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Ysyr and the Dragon Blooded

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  • #61
    Regardless of anything else, Exalted 3rd edition's map is honestly one of the absolutely best looking fantasy maps I've ever seen. And I've seen a bunch.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
      Of course, then that raises the question as to why they would move their capital away from the Dreaming Sea out into, essentially, the middle of nowhere in the first place. Perhaps a prophecy? Maybe the ruler had a dream? Maybe the old capital was hit by a plague or other disaster?
      I think one of the most straightforward reasons for a country to shift capitals is because the territory containing the prior capital was conquered.

      ​That's what happened with the Song Dynasty. From a certain perspective, it's what happened with the Roman empire.

      ​I'd say it's a bit fitting for the tone established for the southeast.

      ​My own current narrative for Kathahar's placement is that it was a Realm colony established in the safety of outlying regions of existing southeastern powers that extended its powers through them towards the Dreaming Sea. The original plan would have called for eventual relocation, but by the time Prasad became a major power the Exalted colonists had become entrenched in their new caste system and heretical offshoot that left them very attached to their original city.


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      • #63
        In my last game (the prequel to Jetstream's current game) I decided that the trade passage from Kamthahar down through the South was the only way for tribute to reliably flow back to the Realm. Good ole MHS makes anything else just too damned risky. I then set up a tricky political relationship between the Realm and three DB-ruled city-states along that route. It worked out pretty well overall.

        With that in mind, I can imagine the route was also the original one blazed by the Dynasts who went to the Dreaming Sea. In that case, Kamthahar was founded due to local geography (mines, a lake, etc). It was not intended to be the capital of an empire. That just happened because Exalts will be Exalts.

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        • #64
          Recalling the original question of the thread, I've now got an image in which the more public attitude of Ysyr regarding the Dragon Blooded of Prasad is that they are amongst the venerable and respectable Exalted who have been bestowed dominion over the Earth, while their basis for opposing them is partially rationalized to any buffer kingdoms and vassal cities that they're trying to flip with "but you know, having them sitting on the doorstep of the relatively reasonable Anathema who is lying between us and the more convenient routes to the Inland Sea and Scavenger Lands makes things a lot more difficult for us than they have to be. I mean, good on them and all, fight the good fight, but maybe we could very firmly insist that they have their good fight from a direction that makes it easier for us to establish a deal with Ma-Ha-Suchi up until the time when they inevitably and properly kill him".

          ​Hmm, add that to the priorities for Prasad's expansion; trying to establish territory that leaves Ma-Ha-Suchi's domain more thoroughly surrounded.

          ​Also add that to the conception of what it means for a lot of people to regard the Lunars (and Solars) as Anathema; friendly relations might occasionally be desired, but parsed in a lot of equivocation around whether you would really stoop to consorting with such monsters.


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          • #65
            Okay, this thread in general seems to be laboring under a couple of assumptions (Though I might be misreading or mistaken) that I'm not sure I agree with.

            1: That most large nations have large enclaves of Dragon-Blooded.

            2: That the Immaculate Philosophy is a mainstream religion in regions outside of the Realm's direct control.

            Now, don't get me wrong, there are probably scads of lone DBs and some sworn brotherhoods here and there, but I think any nation that has a bunch of Dragon-Blooded is, by default, a big deal. The Realm is the largest and most obvious, while Lookshy and Prasad are noteworthy, but I feel that most nations are ruled by humans, Sorcerers, God-Blooded and the like, especially if the nation's write-up doesn't mention having a large contingent of Terrestrials.

            As Far as the Immaculate Philosophy goes, I imagine that only Satrapies and client states of the Realm actually follow it, with some altered versions like Prasad's Pure Way here and there. Outside of Realm-dominated ares, I feel that worship of local Gods, Elementals, Fair-Folk and so forth tends to dominate.


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            • #66
              So I dug around in the leak book with the assumption that write-up cuts were due to word count rather than changes to the setting. This
              extracted from Prasad’s client states around the western Dreaming Sea
              talks about how Prasad pays its tribute to the realm. So its influence and control reaches the Dreaming Seas. Champoor is also mentioned as a client state of Prasad.

              For Ysyr Palanquin is said to have been conquered by them a century ago.

              So I have drawn up a rough example of how I view these empires in terms of their control of the territory around them. In this way the distance between their borders, between where they have strong control, is only around 1200 miles.

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              • #67
                I would imagine that Ysyr has less penetration onto the mainland and that it would be focused around Palanquin, likewise for Kamthahar and the coast near Champoor. These are helpful for trying to imagine these, though!


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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                  ​I'm going to assume that "sources of Terrestrial bloodlines" is referring to places where Exaltation might be disproportionately common.
                  I was also thinking of places where Dragon-Blooded ancestry is culturally significant but not reflected by current exaltation rates. Something like the Cynis Denovah family if they were based outside of the Realm rather than a lesser branch of a Great House.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                    You could write it as Kamthahar being a relatively new capital. Prasad had an older capital closer to the Dreaming Sea and just "recently" (within the last century or so) made Kamthahar their capital, a bit reminiscent of Kyoto and Edo. Of course, then that begs the question as to why they would move their capital away from the Dreaming Sea out into, essentially, the middle of nowhere in the first place. Perhaps a prophecy? Maybe the ruler had a dream? Maybe the old capital was hit by a plague or other disaster?
                    One idea: from what I know, in real life history there's been a competing pressure - capital cities serve as military and economic hubs.

                    From many of the capital cities of China initially were not always best placed for an economic hub for the country, or for sea trade access. They were often placed where the military faced off against the boundaries of Inner Asia that Chinese civilization had difficulty expanding into (poorly suited for agriculture).

                    In those places people tended to build the most military capacity, and therefore the dynasties that took over China tended to come to power from there, and tended to keep a military power base there.

                    Then it usually goes to shift towards Beijing as the compromise (ideal position for access to the sea and China against good position for a military capital positioned vs the steppes, then reinforced repeatedly by history).

                    (Some have said the Grand Principality of Moscow is another similar example - geographically peripheral, but with the right conditions to catalyze a military dominance.)

                    (Above based on pretty limited knowledge, so happy to be corrected if wrong).

                    Kamthahar's position on the map actually necessarily doesn't look like such a bad fit for that model, on the borders of land fertile enough that a Blessed Isle like civilization could hold and a place where it might have more difficulty, though I think it seems a bit extremely positioned even still.

                    (This said, I don't know that it necessarily fits with the Dreaming Sea as a whole, if it is like the classical Mediterranean and all the locus of military competition where the big expansionist powers, er... "nucleate" was along the Mediterranean Sea.)

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Zealot_Vedas View Post

                      As Far as the Immaculate Philosophy goes, I imagine that only Satrapies and client states of the Realm actually follow it, with some altered versions like Prasad's Pure Way here and there. Outside of Realm-dominated ares, I feel that worship of local Gods, Elementals, Fair-Folk and so forth tends to dominate.
                      ​I would be inclined to come up with some religions that go a bit beyond simply worshipping gods.

                      At least have some narratives that perpetuate a strong and cohesive sense of why any given god should be worshipped above others.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Volivat View Post
                        So I dug around in the leak book with the assumption that write-up cuts were due to word count rather than changes to the setting. This talks about how Prasad pays its tribute to the realm. So its influence and control reaches the Dreaming Seas. Champoor is also mentioned as a client state of Prasad.

                        For Ysyr Palanquin is said to have been conquered by them a century ago.

                        So I have drawn up a rough example of how I view these empires in terms of their control of the territory around them. In this way the distance between their borders, between where they have strong control, is only around 1200 miles.

                        <snip image>
                        Nice work on that. This raises a couple questions:
                        1. What are Volivat's borders like? If I wanted to make things especially tense, I'd say Ydanna is their client state. I searched the core book and the leak and found nothing on it.
                        2. Just how many competing minor kingdoms and city-states are between the two of them. I could easily see expanding their borders towards each other, but it might be more fun to throw an extra large Hundred Kingdoms-style region in there.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Totentanz View Post

                          Nice work on that. This raises a couple questions:
                          1. What are Volivat's borders like? If I wanted to make things especially tense, I'd say Ydanna is their client state. I searched the core book and the leak and found nothing on it.
                          2. Just how many competing minor kingdoms and city-states are between the two of them. I could easily see expanding their borders towards each other, but it might be more fun to throw an extra large Hundred Kingdoms-style region in there.
                          ... ... ...

                          *more notes*

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                            Nice work on that. This raises a couple questions:
                            1. What are Volivat's borders like? If I wanted to make things especially tense, I'd say Ydanna is their client state. I searched the core book and the leak and found nothing on it.
                            I can't go into any detail about Y'danna, but based on its original writeup from the developers, it is not a political player in the Dreaming Sea.

                            Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                            2. Just how many competing minor kingdoms and city-states are between the two of them. I could easily see expanding their borders towards each other, but it might be more fun to throw an extra large Hundred Kingdoms-style region in there.
                            There are definitely a great number of minor principalities, city-states, peoples and tribes along the shores of the Dreaming Sea. How many are independent of the extant imperial powers, I can't say. But as the region was intended to allow for the addition of lesser powers with imperial ambition, it is best to assume that the borders of the great powers are fragmented and that at any given time there are populations under no one's direct military or political control. This may be due to negotiated neutrality; treaty-based devassalization; ongoing or successful rebellion; or de facto independence due to the withdrawal of overstretched occupying forces.


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                            • #74
                              It's funny; the southeast already invokes some of the history of India, with its numerous kingdoms that go back and forth between being part of empires, its wealth, its measure of isolation, and some of the terminology used in the core.

                              ​But then I considered how, in terms of its geographic layout, it even resembles a kind of inversion of the subcontinent; triangular water with land on both sides of it.

                              ​As a personal example of reaching, I could even see a little parallel between the dangers of the Dreaming Sea and the taboos that Hinduism has about travelling on the open ocean.


                              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                              • #75
                                On a total tangent triggered in my mind on Levi's post: On the aesthetics and feel of the "great powers", I find Prasad brings to mind India. Volivat I find harder to place.

                                While Ys brings to mind, well... Ys, the island of legend.. so I guess so at least in part evokes Jack Vance's Lyonesse, and that whole fusion of decadent, doomed Sword and Sorcery sensibilities with Arthurian, Celtic and the European High Middle Ages, somehow sitting along with the more psychadelic feel of the Dreaming Sea. This, is a reference I'm almost certain the authors do not intend to be descriptive- because of the general dynamics of the Southeast in particular, and Creation in general - but, there's that name (which just feels like it surely has to somehow be a reference to the Ys of myth?).

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