Exalted: A Tale in the Time of Tumult

The North


a part of Exalted: A Tale in the Time of Tumult, by Wake.

Short summers and long winters are a staple of this place. It is Grasslands dotted by hills and forest are trotted by herds of animals and the nomadic tribes that hunt them for meat and furs, before it all gives way to an endless tundra of ice and snow.

Wake holds sovereignty over The North, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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The North is a cold, inhospitable place, but humans (and other things) live there nonetheless. There are five major populations in the North: the city of Whitewall, the city of Gethamane, the Haslanti League, the city of Cherak, and the Icewalker barbarian tribes.

Whitewall is what most people think of when they think about living in the North. Though it has fallen from its First Age grace, it is still the most hospitable of all the Northern locations. Ruled by a trio of spirits called the Syndics, Whitewall is noted for its protection against the northern Fair Folk and restless dead, as well as for the Great Northern Road, which shares the aforementioned protections. It is a sterile city, constantly alert for undead or fey inside its eponymous walls, but it is a safe city, and to many in the North, safety is more important than anything else.

Gethamane is a similarly protected city, beneath a mountain. Founded by refugees at the end of the Usurpation, Gethamane is an isolationist city, allowing guests only limited access to markets and bazaars. The city is nearly entirely self-sufficient, and while it produces amazing wonders, those wonders are not without a cost. Beneath the city, ancient gardens are tended with horrible sacrifices, and even further in the mountain, ancient and dark creatures lurk, carrying off those who travel too deep.

The Haslanti League is in the Northeast, and it is a prosperous conglomeration of city-states that work together to hold off the influence of the Guild as well as the Realm. Founded by ancient spirits (and some say Anathema), the Haslanti League is noted for its innovations: they have invented the zeppelin or airship, ice boats that use skis and wind for propulsion, and the crossbow, one of only two civilizations in Creation to make use of the wondrous device.

Cherak is, nominally, a tributary of the Realm, though it has fallen on hard times. Mostly ignored by the Realm proper, Cherak is run by a disgraced lesser house of the Empire, and that House uses it as a personal playground. Slavery is rampant, neglect and abuse are common, and it is only a matter of time before someone (or something) comes to change the sorry state of affairs.

Finally, the Icewalker barbarians are natives of the North, nomadic wanderers who name their tribes after the herd animals they follow. Until recently, they were separate tribes who warred with one another as often as they cooperated. However, a new figure has arisen calling himself the Bull of the North. He has united the tribes, and even defeated the Tepet Legions of the Realm. His presence has galvanized the Icewalkers into something almost resembling a cohesive nation.
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The North

Short summers and long winters are a staple of this place. It is Grasslands dotted by hills and forest are trotted by herds of animals and the nomadic tribes that hunt them for meat and furs, before it all gives way to an endless tundra of ice and snow.



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#, as written by Sepokku
Somewhere in the North; 27 Days Until the Deadline

The wind whipped through the low valley, a late spring leaving the village's farmland unplanted, snow covering the still fertile soil. White powdery flakes drifted through the air, carried on the harshly winds as they howled their rage at the surrounding countryside. Hunters were returning to the village, carrying a few elk that had wandered too far behind the herd. A small toddler with cat ears sat at the entrance to the longhouse, between two large Totem Poles that depicted various animals. The lead hunter, Andor, immediately recognized the young boy, one of Mother's children.

Mother's twin children were yet too young to be named by their tribal customs, but the tribespeople have since dubbed the two of them "The Tyger Tykes," due to their mischievous nature. The hunters let out a tired sigh almost in unison, the presence of just one of the twins always heralded a prank devised by the other. Mother's absence had seen a rise in their already bold nature, though she'd only been gone a couple of days, one would think the twins ran the tribe at this point.

Andor took a step forward, weary and ready to be done with whatever mischief the twins had devised. Continuing his stride towards the Longhouse, the hunter heard a scream behind him. With a start, he turned to find they had been surrounded by ephemeral figures, men with the heads of long-toothed tigers that had no eyes. Bursting out of the snow, the twin sister let out a practiced roar, one that sent the hunters running. Their abandoned feast lay forgotten in the snow as the men darted for the safety of the Longhouse. Only the lead hunter stayed, a look of defeat crossing his face as he buried his hand in one gloved palm.

The girl's ears flattened against her head as she noticed the lead hunter's sour expression. "S'wrong Andor?" The twin brother quickly joined her side and the two of them made short work of tearing choice cuts of meat out of one of the elk. All members of the tribe considered Astrid a mother and took responsibility for the twins, but Andor always felt like an elder brother to the precocious twins. With a sigh, he started hauling one of the fallen elk into the longhouse, "If yer mother finds out yer old enough to terrorize the villagers, she'll have ye headed out with the hรผnters before ye know it."

The ephemeral figures dispersed into mist as the little Gods's chuckles could be heard quietly echoing from all around. Andor wrinkled his nose, looking about, "So I guess Sybilla is watching the two of you for the day?" A woman stepped out of the longhouse, her hair long and silvery in the sunlight. A motherly smile shone on her face as she walked towards the twins. As the village Shaman and hearthmistress, Sybilla was in charge whenever Astrid was gone; as was the case right now.

"A crow spirit was watching them; fickle creatures when it comes to responsibility, not that yer unfamiliar with that Andor." Sybilla's smile turned up slightly with laughter, as she pursed her lips in a whistle. "Get these elk inside before ther' too hard to butcher. Winter's not quite done yet, and Mother isn't here to pick up our slack."

One of the twins turned to look at Sybilla, his eyes growing wide with excitement, "When's Mutter coming back?"

"Our Mother is on a very important mission, but she won't be gone very long. Astrid would have liked to stay, but she knows going was for the best. Which is why we need to make sure she comes back to things better than she left them! Come along you two." The twins followed Sybilla into the longhouse as several members of the tribe hurriedly brought the elk in and began to make short work of butchering it.