An Exalted Empire
Founded some centuries before the formation of the Realm, Corpsewatch stands as a bulwark against the forces of darkness hiding within the Blackened Pass. Since it’s inception the city has been purpose-built to fend off attacks and keep the undead contained within the shadowland.
Along with the city, the Blackwing Order of Exorcists was founded, a highly militarized group of exorcists. Over the centuries the city has seen massive sieges and warfare, but due to it’s importance has remained independent.
In RY 768 in the month of Descending Wood an army of the undead was spotted in the Blackened Pass, seemingly endless in numbers and led by a Nephwrack and his allies. The army marched upon Corpsewatch and with nefarious sorcerous workins darkened the days into night for a week when they finally approached the city on the 14th of Descending Wood.
With the help of four Solar Exalted and a variety of other factions’ support throughout the region the army was held at bay for several days, though the losses for the defenders mounted significantly. By the 17th the Siege was in full swing and more than 25.000 defenders lay dead in the streets.
The Goddess of the City, Moments of Life Exultant, sacrificed herself to trigger a massive sorcerour working centuries in the making by her own hand and enabled by the sheer powers of a Solar Sorcerer as trigger and Zenith Caste as focal point for the ritual.
When she sacrificed herself the four pillars surrounding the city burst open and from them surged tens of thousans of short-lived spirits, impressions left behind by those that had lain down their life in the line of duty for the order. A gathering of spirits that took place for centuries.
With the ritual destroying nearly all of the city and the enemy force, only a few significant enemies remained, among them the Nephwrack and his right hand, whom were both lain to eternal rest by the Night Caste Hidden View and the Seven Swords Saint respectively.
After the siege was finally lifted, the loss of life was staggering to all, most of all Corpsewatch, which had now lost the protection of it’s patron and was weakened to a point of near-insignificance. What happens to the city only time can tell now.
The city now lies in ruins with only the Basilica of the Dead and Living remaining mostly unscathed from the battles and the outer ring of districts utterly destroyed.
Publicly very little is known about the ultimate leader of the order, whom is simply called Ravenlord. He does not appear in public normally, and his will is carried out by the closest retainers.
Even other leaders within the province and beyond rarely if ever see him.
Population: 26.000 Citizens, over 95% of which are members of the Order
Military: Undetermined number of militarily-trained exorcists, who also double as city-guard.
Goods and Services: Funerary services, exorcist services
Primary influences: The Order itself
Primary Language: Forest-tongue, Blackwing Speech
The layout of the city is carefully planned and results in an octagonal city behind massive defensive stonewalls and four outer fortresses that stand tall and strong. The city has an outer ring and an inner core. The outer ring is split into four distinct quarters, each of which is dedicated to a certain task.
The inner core is a place where – normally – only exorcists that belong to the higher ranks may enter.
Outer Ring – East
The eastern quarter of the Outer Ring is the designated part for travellers and traders alike. It’s intended to be the center for all such activity, featuring the Plaza of Guests, which is home to most guest-houses. It also contains the primary market, where most traders will hawk their goods to the locals.
Other landmarks are:
- The Market of the Order, which is closed to outsiders that have not made contracts with the order itself.
- Gracious Drinker’s Plaza, a spot similar to the Plaza of Guests, though this one houses most taverns and other primarily alcohol-serving places. Others exist throughout the city, though most of these are intended to residents to use, while outersiders are normally supposed to come to this plaza
- Sanctioned House of Purple Pleasures is a sanctioned and city-controlled brothel of some size.
- Transfer Storehouse, the place where bulk-purchases are brought by traders so they can be more easily transferred to the proper storehouses of the order.
- The East-District Guard-House, which is always staffed with at least a dozen guards, while many more are on duty patrolling the district
Outer Ring – South
The southern part of the city contains a variety of services, though mostly order-related institutions. It is the part of the city that contains the shelters, vaults and secondary armory, among other things. The Serene Pleasures Plaza with the adjacent Order Recruitment Hall dominates the district. Anyone coming to the city can enter the order and take the vows to uphold it’s tenets. By doing so they are considered lifelong members and the longer they are part of the order, the higher they can and will rise in status.
Other landmarks are:
- The Guild Halls, where the Guild stores the goods that flow to Corpsewatch.
- Main Order Storage, storage areas for all things the Order requires
- Shelters, tunnels leading below the center of the city, collapsible in the case of attack
Outer Ring – West
The western district is home to some of the military parts of the Order. It contains the Blackwing Plaza which commemorates those that died in service of the Goddess and Order, as well as the People’s Market, where only designated traders are allowed and the citizens can buy things as needed.
Other landmarks are:
- The Mustering Grounds, where soldiers are trained and the exorcists teach their craft
- Armory, the highly secured place where a significant amount of arms and armor reside
- Officer’s Halls, where officers not belonging to the Inner Order meet for discussion and coordination
Outer Ring – North
Craftsmen and Funerary Services predominate the northern part, which make it one of the most heavily-frequented as well. A great many people from outside the order gather here to procure services and the particular skills of the Order. The Plaza of Eternal Rest is the primary meeting place for those seeking to do funerary business.
Other landmarks are:
- Petitioner’s Hall, where people can go to beseech the order for help on a larger or more specific scale. Petitioners get to meet with priests of the Order.
- Workshop Row, the place where most local craftsmen settle to do their business
- Hall of Blessings, a temple to the Goddess where minor blessings by her priests or even the Goddess herself can be gained
- Temple of Embalming, a place where the dying or dead of higher rank are brought to from all over the region to gain a ritual funerary service that should ease the passing of the soul by great amounts
The Inner Ring
The Inner Ring of the city is only accessible to those initiated deeper into the Order.here they ply their various trades, from craftsmanship to exorcism. The Inner Ring is split up into five sub-districts for specific purposes:
- The Funeral Path, where the memories of the dead are remembered. Units and individuals that died in service to the order are given a spot here by hanging personal coats of arms, banners, sigils, tombstones and other items here. This is the only spot where members not initiated to the Inner Order may travel from time to time to pay homage to those that paid the ultimate price for their service.
- The Armory and Training District, where the elite fighting forces of the Order are trained
- The Order Craftsmen District, where those craftsmen working directly and solely for the Order ply their trades in peace
- The Storage and Chapel District, which is dominated by shrines and small temples, as well as massive storage-areas
- The Order Barracks District, where the various members of the Inner Order have their quarters.
The Basilica of the Dead and Living
The central massive keep of the Blackwing Order stands tallest among all buildings in the city, with a massive single bell-tower rising into the skies above all else. It is in this keep where decisions are made that change the fate of the entire Order and all the Citizens of Corpsewatch.
Deep within the keep the Ravenlord sits in a dark room, awaiting supplicants and those that would otherwise seek his attention, even though he has no patience for those of political intent.
Nothing much is known about the Basilica otuside of the obvious.
- Moments of Life Exultant, Goddess of Corpsewatch
- The Ravenlord, Lord of Corpsewatch
- High Crusader Azure Clouds, Mortal Leader of the Crusades and local defense
- High Loremaster Fao-Chung Tai, Mortal sage and book-keeper of the order
- White-Cloaked Inari of the Rivers, God-Blooded spymaster and secondary leader of the order
- Immaculate Sukaya of the Soul-Gazing Eyes, Exigent of Broken Masks, unknown duties
- Praetor of the Unfilfilled Life, Abyssal Midnight Caste, now married to Sukaya
- Tzokh, Leader of the First Crusade
- Haoji Aoran, Leader of the Second Crusade
- Diao Tomarrok, Leader of the Third Crusade
- Iolann Tzari, Leader of the Fourth Crusade
- Ao Jidai, Leader of the Fifth Crusade
- Forceful Clouds, Leader of the Sixth Crusade
- Alanna Heori, Leader of the Seventh Crusade