhere during the fourth game when the Hegemony really begins to crumble?

He’s still a prince of Karagond, he’d never submit to a provincial helot. It is true he may be sitting on some immensely valuable research but there is no way for my mc to get it, at least not from prince nippletwister himself. Maybe my mc could reconstruct some of it, but that depends on how many provincial, agricultural theurges were in on the scheme or at least knew about it. As I don’t think Karagond theurges would want to take any deal my mc would be willing to offer them.

Maybe he’s indeed the chief of the “animal welfare” faction, to which Olynna also belonged, but the thing is my mc does not want to be an animal anymore, no matter how well treated.

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I feel like the maximalist position with respect to destroying the old order will necessarily come with the most anarchy and deprivation. The good news is that you can reconstruct nearly anything on the ashes given sufficient power. I expect coming out the other side with that power intact will require hoarding as much blood, food, and other resources for your followers as possible.

Basically the the starving winter from game 1 on a larger scale.

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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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