Insurrection Lore Event II—The Festival of Might

This is the second interactive lore event of Arc X: Insurrection. It was designed and run by XalkXolc and Sodaman64, with meddlesome interference by CupcakeTrap. Posted on 8 June, 27 CLE.

The Story So Far

2017-05-28 - Shurima map updated - Shroom

See: Summoner’s Herald Vol. VI, Iss. 2.

With the leader of the Tempest rebels slain by Sorinius Felk in a duel, and one of Zaun’s major pyrikhos refineries suffering catastrophic and explosive failure, the people of Qa’hhar once again revolted against Noxian rule—but the would-be revolution was quickly and efficiently stamped out by Noxian forces. With the rebel ranks decimated and the city’s pro-Noxian factions emboldened, Noxus has finalized plans to construct a Nox’torra as the crowning moment of their newly coined “Festival of Might,” a day of celebration and Noxian pride. With various events and spectacles planned for the day, all of Qa’hhar has been invited to take part in the festivities.

Zaun, recognizing this as a critical moment in the battle for the hearts and minds of Qa’hharians, struggles to rally from its recent setbacks and put forward a different vision of Qa’hhar’s future, one based on scientific progress and commercial prosperity. The pyrikhos that enabled the mass-production of hextech and brought about the Hextech Revolution was found in Shurima, after all: so why should Shurima, of all places, yearn for Azir’s ancient theocracy, or adopt the Noxian obsession with warfare and conquest?

While both factions have an opportunity to further advance their agendas, the brutal Noxian suppression of the recent revolt and the devastating effects of the Zaunite refinery explosion have intensified local resentment of both powers. Noxian and Zaunite intelligence sources (which include a number of Summoners) have each reported to their respective leadership that the situation is highly volatile.

Decision Mechanics

This lore event centers on two main decisions. These refer to “Control” and “Instability”, which are used to track the situation in Qa’hhar.

Each faction has a Control stat which measures the strength of its overall position, and varies from 1 to 6. After Lore Event I, Noxus has a Control of 5, and Zaun has a Control of 2.

There is also a shared Instability stat, which numerically describes how volatile the situation in Qa’hhar is. It varies from 1 to 8. It is currently at 5. There will be an Instability check on Monday, June 12. The higher Instability is by then, the more likely it will be that disaster will strike one or both factions. Higher Instability also generally inhibits both factions’ success levels.

Balance of Power, which reflects performance in pickup and Featured Matches and is the central indicator of how well a faction is doing in this arc, plays a key role in these events. For purposes of the final roll, Balance of Power will be computed after the end of Factions Friday on June 9, and that final figure will be used. (This probably means 11:59 PM Pacific, but may end up being Saturday morning.)

In the first decision, the faction may select between two general approaches to Qa’hhar: Convert or Dominate.

  • Convert: Try to win over the Qa’hharians, or at least co-opt their institutions and local leaders. Lower risk, lower reward.
    • Success: +1 Control, -1 Instability.
    • Failure: -1 Control.
  • Dominate: Use aggressive tactics to reshape Qa’hhar. Higher risk, higher reward. Causes a slight increase in instability even if successful.
    • Success: +3 Control, +1 Instability.
    • Failure: -d3 Control, +2 Instability.

In addition, each faction gets a +1 bonus to all Convert and Dominate rolls for every 5 points earned from the June 3-4 Featured Matches and the June 10-11 Featured Matches, as the resource gathering efforts of their associated NPCs pay off.

Instead of attempting to undermine the other Factions efforts, both Factions will be presented with choices revolving around investigating the causes of their respective disastrous from the previous lore event.

Last week, Qa’hhar fell into chaos after two disasters struck in rapid succession: a Zaunite pyrikhos refinery exploded, blasting Qa’hhar with Void-tainted thaumatoxic pollution, and a new revolt against the brutal Noxian regime erupted. Noxus suspects that Zaunite agents may have provoked the revolt, and Zaun in turn finds it awfully convenient that the refinery Noxus has been complaining about for months suddenyl blew up.

In this event, each faction is presented with its best understanding of whether or not the other faction Undermined them in these ways, and how much evidence they have to prove it should they decide to Accuse. (Accuse rules follow in the next section.)

  • The roll factors in BoP, random chance, and last but not least, what the truth is.
  • Both factions know what the other faction believes, and how strong their evidence is. (It will be publicly posted.)

Main possibilities:

  • Critical success. The faction knows what really happened. Regardless of BoP, there is some chance of scoring this level of success.
    • If the other faction Undermined: the faction has Overwhelming evidence that it can Accuse them with.
    • If the other faction did not Undermine: the faction can fabricate “Strong”-level evidence.
  • Success. You know what really happened.
    • If they Undermined: You know they did it. Depending on your margin of success, you may have Strong or Weak evidence.
    • If they didn’t: You can fabricate Weak-level false evidence. (However, if you Accuse with fake evidence and fail, you’ll take an additional -1 Control hit.)
  • Failure. You aren’t sure what happened, but at least you know you don’t know.
    • You can Accuse, with Weak-level evidence. You’ll then find out whether they did it or not. If they did, this turns out to be Weak but genuine evidence. If they didn’t, treat it as Weak-level fake evidence: i.e., if you lose the Accuse roll, you take an extra -1 Control when your claims are discredited.

You then have two options:

  • Accuse: Confront the other faction with your evidence and try to prove the disaster (the revolt or the refinery explosion) was their fault. Automatically increases Instability, proportional to the strength of the evidence put forward. (3 if Overwhelming, 2 if Strong, 1 if Weak.) If you succeed in proving your case, you gain some Control, and they lose some. If you fail, you lose a little Control. If you fail and they roll really high, they can actually come out ahead.
    • Your odds of succeeding at Accuse depend on the strength of your evidence, your BoP standing, and your FM performance last weekend and this weekend.
  • Negotiate: Try to come to an understanding with the other faction, whereby you both hold on to the evidence you have. (In other words: “Qa’hhar is angry enough right now, let’s just both sweep this under the rug.”) If the other side doesn’t want to play nice (i.e. if they chose Accuse), you can Accuse back, but you’ll have tipped your hand and given them time to prepare defensive measures.
    • If the other faction also votes Negotiate, you come to an agreement. You both roll Accuse, and you see each other’s totals. That roll is “saved”. If you decide to Accuse them in a future event, you can use that saved roll if it’s better than your new roll.
    • If the other faction Accuses you, Accuse them right back, but with a large penalty.

Cast Your Votes

Talon Kat Noxus

For Noxus

While the Might Festival is an excellent opportunity for Noxus to tighten its grip on Qa’hhar, Noxian leaders need to decide where their priorities lie. Would they rather quiet dissenting voices through fear, or adoration?

  • Convert: Capture a Xer’Sai and have a Noxian duel it, making big speeches about Noxus’ ability to conquer the desert and defend the city. There’s nothing like getting people to cheer for you to get them on your side.
  • Dominate: Force captured Shuriman rebel leaders to fight to the death. Last man standing goes free. (Perhaps add a Noxian to the mix to spice things up.) Fear is a powerful motivator, but this might also piss off a lot of the more independent folks.

Next, there is a matter of the revolt, and Zaun’s alleged involvement. Noxus believes Zaun caused the revolt, and has Strong evidence to prove it.

  • Jha’mai Ci’tum, a leading Shuriman power broker and political operative, can establish that money has been flowing from Bel’Zhun merchants to Qa’hhar rebels. Summoner Dùck can use some legal trickery and crafty politicking to get League subpoenas that should establish these merchants’ connections to major megacorporations, unless Zaun’s lawyers can get in the way.
  • Jovainus Yorksinson, the only mage of the Eighth Legion to survive the Black Winter, has collaborated with Summoner Endgame1125 to decipher strange fluctuations in the Qa’hharian arcanosphere. Though the theory involved is complex and open to challenge, they believe they can show a spike in psionic energy just before the revolt. Together with reports of key rebel leaders becoming delusional and irrationally aggressive on the eve of the uprising, this indicates that Zaunite PsiKorps agents used their unnatural abilities to amplify the effects of the pollution on these critical individuals. The PsiKorps reports directly to President Dunderson and the Council of Zaun: if this link can be proven, it suggests that these actions were ordered at very high levels, likely with broad support from Summoners pledged to Zaun.

Noxus could use this evidence to publicly accuse Zaun of fomenting a bloody revolt for political purposes. While this would likely turn Qa’hhar (and moderates in the League) against Zaun, it is a risky option. First, Zaun has had a recent string of victories on the Fields, giving it a strong position from which to obfuscate any investigation and deflect even well-founded accusations. Second, Qa’hhar is in an extremely volatile state, and showing that a great power of Valoran triggered a violent conflict for political purposes would play right into the hands of rebels and pro-Azir fanatics, to whom Noxus and Zaun are scarcely different.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Noxian agents report that Zaun has overwhelming evidence that the refinery exploded due to Noxian sabotage. If they both accuse one another, mutually assured political destruction may well be the result. Some, therefore, advocate for negotiating a deal with Zaun, by which both sides would stay silent. The more aggressive camp counters that doing so would require tipping Noxus’s hand, and give Zaun’s lawyers and spin doctors a chance to preempt the accusations with defensive maneuvers.

  • Noxus has Strong evidence that Zaun caused the revolt, but knows that Zaun has Overwhelming evidence that Noxus sabotaged the refinery. It has two options:
    • Accuse: Go public with the evidence that Zaun started the revolt.
      • Raises Instability. If successful, reduces Zaun’s Control by 2, and increases Noxian Control by 2. If unsuccessful, lose 1 Control. (If unsuccessful, and Zaun rolls really really high, there’s even a chance of Zaun coming out of this with +1 Control.)
    • Negotiate: Talk with Zaun about keeping these incidents covered up.
      • If the other faction also votes Negotiate, you come to such an agreement. Instability is reduced by 2, as more and more Qa’hharians conclude that these disasters were tragic accidents. You both roll Accuse, and you see each other’s totals. That roll is “saved”. If you decide to Accuse them in a future event, you can use that saved roll if it’s better than your new roll.
      • If the other faction Accuses you, Accuse them right back, but with a significant penalty.

Noxian Summoners may cast their votes here. Polls close Saturday, June 10.

For Zaun

With disaster striking Zaun’s profit margins after the explosion of their refinery and a failure to make a profit selling Spirox to the public the Chem Barons are reevaluating what their next moves should be. The Noxian Might Festival could provide ample chances to sway the opinions of the Qa’hharian people either by showcasing Zaunite and Shuriman inventors and their creations at the Festival or using some recent shipped in experimental ThaumaKola to “change” the public’s minds.

Psikorps Spies have also begun investigating the recent explosion that occurred at the refinery and have found some evidence that may potentially point to Noxian sabotage. The evidence found could be brought forward to the public to tarnish Noxus’ reputation or the evidence could be used as a bargaining chip to keep Noxus silent about any Zaunite activity.

  • Convert: Create a joint “Shuriman-Zaunite Progress Day” to showcase the potential benefits of Zaunite influence. The minds of the Shurimans can think up some pretty interesting devices when you show them how to work a 5 Dimensional Wrench.
  • Dominate: Offer to provide refreshments and other goods for the festival while slipping in experimental mind-altering Chemtech. The mixture could show the citizen’s the “light” of the Glorious Evolution. Or blow their minds. Very literally.

There is another matter to consider: Zaun is convinced that the refinery exploded due to Noxian sabotage, and it has overwhelming evidence to prove it.

  • Tybalt “Apple-Eye” Valenzek, an information broker contracted with the Corporate Administration Bureau, followed a trail of covert contacts and information transfers to an engineer at the refinery who was apparently killed in the explosion. He informs Zaun’s Summoners, with no small amount of self-satisfaction, that shortly after being “tragically killed” in the blast, this engineer boarded a ship bound for Bilgewater only to be arrested by Summoner Jondor Horoku carrying a League warrant. In exchange for leniency, this engineer will testify that he gave Noxian agents schematics for the refinery, and after answering certain “theoretical” questions about red pyrikhos, was told he should take an unscheduled vacation this summer, perhaps this June, perhaps for example on June 1. Zaun’s dramatic victories in recent contests on the Fields leaves Noxus with little leverage to block this testimony.
  • Liatine Silver-Spark, a hextech engineer and devotee of the Glorious Evolution, has analyzed the debris from the blast with assistance from Summoner Random Nom. Together, they were able to extract temporally-locked spell fragments from deep within the still-burning arcane vortex inside the refinery’s foundations. They conclude that, while the abruptly reduced refinery output and the new elemental hextech modifications had indeed temporarily increased the volatility of the refinery, it was a sudden detonation of unstable “red pyrikhos” that triggered the blast.
  • Baron Nihr’am Yal, Vice President of Corporate Security at Zasho and a key player in the early days of the pyrikhos industry, led a team into the burning ruins of the refinery to rescue a researcher whom the blast had trapped inside a testing vault. Despite the vault’s insulation, thaumic radiation from the blast left the poor man alternately delusional and catatonic, seemingly with little chance of survival. He was brought back from the brink by the quick thinking of Summoner Rextreff, who first stabilized him with a healing spell, then called in some favors to access a restricted spellbook in the Institute’s archives and devise a lasting cure. The grateful researcher can testify to seeing readings on his instruments that would be consistent with sabotage.

Zaun is convinced that Noxus caused the refinery explosion, and can prove it with overwhelming evidence that will be very, very hard for Noxus to refute. However, a classified Corporate Administration Bureau memo concludes that Noxus likely has strong evidence that the PsiKorps deliberately provoked the revolt that led to the bloody Noxian crackdown. Especially with the situation in Qa’hhar as volatile as it is, most agree that both factions pulling the trigger on their accusations would likely result in Qa’hhar turning on them both. Even Zaun’s fabled public relations experts are struggling to come up with an ad campaign based on the idea that, “Sure, we provoked a revolt in order to force Noxus to murder your friends and family, but THEY blasted your city with pollution that’s giving you night terrors about a Void-corrupted lich queen eating your soul.” For this reason, some advocate approaching Noxus with a deal: we’ll keep quiet if you do the same. More aggressive Summoners counter that doing so would require giving Noxus advance warning, and there would be nothing to stop Noxus from quickly readying defenses against our accusations before blasting us back.

Zaun has two options:

  • Accuse: Go public with the evidence that Noxus sabotaged the refinery.
    • Raises Instability. If successful, reduces Noxus’s Control by 2, and increases Zaun’s Control by 2. If unsuccessful, lose 1 Control. (If unsuccessful, and Noxus rolls really really high, there’s even a chance of Noxus coming out of this with +1 Control.)
  • Negotiate: Talk with Noxus about keeping these incidents covered up.
    • If the other faction also votes Negotiate, you come to such an agreement. Instability is reduced by 2, as more and more Qa’hharians conclude that these disasters were tragic accidents. You both roll Accuse, and you see each other’s totals. That roll is “saved”. If you decide to Accuse them in a future event, you can use that saved roll if it’s better than your new roll.
    • If the other faction Accuses you, Accuse them right back, but with a significant penalty.

Zaunite Summoners may cast their votes here. Polls close Saturday, June 10.

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