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  • Abyssals and Gods

    How is the standing between Abyssals and Gods?
    Is there enmity because Abyssals want to destroy all of creation?
    Might there be partnership for example between an Abyssal and a god of gore and bloodshed?
    Is it possible for Abyssals to summon / bind Gods?

  • #2
    Abyssals, like all exalts, are people writ large. In the exalted setting, many gods are also essentially people. While they may have strange motivations, powers and duties by human standards, they are still possessed of very recognisable character traits, like the greek gods of myths.

    Between people, any kind of relationship is possible. It all depends on what each side wants.

    As for summoning, Abyssals can learn sorcery (as far as we know so far), including summon elemental.


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    • #3
      There's no means for any kind of Exalt to summon or bind a god. Elementals, demons and ghosts have to suffer that indignity, but not gods.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Colognian View Post
        How is the standing between Abyssals and Gods?
        Is there enmity because Abyssals want to destroy all of creation?
        I would imagine enmity, but that diplomatic relations can still exist.

        ​I personally like the image in Compass: Yu-Shan of the Deathlords having ambassadors in Heaven, which could certainly include Abyssals. Whatever long-term plans there are, and how open they are, maintaining an ongoing dialogue can have its values.


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        • #5
          There's also the fact that the Deathlords may not all share the goal of dunking Creation into the Void like a shitty dead Michael Jordan, and not all Abyssals serve them anyway---the god/Abyssal relationship is probably not stellar on average, but variables abound.


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          • #6
            I personally subscribe to an idea that all of the Deathlords really do want to ultimately see the world die, just that this has more nuance than three or four varieties of building an army of superweapons to sweep over everything.

            ​I'd need to see exactly how the chivalry of the dead is realised, but I'd also say something like that is a strong common imperative for basically all Abyssals as well.

            It's just... the United States and Soviet Union were able to maintain diplomatic relations for most of the 20th century.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Colognian View Post
              How is the standing between Abyssals and Gods?
              Is there enmity because Abyssals want to destroy all of creation?
              Might there be partnership for example between an Abyssal and a god of gore and bloodshed?
              Is it possible for Abyssals to summon / bind Gods?
              The Abyssals are a mystery. Even in 1st and 2nd edition nobody really knew what the Abyssal's goals were. They just knew that a new type of Exalt, which looked eerily similar to the Solars had appeared, and these Exalted had powers over the Underworld. Remember that even the existence of the Deathlords, let alone their end-game was completely unknown to the vast majority of Creation. The first time most people in Creation had even heard of the Deathlords was just a couple of years earlier when the Mask of Winters conquered Thorns and the common belief was that the Deathlords planned to conquer Creation, not destroy it.

              In general most gods are (sensibly) very weary and distrustful of Abyssals. The Underworld is unnatural and does not have any native gods. It's not their home, its a frightening foreign world. And gods tend to be fairly weary of Exalted in general, so it's only natural they would find the Abyssals terribly disconcerting and frightening. Gods who choose to interact with Abyssals or the Underworld tend to do so in a personal manner - to my knowledge Heaven has never taken any sort of "official" stance on the Underworld. Ultimately most gods just choose to avoid it because what happens in the Underworld has little to do with them.

              That said, it's entirely possible for an Abyssal and a god to enter into a partnership with one another, especially when the two of them have shared interested. Back in First Edition I played a Moonshadow merchant-prince who had a close alliance with a god of trade. The trade god appreciated the idea of expanding trade into the Underworld (and increasing her own power) and the two got along fairly well together.

              Another player in a game I ran in 2nd edition was playing a Day Caste Abyssal with a Bloody Hand partner. The two of them got on a little too well.


              Aslo, two other things I remembered from earlier editions -

              The Labyrinth Circle Spell, Joyless Spirit's Corruption (White and Black Treatise page 42) allows the caster to break a god's chains to Yu-Shan and Creation and instead transform it into being a god of the Underworld. Few gods are willing to undergo the process, and the ones who do typically do it for selfish reasons. Doing so means they turn their back on Creation, Heaven and the Unconquered Sun.

              In the Yu-Shan book, it mentions that there is a Heavenly Gateway that leads between Yu-Shan and Onyx, the capital of the Skullstone Archipelago. It says that the Silver Prince occasionally entertains emissaries from heaven, but if they try to stay too long without his permission he and his servants will hunt them down and kill them.

              Who knows if either of these ideas will remain in 3rd edition or not.

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              • #8
                Hmm, you bring up a good point Anubis; what has been written about the chivalry of death thus far actually seems like it could be something that leaves the ultimate motives of Abyssal Exalted as being a bit inexplicable to outsiders.

                ​Some of your stated experience with Abyssals also reminds me of ideas I've had about ones who represent the totentanz, or convey their philosophies by demonstrations of the absurdity of life. To go about presiding over the end of the world with exceeding cordiality.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                • #9
                  I imagine it's based on how the Abyssal is run. I mean few gods are going to want to work with the psycho slaughter engine who's only objection to throwing the world into Oblivion is that they wouldn't get to make it die themselves, but one who's all about dignity and honor of the deceased might make some friends.

                  Also depending on services I mean I wouldn't be surprised if a god was grateful to an Abyssal showing up if their goal was to clear out the hungry ghosts in their territory. The god might not even care, I mean it doesn't matter if the Abyssal is trying to put down the hungry ghost, gather it for military application, or use it as part of an artifact or working. A lot of gods will just want the thing out of their territory.

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                  • #10
                    Do the gods know that the Abyssals are roundabout servants of the Neverborn? Do they still hold a grudge?

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                    • #11
                      The majority of Creation, gods included, only really know of a few of the Deathlord this time around. I mean Mask is obvious, the Lover is known in the North, and the Bodhisvatta is known in the West. A few Abyssals are known to work for Deathlords, at the very least Mask left a blind one as his regent in Thorns, so that the Deathknights serve the Deathlords is not an impossible conclusion to draw.

                      However, Basically nothing is known about the Deathlords now. So the gods probably don't know that Abyssals are in service to the Neverborn by virtue of not knowing much about the Abyssals or Deathlords, and two not knowing the Deathlords are working for the Neverborn.

                      As far as grudges go. The Neverborn are a safe bet. The Deathlords probably hold onto a few depending on the one if only for the sake of having something to do. The Abyssals probably do.

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                      • #12
                        One thing is, in 3rd edition, I doubt that very many gods or people in Creation even know that the Deathlords are connected to one another in any way.

                        To most people the Lover is probably just a powerful ghost who rules a shadowland in the North. The Mask of Winters is a different ghostly warlord who just conquered Thorns. The Silver Prince is a ghost who rules Skullstone. To most people, the Deathlords are just individual ghosts who control their own territories and often war and fight with one another.

                        The idea that they all share a similar goal and are working together (to some degree) is something many would probably find preposterous. It would be like saying that Creation has "Livinglords" and the Scarlet Empress, the Paragon, the Syndics and Ma-ha-suchi are all allied together for some nefarious purpose. Nobody would believe that.

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                        • #13
                          Is it a given in 3e that the Undeworld is 'unnatural'?

                          It seems like we're getting into the Primordial War and the specific consequences of it less and less, which in this case is a pretty good idea I think. I feel like the idea that the Primordials 'created' the underworld by dying is a thing better left in legend than canonical fact. It'd be interesting to have a world where highly informed people could suggest the Underworld is natural and has always been a part of Creation.

                          And honestly, I think the Underworld would probably end up more interesting if it did have some Gods in it. They ought to be distinct, of course, and probably not particularly popular outside of the Underworld... but it would seriously help in setting-building Underworld nations to have a bit more than simply spectrals, fauna and natives to deal with. Deathlords to some extent fill that niche but it's easier for me to write underworld settings that 'feel' Exalted when I can have a dark death God around occasionally.

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                          • #14
                            To quote the entry from the immaculate doctrine on other exalts. "The Liminal are blasphemous abberations against the natural order, but so are all things of the Underworld."

                            I doubt they're going to change the Underworld being created with the death of some of the Primordials. I mean part of the goal is to de-emphasize the Primodial War, but it's not really adding too much focus to say "This Malfeas the surviving Primordials that weren't on the Exalt's side are shoved in here. This is the Underworld... it just kind of happened when death wasn't set up properly to handle Primordials. This is Autochton, he was an ally, so he's free to do his own thing, and this is Gaia also on our side, generally doing her own thing also because no one wants to argue with Luna let alone the non-ill Primordial."

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                            • #15
                              I don't know if it was created by the death of the Primordials, but whatever its origins, it definitely does not seem like the kind of thing a reincarnationist religion like the Immaculate Philosophy would recognize as a natural part of life.


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