Municipal: Municipal charms are the charms of the eldest of Alchemical Exalted, the Metropolises. Like all Alchemical charms, they are physical objects, but unlike even Colossus charms, Municipal charms are vast in scale – industrial campuses as complex as any factory cathedral, networks of infrastructure fit to serve entire cities, super-cooled vaults of processing hardware, and other similarly grand feats of engineering are the Polis’s stock in trade.
Municipal charms are not learned, they are designed and constructed. As such, training time is irrelevant where they are concerned. Instead, designing and building a municipal charm is an undertaking equivalent to constructing a Manse with rating equal to the charm’s (Essence Requirement – 5). This extends not only to the time it takes to build, but to the project’s resource and manpower requirements (Exalted, Page 133).
As a process involving hundreds if not thousands of people, complex plans and infrastructure, and vast resources, the construction of a Municipal charm is not entirely within the control of the Alchemical for whom it is built. Anyone with the means may construct a new Municipal charm within a Polis, subject only to the intervention of some other party – local government, other organizations, or the Alchemical himself.
However, prior to attuning a new charm (where upon he instantly understands every detail of its operation), a Polis receives no special knowledge of a charm’s design or functions, and as such it is entirely possible to design malicious charms. For this reason, most Metropolises enforce strict security precautions and respond to any unauthorized charm construction with considerable prejudice.
Mechanically, Municipal charms use charm slots exactly like any other Alchemical charm. A city’s array of charm slots simply represents the extent of his ability to divide and allocate his essence to various systems. Given their size, Municipal charms cannot be casually moved around, removed, or stored.
When a Polis uninstalls a Municipal charm, he does so by ending his attunement to it. Likewise, installing a Municipal charm is more a matter of throwing circuit breakers than any amount of physical construction. Activating or deactivating a Municipal charm typically takes an hour, and at least some human assistance. Charms cannot be installed without the Alchemical’s cooperation, and uninstalling them without his help is every bit as difficult as amputating a charm from a less enlightened Champion.
Uninstalled or otherwise inactive Municipal charms are dormant and powerless, but – aside from their typically sturdy construction – are otherwise much like any other abandoned and disused urban structure. In the absence of other security precautions, inactive Municipal charms almost invariably attract a population of vagrants and undesirables which must be rousted when it comes time to bring systems back online.
The details of becoming an Alchemical Metropolis are described elsewhere, but as a result of that process, every Alchemical charm installed by an Exalt with Essence 8 or greater automatically gains the Municipal keyword, with all that that implies. The only exceptions to this are permanent charms which cannot be removed – Man-Machine Weaving Engine, God-Machine Weaving Engine, and Perfected Lotus Matrix – which are permanently integrated into the Metropolis’s core.