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Gunstar Autochthonia Expansion: The Realm of the Titans

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  • #46
    Some signature characters would be nice. Not asking you to do one for every caste, of course, but an idea of who some of the more important Exalts are might be interesting.

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    • #47
      You could do both with the signature characters - tell stories about the world with them.

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      • #48
        Okay, sample character with a little extra something (to make up for the wait):

        Orania Septima, Dement of Oramus
        [Picture: A young woman smirks, foot on a humanoid figure with a corpselike face and black armour. On the right side of her head, her hair is brilliant sapphire - on the left, it's a yellow blonde - and she has iridescent violet eyes. She is wearing a cape of white peacock feathers and sky-blue adamant plate armour in which tiny clockwork mechanisms can dimly be seen. In her right hand is a glowing-runed autoklave of the same material, powering down, while in her left an elegant moonsilver pistol is smoking.]

        Orania Septima was born on the planet Casserides I - where refinery-cities navigate the molten surface to search for valuable minerals in the overwhelming light of a south-rising sun, floating above the lava sea on skirts of Air Essence and gravitic repulsion - to a family of minor, up-and-coming merchant nobility under auspicious stellar alignments. However, as she grew up her increasingly adventurous nature and tendency to end up in lower-class establishments became a source of embarrassment to her respectability-obsessed family, and they began scheming to dispose of her. They considered a discreet assassination or selling her to a bluelight establishment, but eventually they hit on the idea of sending her on a colonisation initiative to some recently recovered worlds in the Lower Coils. A word in a recruiter's ear, and soon young Orania - just turned 19 - was "accidentally" given a drugged drink in one of the nightclubs she frequented. She woke up to the roar of starship engines and the fast-dwindling sight of her homeworld as she dimly realised she would never see any part of her old life again.

        The world her population segment was assigned to was one perfectly fitted for exceedingly dull marine agriculture, but such would not be her lot in life. Instead, six months after planetfall Abyssal raiders attacked, their night-black dagger-ships covered in blades as the undead forces descended to slaughter and harvest souls. The unprepared colonists died in droves, until Orania created a resistance organisation. With innovative tactics and improvised weapons she managed to turn a group of her fellow colonists from lambs to the slaughter to a thorn deep in the side of the undead legions.

        Finally, she raided the Abyssal vessel itself, bravely challenging the Abyssal commander (who had redeployed his starship as a sea-going vessel) to a duel. Impressed by her audacity, a First-Circle ormriauga directed the Exaltation he was bearing to her. Newly flushed with Primordial power, she waded into the melee her fellow resistance fighters were in. Dancing between superpositional states, she avoided blows with ease, always managing to impossibly be not there when strikes came against her. Walking upside down on the air, she swallowed up Essence-attacks and spat them right back at her foes. Everting ghost-blooded and undead, she turned them to piles of meat and rotting organs.

        Finally she faced the Abyssal leader. Wielding a wailing, blood-covered chain whip, his blows bounced off the Universe Emperor's authority made manifest like a refreshing spring rain. Shortly after, a hail of blows flaring with green flame reduced him to a broken pile of flesh. Orania had gone instantly from disinherited aristocratic cast-off to one of the Spiral's great movers and shakers - young as she was - and was swiftly invited to the Collegium Titanic. There she made requests of certain individuals and inherited her previous Exaltation-bearer's armour and weapons.

        Right now, Orania has been Exalted for six years and is part of a Circle investigating Abyssal raids. Scouring the Spiral for Abyssal raider groups, she believes she has discovered some strange underlying pattern to the events - one that could pose a devastating threat to the Spiral. However she hides this discovered knowledge, fearing that if her Circle-mates find out about her feelings they would find her overly paranoid...


        LANGUAGES OF THE SPIRAL

        People in the Spiral use a great variety of languages differing from planet to planet. However, the most commonly used language by far is the ancient language of Old Realm. Old Realm is a deva-originated derivation from the Primordial concept-language (first of all languages) called Sorcery, and is thus the lingua franca of the Primordials and the Exalted as well as a trade language which most everyone knows at least a few words of. However, the Exalted or human variant of the language has added various phrases, quirks of grammar and many new words which partake more of mortal experience, and thus Primordial humaniforms, higher devas and the gods speak an archaic dialect which Titanics and others who have learned the new version often find clumsy to speak and difficult to understand. The Gunstar has also diverged from the original Primordial "template" and the language spoken there forms a third dialect of Old Realm.

        Old Realm in both flavours is written in a series of runic characters which indicate meaning and phoneme simultaneously. Thus it is possible to "unpack" a word, sentence or even longer texts to find deeper meaning and symbolism, and even hidden messages. The Gunstar does not use this system - there Old Realm is written down as simple phonetic pictograms borrowed from the Dragon Kings - as the Primordial method was viewed as overcomplicated, untrustworthy and downright treasonous.

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        • #49
          Writeup of the Wyld. I tried to add plot hooks and reasons to go there - hope I succeeded.

          THE COURTS OF CHAOS

          Beyond Okeanos, the laws of the Spiral hold no sway. Though the Primordials built these regions, they hold no authority over them, and as such the cultures here have developed apart from their rulership. In these trackless regions blossom a thousand thousand petty empires and burlesque states (both human and non-human exiles) seen as benighted and below true civilisation by Spiral-dwellers. Here are the Roshtonari Nexi powered by faith and fed by prayer, here stand the Star-Shogunates of the Obsidian Ward, here are the Cyndroa Squids which convert whole worlds to trackless swamps and mind-wash populations to serve them - and most dreaded of all is the Gunstar.

          An armed and armoured Primordial, captained by a host of traitor Exalted and careening on an unpredictable trajectory across these twilight borderlands, the Gunstar is a world in itself - and it has a hunger to swallow them. Where it passes, it eats planets. Metal maws and mining machines stab into planets and devour them. Atmospheres are vacuumed up; oceans are drained; crusts and mantles and cores are all greedily consumed and processed. No life survives. Astrologers and astronomers in this region spend sleepless nights scrying ceaselessly for the Gunstar, and families pray, faces turned downward and huddled to the ground, that it passes them by. Even should it not consume them, the forces marshalled against it - Kimberian voidwhales with acid-rimed coral teeth filled to the brim with cannibalistic Lintha; Titanics, Argentides, Synodics and Dragonblood Akuma; Gardullis, a fire dragon just shy of the length of a main sequence sun; and most terribly of all the Daystar - cause havoc and destruction amongst their existences just by fighting it.

          In these regions are Wyld nebulae - impossible anomalies filled with raksha and other wyldlife, pools of pure Chaos that exist on the very edge of the ordered universe. Their very existence is affront to the Titans' design (weep, for Adrian is never more to drown the Shapeless in a river of razors!) but in them are found many curiosities and exotic components the Dements of Oramus (among others) value highly.

          Every thousand years in this region, Wyldtide comes. The borders of Chaos expand and constrict the area between Okeanos and the Wyld-border. Without risk of calcification or rectification, surfing the rising floods of madness come Raksha eager for new narratives to define them and new souls to ravish, zouaves of the Scorpion Empire riding comets to loot and pillage the stuff of raw reality, Defiant Ones which exist to mock the laws of physics and reason, memetids in great shoals seeking out new hosts in which to reproduce, and all manner of insanities which in some places touch Okeanos. The nations of the borderlands have each developed ways to ride out or resist Wyldtide, some more trustworthy than others. But, they prognosticate, next Wyldtide (in 3 or so years) is to be greater than ever thought possible. Can their measures hold out against the coming storm?

          Beyond these territories is the Wyld - the ocean of Chaos from which the Primordials, in days immeasurable ages past, raised the Spiral as their perfect ordered Creation. It is divided into two regions - Shallow Wyld and Deep Wyld.

          In the Shallow Wyld, logic and reason are attenuated but still hold. A city housing a million souls is built on the shell of a nut sitting on a forest floor. A caravan trading in fancies and fantasies quite literally snakes across planets as a gigantic serpent made of metal. Planets float in space as flat discs with everflowing waterfalls on their sides, stars are giant roses, and biting pears roam forests where the leaves sing melancholia. Cities are built on foundations of solid smoke and broken hearts can literally kill.

          Then there is the Deep Wyld, where Chaos reigns in its full glory, harkening back to the forgotten days when all was yet bedlam and only the Primordials were rocks of unchangeable order. The Unshaped Ones dwell in this ceaselessly churning ocean (where hope is a yellow song that bites your ear and then turns into a bread-and-butterfly which disintegrates back into the maelstrom of insanity) as churning currents and gyres of semi-stability. In this cauldron of raw potential much can be shaped, and rare is the Titanic who has not been here in search of exotic components or impossible substances found nowhere else. Others have gone on pilgrimages seeking glimpses of the mythical Shining Answer - all thus far have returned empty-handed, but without fail new wanderers always embark hoping to be "the one".

          Fragments of the false-world Cajerron flung at the Spiral (none have yet reached even its borderlands) in Cemuniac spite yet approach on their terror-trajectories through this domain leaving behind swaths of murder and white flesh-eating gristle not unlike the scar he himself carved on his swarm-fleets' approach to ravage the Spiral.

          Here the shinma hold court, and if one can reach the distant gazebos and secret gardens of the blind-idiot-gods one can wrest rare and unequalled boons of great power. Ramethus, in the days when he was still whole, once purloined away Ishiika from Nishkriya the Sword and set it as guard-dog for the Spiral - though the Titanics are perhaps not up to capturing a galaxy-sized scorpion they can still gain incredible artefacts such as Tejaprabha the Sun-Slaying Missile or the dagger Dukkha, the Thorn that Does Not Kill.

          And beyond all this sea of madness, at the uttermost border of the Heart, the Ring, the Staff, the Cup, the Sword, the Way and the Bell on which foundation all reality is built, is the Faraway country of Zen-Mu, the Wake of the Primordials, where no Titanic has yet trod or even glimpsed except in the ancient legends of the Titans. Who knows what secrets and artefacts may lie there forgotten? Who knows what may yet live in this alien environment, or what rare wonders can be uncovered?
          Who would not dare try and find out?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Czernobog View Post
            Dukkha, the Thorn that Does Not Kill.
            I see what you did there. ^_^


            Developer for Exalted

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            • #51
              I assume when you stab people with Dukkha they just get a terrible sense of ennui.


              Currently writing for Heirs to the Shogunate.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Czernobog View Post
                The Deadwood was burned by the Exalted, and is now a forest of white ash, her love of Gaia not enough to give her mercy. Her nightmares are by far the most agony-wracked and tormented, and the spiritual parasites feeding on her are numerous and many, the screaming lashings of her corpse often beginning the chain reactions of alteration and horror known in Black Non as Maledictions.
                This makes me so happy.


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                • #53
                  Originally posted by wulf View Post
                  This makes me so happy.
                  I don't understand. Is it a reference?

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post
                    I assume when you stab people with Dukkha they just get a terrible sense of ennui.
                    I guessed life became awful JUST to the degree that you don't kill yourself to end it because of the microscopic hope of it getting better. There may be honey involved.

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                    • #55
                      Wow. Just wow. This is great. Really great. Magnificent. Splendor. Oh yes Czernobog. This is the perfection. Pure, undiluted perfection. Indeed, I almost wept after finishing this epic. I cannot find any other worlds to describe this immaculate masterpiece. When I was reading, and finally completed this awesome work, I almost felt like receiving a blessed gift. Thank you for writing this excellent masterwork. I venture to apprise you actually managed to create resplendently brilliant alternative universe of exalted, based on Gunstar-the ultimately unrealized, but sufficiently plausible divergence. This is exactly what I always want. And I sincerely want to see MORE.

                      And would you mind if I ask some questions?

                      1. Higher coil-ruling Primordials are more privileged than lower coil-ruling kindred? For example, Elloge is more privileged and/or prestigious than Kimbery by the established law of Cecylene?
                      2. Similarly, higher-coil dwellers are legitimately or conventionally more privileged than lower-coil dwellers?
                      3. How many favored races and civilizations exist in Spiral? Maybe dozens, if not hundreds or thousands? Each and every of Titans retain their own favored races and/or civilizations? If so, can you do me a favor by posting several of principal examples? There would be certainly more favored races if setting aside the six prominent races- is it correct?
                      4. How about average living condition of Spiral? It seems living standard is tremendously vary Exarchate from Exarchate and can differ immensely personal value or perspective. But I consider overall living standard of normal citizen would be better than IoM at the very least, if not FAR level-indeed, in my personal opinion,
                      Spiral feel almost like Exalted version of 40k IoM riddled with DAoT-level science, technologies and myriad ineffable wonders and miracles.
                      5. Does Spiral have/utilize equivalent of I AM? It would be great if Spiral-wide sufficiently-advanced administrator AI exists - especially in similar form of Infinity's Aleph.
                      6. Why rulers of Spiral neglect/ignore threats of Black Non hitherto, despite of their constant raids, ceaseless aggression and not-so-trifle provocations(such as Contagion)? Because pancreators are still deeming Neverborns as their brethren and sibling and desperately seeking the way of redeeming them from their horrific, pitifully tortured fate?
                      7. Why rulers of Spiral do not restore/reconstruct "dead space" in and around of Spiral by imposing their might? As Primordials, they surely have supernal capacity of reintegrate literally anything in perfect state. Primordials are many things, but it is hard to think they are pleased to see their creation is savaged and devastated by outside influence.
                      8. If you don't mind, may I ask you to elucidate more about Spiral Magitech(both mundane and rare/unique) and military(such as formations/organizations and marvelous arsenals) and post detailed, elaborated and partitioned version Exarchate(zoom-in, close-view version, ideally allotting a section per each coil, so to speak)?
                      9. What horrors exactly are "Defiant Ones" and "memetids"?
                      10. And finally, why only humans can be chosen and join the august ranks of Exalted? Is it because of immanent limitation of Exaltation, which is created to be only compatible with the human soul?
                      Last edited by Numinous; 10-28-2014, 04:07 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post

                        I don't understand. Is it a reference?
                        Wulf wrote some really groovy stuff on the Neverborn a few years back - there was lots contributed by people beside him too, but I think it's been lost with the old forums.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Numinous View Post
                          1. Higher coil-ruling Primordials are more privileged than lower coil-ruling kindred? For example, Elloge is more privileged and/or prestigious than Kimbery by the established law of Cecylene?
                          2. Similarly, higher-coil dwellers are legitimately or conventionally more privileged than lower-coil dwellers?
                          3. How many favored races and civilizations exist in Spiral? Maybe dozens, if not hundreds or thousands? Each and every of Titans retain their own favored races and/or civilizations? If so, can you do me a favor by posting several of principal examples? There would be certainly more favored races if setting aside the six prominent races- is it correct?
                          4. How about average living condition of Spiral? It seems living standard is tremendously vary Exarchate from Exarchate and can differ immensely personal value or perspective. But I consider overall living standard of normal citizen would be better than IoM at the very least, if not FAR level-indeed, in my personal opinion,
                          Spiral feel almost like Exalted version of 40k IoM riddled with DAoT-level science, technologies and myriad ineffable wonders and miracles.
                          5. Does Spiral have/utilize equivalent of I AM? It would be great if Spiral-wide sufficiently-advanced administrator AI exists - especially in similar form of Infinity's Aleph.
                          6. Why rulers of Spiral neglect/ignore threats of Black Non hitherto, despite of their constant raids, ceaseless aggression and not-so-trifle provocations(such as Contagion)? Because pancreators are still deeming Neverborns as their brethren and sibling and desperately seeking the way of redeeming them from their horrific, pitifully tortured fate?
                          7. Why rulers of Spiral do not restore/reconstruct "dead space" in and around of Spiral by imposing their might? As Primordials, they surely have supernal capacity of reintegrate literally anything in perfect state. Primordials are many things, but it is hard to think they are pleased to see their creation is savaged and devastated by outside influence.
                          8. If you don't mind, may I ask you to elucidate more about Spiral Magitech(both mundane and rare/unique) and military(such as formations/organizations and marvelous arsenals) and post detailed, elaborated and partitioned version Exarchate(zoom-in, close-view version, ideally allotting a section per each coil, so to speak)?
                          9. What horrors exactly are "Defiant Ones" and "memetids"?
                          10. And finally, why only humans can be chosen and join the august ranks of Exalted? Is it because of immanent limitation of Exaltation, which is created to be only compatible with the human soul?
                          Sorry, for leaving this so long, there were a lot of other things on my mind.

                          1. Yes. Your place in the Coils is based on how much Theion/the others like you.
                          3. There are 144 favoured races in total and a large number of lesser ones. And yes I will come up with some.
                          4. Living standard varies a lot. Average level is
                          5. No. Local planetary versions might exist however.
                          6. Yes. Also add that Black Non is a very hostile environment and very difficult to reach from the Spiral, and invasion isn't really considered. Also, ocassionally the Abyssals do things for the Titanics, or at least against their enemies..
                          7. "Dead space"? They did reintegrate most of the leftovers from the Spiral War. The Well of Udr is just impossible to fix - somehow it's necessary for the Spiral to do whatever it does - and the territory beyond Okeanos is a necessary buffer zone since Adrian's death.
                          8. Yeah, I'll do just that.
                          9. Defiant ones exist to defy laws of physics. Memetids are self-replicating bits of symbolism that act like viruses taking over sentient lifeforms.
                          10. Exaltation only works with a human soul structure. The metaphysical and conceptual machinery of a keter-soul fails to work in anything sufficiently non-human.

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                          • #58
                            Hello Czernobog!

                            I rediscovered your amazing work, and I was wondering if you had plans to ever come back to it? I was hoping to one day start a Gunstar game with players taking on the roles of the Titanic Exalted and I was hoping there would be more to work with.

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