Rise of the Conclave

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Rise of the Conclave

Post by CromTheConqueror on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:16 pm

Rise of the Conclave – Conflicts of a Superpower

The more and more thought I put into the Conclave the more I liked them. They were like the UN of the magical community - if the UN actually enforced its mandates and was run by a central power instead of a splintered international community. They are effective, rich, powerful and brooke almost no defiance of their rule. Their central sphere of power was the equivalent of the city of Rome and their “legions” (Inquisition) deal out deadly retribution to any who opposed them. But how did they get there?

Sure, we have the generic history of their rise but there simply has to be more to it than that. The UN was only created after the world was torn asunder by WW2 and single international coalition was left over with the overwhelming might and influence to create a new world order. That wasn’t the case in Ara’niel. The Fall left no great nation to shape the new world. It simply left a string of isolated and devastated nations who struggled merely to retain their existence never mind national identity. So I turned to the second similarity.

The Roman Empire. But the Roman Empire didn’t just take control of the world. It fought countless a wars. First against the domination of the Etruscans who conquered their fledgling kingdom, again to unite the various cities of Italy, once more during the great Punic Wars that nearly brought their existence to an end, again against the mighty Gaul tribes, constantly against the vast ranging Germanic tribes and of course their expeditions against the Britannia tribes in the north and the horse-riding Parthian’s in the Far East.

The history of every great power is written in blood. The Conclave simply has had it too easy. So I embarked on a writing project with a dual purpose. First, to create individual stand-alone lore that will impact the universe we are role playing in today but also to create a history that will help cast color and light on the history of the Conclave’s rise to power.

The first example of this is the Mortii (Separate Post).

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Re: Rise of the Conclave

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:44 pm

You see, the Conclave rules with the power of absolute diplomacy, offering so much in return for seemingly so little. They are somewhat impervious to attack as they hold an island stronghold defended by the most powerful magical defenses that exist. Even if landfall were made by assaulting the docks found at the bottom of the sheer cliff faces, gotten past the wall of granite that drops from above to seal off the passage, was able to scale another sheer cliff inside the manmade caves that is usually traversed by elevators, and then made it up and outside without somehow falling prey to the might of the Conclave, they would surface into an area completely walled off, with gates closed, and towers raining all sorts of pain on top of them.

The Conclave itself, unlike the Roman Empire, is nigh impossible to invade, so anything you write has to take this into account.

I should probably write up an article about exactly what defenses there are, because I have planned all of that out already.
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Re: Rise of the Conclave

Post by CromTheConqueror on Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:29 pm

The Conclave has massive and unbreachable fortress. I am forced to ask the question of So What? America's influence and power across the globe has relatively little to do with the domestic defenses of New York City. It has much more to do with its ability to exert its influence on the rest of the world. The might of Rome had nothing do with the strength of Rome's walls.

The Punic Wars were fought because Rome wanted total and unmolested control of Atlantic trade. The Conclave's stronghold may not be assaulted but it's influence on the rest of the world is vulnerable. Hannibal Barca never attacked Rome because he didn't feel he had the forces necessary to take the city. That didn't stop him from running amuck across Italy for nearly a decade after the massacre at Cannae and nearly bring Rome to its knees. Furthermore, Rome was not built in a day. Neither was the Conclave's island stronghold. The wouldn't have had the protection of their fortress for decades never mind the rest of their global network.

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Re: Rise of the Conclave

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:56 pm

The masons of Rome did not have a legion of mages who could bend the earth to their whim. Within a year they had formidable defenses, and only further ingenuity brought it to it's current state, not decades of toil.

My point was that the difference is simply that the Conclave does not have so much for its enemies to run amok. They could surround them by sea, yes, that is true, but it's not as if they could pillage farmland or townships or whatnot. They have the island and their mass network of allies which did, yes, take time to amass.

But who exactly would fight an organization that promises so much power in return for so little, and always makes good on the deal? The free mages and their influence over kingdoms? Certainly! But not so many would simply risk their forces out at sea to claim a fortress defended by the might of such overwhelming force, especially if they would lose their siege-force to either the weathering of their ships or to large manifestations of magic, unnatural tempests that raise waves to wash over the ships and hail to shred their sails?

I like where you're coming from with this, and I agree not everything went swimmingly, but I'm not sure on the exact take you're going with this.
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Re: Rise of the Conclave

Post by CromTheConqueror on Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:09 pm

How about the thousands of other organizations that would have sprung up to do the exact same thing? How about whole nations that would have wanted to be doing the exact same thing the Conclave was doing. How did they gain "legions of mages" you talk about? What about all the "bad" mages who didn't want to be controlled and saw the Conclave as a threat that needed to be wiped out? How about all those who were hunted down by the Inquisition and who wanted revenge? Revolutionaries wishing to break the control of the a single magical body? How did they gain the resources to so freely “offer their services and always deliver”? How did they gain the reputation so that mistrustful government’s wanted to allow them to control so much influence without putting them down? The Conclave now is pretty much the only world super power. The idea that it just amassed all this power without some major conflicts is unrealistic but most importantly it is boring. It’s mary sue. We want people to fear the power of the Conclave not because we just say they are all-powerful and they send super mages after you with unlimited resources and you can’t stop them roflmao. We want them to fear them because when you get in the Inquisitions way they start torching cities. Because they have done battle with great foes and corrupt mages and defeated them all time after time. That they have beat out all rivals and shown they are better, faster, stronger. History that says you MUST look to the Conclave for leadership because when the chips are down and times are tough the Conclave always came out on top. Not simply because we say so but because the Conclave has PROVEN historically that it does so. We want a history that is interesting. For people to read and have them go “man the Conclave is badass”. Something to spark interest. Something to create realism and drama.I don’t think our current version of Conclave history has that. I also think it would be really easy to work that in with the canon we already have.

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Re: Rise of the Conclave

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:00 pm

Okay, now I'm all with you. Other organizations or nations that pop up like this? Absolutely, that'd be the thing that definitely works.

They got the "legion of mages" by first having a decent number to begin with of less powerful mages flocking to some of the most well known and most powerful in times of strife. One of these groups founded the Conclave, found the mountaintop floating in the sea, and converted it into a cliff-face plateau island.

Certainly they had many, many conflicts with not just free mages, but mages who sought to control the world that was rapidly spinning out of control, including groups that didn't found the Conclave.

The Inquisition, I'm sure, has horrible stigma to free mages due to their notorious deeds.

Revolutionaries exist, I'm sure, or have existed in the past. Peril is one such group.

They gained the resources by delving into magic for the production of goods, such as growing crops or forging weapons. In the latter case, they also enchanted weapons, and were able to, over time, form trade agreements with other nations which grew their political and economic power. This increased until they became the largest exporter of such things and often simply routed trade from different nations of goods they didn't need. They always deliver because they only made deals they could keep, but it gave them popularity and 'trust'.

They gained the reputation first by trade, slowly working to the points where they would become the dominant magical power in the nations of their choice and be free to 'recruit' or 'capture' any free mages within the nation, as per their outlook on such thins.

I agree with everything in the bottom part of your post, and I really see where you're coming from. I suppose that what I was trying to get across is also that the Conclave was at the right place at the right time, and that their island wasn't big enough or was strategically brilliant enough to warrant that a comparison to Roman Empire, at least early during Rome's formation, wasn't that applicable. There couldn't logically be a Hannibal that pillaged and run amok throughout Italy. They have the biggest and most bad ass fortress that exists, so siege-ing them would be pretty difficult.

Undermining their foreign political footholds? Massive internal power struggles? Piracy of their trade agreements which threaten the political grace they worked hard to muster? Large groups literally crushing some of the Inquisition's attempts? The Conclave's forces spread too thin over too large an area?

All of those things are very realistic and would be completely stupid to say that they haven't happened to the Conclave. I was just saying that physically, the Conclave's existence is almost assured, because that's logical. Politically and their physical foreign existence, however, is not.

There could be a tale of a time where a group had indeed infiltrated the Conclave's ranks and instigated an internal power struggle simply to leave it weak and unaware of a fleet ready to assault the island itself: a very real possibility that would actually pose great odds to them being destroyed or wholly converted.

I just wanted to tell you that you have to keep in mind that the Conclave is special and it's local geography doesn't really match up with the events of the Roman Empire. The Conclave hasn't conquered anything, they control no vast swaths of land, they are simply very small and very powerful and have their hands in world politics.
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Re: Rise of the Conclave

Post by CromTheConqueror on Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:24 pm

Fantastic. I apologize if I had poor communication in regards to the Roman Empire analogy. I completely understand that the Conclave isn't some massive empire that conquers nations. I was simply trying to try draw historical correlations between Rome rise to power, to the struggles the Conclave would have faced as a rising super power. Obviously the form of those struggles for the Conclave will have a dramatic difference from the Roman Empire because they are so different in regards to their actual organization and goals.

Undermining their foreign political footholds? Massive internal power struggles? Piracy of their trade agreements which threaten the political grace they worked hard to muster? Large groups literally crushing some of the Inquisition's attempts? The Conclave's forces spread too thin over too large an area?

That's exactly the sort of stuff I was talking about. And of course plenty of stories of the Conclave crushing their enemies. They aren't a super power for nothing. In a post-Fall world they would have to get their hands dirty and remind the world why they are a power to be reckoned with.

Glad to see we are thinking along the same lines again.


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