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  • Apart from few exceptions as noted in prior setting books like Lords of Creation, did the First Age Dragonblooded ever give oaths of loyalty to the Solars?

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    • Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord View Post
      Apart from few exceptions as noted in prior setting books like Lords of Creation, did the First Age Dragonblooded ever give oaths of loyalty to the Solars?
      In 3e it notes that particular DBs might have given their services to the Celestial Exalted. The amount of expected fealty and autonomy of the Dragon-Blooded varies between editions.


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      • Originally posted by Blaque View Post

        In 3e it notes that particular DBs might have given their services to the Celestial Exalted. The amount of expected fealty and autonomy of the Dragon-Blooded varies between editions.
        What did 1st and 2nd editions say? Lords of Creation says that there were oaths of Fealty. But doesn't indicate if is is like an Eclipse oath.
        Last edited by Uknown DarkLord; 07-02-2019, 01:35 PM.

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        • Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord View Post

          What did 1st and 2nd editions say? Lords of Creation says that there were oaths of Fealty. But doesn't indicate if is is like an Eclipse oath.
          Lords of Creation was actually about the most ever said of it. All we know is that broadly that the Dragon-Blooded served under the Celestial Exalted before the Usurpation. It never was so explicit about things as in that book.


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          • Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord View Post

            What did 1st and 2nd editions say? Lords of Creation says that there were oaths of Fealty. But doesn't indicate if is is like an Eclipse oath.
            I would imagine not. I don't see Eclipses going round making thousands of oaths.

            Dynasty charms in Lords kinda imply that maybe the head of a gentes would swear loyalty then enforce that on her decendents with her own charms. But Lords also has Solars swapping Dragon-Blooded like baseball cards.

            I prefer my headcannon that the Solars never geased the Dragon-Blooded just as the Primordials never geased humanity. The very idea of a mass rebellion was anathema to them. Kinda like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds -- the Solars knew that the Dragon-Blooded were numerous and powerful, but that individually Solars were more powerful and the idea that they would all come together to fight the Solars was completely alien (to the Solars they were on the same side).


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            • Yeah, I think dragon blooded wound up usually serving solars and lunars because, well, there are a lot of them, and the solars and lunars had centuries to set up kingdoms and stuff, which most dragon blooded would be born into.

              Young celestial exalted might well end up serving under some dragon blooded ruler, but eventually they'd find themselves a thousand plus years old looking after the descendants of their buddies or something and well, leadership happens, because you're an experienced elder demigod who everyone has known since they were kids.

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              • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                Young celestial exalted might well end up serving under some dragon blooded ruler, but eventually they'd find themselves a thousand plus years old looking after the descendants of their buddies or something and well, leadership happens, because you're an experienced elder demigod who everyone has known since they were kids.

                The world of Exalted is much like the real world in that power dynamics fall along a number of interpersonal and institutional lines that interact in complex and messy ways rather than being an idealised meritocracy. People with greater experience wind up subordinate to others all the time in reality, it need not be much less in the setting. That's in a manner that amounts to being able to provide extremely sophisticated guidance to somebody technically above them in a manner that works to the benefit of the whole about as often as the more knowledgeable subordinate is overlooked and condescended to by the newbie who thinks that their fancy education or being handed the position from birth entitles them to more unimpeded control and endows them with higher insights, if not a desire to introduce a lot of grandiose and untested ideas.

                Yeah, sometimes those Dragon Blooded are going to look up to you and endow you with formally recognised authority because they've known you since they were kids. Sometimes it's going to mean that they take your presence for granted, and grew up being conditioned to the idea that your experience is something put to the service of the one in charge, who is now them. And the thousand-year old Celestial might find themselves sticking around despite any real or imagined disrespect, because knowing somebody since they were kids can kind of invest you in their wellbeing, if not create an infantilising attitude of the manner in which one can never quite say no.

                One of the great things about how Third Edition has taken to following up a lot of setup of the broad models with around three to ten examples of characters and scenarios is that it can cultivate an attitude in which one explores that details and variety inherent to any given person or situation. It can stop being about the idealised perfectly spherical Exalt and can convey the warty complexion of this particular Exalt.

                Even for the other side, Dragon Blooded will be born into kingdoms? Like, one of those many kingdoms in which the aristocracy was quite unruly and constantly scheming to extricate itself from the power of the central authority in a manner distinct from outright secession?

                A Celestial Exalt kingdom that trundles along for centuries can just as easily be time in which the power of its rulers peaks and crumbles or the solidity of its institutions are tested and found wanting as providing time to work out the kinks and develop reliable procedures. Power can crumble under the weight of things like mistakes, missteps, internal pressure from special interest groups and external pressure from old rivals and freshly established polities, institutions can fall to things such as not appropriately prioritising or assessing their own capabilities or resources, grand projects that stretch the systems necessary to finance them to breaking point.

                Dragon Blooded are usually going to serve Celestials because there are lots of them? Like, maybe a lot more than are really going to effectively come into the sphere of any given Celestial? Enough to fill out all of the spaces of the world (which keeps being made bigger) that there aren't enough Celestial Exalted to fill, even if we presumed that they were all interested in establishing themselves as sovereigns (which they're not).

                How did this all start...

                Originally posted by Uknown Darklord
                Apart from few exceptions as noted in prior setting books like Lords of Creation, did the First Age Dragonblooded ever give oaths of loyalty to the Solars?


                Yes. No. To this particular Solar, but not the one that was rude at the Calibration feast. Only on Tuesdays. Err, thank you, but I'll be accepting your oath of loyalty.

                There are thousands of different answers to that question encompassed in the same setting. The relationship between Solar and Terrestrial Exalted was not just one thing.

                Where oaths of loyalty happened, I would propose that they tended to be direct and personal things, and thus often beyond the scope of large institutional structures of Dragon Blooded. I think it's easy to presume that, even in the First Age, even in cases where there were groups of Terrestrials organised in systems under the command of a Solar, many if not most Dragon Blooded never had a personal interaction with one of them.

                As for some Primordial-style geas, sure, the idea that Dragon Blooded could destroy almost all of the Solars and then prevent them from reincarnating for a thousand years would have probably been unthinkable. Like, in the sense that it wouldn't be a thing that anybody would have known was possible. Of course, if Solars did still have that very specific fear, they don't have the power to impose that kind of geas anyway, so it's a bit of a wash. Certainly, First Age Solars would have had to be monumentally stupid to be unaware of the fact that Dragon Blooded could readily kill them.

                I've got to say, there's something refreshing in imagining conditions leading up and then executing the Usurpation that don't need to try and weave around the assumption that almost all of the Solars they're dealing with have Charms of about the same potency as how Sidereal Martial Arts were designed in First Edition. You know, the Solars could be plausibly formidable as the dominating force of the latter centuries of an Age and sufficient danger to warrant massively revising the social order without making most of them nigh-omniscient indestructible nuclear bombs whose merest gesture enslaves millions and are capable of finding ways to immediately override and counter most of the distinct tricks of their fellows. Look at the Essence 4 and 5 Solar Charms; pretty impressive, right? You can get by on all kinds of intrigue and adventure on "just" that, before maybe being one of the lucky few who gets to graduate to... I don't know, give me an example personality and backstory for a hypothetical Essence 6 Solar, and I could probably think of something along the lines of the Elder Charms in Fangs at the Gate.


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                • Ok, maybe I could have phrased a few things better.

                  Look at it this way. we got 800 solars, lunars and sidereals combined, versus a few tens of thousand dragonblooded. A decent proportion of both are gonna end up in leadership roles, cos that's just what exalts are gonna do. the rest, presumably, will take subordinate roles.

                  This means that, statistically speaking, you're way more likely to have a solar or lunar being served by multiple dragon blooded than you are to have a dragon blooded served by a solar or lunar. There just aren't enough to go around.

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                  • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    Ok, maybe I could have phrased a few things better.

                    Look at it this way. we got 800 solars, lunars and sidereals combined, versus a few tens of thousand dragonblooded. A decent proportion of both are gonna end up in leadership roles, cos that's just what exalts are gonna do. the rest, presumably, will take subordinate roles.

                    This means that, statistically speaking, you're way more likely to have a solar or lunar being served by multiple dragon blooded than you are to have a dragon blooded served by a solar or lunar. There just aren't enough to go around.
                    That being said, most DBs probalby had a dominion doing its own thing just fine without a Celestial Exalt involved save in some foreign policy setup. Or at least a lot until the world became more globalized and hegemonied I am geussing. ANd there could have been some Teerrestrial Khanate or soemthing somewhere where Solars and Lunars went to it but it had a pretty strict prohibition of letting htem in power.


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                    • Originally posted by Blaque View Post

                      That being said, most DBs probalby had a dominion doing its own thing just fine without a Celestial Exalt involved save in some foreign policy setup. Or at least a lot until the world became more globalized and hegemonied I am geussing. ANd there could have been some Teerrestrial Khanate or soemthing somewhere where Solars and Lunars went to it but it had a pretty strict prohibition of letting htem in power.

                      So what was the Deliberative then? More of a UN type deal? Or was it a more federalized society, like how Athens and Sparta were both part of Greece, but their own separate city states with their own laws?

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                      • Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord View Post
                        So what was the Deliberative then? More of a UN type deal?
                        That's more or less how I see it, yeah - an international organization whose members join because they want to cooperate and prevent conflict, but don't want to give up their sovereignty. Of course, the analogy isn't perfect. For one thing, I think the Deliberative is far more equally balanced between its members' political power than the UN is. There's certainly no equivalent of the five permanent members of the Security Council, with their absolute veto power. And I suspect the Deliberative has fewer intergovernmental organizations under it than the UN does (things like the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, etc.). However, the Deliberative does have a few tools for diplomacy that are more potent than the UN. I'm reasonably sure that everyone who joins the Deliberative would swear an Eclipse-enforced oath to obey certain rules, though I doubt such oaths are too extensive.

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                        • Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post

                          That's more or less how I see it, yeah - an international organization whose members join because they want to cooperate and prevent conflict, but don't want to give up their sovereignty. Of course, the analogy isn't perfect. For one thing, I think the Deliberative is far more equally balanced between its members' political power than the UN is. There's certainly no equivalent of the five permanent members of the Security Council, with their absolute veto power. And I suspect the Deliberative has fewer intergovernmental organizations under it than the UN does (things like the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, etc.). However, the Deliberative does have a few tools for diplomacy that are more potent than the UN. I'm reasonably sure that everyone who joins the Deliberative would swear an Eclipse-enforced oath to obey certain rules, though I doubt such oaths are too extensive.
                          More or less the same yeah. Though I could see there having been some Deliberative-run organizaitons like teh WHO or something, actually. Or at least something which would often be setup in volunteer countries and such.


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                          • Originally posted by Blaque View Post

                            More or less the same yeah. Though I could see there having been some Deliberative-run organizaitons like teh WHO or something, actually. Or at least something which would often be setup in volunteer countries and such.

                            I think such organizations existed in the First Age - I just don't think they were generally under the Deliberative. I suspect that they were, instead, more typically projects of individual Exalts, who would organize them, make the necessary deals with other Exalts, and so on. When you've got Bureaucracy Excellencies, you can run a big international organization yourself, efficiently, I figure.

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                            • Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post


                              I think such organizations existed in the First Age - I just don't think they were generally under the Deliberative. I suspect that they were, instead, more typically projects of individual Exalts, who would organize them, make the necessary deals with other Exalts, and so on. When you've got Bureaucracy Excellencies, you can run a big international organization yourself, efficiently, I figure.

                              Maybe there might be grant or project funding requests that go before the Deliberative for a vote.

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                              • Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord View Post
                                Maybe there might be grant or project funding requests that go before the Deliberative for a vote.
                                Sure, probably. The way I see it, though, the relationship there would be more of an independent group asking the Deliberative for money, rather than the Deliberative setting a budget for an organization under their control. They could, of course, extract agreements to operate in certain ways, in exchange for their funding, but the relationship would still be of a different character.

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