Hell's Rebels - the last hope of Kintargo
The Five Tenets of Revolution
Step 1: Rally and Recruit
Chances are that you are not the only ones ready for a change. Look to groups with potential collective power and no stake in the old ways: the poor, the oppressed, the outcasts, and other free thinkers whose outlooks align with your own. Build your base of support from there, and create a clear, principled, and practical vision of the future based on their demands. Be wary of violent malcontents seeking revenge. While they can help smash the old order, only visionaries will build the new world. You need hearts and minds, not just fists and talons, or all your efforts will prove to be for naught in the end.
Step 2: Secure a Stronghold
Once you have recruited core members and gained the attention of the masses, you must seek a strong and safe place to meet, train, and organize. At the same time, as you begin to capture the popular imagination, you will not escape the notice of power. Discontented individuals and factions close to power may defect, whether out of real enthusiasm for the new society or out of self-preservation. To turn them away out of hand would be to lose valuable governing experience and insights into your enemy's strategy. Instead, integrate them into the movement, keeping clear at all times that they are signing on to your vision, and must cleave to the program.
Step 3: Gather Regional Support
A rebellion lives by spreading its roots, and dies when fenced in. A city requires the support of its hinterland to feed itself. Controlling the countryside will grant you leverage over the landed gentry. And most importantly, the fleets and armies of the empire must first approach your revolutionary strongholds before they can seize them. For all these reasons, an established rebellion must look beyond its city's walls for additional support.
Step 4: Take Back the City
A revolution is always premature. Be open to any opportunity that might tip the balance of power – an upswell of popular anger, a misstep by the regime, or the success of a high-profile mission. But be wary. The regime may try to provoke a rising on its own terms. Take stock of your own resources and abilities. Once a revolution begins, there is no turning back. Know the centers of power in every district of the city, and move to secure them. Power may manifest in barracks, yes. But also in jails, churches, workshops, thoroughfares, or even sewers. Turn these powers to your own ends, by force if necessary. During this time, you will be vulnerable to counterattack. To avoid this, keep the regime on the defensive. Force your enemy to race around mending leaks in their own sinking ship.
Step 5: Build the Future
It is said that no battle plan ever survives an engagement with the enemy. But your vision will have no doubt colored all your actions until now. Now that your enemy is brought low, you will realize it. Keep your promises, and punish treachery. It may be that a good revolutionary does not make a good statesman, and that good statesmen are not good stewards of the revolution. There is danger both in hanging on to power for power's sake and in surrendering it even to those you trust. Encourage the widest possible participation in government – the masses' enthusiasm for your program will be its best insurance.
If we Silver Ravens had understood all these tenets when we began, Kintargo would already be a free city. As of yet, however, that is not the case. Though we have achieved much, I fear we have learned these principles too late. Tonight, we either break the back of Thrune, or die in the attempt.
You who find these notes, take heed. Learn from our successes, and our failures. And may Milani bless your hearts and minds in so doing. Freedom for all! May the thorns of Milani scourge the souls of the oppressors! May the Song of Silver sound in our beloved Kintargo, this time in victorious joy!
Amyreid Juliac, priestess of Milani, Silver Raven.