On the Mistveil Dominion and law, liberty, and freedom

The seat of the ever-expanding Mistveil Dominion, promoting peace, order, and prosperity. Whether the people want it or not. They often utilize sorcery and occasional other occult means of accomplishing various goals.
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Rias
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On the Mistveil Dominion and law, liberty, and freedom

Post by Rias » Sat May 07, 2022 9:45 pm

We've been trying to get some little IC things going on to give people a clearer taste of what the Dominion is like, but I thought it would be prudent to make a post here on the BBS as well. As GMs we've seen a number of thinks and conversations and whatnot about people looking forward to the Dominion where they can be more free of harsh law or government meddling, or be treated better than the Shadgard law enforcement has treated them. If the context of these comments is specifically about sorcery or the occult in general, then that's understandable, but we want to make it abundantly clear that the Mistveil Dominion is all about authority, order, and control. For those who thrive in such environments it'll be great! But for those who struggle with authority or being strictly beholden to laws, licenses, registrations, bureaucracy and the like, you'd be hard-pressed to find a worse place in the Lost Lands to go than the Dominion. (It -is- called "The Dominion", after all.) The Dominion would crack down harder on most criminal acts than Shadgard ever would (with the possible exception of high-prejudice topics in Shadgard such as, again, sorcery).

If this has all been RP then all is well, but we didn't want anyone having a nasty OOC surprise when they packed up and left to the other faction expecting a bastion of personal liberty, freedom, and agency when the Dominion is in fact quite the opposite.

Of interest might be the article on the Mistveil Dominion here (or type HELP MISTVEIL DOMINION in-game): https://cogg.contrarium.net/wiki/index. ... l_Dominion

An incomplete nutshell of the two factions regarding this context might be:
- Shadgard is the more loose and chaotic rough-and-tumble frontiersy faction, with certain prejudices running hot (particularly against Sorcery and, to a lesser extent, the occult in general).
- The Dominion is the (relative to the Lost Lands) highly-civilized, fancy-pants, but also strongly authoritarian faction where the government is keeping an eye on as much as it can to try and keep its people under strict control to promote its vision of "order, peace, and prosperity."

So please keep all that in mind when considering packing up and leaving for Mistral Lake and the Mistveil Dominion!

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Re: On the Mistveil Dominion and law, liberty, and freedom

Post by Rias » Mon May 09, 2022 10:26 am

Answering some questions from @darkangel from another thread:

Q: In mistral, would sorcery like the occult would require a permit to use by the average citizen?
A: Yes, though game wise it will be a simple matter to get this permit. It'll be mostly for flavor and shouldn't be a quality of life gameplay pain point. Get permit, use occult powers freely in town. Do note that powers that would potentially endanger public safety and such will still be punishable crimes. Having a permit does not give authority to flood the market in nether or dangerous temperatures or thrashing vines or such. Always use common sense! If it seems like a bad idea to do in town, then it probably is, permit or not.

Q: how far will the dominions control extend into the private lives of their own people?
A: The Dominion strives to find a balance between maintaining control as well as the contentment of its citizens. They are well aware that if they clamp down too hard or violate perceived basic human rights, that'll just incite rebellion and revolt. They're constantly tweaking this to see what they can get away with but in general, they're happy to let the people be happy ... So long as they're obeying all the laws.

The Dominion tries to make it as convenient and painless and attractive as possible to comply, and offers the good law-abiding citizen great quality of life (for the Lost Lands), opportunities to acquire luxury food and goods, art and entertainment, etc. to keep the people happy. They have a decent amount of basic level monitoring of citizenry by way of requiring lots of licenses and permits and registrations and all that fun stuff. There are the rumors of special agents (human or otherwise) that keep a more active eye on people, but any one citizen's private life isn't likely to be actively monitored in such a way unless they've given the Dominion some reason to think it's worth spending the time, effort, and resources to do so. The Dominion is powerful, but it has its resource and capability limits, which are currently being stretched thinner than they have ever been before. (Rumors of uprisings in the north likely the reason, though state media will assure you all is well in hand.)

Q: how far can the dominion be compared with a real life authoritarian government?
A: I honestly can't answer this one because I'm an ignorant goober who doesn't know much about real-life authoritarian situations beyond layman's knowledge and the typical hearsay. I would therefore ask that no assumptions be made based on real life examples, and if there are questions, they can be posted here on the BBS and I'll happily answer them to the best of my ability (and try to remember to update the wiki/helpfiles with common knowledge info).

Q: with the Master of Mistveil keep mentioned in the dominion helpfile, would the dominion be an organized governing body or a dictatorship?
A: The Master of Mistveil Keep is a very enigmatic figure who everyone in the Dominion knows of but few have ever met. While the Master's word is law, they don't seem to make decrees very often. Most governing is handled by the Council of Nine Representatives who are chosen representatives of the people and take matters to the Master for consideration or approval only if they're uncertain of how to handle them on their own. (It's said that it's rather unwise to disturb the Master over simple or unimportant matters.)

It should be noted that the Council is a newer governmental implementation. Before, there was a single liaison between the Master and the people of Mistral Lake, chosen by the Master and not the people. These liaisons wielded nearly absolute authority, and were often said to view the people of Mistral Lake as mere amusements. While the reasons behind the recent abrupt (and disturbing, based on many eyewitness accounts) removal of the last liaison and change to the Council of Representatives are often debated, most agree that it was a good thing for the people and has helped citizens feel far more heard and valued by their government.

Q: this one is a bit personal, and if I can make it, i would appreciate a few tips, characters wanting to join the dominion, or who support their cause, but are hedging their bets before fully committing, can it be a workable course of action?
A: Could you rephrase? I'm not sure what exactly is being asked.

Q: when refering to law and order, what would be the exact laws that dominion members will be required to follow? i'm thinking along the lines of aside from the obvious, would there be any restrictions between the exchange of resources or trade.
A: Rain check for now. I'll provide some examples after mulling it over a bit longer. But I'm assuming you're asking about things that will actually be enforced in the game and have an impact on the player experience, rather than just background lore, right?

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