The wards are likely to be an unsustainable problem and the crisis that ensues with their fall (though only on the border with Xaos is it a crisis at all, the coastal wards and the one on the Hallasur border can be dropped safely).
A better course of action is to see if that country sized battery of transformation magic can be harnessed towards our own purposes. It is also likely the storms will have a geographical limit.
Most, not all, for example imprest is merely restricted for example and even the ones that are run on magical power at the moment there may be a substitute. Steam power would seem the most likely.
It is rather obvious to draw the core of the new military from our own rebels, many of whom will have become accustomed to leading large numbers of men and women in battle.
The current officers are unlikely to be willing to take any orders from somebody like my mc so they are worthless to him no matter what. It would be like asking Indian officers (not modern ones though that would be difficult enough) but 17th-18th century ones to be taking their orders from somebody of the untouchable caste and like it.
Lastly I think the population of most of the cities is going to plummet anyway as it seems to me that the best way to deal with a place like “Grand” Shayard would simply be for my mc’s rebels to starve it out. Sure there are some cities we may deliberately want to preserve, like Avezia, but I see no reason why many of them cannot simply be strangled by starvation.
Grand Shayard in particular since it seems like it would be ranked either first or second in most (politically) hostile places to my mc.
Those who hold the rank of Ecclesiast or higher can, very few objected with Zebed and few enough with even Olynna.
In any case as previously discussed on the other thread at length the priests are so accustomed to taking their orders from above that forcing the previous Diakons, now cut off from public funding and state support to begin to really think for themselves while they for the first time in ages will need to be responsive to the flocks who would pay their way would shatter the Xthonic faith into a thousand different denominations who will find it difficult to hold on to wordly power. As long as they accept certain ground rules, such as the fact that the Karagond Codex is outlawed and there will be no bloodline nonsense, my mc will be happy to incorporate them into the new religious “free market”.
On my high anarchy playthrough their objections to destroying Harrowers fades rather quickly as does their objection to raiding church targets on all playthroughs. Sure they may still believe in Xthonos, the most important thing is they no longer believe in the current Church. As stated by the game itself “few still believe the current priesthood has the ability to call the Angel’s vengeance down upon them”.
On the contrary, working with them would reduce my mc to nothing more then a mere puppet to their ambitions. As the helots, former or not, will never have any “legitimate” place in the halls of power, save for scrubbing the floors.
The current clergy is never going to accept an helot Eclect as a true prophet, at best they’d be a puppet forced to mimic a life of pious, celibate poverty while making nonsensical statements favourable to maintaining the wealth and power of the current clergy.
With the new revolutionary army of course. All revolutionary states in our own history have had to put down several attempts at counter-revolution, so some of those are probably unavoidable no matter what we do.
The (former) rebellion.
Yes, my mc would like a basic law that is very, very hard to amend through the legislative process. This may cause problems 200 years down the line, as currently with the US and their Constitution, but that is not likely to be of much immediate concern to my mc even if he could foresee it.
I’d rather like to use spiritual and my mc is not going to go after most of the diakons the way he is doing with every priest ranked ecclesiast and higher. The goal is to splinter the church, outlaw the Karagond codex along with some abominable practices and then create as much choice (or confusion) as possible in the religious market.
Almost everybody objects to being blood-cattle, particularly if it can be proven that it is completely unnecessary.
This is a problem but that may be an unavoidable crisis in any case if the speculations I linked to are correct the cost of the wards is only going to keep increasing to the point where there isn’t enough blood in the whole Hegemony to keep them up, waiting till that time needless to say will only make everything even worse.
Ah, but if that is the case my mc has already won most on the political, if not the personal level, as that will make reconstituting the Hegemony as well as the church in its present form a non-starter.
I won’t deny that but if you don’t break down the current caste system there’s no way a (former) helot is going to be allowed to rule anything at all, least of all themselves.
Co-opting Cabel in the second game would certainly be nice and the yeomen too can certainly profit from some long overdue land reforms. The part of Shayardene “culture” my mc will most likely seek to emphasize will be the free peasantry the parts he’ll downplay and indeed demonize will be those relating to the oppressive and corrupt old monarchy, as de-legitimizing the Laconnier conspiracy is likely to be vital too.
As a (former) Helot you really can’t do one without the other in this game as even if you wanted to you cannot position yourself at the top or at any level beyond blood-cattle or maybe serf or sharecropper without breaking the current caste-system.