The Three Game Factions – Explained
In the past few months we’ve endeavoured to explain the basics of the political and social intricacies of the Animal Kingdom in 1848.
You can read about the principal actors – Coriolanus representing the revolutionaries, King Lav representing the monarchy, and Duke Nicolas representing the reformists. But what are the real differences between all these eagles and tigers and lions, if any?
Well, our ambition was to write these factions as equally appealing and for the player to have real difficulty deciding which faction to side with, not going the easy route by giving each leader certain flaws so the choice is between varying shades of dark-grey (like in so many games today), but for them to be paragons of real underlying ideological issues they present. We wanted their worldviews to give you real pause about their world and by extension ours.
In essence, the main question that divides these factions is their view of the concentration of power – should concentrated power be checked (and if yes – who watches the watchers?), or on the flipside – should concentration of power be done away with completely?
To find relevancy, one might liken the royalists’ worldview to the modern managed democracy of many technocratic governments, the reformists to the worldview of representative democracies seen in the liberal west, and the revolutionaries worldview as the equivalent of direct-democracy.
They will all be presented to the best of our ability, and as this is a difficult task, we’ve decided not to dive into any of their arguments today (however we have been known to discuss this on our Discord). We will leave the bulk of this for the players and the game, but today we will just “lay out the battlefield”, and let your imagination take over, after reading the three “manifests” of these factions.
ROYALISTS: MONARCHY – The current world
First, there is the monarchy – the rule of Lions, and the land-owning right of the stewards and nobles of the Kingdom. The world is an unbroken constant – unfaltering like the line of kings from the time of the Ark to modernity.
The debate over nature versus nurture finds no quarter with these sovereigns – they are both born and bred for leadership. A kingdom that would tie the hands of these titans away from the absolute rule would be a kingdom that is more foolish than cautious. The petty motivations of lesser castes – wealth or food or pride – these are all given to lions at birth, and their only focus – the big picture and the wheels of history – that is what every lion thinks of.
And that is why the monarchy has prospered so well in the millennia of earth. A different system has never existed nor has it ever been tried. This is how loyalists view the monarchy and its feudal rules – dictated by tradition, and just and true by its very definition.
REFORMISTS: DEMOCRACY – The emerging world
Opposing the loyalist view, one can hear the whisper of reform creaking through the halls and balls of high society. The world is not constant, nor is it the recurring pattern of the ebb and flow following the great flood.
Where once were fields, now stand the mines of industry, and where once was an infinite and impenetrable sea, now is a route of trade and possibility. It stands to reason that the roles within such a society must change as well, with the changing times, and with the changing names. The responsibility of rule is not something one should be born with, it is a reward to be earned – and re-earned: the steward who ruins the mill he runs should not be left in charge of it, nor should a ruler disliked by his subjects be left on the throne unchecked.
The captain of industry who captains no more should be allowed to fall, so that a better may take his place, and the same goes for Kings as well – for the good of the realm. These are the whispers of democracy and these whispers, coming from the Tiger Duke and his allies, are slowly getting louder, and more appealing.
REVOLUTIONARIES: ANARCHY – The unknown world
But across the sea, in the colony prison, the rocks are beaten into pebbles, and pebbles into the sand, and sand is thrown back into the sea. The meaninglessness of society starts to sink in after a few decades of such work, as these people have seen the backside of wealth and power, and know it exists.
For whoever wields some power or wealth, and tastes the sweet fruits of their use over others, only desires more power and a larger divide, so wherever there is affluence, there must also be poverty, and wherever there is the powerful, there must also be the rejected. A just society cannot abide by such contradictions, and therefore – they must be done away with.
The only truly just world would be a world – without power. A world where the structures of power – the thrones and bureaus and offices and prisons – are done away with, completely. In this reasoning, the prisoners, dissidents, rejects, and criminals have found a common cause with the beggars, the farmers, the miners, and slaves. These are the ramblings of anarchy, as it slowly stirs and wakes all over the Kingdom.