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Saved by Richard Hughes
on May 23, 2009 at 3:47:19 pm

Join us in telling the tale of the crescendo of the Age of Sorrows at azuth.isunlimited.net, port 2525. This story is too big to tell alone.


Welcome to Tales of the River Province, an ongoing Exalted chronicle played over the internet on a MUSH. (If you don't know what a MUSH is, click here.) The Chronicle is set in the Celestial-centric Scavenger Lands, with emphasis on three locations (Greyfalls, The Hundred Kingdoms, and Nexus) and in the Dynasty-centric South, with emphasis currently on Chiaroscuro but planned to expand to Harborhead and other Realm Satrapies. These are summarized on page 62, 64, and 65 of the Exalted Second Edition rulebook, and detailed on their respective pages. The locations in the setting are based off the Compasses of Terrestrial Directions, but they can (and do, and have) change in play thanks to the actions of world-shaking heroes such as yourselves, so the setting write-ups linked to here trump those of the aforementioned sourcebook. The three locations have different tones.


This Chronicle, like any other Exalted game, emphasizes some themes and minimizes others.


We are about:

  • Changing the world. The characters in this game can change the world socially, politically, technologically, and even geographically when they bring their full might to bear.  Because of our wiki and MUSH infrastructure, the world can change dramatically and visibly with a minimum of administrative effort, so we encourage you to change the world to the limit of your ability as it fits your agenda.  There are some out-of-character limitations to maintain playability, however. For example, players are politely forbidden from using their Celestial characters to meddle in the South.
  • Long spans of time. For every month of time that passes in the real world, one season will pass in the game world.  Events in game play out sedately, but at a quick pace in the real world, encouraging long-term action that allows a comfortable pace of play.
  • Proactive heroes. We expect player characters to have a motivation that sends them in to conflict with the world, and ideally, with other players.  The strongest conflicts are those between Exalted rivals.
  • A dangerous world. The world itself remains threatened by the Yozi, the Wyld, the Underworld, and other unknowable threats, and beyond that, it is wild and untamed, with vast swathes of wilderness and a shaky grip of law.  Every warrior in Creation might be forced to defend the things that they care about from malevolent, alien forces, or from their fellow man.
  • The Age of Sorrows. Creation - not only Creation, but also Heaven - are going through universal dark age. Due to thaumaturgy, it has 'technology' level closer to the Renaissance, but in terms of social structure and moral development, it's closer to the Bronze Age of the Iliad, where everyone who isn't your tribe is barely considered human. The player characters are NOT obliged to adhere to this standard of baser morality, and indeed might be heralds of a better way, but they still have to live in a fallen world of savage ethics.

We are not about:

  • A rigid world. Many online games have static settings because they have a great deal of effort invested in the state of their setting.  Because our setting is merely written text, it's easy to add things and remove things, up to and including blowing up or rebuilding entire nations, and possibly destroying the sky.
  • Reactive heroes. Characters who passively wait for others to provide them with reasons to adventure or for villains to embark on wicked plans for them to thwart will be bored.  Characters who kick the setting and make it yelp will be encouraged!
  • Accounting. Our setting spans a huge distance that takes weeks to travel, and such journeys require great care and planning to be made safely.  But we ignore all that and you can flit about as necessary to keep roleplay going, though anyone with a fast travel time is going to have an advantage in such matters.
  • Invincible characters. Yes, you have the power of a god.  But with such power, every decision you make, every risk you take, removes a thousand more possibilities from your grasp.  Every decision has an opportunity cost; every struggle can hurt the things you care about, if not you.  This is a game of struggle, not automatic success, and sometimes achieving something vast requires you to risk death.
  • Anything that isn't the Scavenger Lands or the South. For practical purposes, we limit the scope of our games action to the Scavenger Lands and the South. Character concepts or major plots that hinge on events outside it are discouraged - usually disallowed.
  • Black and white morality.  There is no specific 'good guy' or 'bad guy' in this setting.  Regardless of whether you play a Dynast, an Outcaste, a Solar, a Lunar, or something stranger, the only force that can judge your righteousness is history. 


The Rules in a nutshell


An individual player can have four characters. In the South, they can have:

  • One Dragon-blooded of any society upbringing. (Aaron Peori/Epsilon's charmset is permitted but not mandatory.)
  • One lesser creature, including:
    • An enlightened heroic mortal.
    • A godblooded with supernatural parentage. (We use house rules for this, but this may change when Scroll of Heroes is released.)
    • A ghost, lurking between the living world and the dead.
    • Other minor entities are subject to negotiation by the STs, but we explicitly do not allow Dragon Kings, Raksha, or Mountain Folk of any sort in this slot.

In the Scavenger Lands, they can have:

  • One Celestial Exalt or Esoteric Entity, including:
    • Abyssals
    • Dragon Kings (first age sleeper or modern stalker)
    • Infernals
    • Mountain Folk (Unenlightened or Enlightened)
    • Noble, Heroic, or Common Raksha
    • Sidereals (we use SirGrvsalot's charmset)
    • Solars
    • Lunars
  • One lesser power, including:
    • One Dragon-blooded of any society upbringing. (Aaron Peori/Epsilon's charmset is permitted but not mandatory.)
    • An enlightened heroic mortal.
    • A godblooded with supernatural parentage. (We use house rules for this, but this may change when Scroll of Heroes is released.)
    • A ghost, lurking between the living world and the dead.
    • Other minor entities are subject to negotiation by the STs, but we explicitly do not allow Dragon Kings, Raksha, or Mountain Folk of any sort in this slot.



Keep in mind we have a lot of House Rules, although you won't need to know them all at once. You should skim the ones relevant to you.

The big ones are:


To apply for your character, create them at the login screen, write up their concept in brief and +request that it be approved by typing +request/add misc/your character concept here at the MUSH. It doesn't have to be long! One or two sentences is enough.


From there, a staff member will approve you and give you access to the character generation, which has instructions as to how to create your character. After that, you can go in-character and roleplay or run events any time you want.


Now return to the Front Page for links to more information.



How to play, in a nutshell


In this game, you create a character in the fantasy world of Exalted.  That character has a motivation, and your activities in game revolve around attempting to achieve that motivation.  In the process, you'll have an impact on the world.  People will live, or die; cities will rise, or fall; bridges will burn, or be built.


Most of the time, action is resolved very quickly by an ST using the Universal Conflict Resolution Trick defined in House Rules. To use this, all protagonists involved need a goal, and a method they intend to use to achieve that goal.

As an example, suppose Dace the Dawn Caste Mercenary wishes to expand his mercenary company to be the premier mercenary company in all Nexus.  His goal is Become the premier mercenary company in Nexus.  His method is Crack down hard on the streets we patrol to make them safe as a Yu-Shan broadway, and as a consequence for failure, he's willing to risk A criminal uprising destroys the company's control of the streets.  The ST and player negotiate and decide together that this implies he'd be using Perception+Investigation - perceiving crime, rooting it out.  The ST determines that the difficulty to root out all the crime in one of the dirtiest neighborhoods in Nexus is Difficulty 7.  Dace doesn't think he can make that with his perception+investigation pool, so he proposes that he use his Mob-Dispersing Rebuke to change things in his favor. He and the ST negotiate and decide that this would reduce the difficulty sharply, to 4 - within his grasp, if he musters his resources.  He spends a willpower for an automatic success and gets lucky!  His is now the premier mercenary company in Nexus.  But are the streets still clean?  No - if he wanted them to STAY clean, that would have to be a goal.  Instead, the streets fill back up with cutpurses once his reputation is secure.  Only goals can change the world - conversely, goals make changing the world a very straightforward process.


This doesn't have to mean all the roleplay that could be drawn from this can't happen, but it does mean that such roleplay happens for the sake of roleplay and not to advance the character, and can occur freeform, without further dice.  In this fashion, conflict and agendas drive roleplay, but the rules don't hold it back more than necessary.


When your character is out of the gate, drop your first Goal and Method in the plots queue and let the action begin!  Don't wait - be aggressive.


There are a few technical details you absolutely should know.

  • Nothing is considered to have canonically happened until a summary of the event is posted to Recent History.
  • After every scene of roleplay, it is customary to write a short recommendation that the other players in that scene receive XP.  To not do so is considered very rude!  To make such a recommendation, type +recc (Player)=(Reason)/(Pose).  For the reason, include a brief, one or two sentence description of what about their rp in the scene you liked. (It is best to explain briefly how much XP you think it deserves, according the rubric of our XP Policy.) For the pose, pick out a pose that you think especially expresses what it is about that player's style that you were amused or impressed by. It's not mandatory but the ST's appreciate seeing what you've been up to.


Some pages you may find helpful:


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