Stellaris

Authoritarian Fallen Empire Idea – The Deluded Vestige

stellaris 6 - Authoritarian Fallen Empire Idea - The Deluded Vestige
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This Fallen Empire was once a vast expansionist state that had ground most of the galaxy under its heel, but over time it slowly and subtly declined until it was left with only the core of its territory. However, the ruling dynasty is completely unaware of their empire's collapse – An illusion carefully maintained by a millennia-old conspiracy of advisors, servants, and functionaries, who do not wish to trouble their beloved liege with bad news. Notably, these conspirators are still fanatically devoted to the letter of the law even though they have abandoned its spirit, so whenever the Emperor wishes to speak to his "loyal subjects" in the "outer provinces", they feel obligated to allow him to do so.

Capital: An Ecumenopolis called "Throne", orbited by a Gaia World moon called "Imperial Retreat".

Empire Titles: Core, Court, Nobles

Aside from obviously favouring other Authoritarians and disliking Egalitarians, the Vestige also dislikes Democracies and Oligarchies regardless of their governing ethics, for their "unapproved viceroy selection process". Additionally, every interaction with the Vestige has a dialogue option where you can say something that contradicts the Emperor/Empress's version of reality, but doing this too many times causes the Vestige to gain a -100 "Liars" opinion penalty towards the offender, which is increased to a -200 "LIARS!" penalty if they persist. (Also, after the midgame has started, this increases the likelihood the Vestige will Awaken.)

The requests that the Vestige sends other empires are as follows:

  • (Request) The Emperor/Empress is shocked to learn that your province of the galaxy has failed to pay taxes for the last 10,000 years. As a kind and generous overlord, they will not demand the unpaid back taxes, but still insist you rectify this mistake going forwards. Accepting the request causes 1/5th of your monthly Energy Credit income to be taken by the Vestige for the next 10 years. (At which point the Emperor/Empress's advisors have successfully manipulated them into forgetting about taxes again.) Insisting that you never agreed to pay taxes to them is likely to upset them even more than just refusing.

  • (Request) The Emperor/Empress has decided to levy the fleets of your province, in order to help deal with "the ongoing Grunur rebellion". Accepting the request causes a group of random ships of about 1,000 fleet power (Taking a single fleet or group of fleets if possible.) to disappear from your empire and reappear within the Vestige's territory under their control. 5-10 years later, the ships are returned to you with no changes, having "miraculously survived" the war. After the midgame starts, the number of ships requested is increased to 5,000. Insisting that you have no idea who the "Grunur" are (or that you know they're long-dead) is likely to upset them even more than just refusing.

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  • (Request) The Emperor/Empress has noticed a talented individual residing in your province of the empire and has graciously invited them to serve in the Imperial court. This is one of the highest honours a sapient being can be given, surely nobody would turn such an offer down. Accepting the offer causes your highest-level governor/scientist/admiral (Category chosen randomly) to disappear, having left for the Vestige's court. Insisting that the person they want has no interest in going and views the whole thing as kidnapping rather than a "great honour" is likely to upset them even more than just refusing.

  • (Demand) Your blatant lack of deference towards Imperial authority has drawn the Emperor/Empress's ire and laid bare how badly standards have slipped in the administration of the outer provinces. As such, the Emperor/Empress demands that you bring your government back in line with Imperial standards. Accepting the demand replaces one of your Civics with the unique "Bizarre Legal Rituals" Civic, which increases Empire Sprawl penalties by 50% and has no benefits. After ten years, Bizarre Legal Rituals can be replaced with a normal Civic by reforming the government.

Losing a Punishment war against the Vestige has the same effect as their Demand, as well as of course the execution of your ruler.

When the Deluded Vestige Awakens, they become the Glorious Restorationists. The fiction of galactic dominance became harder and harder for the conspiracy to maintain as the younger races grew in power, and eventually the Emperor/Empress uncovered the truth and had all of their treacherous underlings executed. Now that they know the true state of their empire, they desire to restore it to dominance, so that they can once again claim to rule the galaxy, but actually be right this time.

The unique vassal type of the Restorationists is the "Viceroyalty". Viceroyalties are almost identical to ordinary vassals, but upon becoming one, an empire is forced to embrace their Authoritarian faction and change their Authority level to Dictatorial, and their current ruler is replaced by a randomly-generated level 2 leader of their overlord's primary species with the "Arrested Development" trait. Additionally, the Viceroyalty empire gains the unique "Viceroy" Civic. (Unlike Bizarre Legal Rituals, this Civic does not replace an existing one, but can never be replaced by reforming the government.) The Viceroy Civic forces all candidates in ruler elections to be other randomly-generated level 2 leaders of the overlord species with the "Arrested Development" trait. If the Viceroyalty is granted independence or begins a war of independence against the Restorationists, the Viceroy Civic is removed, and the current ruler is "executed by a mob of revolutionaries" and replaced by a random existing Admiral, Governor, or Scientist of the rebelling empire's primary species.

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