Shattered Eagle: Fall of an Empire (WIP) [156k words | Updated 06/05/2024]

Octavian disagrees (alongside a procession of other adopted emperors).

9 Likes

We’re only at the third chapter, and there may yet be elements of this story that are quite out of the ordinary, perhaps even fantastical, as I did allude to in the hook at the very start of the story.

I’m not blaming anyone, I just wanted to explain why I made the decisions I did for the story. The MC’s age is 40 for the reasons I have outlined above, which I believe are good ones. 40 is about the youngest I could make the MC, in fact, for the elements of the story to work as well as they should. All I ask is patience for the story to play out further.

If the question is just simply, “I would like my character to have a biological child to rule the Empire,” that path is already implemented in the game, though I suppose not quite as you’ve explained what you’d like me to implement. Even if the MC was 5, 10 years younger (which wouldn’t work for my story), the scope of the story would not allow for a child to be born and raised, except perhaps in an epilogue.

27 Likes

Not going to lie, I have the feeling adopted emperors are better. Just look at the Five Good Emperors, it’s even in the name.

3 Likes

First of all, the author is free to use, misuse or alter any real concept, history, or character they want. That’s the nature of fiction and creativity. I believe adoption was a valid method of imperial succession in Rome, especially if their were no biological heirs or the adopted heirs were considered more powerful politically or better suited temperamentally to rule. Adopted heirs usually grew up with their adopted parents and had far closer relations with them than their birth parents. They were for all intents and purposes children of their parents. Nobody really cared about the blood but familial affection and political sympathy. However, regardless of your opinion on adoption in Rome, the author is free to do what they want on the subject, just like they did with gender roles.

To the contrary, it looks like what you’re describing is a desire to have biological children, rather than a criticism of historical accuracy. That’s a narrative critique on what you want the story to be. The author has made the argument that a non-noble advisor is unlikely to quickly climb the rungs of power and that this was the usual age for someone to be in this role after significant experience. If you’d prefer a younger character in that role, there are almost certainly stories in that vein of a younger political figure. Or you are free to write your own, if you so choose. However, the author decides what they want their characters to be. You can constructively comment on why you believe the author should change this, but the author is in charge of the narrative progression.

24 Likes

Gaia worship is also kind of a “new age” term. Considering the matriarchal society and some sort of past cataclysm is it possible this is far into the future Earth and the ruins are modern buildings? Basically, we are in a uno reversed Caesar’s Legion from fallout!

1 Like

I should say for clarity’s sake and in the interest of avoiding any confusion that this story takes place in a fictional world that only takes inspiration from real life history on our planet. The geography and so on are fundamentally different, along with certain other things. It would be a lot more clear if I ever get to making a map of the Empire, hopefully I can do that eventually lol.

23 Likes

Just a thought, but maybe using something like Inkarnate would allow to bang one out quickly, and still have it look pretty decent.

2 Likes

Yeah, I’ve used Inkarnate before back when I ran D&D campaigns, so I probably will use it in some capacity for this. I wouldn’t expect a map for a while though, probably not until I finish Act I.

15 Likes

That’s one of the theories floating around, but I’m not sold on it. A couple of the largest obstacles to that are the existence of many historically inspired civilizations with no knowledge of their possible predecessors and the different geography of the world instead of our own.

This could either be a futuristic civilization instead of a modern one that performed large-scale terraforming on Earth, or a much larger time could have passed to allow for tectonic drift, but the first theory is sufficiently contrived as to likely have simpler alternatives, such as a fictional universe, and the second means existing ruins are very unlikely.

2 Likes

There’s a few minor errors in the demo, though pretty much limited to text variants. On the Stats/Relationships screen:

    *if imperial_favor >= 25
        You are the Empress' chief advisor, and she has listened to your counsel on occasion.
    *elseif imperial_favor >= 50
        You are the Empress' chief advisor, and she listens to your counsel.
    *elseif imperial_favor >= 70
        You are the Empress' chief advisor, and she respects you and your wisdom.
    *elseif imperial_favor >= 85
        You are the Empress' chief advisor, and she follows your counsel frequently.
    *elseif imperial_favor >= 90
        You are the Empress' chief advisor, and she trusts you implicitly.

For the favor of 25+ the game will always display the first variant and never the “better” ones, because first positive evaluation ends the chain and so none of the elseif gets tested. The tests should be arranged in reverse order, or reworked into < 50, < 70 etc.

This issue affects also barbarian_favor, senatorial_favor and ceto_opinion displays.

On a different note, while not a bug per se, the display of Augusta’s future inclination fails to take into account situation where tyrant and paragon meters are equal. (and doesn’t print anything in such case) Which perhaps should be instead a third outcome, given it can be discussed as such during the early lecture on rhetorics (the “Prince” model of a ruler)

5 Likes

Alright, those should hopefully be resolved.

The lack of printing is an oversight, I added in a section of text for alignment ties, though in the scene where her alignment calculates and locks in, I will add a “tiebreaker” choice as well.

As for an option like that, it would be difficult to implement as an exact tie of Paragon/Tyrant would be hard to actually expect a player to end up with, well an exact tie, and that it would require an entire new Augusta to write. After her personality locks, much of how Augusta acts and talks will be determined by which of three alignments she ends up with, and that will affect how the story develops.

2 Likes

That could be resolved fairly easily, by adding some margin of tolerance, e.g.:

*set augusta_inclination (tyrant - paragon)
*if (augusta_inclination < -2)
// ... paragon
*elseif (augusta_inclination > 2)
// ... tyrant
*else
// ... prince(ss)

which would let the player get the “middle way” as long as one of the variables didn’t exceed the other by 2 points. I do get the effort involved with all the extra writing though, that can be very much a showstopper. Alas.

2 Likes

Unfortunately it is, especially in a story that will be as long and branching as this. Thank you for the suggestion still, though. I feel as though the Tyrant/Paragon/Puppet trichotomy represents the ways that Augusta can not only react to the MC’s teachings but also confront her own issues. She’s a character of her own, of course, not only molded by the MC’s actions.

One example that I’ve touched on briefly already is how her relationship with her mother might change depending on which of the three she leans towards. A puppet Augusta might be cowed and simply do what she’s told, a tyrant Augusta would idolize her mother and seek to emulate her, and a paragon Augusta might seek to reject the harsh rule her mother stands for. All with varying consequences. That becomes more complex to handle the more variations I throw in, so three should suffice I hope.

15 Likes

If the other characters had traits like the MC (Death and Taxes for example), what would their names and abilities be?
Quite random question and certainly useless, but that’s the way things are :stuck_out_tongue:

3 Likes

I’d love to list what they might be, but some of those might be spoilers…

8 Likes

I only just recently realized Julia is only 8 years older than the MC. I realize she is sick but age difference is much smaller than I expected given the dialog.

Yeah, sometime the game make it sound like she’s 50 or 60.

Mainly due to stress, I had thought I had written in the story. Managing an Empire ages you terribly over a decade. For a real life example, look at how Presidents change in eight years, then add in constant warring across the known world and then becoming sick. Julia has had a great deal on her shoulders.

16 Likes

I suppose but this line is just between the two of you in private if you are having an affair with her “You should be off, Tiberius, if you want this old woman to get that rest.” I suppose she might be joking or feeling her age but it seems a little corny given how close they are in age. Feel like my crippled veteran MC should be saying “If age is why you need to rest then I’ll join you!”

I mean, yeah, it’s both a joke and she’s feeling her age all the more while being sick. In that scene she also realizes, however begrudgingly, that not resting puts her health more at risk. Someone still needs to do the business of empire, though, and that’s the MC if it’s not her.

1 Like