How the Hegemony funds its hordes of Theurges, Phalangites, Alastors, Telones, and Ecclesiasts is opaque to pretty much everyone, so you’ve got no idea if it includes a “deficit” or if so, who it’s borrowing from. The increasingly out-of-control spiral of Alastors “self-funding” their office through extortion does however suggest that taxes alone aren’t filling the bucket.
“Employment” as a concept is just becoming relevant to the Hegemony, as it urbanizes and industrializes. (In agrarian societies, and perhaps in post-industrial societies eventually, the vast majority of people don’t have jobs outside the home.) In the cities, as you’ll see, there are lots more people than jobs.
The fiscal load on nobles, merchants, and other legally employed tradesfolk varies widely. The Thaumatarchy is very much an early modern state, for all its precociously totalitarian policing; most of its population is still “illegible” to it, and it struggles to enforce any policy (including tax) consistently across its vast domain. But the tax burden is steadily growing everywhere.
At some (no doubt hotly contested) point, your “stealing” will become “taxing.” Until then, while you remain an illegal force, you can’t really own anything; any investments you made would arguably be either theft or donation.
I’ve promised somewhere else that all three of the rescued characters in the Prologues can reappear, Carles in Game 1 and Olynna and Wolfbait in Game 2.
I would have thought the ability to fly long distances in short time would help with administration. Or are Theurges above that?
It could be possible to start engaging in something akin to trade along the lines of the arrangement you have with Alaine Leybridge. Only, instead of merely offering your services as a smuggler, you could also be an investor.
As I remember it fourth game is the one where we take down the Hegemony and in the fifth we will be dealing with the aftermath and building the new government. I think it’s realistic to think that by the end of game 2 we will be a regional power with a major population center under our control.
Probably, but at least we’d try to keep it civil, just as they did. And there are several places where we might be able to work together to achieve great things. It’s always easier to make meaningful change stick when it’s bipartisan. Nevertheless the way the political bases on both sides are hating on one another these days, keeping it civil, let alone working together to address difficult problems, becomes increasingly challenging as the years go by.
My MC’s, both of them, will probably try to seize leadership of the Shayardene nationalist movement. Both are suspicious of the Laconniers.
Neither of my MC’s is a Hector fan. His attachment, or lack thereof, to the Laconnier cause is immaterial to them. They’d both be happy to separate his head from his body, especially my aristo, although my aristo might hesitate to ensure it wasn’t traceable back to him just to stay on cousin Calea’s good side. He values the intel she provides more than he does the opportunity to take personal vengeance.
Looks like we will.
Eh. If we were in any country other than the Hegemony I’d probably agree, but the Hegemony is so evil that I’m not sure I can blame people who have looked for alternatives. I’ll have them watched closely, and attempt to subborn them, but I won’t label them enemies outright, not until it becomes necessary. Atm, the enemy of my enemy, is at least temporarily, useful to coordinate with, if not my forever-more ally.
It did in the territories that seceded. To free the slaves in Union states, constitutional amendments were needed. They were successfully passed and ratified by the states.
Can you get me a source on Horion being the leader and chief ideologue of the Leaguer faction? I don’t recall that. And please do note that “Federal” government of which you speak is the same one that forces the caste system and harrowings you hate so much on everyone. If there is one thing that astounds me it’s the degree to which you seem to be giving them a pass even as you see threats in the Church and the Shayardene nobility.
You’d certainly have an uphill battle convincing him, and you’re not particularly inclined to try. So I expect you’re right. It would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s not about stooping. It’s about doing Xthonos’s will, which of course you consider to be “lies” and “nonsense”, so that closes that particular doorway to your MC.
Sorry, just my speculation I suppose, but given what we know of Horion he doesn’t strike me as all that subservient, so if he isn’t the faction leader then, given his breadth and depth of knowledge as well as his personality I’d be surprised if he’s not the ideologue behind the Leaguer vision.
Because the deep, dark truth, even if my mc doesn’t realize it himself…yet,is that it contains some elements he needs. More convenient to go with the Hegemony’s own (legal) fiction that it is a functional theocracy and therefore it is the church hierarchy who are not merely complicit in but in fact responsible for perpetrating the sham of a caste system. It helps that the very top of the Hegemony have taken on double roles and are also church figures in that regard, since the Thaumatarch, his Nine and possibly prince(ss) nippletwister are all supposedly “divinely ordained prophets” or Eclects in addition to whatever other roles they hold in the government. In addition my mc needs its Telones, or at least the lower-ranked and capable ones like Bleys as they are yet another pool of talent he cannot afford to ignore.
As Havenstone likes to say it all comes down to the ultimately repulsive, no matter how you twist and turn it choice of what to tear down and what not.
There are also the two groups of (former) elites my mc really needs, although one may be only in the short term, those being the agricultural specialists and the Merchants. As we’ve established way before the first are needed to prevent the likely famines from getting completely out of control and the second are the ones my mc will need to fill those positions that cannot be filled by helot or yeoman followers in the short to mid-term. Though I do not believe the number of those positions that absolutely cannot be filled by his own helot and yeoman followers to be as huge in number as Bryce and cascat seem to believe.
The merchants are also absolutely vital to rebuilding anything for anybody, post-war as that is their speciality, what with most of the provincial nobles and I suspect a good percentage of the Karagond ones being essentially a “warrior caste” who never bothered with learning how to actually build or manage things, at least as far as actual detailed estate management and accounting goes.
In short if anybody in the Hegemony can help with making more of the population legible to a government potentially interested in it that would be the merchants. They are also the ones who like, as we;'ve discussed before, a set of unified trade laws and possibly some protectionist barriers to Hallassur simply taking over through economics, rather than force of arms after the rebellion and civil war.
Of all the people, excepting the very top of the current Hegemony, of course, fragmentation, including into a weak confederation is likely to hit the merchants hardest. My mc is determined not to let that happen, not because he actually likes the merchants per-se but because he does recognize the dire costs involved giving up economic autarky. For one they would almost certainly doom Shayard to remaining a largely pastoral backwater perpetually behind the times.
In the end though the caste system and its theocratic laws cannot function without a the nightmare state religion that my mc is determined to break. The greatest negatives of the “federal” government are inextricably linked to the Church and its hierarchy. Even the hated and out of control Alastors are supposedly theocratic police under church control. Unlike the parallel state and party structure of the old Soviet government the Hegeomy seemingly operates on a parallel Church and State structure, whereby most state roles from the Thaumatarch and his lieutenants as supposed “Eclects and prophets” down the most important posts in the state are mirrored in the Church, or as my mc prefers to see it, vice-versa.
Finally, even more fundamentally going with the Eclect lie or the ennoblement/lost nobility/Klingon promotion to “nobility” lies and charades means signalling a willingness to play the game according to established rules, which is essentially ceding the advantage of surprise in many ways and my mc would prefer to keep his foes on their toes, not get himself tangled up in Church doctrine he would lack the charisma to alter or the unwritten rules and warrior-caste mentality of the nobility, assuming he could even stand the decadent lifestyle, which also can’t.
Yes and yes, once a helot mc, like mine, even mentions their anti Xthonic sentiments and knowledge that potentially “all things are in flux” that changes Horion’s demeanor from merely somewhat disrespectful and patronizing to fear and possibly contempt.
Given the above and Horion’s in-game reactions to some of the things a high-int helot mc can say it probably would be.
As stated in-game my mc believes the “will of Xthonos” can always precisely defined by asking oneself: “What best suits the Hegemony elites”. Whatever that may be at any given time it is always the will of the “merciful angels”. So, you’re right, my mc is having none of that charade and if successful refuses to build the foundations for a new world order on that particular lie. Especially since it is the one lie that would under the usual circumstances have condemned him and all of the people most dear to him to the life of a farm animal.
Indeed we will though my mc would probably have much more use for some charismatic skeptics.
Even if my mc were somehow sympathetic to the Laconniers it would be him or Hector, they cannot under any circumstances have both. As it is though should my mc learn of that fact it would serve to make the Laconniers completely and utterly evil by association in his eyes.
For someone like my mc who has had a Harrowing hanging over him all of his life that would be far too merciful and lenient, no if he can he will ensure Hector will live long and in misery.
My mc doesn’t believe in the death penalty and part of that is certainly because if you’re wrong the mistake is irreversible but another part of it is that with the Harrower abolished he’d consider any other possible method of execution, save perhaps one, to be far too merciful for the likes of Hector.
Whereas mine plans to put Calea on trial for the premeditated murder of his friend and crush Dann eventually.
True, too many politicians never really trained as lawyers or even jurists or else they seem to have forgotten that shouting and hysterics weaken, not strengthen arguments particularly in the long run as there are only so many times you can cry wolf and get away with it.
Also true, the full Glass Steagal reinstatement seems to be one thing, as is putting the late Senator McCain’s opposition to torture firmly on the map as a guiding principle. And I believe campaign finance reform and abolishing “Citizen’s United” money=speech false equivalence is yet another.
Though socially, on abortion and euthanasia and of course the social democrat and liberal/conservative economics there would also be profound differences. But I come from coalition country and if need be there something functional can always be hammered out.
I also have a firm red line on gay rights, particularly the criminalization of gay sex or the denial of equal rights to particularly in government employment to same-sex couples.
I am still in occasional contact with some of my peers from my political aide days, including those cross party lines. Including the guy who first dubbed me to be a “pinko commie tree-hugger” and the one who used to call me “shrub” (which she, fortunately, stopped doing after the Bush years, as it was only really sorta funny during that time as I did indeed look more like a shrub or bush than a firm tree that one time I dressed up as one for a protest).
Fun times (or at least the parts I regularly choose to recall are and certainly many of the then-hot-button policy detail arguments we used to fight about have lost their relevance to the march of time) , though that old photo of youthful me hugging a tree might actually be a vote-getter, should I get back into the game, nowadays as would pinko tree-hugger. The Commie part perhaps not so much, but then that was always the verifiably false part as even Democratic Socialism is a very different beast from orthodox Communism.
It certainly does, but transportation alone doesn’t make possible a modern administrative state with consistent systems of taxation penetrating to individual/household level. That takes a shift in social privilege, land tenure, naming, weights & measures, and a host of other things, moving away from traditional, locally specific practices to uniform, legible systems imposed on the population. James Scott’s “Seeing Like A State” is very good at giving an overview of this process. You’ll see more clearly the Thaumatarchy struggling down this road in Game 2 Ch 2.
As long as you’re an outlaw, it would in essence still be either theft or donation. No one is obliged by law to give a rebel any return on investment, after all. If they did so, it would be out of either fear or sheer goodwill/…which I think basically fit the theft/donation categories.
And just to clarify what I think the realistic power dynamics of rebelling against the Hegemony look like: by the end of Game 2 you will be able to destabilize Grand Shayard, and Shayard in general. You will definitely not be able to hold/control it. As the first major population center to be seriously threatened by a rebellion, Grand Shayard is likely to see the Thaumatarchy come down on it like a ton of bricks.
In Game 3, you’ll get the chance to actively destabilize other archonties and the Hegemonic capital of Aekos. As anarchy increases throughout the continent and the Thaumatarch’s grip loosens, you can expect to start getting more opportunities to act in a government-like fashion in peripheral areas like the Rim.
But on my current vision, only by late in Game 4 will the Hegemony be in an advanced enough state of crisis for “big dog” rebels to really be able to start acting like a regional power and get to pick at least one of the major Shayardene cities (Grand Shayard, Corlune, or Aveche) as your base of operations. (Or be a less big dog and operate out of the Rim, laying claim to just enough of the agricultural land in the Southriding or Westriding to feed your population while the other factions fight over the rest.)
Havie why you summon me here? Your post wasn’t replying to me.
I don’t know If I will reach game 3… All you are talking are about anarchy and violence … So Mara cannot do anything… I don’t want breaking down the system and control land I want conquer people minds and hearts… Turn them in fanatics.
Sorry, accidental summons. I thought I had something more to say about the ethics of self-defense, but changed my mind.
There will be other paths, including various less-violent or non-violent ones. In Game 2, in particular, Mara de Jade will face the (perhaps welcome?) opportunity to let a helot lieutenant take over the Rim Commotion and refocus her own efforts on winning over the nobility of Grand Shayard.
Am I not already trying to consistently refer to it by its proper name? Do let me know if I slip up.
I fully expect what remains of Grand Shayard to be the basis of the Laconnier pretenders by then. Besides if my mc is to have any chance of doing what the Chinese nationalists failed at he really needs Avezia as base to work outward from.
If people more in touch with Shayardene nationalism still think it is…I mean it is Horion who said so, though as always with Horion I don’t know how he truly sees it himself, it is almost a given that the Laconniers and people like Hector and likely even Simon or Suzanne do view it that way. Which is why it becomes all the more important for my mc of Shayardene heritage to make sure to consistently refer to it by its proper name too, in order to assure the native Erezziano that he is not a new Shayardene occupier.
That would leave us in the very unenviable position of one of the most minor illegitimate warlord cliques, considering how backward and relatively unimportant of a region the Rim is. Long-term that can only lead to being conquered and re-absorbed in whoever comes out on top in either Shayard if the Hegemony fractures or the Hegemony as a whole. Either way, it is presumably just a somewhat slower death sentence for a helot daring to turn warlord. Unless it is possible to essentially take those minor lands and defect to either the abhumans or Broracha/the Xoas lands, but that still means subjugating yourself to an alien overlord in exchange for protection.
You have said that no one would have a perfect happy ending unless she mods the game. Well… I mod the game. Aliki Liddelatou is 2COM 2INT 2CHA, with Suzane and female Breden on her side. (Don’t misunderstand me. What I have bragged on the forum about non-violence path that brings 300 followers through winter with 0 casualty, and some other challenging feats, I did it without any modding.)
So… how perfect is an ending that my 6COM 6INT 6CHA Aliki could achieve? assuming her way is complete non-violence in all circumstances, including self-protection. I expect her to be…
Free all of the land in Karagond’s power (and lead as many as will follow her, which possibly means everyone).
Put an end to the nightmare caste system. (If possible, a ruler must come from votes, not from royal blood).
No more harrowing. Avoid the famine by finding another way to feed population by thuergy or techne.
Gender equality in Halussur.
Citizens can choose their religion freely. For Aliki, she believes their inner Angelic voices will guide them to the religious paths suitable for each of them.
How many of these are achievable in the same playthrough? (with the only cheats are mc’s stats and lieutenants’ gender)
Also… just wondering, some names are aristo-sounding, like Calea and Suzane. Some are helot-sounding, like Elery and Breden. Some are neither, like non-european names. By the way, in real life I am known by my friends as ‘Jinny’. Jinny is a helot name. Isn’t it? And my boyfriend is known as ‘Alpha’ (his nickname). Alpha is likely not a popular aristo name. But is it thinkable that some noble House may name the male heir ‘Alpha’? I want to find out whether I’m having an inter-caste relationship…
You are saying that for uprooting the Hegemony, it is imperative to have high anarchy.
Then it serves no good to limit your activity in Chapter-02 for getting a low anarchy.
Rather a low anarchy would make it difficult to take control of a region from the Hegemonic authority.
It seems low anarchy would only give you a semblance of support(donation) from the merchant class only. But when you opt for the tougher path, they would abandon your cause altogether. And then you would have to resort to theft for survival of your rebellion.
Isn’t there any way of defeating the Hegemony by waging a great war and then ruling its territories while still having a low anarchy level ?