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The Gold Faction
Creation is in terrible danger.
The First Age was a time of glories, but there was a rot at its heart, one that no one, Exalt or God, realized existed. The death-curse of the Malfeans, echoing off the gods, took heart in the Exalted, and it destroyed the world. The Solars grew mad in their power, terrible and beauteous to behold. The Sidereals counseled them, and then saw fault with the results of that counsel. And the Lunars grew ever-more animalistic and distant, becoming uncomfortable with their consorts and allies.
Finally, matters came to a head. The Usurpation occurred, and the Sidereals defeated the Solars; the Lunars fled into the Wyld. With this end, the First Age came to an end, and the gods, saddened by the fall of the once-shining champions of light, stopped paying as much attention to the world as, perhaps, they should have. The dimming of that great light dimmed them, as well, until it was almost too late.
Now, the danger has been discovered. Now, it is the Sidereals, not the Solars, who are leading the world towards destruction. But to replace them will only propagate the destruction. A new path must be found. And the Celestial Incarnae are determined to find it. With young Exalts at their command, they will seek for a way to save the world, no matter the cost.
The Gold Faction is both the strongest and weakest of the factions. Although it numbers barely twenty Sidereals, it also numbers a good thirty Lunars and at least a dozen Solars. These groups of Celestials work primarily against the corrupt and evil within Heaven, uncovering corrupt Censors, destroying rogue gods, and fighting against demons, evil Fair Folk, and the Deathlords. However, their actions threaten the Jade and Steel, and worry the Pact and the Undercities. Not to mention having to deal with the constant twin threats of the Wyld Hunt and the Immaculate Order, with most of the world willing to kill them simply for existing.
The Gold Faction also includes a large number of gods and elementals, those who are tired of living in a world of fear and corruption. However, their numbers are not up to par with those who stand to lose if things change, and who would kill to keep their power. Slowly, agonizingly slowly, the Gold Faction is repairing the Celestial Buerocracy, and gathering an increasing number of allies and members to their side. The only question is whether or not they can gather them in time.
The Gold Faction has no territory to speak of. They do not have centres of power, not really, and they have no grand conclaves or powerful organizations that they alone manipulate. Instead, their power is as omnipresent as sunlight, as diffuse as moonlight, and as spread-out as the stars in the sky. There are a dozen gatherings of the Gold in a dozen places, and every one is its own centre, many of them travelling across the entire world; few are centred even in a single nation.
The Gold have spirit supporters everywhere, and like their power, the Incarnae have spread them out, preferring supporters to be in any situation a Gold could find themselves in to having complete control over any given situation. While the Jade and the Steel continue to reinforce their strongholds and tentatively fight for more, the Gold have already inserted agents almost anywhere that they might care to.
However, there are a few notes. Gold Faction support is strong in and around Rathess, where many spirits distrust the Sidereals and easily support the Incarnae. Similarly, the local spirits of much of the South regard the Gold Faction well, due to the influence of Ahlat, a quiet member of the Faction. Between him and the Golden Lord's old followers, Chiaroscuro is a surprising hotbed of Gold Faction support. In addition, there is Gold Faction support in the Western League, where the Jade and Steel have less influence. Other nations tend to have less control, especially Pangu, where the Jade crack down hard on apparant heresies, and the Incarnae are cautious about sending minions.
The Gold Faction has a powerful group of patrons in the Celestial Incarnae, but the Incarnae cannot intervene directly. Not only are they restricted in their ability to affect Creation by ancient pacts and agreements with the Exalted, but the rot has spread too deep. If the Jade and Steel discovered who led the Gold, there would be war in Heaven: a war likely to shake Yu-Shan to its foundations. Even if the Incarnae won (and with seventy-five Sidereals and their Heavenly allies a victory would not be certain), Yu-Shan would be in ruins, and the world would fall to the many enemies arrayed against it before they could re-establish order. Because of this, the help given to the Gold is given quietly and secretly. Gold Faction agents are pointed in the direction of those who need them, and most of the faction is NOT aware of who leads them.
Circles in the Gold Faction can usually contact a superior, whom they will rarely know the true name of, and who will in turn report directly to the Incarnae (although many superiors are under the impression that they are reporting to someone else; few know their true leaders). They generally know a few spirits and possibly one or two other Circles that support the Gold, but no one in the organization really knows who else is a member save the Incarnae, who know all members and act quickly if one is captured to get those they knew to safety. Aside from this, Circles are generally on their own. They are free to make alliances, although they are cautioned to always consider the cost of such (especially if Deathlords, Yozi, or the Fair Folk are involved), and an alliance with one Circle is not an alliance with the Gold unless a superior inducts them (always at the behest of the Incarnae).