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Does House Cynis Need a Facelift?

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  • hippokrene
    started a topic Does House Cynis Need a Facelift?

    Does House Cynis Need a Facelift?

    It feels as though they've been flanderized to hell and back.

    I think if the books introduced a promising young military officer from House Cynis, the assumption would be that she was a promising young officer who earned her commission though while having an incestuous, drug-fueled orgy, and whose fighting skills revolved around ransacking villages for slaves, whipping slaves, and off-handedly murdering slaves.

    The Dragon-Blooded book states that they can't get any allies among the other Houses, but lots of customers, so even the other DB apparently look down on the House of Hookers and Blow.

  • Zenaku
    replied
    I basically treat them as an entire house of little fingers. They are debauched,but there also smarter then all the other houses, they have every ones secrets, and every one owes them debts that they'd prefer to not be made public.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega
    Bal Keraz, yeah; quite possibly THE most politically powerful Dynast in the Realm now, given that he's not only in charge of the Imperial pursestrings, but also is the unofficial master of the All-Seeing Eye.
    Well, I'd say one of the most politically interesting, at least; he's running a bureaucracy that is slowly falling apart (and doesn't exactly recognise him as an authority to delegate responsibilities), is controlling a Treasury which has had most of its revenue cut off and has thousands of Exalted conspiring to plunder its coffers, and a spy network that is being gradually sidelined when not outright hunted down. Also lacks the backing of a powerful House to shore up his position. I mean, he's one of the highest administrators in a system that was designed to keep the administration of having much independent power. I'd say if one met him in person, they'd find a powerful, intelligent, motivated character who is perenially frustrated and can't really find an overarching strategic goal to focus his efforts on; like, maybe he could provide significant backing to a good candidate for Empress, but he's so overworked he has hardly any time to vet anybody.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by hatewheel
    We expanded their trade into a trade in secrets.
    Ever since I watched House of Cards (the good British one, not the slezy Netflix one with Kevin Spacey bitemarks all over it), I've had a sense that House Cynis could do with primarily trading in (or being involved in the trade of) illicit materials and services so they could have leverage over people.

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  • Steamfunk
    replied
    I have this tendency to see House Cynis as something closer to House Montana.

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Originally posted by JayTee View Post
    Shit, now I really want to play this game.
    I know, right?! I keep trying to perfect my "Johnny Yong Bosch" voice for the role...

    While this would make for a great one-player campaign, could it work with multiple players? Hm...

    Originally posted by Oriares
    I thought she sent her Dragon-Blooded sons looking for their sister.
    Apparently they're taking too long and she's running out of patience. The last line of her history write up just says that, unknown even to the twins, she hired a Solar anathema to bring her back to Lookshy alive, but doesn't say who it is (probably so it can be your PC), and I don't know if this is based on some other canon piece of writing I missed.

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  • Oriares
    replied
    Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post

    It is. Scroll of Exalts not only writes up Fire Orchid, but also her mother, Linwei, an absolute badass who personally destroyed two Warstriders, captured four others, and took out a Dynast in Dragon Armor with a piece fallen from a damaged Warstrider! She is now the Taimyo of the First Field Force, the youngest member ever elected onto the General Staff, and is THE Karal in most people's eyes (although far from actually running her family). She doesn't hate her daughter, but wants to be sure it's still her, and not a demon in her skin; in fact, she's even helped her quietly, and apparently hired another Solar to bring her back to her...
    I thought she sent her Dragon-Blooded sons looking for their sister.

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  • JayTee
    replied
    I imagine that the game would be very slow paced at first, with me effectively tied and bound with my only interaction being the NPCs the GM throws at me. Much of the early stages would be the NPCs coming to me for advice, me telling them what needs to be done, then the GM would have to think about how the consequences of that advise would play out (taking in to account that its a long term scheme on my part to make the NPCs dependent on me), before sending them back to me to repeat.

    Eventually once I got enough XP to pick up a solid array of awareness/bureaucracy/presence charms, I'd be able to influence them more directly and use that to tighten my grip over the household, to the point where they think to let me out of the box as a reward for my good behavior and to have better access to my sage wisdom, when in reality it was my plan all along.


    Shit, now I really want to play this game.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Well, the Magnus himself was pretty much a take on Hannibal Lecter (although these days maybe Raymond Reddington would be a better choice!)...But sure, with a touch of Alucard in the Hellsing basement.

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  • JayTee
    replied
    I always want to try and play a character like The Magus in the same situation, but it would be a very atypical game and probably difficult to model. Shame.

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  • The Revenge of TV Head
    replied
    So..The Magnus?

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    New Solar Idea: A member of one of the Five Families exalts as an Eclipse. His clan is suitably horrified, as he is himself, but he manages to talk them into sparing him. At his suggestion, they chain him up and lock him in a secure dungeon, under constant guard, as this is the only way they'd trust him. Since then, his Solar senses and charms have enabled his family to predict and manipulate both the Peleps and the other island clans, giving his clan the upper hand, while enabling them to hide in plain sight from the Great House.

    His clan elders have not realized how far under his spell they have fallen. They gather every week to consult with him, and give more and more agency to his suggestions. Meanwhile, during his time alone, he sits in the dark, dreaming up strategies, recalling memories that aren't his and feeling the Essence of the Sun growing stronger within him...

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    The guy who runs the Imperial Treasury is, IIRC, called Kal Bax, and he's a very powerful (politically) Dragonblood. One might assume he is from the minor house of Kal. That would be a reasonable inference.
    But it doesn't say that he is, or explicitly mention anything about minor Houses. But if he's from a House he'd have a House name, and if he was an Outcaste, he'd have to be a monk or soldier, not chief Treasurer, it would be reasonable for him to be part of (or even the founder of) a minor House.
    That would actually be a sensible explanation for minor Houses: they exist to give legitimacy to unusual Dragonblood outcastes who have managed to get a job outside the Coin or the Razor thanks perhaps to the Empress's favour. Also things like if the Realm took over a state ruled by a small DB family already, who'd definitely not accept being drafted as soldiers. A bureaucratic tool to cover fringe cases, essentially.

    Bal Keraz, yeah; quite possibly THE most politically powerful Dynast in the Realm now, given that he's not only in charge of the Imperial pursestrings, but also is the unofficial master of the All-Seeing Eye. It makes sense that the Empress would want someone whose loyalty was NOT to one of the Great Houses in such positions...

    It's also noted that the Empress has had several DB children who did not found Great Houses of their own, although they certainly reproduced. Bal Keraz and Saloy Hin could be descendents of these lineages.

    The closest thing I can find to the concept of "minor houses" is a paragraph about how certain mortal families have entrenched themselves into the Thousand Scales bureaucracy so deeply, that their influence, wealth and power actually rivals the Great Houses. Some have even been building their own private armies!

    There is also mention of how Citizens, occupying the social strata between Peasants and Patricians, can be wildly successful in their careers, whether various forms of entertainment (think JK Rowling) or merchant princes whose trade organizations are as wide-ranging on the Blessed Isle as the Guild is off of it. These Citizens can be as personally wealthy as any Dynast, although they still have no say in government, and many end up marrying into the Patrician class.

    A good example are the Five Families of Tongma Island. House Peleps is trying to secure all the surrounding islands for the civil war, but they have not yet realized just how powerful the Five Families have become there. For their part, the mortals who run that isle are doing everything they can to hold onto their power and keep the Peleps in the dark...

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Here we go, it was Bal Keraz, a "ruthless, 180 year-old dynast".

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Wasn't that Bagrash Kol? No, wait, he was the guy who made that northern civilisation...
    I always get these guys confused.

    I'll go look it up, give me a moment.

    Leave a comment:

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