Well, I’m gradually getting caught up. Once I do so, it will be time for other things than Exalted stuff.
Meanwhile, in the Hanging Gardens, for a few more stylized waypoints we have…
- The Escher Zone: Here gravity is a personal thing, and space is madly tangled and knotted – making many of the impossible things Escher drew “normal” features of the landscape and the scattering of buildings. To be fair, many of them are exact duplicates of Escher’s works, and all of this has obviously been contrived simply to allow them to exist. The paintball players are, however, delighted with the place.
- The Carnival: Here you’ll find carnival games, exotic costumes, dancing in the streets, and far FAR too much alcohol and other drugs as the continual street party winds in and out of carnival rides, nightclubs, bars, and small spontaneous parades. If you need to let off a little steam, this is the waypoint for you. The entryways all have a side-entrance to a less adult-style playground, but there’s nothing compulsory about that; if you want to bring the kids, they’re more than welcome. OK, they might wind up transformed into something (or you might), but all transformations, odd enchantments, STD’s, or other consequences, will fade away once you leave the Carnival or in twelve hours – whichever comes first.
- The Kitchens: This maze of smoky rooms, roaring fireplaces, roasting pits, pantries, and more modern facilities is actually one of the freeholds little-known shortcuts. You can reach practically anywhere in the residential areas, and most commercial ones, by taking a shortcut through the kitchen that connects all of them. Of course, to use this route you have to duck through cabinets, evade cranky cooks, avoid spilling boiling kettles on yourself, and dodge the frantically-rushing velociraptor waiters as they take food to the customers. The cooks can be quite cranky as well; they HATE outsiders getting in their way!
- The Poor Quarters: While conditions here are hardly grim, and the verdant streets serve as tiny public parks, space IS somewhat limited in a Freehold – and so this tangle of narrow back alleys, corridors, push-carts, and efficiency apartments takes up only one waypoint while managing (in large part due to multilevel construction) to provide reasonable (if fairly minimal) homes and workplaces for some thousands of families in a wide variety of styles. Given the possible need for more space, Leon is considering aspecting a few more waypoints this way – and seeing if he can find a way to expand the geometry a bit more.
- The Galleries: In a Freehold so strongly dedicated to the creative arts you need a place to keep them – and so every little display niche throughout the Freehold is an entry into this waypoint, and its maze of corridors, displays, and exhibits. At least three of the paintings are connected to their own internal waypoints – one styled after the pocket-world from Mary Poppins, one a castle and its catacombs under siege by mediaeval knights, and one that’s apparently a vaguely oriental-style series of bridges, pavilions, waterfalls, and gardens wrapped around a cluster of small asteroids apparently drifting in deep space.
- The Cellars: Another twisting maze of rooms and passages, the Cellars (and sometimes attics) are notable for containing pretty much anything at all if you search long enough. That is, of course, because they DO. Chasing around in the Cellars is an in-house equivalent to a Wyld Quest. The wyld energies of the cellars are somewhat damped however – so while there is no risk of mutation and very little risk of a really physically dangerous encounter (psychological danger is quite another matter), it does take twice as long as a quest into the untempered wyld. Still, if you really need supplies, or grandmother’s cake recipe, or something to pawn for a few hundred bucks… spending some time rummaging around in the cellars is a relatively simple way to try and find what you want.
The City Treasures – Adjurations:
These are also using the “Cluster” modifier (Cluster; This artifact is indestructible, unaffected by countermagic, and may be unattuned at will, but otherwise is treated as a cluster of lesser artifacts with a total value of (Rating – 1). Presumably it also has – as a nine-dot artifact – some utterly outrageous powers in Staff-Shaping Combat, but I’ll deal with that if it ever comes up. The odds are pretty good that it will never matter. Most of them are, however, useful for both Mortals and Raksha.
- (*) “Death shall not take me without a struggle until my bucket list is done”. Exalted Healing (2). Most mortals will spend a Willpower point, commit a mote from the normally inaccessible side of their pools, and take this for life. Still, if they want to get out of it, all they need do is make a bucket list and complete it. Raksha probably heal as generic supernaturals (I couldn’t find anything about it either in their own book or in the errata), but this can be expected to increase whatever rate they do heal at.
- (*) “While my strength endures I shall seek to surpass my limitations” Essence Mastery: Add (Willpower x 2) + (Sum of Virtues) to the characters essence pool – although this will not stack if those are included already. (Yes, this is awfully convenient for the lower-end Raksha. It’s not quite as convenient for Mortal Thaumaturges since they can still only use a third of it readily – but it’s a good deal more than they’d normally have to work with. Of course, lower-end Raksha and Mortals are far enough down the totem pole that they can use any help they can get). If you ever declare that your strengths are totally exhausted, you can drop the oath.
- (*) “I shall not mock ‘furries’ for their obsessions until I have walked a mile in a fursuit”. Fur (+1d Survival, +1L/+1B Soak, no longer needs clothing) and Tail (+2d Athletics). In this case the user may declare the oath completed at any time after he or she 1) walks a mile, and 2) thinks that “in my birthday suit” counts as a “fursuit” while you have fur.
- (***) “Until I renounce my blade I shall strive to be worthy of my ancestors”: Bestows the Tower Of Invincible Egotism mutation charm, granting the oathtaker the equivalent of three-dot artifact armor – in this case a Mantling Dream Of The Peerless Warrior. To end this oath, take up a blade, declare it to be truly yours – and renounce it.
- (*) “While I respect my tools they shall serve me well”. Provides “In The Style Of The Renaissance Masters”, causing everything the user uses to be treated as being “perfect”. To drop this oath you need merely disrespect your tools – perhaps by talking about how cheap and useless they are.
- (*) “While I am in Creation I shall strive to make sure that all around me are clean and well-appointed!”. Mortals who swear this oath stop bleeding and resist diseases as an Exalt. Raksha who swear it are immune to bleeding and disease. To get out of this one… just leave Creation for a bit and decide to drop it.
The Freehold has only one Mirror Treasure – but it’s rated at six dots…
- The Wyld Hart Stilled Cauldron is an upgraded version of the Celestial Pheonix Cauldron; not only is it capable of producing almost any possible alchemical creation (including items that can store thaumaturgies and terrestrial circle sorceries) in short order given the proper materials, but it can answer questions about them – including things like “What are the options for curing (some affliction) and what ingredients are required for the best option? The second best? The easiest that will work?”.