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The Wyld Hunt bugs me.


We have the Bronze Faction Sidereals who essentially run the Bureau of Destiny. They can predict where new Sidereal shards are going to show up, despite Arcane Fate, yet they can't do the same to the Solar shards (which seem far less subtle to me). They can see the future and have the resources of Heaven and the Realm at their disposal, yet they let dozens of young, inexperienced Solars slip through their grasp.

Are they that incompetent?

It seems implausible. Instead, I've decided that in standard Exalted games I run that the Sidereals have been explicitly forbidden to participate in the Wyld Hunt. This seems to make more sense to me anyway. Supposedly, the Unconquered Sun is no longer turning his back on the Solars, so there is no reason for him to not outlaw support of the Wyld Hunt in Yu Shan. This would rob the Bronze Faction of their ability to use the Bureau of Destiny as a tool (at least in any direct sense). They'd be stuck using the not-inconsiderable-but-currently-disorganized resources in the Realm and even then they'd have to be circumspect about it.


It's not that they are incompetent. Originally, the Wyld Hunt did a great job of killing newborn Solars because of the Sidereal influence. Now, not only has the Realm has become a bit more introverted, but the Sidereals have lost some of their control on the hunt. Also, and the Jade Prison popped. These 3 factors account for more Solars escaping the wrath of the Wyld Hunt, at least in my book.
-- DarkWolff

It doesn't seem plausible to me. Why have the Sidereals lost some of their control on the hunt? If they have - and they care - why don't they just kill the Solars themselves? It isn't as though newly-exalted Solars are going to but up much of a fight against a Sidereal Martial Artist who attacks from surprise. The best thing I've come up with is a limitation on official involvement. -szilard
Partially because of the disappearance of the Empress (she was fed a decent amount of information), and partially because the Sidereals have lost their hold on the Immaculate Order. Granted, an experienced Siddy Level MAist could take out a new Solar, there only are 100 Sidereal Essences; and probably only around 60 or 70 are Bronze Faction. Now, let's says half of them are Siddy Level MAists, that leaves around 35 at most as compared to around 150-200 Solars? I'd say the Siddy hit squads are only reserved for especially problematic Solars (like the Bull of the North, but the Sidereal have already failed in stopping him.)
-- DarkWolff
Per the book, there are 100 Sidereal Essences, of which 80 are active at any one time (the other 20 being bound to the destinies of children, waiting to Exalt again, or else being semi-rogues off on their own weird tangents and no longer paying much attention to orders). I'd guess no more than 45 active Bronze Faction Sidereals, and the most powerful of those are stuck in office jobs. --MF

The Bronze Faction can't just go kill the Solars themselves; there are far too few Sidereals and far too many things constantly going wrong with the weave of fate, and the Gold Faction can use bureaucratic tactics to delay and divert anyone who gets assigned to a hunt. The Sidereals always depended on the Dragon-Blooded to provide most of the resources for the Wyld Hunt, and with the Houses of the Realm skimming taxes and calling legions back to the Blessed Isle in preparation for civil war, the support just isn't there any more. That's the canonical explanation as I understand it. --MF

I realize that's the canonical explanation, it just doesn't ring true to me. Lets say that there are, at a minimum, five decently powerful Bronze faction Sidereals who are really dedicated to wiping out the Solars (to the point that they don't mind getting their hands dirty) and that they have at least the nominal support of the other 40ish members of the Bronze Faction plus a couple acquaintances who are decently powerful Dragon-Bloods and/or spirits. While it seems possible that they'd fail to utterly wipe out the newly-Exalted Solars, it seems exceedingly unlikely to me that they wouldn't make an incredibly huge dent. -szilard
Except they realize that the Solars will just come back again and again, because they can't be in that many places at once. It would require another Jade Prison (or something of a similar level) to stop them, and there isn't enough manpower to do that. Also, many spirits fear the Solars, newborn or not. They remember how disgustingly powerful Solars can get.
-- DarkWolff
Now that might make for an interesting game... probably best for only two to three players, and with a much darker, more paranoid slant. Start them off with enforced Weak Essence and perhaps a few less charms, give them a few other advantages... and then throw sidereal assassins against them (carefully). The players would be continually fighting to survive, but some people might like that sort of thing. Exalted:Survival Horror? (Well, being chased by people who can walk like a spider and jump a quarter of a mile at you before removing one of your organs -are- fairly horrific... and there's a glut of zombies around in Creation. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch.)
-- Darloth
I believe that legal starting Solars would be better suited for this game. Remember that the Sidereal MAists have had a few centuries to work on their skills, while the Solars are newly reborn; that's a huge disadvantage already. -- Nabeshin

Alright, here's my take on this, such as it is. Assume you have 20 Bronze Sidereals actively engaged in whopping the ass of newly Exalted Solars. There are 150 Solar essences bopping about, so that's 7.5 Solars per badass kung fu master. Now, the sids can predict where the essences will Exalt, and they do, and each assassin gets a list of seven or eight targets.

Problem 1: Getting there. Creation is big. Big. By the time your assassin gets to say, PoDunk village in the middle of nowhere, there's no guarantee that your Solar is still there. Now the assassin has to rely on 'mundane' tracking. Astrology might help, but that Solar is already using essence to warp reality to suit himself, making astrology tricky to use on him, and if I remember rightly Sidereal tracking charms aren't up to much.

Problem 2: Recurrence. Let's assume that our newly Exalted Solar hasn't gone very far, and the assassin wastes him in short order. In a short while, he's going to be back. Meanwhile, the other six or seven guys on your list have been moving about, getting allies and learning badass kung fu of their own. Each one is going to more difficult to track down and harder to kill than the last. And while you're off doing that, the first guy has popped up again and is moving about, getting allies, etc. It's like whack-a-rat. Smacking one down is easy, but when you have to deal with lots at once, some are going to slip through eventually.

Problem 3: Other people. The Gold faction are interfering. They have badass kung fu masters as well. First age Lunars are interfering, and you don't even want to know what they can do to you, Grandmother Spider Mastery or not. (And they're immune to GMS Style's instant death attack, to boot.) The Abyssals are all over the place, too, and that's going to double your workload eventually. Not to mention fair folk and demonic incursions. You could be called away from hunting your Solar at any time to fix a sudden reality breach. And all those flaming meetings in Heaven.

I figure this is why the Siderals relied on the Dragon-Bloods to do this particular bit of dirty work. They have the numbers, and powerful DBs can potentially take a newbie Solar one-on-one - not that they'd got to be powerful by ever fighting anything one-on-one. The Sidereals just point them at the enemy and clean up any stragglers, leaving them plenty of time to poke around with destiny. But now there are so many more Solars (the Jade Prison thing) and suddenly the DBs are a lot less interested in chasing ancient demigods than attempting to do each other over, it's all coming apart at the seams.

Finally, (I promise,) there's the Sidereal great curse. Arrogance. The best solution to any problem is always whatever the Sidereals have already decided on. 'The Plan' might not make much sense, but it's clearly the best plan there can be. I mean, if it wasn't, the Sidereals wouldn't be using it, right?...

-- Falcon