Chronicles of the Holy Empire

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Lelouch vi Britannia
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Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:05 pm

Fin, Shroom, Siege, and anyone else who was (un)fortunate enough to participate in or otherwise pay witness to SDW4 would be familiar with the Holy Empire of Haruhi Suzumiya, the polity that I ran in that game. For those who aren't familiar with that blasted game, the short version is basically this: An entire nation, plus some extra stuff, based entirely on a haphazardly assembled pile of butchered anime and video game references. Stuff I took inspiration from for the SDNW4 incarnation of the Holy Empire and its associates includes Ace Combat, Halo, Macross, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Mobile Suit Gundam, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Toaru Majutsu no Index, among a great many other things. Somehow, the whole mess managed to work in the context of SDNW4, though I always felt that my personal vision of the Holy Empire was needlessly obstructed by the rules of that game. I thought that I could rework it for the SDNW reboot, but that venture largely turned out to be a wash. Now that I've rejected those sad realities, though, I hope to substitute them with something far more palatable, divorced completely of the baggage of its origin settings, capable of standing up on its own or being integrated into an existing 'verse if so desired.

As such, this thread will probably wind up as a disjointed collection of musings and ramblings on the history, culture, politics, and military of the Holy Empire and its neighboring states, as well as any suggestions and criticisms that may be offered up by you, the humble reader.
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Siege
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Siege » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:28 pm

I always liked how as the game progressed we got little insights into the people running the Holy Empire, which made it from a collection of references I didn't personally understand into a genuinely interesting place. Particularly the idea of perpetually physically young and attractive yet mentally ancient and potentially deeply scarred people was something I find extremely fascinating, so anything that gives us more of that is a boon in my book.
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:48 pm

Siege wrote:Particularly the idea of perpetually physically young and attractive yet mentally ancient and potentially deeply scarred people was something I find extremely fascinating, so anything that gives us more of that is a boon in my book.
I'm now wondering if any of us here have seen In Time. In hindsight, the whole setup of the Holy Empire being dominated by physically young and attractive yet mentally ancient people does resemble the premise for that movie, minus the whole time-based economics aspect. I always envisioned anti-agathic treatment in the Holy Empire as being easily affordable and within the grasp of all but the absolute poorest.

A quote by Matt Bomer's character in that film particularly stands out: "Your mind can be spent, even if your body is not. We want to die. We need to." One of the greatest problems with immortality is ennui; once you've seen and done it all, anything after that is merely going through the motions. The most common cause of mortality in the Holy Empire is probably natural causes secondary to discontinuing anti-aging treatments.

Of course, there are those things that you're better off not seeing and/or doing to begin with. Would you really want to be saddled with memories of committing a war crime for your own centuries-long existence? It'd be safe to assume that PTSD would be the greatest problem facing the Holy Empire's military veterans, particularly those who have been in the service for centuries.
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Arkitek
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Arkitek » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:42 pm

Oh, hey Shinn. Didn't know you posted here. This ought to be interesting.

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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:52 pm

Arkitek wrote:Oh, hey Shinn. Didn't know you posted here. This ought to be interesting.
You were in SDNW2, Ryan. The name "Lelouch vi Britannia" should have been a major giveaway, considering that I had appropriated his name and appearance for my leader persona in that game.

Speaking of Lelouch, I suppose now would be as good a time as any to discuss the actual nature of the Haruhiist religion, which I never really had an opportunity to expound upon in the games. Lelouch had his place in the pantheon, as did a great many others who were revered as saints.

The Haruhiist faith is inherently syncretistic, with a significant portion of its doctrines and practices appropriated from other religions, in particular Shinto, the Japanese strains of Buddhism, and the various forms of Christianity. A typical place of worship often feature structural elements of Shinto shrines and late Renaissance/early Baroque cathedrals, while religious gatherings can run the gamut from solemn affairs approximating a traditional Catholic Mass to raucous events comparable to modern-day Pentecostal services, depending on the specific event. Weddings are extravagant and elaborate, though the ceremony itself is merely an optional formality; the couple to be wed must first be legally married by filing for marriage at a local government office before deciding whether to proceed with a ceremony. Funeral services are infrequent events but tend to feature a curious mix of Buddhist and Christian practices when they are carried out; embalming and burial are standard procedure, with cremation being rare.

While the Empress is acknowledged as the supreme being, a multitude of saints are also revered; most of these saints are figures deemed important to the formation of the faith in the distant past, though an increasing number are people (many of whom are still alive in the present day, thanks to the ubiquity of anti-aging treatments) who have given some form of service (typically military) to the Holy Empire. Needless to say, the Haruhiist liturgical calendar is filled with feast days, many of which are also observed as secular holidays.

The actual message preached by those who adhere to the Empress is, ultimately, one of hope, empowerment, and inspiration. Poverty, social injustice, tyranny, mediocrity, and apathy are all cardinal sins. All who follow the Empress are obligated to strive for greatness and to help others achieve it. Approach life with passion, sincerity, and diligence. All sapient beings are created equal and are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Progress and evolution are integral parts of the natural order; they can be directed, but under no circumstance are they to be stopped. Hope itself is the one possession that must never be discarded under any circumstance. Nobody is ever truly alone. Believe in those who believe in you, believe in the you who believes in you, know yourself, be true to yourself, and be an inspiration to others.

...And I really do hope that all made at least some sense.
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Invictus » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:01 pm

Everyone's going solo these days :P

All of this gives me the impression that in the Holy Empire, there isn't much impressive in the fields of human enhancement/medical technology other than anti-agarthics. Am I totally barking up the wrong tree?
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:43 am

Invictus wrote:All of this gives me the impression that in the Holy Empire, there isn't much impressive in the fields of human enhancement/medical technology other than anti-agarthics. Am I totally barking up the wrong tree?
Anti-agarthics were the only aspect of medical technology that received any amount of focus back in the Holy Empire's universe of origin. There were also mentions of consciousness transfer and cybernetics, though not as much.

The way I envisioned things (which I never really got around to committing to text until now) was that consciousness transfer is also a widespread technology in the Holy Empire, though somewhat cost-prohibitive to use frequently on a large scale; at some point, it's cheaper to just recruit new soldiers instead of raising the same ones from memory backups over and over. Cybernetics are also commonplace, to the point where they're a requirement for certain military and law enforcement careers.
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Fingolfin » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:16 am

Hm. If there was one thing that I wasn't so sure about the Haruhiist empire was how their economy and society was ordered. Is it just like how Japan is with their feudal style corporatist make up or?
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:35 pm

Fingolfin wrote:Hm. If there was one thing that I wasn't so sure about the Haruhiist empire was how their economy and society was ordered. Is it just like how Japan is with their feudal style corporatist make up or?
I never really had time to go over the social and economic structure of the Holy Empire in detail back when it was still a thing, but I always imagined that some of the social issues facing modern Japan, such as low birth rates (a natural consequence of the proliferation of age-exending treatments) and creative sterility (Have you been paying attention to the last few seasons of anime? Mostly variations on the same few themes, or at least that's what it looks like to a jaded cynic like myself), have been inherited by the Holy Empire in the distant future. As far as economic issues go, though, at least simultaneous recruiting of new graduates is no longer a thing.
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Re: Chronicles of the Holy Empire

Post by Steve » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:11 pm

Hey Shinn.

Speaking of this reminds me of something funny.

The characters you used in the Downfall/MEH storyline were just Japanese character names to me when you did it. I had absolutely no context for them.... until Chuck (SFDebris) reviewed PMMM on his website, and prompted me to watch it. Then when I was bored at work and re-read the STGOD for something to do... boom. All of those references started to make sense. The witches as working with the crazy MEH empress and such, the magical girls as generals.

And you turning Homura into a complete nutcase who used major WMDs on the entire planet. :P

Ah, SDNW4. Aside from 2 that's the one that gives me the most nostalgia.
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