The Great Escape... er, Coup

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by K on Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:07 am

If it works, i'll have no problem addressing the character as Lord Kolson from then on.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:20 am

I'm not participating obviously, but just want to say good luck. Wink
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Essoje on Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:51 pm

Thanks Snarg, glad to see at least one player of the other party believes in our cause... what was it again...? Nevermind!

We might want to destroy the local information network if at all possible. Well, or at least fill it with as much 'noise' as we can once we are close to doing the deeds. This also would include giving ourselves terrain understanding, so mapping the place and look for all kinds of routes we can use is a big bonus.

I'm having Javan roll politics (because we don't have a knowledge military) in order to look into all that. If I can get a bonus for doing some legwork, I'm doing it, hopefully other White Scarves will reach Holtburg before we trigger our revolution coup thingy.


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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:17 am

Yeah, for the cause!
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:20 am

Kolson Wezrae wrote:Since I understand that, I know that the counties have sheriffs, the cities have police, the states have their own police and the national guard, and that the federal government has certain law enforcement and military measures all their own. And that's not even including the private sector or the highly motivated citizenry that has 3 guns for every man, woman, and child living here right now. That's a lot to watch out for and I live in this society so I know that.

So what's the equivalent for Aluvia? We really need that context if we are ever going to be able to play the various rivals and factions against each other or have any chance of understanding how people wield power in their domains. I'll have MANY followup questions.

You know the funny thing is I plan to do a Concerning Primus on this exact topic; the governments of the world. Text wall inc.

Aluvia prior to the Dryreach Incident was a loose alliance of wealthy magnates and patrons who used their influence and resources to maintain a nonstop balancing act between them in a political game of... fancy chairs. In this old system the military was entirely cell-based, with each cell being structured around a given wealthy individual, family, or group. Usually this was at the city level, rarely it would go higher. This military was poorly structured, trained, and equipped... for there was no real need for a military in the modern world. War wasn't even in the vocabulary until it was introduced after the Dryreach Incident by the Dericost.

The High Queen, woman chosen to the Monarch and one of the only surviving members from the 'before times' aka Year 0. The High Queen, Alysa of Highspring (a Lord Elf) retained sovereign power over the entire Kingdom and was very active in the day to day management of the bureaucracy, and created the Lords and the Council to help her manage the affairs of such a vast territory. The Council consisted of people with the wealth to buy their way in, a move Alysa herself calculated to ensure that people with resources and influence would be in the upper hierarchy and, since anyone could buy their way in, would be invested in maintaining that position through the only method ratified; by her personal approval. With this threat constantly over the Council's heads, they walked a fine line of being happy with where they were and terrified of losing their position. With the Lords she took a different route; the Lords were people of no standing, wealth, or influence... but were hand chosen by her own personal agents and then selected by her, herself, for one distinguished trait; intellect. She wanted leaders. Leaders with charisma, intellect, tactical know-how, and strategic capacity. The only ones with the power to remove or replace Lords were her and the Council, and as a result there has been only 1 occasion of a Lord's family member ascending to the position after their removal (and even then it was only because the child in question was simply that brilliant).

All of this went to hell after the Incident. The Aristocracy (which I use to refer to the wealthy upper class in general, since there are no true lines of nobility) and the Council found themselves in the same boat; facing a foe they had no capacity to deal with. It was several months before the Dericost even shared a name for their enemy; Tumerok. Thus in those first few months a nameless fear which could not be stopped had crushed them and their fellow nations like bugs. Money and resources could not combat the Tumerok or that which they created; fear. Alysa probably had a plan of action in mind, but she never got a chance to implement it as the Lords stepped in, being the types of individuals they were. The Lords completely redid half the government of Aluvia, turning the cell-based decentralized city-states into a cohesive force which effectively became run by the Lords themselves. The Council was allowed to maintain their position, but lost all of their actual political power, being reduced to managers and bureaucrats. The High Queen was allowed to retain sovereignty in name only, losing every ounce of her political influence and control. And the Lords became the Supreme Commanders of the other major thing that was reshaped... the military.

In the face of a total unknown such as the Tumerok, the Lords reasoned that they needed manpower, training, and technology. The alliance with the Republic was fully the idea of the Lords, as was devoting a colossal portion of all national resources to such a completely overhaul of the military that comparing the two is like comparing a single ant to an army of Tuskers. When the geniuses in the Republic devised the Airship and its military-grade equivalents, dozens were commissioned in the first few years alone. And given how well military service paid in benefits (though not in actual pay), a fairly large number of volunteers signed up not just to be well dressed mercenaries, but career soldiers.

All of this left the Lords the unquestioned rulers of Aluvia. All of the Lords who were in power during this transformation remain in power today (not counting the Lady Lightmane) except for Aayndia of Floralwind, a Half-Banderling who was a brilliant tactician placed in command of the newly formed Lytlethorpe Region as part of the joint effort of the Four Nations to create a military barrier along the boundaries of the Dryreach Zone.

With the Lords at the top and the Council dealing with large-scale bureaucracy, all internal and external policing was dealt with by the newly revamped military. Thus military officials in the officer track would often serve as constables, judges, jury, investigators, and the like. This isn't too dissimilar from how things worked before, as the cell militias and soldiers under the Aristocracy handled things in fairly the same fashion, but it was far better organized now.

Under these upper echelons things branch a bit. The military is often considered a singular unit when it comes to factions, but in truth the military is effectively five separate organizations which coordinate with one another, each one reporting to their respective Lord. The Lords themselves do have an informal and off-the-paperwork council among themselves, being the actual rulers of Aluvia.

The Aristocracy retains an unusual position in the power structure. Borrowing from Alysa's ideas from a century ago, public positions are allowed to be purchased into, resulting in a similar situation to how the Council used to work. This means most of the mayors, secretaries, and otherwise bureaucracy is consistent of the wealthy or formerly wealthy members of the Aristocracy. More than once in the last 30 years there have been disorganized attempts by the wealthy to take more political power, but the military tends to keep such things in check... and add to that the fact that the whole of the Aristocracy is not a faction in any sense of the word, as any alliances tend to be small in scope and usually temporary. Thus there is no true group of the Aristocracy, merely a designation. As a side effect, there are actually very strict laws in place in Aluvia regarding ownership of weapons and armor. Anything up to Steel is completely unrestricted. Going slightly above that in magical or material quality requires a license, which is tantamount to registration with the military so they know where you are and what you use. (Side note: One of the recruitment pitches the Adventurer's Guild used back when it was still active in this time was that they would handle such hassles for you, which some found to be a benefit). Anything from a certain quality and higher is flat forbidden for non military personnel in Aluvia.

The Undermarket has always slipped into the cracks of this. The Lords tolerated the Undermarket because they weren't stupid and understood how critical it was to the substructure of the economy, so allowing them some leniency was acceptable.

There's probably more to tell but I've been typing with my eyes closed for a bit now. Feel free to hit me with more questions.

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:21 am

Interesting. Thank you for that post, I like to learn about the lore of this setting and there's a lot here I can think about.

Just waiting for Huldar's response to our proposition. I'll need to know whether he will help us or not before I plan anything else.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Rory on Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:29 am

Archengeia wrote:Lightmane has not been seen by anything you're aware of for some time now (a week I think?  Maybe longer... since before you guys returned) but that doesn't mean she's not still here.  As for the factions... weeeell there's probably close to 50 factions amongst the Kingdom so it really depends on what you want to know.  It's mostly smaller-scale political alliances.  So what's something more definitive I can give you for the factions you're looking for?  Also Huldar will definitely be stopping by to check out the refugees and insist on talking with and interviewing a few of them, Human and Stoneholder alike.  He'll also want to talk to this Human fellow who's been organizing them and upon hearing Rory's long term plans for them somberly wishes him good luck.

Zeiss has no problem finding out that the Blackbrine were going to be charging a bit more money than would otherwise be done for charter, but they're also unwilling to budge on the matter, given the hassle it'll be for them getting this many passengers on such a long journey.  They inform Zeiss that if he wants to go use someone else they can, of course.
Factions: immediate, large(or clustered into alliances), and active in the city of Holtburg.

Huldar
Rory is either holding onto a bottle or never far from one, but only privately. The young man has a grave look about him - haunted, resolute, or a mix of both are possible emotional states for Huldar to read(psst, it's a little resolute with more haunted). Can he tell that Rory is, using an expression here, bottling something up inside?

He is at first hesitant to open up to the lefftenant, but after hearing some spiel along the lines of "fighting the good fight", he explains that he's charting a potentially dangerous trip for his people to reach Osteth, bitterly reflecting on the hardship he's putting them through to find them someplace better, and that some of them may end up in Sho territory, one of the nations at war. Quite possibly a safe distance from any fighting, on the east coast - or so he hopes.

Maybe Huldar can stay on... He asks the dwarf(yes, I looked it up) what's next for him now that he's here. We're taking care of refugees, hiring some of them and reforming bandits(he's not mincing words, Huldar is a "bandit" himself) for admittedly dangerous work, giving people a chance to run away. What's his takeaway, assuming Rory's associates are done with him? What about the people under his...'command'?
Attempt at Diplomacy here.

Blackbrine: what's the cost?

Zeiss, let's contact Ursolan and see if we can get Lightmane to throw in with us. Nevermind the likely assumption that she's got nothing. So far we've been taking from her, let's actually try to benefit her in a big way now.

Wall of text: that's a looot. I'll read it later.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:27 pm

I do not mind searching for Ursolan to get more info out of him to help us with the coup, but I refuse to reinstate Lightmane in power. There is no reason for us to do except loyalty, which I have none for her. Kolson is a better choice on all counts.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:45 pm

New thought: Lightmane was good enough to clear our name, even if it was to her own benefit. I would be willing to give her an advisory role to the new Lord of Holtburg where she would get to enjoy the comforts she had previously. However, it would be made very clear that she is a subordinate and that scheming against us is ill advised. In the future, if she shows appropriate loyalty, we might give her a position of power.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Rory on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:33 pm

Well, it's not even about loyalty for me. We kinda owe her, y'know? Besides, we don't even know what her stance was on the whole situation with the refugees. We know Ursolan tried to look for ways to help, but that's it. We'll table the 'she's not worthy' discussion for now, until we can find out more about her "political platform" and where she stands on governmental reform/restructure.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:41 pm

We owe her a lifestyle where she doesn't need to watch her back everyday in fear of being captured/attacked. I'm not sure we owe her the Lordship of Holtburg. But even before we discuss that, we would need to find her, if we can (which I doubt very much). If she's still in Holtburg, I don't know where to look.

Might roll knowledge politics and gather information to see which friends she had in the capital. I don't think we can do more than that, unless you have another idea.

*glares at Huldar... from three rooms over there*
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:48 pm

One thing the GM wants to know is if you intend to take over Holtburg the city, Holtburg the Province, or just a region around Holtburg... OR try to remain a part of the Kingdom and become a member of the informal Lords council.

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:54 pm

Well, we want to control what Lady Lightmane controlled, which I assume is the city and the province. However, we don't want to become a city-state since it would convince everyone else in Aluvia to eliminate us (and we also want to change Aluvia from within). So Lords Council it is.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:07 pm

Of course Huldar is not well versed in such things so wouldn't even ask such a question... ultimately he feels that he cannot help anyone who is clearly just another person struggling for power, given the scope of what you've told him of your operations. He already has someone he's following who is trying to do good and that man has earned his loyalty. He also admits freely he is willing to die if it is your judgement.

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:18 pm

*flips table*

I tried. Honest to God, I tried.

*returns to scheming, will post in a bit*
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:20 pm

To make things more clear, Huldar's perspective is simple. He doesn't enjoy the idea of people thinking too large scale, and everything he's heard from Kolson clearly indicates they want to move things on a national level, something he can barely comprehend. He's a very down to earth personal kind of Dwarf, and holds the opinion that when people aim too high bad things follow.

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:25 pm

DId Kolson get that impression from Huldar? If that's the case, I'll roleplay accordingly.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:29 pm

We'll say yes.

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:43 pm

Upon learning Huldar's response from Kolson, Zeiss will ask that the Lefttenant be brought to him in his office. He will sit down in his chair and invite the dwarf to do the same. After fixing Huldar for a few seconds from behind his desk, he will begin to talk.

"Hello. My name is Zeiss of Dreamkeeper and I'm the overseer of the Exchange. That Aspect over there is Advoc. He's acting as my conscience, so to speak. He's continuously talking of redemption and how much I should strive for it.
-Just sharing some ideas, replies Advoc.
-And that's why we're not going to kill our prisoner here, continues Zeiss. It seems you made some wrong assumptions about us. I just thought you would like to be informed that you won't die by our hands, no matter what you choose to do."

He sits back in his chair and shows Huldar the letter Kolson and Javan found in his camp.

"Very interesting reading. Especially the part where it says the Undermarket in this region will be fully replaced within the month."

He examines the letter, and then returns his attention to Huldar.

"Is the Exchange bound to be replaced by someone more convenient? Or are we the replacement? After all, my employees have almost finished the preparations that will allow us to take on the Undermarket responsibilities in Holtburg, given a day or two."

OOC:
No need to roleplay this Arch. I'm just doing it for flavor. Also, the answer Huldar gives will radically change Zeiss' plans, so I'm looking forward to it. And needless to say, deception roll.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Archengeia on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:09 pm

Huldar strokes his chin thoughtfully as he prepares to record another Voyager video.

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:43 pm

Zeiss watches some more of Lost while waiting for Huldar to wake up from his daydreaming.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Archengeia on Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:40 am

Huldar eyes the Elf oddly, and before answering in full admits he was unaware there was any significant competition for the Undermarket's replacement in the area. Especially since his own organization is already actively smuggling and selling in the nearby cities and Holtburg itself.

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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Zeiss on Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:52 am

Zeiss ponders for a moment what Huldar just told him. He leans forward on his chair and then says:

"For a moment, I thought about going to the aristocrats for support with the coup. After all, you were hitting their caravans. I also had proof."

He waves the letter around. And pointing to Huldar, he adds:

"And a witness. But then I learned you were giving away the supplies to the refugees, which changes everything. After all, the very reason I wanted the Lordship of Holtburg was to give myself the means to help people: build new quarters in Holtburg, get the necessary funding to rebuild Janwall, acquire the Ancients' farming technology which would solve our food problem. But allying myself with the aristocrats would go against these goals. Oh sure, I may be able to convince them to help in a small way, but that pales in comparison of what you and your people could provide. Which is why I wanted you to aid us in this coup. But you refused."

He sighs.

"I could probably manage a successful coup d'état with the Aristocracy. However, they would limit the way I want to use this power, seeing as there's no monetary profit in helping people. So, I won't do it. No more coup."

He gives the letter back to Huldar.

"You'll need this if you want to continue your operations."

Zeiss turns his attention to his paperwork.

"Soon, I will send my caravans to trade with the other cities. I'm planning to direct some of the profits I make towards relief efforts. I have a whole group heading towards Glenden Woods for that very reason and for them to be successful, they need supplies. I trust you'll recognize my organization's emblem, so please, do not take my cargo. We have the same goal and it would be counterproductive for us to fight each other."

He looks at Huldar again.

"Oh, I almost forgot. I'm not sure whether Kolson told you about this or not, but I made a deal with the Mites of the Hub. They gave me and the people of my choosing private access to the Hub. They don't like the war, and considering the Exchange is working towards stopping it, they agreed to make an exception for us. If you and your organization wish to cooperate with the Exchange, come visit me. I would be delighted if we managed to come to an understanding. Having the docks on lockdown is very troublesome for my business. But make no mistake."

He stares into the dwarf's eyes.

OOC:
Use the orator ability Persuasion.

"I managed to brush away the false accusations the Order made against me. I escaped the Sho military, who was holding me prisoner for a murder I didn't commit. I pushed back attacks made by the assassins who managed to bring down the Undermarket. I survived the Mana Storm and the devastation of Marblebush. I'm a very determined man. So when I say the Exchange will unify the remnants of the Undermarket, I mean it. I hope your superiors will be willing to work us. It would be beneficial for all the parties involved."

Advoc, who was leaning on a wall this entire time, suddenly approaches the Lefttenant.

"My Aspect will show you the way out of the Veil. I imagine you'll want to return to your assignment, or maybe report to your superiors about our encounter. I'm sorry we brought your activities to an halt, we didn't know what you were doing. Nevertheless, good luck and have a nice day."

Zeiss starts filling out the paperwork sitting in his desk.


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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Essoje on Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:56 am

So yeah Arch, what Javan is aiming for is basically, the information will be about forces of unknown origin amassing troops in places of difficult access, then leaving the place when they are noticed. It will start small and believable, and I'd like to have Zeiss' and Kolson's people cooperate with this by leaving evidence that Scan wouldn't be able to confirm or deny at least 3 times. As soon as credibility is gained from this and we are ready to trigger the attack itself, we flood information about the unknown forces being all over the place and give them races, factions and numbers at random from a list of existing ones, including stuff that's supposed to be 'secret' for the public, but our party knows about.

The aim here is for them to focus on who's creating the noise because of the secret stuff being leaked, but feel forced to check the info for veracity anyway because their leadership will know this some kind of elaborated plan and a real group would be included on those reports. We should have some paid 'extras' groups placed beforehand in places that will be added on the reports. Then, if their leadership has any brains tho, they'll notice that they should be looking for groups included on other sources but not on Javan's. There should be one or two. But too bad, this is all a red herring all along.

They WILL fortify and turtle up until the coast is clear, no doubt about that. Now, if we can manipulate how they are going to turtle up beforehand and they are unable to read the real aim of all of this, we might just get to some or all of the leadership while avoiding open conflict.

If you guys like the idea at all, we should start thinking about the details. Otherwise, Javan will be creating some white noise anyway, but we make use of it in another plan. Up to you guys.
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

Post by Rory on Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:25 am

Sounds complicated. Kolson, what do you think?

Baby steps Zeiss, city first. We'll see how that goes. So, Arch, how bout those factions?
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Re: The Great Escape... er, Coup

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