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Old 10-29-2020, 09:51 AM   #11
Apollonian
 
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
(I wonder what that reminds me of? Note to self: keep it fantastical and don't draw too many real world paralells. You've over indulged in political point making too often in the past.)
Given the parallels between Megalos and Rome, you could look at the various Bad Emperors and see what happened under their reigns. Caligula, Nero, Commodus, etc.... there's no shortage of options. You could also look at Chinese Emperors who mucked it up.

You mention that the Usurper was having too much fun corrupting people to cause intentional harm. That implies that there is a demonic cult/conspiracy (or more than one) still left in Megalos; indeed, I can see the Usurper setting up several conspiracies and setting them against each other for the lols. The PCs must root out the conspiracies, extirpate the wicked, and rehabilitate the misguided before the rot spreads too far.

How's the Megalan economy doing? Traditionally bad emperors have really screwed up their economies with lavish overspending and messing with the food system, leading to famine, poverty, and desperation (and thus, revolt).

The other traditional pastime of bad emperors has been losing wars, or at least overcommitting the military, but that seems not to be an option for the Usurper. However, certain branches of the military might have gotten too independent, as Michael Cule implied, and have changed the balance of power in Megalos in ways that aren't immediately obvious. The PCs will have to deal with over-powerful generals and militant orders, either coopting, defeating, or acknowledging their new places in the power structure.

Bonus points if the over-mighty are infiltrated by the demonic cults, or are ostentatiously opposed to them (and thus, suspicious of the PCs as potential cultists).
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Old 10-29-2020, 04:20 PM   #12
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
....In my continuity that happened the night before the Emperor's New Millenium Ball so we're some way in the past of Yrth. I'd listen with interest to any schemes people have about the future development of the setting even if in those timelines Diophrates was still busily corrupting people.
So in your setting it's moving to the year 2000? Is the current emperor in your world Diophrates XIII? I know not all of the emperors named Diophrates were descendants of the previous emperor.

If the Banestorm is still sometimes active in your Yrth, the year 2000 might be a good time for that bringing in something new. (In our Earth, we had the feared Y2K--which is in GURPS Y2K).

The church might, as you suggested, use the opportunity to gain more power--after all, Megalos was taken over by a demon! And that's especially because of the year 2000--there could easily be prophecies about that. Maybe an old prophecy could be interpreted retroactively to have "predicted" the demon emperor--and what should be done next.

And there's the possibility of dealing with Caithness in its civil war.

And al-Haz and al-Wazif might have found the former demonic emperor's slackness to be a good reason to do something about Megalos.
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

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Originally Posted by Alden Loveshade View Post
So in your setting it's moving to the year 2000? Is the current emperor in your world Diophrates XIII? I know not all of the emperors named Diophrates were descendants of the previous emperor.

If the Banestorm is still sometimes active in your Yrth, the year 2000 might be a good time for that bringing in something new. (In our Earth, we had the feared Y2K--which is in GURPS Y2K).

The church might, as you suggested, use the opportunity to gain more power--after all, Megalos was taken over by a demon! And that's especially because of the year 2000--there could easily be prophecies about that. Maybe an old prophecy could be interpreted retroactively to have "predicted" the demon emperor--and what should be done next.

And there's the possibility of dealing with Caithness in its civil war.

And al-Haz and al-Wazif might have found the former demonic emperor's slackness to be a good reason to do something about Megalos.
All good points.

I think the new Emperor would be anxious to establish that he isn't the demon or in any way related to him. (His actual father, who the demon replaced, wasn't a paragon of virtue either but at least he was human.) So I think he'll try keeping his birth name.

The Year Two Thousand is bound to produce a fresh outburst of Millenarianism on Ytarria: the Church may try to ride the wave of fear but may also find itself overwhelmed by populist movements.

But I would have to be very careful about introducing off world immigrants. I don't want to force them to do the work of the Ministry of Serendipity: they might well have scruples about mindwiping innocents caught up in the Banestorm.

If anything could unite the Sunni and Shi'ite wings of Ytarrian Islam it's the idea of a jihad against the demon worshipping infidels, I agree. I think that's something to threaten in the background... and then bring on as a series finale.

I don't want them getting involved in the affairs of Caithness, though. It's where their previous characters (the ones who killed the demon) came from and to whence they have returned. Sir Alisande de Lacey and friends are the Big Goddam Heroes of my campaign and would be knocking heads together if Civil War erupted.
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

In a jihadd scenario, with unified Al-Has and Al--Wasif Cardiel may offer sympathy and allow for safe travel for the muslim forces through their territory. It is a way of doing the right thing by opposing the demon emperor influence while not actively killing innocent christians.

Also Cardiel will not want getting in the way of the unified muslin kingdoms. They may even get some bargains in the process, gaining some favors one way or another.

They may even send some christian disaster relieve force, monks, priests, etc. to help the endeavor. Some muslims may object to that but overall it will give more credibility to the jhad against evil, maybe even the Hospitalers will join to make sure they can get some spoils and also make sure the Templars are crushed as much as possible.

Edit:
You may take this further and say some demon or demon cabal is pulling the strings of the more zealous muslims and other christian church forces to make an all out war against an empire that is no longer demon influenced. This is tragic and evil, the righteous are manipulated and the innocent will perish, unless some heroes see through the veils of deception and save the world from a war that will bring misery to the entire continent.

Last edited by Rolando; 10-30-2020 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:17 PM   #15
ericthered
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

"The Church" isn't a single entity here. The Curia is factionalized, and greatly effected by local politics. Many seats on the council choose themselves, and the Cardiel and Caithess seats don't report to megalos. Monastic orders are famous for having their own quirky version of the faith. And the common priests who come from the common people can believe fairly different things from the aristocratic appointees or the isolated scholars.


So Milenialism isn't a terrible angle to go for.


If you want something a little less catastrophic, have the Jesuits start campaigning for a seat on the Curia (they lack one right now).
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
The Emperor's demise is a done deed in the history of my Yrth and I don't want to go back over it.
Oh my, I'm sorry for my mistake. I thought you meant that at first but your second paragraph ("before the Emperor's New Millenium Ball" "some way in the past of Yrth") made me think getting rid of the Emperor was a plan for the future.
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Old 10-31-2020, 04:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

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Oh my, I'm sorry for my mistake. I thought you meant that at first but your second paragraph ("before the Emperor's New Millenium Ball" "some way in the past of Yrth") made me think getting rid of the Emperor was a plan for the future.
No. Not that I haven't thrown time travel into the mix on occasion... umm ocassions... but not this time.

I was actually planning that they would assasinate the Demon at the Ball itself but the players pre-empted that.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:08 PM   #18
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

Here's the letter that will be part of the Briefing:


From the Imperial Minister of Justice, Baron Greenhay

To His Imperial Majesty, Miltiades,

Sire,

You did me the honour of asking me what could be done, now that at least the core of the Empire has been secured (however disturbed the periphery may still be) to deal with the many areas of neglect that have become obvious when we examined the decisions of the Usurper over the decades since your Father’s death.

We are fortunate that it is neglect and not something worse. The Demon seems to have been a lazy and selfish creature, content to revel in the personal power and opportunities for tempting the Royal Court to corruption and debauchery. Despite the alarmist propaganda of the Hospitallers (to say nothing of the disloyal and heretical ranting of the Templar hierarchy) the exorcists have found only a handful of actual demonic infiltrators and they were not working in a co-ordinated manner.

But neglect is bad enough. Any government not given regular audits by competent officials, not assessed for proper functioning becomes lazy, becomes hide bound, becomes irrelevant. This is plain from all the philosophical writings and all the practical experience of your Imperial ancestors and their advisors.

There are areas in the Empire which have drifted from Imperial control and whose loyalty is suspect. There are others which regard their local rights as superseding the needs of the whole Empire. And there are of course enemies on the border who wish to exploit our weakness.

To deal with foreign enemies you have the Legions and the intelligence services. To bring internal problems under control you need a new tool: a means of asserting control over provinces without having to go yourself or send a Legion which is needed at the borders and to (one day soon, let us hope) suppress the Templar heretics.

I would propose that you appoint a number of Imperial magistrates: your personal agents with the authority and imperium of being the Emperor’s personal representative. They would be sent to both inspect the state of the provincial governments and noble houses and to dispense justice as an intermediary between the local courts and a full appeal to your own judgement. This would ensure not only a rooting out of problems but also reinforce a sense of the Emperor being the friend of what the political radicals of Tredroy call ‘the Common Man’. People want there to be someone in charge of government who is fair, strong and sympathetic. They do not need much to believe that all is well and that they have hope of being treated fairly. We should give them at least that minimal amount and where it is convenient to the purposes of the state a little more.

There are three problems with this scheme.

The first is finding officials both competent and honest. Competence we must take where we can find it and not just in the traditional sources. It would be better if the magistrates were entirely dependent on you for their position and advancement and have no family status to fall back on. Let them become nobles after good service not beforehand. Honesty, by which I mean a respect for the law and for the values the law should hold, is harder to assess but with the use of mages and other special resources it should be easy to assess.

The next two problems I think can be solved by the same means.
The arrival of such an Imperial official is bound to arouse the hostility of the local power structure who are likely to close ranks and deny the newcomer access to information and co-operation.

And in many places the thought of the magistrate meeting an ‘unfortunate accident’ will be the first, not the last, to pass through the minds of the guilty and compromised.

To answer this difficulty, let us recruit with the magistrates a body of assistants and guards whose job it is to keep the magistrate safe and to discover the facts they need. Specialists in the use of force, in ferreting out information, in spying on the nobility and the commoners alike would need to be recruited. Members of the intelligence and security branches, of the Michaelites (if we can persuade the Church to loosen their grip on some of them) mages and those possessed of other Special Talents would all be needed.

I propose we give these the name of the escorts of the Roman Magistrates: Lictors. I don’t propose they carry bundles of rods and axes though we might make that symbol their badge.

I am ready to clarify my proposal in person and to discuss the necessary new legislation and administration at your convenience Sire.

In the service of your Imperial Majesty

Greenhay

(His seal)
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Old 11-04-2020, 07:08 PM   #19
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: [BANESTORM]: What happens next in Megalos?

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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
Here's the letter that will be part of the Briefing:


From the Imperial Minister of Justice, Baron Greenhay....
Nice letter thanks for sharing that! It gives both a feeling for the world and inspiration for joining the campaign. I'm glad I asked to see it.
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