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  • Autochthonia House-Material

    So, this was a thread I started on the old forum a while ago to share my own expansions to the Realm of Brass and Shadow as a setting beyond what is in its fantastic Compass. I put it on the back burner when the 3rd Edition Kickstarter dropped because at the time we all thought the new edition was right around the corner. I want to pick it up again. Comments, ideas, and constructive criticism VERY WELCOME.

    First the return of some of my earlier material....

    General Topography:

    The body of the Great Maker is a vast alien environment, and like all Primordials, a cosmic frame of reference unto itself. It does not adhere to some external "down" outside the outer wall of the Pole of Smoke. Many of the machine organs are gravitational bodies unto themselves, things upon and within them falling toward their center, or some other internal point or surface as demanded by function. Conduits running through the maker's body may serve as 360 degree planes of gravity around its outer, or in some cases inner, surfaces - while in other cases Conductors have discovered that gravity within the conduits pulls "down" toward the destination of the transmitted substance within. The floors of hallways and chambers may serve as planes of gravity sometimes perpendicular to one another - as is also common with the surfaces of the vast gears slow turning each other through the Maker's body. By design, the Pole of Smoke universally falls outward so as to act as a basin collecting waste from above, while in the Pole of Oil, all falls away from the outer wall, so as to better draw oils into the Pole of Metal below. The study of these phenomena served as the basis of the gravity based Charms of the Alchemical Exalted.

    While Autochthon sleeps, his body counts as terrain for the purpose of Shaping effects. This makes areas more vulnerable, but the whole more secure (as he can't be targeted as a singular entity). Any Charm with the Blasphemy Keyword, as well as any Third Tier Sorcery or Necromancy is guaranteed to elicit an immune response from his systems. Lesser effects tend not do so, but theoretically could trigger an automatic response if the system they are targeting is very important.

    Despite how alien these features (in addition to everything described in the Compass) would be to people from Creation (or our world for that matter) - it is important to stress that unlike the worldforms of certain other Primordials (Malfeas for example), Autochthonia adheres to the understood three spatial directions. There are a few areas where they bend perhaps (chambers larger within than should be possible based on their outer scale - as applies to the worldform as a whole when he is in the external reference frame of a place like Creation; as well as "Sanctum space" of places like the Poles of Lightning and Steam, which operate not unlike Yu Shan in Creation, being semi-omnipresent Sanctums that interface with the other space through specific gate conduits), but at no point do concentric spheres have outer borders all being surrounded by the same location, or any maddening nonsense like that.

    The sanctum-organs of the Divine Ministers are anomalies that fall into the aforementioned category of bended space. Like many Third Circle Deva, the Divine Ministers co-exist not just as humanoid aspects, but as far greater spirit forms/locals as well. To one who is not a studied savant in such matters, these can be thought of simply as their Sanctums, and they do serve the purpose of great divine immaterial citadels. They are more than that though. Each one is as much the Divine Minister in question as their more human-scale manifestation - just as Ligier is both the Green Sun and the four armed smith. In addition, each one is a machine organ and part of the Great Maker's systems, just as the dual-state organs of his worldform jouten, and the purely material parts he has incorporated. Where they bend the normal rules of space within the Maker, is that just as the five offices of the Bureau of Destiny co-exist across Yu Shan AND surrounding the Loom of Fate through its weaving of reality - so to do the citadels of the Divine Minister co-exist throughout his Poles AND surrounding the Godhead (on the most outer reaches of the great torus chamber) by grace of the Design.

    Runel: The Cloud Gardens. Located in the Pole of Steam, these pristine bodies of cool clouds amongst the pole's boiling torrents serve as a small utopian refuge for lifeforms beloved of Runel - Autochthon's Compassion. Even a small community of humans have been blessed as cloud walkers to live here and tend Runel's gardens. A strange people untouched by the outside world for millennia, they are utterly ignorant of the concepts of violence or sufferings.

    Kek'Tungsssha: The Birthing Forge. A massive factory cathedral sanctum in the Pole of Metal near the floor of the Pole of Oil (no where near Loran). Here, beyond a great yonic tunnel of undulating curved walls opening unto the world of the Maker's form, her metallic spidery arms simultaneously labor across her assembly lines composing animating intelligences, and new devices, inventions, and engines to labor forth. Upon the great anvil and bed of love at the Forge's center, Kek'Tungsssha labors endlessly toward her greatest masterpiece - the conception of a Progenitor Subroutine.

    Debok Moom: The Sixfold Battlements Array. The six military structured expanses, square in boundary, are located at strategic locations through the Pole of Metal, far from the Eight Nations. Simultaneously they coexist together in the Core's torus chamber, all touching and forming a heavily armed cube. Composed of all five magical materials, they are dominated by towers of black jade arrayed over criss-crossed channels of molten iron and red jade. It is from this base/these bases that Debok Moom oversees the construction, programming, testing, and deployment of Destroyers and other weaponized exmachina.

    Noi: The Opalescent Dhow Capricious. Noi's ship shifts and shimmers with every turn. In theory it sails the Pole of Oil, but in truth it is prone to wander, and can be found nearly anywhere in the Realm of Brass and Shadow where oil flows. It is thus the most likely to come in proximity of the Eight Nations.

    Mog: The Hall of 10,000 Copper Thunders. The great Court of Mog is accessed through the space between electric bolts within the Pole of Lightning. It is an imposing rumbling palace of copper edges where Mog holds court on a daily basis, often with relevant Subroutines in attendance. Evidence of events and the behavior of exmachina, elementals, custodians, Alchemicals, and mortals are presented - usually by Espinoquae - to Mog as a trial, usually in abstentia, where the Divine Minister can pass often belayed judgment for his great record, encoded electromagnetically on every edge of his sharp copper citadel. In addition to a host of lesser machine spirits acting as couriers, magnetic scribes, and general attendants, great metal aurochs serve as guards throughout the Hall, while a fleet of lightning locusts sit in wait for Mog's command to fly and dispense his harshest judgments.

    Kadmek: The Lattice Gate. Located within the outer-most wall of the Pole of Crystal, Kadmek's sanctum serves as both defensive castle and a luminous pearl doorway between the Poles of Metal and Crystal for those for whom Kadmek has opened its doors - or for those able to force access to the immaterial (though as said, it is well defended). It is the only sanctum that stands regularly open to the passage of the Operatives (though the crystaline staircase that leads to the exit facing the Core is not - save with Kadmek's explicit permission)

    Domadamod: The Heap. A mountain of spiritual refuse overlooking a great valley in the Pole of Smoke, indistinguishable from Domadamod's smaller form, save by scale. The Heap continuously melts under the acid rain of the Pole, while growing as new refuse ever-falls. It is not Domadamod's nature to be unharmed or unshaped by outside forces, but rather all wounds and shaping fall away as its husk is ever shed and ever grows. Countless abandoned secrets and forgotten history may lurk buried in the Heap.

    Ku: The Far Tower. Hanging suspended in the sky of the Pole of Smoke, over the curve of its outer most edge, this menacing framework of Soulsteel spikes overlooks some of the most blight heavy zones of Autochthonia. Oberashti, the Lesser Elemental Dragon of Smoke and Shogun of Genocide coils around this watchtower's base in silent wait.



    Currently, as of the start of 4878 DA, the Eight Nations are arranged as follows.

    Claslat, Jarish, and Estasia all directly connect to each other via their tramlines. In addition, Estasia connects to Kamak, and is extorting exorbitant tariffs on trade between it and the other two nations.

    Yugash of course drifted out of direct connection with any of the other nations at the end of the Element War and has yet to rejoin any. With their resource shortage, this makes Project Razor all the more dire.

    Sova, Gulak, and Nurad all connect to each other, though the tramlines between Nurad and Gulak will be falling soon. Since sending refugees to Gulak is far more appealing than sending them to Sova (whose tramlines to Nurad will only last a year or so longer than Gulak & Nurad's), the question of emigration has being rushed by the Tripartite.


    Tidbits:

    The Salinan Working, having occurred after Autochthon erected the Seal that metaphysically separated him utterly from Creation's causal continuity, does not extend to Autochthonia. The only path to Sorcery or Necromancy that exists in the Realm of Brass and Shadow is Autochthon's metastasized Sorcery Initiation, accessed by Alchemicals through the Weave-Shredding Paradox Engine. Should the Seal be breached, this will cease to be the case, and just as mortals will be able to Celestial Exalt at that point, so to will one be able to learn Sorcery from cosmic essence patterns.

    Autochthon departed Creation during the Calibration that marked the END of 121 OEG. Thus what in Creation was marked as 122 OEG, was marked in Autochthon as 0 DA. 4878 DA (RY 768) is 5000 OEG, meaning the COMING Calibration is the 5000th anniversary of the imprisonment of the Primordials.

    (to preface what's about to follow, I don't use the idea that Creation has 25 hour days. It's silly, and unlike in Autochthonia [where the work shifts are based on that premise] it adds nothing to the setting except being something you shouldn't think about because it further distorts relative age. Creation has 24 hour days. That being the case...)

    The Autochthonian year is made up of 408 25-hour days. It has no uniform concept of seasons, months, or Calibration. The passage of the year is marked via decimal progression - so a quarter of the way through the second year in Autochthonia would have been 1.25 DA. This year is the exact same length as Creation's 425 24-hour days. Before the Conclave, each Nation had its own calendar and different ways of measuring years/cycles/ages/whatever. It was Claslat's that was standardized, theirs being based on the giant gear upon which Harmegis sits (see Claslat's further details write-up), which has 408 teeth, each of which takes 25 hours to click past, and thus making one full rotation each year.


    When any Autochthonian (save Autochthon himself, his Divine Ministers, their Subroutines, or Drones) enters Creation, they are initially Outside Fate, but by causing effects upon those Creation natives inside Fate or Creation itself, the Loom starts to pick up their presence and calibrate for them, making it possible to read them in the Loom, and even tag them with astrology effects. This can take months, or only days via a large enough disruption of fate. Being targeted by any Sidereal Charm will automatically smack them with the Loom's recognition. Until that point though they cannot be read through the Loom, divination, nor can they be astrology tagged.

    (I considered for simplicity's sake just ruling "since they aren't primordials or part of their soul-structure, they enter Fate as normal when they enter Creation", but this grey-zone better facilitates the Locust Crusade or Grass-Hopper Diplomacy being a surprise/secret, which has more plot hooks)



    Coming up (assuming people are interested)

    - Expanded info on the Eight Nations, Loran, & Xexas

    - A complete revision of Autochthon's spirit hierarchy, with a ton of spirits (no stats as of yet, but names, purviews, concepts, hooks, etc)

    - The Five Theopoli

    - Erlik, the Apostopolis

    - Other "lost colonies" (Loran and Xexas are the most remarkably far afield, but they are not the only time in history Kadmek has sent an Alchemical out into the Reaches to plant themselves as a city)
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 07-11-2014, 11:01 PM.


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  • #2
    Theopoli seem pretty interesting to me! Also the Apostopolis.

    All in all, good stuff.

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    • #3
      Aren't apostate cities known as Necropoli? Also, yes Theopoli.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
        Aren't apostate cities known as Necropoli? Also, yes Theopoli.

        There's only one canonical apostate city - and its more described as something that works like the Technodrome, with drilling tendrils that keep it mobile as it rips through the maker's world body.


        that said: I liked this write-up. I might use some of it at some point


        Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

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        • #5
          I am always up for more info on Xexas.


          Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
            Aren't apostate cities known as Necropoli? Also, yes Theopoli.

            No, I think you're thinking of Ixut (i.e. a "dead city" in which an Alchemical's ghost is still trapped). Perygra might also be considered a Necropolis, though I suppose it's possibly still alive were someone to unfreeze it from the crystal.


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            • #7
              Ok, by popular demand next is Theopoli, but first I need to give at least a small preamble on the changes I'm making to Autochthon's soul structure, as Ministerial Subroutines will be a big deal in that section.

              I have no problem with the idea that Autochthon has modified his soul structure in ways different from other Primordials (ways they find horrifying and gross) - but my problem with canon is that it seems to only serve the purpose of making Autochthonia more like Creation's pseudo-animism. Autochthonia is more interesting in how it differs from Creation, more so than from other Primordials, so that being the case, here's a very basic overview.

              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Autochthon has experimented endlessly with his soul structure, replacing second circle devas over and over, and unthinkably forging his own Fetich into an Material Intelligent Artifact, in a desperate attempt to redefine his nature and escape his illness. It failed. In fact, targeting his original fetich, the very embodiment of his dying nature, served only to cause his illness to metastasize the disease through his soul-structure, resulting in the first occurrences of Gremlin Syndrome amongst his least deva.

              The Shadow War between the Divine Ministers and the excision of Subroutines infected with Gremlin Syndrome has served to cause their number to be replaced substantially over and over since Autochthon has left. These replacements serve to reflect Autochthonia as it exists presently more and more so. Few of the Ministerial Subroutines worshipped by the Jadeborn still exist, and they would find Autochthon's Deva beneath the Divine Ministers largely unrecognizable upon his return.

              First Circle Exmachina: The vast majority of the various designs of machine spirits found throughout Autochthonia, from simple Dwaries to the Design Weavers and Fix Beetles, to the ruthless Destroyers, they are overwhelmingly physical mechanoids (see: Abstract Body Chrystalization). Biomechanoids are not a distinct concept from other First Circle Exmachina - as anyone familiar with the Demon Realm knows, Deva/Demons of the First Circle are born any multitude of different ways, and being "built" is not measurably different from being "born", emerging from forge refuse, being "shed", sung into existence, urinated forth, spilled in the blood shed by the Second Circle Demon's enemies, or whatever. Essence 1-5

              Second Circle Exmachina: The Ministerial Subroutines, as many as 63 exist at any given time, not counting surviving excised Gremlins. Essence 6-8

              Third Circle Exmachina: The Divine Ministers and the Core, Essence 9-10

              Custodians: This is Autochthon's primary addition to his soul structure. From the perspective of other Primordials, they are unsightly artificial life-support systems strapped onto Autochthon's dying body. They essentially operate as First Circle Exmachina, except with higher essence levels, vast automatons defending and operating various systems and mechanical-organs throughout the Reaches of Autochthon's sleeping form. While First Circle Exmachina are built by the Ministerial Subroutines; Custodians are built by the Divine Ministers, hence their greater essence level, despite being tangential to the soul-structure proper, ala First Circle Deva.

              Obviously in addition to these, Autochthon is filled with Elementals of all essence levels, as well as mechanical Behemoths built by the Maker himself. The Viator of the Nullspace is one such Behemoth - crafted by Autochthon in the Time of Glories as a failed attempt at chemotherapy, that proved too potent and deadly to his system as a whole.

              The vast majority of Gremlins are infected First Circle Exmachina, Elementals, and Custodians (note that while Custodians overwhelmingly are limited to think as automatons, many develop individual 'personalities' and personas [madnesses] under the effects of Dissonance). However Ministerial Subroutines have succumb before. The threat of the infection spreading through the soul-structure proper is so great at this point, that the Divine Minister will excise their Subroutine even before they can necessarily be destroyed by Adamant Caste Operatives, which can allow the (former?) Deva to exist as an independent entity. The Divine Minister is weakened by this until they can forge a replacement Subroutine, which can take years.


              Oh! Drones aren't simple cases of possession. Possession by Exmachina happens (usually a viscerally physical process of a mechanoid implanting itself in a subjects' body, quite common amongst Tunnel-Folk in the Reaches), but that's not what true Drones are. Drones are the equivalent of Akuma. They have received the Investiture of Axiomatic Clarity from a Divine Minister, and are enhanced accordingly with a "Program" to drive them (same as an "Urge"). As with the Akuma the Yozi make from mortals, they may only be Invested with Spirit Charms, not Primordial Charms (house-rule-clarification). The Drone powers in the book count as Spirit-Charms for this purpose. The Divine Ministers do not bargain with mortals like Demons do, granting some personal Urge to be fulfilled before being used from Hell's purposes, rather becoming a Drone is an act of utter faithful submission to a "higher" cause. This sacrifice of the self, while noble from some philosophical perspectives, is the opposite of the heroism that drives Exaltation, and thus will erase any built up heroic potential for a soul to power an Alchemical Exaltation. A Drone's prayers can generate no essence. Upon death, a Drone will always have her now purged-of-past-potential P'o fed to Autochthon, while her Hun, an Axiomatic ghost, continues to serve her Divine Minister in her Citadel.
              Last edited by glamourweaver; 07-28-2014, 12:11 AM.


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              • #8
                Owww dude you are a great crazy writer. When I have time gonna read all of this!

                I´ve draw months ago a simple Autochthonia Pantheon that maybe will help visualize your Theopoli.

                http://efq.deviantart.com/art/Autoch...heon-442734323

                Keep writing man, never stop =)


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                - 5 Magic Materials BeamKlaves and Gyroscopic Chakrans ? OK
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                • #9
                  Awesome, thank you!

                  It looks like we're more or less in agreement on the spiritual hierarchy of Autochthonia - may main divergence from canon is to still treat the Ministerial Subroutines as "normal" Second Circle Deva instead of pseudo-animistic lesser gods like in Creation; and have the Custodians be the more plentiful adjuncts to the Soul-Hierarchy.

                  On Elementals, I lean more toward what is implied by CoCD: Autochthonia than what's in the questionable chapter of the MoEP. Elementals rise up "naturally" in Autochthonia and play their role in the ecosystem's balance of elemental essence. The Divine Ministers ALSO actively create many of their own, via the super-elemental Behemoths, or bend existent ones to their purposes, but that is not their universal default state.


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                  • #10
                    Ok, here's the first (and since it does the introduction, probably longest) of the Theopoli posts....
                    ------------------------------------------
                    Suspended in the firmament of the Pole of Crystal, five Adamant Theopoli stand vigil over the lonely efforts of the hidden Caste against the decay of the Maker. In the spires of these gleaming citadels the Apocryphal Ones are born and receive the commandments of the Divine Ministers in their rotating communion shifts. In stark contrast with the clangor of industry and manual labor of the cities of the Octet – even the loudest of the Theopoli is comparatively serene, filled only with the hum of the maintenance hosts of lesser machine spirits, and the ritual devotions of the hundred or so anointed mortal demiurges called to attend each city. Where the metropoli of the Pole of Metal rely first and foremost on human labor to carry out their functions in the life-processes of Autochthon, the Theopoli primarily turn to the channeling of faith.

                    The oldest of the Theopoli ascended in the wake of Thutot and Kadar brining about the birth of Metropolitan Era. This evolution of Alchemicals had been part of Autochthon’s intent when he touched the minds of the first Demiurges before cycling into slumber, he was determined not to repeat the mistake of Creation’s Exalted who broke beyond his original design into powers he never imagined, and carefully constructed the entire arc of Alchemical evolution (or thought he had at least). For the Divine Ministers to manage this step though, they would need parallel resources for their own Operatives. Forsaking any hope of walking amongst the Octet again was not an easy sacrifice for the eldest and greatest of the Adamant Caste – it was only the hope of direct communion with the mind of the Maker by rooting themselves in the very folds of his crystalline brain that gave Infinite Facets Observer and her once disciple Emergent Bane of Negation hope that the isolation wouldn't drive them utterly mad. And out of faithful devotion to the commands of their Ministers, the colossi forsook all human contact and isolated themselves in ascetic meditation upon their Clarity at opposing points of the Pole of Crystal.

                    All things in the Pole of Crystal fall away from the Core, for the Godhead by its nature is the highest point. Thus Iceto and Embn situated themselves at opposing nadirs of the spherical Pole, in iridescent neural crevices, like the folds of a human brain, both with the Core high overhead through miles of inlaid labyrinthine crystal spheres, all turning within each other, creating new neural pathways and patterns everyday without any actual crevice having to itself change.

                    Iceto, Truth's Basilica is situated in the part of the Maker’s brain that processes personal relationships. Specifically his powerful Intimacies to humanity and Autochthonian society surge as electric bolts between the walls of the surrounding cavern, and dream images of human society refract across the coruscating crystal. The region is particularly populated by the nomadic tribes of Glass Walkers, who find the Custodians here particularly tolerant of humans who do not disturbing the crystal pathways. For millennia they have survived off the excess ambrosia that collects like dew on the sharp edges of protruding geodes, the prayers of the Octet that weren’t quite metabolized by the Maker himself. While the workings of Iceto now consume a good portion of said ambrosia, it does so with great efficiency, as processing faith into energy and resources is part of the function of a Theopolis, so now the Glass Walkers engage in trade with the acolyte-attendants of the Adamant citadel. They are given food and water processed from the ambrosia workings of the citadel, and in return they collect other resources from other reaches of the crystalline realm, such as patches of the other Magical Materials, found in fallen nerves, or the rare conduit veins that enter from the Pole of Metal, behind selectively permeable membranes.

                    Iceto itself is the largest theopolis in sheer square milage, spanning outward from a central pyramid to fourteen crystal spires that hum with the true names of the Ministerial Subroutines of Mog and Kadmek. The city as a whole is luminous, and its most dominant sound are the echoing hosannas of the acolyte-attendants that call it home. The music of their song and the blazing glory of the city is enough that one would easily be forgiven missing the fact that the fourteen spires are unevenly spaced, and sheer walls and worn geodes mark where water once flowed under the watch of empty luminous balconies that once bore hanging gardens. For long ago Runel’s tabernacle joined Kadmek and Mog’s atop the central pyramid, and this city was open to the well water of the Pole of Steam. Now its water supply comes solely from the processed ambrosia, shaped by the echoing song of the acolytes through Municipal Charms. Under the shared watch of Runel, this city was dedicated to peace and order through Autochthonia, and Kadmek and Mog would insist it still is – but the means to that end was beyond what Autochthon’s manifest compassion could be a party to. When the Operatives took part under Mog’s command, with the help of Debok Moom, in shaping a massive bloody international war to bring about the Grand Conclave and its united doctrine, Runel closed the wellspring and had the colossus Theologic Issuer carry her tabernacle from the city on his back.

                    Even with the loss of Runel’s blessing though, Iceto is still dedicated to the same mission that Infinite Facets Observer was first charged with at the dawn of the second century – to monitor and influence mortal society in accordance with the doctrine of Autochthon and the Divine Ministers. Specifically, to maintain the ordained social order and undermine any attempt by Alchemical Exalted to rule humanity directly. Espinoque collaborates with Mog’s Adamant agents to provide visual intel, holograms and projections that rise on command from the refracted light of the city. Somariot helps plan how to influence the Octet and the direction they must take. Like all Alchemical Caste Advocates, Du and Doizzretz take a particular interest in the duties of the Operatives, though as the Operatives own Advocate Du’s counsel and aide tends to be, by his nature far more introspective than mission oriented. And only a complete fool would blindly trust Doizzretz, the Ministerial Subroutine for Hypocrisy, Unrighteous Necessity, and Secret Societies (see forthcoming post on Ministerial Subroutines).

                    Perhaps one of the greatest boons of the rise of the Theopoli (in addition to the far more efficient vat complexes and the municipal refinement of ambrosia) are the portal gates. Once Iceto housed two such Charms, but Runel rendered the wellspring inoperable with her departure. But at the city’s central square, a long stretch before the pyramid where the vats are housed and the tabernacles rest atop, a pulsating nerve cluster provides electric power that flows throughout the crystal city, filling it with light. By design, this power source is also a Municipal portal through the Pole of Lightning by which portal jumping Operatives can follow reliable paths to the nations of the Octet, and elsewhere in Autochthonia. More importantly, the portal is only open for the reentrance of those who departed through it. The year or more long treck between the Octet and the Pole of Crystal (even knowing the right path, which of course no human soul but the Operatives and those Demiurges called upon do) passing through Kadmek’s Lattice Gate still happen on occasion, but the security of the lightning portal system is a massive boon to the Apocryphal Ones pursuing immediate missions.


                    Next: The Theopolis of Embn, the seats of the Tabernacles of Ku and Debok Moom
                    Last edited by glamourweaver; 09-30-2015, 02:07 AM.


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                    • #11
                      Edited to give Iceto a sobriquet like many other cities. The Theopolis dedicated to Kadmek and Mog is "Truth's Basilica".

                      Finishing up Embn to post soon. I hope people are still interested.

                      Once I finish with the Theopoli, I'll move to the Ministerial Subroutines (several of whom you may notice are making cameos here, particularly the "Advocates" of the Alchemical Castes who take a special interest in the duties of the Adamant Caste with regard to their unknowing brethren), and then to Erlik, the City of 10,000 Blasphemies.


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                      • #12
                        It is impossible for me to imagine Autocthonia as anything other than 1% cities and 99% subway tunnels and Blame background shots. Would it be possible to invest some time into making the "wilderness" come across as a little less bleak and monotonous?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HK-87 View Post
                          It is impossible for me to imagine Autocthonia as anything other than 1% cities and 99% subway tunnels and Blame background shots. Would it be possible to invest some time into making the "wilderness" come across as a little less bleak and monotonous?

                          Definitely. I find it helpful to think of the "wilderness" between the Autochtonian nations, and between them and the Poles, as effectively an extended dungeon crawl, with all the diversity of "traps", puzzles, and hazards, and labyrinthine exploration that implies (especially with the diverse gravity I mentioned in my first post). There's at least one of the Ministerial Subroutines who takes a particular interest in this facet of the Reaches. I can also touch on the cultures and unique environments of some different Tunnel Folk tribes. You've also got Sanctum of various Subroutines (and the Divine Ministers, see first post), unique mechanical Behemoths and Custodians that are part of the environment, ruins of some fallen Alchemical colony cities (with associated Tunnel Folk tribes), etc.
                          Last edited by glamourweaver; 04-12-2017, 06:47 PM.


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                          • #14
                            Small correction to a pronoun usage - Infinite Facets Observer was female - though Iceto has abandoned gender-identity.


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                            • #15
                              Embn, the Vihara of Holy Terror has long been as dedicated to conflict as Iceto has been to order. Located at the opposing nadir of the Pole of Crystal, it rests in a more primal center of Autochthon’s brain. His base fears and hungers lurk in shadows cast by the eerie lighting of the iridescent crystals here, briefly glimpsed in flashes of thought lightning. Standing watch though is the indigo crystal pagoda of Embn, each tier a platform stocked with war machines. And from the summit, the tabernacles of Ku and Debok Moom issue their commands waging the Adamant Caste’s continuous war against the Gremlin hordes.

                              Emergent Bane of Negation was one of the first Adamant Alchemicals, his soul one of those handpicked from amongst the most faithful and devout mortals Infinite Facets Observer encountered in her duties. There were five in that first Assembly, each dedicated to the service of one of the Divine Minister patrons of the other five castes, as Infinite Facets Observer served Kadmek. Emergent Bane of Negation served Ku as Autochthonia’s first Alchemical Gremlin hunter. Common Exmachina, Elementals, Ministerial Subroutines, and even those Custodians capable of fear, would cower in terror before the Emergent Bane’s approach and interrogation. His ire was not limited to those who had fully succumb to Gremlin Syndrome, for no one was better attuned than he to uproot its seeds. When his sister, Blazing Bloodied Blade, servant of Debok Moom, fell in battle to the swarms of one of the first major expanding Blight Zones, about 700-800 years DA, his duties expanded to encompass not only those of hunting inquisitor, but commanding general against the Gremlin host. Having been quite close with his sister (as they had long served side by side to locate and destroy Gremlin threats, even when the other members of that first Assembly assumed more and more separate duties), he grew only darker and more terrifying with her loss, the Colossus’s Clarity allowed to fully dominate him in the absence of personal Intimacy of any kind. This may contribute why it was him, out of the three survivors of that batch of five, who was chosen along with firstborn Infinite Facets Observer to root himself in the Pole of Crystal and ascend to cityhood.

                              Devoted to Ku and adopted in service over many of Debok Moom’s forces, Emergent Bane had no strong ties to Noi, nor any particular like for the Divine Minister of Innovation and Rebellion. The trickster god however won himself a place alongside Ku and Debok Moom in the theopolis by the reveal of its future location. Buried deep in the Maker’s hindbrain, a cluster of conduits, bound together like a human spinal cord, extend deeper into the Pole of Crystal than any other conduits from the Pole of Metal. As the undisputed Lord of all places where oil flows, it was Noi’s domain to bequeath. These conduits serve not only to provide fuel and magical materials to the city, and remove its industrial waste, but also provide a dangerous, but fast road to many locals throughout the Far Reaches of Autochthonia for the city’s Alchemicals and war machines. While Embn does work ambrosia, it has far less to work with than Iceto, which is placed in the Pole to collect those prayers from the Octet directed to the Maker and the Ministers as a whole. Embn has only the portion of ambrosia its patron Ministers tithe it from their share – so the resources brought by conduit could not be more important!

                              For the first millennium of Embn’s history as a city it and its inhabitants concerned themselves with all forms of conflict throughout Autochthonia – Noi, Debok Moom, and Ku standing in contrast with peaceful orderly ambitions of Runel, Kadmek, and Mog in Iceto. It was the alliance between Mog and Debok Moom to craft the conflict and the Grand Conclave that would end up shifting the nature of Embn as much as it did Iceto. While Runel’s Tabernacle was being removed from Iceto, the new presence of Mog’s devotees so close with Debok Moom’s in Embn assured a certain level of discomfort for those devoted to Noi and to the trickster god himself. Never as firmly ingrained into the often militant tiered hierarchy of Embn as the other two Divine Ministers, Noi’s role was always that of capricious visitor, and with increasing influence of his most sworn enemy Mog (the Maker’s force of law, order, and resistance to change!) it was not a good time to be an agent of instability and rebellion in the Vihara of Holy Terror. And as always, agents of instability and rebellion responded to hierarchical oppression with chaos and sabotage. The genius colossus Mysterious Phantom Symmetry was the mastermind who assured that every “accident” served to actually remove inefficiency and make surprising revelations rather than purely destroy – but this defense fell on Debok Moom and Ku’s deaf ears when they demanded that Phantom Symmetry and his agents (of which they suspected every Operative and Exmachina of Noi) leave the city. Where they would find a home is a story for later.

                              Mog would never have his own Ambassadorial Tabernacle atop Embn, even in Noi’s absence. It would be too great a division of his resources, and Debok Moom’s continued interest in violent paradigm shifts and evolution (along with Ku’s disturbing experimentations into Gremlins and his dominion over forbidden knowledge) would serve to prevent a permanent partnership after they had secured a “violent paradigm shift” towards the universal hierarchical orthodoxy that Mog desired. It did create enough of a lasting, if distant, working relationship though, that Embn is now blessed with its own Lightning Portal Gate charm, providing electric power for many a war machine, and fast travel by portal jumping through the Pole of Lightning to places the conduit cluster does not lead.

                              Beneath the visiting figures of Debok Moom and Ku themselves, the Ministerial Subroutines with the greatest standing in the city of course include the Alchemcial Caste Advocates Beyoth Soryn (advocate of the Mirrorblades), who oversees the testing of new Destroyers, Artifact weapons, and War Machines to the point of ruin (so they can be redesigned better via identified weaknesses) when not doing the same to himself hunting Gremlins, and Hoidoishren (advocate of the Sentinels), whose howling alarm-scream alerts the entire city-scale pagoda of a new threat to the health of the maker demanding an immediate martial response. Vemnonoth, the former Chariot of Debok Moom, and lord of vehicles throughout Autochthonia was another regular presence, commanding new War Machines who would serve as part of his constant warring in the Pole of Metal, but his recent destruction has left that void unfilled, as his replacement Messenger Soul Hermors is no more present in Embn than in any other Theopolis, visiting all of the elder four, connected as they are by the fastest trams in Autochthonia, jumping from synapse to synapse more as light than matter; rather than taking up any kind of residence in Embn beyond its tram station. Dex’Kai does take an interest in the training of new Operatives, particularly Martial Artists of course; and Theth makes an occasional ominous appearance when a new WMD is under development. (see forthcoming Ministerial Subroutines post)

                              The human demiurges of Embn are particularly known to self mutiliate as part of their holy rites, and push themselves past any and all physical boundaries in their discipline as warrior monks, for the war against the Gremlins is the city’s overwhelming obsession now. Since the corruption of the first Alchemical Apostate it has become the first and only priority. As martial readiness is the city’s nature and the nature of its deva and Operatives, that is the ideology of faith the rites of the demiurges reflect, and what fuels the processing of the city’s share of ambrosia. In between servicing the visiting Operatives, or the present Colossi genius craftsmen, bands of these humans with some lesser exmachina support, are known to go out beyond the walls in which the demiurges dwell which surround the lower levels of the towering pagoda. There, amidst the darkness and the glowing crystals, they make hunt of the Maker’s fears that lurk unseen, so that they can become spiritually closer to the literal war the Adamant Caste wages against the manifest source of those fears through the Maker’s body.



                              Up Next: The Theopoli of Myrphas, seats of the Tabernacles of Kek'Tungsssha and Noi, and Thelis, seats of the Tabernacles of Domadamod and Runel.
                              Last edited by glamourweaver; 04-12-2017, 02:45 AM.


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