No announcement yet.

OOC (Exalted): The Whitestone Island Campaign

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OOC (Exalted): The Whitestone Island Campaign

    Character Creation Rules:
    • Use heroic mortal chargen from Scroll of Heroes.
    • No merits allowed without approval.
    • You can take flaws if you have one that fits and you want a way to represent it mechanically, but you do NOT get any BP for flaws you take.
    • Feel free to leave some Background dots unspent, just make a note that they're there. That way if you meet a friendly god or a cool monster or a magic sword or something, you can just say, "Guru, I want to put these unspent dots toward making that thing my familiar or ally or...magic sword."
    • Backgrounds bought with chargen resources are gonna have some minor narrative immunity to my malicious machinations, backgrounds acquired in play without the expenditure of resources have no such protection.
    • Mutations are subject to approval.
    • No negative mutations for BP, though you can take them for RP reasons as with Flaws above.
    • People of the Sea should take the appropriate mutations package.

    Lore covers only things your character would have a plausible way to have learned. High ranks in Lore for locals with no knowledge of the rest of Creation will get you tons of neat local history and family trees and the customs of the other tribes, but even at 5 you have probably not heard of Lookshy. Same story with Occult- high ranks get you lots of info on local spirit courts but you gave probably not heard of Ahlat. I mean, there's not really any cows on this island, it's all pigs and chickens. These restrictions hold true for foreigners- figure out where your character has studied or travelled, please.

    Linguistics- Everyone on the island speaks the same language. If is notably not Seatongue or Firetongue, it's a local language that's evolved on its own for a few hundred years. Count it as a "barbarian language family," as it includes the slight differences in dialect between the tribes. It has a written form, so your Lore 1 lets you read it. Priests are taught Old Realm to deal with spirits.

    Thaumaturgy- Go nuts. Personally I would prefer that if you take a Degree, you list your character's favorite Procedures so I can familiarize myself with them ahead of time. Little fluff descriptions of how the ritual is performed and the ingredients/supplies you'll need for it are good too, as these things can be fun plot points later. Locals are encouraged to reskin procedures to fit local aesthetics and the Stone Age tech level.

    Posting Rules:
    Dialogue: If your character is speaking, please use the appropriate color so we know what language they're using.
    Default-black text is in the Barbarian Tongue of Whitestone Island.
    This turquoise blue color is Seatongue.

    This deep purplish color is Old Realm. High Realm is lighter purple, and Low Realm is pink.
    Firetongue, predictably, is red.
    Airtongue is light blue.
    Riverspeak is green, Guild Cant is orange.

    Right now that's all the languages likely to come up, but I'll add others if and when people learn them. Please start using these text color rules so I know what languages you're speaking and what NPCs can and cannot understand you.
    Last edited by Wise Old Guru; 10-23-2014, 11:38 AM.

    So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

    The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
    -Roger Zelazny

  • #2
    Cast of Characters:

    Player Characters:
    • Pakari, played by SemiCasual: A strong and honest young priest in training, destined for a love that will rattle the dome of Heaven.
    • Hasya, played by While My Guitar: A wise old priest working to make up for his dark past...if it doesn't catch up with him first.
    • Huelo Fokisi, played by Hapless With Dice: Long-lost heir of the Sunset Throne, returning from foreign lands to return his tribe to its rightful order.
    • The Raven-Haired Maiden, played by Jen: His sister, called from civilization back to her forgotten home by the call of dark dreams...
    • Akoli Tane, played by Brasstreader: A keen-eyed young Seafolk shark trainer turned merchant, who dreams of a life (and a wife?) on the shore.
    • Lyndon, played by Ekorren: A man of learning stranded on a savage island, he finds himself drawn to its strange people and ancient mysteries.
    • Masagi Seskan, played by LostLight: Cast to the sea by his people and spared by the gods, he yearns for a new life free from his ill-starred fate.
    • The Bearer of Bones, played by The MG: Cursed with endless penance for failing her people and her gods, she carries her sin upon her shoulders.
    • Wahine, played by Foxsimile: A brilliant artist always in search of a new horizon to cross, she quests after the cruel spirit which stole her voice.

    Sidekicks, Servants, and Followers:
    • Neomai: Huelo Fokisi's brash childhood friend and current right-hand man.
    • Menreiki-San: The Raven Haired Maiden's clever mentor, an actor and playwright willing to travel to distant and dangerous lands for unspoken love.
    • Yirga: Lyndon's co-conspirator and occasional rival, the island's only Gateway-playing spider monkey.
    • Lyndon's Mustache: Some men live their whole lives without ever knowing love like that between Lyndon and his beloved Mustache.
    • Alial Daruma: Seskan's rescuer, a big-hearted young warrior fond of stories of strange lands, he is Seskan's greatest friend on the island.
    • Kusuma: Dead for seven years, this girl's feral shade guards in death the Bearer of her Bones, who failed to guard Kusuma in life.

    Temple Guardian NPCs:
    • Jainat Marigami: The 17-year old High Priestess, appointed by the gods and struggling to serve them and her people as more than a figurehead.

    Green Flower Tribe NPCs:
    • Chief Kalewa: Bold young ruler of the tribe, heir to Kaimana. Strong and brave, he has never known defeat, and seeks to strengthen his people.
    • Elder Karazi: Once Kaimana's right-hand man, an expert warrior, now a tribe elder and advisor to Kalewa. Knows Hasya from the old days.
    • Cloud Hopper Haku: Brave glider pilot and warrior, leader of Kalewa's elite Kitemen, infatuated with old flame Wahine. No one spits like Haku.
    • Raikou: Brilliant inventor/merchant/entrepeneur, trapped on an island using shells for currency, decades ahead of his time. Friend to Akoli Tane.
    • Vari: A young beauty now nearing her thirties and unhappy in her marriage, her eyes turn wistfully to the sea...
    • Alial Daruma: Seskan's rescuer, a big-hearted young warrior fond of stories of strange lands, he is Seskan's greatest friend on the island.
    • Susilo Akoni: Master shipbuilder/carpenter, formerly of the Dreaming River but married into the tribe. Friend and teacher to Wahine.

    Dreaming River Tribe NPCs:
    • Chief Shadowed Skies: The middle-aged chieftain, she fears war is inevitable and is quietly preparing for it, but still seeks a way out.
    • Shadow of Whispering Palms: Her 12-year old son, a gentle godblooded boy still mastering his power over his father's forest dominion.
    • Sleeping Moon: Her 14-year old heir, quiet and stern and responsible. Crap in a fight, but gifted by his father with strange magic.
    • Aroha: Pakari's lovably cranky old Auntie, who spends her time meddling in everyone else's affairs and generally terrorizing the next generation.
    • Hohepa: A crafty merchant trader who travels between the tribes selling wares. Friend and debatably positive male role model for Pakari.
    • Tama: Middle-aged woodsman, mentor to Pakari. Allergic to coconuts, fond of The One That Got Away stories, in hunting and in romance.
    • Cynis Falina: Fugitive con artist, sitting on the biggest Jade deposit on Creation, trying to figure out how not to get screwed out of the profit.
    • Suanggi: A young woman, recently married. Former lover to the Bearer of Bones, still something of a party animal, scared of settling down.
    • Enoka: A crippled beggar exiled by the People of the Sunken Fires, now living in and around the Dreaming River. Friend to the Bearer of Bones.

    Sunset Tribe NPCs:
    • Chief Kapena: A Green Flower tribesman, he took power through marriage after Chief Wahyu died, and has allied the tribe closely with his own.
    • Putri: His wife, sister to Chief Wahyu and aunt to Heulo and the Maiden, she loves her husband and the peace he has brought her people.
    • Neomai: Huelo Fokisi's brash childhood friend and current right-hand man.
    • Skypio: Huelo's best friend from childhood, who married Huelo's betrothed after he was missing for several years. A stonecarver by trade.
    • Plumeria: Huelo's betrothed, who eventually got over his disappearance and married Skypio. Merchant princess, owns two banana plantations.
    • Avani: Daughter of Skypio and Plumeria, currently six years old. Loves her father's obsidian weapons and the color purple, wants a pet pig.
    • Leilo Sweet-Tide: Fisherman's wife, seller of fish, supporter of Fokisi, a clever and incredibly stubborn woman feared by local gossips.
    • Elder Green Hands: Village Elder for the Calm Seas Village. Old, mostly deaf, deals with most problems by waiting them out.
    • Faruma Black Eyes: Young warrior with family connections to tribal royalty, currently awaiting trial for arson.

    Whispering Valley Tribe NPCs:
    • Chief Somchai the Tyrant Slayer: A cunning old warrior, he seeks to prepare his daughter to rule the tribe after his death.
    • Ratu Stone Hands: His daughter, a brilliant archer famed for her imperturbability. Would much rather chase pretty girls than rule her tribe.
    • Kunekune: Kusuma's younger brother, who leaves food out for the Bearer of Bones, and asks her for stories, when she passes through.

    People of the Sunken Fires NPCs:
    • Queen Atoli Golnara: A wise old sorceress who long ago mastered the sea, she struggles to protect her homeland...and choose an heir.
    • Princess Atoli Azra: Her daughter, twin to Dariah. A much-loved warrior, master of net and harpoon, hero of a dozen battles with the Raksha.
    • Princess Atoli Dariah: Her daughter, twin to Azra. A healer, famed for the accuracy of her auguries and the might of her summoned servants.

    Gods and Spirits:
    • Keshet the Sun-Swallower: Local god of storms and dragon-eels, patron of the Green Flower Tribe.
    • Konani of the Evening Light: Local god of volcanoes and light-in-the-darkness, patron of the Sunset Tribe.
    • Fintan: Local goddess of frogs and mudslides, patron of the Whispering Valley Tribe. One of the Three Floods, member of the Aerial Legion.
    • Oihana of the Silent Wood: Local forest god, lover of Shadowed Skies and father to Moon and Palms. Brother to Moana and Kaleo.
    • Moana of the Dreaming River: Local river goddess, patron of the Dreaming River tribe, lover of Keshet. Sister to Oihana and Kaleo.
    • Kaleo of the Listening Mountain: God of Whitestone Island, and local Mountain God. Distant and aloof, elder brother to Oihana and Moana.
    • Najwa the Mosquito Queen: Local goddess of disease, mosquitos, and ill fortune. Loves secrets and juicy gossip.
    • Sarika the Colored One: Local goddess of birds, music, and courtship. Vain and easily flattered into giving good fortune. Patron to glider pilots.
    • Minali: Local god of fishing and fishermen. A dolphin trickster-spirit fond of cruel pranks on the unrighteous or the ugly.

    Local Monsters:
    • Lord Mahdu the Gleaming Prince: A terrible Raksha warlord, peacefully beekeeping and gardening, at least until Balor comes back.
    • Kusuma: Dead for seven years, this girl's feral shade guards in death the Bearer of her Bones, who failed to guard Kusuma in life.

    Foreigners or Distant-But-Relevant NPCs:
    • Captain Phi-Ho: Dashing sea captain mutated by the Wyld into a tiger-man. Definitely not a smuggler. Or a pirate. Who told you that, anyway?
    • Againa Lumami: Expert shaman, former teacher and mentor to Seskan. Has treaties with several elemental courts in Seskan's homeland.

    Last edited by Wise Old Guru; 10-13-2014, 03:42 AM.

    So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

    The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
    -Roger Zelazny


    • #3

      The place is dominated by three large mountains (Windrest Mountain, Keshet's Mountain in a caldera atop which is a giant magic lake, and the mountains surrounding the Whispering Valley, a deep crater formed by an ancient volcano). The Realm doesn't know it, but the island has a ridiculously high concentration of white jade (thus the name), as several major dragonlines full of Earth and Fire essence met long ago on the seafloor here. The cliffs and mountains of the island are a chalky gray-black, but one need only dig a few feet under the surface, or look at the gleaming white pebbles decorating its river-bottoms, to realize the wealth hidden just below the surface of this remote place. Of course, it's harder than anything else on the island, so the locals haven't been able to fashion it into much more than the occasional mortar and pestle or jade pebble-studded tetsubo. The soil is rich and black, and in the Whispering Valley Tribe's territory it is easy to find high quality obsidian and unusual gems spewed forth by the long-dead volcano.

      Local Landmarks:

      The Court of Dying Winds: The local Raksha court are not particularly human. They are fond of shaping themselves like colorful and deadly sea creatures, or into manifestations of tempestuous fury, and they stride across the waves or are pulled by gleaming koi or serpentine dragons. They fight amongst themselves often. They would love nothing more than to sweep over the island, but the local deities are strong and the island is full of ridiculous amounts of Wyld-repelling white jade, and so they content themselves with competing with the local sirens to see who can lure more sailors to their deaths, or with sending aquatic behemoths to ravage the Seafolk, or with calling up dreadful storms or dead calms to inconvenience the people of the island. They reside in a relatively stable Wyld zone to the northwest of the small island chain formed by seamounts which protect Whitestone from the worst of Western weather, and tend to settle, when exiled from court, on that island chain to call up phantasmal palaces and tribes of Wyld barbarians to worship them.

      The Sea of Nightmares: This large and ever-shifting Wyld zone drifts with the weather. During the day it's generally pretty safe, but at night the waters turn a deep inky black and lights move under the water. All sorts of stories are told about the Sea of Nightmares. Mostly they involve a ship drifting back from it empty, or with only one absolutely mad survivor. The raksha of the Court of Dying Winds avoid the place themselves, and on rare occasions when someone has talked to one of the Wyld Barbarians who serve them about it, they mutter about something sleeping there that the Raksha are afraid of.

      Hungry Island: Nobody lives on this island, though brave warriors sometimes venture there on a dare or a divine quest. The place is twisted by the Wyld, and everything there wants to eat you. Mosquitos grow to the size of bats, bats grow to the size of dogs, giant brightly-painted venomous snakes and toads lurk in waiting to snap you up, huge dinosaurs stalk the inner jungles. Sometimes crocodiles or sea-dragons from Hungry Island make their way to the other islands nearby and terrorize local villages until dozens of men can trap them in nets and kill them with spears.

      Sunset Island: This sacred island is a great volcano, and the home of Konani of the Evening Light, the god of Failing Lights. Its outer edges are black sand beaches studded with huge black boulders, and the sea on its western coast often bubbles and steams as Konani and his court of earth and fire elementals pour molten stone into the sea in a long and slow geomantic war against the crazed energies of the local Wyld Zone. It was much bigger a couple of centuries ago. If everything stays on schedule, the Wyld Zone should be eliminated completely within three hundred years...though of course the local Raksha tend to muck with the schedule where they can.

      The inner part of the island rises into a towering volcano with two peaks. They are erupting constantly, and their flickering fires and distant rumbles are perceptible from the southern parts of Whitestone Island. Sunset Tribe priests make annual pilgrimages here during the Season of Fire to pray and to sacrifice livestock to Konani (he won't take human sacrifices). These trips are dangerous, often plagued by Raksha or their pets, and so they are well-armed and guarded. Being selected to accompany a pilgrimage to Sunset Island is a great honor.

      Honey Island: This enchanted islet is home to the Invincible Amber Citadel of Lord Mahdu the Gleaming Prince. Mahdu is a great lord among the Raksha: a leader of vast armies, feared and respected and lusted after by his peers. He swore upon Balor's death that he would go into mourning and not leave until his lord returned to the world and led him once more in glorious battle against the blasphemy of form. It's been a few centuries, and Mahdu's eternal grieving has given way to a strange sort of cozy retirement. He has turned from general to beekeeper, and his island swarms with the creatures. He trades supernaturally delicious honey to the Pelagials in the City of Ancient Bones in exchange for human slaves for food and entertainment, and in idle hours he lures passing ships to his seductive island with wafting scents of delicious feasts and dreams of beautiful youths and gentle breezes. There are several stories of noble warriors who have bested Mahdu in duels and returned to their home villages bearing great treasures. Two or three of those stories are even true. Mahdu is best known among the Dreaming River tribe, for they suffer the majority of his predations.

      The Night Reef: A shadowland on the seafloor, the Night Reef is an ill-omened place, for it is the site of dozens of shipwrecks. The Pelagials hold strange ceremonies under the water here on moonless nights, and the coral grows white and red in cruel spikes and spines. The place is teeming with life, but much of it is pale or eyeless like you'd expect in the sunless depths. Three old and cruel sirens reside in the reef and are honored by the Pelagials, and these prayers and the essence of the Underworld and the lure of performing their ancient duties without the censor's eyes watching them has proved too much for them. They are the reason few outsiders know of Whitecrest Island, for ships that stray too close to the Night Reef do not tend to return to their home ports. The Night Reef is avoided by the fishing fleets of the Dreaming River Tribe and by the People of Sunken Fires, and many are the sailors and hunters who tell creepy stories about near misses with the place when they've had a bit of drink in them.

      The Local Power Centers:

      The Green Flower Tribe:
      These guys are headed by the Chieftain Kalewa, the young son of recently-deceased Chief Kaimana. Kaimana was a strong chief skilled in regional politics who sought to expand the dominion of his tribe. He expanded trade with the People of Sunken Fires, he won several border skirmishes with the Dreaming River and Sunset tribes, and he took advantage of several luckily timed illnesses and deaths among the Sunset tribes to expand his influence into their territory several decades ago. With the traditional line of the Keepers of the Sunset ended, he solidified his hold and installed a puppet chieftain (a cousin who he had married into the Sunset tribe's royal line as part of a peace treaty after those border skirmishes). Kaimana is dead, and Kalewa is a bold and charismatic youth with a strong arm and the loyalty of his tribe but little of his father's restraint or cunning wisdom. The Green Flower Tribe is wealthy, for they accept regular tribute from the Sunset Tribe. They have control over western access to the white cliffs of the Sacred Mountain, and on its northern face their young men often spar with the men of the Dreaming River Tribe, who control the falls on the opposite site (though of course no blood is shed during these youthful rivalries lest the gods be offended at bloodshed on holy ground, many grudges are made there for life).

      The Green Flower Tribe's capital and the heart of their power lies in Thousand Lilies Village, just north of the shores of Green Lake. The town is always bustling with canoes and two-hulled catamarans with green sails bearing wares downriver to Green Lake Village and Angry Skies Village, and regular boatloads of supplies and pilgrims sail upriver to Whitecliff Temple to commune with the gods, and the skies are full of colorful homemade kites. The Green Flower Tribe uses cowrie shells for currency, usually woven into cloth to form jewelery decorated with shells in easy-to-count denominations. They farm pigs and chickens and bananas and sweet yams and several species of tree-fruit, and the coast is always dotted with the ships of their fishing fleet (their boats often work with a Seafolk "spotter" who finds shoals of fish and uses trained sharks or dolphins to herd them into the nets in exchange for a cut of the profits). The Green Flower Tribe has also mastered the secret of farming the Lacquer Beetle, intentionally infesting trees with the insect's eggs to harvest their resinous secretions and boil it down into the best lacquer on the island. Ready access to this resource has made lacquered goods into the foundation of a small industry. The resin hardens and waterproofs while remaining lightweight, and baskets and decorative containers of the stuff are sold regularly to the other tribes. Lacquer armor of woven wicker is popular and commonplace, and the tribe's artisans often weave pebbles or stones into it to even out the weight and prevent it from becoming bouyant, enabling them to sell it to warriors among the seafolk.

      While most of them are farmers and fishers and craftsmen full time, every adult member of the tribe has built a personal glider, climbed a cliff with it, and managed to jump off and kill a twenty-foot eel and survive the fall (well, there is a small underclass of large hairy "children" who have never managed it, but they're generally looked down upon severely enough by their society that they either pull it off or die trying and redeem their family's honor eventually). The men and women of the tribe all fancy themselves warriors, and worship of Keshet the Sun-Swallower, the most aggressive of the local divinities, is extremely commonplace. Nets and spears are the weapons most of them know (as they're the best ones for taking down a dragon-eel at an altitude of seven hundred feet), but the chieftain's guard arm themselves with lacquered armor of woven wood and palm leaves, and they stud their clubs and forearms with ridges of sharks teeth. The Green Flower tribe's scouts can often be spotted soaring on laquered wings high over the island, for they have ready access to the sacred cliffs, and use them as a launching point year round. Thus Chief Kalewa knows within an hour of any approaching ships or any large movements elsewhere on the island. These Kitemen, male and female, are widely looked upon as heroes to their people, and have a bit of a reputation as quick to take advantage of their status with any bright-eyed young person they can get into bed.

      The elders of the tribe worry that Chief Kalewa, popular with young warriors and emboldened by his prosperity and his father's success, is going to bite off more than he can chew. For now they counsel him caution and prudence, and he grows bored.

      The Whispering Valley Tribe:
      The denizens of the Whispering Valley are an enigma. They wear strange tattoos with intricate patterns in highly contrasting white and red and black ink, and men and women both shave their heads and their bodies so that they gleam. They are mute, or when they speak it is in threatening monosyllables, or in a passionate whisper. They are unlucky, it is said, for their tribe offended the gods long ago, and trading with them or befriending them is inviting ill fortune. They conduct their negotiations with the other chieftains through the Temple Guardians, and rarely do they send an emissary in person. They are also famously deadly, and even Chief Kaimana never plotted to try and take the cursed valley in which they dwell. Their warriors are said to move silent as shadows, and never to utter so much as a grunt or cry of pain even when slain. Young men and women are always running off with them, it seems, for they are mysterious and dangerous and almost invariably drop-dead sexy. Young men and women who go missing are often rumored to have been taken to the Whispering Valley as spouses, or to have been slain in the jungle by the disapproving elders of the Whispering Valley tribe who, it is said, care not for these sorts of dalliances.

      The rumors aside, it is true that the Whispering Valley Tribe resides in the Whispering Valley. They have two large villages. The Village of Stairs, a place of winding stone steps carved into a steep bluff with huge boulders that can be wheeled into place to block the doors, and the Unsleeping Village, a town of wooden houses raised thirty feet high on stilts carved with all manner of wards, connected by rope bridges and glide-lines. The Whispering Valley is home to the island's only shadowland of any real size, surrounding a ruin known as the Buried City. The dead walk here, and they are hungry, and so at night the people of the Unsleeping Village climb into their high houses as the dead wander below. Most of the dead are mindless things and do not know to climb. The rest are repulsed by salt-infused ropes wound around the stilts, or in emergencies by teams of warriors wielding torches and salt-studded tetsubos. During the day, the people of the Whispering Valley farm goats and various fruits and vegetables, and as they are the only ones on the island to have mastered the art of making and preserving cheese, they sell it to merchants of the Dreaming River and Sunset tribes rather dearly. The warriors of the Whispering Valley get a bit of work as bodyguards and mercenaries, and when dealing with the living they tend to wield blowguns and poisoned arrows, and they prefer to strike from ambush. Every member of the Whispering Valley Tribe knows the value of silence and ambush, for every one of them has lain awake at night praying that the dead don't hear the sound of their breathing at least once. The men and women of the Whispering Valley rarely participate in the Feast of White Stones, having little interest in hang gliding or eel hunting. On the few occasions someone dares to question their courage, they just smile and point out that hang gliders are easy to shoot down if you know how to use a bow, and that Dragon Eels can't chase you on land.

      The Whispering Valley Tribe worships the same pantheon as the rest of the island, but they revere Fintan, Goddess of Frogs and Mudslides, above the others. They farm arrow frogs in large quantities for their poison and to keep down on ants and mosquitos, and many of their children keep toads the size of chickens as pets (they eat mice and insects and other pests, and their singing is considered a good omen). As they live on the slopes of a valley in a rainy region, they respect Fintan's power over mudslides, and local legend has it that it was her wrath that brought the lake and half the cliffside down on the ruins in the local shadowland. Rather more devout than members of the other tribes due to the everyday nature of their spiritual crises, the people of the Whispering Valley often accompany the Temple Guardians as guards into the wilderness.The people of the Whispering Valley ritually sever the arms and legs of their dead before sending them out in canoes laden with personal possessions in a funeral pyre on the lake. During the ceremony, the deceased person's loved ones intone his or her weaknesses to the others present, so that if they meet the departed again some night, they will be well armed against them.

      Their current Chieftain is Somchai the Tyrant Slayer, who earned his title and celebrated his coronation by capturing a live tyrant lizard and sacrificing it to Konani (poisoned arrows were involved), though he is now an old man. He is grooming his daughter to take over the tribe when he dies. She is very obviously uninterested in male company, however, and he worries that a lack of grandchildren will end his line...and thus end the secret treaty his great great great great grandmother made with the thing that rules by night in the buried city.

      The Dreaming River Tribe:
      Until a few decades ago, the Dreaming River tribe was the strongest tribe on the island. They lost that position when Chief Kaimana rose to power and subjugated the Sunset Tribe, but they are still the most numerous and they still control the most territory on the island.

      The Dreaming River Tribe consists of a number of scattered villages on the shores of the Dreaming River, as well as one or two scattered in the lush rainforest surrounding the river basin. They are excellent shipwrights and carpenters, with largely uncontested access to the relatively safe waters of the island's eastern coast (the Green Flower and Sunset tribes have to contest with Wyld zones, raksha, Sea Folk, and raiding parties of Wyld barbarians), they have become the most celebrated sailors on the island. Since Kaimana's rise to power, they have been quietly increasing the number o ftheir sailing vessels, and their fleet of war-canoes outnumbers the other tribes. They also have several larger multi-hulled vessels outfitted for blue water sailing, in the hopes of enriching the tribe through trade with distant lands, but to date they have only forged trade alliances with the once-a-year Denzik city ship and two Guild merchants. They've kept the location of Whitestone Island secret from these trading partners, and meet them at pre-arranged times on isolated islands about a month's sailing away. They've learned in the last two years that Guild and Denzik merchants are willing to trade fabulous riches (weapons and armor of black metal harder than obsidian whose magic keeps the Raksha at bay! Stones which store dreams! Sand which bursts into flame! Crystals which can be used to capture evil spirits!) in exchange for the hard white pebbles and boulders of the Dreaming River.

      The Dreaming River Tribe is the most mobile of the island's nations, and the other tribes have stories and stereotypes of their wanderlust. It is not uncommon for young men and women to carve their own canoe and set out on it, making their way up or down the river to a new village upon their coming of age. Still, their family ties are strong, and constant river travel carrying messages back and forth keeps the separate villages bound together by strong bonds. Many are the stories of young couples in love who speak by missives carried by river traders, and some of the great romantic myths of the tribe involve those river traders, who are viewed by the tribe as something resembling human luck talismans, intervening to correct some misunderstanding or to get disapproving parents out of the way to allow the young lovers to finally meet. Young men and women of the Dreaming River tribe who wish to be warriors often scale the eastern face of the cliffs that hold Keshet's lake, and using gliders of their own construction they hunt the dragon-eels to prove their valor, but the rite is not as universal as in the Green Flower Tribe, and is seen more as a way for a young warrior to earn renown and the favor of the gods than as a coming of age ceremony. Where the Green Flower Tribe stigmatizes all who fail to carry out this rite, the Dreaming River Tribe settles for just idolizing those who do. The Dreaming River Tribe's gliders aren't as sophisticated as the Green Flower Tribe's, and while they are perfectly capable of soaring and controlling their flights, they cannot stand up to rain or wind or heat as well as the gleaming lacquer works of their enemies. Their craft are generally one-use affairs which are landed in the river following a flight to prevent a crash into trees or stones. They still take great joy in interfering with the flights of the Green Flower tribe, and with squabbling over access to the northern face of the great cliffs. These border skirmishes can make a young warrior's name just as easily as slaying an eel, if he purports himself with unusual skill or valor.

      The tribe is led by Chieftain Shadowed Skies, a woman in her early forties who is much-reknowned among her people for scaling Windrest Mountain and forging an alliance with the Three Gods upon its sacred peak. This sibling-trinity of nature spirits governs the rivers, forests, and stones of Whitestone Island, and while they are not as individually mighty as Keshet Sun-Swallower or Konani of the Evening Light, they tend to act in concert and form a power bloc preventing the other deities from seizing a dominant position in the island's pantheon. Shadowed Skies has a particular connection to Oihana of the Silent Wood, the mighty wood-king who rules the forest of Whitestone Island, and she has borne him two god-blooded sons. Oihana favors the tribe, and blesses their woodsmen and hunters with great skill and luck. Several villages have been founded hidden away in the deep woods over the last decade. These Settlers of the Sleeping Forest, as their tribe calls them, have a stereotype as sticks-in-the-mud and unusually stern or serious people, but they are also widely considered to be dependable and favored by the gods. They clear patches of forest and raise small fields of crops which they trade with the river folk for the wares of the sea, and they provide much of the lumber used by the expert carvers and shipwrights of the tribe. Bright green hair and green eyes occasionally pop up in their children, and this is generally seen as a sign of a dalliance with one of Oihana's subjects among the forest spirits-a blessing, but sometimes a source of drama which can complicate a marriage.

      For years, Shadowed Skies has been quietly preparing for a war she believes is inevitable. The western borders of her lands are full of hidden tree-forts and snare traps. She fears the combined might of the Green Flower and Sunset tribes, and only the disapproval of the gods has kept her from hiring large numbers of Whispering Valley mercenaries. She has no desire for battle, and will eagerly grasp any chance to delay the onset of the war-the longer the wait, the more iron weapons and firedust she has time to import and the closer her young and magically gifted sons will be to adulthood. She seeks a way to drive a wedge between her enemies...and some of the PCs might fit the bill.

      The Sunset Tribe:
      The Sunset Tribe reveres Konani of the Evening Light above the other deities of the island. Every night, they can see his fires flickering on the southern horizon, and they honor him by lighting torches and incorporating reds and yellows and golds into their decoration. He favors them in turn, and the volcanic slopes of the mountains that border their territory furnish them with the best and the most volcanic glass on the island, and with bright gemstones and sharp obsidian. They export much of it now to the Green Flower Tribe to the north, but still their leaders and their temples are decked in finery.

      The Sunset Tribe is known among the others as a cheerful and steadfast people fond of staying up late, making music, and dancing. They are often said to be blessed by Konani, and it is true that illness and bad fortune fall upon them rarely, for their torches burn with sacred herbs and blessings that repel mosquitos and unfriendly spirits, and their villages are decorated with gleaming mandalas set with volcanic gems which honor the gods...not to mention the terrifying totems carved of huge bones which guard their borders. Calm Sea Village and Seal Cove, their major seaports, are shielded from storms by the shape of the island, and their fishing is often good. However, as the southernmost tribe they are most often faced with the monsters which occasionally swim north from the Hungry Island. Here they rely less on wards and herbs and more on hooked shark-tooth and obsidian harpoons and strong ropes, and upon shards of sharp volcanic glass woven into their armor to punish beasts that would claw or bite them. Where the Green Flower and Dreaming River tribes battle eels up north for sport and glory, the men and women of the sunset tribe watch the beeches from huts built high in the trees overlooking the seas, and sound horns when some great beast emerges onto the shore, or to warn the fishing fleet when a huge wake is spotted. These great battles happen at least a couple of times a year, and most of the warriors of the tribe have seen a couple. They have honed the act of slaughtering tremendous rampaging monsters into something of an art (and art which, to be fair, often involves buying ridiculous amounts of poisons and drugs from the Whispering Valley Tribe), and the bones of such horrors are often carved and made into threatening totems to guard their villages and their ships.

      Until a few years ago, the Sunset Tribe was ruled by Chief Wahyu, a strong and noble warrior who was much-beloved and much mourned by his people. His children vanished one day after leaving to swim by the sea, and in his grief he fell ill. The Bleeding Fever took him, and his wife, it is said, went mad and fled into the jungle when given news of his death. His heirs gone, the rule of the tribe passed to his sister Putri's husband Kapena. Kapena was the cousin of Chief Kaimana of the Green Flower Tribe, his marriage having sealed a peace treaty three years before. Kapena took power reluctantly, openly greiving over the loss of his brother in law and at first leaving most matters of governance to the Elders. At their insistence, after the first few months of his rule, he became more active, opening trade agreements with the Green Flower tribe and arranging a number of intermarriages to bind the ruling classes of the tribes together more tightly. The combined military might of the Sunset and Green Flower tribes has already borne fruit, defeating two raiding parties of wyld-twisted barbarians and one enraged demon-tiger. The combination of the Sunset's skilled and well-equippped heavy infantry with support from Green Flower gliders with spears is a potent one. The elders grumble about making close friends with their enemies of a few decades ago (and grumble even more about building war canoes and providing light wood for the Green Flower's flying warriors), but it can't be argued that peace with the Green Flowers means fewer young people injured or dead in battle. There is talk of Chief Kapena's young daughter being betrothed to Chief Kalewaw of the Green Flower tribe, so that their child will unite the two tribes by combining the rulings lines of both. The girl is still only six summers old, so there is plenty of time for such talk.

      The Temple Guardians:
      Each of the villages has its own local shamans and wise women and medicine men, but the formal priestly caste on Whitestone Island acts as a sort of independent body unifying the tribes. Known as the Temple Guardians, these holy men and women give up their families and their homes to serve the gods. No matter which tribe they were born into, they are expected to forsake their earthly loyalties in service of a higher calling. Temple Guardians swear oaths when the join the order to serve the gods, to serve the men and women of the island by interceding with the gods on their behalf, and to give up all family and worldly possessions. They also swear oaths to act always in a just and compassionate manner, and to lend any aid they are able to those in need. They swear to do battle with the enemies of the gods (mostly the dead and the Raksha, though "evil spirits" such as demons or badly behave spirits their gods disapprove of also count), and to preserve and share the wisdom of the past for their descendants.

      The Guardians are easily identified by their dress. Those priests in training wear a light blue sash, those who have sworn their oaths and joined the order for life wear yellow or gold and bear a sacred sun-and-moon symbol tattooed someplace obvious (often the forehead, a hand, or the exposed chest). They often carry satchels full of medicine or herbs, and wear necklaces of clay or wooden beads. Ceremonial headdresses and capes heavily adorned with shells or feathers are common among the higher-ranked priests, particularly those permanently stationed at a given temple or on ceremonial occasions. Many priests also carry one or more wooden masks for scaring off evil spirits or to symbolically take on the role of one of the gods at sacred festivals or to witness formal judgements for those accused by their tribe of crimes.

      Many Temple Guardians are raised independently of tribal power structures. Orphaned or bastard children are often given into the care of the Guardians and raised as priests from their childhood. These men and women are generally the most trusted of the Guardians, and tend to rise to the highest ranks within the order, but anyone willing to give up on the physical world and dedicate their lives to the spiritual is free to do so at any age. Many of the Guardians join in their old age after their children have started families or their spouses have died and they have less to lose by dedicating themselves to the gods. Many are the adolescents who join up to get away from arranged marriages or to avoid dangerous coming-of-age rituals or to avoid tribal justice for their crimes (it tends to be harsh, and the Guardians have an internal disciplinary system but don't punish their members for acts committed prior to joining the order). This has led to something of a negative stereotype for young priests, who are often viewed as vagabonds or cowards or traitors or criminals taking advantage of the system to avoid justice. Nobody acts on these impressions: harming those who serve the gods invites the retribution of those gods, which has in the past been terrible. Still, the Temple Guardians are aware of these issues, and those who take their oaths for selfish reasons, while not technically "punished" for transgressions prior to joining up, tend to get really difficult or dangerous duties to test their mettle and the earnestness of their devotion for a few years.

      The Temple Guardians have several duties, but perhaps their most visible one is as messengers and advisors. As neutral parties who few are willing to risk harming, they act as messengers between the rulers of the tribes. As holy men and women, they are also advisors and diviners behind the island's thrones, and their counsel is taken into account by wise rulers even if it isn't always followed. The Guardians also publicly serve the gods as priests at temples throughout the island. Even the smallest village has a small temple with a dedicated priest to intercede on the village's behalf with the local pantheon. Priests and priestesses are expected to remain celibate, barring one or two fertility festivals where they take part as representatives of the gods, and are expected not to hold onto worldly possessions, passing gifts or wealth on to the order to which they belong. In practice, both of these traditions are quietly violated on occasion, and it is not uncommon for rural priests to accept gifts or favors on "behalf of the temple" from grateful or desperate parishioners. If such minor corruption causes a scandal, though, the punishment is generally harsh: the order cannot risk its image.

      The Guardians also have a more dangerous duty. As intermediaries between man and spirit, they serve as exorcists and guardians of the island's holy sites and dangerous ruins. Priests tasked with these duties generally work in small teams of two to six, usually older priests with younger stronger assistant/apprentices. They place wards against ill fortune, treat the sick and contagious, exorcise the occasional possessing spirit, banish the vengeful dead, and occasionally go after a Raksha or a rare demon with varying degrees of success.

      The Guardians are stationed throughout the island, but their greatest strongholds are the Whitecliff Temple, the High Temple of the Three Gods, and the Temple of Eyes. Each complex has a small village inhabited entirely by priests built up around it. Whitecliff Temple's priests guard Keshet's sacred mountain and lake, and prevent anyone from approaching the Keshet's palace on the island in the center of that lake, or from approaching the Forbidden Peak. Regular donations from the Green Flower Tribe has built the Whitecliff Temple into a huge complex full of lacquered statues of the gods, and priests all over the island keep trying to get stationed there for the beautiful scenery and the huge library and view of the sacred falls (and the constant flow of impressionable and attractive young people looking for the gods' blessings before jumping off a cliff). The High Temple of the Three Gods is a sprawling complex on the river, full of tall wooden buildings and several monasteries. It's the order's primary source of medicines and herbs, with peerless gardens and a great deal of medicinal lore. The Dreaming River tribe competes to donate more wealth to the High Temple than the Green Flower tribe does to the Whitecliff Temple, and both sites are frequent destinations for pilgrimages.

      The Temple of Eyes is a veritable citadel build into the cliffside of the Whispering Valley, complete with tall stone towers and thick stone walls and archers atop those walls. The Sunset and Whispering Valley tribes donate heavily to this temple (though arms and armor are more common than art and statues and incense in terms of donations, here), which is less a site of pilgrimage (though members of the Whispering Valley tribe do tend to visit when they are feeling the need to visit a sacred site) and more a defensive line. The Temple of Eyes is named so because its priests keep a constant vigil, watching the shadowland around the Buried City for signs of organized activity. The records on clay tablets in the temple's archives indicate that three times in the past three hundred years, the dead have gotten themselves organized and attacked as an army instead of as roving packs, and twice something huge and horrible has come out of the shadowland with them. The Temple of Eyes keeps beacons atop the cliffs to warn the denizens of the Whispering Valley of any heightened activity in the shadowland, and they monitor it as best they can through scrying pools and an old First Age telescope. The Temple of Eyes produces the best exorcists on the island, and these men and women train in the martial arts with the Whispering Valley tribe's warriors against the day they are needed.

      The Guardians are easily identified by their dress. Those priests in training wear a light blue sash, those who have sworn their oaths and joined the order for life wear yellow or gold and bear a sacred sun-and-moon symbol tattooed someplace obvious (often the forehead, a hand, or the exposed chest). They often carry satchels full of medicine or herbs, and wear necklaces of clay or wooden beads. Ceremonial headdresses and capes heavily adorned with shells or feathers are common among the higher-ranked priests, particularly those permanently stationed at a given temple or on ceremonial occasions. Many priests also carry one or more wooden masks for scaring off evil spirits or to symbolically take on the role of one of the gods at sacred festivals or to witness formal judgements for those accused by their tribe of crimes.

      The Gods:

      Keshet the Sun-Swallower:
      Keshet the Sun-Swallower is the huge black serpentine god of dragon-eels, and the local storm-god. He officially holds a minor position in the Bureau of Nature, and he is interested in spreading the dragon-eels into a wider habitat, but they are a slow-growing species and he doesn't want to increase fishing on them lest they be overhunted. Dragon-eels return to their birthing place to mate, and Whitestone Island is one of a few dozen major birthing places for the great eels throughout the West. Keshet occasionally gifts sailors or explorers with eel eggs and asks them to deliver them to new locations to spread his dominion.

      The people of Whitestone island know Keshet as a great black serpent sometimes seen in the sky. Thunder and lightning and monsoons are his to command, as well as three young storm serpents. He generally tries to be as threatening as possible while still keeping damage to the island small to keep the worship coming. Keshet is a major antagonist-god in the pantheon, associated with darkness and destruction and masculinity, but he is also depicted as a mighty warrior and a slayer of demons. Warriors pray to him for strength, and he is depicted as a huge black warrior armed with javelins and a huge highly decorated shield as often as he is as an eel. The people of the Green Flower tribe claim that their chiefs trace their ancestry to Keshet long ago, and they revere him above the other gods. He occasionally takes lovers from among their tribe, though not in the last couple of generations.

      Konani of the Evening Light:
      Konani is the volcano-god of Sunset Island, having inherited the position after the local volcano god (responsible for creating Whitestone Island) was slain defending the place during the Balorian Crusade. He is also the god of Failing Lights. Konani is worshiped all over the island as the god of candles and torches and fires-lit-at-night, and he is generally seen as a sort of compassionate and protective god of home and hearth, though the Sunset Tribe knows him also as a god of molten stone and distant rumbles and raging liquid fire, and they revere him as the ruler of the local pantheon and the god who taught their tribe the arts of working obsidian and glass.

      He is an enemy of Keshet the Sun-Swallower in the local pantheon (though of course they drink together all the time and scheme to increase their local region's importance on the world stage without drawing too much attention and getting their sweet gig stolen by greater deities), and a prayer is spoken to Konani whenever someone sees a star fall, for this is seen as the Sun-Swallower consuming one of Konani's candles and bringing the world closer to endless darkness. Over the centuries, this has added falling stars to Konani's purview, and his powers to predict such phenomena have gotten him some favors from grateful Sidereals who are happy to oblige by keeping Immaculates the hell away from his followers.

      Konani takes the form of a rather chubby man of white stone with burning embers for eyes. He wears armor woven of strands of black iron, and he carries a burning torch. He hates and fears the Raksha, and directs the local elemental courts of earth in shoring up the local geomancy against the Wyld. He is concerned at the recent ascendance of Keshet's people over his, and is considering siring some godbloods among the Sunset Tribe, but he's worried Keshet might follow suit and doesn't want a war to decimate the island's population-last time that happened, the Raksha invaded, and his predeccessor got himself killed.

      Goddess of frogs and mudslides: Fintan is generally revered for her power over mudslides rather than her power over frogs, but the latter title predates the former, and she was born as the frog-goddess of Whitestone Island and worked her way up to her current position due to her fierce defense of Creation during the Balorian Crusade. Fintan has more political clout than the others in her pantheon: while the other local deities are largely terrestrial spirits (only Konani is also Celestial god, and he avoids most of the politics of Yu-Shan), Fintan is one of the Three Floods, agents of Zutaka, the thunderbird in charge of the Season of Water in the Bureau of Seasons. She delivers Heaven's wrath in the form of mudslides and sinkholes...whenever she is called upon to do so, which is rarely, as Zutaka rarely gets the go-ahead from the Aerial Legion. While she has a nice title, she gets little worship, and while other gods tend to know her name during the season of water when their worshippers fear her wrath, she is easily forgotten during the rest of the year and never invited to any of the good parties.

      Fintan keeps Whitestone Island a secret, for having a solid font of devotion in the form of the Whispering Valley tribe keeps her power relatively stable. She hopes that the regular use of her poisons in war by warriors will help her eventually get assigned to serve under one of the war gods, where she might actually get to do something now and again. She files regular reports on the status of the shadowland surrounding the Buried City (she's the one who buried it) and sends them to the Bureau of Endings, but she has no idea if anyone's actually reading the things.

      Fintan is depicted as woman with brightly painted skin, armed with a blowgun or a bow, usually naked, sometimes with a frog's head. The local salt gods are all enamored of her, though of course she's currently uninterested in romance.

      Oihana of the Silent Wood:
      Oihana is a hulking tree-man covered in orchids and vines and epiphytic flowers. The wood-king of Whitestone island, he is master of the numerous forest spirits that dwell here. His court includes numerous dryads, tropical flower spirits, and not a few Dogs of the Unbroken Earth, who stalk the untrammelled deep jungles. Oihana is old and strong, but recently he's become infatuated with the chieftain of the Dreaming River tribe, and pays more attention to human affairs than to local spirit politics. This isn't a good thing: human politics move much more quickly than Oihana is used to thinking, and his sister Moana and brother Kaleo worry he's going to offend Keshet or Konani if his favorite tribe gets too strong.

      Moana of the Dreaming River:
      Moana is the middle child of the three nature gods of Whitestone Island. She is goddess of the Dreaming River, but has dominion over the other river spirits of the island, including her daughter Luale of the Whispering River. Moana has taken advantage of her power as the ancient mother of the Dreaming River Tribe (the only tribe that includes women in the line of succession for their chieftains) to expand her dominion over the water spirits of the area, and many are the sirens and sea-spirits that heed her counsel, if not answer to her directly.

      Moana and Keshet are frequent lovers, and the people of the Dreaming River tribe view thunderstorms as omens of fertility or auspicious times for romance.

      Moana usually takes the form of a tall brown woman with deep green eyes and white hair that rustles and whispers like water running over stones. She wears gleaming white robes and carries a Singing Staff of white jade.

      Kaleo of the Listening Mountain:
      Elder brother to Moana and Oihana, Kaleo is the god of Windrest Mountain, and ruler of the mountains of Whitestone Island. He remembers his now-deceased father Inanu well, and does the best he can to help Konani fulfull the duties the old volcano-god left when he died during the Balorian Crusade.

      Kaleo isn't much worshipped outside the Dreaming River tribe. His sacred mountain is home, however, to the local wind court, who meet atop his peak. The local breeze and wind spirits enjoy Kaleo's hospitality and his endless patience. He is a quiet and patient deity more concerned with his duties than with worship, but the occasional pilgrim to the peak of his mountain generally impresses and flatters him deeply, and he is fond of giving out extravagant gifts or blessings to those who make the dangerous climb up into the thin air of his home. The Shield of the Mountain, a white jade shield traditionally borne into battle by the High Priest of the Temple Guardians, was a gift from Kaleo, as is the Necklace of Burning Stars, ruby necklace passed down for generations by the chieftains of the Dreaming River Tribe.

      Kaleo is deeply respected by the local earth courts, and he works closely with Konani to slowly expand the island through natural geological processes and to shore up the local geomancy against the Wyld.

      Najwa the Mosquito Queen:
      The disease-goddess of Whitestone Island is Najwa, a mosquito spirit. She rules over the island's various spirits of ill-fortune and ill-health, and nets and scented torches all over the island honor her with the fear they represent, even as people pray to her for her mercy. She is usually as a small woman with a long pointed nose and mosquito wings, and she carries a blowgun full of poisoned needles and wears a headress adorned with black and white feathers. Sometimes she's just a particularly hard-to-swat mosquito. Najwa is widely known to be intensely curious and to be incapable of keeping a secret, and she features in several songs and stories and plays as a spirit which enjoys eavesdropping on young lovers and then whispering their secrets in the ears of their enemies. These stories are, of course, entirely true.

      If you are unfortunate enough to meet Najwa, you can often persuade her to spare you (because let's be honest, she plans on eating you) by offering to give her a juice secret or bit of local gossip in exchange for your life. If she's already heard it, though, and since mosquitos are her spies she's heard most of them, then you're out of luck.

      Najwa hates Fintan and Konani. She is a regular attendee at Oihana and Moana's courts, where she is pampered and honored in the hopes that she won't unleash disease upon the people of the island.

      Sarika the Colored One:
      Sarika is the goddess of birds, and the patron of local glider pilots. She brings them luck and good-fortune, and bright-eyed children with hair like parrots are not unheard-of amongst the more dashing or daring of their number. Sarika fancies herself a warrior-goddess, but honestly she's mostly just a noisy and colorful courtier for the other gods on the island. She is vain and easily impressed, though, so she's much-beloved by the people of the island as a god of good fortune if only because she's likely to grant prayers for favorable breezes or a good hunt for wild birds or protection for one's chickens from predators.

      Sarika is also a god of music and courtship, and is particularly fond of prayers from love struck petitioners seeking to attract the attentions of the object of their ardor. Many are the island's tales of birds improbably bringing young lovers together or reuniting separated couples. Sarika also adores married couples preparing for children, and she has been known to send brightly colored parrots to lure lost children back to their parents. She does have a jealous streak though, as she falls in love easily and often, and if you are after the same mate as a goddess the fact that she sees herself as a noble hero and a protector of the island will not prevent her from ruining your year.

      The Ocean Father:
      Everyone knows and reveres the Ocean Father, particularly the coastal denizens of the island. He is a distant deity, though, and is seen as wise and vast. He's mostly revered as a creator-deity or the father of the other gods, Keshet in particular.

      Patron god of the local fishermen and sailors, Minali is one of the Baji, playful dolphin trickster-spirits. He took to guiding fishermen to good catches a few centuries ago, and his star has risen along with the people of the island. Minali largely rules the local spirit courts of the ocean, and he is fond of bringing good luck to kind (or pretty!) fishermen and bad to luck to unkind (or ugly) fishermen. He's widely worshipped by the local Sea Folk as well. Both groups of humans know him as a trickster-mentor. He's credited with things like teaching men to train sharks by the seafolk, or with teaching men to sail by the stars by local sailors. Minali's image is often carved on the prows of canoes.
      Last edited by Wise Old Guru; 10-23-2014, 11:27 AM.

      So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

      The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
      -Roger Zelazny


      • #4
        This space reserved too, for...things I have not yet anticipated.

        So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

        The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
        -Roger Zelazny


        • #5
          Where would you price a pet hungry ghost? Also, what background would you say that is?


          • #6
            Presenting Pakari's character sheet.
            Name: Pakari
            Concept: Humble Strong Man
            Archetype: Warrior
            Profession: Thug
            Motivation: Bring peace and good health to the island’s human inhabitants.
            Intimacies: Aunt Aroha (love, deference), Master Hasya (respect, deference), Dreaming River Tribe (home), Hunter Tama (respect), The Gods (reverence), Trader Hohepa (polite contempt)

            • Strength: ****
            • Dexterity: **
            • Stamina: ****
            • Charisma: *
            • Manipulation: *
            • Appearance: ***
            • Perception: ***
            • Intelligence: **
            • Wits: **

            • Archery:
            • Melee: ** (Specialty: Fierce Blows *)
            • MA: * (Specialty: Grapple *)
            • Thrown: **
            • War:
            • Integrity:
            • Presence:
            • Performance:
            • Resistance: ***
            • Survival: **
            • Lore: *
            • Occult: *
            • Investigation: *
            • Craft (Wood): *
            • Medicine: *
            • Athletics (F): **** (Specialty: Lift & Carry **)
            • Awareness: **
            • Dodge: **
            • Larceny:
            • Stealth: **
            • Bureaucracy:
            • Ride: *
            • Sail: *
            • Socialize:
            • Linguistics:

            • Compassion: ****
            • Conviction: **
            • Temperance: **
            • Valor: **
            • Willpower: ******
            • Essence: *

            Health Levels
            • 1x -0
            • 2x -1
            • 2x -2
            • 1x -4
            • Incap
            • X Dying

            - Backing (Temple Guardians) *
            - Contacts (Temple Guardians) *

            - Special Sense: Spirit Sight
            - Strong Back

            Pakari is a Dreaming River native by birth, and only recently made an adult. Last year, he made a minor celebrity of himself by killing a dragon eel in a most unusual way - instead of spearing it on a flyby attack, he crashed directly into one, rode (read - clung for dear life to) its thrashing body straight down into the river below, and drifted along with the corpse into the fishermen's waiting nets. He nearly died, but surviving that ordeal gave him the reputation of being exceptionally manly and strong. The attention he gets for his reputation is a source of continual minor embarrassment.

            The fact is, Pakari is built like a brick house and accustomed to being used like a pack animal - "no need for beasts of burden if Pakari can pull the cart," or so they say, and Pakari does not object. He is content to lead a quiet life, following the orders of others and finding comfort in mundane tranquility. Never an ambitious man, Pakari is nonetheless driven to help other people he sees in need, and his (comparatively) prodigious strength enables him to do that.

            Pakari's mother and father both died of illness while he was an infant, so he was raised by Aroha, his mother's sister. Aroha brought him up to be pious, respectful of his elders, compassionate to all creatures, and to value labor for service and self-improvement. Pakari grew up doing enough labor for three people, which partly accounts for his build. After he "wrestled" a dragon eel to death (really, it was the fall that killed it, or perhaps the impact of Pakari's body on it, but nobody besides Pakari would let the facts get in the way of a good story) and became a man, Aroha suggested he find a more advanced trade - she believed that Pakari could do much more than be a simple hunter, fisher, or farmer - and when Hasya started asking around the village for a helper, Pakari was the first to volunteer. Now he wears a blue sash and carries the old man’s belongings all around the island, doing his chores and occasionally learning a little - in the past year, he has picked up a small amount of herbal medicine by rote, and he is just about able to read. Pakari will generally follow his master's orders without hesitation, and rarely questions the reasoning behind any order.

            Pakari is tall, broad-shouldered, and has the kind of dark skin that you only get from a lifetime of sun exposure along with short black hair and an understated mustache. He tends to slouch, as he spends much of his time looking down at other people or hunching under heavy loads.

            BP spending:
            - 4 BP on an extra dot of Stamina
            - 2 BP for a dot in Craft: Wood
            - 1 BP for a 2-dot speciality in Lift & Carry
            - 9 BP on Special Sense: Spirit Sight (6) and Strong Back (3) Merits
            - 3 BP on another dot of Conviction - Pakari should be able to stand some hardship.
            - 1 BP on a Melee speciality in Fierce Blows (Exalted Core pg. 158)
            - 1 BP on a Martial Arts specialty in Grappling

            I have 3 Background points unspent.
            Last edited by semicasual; 08-18-2014, 10:42 AM.

            On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

            Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz


            • #7
              Craft discount applies to all the Craft subtypes, so if you're going to be crafty it's a good idea to favor it. As far as sign language, I'd take getting your points across that way as a specialization, to allow you to communicate using pantomime and gesture. For a more formal sign language system, take a dot of linguistics. In the interests of making the world cooler, I'm gonna say that there's a sign language widely used in the Whispering Valley tribe. They're famous for being super silent warriors and hiding all night without making noise, so a good sign language fits them.

              So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

              The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
              -Roger Zelazny


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wise Old Guru View Post

                Mutations are subject to approval. No negative mutations for BP, though you're free to take 'em for RO reasons as with Flaws above. People of the Sea characters should take the appropriate mutations package.
                As a member of the People of Sunken Fires, and a shark tamer, I would like to petition for the following mutations:
                -Bioluminescence (Pox), West p. 152.
                -Shark Sight (Affliction), West p. 152
                --Otherwise, going on the picture in Scroll of Heroes for outer appearance: human, but with few fins.
                Currently working on advancing all pre-BP expenditures, as well as Sea Folk template. Will halt until granted/denied clearance.

                Edit: also, asking about 'professional Abilities" would qualify. I'm thinking Survival, Melee, and Athletics, but professional dice might be covered as specialty dice instead, if we;re not using those rules.
                Last edited by Brasstreader; 08-12-2014, 08:37 PM.

                I used to know things. Forbidden things.


                • #9
                  MG, if the hungry ghost obeys you, it should be a Familiar. That background is kinda terrible, so let's just say three dots (1 for normal animal, 2 for badass normal animal, three for minor spirit or magic animal, 4 for giant dinosaurs and badass magic stuff, 5 for things that are ridiculous awesome).

                  Semi casual, Strong Back and Spirit Sight are fine. No to Jack of All Trades, and I am wary of Brutal Attack, I'd prefer you take specialties in combat abilities in things like Overpowering Blows or Pakari Smash or Bone-Shattering force to reflect this sort of combat style. If your main concern is optimization, don't worry about it. I suspect that a desire to actually hit stuff in combat is also why you're rocking Melee 4 without any training in combat or talk about how you're one of the most talented swordsmen/warriors of your generation in your tribe? I suspect some martial arts for grappling giant eels and maybe some specialties reflecting lessons learned from Hunter Tama in Survival or Stealth or Thrown might fit your concept better. You're going to mostly be up against low level opponents like wild beasts if you do end up in combat, and no matter how hard you twink you won't be a match for anything with charms that knows how to fight, so just relax and flesh out your character. A you're a mortal, Exalted is about being the desperate underdog and winning by the skin of your teeth here, so not being an übermensch is okay, you can deal with all that if you exalt someday. I promise I'm not going to drop Ligier on you outta the gate.

                  Edit: Please do not convert those BGs into BPs? If you cannot find a use for them, save them to drop on an Ally when you meet a spirit you think would make for a good epic romance. Floating BG is a thing that can save your life! If you are about to be eaten by the Mosquito Queen or a Raksha noble, being able to say, "Hey, Guru? Can I blow one of my banked BG dots to take this thing trying to eat me as a one-dot ally because I make it laugh or it develops a crush on me or something?" can be really handy. And fun, and sometimes silly in a good way.

                  Brasstreader-Bioluminescence is fine, and it makes the People of Sunken a Fires way prettier if y'all can glow. Hell, it makes me wanna try drawing your character, bioluminescence is really fun to try and capture in a digital painting! No on the Shark Sight- dog trainers don't get super smell, shark trainers don't get electric senses. That's what you have trained guard sharks for.
                  Last edited by Wise Old Guru; 08-12-2014, 09:38 PM.

                  So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                  The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                  -Roger Zelazny


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wise Old Guru View Post

                    Brasstreader-Bioluminescence is fine, and it makes the People of Sunken a Fires way prettier if y'all can glow. Hell, it makes me wanna try drawing your character, bioluminescence is really fun to try and capture in a digital painting! No on the Shark Sight- dog trainers don't get super smell, shark trainers don't get electric senses. That's what you have trained guard sharks for.
                    If you want to try drawing him, that's cool. I'd appreciate it. Anything you need to help out? I'm partial to him being clean-shaven. messy hair ranging from chin-length to shoulder length, and.. some kind of gloves, so he can pet the sharks without grinding his hand on sharkskin.

                    I used to know things. Forbidden things.


                    • #11
                      Alright, here are Wahine's current stats (pending storyteller approval):

                      Archetype: Savant
                      Profession: Craftmason
                      Concept: Wandering Artist
                      Motivation: Find her lost voice and spread her craft works across the west and beyond.
                      Intimacies: Cloud Hopper Haku (annoyance), marriage (trepidation), Sarika the Colored One (reverence and admiration)

                      Strength: 2 Dex: 3 Stamina: 2

                      Charisma: 2 Manipulation: 2 Appearance: 3

                      Perception: 3 Intelligence: 3 Wits: 3

                      Melee: 2

                      Athletics: 1, Awareness: 2, Dodge: 1 Stealth: 1 (wilderness +1)

                      Integrity: 2, Performance: 1 (stringed instruments+2), Resistance: 2, Survival 2 (tropical environments +3)

                      Bureaucracy: 1, Linguistics: 2, Sail: 2, Socialize: 1 (non-verbal communication +1)

                      Craft (air): 5, Craft (wood): 4, Craft (fire): 2, Craft (water): 1, Investigation: 1, Lore: 1, Medicine 1

                      Finishing touches:

                      Compassion: 2 Conviction: 4 Temperance: 2 Valor: 2

                      Willpower= 6

                      Merits/Flaws= Mute (4point version)

                      • Resources: 2 (selling raw materials, finished works, or crafting services)
                      • Familiar: 2
                        • A very smart parrot with an exceptional vocabulary. Wahine acquired him when he was a very young bird and they enjoy a symbiotic relationship. He understands Wahine's signing and the 'human noises' he was raised around. He sometimes responds to or speaks for Wahine in simple or broken sentences. He is extremely playful but prone to mischief, especially on those outside of his small 'flock'.
                      Other notes:
                      • native language= Seatongue
                      • learned language #1 Barbaric languages: Whitestone Island and vicinity
                      • learned language #2 Sign language (west)
                        • Wahine knows a sign language variant of the western languages she speaks
                      Wahine's possessions:
                      • Hand-carved Staff:
                        • The staff is covered in artistic embellishments. She uses it for fighting, hiking through the woods, and other utilitarian purposes. The tip can be fitted with a knife or other sharp point to make a spear.
                      • Pendant of Cold Iron:
                        • After gathering bits and pieces of assorted iron, she smelted a pendent to keep against her skin as protection from the Fair Folk. Within the pendent is the small iron bead that she clutched to her chest as a girl lost at sea. It gives her a sense of comfort and she believes it brings her luck.
                      • Other assorted possessions: hunting knife, thick leather work apron, basic tool kit, colorful carved mask (useful for eye protection when working), ukulele


                      Wahine is intelligent, clever, and resourceful. Although social situations can be cumbersome and awkward, she can be charming in her own odd way but the nature of her affliction can be isolating at times. She’s a pleasant woman when she’s doing what she loves and often has a smile on her face while she’s working. But she keeps to herself most of the time and occupies herself with projects and hunting for materials out in the wilderness. A bit aloof at times, she keeps few aquantances and has even fewer friends. To those she's befriended or who have taken the time to get to know her, she is a funloving firecracker of a woman who’s always up for an adventure. No doubt there's something magnetic about the artist. It’s not unusual for an occasional passerby to watch her work, not just for the display of craftsmanship but for the blissful smile she wears when she pours her unspoken words, thoughts, and passions into her art. She often becomes uneasy during severe storms; her normal confidence faltering as she clutches the iron pendent around her neck for comfort and reassurance. Too much time immersed in village life makes her anxious as well. She much prefers the freedom of wild places and spends a lot of her free time camped along some stretch of coastline or unclaimed patch of jungle.
                      Last edited by Foxsimile; 08-18-2014, 01:01 AM.


                      • #12
                        I like her. What's up with the Virtues? Seeing an easily persuaded and dissuaded person with little self-control who is likely to give up on her goals when the going gets tough...with Integrity 3 is a little unusual, and Valor 4 means Wahine's likely to be pretty hot-tempered. Not necessarily problems, but I'm curious as to what sort of personality you're going for here. I'm having trouble connecting Conviction 1 and Temperance 1 with turning down Gaston and going on a quest to regain your stolen voice, y'know? Low temperance makes a certain degree of sense for a wandering artist type, I guess.

                        Personality mechanics are, I hear, gonna be better in 3e, but I'd like to map 'em as close as we can before then.
                        Last edited by Wise Old Guru; 08-13-2014, 03:50 AM.

                        So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                        The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                        -Roger Zelazny


                        • #13
                          Oops, fixed her virtues. Her virtues should more accurately reflect her character in a more mechanically sound, playable way now. (brave, gutsy artistic type who occasionally gives into temptation and vice but stays focused on her larger goals).


                          • #14
                            Hey, Brasstreader. Quick sea folk character sketch! Can't make the damn thing link properly (curse you, tablet!), but I'll just put the URL below. It's a half-finished work. If you think it fits, tell me about your character's jewelry and glowing markings and clothes/tools/weapons and I'll throw some garb and detail and lighting on it. Good practice.

                            So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                            The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                            -Roger Zelazny


                            • #15
                              I adjusted my character sheet - changelog is as follows:
                              - Moved 2 dots from Melee to Awareness - On reflection it would be weird for Pakari to be an exceptional fighter, but not so much for him to be observant.
                              - Spent 9 BP on Special Sense: Spirit Sight and Strong Back
                              - Spent 3 BP on another dot of Conviction - Pakari should be able to stand some hardship.
                              - Spent 1 BP on a Melee speciality in Fierce Blows - it's a kind of Called Shot, trading accuracy for damage. (Exalted Core pg. 158)
                              - Spent 1 BP on a Martial Arts specialty in Grappling

                              I am leaving my last 3 Background points unspent, as per your suggestion. It feels weird to do that though - I'm accustomed to trying to squeeze every point. I guess I was kind of operating in the mindset of a different kind of Exalted game, where if you don't have at least one good combat stat you are both irrelevant and likely to die.
                              Last edited by semicasual; 08-13-2014, 10:08 AM.

                              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                              Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz