IC politics/gossip/controversies - what's everyone talking about?

Hi everyone!

So, I am creating my character in preparation for joining Empire this coming year. As a newbie, I wanted to ask what are the big political and cultural talking points at the moment? The IC political questions, religious debates, fashions and rumours that nobody can ignore. In short, what does everybody have an Opinion (with a capital ‘O’, no less!) on, and what are the general opinions that people have?

Furthermore, is there a sense that there is an (IC) reactionary-conservative-centrist-progressive-radical spectrum of these opinions, or is everything too fluid for this to apply?

Toodle-pip,

Kit

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What Nation are you looking at?

(Asking as I’ve the feeling the regional aspects of briefs will play role in what gossip you’re looking at.

…said as a person who was supposed to hit play last year, but, well…gestures at everything)

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I’m going to be a Leaguer - Temeschwari specifically - but I’m trying to play a fairly cosmopolitan guy who tries to keep abreast of developments across the Empire.

The most current things to have an opinion about will be whatever is in the Winds of War and Winds of Fortune.
These are IC updates about the state of the Empire. WoW are the current states of various fighting fronts, whether we won or lost territory and anything that made those fights interesting, such as fancy magic, terrain issues etc. If you are at all interested in the military side of things you will have Opinions about where the armies go next, which battles the heros should do on the mornings of the events (5 or 6 opportunities we can only do 2 of them) and also possible skirmish targets.
The WoF cover everything else. Current trade relationships with foreigners, any magical conjunctions, which rabble is revolting and what they want out of it, any controversies found by the civil service that may need intervention, territory curses / boons, and which Eternals have contacted the Empire.
This may affect your character by involving their nation, their region, their job role or interests and you are welcome to have an Opinion on any or all of it. Most people pick perhaps 2 or 3 that they want to chase up, keeping track of all of it is alot!
Anything in the Winds can be considered common knowledge, your character would have heard about it on their travels, seen a local broadsheet etc. Whether you want to chase down the details is up to you, your Egregore can help point you to towards useful people if you need a starting point.

Then of course people will also have Opinions and Agendas on everything that was dealt with the previous event or the fall out from that, or just their own personal thing from some obscure bit of the wiki!

Your opinions will be shaped somewhat by the hearth magic and feel of your nation. I’m Highguard and my Chapter oath emphasizes the Good of the Empire, so my opinions are influenced by the Virtues and what will benefit the Empire as a whole, not just a few people. What filters your character’s opinions will depend on who and what they are also.

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This was the last notes for the long winter. You can see previous winds by clicking on the recent history tag on top right of the screen.

The next Winds are likely to be published about a month before the next event. They’ll be on here, on facebook and on the wiki so you shouldn’t miss them.

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Thanks Charlie,

Yep, I’ve found the Winds of Fortune etc. But, firstly, are there topics that everyone (or almost everyone) has an opinion on? And secondly will people who have the same opinion on x also have the same on y? Looking at the most recent Winds of Fortune, for instance, would people who think ‘The Asaveans burned down our temple, so we should burn theirs and forbid trade’ also tend to think ‘We should be encouraging friendlier relations with Axos’ and ‘The Highguard are attacking my nation’s cultural traditions, and it’s a good thing the Dawnish are going to get them to calm down about it.’ etc.

That’s going to be interesting to watch…

Lessee… Empress Lisabetta has vanished, and the Throne is vacant.
The Liberty pact, banning slavery and trade with slaving nations: has it worked out?
Why is my nation getting over-run with barbarians while there is being heavily defended by Imperial armies? (Applies to almost everyone, I think :stuck_out_tongue: )

Generally, the subjects that everyone will have an opinion on are:

  1. Where the armies should go next
  2. What the Senate should be spending money on (Economy, Religeon, defensive military, offensive military, diplomacy with immediate vs distant nations)
  3. The barbarian tribes on our borders
  4. Eternals.
    (Pretty much the whole spectrum of real-world political issues, although rebellions and breakaway regions are at a low… currently)

Opinions will vary from “I know nothing about this” through to “Well if you ask me, I reckon we really ought to…” through to “If we do not do X within 6 months the Empire is doomed!”

As to how peoples opinions line up or disagree, well, I’m afraid that really is something for the field. It’s a good hook into the role-playing, asking opinions on world events. And will likely get you into several IC arguments :slight_smile:

The League… well… Sarvos was sacked by the Grendel not long enough ago, and while a deal has been struck with them, it’s not a good one. Holberg (province) is hosting a large tribe of orcs with a slave complex who ran from the Druj, is it worth it?

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:laughing:
It is a running joke in Highguard that if you have 2 priests you have 3 opinions…

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It’s a fair question, and I can understand why you’d want some grounding before coming into the game.

The important thing to remember is there are roughly 2000 people at Anvil. This means that, on the whole, you will find people who have a full range of opinions.

Correlation is complex and nuanced; for example, if you agree slavery is bad, then you might not care what happens to Asavea, who are a slaving nation, while you might want friendlier relationships with the Axou, who are not. But then, you might not like the Axou because you feel strongly about religion, and theirs is blasphemous, so…

Your opinions on things in the world are partially informed by your character’s values and experience - apart from heresy, there’s no wrong answer, so long as you are ready to discuss and possibly defend them!

(Edit: I’m sorry if that’s not particularly helpful, I just want to put you a bit more at ease!)

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Thanks for the advice everyone :slight_smile:! I guess I’m barking up the wrong tree if I’m in the mindset of “My character is broadly conservative/liberal/radical, so they’ll have this opinion on foreign relations, this opinion on military matter, and this opinion on religion”, that’s really helpful, thanks.

In that case, though, are there IC newspapers that cover political matters? I understand there’s the Thrifty Squid, but isn’t that focused quite narrowly on the Bourse and economics?

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Yes there are several papers and they do have their own editorial guidelines. I think the Oathwright is the most widely and regularly published which covers similar topics to a real world Broadsheet.
NB also note if you read the Nation briefs you’ll find there are different national opinions on what is the ‘Truth’ even, specifically Highguard and Urizen who have opposing views which can make things more interesting!

There are also plenty of people willing to either thrust at you or sell to you their opinions in pamphlet form, many of which will also be available to read at your own place in the Anvil Library.

There are also people sticking flyers on the citizen noticeboard in the Hub. And if you want a feel for what the different national assemblies and Virtues assemblies think you can read the Synod wall in the Hub also - and see the voting results at various points.

Plus some people literally bring a soap box and shout it at anyone standing around!

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I think the big thing in Sarvos is that some individuals from Highguard broke all of our mirrors in what sounds like a very heretical deal. Being Temeschwari, I wouldn’t be shocked if your reaction is half anger at this attack on the League and half amusement that at least it was Sarvos.

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Yes there are Newspapers out there like the The Oathwright + few others I cant think of right now. If you’re in the League then also pick up a copy of the Looking Glass which covers the all important topic of Fashion but also all sorts of opinion pieces on matters of the day.

Other places to pick up controversies in game include the wall of the Hub (the central civil service tent) which will have all sorts of posters and announcements shouting their opinions at you. You’ll also find a bunch of priests looking at the judgements they have to vote on and lobbying for votes one way or the other.

As a member of the League your politics will be flavoured by your nation but also importantly by your city (and in Tassato, which side of the river you’re from).

Also if you’re dedicated to one virtue or other (not compulsory even if you are a priest) then that will probably colour your opinion in some fashion :slight_smile:. I always used to enjoy Courage Assembly meetings with several people following their virtue and having a vigourous exchange of views. In fact assembly meetings (you can usually find them advertised in the hub) are also a good place to show up to hear politics happening :slight_smile:.

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Thanks for the help everyone :grin: :grin:

Hey,
Ive just been made aware of this myself but Court Reports details the outcomes of trials in anvil, although not overall political you could probably get some good gossip from there.

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Thanks :blush:

When you hit field, you want to go find a copy of the Looking Glass - its a fashion magazine with a gossip section.

I know I’m mostly gossiping about which young man my sister declared she wished to bite while quite drunk. And what lineage the Cardinal of the way would look prettiest mascarading as (I vote naga, but Senator Cesare said anything but marrow)

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Sounds good to me!

Like others have said, the Winds of Fortune and Winds of War cover most of the ongoing stuff, and their contents are available for anyone to know, not know or not care about as they wish.

Off the top of my head, really big things going on at the moment include

  • The Empress and her partner vanished into thin air fairly recently so there’s no one on the throne at the moment.
  • Varushka now possesses a new territory called Ossium which is the first region the Empire has newly conquered (rather than just going back and forth between Imperial and barbarian control) in a long time.
  • Feroz, a Brass Coast territory, has been given to the Grendel (a barbarian orc maritime nation) in return for a cease fire, resulting in a lot of displaced or captured Imperial citizens.
  • Several Imperial territories are under attack from a group called the Heirs of Terunael, who are weird spring magic terrorists trying to spread the Vallorn (an aggressive, living magical biome).
  • Older news that you might certainly still have an opinion on as it happened in recent years includes making peace with an orc barbarian nation (the Thule), updating religious doctrine to have an official stance on orcs (and subsequently falling out with Sumaah, the other major worldpower that follows The Way) and a big religious upset due someone called Yael making claims about the afterlife.
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If you’re looking for a defined set of political groupings, see the Conclave Orders:
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Conclave_order
“The orders are political bodies with clear philosophies about how magic should be used. They are made up of like-minded individuals and exist to bring together mages who share a common vision for how magic should be used in the Empire.”

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