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The After-shock war, in the Age of Sorrows

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  • The After-shock war, in the Age of Sorrows

    Many thanks to Omicron of SB, whom I cant seem to contact

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/thre...#post-12209803

    And to Dr. Love Monkey. Who was so helpful.

    So what was the divergence?

    The first age chugged along, far from war and conflict and pain. Nothing interrupted it. Brigid died in a sorcerous experiment, seeking out a new spell. Then the Usurpation occurred, and all was silent. The Solar Essences were bound, placed within the Jade Prison, and then hidden. The Lunars fled, the Dragonblooded took over, and the Sidereals retreated to Heaven.

    The Rametheus came.

    Perhaps if the Solars were here, they could have stopped him. Perhaps if the Exalted Host worked as one, instead of a dozen disparate factions squabbling and fighting, perhaps they could have seen him first. Perhaps if the infrastructure of the shogunate had been preserved, instead of torn down by squabbling daimyos and irate Lunars, they could have survived. Perhaps if Dragonblooded had posted outposts and had worked together to protect creation, instead of sucking jade out of Creation and focusing on their own pleasures, they could have realized they were under attack. But they didn't, and so doom befell them all.

    The first to realize were the Yozis. With the Unconquered Sun deep in the games, the Sidereals overworked, and no Solars to summon their third circles, nobody realized what the Yozis knew. Rametheus sent an envoy to them, speaking of freedom. Of hope. Of a second chance. Screams and roars came out, but the Yozis, once exiled, agreed assistance. The Deathlords, hearing orders for the first time from their Neverborn masters, came out to assist. There were only a few things left to do.

    First was the destruction of the Exalted Host

    Second, was a secret.

    It started small. A Lunar or so disappeared. A village or two went silent. Slowly, ever so slowly, the things beyond the Blessed Isle went silent. The abilities of the Sidereals were studied, read, and analyzed, and countermeasures were developed to take advantage. The Lunars were picked off, one by one, either taken over by doppelgangers in a mockery of their own abilities, or simply rendered silent. Entire villages were taken over. Forests in the east were rendered into crystal for the new war. Shadowlands were depopulated of ghosts, fettered by devas and forced to learn necromancy. Cults surged. A dozen emissaries flitted from kingdom to kingdom, setting up strife and war between all. Within heaven, infiltrators were unleashed. Hundreds of dispossessed gods, starving and desperate for a handout... it was all too easy.

    Too late, they realied what was happening. Assassins were dispatched, slaying Sidereals and gods alike, using weaknesses and loopholes provided by desperate gods. Cults beckoned first and second circle demons, unleashing them upon Creation, forcing the Wyld Hunt and the Lunars to fight. And even then, it didn't stop, false flag attacks forcing Dragonblooded and Lunar Exalted to fight against one another, Immaculate propaganda and specialized second and third circles forcing them to fight against one another when they should have fought on the same side. The Realm was paralyzed. Dragonblooded, seeking power for their own houses and damning everyone else, had taken bribes and had found themselves corrupted and in a web of blackmail and desperation.

    Rametheus, struck, again and again. Hitting the wounded, striking at the people the Lunars loved most, hitting at Dragonblooded infrastructure. The armies of the Dragonblooded commanders died, not to devas or sorcery, but to disease. Cities which gave out supplies to the armies in the threshold were annihilated the moment the Dragonblooded turned their backs on it by sorcereies such as River of Blood and Cantantas of empty voices, forcing them to split their forces or simply evacuate as the mortals were slain by their tens of thousands. Iron-Skinned-Defender, Lunar, was killed as he tried to protect his people, surrounded from all sides and kept from fleeing by the threat of killing his entire clan. Necromancy raised the ghosts of Sidereals, Dragonblooded, and Lunars, choking out the secrets of Creation's defenders from them. In one portion of the threshold, the skies were darkened by sorcery, and entire armies of zombies marched out, lead by the Mask of Winters, to pillage and consume all that stood in their way.

    With a shudder, the Sidereals realized what was happening. They studied the archives plundered by the traitor gods and studied what was left of their Sidereal compatriots' ghosts. And realized that Rametheus was searching for the Jade Prison. Perhaps he wanted to destroy the Solar Essences once and for all. Perhaps he simply wished to corrupt them to free the Yozis. Whatever he wanted, it couldn't be allowed.

    That was when Rametheus attacked Yu-Shan. The Celestial Lions grunted as they were cut down by an army of Devas, as the armies of Rametheus, the garden of war, marched into Yu-shan. A portion of the Sidereals ran to defend Heaven. Another portion went to stop them from finding the Jade Prison. And another portion betrayed them all, revealing themselves to be Akuma. By this time, half the Sidereals had been slain, killed by ambushes set around fate disruptions.

    On the Blessed Isle, the Sword of Creation fired, again and again and again, each blast slewing tens of thousands of the invaders, but all the while, destroing the blessed isle's geomancy. Entire manses went dark. Fields of crops were turned to dust by the power pushed. And cracks began to appear, as thousands of years of misuse and lack of maintenance lead to the great weapon of creation slowly breaking. The Dragonblooded Host now, at long last, fought as one. Lookshy and Gem and The Realm and Outcastes and everyone else, fighting off incursions by second circle demons, peasant uprisings spurred on by the honeyed words of puppet-devas, and worse.

    In the end, Rametheus found the Jade Prison, despite the Sidereals' precautions, and arrived there. Only to be met by the combined host of Dragonblooded, Lunars, and Sidereals, and the last Solar remaining. The Aerial Legion was deployed, marching upon the host of Rametheus and the demons that have been set loose into Creation proper. The Jadeborn moved there, the last pieces of their artifacts present within the host. There, battle raged on, even as a portion of the Elders of the Exalted Host carried out their last plan.

    Rametheus could not be allowed to take the solar exaltations. Rametheus could not be allowed to exterminate the human race. Rametheus could not be allowed to win. But the Solars were gone, and even if they were here, fighting an entire primordial with zero preparation and support from Autochthon and the Unconquered Sun would be suicide.

    There was only one last thing to do. Exaltations could not be destroyed, but there was a use in sacrifice. And as Rametheus crushed the throat of Chejop Kejack, letting his corpse fall to the ground, it looked up, and beheld the destruction of reality. The Fae, watching from the sidelines, screamed as the felt Order calcifying them. The loom of fate twisted, strained, and snapped, and finally, broke. And the sun shone, through the darkness, as Creation was reordered.

    It was like the Time of Cascading years... but not like it. Time, for the first time since the primordial war, warped, as the past was rewritten and re-ordered. Tens of thousands of worlds, all with a different timeline and a different plane of existence. Between the worlds of man, was the world of the Wyld, Yu-Shan, and the Underworld. Each with their own separate pasts, each with their own separate destinies. And each with their own human populations.

  • #2
    This is awesome.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
      This is awesome.
      Finally. Someone commented.

      Comment


      • #4
        Go too far outside of the scope of conversation in a forum and people have no idea how to respond to you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
          Go too far outside of the scope of conversation in a forum and people have no idea how to respond to you.
          Wait. Alternate shards are outside scope?

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          • #6
            So Yu-Shan, Creation, and the Underworld are like alternate universes of each other now? Slight differences but the same people?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord View Post
              So Yu-Shan, Creation, and the Underworld are like alternate universes of each other now? Slight differences but the same people?
              The alternate universe part? Only for Creation.

              Its like... imagine a place. A building, if you will, that is divided like the spokes of the wheel. Each spoke, is a separate alterante universe. If you want to get to another spoke? You gotta cross over. Either between spokes, or enter the central hub. Yu-shan is something else. A bubble of elsewhere, a long dead city. But you can use the Wyld or Underworld, each representing the space in between the spokes. And each spoke? It's most definitely different. They all have human souls. But that's... mostly it. Some of them have history where they don't have access to thaumaturgy or sorcery. Others don't even have gods or elementals. Some have history thousands of years long, others millions of years. Some have a creation myth where they were made by the gods. Others evolved from apes.

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              • #8
                Assuming I actually get around to running a game in 2020, I may steal part of this for the plot. I love the stealthy campaign of sabotage and assassination leading up to the full invasion.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post
                  Assuming I actually get around to running a game in 2020, I may steal part of this for the plot. I love the stealthy campaign of sabotage and assassination leading up to the full invasion.
                  Yeah. You can grab a bunch of demons from... the link. Assuming you can contact Omicron.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post

                    Wait. Alternate shards are outside scope?

                    It's just a theme I've noticed over the years. Go too far out of what people want to talk about regarding a particular RPG, you get crickets. I've posted a couple alternate ideas over the years and was surprised how little attention some of them get.

                    Mage:
                    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...digm-mage-owod

                    or

                    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-supernaturals


                    I posted about Solars reappearing before the Empress dissapears:
                    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...of-the-empress

                    I see I got 25 replies, at the time I was sure I would have gotten more interest. I think when an idea is also something a lot of other people have thought about, you get a lot of interest.

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                    • #11
                      I'm curious how the initial campaign of sabotage and assassination could be interactive.
                      I've played a DotFA game where the Solar Deliberative was being destroyed by a seemingly invincible enemy and getting reports of dead exalts like it was an afternoon weather report was pretty disheartening. It was like War of the Worlds with the added pressure that we were going to have to be the ones to turn this whole thing around somehow.


                      Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                      Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                        I'm curious how the initial campaign of sabotage and assassination could be interactive.
                        I've played a DotFA game where the Solar Deliberative was being destroyed by a seemingly invincible enemy and getting reports of dead exalts like it was an afternoon weather report was pretty disheartening. It was like War of the Worlds with the added pressure that we were going to have to be the ones to turn this whole thing around somehow.
                        I guess you can be playing as a dragonblooded investigator. Trying to root out the truth. After all, Ramethus is going to try and weaken creation first. Which means making all the dragonblooded houses are at one another's throats. It probably won't last for long, but the expended resources would be useful.

                        Or someone like a... Lunar. On the border marches. Some fucked up shit is happening. Kingdoms are at each other's throats. Cults are rising. And several Lunar elders are found dead. And now, something is hunting you, the ultimate predator. Will you escape?

                        Or as a Sidereal. Currently, your compatriots are slowly disappearing. Someone is laying ambushes and murdering them. But whom?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                          I'm curious how the initial campaign of sabotage and assassination could be interactive.
                          I've played a DotFA game where the Solar Deliberative was being destroyed by a seemingly invincible enemy and getting reports of dead exalts like it was an afternoon weather report was pretty disheartening. It was like War of the Worlds with the added pressure that we were going to have to be the ones to turn this whole thing around somehow.
                          Mind explaining some more? That sounds fascinating.
                          Last edited by Tytalus; 12-23-2019, 06:10 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                            I'm curious how the initial campaign of sabotage and assassination could be interactive.
                            I think it's probably best if it's not interactive. Session 0 is explain the premise of the game. Session one opens with Star Wars style floating text "It is a dark time for Creation. Though the Exalted have won the Primordial War, Creations kingdoms find themselves on the brink of a globe spanning war as the most powerful and influential world leaders are assassinated by an unknown force. Our heroes have rallied in Nexus to try to hold together the fragile peace, as their enemy moves against them in the shadows..."

                            Start the PCs too early in the plot and you risk them blowing the lid too soon (or even killing your Primordial if you play fair). Either that or you risk rail-roading them ("I know you rolled 33 successes, but you fail anyway because this is only session 2").

                            Better to just narrate that the world is on the brink and let them have at it.

                            If you wanted to actually play that part, I think Accelerator's ideas are solid. I'd say that if we're doing sneaky misdirection, destabilization, assassination, then there's probably plenty of proxies, cat's paws and red herrings. Run it almost film noir style: courtly intrigue mixed with stalking the mean streets for hired killers. Maybe set it up to look like it's a Deathlord behind it all, then pull a big reveal.


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

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                            • #15
                              I took a stab at statting out a Jotun assault form for Rametheus.




                              Essence: 10; Willpower: 10; Join Battle: 12 dice (Base 7)
                              Personal Motes: 150
                              Health Levels: -0x30/-1x30/-2x30/-4x20/I
                              Actions: Stealth 15 dice, Senses 15 dice, Resist Poison/Disease 14 dice, Feats of Strength 20 dice (Rametheus meets all strength requirements)
                              Combat
                              Attack (Tool of War): 18 dice (Damage 26, minimum 10)
                              Attack (Tool of War, Arrow): 18 dice at Short range (Damage 26, minimum 10)
                              Grapple: 16 dice (14 dice to control)
                              Combat Movement: 16 dice
                              Evasion 7, Parry 7
                              Soak/Hardness: 25/12

                              Offensive Charms

                              Lightning War Essence (5m; Reflexive; Instant): Rametheus knows to strike second is to not strike at all. After all join battle rolls have been made at the begining of a combat, if Rametheus does not have the highest initiative, it may activate this charm. Roll a number of dice equal to the difference between Rametheus's initiative and the highest initiative in the combat with double 7s, for each success Rametheus gains a point of initiative.

                              Any attacks Rametheus makes in the first round of combat add bonus dice to the attack equal to the initiative gained.

                              Protection Dismantling Touch (3m; Supplemental; Instant, Decisive-Only): When Rametheus hits a target with a decisive attack or successful gambit supplemented by this charm, roll 5 dice. For each success Rametheus may end the duration of a charm or spell on the target. This effect takes place before damage is rolled.

                              Withering Titan Grip (5m; Supplemental; Instant): This charm supplements a grapple by granting double 8s on the control roll. If successful Rametheus need not use an action to savage the held target, but may do so reflexively once on each of its turns. Rametheus may maintain any number of grapples supplemented by this charm.

                              The Greatest Weapons (10m 1wp; Simple; Instant): Rametheus unleashes a miasma of disease and poison. All enemies within Long range must immidiately roll to resist the Venom of Rametheus and the Plague of Conflict. Enemies who are not aware of Rametheus at the time suffer a -2 penalty to both rolls. Rametheus may choose to supress either the poison or disease at its descretion.

                              This charm is usable once per combat unless reset by slaying a creature who is suffering from both disease and poison.

                              Abhorrance of Half Measures (5m; Supplemental; Instant): Rametheus may add up 5 successes to any action, or raise any static value by 5.

                              Genesis of Movement (8m; Reflexive; Instant): Rametheus takes three actions on it's turn instead of one. Rametheus may not flurry for more actions.

                              Defensive Charms

                              Infinitely Adaptable Titan Form (3m; Reflexive; One Tick): Rametheus's form constantly adapts to new foes and new avenues of attack. For one tick all onslaught penalties add to defense, instead of subtracting from it. Any onslaught penalties applied while this charm is active fade at the end of the tick.

                              Twisting Space Counterassault (7m 4i; Reflexive; Instant; Counterattack, Perilous): When Rametheus is attacked it may respond with this charm, making a decisive counter attack before damage against it is rolled. If the attack hits it uses the target's initiative value to determine damage, and returns the target to base initiative. If the damgage is sufficient to increase the wound penalty of the target, the target's attack is cancelled.

                              Note that if Rametheus has been targetted with a decisive attack, then the damage or gambit is then resolved with the target's base initiative.

                              Smoke and Vapor Elusion (10m 1wp; Simple; Instant): As quickly as Rametheus strikes, so too does he fade. After activating this charm Rametheus rolls to disengage with five automatic successes. If successful Rametheus retreats beyond the borders of Creation.

                              Miscellaneous Charms

                              Materialize (75m, 1wp; Simple; Instant): Rametheus may materialize as its form emerges from an obscuring cloud of smoke. If Rametheus is forced to materialize against its will, it does so for free.
                              Terror of Night (1wp; Simple; Scene): Rametheus slips past guards and wards like sand through fingers. For the duration of the scene Rametheus doubles 8s on stealth rolls and is always treated as having full cover for the purposes of hiding, even when in a wide open and brightly lit area. These effects also apply to any demons Rametheus has brought with it to the scene.

                              Feast of Blood (10m; Simple; Indefinite): Rametheus may regenerate itself, feeding on the conflict of others. When Rametheus activates this charm it falls into a deep sleep. While asleep Rametheus can draw life from violent death around it. If any sapient creature loses its life in a violent way within Extreme range of Rametheus, it regains a health level.

                              Merits
                              Will of the Titans: When Rametheus spends a willpower to add a success to an action it gains two successes rather than one.

                              Protean Arsenal: Rametheus's tools of war are treated as having access to any weapon tag it desires, such as two-handed or piercing.

                              Ten Thousand Forms: At the begining of each round Rametheus may change it's size, choosing to take on or drop either the Miniscule Size, Tiny Creature, or Legendary Size merits. Rametheus is also immune to the effects of mundane poisons and diseases.

                              Corporeal Unbinding: Rametheus may strike immaterial creatures as though they were material, and may strike material creatures even while immaterial.

                              Entourage
                              Rametheus's body is the size of an entire world and populated by a variety of demons that it will bring with it to battle. In dire circumstances it's assault Jotun may even attack with several third circle souls supporting it, each equal in power to the Jotun in their own ways.

                              Venom of Rametheus:
                              Damage: 4i/round (L in Crash), Duration 10 rounds, Penalty -5

                              Plauge of Conflict:
                              Virulence 6, Morbidity 6, Interval: One Day)

                              Minor Symptom: The victim becomes irritable and unsatisfied, treating all intimacies of compassion and cooperation as one level lower.

                              Major Symptom: Once per day, at the Storyteller's discretion, the character must disagree with a course of action proposed. The character must then persue their disagreement until victory is achieved, even if it progresses to violence. They may end this effect by spending a willpower and calling on a Major or Defining intimacy.

                              Defining Symptom: The character becomes completely insufferable. Every scene where she is expected to work with others, she must either spend a willpower and call on a Defining intimacy, or achieve some sort of social or physical victory over the people she is working with, with a preference for bloodshed.

                              Death: At last the bloodlust overwhelms the victim, and they throw themselves into battle until they die, even against allies. If their dearest companions are the only ones available to battle then the character may take their own life to spare them.

                              Storyteller Tips
                              Rametheus is deadly, but also intelligent. It only sends its assault jotun into battles that it knows it can win, or deal terrible damage and then retreat. It is also utterly savage and ruthless, incapacitating the weaker warriors first, and then fighting the strong until it is no longer safe to do so. If it can, it will launch the first attack as an ambush. If it suffers too much damage in the assault it slips into a populated but weakly defended area of Creation and uses The Greatest Weapons to infect them all with the Plague of Conflict, and then Feast of Blood to quickly regenerate its health.

                              There are ways to weaken it, however. Many of the charms and abilities listed here can be sabotaged by performing specific actions within the world body of Rametheus, and in other places in Creation.



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