Once the patterns of trade and commerce helped to bind creation together. Ships, caravans, and merchants large and small knit together the arteries of trade, making each bustling city a beating heart and sending cash and goods – the lifeblood of civilization – flowing throughout the lands.
Certain designers of manses think that a return to those days is in order.
A Bazaar of the Bizarre is generally constructed as a simple cube or other geometrical shape, inscribed with a variety of mystic symbols. Anyone who can solve the pattern, and open one of the sides, can reach into the small hearthstone chamber and seize the multiple level-zero hearthstones that the sign of the scales generates there. Anyone holding such a hearthstone will be recognized as a member of the Board of Directors, and is entitled to use small thaumaturgies to pass messages over the hearthstone link, to draw on the manses excess funds and information sources, and to gain a reasonable amount of assistance from the manse guardians – although their unbreakable loyalty is to their oaths and to the manse, rather than to the “executive committee”.
Still, they can supply rather a lot of money and other resources.
Around the Bizarre Bazaar, of course, a thriving trade-city will soon spring up – beautiful, well-appointed, harmonious with it’s environment – and rapidly burgeoning with wealth.
Basic Design: Maintenance -3 (the Guardians must perform complex magical adjustments every few days to keep the manse operating), Habitability -3 (it really hasn’t got any rooms that people can fit inn inside 0f), Hearthstone -4 (Rank-0), and Rank 4, for a grand total of 18 Creation Points.
Note that, as written, the Bazaar can be of any aspect.
Master’s Workshop (2): Everyone within the manses zone of influence effectively has access to a Master-level workshop for the builder’s choice of four mundane crafts.
Unbindable (2): This close relative of Immutable renders the manse, and everyone currently in it, impervious to Unnatural Mental Influence – albeit not to natural mental influence or to political, economic, or physical threats and pressure. As a side effect, Exalts accumulate Limit – or Clarity (or whatever) at only one-half the normal rate within the manse.
Greater Magical Conveniences x2 (4): The Bazaar provides a host of minor services to aid it’s residents – services far more versatile and effective than the simple one-point version of this power. The Bazaar’s effects include:
- Automatic Filing: any item legally bought or sold within the bazaar will automatically come with the paperwork accurately describing it’s known properties and provenance, a bill of sale, and the documents necessary for filing for any relevant taxes, licenses, or other legalities.
- Banking Services: everyone in the bazaar can access modern-style banking services – including interest-bearing accounts, limited credit (according to their past credit history with the bazaar), and remote transactions and transfers. As these are administered by some of the manse guardians, service and security is excellent. It is also, of course, quite profitable.
- Data Security: The bazaar’s various records are encrypted in the structure of the manse, and are only accessible by the hearthstone bearer and by the manse’s guardians (barring truly major sorcery) – although the indexing services are an exception.
- Exalted Ices: The manse provides residents and visitors with refreshments in the form of vitamin and mineral enriched water. It will, however, provide an endless variety of flavorings and wide variety of temperatures and (optionally) carbonations. If you want frozen strawberry slush, or soda, or hot sweet tea, or whatever, you can have it at any moment.
- Indexing Services: The bazaar keeps transaction records, as well as an accessible index of special requests, the availability of various exotic goods, offers of exotic services, and of the various businesses available in and around the bazaar – with cumulative reliability ratings.
- Security: While much of this is due to the fact that the manses guardians handle any major security needs, there are some anti-thievery precautions – most notably the fact that essence use within the bazaar by anyone but the hearthstone bearer and manse guardians has a “wind chime” power signature – and so does seriously disturbing things that don’t belong to you…
- Thaumaturgic Support: The manse will sustain three thaumaturgic effects for each resident. While these can be dispelled normally, the endless power reserves of a manse mean that they will re-establish themselves six ticks later. Such effects do not actually have to be on a resident and do not have to be cast by the resident – a fire-protection spell cast by a hired thaumaturge on a residents house qualifies perfectly well – but they do have to be things that the resident wants to keep on working.
- Utilities: The area enjoys the benefits of “modern” running water and plumbing, convenient lighting, heating, and cooking apparatus, and sanitation.
Free Trade Charter / Zone of Influence (3): The benefits of the manses powers extend to a radius of 1600 yards – an area nearly two miles across.
The Binding Word / Wyld Revocation (4): Within the manse, oaths are as binding for anyone as the oaths of the Yozi’s and the Fey are. Thus, all bargains made here are fair and honest, since agreeing to that is a requirement of doing business within the Bazaar. In addition, with a simple occult ritual (D1-5, depending on the level of the oath sworn; the ritual may be performed on someone else’s behalf) anyone within the Manse may swear to any Adjuration that they please.
The Assumption of Purpose / Guardian Force (4): Mortals may come to the manse and swear to one of three Great Oaths – the oath of Guardianship (to aid and protect the mortals of creation), the oath of Citizenship (to defend, maintain, and work for the Bazaar itself), or the oath of Trade (to keep trade flowing throughout creation to the benefit of it’s peoples). If the Bazaar accepts the oath, the person swearing it becomes one of the Bazaar’s “guardians” – gaining the powers appropriate to a “second circle demon” (or god of the fourth rank), although their natural form remains material. The Bazaar takes care to keep the proportions well-balanced at roughly one hundred bearers of each of the three oaths at a time – and always knows if a “guardian” has fallen.
- Those swearing the Oath of Guardianship normally go forth to assist the people of the surrounding area – using their new powers to help them build, protect them from monsters, and generally improve matters. This also provides a buffer zone around the manse and encourages the locals to support and defend it.
- Those swearing the Oath of Citizenship normally take up residence in the Bazaar – opening up businesses as artificers, thaumaturgists or sorcerers, bankers, physicians, and scholars. They maintain the bazaar, sell advanced services to those who pass through, and generally maintain a high bastion of civilization.
- Those swearing an Oath of Trade attempt to bind civilization together through trade, moving goods from place to place, relieving famines, transporting knowledge, funding and defending lesser traders, spreading the understanding of distant realms, and bringing the components of various wonders pouring into the bazaar.
To convert a mortal or god-blooded character into a Bazaar Guardian…
- Add +8 points worth of mutations, +4 Essence, +3 Virtue Dots, +2 Will, and five bonus points with which to buy backgrounds or extra mutations.
- Add Attribute dots equal to ([Essence x 3] + [Sum of Virtues x 2] -22). The character may distribute these as desired, although no attribute may exceed (Essence + 5)
- Add ([Essence x2] + [the sum of Virtues]) Spirit Charms. This may include supernatural martial arts and sorcery.
- Their Essence Pool becomes ([Essence x10] + [Willpower x5] plus any modifiers).
- Increase their base health levels to (Willpower + highest Virtue). One -0, one is -4, and the remainder are split evenly between -1 and -2, favoring -1. “Incapacitated” doesn’t count.
- Add +6L/+6B inherent soak.
- The Guardians have access to the Manses Magical Conveniences, and remain Unbindable, wherever they may be.
- They should be treated as material gods – with the appropriate healing rate, soak, and so on. Note that, even if the manse is destroyed, it’s guardians will not vanish – although no replacements can be inducted until the guardians manage to rebuild the Bazaar.
Abyssal, Lunar, and Sidereal aspected bazaars get one more point to use, since they include a favored power.
- Abyssal versions usually include a self-destruct sequence, so that the place can be easily blown up after the entire local economy is dependent on it.
- Lunar Versions usually include a network node, allowing them to coordinate trade, information, and production readily across massive areas.
- Sidereal Versions usually include Password Activations, allowing them to easily “hack” the banking and indexing services – giving them a subtle but powerful tool of manipulation.
- Exalted – Factory-Cathedrals I, Forgestones, and Prefabrication Protocols (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XV – Darkness Rising (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – Geomantic Focus (Artifact * to *****) (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – The Sakoda Springs (Water Manse *) (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – Manse Enhancement and The Dragon Vortex (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XVI – Thaumaturgic Challenges (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice part VIII (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – Lunar Essence Arts I (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – The Hospitable Paths (Wood Manse *****) (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – Wyld Revocation and what you can do with it. (ruscumag.wordpress.com)