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Gunstar Autochthonia Expansion: The Realm of the Titans

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  • Gunstar Autochthonia Expansion: The Realm of the Titans

    What is posted here is a rewrite and planned continuation of my setting expansion for the Gunstar Autochthonia Shard focussing on the Titanic Exalted. I was unsure whether to do this as with 3e approaching some of the basic setting and mechanical assumptions may well be invalidated by the changes, however I will still be trying to do this for 2.5e and will redo it if it comes to that.



    The Spiral is a vast universe, a great interweaving realm of billions of galaxies divided in seven concentric coils flowing out from its summit. Wrought out of Primordial Chaos by the will of the Titans, it is the most beautiful thing in the cosmos, a symbol of their craft and the craft itself built around the Cosmic Omphalos, Mount Meru, a mountain of folded reality that is so immense words and descriptions utterly fail to describe it. Meru's event horizon forms the structural skeleton of the Spiral around which the rest is supported.

    Above the Spiral, floating light-years above the pinnacle of Meru, is Immutable Othrys, the galaxy-sized Ecumenopolis of the Titans where the Godhead of Theion has its strongest presence. Below the Spiral is the frightful thanatocosmos of Black Non, where the Neverborn sleep surrounded by their own living nightmares, their dead dreams occasionally spilling forth from the galaxy-bolgias of the Underspiral to infect the outskirts of the living universe. In his heart of hearts Theion still counts them amongst his subjects, and does not admit or believe they are yet beyond his aid.

    Beyond the Spiral dwell many groups of humans and other races banished from the Spiral by decree of the Primordials, as well as traitors and other vagabonds who fled the devastating final blows of the Spiral War. They live in the cold guttering space just outside the Titans' dominion, fearing Cemunian, raksha, Titanic military forces and most of all the Gunstar. Encroaching on these dim guttering candles of cosmic order is the Wyld and the ancient, forgotten country of Zen-Mu.

    Despite threats from beyond and below, the stability of the Spiral is ensured by many things. First among them is the Firmament, an invisible field of immanent azure energy that connects and fortifies its galaxies, stars and planets. Second is the reifying presence of Meru which defines immovability and endurance for the whole universe, so resolutely and conceptually unmoveable that even if the Spiral were to be reduced to one petty world (an unthinkable prospect, unless the symmetry of reality itself was broken) Meru would still exist as the Omphalos in some degree. At its core Pasiap, Dragon of Earth, lies bound and broken by Primordial artifice, his power siphoned into continuously maintaining Meru so much that he has none for himself.

    Third is the Design, a replacement for the stolen Loom of Fate which, like its foremost creator, does not exist in physical form but as a numinous presence, its threads not woven by such crude things as Pattern Spiders but appearing from the Machine itself to bathe the universe in Causality. Occasionally it manifests in the centre of Othrys as an immense, incomprehensible construct made from lines of light, but this only happens when it strains greatly to maintain itself - a rare scenario which has never happened save when all creation was shaking from the aftershock of the Exalted Rebellion's defeat.

    The final system of defence is Okeanos, a river of ice and fire and scorching lightning and vicious poison which is made from the Elemental Dragons, chained by cosmic strings, scarred by wounds from astral god-weapons and forced to ceaselessly consume themselves as punishment for their alignment with the Traitor Gods and Exalted.

    The Spiral, politically and metaphysically, is ruled by the Primordials and just below them the Titanic Exalted. The majority of its population are humans, an ever adaptable and highly fecund species, but many other races exist in the throne-realm of existence and are higher-favoured, humanity having recently received the collective of the Titanic Exalted as a Patron and still somewhat distrusted.

    Theion is acknowledged as Universe Emperor, the other Primordials defined as his Viceroys and the Traitors clearly defined by the Cecelyne-wrought legal structure. Non-deva races' rights are defined by their Patron and spring from his or her authority in the Primordial Host. Autochthon, Cemunian and Gaia are defined as Traitors to be hounded and punished until they cease to make war upon the Spiral. The law gives ever-greater leeway to more powerful beings, until ultimately the Shining Tyrant is defined as having the right to do whatever he pleases.

    However, life for all individuals is generally secure and stable in the Spiral. The wretches who were hounded beyond its territory in the wake of their defeat cannot say the same.
    Last edited by Czernobog; 07-18-2014, 05:35 PM.

  • #2

    The Spiral is politically divided into twenty-three Exarchates and the Basilea in a grand design known as the Imperium. Each Exarchate is the defined territory and personal fief of a Primordial - Theion has the centre-most and grandest territory, the Basilea Basileum, in reflection of his role as Cosmic Axis and Universe Emperor. Othrys, the Ecumenopolis of the Titans, is seen as neutral and sacred ground, not to be marred by any violence or bloodshed. That the Sun's "Lawgivers" broke this decree is seen as their most unforgiveable crime.

    [Sidebar: We Are Each A Nation
    The Primordials function not just as individuals, but as collective beings, each of whom is a genius made of multiple geniuses. They are connected to their Exarchates in profound ways, and their worldforms often lie at the core of their dominions as environments in themselves, threaded into them and binding their disparate worlds together. The sole exception is Sacheverell, who sleeps in Othrys and from whose dreams of the present the position of Autochthon is timorously determined. He has no Exarchate, and his world-body has been sealed away in a time lock for fear of his awakening.]

    Its calendar (unused by Autochthonia) divides each of the twelve months into thirty-nine days, each dedicated to a Primordial. Cytherea is honoured on the first day of each month, and the last thirteen are the only ones on which funerary rites may be performed. Each month is followed by three extremely inauspicious days, once part of the calendar but now struck out from it in punishment, in which no revelry or music is allowed. A week lasts seven planetary days and a day lasts twenty-four local hours (each month has 6 weeks).

    The Basilea is surrounded by three Exarchates - the Exarchate of the Whispering Flame, the Exarchate of the Endless Desert, and the Exarchate of the Divine Ignition. As the coils unwind from the Spiral's centre and grow in size, the Exarchates grow larger and less compact, but all have password-locked gateways to the Celestial City so that decrees may be spread out through the Imperium (these grow less common and further away from each other as one goes out). The borders of these realms are not very well defined (especially Oramus') and grow less so as one moves away from the centre, so that there are many areas where two or more Primordials both possess or claim authority over.

    The Primordials ruling the Imperium and their realms are written below, in the order they unwind from the Centre:

    In the First Coil galaxies, stars and nebulae fill the sky in a riot of colour. Many stars are visible even at daytime and Ligier shines brightest of them all, the Blue Sun Nemesis of slighly lesser intensity and the Five Stars of Ananke at third-brightest (all these revolve around Immutable Othrys).

    Theion is Universe Emperor by legitimacy and power, and his Presence-jouten suffuses the Basilea, giving him instant knowledge of everything within. It is a kingdom beyond all others, the archetype of royal rule, but Theion is ultimately highest and mortals live in the knowledge that his Devas and Sovereigns are above them in ways they can never match - literally, as they see the orbit of the immense Green Sun, his second fetich, around Othrys every day.

    The Whispering Flame has in the First Exarchate created a regimented, hierarchical society where all people know their place and all things are regulated in the shadow of her inviolate, perfectly symmetrical sphere-hierarchy. Explicit non-conformers are often taken away by her inquisitor-devas, sometimes with major ...alterations, and Munaxes swallows all blasphemous dissent in his maw - but most of the people are happy to have such well-ordered, arranged existences. Recently many festivals have been arranged and scheduled throughout the Spiral in honour of her impending marriage to the Universe Emperor.

    Cytherea gives genesis to many wonders and is an endless source of fecundity and energy for the inhabitants of the Second Exarchate, but the overflow of energies is a danger to the inhabitants as Cytherea births her creations. To look at the centre of the Exarchate will unmake all but the Exalted in the endless power-explosion that is Cytherea.

    Cecylene is a desert spread among the stars, an infinite wasteland of silver sand who is her Exarchate in a way that none of the other Titans (save Theion) can match, as she extends such that one can find oneself in her depths at any moment while being lost within. She offers many boons to those lost under her silver sandstorms and cold, moon-lit night, but they always have a price or catch.

    Oramus has an Exarchate close to the King's as an honour for being the Oldest, but its boundaries cannot ever be properly defined. It is an everted realm of bizarre nightmares and surreal worlds, where you can leave a forest without crossing it's boundary, where cities are built inside paintings and twisted geometries ceaselessly unravel themselves into beautiful and terrifying vistas. Despite these disturbing characteristics, it is a major centre of research, artistry and Wyld-forging by Oramus, his devas and his Titanics.

    In the Second Coil the brightness of the First Coil is visible every night as a distant splash of colour and glory on the black velvet of outer space.

    Nimozini's Exarchate is a museum surpassing all others, an archive of histories and sciences in which all things are contained. Entire worlds have been resculpted into emulation of vanished cultures and lost races, deliberately stunted like elaborate bonsai trees by the Primordial so that they never change from their static, perfect replication of the past.

    Chsikabel rules her Exarchate with a light touch. But she needs no force to reign - her subjects are in love with her beauty, such that for them to raise a hand against her, even as she alters them and their worlds to please her refined aesthetic sense, is quite impossible. They love the Fjord of Songs with all their hearts, minds and souls, and betrayal of her unattainable beauty is utterly impossible for them.

    Qaf does not act at all in the governance of his Exarchate, even his devas, but the realm is filled with the sound of spinning prayer-wheels and the chants of mystics as they labour for enlightenment which always eludes them. However, Qaf's realm produces the greatest warriors of the Spiral, sword-saints and warriors beyond even their fellow Exalted.

    Szoreny hides his Exarchate under endless veils of illusion and folded space, such that to outside observers it seems a simple void until they breach the shell. Once there. they see the great tree Szoreny filling the exarchate, his roots and his branches tangling solar clusters and worlds together, suns hanging like overripe fruit from his blazing boughs. In his territory he emulates the great wonders of the Spiral in his endless reflections of the outside.

    In the Third Coil the First Coil is a dim nebula on the very edge of sight.

    Adorjan's Exarchate is not visited by many. Her cosmic winds, the vapour of the River dried by Lillike's death-scream, bring carefree death wherever they pass. Caring little for its governance, she freely blows all across the Spiral and even past Okeanos, leaving a grave-silent trail of death in her wake. The people are highly primitive but they are the very best musicians of the Spiral, as those who did not have the inclination or desire have been killed by the Silent Wind.

    In the Fourth Coil, halfway down the Spiral, one can see Othrys, Meru and Okeanos equally indistinct and hard to see from its position.

    Jheel-Khan is the Jester to Theion's King, and his Exarchate reflects that. His populace fear and anticipate the Great Mountebank's court-carnival's coming in equal measure, as in his hedonistic games much pleasure and wealth can be found - if one is not the object of his passing whims and fancies, and is able to best his cruel and difficult amusements and contests of skill.

    Metagaos is terrifying, and so is his Exarchate. In his maws stars are consumed and digested, and parasites and infections swarm out from his swirling tendrils of fang-covered vines. The mortals within are riddled with diseases and parasites in grotesque number, leeches crawling on their lesion-ridden flesh, but these illnesses serve to provide new capabilities in replacement for those they take away.

    Hegra drifts through her Exarchate with ragamuffin excitement and childish sulkiness in equal measures, a storm of narcotics and typhoon of nightmares bigger than a galaxy. In her presence dreams and madnesses take physical form, and her subjects are insane and bizarre from the perspective of other Exarchates, as they live in an endless drug-induced high from her presence.

    Elloge reigns over her Exarchate in an aloof way. The people, with recursive sigils tattooed on their flesh so much that they overlap each other, exist in both physical existence and her conceptual calligram-reality of words and symbols, which makes their actions seem nonsensical and surreal to others.

    In the Fifth Coil Okeanos is a filigree band of energy that appears at night and severs the sky in two. The glory of the higher Coils is simply indistinct and even the Basilea itself is almost invisible. However the slopes of Meru are clearly visible and some have even seen a great white dragon chained and coiled within, as looking through smoked glass.

    Kimbery's cosmic spite dominates her Exarchate in many ways. Her vitriol-waters connect all the planets of her dominion, sailed on by barques of stone. They also provide great living Behemoth-starships birthed from the abyss that is her womb, crewed by Lintha and set to hunt the Gunstar so that the Great Mother might obliterate the reviled Traitor forevermore.

    Achsam has his Exarchate set up him. The Unbrazen Mask of Pyrite maintains his dominion as an endless theatre, where those that do not act according to his rules of drama are punished in ironic and cruel ways. The child-titan's imagination is matched only by his carelessness to those caught up in his wild imaginings and dramatic (though often lethal) situations.

    The Great Tentacled One has all in her Exarchate indebted to her and in servitude paying off a debt they will never wipe away (even ghosts slave away for her service through centuries or millennia). All governance is through corporate organisations that are ruled by the most callous and avaricious, and there are no laws in the domain save the law of survival by the fittest in the corporate jungles of her mega-cities.

    In the Sixth Coil one can always see Okeanos in the night sky as a blazing band of fire that cuts the dome of the heavens right in two.

    Cabasilis' Exarchate is not ruled by any Primordial. At least, not openly. From the shadows a web of intrigue stretches into ever more layers of hidden conclaves and councils, where puppets are chosen, maneuvered and ultimately removed. And all this leads ultimately back to the veiled centre that is Cabasilis, the Shrouded Council, whose hidden rule makes her dominion a place of fearful paranoia where nothing is ever as it seems.

    Mabhaddoth has his Exarchate run by a law of uncompromising justice. Crimes are punished in swift and extravagant ways, and an immense forest of impaled corpses lies around his world-jouten (the Abyss Unending) as a warning to all who might break the laws of the Primordials. The faithful need not fear a fall from grace, but those others that do deserve punishment get no chance for redemption.

    Isidoros treats his Exarchate as a personal stomping ground - quite literally, in fact, as he moves ceaselessly across it like a roving apocalypse (he has not actually unleashed that dreadful form since the final battles, his one act of restraint ever). He created the violent and chaotic race of the Orucen as his servants during the War, and their ceaseless belligerence, combined with their inexplicable tendency to endure things that would otherwise wipe them out, makes them an ever-annoying pest outside his Exarchate.

    The Seventh Coil butts against Okeanos itself. The ourobouros river of elemental force covers a third of the sky, and is clearly visible even at high noon.

    The Ebon Dragon rules the worst place the cosmos harbours. The suns are guttering candles, dim and large and red, because he decided a darker universe was one he personally desired. Worse, he takes a personal and generally malevolent interest in each of the inhabitants of his Exarchate from their birth to eventual death. He also mocks and belittles his brother Titans, but they are better equipped to handle his behaviour than the mortals he abuses.

    Ramethus has turned his Exarchate into the greatest fortress and armed camp there ever was, pushed against the inner border of Okeanos, a bastion wall forged from carefully aligned galaxies and clusters. Having purged all things weak about himself during the War, the other Primordials are baffled and disturbed by his self-mutilation, and desire him to be as far away from the self-crippled mutant as possible, hence his outermost position.

    In addition, there are two Exarchates which lie empty and abandoned by their erstwhile keepers, the Primordials not wishing to be associated with their traitorous overlords.

    The Clockwork Domains in the outer coils once heard the ring of hammers, the sound of pistons and the crackle of lightning as prayers to its lord, but now it is abandoned, the great machines left to rust and the people reduced to feral techno-savages in the wake of its abandonment and decay. That which would be the Daystar was forged here, but in the decaying rubble of its heaven-striving factory-spires, one could not imagine it.

    The Savage Lands, bordering Cytherea's realm, is a place where survival of the fittest is order of the day. Natural disasters and rampant predation make humans little more than uncivilised prey for the universe. Once, its lady provided some degree of respite, but now nature has gone wild and without check, and its overgrowth into the civilised areas of the universe requires constant pruning.

    Even more, there are lawless territories where the will of the Titans is defied or unknown. The Titanics commonly bring these unruly territories back into the fold very soon after discovery, but there is one place where this has never happened.

    The Well of Udr is a place on the inner fringes of of Okeanos where Nirupadhika holds little sway at best, an immense sinkhole in space the size of a thousand galaxies, a wound in the universe that draws a vortex of countless stars arranged in long chains orbiting around itself, all infinity within its depths, such that to enter is to dissolve like a raindrop in an ocean. To look into it is to go mad, but this does not deter pirates and raiders from using the chaotic territory as an ever-safe base for raiders - and as a ground for the Titanics to train in preparation for the assault they know is going to eventually happen.
    Last edited by Czernobog; 09-11-2014, 02:48 PM.


    • #3

      The Titans could not defend the Spiral, even with the combined might of the Daystar, the Cosmos-Dominating Armada, the Akuma Legions, and the newly-developed Synodic and Argentine Exalted, if not for the Titanic Exalted, who bear their own blessed Charms themselves. They have many roles in the society of the Spiral - they are obviously military leaders, but they are also rock stars, high priests, governors and scientists all in one. They are 480 in number - 100 captured and repurposed Solar Exaltations combined with 380 made by Sol Incarnate after he repented from his rebellious behaviour.

      The Gunstar's defenders would be amazed if they knew that only 75 were ever assigned to the mission of hounding their vessel, at maximum - for them, it is their whole existence, but for the Spiral it is just a far-away low intensity conflict, incomparable to facing off the endless swarm-fleets driven by Cemunian against the Titans' handiwork or doing one of the many other things the Titanics do in the course of their duties and leisures.

      [Sidebar: Backgrounds
      The Titanic Exalted being what they are, they have high Backgrounds. All of them start with four dots in Cult, to represent the religious veneration they are treated of, as quite literally, speaking with the voice of God. They have Wealth 5 as well, owning entire star systems as private estates. They have three dots in Artifact by default, but they may not take Influence, replacing it with Command (representing fighters, Akuma forces, starships, etc). They may also take dots in Salary (and Arsenal), and also have the new background Respect, defined below:
      x For some reason you are untrustworthy, have failed in something important, or have not yet earned what is your right.
      * You may have begun to climb up the ladder, or recently fallen from grace. Nevertheless you are respected by some second circle devas of the Titans.
      ** You are well-known among the second-circles, and the topic of frequent conversation amongst them.
      *** The third circle devas know well of you and provide you with patronage and honour aplenty. You have even conversed with the jouten of your Caste Primordial, a rare privilege.
      **** Your Primordial sees you as a trusted servant and helpmate and rewards you - always in his own idiosyncratic way.
      ***** You have achieved a personal audience with the King of All Kings, who has issued a decree that all his subjects should aid you in whatever you require assistance in.
      Each dot of Respect provides a free dot in Allies (the Primordials and Devas) and Mentor (the Primordials and Devas) and may also be used to provide a number of free temporary background dots in Manse, Artifact, Arsenal, Cult or Command equal to your Respect rating (which can be reallocated at any time). However, you must live up to your past successes, and spectacular failure or betrayal may (at the discretion of the ST) lead to your rating in this Background going down.
      Titanics also have the new Background Household, a modified version of Henchmen which functions mechanically similar, with Terrestrial Akuma replacing Heroic Mortals.
      Titanics, unlike Infernal Exalted, may not take Unwoven Coadjutor or Past Life Backgrounds. They replace Demonic Familiar with Devaic Servant, which functions much the same mechanically.
      Titanics infiltrating the Gunstar lose access to their Backgrounds at ST's discretion.]

      The Titanic Exaltation occurs at the discretion of the Primordials, and is awarded by them to those who show potential fitting with their natures. A man rises to the top of a star system's bureaucracy through force of personality, and one of Theion's auphanim carries a shard to him and makes him a Sovereign. A woman introduces a new artwork so unique and wondrous it shatters the culture of her world as people either struggle to imitate it or riot against it in the streets - and she becomes a Dement. Chsikabel however chooses her Chosen simply from the most beautiful individuals of the Spiral, and it makes them even more so than any mortal could be.

      The Castes of the Titanic Exalted are listed below.

      The Sovereigns are Theion's Chosen and the most numerous - they are the leaders of the Titanic College and the glue binding it together. Their Caste Mark is a white eight-rayed star without a centre - a symbol of the Presence that is Theion's preferred jouten.

      The Hierarchs are the Chosen of the Whispering Flame, and serve mostly as scientists whose brilliant achievements, including the Nirupadhika Relays and Supernal Warstriders, are the talk of the Spiral. They are also sorcerers, and have developed incredibly powerful spells. Their Caste Mark is the canon Defiler symbol, with a white flame replacing the green.

      The Theurgists are Cytherea's Chosen. Their powers are focussed around synergising with and enhancing other Titanic Exalted. When a Theurgist is there, all nearby Titanics have their abilities and powers supercharged. Also, they have a reputation for being good lays, most likely a result of the fact that their patron invented sexual activity. Their Caste Mark is a circle with six white rays emanating from it.

      The Benefactors are Chosen of Cecylene. They speak laws, also providing assistance and boons to those living in places of desolation, gaining power from the worship of their cults - but their wondrous gifts always have a price, given in fair trade as recognition for their assistance. Their Caste Mark is the canon Malefactor symbol.

      The Dements are frightening and always unearthly in aspect, befitting the Chosen of Oramus. Where they sleep, they cause plagues of nightmare, and their powers have alien geometries and uncanny capabilities. However, they have created many of the more unique wonders of the Spiral. Their Caste Mark is a seven-winged dragon glowing in the mingled colours of the rainbow.

      The Tutors, Chosen of Nimozini, are commonly chosen as the misssionaries and heralds of the Titans to lawless territories, bringing the light of civilisation and learning to those benighted, savage places. Their Caste Mark is an open book, representing the knowledge and culture they bring.

      The Chimebringers' abilities are more socially oriented than other Chosen. But Chsikabel's beauty makes them excellent seducers and infiltrators - several being active on the Gunstar - though they have a reputation among the other Castes as coquettes and heartbreakers. Their Caste Mark is the silver-inscribed symbol for music in Old Realm.

      The Anchorites, Qaf's rarely seen Chosen, are fervent strivers for perfection in all things. While they are commonly seen as navel-gazers, this endless advance to perfection includes battle, and their enlightenment makes them incredibly lethal and powerful martial artists (they alone among the Titanic Exalted have the ability to learn and make use of the Sidereal styles of martial arts). Their Caste Marks are stylised images of the infinite mountain Qaf.

      The Reflectives, Szoreny's Titanics, are masters of illusion and can walk through mirrors to any destination. In combat, they adopt their foe's techniques and powers against him, create illusions to confound their enemies, and create duplicates of themselves to double (or quintuple, as it may be) the pounding they receive. Their Caste Mark is a circular patch of reflective mercury.

      The Scourges are master assassins and fighter pilots, being capable of crossing vast stretches of space as cosmic winds in the manner of their deranged lady. They are silent killers and lethal hunters without equal, and many are assigned to hunt down the Gunstar. Caste Mark is as canon.

      The Mountebanks view life as a joke, and their powers reflect the Author of Troubled Skies. They mutate other things with a touch or flare of their red animas, transmuting metal to flesh and flesh to glass where they will. Their Caste Mark is a swirling blood-red cloud, reflecting the moniker of Jheel-Khan.

      The Devourers scare even the other Titanics. They are masters of infection and corrosion, spawning horrible diseases and parasites within themselves and unleashing such creations on their enemies. They can even eat their enemies' flesh and drink their blood to gain a measure of their strength, and they can contaminate everything with poison and sickness. Their Caste Mark is a circular maw with vines emanating from it.

      The Ecstatics are Hegra's, and they can transmute themselves into nebulae like their patron.. They also are masters of alchemy, and their magic has abilities unequalled - being able to communicate with others in drug-induced visions, heighten or dampen emotions, or drive people into manic lunacy and depressed apathy among other skills. They are somewhat disconnected from mundane reality, and their Caste Mark is a stylised iridescent cloud in psychedelic colours.

      The Rhapsodes know all languages, and the most fiendish codes are plain messages to their inherent understanding. They can bend reality to act by narrative, make devastating social attacks which can ruin planetary empires, and even change reality by writing it down differently! Their caste mark is a rune incorporating all symbols, modes and words of Old Realm in its strange looping structure.

      The Revilers switch between love for their beloved children and hatred for them at any sign of disloyalty. They craft glorious wonders out of flesh, giving birth to living manses by the cosmic motherhood of Kimbery. Their Caste Mark is a single venom-green drop of water.

      The Dramatists, Chosen by Achsam, are well-known for viewing life as a theatre. They do things on whim and caprice, and also help organise the Spiral's carnivals and masquerades when not on more serious business. Their Caste Mark is a comedy mask in pyrite.

      Nobody knows how many Puppeteers, the Chosen of Casibilis, are extant. Their webs of influence encompass the entire Spiral and far beyond - nobody has a clue what is part of their grand conspiracies and what isn't, as any meeting with them is rare and generally paranoia-inducing. Their Caste Mark is an intricate spider's web in black.

      The Inquisitors are Mabhaddoth's Chosen, and can see at a glance all lawbreakers and their crimes. They are impossible to get off a trail, and deliver swift and uncompromising justice to all who defy the Titans' edicts. Their Caste Mark is a double helix made of chains.

      The Juggernauts are Isidoros' Chosen, and their strength and drive is incredible, their will unstoppable, their stamina never flagging as long as their Fate-defying arrogance and motivation remains. Their strides shake the heavens, and there is no opponent they will not face. Their Caste Mark is a jagged black vortex, a red glare around its edge.

      The Fiends are masterful infiltrators and corruptors, but antagonistic to everyone by nature. They are mostly sent to infiltrate the Gunstar, which at least keeps the majority of them away from everybody else. Their Caste Mark is as canon.

      The Battleborn, serving Ramethus, are soldiers by nature. They excel at every form of war and combat - from great set-piece battles to sudden hit-and-fade scalpel-strikes - but their patron's self-mutilated nature provides them few Charms with anything other than a combat application. Their Caste Mark is a shield, a sword lying horizontally above it.

      [Sidebar: That Favoured Fun
      When creating the Titanic Exalted, Theion decided that the Chosen should partake of both his subjects' and his own nature, for they needed flexibility to carry out their mission which no single Titan could provide and a measure of his authority.
      Therefore, each separate member of the Titanic Exalted has Theion as Favoured in addition to the Titan providing their Urge except the Fiends, whose nature cannot be reconciled with Theion's glory (therefore, Fiend Caste characters may take any Titan as Favoured, but do not get Theion as Favoured as well).
      Sovereigns may take any Titan (including Theion and excepting the Ebon Dragon) as Urge-provider, and any Titan (except Theion and the Ebon Dragon, naturally) as Favoured.]


      • #4

        The Titanic Exalted would have a hard task of defending the Spiral if they were divided, and so it is remarkable how many centuries they spent with no organisation beyond the Circle level. This was a simple result of the vast size of the Spiral, measured in billions of light years, and the lack of safe or reliable travel between its immense stretches even by faster-than-light means such as the Canal networks and anima drives. It was the grand construction of the Nirupadhika Relays (called time-scars by the ignorant), finished 2,000 years ago, that enabled them to be organised into the Collegium Titanic, the only non-Primordial entity to be legally recognised as such by the circuitous and byzantine (though never intentionally contradictory) laws derived from the will of Cecylene. Its first act on inauguration was to declare humanity a Favoured species of the Titanic Exalted as a whole, giving them legal rights derived from its authority.

        Titanics are legally classified as both third circles of their Caste Primordial and of the Collegium as a whole. Their leader at any given time is considered the fetich soul of the College for laws noting such distinctions - however, few laws do. They have a representative in the Ring of Doom as do the others, and meet together once every five years in the Grand Convocation for strategising, reception of the Universe Emperor's decrees and general politicking.

        [Sidebar: Heretics and Principles
        Only a few Titanics have developed Heretical Charms. Though they are well understood in papers and writings of occult theory, few have developed them mostly because such a thing is seen as an irreligious insult to the all-commanding power of the Titans. They themselves don't actually care, but the Titanics fear they will take such a thing as blasphemy if they do it. Plus, the commoners, existing mostly in religious awe of the Titans, would react...poorly to Charms partaking of both their Essences.
        Nobody in the Spiral is as yet aware of the Devil-Tiger transcendence path. If a Devil-Tiger did eventually transcend into a new Primordial, Theion would probably recieve it as one emerged from the distant Wyld - acceptance of the new Primordial as a loyal subject, barring acts of treason - in which case it would be treated as a traitor to be hunted like Cemunian, Gaia and Autocthon.
        Taking the Cosmic Principle of an extant Primordial leads one's body to dissolve, freeing the Exaltation, as the personality merges with the Primordial it has internalised the truest nature of (in distant potentialities dimly glimpsed in the depths of the Well of Udr, it is unclear whether this functions in the same way with the metaphysically mutilated Yozi - they, after all, have lost some of the key traits of a healthy Primordial). The Titanic becomes a deva of said Primordial retaining memories and no small degree of personality.
        To transcend in this way is seen as a high honour, and has only happened three times in the post-War history of the Spiral.
        Theion does not wish to rule slaves existing only long enough to fulfill their function, and thus the Titanics have a lifespan as long as the Solars.]

        The Convocation Hall of the Titanic Exalted is on the other side of Othrys' solar-system wide Adamant Highway from the Jade Pleasure Dome, just before the Bastion Stair leading to the gateway of the Ring of Doom, where sits the causality-weaving Design, the pillar of white flame that shrouds the heart of the Glorious Presence, and the council-seats of the Creators themselves. It is a high honour to be granted such privilege of location, and the Titanic Exalted have earned it well enough.

        The Titanics' most favoured home, beyond their estates and great temple-manses, is the wondrous city of Immutable Othrys. Having passed through the sole passage in the shell of twisted spacetime around it with the proper command codes (or after escaping labyrinths of alternate universes, doleful curses, Elsewhere mazes, dimensions where the only existence is Theion's radiance, crushed space areas, empty shadow-dimensions, endless reflection-worlds and black hole clusters, all installed after the rebels breached the initial defences - as the Sidereal pilot Asha of Journeys did) one finds oneself on a flat, circular plain of adamant (all gateways to Othrys lead to this one allowed breach-point in the shell) where the starships of the universe's masters land and are serviced by whole races created uniquely for the task. From there one may take a carriage to any transport nexus in the city (moving at faster-than-light speeds as a mere consequence of its size) or a Locator Relay to anywhere not marked off as too sensitive to be allowed to journey to in a flash of Elsewhere.

        The city has strong effects on mortals. In the radiance of Theion's manifest Presence, all colours are brighter, all sensations are increased and the crushing feeling of reverent awe leaves many in prostrate, helpless submission for the first few days they spend within. Once they have properly experienced the Ecumenopolis, most wish never to leave again. The city's pebbles are diamonds and its sands sapphires, its air fragrant with incense and its waters sweet with prayer. Ambrosia flows from bottomless fountains, and under the shade of gemstone trees forms canals and rivers on which gondoliers ply their trade. Ligieran forges raise pillars of shadowless green light from their workings, clustered round Autochthon's sealed Primal Forge to leech power from its reactors.

        The sense of hugeness is everywhere. Great triumphal arches larger than planets stand between vast structures the size of cities on other worlds, manses that are the Titanic apartments (yet pathetic compared to the Titans' own vast palace-cathedrals at the centre). The ultimate destination of many privileged to tread the blessed ground is to kiss the floor of the white marble plaza just before the five-material gates of the Ring of Doom, and to stand in the holiest place in the cosmos where mortals may venture.

        The Ring of Doom is the centre of Othrys and ultimate throne of the universe. Furious winds blow countless prayers into the centre, thickening the air noticeably with their passage, until they are immolated into the pillar of white fire hiding Theion's Godhead, a lesser light veiling a greater (for if not, all things of base matter beholding the King of All Kings would be both immolated to ash and struck from existence on the spot) so that he may be aware of them (the Heresy Protocols of the Gunstar unlawfully hide his faithful subjects' prayers from him. He will deal with this in due time).

        In it, the thrones of the Primordials stand, occupied only in times of great import - Theion's throne is never occupied, as he has no need of it (he however maintains it out of tradition, and the Whispering Flame's has recently been moved to a position by its side - a sign of their impending nuptials) and neither is the Ebon Dragon's. Written in the air in a sigil of blinding fire on all sides before the fiery column, above the vision-tableaux that are the only sign of the Design Theion wrought (and the Ananke Brothers tend to) is the word, in the archaic dialect of Old Realm, for 'Law'. Literally translated (not that this is needed - the sigil makes its understanding plain to all who witness it) it means, however, 'He Says'. The exact personage invoked is obvious to all, for he is always present.

        Two thrones stand empty, for the traitors to return to after their punishment.

        The Jade Pleasure Dome is currently being refitted to host the nuptial ceremony and reception for the Shining Tyrant and his fiancée, the Principle of Hierarchy. Its auditorium can host a billion mortals, and it offers baksheesh, courtesans and catamites, alcohol, ambrosia - an infinitude of entertainments of all sorts; and the transcendent, forbidden pleasure of the Games of Divinity. The Primordials play them but rarely, and forbid all others to touch them - if they do so, they burn (in a way especially painful and deadly to spirits. They will never get the pleasures they sought to stole).

        The architecture of Othrys is baroque and gothic in abundance, with some of the older structures possessing austere, clean lines and simple columns of white marble. It is grand beyond all measure, especially the thirteen inviolable tombs on its outskirts (to awaken or disturb the mummified jouten preserved within in any way is utterly forbidden, a prohibition strongly enforced. The Titans know that some graves are best not stolen from) maintaining sympathetic links with Black Non to keep the Neverborn comatose while means of helping them in any way is fervently researched.

        Such is the wonder of the Spiral's brightest jewel.
        Last edited by Czernobog; 07-26-2014, 09:02 AM.


        • #5

          PART III-1: BLACK NON

          In a sick inversion of the Spiral, Black Non is a whirlpool approaching the ultimate entropy where law, where reason, where reality itself goes to die - Oblivion.

          Its name begets terror. To see the place itself is much worse. The formation of it is well known - as the Neverborn were murdered and began their forever-fall, they created or discovered something infinitely terrible. Oblivion, a place void of all concepts, even its existence, but yet still existing, a paradoxical wound in the shinma where all things go to end, at the lowest point of everything there is. The pained screams of the Neverborn came into reality below the Spiral like droplets of blood spreading over an immaculate cloth, and the Ebon Dragon laughed while Oramus smiled wryly at a new beginning.

          With Theion's renewed offensive, at the counsel of Ligier, countless billions of souls fell out of existence and into the abomination of undeath. The first, newly created ghosts found themselves in a hellscape, and most of them destroyed themselves or swiftly fell into nihilistic madness.

          Not much has changed since those early days. A bloated, red Sun dominates the sky over a hellish starscape of pain and terror. Black, infini-bladed shrikes tend trees of pain with endlessly screaming impaled victims. Chains of screaming steel connect planets together under the curdled light of cruel-faced and savage-mawed suns. Cobwebbed pagodas of living bone screech and scream above landscapes of rotten, rancid flesh and endless labyrinths of darkness.

          This is Black Non and it is Hell. The reified nightmares of the Neverborn spill out like fat and fluid from an endlessly rotting corpse, creating dread kerberoi and seteboi - ghosts of devas and behemoths - which haunt and hunt through its territories.. Some ghosts have managed, through carefully managed ritual and mnemonic focus, to create outposts of sanity in the endless landscape of bedlam horror, but most have found safe harbour with darker masters.

          The palaces of the Void Kings, the Abyssal Exalted, have causality of their own, fuelled by great prayer-engines and independent from the interweaving shards of broken, Abyss-haunted Primordial mythos; and are thus where multitudes of ghosts gather, finding refuge from the horrors of the Labyrinth in exchange for service to the Abyssals' ambitions. The Neverborn, above whom they build these palaces, are thirteen in number - five listed below, by the titles remaining (although twisted abominably) from the names that are just memory now:

          Calculated Abhorrence of Life, counted as brother of She Who Lives in her Name, was once a mathematical operation and the ceaseless process of its calculation, but the Exalted broke his sand-clocks and sundered his abaci, and so he fell as one of the first to die. His tomb-body is a great hall of five Jade columns surrounded by broken remnants of computing devices, meaningless equations scrawled all over his walls.

          Whose Whispers Chain invented faith and religion, beloved of Cecylene for his innovation. Now he is a monolith-cathedral with thousands of mad gospels written on his temple-walls, running into each other as meaningless fragments of sentences obscuring and contradicting each other.

          The Deadwood was burned by the Exalted, and is now a forest of white ash, her love of Gaia not enough to give her mercy. Her nightmares are by far the most agony-wracked and tormented, and the spiritual parasites feeding on her are numerous and many, the screaming lashings of her corpse often beginning the chain reactions of alteration and horror known in Black Non as Maledictions.

          Seven Forbidden Wisdoms, slain by the sheer ignorance of a Sidereal master, manifests as a soulsteel library of philosophical babbling, his ideas meaning nothing now, empty of sanity or thought as the opposite of the truths he so brilliantly proclaimed.

          He Who Holds in Thrall, once called Mardukth, killed by those Lawgivers rightfully imprisoned in chains. His tomb-body is a multi-faceted pyramid with the same answerless question carved endlessly into its faces, overlooking the void of Oblivion itself.

          The Neverborn scream at all times, a psychic static of unreasoning horror and manner that drives many ghosts mad from the whispering, and at times they wriggle and spasm in a parody of life, trying to crawl back up to being existent, their futile attempts to do so warping and shifting the entirety of Black Non in uncontrollable and destructive ways. Such rare events are called Maelstroms, and the greatest of these have happened only four times in the history of the Underspiral - a fifth is prognosticated to occur soon, and the horrors it could unleash as the Neverborn spasm back into awareness could be worse than anything before.

          Theion seeks ways to help their quiescent, tortured existences, to at least marginally decrease their suffering, but none of the Primordials wish to touch them and ingress to Black Non is possible only through the Voidgates, found only in the dominion of the Ebon Dragon and at times in the territory of Oramus. The Abyssals also refuse any Titanic interaction with the Neverborn, frustrating as their motives are unclear and nobody of import in the Spiral has much reason or desire to trust them.


          • #6

            The Spiral is a realm of wonders. From the Nirupadhika Relays, the fusion of the Hierarchs' and Dements' respective geniuses, to the twin Merkavah-class Dreadnoughts Princeps and Regina, it is technologically and magically advanced far beyond what many could imagine. Blessings are sung to the Titans and their closest servants for allowing these wonders to be born, for allowing humanity to rise up from the mud and dirt of the early days of Man. Praises are given and prayers spoken that their shinma-warping might may yet produce wonders unheralded before.

            Mechanically, Titanics may choose between Archery and Firearms for their abilities. Motorbikes, void-fighters and other personal craft use Drive while anything requiring a crew of more than two uses Sail instead. Ride does not exist (living steeds being outmoded). Melee and Martial Arts are still valuable.

            Right now the Spiral is at war on several fronts - against the Gunstar and against Abyssal raiders, but most of all against Cemunian, the outcast Primordial offended by the Titans' rejection of his mock-Creation, seeking to destroy theirs so that his own obscene reality has no rival.

            For seven centuries that war has been in the fighting, and now eight-tenths of the Spiral's military - the Akuma Janissary Legions in their faceless jade armour, the Voidwing starfighter squadrons which blacken planetary skies, the dreaded capital ships of the All-Dominating Cosmos-Armada and more - has been deployed against the Cemunite swarm-fleets which strike the Spiral from almost every vector at once. The world-spanning battlefields of the war are tangles of corpses and vicious warfare, erymanthoi and angyalkas in brutal melees with eight-limbed creatures of gristle, blood-red flesh-tendrils and bone-white chitin in a battle where both sides are limitless, while akuma die fighting wordlessly against the endless hordes. Where the Titanics stand, the swarms thin and crawl over the fields of bone-white ash that remain of their number, adapting endless new strategies to try and destroy them, while still the biomechanical swarm-ships birth elephantine Swarm-Kings and convert themselves into living factories of endless horrors, all while new sunrises in the distance mark sorcerous explosions and the arrival of bellowing war-behemoths.

            Autoklaves whine and essence-cannons fire as orbital bombardment turns mountains to glassy craters; Ligier-lamps, marmoreal guns, noon-and-midnight artillery, soulbreakers, Eschaton behemoth capsules and worse are all deployed, sometimes en masse, in the fields of war. Paranoia bairns and Nishkriya bracelets have been developed to help fight against the galaxy-encircling swarm-fleets, for all know that where the fleets attack they leave only galaxies with their stars sucked utterly dry to lifeless husks and their planets mined to asteroid belts to grow and further the rampage.

            The most celebrated victory came 5 years ago, when the black hole at a galaxy's heart was detonated by a Circle of Titanics, scourging from existence three swarm-fleets that had converged there along with a dozen quadrillion sentients, but seventeen still remain and it is known more are coming. Where they attack the Titans directly, such an intrusion results ultimately in their obliteration by the annoyed Primordial in question, but they cannot harm Cemunian himself (to break that taboo would be unthinkable), and neither can their greatest servants.

            [Sidebar:Spaceships and Spacefighters
            Spaceships exist as in Heaven's Reach. Specific rules will come later - suffice to say, watch this space.]

            Ultimately, the Spiral is one of the most technologically-advanced areas in the cosmos. However, it does not advance as fast as the Realm, and despite its industrial capacity, is not used for the purposes of war like in that area. Such may be its undoing.


            • #7
              I remember this being excellent, and it still is. One thing I'm unclear on, however...
              Sidebar: That Favoured Fun
              When creating the Titanic Exalted, Theion decided that the Chosen should partake of both his subjects' and his own nature, for they needed flexibility to carry out their mission which no single Titan could provide and a measure of his authority.
              Therefore, each separate member of the Titanic Exalted has Theion as Favoured in addition to the Titan providing their Urge except the Fiends, whose nature cannot be reconciled with Theion's glory (therefore, Fiend Caste characters may take any Titan as Favoured, but do not get Theion as Favoured as well).
              Sovereigns may take any Titan (including Theion and excepting the Ebon Dragon) as Urge-provider, and any Titan (except Theion and the Ebon Dragon, naturally) as Favoured.
              Does this mean that all Titanics have three favored Primoridials (caste, Urge, and Theion), except Fiends and Sovereigns who only get two (in exchange for favored not being tied to Urge)?


              • #8
                I think they meant that everyone gets just their patron and theion as favoured, which I'm not really keen on because I think it defeats the point of favoured Yozi/Primordial in the first place.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                  I think they meant that everyone gets just their patron and theion as favoured, which I'm not really keen on because I think it defeats the point of favoured Yozi/Primordial in the first place.
                  1 Caste/1 Favored was and is kind of a bad decision with the narrowness-of-choice paradigm (like Lunars but clearly much worse). Especially in the 2.5 ruleset, where GSPs break.

                  "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                  "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo


                  • #10
                    You get 2/5 of the charms cheaper. That is literally the exact same fraction that solars do.


                    • #11
                      Cheaper Charms isn't the concern there.

                      "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                      "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo


                      • #12
                        Hey Czernobog, could I use this stuff for a project I'm working on? I'll give you full credit for it.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                          Cheaper Charms isn't the concern there.

                          That's the only effect being a favoured Yozi has.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by spigot View Post
                            Hey Czernobog, could I use this stuff for a project I'm working on? I'll give you full credit for it.
                            Of course. What exactly?

                            OTHER EXALTED I: THE ABYSSALS

                            They were born in murder.

                            It was at the final act of the Exalted Rebellion, a victory parade that ended in the Spiral War's last spasm of violence. 50 captured Solars, stragglers from the Gunstar's escape, broke their oath-forged chains and roared defiance, with bare hands assailing Mardukth, who fell - the death that made 12 Neverborn into the 13 dead-dreaming Titans that today sleep in Black Non. And as the Mountain crumbled and the Beast Upon It shrieked for the last time his now-answerless question, the Solars fell in his wake, dragged down through Elsewhere into the depths of the Underspiral.

                            For aeons and aeons they fell, caught in a lightless void where time and matter had no meaning. Flesh rotted and crumbled to dust. Souls separated and sublimated into trailed motes of essence. Only the Exaltations themselves remained to fall further, further down until they touched the obsidian mirror at reality's end – the all-annihilative principle of Oblivion.

                            They were not destroyed, for the skill and labour of Autochthon was unmatched when he forged them, but they were not unchanged.

                            Light became dark. Life became death.

                            Eventually, they came out of hiding. Chosen of the Abyss, with bloodshot eyes and wings of midnight, they began striking at the fringeworlds. Dagger-shaped ships, blades of midnight visible only by the stars they occluded, swept upon unknowing populaces and left husk-planets of bloody seas and choking ash.

                            Diplomat-explorers descended to Black Non, braving the horrors and shadows of the charnel-reality to dare Oblivion's edge, and found them. They saw the Void Kings sitting in midnight palaces, ruling over vast populations of ghosts lured by the promise of stability and refuge from the horrors which rule over the Underspiral. Great prayer-engines laboured ceaselessly to put today after yesterday and to hold against the nightmares outside. Swathed in dull kismet and squatting on the very tomb-bodies of the Neverborn, the Abyssals represented the only government in the whole of Black Non that could be negotiated with, especially over the contentious issue of the dead Primordials.

                            The Titanics present - a Benefactor, two Dements, a Fiend and a Juggernaut - were stonewalled at every opportunity, but they learned that the Chosen of Death would never allow interference with the Neverborn. Accords over many issues were worked out but they refused to budge on that matter.

                            Black Non maintained a token embassy on the star Hermes, patron of the House of Journeys, but stayed stubbornly isolationist for a thousand years. During this period the Collegium Titanic was established as the Spiral began to shine with a yet brighter light, and achieved all manner of successes.

                            Then the raiding began again, in a new form. Worlds simply vanished leaving the spoor of their Essence, disappearing from sight and reality, and then the Contagion struck at the Spiral. The incurable Essence plague spread like wildfire, and it was a miracle quarantine was established to keep it contained in an area consisting of a third of the Third Coil. It infected everything in its path. Humans, animals, devas, gods, elementals, plants – nothing was immune. Everything died under its power – even the worlds themselves eventually succumbed, in a matter of months reduced to tectonically-dead husks covered in barren rock and seas of black toxic sludge, rotting under the poisoned light of decaying suns.

                            Not since the Animus Storm swept through the Dragon King superclusters and ripped the very souls of that people to shreds had there been such great mortality in the Spiral. Ultimately the infection was sterilised by the deployment of powerful Essence-weaponry, leaving a vast and empty space devoid of stars and galaxies on the border of the Adorjani Exarchate.

                            The Abyssal embassies left Hermes at this time, and everybody supposes that they had something to do with it. Bioweapon attack, weapons test or accidental release is all speculated on – but all the evidence points to definite Abyssal involvement in the plague.

                            Raids continued intermittently for 1500 years after. The Abyssals changed their tune and struck in small fighter craft at soft targets. Notably, there now seemed to be twice as many Abyssals as the original Solars that died in slaying Mardukth. What had happened in Black Non for such an increase in numbers?

                            Now the old style of raids is picking up again. The dagger-ships have returned in new and ever more horrifying forms and are striking as far upward as the 5th Coil. Abyssal midnight-black fighters have been noted many times around the Gunstar, and with their elusiveness and worrying tendency to side with the Betrayers pointed questions are being asked. Sometimes, just as mysteriously, Abyssals ally with Titanics against the Gunstar and other threats, though they always leave afterward without a hint of a trail.

                            The Abyssals seem content with petty raiding, but what their true goal is, as with much about them, none can say.

                            They are unknown, and that always commands the greatest fear.
                            Last edited by Czernobog; 07-20-2014, 02:20 PM.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                              That's the only effect being a favoured Yozi has.
                              Well, the point is that "Caste" is supposed to be the stuff you're innately good at, and "Favored" are sort of things you choose to be good at on top of that. A lot can be said for those choices in explaining a character. The fewer choices you have, the narrow characters feel, even if that's not really the case with the mechanics. I'll try to find the quote I'm referring to.

                              "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                              "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo