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The Petal Throne • View topic - The Omnipotent Azure Legion


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 Post subject: The Omnipotent Azure Legion
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:33 pm 
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I have the Tekumel RPG book, which does mention the Omnipotent Azure Legion. from what I supposedly know, the Azure Legion is a type of secret police that enforces the decrees of the Tsolyani Emperor.
Is that Tsolyanu's moral equivalent of the Gestapo or the KGB? If a Tsolyani citizen is accused of treason, or merely makes a negative remark about his Emperor, would he be arrested by the Azure Legion to face harsh justice (i.e. execution by impalement) meted out by an Imperial judge? Perhaps the Azure Legion uses torture on traitors and dissidents, or even summarily executes them on occasion without facing the formal justice of an Imperial judge.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:19 pm 
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The Tekumel Sourcebook has more information about law, politics, and security in the Empire, and Deeds of the Ever-Glorious has more information about the Omnipotent Azure Legion. The legion is the Imperial secret police, and does indeed arrest those accused of Imperial crime. Imperial justice is often swift, harsh, and not particularly just. Collective punishment is sometimes practiced in the absence of the offender, so if your relative commits a crime, you and your clan-cousins may be punished, especially if the suspect evades capture. Social status and context are very important factors in determining how careful agents are in observing legal niceties. Low clan offenders might be killed on the spot, but high status folk can expect a hearing before an Imperial judge before heading to the impaling ground. A primary function of clans is to protect their members from arbitrary legal action. You clan can do more for you in the civil system, but at least sometimes it can help with the Imperial authorities too, providing legal specialists to argue your case, and inducements to ease your imprisonment, adjust your sentence, perhaps even to have the charges retracted entirely.

The Imperium employs specialist execution teams (not members of the OAL) to perform impalements (it's a clan, but I can't recall its name), and they are not abundant, so there may be some delay while they arrive and prepare the ground, particularly if the executions are not in a large city. The Tsolyani tend not to be quite as prone to genocide as the examples you suggest. They may occasionally massacre innocents. but usually because of something they or their kin, or members of their group, did, not simply because of who they are. This is in contrast to the Mu'ugalavyani, who are notorious for their slaughter and oppression of the Pachi Lei in the Pan Chaka region.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:43 am 
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Location: Darwin Australia
Hi All,
I dont think I have ever read exactly what is the process of impalement. You are obviously stuck on something, but what are the details? I thought I read somewhere that the person had to hang on and as they grew weak they impaled themselves. Could some one shed some light on this, as it seems important to the game.
Thanks in Advance
Allan
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 Post subject: impalement
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:27 pm 
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?? In my opinion the details are not that important to the game. It's just a Horrible Slow Death Punishment that is used to justify some of the social restrictions (e.g. "No professional thieves in the Empire, because we have Impalement!"). Flamesong and the Tekumel Sourcebook are the sources to go to for more information. If I recall correctly, the impalement is through the torso, from the posterior upward. How this is actually accomplished, I don't recall and am not sure has ever been described. My impression is that the posts are set firmly into the ground first, which suggests the victim is lowered onto one. Not sure how that would be arranged, maybe the victim is drugged first?

When imposed as a punishment by the Imperium, executions, by impalement or otherwise, are supposed to be carried out by a team of specialists. These are members of a special clan, the Company of the Edification of the Soul. The clan's executioners operate in groups of four called mrikhs (or probably mriyal, to use the Tsolyani plural suffix). The members of the mrikh that are encountered in Flamesong are quite professional, and frighteningly matter-of-fact about the gruesome events they manage.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:11 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: impalement
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:23 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 6:14 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:43 pm 
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I would not agree that the Imperial system of justice is "sometimes unjust." In fact, that is a rather treasonous statement. As observed above, when justice is meted out, it is because you or somebody in your clan did something wrong and certainly ignoble. Even in a case where the punished did not in fact (or a clan member did not) commit the act for which they were punished does not constitute injustice to any Tsolyani. If your clan could not/did not protect you from this, there is something meet about the punishment anyway. The Omnipotent Azure Legion is, as I recall my history, an arm specifically of the Tlakotoni Emperors and Empresses distinct from other military units. Compare the general tranquility of Tsolyanu under the Tlakotoni to the state of affairs when Dhich'une laid claim to the Petal Throne: when there is injustice in Tsolyanu, it gets sorted out quickly. Misfortune and lack of justice are far from synonomous.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:39 am 
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am I correct in understanding that the OAL members are deaf and dumb? It has been a long time since I played, and I am trying to relearn on a steep learning curve.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:42 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:07 pm 
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I have always thought of the OAL as more like the Roman Praetorian Guard or Byzantium’s Varangians than KGB. It is more about absolute loyalty to the Emperor even before Clan or religion.

As far as impalement goes, the whole point is that it is an ignoble death. The stake goes through the rectum not the torso. Being burned to death is also extremely painful but it is not ignoble.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:00 pm 
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The OAL can be as Omnipotent or as impotent as you want them to be. If having a tense atmosphere where saying the wrong thing will inevitably reach the OAL through informers works for you then go with it.

Tsolyanu teems with conspiracies and secret societies implying either that the OAL are so weak they cannot do anything about them, or the OAL are so powerful they have full knowledge of all of these and know they can shut down anything dangerous before it gets out of hand. I would suggest that the power of the OAL is largely an illusion. They take credit for all sorts of deeds that are in fact actions of other secret groups, and many of their real coups come from one set of conspirators informing them about the deeds of their rivals. They are mangers of the seething ferment of Tsolyani politics, not its controllers, and come down like a ton of bricks on those miscreants they do disocover to discourage they many, many secret criminals and conspirators they know they are missing.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Impalement is the most frequently mentioned method of execution, on stakes prominently displayed in public places. The Tekumel Sourcebook identifies impalement as a potential sentence imposed by the civil courts for "more serious cases" (along with imprisonment, maiming, confiscation and enslavement). The Imperial courts mete out very severe punishments for crimes against the state: long imprisonment (sometimes of secret duration), enslavement in the deadly mines and galleys, or "various unpleasant forms of execution" are all common sentences. The punishments imposed by the ecclesiastical courts are said to be similar in harshness to the Imperial courts, but are not otherwise detailed. Note that there is a specialist clan that does the work of judicial torture and execution. These specialists are of very low status, but their work is their own. When a prisoner is to be formally tortured or executed, it is necessary to summon members of the Company of the Edification of the Soul, even if it means a delay of days or weeks. They always work in teams of four, and wear orange robes and masks with the face of Chiteng (most are followers of Chiteng, a few prefer Hrihayal). Besides the courts, the OAL may of course interrogate prisoners and inflict legal punishments, as may the temples in some circumstances. Other military and police forces may use force to capture and subdue, but not to punish.
Section 1.740 of the Sourcebook has the most detail on this, and there is a relevant scene in Flamesong as well.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:27 pm 
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