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  • Giving the Unconquerable Sun an excuse

    What would it change, if it were made canon that the Unconquered Sun KNEW about the Great Contagion and the Fair Folk Invasion, and the reason he didn't step in and do anything is because he'd given Creation to Exalted and humanity in general as a reward for their service in the Primordial War?

    What if the only way he could intervene would be to break his promise? Which would, if he's anything like his Late Second Edition self, would actually render him vulnerable.

    Or, what if there was an "escape clause" that would allow the Unconquered Sun to step in, but only if he determined that Creation was about to be completely destroyed, and that the Exalted and humanity had therefore broken their end of the agreement. By proving themselves unreliable to manage and protect Creation, he gained the legal right to take back control of it, turning all of humanity back into a subject species.

    Keeping in mind that, at the time, he'd already turned his back on humanity. He doesn't have to fear a revolt of the Solar Exalted Host if he doesn't Chose any more of them.

    In the end, the Exalted DID save Creation (via the Scarlet Empress), so the Unconquered Sun went back to the Games of Divinity, assured that the Exalted could be allowed to command Creation for at least a little while longer.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

  • #2
    What would it change if he knew? I think it would add a 'proud, benevolent father' spin to the worst loss of life since the Time of Glory.

    He, being the chief war god, and they, being the Fair Folk, his most familiar enemy, I think it is possible he had the measure of the war before it began.

    As for escape clauses, I do not see the Sun using them, or even thinking to create them. He would keep his promise even if it meant going down with the ship. Because he could not foresee any circumstance where the choice he made, no matter how long ago, was not the right course of action. Rather, he'd have to be convinced by Luna to change his mind, or by the Maidens of other promises of his that he would break to his godly subjects through inaction, to consider intervening in Creation. They are a team, after all.


    Sand Creek, or The Inspection of Cracks in the Desert Cecelyne - A Solar buddy travel fanfiction.

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    • #3
      The general thing to me is that he doesn't need one. He could just have simply thought the Exalted could handle it (they in the end did). I think that often the "Why didn't he Sun do anything?" or "Why didn't the Contagion just make the Solars necessary afterall?" kind of have usntated assumptions that either the Sun or his Chosen were omnipotent enough that the Contagion and subsequent invasion were things they'd trivially stop.

      Nothing like the Balorian Crusade ever happened before. Nothing like it will probably ever happen again. He might have even Exalted the Solars he could at the time as an act. I think that a lot of these discussions kind of assume Active Sun = World Saved. It's something that even with his experience in the past is not necessarily the case.


      And stuff.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Blaque View Post
        The general thing to me is that he doesn't need one. He could just have simply thought the Exalted could handle it (they in the end did). I think that often the "Why didn't he Sun do anything?" or "Why didn't the Contagion just make the Solars necessary afterall?" kind of have usntated assumptions that either the Sun or his Chosen were omnipotent enough that the Contagion and subsequent invasion were things they'd trivially stop.

        Nothing like the Balorian Crusade ever happened before. Nothing like it will probably ever happen again. He might have even Exalted the Solars he could at the time as an act. I think that a lot of these discussions kind of assume Active Sun = World Saved. It's something that even with his experience in the past is not necessarily the case.
        If it helps we can try to make things more specific.

        One thing he could have done was lead a mortal to the Realm Defense Grid / Sword of Creation. Presumably this would have worked earlier, because it worked when the Empress did it. Presumably he didn't actually do this, because he would have lead a Solar and not a Solar-hating Dragonblooded. He can pass some information to solars - specifically to Zeniths, when they Exalt.

        But obviously there are many possible reasons he didn't do that. Either he didn't know about its existence, or he didn't know enough information about it to be helpful to seekers, or the Sword of Creation specifically had a special place in the "you guys are in charge of this" deal, or he did actually tell someone but it failed for another reason, or...

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        • #5
          Personally, I like the interpretation of Creation where the Celestial Incarnae are flawed to varying degrees, and none more so than the Unconquered Sun, King of All the Gods. The fact that He didn't do anything during the Great Contagion or the Balorian Crusade fits beautifully into that narrative.

          In my interpretation, the King of All the Gods fought a war to gain the Games of Divinity (or was corrupted when the Primordials allowed Him to make a single move there, a successful strategy to break Him) and bestowed the Creation-Ruling Mandate in order to play Games full time. When the Solars proved villainous, He preferred a symbolic condemnation - turning His back on Creation (and toward the Games) - to actually intervening or even descending to demand that His Chosen shape up. Possibly He still cared enough to feel grief at the Lawgivers' betrayal, but if He did it only served to drive Him further into escaping heartbreak in the Games. By the time of the Contagion/Crusade, it was pretty hard for anyone in Yu-Shan to divert His attention even momentarily.

          I prefer that interpretation in a vaccum because I like the undercurrent of horror in "what if the Gods are awful?" I also prefer distant, apathetic Gods because it puts the focus back on the player characters. But I also think it fits the history of Exalted better. Considerable mental gymnastics are necessary to reconcile "The Unconquered Sun is righteous" and "The Unconquered Sun sat back and watched Creation die."

          I thought the write-up of the Unconquered Sun in Glories of the Most High was a bit silly. Even if I wanted to run the Unconquered Sun as righteous and glorious, the idea that he's engaging in some philosophical sophistry that ends up with him sticking his head in the sand so he doesn't have to engage with difficult real-world situations that would force him to compromise his perfect virtue seems a bit pathetic. Surely that evasive crap is also a compromise of virtue. A noble casting of the Unconquered Sun, who can be weakened by moral compromises, suggests a story where he does descend, does get involved in Terrestrial affairs, and ends up vulnerable and weakened as a result. Maybe that leads to a story where the PCs have to save their God. Maybe it leads to a story where the Unconquered Sun dies. That could be interesting too.

          tl;dr Don't give Him an excuse.

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          • #6
            Okay I might need to ask : Is there a canonical simple answer of what the Sun has been doing during the Time of Tumult and until now, and is there an explanation for why he decided to come back to Creation ? Was there no Solar on Creation during so long because he didn't care or because of the mystical Jade Prisons I've heard about ? Or do we know nothing for the moment and it's all up to interpretation ?


            My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chausse View Post
              Okay I might need to ask : Is there a canonical simple answer of what the Sun has been doing during the Time of Tumult and until now, and is there an explanation for why he decided to come back to Creation ? Was there no Solar on Creation during so long because he didn't care or because of the mystical Jade Prisons I've heard about ? Or do we know nothing for the moment and it's all up to interpretation ?
              3e seems pretty explicit that the Jade Prison is responsible for the lack of solars:

              Originally posted by 3E Core
              Most of the Solars were murdered and their Essences sealed away in a jade prison—for such was their power that they could reincarnate upon death.

              ...


              the doors of the jade prison have been kicked open, and the heroes of old have come again.
              But there weren't no solars, there were the few that escaped the Jade Prison, endlessly reincarnating and getting hunted down.

              The Unconquered Sun turned his back on creation at the height of the First Age (which I think was supposed to be well before all the Solars got locked in the Prison) but turns his face now - I think this is supposed to be caused by the Solar's return, and not vice versa.

              Originally posted by 3E Core
              At the height of the First Age, he turned his face from Creation in anger at the excesses of the Solars.

              ....


              It is known in Heaven that some great blasphemy by the Exalted of the First Age made him wroth, and so he turned his face from the world. Now he turns it back

              Since the Usurpation, a few things we know the Unconquered Sun has been doing are:
              • Exalting new Solars after old ones die
              • Talking to Zeniths when he Exalts them
              • Helping other gods create Exigents
              As far as I know, that's everything that's canon, and everything else is up to the storyteller.

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              • #8
                Okay so we don't know exactly why he changed his mind ?


                My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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                • #9
                  I've always seen his lack of action to be a mix of depression and not being perfect. He's not a omnibenevolent god, nor is he omnipotent. He's more supposed to be Jupiter than Jehovah.

                  But if you want to have a completely good UCS Sunder, I guess you could go with that Christian reasoning. It could work. He wanted to help, but couldn't, being trapped by his own principles and promises.


                  In my previous game, the UCS actually... vanished mysteriously. Possibly killed. As did Luna. Now Heaven is ruled by Autocthon, and five gods pretending to be the Maidens (Siakel is impersonating Mars, but I don't know who the others are).

                  Anyway, no need to explain how the UCS can act imperfectly if he's just gone.

                  In my current game... well, who knows. There's a distant sun god. The Solars were first seen literally last session (session 16), they said they'd escaped from Hell where they'd been trapped by the Dragons. And it's been suggested that they stole the UCS's power thousands of years ago, becoming Solars, so he may not even be involved in Exalting them. Who knows.


                  I play...
                  Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
                  Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
                    Okay so we don't know exactly why he changed his mind ?
                    I don't think so, no.

                    I went through every mention of the word "Unconquered" in the 3E core book to make that post, so I'm pretty sure it's not in there.

                    For me, the obvious simplest explanation that leaps out from the text is something like "The original solars of the First Age did bad stuff, and kept doing it, until the Usurpation. Afterwards, there were so few Solars, and so weak, that he didn't feel like they had a chance to redeem themselves. Now, with the full might of the Solars returned, he is hopeful that they can do better." This is a pretty natural extrapolation of what we were given that puts agency in the hands of the players but gives Sol Invictus a little room to show up.

                    Another interesting possibility to explore would be that it's really the creation of the Abyssals and Infernals that gave him a different point of view. Possibly he merely now looks on the Solars more favorably by comparison, or he is trying to manipulate events so that the Abyssals and Infernals can be redeemed. (A minimalist version of that would be that turning his face towards the world consisted precisely of creating some way for the Abyssals to potentially be redeemed.)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
                      I don't think so, no.Afterwards, there were so few Solars, and so weak
                      Something I was discussing with a friend the other day; does 3rd ed ever mention or suggest that there were Solars at all during the Shogunate and in the 2nd Age prior to recently?


                      I play...
                      Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
                      Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

                        Something I was discussing with a friend the other day; does 3rd ed ever mention or suggest that there were Solars at all during the Shogunate and in the 2nd Age prior to recently?
                        Yes, this is unambiguous.

                        Originally posted by 3E Core
                        The Sidereals kept a close watch for the few Solars who continued to be reborn into the world. With powerful astrology and mystical instruments of detection, the Sidereals guided armed strike forces of Dragon-Blooded to destroy newly emergent Solars before they had a chance to gain power. Such groups came to be called the Wyld Hunt, and their inquisitions became inseparable from the Immaculate religion. For centuries, the Wyld Hunt rode down, captured and slaughtered the Solar Exalted with impunity.


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                        • #13
                          Ah, sure. Thanks.


                          I play...
                          Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
                          Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                            What would it change, if it were made canon that the Unconquered Sun KNEW about the Great Contagion and the Fair Folk Invasion, and the reason he didn't step in and do anything is because he'd given Creation to Exalted and humanity in general as a reward for their service in the Primordial War?
                            I don't think much in practical terms, but it kind of cuts away a lot of versatility to how one might approach the character in games if it comes up. And I think focusing into a space of the moral questions raised by that stance might be... contentious in a way that games might be better off without.

                            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold
                            What if the only way he could intervene would be to break his promise? Which would, if he's anything like his Late Second Edition self, would actually render him vulnerable.
                            Then he's being characterised as a bit of your Cu Chuliann hero type whose standards for honourable conflict can leave him caught between irreconcilable positions. It wouldn't be unfitting.

                            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold
                            Or, what if there was an "escape clause" that would allow the Unconquered Sun to step in, but only if he determined that Creation was about to be completely destroyed, and that the Exalted and humanity had therefore broken their end of the agreement. By proving themselves unreliable to manage and protect Creation, he gained the legal right to take back control of it, turning all of humanity back into a subject species.
                            Seems like a decent source of tension of one wants to present the Unconquered Sun as a presence that looms over the conduct of characters in a game.

                            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold
                            He doesn't have to fear a revolt of the Solar Exalted Host if he doesn't Chose any more of them.
                            Really, at this exact moment I find myself thinking that the whole idea that gods can withhold their Exalted like this to open so many cans of worms, and am not entirely satisfied with some premises of inherent motive that keeps going inevitably, that I'm tempted to headcanon that a kind of caveat of the Law of Diminishment is that the part of yourself that you sacrifice is kind of intertwined with uncapping the will to ever not Choose somebody.

                            That's not exactly in the form of "you don't get a choice anymore" as "the commitment to create Exalted is powerful enough that anybody capable of making that step will be invested enough to not just give up on it".

                            Although I don't know, maybe that does ultimately amount to them not getting a choice.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                              He doesn't have to fear a revolt of the Solar Exalted Host if he doesn't Chose any more of them.
                              I'm pretty sure Sol literally can't keep from exalting people, even if he actively doesn't want to. Otherwise the Primordials could have just ordered him to stop.


                              Currently Playing: A large, mixed splat game of CofD. As: Seraph du Salomon, Voice on the concordance. Unsubtle man reluctantly participating in the business of Magi. Awakening 2E homebrew http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...=1569864567692

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