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Sidereals, Terrestrials, and the Usurpation

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  • Hakkonen
    started a topic Sidereals, Terrestrials, and the Usurpation

    Sidereals, Terrestrials, and the Usurpation

    How many, if any, Dragon-Blooded know the truth about the Usurpation? Would any of them recognize a Sidereal if one walked up and introduced themselves?

  • Meianno Yuurei
    replied
    Yeah, it does seem kind of self-reinforcing in a way? "Obviously he would be murdered but this means obviously everyone would know he was murdered which means obviously everyone will know he was telling the truth QED the 2000 year secret is unraveled in a day by one marginally inquisitive Dragon-Blooded."

    Whereas exploiting the natural tendencies mentioned above by Isator Levi and giving a fateful nudge if he actually does start to make adequate ripples in the loom to be noticed and worth attention, such that he becomes more discredited and noone wants to listen to him, is far more subtle and actually within Sidereal bounds. Shaking the offender's hand as a Fellow Terrestrial saying "Your theories fascinate me we should speak more on this" to deliver a destiny of some sort to the effect of "Noone should take me seriously" or "my revelations should go unheard" or something has a lot less knock-on effects than a knife in the night.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Plus, there's nothing like murder to make people wonder if the conspiracy nut was on to something.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blaque
    replied
    I don't mean it in any specific sense. As you note, it doesn't really matter, in teh grand schemes, that Sidereals were involved or the truth of the Usurpation. The Immaculate Philosophy is assumed to be a well-constructed religion, and we see similar things here on Earth were historicity doesn't affect massive faith, especially when it ultimatley doens't affect existing power structures.

    I mostly think the whole "This guy is gonna expose us, he'd end up dead" thing that folks here seem to jump to undercounts how folks can just be marginalized and discredited. The jump to "murder the guy" seems kind of lazy both in the sense of what it would need to be done.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Blaque View Post
    I would think a few DBs over the years who found out the Truth are probably just discredited.
    Which truth are we talking about here? That the Usurpation was not a mythical battle of liberation from tyrannical demon lords led by the living exemplars of contemporary moral values, that a given Sidereal you meet is part of a powerfully established group rather than being another Exigent, or that the hierarchy of the Immaculate Order is seeded with a lot of influential Sidereals?

    The first one seems inherent to the title of this thread, and it seems like the easiest one to account for persisting in the Realm without anybody needing to be hurt over it, because simplified narratives that reinforce current values have a tendency to stick around because a lot of people will like and remember them more, and they're easier to market. You don't need to do anything sinister to somebody whose level of reading lets them recognise that Solars and Lunars are actually another kind of Exalted and the basic political scenario of the Usurpation, because if they even have an impulse to widely inform others of it, their publications are likely to gather less momentum because they're not as sexy, and doing it in person in high society is both not very efficient and probably something that will annoy a lot of their peers. They're not discredited, they're just boring assholes.

    For the part with Sidereals, well, I could see the exact status of the kind of Exalted they are not being a subject that matters much to many people (raising the question of the context in which it would even come up), and for their involvement in the Realm's hierarchy, I'd say that they've curated a lot of the avenues by which a Terrestrial can learn of such things to suit them. I would find it reasonable for a lot of Exalted who understand that to feel as though they're initiated into a secret knowledge, and keep it in those terms. For people that have an objection, how are they going about expressing it?

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  • Blaque
    replied
    I would think a few DBs over the years who found out the Truth are probably just discredited. Something that helps perpetuate some lies is making folks who might know things just plain look crazy. Making a Cassandra here and there is probably not a bad thing in many Sidereal's eyes.

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  • Verzio
    replied
    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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  • Meianno Yuurei
    replied
    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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  • Epimetheus
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Verzio
    replied
    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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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    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."

    Leave a comment:


  • AnubisXy
    replied
    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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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    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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  • Verzio
    replied
    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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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    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.

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