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t209
2012-01-18, 07:25 PM
You have seen the empire portrayed as tyrants who oppress their and other people in movies, comics, novels, and videogames. But Are there any movies, comics, novels, and videogames that portray the empire as good guys, or at least not evil.
One of them I know is Tamriel Empire.
Until the event in the game Skyrim when they ban Talos, their own emperor.

tensai_oni
2012-01-18, 07:58 PM
Fire Emblem: Dawn of Radiance has a non-evil empire. Begnion has some evil nobles but the empress herself is good.

In Legend of Galactic Heroes, we have a republic and an empire at war, but neither are really good or bad. They're just governments in a realistic setting.

Mr.Silver
2012-01-18, 08:03 PM
Part of the reason why empires are usually portrayed as bad is that they tend to be, well, imperialistic. Given that it's rather difficult to acquire political control of other nations territories without agressive action, typically military force, it does rather push most empires away from the 'good' side of the morality spectrum. While non-imperialistic empires can exist they are/were fairly rare both in fiction and real world history.

One of the only fictional example of this I can think of is The Empire from Warhammer Fantasy, mostly on account of it being fairly strongly based on the Holy Roman Empire. In both cases, they're called empires because their respective heads of states have the title emperor rather than king on account of said heads of state being determined by election rather than by birth. Note that The Empire is still fairly grey, but as far as the Warhammer world goes they're definitely on the lighter end of the spectrum.

t209
2012-01-18, 08:06 PM
In Legend of Galactic Heroes, we have a republic and an empire at war, but neither are really good or bad. They're just governments in a realistic setting.
In the end, the empire reform itself and gain moral higher ground.

druid91
2012-01-18, 08:23 PM
Starwars has the Fel Empire.

Basically the empire with the sith and sith lackeys kicked out.

Pretty decent place while it lasted.

Morcleon
2012-01-18, 08:36 PM
Starwars has the Fel Empire.

Basically the empire with the sith and sith lackeys kicked out.

Pretty decent place while it lasted.

A more neutral star wars empire would be Thrawn's Empire of the Hand. They say that Thrawn didn't actually support the Empire as under Palpatine, but merely wanted to create a unified galaxy to stand against the Yuuzhan Vong. :)

dgnslyr
2012-01-18, 08:38 PM
Fire Emblem: Dawn of Radiance has a non-evil empire. Begnion has some evil nobles but the empress herself is good.

In Legend of Galactic Heroes, we have a republic and an empire at war, but neither are really good or bad. They're just governments in a realistic setting.

I... I think you're mashing the titles of the two Tellius games. There's Fire Emblem 9: Path of Radiance and there's Fire Emblem 10: Radiant Dawn, the sequel.

While the Empress herself is a pretty nice girl, the senators have almost never been depicted as anything but nasty, heartless bureaucrats, with the exception of maybe one. Seriously, those nobles are pretty nasty folks. It's a good thing our Ragtag Bunch of Heroes is strong enough to individually level armies, and obviously the right political decision was to eliminate all senators and have power held exclusively by the Empress herself.

I love the games to death, but I don't really think Radiant Dawn's a good example of a good empire, when its highest ranking nobles are corrupt, slave-holding priests.

Tavar
2012-01-18, 08:56 PM
Empire of Man from David Weber and John Ringo's Empire of Man series(starts with a March Upcountry).

The Empire of Manticore, from the later parts of the Honor Harrington series(David Weber).

The Empire from the book In Fury Born

The Empire of Charis from the Safehold series.

The Civil Goverment from the General Series, by David Drake and SM Stirling is arguably of the good variety, accounting for values dissonance. Also the Empire of...Vanburk? It's in the sequel series, consisting of Reformer and Tyrant. Again, accounting for values dissonance.

The Belisarius Series, though while it does have an evil empire(Malwa), both the Roman Empire and Persian Empire are of the good variety.

The Dahak series, by David Weber, also has a good empire.

David Weber's War God's Own series also includes a good Empire, though it's in the backstory.

There might be a pattern here....

Soras Teva Gee
2012-01-18, 08:57 PM
All content which seeks to describe an alternative to the Imperium's just rule and divine rule of Him on Earth as the ideal of governance has been deemed heretical. Please report all such materials to your local Inquisition consulate.

http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l585/garrard175/HeresyStamp.png

Jade Dragon
2012-01-18, 09:05 PM
The evil empires are the ones that lose. And not just in the story sense where in stories good trumps evil. Think about the Romans. They're not evil, because they won. Same for the most recent empire in the default D&D 4e fluff, a human empire that's something of a mix between the Roman Empire and Medieval England.

Tavar
2012-01-18, 09:08 PM
What's your definition of winning, then? Cause, they sure as hell didn't win the last couple of wars they fought....

Closet_Skeleton
2012-01-18, 09:26 PM
What's your definition of winning, then? Cause, they sure as hell didn't win the last couple of wars they fought....

Depends what you mean by 'the last couple of wars'. You can pretty much pick any date for the fall of the Roman Empire you want, with 330, 395, 410, 476 and 1204, 1453, 1806, 1918 or 1920 being the most popular years.

Those respectively being the decline of rome as a capital with the designation of byzantium as the second rome, the final split and end of a unified empire, the most famous sacking of rome, the death of the last western emperor, the conquest of the eastern empire by the crusaders, the conquest of the restored eastern empire by the turks, the dissolution of the german/holy roman empire in the napoleonic wars, the abdication of the last rulers claiming continuity with the position of Roman emperor eg the turkish Sultan, the Russian Tzar and Austro-hungarian Emperor and the moving of Turkey's capital from Constantinople to Ankara during the young turk revolution

Jade Dragon
2012-01-18, 09:30 PM
What's your definition of winning, then? Cause, they sure as hell didn't win the last couple of wars they fought....

All empires fall. If they win the initial war, then they get to write history. Only empires led by something like a lich could be truly evil.

Closet_Skeleton
2012-01-18, 09:36 PM
All empires fall. If they win the initial war, then they get to write history. Only empires led by something like a lich could be truly evil.

Then you're judging a country by its head of state rather than its laws. Which implies you don't think there are things that can be made legal that are evil.

I'd say that a ruler who's pretty much an incompitant figure head that lets the oppressive regime set up by his predecessor continue is more guilty of neglegence than evil but is head of state of an evil empire.

In the far from readable (as in I would need to do so many more drafts and re-writes) novel I wrote once there was an evil empire fighting a small underdog federation, but it was all from the federation's point of view and the few glimpses you got of the empire apart from the fact that they worked prisoners of war to death (while the good guys sold them into slavery so they could be worked to death out of sight on other continents) and thought black was a good colour for flags and uniforms weren't really evil or anything. The empire then collapsed off screen due to political infighting, bankruptcy and being too large to update fast enough to keep up with changing ideology and technology.

Soras Teva Gee
2012-01-18, 09:44 PM
Depends what you mean by 'the last couple of wars'. You can pretty much pick any date for the fall of the Roman Empire you want, with 330, 395, 410, 476 and 1204, 1453, 1806, 1918 or 1920 being the most popular years.

Those respectively being the decline of rome as a capital with the designation of byzantium as the second rome, the final split and end of a unified empire, the most famous sacking of rome, the death of the last western emperor, the conquest of the eastern empire by the crusaders, the conquest of the restored eastern empire by the turks, the dissolution of the german/holy roman empire in the napoleonic wars, the abdication of the last rulers claiming continuity with the position of Roman emperor eg the turkish Sultan, the Russian Tzar and Austro-hungarian Emperor and the moving of Turkey's capital from Constantinople to Ankara during the young turk revolution

I doubt you would find any serious historians considering later then 1453. There's something of a consensus for considering the Byzantine Empire an evolution of Rome because it was always the cultural core strength of the Empire. Counting ever potential "heir" to Rome from indirect cultural ties and traditions, and you have to conclude that the Roman Empire is alive today under various names.

Tavar
2012-01-18, 10:01 PM
For Byzantium, another factor is that they all considered and called themselves Rome/Roman. Calling them Byzantium was something started by later Historians(I think it was in order to help distinguish between them), plus their was direct continuity between the Empires(they split, after all).

The others...can't really claim that.


And, Jade Dragon, that logic....can you explain it at all? Because, it doesn't really make any sense from my view.

Jade Dragon
2012-01-18, 10:04 PM
Fine, I'll stop trying to come up with my own words and use something that works.

History is written by the victors.

Tavar
2012-01-18, 10:23 PM
Which isn't entirely true, nor really germane for this discussion.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-01-18, 10:39 PM
The real world has continuously had at least one Big Empire since at least the days of Rome - it just hasn't always been the same Empire, and often there have been two or more. This being reality, they have almost never been strictly good or evil, except to their opponents. (Emphasis on almost, lest Godwin rear his ugly head).

But this isn't the place to talk about the Real World.

There was a good Japanese-equivalent Empire in Skies of Arcadia that rapidly fell prey to the villainous not-Spaniards.

An RP I'm in involves an Empire that is in and of itself pretty harmless, as like the Holy Roman Empire it is more of a confederation of local kingdoms and principalities than a true Empire. Individual kingdoms, mind you...

Galifar in Eberron was an Empire in all but name (confederation of related human kingdoms with effective dominion over the whole continent and beginning to expand into overseas territories), which did pretty well and generally good-aligned for several hundred years before it collapsed in an orgy of bloody civil war.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-18, 11:01 PM
Calling the Eastern Roman Empire the Byzantine Empire began during the Carolingian Renaissance in the west as the strengthened papal seat and the rulers of the early Holy Roman Empire wanted to claim the prestige of continuing the Roman Empire for themselves. It is really quite odd too since it was named after the Greek city of Byzans which had been renamed as Constantinople centuries before and never actually had its name returned.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-01-18, 11:04 PM
Because no one is willing to write Constantinoplian, let alone pronounce it.

t209
2012-01-18, 11:07 PM
How about Tamriel Empire? They are the only good guy (or not so evil) empire in Western RPG. They are like misbehaved children when compared to Tevinter Imperium in Dragon Age.

Icewalker
2012-01-18, 11:23 PM
I would quote an old history teacher of mine: History is written by the victors. Unless the victors don't write.

Losing is no guarantee that you aren't writing the history. :smallwink:

Tiki Snakes
2012-01-18, 11:25 PM
I would quote an old history teacher of mine: History is written by the victors. Unless the victors don't write.

Losing is no guarantee that you aren't writing the history. :smallwink:

Perhaps victory is decided by the writers?

Gnoman
2012-01-18, 11:26 PM
Well, neither of the two Empires in Final Fantasy XII are particularly evil, even the one that's the primary antagonist of the game.

The main reasons empires tend to be evil in most works are that the rulers are by definition not accountable to their people. It's difficult to have a functioning democracy as the bad guys without having the fridge logic of why the people keep voting for the same sets of people that keep committing the same atrocities and (because evil almost never triumphs) the same crippling mistakes.

In a nutshell, Evil Republic = Evil people. Evil Empire = Evil ruler. The latter is usually much more palatable to viewers.

The Glyphstone
2012-01-18, 11:39 PM
Empire of Man from David Weber and John Ringo's Empire of Man series(starts with a March Upcountry).

The Empire of Manticore, from the later parts of the Honor Harrington series(David Weber).

The Empire from the book In Fury Born

The Empire of Charis from the Safehold series.

The Civil Goverment from the General Series, by David Drake and SM Stirling is arguably of the good variety, accounting for values dissonance. Also the Empire of...Vanburk? It's in the sequel series, consisting of Reformer and Tyrant. Again, accounting for values dissonance.

The Belisarius Series, though while it does have an evil empire(Malwa), both the Roman Empire and Persian Empire are of the good variety.

The Dahak series, by David Weber, also has a good empire.

David Weber's War God's Own series also includes a good Empire, though it's in the backstory.

There might be a pattern here....

Emperor Weber the First - has a nice ring to it.:smallbiggrin:

The_Snark
2012-01-19, 12:05 AM
Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga largely takes place within the confines of the Barrayaran Empire. It's a human colony that lost touch with the wider galaxy and fell back into pseudo-medieval feudalism, then was rediscovered a few generations back. It's still in the process of re-acclimating to galactic society. They have a reputation for being barbaric and militaristic (especially near the beginning of the series), and it isn't always undeserved (ditto), but they're gradually becoming less so.

The same series features the Cetagandan Empire, which is less protagonist-y and a little creepier all around (what with the eugenics, strict caste system, and bioweaponry), but... hmm. They're not cartoonishly evil, at least. As with most real-world governments, it's difficult to label the entire institution Evil or Not Evil.

Ravens_cry
2012-01-19, 12:15 AM
The Praxis in Dread Empires Fall series by Walter Jon Williams aren't exactly GOOD guys, there is many examples that show it's darker, uncaringly bureaucratic and ruthless side, and it is certainly an Empire, but it is the nation of the protagonists, who are generally military personal responsible with protecting it.
The protagonists themselves tend to be fairly likeable, smart people, and it is one of my favourite series.

Sanguine
2012-01-19, 12:30 AM
The main reasons empires tend to be evil in most works are that the rulers are by definition not accountable to their people.

Now history is very much not my strong suit, but didn't the Roman Empire pretty much invent democracy? Or is it called something different when referring to that period of it's history?

thubby
2012-01-19, 12:36 AM
any media that has terrorists.

or where the enemy is some evil cult.

Gnoman
2012-01-19, 12:37 AM
Now history is very much not my strong suit, but didn't the Roman Empire pretty much invent democracy? Or is it called something different when referring to that period of it's history?

The Roman Republic dissolved into civil war after the death of Gaius Julius Caesar and became the Roman Empire.

pendell
2012-01-19, 12:39 AM
Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy starred a Galactic Empire which was the only force for peace and justice in the galaxy. Most of the story involves re-constructing the Empire after its collapse. Seems to be modeled on the Roman Empire's collapse into barbarism.

Jerry Pournelle's Mote in God's Eye stars an Empire of Man which battles against the Sauron Supermen, a human colony which uses genetic engineering to create a 'super-race' of cyborgs. The battle is one of mutual annihilation, but the Empire prevails. That's backstory so it's not a spoiler.

The Battle of Sauron (http://www.amazon.com/War-World-Battle-Sauron/dp/0937912042/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326951521&sr=8-1) moves the war from backstory into the main novel. It really is good, hard - SF spacewar.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Weezer
2012-01-19, 12:41 AM
That's greek who invented democracy (exception to women and slaves who made up the majority) and Roman's democracy is more like aristocracy.

With occasional periods of popular reform when the plebes got angry enough to change things or were used as a power base by someone in power. The Gracchus brothers are a good example of this. However these periods were pretty short, for various reasons.

Sanguine
2012-01-19, 12:41 AM
That's greek who invented democracy (exception to women and slaves who made up the majority) and Roman's democracy is more like aristocracy.


The Roman Republic dissolved into civil war after the death of Gaius Julius Caesar and became the Roman Empire.

Thank you both. Very informative.

Edit:You too Weezer.

Tavar
2012-01-19, 12:49 AM
Okay, it's a bit complicated. Here's how it worked:
The Greeks are the first recorded instance a real Democracy, in which each and every citizen can vote on each and every law put forward by the government. Note that citizen doesn't, in this case, include everyone who lives in the nation. Their can be certain limitations, based on everything from age to land ownership.

Rome started as a Kingdom, and had a series of 12 kings. The 12th king was bad enough that a revolution ousted him from power. It then became a Republic. Yes, there is a difference between republics and democracies. In the latter, every citizen has the ability to vote on every law put forward. In a republic, citizen's can elect officials who have a say in government, but they're one step removed. The most important distinguishing factor for a Republic seems to be that the Head of State is not a hereditary position, something which Rome does qualify for.

Eventually, the Republic fell due to host of issues. At this point, it became the Roman Empire, which lasted until it's destruction, which was about 476 for the western branch, and 1453 for the eastern branch.

Ravens_cry
2012-01-19, 12:58 AM
Addendum: the kind of democracy described is what is now generally as "direct democracy", most (all?) modern democracies use what is known as indirect or representational democracy, where people vote for representatives who then go and vote on laws.
Also, it was only ever Athens really that used direct democracy, other Greek city-states used different systems. Sparta, for example, was an Oligarchy.

Tavar
2012-01-19, 01:22 AM
It's made somewhat more complicated because republic's definition isn't as solid as one might like.

Also, yeah, the Ancient Greeks had a somewhat unified culture, but politically they were only unified when conquered. Thanks for the further clarifications, though.

t209
2012-01-19, 01:26 AM
I think we need to keep on the path about "The good empires in media (Comics, film, and videogames) since we're talking about History.

Mr.Silver
2012-01-19, 05:29 AM
The main reasons empires tend to be evil in most works are that the rulers are by definition not accountable to their people.
I disagree, because if that was the case we should see kingdoms being portrayed as evil to a similar degree and that simply doesn't happen. In futuristic settings it may become a factor, but in any setting where democracy isn't considered 'the norm'(e.g. nearly every fantasy setting ever)
this is barely even a dsitinguishing feature, let alone the main source of villainy.

As I said in my first post, the primary reason why empires tend to be the bad guys is that almost all of them (inluding most real world historical empires) acheive empire status as a result of extendeding their rule/authority over other countries, typically by military force or the threat thereof. Indeed, it's possible for a state to be an empire in this manner and at the same time be at least somewhat democratic.
Imperialistic behaviour is pretty hard to square with being the 'good guys' unless the subjegated people are portrayed as genuinely being significantly better off under foreign rule. This is not a particularly common aproach in writing, possibly on account of it having some unfortunate implications.



It's difficult to have a functioning democracy as the bad guys without having the fridge logic of why the people keep voting for the same sets of people that keep committing the same atrocities and (because evil almost never triumphs) the same crippling mistakes.

Villainous democracies are doable, but it's fairly uncommon in more morally idealistic works as it often requires playing-up the idea of political corruption. A common method is to have "the real power" behind the government be in the hands of unelected individuals, thereby avoiding the election issue.

H Birchgrove
2012-01-19, 06:59 AM
Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy starred a Galactic Empire which was the only force for peace and justice in the galaxy. Most of the story involves re-constructing the Empire after its collapse. Seems to be modeled on the Roman Empire's collapse into barbarism.
I was waiting for someone who would mention it! :smallbiggrin:


Jerry Pournelle's Mote in God's Eye stars an Empire of Man which battles against the Sauron Supermen, a human colony which uses genetic engineering to create a 'super-race' of cyborgs. The battle is one of mutual annihilation, but the Empire prevails. That's backstory so it's not a spoiler.

The Battle of Sauron (http://www.amazon.com/War-World-Battle-Sauron/dp/0937912042/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326951521&sr=8-1) moves the war from backstory into the main novel. It really is good, hard - SF spacewar.

Respectfully,

Brian P.
I've read *about* it, seems like a good read to me, a pity only "Footfall" got translated to Swedish. I have the prequel "King David's Spaceship" though.

Manga Shoggoth
2012-01-19, 08:26 AM
There is the Family D'Alembert series by EE (Doc) Smith. In fact several of his stories involve good empires (or empires in all but name).

snoopy13a
2012-01-19, 08:28 AM
Addendum: the kind of democracy described is what is now generally as "direct democracy", most (all?) modern democracies use what is known as indirect or representational democracy, where people vote for representatives who then go and vote on laws.
Also, it was only ever Athens really that used direct democracy, other Greek city-states used different systems. Sparta, for example, was an Oligarchy.

I believe that Thebes was also a democracy. It was also a major city-state until the Macedonians destroyed it.

I suppose another example of the empire as "good guys" is Manticore in David Weber's Honor Harrington stories, which a sci-fi analogue to the British Empire (although I haven't read the recent one yet).

Closet_Skeleton
2012-01-19, 09:56 AM
Perhaps victory is decided by the writers?

There are several ancient battles that were draws but both sides claimed victory in the monuments they left behind.


The Roman Republic dissolved into civil war after the death of Gaius Julius Caesar and became the Roman Empire.

Not really.

Republican Rome had an empire.

Imperial Rome had a republic.

Its pretty confusing really.

Basically the Roman Empire was never a republic, but the city of Rome was. The Provinces of the Empire were ruled by governers democratically elected within the Roman Senate, which was the democratic government of the city of rome, but the provinces had no say over who their governers were. The democratic process basically collapsed in Rome, leading to several dictators taking power under the pretence of being needed to maintain order. They failed and this led to a civil war.

The senate was continued to rule the city of Rome until at least 600 AD, after the fall of the western roman empire (or the interrugem in their being a western roman empire until Charlamagne) and the nobles of the city of Rome continued to attempt to revive or recreate something similar over the next thousand years. The Provinces of the Empire were divided into Imperial Provinces, where the Augustus appointed a member of the army as governor, and Senatorial Provinces, where the governor was still elected by the Senate like in the old days.

The continued existance and nominal power of the Senate under the Ausgusti (?) was sometimes called 'the republican facade'.


Sparta, for example, was an Oligarchy.

Sparta was a democracy. All citizens were allowed to attend political meetings and decisions were made based on which policy's supporters could shout the loudest in favour of it. It also had two royal families who each supplied a king, but these were just generals and there was a special council of five elders who had the power to arrest them.


Calling the Eastern Roman Empire the Byzantine Empire began during the Carolingian Renaissance in the west as the strengthened papal seat and the rulers of the early Holy Roman Empire wanted to claim the prestige of continuing the Roman Empire for themselves. It is really quite odd too since it was named after the Greek city of Byzans which had been renamed as Constantinople centuries before and never actually had its name returned.

Calling it 'the greek empire' happened in the Carolingian Renaissance. The term 'Byzantine Empire' was coined in the more famous renaissance, where people started bothering to learn what the original Roman Empire was like, leading to them deciding that the current Roman Empire must be something differant and that the original empire must have fallen at some point.


I doubt you would find any serious historians considering later then 1453.

Which is mainly just them being biased against the Turks who took the title of Emperor and maintained a large portion of Byzantine infrastructure.


Counting ever potential "heir" to Rome from indirect cultural ties and traditions, and you have to conclude that the Roman Empire is alive today under various names.

Its safe to assume that if something reforms a little then its the same thing, but if it reforms itself into a state where its completely unrecognisable the its no longer the original thing no matter how direct the line of descent is.

The problem is that with a series of gradual changes its impossible to say exactly when the thing stops being what it was originally and can be said to have fully become something else.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-01-19, 10:12 AM
Part of the confusion in terms comes from the fact that an Empire (a state extending control over multiple distinct nations) and an Emperor (an autocratic leader from the Latin imperator, or commander) are technically two entirely unrelated things.

So you have empires without emperors (pre-Julian Rome), empires without hereditary autocrats whose heads of state still use Emperor as a title (the Holy Roman Empire, although they were again more of a confederation). Very rarely, though, will someone style themselves an Emperor without an empire, or at least I can't think of any examples. Except Emperor Norton.

DiscipleofBob
2012-01-19, 10:16 AM
Suikoden V had a pretty good empire from what I can recall.

The empress at the beginning of the game has fits of genocidal crazy due to the Sun Rune she has, but is overall a kind ruler and loving mother, since your character is the prince. It's only after your mother dies, some noble stages a coup and frames you for the whole thing that the empire goes really bad and you have to win it back.

I'm not sure if the kingdom from Chrono Trigger could be considered large enough to be an empire, but if so, they're certainly good if a little misguided.

Obrysii
2012-01-19, 10:18 AM
Really, from the perspective of about a trillion Humans, the Galactic Empire in Star Wars was good. It brought order, peace, stability, and many jobs to places that had long been depressed under the Republic.

snoopy13a
2012-01-19, 10:26 AM
Really, from the perspective of about a trillion Humans, the Galactic Empire in Star Wars was good. It brought order, peace, stability, and many jobs to places that had long been depressed under the Republic.

Tell that to the billions of innocent people who died on Alderaan.

Closet_Skeleton
2012-01-19, 10:28 AM
Do the Nazis count as an Empire without an Emperor? The term third reich implies continuity with the Holy Roman Empire and Imperial Germany which were both empires but reich by itself just means 'realm' or 'land' rather than empire.

Most chinese works don't have the 'empire' as evil, but the naming of China as an 'empire' is pretty much just a translation convention.

Though there are heroic rebels in chinese fiction. Not really sure if they're anti-empire or not or just fighting for reform.


Really, from the perspective of about a trillion Humans, the Galactic Empire in Star Wars was good. It brought order, peace, stability, and many jobs to places that had long been depressed under the Republic.

The idea that the Galactic Empire 'made the trains run on time' is pretty much a baseless assumption. All we see in the movies are a bunch of self important generals who are happy to consort with the local criminals.

Moving into the EU then the Empire is just a stepping stone along the way to a dark side dominated theocracy.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-01-19, 10:39 AM
Do the Nazis count as an Empire without an Emperor? The term third reich implies continuity with the Holy Roman Empire and Imperial Germany which were both empires but reich by itself just means 'realm' or 'land' rather than empire.

I think having an autocratic head of state with the title of Führer (which, admittedly, just means "leader", but it's still a special title) and annexing neighboring nations is close enough to being a full-on Empire-with-Emperor regardless of the literal meaning of reich. But this probably isn't a productive area of discussion.

Mistral
2012-01-19, 10:41 AM
There's a book series by Eric Flint (which is kinda funny, given his own political views) that starts with The Course of Empire. You have the Empire that went and conquered Earth in the backstory, setting up an Earth essentially divided between the Resistance forces which run a guerrilla war from places like the Rocky Mountains where they can't be dug out without prohibitive losses, an apathetic majority just trying to live, and a class of quislings and collaborators who have been co-opted into a sepoy structure. The caveat, of course, is that the Empire conquered the Earth because it's in the path of a genocidal alien species, the leader of the Empire has sent his son to Earth in order to clean up house after learning of misconduct there, the Resistance is ineffective and ultimately doomed to failure, and it's the sepoys and collaborators who are in a position to actually make a difference in both the survival of Earth and effect a change in its status within the Empire. I wasn't too fond of the book myself, but it definitely had that role reversal in spades.

The Succubus
2012-01-19, 10:46 AM
Perhaps victory is decided by the writers?

History is written by the writers. *nods sagely*

snoopy13a
2012-01-19, 10:51 AM
The idea that the Galactic Empire 'made the trains run on time' is pretty much a baseless assumption. All we see in the movies are a bunch of self important generals who are happy to consort with the local criminals.

Moving into the EU then the Empire is just a stepping stone along the way to a dark side dominated theocracy.

There's a deleted scene from Star Wars where Luke is talking with his friends, including Biggs. Biggs speaks about why he is joining the Rebellion because the Empire is nationalizing companies, and implies that sooner or later they'll come for Uncle Owen's farm.

GolemsVoice
2012-01-19, 11:04 AM
The Imperium is good in the sense that it cares for its citizens and wants to protect them, and in the sense that it probably isn't as evil as the rest of the factions in Warhammer 40K. It's still incredibly evil anywhere else, though.

Tyndmyr
2012-01-19, 11:04 AM
Tell that to the billions of innocent people who died on Alderaan.

Innocent, my stylish white plastic covered butt. It was a rebel world, see? Legitimate target.

Weezer
2012-01-19, 11:19 AM
There's a deleted scene from Star Wars where Luke is talking with his friends, including Biggs. Biggs speaks about why he is joining the Rebellion because the Empire is nationalizing companies, and implies that sooner or later they'll come for Uncle Owen's farm.

Ahh yes, the ever present fear and hatred of nationalization. Makes perfect sense seeing the political and historical context of the movies.

Soras Teva Gee
2012-01-19, 11:40 AM
Which is mainly just them being biased against the Turks who took the title of Emperor and maintained a large portion of Byzantine infrastructure.

Yeah not really. The Byzantine Empire formed from the core of the Roman Empire. The Turks were an outside force that were never under Constantinople in a significant way. So they don't represent an in-empire cultural change or revolt. There was a Greate Seljuq Empire and Sultanate of Rum in direct superior competition to the Byzantine rump empire well before. Turkish conquest represents a hostile takeover not an evolution. And as they kept it, thus the final end of the Roman Empire. Ostensible claims made do not give them weight. Same deal with the Russians, their claim to Caesar is no more pertinent then Charlemagne's successor Holy Roman Empires or modern Senates.



Its safe to assume that if something reforms a little then its the same thing, but if it reforms itself into a state where its completely unrecognisable the its no longer the original thing no matter how direct the line of descent is.

The problem is that with a series of gradual changes its impossible to say exactly when the thing stops being what it was originally and can be said to have fully become something else.

Which is why 1453 is the merely latest date depending on how or if you divide Roman and Byzantine history. If pressed for a Fall of the Roman Empire personally I would favor the division of the Roman state in 395 personally as once you divide rule you are two empires not one. Though we don't quite have adequate parlance for Rome's East and West children.

Tavar
2012-01-19, 11:43 AM
Innocent, my stylish white plastic covered butt. It was a rebel world, see? Legitimate target.

Actually, while some of the Leaders were rebels, most of the populace wasn't. So, it'd be like nuking an entire country to dust, in order to eliminate a couple terrorists.


Really, from the perspective of about a trillion Humans, the Galactic Empire in Star Wars was good. It brought order, peace, stability, and many jobs to places that had long been depressed under the Republic.
The problem is that every empire brings good things to at least a couple people. But, in this case, the Galactic Empire also brought many things that weren't good, and even for humans it could be bad.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-01-19, 12:03 PM
Alderaan was a case of a major state official blowing away billions of lives just to demonstrate his power, effectively committing terrorism against his government's own citizens (was Alderaan part of Tarkin's jurisdiction? If not, how the hell did he explain that to the person who was in charge there? "The Emperor agrees, don't bother me about it"?) The fact that he was given a mandate to do that by the head of state arguably makes it not terrorism, but it does prove the point I'm trying to make: the Galactic Empire was a callous, evil government with no concern at all for the well-being of its citizens outside of the loyal elite governing/military class.

kamikasei
2012-01-19, 12:12 PM
any media that has terrorists.
Not really. See Code Geass.

My cite was going to be the Star Empire of Manticore, so instead... the Golden Empire from Alicorn's Luminosity (http://luminous.elcenia.com/) fics.

Mewtarthio
2012-01-19, 12:13 PM
Villainous democracies are doable, but it's fairly uncommon in more morally idealistic works as it often requires playing-up the idea of political corruption. A common method is to have "the real power" behind the government be in the hands of unelected individuals, thereby avoiding the election issue.

Of course, both of those create an "evil democracy" where the will of the people is simply subverted. You can still have your fantasy heroes kick down the door, kill the mob boss, politician, or Illuminatus pulling the strings, and Restore Peace to the Land. It's extremely rare to have an "evil democracy" where the "evil" part genuinely has the mandate of the people behind it--Say, the victims of the "evil" part are all explicitly disenfranchised or just plain overwhelmed by the tyranny of the majority.

hamishspence
2012-01-19, 12:45 PM
David Eddings does them on occasion- the Tolnedran Empire in the Belgariad/Mallorean series, the Mallorean empire itself toward the end of those books (early on they were bad guys).

The Tamul empire in the Tamuli series (sequel to the Elenium series) fits as well.

Mistral
2012-01-19, 12:52 PM
Not really. See Code Geass.

Or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where a self-described former terrorist is one of the main characters. Not only that, she's not a "former" terrorist because of a moral crisis, but because they won. She's entirely willing to admit what she did was not always morally right, and calls out a character of the week for joining the Maquis (another band of terrorists freedom-fighters) to be a hero. Of course, this is also a series that was big on exploring morally-grey areas of the Trek-verse, including an instance of planetary chemical warfare by the good guys.

kamikasei
2012-01-19, 12:59 PM
Or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where a self-described former terrorist is one of the main characters.
While that's a good example of terrorists as good guys or not-bad guys, I don't think I'd call the Cardassians an empire, really. It may still be a valid counter to thubby's claim that any "empire" opposed by terrorists becomes Good, though.

Tavar
2012-01-19, 01:12 PM
Eh, the Cardassian occupation is...well, certainly parts of it became pretty bad. You know, the whole concentration camps, killing innocents as demonstration, that sort of thing.

blackjack217
2012-01-19, 01:17 PM
There's a book series by Eric Flint (which is kinda funny, given his own political views) that starts with The Course of Empire. You have the Empire that went and conquered Earth in the backstory, setting up an Earth essentially divided between the Resistance forces which run a guerrilla war from places like the Rocky Mountains where they can't be dug out without prohibitive losses, an apathetic majority just trying to live, and a class of quislings and collaborators who have been co-opted into a sepoy structure. The caveat, of course, is that the Empire conquered the Earth because it's in the path of a genocidal alien species, the leader of the Empire has sent his son to Earth in order to clean up house after learning of misconduct there, the Resistance is ineffective and ultimately doomed to failure, and it's the sepoys and collaborators who are in a position to actually make a difference in both the survival of Earth and effect a change in its status within the Empire. I wasn't too fond of the book myself, but it definitely had that role reversal in spades.
Umm... no. That "empire" had no single ruler. In fact it is more or less explicitly described as a confederation of clans. The person who is sent to "clean up the mess" is a prominent young member of the most powerful of those clans and is less there to fix everything and more there to wrest control from the second most powerful clan. The complete dysfunctionality of the occupation is what offers him an opening.

Closet_Skeleton
2012-01-19, 01:18 PM
Louis Geoffroy's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Geoffroy) early work of alternate history had the French Empire as a all conquoring bunch of mary sue good guys.


Umm... no. That "empire" had no single ruler.

Empire is just a label. You can apply it to any government. The thread starter was asking if there were good guys in fiction who got called that label.


Turkish conquest represents a hostile takeover not an evolution. And as they kept it, thus the final end of the Roman Empire.

That's a workable definition, but also one that says there hasn't been an England since 1066.

Or that all the Chinese dynasties were seperate countries that just happened to succeed each other and cover similar geographical areas.


If pressed for a Fall of the Roman Empire personally I would favor the division of the Roman state in 395 personally as once you divide rule you are two empires not one.

But the Empire had been divided a lot of times before then, only to be put back together again, and the Byzantines conquored bits of italy after the last western emperor was desposed.

The date and circumstances of fall of the Roman Empire is entirely based on the story you want to tell at any given time. If the story you want to tell is about continuity rather than collapse then you don't have to say it fell at all.


Of course, both of those create an "evil democracy" where the will of the people is simply subverted. You can still have your fantasy heroes kick down the door, kill the mob boss, politician, or Illuminatus pulling the strings, and Restore Peace to the Land. It's extremely rare to have an "evil democracy" where the "evil" part genuinely has the mandate of the people behind it--Say, the victims of the "evil" part are all explicitly disenfranchised or just plain overwhelmed by the tyranny of the majority.

Some DC comics portray Darkseid's rule over Apokalipse as mandated by the people because even if their lives suck they're more interested in getting promoted to over seers then freeing themselves and their compatriots.

Coidzor
2012-01-19, 01:23 PM
[That's a workable definition, but also one that says there hasn't been an England since 1066.

Or that all the Chinese dynasties were seperate countries that just happened to succeed each other and cover similar geographical areas.

Eh, last I checked even the different dynasties had more continuity due to keeping the overall culture and bureaucratic setup whereas the Turkish conquest did not even pretend to have continuity beyond taking a meaningless trophy title.

Mr.Silver
2012-01-19, 01:49 PM
Of course, both of those create an "evil democracy" where the will of the people is simply subverted. You can still have your fantasy heroes kick down the door, kill the mob boss, politician, or Illuminatus pulling the strings, and Restore Peace to the Land. It's extremely rare to have an "evil democracy" where the "evil" part genuinely has the mandate of the people behind it--Say, the victims of the "evil" part are all explicitly disenfranchised or just plain overwhelmed by the tyranny of the majority.

True. Tyranny of the majority evil is also quite challenging to right well and tends to be a bit of an uncomfortable subject for a lot of people. So even if an author does pull it off they're likely to get criticised anyway - often involving accusations of being "grimdark" or some other silly pejorative.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-01-19, 01:56 PM
Evil Democracies (empires or otherwise) are typically sham "democracies" either openly ruled by oligarchs or a single president-for-life, or covertly controlled by some manner or other of conspiracy.

Since I'm in a thread with closet_skeleton, I'll bring up Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, where both sides of the war (both portrayed as villainous) are republics, both are being controlled by shady democracy-subborning conspiracies, and both are, despite that, full of normal citizens who really honestly want to commit genocide upon or enslave the other side. They manage to be sham democracies trying to enact the will of the (vocal) majority anyway.

Also, I'd class at least the Earth Alliance as an empire, being a one-world government.

t209
2012-01-19, 03:12 PM
How about Persian Empire? Prince of Persia (The film) show them as good guys or lawful neutralwith exception of attacking a city for selling weapons to their enemies. The emperor raised a street urchin from poverty until he was killed in original timeline. There is a story about them liberating the jewish people from Babylonian rulers.

Friv
2012-01-19, 04:06 PM
While that's a good example of terrorists as good guys or not-bad guys, I don't think I'd call the Cardassians an empire, really.

You wouldn't call the Cardassian Empire an empire? It's right in their name.

Generally, you can get some "good empire" stories if you go back to the days of British Imperialism. Anything by Rudyard Kipling, for example, is big on empire as a virtue and those opposing it as incorrect.

pendell
2012-01-19, 04:44 PM
With respect to "Evil Democracies" -- isn't the Cylon civilization in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica a democracy? IIRC, all major decisions are made by direct vote by all humanoid cylon models.

This would be the same civilization that committed genocide the human race.

Possibly it qualifies.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Ravens_cry
2012-01-19, 04:47 PM
In a similar way, the Borg could be considered an evil democracy, at least before the Queen showed up, which I have special fanon for because the idea just takes away just about everything that was scary about the Borg.

hamishspence
2012-01-19, 04:51 PM
Generally, you can get some "good empire" stories if you go back to the days of British Imperialism. Anything by Rudyard Kipling, for example, is big on empire as a virtue and those opposing it as incorrect.

Kipling's messages vary a lot. From one of his songs:

"Once there was The People- Terror gave it birth,
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth
Earth arose and crushed it- Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People- it shall never be again!"

Sounds a lot like a warning about the tyranny of the majority.

Weezer
2012-01-19, 04:55 PM
With respect to "Evil Democracies" -- isn't the Cylon civilization in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica a democracy? IIRC, all major decisions are made by direct vote by all humanoid cylon models.

This would be the same civilization that committed genocide the human race.

Possibly it qualifies.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

I think that more qualifies as an evil oligarchy. Sure there are 13 people (I'm counting each model as one "person", because that's how they are treated in their political system) voting, but they are controlling millions of semi-sentient centurions/raiders, who get no say (untill towards the end at least). Definitely seems to me to be falling more on the oligarchical side of things.

Ravens_cry
2012-01-19, 05:44 PM
I think that more qualifies as an evil oligarchy. Sure there are 13 people (I'm counting each model as one "person", because that's how they are treated in their political system) voting, but they are controlling millions of semi-sentient centurions/raiders, who get no say (untill towards the end at least). Definitely seems to me to be falling more on the oligarchical side of things.
Or it's like Athens democracy.

kamikasei
2012-01-19, 05:54 PM
You wouldn't call the Cardassian Empire an empire? It's right in their name.
Except that their actual name appears to be the Cardassian Union (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Cardassian_Union) (apparently they were called the Empire at times, though I don't recall how often). Since Bajor was their only real conquest that I'm aware of, and was liberated by the time they got real spotlight, I don't think they serve as a good example of an evil empire, no. They're just a dangerous neighbour.

Weezer
2012-01-19, 06:00 PM
Or it's like Athens democracy.

I'm pretty sure that the Athenian democracy had a far higher ratio of voters to non-voters than the Cylons did. 13 people, actually more like 8, the "final five" were exiled so had no vote, out of who knows how many billions of cylons is far more oligarchic than the Athenian democracy which had about 20% participation rate. Also the method of rule was more oligarchic, with a small, elite, unchanging council ruling, as opposed to Athens where the groups were very large and included a wide range of people, from educated noblemen, to the poorest farmers.

Ravens_cry
2012-01-19, 06:06 PM
Except that their actual name appears to be the Cardassian Union (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Cardassian_Union) (apparently they were called the Empire at times, though I don't recall how often). Since Bajor was their only real conquest that I'm aware of, and was liberated by the time they got real spotlight, I don't think they serve as a good example of an evil empire, no. They're just a dangerous neighbour.
Except the article you link to mentions them strip mining other planet as well as their occupation; Bajor being but one example.
Sounds pretty imperialistic to this one.

Shyftir
2012-01-19, 06:16 PM
Jim Butcher's Codex Alarra series has a good-guy empire, but that's mostly because the humans of that world are obviously descendants of a "lost roman legion" so they set up a Romanesque governmental system.

Chris Evan' Iron Elves series has a (mostly) good empire, as well.

Gnoman
2012-01-19, 06:27 PM
I disagree, because if that was the case we should see kingdoms being portrayed as evil to a similar degree and that simply doesn't happen. In futuristic settings it may become a factor, but in any setting where democracy isn't considered 'the norm'(e.g. nearly every fantasy setting ever)
this is barely even a dsitinguishing feature, let alone the main source of villainy.


Kings in fiction tend to be played more sympathetically in media because they often have something keeping them on the straight and narrow path. Could be inner nobility, a connection with the people, divine mandate from the setting's gods, or some other factor. In these cases it's invariable an usurper that is the villian.

pendell
2012-01-19, 06:34 PM
I think that more qualifies as an evil oligarchy. Sure there are 13 people (I'm counting each model as one "person", because that's how they are treated in their political system) voting, but they are controlling millions of semi-sentient centurions/raiders, who get no say (untill towards the end at least). Definitely seems to me to be falling more on the oligarchical side of things.

Neither raiders nor centurions are sapient. Saying they don't have a vote is like saying a country's not a democracy unless the farm animals have a vote too.

Mind, that's not an exact match because the centurions have the potential for intelligence but have circuits built in to restrict their higher brain functions.


Which are removed later in the series, allowing them to become truly intelligent.


Respectfully,

Brian P.

thubby
2012-01-19, 06:45 PM
Not really. See Code Geass.

My cite was going to be the Star Empire of Manticore, so instead... the Golden Empire from Alicorn's Luminosity (http://luminous.elcenia.com/) fics.

except they're rebels. the whole thing is always called a rebellion.

Fiery Diamond
2012-01-19, 06:57 PM
Not really. See Code Geass.

My cite was going to be the Star Empire of Manticore, so instead... the Golden Empire from Alicorn's Luminosity (http://luminous.elcenia.com/) fics.

Code Geass is a case where all sides are evil. There are good people on both sides, but ultimately both the Knights and the Empire were committing atrocities. This was largely due to their leaders. Zero was scum with "the greater good" in mind. The Emperor... I don't really think needs explanation.

Weezer
2012-01-19, 07:05 PM
Neither raiders nor centurions are sapient. Saying they don't have a vote is like saying a country's not a democracy unless the farm animals have a vote too.

Mind, that's not an exact match because the centurions have the potential for intelligence but have circuits built in to restrict their higher brain functions.


Which are removed later in the series, allowing them to become truly intelligent.


Respectfully,

Brian P.

Thus my semi-sentient qualifier, they are purposefully kept non-sentient in order to control them more easily. To me this seem analogous to people performing lobotomies on people and then saying "look, they're stupid, we shouldn't let them vote". They have the potential and ability to participate in the government of the Cylon race, but are kept out of it by a small elite group.

Mr.Silver
2012-01-19, 07:55 PM
Kings in fiction tend to be played more sympathetically in media because they often have something keeping them on the straight and narrow path. Could be inner nobility, a connection with the people, divine mandate from the setting's gods, or some other factor.
But that's precisely my point: those traits are decided by the writer as a way of portraying the character/kingdom as being on the good end of the spectrum. There's no real reason that why they're more likely to be present in rulers of kingdoms beyond the fact that kingdoms are already more likely to be portrayed positively than empires.

Mewtarthio
2012-01-19, 08:47 PM
But that's precisely my point: those traits are decided by the writer as a way of portraying the character/kingdom as being on the good end of the spectrum. There's no real reason that why they're more likely to be present in rulers of kingdoms beyond the fact that kingdoms are already more likely to be portrayed positively than empires.

There are plenty of evil kingdoms out there in fantasy. The whole "Kingdom = Good, Empire = Bad" dichotomy really only seems accurate because kingdoms are more likely to be good than empires.

As others have pointed out, Empires tend to be imperialistic. All that conquering and extortion tends to reflect badly on them. Even if the author decides to skip all that and start the story with the Empire already established, the Empire is still probably the biggest player in town. Audiences tend to root for the underdogs, and Empires are rarely underdogs. Kingdoms don't have that baggage. They're allowed to be small (or at least equal-sized) relative to other powers in the setting.

Coidzor
2012-01-19, 09:22 PM
Neither raiders nor centurions are sapient. Saying they don't have a vote is like saying a country's not a democracy unless the farm animals have a vote too.

Mind, that's not an exact match because the centurions have the potential for intelligence but have circuits built in to restrict their higher brain functions.


Which are removed later in the series, allowing them to become truly intelligent.


Respectfully,

Brian P.

Sounds like a captive constituency and makes them even worse than regular oligarchs rather than better like you are arguing, since while oligarchs normally make those who aren't part of the ruling class not matter, they generally don't make them unpeople. I'd thought they actually installed those after killing the generation of cylons that were roughly analogous to the centurions that built them in the first place.

Tavar
2012-01-19, 10:17 PM
You know, the Honorverse actually gives a couple good examples of the whole idea:

It starts out as the Kingdom of Manticore vs the People's Republic of Haven, but the Kingdom is a constitutional Monarchy, and the PRH is, essentially, a heavily oppressive Hereditary Dictatorship/Oligarchy/Empire. It's somewhat interesting because, as mentioned several times, the PRH plays up the whole Good Republic, Evil Kingdom in it's favor, even though it's false on many levels, even(and especially) after the revolution.

But, in the latter part of the series, Haven becomes, well, something more on the style of the American system of government, while Manticore becomes an Empire. Both, now, are treated positively, though. Well, in terms of their government styles.

Soras Teva Gee
2012-01-19, 11:10 PM
You know, the Honorverse actually gives a couple good examples of the whole idea:

It starts out as the Kingdom of Manticore vs the People's Republic of Haven, but the Kingdom is a constitutional Monarchy, and the PRH is, essentially, a heavily oppressive Hereditary Dictatorship/Oligarchy/Empire. It's somewhat interesting because, as mentioned several times, the PRH plays up the whole Good Republic, Evil Kingdom in it's favor, even though it's false on many levels, even(and especially) after the revolution.

But, in the latter part of the series, Haven becomes, well, something more on the style of the American system of government, while Manticore becomes an Empire. Both, now, are treated positively, though. Well, in terms of their government styles.

I dare say there's the phantom of a criticism when they discuss how the Kingdom of Manticore got started as a corporate protectionist scheme IIRC but yeah.

Tavar
2012-01-19, 11:17 PM
Oh, yeah. Especially in the more recent novels(well, recent as long as it happened at/before At All Costs/Shadow of S-guy, haven't read past that), there have been criticism of Manticore's government. But, it's still portrayed as a generally positive light, compared with, say, the first 2 Haven governments we see.

The Glyphstone
2012-01-20, 08:59 AM
And extremely positively compared to the bloated bureaucratic tangle of the 'enlightened' Solarian League.

@Tavar: Haven't read Mission of Honor yet? Woo, that's gonna be a doozy when you get around to it.

blackjack217
2012-01-20, 09:07 AM
Oh, yeah. Especially in the more recent novels(well, recent as long as it happened at/before At All Costs/Shadow of S-guy, haven't read past that), there have been criticism of Manticore's government. But, it's still portrayed as a generally positive light, compared with, say, the first 2 Haven governments we see.
You haven't read the most recent books? Go read, now (http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/22-MissionofHonorCD/MissionofHonorCD/)

Also, Sollies heh. :smallbiggrin:

Mr.Silver
2012-01-20, 09:07 AM
There are plenty of evil kingdoms out there in fantasy.
No disagreement there. In fact there are a few kingdoms whcih themselves have empires :smalltongue:


The whole "Kingdom = Good, Empire = Bad" dichotomy really only seems accurate because kingdoms are more likely to be good than empires.
As others have pointed out, Empires tend to be imperialistic. All that conquering and extortion tends to reflect badly on them. Even if the author decides to skip all that and start the story with the Empire already established, the Empire is still probably the biggest player in town. Audiences tend to root for the underdogs, and Empires are rarely underdogs. Kingdoms don't have that baggage. They're allowed to be small (or at least equal-sized) relative to other powers in the setting.
Exactly.

Friv
2012-01-20, 09:55 AM
Kipling's messages vary a lot. From one of his songs:

"Once there was The People- Terror gave it birth,
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth
Earth arose and crushed it- Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People- it shall never be again!"

Sounds a lot like a warning about the tyranny of the majority.

Context is an amazing thing. The song in question is MacDonough's Song, and (a) is not a stand-alone piece, being a fictional song from the science-fiction setting of "With The Night Mail" and "As Easy As A.B.C." and (b) is actually about how all forms of democracy are evil and people need to be ruled by a world government, i.e. an empire.

Now, on the flip side, the full story is a lot more nuanced, but the main characters are in fact a troop of imperialist agents who go in to Chicago in a future one-world setting to prevent the people from lynching a bunch of democratic protesters.


'Hsh! ' said Arnott, gripping me by the shoulder. 'Listen ! They're singing. Why on the earth are they singing?'

We dropped again till we could see the black fringe of people at the edge of that glowing square.

At first they only roared against the roar of the surfacers and levellers. Then the words came up clearly - the words of the Forbidden Song that all men knew, and none let pass their lips - poor Pat MacDonough's Song, made in the days of the Crowds and the Plague - every silly word of it loaded to sparking-point with the Planet's inherited memories of horror, panic, fear and cruelty. And Chicago - innocent, contented little Chicago - was singing it aloud to the infernal tune that carried riot, pestilence and lunacy round our Planet a few generations ago!

'Once there was The People - Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People, and it made a hell of earth!'
(Then the stamp and pause):

'Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, oh, ye slain!
Once there was The People - it shall never be again!'

The levellers thrust in savagely against the ruins as the song renewed itself again, again and again, louder than the crash of the melting walls.

De Forest frowned.

I don't like that,' he said. 'They've broken back to the Old Days! They'll be killing somebody soon. I think we'd better divert 'em, Arnott.'

H Birchgrove
2012-01-20, 10:14 AM
In a similar way, the Borg could be considered an evil democracy, at least before the Queen showed up, which I have special fanon for because the idea just takes away just about everything that was scary about the Borg.
The Borg were originally meant to be insects, so them having a Queen makes sense.

IIRC, there's a fan theory that states she is an anthropomorphism of the whole Borg hive mind.

hamishspence
2012-01-20, 12:52 PM
Context is an amazing thing. The song in question is MacDonough's Song, and (a) is not a stand-alone piece, being a fictional song from the science-fiction setting of "With The Night Mail" and "As Easy As A.B.C." and (b) is actually about how all forms of democracy are evil and people need to be ruled by a world government, i.e. an empire.

Now, on the flip side, the full story is a lot more nuanced, but the main characters are in fact a troop of imperialist agents who go in to Chicago in a future one-world setting to prevent the people from lynching a bunch of democratic protesters.

I hadn't read those- I saw it in the Tom Clancy book Teeth of the Tiger, and later in a collection of Kipling poems.

Friv
2012-01-20, 12:58 PM
I hadn't read those- I saw it in the Tom Clancy book Teeth of the Tiger, and later in a collection of Kipling poems.

Ah, that makes sense. :)

Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that I thought you were deliberately misrepresenting the song or anything, only to say that it is staggering how many quotes and ideas that we have aren't actually based on facts, but on phrases or passages that one person or publication takes out of context and passes on.

Anyway, both stories are germane to the discussion, and since they're older than copyright they're also both freely available online, so I'd say give them a gander. They're the only two stories that I know of in which Kipling writes Sci-Fi, which is also cool.

hamishspence
2012-01-20, 01:02 PM
True.

Might be that Clancy was focusing on the verse immediately before that- which fits the theme of the book:

"Holy State, or Holy King, or Holy People's Will
Have no truck with the senseless thing,
Order the guns and kill!

Saying...after...me:"

t209
2012-01-20, 10:46 PM
How about
Tamriel Empire
Jade Empire
and The Empire from Dungeons and Dragons Movie.

Caewil
2012-01-21, 09:46 AM
If we're discussing empires, the original term meant the power to give orders/command. So the Romans had the power of imperium in Greece well before officially extending roman rule to the area and appointing governors.

I'm also going to disagree that the Ottomans weren't a continuation of the Byzantine empire. To a large degree, they combined methods of rule cobbled together from Roman, Persian and Arab influences and models of empire. The shift was probably as great as when constantine moved the capital to Constantinople and adopted Christianity in the first place, but that doesn't stop us from calling the Byzantines roman.

Closet_Skeleton
2012-01-21, 10:24 AM
The Borg were originally meant to be insects, so them having a Queen makes sense.

Except that insect queens are mainly just there for laying eggs.

Mr.Silver
2012-01-21, 01:25 PM
Except that insect queens are mainly just there for laying eggs.

I think you may be placing unfairly high expectations on the research abilities of Trek's writers :smalltongue:

Ravens_cry
2012-01-21, 07:36 PM
The Borg were originally meant to be insects, so them having a Queen makes sense.

Only it doesn't, because an insect queen has one real purpose, make more of the hive. She is more analogous to gonads or cellular multiplication than actual ruler. They don't actually rule in the sense of directing actions, like, well a Queen. I liked when they were just the voice of the legion.
No ruler, no central authority, a true Hive Mind, and a LOT scarier for it in my opinion.


IIRC, there's a fan theory that states she is an anthropomorphism of the whole Borg hive mind.
My personal fanon is she is a failed experiment in centralized authority after the success of the Locutus.
I say failed because, well, watch Voyager and compare to earlier Starfleet successes against the Borg.

H Birchgrove
2012-01-21, 07:52 PM
Except that insect queens are mainly just there for laying eggs.


I think you may be placing unfairly high expectations on the research abilities of Trek's writers :smalltongue:
:smallbiggrin:

Other examples:
Empire of the Atom and its sequel The Wizard of Linn by A.E. van Vogt has a generally well-meaning empire (when not torn apart by conspiracies and civil war), especially when the protagonist Clane of Linn (probably an expy for Claudius Caesar) takes charge and unites the empire and makes peace with the rebelling "barbarians" living on the terraformed moons of Jupiter. (The story doesn't end there.)

The Weapon Shops of Isher and its sequel The Weapon Makers by the same author have an empire which is tyrannical, but it's explained that the Empire of Isher is a needed evil, and under it's millennia long existence has at times been democratic. The mentioned weapon makers and shops provide the citizens with super-science guns for self defence (they can't be used for anything else - I did mention super-science?) and secret courts operated by the same organisation provide "Robin Hood justice" against corrupt government officials and for abused subjects of the Empire. The organisation does however not lead a rebellion against the Empire because it's seen as needed (for safety and stability, one can presume).

blackjack217
2012-01-23, 10:09 PM
I think you may be placing unfairly high expectations on the research abilities of Trek's writers :smalltongue:

I think his first mistake was assuming that the Trek writers knew what research means.

t209
2012-01-24, 12:46 AM
Don't forget about Wulfenbach Empire in Girl Genius. They are holding Europe together and they are the best country compared to others (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090225).

Vacant
2012-01-24, 03:38 AM
You have seen the empire portrayed as tyrants who oppress their and other people in movies, comics, novels, and videogames. But Are there any movies, comics, novels, and videogames that portray the empire as good guys, or at least not evil.
One of them I know is Tamriel Empire.
Until the event in the game Skyrim when they ban Talos, their own emperor.

Tamriel's emperors are generally decent, or at least pragmatically useful, but the empire has been far from morally upstanding since Daggerfall, though the opposition to the empire has been on equally shaky ground since then, as well. Well, except in Redguard, where I'd argue the empire's essentially villainous, but you do play as a guy in the process of getting imperialized.

t209
2012-01-26, 06:42 PM
Tamriel's emperors are generally decent, or at least pragmatically useful, but the empire has been far from morally upstanding since Daggerfall, though the opposition to the empire has been on equally shaky ground since then, as well. Well, except in Redguard, where I'd argue the empire's essentially villainous, but you do play as a guy in the process of getting imperialized.

They also give
Civil Rights to Orcs after Gortwog (Orc version of Redcloak) use the robot to crush Imperial Legion and Illiac Bay Kingdoms.
OR. In Morrowind, Orsinium became recognized and orc became playable character.

deuterio12
2012-01-27, 02:30 PM
I would like to point out the Tau Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_%28Warhammer_40,000%29).

They're the only faction in 40K that doesn't seem hellbent in ruthlessly destroying/enslaving everything else in the galaxy while being big enough to qualify as an Empire and one of the main factions of the setting. They actually have a whole diplomat caste specialized in seting peaceful agreements of mutual cooperation with other races, something completely and absolutely alien for the other factions.

They also fully endorse scientific development for the betterment of society (whereas the other factions are either completely stagnant and/or only develop new ways of butchering each other and themselves) and when they have to fight, they care more aout preserving their own soldier's lifes than flashy shows of "glory" just for "glory"'s sake.

Not to mention they developed ways of efficiently traveling and communicating trough the galaxy which don't demand going trough literal hell and sacrificing thousands of the souls of their own people daily.

Weezer
2012-01-27, 04:00 PM
I would like to point out the Tau Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_%28Warhammer_40,000%29).

They're the only faction in 40K that doesn't seem hellbent in ruthlessly destroying/enslaving everything else in the galaxy while being big enough to qualify as an Empire and one of the main factions of the setting. They actually have a whole diplomat caste specialized in seting peaceful agreements of mutual cooperation with other races, something completely and absolutely alien for the other factions.

They also fully endorse scientific development for the betterment of society (whereas the other factions are either completely stagnant and/or only develop new ways of butchering each other and themselves) and when they have to fight, they care more aout preserving their own soldier's lifes than flashy shows of "glory" just for "glory"'s sake.

Not to mention they developed ways of efficiently traveling and communicating trough the galaxy which don't demand going trough literal hell and sacrificing thousands of the souls of their own people daily.

There are some dark sides to the Tau Empire (this is 40K after all), it's strongly implied that the Ethereals maintain their control over the empire by using pheromones to control and practically enslave the lower castes.

t209
2012-01-27, 04:11 PM
There are some dark sides to the Tau Empire (this is 40K after all), it's strongly implied that the Ethereals maintain their control over the empire by using pheromones to control and practically enslave the lower castes.

Also they sterilize humans!

Coidzor
2012-01-27, 05:19 PM
Isn't it also heavily implied that the Ethereals were altered/made by the Eldar, and that their rigid hierarchical system treats the Tau of the Earth Clan, for the most part, as essentially slaves?

deuterio12
2012-01-28, 10:42 AM
There are some dark sides to the Tau Empire (this is 40K after all), it's strongly implied that the Ethereals maintain their control over the empire by using pheromones to control and practically enslave the lower castes.
That's a conclusion drawn from IoM leaders, that can't phantom the idea that someone may lead their forces whitout extensive use of terror and drugs like the IoM itself does all the time. Even the concept of a benign government has all but been forgoten by them.

Specially ridiculous because no traces of any phermone-emiting organs has ever been found in any ethereal, despite multiple authopsies from ones fallen in battle.



Also they sterilize humans!

That one's from the fluff-raping video game, not really a valid source.



Isn't it also heavily implied that the Ethereals were altered/made by the Eldar, and that their rigid hierarchical system treats the Tau of the Earth Clan, for the most part, as essentially slaves?

No idea where the hell that last one even came from. The wiki (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Caste_System#.TyQW0IFA4ix) has no mention of any of the castes working as slaves.

Really, why would they even need it? The Tau have long ago developed builder-drones for all the hard physical labour! It's the IoM that treats 99,999% of its population as expendable slaves!


The Tau are the good guys in 40K. All those "dark sides" are either from the other faction's viewpoint (that see everything else as evil anyway) or from very questionable sources of fluff. I'll even point again at the main wiki article:

"According to Andy Chambers, the chief designer at the time, the Tau were intended "to be altruistic and idealistic, believing heartily in unification as the way forward." Graham McNeill was responsible for much of the background material produced for the Tau, developing what Andy Chambers described as "...their proud, quiet but determined character [developed] to the point where they actually became a rather likeable, if slightly naive addition to the cosmos."

The_Admiral
2012-01-28, 10:57 AM
Nicholas Angel: The Tau? yeah they're okay. If only they would stop saying that.

Tau: But it's for the greater good.

Nicholas Angel: STOP SAYING THAT!

I would give all my money to see this happen.

Tiki Snakes
2012-01-28, 12:10 PM
The whole concept of a "We're the Good Guys!" faction existing in Warhammer 40k is painfully dumb very stylistically jarring, and if I recall correctly they have been specifically moved away from that apparent original conception to better fit with the themes of the setting. and not be so hatefully badwrong

But yes, I've repeatedly heard suggestions that the Tau may be created by the Eldar in some way as one of their ineffable plans.

deuterio12
2012-01-28, 07:21 PM
But yes, I've repeatedly heard suggestions that the Tau may be created by the Eldar in some way as one of their ineffable plans.

Ok, let's assume the Tau were indeed created by the Eldar.

How's that exactly a bad thing?:smallamused:

t209
2012-01-28, 09:45 PM
Ok, let's assume the Tau were indeed created by the Eldar.

How's that exactly a bad thing?:smallamused:

Maybe they tried to blow up an entire planet to save themselves?

Coidzor
2012-01-29, 05:58 AM
Ok, let's assume the Tau were indeed created by the Eldar.

How's that exactly a bad thing?:smallamused:

It means they're all part of a nefarious scheme by foul xenos scum.

hamishspence
2012-01-29, 06:32 AM
There are some dark sides to the Tau Empire (this is 40K after all), it's strongly implied that the Ethereals maintain their control over the empire by using pheromones to control and practically enslave the lower castes.

Also they sterilize humans!


That one's from the fluff-raping video game, not really a valid source.

The Role-playing game Deathwatch (decidedly more fluff-respectful, and with GW staffers on the design team) also makes mention of it.

t209
2012-01-29, 10:35 AM
How about Tarquin's empire? He (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0758.html) said that they were trying to keep stability in war-torn Western Continent. Tarquin maybe evil but he is necessary evil.

Mewtarthio
2012-01-29, 11:18 AM
No, his evil is pretty unnecessary. Stability is a good thing, but 200-foot tall flaming letters (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0759.html) are completely unrelated.

deuterio12
2012-01-29, 11:26 AM
The Role-playing game Deathwatch (decidedly more fluff-respectful, and with GW staffers on the design team) also makes mention of it.
Mind defining "mention"? Do they actualy show any proof, or is simply more IoM paranoia? Because the next book on that series, Black Crusade, does point out that when one manages to break free from the IoM brainwashing propaganda, reality is quite diferent.

The Glyphstone
2012-01-29, 11:58 AM
Mind defining "mention"? Do they actualy show any proof, or is simply more IoM paranoia? Because the next book on that series, Black Crusade, does point out that when one manages to break free from the IoM brainwashing propaganda, reality is quite diferent.

The book is written out-of-character. So unless you're suggesting that the GW writers are so deluded they can't distinguish their game from reality, it's all the proof you need.

Coidzor
2012-01-29, 01:59 PM
The book is written out-of-character. So unless you're suggesting that the GW writers are so deluded they can't distinguish their game from reality, it's all the proof you need.

And if they are, it kinda destroys their credibility for taking what they said about the Tau seriously.

Win-Win!

nightwyrm
2012-01-29, 02:20 PM
China can be called a "good" empire during some of its better dynasties (eg. Han, Tang, Song etc.). Of course, "good" in the sense that you had a strong central government so barbarian invaders didn't come in to slaughter the farmers, no warlords constantly fighting civil wars, and the emperor wasn't a complete jerk who drafted the men to war/build monuments or had orgies while the country starved because of famine.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-01-31, 09:35 AM
How about Tarquin's empire? He (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0758.html) said that they were trying to keep stability in war-torn Western Continent. Tarquin maybe evil but he is necessary evil.

Tarquin stole his idea from 1984 (or possibly Metal Gear Solid, but hell if I can keep track of what the Patriots are actually trying to do in that series), and the actual point of it is that he and a few associates get to live like kings for the rest of their lives at the expense of everyone else without the dangers of actually holding royal titles. He and his friends are brutally oppressive at home and ruthless backstabbers away for no other reason than personal hedonism and, perhaps in Tarquin's personal case, belief in narrative causality. The only reason the whole six-man con isn't the evilest group in the comic is because they're competing with Xykon and literal embodiments of Evil.

Selrahc
2012-01-31, 10:02 AM
The book is written out-of-character. So unless you're suggesting that the GW writers are so deluded they can't distinguish their game from reality, it's all the proof you need.

It's sort of written out of character. Have you read Black Crusade? The fluff descriptions in that book are also written "Out of Character" but work to subtly undermine the Imperium with their tone, and almost go volte-face on their depictions on various institutions as compared to the other books.

Tonally there are messages to be drawn despite the out of character status.
I don't think you can really claim it is "Imperium propoganda" and discard it though. That is going far too far. At worst, it is imparting events with a biased tone rather than attempting to lie to the reader.

t209
2012-02-03, 09:21 AM
How about the empire in Triple Town (Droid App)? They're more of a good guy settlers than greedy expansionists.

GolemsVoice
2012-02-04, 05:48 PM
We had this Tau/Imperium argument over a couple of sides back in the 40K thread. I don't think anything can be gained by this discussion.

t209
2012-02-05, 01:50 AM
How about Persian Empire? They are the good guys in Prince of Persia.

Mewtarthio
2012-02-05, 12:13 PM
Sands of Time movie, Sands of Time game trilogy, or 2008 game? Both iterations of Sands of Time portray imperialism as bad, and both end with the Prince undoing his nation's most recent conquest (in the game, by traveling back in time and preventing it; in the movie, by, er, apologizing and promising to be nicer to the conquerees in the future or something). Meanwhile, in the 2008 game, the Persian Empire is nowhere to be found.

t209
2012-02-05, 04:47 PM
Sands of Time movie, Sands of Time game trilogy, or 2008 game? Both iterations of Sands of Time portray imperialism as bad, and both end with the Prince undoing his nation's most recent conquest (in the game, by traveling back in time and preventing it; in the movie, by, er, apologizing and promising to be nicer to the conquerees in the future or something). Meanwhile, in the 2008 game, the Persian Empire is nowhere to be found.

How about the story on their story of Babylon Wall? They let the jews return to their homeland!

Avilan the Grey
2012-02-06, 04:07 AM
I know this has probably been argued to death in this thread but:

When seen from the outside, most empires are evil because they are, well, imperialistic. As pointed out on page one of this thread.

However, there is also the present day morality thing going on. If we are talking about historical, or pseudo-historical empires, they were not really behaving worse than other countries or nations. They just were more successful.
It is easy to feel sympathy for the kingdom desperately trying to hold it's borders against the ravaging Empire-Of-Whomever, but I bet a big chunk of gold coins that 300 years previous, that very kingdom were plundering and burning other people's homes. Quite likely the homes of citizens of the Empire-Of-Whomever.

Anyway, it also depends on in what "phase" the empire in question is portrayed:

If they are in the beginning, or at least not at their zenith of power, they tend to always be the "brutal evil thugs lead by a dictator!".
If at the very zenith they can be either this, or the stable peaceful result that most people agree with except some misguided rebels ("what did the Romans ever do for us?").
If past zenith but not really in decline, it is almost always the latter. The Empire is the good guys and rebels, or another empire, are the badguys.
If the empire is on the ropes, we usually even feel BAD for it, and it's crumbling glory and the resulting chaos and rise of evil kingdoms and warbands and...

H Birchgrove
2012-02-06, 07:59 AM
I'll just mention that the Roman Empire was *not* popular in Britain when it was a Roman province, except for a tiny elite of "quislings". The Romans brutalized the Britons a lot, enslaved them to work in the mines.

Avilan the Grey
2012-02-06, 09:27 AM
I'll just mention that the Roman Empire was *not* popular in Britain when it was a Roman province, except for a tiny elite of "quislings". The Romans brutalized the Britons a lot, enslaved them to work in the mines.

...Because they continued to fight, at least in parts of Britain. Since Britain needed a constant garrison, it was put under the direct control of the Emperor unlike areas that were peaceful, which were ruled by the Senate (really by local governor consuls, but they in turn answered to the Senate).

t209
2012-02-06, 10:08 AM
We're talking about list of media that do not use usual "evil empire" archetype. I mean like Empire that is good guys, not as evil as others, or morally ambiguous.

H Birchgrove
2012-02-06, 02:47 PM
...Because they continued to fight, at least in parts of Britain. Since Britain needed a constant garrison, it was put under the direct control of the Emperor unlike areas that were peaceful, which were ruled by the Senate (really by local governor consuls, but they in turn answered to the Senate).

You do realize the unfortunate implications in what you're saying, right? :smallconfused:

In any event, the Roman Empire has received a lot of cred it didn't deserve, and the "Barbarians" (the Gaul, the Greek - also considered to be Barbarian by the Romans -, the Persians, etc) were quite often far more civilized than the Romans in many issues, at least by modern standards (child welfare, human rights, infrastructure, etc).

Coidzor
2012-02-06, 11:20 PM
You do realize the unfortunate implications in what you're saying, right? :smallconfused:

There's unfortunate implications in stating that the local populace of a place was increasingly punished in antiquity by its rulers for rebelling and that places which did not see revolts or action against hostile foreign powers were ruled over and governed differently?

Really?

Which ones? Most of the unpleasantness seems rather overt rather than implied, I must admit.

Avilan the Grey
2012-02-07, 03:32 AM
You do realize the unfortunate implications in what you're saying, right? :smallconfused:

In any event, the Roman Empire has received a lot of cred it didn't deserve, and the "Barbarians" (the Gaul, the Greek - also considered to be Barbarian by the Romans -, the Persians, etc) were quite often far more civilized than the Romans in many issues, at least by modern standards (child welfare, human rights, infrastructure, etc).

No I don't, because it is all part of what I have already stated above in other posts: We are often looking at Empires with modern 21 century eyes. Back then, what the Romans did was expected and normal. Sure, the people on the other side didn't think so, but I bet they too had plundered and pillaged someone at some point and considered their victories glorious.

Also, the whole "Barbarian" thing is nothing uniquely Roman. The Greek called the Romans Barbarians right back. The Chinese called us ALL Barbarians. Etc.

Anyway: Fiction with the Empire as good guys: What about the Codex Alera series?

Balain
2012-02-08, 08:39 PM
The old tie fighter game portrayed the empire as good

t209
2012-02-08, 09:48 PM
The old tie fighter game portrayed the empire as good

This is because you are playing as badguys.
Elderscrolls is the only game that subverts the typical empire (except Redguards)! They are portrayed as sympathetic until
they became sellouts in Skyrim.

Weezer
2012-02-08, 10:44 PM
This is because you are playing as badguys.
Elderscrolls is the only game that subverts the typical empire (except Redguards)! They are portrayed as sympathetic until
they became sellouts in Skyrim.

And even then it's more of a
Oh god please stop killing us kind of sellout more than anything else.

t209
2012-02-08, 11:05 PM
And even then it's more of a
Oh god please stop killing us kind of sellout more than anything else.

I don't get it. Does it have to do with Stormcloaks?
Sellout as in
They ban their own emperor who was a good.
Licking the boots of Aldmeri Dominion.
Oppressing their own humans.

Avilan the Grey
2012-02-09, 01:44 AM
I don't get it. Does it have to do with Stormcloaks?
Sellout as in
They ban their own emperor who was a good.
Licking the boots of Aldmeri Dominion.
Oppressing their own humans.

Death to the traitors. The Stormcloaks must be purged to save Skyrim.
I have played 7 characters, and the only one that has wholeheartedly sided with the stormcloaks is my racist nord character. There is no reason any other race would join them, since the stormcloaks treat all members of their species as dirt).

Anyway, again, the Codex Alera series is a good example of a good (Roman) empire.

t209
2012-02-09, 12:17 PM
Fire Nation
Firelord Zuko reign that is. It will be better under Zuko rule.

Duos Greanleef
2012-02-09, 12:30 PM
The Galactic Empire is good, from a certain point of view.
:amused:

Weezer
2012-02-09, 12:56 PM
I don't get it. Does it have to do with Stormcloaks?
Sellout as in
They ban their own emperor who was a good.
Licking the boots of Aldmeri Dominion.
Oppressing their own humans.

All of which they did because they were getting their asses kicked by the Aldmeri Dominion.

Tavar
2012-02-09, 01:13 PM
The Galactic Empire is good, from a certain point of view.
:amused:

Only if the same view makes a mass-murdering slaver good.

GenericGuy
2012-02-09, 02:10 PM
Death to the traitors. The Stormcloaks must be purged to save Skyrim.
[SPOILER]I have played 7 characters, and the only one that has wholeheartedly sided with the stormcloaks is my racist nord character. There is no reason any other race would join them, since the stormcloaks treat all members of their species as dirt).[SPOILER]


I'm currently playing a female High Elf who sides with the Stromcloaks:smallconfused:, of course she sees herself as a deep cover Dominion agent working to weaken the Empire:smallmad::smalltongue:

OT: Its true that there aren't a lot of "good" empires in fiction, thats one of the reasons why they're nearly always the most "good guy" nation in my DnD sessions.

t209
2012-02-09, 03:57 PM
I'm currently playing a female High Elf who sides with the Stromcloaks:smallconfused:, of course she sees herself as a deep cover Dominion agent working to weaken the Empire:smallmad::smalltongue:

OT: Its true that there aren't a lot of "good" empires in fiction, thats one of the reasons why they're nearly always the most "good guy" nation in my DnD sessions.
So you got the inspiration from Tamriel Empire.

jpreem
2012-02-12, 11:14 AM
Imperium from the "Foundation" series by Isaac Asimov has some redeeming qualities.
At the beginning of the series we see that it is full of corruption and inefficency, and as the series goes on the remains of crumbling Empire are the antagonists. But the idea by Hari Seldon (one of the plot driver chars) was that the unifiing force that the Empire is/was is needed for the benefit of the mankind. So he makes a plan that will cause a new Empire to emerge sooner after the fall of this current (dying, corrupt) one.
As we can see from the books - a lot really wen't worse at the collapse of the empire. Shattered galaxy being led by little pieces by local warlords etc.

t209
2012-02-21, 11:37 PM
How about Rokugan Empire from Legend of Five Rings? They may not be nice but you are the empire (except if you play other campaign settings).

Tavar
2012-02-21, 11:43 PM
The Empire of Ternathia it pretty much said to be one in the Hell's Gate series, and the Empire of Sharonai that it morphs into latter on certainly seems to be the better of the two groups.

Mr.Silver
2012-02-22, 09:06 AM
Fairly obscure example: The Holy Empire of Abel from the Anima universe (Anima: Beyond Fantasy the pen and paper RPG and Anima: Tactics the miniature wargame) might count since they're nominally one of the more 'good' factions. They have done some fairly questionable things in the world's past though (including genocide).

t209
2012-03-07, 01:15 PM
How about the Norther Territories in Meek?
The Emperor (http://wiki.shingworks.com/Luca_deSadar) did censor critics but he is kinda fair and just ruler even though he was
Controlled by tiger demons.