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Monolithic Reasons on Usurpation? Not likely.

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  • Monolithic Reasons on Usurpation? Not likely.

    Whatever ones feelings or headcannon on the usurpation, One thing I notice, is that people tend to talk of the Dragon blooded as a collective entity, as all having identitical motives behind it.

    Am I the only person Who thinks much potential for Drama is lost by their being both "We are going to overthrow The Solars and seize their power because we can!" AND "The poor mortals suffering under the Solars horrible whims... we will overthrow them and create a creation without slavery excessive toil, or strife, how many lives have been lost to the solars childish Social experiments? Never again"



  • #2
    Generally speaking the percentage of Dragonblood who were in favor of the Usurpation is irrelevant by the time the game takes place, but I think its safe to assume that the majority of the DBs (75-80% I'm thinking) viewed the Usurpation as the thing to do either due to personal gain, moral duty, justice, or peer pressure.

    I say its irrelevant because by the time of the game the honestly held belief of most DBs and is that the Usurpation was necessary because the Solars were monsters. If you're running a Usurpation era story then yeah it would be rather stupid to run it as having every single DB agree 100% on why the Solars need to be taken down, but in the default time for the game you would be looking at the very rare house that secretly passes down their loyalty to the old deliberative. Its a perfectly valid story and you do get a good amount of drama from trying to avoid getting found out as heretics.

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    • #3
      Since the Usurpation had to have been kept under wraps, it had to have been managed as a specific conspiracy among specific DBs rather than a generic social movement among all DBs. As such, it is unlikely to have evinced the degree of variety for signing up that a broad social movement might have attracted. Obviously, the different actors within it would have had different motives, and those motives would have informed their strategies, but it doesn't allow for the sort of "A bunch of different people doing wildly different things for wildly different reasons" scenario you propose here, because someone involved going off half-cocked would have gotten the whole thing blown open early.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
        Generally speaking the percentage of Dragonblood who were in favor of the Usurpation is irrelevant by the time the game takes place, but I think its safe to assume that the majority of the DBs (75-80% I'm thinking) viewed the Usurpation as the thing to do either due to personal gain, moral duty, justice, or peer pressure.

        I say its irrelevant because by the time of the game the honestly held belief of most DBs and is that the Usurpation was necessary because the Solars were monsters. If you're running a Usurpation era story then yeah it would be rather stupid to run it as having every single DB agree 100% on why the Solars need to be taken down, but in the default time for the game you would be looking at the very rare house that secretly passes down their loyalty to the old deliberative. Its a perfectly valid story and you do get a good amount of drama from trying to avoid getting found out as heretics.
        Was asking WHY they were part of the usurpation. not how many were. It may be irrelevant as play begins but its a fascinating hypothetical question.

        That last is a cool idea, a question, how to justify them not just attacking "the traitors" and going out in a blaze of glory?

        I had an idea a while back, for a group of Dragon blooded formed in the shogunate who schemed to reconcile with the Solars and free them from their prison.

        But having nothing to do with the Creation ruling Mandate.

        Simply "Solars make nicer Toys. Someone killed by Infrastructural losses isnt somehow less dead, then someone killed by a raging Demigod, lets find a way to reconcile with the Solars, pledge our fealty,Then working together we can figure out where the Sidereals imprisoned most of their Exaltions, hopefully our heroism will earn us forgiveness"

        idea here is that its a cold hearted look at what Dragon blooded rule has done to creation.

        Especialy if you were originally in the Usurpation out of a hatred for Slavery.

        Does that sound reasonable?


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        • #5
          Part of the reason DBs signed on was Sidereal convincing. Part was assuredly being sick of being low man on the totem pole.


          "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

          "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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          • #6
            My headcannon is that maybe only around 2/3rds of the DBs were for the usurpation. However, that wasn't the only factor that helped the usurpation happen: Remember the comic with Suns Last Cry about to pwn the spidersilk dam?

            The sids and the pro-usurpation DBs also got the ordinary mortals to favor getting rid of the solars. That gave them a big support base, and prevented the solars from taking refuge among the people


            Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

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            • #7
              Sidereals convince the senior most progenitor of the each Gens, when the Usurpation rolls around that progenitor activates their purity charms to ensure the entire gens follows orders, then sends the Gens against their Solar masters.

              Dragon-Blooded by design some what more of a hive than a hero. Their greatest strengths come from the fact they are so numerous and are based off of familial loyalty. You might kill a single Terrestrial, but the rest of his family will eventually, over multiple generations if need be, kill you back.

              Between that and the fact that some purity charms kind of make the entire extended family an extension of the charm user, it is easy to see why it is easier to see Terrestrials as a singular entity rather than individual heroes with lots of drama and other storyline options.

              It kind of makes you wonder why the Primordials didn't exploit this during the war.

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              • #8
                The Sidereals would've had to have made a really convincing argument to get enough DBs to agree to kill all Solars. I'm sure many DBs would simply say, "Yes, there are some out of control ones that need to be put down, but we don't have to kill them all. So-and-so is a good one, the world would be considerably lesser if she weren't in it anymore."


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                • #9
                  I always imagined that the number of Dragon Blooded in on the initial Usurpation was comparatively small. There were enough, however, to kill the vast majority of Solars during the Calibration festival.

                  Then there was a period of war between the Usurping Dragon Blooded, the Dragon Blooded who still had their Solar lords around. The last, and largest group of Dragon Blooded, were those whose Solar lords had died during the Calibration festival.

                  After the Solars failed to reincarnate however, most of the Dragon Blooded with dead Solar lords decided to join the Usurpers because... well, their bosses were gone and weren't coming back (this was something even the Primordials had failed to do), so it was pretty clear that the Solars had lost the mandate of heaven. No reason in sticking around dying for your boss when it he was dead and gone forever.
                  Last edited by AnubisXy; 01-16-2015, 01:54 AM.

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                  • #10
                    There seems to have been many reasons for the Usurpation, from the Terrestrials being sick to their stomachs by the Island of Dr Moreau (spelling?) Twilights to the ones who were tired of listening to the world talk about the Solars' latest triumph over darkness and not even noticing the number of Terrestrial prodigies, patriots, and heroes who gave their lives to ensure that victory. I don't think we were ever told which viewpoint was the predominant one.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                      Part of the reason DBs signed on was Sidereal convincing. Part was assuredly being sick of being low man on the totem pole.
                      That's exactly the sort of thing the OP wants to avoid. Of course, the role the Sidereals played cannot be understated, but a good portion of that was intelligence-gathering. The Sidereals were able to figure out which Dragon-Blooded could be discreetly suborned, where to apply pressure to convince them to switch sides, and how to best use their new allies to ensure their initial blow would be fatal. The individual Dragon-Blooded would have had their own reasons for joining the Usurpation. Doubtless there were some who did simply want to make a power grab. Others may have joined because they honestly believed they were doing what was necessary. Some may have had more petty motivations--say, revenge on a particular Solar, or against the Deliberative in general. I doubt there would have been a unified creed, because it would have been in the Sidereals' best interests to ensure each individual Dragon-Blooded knew as little as possible about the others. Most of the Terrestrials would have, at best, known who their particular targets were, that other conspirators existed (but not their number or identities), and maybe the names of some people they would be directly working with. And all that would have been withheld until shortly before Calibration. Heck, a good number of usurpers probably didn't know the Sidereals were involved at all, having been manipulated into position entirely through proxies.

                      All this, of course, is how they dealt with the Exalted directly involved in the Usurpation. They also would have indirectly influenced the other Dragon-Blooded, eroding their morale by giving each one a tailor-made destiny, ensuring that they would stumble upon things that put the Solars in a bad light in the years leading up to that fateful night. Sidereals are nothing if not patient and subtle, after all. In the end, the Terrestrial guest list for that feast would have included a handful of conspirators who expected the attack, a massive number of dupes that were all coincidentally suffering crises of faith at the exact same time, and a few pro-Solar loyalists who, at the last moment, found themselves unable to attend.

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                      • #12
                        I bet there were a lot of Dragonblooded who only learned that they were part of a coup when they were past the point of no return.

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                        • #13
                          Curious a follow up question ideas on why a lot of people tend to focus nearly exclusively on either "RAAAH RAAH WE seize the Solars throne we are no longer servants WE NOW KINGS RAAAH!!!!"

                          or "Let us liberate the poor mortals from the solars foul Yoke, for all those they left twisted and inhuman..."


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                          • #14
                            Agreed. You get DBs conspiring to make one Solar 'mysteriously vanish'- maybe their direct superior, or the guy who killed a few mortal friends of theirs. And then it's done, and they realize their peers aren't satisfied. They realize they can't tattle about any of this, or they'll be punished too.

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                            • #15
                              Among the core Dragonblooded cadre who carried out the Usurpation*, I envision it as being more to do with seeing all those war orphans and blasted cities, how lots of Creation was beginning to slide towards poverty and mismanagement while the Solars took their pleasures, the realization among the Dragonblooded themselves that their gens or nation might be ground down in a pointless conflict between Solars.

                              I see a lot of it being a combination self interest and being sickened at how reduced Creation is growing in its glory, a conviction they could do if not better than at least no worse. That's not exactly compassion for the masses, not exactly purely greed, not exactly purely pride.

                              The Dragonblooded true believers, I think, wanted to live and be part of a world that was glorious and honorable; they were increasingly being given the risk of dying and the people they care about dying and being part of a world that was becoming tawdry and venal (they probably wouldn't like what the Realm has become).

                              *which I view as being a group of all the DB talents the DB-Sidereal conspiracy could get on side, not necessarily family heads, although I bet the two probably coincide a lot.

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