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Sidereals, Terrestrials, and the Usurpation

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Jam in a jar View Post
    Don't the Sidereals provide astrology and guidance for the Wyld Hunt? Something the dragonbloods are aware they need to do as solars and lunars are a major problem for them the longer they last.

    I'd expect there to be quite a few vested interests stopping any purge in the higher ranks. Before the sidereal shenanigans even begin.

    On what they know id expect a fair few to know. Dragonbloods lifetimes combined with exalted power. It demeans the dragonbloods exaltness to not let them know there own history. Especially when ancestry and family history matters so much to there character.

    Also why would the Sidereals want to hide this? The dragonblood went willingly into service rather than trickery.
    They aren't at all aware of any of this. Sidereals direct the Wyld Hunt, they don't openly shout orders. Sidereals are hiding the fact that they are responsible for how the realm was shaped because it's better to not let dragon blooded know.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post

      They aren't at all aware of any of this. Sidereals direct the Wyld Hunt, they don't openly shout orders. Sidereals are hiding the fact that they are responsible for how the realm was shaped because it's better to not let dragon blooded know.
      Ok. So it's all done behind the scenes and the dragonblood are kept in the dark. I get that.

      I concur that lots is lost to history in our world over the years. But dragonbloods are exalts. There is most likely several lore 5, investigation 5 or occult 5 exalts running around in a culture that prizes family history. Combined with an incentive of all this ancient power knocking around asking how do you get more to promote your house. Questing and searching ancient knowledge seems a viable path to power.

      It seems to be a fair conclusion that there will be exalted historians and scholars among the dragonblood who actively look into db history repeatedly discovering bits about the big usurption and the origins of exalted with there own magic.

      Unless ofc this is left as a storyhook for a DB campaign which sounds like a cool chronicle.

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      • #18
        It's not entirely secret. In 2nd at least, the people who run the Realm knew: the leaders of the Immaculate Order, Heptagram and All-Seeing Eye. It wasn't widely known though.

        I think something to bear in mind is how a) Sidereals have various magic to protect themselves from being seen as a target, like the fact people just forget about them, and b) how ludicrous the idea of them secretly controlling the Realm sounds.

        At the moment, my Solar is trying to convince the other PCs that there's a secret organisation of Exalts you've never heard of, who secretly control most of the world's governments, including the Realm, and even Heaven. It's a pretty hard sell. It just sounds too ridiculous.

        And of course, to those in the know, they don't control the Realm; they support the Realm. That's quite different.


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        • #19
          3e actually notes, in WFHW, that the immaculate philosophy mentions Sidereals conceptually by description as agents of Heaven seeking to protect Creation and the righteous order of the dragon blooded, though of course if said individual agents of heaven are seen conspiring with the anathema in which case those specific ones are individually anathema like a dark God that feasts on blood and carrion or the nearly unthinkable dragon blooded who falls to wickedness and begins consorting with demons and other anathema.

          So the answer is, they know that the guys with the pretty colored auras and markings of the maidens are generally servants of heaven, but sometimes one may be going against heaven and it is therefore just and righteous to aid these emissaries of heaven in their work purging the wicked and fallen.

          So the average dragon blooded knows that agents of heaven exist and if they reveal themselves to a prince of the Earth it is for a righteous purpose, they are not obliged to obey but heaven will look favourably on their cooperation, and if these agents are helping anathema is cool to fight them.

          Far as the usurpation goes their participation is probably downplayed to "aided the just and righteous dragon blooded in casting down the demons.

          WFHW basically says "the bronze faction has had 1500 years to polish the philosophy, it may be a constructed religion but it should be assumed to be a very well constructed religion, one that won't fall apart when gently poked".

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Jam in a jar View Post

            Ok. So it's all done behind the scenes and the dragonblood are kept in the dark. I get that.

            I concur that lots is lost to history in our world over the years. But dragonbloods are exalts. There is most likely several lore 5, investigation 5 or occult 5 exalts running around in a culture that prizes family history. Combined with an incentive of all this ancient power knocking around asking how do you get more to promote your house. Questing and searching ancient knowledge seems a viable path to power.

            It seems to be a fair conclusion that there will be exalted historians and scholars among the dragonblood who actively look into db history repeatedly discovering bits about the big usurption and the origins of exalted with there own magic.

            Unless ofc this is left as a storyhook for a DB campaign which sounds like a cool chronicle.
            Except all evidence of sidereals were lost when they destroyed the mask. There is absolutely no way to get a full depicition of the usurpation without a sidereal personally telling the DBs.

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            • #21
              So weird thing to ask, what's the "truth" that's being hidden to some extent? That Sidereals helped the Dragon-Blooded overthrow the Solars? It looks like the Terrestrial Exalted were on board with the Sidereal plan afterall. What truth is being hidden here that would get folks so upset? That the conspiracy to overthrow the rulers of the world...had more conspirators?


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              • #22
                I guess the truth of the Usurpation is that Sidereals decided to do it, and recruited the DBs, whereas the DBs believe they came up with the idea. But it doesn't really make much difference. And a DB who somehow discovered the Sidereals also fought the Solars is just going to think that makes the Sidereals sound like righteous dudes. If they discover that a Sidereal prophecy said that the Solars needed to die... that just proves the Dragon-blood were right.

                No, the real issue is that the Sidereals made up the Immaculate Philosophy. But that's extremely difficult to prove, and faithful adherents aren't going to want to.


                "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by TalosX View Post
                  "But wait a minute. Why do I need them to reinforce my position, when I can do that all on my own. In fact, I am a Prince of the Earth, ordained by the Immaculate Dragons with the right to rule Creation. These Sidereals almost certainly have other agenda's, and they seek to manipulate the rightful rulers of Creation. All Sidereals are Anathema and will be destroyed!"

                  You can make any excuse you'd like, but no one likes being manipulated and used as a pawn. If a Dragonblood discovered some proof of Sidereal manipulation, it's highly unlikely that proof would show Sidereals have always been part of the Order. Therefore, the Dragonblood would assume the infiltration is a more recent event, and would take steps in line with them thinking they are the enlightened rulers of Creation!
                  There's a huge conceptual distance between suspicion and mistrust on the one hand (which WFHW establishes as Mnemon's attitude to Sidereals), and "we need to declare war and kill-on-sight!" on the other. And any Dragon-Blooded who typically reacts to evidence of manipulation by immediately declaring open war against the manipulator is going to wind up a corpse before graduating secondary school.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by TalosX View Post
                    Why do I need them to reinforce my position, when I can do that all on my own.
                    I'm sure there are worse arguments in-character for disbanding the Imperial Legions.

                    Originally posted by TalosX
                    These Sidereals almost certainly have other agenda's
                    Who is this Other Agenda, and what is it of theirs that the Sidereals possess?

                    Originally posted by TalosX
                    they seek to manipulate the rightful rulers of Creation. All Sidereals are Anathema and will be destroyed!"
                    First of all, I think it can be safely assumed that at least some of the Sidereals are actually good at manipulation, and hence are able to convince their marks that anything that the Sidereals want was already their own idea. It probably comes up a lot in shaping Fate; probably easier to get people to stick the course when they think they're making actual decisions.

                    Come to think of it, if a given Dragon Blood knows enough about the Sidereal involvement with Fate, that could be a basis for one taking a few things at face value and not examining too closely; Sidereals being able to spin the idea that they're seeing a bigger picture and have special insights into keeping it on course, in combination with making the (accurate) argument that the Creation that they're trying to preserve and chart the future for is one in which Sidereals reign supreme.

                    Even if the definition of Anathema that you're giving here was accurate to the book, it strikes me as a singularly crude and unnuanced Terrestrial who can't at least be given cause to consider things from that angle.

                    Also one who has pretty good emotional defences, because I'm going to assume that Sidereals are good at empowering the message that they know what they're doing and it's for your own good.

                    Originally posted by TalosX
                    no one likes being manipulated and used as a pawn.
                    Eh, some people do. Not even necessarily sexually; I've known of people who were at least bemused by the idea that others knew what their buttons to press were.

                    Even for people who don't, there are more ways for them to respond than extreme hostility and stubborn obstinance.

                    Originally posted by TalosX
                    If a Dragonblood discovered some proof of Sidereal manipulation, it's highly unlikely that proof would show Sidereals have always been part of the Order. Therefore, the Dragonblood would assume the infiltration is a more recent event, and would take steps in line with them thinking they are the enlightened rulers of Creation!
                    So the Third Edition core book is wrong about its own setting details?

                    Besides, sure one can figure out ways in which there would be records and references to Sidereal Exalted having a role in the Immaculate Order for its whole history.

                    Not to mention, well, the occasional Dragon Blood who runs off half-cocked with faulty assumptions about Sidereal involvement in the Realm is probably not especially threatening to a given Sidereal. Sidereals probably still have powers such as Avoidance Kata if they run into somebody who is coming straight at them, and things such as stealing names and voices from folks who seem as though they'd run around stirring up trouble.


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                    • #25
                      In prior editions there were quite a few Dragon Blooded who knew about the existence of Sidereals. For example, every graduate at the Heptagram knew Sidereal existed, and studied under them, but they were placed under powerful curses to keep them from talking about the Sidereal. The same was probably true in the higher ranks of the Immaculate Order and the All Seeing Eye. The thing is though, while a surprising number of Dragon Blooded may have known Sidereal Exalted existed, pretty much nobody knew about the scope and scale of the Sidereal Exalted.

                      A Heptagram graduate might know there's a few Sidereal work in the Heptagram but he probably assumes there's just the ones he saw, maybe a couple more who work for the Empress. He would have no clue about the existence of Sidereal who are also manipulating the Immaculate Order or the All Seeing Eye or any other group. Likewise the members of those organizations wouldn't know about what was going on in the Heptagram.

                      So the individuals who know about the Sidereal Exalted each only have a very tiny fragment of the full truth and the Sidereal do their best to make sure that nobody is able to put all the pieces together.

                      In the earlier editions, this was one of the worries Chejop had about Mnemon becoming Empress. She knows enough about Sidereal to suspect that there is a vast conspiracy and he'd have no choice but to clue her in on everything which he would rather not do. With the other potential candidates, he'd have an easier time keeping them in the dark about the extent of the Sidereal's power and inlfuence.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                        In prior editions there were quite a few Dragon Blooded who knew about the existence of Sidereals. For example, every graduate at the Heptagram knew Sidereal existed, and studied under them, but they were placed under powerful curses to keep them from talking about the Sidereal. The same was probably true in the higher ranks of the Immaculate Order and the All Seeing Eye. The thing is though, while a surprising number of Dragon Blooded may have known Sidereal Exalted existed, pretty much nobody knew about the scope and scale of the Sidereal Exalted.
                        Also, most of the leaders of House Ledaal and Iselsi.


                        Here's a quote from 1st ed Caste Book Air, from Ledaal Kes (who's not even one of the house's leaders, just a famous gateway player):
                        "House Ledaal has some of the most interaction with these astrological servants of the Realm, save perhaps the Iselsi and other agents of the All-Seeing Eye... They tutored me as a child, and I work with them still regularly, but I wonder why they insist on such secrecy. They are channelers of essence, and... ought to be accorded the public respect of those high in the Perfected Hierarchy... They bear a great part of the burden of protecting this Empire and of thwarting its enemies... The nagging feeling of disparity between action and ideology prevails, however."


                        "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                        • #27
                          Anyway. There are almost certainly some Dragon-Blooded who have found some of the truth about Sidereals and strongly feel violent action needs to be taken against them, sure.

                          And until recently they would have been kept under control by the Empress, who would find it useful to have a card in reserve she could play against the Sidereals if her working relationship with them deteriorated. Any who refused to remain under control would have been as likely to be destroyed by the Empress for upsetting her applecarts as they were to be destroyed by the Sidereals themselves. There are probably some actual secret societies/conspiracies concerned with the Sidereal threat, with varying degrees of infiltration by Sidereals and their agents.

                          Now that the Empress is gone, some of them might decide to act now. But they probably aren't going to manage to get the whole of the Realm to uniformly agree that the priority is wiping out the Sidereals. The Scarlet Throne is empty, Solar Anathema are popping up like weeds, and the Deathlords have taken Thorns and unleashed deathknights on the world, after all.

                          (EDIT: Heck, there's all sorts of setting room for a shadow war where a loose network of Dragon-Blooded concerned about the Sidereal menace has been infiltrated by the Bronze Faction, Gold Faction, Geitmans, and Lunars, all of which are trying to manipulate the members in different directions, while the Empress's now-directionless agents in the network try to carry out what they think was her will . . . .)
                          Last edited by Verzio; 08-11-2018, 06:47 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Verzio View Post
                            Anyway. There are almost certainly some Dragon-Blooded who have found some of the truth about Sidereals and strongly feel violent action needs to be taken against them, sure.
                            Most of them would have most certainly have been killed.

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                            • #29
                              Or found themselves on the receiving end of waves of ill fortune and discrediting events that are phenomenally improbable to have occurred by mere chance but are impossible to prove otherwise.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                                Most of them would have most certainly have been killed.
                                Not necessarily. The Sidererals are not omniscient mind-readers. And one can strongly feel Hitler needs to be blown up with a briefcase bomb (violent action if there ever was any) without being so stupid as to say it in places and to people such that it's certain the SS will learn of it and execute you.

                                A not-stone-stupid DB, living in a society of plots and manipulations and maneuvers, is going to understand that if there's infiltration and manipulation of DB society, he doesn't know who's been compromised by the infiltrators. So he's going to be careful about who he talks to, not shouting in the streets/at parties/in the Deliberative. His strong feelings make him great fodder for recruitment for an anti-Sidereal secret society -- quite possibly one set up by the Sidereals themselves. After all, why kill someone when you can make them a tool?

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