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  • The Civil War Thread

    Everyone knows it is coming, everyone are waiting for it- the only questions are "how" and "when". With the Realm being Creation's greatest and only superpower, the effects of its internal struggle and potential war would impact most of the known world, if not all of it. No one knows how it would end up- but the chances are that even if the end result would be a brighter future, we first need to go through a catastrophe rightfully called the Time of Tumult.
    The main reason I'm making this thread is because in the last nights I was apparently so invested in reading the Realm, that I actually started dreaming about how the different Houses would divide themselves when the Civil War would finally erupt. As such, I've decided to share how I would play the Civil War- not its outcome, of course, but how I would like things to roll, more or less. While it was first planned to be a single, quit short discussion about the project, it then grew into a few posts material which ended up with 17-Incarna-damn-long-pages-of-possible-scenario. Hope you'll enjoy reading it. Please, feel are to comment on it in here and share your own visions of the Civil War and its key characters (which is does not have to be 17 pages long document, but things do tend to go out of control..).


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  • #2
    Which character in War for The Throne gets to attack twice each round? Tepet Ejava? If we go by a "crunch as physics" approach, then she curb-stomps all contestants.


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    • #3
      My reading of the setting in third edition so far, and maybe this is slightly controversial, is that if the Houses tear themselves apart in civil war, the Lunars will shift from guerilla warfare to conventional warfare and probably win control of most of the Threshold, unless some Dynast gains control of the Realm Defense Grid etc. I can also see long term Solar conquest of the Blessed Isle, especially if they have Lunar allies, depending on how severe the damage is from the civil war. It all depends on how brutal and damaging the civil war will be really, I reckon. In short, if there is a brutal civil war in the Realm with mass casualties, I think no House will win in the end.


      Edit: I commend you for your interesting work, LostLight . Will download that and read it properly. Looks very fascinating so far !
      Last edited by Magnus K; 06-06-2019, 12:40 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Magnus K View Post
        My reading of the setting in third edition so far, and maybe this is slightly controversial, is that if the Houses tear themselves apart in civil war, the Lunars will shift from guerilla warfare to conventional warfare and probably win control of most of the Threshold, unless some Dynast gains control of the Realm Defense Grid etc.
        I imagine at least a few might attempt to run guerilla and social sabotage efforts in the Blessed Isle tto keep the Dynasts distracted from actually getting the Sword of Creation under control again, giving all other factions in the Threshold breathing room to advance their own agendas.

        Or for a weird twist, the Mountain Folk using some "last standing orders of the Empress" and some wiggle words shenanigans as excuse to usurp control of the Sword of Creation in her steward and set themselves up into an eminence grise position of sorts of the Realm.
        Last edited by Baaldam; 06-06-2019, 12:55 PM.

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        • #5
          There's tons of options, so many ways it can go. And of course, PCs will hopefully interfere (that's kind of the point).

          You've got some good thoughts there, though I never get that excited about stuff about Fokuf. I liked your stuff on the minor houses, Prasad, etc, that doesn't normally get considered.


          So, the first Dragonblood game I played had already been going for a while. Tepet Ejava had vanished, Mnemon had died. Ragara sold his soul to the Yozis for power, becoming an Akuma... which was discovered and much of the house purged. In this environment, the PCs rose to power, until one character (a Pelleps) took control of the Realm Defence Grid and became the new Empress. Pelleps rose in power, as did the families who'd supported her, such as V'neef.

          Of course, there was a reaction, and the new Empress promptly barricaded herself inside the Imperial Manse with her boyfriend, giving instructions through a slit, as she was terrified of being assassinated. Which meant the next battle was about who controlled access to the Empress.

          So we managed to find Tepet Ejava, the wife of one of the PCs, and then with her we faced off against the Prime Minister, the Empress's consort. We defeated his army, but couldn't eliminate his power entirely, what with him being the Empress's consort. So it ended with Cathak and Tepet getting more power to balance Pelleps and V'neef; Pelleps had the Legions on the isle, Tepet had the Legions outside the isle, Cathak the Prime Ministership, V'neef the Inquisition, etc.

          Oh, also at one point Ragara turned into a giant nuclear dragon and marauded around the Blessed Isle wrecking everything, and we had to go hunt him down. I forget how that ended exactly.




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          • #6
            Generally speaking, I don’t think the Houses will accept another Empress. Even if the new Empress gains control of the Defense Grid, I think she’ll have to use it several times before anyone will accept her and even then, I’d expect assassins out the wazoo. The new Empress would basically need to repeat the feats of the previous one in order to regain control, which would be tricky.

            Ignoring the Defense Grid, I honestly don’t think any House is capable of destroying the other 9 single handed, so coalitions are going to form, alliances are going to shift, war will happen, and I’m confident that more than one house will be around at the end. Unless one house can manage things so they’re the undisputed strongest (Sesus might try, but I’d expect them to get taken down after the third betrayal regardless or by Iselsi ninja if they actually look like they might pull it off) I think they’ll have to set up some kind of council that holds the Empress’s powers. Mnemon certainly wouldn’t like it, but I kind of expect her to be taken out first in the fighting as everyone else agrees she’s too dangerous. If not her, then Cathak.

            There’s also the dark horse option of “everyone else on the Blessed Isle unites to destroy the Houses” which would be interesting. They’d likely need someone to rally around, like Berit, Bal Keraz, or House Nellens, but I would bet that they could at least take and hold the Imperial City and widespread massive peasant revolts would certainly cause problems for all the houses and it might get the Iselsi to finally pull the trigger on their revenge. So I could see it being possible.

            I will say that, in 3e, I feel like I have a better grasp of how everything works, but there’s also enough wiggle room that the possible options are nigh limitless.


            ....

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            • #7
              In my own game, the (Solar+Lunar) PCs stole a peach of immortality from Heaven, for Raksi. She passed it to Ma-Ha-Suchi, who passed it to some other Lunars, who passed it to some contacts, who passed it... to Ragara. Not the house, the man himself.

              With a new and freshly young Ragara (claiming he'd been given the peach by Pasiap) claiming his right to the throne by dint of being the Empress's oldest child, others made their play.
              Mnemon, with Sesus and Cynis backing, announced her right as the oldest daughter (Sesus weren't happy, but they didn't see an alternative).
              Nellens, Ledaal and Tepet joined together with radicals from other houses to form a Republican faction, to deny anyone the throne and have an elected pair of Consuls instead.
              V'neef, Pelleps and Cathak waited to see what would happen.

              It looked initially like Ragara was outnumbered, but he hired a ton of barbarian mercenaries. And mysterious (furry) assassins murdered Mnemon.

              The Republican faction managed to gain control of the Imperial City, and when Walker in Darkness opened the Imperial Manse, they were ready. Walker in Darkness butchered his way inside, and the PCs followed to stop him.
              And then, tipped off by the ghost of Chejop Kejak who was secretly backing them, the two Consuls, Nellens Poromo and Ledaal Kes, followed them in.

              Inside, Nellens Poromo was "murdered by Anathema", Ledaal Kes took control of the Realm Defence Grid, and then he announced the dissolution of the consul system and himself as the Azure Emperor.

              Meanwhile, Ragara's foreign mercenaries betrayed and murdered him, and ravaged the countryside. Armies of beastmen rose out of the sea led by Tammuz and Ma-Ha-Suchi, and the full might of the Silver Pact invaded the weakened Realm.

              Luckily, the Raksha invaded, and Kes blasted away at the barbarians with the Realm Defence Grid, so the Lunars had to retreat to defend the Threshold, leaving a ravaged Realm behind.

              For his failure at defending the Realm, Ledaal Kes was forced to abdicate. V'neef took the throne as the Jade Empress, and the Realm spent 20 years rebuilding its economy, society and forces, bereft of its satrapies.

              Then they began to expand again, attacking former satrapies to force them back under their control. In the south, they got bogged down against Harborhead's empire, but then the Bronze Faction lured the PCs up to Harborhead where they got into a fight with, and killed, the Leopard Empress. So Harborhead and the Realm cooled off the war and both made (as far as the players know) seperate plans to attack the PCs.

              (I'm not running this game anymore, my friend is. He might have made some small changes to the backstory, things the PCs only heard as rumours rather than those they were directly involved in, but I don't think he's changed it massively.)


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              Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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              • #8
                Magnus K Thank you! And I agree with you about the Lunars, except of the fact that I think they'll wait at launching an attack until the factions would be busy enough in their Civil War that there will be no chance of them uniting against a common enemy (as it is detailed in the Lunars section of my document).

                Baaldam Having a twist on the Jadeborn sounds cool- the main reason I made them neutral is that we don't yet much about the Mountain Folk in 3e. In fact, if there was no sidebar on them in the Realm, I would have probably ignored them totally in that scenario.

                The Wizard of Oz well, the main reason I used Fokuf was to catch the Great Houses unaware and to have House Peleps a proper legitimization to claim independence. Any catalysis which would lead to the faction division detailed in the document would work, even though certain tweaking may be required (such as the Exigence Guard). I'm also glad you liked my concept about Prasad and other small/outside forces- the main reason that post grew into a full document was that while writing it I realized that the Realm Civil war could not exist in vacuum, and other powers will intervene in it, be them outcast groups or other splats. Also, both the scenarios you detail sounds really cool, IMO.

                BrilliantRain I agree with you- having a single House as victorious in the Realm is a stretched even in a world where only the Realm exists. With having things like Lookshy, Thorns and the Lunars all around, not to mention the Solars, having a single House destroying all others is practically impossible- the Realm is likely to be shattered into a number of pieces at best, or perfectly ruined at worst. While I left many things open in my scenario in case someone would want to use as an inspiration for their game, I do have a few concepts about how the was should end if no one will intervene (V'neef and Cynis getting absorbed by Prasad, Peleps managing to establish their Empire, even if smaller than expected, the Roseblack establishing a new Realm on the Caul, Cathak moving to the War Faction while loosing their matriarch and other prominent scions to Iselsi which practically kills the house, Ragara's heresy getting revealed, a full civil war between Lookshy and the Great Forks, Ragara himself managing to activate the Realm Defense Grid to destroy an army of invading Lunars, proclaiming himself emperor as he is consumed by the weapon he wished to rule and bring his house to ruin, etc, etc).


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                • #9
                  If the Realm descends into civil war, its possible that many Celestials will focus on carving up its Satrapies rather than attacking the Blessed Isle itself. Nobody wants to accidentally unify the Great Houses against them, not early into the war. Sha'a Okaa takes the Caul and uses it to build up his forces in preparation for an invasion but he doesn't attack immediately. Deathknights secretly egg on the more violent dynasts to commit enough war crimes to manifest shadowlands, but they stick to the shadows. Infernals broker deals with desperate sorcerers for artifacts and demon soldiers, again, from the Shadow. Getimians take advantage of Sidereal panic to do whatever it is that Rakan Thulio needs doing. The big players wait for the Realm to ruin itself and lay the groundwork to take care of the Dynasty's folly. Once the Isle is thoroughly ruined, Solar and Lunar armies will try to land, Abyssals will establish beach-heads in the shadowlands, and the Infernals will do the same using tainted manses and other such phenomena. Sidereals will have their hands full with the Getimians, and with Chejak dead, the Immaculate Order splinters.

                  As for the Great Houses themselves, there are quite a few plot threads for them to follow through on. Both Ragara and Ledaal have been focusing on enhancement procedures for Dragon-Blooded that will probably bite them in the ass sooner or later. V'neef probably confederates with Nellens to stave off their mutual enemies, and Cynis does the same with Sesus. Mnemon thinks whatever is buried beneath Jiara will give her an edge, but its likely that the iconic circle is going to cripple the legions she has stationed there and she forms an alliance with Cathak to compensate. Even though Peleps only has four legions, the Navy is a huge force multiplier and transport advantage, so even if they don't sweep the Isle by force, its western coastline and archipelagos are going to probably fall under its grasp if it doesn't try and carve out an empire in the West(which might clash with the Lunars on the Caul, but Wavecrest is a way more appealing target). Tepet could have a number of fates: they could bug out to Medo and establish an empire on the Threshold, they could hope for a miracle with the Roseblack(even with her talent and the legion's strength, its still only one legion against Sesus' 7 and Cathak's 8), it could ally with V'neef and Nellens or with Iselsi, or it could go the Ragara route and engage in all manner of occult desperation to save its skin. Iselsi does the same as the Deathknights and Infernals and enables the Dynasts' worst self-destructive habits.

                  As for satrapies, The Lap probably falls under the Cynis garrison commander's control but she breaks away to form her own kingdom. Greyfalls secedes before getting eaten by Ma-Ha-Suchi or Raksi. Ragara does something sinister in Pneuma using the Exigents imprisoned there and it has a 50% chance of blowing up in his face and an equal chance of completely revitalizing and empowering him. Cathak recalls its forces from Fajad, but they have a chance of going native under the Mnemon garrison commander(who displays an interest in the Fajad religion). Prasad declares independence and stops paying its jade tribute, enabling it to redirect those funds towards conquering the Dreaming Sea. The Lintha or the Crime Families take over Wu-Jian.

                  The Immaculate Order splinters into numerous heresies and establishes theocratic fiefdoms centered around individual temples or monasteries, as buddhist monks did during the Sengoku Era in Japan. Peleps Deled goes full WH40k and tries to launch a crusade against the nearest perceived threat, probably the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible, loosing half of his forces to thirst and starvation in the Kunlun Desert and the rest to Shining Path fanatics and Mortwight suicide commandos. The Sisterhood of Pearls gains more and more followers as the Dynasty irrefutably displays its many, many moral failings. Antitheses Heresies see a big upswing in followers as the Civil War will probably appear apocalyptic to the citizens of the Blessed Isle. With the Mouth of Peace soon to die, there will be many pretenders to the position, each with their own interpretation of the Immaculate Texts.

                  If a claimant reliably takes hold of the Throne, the celestial invasions will probably peter out, though the Realm definitely will have lost control of its Satrapies and a good chunk of the isle. Without Chejak and the Sidereals, the Immaculate Order stays fragmented and sectarian.

                  This is all barring PC action of course.
                  Last edited by HamSandLich; 06-06-2019, 07:28 PM.

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                  • #10
                    This thread reminded me to find this handy dandy chart, credit to forum user Matthias-



                    source- http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...74#post1202674


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                    • #11
                      There are enough wedges between Cynis, Ragara, and Sesus that a three-way alliance between them strikes me as unlikely.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
                        There are enough wedges between Cynis, Ragara, and Sesus that a three-way alliance between them strikes me as unlikely.
                        damn I was rooting for the formation of Team Bastards


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Epee102 View Post

                          damn I was rooting for the formation of Team Bastards

                          This is the Realm, everyone's their own special type of Bastard.

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                          • #14
                            I can see how it may not be so clear cut, but at least as presented in WFHW the lines were net green, even if complicated.

                            In the Cynis section there is a paragraph about how they are indebted to Ragara to the point of it being a problem. Maybe the chart OP thought that being indebted they would be inclined to act with them instead of against them? I guess because under the Ragara section there is a part about Ragara trying to align with Cynis and Sesus and not calling out any obstacles. The Sesus section says they are close, but it's complicated, with Cynis, and doesn't mention Ragara.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
                              There are enough wedges between Cynis, Ragara, and Sesus that a three-way alliance between them strikes me as unlikely.

                              While I don't think it's an automatically obvious outcome, I'm not sure I'd characterize it as unlikely. It seems to me that the situation kind of pushes things that way - Ragara seems pretty likely to be one "pole" of the civil war, given how Mnemon feels about the whole House - they're likely to be inevitably opposed. And Mnemon is at least tentatively aligned with Cathak, who opposes Sesus both on personal and economic grounds. Cynis is sort of the odd one out of the three, in that it seems to try to cultivate good relationships with more Houses on the "other sides" than Ragara or Sesus do. On the other hand, Cynis is deeply tied to Sesus, so they seem likely to be pulled into that alliance even if they'd rather not - the other Houses are likely to treat them as Sesus' allies anyway, and Mnemon has personal animosity towards them. Of course, Ragara and Sesus are battling over Tepet's Threshold holdings, but WFHW does point out that Ragara is trying to avoid harming their economic relationship due to that, so somewhat mitigating bad feelings.

                              My own analysis of the situation is that there are definitely more than two "poles" in the Houses, but the exact strength and number of the alliances beyond the first two are tricky. I'd say the first two obvious alliances are, as I mentioned above, Ragara-Sesus-Cynis, and Mnemon-Cathak-Ledaal-Peleps. The second alliance is actually a bit less united than the first, which weakens it, despite it having more Houses. Cathak is trying to stay neutral, meaning that they're probably only in the alliance because their rival Sesus is in the other one. Peleps, meanwhile, is more interested in founding its Western Empire. Only Mnemon and Ledaal really strike me as strong allies.

                              Meanwhile, the remaining Houses form a third group, but not necessarily an aligned one. V'neef is probably the one most obviously opposed to the other two alliances - She and Mnemon have personal animosity between them, while House Ragara doesn't like them because V'neef has stayed out of debt and is an economic competitor. Tepet has a traditional rivalry with Sesus, and feels betrayed by Cathak. However, it's quite badly off militarily, so the other Houses aligning with it could provoke responses from its military rivals without providing any useful troops to counter. Meanwhile, Nellens is viewed as an upstart and too Patrician-friendly by members of both the other alliances, and is another commercial rival by Ragara. But it's also a traditional rival to V'neef, making an alliance less likely. If it were to join one of the other alliances, the Mnemon-led one seems more likely to me, since that group lacks a real economic powerHouse, and so might swallow their snobbery long enough to make nice.


                              Of course, all this is just my read on "most likely" outcome. But I wouldn't call it all that much more likely than many other possible breakdowns, and certainly, the situation can change radically once interesting people, like the PCs, get involved.

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