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Liara T'Soni ([personal profile] shadow_sage) wrote in [community profile] imperial_plots2012-08-04 11:51 pm

Potential Player

I am a potential player, with a couple potential characters in mind (though this is not a journal for any of them; sorry to anyone who sees Liara and gets excited). More than a couple, maybe, but I can’t help but look at the map, read over the various factions, look at some of the characters we have, and say I want to be a part of the world, not just play a bit. I love the Civilization games as much as I love Neverwinter Nights and Skyrim, so this game is very appealing to me. And it does say post here to talk to the community to figure out fitting in, so...I hope this isn’t overwrought and presumptuous or something. Right.

What I had in mind is, basically, a mountain kingdom. It looked like there wasn’t any kingdoms in the mountains, or even factions, so unless I missed something in the current events stuff, I think they’re free. Possibly even Drigloth, since it’s so connected to the mountains and seems to only have a faction in it, but what I see is the capital city set in Karemond, right into a mountainside, perhaps. I say Karemond as the home province because of the river, but also because of a proximity to Auc and the mining community there, and from there, the caravans into the lowlands. Now, maybe it isn’t a kingdom at all; a Duchy or a Principality, anything like that, but a “kingdom” in the sense of gameplay, at the very least. There are lots of variations on how a nation or country forms and runs, and the basic history on this one is mixed; humans may dominate because of the Empire, but Dwarves, Orcs, Goblins, Trolls, anything that is a “mountain” kind of creature or monster would potentially be a citizen; maybe some sort of confederation forms a parliament or something. Give me ideas on this; if it happens, there’s going to be more than my character involved, obviously. Now, before I go further, I see the kingdom being predominantly wild, and mostly unexplored; inhabited valleys, major passes, a few bigger mines, and the capital city/stronghold/whatever in Karemond, plus some military outposts scattered about. Most everyone would live in the first big valley, basically, and the population would be small; barely enough to make a kingdom. If Drigloth ends up part of it, Auc would be the second largest town, easily, kind of thing (unless you count the possibility of a dwarven city n up into the mountains or something like that, of course). In short, even if it is in the Mountains, they remain the wild, unexplored frontier.

But I have more than lands to propose for the kingdom!

Such as the ruler. A younger (looking) man, only half human, fair in the looks department, if you can ignore his monstrous features (like clawed hands, say--though exactly what “half-human” means is vague. Any input would not be unwelcome here). His father, who ruled before him, was a wizard of no little power, and while the Kingdom is small, his rule was pretty much absolute. He took a monster as his bride to ally that tribe or tribes (of goblins, maybe, in a LotR sense of their being fairly capable compared to, say, the D&D minion-type goblin, or Trolls of some variety; that kind of thing) with his throne. She is, thus, the mother of his heir. As a powerful wizard, a necromancer, however, he ruled for many years...long enough to remember the rift being fairly new to Dagaria, if not the actual falling star that started it. And his court had to stay with him, the important ones, anyway. Wife, children, you know. Well, between time and power, he goes a bit crazy. In the last year of his life, the castle is defended by as many dead guards as living ones, and when someone angers him, they are added to his littl army, since he’d not very good at maintaining them (and there will always be more bodies); eventually, the son kills him in an honorable duel, and ascends to the throne.

Problem being that he’s no wizard. And the spell that prevented aging is gone, so he’ll only live for a lifetime, now, not forever; his power is, thus, somewhat uncertain, though no one in the kingdom is really prepared to rebel (yet) because of how much control his father had. But anyone looking to be thinking of rebelling (or preventing one) could find ample opportunity here. Because even if the son is not inherently evil, he has a throne to keep, at the very least. And as the often forgotten son of a wildly powerful man, very few people really know who he is or what he’ll do with the crown. Establish a council of lords? Name himself head of the church? Declare independence from the Empire altogether? Or call upon the monsters in and under the mountains to lead an army against the Empire’s back, since the Rift has for a thousand years called the best and strongest far, far away from where his little kingdom sits.

Part of that would be up to anyone interested in joining a kingdom of men, monsters, and more (dwarves, perhaps? Anything sentient that might live in the mountains in this setting could potentially be recognized as a citizen, I think...or most anything, at least); will this be a kingdom that will rise up in war and sweep any who oppose the true emperor into the rift? Perhaps it will be a struggle merely to maintain the throne against internal forces; Dagaria in miniature. As a character, he can do well on the throne (for good or ill) alone, but he’s been held down long enough that an advisor to the crown might end up running the country with fairly little effort. And if his high commander so decided, he’d have the power to demand pretty much anything in exchange for ensuring the throne. Maybe some of all of the above? Throw ideas out!

Speaking of control, and since the mountains are already shunned, it seems, by the rest of the Empire as a convenient shield against what lies beyond (or at least not fought over so much), I’ve been thinking that perhaps the Pope is not as powerful here as might otherwise be the case. Not necessarily an outright split (at least, not at first), but certainly removed from the Grand Temple to a degree. Perhaps the Archbishop can talk the new king into claiming that the Pope is just a man, and the Crystal Prophet is the one we should consider the final authority on what came from above (and if the Archbishop happens to be the one that understands the words of the Prophet best, well, it’s a good thing he also knows the throne is blessed by the heavens, right?); basically, something between Martin Luther and ol’ King Henry. Or, we could go the other way; name the King the head of the church within the Kingdom, whose theological fealty lies directly at the feet of the Pope; and thus a theocratic kingdom is born, one well versed in war, very well defended, and, quite suddenly, not simply faithful, but actually loyal and sworn to the Pope--oops, I meant the Church. And then, well: who wield more influence on the throne after that, the Emperor, or the Church? Do the kingdom’s lands become the Church’s lands? How would the Church use this, or would it, perhaps, object so to curry favour with the Imperial Throne instead?

What about factions? While it’s true that the dead walked the halls of the castle, you don’t trust them with the good steel. They’re cannon-fodder. No, someone else has to be the elite of the elite, the Mountain Guard, could be in place, with either the King or someone who answers to him (for a price?) running the show. Human, monster, whatever. You are the best these mountains can offer. Sometimes, you fight the rift, when the Empire calls upon you, but don’t forget, there’s plenty to fear in the deep caves, and by gum, those dwarves do like to dig, don’t they? You hold the mountains against anything from beyond the empire, or beneath it; you are the wall that protects Dagria. Don’t let the Riftguard get too cocky; how many of them have fought in tunnels so tight you can’t even turn around, right?

Or, if you are a noble and have been slighted too greatly, you could always start a rebel faction, claim that the new King is an usurper somehow (his monster blood, maybe? Or the human...), and go about a civil war in the microcosm of what is happening in Dagaria, kind of. A civil war for the throne of the kingdom would make it a lot more tempting place for someone from the south to walk into, also, eliminating both sides as a threat to the throne...or supporting one over the other to create a puppet state, perhaps?

As far as plots/characters? Obviously, a “manipulator” would not be opposed by me, though I’d love to see struggle instead of just saying whoever it is runs the King now, just like that. Basically, anyone in power in the Kingdom has the potential to do so, and maybe more than one wants to try? A magistrate, a courtier, either one could become the “grand vizer” by the king’s shoulder, helping in these troubled times. Maybe you’re trying to steer him right, make this a good place. Maybe not. A General, for the army, and bonus points if the general’s not human, though I certainly would rather someone play it if they want than wait for a monster to come along. Captain of the Guard, ideally loyal to the King rather than a manipulator but in a perfect place to be bad. A commander who uses elite units, possibly runs a faction (the Captain or the General would be great to run the Mountain Guard, I think, or whatever it should be called), but is there for the king. Oversees the defence of the royal personage, and carries out the clandestine tasks the king doesn’t want to trust to the old intel guys he’s come down on lately. Betrothed? Either someone from a tribe in the Kingdom or someone from another kingdom. A political marriage, which will probably be somewhat difficult, since the King will probably have a lover (or two) on the side, and it won’t necessarily even be another woman, either...or maybe, say, a Witch offers to marry the King in exchange for a child and power; and hey, why kill him when he can be tricked into doing whatever you want him to do? Take him, lead him to the the Imperial Throne; and then your beloved daughter becomes Empress (obviously that would only be the plan, but...)

Kingdom would be called Galtur, the people Galthai. Its primary province, as I’ve stated, would be Karemond in the Dracault Mountains, and its capital is really is as much a stronghold as a city, if not more so. Called Stonewall (hey, the Galthai are famous for good swords, not poets), it is set into the face of the cliff that stands watch over the first major pass into the mountains following the river (which is still a ways back into them, and leads to the biggest valley in the kingdom), the only road from it into the Empire winds down into Galumond, though there are other roads into the Kingdom itself which may eventually lead back to Stonewall, if the roads are not blocked and you’re not ambushed along the way.

No banner yet, since there’s a lot of nebulousness I’m putting out so that if people are interested, we can get together and make something we’ve all built, but there are some policies I have in mind for the initial launch, if you will. Basically, whether the new ruler takes control with an iron fist, or is used by an advisor or a bishop or a general or a witch or anyone; whether there is a brewing civil war on its way or not; anything that I’ve asked for input on from people who might want to be in the kingdom, right now, I still see it starting with the ruler being fairly new on the throne. That means that there are some basic things he would have put into place in order to secure himself in the first rumblings after he killed his father; necromancy outlawed. A Herod-esque accounting of families in the Kingdom, a census, to determine population and races and all of that. (Apparently) Strict rules for any nobles who fared well under his father until their role in Necromancy and other “vile” (read that as “unpopular”) practices might be (thought it is likely that this public ruling was done concurrently with many backroom deals hinting at marriages or lands or various favours if they prove “innocent” of the charges, and a strong show of loyalty and support for the new crown rewarded quickly). He would also uphold the laws his father passed equalizing the rights of non-human citizens of the kingdom, possibly take steps to strengthen and enlarge the living army (especially the royal guard) since the undead no longer swell its ranks; basically, everything would start off simply being in place to stabilize his rule. The exception would be reaffirming fealty to the Imperial Throne, and maintaining any responsibilities that derive thereof.

Roles? Commander, obviously, highly respected. Martial discipline is a hallmark of the kingdom, and being the “Wall” for the Empire, even after the Riftwall went up, has continued to cause this tradition to be upheld. Magistrates and Engineers are likewise valued, if not so highly. Courtiers have long been derided, and often the target of the old King’s rages, and though the new King has no problem with them, it is a position seen as one only those who are brave, no, stupid, are likely to take; the fairly notable lack of courtiers, however, means that once one becomes established with the crown’s favour, you’ll have a great deal of influence. His father highly valued Intelligence Operatives, and publicly, due to their being used often enough to oppress, they have lost much power, their abilities are not forgotten (and certainly feared by a King who might make them his enemy); while not as powerful as they once were (think secret police type deal), they are being used extensively to shore up any holes in the new ruler’s supporters; rebels be prepared for an organized force opposing you.

The same thing that drove courtiers extinct has lessened greatly the nobility, who have been replaced by a small but very important cadre of middle-class, wealthy individuals, most of whom rely heavily on mining, which drives the economy of the kingdom (obviously). Especially prized are traders, but the capital, buried in the mountains, is known for producing masters at the working of steel, and some of the finest unenchanted blades are found here. Magic has never been popular or pronounced in the populace, and after the long ruler of a tyrannical necromancer, they aren’t much more thrilled with the idea now than they’ve ever been. The common man, however, has a rather good lot in life, for the moment, if he doesn’t mind being equal with hideous monsters; after all, they’re treated pretty good in this kingdom, and the king’s even half monster, too! Added to the value placed on capable (and especially honourable) commanders, and a commoner can rise far.

Okay; quick summary for those who said tl;dr. I am asking if anyone is interested in a kingdom set into mountains a bit, populated by monsters (like trolls, goblins, and things like that), dwarves, and men. The old king, a wizard who was a tyrant for centuries, lies dead by his son’s hand after an honourable duel, and the kingdom, long removed from the politics of the land, stands poised to re-emerge as a player for the Imperial Throne.

Rebellion seems likely, and an untried King makes a wonderful target, especially for someone who wants to control him, like an advisor, a general, a bishop, or even a wife.

The future of the kingdom is entirely in the hands of anyone who wants to play in it; I set up the backstory, but the future is open. Dominated by the church; invaded by a neighbour; torn by a civil war caused by nobles, perhaps, loyal to the old king (or simply themselves, or by monsters who have decided they want to rule, instead; we’ll see who is interested in what and play it out from there?

Looking for a General, a Captain of the Guard, Nobles, perhaps a Magistrate from the Imperial City to advise the king, maybe a wife for the king, a lover for the king, the kingdom’s Archbishop, maybe even a Rebel-Faction leader to fight against the King and his troops? Anything else that I didn’t mention! Heck, I’d even be excited to get the Kingdom it’s own God; or at least it’s own Prophet. Can anyone say “Exalted March”?

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