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  • I have another Shadowland kingdom from my game to offer that is different again from Belikal and Sator.



    The island kingdom of Kinava was born from tragedy, the only high ground of a terrible flood that swept across the valley and gave rise to the shadowland known as The Black Lake. Even from the start the prospect of travelling the lake was fraught with danger, boats capsized with unseen hands and struggling swimmers dragged down into watery graves.

    Eventually even the island itself became unsafe as hungry ghosts emerged from the lake at night, their resources were limited and they were surrounded on all sides by treacherous ghost infested waters.

    While this was going on a young widow named Yun escaped from the horror into a romance that only took place in her dreams, at first she assumed that this was the ideal partner she had envisioned for herself but as time went on the dreams became more instructive.

    One night she put her lover’s words to the test with a leap of faith, she dressed in what finery she had been able to take from her home when the flood struck and in the dead of night stole one of the last remaining boats to row out onto the cursed lake.

    The next morning she swept down upon the back of a giant swan clad in armour of ivory and wielding a sword of silver, the survivors hearts swelled with hope as they looked upon her as she explained there were more swans out on the lake but they would accept only the brave and the fair.

    The founding of the Order of Swan Knights made Yun the natural choice for leader of this new kingdom but she never forgot her loyalty to the lover of her dreams who told her what she needed to know to forge the original pact, in her twilight years she would abdicate her throne to finally be with the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.


    Most Kinavans live out a rather bleak existence of subsistence farming and occasionally being conscripted to fend off attacks. They are nevertheless dreamers who place a great deal of value on physical beauty, both genders wear their hair long and enjoy adornments. They make crude dyes from local plant life to bring colour where they can.

    Despite their fascination with far off lands very few of its people ever leave the island and an entire culture of second hand stories knits together this loose collection of agricultural communities. Someone who served as a retainer on campaign might comfortably acquire a role as a village storyteller when they return home.

    Unfortunately, while in theory anyone can bond with a great swan and become a Swan Knight in practice the peasant who becomes a lord is very rare. The nature of Kinavas system of government means there is lot of potential for abuse of power and very little ability to report.

    Spirituality and the Afterlife:

    With its strong connections to the Lover Clad it's not really a question of if Kinava is corrupted by her but to what extent. Almost every noble family has a relative or ancestor who went to the fortress of Red Ice and speaks highly of their hosts magnanimity and beauty.

    She has certainly taught the Kinavan nobles that it’s acceptable to enjoy the finer things in life and enjoy their hard earned prestige. Differences in class are seen in matters of ancestor worship, a well-to do family is expected to keep a shrine and consult the wisdom of generations past. A poor family that maintains such a shrine will at best be mocked and at worst accused of making burnt offerings that weren’t really theirs to offer in the first place.

    The one advantage that peasant ghosts have is that many of them choose Lethe meaning that their service to the nobility in death will likely be as a valet or handmaiden which could be quite the promotion or an everlasting hell with an insufferable master.


    Kinavans peasants eat very little meat and are restricted to farmed meats such as pork, beef, and mutton while game meats such as venison, are restricted to the nobility by law. Finally swan meat can only be served by the Queen (the Lover Clad also takes the opportunity to serve it when knights visits.

    Wine is very dear to Kinavans a hardy species of grape vine was gifted to Queen Yun all those centuries ago and has subsequently spread all across the island growing clutches of blood red grapes in the summer months.


    After their oaths of loyalty to the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears the Swan Knights are free to pursue whatever cause they deem virtuous, this often sees Kinava lending military support to other northern nations who generally welcome the addition of flying cavalry.

    These arrangements are generally for a reasonable share of whatever treasury the enemy has. Though they have no Exalts a Swan Knight will typically leap at the chance to obtain an artifact for a chance to earn the favour of their mistress.

    Festival Days:

    Harvest’s End: On the last day of harvest the peasants are allowed to relax, in more austere regions it is simply a day of rest but closer to the capital there are day carnivals with food and musicians. This is often the only time when the lord (or a proxy representing her) walks among them.


    The Black Lake that once threatened to destroy Kinava now makes it virtually unassailable to most who would try to attack it requiring specialist watercraft to have any hope of crossing safely or a similar pact with the great swans.

    Swan Knights themselves are divided into two distinct classes, the knights themselves and then unproven Cygnini who have made the bond with one of the great swans but have yet to be promoted to the full rank of knight. Most of them serve a knight as a squire but others serve the crown directly banding together in groups to perform tasks that nobody else will.

    Upon becoming a full knight they are awarded with lands and a title in exchange for being called to military service at the behest of the queen or the Lover Clad. Some of course give up their lands and their obligations to them in the name of adventure but these knights would still return home if they knew Kinava needed them.

    This makes it very difficult to measure the effective military strength of the nation.

    The Queen of Kinava must always be a Swan Knight herself and is often enhanced in some way by the Lover Clad’s patronage typically gifted with a potent artifact though some in the past were initiated into sorcery and became rather powerful in their own right.

    In Game:

    The PCs have never been to Kinava but have met people from there on both visits to the Fortress of Red Ice. At present they are a bit lost at what to do without the Lover Clad and could easily become her new base of operations if she finds she that she has to retake Gradafes.

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    • This time not a Shadowland in sight because after 3 of them I was feeling a bit like a one trick pony.
      Liham and Lian, the Sister Cities

      It is necessary to talk about Liham and Lian as though they were one place, for to talk about one without the other would lead to an incomplete understanding.
      Long ago their deity the Great Maker left Creation and with no indication on when he would return this gave rise to speculation among his believers, the most enduring one took the form of a prophecy where he would return to save them from some great doom. Aside from this these groups were mostly unremarkable, praising ingenuity over other virtues due to the absent head of their little pantheon.

      When the Great Contagion struck they thought the hour was at hand and many perished while waiting for salvation, others took the words less literally that the Great Maker would not return to save them from this doom but rather their faith and ingenuity would allow them to endure and so to try and escape annihilation they fled underground.

      Life was arduous at first, provisions ran short and even with their fabled ingenuity there was simply not enough food to go around and the creatures under Creation picked off many of their number but still they moved forwards because to go back was certain death. Eventually after months of wandering through the dark they encountered an omen, a cave so high it was like being under the night sky again made all the more significant by the luminescent fungi that resembled stars glowing in the dark, here at last they made camp. They found what could and could not be eaten and they fortified against the creatures they shared this strange realm with.

      They were not tested for another hundred years, victims of their own prosperity the population of their little settlement had grown beyond what the caves ecosystem could support, thus a lot was cast where one person in ten would join the expedition to seek a second site. This group faced its own challenges but the journey took them up to an abandoned mining outpost with a great excavating machine and thus the sister cities of Liham and Lian were born.


      Though the Li consider themselves one people there are necessary differences between the Lihami and the Liani. The people of Liham, the surface city dress to protect themselves from the sun and this is contrasted by a tendency to not wear clothes in the comfort of their own homes leading to a clothes optional policy in public areas intended to make people feel at home such as bath houses and temples.

      The Liani are as a rule less friendly, centuries underground have not been enough to avoid disruption to their circadian rhythm and the presence of darkbrood can make the gnawing paranoia seem pretty justified.

      Broadly speaking, it's not uncommon for each of them to feel that the other has it easy and the authority of both cities tries to maintain a regular exchange of people so that as many people as possible get to experience the other side of things because they really do need each other.


      The Li are not monotheists but their notion of what the act of worship involves is heavily defined by their ancestors unwavering devotion to the absent Great Maker. Prayer and sacrifice can be offered in exchange for service but true faith is reserved for those who demonstrate no need for cults.

      The only entity in their little pantheon who has been known to answer prayers is the spider goddess Kanika who has no organised worship, the Li frequently find abandoned temples and shrines dedicated to her and view them as grave markers to civilisations that look for easy answers and got more than they bargained for.

      Li Temples are great windowless domes that are open to all, within great murals made with a bioluminescent paste derived from the fungus around Lian tells the history of their people in a simple visual format.


      For the first 100 years the Li gained most of their nutrition from fungus and while the founding of Liham provided them with the means to grow food above ground it still features heavily in the Lian diet though often supplemented by food from the surface and the peculiar eyeless fish they sometimes find in their primary water source.

      Liham have a much greater variety of food options, though limited by what’s practical to grow in a desert notably agave and chia. They also regularly capture bighorn sheep that try to feed on their hard work using them as a source of milk in addition to meat.


      Despite their relative isolation the Li are not without trading partners, desert tribes will occasionally approach Liham with livestock in exchange for more exotic materials of ritual significance such as luminous fungi and metals not normally found on the surface as well as water which is hardly scarce in the tunnels around Lian.
      After some initial attacks by the Dune People there was some success made at negotiating with them, though they were overall a lot more utilitarian nevertheless a few have converted over the centuries and it’s not uncommon to see Dune Person traits among the Li.

      Festival Days:

      The Founding: Every year the Li celebrate the discovery of the above ground outpost and the growth its allowed. It’s normally marked by a great number of people recreating the original journey to Liham, for many children participating this is the first time they see the sun.


      The desert makes a large attack on Liham unlikely so the defence of Lian and the route between the two cities has been prioritised. This tactical focusing may prove costly if a leader among the desert tribes were to convince enough of their rivals that the overground city was a prize worth setting aside their differences for.

      Patrols are well equipped with crossbows and firelances, polearms with a with a small explosive attachment that in practice works similar to a firewand though used primarily as a bayonet.

      Li explosives do not use firedust but instead a special blasting powder that produces much less smoke, it’s not economical for regular use but the destructive power it offers is necessary given the nature of some of their enemies.

      In addition to the firelances are more potent explosive charges that truly gives them the edge in tunnel warfare, if a patrol is overwhelmed it will often trigger a charge to close off the tunnel invariably killing themselves in the process but taking their enemies out with them and closing off a route to Lian.
      Almost as important in their warfare as the blasting powder is the bioluminescent paint they create from fungus which is typically applied to the forehead of anyone moving between Liham and Lian to light the way in dark places and prevent the instances of friendly fire by jittery guards.

      In game:

      My PCs are currently here but leaving soon for somewhere that's much less auspicious, Kanna an NPC Zenith who accompanied them South wants to stay for a bit and learn a little more about that they're about while telling them about the Unconquered Sun. Connections to them and the mysterous Tunnel Folk that Sator deals with have been noted but remain ambiguous for now.
      Last edited by Lioness; 09-05-2018, 02:14 PM.

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      • Originally posted by Lioness View Post
        This time not a Shadowland in sight because after 3 of them I was feeling a bit like a… pony.
        *offers carrots*

        (I've liked these locations of yours.)


        • Thank you. I've got a few NPC write-ups for them.

          Belikal Ghost Hunter
          While fate or some other force gives people the aptitude to be exorcists Jasna has never been particularly gifted in any way save her ability to keep surviving when better people died. Were it not for her two daughters she might have given up by now but instead she goes out there with knowledge gained through trial and error and a patchwork panoply of wards and talismans with the hope that things will get better.
          Jasna wears her greying black hair in a ponytail and has a scar running across the middle of her nose where a Hungry Ghost once got too close, she only seems to have a light in her eyes around her daughters now but refuses to share the extent of her survivor’s guilt with anyone.

          Essence: 1; Willpower: 4; Join Battle: 4 dice
          Health Levels: -0/-1x2/-2x2/-4/Incap.
          Actions: Knowledge of the Undead: 7 dice; Read Intentions: 5 dice; Senses: 6 dice; Social Influence: 6 dice; Stealth: 5 dice; Tracking: 5 dice
          Appearance 2, Resolve: 3, Guile: 3
          Attack (Sacred Ash Sword): 6 dice (Damage 10)
          Attack (Unnarmed): 10 dice (Damage 8)
          Attack (Grapple): 6 dice (5 dice to control)
          Combat Movement: 4 dice
          Evasion 3, Parry 3
          Soak/Hardness: 6/0 (Gambeson)
          Ghost Flower Tea: See Ex3 Core Page 579
          Runic Ward: Ghosts suffer -1 to all dice pools when attempting to affect Jasna.
          Sacred Ash Sword: By paying a point of willpower she is capable of striking dematerialized ghosts for one action. She still suffers a -3 penalty on attacks if targeting a ghost she cannot see.
          Spirit Drum: If she takes an Inspire action with this item while an Exorcism is taking place the Exorcist gains a non-charm dice to their roll. This bonus can never increase past +2 regardless of the number of instruments being played.

          Storyteller’s Tactics: Jasna and people like her will generally run interference for an exorcist; typically this involves attacking its health level track to reduce its Resolve through wound penalties. She may also offer assistance with an Exorcism with her Spirit Drum finally she will perform Defend Other actions in a bid to keep the exorcist alive, her daughters would understand.

          Sator Shaman
          As a child Noa faced the Black Chase alone when her father collapsed on a hunting trip, rather than lose her wits and becoming susceptible to its influence she kept her mind focused by engaging her unconscious father in a one-sided conversation as she eventually dragged him far enough for them to be discovered by other hunters.

          Since then Noa has walked the path of the shaman, cultivating techniques to resist the influence of the Shadowland and communing with the ancestors. Recently one of the younger men has pursued her hand in marriage and while not forbidden she fears committing to this relationship as it will leave her unable to properly perform her duties as a shaman.

          Essence: 1; Willpower: 6; Join Battle: 4 dice
          Health Levels: -0/-1x2/-2x2/-4/Incap.
          Actions: Communing with the Ancestors: 5 dice; Knowledge of the Undead: 4 dice; Read Intentions: 6 dice; Senses: 6 dice; Social Influence: 6 dice; Stealth: 5 dice; Tracking; 5 dice
          Appearance 3, Resolve: 4, Guile: 3
          Attack (Self Bow): 6 dice at short range (Damage 10)
          Attack (Unnarmed): 8 dice (Damage 8)
          Attack (Grapple): 8 dice (3 dice to control)
          Combat Movement: 4 dice
          Evasion 3, Parry 3
          Soak/Hardness: 3/0
          Directional Sense: reduce difficulty to navigate by 2
          Eidetic Memory: +1 success on rolls requiring memory
          Shaman’s Cloak: A woven leaf cloak that brims with necrotic essence, ghosts and hungry ghosts receive a -1 on all dice rolls when attempting to affect Noa.

          Storyteller’s Tactics: Noa typically travels with hunters that are equivalent to militia (Ex3 page 496) with the addition of wards against hungry ghosts. If the Ancestors have reason to suspect she is going into danger she will typically be accompanied by one of them with traits equivalent to a War Ghost (Ex3 page 504) her allies among the living would spare a skilled hunter with traits equivalent to an Assassin/Spymaster (Ex3 page 499).

          Kinavan Swan Knight
          Jin-Sun is an almost unreal sight upon his great swan mount with armour polished to a mirror shine and flowing locks of dark blue hair as he rides upon the wind.
          He only recently acquired his own lands and is still at the point where the awe the peasants have for him blinds themselves to the disinterest he has in ruling them, he plans to take a few of the more able bodied men and women as retainers on his next big adventure hoping that it will instil a greater understanding in both parties.
          Essence: 1; Willpower: 4; Join Battle: 6 dice
          Health Levels: -0/-1x2/-2x2/-4/Incap.
          Actions: Command: 6 dice; Read Intentions: 6 dice; Senses: 5 dice; Social Influence: 6 dice; Strategy: 5 dice
          Appearance 3, Resolve 3, Guile 2
          Attack (Lance): 9 dice (Damage 14)
          Attack (Shield): 10 dice (Damage 12, minimum 1)
          Attack (Self bow): 11 dice at short range (Damage 10)
          Combat Movement: 6 dice (8 dice while mounted)
          Evasion 2, Parry 5
          Soak/Hardness: 10/0 (articulated plate)
          Noble’s Favour: Jin-Sun has a necklace draped around his lance that was given to him along with a tender kiss from a grateful young man. He may negate one botch per story.

          Great Swan
          Min was drawn to the young Jin-Sun as Great Swans often are to Kinavans of beauty and courage, though she is normally of a rather placid temperament she will absolutely end fights that others are foolish enough to start.
          Essence: 1; Willpower: 5; Join Battle: 6 dice
          Health Levels: −0x2/−1x3/−2x3/−4x2/Incap
          Speed Bonus: +0
          Actions: Fly: 7 dice; Senses: 6 dice; Swim: 6 dice; Threaten: 7 dice
          Resolve 3, Guile 1
          Attack (Bite): 4 dice (Damage 11)
          Attack (Grapple): 8 dice (4 to control)
          Attack (Wings): 10 dice (Damage 12)
          Combat Movement: 6 dice (see Waterfowl’s Grace)
          Evasion 3(see Waterfowl’s Grace), Parry 1
          Soak/Hardness: 5/0
          Special Abilities
          Bluster: See Swan entry.
          Devoted Mate: See Swan entry, due to the Lover Clad’s patronage Kinavan Great Swans consider their bonded riders to be their mates.
          Keen Sight: Double 9s on sight-based Perception rolls.
          Nictitating Membrane: See Swan entry.
          Waterfowl’s Grace: See Swan entry.

          Storyteller’s Tactics:
          Jin-Sun will typically travel with peasant retainers and hunting dogs potentially combining his entourage with that of other Swan Knights into a crusade.

          Li Tunnel Guard
          Uvo was born in the underground city of Lian and didn’t see the sun until he was thirteen; once the initial awe of such a bright light wore off and the pain in his eyes went away he really didn’t see what the big deal was. His parents ultimately resettled in Liham but Uvo’s heart lay below ground among the luminescent fungi and the first settlement of his ancestors, they originally thought he’d met a potential wife but Uvo’s never really been interested in taking a lover.

          Unfortunately while he’s devoted to his job his chances of promotion are stifled by the fact that most members of his squadron recognise him as the person most likely to sacrifice themselves with a blasting charge and a leadership role generally requires expecting someone else to do that.
          He’s now considering a marriage of convenience, he could be a good provider to a widow and her children if it made him more eligible.

          Essence: 1; Willpower: 4; Join Battle: 4 dice
          Health Levels: -0/-1x2/-2x2/-4/Incap.
          Actions: Senses: 5 dice (see Luminescent Tattoo); Threaten: 4 dice; Tracking 4 dice (see Luminescent Tattoo)
          Appearance 2, Resolve 2, Guile 1
          Attack (Crossbow): 8 dice at short range (Damage 13)
          Attack (Firelance): 7 dice (Damage 11)
          Attack (Firelance Explosive): 8 dice at short range (Damage 15)
          Combat Movement: 4 dice
          Evasion 2, Parry 4
          Soak/Hardness: 8/0 (Reinforced buff jacket)
          Luminescent Tattoo: Uvo has a glowing tattoo on his right cheek that reduces the difficulty of perception checks underground by 1. This also applies to anyone trying to see him which has thus far been a benefit to others but his mother is convinced it will get him eaten by Darkbrood.

          Storyteller’s Tactics: Uvo typically travels with 3-5 people with similar equipment. If overwhelmed by enemy forces he will attempt to warn other patrols and lookouts before using whatever Blasting Powder he has access to in order to collapse a strategically valuable tunnel.
          While his squadmates might be persuaded to let Lian fall if their lives are spared Uvo is a true patriot and will only surrender if his aggressors assure him they mean the Li people no harm.
          Last edited by Lioness; 03-21-2019, 10:06 AM.

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          • Vorshgard didn’t set out to be a horror show but it’s pretty content to own it.


            The oasis that became Vorshgard was once the private haven of the Solar Exalt Bitter Solstice a wyld shaper and botanist without compare who created all manner of unique species of plant. When the Usurpation came she was assassinated outside of her haven which became abandoned, those who ventured near it saying it was a terrible and cursed place.

            In the later part of the Shogunate the ancestors of the Vorshgari tested the myth and discovered that the oasis wasn’t haunted or cursed like many had suspected but in reality the pollen and spores of the various plants wove together to create a madness that made intruders fight against invisible enemies and each other. Rather than share that knowledge they used that knowledge to steal their way into her inner sanctum and there they discovered much.

            Over time they started to make use of the little piece of wyld within Bitter Solstice’s sanctum, at first they mated animals to produce new breeds but over time their works became more and more ambitious and the Shaperate council was formed to regulate who could use the wyld pocket and for what. However the Shaperate marginalised other power blocks until eventually the High Shaper was the ruler of the City of Vorshgard and its empire of client states known collectively as the Domination of Vorshgard.


            Vorshgard is a two tier society, there the populus and the Shaperate.

            The Shaperate distinguished by their brightly coloured robes in metallic colours originated as the medicine men and women of the Voshgari tribe, they boasted a high rate of literacy and a tendency to chronicle knowledge for future generations. This tradition proved invaluable in their studies of the wyld pocket because if properly implemented every failure to twist a creature into a usable form would still generate useful information.

            Families within the Shaperate have generational journals of successes and failures, recipe books of what plants, minerals and creatures blend together and how. Occasionally a member of the populus or someone from a vassal state will be elevated to become an Apprentice Shaper and they must work twice as hard without the wisdom of their ancestors.

            Towards the end of their lives Shapers tend to subject themselves to the wyld pocket in order to continue their existence in a usable form, it’s also a popular outcome of capital punishment which can make it difficult to tell if a particular creature chose to be that way or is screaming in horror without the capacity to do so for the rest of their life.

            For this reason and others, the populus don’t necessarily like the Shaperate all that much but most of them draw a distinction between the Apprentice Shapers they see from day to day and the more established ones who spend all day in their laboratories creating heaven knows what.

            Nevertheless they are dependent on the Shaperate for much, Vorshgardi clothes are primarily scented silk and the use of powerful narcotics is a common form of recreation.

            Lastly for a group so committed to recording their successes and failures the Shaperate is adept at propaganda and frame every rebellion within the Domination as a power struggle among their own, denying the agency of the people in the client states and throwing overly ambitious or just unpopular Shapers to the wolves by declaring them the ring leaders for leading the population astray and elevating a few members of the problem group into the Shaperate in the knowledge that they will probably be blamed by their former associates when circumstances fail to improve.


            The Voshgari are a spiritually desolate people. When they first started to enjoy the fruits of the Shaperate’s labour there were those who felt they had violated their place in the natural order and that the karmic balance would be paid in their next life. Some left in disgust, but those who remained became part of the last brutal power struggle where the spiritual element of the tribe was no match for the beasts of the Shaperate.

            Ironically while their message of damnation didn’t find its way into the hearts of the populus many Shapers started to believe that their soul was due for some ill fate because of their practice of flesh-alchemy.

            Though they took this as a statement of the unjust nature of karma and sought to escape it, as such the Shapers began to transmute their own when they neared the end of their lives or immediately after death in a bid to cheat a universe that would punish them for doing everything within their power to make their lives better.

            Manticores are a common sight in Vorshgard, often created when an elderly Shaper contracts a disease of the mind and undergoes ritual suicide so that some small part of their wisdom can be preserved by the lion-bodied beast that will bear their face and speak with their voice.


            The Shaperate consistently demands new raw material and that has its impact on the availability of livestock animals. Vegetarianism is a popular diet choice because what meat is available is often served in a way that can only really be called ‘meat’ as cuts from various animals are ground together and fried in oil until it sticks together like some culinary chimera.

            Vorshgardi of dark humor may point out the possibility that they are eating one of the Shaperate’s part-human experiments but the truth is they’re inferior cuts of meat from animals one would expect to eat. The notion it could potentially happen certainly makes vegetarianism a more appealing choice.

            Shapers have been known to produce very avant garde dining experiences, creating creatures that exist exclusively to be eaten. There’s stories of still living food but most of them are self-aware enough that they would only do it deliberately to make guests squirm.


            Most food in Vorshgard is grown in private gardens, without its client states constantly supplying basic food, starvation would be a very real possibility if they experienced an extended bout of bad weather.

            The Shaperate has a number of clients who pay handsomely for its services, though generally keep their affiliation with them a secret and instead prefer to regal their visitors with how they found this rare creature rather than admit they paid to have it bred from mutated stock in a laboratory.

            Guests are well treated, the Shaperate is aware that to the uninitiated their practices are potentially horrifying especially when observed first hand, such things are the result of culture clash and not a reason to examine their practices.

            Festival Days:

            Elevation: Vorshgard has no formal days of celebration but small scale celebrations are held when an individual is inducted into the Shaperate. Typically a dozen or so of the new Apprentice Shaper’s peers (usually fellow apprentices but sometimes higher ranking members wish to attend or are strong armed into attendance if the appointment is politically motivated) will travel to their neighbourhood and present gifts to the residents.


            Vorshgard has a military built off the back of cultivated lifeforms, though their greatest asset in this area are the Hruggha a species of vicious Darkbrood they discovered deep underground some decades ago. Ordinarily unable to bear the light of the sun for more than a few moments the Shaperate has these creatures partially fused to a black photo resistant armour that makes them much more durable in the light of day.

            Unruly at best outside the presence of a Shaper the Hruggha are a weapon of terror more than they are an occupying force, durable beyond a mortal man and easily replenished. The Shapers who lead them into battle typically try to rival the Hruggha for the fear they sew with a whole host of living weapons such as the infectious spore casters, powerful symbiote weapons that attack with a will of their own and obscene failed experiments that throw themselves at the weapons of the enemy in the hopes it will end their suffering.

            Vorshgard has had little success in introducing sorcery to augment its fleshcrafting, the last sorcerer in the Shaperate was Fauna Junia over 100 years ago and chose to become a tree as her life neared its end in the hopes of passing on her knowledge. Thus far she has had no successors.

            In Game:

            The former homeland of the Twilight Caste Crystal Amarath, she may have been content to forget this palce existed were it not for a pressing family matter.

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            • By god.
              I'm almost certainly going to use some of this, if you don't mind.

              But sexually.


              • That sounds kinda bad with your sig.


                • Originally posted by Ellis View Post
                  By god.
                  I'm almost certainly going to use some of this, if you don't mind.
                  Not at all, that's why I share it.

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                  • There may have been a lot of cursing and exclamations during and after the game session at the 'culture clash' involved. And potentially nightmares.

                    “The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.” George Carlin


                    • So since my PCs aren’t currently wandering I thought I would talk about some plot threads rather than locations.

                      Six Daughters from Ysyr
                      For a while now the Fire Aspect sorceress had been planning to establish a school on a par with the Realm’s secondary schools within Seven Sentinels, but as a state ruled by anathema it was difficult to find suitable clientele even among their allies because it’s one thing to depend on Exalts for trade agreements and military aid but quite another to trust them with your children.

                      A Lookshyan contact hoping to get a good deal on an artefact trade informed them that one of Ysyr’s sorcerer princes would be very interested in their services because he doesn’t really have anywhere else to turn.

                      Essentially the prince is over 200 years old and the magic that’s been prolonging his life has started breaking down leading him to sequester himself behind a specially made veil where time flows much slower inside than out so that he can use his remaining time more wisely.

                      The Prince has six beautiful teenage daughters who haven’t inherited his gift for sorcery and are thus ineligible to become his heirs, he fears they’ll be divided up along with his other possessions if that doesn’t change. He thinks there might be other avenues to unlocking their potential and is willing to spend a great deal on one last roll of the dice.

                      The final part of the agreement is that if any of the daughters cannot be initiated into sorcery that they’ll be married off to an eligible sorcerer. It’s a chance for the Fire Aspect to really make a name for herself assuming that she doesn’t ulitmately get stuck playing matchmaker.

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                      • Wanted to follow up on an old argument I've been making for a while.

                        Why Glories to the Most High/Thousand Correct Actions are much better First Age suppliments than Dreams of the First Age

                        I've made no secret of the fact that I dislike DotFA and think it failed to build a setting, Glories wasn't trying to be its own setting so much as revitalise vanilla Exalted gameplay in the Age of Sorrows so why did it do a better job than DotFA at something it wasn't even trying to do?

                        DotFA was fundimentally about the same Creation that Age of Sorrows stories were told in, the lost land from the Balorian Crusade didn't really amount to very much and there was very much a sense that there wasn't much left to do. We had alusions to greater threats like the Aftershock War and Operation Wyld Hand showed that the Wyld hadn't been completely tamed but overall their biggest threat was each other.

                        Glories' primary objective of introducing the Incanae as statted NPC was something I strongly disagreed with and thought it would lead to them showing up in game unnecessarily, but for a game set before The Unconquered Sun had turned his back on his Chosen it could have a huge impact on what it was like to play a Solar Exalt. That's before we get to the associated locations (Silver Chair, Daystar) and their history. Suddenly you had scope to be recruited for a cosmic adventure against some horror in the deep wyld.

                        DotFA was more interested in giving us high essesnce charms than showing us what kind of charms Exalts of that era might develop, while Glories gave us a lot of charms that hinted at the relationships between the various Exalt types - Sun and Moon Method tells the same story as Lilith's write-up but much faster and Golden Widow Method is the Lunar response. We also got to see the Solars research in manipulating their essence in ways that would result in Abyssals and Green Sun Princes. Similarly while I thought Thousand Correct Actions pidgeonholed the Dragon-Blooded into being the Mass Combat Exalted it certainly fit an era where there was over a million of them and it sold me on how a Dragon-Blooded could come to see this as a virtue.

                        Finally on the Mortal level. The thaumaturgy rituals in the Glories books feel better as the 'technology' of a bygone age than something that always existed in the vanilla setting, having your marriage/divorce being recognised in the eyes of Heaven feels more appropriate for an era where Yu-Shan actually gave a crap it feels like a better example of how Exalts were affecting mortal societies than Desus lunch boxes.

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                        • I just wanted to let people know that a lot of the threads people tried to create over the last few days still sorta exist on the "recent threads" and might appear properly if replied to. Please try not to drown us in duplicate threads though.
                          Last edited by Lioness; 11-09-2018, 12:04 AM.

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                          • Another ongoing plot element. This one's major as it enables other smaller plots to work.

                            The New Underworld
                            Towards the end of last edition Stygia was destroyed by infighting among the Deathlords and destabilised the entire Underworld in the process. A super storm called the Malestrom interferes with necromancy and makes fast transport virtually impossible. Nobody has seen the Deathlords themselves since this whole thing went down and even fear isn't enough to stop their organisations from coming to pieces without them. The number of Abyssals who've gone completely rogue is believed to now outnumber the ones waiting for their masters.
                            Unfortunately, Spectres and Hekatonkhire are more likely to venture into Creation than they ever were.

                            The prospect of stopping the Malestrom is a slow burn, they PCs have encountered a couple of entities that appear to be former constellations which broke away from the Calendar of Setesh. There's also the prospect of rebuilding Stygia but this would require travelling into where the storm is at its strongest to break ground, not to mention transporting that building material would be next to impossible someone would have to sacrifice a large amount of grave goods on the Blessed Isle.

                            Finally, if they pull all this off there's a risk of the Deathlords swooping in and claiming victory for themselves.

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                            • Some thoughts on Warstriders
                              Despite liking the rules, I'm not 100% content with how 3rd edition handles them.

                              To me a major strength of Exalted is that it lets you play a mecha pilot without making the whole game about piloting giant robots, an inexperienced Warstrider pilot fighting a seasoned combatant is probably going to end up flailing around ineffectually as their more nimble opponent runs rings around them.

                              I think some of the advice in the “I WANT ONE” sidebar on page 143 is contrary to what I would suggest to players and Storytellers who want to integrate them into their games. Mostly, I feel that expecting another PC to perform the maintenance you need to keep using your equipment is pretty damn risky. People decide they don’t like the character they’re playing all the time and I’ve seen a few instances of players of crafters feeling that they were strong armed into investing in something so than someone else could have fun. Maybe you'll luck out and have a fellow player who wants to be a crafter?

                              Admittedly, for the most part I do see a Warstrider as a piece of equipment for a crafter to invest in, because most fictional characters I’ve seen who have a signature vehicle they're heavily associated with and invested in are frequently tinkering around under the hood or at least knowledge of its upkeep (admittedly, I’m the daughter of a mechanic so this might be colouring my memory somewhat). It just seems weird to want a bond strong enough to unlock Evocations while insisting that somebody else fixes it.

                              What I do think perhaps should’ve been given more emphasis is that almost certainly won’t need to start out able to meet a Warstrider’s upkeep requirements. If you’re only deploying it in combat then 10 hours is an absolutely huge amount of time for a mere 40% chance of losing a health level. Unless they start taking a lot of damage that’s plenty of time for someone to learn the appropriate crafts or find someone who can do the job well before there's any loss of performance.

                              The last thing’s more of a personal preference, but I think the increased size works against them. The old height of 18 feet was about on a par with a Warhammer 40,000 Contemptor Dreadnought and more complimentary to the idea of it fighting in combats with the rest of the Circle rather than an involuntary shift towards giant robot battles. Certainly, if I make more Warstriders I’m not going to limit myself to 30 foot minimum.
                              Last edited by Lioness; 12-19-2018, 01:09 PM.

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                              • I found the main reason I had to do maintenance on my Warstrider was travel. You've got to walk the thing to wherever the fight is. You can't take it on Lunar-back or Stormwind Rider after all. Actually, I only got to fight in it once in 7 or 8 sessions, because it was such a hassle to get it where it needed to go. I strongly recommend evocations for long-distance movement.

                                Avatar by Jen.
                                My Exalted characters:
                                Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                                Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng