Multiple emporers in a reign, revisited

Tue Mar 14 10:09:15 PST 2006

On Tue, 14 Mar 2006, Scott Schultz wrote:

> > The moral basis would be having won.  Also, I'm kinda skeptical about
> > there being such a thing as a Council of Princes that decides this
> > sort of issue.  If you've got the Orb orbiting your, uhh, orb, then
> > everyone else can stick it.
> I'd buy that except for the events of _Viscount of Adrilankha_. Zerika was
> not automatically accepted as Emperor just because she showed up with the
> Orb. She had to negotiate with the Houses just as Kana was doing, and the
> issue of her Easterner lover very nearly lost her the support of the
> traditional-minded Houses like House Lyorn.

Extraordinary circumstances, esp. the intra-House swap (notice everyone
assumes the Dragon get the Orb, in accord with the one-Emperor view).
Not a safe basis for speculation.  Zerika had pressing matters to deal
with and needed to be diplomatic.  I imagine she could have just started
brain-frying the Heirs of Houses who opposed her if need be.

> Possession of the Orb doesn't automatically qualify you to be the Emperor.

Unclear, or begs the question.


> In other words, the Orb doesn't have a "Cycle detector" that causes it to
> automatically move to the next Heir when the Cycle turns. It moves when it's
> reqlinquished by the current emperor and claimed by the new emperor. That
> means that when Emperor X relinqishes the Orb to Heir Y, that the Cycle had
> turned to House Y for some measurable time period already.

No, X could be ahead of the Cycle.  Remember the possible distinction
between Orb- and Cycle-emperor.

> If Adron had waited, allowing Loudin to assume the Throne, then he would
> have been tacitly admitting that the Cycle had not turned.

No.  You just asserted the Orb has no Cycle detector - a switch would
mean nothing.  The Cycle presumably doesn't care who in the House is
Emperor under the multi-emperor hypothesis.

Incidentally, in the archives I present a variety of explanations for
why the attempt on Tortaalik might not have been usurpation.

> > Emperor X dies in his sleep.  Lackey X+1 comes in to empty the chamber
> > pot, sees the score, takes the Orb, starts sending out orders.
> Jamiss' story suggests that this might, in fact, be possible. However, the
> Houses would refuse to support such a candidate for Emperor and ultimately
> the pretender would lose the Orb to the rightful Heir, presuming that s/he
> was audacious enough to actually try and hold onto it.

Holding on to it would likely be taken as evidence of being the rightful
Heir - and having it would go a long way toward holding it, assuming it
doesn't have a Heir detector, since it's a powerful artifact that makes
the wielder invulnerable, or nearly.  Note that Paarfi says the Orb has
an Heir detector, and Aliera tries to claim it in her father's name.