Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From the Library

The Duke of Tradgardland invites suggestions for gaming interactions and amusing conceits from his fellow 18th Century rulers...


abdul666 said...

As Bluebear Jeff reminded us experience shows that a shared 'villain' is propitious to interactions between 'EvE' members. Quite realistic btw, in the Real World people and governments cooperate more easily 'against' than 'for'...

As I already suggested such 'villain' does not have to be 'created' as such but may emerge from convergent rumors and conspiracy theories. Indeed popular imagination 'snowballed' by hearsay is prone to generate such paranoia. Every time the death of a character of note seems untimely, every time ships are lost at sea, a Court is victim of an outburst of smallpox, sheep suffer scrapie or flour is contaminated with ergot ('St. Anthony's Fire')... causes may be perfectly natural but it's so much more 'exciting' to whisper about 'hidden causes'. Where discontent & unrest are already rumbling the incriminated 'cause' is likely to be 'local' -from manipulations by speculators to cause an explosion in price to the Almighty punishing the country for the sins of its ruler. But where the political situation is quiet 'evil' is likely to come from 'elsewhere'.

Now each of our countries has its 'usual suspect': its 'hereditary foe'. But rumors / conspiracy theories tend naturally to inflate and turn syncretic, specially when propagated orally (in the same way as several stories, originally independent, 'aggregated' to the Arthurian Circle: Tristan, Lancelot, the Grail...). It would be so much the more natural here as, while every country has its own sworn enemy, everybody knows how *vile* are the Stagonians: the idea of an 'axis of evil' cannot but come to mind.

So if several of our 'rulers' post about 'weird' events and rumored conspiracies in their own countries, they could be linked by cross-references (it must me stressed that, as long as they are presented as hypotheses / rumors, by nature prone to be groundless, such cross-references interfere in no way with the 'real' campaigns of the various 'EvE' countries / members). A 'shared mythos' would probably emerge with time.

This would be a 'first level' of exchanges between our countries, could it process further? Easily. We know in recent 'real' History of wars triggered by wild rumors (or where such were used as a casus belli). If in 'Eveurope' several populations / governments become paranoid enough this could lead to a mini campaign (played by proxy or for a part my comments to messages posted on 'EvE') concluding in one or several proxy battles.

abdul666 said...

Our 'shared Evil' may be complex (so much the more as, being a matter of hypotheses, rumors and conspiracy theories, it may even *not exist at all*!), its interpretations are prone to vary from one of our countries to the other -but some theoretician of conspiracy will eventually publish a synthesis.

The 'alliance / constellation of Evil' is likely to combine countries, secret societies and 'independent characters'.
Countries: several 'evil countries' are already mentioned in this thread, and of course Stagonia may be in league with all of them. 'Ignaz' had Waldreck in coalition with the pirates of Bizercca... It would be harmless to incriminate them in rumors / a conspiracy theory.

Secret Societies: not to mention the Free Masonry (the 18th C. was its Golden Age), the Illuminati date from 'our' period, the Rosenkreuz from the previous century. While the Hellfire Club may be more and darker than even rumored, its traditions perpetuated only in a small part by Aleister Crowley.
Being 'secret' secret societies may have existed long before being historically 'uncovered', hence the Golden Dawn, the Thule-Gesellschaft, the Vril-Gesellschaft... may already be active in 'our' 18th C.
And then we have the 'fictitious' secret societies (even if presented as 'real' by some'): the Priory of Sion (easily 'embellished'), the Heirs of the Templars, possibly the Assassins (btw following 'A's Creed 4' two manufacturers at least are producing a nice 'hooded pirate').
The descendants of a group persecuted and supposedly annihilated long time ago would naturally wreak revenge on almost the whole Western world, acting in the shadow to spread general chaos and desolation. When toying with ideas about a possible adaptation of Hellsing Ultimate to the 18th C. I suggested Hussites (they had to be located in 'Austrian' held lands) but Cathars are equally likely.
Another possibility could be an 'Order' in exile since the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem having, in despair after all those centuries, turned 'millenarist' and now devoted to trigger Armageddon to hasten the Second Coming (note that this Order may rule a statlet in Eveurope).
In 'EvE' we have Tidders' Order of the Phoenix but it looks more like a society of alchemists with a special interest in Orgone than like a truly 'evil' cult.

abdul666 said...

As for individuals: in 'EvE' we Milady de Winter, Lady Pettygree (objectively the enemies of France / Gallia would judge her 'evil'), the Duchess of Saschen-Vindow and several spies / assassins / poisoners... mentioned on several blogs. As long as they are mentioned elsewhere explicitly in *uncontrolled rumors / weird hypotheses / conspiracy theories* such cross-references interfere in no way with the actual campaign and 'role playing' of their respective creators, and are thus totally 'harmless'.

As for a location where envoys from various 'good' (or 'evil'!) countries may secretly meet, where secret service can fight, Monte-Cristo was created to be propitious to such undercover negotiations (and attempt to spay on / interrupt them). A kind of Monaco (the neutrality of which was respected by all during WWII, how convenient it was to all those involved!) where pourparlers preparing shifting of alliances / treasons can take place in perfect discretion. The Presipality offers many excuses for a visit -the fair weather, the local cooking, the traditional (lack of) costume of the youth, the casino, the spa now offering this novelty: 'thalassotherapy'... Bribes can be passed openly, in gold or jewels, as 'gambling debts' in the casino, ar can be deposited on numbered accounts in the Presipapal bank. 'Herzog Ignaz' had begun to use its facilities (in posts on his two own blogs and on 'EvE') just before disappearing from the web, and 'Soldadets' friendly used our facilities in his 'Defiant Principality' campaign. We welcome such visitors, otherwise nothing ever happens in Monte-Cristo.