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  • Tell me about The Realm

    Hi everyone,

    I've always had trouble reading settings with lots of historical and technical details about factions and such, so I'm really sad to have 0 motivation to read about DB society in DB:WFHW and The Realm. I feel like I'm reading too much trivia and I just can't keep concentrating or memorize them. So I thought if I could simply discuss it with people, and see what they liked about this specific part of the setting it would stick better in my mind.

    So the concept is quite simple : Tell me one of the thing that marked you the most, that you prefer, or that you really want to share, about The Realm functioning (may be about Houses, the History of The Realm, its administration, etc ...)

    I'll start with one thing : I love all the dramatic way DB parents have to "neglect" the emotional well-being of their children in order to make them into responsible leaders. It's extremely tragic but very touching and at the same time completely disgusting.


    My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

  • #2
    On the one hand: I hate these kinds of threads because they invariably lead to overlooking nuance and creating memeification.

    On the other hand: I love these kinds of threads. I'm in.

    ****

    On parenting: this isn't so dissimilar from real world societies. From Communist communes to Spartan Agoge: The State recognises the Child as its most malleable citizen, and the family as the most direct obstacle. Layer on mystic eugenics and build your empire on the ruins of a clan-centric Shogunate... and I don't see how you could end up with anything else.

    ****

    One thing I like: The Realm holds the centre of the world.

    It's a wealthy, propserous, cultured empire. They have access to resources and amenities (which we might come to later), that most city-states and Threshold kingdoms do not. Theirs is an elite and martial culture (built on stolen wealth), and the Realm is the centre of culture and learning (for most of the civilised world).

    It does not directly rule beyond the boarders of the Blessed Isle in the middle of the world, but many neighbouring states (which range from city states to small kingdoms, with smaller states collected together for ease of administration) pay tribute as client states. These "Satrapies" (distinct from real life Satrapies) have their own laws, rulers (who are usually normal mortals, Realm Dynasts being forbidden from ruling Satrapies), customs and the Realm appointed Satrap has very little to do with actually running the state -- they collect the tribute and notionally offer advice to the rulers as viziers. Likewise, whilst the Satrapy will have its own Garision of troops, these are soldiers supplied by the Satrap's Great House -- they're not Realm Legionaires. So far as practicable, the existing military of the client state is kept intact.

    What this means is the Realm is the Blessed Isle. The rest of the setting... well that's not the Realm.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-26-2020, 01:43 PM.


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

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    • #3
      The Scarlet Empress intentionally designed the Realm not to function without her. The satrapies all technically belong to her, but she leased them to the Great Houses (and held the sole authority to renegotiate or revoke those leases). The senate is designed to gridlock without her intervention. The Great Houses all draw their legitimacy from her bloodline, and several ascended to that status specifically to counter or replace Great Houses that no longer suited her needs. Nobody has access to the Realm Defense Grid but her. House Iselsi, supposedly ruined and destroyed, hung on as infiltrators of high society under the assumption that she'd eventually reinstate them. Her secret police have nobody to report to now.

      Of course, she did grow up in the Dragon-Blooded Shogunate, a governmental system beset by constant wars of succession and rival claims of legitimate authority. One might conclude that she saw what became of a world without a strong central authority, and decided she'd never live in such a world again.


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      • #4
        There’s a community on the Blessed Isle where the Homeowner’s Association has crazy byzantine laws and requires regular lavish parades to be thrown, lest Anathema Ghosts rise up and murder everyone. It’s really exclusive and being allowed to live there is considered a great honor that can’t be refused, even if you know better.


        ....

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dex Davican View Post
          The Scarlet Empress intentionally designed the Realm not to function without her. The satrapies all technically belong to her, but she leased them to the Great Houses (and held the sole authority to renegotiate or revoke those leases). The senate is designed to gridlock without her intervention. The Great Houses all draw their legitimacy from her bloodline, and several ascended to that status specifically to counter or replace Great Houses that no longer suited her needs. Nobody has access to the Realm Defense Grid but her. House Iselsi, supposedly ruined and destroyed, hung on as infiltrators of high society under the assumption that she'd eventually reinstate them. Her secret police have nobody to report to now.

          Of course, she did grow up in the Dragon-Blooded Shogunate, a governmental system beset by constant wars of succession and rival claims of legitimate authority. One might conclude that she saw what became of a world without a strong central authority, and decided she'd never live in such a world again.
          She’s also a hot take on China’s first emperor, who set up a similar system and decided to live forever, instead of making a stable government with some kind of orderly succession rules. His empire fell apart shortly after he died too.


          ....

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          • #6
            Something 3e does with the Blessed Isle to me that stands out is that it's very mcuh a cotninetn in itself for real this time it feels. The Isle is ancient, has had many different polities over the centuries, and the current Scarlet Realm is probably the first time in a long time, if ever, it was united under a single government besides nominal control the Shogunate or Deliberative had. The Empress uniting it wasn't a guarantee as rarely if ever been so. She secured the Grid, but her success after is a matter of good politics, support, luck, and it seems like she honeslty got along well with one of the local potential future rivals (Rawar of Arjuf).

            Kind of a thing wiht 3e also I really like in general i show the Empress' children are discussed in relaitont o the Dynasty more. Mnemon, V'Neef, and Ragara and their views of one-another and their mother is pretty awesome I think. That we also get other children of the Empress about without hosues to thie rname like Beret, Rulinsei and Oban is pretty sweet. Even just that she has a mortal son in Ivoret in the Imperial Palace is a nice touch that adds a lot. And I like that we have more compelxity to the houses, when they were found, and their founders, as well as those who were the Empress children, adoptees, and others and how that all relates together.


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            • #7
              She’s also a hot take on China’s first emperor, who set up a similar system and decided to live forever, instead of making a stable government with some kind of orderly succession rules. His empire fell apart shortly after he died too.
              The Scarlet Empress is also reminiscent of Empress Dowager Cixi, in that she's deliberately hamstrung her own nation in order to stay in power. The Realm may be the strongest military and economic power in the setting, but its bureaucracy is full of intentionally placed flaws designed to check their ability to function without her as arbiter. She fears military uprisings, so whenever a military house gets too powerful, she orchestrates their downfall.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

                One thing I like: The Realm holds the centre of the world.

                It's a wealthy, propserous, cultured empire. They have access to resources and amenities (which we might come to later), that most city-states and Threshold kingdoms do not. Theirs is an elite and martial culture (built on stolen wealth), and the Realm is the centre of culture and learning (for most of the civilised world).

                It does not directly rule beyond the boarders of the Blessed Isle in the middle of the world, but many neighbouring states (which range from city states to small kingdoms, with smaller states collected together for ease of administration) pay tribute as client states. These "Satrapies" (distinct from real life Satrapies) have their own laws, rulers (who are usually normal mortals), customs and the Realm appointed Satrap has very little to do with actually running the state -- they collect the tribute and notionally offer advice to the rulers as viziers. Likewise, whilst the Satrapy will have its own Garision of troops, these are soldiers supplied by the Satrap's Great House -- they're not Realm Legionaires. So far as practicable, the existing military of the client state is kept intact.

                What this means is the Realm is the Blessed Isle. The rest of the setting... well that's not the Realm.
                So actually the satrapies are much more independant than I would imagine. It's interesting. But still they have to comply heavily to the Immaculate Order faith I believe ?


                My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dex Davican View Post
                  The Scarlet Empress intentionally designed the Realm not to function without her. The satrapies all technically belong to her, but she leased them to the Great Houses (and held the sole authority to renegotiate or revoke those leases). The senate is designed to gridlock without her intervention. The Great Houses all draw their legitimacy from her bloodline, and several ascended to that status specifically to counter or replace Great Houses that no longer suited her needs. Nobody has access to the Realm Defense Grid but her. House Iselsi, supposedly ruined and destroyed, hung on as infiltrators of high society under the assumption that she'd eventually reinstate them. Her secret police have nobody to report to now.

                  Of course, she did grow up in the Dragon-Blooded Shogunate, a governmental system beset by constant wars of succession and rival claims of legitimate authority. One might conclude that she saw what became of a world without a strong central authority, and decided she'd never live in such a world again.
                  So what happens technically since her disappearance ? Does these administratives functions stop or were they shared among many pretendants ?


                  My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chausse View Post

                    So actually the satrapies are much more independant than I would imagine. It's interesting. But still they have to comply heavily to the Immaculate Order faith I believe ?
                    It is expected that they adpot the Immaculate Philosophy. But exceptions exist -- Fajad is specifically called out as keeping its old religion. Harborhead is also dominated by Ahlat's cult.

                    The Realm also generally incorporates local religious beliefs. If local gods are compliant, then "Oestra" becomes "Easter" and life goes on as normal complete with Bunny Rabbits and Eggs.


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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chausse View Post

                      So what happens technically since her disappearance ? Does these administratives functions stop or were they shared among many pretendants ?
                      Honestly, I don't know.

                      All I can imagine is what would happen if my boss suddenly stopped turning up for work, and there was no-one who could hire someone new.

                      I know what MY job is. Whether my boss turns up for work or not, I can clock in, do what I'm supposed to do and go home.

                      I kinda know what my boss's job is: at least, I know what they do for me. I know that they send the payroll down each month. I know that if they aren't at work then someone has to send the payroll or I'm not getting paid. I know the hours the team and I work... so even though I've never done a pay run, I reckon I could just take on a little bit more responsibility and get it done.

                      But mistakes happen in the pay run. They happened when the boss was here. More are going to happen now. I don't understand the process, so I probably can't fix the problems.

                      My boss also has a Tuesday meeting. No idea who with or what for.

                      Sally and Rosie hate each other, but the boss put them on the same rota before they disappeared. Do I keep them working together? Do I break them up? What was the plan? Was there a plan?

                      If the boss isn't here, who punishes bad behaviour? Who rewards good workers? Who hires? Who fires?

                      Now write that on the scale of a continent spanning empire.

                      Technically, there's a Regent standing in for the Empress. But he's incompetent. So you have thousands of people like me, all grabbing at their boss's power. Some of them are ambitious back-biters. Some of them are just trying to do their jobs.

                      Things aren't going to fall apart overnight. People are sensible. They know their own business.

                      But things are going to fall apart.

                      Some functions have just stopped working. Only the Empress can make a new magistrate.

                      Some have been seized by pretenders. The Imperial Legions have been subsumed by the Great Houses.
                      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-26-2020, 01:34 PM.


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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blaque View Post
                        Something 3e does with the Blessed Isle to me that stands out is that it's very mcuh a cotninetn in itself for real this time it feels. The Isle is ancient, has had many different polities over the centuries, and the current Scarlet Realm is probably the first time in a long time, if ever, it was united under a single government besides nominal control the Shogunate or Deliberative had. The Empress uniting it wasn't a guarantee as rarely if ever been so. She secured the Grid, but her success after is a matter of good politics, support, luck, and it seems like she honeslty got along well with one of the local potential future rivals (Rawar of Arjuf).
                        Does it make sense to keep descendant of ancient cultures/practices on the Blessed Isle, with their rivalries coming back to before the Birth of the Realm, and such ? Or have they been uniformized since the Realm and now they would be very rare occurences ?


                        My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chausse View Post

                          Does it make sense to keep descendant of ancient cultures/practices on the Blessed Isle, with their rivalries coming back to before the Birth of the Realm, and such ?
                          One might assume that the power to change them is also somewhat limited.

                          Also that it may have been possible for certain cultures to exist simultaneously without being antagonistic.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chausse View Post

                            So actually the satrapies are much more independant than I would imagine. It's interesting. But still they have to comply heavily to the Immaculate Order faith I believe ?
                            In fact Realm Dynasts are forbidden from ruling satrapies. Satrapies govern themselves, but must follow two rules. They must pay tribute to the Realm, which takes the form of anything the Empire specifies, it can be anything from silver to spices to slaves, usually once every two weeks. They must also accept the Immaculate Faith as their official religion and follow it. The satrap is installed with a Realm garrison to ensure those two rules are followed, but otherwise the satrapy does what it likes.

                            In return it benefits from imperial military protection, special trade and travel deals with the rest of the empire, immaculates to deal with spirits, and most importantly the Realm wont come and wage war on you. It’s usually a raw deal but the Realm has a BG enough stick that you basically have to take it, although a lot of places become satrapies without any bloodshed. Skilled imperial diplomats can convince people of the benefits, and some places even petition to become a satrapy if they’re in imminent danger and want the support of legions.


                            I think one of my favourite parts of the Realm book relates to the postal service. It’s an absolutely massive network of couriers, mail people, and even semaphore towers that give the Realm a flow of goods and information unprecedented in the second age. They’re also kind of heroes of the people, because a lot of horse riders will take on packages from peasants if they’re already headed in that direction. Plus they have a cool kind of legendary feel to them where you just know there’s tales of a delivery of medicine that a Realm courier had to ride through a stormy mountain pass all night to deliver.


                            Also the all seeing eye is pretty cool. Most of its agents aren’t actually full time spies, which makes sense. There might be a monk or a merchant or a soldier full time, but secretly they’re also reporting to a handler in the Eye.


                            I also love the deliberative. As it was under the empress it was a bit of a puppet just there for show, but now that she’s gone...

                            https://youtu.be/wd-_ygxZoeU
                            https://youtu.be/LMYDSyqNpQo
                            https://youtu.be/s6UbYHCkoZs

                            Which could be pretty cool.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                              In fact Realm Dynasts are forbidden from ruling satrapies. Satrapies govern themselves, but must follow two rules. They must pay tribute to the Realm, which takes the form of anything the Empire specifies, it can be anything from silver to spices to slaves, usually once every two weeks.
                              Once or twice A YEAR.

                              (The Realm, page 149)

                              They must also accept the Immaculate Faith as their official religion and follow it.
                              Immaculate Philosophy. (The Realm, page 86.)


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

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