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 Lands of Creation

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yanamari

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PostSubject: Lands of Creation   Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:02 pm

Blessed Isle
From Exalted Wiki
http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=Blessed_Isle

The Blessed Isle is the continent-sized island located at the center of Creation. Surrounded by the Inland Sea and weeks distant from the closest Threshold port, the Blessed Isle is the center of the Realm and the unquestioned dominion of the Dragon-Blooded. It has nearly always been home to the greatest (and sometimes only) domain in all of Creation, and will likely remain so no matter the outcome of the current Time of Tumult.



In its current state as the lands of the Realm, the Blessed Isle is separated into prefectures, each ruled by a Prefect appointed by the Empress, and dominions which are collections of powerful prefectures ruled by one of the Dynastic Houses.



Weather
The climate of the Blessed Isle is almost universally temperate; sitting in the center of Creation, it is subject to a mixture of the least effects of all of the Elemental Poles apart from that of Earth. While the north coast of the Isle is generally cooler, and the south warmer, these are usually differences that bother only those of the weakest constitution. Natives of the far reaches of Creation are unlikely to sense much of a difference from one end of the Isle to the other.



However, the Blessed Isle's distance from the more noisome elements of Creation are not it's only defense against inclement weather. All across the Isle are weather-control obelisks, artifacts of the First Age that control the local climate. The Bureau of Climatic Deliberations has studied and tinkered with these devices for centuries, and so maintain temperate weather in the face of most fluctuations outside their borders. Still, the Dragon-Blooded lack the refinement of power and control to truly master the obelisks, so the weather of the Blessed Isle is merely "nigh perfect."



The Great Coast Road
Being under the iron control of the meticulous Scarlet Empress, the Blessed Isle has a system of roads and ferries unrivaled in Creation. One of the most important, however, is the Great Coast Road, which circumscribes the entire Isle. A remnant of the First Age, it is a smooth, grey-black material with a pebbled surface; it is difficult to damage, and when it is broken it seals itself up and "heals" quickly. It is never slick with ice, nor covered by debris.
The repair and maintenance of the road is due to the Ancient of Stone Journeys, god of the road. Powerful in the hierarchy of travel, the Ancient is also a staunch ally of the Immaculate Order, swiftly reporting the infractions of citizens who travel his road. While the Blessed Isle is one of the safest places in Creation, the Great Coast Road is even safer than most of the surrounding Isle.

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Mountains and Rivers
The Imperial Mountain lies at the center of the Blessed Isle and Creation. Taller than any other mountain, it was once the home of the gods, then the Exalts and now it is host only to pilgrims, monks and ruins. Surrounding the Imperial Mountain is the Dragon's Nest Range, craggy, huge peaks ringing the spire of the Omphalos. The western region of these mountains are home to the Lord's Crossing Dominion, while the eastern part of the range is host to part of Juche prefecture.

The Dhorash and Mhaltin Mountains bound the Dragonswrath Plains in the southeastern Isle. Legends tell that these ranges are actually two sleeping dragons, weary from their ancient feuding. Similarly the Ahbrem Mountains which abut Ahbrem Valley are said to be a kindly, slumbering dragon that watches over the people below. The Chamesh Mountains separate the Storm Coast and Shadowed Coast, running north from the Dragon's Nest.

All major rivers on the Blessed Isle have their origin in the Dragon's Nest Range or on the slopes of the Imperial Mountain. The Caracal River runs south along the edge of the Mhaltin Mountains, while the Serpentine wanders to the west and the Imperial River to the east. Most of the rivers on the Blessed Isle see use for trading, with flat-bottomed barges and rafts crawling along to carry the agricultural bounty of the outlying peasants to the cities of the Isle.

Few of the wondrous structures from the First Age that spanned the great rivers of the Isle survive. While most are ruined beyond use or repair, the Scarlet Span and the Dam of Serpents remain as monuments to their creators. The Scarlet Span stretches high across the Imperial River, tall enough for any boat to pass under; the Dam of Serpents is a great waterbreak of enormous snake heads that pour water from their mouths, diverting much of the river that flows into them into aqueducts for irrigation.

Places of Note

* Imperial Mountain
* Meru
* Seat of Pasiap
* Spine of the Amaranthine Dragon

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Lord's Crossing Dominion

Lord's Crossing Dominion is the province of House Tepet and they claim it as their ancestral holding.
Prefect: Carpenter Reason

One of only two dominions established in the Realm, this region is centered around it's eponymous city. Resting within the Dragon's Nest mountain range, the dominion includes lush mountain valleys at heads of pure rivers, producing abundant food and cloth for the rest of the Realm. Lord's Crossing is popular for it's bed-and-breakfast establishments, which go to great lengths to please their patrician and Dragon-Blooded visitors.

Many of the settlements within Lord's Crossing are at their heart the remnants of great, Shogunate-era cities. The surrounding mountains are replete with Jade, making even the most remote and inhospitable mountainside mining village more prosperous than those found elsewhere. Lord's Crossing is also known as the home of two very popular breeds of dog: Portee Ivories of Portee are small lap-dogs, trendy pets for patricians and Dynasts; Blackstar mastiffs were bred by and remain solely the province of the Starlight family of Traiter.

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Coast of Xianyu
This region in the northeast of the Blessed Isle is named for a hero who defended the Realm's ships from the pirates of the Scavenger Lands. Though both hero and pirates are long since gone from the Coast, piracy holds a glamor for those raised here. Warm in the summer and snowy in the winter, the Coast of Xianyu remains largely temperate, famously producing five full crops of rice every year.
Kan-Toshi Prefecture

Prefect: Tidal Pearl

Reputed to be the base of operations for the pirate-hunter Xianyu whose name is remembered in the region, Kan-Toshi is known for the alarming frequency with which jewelry or coins are washed up on the beaches. While the manse that Xianyu called home remains hidden, the odd piece of treasure that washes up is taken as proof that it still exists.
Pangu Prefecture

Prefect: Time Rain

Though very close to the heart of civilization that is the Scarlet prefecture, Pangu is predominantly rural. It takes large amounts of salt from the sea for the preservation of meat, and as with other Xianyu prefectures there is the local fascination with pirates. Few outsiders know more than this about Pangu prefecture.
Being a part of the infrastructure that feeds the massive Imperial Legions, this prefecture has produced enormous amounts of food over many generations. Sadly, the local coasts have been overfished and coastal towns do little more than service salt refineries for the preservation of slaughtered livestock from the plains.

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Daoshin Peninsula
A region of dry, fallow fields and poor peasants, Daoshin is a land in need of aid. Ten years ago the Scarlet Empress founded the Ministry of Renewal, headed by Ragara Usha, to oversee the rehabilitation of the Daoshin Peninsula. Usha has undertaken drastic steps, shipping half the population to the Isle of Eternal Leaves (where they remain productive by learning to fell and export lumber), while the rest remain to tend fields overseen by Immaculate Monks who whip local spirits into shape and geomancers who manipulate the dragon-lines to promote fertility and growth.



The Island of Eternal Leaves
While the Daoshin Peninsula is barren and home to only sparse domesticated herds, the Island off it's coast is lush and overrun with herds of deer, wolves, boars, bears, and even strix and other large birds. About half the population of the Peninsula was shipped to the Island to allow the land to heal; in the meantime they have been taught the art of logging and continue to serve the Realm as they can.



Emerald Prefecture
Becoming overcrowded by new lumberworkers, Emerald prefecture has seen a boom in new settlements. One such community, Three Stags, has stumbled onto an ancient, First Age manse. The discovery resulted in the deaths of those foolish enough to enter, and the prefect has sent a plea for assistance to the Immaculate Order.

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Dragonswrath Plains
Nestled between the Dhorash and Mhaltin Mountains, the Dragonswrath Plains take their name from the legendary feud between the two slumbering dragons that make up the surrounding mountain ranges. From each range flows hundreds of small rivers and streams, which swell and mire the land during the wet springs and autumns. The swamp-dwelling peasants of this region are perhaps the lowest of the low on the Blessed Isle.
Despite it's low status and inability to match the production of rice in other regions, the Dragonswrath Plains are best known for the leathers it exports from its large reptiles and it's cranberries and other swamp foods. The foods of the Dragonswrath are spicy and considered novel and sometimes trendy in other parts of the Isle.
The Dragonswrath Plains are also home to Pasiap's Stair, the military secondary school for non-Dynastic Dragon-Blooded. Though they are simply Lost Eggs, the people of the nearby village of Amber Well rarely see other Dragon-Bloods, and so the Terrestrials of the Stair are afforded utmost respect.

Author Joseph Carriker has provided a sidebar that was cut for space: Calibration in the Dragonswrath Plains.

The Isle of Sweet Radiance
Home to the until-recently feuding Cliffrise and Saltmount prefectures, ruled by Clan Heron and Clan Blacklily respectively, the Isle of Sweet Radiance has since been targeted by House Peleps in it's greedy splurge of acquisition. Since then the two feuding clans have banded together to sabotage the efforts of the grasping Dynasts.

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Imperial River Basin
If not for the scattered, sparse population of the region, Juche prefecture would be a dominion. As it is, Juche occupies the entirety of the Imperial River Basin, and it will likely never become heavily populated. Construction along the Imperial River is strictly controlled, as there are many powerful Dragon-Lines between the Imperial Mountain and the Imperial City that flow along the river. Along with strict laws, high taxes keep all but the wealthiest from owning estates overlooking the beautiful Imperial River; farming the land falls to servants on plantations owned by the Dynasts.
While the Basin itself is domesticated to the point that small birds and rodents are the only remaining "wild animals," the eastern peaks of the Dragon's Nest Range are home to eagles, goats and other mountain animals such as crag cats.
Juche Prefecture

Prefect: Gemstone Opal

Though it officially oversees the entire River Basin as well as the eastern Dragon's Nest Range, the mountainous hills to the west are little policed and home to wild animals and only a small number of villages. Each of the Great Houses maintains an estate here, and their slaves diligently farm the crops, brew the dye and tend the sheep and goats that produce much of the clothing sold in the eastern Blessed Isle.

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The Jade Coast
Known well for being the seat of power in the Realm, home to the Scarlet prefecture, the Jade Coast deserves every speck of derision and respect as the heart of civilization. Dotted with expansive estates owned by the wealthiest of the wealthy, this region still maintains abundant, lush tracts of farmland. This area is also in a nearly perfect position to receive the best weather Creation has to offer, as it is equidistant from the North and South, and protected from too much rain by the mountain ranges to the west.



While the Jade Coast is host to a variety of military-, bureaucracy- and agriculture-oriented prefectures, there are two exceptions. Meadows prefecture and Talho prefecture are well-known for their resorts, particularly the astonishing views of the Inland Sea from the coastal pleasure palaces overlooking the cliffs that plunge into the frothing waves below.
Incas Prefecture

Prefect: Ledaal Pial

Incas prefecture rivals even the Scarlet prefecture in importance, being the center of the Immaculate Order, home to the Palace Sublime. This powerful Immaculate presence has subdued what could be extravagance and waste in other prefectures, the rich pastoral plains peopled by the most devout. Incas is also known for its abundant, luxurious silk production.
The Fire Fleet props up the economy of Noble, the port out of which it is based.
Places of Note

* Cloister of Wisdom
* Noble
* The Palace Sublime
* Sion

Lamkaet Prefecture
One of the many prefectures that is composed almost entirely of rice paddies, Lamkaet happens to also be home to the Proven Worth Chapter House, one of the few remaining Wyld Hunt chapter houses.
Places of Note

* Proven Worth Chapter House

The Scarlet Prefecture

Regent of the Imperial Realm: Tepet Fokuf
Prefect: Mnemon Bata

Bordered on the west by Juche prefecture and on the east and north by beautiful coastlines, the Scarlet prefecture is one of the smallest on the Blessed Isle. Merely 150 miles wide, it is still prolific in its production of agricultural products, and of course it produces more crafted goods than many larger prefectures.



Truly the heart of the Realm and of civilization, the land of this region is completely tamed. There are virtually no wild animals left, apart from small birds and rodents, and nearly all the open land is covered in tended crops. Despite this over-domestication, the Scarlet Prefecture is tremendously beautiful, carefully cultivated to please the senses of it's rulers. The resilient hares and foxes remain staples of hunting trips; some wild animals live around or even in the Imperial City, particularly feral dogs, raccoons, vultures and rats.



The weather of the Scarlet prefecture is the most tightly controlled on the Isle, rarely seeing more than pleasant rains and infrequent fogs. Some of the valleys retain warm weather year-round, remaining nearly tropical, while the higher hills can become chilly during the winter.



The constant use of the region over innumerable centuries has stripped the prefecture of nearly every natural resource. It's soil remains fertile and in good use, but only occasional deposits of precious gems turn up, and never in great enough abundance to mine with frequency.



In the southwest of the prefecture lies Carthan's Wasteland, presumably the site of some terrible battle during the First Age. Though it's soil is rich and deep, nothing at all grows there and those that venture into the wasteland are never seen again. Entry is forbidden on pain of death.



While the Imperial City overshadows nearly every other thing on the whole Blessed Isle, there are a number of other settlements scattered throughout the prefecture. These are almost all luxurious resort-towns or functional, strategic emplacements. Of particular importance are Dragonsmouth, the easternmost port on the Isle and gateway of trade to the Imperial City, and Yolin Am the Dynastic resort-town, which has manicured and formed the land for miles around it's walls to please the senses of the Dragon-Blooded who lodge there.



Between these cities run hundreds of miles of well-kept roads, meticulously cobbled and cared for. The road between Dragonsmouth and the Imperial City is best known as the Bay Highway, or more formally the Strong and Flowing Throat of the Dragon; the road from Yolin Am is the Path of Pleasant Hills, and winds through beautiful, terraced gardens for a full day's ride beyond the town's walls.
Places of Note

* Carthan's Wasteland
* Clear Creek
* Crescent Mills
* Dragonsmouth
* The Enduring Breath of Hesiesh
* Flawless Rill Freehold
* Glorious Haven
* Imperial City
* Juxu
* Nachin
* Yolin Am

Sdoia Prefecture

Prefect: Rosecloud Hawk

Peopled by military elitists, Sdoia provides the headquarters of the Wood Fleet; even the peasants here view other prefectures as decadent and useless. Rocky and with poor arable soil, the primary crop of farmers in Sdoia is hemp, providing the majority of the rope and canvas the Wood Fleet uses.
Places of Note

* House of Sweet Whispers
* Sdoia City


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Jaen-ha Plains
About half of the Jaen-ha Plains are part of the Arjuf Dominion, while the rest of the Plains are split up into small, agricultural prefectures. With fine, warm weather and occasional summer storms, these are some of the more idyllic lands of the Blessed Isle. There are virtually no wild animals in the region, but every kind of domesticated creature can be found.
The southern areas of the Plains are known for their sugar cane and pigs, while more northerly prefectures play host to cattle, horses and sheep.



Arjuf Dominion

The Passage into Fire
House Ledaal claims Arjuf Dominion as it's ancestral holding, and the Palace of Vines as their ancestral home.
Prefect: Ledaal Maris

Known as the "Passage into Fire" since it is largely the only route from the Blessed Isle into the South, Arjuf is one of only two dominions on the Isle. It is strategically, financially and agriculturally powerful (hence it's status as a dominion), and spans from the foothills of the Dragon's Nest Range down along the Caracal River to the coast.



Arjuf's population is so great that it exports little of the food it produces, though it is one of the primary sources of sugar cane in the Realm. It is best known as one of the greatest hearts of trade in Creation. The dominion is also home to the House of Bells, the prestigious secondary school that produces masters of warfare. One of the five remaining chapter houses of the Wyld Hunt, the Azimuth Spire is the headquarters of the Hunt and is located within the dominion.
Places of Note

* Arjuf
* Azimuth Spire
* House of Bells
* Nishimo
* Palace of Vines
* Tuchara
* Yarrowstalk

Ironhoof Prefecture

This text is from Compass of Celestial Directions: The Blessed Isle cut for space reasons. It was originally posted in the White Wolf Forums by Author Joseph Carriker.

Named for the ironhoof mustangs that once roamed much of the Jaen-Ha Plains, Ironhoof Prefecture is perhaps the biggest horse-ranching prefecture in all of the Blessed Isle. Though they do not roam wild any longer, ironhooves are still bred among the ranches here. Favored for their speed and strength, as well as the strength of their wicked hooves and the ease with which they can be trained to attack a foe with them on command, many of the Great Houses favor ironhooves as gifts to skilled horsemen.

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Plains of Rusted Iron
It's landscape dominated by clay shelfs and mud, subsistence farming in this region huddles close to the Serpentine River. However, a great deal of high-quality porcelain is made in the prefectures of the Plains, though true artisans live elsewhere and import their material. Being sparsely populated and poor, there are few cities and so the prefectures of the Plains are large, encompassing huge tracts of muddy land.


Outsiders know better the history of the Plains of Rusted Iron, having been host to numerous battles since the First Age and throughout the Shogunate. As such, it is heavily dotted with archaeological digs unearthing discarded First Age weapons and ancient tombs.



Diu Xie Prefecture

This text is from Compass of Celestial Directions: The Blessed Isle cut for space reasons. It was originally posted in the White Wolf Forums by Author Joseph Carriker.

Unlike many of the prefectures in this area, Diu Xie is quite prosperous, situated as it is along much of the Great Coast Road. The finest porcelain and pottery from the Plains of Rusted Iron invariably finds its way to the Market of Vessels, in Diu Xie city, to be sold to the many merchants to travel down the length of the Great Coast Road to buy such treasures. Additionally, Diu Xie has a tremendous length of coastal area, and harvest mother-of-pearl and other sea shells that are ground up to provide luster and color to many of the clay-works of the area.



Radamant Prefecture
Better off than other prefectures due to it's coastal position, Radamant is otherwise like any mired prefecture on the Plains. However, deep in a river valley within Radamant lies the Stalwart Temple, a hidden Solar manse guarded by ancient pacts.
Places of Note

* Stalwart Temple

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Shadowed Coast
Named for it's frequently overcast weather and stormy, chill winds, the Shadowed Coast has a poor reputation. This is mostly due to the Isle of Voices off the coast, though the ancient, wild forests of the Coast lend a haunted air to the mainland.
Ventus Prefecture

Prefect: Sage Lake

Ventus is still home to a variety of wild animals, such as bears, hybrocs and hunting cats. This untamed quality draws woodsy Dynasts and there are numerous hunting lodges scattered across the countryside. The land is also host to a variety of alchemical and healing herbs; it is also wealthy in sulfur, mercury and other rare resources, but it is believed the healing herbs draw on these substances and they remain protected.
Places of Note

* Blackwater
* Bright Obelisk

The Isle of Voices
A chill, rocky island home to the foremost academy of sorcery in Creation, the Heptagram dominates the island. A few peasants tend the land and fish the surrounding sea, and they are quite knowledgeable in the small folk magics of mortals.



Until RY 385 the Heptagram did not exist, and the foremost school of magic was the Versino (in fact, it was the first scholastic program created by the Scarlet Empire). However, in 385 something terrible happened, and now all that remains of Versino are blasted ruins and the salt and spells that ward whatever may still lurk in there. A single student survived of all those who studied or taught at the Versino: Mnemon, daughter of the Empress.
Places of Note

* The Heptagram


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Silk & Pearl Peninsula
The least "civilized" region of the Blessed Isle, the Silk & Pearl Peninsula is scattered with ruins from the Shogunate and First Age, eerie and imposing hidden in the foggy bamboo forests. Most settlements here are small fishing villages, and the lack of notable cities results in expansive prefectures. The coast is shallow and rocky, of no use to trading galleys, though these shallow seabeds produce prized clams and oysters with their attendant pearls. Inland are mulberry bushes and their silkworms, which give the Peninsula the other half of it's name.

Because it is such a "wilderness," banditry is fairly common here, particularly along the Bamboo Road that circumscribes the peninsula. Deep in the bamboo forests lurk wild pigs and pandas, though no animals fearsome enough to deter travelers more than the prospect of bandits.

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Storm Coast & Ahbrem Valley
Sloping down from the Ahbrem Mountains to the east, the Valley and Storm Coast that occupy the northwest corner of the Blessed Isle is another example of agricultural splendor. Far from the machinations and pageantry of the Imperial City, this region is far more provincial and homey than other areas of the Isle. The weather and animals are not quite as friendly as those found elsewhere, but neither is the weather (whence the name), and as people are inclined to it is taken as a point of pride to live in such straits.

Ayreon Prefecture
A prefecture of no note, is grew in the shadow of Eagle prefecture, leaving it few of the resources of the region. Ruled by the Starfalls and a guild of weaponsmiths known as the Talon League, it is also home to fanatical Immaculates and a heretical cult that worships a lion god in the hills.

Eagle Prefecture

Gateway to the West
House Sesus claims Eagle prefecture as it's ancestral homeland.
Prefect: Orchid Coral

A serene, pastoral land on the western coast of the Blessed Isle, House Sesus controls Eagle prefecture. Riddled with rivers, both fresh- and saltwater fish are exported in abundance from the region, while the pasturelands produce the overpriced dairy and meat sold to the coastal islands.
Places of Note

* Cloaka
* Eagle's Launch
* Glalo
* Guin

Stargazer Prefecture
An otherwise inconsequential agricultural prefecture, Stargazer is rich and well-known as the only source of Hearth-Cats, which remain solely in the purview of the patricians family that bred them back into existence, the eponymous Stargazers.
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Tongma Island
One of the two largest islands off the coast of the Blessed Isle, Tongma is sparsely populated. It's spring storms and freezing winter rains make it a wet place, and the meager farmlands near its interior are insufficient for the populace, necessitating the importation of food from the overpriced merchants of the Storm Coast. Tongma teems with wild life, including boar, deer, birds and Tongma monkeys, furry, friendly simians that originally came from the West. A herd of sea lions lives on the northern coast in Sharu prefecture.

Wavehold Prefecture

Prefect: Seagull Star

Central to the island, Wavehold is the headquarters of the Water Fleet (which, until recently, was based in Eagle prefecture). This prefecture occupies the higher, greener parts of the island, which are said to be home to an elusive stag that is reputed to be a god-blooded creature descended from the god of the High Wood.
Wavehold is one of the greatest points of interest to House Peleps as it gathers more and more power, greedily acquiring wealth and responsibility in the absence the Scarlet Empress. They are opposed by the ancestral powers of the Island, the Five Families of Tongma.
Places of Note

* Port Wavehold


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White Coast & Pauha Basin
Artistes of the Shogunate penned poems of the Ten Thousand Hills of Sweet Abandon, describing the land that is now the Pauha Basin. Known best for it's expansive vineyards and sweet wines, the Basin and White Coast are host to wild hills, valleys and streams dotted with agricultural splendor. The whole region is spotted with "scroll estates," rented villas used by occultists as they venture forth into the countryside to find precious ingredients for their research.


The White Coast is aptly named, as it is edged with pristine, white sand beaches that are idyllic apart from the frigid storms of winter. The coastal waters are home to seals, sea lions, walruses and a plethora of other sea life. The Coast is also known for its manse-lighthouses, said to have been constructed by Bringer of Light during the Shogunate, who is purported to have been raised to the position of god of lighthouses for his work.



Chanos Prefecture

Many members of House Ragara consider one of four estates around Chanos their ancestral home.
Prefect: Ragara Nova

Though the soil of Chanos prefecture is poor, it remains wealthy as both a hub of trade and center of mining and smelting. Mines dot the rocky land around Chanos, and the smelters and foundries pollute the local water badly. Those that drink from these sickly waters are all slaves of House Ragara or peasants, though, so it is of little concern. Food is of little concern to this agriculturally stunted prefecture, as it dominates the local economy and can easily export what it needs from the surrounding principalities.



The city of Chanos is also the headquarters of the Air Fleet, and one of the remaining Wyld Hunt chapterhouses, the Pillar Hall of the Righteous, is located here.
Places of Note

* Chanos
* Pillar Hall of the Righteous
* Tabuhareth
* Tojuun Palace

Kugashi Prefecture

This text is from Compass of Celestial Directions: The Blessed Isle cut for space reasons. It was originally posted in the White Wolf Forums by Author Joseph Carriker.

Kugashi Prefecture seems like any other prefecture in this part of the Blessed Isle — it is rich in fine produce, wines and brandies, its people are happy and hard-working, and it operates as it seemingly always has. There is but one thing that makes Kugashi different from any of its neighbors, and it is this: there is one of the Solar Exalted here.



When the Dawn Caste Senebau Exalted, he was brought before his mistress Cynis Rahe, an aging dowager of House Cynis taking the summer air in her vineyard Manse-estate. An old practitioner of various lascivious heresies in her youth, Cynis Rahe had little regard for the proscription of the Anathema by the Immaculate Order, and immediately brought him to heel. Now, she trains him to fight, hoping to one day use the slave as a means of seizing the Scarlet Throne for herself, or one of her children.



In truth, though, Senebau is much more than the sickle-wielding, muscle-bound dullard he seems. Senebau dreams of freedom, and of razing the Realm to the ground, and he intends to ride the coat-tails of Rahe's ambitions just enough to do so. Rahe arranges for him to train with skilled warriors and read the Ten Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier; he uses his new skills and knowledge to train his fellow slaves, in intensive secret training regimens in the greenhouses of the Cynis estate. Soon, he will have a large army of Tiger Warrior-trained slaves, ready to throw off their shackles and fight to bring the Realm down in the name of their liberator, Senebau. For now, though, they wait.



Qishi Prefecture

This text is from Compass of Celestial Directions: The Blessed Isle cut for space reasons. It was originally posted in the White Wolf Forums by Author Joseph Carriker.

Though not necessarily the ancestral lands of House V'neef, the youngest of the Great Houses considers this to be something of a home away from the Imperial City for them. Certainly the center of their vineyard empire, House V'neef controls many more vineyards than those in Qishi; in fact, well over half of the vineyards in the Pauha Basin are owned by V'neef, and governed by those who serve her.
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PostSubject: Re: Lands of Creation   Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:02 pm

Scavenger Lands
From Exalted Wiki
http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=Scavenger_Lands

The most populous hub of the East, consisting mainly of the River Leagues members, the most notable members of which are the city-states of Lookshy, Nexus, and Great Forks. The landscape is dominated by the major rivers of the Yanaze, the Yellow River, the Grey River, and the River of Tears. The Rolling River and the Avarice River are two other 'minor' rivers in the region, though each is competitive with the largest rivers on Earth.


The Scavenger Lands are so named because of their many ruins, filled with treasures of a past age, such as Denandsor, the Empty City, giving rise to an entire scavenging profession. The land is detailed in the books Scavenger Sons and Compass of Terrestrial Directions: The Scavenger Lands.
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PostSubject: Re: Lands of Creation   Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:03 pm

North
From Exalted Wiki
http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=North

Near the shores fo the Inland Sea, this region is composed of chilled grasslands and pine scrub which slowly gives way to bitter windy taiga and finally thick tundra. It is a land of long and cruel winters with short summers that doesn't warm enough to prevent freezing rains from pelting the landscape and inhabitants of the region. Past the tundra is a permanently frozen waste that runs north to foothills and the northernmost mountains. Past those mountains, it is said, lies an expanse of snow and wind that finally becomes the Elemental Pole of Air.



The North is sparsely populated region of Creation with scattered tribes of icewalkers and a number of city-states which have developed around defendable positions that possess food and shelter for the people to enjoy. Due to the harsh conditions of the land, war between these city-states is rare even though they are located along the shores of the Inland Sea and the White Sea.



Ancestor worship is common among the people of the North. And two Deathlords are rumored to operate in the North. There are no fixed marriage customs in the North; if the ghosts of one's ancestors do not object than the marriage is considered blessed. Due to the harshness of life and the limited resources available, unwanted or deformed children are typically abandoned to the cold.



Down the northwest coast toward the West, the frozen White Sea becomes true water, with open sea breaking through the ice. Cormorants hunt up and down the coast between the fishing villages and small towns, where the sailors go out in longboats to hunt narwhals and whales, and where divers swim with trained dolphins to bring back fragments of First Age treasures from the seabed. One town along the coast, Liriel-Anneth, is said to house an entire First Age artifact, but it is full of shadows by day and snakes by night, and no sane man sets anchor in its docks.



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Cherak

Cherak is a major port city of the North, a thronging metropolis through which much trade between the Realm and the North flows. Cherak is aligned with the Realm and currently overseen by House Ferem, whose rule is subtly challenged by mercantile concerns, some of which can be traced back to House V'Neef and others to the minor House Margard, which bases its operations in the city. Cherak's fleet is commanded by Admiral Ferem Helkar, a Fire-Aspected Dragon-Blood. Several major houses of the Realm have holdings in the city, but the largest obvious presence is from House Ragara who often represent the Realm in negotiations.

Cherak is a walled city with a good harbor, but it has been a victim of it's own success. Growth has meant the city has sprawled beyond it's old walls twice so far and a large population lives beyond even the current walls. The town itself is divided into sections separated by the inner walls, with movement between the different sections somewhat restricted. With the growing threat of the Bull of the North, House Ferem has begun a major new fortification project to build yet another set of defensive walls around the new city boundaries, using both free and slave labor. It is difficult to say which group is treated worse: free laborers work alongside slaves from as far away as Harborhead, suffering the same dangerous, back-breaking conditions. Though the slaves are locked back in their pens at night while the free laborers can stagger home, their life expectancy is about the same.

Some of Cherak's Dragon-blooded meet secretly to consider what they might gain with the shift in power on the Blessed Isle. This Cheraki Survival Council lacks detailed information and experienced spies however, and the plans they make are rooted in misunderstandings and wrong assumptions. Some seem to feel there is the opportunity for Cherak and their House to take a more glorious place in the future of the Realm if they act boldly, but it is likely that they would be in for a rude awakening if they tried to go against any of the established Great Houses. Currently the group seems unable to reach a decision on what to do, but a rash individual who gains influence within this group could potentially bring disaster to the region.

Cherak is also home to a number of mortal power groups. Smuggling operations work to bypass the tariffs imposed on trade with the Blessed Isle, and a number of societies are based there. Due to the proximity of the Pinnacle of the Eye of the Hunt, any groups with a heretical slant keep themselves well hidden.

Drugs and slavery
The stresses of urban life in Cherak are relieved by a thriving drug trade. The Guild finds Cherak a profitable location, and acts both openly (bringing in slaves for work on the walls) and in secret, supplementing locally grown crops of qat with small amounts of opium and other hard drugs.

The situation in Cherak is complex with regard to drugs. The agricultural land is highly productive, and the Dragon-Blooded and other wealthy landowners operate huge estates which house thousands of Serfs. The landowners often issue their serfs daily rations of qat and reward especially bright or innovative serfs with small supplies of opium as a special reward. They know well that productivity would rise if the practice of distributing qat was discontinued, but there have been several peasant uprisings in the past, and they reason that a docile population eagerly awaiting its next dose of qat is better than a restive one. Opium is restricted to rewards for "special" serfs, as it is more debilitating than qat and to remain productive, the majority of the serfs need to stay functional. On the other hand, the Guild likes to sell its opium, which they produce further along the coast at a secret plantation. Since the rulers of Cherak restrict this drug, the Guild has developed a system which provides the harder drugs to independent local dealers instead. These local drug lords have become very powerful in Cherak, but when the guard breaks up each gang, the Guild knows another group will simply step in and take over the old territory, and the Guild's profits will hardly fluctuate.

Gangs and characters
Cherak is home to some powerful practitioners of First Pulse Style martial arts, who favor it's brutality in the gang wars that rage through the poorer quarters of the town. Gang related killings are almost a daily event in some quarters, and some areas are dangerous even for exalts to enter. A would be crime lord named "Red-Fist" Hayoo is currently growing in power, facing off against Cynis Yorake, a minor member of the Dynastic house who built a power base in town on the back of his knowledge of the local drugs trade. Both sides have a number of Dragon-blooded fighters and sorcerers at their disposal, along with many more mortals. All identify their alligence with elaborate tattoos and deal brutal beatings and crippling injuries to members of the other gang that they manage to corner.

Much of the fighting currently takes place in the District of Glittering Smoke, a poor area of town where the population is largely crowded into cheap, run down housing. Within this district is a large, old building called the Silken Rose. This horrific dive is an opium den sometimes frequented by members of the upper classes, as it also offers some other unique entertainments. Surprisingly, both gangs seem to be on their best behaviour in the area around the Silken Rose and customers of the establishment seem to gain safe passage in and out. There are any number of smaller gangs in the city, but most are keeping their heads down while the other two fight it out.

Cherak's city guard attempt to keep the violence contained by watching out for heavily tattooed individuals at various choke points between the sections of the city. Even they don't patrol the District of Glittering Smoke after dark, and only enter it during the day in patrol strength, heavily armed.

Cherak also has an active occult undercurrent, with several mortal practitioners resident in the city, as well as an Outcaste Water-Aspect named Gitato Faneluyo who specializes in supplying occult paraphernalia and reagents. Some small Yozi-worshipping cults maintain secretive rites in well hidden locations, and the Chaleka family operate the "Golden Firefly" tea house, which is secretly a meeting place for members of the Cult of the Illuminated.

Finally, Cherak is home to a dangerous assassin named Steel Hand. Steel Hand is suspected to be an Exalt, as he has had a career spanning several mortal lifetimes. Rumor has it that he is gigantic, and is unstoppable once he has been contracted for a mission; he is widely feared in the city. It is said he never leaves Cherak, so a target may always flee, but returning to the city at a later date always results in a quick death. The mark of a closed fist struck on both sides of a steel disk is always found at the site of his killings or by those who he has marked for death.

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Fella
In the far North, northwest of Whitewall on the tundra lies Fella, the City of Broken Walls, where no stone will remain atop another for more than an hour before casting itself down. All of its standing buildings are wood or ivory, and the inhabitants have cruel laws controlling where fires may be lit.
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Gethamane

Gethamane is the "City under the Mountain" - it was built in the First Age to the North of Whitewall, and is actually located inside the deep rock of a mountain in the Black Crag Mountains range. Two great gates provide access, one to the North and one to the South of the mountain. Smaller entrances are located higher up on the slopes - these are normally only used by hunters, who work to bring extra food into the city. All entrances are heavily guarded, and many of the hunter entrances are trapped.

Gethamane consists of many glorious rooms linked by tunnels and stairs, all lit by glowing crystals. Most of the rooms are no longer used for their original purpose, being subdivided by more recent walls. The population makes use of the available space as best they can. The whole city is built over a labyrinth of convoluted tunnels, themselves occupied by many species of dark creatures. Near the end of the First Age a Behemoth which had been trapped there since the war against the Primordials rose up and slaughtered the occupants of the city. Refugees from the Great Contagion discovered the empty city again and settled in, though they are not aware of the Behemoth still lurking in the dark tunnels. They keep a close guard on the entrances to the tunnels however, because they have often been attacked by the lesser beasts (such as Darkbrood) who live there. The horrors of the tunnels extend into the Underworld as well - consequently, few Ghosts form in Gethamane, and those that do flee the area as soon as possible. The continuing knowledge that just below your feet there are creatures who wish to drag you into the dark and eat you, coupled with the isolated spiritual atmosphere of the city make citizens of Gethamane somewhat different in character from most Northerners.

The gods of the city are concerned with the circulation of air. There are three, dealing with indrawn breath, outblown breath and still air. All are weak shadows of their earlier selves, and their presence is not even suspected by most occupants. They are required to keep the air in the underground city circulating and breathable, but the cities inhabitants provide them with little worship.

Several features of Gethamane are of interest:

* There are extensive sorcerous gardens which the city protects jealously. Currently the city doesn't have the knowledge to use these to produce foodstuffs other than Fungi, but even this is of benefit, potentially allowing the city to sit out a siege. At the heart of the gardens is a ruined, corrupted Manse - the gardeners have a cult which sacrifices people there in the belief that it aids the gardens.
* Another small Manse exists on one of the inhabited levels, still sealed and undisturbed from the First Age. It is fire aspected, and was the workshop of a Twilight Caste when he was in Gethamane. It may contain sorcerous lore, artifacts or anything else the Storyteller wishes to introduce.
* On the highest level of the city is the temple to the three gods of Gethamane, staffed by half-mad priests. Most citizens are happy to leave religious matters entirely to them. Individuals with an interest in such matters may sleep in the temple. Some go slightly mad and subsequently become priests, others are gripped by an unreasoning terror of the city and leave, never to return.
* A hidden gate to Yu-Shan exists in the tunnels under the city. It's existance is unknown to the occupants of the city, and given the creatures which infest the tunnels, the Sidereal exalted rarely make use of it either.
* The existance of the Behemoth is known to the Mountain Folk, who fear it greatly.

Gethamane has a difficult relationship with its neighbours, but needs trade to survive. The Haslanti League is currently a trading partner, though there have been wars with the League in the past. Whitewall is accessable via a good road through the mountains, and traders make the dangerous journey regularly, risking attack from the nearby lands of the Winter Folk. The Guild is mistrusted in Gethamane, and successive rulers of the city have worked to limit the Guild's influence. Though the Guild maintains many warehouses, what they may trade is carefully regulated. All visitors to the city are carefully watched - they are issued passes good for only a short stay and these are checked regularly by the guard. Important areas of the city are off limits to visitors - this includes the First Age gardens.

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Haslanti League

Icehome
Icehome is the capital city of the Haslanti League, and home to the Council of Oligarchs. Like all League cities, its buildings are all at least two stories tall. In winter, when snow falls several feet deep, people use ground floor doors and get about through a network of tunnel-like covered roads. In summer, when the snow melts, people get about walking on the roofs of these tunnels.

The Haslanti League communicates between its cities by airship, and politely refuses to pay tribute to the Realm.



Crystal
Crystal, located very far north of the mainland, is tucked into the Great Ice. Located very far north of the Tear Eater Tribes, and the Shadowland around Gradefes and the Fortress of Red Ice, not much is known about this city. The only things worth note aren't even known - except by very great, very learned scholars. The 26th Celestial Gate to Yu-Shan is located here, as well as the very near lost Orichalcum Manse.

Diamond Hearth
The Northernmost city in Creation, located at the Southern edge of the Great Ice. Known for mining for True Ice. Has a gate to Yu-Shan located nearby.
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Whitewall
Whitewall is a walled First Age city (originally called Ondar Shambal) currently ruled by a trio of deities. Originally the three deities (known as the Syndics) took over the city in order to help the refugees who had fled there to survive, a situation similar to that in Great Forks. Over time it has become almost impossible to tell the three gods apart, and they keep an Angyalkae nearby (a type of demon harpist detailed in Games of Divinity) to prevent themselves from merging into a single being.

Whitewall is connected to the coastal city of Wallport by a broad magical road called The Traveler's Road. No violence can be offered to travelers on the holy road, and offenders are punished by Heaven in various ways, as dictated by their nature. For example, mortals find themselves compelled to commit suicide. It is not known what would happen if a Celestial Exalt were to ignore the prohibition, but the consequences would probably be dire. The great magical lights that line the road are non-functional but could be repaired by a knowledgeable Exalt. They have the power to banish the spirits of the dead, and would be of great use in reducing the extent of the Shadowland called Marama's Fell, which encroaches on the road for part of it's length.

Whitewall is also within range of a large group of Fey called the Winter Folk who waylay travelers who stray from the road. The twin local dangers of wandering undead and Fair Folk raiding parties have contributed to a very inward-looking culture, and the citizens of Whitewall normally prefer to interact with the rest of the world as little as possible, regarding visitors with mistrust. Citizens retreat within the walls every night, and at the first sign of attack. Highly trained warriors, including some Dragon Blooded "Lost Eggs" guard the city and hunt down the monsters which occasionally find their way inside. At least one of these guardians is actually a Solar, in addition to the more public presence of "Rune", an Eclipse Caste.
Whitewall was once a holy city, dedicated to the Unconquered Sun and occupied by his worshipers. The city fell into disgrace during the First Age and was then after considered very provincial and unimportant. In later years it was ruled by a Solar Queen named Tenrae and her Lunar Consort Den'Rahin. This pair was so popular that the Sidereals had to resort to some unusual measures to induce the local Dragon Blooded to support the Ursupation: in the end a team of Sidereals had to assassinate the Queen and King themselves. The battle destroyed a large section of the city and resulted in several Sidereal deaths. The Bronze Faction suppressed knowledge of what had occurred in Whitewall afterward, since the existence of a popular and well-loved Solar Queen who wasn't corrupt, and a Lunar spouse who refused to abandon her flew in the face of the "facts" the Sidereals wished to establish to support their prophesy.

Whitewall's great walls and many of it's buildings were once decorated in honor of the Unconquered Sun, but after the Usurpation the local Dragon Blooded painted or covered them over. There is a powerful Solar Manse at the heart of the city, currently claimed by Rune. Some of the power of the Manse goes to the surrounding farmland, making it very fertile, and making it possible to maintain a large agricultural farming community in the North.

Whitewall trades with the Realm, but is independent. Though being located in a strong defensive position, the people of the city fear that their fate is to be conquered by the Bull of the North.
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PostSubject: Re: Lands of Creation   Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:05 pm

South
From Exalted Wiki
http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=South
The south is the location of the Elemental Pole of Fire and as such has an average temperature greater than the rest of Creation.
It is heavily controlled by the Realm and many of the nations and cities are either direct satraps or tributaries.


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An-Teng
Geography and Location
On the southwest cuast ut the Inland Sea the the Principalities of An-Teng, running from the Western seashore to the Fire Mountains of the South. The land itself varies from arid and dry near the coast to temperate and forested in the middle regions to harsh and brisk in the mineral-rich mountains.


Districts
The following are significant cities or locations within An-Teng.

* Salt-Founded Glory
* City of the Steel Lotus
* City of Dead Flowers: A Shadowland
* Adorned with Wisdom as a Sapphire
* Jade Plum Citadel
* Pinnacle of Mercy
* Prosperous Garden
* Port of Dragon's Jaw

The City of the Steel Lotus is the capital of An-Teng. Here, the Three Princes meet to discuss matters of state, and here, the Dragon-Blooded come to be entertained, and here, the riches of the kingdom flow in lavish display. The city was built after the Usurpation as a nexus for the new rulers and was, unusually, created as a city with roads rather than with canals, in deference to the wishes of the Terrestrial Exalted. The River of Queens flows beside it, allowing trade vessels and pleasure boats to come upstream from Dragon’s Jaws and Salt-Founded Glory or downstream from the rest of An-Teng. Those desiring to explore or tour upriver can hire boats and guides at the docks. Foreigners who are not Dragon Blooded will be charged a higher rate but have the option of working their passage upriver instead, traveling with the heavy cargo boats.


City of the Steel Lotus
The City of the Steel Lotus has been shaped by the desires of visiting Dragon Blooded, cultured like an orchid under glass. The Dragon-Blooded expect courtesans to attend them. Therefore, the Street of Sun-Kissed Flowers near the center of the city holds dozens of Houses of Courteous Attention, where a Terrestrial Exalted may be wined, dined and served by beautiful specimens of both genders. The most famous such house belongs to Jan of the Red Stone, a handsome man in his mid-50s who could still pass for a 20-year-old. A new House rising to prominence is owned by the beautiful dancer Dusk Caress but shelters several members of the Seven-Stranded Vine.


The city’s most luxurious housing, including those dwellings leased (or offered) to visiting Dragon-Blooded, lies between the Royal District and the Market District. Further out are the markets and shops and houses of the middle classes, merchants and scholars and craftsmen. Around the edge of the city, curving round from the landward side to the River of Queens, are the slums and alleyways where the poor live, where thieves lurk and cluster and plot and where those who have offended the Dragon-Blooded hide from their wrath.


Elsewhere in the city, there are shops that provide silk, ivory, carved teak, gems and other luxury trade items. These appeal to the more patrician Dragon-Blooded visitors, who like to pick up examples of the “native crafts” as conversation pieces for when they return to the Realm. Generally speaking, forged goods and second-rate pieces are not fobbed off on the Dragon-Blooded, however foolish or spendthrift they may be, as the consequences (such as the death of the shopkeeper and the burning down of the shop) tend to be alarmingly wholesale. Other foreigners, however, purchase at their own risk and should remember that bargaining is expected.


At the precise center of the city is the Palace of Threefold Magnificence, where the princes meet for affairs of state. At the moment, it is occupied by Prince Laxhander of the Shore Lands and most of his family. The palace itself is a glorious creation of gold, teak, lapis and pearl, a combination of Realm design and traditional An-Teng craft. Prince Laxhander invites visiting Dragon Blooded to dine there most evenings and has his own family attend to the Terrestrial Exalted or summons courtesans from the Street of Sun-Kissed Flowers. Set around the palace in places of honor are temples to the Golden Lord (attended by a staff of priests, priestesses and temple dancers), the Pale Mistress (totally empty) and an Immaculate monastery.


Great Market
The Dragon-Blooded expect the finest food. Therefore, the Great Market near the river is supplied with food from all An-Teng and even delicacies from overseas. This area also serves as a nexus for the trade in items smuggled in by the Lintha Family or captured by the Family from other ships and then sold on a legal market, with provenances supplied by the very best forgers in An-Teng. Commissioner Denatis of the Righteous Urn family has been assigned to the Market District for the last five years and has the ulcers and gray hair to prove it. She reports directly to Judge Pan of the Noble Peony family, who has judicial responsibility for the whole city. Commissioner Denatis is renowned for her forthright elegance, her intelligent and precise judgments and her occasional habit of anonymously hiring foreign mercenaries to exact a bit of practical justice on criminals hiding in Dragon Blooded entourages.


Natural Resources
An-Teng supplies the Realm with rice and other foodstuffs, and it serves as a vacation spot for Dragon-Blooded.


History
In the First Age, An-Teng was the home to many Solars and their Lunar spouses. During the Usurpation, it became a battleground. Its royal family was slaughtered, and new royalty was set in its place by the victorious Terrestrial Exalted. The country was so thoroughly pacified that it has remained humbled and bowed ever since, with the new royalty glad to obey the Empress's wishes, and the populace slavishly obedient to any visiting Dragon-Blooded. Yet fragments of the old royal family have formed part of a Yozi-worshiping cult, the people begin to chafe under the yoke of the Realm, and ancient manses and Fist Age tombs wait to have their secrets revealed. The land is ripe for change.


Society
Dragon-Blooded society inside the city is much concerned with itself and views the locals as relative barbarians when compared to the civilization of the Realm. Rich and powerful nobles and beautiful courtesans may be invited to Exalted parties or expected to host them but should be content with this evidence of attention from their betters. Those Dragon-Blooded with better manners or with interests in scholarship, native art and history have a higher chance of actually getting to know natives of An-Teng or of forging genuine alliances.


Religion
The people of An-Teng worship two local deities — the Golden Lord and the Pale Mistress – but they also pay due reverence to the Immaculate faith, to local spirits and to any deities who could prove useful. The matriarchal family unit is the foundation of society, and traditions of respect for age and social standing do a large part to keep the country stable. In case of war, An-Teng can muster armies, including thousands of elephants, but its true strength lies in guerilla warfare, when all the local spirits turn against invaders as well as the human inhabitants. In An-Teng, an ancient dragon chained beneath a mountain turns and grumbles in his sleep, while the corpse-eating kakyi dance and gibber to the sound of iron gongs and the hidden manses of Solar Exalted are stirred by winds that whisper of masters’ and mistresses’ return.


Important People
The ranking priest of the Golden Lord, Abbot Foulu, has a long-standing grudge against the Immaculate abbot, a Water-aspected Dragon-Blooded named Santeris who was once of House Mnemon. Foulu believes that Santeris encourages the Shore Prince’s slavish devotion to the Terrestrial Exalted. In reality, Santeris dislikes the prince’s behavior, considers his regular guests to be wastrels who would be better off serving in a frontier legion and spends much of her time commanding a spy network that serves Immaculate (and ultimately Sidereal) interests throughout the Realm.


Ragara Soras Jor is the Satrap of An-Teng and, as such, is stationed in the City of the Steel Lotus, though there are imperial compounds all over An-Teng, and he travel between them regularly. Jor takes a very loose approach to governing the satrapy and is currently engrossed in intrigues to improve his standing in the Thousand Scales, break the treaty with the Lintha pirates and increase House Ragara’s influence in An-Teng. It is possible that he is paying too much attention to those in positions of authority and too little to the grassroot peasantry, popular opinion and potential rebellion.


The local social lion is Tepet Denile, who is attempting to recruit allies to his family. His methods involve spending remaining Tepet funds entertaining other young Dragon-Blooded and then using drugs, information, blackmail and similar methods to force them into alliances or to extract promises of favors. Enough young idiots come to visit An-Teng that he’s never short of prey. The Terrestrial with the greatest knowledge of An-Teng is Ledaal Catala Ceris, who has been assigned by her family to quietly analyze and report on the current situation in the country and serves in the satrap’s office as chief liaison with the local powers that be. Her natural scholarly instincts make this task a pleasant one, and she is actually liked by several noble families, who consider her cover story of research into classical poetical forms to be perfectly reasonable. In total, perhaps 100 Dragon-Blooded can be found in the City of the Steel Lotus at any time, with about two dozen employed in the actual administration of the satrapy, but the actual Terrestrial Exalted population changes frequently as families end long holidays and the Thousand Scales rotates personnel through duty assignments. Only a dozen or so are “old hands” in An-Teng who have been there for more than a few years.


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Delzahn Empire/Chiaroscuro



Chiaroscuro is a city known as a major trade hub and economic power in the South of Creation. Controlled by nomads called Delzahn and their ruler known as the Thri-Kahn, who has successfully maintained independence from both the Realm and the Guild for more than five hundred years by playing each one off the other.

Geography
Geographic situation and Climate
Originally laid out in an artistically and geomantic pattern built to resemble a massive crab, Chiaroscuro has suffered much in the intervening centuries. The harbor of the city is protected by two massive spits of land, once shaped to be the 'claws' of the crab. Twin first age lighthouses still remain, shining out to sea for twenty miles when once they could be seen for a hundred. Where once glass spires and roads weaved their way over more three hundred square miles now only several dozen towers near the center of the city remain unbroken, with only a few partially unbroken towers scatted around the so-called 'new' city. The division between the old and new sectors is well defined by the sudden ending of the glass structures and the starting of more modest brick and rock buildings. When once no defensive wall was needed, the Delzahn masters of the city erected a wall of glass shards and mortar, even adding a second wall when the city grew to large to fit inside the first. All these are signs of the city's conglomerate nature, the old with the new, the wild with the cosmopolitan.


Around the city, stretches hundreds of acres of savanna, where the Delzahn nomads ride separated from the city a miles wide stretch of farm land where the city gets its food stores. Exceptionally dry the summer, the rich soil turning dusty and gray. by the fall though the land turns rich and green with life, allowing for two growing seasons before the winds and heat of summer.


Natural Resources
Chiaroscuro's only 'natural' resources are the shards of glass that remain scattered amid the ruins of the old city. This glass is made into everything, jewelry, tools, even armor and weapons. Anyone can gather the shards and work them into armor of weapons, but only the Delzahn may buy or sell it. And while there is underground trade of the stuff from the city any caught doing this is publicly whipped and possibly forbidden from trading within the city again.


Other than the glass, Chiaroscuro is known for being the center of trade for the south, just as it was in the first age. Every major trading firm, mostly trading houses owned by Delzahn Nobles, even The Guild maintains its largest outpost outside of Nexus here. Almost every trade item found in the south ends up here, whether to remain in the south of shipment to distant lands, at some point it or its buyers end up here. Halta, Skullstone, the Haslanti League, and the Denzak Merchant Ship, all at least maintain factors if not outright outposts here.


This trade is needed for both the city's wealth and for its survival; even with the farms sounding the city where growing wheat is ideal, Chiaroscuro is just too large and must import massive quantities of most everything else.


Districts
The districts of Chiaroscuro are more or less divided along one line, the old and the new. The old sections of the city with their glass spires and even some first age conveniences, such as running water, street lights, essence lighting and elevators, even climate control, are home to the wealthiest citizens Chiaroscuro, mostly Delzahn Nobles. The newer portion of the city, while nice by age of sorrows standards are less convenient.


The Old City
Located on the west side of the harbor is a the largest grouping of these remaining towers, some still reaching up to two hundred stories high. Referred to as The Old City, here dwell the wealthiest merchant princes, Delzahn Nobles, trade factors and rulers of the city. The right to live in these functioning spires is granted by the Thri-Kahn, the ruler of the Delzahn who charges vast amounts to outsiders who wish to dwell in such luxury.


The Field of Gold
To the east of The Old City, in its shadow is The Field of Gold, a square mile of slagged gold glass that is all that remains of the gold tower which once housed the city's Solar rulers. This field becomes so hot in the southern sun that by midday it is unwise for the unprotected to touch it. As such, the competitive Delzahn dare each other to run across it later and later into the mid afternoon, when the field is deadly to walk upon.


The New City
If one is not wealthy enough to dwell in one of the remaining towers, then The New City will have to suffice. On the edge of the new city, houses of stone, adobe and glass shards gathered and mortared together into artistic patters; Thaumaturge's have repaired or replaced many of the street lamps, so even here the city is well lit. But the vast majority of Chiaroscuro's inhabitants live in mud-brick tenements, hovels built out of ruins or the cast-offs from other constructions. The farther one goes from the old city sections the more like a refugee camp it looks, indeed, that's what they become as Chiaroscuro always needs labor, the ever growing city runs off of cheap labor.


Out-of-Towners Quarter
An area of the city has been sectioned off on the east side of the harbor, this is the Out-of-Towners Quarter where an open length of ground has been cleared of ruins and rubble. Here the low ranking guild members and poorer merchants stay, all those who can not afford the price to stay in the towers. This section is constantly changing in population as merchants, explorers and transients of all types conduct their business concludes but some stay at try to make it the glass city.


The Plaza
On the east side of town, near the edge, is a six block section of five story buildings s known as 'The Plaza'. This area is ruled by a god called 'Grandmother Bright' who maintains the peace, any who attack who attacks the buildings or their tenants is turned into a faceless drone, set to clean the streets and perform maintenance. Only one thousand and one people may live in The Plaza at any time, new residents can only enter when an old one moves out or dies.


During the day Grandmother Bright herself sits in a red and gold pavilion in the center of the plaza and offers her expansive knowledge of Chiaroscuro's past and translations of old realm script in exchange for a task based on the value of the service and the ability of the supplicant. Interestingly, these tasks almost always advance the safety or stability of Chiaroscuro, some seemingly small task that greatly effects the future of the city.


Undercity
The remains of a vast underground network stretch over most of the city, the remains of the first age subway and service conduits.


Here in the dark is the Undermarket, a black-market that has been in operation since the first age. In these the winding corridors one can acquire almost any item or service, from assassinations to rare drugs. A couple of brothels advertise their wares, the most exotic types, demons, the undead, even a raksha who only offers herself when the price is right.


It should be noted that amid these winding tunnels is the headquarters of the Court of the Orderly Flame's Intelligence division led by Ulito Swan, the daughter of the late Celestial Censor of the south, Swan Dragon. Access to this hidden chamber is imposable to find unless invited.


History
Origin and Founding
Not much is known about the origins of the Glass City, only that it was created by a whim of the Primordials and given over to rule by the Dragon Kings.
It was not until two thousand years after the Primordials were overthrown that its population grew to more than twenty million and the city really came into its own.


Early History
During the first age Chiaroscuro grew into the what was poetically called 'The Jewel of the South'. It was the hub of trade for the entire south, where massive shipments of spices and gems would be loaded onto ships and sent to all corners of creation.
All this changed when the usurpation came, when massive essence weapons and exalted warfare of all types took their toll on the pristine towers. Most notably, sorcery reduced the Gold Palace of the anathema to molten slag, all that remains today is a smooth field of gold. Despite this damage though the city was more of less intact and remained as a center of trade, even growing in size as refugees flooded in from all over the south during the Shogunate era. Still the city stood during the Contagion when nine out of ten people died. Even when the marauding Fair Folk invaded the city stood fast against their encroachments. It was not until the Scarlet Empress turned the power of the Sword of Creation upon the Seven Dragons who were using the city to stage troops and equipment, that the towers finally shattered as the land shook.


After this cataclysm it took nearly two centuries for the ruins, having become only a way-stop for caravans, to be reclaimed by a group of nomads known as the Delzahn. These wanderers have spent the last five hundred years rebuilding the Jewel of the South back into its former glory.


Government
Chiaroscuro is ruled by the Tri-Khan, the hereditary leader of the nomadic Delzhan nomads who first resettled the city after it was devastated by the Sword of Creation. The currant Thri-Kahn is Yejouj Kahn, one of the more cunning descendants of the original Thri-Kahn Tamas Kahn, a man who was known for his cunning.


Other than the Thri-Kahn the leaders of Delzahn government are the Nobles, the various decedents of the original tribal leaders, known as 'kahns'. These nobles retain the right to duel, collect taxes and race camels or horses within city limits, among other things. At currant time there are more than forty thousand noble living within the city walls. With in the noble ranking structure there are four titles in decening rank: The Kahn or Bey, with Orkahns then Pashas being the lesser rank. Traditionally the Orkahn owns all the livestock, the traditional measure of wealth, in his sept, with the Kahn then owning the livestock of multiple septs. In currant times the actual wealth usually lays in things other than cattle.
Society
Delzahn tribesmen make up more than a quarter of the local population, as such their traditions are the ones followed within the city, though they hardly expect foreigners to follow their code of honor. Indeed, the Delzahn don't believe outsiders even know what honor is.


The outsiders that do come to Chiaroscuro are usually shocked to find that dueling and racing are the primary pastimes, and that nobles regularly conduct these events within the city. The natives see these events as great entertainment, readily accepting any challenge but outsiders are often disturbed to find they are not exempt from challenges. They may refuse to duel a Delzahn commoner, but when challenged by a noble it means one must leave the city or fight. These duels are mostly non-lethal, but ones sparked by jealousy or thievery are often to the death.


Religion
The Chiaroscurans have a relativity open policy on religion and are quite flexible on the subject, something the Immaculate Order, much to their chagrin, has had little effect on. In addition to the very public presence of Grandmother Bright many Terrestrial Gods have cults openly within the city, as well as several ancestor cults. In fact the order has, in the centuries they have been here, only managed to add the Dragons to the large list of gods and spirits worshiped by the residents.
The general rule is that one worships what works and doesn't harm the city or its people. Shamans are a large part of Delzahn culture and one can found easily whenever one needs to contact minor spirits. These shamans use drugs and dance to pray, gaining a type of Spirit Sight akin to the thaumaturgical ritual. Elemental Summoning and Spirit Beckoning are also widely used.
Economy and Culture

Agriculture
Farmers work the fields bringing sugar, tobacco, silk, cotton and marijuana for exports.


Military
The Delzahn are cavalrymen who use their horses and camels in raiding and guerrilla type warfare. When a threat to the horde is made known they launch great sweeping, highly mobile campaigns against their foes.


In recent years the city born Delzahn have added siege weapons and mercenaries, bought through the Guild, to the power they can draw upon.
Still, though, the true power of the Delzahn military comes from the Horde, which consists of every man of fighting age who calls himself Delzahn .


Technically the Thri-Kahn is in command of the full military might of the Horde, though in practice the leadership is far more loose than any used to the rigid structure of the Realm's Legions. This allows the Delzahn far more tactical flexibility than most. Unfortunately this also leads to a less unified command, which can result in a lack of planning and co-ordination.


Arsenal
When riding into combat the Horde mainly weapons usable while mounted; including the lance, long slashing swords, short bows and javelins, but especially favored by the city dwelling Delzahn are flame pieces. Nobles may be better equipped, wielding better crafted weapons and even weapons made from the steel-like glass for which Chiaroscuro is known.


Rarely seen are the so-called, 'Spahi', elite heavily armed and armored cavalry who are the only professional soldiers normally maintained. They use lances and target shields as well as heavy armor.


Delzahn heavy weapons include some leftover first age essence cannons which protect their harbor and many newer catapults and fire projectors which are deployed into the field as needed.


Defense
Chiaroscuro itself is protected by several layers of walls, all of which have overflowed. Beyond the city proper each section of the city normally has a modest wall defended by the local Khan or Orkhan. The slums are totally indefensible and the nomads beyond the city can quickly respond with hundreds of warriors. Anyone attempting to take the city or one of the Delzahn enclaves will come under hit-and-run attacks from the locals until the entire horde descends upon them in one great wave.


Important People
Mortals and Exalted

* Nazri (Chosen of Endings)

Chairman of the Convention on Fire.

* Tammuz (Lunar Exalted)

A lunar who has guided and maintained the city of hundreds of years.

* Tri-Khan Yejouj (Mortal Ruler)

Gods

* Ulito Swan (God)

Daughter of the onetime Celestial Censor of the South, Swan Dragon.

* Grandmother Bright (God)

Goddess of The Plaza. Source of first age information and translations.

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Gem

Gem is an independent city-state in the South of Creation. The city is a center for mining trade and is ruled by Rankar VII, the hereditary Despot, who maintains a monopoly on the trade of gemstones. It is engaged in a bitter trade-war with Paragon. The city is built into the side of an extinct volcano. It is also the largest mercenary-hiring market in the South.

Geography
Geographic situation and Climate
The city is built into the side of an extinct volcano. The peak of the volcano shades Gem for most of the day from the oppressive heat of the South - a heat that during the summer is almost impossible to endure. Caravans are forced to travel by night and take shelter from the sun during the day. Some of Gem's streets are built into the vast lava tubes that run through the volcano, forming subterranean markets and living spaces. To avoid the worst heat of the day, the city sleeps during the height of the day and resumes activity at night.


Natural Resources
Within the city of Gem, especially in the Sunken Bazaar (see below), any number of common or rare and exotic gemstones can be found, as well as any kind of jade or even the rare dreamstones. This has given rise to dream-merchants, who buy and sell the dreams recorded in the dreamstones. The most prized items to be had in Gem are the Yasal Crystals that are gathered from the most distant and hottest portions of the South.


Districts
The Sunken Bazaar
Also known as the Gem-Bazaar, this district is well known throughout the south. Built in the largest lava tube in Gem's volcanic home, the market is able to operate at all hours of the day and night. The marketplace is lit by lights refracted from mirrors down into the depths of stone and shone onto orange and yellow gemstones placed into the walls of the subterranean marketplace. Since the market is underground, food is able to stay fresh in the chilled air of the cavern and the city's inhabitants are able to escape the oppressive heat in the city above. The sunken bazaar also houses the Despot's jewel merchants and their guarded pavillions, where they deal in all manner of gemstones and all five types of jade.


Economy and Culture
The Despot of Gem has a monopoly on the trade of gemstones in Gem. Anyone attempting to buy or sell stones privately is either fined, enslaved or executed. Gem is also the site of the largest mercenary hiring market in the South. Gem is currently involve in a trade war with Paragon.


Slaves
Slaves are common in Gem in a variety of capacities, including gladiators, work slaves, pleasure slaves, educated slaves and even slaves to the Despot - a category to which all jewelcrafters and gem merchants in the city belong.


Weapons
Gem is notable for their use of firewands.


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Harborhead

Harborhead is a huge country in the South-east of Creation. It's climate varies from temperate (on the coast) and in the mountains through sun-parched (in the interior) to sweltering (in the jungle regions). It is threatened in the North by the Shadowlands of Thorns and the Bayou of Endless Regret, by untamed Lunar infested jungle to the East, and by the Varang city-states to the South. The West faces the Blessed Isle itself across the Inner Sea.


Harborhead is occupied by five tribes, all of which sprang from the same stock long ago, though they have not been united since the First Age. In the current age, relationships between the five vary from “wary alliance” to “outright hatred”. The temporal loyalty of any Harborheadite is first to his tribe, second to his people and finally (if at all) to his nation. The tribes raid each other constantly (and the city states to the South if a war band is big enough) and take each other as slaves as well as stealing cattle. These slaves are typically sold to the Realm or to the Guild. Though they get paid only a tiny fraction of the value of the slave in other markets, this is still such a profitable trade that many of the tribes rely on it for income. The Realm encourages slave taking because it guarantees a constant flow of prime slaves, from which they take their pick and then sell the balance to the Guild (getting a better rate as middlemen than the Guild gives the natives of Harborhead). In this way, everyone gets rich except the people of Harborhead.


Rulership of Harborhead rests with the Imperial Satrap, who “advises” the Leopard (the proper name for the King of Harborhead). Effectively the most powerful warlord in the region, almost all Harborheadites will tell you that the only Leopard worth mentioning was Blood-on-the-Horn. Blood-on-the-Horn was a daughter of Ahlat himself (born to one of the Brides of Ahlat) and used her God-Blooded power to unite the people of Harborhead into one nation; the Realm prudently conquered the land before it could become a competing empire. Blood-on-the-Horn spent the next thirty years or so resisting the Realm until she was killed in a one-on-one duel with a Dragon-Blooded of House Mnemon. Since then, the occupant of the Leopard Seat (the throne) has been picked by the Realm, and is generally seen as a worthless collaborator who can “eat my loincloth” as far as any Harborheadite is concerned.
The Realm has an extensive bureaucracy in Harborhead, based in the capital city of Kirigast. It is thoroughly corrupt, with everyone on the take, even members of the All-Seeing Eye, who are the watchdogs of corruption. The tax collectors skim off what they collect from the residents, their superiors skim off that, they all bribe the officials of the All-Seeing Eye to look the other way, and in the end the Realm finds that the proper tribute doesn't reach the Empress from the people of Harborhead. Regretfully, they are forced to go back and recover the agreed amount from the “lazy” natives, who consistently fail to pay the Realm's due. As a result, the people of Harborhead end up paying around two or three times as much in taxes to the Realm as they are supposed to. If a village doesn't or can't pay, the Realm burns it and sells the residents into slavery to pay their debt. That most people can just manage to pay their taxes indicates how rich the land is and how successful the people could be if they were not under the boot heel of the Scarlet Empire.
Another reason for Harborhead's importance to the Realm is the Bent Creek Jade beds. There is a virtual mountain of Jade there, and Bent Creek has grown into a small city containing the largest mining project in the South. Apart from the amount the corrupt bureaucracy manages to skim off, all this Jade goes straight to the Empress's personal Treasury. Now that the Empress has vanished, the Great Houses of the Realm are considering who amongst them should benefit from the riches at Bent Creek. The mines are, of course, worked by slaves; conditions are harsh and every slave very expendable since a ready source is so nearby. Individual slaves rarely last more than a couple of years at Bent Creek.


The people of Harborhead recognize the Unconquered Sun as the ruling god, and Ahlat as his right hand; the Unconquered Sun is the Chief and Ahlat is the War Leader. Some of the more aggressive tribes concentrate their worship on Ahlat. The Immaculate Order disapproves of this improper worship, but the complex political relationships of the area led the Empress herself to direct the Immaculate Order to be lenient on the subject of Ahlat's worship. In fact, this situation benefits the Realm.


The Empress recognized that Ahlat demands the sacrifice of many cattle; more than a tribe can normally spare without starving. It is, of course, better to take someone else's cattle for sacrifice and, since Ahlat is also the Southern God of War, the Bull God would be doubly honored by raids on his behalf. So the tribes raid each other and take each others cattle to sacrifice to Ahlat and their people to sell as slaves. Those who do so are rewarded by Ahlat, who makes their own cattle more fertile, and their warriors greater in battle. Which in turn makes them better at taking other peoples cattle and more of a target for other nearby tribes who want to take their fertile cattle. Thus, the Empress allowed the situation to continue for the sake of keeping the natives fighting each other instead of her own Legions; now with the Empress gone, the Immaculate Order is taking a stronger hand.


Harborhead is one of the few Realm Satrapies allowed to keep it's own standing army; the military of Harborhead is a deeply entrenched cultural tradition. The priests of Ahlat marry young girls to their god in both a ceremonial and legal fashion, increasing his followers and amount of worship. These Brides of Ahlat are raised to be warriors, and protect the Leopard as an "honor guard" stemming from the politically advantageous fiction that the king of Harborhead is a distant cousin of the Empress. These 15,000 elite amazons are dedicated to their duty, though they still view their king as a worthless lackey of the Realm.


Offsetting the power of the native military is the Realm's 47th Legion, about 3500-strong, one of the best divisions of the Imperial Army led by Terrestrials of House Cathak. It is supplemented heavily by local recruits, and around a quarter of the Legion is made up of Harborheadites loyal to the Realm. Many of these soldiers have even become faithful followers of the Immaculate Order. While vastly outnumbered by the local army, the Legion boasts around 25 Dragon-Blooded of Dynastic or Lost Egg origin, evening the odds greatly against the largely mortal Harborhead military.


Finally there is the Fire Fleet, whose base of operations in the South is Kirigast. Equipped with the most powerful ships the Realm can float (including some First Age vessels), the Fire Fleet could not only dominate the coast and blockade the ports, but the Realm could easily reinforce its position with still more Legions if the natives of Harborhead revolted. Those who plot rebellion know that they might win initial engagements, but would definitely lose the war when the Realm retaliated. So they bide their time and wait.


Other Considerations
When the Empress first disappeared five years ago, the then Leopard started to make waves, suggesting it may be time for the Realm “advisors” to get out of her country and let them rule themselves. As the “cousin” of the Empress, this was politically awkward. Consquently, the Leopard and her immediate family all ate something bad one tea time and tragically died. The survivors all disappeared somewhere, also mysteriously. The Satrap “suggested” that the court pick a new Leopard from another bloodline, and that he would be happy to continue to “advise” on behalf of the Realm. The current Leopard is a fat little Shayanti nobleman named Oshom Kurgaz who originally wanted the position of power but now realises that he is the pawn of the Realm, is hated by his own guardswomen and has no popular support.


There is a rumour that a surviving member of the Reshoom family (the last Leopard's kin) is raising an army in the remote South. There are also supposed to be other survivors locked up in the dungeons beneath the Satraps palace who've been there for the last five years. No one knows for sure who's still alive down there (except maybe the Satrap, and he sadly "knows nothing about the tragic disappearance of the Empresses remote cousins in the Reshoom family").


Ahlat, as war god of the South, is in a prime position to spot exceptional warriors, and he passes that information on to the Unconquered Sun so he can pick good candidates for Exaltation. As a result, a higher than average proportion of Dawn Caste Solars come from the South. Those who exalt in Harborhead are forced to flee immediately, as Harborhead is a popular destination for Dragonbloods who like to do a little hunting. Because there are so many Dragonblooded around (on top of those serving with the 47th Legion) it's very easy to get together an exceptionally powerful Wyld Hunt, and most Solars exalted in Harborhead are lucky to survive. The survivors are the ones lucky enough to be Exalted way out in the back country, and smart enough to immediately leave, hoping to grow in power before they can return.



The five peoples of Harborhead include:


The Totikari are nomadic cattle herders, live mostly in the hot interior and are similar to the Earth Maasai people. They value generosity highly, and will cheerfully give a guest just about anything they ask for, including a daughter to marry or the clothes off their own back. Imperial tax collectors have found that the Totikari are willing to give far more than the tax they owe if it is presented as a way to prove their generosity. The tax collector might gift the tribal chief with iron knives to defend themselves against the Fair Folk, for example, and then ask the chief to gift him with "the Empresses due" in return. The Totikari are the second most numerous native people in Harborhead, but due to being nomadic are also the most politically disenfranchised. They know they are exploited by the Realm and dislike the situation, but need a leader to unite them.


The Brakhani are the smallest population and live by cattle herding and farming of wheat, cotton, oranges, bananas and other fruit. They are skilled bead workers, and often wear lots of colourful jewelry. Bravery is the most important trait to a Brakhani, and they send out young adults against dangerous animals armed with nothing but a knife, as an adulthood test. Brakhani worship the Unconquored Sun, as well as a wealth of other deities.


The Izhalvi are both the most numerous and the most geographically scattered people in Harborhead, though most live in mountainous areas. They worship both the Unconquored Sun and Gaia, considering themselves the offspring of the two Incarnae. Respect for one's elders is the most important trait for the Izhalvi.

The Krantiri are found in the coastal regions, and they mostly live as fisher-folk. They are not well organised, and are often taken advantage of by the other peoples. This is surprising, as Krantiri value cleverness above all else. They are fond of dance plays and make masks and huge puppets of woven grass to perform historical stories. The coastal village of Hashumbii is an example of a Krantiri settlement.


The Shayanti are clever merchants and currently the most politically powerful of the five peoples. Shayanti work together well and help each other out against outsiders, and many of the most wealthy individuals in Harborhead are Shayanti. They are known also for their poetry, and their wandering warrior-poets are dangerous to meet on a dark road. Shayanti believe that the bonds of family are the most important responsibility of any person. Most Shayanti worship Ahlat directly.

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The Lap

The Lap gets its name from its unique location: The mountain was long ago carved into the shape of a meditating hermit sitting in a cross-legged posture. Much of the city nestles into the "lap" of the mountain, though some outlying houses spill out across the broad legs. Many of the structures consist of interlocked adobe buildings. Along with Gem, The Lap is one of the twin powers of the Southwest and often trades its excess grains, maize and squash in return for the riches of Gem. The two cities are connected by a well-traveled trade route known as the "Diamond Road", and The Lap provides troops to patrol the road. The Lap is also the location of Gate 52, one of the gates into the Celestial City of Yu-Shan.


The identity of the meditating hermit is questionable, but it is known as the Old Man or the Last Supplicant. This wonder of the First Age was quite literally defaced during the Great Contagion. Those who ascend to its shoulders can see for hundreds of miles around, from the distant islands of the Western Ocean to the dark clouds of smoke that pour from the smithies of Nexus.


The small valley of fertile land between the Last Supplicant's legs is known as the Verdant Triangle. There are three tunnels that lead from the base of the mountain into The Lap, that can be sealed off - at which time, The Lap is almost completely inaccessible. The Lap has enough stored and preserved food to last two or three years, even with a full export of crops. This stockpile is one of the largest in Creation, and "starving The Lap" is synonymous with a futile gesture. Bandits that occasionally raid farms face retaliation by the Imperial forces garrisoned there.
The Lap is governed by a council of landholders who prop up a figurehead on the throne of the kingdom, while a Golden Triumvirate, rather than a single satrap, represents the interests of the Dynasty. While the three members of the Golden Triumvirate, Cathak Sijip, Ragara Aloru and Peleps Tuchet represent his or her family individually and squabble amongst themselves, they always vote unanimously on all public decisions. For the council's part, they rarely argue with the Dynasts, generally acceding to the Realm's wishes. The council's pliant character has helped keep their city free and the children of the junta at home and not in the Scarlet Court as hostages.


The Lap itself is closely allied with The Realm, a fact that The Realm uses as a lever against many city-states in the Southwest. When The Realm desires stability in the region, city-states wishing to purchase part of The Lap's regular surplus must pay two, three or even four times as much per unit to prevent stockpiling for rations or extended sieges. The threat of withholding agricultural exports to warring city-states weighs heavily on The Lap's neighbors, leading many to attempt more diplomatic measures prior to outright war.


Militarily, The Lap is one of the mightiest forces that The Realm supports. There is an imperial legion deployed there, and each of the three triunes commands several thousand house troops, bringing the total number of imperial troops deployed there to just over 10,000. In addition, there are an equal number of local soldiers. The actual government of The Lap fields one legion organized along imperial lines and 6,000 gendarmes suited for little more than supporting tax collection and chasing bandits. In addition, the various magnates have several thousand individuals tasked with plantation security loyal to them as well.


The close proximity of the Deathlord, First and Forsaken Lion, who rules over The Thousand and The Legion Sanguinary, is ever a concern and does nothing to comfort The Lap or The Realm.


The Last Supplicant
Multiple contradictory canonical explanations for the massive statue of the meditating hermit exist.

* It is an ancient spirit carved by a long-retired lesser elemental dragon of earth. He has been slumbering since the First Age and remains naïve regarding the events of the last several thousand years, including the destruction of his face. He stands 1,500 feet in height and has the strength of mountains but dislikes making physical efforts in favor of meditation.

* It is an enormous public works project from the first age, one of the Eight Gifts of Celestial Grace, made in to a dragon-line projector and Essence flow controller, capable of regulating and reshaping the geomancy of the South.


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Paragon
Paragon is a city located at the confluence of two small rivers amid verdant almond and olive groves. The city is built near the ruins of a First Age state known as The Domain of Stately Order, the principal city of which is known as Dari of the Mists, or Dari for short.
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Varang City States
Varang is a nation of cities in the south known for its rigid caste system. A citizens' profession and function is chosen at birth by Astrology.


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PostSubject: Re: Lands of Creation   Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:06 pm

West
From Exalted Wiki
http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php?title=West

As the Inland Sea passes the Blessed Isle and becomes the Great Western Ocean one enters the West. At first, the islands are large and common, but the further west one goes, the smaller and less frequent they become. Once past distant archipelagos and scattered islands beyond them, there is only a horizon: where the sea and sky come together and it can only be distinguished at sunrise and sunset. Even the most experienced sailors find it maddening to sail too far out, for what is there to find save more ocean stretching out unto the end of time?


This is the least populous of the directions, as there is less land for people to live upon. Due to this lack of arable land, vegetables other than cultivated kelp are a luxury in the islands. There are stretches of temperate land to the Southwest and the Northwest which allow for actual cultivation, until the mountains and deserts of the South or the frozen wastss of the North make farming an impossibility.
In the true West, the political unit is the island and thus each island or archipelago grouping of islands forms its own independent nation. Although not everyone in the West is a sailor, pirate, shipwright or fishermen, the sea cannot be ignored by anyone. A child who cannot sail a boat by the age of six has been raised poorly. Many of these island nations entertain the pirate trade, though only the Wavecrest Archipelago and The Neck allow non-aligned pirates to openly enter port. (They and the outright pirate nation of the Lintha, that is with its secret port of Bluehaven, whose location is said to constantly change.)


The Southwest and Northwest have collections of coastal nations instead of islands ranging from Realm-affiliated principalities to petty kingdoms and republics ruled by Outcaste Dragon-Bloods.


Clothing is oriented toward practical shipboard wear. Westerners give offerings to the sea spirits, the bow spirits of their ships, the spirits of wind and weather and good fortune and any other spirits who may have a bearing on the situation. Western culture is frequently patriarchal, with women's roles in the community being well defi ned if not actually confi ning. Visiting women from outside a particular island are often treated as honorary males for the duration of their visit to minimize the cultural impact, but they are encouraged to remain in the foreigners' quarter of town rather than test local hospitality.
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Bluehaven
Bluehaven is the name of the hidden base for the Lintha pirates of the West. It is a floating city formed of captured ships, and surrounded by a large sargasso sea filled with wrecked vessels. The seaweed and shipwrecks serve as a defensive maze that only natives can reliably and safely navigate.
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Coral Archipelago
The Coral archipelago is a chain of islands, mostly coral atolls, west of the Skullstone Archipelago. Its capital city is Azure, on the island of the same name, where the Sea Lord reigns. Coral is known for sponsoring the Coral Pirates.

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The Neck
The Neck is a small chain of peaceful islands and a loyal satrapy of the Realm. It is situated south of Skullstone Archipelago and north of Wavecrest Archipelago. Its capital city is called Solid Shell, on the island of Amphiro, where the chieftain of the Neck rules from the Coral Palace, a one dot Manse.
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Skullstone Archipelago
Skullstone archipelago is a chain of islands north of the Neck and west of the Coral archipelago. It is the West's largest shadowland, and is ruled over by a Deathlord known both as the Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water, and as the Silver Prince. Its capital city is Onyx, on Darkmist Isle.
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Wavecrest Archipelago

The Wavecrest Archipelago is made up of three large volcanic islands, Abalone, Halcyon, and Pearl, as well as a large number of small islets. This nation is the largest food producer in the West. It is ruled over by the Feathered One, an elected leader who is occasionally offered as a human sacrifice to the volcano gods.
Wavecrest has been expanding its navy since the disappearance of the Scarlet Empress in anticipation of war with the Coral Archipelago or Skullstone.


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Luthe

Luthe was a First Age city built in the time of the Solar Deliberative. It was originally designed as a floating dockyard and military base for the Deliberative Navy, but over time, became more of a civilian city and administrative center for the West.
The city was sunk during the Usurpation when its Solar queen chose to destroy it rather than allow the Dragon-Blooded to capture it.
Status in the Second Age
The city still exists at the bottom of the Great Western Ocean, but the inhabitants are much changed. Most of the population consist of aquatic beastmen created by the First Age Lunar Leviathan, along with some human survivors who live in the few portions of the city that did not flood when it sank.


Despite the difficulty of learning of its existence, and further, of actually reaching the sunken city, there is much to draw Exalts and treasure-hunters. The city still possesses many Artifacts from immediately before the Usurpation, just waiting for a skilled artificer to recover them. To do so, though, one must first get past Leviathan.
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Lands of Creation
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