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The feasibility of Threshold Outcastes joining Celestials

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  • The feasibility of Threshold Outcastes joining Celestials

    One thing I've noticed going back through my books is that Outcastes joining Solars or Lunars is actually really rare. There's Risa and...uh...that's it as far as I can remember (but my memory is also awful so there's that). Now, of course, Outcastes aren't going to all jump at the chance to join a Solar, but surely some might. As far as I know, the Immaculate Philosophy's grip on Creation diminishes very quickly outside of the Blessed Isle, Lookshy, and the satrapies. That leaves a HUGE part of Creation that wouldn't have the automatic "oh fuck it's a demon RUN" reaction to meeting a Solar or Lunar. I might be wrong, though, so how likely is the chance a newly-exalted Celestial would have to gain an Outcaste or two as a party companion?

    One idea I have for a Solar is a Ragara Dynast who ends up becoming an Eclipse and therefore knows the Realm would absolutely attack any nation he tries to set up, so instead he decides recruiting Outcastes and having them be the public face of everything while he works from behind the scenes would be a much smarter option. A feasible plan or not?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Frostav View Post
    There's Risa and...uh...that's it as far as I can remember (but my memory is also awful so there's that).
    That makes sense; Risa is barely a character, and there's practically nothing in the way of traits or events to make anything about her memorable, let alone the attachment to Dace.

    Originally posted by Frostav
    As far as I know, the Immaculate Philosophy's grip on Creation diminishes very quickly outside of the Blessed Isle, Lookshy, and the satrapies. That leaves a HUGE part of Creation that wouldn't have the automatic "oh fuck it's a demon RUN" reaction to meeting a Solar or Lunar.
    Not as such, but that's more likely to be replaced with "fuck, a challenger to my supremacy, show 'em who's boss".

    That and how Lunars have been running around for centuries and done a lot to earn Immaculate reputation. Those ones are pretty scary. Still, Fangs at the Gate describes general terms for them having common cause, as well as a Dragon Blooded resident of Luthe who Leviathan hires the services of.

    Originally posted by Frostav
    I might be wrong, though, so how likely is the chance a newly-exalted Celestial would have to gain an Outcaste or two as a party companion?
    Well... more likely than being a Celestial Exalt in the first place, I suppose.

    Originally posted by Frostav
    One idea I have for a Solar is a Ragara Dynast who ends up becoming an Eclipse and therefore knows the Realm would absolutely attack any nation he tries to set up, so instead he decides recruiting Outcastes and having them be the public face of everything while he works from behind the scenes would be a much smarter option. A feasible plan or not?
    I think that rather than be concerned with feasibility in a general sense, it's better to come up with some profiles for the Exalts in question and devise the complications and points of leverage for getting them on board with such a system.


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

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    • #3
      Just a point of note: The Blessed Isle and the Satrapies makes up a pretty significant chunk of Creation.

      And even outside of that, Lookshy isn't the only other Heir to the Shogunate.

      Still, that does leave plenty of Creation where an outcaste might not have any prejudice against Solars.

      I'd think more about what your Solar did to win the loyalty of these outcastes. What your common cause is. How you all view the Realm.

      It can totally work. Terrestrials are given as example Allies and Retainers in the Corebook. I see no reason to stamp-foot and say "no Dragon-Blooded would ever work for a Solar!" You've got the bones of a cool idea. Flesh it out.


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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

        I think that rather than be concerned with feasibility in a general sense, it's better to come up with some profiles for the Exalts in question and devise the complications and points of leverage for getting them on board with such a system.
        Well, a lot of the Threshold hates the Realm. Even those who aren't directly colonized by it don't like its force and nearby presence (in satraps) weighing down on it. Our Eclipse's goal here is recruiting Outcastes who have a personal bone to pick with the Realm (or whose people have actively been screwed over by it). If your main experience with the realm is them invading your country (or a satrap doing that), exalting as a DB isn't immediately going to make you want to join it.

        "The Realm said that those with the dragon's blood were holy and enlightened, but I lived amongst them--the scions of the great houses are as venal as any petty tyrant. Their supposed enlightenment is nothing but a license to strip foreign lands bare and to do whatever they wish. They say my kind enslaved humanity while being waited on hand and foot by actual slaves. They said my kind slaughtered indiscriminately as they raze the Threshold the moment any land dare oppose their invasion. They said my kind spoke wicked honeyed words into the ears of mortals while they tell the starving they deserved their suffering for crimes in a past life they have no recollection of. I've read a few texts of the first age--I know what my fellow Lawgivers have done. I plan on doing better. I'll need the help of a Prince of the Earth like you. The only way to stop the Realm from burning this land--your land--to the ground is with Dragon-Blooded. Will you join the very force that has crushed your people and crush others in turn, or will you join the start of a new age where the Dragon-Blooded are defenders of Creation and not expropriators of it?"

        I should mention that some of these Outcastes do think our Eclipse here is an Anathema--they just hate the Realm so goddamn much they're willing to throw their lot in with a supposed demon because if the Realm hates something, then it's probably because said thing is actually a good guy.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Frostav View Post
          One thing I've noticed going back through my books is that Outcastes joining Solars or Lunars is actually really rare.
          There's at least one example in 3e of a whole culture of DBs allying with Lunars (New Dakuo, Lunars p. 107). So there's precedent.

          Originally posted by Frostav
          Now, of course, Outcastes aren't going to all jump at the chance to join a Solar, but surely some might. As far as I know, the Immaculate Philosophy's grip on Creation diminishes very quickly outside of the Blessed Isle, Lookshy, and the satrapies. That leaves a HUGE part of Creation that wouldn't have the automatic "oh fuck it's a demon RUN" reaction to meeting a Solar or Lunar.
          I think it's important to remember that the Dragon-Bloodeds' general attitude towards Anathema wasn't set by the Realm. Rather, it dates back to the Shogunate, which did rule much more of Creation in total than the Realm does today (even if it might have been more politically divided than the Realm is). And part of that cultural legacy is the Wyld Hunt - Dragon-Blooded who have never seen the Realm or met an Immaculate monk still think of it as their right to unite and hunt down Anathema. Now, note that this is not going to be universal among DBs by any means. Lots of DBs don't come from cultures that have any continuity with the Shogunate at all, being born to families whose last DB scion was generations back, and whose general culture weren't ruled by Dragon-Blooded at all, and might well be ruled by Lunars or other Exalted. In those cases, and in cases like New Dakuo, where the DBs' ancestors were Shogunate, but cooperated with Lunars anyway, an Outcaste DB born into that sort of situation could very well have no problem at all attaching themselves to a Lunar, or indeed a Solar (or Exigent, Abyssal, Infernal, etc.).

          Of course, many Lunars, even those who have worked with Dragon-Blooded in some circumstances, are still likely to distrust a random DB who comes along. The odds are still probably most in favor of any given DB that a Lunar doesn't know being ready to treat them as an enemy, someone to be exterminated, or at least driven off. The Lunar/Dragon-Blood feud is longstanding, and both sides have done plenty to perpetuate it over the years. And while the Solars and Lunars aren't obviously connected, I do think that culturally, the notion of "Anathema" including both the Lunars and the Solars is pretty widespread in Creation, so someone hostile to Lunars is more likely to also be hostile to Solars.

          Basically, I think that the cultural legacy of the Shogunate, and the Lunar vendetta, is always available for the ST to use as a reason why a particular DB doesn't like Solars or Lunars, while still leaving open the opportunity for a DB willing to work with them.

          Originally posted by Frostav
          One idea I have for a Solar is a Ragara Dynast who ends up becoming an Eclipse and therefore knows the Realm would absolutely attack any nation he tries to set up, so instead he decides recruiting Outcastes and having them be the public face of everything while he works from behind the scenes would be a much smarter option. A feasible plan or not?
          It sounds plausible. One thing I'd be very careful of, though, would be to treat the DBs like allies, not just servants. The Dragon-Blooded are Exalts. They may not be as individually as powerful as a Solar, all else being equal, but they can absolutely win against Solars when they compete, and more importantly, they are heroes. They have the same levels of ambitions and their own goals that any Solar or Lunar does. I wouldn't expect to be able to pull the wool over their eyes about being a Solar, and if they're willing to be the front for the Solar leader, they're going to want some real power in the nation. They very likely will never be satisfied with just being powerless mouthpieces, and if you try to treat them that way, you're basically just asking for a mini-Usurpation.

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          • #6
            Back in earlier editions there were a few who joined the Bull of the North, and even a couple who joined Lyta. But by and large they tended to be more footnotes in the character's story rather than major figures so it's quite easy to end up forgetting they exist.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
              Back in earlier editions there were a few who joined the Bull of the North.
              Mors Ialden, from Kingdom of Halta, that as NPCs go is kind of a in a middle ground between footnote and potential major character, in that he was kind of like "Outcaste Bull before the Bull" being , overeached, was saved by Kaneko's intervention, became his lieutenant but then apparently had some sort of breakdown/crisis of conscience after seeing some of the devastation of the worse battles of the Tepet campaign - and considering he's directly cited fighting beside Samea, Fear-Eater and pretty much all of the Bull's companions at a time or another, he might have seen even more of its fallout than any of them individually - & disappeared.

              There are some seeds of potential on him i guess, it's just that he seems to lack that little bit to make it all go together and really shine, imho at least.

              edit: decided to do a bit of a check and seems like the "bull before the bull" bit was a misinterpretation on my part, of the bit about how, two years after exalting, leading a small tribe of his own and with dreams of uniting the Icewalkers, Ialden would come across (be saved by) Yurgen during a confrontation with a mad lunar ("Normal" crazy or chimera? is this fight mentioned Castebook: Dawn? Now i'm curious...). Since it's implied this encounter would happen at the cusp of the war with the Realm, Yurgen has probably been around for much more than two years, so Ialden might be more "independently developed Bull-lite" than an actual precursor.

              That said, as per Kingdom of Halta he has (at least) 26 charms and Essence 4, so kind of understandable that i might forget his actual youth and think of him as more "Outcaste Bull" than the "beginner-level DB that wanted to be the Bull" he was supposed to be.
              Last edited by Baaldam; 09-11-2020, 11:22 PM.

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              • #8
                Caste Book Night has a Dragon-Blooded member of Ophilis Ses’ gang. He gets used as a body double by Ses for an assassination attempt Huyla’s planning. And then when Azure Path slips Threefold Binding of the Heart on her, Ses asks the DB to stick around to be one of Huyla’s handlers, and he (wisely, in my opinion) declines.
                Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 09-12-2020, 06:31 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

                  I'd think more about what your Solar did to win the loyalty of these outcastes.
                  It occurs to me that the scenario suggested seems like one in which the Solar proclaimed themselves as loyal to the Terrestrials.


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                  Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                  • #10
                    The previous editions frequently didn't know how to write Dragon-Blooded. Exalted: The Outcaste in particular was frequently guilty of writing them like they were a fantasy race rather than a type of Exalt.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                      It occurs to me that the scenario suggested seems like one in which the Solar proclaimed themselves as loyal to the Terrestrials.
                      Yes, what I'm trying to go for is that it's not "work for me because I'm a Solar and DB's work for us", it's more "I need the best men and women possible to defend against the realm, and you Outcastes are both incredibly strong and can work in public without getting a Wyld Hunt called on your asses."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Frostav View Post

                        Yes, what I'm trying to go for is that it's not "work for me because I'm a Solar and DB's work for us", it's more "I need the best men and women possible to defend against the realm, and you Outcastes are both incredibly strong and can work in public without getting a Wyld Hunt called on your asses."

                        Sounds better, but why would them not take over later on? What does having the anathema as a secret ally offer them?

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                        • #13
                          The example of Ten Winds in Keychain of Creation is both humorous and more of a 'meeting of equals' example of a Dragon-Blooded lending their services to Celestials.

                          On the question of what to offer, Ten Winds gets to see if the Anathema are truly as capable of horrors as the Immaculate Philosophy asserts. On the 'squad goals' front, Ten Winds' inclusion to the party is posited as finding the best for the job. I think the author believed 'best' meant 'most story potential' which he jokes about by rejecting other less-thought-out characters in the opening comics.


                          The Sack of Chiaroscuro - In a southern satrapy a Lunar elder must escape the results of his war-gambit against the Realm, but faces the city's mother-god as he tries to flee.

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                          • #14
                            There's a chapter fiction in the Core about a one-armed Solar asking a Dragon-blooded Realm magistrate if she wants to team up. Ends on a cliffhanger so we don't know what she says, but it's at least implied that she's considering it.

                            If *that* can happen, I see absolutely no reason that a given Threshold DB couldn't decide to team up with a given Solar, should circumstances conspire to make that seem like a good idea.

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                            • #15
                              I can't remember the book, but if we're talking about Realm/Anathema team-ups, wasn't it implied that Mnemon was considering allying (in her duplicitous way, so long as they're useful) with an Abyssal?


                              The Sack of Chiaroscuro - In a southern satrapy a Lunar elder must escape the results of his war-gambit against the Realm, but faces the city's mother-god as he tries to flee.

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