Exalted – Creation (The East)May 18, 2010
For the second installment of The East, we’ll consider the East proper, those verdant lands more remote than the Scavenger Lands. These include the warring nations of Halta and Linowan, the funerary city of Sijan, the strange, aerial civilization on Mount Metagalapa, the distant nation of Chaya, and the abandoned First Age cities of Rathess and Sperimin.
Halta is a prosperous treetop nation, where its citizens live in harmony with intelligent animals, while the Fair Folk claim the ground of their forest. Linowan, by contrast, is an uncivilized collection of tribes, and the two have been warring for decades. However, with the coming of the Bull of the North and his alliance with Halta, Linowan is suddenly caught in the jaws of the beast. Further, there are powers within Halta that do not appreciate the Bull’s interference, which all adds up to a stew of trouble, just waiting for some young Exalted to come and boil it into a fine dish of adventure.
Sijan is a city that has existed since before the Primordial War, and no one is entirely certain of its origins. The people who live there have always been morticians of the highest caliber, and, in fact, the city is run by the Mortician’s Order. Nobility, gentry, and peasantry from all over the Scavenger Lands and the East come to Sijan to be buried, cremated, or otherwise mortificated, for the Mortician’s Order is familiar with every burial custom in Creation. Sijan has a strong reflection in the Underworld, and both Sijans work together, living and dead, to create a vast and respectful homage to the departed.
Mount Metagalapa is one of the oddities of the East, for it is a flying mountain. Some theorize it is a weapon of the First Age, waiting to go off. Others suppose it might have been infused with Wyld energies from the Fair Folk invasion during the Contagion. No one knows for sure. What is known, however, is that a small civilization of humans has grown on the slopes of Metagalapa, and they survive by raiding nearby lands on their giant hawks. While they have cooly cordial relations with most of the nations in the East, they are isolated (by virtue of living on top of a flying mountain), and so they share few of the natural prejudices of the rest of Creation. Of course, that just leaves them with room for their own unique taboos.
Chaya is a nominally uninteresting place. A remote nation in the far East, it is a calm civilization of introspective individuals, people who seem to have no extremes of emotion and show less than they have. Visitors are few, and while they have trade negotiations with the Confederation of Rivers, they are mostly isolationist. However, when the fire trees bloom, their pollen sends the calm Chayans into murderous rampages, an event for which no one has a full explanation. For this reason, visitors are sent away during these “mood swings,” though some theorize there is some profit to be made from the fire tree pollen.
Rathess was once the heart of Dragon King civilization, the race of saurian humanoids who populated Creation before humans. They were always faithful and loyal to the Unconquered Sun, and for this crime, they were devastated during the Primordial War. Rathess became the heart of the Solar Deliberative after the war, but eventually that moved to Meru. Rathess slowly degenerated into obscurity, and after the Usurpation, it was mostly forgotten. Now, however, it is a potential treasure trove for the returning Solars, if they can navigate the primeval jungles that surround it and survive the dark terrors that now inhabit the once glorious city.
Finally, Sperimin was once a glorious First Age academy of learning and sorcery. It was (and remains) the resting place of the fabled Book of Three Circles, a tome said to contain a copy of every spell ever made. However, during the Contagion, when its population dwindled, an elder Lunar named Raksi returned from the Wyld with an army of beastmen and conquered the city. Now renamed Mahalanka, the City of a Thousand Golden Delights, Sperimin lies lost in the forests of the East, subject to Raksi’s twisted, insane whims.