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Supposition: There was no First Age.

Perhaps it was a lack of foresight; perhaps it was deliberate sabotage by Autocthon or Gaia, or perhaps it was simply chance, but in this iteration of Creation, the Primordials were unable to securely seal the Gods against turning on them. So when the Unconquered Sun turned the full weight of his power upon his seals, they shattered. When Luna sought their weaknesses through guile and flexibility, Luna escaped them. When the Maidens looked for the precise moment at which the Seals could have no power, they found it, and Gaia herself freed the mightiest of her children, the Five Elemental Dragons.

From there, a war spread across creation. Far more savage than either side could have possibly believed, Yu-Shan itself suffered severe damage in the fighting. The Jade Pleasure Dome was cracked, and the Games of Divinity were lost for all time. In the end, however, just as before, the Primordials were cast down, slain or imprisoned, and the gods ascended to rule over Creation.

Unfortunately, much of the world was wrecked by the fighting. As the Dragon Kings had sided with the Gods, the Primordials had rebuked them harshly; their numbers were diminished. The Elemental Primogenitors had been dispersed, and Creation was in Chaos.

However, all was not lost, for the Five Elemental Dragons found helpers among the least of their allies in the war: the humans. Where their blood had spilt to the earth, generally, it created convergences of elemental dragon lines- Demenses- but where it struck humans, they became infused with the power of the dragons themselves These Terrestrial Exalts were strong, if not tremendously so, and the Dragons found them to be of great use in settling the dispersed Elementals.

However, much of the Celestial Realm was beyond the reach of these Terrestrials. To a certain extent, the Gods were somewhat relieved that it was so; for these Terrestrials bred true, and might seek to usurp the gods given time. But somehow, some way, the gods needed similar help in the Celestial Realm. Autocthon and the Maidens (who were responsible for order in the Heavens) undertook a study of the Terrestrial Exalts, and discovered how to grant similar power based on Celestial, rather than Elemental, power.

These new Celestial Exalts, the Sidereals, were kept strictly low in number and limited in power, to appease the other Gods. Jupiter and Saturn were able to create a minor loophole to later allow their Chosen to develop some additional power, but that is a story for another time. Swiftly, the hundred new Sidereal Exalts integrated themselves into Yu-Shan, carefully fixing and eventually maintaining the Celestial Order.

Although the Sidereals were occasionally required to go about in Creation in order to fulfill their duties, the Gods did not want such powerful entities gaining mastery over their new dominion, so the Maidens broke a section of the Heavens and allowed it to ‘heal’ badly. As a result of this breakage, Sidereals can only have a passing effect on the world, never truly noticed and only loosely attached to it at best.

While the Sidereals were settling in to Yu-Shan, the Terrestrials were flexing their muscles in Creation. Once they had helped fix the world, they were somewhat at loose ends. Thankfully, the war against the Primordials had left plenty of monsters and plenty of dangers in Creation, and in the absence of the Dragon Kings, the world power structure was in disarray, to say the least.

As for the Unconquered Sun, who had been first and foremost among the Gods in the war, he carved for himself a great orichalcum throne in the ruins of the Jade Pleasure Dome, which he forbade the rebuilding of. Here, he held court with Gaia, his equal; Luna, her consort, the five Maidens, and occasionally the Five Elemental Dragons. For a time Autocthon joined their court, but eventually, he departed for new projects and new possibilities.

In this time of adventure and heroism, the Dragon-blooded carved out a great Shogunate from most of the world. It spanned most of Creation, barring those few zones still under the control of remnant Dragon King populations, such as Rathess. Some countries in the furthest reaches of Creation never fell under the sway of the Dragon-blooded, either; they did not have the strength, and more importantly, the transportation capability to manage a huge empire.

The Immaculate Order was founded during this time as well. Superficially, it is similar to the Immaculate Order of normal Creation, but there are some important differences- the primary being the almost total lack of any references to ‘Anathema’ (those would come later). As a result, without the threat of Solars hanging over their heads, the founders of the Order felt no need not to include an accurate representation of the cosmology. Instead of being the ‘natural lords of Creation’, the Dragon-blooded are praised for their enlightenment and determination to hold Creation in order when it had almost been destroyed, and their strength to seize it afterwards. There are other differences- Sidereals are recognized for their roles, for example; their power is somewhat downplayed.

The Five Immaculate Dragons also exist, but are credited with leading the reconstruction efforts rather than fighting a war. Hesiesh stands as one of the most changed; instead of a passive individual who used all of his released Essence in one moment, he was the champion of the Five Immaculate Dragons; the one who united them together and was responsible for the forging of the Shogunate. Indeed, Hesiesh was the first Shogun, and is still held up as an example of righteous action and leadership in far more than just religion. Instead of being respectful for traditions as ways to save time and energy, followers of Hesiesh seek the life- the fire- in traditions and in change alike. The traditions set down by the First Shogun are considered to be the foundation of existence, but the radical changes from the past that he was responsible for overseeing are also dear to their heart. The primary virtue they follow is ‘responsible leadership’. His antithesis remains the same, although the lesson has been changed to ‘one who observes traditions and merely does what is expected of him, falling behind because he fails to grasp the Essence of the moment and the heart of the past.’

Daana’d was also quite different. Aside from being responsible for the pacification of the West (and Hesiesh’s top admiral), she was famous for the development of sophisticated use of regular Essence. Many non-intuitive Charms in all elements are ascribed (correctly or not) to her. She was one of the active conquerors of the Five Immaculate Dragons; the legends of her fights with the Lintha are among the most popular war-time tales, after virtually anything involving Hesiesh.

Mela was another conqueror, although her power was not contained to her original field, the North. She was Hesiesh’s second in command in military matters, and not only did she pioneer the training and organization of the mortals whom she was given generalship over, it was she who developed the first sorcery. Indeed, the legend ascribed to Brigit in normal Creation are ascribed to her, and the merit is known as Legacy of Mela, not Legacy of Hesiesh. She and Daana’d together developed the alchemical-exercise regimen that allowed a very few Dragon Blooded to surpass Essence 7. Her antithesis and followers are unchanged.

Sextes Jylis is fairly much unchanged, and was one of those who helped to build the Shogunate up from the ashes of the former hierarchy of gods and Dragon Kings. Pasiap was the other builder, and also fairly unchanged; as the youngest of the Immaculate Dragons, he was responsible for both the foundation of the Immaculate Order and the early diplomatic efforts with the Sidereals. He is credited with being the first to master all five of the Immaculate Arts, as well as many Terrestrial Martial Arts. Their antitheses and followers are mostly unchanged, save that Pasiap’s followers almost always develop at the very least some martial arts training to emulate him.

A new figure has been added as well, the Ultimate Shogun. The first Shogun is held up as an example of this; the Ultimate Shogun is said to hold and dispense the Mandate of Heaven on behalf of the Unconquered Sun. He is said to be the representative of many important virtues—in effect, the Ultimate Shogun takes the place of the Righteous Warrior. Hesiesh is the only known example of the Ultimate Shogun.

But the peace and prosperity of the new Realm was not to last. The Malfeans, the dead-but-not-quite-gone Primordials, had studied the Terrestrial Exalts in the dark times as well. As an experiment, they sought out a small number of very special souls—humans of immense will and bitterness. In all cases, these beings had been mighty warlords, mortal thaumaturges, or other powerful mortals in life, and all of them had been displaced by the expanding Shogunate. The Malfeans promised them power and revenge in exchange for their names and souls, and so it was done. These beings, the Deathlords, were bound to the destruction of the world.

At first, their efforts were somewhat crude, and wholly restricted to gaining control of the Underworld created by their masters’ fall. Eventually, however, the Dowager discovered the secret of the Great Contagion, and unleashed it upon the world. In this Creation, however, they did not seek to ally with the Tribes of Madness, and so the Fae Folk invasion after the Great Contagion burned its way through the world was nothing more than an opportunistic attack.

The rest, as they say, is history. A young, unknown officer, with the aid of the chief of the Sidereals, Chejop Kejak, was able to harmonize the central Manse on Meru with all of the Manses under the sway of the Shogunate. With this raw power at their disposal, they were able to turn back the hordes of the fair folk, and later, to carve out an empire on Meru. They were not, however, able to take over the other Dragon-blooded kingdoms, or even all of the old Shogunate; many of its old subjects and tributaries, especially the Seventh Legion in River Province took this opportunity to become independent.

In the wake of the Great Contagion and the invasion of the Fae, Luna declared that Civilization was a failed experiment that had left Creation weak and vulnerable. Investing power in mortals, and mixing that power with the Wyld, Luna created the Lunar Exalts, beings of fluid, nebulous power. Luna set the Lunars to the edges of Creation, the borders of the Wyld, and set them against the remnants of the Shogunate, attempting to break it apart forever. Both the Maidens and the Elemental Dragons protested this, but Gaia supported Luna, and the Unconquered Sun simply said, “Luna has the right to try.” So the Celestial Bureaucracy was ordered to make accommodations with these Lunars, although neither the Terrestrials nor the Elementals have ever truly made peace with them.

Indeed, the primary religion of the Realm (and the rest of the post-Shogunate states), the Immaculate Philosophy, developed a special killing team to deal with these new “Exalts”—whom the Immaculates quickly declared as ‘Anathema’—called the Wyld Hunt. The Wyld Hunt’s duty was to harry the harriers, to keep the Lunars from disrupting civilization. The creation of the Wyld Hunt was one of the few things that almost all of the various post-Shogunate states ever agreed upon.

This has lead to a balance of sorts that no one disbelieves makes Luna very happy. While the Realm has sufficient power to exert control over many of the Dragon-blooded (and almost all of the mortal) kingdoms along its periphery, it does not have sufficient power to break the strongest states and leagues. Those states and leagues, however, are perfect targets for the Lunar Hordes, and so cannot unify to destroy the Realm.

The Sidereals might be the deciding factor, except for three factors. First, due to the nature of their constant work and extreme oversight by the Gods, as well as their light-touch existence, they have trouble exerting the longterm influence necessary to counter the Lunar Horde. Second, as official agents of the Bureau of Destiny, they are at the behest of all of the Celestines. While the Maidens have more access to them, of course, than Luna, Luna is significantly more powerful than any one Maiden, and Gaia keeps her children from unifying the Elementals to present any petition to block Luna’s planned destiny.

Finally, however, not all Sidereals are of the mindset that unification under a new Realm would be a good idea. There are two main factions, the Bronze and the Silver factions. The Bronze faction is the most numerous and the most traditional. They feel that Creation worked better under the fist of the Shogunate, and therefore strive to return to that state. The second main faction is the Silver faction, which points to the unforeseen Great Contagion and subsequent Fae Folk invasions as proof that, even if civilization is not a failed experiment, it does, at least, require tempering. Disunity is therefore to be sought- diversity is their goal. There is a third ‘faction’ of Sidereals- a single Circle, to be precise. This Circle believes that it is long since time for a change, and searches constantly for a new method of changing the world.

Although the Bronze faction outnumbers both the Silver faction and the Lone Circle together by two to one, they are not often able to form any coherent bloc of dominance in fate-weaving or any other activities. This is because the Bronze faction has numerous sub-factions. The largest believes that the Realm is the best choice as an heir to the Shogunate, and the next-largest believes that Lookshy provides a better model. Various individual Sidereals have other favored pet Terrestrial polities.

Although the Unconquered Sun has not moved against Luna- and, indeed, has stopped all attempts to directly interfere with Luna- he has not been satisfied with the situation as it stands. The existence of the Deathlords, and the slow attempts at corruption brought about by the Yozis have not escaped his all-seeing eye, and he is quite aware of the Tribes of Madness at the borders. Unfortunately, he also knows that any attempts to directly intervene might destroy Creation for good this time.

Furthermore, Sol Invictus felt unsure of the fitness of any of the extant Exalted types to rule. They seem well suited to what they do- civilization for the Dragon-blooded, barbarians for the Lunars, and the Celestial for the Sidereals, but none seem to have a transcendence to them to unify all three. And so he pondered and meditated, waiting for an answer.

Alone, the Unconquered Sun traveled through the Wyld. He found where Autocthon lay, and for a time, contemplated using the Alchemical Exalts he found there to unify Creation. In the end, he discarded this idea, and instead chose to take the secret of making Exalts from the master, Autocthon, and return to Creation. His leaving, however, created a connection between Creation and the sleeping Machine God, one that the Alchemicals would later follow.

Back in Creation, the Unconquered Sun began to meticulously create Exalted shards of sufficient power to carry his Essence within them. Unfortunately, his designs were not entirely unnoticed by his enemies. Somehow, the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible made his way into the Unconquered Sun’s workshop and stole away half of the shards that had just been freshly made.

However, the shards contained much of the Unconquered Sun’s nature, and could not be so easily held by a single Deathlord. They scorched the Bishop, and by the time he returned to the Underworld, he was in such agony that the other Deathlords were able to pounce upon him and steal away most of the shards. However, their squabbles- and the burning light of the shards- permitted the Bishop to get away with an equal share to the others.

These shards, of course, were corrupted by the twisted arts of the Deathlords to create the horrific Abyssals. The very act of their corruption was enough of a blasphemy for the Unconquered Sun to be made aware of the theft, and grimly, he sped up the final production of his shards, and sent them secretly out into the world. Only Lytek, the God of Exaltation, and the Maiden of Secrets were aware of the new Exalts, and they kept it secret.

So it is on to this stage that the Solars, freshly born, have come. No past lives control them, but the world is not heavy with the weight of betrayal- or known weaknesses. The First Age as it is seen in the regular world of Exalted never existed, but, perhaps, the Solars can usher in a new Second Age, greater and brighter than before. There is more hope for them—but not perfect hope. The Great Curse still exists, though in a weakened form.

Although the Gods protected themselves from the death-curses of the Primordials, their protection, like the seals of the Primordials, were not perfect. This has manifested in the subtle politics and internal squabbles of the gods and elementals, but is also transferred to the Exalts in different ways. The Sidereal, Terrestrial, and Alchemical Exalts are unchanged. The Sidereal Great Curse is subtle to begin with, and relies on aspects of their power that are the most easiest for the Curse to warp, especially given how tied the Sidereals are to Virtues. The Terrestrial curse is just as it ever was- simple and weak-for there were no controls on their creation. Finally, Alchemicals simply do not suffer the Curse.

Lunars and Solars, however, have some hope in the matter of the Curse. The long-term corruptive effects are lessened, and most importantly, it is possible to reduce Limit without Breaking. By performing great Deeds in keeping with a Solar or Lunar’s primary Virtue, they can reduce their Limit total. Once completed, roll a number of dice equal to the level of the Deed; the number of successes is the amount of limit lost. While performing the deed, the character is not constrained from acting against their Virtue, but doing so may result in earning more Limit than they began with! The performance of Deeds should be negotiated between players and GMs so that they do not interfere with adventures; indeed, some Deeds may be the basis of adventures.

*             -    Minor act:  The character shows that he respects the virtue in question.  A Compassionate Exalt might 
 escort a child home through dangerous territory.
* *            -    Meritable Act:  The character shows that she can live in accordance with the virtue in question.  
 A Temperant Exalt might spend time in ascetic contemplation in a notorious house of ill repute.
* * *           -    Virtuous Act:  The character shows that he is an exemplar of his primary virtue.  A 
 strong-Conviction Exalt might sacrifice something of great personal value so that it will not be a distraction.
* * * *          -    Legendary Act:  The character shows that she champions her primary virtue.  A Valorous Exalt might 
 track down some terrifying monster or Behemoth in order to slay it.
* * * * *         -    Epic Act:  The character performs some deed that will create a myth of such proportions as to be 
 the very definition of his primary virtue for ages to come.  Such powerful deeds are left to the discretion of the GM.

There are a lot of other changes from a standard Exalted game as well. For one, there are significantly more Dragon-blooded- roughly ten times the usual number. As a result, even Threshold states like Lookshy have high incidences of Breeding. Most states that would have been ruled by mortals are instead ruled by Dragon-Blooded (use Lookshy Breeding rules). Sorcery and sorcerous education is more widespread since not as much of the ‘old knowledge’ was lost; the Sorcery background is widely available.

As a result of the high incidence of Dragon-blooded, the total lack of Twilights, and the relative distance of the other various Exalted, the artifact and other technology ratios in Creation have changed as well. There was no Solar Age, so merits like ‘First Age Workshop’ (and for that matter, Past Lives or Savant) are either irrelevant or altogether absent. As well, there are significantly more artifacts, because the Shogunate period had sufficient time to mature its technology (which was not based on irreplaceable Solar technology), but without the master-technicians of the Twilight Caste and lacking the Unity of the Solar Age, high-power artifacts are significantly rarer. As a result, all characters use the Abyssal artifact scale, as long as no artifact is above level 3. If a character desires an artifact 4 or 5, they must purchase that level of Artifact, and will only get that one particular artifact. All Exalted get at least 1 level 1 artifact, even if they do not purchase any Artifact levels.

The armaments of the various polities are similarly altered; half the amount of powerful creations such as Warstriders, Skywolves, Lightning Ballistae, etc., and outright remove anything specifically designed for Solars (Lunars would not produce for polities and Sidereals are extremely limited in what they can produce in Creation, so replacements would be quite rare). Of the half that is removed, if it is possible to substitute lower-powered versions (Common Warstriders for Dragon Armor, Noble Strider, or Royal Strider), do so. Weaponry that can be used by mortals such as gunshoza armor or powered shock pikes are significantly more common as well. Training in Essence Awareness and Essence Mastery as well as Thaumaturgy (especially the Sciences) is significantly more common, as well. For game purposes, Heroic Mortals have Essence Awareness as default, and may take ‘Untrained Essence’ as a two point flaw.

There are significantly less Solar-style First Age ruins (although Dragon King ruins are just as common as ever). Usually, it’s quite possible to dial down the power and threat of such ruins and their rewards and make them Shogunate ruins. Again, something specifically designed for or involving Solars (such as the sapient Warstrider north of Halta) should simply be erased; this includes Solar Tombs.

Jade, Starmetal, and Soulsteel production is mostly unchanged from regular Sorcerer and Savant rules. Moonsilver initiates are slightly more common (though just as hated by Lunars) outside of Lunars, because for millennia, Moonsilver had to be worked by other Exalts and spirits. Moonsilver is still found both within Creation and in the Wyld.

Orichalcum artifacts are a special case. Since Dragon Kings have the secret of its production, it is not obscenely rare, but it is still significantly less common than it otherwise might. Except for Solars, no character should have more than one orichalcum artifact. The Unconquered Sun, however, has produced at least one artifact of orichalcum for each of his new-born Solars; they may have as many as three.

Manses work similarly to artifacts- the scale is equal to the total in Dragon-Blooded as long as no Manse is above level 3. Manse Demesne levels can be added above 3, on a one-for-one basis; partially capped Demesnes are quite common. To get level 4 or 5, level 4 or 5 Manse must be taken and no other Manse or Demesnes may be taken. The number of uncapped and partially capped Demesnes in Creation contributes to the increased numbers of powerful heroic mortals as well.

The uncapped Essence flows also result in a number of creatures that would ordinarily have been created by Solars, such as the Eater of Poisons, being developed over the years. Not all are present; there are no Chilikins, for example, but Ink Monkeys do exist. In some cases, the history of certain spirits and creatures are different; Oliphem still walks the Seas with his eye intact and Proto Puma has not yet been matched, let alone transformed into Proto Puma Prime.

The ‘First Age Lunars’ described in Lunars exist, but with slightly different histories. Leviathan has not yet been interested enough in the ships of man to be a famous admiral, though he may one day be inspired once there are ships worthy of him. Raksi, Tammuz, and Ma-Ha-Suchi are all important members of the Silver Pact, although Raksi is significantly more sane than her original version. Lilith is something of a rogue Lunar; although in this universe, Lunars began with Changing Moons, she is, and has always been, the stealthy, wandering shadow in the night, and she may be among the first to encounter the newly created Solars.

For the various Merits and Flaws, use common sense. Greater Curse still exists, of course, but Known Anathema only applies at the higher levels to Lunar Exalted, and potentially, Abyssals. Solars and Alchemicals may purchase it as well; it represents the Wyld Hut believing that they are sufficient dangers to be hunted. Permanent Caste Mark is still worth 2 points for Solars and Abyssals, because their caste marks resemble those of Lunars, and are therefore suspicious at the very least. The same applies to Beacon of Power. Brigid has not yet been born, so the Merit is definitely known as Hesieh’s Legacy.

Dealing With…

Heroic Mortals

As stated earlier, there are a lot more heroic mortals than in regular Exalted. Indeed, it would probably be prudent to assume that all Elite troops or better are Heroic Mortals instead of Extras, although mere Elite Troops probably all have Untrained Essence. Essence training is extremely common for a number of reasons. The first is that in the absence of powerful Solar Age devices, Dragon-blooded have relied on numbers- their own and their troops’- to fuel crude Essence-burst weaponry such as Essence Cannons, and elemental weapons such as fire lances and shock pikes. The second is the extremely widespread number of Dragon-touched. Due to the larger number of Dragon-blooded, and resulting larger number of high-Essence Exalts, there are much more half-Caste available, and a number of carefully pruned persistent-Inheritance lines exist. The subsequent training of these half-Castes has improved the techniques for Essence-training across the board, both in Dragon-touched and heroic mortals alike. Finally, past a certain point, the education and training of Essence-awakening techniques simply became self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating.

As a side effect of the number of Heroic Mortals, slavery is a much riskier proposition, and responsible for a proportionately lower percentage of total labor. The possibility of a Terrestrial-level martial artist or sorcerer is a risk that all slave-takers must take, and the additional essence wielded by most mortals means that mortal thaumaturgy is significantly swifter and easier to perform. All of this means that slavery is a very risky trade indeed.

Dragon Kings

The Dragon Kings have a slightly more vibrant culture. Despite their lessening, they have never been entirely pushed off to one side. Rathess remains vibrant and alive; indeed, it is considered to be an important neutral power in the various wars between Threshold states and the Realm. The Dragon Kings still enact bloody rituals as well, although typically they sacrifice animals rather than humans, due to the new human primacy on the earth. Because of their connection both to the dragon form and the Unconquered Sun, they are considered to be especially holy by the Dragon-Blooded, and a contingent of Dragon Kings presided over the ceremonies passing power to both Ragara and Mnemon, and they performed similar rituals during the time of the Shogunate.


There is a lot more real confidence among the Dragon-blooded than in regular Exalted, and a significantly lot less desperate decadence. The Terrestrial civilization is almost entirely their own, carved from the post-Primordial War Creation. As well, without the corruption of the solar Age, there is no sense of entitlement to such decadence. The increased number of Dragon-touched and Essence-capable heroic mortals has also changed Terrestrial points of view on the world; they are less likely to view mortals as interchangeable or disposable.

Another major change among the Dragon-blooded is the sheer mass of their population. The increased numbers of Dragon-blooded are spread throughout much of creation. In places where Solar Age power should prop up a particular ruler or ruling class, such as the Perfect of Paragon, that ruler or class can be easily replaced by a Dragon-blooded ruling class. Dragon-blooded adventurers are also significantly more common, but since they are not as powerful as Solars, much of Creation is still filled with threats that would have been long exterminated in the Solar Age. This constant need for heroism also helps keep the Dragon-Blooded from becoming decadent; there is always something for an otherwise “useless” Dynast to do.

The Realm is extremely different as a result of all of these changes. Without Solar Age devices—or Solar shards to feed on- the first Empress died within the normal span of her life. She was succeeded by Ragara after the incident with Manosque Viridian, for health reasons, and died four decades later. Ragara spent most of his time fighting against Mnemon for control. Eventually, she succeeded him, only to disappear recently. Succession is theoretically the province of the Deliberative, but in practice, so far, the strongest family has managed to seize control. House Iselsi and House Nellens never had sufficient power to make plays, either for the Throne or for Great House status; as a result, they remain as an extant Great House and a Patrician House respectively. V’neef and other modern children were instead the children of Ragara, created in a desperate attempt to breed a counterbalance to his own House, which had expected far more control once he took the throne, so their Houses exist, with roughly the same power levels as in regular Exalted, despite the lack of the first Scarlet Empress to oversee them. Mnemon of course, brooked no such disorder in her own House.

In the current confused situation, the Realm is still on the edge of rebellion. The Bull of the North slaughtered the Tepet legion sent to try and break this new "God Blooded" or Lunar- Tepet was unsure- just as he did in normal Creation. An alliance of crippled Tepet, ambitious Cynis, and Ragara's house placed Tepet Fokuf on the regent's chair. House Ragara sees this as a way to influence control of the Realm in a confusing time, hopefully towards getting one of their own back on the throne. Unfortunately, it has mired them in political dispute with their "ally", Cynis, who see their ties to the Regent as being a way to protect themselves- and become a power behind the coming throne. And, of course, Tepet is desperately trying to hold on to its dignity and independence.

The Realm’s legendary defense grid is, in this incarnation, a jury-rigged method of harmonizing Manses that so far has not been duplicated by any of the Threshold States. Indeed, with the disappearance of Mnemon, it is unknown if any of the Empress’ remaining children or grandchildren could activate it once more. Lookshy’s “First Age” equipment is similarly crude in nature, with correspondingly less power and damage potential. As a result, the balance of power between the Realm and Lookshy remains mostly the same.


The largest change for the Sidereals (other than the replacement of the Gold Faction by the Silver) is that they are not arguing over what has been done as much as what must be done. There has never been a Great Prophecy, and thus, for the moment, there is no certainty as to what must be done. Because of the internal divisions already existent in the Sidereal hierarchy, it is unlikely that anything short of full invasion by the Yozis will bring them together to invoke such a prophecy.

If the Dragon-blooded are significantly more secure, than the Sidereals are significantly less. No faction has a guiding vision or strong example of what they must become or return to, and without the devices manufactured by Twilight master artisans, they have become significantly more dependent on the Gods for important devices. All of this increases the insecurity of the Sidereals. As a result, they have even more institutional paralysis than might have been expected by their factionalization.

Despite this lack of confidence, the Sidereals do have one area where they feel unchallenged. They have spent most of their existence as the most powerful beings in Creation, and while they are limited in the creation of new Charms to Martial Arts, no one in existence has been able to master those; even Lunars cannot (to the frustration of Silver Faction members). Sidereals therefore believe that they are the mightiest Exalts in Creation; even the newly created Lunars are considered beneath them. Lunars might have similar levels of Essence, but they do not have the age and development of the Sidereals.


Lunars are very different in origin and power than that of regular Exalted. Even the oldest of Lunars are roughly eight hundred years old, which means that none of them have progressed beyond Essence 8. Without the Solar Age and the Usurpation, their hatred of Civilization is more religious than personal. Raksi and Ma-Ha Suchi are subsequently less extreme in their views and actions. Raksi is still as lustful as ever, but she does not tend to eat her partners. She does, however, slaughter them all, eventually, and one or two have been eaten. Lilith, of course, is something of a rogue; she does not often fulfill her obligation to assault civilization, instead preferring to explore both the civilized and Wyld lands. The Lunars also have no experience with the Solars at all; there are certainly no existing Eternal Vows. However, they will find themselves strangely mirrored in the new Solars, and perhaps intrigued. Lunars still view Moonsilver as their personal property, and view those that have already been created as theirs to seize.

Lunars are still very much a part of the Wyld; tattooing is still a necessity for them. There have never been separate castes for the Changing Moons, though the potential for them to be separated exists. Chimeras are less ostracized due to the Lunars’ closer relationship with the Wyld, but are still not trusted or allowed power in Lunar society. Initiation into the Silver Pact is actually open to all Exalts and even heroic mortals and god-blooded if the can survive the rigors of the tests. The Silver Pact wants to recruit Dragon-blooded and other powerful individuals to their cause, both to sap at the strength of civilization and to add to their own. Without a personal hatred for the Dragon-blooded, the Lunars in general are far more open to their company. Lunars, like everyone else, use the 1-3/4-5 scale for artifacts and manses. Under most circumstances, tribes under their sway are bought as per the Command background, while Beastmen can be bought in Henchmen or Follower numbers, depending on the relative scale of their abilities.

Lunars have learned some Celestial Martial Arts from Silver Faction Sidereals; this is also where they learned sorcery. In general, Lunars treat Sidereals as equals (either as enemies or allies), much to the annoyance of the Sidereals, although the Silver Faction Sidereals tend to hide it well. Other than through violent death, which is not uncommon, no Lunar has reached the end of their Exalted lifespan. As a result, they both have substantially fewer past lives and substantially fewer high-Essence Charms; indeed, higher levels of Deadly Beastman Transformation may be all some elder Lunars have that requires Essence above 5. Since they cannot learn Sidereal-level Martial Arts, their Sidereal allies have been of no help; and a certain percentage of Silver Faction Sidereals believe that it is safest this way.


The Yozis are slightly less sane in this version of Creation, mainly because for the mot part they have been unable to let much of their souls out of Malfeas. Even with the Emerald Thurible and the Celestial-Level Sorcerers among the Sidereals and Lunars, Second Circle Demons are only rarely summoned. Most Third Circle demons have never been outside of Malfeas at all, and will be very unprepared for the Solars—but they will also see opportunity.

The Ebon Dragon has been collecting the souls of the leaders of the Empire for some time. He believes that it will be possible to recreate the harmonic effect that creates the defense grid and shatter the bonds that hold himself and his fellow Yozis captured. He is also certain- although he has not told the others this- that this will most likely involve significant amounts of damage to Malfeas at the very least, and possibly all of them; he is prepared to take that risk, although he greatly desires a way to remove the Fetich souls from Malfeas when this occurs, in order to preserve both life and personality.

The Deathlords (and Abyssals)

The Deathlords have almost entirely different histories than those of the regular Exalted universe. In this version of Creation, they were formed from the souls of powerful mortals who died during the Shogunate’s conquest of Creation. In personality, name, and most importantly power, they are roughly similar to regular Deathlords. They are significantly more hungry for power, though, having been denied it in life. The Deathlords are therefore inclined to grand sweeps of action and grasps for power; they are less subtle than their normal counterparts. As a result, there are roughly the same amount of shadowlands in Creation as there are in normal Exalted, despite the lack of Solar battles and Solar devices to create them.

Abyssals are very new to both Creation and the Underworld, having been fully corrupted at around the same time that the Solars were finished. Although none of them have Solar memories, they are also closer to the Solar source than Abyssals in regular Exalted. As a result, the difficulty of redeeming an Abyssal is roughly the same. Abyssals will be lead by the strong impulses of the Unconquered Sun rather than memories of Virtue; their internal conflicts will be much more primal.


The world is entirely new to Solars. They have no past lives to guide them, but they have no past sins to haunt them either. Everything lies in potential rather than heritage. All Solars also have the sort of private communication with the Unconquered Sun that Zeniths do at their Exaltation. Zeniths have much more common consultation with the Unconquered Sun, who tends to give them personal missions. As there are no Games of Divinity in this universe, his attention is much more fixed on the maintenance of Creation, and the Solars, especially Zeniths, are his chosen tools.

As a result of their unique creation, there is little to no madness among the current Solar Exalts. Maniacs like Lyta are either not chosen, or not encouraged in their madness yet, especially given the lack of a Gold Faction. The Lone Circle has not yet latched onto the Solars, and all of the Factions are currently unaware of the Solars.

Current Events

Most current events have not happened yet, although there is certainly the potential for them. The Bull of the North and his Circle are among the Chosen, and the Alchemicals have already begun to trace the Unconquered Sun’s route back to Creation. The Ebon Dragon has Mnemon, Ragara, and the Scarlet Empress’ souls, and is wondering whether or not he has the strength to break through the walls of his prison. The Deathlords have begun their march on Creation. Creation stands on the edge of total and complete transformation- or utter destruction.


Not entirely sure how much I like V'neef being born earlier. I mean for a certain degree of early is okay, but the way it sounds she would've been preeeeeeeeeetty old if she was actually the Empress's daughter. It might work better if she was Ragara's daughter given power during his reign or a daughter of another Great House given power to serve Ragara's agenda at the time.

If the families are essentially the same, after all, V'neef never would've gotten a Great House under Mnemon, being Mnemon. Competition from her children or some other House's child is not not something she would put up with anywhere, even in a parallel universe. ^_^ - Patkin

So noted- and so changed. I've also added a bit more about the houses. - IsawaBrian

Wow. This looks pretty well-thought-out. And interesting too, although I admit to being pretty puzzled as to your motivation (I can think of a few, but don't want to presume). Perhaps if you post some sort of explanation as to what your aim is for this setting, it would help people comment?
~ Shataina
PS: It occurs to me that in my most humble opinion, the Maiden of Secrets could just decide that the Sidereals are all weird and arcane-fate-y without needing to break herself to accomplish it, as long as it was her aim.

Thank you. As for motivation- sheer boredom and a desire to delink Exalted from the relentless progression into the WoD. I like having brighter options available, so... *shrugs* I found myself waiting for a friend, with an hour or so to kill. Random *blip!* in the head. Random blip becomes work done over another day plus editting. >.> My brain works like that. - IsawaBrian

Do you mind if I poach this a bit for another project? - MoonSword

Sure, go ahead! It's out there to help people. I'd appreciate knowing what it is when you're done, of course! -- IsawaBrian

I just want to say that I love this setting. It is a very interesting look on Creation. Glad you posted it. I do have a question, what changes do you think this setting would have on the Mountain Folk - Heru

Thank you very much. As for the Mountain Folk... Hmm. Tough one. It's my inclination to say that the castes exist naturally for them, rather than being an effect of the Great Geas; perhaps with some similar effects to the Geas preventing them from going above ground. That way, they couldn't have taken over after the loss of the dragon kings, since the Terrestrials having a major rival would ruin a lot of what I wanted here. Actually, I need to take another look at this portion of my work, too, to see (a) what's up with the mountain folk and (b) what's up with Autochthon. I think I wrote this prior to Authochthon coming out and during a phase when I was grumpy at the Fae book. Worth thinking about-- thanks! -- IsawaBrian
Have Autocthon bind them. All you need is a decent reason for him to do it and then let him lay down the smack. I'm not familiar with them (since I don't own anything from 1E other than GoD and the Player's Guide) and all I know is what I've picked up from forums and the Wikis, so I don't know why he did at the first time (something about the Solars, right?). Still, if he did it once, he can do it again. Aren't they fighting someone down there? Who says he didn't make them to fight that enemy? - MoonSword
While I think having Autochthon bind them is the easiest reason, the question of why he would do that is harder to answer. In canon he did it cause the Solars felt threatened by the Mountain Folk. The Solars asked the Unconquered Sun and he ordered Auto to bind them. That sort of thing won't happen in this setting as the Terrestrials have no right to demand anything from the Unconqered Sun who has no reason to demand the binding. Maybe the binding against them happened by another Primordial during the War, a final death strike if you will. This would make sense and could explain why Auto eventually leaves, he wishes to find a way to save his creations. The thing is that you wnat to limit them to the underworld and remove them as a threat to the surface. While typing this I had another thought: Yu-Shan. In the First Age of canon Yu-Shan was orderly and well-maintained, entirely due to the Solars. In this version you have a different thing: no Solars to maintain order but a Unconquered Sun who is paying attention. So its interesting to think how the spiritual side of Creaiton would like. -Heru
I need to reread the Fae book section on them and the underdwellers to get a good idea, but my basic concept is going to be that they weren't bound in the first place-- that, like the noble vs. commoner fae, the castes and Enlightened Artisans and Enlightened Non-Artisans were always present as a division. I suspect I'm going to make the earth and What Lies Beneath _holy_ to them-- rather than not being able to come up, they never WANTED to. They had an immense underground civilization that was only above ground on Meru itself (thus providing nice ruins on the Imperial Mountain to replace the first age ones). Let's see... let's say that they, like the Dragon Kings, supported the rebellion of the Gods. Instead of being wiped out like the Kings, the bloody descendants of slain Primordials bubbled up into their holy places, causing a millenia-long war that still continues to this day.--IsawaBrian