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 Rathess, The First City

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Join date : 2010-08-10

PostSubject: Rathess, The First City   Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:02 pm

The First City...Rathess

Rathess was originally a Dragon King settlement, auspiciously located midway between the Elemental Poles of Wood and Fire. Nestled among the verdant jundles of the Southeast, and built next to the great freshwater lake Therak, Rathess had its origins in the the time before the rise of humanity.

The final fall of Rathess took time. Under the new Dragon-Blood Shogunate, Rathess remained a protectorate of the Exalted. Bereft of divine patronage and without the protection of the Solars on which is had come to depend, the city kept its gates closed. Rather than risk drawing the ire of the Terrestrials or the dogs, the Dragon Kings withdrew from Creation. This was not a conscious decision so much as an irrefutable fact. The Dragon Kings had dwindled in number, and those remained were increasingly bestial and filled with rage. Even if they had wished to participate in the politics of the Shogunate, they could not have done so in a meaningful way.

Because Rathess was now a ruined shell that had closed itself off from the rest of Creation, the Dragon Blooded did not impose their ways on it. Indeed, the Daimyo of Deheleshen treated it more like a game preserve or a tribal reservation. The grand Pyramids of the Sun and Moon were not destroyed as reminders of deities now anathematized by the new Immaculate Philosophy.

The coming of the Contagion killed the vast majority of the remaining population of Rathess. The Dragon Kings appealed to their gods to save the, turning back to Leeayta and the Unconquered Sun, neither of whom answered. The few that survived left into the Wyld, a few of the ancients seeking slumber or remained to die slowly to Han Tha.

In the aftermath of the Contagion, the armies of the Fair Folk entered the world. Once, they merely harassed merchant caravans and led astray patrols. Now the Fair Folk acted boldly and waged total war upon Creation. In the process, they transformed reality into madness according to the wishes. Portions of the Wyld bled into normal reality and warped the landscape around Rathess, particularly to the south of the fallen towers. Though the Fair Folk spared little time on the fallen towers, a few places in the ruins show signs of their coming. Elsewhere, the jungle has sought to consume the city back into the Wyld.

Over the centuries, Rathess has become renowned as a treature trove of the Southeast. Explorers from the Scavenger Lands have picked the surface clean. The Scarlet Empress also took much interest in Rathess. Over the centuries, she sent numerous expeditions into the ruins, seeking wonders and artifacts. They fared little better. The dragon blooded have had the least success in probing the ruins of rathess, which has emboldened them to continue further expeditions.

The Call
In recent years, a Dragon Blooded expedition from Thorns has sought a new passageway into the depths of the city via the aqueducts. With every foray, they have returned with greater information, feeling they are closing in on something grand. Han Tha sensed a change in the city, and sought the expeditions deaths. Only two remain, now in the clutches of The Mask Of Winters, a Death Lord of the Abyssals.

With the return of the Solars, many feel a calling deep in their dreams and minds. As if the city is requesting aid in a quiet beckoning.

Mosaics of the Dragon Kings
Carvings cover the entire city, depicting scenes of life in a strange way. Anyone with Lore x 4 and Investigation x 4 who studies these mosaics and carvings extensively (8 hours at a time) will be able to eventually deduce much about the lives and history of the Dragon Kings. To learn the language requires teaching from a Dragon King or extensive research.

Every study session, rolls can be made of INT + Investigation. Once 40 or more successes have been accumulated, the character will have a basic grasp of Dragon King religion, history, life cycle, etc. This means Lore (Dragon Kings) x1 specialization.

Once the basics are understood, the character may spend additional months accumulating 40 more successes to understand either of the two aspects of this society: history or life cycle. Once all facets (3 total) are learned, the player can now use the script by their own hand and read it fluently.

However speaking will require a Dragon King.

The Tombs of the Exalted
The Dragon Blooded viewed the Exalted with awe. When one of the Exalted died, the Dragon Kings would entomb them with great ceremony and ritual in a large necropolis located near the Pyramid of the Sun. It was a mark of Rathess' stature that Exalts were often entombed in that city even with Sijan nearby.

Tombs began small then grew in stature, soon becoming grand edifices to hold the Exalt, their cults, their families, and more leading them into death. A grand wall also held the most important of artifacts for an Exalt...their stories and histories. Known as the Wall of Illimitable Honor, it features 3 different gates by which one can enter the necropolis. A special cadre of tomb guards protect it during the night, as the gates open from dawn to dusk. Another wall is nearby called the Wall of Transcendent Glory. Within this area are tombs carefully kept, evenly spaced, and protected by the ghosts of those loved ones bound to them in life.

The deepest section is called the Wall of Sempiternal Majesty, made of individual stones held together with simple mortar. These tombs contain the exalts that died in defense and service of the Dragon Kings. Large, elaborate, and heavily protected in layers of spells and technology, these are considered the true kings and queens of the exalted. Two Celestial Lions are always in patrol of this most holy of sepulchers. Within this space resides the gate and pathway into Yu'shan.

No one dares to enter the deepest of these tombs for fear of what would befall them. The bones of many intruders have been found here.

Numerous manses can be located through the depths of the city. The topmost level of the city is far more housing the dead and a few specialized buildings along with the pyramids. The true city is found below.

Tombs and records of most ancients are kept in a series of manses interconnected by sacred halls and constructed fortifications that few understand. The first networks were built with the aid of the Dragon Kings. Some of those were killed in secret or bound by heaven to ensure the secrets would never be know. Others that housed damned rituals were filled with cleansed earth to never be opened again.

Deep within some of these edifices and manses are additional tombs, tended primarily by the Exalted. The crypts of Albaio and Pleasant Clouds are deep with here, the final grand champions (solar and exalt) that protected the city with their lives.

Map Information
The major roads in Rathess are insanely wide. The main Way of the Sun is 300 yards across. This is intentional, largely for religious reasons, allowing the streets to hold huge numbers to witness what is going on on the pyramids during rituals. It also has some military and other practical applications.

The contents of the large "blocks" between the major radial and circular roads filled in more organically, with roads between the buildings scaled more appropriately to the inhabitants.

The vast majority of Rathess' inhabitants were not human, but rather a race known as the Dragon Kings, large saurian humanoids. They didn't much care for right angles, so built with circles, triangles and hexagons instead. Nearly all of their buildings have a triangular cross section.

A decent minority of the Dragon King population sleep under water. These "aquatic dragon kings" have an "octad" of the city dedicated to them.

An equally important minority, humans, also have an octad dedicated to them. The "blocks" in this section differ from the scattered, individual triangular buildings of the Dragon King sections, with buildings connected into large clumps, with roads in between.

The city is roughly flat. The Pyramid of the Sun is on the highest point, the rest of the city being mostly a mound that leads up to it. The mound as a whole is slightly tilted, higher at the top of the map and gradually descending into Lake Therak.

The "compass rose" in the top only makes sense if you know Exalted, with the "needles" pointing to the various elemental poles used to mark direction in the game.

List of Manses:
  • Battlements of Honest War
  • Thrice Bound Towers of Tuyria
  • (TBD)

Click for map

Libraries and Universities
  • The Great Observatory
  • Academy of Auspicious Plume
  • Arena of Atlaaki
  • Pyramid of the Sun
  • Pyramid of the Moon

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PostSubject: Re: Rathess, The First City   Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:05 pm

Manse of the Inward Path
Damned and closed by the Sidereals and removed from history.

This manse was built within Creation by an enterprising circle of Solars and Lunars with a seer among them. For a seer to be born outside of the Sidereals was unheard of, but one soul seemed closer than most to the very stars. Within the halls, the seer worked with an artist to craft pillar artifacts of her visions. So close were these visions that heaven demanded the manse closed.



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