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Tell me about your realm civil war!

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  • Tell me about your realm civil war!

    I'm currently planning a dragon blooded game to start probably next month. One of the things the strikes me when reading dragon blooded is the obvious potential for a war for the throne. Inspire me! Tell me about your realm wars for the throne. What houses allied who? What were the big events and battles? Who ended up on the throne?

  • #2
    Peleps fled West. Vneef got gutted right of the gate. Currently the big fight is between the Cathak-Mnemon-Ledaal bloc headed by Mnemon and the Ragara-Cynis-Sesus led by Banoba. Nellens and Tepet are just trying to survive in their little Northwestern corner of the isle and are the only ones that seem to care about all the Lunars running amok.

    Vneef is chained up in Mnemon's basement, Ragara has gone full heresy and the Roseblack is currently vacationing in Stygia. The Admiralty Board is playing ping-pong with soulbreaker orbs.

    Shit's fucked.

    Are you in the market for some Martial Arts? Perhaps some custom Artifacts for your campaign?


    • #3
      I've had a few across the editions... few highlights:

      2E Dragon-Blooded Game: This one was fun. I ST'ed, the players were the "Reincarnations" of the Immaculate Dragons (not really, but they were loaded with Sidereal buffs). The game lasted about a hundred sessions. The war started with Tepet Ejava being recalled to the Blessed Isle to face trial, but instead declaring martial law. Mnemon leads a colliation against the Usurper (that's a theme that pops up a lot), which is somewhat hampered by no-one actually wanting Mnemon on the Throne. Twists, turns, alliances, betrayal. In the end, the PCs put Ledaal Kes on the Throne. I say "the end", because a solid third of the game was putting down various challengers to the new order and cemeting Kes as Emperor.

      2E Solariod Game: I was a player for this one. We started the Realm Civil War by assassinating Mnemon, then we jaunted off into the Wyld. We came back to find the Realm in flames and various "Anathema" kingdoms rising up around Creation. My Fiend suggests we restore the Scarlet Empress to her throne. Which we do. After a fashion. Once more, a decent chunk of the game is what happens once the war is ostensibly "over". Ultimately, our Dawn became the President of the Blessed Isle and we hold an awkward detent with the Threshold powers.

      3E Dragon-Blooded Game: The (House Mnemon) PCs accidently deliver a Peach of Immortality of Cathak Cainan. Whoops. House Ragara immediately backs Cainan for Empress, purportedly on the grounds that the Elemental Dragons have clearly chosen Cainan to lead the Dragon-Blooded Host, and shown their favor by restoring his youth. In reality, Ragara is curious about this miracle and wants to see if he can duplicate it to restore his own youth. House Peleps, wanting to break away and form their own Empire in the West, also sides with Cainan, hoping for a quick win. House Sesus opposes Cainan, just to be belligerent. House Cynis basically abandons their holdings on the Blessed Isle and heads to the Threshold, reinforcing their Satrapies, raiding the undefended Satrapies of rivial houses, and claiming the War Manse at Greyfalls. The PCs have to try and build a coalition for Mnemon, which starts with lukewarm support from House Ledaal and outright hostility from everyone else. None of the other Houses want to stand against Cathak (biggest army), Peleps (biggest navy), and Ragara (the Imperial Bank)... and they especially don't want to ally with Mnemon. But the PCs manage to piece together an alliance of incredibly unlikely bedfellows -- first they recruit V'neef and Berit, and lastly they recruit Nellens and Sesus. They basically leverage personal friendships, manipulate insecurities, make a pile of promises, deliver timely military aid, and recruit the Jadeborn to Mnemon's cause. The fallout is catastrophic -- the Palace Sublime is destroyed when the PCs unleash two Thousand Forged Dragons, the Sesus legions are butchered, Mnemon summons Octavian into Creation, the PC's marry their children into House Sesus, Cainan kills Sesus Raenyah, House Peleps flees West, Ragara kills Cainan, the PCs kill Ragara (sidenote: Ragara is a brick-shithouse, the PCs only won that one thanks to the action economy, and he still managed to incap all but one of them), Oban and Nellens Gazal marry... The PCs interogate ghosts, steal alchemical soil, sabotage a shipment of firewands designed to shoot further, burn ships in harbor to rob Peleps of their naval advantages, blow up Berit's house, ransom prisoners, plan battles, build monoliths to redirect the uncontrolled energies spilling out of the Valley of the Ancients that threaten to burn the Blessed Isle to the ground, stubbornly ignore a valley lighting up with Solar anima colors, fight an ancient Solar ghost piloting a Warstrider, have a fist fight with Chejop Kejak (and lose), speak with a holographic projection of Autochthon, and almost, but not quite, take control of the Imperial Manse. In the end, five Great Houses are struck from the roles (including Great House Mnemon), three new Great Houses are raised to replace them, the Realm is overhauled (to give more power to the Great Houses -- what could go wrong?), and Mnemon rules as Empress. (The Sword of Creation is, as of yet, still unclaimed.)

      Some of the big battles from that one:

      The Battle of Rolling Waves -- Early in the war, V'neef declares for Regent Fokuf, and the Patrician Houses of the Imperial City openly back her in a bid to maintain order. Sesus forces refuse to let V'neef take the throne by proxy, even as Cathak Cainan leads his legions in an attack on the Imperial City. The result is a three-way battle which ends in a massacre for House Sesus (caught between the Cathak legions and the walls of the Imperial City). This is partially planned, House Sesus wish to publicly weaken their position, in order to lure Cathak into overextending and place spies into the Imperial City among refugees, whilst shifting to fighting a shadow war with guerrila tactics. However, whilst Dragon-Blooded casualities are within acceptable margins, Cainan unleashes his full Exalted might on the mortal troops of House Sesus, butchering them by the thousands in the bloodiest encounter in the war. V'neef forces settle in for a siege. The PCs rescue Oban as Cainan outmaneuvers then slaughters Sesus Raenyah in single combat.

      The Reaving of the Imperial City -- The PCs have history with Peleps Lundaer, Admiral of the Fire Fleet. Whilst the PCs negotiate with V'neef to join the Mnemon coallition against Cainan, Lundaer attacks the Imperial City with a lightning fast strike. The PCs raise the alarm, topple buildings, coordinate defenses, but all they can do is buy time to flee, as a powerful elder and once trusted friend seizes the capital.

      Plumbing Black Waters -- House Iselsi has assassinated Regent Tepet Fokuf, and the PCs are out for revenge! Speeding to Sion, they bring war to the sad Patrician House that dares strike out against its betters. But the House of Black Waters turns out to be a death trap. Rooms that fall away into bottomless pits, enchanted passageways, blasts of alchemical lightning, poisons of every description, enchanted paintings, and an armored kraken, make every step through the manse a grueling lesson in pain.

      Let Sleeping Ancients Lie -- In a desperate bid for power, Ragara Banoba orders the plunder of The Cathedral of Sublime Annihilation, an ancient, First Age Warstrider burried with its former master in the Valley of the Ancients. The Arch Deacon of Annihilation has something to say about their tomb being defiled. Do not rouse the ghosts of ancient and terrible Solars kids! The PCs help Ragara Bhagwei reailgn the geomantic energies of the Valley of the Ancients in order to prevent a catastrophic energy build up from literally tearing the Blessed Isle in two, then lay the Smack Down on the Warstrider (which ends up too badly damaged for either side to use).

      Two Weddings and a Funeral -- The PCs arrange the marriage of their children to prominent Sesus scions. Where better to do this, than in the city of Bright Obelisk -- a location important to both House Mnemon and House Sesus. For why this might not be the best of ideas, see The Realm, page 140 (city is under a powerful Lunar curse).

      Battle of Arjuf -- Cathak troops lay siege to Arjuf, defended by House Ledaal and the remaining Sesus troops. Ledaal quits the field, leading to the further massacre of Sesus forces. Ledaal claims that the battle was unwinnable and retreat the only option. Sesus accuses Ledaal of treachery a la Battle of Futile Blood. Cathak rallies their forces and makes for a final push to force Ledaal to surrender.

      Liberation of the Imperial City -- The PCs split into two groups. One supports Berit as she leads a coallition of Mnemon, Sesus, and Nellens troops to take back the Imperial City. One sneaks into the throne room to assassinate Emperor Cainan. Cainan needed a lot of support to make this an interesting fight -- PCs are beasts. In the end, when it was clear Cainan wasn't going to win (Earth Dragon Style is a redonkulous hard-counter to Cathak Cainan), Ragara literally stabs the Emperor in the back and steals his youth. Cainan's Sidereal advisor then says "Just as planned" and Travel Without Distances them away from the PCs.

      Second Battle of Arjuf -- The Mnemon coalition recruits Tepet Ejava, who leads the unbloodied Tepet Legion against "Cathak" forces, now led by Ragara Banoba. Each side has a Thousand Forged Dragon, and the fight is no-holds barred -- enemy Dragon-Blooded are to be killed, not captured and ransomed. The Battle of Rolling Waves kills tens of thousands of mortals (whilst their officers are captured), but the Second Battle of Arjuf kills hundreds of Dragon-Blooded (whilst their mortal troops just desert and run).

      Battle for the Imperial Manse -- Ragara, his Hearth, and their Sidereal advisor descend into the Imperial Manse to try and claim the awesome power of the Sword of Creation. Our heroes and their allies follow in Ragara's wake. They fight the manse's many strange guardians, and navigate treacherous traps. Ultimately, they stop Ragara just on the threshold to the manse's innermost layer -- the tantelising prospect of ultimate power just out of their reach. As previously mentioned, Ragara is a Boss with a Capital B. A circle of Solars will take him down without breaking a sweat, but a Hearth of Essence 3 Dragon-Blooded... they struggled. Of course... they were in a deathmatch arena, being attacked by giant, unkillable, clockwork spiders, whilst trying to figure out the secrets of the First Age technology that powers the Imperial Manse... and Ragara had Gnomen...
      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-09-2021, 05:10 PM.

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


      • #4
        Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
        Peleps fled West. Vneef got gutted right of the gate. Currently the big fight is between the Cathak-Mnemon-Ledaal bloc headed by Mnemon and the Ragara-Cynis-Sesus led by Banoba. Nellens and Tepet are just trying to survive in their little Northwestern corner of the isle and are the only ones that seem to care about all the Lunars running amok.

        Vneef is chained up in Mnemon's basement, Ragara has gone full heresy and the Roseblack is currently vacationing in Stygia. The Admiralty Board is playing ping-pong with soulbreaker orbs.

        Shit's fucked.
        This is amazing! What are the PCs and how are they involved?


        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          Alright that all sounds pretty epic especially that third campaign. That three house opposition sounds like the worst case scenario.


          • #6
            Originally posted by RadioFreeDeath View Post

            Alright that all sounds pretty epic especially that third campaign. That three house opposition sounds like the worst case scenario.
            Yeah... I... I didn't read the room on that one. It is a worst case scenario that really daunted my players. You need a good Session 0 to pull that off.

            One of the players was in the Solariod 2E game I mentioned, and they said they didn't want a long, dragged out civil war that lasted years of IRL play. 15-20 sessions max. Another player said they didn't want it to be Tepet Ejava vs Mnemon, again because of bad 2E experiences, and that they wanted multiple factions and the chance to betray Mnemon. And the third player said they wanted to have creative solutions, and to think outside the box rather than have a War-on-Rails. And that's... what kinda put the nail in the coffin, because when I think "creative solutions", I immediately go to trying to win that no-win scenario. So I set up four factions: Cainan (as the main bad-guy who was about as powerful as all the other factions put together), V'neef, Sesus, and Mnemon. The players immediately complained that Cainan's faction was too strong and that they didn't want to actually lose the civil war... and as we were on a 20 session limit, we had a lot of things go the player's way (the PC's plans to get Sesus and V'neef to join force with Mnemon all worked without too much trouble, Peleps and Ragara both betray Cathak at the worst possible times, I tabled a lot of the plans I had for the PC's allies to betray them).

            It was fun.
            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-09-2021, 05:32 PM.

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


            • #7
              On the grand political scale of things, the main thing I remember from running that arc many years ago was that Nellens used their legions as a sort of peace-keeping force. Determined that no war should disrupt government, they laid a protective siege to the Deliberative. Ignoring the logistics of how that would actually work if the Deliberative is placed inside the Imperial City, I still think that it is a neat idea that Nellens find their best bet going forward to be democracy.

              Other than that, I mostly used the Realm Civil War as an excuse to go cool places (an underwater skirmish to secure underwater manses), meet cool people (a random encounter with Nellens Poramo), and fight cool people (a chance to chop off one of the Roseblack's arms and taking her prisoner). Finally, one dumb joke I did during that arc was that there was a rumor going around that someone named Söze had been declared Emperor (or Kejser in my native tongue). This, naturally, led to someone yelling "There is no Kejser Söze!".

              Loch Ness monsters. On vacation. On a pillow.

              My wife is on Spotify!


              • #8
                Dumb double post is dumb.

                Loch Ness monsters. On vacation. On a pillow.

                My wife is on Spotify!


                • #9
                  In the Dragon game I'm playing right now, two main factions emerged:

                  Cathak and Mnemon are the main winners, with Regara, Nellens and Cynis providing support. Cainan has the throne himself but it appears most power on the Isle is pretty split, and that once he dies of old age Mnemon will step in. Notably, while they have near complete control of the Isle and are apparently willing to use the Sword of Creation, they're in a strong spot defensively. On the other hand they have almost no navy and have not had a chance to rebuild it yet - and they're not a firm alliance at all.

                  V'Neef and Sesus (where the original PCs hailed from) have basically had to flee the isle through the use of magic in an incredible heist. Currently establishing a Realm-in-Exile in the near South-East, having toppled Kirighast. Are basically waiting for Cainan to die so they can attempt a retake, with Lookshy and a couple of legitimized Dragonblooded states being treated as Great Houses by their diaspora. Notably the leadership of both houses are remaining significantly distant and no discussion on who gets the throne has been finalized. Currently busy arming up and prepping to fight on the Isle when opportunity presents itself.

                  Other groups:

                  Ledaal is ostensibly with Mnemon but the majority of the House would flip should there be a chance V'Neef and Sesus could win. This is the link the PCs have been focused on, and post some character deaths the Hearth is now 1 Sesus, 2ish Ledaal (plus a Lost Egg and 3rd Ledaal NPCs)

                  Tepet didn't sign up with Cathak/Mnemon and seems to have fled to the rough area of the Vermillion legion. Overtures are being made by the diaspora to bring them onside.

                  Peleps has naturally fled West. They don't seem to have any interest in fighting for the Isle but seem to have had 'permission' from Cathak.

                  Biggest event so far was the aforementioned heist, where the majority of the Houses V'neef and Sesus (as well as their households and legions) marched cross-country to Qishi prefecture with everything they could carry and appeared a day later in the South-East, several hundred miles North of Kirighast


                  • #10
                    So, I haven't been on the forum in a while. We've been hitting our Chronicle - The Storm This Way Comes - pretty hard for the last 3 years or so.

                    It turns out I'm writing for the next part of our RCW, so here we go!

                    The Chronicle's main story is that we're living through a time reset. At some point, everything that's happening now, happened before. At the end, the heroes failed to stop the ultimate Big Bad, and had to use a terrifying Artifact to reset everything by seven years. In the span of that seven years, the Age of Strife ended with the Recalibration, a second Calibration in the middle of the last year of the Age. After the Recalibration, we enter the Age of Nightmares, with new monsters inspired by doppelgangers, skinwalkers, fetches, and the alien bugs that were infiltrating StarFleet in that one episode of TNG.

                    We have a Brotherhood of DBs, but also a Pack of Lunars and Circle of Solars, rotating in or mix-n-match to play.

                    Our Brotherhood started out in the Stormclaw Dominion, farther down the coast from An Teng. They started off as near-nothings sent far away from the seats of power, but after a while worked their way back.

                    On the Blessed Isle, our Brotherhood found out that the very-antagonistic Infernal Thing had infiltrated and worked their way in. These Infernals were sponsored by a faction of the Lintha and their demon queen. One of them, the eldest, was finally powerful enough to resist the queen's mental influence, and had set off on her own. The others were a highly manipulative scoundrel bearing an Artifact that let him rewrite recent history - a remnant from the time reset effect. Also a formerly Mortal Cathak who had been taken by the Linthas and Exalted. Also an Iselsi, with a false identity as a Cathak, who failed to Exalt as a Dragon-Blood - she was easy to tempt to evil because of her envy and entitlement. The last Infernal was new to the reset timeline - as a mortal slave to the Linthas, he had found out who was supposed to be Exalted as the fifth Infernal, and strangled him to death before he went into the chrysalis.

                    In the month or so before skirmishes turned into all-out war, our DBs were able to wander the Blessed Isle and root out evidence of the infiltration. It took a lot of effort to counter the history-rewriting, manipulation, and the scattering of body-doubles already starting to show up.

                    Back in the Stormclaw Dominion, they had a mentor who was retired Wyld Hunt. On the Blessed Isle, they used that to get inducted into the Hunt and pick up some training in fighting Anathema. One of their trainers was a pervy Sifu, who has shown up in all of our Exalted Chronicles in some fashion.

                    With all of the information they'd gathered, they were able to stop Cathak and Sesus from demolishing each other as out-and-out warfare started. In turn, the other Houses agreed to mostly hold off. Every House had some Legions under the sway of zealots.

                    The Infernals made their play for the Isle anyway. Under the cover of battle, they used a sorcerous working to open a Malfean portal.

                    The morning of the second day of battle, the Unconquered Sun failed to reappear, and the stars and Luna vanished - Recalibration heralded the end of the Age. The Scarlet Empress reappeared - but in the form of the Ebon Empress. We found out that she wasn't really Dragon-Blooded - she was a Jotun of Gaia. Just before Creation was to fall to the Balorian Crusade, Gaia intervened personally, and created a Jotun that would rule for an Age. Unfortunately, the Scarlet Empress was tempted by the Ebon Dragon, drawn into Malfeas, and converted.

                    Battling at the portal, our DBs were on the losing side. The Ebon Empress and the Infernals had the upper hand. They used a visual Psyche effect that forced everyone to stand still and await their death.

                    Fortunately, one of our Dragons was a blind spear-maiden, and the effect had no power over her. She had been thrown over the edge of the portal and was falling to her death. But she was caught. Because the Age had changed, Gaia was able to create another Jotun. The Diamond Empress appeared in the form of a child, rescued our spear-maiden from death, and tossed her back into the fray. She was able to stop the visual effect, and our Dragons turned the tide.

                    With the working broken, the Ebon Empress fell back into Malfeas. The two traitor Cathaks were killed in combat. The manipulator got away - without the history rewriting Artifact. They had mercy on the last Infernal - they knew his backstory of slavery and trying to escape, so they let him go to decide his own destiny.

                    At the same time as the final moments of battle, our Solars and their holy Skyship returned from a journey into the Faraway, reappearing in a shaft of sunlight against the darkness of Recalibration

                    Also at the same time, our Lunars took down a Deathlord in the far East. They had help from 3 Sidereals and several Lunar Elders, so both East and West had lights of hope.

                    Where we left off, the Diamond Empress exists as heir-apparent. The Houses have paused their warfare after witnessing Recalibration and all of Creation almost falling into hell. The Brotherhood is acting as Regent to the Diamond Empress. Our spear-maiden is considered a Saint. Nobody expects any of the Houses to pause for long. We'll have a lot to deal with when we get back to the Blessed Isle story.

                    Check out Momentum Exalted!