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How could a solar queen use and treat Dragonblooded?

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  • How could a solar queen use and treat Dragonblooded?

    Um, yeah, title pretty much describes my question.

    The players are Dragonblooded and to my surprise have decided to join a solar queen. I'm unsure how to proceed now. Especially the position of the Dragonblooded in the kingdom and how a solar would use and treat them.

  • #2
    I think it really depends on her. Solars are individuals, it probably depends on her background, socio-cultural upbringing, the geopolitics of the region, etc, etc.

    There's no Solar school where they learn to treat Dragonblood a particular way.

    Does this Solar have any other allies? If she's not part of a circle, the PCs may well be her most powerful allies, so she's probably going to want to treat them well.

    Are these Dragonblood dynasts?


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

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    • #3
      She's not part of a circle and has sorcerer and two other mortal kings as allies

      It is a mixed group of dynasts and outcastes.

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      • #4
        What is the Solar Queen’s background? What Caste is she?

        Is she the ruler of a Satrapy, subordinate to the Realm? Is she a figurehead with a council that runs things? Or is she a true absolute monarch?

        Was she born among the noble class or was she a peasant? Did she plot and scheme to gain the throne, did she take it by force of arms, or was she just born into the position?

        Where do her skills lie? Administration? Socialization? The Military? Trade? Being so pretty that everyone just does whatever she wants? Is she secretly a ninja?

        Why did the PCs sign on with her? Do they want to support her ambitions in taking over the world? They just really like this nation of hers? They failed to defend against her solar magic and now they have defining intimacies of love towards her?

        If you’re not sure what the players want from this game, it’s ok to ask.


        ....

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        • #5
          It is an absolute monarchy. She was born as a daughter of the previous queen and got the throne through a civil war where her other siblings were either killed or exiled. The queen is a Zenith. Especially skilled in socialization and intrigue, but also quite good at fighting and leading people.

          As far as I understand, they want to be part of an ascending (solar) empire. And for a change they want to fight with and not against a solar.

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          • #6
            Don’t forget the most important factor here: How much possibility for friction do you want between them and her? *evil grin*

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            • #7
              Also an important point would be what are the backgrounds of the DBs? A bunch of outcastes or lost eggs a solar might be willing to trust when they sign on, but you get a few scions from a Great House and well frack ever trusting that without a method to kill them at a moment's notice in case of sudden betrayal.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                but you get a few scions from a Great House and well frack ever trusting that without a method to kill them at a moment's notice in case of sudden betrayal.
                I don’t really see the difference, outcastes can still be a Wyld Hunt in disguise. Heck, the dynasts are the ones who could say “You can trust me because the second my family finds out I’m associating with you I’m dead or worse to them and have nowhere else to go.”

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                • #9
                  The smart ruler never entirely trusts their subordinates, but a group of DBs is too useful to pass up. I would have the queen send them on a mission that seems important and gives them a great opportunity to betray her and see what happens.


                  ....

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                  • #10
                    Two words: Giant. Mirrors.

                    No, but seriously it would depend heavily on a lot of factors. Some things to consider.

                    1. How close is she to the Realm? How strong is the Immaculate Faith (and, in particular, the prohibition on Anathema) in the surrounding area? The more unstable she considers herself and the more of a regional threat Dragon-Blooded are, the more suspicious she's going to be of a group that offers to join her. Of course, at the same time, this might mean she needs them more.

                    2. What is her own history? Her own experiences? Does she believe in elements of the Immaculate Faith herself (she just doesn't think that she, personally, is Anathema, whatever it says?) Does she care a lot about the First Age and want to return to it? Does she have some sort of existing policy or position towards Dragon-Blooded, and if so, what? What's she planning to do when the Realm starts trying to eradicate her - fight them first? Reason with them? Something else?

                    3. Who are these Dragon-Blooded? Would she have heard of them before? Is there anyone else in her kingdom who can vouch for them, their abilities, their willingness to work honestly with her, etc? What's their background? She's naturally going to be more suspicious of Dynasts (why would they want to work under her, who they officially consider Anathema?) than Outcastes, who may not be Immaculates and are more likely to be in a situation where working for her is a step up.

                    4. She's going to want to interview them about a lot of these questions. Why do they want to work with her. What do they expect out of it. What their beliefs on the Immaculate Faith and Anathema are. Are they willing to fight other Dragon-Blooded (including, in the case of Dynasts, potentially their own kin) if she's attacked. Things like that.

                    5. In terms of their larger position in the kingdom, a lot of it extends from this. Dragon-Blooded will be recognized as Exalted princes of the earth almost everywhere (unless this Solar Queen has done a lot of work to stamp that out in her region, or it's someplace totally disconnected from broader regional cultures.) That said, the further you get from the Realm and the main centers of the Immaculate Faith, the less effusive this respect becomes and the more it shifts towards just viewing them as magic-users with special powers. You also have to ask the related question of how the region views its Solar Queen - is she liked? Respected? Feared? Hated? The locals will judge the players based on their association with her (and possibly re-evaluate their opinion of her based on her association with them, if they see the cooperation of Dragon-Blooded as a sign that she's a "genuine" Exalt and not Anathema.) Conversely, people who hate, fear, or distrust her may expect the Dragon-Blooded to "save" them from her, and feel betrayed when it becomes clear the DB are genuinely working with her.

                    Of course, all of this depends on her own personality and beliefs. Depending on who she is, her response could be anything from "yay, new friends! Here's some stuff I'd totally love if you could help me with!" to "nice try, Realm spies! GANK." (If you haven't established her character yet, I would obviously lean more towards the former in the interests of giving your players the sort of game they seem to want.)

                    But you might talk to them a bit about their expectations, too. You don't have to sit there wondering "why are my players doing this?", you can just ask them, since it will help you plan ahead a bit better.

                    If you're asking what sorts of quests and adventures she might have for them... again, some of it depends on this, but unless she's really far into the hinterlands, having DB supporters would be helpful to her in terms of shoring up her own rule (since mortals who might have accused her of being Anathema are less likely to do so when she has obvious Dragon-Blooded working with her.) So she would want to have them do big ostentatious deeds in her name. If your players want a more adventure / combat-oriented campaign, this could be fighting rogue gods and other threats, putting down rebellions (or trying to defuse them non-violently), hunting bandits, going around passing judgment in her name, etc; if they want a more social one, it could be acting as members of her court, attending balls, negotiating treaties, etc. Using them as diplomats would be inherently very appealing to her because people who might otherwise refuse to treat with Anathema will have more trouble ignoring or insulting Princes of the Earth acting in her name.

                    Of course, this also depends on the skills of the DBs in question - if they're good crafters, she'd set them crafting, etc.
                    Last edited by Aquillion; 09-27-2018, 06:11 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Assuming the Hearth can convince her their intentions are true, that's the kind of elite guardians a monarch would be crazy to pass up. The hearth becoming her preferred enforcers is ripe with story seeds. You can easily add intrigue by her original right hand becoming jealous/suspicious of the PCs


                      Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Alonne View Post
                        As far as I understand, they want to be part of an ascending (solar) empire. And for a change they want to fight with and not against a solar.
                        Sounds like she would make great a Boss NPC. (Not as in a video game boss, but as in the person who's in charge and sends the PCs on missions and gives them responsibilities).
                        Ruling/expanding an empire is hard, and having Exalts that can use their expertise in dealing with the many different problems that can arise from it, sounds like a great set up for a story.

                        Wether it's dealing with uprisings from within the empire, diplomatic missions, or classic quest-style adventures to clear surrounding lands from natural or supernatural problems, solo missions or missions as a group, I think you'll be able to find ways to play up, and cater to, the PCs both as individuals and as a group.

                        Exalted lends itself well to shifting scope from the small (a fight to root out an enemy hiding in the basement of a tavern in the shady parts of town) to the larger (directing a citywide investigation or leading a spy network). Going from one to the other, and using small downtime segments could probably really help establish the players as powerplayers in the empire, and give them reasons to care about it, as well as the queen.
                        Then you could bring out the really big threats: A dark cult, with ties to a local shadowland, is discovered to have spread inside the empire. How high up does it go? / An outside force is gathering and war is on the horizon. Maybe an old Lunar with an ancient grudge has gathered their circle to crush the ascending empire before it grows out of control. Or The Realm has decided it poses too much of a threat (maybe pushed by the houses that the the dynasts among the PCs abandoned) / It is discovered that the empire has reflection somewhere in the wyld, an empire of horrors and nightmare soldiers that grows and shrinks in accordance to the empire of the Solar Queen. Led by a being of terrifying magnificence and power, with a number of dreaded lieutenants (corresponding with the number of PCs), and as it grows in power the threat of it breaking through to Creation, also grows. How do the PCs respond to finding this out?

                        Aaaaanyway, that's just some thoughts and ideas from me, on the situation. Not sure if that's helpful or not :/
                        But hopefully!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alonne View Post
                          It is an absolute monarchy. She was born as a daughter of the previous queen and got the throne through a civil war where her other siblings were either killed or exiled. The queen is a Zenith. Especially skilled in socialization and intrigue, but also quite good at fighting and leading people.

                          As far as I understand, they want to be part of an ascending (solar) empire. And for a change they want to fight with and not against a solar.
                          With her, but against whom? Consider what common enemies might help them forge an uneasy alliance and hold it together long enough for trust to be built.
                          Last edited by Greyman; 09-27-2018, 04:30 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Make the players her crack team of "trouble-shooters" - they're her top agents who go out and deal with unruly spirits, raiding warlords and other "small scale" issues that isn't big enough for her to pay attention to.

                            ...and then maybe set up a system to allow the players to call in the queen in case they get into trouble, to make the players appreciate that they have a heavy-hitter to call on


                            Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

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                            • #15
                              If there ever was one, this is the game to explore Solar Limit Break and the Great Curse.

                              Have Queenie be genuinely grateful for their loyalty and vision in signing on to her cause. Have her rely on them, while she handles affairs of state and faith, and have her join them for the toughest of battles.

                              But along the way, her frustrations build and manifest. She has her first Break in their presence, and because of them being there, she exerts her will to bottle it up.

                              But subsequent breaks aren't always with the Circle around. Sometimes they come back from a mission to find that she's done something awful, or broken down into a blubbering heap. Or both. The Circle has to deal with the fallout and hold the kingdom together.

                              At the turning point of the overall story, the Circle finds out that not only is Queenie subject to a terrifying Limit condition, but that a dreadful and subtle enemy has been manipulating conditions around her to prod her weakness. This means that they not only have to deal with that enemy, but with the knowledge that other, experienced and dangerous Celestials, have greater lore about the Curse.


                              Check out Momentum Exalted!

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