View Full Version : [Exalted] The Labyrinth of Infinite Wealth (Aka, the Unshaped Fae D&D Campaign)

2010-11-13, 08:48 PM
Since I've heard the hannya (apex predator of the Wyld) Unshaped compared to munchkin D&D parties, I decided to take that in it's most literal since possible, and make an Unshaped that is literally a roving group of D&D PCs and their DM.

Obviously not the most serious threat to Creation, but it works as a way to inject hilarity and genre savviness into a chronicle.

The Labyrinth Of Infinite Wealth, Hannya Unshaped

The self-absorbed, Chaos-born apex predators of the hannya Chaos Lords have often been described by their Shaped cousins as cold-hearted, cheerfully callous raiders who care not for story or narrative beyond their own, Darwinian one, selfishly destroying other stories and other dreams in order to increase the power of their own, in a never-ending quest for enlightenment that will never come.

Apparently, the hannya that now takes the name Labyrinth of Infinite Wealth overheard this analogy at one point, and was feeling particularly literal that day.

An ever-shifting, never constant complex of earthen tunnels, dark temples, and the lairs of monsters, the Labyrinth is one of those odd Unshaped were it's Emanations not only get along, they're actually friendly with one another. They have to be-each one serves a vital role in a strange parody of a Ring of the ruling Raksha of a freehold, acting perfectly to fulfill a spot in their merry group of raiders and pirates. That doesn't mean they don't disagree-particularly with the Ruling Emanation, Logosi, who wants Creation to stay as it is, while the others are more interested in cracking it open to get the juicy treasures it must contain-but they settle these arguments in a calm and reasoned manner, coming to compromises that benefit the whole (unless it's Pun-Ji and one of the other Emanations, in which case Logosi usually breaks out his favorite disciplinary tool, the Starmetal Shower).

In any case, the Labyrinth is one of the more popular Unshaped to quest against, since it is always open to new opponents to adventure against (not to mention it allows the subservient Emanations to play "bad guy" every once in a while). Indeed, it could be said that the Labyrinth is alone among the hannya, as it alone does not hate other raksha-it views them as ever-needed antagonists that aren't just puppets to be exterminated at will. Which isn't to say it isn't dangerous-it just isn't a jerk about it.

Unlike most other Chaos Lords, the "party" that it's Emanations compose are fairly constant, since by their own admittance they aren't the most creative bunch. Indeed, this is why they seek out questing raksha to battle against-more perspectives means actual innovation, instead of just another crawl through the alien landscapes of other hannya.

Korden, The Ever-Hunting Gladiator, Sword Emanation:

Imperative: Live fast, die frequently, leave lovely stories of how his corpses got made.

An eight foot tall Xia made of shapely brass and liquid gold-unless he's feeling particularly lecherous, in which case he takes the form of a female warrior of much the same description, plus an outfit that would make Entertainers blush-Korden is the iron fist and meat shield of the Labyrinth, a role he takes with relish. A sportsman and adrenaline addict, Korden lives for the moment and loves the feel of blood on him, whether that of his own or (preferably) someone else. Unlike the other Emanations, who are somewhat complex beyond their roles in the party, he is a creature of simple thought and simpler tastes, only desiring to hack, slash, and loot.

His only real complexity lies in the memory of a Cataphract who once brought down an entire quest against the Labyrinth through impatience and general recklessness, highhandedly derailing the Strategos' otherwise quite good (if complex) plan on the first test. While Korden had a good laugh about it as he picked the Cataphract' rooster-like mount for choice bits, he couldn't help but admire the Fae's dedication to excitement. This has absolutely no bearing on his personality apart from screaming Li-ry J'ken's name at the top of his lungs as he charges into combat, but it's worth noting.

Keris, Deacon of the Wyld, Cup Emanation:

Imperative: Help the other Emanations stay alive as they hack, slash, rinse, and repeat.

The only female among the Labyrinths Emanations-apart from when Korden feels the need for a sex change-Keris serves as the group's medic and buffer, keeping the others in top shape as they adventure endlessly against other Fae. A fair if somewhat demure young Ornamental who wears the symbols of the Balorites (who she admires) on her robes and as her panopoly, Keris often frames the Labyrinth's feeding as a holy crusade against the other hannya, stopping them from oppressing the poor, helpless Fair Folk-a position she knows perfectly well is hypocritical, she just likes the sound of it.

Unique among the Emanations, Keris actually seems to take her role as "priestess-medic" seriously, presenting herself as the moral center of the group and the party's mother figure. This doesn't mean much, but it entertains Logosi, who is attracted to her ability to act well. As a result, she is unusually showered with the narratives he weaves around the Emanations, either as core character or important role. This is not lost on Venci, who often takes potshots at their relationship in his endless schemes and pranks.

Venci, The Wise Fool, Ring Emanation:

Imperative: FUN! Oh yeah, and maybe think of ways to make the pillaging more effective.

One of the first things that goes through the mind of raksha when they meet the perpetually soot-blackened, wild-haired Strategos known as Venci is "Is this guy actually insane?" To which the answer is, of course, no-he just thinks sanity (even by Fae standards) is boring. The planner, sorcerer and comic relief of the Labyrinth (which explains why it hasn't devoured more Unshaped), Venci is a comedian and trickster to the core, often using his Tests as an attempt to make his enemies look foolish and idiotic as possible, and always has a plan in the works (unless he's acting stupid to entertain himself. That's just as likely).

When he isn't being a general nuisance to the Labyrinth and everyone else, Venci is actually one of the more thoughtful and clever beings out there, often advising Logosi on what he should do for their next adventure, raid, or whatever else he has in mind, spotting flaws that Logosi cannot see by his nature as the Heart of the Labyrinth, and even suggesting a few ideas himself. He just doesn't translate that maturity to the actual dynamic of the Emanations, since he views the hannya's hunts a way to make his life as hilarious as possible.

The Most Awesome And Suave Destroyer Of All That Is Evil And Orderly, Seducer Of A Thousand, And Five-Hundred-Time Ballroom Dance Champion, Pun-Ji, Staff Emanation:

Imperative: Demonstrate my mastery over the Wyld and it's rules.

Yes, he thought of the title himself. Be glad the others forced him to shorten it.

A necessary thorn in the sides of the other Emanations, Pun-Ji is an Imperial Raksha, since that allows him to cover as many bases as possible when it comes to his Shaping. While his position in the party dynamic is technically that of damage dealer and fallback guy, this is only because his constant reinvention of himself tends towards that paradigm. About the only thing that remains constant about his form is that he is always a multicolored Dragon King, but other than that, what exactly he is depends on what form he thinks is the most powerful at the time.

A Diplomat to the core, Pun-ji enjoys creating sets of laws entirely meant for exploitation in the most blatant way possible, viewing existence as a game with no ending, but meant to be won. This flows from a bit of bitterness on his part from the early days of the Labyrinth's existence, where he was the Heart and Logosi was the Staff. Terrified of his unfair and aggressively static stories, the Emanations banded together and overthrew him, forcing him to take Logosi's place in the party. That said, he's long since forgiven the others for it-frankly, he finds the ability to wreck worlds as he pleases to be far more enjoyable then building them.

Logosi, Keeper of The Maze of Legends, Heart and Ruling Emanation:

Imperative: Find new and entertaining narratives to explore and exploit.

A mostly unseen presence who manages to be omnipresent regardless, the Panjandrum Logosi is both the greatest ally and the most implacable enemy of the Emanations of the Labyrinth of Endless Wealth. On one hand, he provides the quests and narratives they need to continue existing, and he provides them with treasures and loot when they finish them successfully. On the other hand, he is also the one who makes sure those stories have challenges to overcome and creates the villains as his proxies to enforce them. Mostly, it boils down to "kill the bad guy and take his stuff", but that's what they attack other hannya and he allows Shaped to quest against them.

When he does choose to make his presence seen, usually to talk with the other Emanations and to provide the Test of the Heart for questers, he takes the form of a rather plain looking scholar sitting at a desk of the finest Wyld-oak, seated behind a jeweled board of woven jade and adamant, twirling a strange, infinitely sided polyhedron in his hand. He doesn't need these, of course, but it makes a nice image (and he can exaggeratedly bang his forehead on the desk when the party suggests something incredibly witless). On occasion, though, he likes to take the form of a vast amount of meteors, each with a different angry expression carved immaculately on it-namely, when he feels the need to beat some sense into the party.