Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Factions: Sabercrats

Looking at today's Parliamentary agenda, you groan as you see the one item that always seems to find its way  on, despite always being struck down -- the Sabercrats' proposition to fund and create a standing army. When will those warhawks learn that nobody in the City feels the desire or need for a military, you wonder. The Sabercrats are those who believe in violence and military might, and in stretching the influence of the City of Lives to the end of the Realms...

Archetype: In a sense, the Sabercrats are all over classical fantasy, and in a way they are completely absent. In the medieval tradition, those with the swords and military might ruled the world and the fiction: King Arthur and Roland inspired epics; Aragorn and Eddard Stark are their modern descendants, all more comfortable with a blade than with their tongue. In this way, the Sabercrats are part of a long and storied tradition. On the other hand, the Sabercrats are not the heroes of this setting, nor the villains. In the City, war is not prized (outside the Iversdotters, that is), and the warriors are not in charge, let alone viewed as great heroes. So where does that leave the warlike Sabercrats? Read on...

Real-Life Inspiration: Logically enough, the Sabercrats are based on the hyper-patriots and warhawks of our own universe. Those people who believe military service should be mandatory (to teach them kids some discipline); those who believe America (or whatever their home country is) should rule the world -- perhaps "for its own good," perhaps just because their home country is "the only one that matters"; those who want every tax dollar to be spent on the armed forces. These kind of people have a hard time of it in the City, as it is a center of trade, not warfare, with no standing army (or even official militia). This difficulty only makes the Sabercrats more intense and fervent believers, convinced that theirs is the right way to run the City -- and, like in the real world, a lot of these warhawks are rich, powerful, and influential in City politics.

Theme: The Sabercrats are, oddly-enough, not actually defined by war. Their goals, the themes that define them, are power and imperialism. Like the Triocheans, the Sabercrats want to see the City expand and take its place as the most powerful state among the Realms -- and their chosen method is the application of military force. Every action of a true Sabercrat should improve the City and its power among the Realms, from attempting to raise a standing City army, to sabotaging or actually invading other Realms.

However, another theme is also important -- the Sabercrats' preferred method of solving problems, the application of force. Whether physical, political, or verbal, direct and decisive action is their modus operandi. No pussyfooting around with deceit and backroom dealings, the Sabercrats are direct, honest, and quite likely to break your nose if you disagree with them.

Twist: Man, I should never have included the Twist section -- I have more trouble with this section than any other, every post. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound... Maybe the leaders are really peaceniks, trying to discredit the war movement by forming a society with bad press. Maybe there's a secret plan to overthrow the government and replace it with an imperialist. Maybe they are secretly building an army, recruiting from the more warlike species from other Realms, instead of trying the more difficult task of creating community support in the City. Yeah, I think that's the one. An interesting secret, but it doesn't change their goals or methodology at all.

Join us next time as we look at the lawful Thief-Binders.