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One of the aspects of exalted that i have chossen to high light in this revision is the morale use of power. The Primordials are such that what they will is truth, that everything in Creation was theirs to do with as they wished, for they had made it such. Even the most self-willed of God's is still a being defined by their nature, and who can not act against that nature, but can choose how it is express. Mortal's on the other hands have a great deal of freedom in deciding what they should do, not just how they should do it. One of the often over looked aspects of the Core Exalted Setting is that it's not enought that the charcters recover the power of the First Age and defend Creation, if they do not wish to repeat the mistakes of the past, they have to be better PEOPLE. Solar's of the First Age had the power of Gods, but they forgot to be human, while the Great Curse certinaly had an effect, they came to believe that what ever they desired and could accomplish was Right. Thru out the Core Exalted books, the irresponable use of power with out consderation of the ethic's of it's use are highlighted, wheather it's an uncaring Dragon Bloods destroying the lively hood of commoner's while dueling over thier own insulted honor, God's and Summoner's enslaving and abusing Elementals, or Solar's treating Mortal's as so many playing piece's. Yet all of this is often over looked by ST and Player's interested only in looking "Cool" and being a "Bad Ass", so when designing my revision i have made some changes that accent these aspects. I have also altered the nature of the Great Curse so that the effects of limit break, fall much more on the character, as it's quite possible to abuse limit break in the Core rules, and often has such a disruptive effect on the other character's and story that many ST choose not to use it.
In the Beginning, Pre-History
(Needless to say this is a work in progress, as it covers a great deal.)
The amount of time that passed during pre-history is unknown, but Creation has passed thru multiple Cycles of Ages, with the face of Creation being remade with each. Nore was Creation that came to be, the first attempt at building a bastion against the Chaos, attempted by the Maker's , each previous attempt was found wanting for one reason or another and rejected. The best features of each being retained and the rest discarded, as once more the Makers started anew. Remenets of these privious Ages, and Creations are sometimes discovered, some savants have even gone so far as to suggest that some of the Primordials who begain the project, left during or after it's completion, and where not involved wiht the Great War.
Time before Time
In the time before time, all was pure essence, in unbound and ever-changing chaos. In time powerful being's formed themselves from the raw stuff of this Pure Chaos, by defining for themselves a nature and limits, and thus gaining for them selves a separate identity. Mortal's would come to know these being's as the Primordial’s, the greatest of them, the First Born the first of all shaped things. In choosing to forsake limitless possibility, the Primordial's gained a great deal in power, but had forever set themselves apart from the Pure Chaos around them, and while they where the first and greatest of shaped thing's they where not the only being's to dwell within the Chaos. For it was also home to the endlessly changing unshaped beings whom mortals would in time call the Fae or Fair Folk. The shaped nature of the Primordial's forced on to the Fae a consistent property simply by existing, for even as the Primordial’s where shaped, it defined the Fae as unshaped. This forced consistency was a source of unending hate against the shaped, driving the Fair Folk to constant war against the shaped. In time the Primordial's grew tired of the endless battle against the Fae for no matter how many where destroyed, more we ever born from the endless Pure Chaos.
Note: Primordial is a blanket term given to a group of creature's of a similar origin, general nature and power level.
Creation is Born
The Primordial’s drew together and decided among them that they would create a bastion against the Chaos, in which they might pursue their individual natures. Yet it was in the nature of all the Primordial's to constantly struggle and strive against each other as they sought domination of the ideal that empowered them. Creation would not only be a fortress against Chaos would also be the board across which they would struggle. The core of this struggle would be embodied in the form of the Games of Divinity, with Creation serving both as a playground and game board, events with in Creation both effecting and being effected by events within the Games of Divinity. To this ends they turned their efforts creating first the Pole of Earth to serve as the center of Creation and the bastion of shaped existence. Around it where placed the other Elemental pole's to give a variety of form and force's to Creation, allowing change with in what would other wise be a static world. To maintain the flow of Elemental Energy the Primordial Gaia Mother of Creation created the Five Elemental Dragons, being of massive elemental power. As the effect of the Pole of Earth weakened with distance, the nature of the closer pole dominated the character of Creation. The edge of Creation was surrounded by an area that while under the shaping effect of Creation was also awash with the shifting essence of Chaos, this slowly shifting place came to be called the Wyld.
The Incarnae and the Greatest Gods
Desiring to be free of the unending war of the Fae and of assuring that Creation would be secure even against being from outside it equal in power to them. The Primordial’s turned their collective might to the creation of a Head Caretaker who would both protect Creation and see to it's smooth operation, this being was called Helo, the Unconquered Sun, and he was defined as undefeatable by any force even that of it's creators. To assist him, they created other lesser Caretaker's in the form of the other Incarnae, and the greater Gods. Being creatures of both strife and unreliable loyalty themselves, the Primordial's placed powerful Oath's upon their creations ensuring that they could not work to the undoing of their creators. But as the Primordial’s wished to ensure that the mighty Helo could not be used as even an indirect weapon against each other, it was determined that any order given by one Primordial could be counter acted by any other, and only thru their collective will could his essential nature be changed. (Basically if they wanted to give him a persistent command that no single one could counteract, they all had to agree.) While being's of a distributed identity, with aspect's embodied within their lesser souls, the Gods where created as beings of a single powerful spirit. (Even if they could manifest that spirit in more than one place at a time.)
Lesser Gods, Toys, and Puppets
As Creation required quite a bit of maintains, between its vast complexity and the ever corrosive effects of the surrounding Wyld. As the Incarnate and Greatest Gods, where being's of a single Spirit and could only see to a (Relatively) limited number of things at one time. To assist them in this maintenance the Primordial’s created a wide variety of lesser Gods where created to see to the smaller details. And to provide fuel to the Caretaker's the Primordial's created the many Mortal race of creation, who's prayer served to give essence to the Gods, the most numerous being the lowly human. Each individual Primordial also created various servant races and strange creatures as well. These creatures’s can be roughly divided into two groups, Toys and Puppets.
- Toy's where various creature's that where created by the primordial's for some specific purpose, but where not directly defined and bound to their creator, so have a much larger degree of free will than Puppets, but in general are less powerful than Puppets.
- Puppet's on the other hand where defined by their connection to the Primordial who made them, be if by a narrowly defined nature, broad Oath's of loyalty, or bearing a small portion of their Creator's soul. The vast majority of puppets where bound with their maker's into Malfeas and make up the rank's of Third Circle Demons.
Possessing a higher degree of free will and given the generally poor end's to which their maker's used them, a far large portion of Toy's sided with the Gods in the War than did Puppets, and there for survived the War. (Though many where destroyed in the First Age, a much large number of non-human race's exist in large number's and have societies of their own in UE than in E) Almost the only Puppet's to survive both the War and the Age's after are the various Behemoth’s.
Created to Suffer
The Toy's know as humans, where held a special place in Creation, they where intended simply to provide the essence required for the Gods, thru their prayers, which the Primordial's believed would be best served by giving them lives of constant fear. To this end they where to be created with out natural weapons, weak of body with out fur or scale to warm them, at the mercy of weather and predator. The task of creating human's was given to the Primordial known as Elliohem, The Cruel One Most High. It was not enough for The Cruel One that his creations be resigned to and unaware of their suffering, he wished for them to have hope so that he might savor its death. To this end he gave human's the ability to improve themselves thru effort and hard work, he gave them cunning minds that they might create and use tool's to overcome their environment and foes, and last of all the potential for essence manipulation, for in this was the potential for power enough to shake the heaven, even as it was forever beyond their reach. All this The Cruel One Most High did in secret lest the others discover, that not only had he betrayed their collective will, he had not bound his creation's against seeking the destruction of the Primordial's.
The greatest of The Cruel One's pleasure was ensuring that his creations knew that they had been given a life of near constant suffering to better server the desires of those much greater than themselves, and watching their struggle against and hate for forces far beyond their power to defeat. To this ends, Elliohem altered both the very nature of Creation and that of Human's, beyound what had been agreed upon by the other Primordial's. (Elliohem was one of the most powerful of the Makers and had a large role in creating and defining Creation) He insured that any being, who was controled by an outside force, was aware of the effect and it's source, on at least some level, and this effect he magnified with in humans, it was this awareness that would lead to the rebellion of the Gods. It had been the intent of the Makers, that created creature would have it's place within Creation, and that they accept that lot, so as to better serve the function given them. Elliohem's alteration was a subtle one, being's acting within their nature and left to preform as they would , or who where presuaded by Natural Mental Influence, did not create Resentment. It was only when Unnatural Mental Influence was used that they became aware of both the Unnatural Mental Influence, and it'w source. This effect was sudtle in most creature's giving only a minor sense of discontent, and a unconsious hostility towards the source, that would mount with continued Unnatural Mental Influence from the same source until finally giving a direct awareness of the effect and the source, in the lowly Human's this effect is much stronger. (Elliohem never expected his fellow Makers to have any reason to pay much attention to Humans)
Knowledge of Evil
It took a very long time for the effects of Elliohem's betrayal to become aparrent to the other Makers, so long as all preformed the function and place laid out for them, thier was no reason to compel them against thier will. But the Maker's had included an unforseen fatal flaw with in Creation, that of life. The struggle for survival resulted in living creature's gowing, adapting, and changing overtime, left unchecked in time they would diverge from thier intended purpose. Replacing the careful desigen of the Maker's with their own complexe interplay. The worst would prove to be the intelligent race's who could not only evolve and exceed it's design parameters, but could do so on purpose. While some degree of randomness was programed into Creation, so as to add the unexpected to the Games of Divinity, it was intended to fall within well defined limits. As the life of Creation evolved and changed from it's designed path, it's Caretakers where also required to change as well, being forced to make choice's about thier Domains beyound what they had been programed for. The choice's made by the God's where often not the one's that the Maker's desired, and on those occasion that the Maker's would pull themselves away from the Games of Divnity, they would act to correct these "Flaws". This was accomplished by means of both altering Creation by act of will, and order's issuied to the God's. The command's given to the God's where backed by the power of the Oath's forced on them by the Maker's. So long as the God's agreed with the commands, all had been well, but now desires differed and Elliohem's alteration made it increasingly apparent to the God's, that they where being compeled against thier will and where considered little more than machines that had required intelligence for efficent function. Elliohem had no more expected the evolution of life than any Maker, and never intended that the God's should suffer from Resentment. He had expected it to be limited to the lesser Mortals of Creation, and thier for to escape the notice of the other Makers. But as time pasted the increasing levels of Resentment among the God's attracted the attention of the other Maker's. While they where indifferent to the anger and desires of their servents, they did investigate into the source of the God's knowledge of the Oath's being used to compele them, as the God's had been intended to be ignorant of the exent to which thier maker's could and did control them. Never intended to realize the evil means by which their creators turned them towards the Maker's ends, the God's began to long for freedom and vengance.
Scrolls of History Begin
The Seeds of Rebellion
While it took quite some time in the end the other Makers did discover Elliohem's betrayal and moved against him, driving him forth from Creation and back into the depths of Pure Chaos. (Note: Elliohem was not destroyed, only driven from Creation. Elliohem is with out a dought the most hated being in all Creation, against whom mortal, God, Yozis, and Neverborn would unite to distroy.)
It was at this point that Helo discovered that the ability of each Primordial to counter the other's commands, would prevent them from effectively limiting his actions so long as he held one as an ally, and that had the potential to be used as a weapon Human's against them. Over the long years of Pre-History the Gods had grow discontent with their slavery, yet had seen no means by which they might escape the Oath's that bound them, to effectively strike at their creator. The betrayal of the Primordial's by The Cruel One Most High had given both a potential weapon, and a means to use it, if only one could be turned against its fellows.
Helo found what he required in The Great Maker Autochthon first of all smiths, who was much looked down upon and mistreated by the others, who conspired among them to ensure he had but little success in the great game, as his anger gave them much amusement, and Gaia Mother of The World, who cared much for her creation, and little for the damage done it when her fellow's would break from the Games of Divinity, seeking entertainment and advantage in the games. While the Oath's placed on the Gods prevented them from using anything divine or any of the stars, planets, moons, or seasons, and had bound their other creations as well so that none might be used to work the undoing of their creators. The Primordial’s had not included human's in these Oath's as they had not anticipated The Cruel One Most High giving to them great potential for growth, with out binding them against the others and himself. Helo gathered together his fellow Incarnae and proposed that they give to human's great power that they might serve as their champions against the Primordial’s. To this ends did Autochthon turn his great genius, and forged the Aura's of Exaltation, a means by which the power of each Incarnate might be linked to the potential and free will of humans to create mighty champions. Autochthon also forged for them mighty artifacts with which to equip their armies. Each Incarnae would create their own type of Exalted, and while Gaia would create no soldier's of her own she would give her blessing to the Elemental Dragon's who raised up soldier's to serve as armies for the other Exalted.
The Nature of the Exalted
The artifact created by Autochthon to empower human's was called an Aura of Exaltation, and was idea, item and essence pattern combined into a whole greater than its parts, containing aspect's of both their Primordial creator and the Incarnae who provided them a portion of their power. This Aura would allow the power of the Incarnae to be directed into that greatest of potential that The Cruel One Most High had built into humanity, the ability to sense, channel and manipulate essence. A human given an Aura of Exaltation would gain the ability to draw on the power bound to and stored in the Aura and to manifest it thru their own potential and abilities. The amount of power which an Exalt could weld was determined by both how well they could control and had refined their own essence, and the amount of raw power placed into the Aura.
In order to by pass the Oath's that bound the Incarnae, the power that was given to the human's had to be under their control to use as they would, and be irremovable by the Incarnae, so as to prevent the Primordial’s from ordering the Gods to command the Exalted to stop the rebellion or to reclaim their power.
Helo had been created to be the ultimate general, warrior, ruler, and maintainer of Creation, and the being's he was intended to oppose where not all unthinking brute's incapable of more than a frontal attack, they where cunning, and possessed of an unlimited nature and could take may form's and provide many threats, so Helo to was far more than a stupid and unthinking brute. As the ultimate soldier, Helo knew well the truth's of such sayings as "A sword has no loyalties" and "It was only original the first time", he realized that any weapon that was beyond his control, could in time be turned against him, and that revolt has a nasty habit of being contagious and those who, he created to do his fighting for him, might also turn against him, as he had those who created him to fight their battles. What many ruler's realize far to late, was well know to Helo, that armies gathered for war, did not just disappear when it was done, and that large groups of mercenaries often gain a desire for more than coin and a pat on the back as they are sent on their way, and after all they might be needed again in the future. With these thing's in mind Helo used the same means of control practiced by others with the need to maintain a standing army not in their direct control; he retained to the Incarnae the power of the Purse. While the power would be the Exalt’s to use as they will, and could not be reclaimed once given, the amount of power provide was greatly under the control of the Incarnae.
Once given an Aura could not be recalled and would allow the bearer to store within it and bind to it both internal and external essence thru meditation and training, this was a slow and difficult process, that could be greatly accelerated by binding additional element's to the Aura, know as Shards. Most Shards are under the direct control of the Incarnae who empower's a given Exalt type. Smaller increment's of essence that may join to an Aura, know as Splinter's also exsist.
To ensure that the Exalted warrior would allways have access to the tools they needed, space was carved from the Elsewhere and formed into the Tombs of the Fallen. The Tombs would serve as a protected area to which a fallen Celestrial Exalted's most valued item's would be drawn opon thier death, there to await retreval by the next bearer of that Aura. Access to the different area's of the Tomb, was to be controled by a number of Keys, which would be given to the new Exalt as they proved thier dedication to the goals of their sponsoring Incarnae.
(Detailed information on Auras, Shards, Splinters, and Keys can be found on the UE Aura page.)
Short Version. Exalted and God's battle Makers. Several Maker's are killed by the Exalted. Underworld may or may not have been created at this point, but the Mouth of the Void opens. Maker's slowly turn form the Games of Divinity in every increaseing power and number's. Vicotry by the Exalted, would have been unlikly at this point, but Baalmara of the UE First Born, leaves the Games and rashly attack's Helo. This attack on the ruler of the God's and Creation, free's them from the Oath's that prevent them doing battle agianst the Makers, at which point the Incarnae, Gods, and all most all the race's of Creation join the battle on one side or the other. Helo kill's Baalmara, causing him to decend to the mouth of the Void. Baalmara is unable to be destroyed, and his decent is halted at he event horizon of the Void as he is contiouiously and endlessly devoured. Morals believe that Baalmara was the first of the killed Makers to become a Neverborn, and that his presents prevent those killed after him from entering the Void and being destroyed. The Truth of this is unknown. A detailed account of the defeat of Baalmara can be found on his page. The War rages for sometime, with a unknown number of other Makers being distroyed and becoming Neverborn. In time all of the Makers with draw from the Games of Divinity to join the War, each of them is defeated at least one in battle, several losing thier Heart Fetch and reforming in to new beings around new names. The Maker's finally surrender and are bound into Malfeas swearing great Oath's on thier names. The War ends, but the Makers do not go quietly into the night before entering their prision, they place a curse opon the Incarnae and thier Exalted servents.
"May you be given all that you desire and in the end it destroy you and all you hold dear, and so shall you reap that which you have sown three fold."
Before thier inprisonment the Maker's attempted to lay a curse opon the rebellious Gods, and thier servents. The curse was unable to gain firm purchase opon the Incarnae, instead falling most heavly on the Exalted, who shared some small part of thier essence. The curse was aimed at that which had lead the God's to rebel, free will and the Resentment of Elliohem, and was not simply a spitefull attempt at revenge, but also a to test the limits of the Resentment. The Curse magnifies the emotion's of the target, causing them to act out thier impulse's particullarly the self destrutive ones, and magnifies the effect's of the Resentment, causing those who feel that they have been mis-treated by the target to act out on those feelings. The Makers hoped that in time the Exalted might be turned to the destruction of the Gods.
(The Curse of UE is much different than the Great Curse of E. Check it page for details.)
Low First Age
With the Makers defeated the God's move to take control of Yu-Shan and secure thier rule over Creation. Divine force's spend sometime mopping up the remenant of the Makers forces, as well as destroying those being they believe might become a threat. Vast majority of Puppets meet thier ends at this point.
Mandate of Heaven
Having put thier house in order, the Incarnae take up the Games of Divinity, which they had long covitted, and begin a much deserved rest from the million's of years of toil under the Makers rule. Helo give's to the Solar Isis the Mandate of Heaven, which gives to the Exalted the right to rule and order Creation as they wish, but requires that they defense and maintain it against various threats.
Having secured Creation, the Solar's take to warring among themselves. Isis finally declares herself Queeu of the first Solar Empire.
Rule of Isis
Under the rule of Queen Isis the Solar's set about bring the whole of Creation under their control, and begain rebuilding efforts.
High First Age
Late First Age
The For Telling
War Against The Solars
The Jade Prision
To prevent backlash from thier own limit break, most of the Sidreal's sacrifice themselves in a great ritual preformed at the Templar Citadel in Yu-Shan intended to conceal evidance of thier part in the Usurpation from Divine forces. Something goes worng with the ritual and the Sign of the Mask is broken, causing all Sidreals to suffer from Arcane Fate from this point on.
Not all Solar's fell in the Usurpation, those that remain tend to have a high Morality and do not attempt to restore Solar rule.
While unable to obtain proff of the Sidreal's part in the Usurpation the God's are unable to bring charges against them, so settle for a sullen lack of cowaperation. Leysal the God of Exaltation, restrict the flow of Splinter's in retaliation for the Sidreal's assult opon his person during the Usurpation. This slow's the rate at which all Exalt's of Creation gain power, preventing the Sidreal's from rebuilding thier number and power at the rate planned for before the Usurpation. This prevent's the Sidreal's from securing control of Creation to the exent planned for, and allows the rise of a number of additional power groups.
Deathlord releases the Great Contagion in to Creation, in an attempt to end all life. While the Contagion fails to destroy all life, it does kill nine out of ten. (Fatality rate varies somewhat by area, race, and power level, allowing some areas to recover much faster than others.)
The Fae Strike Back
Seening that Creation is significantly weakened by the Great Contagion, the Fae stage a massive attack intended to destroy the hated shaped. Force's of Creation rally to battle the invading Fae. Many Elder Lunars parsish attempting to hold back the Fae armies. With out the might of the Solar's and decimated by the Great Contagion the force of Creation are no match for the invaders. large portions of Creation stabilized from the Wyld during the First Age, are reclaimed by the reclaimed by Chaos, creating the Border Marches. The Fae are finally stopped when the woman who would become the Scarlet Empress succeddes in activating the Realm Defense Grid.
Founding of the Scarlet Empire
The Scarlet Empress declare's the founding of the Scarlet Empire, the second empire to rule Creation. (Queen Isis's being the first.) Scarlet Empress consolidate's her rule of the Blessed Isle, and attempts to expand into the threshold. Her expansionistic aim's are limited by the emergence of a number of rival nation, also claiming power in a number of areas.
Breeding Like People
The Scarlet Empress invite all Dragon Bloods to settle on the Blessed Isle, and join her Empire as nobles. Many but not all accept the offer. They promptly begin selective breeding program's to rebuild thier numbers, using large numbers of female mortals to give birth to Exalted children and rebreeding the following generation's allow them to replunish their number in a suprisingly short time. (Note: Their are a great many more Dragon Blooded in UE than in E, as 20,000 in 700 years makes little sense. See Breeding Dragon Bloods for details.) The ranks restored the Dragon Blooded set out to bring Creation under thier rule, with varying degree's of success.
War in the East
Several attempts at imperial expansion into the Thousand River's area of the East are blocked by an alliance of nations headed by the force's of Looksky.
The Return of the Solars
Breaking of the Jade Prision by the Neverborn, 150ish Solar Aura's stolen, with 100 going to the Neverborn to be used to create the Abyssals, 50 go to the Yozis becoming the Infernals. Solar's return in great numbers to Creation for the first time sense the Usurpation. Leyseal the God of Exaltation release his strangle hold on the Splinters, and the Exalted of Creation begain to gain power at a much greater rate than have over the last 2000 years.
The Comming Storm
Current status of Creation.