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The Empress : Who Was She?

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  • #16
    I named her Osara Hoseki and made her heir to a declining gens of Dragonblooded. That from Whitewall.

    Passing her first few decades by the time the Crusade started, she had grown up being taught two different histories of her bloodline, one of them to be kept secret from any not of the family.

    While she wasn't sure how she felt about the coup that overthrew the Celestial Rulers of her home city, she had been trained to be a guardian of lost Lore by her family in an effort to ensure not everything was lost (those who forget hesitate doomed to repeat and all that).

    It was her family that pushed down towards the isle in search of a cataclysmic weapon to stop the crusade and end the contagion and her sisters, brothers and elders who sacrificed themselves to the machine and give someone the power to push back the tides of the Wyld.

    Not trusting of the Sidereals but not particularly enamored towards the ancient Celestials either, Hoseki decided to forge her own stabilizing empire - unfortunately paranoia and fear has ravaged her soul and her 'solution' had to be twisted to spend most of its time guarding against external influence (Sidereals, Solars or whatever) that it failed to peacibly unite the whole of Creation like she wanted.

    In my game, her dissapearance was a plot by Ansa to facilitate the return of the Solar host and upset whatever balance the Sidereals had managed to enforce on the world for... reasons. Divided loyalty or something, the game didn't quite make it far enough to expound on that so my notes are incomplete.


    My Homebrew: Architect of the Regal Puppet Style (WIP) || Monkey Style (obsolete) || Radiant Halo of Incanescent Might || Pale Driver, Ruination of the Edifice of Tyranny || Sublime Percussion, Just a Whole lot of Fun || Idris, The Graceful Heart of Purpose

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    • #17
      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

      effective totalitarianism
      ​Possible contradiction in terms.

      (In all seriousness, I wouldn't really characterise the Realm as totalitarian)

      ​It does make me wonder... if one governs a system that is ultimately unsustainable, but lasts for hundreds of years, but your own life span encompasses most of that time, can the ultimate collapse of the system be regarded as a personal failure?

      It probably depends on how much one believes that it is possible for any system to last.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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      • #18
        Well she intentionally designed the system to require her. It functions masterfully when she's at the helm and the Great Houses are played off each other. Without her, the defenses she erected against usurpation start tearing down the system itself.

        It's only a "failure" in that there was never supposed to be a point where she wasn't at the helm. She intended to be immortal and rule forever. But whatever happened happened.


        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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        • #19
          The Scarlet Empress is gone, so it's not really that important.

          That said, she must have been a singularly exceptional individual. Not even taking taking control of the RDG into account, she stayed on top of the food-chain for an insanely long time. Not only that, but she made it so that everything in her domain revolves around her, all while contending with ambitious offspring and the meddling of the Sidereals, up to and including Chejop, and likely Lunars, exigents and who knows what else, and mostly getting the better of them. Well, up till her disappearance obviously, which I really hope has nothing to do with the Ebon Dragon this time around and will be left an open question.

          But, seen as she is gone and can't steal any thunder from anyone there is no need to downplay her achievements. This woman grabbed Creation by the throat, made it hers and held on to it against any and all opposition. No, she wasn't a Celestial Exalt but 'just' a Dragon-blooded. I am fine with this.

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          • #20
            Here's an idea. What if she had family that survived the Contagion and Invasion? Only they werent on the Isle. So somewhere out thete, maybe Lookshy or some other place with Dragon Blooded, there is a small family that can trace it's ancestry back to a brother or sister of hers

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
              I'm wary of trumpeting exceptionalism as an ethos in general, since I've grown to judge it as rather immature and self-centred, and thus can see a lot of problems with presenting it as an interpretation of a particular character.
              [insert joke about the President here]

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                I'm not sure what this refers to.
                Re: The selection of the Empress... I was picturing a scenario where the Enemy is at the gate of the Realm, some Raksha are making landfall, and the senior leadership is collapsing. It's time for the Last Chance mission. So surely the Empress is not 'The Best of the Best' because those guys are likely DEAD at this point of the war, but despite that, she (and four other probably pretty remarkable people) is selected to try to infiltrate the Manse and activate it again.

                I see this as suggestive as a certain level of competency as A) The manse was well guarded and they didn't just let urban explorers kick around inside for laughs and B) those selected were the 'last hope' of humanity, so I imagine the candidates were the best available at the time.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Piff View Post
                  she (and four other probably pretty remarkable people) is selected
                  ​Wait... is this a reference to the whole "the Sidereals tied the fate of everything in the world to her" thing?


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Piff View Post
                    Re: The selection of the Empress... I was picturing a scenario where the Enemy is at the gate of the Realm, some Raksha are making landfall, and the senior leadership is collapsing. It's time for the Last Chance mission. So surely the Empress is not 'The Best of the Best' because those guys are likely DEAD at this point of the war, but despite that, she (and four other probably pretty remarkable people) is selected to try to infiltrate the Manse and activate it again.
                    It's been awhile since I last read about it, but I could have sworn that the Empress and her companions basically went AWOL and infiltrated the manse on their own. It wasn't an assignment from high above but rather the Empress and her companion's chose to make an insane and impossible gamble on their own, one which managed to pay off.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                      ​Wait... is this a reference to the whole "the Sidereals tied the fate of everything in the world to her" thing?
                      No, I confess I'm not as familiar with that point of lore. I read it once upon a time but it didn't stick very good. I'm just making a bunch of wild assumptions! For fun!

                      It's been awhile since I last read about it, but I could have sworn that the Empress and her companions basically went AWOL and infiltrated the manse on their own. It wasn't an assignment from high above but rather the Empress and her companion's chose to make an insane and impossible gamble on their own, one which managed to pay off.
                      I'd have to figure that the manse would be one of the last, if not THE last, places to be left unsecured. And from what we understand, although the Shogunate was collapsing and in full retreat, the Isle had yet to face significant incursions (though they were about to happen imminently).

                      When I imagine such a situation I feel like enough order and stability must have existed in the military for at least SOME administrative decision to take place - I don't think the Empress was AWOL? But it's entirely possible that agreement was hard to find among the Realm in these desperate days and it's very likely that many commanders and generals were operating independently.

                      I think it's safe to assume that whomever was in charge of guarding the manse approved of the mission and allowed it to go forward. Maybe the Empress was one of these people? It might explain her understanding of the place if she had been stationed there for most of her life.

                      Now I'm thinking of a really fun interpretation of her as a tour guide and never having been an officer at all... just very persuasive and clever.

                      This is a great thread, thanks everybody.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        (In all seriousness, I wouldn't really characterise the Realm as totalitarian)
                        This is an interesting thought! What historical/social structure -would- you ascribe to the Realm?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

                          It's been awhile since I last read about it, but I could have sworn that the Empress and her companions basically went AWOL and infiltrated the manse on their own. It wasn't an assignment from high above but rather the Empress and her companion's chose to make an insane and impossible gamble on their own, one which managed to pay off.
                          ​Although, while that's the official story, it wouldn't really be out of place for herself and her team to have in fact been given a secret mission, and when the dust cleared there was nobody else left to assume power and she spun it in terms that made her look more grandiose and noble.

                          ​You know, we've got some old characters returning, and a few new ones coming in, and I rather hope that many of those follow a similar model to the Scarlet Empress; rather than consolidating a single write-up, small vignettes of the character from multiple perspectives and in multiple contexts that convey the sense of a complex individual while having enough blank spaces and unspecified connective tissue that allow individual groups to adjust to taste.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Zeesun View Post

                            This is an interesting thought! What historical/social structure -would- you ascribe to the Realm?
                            A number of historical monarchies.

                            ​Totalitarianism is a distinctly mid-20th century phenomenon. The Immaculate Order provides a central framework for society that is beneficial to the needs of the state in the same manner as many historical instances of established religions (including the fact that it's an officially sanctioned but still separate organisation, rather than an organ of the state), but I think the Realm lacks the capacity to exert control over every aspect of people's lives, and doesn't really care anyway.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                            • #29
                              We know she was a "young officer", but not what kind. Using Lookshy as the model of a Shogunate military, she could have been a traditional infantry commander, or a fighter pilot, or a sorcerer-engineer, logistics, special forces, or whatever. All of the divisions have personnel of "officer" rank.

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                              • #30
                                I always thought that the Solar Exalted had sealed the control Manse of the Realm Defense Grid before the Usurpation (perhaps as a precaution against saboteurs while everyone was off celebrating Calibration) and that neither the DB Shogunate nor the Sidereal Exalted had been able to get through the defenses of the control Manse of the Realm Defense Grid during the seven centuries of the existence of the DB Shogunate. It was not until the Scarlet Empress that anyone was able to reach the center of the control Manse of the Realm Defense Grid. She took control of the system (by sacrificing the life of her last companion if I remember correctly) and routed the Fair Folk. In effect, she did the impossible and succeeded where seven centuries of DB (and Sidereal Exalted) had failed.

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