Exalted – Creation (The North)May 18, 2010
The North is a cold, inhospitable place, but humans (and other things) live there nonetheless. There are five major populations in the North: the city of Whitewall, the city of Gethamane, the Haslanti League, the city of Cherak, and the Icewalker barbarian tribes.
Whitewall is what most people think of when they think about living in the North. Though it has fallen from its First Age grace, it is still the most hospitable of all the Northern locations. Ruled by a trio of spirits called the Syndics, Whitewall is noted for its protection against the northern Fair Folk and restless dead, as well as for the Great Northern Road, which shares the aforementioned protections. It is a sterile city, constantly alert for undead or fey inside its eponymous walls, but it is a safe city, and to many in the North, safety is more important than anything else.
Gethamane is a similarly protected city, beneath a mountain. Founded by refugees at the end of the Usurpation, Gethamane is an isolationist city, allowing guests only limited access to markets and bazaars. The city is nearly entirely self-sufficient, and while it produces amazing wonders, those wonders are not without a cost. Beneath the city, ancient gardens are tended with horrible sacrifices, and even further in the mountain, ancient and dark creatures lurk, carrying off those who travel too deep.
The Haslanti League is in the Northeast, and it is a prosperous conglomeration of city-states that work together to hold off the influence of the Guild as well as the Realm. Founded by ancient spirits (and some say Anathema), the Haslanti League is noted for its innovations: they have invented the zeppelin or airship, ice boats that use skis and wind for propulsion, and the crossbow, one of only two civilizations in Creation to make use of the wondrous device.
Cherak is, nominally, a tributary of the Realm, though it has fallen on hard times. Mostly ignored by the Realm proper, Cherak is run by a disgraced lesser house of the Empire, and that House uses it as a personal playground. Slavery is rampant, neglect and abuse are common, and it is only a matter of time before someone (or something) comes to change the sorry state of affairs.
Finally, the Icewalker barbarians are natives of the North, nomadic wanderers who name their tribes after the herd animals they follow. Until recently, they were separate tribes who warred with one another as often as they cooperated. However, a new figure has arisen calling himself the Bull of the North. He has united the tribes, and even defeated the Tepet Legions of the Realm. His presence has galvanized the Icewalkers into something almost resembling a cohesive nation.