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The Inauspicious Eclipse : An Alternative to the Jade Prison

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  • The Inauspicious Eclipse : An Alternative to the Jade Prison

    So with my latest campaign I've played with a lot of assumptions (see: my pole switching thread for some insights) and I've sort of reskinned the Usurpation. Obviously this plays with some set-in-stone canon elements so I'd rather discuss this idea productively than have people point out it shouldn't work in the game as printed. Here are the basic axioms of the idea...

    A) Solar Exalted will reincarnate at any time they are killed, EXCEPT during an Eclipse;
    B) If a Solar is killed during an Eclipse, the Exaltation does not separate and remains trapped in the body as a type of Hungry Ghost;
    C) This was a known fact during the First Age - perhaps this is just a flaw of the Solar Exalted, or maybe it's some spell cast by the Titans that echoes still,
    D) The Solar Exalted were slaughtered during an Eclipse in this version of the Usurpation and buried with extreme paranoia;
    E) In the Time of Tumult, several tombs have been abandoned/forgotten and the Deathlords have arisen from them;
    F) The only way to 'recover' one of these Exaltations is for a suitable host to happen upon the remains, they are unable to 'seek' new hosts as normally.
    G) The most (in)auspicious time for 'tainting' Exaltations, or for a Solar Exalted to explore non-conventional expressions of essence, is during an Eclipse.

    I'm interested in any ways this may affect default setting presumptions that have eluded me. Thanks for contributing everybody who wants to help!

  • #2
    This casts some shadows on the Eclipse Caste by association, first of all.

    Are you implying that the Deathlords are themselves Exaltations? If so, what would Happen if someone worthy find their remains?

    Finally, what would happen if the body were destroyed? If someone's ashes were scattered to the wind, does that free the Exaltation, if only de facto?

    Further, this means that any reincarnating Exalt might get very cagey around the Eclipse, especially post-Usurpation. Your current description suggests that it all happened in one night.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mockery View Post
      This casts some shadows on the Eclipse Caste by association, first of all.
      Yeah, Eclipse Caste might face some prejudice based upon this - though honestly, it doesn't seem very justified on the surface.

      Originally posted by Mockery View Post
      Are you implying that the Deathlords are themselves Exaltations?
      No, the implication is that the Deathlords are literally the physical / spiritual remains of the Exalt - both souls included. So they are a dead Exalted who didn't properly complete the process of 'de-exaltation' that usually happens when you die and continues to walk and talk.

      Originally posted by Mockery View Post
      If so, what would Happen if someone worthy find their remains?
      In the case of the Deathlords, that wouldn't be a particularly good thing, because the remains have become Deathlords and they are grumpy and smell bad.

      Originally posted by Mockery View Post
      Finally, what would happen if the body were destroyed? If someone's ashes were scattered to the wind, does that free the Exaltation, if only de facto?
      Yes! In fact a major reason I'm doing this is I want a Conan-style scene where the players can find remains and Exalt, which isn't available in canon.

      Originally posted by Mockery View Post
      Further, this means that any reincarnating Exalt might get very cagey around the Eclipse, especially post-Usurpation. Your current description suggests that it all happened in one night.
      This is another part of the idea I'm attracted to, as having a period of heightened tension might be a good thing for my game...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Piff View Post
        I'm interested in any ways this may affect default setting presumptions that have eluded me. Thanks for contributing everybody who wants to help!
        Sounds like the first generation of returned Solars might be more like Indiana Jones than Musashi. So that's fun. The realm might have a lot more interest in the first age ruins in the Scavenger Lands than they did previously. You never know when someone is going to fall into a hole and climb out as a sorcerous god-king. There might also be a higher concentration of Solar tombs around Mt. Meru on the Blessed Isle where they can be better guarded. That might lead to some daring Dynasts who failed to exalt as Dragon-blooded breaking into the tombs as a last ditch effort to prove themselves. Then face a crisis if they actually exalt as anathema.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, you could have the body-discovery/exaltation in the setting as is, just not so repeatable. A scavenger lord Indiana Jonesing his way through a tomb and Exalting is P cool in my book.

          Depending on how long you see an Eclipse lasting, and how efficacious the first strike was, you may have more Solars reincarnating than usual, unless of course you tweak that as well.

          Are eclipses regular in your setting, or rare and auspicious? Is there an implied collusion on the part of the Unconquered Sun in the Usurpation by causing an eclipse?

          How many Exalted !mummiesalive Deadlords do you see this having produced? More or less than the default ~13?

          Unless you add one, there is no direct association with the DLs and the Neverborn in your current layout, unless I missed something.

          Does the suitable host showing up apply to the ambulatory DLs? Is the secret to stopping FAFL for him to be confronted by a spunky young mortal who can accept his Exaltation?

          And finally, is the implication that Solar futtzing during an Eclipse created Infernals and Abyssals, or is there something else going on there?
          Last edited by MoroseMorgan; 03-07-2017, 11:13 AM.


          Raksha are my fae-vorite.

          Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

          Comment


          • #6
            Assuming this changes, are the solar still returning in vast numbers? If so, how did that happen? Did 300 separate expeditions found and freed the entombed solars essence by burning the body or something?

            Also this is a nice alternative Deathlord origin. But, how does it work with the whole abyssal and infernal corruption. How did the Deathlords/Yozis managed to find and corrupt all those solar essences for their unholy plans?

            I like this idea in general. I would tweak it just so that the reincarnation flaw wasn't incribed in the solar exalted design, but rather was a gret astrological ritual performed by the sidereals, so strong and unnatural that a complete constelation was broken as a result.


            Join the Strife

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
              Are eclipses regular in your setting, or rare and auspicious? Is there an implied collusion on the part of the Unconquered Sun in the Usurpation by causing an eclipse?
              Interesting questions I haven't examined yet.

              Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
              How many Exalted !mummiesalive Deadlords do you see this having produced? More or less than the default ~13?
              As many as becomes story-relevant, I don't think it will be needed in theory to actually get into how many total exist in worldwide census.

              Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
              Unless you add one, there is no direct association with the DLs and the Neverborn in your current layout, unless I missed something.
              Correct! They're just super ghost-zombies, more or less. Like... accidental liches.

              Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
              Does the suitable host showing up apply to the ambulatory DLs? Is the secret to stopping FAFL for him to be confronted by a spunky young mortal who can accept his Exaltation?
              An interesting idea but I think the ambulatory Deathlords probably need to be made non-ambulatory first, but it's a fun enough concept I'm considering it!

              Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
              And finally, is the implication that Solar futtzing during an Eclipse created Infernals and Abyssals, or is there something else going on there?
              That could have happened! I like leaving it open but that's an intentional potential interpretation.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
                Assuming this changes, are the solar still returning in vast numbers? If so, how did that happen? Did 300 separate expeditions found and freed the entombed solars essence by burning the body or something?
                At some point that may be a story relevant question and I'll tackle it, but for now it's only important to focus on the players since they're the only Solar Exalted that exist in the local environment. I doubt the game will run long enough to make time spent answering these questions well invested.

                Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
                Also this is a nice alternative Deathlord origin. But, how does it work with the whole abyssal and infernal corruption. How did the Deathlords/Yozis managed to find and corrupt all those solar essences for their unholy plans?
                I know this sounds like a cop out but that's another question I'm not getting into, largely owing to the lack of any Abyssal/Infernal rules. The more narrative importance I give those guys the more expectations I get that they will show up, and the more endless hours of not-really-adaquate homebrew I have to produce...

                Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
                I like this idea in general. I would tweak it just so that the reincarnation flaw wasn't incribed in the solar exalted design, but rather was a gret astrological ritual performed by the sidereals, so strong and unnatural that a complete constelation was broken as a result.
                That's a pretty fun idea. I'll add it to the list of legends (since I never plan to have to actually confirm what actually happened, tons of alternate theories help produce mystery).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Okay natural question. This exaltaion lockdown during eclipses, does it happen to other exalts or just Solars? Like do the sids go into hyper paranoia mode if an eclipse happens while they're on their job because they are short staffed enough without one of them getting locked down because they died at the wrong time?

                  If it's only the Solars during a solar eclipse then do Lunars get screwed over by this phenomena if it's a lunar eclipse? That one seems rather important since Lunars didn't get locked down in the backstory of the normal setting (and I presume yours as well.) thus leaving them open for more instances of this happening to them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hadn't considered that! Very good ideas though, they could provide for some interesting situations... I might use it. See, things like this are why I asked you guys for help!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To add to the headcanon, I'd say the Sidereals have a similar effect if they die in Creation during Calibration, when there are no stars in the sky, the Abyssals have a similar effect when the calendar of Satesh casts a moonshadow over them as they die the second death in the Underworld, and the Infernals would suffer it when they die in the Ebon Dragon's shadow, betraying even death.

                      Dragon-Blooded would have no such similar effect. Finally, nothing can cage the Lunars.

                      When it comes to Deathlords and ambulatory and non-ambulatory, the ones canon knows as deathlords could be these Eclipse-killed Solars who struck a deal with the Neverborn before their personal Indiana Jones encounter, losing that weakness at the cost of pledging to serve Oblivion.

                      Cool theory.


                      Exalted Fanfiction on AO3 that I have authored. A Lunar oral history, a Solar buddy-fiction, and other story hooks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh man, if you're in to that sort of thing, this is a perfect excuse for the Scarlet Empress to secretly be a Solar instead of a dragonblood. Maybe there was a Solar tomb near the Sword of Creation. Loyal Realm soldier wanders in, saves the day, then fabricates a story about how her fictitious sworn brotherhood was all slain. Amid so much chaos who could prove otherwise?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Anathemouse View Post
                          Oh man, if you're in to that sort of thing, this is a perfect excuse for the Scarlet Empress to secretly be a Solar instead of a dragonblood. Maybe there was a Solar tomb near the Sword of Creation. Loyal Realm soldier wanders in, saves the day, then fabricates a story about how her fictitious sworn brotherhood was all slain. Amid so much chaos who could prove otherwise?
                          Since I haven't actually defined the exact year several sessions in, and this is a VERY remote part of the map (literally like 200-300 miles south of the Cinder Isles), I'd considered not using the Scarlet Empress at all. In fact, my inclination is to make her a facet of PREHISTORY... to suggest a number of other dynasties, Chinese style. Perhaps a Vermillion Dynasty, perhaps a Plum Dynasty... I was thinking of going with a color theme.

                          The whole point of this is to subvert the expectations of veteran players and I think it's so far going very well. The far south is experiencing the first inklings of the fact the temperate is going to plunge 100 degrees in the next twenty years and the world is on the threshold of chaos! Wooo!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Piff View Post
                            So with my latest campaign I've played with a lot of assumptions (see: my pole switching thread for some insights) and I've sort of reskinned the Usurpation. Obviously this plays with some set-in-stone canon elements so I'd rather discuss this idea productively than have people point out it shouldn't work in the game as printed. Here are the basic axioms of the idea...

                            A) Solar Exalted will reincarnate at any time they are killed, EXCEPT during an Eclipse;
                            B) If a Solar is killed during an Eclipse, the Exaltation does not separate and remains trapped in the body as a type of Hungry Ghost;
                            C) This was a known fact during the First Age - perhaps this is just a flaw of the Solar Exalted, or maybe it's some spell cast by the Titans that echoes still,
                            D) The Solar Exalted were slaughtered during an Eclipse in this version of the Usurpation and buried with extreme paranoia;
                            E) In the Time of Tumult, several tombs have been abandoned/forgotten and the Deathlords have arisen from them;
                            F) The only way to 'recover' one of these Exaltations is for a suitable host to happen upon the remains, they are unable to 'seek' new hosts as normally.
                            G) The most (in)auspicious time for 'tainting' Exaltations, or for a Solar Exalted to explore non-conventional expressions of essence, is during an Eclipse.

                            I'm interested in any ways this may affect default setting presumptions that have eluded me. Thanks for contributing everybody who wants to help!

                            This is a Hella cool Idea.

                            Wait so do the ghosts disappear if a suitable host shows up? Or are they there merged? What happens if you kill one of these ghosts?

                            This one of the coolest ideas for Deathlord Origins.


                            It is a time for great deeds!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post


                              This is a Hella cool Idea.

                              Wait so do the ghosts disappear if a suitable host shows up? Or are they there merged? What happens if you kill one of these ghosts?

                              This one of the coolest ideas for Deathlord Origins.
                              I think that can vary with the Exalted, status of the tomb, and the particulars regarding the death and who the individual was. One of the central ideas is that the giant tomb things were a prudent precaution to keep the dead Solars from turning into 'Things', which has turned out to be very wise. That's a lot of spiritual energy to just leave bottled up! So to some extent I think the Usurpers were burying them like nuclear waste, and making great sacrifices to ensure the tombs would rest comfortably and appease the Solar Exalted for eternity.

                              Of course just like nuclear waste disposal engineers are constantly wrestling with, forever is a long time!

                              So the answer to your question, do the ghosts vanish? Show up? Fight? Merge?... they may do all of these things, because many of these tombs are very old and in poor condition. In the single Exaltation that has proceeded thus far, a Guild Prince became aware of the location of Exalted remains and contracted the PC (a scavenger) to bring them back to him. I conspired to make sure the skull with the castemark would be destroyed during a fight on the journey so she inherited the Exaltation personally and pissed the guy off pretty massively.

                              But I would totally do it uniquely for each particular first age Exalt and tomb situation. The point is the Eclipse death is sorta a 'glitch' so it's an uncontrolled chaotic thing that can evolve into all sorts of weirdness and epic madness.

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