Novan expansion. Where to? (spoilers)

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Novan expansion. Where to? (spoilers)

#1 Post by Shogeton » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:34 am

So, I just finished a pretty militaristic Queen. (I think the fact that you can hire criminals for your army even if you don't face a civil war is pretty neat) and I was thinking of what kinds of expansion an Elodie who tends to stare longingly at Imperial Nova maps might have plans for. And I thought it might be a neat thought experiment.

Tombulah: So, these guys had a revolution, and probably had a bunch of their nobles executed. They even formed armies at our borders at some stage, after which mommy-dearest laid a Lumen charged smackdown upon them. They're not officially hostile, but they don't really have diplomatic relations. I can very much see an Elodie who decides that she's going to do 'bring stability' to that region, figuring that they're likely to be a threat sooner or later anyway. Besides, there's likely a few dispossessed nobles who fled Tombulah, who would totally swear fealty as a Duke to Elodie if she could please reclaim their lands, so you can even get some extra legitimacy there. (Crusader Kings 2, pressing a vasal's claim anyone?) The land is coastal, and apparently produced a good deal of chocolate before their revolt, so likely economically advanced.

Pyrias: A lot of raiders come from those areas, so there's definitely reason to go punch them in the face hard. A problem of course is that you'd have to cross a bunch of mountains, and it's desert terrain, so you're not getting a lot out of it. I'm thinking that an expansionist Elodie would choose to save these guys for later, and perhaps occasionally send a punitive expedition there to discourage further raiding in her country while she's taking care of some others.

Yeveh: The horse people. Closely related to Lillah, but refusing to acknowledge them. I could very much see an Elodie who decides it's time to 'reunite' those people. These are non-settled folks, so you wouldn't be getting large amounts of money from it. But then again, getting some more very good horse breeders might well help in other campaigns. Point of concern, would these folks join up with Lillah or become a separate Duchy? Another reason to invade is that it gives a lot easier access to both Tallase and Pyrias, if you were intending to do something about those.

Tallase: Now here things get trickier. Depending on how our Elodie handled things, relations with Talasse (you know, I just figured that that name seems to come from the Greek for Sea, but it seems landlocked) could be very good, with Elodie in a marriage with an important noble, or bad, with trade conflicts or even invasions occurring. The mountains near Elath apparently have gold mines, so it's not a stretch to think the mountains on the Tallase side of the border might have a bit more of that.

Ixion: Again, here a lot of it depends how Elodie dealt with the Imbrium situation. If she fought them or intimidated them, relations are likely still chilly at best, if she punished Brin, bought them off, it's likely better. If she gave them the territory, and they assisted in repelling Shanjia, relations are most likely excellent. Nova and Ixion have been allies in the past, with Fidelia having helped them out with Terrax in the past.

Honestly, it seems to me that Tallase might make a good ally against Ixion, and Ixion a good ally against Tallase.Or perhaps a very spy-happy Elodie might arrange for those two nations to fight eachother, only to come in and take them both out when their forces are spent. Divide and conquer and all that.

And of course, for the How there's question whether Elodie is using Lumen powers or not. An Elodie who has not only accepted her Lumen Powers, but has Lucille and possibly Charlotte to back her up. Would Julianna and/or Selene accept being drafted in wars of conquest? Julianna especially is pretty insubordinate at times, so that might be a tough one. If the situation became such that Briony were her adopted heir to the magic though, that might be a different scenario once she comes of age. And then of course there is the murderer's crystal and possibly Togami's. (if you have Togami's crystal, that means the Novan fleet and army got wrecked by Shanjia though, so magic would be a lot more needed then) Once she's a full queen, an Elodie who would like to 'gather light' might create her own army. People sufficiently under her thumb that she might control them and mold the Resonance? Lumen Alice anyone? A sufficiently cruel Elodie might even make sure that the Lumen crystals of Julianna and Selene WILL serve her, even if she has to arrange 'accident's for those two. And of course, one day she might find out what dear old dad is holding out on her.

Looking at the stones
Elodie: Ends up with herself of course

Julianna: As a Lumen in her own right, she's not guaranteed to obey instructions, especially if you're going expansionist. Then again, if she decides that it's in the interest of the domain of Nova to take out its rivals, she might well go along with it. Only way you get her crystal from her in the first year is if you get her killed, and in that case, who will teach you, since it means you've been going anti-Lumen pretty hard. However, more long term, she might adopt Briony, who would then be your friend/lover, and would have no problem going on new 'adventures' Or just be less subtle and kill her off. A Lumen cannot defend themselves against an arrow they don't know is coming.

Selene: More or less in the same situation as Julianna, and I don't think you can even kill her. Also, not very likely to completely obey. Of course, even with Briony as adopted child, who would inherit her crystal? A quick murder would also allow dealing with that.

Aunt Lucille: Could be a skilled ally, who is likely to have a lot less problems than the previous two about using it for expansion, but can she be trusted? Potentially, if Charlotte is turned into a Lumen herself while she is alive, and she is given a position, she might well feel Elodie has given her enough. And hey, some of these new territories might need new Duchesses as well. And she has three children to inherit titles. Charlotte herself seems a lot less conquest happy, but she's an innocent 13 year old. If Elodie and Lucille both encourage her, I'm sure she could come around. Of course, you could also kill her, and have a crystal to give to whoever you feel like.

The murderer's crystal: Always a difficult one. Charlotte is confirmed not to 'jive' with it. Could Briony? Of course, the sky is the limit with these. I suggested Alive above, because a cruel Elodie clearly has her very much under her thumb, and let's be honest, turning sweet Alice into a terrifying Lumen battle mage is something you have to be a bit cruel about. Making Kevan a Lumen with this crystal sounds like a hilariously bad idea, but if Elodie manages to secure his affections. (Then again, the crystal has a tendency to encourage spouse killing) Bron or Banion certainly have the ambition, potentially combined with romantic affiliations. Then, there's the option of Gwenelle. She's established as our best friend. But can we control her? Perhaps we should go for a more long term idea and pick a young noble? Adair for example.

Togami's crystal: Well, the most obvious one is to give it to Charlotte, but honestly, all options here above would also work. (for a given value of work)

Jocelyn's crystal: Well, Elodie isn't likely to find out about it very quickly, is she? Jocelyn seems to have... opinions about magic. So it might not be until he dies that Elodie finds out about that. And perhaps even then, it might be a secret Jocelyn takes to his grave. Then again, if he sees that his daughter is dead set on re-creating the Novan Empire, he might surrender the crystal for her sake, or even reluctantly join her Lumen Corps.

Of course, Lumen Powers don't have to be used. an Elodie who's beaten the Shanjia fleet with good old solid military, diplomatic and economic skill might decide that steel, strength and wit will speak louder than ancient legends. Nova, after a military victory, is looking pretty good. You can turn the poor captives of the Shanjia fleet into replacements in your armies. Options present themselves.

Anyway, enough ranting for now. What do you think about an ambitious Elodie?

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Re: Novan expansion. Where to? (spoilers)

#2 Post by Micomicona » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:39 am

First of all, I don't believe any extra work is going to be done on this particular game, that said...

Ixion is very, very unlikely to attack outright; the bulk of their forces are browbeating and/or actively fighting someone else in the south, and cannot stand up to both them and you in the north. If you were ruthless enough, you could take advantage of that, and are smart enough you might even do better than Brin did. Let's hope you do better than Brin did, Brin did terribly.

You've forgotten Shanjia, which is implied to be something of a larger fish than Nova is, and relations can vary wildly depending on the ending from being your evil overlord, to bleeding out their military force over the ocean, to an empire in turmoil (with Togami dead, many seek to use you to regain their freedom, even if most of them lose their heads at the hands of his wife, also have to remember in this scenario their navy is implied to be generally intact), to an utterly reformed empire that has ended its phase of expansion. In either extreme case, you might be allied to them through darkest cruelty, or most miraculous diplomacy.

As far as lumen stones are concerned, the murderer's requires changing resonance I think? This is implied to be a very difficult process that would probably be an entire other game. It is also stated however, that duels change resonance, and for that reason the crystal you get of togami might be more compatible to people of your ilk. Likewise, if you're an angel of music you change togami himself, and have probably also shifted resonance of his crystal that way... not that you'd ever be able to get it in that scenario.

As for Aunt Lucille, I strongly suspect your unexpected invitation into the palace as a Lumen minister has changed her view of you considerably, as she utterly stops trying to assassinate you from then on. I get the heavy impression that one act has turned someone you should never trust into one of your closest allies, as she becomes far more comfortable been seen around you, as well as her plans becoming much easier for you to read, through lotte's gossip. From lotte's gossip, it seems clear that her plans are to throw her lot in with the crown.

As for your magical sailor tutors, I can't read them at all. They are at best, a neutral wildcard, but given they're completely fine with nuking a fleet despite the risk of waking the Elder Gods(tm), I don't see why they wouldn't support a tyrannical empire-hungry elodie... so long as she was also pro lumen.

As an aside, I think I should mention the angel of music conclusion to the Shanjia invasion arc is utterly unique to me, both rational and quixoticly romantic. Writing of that caliber is hard to come by. Not even in the classics.

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Re: Novan expansion. Where to? (spoilers)

#3 Post by Shogeton » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:08 am

Oh yeah. I know this is all just cloud castle building. With 'expansion' I very much mean 'Nova getting bigger', not LLTQ getting even more content.

Hm, and true about Shanjia. Then again, the fact that they are threatening might well be a motivation for an expansionist queen Elodie to decide to expand, wanting to gather more power. Possibly she could even use that as a diplomatic argument for peaceful annexation. "Hey, you know how Shanjia is going around attacking other nations? We've beaten them/know more about them, we should unite and show those western continent bastards a thing or two.' And a magical Elodie might very well combine this expansionist urge with a wild search for Lumen crystals (Hello old Novan palace) to ressurect the past. In many ways, Elodie would actually become very much like Togami.

Hm, you know, good point about the duelling. A sufficiently cruel Elodie could do the Resonance changing relatively easily then. Find someone who resonates with the murderer's crystal, make him turn into a Lumen. Then say he either duels you to the death, or his loved ones get to have some really bad times. (and if you're nice you say that if he fights a duel to the death, they'll be ennobled/rewarded) Of course, people who resonate with the crystal might have a tendency to care less about their loved ones. But hey, if they refuse the duel, kill them and try someone else. Again, a sufficiently cruel Elodie can think of creative solutions to problems.

Then again, bit of a Catch 22, since the very fact THAT Elodie thinks of those things, means that if she defeats someone in a duel, its resonance will obviously be that of a cruel, powerhungry, merciless person (AKA Elodie) So... eh.... maybe that is NOT that great an idea.

And yeah, Lucille is ruthless and ambitious, but she's not implacable. I mean, her position at the start of the game is not very good. Merva is implied to be one of the poorest and least important provinces. Her magic is something she has to desperately keep a secret. (here's a question. Did Fidelia know about Lucille? Julianna and Selene probably didn't see her that often, but Lucille is Fidelia's sister in law, and Lucille would have talked with her to make her case for her being of the old Mervan line. Might very well be that Fidelia believed Lucille because Lucille had the Mervan crystal.) That's not to say she completely gave up ambition. After all, if she's your adviser, she might consider rendering you infertile so Charlotte can inherit. But as a Lumen minister, she has a lot more to lose, and her dreams of teaching her own daughter about magic get closer to reality. I think her stopping to assassinate you is less of a 'changing your mind about you' since she never seems to personally dislike you, just trying to get the best for her daughter. It's a 'I wanted Lotte to be queen so she could openly use magic, but as Lumen minister, I, and later she, will be able to do so as well'

And yeah. Much love for the Power of Music Elodie. It's all the more touching against the grim, cynical stuff much of the nobility gets up to, but it feels... real. Some really good lines. "You know nothing of the world!" "You have the world, but if you're not happy, what's the point?" or "I... have not sung in a long time." Very nice.

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