The Revolutionaries are an underground organization attempting to overthrow the Black King from his hold on the former country of Pemembras. They are primarily centralized in the former capital city, Borrel, although they act throughout the borders of former Pemembras.
Beliefs and Goals
Pemembras has a long history of incompetent, corrupt, and otherwise poor leadership. The Revolutionaries do not want to put another monarch on the throne, and instead are seeking a parliamentary system, where the common people would have powerful say in the government. How exactly this government would run varies on the Revolutionary, but all Revolutionaries agree that it would reduce the power and influence of the merchant class, which has put more monarchs on the throne and more laws into place than any other career.
The Revolutionaries originally rose to notice during the Second Maithan War, when the Black King conquered Pemembras. The original goal was to sabotage both King Tepen Ranco and the Black King enough that they could wrestle control of Pemembras once the two enemies destroyed each other. At the time, this was little more than an opium dream, as the small group did not have the power, money, or arms to overpower either group, even when weakened.
Now, with the Black King in control of Pemembras, they hope to weaken his hold on the country until the Black King is forced to admit defeat. The sheer unpopularity of the Black King has grown their numbers, although the exact size of the Revolutionaries are not known. The Revolutionaries know that they cannot match the Black King’s military power, its wealth, or its influence, so they must remain underground, attacking quickly and silently, through sabotage, bribery, and boycotts. Although a near impossible target, the Black King’s death would quickly lead to the chaos needed for the Revolutionaries to seize control, or so they believe.
The last Pemembras monarch, King Tepen Ranco, spent decades creating laws, tariffs, and taxes that increased the wealth and power of large, multiple-province business and encouraged monopolies like Red Swallow Freight. The tax breaks given to the wealthy missed the common people, who bowed under the weight of heavy taxes and suffered under the lack of regulations. Any word against the government led to the potential for a one-way meeting with the court of justice, controlled by King Tepen’s daughter, Princess Fallow. Tepen was not an unusual case in Pemembras’ history of greedy, power-hungry kings.
The concept of parliamentary government was first whispered about on the caravel ships that had traveled to provinces far away to trade – to provinces ruled by parliaments that were in control of the common people. A form of government where the poorest beggar had a voice and representation. The idea quietly spread, but Tepen’s fondness of the guillotine pushed any talk to cellars, quiet corners, and darkened alleyways.
It was not until the Black King conquered Bevenkras in 770, these whispers began forming into an unnamed desire for a new government. They named themselves the Revolutionaries, as a revolution is not only the overthrowing of a government, but also the introduction of a groundbreaking new idea. As Themble has been primarily ruled by monarchs since the Feylands were created, the concept of a parliamentary government was certainly tradition-breaking.
It was not until the Black King began the Second Maithan War that the Revolutionaries became known publicly. During this time, the Revolutionaries hoped that by weakening both King Tepen and the Black King, the two monarchies would destroy each other, with the Revolutionaries picking up the pieces. For the first time, the Revolutionaries began to act, sabotaging supply trains, interfering with messages, and more, while attempting to minimize loss of Pemembran life. They spread their message across Pemembras, but the people, too involved with attempting to ward off the Black King, barely listened.
After Pemembras surrendered to the Black King, the Revolutionaries, ignored during wartime, suddenly became popular. Only its use of a clandestine cell system kept it from becoming discovered and destroyed by the Black King through this sudden period of growth. Now, six months after the end of the Second Maithan War, the Revolutionaries have become an underground but active force against the Black King in Borrel and throughout Pemembras. With each success, the boldness of their attacks increases.
The Black King had successfully rose to power in 765 by using a clandestine cell system to prevent discovery. The early Revolutionaries copied this method so that no member knew anyone outside of his or her own sub-cell. Not even the top cell has knowledge of all of the sub-cells below it. This is to prevent the entire organization from being wiped out if a mole infiltrates their ranks, or if a member turns traitor. Due to its success, this organizational system continues to this day.
The Revolutionaries are believed to be led by the Seven Stars, a council made of members voted in by the highest cells. However, many believe that this is factually incorrect and is only promoted to throw off the Black King. Who the leader or leaders are remains a mystery, as the Revolutionaries focus on the actions of their members, much like their belief that the people are more important than a single monarch.
The exact number of Revolutionaries is unknown due to the clandestine cell system. However, the membership is thought to number around 3,000-7,000 members, depending on the source. Some believe that the Revolutionaries number less than 1,000, while others suggest over 10,000. A large percentage of former Pemembras citizens support the Revolutionaries, although, again, the exact number is not known.
The Revolutionaries are mostly active in Borrel, which is both their seat of power and the current location of the Black King, who has put the city under military occupation. They primarily act against the Black King by encouraging Pemembran nationalism and sabotaging Maithas in many ways. This varies from destroying supplies; delaying or destroying ships and caravans; intercepting, modifying, and destroying correspondence and intelligence; spreading anti-Maithas propaganda; and encouraging and organizing boycotts, riots, and protests.
Although the Revolutionaries do not yet attack openly or purposefully seek the death of Maithan soldiers, they have progressively grown bolder as their numbers swell. It is of popular Pemembran opinion that if the Revolutionaries began attacking in earnest, that the Black King would take out his fury on the Pemembran people. The other fear is that the Black King would begin to consider the Revolutionaries a larger threat, and treat them as such, meeting violence with violence.
For now, the Revolutionaries keep their actions small but effective, reminding the impatient that small, consistent waves can erode away the tallest cliffs just as effectively, if not more so, than one giant tidal wave.
To become a Revolutionary, one simply needs to ask the right careful questions at the right times. The offer to join is never blunt or an outward statement of invitation. Becoming a member can be simple and easy, but rising up the hierarchy of cells is another matter.
A lower cell is charged with small tasks that appear useless and even bizarre without the knowledge of what the other cells are being organized to do. As one rises among the cells, the missions change from delivering a coded message or stealing sacks to organized arson or destroying a government ship. Only the highest levels are in charge of planning.
To rise among the levels of the Revolutionaries, one must collect sponsors by attracting the attention of those higher up who know of one’s cell. This can be a difficult task, and few rise above the more…expendable ranks.
Popularity (or lack thereof)
The Revolutionaries are growing in popularity in Pemembras, especially in Borrel. However, much of the population, while they agree with the Revolutionaries’ goals, believe that they cannot defeat the Black King and his army. Other believe that the whole concept of the common people being in power is no more than an opium dream and that the Revolutionaries are causing nothing but unwanted trouble.
Maithas and the Black King
Maithas in general considers the Revolutionaries to be nothing but a rebellion soon to be squashed. After all, if the Black King can take down three countries, a little band of arsonists should be nothing.
The Black King is ever cautious and treats the Revolutionaries as a serious threat, since he himself overthrew a monarchy through similar means. However, his government is careful to make sure that they do not appear to be threatened, only annoyed. To consider the Revolutionaries dangerous would be admitting that the Maithan government does not have everything under control like it pretends to.
Croon, Darid, and Farsni
Croon has released no official statement regarding the Revolutionaries, but it is almost certain that Croon has been aiding the Revolutionaries monetarily. It is most likely that if the Revolutionaries were successful in ridding themselves of the Black King, that Croon would swoop in and take over disorganized Pemembras.