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



That was basically the argument for de-ba’athification is what I’m implying. You think the Saddam Regime’s crimes and atrocities committed themselves?


Weren’t the people who got sent home the same people who led the violence that led to the troop surge and bloodiest fighting in the Iraq War?


Yep. No one made them surrender their weapons or even stopped them from heading back to their now unguarded bases and arming themselves to the teeth. Unemployed and furious at the poor way they’d been treated by Bremer’s government, they launched an insurgency.


They were also anticipating retaliation from the Shiite majority. Bit of self-fulfilling prophecy there…


Agreed. In the Baathist view Bremmer and by extension the US were handing Iraq over to Iran on a silver platter. Baathists tended to see Iraqi Shia as an untrustworthy fifth column beholden to Iran.


Aren’t some of our “Destroy ISIS coalition” members the militia commanders we were fighting then?


It’s complicated. That was the Sunni Awakening movement that Petraeus and others put a lot of effort into wooing to our side. We pretty much hung them out to dry when Obama left Iraq and Maliki cut off funding. Now it’s the Shia death squad commanders on Iran’s payroll that had been trying to kill our troops several years back that we’re sort of grudgingly allied with.


Hell even Muqtada al-Sadr is a counterweight to Iran if you can believe it… If you want to see how strange bedfellows can get look no further than “Destroy ISIS.”


Between a rock and hard place…you don’t get that many good options big tiger. Giving the current Xthonic “intellectuals” an inch would result in my mc’s slow harrowing and any outcome even any other death is better than that one.
I think we’ve already established that the Karagond/Xthonic caste system is not going to be shattered by half-measures and incrementalism. As we’ve also got a real-world model for that in modern India where the caste system never truly went away and is currently on the rise again. In fact some of the acts of the informal “cow protection squad” vigilantes, who are at least tacitly tolerated by mr. Modi’s government look suspiciously like the extrajudicial activities of the Hegemony’s Alastors. :unamused:
The caste system currently stands in the way of any and all reforms my mc would want, as he isn’t doing this to get a slightly better deal on the conditions of his enslavement from the anti “animal cruelty” crusaders of the current Hegemony. To break that system in the span of less than a generation is going to need a shock of seismic proportions, but if Hera could implement it within a single generation, we are hopefully able to destroy it in the same timespan too.

So for my mc I’m more wary of repeating Ambedkar’s mistakes than George W’s. As my mc never wants to return to enslavement or servitude again. So subordinating himself to any “noble” or the Karagond priesthood is out of the question.
Besides he couldn’t hold the Eclect title, even should he want to, because he’s categorically unable to even fake any sort of piety and he certainly wouldn’t accept the priesthood trying to control him by such nonsense as declaring him “the bride of Xthonos” in order to prevent him from having sex or other such nonsense.

Then that might confirm my suspicions they are also insufficiently trained and educated. So if it comes down it my mc prefers poorly educated former helots over poorly educated people from the other former castes, yes.

True, for the purpose of literacy lessons the current game seems to not distinguish our helot followers from our yeoman followers at all.

Mostly true, the “them” in my mc’s mind are of course the (former) nobles and the priests and he does try very hard to appeal to the yeomen and the merchants (with some success thus far). Of course in the current game, I don’t think it is even possible for a helot mc to appeal to the “nobility” at all as they will always see a helot mc as a threat. With my mc that feeling is very much mutual.

As for the post-rebellion mess, then I guess my mc would, at least to a certain extent, favour loyalty over competence as competent people who want to enslave and harrow him are not going to be a joy to try and work with.

And that was a major mistake. My mc’s rebels will certainly try to loot all miitary assets first. Still any rebel army would need to do that, but the US invaders came with their own weapons and had little need for those stockpiles (that were likely very much inferior to what they already got) so they probably neglected them.


al-Sadr has certainly evolved. People thought al-Sistani was making a huge mistake when he intervened and saved al-Sadr from his doomed stand-off with the US in 2004, but it’s actually turned out for the best…


There are certain leaders that would have done the world a lot of good if they died right after or during their moment of triumph. Especially right before they become leaders of a government.

Part of me seriously hopes that there is an option for you to be asked to “retire.”


You know that in-game there is no retirement for helots, as “retirement” means harrowing. Which is exactly the fate my mc fights to avoid, as is a return to slavery. Since those two are the most likely “retirement” offers extended to (former) helots, like my mc. Naturally they are not worth contemplating for even a microsecond, nor is any token title or “affirmative action” sinecure, nonsense job.


Have you considered this novel concept. After you won and declared the caste system finished that- just maybe, retirement is a possibility.

Also, it’ll be a Soviet retirement meaning that you retire or they Beria/Trotsky you.


If only that was something that could be fixed by a simple declaration.
Given that truly stamping it out is gonna be a generational endeavour no matter what? No, not really. Besides having been a less than a slave and then a revolutionary all his life it’s not like my mc has any “hobbies” or pursuits outside of his “job” that he’d particularly like to devote a retirement to. Assuming it doesn’t mean a return right back to blood-cattle menial slavery.

Then I guess going down fighting would be the only viable, remaining choice. As both accepting and rejection mean certain, imminent death.
My mc will probably try to prepare for that eventuality if he can too.


No really, you say its done- then you impose punishment. Make it a death penalty offence to enforce the Hegemonic caste system. With slow harrowing the punishment.

Then you’ll just be killing the prejudicial morons.


In that case the only and I mean the only position my mc might accept, assuming the caste system and the old nobility’s influence are properly finished and the religious market has been opened to healthy competition with church and state permanently decoupled would be if they let him build the canal and properly fund the effort. Otherwise, no deal. Again he has neither “hobbies” nor material desires that would bearably sustain a retirement as we know it.

But that’s mostly academic, since accomplishing the above would require a significant time in government post-rebellion to accomplish in the first place.

You know as well as I do that the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent, always has been always will be.


Good, then you just have an excuse to kill idiots. That’s my point. If you make it a public decree in your neck of the woods and people refuse to heed it then they invite the consequences. Namely a Slow Harrow. Then it is not your fault, you are simply upholding the law.


You forget that, if the caste system is not properly root out beforehand, the new government will either not quite bother to properly enforce it (this is after all what happened to many of the more progressive anti-caste laws in India) or immediately rescind it.
In that case even if they don’t dare to touch (and re-enslave) my mc directly it will all have been a Pyrrhic “victory”. As my mc does not care much for the idea of retirement, no matter how much (or little) wealth they try to send him off with.


Ah, but aren’t Pyrrhic victories the unique flavour of XoR? (look at me picking up the lingo, used to abbrev it CoR)

One of the things I loved most about it is the ability to fail and I hope future installments will continue to give us that opportunity - to not succeed against insurmountable odds. Even though I re-played/re-read (re-pread?) it enough times to disperse any feeling of newness I still find it closely aligned with unique appeal of the title. I fondly recall my first “preadthrough” when poor Starn Oakfell a compassionate, true Shayardine helot, too smart for his own good faced off against a plektoi and a theurge and evaporated all the blood in his body, dying in process but bringing down the entire mountain with him and killing his enemies. Perhaps he would become a symbol for future rebellions but his own personal story ended abruptly.


Right–I’m back after a week of Christmas celebration, tending sick children, and moving house. (Rather more of the latter two than the former, especially given that our new flat was flooded by a careless workman on Christmas day…)

Well, I’ve been dropping hints and outright spoilers for years now (on the old WiP thread as well as here), and people have been adding their own speculation to that stew. Sorry for any confusion that results! Feel free to ask if there’s a reference to something you didn’t see in the actual game–we can put in a link to the earlier discussion to help catch you up.

I’ll kick off another WiP (open alpha) thread for Game 2 once I’ve written a stretch I’m happy enough with. Don’t worry, all, I fully intend to write it as I did Game 1.

Jumping back upthread a ways… although the injustices of “not proven” highlighted by idnlun and Mara would make it an excellent fit for the Hegemony, I’m afraid it would require a rewrite of too many trials in Game 1. Thanks for the suggestion, though, @Norilinde–I didn’t mind the diversion into Scottish law. Under most scenarios in which you run into Breden again in future games, xhe’ll have a sizeable following that would complicate the process of bringing xhim to trial…

Absolutely. But on your path, there’s no reason for anyone in the band to think twice about Breden. The bandits never knew xhim, and while I’m sure anything Mara de Jade said about xhim was negative, I can’t imagine she’s spent too much time smearing xhim as a heretic coward, either. Mara doesn’t know that Breden will pop up again, after all. So I’d expect the band to be mildly hostile rather than adamantly hostile, especially if the popping-up happens while Mara is away…

Glad you liked the rest of it! :slight_smile: For what it’s worth, the mechanic originally intended for those characters was having someone from your non-preferred gender fall for you. They’re only ROs at all because I don’t want to exclude bisexual MCs.

Stand trial? The only relevant corpses are the secret god-kings of the world. They’d never recognize anyone else’s jurisdiction.

Love it. :smiley:

Choice of Rebels is a very different setting to Robin Hood. You can’t really have a kindly king beloved of (all) the commoners when the system relies on the dehumanization and systematic slaughter of commoners. The closest real world parallels, like the traditional South Asian caste system or US chattel slavery, pushed privileged people into roles where they had to perpetrate or at least condone vast amounts of brutality in order to preserve the social order.

The aristos who do evil things in Game 1 generally don’t do so because they’re sadists, but because they’re afraid and/or able to deceive themselves about the full impact of their actions. Most don’t have a personal bent for cruelty, but they’re at the top of a system that relies on cruelty to perpetuate itself. This certainly applies to the Keriatou and Pelematou, for notable example.

If you don’t want to preserve the Hegemony–incuding the idea of an extensive common law enforced more or less consistently across a vast area–then the revival of local enforcement institutions is a reasonable thing to aim for. Some have been in abeyance for centuries, but as we’ll see in Game 2, some aristarchs have preserved traditional ways more than others, so there’ll be something to build on. The most modern aspects of the Hegemony are based on the blood economy, and will thus in any case be challenging to sustain.

There’s very little difference, in the Outer Rim.

I’m delighted to hear it. :slight_smile: I hope I can continue to write interesting failures. I certainly intend to.