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Was the Bronze Faction right?

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  • #31
    So, I like to think that the Bronze faction did what they thought was right, while in essence elevating themselves to hidden masters. That said, the question of were they right becomes more complicated. Because in the world of Exalted, Right is defined as following the mandates of heaven. The Solars have/had the mandate. Therefore, killing them was wrong. Obviously though, the Solars were tyrannical and insane, probably killing and preforming unspeakable acts on a whim. So killing them was the right thing to do.

    TLDR; It depends on who you ask, whether the Bronze faction did the right thing.


    Wow I wish I had something cool to say here

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    • #32
      Well, I've been meaning to get back into posting here now my RL has settled down a little. So... my crack at this question!

      As others have said, this boils down to a question of personal ideology, at least it should. I'd actually go a step further than that: the Bronze vs Gold debate is such a pivotal point to the setting, that any fluff which clearly paints either side as right should be held as questionable. It's a good moral question, and the ambiguity of it is one of the touchstones of the Exalted setting for me. You can have points in either side's favour without showing the argument as settled.

      Abstracting it out a little, and looking past specific points of evidence, it's the debate of rationality against morality. The Bronze's points are fair and reasonable and based on logical infomation: the Solars represent a danger to Creation, this must be dealt with, and the safest way to do that would be to end Solar rule. Any other course of action was a gamble and ultimately relied upon trusting the Lawgivers to find the solution for the Sidereals. When it was lack of trust in the Lawgivers that inspired the Great Prophecy to begin with, that option seems unpalatable. Given the cosmic level power of the Solar Exalted, leaving them mad and in power could very well have led to greater tragedy than that which eventually occured. So to that extent, Kejak and the Bronze were entirely right. Their actions were the greatest good for the greatest number. On a factual, logical level, I can't shake their argument

      And yet...

      And yet the Usurpation remains a tragedy. There wasn't an easy alternative to it if you wanted to remove the Solars from power, but that doesn't lessen its tragic nature. Palaces fell, dreams shattered, people died. Some of those people were wicked, but many were not. Younger Solars, other Exalted, servants, bystanders, the list goes on. You can say how necessary it was, how it was the wisest, most sensible solution. You can call the Gold reckless and irresponsible, wanting to gamble with the fate of Creation for the sake of loyalty to the old regime. All of that I would hold as true. But none of it really diminishes the Gold's fundamental argument. That the Usurpation brought all this destruction, death and tragedy: that it split the Exalted host and left the Realm in shreds. And there could have been another way. There could have been peace. It wasn't certain, it might have been an impossible longshot, but that's no reason for Exalted like the Sidereals not to try. Kejak simply decided the gamble wasn't worth it. There was no attempt made to continue the Old Realm and every single death, calamity and loss since that day can be laid at the foot of Chejop Kejak and his faction. They didn't try to protect Creation As Was, they sacrificed it and its people for the sake of averting possible disaster.

      And to me, that's just as true. It's built on emotion and morality over cold reason, but both are true.

      I really hope Ex3 can hit this balance, long term. With the corebook's focus on Solars, and statements from the dev team about how important it is to avoid making authoritarian societies like Paragon and the Realm morally ambiguous. I worry that they're swinging too far in the opposite direction from DotFA: The Solars are true blue heroes who just need their chance to shine and make the Second Age a better place, man! The Solars to me will always be the demons from another age. They have the potential to become better than that, to be shining lights of Creation, but as long as the Great Curse lingers, there is no guarantee. And the Bronze/Gold debate underlines that.

      As to what side I'd fall on personally.... metatextually, IDK, I really like Chejop as a character (Best Exalt to this day), but even I wouldn't just say 'he was right'. IC, if I was a Sidereal right after the Grand Prophecy, I... think I'd have gone Gold, but mostly out of fear of the alternatives to Solar Rule rather than deep seated idealism.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
        But then, I prefer to picture a very dynamic First Age.
        Also, the "Exalted Longevity" sidebar on page 34 says that "Few Exalted die of old age—they’re much more likely to die by violence, misadventure, betrayal, or even accidents (particularly where sorcery is involved) than to expire peacefully in bed."

        It doesn't say that this is a new thing.
        I mean, sure the fact that there are known "expected lifespans" for all these exalted types says that some did die due to age, but... yeah, it wasn't the prevalent cause of death.

        Also, about the "It was okay because it was a monarchy and the only way to get rid of it"... I don't buy it. Solars would rise to power in any kind of government. Meritocracy? They're the bestest ones around! Technocracy? They are the greatest specialists in their fields! Democracy? People love them! Even in Anarchy they'd be the ones most adept at getting others to follow their example.
        Solars never ruled out of inertia like monarches do. Solars rule because it's what they do. Equaling that to "Solar rule means eternal servitude" seems to me like saying "any government enforces servitude".


        Silencing Whisper, Eclipse; Amethyst, Changing Moon;
        Daughter of Charcoal and Ash, Dusk, and her Full Moon sister;
        Broken Crystal, Infernal (Night-, or maybe Twilight-equivalent).

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        • #34
          Plus, as with some monarchs, some Solars probably just got fed up of ruling and wandered off to party/hunt/meditate/explore the Wyld/explore the Underworld/do magical research/wander the countryside as an anonymous hero/villain for a few years (or, with Solars, hundreds of years) and handed their rulership over to their ministers (such as Lunars, Sidereals, DBs, their mortal kids, some other mortal they liked, a magical bureaucrat golem they made, etc).

          That's even assuming that a Solar-ruled Realm means all Solars rule. It could have just been the senior ones, the oldest ones, the ones who were voted in by the other ones, the ones who cared about ruling, etc. It could be that it was "ruled" by Solars in the sense that all (or at least, most) senior positions were held by Solars, but that doesn't mean all Solars were government ministers, Senators, or whatever. Maybe many Dawns were generals in the military hierarchy, and many Zeniths were in charge of the biggest temples and dealing with the Gods for the Realm, but writing laws was done by Eclipse lawyers, because being the world's greatest swordsman doesn't make you good at writing laws. And maybe Solars moved up (and down) the hierarchy, moved from the military to the government and back, etc.

          One of the only things I did like about DotFA is that overall, there was a lot of variety in politics, in both time and space. There were areas ruled by Solars in whatever way they liked, and others run by Deliberative-voted laws. There were civil wars, changes in the monarch's power, etc, etc. However, it could have been a lot more, especially in the last 1000 years, where it seemed to be just a long time with no political change whatsoever.


          Not that I expect the books to really go into this in great detail. Possibly it's best for them not to. I like the way it's presented in the book: as the bits quoted by Amakawa Yuuto show, the books present what is clearly propaganda from both sides, and it's up to your characters to decide what to believe.


          STing Bronze Age Exalted

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          • #35
            Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
            Following a prophecy that turns out to be false doesn't seem like the 'right' thing to do.
            Well, that depends on if you're looking at the morality of intent or action. If someone makes an honest mistake with best intentions from the information they had at the time, then they've made a bad decision, but have they made an evil decision?


            I'm not sure you can make an objective statement as to whether something matters in a wider sense.
            I didn't mean that it objectively doesn't matter (though I suppose you could argue that's the case because it's just a game), I meant that whether the Sidereals were objectively right or wrong doesn't matter (for the game), what matters is whether your characters think it's right or wrong.


            STing Bronze Age Exalted

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            • #36
              I've always treated the setting as though it was on an inevitable path to destruction - it's just a matter of choosing which path.

              From the moment the gods usurped creation from the Primordials then creation was doomed by the great curse. There was ultimately nothing that even the solars could do to prevent decline in the face of the great curse.

              In short, whether they were 'right' or not is ultimately immaterial, because creation ends one way or another.


              Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

              "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Amakawa Yuuto View Post
                It's very important to remember that we have barely any information about the first age in Ex3. Ex1 and Ex2 claims explicitely don't apply unless an Ex3 source repeats them.
                I disagree in the strongest terms.

                I've been playing Exalted a lot longer than these freelancers have been writing it. They get to set the tone of the new Exalted line moving forward: they don't get to take my old books away and say "you can't play 1E anymore -- it's our fluff now".

                If this thread was tagged "3E: Was the Bronze Faction right", you'd have a point.
                Originally posted by Amakawa Yuuto View Post
                Solars rule because it's what they do. Equaling that to "Solar rule means eternal servitude" seems to me like saying "any government enforces servitude".
                Yup. And rebellion against any coercive force is justified.


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

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                • #38
                  It is fine to rebel; rebelling can be as simple as speaking out against something or someone. I don't even think rebellion needs justification.

                  But you totally have to justify how you rebel. Mass murder is way up there in terms of needing to have a solid justification, no matter the nobleness of your cause.


                  Come and rock me Amadeus.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
                    It is fine to rebel; rebelling can be as simple as speaking out against something or someone. I don't even think rebellion needs justification.

                    But you totally have to justify how you rebel. Mass murder is way up there in terms of needing to have a solid justification, no matter the nobleness of your cause.
                    Erm...

                    How do you rebel against all powerful god kings without killing them in battle? If you imprison them, they're charismatic enough to get out. I really have never seen an effective suggestion given for how to depose the Solars that wouldn't have led to events pretty similar to the Usurpation.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                      I disagree in the strongest terms.

                      I've been playing Exalted a lot longer than these freelancers have been writing it. They get to set the tone of the new Exalted line moving forward: they don't get to take my old books away and say "you can't play 1E anymore -- it's our fluff now".

                      If this thread was tagged "3E: Was the Bronze Faction right", you'd have a point.
                      I'll concede that each edition still applies to itself, and that Ex1 and Ex2 didn't just vanish into thin air. It's just for Ex3 that stuff is still undefined. Which kinda means the threat is kind of asking three questions, one about each edition.

                      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                      Yup. And rebellion against any coercive force is justified.
                      ...are you saying that rebellion against any kind of government is justified? In that case, I'd have to second hippokrene with "how do you define rebellion?", because there's a wide spectrum between "pointing out governmental flaws" and "murdering the entire goernment". The first should be pretty much always justified, the later one... sometimes, but far, far from always.

                      Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post
                      Erm...

                      How do you rebel against all powerful god kings without killing them in battle? If you imprison them, they're charismatic enough to get out. I really have never seen an effective suggestion given for how to depose the Solars that wouldn't have led to events pretty similar to the Usurpation.
                      This "rebellion against government"-trail of discussion came from someone arguing that the Solars had to be dethroned because they were god-kings. Not because they were evil, not because they were mad, but simply because they were monarchs and would probably always be in charge. The counter-argument was that there were reasons (and not just "they forced themselves into the role and subjugated the world", but genuine competence) that they rose to power, and that they'd rise to power in any system. So, if "Solar Rule is bad" is a bad thing (baring Solar crazyness), this would mean that all gouvernment is bad, because Solars get to the top by being the best at stuff, and anyone else would be even worse at it (baring Solar crazyness)...
                      Last edited by Amakawa Yuuto; 04-28-2016, 09:03 AM.


                      Silencing Whisper, Eclipse; Amethyst, Changing Moon;
                      Daughter of Charcoal and Ash, Dusk, and her Full Moon sister;
                      Broken Crystal, Infernal (Night-, or maybe Twilight-equivalent).

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Nicias View Post
                        It always struck me as a sort of invasion without a plan for the occupation, so to speak. Though perhaps in fairness too much preparation for the aftermath would have given the game away.

                        Sidereals probably did have a plan, but they weren't planning on Arcane Fate screwing everything up.


                        I write things.

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                        • #42
                          A thought I had when I posted the quotes about the first age and the ursupation earlier (but then forgot because I kept looking for more quotes):
                          The tidbit of reasoning for the ursupation in Ex3 included "Solars were about to start a civil war", as in, with each other.

                          And a very important bit: While it's mentioned that most Solars died during the Calibration Feast, it's also mentioned that many escaped (or simply weren't there, I guess) and hat to be hunted down, and that this took time. Not a simple "One night massacre", but pretty much a devastating global war that ruined most of the world due to the powers involed.


                          Silencing Whisper, Eclipse; Amethyst, Changing Moon;
                          Daughter of Charcoal and Ash, Dusk, and her Full Moon sister;
                          Broken Crystal, Infernal (Night-, or maybe Twilight-equivalent).

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                          • #43
                            That's a very interesting change.

                            It also means the Usurpation was probably less carefully planned. Rather than a conspiracy a long time in the making, more likely it was a rushed decision when the Sidereals and Dragonblood were already facing war. Rather than fight each other, perhaps they decided to turn on their masters instead.

                            Colours it quite differently.


                            STing Bronze Age Exalted

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                              Sidereals probably did have a plan, but they weren't planning on Arcane Fate screwing everything up.
                              Ex3 notes that the Sids deliberately erased themselves from history. Like perhaps Arcane Fate was part of the plan this edition.


                              Come and rock me Amadeus.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
                                Ex3 notes that the Sids deliberately erased themselves from history. Like perhaps Arcane Fate was part of the plan this edition.

                                Lame. I liked it better when Arcane Fate was an accident.


                                I write things.

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