Alex-chan (alexmegami) wrote in roleplayers,

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I posted this on the Exalted forums at WW, but no one's answered yet, so I figured I'd bring it here. This is the short version.

Standard Disclaimer: If you're one of my players, stop reading NOW or Fair Folk will eat your character, turning him into little bits of paper with stats on it in front of the rest of the Circle. Seriously. Don't make me break the fourth wall.

I am in the middle of running an Exalted game that is "high powered" (by which I mean I gave them 100 XP... okay, not really all that high-powered, but for us it is). Right now, they are heading south to the edges of Creation because their destiny leads there... but their horoscopes point no further. (They're meant to go off into the Wyld.)

They are doing this as part of an attempt to retrieve McGuffins in order to help an Abyssal redeem her soul.

I have established the following for the game, which may or may not follow canon at all:

1) Abyssal Essences are stored deep within the depths of the Labyrinth, watched over by the trapped Malfeans.
2) Getting down there requires (a) sneaking into a Shadowland, (b) finding an entrance to the Labyrinth, and (c) surviving the various and sundry horrors therein. They need to find an entrance.
3) They will need something to protect them in the Labyrinth, as its very air is poisonous to those that live in Creation. (This, they've started - they're basically constructing HazMat suits out of the skins of undead like Leviathan.)
4) They will need a guide through the Labyrinth; the Abyssal doesn't know the way. (This they have in the form of a ghostly servant trapped in a "spirit jar" that used to work for a First Age necromancer.)
5) They need a way to keep the Malfeans off their backs long enough to save the Abyssal... which brings us to the question.

Their eventual destination, assuming they can figure it out, is a series of manses that were once on the Southern borders of Creation, using Wyld mist to fuel their various functions. There are five, four level 1-3s and one HUGE level 5. The level 1s are all included in the infrastructure of the level 5, because in reality, this thing is probably Manse Level N/A. The manses have since been overrun by the Wyld; they're at the far edge of the Southern Bordermarches, and it's coming on quickly to the full moon...

Still living at the manses are their First Age Lunar consorts. (I've designed these with the Storyteller's Companion; one of them is an "old" Lunar, the others are medium aged). The Lunars might or might not be happy to see the Solars; they are VERY different from their First Age counterparts. (Imagine if your husband used to be Conan+Alexander the Great+Zeus, and now he's Pasha from Emperor's New Groove. Would you be confused and possibly pissed?)

The Lunars have managed to use the four small manses to erect a barrier between them and the Wyld, so that they can access the Wyld's energies in controlled doses. (They don't care about it on a personal level, but they like their beastmen hordes to be at least a little sane.) Due to some careful deals with the local Fair Folk, the Lunars' followers tend to have some fae blood as well as the usual Wyld mutations.

These manses used to be the Solars' stomping grounds, back before the uprising. Since then, the Dawn Caste's consort has pretty much taken command, although the Zenith Caste's wife has taken to leading the beastmen/followers/cultists in worship of the hearthstone of the Big Manse. Think "Amish worshipping the nuke in the basement" sort of insane vibe, here.

The four small manses are: a power plant/research lab, a training room, a temple to the Unconquered Sun and Luna, and the guard towers/entrance in and out of the dome. Each of these has systems that are assisting the Big Manse's defenses (so if they shut these down, the Big Manse becomes slightly easier to breach/explore). The Big Manse is basically a housing ground for a hearthstone of nuke-esque power (if the stone is used, the Manse's architecture will be affected, and the new stone that grows [if one grows at all] will be much weaker). Therefore, the defenses need to be proportionally large.

I need some ideas for defenses and potential problems they might encounter in these manses. I already know Wyld encroachment is an issue for two of them (the power plant and the Big Manse), but I need other ideas: guardians, traps, codes, any sort of thing that makes it feel like I'm not just handing the Ultimate Weapon to the players.

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