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  • JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction

    Who are you, what is this, and why should I care?

    Hi, I'm JohnDoe#244 and I played my first WW game in '98 (already last century, god I love that joke) and when the announcement came that "Exalted is the secret history of the World of Darkness"... well they had me at "Exalted". I've been playing since 1st Ed, though I've yet to actually play 3rd yet.

    I made this thread to give my impressions of 3rd Ed's chapter fiction.

    And I should care because?

    Well that I can't answer. Why read any thread on this forum?

    Certainly my opinions aren't any more important than anyone else's. And I'd welcome discussion of not only my inferences but your takes as well.

    I do feel like views of fans with opinions like mine are not well represented in this forum and that discussing different opinions would give us all a bit of pleasure. And if I can tempt some of the people who wrote the fiction to chime in the so much the better.

    So... onwards.

    Corebook Introduction

    Solar Novia Claro considers Nexus "her city". She responds to Realm sabotage of Nexus's trade by sneaking aboard a Realm ship unnoticed, killing a deckhand without being seen, stealing everything of value and setting the ship on fire as she vanishes into the shadows.

    The story shows us the great stealth and athletic abilities of the Lawgivers, and discusses their social prowess. It's a good example of their themes of Excellence, and describes the effects of charms as natural extentions of their abilities. It establishes jade as currency and Thrown as an opening strike ability. Novia is clearly in her element and supremely unmatched.

    Chapter 1

    Perfect Soul rules a land threatened by Dragon-Blooded. The Empress has disappeared and Perfect Soul fears that unrestrained the Dragon-Blooded will destroy her people. Perfect Soul has implored various spirits to help her, but all have been too afraid of the Immactulates to do anything. We also learn about supernatural storms.

    Perfect Soul asks the Unconquered Sun for help, and becomes Exalted with his power after she defaces his indestructible statue. As a Zenith caste, she receives a message that the King of Heaven had turned his face from Creation but now has turned it back.

    We get an idea of who Solar's are, where they come from and what their troubles are. We see the Dragon-Blooded are perceived as having "outrageous", unrestrained "depredations".

    Chapter 2

    Seven Devil Clever is a Lunar on the Caul looking to take Faxai from the Dragon-Blooded. She's with an older Lunar whom she is not sexually interested in. The Lunars are strangling "the snake of the Realm" and expect total victory within five years. A revered Lunar general, Sha'a Oka, is active again.

    The Lunars clearly view Wyld Hunts as threats, but are confident in their coming victory. The only hint of suprahuman prowess we're teased with is the vague possibility that Dragon-Blooded might be able to hear whipsers from a significant distance.

    Chapter 3

    Had difficulty following this one. If I've misintrepreted, please chime in.

    A Solar (using Glorious Solar Saber) fights five Dragon-Blooded ("all armed to the teeth"). The Solar is beheaded but kills all five Dragon-Blooded. All the dead Exalts rise as hungry ghosts.

    Echoing Breath is a Liminal. Stiched together from dead parts, she weilds the power of life and death to banish the hungry ghosts to Lethe (and we learn the importance of always burning the bodies). Echo deals with the Dragon-Blooded ghosts without much issue, but the Solar ghost retains "a pale fraction of the power it held in life".

    The headless Solar ghost and the Liminal clash in brutal combat. Clearly Echo is challenged, even injured in the fighting, but emerges victorious sending the ghost to Lethe. It is revealed that Echoing Breath was made from the Solar that the ghost was in life.

    It's a great spooky tale that showcases what Liminals are all about and just how powerful Solar's are. And that Dragon-Blooded are... I don't know: able to take Solars on if they outnumber them 5 to 1 but are still likely to die, and they make chump ghosts who barely qualify as a warm up fight.

    TBC


    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

  • #2
    All you 3e heretics in the house say Haaaay! Well, I'm down to chat about chapter fic! Though I have a tendency to rant and complain about things. .I'll just chime in with my own opinion on things as you go, and see if we can get a conversation going.

    Introduction is... boring, honestly. Perhaps that's just personal taste but Novia uses her Exalted prowess to... break into a place, do some stuff, then get out again. Works, but for a showcase of Exalted power, I'd have preferred something flashier. (I have quotes ready to go if anybody's curious. )

    I haaate Chapter 1's story. Hate it hate it hate it HAAATE EET. Mostly because it's the story of Perfect Soul's Exaltation which I hate in general, and feel sets bad ideas about how Solar Exaltation should work. Soul doesn't get granted Exaltation because she was cool, because she was worthy... she got Exalted because she guilt-tripped the Sun into it through insulting him. That's ridiculous, pulling more from Bruce Almighty than anything more typically Exalted. Also we have TUS clearly blessing her as righteous and willing to act in his name throwing any ambiguity about the Solars out the window: guess Sol is totally with his chosen again now!

    Chapter 2 is also boring. Two people talk. Also Seven Devils Clever got her name changed back. Which is stupid. :P

    Chapter 3 is one I always forget about. Rereading it now I could barely follow it, but I think you're right on the sequence of events. I know I haven't been talking about it before now but... how the boop does this relate to the corebook's character creation section? As much as I hate Perfect Soul's stupid Perfect Face at least her story would make sense to go before this point. Anyway, it's far too up itself to qualify as good IMO. It's action at least, but it's more focused on teasing the Liminals as cool mysterious such and suches and the Solar Ghost as scary and intimidating rather than being exciting. Not awful, but not something I'd come back to.

    Comment


    • #4
      I guess the stylistic differences make Intro Fic and Chapter Fic a bit distinct. The Chapter Fic idea has to be very tight; it's a slim wordcount to work with, there's no room for flourishes (in... theory). Whereas Core's intro fic...

      It's not bad? But it's mostly flourish. It's Jenna Moran being all Jenna Moran. I'd have probably loved it in isolation but it's a weird way to start the book. I find it an ultimately weaker story, but Strawmaiden Janest would've probably made more sense as an intro fic. (It would have different problems, yeah, but... well, that's another topic.)

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post
        All you 3e heretics in the house say Haaaay! Well, I'm down to chat about chapter fic! Though I have a tendency to rant and complain about things. .I'll just chime in with my own opinion on things as you go, and see if we can get a conversation going.

        Introduction is... boring, honestly. Perhaps that's just personal taste but Novia uses her Exalted prowess to... break into a place, do some stuff, then get out again. Works, but for a showcase of Exalted power, I'd have preferred something flashier. (I have quotes ready to go if anybody's curious. )

        I haaate Chapter 1's story. Hate it hate it hate it HAAATE EET. Mostly because it's the story of Perfect Soul's Exaltation which I hate in general, and feel sets bad ideas about how Solar Exaltation should work. Soul doesn't get granted Exaltation because she was cool, because she was worthy... she got Exalted because she guilt-tripped the Sun into it through insulting him. That's ridiculous, pulling more from Bruce Almighty than anything more typically Exalted. Also we have TUS clearly blessing her as righteous and willing to act in his name throwing any ambiguity about the Solars out the window: guess Sol is totally with his chosen again now!

        Chapter 2 is also boring. Two people talk. Also Seven Devils Clever got her name changed back. Which is stupid. :P

        Chapter 3 is one I always forget about. Rereading it now I could barely follow it, but I think you're right on the sequence of events. I know I haven't been talking about it before now but... how the boop does this relate to the corebook's character creation section? As much as I hate Perfect Soul's stupid Perfect Face at least her story would make sense to go before this point. Anyway, it's far too up itself to qualify as good IMO. It's action at least, but it's more focused on teasing the Liminals as cool mysterious such and suches and the Solar Ghost as scary and intimidating rather than being exciting. Not awful, but not something I'd come back to.


        As a note, I perceived Chapter 1s fiction as more, the Sun relating to her than him feeling guilty at all. They were both people who, despite whatever power they once held, could never rebel against their more powerful, 'righteous masters', and both seeked ways to overcome this and overthrow their 'masters'. For the Sun it was making Exaltation alongside the other gods and Autochthon, for her it was seeking the power of the gods and finally finding it when she strikes his statue with such pain and emotion that it reaches out to him. So there's room for interpretation there. (Also, in 3e the Sun is described as turning his face back to Creation upon the Solars return, so I'd assume he is totally with them just from that. He does Choose them himself, personally.)

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Alistair View Post
          (Also, in 3e the Sun is described as turning his face back to Creation upon the Solars return, so I'd assume he is totally with them just from that. He does Choose them himself, personally.)
          Stiiiill hate it! ^^ take your more positive view of the characterization if you want, I still view it as demarcation of Solars from these amazing great figures of legend into TUS' little squad of bully boys who win through a deck stacked in their favor. A more charitable read of the interaction doesn't change that for me.
          Last edited by Croakamancer; 06-02-2019, 01:12 PM. Reason: Clarification

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
            ...Why did you skip the very first intro fiction to the entire edition?
            Because it's not chapter fiction. The chapter fictions are one pagers. But if you want to intro fiction:

            The description of Wu Jain is evocative. Be nice to have the details of Sebriye's Exaltation. The power of the Dynasts is talked up as being able to rule the world, then immediately talked down as being unable to rule Wu Jain.

            Sebriye seems to pretty effortlessly dominate two Dragon-Blooded, breaking Jin's arm and knocking him unconcious whilst snatching arrows from the air and quipping about noodles. It's beautifully written if somewhat hard to follow. (Jin is a Dynast? A "hero of the Realm", interestingly not the "Scarlet Realm".)

            Eastern Star's motivations seem... petty. Maybe that's the point. Solars are the default protagonists. One line about going mad preserves that in a way that 2nd's elaboration of horrors does not.

            Jin's confession that it's really hard for Dragon-Blooded to kill Anathema, does at least establish that it's possible.

            Seeing a Lawgiver battle a god, and a Sidreal and a Dragon-Blooded (two if you count the incapacitated Jin) is an interesting, if over elaborate, bit of fiction. It gives an idea of how the PCs might come to know they're Solar Exalted.

            It's a good story for showing off how strong the Solar PCs will be.


            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post

              Stiiiill hate it! ^^ take your more positive view of the characterization if you want, I still view it as demarcation of Solars from these amazing great figures of legend into TUS' little squad of bully boys who win through a deck stacked in their favor. A more charitable read of the interaction doesn't change that for me.

              Deck stacked in their favor? The Sun being good with them means nothing regarding whether they win or lose at things. He doesn't intervene in their favor, him Exalting them is already doing so. He and the other Incarnae are enjoying their retirement and playing some cool videogames, none of them are going to directly intervene in the affairs of the world they entrusted to the Exalted. Solars, and for that matter all Exalted, are still very much amazing great figures of legend of their own doing.

              Comment


              • #9
                Corebook Chapter 4

                Prince Diamond shows off what an Eclipse Caste can do -- walking on water and treating with gods. Not sure what the paper boat thing is all about -- is it a charm?

                The Immaculates are treated as a cudgel to bludgeon gods with but it seems Wyld Hunts can be fended off when beastfolk fight alongside their local gods.

                We get an interesting look into the mindset of gods. And the intelligence of Solar horses.

                Chapter 5

                Peleps Marani is a Magistrate. The Realm is getting weaker. The Anathema are spreading. She arrives at a village led by a one-handed Dawn Caste called One Million Perfect Petals. (Presumably the village is on the Blessed Isle.)

                Marani finds Petals attractive. She tries to run but is easily caught. Three attacks and Marani is disarmed and prone. Petals then recruits Peleps Marami as his second-in-command.

                Chapter 6

                Oh goodie. This is, by far, my least favourite work of chapter fiction in all of Exalted (from 1st ed fiction through to the 2.5 comics). The illustration perfectly embodies the fiction -- faceless Realm soldiers and Volfer's bulge.

                So Volfer, the signature Dawn Caste, walks into a teahouse which is "packed with the elite troops of House Mnemon". He's unarmed and wearing nothing but a loincloth proclaiming that he's had sexual relations with the Scarlett Empress.

                Volfer steals a bottle of sake from Imperial Officers and gets drunk. "Mnemon's finest [...] surrounded him" but Volfer casually batters them, pulling a spear that's impaled him out of his side and using it to strike in all directions, and set the teahouse on fire (why not?). The elite soldiers break and flee.

                A naked (why not?) female (ah, of course) Dragon-Blooded walks through the flames, which coalesces into armour. [Sidenote, I wish DB charms could do that. As written you can store your armour in fire, but have to spend a couple of minutes putting it on when you retrieve it.] She's armed with a reaver daiklave. (Say isn't Volfer's signature weapon a reaver daiklave?)

                Volfer is completely unfazed and happily faces her.

                Chapter 7

                Shen, our signature Twilight, is a successful drug dealer. He's brought to the side of a street urchin's sick sister. Not-so-coincidentally it's the right time of month to summon second circle demons. Realising this is a trap set for him by "Ashafethe, demon of the Second Circle", Shen cures the girl, summons the demon, infects it with its own plague then sends it back to Malfeas.

                I assume Shen is using his Occult Excellency, as sorcery no longer flairs anima when cast.

                Solar Exalt walks over a Second Circle demon.

                Chapter 8

                I've never liked Abyssals.

                Here we have The Seven-Degreed Physician of Black Maladies cackling over the "delicious evil" of cutting the legs off corpses and stitching them together to make undead monstrosities. He also monologues about how The Mask of Winters has "countless hearthstones".

                Evil splat is evil I guess. And powerful.

                Chapter 10

                Chejop Kejak looks over Creation, meditating on what is and thinking about the future. He reels off his numerous accomplishments.

                Exit Fiction

                Don't intend on doing these but will on request.

                [Edit]

                Good point SLS. Better do them all.

                Janest, Janest, Janest. Here we are again. How many times have I written this now?

                This was the story used to sell 3rd ed. It should have been the opening fiction.

                We have a sense of time. It's [current year]. I hope you know the difference between a Wyld Host and a Wyld Hunt (which is different to a Blood Hunt, but not really). Still we get the idea: enemies encroaching in, the Realm pulling out.

                Janest's culture of raiding and religipus indoctrination is an interesting take. The influence Ten Sheaves and his High Reavers is a little odd for a land that had Immaculate missionaries here within the last year -- I guess that's WHY there were missionaries. Still, they more or less follow the Immaculate worship calendar so...

                Nice nod to the Games of Divinity, Ten Sheaves thinks the Solars were "bound away", which is another interesting nod.

                [Small typo in my regular book. Might check my Deluxe edition later.]

                Ten Sheaves' sacrifice is a touching moment that gives us some insight into little gods, the stuff of champions and the heavenly city.

                Janest's Exaltation is exactly what was missing from the opening fiction's "yeah she was Exalted, no-one knows when or how".

                The Fair Folk horde is certainly imposing and monsterous enough, and Janest meets them head on without fear.
                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-03-2019, 05:26 AM. Reason: End fiction


                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Alistair View Post
                  Deck stacked in their favor? The Sun being good with them means nothing regarding whether they win or lose at things. He doesn't intervene in their favor, him Exalting them is already doing so. He and the other Incarnae are enjoying their retirement and playing some cool videogames, none of them are going to directly intervene in the affairs of the world they entrusted to the Exalted. Solars, and for that matter all Exalted, are still very much amazing great figures of legend of their own doing.
                  With the idea that the Incarnae are directly responsible for choosing Exalts, the concept of them as actually retired/distracted by the Jade Pleasure Dome goes out the window. And that's canon-ish for Ex3, not just implication of how that one story is written. The old devs had this whooole headscratching doublethink thing about how the Incarnae were totally choosing their Exalts while still being uninvolved and disconnected, but Soul's fic undercuts that amazingly. TUS just flat out says that he's turned his face back to Creation.

                  And Exalting Perfect Soul is the intervention I meant. Granting her the power of a Solar stacks the deck in her favour. Anyone going from mortal to Exalt has been helped enormously.

                  Now to actually join John in reacting to the fic!.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    I'm tempted to skip 4, in that it's mostly a lame retread of the comic from 2e core where Swan brokered a deal between local villagers and shark-gods over an upcoming battle. Not much to really say. It's functional. I don't mind it

                    5: My god Petals looks like a smug jerk. That's not the artist's intent (I think?) but I just want to punch the shiny dork. As to the story, Marani's not the worst character ever, but her being essentially defeated in one paragraph of fighting doesn't help. Remember kids, only Solars are allowed to be moral or want to change the world or win a fight. Everyone else has to just play along.

                    6: Oooohh Volfer. The layers of 'stupid jerk' with this one are amazing. Who thought 'fratboy git' was a good look for our new Dawn? I like impulsive characters but this was just being an asshole and thinking it was safe cause the Realm are jerks, right? And yeah, naked Terrestrial lady might be a neat synopsis of my problems with 3E going the 'matriarcal Realm' route, but sideissue. (Also Volfer's daiklave is supposed to be paaart red jade. But I think it's also supposed to contain a demon? So maybe this isn't it)

                    7: Shen.... IDEK what they're trying to do with him here. Dude's primary focus I thought was his spy work, being an All Seeing Eye operative and everything. Having him randomly pwn a second circle demon is just... eh? Why dd we need a remake of that one comic from WaB Treatise?

                    8: Behold, a stereotypical villain getting kinda bored with his job and feeling underappreciated in the workplace. EXALTED!

                    9: Chejop exists. This is actually his first mention in Ex3, making for a kinda weird introduction for one of the most memorable NPCs in Exalted. It's also treading similar ground to the 2E epilogue comic, which was easily better and more interesting in that it wasn't just the guy sitting there starting his day with a heaping spoonful of exposition



                    I'd be kinda interested in your thoughts on the outro fic? For my money it's decently constructed but doesn't really do a whole lot.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I'll be honest, I've never been all that impressed by chapter fiction in any book (the only exception being the brilliant extract from a Shogunate pulp novel where an evil Solar cackles about how much he loves evil). The comics were way better.

                      I do like the later books' unfolding stories though,like the Realm and Lunars.


                      My characters:
                      Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Just a heads-up: If you do What Fire Has Wrought and Fangs at the Gate, a lot of those fiction pieces are meant to connect, and they start and end with the books' intro and exit fictions.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought Intro Fiction

                          Our story starts fifty years ago...

                          Peleps Lazurin, one of the Immaculate Order's most promising monks, has been killed by Anathema -- A Night Caste Solar. In fact, two Anathema have reduced his entire Wyld Hunt "to splintered bones and stinking offal". The casualties are so high, and the Wyld Hunt so thoughly destroyed that River, herself a Dragon-Blooded, has hurt her hand from writing so many condolence letters. Monks and soliders alike have been butchered, but we learn the Night and their Lunar companion are at least injured.

                          Righteous River Overflows Its Banks (an Immaculate Lost Egg), Kingfisher Swift (a Legionaire Lost Egg) and Sesus Eshuvar (a Realm sorcerer) are the only survivors of the Wyld Hunt meaningful enough to have names, so vow to carry on as best as they can.

                          They are joined in true "you meet in a tavern" fashion by Yushoto Mathar of Lookshy and Left Hand Chalima. And we learn that the Anathema are freedom fighters who want to protect the people the Dragon-Blooded see as an acceptable loss. Just in case you were wondering kids, you'll be playing the Bad Guys this supplement. (There's also talk of multiple Dragons dying in the Wyld Hunt but we don't get numbers.)

                          It's nice that Sworn Kinships are a Dragon-Blooded thing rather than Sworn Brotherhoods any sorcerer can make. And the scene impresses the need of Dragon-Blooded teamwork and the gravity of fighting Anathema. Hey, anyone else think it's weird that the Anathema are wounded but the Dragon-Blooded are either dead or unharmed? Is that the withering/decisive ditchomoy?

                          They beat the Anathema without any more of them dying. Presumably. The Lunar is dead (good job "False Death Technique" isn't a Lunar charm), and her Solar Night is captured.

                          Chapter 1

                          The Empress has slept with a Tepet whom she's thinking of making a Magistrate (is she who we think she is? Probably, nice Easter Egg). She burns with the Essence of stone and flame (nice touch) and seems to still be kept alive by Desus's Immortality Gem (outlived by your own Immortality Gem, ironic).

                          Our Night caste is poisoned, needled down with jade in his chakras. Can't wait for him to escape.

                          Any idea why were aren't killing this guy? No? Me neither.

                          Chapter 2

                          Thirty years later Sesus Daral attacks Nellens Leferi at a Peleps' party.

                          Leferi, a merchant, is tougher than she looks and we see some of the rivalry between Houses Sesus and Nellens. We also get some story seeds for tales of Dynastic merchants.

                          The story ends with Daral looking like a chump and Leferi raised in the esteem of her Peleps' hosts.
                          Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-03-2019, 07:08 AM.


                          Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Chapter 3

                            Another ten years and our sorcerer has been married off to a mortal with a powerful mother. He's unhappy with his lot: "climbing upwards out of pettiness and spite [...] all to avoid a fall [...] That's all any Dynast did [...] driven onwards by the corrosive bite of bitterness". Heroic. Inspiring. That's what I want for my character.

                            Fortunately Eshuvar has something relatable about him: his Hearth like him and he's banging a teenage boy (why not?). As an LGBT person there's nothing I like to see more in fiction than rich, powerful sixty year olds (who are married) banging teenagers (behind their wife's back), it's not like that carries any kind of problematic sterotype what-so-ever -- it's diverse, inclusive, representation. (There's even a line about how sure Eshuvar is that the "youth" will consent -- ewwwwww.) And I'm sure the nerdy, cis-het, teenage boys who typically play RPGs are THRILLED by this totally relatable story. Oy vey.

                            Now I liked Scroll of Swallowed Darkness. If we're going to make a problematic sex book then let's make a problematic sex book. I'll buy it. I like adult themes: Guide to the Sabbat (and it's storytelling advice on how to run a rape scene) is probably the most useful RPG guide I've ever purchased. But this seems really tone deaf.

                            At least no Dragon-Blooded die or get humiliated this chapter.

                            Chapter 4

                            We edge ever closer to modern day.

                            Mathar won't betray his Hearth for career advancement. That's touchingly noble and gives us an insight in Realm/Lookshy relations. He also seems to miss Eshuvar most of all, which is touching.

                            Nice to see the biwa getting some love, 2nd Ed was all about the sanxian.

                            Villages have been sacked and burned. Bandits overrun Dragon-Blooded lands (put a pin in that, we'll pick this up again in The Realm). Lookshy are considering war on The Realm.

                            Mathar is hiring mercenaries to find a lost contact. The mercenaries are getting more expensive given the unrest. Ragara Kiel may or may not be in contact with Berit, but the Realm is certainly withdrawing its troops from the Threshold.

                            Chapter 5

                            Kingfisher Swift is talking to old war hero Tepet Arada (one of my favourite characters).

                            Arada reads Swift like a book (https://youtu.be/W8YwKKh9Ea0?t=1m21s) and tells her the tale of how the Bull destroyed the Tepet legions. We get the sum of the Tepet success described as "a bloody nose to save face" and in addition to a visceral description of Solar powers, we get treated to how Arada's Hearthmate was killed by Fear-Eater before Arada and his surviving Hearthmate managed to kill the Anathema because he had over-extended himself in killing Tepet Nezurin moments before.

                            Why Swift (whose Hearth has killed a Lunar in the opening fiction) want to know what it was like for Arada to have killed an Anathema, I don't know.

                            We do get to hear about Arada "twisting Fear-Earer's words to his army", which is kinda cool. And Fear-Eater is described as using "the same trick" as Jochim had years before (some sort of blade grabbing charm, not sure what that says to the paradigm of charms not being "in-universe" things -- seems kinda Vitae Efficiency Unit-ish to me).

                            The story ends with Arada confessing that seeing three Solar's destroying his forces was frightening.

                            The art for this is amazing.

                            Chapter 6

                            Tereya Kingfisher Swift has married a mortal Patrician (who has since grown old) and is now having tea with her mortal niece (who now runs the house). They're well to do as their imported clock shows.

                            As an Exalt, Swift pretty much has her pick on who to marry. Interesting that she picks a mortal woman. The heart wants what the heart wants, I guess. There's talk of their military service together but no hint of children. I guess mortal's don't live long and she can always remarry.

                            Swift has been kicked out of the Legions and the Great Houses are unsubtly destroying the Realm's military might. I guess that opens up some character concepts for Lost Eggs.

                            The niece offers Swift a job: work for her to fight the Dynasts. Swift accepts.

                            Chapter 7

                            Current Year.

                            Mnemon is in Jiara and she doesn't care about mortals. Anathema made a move on Jiara, Mnemon kicked them out and they fled with Jiara's royal family. (A great plot point if I want to run a Solar's in Exile game.) That Mnemon neither killed the Anathema nor captured the rebellious mortals speaks volumes to me, but the implication I guess is meant to be that the Realm won this one. Yay.

                            Great fight between Novia Claro (remember her from the Corebook? Well she's out of Nexus an off to Jiara) and Mnemon with both using cool powers. Novia wounds Mnemon and has time to make quips and fetch her sword but is driven off by a Second Circle demon and mortal bodyguards. If she's slowed at all by Mnemon's attacks, it doesn't show.

                            Mnemon resolves to hunt down the Anathema before returning to claim the throne, which is an interesting tidbit, as 2nd Ed didn't give her a concrete reason to sit on her hands.

                            Chapter 8

                            Cynis Cogen (who?) an Immaculate (ah, that guy!) fights a god whose meddling in mortal affairs has caused strife. We learn gods don't usually breathe, and that if mortals are given the chance to shirk work and have someone else pick up the tab they'll probably take it. We also learn the gods can grant Dragon-Blooded youth and vitality -- that's interesting.

                            Cogen lacks the ability to summon the god, instead kneeling at his shrine for hours, but when it comes to the fight he is utterly unstoppable. He's also visably old, and we know he's an elder from the Great House's chapter.

                            Elder Dragon-Blooded Immaculates can beat up materialised Little Gods.

                            Chapter 9

                            Left Hand Chimla married Itzli, who died, then married Xocha. She's also Queen now. Presumably Itzli was King.

                            She doesn't like paperwork and foists it off on Xocha to pray to her dead husband. The Immaculate Order does not believe in Ancestor Worship and thinks praying to ghosts is bad.

                            There's an Anathema riotmonger inciting uprising i her city, and she can't raise a Wyld Hunt. Her dead husband encourages her to contact her Hearth.

                            The Anathema are far more common than they used to be.

                            Chapter 10

                            There are four to eleven Anathema loose on the Blessed Isle. (Enough for all the Solar PCs if you want to set your game there. The picture suggests that at least three of these are Lunars though.)

                            River is briefed by a young minister that the Night Caste she captured fifty years ago is one of them.

                            We learn River is a failed Monk (as an Outcaste, how does that even work these days?) and is also a lesbian (or at least, she's married to a woman). Still, she got to marry into the Dynasty (Ledaal) and (more importantly) have children (hope little Adan Exalts).

                            We learn that it was three Immaculates whom our Night caste from chapter one managed to kill in the initial Wyld Hunt. That's near as damn it a TPK for most games.

                            River regrets not killing the Night Caste when she had the chance. https://youtu.be/yw-RPm1uOM4

                            River urges her wife and child into hiding as she resolves to reunite her Hearth.

                            Oh, and sidenote, the signature character wants to have her kid's tutor flogged because her child was naughty. Remember kids, you're playing the Bad Guys! (Can't have a touching moment with your child without it leading to flogging a slave. Huh, rereading the section on tutors, the guy is most likely a wealthy patrician, not a slave. Not sure if that makes the flogging better or worse...)

                            Outro fiction

                            Fifty years later and Rivers hand still hurts from writing all those condolance letters from our Night Caste wrecking her Wyld Hunt. Wow.

                            Said Night has apparently made his way back East. No explaination how or why. Guess that's three to ten Anathema left on the Blessed Isle. (I wonder if Mnemon is still shipping in Deathknights this edition. Be weird if she's doing it from Jiara.)

                            Also, the Scarlet Empress stores Anathema in the Palace of the Anathema. That sounds kinda insane to me, but there you go.

                            Eshuvar, presumably done with his teenage lover, is looking forward to seeing his male Hearthmate in a way that doesn't seem predatory at all. We got a throwaway line about Mathar wanting to write a letter to Eshuvar back in chapter 4, so maybe there's supposed to be a relationship there beyond Eshuvar just perving on his Hearthmates.

                            Swift takes her marching orders from her niece. As previously established.

                            Mathar refers to the Kinship as his Brotherhood. Not sure if that's a Lookshy thing, personal perference or typo. I like the option to use the old, gendered language and will be playing it as a personal preference. His refusal to inform on his friends for personal gain is made absolutely explicit over the vague hints in chapter 4. Clearly the expectation is that he should be informing on his friends and has suffered in Lookshy for having honour. (It also suggests River is a Dynast, not an Outcaste. I need to reread the section on Dynastic marriage I think. I guess she's considered a Ledaal?)

                            Chalima's weird NTR ghost relationship seems to define her more than being a queen in the Hundred Kingdoms. Also royals do lots of paperwork.

                            They meet up, Mathar and Eshuvar enjoy each others company telling stories and laughing, they all swear their oaths again.
                            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-03-2019, 04:51 PM.


                            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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