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Constructing the North in 3e

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  • Constructing the North in 3e

    Hey everybody! So I asked a question about the Saltspire League before because I found them pretty intriguing, and then when I started reading about other groups in the Compass Book for the North, I got really intrigued. I saw little ideas that I enjoyed and thought would be decent to port forward into 3rd Edition, but I ran into a few issues that I'll try to lay out:

    First, the Bull of the North. Many of the interesting places that appeared in the book were under the thumb of his little Empire. To my knowledge, the Bull's influence and the extent of his reach has been scaled back in 3e. I found one mention of him in the book that says:

    A change has come across the Icewalkers in recent years. Formerly adversarial tribes have banded together under a Solar warlord known only as the Bull of the North. The Bull’s forces have captured several cities on the White Sea coast with military precision.
    This sounds like a not very detailed summary, but I think I heard Stephen Lea Sheppard describe the Bull's influence as having been reduced in Third Edition, so one of the first big considerations I have on my mind is whether all of these places described as being under the Bull's thrall like the Saltspire League should necessarily still be bending the knee to him. Do you guys have any thoughts on that?

    The next issue is the Haslanti League, who until just now I had COMPLETELY confused them with Halta. Wow. Am I the only one to do this?

    I am pretty sure that they have been scaled back from how they were presented in previous editions, and this does beg the question of how to approach the territory that was previously theirs, and if it still makes sense for them to belong. I noticed Icehome, which was their capital, is still on the map. How to approach them and the size of their territory?

    Lastly, there's the issue of the map. The map changed significantly for the better in 3e, but the change isn't just getting bigger, it's a lot of geography shifting too. How would you place some of the cities of the North in Third Edition that weren't already detailed?

    For comparison, the map from the Compass Books:

    The North

    and the North in Third Edition is this chunk of the map here:

    Third Edition North

    So where would you guys place things? I've actually played with the map enough that I can whip up a rough approximation of where each thing goes as people help, which could be fun for helping others also navigate the North in using old material too.

    To get us started, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Saltspire League, what changes you might make there if any, as well as Cherak and Diamond Hearth. Thoughts about what the Haslanti League looks like too would also be cool!


    Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

  • #2
    Some personal thoughts:

    I'd put Inara probably on that road between Medo and Pneuma on the new map. I need to double-check it though. I might also just discard the references to the Lover in its setup. I think this is because she's written a lot as being the only Deathlord in the entire North at times and where it is, I think it might be better to play up the presence of the Bishop, or make the area kind of where their spheres of influence overlap. So you either get Tear-Eaters or murderous crusader cults about.

    Similar with Fella. Just put it North of Whitewall on that road between it and Gethamane. Even has some of the mountains in its description.

    Haslanti I think I would emphasize is more a trade and military alliance than it is a modern-ish nation state. It's more or less those four main cities (Icehome, Crystal, Tusk and Diamond Hearth) and the main thing connectin ghtem are trade routes and them being the Haslan ethnic group an dlanguage. But there's between any of them probably a lot of settlements not part of the League and I could see it being that each is almost its own territorial entity in the larger thing. Basically break it up in a way that I think previous editions weren't doint.

    I would probably put the Bull in this context too. That gulf between Icehome and Tusk seems like a good spot to put some cities that he's sac'd. I'd make his empire basically be the caost of that gulf down to near Rubylak and just forget him having anything to do out West. The scale of things in 1e were never really canon (no real story where he moved enough to get hthat territory) but 2e went and took every fictional account of him as canon and so he suddenly had empire running from Tusk to Whitewall and if you look at the map, that's absurd for world-building and "put your name here" flexbility in a world.

    I might move Gradafes a bit to the Southwest. I could see it fitting nicely in that area I just noted with the Bull. Or that triangle between Rubylak and Medo. The Lover's base of operations is really far away from everything otherwise unless you wan ther main thing to be distant agents and Tear-Eaters.

    The Kunlun desert in 2e is apparently the entire Northwestern part of that penninsula. I'd probably shrink its range. There's a nice spot of highland West of the central mountains there where there's a road running through. I'd put it, the cities associated with the Bishop and the Hidden Tabernacle all in there. Pack it in, there's plenty of room still.

    I'd maybe make the Deshen states closer together (like that kind of concave area north of Chanos on the coast) and having other non-Deshen satrapies between them. Or make them really close together and just kind of continguous. They're specifically not related with one-another in 2e, but I think that it's still the kind of project that I would think would be in nearby regions. Alternatively, keep them nice and spread out. Just make sure they're not taking too much space, as in all thigns.

    Ratjul and its neighboring islands probably have a lot more to them than cannibals. Ratjul in 2e is apparentlly All Cannibals All the Time. Make them a local issue, but with an island that big, and probably having good land, I'd just chop it up for more new stuff an dhaving the Ratjuls being a local bit of pscyho in the Northern tip. Let them be the local Picts and maybe have it be some big Gaulic or Celtic pre-Roman Britain or something.

    And stuff.


    And stuff.
    Made signature by moderator request. Any actual typing of "And stuff." is out of habitual reflex.

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    • #3
      My North group has been to Icehome in game in 3E. I ran it very close to the description in the Lunar 2E book, but I scaled back the Lunar influence quite a lot. Officially only one Lunar Exalted is currently involved in the Haslanti League in my game (as far as the players know). The Haslanti League's influence on trade is still pretty vast because of their large region of influence, but I've scaled down their influence alot outside of their region of influence, and has explained this through deliberate trade blockades which the Guild has put on them through backing various nations and trade hubs. Their export and import is limited because of that, but the Guild is non-existent in their region. The PCs have struck a deal with the Oligarchs now and opened up one of those trade blockades.


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      • #4
        Since I can't say much better on the subject than what has already been said, I want to point out that the Mela's Fangs region is just as new and different as the Dreaming Sea, but just hasn't received the same amount of love.

        Has anyone done anything cool with the area or have any ideas?

        This is just the fledgling of an idea, but maybe play on the fact that even though the body of water is large, it may have some permanently frozen areas. I'm imaging a city on the ice based around a large first age ship that was frozen in place when the First Age McGuffin that kept the area habitable failed.


        Raksha are my fae-vorite.

        Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
          Since I can't say much better on the subject than what has already been said, I want to point out that the Mela's Fangs region is just as new and different as the Dreaming Sea, but just hasn't received the same amount of love.

          Has anyone done anything cool with the area or have any ideas?

          This is just the fledgling of an idea, but maybe play on the fact that even though the body of water is large, it may have some permanently frozen areas. I'm imaging a city on the ice based around a large first age ship that was frozen in place when the First Age McGuffin that kept the area habitable failed.
          I tend to make the North as a whole less.... well, cold than many others. Less " frozen tundra hellscape" and more "temperate", if on the northern side of temperate.

          For example: In my games, the Blessed Isle is basically Italy, with mildly-cold winters in the north, and subtropical in the south. Therefore, the main Northern penninsula is France/Germany: aka still capable of getting warm or even hot summers, but cold and harsh winters. Further north, the White Sea, is what it would look like if the real-world's North and Baltic Seas had a lovebaby. Fish, whales, seals, etc.

          Ratjul Island? I tossed that (the concept) and replaced it with a combination of Anglo-Saxons, Franks and Norse, with a chewy Celtic Welsh/Scots center. ( I headcanon that a warm current swoops around the main Northern penninsula, meeting a cold current right off this island. This makes for fertile fishing grounds, but also makes for fogs and storms out the ass, aka Great Britain) The "snowy" island to the northeast is where I placed my version of Iceland (real Iceland, with trees and junk, not what it looks like today). Further north, the "Wasting Tundra" on the world map, is a combination of Newfoundland and Greenland. Only when you get into the deep North does hardcore tundra appear.

          In the Northeast, around Mela's Fangs, I've got Sami/Lapplander + Inuit-ish reindeer herders. Further south, when you get into the treeline, you get Abanaki + Ojibwe meet Iron-Age tribal Finns. The East in general is where I put my Native North-American cultures, as well as my Eastern (aka Asian) ones.

          The North is my favorite Direction, and I am kinda sad it is so poorly developed.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
            Since I can't say much better on the subject than what has already been said, I want to point out that the Mela's Fangs region is just as new and different as the Dreaming Sea, but just hasn't received the same amount of love.

            Has anyone done anything cool with the area or have any ideas?

            This is just the fledgling of an idea, but maybe play on the fact that even though the body of water is large, it may have some permanently frozen areas. I'm imaging a city on the ice based around a large first age ship that was frozen in place when the First Age McGuffin that kept the area habitable failed.
            I think that Mela's Fangs are really large lakes, and I like that idea. It reminds me of the cool ships the Kodan have in Guild Wars 2.

            I'm struggling to find a place I really like to try to write it up in Third Edition. Hmm.


            Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
              Further north, the "Wasting Tundra" on the world map, is a combination of Newfoundland and Greenland. Only when you get into the deep North does hardcore tundra appear.
              Indeed, but, uh, "tundra" may not mean what you think it does. Nor the cartographer, more to the point.

              A tundra is a biome of limited tree growth due to cold and such as found in, well indeed, Newfoundland and southern Greenland. There's grass, shrubbery, moss, and lichen, in a tundra, and often large mammals. Cold, certainly, but vegetation which supports herds of mammoth, bison, woolly rhino, is not exactly a frozen waste.

              That's an ice field; different thing.

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              • #8
                I suspect that even in 3rd edition, Haslanti will remain the premier military power of the North. The thing to remember is that as long as it still has its iceships and airships in 3rd edition, Haslanti will have the ability to project force at an area that virtually no other terrestrial nation will be capable of. While the distance between Crystal and Icehome would seem incredible vast for most nations, on a skyship the distance is probably turned into a week. This allows their nation to have much larger borders than one would typically expect from most kingdoms in Creation.

                It's also important to remember that the Haslanti is a league of individual city states with a shared heritage, but those city states have a wide amount of independence (in fact the head of state is just a ceremonial position and he holds no real power or influence). Most of the cities just do their own thing, and when they run into a problem or an issue in which a united front would be more useful, they come together.

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                • #9
                  Another question: Where would you guys situate the Lover and the Bishop in 3rd Edition? It sounds like the Lover is located in the Wasting Tundra, but I have no idea where the Bishop could be.

                  EDIT: Another question, where would you place Karn on the new map? I'm imagining it hasn't joined with the Bull of the North in this edition.

                  EDIT: Quick mockup of where I might place Karn in 3e. It doesn't move much, but I figure that isn't really a big problem. What do you guys think?

                  Karn
                  Last edited by Leetsepeak; 03-13-2017, 01:53 PM.


                  Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

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                  • #10
                    Bishop I have mostly operating in the Near North. The Kunlun region is probably shrunk some (it was pretty big in 2e) but I would put it still on that penninsula between the White Sea and Inner Sea and his influence bieng most of it, the islands out West and maybe all thew ay to Malice Bay. It might go more North into some of the Wating Tundra though. But I see his influence being in more civilized areas where his religion can spread. He has a lot of cities in his area of influence and I see some sects of the Shining Path even acting like a form of Thuggee cultist, as well as full born mercenary units or crusading zealots wandering the area.

                    The Lover I see in the Wasting Tundra and down into the Tears of Mela region. That area East of Malice Bay up thorugh Rubylak is probably either a sphere of influence they overlap or if you don't want too huge of swaths of territory that Deathlords influence, I'd even consider that being a place to put a custom one there. Otherwise it seems like a fun region for crusader cults and Tear-Eaters to butt heads.

                    And stuf.


                    And stuff.
                    Made signature by moderator request. Any actual typing of "And stuff." is out of habitual reflex.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
                      Another question: Where would you guys situate the Lover and the Bishop in 3rd Edition? It sounds like the Lover is located in the Wasting Tundra, but I have no idea where the Bishop could be.
                      Here's 2nd edition's map of the Underworld

                      So going by that, if you look on the Third Edition North map, you'll see the city of Grieve. Notice the cluster of black dots a little to the east? That's about where the Bishop's Hidden Tabernacle was located back in 2nd edition.

                      It may get moved during 3rd edition, or not. If it did get moved, it would probably get moved further east to be a bit closer to Whitewall and Gethemane, to the cluster of black dots east of the mountain range that splits the North in half, straight below the word White of the White Sea. But honestly I suspect the Bishop's citadel will remain in the same location.

                      I would probably move the Lover close to Icehome.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you for those ideas! I think your thoughts on the Bishop's Citadel are sound. The Lover's Writeup in 3e has me thinking she's in the Tundra, but it's a good point that I hadn't considered that the area to the east of Icehome could make a decent spot for things.

                        So something new: Another stab at placing icons, this time for Cherak, and a question about Medo.

                        Third Edition Map Markers

                        Do the Almaj Mountains mentioned in the core likely correspond to the ones near Medo? Are the red markers where those defensive walls would be? I welcome any ideas on how to cover them!


                        Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
                          Do the Almaj Mountains mentioned in the core likely correspond to the ones near Medo?
                          Most likely. They're new features on the map and their placement between the area marked Medo and the Near North matches the text.
                          Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
                          Are the red markers where those defensive walls would be? I welcome any ideas on how to cover them!
                          Well, the walls are described as lying between the Almaj Mountains, but if you're going to build hundreds of miles of limestone wall fitted together with no mortar, you may as well go all out.

                          That would make the middle one the Hasancea​ Wall, placing the ghost-patrolled, fortress city of Karasch on its eastern end.

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                          • #14
                            Slight aside, are the assets you are using to add names and whatnot already posted publicly somewhere else and that is why no one is as impressed as I am?


                            Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                            Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                            • #15

                              ​Aw dang it, my reply got eaten!

                              ​Thanks, MoroseMorgan! Someone else offered rough suggestions on how to do it as well as the font that they used, but I had to tweak those instructions a lot to get the result you see. There's little things about it that bother me, but if it looks good to other people, that makes me feel nice!

                              Originally posted by Greyman View Post
                              Most likely. They're new features on the map and their placement between the area marked Medo and the Near North matches the text.
                              Well, the walls are described as lying between the Almaj Mountains, but if you're going to build hundreds of miles of limestone wall fitted together with no mortar, you may as well go all out.
                              I put the red markers in the gaps I could see in the mountains, though the easternmost one is in the mountains. I just can't see where a third wall would go. I don't want to bug you Eric Minton so if you feel like it isn't worthwhile please disregard, but were you thinking that the third wall is present somewhere that isn't as highly visible?

                              I find the idea of Medo having these large walls absolutely fascinating, because I can imagine it keeps the stuff that Whitewall, Cherak, Pneuma and Gethamane have to deal with in check, in addition to worse things which might be lurking more immediately close to Medo. Maybe there are Fair Folk in that area.

                              It... Does bring to mind some questions though. I wonder how the Saltspire Cities deal with stuff. Maybe all that salt helps deal with the ghosts! I'm laughing but its true.

                              Originally posted by Greyman View Post
                              That would make the middle one the Hasancea​ Wall, placing the ghost-patrolled, fortress city of Karasch on its eastern end.
                              Hell yeah. I fucking love every hint we've gotten about Medo. It sounds so freakin' cool. I wish I didn't have the impulse to avoid actually running anything set there in lieu of more information or ideas on what things are like there.
                              Last edited by Leetsepeak; 03-15-2017, 07:14 PM.


                              Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

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