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Does the character of Lilith from Exalted 2e appear in Fangs at the Gate?

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  • Does the character of Lilith from Exalted 2e appear in Fangs at the Gate?

    If she does, is her story the same or different than it was in 2e?

  • Penelope
    replied
    Basically it sounds like the character of Lilith is a lot more independent and fully developed and allowed to shine as her own star outside of her mate’s shadow in 3e. I liked What Fire Has Wrought, but now I’m really looking forward to Fangs At the Gate. I always felt more of a kinship with the Lunars than the Dragon-Blooded anyway (though I really did like the depiction of Dynastic life in What Fire Has Wrought, I see them more as NPCs than potential PCs).

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  • Blaque
    replied
    Originally posted by Mockery View Post

    Oh god this. First edition I think implied the relationship was abusive, but largely as a quasi-representative sample of why most of the First Age Lunars who survived to the present had mixed-at-best feelings towards their mates. 1e wavered between implying that this was because of the effects of the Great Curse and stating it outright. I remember clearly that one of the second round of books (A Day Dark as Night, I think, but I could remember wrongly) was where we first had Desus named as Lilith's First Age mate (though he'd been introduced as part of Oliphem's backstory), and all but put in glowing, underlined text that his cruelty was from the growing hold of the Curse.

    Dreams of the First Age took a look at this, and as Blaque said, decided to go all in on the abuse angle and paint Desus as always having been a narcissistic, abusive monster. And then it went the extra mile and doubled down by making the abuse and mind control pretty much the entirety of Lilith's writeup. Scrapping the whole thing and starting over was really the best thing to do after that dumpster fire.
    Kind of a bit too it kind of made Lilith the secondary character and accessory for the Desus-as-example. WHen Desus originally was a background element of her that was not even named until a few books after the corebook while she was a character with fiction and an illustration. He went from a supporting element of her to someone going and basically making her accessory to him, which adds to the loss of her as a character/actor in all of this. Not a good llook when the game decides the abuser is more the character than the vicitm.

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  • Mizu
    replied
    She is somewhat different in that her solar mate from 2E was retconned out of existence in favor of a completely new character who wasn't psychotically abusive to her. But she is still the 1st age lunar elder owl lady who had a less then perfect relationship with her solar mate but missed him sorely after he died and has spent the last few centuries as an owl with her human level brain functions switched off until the jolt of feeling her mates exaltation come back into play awakened her from her fugue.

    Edit: Oh, well I guess they did also slightly alter it by having her try to soldier on with the lose for awhile before finally breaking instead of instantly going feral and only having her lunar tattoos because she was forcefully held down and tattooed by some pact members who didn't want her going chimera but also didn't want to kill her because they hoped she would turn sane again one day.

    double edit: Oh, didn't notice this was a necro thread. Oh well?
    Last edited by Mizu; 06-28-2020, 04:07 PM.

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  • Mockery
    replied
    Originally posted by Blaque View Post
    A big thing on the abuse angle in 2e is that it was kind of a bit on the nose, hyperbolic and done mostly for shock value to make Desus that much more shitty a person at the expense of Lilith herself as an independent acting character. It was the use of an abuse story for basically cheap hate, rather than I think anything about actually trying to go on the nuances of things. Especially since it was built on basically trying to show how shitty a setting element that didn't have to be made that way was, and also again, to kind of just make the Solar bad.
    Oh god this. First edition I think implied the relationship was abusive, but largely as a quasi-representative sample of why most of the First Age Lunars who survived to the present had mixed-at-best feelings towards their mates. 1e wavered between implying that this was because of the effects of the Great Curse and stating it outright. I remember clearly that one of the second round of books (A Day Dark as Night, I think, but I could remember wrongly) was where we first had Desus named as Lilith's First Age mate (though he'd been introduced as part of Oliphem's backstory), and all but put in glowing, underlined text that his cruelty was from the growing hold of the Curse.

    Dreams of the First Age took a look at this, and as Blaque said, decided to go all in on the abuse angle and paint Desus as always having been a narcissistic, abusive monster. And then it went the extra mile and doubled down by making the abuse and mind control pretty much the entirety of Lilith's writeup. Scrapping the whole thing and starting over was really the best thing to do after that dumpster fire.

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  • Penelope
    replied
    Dex Davican

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  • Penelope
    replied
    @dex Davian also agreed

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  • Dex Davican
    replied
    The problem when writing a deconstruction of a mythical or fantastic trope (such as love across lifetimes) is that it's easy to forget why people liked it to begin with. This is particularly important in a game, where we're trying to create an experience that people will enjoy, not just a world to comprehend. Solar and Lunar players want to explore complex relationships--the good and the bad--and they don't really need us to hit them over the head with the bad in a way that re-traumatizes people who've experienced abusive relationships. We can explore centuries- or millennia-long relationships and how those might play out without getting into The Boys-style brutal parody.

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  • Penelope
    replied
    Keelbreaker totally agree

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  • Keelbreaker
    replied
    Yeah Lilith in 2nd ed was basically an extended essay on how much of an arrogant, selfish, and abusive bastard Desus was and how little he cared about the effects on her of the things he did. I think ditching that whole angle was an excellent idea and what they came up with instead is a great way to show why she was so isolated for so long while still keeping the focus on her life and her choices.

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  • Penelope
    replied
    Isator Levi this is amazing!!! Much more romantic and less disturbing than the Lilith story in 2e. Thank you 🥰. I can’t wait to read Fangs at the Gate.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Penelope View Post
    Thanks.
    I'm opting to finally bring up some of those points I was allowed to in a previous thread, now seeing as the topic of Lilith has come up again... in a Vampire the Masquerade discussion, of all places.

    Note that I'm going to start with points I would have made based on the write-up for Lilith in the original manuscript. I'll mention changes for the current version after that.

    So, to my reading, the relationship between Lilith and her current Solar mate, Andamani of the Scarlet Field, is certainly not written as one-sided abuse, but it still comes off to me as having been pretty dysfunctional. A key detail to me is that there seems to have been some disparity of power between them at the commencement of the relationship; he was already an impressive and powerful Solar at the time that she, a newly Exalted (and presumably relatively young) person was introduced to her. That Andamani took to her so immediately might be assumed to have come partially of him recognising something of a person that he had already made a life with in her, and I take Lilith as having already been the type that would have responded strongly to such a grand, lofty figure looking upon her with intimate warmth in addition to the description of a particularly vivid past life flashback through a powerful romance*.

    It puts me a lot in mind of a scenario where passion blooms between somebody that is starting out in a field and a veteran who takes a shine to them (possibly to the point of being a mentor). Such things are not necessarily predatory or exploitative, it's possible for them to be started out in a mutually consensual manner, but I think there's hardly ever a case where it's a good idea to conduct a relationship in which one of the partners is star struck walking in.

    With that I read the description of some of the grand romantic feats that they engaged in as having been a practice in continuous escalation, trying to keep one another impressed by outdoing the last grand gesture. The referenced cooling off reads to me as the practice having been unsustainable, and then comes the quarrels, lies and betrayals. It's not hard to imagine Lilith having been a strong personality, and in a relationship with such foundational issues there does seem to be a trend of severe clashes when they grate against one another, and deliberately inflicting elaborate hurts with mixed motives of pushing the person away and drawing them in even deeper.

    It kind of puts me in mind of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, or perhaps Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf.

    All of that might be eventually resolved in a healthy manner (either revising their behaviours to be more supporting, mutually respectful and balanced or ending the romance for good), but then Andamani abruptly and tragically died. She had these complex, difficult and very long running emotions towards him, and then he was gone before they could be resolved.

    Now, in the original manuscript, this is made the prominent feature of her lethargy at the start of the Shogunate. Between the description there and of the First Age feats, I took a reading that one of the consequences of the star struck beginnings was that Lilith had invested a lot more of her personal identity in the relationship than would have been healthy, so the usual pains of such a loss were compounded by not having held a strong idea of who she was without him. When I was going to bring this up the first time, this was a part I was going to point to as a big part of why the response to trauma and grief was to just retreat from her own identity altogether and seek refuge in the shape of an owl.

    However, the more complete version downplays that part a bit. The lines about how too many things remind her of Andamani, who had been so entwined with her life for a millenium, that's all still there, but it comes after descriptions of other grievances she had after the Usurpation that actually establish more of herself; the description of her lifestyle in the First Age has an emphasis on the lavish and she's described as despairing at the loss of that, as well as her sense of shame for being placed in a position to witness the consequences her privileges had on regular people that they were now bringing up for war against the Shogunate. So it effectively goes from "Lilith isn't sure who she is without him" to "Lilith loses her main source of solace and distraction at the same time as she's made to confront who she was with and without him, and finds that she doesn't quite like him".

    Now, I'll admit that at the time I was first thinking about this response... I completely misunderstood what the word "ambivalent" meant. I thought it described a kind of practiced indifference, and I was going to surmise that even in returning to herself Lilith wasn't really dealing with her old feelings in a healthy, resolved manner, just letting them drift off into nothing. But having bothered to check up my vocabulary in the interim, I come back to the subject with a perspective of her returning to the world and seeking out Andamani's reincarnation while still having deeply mixed feelings about the man.

    A lot of this being stuff that is contrasted against the fact that most modern Lunars are going to encounter Lilith having heard stories of her as the extravagant warrior huntress of the First Age and leading hero at the start of the Silver Pact's war. She'll have an anguish largely unknown to them while going into a lot of situations with a quietude that I would say is likely to have a lot of traits and motives projected by the expectations of others. So in a way, her story has come full circle; now she's the long established figure of celebrity for others to be star struck by, not least of which will be her reincarnated mate. If their first experience of the Bond is anything like hers was, I imagine that being struck with the full depth and history of Andamani's feelings (which are going to apply to two Lunars, in sequence) is liable to floor them.

    So that's the combination of how Lilith is currently written with some of my own takes on it.

    * I expect that throughout the First Age, there were numerous permutations of start to the relationship between Solar and Lunar in terms of things like relative age, power and celebrity, as well as exactly what the memories that come with the initial connection are like. And there are few enough of them that I can imagine many of those permutations not coming up often. I would like to imagine that the circumstances of Lilith's starting out with her Solar were pretty distinct to her.

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  • Tikor
    replied
    Since there is some curiosity for re-imagining Lilith in this thread, I'd like to humbly link to my co-author, Burrsquee's, take on Lilith, in Castebook style. We wrote these entries before Fangs and the Gate was released, but after 3e Core, so both the lore and the mechanics are slightly off what is now canon. You can find links to pages written by or about Lilith at the link below.

    https://archiveofourown.org/works/14...pters/33373320

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  • Penelope
    replied
    Lioness thanks 😊

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  • Lioness
    replied
    Originally posted by Penelope View Post
    Thanks. Is Fangs at the Gate coming out this year?
    Should be, though I believe the manuscript is available if you order anything off Kickstarter.

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