Dragon of the Dawn/EtherealExalted

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The Ethereal Exalted

by Dragon of the Dawn

The Ethereal Exalted are the chosen of Azure, The unattainable sky. His domain was the sky and embraced the other Incarna. He gave them a place of being so that the other Incarna may perform their great works. He shared his vastness and power with the other Incarna. In return they shared their power with him.
His chosen enjoyed that sharing of power also. They could learn almost any charm, gift or power that they other Incarna had to offer.
Azure was the first Incarna to fall at the onset of the Primordial War. His Chosen launched the first attack upon the Primordials. They simultaneously ambushed one primordial whose name is now forgotten. Their attack did not destroy the Primordial but it did lay it low so that the Solars could attack. Another Primordial vowed revenge for his fallen comrade and seized all that was of Azure and his Chosen (every work, every memory, every moment of existence, all that he was and his Chosen and will be) with its core souls. It then gathered the all most all of Azure’s very existence into one tiny point in time and space. Next the primordial focused all it’s power into “expelling” the very concept of Azure and is Chosen from all creation. Azure and his chosen vanished from the minds of all that ever knew of them. All of their works simply ceased to be. A mere moment later Azure and his chosen "re-existed" in the deepest Wyld. Deeper than any being has been known to go.

Azure and his Chosen were tortured, warped and driven utterly mad by the ever changing chaos of the deepest Wyld. Their toture had no begining or ending. Moments constantly changed. Nothing was true. This continued for what seemed like an eternity until, by some bizarre twist of the Wyld, the Chosen of Azure returned to creation. Azure may have returend also but their seems to be no evidence of it. It seemed that only his chosen returned. He was no where to be found. Sadly the glory of Etheral Exalted's return was lost in their madness. The shards attached themsselves to the first humans they found and turned those chosen into mad men.
Now they wander, their purpose lost, except when faced with a danger to the world. They unconciously battle all of creations foes and even though they have lost much they are still formidable protectors of creation.

In the time before the Primordial War there were more Incarna to grace our sky than there are today. One of the Incarna lost to creation was Azure the Unattainable Sky. He was the spirit of the sky itself and the lover/son of Gaia. His domain embraced the other Incarna. He gave them a place of being so that they may perform their great works. He was the first defense of creations sky and through him all Incarna could comminute and share power instantaneously. Through his unyielding eyes the celestial powers could see all that was below them that was not hidden from the sky and with the added power of the his brothers and sisters behind him even that did stay hidden for long. His chosen enjoyed the gifts of the Incarna also. They could learn all the charms of the other Exalted. Azures chosen ones used these charms to become the defenders the sky. They ruled the winds and reigned over all that dwelled in Azure’s domain.

When the war began his chosen launched a surprise attack upon one Primordial with all their might and the Breath of Azure in their souls. The “Breath of Azure” was a blessing of Azure that created a very strong flow of essence between him and his chosen ones. (This connection granted the Ethereal Exalted more power than they could ever achieve on their own by allowing his Zephyrs to combo any charm from any caste on the fly with a minor cost to themselves.) With their added power the Ethereals gave the Chosen of the Sun the moment of weakness they needed to fell the first primordial of the War.

A moment after the first Primordial fell the other Primordials came to their senses. A fellow Primordial, enraged at the loss of his comrade, launched a counter attack. This devious primordial could see Azure’s connection to his exalted. It seized Azures Breath and used that trail of essence as chain to gather almost all that Azure was, is and will be into one moment in time. Then the Primordial “expelled” all that was Azure and his Chosen deep into the Wyld, far beyond the pole of air, to a place where shape has never been known. That was the last creation knew of Azure.

Azure was lost to creation but he did survive. At the moment Azure and his chosen “re-existed”, chaos grabbed them. In his weakened state he could not fend off the Shapeless Ones as they gleefully played with their souls. So completely were they expelled from creation and then consumed by the Wyld that now only but the most powerful of creation can remember that a being like Azure ever was but no one remembers his name except him.

Eons later, on a bright day, a group of Solars and Lunars were hiding in the bordermarches of the north. They had barley survived the initial slaughter of the Usurpation and were hoping for a moment of peace so they may mourn their betrayed comrades. Their grieving was interrupted when the mountains began to crumble as a sand castle under the hand of a destructive child. They raced into the Wyld to search for the source of this destruction and found a behemoth of immense power ripping it’s way into creation.

The battle was legendary. Creation had not seen such a display of power since the primordials fell. If there was one witness to the battle its tale would have lasted for ages. Alas the mountains were empty. All creatures and spirits ran for their lives. Even the spirits of the mountains hid deep in the ground. Finally after much battle and blood the beast was felled. When a sun king landed the final blow the beast exploded in blast of essence as bright as the sun. The madness and pain of Azure was released upon them. Our hapless heroes where caught in an unescapable wave of power that ripped their very souls apart. Their minds were lost to chaos our heroes tore themselves to pieces. How or why the souls of Azures chosen where inside the behemoth or what became of Azure no one knows and no one will probably ever will.

The souls of the Ethereal Exalted were grateful for the release for almost immediately after the initial burst of essence they went to lithe. But their shards did not go to Lytek as they where designed to do. That function was destroyed by eons torture in the deep Wyld. Instead the shards of Azure went to find new heroes to keep the skies safe. In their demented way the Shards of Azure were still attempting to perform their duties.

Sadly, so deep was the damage of the Wyld that their exaltations were actually verdicts of utter madness. That raving madness was a blessing to creation because the minds of the “chosen ones were so bent by the Wyld that they could not even use the powers they were given. Only recently has some semblance of sanity returned to the Sky Kings. No one really knows why. Perhaps the years of hopping from one mad man to the next acted as a spiritual scrubber and maybe the madness of the deep Wyld lessened in each incarnation. It is foolish to contemplate the workings of the such things.

This awakening has not escaped the powerful denizens of creation. The awakening of the Ethereal Exalted does not concern them. What makes them uneasy is what this awakening may be a harbinger of. As much as they miss their lost brother they truly do not wish for Azure to return. What could be more terrifying than an insane Incarna?

In the real world:

Azure: –adjective
1. of or having a light, purplish shade of blue, like that of a clear and unclouded sky.
2. Heraldry. of the tincture or color blue.
3. the blue of a clear or unclouded sky.
4. a light, purplish blue.
5. Heraldry. the tincture or color blue.
6. the clear, cloudless sky.

Ethereal: adjective
1. light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
2. extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.
3. heavenly or celestial: gone to his ethereal home.
4. of or pertaining to the upper regions of space.
5. Chemistry. pertaining to, containing, or resembling ethyl ether.

In Exalted:

Azure: The Lost Incarna of The Sky
Ethereal Exalted:The chosen ones of Azure

Sobriquets: Changeling, Zephyr, Cloud Walker, Sky King, Welkin, Warden, Wyld One (Derogatory)

A New Sky

Now that they are broken and mad the Ethereal Exalted cannot shine as brightly as the once could. Their ability to can channel different forms of essence has become more restricted. Their acquired banners are now diminished in light and power. The images of their banners are twisted and disrupted. But regardless of their losses they can still access powers that more focus exalted could never achieve.