The crusade of the Order of Truth against the Lostrei/Spiritlands - Gaians

The Numenera Corebook and the Ninth World Guidebook mention the 'crusade' and 'hunting the Gaian spies'. However, the information about the whole crusade thing are surprisingly thin. Some nobles lend support to the Order, and the spies caugth on Crystalfields are to be executed.
For who long the Crusade has been going on?
Are there active battles fought?
Is there any organized force sent north to battle/conquer Gaians?
Does the Order want to conquer Lostrei or just seal off Steadfast from inflow of Gaians?
What's your thoughts on it?

It's an example of a topic that annoys me - looks like it was left unfinished. If I were to produce a coherent world, I would flesh out at least those siginificant events like... A WAR going on.
I understand that one can argue it's about giving freedom to the GMs to sculpt the world they want, but come on Emotikon wink Going further that road the whole chapter about the Ninth World in Corebook could be shortened to couple of pages of loose ideas


  • The Ninth World Guidebook states that the Gaians are largely ignorant of the Steadfast and the "crusade". This is more suggestive that the Crusade is largely propaganda meant to unite the Steadfast warlords under a single banner (an interpretation suggested in the corebook). There is no actual state of war by the Gaians, but claiming there is a state of war with a people across a largely impenetrable landscape (the Crystal Cloudfields) is useful to the Order of Truth to maintain control over the Steadfast. Since the Steadfast will be unlikely to attempt to march an army across such a lethal environment, there's little risk that the lie will ever be put to the test.

    Of course propaganda lies coming from "The Order of Truth" shines light on their penchant for hypocrisy. Not that they're spreading the anti-Gaian propaganda for horrible reasons, it has (as stated in the corebook) united the Steadfast in to some semblance of allied Nation-states and reduced outright warfare, which in turn means people can focus on economic trade and the prosperity that comes from it. The problem is that it's all built on a lie, and if someone were to reveal the truth in a sufficiently public way it could destabilize the entire region. Keep in mind the corebook has quotes from "Anti-Papists", so there are people who would love to see evidence the Amber Pope is lying through his teeth, regardless of why.

    The NWGB also suggests the tragedy of it is that the Steadfast and the Order of Truth, for all it's war hype and preparations over people who are largely ignorant and apathetic of the Steadfast (Gaians), is potentially under threat from the Vralkans of whom the Steadfast and the Order of Truth is largely ignorant and unprepared for conflict with.
  • I know you guys finished this conversation months ago... but I'm going to chime in anyway. I made the crusade the basis for the current campaign that I'm running. I put a third party into the mix that is manipulating the Gaians and the Papacy to go to war so that when the actual battles are finally over they can take advantage of which country is weakened more. My third party, which are visitants, are interested in Lostrei for their technology, Navarene for the food supply and the Skyfields for the crystals. Which side wins is up to the way the players decide to play, but the visitants could win either way.

    I thought the vagueness of the notations in the Core book on things like this were on purpose so that you as the GM could design your plot around their (MCG's) ideas. More like adventure seeds rather than hard and fast fact. That way you have more control over what is going on in your world rather than relying on what MCG has come up with. I've been avoiding some of the more fleshed out areas on the map just so I could make the whole place more mine. Don't get me wrong, I still use those places and a couple of their adventure ideas, but not as much.
  • I'll throw in my 2 shins as well, 5 months later.

    In my interpretation, the Amber Pope has no intention of ever actually fighting this Crusade. The Gaians are relatively safely walled off behind the Cloudcrystal Skyfields, a convenient barrier for his purposes.

    The Crusade is serving the purpose of diverting armies and aggression toward the northern frontier, rather than within, just as the corebook explained. I don't think there is any intent to march an army across the Skyfields. Rather, they are fortifying Navarene's northern border against Gaian aggression-- aggression that the Amber Pope knows very well will never come.

    I'm not sure how long the Papacy can draw out this bloodless Crusade. At some point, those soldiers sitting in the north are going to need to kill something. It seems like a dangerous play. One would be tempted to call it foolish, but it's possible the Papacy has something major in the offing, and this is just a part of their plan. Maybe more is going on behind the scenes, where the Papacy is outmaneuvering the foolish, warmongering monarchs?

    As an aside, now that we've seen Lostrei and its people: Anyone else think this is a war the Steadfast would lose handily?

    I know we haven't seen too many NPCs from the Steadfast. In theory, that's where some of our PCs would come into the picture, I guess. That said, Lostrei has some seriously heavy hitters. I suspect and serious threat to Lostrei would be met with earth-shattering force.

    If this theoretical invasion ever happened, I think the "enlightened" armies of the Steadfast would march in behind their Aeon Priests, and would be crushed by the near God-like powers of some of the beings of Lostrei. There is some serious knowledge and power to be found in Lostrei.
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