Friday, March 09, 2012

the Realm has been portrayed in a fairly consistent fashion for the last decade of publication. Essentially, the Realm has always been described as a dwindling power in the shadow of a Greater age. As the Realm has continued to persist, it has diminished more and more as the miracles of the ancients vanished from the World. At the head of all of this was the Empress, who was intensely shrewd and managed to secure a very posh position for herself. She managed the decline well but soon, not much more will be left.

Now, see, that's significantly different in theme, tone and execution from the following - The Realm has been ground into near-defeat by a constant, millenia-spanning war against the Anathama.

Let's address the subject of the Anathama, as well, because these new authorial directions have implications there, too.

How does the Realm view the Anathama?

It might surprise you, but the material is relatively consistent in saying - they are not particularly concerned. In order to understand that, first understand that not everybody in the Realm can read charmblocks and the 'tiers of power' meme that is so common on the forum is not widely held knowledge. Let me propose to you some very realistic statements --

'Aren't the Anathama mostly defeated?'
'Why are we continuing to fund the Wyld Hunt? Who is in charge of it? Are they being payed too much?'
'How dangerous are the Anathama -really-. Isn't a Dragonblooded just as powerful, or even more potent than one of these things?'
'I wonder if the history of the world is actually genuine. I've noticed people in this country tend to play fast and lose with historical accuracy, and it's fairly common knowledge that history is written by the victor. Did the 'empire of the Anathama' even really -exist- as they describe it?'
'I bet the Anathama aren't really a big deal at all. I mean, we run the whole world now, pretty much. What the hell is -one guy- gonna do against our cultural inertia? Please. The old empire became what it was because it was in the right place at the right time; any farfetched notion that the Anathama could even come -close- to defeating us now is a paranoid delusion.'

Now, from our OOC perspective?... these are all incredibly stupid statements. However, the Realm is not exposed to what we are exposed to. Rather, they are constantly educated in how awesome and infallible the Terrestial Exalted are; which leads on to naturally speculate whether the olden kings can even meaningfully -threaten- the Glorious Imperial Dynasty.

So, this leads us to the modern Realm, where actual -ANATHAMA CULTS- exist amongst -DYNASTS-. This is a world where Dragonblooded will actually make backroom dealings with a Solar and really only worry about getting caught. Never portray a modern dynast as overly hostile, if you want to be authentic - confronted with a Celestial, they are likely to vastly underestimate the mortal danger such a being poses (both socially and martially) in order to try to subvert the situation or twist it to personal benefit. After all, what's the harm? How bad could it get? They have been told since birth they are FUCKING AWESOME and they can handle most situations. This tends to affect people.

Is every modern Dragonblooded this ignorant? Nope. But most of them are.

THIS is why the Wyld Hunt keeps getting less and less funding every year.

Now, examining this, you can see it's reasonably gameable. It produces an environment where you can have many varied, nuanced interactions between Dynasts and Celestial Exalted.

So, now we can begin to see another potential problem of introducing the notion that an ongoing conflict with the Anathama has ground the Realm into dust --

This makes this far less reasonable. Anathama Cults change in tone and character completely; they are described in the book as being 'bored dynasts', but now they take on a feel more like terrorist cells. The Wyld Hunt becomes not only a priority, it becomes the MAJOR NATIONAL PRIORITY and is no longer a dwindling branch of government thought largely obselete, it's -the central purpose of current governance-.

So, this actually changed not only the theme and tone of Lunars quite a bit, but it adjusts Dragonblooded and Realm theme as well.

These are observations, not complaints. So don't read this and think of it as an attack on this -- this is meant to be a description of what is happening, so the ideas can be examined and refined/dismissed/attacked as required.

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