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Zenith Vision of the UCS : Before the UCS turned his face back to the Solar Exalted?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Piff View Post
    I think it ought to be the same with Zenith. If a powerful religious leader of the Southeast... a great man with a lifetime of dedicated service and deep wisdom... who just happens to belief in a rainbow turtle and has for like sixty years, Exalts? That's the belief he ought to keep. That's the vision he ought to see. His personality should be magnified, enhanced and set loose by the Exaltation - not hedged in by it. He shouldn't have to adjust his turtle deity into a Sun god. Just like the Dawn, he should just be a magnified version of himself, now set loose for the world to deal with... for better or worse. And maybe in a few millenia... EVERYBODY worships the turtle, as the Zenith sits on a throne of prayers and blood.

    The encounter and dialogue between two Zeniths with this approach is IMO far more interesting than what you get if you follow the canon approach ("Oh, you saw the sun too? AWESOME!").
    Why would the religious leader 'believe' in a rainbow turtle? This is Creation; gods simply exist. If your religious leader follows Kamu Orasha, the Turtle of a Hundred Hues, then he's a real god. That doesn't stop the UCS from showing up with a message, and that message doesn't invalidate the faith of the character. Now, rather than Sol deceiving his Zeniths by impersonating their gods, the Zenith can have an honest and difficult conversation with themselves and others about whether or not to abandon their old god and follow only the Unconquered Sun.

    My current Zenith was essentially a member of the gestapo before his Exaltation. He finds it simultaneously amusing and horrifying that he was Chosen as a "priest." He has decided that Sol Chose him because he needed results, not piety.

    Anyway, I think there is a great deal of story value in the Zenith vision. If you personally find it confining rather than inspirational, there are four other Castes without that mechanism.


    • #17
      On a related note: I am trying to imagine how a nominally-Immaculate fearing person might react to Exalting as a Zenith.

      Panic attacks? Freaking out? General confusion?


      • #18
        Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
        On a related note: I am trying to imagine how a nominally-Immaculate fearing person might react to Exalting as a Zenith.

        Panic attacks? Freaking out? General confusion?
        By one character in my game? Apparently deep identiy issues that manifest as an extreme desire for right and wrong/clarity, leading to a weirdly eager to murder things mindset because its something definite in your idenity you can rely on. >.>

        I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Totentanz View Post

          Why would the religious leader 'believe' in a rainbow turtle? This is Creation; gods simply exist. If your religious leader follows Kamu Orasha, the Turtle of a Hundred Hues, then he's a real god.
          Just like those Immaculate guys! Oh wait...

          The existence of actual Gods just gives fictional Gods more fertile ground to grow in. Not every God people believe in in Exalted is real!

          Remember, contrary to the exceptional examples provided as story seeds, the book is pretty clear most Gods are fairly reclusive beings. They don't run around proving they exist to people regularly, in any case, since that's not something most of them find particularly important. Therefore, if I make up a powerful God... a Sextes Jiles, for example... and say he exists, and people make money off of saying he exists, and raise children to believe he exists? Then well. You've got yourself a faith!

          This is particularly important, as a side note, when considering the downtrodden people of Creation... who are too pathetic by and large to attract genuine divine patronage. Do these people just stop being religious? Absolutely not - they invent absent deities and worship those, just as people throughout history have done.

          The reality is demographically, nowhere near enough Gods exist to go around, and certainly not enough who are down with Mandate-breaking human interaction hanky panky (and have an understanding of it). So, people make do.

          Hell, I'd not be surprised if MORE bullshit Gods exist in Creation than would on earth, just because how the hell do you know what's fake and what's not in this insane flat earth?


          • #20
            Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
            On a related note: I am trying to imagine how a nominally-Immaculate fearing person might react to Exalting as a Zenith.

            Panic attacks? Freaking out? General confusion?
            In the case of the one I'm playing in my friend's game, crippling alcoholism and self-destructive behavior. His is certain of the Perfected Hierarchy and still does everything to help find people's places in it, but there's new pieces of the puzzle that he has to figure out where they exactly belong. Since he's a sun-touched, and he was granted the power specifically by Helios, they clearly aren't ALL power stealing monsters, but since the Immaculate Texts are so vehemently against them, there's clearly got to be SOMETHING to the "soul eating monster" thing.

            Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Scion with Shield of Knowledge


            • #21
              I like to think that a lot of Conky's messages to Zeniths end up along these lines:

              -d light means it's recording, right?
              Cool, cool, so how much time do I have beforbeeeeeeeeeeeep
              that again. It's on?
              It's on
              Right, okay. Here we go. *clears throat* GREETINGS MORTbeeeeeeeeeeeeep
              ay, yes, Saturn, that was very funny, "There's always an ending, even to recordings" indeed, hahaha but let's be serious about this, okay? This is supposed to be a big, important thing thbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep
              All right, I'm starting to get just a little tired of thbeeeeeeeeeeeeep
              Okay, put the damn recording thing down for one damn minute and we are going to disbeeeeeeeeeeeeep
              All right, so fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you and Luna, dearest, fuck you forty times over.
              Promises, promises
              Look, I am serious about this, can we just act with a little goddam beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep
              You know what? Fine. Fine. If the six of you just want to be stupid, immature bitbeeeeeeeep

              Have you ever read a Coik post before, man? lol


              • #22
                Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
                On a related note: I am trying to imagine how a nominally-Immaculate fearing person might react to Exalting as a Zenith.

                Panic attacks? Freaking out? General confusion?
                I mentioned this in another thread, but (assuming they do get the vision like normal), it'd be natural for them to think that they are a real genuine chosen of the Unconquered Sun, not an anathema, and that all the other Solars are still soul-eating Anathema demons.

                After all, Immaculate teachings say that Anathema stole power from the UCS. Nothing stops him from actually choosing Exalted; and if they get a vision from him, they know their power wasn't stolen. They don't know this about any other Solars! And obviously other Immaculates won't listen to them, since every fifth Anathema says that they were actually chosen. But it's the logical conclusion for them to draw - they're the one real genuine Solar Exalt chosen by the Unconquered Sun, and everyone else is still an evil Anathema fake who stole their power.


                • #23
                  Thank's all for the responses.

                  I think I managed to get some nice ideas from them, particularly want to call out Arian Dynas, glamourweaver, Totentanz.

                  Here's an initial go at it, it's a bit long though. (Keep in mind this is just an initial draft for my character's back story, might change later) :

                  Aether Godsblood was deep in meditation when the presence came to him. The gifted martial artist suddenly felt as if a giant had just appeared in front of him. Whomever was here had a presence that dwarfed anyone Aether had ever met including his master. He opened his to see who had managed to intruded upon him like this and it was as if he was seeing for the first time. A bright blazing light flooded what should have been a dark room. Everything was brighter and clearer then it had ever been. All his senses expanded till it felt like had been blind deaf and dumb before.

                  Yet it was less then it should be.

                  Aether did not understand how he knew this but he did know.

                  Aether could see further then he ever had, he should have been able to see further. Aether could hear more then he ever could before, he should have heard even more.

                  The light that was illuminating the room was bright and warm, yet it should have been brighter & warmer.

                  It should have been closer.

                  Much like large, glorious golden figure in front of him.

                  The room was small, yet it felt like all of Creation was just right behind Aether and the golden figure should have been right in front of him, yet it was as if this bright being was miles away from the martial artist.

                  The golden figure should have been looking at Aether yet they were turned away from him, from creation.

                  Aether opened his mouth to speak when he felt it.

                  Without looking, the being was was aware of him, was examining him, every single part of him....

                  'No, not me' Aether thought, as he suddenly became aware of another presence, inside the room. Inside the young godsblood himself.

                  This new presense was Aether but not. It had not been a part of him before but Aether knew they were now one and would be till death and this bright glorious being was judging this presence, finding it and by extension Aether wanting and Aether somehow *knew* that judgement was deserved.

                  'This is wrong' Aether thought. 'Say something, tell me why you the Divine Flame are not speaking to me, tell me Unconquered Sun what I did wrong?'

                  "Sol Invictus, tell me how to make it right?" The last words escaped Aether as a shout.

                  The golden figure did not move, yet the god-blooded felt the distance beween them growing. The figure was leaving.

                  Aether felt despair fill his soul. 'Sol Invictus...'

                  Aether turned his head, unable to bear the sight of his god leaving him and that was when the god-blooded saw what was behind him.

                  The sight made him clench his fists in shame as he realised the price of his actions an age ago.

                  Aether was back in his own room, that he had never left. Tears came from his eyes as a golden disc shone from his brow and he recalled what he had seen when had looked away from his god.

                  'Creation should not suffer because of our failures.'

                  It was an hour before the tears stopped. An hour spent on his knees, half in prayer, half in shameful despair.

                  Yet at the end, Aether God-blooded, Pillar of Heaven and Chosen of the Unconquered Sun wiped the tears from his eyes and moved to open the window and gaze upon the sun shining brightly in the sky.

                  "My god, I will accept any punishment for my failures as your priest and chosen, I will complete any atonement you desire but even if you turn your face away from your unworthy chosen for the rest of time, I will convince you to turn your face back on Creation."

                  'After all' Aether thought as he turned to gather his belongings. 'A priest is meant to be a connection between their god and Creation. It's time I started.'

                  Seriously thanks for the responses. This helped me sketch out my character's motivation as well.

                  "Get the UCS to face creation again."

                  Originally posted by Piff View Post
                  Personally I think the visitations from the Sun (and, also, Luna) are not a good thing for the game. They evolved out of a particular end-of-chapter fiction that depicted the 1e Zenith speaking with the Sun.

                  But in practice, the visitations are horrible. Primarily because they SHUT DOWN rather than enable story and character - they tell you the '2e style' truth behind the Cosmic Reality and RP be damned. I think, instead, Zenith out to have an exceptionally powerful religious experience... the same kind that people throughout history have had. Do you meet God, or do you suffer Ego Death? Is God a Woman? Do you see a snake eat an egg which hatches and has the world inside of it? Any number of intense, meaningful psychedelic experiences could motivate a Zenith character in a thousand interesting ways.

                  In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of Zenith potentially is them being wrong! Uniformly, to me, the least interesting solution is the one that 3e canon has stuck with since that end-of-chapter fiction - the sun shows up and says Hi. Further, he's not even supposed to say anything that particularly interesting! The OP has had the problem like 3 of my Zenith players have had once I explained the vision thing to them.

                  It feels meta, it doesn't do anything productive, it shuts down character concepts and it's a relic of the 'Stat Up the Sun' approach that made late 2e pretty unbearable. I highly suggest dropping it entirely and creating a powerful religious experience for your character that's appropriate to the cultural background they emerge from.... and, reinforces aspects of the character that already exist rather than having the One True God drop by for a useless conversation which accomplishes nothing.
                  @Bolded: Speaking for my intentions behind making this thread, I was simply looking for inspiration as to how the UCS would interact with Zeniths. I've made a number of Zenith's which had decent visions post-Jade Prison break but this is the first I am making before it.

                  Disagree here. The fact that the Zenith always have had such a personal revelation of the UCS is part of what drew me to them, that and the fact that they are priests. A priest that does not know their own god or speak for them should not be a priest. In my eyes they enable a whole lot for my characters.

                  Also why would a Zenith have to give up their Turtle god ? They could be priest's of both if needed or even just rebel against the UCS if need be.

                  That being said I am probably a bit of an outlier in terms of Fantasy RPG's. I like a few things, particularly the cosmology about a setting being definite. Whenever I come onto forums (including non-WW games) I find most people seem to want a "Who can say which creation myth is right?" and/or "Keep the Gods vague" despite the fact that one can talk to Gods in most Fantasy RPGs. I prefer the opposite, I like having a set cosmology (does not mean my characters have to accept that cosmology should remain the way it is though) and I was somewhat sad that the developers wanted to keep the Incarnae more vague in this edition (Yes, I generally liked most [not all] of the fluff about the Incarnae in version 2.)
                  Last edited by TryingToBeSlim; 04-16-2017, 07:19 PM.