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

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#82

Well they do seem good starting points, if you are going for what is essentially just a simple regime change, as you seem to be.
Of course my main mc would find what you’re proposing to be utterly unacceptable since it ostensibly does very little to improve the lot of the helots.

As for my mc, while he would need to find ways to get decent advisors he actually dares trust and find a way to (vastly) increase his knowledge of governance the theoretical basics are not all the difficult as they revolve around de-legitimizing and defeating the Hegemony and its power structures, including the worldly might of the Xthonic faith as well as those of possible competitors such as the Laconnier conspiracy.
Simultaneously, and this is the more difficult of the two by far new structures of power and political legitimacy will need to be build, likely (theoretically) centered around the Appella in my mc’s case.
Here are slightly more detailed notes I had prepared but never used a while ago:

  1. De-legitimize current Hegemony institutions including the church of Xthonos that is propping up the whole theocratic nightmare.
    Continued and consistent victory’s for the rebellion and concurrent defeats for the Hegemony should do at least half of the work in de-legitimizing current power structures. As losing wars has never been a particularly good for ones legitimacy and right to rule and quite often is in fact disastrous to it.
    The other half should ideally be accomplished through education, propaganda and last but certainly not least introducing genuine competition into the religious market, particularly in Shayard and Karagon.
    If we can bring in some real choice from Skepticism to the forgotten, abhuman and a myriad of other gods and spiritual options as well as to make sure the faith of Xthonos and its church are irrevocably decapitated at the top, so that it will be left to surviving Diakons, gnostics/mysticists, etc to re-interpret it whereby the Karagond Codex and its caste system will be outlawed then that together with disentangling the new state from all religion and most importantly cutting off any public funding for the Church of Xthonos or any other religious establishment should go a long way to neutralizing the threat it currently poses towards any moves to both secularization of the state and more importantly helot liberation and the abolition of the caste system.
    Absolutely nothing remotely worth fighting for can be accomplished unless the backbone of the Hegemonic institutions and the Karagond version of the Xthonic faith from which they supposedly draw their legitimacy are irrevocably shattered.

  2. Establish new governmental structures preferably on the principle of subsidiarity and popular legitimacy.
    As our resident Tiger noted power in the Hegemony has mostly been centralised in a very inefficient and wasteful way and that center is incredibly corrupt and venal.
    It would be best therefore for my mc’s vision to replace its authority where possible with local Appella’s to decide on local matters with greater efficiency but most importantly accountability.
    Of course there are some things that cannot be handled locally such as cross-border/district/province commerce, the military, national taxation, the intelligence agencies, vital national infrastructure, the basics and minimum standards of the national education curriculum as well as higher education among other things.
    There probably also needs to be a basic law defining certain peremptory principles from which no derogation should be possible. The two that immediately spring to mind would be anything that violates the strict separation of church and state and the other would be basic citizen’s rights as we wouldn’t want say restrictions on the rights of former helots to marry whomever they choose regardless of gender.
    While the local Appela would be the bedrock of the new political system and will allow it to derive its legitimacy from the people, instead of some supposedly “divine” revelations, as seems to be the case with the current cruel joke the Hegemony calls “canon” law.
    So in essence we will probably have to make a written Constitution, or as my mc would rather call it basic law to spell out these new structures, their competencies and the divisions between them.

These two things are really the main points, the current power structures of the Hegemony must be broken down and new ones established, as without it no true freedom and opportunities for the (former) helots will be possible, ever.

That being said I do have some very tentative ideas for more detailed political structures and policies, though it will depend on what sort of knowledge and advisers my mc can gain how feasible any or all of these may become.

Yep, that will likely be the most fundamental struggle for a great many mc’s including mine. Though @Havenstone intimated before that it is not necessarily required for the mc to remain the leader to see the series through to the end, assuming that is still valid of course.


#83

I have a question before I start doing an in-depth dissection of your goals. Where do you want to place the centre of your future administration? This is a very important thing since you should try to place it in your powerbase.

Like the ideal capital for me would be Grand Shayard since while my character is cosmopolitan, they know for the most part that Shayard will be their powerbase and we’ll focus most of our direct administration on Shayard.


#84

Geographically I’ve hardly made it a secret since my mc can easily see the same once he gets access to even half-decent maps. There is but one choice for him and that is and will always remain Avezia. As it seems to lie on one of the most strategical locations in the Hegemony already and that again would only be enhanced by future infrastructure.
In particular it seems that since the Hegemony gets perhaps most of the materials it needs to feed its more conventional industry from Erezza already it should be relatively easy, not to mention much more efficient to industrialize Avezia then it would be to ship all those materials to distant Grand Shayard.
It should allow for a powerful navy and if it all goes very well even the Grand Canal. It is also both politically and geographically neither Shayardene nor Karagond, which is likely a plus for a new Capital.

Grand Shayard for my mc would be even worse than keeping Aekos as he does not want to be perceived as a Shayardene homelander and would like to build a new central or federal state, not Horion’s idea of the Shayard-led Koinon.
Besides the current huge provinces, particularly Shayard and Karagon itself desperately need to be broken up into more manageable districts.
But Grand Shayard specifically is the powerbase of the Shayardene nobility and likely the Laconnier conspiracy, which makes it less than fertile territory for my mc.
A while back I was working on a really detailed exchange with the Tiger and while it is in need of some revision this bit on my thoughts on the Appella system details why my mc would prefer to de-emphasize Grand Shayard.

Summary
  1. The Appella

The Appella is likely to be the most logical building block to arrive at a system that is radically different from the current one and free from the scourge of monarchism, be it Shayardene or Karagond.
Thus far the Appella based leadership of the mc’s band seems to have worked out in my mc’s case and likely increased participation and morale. Since the band is essentially a reasonably sized village complete with families and children there is no reason to assume it cannot form the base building block of a new political system deriving its ultimate legitimacy from the people.
It is further likely that the Appela system can reasonably be made to work at scale in a staggered pyramid model whereby each village Appela shall elect a representative to the next higher one. Village/Town/City to district, district to province (which will be considerably smaller and more numerous then the current country sized “provinces”) and province to either the national “grand” Appella or an intermediate one if necessary.
If done right the scaling of the Appella system should also allow my mc to drastically favour his rural helot base supporters in the new system of political presentation as allowing each village to nominate a representative to the district level should favour them over the larger towns and cities whose ward level Appela’s would nominate their representatives to the town or city council only and that council would only then get to nominate/elect a representative to the district level.
Thus allowing for a place filled with political dissidents, like Grand Shayard to be placed on equal footing with a podunk village if desired.

Lastly it potentially allows for seeming political “reconciliation” with unreliable political groups by allowing the mass of rural helots to drown out any dissident sounds without (much) ostensible political and legal repression. Provided the first requirement of shattering the caste system is obtained.


#85

Your Appella system is ambitious but just… it won’t work on the scale that is the Hegemony. The biggest thing that you never seemed to wrap your head around is that, Helots are useful for farming, quarrying, and other things that are considered unskilled labour right? There is a big gap between technical knowledge and higher functioning knowledge. Helots can learn how to do all this stuff, but the thing is. You already have a class of people who can do so. Namely the Yeomen and merchants. If you go and disenfranchise people, they will get angry, if you spit in their traditions, they will get angry, and remember. The reason why Karagond allows the provinces to exist instead of allowing for direct administration is simple. It’s beyond the technological capabilities of the time period to go and have various small districts all answering to a central authority. It requires far more bureaucrats and officials to manage. If they go and enable the nobles to administer the Hegemony and place restrictions and only do limited micromanagement via the Archons, then it enables them to only intervene when the big things happen. You don’t have thirty years to teach a bunch of people how to read, write, and do all the things needed to run a nation. You need to be able to rapidly consolidate your hold and you need to ensure that you have people who can do that. On top of that Karagond is an urban society and one that profits off of the labour and spoils of the provinces. Rural helots won’t effect them. The biggest thing that you need to remember and consider is that each province is different, they have their own quirks and the only thing knitting all together is Karagond high-culture and fear.

I know you can provide the fear by mercilessly butchering the nobles, merchants, and yeomen. But, that’s not how you build a nation. Nations in this time period need to be decentralised to an extent. The most important part that you need to always make sure is maintained is your power-base. Your powerbase is the only thing that you’ll most likely be able to maintain direct rule over. The rest will have to be ruled by someone else. If you fail, just even a little bit, and create an intolerable situation for the rest of the Hegemony, then it’s over because your people will revolt and never come back. You will create anarchy all over the former Hegemony and never be able to get enough blood to power the wards and keep the Halassur from sweeping into your canal and using your infastructure to kick your head in. That’s if you can even maintain order in your new heartland due to you destroying the fundamental ties of their society. You simply won’t have the time to train your helots, a democracy and representative government is supposed to have educated people in it and what does this leave you with? If you want to make it an actual representative government are you going to actually open it up to free elections? Or are you going to allow “elections” to be conducted and have a joke candidate on the ballot. All the people you mean to marginalise are not just going to sit there and let it happen. The Phalangites might be beaten by this point. But it doesn’t mean they’ll just sit there and let you execute them. You’ll need to build an army and have trained and dedicated officers same with a navy. These grand works you mean to do can’t be designed and built by Helots and if you plan on doing this and marginalising key elements of society, you’ll find no one to help you. If you lose the cities and even just 30% of the Yeomen it’s over for you. If the Provinces refuse to be split up and broken into various regions it’s over for you. If the Helots lose faith in your ability to lead, it’s over for you unless you allow for elections to be held and you get voted out that way. I just don’t see how you’ll be able to build a viable nation out of this formula you’re making. It’s too much change too quickly in a society that isn’t modern enough to enable you to hold it together when things start cracking. Not to mention that you don’t know if the wards actually do need helots to power and to keep Xaos storms from devouring whole parts of your nation on top of the walking dead from eating your people.


#86

It all depends on how much tech the Karagonds actually have, we do know they are very restrictive and criminally inefficient with what they already have. If the tech is advanced enough to allow for a telegraph system, we’d be in business and even if not to current huge and unwieldy Karagond provinces can certainly be cut down in size, along nationalist lines, if nothing else.
We already know that there are real differences between the French and Anglo-Saxon parts of Shayard that can be exploited to divide it into at least two pieces. Similarly Wiedrj seems to have a conflict between its high and lowland clans that might well be exploited to divide it into individual clanholds, instead of the current yuge province. The other provinces likely have similar, exploitable divides that can be used to split them up.

At the moment, yes. That doesn’t mean that handicap can’t be overcome and in fairly short order at that, many of our followers have in fact made amazing amounts of progress in as little as ten weeks during the winter.
In any case to my mc he himself and many of his current followers would disprove that assertion and since he isn’t planning on “discovering” his “lost nobility” that still means the first and most fundamental order of business will be to de-legitimize and tear down the Hegemony’s current power structures, particularly its caste system.
Again my mc isn’t doing this to get a slightly better deal on his own enslavement and then return to being breeding cattle or a breeding sharecropper or even to become Simon’s “concubine”.

And my mc is certainly pulling out as many stops as he dares in his efforts to co-opt the yeomen and merchants as he knows he needs people like Bleys. In any case thus far he seems to be having some success in both cases. The classes he absolutely needs to marginalize would be the nobles and the priests, particularly any priest who holds the rank of Ecclesiast or higher.
These last two classes are simply too dangerous and too opposed to everything he stands for to even try and co-opt, at least in the numbers necessary to have any significant effects.

Debatable, Karagond proper is. The provinces, particularly Shayard and Wiendrj seem to be predominantly rural.

The Appella’s should provide more efficient and accountable decentralised authority then the current system does. But it is certainly possible that technological and bureaucratic restrictions would force my mc to add more intermediate layers of government then he would, ideally, like.

Which means it cannot be the current officers, as they are conditioned to disdain and look down on helots with every fiber of their being and would for the most part (yes, there may be a handful eccentrics who could possibly be persuaded, but that’s nowhere near enough to make it worthwhile). That by definition means they won’t be reliable officers for my mc and any government he leads.

Ideally, yes, but not all idealism survives the brush with reality entirely intact. There’d likely be an increasing thumb on the scale at higher levels.
In particular the degree of electoral freedom would depend on how likely my mc judges the chances that he, along with a majority of former helots will be re-enslaved/enserfed in case of truly free elections. My mc is not someone who would particularly likes holding down the head of state position in particular (he’s personally likely to be disgusted by the inevitable decadence and ceremony), less so for head of government, but that doesn’t mean it’s his ideal job either.
If he has a reasonable degree of confidence and trust in the new system as is he’d be prepared to step down, provided that leaves him free to pursue his true callings of magic and technology.

Right, and my mc’s powerbase, such as it is anyway is highly likely to consist overwhelmingly of the rural helotry and yeomanry, perhaps mixed with some merchants with significant rural interests.
Grand Shayard for example, being the home of Shayardene high culture, the province seat of the current Hegemonic regime and collaborating nobility as well as the most likely power-base and capital of the Laconnier conspiracy is likely to be one of the most hostile places there is in the entire Hegemony for my mc, probably right up there with Aekos itself.

This is true, which is why my mc will need to figure out a way to center it around Avezia and the likely canal zone.

It is true that this will likely be an uphill struggle, but the current “ties” of the Hegemonic society seek to destroy my mc, preferably as “blood-cattle”. Needless to say that isn’t acceptable.

If what I was speculating on with @P_Tigras is right then the wards are a self-defeating proposition anyway and sooner or later there isn’t going to be enough blood in the world to feed them. In any case the Xaos lands while undoubtedly hostile seem to be survivable. If the fan-theory is right then the sooner we face down that particular crisis the less damage it is in fact going to do.

Oh, that is all likely to be true, but what is also true is that if my mc allows the old elite to continue to be anywhere near the levers of power it is all over for him too. So between the rock and the hard place, it will be an incredible gamble in any case but there is also no viable alternative, since my mc naturally refuses to meekly return to being blood-cattle and would not inflict that dismal fate on his fellow helots either.

I guess we’ll see, but my mc was always going to give the Hegemonic society a large shock, since any remotely viable alternative is well and truly lacking.


#87

I think I may have found a few bugs. In chapter 4 I was holding Horion and Linos for ransom and ended up killing them. When I did so I got a page of text about how Suzanne de Firiac left the group and how not even Ciels could track her down. But i never even met de Firiac. I recruited Kalt into my bad. This text shouldn’t be here.

Also I dont know if this is a bug but it was different than the beta. I didn’t recruit all of my bonus troops that I get from my stats.
For example I had a high skepticism and high cosmopolitan player. But even though I had that I only recruited the Skeptic followers and didn’t get to recruit the Wiendish clan as well for being cosmopolitan.


#88

What do you guys think about who the traitor is?
I’m having doubts about Breden being the traitor mainly bc they seem too much like the obvious suspect or would it really be that easy? Seriously I can’t make up my mind: Are they really the traitor or they just happen to be at the wrong places at the wrong time and their luck sucks that much that it happens multiple times?
Anyway when I’m playing a more ruthless character I tend to kill Breden (not taking risks), but with my main MC who is compassionate I always keep Breden alive.


#89

Either Breden is the traitor, or she’s being set-up in a massive long game. I mean, she knows a krypast code which is pretty damning on its own, so it’s almost certainly her, but Radmar as a deep cover agent trying to frame her to finally remove all risk of suspicion from himself makes some sense.


#90

I too agree Breden being too of an obvious choice, but Radmar
is also kinda obvious, so i am thinking what if it is
your father or Zvad?


#91

Your father’s a possibility. If you’re a helot, he has form. But the issue with both of those two is that it’s not clear they’d have any reason to know about the meetings.


#92

Kryptast code? Did I miss something? Where does that come up?

Zvad? Not sure about that either. I’m pretty sure it’s pointed out in the game too at some point that it seems too far fetched for anyone from the original Whendward band to be the traitor.
And I’d rule the father out too bc for a spy he doesn’t seem to try that hard to get informations, also he dies in the battle that seems like a too easy solution for the problem.


#93

If you romance Breden, there’s a short scene where it comes up. Not sure if you can get it without romancing him/her though.


#94

We also know that most our their techne runs on Theurgic magic. That blood has to come from somewhere, and if the costs may not exceed the benefits for the newly liberated.

The Hegemony is a primarily urban society, but also one that requires a professional military of some kind, not only for defense, but for rebellions (and in your case, reactionary and religious uprisings). Without keeping most of the farms intact (if reformed), the cities and the armies can’t be fed.

The nobles maybe, but the priests can’t so easily be done away with. Religion has been deeply ingrained in Karagond society, so much so that your rebels are unnerved by the destruction of Harrowers. They are deeply uncomfortable with attacking priestly institutions and even considering touching priests, never mind what happens if you try kenon unprepared. Xthonos runs deep.

Marginalizing the priests can only end in disaster. Working with reformers, types like Linos or the one from the heresy opening and trying to remake the faith would end with much more legitimacy for you.

How will the Appellas defend themselves? Marginalized priests and nobles would be able to rally uprisings quickly, especially as you try to extinguish Xthonosism. If they start to fall or go rogue, it’s going to cascade.

So where will the officers come from? The Appellas have to have something to defend them from reactionary uprisings.

This seems like something you should enshrine in a constitution of some kind. If you’re going to artificially preserve the helot junta against possible challengers and keep your rivals down in a newly proclaimed “free” system, it’s only going to encourage revolt. Marginalized nobles and priests who try your system will be alienated immediately, and with religiously unsatisfied helots (or hungry city-dwellers), rebel bands will start to form around them.

The rural helotry and yeomanry are deeply religious. Trying to do away with Xthonos and the Angels will shatter them, even if a good number do agree with you.

The “tie of society” for helots go far beyond being blood cattle. They have a divinely ordained place in a natural order, an order that the rebels believe has been corrupted not non-existent. Trying to take that certainty away will go poorly.

It’s not just the lands themselves, but the storms. If the storms start making it into Shayard, confidence in your rule will plummet, and drive people into the arms of the remaining renegade nobles and priests. If you are going to Theurgic power to build a communications network (and you’ll have to), you’ll need blood anyway. At least with Wards, they’re visible reminders of safety and your power.

This isn’t mentioning the helots. If they are religiously alienated, new leaders will rise from among them, or they’ll abandon you. They will elect leaders for their Appellas opposed to your programs, and you can’t keep your thumb down on all of them. The helots may refuse to go back to being cattle, but they will also refuse to keep fighting for you.


#95

I’m reading slowly, but must comment that it was goddamn hard (and enjoyable) to survive winter completely without any kind of raiding/thievery with only 5 adult and 5 children dying due to sudden Theurge raid(didn’t have enough mules for sick ones). Not sure if it’s even possible to do better, since mules are hard to get without stealing…


#96

Not to mention that there is a big difference in tearing down a regime and then trying to rule one. When you are ruling a regime, it is your responsibility to ensure continued internal harmony and economic prosperity. If half the country is in revolt and a quarter of it angry at you for various reforms gone wrong, you’ll find yourself surrounded by opposition and everything you worked for destroyed. Your principal followers are Shayardene, they’ll be your first rebels. If you don’t do a nod to Shayard they’ll be angry.

Ruling is a mess and the stakes only get higher.


#97

One question. Noble/Firebrand supposed to be oppposite to Breden’s gender? At least currently it works like that.


#98

Yeah I’m 85% sure it’s Breden. Somebody had a playthrough where they drove Breden away and absoloutly none of the traitor events happened. The biggest being that the soup didn’t get poisoned at the end.

Part of me believes Breden is brainwashed and doesn’t even know they’re doing it though.

My second guess would be Joana Orchard but mostly as a gut feeling.


#99

Yes, The Noble/Firebrand is the opposite of Breden’s Gender


#100

Thanks)
Yup, now that i think about it, that was elegent in-story way to check is you character attracted to both males and females or not.


#101

@Havenstone
Just finished the game and really enjoyed it. Probably one of my favourite Choice of Games stories.

I was wondering if you had done any research on medieval revolts while writing the story. As someone who has done a little studying on the subject, especially the German Peasant Wars and the Hussite Wars, I was pleasantly surprised by how closely the game seemed to reflect what I’d read, especially regarding the importance of religion and provincialism to those conflicts. I’d love to see these ideas built on in the future games.

There is one thing that bugs me, though, and that is I’m not sure what the anarchy stat is supposed to represent. Some times it seems to represent how much damage you’re doing to the institutions of the empire (which fits with how anarchy rises when you attack churches, garrisons, and castles, and how those actions are framed), while other times it seems to represent how much chaos and destruction you’re causing in general (especially in how your father reacts to it, and the fact that robbing a market causes more anarchy than burning down a castle). I’d be a bit miffed if I was trying to do the Peasant War thing and burning down all the castles and monasteries while forming peasant communes in their place and then later on the game responds as if I was burning down everything and leaving nothing behind, or just leaving the lands to descend into chaos and banditry.

Also, I really liked the story of the Yeoman revolt. Sounded like something straight out of the Peasant War