Exalted – Kaiju, Manses, And Building On A Cult

The manse construction rules tell us that “a mind is a space with its own mystical geomancy, each thought like a current of Essence.” (Invisible theft). They tell us that thoughts can be traded (The Silent Voice) and that minds can be melded (One Mind Within). Knowledge, emotions, and more may all be geomantically manifested. Raksha can walk within dreams, both individual and racial. The mind, too, is a pattern of order imposed upon underlying chaos, which wells forth in dreams, creativity, and flashes of inspiration. Thus in madness – which lets the powers of chaos flow freely – there is indeed power, which can renew those who succumb to it for a time.

The places of the mind are immaterial, but they are nonetheless places – albeit places with a geography defined by relationships rather than physical space. Through the mind of the race flow great social currents, ideas pouring from mind to mind and pulling entire societies in their wake.

A physical demesne is associated with a particular place. Attunement to them can be shared if the current “owners’ have no objection. A mental demesne… is more commonly known as a “cult”. They can also be shared, as witnessed by the Immaculate Faith – but only those entities who are currently-active foci of the faith gain it’s benefits. Those mortals lacking control of their own essence can be warped and changed by being the focus of a cult, or by spending too much time immersed in it’s essence. Megalomania, addictions, idiot savant talents, and many more mental mutations may all too readily result.

Once cults focused almost entirely on mighty entities and places of legend, manifesting as bonuses for their foci. Today, with modern distribution techniques and telecommunications, “cults” often focus on entities who are entirely fictional – leaving their mental demesnes, and their power, unfocused and unused.

Unless, of course, somebody can access those immaterial realms and demesnes, master the arts of weaving the stuff of dream, and build a manse or freehold within the realms of the mind which embodies that concept. Raksha have most of the powers required – but are specifically unable to build manses and tend to find that such freeholds impose the forms and narratives of the psychomantic demesne on them. Sure, they can hang out, and even build a freehold, in Gone With The Wind – but that particular plot and setting soon gets boring, and you can’t reshape it without cutting your freehold free from it’s own power source.

One other thing to remember. The aspects of mental demesnes can be quite weird. As an example, here we have…

Kaiju Aspects:

From the Wyld does all life begin.

Mankind knows this instinctively. Even in the modern age, lacking direct experience and knowledge of the Wyld, men look to the hidden and turbulent depths of the sea – seeing it as a place of mystery and power from which anything at all might arise. From the seas – whether of chaos or the mere water which stands in it’s stead in current thought – comes monsters and guardians, wealth and trade, blood and death. The seas give life, and the seas take it away.

That notion is old, and powerful – and some of it’s current expressions are the Kaiju Domains. The terrible, primordial, powers that rise from the sea. Sometimes to destroy, sometimes to stand against other dreadful powers, sometimes even to assist – but always perilous and uncontrollable.

Kaiju Aspected Manses: -1 on the cost of Essence Vents, Exotic Aspect, Living Manse, Mutagenic (affecting the manse only), Immutable, Wyld Revocation, and Integrated Essence Artillery. Access to the Wyld Kingdom.

The Wyld Kingdom (5, Requires Kaiju Domain): The manse may have up to (Rating) specific Wyld Revocation effects attached to it.

While this can be accomplished simply by using the Geomantic Nexus power to pour extra points into the manse and buying Wyld Revocation multiple times – or by buying “Wyld Revocation, each additional purchase of Wyld Revocation counts as (Manse Rating) purchases, or some such – this seems like a reasonable way to do it.

Mechagodzilla, Greater Kaiju Manse:

Manse Construction Points: 10 (Rank-***** Base) +1 (Can be driven off by the efforts of other Kaiju Manses or major military operations) +3 (Maintenance, normally handled by it’s Guardian Force), +3 (-3 Hearthstone levels) +9 (Integrated Enhancement Artifacts III, acquired by the Raksha Guardian Force via Wyld Questing) = 26.

If you don’t use the rule for manse-boosting artifacts you can achieve exactly the same effect by just adding a few more points from geomantic relays of course.

Exotic Aspect: Kaiju (Well, yes, 0).

Essence Vents (0): These are a necessity for Kaiju manses; when one turns up, there tends to be a sudden surge in belief – which may temporarily boost the effective cult rating. Without some way to discharge the extra power, a Kaiju could explode.

Living Manse (0): All Kaiju are, to some extent, living creatures – and so can have mutations. They are, however, still structures; they do not need to eat, drink, or breathe and are not vulnerable to effects that do not normally affect structures, such as poison, crippling, disease, and similar effects.

Mutagenic (0): All Kaiju are mutated – and usually very highly so. While this ability only works on the manse itself, Kaiju – like other creatures altered by demesnes and manses – can survive unhindered in Creation, no matter how severely mutated they become. (Oadenols Codex, Page 50).

Awakened Little God (1): As a Rank-5 Manse, Mechagodzilla has “Kiryu” – an Essence-4 god – for a manse-spirit. Kiryu, like many manse-spirits, pretty much sees the manse it’s embodied in as it’s “body”. Kiryu generally provides piloting assistance and secondary weapons control.

Kiryu: Essence 4, Will 9, 85 Motes, Soak 16B/11L/6A, Health 1x-0, 7x-1, 6x -2, -4. Str 10, Dex 10, Sta 10, Remaining stats all 4. Abilities: Athletics 5, Archery 5, Firearms 5, Integrity 5, Martial Arts 5, and Melee 5. Compassion 2, Temperance 2, Conviction 4, Valor 5. Charms 24 – and 15 bonus points to spend.

Kiryu is generally fairly friendly, and considers anyone who watches it’s movies to be a worshiper – but it DOES work for it’s pilots. Fortunately, it has ways to capture rather than kill.

Immutable (1): Mechagodzilla, and everyone within it, is immune to unwanted shaping effects – allowing it to ignore many attacks and to navigate the wyld without fear.

Network Node (1) and Geomantic Nexus (1): While the Great Kaiju rarely rely on external sources of power – why make yourself vulnerable when you have internal options? – it’s always handy to be able to use it.

Central Control (2): This isn’t actually a standard feature for Kaiju, but Mechagodzilla, of course, has several rooms full of very complex controls indeed.

Bound Guardian Force (4): Many Kaiju have associated creatures, even if they’re often purely internal. Mechagodzilla has an entire crew of 650-odd Noble Raksha – many of them with their own commoner entourages.

Indestructible (5): A Greater Kaiju may look like it’s taking damage, but it never really does. It can, however – as noted above – be temporarily driven off by another Greater Kaiju (or, preferably, by a team thereof) or by a sufficiently large and powerful army. They’ll just show up again later though, good as new.

The Wyld Kingdom (5):

  1. Bilocation: Kaiju are always present (And relatively stationary with respect to other ideas) in their dream-domain, but may manifest in the physical world and wander around there freely.
  2. The “inside” of each Kaiju acts as a Chancel, with a rating equal to the manses. The landscape is freely shapeable, which does not hinder the manse’s movements since the Chancels are considered to be in the stationary aspect. This allows Kaiju to have their own internal manse networks, to support immense “crews”, and for those “crews” to be pretty much unaffected by the material Kaiju-aspect of their manse being irradiated, blasted, tossed around or otherwise assaulted. At least one mystic has claimed that all of Creation and it’s associated “local” wyld is, in fact, within “The Great Turtle”, and that the Shinmai simply define it’s outer shell – but most of the rest of Creation are pretty sure that he’s wrong.
  3. The Sentai Syndrome; Kaiju function rather like Behemoths; they use the best powers and abilities of their crew (or awakened spirit) as a base, and the crew may use their charms through it or on it’s behalf.
  4. Wyld Radiance: Greater Kaiju “mutations” take effect while they’re being built. When stacking mutations they are considered to have essences of (Rating + 1).
  5. Greater Kaiju artifact weapons require no maintenance, may have unique “special effects”, have a minimum rate of 2, multiply their radius of effect or number of targets (all use the same attack check, a flurry is not required) by the number of levels of Gargantuan the Kaiju has and multiply their ranges similarly.

Integrated Essence Artillery and /or Utility Artifacts x2 (6).

  • Multiweapon Systems (Panoply Of Death ****): The user may count his “unarmed” attacks as being made with any desired artifact melee weapons rated at (**) or less. Most commonly Mechagodzilla counts it’s unarmed attacks as being made with Goremauls, Grimcleavers, or Khatars. As with the Manse’s other weapons, they affect an area or up to six targets at once with the same roll.
  • Missile Batteries (Storm Hammer *****): Thanks to the multiplier for size, this system can fire a spread of six missiles with a rate of two. Each missile in a set uses the same attack check, regardless of targeting. Sadly, thanks to their limited damage, these are more useful against swarms of lesser attackers or for indirect attacks than they are against other Kaiju.
  • Arm Lasers: (Short Powerbows, ** and **, raised to *** each by being self-loading and usable with only one arm): Thanks to Mechagodzilla’s enormous strength, these are major weapons.
  • Maser Cannon (Long “Powerbow”, +1 dot for radius energy, +1 dot for longer range and self-loading, *****). While this is technically only a little more potent than the Arm Lasers, it has a higher rate and will be given a priority on having a “gunner” with charms that can boost it further.

Other weapons can be activated when additional geomantic relay points are supplied.

  • The Absolute Zero Cannon (*****) enforces absolute order, and zero entropy, where it hits – an effect which is resistable, but which is enhanced by anti-shaping defenses, which are already enforcing stasis.
  • The Plasma Grenade (***** plus ***) is essentially a Heavy Implosion Bow with a linked artifact – an Accumulative Temporal Labyrinth – that allows multiple shots to be stacked across up to six rounds, then released with the final shot in the series to amplify it. This will generally destroy anything that doesn’t employ a perfect defense.
  • The Optic Cannons equate to Medium Implosion Bows (**** each).
  • A Cutting Beam equates to a Glorious Scythe (*****) with an Accumulative Temporal Labyrinth (***) as above.
  • The Shinamaic Lance (*****) amplifies and alters the effects of charms, causing them to function in alternative ways and against additional targets; in general, it can be used to remove, or to add, a single keyword – for example, causing something that is normally a shaping effect to operate under the laws of Creation, thus removing the Shaping keyword.
  • The Wyldstorm Cannon (*****) fires blasts which infuse an area with chaos – briefly turning it into a Deep Wyld area (although it will soon fade to a Middlemarch intensity).

Mutations:

  • Elemental Rejuvenation (Fire, 6)
  • Enhanced Sense x5 (+2 dice on all awareness checks, 5)
  • Essence Attack (6)
  • Gargantuan (variant; provides no bonus health levels; those are converted to base movement. +4 Str, +4 Sta, +10 movement per level, six levels, 36)
  • Gazelle’s Pace (+4 movement, 2)
  • Hyper-Awareness (+1 to detect ambushes, always considered wary, 1)
  • Night Eyes (can see normally in the dark, 1)
  • Supernatural Quickness (+6 movement, 6)
  • Tail (+2 Athletics, prehensile, 2)
  • Wings (Flight at x2 base speed, 6).

Mechagodzilla thus has a normal movement rate of (Dex + 70) – generally a minimum of 80 – and a flight speed of 160. That’s roughly 164 / 327 MPH. Movement boosting charms will affect this normally; Kiryu often uses Landscape Travel to quadruple it (achieving Mach II in flight).

Actually doing battle with a Kaiju Manse is a lengthy project. You can fight indirectly through psychomantic sabotage; all you need to do is to destroy or weaken the human race sufficiently or to institute a cultural countercurrent. Simple inattention won’t be enough though; a manse stabilizes it’s own demesne – so simply trying to make humanity forget it won’t work. You need to actively put out books, movies, and other productions that undermine it – and hope that it hasn’t become self-contained and independent of external psychomancy.

If it has gotten that far you’ll need to engage it in battle long enough to find a way into it’s internal realm, get in, defeat it’s crew and internal guardians, and either take it over or find it’s “vital organs” – the internal manses that add to it’s power and insulate it from external power losses – and destroy them and THEN get rid of it with psychomantic sabotage.

Yes, that’s kind of awkward. It’s often easier to just find a way to get it into a conversation and persuade it…

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3 Responses

  1. […] Kaiju, Manses, And Building On A Cult: Mental Demesnes, the Kaiju Aspect, the Wyld Kingdom manse power, and Mechagodzilla (Kaiju Manse-5). New artifacts – the Absolute Zero Cannon, Accumulative Temporal Labyrinth, Shinamaic Lance, and Wyldstorm Cannon. […]

  2. […] Kaiju, Manses, And Building On A Cult: Mental Demesnes, the Kaiju Aspect, the Wyld Kingdom manse power, and Mechagodzilla (Kaiju Manse-5). New artifacts – the Absolute Zero Cannon, Accumulative Temporal Labyrinth, Shinamaic Lance, and Wyldstorm Cannon. […]

  3. […] Kaiju, Manses, And Building On A Cult: Mental Demesnes, the Kaiju Aspect, the Wyld Kingdom manse power, and Mechagodzilla (Kaiju Manse-5). New artifacts – the Absolute Zero Cannon, Accumulative Temporal Labyrinth, Shinamaic Lance, and Wyldstorm Cannon. […]

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