Exalted – The Hanging Gardens, Part II

To continue with Leon’s Freehold…

The Treasury manifests as a small store down near the docks, selling a variety of wildly exotic imports and basic nautical supplies – with a back room full of chests of treasure and a man-sized humanoid dragon wearing a pirate outfit behind the counter. Occasional would-be thieves usually wind up mutated into minor feybeasts (Norwegian Death Parrots) and joining the sales-stock. Here Master Llewellyn, as the Freehold’s Chairman, facilitates it’s commerce and also collects a central stock of Gossamer which he can make available to Leon and those he authorizes as it is needed.

Llewellyn himself is a most personable sort, and is very good at social manipulation. If (when) he has troublesome visitors, he’ll call up a small horde of skeletal pirates (Transient Work Of Flesh And Bone) to do the fighting for him since he really isn’t all that good at it himself. He is pretty good at wards though. His “wife” and two “children” (all foxes for some reason) help him out around the shop and provide trenchant commentary…

The (well-concealed and heavily warded) “Mint” is down in the cellar, and consists of several commoners with the motivation “Make Llewellyn happy by giving him or his servants gossamer” with three levels of Workers Gift each. They exchange gossamer – and each then produces six more gossamer. Since there are Creation-born around, scenes are set at about twenty minutes – so every twenty minutes the eight of them produce forty-eight gossamer. For no particularly good reason, Llewellyn has them take the forms of a Budgie, Cat, Coyote, Dog, Duck, Hunter, Rabbit, and Roadrunner and give each other the Gossamer by fantasizing it into various (effectively harmless) weapon forms and bopping each other with it as they chase each other madly around the room.

No, there really isn’t any Gossamer shortage. There are dozens of ways to get all you want.

The Manse Curator actually has relatively little to do; the effects of the Forge Of Ways manse are all continuous. Sure, there’s a door to shut occasionally, and a bit of minor maintenance to do every little bit – but for the most part it’s a sinecure. Thus the Professor spends most of his time fiddling around on the pyramid that supports the Manse – looking out from his island of greenery, gardening, building (perfectly functional thanks to the Manses “Heronimous Machines” effect) devices out of wood, vines, and fruits, and teaching basic thaumaturgy to youngsters.

The Forge Of Ways (Adenic Manse ****):

In it’s Creation-side “public” aspect this simple circle of strangely-carved stones appears old and worn, with a modest selection of interior stones and a few slabs laying about. Oddly enough, the nearby campground offers a full set of conveniences, perpetually-pleasant temperatures, and even internet access. It’s notable for nothing there ever going wrong, and (less publically) as a hangout for hobos and runaways. If you’re skilled enough to locate the secret passage under one of the central slabs (which isn’t easy, as that feat is D11) you can walk down a broad flight of stairs – and then up some stairs – to emerge in a similar set of standing stones atop a sizeable (and garden-covered) stop-pyramid in the Hanging Gardens, Leon’s Freehold.
Build Points: 8 (Manse ****) +4 (Hearthstone 0) +6 (Manse Enhancement Artifacts) +3 (totally uninhabitable) +2 (Maintenance 2) = 23.

  • Exotic Aspect (Adenic, 1). Adenic-aspected manses favor Magical Conveniences, Integrated Artifacts, Thaumaturgic Enhancements, Wyld Revocation, and Life-Sustaining functions.
  • Essence Vents (1): Sort of required for a Manse-4 on a Demesne-5. The essence vents in a set of four mighty blazes atop tall pillars, and provides both nighttime illumination and hot water for the Freehold… And yes, when the structure is a malleable as a Freehold, that makes no sense. Such are Leon’s whims.
  • 3x Advanced Magical Conveniences (Favored, 3): 1) Electrical Power, 2) Water, 3) Waste Disposal, 4) Air Filtration and Conditioning, 5) Internet Access, 6) “Fossil” Fuel Supplies, 7) Flying-Carpet Taxis, 8) Fertility Control, 9) Owners can specify limited aspects of recovery for slaves, 10) Theme Music, 11) Heronimous Machines (diagrams and models of machines work as well as real ones do), and 12) Acme Deliveries (anything you order will arrive in mere moments).
  • Life-Sustaining (Favored, 2, add +1 to add recovery from crippling injuries, such as Raksha draining): Everyone living within the Freehold gains a 50% bonus to their lifespans, +4 bonus successes against poison and disease, heal two extra levels of bashing damage per hour, one lethal per hour and one aggravated every five hours. Crippling effects will vanish within twenty-four hours.
  • Zone of Influence (3): The effects of the Manse cover the entire Freehold. This doesn’t really matter much – the Curator can handle that anyway – but if something happens to him or her, this will keep it’s benefits in force throughout the Freehold and (for that matter) on the Creation side of things.
  • Guardian Force (4): The manse is defended/served by a set of “Deep Wyld Horrors” using the attributes of the Hearthstone Bearer as a base. For some odd reason this reduces the magnitude of the “unit” by one, but allows each to be customized as usual. They may be deployed by either the manse itself or by the hearthstone bearer.
  • Mutagenic (1): Humans within the Manse’s zone of influence will gradually acquire the Essence Channeler and Exalted Healing “mutations” – although this has no effect on their ability to survive in creation since the effect is manse-induced. This actually takes effect quite quickly, since it’s simply turning some of the Freehold’s temporary effects into permanent ones.
  • Wyld Revocation (Favored, 3): Wyld Spaces/Further incidences of Wyld Revocation can be purchased at half cost, rounded down.
    • Wyld Revocation (1): Geomantic Bounding/The manses energies are sustained by the Wyld, making it independent of external geomancy beyond the Freehold.
    • Wyld Revocation (1): Metric Isolation/The manses zone of influence enhances the “isolated pocket” aspect of the host Freehold. The area is only loosely anchored within space; and may be relatively easily moved around without respect for mass, gravitation, or inertia by any form of internal drive – including thaumaturgy.
    • Wyld Revocation (1): The A-Team Effect/The manse provides a +2d bonus on checks made to build or create something and reduces the time required to one-twelfth normal.
    • Wyld Revocation (1): Cold Iron has no effect on Raksha, their powers, or their magic, within the Manse and its Zone Of Influence.

 

And yes, that’s a rather specialized and very convenient manse…

The Hedge is, of course, under the care of it’s Gardener – and manifests as the indestructible stone of the cliffs that surround the plateau and the stony barriers that seal off the waypoints of Chancels that are partially linked to the Freehold. Only with the cooperation of the Gardener can easy access to, or departure from, the freehold be obtained. Veridion Forge wears an assumption of Earth and Fire and Mechanism, and manifests as a creature that might well fit into Autochthon as a native spirit; a figure of bronze armor filled with blazing fire. Employing a Heart of Creation rather that Charms to increase his power, Veridion Forge focuses on “gardens” of living stone, growing and harvesting strange crystals, blooms of exotic metals, stalactites and stalagmites, and vats of strange alchemies. His domain is filled with the subtle music of tuned stones set to singing by falling water. Veridion Forge is, in fact, interested in Creation-style artifacts and mechanisms, rather than the treasures of the Raksha, and often experiments with crafting such things – although, so far, only the lesser items lie within his reach. That’s not discouraging him though; he’s already using a couple of minor Creation-style crafting artifacts to enhance his talents.

Heart of Creation: Inward-Facing Onieromancy I: All five Elemental Transformations, granting him an extra 36 mutation points – all of them “mechanical”.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Hanging Gardens – a Raksha Freehold of immense power. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI. Includes the Forge Of Ways sub-manse (scroll […]

  2. […] Hanging Gardens – a Raksha Freehold of immense power. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI. Includes the Forge Of Ways sub-manse (scroll […]

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