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Abyssals and Gods

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
    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.
    Oh hell no. As far as I can gather, being a good Immaculate more or less means sitting down, shutting up, knowing your place, and serving appropriately. While a work of second edition, I do remember a moment of enlightenment in reading the introduction to the Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier, which extols the virtues of being one among many, of eschewing personal ambition in service of the greater whole.

    You can't reduce people to figurative cogs in the machine, but the Immaculate Philosophy certainly tries its best to lionize just that with good reason: soldiers (and peons and servants and slaves) who know their place and curb their ambitions are significantly less likely to have the sort of drive toward personal excellence that can make a good Exalt.

    Back to my point: ghosts are also failures at knowing their place. By dint of being still aware and active after their own deaths, they aren't fulfilling their proper role as newborn Realm citizens. They may not be Exalted or even particularly antagonistic to the Realm, but they can easily be called Anathema: their very existence is wrong according to the Dragons and their writings.


    • #17
      I really like the idea of the Underworld having gods too. On the other hand, I like the Silver Prince's rhetoric that because the Gods care not for Skullstone, they've turned to the righteous dead to take their place. There are probably ways to handle that where you can have both, though.

      Originally posted by Lanaya View Post
      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.
      2e Deathknights had a charm called Spirit-Chaining Doom which allowed them to bind gods as an alternative to killing them with the mirror of Ghost-Eating Technique. 2e Sidereals had a similar power with a Bureaucracy charm, Terminal Sanction.

      Both Charms involved binding a god by "killing" it (I'm oversimplifying the Sidereal case, but it's pretty close) and neither charm allows a god to be summoned.


      • #18
        Regarding the naturality or unnaturality of the underworld, there's this quote:
        Originally posted by Exalted 3e, p114
        Perhaps there was once a time when death was the only means of passage between the lands of the living and the dead. If so, that time was long ago; the Underworld resides close by Creation in the Second Age, and where too many souls have passed into the lands below too quickly, or where the living world has been scarred by sufficient atrocity, the Underworld may bleed up into the sunlit world. These places where death and life commingle are known as shadowlands.
        This offers a few thoughts on the matter.
        1) It's possible shadowlands didn't exist at first; people died and awoke in the underworld, and reincarnated or lingered therein, but eventually were swept away or passed on.
        2) The fact that a shadowland primarily arises from atrocities or calamities rather than spontaneously opening like a Yu Shan gate suggests that they at least could easily be seen as not a Natural thing.
        I would presume that any god overseeing the dead in some way post-death is likely to be a forbidden god who owes no allegiance to Heaven.

        As far as Abyssals specifically, my thoughts on the matter. At base an Abyssal is likely seen as something akin to a ghost; they're more like a visitor from a foreign, strange land rather than an Enemy of Creation at base. Leveraging their tremendous power may upset gods, but it is more likely the upset of 'something strong is muscling in on my territory', rather than 'this is an abomination that should not be'. An abyssal acting in a way that is clearly antagonistic to Creation may be upgraded from 'dangerous tourist' to 'deliberate threat'.
        Last edited by Meianno Yuurei; 03-19-2017, 04:28 AM.


        • #19
          I don't think gods overseeing death would intrinsically be Forbidden Gods. Like if Heaven wants someone to oversee it, why would they make them forbidden? I would also wager that for like, almost all of the spirits which may or may not fit that title in the Celestial Bureaucracy are not involved with the Underworld but with the normal process of reincarnation.

          That quote is interesting for an unrelated reason though. Namely the idea that in the past perhaps the only way to get there was to die, but that Big Deaths may have made shadowlands possible.

          This information is somewhat unremarkable when considered in the context of previous editions, but I want to suggest it might be exciting because of how in 3rd edition, the Underworld does not at all correspond to Creation... EXCEPT for Shadowlands.

          In the beginning, it might have all just been water. Infinite rivers and water and a hole in the middle that was the Void. Maybe then whatever made Shadowlands start happening is what allows for the Underworld to become a place with islands and rivers rather than a great waterbed of nothingness.

          EDIT: In fairness, there probably already were a bunch of places there way back when, I just mean to say that shadowlands compel a connection between Creation and the Underworld that doesn't seem to exist otherwise, which is in part reflected by the suggestion that, in 3rd Edition, it is no longer eyeliner Creation.
          Last edited by Leetsepeak; 03-19-2017, 07:43 AM.

          Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.


          • #20
            Oh, I agree that if heaven assigned a God to go to the underworld and do stuff there, they wouldn't be a forbidden god; it was more operating from the assumption that heaven hasn't, being more preoccupied with the state of Creation and the living (who provide prayer) than the dead (who don't, at least to anywhere near the same extent, and mostly intrude on creation and cause troubles and competition).

            If heaven does decide to intervene in the affairs of the dead and appoints a god to that task, of course he'd be sanctioned in that role.