- Note: These details are taken from the Shards of Exalted and The Compass of Celestial Directions - Autochthonia, if you want more details, I suggest picking up those books, they are avalilble as pdf files from DrivethruRPG. It focuses on Autochthon rather then the vast realm of the spiral beyond him, which is an vast endless universe that dwarfs even him.
This is the history of the world: In the beginning, the Primordials arose from the cosmic depths to forge a great Spiral of worlds, building their palaces and towers high amid the coils of the universe they created. These titans ruled over all things as immortal tyrants, and so the gods they had created plotted against them. The Celestial Incarnae, gods of sun and moon and stars, conspired with Autochthon and Gaia to bestow their own power upon men, forging Exaltation. Chosen of the gods, the Exalted went to war with the titans, seeking to win worlds with their triumph.
The Exalted lost.
Though empowered by the greatest of gods and the heights of mortal audacity, their victory was never assured. None can say for sure the precise moment when the Chosen knew defeat. Was it when the Principle of Hierarchy set the Spiral ablaze with white flame, burning entire galaxies to stellar ash? When Isidoros unleashed his apocalypse-jouten, obliterating countless armies in a blink of his dread eye? When the Unconquered Sun knelt before his titanic father, pledging fealty to the Universe Emperor?
The Solar Exalted were loath to accept their defeat, but even they could not refuse the counsel of their Viziers, and the truth of their own eyes. In an act of defiant courage and utter despair, the Exalted Host fled into the world-body of Autochthonia, bringing as much of humanity as they could salvage, and then set a course for the infinite abyss of stars beyond the Spiral. Cast into exile, they began to regroup and rebuild, preparing for that fateful day when they could return to the Spiral as saviors and conquerors.
It is four thousand years since the Exalted embarked on their long exodus. A Solar Deliberative reigns over the Eight Nations of Autochthonia, overseeing an unthinkable plan to reclaim their homeworld. The Great Makerís mortal sickness has been cured at the hands of the Chosen, his pantheon culled and remade to begin his transformation into a divine weapon, a war-world of titanic power. But even after four millennia, they have yet to make their return. Hunted by the Primordials and their Green Sun Princes, wracked from within by internecine strife, the Exalted have yet to choose between the fragile peace of exile and the audacious hope of return.
Remaking the Maker
Eons ago, the titan called the Great Maker took the exiled peoples of the Spiral into the world that is his body, securing them in a sanctum of brass and shadows. Knowing that his sibling-titans would never forgive him for his treachery, he hastily agreed to the Exaltedís plan of retreat, fleeing into starry darkness outside the Spiral. In those early days, the orphaned Lawgivers came to Autochthon with a daring plan, one in which he would play a crucial role. Without a home or the hope of any other return, the Maker consented. Sometimes, in the idle dreams of spun-off thought processes, he wonders if perhaps this was a mistake. But there are no tears left in him to shed for his regrets.
At the heart of the Solarsí plan is the transformation of Autochthon. Through works of high theurgy and grand artifice, they will recreate the Primordial as an avenging titan, a living warship of numinous power with might enough to launch a devastating counterattack against the Spiral. A lone Primordial could not be expected to stand against the massed might of an entire pantheon, but the new Autochthon will be a perfect nemesis. Already, the Solars call him the Gunstar, dreaming of his awful steel fury. The god-weapons forged into his war-jouten will strike against his cruel siblingsí every flaw and imperfection, while the five-metal bulwark of his hull will stand impervious against their wrath. As the fourth millenium of the Autochthonian Realm draws night to its close, the Great Makerís transformation is nearing completion. Its first step was the curing of the Primordialís mortal sickness, and the Exalted accomplished that long ago. With divine medicine and world-warping shinmaic manipulation, the Solar Exalted purged the Great Maker of his cancer over a span of centuries, scouring away the degenerative symptoms of the Void within his very nature. Although the core imperfection has yet to be fully removed, the grand astrological blessings of the Sidereals and a ceaseless gremlin-hunt waged by Lunaís Chosen have kept the Void well at bay.
With the underlying sickness treated, the Exalted have all of Autochthonia in which to work their will. Souls of Autochthon are brought into experimental complexes for analysis and alteration, reshaping them to enact the progress of Autochthon towards his final form. The most dramatic changes come from the execution of souls within the recombination arrays, as when the Divine Minister Ku was slain to cleanse the Maker of his fears and doubts. The vast majority of operations, however, are more subtle. A war-deva might have synthetic cerebellum implants grafted onto its cortex to subtly differentiate Autochthonís strategic thought processes, while a stubbornly pacifistic exmachina might have its personality resculpted through mind-altering Charms. After millennia of operation, almost every significant exmachina has received at least minor fine-tuning in the laboratories of the Lawgivers.
Aside from these metaphysical changes, the Exalted have physically altered the Great Maker, grafting powerful artifact-organs onto his living body to facilitate and empower his transformation. The Primordialís outer hull bristles with Essence artillery and siege-artifacts installed by the Exalted, the almighty Realm Defense Grid. Essence turbines in Hadal draw power out of the Elemental Pole of Crystal to empower this divine arsenal, giving it power enough to demolish entire planets. Within his world-jouten, expedition crews headed by Lunar shikari have ventured into the furthest Reaches of Autochthonia carrying vast motonic machinery, installing them directly into the Makerís body as prosthetic enhancements. A synthetic nervous system of starmetal circuitry spreads throughout the Reaches, while a massive pumping facility installed in the Pole of Smoke dumps countless tons of theocarcinogenic smoke into Elsewhere every day. A pulsating sphere of orichalcum and moonsilver the size of a small moon revolves in a narrow orbit around the Elemental Pole of Crystal, a second heart beating alongside Autochthonís own.
Under the countless layers of machinery and the scars of theurgy, Autochthon wonders. No longer can he fear the Exalted who change him in ways he never thought possible. No longer can he doubt their triumph. Such insecurities have been flensed from his mind. But he wonders what the world will become when the Exalted reclaim the Spiral from the Primordials, and what his place in it will be. He wonders if his enraged sibling-titans might not have been gentler in their torments than the Exalted proved to be. But it is too late for such thoughts. Soon, whether in a thousand years or a single century, the transformation of Autochthon will be complete, finalized with a single decisive alteration to his fetich-core. Out of the Great Makerís husk will emerge the Gunstar, the greatest sword ever seized in the hands of the Exalted. When that day comes, the titans will weep.
A Realm Amid the Stars
The Exalted have made for themselves a kingdom to reign over in their exile. From the Centropolis of Hadal, the Solar Deliberative presides over the Eight Nations, overseeing both the constant defense of Autochthonia and the plans for their vengeful return to the Spiral. Glorious even in the shadow of the Primordials, the Autochthonian Realm controls a staggering treasure trove of resources.
Jade-lined vaults in every metropolis house heaped-up slabs of the magical materials, mined from both the body of the Great Maker and from metal-rich planetoids encountered in the Gunstarís flight. Impossible treasures and exotic prodigies shaped from the prismatic haze of Wyld nebulae fuel the tireless progress of Exalted artificers, allowing potent treasures and supernal weapons to be forged en masse in defense of Autochthonia. Miracles of industrial artifice are commonplace for the Realmís citizens, from the Gates of Auspicious Passage that link distant cities to the comforting silo-spires of the Immaculate Dragon Aeries, forward bases of the Gunstar Defense Line. And above all, the Realm has the personal power of hundreds of Celestial Exalted and hundreds of thousands of Dragon-Blooded, all working together for a single purpose.
It is wealth and power enough to usher in an Era of Dreams. Instead, the Exalted have put it towards sustaining an endless war. Untold sums of resources are consumed in the twin endeavors of maintaining the Gunstarís defenses and completing the transformation of Autochthon. The Exalted have foregone the opulence of their personal luxury artifacts and pleasure-palaces in order to sustain the infrastructure of the Realm. Even the most privileged Princes of the Earth understand the paramount importance of holding off the Gunstarís pursuers, the ethos of total war that is at the heart of the Realm.
The Exalted command the Realm, but it would not stand without the ceaseless labor of its mortal citizens. Every citizen is expected to work for the benefit of the Realm, whether on the assembly lines or the line of battle. Populat workers manufacture voidfighter gunships in Estasian munitions factories and excavate veins of magical materials from alien planets. Soldiers drawn from the Militat serve under the Exalted in the ranks of the Deliberative Army and the Void Hunt, risking their lives to protect the Realm. Administrators of the Olgotory act as bureaucrats and local planners, answering to each nation-districtís Dragon-Blooded governor and implementing laws, regulations, and schedules passed down from the Deliberative. The Theomachry sees to matters of morale, history, and dogma, devoting as much time to maintenance of state sanctioned Exalted cults as it does to the worship of the Great Maker. The Sodalities compete with one another for the choicest of resources, but the Realmís constant war footing leaves no room for jealous hoarding. Their technical know-how keeps lights lit and engines humming, allowing all of Autochthoniaís citizens a degree of safety and comfort in the darkness of the Makerís body. Hard work has its rewards; dutiful laborers of even the lowest social caste can expect enough living space to comfortably house them and their families, ample allocations of food, access to essential magitech amenities, medical treatment, public entertainment, and more.
Most mortals live in relative safety. Medical alchemy provides remedies and cures for almost any plague or poison, while the policing of the Alchemical Exalted and the Regulators keeps crime to a bare minimum. Advances in magitech infrastructure and Municipal Charm development have diminished the risk of industrial hazards in the workplace. But while the Exalted have solved many of the problems facing Autochthonian mortals, new perils have appeared in their absence. Massive geomantic grids can provide power to entire cities, but system failure results in nation-wide blackouts that can last for days. Advanced industrial machinery and labor automatons have removed much of the risk to human life from mining and manufacturing, but reliance upon these technologies makes their breakdowns all the more disastrous. Even when they work in the shadow of the great Solar god-engines, mortals must still contend with mechanical failures, industrial dangers, and grinding hours of labor.Most mortals live in relative safety. Medical alchemy provides remedies and cures for almost any plague or poison, while the policing of the Alchemical Exalted and the Regulators keeps crime to a bare minimum. Advances in magitech infrastructure and Municipal Charm development have diminished the risk of industrial hazards in the workplace. But while the Exalted have solved many of the problems facing Autochthonian mortals, new perils have appeared in their absence. Massive geomantic grids can provide power to entire cities, but system failure results in nation-wide blackouts that can last for days. Advanced industrial machinery and labor automatons have removed much of the risk to human life from mining and manufacturing, but reliance upon these technologies makes their breakdowns all the more disastrous. Even when they work in the shadow of the great Solar god-engines, mortals must still contend with mechanical failures, industrial dangers, and grinding hours of labor.
The Deliberative divides the Autochthonian Realm into eight administrative nation-districts, each of them built around one of the ancient metropoli that were the first cities raised by the Exalted Host. At the conflux of these Eight Nations is the Centropolis of Hadal, the elder city of orichalcum that sits atop the Elemental Pole of Crystal like a shining crown. Amid the sprawling factory-complexes and Charm-engines of the cityís municipal infrastructure is the mile-high dome of gold and black basalt where the Solar Deliberative convenes to rule. The Deliberativeís control radiates out from the dome through realm-spanning systems of technology. Hologlyphic projection relays transmit the oratories and proclamations of Celestial senators to crystalline display screens in every city of the Autochthonian Realm, while the world-moving machinery of the theotechtonic navigation grid sets the drift of Autochthonís continent-organs in the order ordained by the Exalted. Artificial dragon lines channel elemental Essence from the Pole of Crystal to empower the Realm Defense Grid built by the Exalted, and the stolen Loom of Fate that sits at the pinnacle of Hadal.
NOTE: I've changed this slightly, the Loom of Fate is under the city of Hadal and the Realm Defense Grid at it's pennacle instead, see Layout. Also, unlike the other Alchemical Cities, Hadal intersects directly with the elemental pole of crystal, the mind and heart of Autochthon, tapping it for power and giving it more power and beauty then all of the other nations of Autochthon combined.
Gates of Auspicious Passage: These Municiple Charms were designed by the greatest of Twilight caste, while each nation has one that connects to Hadal, Hadal itself has many, at least one linked to each alchemical nation, sometimes more, they come online when activated, but remain at rest when not, they bend space time and allow instant travel between the gates.
Hallow Advocate of Law - this is the Orichalcum central city of Hadal, a perfect sphere with a spiral stretching upward in the center for the Deliberative itself, Hadal is split into 5 districts based on each of the solar castes.. circling the center city is the next city, Luminescent Orb Defender, who circles around the center in a set of moonsilver circlets, so to speak, three perfect circles to represent the 3 lunar castes, rising from below, is the starmetal city, Entangled Guide of Stars, who seperates into 5 spirals around the city, each one devoted to one of the 5 castes of Sidereal, between them starmetal bridges act threads between each tower, and down to the 3 closest solar districts to that spiral, trams travel these bridges, below she reaches down to grasp and anchor the city to the city below, where the Palace of the Maiden and the Loom of Fate is anchored to the Adamant caste - Divine Weaver of Threads, this city is forbidden to all save the divinities and their priests.. and while technically every Non-Alchemical Celestial Exalt is a sort of divinity, the only ones automatically welcome are those who are naturally priests - All Sidereals, Zeniths and No Moons.. Others need to either be priests in other ways, or an invitation from the Maidens or the Divine Ministers, for this city not only holds the divinities, Adamant threads even stretch down to the Core itself. Beyond these are five Jade cities devoted to matters of the dragon-blooded, many of the various Gens have their household homes in these cities encircling these 4 central alchemical cities, and beyond them, another 3 soulsteel cities, where most of the mortal inhabitants make their home, but also were some of the prisoners of the Deliberative are kept, making up a grant total of 12 alchemical cities to the Centropolis of Hadal, and giving Hadal a sort of mix of star and crown, and unlike the other cities, it's position is anchored, Hadal remains the eternal crown of the Pole of Crystal.
The Tiger-Warrior Estasiaófavored servant of Aofe, the Golden Bladeósacrificed herself in a desperate bid to buy the escaping Exalted more time. The district named for her is as devoted to martial pursuits as she was; it has serves as the crucible for the Deliberativeís Army, and a forge for crafting the implements of revenge. Here, the great sums of magical materials produced by Kamak and Sova are put to use. In the arms factories of Lux, Populat laborers work to assemble voidfighters, warstriders, and the titanic siege weaponry of the Realm Defense Grid. Sodalt savants oversee the construction of these artifact weapons with their technical expertise, with Exalted artificers providing the finishing touches. In the metropolis of Cidon, newly-Exalted Dragon-Blooded go through five years of flight school in the Steel Crucible of Dragons Academy, undergoing a hyper-accelerated regimen of Solar training to prepare them for service in the Gunstar Defense Line. On the rain-slick plains below, the mortal soldiers of the Deliberative Army train for war, a legion four thousand years in the making.
Estasiaís motion, a wide circuit around the Pole of Metal, constantly takes the nation near the elemental poles. The rapidity of movement causes a great cooling effect, result ing in dropping temperatures and a pervasive, perpetual fog rolling across frosted and cracked sub-plates to cling to low valley settlements. The temperature never drops so low as to become inhospitable, but it remains uncomfortable to the populaceóonly Kamak is colder. The nationís high-ceiling chambers collect condensation, which drops down constantly in a torrential downpour offering only brief respites. Canyon-like trenches of pipes and corridors lay carved into huge plains of metal and crystal. It is inside these trenches the towns and tram lines of Estasia exist, fighting one another for space and heat and refuge from the damp. Cities break the surface, rising high above the trenches; massive tenement blocks stacked atop one another beside great waterfalls, tall towers topped with spiraled minarets sluicing off the constant water. The cities are shining reflections across the plains and lakes of stagnant water, their sisters and brothers a dim light on the horizon. Few large settlements exist outside of Estasiaís cities, the largest being Deliberative Army training camps and staging areas to access international tubes and the Reaches.
The nation-district of Nurad is a living memento of the long-vanished Spiral. Vast arcologies float within its chamber-dome, buoyed by clouds of Essence. Crystalline panels reveal vine-draped trellises, trees heavy with fruit, and nutrient-baths thick with seedlings. Agricultural laborers work in specialized farm-decks, raising pigs, chickens, and yeddim engineered by Genesis sciences. Far below, Nuradís tidal regions drain into paddies of artificial soil, where workers sow and harvest rice. High above, the city of Wisant casts life-giving light upon all below, a reflection of the Deliberativeís promise to the people of Autochthonia.
Genesis laboratories and bioenhancement facilities flourish throughout Nurad, drawing specimens and raw materials from its arcologies. Sodalt geneticists raise specialized breeds of animal and hybrid plant life, while Genesis savants working in the Arsenal of Experimental Life-Forms create artificial behemoths and engineered super-soldiers, living weapons against the forces of the Primordials. Thaumaturgical hospitals provide state-of-the-art health care to the injured, while the Exalted find comprehensive supernatural care in the Garden of Holistic Rejuvenation, along with an extensive suite of biological enhancements and modifications. The wide open-air spaces of Nurad also make it an ideal testing site for magitech aircraft, making it home to the Gunstar Defense Lineís Illustrious Institute of Voidflight Research, nicknamed the Hatchery.
Physically, Nurad is the most open of the Eight Nations. Almost all of Nurad lies within one especially large oblate spheroidal chamber almost a hundred miles in diameter and thirty miles high. Dozens of mile-wide columns, festooned with conduits and crawling with living machines, pierce layers of wispy clouds to support the distant dome of the sky-ceiling. The floor of the nation-chamber is a labyrinthine landscape of metal domes, ridges, valleys and mesas. When the rains come, flash floods transform canyons into canals and depressions into lakes. Forests of steam vents throng with flocks of vaporous elementals; freestanding spires serve as airship docking posts. At the chamberís rim, the floor rises toward verticality in ever-steepening terraces of brass, copper, bronze and steel. Nuradís movement through the Reaches often brings it adjacent to the Pole of Steam. For days or weeks, the air grows hot and muggy, and the upper atmosphere boils with thunderheads that drizzle a constant warm rain or flare up into sudden typhoons. Then Nurad moves on, and monsoon season gives way to cool, dry air and wefts of cirrus clouds.
The Orichalcum city of Wisant, hangs suspended from the faraway sky-ceiling. So remote is it from the lands below that it appears as nothing more than a distant light, its fluctuations marking shift-transitions and bringing an echo of day and night to the entire nation. Many of the Airships and Voidfighters launch from here, for testing and practice for travel in the void beyond Autochthon, or to serve the needs of Nurad itself.
Hadal is where the Exalted work, but Claslat is where they come to rest. The nation-district caters to the Chosen like no other: within its technicolor cities, the Chosen feast on fine cuisine, enjoy the company of courtesans, and cheer for competitors in the arenas of the Gladiat. Miles below, workers toil in a churning maze, cranking out crossbows, armor, and other implements of war. When the shift-whistle blows, some filter to the upper decks, hoping that one of the Chosen will see something desirable in themówhether that something is wit, strength, intelligence, or even simple sex appeal. While the Exalted and their mortal followers occupy two very separate social strata, Claslat is a mixing pot, where an off-duty Solar general can play sports with his troops and an overworked Sidereal can enjoy a good conversation and a cup of kaff. Sometimes this causes conflict, as tensions accumulated over decades or centuries boil out without duty to keep them contained. Sometimes, new bonds of love, friendship, and loyalty form. Inevitably, both sides must return to their dutiesóbut often they return with a renewed sense of respect, and the knowledge of what theyíre fighting for.
Claslat is organized into two basic geographic divisionsóCentral Claslat and Outer Claslat. Central Claslat contains the nationís older settlements, including nine cities and countless towns. It is a single massive, low-ceilinged open cavity half the size of the Wavecrest Archipelago. Massive bearing races mark out natural roadways connecting Central Claslatís many habitations. Outer Claslat is a series of smaller chambers adjoining Central Claslat, connected by tram lines. It contains over thirty towns and two cities, Kur and Anket. Much of Outer Claslat has sprawled into what were once considered the nationís Far Reaches.
Yugash is nestled in one of the Makerís mighty neural nodes, a confluence of faith and genius. Centuries of work by theotechnical savants have shaped it into a land of towering peaks and narrow, winding tunnels; prayer-flags flap in venting steam, and electrical arcs trace out entire sutras in their deadly currents. Thousands of savants, technicians, and scholars make their home in the district, bustling from project to project and providing brain-power for the largest think tank humanity has ever seen. Led by Exalted savants, they plumb the reaches of possibility, devising new and awe-inspiring tools for the Deliberativeís endless struggle. As Autochthonís thought-lightning roars and crackles overhead, they bow their heads in solemn meditation, hoping that the Makerís genius will grace them.
The Metropolis of Kadar forms the nation-districtís core; the Synaptic Junction Dynamo runs down the cityís spine, drawing energies from the Makerís thought-lightning into massive rods and channeling it into the power grid. Even the residue of Autochthonís genius is enough to power Kadar ten times overówhich leaves more than enough for the Deliberativeís experiments. Early in the Realmís history, a No Moon researcher perfected a method for containing Wyldstorms, and transporting them safely within the Gunstarís hull. This raw creation-stuff has served as fodder for countless theories, experiments, and weaponsóthe first protoshinmaic vortex was birthed within the labs of Yugash, and its labs churn out refinements on the basic design to this day. In the nearby reaches, Lawgivers weave Miracle Shells within specially-shielded chambers, warping the laws of nature to better study them. These two disciplines have borne terrifying fruit in the form of the Titanomach, a device the size of a manís hand. When detonated, the Titanomach affirms the reality of Nirguna upon a localized area, obliterating all existence within it. Itís hoped that weapons like these will prove a crucial asset in the upcoming war, but there are those who wonder, in moments of silence, if such a thing is worth the price.
Unlike some other nations, Yugash is not situated in a segment of the Makerís anatomy with many large, open spaces. Its towns and cities are tucked into narrow, claustrophobic cysts in Autochthonís vast muscular system, connected by an intricate network of primary and secondary tram lines. Where the location of various towns and cities within the other nations is fairly fixed, Yugashís internal geography stays in constant, if fairly predictable, drift. Paradoxically, this makes restricting travel within the nation exceedingly easy, as the trams are the only reliable means of transit between settlements. A trip from Het to the town of Jakul takes a mere hour by tram, but may easily take four days on foot, all of them spent trekking through winding access corridors, climbing up and down service ladders, and squeezing through forests of churning rocker-arms and slamming pistons.
The air in Gulak is thick with hymns to the Chosen. Cathedral-complexes hold hourly masses, empowering the Exalted with mortal worship in accordance with the catechism of the Deliberativeís prayer calendars. While the temples of the Chosen are found in every city of the Realm, the nation-district of Gulak has been designed purely as an optimized power-source. Gulaki chefs are put through training regimens to make them the finest of any in the Realm, maximizing the consumption of the fertility drugs that every morsel of food is laced with. Music halls and grand poetry salons draw thousands of mortals to listen to talented lectors and Exalted performers, promoting Deliberative-approved doctrine with every showing. Nowhere else does mortal culture flourish as it does in Gulakónor, for that matter, mortal population. So great is the nationís overpopulation that entire sectors of its geomantic grid are dedicated to powering the spatial-folding technology built into its dormitories, compacting the living space of thousands of citizens into a building no larger than a single Populat apartment.
While this overpopulation has turned Gulak into a bottomless wellspring of worship for the Exalted, it poses its own problems for the nation-districtís citizens. Disease spreads through the compressed populace in a matter of hours, turning even the mildest outbreaks into epidemics that tax the nationís medical services to the breaking point. Cultural tensions flare high in tight proximity as adherents clash over differing modes of worship, philosophies, and aesthetics. Peacekeeper Champions intervene to stamp out violence or mass unrest, but conflict simmers hot under the surface. The masses of mortal citizens also provide an ideal hiding place for Apostates, akuma, and traitors. The Void Hunt pays special attention to Gulak, but even they cannot uncover every hidden threat.
Gulak is contained within a cluster of over a hundred spherical chambers gathered like a bunch of grapes. These chambers are generally two to five miles in diameter, and even the largestóthe central chamber containing the metropolis of Thutotóis less than thirty miles across. Seven other major cities are located at the nationís edges, either within their own sizable chambers or embedded into the nation-cystís outer wall.
Most of Gulakís smaller chambers contain a single town apiece. These are connected to the nationís cities by a looping network of pneumatic trams. Vast artworks cover the walls and ceilings of these chambers: conduits daubed with luminescent paint to form elaborate glowing filigree; bas-relief gearworks picked out in gold leaf; mosaics of colored mirrors that shimmer like the sea; artificial waterfalls flanked by swirling patterns meant to evoke the legendary ďfoliageĒ of Creation.
The small size and curved walls of the town-chambers requires efficient use of space. Streets become stairs as they run up the sloping floors of a town, then give way to elevators going still higher. Balconies jut out from structures set in the upper walls and ceiling. Towers rise dozens of stories into the air, their upper levels linked by covered bridges of glass and steel.
The district of Jarish floats on a cushion of prayer, traveling through the Makerís body to carry out its holy mission. The lover-Metropoli of Jast and Qune hold each other in an eternal embrace, forming a single gleaming city of moonsilver and orichalcum. At its center stands the Radiant Obeliskóa shining prismatic spire housing thousands of worshipers. Mortals, exmachina, gods, and even captured demons raise their voices in song; the Obelisk trembles, awed by the force of their faith. From this awe comes enough energy to run Jast and Qune three times over. Often, this spare power is channeled outward, to power vehicles, equipment, and even smaller mobile settlements; when Jarish is in motion, it is channeled inward. The Obelisk itself recites the Wandererís Prayer, praising Autochthon and begging for passage through his holy bodyóand consciously or not, Autochthonís body complies. The very structure of the Maker rearranges itself to accommodate the cityís passage; even the narrowest tunnel will expand to fit it.
While mortals offer up their faith to Autochthon as the god of their exodus, the Exalted take matters into their own hands. From Hadal, the Solar Deliberative pilots Jarish through the Pole of Metal as a mobile theurgic laboratory, sending it to track down exmachina and perform modificationsto distant parts of Autochthonís jouten-landscape. The strange engines of the Demomorphic Recombination Array and the Transdivine Parallax Enclave are housed within the golden span of its capital metropolis, allowing the Solar Exalted to modify the souls of the Great Maker on an industrial scale. Heightened patrols of regulators and the Alchemical Exalted track down any exmachina that escapes its cage, ensuring that renegade spirits do not upset the plans of the Solar Exalted. It does not disturb the pious mortals of Jarish to see the emanations of their god brought down into the grinding gears of these machines, nor do they fear when the exmachina emerge altered, transformed, or not at all. Their faith in the Great Maker is unwavering, but so too is their faith in the plans of the Solar Exalted.
See above, the nation of Jarish is like few others, moving though the reaches of Autochthon on a holy mission, it's location constantly shifting, it is the cities itself that are joined, and in motion, but love and sacrifice are the greatest virtues in Jarish, the great love of their two greatest Champions are the heart of the nation, and furthermore, almost a thousand years ago, it was attacked by the forces of the Primordials, as it moved though the outer reaches of the pole of metal including several Infernal exalts, a powerful force of epic preportions, during this time the city was almost destroyed, were it not for the actions of a heroic group of exalted, several of whom gave their very lives, and the city of Jast herself, it would have been destroyed, today the Walk of Saviors commemorates that moment of glory and deepens the faith of the people in Autochthon and in the Exalted, the faith of a people almost legendary in their faith already. Jarish has more priests and members of the theomachy then anywhere else in the Realm.
Kamak traces out the widest orbit of the Eight Nations, circling through the mineral-rich edges of the Pole of Metal in accordance with the Solar Deliberativeís designs. Kamaki citizens oversee the largest mining operations in all the Realm, directing swarms of arachnid harvester-automatons or operating magitech excavation machinery. Hover-skiffs and hydraulic trams transport materials by the ton to the other nations, feeding the coffers of the Realm and the Gunstar Defense Line. Even after the steep taxes imposed by the Solar Deliberative, there is plenty left over for the Kamaki, supporting such luxuries as the nationís sky mantis grid and clockwork servitors. Innovation is encouraged and rewarded, with stipends of magical materials and exotic reagents paid out to those whose designs and inventions hold promise for the Realmís future. It is said that even the humblest mortal savants may live in the same splendor and opulence as their Exalted rulers, if they have the talent and genius to earn it.
But Kamakís riches are not without their cost. As the nation drifts along the outermost edge of the Pole of Metal, it is the most vulnerable of the Octet to demonic incursions. Stellar behemoths or deva swarms have invaded the nation through access hatches and spatial portals on the Gunstarís exterior, while direct fire from hellstar battleships have threatened to breach the exterior hull that shelters Kamak from the deadly void of space. Workers caught in these incursions find themselves fending off monsters with little more than mining equipment and industrial tools, one-sided engagements that all too often end in mortal bloodshed.
The Solar Deliberative has commissioned a disproportionate number of Gunstar Defense Line bases in Kamak to safeguard their greatest source of magical materials, and the clarions of the Immaculate Dragon Aeries have become a familiar sound to the nationís citizens. The short-tempered Dawn Caste Ragni Star-Bear oversees the Defense Lineís operations here, and has little patience for the softness and cowardice she sees in Kamaki culture. If she had her druthers, the entire nation would be placed under permanent martial law, and damn the complaining of Twilights back in Hadal. For now, she settles for making her will known through the oppressive presence of her Dragon-Blooded peacekeepers keeping the fat bureaucrats and absent-minded savants in line with her martinet discipline.
Where other nations are comprised of rounded or tubular chambers that run parallel or perpendicular to gravity, Kamakís chambers are both unusually shaped and laid at odd angles, like a fistful of three-dimensional puzzle pieces tossed into a jumbled heap. Shapes range from regular polyhedra to kinked and twisted tubes to amorphous, irregular spaces. Sizes likewise vary, with shafts fifty miles long situated alongside cysts less than a mile in diameter. Their conjunctions often lead to mild temblors.
Flat horizontal surfaces rarely occur naturally in Kamak. Most of those which exist have been engineered into that shape over the millennia. Some of the nationís settlements stand atop sl ick metal summits or saddle-back ridges; others cling to narrow ledges or jut out from escarpments. Still others are spread across multiple ledges or outcroppings, connected by swaying metal bridges. But most lie embedded within the nationís walls: networks of corridors and chambers built of concrete and steel, tucked away from the cold and the winds and the stark cliffs and chasms.
Sophisticated trams and funicular lines run across the icy slopes and through miles of illuminated tunnels, steam rising from their heated tracks. Obelisks of red jade three meters tall, their surfaces inlaid with convoluted thaumaturgical sigils of orichalcum, hover above settlements and stopping points, emitting zones of warmth to stave off the encircling cold.
Sovaís metropoli lie above an ocean of molten metal that flows through the veins of the Maker, a sea of liquid gold and boiling jade that rise up through the titanic shafts that pierce the nationís landscape. Under Exalted reign, this industrial pyroclasm has become a source of untold wealth and resources. Huge tubes of red jade and adamant extend from Sovan cities down into the shafts, pumping the molten magical materials into the distillation factories of Municipal Charms. Citizens work in the siphon-factories as technicians and engineers, performing routine maintenance on Municipal Charms and refining the harvested magical materials through complex thaumaturgical processes. The actual physical labor of extracting the minerals has been replaced by automated machinery, obsoleting the dangerous mining-skiffs once used to gather precious minerals. However, this is not without is own perils. When lava surges or solid mineral deposits obstruct the siphon-tubes, crews of Populat laborers must descend through access tunnels to clear the blockage, braving the heat and poisoned air to do so. Sometimes, they must even fend off attacks from metal elements unwittingly caught in the siphons, or from invading gremlins.
While the siphon-tubes are Sovaís most obvious form of industry, most of its populace is employed in the nationís other greater enterpriseóthe Malki Archives. Soulsteel chambers deep beneath the patropolis of Imtu house the malki, gestalt material intelligences synthesized from the personalities and knowledge of the Realmís dead. Specially trained Luminors oversee the the transfer of psyche-imprints from soulgems into the material intelligences, while Populat curators assist visitors in navigating the vast stores of data held in the collective minds of the malki. Within the halls of the Archives, Celestial savants debate the finer points of metaphysics with ancient scholars and philosophers, while young Dragon-Blooded are schooled in Primordial battle strategy by ancestors who fought the titans firsthand. The topmost layer of the Archives houses the Sagacious Council of Fallen Stars, a revered council of malki composed from the memories of fallen Celestial Exalted. Each of these malki contains the personas of every inheritor of a single Celestial Exaltation. It is considered traditional for the newly-Exalted to meet with the malki of their past incarnations, standing as equals before the flickering screens.
Sova is the third most populous nation in Autochthonia, and geographically the smallest; unlike other nations, it possesses a warm atmosphere, some of which is inhospitable to human life. The nation rests in a dense expanse of metal, pierced by dozens of titanic hollow vertical shafts, each of which ranges from a half-mile to a mile wide and tens of miles deep. Sovaís historical riches stem from vast pools of the Magical Materials that lie molten in the depths of the shafts. Elegant columns spiral alongside the shafts, granting them a winding, spiked look. Twisting paths lead to smaller, cooler tunnels between the shafts, where the Sovans build cities to draw on these materials. The sultry troposphere and teeming life of the nation leave Sova uncomfortably hot.
In the last thousand years, two new cities have extended the reach of the realm further then ever before, each one the nucleus of what the Deliberative intends to be a new pair of nations in a much more unusual pair of locations then the other nations of Autochthon.
Though rooted in the upper strata of the Pole of Metal, the majority of the metropolis of Loran extends up into the Pole of Oilóa titanic reservoir filling the upper hemisphere of the Great Makerís body, vast as the Great Western Ocean of Creation. Viewed from outside, Loran appears a series of shining gold-silver domes and bubbles connected by tubular scaffolding and flexible tram tunnels. Its people, the Loranei, style themselves the greatest mariners of Autochthonia, and the city is also one of the center of research into the science of Alchemy, as well as the Deliberative and Void Hunt's advance outpost in the pole of oil. Loran is also mobile, able to close it's access points and sail though the pole of metal, an alchemical city that is also a ship in it's own right.
Xexas hangs down from the ceiling of the Pole of Smoke, a vertical city descending like a soulsteel stiletto into the heart of the perpetual toxic storms that roil through the lowest point of the Great Makerís anatomy. Viewed on approach,
the city seems to be a vast black inverted citadel, a series of thin spires dangling precariously above a yawning empty void of churning smoke and corrosive fog, its dangling peaks and fins shrouded in miasma and crackling with electric discharges. The cityís people are a practical, aggressive, and sometimes fatalistic sort. The Pole of Smoke promises the city nothing but hardship, and never fails to deliver. Like it's sister city Loran, Xexes is advance outpost of the Deliberative and Void Hunt into the pole of smoke, and while Loran is mobile, Xexes is anchored in place, where the pole of smoke and metal connect and fleets are now docked there that move though the pole of smoke serving the will of the Deliberative.
The rough torus of the Elemental Pole of Metal enfolds the delicate sphere of the Elemental Pole of Crystal, capped on top by the hemisphere of the Pole of Oil and below by the symmetrical bowl of the Pole of Smoke, the metaspatial body of the Great Maker simultaneously encompasses the cylindrical Poles of Steam and Lightning, connected to the main mass by portal-ducts and batteries of rift-circuits.
Altogether, the body of Autochthonia forms a shape loosely analogous to a sphere, yet it is larger on the inside than the outside and encompasses numerous higher dimensions of space packed into recursive infinitudes of Essence and form. By design, this geometry borders on incomprehensible, only the greatest savants among the Exalted Hosts come close to understanding it. Just as a singular soul woefully fails to express the nuances of Primordial existence, so too does the human experience of space fail to understand the magnitude of titanic jouten. Autochthon could pack himself into a two foot wide orb or expand to blot out the whole of Creationís sky and his absolute volume would remain unchanged.
The Great Maker uses his Poles as embodied axioms, the idealized and quantized form of the six elements comprising all parts of his body. Each pole encompasses multiple organs, acting in concert as the titanís ailing metabolism. The Pole of Metal forms his flesh, from the warded mile-thick skin of his outer shell to the most intricate mechanisms of his innards. The specialized ďtissueĒ of the Pole of Crystal serves as his brain and control nexus, sending and receiving signals through the nervous system mapped by the Pole of Lightning and the dynamo reactors at its heart.
Aspects of the circulatory system span three poles. Lightning provides the fastest vector by which the Machine God redistributes his empowering motes. Meanwhile, the Pole of Steam maintains the pressure and energy to keep pneumatic machine components operational. Finally, the Pole of Oil shares elements of circulation, endocrine and immune systems. Most of its secretions provide lubrication, fuel and catalysts for key alchemies. Other oils bind to dangerous chemicals so they can be transported and processed elsewhere. To the degree Autochthon has an actual heart as humans use the term, it exists in the complex of pumps and baffles that line the floor of his northern pole.
Once, all of the Great Makerís systems showed signs of his illness, the Pole of Smoke showed the most severe symptoms, even today, the pole of Smoke harbors the majority of the remaining gremlins in his system, and the Void Hunt is quite active here. It is both stomach and lungs, constantly digesting the waste of his other systems in torrents of powerful solvents. The semi-pure raw materials that result allow him to heal wounds and expand his physiotopography. Meanwhile, the vaporized effluvia of this consumption constantly dirties the bellow pumps that cycle gasses through the Primordialís body. The Deliberative has installed massive engines into the pole of smoke that transmit the worst of the smoke into elsewhere, and making this area much purer then it would be otherwise.
The Pole of Metal
When the mortals of Autochthonia imagine their world, most can only conceive of the largest and most inhabitable of its polar regions. The alternatives are simply too far away and strange to consider, even if the component elements that comprise them exist in less concentrated form throughout the toroidal expanse of the titanís metallic innards. Thus, the Pole of Metal serves as the default identity of the Realm of Brass and Shadow. Its Reaches are those Reaches known to humanity.
The vast diffusion of alloys that comprise the Pole of Metal provides a strata of stability analogous to earth in the Gaian Elemental schema. Just as soil provides a verdant home in which wood may root above the raging conflagrations of volcanic depths, so too does the infinite machinery provide settings for countless crystal matrices and conductive circuit paths for blazing arcs of lightning. The Pole of Metal is unique among elemental poles for lacking any central radiating point that expresses the purity of its aspect, providing definition through ubiquity.
The appearance of the Reaches combines qualities of caves and factories, with tunnels ranging from needle-slender pipes to corridors so wide and tall they disappear from view with an illusion of empty sky. These tunnels connect chambers, and such spaces may be empty or home to any scale of machinery. Motifs of steam-powered clockwork and sizzling circuits predominate, but some places are strangely barren with glass-slick floors or miles of grating suspended over rivers of molten slag. All possible permutations of the elements that compose the Great Maker see some manifestation in the Reaches.
The Pole of Crystal
In the center of Autochthonia lies the most critical juncture of Great Makerís anatomy, the smallest of his elemental poles and yet the repository of his consciousness. Inasmuch as Autochthonia replicates the universe in microcosm, the Pole of Crystal is a heaven to rival Yu-Shan in size and beauty. Structurally, it appears as a sphere-like object mimicking the exterior of Autochthonia in scale miniature, filled by many millions of distinct mineral inclusions and open spaces arranged in intricate patterns of demiorganic growth and mechanistic symmetry. All the colors of the rainbow lie strewn among these shards, aglow with surging lightning as they sing the chiming chorus of transdivine cognition.
Only Hadal has a direct connection to the Pole of Crystal, this is no accident. Autochthon left no easy routes for humans to find and meddle with his brain, only the exalted are permitted such action, so he did leave paths, to dangerous for mortals to travel, to allow the greastest of exalted to travel to his core as needed to commune with him directly when necessary.
The Poles of Lightning and Steam
The twin engines that power Autochthonia exist within separate sanctum rifts in Elsewhere, linked back to the main body of the titan through many thousands of portal circuits and metadimensional pneumatic pumps. The two tall cylinders of the reactor Poles are the least hospitable regions of Autochthonia for organic life, though the specifics of the hazards vary.
In the Pole of Lightning, churning dynamos along the walls rotate in opposing stacked rings, each adorned with spires that conduct the constant world-searing arcs to the appropriate circuits to fuel the Great Makerís neuroelectric grid. Lightning does not strike everywhere at once, but the omnipresent risk of sudden vaporization keeps away most intruders.
By contrast, the Pole of Steam is roughly a quarter filled with high-pressure water kept boiling by lightning arcs flashing through their depths. Anything not instantly flash-fried by the scalding sea must further contend with city-smashing pressure and typhoon whirlpools of pneumatic currents. The steam atop this sea is only marginally less pressurized and scalding, but still more than capable of crushing and cooking anyone caught in it.
The Pole of Oil
The chemical ocean of the Pole of Oil is the single-largest body of liquid within Autochthonia, encompassing a fifth of the worldís total volume. Most of the oil is relatively pure, existing as a viscous amber-tinted liquid. Encountering different colors or opacity indicates the presence of other chemicals, sometimes as catalytic currents and often as pollutants. While the entire ocean system churns constantly as a result of thermal imbalances and continuous chemical reactions, surface tension ďwallsĒ between areas of highly-divergent substances can sometimes maintain semi-stable seas for years or even decades.
The Pole of Smoke
Although Autochthonia is a spherical world, the primary vector of gravity does not orient toward the core. Instead, that force pushes everything down from the Pole of Oil through the Pole of Metal, gradually filtering all refuse and waste products to fall into the vast junkyard hell of the Pole of Smoke beneath. The bowl occupies a fifth of the titan bodyís volume, the largest open space in the entire realm. Thick fog banks cover the sky in choking toxic fumes, dozens and sometimes hundreds of miles thick. Long spires pierce the murk from the machinery above like jagged inverted skyscrapers.
Far below lies a seemingly endless plain of broken metal, torn scraps of artificial rubber, glass shards and other industrial waste. Thousands of chutes in the ceiling empty this detritus onto the cratered hell, building irregular towers of garbage that would climb to the sky if underground seas of acid did not constantly dissolve the lowest layers. While the barrage of falling junk is more or less constant, the clouds also give frequent rise to sizzling typhoons and maelstroms that pour acid rain onto the cratered ruins below. These solvents pool in lakes and eventually drain through smoking tunnels leading down into the sea. Lightning and pyroclastic hail accompany the worst of these storms.
Immense veins of varicolored jade climb the walls like so much ivy, pumping the slurry of raw materials extracted by solvent digestion back up into healthier parts of Autochthonia. The peristaltic undulations of these wide pipes makes the background waver like a desert mirage even in the rare moments where the smoke clears enough to see that far.
Not all wreckage melts, of course. Countless artifacts lie mixed in with the rubble, some broken but many not. Furthermore, the junkyard itself offers such a glorious abundance of resources that the Deliberative posted Xexes here to exploit, once the city develop stable trade routes.
Some visitors donít come as prospectors, but as crusaders, most of the gremlins here have been eliminated, but there are still some left, and so the Hunt comes here to complete the last vestages of the cleasing of the sickness of the Great Maker, thus the Pole of Smoke holds the front lines of the Void Hunt and the vast open area is one of those locations that allows some of the largest the forces of the enemy primordials to infiltrate, so forces loyal to the Great Maker find no shortage of enemies to destroy.