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First Age - Political Factions within the Deliverative

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  • First Age - Political Factions within the Deliverative

    I'm thinking of running a First age campaign with the concept being that the Deliberative requires new Celestial Exalted serve a century as "Celestial Guardians" working for the Deliberative. This essentially turns them into the Deliberative's "Problem Solvers" dispatched to take care of problems that the Sovereigns of Creation don't want to deal with. At the same time, they must attempt to solve the problem they are assigned in a way that pleases the ruling Lawgiver of the Province. The game will obviously be mission-based, with a random cast of pains in the ass they need to deal with. At the same time: Each time they return to Mt Meru they will deal with the Deliberative, and its politics.

    What are some good Factions for First Age Politics? Factions that would not only disagree but vehemently so. (And please, not based on Castes, that's boring)

    The Current Factions I have are:
    - The Ochre Fountain Society: Devoted to Queen Merela and returning her to the position of High Sovereign of Creation. A tiny faction, but powerful members.
    - The College of Three Circles: Devoted to the study and advancement of Sorcery. Supported by Sorcerers from all over Creation.
    - The Hand of the Great Maker: Devoted to the study and advancement of Magitech, with strong ties to the Machine Souls of Autochthon and the Jade Empire.
    - The Verdant Gardeners: Devoted to the preservation of nature, with strong ties the to the Celestial Bureau's of Nature & Seasons. Gaia is assumed to be an ally but never speaks.
    - The Shadowed Covenant: Devoted to the exploration, exploitation and management of the Underworld.
    - The Crimson Hawk Corps: Devoted to the expansion of the Central Military and both the protection and expansion of Creation.


  • #2
    To me those don’t sound too much like political factions other than the Ochre Fountain and maybe Crimson Hawk because their agendas don’t clash enough. Most of those sound more like departments of the Deliberative government dividing up duties. Admittedly bureaus of a government can be at odds over finite resource expenditure, but I would think you would want starker conflict for the rival cliques of the Deliberative.

    so giving this shot. The following are the three broadest factions that have many smaller factions crossing their ranks (such as anti-nonhuman zealots, reincarnationists who want to flush out the underworld, rivals dedicated to blocking that group who are exploring necromancy and see potential for eternal existence as Exalted-level ghosts, Demon Binding-Abolitionists, mortal rights activists, etc)

    Ochre Fountain - traditionalists who want Merela actually empowered as high sovereign. They range from the most hardline members who think the Deliberative’s existence is an insult to the Unconquered Sun’s intent, to those who would create a balance of power (think US President and Congress), to those who just want her upheld in a head of state ceremonial role as a symbol of spiritual restoration for Creation. This faction tends toward the skeptical on major sorcerous workings, wanting to defer questions of natural law to Heaven, while glorying in more traditional conflicts in “defense of Creation” (at least from the pov of the victor)

    The Four Circles - self professed heirs of the Deliberative founders, they believe in centralizing governance of all Creation even more so in the chambers of the Deliberative, to orchestrate all Creation toward common shared goals, including cracking down on rogue Exalted rulers. They are progressive on the question of major Sorcerous workings, believing Creation can be bettered as a whole under proper collective oversight

    Resplendent Princes - want to weaken if not dissolve central governance of Creation. At most the Deliberative should be a forum for dispute resolution between Exalted and between their domains, but all Exalted rulers should be absolute in their own territory (including RADICAL sorcerous workings should they so choose)
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 12-14-2021, 02:59 PM.


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    • #3
      I'm going to second glamourweaver on these dont' sound like factions save the Ochre Fountain. A bit you probably also should consider is the structure and dynamics of the Second Deliberative and such. In 3e at least, it's notable that it's not the Solar Deliberative or ever said as such. Just the Second One. So my general view is that whatever it was, any Solar dominance was informal, rather than institutional. Solars tended to be in charge of poliites represented at the Deliberative, rather than the Deliberative just having Solars running everything. But since Solars and Lunars tended to personally run a lot of polities, oh look they get to decide a lot.

      Another factor is Dragon-Blooded. I actually go with some of what the current devs and the DB book says of Dragon-Blooded being officers during the War of the Gods and having ntoable dynasties throughout the First Age. And a bit of headcanon, Dragon-Blooded were actually while more populous than other Exalts, probably not that much more at first, and grew slowly. So maybe like, a thousand at first and enough to suddenly be surprising later in the Deliberative, but still reltaivley slow. The numbers never reached more than tens fo thousands though, but that still outweighed their perceived deserved influence in the Deliberative and its Field Forces.

      Soemthing that comes to mind is a body like the UN, where you have some core elements dominated by notable power blocs. The Security Council for example might be balanced between the then canoncial five Exalts in some way, but factors resutled in block voting or something, as an example. In the general assembly a Dragon-Blooded dynasty might get a vote, while a Solar's kingdom also gets one, but this is an imalance right htere.

      So some that come to my mind I have thought on:

      Ochre Fountain - Same as the other interpeations. Faction that generally is for establishment of Merela as a global sovereign. As the Sun rules in Heaven she would Rule on Earth. Remnants of when her position had more power in the First Deliberative. Kind of notable for having a generally hostile take on Lunars from some of the older members.

      Electrum Compact - The Solar-Lunar balance of things. Not all Solars and Lunars are in it, but enough are that a lot of decisions get shared along there lines.

      Gentes of the Terrestrial Host - Dragon-Blooded send representation to the Deliberative itself, probably representing recognized dynasties throughotu Creation. Some Solars and Lunars who have since the early First Age served a particular Dynasty might side with them more than with the Electrum Compact sorts.

      The Deliberative Field Forces - Separate from the armies of individual polities in Creation. It is traditionally ran by notable Celestial generals and members the Terrestrial Host who have moved up the ranks. Beholden to the Deliberative, but support for or against it creates another axis within the government itself. Notably supported by the Terrestrial Gentes due to it being where Terrestrial direct control is outsized due to the daimyos consisting of the war council being Dragon-Blooded with relatively few Celestila Exalted generals. So while indivdually more puissant, there's just more Dragon-Blooded in the rnaks and thus in the top brass, and with dynasites willing to submit forces to the Deliberative military.

      Centralists - Generally a cross-factional philosophy of folks who want to bring more power itno the Deliberative overriding local stuff. Basically think on folks who would want to say, federalize the EU, or something. There's of course push-back to this, most folks preferring the status quo. A big fear is soemthign akin to the issues of the First Deliberative and the subsequen Shadow Deliberative and Interagnum were nto good times. Current big amongst Ochre Fountain folks and some of the Electrum Compact. They also tend to favor Field Force expansion.

      Reformists - Folks who would like to see a more equitable distribution of power. Distrust the facitonalism or want to dilute it.

      Earth-over-Heaven Caucus - Terrestrial Exalted who generally view that Celestial Exalted power is over-represented, especially with some instituions meant to dilute Dragon-Blooded representaiton from the First Deliberative carried into the current one when here's just more DBs now than before. While Celestila Exalted are indivdually more powerful, this does not in itself grant right to rule, they argue. Some sympathies from Lunars who don't align with the other two major Celestial-domianted factions. Notable sympathies can be found amongst daimyos in the Field Forces and Deliberative Bureacracy, but generally kept quiet.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Blaque View Post
        I'm going to second glamourweaver on these dont' sound like factions save the Ochre Fountain. A bit you probably also should consider is the structure and dynamics of the Second Deliberative and such. In 3e at least, it's notable that it's not the Solar Deliberative or ever said as such. Just the Second One. So my general view is that whatever it was, any Solar dominance was informal, rather than institutional. Solars tended to be in charge of poliites represented at the Deliberative, rather than the Deliberative just having Solars running everything. But since Solars and Lunars tended to personally run a lot of polities, oh look they get to decide a lot.

        Another factor is Dragon-Blooded. I actually go with some of what the current devs and the DB book says of Dragon-Blooded being officers during the War of the Gods and having ntoable dynasties throughout the First Age. And a bit of headcanon, Dragon-Blooded were actually while more populous than other Exalts, probably not that much more at first, and grew slowly. So maybe like, a thousand at first and enough to suddenly be surprising later in the Deliberative, but still reltaivley slow. The numbers never reached more than tens fo thousands though, but that still outweighed their perceived deserved influence in the Deliberative and its Field Forces.

        Soemthing that comes to mind is a body like the UN, where you have some core elements dominated by notable power blocs. The Security Council for example might be balanced between the then canoncial five Exalts in some way, but factors resutled in block voting or something, as an example. In the general assembly a Dragon-Blooded dynasty might get a vote, while a Solar's kingdom also gets one, but this is an imalance right htere.

        So some that come to my mind I have thought on:

        Ochre Fountain - Same as the other interpeations. Faction that generally is for establishment of Merela as a global sovereign. As the Sun rules in Heaven she would Rule on Earth. Remnants of when her position had more power in the First Deliberative. Kind of notable for having a generally hostile take on Lunars from some of the older members.

        Electrum Compact - The Solar-Lunar balance of things. Not all Solars and Lunars are in it, but enough are that a lot of decisions get shared along there lines.

        Gentes of the Terrestrial Host - Dragon-Blooded send representation to the Deliberative itself, probably representing recognized dynasties throughotu Creation. Some Solars and Lunars who have since the early First Age served a particular Dynasty might side with them more than with the Electrum Compact sorts.

        The Deliberative Field Forces - Separate from the armies of individual polities in Creation. It is traditionally ran by notable Celestial generals and members the Terrestrial Host who have moved up the ranks. Beholden to the Deliberative, but support for or against it creates another axis within the government itself. Notably supported by the Terrestrial Gentes due to it being where Terrestrial direct control is outsized due to the daimyos consisting of the war council being Dragon-Blooded with relatively few Celestila Exalted generals. So while indivdually more puissant, there's just more Dragon-Blooded in the rnaks and thus in the top brass, and with dynasites willing to submit forces to the Deliberative military.

        Centralists - Generally a cross-factional philosophy of folks who want to bring more power itno the Deliberative overriding local stuff. Basically think on folks who would want to say, federalize the EU, or something. There's of course push-back to this, most folks preferring the status quo. A big fear is soemthign akin to the issues of the First Deliberative and the subsequen Shadow Deliberative and Interagnum were nto good times. Current big amongst Ochre Fountain folks and some of the Electrum Compact. They also tend to favor Field Force expansion.

        Reformists - Folks who would like to see a more equitable distribution of power. Distrust the facitonalism or want to dilute it.

        Earth-over-Heaven Caucus - Terrestrial Exalted who generally view that Celestial Exalted power is over-represented, especially with some instituions meant to dilute Dragon-Blooded representaiton from the First Deliberative carried into the current one when here's just more DBs now than before. While Celestila Exalted are indivdually more powerful, this does not in itself grant right to rule, they argue. Some sympathies from Lunars who don't align with the other two major Celestial-domianted factions. Notable sympathies can be found amongst daimyos in the Field Forces and Deliberative Bureacracy, but generally kept quiet.
        Agree with your analysis.

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        • #5
          Dumb double post.


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          • #6
            Google words ending in -archy and -cracy for inspiration:

            Plutocracy, oligarchy, panarchy, anarchy, meritocracy, hagiarchy, cryptocracy, gynarchy, gerontocracy, stratocracy, and kakistocray are all interesting ideas to build factions around.


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            • #7
              In general there would be divisions along several lines:

              First is the governance type - the division Glamourveaver mentioned. Some exalts would push for a strong, centralized government form (with Merela faction being a distinctlt visible subfaction of that group). Some would want the Deliberative to be running things. Finally, some would push for a system that would give maximum freedom to individual exalt rulers, kingdoms and factions, without getting hampered by restrictions created by others.

              Second is the inter-celestial host power breakdown game - with some exalts trying to push for increased power and influence for their own splats, while others would advocate sharing rights and responsibilities on more equal basis. With the potential subdivision to all of the above based on relations between exalts and mortals.

              Third would be the division between "veterans" and "newcomers". Many of the old exalts, even if divided on other issues, would still band together against the "inexperienced upstarts". Conversely, "fresh" exalts wopuld tend to group together in order to be able to overcome influence some of the old and already established "seniors" would have. And in-between those, there would be some few trying to reach across those lines.

              Then you'd get some further divisions: militarist faction vs more peaceful society builders. Mad scientists vs those that would see more dangerous research restricted or banned. Human supremacists vs those that would happily deal and trade with other, nonhuman races.

              And after all that you'd end up with the final division lines - those based on personal relations of individual exalts. And with many exalts living for hundreds, if not thousands of years, you'd get a lot of those. Imagine, for example, a very important deliberative vote, where your faction's goal would get derailed because one of the members had intentionally voted against it, just to spite the vote proposer, because that exalt 200 years before embarassed him in front of his friends at some social meet.

              Notice, btw, that most exalts - especially among the older ones - would not be limited to a single faction. Those would not be political parties with strict membership, but rather more like informal clubs of like-minded people, with most people belonging to more than one club at the same time. And with each club divided by issues that specific club would not cover.

              I.E: the Merela faction would consist of exalts that would support having her crowned as Queen of Creation, but the exact specifics of what that would mean might not be so clear-cut. Some might be behind giving her an absolute power, while others might just treat it as a form of respect without actually intending to give her all that much power than she already has. The core of that faction would likely consists of exalts from Ochre Fountain and some Primordial war veterans, with perhaps a number of new exalts ending up there either because they bought in the Merela hype, or because they happened to be bearing an exaltation of a deceased faction member (and bought the hype, which i'd assume not all would do).
              That would probably be all they'd agree on however - on many other issues they might end up being happily divided (especially barring Merela's direct mediation about such a specific issue), and might even have some internal personal conflicts between them that might cause them to try to cause each other problems in some minor (and sometimes not so minor) cases in Deliberative.
              And in many ways, i'd see them as probably one of the most (if not the most) coherent and unified of the factions.



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