TheThirdAge

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Moved from DeathBySurfeit/TheThirdAge

Contents

Introduction

After the Autocthonian invasion, after the fall of the great houses of the Scarlet Dynasty, after the second coming of Autocthon, after his fusing with the flesh of Gaia, after the fall of Heaven and the rise of Reality, after the rapacious Baalorian Crusade washes across Creation's surface, after the polarisation of life between the unthinking masses of the Sovan Arc and the unspeakable horror of the Wastes, after all hope for happiness has fled... there is the Third Age.

The Third Age is a project to detail the world in the wake of the Machine God's return and the end of the Age of Sorrows. This bleak world, its very surface a fusion between Autocthon's mechanical flesh and Gaia's bounteous earth, bears more in common with the dark cyberpunk feel of Blade Runner and steampunk aesthetic of Casshern than the traditional fantasy of Exalted. Whilst I'll be penning a lot of material, the Wiki is ideally designed for communal projects; as such, I openly invite ideas, suggestions and contributions from other Wikizens throughout.

Contents

  1. TheThirdAge/Glossary - Terms and words used distinct from canon Exalted, for easy reference.
  2. TheThirdAge/History - Chronicles detailing the fall of the Second Age, and events leading up to the present day in the Third Age.
  3. TheThirdAge/Setting - Cultures, regions and locales unique to the Third Age, or irrevocably changed by the flow of time.
  4. TheThirdAge/Heroes - The Exalted of old gods, ruling Alchemicals and other characters caught in the grip of Reality.
  5. TheThirdAge/Technology - Gadgets, machines and artifacts developed over the course of the many catacylsms.
  6. TheThirdAge/MartialArts - The essence-recalibrative martial arts designed to turn Dragon-Blooded into dedicated adherents of Autocthonian faith.

Influences

I'm a big fan of using movies and other media to fire everyone up before playing Exalted; it's also useful to relate ideas you have as an ST, or inspire them. So, here's a list of what you should watch to get a real feel for the Third Age.

Wonderful Days: Also known as Sky Blue in its original Korean (a version that has a slightly better plot, as well), this tale of urban ecoterrorism in a fragmented future, romance and self-actualisation is the film to watch for Resistance campaigns.
Equilibrium: Although the struggle isn't entirely relatable, the astonishing gun-fu and delicious settings are key to anyone wanting stylistic inspiration.
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence: The Northern Corporate Zone is an excellent rendition of how I imagine Sova to be; the vistas of towering gothic spires through mist is perfect, as well as the mazy metropolis beneath.
Samurai Seven: Fairly good anime series. However, it has brilliant examples of Augs, and the canyon slum is perfectly at home as an undercity in Yugash or Estasia.
Metroid Prime: The industrial/mine area here provided the aesthetic inspiration for Gulak.
Global Astroliner: A music video by the people that did Gorillaz's work, it really captures the feel of Claslat's hybrid culture.

Feedback

(moved from the history discussion) The idea occurred to me and wouldn't let go until I put it to paper. Many hours later the result, a brief summary of the history but not present of the setting, is above. The question is whether it bears merit - is there demand for a dark steampunk setting for Exalted? Does this fit the bill? Should I write up the rest of my thoughts? Do I ask too many questions? All comments, suggestions and such are more welcome than ever...DeathBySurfeit

I'm definitely interested in this setting. I especially like the touch about the exalted shards carrying the memories of the past. Most people overlook that they have to to scrubbed clean in between incarnations. And out of curiosity, Do you have any plans for the Jadeborn? - apeman
I'm most certainly interested in this. I'd love to play a Solar in this setting. Write more. Like... now. And, like... if you want, we can help. Communal projects are cool. ~ Seiraryu
I say you can't have too many steampunk settings. :) Go for it! The only thing I would note is that without pruning, Celestial Exalts are more likely to be slightly insane than more enlightened. - FrivYeti
I was saying to DBS here that an Alchemical game in this age would be more cyberpunk than steampunk, kinda like Exalted: Stand Alone Complex ^_^ - Trithne, who probably deserves to be shot now.

It's settled, then. The very moment I finish polishing of DBSInfernalExalted, I'll begin work on the Third Age setting with full gusto. With regards the comments made:

  1. The Jadeborn would have persisted, and were likely major contributors to the Sova nation's improved standing in the wake of the Baalorian Crusade. I would infer that they now inhabit the Reaches beneath Sova cities, having re-engineered them into mighty underground fortresses.
  2. Celestial Exalts would indeed be troubled by remnants of their former selves; I'm considering rewriting the Limit rules and placing a stronger emphasis on flashbacks to reinforce this.
  3. I'm happy to do the core work myself, but even more eager to incorporate others' ideas and suggestions into the setting. Any thoughts you might have are welcome brainfodder, and if anyone wants to write up specific characters, locations or novel Charms they get both thummbs up from me.

Keep one eye open for developments as they come...DeathBySurfeit

  1. Would the Great Geas have been lifted? If so the Jadeborn would be more than just contributors to the Sova. As the Auto book implies you'd have 10 million super-brilliant essence wielders who spent the last few thousand years becoming very, very militant. I don't see why Auto wouldn't restore the Mountain Folkk. They were, after all, his most beloved creations.
  2. For Celestials you might consider a new trait similar to the flaw Throwback. He would actually have two natures. One for him and one for his shard. This would mainly have effects on roleplaying I think but it my cause dice penalties in some circimstances. With two different natures influencing his actions and causing indecision. And like the Throwback flaw if his essence went above his willpower that nature would be dominant. Would make personal relationship tough. - apeman

Awaiting 2nd edition to polish off my rendition of the Infernal Exalted, I thought it'd be a sterling idea to upload my notes here and begin construction of the Third Age setting in earnest. Your thoughts and contributions are solid orichalchum to me; let me have them! ...DeathBySurfeit

Hey! This does look interesting, but I do have a few questions.

Given that the celestial exaltation can pick ANYONE, the odds are you'll end up with heroic Autochtonians who get shot and filled up with a shaft of golden, silvery or starry essence goodness. Would not the Autochtontians also get access to the celestial exalts, at least those who want to stay within their own innate society? ~ haku who does like the 3rd age.

Acutely observed, there! I was intending to write up something on experiences of different Exalt types in the Third Age shortly, but didn't want to give away too much IC info to my, err, beta-testers. That said, I think I'll do so anyway. But to answer your question! Yes, the Autocthonians have access to celestial exalts within their own ranks - however, their dogma has branded them a sin against Autocthon's design for Reality, and they seek to capture them at all costs. But they are never used, so what is their agenda? Oo-ee-oo. A celestial exalt's life is never simple, is it? ...DeathBySurfeit, who likes it too, but you probably guessed that already
Well... it's more along the thoughts of 3rd age solars, lunars and sidereals captured by the sovan arc, and hit with a metropolis or a patrolis using the personality over-riding spike (with that memory rewriting charm backing it) and a charm to boost the die roll to literally rewrite the celestial exalts' memories and mind. ~ haku who thinks it would be cool to have celestial exalted PCs encounter converted exalts for enemies...
Sounds like a fine plan to me. However, I think I'll give STs some wiggle room and leave it undefined, so their own devious schemes can come into play...DeathBySurfeit

Question....why haven't the Autochtonians been trying to get the celestial recycled? That'd sort of solve the problem with them....unless I am missing something. - Azurelight

That's another good mechanism of dealing with them; I wanted to make it clear that they were after the Celestials for something, but open for the Storyteller's speculation as to what exactly for. I believe every good setting should have metaplot flexibility, kinda like how mainstream Exalted leaves the Scarlet Empress / Ebon Dragon / Infernal Exalted question unanswered...DeathBySurfeit

Point taken. I just wanted to know if it was a possibility. - Azurelight

If you find yourself running low on inspiration, you should go and play FF12. I believe the point where the wyld-mutated dunefolk surfaced from the sea of liquid sand on the backs of flying fish to attack the abandoned oil derriks was the moment that in particular reminded me of this... but it's generally good for third age and exalted in general.
-- Darloth

Thanks for the tip! I've added some good inspirational material - just a few off the top of my head. I'll be adding more as I think of them, but I welcome submissions from anyone else too! ...DeathBySurfeit

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