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



But serfs were not free people, sefdom was a close derivative of slavery where the serfs had mostly unenforceable, theoretical “rights”. But it is true that at the core serfs were still considered people, not property and there were very limited channels for upward mobility. Mostly during war time, sometimes by catching the eye of a craftsman and snagging an apprenticeship, but those still first and foremost required the consent of their overlord.

That is almost the exact opposite of my mc who will shift most of the blame onto the current Xthonic church and its hierarchy and deflect residual blame onto nationalists like the Laconniers as he needs to repurpose at least some parts of the “federal” government, such as the agricultural theurges and the telones after smashing the caste system and decoupling government functions from being mirrored or superseded (if only in theory) by the church hierarchy.

@Havenstone I’m curious, and I know that this would be subject to huge changes at this stage, but how much time (weeks, months, years?) do you envision passing between where the mc is now, venturing into the Xaos lands and the end of book 4 where we can potentially take and hold Avezia as our base of operations?


Our characters in deep core wants same or similar thing. The rest is absolutely the contrary lol. In everything. My serfs +helots = vasals so people. With rights and a way to ascend nobility and Church. I will put a feudalist system.


I not whole fully finalized on my post hegemonic government so bear with me, I sure all sorts of problems will come from this and I am not waging in on the harrowing situation.

but what if you could have a Meritocratic Nobility system where you have a person who is great at what they do, then them and their family are elevated to the set of Ten Nobel’s a for two years. those who don’t have a family crest will have one designed for them, and those who do as well as the one who don’t will have it carved in a piece of wood. you can only be a Nobel 5 times so that when you get a star carved into the crest every time you a Nobel you, at the end, have five stars. obliviously this will need a bit/lot of Bureaucracy and policing, I also don’t think there should any monetary bonuses besides the role as Nobel granting them prestige. this is too prevent any bribing.

this role will only be ceremonial as I wish to maintain some sort of aristocracy while having a federal type government.


Sounds somewhat similar to Napoleon’s attempts at creating a meritorious aristocracy. I would only point that out of the former lowly soldiers he elevated to high nobility and Marshal of his armies each betrayed him to nearly a man…


as i said, an unseen problem


Which is why virtually all dictators prize loyalty over competence…


@Havenstone Kurios Havenstone. I would like to ask about some science, if you please?

Stem cells, in our world, are cells that can differentiate into different types of cell. We could say that their purpose is to Change. They exist in bodily tissues, including blood and brain. One of the (humanely) accessible source of adult stem cell is blood, which requires extraction through apherasis, wherein blood is drawn from the donor, and passed through a machine that extracts the stem cells and returns back other portions of the blood.

Fetus/baby has stem cells too, and their stem cells have a higher devision and/or be pluripotent (can change into more various types of cell). We could also say that, the latent quality in stem cells that inspires the cells to change, however we choose to call it, is more potent in children than in adults. Also, neural stem cell proliferation also declines as a consequence of aging (i.e. growing up).

And here’s the thing. Stem cells extracted from blood apherasis are not created by blood. They are created by bone marrow, which is the real source. Seperating just blood from the body means taking it away from its source of… whatever maker-of-change quality it has.

In a society where that particular quality is crucial to the economy and agriculture. Maybe bone marrow tax/donation (and subsequent culture in labs, to sustain its life outside human body) would be more able to fix that quality in amount that, though probably not as large as whole-body tax, is larger than blood tax/donation. The procedure is that a needle would be inserted into the hip bone to draw the marrow out. The incisions are tiny. Bone marrow, like blood, also regenerates itself in short amount of time.

Bone marrow culture probably is an expensive procedure… but there’s a reason why it may be worth the cost. There is not much reason to do blood culture, because its stem cells would never increase. But… maybe cultured bone marrow would be able to generate stem cells (or their change-maker quality) throughout its life? (I’m no expert in biology).

These reasons combined is why I think bone marrow tax/donation maybe the way to sustain the blood economy without the need to kill. We may call the process “Marrowing” (no, we won’t do that. We don’t want people to be scared of it).By the way, I much more prefer the term “Apherasis” than “Harrowing”, so ominous and elegant, giving the impression of a terrible glory.

What do you think about my speculation, kurios?

And… Jinny isn’t a helot name, or is it? Please tell me that it isn’t…


But if you need brains to the harrowing, how marrow could work similarly? Also the process would be far less effective, and the hunger for people to sacrifice is more and more eminent to point almost barely cover the expenses


Yes. I have to admit I couldn’t explain the need for brain with that theory (though I found out that bone marrow does generate new neurons in brain). And things in XoR very often don’t have exact equivalence in real life. I also don’t think marrow would be as potent as brain. I asked Havenstone here for a slim chance that the marrow (with the well-thought-out system of collecting and/or culture) may be potent enough to end Harrowing in a way that disaster could be avoided. A slim chance indeed.


The problem here narratively I think is that blood magic is supposed to be a deal with the devil. The author can’t give you a clean way out of it because it undermines the plot. Besides given the role of the four elements, every inanimate object having a discernible universal purpose, and the existence of the magic in general I’m not sure our Earth understanding of science and biology tracks well to the XoRvers.


I also don’t really think kurios Havenstone would give us an easy way out (to say nothing of giving it because of an unfound fan speculation). But I, as a player-reader, still wish for a “perfect happy ending” to be possible through some extremely specific/ difficult/ hidden path, however he sees fit to write it.

Perfect ending may look “unrealistic” because virtually no leader on Earth has been able to achieve it. But that is only because those leaders don’t have an ability to go back in time and choose a different choice. We do have. Our mc, guided by our quasi-omniscient knowledge, should be able to achieve more than normal human leaders. (I know there’s no in-story reason for the mc to have special guidance, but the effect of the player on the mc is still there, whether there exists an in-story justification for it or not. And this is also a reason why Aliki, my mc, firmly believes she can hear an angel. What else to explain why every choice she picks turns out to be the ‘right’ one?)

I’m concerned about that too. But there’s some hope for my speculation at least. Havenstone has said that the physics of the world is Aristoterian. Aristotle believes in Epigenesis, which is, concerning biological development, form begins to emerge from the unformed. (For example, looking at a chick, the early egg was not formed. It gradually acquired form, only gradually acquired a heart that began beating, only gradually acquired the other parts that make it a chick). And, in my opinion, it may be possible to think that a process equivalent to cell differentiation, from unformed cell to specialized cell, would be possible in the game-world. (Maybe not, Aristotelian’s Epigenesis, as far as I know, does not support the Homunculi theory of reproduction established in Hegemony).

If not for the fact that children have higher aether concentration that decrease when they grow up I would think of aether as just a representation of willpower or mental/spiritual energy. But that fact makes me think there may be something more to it. Another explanation may be that, that fact based on a victorian idea that children are somehow in a higher state of being, or have some better intrinsic quality, or are closer to God than adults, but that explanation doesn’t feel right. People in Karagond probably view children as just “adults in smaller bodies”.


A happy perfect in everything ending would not only wipe out the meaning of the game and it core. It will cheap the storytelling and absolutely all the rest of paths. This is not a power fantasy where everyone is kneel to pc were Pc is Mary sue.
If that ending exist, would give the idea that is the real ending and aka rest of all possibilities are fake, and bad. It is a problem many games had, Label ending as best, or real secret ending minimize the impact of everything else. Then guides and people would only focus in that path and value the rest as “bad” “don’t pick tht” or you will have a “lesser ending”

And that’s without enter in how that ending will cheap the core theme of game about sacrifice and political and social dynamics. If thereis a magical good solution were everyone is happy and alive and you didn’t lost or sacrifice anything… where is the point of so many books?


You have made a great point that I failed to consider before. I like the core theme of the game as it is. Although I still believe perfect happy solution is possible in real world (if very difficult to achieve). This gamebook should represent the author’s thought and belief, not anyone else.

Now I will have to be content with the fact that the only way to a perfect ending is mc’s stat cheat (and even then may still not be possible). Asking more for the perfect ending would make me look like a child screaming, trying to coerce the parents into giving her everything she wants.

And if Havenstone would be generous to indulge me in talking about my “marrowing” speculation, I understand that it would be in term of Theurgical possibility and implication alone (like when he talks about fan-speculated “liberty blood”). There would be no clean way out of the atrocious dilemma.


I understand your feelings about ending. But for that there are most of other games that are power fantasies and Mary sue type of pc. Here the core of the storyline is exactly :
This word has a shit ruthless system that is sinking with a terrible overpopulation and a slavery system. How could you take the power and maintain it enough time to deal with the consequences.

If the consequences aren’t dire, muddy nasty and difficult. Game lost is tension, its dramatic and political struggle. Due is that struggle and how people handle it, the core of the story and its value.
A clean way to avoid the situation only make game meaningless abd out of content. Except it became decorate your own palace or something like that :wink:


@Havenstone Hey there, I wanted to check in and ask if that bug I mentioned had been fixed already. I haven’t kept up to date with what’s posted in this thread (given how much people post in this already) and I don’t remember my Google Play listing this app as having been updated.


Should’ve been fixed with a Sep 5 update. Thanks again for catching it!


Cool, I’ll check it out. I haven’t touched the game since I posted that since I wanted to let enough time pass for the bug to be fixed, and I also wanted to “cleanse my palate” so that I can play through the game again without speeding through it or feeling like I’m going through a routine.

Thanks to you as well! This has been a really fun and interesting game.


@Havenstone What is Yebben’s opinion on the different MC religions (Kenon vs. Ecelect vs. Inner Voice)?


I have read through most of the XOR main topic and have heard that two chapters of Storm-Wright will be based in Grand Shayard and the Archon will fall, but I have also heard that Shayard will not be free by the end of Storm-Wright, have I just misread it? If I haven’t, I am eager to know how this will work. Apologies if this is against any forum protocol.


Years, for sure. Game 2 itself will span a couple of years.

You’re right that marrow has some value in making aetherial blood; it slipped my mind, but I should have mentioned it above in the spoilery bits. This was foreshadowed in Game 1:

Breden’s face is drawn. "Angels, Terret, you’ve seen what a Harrower leaves behind. Every bone cracked open, eyes scooped out…the sacrifice needs pain to work best, they say. I don’t believe poor Yed here went through half as much agony as any one of the helots who get Harrowed round the Hegemony every day."

But stem cells are not the reason, and marrow alone won’t do everything that aetherial blood can do, so mass “Marrowing” isn’t the silver bullet. Also, non-crippling marrow extraction isn’t a possibility in the gameworld. In our world, the hollow syringe needle wasn’t invented til the mid-19th century; it doesn’t exist in Karagon yet.

Jinny could be a helot name, but it doesn’t have to be. :slight_smile:

Good question. I haven’t written it yet, and probably won’t until G3.

Well, without going into too much detail: the Archon isn’t the reason Shayard is unfree, and the crisis of the Hegemony isn’t yet so desperate that it would surrender any part of Shayard, even if its Shayardene client ruler fails to quell a revolt.