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The All-Consuming Jade Prison: An Explosion Of Exalts
When the Sidereals crafted the Jade Prison, they did so to remove the Solar Exalted from the world. However, what if their construction of the Prison was inefficient, or even flawed? What if many Exaltations were trapped by the Prison, waiting to return to the world all at once?
The Usurpation: Preparation
As the Sidereals prepared for the Great Betrayal, knowing the pain and sorrow that it would cause but convinced that this was the only way that they could maintain the world, they crafted the Jade Prison - a massive creation of jade and starmetal, designed based on stolen plans for Lytek's own cabinet. The plan for the Prison was simple; the Sidereals would temporarily disable Lytek's cabinet. Normally, this would simply result in the Solar Exaltations fleeing to find new hosts, but at the same time, the Prison would be attuned to the fabric of the Loom. Solar Exaltations would confuse the Prison for Lytek's own cabinet, and nestle within it. Then, the Prison could be sealed off, keeping the Exaltations safely contained until the end of time. The Exaltations would never try to flee, waiting patiently to be recovered, and the Sidereals could set about guiding the world properly.
The Prison was crafted with the aid of several gods and a few Lunars, all of whom kept their involvement highly secret. It took dozens of craftsmen hundreds of years to create it, using dozens of exotic components, and the Solars nearly discovered it on three seperate occasions - in the most notable, the Sidereals were forced to sacrifice one of their own as a scapegoat that they claimed was seeking his own power. However, in the end, the Prison was completed, and the Sidereals set their plans into motion.
The Usurpation: The Calibration Feast
On the night of the Usurpation, the Sidereals and their Terrestrial pawns put everything into motion. Massive astrologies were put into place to assist the rebels and impede the Kings of Creation. Essence-impeding drugs were slipped into the food and drinks of any Solar not likely to recognize them, and hordes of demons were summoned to do the bidding of the Sidereals. A few Lunars were recruited, but not very many; the Sidereals could not be sure which were under the thrall of the Solars, and which were free. As most of the Solars in Creation met in Meru for the Calibration Feast, the Dragon-Blooded resistance crystallized in a moment and mobilized for war.
At the Feast itself, violence exploded instantly. Sidereals unleashed their Greater Signs, shattering Solar magics, empowering the weapons of their allies, and whisking themselves to safety, as the Terrestrials unleashed all of their greatest artifact weapons against the Feast, delivering blasts of energy, songs of horror, and ripples in reality that wounded or killed Solars outright, before moving in for the kill. The Lunars fragmented; some turned on their mates, seeing a chance to avenge years of pain, while others stood beside them and many simply fled the confusion. Even then, the Solars reacted. Within ten seconds of the fight's beginning, over half the Solars at the feast were dead, along with dozens of Lunars and eight Sidereals who had not fled quickly enough.
By the end of the night, the bloody work was all but over. Twenty-four Solars escaped the massacres co-ordinated across Creation, but the rest were slain where they stood. Alongside them, a hundred and twenty Lunars fell, either defending or attacking their comrades, as did tens of thousands of the Dragon-Blooded, slain even in victory. The Sidereals, better prepared by far, lost only ten of their number.
However, it was not only the Solar Exaltations that fled into the Jade Prison. When the Sidereals broke into Lytek's office and disabled his cabinet, they failed to realize that all Exaltations would be confused by the Prison, expecting Lunar or Sidereal Exaltations to simply seek out new hosts. Instead, every Exalt that died that night left their Essence within the Prison, which the Sidereals quickly sealed shut.
The war against the escaped Solars was brutal. Even as few as they were, they raised every weapon they could find, rallied a few dozen Lunars to fight alongside them, and struck from concealment at the Sidereals and Terrestrials. By the time, ten years later, that the last of them fell, they had brought down a full thirty more Sidereals and hundreds of thousands of Terrestrials. Those Lunars not at the forefront of the fight fled into the Wyld, not willing to be caught in a Creation-destroying war, and the Sidereals fell back as best they could from active fighting - but they needed to advise and direct their soldiers, and thus fell prey to Solar attacks. Finally, however, it was over. With the elder Solars dead, the Wyld Hunt was instituted to deal with the rest, and the Sidereals kept careful watch for any Solars who might have escaped, tracking their deaths one by one over the next centuries.
It was only then that the cost of the victory became apparant. A hundred and twenty Lunar Exaltations were lost alongside those of the Solars. The Sidereals could not create another Prison, but the Lunar elders did not know this; panicked and fearful, they instituted a policy of secrecy and hiding that persists to the present day. The Sidereals lost only ten of their number, but even that loss was keenly felt; they also withdrew, treating each older Exalt as a precious resource that should not be spent unless the situation was truly dire.
When the Deathlords sought out the Jade Prison, they were only vaguely aware that there were Exaltations other that the Solar within it. Their focus was on the Solars, and they made little effort to prevent the other Exaltations from escaping. Because of this, over a hundred newly-Exalted Lunars joined their Solar brethern in the dawn of the Age of Sorrows; the Silver Pact was able to manage it, but encouraged their new younglings to form packs with one another, reinforcing their abilities. The Sidereals simply accepted their returned companions, adding them to badly-depleted rosters as their elders began to die.
Now, the Silver Pact is reinvigorated, and the Sidereals are afraid. The Solars walk the world, the Lunars shake off their lethargy and paranoia to fight once again, and the Bureau of Destiny has gained little strength by comparison.