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  • Gimme ideas for a setting around Brightwork

    Hi everyone,

    As I'm way too hyped (even for my own good) about the upcoming Exalted:Essence, I started doing a setting in the West north, in the Auspice Archipelagos. My starting information were from the book when it's mentioned that basically there are a group of powerful traders called the Azure Lords that maintain a strong grip upon local Auspiscene, who are very cultivated people because they kept a strong cultural heritage during the Balorian Crusade.

    I decided to use the Setting generator of Worlds Without Numbers to try and see if it was interesting for further uses, and the results (after a bit of interpretation to make them more contextual) are the following :

    Sea Lords of Azure

    Powerful merchants controlling the West


    Demography

    About 100 000 population over 10 000km^2 :
    • 10 000 in Brightwork
    • 10 000 in other cities
    • Rest in agriculture
    Society

    Aesthetic : Chinese Spring and Autumn
    Values

    Esteemed
    • Subtelty and indirectness
    • Purging evil and expelling the wicked
    • Societal superiority over other cultures
    Problematics
    • Raw Strength and personal prowess
    • Ethnic purity
    Social structures
    • Philosophical school of thoughts
    • Merchants conglomerates and groups
    Government

    High-Density government
    Leaders
    • A president elected by local representatives of the Azure Lords
    • Chosen from a ruling class of sorcerers
    Executants
    • A major religion help the government control the people (Probably The Immaculate Order)
    • They crushed the last batch of Auspiscenes rebels
    • The government has good economic control over the lands, and is quite stable
    Problems
    • The prior ruler's destroyed major trade routes
    • The ruler's trying to crush a powerful lord opposing the Azure Lords
    • Local law officials changes the law as they see fit
    • The minister's chief scheme too much against his enemies, which brings division
    • People are cursed since the last Calibration
    Actuality
    • The new president has just been elected
    • The Venerable Office of Architecture, Culture and History was just dismantled
    History

    Origins
    • Refugees from a neighboring island during the Great Contagion
    • The existant natives became an oppressed underclass
    • The nation solidified as they endured the attacks of a Fey Behemoth
    Events
    • Went through a Golden Age after the Balorian Crusade
    • Great Builders made the cities pearl of architectures
    Religion

    Local gods
    • Major god of Chance and Trade
    • Average god who protects family
    • Average god who protects people during Mansoon
    • Minor god of war and fighters


    And it just so happens that I rolled that power is enforced through Religion, which makes the Immaculate Philosophy an excellent fit in the setting. However, this raise multiple questions that I'd like to discuss with other people who are more experienced than me in the Exalted setting :
    • How would you represent and ingrain the Immaculate Order into this society, which is quite far from The Realm ?
    • I planed to install some kind of Peleps colony around in order to represent DB influence and bring some conflict. Would you advise to change this and instead incorporate DB through the Immaculate Philosophy ? I'm afraid if I have 2 poles of Realm influence they might be too redundant thematically
    • Do you have any interesting trivia about the Azure Lords ? I'm still trying to figure what I can do with them, since I guess they are concurrential to the Guild and The Realm
    • I started to watch as an inspiration for Spring and Autumn China, anyone know if this is sort of reliable ? (as a thematic inspiration, not necessarily historical accuracy
    I'll update with a more recent photo, but it that might help for inspiration I did some maps of the setting. Brightwork is on the southwest, and the left-bottom circle represent their circle of influence. On the centre, you can see the rest of the Auspiscene civilisation (notes here but not contextualised yet). I've moved Brightwork from its original location because 1) I didn't know where it was exactly because of maps resolution when zooming, and 2) It fitted more to my needs



    I'll try to update with a better map when I'm back home if people are interested

    (Btw uploading the image from local didn't work, dunno if it's normal or not)

    Btw I'm open for any suggestion even if they don't relate to my explicits questions
    Last edited by Chausse; 04-21-2021, 08:11 AM.


    My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

  • #2
    what an interesting idea

    Comment


    • #3
      Doing a quick update in case it gives people some ideas

      Quick summary : The regional power is held by a state that follows the Azure Lords rulership, and exploit the former force on the islands : The Auspiscenes. My last post covers the nation created and maintained by the Azure Lords, and I've just contextualised how the "resistant" Auspiscene lives in another more-or-less independent nation to the north, pushed back from most sea-access.

      The global informations are here :

      Descendants of the former civilizations that dominated the islands
      Population : 50 000
      • 5000 in capital
      • 5000 in rest
      • 40000 in agriculture
      Society

      Aesthetics : Imperial Rome
      Values

      Esteemed
      • Honor and Integrity
      • Indulgence and pleasure
      • Sacrifice pour le groupe
      Problematics
      • Societal and ethnic superiotity
      • Social progress
      Social hierarchy
      • Educational ties
      • Military services groups
      Governments

      Medium-density Governments
      Leaders
      • Large number of small rulers, who are chosen by gods
      • Who brought great prosperity to the land
      • Government has some allies
      Executants
      • The people are submissive of government
      • The bureaucracy is extremely efficient
      Problems
      • A grand scheme has gone terribly wrong
      • The ministers ignore the current problems of the populace
      • Some masters are spreading doomsday principles through education
      Actuality
      • A major project to restore old broken manses have begun
      History

      Origins
      • People followed an ideology descending from the Shogunate here
      • No people lived here before
      • Survived the Balorian crusade through skillful magic use, however a lot of people became savage wild-mutants
      • Preserved a lot of academical knowledge and structure
      Events
      • After the balorian crusade, the people fell to internal conflict and a malevolent religion divided people
      • Survived a total collapse, through which they emerged thanks to the God-Blooded castes
      • The castes went into a war against one another, but are now mostly peaceful, but still rivals
      Religion

      Structure
      • Veneration of the God-Blooded is part of the secular structure
      • Originated from another Faith's saint turned into a god
      • The clerics are scholars who serve bloodline castes as part of their studies
      Stakes
      • Religion has influence over the important locals
      • They highly disregard merchants and mercantile organizations
      • Prevent the Azure Lords from constructing a temple dedicated to Immaculate Phisolophy
      Gods
      • Major god of agriculture and fertility
      • Average god of travel and roads, favored by the ruling class
      • Average god of fertility who prevent children being kidnapped
      • Minor god of protection of the week about animals
      Malevolent Cult

      Structure
      • Expand the cult from small communities to another
      • Brainwash people (Shinsekai Yori style of mantras)
      • The cult think they hold back a return of the Balorian Crusade
      • They give practical protection against wild-mutations and fey influence
      Problems
      • The cult is divided between competing leaders
      • People who resist are forced into slavery
      • Tried to purified a Wild-Monster that turned against them


      The basic features is that they are people that functions in a God-Blooded caste type of society which are venerated, and it came into power after saving people from the Balorian Crusade. They have a strong cultural heritage of scholars and master/student schools of philosophy that makes for a mostly educated populace. However, they have numerous problems they must face : Internally, the God-Blooded castes are still rivals to one another, and a doomsday religion is rising. Externally, they just clashed with the Azure Lords on the South, they must compete with the Immaculate Philosophy, and are economically weaker than the Azure Lords.

      I have some topics I'd like to discuss however :
      • If they survived the Balorian Crusade, chances are they are in someway descendant from the Shogunate era and its philosophy. However, I don't know a lot about the Shogunate, but I'd like to show influence and heritage of this former structure into their culture. Any suggestions ?
      • I would appreciate putting some Lunar Dominion at work around here, especially since I know that the Shahan-ya Wings of Ivory is installed not so far in Eldaj, which would make an interesting "I've sent some Lunars students deal with what's happening in the region". However, I'm not sure how to proceed from here. I'm hesitating between having the Lunar infiltrated in some high places at the Azure Lords and in the Auspiscene society and doings things from within, or considering they live in a small dominion somewhere else on the island and are representing their own political party to the Azure Lords and The Auspiscene.
      • I've asked some questions about that before, but I think the "Wyld" question would be very thematic in here, however I'd like to see some ideas on how to deal with it : Should there be "wild islands" that corrupt reality ? Just wandering Wyld-Mutants à la "Fallout" doing military stuff ? What would some kind of Fey-lead incursion would look like, and what would be its objectives ?
      Thanks for your time.
      Last edited by Chausse; 04-25-2021, 05:02 PM.


      My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

      Comment


      • #4
        So I discussed with a friend, and we came to some conclusions about my first starting questions considering Brightwork, which were
        • How would you represent and ingrain the Immaculate Order into this society, which is quite far from The Realm ?
        • I planed to install some kind of Peleps colony around in order to represent DB influence and bring some conflict. Would you advise to change this and instead incorporate DB through the Immaculate Philosophy ? I'm afraid if I have 2 poles of Realm influence they might be too redundant thematically
        • Do you have any interesting trivia about the Azure Lords ? I'm still trying to figure what I can do with them, since I guess they are concurrential to the Guild and The Realm
        and we found a cohesive answer.

        Apparently it's canon that Dragon-Blooded are forbidden to take power in the Azure islands. So the Dragon-Blooded and The Realm can't take direct control of the Azure Realms, and instead the Immaculate Order decided to play the long game by gaining power among the local clergy and changing their practices on the long run. Which means that a lot of the religious practices of the Immaculate Order have already permeated the Azure kingdom, but they are not yet recognizing the innate superiority of the Dragon Blooded.

        This goes well with an agressive colonial campaign from the Peleps (that I have yet to detail precisely), but it makes for interesting conflict that Peleps are being very open about their goals and means (having DB take direct control of Azure kingdom), possibly destroying long years of hard work from the Immaculate Order. Ideally, the local Immaculate Monks are from a rival House of the Peleps, like the V'neef, for an explosive cocktail.

        Finally, about the Azure Lords, here is what we came out with (If you know Warcraft and more specifically WoW, they have inspiration from Kul-Tiran sea sorcerers). The basic framework is this. Low level political power is essentially economical, so it's wielded by local merchants and mercantile consortiums, which directs most of the day-to-day activities of the kingdom. In particular, these consortiums and merchants are in charge of choosing ships captains, who play a huge part in the economy. Once a captain has amassed enough influence and experience, he can petition to be tested on different levels, which involves things like economic, political, sea-faring, military, etc ... capacities, and in particular he must pass a sorcery test by learning the Azure Lord's Shaping Ritual, something that is centered around ship magic and such. Finally, once he passed the tests successfully, he becomes an Azure Lord, and gain political and economical independence, and can change the political life of the kingdoms on a high-level. He's no more dependant of the consortiums and merchants that helped him get to power, but he actually need to be in good relationship with them to avoid them electing future Azure Lords that would go counter his interests.

        And that's it. If you have remarks or suggestions, feel free to comment


        My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

        Comment


        • #5
          So I discussed with a friend, and we came to some conclusions about my first starting questions considering Brightwork, which were
          • How would you represent and ingrain the Immaculate Order into this society, which is quite far from The Realm ?
          • I planed to install some kind of Peleps colony around in order to represent DB influence and bring some conflict. Would you advise to change this and instead incorporate DB through the Immaculate Philosophy ? I'm afraid if I have 2 poles of Realm influence they might be too redundant thematically
          • Do you have any interesting trivia about the Azure Lords ? I'm still trying to figure what I can do with them, since I guess they are concurrential to the Guild and The Realm
          and we found a cohesive answer.

          Apparently it's canon that Dragon-Blooded are forbidden to take power in the Azure islands. So the Dragon-Blooded and The Realm can't take direct control of the Azure Realms, and instead the Immaculate Order decided to play the long game by gaining power among the local clergy and changing their practices on the long run. Which means that a lot of the religious practices of the Immaculate Order have already permeated the Azure kingdom, but they are not yet recognizing the innate superiority of the Dragon Blooded.

          This goes well with an agressive colonial campaign from the Peleps (that I have yet to detail precisely), but it makes for interesting conflict that Peleps are being very open about their goals and means (having DB take direct control of Azure kingdom), possibly destroying long years of hard work from the Immaculate Order. Ideally, the local Immaculate Monks are from a rival House of the Peleps, like the V'neef, for an explosive cocktail.

          Finally, about the Azure Lords, here is what we came out with (If you know Warcraft and more specifically WoW, they have inspiration from Kul-Tiran sea sorcerers). The basic framework is this. Low level political power is essentially economical, so it's wielded by local merchants and mercantile consortiums, which directs most of the day-to-day activities of the kingdom. In particular, these consortiums and merchants are in charge of choosing ships captains, who play a huge part in the economy. Once a captain has amassed enough influence and experience, he can petition to be tested on different levels, which involves things like economic, political, sea-faring, military, etc ... capacities, and in particular he must pass a sorcery test by learning the Azure Lord's Shaping Ritual, something that is centered around ship magic and such. Finally, once he passed the tests successfully, he becomes an Azure Lord, and gain political and economical independence, and can change the political life of the kingdoms on a high-level. He's no more dependant of the consortiums and merchants that helped him get to power, but he actually need to be in good relationship with them to avoid them electing future Azure Lords that would go counter his interests.

          And that's it. If you have remarks or suggestions, feel free to comment


          My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chausse View Post
            So I discussed with a friend, and we came to some conclusions about my first starting questions considering Brightwork, which were
            • How would you represent and ingrain the Immaculate Order into this society, which is quite far from The Realm ?
            • I planed to install some kind of Peleps colony around in order to represent DB influence and bring some conflict. Would you advise to change this and instead incorporate DB through the Immaculate Philosophy ? I'm afraid if I have 2 poles of Realm influence they might be too redundant thematically
            • Do you have any interesting trivia about the Azure Lords ? I'm still trying to figure what I can do with them, since I guess they are concurrential to the Guild and The Realm
            and we found a cohesive answer.

            Apparently it's canon that Dragon-Blooded are forbidden to take power in the Azure islands. So the Dragon-Blooded and The Realm can't take direct control of the Azure Realms, and instead the Immaculate Order decided to play the long game by gaining power among the local clergy and changing their practices on the long run. Which means that a lot of the religious practices of the Immaculate Order have already permeated the Azure kingdom, but they are not yet recognizing the innate superiority of the Dragon Blooded.

            This goes well with an agressive colonial campaign from the Peleps (that I have yet to detail precisely), but it makes for interesting conflict that Peleps are being very open about their goals and means (having DB take direct control of Azure kingdom), possibly destroying long years of hard work from the Immaculate Order. Ideally, the local Immaculate Monks are from a rival House of the Peleps, like the V'neef, for an explosive cocktail.
            Considering the Immaculates are, according to your own words, playing a long game and have been doing so since before the Peleps started pushing their presence more directly, i find V'neef that is quite clearly the youngest dynastic house, with a matriarch barely above half a century old, an improbable choice. That said, there could be some important people in V'neef who are actually remnants of much, much older defunct houses, cadet houses from the Threshold or other possibilities. Also creates a scenario where the one behind V'neef's strategy is someone much more experienced than its supposed leader - and directing a policy very much its own from long before joining their side. Shady much?
            Last edited by Baaldam; 08-30-2021, 05:00 PM.

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