I am copying a post I put to a.g.ww a couple days ago and only got two responses to. I am aiming for one of the goals for my PC's is to destroy Mask of Winters, reclaim Thorns and free his tainted Essences. Of course, that's way in the future, but there's no time like the present to start planning. When I talk about destroying a Deathlord, I mean without using a secret weakness thing. My players would rather lay a beatdown on the villain than throw a bucket of water on them and watch them melt. Although if the weakness were something that just kept the Deathlord from reforming rather than hurting the Deathlord, it might be interesting. Anyway...
I was just re-reading the chapter in the Abyssals book about the Deathlords and the deathknights and a couple of questions and ideas came up for me.
- Is anyone playing in, running, or intrigued by a game where the Deathlords can actually be destroyed? The paragraph in the book about it says to me, "really, really, really, really (x1000) tough but ultimately up to the ST". The game is about epic stuff like this, after all. And as the Malfeans creations and tools, destroying them is continuing to fulfill the function the Exalted were created for in the first place.
- Does anyone have any ideas on untainting Abyssal Exalted Essences outside of Redemption? Deathlords work through their tools, the deathknights, and it should be a valid strategy to take away or disable or turn those tools. It could take a long time to talk 150 deathknights into redeeming themselves and they won't all listen anyway. Do you just keep killing them off until the Deathlord picks someone who *will* listen? I know I just made it sound easy, but I am assuming a sufficiently powerful Solar Circle with the knowledge of the Abyssals as tainted Solars and wishing to reclaim their brethren one way or another.
- The book mentions that if a Deathlord get sufficiently pissed off enough at one of his deathknights, said 'lord will throw the Monstrance the Exalted is linked to into the Void and the deathknight is forever dead. Does that include the Essence? Is it gone from Creation, or does it zip around until it is trapped in another Monstrance and linked with it? The black box on pg 112 states that the Monstrance is an essential component in the sorcery used to taint the Exalted Essence, so what happens if a Monstrance is destroyed without being thrown into the Void (assuming that is possible)?
When I first started my Exalted game, I wanted the Realm and the Abyssals to be the main antagonists and thoughts, opinions, and ideas along the lines I have laid out above would help me to collect and clarify my thoughts on the direction I hope my game goes.
-- AJ "In my culture, I would be well within my rights to dismember you."
I think the essence is linked to the Monstrace in such a way that the monstrace's condition controlls the essence. If it gets cast into oblivion, so does the essence. However, if somehow the monstrace could be unlinked from the essence, I'd say it would revert to its natural state. The deathlords are not nearly as powerful as the Primordials or the Gods (though they are buff), I doubt they could permanently change the nature of the shards without some kind of precondition on it, i.e. the monstrace.
So, maybe some sufficiently smart Solar could work with a monstrace to untaint the essence. Maybe by undoing its magic bit by bit.
Sounds like a Solar Circle Spell mixed with trying to overcome some accumulated successes. I'm sure the Yozis could help if you could force them to. It was their knowledge on how to taint them.
I had the same idea about the Monstrance being what is keeping the Essences tainted and their natural states being Solars. That's what prompted the question. Plus I am not sure quite why the only way for an Essence to be untainted is for the person using it to work for Redemption (at least in the book). They are (person and Essence) separate entities when it comes down to it.
I'm w/ dave.... and the whole redemption this is personal as well as essence... you ahve to be ready to accept the UC's burning light into your soul as much as your evil death tainted supermote. And while Exalted, you are the same entity... when you die you seperate.
So sabis, you would play it as while the Essence is in a body being used, the only way to untaint it is through Redemption?
What if you kill the deathknight and the Essence runs back to the Monstrance? Would you play it that some kind of sorcery on the Monstrance (as Dave suggested) could force the untainting?
Because I could see that as plausible, or not so far a stretch so as to ruin the suspension of disbelief for the players.
Boy, you have NO IDEA how long I toyed with this idea. Ok, so I wanted to start running an Abyssal campaign along with our Solar one, to intertwine them. The important part is, I wanted a "good guy" Abyssal campaign, wihtout the "look! three Abyssals all at the same time redeemed, where it has NEVER been done before!" kinda thing. I wanted the good guy thing because me and Sigilistic, the other ST in our group, came to the conclusion that any successful Abyssal campaign would end in doom, destruction, and despair for creation, if not the void itself. What PC REALLY wants to roleplay for horus on end, only to have their character vanish into nothingness? SO! I set about it. I had to create Abyssals....that were free of their Deathlords....without redeeming...hrm.
Here is where the relevant stuff comes in. I took a little liberties from being ST, and created a VERY old Sidereal, namely, Kejak's unseen right hand, Vashna. Long story short (read the To The End of the World campaign section at my page for details), I had Vashna actually sever the bond between the monstrance (via uber powerful Sidereal magic and fatespinning), and their tainted shard. Thats about where my information ends, but I kept thinking, what would happen to their shards now, if they died? Well, if any deathlord was privy to the time of their death, they would have created new monstrances, to lure in the tainted essences (it actually talks about this in Abyssals), but what if they weren't? what if nobody knew they were going to die, where would the essences go? The only thing I could think was: BING! Lytek! god of Exaltation, sculptor of the shards! So, what would any good artist do if he acquired a piece of his work that was dirty? Clean it, duh! I leave the rest to your imagination! (Boy, think how HAPPY Lytek would be with whoever got him those shards back!)
I'd think that if you out-and-out destroyed a Monstrance, the trauma to the Essence shard would probably kill the body it was inhabiting. Regardless of the process then (Shards go to Lytek who "fixes" them, shards are "fixed" when the Monstrance is destroyed, whatever), the Essence would end up a straight-up Solar Essence again.\\ Casting a Monstrance into the Void however I see as different than destroying it. In this case, I'd rule that the Essence goes with the Monstrance outside of "existence."\\ De-corrupting the Monstrance though is an interesting idea. I'm actually planning on putting a Twilight NPC in my game that figured out how to make a Monstrance of Celestial Portion in the First Age on his own (I also think the Yozis then stole and improved upon his design). He was fed up with his "patron" not taking any interest or responsibility in having just destroyed a system that needed re-building and managing. He wanted to control his own "fate" so he found a way to break from the "system." His Essence shard doesn't go back to Lytek, it just sits in the Monstrance until some condition is met (I don't know what yet). And them's my 2 cents.\\ ~*~Braydz~*~
It's Lytek's job to prepare exaltation shards for their next lives. Couldn't he just clean an Abyssal essence up, stick in in the bleach for a few hundred years?
Probably. If he could get ahold of it. By, maybe, someone disconnecting it from a MoCP and killing its current host. Basically, this discussino is an attempt to answer that question (and the questions it implies, like "if not, what else can?"). - SMK
In my game, Mask Of Winters must be stopped, so the players are going to use the ancient swords of a primordial I found in the Lexicon Of Elder Days here in the Wiki. What my players dont know is that they cannot kill TMoW permamently, being a deathlord and stuff forbids them to die or be destroyed. The primordial sword is going to "pin" him down, making him go into some sort of comma. In future series, when other players find an ancient tomb and a large armored body impaled in a strange sword, they might wonder what happens if they retrieve the sword. Also, I allways tought that the "weakness" of each deathlord was somehow related to their virtue flaw in their solar lives, sort of a tarot of sins or finding John Doe in "SE7EN". I hope it helps. Sindaen
I believe every storyteller who ever got his hands on the Abyssals book has given some thought to this subject. I myself have been thinking about it ever since I first learned about what the Abyssals really are - I have a tendency to avoid "bad endings", so to speak. I'm still not sure about what to do, but I don't think that redemption is the better way to go. As someone previously stated, going after 150 abyssals and convincing them to return to the light is too troublesome. However I came up with a scheme to "clean" abyssal essences.
First of all, the monstrance is essential for it. A small portion of the shard remains in the monstrance - that's why the shard tries to return to it when it leaves the dead body of a defeated abyssal. If the shard it captured by another deathlord, then another portion of it is left on the second monstrance, however not severing the link with the first portion. Therefore the taint is not on the shard itself, but in the portion imprisoned in the monstrance. The space left by the portion retained in the monstrance is filled by the deathlord with a portion of his own essence, making a connection between the deathknight and his lord. That compromises deathknights whose shards are linked to more than one monstrance, but I think that's coherent with having two different lords.
So, for my solars campaign this is what I'm doing. The first step in untainting abyssal essences is to get his monstrances - all of them. After that, the shard needs to be stripped off the deathlord's essence so the portion in the monstrance can return to it. With the shard clean, the portion(s) in the monstrance(s) are released, returning to its rightful place.
I'm still not sure about the mechanics of breaking the monstrance, though. I'm sure it involves some heavy solar circle sorcery, maybe mixed up with some powerful artifact, but beyond that I'm lost. As for cleaning the shards, there's no better suited individual than Lytek himself - and honestly I don't think he would allow anyone else to tinker with a solar shard. Well, perhaps Autochthon, but he's outside Creation. --Nabeshin