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The Secret History of Sun County: Present situation
So after all that, what is the "current" situation in 1616-1621: normal game period? How will it affect your players?
There is no Somash worship in Sun County. There has never been Somash worship in Sun County. Mention of Somash by an ignorant foreigner is likely to bring a violent reaction, one way or the other, as are references to it (such as long hair, long tunics, or wearing red).
Solanthos has resigned himself to an unmarried and celibate life. As Count, he spends less time on active duty than he would like, and is nothing like as fit as he used to be. His insistence on rigid standards of purity is even stricter than before, in part because he knows that he himself has failed to live up to his own standards. His friendship with Invictus has returned, though they never discuss women. He still feels both guilty about the way he has treated Vega, and angry with her for defying him. So, he promotes her to Guardian, but then makes the job as difficult for her as possible in the hope that she will fail - perhaps even be killed in the line of duty. In a way this is a back-handed compliment - it would be perfectly possible for the Guardian to do the job from the Sun Dome, never seeing action but just raking in the bribes. Solanthos knows Vega will try to do the job properly.
Invictus has happily forgotten his own rather questionable part in the coup, and is enjoying his marriage, his family, and his position. He is also gradually realising that he misses his previous friendship with Vega. He knows he has lost her respect, and isn't willing to admit to himself that he deserved to do so. Penta seems to be far more interested in the children and the temple than she is in him, despite his attempts to put the romance back into their marriage. Invictus is rapidly growing up over the next few years as he comes to terms with the consequences of his actions.
Being passed over as his father's heir was the last straw for Jovian. He no longer has any loyalty towards his family, but intends to make the most of their loyalty to him. As a result, he is now the front for almost all the remaining hazia traffic in Sun County, as the dealers know that Vega's otherwise thorough enforcement of the hazia ban carefully stops short of investigating her brother. He is, however, only a front, and holds much less real power than he imagines. As a military commander, he is slovenly and incompetent, and does his best to undermine Vega's authority.
All is apparently well with Penta. She was promoted to Priestess of Ernalda as soon as her first set of twins were born in late 1613. Soon afterwards, the previous High Priestess stepped down in her favour, so she is now the youngest ever High Priestess of Ernalda in Sun County. She has an attentive and adoring husband, six beautiful children, and is at the top of her career.
In reality, Penta was promoted to her current position as a reward for keeping her mouth shut, and she knows it. She has had three sets of twins in three years: even with servants to help and Ernaldan magic to heal her, this is enormously hard work and has left her with little time for her career. The real power is held by the older, more experienced women over whose heads she was promoted. She's depressed, demoralised, feels guilty about stealing her sister's husband, and blames Invictus for "seducing" her - after all, she can't have been responsible for it, she's only a woman! She doesn't feel she has anyone to turn to for support: her colleagues resent her, her husband is the cause of her problems, and she's sure her sister hates her.
Vega has just been betrayed by her husband, her sister, and her boss, and one of her closest friends is on the run from the Lunars. Being Vega, she feels that this was all her fault for not planning carefully enough. If she'd known everything, if she'd allowed for all eventualities... She'd liked to have things planned in advance before, but from here on she's obsessed with it. Everything has to be known, planned, controlled. And she's learnt never to trust anyone and never to trust emotions, as well... no, this doesn't make for happiness or a particularly stable mind, but it does make her extremely good at her job.
She resents Solanthos' actions, but can see that he did act in the best interests of Sun County. She may never like him, but she still respects him. Invictus however acted purely in his own interests as far as she can tell, and she refuses to see any good in him. Her resentment of her sister is mainly exasperation that once more, Penta has allowed herself to be used rather than controlling her own life. As far as Vega can tell, Penta is now secure and happy, and she sees no reason to take any further interest in the matter. If Vega ever finds out that Penta is in trouble, their old loyalty will be back with a vengeance, especially if Invictus ever hurts Penta.
Vega doesn't have a social life: that would involve having friends, and friends betray you (or you let them down: she still feels guilty about Kallyr, too, as if she'd ever needed any help getting into trouble.) Hobbies: work, more work, and chess. Solo chess. She's trying to analyse the results of every possible combination of moves to establish a winning strategy. She doesn't want to actually play a game until she's got the analysis done.
There are an increasing number of female Templars now, and Vega acts as patron and protector for them where possible. In particular, she has supported her young cousin Mara in her career: since Vega is now head of the Goldbreath family, she could and did overrule Mara's father on this. Her "adoption" of these young women to some extent acts as a substitute for the family ties of her brother and sister that she has lost.
Secluded in his tower, Phaestus has taken up the study of philosophy and other intellectual pursuits for which he did not previously have time. He is, rather to his surprise, enjoying his retirement. The retirement towers are on the Goldbreath estates, and although in theory only priests are allowed to communicate with him, in practice one of his old retainers will drop in every few days to check on his well-being, and to report back to Vega. (She doesn't entirely trust Solanthos not to arrange for her father's "removal"). They exchange letters on a regular basis: at first, Phaestus gave instructions as to how Vega should manage the estates, but it soon became clear that his advice was unnecessary. They discuss strategy and military history, and are perhaps closer now than they have ever been, despite never meeting.
While Belvani did not gain out of the new regime, he did not lose either: a remarkable achievement for a known Lunar sympathiser. He regards the moral convulsions of others around him with contempt: as an Illuminate, he is above such things. In particular, he despises Vega, whose combination of rigid principles and alliance with superstitious barbarians were what caused her by his standards to "lose".
In Sun County he is described as a pro-Lunar, though of unquestioned loyalty to the County. He now plays a dangerous game, as he knows that Sun County is economically dependent on trade with the Lunar Empire, and if Solanthos's xenophobia goes too far, the economy will collapse. Hence his push for closer trade ties with the Lunars and possibly breaking the exclusive little club of Lokarnos traders who have traditionally handled Sun Dome's exports and imports, but who are no longer up to the task.
With Haloric Glowbrow keeping an eye on him, Karial has kept his opinions to himself and so continues to avoid compulsory blinding and retirement. He still sees the Lunars as his route back to power, but does not dare open negotiations again.
The Lunars, not surprisingly, resent having been forced out of Sun County. However, their understanding of what happened is limited in some ways. They know that Solanthos was against them: that was obvious. They have been forced to assume that anyone who is now "in favour" was also against them, and anyone who is out of favour now, must be pro-Lunar. To a large extent they are right: but unfortunately for them, they have noticed that Vega is out of favour, and have drawn the wrong conclusions. Since she was apparently pro-Lunar before the coup, lost her husband as a result of it, and owes her promotion to their support, they assume that she must now be one of their strongest supporters in Sun County. Vega has done nothing to disabuse them of this notion.
Most of the Orlanthi in Prax have been completely unaffected by goings-on in Sun County. The exceptions are the very few who are aware of Vega's role in the coup, and the few more who are aware of her role now.
There are two people in the first category. Firstly, the Vingan priestess in Pavis, Aelflaed, is still the same one who gave Vega her first lessons and encouraged her friendship with Kallyr. She has little direct contact with Vega, but occasional messages go between them. After 1616, one other person is let into the secret. Remember that story of Biturian's travels in Cults of Prax? In it, Krogar Wolfhelm is summoned to Swenstown by Orlanth. Aelflaed had reported that she considered him trustworthy (after several years of observation), and after meeting him, the Resistance in Sartar agreed with her.
Since Krogar joined the conspiracy, a new element has been added to the alliance. As has been stated, Vega is finding her job as Guardian difficult. She and Krogar have reached an agreement: he will arrange for certain reliable adventurers to assist her with chaos-fighting on an occasional basis, if in return she will protect those same adventurers from Lunar harassment while they are within Sun County. (If they get into difficulty with Sun County law, she will do what she can, but is likely to have to enforce whatever law they have broken). Other Sun County officials have noticed that Orlanthi can be useful, and the practice of employing foreigners for dirty work is gradually increasing: hence the possibility of Orlanthi PCs in such scenarios as "Rabbit Hat Farm" and "Gaumata's Vision".