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how was the usurpation successful?

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  • AnubisXy
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    Most likely only a comparatively small handful of Dragon Blooded had a full understanding of the scope of the Usurpation. Individual Dragon Blooded may have rebelled against their own Solar leaders, but it's unlikely that they realized that simultaneously across Creation all of the other Dragon Blooded would likewise be rising up at the same time. So you would have had hundreds of small, unconnected conspiracies. If one of them did betray their plans, then it was only a single Solar who found out what was going on. In fact, considering the level of rampant paranoia among the Solar Exalted it's the Solar king would most likely assume that one of his rival Solar's had a hand in the conspiracy plan, rather than jumping to the conclusion of a Creation-wide conspiracy against all of the Solar Exalted everywhere.

    It's also possible that many Dragon Blooded were tricked into attacking the Solars. Perhaps the Dragon Blooded vassals of Solar A are given orders to hunt down and kill Solar B, while Solar B's vassals are tricked into killing Solar A. At the end of that you have two dead Solars and a lot of very bewildered Dragon Blooded.

    The only Dragon Blooded who were likely to be fairly aware of what was happening and the scope were those who attacked the Calibration Feast where a large number the Solar Exalted were (I can't imagine many Dragon Blooded rushing in to kill 100+ Solar Exalted without understanding the enormity of what they are doing - "Hold up, you want us to attack them? Like, all of them? At the same time?").

    Plus like Isator said, once the Calibration Festival is over, and once it becomes apparent that the slain Solar Exalted are not coming back many Dragon Blooded would throw in with the Usurpers. Like, I suspect that there was a period of a time when many Dragon Blooded were "sitting on the fence" or even actively fighting against the rebels Dragon Blooded as they waited for the Solars to reincarnate. When that didn't happen they eventually decided to throw in with the rebels because there's little reason in fighting for a cause that has already been lost.

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  • nalak42
    replied
    I think in some cases it was probably easy enough to just put down orders that x solar needs to be killed because of a crime they've committed or something like that. Just having a sufficiently trusted Sid or DB informing the others of the order and it'll go through. I think in other cases the trick would have just been setting stuff up so when the Solars started attacking the traitors it came off less as "Holy crap those traitors are attacking our Solar boss," and either "Oh shit the solars gone nuts and is trying to start a killing spree," or making the solar think the loyal DBs are part of the conspiracy. The last one seems the most likely to actually work since you don't need a conspiracy to convince people to kill someone when as far as they're concerned the other person(s) is trying to kill them.

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  • Blaque
    replied
    I also think that the whole idea that there a million DBs in the First Age is somewhat edition-dependent. 1e never gave numbers to that amount and I don't think 3e assumes that their numbers are that greatly reduced. DBs as a race with faded blood and weakening lines is a narrative to 2e, and that affects things like the population of DBs and how many you need to pull a successful coup.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Here are details I would picture in a narrative of the Usurpation:

    ​First and foremost, the Terrestrial Exalted have been discontented with the Solars for a while, for a number of reasons; I imagine things such as agitating for greater say in the administration of the Realm (including a rhetoric based around the idea that their presence is a greater signifier of the Realm even existing than the influence of the Solars), a growing sense of self-importance and aristocratic identity along the lines of being Exalted rather than whatever culture one happens to have originated from, and increasing concern for things stemming directly from the Solars themselves, whether it be growing excesses or pervasive structural issues stemming from their actions and decisions. It doesn't need to be all Dragon Blooded, and it doesn't even need to go so far as all of them believing in anything as extreme as usurpation.

    ​The Sidereals, and then their first wave of Dragon Blooded co-conspirators, are fairly discerning in who they bring in, carefully vetting them for loyalty and competence, and even then probably only ever giving them a limited picture to lessen the impact of any infiltrators. These are going to be high-ranking Exalted who can command a lot of authority or loyalty from their fellows; most of them are manuevered into key positions around the Realm so that when the word goes out, they can quickly seize control of major positions or kill undesirable elements.

    ​If we assume that any infiltrators can only get limited information, and that the general idea of something being stirred up only makes its way up in the form of rumours and innuendo, it helps to assume that most of the Solars don't take it very seriously. They underestimate the size of the conspiracy, the scope of the discontent it seeks to capitalise upon, and don't quite realise how much power it can bring with the aid of the Sidereals.

    ​And finally, two key things are the ways in which you can bring somebody into a movement after the fact. Once it gets out that the Calibration Feast has turned into a massacre (courtesy of the most die-hard core of agitators) and that positions and facilities across Creation are being seized, you're left with a choice about which side to support. A lot of Dragon Blooded are going to see the writing on the wall and feel as though they've been backed into a corner; they might resent that, but they might also consider many of the growing issues they've had with the Solars anyway (and particularly how that might play out if they go to their officers and say "defend the Solars, whom we hate, against our brethren").

    ​The other side to it is that it's liable that a lot of the initial survivors among the Solars, with the aid of many ornery Lunars, or the works of sorcery that start going haywire in response to the treachery, make that decision a lot easier in many quarters. Nothing radicalises people quite so much as being lumped in with the radicals already, and subjected to indiscriminate, violent retribution.

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  • Kyman201
    replied
    I believe that Oda Nobunaga died when one of his vassals was marching to meet him, and suddenly told his men out of the blue "The enemy is in that castle!"

    And his men attacked, not knowing Nobunaga was in the castle.

    I wager that sort of thing might have happened at some points during the Usurpation. Just give the orders to the masses, and they listen.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by mark View Post
    ok, back then there were like a million dragon-blooded.. it's hard to imagine how most of them became part of a conspiracy without even a few betraying the rest to the solars
    That's not how conspiracies work. The definitely-less-than-a-hundred people who orchestrated the Usurpation certainly didn't give every Dragon-Blooded all the details of what they were going to do.

    More likely, they told only the highest-placed DBs with the most reason to be upset at all the Solars the plan to kill all the Solars; others were made to believe they'd be killing only certain Solars, possibly at the behest of other Solars. Others still probably got less or even no details at all.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 09-04-2017, 01:14 PM.

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