Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...
The Beautiful Sunshan Fluffyness:
I'm going to list out the major political factions present and active in Sunshan, including their role, status and how they feel about the others.
This group sits at the bottom of the totem pole of Sunshani politics. They are literally owned as property by the nobles and are frequently swapped or sold to new owners. They are sometimes supported with food or healing by the Monasteries, despite the risk involved and the nobles disapproval. The serfs are frequently very angry with their social place, but more are simply tired and resigned to their fate, and are trying to keep themselves and their families alive, which becomes substantially more difficult if one attracts the attention of the nobles or their spies. They also quietly support the revolutionaries, quietly feeding and sheltering those that pass through their villages.
While the Serfs are at the bottom of the totem pole, the Nobles are at the top. Rather, they carved the pole themselves and put themselves at the top. They are frequently too busy being rich, powerful and lazy to actually use any of their power to do anything but keep the status quo stable, and the peasants in their place. The often have spies, guards and hired managers on each of their plantations to keep the serfs firmly under their thumbs, while they are away at court or a vacation home. They have a level of disrespect for the Serfs, and view them as mindless property. They essentially leave the monasteries alone and do not tax them, assuming that this grants them favor with the monks and abbots. They are mostly unaware or do not care about the Revolutionaries, viewing them as unimportant inconveniences for their plantation managers, or refusing to admit they exist at all.
The monasteries generally try to stay out of Sunshani politics as much as their consciences will allow. However, this is not usually all that much. They have the unwavering support of the serfs, and frequently serve as sanctuaries for fleeing "criminals", serfs that dared try and escape Sunshan for Soleh or Vallheim. They also adopt whatever children the local families cannot support and raise them as monks. The Nobles are aware of the support that the monasteries have from the serfs and generally let them be, knowing that to attack one would be to open the door to a popular revolt. However, some monasteries have turned towards training their monks not for self defense and pursuit of perfection, but for a political agenda. These disillusioned monasteries are the main recruiting and training grounds of the Revolutionaries' soldiers, as well as their many political philosophers, recruited from the great thinkers of these institutions, who serve to help recruit and educate the serfs about their government and its crimes.
This group is actually an uneasy sorta-alliance of three different groups who work against the nobles in different ways.
The first is the Phoenix, by far the oldest of the groups, which has existed and subtly worked against the nobles for over three hundred years. They are present to some degree in every monastery, but focus exclusively on non-violent methods. They have been working tirelessly to educate the serfs to the point that they can rise up as one peaceful, unstoppable force to demand their own constitution, rights and self-government. They have been discovered and exposed by the government twice before, and were massacred. The surviving members rebuilt both times, rising from the ashes of the burnt monasteries, hence the name of Phoenix.
The second is the Grey Palm, a group of assassins, rogues, etc. who believe that a nonviolent resistance is a contradiction, and work to destroy the nobles by literally destroying them, through ambushes, assassinations and other attacks. They have few qualms about who is and who is not a valid target, believing that all nobles are oppressors, regardless of age, sex or disposition. They find the Phoenix to be a bunch of ivory-tower philosophers who are comfortable living in a monastery and ignoring the pains of the serfs.
The last is the Unending Way, a group of traveling pilgrims, who generally travel from village to village praying and practicing martial arts. They also serve as camouflage for a serf trying to escape, and often allow them to travel with them as a fellow monk until they can escape to a neighboring country. They are on friendly terms with the Phoenix, and also have a level or respect for the passion of the Grey Palm, if not agreement with their goals.
Last edited by Wyntonian : 04-26-2011 at 01:18 PM.