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How much history do Creation's people know?

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  • Sundance
    started a topic How much history do Creation's people know?

    How much history do Creation's people know?

    I've thought about this a number of times before, but I think it's an interesting topic for discussion. In Exalted's canon history, there's the standard progression of Wyld Chaos, Primordial rule, the Primordial War, the Solar Deliberative, the Usurpation, the Shogunate, the Great Contagion/Fair Folk Invasion, and then the Second Age and the Time of Tumult. But how much of that history is really known or understood by people in Creation? Of course, your average farmer in a village and even most city-dwellers aren't going to be especially knowledgeable about any of it. I'm not so concerned about them. But if you're a reasonably schooled person or a scholar or somesuch, how aware would you be of that progression of events? How would it be related to their Lore (History) rating? What understanding do Immaculates have of the pre-Solar Deliberative period? Are things like Primordials common knowledge among scholars, or is it more like a few specialized scholars have some inkling about them? I know there are a lot of questions here, I'm just interested in the topic in general.

  • Erinys
    replied
    Ah, right. Deconstruction is a much better word.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Well, Derrida as then expanded by others into the deconstruction of historical, mythical and religious narratives.

    Exalted deconstructs the eastern concept of the Mandate of Heaven by showing that the Gods who justify the continual revolution of dynasties have no intrinsic right to do so. Just as it deconstructs the western concept of the Divine Right of Kings by presenting the Solars as the rightful Kings, while hinting that there is no intrinsic right for them to be so, and that they were not particularly good Kings in the first place.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-04-2016, 07:03 AM.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    TVTropes Deconstruction, or Derrida Deconstruction?
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 10-04-2016, 06:41 AM.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Yeah, no, not a parody. Parodies are works based off a material, exaggerated from the original for comedic effect. I wouldn't say the Mandate of Heaven is particularly exaggerated from the Chinese concept, nor is it presenter in a particularly funny way.
    A deconstuction then.

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  • drakor
    replied
    Originally posted by Erinys View Post
    I'm pretty sure the Mandate was just made up on the spot by the Incarnae, or stolen from the Primordials. And from what we know of Primordial behavior pre-War, they ruled by Might Makes Right and abused non-Primordials horrendously.
    This is entirely possible as well. I am very new to Exalted as whole. Only played in one game so far and it is 3E but really love the system and setting. I only have the impressions I have been given by the core book to go off of. It definitely does not seem to be something emphasized as much though in the core book as everyone seems to state it was in previous editions.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Yeah, no, not a parody. Parodies are works based off a material, exaggerated from the original for comedic effect. I wouldn't say the Mandate of Heaven is particularly exaggerated from the Chinese concept, nor is it presented in a particularly funny way.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 12-28-2016, 10:14 AM.

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  • Erinys
    replied
    I'm pretty sure the Mandate was just made up on the spot by the Incarnae, or stolen from the Primordials. And from what we know of Primordial behavior pre-War, they ruled by Might Makes Right and abused non-Primordials horrendously.
    Last edited by Erinys; 10-03-2016, 09:50 PM.

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  • drakor
    replied
    I don't think it is a parody. The Primordials made creation got tired of admin'ing it, created gods so they could muck around. Later the decided to make some mortal races literally to justify their vanity. But the Primordials gave the power to run things to the gods so they could do their thing. The gods then used the Mandate to manage and run things to find a way out of their servitude and slavery by making exalted to fight their creators.Their ploy worked and the creators were killed or imprisoned. The gods still had the permission and Mandate to rules Manage creation and they passed the right to rule over to the exalted and promptly decided to mimic the primordials in mucking off. They didnt create the world but they were given the keys to it by the creators and tasked with running it.

    The mandate is a legitimate thing I believe the problem is there is really no one left who knows or remembers it really .90% of the population died in the great contagion and the fae invasions. The setting to me is basically the UCS with his exaltations free has charged them to lead creation back to the golden age except this time they have to prove themselves worthy of the mandate they were given.

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  • Erinys
    replied
    Originally posted by Greyman View Post
    It is actually based on the Mandate of Heaven, which makes it far less ironic. The Exalted Host overthrew the Primordials for the Gods, so the Incarnae decreed that they had a Creation Ruling Mandate. Later the Sidreal and Dragonblooded Exalted conspired to overthrow the Solar Directorate and the Unconquered Son turned his back on Creation. Now, he's turned his front to Creation and Solar Exaltations are happening all over the place.
    I think it's a parody of the Chinese concept, too. The Chinese belief seems to be based on the idea that Tian, itself, has a cosmic right to judge who is unjust and decide who gets to rule. But the Incarnae are just as bad as their Chosen, and they themselves got their authority by killing the previous rulers. If they have the authority to hand out the Mandate of Heaven, what higher Heaven gave it to them?

    There is no higher Heaven... so what is the concept of a Creation-Ruling Mandate, itself, based on?

    It's wrapped up in claims to be morally superior... but those claims are hollow. They aren't based on a moral concept of justice as anything other than the power to murder people. No humanistic philosophy of inherent rights. No legitimacy granted by consent of the governed. No concept that morality can be granted by Creation or the Wyld or the shinma. Not even being more competent at defending Creation. When the oppressed rise up against their oppressors, they keep imitating them instead of proposing an alternative.

    There is a lesson here, but those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The Exalted have put great effort into erasing all historical record and lying about the past. With all the records gone and everyone who could say anything silenced or unwilling to tell the truth, it looks impossible to me that most people will ever know the truth, or learn anything from it.

    We can see the result of this: Creation is a broken, awful place that's going to end any year now. Hell isn't about to explode, but it's Hell. The game doesn't tell us what to think of these results, but it feels like a cynical parody to me. Which is what "Might Makes Right" deserves, in my opinion.
    Last edited by Erinys; 09-27-2016, 02:40 PM.

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  • Piff
    replied
    The Creation Ruling Mandate is just a natural extension of the just-world fallacy, which is really common among human beings.

    I dislike any reference within the canon to an actual, factual and documented historical event. It's not needed. Likewise, it's completely unverifiable. 'But Piff,' I hear you say, '... ancient immortal Gods can attest to the event, can speak from a position of actually being there'. Perhaps true, depending on interpretation. Even given that however, the authentic narrative is lost in a sea of biased siblings, none grounded in fact but often much more colorful, politically useful, and easy to remember.

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  • Greyman
    replied
    Originally posted by Erinys View Post
    About the Creation Ruling Mandate, I always read it as a parody of the whole concept of the divine right of kings.
    It is actually based on the Mandate of Heaven, which makes it far less ironic. The Exalted Host overthrew the Primordials for the Gods, so the Incarnae decreed that they had a Creation Ruling Mandate. Later the Sidreal and Dragonblooded Exalted conspired to overthrow the Solar Directorate and the Unconquered Son turned his back on Creation. Now, he's turned his front to Creation and Solar Exaltations are happening all over the place.
    Originally posted by Wikipedia
    The Mandate of Heaven (Chinese: 天命; pinyin: tiānmìng; literally: "heaven decree") is an ancient Chinese belief/theory and philosophical idea that tiān (heaven) granted emperors the right to rule based on their ability to govern well, appropriately and fairly. According to this belief, heaven bestows its mandate to a just ruler, the Son of Heaven. The Mandate of Heaven depends on whether an emperor is sufficiently virtuous to rule; if he does not fulfil his obligations as emperor, then he loses the Mandate and thus the right to be emperor. The Mandate of Heaven would then transfer to those who would rule best. The fact that a ruler was overthrown was taken by itself as an indication that the ruler had lost the Mandate of Heaven. In addition, it was also common belief that natural disasters such as famine and flood were other signs of heaven’s displeasure with the current ruler, so there would often be revolts following major environmental events as citizens saw these as signs of heaven's displeasure.
    "You have mandate to rule because you overthrew your rulers when they became unjust and tyrannical, just as they did when their predecessors did. There's a lesson here. ... Learn it."
    Last edited by Greyman; 09-27-2016, 07:35 AM.

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  • Erinys
    replied
    About the Creation Ruling Mandate, I always read it as a parody of the whole concept of the divine right of kings.

    You have a literal divine Mandate to rule the world? Good for you. Your god didn't even steal that, he hired your predecessor to steal it by murdering the Creators of the world. Your predecessors claimed they overthrew the Creators for being unjust, but then were accused of injustice and overthrown by other people, who now claim to be the only legitimate rulers. Oh, and your God is too disgusted by you to bother confirming this Mandate. He's not even speaking to you.

    You have a literal Dragon's mandate to rule the world? Good for you. Please explain how this makes you competent, given that you were unable to stop or foresee the Contagion. Why exactly is the world on the verge of nonexistence if you're so perfect and infallible? Oh, and the ghosts and reincarnations of all these people you genocided accuse you of evil. Is your self-justifying religion even true, or did you just make it all up? Your Dragons aren't backing you up or even proving that they exist.

    You have the Creators' mandate to reconquer the world for the legitimate rulers of all? Good for you. You've seen how they rule their own world, what part of that do you actually think is good? Have you not noticed that they want to flatten the cities of Creation and annihilate humanity, or do you just not care?


    Exalted use their divine mandate, real or imaginary, as an excuse to treat mortals like absolute shit, and to insist that they themselves are perfect, infallible, flawless. Of course everything they do is automatically justified and right, and nobody has the right to question them or suggest they have ever made a mistake, or that their God/Dragon/whoever is less than perfect, or that any member of their host has ever become akuma!

    And then we get detailed descriptions of how they turned Malfeas inside out, enslave or genocide entire human cities or nations, genocide entire intelligent species, perform horrific experiments on human souls, calmly allow nearly the entire world to be destroyed and call it acceptable losses, actually deliberately try to destroy the entire world, wage eternal war against each other, ally with Fae that are trying to destroy the world to get an edge in the eternal war, rape children, eat people to steal their skin, become akuma, torture people, feed human souls to the Fae, soulforge ghosts, overthrow governments, starve peasants to death, breed supersoldiers through rape, build an entire religion dedicated to the concept that mortals exist solely to be slaves, build an entire religion dedicated to soulforging the population into a doom fleet to destroy the world, destroy all historical knowledge to enforce their self-aggrandizing lies, and casually murder anyone who dares question their perfection. The world is literally ending, either because hardly any Exalt really wants to bother defending it, or because they're all incapable. Not counting the ones actively destroying the world.

    And I'm pretty sure the whole point is that Cecelyne is right. Might Makes Right is the only law the gods or Exalted have ever had. With rare exceptions, they're selfish, cruel people. Respect for other kinds of Exalted, let alone mortals and non-humans, has no part in their worldview.

    Cecelyne's only likely to be wrong where she claims the Primordials were any better. All this started because gods and humans were made to be slave races.

    Although the Primordial War and Usurpation both began with a very sympathetic desire to overthrow a brutal government that committed many atrocities, they both replaced it with more of the same, because they never created a new concept of the legitimacy of power. And the Yozis want a counter-revolution, but they have no new idea either.


    If you look at the behavior of real people who conquer empires or kingdoms, and claim that God gave them the right, or claim that God made their race/class/caste/sex the rulers and everyone else their servants, or rule through authoritarian violence... they don't have magic powers, but their behavior isn't much different.

    I think the point of the Creation Ruling Mandate is to ask the players if it's really worth anything. I think that it's a sack of crap, and basing government on such a violent concept inevitably creates abuse and atrocity. And that when the rich and powerful claim that they're better just because they're rich and powerful, we should look closely at what they do with that power. And ask questions.
    Last edited by Erinys; 10-03-2016, 09:50 PM. Reason: spelling

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    There's no doubt that being able to ask gods, ghosts and other people about the past events they experienced would be an incredibly valuable source of historical knowledge. Even in our world, accounts from people who lived through certain events can be extremely insightful - grandpa's stories about fighting in WW2 can give you a totally different perspective than what the history books teach.

    Of course those accounts aren't going to be 100% accurate, and they won't be uncolored by personal biases, but then to a degree no historical account is 100% accurate and free of biases. Honestly the fact that a god or spirit's memories of the past might not be all that accurate doesn't seem like much of an issue in Creation where very few historical accounts can be shown to be accurate and biased free anyway.

    I've always imagined that Sijan and Great Forks in particular are meccas for historians in Creation - the existence of so many beings with such ancient memories, and importantly who don't tow the Immaculate Order's line, would naturally draw people who were curious about Creation's past.

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  • Lundgren
    replied
    When it comes to history, there is a difference between the the larger pictures things like "did the Solars and Lunars steal their powers, in opposition of the Incarnea, or did they fight for the Incarnae to overthrow the Primordials" and what did a specific individual do at a specific moment. I have a feeling there is some cross purpose talking in this thread, where those two are conflated.

    I guess it comes to how gods works. While there are gods that are to young to have been part of the last few thousand years of history, most are old enough to been part of it. If the mind of a god works anything similar to a human, then they won't forget the big picture stuff. But even their own memory of their own opinion on what happened back, and whom did what; well those memories might not exactly match what actually happened. Just as with witness psychology, people will remember a robbery taking place, but details like the color or model of the getaway car can easily be rationalized into another memory.

    Which is of course on top on their willingness to tell the truth.

    Then, a gods memory could work entirely different, in case the ST wants something else for their version of the setting.

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