Free From the Yoke - Your options
Each game of Free From the Yoke starts with a prologue telling the story of the uprising that cast off the old empire. You pick a playbook for the Arbiter that defines not just who the hero of the uprising was, but what they did.
Pick the Legendary Warriors to play through a war story, and in its aftermath be ruled by warriors unaccustomed to peace.
Or pick the Guardians of History to tell the story of pilgrims uncovering ancient knowledge they can use to win freedom, but maybe confront how the old ways may be foreign and constricting to the modern population of the nation.
Other Arbiter playbooks are the Unrelenting Pioneers - who took you out of slavery to the land of your ancestors - and the Shrewd Diplomats - who brought in foreign aid and other vassal states to build a grand coalition.
As part of this you’ll define the Arbiter’s origins - are they an ancient and storied organisation who went underground during the occupation, a cabal that formed to foment revolution, or an ad-hoc coalition of the revolution’s best and brightest that now find themselves enjoying wearing the crown?
So you’ve won freedom. Who are you now? Free From the Yoke has six House playbooks to pick from:
- The Brethren of the Sea Serpent you already know: sea-borne and sea-born explorers, raiders and sailors.
- The Glorious Merchant Republic: A coalition of traders, guilds and messengers, the Republic seeks the kind of freedom where their access to wealth is unfettered. But as they trade they forge links between the settlements of the land, and help bind the nation together. You’re influential, rich in resources, and pervasive.
- The Horselords of the Steppe: No-one could conquer the steppe - not even you. The Empire tried, butchering your herds and installing governors to keep you under control, but you won your freedom. Now your herds ride where you wish - to find new lands, to protect others, to muster for war. You’re mobile, rugged, and opportunistic.
- The Teachers of Ancient Truths: The Land used to be rich in legends, lore, and knowledge. Under the Empire’s rule, they stole the knowledge they could exploit, and destroyed the rest. You’re the ones who were able to cling onto some fragments of that lore, and now shepherd truth, treasures and tales of your nation’s forgotten past. Use them to reveal secrets of the land, apply new teachings, and find new truths. You’re wise, mystical and subtle.
- The Forgers of the Marbled City: Artisans, artists and industrialists, the Forgers found their workers dying in quarries, shipped overseas to fortify the Empire’s bastions, or demeaning their arts to make trinkets for the empire’s elite. Now the Forgers are tempered and strong, a steel heart gilded in the finest filigree. You craft beautiful trinkets, impossible monuments, and storied weapons.
- The Church of the Forgotten Lands: You religion is not native to these lands. Your faith was carried here by the Empire like a seed lodged in a bear’s pelt, but it soon found believers. The old gods of the land may have been outlawed, but they found expression of a sort in your dogma. Now, after generations of tyranny, your faithful find themselves wondering how to balance restoring what used to be, and staying true to the religion their adherents grew up with. In play, you bind communities together, act as a check on the powers of the state and the nobility, and call on adherents in foreign lands.
Every age brings its own challenges and opportunities. These are the ones that set out from your House’s holdings to be the heroes they need.
The Bogatyr (link) is a brave knight, a stout adventurer, and a folk hero.
The Scout is a lone operator skilled at acting far from their House’s resources. They’re skilled at ambushing and reacting quickly to ambush, at turning the tables on their foes, and at spotting threats before they truly manifest.
The Ambassador is expert in navigating the courts of others. They can bind others in a common cause, make friends, sway crowds and turn allies against each other.
The Merchant is connected, savvy and resourceful. When you need something valuable transported safely, a beautiful artwork created, or a powerful asset of your foes bought out, trust to the Merchant.
The Loremaster remembers. They remember the oaths others swore, the folklore of their ancestors, and the power of the land. They probe the edge of the unknown, and access the wisdom of ages.
The Vagabond is a vagrant and traveller. They’re at the bottom of the social pile, but that gives them the perspective to find the true movers and shakers of a community while passing beneath their notice - and helping other outcasts, where they can.