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What if The Solars never killed any of the Primordials?

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  • What if The Solars never killed any of the Primordials?

    With the upcoming release of 3E I've been rereading 2E material after taking a long hiatus from the game. I was thinking of Alternate Exalted Universes and wondered as the question says - what if in the Primordial War the solars never killed any of the Primordials - thereby never created any Neverborn?

    This to me requires some kind of deliberate or intentional strategy on the part of the Gods and Solars, as I understand it, canon points out that the concept of the consequences of killing them wasn't even conceived of until they killed the first few.

    For Prehistory, this implies a few other changes:

    1.) The Primordial War may have lasted longer as it removed one of the points of leverage to force a surrender

    2.) The Exalted host may have had to wait longer and grow larger - possibly tipping off the Primordials that something was going to happen.

    3.) They may have deployed some other kind of weapon or artifact to control a primordial by controlling it's 2nd and 3rd Circle Souls. (not sure if possible, mind you.)

    In the First Age:

    1.) With no Neverborn, there would be no Necromancy, nor would it be possible to create shadowlands.

    2.) The Great Curse could be worse if more Primordials were alive to Curse the Exalted Host

    3.) Related to #1, there may have been more escaped Primordials who attacked Creation. The premise implies that these Primordials are also not killed, perhaps forced somehow into Malfeas.

    4.) When/if the Sidereals killed all the Solars and some of the Lunars, there would be no DeathLords created.

    5.) No Great Contagion (since no Underworld and Deathlords) means that the Shogunate endures much longer - perhaps it collapses from repeated FairFolk incursions.


    What other thoughts do people have here on this idea? I'm curious to see where it go to create alternate settings.






  • #2
    It would have been hard, I think, to defeat the Primordials. You could fetich death them, but they'd just keep coming back over and over. Off hand, I imagine that the Primordial War never would have finished, and the Exalted hosts would be defending themselves against Primordial aggression to this day.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
      2.) The Great Curse could be worse if more Primordials were alive to Curse the Exalted Host
      The Great Curse was actually made by the dying primordials, not the living. So no Neverborn means no great curse - at all.

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      • #4
        Things probably wouldn't have gotten as bad at least no where near as quickly as it did. I mean the Usurpation happened because the Sids started to notice that the Solars were going utterly insane and possibly becoming a threat to the world. No dead Primordials means no Great Curse means fewer Solars go insane and even then they might not reach the same heights of utter crazy that forced the Sids hands.

        You'd have a lot more demons though.

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        • #5
          I'm not sure this was ever possible. The alpha strike of the Titanomachy was on the fetich of the Lidless Eye that Sees, with the explicit goal of knocking out the Primordials' premier ability to gather intelligence and to cause a ton of confusing by imploding it. Take that away and it becomes less likely for the rebels to succeed at all.


          "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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
            I'm not sure this was ever possible. The alpha strike of the Titanomachy was on the fetich of the Lidless Eye that Sees, with the explicit goal of knocking out the Primordials' premier ability to gather intelligence and to cause a ton of confusing by imploding it. Take that away and it becomes less likely for the rebels to succeed at all.

            OP isn't that the Exalted couldn't Fetch kill the Primordials, but that they didn't double kill them into Neverborn.


            Anyways, I see there being two possibilities.

            1) Exalted Host wins, Malfeas happens, etc. Things would probably be better all around for Creation. No Noberborn, no Great Curse. No Great Curse means that the insanity of the Exalted becomes the minority rather than the majority, thus no need for a Great Prophecy or Usurpation. First Age is probably still kicking and while things aren't perfect, they aren't the Second Age.

            2) Both sides fight each other to a draw. The conflict could still be going "Hot" with open warfare happening, aka the Primordial War itself being the setting. Or it could have gone "cold", both sides agreeing to a cease fire(possibly involving the Exalted gaining a section of undiminished Creation for themselves, possibly making their own damn Creation with blackjack and hookers), meanwhile all matters of skullduggery going on as the Primordials and Exalts jockey for position without breaking the rules of their treaties. Basically, the Cold War, only with more magical demigods and god-monsters.



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            • #7
              Fetich killing the Lidless Eye may not have been enough. Themes don't change THAT much from what we've seen.


              "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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                Fetich killing the Lidless Eye may not have been enough. Themes don't change THAT much from what we've seen.
                Why?

                The OP question is "What if the Exalted didn't kill any Primordials?" Not "What if the Exalted couldn't kill any Primordials?"

                Plus, it's not like they Neverborned him in canon. They killed his Fetich, and the Lidless Eye turned into Sach, who's themes haven't really changed much.

                The Lidless Eye saw almost everything(aside from the Exalts coming to gank his Fetich), Sach does see everything, but what he sees depends on whether he's awake or asleep. Asleep, he sees the present, awake the future.



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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nervaqus987 View Post

                  Why?

                  The OP question is "What if the Exalted didn't kill any Primordials?" Not "What if the Exalted couldn't kill any Primordials?"

                  Plus, it's not like they Neverborned him in canon. They killed his Fetich, and the Lidless Eye turned into Sach, who's themes haven't really changed much.

                  The Lidless Eye saw almost everything(aside from the Exalts coming to gank his Fetich), Sach does see everything, but what he sees depends on whether he's awake or asleep. Asleep, he sees the present, awake the future.
                  And Sach went to sleep the same instant he became Sach,so that part of the equation plays out basically the same.

                  A point I'd like to know. The Neverborn weren't specifically targeted to be destroyed correct? I mean I know the premise here is what if they didn't Neverborn any of them and in canon it wasn't a fully known detail that a Primordial could die before it happened. But I mean the ones who did die weren't targeted more than most of the others correct?

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                  • #10
                    Part of the problem you run into with this thought exercise is that one of the major movers and shakers of the Exalted Antagonist Team is removed with nothing to take its place.

                    Without the Neverborn, no Great Curse emerges, so it's theoretically possible that Solar excesses never grow as grand or terrible. And it's possible that the Great Prophecy, if it happens, plays out differently.

                    If the Usurpation happens, it ends on a different note, perhaps less desparately.

                    Also, the Yozis have little power to touch the world, and it was only through dealings with the Deathlords that the Jade Prison was broken.

                    But let's toy with things, a bit:

                    The Primordials never died, so as a result, the cycle of reincarnation remains perfect. Or, as some Lawgivers would say, "perfect." With the quotes. After all, perfect reincarnation means that their death is the end of them, entirely, everything that they were wiped away and clean, burning away in Lethe like an elaborate tapestry cast into a forge.

                    This is unacceptable. But, they must admit, there is no soul powerful enough to cling to existence on its own.

                    So one must be made. Through sorcery, patience, and the dreams of thousands, something resembling a consciousness takes form, and is cast metaphysically into the burning river of dead souls. It cannot be burned away by the reincarnation of souls, for it was never born. And it never will be. Such an anomaly might still just be pulled away from any real contact with Creation, but it clings to the place of its making. It hurts badly--alas, in Lethe it is easier to hold onto darker passions than lighter ones--but cannot bring itself to let go. The Solars who made it have seen to that. The Lawgivers have also seen to the special rites before and after their own last breaths, and when they die their souls do not burn clean, but travel along the black cord tethering the suffering seed of their posthumous paradise to this world. Each of the Chosen gets their own seed, their own personal kingdom to sculpt in their image after death.

                    Some few are powerful enough to gaze into these foreign worlds, though none have yet discerned a way in, and while the temptation to ensure an immortality existing beyond the mere records of history is tempting, the most sagacious among them are cautious. Setting aside the practical difficulties and ethics both in the concept of forgoing the natural order, as well as forging these ersatz world-entities with real suffering, there are questions as to whether this poses some potential harm to the flow of reincarnation, or--posit the most conservative voices--to Creation itself. There are rumors that some of the lands of these self-styled Lords of the Dead have accrued souls there by accident rather than design, and while the shapeless things at the heart of these worlds may not enter Creation, they would certainly try had they the strength. There may be a critical mass, some theorize, beyond which there may be no turning back.

                    And yet, say too many of those gray-headed oldest among the Chosen, feeling their mortality about them, one more couldn't possibly hurt.

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                    • #11
                      Oh interesting point. The only soulsteel that would exist would be those things that cheesed Auto off badly enough that he forged them into it. I mean the soulsteel forged by Exalts and all requires rock from the Underworld and ghosts. Both of which become a might trickier to acquire in a world that never had the Underworld invented.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nervaqus987 View Post
                        2) Both sides fight each other to a draw. The conflict could still be going "Hot" with open warfare happening, aka the Primordial War itself being the setting. Or it could have gone "cold", both sides agreeing to a cease fire(possibly involving the Exalted gaining a section of undiminished Creation for themselves, possibly making their own damn Creation with blackjack and hookers), meanwhile all matters of skullduggery going on as the Primordials and Exalts jockey for position without breaking the rules of their treaties. Basically, the Cold War, only with more magical demigods and god-monsters.
                        I think that could make a great Shard. Cold-war style shenanigans between the Exalted Host and the Demon Hordes, gods shifting alliances between the two... Spycraft and proxy wars and space-race-like intimidation (Ligier and his servants on one side, the Twilights on the other, building montruous weapons and wyld-breaching ships to deliver them... sorry, "explore the unending possibilities of Chaos.", stealing blueprints from one-another...)


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                        • #13
                          Obvious-ish but not yet mentioned - Autocthon has probably stuck around in Creation, since it was the combination of the shock of his siblings deaths and his awareness of the Curse that drove him to flee in the first place.


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                          • #14
                            Sounds like a great Shard for more natural and constant contact with Demons and Alchemicals.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tikor View Post
                              Sounds like a great Shard for more natural and constant contact with Demons and Alchemicals.
                              Well, demon-summoning probably wouldn't be a thing, because there wouldn't be surrender oaths, and peaceful colaboration would probably draw heavy suspicion, because, y'know, they're the enemy in that cold war you're not-fighting. During the cold war, "the communists" were what terrorists are today.

                              But Alchemicals might be casual encounters, yah.


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