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What if Autochthon is Asleep because of the Alchemicals?

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  • What if Autochthon is Asleep because of the Alchemicals?

    I'm thinking here along the lines of the law of diminishment that the yozi are apparently fearful of.

    Autochthon exalts Alchemicals fairly frequently. Exactly what 'frequently' means is fairly variable, but we clearly have dozens or even hundreds in a century but prob no more than that. Regardless, what if that's what's causing him to sleep? What if he did actually set up an alarm but he can't wake up anymore because he's being drained faster than he can recuperate from the cost of powering the Alchemical Exaltation process? I'm assuming he set up the whole system to run on automatic assuming that there'd be like maybe one or two alchemicals a decade. Or he simply did not understand how much power he'd be using on each exaltation. As I recall wound down into sleep shortly after setting up the first set of alchemicals and starting this whole process.

    This would clear up several things in the Autochthonia setting that I've never been a fan of. For instance this would put a different spin on the Divine Ministers as they would no longer necessarily be bickering idiots who can't decide to wake him up. Now they may have tried to wake him up and found that they can't and they have no idea why. They may have been contributing to this by commissioning adamant castes but been completely unaware of the drain on Autochthon's resources.

    This would also be a big contributor to why the blight is gaining such a hold on Autobot. Maybe each time the eight nations exalts a new champion or circle of them the blight grows slightly larger because Autobot has no more to give. It's like suppressing an immune system gives opportunistic infections a chance to spread. Or cancer.

    Perhaps the alchemicals (players anyway) are not only the solution to the problems that plague Autochthon but also the the root cause of them?


    Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

  • #2
    I like this, personally. I don't have any particular interest in guilt tripping the players by telling them they shouldn't exist or something, but finding a power source that can cancel out a whole host of Exaltations in any way other than grinding up all the existing Alchemicals and dumping them back in seems like a suitably epic quest for an entire campaign, much better than convincing a council of mortals to wake a guy up.

    Bonus points if your solution for re-powering him doesn't involve strip-mining Creation.

    Hell, maybe Autochthon did know this process would keep him zonked out, but had faith in his Champions to do the impossible - like Exalted are wont to do - and save him from his sleep.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Remedy View Post
      I like this, personally. I don't have any particular interest in guilt tripping the players by telling them they shouldn't exist or something, but finding a power source that can cancel out a whole host of Exaltations in any way other than grinding up all the existing Alchemicals and dumping them back in seems like a suitably epic quest for an entire campaign, much better than convincing a council of mortals to wake a guy up.

      Bonus points if your solution for re-powering him doesn't involve strip-mining Creation.

      Hell, maybe Autochthon did know this process would keep him zonked out, but had faith in his Champions to do the impossible - like Exalted are wont to do - and save him from his sleep.
      Yeah i don't think there's any benefit in trying to blame the alchemicals themselves (or their players). Nor do I think it would help to try and recharge Autochthon by somehow sacrificing all the alchemicals. The whole diminishing returns thing. Plus I'd say that the Alchemical cities in particular are going a long way to keeping Autochthon alive and fighting.

      I really like the idea that the lack of power encouraged the growth of the blight zones but isn't the source of them. It implies that you basically have to keep fighting the blight and/or somehow solve the blight problem before you can effectively stop Alchemical production. the Alcehmical exalted are still his greatest hope in the fight against the gremlins and the void.

      I want to say that this opens up more story potential than it closes, really.


      Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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      • #4
        Humans believe the Blight Zones are a sign that Autochthon is dying, but instead they're Autochthon's immune system trying to destroy the things that are (unknowingly) slowly killing him. The Gremlins are just trying to wipe out the Alchemical Exalted (and by extension) the humans who live inside of them so that the Great Maker can awaken once again.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
          Plus I'd say that the Alchemical cities in particular are going a long way to keeping Autochthon alive and fighting.
          There was an idea floating around the forum back in the 2E days that Alchemicals, specifically cities, are a form of prosthetic for Autochthon. Back then it was about curing his illness with exalted organs, backed up by the fact that every listed city supplements or enhances some anatomical process in the Maker.

          The Infernal preview, which has been somewhat disavowed, suggested that the Yozi were grafting the Infernals into their soul hierarchies as a way to increase their own power.

          Combining the two, Autochthon may be doing this exact thing. While creating Alchemicals might be draining, when they root into him they may have effectively given back far more than they cost him to create. There was already talk of the religious pressure on Alchemicals for not undergoing the transformation to Colossus and Polis.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Exthalion View Post

            There was an idea floating around the forum back in the 2E days that Alchemicals, specifically cities, are a form of prosthetic for Autochthon. Back then it was about curing his illness with exalted organs, backed up by the fact that every listed city supplements or enhances some anatomical process in the Maker.

            The Infernal preview, which has been somewhat disavowed, suggested that the Yozi were grafting the Infernals into their soul hierarchies as a way to increase their own power.

            Combining the two, Autochthon may be doing this exact thing. While creating Alchemicals might be draining, when they root into him they may have effectively given back far more than they cost him to create. There was already talk of the religious pressure on Alchemicals for not undergoing the transformation to Colossus and Polis.
            That's what I was referring to yeah. Besides, if there's gonna be any Primordial/Yozi (really any of the high essence super-powered beings we know about) who goes in for cybernetic grafts, it's gonna be Autochthon.

            If this is true, then it's possible that decreasing the loss of young alchemicals might go a long way to solving the issue. A high attrition rate and the gremlinization of alchemicals may very well have thrown Autobots calculations into error, if this is his eventual plan anyway.


            Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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            • #7
              It might just be taking too long. Autochthon might have thought Alchemicals would be jumping at the chance to turn into cities and the fact that they aren't means he is diminishing faster than the new cities are counteracting the loss.

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              • #8
                One way to still make a council conspiracy relevant if you like that element is to have Autochthon's mission for the Alchemicals (developing or finding a new power source to restore him) be known only to the council, who take steps to keep the truth suppressed because they don't want their loyal and very useful Alchemicals running off en masse with their "greater calling," especially with the constant threat of the Gremlins looming. Or, if Autochthon's body is indeed creating what's known as Gremlin Syndrome as an involuntary immune system response to the Alchemicals and/or humanity, they might be worried that Alchemicals more loyal to Autochthon himself than humanity might turn against the state in their efforts to save him.

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                • #9
                  I quite like the idea overall! It ties in well with the whole "law of diminishment" of 3e, and does indeed make it a bit less so that Autochthon and his Ministers were just big screwups, instead making it a risky plan that Autochthon gambled on (and hasn't lost yet!). In fact, I'd suggest that the Ministers do know about the causes of Autochthon's extended sleep (or at least have a strong informed guess), but have mostly come to the conclusion that continuing Alchemical creation is necessary - basically, they think Autochthon is already too diminished to wake naturally, so the only way to keep things going long enough for another solution to present itself is Moar Alchemicals. They probably try to limit production, especially of their own Adamant-caste Champions, but are unwilling to just tell human Autochthonians what's happening, for fear of destroying their hope.

                  Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                  Humans believe the Blight Zones are a sign that Autochthon is dying, but instead they're Autochthon's immune system trying to destroy the things that are (unknowingly) slowly killing him. The Gremlins are just trying to wipe out the Alchemical Exalted (and by extension) the humans who live inside of them so that the Great Maker can awaken once again.
                  I really don't like this idea, I must admit, for a couple of reasons. First, it means that the logical response on the part of the Alchemicals, on learning this, is to kill other Alchemicals and then commit suicide. I don't think that's really in line with Exalted's general heroic theme. Second, I like the idea that Autochthon is naturally damaged/diseased as part of his themes - the "crippled craftsman" story comes up a fair bit, and is resonant. I think the Blight should exist in Autochthon, it's just spreading to consume him because of the circumstances.

                  What I like better is the thought that Alchemicals represent, in a sense, a "backup" for Autochthon. Not necessarily in the sense of 2e Infernals, where one could literally grow into a replacement Primordial, but more in the sense that each Alchemical represents a fragment of Autochthon's essence, and as long as an Alchemical is alive and not Apostate, Autochthon's not completely dead. Creatures of the Void, being extensions of the Neverborn-to-be that Autochthon would become if he died, recognize this instinctively, and so target Alchemicals for death or corruption in order to make their future-creator more certain.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
                    I really don't like this idea, I must admit, for a couple of reasons. First, it means that the logical response on the part of the Alchemicals, on learning this, is to kill other Alchemicals and then commit suicide. I don't think that's really in line with Exalted's general heroic theme. Second, I like the idea that Autochthon is naturally damaged/diseased as part of his themes - the "crippled craftsman" story comes up a fair bit, and is resonant. I think the Blight should exist in Autochthon, it's just spreading to consume him because of the circumstances.
                    I gotta say I agree with this. I think it's far better from a dramatic/storytelling point of view to consider the void to be an opportunistic disease. A cancer that spreads when the immune system is compromised. In short, killing all humans wouldn't even slow the void down at this point and may even speed it up given what humanity and the alchemicals do to slow/reverse the spread. Plus it doesn't actually make sense to me that the void is an immune response to the humans. The gremlins are primarily devoted to destroying Autochthon and hastening his transition to the Engine of Destruction. Most gremlins will happily murder humanity whenever they come across it but only as a pleasant bonus (for them). It's not like the void congregates around the eight nations specifically or swarms towards the cities of humanity to the exclusion of all else.


                    Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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                    • #11
                      This is a bad idea because the message is "Hey, you, player! Your cool character's very existence is the reason everything sucks! You ought to not be playing!"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                        This is a bad idea because the message is "Hey, you, player! Your cool character's very existence is the reason everything sucks! You ought to not be playing!"
                        The idea that creating alchemicals drains Autochthon or that humans and alchemicals are what is killing him and gremlins are his immune system?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Exthalion View Post

                          The idea that creating alchemicals drains Autochthon or that humans and alchemicals are what is killing him and gremlins are his immune system?
                          Both.

                          To be clear, when I say this is a bad idea, I mean can be a good idea for a particular campaign, assuming the PCs buy into that sort of twist, but it would be bad to implement or even hint at officially.

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                          • #14
                            I don't like this idea for the truth of the world, for several reasons given above.

                            I do like this idea for the beliefs of a dangerous underground cult, though.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                              This is a bad idea because the message is "Hey, you, player! Your cool character's very existence is the reason everything sucks! You ought to not be playing!"
                              So, it would be like the World of Darkness line?

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