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

Game 2 will have the possibility of starting a romance with the top 8 people on this list, as well as deepening/initiating a romance with Breden, K or S from Game 1 if they’re still alive, plus some possible hookups.

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Speaking of that list, and the ceterosexual member of it, are all the ROs equally attracted to cis and trans members of their preferred gender? And, to expand on that, I believe you’ve said PCs will be able to explore/expand their own gender identity as they encounter more diverse cultures in that regard, around when can we expect to be able to make that choice to “switch”?

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Stezyc, Alsztyn, and Jacyn are the primary “lowland” cities, and half of Wiendrj’s population lives in the low hills and fertile valleys near them. Another quarter of the population lives in the river valley between Wiendwic and Stezyc, the most fertile and prosperous stretch of the highlands. The remaining quarter is spread out around the rest of the country, and consider themselves the true highlanders. (As Andrejna of Szeric clearly does in the G1 epilogue, for example.)

Zvad is from Oredac. Korzata is from Siszula, and Bjel from Jacyn; their fellow renegade Phalangites are like them a mix of highlanders and lowlanders.

Regarding your koinon questions: While you could try to introduce “popular vote only” elections for a koinon on a continental scale, rather than just in your core power base, the attempt would almost certainly be a fiasco. First, you could only do this for a nominal koinon where you’re really the imperial despot, USSR style, since not all local elites will otherwise be willing to agree to elections in their nations. Second, most people wouldn’t think better of you for trying it. In 21st-century Earth even despots run fake elections to try to boost their legitimacy, but that’s an artifact of centuries of worldwide experience of democracy. In a gameworld where the only participatory institutions are local ones, totalitarian empire is all your citizens have known for generations, and the majority of people would struggle to imagine how anything other than authoritarian hierarchy could work at scale, there’s no real reason for a despot to insist on popular elections.

The koinon path could involve an Earlund/Brimlund split that effectively doubles Shayard’s voice – in the way that Czechoslovakia doubled its UN votes when it split up. Wiendish clan oaths require toeing the line in some areas but not others–more detail to come in G3.

The Leaguers (and other nations) who fear tyranny would welcome steps to ensure the monarchs are raised in a highly cosmopolitan social circle, but they wouldn’t consider it adequate. A system for impeachment (or “distrainment,” to use Magna Carta language) of a tyrannical monarch by the top nobility would be more to their liking.

Any proposal for a “military authority only” monarchy would be a red flag, however, given how easily control of the military translates into a broader power-grab. And it’s worth noting that as the primary frontline state with Halassur, it’s hard to imagine the circumstances under which a non-subjugated Erezza would voluntarily consent to have its military put under non-Erezziano authority.

Cerlota grew up mostly in Viore, her noble family’s home town on the outskirts of Moncesano, and survived by her wits and luck. Her first crossing of paths with Erjan will be the same as yours, in G2 Ch1.

Any possible cooption of Ennearch Ilaria or the Navy is far off in the spoilery future, and we’ll say no more on it now. Ilaria is significantly older than Cerlota.

Yes.

In the second half of Game 2.

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Bahrain votes on November 12, grab your snacks and drinks and tune in for a nail-bitingly exciting day of electoral politics at its 21st century finest, eh? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Introducing some form of elections is a key goal of both my mc’s although I’m certainly not under any illusion they’re going to meet modern democratic, let alone liberal, standards.
As elections are a logical choice to go with (theoretical) popular sovereignty because neither of my mc’s wants anything to do with divine ordainment or bloodline/family lineage as sources of theoretical legitimacy.

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How far could a player who just wants to stay a local power extend their borders? Could a martially-minded player take over the Wiendish lowlands up to Stezyc? Is there even any advantage to owning that territory? Also, what are the rough borders for the districts of Shayard?

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FYI, bought the audiobook version a couple days ago; looking forward to the listening experience!

I did (and still do) instinctively wish to have Laconnier MC place the new Lyceum in Grand Shayard (per the leanings of Homelander monarchist MC), but regardless, I still asked my question (“where to place Lykeion replacement in Shayard?”), since I was curious to find out if anybody else had any interesting differing opinions.

‘True’ highlanders? Interesting.
What further details can you share about the conflicting clan opinions of what it means to be a “true Wiendish highlander”?
And could you please refresh my memory on which end of the (opinion) spectrum Andrejna falls under?

And in comparison, what are the typical expected title(s) of a lowlander clan leader?

What are the Leaguers’ feelings on such a tradeoff?
(Between Shayard effectively doubling its provincial vote on the koinon…
Vs. the risk that Earlund starts getting funny ideas about defying the “copy Brimlund’s vote” arrangement to instead do their own thing as a truly independent province)

And there we have it- a Napoleonic rise of a monarchy (led by an MC who “emerged from nationalism, and then neatly transitioned into the cosmopolitan side of the spectrum”).

Would Abhuman culture (of not being strictly limited to lifelong monogamy) resonate strongly with coastal Erezzan/Shayardene culture of “courtly love”/adultery?

At this point in the hypothetical negotiations, would the Laconniers be able to accept the above defined limitations/compromises for the de Syrnon monarch’s power?

Or would they instead lash out by labeling the limitations as a “last straw” dealbreaker which warrants dissolving MC’s Laconnier-Leaguer coalition?

Or would the tempting prize (of being allowed access to “the impeachment button") instead be enough of an incentive for the Laconniers to eagerly go along with the deal?
(Especially if the opportunists in the Laconniers’ ranks later conspired to exploit the impeachment process to unjustly replace a progressive-minded, “way too friendly/generous with the unworthy lower classes” monarch with a puppet heir who’s more amenable to their “Arrogant Aristo” worldview)

I see. And speaking of Cerlota’s noble family, what exactly is the family’s surname? (and was Cerlota disowned by said family as a result of her defection from the Hegemony?)
I wonder if MC’s promise to later re-legitimize Cerlota (under her (potentially) lost aristo name) might prove to be (yet another) compelling incentive for Cerlota to continue working with MC.

The High King only has control over the forces given to him, and leaders who don’t like his calls can choose not to commit their forces.” Sounds like a reasonable “check and balance” (to force the koinon’s monarch to the negotiating table with dissenting leaders), if you ask me. (Unless there are other factors I’m once again neglecting to consider)

Thankfully, however, MC’s monarchical koinon will also most likely be of the theocratic variety. (with MC claiming both the de Syrnon throne and the role of Eclect).
Tell me, is Erezziano nationalism truly powerful enough to override Erezza’s Xthonic faith?
Especially when Eclect MC is going out of his way to invest Shayard’s blood/treasure into Erezza’s border defense! (thus proving his trustworthy intentions with both words AND actions)

Holy crap, does this mean the previously impossible “Cerlota becomes Queen Consort of Shayard” outcome is now actually possible? (and by extension, every gay RO now (possibly) has the potential to become a Laconnier royal consort?) But on another note (while I’m still talking about Cerlota), is the Queen Consort role too dangerous for Cerlota’s “Theurges shouldn’t participate in formal office” sensibilities? (Along with potentially coming close to reaching a Theurgic monopoly on power, if Cerlota, the hypothetical consort, were offered the role of Regent Lady during monarch MC’s sick days/comas)

Or would the monarchical koinon hybrid model (one which presumably includes all of the checks and balances that we’ve discussed/considered viable so far) be enough on its own to assuage Cerlota’s worries?

But briefly putting aside Cerlota’s ideology (for the moment), I guess I need to first find out what’s her level of interest (or disinterest) in bearing or adopting kids. (before I even consider Cerlota a contender for the “pool of eligible suitors”)

Is Ellery a Romance for MC in Book 2 I can’t remember.

Just saw that the park I walked through with my kids in April was the epicenter of a good-sized quake. :frowning: Here’s hoping this relatively small tragedy brings more attention to getting quake-safe houses in Western Nepal – because it wasn’t directly affected by the big quakes in 2015, it hasn’t been high on most people’s priority list.

I don’t think so. Likely not until Book 3.

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Considering that Caroline’s public persona is that of an arrogant aristo, what’s her planned concession(s)/bargaining chip(s) for winning over the Cabelites’ loyalty? (the most prominent yeomen-led faction which still has sore memories of Ester having previously been backstabbed by an aristo ally)

And what’s Caroline’s imagined plan for likewise dealing with the Westriding aristos who feel resentful? (towards the Southriding aristos for having monopolized much of Shayard’s wealth and then potentially continuing that arrangement in the post-Hegemony era)

Will it be as simple as promising Westriding representation on Caroline’s royal cabinet and/or Grand Moot? (assuming of course, that there is room for a Grand Moot in Caroline’s idealized vision of Shayard?)
Or should we also expect more drastic concessions to be made in the pursuit of Shayardene unity?

What’s Caroline’s imagined tolerance threshold? (for the anticipated tradeoff between Shayard’s post-Hegemony independence vs. survival/security)
E.g. Might a wider (and more integrated/federalized) koinon of allied nationalists (beyond the initial Shayard x Erezza alliance) be in Caroline’s future best interests?
Or will the current “judgment call situational alliance, one province at a time” approach continue be more to Caroline’s liking?

(In the context of a “koinon of usurpers” route)
Would it be a good idea for monarchical koinon MC to support Cocenza’s (potential) plan to supplant Soretto as Erezza’s new leading city/capital? (or does Cocenza’s possession of “many of Erezza’s best mines/farmlands” make it confident that it can achieve supremacy on its own, without having to cut a deal with MC)
Or would MC be better off making bargains with other “weaker subfactions” such as Erezzan pirates/smugglers? (instead of the legitimate Erezziano authorities)

Several Game 1 Theurges were mentioned to be wearing “iron diadems”. Do these diadems contain any alchemical rare earths, and if so, do they have a practical purpose? (beyond being a Theurgic fashion statement)

Are there any “Bermuda Triangles” (real, perceived, or otherwise) for sea-faring obsessed MCs to be on the lookout for?

How blood-expensive would it be to setup a Berlin Airlift-inspired system of flying Theurges? (if MC intended to feed/resupply allied nations who were stuck behind enemy blockades)
Would such a system be impossible under MC’s “self-sacrifice Theurgy only, no Harrowing allowed” policy? (or might that policy have to finally be broken?)
Or might it be more practical for MC to instead lean upon his network of mundane/allied land-based smugglers?

What a tragedy, indeed! :frowning:
I pray that you and your family continue staying safe for the foreseeable future (and beyond)!

@Havenstone :
Will a “Team Halassur” MC (who outright binds their faction to the Empire, along with proving their loyalty/worth to said Empire) be able to gain enough influence to gradually reform Halassur’s culture/policies (towards a more humane direction) in the long run?

MC’s reformist goals for future Halassur are as follows:
1- Promoting women’s rights (perhaps even play a part in installing Halassur’s very first empress?),
2- And eliminate (or slowly phase out) Halassur’s “Harrowing of firstborn infants” policy in favor of a hybrid system that combines self-sacrifice Theurgy with stolen/reverse engineered copies of Phaedra’s agricultural biotech)

How many regional governors does Halassur command, and what are their titles of each governor? I’m imagining ‘satrap’, as my first instinctive guess.
And if Halassur-friendly MC decides to fully throw in their lot with Halassur, can they end up being declared “Satrap of Shayard (and/or other insert ex-Hegemony Province(s))”?

Unless I’m badly mistaken, Halassur doesn’t really want you in the Empire. They want you as a useful idiot. Your rebellion will weaken or possibly shatter the Hegemony, giving them room to come in and 4X Karagond, Nyryal, and Erezza for themselves, and they’re sending you support on that basis.

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#1: To quote Lando Calrissian, “This deal is getting worse all the time.” :frowning:
I guess @idonotlikeusernames’ really did have a good point all along about not trusting Halassur! (Though I will stick to my guns about my MC leading/reforming the Laconniers towards his envisioned heroic direction, and away from Halassur’s toxic influence)

#2: I’ve never heard of 4X before. Are you referring to Urban Dictionary’s definition? (eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation and eXtermination)

#3:
a. Might Alya (or a different variation of Alya) be willing to entertain the idea of a long-term “double agent” route?
(in which Alya and her crew play along with Halassur’s agenda (up to a point), and then use Halassur’s own resources to ironically thwart Halassur’s sinister plans for Karagon, Nyryal, and Erezza at the very last minute?)

b. If the answer is “yes”, then would Alya bother confiding (in advance) her true plan/allegiances with her fellow (and secret) ex-Hegemony provincial allies? (or would she absolutely tell no one except her top lieutenant(s), in order to minimize the risk of prematurely tipping off Halassur’s spies?)

c. Alternatively, might it be more efficient for Alya to instead oppose Halassur’s interests publicly/directly from the get-go? (instead of resorting to the above-suggested subterfuge)

In XoR terms, could it be reasonably argued that Napoleon’s First French Republic (and its sister republics/client states) could be described as a French-led, nominal koinon of sorts?
(With the eventual French Empire abandoning the koinon pretense to fully assert itself as the latest continent-wide Hegemony)

Why do you think my mc is so interested in potential trade with the other continents? In this case trying to cultivate distant friends sure beats getting close to our largest neighbours and aside from maybe the furries I’m not expecting much from the other neighbours either, what with them being the xaos lands and maybe beyond that whatever survives of old Brauracha and the unquiet dead.

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The highlanders have a much more demanding honor code, and treat anyone who doesn’t follow it as dishonorable tout court. As Andrejna says at the end of G1:

I’ve nothing else to share on the highland/lowland divide just now, including titles.

They have no feelings on it, since for pretty much all of them the details of koinon governance are still TBD, and the idea of splitting Shayard on vaguely ethnolinguistic lines just isn’t out there yet. But once the idea of Earlund is in the water, most of them would dislike the idea. They’d probably argue that the biggest, richest member of a koinon of nations should be able to find ways to exert disproportionate influence without formally splitting itself in half.

No, only weakly. The culture of courtly love orbits around the institution of marriage in a way that Abhuman multiple-mating doesn’t.

They’d not be fans. I can’t yet say what negotiations might be possible – we’re a long way from that point.

Cerlota voluntarily gave it up when she went to the Lykeion, as all Theurges do. It will likely be revealed in G5, but not I think before. She doesn’t really want it back; she has no interest in family or kids.

No…but it might well be powerful enough to override their conviction that you specifically are the Eclect of Xthonos.

I’m not going to comment more right now on Erezziano subfactions–that will have to wait a while.

Good guess as to the function of the iron diadems. :slight_smile: Cerlota comments on that in some G2 Ch1 dialogue that you’ll have the chance to read soon.

There are no Bermuda triangles, and only a few sea monsters off the coast of the Xaos-lands.

You could supply a castle that way, though all that flying with cargo would go beyond what self-sacrifice Theurgy could easily support. Not a big city, though, let alone a nation. Grain is bulky, and people need a lot of it; if you can’t transport it by boat there’s really no good alternative for long-distance supply of large populations.

You’re simply not in a good place to influence Halassurq culture. Becoming a client satrapy wouldn’t change the fact that you’re an outsider… and not just any outsider, but from the culture against which they’ve defined their identity for centuries. Reforming the culture of which you’re a part is an enormous, barely realistic task; aiming to change the neighbors too is hubris.

Yep, that’s a good example of a koinon that soon became a continental empire. The Delian League was a koinon that turned into a maritime empire.

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Tout court? Darn, how very uncompromising (or reliable, depending on one’s POV) of them!

Does this mean the highlanders would automatically shun a Ned Stark-inspired character? (who normally champions honor as his daily code, but was faced with a dilemma in which he ultimately prioritized loyalty towards family (aka honor his sister’s dying wish to protect her son, the secret heir to the Iron Throne) over his feudal obligation to be loyal to his best friend and (recently installed) monarch, King Robert Baratheon)

And to make things even more interesting/spicy, what would the average highlander reaction be towards a Jaime Lannister-inspired character? (who slew the monarch they were oathbound to bodyguard, in order to prevent said monarch from committing a war crime that would have massacred tons of innocent people)

Will confronting (and then potentially reforming) the highlanders’ “black and white” legalism be within high compassion/high-CHA MC’s power to achieve over the course of several games?
(or is MC once again reaching into “hubris territory” here?)

On paper, the notions of “not selling out your guests for personal gain” and “never breaking one’s words” feels very inspiring for “likewise striving to be honorable” MC, but on the other hand, in practice, this tunnel-visioned obsession with honor (at the expense of potentially disregarding other important values such as love and justice) could prove to be… messy in the long run?

Perhaps when reaching out to Xthonic-leaning highlanders, Eclect MC could paraphrase/quote from Sirexium’s following Reddit comment, “Fundamentalism makes faith hollow, by sacrificing humanity, benevolence, compassion. What’s the point of respecting everything written, if, in the end, it makes you a worse person than you were before. Faith without virtues, becomes bad faith, and bad faith is able to spread evil. This reminds me of the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Fundamentalist disregard the spirit, while following only the letter. It needs to be a balance between the letter and the spirit.”

(In the context of MC searching for a “US Capitol Building”/“Palace of Westminster” counterpart in Grand Shayard for the Grand Moot to congregate)
Is the ancient de Syrnon palace still intact/usable in XoR’s modern era? (or did Karagon previously destroy it during the Conquest and/or the various times they later stamped out predecessor Shayardene Pretenders?)

Similar to how aristo MC’s cousins will reveal themselves to be Laconniers in Game 2, how many of the other “introduced in G1” Rim aristo NPCs will likewise turn out to have been “aligned with the Leaguers all along”?

My current guess is stuck between “too few” or “none”, given how you previously described the Leaguers as a “small faction of Phyrgia’s troublesome cousins”.

This certainly puts a wrench in de Syrnon claimant MC’s plan to marry M’kyar, and then later install her as a “Dowager Queen” matriarch who sticks around to influence (at least) the next two or three generations of de Syrnon monarchs (to steer said monarchs towards an Abhuman-friendly, “No Harrowing allowed!” policy direction).

Is this because of a “Theurges are supposed to be loyal to the Thaumatarch first, with loyalty towards family being secondary” philosophy?

What a shame. My Homelander MC strongly believes in the importance of retaining family ties (and finding a healthy work-life balance), and will thus disregard this “name discarding” policy once he gets busy establishing his coterie of wisards.

Now that I’ve taken the time to imagine myself in the Erezzans’ shoes, I suppose that I’d likewise feel confused/suspicious if an alleged “next coming of Jesus” were lecturing me about America’s divine duty to surrender its military sovereignty to (insert name of real-life foreign country).

Perhaps a Cosmo “Eclect of all Nations” MC will have far better luck with his messaging/PR where Homelander MC failed. (or at least be able to recruit/empower cosmopolitan Erezzans at the expense of Erezzan nationalists)

If non-binary MC similarly marries non-binary Jevahir, is their gender compatibility/incompatibility (for having kids) a matter of RNG?
Or is the question moot, since Jev (similar to Cerlota) is (presumably) likewise uninterested in starting a family/having kids?

If MC decides to declare themself non-binary, how will that impact their de Syrnon monarch title? (Perhaps to something akin to “One True Sovereign” or or “One True Monarch”)
And will the Laconniers let MC’s non-binary “quirkiness” slide? (As long as MC ultimately still manages to marry a gender-compatible consort who can help them produce biological heirs?)

#1: Are these sea monsters within a theurge’s (or theurge battalion’s) ability to kill/convert into Plektoi? (Again, MC is both excited/scared at the possibility of encountering a leviathan or Kraken Plektoi boss fight; or alternatively, excited about the possibility of creating his own fleet of sea monster Plektoi)

#2: Is Xaos-land sea monster flesh edible and marketable? Since Xaos storms dissipate over water, surely, the sea monsters haven’t been theurgically changed/“tainted”, right?

#3: And on another note, might a non-empire building, INT-specializing MC (and his crew) be able to build new careers as big game hunters of Xaos-land sea monsters (and feral Plektoi who are roaming free due to their Theurge supervisors being slain/MIA) in the post-Hegemony era?

(Assuming that MC reluctantly/finally allowed Harrowing for access to aetherial blood)
Can Theurgic boat travel be fast enough to reach Amazon Prime “two-days (or less) with free shipping” levels of speed?

As an alternative carbohydrate, how plentiful is seaweed in XoR’s oceans?

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The highland Wiends recognize that you have legitimately fundamental honor obligations both to your family and to your clan liege. When those conflict, it’s high drama, and they wouldn’t have a single knee-jerk reaction about which one should take precedence. On the other hand, if you break an oath for merely utilitarian reasons – like, say, saving thousands of lives, if those lives don’t include someone to whom you have a deeper debt of honor – you’d be scorned as honorless.

The reddit comment you quote (and with which I heartily agree) is aimed at text-fundamentalists. It’s worth noting that the Wiends aren’t that…the highland honor code isn’t a written code. And the highlanders are all about following the spirit rather than the letter of the law; one of their stereotypes of lowlanders is that the latter wriggle out of their promises by only adhering to what’s written down, or to precise wording that creates loopholes for them to slip through. Highlanders definitely keep to the spirit of their oaths, not just the letter. But they may well sacrifice benevolence, compassion, and humanity in the process. They’re fundamentalist in their inflexibility and prioritization of a single virtue over all others, rather than their textualism.

It’s a stable. You’ll see it in Ch 3.

Your guess is correct: none. The Outer Rim has Laconniers and Loyalists, but the Leaguers are only a presence in better-connected parts of Shayard, especially its urban trading centers.

There would be multiple wrenches in that plan. :slight_smile:

Have a chunk of Cerlota dialogue:

Yep. Great analogy. :slight_smile:

I think this is an area where I’d draw a veil across the precise childbearing/adoption method involved in the arrival of a child. The MC would know, obviously, but that doesn’t mean the reader needs to. I don’t think Jev’s assigned-at-birth gender, let alone genitalia, ever needs to be known to the reader; that feels like it would be dishonoring to a character who is trying to live free of the assumptions associated with gender.

“Monarch” is widely used regardless of gender, and yes, as long as the bloodline continues, the Laconniers will be unbothered.

The sea monsters around the Xaos-lands are mostly giant jellies, created from dissipating Storms, and will not be playing a significant role of any kind in the game.

Between cities that are two days apart by boat, sure. But that’s not a lot of them. If you want speedy delivery, you need to use airmail.

As plentiful as it is in ours, but no one has done the research to tweak it Theurgically to make it safe to eat as a primary carb rather than a side dish.

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In Jaime’s case, his other major reason for breaking his oath to Aerys was to defy Aerys’ order to kill his own father, Tywin Lannister. Jaime’s “deeper debt of familial honor” to Tywin (compared to the Kingsguard oath to protect/serve Aerys) would fulfill the criteria needed for the highland Whends to treat Jaime’s oathbreaking more sympathetically, right?

You make a very compelling, thought-provoking, and nuanced case on how “follow the spirit of the law” followers could likewise be considered fundamentalists; good job!

The old de Syrnon palace was a stable? How intriguing!
a. Does this mean the Laconniers have a long established culture/history of horse riding competitions? (And potentially horse race betting, too?)
b. And does the de Syrnon’s military history (along with whatever modern iteration MC and fellow Laconniers can recreate in present day XoR times) have any parallels with the cavalry-specializing kingdom of Rohan (from LotR)?
I can already imagine the following scene taking place in G4/G5:
Messenger: Gondor/Nyryal/Erezza calls for aid!
De Syrnon Claimant MC (or NPC): And Shayard/Rohan will answer! Muster the (Shayardene equivalent) Rohirrim!
c. And are there enough horses in modern-day Shayard for MC to efficiently mobilize a reasonably large cavalry on short notice? (and then still have enough leftover horses for the yeomen to reliably plow their fields)
Or will there be barely enough horses as is, thus leading to MC needing to decide between a “field plowing vs. cavalry tradeoff”?

Uh oh. How much of a dealbreaker/obstacle is this caveat going to be for the potential romance/marriage between Yebben and female Wisard MC?
(if MC agreed/adopted such a policy)

Similar to Aekos’ palace and Lykeion, is the Mystikon likewise headquartered in Aekos, or instead headquartered separately in a different part of Karagon? (in the same fashion that the CIA’s headquarters are placed in Langley, Virginia, which is far away from Washington DC)
Or perhaps true to the organization’s nature, the Mystikon’s true location is likewise constantly cloaked in mystery?

Okay, so in other words, non-binary MC and Jev’s potential kid(s) could be plausibly described as “Schrodinger’s origin story children?” How very interesting!

What’s the current scaling of XoR’s map? I’d like to make some early educated guesses about these “two days apart by boat” cities, unless you already have a (tentative) list that we can wrap our minds around.

Darn it, so much for my MC’s envisioned “Sushi/Poke Survival Plan” policy!

Is bloodbending a learnable Theurgic skill?

Will a “Madame St. Elme”-inspired gender-fluid approach be allowed for MC’s perception of their own gender? (“Sometimes I see myself as a man, other times I see myself as a woman”)
Or will MC’s Game 2 gender expansion/reclassing be a one-time only, permanent choice?

So I was noodling the weird science implications of the abhumans and may have something: a herbivorous cecum.

So I presume many of the abhumans have chosen a herbivore as their “sprit animal.” You wouldn’t be emulating a cow, horse, or elephant very well if you didn’t primarily subsist on leafy greens, which while edible to humans don’t offer much sustenance. I expect the solution would be to change their anatomy to include a herbivorous cecum so they can digest cellulose.

So what I would propose here is that the MC learns about self-change from the abhumans and this particular change is of specific interest as a consequence of their experience during the starving winter in G1. The implication isn’t a total solution of the famine, but it might allow some caloric replacement from easily edible cellulose like flowers, fruit skin and husks, leafy greens, and tubers. Basically those foods that are really only a source of fiber for an unmodified human. This would also allow self-taught theurges to escape settlements and survive more readily in the wilderness. Obvious downside is crossing wards.

This might be a viable option for the inner voice/mass sacrificial theurgy path. It’s anatomy we already have, it would be reasonable for the process to be learned by and sought by the MC, and it has strategic utility later in the story.

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What a neat alternative approach you’ve got there; thanks for solving my earlier stumbling block!

@Havenstone, I’m now curious about how many different animal transformations self-sacrifice Theurge MC will be able to adopt at the same time; will the game limit us to choosing only one “spirit animal”, or will a “chimera/manticore/jack-of-all-trades/master of none” amalgamation be possible?

@Havenstone, which XoR country/countries would you say have grown (and/or exported) the biggest collections of cellulose-rich bamboo? (since bamboo is historically “a dominant raw material in South and South East Asia”)

It would certainly be interesting for us players to see a cultural schism form between the traditional/oppressive/academic/stuffy Theurges vs the more open-minded bunch who decide to become “nomadic, peace-seeking, vegan, and wilderness hermit sorcerers”).

Thats not exactly what I was thinking. A Herbivorous cecum would allow you to digest cellulose, but you could still eat meat if you wanted to. My thinking was that a rebel self-sacrifice theurge could avoid civilization (and therefore harrowing for goety and or starvation from civil collapse). It would more be an an adaptation to circumstances rather “hippy” rebellion. I’d expect the inner voice crowd would still be active insurgents as well.

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That’s a relief! I’d hate for my MC to miss out on the pleasures of medium-rare steaks and raw sushi/sashimi/poke!
By the way, while we’re still on the topic of food, what did you have for Thanksgiving dinner? (And FYI, I’d like to extend this question to the entire forum here, not just @cascat07)

My family and I had…
1- Ham w/ cranberry sauce on the side,
2- Dinner rolls,
3- Salmon fruit salad,
4- Dark/purple yam,
5- White taro,
6- Spaghetti squash,
7- Beef, pumpkin, and gravy,
8- (Dessert) Dark grapes, green grapes, oranges, golden kiwi, and strawberry cheesecake

Surely, with enough bribes (and promises of having their lives spared, and then given a place of honor in MC’s new world order) for the Xthonic priesthood, they would be willing to turn a blind eye to (or instead outright endorse) MC’s armies of self-sacrifice Theurges, right?
(and then reassign the Goety accusation to the Theurges of MC’s political enemies)

After combining/considering the (limited) “doomsday grain vaults”, Phaedra’s biotech, and your more recently suggested herbivorous cecum, this prospect of a civil collapse-induced starvation is thankfully beginning to sound more like a within-our-means-to-humanely-solve problem (rather than an inevitable death sentence that reduces everybody into Mad Max-inspired barbarians/tribes). :slight_smile:

I sincerely hope Havie will have an achievement for those of us whose faction manage to survive G5’s starvation (without having to abandon/betray/invade our assembled neighbors and allies, and without having to betray MC’s principles about “never again letting another innocent soul get Harrowed”).

After some further pondering on the topic, I don’t think the “adaptation to circumstances” and “hippy rebellion” are mutually exclusive.
It would most likely start out as adaptation by necessity (as you initially imagined), but then perhaps later transition into a full-blown “nemophilist/hippy movement”? (Once the “self-sacrifice Theurgic wilderness survival” habits become the new norm for MC’s followers, thus potentially triggering tons of “I can’t believe I didn’t adopt this simplified lifestyle sooner!” reactions?)

Could an Eclect-led crowd have as much (if not more) success with this “wilderness insurgency”? Inner Voice MCs have less control over their followers (than Eclect MCs do), and MC would very much dread the prospect of having his plans constantly second-guessed/undermined (or worse, outright usurped) by rival Inner Voice prophets.
Or are we instead banking on a CHA 6 score to render my concern a nonissue?

And by the way, while we’re still on the topic of “active insurgents”, does your scenario imagine that MC is a nomadic perpetual rebel? (instead of a conventional empire-builder)
This could perhaps connect with my earlier imagined G5 ending state (with a Big Boss-inspired, giant band of “soldiers without borders”)!