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Question about the Bronze Faction's feelings about unaffiliated Lunars.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    Even if the Bronze Faction want the Lunar dead, who is going to do the actual killing?
    But isn't this a scenario in which the Sidereal is already right next to the Lunar, who is not strongly on guard?


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    • #17
      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

      But isn't this a scenario in which the Sidereal is already right next to the Lunar, who is not strongly on guard?
      No?

      "If he remains loyal to the Realm and actually proves himself more efficient than the family member he replaced do you think it likely or at least possible in the setting as it stands for the Bronze Faction to make tentative contact and possibly help in maintaining the charade once vetted ?"

      And even if they are standing right next to each other, is a Sid really going to risk getting killed by a Lunar by taking them on with no back-up?

      Reward: Gain an extra hostile Lunar in Creation as soon as a mortal attracts Lunar's attention.
      Risk: Lose a Sid for the next 18+ years.


      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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      • #18
        This is a false dichotomy; sure, if the only options on the table are "the Lunar remains perfectly sympathetic to the Bronze Faction forever if we don't attack him" and "the Sidereal definitely risks death to himself if he decides the Lunar needs to be dead," then duh, go with the first one. But if that's not a given, if it's at all possible that the Lunar shows characteristics that might jeopardize Terrestrial supremacy on the Blessed Isle in the future, or the Sidereal could safely alert the Wyld Hunt and let them deal with it...

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        • #19
          I think the trickiest part would be setting the scenario, so the Lunar being taken on as an asset would be considered viable. As SLS noted most of the time if a Lunar approached a Sid with offer of an alliance the Sid will likely treat the Lunar as a potential threat/enemy and deal accordingly even if they think the Lunar is being sincere in their request. Whereas a Lunar and a Sid meeting during a raid by a large group of Rhaksha and agreeing to not try to kill the other for the duration of the raid is more likely to be accepted. Both by the participants and their comrades/ higher ups even if they weren't able to put the other party down after the conflict.

          So you'd need a scenario where the Sids view the Lunar as an asset, but also is deemed to potentially cause more problems then removing them would solve. A hypothetical would be a Lunar who was posing as a Senator that had been working hard. and for the sake of the hypothetical, instrumental in a number of actions and such to prevent or delay the start of the Realm Civil War. In this case revealing them as a Lunar might cause instability and potentially exasperate the brewing conflict owing that it would necessitate looking over the Lunars actions and of course the concern of how many other Senators, their families, or those close to them could have been compromised by the imposter. So the Lunar would be tolerated, and possibly worked with by undercover Sids, until such time as they could safely remove the Lunar or the Lunar took action that necessitated their removal despite the rammifications.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
            And even if they are standing right next to each other, is a Sid really going to risk getting killed by a Lunar by taking them on with no back-up?
            Let me put it this way:

            Were I playing the Lunar in question, including playing them as somebody who isn't particularly dangerous to anybody that isn't a mortal (and even then, to have a preference for them being unarmed and alone), I could find compelling tension in needing to navigate the prospect of one day doing something that finally causes the Sidereal to say shake their head and state "Chejop was right about all of you" before burning the Scripture of the Drowning Maiden in their fist and striking my off-guard self dead in the chest with an offer of a final chance for redemption; either accept the injury, which shall be assuredly fatal, or allow disaster to befall the community.

            Depending on what the story so far has been, I could play a Lunar who would accept the injury.

            Does the story end there? Not necessarily; I advocate in general that your Incapacitated health level being filled with lethal damage need not be the end of your character of you're not done with them, just that your being saved brings major complications. But the story might end there if it's satisfyingly dramatic.

            It's not a binary thing because there are a variety of possibilities. This particular possibility should not be written off entirely. Lunars on the whole are threatening to Sidereals on the whole, but not every individual Lunar is even a nominal that to every Sidereal. Especially when they aren't hidden and aren't on guard to weaponise something like a greater social or intellectual leaning.

            Exalted has room for Inglorious Basterds.

            That being said, I found that my other post in this thread spoke too much in absolutes even before your response, and I don't care for that now. I'd phrase that more in terms of one or more Monstrous Urges and maybe other disturbing aspects of being a Lunar putting one on increasingly thin ice rather than you being screwed the first time you Limit Break (barring the results of that being particularly atrocious).


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            • #21
              Again, for reference, I don't disagree with what's been said. The point of view that the Sids wouldn't accept an alliance is perfectly valid. Isator's last post seems especially cool to me.

              The sudden yet inevitable betrayal is a good source of drama even if it doesn't come up in play.

              So sure, any Sid is thinking "sure it looks cute now, but it'll grow!" And yes, nothing stops you telling the Wyld Hunt and letting the Deebs deal with it.

              But we know from WFHW chapter fiction that there are three hostile Lunars loose from the Imperial Manse. We know the Solars have returned. Even if the Sids tip off the Pinnacle of the Hunt, there's no guarentee that the Deebs (themselves on the verge of a civil war) are going to raise arms against someone who is actively helping the Realm.

              They might. If you're playing a Deeb game and want to play up on the drama from the conflict of interest, then forcing the PCs to Wyld Hunt their ally is a gold mine.

              But the consideration here is what is going to work for your specific story.

              If your story is about one Lunar in a circle of Sids, then the Deebs add the report of an Anathema to the four hundred extant reports of Anathema which they've already received and say "we'll deal with it when we deal with it -- we've got bigger fish to fry".

              If you want this to work in your game, I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

              I see how you could justify it not working.
              I admit that this working is atypical.
              I think there's great drama in having tension between enemies, maybe a "you were my brother!" moment.

              If I've been in any way dogmatic in my posts, then I apologise -- it was meant as hyperbole.

              There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing up the tragedy of an endless war against the Anathema, or the injustice of betrayal, or the dogma of the Bronze Faction.

              Just to be clear: My point is, only and in its entirety, that if you wanted to play a game where a Lunar works with Bronze Faction Sids then you may do so at your table, and there are canon, in-universe reasons why this arrangement might work (at least for the course of a story, to a greater or lesser extent, entirely dependent on context). End of point.

              I don't think anyone disagrees with that point, but I'm happy to debate if you like. Apologies for any confusion.


              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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              • #22
                Once again, he murdered this Dragon-Blooded and stepped into his life. I have my doubts that the Great House would readily look past that because he helps them with their finances or undergoes secret missions for them.

                ​They take that shit kinda serious, for the same reason we take that shit kinda serious - there's no one in my family that I'd want killed and replaced by a benevolent doppelganger.
                Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 01-21-2020, 01:59 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                  Once again, he murdered this Dragon-Blooded and stepped into his life. I have my doubts that the Great House would readily look past that because he helps them with their finances or undergoes secret missions for them.

                  ​They take that shit kinda serious, for the same reason we take that shit kinda serious - there's no one in my family that I'd want killed and replaced by a benevolent doppelganger.
                  Really? No-one?

                  'Cause I've got this uncle...

                  But to be clear: if your least liked uncle cleaned up their act and became super-helpful, and your mom said that an angel told her that uncle Billy had been replaced by a shapechanger, are you going to drop everything to go kill uncle Billy?

                  Sure, Deebs know Lunars exist. The average Deeb doesn't know Sids exist. The Deebs which do know Sids exist are either vying for the throne (whether directly using Anathema like Mnemon or otherwise) or have literally hundreds of reports of shapechanger doppelgangers to work their way through... and I can see an ambitious Dynast putting this report on the bottom of the pile.

                  And if they really did like Uncle Billy, WFHW makes clear that putting together a Wyld Hunt is hard. People don't answer the call. Which means recalling your family or Hearth from places like Fraxi or Jiara.

                  How much easier to put mortal agents on the case, to watch and monitor Uncle Billy to see if this accusation has merit? How much easier to raise a Wyld Hunt against a clear and present danger, with proof, other than a rumour from heaven?


                  Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    Really? No-one?

                    'Cause I've got this uncle...
                    Sure, I can't speak for you. Here's the thing. Even if my cousin's a homophobic asshole, I don't want him dead. Even if my grandma was abusive to my little sister, I don't want her dead.

                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    But to be clear: if your least liked uncle cleaned up their act and became super-helpful, and your mom said that an angel told her that uncle Billy had been replaced by a shapechanger, are you going to drop everything to go kill uncle Billy?
                    No, but if my mom had said that an angel took her to the place where the shapechanger buried Billy's body, I'd at least want to check that shit out.

                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    Sure, Deebs know Lunars exist. The average Deeb doesn't know Sids exist.
                    Right, do the rules say a Sidereal has to present themselves to the Dragon-Blooded as a Sidereal before they can say anything? That they couldn't pose as a gardener who stumbled across the dead Terrestrial's body?

                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    How much easier to put mortal agents on the case, to watch and monitor Uncle Billy to see if this accusation has merit? How much easier to raise a Wyld Hunt against a clear and present danger, with proof, other than a rumour from heaven?
                    And that's why a Sidereal probably wouldn't just pop in and say, "He's a Lunar. I know because I'm a Sidereal. You'll just have to take me at my word."

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                      Once again, he murdered this Dragon-Blooded and stepped into his life. I have my doubts that the Great House would readily look past that because he helps them with their finances or undergoes secret missions for them.

                      ​They take that shit kinda serious, for the same reason we take that shit kinda serious - there's no one in my family that I'd want killed and replaced by a benevolent doppelganger.
                      It shouldn't. There are people within and without the House who will surely expound on why it shouldn't. And in many many cases, that will be enough.

                      But, well... House Jurul threw in with a Lunar. And House Ledaal being very concerned about going the same way necessarily interplays with the fact that they keep interacting with shit that might draw them on that path. It's plausible that somewhere in there is somebody who can be pushed towards "the Shadow Crusade as a whole is so important that maybe this one single Anathema who seems to benefit it can be tolerated", and that might be a base that can grow.

                      House Ragara flirts with drastic heresy all the time, I'd honestly find it doubtful for them to have never trafficked at all with Anathema as it is. Sure they want to be on the top of any such exchange, and the official Bronze Faction position is going to be the kind of thing they look to and conclude "yeah, unmitigated Anathema is not compatible with us being on top". But a single Lunar who might be caught in their midst and reconciled with them (and maybe implanted with something that will go off if they get too dangerous)?

                      Those Houses stand out to me, others present more complicated scenarios that rest a bit more on the individuals.

                      Being clannish means you're supposed to care more when an outsider kills somebody that you might very well have killed yourself under any number of circumstances, but I think in practical terms there's a mindset that can lean towards "dead is dead either way". Clannishness means you can lose face for not redressing the death of even somebody you didn't like, but if you can effectively keep it a secret...

                      I can see complications and edge cases that are in keeping with the tone of Exalted. For those cases to spread out from the edge and overturn the standard model is a challenge big enough that even many Exalted would probably fail at it, but not assuredly fail.

                      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                      Here's the thing [...] I don't want her dead.
                      But can you roleplay somebody who would?

                      It's no thing if you personally cannot; if that's your boundary I'm gonna respect it. But I do think it's all right for the conversation to try and encompass more variety of standards and viewpoints.
                      Last edited by Isator Levi; 01-21-2020, 03:07 PM.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        But can you roleplay somebody who would?
                        Point, I suppose.

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                        • #27
                          "Did you know about the anathema that replaced your relative?"
                          "No."
                          "Nothing suspicious about their behavior."
                          "Well at first when they started being competent, and an asset to the House, and not a completely rancid pile of demon excrement, but they kept going and we never saw the ulterior motive come up. I'm sorry actually actually doing your duty as part of a Great House was never taught to me as sign of demonic replacement."

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                          • #28
                            So there is this fantastic RPG adventure for the game Night's Black Agents called The Dracula Dossier. The premise of the game Night's Black Agents is this: You were a spy, probably on the level of, like, a Jason Bourne, and then you learned that vampires are real and control the governments of the world. They learned that you learned about them, and proceeded to burn you, and now you're a burned spy and it's you and your allies against all the world's vampires.

                            The premise of the adventure The Dracula Dossier is this: Dracula, the book by Bram Stoker, is a disinformation campaign by the British government following an unsuccessful attempt to recruit a vampire, specifically Vlad Tepes, as a British intelligence asset. The text of the book is the after-action report of the attempt, altered and released as fiction to make it easy to discredit anyone who tries to report the operation as having really happened afterwards. All the names in the officially published version have been changed, many of the events have been changed, "Jonathan Harker" was probably an agent of the British government sent to recruit Dracula with the whole real estate deal thing being his cover, "Quincy Morris" was likely an American intelligence agent with an agenda of his own (possibly assigned to either attempt to recruit Dracula for the US instead or just prevent Britain from recruiting him), "Lucy" and/or "Mina" may or may not have been agents assigned with the task of acquiring vampirism by other means if Tepes himself became unavailable. The attempt went bad, Dracula was more interested in advancing his own agenda than becoming subordinate to British intelligence and was driven underground, and seems to have risen up and been driven back underground twice more, and now your Night's Black Agents PC in the modern day have found a copy of the original, unaltered-for-popular-distribution version of the after-action report with three generations of government agents' annotations describing the followup ops, and you have to use it to stop Dracula once and for all. The adventure includes the complete text of the supposed original after-action report, which is a lightly rewritten version of the Dracula novel with some extra material and annotations, and the play group can print it out, compare it to published versions of the Dracula novel, note inconsistencies, and pursue them as plot hooks.

                            I bring this up because in my post earlier, when I said "there is a chance the Lunar could get recruited as an asset," I don't mean "recruited as an ally." I mean recruited as a dangerous high-value asset in pretty much the same spirit in which The Dracula Dossier proposes that the British government might have set out to recruit Vlad Tepes Dracula. They know he is bad and they do not care because they are used to dealing with bad people, and they think they can control this one and the potential rewards are too great not to take the risk.

                            Also, when I said "depending on the Sidereal who notices the Lunar" I was raising the fact that the Bronze Faction is composed of individuals and does not take action as a hive mind. There are many Sidereals who would look at this thing and go "No, that's going to end in disaster, just gank the monster." But if the first Sidereal with command authority who becomes aware of the situation is the sort to make the other decision, the one where he goes "This is an opportunity too great to pass up," then it's irrelevant that not every Sidereal would have made the decision.
                            Last edited by Stephen Lea Sheppard; 01-22-2020, 01:36 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Looking back over the entry on House Ledaal in What Fire Has Wrought, the tone around the subject of them learning under strange mystics read to me as saying that the purpose of seeking out that uncanny knowledge was to have a more complete idea of what's out there in the world and to round out their own arsenal against that. With that in mind, my perspective on why one might associate with a seemingly cooperative Lunar shifted from "there's a bigger cause that this one might be useful against" to "this is a unique opportunity to get a better idea of what they're actually capable of".

                              I'm kind of given to assume that even the Ledaals don't have the best idea of what the actual extent of the powers of the Lunar Exalted are, in addition to a firm idea of what there operating methods might be. Given the prevailing attitudes of the Scarlet Dynasty, I'd go so far as to think that many underestimate exactly how strong Lunars are, or are capable of becoming, even regarding some of the grander feats of their more powerful Charms as matters of rumour, fisherfolk's tales and general exaggeration. The archives of House Ledaal probably contain a copy of every first hand account of a Wyld Hunt that has ever been put to paper, but I can imagine that even the most veteran and observant of shikari can only ever provide fragmentary and confused accounts of what exactly they faced in pursuit and battle against the Anathema, and I can see many a Ledaal being very frustrated by this in comparison to the greater academic rigour of the other works in their possession.

                              So I can see a Ledaal with access to a Lunar going about the process of Jojo Rabbit with his idea of writing a book about Jewish people. Publish a careful observation of the abilities and methods of a Lunar, maybe learn something new. At the very least, you'd be adding some literature that confirms and reaffirms any accurate knowledge they already possess, with maybe a bit of refinement.

                              I mean, if their usual alternative method was anything like sending Ledaal agents deep undercover....

                              Idea.

                              Ledaal Karvin is aware of his name, but has only ever had it told to him once, and has never in his life spoken it aloud. To all the rest of the world he is Banked Storm, outcaste strategist, logistics expert and adventurer.

                              In pursuit of their Shadow Crusade, House Ledaal has made a very secretive practice of sending agents, even their own scions, under deep cover in the Dominions of the Lunar Anathema for centuries. Not just to gather intelligence on their composition, assets and intelligence that might be used to prepare the legions and the Wyld Hunt ahead of enemy action, but to try and get a better direct look at the monsters and learn more about their personalities and dread powers.

                              Mahalanka has long been a prize jewel in these endeavours, for what is known of its size, the long history of its fearsome queen and her sheer brazenness. Many brave Exalted have been sent in, not a single one has returned. As far as the House is able to glean from second and third hand accounts, the agents of the Queen of Fangs have almost always been able to go out into the Threshold and find the gaps in the Dynasts' cover stories as outcastes. On other occasions, it is apparently some noticeable habit that is recognised as characteristic of a scion of a Great House that gives them away. Operations were finally suspended until a solution to these problems could be found. A compelling proposition was finally made; if their covers are blown by lack of outcaste background and recognisable Dynast habits, then those things merely need to be removed from the equation.

                              Ten newly pregnant women of the House volunteered their unborn children, taking extended tours in the Threshold to give birth in the utmost secrecy, even from their own husbands. The babies were then secreted with cells established by Ledaal across the North, South and East, some in mortal communities that they had quietly brought under their control, some placed with clans of outcastes who had no prior affiliation with the Realm but were being paid handsomely for the service.

                              From then on, the children were secretly raised to be the perfect infiltrators of the witch queen's city. While most of their lives would be spent in the company and with the upbringing of those they had been placed in the care of, the House would arrange for the placement of experts in stealth, observation and combat to contribute to their education in any case where they were not part of a community well-versed in those arts. Disguised members of Ledaal would regularly journey to oversee their projects, not just to add to their learning but to instil in them the values and motives of their great heritage and the wickedness and danger of the Anathema. These campaigns picked up dramatically once they started Exalting, of which a total of seven finally did (the remainder were brought back to the Blessed Isle to be added to the family register under the story of having been securely home-schooled, and then assigned to out of the way postings to ensure nobody ever took notice of their rustic upbringing). The goal was to produce scions who would be invested in the Shadow Crusade and loyal to the House while having lived all their lives in the Threshold and having not one other trait in common with their fellow Dynasts. Even the characteristic Ledaal contempt for mortals was withheld from their childhoods, their handlers knowing it could be a grave liability where their final destination was.

                              Karvin is the first of the seven to have actually made it to Mahalanka, having managed to live tolerably there for six years; his life before had been by far the closest to the Dominion, and while he was never told anything about the other six besides their existence (to assure him that should he fail, there would still be others to make the attempt), he's smart enough to guess that several would be thousands of miles away and won't make it there for years. Not if their progress is as careful as his was; he spent decades journeying around the Northeast plying his skills and pursuing fortunes for which he cared nothing, gradually edging his way towards his target. He finally managed to attach himself to a merchant caravan headed to the city in a role of managing and safeguarding the assets, and got himself placed in charge of the company's established warehouse for the long term. Karvin is aware that a few of Raksi's adherents look askance at him, but he keeps his head down and is certain that his background is impeccable, relying on the queen's permission for Dragon-Blooded of no connection to the Shogunate who make appropriate obeisance to do business in her city.

                              What he is unaware of is the current state of the Realm, and how his mission has been largely forgotten. Oh sure, his handlers (with whom he last had contact fifteen years ago, to further safeguard his distance) remember that he exists, they even got the coded message he had smuggled to them informing them that he had reached Mahalanka; he's just become a very low priority compared to the need to secure their Blessed Isle holdings and deal with the Mask of Winters. A priority so great that it was considered necessary to bring all hands on deck; the other six were called to join the House, their lifelong mission abruptly cancelled to instead apply their skills to weathering the current crisis (although a few were pointed directly into the orbit of Thorns, in the event that the same outcaste covers might serve to get them in there). Karvin is an asset of the Realm deep in enemy territory with no backup at all.

                              Still, he is truly dedicated to his role, and plays it well. He's only ever seen Raksi herself from afar, finding her both beguiling and deeply horrifying, but has compiled every scrap of information that might be widely discussed about her in the city and has examined her workings as closely as possible without being suspicious. He's even formed tentative relationships with some of the few Lunars who will not disregard him outright for being a Terrestrial, and while he's careful to never ask them about their business outright he listens closely to all they might say while unsuspecting of just how good he is at reading between the lines and deducing conclusions. He's already made very accurate guesses about several of their backgrounds, life stories and the kinds of operations they've conducted against the Realm. It's easy enough for him to keep a straight face while hearing or reasoning about atrocities committed against his homeland, as he's ideologically loyal to it as an intellectual matter, but has no deep emotional attachment. His position managing the warehouse also provides him with a ready cover for knowing a lot about the economic and administrative workings of the business.

                              While he feels secure in his position, confident that his cover has long since stood up to any scrutiny the Anathema might have applied to it, he's just about ready to depart before he might push his luck, ready to leave further observations to the next agent to arrive (and willing at the last stage to take the risk of hiding a few coded messages for them to find that would inform them of where he left off, lest they repeat his own work). When the next scheduled caravan departs, he intends to go with it. He does hope to gather one last piece of intel before he goes; he's managed to notice that something seems to have the Lunars and other higher ups in a bit of an anxious state, and would like to figure out what as his final act.

                              In service to his work, Karvin's most treasured and secret possession is a device he discovered in a ruin on the shores of Mela's Fangs, a crystalline heron that he has determined serves as a mobile communication device ideal for intelligence work such as his. The bird serves as a kind of living memory stone, capable of having a massive quantity of the experiences and knowledge of its possessor stored within it, before being instructed to seek a particular target and relay all it knows. It can even be left with standing orders, and for years has held the instruction to depart immediately for the city of Arjuf should he ever be exposed (even if he doubts it would make it past Raksi's sorcery). His intention is to set it loose ahead of him to carry his findings back to his family first thing on making it out of the Total Control Zone of the Thousand Fangs Army.


                              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                              • #30
                                That is a really cool NPC.

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