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"Started an interesting debate in agww about the feasibility of the
Deathlords forcing their way into, and then laying waste to, Yu-Shan. Most
didn't think they'd last long before the Unconquered Sun just looked at
them and roasted them, but I think they're alot tougher than that
(umm...Abyssal > Aegis, anyone?^^). Not that they'd win Heaven completely, but a handful of
DLs could do some massive trauma and could even kill the US, though they'd
lose some of their own number in so doing. What do you think? -- Dex"


Hm. Let me think. As for slaying the U.S., I think it depends on what sort of counter-magic is available to the inhabitants of Yu-Shan; the conflict would pretty much hinge on Void Circle Necromancy vs. Solar Circle Sorcery. Strength of Arms is negligible; the Deathlords, *if* they can all ally together, would still have to get past the combined force of all the Sidereals, probably a good majority of the Solars, whatever Dragon-Blooded the various Sidereals could bring out to the various gates to Yu-Shan... I mean, the Abyssals would be sorely outnumbered. Assuming they pull off major mojo to materialize all their ghost forces (and protect them from the sun's Insta Ghost Kill effect), they might be able to achieve some sort of balance of martial might - at which point, I think only overwhelming magic would clinch it. It would definitely be an Army vs. Army issue; the 13 Deathlords vs. the Unconquered Sun directly would be a joke; they might be able to hurt him, but killing him would be out of the question IMO - we're talking about the ghosts of 13 really powerful Solars, headed up against The Unconquered Sun that Exalted them. That's not to mention that the US probably would not be alone; we'd probably be looking at the 13 DL's vs. Sol, Luna, the Five Maidens, et al.

I mean, the way I picture it unfolding is thusly...:

The Deathlords get together and summon massive Contagion-level mojo; the sun is blotted out of all of Creation for a month and a day. Over the course of that time, they try to march all of their Ghosts, Hungry Ghosts, Zombies, et al. through the nearest shadowlands to the Yu-Shan gates.

However, Abyssal Exalted are not outside of Fate; some hint of this is bound to get through to the Sidereals. The Sidereals (Bronze Faction) gets Dragon-Bloods put on alert status throughout the Realm, and whatever Threshold presences they have; Gold Faction does the same in the Threshold. So, when the Undead go on the move, the Dragon-Bloods are there - maybe not organized for battle, but certainly alert for *something* - meaning this isn't a completely uncontested march. The moment the sun is blocked out and undead start emerging from Shadowlands, however, Infallible Messengers start flying and an organized force *is* fielded.

By the same token, the Lunars are not to be ignored; they might thrive on the edges of Creation, but they have a duty to Creation as well - I would not expect *all* of them to come forward, but I'd expect a majority of barbarian tribes to be led by their lunar patrons to battle against the undead, while non-silver-pact Lunars join Realm (or more probably, things like Lookshy) forces against the undead forces out in the field.

Sidereal Astrology aids the non-Abyssal forces. The fact that everyone that dies in battle is promptly raised again, from both sides, aids the Abyssal forces.

If the Deathlords take the field of battle themselves, I expect dozens of Celestial Exalted to fall in one-on-one battle with them, until they come into conflict with beings like Chejop Kejak and Raksi; there aren't many ess 7+ Celestials running around, but they're there. I don't expect the Deathlords to die; maybe one of them dies. More probably, several of them are crippled, and the surviving First Age Celestials all die hideous, painful, and heroically redeeming deaths.

This is not mentioning the fact that I'm sure at least one of the 5ED will wake up and say "Bitch, whatchu doin'?"

Frankly, I expect the Deathlords *will* reach Yu-Shan; 13 gates opened personally by the DL's, and perhaps another dozen forced open by Void Circle Necromancy. The Deathlords and Abyssals and various forces will try to flood through these gates. However, these forces will have been most seriously mauled, and most of them will probably be busy in Creation covering the Deathlord's assault; the Abyssals are probably split between covering the DL's from the 5ED on one side, and fighting off Celestial Lions, Solars, et al. on the other.

At this point, they find that a) They've reached a city full of Gods, including beings like Garda birds, b) They've reached the Unconquered Sun, Luna, and the Five Maidens - any one of which is probably more powerful than any handful of the Deathlords, and as a group, could squash all 13 of them, and c) All of the Celestines probably have the summoning-equivalent of the Capture charm (GoD Appendix), and use it to summon all of the Solars, Lunars, and Sidereals to their presence.

But, the Deathlords probably *would* make it *into* Yu-Shan; which I think is threat enough. They might not be able to reach or personally defeat any of the Celestines, but that's why it all pretty much hinges on Void Circle Necromancy; that potency of sorcery is the sort of thing that, when combining the effort of 13 Deathlords (and a whole lot of Daybreaks just standing around countermagicking the solar's countermagic), could probably plant a lethal seed in Yu-Shan that would corrupt and/or poison and/or slowly destroy the Celestines - something Great Curse-like, and possible only through the direct influence of the Malfeans through the Deathlords.

Basically, I think the main problem is that the Deathlords marching on Yu-Shan would just array so many elements against them that would otherwise be busy infighting that it couldn't possibly work. Much more likely, IMO, is handing a Malfean-blessed lotus to a Day-caste and having him sneak into Yu-Shan and poisoning the U.S.; it just seems loads more likely to succeed. Well, an Ess 6+ Day-caste, but even so. --Miedvied


If I might but in, people are forgeting the outragious martial prowess of Essence 6+ gods. A good example of this is the Golden Lord, who gives an idea of what truely powerful deities can be like. And of course, Yu-Shan being the size of the blessed isle, odds are numbers will be on the gods side(Although the majortity of said numbers will be house cleaning oriented). And as Miedvied said, it is unlikely that all 13 Deathlords are some how going to corner the UC alone. Of course, the Malfeans are still a factor, but seing as they are decesed and damn far away, its debaitible that they would have a major impact. And this is a very cool topic. Jamez


Butt in as you will, and contribute as you can - I posted it up here because I was hoping to get people talking as much as possible. -- Miedvied


Any attempt by the Deathlords to whack the US is going to be more of a commando style raid than a full force invasion. Because a full force invasion is going to result in them losing. There's 13 death lords and 50 Abyssals. Everyone else in the Underworld is basically a peon in comparison. If they come up into Creation, they're in the land of 'we can't recover Essence easily, while our enemies can'. There are hundreds of Lunars, thousands of Dragon-Blooded, and a hundred Sidereals. (And several hundred Solars too) Some of those lunars and Sidereals are first-age survivors. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of Gods who have been around since the First Age too.

The Deathlords can do a lot of damage, but coming out in full force to invade Heaven is probably one of the few things that could rouse the US and buddies off their butt to throw down death and destruction.

A commando raid, on the other hand, might be able to do it. I'm sure 13 Deathlords could probably squash the gate guards before they could do anything, and then they could undoubtably easily sneak around wherever they wanted. The hard part would be getting the US to come out of the Jade Dome to die, as while they could break in, the collective might inside the JPD would kick their asses so hard their ancestors would die. - JohnBiles


Commando raid, yes. Sneaking around? I think the Deathlords lost the ability to sneak around when they became conduits for the Malfeans. It's just the sort of thing that I think would hit up too many radars in Yu-Shan. On an aside, your Celestial count is off - there's 100 Abyssals, 150 Solars, 50 sparks handed off to the Infernals, 200 Lunars or so (it was in a FAQ somewhere, I forget now) and 100 Sidereals. Abyssals leading undead hordes could definitely do damage in Heaven, especially marching in full force - it's just that success would be out of their reach, even if havoc is not. -- Miedvied


Tangent: I was just considering the dire threat that personally invading Yu-Shan could pose to the Deathlords; we know that they're functionally immortal, with their destruction being a completely epic concept. However, we also know that Sidereals can pull beings such as -specifically- the Deathlords into Fate, and thus be able to affect them with Charms. Is there the possibility that being woven back into Fate could allow the harming of Deathlords? As such, could we very well assume the Deathlords would never personally attack Yu-Shan, because dealing with dozens of Sidereals all at once is practically ensuring that they get pulled back into Fate and have their collective un-existence ended; without ever reaching the Celestines, even. -- Miedvied


The Deathlords are Essence 7-9 ex-Solars with Solar-like powers. If Essence 8 Stealth charms can't hide you in most parts of Yu-Shan, I'd be very surprised. -- JohnBiles


Yes, but I imagine that the resting-place of Essence 7-8 Celestials and Essence 10+ Celestines with Awareness charms would outweigh the above. As good as an Ess. 8 Solar Stealth charm is, I suspect that Sol's Awareness charms probably top 'em. -- Miedvied


Defense trumps Offense. I can stop an Essence 10 Attack with my Essence 2 Heavenly Guardian Defense. So I'm inclined to think that while the essence holds out, an Essence 8 Solar stealth charm may well be undetectable until it runs out of duration and juice by about anything. - JohnBiles


Defense only trumps offense in Exalted combat; combat follows a different flow than everything else. You'll notice that the mechanics don't support that notion anywhere else in any of the books. There is no non-combat equivalent of the Perfect Attack, nor of the Perfect Defense. -- Miedvied

Except there is: Eye of the Unconquered Sun (CB Night, page 75) is a Perfect effect that pierces all illusions and deceptions at Essence 6. It is literally stated to be a Perfect effect in the text of the Charm. Since this kind of detection is exactly what we are talking about, it should be noted that it is considered a Defense -against- illusions and deceptions. Thus, it seems that any attempt to conceal is an "attack", while attempts to pierce deceptions are a "defense" which is something you have to keep in mind when considering sneaking around Yu Shan. - Epsilon


Just a note on Miedvied's count of Celestial Exalted: wasn't that count of 150 Solars just the seeds that got released from the Jade Prison? There are also presumably at least a few seeds that were handed down via reincarnation, or the Wyld Hunt wouldn't have had much to do all this time. Probably not enough to significantly change the outcome here, but it's a thought. -- Ben-San


Yes, that's true. So, 150+X Solars, 100 Abyssals, 50 not-in-circulation Infernally-owned sparks. I tend to discount the X just to cover the flux between Solars turning Abyssally and Abyssals redeeming and a couple Exalts dying at any given moment and so on and so forth, it's sort of hard to pin it down exactly. -- Miedvied


Uh. Oh. Wouldn't assasinating US mean getting past the BOOM-10Aggravated-Automatic-Defense of the Jade Pleasure Dome? ... just a thought. -- tld


Mask of Winters has 22 health levels. Even if he doesn't do anything to defend himself, he survives that. We can expect the other Deathlords to to be able to do likewise. And all it takes is one perfect defense and you take no health levels. - JohnBiles


Yes, but bear in mind that the JPD's auto-agg defenses are just there to keep out the pesky low-essence riff-raff. Their real defense happens to be that once you get inside, you've succeeded in pissing off a variety of Ess 6+ Gods, including beings like, you know, Gaia.

It took a few hundred Solars and their Sidereal advisors, Lunar consorts, and DB Legions to banish and kill some primordials the first time around. I don't really want to picture what a handful of Solar ghosts would do against a Primordial. -- Miedvied


Feasability aside, why would Deathlords attack Yu-Shan when it undoubtedly means serious risk to them? Without their Deathlords, the Malfeans are basically just grumpy old dead gods muttering about how much being dead sucks. Realistically, the Deathlords wouldn't be sacrificed, but they'd just sit around and wait for the giant sucking sound of everything falling into Oblivion sooner or later.

Invading Yu-Shan sounds more like a Yozi thing to me.


Don't know. But my friend put forward the question of "Could They?", so I took "Would they?" to be answered "Yes" by fiat. -- Miedvied


From what I've gleaned, the Deathlords seem to be incapable of leaving the Shadowlands / Underworld, so that would put a serious crimp in any invasion. That said, I would bet that if such a massive conflict were to start, the Fair Folk and Yozis would almost certainly act, and probably not to Creation's benefit. Can Void circle Necromancy summon third-circle demons? If so, I would imagine that there would be at least a dozen of them aiding the Deathlords, possibly willingly.

Three other things to consider. First, the Malfeans themselves might be able to act in some way to aid the attack. What would the effect of a huge resonance overload be if it happened inside Yu-Shan? Second, this attack would probably occur during Calibration. How are Heaven's defenses affected at that time? Finally, what happens if the Incarna are too hooked on playing the GoD to bother reacting?

I wouldn't let Void Circle summon third circle demons, if only because I think summoning demons is a Solar sorcery shtick. I *would* let it summon hordes of nephracks and such from the depths of the Labyrinth, though. Not quite as potent, singularly, but in mass numbers it may be just as powerful in the long run.
I did take the Malfeans into account; as I said, I think that them acting through some big Void-circle spell to plant some trojan horse in Yu-Shan sounds good. As for directly channeling through them... I don't think so, or else they would've been able to do the same to Creation already, and basically have achieved their goals of Great Big Nothing. As for big Resonance overloads... I think they're limited. If Resonance bleeding wasn't limited, why wouldn't the Malfeans just do massive quantities of Rank 10 on the resonance scale and cover Creation in shadowlands?
Last, I think Heaven's defenses are, IIRC, juiced up during Calibration, because beings of pretty much every stature are visiting Yu-Shan at that time. These are mostly beings who would not be on the Deathlord's side if an all-out attack were to occur and would probably end up attacking the DL's forces in self-defense. I imagine that this heightened alertness and greater concentration of powerful beings unfriendly to the DL's would probably work against the DL's. -- Miedvied

I think there is a basic flaw of your thinking, no offense. Most of you seem to be having the discussion in a tone that implies that the Deathlords all got together in a slumber party someday and decided “Hey, let’s conquer Yu Shan tomorrow, it will be fun!”. I see most people going from the point that they will just charge in as they are( not that how they are now is anything weak ). You are talking about powerful, old Solars, from an age where they had all the power that killed their current ‘masters’, and have been biding their time since the Usurpation, waiting for the perfect time to strike.

Last time they did, it was something called the Contagion, and a massive Fae-Invasion.

When the invasion happen, and it _will_, it will be prepared in advance, for a long time...

Which Sidereals will protect Yu Shan? Those that were already killed? Or the few that stayed in defense, knowing that when they step out, there are Abbyes just waiting for them? And they are bound by Fate, and there are at least two of them siding with the Dlords.. and there might be more. SPECIALLY when you have Essence 6 Moonshadows and their ultra-honeyed tongues. Tracking the movements of their still-living, fate-bound brethren, so that when they leave Yu-Shan, they will be gunned down.

Which DBs? Those the Moonshadows have already coerced to the side of death? Or just made the sweet promise of overcoming god?

As for the Deathknight numbers, they would only try it when they have many more... they can get more, remember? And when you place a Solar inside a Monstrance, it doesn’t matter how Virtuous he is, it will only be a matter of time...

Also, people seem to be severely underestimating the Exalted. They are god-killing machines. That is what they were made for. And they didn’t fight ‘a handful of Yozis’. They fought demonic hordes greater than Creation, Third-circle demons, and the Yozis themselves.

As for third-circle demons... ever stopped to read GoD and see how much implied power they have?

Ligier is a Sun.

I have seen in many places written how the Incarna might be fetishes of something. That is their general power level. Now think of the war. That is how powerful the Exalted are. But Exalted are also human. They are not, as the Incarna or Demons, a (mostly) static incarnation of something. They improve, they make new charms, they make stuff like Sidereal MA.

And when they get high-essence, they can go through spirits, like Celestial Lions, with some ease, as can be shown by Celestial MAs... which are supposed to be more restricted than simple getting an Essence 6 charm in a tree that will be of that power level, and then gleefully comboing it. Many of the big spirits of war could be dealt with in their domains outside of Yu Shan, or even coerced to the Deathlord's cause. And they are more easily to be overcame in numbers of ghotly armies, undead war machines, and powerful Nephwracks...

Granted, there would be people to worry about, like the Sidereals. But their greatest weapon, the Deathlords can teach their own servants. They lived on an age, as Neph said, where they could turn to their Sid toadies and ask,

“Hey, I want to learn this Sidereal MA!” “M’lord that doesn’t exist.” “Then, you have a year to make it, and teach me.”

And mostly, the Sidereals left after they kill the younglings roaming around Creation, would be the old, powerful ones. The _known_ ones. Those the Dlords could spend decades preparing agents to deal with each one.

Really, how long could even Kejack last against a group of Abbyes with essence 6+ Abyssal charms or Void Circle of ‘As long as I am looking at this geezer, he shall not use any MA form or prayer strip’? =P And he wouldn’t escape. Because that would be a Solar effect, and Solar effects are perfect. He could Duck Fate or something, and counterattack, but for how long until he has no essence left? After all... he is a Sidereal, Essence 10 or not. He still counts essence as Siddies, and, without Prayer Strips, has a meager 10 willpower. Finally, for the purposes of an ambush, which is doable since he relies on something his assailants would be outside of, you have a whole bunch of fully-trained, persistant-laid warriors made to deal with _him_, while he is unprepared and only defending until...

Same with the rest of his inner circle.

Same with the Lunars. A Fae uprising can make them busy, and their big guns? The Dlords know them as well as they do Kejack. They had dinners and slumber parties with them. They know their weaknesses and strengths. They know how they might bring Rhaksi to their side, or kill Lilith.

And to end it for their Exalted enemies, there is the Great Curse. The Sidereals, even losing most of their numbers, would still underestimate the threat. Wasn’t it Rebecca who said that, to the end, Kejack will do the ‘reassuring everybody everything is under control prana’? =P And the Lunars? Would the old ones come, if Luna called? Their great curse made them hermits, made them see themselves as the Alphas of the pack.. maybe overriding even Luna.

That is why Solars are the Heroes of the Setting, really. Not just because they can make up Perfect Effects and the like, but because they are the wildcard. While the Dlords can, with time, prepare groups of agents and sorceries to take out even the Incarna.... they don’t know the Solars. They are young and growing, and the Deathlords haven’t known them for thousands of ages as they have the important Lunars or Siddies or Gods. They can be a wildcard that will foil the Dlords’ plans... which can, with time, overpower Heaven... which, I hope, I demonstrated how^^;; - Delwyn


I don't know if anyone is still checking this Discussion but I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents, and please correct me if I am mistaken:

As part of the terms of surrender the Yozi can be summoned by the Incarna at any time. So if that is the case and the DL's come to Yu-Shan then it would be at most a 15 min battle, and I am being very generous to the DL's. 1 Yozi, say The Ebon Dragon, told to pull the DL's and all their troops into fate then utterly destroy them. I think that would curtail the Malfeans plans for a long time to come. Like I said before I could be wrong but direct invasion of Yu-Shan would be a very bad idea on the part of the DL's even if they could get past all of the infighting and insane power mad craziness that make them who they are.

Just a thought -Moores

That sounds like an excellent idea. Perhaps even what the Ebon Dragon was planning all along. The Dragon in Yu-Shan? That, in and of itself, is an invitation to disaster. And a great idea.
The real question is, now, whether the Yozis are counting on the Incarna to be simply so arrogant and prideful that they deploy The Weapon early on... or if they plan to force their hands.
~WillCoon, hmmm...

Yeah but all the Yozi have sworn on there names oaths to the incarna they MUST do as they are commanded they don't have a choice. SO the Ebon Dragon in Yu-Shan won't be a problem for anyone but the DLs and their armies. After they are delt with he goes right back to his prison. ED does not have a choice no Yozi does.
That doesn't mean they won't try to break the rules. it's been postulated elsewhere on how they can breach the tenets of the surrender agreement. - Trithne
It might simply work like other demon-summonings: a contest of Essence+Willpower, with the summoner getting an advantage by spending additional Essence. If the Ebon Dragon suddenly has a much higher Essence+Willpower than he used to, by virtue of cannibalizing fifty Solar Essences . . . Vargo Teras
On the same line, those are oaths on their names. If their names have changed, either because they've done the nasty and actually surgically altered themselves (see: Resistance becoming Integrity), or much as Vargo notes, cannibalizing Solar Essences so that, in fact, they are no longer purely Yozi, but now Yozi+Sun combos, and thus, since they can't send the part of them back that is non-Yozi, can allow some of their power to stay? There's a ton of reasons letting a Yozi out is a bad idea. More annoyingly, to use the Demon-summoning as an example, Yozis can also force their will into Demons, albeit for small amounts of time. Each higher-circle demon is 'bigger' however, and can thus house the Yozi for longer. Can a Yozi force itself into a Yozi's body? If so, how long could they stay? I mean, if you summon a Yozi, and the Ebon Dragon, using his mad larcenous techniques, inhabits that Yozi, can you send it back? Is the ED still bound? Tough questions, all for the ST. -- GregLink
I understood that the best you could do, with regard to summoning a Yozi, would be to summon it's fetich soul, which is a 3rd circle demon. Under those circumstances, I'm fairly certain that any Yozi (Why does everyone focus on the Ebon Dragon, anyway?) could run around doing whatever they felt like, for a good century or so. - Trithne
Because it'g mentioned that he's working harder then any of the others towards escaping, and that he's found 'limited' loopholes that already let him out in small ways (to talk to the dead, for example). I think he's also the only with an in contact with the Forest Witches. - Dasmen
Pretty much that exactly. That, and IIRC, he's the one who's got the Scarlet Empress, for some evil plot of his. I also think it's not just that he's working hardest at escaping, I thought in GoD, it was mentioned that he was tasked with escaping. Not sure on that, but I thought maybe.... -- GregLink

I agree with what was said that a full force invasion by the DLs would fail, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't want such a thing to happen. All that death energy might actually create a shadowland. It might even open one into the labrynth. Think of how bad that would be. At that point, the DLs could attempt to create further openings.

However, if a Twilight caste can close a Shadowland, I imagine Sol Invictus to simply stand in its vicinity and it'll shrink away to nothingness, making a small "eep!" noise as it does so. - Trithne
I totally agree, but doing so would require Mr. Invictus to miss a few turns of celestial crack. Do you think he's really willing to do that? Besides, all it would take is a small hole to get the process of making furthur holes started.
Actually, just thought of something. What about when Sol's winning the Games? The Sky of Yu-Shan shows him, so to speak. Wouldn't that nuke any ghosts? Maybe, maybe not. And there's enough Sidereals up there anyway, they could close them. It -is- an interesting idea though.- Trithne
I doubt seeing his image in the sky of Yu-Shan would have more of an effect then seeing him in Creation would. Ghosts don't die when he sees them in Creation, so why would seeing an image of him kill them in Yu-Shan? Now I'm debating making a Sidereal campaign where this happens.  :)

One thing I thought I'd add

the death lords would NOT lauch a direct attack on the Unconquered sun unless it was CERTAIN to succeed.

because if it failed and he traced it to them he might get over his laziness for 10 whole seconds (Long enough to create Deathlord Kabbob)

Also the dowager of irreverent vulgate in unrent veils would NOT want anything to do with such a plan.

and the others hate each other enough... it seems unlikely...

but calling the ebon dragon sounds fun...