Discordials (Campaign Seed)
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The Tavern, The Storm of Discord, and the Clique of The Channel
|“||Alas, this was a world built on good intentions, but with evermore terrifying, despotic outcomes.||”|
|—Sirigatus Leonidas, key figure in the establishment of 'Tavern'|
In an otherwise medieval world, the Gods found fit to bestow a new teck, a transcendent one, with effects and patterns yet not entirely identified, known as 'Tavern'; Whose use could even be fairly called a way of life, to the people who used it.
Those who took on Tavern and became party to the teck became efficient, they worked well, and general prosperity rose - But as the use has grown and evolved, even those who prayed for it began to question its place. Those who were efficient, became respected, as they grew confident in their own power, they bandied about in a loose group; Not technically allies, but far from enemies, this group encompassed all who used the teck, and in general parlance, it became almost synonymous with 'Tavern', the self-proclaimed heroes, judges, and demon hunters of the world: the newly called "Discordials". A polity so called for the name of their evolution of the 'Tavern' principles, and their apparent lack of cordiality when it comes to enforcing will, even otherwise beneficial developments.
Far from the boons to the world they once were, this bandied set of people came to claim rule over all known lands. Self-destructive, destructive of the land, unwelcoming, moralistic imperialists - A group with unprecedented power, and a narrow mindset. Simultaneously out to enforce the law, and to ignore it. To declare they fight conflict, but exclude those who would help. To find personal greed with quick foot, but lay ambivalence on improving wealth. Riding under the banner of humility, but flying it in the faces of all others.
With few bad intentions, and a clique of like-minded, similarly empowered individuals, the Discordials became an aristocratic group; Those who took on the teck and joined, excelled and gained great power, most swiftly, provided they came with a similar mindset. A sorrowful fate dares befall those who disagree with these rulers, though a few famous rebellious figures still exist. Those Discordials, who, under the guise of perfect justice, human fallibility, moral absolutism, law of the land, fairness, whatever suited them that day, declared their arbitrary executions and exclusions justified. As their rule hardened, it was unspoken, common knowledge that there was little legitimacy behind their reign and their actions, but they seemed to care not, for they had their way.
Discordials are not all evil people, it is an experiment going awry. By breeding division, elitism, and echo chambers in the minds of the powerful, however, it promises to fracture the world, left only for citizens to hope and wait, for a day when this teck gone wrong is instead just gone, and communities can rebuild.
One of the original receivers of the 'Tavern', Sirigatus, has recently come to disavow the new development. He looks upon most of the now-powerful with distrust, though he still technically, in law, remains their colleague. His key allies lay in an odd middle ground, but his key enemies wield perhaps the greatest power of all. Sirigatus seeks those who are willing to undermine these shifts in power to despotic rule; He seeks any adventurer who has realised the scorched earth that Discordials leave in their wake. Whether through reconciliation and reform, or through cut flesh and raining blood, a resolution must be found to this growing political power, lest we all suffer.
|“||In a world of humble beginnings, there were humble people, doing their best.
In the light of a new world, there were people less humble, doing their best.
As the Sun faded and the light worshippers too many, so did their darkness cast upon the land.
As the land turned barren, the light worshippers proclaimed a sick victory, assuring all that the land itself was the enemy all along.
Kwinidad, The Age of the Emperor, and The Litany of Aggression
|“||If you'd care to show your evidence, I'd love to show you exactly how this Royal Injuction is based on utter nonsense!||”|
|—Merag Mia, Heir to the Origi-Guard Crown. From a speech directly to the Emperor, in defying his latest edict|
'til the years of 18YY, Discordials at least had some limit on their power. With time, however, came their involvement in the highest echelons of power on the main continent, Kwinidad. Though the Discordials maintained themselves as an ever-self-radicalising echo chamber of aristocrats, they were merely aristocrats - The separation of powers throughout the empire had maintained a somewhat stable atmosphere. These aristocrats served the Emperor, under whom the whole land ultimately remained subject, but management delegated to the trusted beneath him.
The Emperor's attitude toward the developments were cautiously optimistic, he had embraced the reception of the 'Tavern' but appeared largely ambivalent about the development of the Discordials, before starting to take an interest in the off-brand form of godly teck. Where the powers did congregate, so now did the Emperor join in; Though his intentions undoubtedly remained within *consistency*, the whispers in his ear undoubtedly left his viewpoints with *inconsistency*.
Now these elite peoples, on their quest to destroy all that they cared for, all that brought them there, and all that they once were, were infused with a sense of empowerment. The (unwritten) constitutional separation of powers was no longer in effect; The receivers of 'Tavern', with their political sway, now held a backdoor to the running of the entire populations - And it showed.
After a short period socialising amongst them and experiencing this malformed 'Tavern', the Emperor was embroiled in private audiences the aristocrats had orchestrated, engaging in swathes of secretive missives, there even now stood a building now dedicated solely for the meetings that Discordials had set up for one another, where they could now conspire with the Emperor at any given moment. This was it, it took mere days before new Imperial edicts were handed down, 'mysteriously' marking a sudden involvement of the crown with petty bourgeois affairs. Where open discussions were invited and encouraged by all across the land before any potentially arguable policy change, now the royal court would ever more regularly see the Emperor arrive - almost in step with the Discordials in his wake - with pre-written and pre-signed laws already in hand, ready to shift the balances of power as suited such inane politics.
This marked a new age: A time where the corruption of the ideals of 'Tavern' were now all but officially a part of the governance (as one might expect, official court historians still laughably maintain that all discussion with Discordials of the realm is advisory and non-committal). Where the average adventurer could perhaps rely on the impartial sovereignty of majesterial affairs to save them when Discordials brought unfair elitism to crush their livelihoods and their homes, or to further restrict their freedoms, now there was no official safety net. Some of the previously benevolent clans, even the few that remained reliable into the beginning days of Tavern, such as the Large Cannon Dandies, were now ever more involved in the games of power plays and greed.
Though there may be more underground camps, the only rebellious faction in Kwinidad that remains tolerated (for now) , is a newly founded collective, the 'Swords of Sirigatus'. The eponymous Sirigatus doing all that he can to border on the 'technically' allowed side of the ever more Discordial-minded laws of the land; He leads from a unique position to leverage his minor power solely from his history, that he served the Emperor (with a trusted hero and friend, 'Marinamus', who currently simply wanders the lands), long before the full unification of the political class.
In the darknesses Sirigatus remains and plots, and though regularly shot down by the cliques in the Imperial courts, he runs a number of truly secretive operations designed to maintain the integrity of the land and one day undermine the undeserved positions of the Discordials. A now vocal opposition to most official actions, with few (but, undoubtedly some <3) friends in higher places, he holds close his plans of Tavern-based reform and the smashing of the elitist state. Few adventurers publically work with him, but others maintain a more mercenary relationship, willing to assist on some matters, all non-hostile parties are regarded with a modicum of respect by the faction, long as they refrain from the petty political wars.
In this time, adventurers face an increasingly difficult environment to work under. Anyone wishing to achieve, or even worse, accumulate a modicum of wealth or power to their name, will find the iron fist of the oligarchy swooping in to either assimilate or discombobulate them and all they ever built (usually a childish play to enforce rules and feel powerful). There are various opportunities to be found, either by serving the corrupt ruling classes, with the increasingly revolutionary Swords of Sirigatus, or to simply struggle to build something of your own in ignorance and isolation of the world (though while the worlds are magically monitored, most need technical assistance to stay unnoticed).
|“||In a world of conceited beginnings, there were ignorant rulers, accumulating their greed.
In the light of this flawed world, so have all shining icons been brought to war.
The Sun gone and the land ever more barren, parasitized by selfishness.
A battle between the worldly and the bourgeois, and the swords are being drawn.
But Alas (bonus epilogue)
|“||I raised my concerns. I did my duties. I fought for a kind kingdom. You did not listen.||”|
|—Sirigatus, in his final letter|
It was such that Swords of Sirigatus had already formed their underground network, supply routes were intercepted, warehouses were raided, whispers among high places; Against an increasingly tyrannical empire, ever more extreme actions were being implemented. Though the plans to integrate the Emperor into 'Tavern' had fallen through, the yet underhanded channels of discussion were still in place; The Emperor now laid down legislation to empower and officiate the 'Tavern' as dominion of the empire, and with it came his responsibilities to the Discordials.
The final climax came by unexpectedly, and without the victorious revolution against, nor the quiet dissolution of, the Discordials that Sirigatus had so desperately wanted to rid. The Emperor's legislation was ever rash, and harshly driven in the interest Discordials, that Sirigatus stepped from his quiet place in the royal court, and openly objected to resist an edict passed down, one seemingly solely uttered to punish a fellow rebel for disliking the 'Tavern'. With this conflict, Sirigatus suspended his own duties in protest, he could no longer stomach being among such uncharacteristically cruel courtiers and royals, and pondered his next move.
The ultimate blow, however, came with unfortunate timing; Wherein an underground rebel base had been discovered, and inside it, was found the wax insignia - Sirigatus'. Put under house arrest, held at the dark of night, he was subject to the internals of the royal court, now knowing his fate was sealed. His traitorous actions had hurt the Empire as a whole, his rebel network was crumbling in his hands, and he knew for this he would be hanged to dry. Before awaiting the obvious outcome, he took his chance to pen a final letter, wishing the best hopes for all of Kwinidad. Lamenting the ordeals that the original 'Tavern' had consequently put him through, he snuck out, in some hopeless search of a brighter kingdom, perhaps, with luck, he would find Maranimus, or liase with the Sapphire Lizards from afar, but none of it was likely.
The Empire was left to develop its own way, perhaps this would be the best outcome, but it's a fair bet that Sirigatus didn't think so.
|“||Can you defend your sabotage? There is no community nor legitimate basis for what you have done.||”|
|—Emperor, from the court records|