Maldan Strategy

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#76 Post by Eder » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:42 pm

9ofSwords wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:55 am
Leitchy wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:11 pm
how clans get together will be based on custom and tradition and it'll be your job as the GM to decide on what those customs are, or what that tradition is.
Regardless what rules and traditions you as a GM ascribe to your clan succession councils, in play, who is the final arbiter of who is eligible to be present at these councils? Wouldn't this be the first order of business of any succession council -- to determine whether everyone present was entitled to be there? And this first order of business could very well be as contentious as choosing the new clanhead. It seems that there might need to be an inner council comprised of those whose clan identity is unquestionable, and this group might have final say.
Actually, not really. Everyone seems to assume that the clan succession council decides by vote counting, with some sort of threshold etc. as in most modern political systems, some sort of judicial control on the proceedings that adheres to very detailed specifics etc. That was often not the case in high medieval times.

Indeed, note that there is no reference to voting in the books (at least in the older ones); the right is one of attendance (and speech). I posit that what a council looks for is rough consensus, particularly among those who matter. Basically, almost all the "power" present must fall in line. If a sufficiently wide agreement is reached, the prospective candidate will just claim the clan headship. At this point the dissenters can either fall in line, or refuse to acknowledge the new clanhead. The latter option is rarely, if ever taken, since the rest of the clan and kin will then be united against them -- and, on the other hand, every clan member and "associate" has an incentive to reconcile the dissenters with the view of the rest of the clan, e.g. by offering something in return for falling in (assets, marriages etc.). Rough consensus is crucial, because the clanhead must have the loyalty and support of his entire clan and close kin, not just 51% of it, to be able to function effectively.

This automatically takes care of the right to attend, in those few cases it might be in doubt (the criterion is rather simple, "adult of at least half blood", but there are cases when blood ties are in doubt, and when adulthood is borderline). These few "borderline" attenders will have their influence reduced by the fact that it's not clear whether they should be there or not; because of this and their likely low numbers their position can strengthen a consensus or weaken it, but it's exceedingly unlikely to reverse it.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#77 Post by MDMann » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:05 pm

In my ksc write-up I used votes for two reasons. 1. It's simple, easily understood and builds tension pc's. 2. I read the system used as being determined by precedent and the college of heralds. I think it's only one of many possible systems that would be in use and vary greatly between the clans. I only needed one, so I went with that one, which should certainly be used amongst others. Strictly, it should have little bearing on other systems. It's only the Elendsa system. The Dariune system has no relation to it, despite the close relations between the clans. That's held by the clan Heralds as one their most important duties and influential ones.

I think a system closer to dynamic weighted transferable vote could be closer to reality and historical norms, but frankly it's too complicated and less appealing or understood by players.
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Re: Maldan Strategy

#78 Post by Targan » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:31 pm

It's been a thoroughly interesting discussion, gents. Thanks.
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Re: Maldan Strategy

#79 Post by pfstrack » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:07 am

Targan wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:31 pm
It's been a thoroughly interesting discussion, gents. Thanks.
I second that. This has really helped firm up my ideas for how Kaldor works. Even the posts I disagreed with (or perhaps especially those posts) were useful.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#80 Post by Targan » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:56 am

pfstrack wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:07 am
Even the posts I disagreed with (or perhaps especially those posts) were useful.
Exactly.
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Re: Maldan Strategy

#81 Post by 9ofSwords » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:12 pm

Indeed, I agree wholeheartedly. I must say, at first, Eder's Clan-Above-All view rankled me. Half the succession council are half-blood's who are likely more loyal to their own clans. It seemed that if their numbers were more than half the council (imagine for instance that the Firiths made the largest bloc), they could overrun it -- which would make it difficult to imagine how clans selecting clanheads via a council could be a lasting tradition. If however we recognize that the council is about building consensus, then half-bloods will lose standing in the precedings by attempting to hijack them. So now I'm beginning to see the merits of Eder's view. AND, if the GM wants to stick to it being a matter of votes, then varying the number of votes might be an option: 1 vote for half-blood, 2 for full-blood . . . or something like that.

Now I want to turn an earlier comment
Eder wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:19 am
Targan wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:06 am
I take it the Laranian church rubber-stamps the ascension of each new Kaldoric king? How much does the church's opinion matter in the selection of a new King of Kaldor?
In theory, it has no weight. That's because the choice of the Elendsa clanshead is the business of the Elendsa (and their kin of at least half-blood), and the Elendsa clanhead is "automatically" the king of Kaldor. However:
a) the church could "legitimize" the claim to the kingship by another clan (which could begin, or end, a civil war); it's not so much an issue of "law" as of moral authority and sheer power.
b) in the event that there is not a strong consensus among the Elendsa about who should be their clanhead, the church could similarly tilt the table in favour of one of the contenders: remember that for most clansmen a "good" clanhead is one with lots of allies and few enemies both within and outside of the clan.
c) in general, having the Laranian church as an enemy is a bad thing! So even an Elendsa with the entire clan behind him and the loyalty of all his earls and barons would be weaker if the Laranian church opposes him. Though it's a two-way-road: I doubt the Serekela would last long in such a situation :)
A couple comments and questions here:
1) If the Church's opinion has no weight in the matter of selecting the clanhead and king, then how is Conwan's oath an issue? Is it legally binding under secular law, as well as church law. Or is it just a matter of public perception?
2) How do the opinions of Church and those Great Clans not in the council enter at all? For months prior, I'm sure they've all been making their opinions known to the council members, but those members themselves have no clear idea how the proceedings will go. It would be hard for council members to make assurances, and it may not be wise for the Church and other Great Clans to give ultimatums beforehand (like "It'll be war if that bastard Maldan is given the throne"). So is their only recourse to rise in rebellion, after the fact, if the choice isn't to their liking? An odd state given claims as to how influential the church and Earls of Vemion and Neph are.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#82 Post by Rothesay » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:09 pm

9ofSwords wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:12 pm
It seemed that if their numbers were more than half the council (imagine for instance that the Firiths made the largest bloc)
I just ran a version of the Elendsa clan meeting. The Firiths controlled fully 1/3 of the votes at the outset. True, Lord Balim ran the meeting, but he recognized he would get nowhere without Firith support.

However one wants to run it, the KSC is a complex scenario. :wink:

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#83 Post by MDMann » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:20 pm

The oath is a separate issue. He can't take the throne if he breaks oath. As an oathbreaker he's lose too much support. The church has no votes ,Lenera Firith aside, but a lot of soft power. It's opinion counts. People listen to it and many will heed or st least consider it's wishes.
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Re: Maldan Strategy

#84 Post by Eder » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:46 pm

9ofSwords wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:12 pm
I
Eder wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:19 am
Targan wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:06 am
I take it the Laranian church rubber-stamps the ascension of each new Kaldoric king? How much does the church's opinion matter in the selection of a new King of Kaldor?
In theory, it has no weight. That's because the choice of the Elendsa clanshead is the business of the Elendsa (and their kin of at least half-blood), and the Elendsa clanhead is "automatically" the king of Kaldor. However:
a) the church could "legitimize" the claim to the kingship by another clan (which could begin, or end, a civil war); it's not so much an issue of "law" as of moral authority and sheer power.
b) in the event that there is not a strong consensus among the Elendsa about who should be their clanhead, the church could similarly tilt the table in favour of one of the contenders: remember that for most clansmen a "good" clanhead is one with lots of allies and few enemies both within and outside of the clan.
c) in general, having the Laranian church as an enemy is a bad thing! So even an Elendsa with the entire clan behind him and the loyalty of all his earls and barons would be weaker if the Laranian church opposes him. Though it's a two-way-road: I doubt the Serekela would last long in such a situation :)
A couple comments and questions here:
1) If the Church's opinion has no weight in the matter of selecting the clanhead and king,
Note I said that the Church in theory has no weight, but that I also added a number of ways it can exert pressure.
9ofSwords wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:12 pm
then how is Conwan's oath an issue? Is it legally binding under secular law, as well as church law. Or is it just a matter of public perception?
I do not think that there's any "secular" or "church" law saying that you can't break an oath, like there's no secular or church law that says you can't hack your own hand off. The penalty is implicit. You break an oath, you are an oathbreaker. Among the many social consequences, any sensible clansman would reject an oathbreaker as clanhead, for at least two reasons. First, who knows if such a despicable person will take good care of the clan as any normal clanhead would -- with an oathbreaker, all bets are off! Second, how can your clanhead negotiate on behalf of your clan with other clans and people, since nobody trusts him -- with an oathbreaker, all bets are off! And if the oath was broken with someone/something powerful (the Laranian Church definitely is), you get a powerful enemy on top of that!
9ofSwords wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:12 pm
2) How do the opinions of Church and those Great Clans not in the council enter at all? For months prior, I'm sure they've all been making their opinions known to the council members, but those members themselves have no clear idea how the proceedings will go. It would be hard for council members to make assurances, and it may not be wise for the Church and other Great Clans to give ultimatums beforehand (like "It'll be war if that bastard Maldan is given the throne"). So is their only recourse to rise in rebellion, after the fact, if the choice isn't to their liking? An odd state given claims as to how influential the church and Earls of Vemion and Neph are.
Ok, many points here.

First of all, as you said, in most cases the outcome of a succession in not unexpected. It gets arranged well before the current clanhead dies, with everyone knowing which cards everyone else holds. On average, uncertainty hurts everyone. This gives ample time to everyone involved to exert influence. I wrote elsewhere why I view the current months, right now after Merik's death, not as a moment of quiet before the storm, but as the storm, as everyone scrambles in the manoeuvring that should determine the new clan head before Miginath dies (and if that doesn't happen... Larani keep, that will be the mother of all storms).

Second, a prospective clanhead ability to administer the clan assets has a strong impact on his eligibility in the mind of the clan members and kin. Vassals are an immensely important part of those assets. So a prospective clanhead who has poor relationships with the vassals of his clan will be implicitly handicapped. But note that, in principle, those vassal clans hold their land from your clan in exchange for ... stuff; it's a clan-clan relationship, and, again in principle, the clan head is an internal affair.

Third, the Great Clans who want to have a direct say in the Elendsa succession council marry an Elendsa daughter. It's as simple as that. The church that wants to have a direct say in the Elendsa succession council makes sure it has an Elendsa of at least half-blood in its ranks. Even the Peonians did it!

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#85 Post by 9ofSwords » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:03 pm

Eder wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:54 pm
In my game, One of the few voices of "moderation" is Miginath himself, who really likes his son (and understands the trouble he'd create if bypassed). He's asked the Church to yield to the king (that would be him) a document that annuls Conwan's oath "should the king deem it necessary for the good of the kingdom". In the meantime, he's written and signed a document that legitimizes his three bastards. Then, he summons both Conwan and Maldan, and basically states that after Merik's death and his own, they'll be the two pillars of the clan and the kingdom, .... To this end, he proposes the bethrotal of Maldan's firstborn, Mirild, with his cousin Erlene, the firstborn of Conwan. In the meantime, Mirild should squire under Conwan . . . . To "cement the trust kin should always have for kin", he gives Maldan the document annulling Conwan's oath, and Conwan the document legitimizing Maldan and his brothers (after showing both documents to both parties). The idea is that Maldan will have a lot of difficulty becoming king unless Conwan supports him (among other things, by producing the document); but Conwan will (only) have his oath annulled once Maldan is king, by Maldan himself -- and at that point Conwan will be the most obvious heir.

What would you do if you were Maldan or Conwan, and were put in their position?
Above is a highly excerpted quote. If you are just joining, scroll back to page 1 to read Eder's entire post.

This is a VERY well-crafted standoff! Still, I think Conwan may have the upper hand. The King is the only person who can offer Maldan legitimacy, and now Conwan holds those documents. Eder claims that Conwan will only have his oath annulled by the documents that Maldan now holds, but I'm not sure about that. Why could he not, by other channels, get the church to annul his oath on his own? Sure, he hasn't been able to do it up to this point, but it may have been Miginath who has been blocking those efforts. He may not be able to get it done so long as Miginath lives, but afterwards a concerted effort by well-placed Elendsas and perhaps heads of other Great Clans may prove successful. The document Maldan holds will become obsolete.

So Conwan plays along with Miginath and Maldan. After Miginath's death, the council convenes. Maldan arrives in Tashal, but not with an army, as he expects Conwan to produce the documents and to support Maldan's claim to the throne. Conwan does no such thing. Now backed by most of the council, many of whom now know of the documents, Maldan is disgraced. There may be violence in the chamber, certainly it concludes with Maldan vowing vengeance and hastening to return with his army. Perhaps he is not allowed to leave Tashal. Meanwhile the Elendsas, and the other Great Clans backing Conwan approach the church with renewed urgency to annul his oath. Conwan may not be an inspiring candidate for the throne, but he is a choice that I think most Great Clans would support over the bastard Maldan.
MDMann wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:29 pm
It only takes one to break ranks to bring it all crashing down. It's the classic prisoners dilemma. Maldan in particular, as it stands, has got more to gain by war and lose by peace than most. He really needs to move fast and secure Tashal to have a chance. And, he knows it.
Whether or not anyone wants Conwan as king, the bargain that Miginath tries to strike between him and Maldan is advantageous to all parties who do not want Maldan to be king in that, as long as Maldan believes Conwan will play his part, it's the best way to get Maldan to Tashal for the succession council, without an army following him, and there apprehend him. But Maldan is smart, so he may not be fooled, and he may catch wind of what's afoot well before the council.

So much good stuff here!

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#86 Post by Eder » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:45 pm

Thanks for the (undeserved) compliments. I'd add a few notes.

First of all, I agree that Conwan might attempt to have his oath annulled through other means. However (and I probably was not sufficiently clear on this) if I were Miginath I'd really pressure the Church into writing the document in a way that basically states "the king, and only the king, for the good of the kingdom can annul the oath". Basically, I'd ask the church to "cede" the oath to the king. Obviously there are ways to make this sound noble, and holy, and Laranian, and not mercenary at all. Of course, even at that point, the church can still wiggle its way out, and "sell" the annulment a second time directly to Conwan. But if it does so while Miginath is still alive, it faces a gigantic risk. If it waits until the situation is chaotic, it faces risks of a different nature. And I'm not 100% sure that Larani herself would approve of such a conduct.

Perhaps more importantly, the question is: is Conwan so "power hungry" to risk it all? The answer may be yes, but I do not see it as an obvious yes. I mean, if he goes along with the plan, he might not be the king immediately, but
a) he has a very high probability of becoming the next king ... and the king of nicely run Kaldor that has avoided a civil war and
b) it's quite clear that Maldan needs his support beyond the succession council, to minimize the chance of a rebellion, so while Maldan lives Conwan can expect to be given a lot of power, on par with that of a powerful earl and
c) at a very minimum, his own daughter will become the daughter-in-law to the king, as the wife to his firstborn son.
Would you gamble it all for a chance at becoming king here and now?

One more thing of interest is: is there any canon reference to the fact that the succession council is held in Tashal? I'd fully expect it to be held at Caer Olokand, the ancestral seat of the clan! That's one of the reasons why being named sheriff of Meselyne and constable of Olokand is such a big step towards becoming the next king, and is traditionally reserved for the heir apparent. Anyone who wants to tell you you are not fit to be the next clan head must say so to your face under your own roof. Which is a pretty big thing.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#87 Post by MDMann » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:33 pm

Tradition (but not law) holds it at Caleme.
Per Sir Veer.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#88 Post by Caden Grace » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:50 am

Eder wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:45 pm
Thanks for the (undeserved) compliments. I'd add a few notes.

First of all, I agree that Conwan might attempt to have his oath annulled through other means. However (and I probably was not sufficiently clear on this) if I were Miginath I'd really pressure the Church into writing the document in a way that basically states "the king, and only the king, for the good of the kingdom can annul the oath". Basically, I'd ask the church to "cede" the oath to the king. Obviously there are ways to make this sound noble, and holy, and Laranian, and not mercenary at all. Of course, even at that point, the church can still wiggle its way out, and "sell" the annulment a second time directly to Conwan. But if it does so while Miginath is still alive, it faces a gigantic risk. If it waits until the situation is chaotic, it faces risks of a different nature. And I'm not 100% sure that Larani herself would approve of such a conduct.

Perhaps more importantly, the question is: is Conwan so "power hungry" to risk it all? The answer may be yes, but I do not see it as an obvious yes. I mean, if he goes along with the plan, he might not be the king immediately, but
a) he has a very high probability of becoming the next king ... and the king of nicely run Kaldor that has avoided a civil war and
b) it's quite clear that Maldan needs his support beyond the succession council, to minimize the chance of a rebellion, so while Maldan lives Conwan can expect to be given a lot of power, on par with that of a powerful earl and
c) at a very minimum, his own daughter will become the daughter-in-law to the king, as the wife to his firstborn son.
Would you gamble it all for a chance at becoming king here and now?

One more thing of interest is: is there any canon reference to the fact that the succession council is held in Tashal? I'd fully expect it to be held at Caer Olokand, the ancestral seat of the clan! That's one of the reasons why being named sheriff of Meselyne and constable of Olokand is such a big step towards becoming the next king, and is traditionally reserved for the heir apparent. Anyone who wants to tell you you are not fit to be the next clan head must say so to your face under your own roof. Which is a pretty big thing.

All of this is predicated on the belief that Conwan 'wants' to be king. Nothing in his history suggests he is the least bit ambitious or impulsive. He serves in his post well, seems to be an exceptionally pious man and he and his wife waited until he was installed as Sheriff before they pumped out three children. He was 23 and she was 20 when their first arrived - both were somewhat late in getting started when most nobles in their position and indeed most people in general in this age start in the mid to late teens. That alone tells me he is a planner; he chooses a path and then marches down it. His oath was no impulse and I do not think he would regard it lifted even if the Church and everyone else concerned were to orchestrate some means to make it legal and acceptable to the kingdom and the church. He would personally still hold his oath - that is what I believe anyway. A man that plans his life this way would have been planning to be king for some time even if Merik was alive and the heir apparent.

However, a way forward might be found in this path. Using what I think it is Conwan's rigid plan for his life to the kingdom's best interest. He might accept a Regency for his second child and eldest son, Brandis who is only 8 at this time. This would take the heat off of everyone involved and merely pro-long the status quo until young Brandis came of age in ten years. Conwan could even accept head of the clan without taking on the mantle of king. Each of the major clans could be represented as a member of the Regency Council that serves to advise the Regent.

This would sidestep a lot of problems, but does it raise any new ones?

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#89 Post by 9ofSwords » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:05 am

Eder wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:45 pm
One more thing of interest is: is there any canon reference to the fact that the succession council is held in Tashal? I'd fully expect it to be held at Caer Olokand, the ancestral seat of the clan! That's one of the reasons why being named sheriff of Meselyne and constable of Olokand is such a big step towards becoming the next king, and is traditionally reserved for the heir apparent. Anyone who wants to tell you you are not fit to be the next clan head must say so to your face under your own roof. Which is a pretty big thing.
MDMann wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:33 pm
Tradition (but not law) holds it at Caleme.
I'll return to Conwan, but first I'm recalculating strategies based on these different locations.

I had assumed Tashal, just for its being (kind of) neutral ground. Caleme would be more neutral, and more conducive to hosting a council without possible armed intimidation of members.

Olokand makes perfect sense as the ancestral seat of the Elendsas. But there the entire council would effectively be hostages of Maldan. What would he need papers from Miginath for? He simply marches into the council and says: "Look, you all know I'm Miginath's son. Whether you want to admit to it doesn't matter, because I already have Olokand, I have an army marching toward Tashal right now, and I have all of you in this room. So adopt me into clan Elendsa and name me clanhead and king. Besides, I promise to be a conscientious steward of the clan's name and property, just as I have been a fine administrator of Meselyneshire."

All of the attendees have to know that this is what Maldan will do, so if they're determined to oust him, they'll need an air-tight plan before they all arrive in Olokand. That plan may indeed involve holding the council somewhere other than Olokand. It might involve showing up at Olokand with their own armies. The next Kaldoric Civil War may start before any council is seated.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#90 Post by Caden Grace » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:48 am

9ofSwords wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:05 am
Eder wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:45 pm
One more thing of interest is: is there any canon reference to the fact that the succession council is held in Tashal? I'd fully expect it to be held at Caer Olokand, the ancestral seat of the clan! That's one of the reasons why being named sheriff of Meselyne and constable of Olokand is such a big step towards becoming the next king, and is traditionally reserved for the heir apparent. Anyone who wants to tell you you are not fit to be the next clan head must say so to your face under your own roof. Which is a pretty big thing.
MDMann wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:33 pm
Tradition (but not law) holds it at Caleme.
I'll return to Conwan, but first I'm recalculating strategies based on these different locations.

I had assumed Tashal, just for its being (kind of) neutral ground. Caleme would be more neutral, and more conducive to hosting a council without possible armed intimidation of members.

Olokand makes perfect sense as the ancestral seat of the Elendsas. But there the entire council would effectively be hostages of Maldan. What would he need papers from Miginath for? He simply marches into the council and says: "Look, you all know I'm Miginath's son. Whether you want to admit to it doesn't matter, because I already have Olokand, I have an army marching toward Tashal right now, and I have all of you in this room. So adopt me into clan Elendsa and name me clanhead and king. Besides, I promise to be a conscientious steward of the clan's name and property, just as I have been a fine administrator of Meselyneshire."

All of the attendees have to know that this is what Maldan will do, so if they're determined to oust him, they'll need an air-tight plan before they all arrive in Olokand. That plan may indeed involve holding the council somewhere other than Olokand. It might involve showing up at Olokand with their own armies. The next Kaldoric Civil War may start before any council is seated.

The Kaldoric Civil War started the day Merik died - it has just been more civil and less war since then and as long as all of the major players feel like their position is not being eroded by the status quo and possibly that they might benefit from it, it will hold. But, you can bet all of these prinicples have plans in place to go into effect the moment the king is dead. Someone like Maldan, who always wants the upper hand might decide he can't take the risk of multiple schemes kicking off at the same time. He has the mind that would kick his off first and take down the king in the process thereby getting a jump on everyone else. I do not see him ever being a good king, tyrant more than likely. Everyone else has to know this too.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#91 Post by 9ofSwords » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:39 am

Eder wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:45 pm
the question is: is Conwan so "power hungry" to risk it all?
No, actually I don't think Conwan is power hungry at all. He may just despise Maldan. Combined with the very recent pressures on him from the rest of the clan, that may be enough for him to go along with Miginath's plan, but then betray Maldan at the council. Canon only states that negotiations regarding Conwan's oath are ongoing. It doesn't say that Conwan initiated them himself, is much involved in them, or cares much about their outcome. It could all be the work of other members of the clan desperate for a viable male candidate, other than Maldan, for clanhead.

But Miginath is said to be a good judge of character. He would not have gone so far in constructing this power-sharing strategy if he thought that in the end Conwan would back out. Besides, if Conwan actually despises Maldan, then he must certainly despise Mirild, and why would he play dangerous politics with his daughter's life and future? (Given the drama over his own marriage I suspect that Conwan cares a great deal for his immediate family.)

. . . Of course he might strategically delay the marriage for various reasons, keeping his daughter safe. He might also be a very good actor. But all of this paints Conwan as being rather more dynamic and exciting than he is typically depicted. GMs are of course free to do that, but if I am discussing how Conwan would behave in Eder's scenario, I have to admit that he probably wouldn't have signed up for it if he wasn't prepared go through with it in good conscience.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#92 Post by Caden Grace » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:51 am

9ofSwords wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:39 am
Eder wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:45 pm
the question is: is Conwan so "power hungry" to risk it all?
No, actually I don't think Conwan is power hungry at all. He may just despise Maldan. Combined with the very recent pressures on him from the rest of the clan, that may be enough for him to go along with Miginath's plan, but then betray Maldan at the council. Canon only states that negotiations regarding Conwan's oath are ongoing. It doesn't say that Conwan initiated them himself, is much involved in them, or cares much about their outcome. It could all be the work of other members of the clan desperate for a viable male candidate, other than Maldan, for clanhead.

But Miginath is said to be a good judge of character. He would not have gone so far in constructing this power-sharing strategy if he thought that in the end Conwan would back out. Besides, if Conwan actually despises Maldan, then he must certainly despise Mirild, and why would he play dangerous politics with his daughter's life and future? (Given the drama over his own marriage I suspect that Conwan cares a great deal for his immediate family.)

. . . Of course he might strategically delay the marriage for various reasons, keeping his daughter safe. He might also be a very good actor. But all of this paints Conwan as being rather more dynamic and exciting than he is typically depicted. GMs are of course free to do that, but if I am discussing how Conwan would behave in Eder's scenario, I have to admit that he probably wouldn't have signed up for it if he wasn't prepared go through with it in good conscience.
Conwan strikes me as a traditionalist. Even if he hates a plan, he does not go against the will of his king. We do not understand all that there is the proposed marriage of his daughter, it may very well be ordained from birth and once Conwan was in it, he is stuck by his own principles. Perhaps that is why there is a delay, he hates the idea but honor will not let him back out. Likeiwse, he probably hates the idea of working with Maldan they are opposites in many ways, but once his king set it up, Conwan was locked in whether he liked it or not.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#93 Post by pfstrack » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:52 am

9ofSwords wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:12 pm
1) If the Church's opinion has no weight in the matter of selecting the clanhead and king, then how is Conwan's oath an issue? Is it legally binding under secular law, as well as church law. Or is it just a matter of public perception?

2) How do the opinions of Church and those Great Clans not in the council enter at all? For months prior, I'm sure they've all been making their opinions known to the council members, but those members themselves have no clear idea how the proceedings will go. It would be hard for council members to make assurances, and it may not be wise for the Church and other Great Clans to give ultimatums beforehand (like "It'll be war if that bastard Maldan is given the throne"). So is their only recourse to rise in rebellion, after the fact, if the choice isn't to their liking? An odd state given claims as to how influential the church and Earls of Vemion and Neph are.
Regarding the influence of the Laranian church, my view is that they don't have a direct voice in the succession council, but they have considerable indirect influence. The vast majority of Kaldoric nobility adhere to the Laranian faith. Letting an oathbreaker and apostate of the Laranian church take the throne would be almost as bad as an Agrikan (not quite, if the church made a lot of noise, they could incite many nobles to rebellion).

In theory Conwan can ignore his oath and take the throne, but in practice it will make it harder to get his clan members on his side, and will make actually ruling either very difficult or impossible. The other Great Clans have similar indirect influence, but unlike the church, the Elendsas can play the Great Clans off each other to mitigate their power. The Laranian church, however, has no real rival in Kaldor (though it is itself not as unified as it likes to pretend it is).

In my pHarn, the Laranians are using Conwan's oath as a way to increase their own power. The Laranians want and expect Conwan to take the throne, but won't release him from his oath without some concessions. In particular, they want the right for the Laranian church to (officially and in perpetuity) crown the Kaldoric king, in effect giving them veto power over who takes the throne. That's why the negotiations are taking so long, though the pace has increased now that Merik has died and Conwan is the most likely heir.

So, even if Miginath went to the Laranians to get them to "transfer" Conwan's oath to the crown, they would not necessarily agree (at least not without strings attached) because they have an agenda of their own.

And also note by that in the above where I say the "agenda of the Laranian church", I really mean "agenda of Edine Kynn, the current archbishop". Others within the church have their own agendas.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#94 Post by 9ofSwords » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:12 am

pfstrack wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:52 am
In my pHarn, the Laranians are using Conwan's oath as a way to increase their own power. The Laranians want and expect Conwan to take the throne, but won't release him from his oath without some concessions. In particular, they want the right for the Laranian church to (officially and in perpetuity) crown the Kaldoric king, in effect giving them veto power over who takes the throne. That's why the negotiations are taking so long, though the pace has increased now that Merik has died and Conwan is the most likely heir.
I like this.
Who do you have engaging in these negotiations with the church? Just Conwan himself, or other Elendsas on his behalf?
Do you expect that Conwan's family will be required to formally and publicly convert to Larani?
Have you figured out what to do with Maldan?

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#95 Post by pfstrack » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:13 am

Caden Grace wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:48 am
The Kaldoric Civil War started the day Merik died - it has just been more civil and less war since then and as long as all of the major players feel like their position is not being eroded by the status quo and possibly that they might benefit from it, it will hold. But, you can bet all of these prinicples have plans in place to go into effect the moment the king is dead. Someone like Maldan, who always wants the upper hand might decide he can't take the risk of multiple schemes kicking off at the same time. He has the mind that would kick his off first and take down the king in the process thereby getting a jump on everyone else. I do not see him ever being a good king, tyrant more than likely. Everyone else has to know this too.
I don't think a civil war is guaranteed. As Eder pointed out in his other thread, the situation is in flux mainly because of Merik's death. If the king survives a few more years, it seems likely to me Miginath will eventually arrange a new status quo with a clear line of succession. Possibilities include:

1) Annulling Conwan's oath and declaring him heir (probably in exchange for some allowances for Miginath's sons).

2) Acknowledging Maldan and naming him heir. That would make a lot of people unhappy, but if the king lived long enough he could make enough deals to get the kingdom to accept it.

3) Marrying Erila and naming Tulath heir. I don't see this as likely, but it is fastest path to giving Miginath a legitimate son (assuming those pesky incest rumors can be swept under the rug).

Of course, in my pHarn Miginath is going to die "too soon" and precipitate a Civil War, because that's the scenario I want to play out.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#96 Post by pfstrack » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:20 am

9ofSwords wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:12 am
Who do you have engaging in these negotiations with the church? Just Conwan himself, or other Elendsas on his behalf?
Do you expect that Conwan's family will be required to formally and publicly convert to Larani?
Have you figured out what to do with Maldan?
Right now it is between Conwan and Edine Kynn directly, with Troda Dariune acting as intermediary. Edine is also insisting on the full conversion of all of Conwan's children, but not his wife (Edine doesn't want to push the church of Save-K'nor too hard).

As for what the rest of the kingdom will be doing, I've written about it at length here:

http://www.lythia.com/news/a-kaldoric-s ... on-crisis/

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#97 Post by 9ofSwords » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:15 am

pfstrack wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:20 am
As for what the rest of the kingdom will be doing, I've written about it at length here:
http://www.lythia.com/news/a-kaldoric-s ... on-crisis/
Ah, of course! That's yours.
That will be a first reference for me if/when I plan the first opening moves of a civil war.
Thanks for the work you put into it!

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#98 Post by 9ofSwords » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 am

More and more, I am liking the idea of Conwan as the Put-Upon King, begrudgingly called into service by his clan. To be sure he is modestly ambitious, a fine knight, and satisfactory administrator. He is well-suited to his current position, would like to become a baron, but hadn't any notion of ruthlessly pursuing the crown. The way I am drawing him, he probably would not take part in Eder's scenario.

He is a romantic who married for love, a move which struck some as impulsive. He didn't see it that way, and he felt that the commotion around him marrying a K'norian was overblown. He's never been a particularly devout Laranian, and saw no reason to require his wife to convert, . . . so he took an oath. Fine if his clan wants to negotiate him out of it, but he and his wife have not yet decided whether they will concede to her conversion, if that is made a condition for annulment.

His wife, Lady Hesena Inamis, is still the light of his life. She is exceedingly intelligent and well-read, but not politically motivated. He adores his children and wants them to have the same opportunity to marry for love as he did. He will resist proposals to marry them off solely for political reasons, and won't entertain any such proposals until they are of an age to make their own decisions.

All of this would make him a rather unconventional monarch. He doesn't strike me as a person overly attentive to details. This may either help or hinder him as a leader. Given that he is not politically ruthless, the earls may see an opportunity to extend their power. His reign may be mired in indecision. On the other hand, if he manages to retain his romanticism but to back it up with resolve and decisive action, he may turn out to be one the most curiously enlightened rulers Kaldor has yet seen.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#99 Post by MDMann » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:28 am

I think Paul is pretty spot on with his reading of the church. The only thing is, crowning in perpetuity is not in the interests of Conwan or the other nobles, hence the slowness of the negotiations. It's a pretty major concession. In my pHarn, Krynn makes the deal but doesn't get that term despite wanting if as time runs out and he's forced to compromise. He still gets lots. Also, Balim hates the idea.
Per Sir Veer.

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Re: Maldan Strategy

#100 Post by Rothesay » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:30 am

MDMann wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:33 pm
Tradition (but not law) holds it at Caleme.
I held it there, in the chapter house.

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