"Alliances form and break"

    • "Alliances form and break"

      The Scars of War spoiler said that "Alliances form and break," but all we've seen of this so far is the Silver Talon joining the Ardent. What they're probably referring to is that some outside force will threaten to destroy all of Entrath, and all the playable races will have to put aside their differences to fight it off.
      That would be the safest and most predictable route for the story to take.
      If the Underworld Alliance wins the war, it will immediately tear itself apart fighting over the newly conquered lands and their inhabitants.
      "It is unlikely that the hostile and destructive creatures that live below the surface of the world would have ever joined into a single force without a single defining event"
      The two faction war has been going on since set 1, and large portions of the PVE content are firmly entrenched in the war, so a change of this magnitude would be difficult for HXE and confusing for players. Abandoning the two faction war would probably require large portions of the game's content to be scrapped entirely, which wouldn't be fun for anyone.
      I'm going to speculate here about what might happen IF the Underworld won. The first three predictions could happen even without the two alliances dissolving.

      1: Orcs and shin'hare.
      Of all the new alliances, this one sounds the most likely. Orcs may leave the Ardent while shin'hare leave the Underworld, creating a third faction that hates both old alliances equally.
      If the shin'hare have the orcs defeated and at their mercy, the vennen would urge them to hand the captives over so they could be made into slaves and new vennen breeding stock, but the shin'hare might have a different plan for the orcs. They may want to keep the orcs as combat slaves. They would be second class citizens in shin'hare society at best, but their willingness to fight and ability to help the shin'hare conquer Entrath would earn them a modicum of respect, placing them above the shin'hares' other slaves.
      Why would they spare the orcs instead of turning them over to the vennen, though? Maybe, a high ranking shin'hare was once captured by orcs and made to fight in the arena. This shin'hare handily defeated all the enemies the orcs forced them to fight, earning their freedom. This event gave him or her a grudging respect for orcs, causing him/her to turn on the vennen by refusing to hand over the orcs.
      Other similarities: Slavers. Blood for the Mountain God / Exalted Emperor. Proud warrior race. Ninjas as rogues.
      "But wait," you might ask, "what about all the cards that show orcs killing shin'hare!?"
      To that, I say "Shin'hare kill shin'hare. Besides, those guys dying in the art probably didn't even have names."

      2: Vennen infighting
      Vennen culture based on a religious devotion to their mother. The Spider Mother claims that vennen would go extinct without her, but she's been proven wrong once before. We've already seen one vennen outside the Underworld Alliance in the form of Lazgar Chul, and the existence of female vennen means that it might be possible for the species to thrive without Xentoth.
      The vennen may also become split between mono-blood traditionalists, and "heretics" who use hexing gems. Webborn Apostate's flavor text implies that using sapphire magic is still illegal (or at least frowned upon) in vennen society, despite how many sapphire vennen we've seen and how powerful sapphire magic has been for them.

      3: Humans and necrotic
      This isn't so much of an alliance as an armistice. One way for the war to end without any of the races we've gotten attached to going extinct would be for the Ardent and Underworld to fall back into a stalemate.
      It would be an anti-climactic end to the war, but it would allow the game to maintain its status quo, and also avoid the problem of new cards contradicting the lore from older cards.
      Maybe the Underworld will create the fantasy equivalent of a nuke, a weapon capable of driving humans extinct with a single attack. While other Underworld races would be OK with this, the necrotic would object to its use, because human extinction would lead to eventual necrotic extinction.
      Instead of using it, the necrotic would just threatened humans into compliance. humans would be able to live as normal, but required to hand over their dead for awakening. Since necrotic live longer than humans anyway, humans wouldn't even need to be killed for this arrangement to work.

      4: Humans and dwarves
      Here's where we get into the more contrived and tenuous alliances that could only form if the Ardent and Underworld disbanded.
      If humans are going to be enslaved to an Underworld race, dwarves are the lesser evil. If you were a human who's going to be handed over to an Underworld overlord, (underlord?) here's what each race looks like in this context:
      Necrotic: You're more useful to them dead than alive.
      Shin'hare: Known to sadistically work their slaves to death and amputate shroomkin's fronds to make them easier to control. Also, they're constantly in need of blood sacrifices.
      Vennen: Will torture you to death for not being one of them. The best you can hope for is that they sacrifice you sooner rather than later.
      Dwarves: Being the most intelligent Underworld race, they would want to enslave humans in the most efficient way possible. This means that they would give humans some means of earning their freedom if they worked hard enough, or at least motivate them with honey over vinegar.
      Then again, dwarves may have no need for human labor with Robots at their disposal.
      Other similarities: Both use rubies and sapphires. Wrenlocke's Apprentice proves that humans also have scientists. Proud scholar race that hoards books.

      5: Coyotle and necrotic
      These two races just seem like they might like each other if coyotle weren't such faithful allies of humans and if necrotic weren't allied with shin'hare.
      We only have hints that the necrotic are preparing to move from the first phase of the plan to the second. Given this game's love of puns, I wouldn't be surpirsed if the third phase were allying with the coyotle.
      Step 1: Steal corpses.
      Step 2: ???
      Step 3: PROPHET!
      Similarities: Heavily multi-shard, with 4 shard necrotic having every shard that isn't wild, and coyotle having wild as one of their three shards. New age hippies who think about stars, crystals, and spirituality.
      Then again, just because they have similarities, doesn't mean the two would get along. After all, every ardent race has thematic similarities to its underworld counterpart.

      6: Elves and vennen?
      Yeah, this one's pretty contrived. If orcs sided with shin'hare, humans with dwarves, and coyotle with necrotic, then elves and vennen would form an allience to not feel left out?
      It would make more sense for elves to go back to isolationism and vennen to go back to absolute xenophobia if the alliances disbanded.
      Similarities: No similarities that aren't contrived, like "elves" and "vennen" both containing the letter "v."
    • I would like to see subfactions start forming.

      Rather than simply 'humans are ardent', we could perhaps have a sect of humans split off and ally with the necrotic, offering their bodies - after they die naturally - to the necrotic in exchange for learning. Or a group of Shin'hare go rogue and ally with the Elves.

      Probably the only cases that are unlikely are Dwarves and Coyotle... but almost any other race I coudl see having a splinter sect become disillusioned with the larger part of society.

      In the end, I suspect the 'alliances' line was mostly just there to have something that sounds catchy though.
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    • Eraia wrote:

      I would like to see subfactions start forming.

      Rather than simply 'humans are ardent', we could perhaps have a sect of humans split off and ally with the necrotic, offering their bodies - after they die naturally - to the necrotic in exchange for learning. Or a group of Shin'hare go rogue and ally with the Elves.

      Probably the only cases that are unlikely are Dwarves and Coyotle... but almost any other race I coudl see having a splinter sect become disillusioned with the larger part of society.

      In the end, I suspect the 'alliances' line was mostly just there to have something that sounds catchy though.
      A larger group of rescued female Vennen under the leadership of Lazgar Chul would be a fairly interesting development.

      As would any traitorous Shin'hare who think that Exalted Emperor Ito of House Tsuan'junn shouldn't be the eternal ruler of all he surveys.
    • I'm all for splinter sects; some beings that think differently than the rest of their race would do a lot to keep said races from seeming so one dimensional, as many of them tend to come off as right now. Stuff like Lord Bernard and Silas, Lazgar, etc. The Vennen infighting I can definitely see happening, especially as it's pretty much already happening. Humans and necrotics are unlikely, mostly on the side of the humans being too zealous to stop until Victoria and co come back with proof it was the Shin'hare that started this, but I can see the semi-armistice being reinstated. But those both are not going all that far to be honest, so pushing the envelope a it would be welcome.
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    • Possibly non-Lazgar related Vennen infighting is also foreshadowed in the new Webborn Apostate (both regular and AA) from SoW.

      Regular: "The use of sapphire amongst the children of Xentoth is spreading." -Xartaxis

      AA: "The Azure Fang are not blasphemers. We shall make the Inquisition understand this." -Xartaxis

      These two issues might intersect at a later date, because I can see Lazgar very existence disillusioning portions of the Vennen population. This would only give more credence to minority groups like the Azure Fang later down the line. They're thoughts and beliefs are spreading in population, but it's been called blasphemes by Xentoth and the ruling Inquisition. The problem being now though is that Xentoth, the Inquisition, and the Brood Barons are very public liars now that Lazgar is running around killing swaths of Vennen.

      Chickens are coming home to roost on that one.
    • Galliard wrote:

      A larger group of rescued female Vennen under the leadership of Lazgar Chul would be a fairly interesting development.
      Not possible. Females are killed at birth. The only reason Lazgar is alive is because she was kidnapped by Orcs. There's no female to save, it's not like the inquisitors are keeping them locked in a room. The only way this could happen is if a large clutch of eggs are stolen, but the orcs current plan is to destroy Xentoth, not to bring SJ.


      Galliard wrote:

      As would any traitorous Shin'hare who think that Exalted Emperor Ito of House Tsuan'junn shouldn't be the eternal ruler of all he surveys.
      Well, we already know that Monsuun is plotting a coup, it's not a matter of "if", but rather "when" and "what will be the outcome ?".
    • Gryffe wrote:

      Galliard wrote:

      A larger group of rescued female Vennen under the leadership of Lazgar Chul would be a fairly interesting development.
      Not possible. Females are killed at birth. The only reason Lazgar is alive is because she was kidnapped by Orcs. There's no female to save, it's not like the inquisitors are keeping them locked in a room. The only way this could happen is if a large clutch of eggs are stolen, but the orcs current plan is to destroy Xentoth, not to bring SJ.
      Obviously it would require a source of female Vennen. I'm not claiming they spontaneously generate from nothing.

      A large clutch would be one way. The other is that if Lazgar is actually a female Vennen, and not just a Vennen with female secondary sexual characteristics, then she can lay eggs herself.

      Gryffe wrote:

      Galliard wrote:

      As would any traitorous Shin'hare who think that Exalted Emperor Ito of House Tsuan'junn shouldn't be the eternal ruler of all he surveys.
      Well, we already know that Monsuun is plotting a coup, it's not a matter of "if", but rather "when" and "what will be the outcome ?".

      It's possible that's just background flavor meant to emphasize how unnatural the current Shin'hare power structure is. They might not have any plans to ever act on it.

      Though a Yazukan ritual is my leading hypothesis for why they started the war.
    • l

      Galliard wrote:

      Obviously it would require a source of female Vennen. I'm not claiming they spontaneously generate from nothing.
      A large clutch would be one way. The other is that if Lazgar is actually a female Vennen, and not just a Vennen with female secondary sexual characteristics, then she can lay eggs herself.



      If the Orcs destroy Xentoth and all Xentoth loyal Vennen, then maybe the new Vennen race could live on as "spider Orcs" spawned by Lazgar, who worship Kog'Tepetl. Together they ditch the alliances and start carving their own path.
    • Galliard wrote:

      It's possible that's just background flavor meant to emphasize how unnatural the current Shin'hare power structure is. They might not have any plans to ever act on it.
      Though a Yazukan ritual is my leading hypothesis for why they started the war.
      Nah, he's totally going to murder his ass. Just dig the lore section for it.



      Monsuun wrote:

      What I’m about to tell you is highly treasonous. I expect you to keep your mouth shut unless you want your throat sliced open. There have been whispers amongst powerful and disgruntled members of the noble houses that the time has come to restore the Spirit of Harmony. Of course, this means Ito has to die.Speaking of assassinating the Exalted Emperor is beyond treasonous. It is blasphemous. But the Spirit of Harmony must be restored. My blade is ready.
    • Gryffe wrote:

      Galliard wrote:

      It's possible that's just background flavor meant to emphasize how unnatural the current Shin'hare power structure is. They might not have any plans to ever act on it.
      Though a Yazukan ritual is my leading hypothesis for why they started the war.
      Nah, he's totally going to murder his ass. Just dig the lore section for it.


      Monsuun wrote:

      What I’m about to tell you is highly treasonous. I expect you to keep your mouth shut unless you want your throat sliced open. There have been whispers amongst powerful and disgruntled members of the noble houses that the time has come to restore the Spirit of Harmony. Of course, this means Ito has to die.Speaking of assassinating the Exalted Emperor is beyond treasonous. It is blasphemous. But the Spirit of Harmony must be restored. My blade is ready.

      He's going to TRY :evil:

      When I say "they [don't have] plans", I mean Hex. It might happen at some point, but I'm not expecting a Shin'hare coup for at least several more sets at a minimum.
    • Gryffe wrote:

      Galliard wrote:

      It's possible that's just background flavor meant to emphasize how unnatural the current Shin'hare power structure is. They might not have any plans to ever act on it.
      Though a Yazukan ritual is my leading hypothesis for why they started the war.
      Nah, he's totally going to murder his ass. Just dig the lore section for it.
      Slightly interesting to note that he isn't next in line after Ito's death. So he's willing to kill the Emperor so the house before theirs can claim the throne, just so the cycle can begin again.

      Of course.... It's also possible, since he is planning to kill one already, he might as well kill the next one as well so he can claim the throne himself. In for a penny, in for a pound and all, because i'm sure the Emperor has immunity after ascended to power.