Exalted: A Tale in the Time of Tumult

Exalted Types: an Overview

a part of “Exalted: A Tale in the Time of Tumult”, a fictional universe by Wake.

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Exalted Types: an Overview

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:19 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu6zaGC23Qo&t=350s

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In the game, you (generally) play an Exalt, one of the chosen of the Incarnae (or one of the other options… I’ll explore those later). Generally speaking, you are a human granted awesome power as a result of your deeds or will.

This is one of the important parts of Exalted. You don’t Exalt randomly. Your character EARNED his Exaltation, and while each type of Exalt earns theirs differently, the fact remains that your character stood out in some way, went above and beyond even as a mortal, and somehow attracted the attention of the Exaltation itself.

Another important facet of Exaltation is that the Exaltation chooses the host. There is a god of Exaltation (Lytek, he’s awesome), and both he and the relevant Incarna can guide and influence the Exaltation as it shoots invisibly through Creation seeking a host, but in the end, the Exaltation makes the choice. The Exalted are not beholden to their creators or controlled by them in any way.

Exalted revolves heavily around what has been dubbed “protagonism,” the idea that your characters are, in fact, the protagonists of the story and their choices are important. While there are things that can limit or even remove that choice, they are rare, and your character usually has ways, whether through magic or narration, to avoid those circumstances. In the end, like the Exaltation, nothing shackles your character mentally.

Nothing, that is, except the Great Curse. Like all White Wolf games, there is a type of morality mechanic, though Exalted’s is less heavy-handed. Every character has what is known as a Virtue Flaw: a condition that puts mental stress on the character and pushes the Great Curse ever closer to expressing its unique madness. When the character encounters this condition, he gains Limit, which, when it reaches 10, explodes in a torrent of cathartic madness in an event known as Limit Break.

There are other things that inflict Limit, but mostly it’s just gained through the Virtue Flaw. And this is the only thing that cannot be resisted by Charms. In fact, it’s usually inflicted by the player onto the character when it’s fun. It’s a heroic flaw, like Hercules’ temper, that leads to interesting situations.

Characters in Exalted are all “heroic” in the Greek sense. They are larger-than-life, capable of truly amazing actions, and always, always the focus of the stories around them. However, they don’t have to be what we would call “good.” Some of them are serial killers, some are noble warriors, thieves, assassins, whores, paladins, priests, sorcerers… anything and everything, so long as the character is impressive and willing to use the power they have been granted. The one thing Exalted characters prohibit is a passive nature. In the following post I'm going to try to explain more in detail each of the exalted types and the different cast within these types.
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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:37 am

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In Exalted, the default assumption is that you will play one of the Exalted, and probably one of the Solar Exalted, though there are plenty of other options. Each type of Exalted has a number of Castes, thematic variations on the overall style of that Exalt. Solars have five Castes: Dawn, Zenith, Twilight, Night, and Eclipse. I’m going to start with the Solars, and I’m going to start with the Dawn Caste.

The Dawn Caste are the warriors, generals, archers, soldiers, and otherwise martially inclined members of the Solar host. This is not to say that other Solars can’t fight (that’s patently untrue, and would make the game boring), but none of them are so naturally inclined toward it as the Dawns. Every Solar Caste has five Caste Abilities, skills that they are inherently likely to know and improve easily. For the Dawn, those Abilities are Archery, Martial Arts, Melee, Thrown, and War.

In the First Age, while every Solar was expected to know the basic tactics of war, none mastered it as easily and thoroughly as the Dawns. Their lives were defined by conflict. While all the Exalted were designed as weapons against the Primordials, the Dawns were the best and brightest, and it was they who led the assaults on the Primordials. One, Queen Merela, single-handedly slew a Primordial with nothing more than her fists.

In the Second Age, the Time of Tumult, the re-emerging Dawns are finding their place, and it is in conquest. They are barbarian warlords gathering savages into an unstoppable army like the Bull of the North, the sly generals who undermine local authority even as they claim to support it with their mercenaries, or just the wandering soldiers for hire who leave trails of grateful worshippers in their wake.

The Dawn Caste lack a lot of love from the player base because so much of their natural ability is tuned toward fighting. Now, everyone wants to play a badass, but not everyone wants to play a character who can ONLY fight, especially when, mechanically, making a badass of any other Caste is just as easy. However, the Dawns do have their niche. They are the characters who understand conflict, and just as often try to circumvent it as embrace it. They know what fighting and killing truly mean, both personally and tactically, and there are stories that can be told around that. If your goal is to play a character who can kill a man with anything he picks up, who can lead troops into the mouth of Hell, who can stand alone before a rampaging behemoth and know that, in the end, the behemoth will be dead, then you may want to look at the Dawn Caste.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The Zenith Caste Solar Exalted are its priests, orators, mountain men, prophets, and believers. While the one thing that unites the Dawn is conflict, the one thing that unites the Zenith is faith. Fortunately, this doesn’t HAVE to be a religious faith (though it certainly can be, and most often is – the Zenith are the priests of the Unconquered Sun, and are the only type of Solar Exalted guaranteed to receive a vision from him at the moment of Exaltation). Zenith can have faith in a god, in a system, in human nature, in themselves, in strength of arms… but whatever the Zenith believe, they Believe it.

The Caste Abilities of the Zenith are Integrity (resistance to mental influence), Performance (speaking to groups), Presence (speaking to individuals), Resistance (resistance to physical influence), and Survival (knowledge of the wilderness). They are extraordinarily self-reliant, the image of the man who wanders alone into the desert and returns ten years later as a prophet. They are (generally) charismatic, indefatigueable, unswerving paragons of their causes. This does mean they have an unusually high number of fanatics among them, but often, they are fanatics of pure, noble, and even Holy causes.

The Zenith are the guardians of the spirit and soul, warding off threats from the Fair Folk, ghosts, demons, and other, worse things. In Creation, “Holy” means imbued with the power of the Unconquered Sun, and “Creature of Darkness” means shunned by the Unconquered Sun. The Zenith are undoubtedly Holy (and have numerous magical powers that allow them to flex this Holy muscle), and they hunt and destroy Creatures of Darkness with a powerful zeal. It is the Zenith who are the spiritual (and often temporal) leaders among the Solars, and the staunchest defenders against the horrible, black, creeping things that scuttle at the edges of Creation.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:43 am

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The third Caste of Solar Exalted is the Twilight Caste, the inventors, sages, scholars, surgeons, investigators, and sorcerers. The Caste Abilities of the Twilight are Craft, Investigation, Lore (history, literacy, general education), Medicine, and Occult. Of the types of Solar Exalted, the Twilight are the only Solars who are guaranteed facility with Sorcery, though others can certainly learn it.

In the First Age, the Twilights were the lorekeepers, the inventors, the producers and maintainers of wondrous artifacts, and the inventors of new Charms and spells that expanded on the Exalted’s natural abilities. They were the driving force behind the Black Nadir Concordat, the group that entered the Underworld to learn Necromancy. Ever pushing, ever seeking new knowledge and new magic, they were often the most esoteric (and sometimes the most horrific) of the Solars.

As they return in the Second Age, they find themselves with memories of a wondrous time, while they live surrounded by ignorance and squalor. Most of them have devoted themselves to rediscovering lost lore, spells, magic, artifacts, or whatever else they feel needs to be recovered from the ruins of the First Age. Others have sworn to learn from the lessons of their previous incarnations and learn NEW lore, rather than building on the (obviously!) faulty technologies of the First Age.

Whatever their path, however, the Twilight are most likely to change the face of the world in new or long-forgotten ways, to discover (or re-discover) the magitechnical procedures that expanded Creation, defended it from encroachers, and made life pleasant and easy for most of Creation. They will change the world through knowledge.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The fourth Caste of Solar Exalted is the Night Caste, the assassins, thieves, spies, con men, gymnasts, and all-around swashbucklers of the Solars. Their Caste Abilities are Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Larceny, and Stealth, and they use that (incredibly awesome) toolset to solve their problems with… creative solutions.

That, in fact, is the hallmark of the Night. While Dawns solve their problems through straightforward if creative violence, the Night are all about finding unusual and unpredictable solutions to problems that can’t be solved directly. That said, Solars are all about overcoming obstacles through sheer awesome, and the Night are no different. While their creative solutions often involve unconventional methods, their magic is still about throwing massive handfuls of dice at their enemies. Need to be subtle? Well, roll more dice on your “bein’ subtle” roll!

In the First Age, the Night were the spymasters, the ringleaders of organized crime, and the magistrates who kept their eyes on their fellow Solars. They were the silent shadows who slipped into the staterooms and bedchambers of the enemies of the Solar Deliberative and eliminated the problems quietly and finally.

In the Second Age, the Night are finding fertile ground in which to plant their seeds. Criminal empires thrive in every city in Creation, and the Night have little problem co-opting those organizations, either directly or indirectly. They make contacts in every corner of the globe, dealing in information and, often, life itself. Whether the noble firebrand who quietly whips an oppressed populace into revolt or the greedy assassin who murders noble and ignoble alike, the Night Caste has plenty of room to thrive.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:47 am

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The fifth and final Caste of the Solar Exalted is the Eclipse. These are the ambassadors, the travellers, the explorers, the diplomats, and the linguists of the Solars. Their Caste Abilities are Bureaucracy, Linguistics, Ride, Sail, and Socialize. They can pilot any ship, ride any beast, speak any language, navigate any government, and blend into any court.

The best thing about Eclipses, however, is their anima power. Each Caste has its own anima power which, when used, gives them some sort of ability. I haven’t mentioned them before now, because, while the other anima powers are neat, they’re rarely central to a concept. They augment concepts, certainly, but they’re not central. The Eclipse, however, have the power to bind others into oaths that, if broken, bring doom and misfortune on the heads of the breakers (including, potentially, the Eclipse himself).

In the First Age, the Eclipse were the Caste that held the Solar Deliberative together. They ventured into the Wyld and the Underworld, making pacts with Fair Folk, demons, and ghosts alike, and negotiating truces between all these potentially hostile beings and Creation. They negotiated truces between warring Exalted as well, keeping Creation running smoothly. They reinforced existence itself through clever use of language, finance, and bargains struck with eldritch beings.

In the Second Age, the Eclipse are returning to a world in chaos, and they are thriving. Everywhere they turn, diplomats and ambassadors are desperately needed, so much so that many places are willing to overlook an Exalted’s nature to reap the benefits of his powers. Unscrupulous (or self-righteous) Eclipse can take advantage of this to forward their own goals. They have the power to bring the re-emerging Solars together and reform the Deliberative – or make something entirely new to guard the new face of Creation.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:50 am

So, with Solars out of the way, let’s move on to the current movers and shakers of Creation: The Dragon-Blooded. In the Primordial War, the Terrestrial Exalted were the Chosen of Gaia, one of the two rogue Primordials. She, through her sub-souls the Elemental Dragons, empowered masses of humanity with the Terrestrial Exaltation, a weaker but more numerous type of Exaltation that allowed the Dragon-Blooded to serve as aides, generals, and forces of the Celestials.

Unlike Celestial (meaning Solar, Lunar, or Sidereal) Exaltation, Terrestrial Exaltations are weak enough to be spread through heredity. Thus, there is no upper limit to the number of Dragon-Blooded in Creation, though currently they number roughly 10,000. They are the weakest of the Exalted individually, but their elementally aspected power shines when combined. Instead of Castes, the Dragon-Blooded have Aspects, one for each of the five elements (which correspond loosely to classical Asian elements), and also one for each direction. The center of Creation is Earth-aspected, while the North is air, the East is Wood, the South is Fire, and the West is Water.

The Dragon-Blooded, by and large, do not remember their heritage. They are shorter-lived than Celestials, and so none remain alive who remember the Primordial War, or even the First Age. What they know, they have learned from the Sidereals, who have created a false religion for them to follow. This Immaculate Order preaches the supremacy of the Exalted (meaning them), the heresy of the Anathema (meaning all other kinds of Exalted), and the purity of the Dragon-Blooded heritage. Most people in Creation know only this “truth.”

Most of the Dragon-Blooded in Creation live in the center of Creation on the Blessed Isle as part of the Scarlet Empire. During the Contagion, when the Fair Folk were swarming Creation, one Dragon-Blooded general took over the Imperial Manse and used the Sword of Creation, an ancient First Age defense mechanism, to obliterate the rampaging Fair Folk. She named herself the Scarlet Empress, and her Realm has ruled since that day.

There are, however, other centers of Terrestrial Exalted. Lookshy, in the East, is the last holdover from the Shogunate, the time between the Usurpation and the Contagion. They refused to bow to the Empress, and have managed to maintain their independence. There are also scattered groups of Dragon-Blooded in the Northeast and Southwest, and, since the Exaltation can be passed genetically, individual Dragon-Blooded (which the Realm deems “lost eggs”) can pop up technically anywhere.

When most people in Creation think of Exalted, during the Second Age, they think of the Dragon-Blooded. They are the literal rulers of Creation, though with the disappearance of the Scarlet Empress, their Empire is beginning to turn against itself. Decadence and corruption are everywhere, and civil war looms. The Threshold (those nations not a part of the Empire) are left more and more to their own devices, and the Wyld Hunt (the martial arm of the Immaculate Order dedicated to hunting Anathema) is being pulled back little by little to the Blessed Isle.

In this Time of Tumult, the Dragon-Blooded face a dangerous series of choices. The Scarlet Empire itself may well be up for grabs, and backing the right contender could mean life or death. As if that weren’t enough, in their greatest time of need, the Terrestrials are beset by returning Anathema in unheard-of numbers. Deathlords walk Creation, and with most of the Scarlet Empire turned inward, they may rampage unchecked. Each Dragon-Blood has to ask himself: how do I best serve Creation?

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:52 am

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The first Aspect of Dragon-Blooded is the Air Aspect. Like the Solars, Dragon-Blooded are Ability-based Exalts, but they are also tied closely to their elemental themes. Air, for example, permeates. It is everywhere, invisible. Air Aspects are airy, among other things, often with their heads in the clouds, dreaming about their ideal visions of the future, whether that be personally, professionally, or pragmatically. That doesn’t mean they’re airheads. Quite the opposite. Air Aspects tend to be the sorcerers, engineers, savants, and thinkers of the Terrestrials. They’re just not always operating with their feet on the ground.

The Aspect Abilities for Air are Linguistics, Lore, Occult, Stealth, and Thrown. Air is everywhere, so the Air Aspects learn to communicate with everyone. Air is everywhere, so it knows everything. Air is everywhere, and yet no one sees it, until it explodes with the fury of a hurricane or tornado.

Aspects are much harder to exemplify than Castes. Castes are based around general roles (at least for the Solars), but Aspects are based around their elements and the associations of those elements. For example, Air is the element of the North, a frozen, icy land, and that association can make Air Aspects colder than usual, more emotionally detached. Air is also associated with Venus, the Maiden of Serenity, so Air Aspects can also be deceptively calm. Finally, the Season of Air (one of Creation’s five seasons) corresponds to our winter, and so Air Aspects can be icily deadly when the situation calls.

In short, any character that thinks in grandiose terms, that looks to the future rather than the present, and who hungers for knowledge, not for its own sake but for what he can do with it, is probably an Air Aspect.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The second Aspect of the Dragon-Blooded is Earth, and Earth abides. Earth exists. It endures. It is peaceful, unchanging (in our limited perception), but solid and dependable… though, when it does move, when its peace crumbles and a new facade is shown, it can render entire nations to rubble. The landslide and the earthquake are as much a part of the Earth Aspect as the eternal mountains.

The Aspect Abilities for Earth are Awareness, Craft, Integrity, Resistance, and War. The earth touches nearly everything, and those in tune with it can perceive through it. It is through the lessons of the Earth that stone is shaped, and those lessons can be extrapolated to apply to any other craft. Earth endures, and so mental and physical resistance are both a part of the Aspect.

War seems the most out of place, but the theories behind it are the most reasonable. A good general is dependable but not predictable, stalwart, dedicated, and staunch in their duties. They can channel the rage of the unsubtle earth toward their enemies and leave nothing but dust in their wake.

The Earth Aspects are dependable, stern, and slow to change. They build their philosophies on the foundations of tradition. If you wish to convince an Earth Aspect that something must change, you have a long, hard fight on your hands. This is not to say they are stupid. In fact, they are usually very clever, and they are so entrenched in their positions because they have slowly and carefully considered all aspects and come to the conclusion that the old ways are the best ways.

Remember, though, that clay, too, is a part of the Earth, and the Aspect can, if properly sculpted, improve itself and shape itself to become something more. If not worked properly, however, they are more likely to break than bend.

The Aspect of Earth is associated with the Central direction, with the Blessed Isle itself and the Imperial Mountain, the tallest spire in Creation, visible on clear days from literally any point on the Blessed Isle. It is stable, and has always been. Even when the Fair Folk were at their strongest, none set so much as a toe on the Blessed Isle. It is also associated with the Season of Earth, which is sort of a late Spring, early Summer. Finally, it is associated with Mars, the Maiden of Battles, both for its facility with War and its dangerously explosive capability.

If an individual is set in his ways, a staunch defender of what he believes is right, is slow to anger and slow to come to a decision but stubbornly inflexible once he has come to that decision, if someone is dependable and reliable to a fault, then that person could well serve as an Earth Aspect.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Wake on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:59 am

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The Fire Aspect may be simultaneously the simplest to grasp and the most complex.

Fire burns. This is the truth at the heart of the Fire Aspect, and it is a simple one. Fire is dangerous. Fire is energy. Fire is heat and light and combustion. It is a metaphorical fire, burning in the heart and soul of every Fire Aspect, but it is also a literal fire, burning in the air around them or on their very weapons. Fire burns.

The Aspect Abilities for Fire are Athletics, Dodge, Melee, Presence, and Socialize. Fire is quick, fire is able to spread nearly anywhere, fire cannot be struck, and fire is dangerous. Fire Aspects can light a bonfire in the hearts of their enemies and allies, or sear their souls (or bodies) with the blaze inside themselves.

Passion is at the heart of the Fire Aspect, and it is this passion that is simultaneously their greatest strength and their greatest weakness. They do as they believe is right, and they believe with all the fury of their passions, but this passion, while it motivates them to change the world, also blinds them to the nuances of their situations and can lead to everyone around them getting burned.

Fire is associated with the Southern direction, a vast, hot desert that serves as crucible for those who live within it. They are also associated with the Season of Fire, the hot, burning summer that scorches the land and its people. But they are associated as well with Mercury, the Maiden of Journeys, for fire serves as a change and a motivator to go and do great things.

If an individual can be described as a firebrand, as having a fiery passion (or temper), or generally blazes hot while those around him are more content to mediocrity, he could well be an example of a Fire Aspect.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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Water Aspects are more complicated than the others. They are deep, adaptable, mysterious, peaceful… they are whatever they need to be.

Water flows. It seeks ways around or through any obstacle. Sometimes it is a gentle seepage that goes unnoticed for years. Sometimes it is a torrent that smashes the strongest dam. Whatever else it does, however, water flows. It is in constant motion, never settling, always expanding, changing. It fills whatever contains it, and as soon as it can, it escapes its container flowing… elsewhere.

Water Aspect Abilities are Bureaucracy (finding the cracks in a government system and flowing into and through), Investigation (relentlessly seeking a solution to a problem), Martial Arts (the ebb and flow of the body, mind, and soul), Larceny (slipping through cracks), and Sail (obviously).

Water Aspects are associated with the Western Direction, a direction mostly made up of ocean spattered with tiny islands. They are also associated with the Season of Water, a Spring-like season notable for wet weather and sometimes a lingering chill from the Season of Air. They are also associated with Jupiter, the Maiden of Secrets, for the sea holds many undiscovered treasures, and not even the Water Aspects themselves know all of them.

If someone is dedicated to overcoming any and all odds, through whatever means necessary, through whatever adaptations and changes they may need to make, they might be an excellent candidate for the Water Aspect.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The fifth and last element in Creation is Wood.

Wood lives. Wood Aspects grow and live and nurture by their very nature. They seek to experience all they can of life, to live life to its fullest. They expand, travel, and learn from all their experiences. They nurture others to do the same, and they share the wisdom they have learned from their experiences with those who will listen.

Wood Aspect Abilities are Archery, Medicine, Performance, Ride, and Survival. Their natural affinity with wood allows them excellence with bows and arrows, while their natural affinity with plants of all stripes gives them insight into their use as medicines and how to survive among them. Their verve gives them insight into performing and producing pleasing spectacles, while their desire to travel and experience makes them naturally skilled with riding living creatures.

Wood Aspects are associated with the Eastern direction, a direction dominated by massive forests and jungles where all manner of unusual life – plant, animal, and other – can be found. They are also, resonably enough, associated with the Season of Wood, the rich growing and harvesting season. Finally, they are associated with Saturn, the Maiden of Endings, for a part of life’s natural cycle is death. However, they understand that every ending is also a new beginning, and from the broken husk of a fallen tree, new life can find root.

Wood Aspects do have to watch out for their experiential tendencies, however. If left unchecked, they can rapidly become debauched. Experiencing everything can quickly turn to eating, drinking, and screwing oneself into a haze of drug- and alcohol-addled idiocy, and, indeed, one of the Great Houses is known for its depravities.

If someone is truly eager to live, to wring every drop of experience from life, and to encourage others to do the same, he might well be an excellent candidate for the Wood Aspect.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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With Solars (the premier PCs of the setting) and Dragon-Blooded (the de facto rulers of Creation) behind us, we start now into the other types of Exalted, beginning with the Lunars.

The Lunar Exalted are, as their name indicates, the Chosen of Luna, Fickle Lady, goddess of the moon and complement to the Unconquered Sun in every way. As he was rigid and reliable, she was malleable and protean. As he was burning and bright, she was soft and subtle. The only things they shared were their love of Creation.

The Lunar Exalted were intended to reflect their maker and be to the Solars what Luna was to the Sun. They were each bonded to a single Solar as mate in a way that went deeper than simple ceremony. As such every lunar and solar have a mate to which they inevitably develop a strong connection with, be it one of friendship, rivalry, love or simple mutual respect. This bond continues even between reincarnations, with not even a solar souls transformation into an abyssal able to snuff it out. They were each given the power to change their shape, to be chimeric like their progenitor. They were given the power to excel, and to stand at the edges of Creation and protect it from the threats of the Wyld, while the Solars ruled.

During the Usurpation, the Lunars were targeted as much as the Solars. Some stayed and died by their mates’ sides, but others had been victims of the Solars’ growing madness as much as anyone else. Most of the Lunars fled from the Blessed Isle and vanished into the Wyld on the edges of Creation, where the Sidereals could not find them.

Once, the Lunars had five Castes, like any other, based on the phases of the moon. Their time in the Wyld damaged them, made the Exaltations themselves more fluid. Once, all Lunars were Exalted into a Caste. Now, Lunars start Casteless, and only the form-fixing tattoos of the Lunar sorcerers can force a Lunar into one of the three remaining Castes and prevent him or her from becoming a protean monstrosity, a true Chimera, touched by the Wyld both physically and mentally.

Now, with the Solars returning and chaos plaguing Creation, the Lunars have returned from their self-imposed exile with new techniques for engineering societies. Some wish to return to the glories of the First Age. Some wish to ensure that humanity and Creation can stand alone, never needing to depend on them again. Whatever their aims, however, none can deny that Creation needs their collective protection now more than ever. It is that protection, that stewardship, that defines the Lunar Exaltation. While Solars are defined by their excellence and Terrestrials by their duty, Lunars are protectors and defenders.

In this, the Time of Tumult, Creation truly needs their protection.
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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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As I said, the Lunar Castes are based on the phases of the moon, and the first of these are the Full Moon Lunars. Their Caste Attributes are Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. As you may be able to guess, the Full Moons are the badasses.

The Full Moons are distinct from the Dawns in one important way. The Dawn Caste Solars excel at being generals and soldiers. Full Moons are warriors. They fight. Some of them learn to lead soldiers, but not all of them by any stretch, and none of them show the same affinity as the Dawns. However, while Dawns excel at leading soldiers, Full Moons excel at fighting.

When each Lunar is found by the Silver Pact (the social group of Lunars that provides the Caste-fixing tattoos), they are given a set of trials, sometimes officially and sometimes unofficially. The way the young Lunar handles the trials determines his Caste. Full Moons solve their problems by being stronger, faster, and tougher than the obstacles. They punch, wrestle, dodge, or endure their problems. Through sheer physical superiority, they earn their tattoos.

This is not to say that Full Moons can’t be clever or intelligent. They most certainly can. But at the end of the day, a Full Moon’s tool is his body, and he learns to use it well. Young Lunars tend to rely on brute skill to overcome their problems, while elder Lunars learn to adapt to their enemies’ weaknesses, using strength, speed, or endurance as necessary. But in the end, a Full Moon solves his problems through physical puissance.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The second Lunar Caste is the Changing Moon Caste, and it was once three separate Castes. In the First Age, there was no Changing Moon. The Lunars had the Waxing Moons, the Half Moons, and the Waning Moons. However, when the Lunars fled from the Sidereals, the Wyld broke the Castes. When the Silver Pact produced the moonsilver tattoos that fixed a young Lunar into a Caste, they were unable to save the three disparate Castes of the First Age. The closest they could come was an amalgamation they named Changing Moons.

The Changing Moons are the tricksters, the leaders, and the seducers of the Silver Pact. Their Caste Attributes are Charisma, Manipulation, and Appearance. They are slick, sly, persuasive, subtle, glorious, and cunning all at once. They lead societies from within, command armies, infiltrate enemy positions… anything that requires guile, force of personality, or sheer animal magnetism.

It is difficult to say how the Changing Moons differ from their First Age counterparts. The Waxing Moons were the poets, the skalds, the bards, and certainly some of that inclination remains. The Half Moons were the judges, the leaders, and the mediators, and the Changing Moons definitely have those proclivities. But the Waning Moons were the spies, the assassins, and the tricksters, and it is from them that most Changing Moons take their strongest characteristics. While Full Moons solve their problems physically, Changing Moons tend to solve their problems with Social Attributes.

This is not to claim that Changing Moons cannot fight. It would be a poor Lunar indeed who could not defend his territory and his people. But while the Full Moons tend to fight in straightforward fashion, using brute Strength, raw speed, or sheer endurance to down their foes, Changing Moons tend to fight through misdirection and distraction, proving almost impossible to pin down.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The third Caste of the Lunar Exalted are the No Moons, the intellectuals of the Lunars. As you may be able to figure (if you’re particularly good at pattern recognition), the Favored Attributes of the No Moons are Perception, Intelligence, and Wits.

The No Moons are the sorcerers, the craftsmen, and the thinkers of the Lunars, using their Charms and spells to solve problems the other Castes couldn’t manage. It was the No Moons who invented the moonsilver tattoos that fix the Lunars into their current Castes and prevented Chimerism (more on that later, too!). It was the No Moons who learned to harness the Wyld and the powers of the Fair Folk. And it is the No Moons who, today, serve as priests, shamans, witch doctors, and lorekeepers for all of the Silver Pact.

In the First Age, the No Moons worked side-by-side with the Twilight Caste Solars, as their specialties overlapped perfectly. While the Solars approached invention and sorcery through the lens of Craft, Lore, and Occult, the Lunars approached their innovations through sheer Intelligence, out-thinking even the genius of the Solars (though the Solars proved more effective at implementing the ideas).

In the Time of Tumult, the No Moons strive to keep the Silver Pact together and functioning, seeking new ways to engineer societies that leave them independent of Exalted rule. Their innovations have contributed significantly to the Thousand Streams River, the plan most Lunars have for creating governments and nations who are not dependent upon Exalted of any stripe to succeed.

If someone is particularly keen, clever, or cunning, they might well be a No Moon, especially if they lean toward the unusual, arcane, or occult.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The fourth type of Exalt (and the last of the original Exalted from the Primordial War) are the Sidereal Exalted. Sidereal is an astrological term, which is appropriate, as the Sidereals are the Chosen of the Maidens of Destiny, and they interact with the stars on a regular basis.

While there were three hundred Solars, three hundred Lunars, and more than ten thousand Dragon-Blooded, collectively, the Five Maidens only Exalted one hundred mortals to share amongst them, and these Sidereals came to be known as the Five-Score Fellowship. The Maidens insisted that only one hundred Sidereals would be necessary to maintain the Loom of Fate and the destinies of all the mortals in Creation. While they have not yet been technically proven wrong, the Sidereals are certainly the most harried of all the Exalted.

In the First Age, the Sidereals were the viziers and advisors to the Solar Deliberative, tempering the excellence and exuberance of that political body with the wisdom and foresight offered by their unique connection to the Loom. However, as the Solars grew more and more decadent, they ignored the advice of the Sidereals more and more. The Sidereals gathered to discuss their excesses, and together they cast what came to be known as the Great Prophecy. It returned three visions for Creation.

In the first, to be known as the Golden Fork, the Sidereals chose to work with the Solars, to guide them and curb the worst of their excesses. While this vision held the most risk, it also offered the highest potential yield in terms of Creation’s survival. The second, the Bronze Fork, the Sidereals roused the Dragon-Blooded to rebellion and overthrew the Solars. Creation was guaranteed to be diminished, but it was guaranteed to survive. In the final fork, the Sidereals did nothing. Creation was utterly destroyed by the Solars.

In the end, the Sidereals opted to murder the Solars and set the Dragon-Blooded in their place. This Usurpation sent the Lunars to the edges of Creation, saw the Solars’ Exaltations trapped for centuries, left the Terrestrials ruling Creation, and allowed the Sidereals to fade into the background, erasing all proof in Creation that they had ever existed.

Now, the Sidereals live in Yu-Shan, the heavenly home of the gods, where they have infiltrated every aspect of the Celestial Bureaucracy. They are pencil pushers, assassins, martial artists, sorcerers, advisors, guides, and spies throughout all the world, and still their presence is kept secret by ancient magics. Now, with the return of the Solars, they are divided. Some, the Gold Faction, believe they have a second chance to guide them, to make Creation the glorious world it should be. Others, the Bronze Faction, continue to use the Dragon-Blooded and the Wyld Hunt to destroy the returning Solars, intent on maintaining the path they have walked for centuries. But with resources dwindling and enemies on all sides of Creation, can either faction hope to save all that exists without sacrificing their principles in favor of cooperation?

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The first Maiden, Mercury, chose twenty of the Sidereal Exaltations and made them hers, the Chosen of Journeys. Into those Exaltations, she wove twenty of the most epic journeys ever recorded by the Loom of Fate, thus giving them power over the travels, physical and metaphysical, of the mortals of Creation.

Like Solars, Sidereals are Ability-based Exalts, and the Caste Abilities for the Chosen of Journeys are Resistance (to endure the hardships of travel), Ride, Sail, Survival, and Thrown. Their Charms allow them to affect the journeys of others, to encourage and ease travel or to make any trip, no matter how short, a harrowing crucible.

The Chosen of Journeys know that life is a trip, and the destination is unimportant. It’s all in how you arrive at your end that matters. Along the way, there will be hardships, but it is in those hardships that people are made into who they are intended to be, forged into heroes, or broken and cast at the side of the road.

Chosen of Journeys are often afflicted with a stirring wanderlust, much like their corresponding Maiden, and, of all the Sidereals, are most likely to enjoy field work. While none of the Five Score Fellowship enjoys paperwork, the Chosen of Journeys are the most likely to foist that aspect of their job off on an underling while rushing off to the next new location in Creation, to find the next mortal in need of a journey.

If someone is intent on travel and exploration, whether of the wider world around them or of their own inner spirituality and psychology, they are likely to resonate with the Chosen of Journeys.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The second Maiden, Venus, selected twenty Sidereal Exaltations and made them hers, the Chosen of Serenity. Into them, she wove twenty threads from the Loom of Fate, threads which represented the purest pleasures, the most peaceful moments, in all Creation.

The Caste Abilities for the Chosen of Serenity are Craft, Dodge, Linguistics, Performance, and Socialize. Through their Abilities, the Chosen of Venus find ways to make life easier and better for the world, or encourage mortals onto the paths that will lead them to their greatest serenity. Their Craft skills usually apply to Craft (Fate), which lets them spin destinies through Astrology, laying blessings or curses on mortals from the Loom itself.

The Chosen of Serenity know that life is peace and pleasure, though they may be difficult to come by. The trials and tribulations experienced by mortals only serve to make the eventual peace and happiness all the more worthwhile in the end. Without peace and joy, what purpose is life?

Chosen of Serenity are often referred to as “Heaven’s Concubines,” which, while not technically inaccurate, is certainly missing the point. If a Chosen of Serenity chooses to dally, it is not merely to provide a sexual experience, but to lay a deeper, more pervasive sense of peace upon someone. Sexuality is but one of the weapons in Venus’ arsenal, and the Chosen of Serenity have access to them all.

If someone is intent on peace and joy, whether from spiritual enlightenment, material possessions, or the company of those around them, they are likely to resonate with the Chosen of Serenity.

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Re: Exalted Types: an Overview

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The third Maiden, Mars, selected twenty Sidereal Exaltations and made them hers, the Chosen of Battles. Into them, she wove twenty threads from the Loom of Fate, threads which represented the most glorious, most fateful, and most world-spanning battles and conflicts in all Creation.

The Caste Abilities for the Chosen of Battles are Archery, Athletics, Melee, Presence, and War. Through their Abilities, the Chosen of Mars find ways to guide mortals into and through the conflicts and literal battles that will shape their lives and the lives around them. While their Abilities make them personally capable of fighting, like all Sidereals, they have a tendency to maneuver conflicts from behind the scenes.

The Chosen of Battles know that life is conflict. It is by forging oneself in the trials of life, whether on the battlefield or in the boardroom, that one truly comes to understand oneself. Life is not cheap, but it is fleeting, and it is in the moments of life-threatening battle that we feel most alive.

Chosen of Battles have a reputation for being confrontational, which, of course, they deserve. However, it is not merely in a fight for fighting’s sake that the human soul is purified. The Chosen of Battles also steer mortals (and nations) away from the battles that will bring them low, that will weaken all of Creation. Chosen of Battles understand the value of a fight, but more importantly, they understand the value of not fighting.

If someone seeks out the greatest challenges available to them and encourages others to do the same, to fight the current instead of succumbing to the path of least resistance, they likely resonate with the Chosen of Battles.

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