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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Uhm, you guys suggesting we start a mini-Ean breeding program do realize that children with superhuman powers need to be raised, watched etc. It's just like that first time we became king - it sounded so cool! But when it actually happened, it was just unending waves of state-management and trying to play Civilization in a CYOA format. So, let's say we have kids. Then what? Do they shit supernatural shadows eating away the flesh of babysitters? Do they die in what seems like a blink of an eye to our immortal perspective? What if they get kidnapped by any of our numerous enemies and used against us - or just a curious Gieloth wanting to perform some quality scienmajific experiments? If we were still a simple immortal, we could probably get some info about what happens when they breed with sapiens from our lovely tentacle buddy; hell, immortals could be sterile for all we know. But Ean is currently an abomination of unknown nature and questionable control. Kids? You gotta be kidding me.
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Yeah, it's basically Nabu's tower lite. Marduk has Nusku's soldiers manning them.
     
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  3. Stygian Lurker Scholar

    Stygian Lurker
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    B D2 A1 B A
     
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  4. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    The choices! By the Emprah, the many, many choices! Tzeentch help me.

    First:
    C - I bet some 90% of the Cult of Marduk joined it just to make their lot in life better/break the glass ceiling. Kinda like Communist Party membership here in Potatoland before the commies fell apart.

    ***

    Second
    D - this will appease Shulgi's cultists.

    Third:
    2

    ***

    Foruth:
    B - the Roman in me likes the idea of decimation.


    Fifth:
    1 - As Sekhenun tells it, Babylon will be in urgent need of military power to scare of its former vassal cities.

    ***

    Sixth:

    B - time to kick Ares' arse.

    ***

    Seventh:

    C - as much as I'd like to help Egypt, we stirred WAY to much shit in Babylon to leave.
     
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  5. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    That's a great point that I didn't consider. However, it still means that 10% are true believers and might try to work against us. B provides the same benefits, except that it pisses off the cultists more because it's secular. Still, I think that can be remedied with other concessions.

    I think that the key to maintaining internal stability in Babylon will be to offer the cultists a lot of meaningless concessions, but little in the way of real power. If we make Shulgi's cult the official religion or Shulgi is named a god of the pantheon, while at the same time leaving the real power to ourselves or to the unaffiliated, then stability is assured and the cultists are appeased. I know we think they're useless, but personal feelings aside, betraying them would be very foolish right now.

    Oh, and I just realized that allowing some form of Marduk worship to continue in a more limited form is a very, very bad idea. Why? Because in our speech a few days ago, we explicitly stated that Marduk was not a god:

    I understand that in these CYOA's that everyone hates the "Do nothing" option, but here it's absolutely the right decision to make. We're in sort of a dilemma here: we can't really ruthlessly stamp out Marduk's cult because it would create a lot of tension and resentment. At the same time, we can't explicitly allow people keep worshipping as part of the pantheon because it legitimises him. Also, because it would contradict our words about him not being god.

    Therefore, we should say nothing on the matter. That way, we don't ratchet up tensions against Marduk loyalists, while at the same time we don't legitimise Marduk as part of the pantheon. The best political move here is to not confirm or deny anything.

    Oh, and we can't have Gudersu become King. He isn't Akil, this guy is way too rough around the edges to be groomed for that position. Worse yet, Gudersu doesn't even want to be King - putting him on the throne without his consent will strain our relationship. Taking the throne for ourselves is the least bad option. The cultists will be satisfied with Ean on the throne, while at the same time we can keep power firmly concentrated in our hands.

    Er... I mean, hand.
     
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  6. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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    B
    B3
    A2
    E
    B
     
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  7. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Actually, putting Gudersu on the throne and staying around to teach him the ropes, shape him from a rough diamond into the crown jewel (ahem) of Babylon could prove very worthwhile. He seems to be a cross between Astarth and Sargon. In other words, badass. About him not wanting it, ask him. What could be easier than saying "wanna be king, bro? I'll help ya out to get settled."
    About the kids: have Sekhenun watch them, considering that we make a deal of friendship and partnership with her (why you bros don't want to do that is beyond me).
     
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  8. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    We can keep the Cult of Marduk legal and not contradict our previous words by saying WE are the real Marduk and the thing they worshipped was an impostor. It is true, after all :P
     
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  9. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Astarth and Sargon were capable administrators in addition to being bad motherfuckers. Gudersu probably has them both beat in terms of bad motherfuckerdom, but he doesn't have the experience needed to be King. But I dunno, maybe if we get the right people in the administration, I suppose it could work with 1B. However, as fucked up as Babylon is right now, I think that Ares' assault of Egypt and the impending Marduk-Zeus showdown are of far greater importance. If we manage things well here, we can come back to a (relatively) stable Babylon. We've played this revolution brilliantly, now we just need to wrap it up properly.

    There are 5,000 Babylonian soldiers in Egypt, and the two human lieutenants there can be swayed to the rebel cause if we're smart:

    Igi is almost certainly serving as bodyguard to Marduk in Greece, so the two generals in Egypt must be Zaidu and Dakuri. I believe that Zaidu can be brought to our side if we play our cards right. A good start to getting him on our side would be to show mercy to the surrendering Babylonian soldiers - no decimation, just let them go home. He cares about his men, and he'll definitely fight against the rebels if we show cruelty to the soldiers here. I'm willing to bet that Zaidu is with Marduk more out of a patriotic sense of "my country, right or wrong" and loyalty to his men than a genuine love for Marduk.

    However, no matter what we do, I think that we cannot explicitly allow people to openly worship Marduk as part of the old pantheon. Suppressing the Marduk cultists is bad, but legitimising Marduk's claim to godhood is equally bad, especially after we desecrated his temple. No matter what we do, whether we're in Babylon, Egypt or Greece, the best move there is to shut the fuck up and leave that situation be. That I'm 100% sure on.

    I'm on the verge of flopping to a trip back to Egypt, but I really want to get Marduk now, before either side has managed to win.

    Storyfag: Haha, never occurred to me. I wish it would work. Marduk's been sullying our good name for nearly a century, it'd be almost impossible to set things right again. Well, short of killing the fucker of course.
     
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  10. Quetzacoatl Liturgist

    Quetzacoatl
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    Hey treave, when the time skips start getting big how much history that will happen be recognizable? The butterfly effect caused by our actions could quite possibly prevent the existence of Carthage or Alexander's conquest of Persia.
     
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  11. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    I doubt either side is going to win this quickly. Zeus has the home advantage and a whole pantheon of immortals on his side. Marduk has his power, power amplifiers and super soldiers. It's a pretty even fight at the moment. No, this choice is about who gets the short end of the stick.

    Choice A means Egypt gets razed to the ground by Ares. Choice B means Greece gets destroyed in the fighting. C means both get clobbered.

    Of these choices I take B. Unlike Greece we have invested a lot of time and effort in making sure Egypt was prosperous and safe from Gieloth and Master's influence. I'd hate for that to go to waste. Plus, when the time comes I'd much rather face Marduk and Zeus and their armies with an army of our own, and the only place we might find one (apart from stripping down Babylon defenses, which I'm definitely against) is Egypt.

    Shame about Greece, but Egypt is more important to us at this point. So let's get there, declare ourselves Runi that has come to aid Egypt in this dire time, unite Egypt and Babylonians behind us and drive Ares into the sea (also, ask Sekhenun if she can prepare some of that immortal killing poison). Then move on to Greece with our armies to end this once and for all.
     
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  12. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    There are a lot of ways this can be played, but I think I'll go with a bold plan: claim godhood, make our will known to the people, and then go to rescue Egypt claiming the mantle of Runi. Leave Greece to Zeus and Marduk while we consolidate and strengthen the two homes we've known. We can be the benevolent but fierce god that watches over his people without actually fooling around with administration. This should allow us some freedom to come and go as we please, exploring the world if we like.

    1) C. You open up recruitment for all qualified personnel regardless of their history. What you need are skilled administrators to allow Babylon to thrive, and you cannot afford to be picky about the men you choose as long as they can do the job.

    We need the best we can get and I see this choice having synergy with decimation (put some fear into potential traitors) and crowning Gudersu (he needs a lot of administrative help).

    2) D. You introduce yourself as a new god to the pantheon and put Shulgi up there as a new addition equal to, not greater or lesser than, the old gods. 3 (or 1, whichever can defeat 2). You do not do anything about Marduk worship.

    Claim immortality, throw the cultists a bone, and let Marduk worship fade out on its own. Violence didn't work with the cultists way back when and Marduk was horribly oppressing his people. It shouldn't be too hard to win their hearts and minds.

    3) B. Run a psychic check together with Sekhenun and keep only the ones that would loyally follow your cause. Kill 1 in 10 of the rest to set an example for the others. This will leave you with about 1800 soldiers. 1. Get the Gutians to come as 'mercenaries' to bolster your troops. A

    We need raw numbers and we can also establish our dominance with B. This one example of how Ean the god must behave differently from Ean the mortal. Bring in the Gutians for numbers and because they are loyal. Decimation will force the other soldiers to accept the Gutians as well, even if grudgingly.

    4) C. You call Gudersu here and give him the crown. B

    A is out. I don't want Ean tied down. The people likely won't support an oppressive noble from the old regime (B). The cultists can't be trusted in case Shulgi comes back (C). And E is probably too drastic a change with everything else going on. Bring in Gudersu, explain that he is favored by us for his hospitality and loyalty when we were wandering the desert, and surround him with capable administrators.

    5) B. You travel to Egypt to aid in their defense. Showing up at a desperate time and rescuing the Egyptians will take away credit from Marduk. Let Zeus and Marduk battle it out in Greece.

    Time to capitalize on the Runi myth.
     
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  13. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Arright, you convinced me that decimation will be helpful in keeping the new-old administration in check, allowing us to trust them to help Gudersu while we're absent. Flopping to visit Egypt in my original post. Also, the story of a god rewarding his hospitality is really cool. We should, however, spend a few days (weeks?) showing off our powers. Just to underline our godhood. And while we're at it, we should claim our rightful place as the REAL Marduk :smug:
     
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  14. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    C. With the most competent administration we can find, we'll prosper more and anger the people less, resulting in a stabler government less easily overthrown.

    B3. Nothing good will come from proclaiming our divinity, this option appeases the folks who never got into Marduk worship and the Shulgi cultists as well to reward them for their loyalty. Some people worry that Shulgi will come back and take control, but, well... honestly, just about any immortal could do such a thing, as we've seen by having our own cult hijacked. If it'd been as easy to reclaim as telling them 'yo bros, I'm the real god here!' we'd have done it. I also don't want to stamp out the descendents of the folks who decided to worship us, let's avoid killing our people if we can avoid it. Oppressing them is likely to inspire revolts.

    C or A, whichever gets more votes behind it. I'd prefer going with C, as I believe we should go with traitors once they betray us (before that point we can possibly persuade some to us, after all) but I can tolerate A. Also, I'm going with 1! The Gutians should be fine with fighting for some straight cash, and we need to bolster our ranks anyway, especially if we go with B or A.

    C, provided that Gudersu wants it. Actually, would it be possible to start up a dual monarchy? That might be the best option, with him and us. We could abdicate once he's ready to rule by himself.
    Finally, there was the issue on who would be the ruler of the city...

    C. We need to stabilize Babylon, having it collapse will just make it easy prey for any Gieloth willing to strike it again.
     
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  15. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    I'm curious how our hunger and eating works regarding non-Gieloth immortals. Can they still regenerate from whatever we don't eat/our poop? Or since we are devouring their essence/powers does that in effect kill them? Maybe we'll find out with Ares.
     
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  16. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Fuck yes. This is how we should handle things. Not staying in any one particular place is especially important now that we've made enemies of both the Gieloth and the Masters.

    However, I'm worried about 1C, especially if Gudersu is King. He's very politically naive, which is why we need to vet everyone who works with him. If someone with strong sympathies to the old regime is working as Gudersu's advisor, it's likely that they would start plotting against him. Wanketh was killed because his advisor Kumare betrayed him, and I see a similar thing occurring if we don't ensure that Gudersu isn't surrounded by the right people.

    Still, I think that we really shouldn't explicitly allow Marduk worship to continue. We shouldn't stamp it out (it caused a shitload of unrest with Shulgi's cult) but we definitely shouldn't officially allow Marduk to be worshipped - the cultists would be furious! Quietly looking the other way will be the best bet for maintaining stability in the country.

    I'm also not sure why we should declare our own divinity as an equal to Shulgi either. To counter the possible return of Shulgi? Other than that, I really don't see the benefits.

    I'm really iffy about the decimation. It could just as likely cause widespread resentment and foment a possible mutiny down the road. Then again, the Gutians are also foreigners who are regarded as scummy barbarians, so perhaps some decimation is the right call here to ensure military cohesion.

    If you ask me, the biggest advantage of crowning Gudersu would be that it might bring an alliance with all the other Gutian tribes that reside east of Babylon. There must be more of them, maybe Gudersu can unite his tribe and bring more of his people along.

    Edit: Actually, I'm willing to flop to 1C so long as it means that we can personally vet any incoming bureaucrats and administrators via telepathy before we leave the country. Otherwise, it isn't worth it.
     
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  17. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Honestly history is pretty much off the rails by this point, thanks to Marduk. Ean's actions have had an imprint on history but not enough so that things like Carthage and Alexander, further off in the future, are affected. I'm running with a high level of historical inertia to make things easier for me to plan out where possible.

    Marduk's conquest of India and the war with the Greeks, however, is a big deal, and depending on how it ends, the consequences might be severe (i.e. setbacks to Greece which might delay or even make it so that its Classical Age never comes, which in turn will pretty much change Western history). If you still had the voices it wouldn't be so bad, they have knowledge which can help push history back on track, or even start a new Golden Age for a people if applied correctly.

    At any rate, most of the stuff is Marduk's fault right now. There's a reason why every faction besides his own wants him dead. If he stays alive for another fifty years there'll be enough culture mixing that Alexander will be looking at a very different scenario if he appears.
     
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  18. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Not decided yet, but:

    1. C Capable Administrators: an obvious choice, and necessary in the long run to create a prosperous nation; we just need enough authority and stability to guarantee it.
    2. D3 or E3. Declare ourselves as a God, leave Marduk cult alone. Esquilax is right that we must simply allow the Marduk cult to die out. Oppression will have an adverse effect but we certainly don't want to keep it around. One caveat - are we convinced any and all Gieloth presence has been eliminated? It will go a long way to ensuring this path works, since the main reason Shulgi's cult survives is probably his own intervention from time to time. On the Shulgi question, the only good reason I can see to elevate him is to keep the cultists on our side - we can't rule just with the Gutians, they won't have much moral authority. So if we don't throw them a bone anywhere else we must do so here, though if Shulgi reappears it would be pretty annoying.
    3. C1 I'd keep everyone around, and bring in the Gutians. We don't want to create a sharp division where Gutians are like the Ostrogoths and the Babylonians the Romans, and decimation - well, someone explain to me how that will help the soldiers accept the Gutians?
    4. A or C. Gudersu would not make a good King. Perhaps he could be trained into it, but he won't be happy, and as a Gutian he will be a source of mutinous feelings amongst the disaffected. I mean, how numerous are the Gutians both here and elsewhere? Do we know? But I don't know if there's a better alternative - E is too drastic indeed. I know we don't want to be stuck here, but Ean as God-King wouldn't be so bad.
    5. A or C. I don't think Egypt is a great option. Leaving as soon as we are made God we are pretty much guaranteeing that we give up any sort of lasting power base or a powerful, united Sumerian Empire for the time being - if we don't end up being usurped by Shulgi / Marduk loyalist / whoever immediately, that is. All for what? Going to Egypt doesn't directly help us kill Marduk, we won't be able to take over the country there, and the Runi legend is pretty flimsy by itself. Seriously, we go to all this trouble, we have to go for the jugular with Esquilax(?)'s plan and kill Marduk, or stay here and make sure we get a kingdom out of it. I feel the most strongly about this one - No Egypt.
     
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  19. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Esquilax, I'm in favor of declaring our divinity for the same reasons we've been fostering legends about Ean: it gives us a lasting attachment to the people that we can leverage in upcoming conflicts with Gieloth and the Masters. The difference is that a deity is a much more durable icon than even the most impressive mortal legend. If we go back to Egypt and claim to be Runi, no one will believe us who doesn't then think that Runi is actually a god or demigod. Once we claim divinity we can use the same identity over and over to fight humanity's enemies and reinforce the people's belief in us. It regenerates a lasting connection in a way that a one-time legend that never reappears won't.

    As for the other stuff, I feel like decimation is a necessary package deal for 1C and Gudersu as king to have success. It scares any Sons of Marduk administrators (who let's face it are probably the only locals with real experience) from plotting at least right away, it gives Gudersu more soldiers and makes it more likely the Gutians will be tolerated.

    treave, has Sekhenun said what her plans are? Is she staying in Babylon to help stabilize or is she taking off?
     
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  20. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Simple fear and the idea that Gudersu and the Gutians are being rewarded by God-Ean. The people may not like it at first, but once they're no longer starving and disappearing to feed Nusku's experiments they'll probably soon forget.
     
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  21. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    treave: We already know that Marduk has committed genocide on the Gutians, but how do Babylonians in general view them? As savages?

    I don't think that will happen because the Babylonians view the Gutians as savages. A Gutian King on the throne is like having a monkey on the throne to them. Then you add to the fact that we're going to be killing a number of their fellow soldiers under the misguided idea of "BE FRIENDS WITH THE GUTIANS, OR ELSE!!!", and you've got a mutiny waiting to happen once we leave the country.

    They're going to be resentful, and why wouldn't they be? Their ranks have been decimated for pretty much no reason and the barbarian savages that they fought against and they considered pests for years are now sitting on the throne thanks to yet another divine asshole who thought it was a good idea.

    It's a bad idea. But consider this:

    There's been minimal damage to the city: Babylon's walls are perfectly intact since we didn't use Gudersu's people to raid them. If we manage policy well, we won't need a huge number of men to hold the city. A man who expected the worst but has been offered mercy is far more grateful than a man who's just seen his brothers-in-arms being slaughtered at random. And he'll be much more likely to see the Gutians as brothers-in-arms as well.

    I understand being ruthless and EXTREME is cool, but being merciful here is really the way to go. So yeah, 3) A1 is looking far more intelligent to me should we decide to leave.

    Unfortunately, it's also looking like Ean has to take the throne. The only reason people aren't voting for it is because they don't want Ean tied down - but I don't see why we can't abdicate the throne once we find someone capable in the future. Being king now doesn't mean that we have to stay in Sumeria forever. Taking the throne after destroying Marduk's cult will also strengthen Ean's claim to divinity. Really, it's the best choice by far.

    Remember in Egypt, when we had the opportunity to take the throne, but didn't? Turned out to be a big mistake. I see a lot of the same thing here.

    Gudersu is a great conqueror, but a poor ruler. Hell, he's even told us this already:

    Worst of all, we've thrust kingship upon him without even asking him. He clearly doesn't want to be king, he doesn't have the skills for it, and he'd be ruling a city in anarchy populated by a people that don't like Gutians. His place is by our side on the battlefield, not on the throne, we need him as our general. Again: how the fuck is this a good idea?
     
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  22. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Making Ean king and then leaving immediately is probably worse for stabilizing Babylon than putting a reluctant Gudersu on the throne. Either Ean becomes king and stays or he appoints someone and leaves. I can see your point about Gudersu, but there really is no other alternative except Ean or rolling the dice on democracy. If I flopped off of Gudersu as king I could give up decimation, but if we went with Ean instead then I'd have to vote staying in Babylon.
     
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  23. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Goddamn, you're right. It's basically anarchy if we declare ourselves king and fuck off to Egypt or Greece.

    In that case, we should go with the noble. There's a lot of hatred towards the nobility right now, but it's still far better than putting a barbarian foreigner with no skill at politics on the throne during a time of anarchy.

    There would be unrest at first, but people would eventually stop giving a shit so long as the country still had very good administration and the right people were working to maintain stability (1C). A savvy noble familiar with court politics would also be the right guy to nullify the influence of any remaining Marduk sympathizers in the city caused by 1C.

    We shouldn't give Gudersu a throne just because he's our friend. We need someone right for this.
     
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  24. Quetzacoatl Liturgist

    Quetzacoatl
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    Can the puppet king be temporary? So that when we return we take the throne.
     
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  25. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    While Gudersu says he isn't fit for kingship, well... the fact of the matter is, he never expected that title to be open to him, Marduk was just too powerful. It was perfectly fine to say to his people that it might happen some day so that they wouldn't lose hope while having no realistic opportunity to ever gain it. Now that the place is free for the taking, if he doesn't go for the kingship now, then what? Give our Gutian bros the kingship, and let's rule together; if it turns out that Gudersu was just being the sort of badass who underestimates their competence, he can take the reins. If not, well, we're reasonably competent in administration and can tell the thoughts of any near us, so we can probably afford to spend a few years stabilizing the area before moving on and leaving the power in Gutian hands.

    On another note, it should be remembered that 1) people of the time didn't tend to give too many damns about who ruled them provided that they didn't screw around too much with their religion or make taxes heavy (though nobles who could rally the people for their own ambitions were sometimes a problem... it'd be good to keep an eye on those guys), and 2) the Gutians have a relatively large, experienced army with which to crush rebellion in the city if they goof up on one, not to mention us.
     
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