Thus Spake Zaranephilpal/AlchemicalSorcery

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Posted: 08 May 2005 20:56
But my question is this: the book states that Alchemical Weaving is their answer to sorcery, and that it functions equally well in Creation as well as Autochthonia. But, once the Locust Crusade begins, would it be possible for an Alchemical to receive initiation into sorcery?

I don't recall reading anything that specifically prohibits initiation, and it seems like sorcery would come naturally to Autochthon's Chosen.

As for sorcery, by default, Alchemicals can't learn sorcery at all (or necromancy).

Here's why:

1) It's brutally unbalancing.
2) Autocthon doesn't want them mucking with dirty Yozi tricks.


From the WW forums


I suspect that Infernal Alchemicals would be able to learn sorcery, althought they probably wouldn't be able to weave anymore.

I wonder if it's even possible for an Alchemical to become akuma? I could imagine Autochthon learned his lesson when his brothers and sisters kept breaking his stuff back before the First Age, and built in failsafes to keep it from happening. Like a self-destruct mechanism. I agree, though - they definitely ought to lose Weaving and be able to gain Sorcery. What twisted means the Yozis use are of course up to the maniacal mind of the Storyteller :D --Quilone
There's already a form of eviiil fully-Infernal Sorcery in canon, from Blood and Salt. It involves talismans that allow beings that couldn't use normal sorcery to achieve higher levels of Infernal Sorcery (with effects on par with the normal circles of sorcery.) Given that Alchemicals are already so material and possession based, it seems reasonable that an Akumaized alchemical could use Infernal Sorcery, with the proper occult equipment. - LeSquide
Given that their original purpose was to kill the Yozis, if Autobot could have hardwired the exalted to be immune to corruption, wouldn't he have done it to all of them? He's capable of it himself, so he had to have known that his siblings could do it, too.
Which opens several possibilities. What if the exalted are corruptable because Autobot built a backdoor allowing him to take control of them, and the other Yozis just figured out how to take advantage of it? What if the exalted are hardwired against corruption, only it's impossible to make them totally immune and the best autobot could do was the whole shard cleanses itself after five incarnations thing? - Seraph who can't spell autocht- autoch- auto- autobot
It occurs to me that the corruption of Exalts is always a choice; even in the case of the Deathlords, who can't actually [i]make[/i] a Solar submit to Abyssalfication, even though they can try to coerce him into doing it. Sorcery is the ultimate expression of personal power; it's the ability to channel huge amounts of essence for great effects. I think it's pretty reasonable to surmise that Autochton wouldn't want his chosen to be used to using such a power that's utterly free from his touch, as it might make other choices (ie, Akumaization) become palatable to them. - LeSquide
If the First and Forsaken Lion can figure out how to make Abyssal versions of Alchemicals, why couldn't the Yozi Infernalize them? I do like the idea of Yozis exploiting a backdoor to corrupt Exaltation though. It would also explain why the Malfeans had to ask for help in corrupting Essence as they probably didn't know where the backdoor was!
Authochthon didn't predict the Great Curse, either, when he built the Exalted shards. But the important thing is, becoming an Infernal doesn't indelibly alter the shard. Arguably, it doesn't really change it at all, except that the next incarnation will get the desire to sell his soul to the Yozis, and that 'washes out' after a few Exaltations. I think Rebecca Borgstrom (or one of the writers, anyway) said that akuma are basically rewired so the Essence flows in different ways - the source of the power remains the same. The mortal host-body is turned inside out in a kind of infernal geomancy. Alchemicals aren't human to begin with - Autochthon didn't have to worry about the inherent limitations of the human body plus Exalt shard combination. Of course it doesn't obviate the fact that the Yozis could fix up an Alchemical who wanted them to. But they probably would have to go about it differently - and the first attempts might fail. After all, we're talking Primordial magic versus Primordial constructs, and as it says about the Pattern Spiders, tinkering in such a manner tends to blow up chunks of countryside.
Conversely, you could very well built an Alchemical a new, Infernal or Abyssal body - which would tamper with its Essence and change it. But you'd still need the desire from the mind, or else the Exalt would simply die out of refusal. And, in my opinion, Clarity and Dissonance both work against this temptation. While Gremlin Syndrome makes an Alchemical Void-tainted, it also encourages fraternisation with other rebellious machines, rather than with a third party. In my opinion, because of their very nature, Alchemicals would be thousands of times less likely to submit to Malfean or Yozi(-al? -ean?) transmogrification than most Exalts.
I'm thinking they can't become Akuma because they already are ... sort of. Note that the Recycling Other Exalted sidebar compares Alchemical hybrids to Akuma, and that the index actually calls them Akuma of Autochthon. They have clarity tracks because Autochthon has a WiFi connection to their souls. Dragon-Blooded can become Akuma because Gaia (or, rather, five of her third circle souls) didn't make them with a back-door to give herself root access. If Gaia knows how to make her own Akuma (and I'm thinking the actual historical Immaculate Dragons would qualify as such), then her Akuma would likewise be immune to jacking by any other Primordials. As for First and Forsaken Lion, in the scenario he makes new, corrupt alchemicals, I'm fairly sure he doesn't corrupt any existing Alchemicals. - GordonMichael
Okay, I was wrong, near the end of Chapter 5: The Locust Crusade (specifically, page 224), there's a blurb about the Malfeans or First and Forsaken Lion corrupting Alchemicals, who I assume would get Necromancy. Still, Abyssals and Akuma aren't the same thing, for one thing, it's possible to de-Abyssalize someone without killing them. Anyway, I'm thinking the Alchemical corruption proccess works by artifically inducing gremlinism to get rid of that pesky Clarity (probably by capturing them and installing Deathlord-designed brain implants), then casting a variant of Dimming the Light. - GordonMichael

I like it that the Alchemicals can't learn sourcery or necromancy... at least by default. Or... dum dum dum... corruption.

As for the Scenarios, I take it with a grain of salt and liberal pinching of altering so that if you're the ST of a pack of unruly players who have gotten their hands on the alchemical book... they'll STILL get thrown for surprises. Which is part of the fun. How to make the setting scream and cry for the amusement of you and your players.
~ Haku

I'm not a fan of either of Neph's reasons for changing this and denying Alchemicals access to sorcery. (1) It is unbalancing? This is Exalted we are talking about, yes? There are plenty of ways to have made it balanced - including creating special installation rules for Sorcery Charms. (2) Beside the fact that I think that the whole Sorcery-as-Yozi-gift thing is lame, I don't think the fact that Autochton doesn't like it should mean it doesn't happen. First, the Alchemicals were explicitly designed before Sorcery was given to the Exalts. Second, other Yozis are just as powerful as Autocthon, and I don't see any reason that they couldn't overcome his will. Third, if the fact that Autocthon's disapproval is enough to render the Alchemicals utterly incapable of something, then the possibility for a whole bunch of cool stories in which Alchemicals do things that Autocthon doesn't approve of is removed... and, seriously, if I ever play an Alchemical, I don't think I will want to play it as Authocthon's lap dog. - szilard

Oh the reasons aren't exactly -good-, mind you. But that doesn't mean that your alchemicals can't do sourcery. They just need to hunt down someone to teach them what Exalted sourcery is, then they would need to figure out how to craft creation sourcery into one of their charms in much the manner of their protocols and weaving, and they would then need to figure out a way to adapt sourcery into a weaving-like setup.

But I'd restrict this to just the Player Alchemicals as opposed to the NPC alchemicals. After all, this is your PLAYERS' story and not the NPC's, no?

Of course, the simple way about all of this is to just make a bloody weaving that mimics the spell you want your alchemical to have.
~ Haku

How's this for a (possibly non-canonical, I haven't checked and I don't much care) take: Autobot (because I can't spell his name either) is the Great Maker, right? So, way before sorcery appeared, he laid down the basic principles of weaving. He thought "I bet I can make a way for these Exalts to manipulate the world in big and impressive ways," so he did. Once made, maybe he forgot about it and the Yozis-to-be nicked it while he was playing with a Rubik's cube (Rubik's seventeenth-dimensional hypercube?) or something. Maybe he showed it off to his primordial pals, and they nicked it. Maybe he tried to teach it to the Exalts and found them imperfect and unable to do it quite the way it was supposed to work. The basic premise is that sorcery is 'weaving-lite', because either the other Yozis or the Exalts themselves couldn't quite get their heads around 'weaving++'. When Autobot got around to building his own Exalts, he made sure that they were set up right for it (Clarity and wotnot, or something). Of course, since Autobot and Creation went their separate ways and were made of different things, the disciplines evolved in different ways which is why they are not wholly identical now. --Quilone

Alchemicals could learn sorcery, but with a bit of effort and enough time they could just make a more efficient version of the spell using weaving. (I haven't checked this against the existing crossover spells, but really I'm just playing with a theory here.) Since all an Alchemical needs to do to learn to weave is get bits plugged in, it would make vastly more sense for them to just use weaving and leave sorcery well alone.

Dunno how this works with necromancy though. The whole 'vibe of the Underworld' thing seems to put it wholly outside Alchemical realms of expertise. Hell, they don't even have Shadowlands, ghosts or other undead, so nearly none of the spells will work anyway. Maybe Soulsteel castes can weave the Underworld. Who knows? - Falcon

You know what I have to say about that? "Sorcery is weaving-lite" sucks balls. Like, flying monkey balls. Autobot makes enough stuff; Sorcery has always been the province of the true Exalted alone, and an expression of their superior power, and it should damn well remain that way. - willows
Well, consider that Alchemicals probably are "true" Exalted, however you want to define that. I mean, Autobot made Exaltation in the first place. Also, Man-Machine Weaving requires Essence 4, gives you a point of permanent Clarity, and can never be removed. God-Machine Weaving requires Essence 5, gives you a point of permanent Clarity, can also never be removed, and costs two willpower to activate. So, in some respects, Sorcery is Weaving-lite. But really, Sorcery is forcing the world to bend to your will, while Weaving is a way to order the guys who make fate to give you some nifty things. Eh. They're different -- OhJames who never disagrees with anything the writers write
For the record (that someone is keeping... right), I'm with willows. For the same reason, I'm agains the whole "sorcery is Yozi gift" thing. I like implying that it might be true, for the purpose of messing with my players, but ultimately, sorcery is an expression of ultimate exalted coolness. - Seraph
Personally, for the record... I can't be buggered just how the exalts got their hands on sourcery. They have it, end of story. The gods don't seem to have any way to deal with sourcery in general; what's this? There's no heavenly department of sourcery? Or even spirit ability to use sourcery, they can do martial arts to a degree... but that's it. This is of course, subject to the golden rule.

The way -I- see it, if the books are as it is... why couldn't the Primordials have sourcery as THEIR way of manipulating reality/creation. And the exalts came by, kicked much booty... and along the way, -nicked- the very concept of sourcery from their primordial bitches. They have since improved on said booty.
~ Haku
I like the idea that Sorcery and Necromancy are, as described in E;Au, something 'hard-wired' into reality. Basically, they're the tools with which the Primordials made the world the way it was - by manipulating raw Essence into a new form. I'm not sure why the Primordials would give the Exalts the secret of using these tools - maybe they wanted to test these new creations? - but I find it hard to see any malice or desire for corruption in it. After all, it's Sorcery that allowed the victors of the War to call upon the Yozi's souls on command. Maybe their plan backfired.
Furthermore, I can very well see the Unconquered Sun going up to Autochthon and saying, "My Chosen must have the power to be perfect, they must shine with my Light, oh, and it would be nice if they could learn the highest order of those tools the Primordials use, too. I'm a God, and I haven't the faintest idea how to use Sorcery ('cause those mean Primordials won't share), but you're a Primordial and I bet you could give them that potential. Okay, see you on Tuesday then." Perhaps Autochthon created Weaving, and the Primordials stole it and since they were more powerful, used it in awesome ways to change the nature of Creation. But they used it like spoiled children, raising gratuitous mountains, causing fire and acid to rain from the skies, occasionally making some of Autochthon's stuff vanish Elsewhere until the seventh son of the seventh son of a particular Dragon King married a whale; Autochthon was much more interested in refining his original idea and thus produced Weaving. There was of course a lot of parallel development, but obviously Adamant Circle Sorcery was more raw and brutal than Autochthon wanted. Or, the Primordials denied him from using it, but Autochthon had many other ways of working things. (There's a thought, what if Authochthon is Sorcery?)
Wow, this is rambling. Basically, Sorcery = Creation design tools turned into 'smash things and pull off gratuitous effects'; Weaving = Autochthon's personal kit, limited to the (arguably) constructive set of protocols. We don't get a Weaving version of Death of Obsidian Butterflies, after all... --Quilone
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