Setting Information.   Posted by Fate.Group: 0
Fate
 GM, 5 posts
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 19:15
Setting Information
Every year, the empire of Taldor celebrates the Grand Day of Exaltation. On this prestigious day, the Grand Prince is empowered to elevate a commoner to the ranks of nobility. The event itself is the embodiment of formality, with the elevated commoner selected months or years in advance. What makes the day truly special is that the preceding week is a holiday throughout the empire. Nobles, senators, and hopeful petitioners fill the capital city of Oppara for galas, performances, and parades. This flood of visitors swells Oppara to almost double its size, and many view the lead-up to the Grand Day of Exaltation as harking back to the glory days of the empire. To the nobility, the week before the Grand Day of Exaltation is a time to conduct important business deals, issue noble proclamations, and hold private parties. With so many prominent politicians arriving from across the empire, the Taldan senate uses Exaltation Week to vote on matters of nationwide importance.

This year’s Grand Day of Exaltation is poised to mark a historic shift in the governance of the empire. Princess Eutropia, daughter of Grand Prince Stavian III, has forged a powerful coalition of noble bastard children, reformers, and—perhaps, most importantly—senators to vote down the ancient law of Agnatic Primogeniture. The law states that royal power can pass only to a male heir, leaving Stavian (who has no other living children, siblings, or even nephews) without a clear successor. Rumors have circulated about the princess’s quest to change the rules of succession for years, and the nation remains divided on the vote, with several nobles viewing it as a shameless power grab by Princess Eutropia. Others see Eutropia as a stabilizing force that could unify the empire and usher in a new golden age for Taldor.

One individual with an interest in the day's proceedings is Martella Lotheed.  The black sheep of the powerful Lotheed family, Martella is a respected engineer, a wealthy socialite, and (evidently) a would-be spymaster.  Having gained access to the Exaltation Gala and it's following vote, Martella is in need of promising agents to complete a number of tasks, ranging from political influence, to surveillance, to petty sabotage.

And that's where you come in...

This message was last updated by the GM at 19:10, Mon 15 Oct 2018.

Fate
 GM, 7 posts
Sat 13 Oct 2018
at 17:16
10 Stereotypes about Taldor.
Taldor as a culture has never been very fleshed out before this AP.  Generally, the whole empire is summed up as "Out of touch nobles sneering about their superiority while the nation crumbles."  While that's not necessarily untrue, no culture is ever quite so simple.  And so, here are 10 other stereotypes about the Taldan people:

10: Taldans love wordplay.  As the originators of the Taldane language (called "Common" by most), Taldan's appreciate skill with the language.  Even the flintiest farmer or stodgiest noble is likely to appreciate a clever play on words, or particularly crass pun.

9: Taldans love board games:  Every Taldan fancies himself a master strategist, and so board games, strategy games, and the like are popular through every level of society.  These range from classics like chess or checkers, to elaborate wargames complete with dozens of hand painted miniatures.

8: First Emperor Taldaris is the man:  The founder of Taldor is a semi-mythical figure, similar to Romulus or George Washington.  He's often invoked by politicians claiming that their goals fit Taldaris' original vision for the country, and he's the center of common parables told to children about bravery, honesty, etc.

7: Hair is a big deal:  Good hair is highly valued in Taldor, with many people oiling, dyeing, and carefully maintaining their hair.  This is both due to vanity, and as a way to prevent the spread of parasites, of which Taldor has many.

6: Taldans eat anything:  Being a picky eater is considered somewhat ridiculous in Taldor, and as a whole, Taldans are willing to eat anything that isn't actively harmful.  For the upper class, this means a taste for exotic and creative cooking.  For the lower class, it often means making a meal out of whatever rich people won't eat.

5: Taldans value creativity:  Shelyn was originally a Taldan goddess, and Taldor still reveres the arts in every form.  Many citizens of the empire pursue some form of artistic expression, usually music or dance.  Professional artists, even unsuccessful ones, are shown some degree of respect.

4: Taldans love dogs:  Taldor claims it domesticated the first dogs, but Taldor claims to have been the first to do a lot of things.  What is true, however, is that many breeds of dog have been bred and popularized in Taldor, for everything from herding, to companionship, to even kitchen work.

3: Taldans eat a lot of pie:  Taldor has a long tradition of sealing food in pastry to preserve it, and this is a common fate for any leftovers.  They particularly like combining sweet and savory foods together.  Jubilee pie, a combination of black current, cherry, and waterfowl, is a common sight at any major event.

2: Taldans are always polite, until they're not:  Rudeness isn't just unseemly, its un-Taldan!  Many Taldans, especially those involved in politics, will smile and shake the hand of someone who tried to kill them a week ago.  Most insults take the form of helpful criticism or backhanded compliments, particularly the cold "Well, aren't you a treasure."  This also means conflicts can escalate from backhanded sniping to shouting and fisticuffs with little in-between.

1: Taldans don't quit:  Whether you call it arrogance, willpower, or simply stubbornness, Taldans are very slow to give up.  When an army is destroyed, they raise another one.  When a city is burned, they rebuild it.  When a plan doesn't succeed, they immediately try another.  This stubbornness can be considered both the cause of Taldor's historical greatness, and the biggest obstacle in halting it's decline.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:56, Sat 13 Oct 2018.