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Exalted: Dreams of Exaltation - Setting: Autochithonia


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"The inhabitants of the Great Maker’s body call their world Autochthonia, and themselves Autochthonians. Autochthonia is a rough spheroid of unknown dimensions; no Autochthonian has ever pierced the outer shell of their world to attempt to measure it. The Machine God’s interior is much larger than his armored hull, in any case; his anatomy incorporates space-folding magic beyond the ken of any but the most erudite First Age savants. It is enough to say that Autochthonia is vast beyond imagining, that entire Directions of Creation could disappear into it without difficulty. Autochthonians live within the central core of their world, a region known as the Pole of Metal.

The living body of Autochthon is a nightmare world of brass, steam, and darkness. There is no sun, nor any central source of artificial light to replace it. Where the Machine God’s body is not lightless, it is lit by vast coruscating arcs of electricity, or the roaring flames of the God Furnaces, or the weird glow of luminous minerals. The flesh of the Machine God is brass and steel and raw iron, hard-edged and unforgiving. His anatomy comprises countless miles of tunnels and corridors and crawlspaces, dotted with recessed chambers and foundries and maintenance docks. Sometimes catwalks and open floors make travel easy, but more often braided cables sprawl across the ground, conduits are stapled to walls and ceilings in thick bundles, brass plugs protrude from the floor to knee-height and valves from the ceiling at eye level, all at irregular intervals. Where it is not dangerously cramped, Autochthonia may open up to reveal cyclopean vistas—iron canyons which stretch for hundreds of miles, vanishing into darkness even under exposure to the most powerful lamps or anima flares. Open wells may run for miles, traversable only by narrow stairs built into the walls, or by ladders, or by no obvious means at all, forcing explorers to climb or seek another route.

Silence is rare in Autochthonia; the Autochthonians claim that the Great Maker sings to himself in his sleep. If the leaking hiss of steam cannot be heard, it’s drowned out by the banging of pistons. Where lightning does not leap and crackle, there is the clanking cacophony of turning gears. And on the rare occasions when all of these sounds are absent, there is the ever-present creak-and-pop of Autochthon’s body settling on its great hinges and flexors.

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