War Manses

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War Manses are those Manses which compose the Realm Defense Grid. You can read the various Exalted books to get more information about them. This article is just a repository for ideas about them as pertains to my troupe's chronicles.

The Realm Defense Grid is described doing all sorts of things, and I think many people attribute most of its abilities to the presumed N/A rating of its central node, the Imperial Manse. My idea is that the 300 Manses which support the grid are also capable of many things, and that they can be given much of that power without invoking the rules-bending N/A tag of their central controller.

Imagine if each of the War Manses is a 5 dot Manse with powers as follows: Network Node, Geomantic Nexus and Geomantic Relay. The Imperial Manse would be the central node, but with each Manse having the Geomantic Nexus power the grid could shift 300 points of powers between its nodes without weakening the central hub in any way. The Imperial Manse could override these connections, intelligently assigning powers even without the permission of those attuned to the individual War Manses. Even without the Imperial Manse's intervention, attuned users or the controls of the individual Manses might be able to requisition help when needed. For example, this might allow the grid to give a damaged War Manse the Wyld Revocation and Regeneration powers so that it could heal. Potentially, if sufficient warning was gained by some means, then a Manse might even be temporarily rendered Indestructible by a grid transfer.

To maximize the possibilities of this sort of grid, all of the Manses would need to be rated at 5 dots. They would also all need to be built with as many Manse power prerequisites met as possible. For example, designed by someone with at least Intelligence 6, Craft 6, sorcery capability, etc. Given that the grid was originally designed by Solars working in conjunction with Autochthon, most of these prerequisites were probably easily met by the Primordial. My assumption is that the grid was expanded in the High First Age, and those Manses would have been designed by Solars without Autochthon's help. This might be a contributing factor to the long delay in expanding the grid.

For more variation, some Manses might be of lower power. Manses of 4 dot rating seem most likely, but this model would allow for Manses of potentially as low as 3 dot rating. You could even reduce some of them as low as 1 dot if you assumed they had crippling Maintenance requirements and/or Habitation drawbacks and/or generated plain Hearthstones with no use except as a key to the Manse. Keep in mind that including Manses of a rating of less than 5 dots does limit which powers the grid could transfer to them.

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