Exalted: Lords of Asparagal
Life in Asparagal
Asparagal is the name of the City-strider and the small country that resides in it. The City-strider is shaped like a wide and shallow bowl approximately 8 miles across. The bottom of the bowl is constructed from mystically hardened vines planted by Aspera the Lifeshaper in a prior age. The lip of the bowl is crafted of Ornithanium(1) and stands 300ft high and canted inward, providing shelter from the elements for the land itself. Sprouting from the living bowl are four legs, each one rising as a 1000ft tangle of living creepers before connecting to a long slender conical Ornithanium housing about a mile in length. These legs are tipped with a green-jade and moonsilver spike that can be used as a potent weapon or bond seemlessly with plant life, allowing the city to support itself using the massive trees of the far East. Above the stern of the disc-shaped City-strider rises the primary weapon system of Asparagal the Lance of Tears which resembles an articulated tail with a wicked barb of blue jade and soulsteel nearly 1000ft in length. At the bow of the massive walker is a hardened observatory that extends like the prow of a ship. Finally, in the center of the bowl of Asparagal lies the massive spire of the Forum near half a mile high. If viewed from above the entire land would look like a rounded eye with the Forum as the pupil.
(1) An alloy of feathersteel with tiny amounts of Orichalicum invented by Aspera in her youth.
Asparagal has a mortal population around one million. This population is largely concentrated in the apartments and workshops surrounding each of the manse helms and the legs, this means that there is one central population center and six outlying burroughs. The land in between these is lush farmland where geomantic energies and manufactured weather conspire to more than feed the substantial population.
Most of the buildings are constructed of elegant green- or gold-flecked marble in sweeping circular or hexagonal motifs. Many buildings rise 20 or more floors into the sky (though none save the Forum exceed the height of the retaining wall). Large central elevators powered by Essence raise people to auspicious (multiples of 5) floors from which they ascend wide spiralling stairs to their destination. This is true of both workplaces and dwellings.
Public baths and libraries are common, rarely more than a few blocks stroll down a lush boulevard. Education is mandatory but provided freely to all who are born upon the City-strider. One library in each ring settlement and several in the central one have access to I AM.
Dwellings are usually single family apartments with an extended family taking up an entire floor or more, and sharing communal use of facilities and refrigerated storage made possible by bound elementals. Citizens pay for this extravagance not in prayer, but rather with the sweat of their brows as it takes many hands to maintain the vastly complicated machinery that is the City-strider. Those who are not born upon Asparagal can become full citizens if they demonstrate a needed skill and devote one fifth of their earnings for 5 years to the good of the city.
(2) I AM is a created intelligence that is somewhat analogous to the internet, but with a mind of its own.
There is a considerably higher than average ratio of Exalts to mortals in this fantastic city with the Dragonblooded population hovering around 100 and the Celestial Exalt population typically staying under 15. The average citizen rarely sees an Exalt outside of their official capcity. The Exalts that dwell on the City-strider were once almost exclusively those that would hunt the Primordials or other creatures from beyond Creation, but now it has become more researchers and technicians looking to explore the borders of the vastly diminished creation.
Asparagal moves around quite a bit staying one step ahead of Primordial threats to creation. As such there are a number of cities that are occasionally adjacent to it such as Rathess the old capitol of the Solar empire and the Southeastern Dorn’Tarak one of the last bastions of the Dragon Kings. It is also on friendly terms with an extensive network of airship-bound nomadic traders called the Zephros.