Exalted: Ghost of a Chance
Three Oaks has been the main story location. Governed by the local Council of Five. This is a highly spiritual town, obedient to the tenets of their city god, Amaal Arnisth. One of these is a prohibition against the possession or crafting of metal. It is believed that the influence of refined metal harms one’s spirit, separating it from the flow of nature. Goods exchange is conducted mainly through barter.
Locations The Red Blossom Tea House
The Red Blossom Tea House is owned and operated by Mistress Ara and is the best place to relax and enjoy yourself in Three Oaks. Mistress Ara often hires local performers to play soothing music for her patrons. Her kitchen is limited, but she can provide simple meals and has a variety of teas and cordials as well as access to goats for milk and cheese and a small well behind the tea house. The tea house has three small rooms available, though every door is a thick, red curtain rather than a solid door that can be locked. For guests requiring more privacy, the inn is a more advisable place to stay.
The Council Hall
The Council Hall – which is situated on a slight rise and fronts on a small square at the center of town – is an imposing stone edifice with a pair of huge, stone doors, tall and narrow windows and a sloping, ornamented roof. The Council of Five hold town meetings here, and it is a place of refuge during storms.
The Council Hall in Creation was once used as quarantine for those with the Great Contagion. This is the strongest memory the dead in this area have. At noon on the first day after Calibration, the Lord of that land sent soldiers to burn down the Hall and make sure everyone inside died to purge the town of Contagion. Every year, this is re-enacted by the remaining ghosts from that period.
Temple Garden A lavish garden full of regional trees, flowers, and plants of all sorts tended by the priests and acolytes of Amaal Arnisth, the city god.
The Great Tree The great tree is the spirit home and embodiment of the god known as The Bibliothecary. Standing over 1 mile tall, this tree towers over the rest of the forest and is venerated by the citizens of Three Oaks. Until recently, the clearing around the base of the great tree was warded and considered holy ground. A dark ritual was performed there which woke up the spirit residing within. Free to interact with the world around her again, she has done so freely and at great length.
Other Locations Besides the above locations, Three Oaks also boasts a small inn and a farmer’s market. Few of the city’s inhabitants live in town, preferring to keep residence closer to their land in the many farmsteads around the city proper. The city’s population numbers in the 100s.
Recent Events Recently, Three Oaks has been facing problems with its neighbor, Kalia, to the west. Kalia is trying to cement its claim on a spit of land between the two rivers that border Three Oaks and Kalia to the south. On this land is the The Great Tree, the sanctum of the newly awoken Bibliothecary, which the citizens of Tyria consider sacred land. Kalia, they surmise, clearly wants the land for the lumber and will destroy the forest that sits on it.
An open, welcoming city in the Scavenger Lands, near the point where the Maruto River flows into the Yellow River, between the cities of Great Forks and Nathir. Marita is home to the Council of the Concordat, otherwise known as the Confederation Council, a body of representatives from the nations that make up the Confederation of Rivers. The Council has no real power, and generally accomplishes little except in times of emergency, when the Confederation works together to repel an outside threat, such as the Realm.
Locations Guild office A small satellite office for the Guild, it is home to a library of financial records and favors. This town is full of wheeling and dealing and the Guild is, of course, deeply involved. The chief Guild officer in Marita is Naté Donaru, a middle-aged woman from a more northern clime.
Typhon’s Villa Set against the hills at the edge of town is the home-away-from-home of the Abyssal called Wink in the Storm’s Eye. It is a well appointed yet dark and eerie place tended by careful servants hand picked for their pale, beautiful appearance and obedient personalities. The main feature of the villa is an open courtyard surrounded by a columned patio. Between each column hangs a sheet of fine, white silk and throughout the courtyard stand tall, dead trees that are lacquered black and leafless. At the changing of the seasons the staff decorates the empty branches, from small, black, wooden birds in the spring to crystal icicles in the winter.
Nexus is the largest city in the Scavenger Lands, and possibly in Creation. It is known for being the center for trade and commerce in Creation, and for being a haven for free trade, and the headquarters of the Guild. Nexus sits at the confluence of the Yanaze River, the Gray River, and the Yellow River, some six hundred miles east of Lookshy.
While the Imperial City may well be wealthier, that wealth is concentrated within the hands of the Scarlet Dynasty, while in Nexus, millions of talents of jade and silver change hands every single day. It is a chaotic and confusing place, a city with many rules but few laws, where an ignoble death lurks around every corner.
School of Adamant Rose
Many years ago, the city of Karuth Vlan was the capital of a small nation whose hereditary ruler had three children. The Walker in Darkness struck a bargain with the youngest of the children and put him on the throne, though what the Deathlord received for his part in the bargain is unknown. Veltarxes went mad not long after he attained the throne and sealed the city gates, burning the city down around him like a funeral pyre. The entire city slipped into the Underworld and all that remains in Creation now is a crumbling, burnt ruin. The Walker in Darkness uses Karuth Vlan as a secondary base of operations now, though the mad ghost king still retains his position of authority in the Deathlord’s stead.
Locations The city itself is encompassed by two high walls, only one of which is part of the original city. The other was built much later by order of the paranoid Veltarxes. Behind the outer wall is a mostly open courtyard which once held buildings. The buildings have been destroyed and their remains still litter the courtyard. Guards patrol the inner wall and stand sentry on the gate. Behind the inner wall is the city proper. The ghostly citizens live and work here under the shadow of the king’s mansion. Several buildings with a military function have been added as well as small shrines to the Dual Monarchy, the Walker and to Veltarxes.
During its height, Thorns was one of the greater cities in all of Creation. Thorns flowed with sophistication and cultural achievements. It was a center of great craftsmanship and competition for excellence. That legacy is now gone and Thorns sits under the dark shadow that is the Deathlord Mask of Winters and his armies of the dead. The remaining living citizenry lives in fear of their very lives, but they are a proud people and may not welcome the intervention of outsiders in freeing them from the yoke of oppression. The city now sits atop bone-white cliffs, a wreck of hollowed out ruins and monolithic structures. The citizens are slaves to the dead and are waiting for the last vestiges of life to die out.
Snow-Cedar House (Manse •••)
Somewhere between Cherak and Port Calin, in the cloud forests of the coastal mountain ranges, there is an enormous cedar tree whose leaves are purest white. When the Solar Deliberative still ruled Creation, a No Moon savant merged the living tissue of one of the redwood forest giants with strands of green jade, giving the tree the ability to respire Essence directly and grow without the need of sunlight or the green pigment other plants use to catch it. Ou planted that tree in a demesne rich with wood-flavoured Essence with a good-sized lump of green jade buried beneath for fertiliser. When it grew large enough ou carved it into a manse and bound the tree’s resident god into serving the manse and the No Moon’s Exaltation.
The savant had considered planting other snow-cedars, but grew distracted by the prospect of melding other colours of jade with suitable trees and growing a network of terrestrial geomancy whose power might rival that controlled by the Last Penitent in the far South. The savant had delved deep into the project of optimising species – developing countless new hybrids and varietals of decorative epiphytes (the marketing and sale of which – handled discreetly by the savant’s house servants – added significantly to the savant’s already-considerable fortune. The savant was, though not much given to reflecting upon such things, happy. Ou had a tasty, interesting problem to solve that likely would have an elegant answer. There was a mate who was attentive enough to know when being unavailable is the most attractive quality one can possess, and seemed to know just the thing for the savant’s needs before the savant was only then becoming aware a need existed.
Productivity didn’t drop, not exactly, but the savant did drive ouself and ou research teams less hard. And the savant and ou mate spent a good deal of time at the vacation-home test project, Snow-Cedar House.
Then they both were invited to Salina’s last Calibration Feast.
It’s impossible to say who now knows what might have become of the savant’s dream of trees that tightened the knots of the bonds holding society together, trees that held back the Wyld, trees that encroached upon the Wyld and solidified new reality out of the primordial chaos. Perhaps some gods in the Bureaus of Secrets or Endings know. Madame Marthesine of the Lost may have the savant’s plans in her bag. They may be written in Nara-O’s book.
Snow-Cedar House still stands in the cloud forest. Its owner, killed in the Usurpation and absent these long centuries, has finally come to claim ou home.