Fanservice wrote: Aquillion wrote:
The Empress ended the Balorian Crusade using the RDG, not the Realm (and she did it before the Realm even existed.) The rest of the world rebuilt civilization just fine (and again, seriously, treating the Realm as if it has a special unique power to build civilization is terrible as all fuck.) The Realm hasn't done any more aqueduct-building or road-building or sanitation-improvement than anyone else, nor is there any reason to think that they're better at building aqueducts or roads or sanitation than anyone else. (Outside of the Blessed Isle, at least; on the Blessed Isle, they're able to build more infrastructure because they can feed workers using food looted from the periphery. Obviously this comes at the expense of stuff that the people there would have been able to build on their own.)
Why do you think the Realm is capable of building roads and aqueducts and sanitation that other people can't? Why are you axiomatically assigning the Realm the powers of this nebulously defined "civilization" and denying that it can be done as well by anyone else?
Because the Realm has resources other Nations don't
...because it took them from those nations...
and is full of Dragonblooded Exalts who make excellent administrators.
...of a system designed to efficiently extract the wealth of other nations and feed it into the Realm's ever-hungry maw...
he idea that the Realm doesn't bother to actually administrate their satraps is really silly to me. They're not meant to all be cackling evil villains, kicking people down silver mines to digs it out with their bare bloody hands.
It rather depends on the satrapy in question. Harborhead requires a lot of administration because the inherent inclination of the local tribal groups is to be cattle-ranchers who frequently raid one another, not to mine tons and tons of jade out of the earth. Medo requires a fair bit of administration because it is basically a hostage-state tied up with the structure of the legions. Chiaroscuro requires next to no Realm administrative investment because it's a huge trade hub that is already competently administrated by the local rulers, who are canny enough to give the Realm a gigantic taste off the top of all profits in exchange for leaving them alone to get on with things otherwise. Most of the Realm presence in Chiaroscuro consists of a few teams of investigators making sure the Tri-Khan doesn't short them on tribute too badly, and a satrap sitting in his gifted palace collecting blowjobs and bribes.
Note that none of these places actually need the Realm to come in and administrate them, and in those situations where the Realm's administrative interference has
notably increased or maximized profits or production (Harborhead), that product is not kept by the locals.
The local tribes and the Leopard sure as hell aren't getting all that jade that's coming out of the Bent Creek mine.
The Dragonblood faith doesn't support that kind of behaviour and it's not to their benefit to let their satraps lie undeveloped. It makes no sense beyond being evil for the sake of making them evil.
Indeed-- the Realm does awful things for the sake of profit or duty, not evil.
I like nuance in my games. I'd like the Realm lands to be alluring beacons of civilization that come with the downsides of an incredibly strict caste system and a building massive civil war that's putting pressure on the satraps to do more than they can handle. I'd like the Dragonblood to see themselves as Noble Heroes, while being powerless to stop those who have twisted their beliefs and virtues in the name of excess, greed and profit without tearing down their own faith. I'd like the Realm to be deeply flawed, but with enough in it that you can see why people would fight for it beyond a simple "We have it pretty good here"
The reason the Realm would build Roads, Aquaducts, bring medicine and all the other beacons of Civilization isn't because they're nice people. It's because they're all things that improve the worth of their lands, they need Roads to move goods. Aquaducts to help feed their people and grow crops, while medicine keeps them alive. That it enhances the lives of those living under their rule is a nice benefit that makes them feel like good rulers and gives them some comfort that they're doing the right thing. Even as they draft up people's sons to go fight an Anathema 'Heresy' forming in the next city over.
Natives of the Blessed Isle are not the only people in Creation who know how to build roads and aqueducts, or who have any medical knowledge, or any idea of complex bureaucratic administration.
If the Dragonblood are just fucking evil there's no nuance. If anything they look like idiots for not realising that the monstrous things they're doing are monstrous things to do. 2E had a problem where the vast majority of it's NPC's were just being idiots and villains for the sake of giving the PC's something to fix. Let's not repeat that mistake.
You might notice that Exalted had a staff turnover a while back.