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Why the Lunars didn't take over the Realm after the Contagion?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by pcontop View Post
    Perhaps they did try!

    How could anybody know, in the chaos of the post-contagion, how many of the Seven Tigers generals were indeed lunars in disguise?
    I mean, for reasons stated upthread. And I think for general dramatic reasons of, especially in 3e, not tyring ot say everything which seemed importatn was Actually a Celestial in Disguise. I think also that the Seven Tigers appeared to have had enough trust and built up power base to be the Dragon-Blooded Daimyos they calimed to be, or enough that if it weren't the case it's meaningless since they got sky-lasered.


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    • #62
      Originally posted by pcontop View Post
      How could anybody know, in the chaos of the post-contagion, how many of the Seven Tigers generals were indeed lunars in disguise?
      They might notice that the general’s shadow seems to keep attempting to strangle the shadows of other Dragon-Blooded in his vicinity.

      Or that he doesn’t cast a reflection.

      Or how his anima doesn’t burn them.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
        They might notice that the general’s shadow seems to keep attempting to strangle the shadows of other Dragon-Blooded in his vicinity.

        Or that he doesn’t cast a reflection.

        Or how his anima doesn’t burn them.
        Well, DB anima flux won't burn other DBs, anyway. As for the rest:

        "Oh that? It was due to the damn Fair Folk! You should know better manners than putting it in words, 'Purple Skin' Yashimoto! "

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        • #64
          On the one hand: used sparingly , "X is really Y in disguise" can be a great source of drama.

          On the other: Terrestrial Exalted are Exalted. They're the elemental supersoliders who have ruled Creation for two thousand years. They're epic, mystically enlightened, larger than life heroes. You don't look at Superman and say "Yeah, but The Presence is stronger, so when Supes beats up Solomon Grundy, that was really The Presence in disguise".

          If the question is "why didn't Y do Z?" then the answer of "Because thousands of Exalted would have stopped them" should be sufficient.


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          • #65
            Originally posted by Numinous View Post
            Coordinated Lunar assault can easily break such opposition and occupy the ground. Though admittedly Bronze Faction intervention remains a problem.
            It sure can.
            As a matter of fact, it did! There are lunar holdings that openly defy the Realm, even today.

            Why would you think a scattered lunar host would fare better than this against an organized, if wounded, power that has beaten them on better days?
            Last edited by Synapse; 06-25-2020, 08:08 AM.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
              On the one hand: used sparingly , "X is really Y in disguise" can be a great source of drama.

              On the other: Terrestrial Exalted are Exalted. They're the elemental supersoliders who have ruled Creation for two thousand years. They're epic, mystically enlightened, larger than life heroes. You don't look at Superman and say "Yeah, but The Presence is stronger, so when Supes beats up Solomon Grundy, that was really The Presence in disguise".

              If the question is "why didn't Y do Z?" then the answer of "Because thousands of Exalted would have stopped them" should be sufficient.
              I would say that if there was a time to go for opportunistic action, the post-contagion would be it. Lunars are powers on themselves as individuals, DBs are much more dependent on organization. It is unlikely that some lunar would not jump on the opportunity (as, you know, the Empress did). Of course, they did not succeed, but this is beside the point. There should be lots of stories to be told about the epoch.

              If we are talking about defeatism, it only got worse from then on. In the current Realm year, there are more DBs than right after armageddon, and they are more organized (even with the civil war). Why is it applicable to say that 'Nothing can be done because thousands of DBs will stop you!' then, and not now? I would say that either way, it wouldn't be.


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              • #67
                This conversation is maddening even from the sidelines. It makes me think that the central, initial question of this thread isn’t really a question but rather a veiled position for debate.


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                • #68
                  Originally posted by pcontop View Post

                  I would say that if there was a time to go for opportunistic action, the post-contagion would be it. Lunars are powers on themselves as individuals, DBs are much more dependent on organization. It is unlikely that some lunar would not jump on the opportunity (as, you know, the Empress did). Of course, they did not succeed, but this is beside the point. There should be lots of stories to be told about the epoch.

                  If we are talking about defeatism, it only got worse from then on. In the current Realm year, there are more DBs than right after armageddon, and they are more organized (even with the civil war). Why is it applicable to say that 'Nothing can be done because thousands of DBs will stop you!' then, and not now? I would say that either way, it wouldn't be.

                  Phrasing.

                  Why DIDN'T something happen? The Exalted.

                  That doesn't mean something COULDN'T happen in the future.

                  Saying the Western dark age happened because of the Fall of Rome, does not mean that the Renaissance can never happen.

                  If you want to tell stories about the early Lunar assaults on the Realm, I agree with you -- there are probably lots of them.

                  But they didn't fail because the Empress is really a Solar in disguise. They failed because the Dragon-Blooded are amazingly powerful demi-gods.


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

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by pcontop View Post

                    I would say that if there was a time to go for opportunistic action, the post-contagion would be it. Lunars are powers on themselves as individuals, DBs are much more dependent on organization. It is unlikely that some lunar would not jump on the opportunity (as, you know, the Empress did). Of course, they did not succeed, but this is beside the point. There should be lots of stories to be told about the epoch.

                    If we are talking about defeatism, it only got worse from then on. In the current Realm year, there are more DBs than right after armageddon, and they are more organized (even with the civil war). Why is it applicable to say that 'Nothing can be done because thousands of DBs will stop you!' then, and not now? I would say that either way, it wouldn't be.

                    So something to remember is that despite the Empress' use of the Sword of Creation, what "taking a move" even was is not clear. At the early days, the Blessed Isle had at least two polities (the Empress' Realm, Arjuf) and maybe a few more. You had Lookshy and Grand Cherak poised to rival them. And there might ahve been two or three other polities scattered about that Lunars did smash into bits, or which evnetually went sideways and weird like the Cult of the Violet Fang. So it might have just as much been "Do what exactly?", along with other issues like what SLS noted with how folks are just picking pu pieces, the Shogunate the Silver Pact had been fighting for centuries to this point was more or less defeated already, and non-DB shit like Bagrash Kol was showing up.

                    I honeslty am also not sure what winning or trying to take out the early Empress achieves that doing the same to Lookshy, Arjuf, or Cherak would have not been similarly the case. Besides the Sword, she actuallys eemed to kind of be the least likely to win IMHO (no real city base, less Shoguante infrastructure in tact ect.) It wouldnt' be at least a cnetury I think before folks realized she was the Big Deal and by then it was probably already too late. And even then, folks actually did try anyhow.


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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by pcontop View Post
                      There should be lots of stories to be told about the epoch.
                      I disagree.

                      I think it's fine for people to talk about an earlier phase of the setting as a place in which they might want to set a game, but I find myself doubting that this is really an intended (or at least prioritized) element of the gameplay, and hence the backstory is not particularly written to accommodate it. In which case, no, there shouldn't be lots of stories to tell; tell the one that matters and then move on. There's plenty of time between Realm Year 0 and game year 0 in which to give Lunars their due and they've gotten it, it is not necessary to put them absolutely everywhere.

                      The story of the Realm's founding is perfectly cromulent even if Lunars are absent from it.

                      Originally posted by pcontop
                      there are more DBs than right after armageddon, and they are more organized (even with the civil war).
                      They really aren't. The origin story for the Realm has always included just about every Dragon Blood of the Blessed Isle, including those in the (still professionally organised) military apparatus, pledging themselves to the new authority figure pretty quickly. They even put up with undignified procedures to be able to get personal audiences with her. The biggest discord apparently came from one petitioner being a bit patronising and presumptuous, before changing tack right quickly when the Empress chided him. It would seem that everybody prioritized harmony in a time of such extreme crisis.

                      The current Realm is very much one in which the Houses are in fierce opposition to one another, ready to pull one another down to prevent them from rising to a greater position, and with several internal fracture points of divided loyalties and hidden agendas, having also recently compromised the efficiency of their military by not only dividing its strength under ten different organisers but gutted its meritocratic officer class in favour of appointments based on family loyalties.

                      They're also written as not taking the Lunars that seriously. One can presume that the Shogunate was a lot more dedicated to fighting the Lunars and sussing out its threat within their own ranks, given descriptions of what the likes of Raksi were doing, which is also an environment in which effective infiltration is presumably more challenging. The way the Realm is written in Third Edition, they find an equilibrium of "don't attack the heartland of the Realm hard enough to make a lot of them more concerned with coming back down on us". The Realm is supposed to have been a lot stronger in the past (even if never having the military power of the Shogunate, it was more internally stable, had sustained policies and a well fortified central point of control), and Lunar policies were already effectively weakening it. The Time of Tumult represents what might be an unexpected boon to provide an opportunity to defeat that weaker Realm in detail.

                      (It may also represent possibilities that I imagine to have been a concern of several leading Lunars that had them argue against continuing to try and assassinate the Scarlet Empress)

                      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post


                      Saying the Western dark age happened because of the Fall of Rome, does not mean that the Renaissance can never happen.
                      Certainly helps that modern historography doesn't really consider the dark age to have been a thing anymore. There are references now to a Frankish Renaissance. Architecture, agriculture and metallurgy continued to incrementally improve between the end of the Western Roman Empire and whatever starting point one might give to the Renaissance.
                      Last edited by Isator Levi; 06-26-2020, 06:22 AM.


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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                        The story of the Realm's founding is perfectly cromulent even if Lunars are absent from it.
                        As established though, Lunars aren't absent from it. Lunar attempts on the life of the Empress are enshrined in 3E canon.

                        You are correct that this isn't the default or intended time period to play in. But certainly there are dozens of stories which could be told in this time period.

                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        Certainly helps that modern historography doesn't really consider the dark age to have been a thing anymore. There are references now to a Frankish Renaissance. Architecture, agriculture and metallurgy continued to incrementally improve between the end of the Western Roman Empire and whatever starting point one might give to the Renaissance.
                        Saying Apollo 1 did fail because of a cabin fire doesn't mean Apollo 11 couldn't succeed.

                        It's not incredulous that a fire which kills the entire crew might stop a space mission, as it is not incredulous that an empire of superpowered, mystic warriors wielding the power of the elements might prove victorious over magical shapeshifters empowered by the moon.

                        Which is not to say the shapeshifters can't win, or couldn't have won, or that they won't eventually win thanks in part to learning from their mistakes, or seeking incremental victory. Merely that they didn't win, and this should not strain credulity.

                        Just as it shouldn't strain credulity that the Divine Revolution was successful, nor the Usurpation.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by pcontop View Post
                          Perhaps they did try!

                          How could anybody know, in the chaos of the post-contagion, how many of the Seven Tigers generals were indeed lunars in disguise?
                          The way this has phrased makes me imagine a Lunar killing one of the Seven Tigers only to discover that another Lunar infiltrator had beaten them to it.


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                          • #73
                            IMO, having the Seven Tigers be Lunars takes a bit of narrative gravity out of the situation. They're supposed to be the last gasp of the anarchic warlordism that defined the Shogunate. The Empress defeating them symbolizes her defeat of the old de facto order where the Dragonblooded openly fought one another for shortsighted temporal power. Lookshy's grievance with the Empress has to do with chain of command and adherence to the de jure ideals of the Shogunate. The Seven Tigers' issue with the Empress is largely "We have bigger armies and we want the power she has," which is largely what the Shogunate was underneath its ideals.
                            Last edited by HamSandLich; 06-26-2020, 09:55 AM.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by HamSandLich View Post
                              IMO, having the Seven Tigers be Lunars takes a bit of narrative gravity out of the situation. They're supposed to be the last gasp of the anarchic warlordism that defined the Shogunate. The Empress defeating them symbolizes her defeat of the old de facto order where the Dragonblooded openly fought one another for shortsighted temporal power. Lookshy's grievance with the Empress has to do with chain of command and adherence to the de jure ideals of the Shogunate. The Seven Tigers' issue with the Empress is largely "We have bigger armies and we want the power she has," which is largely what the Shogunate was underneath its ideals.

                              I would say that having one of the Seven Tigers be a Lunar in disguise doesn't really diminish this, but any more than that would not be a good idea.

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                              • #75
                                "How did we miss this? He's literally a tiger."

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