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



Well, it’s only natural that an aristo will support a system that promises power to the aristocracy and eliminates the nightmare for the free folk. Besides, it’s much easier to get helots and yeomanry to back a change of leadership that leaves the status quo largely intact than it is to get the aristocrats behind a revolution.

That said, a more flexible caste system is possible, but only if we solve Harrowing - otherwise, no telos that the helotry could serve would be nobler than fueling the Wards.


If your MC discovered Theurgy in the first part, does that mean we can potentially have our own handful of Plektoi to control? I think it is an interesting prospect to explore.


If the Tiger and I are right the wards, the main reasons for the Harrowing are an ultimately self-defeating problem that will also “solve” itself. Though if you let it get that far it won’t be pretty.

In any case, as I’ve said before, my mc isn’t fighting this to maybe get a slightly better deal on the conditions of his enslavement or to graduate from helot to serf or even a nominally “free” sharecropper. Nor does he wish to inflict that dismal fate on the rest of the helots.

Which is why my mc largely isn’t even trying to do that and just wants to tear down the whole of the current caste system.

Seems your mc would like it more if only the aristo’s were free folk as they don’t seem to like the yeomen all that much either. In any case I’m guessing you’re going to promote the other aspects of Shayard’s past, the oppressive old monarchy, instead of stressing the supposed fact that there were no helots and it was, again supposedly, a society of free family farmers.


Maybe in the later parts, for now the MC’s still very much a noob regarding Theurgy


For a more religious reformed/ex Hegemony, I’ve been thinking of a few ideas.

Based on the administration of Sassanian Persia or maybe the early Caliphates (or maybe Paul Maud’dib, fictionally speaking), the bureaucracy and priests should be combined into a single order, or at last be so interconnected that it is hard to tell them apart. This, first, creates a pillar of government that should be solidly loyal to a religious icon MC. Second, education and training for government posts can be combined with religious education, which can be spread and set more easily than a bog-standard university.

The second thing would be a new institution. By coopting the priests, the MC can solve a lot of problems in taking over the Hegemony, but the nobles and holdout Karagond priests will be a problem (along with certain merchants, presumably). So, instead of relying on kryptasts to ferret them out, a more public “secret” police would be formed: an Inquisition, for lack of a better term. Their job would be to hunt down and very publically arrest suspected traitors and heretics against the new Xthonic doctrine (though any treason against the Eclect would be heresy). This would hopefully cow the remaining nobility and recalcitrant priests into submission, but it would also serve another purpose: keeping the newly liberated helots and yeomen afraid of these potential conspiracies. Their new freedom flows down from the Eclect and his faithful, and no one can be allowed to ever forget it.

A religious “counterweight” would be applied to pretty much all high offices: provincial governors will have to deal with specifically chosen archimandrites and High Inquisitors that are roughly equal to them in status, generals will have “chaplains” that they will have their decisions approved by, and they will just control the bureaucracy and local services outright. Everything good and useful will come down from the Eclect (marriages, naming newborns, even tax returns will be done in his glorious name), while “secular”, provincial authorities will handle the more unpleasant stuff (taxes, police work, etc). The goal is to create a situation where the Eclect and his direct agents are always revered, even when the government itself is not.


Congratulations, you’ve just succeeded in making the Xthonic faith even more powerful. My mc and to be honest myself as well would see this as one of the few ways to create a system that is even worse then the current Hegemony. The state and religion are already far too entangled in the Hegemony and religion should be disentangled from the state not become indistinguishable from it.
There are already plenty of unbelievers in the current Hegemony and even more anti-clericalism. My mc would rather build on those two social currents then allow the Xthonic religion to get even more powerful or continue in its current nightmarish form.


That was rather the point.

An Eclect MC is a prophet and near Messiah. A priesthood and religion that worships you isn’t something you let go to waste.


You conveniently seem to forget the ten other official eclects and “prophets” (being the Thaumatarch and his nine) already in existence and there is likely to be an explosion of other self-appointed “prophets” bedeviling the gullible once your brand of rebellion spreads.


Well, they’re going to lose (and then burn at the stake).


Ah, yes, the servants of Xthonos and his merciful angels merry band of murderers at their finest. And thus the religious nightmare intensifies.

Again, if you’re an aristo, perhaps. No true Eclesiast is going to accept a (former) helot as Eclect, unless you’re going to be willing to conform to their vision, in which you’ll be reduced to nothing more then a poor and celibate puppet who gets to make nonsensical statements designed to increase the wealth and power of the current clergy.

But more then that trying to use the nightmare religion is a trap that will all too easily swallow the mc. The charismatic mc can attract and inspire loads of followers, sure, but they’re in the end too dim to really pull one over on the unwilling priests when it comes to changing doctrine. The high-int mc has the exact opposite problem, they might with, proper study and dedication, be able to devise a way to subtly and gradually unravel the religious nightmare by exploiting the contradictions and inevitable cracks in the doctrine, but they won’t have the charisma or the sheer weight of followers to go and ram it down the current Church’s throat.


I’d actually be really interested if you could end the rebellion as the supreme, unquestioned head of the Xthonic priesthood where I could just hand over the throne of Shayard to some Laconnier princeling, with a bodyguard of fanatical holy warriors to protect him and watch their absolute every move. To guard them from heresy, of course.

Arise Sir Suzanne, Knight-Commander of the Xthonic Guard, Sentinel of the Bloodline and chief enforcer of the Holy Angels…


Ah, but this is as a high Command MC. Victory proves divine providence, and most the highly placed remaining priests will be replaced from the ranks of the rebellion. There are diakons and heretical ecclessiasts out there who would be easy to put in those positions, and for the reminder to defy the rebel army or the fanatic mass of helots of yeomen would be difficult, I think.


I personally went with the “everyone can hear the angels, worship the wind, freedom motherf*cker”

Thats gonna go well. At least breden help giving my theurge MC some credibility. Hopefully being compationate and leading trough example is gonna help.


That option terrifies me and would terrify my MC. I can just see the entire rebellion splitting up into wannabe prophets already. “The Angels say we should only do the Sacraments at night!” "Nay, you a liar and a charlatan, for the Angels have spoken and informed us that it should be immediately after dinner!

The helotry are a simple lot and they don’t need that sort of nonsense. It’ll only confuse them.


I for one like the term paternal autocrat. I’m going to be the father/mother of my regime.


Though in all this talk of empire building, I feel like mine is the only MC who actually has no real ambitions beyond “Survive.”

For the most part my MC has actually just been winging it. “Man, the Hegemony sucks. At least I have my books. I wish I had someone to talk to about how shitty everything is.”

“Ugh, hanging out with my douchebag cousins again. Hello, whose this helot?”

"Oh boy, they’re caught, this is bad. Do something, moron. What was that mantra in the theurgy book…?

“Well, doing something was idiotic and now we’re going to starve to death in the woods. Neat. Also, I’m in charge for some reason so I’m going to get the blame when we’re all nearly dead, neater. Also, even if we do survive, I’ve been condemned as a goete and I’m going to be burned at the stake. I give up.”

“Huh, so you’re saying I could be a holy figure? Neat. That’ll stop people defecting and questioning me both now and in the long-term.”

“Dad, you’re drunk. Go to bed.”

“I guess we’re a holy movement now, better scatter back into the camps.”


Good! The more of that delightful confusion the more the Church splinters, crumbles and loses wordly power.
That is exactly why my mc intends to scour the higher ranks of the priesthood and outlaw the Karagond Codex.
Decapitate the Church and cut it off from the through of public funding and then sit back and watch it fragment, splinter and schism.

In the current system free thought, even among the ecclesiasts isn’t exactly encouraged, instead they are used to taking their orders from their ten officially acknowledged eclects, being the Thaumatarch and his nine. Since those current office-holders need to be defeated and de-legitimized in any case it also simultaneously decapitates the current Church.
Cutting them off from both public funding and their higher echelons will force the former Diakons and other remaining priests to begin to not only think for themselves but the loss of state funding will also force them to turn to the only alternative source: the people. This means a lot of diakons will need to become much more friendly and receptive to the actual concerns of the largely helot and yeoman flocks they minister and now need to depend on for their livelihood and continued welfare. That in turn will likely drive most of them away from the more toxic stances of the current religion, particularly its caste system, particularly since they will now be in constant competition with rivals seeking to sway their faithful to their own version of the faith or even another faith entirely.

If any of them get too powerful I suppose persuasive evidence, in the form of the Karagond Codex, can always be “found” to prove that they are really unreconstructed followers of the Karagond doctrine.
Other then that the state should largely stay out of religion and religion should stay separate from wordly affairs, especially the state.

Yep, sit back watch them split and schism and debate how many angels can balance on the tip of a needle. It’ll be glorious or at least it will keep them out of my mc’s hair.


Personally I see everything so wrong with the current government, religion and the helots. If there is a way to keep the Wards up to keep Xaos away without having to spill a helot’s blood then you can count on me to find it. And personally​, I’m disgusted with how the nobles are treating the others like dirt so count on me to end the nobility and bring in democracy where everyone is equal, yes that means helots will no longer be slaves. I will try to find a way to give everyone an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives. I am also disgusted with the current religion so what I plan to do is to change what I do not like, meaning I want to change the part to where everyone can hear angels (meaning their conscience) instead having to listen to a priest to what is right or what is wrong. So you could say that I plan on making my new kingdom similar to America but I would never declare myself king. I want everyone to be equal under the law, no one, not even myself will be above the law.


Well all it did so far is unify peoples into recognising freedom as an essential part of life and really encouraged peoples to hide my followers. If any dumb splinter group comes up we’ll deal with em depending on what they do.

If the question rise up again we just dont recognize prophets just like my MC refused to become one.


I think my mc would largely agree with that. Of course people like some will argue such things are too much of a shock to the system too soon. But then again in all cases of slave emancipation there have been cries that it would be “too much, too soon” as for the theoretical reformers, what few there even are among the current priesthood and nobility, there will always be a more opportune time five minutes into a hypothetical future.
That is what Bryce’s paternal autocrat tendencies remind me of, that most establishment “moderates” or “reformers” will always prefer order over any measure of justice and would rather have a negative then a positive peace.
Of course dr. King says what paternal autocrats are worth much better than I can in his Birmingham Jail letter:

First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Essentially replace white moderate with your relevant “moderate” establishment group and “negro” with whatever slaves are relevant.

I’d rather make something genuinely new and unique, but some solutions such as the written Constitution would certainly make sense. But then the written constitution is hardly unique to the US, even if the US has the most unique and distinctive Constitution.