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The core book described Sidereals in an interesting and mysterious fashion. The Fatsplat, sadly, removed the veil, and showed an organized, nasty, red-tape filled bureaucracy that I don't find particularly heroic, nor epic. No good. If it's in Exalted, it should be epic. Thus, I sat down with my Exalted metaphysics, and came up with some ways to change the setting a bit to give Sidereals a bit more room to move in the world, and still explain how Creation stays running. It's not organized or well-written, just some thoughts I noticed on my hard drive, that I thought I should put it up here!

Basic Tenets:

  • The complicated heirarchy and order in the Bureau of Destiny is a lie - as with many things, a carefully crafted illusion to create the image of order where there is none.
  • The Sidereals find themselves swept along by destiny as much as anyone else - moreso, truly, for they are intertwined with it in a way that no other is. Moving within it's flows as one moves in a river, they are not only swept along, but able to see, direct, and control the flow to some extent.
  • The Sidereals do /not/ have an organized heirarchy that they are all 'employed' by - at least not that they can control, or are aware of. A better way to explain it is that by being chosen by one of the Maidens of Order, one already has a certain amount of 'interest' placed on them. When said Maidens weave destiny, it is not necessarily the Sidereal's choice as to whom he meets, works with, or how - after all, it is destiny, no?
  • Unlike other Exalts, this direct submission to destiny means that life truly /is/ full of meaning. Every fortune cookie, horoscope, and passing supernatural omen truly /does/ mean something, and is often a directive from the Chosen's maiden. Luckily, as the Maidens want little more than the smooth operation of Creation, these directives are not often frivolous, and often have little impact on the Chosen's day-to-day activities. After all, what does it matter if a Sidereal takes one path to work that day, or another? Little to the Sidereal, but if by his wagon not occupying the road, he has given another traveler freedom to swerve, and thus, to survive an accident, then Creation runs a bit more smoothly.
  • Thus, Sidereals aren't just controllers of fate, they're 'tools' of Fate themselves. While in general, mortals are given free will, and true reign over Creation, the Sidereals provide 100 simple access points into Creation, that the Maidens might influence things subtly, without resorting to manhandling the Celestial Bureaucracy. In this way, Sidereals truly are "agents of fate".
  • As a Sidereal increases in power, his own ability to affect Creation increases, as does his ability to sense, control, and manipulate fate. Thus, higher-level Sidereals find themselves often directing destiny on their own, without guidance from the Maidens. They can control fate locally, knowing that things will 'fall into place' fairly easily. Prayer strip charms are thus similar to notices, in that one is announcing a fairly major change in the tapestry is occurring, and that special attention should be paid to make sure all planned destinies work out in the region of such power. Similarly, charms requiring the maiden's approval is just that - it's not that one is getting permission to use power, it's getting permission to ensure that said power won't significantly and negatively impact planned fate.

On destiny
The Loom of Fate constantly weaves destiny. Forming the raw energies of the Wyld into coherent flows, organizing things, and preventing mishaps. Destiny is the fourth dimension, truly, insomuch as Creation is a static place, by its very nature. Without a constant influx of Wyld energy, nothing would truly change. Allowing the raw Wyld into Creation would change too much. Instead, the Maidens and the Loom work to 'filter' the Wyld into positive, useful Change. Change too much too quickly, and there can be negative effects, as the fundament of Creation is bent too much, and things begin to unravel. Weird physical phenomena, unnatural creatures, etc, occur when the Loom pours wyld energy into Creation without appropriate knotting. The wyld is nothing more than a great story - and thus, fate is the weaving of a single, positive, great story. Much as a story needs constant lead-up, building up semi-important characters, so does Creation. Thus, every person's life is important in some way, if only to bring grief to others, and thus help explain the backstory of yet more important characters. Exalts stand out among destiny in that they are, by their exaltation, inherently 'big' characters, often making big marks in the story, and thus requiring a bit more oversight than other players. All the world is a stage, after all.

On Sidereals
They're Exalts, just like everyone else. Rather than experiencing all-encompassing power, they become aware of the story, the weaving, and how it occurs. With every sidelong glance between two people in a restaurant, the Sidereal sees not only a possible romantic interlude, but the potential for a great tale of love and sorrow. He sees that this tale is intended to never be told, as the fate simply isn't woven into destiny. Without a bit of direction, the weave will ignore this man, allowing the years to pass with no change in his story. A bit of nudging here, and a tug there, and his pattern in the loom is changed, tied to that of the young woman. The result will not affect the future, nor change the course of a nation. But it will change the story. What tales will you write of the future?

Possible Crunch-Changes

If you like the story, there are some minor crunch-changes that can provide supporting color. Some suggestions are:

  • Sidereals can make their own charms - they're Exalts, after all. At low Essence, these are very similar to the published charms, and often focus around the Sidereal's personal luck, destiny, fate, etc. Going higher in Essence, the scale increases dramatically, with Essence 5-6 Sidereals able to manipulate the 'story' around them in much more dramatic ways. Imagine a Larceny charm that ensures that all off the security staff call in sick that night for various reasons, and a Melee charm that guarantees that the weapons being wielded by an opposing army were all forged from the same batch. A batch that was apparently alloyed improperly, meaning weapon failures and dull blades are the norm. Higher-yet Essence charms (7-9) become truly distorting, rivaling the shaping of the Fair-Folk, only in Creation. Sudden and dramatic changes to the script are possible, with Survival charms allowing the Volcanic region you're in to sprout trees, fruit, and wildlife in a matter of seconds (or the other way around), and Medicine charms that rather than curing the patient, merely provide conclusive evidence that there must have been some psycho-somatic problem at work - the patient never really was sick at all, you know.
  • Arcane Fate can be altered heavily - rather than simply fading out of the story, it may be that Sidereals are instead written out. Changing Resplendent destinies, changing paths in life - all these things mean that the previous chapter in the Sidereal's life is being closed (perhaps temporarily), and another started. As Sidereals, by their very nature, cannot harm fate, it may be that to keep things simple, 99% of the world will not remember the Sidereal - just to make sure they don't attempt to track him down later, changing the story. In such a scenario, Arcane fate rolls don't kick in until after the Sidereal has left the scene for some time - hours, perhaps even days. Things will still prevent the Sidereal from being tracked, recorded, and watched, for sure, but after a few days, he will simply fade from importance in the minds of those around, and they won't bother to track him down. Eventually, all they remember will be that old man that helped them that evening, long ago.


Pretty cool idea. Seems like a good place to get some insperation for this would be the various Discworld Witches stories. --BrilliantRain

Oh, the poor Sidereal bastard that opens a fortune cookie without thinking. "You will soon meet a tall, handsome stranger who will sweep you off your feet," the beautiful but single Sidereal reads with excitement... about three hours before someone like First and Forsaken Lion blows her clear into the next life. This has got serious potential to mess with players' heads. *cackles maniacally* - MoonSword

I think I'll give this a try. I was quite disappointed, when I read Exalted: The Sidereals, as they came to be out some kind of supernatural-controlling-organisation-manipulating-everything. Though I like the concept of a celestial bureaucracy, I didn't like the intervention of the canon-Sidereals in it. Your changes make them more interesting player characters. --Jiba

This setting would take away all my reasons to hate the Sidereals! I don't know whether to curse you or bow at your feet, darnit! Good idea. - Han'ya