Reconciling the Bronze Tide material with an existing Solar campaign

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Aramithius
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I've had an Ex3 campaign set in the West for the past 2 years or so (currently on hold, may be picked up again in a few months). Most particularly, it's been set in the waters around Lathe, with pirate raids and interfering with the Realm's shipping supplemented with a bit of settlement building and clearing of a Shadowlands that was growing on the island that's served as the Circle's main base of operations, and thwarting a fae noble's attempt to destabilise the island's recently-cleared demesne and make it into an outpost of the Bordermarches. All the while trying to form a bunch of pirate captains into a stable polity.

Having read through a chunk of Fangs at the Gate, mostly the Bronze Tide section, I'm wondering if/how I can incorporate the Bronze Tide into the plot of the game. Given that Lathe is slap-bang in the middle of the Cinder Isles, I'm frankly shocked that the city didn't merit a mention in the Neighbours section of FatG that discusses the Bronze Tide.

Our chronicle hit pause just as the Circle were about to start an assault on Lathe to kick the Realm out.

To my mind, points of possible intersection with the published material are:
  • One of the Circle's Night Castes believes themselves the rightful ruler of a tribe of people who have a claim on Lathe, who the Realm have suppressed. These could easily be a minor tribe of the Tide who forgot their history after being defeated at Lathe, and the main body of the raiders catches up with them in the next installment of the chronicle. Succession/authority crisis ensues, and if the Circle can wrestle control of the Tide from Lukha Palash, they can leverage them to invade Lathe.
  • Part of his claim to being that ruler lies in claiming various heirlooms (I shameless stole the "Treasures of Rule" idea from Pirates of Dark Water), which could be a source of authority to contest Lukha's leadership.
  • One clue to finding the remaining treasures has been revealed to be a "King under the Waves", which can either be involved with the caves under Sayfar, or be accessed through them.
  • The Fae that the Circle previously dealt with was one of Spear-Empress Bhadri's twelve companions (focused on subterfuge and destabilisation, a little perfect for the role of an advance infiltrator), and at his death she's out for revenge against the Circle.
  • Have Lukha be the bonded mate of the Night Caste.
My main questions are:
  • How to square the lack of references to the Tide in the chronicle so far?
  • Are there other connections between Lathe and the Tide that I've missed?
  • Are there any other ways I can link in the Tide to the campaign, now that the material exists?
  • The Night's player is male, and I'm not sure how he would take the suggestion of a potential connection to Lukha. The Red Rule obviously applies, but any suggestions on how to broach the subject and handle it carefully?
Any and all thoughts on how to join this up this would be greatly appreciated. Or on whether it's even worth doing, given the stage of the chronicle.
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Eric Minton
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Aramithius wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 11:05 pm
  • How to square the lack of references to the Tide in the chronicle so far?
The Bronze Tide came from the Gray-Eye Peninsula, at the very eastern edge of the Cinder Isles. Lathe is hundreds of miles away, with various naval powers in between. You can say that the Circle's contacts in Lathe assumed that the Sayfar Domain would halt the Bronze Tide's advance. So the characters would have heard of it, but it was no more necessary to bring up in actual play than any number of other political events outside of Lathe.
Aramithius wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 11:05 pm
  • The Night's player is male, and I'm not sure how he would take the suggestion of a potential connection to Lukha. The Red Rule obviously applies, but any suggestions on how to broach the subject and handle it carefully?
In 3e, the Solar Bond *does not* default to romantic attraction, full stop.
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Aramithius
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Thanks for your reply, Eric!

Eric Minton wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:17 am The Bronze Tide came from the Gray-Eye Peninsula, at the very eastern edge of the Cinder Isles. Lathe is hundreds of miles away, with various naval powers in between. You can say that the Circle's contacts in Lathe assumed that the Sayfar Domain would halt the Bronze Tide's advance. So the characters would have heard of it, but it was no more necessary to bring up in actual play than any number of other political events outside of Lathe.

Fair enough, I did fail to check the distance before making that assumption - according to the distance map I use, Lathe is 800 miles away from the peninsula. I keep forgetting how big Creation is (having also recently checked that the Blessed Isle's length is the same distance as London to Islamabad... Joined up thinking would help)!

That being said, it then makes a difficult case for many named locations to be linked up at all. Should Jiara be worried about the Mask of Winters? They're nearly 700 miles apart.

Eric Minton wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:17 am In 3e, the Solar Bond *does not* default to romantic attraction, full stop.
Ah, haven't got far enough into FatG yet to know full details there.
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Aramithius wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:01 pmThat being said, it then makes a difficult case for many named locations to be linked up at all. Should Jiara be worried about the Mask of Winters? They're nearly 700 miles apart.

I mean, the Mask of Winters is very powerful, and he is moreover a terrifying new threat with unknown capabilities. People have much less reason to believe he can't and won't cross vast distances than they do for an ordinary human army.
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Aramithius wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:01 pm That being said, it then makes a difficult case for many named locations to be linked up at all. Should Jiara be worried about the Mask of Winters? They're nearly 700 miles apart.
I don't think that Jiara would necessarily be worried about the Thorns unless there were signs that Thorns was going to send an army south — especially given that we can assume that there are other things on the map between Thorns and Jiara that such an invading force would need to address first, providing significant advance warning. While Creation does have expanses of lightly inhabited wilderness, one shouldn't assume that the world is empty outside of named dots marked on the map. It's not a matter of, "Oh, Thorns is 700 miles to the north... there's literally nothing between us, and no reason to assume that we won't be invaded by an army that's going to suddenly up and cross those 700 miles to attack us directly."
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That's fair enough. I think my basic takeaway here is that remembering that Creation is BIIIIG and that things matter outside of your immediate locale only as much as you let it. Fair enough.
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Just treat the Bronze Tide as the Sea Peoples from the Bronze Age Collapse. While from our own perspective reading the histories of that period the Sea Peoples are iconic and obviously coming, that wasn't the case from the point of view of people living through it. To them, they were busy with their own problems (pretty analogous to the Thousand Dooms of Creation) when suddenly this horde of seafaring barbarians appeared from nowhere and began to overrun the civilised world.

Drop hints about the Bronze Tide that are small but will be clear foreshadowing later on. Have someone in a dockside tavern babble about a pirate fleet the covers the horizon taking some distant city-state the PCs have barely heard of. Then have it happen to some minor place they have heard of. Then tell them that an unimaginably huge fleet of assorted ships has been sighted a week's sail from wherever their base of operations is.


As for the Solar/Lunar Bond, that's been covered even in earlier editions though the writers obviously weren't clear enough. The epic romance between Solar and Lunar is the most famous version of the Bond but it's not the only one possible or even necessarily the most common. It just encourages strong feelings while trying to make them positive. If the Solar and Lunar are mutually compatible on a sexual level then yes, this often ends up as them being lovers. But a Student/Mentor relationship or Brother In Arms is just as possible. They could even end up as fierce rivals or even sworn enemies, though my version of the Bond always at least tries to make the feelings positive in some way. It's just that Exalted are stubborn and contrary beings who don't always function as their creators intended.
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