Archive for April 19th, 2019

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Quarrels, Grudges and Blood Feuds in the Sea of Stars (A to Z, Q)

19 April, 2019

Dragons are not a very forgiving breed, they tend to catalog and remember any slight or insult inflicted upon them to be suitably repaid at some later time.  So, try to avoid crossing them if you can.  Other dragons, however, often do so.  It is a huge game to many dragons to try and get the upper hand on their rivals, this often expands into becoming a conflict between Draconic Houses which, in turn, drag in the lands the houses rule into the conflict.

War, it solves some problems, right?As a general rule, these quarrels are low key, political maneuvering, propaganda, mercantile trickery, attacks on reputations of the rival houses and economic disruptions are acceptable.  At this stage, it really is just a big game from the draconic point of view, though for the people whose fortunes, reputation and livelihoods are directly effected it is much more damaging.  The Empress encourages the houses to keep conflicts at this level, not too damaging and easy to recover from, but it is easy to cross the line.

Once an attack become personal for one of the dragons involved, for whatever reason, the violence and damage tend to escalate quickly: theft, raids, the hiring of pirates and bandits to actively harass the rival faction, leading them to retaliate in kind.  The Empress disapproves of such messiness as it tends to have a knock on effect that damages all local economies and depress Imperial tax revenue but unless it actively spills over into other draconic (or Imperial) lands, she is loath to intervene unless requested.  She will encourage the two sides to negotiate but by this stage, it is difficult for either side to back down and usually the best that can be achieved is a cold war type pause in active hostilities.

If a dragon is actually attacked, or worse yet killed, by a rival house, things will move into a full blood feud, which is in practicality a war between the houses involved.  The dragons do not do such things by halves, militaries will be mobilized, assassins sent, magical weapons prepared, privateers given letters of marque, and blood will be spilled.  Usually at least several dragons on each side will have to be killed before their will be any chance of establishing a peace between the warring houses and the Empress will (and has) stepped in to stop wars that have become too destructive to the general well being of the Empire but she prefers to be asked to mediate rather than to impose her will.

Naturally, there are opportunities for venturers and freelance intelligencers to make profits in such conflicts, but the risks can be high, especially if the situation unexpectedly escalates.

Notes: Image War between Athens and Crete from BL Royal 16 G VII, f. 67v. The British Library. Public Domain Mark.

 

 

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