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Exalted: Tropes Q to Z
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: Justified, since First Age technology is self-maintaining. The comparative fragility of modern technology is also justified; the Solars were the only ones capable of making or obtaining the materials and enchantments that made Ragnarok-Proofing possible, so anything made after the Usurpation requires periodic maintenance and repairs to remain in working order, as represented by the Repair stat.
  • Reality Warper:
    • High-Essence Solar charms (especially the charm cascade descending from Wyld-Shaping Technique) allow you to rewrite the rules of reality on a fundamental level. This is thought to be one of the reasons the Sidereals decided to wipe them out — would you want power-mad egotistical god-kings rewriting the laws of physics on a whim?
    • Yozi charms do this all the time, especially at high Essence. Given that they were the ones who warped reality into existence from Pure Chaos in the first place, this is not surprising.
    • The Wyld is rather short on "reality," except for whatever the Fair Folk create to screw each other over in "shaping combat."
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Chejop Kejak attempted to do that to the Gold Faction, giving them the tough job of dealing with Essence users. This comes back to bite him since it makes it much easier for the Gold Faction to hide and train Solars.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The whole point of Shards of the Exalted Dream, which features settings that mash up Exalted with Battlestar Galactica (Classic), Star Wars, Fighting Game, and The World of Darkness.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Infernals, unlike Abyssals, can't be redeemed while they still live. Akuma have it even worse, since cleansing the taint requires multiple reincarnations without consorting with demons again (and they get that impulse by virtue of their taint). The flipside for the Infernals is that their powers are far less inherently destructive than the Abyssals'; once they've slipped the Yozis' leash, they can pretty much do what they want.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Very much a part of the Exalted mindset. See Rule of Cool.
  • Refusal of the Call: Many of the Green Sun Princes were given their Exaltation after failing to commit the heroic act that might have allowed them to become Solars. The rest Jumped at the Call and couldn't pull through because no Solar Exaltation was available at the time.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Solar and Lunar Exalts had their shards bound to each other upon the creation of the Exaltation. Thus, each Lunar is strangely drawn to a specific returning Solar. It doesn't ALWAYS manifest as love, sometimes it's even a rivalry, but love is the most common.
    • Deconstructed in that many elder Lunars are either A. not looking forward to being the second after about a millennium-and-a-half of being big and bad, or B. have been twisted by the great curse, and there's no telling how they'll feel about the Solars. This doesn't even bring up the Chimera...
    • Subverted in the fact that this link wasn't undone for the corrupted Abyssal and Infernal Exalted.
    • 2.5 edition errata states that protecting their bonded Lunar does not gain an Abyssal Resonance, creating a strong candidate for a Love Redeems plot.
    • Return of the Scarlet Empress mentions that at least one Infernal drops the Reclamation like a ton of hot bricks after meeting their Lunar mate. (This is accompanied by a picture of Sulumor snogging Strength-of-Many.)
  • Retcon: Far, far too many. Some good, some bad, and never shall the fans agree on which are good and which are bad. A few:
    • The Sun being a battleship that is separate from the Unconquered Sun.
    • The Locust Crusade / War.
  • Ret Gone:
    • The Sidereal Exalted, who were almost totally erased from the memory of Creation. This also happens to any of their Resplendent Destiny they have that wear out: people just forget the person that that false identity represented.
    • Everything destroyed in the Three Spheres Cataclysm. That would be 90% of Creation, by most estimates.
    • Prince Laashe after Luna struck him with the Falcastra of Zatesh.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Alchemicals start out like this. As they grow in power, they turn into Humongous Mecha, and, finally, Genius Loci.
  • Riding into the Sunset: One Solar Ride charm, Hero Rides Away, lets you regenerate Willpower and Essence for doing this.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Return Of The Scarlet Empress, if the Unconquered Sun dies, his last act is to send each and every Solar on one of these. Every Solar in Creation immediately gains a dot of Essence, learns 10 charms of their choice, regains all of their willpower, virtues and motes, and gains an intimacy of vengeance towards the Ebon Dragon. The Ebon Dragon doesn't anticipate this.
    • Every other Incarnae has something like this: Luna gives out Knacks in addition to Charms, and the Maidens can hand out the same things the Sun addition to unlocking the most badass Sidereal charms in existence and handing them to anybody they want. These charms are destructive enough that they were NEVER allowed to be used, not even during the Usurpation.
  • Rocket Punch: Alchemical Exalted can actually do this.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The Scarlet Dynasty.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Solar Exalted as kings of Creation under the Celestial Incarnae. At least, that's how it was supposed to go. The Scarlet Empress also counts, and the Solar Queen of Ondor Shambal right before the Usurpation.
  • Rule of Cool: Is implemented by the rules. Describing awesome actions, called stunts, is rewarded by bonus dice. Succeeding at these awesome actions also gets you Essence or Willpower, which allows you to do more cool things, which gets you more Essence and Willpower, which....

    Justified and/or lampshaded when one of the latter supplements revealed an in-world reason for this: the Pattern Spiders that maintain the Loom of Fate (gods of the laws of physics, essentially) like things that are awesome, and facilitate them... It sort of helps that none of them have had a break since their birth and seeing what Exalted do to the Loom is the closest thing they get to entertainment.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: All of the Power Born of Madness effects in the game have serious mechanical drawbacks, frequently forcing the player to take actions that are clearly not a good idea.
  • Sarcastic Confession: The Sidereal charm Avoiding the Truth Technique forces anyone who hears you to rationalize what you are saying as a lie.
  • Satanic Archetype: The Yozi, the so-called Demon Princes. They're Eldritch Abominations who built the universe and were overthrown by the gods and humans they had created (there's a strong titan theme with them). They now sit imprisoned in the Bloody Bowels of Hell, tormenting infinite hapless demons, and trying to lure mortals and Exalted into Faustian deals for morally dubious goals. They aren't necessarily pure evil, but they're bad news, very alien, and generally not fond of humanity. For example, the Ebon Dragon is the cosmic embodiment of betrayal, among other things. She Who Lives In Her Name wants to get rid of free will, for the greater good.
  • Scavenger World: The Scavenger Lands, with all lost bits of incomprehensible, barely-salvageable First Age Lost Technology, ruins, and jury-rigged salvaged artifacts. During the Shogunate, just after the Usurpation, much of Creation experienced this trope to various degrees.
  • Science Is Wrong: Averted. While the laws of physics tend to be...flexible in this setting, magic runs in a predictable, measurable way and there's nothing stopping you from combining them.
  • Screw Destiny:
    • All Exalted have the power to do this to an extent, though it's most obvious with the Solars, and any great use of Essence can screw up the Loom of Destiny as fate gets rapidly rewritten.
    • There are also some creatures that are simply outside of fate and have no destiny at all; they screw destiny just by existing.
    • Green Sun Princes are outside of fate, and have a Winds of Destiny, Change ability to boot.
    • Fluffwise, the Sidereal Fateful Excellency is also a form of Winds of Destiny, Change.
    • The Five Maidens are female, and at least Venus takes lovers. Thus leading to her nickname, The "Maiden" of Serenity.
  • Screw You, Elves!: The Jadeborn of the Time of Glory were tall, inhumanly beautiful craftsmen of superior skill who existed long before humanity and lived forever unless slain. During the Primordial War, they armed the Exalted who fought the Primordials. After the War, the Exalted turned on them and forced their Great Maker Autochthon to bind and diminish them in lieu of slaughtering them en masse. Autobot's still kind of bitter over that.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: The 280-odd Solar Exaltations in the Jade Prison have been uncanned. About 150 have been corrupted by the enemies of Creation, but the rest are free, active, and ready to pound said enemies of Creation into dust. (Quite possibly along with Creation itself.)
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: When the Yozis and Neverborn broke open the Jade Prison to steal the trapped Solar exaltations, they only managed to take half of them. The other 150 immediately flew to Heaven and soon began exalting the first new Solar Exalted in hundreds of years. Whether this is a good thing for Creation is a matter of debate, but the Solars are the default player characters. Of course, those 150 stolen exaltations were warped into new kinds of Exalted, becoming a second sealed cast from the same multipack.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Many, many examples.
    • The foremost are the Yozis, who, after their defeat at the hands of the Exalted prior to the First Age, were sealed in a cage comprised of the inverted, imploded body of their still-living king.
    • The Yozis are rivaled by their deceased "siblings" the Neverborn, whose bodies fell into/created the Underworld and became vast space-warping cathedrals buried next to the Abyss, doomed to endless agony and insane slumber until Creation itself dies. The main reason they haven't already destroyed the universe is because their can is sealed a lot more tightly than the Yozis'.
    • Could also apply to the Solar Exalted after the Great Curse drove them mad and they were sealed away by the Sidereal Exalted.
  • Send in the Clones: A series of Adorjan charms introduced in The Broken-Winged Crane allow Infernals to create an army of clones. High-Essense Infernals can even use their clones as instantaneous Body Backup Drives in case of unforeseen death.
  • Serial Escalation: The heart and soul of the game. If you're not aiming for this every session, you're not playing it right. Special mention could go to what the Charms detailed in the two part "Dawn Solution" allow you to do, the second part especially. Lift a non-Euclidean continent-sized Eldritch Abomination above your head and shake it like a rag doll! Create landscape-destroying spatial anomalies with your fists! Throw a guy so Goddamned hard that he breaks through the sky, crash-lands in Hell, and spends the next five days immobile as time catches up to him!
    • The best part of this one being that it can apparently counter a written social attack.
  • Ship Tease: Isidoros and Szoreny. One is a forest made of mirrors, the other is a black hole shaped like a giant boar.
  • Shoot the Dog: The Bronze Faction sees their actions in the Usurpation to be exactly this. Both canon and Internet Backdraft go back and forth on whether this was the right thing to do.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Kidale's story in the prequel comic ends in his death, and the circle that was forming shatters. The nameless Eclipse youth featured in chapter comics in the 2nd Edition Core and Sidereals book, while quite possibly a deliberate allusion to Yushuv, the protagonist of the 1st Edition novels, doesn't have a background consistent with Yushuv's at all.
  • Shout-Out: Lots. 1st Edition especially has a lot to the Old World of Darkness games, and there are shout-outs to pop culture and mythology all over.
    • For example, the first place Desus was mentioned by name was in a myth where he treacherously blinded a one-eyed Behemoth.
    • The chapter 7 comic in the 2nd Edition Core book features an Abyssal talking to a skull who he calls Estragon. Subsequentally, he meets someone called Pozzo with his pet 'Lucky'.
    • One of the comics in The West has a pair of Immaculate Monks trying to right a wrong, but being unable to due to an apathetic local population. One councils the other, "forget about it - it's just the Neck."
    • Each of the original five Exalted types is conceptually related to one Old World of Darkness game: Solars to Hunter The Reckoning, Terrestrials to Kindred of the East, Lunars to Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Sidereals to Mage: The Ascension, and Abyssals to Vampire: The Masquerade.
    • Even outside the above five correspondences, there are many game terms borrowed from the Old World of Darkness games. For example, the Green Sun Prince Castes share the names of the Demon Houses, save for the Devils and Devourers.
    • Elegant Nova Of Progression is an example of an Alchemical name in the new Alchemicals book. Bender Bending Rodriguez gets mentioned in the index.
    • Another Alchemical shout-out is in the name of one of the nations. "We have always been at war with Estasia."
    • The index to Graceful Wicked Masques holds a number of sneaky references. For instance, "Bear-killer" (an actual title) is followed by "Pedobear-killer" (and instead of a page number, it says "4chan").
    • The introductory comic for "Graceful Wicked Masques" features a Fair Folk cataphract named "Lan-Shoki Hana" with a mortal squire named "San-Xiao." If that doesn't ring any bells, Don Quixote's real name is "Alonso Quijano" and his squire is, of course, "Sancho."
    • Gorol is one letter away from being the Big Bad in the Wraith: The Oblivion endgame book (Gorool).
    • Sacheverell is a Yozi that they keep asleep so as not to bind fate to his visions; the Red King is kept asleep in Alice in Wonderland to keep the world from falling apart. Oh, and his previous incarnation was The Lidless Eye That Sees. Imagine a Visine commercial from Hell.
    • The First Age developer of Primordial Principle Emulation made it to tap into Kimbery's (a giant poisonous acid ocean) charmset because she couldn't learn/make new charms for her new body: a "cephalopod horror," Glories of the Most High tells us. The name of that Solar Queen? K'tula.
    • The Ebon Dragon's driving Urge, as revealed in Return of the Scarlet Empress, is to turn the world into one where his evil is law.
    • The section from Return of the Scarlet Empress about confronting the Ebon Dragon in direct combat is entitled Attacking the Darkness.
    • After destroying the Omphalos in Return of the Scarlet Empress, The Ebon Dragon has to create an N/A artifact to keep Creation from falling apart into the Wyld. The artifact in question is called The Black Spiral.
    • Many other scenarios are grouped with thematic names; the Metagalpa section has its acts titled after WWII films, and the South has a running theme of James Bond films.
    • One of the possible campaign styles in Infernals was titled "Grand Theft Yeddim."
    • The Martial Arts supplement Scroll of the Monk contains a chain daiklave, and the spread-the-water knife's illustration is not even trying to pretend it isn't a bat'leth.
    • In one of the adventure supplements you have a mayor named Carriker Thurfas. Thurfas is the name of a place in the Scarred Lands (another White Wolf product), which was developed by Joe Carriker.
    • In that same adventure there's a subtle nod to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
    • Shards of the Exalted Dream goes on to describe a green sun with the mass of two universes.
  • Shovelware: Splinters of the Wyld and Debris From the Fallen Races were made by, effectively, assigning the best members of the Exalted team and freelancers to publish White Wolf's wastepaper basket. And it's pretty damn good material.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Are you kidding? It's the entire point of the game.
  • A Simple Plan: The Great Curse of the Sidereals. There's a reason the Usurpation went so epically off the rails...
  • Sliding Scale of Turn Realism: Action by Action, blended with Second by Second. Each action takes a certain number of "ticks," which are a system term for "seconds" (except when they're not).
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Excessively Righteous Blossom, Moonsilver Caste Alchemical Exalt. Fancies himself a brilliant general and orator, with no need for improvement. No one else agrees.
  • Smug Super: Dear gods, yes.
  • SNK Boss: The Deathlords, who come equipped with every published Solar and Abyssal Charm, all ghostly Arcanoi, all three Circles of both Sorcery and Necromancy, special powers of their own, can bend certain rules of the setting, and who, in the off chance you can find and use the ONE Secret Weakness that can actually destroy them, will be resurrected one year later by the Neverborn anyway...

    However, it's important to note that the Deathlords are epically empowered ghosts: and thus they suffer the limitations of ghosts. Most importantly, they cannot naturally recover Essence while in Creation. This is why they need the Abyssal Exalted, and largely confine themselves to acting through them... outside the Underworld, they have severe endurance limits.

    Also, Deathlords only have the Abyssal versions of mirrored Solar Charms. Now take a look at how many of those Abyssal versions carry the "Spectral" keyword, meaning that they cannot be used outside the Underworld or a shadowland without paying an additional + 1 Willpower to activate, which means they will very rapidly run out of Willpower in any extended combat. And this includes all but one (the Resistance-based one) of their perfect defense charms.

    In addition, it is implied that while many Deathlords know Solar Circle Sorcery and can teach Solars the tricks they know, they cannot cast those spells.
  • Solid Gold Poop: The Beasts of Resplendent Liquids (although "liquid pharmaceutical piss" would be more accurate).
  • Soul Fragment: The Celestial Exaltations.
  • Soul Jar: Quite a few of them floating around.
    • The Monstrance of Celestial Portion in Exalted is a variant on the concept. If a deathknight is killed, his Exaltation - the part that makes him an Exalt - returns to the Monstrance, from which it can be transferred to a new mortal host chosen by the deathknight's master. Without the Monstrance, the shard would wander freely and choose its new host itself. Destroying the Monstrance won't kill the deathknight, but instead free him from his master's control; the trick is that not all of them know this, and may believe it would kill them.
    • The fetich souls of Primordials also serve as a form of this. The fetich embodies the identity of the Primordial; should it be killed, the Primordial will undergo a major redefinition, which may wind up creating an entity who is entirely different (for all intents and purposes killing the original). Fetich death was feared by the Primordials as the only way of "killing" them (even though another being with certain of their traits will result) until the Solars came along and developed powers that could actually kill them (which, incidentally, had nothing to do with their fetiches).
    • In the first edition of Exalted, there is also a Solar circle spell which uses a complicated ritual to allow a powerful Exalted sorcerer to store his soul in an artifact.
    • The Heart Grace of a Shaped Raksh is somewhere between a Soul Jar and a Heart Drive. Like many things about them, it's a bit hard to tell the difference.
  • Sourcebook: In one key example, while the corebook makes the presumptions that players of the game will want to play the recently-returned Solar Exalted, various Splatbooks provide rules for playing the other Exalted — Lunars, Terrestrials, Sidereals, Abyssals, Infernals, Alchemicals. Fair Folk also have a book, and the non-human races collectively get Scroll of Fallen Races.
  • Special Snowflake Syndrome: Encouraged, since there's so many diverse things in Creation that insanely weird concepts are encouraged (and nothing's supposed to be stronger than Exalted Charms). However, the Merits and Flaws designed for accommodating weird, individual abilities are widely considered to be terrible.
  • Spell Levels: The game has sorcery and necromancy spells divided into three levels each. Generally, the higher the spell's level (or circle), the more time it takes to cast it and the more motes and willpower it requires, as well as the more powerful the spell is. The main exceptions are the countermagic and banishment spells, which are quick and relatively inexpensive for their circle.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The 2e Infernals guidebook has a sidebar explaining that the Ebon Dragon isn't a creature of darkness, he's The Creature of Darkness.
  • The Starscream: The Heresy keyword from the Broken-Winged Crane is the result of the Yozis swallowing the Villain Ball again and not noticing that Green Sun Princes can design Charms for themselves, not just new Yozi Charms. As a result, each one is basically a variation on "Sir? Kiss my ass, Sir!"
  • Steam Punk: Oh come on, you know this is the reason Autochthonia exists.
  • Strongly Worded Letter: Yeah, they can kill people in this game.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: In the First Age, the first Akuma Gorol poisoned the Lawgiver who killed him. The Lawgiver's mate was unable to heal her, but Gorol told him that the poison could only be cured by the lifeblood of one's true love. He opened his own wrists to save her...and she later awoke, explicitly healed not by her Lunar mate's blood, but by her own power.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Some mental influence charms can create sexual desire in defiance of the victim's established preferences.
  • Super Empowering: Some gods have the ability to improve the abilities of others. The Exalted have the ability to awaken the Essence of mortals, too, granting them lesser (but still awesome) abilities. And then of course there's Exaltation itself, though that is mostly handled by the Exaltation itself aside from the paperwork.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: So very, very much. Everybody is kung-fu fighting. Supernatural Martial Arts is even the technical game term.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Terrestrial Exaltation is an inherited trait passed from parent to child. It ends up being close to case 4 or 5, depending on chance. (Case 5s having a severe tendency towards becoming their families' Unfavorites, especially in Dynastic families.)
  • Superpower Lottery: Most forms of Exaltation are, themselves, a matter of winning the superpower lottery, but even within that there are clear scales of power between different types of Exalted.
  • Superpower Meltdown: This is what happens whenever a Terrestrial tries to learn and use Sidereal Martial Arts. More specifically, the first time they try to activate such a charm, they explode in a conflagration of elemental Essence.
  • Super Speed: Solars can run fast, Infernals can run really fast (an Essence 10, Dexterity 10 Scourge with ten purchases of Wind-Born Stride has a base dashing speed of about 360 kph without using any other Charms), and provided a Lunar is chasing one of the above, he or she can run exactly fast enough to catch them.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: There is no White Veil Society, and, if there was, it would not be a powerful secret society spread across Creation. Furthermore, if such a society did exist (and it's ludicrous to think it might), it certainly would not teach a martial art that allowed practitioners to do battle and even deliver killing blows without even the victim noticing. This hypothetical martial art is not written up in Scroll of the Monk, and that nonexistent writeup does not deny, in suspiciously specific terms, the exact details of this entirely fictional society or its nonexistent style.
  • Sword Sparks: There is a Dragon-Blooded charm that makes good use of these.
  • Take That: Black Mirror Shintai, an Ebon Dragon Charm in the Infernals hardback, mocks the infamously poorly-balanced Sidereal martial art Obsidian Shards of Infinity Style, calling it the closest any mortal has ever come to duplicating the Ebon Dragon's "principle of antagonistic cheating."
  • Taking You with Me: Perhaps the ultimate Dangerous Forbidden Technique ever, Rune Of Singular Hate makes the target roll a ten sided dice for every single point on their character sheet, and they have a 60% chance of losing each one; However, the caster loses one dot from every category: Abilities, Attributes, Willpower, Essence, and Virtues. All of this is irreversible, and it Only Works Once.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Sidereals, upon Exalting, gain these in colors matching their Caste's Maiden (gold, blue, red, green, or purple). Their pupils also become flecked with little starpoints in the same color.
  • That Man Is Dead: A job requirement for Abyssal Exalted. They have to throw their original name and whatever was left of their destiny into the Void, and their overlords will punish them for answering to their old name.
  • That's No Moon!: The sun and moon of the setting are, in fact, eons-old artifacts attuned to the Unconquered Sun and Luna, respectively: the Dirigible Engine Daystar and the Silver Chair of Night.
    • Unfortunately, in 3e, that's going to be changed; the sun and moon are the sun and moon, nothing else. So no, there will be no more joyrides across the western hemisphere.
  • There Are No Therapists: And a lot of the anti-mind control charms can also be used as anti-therapy charms.
  • There Can Be Only One: As mentioned above, Luna and hundreds of other potential moon deities had to fight it out to the death and consume each others' power to actually become real.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: No longer possible, but during the original war between the Primordials and Exalted time travel and temporal weapons were used so heavily that nobody has any idea how long the war actually lasted and any attempt to try to trace out its actual path is doomed to failure.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Many, especially concerning demon-summoning and necromancy, but the one that takes the cake in this setting is known as The Broken Winged Crane. It's so evil, it hasn't actually been written yet; the evil from its writing actually went backwards in time and created many imperfect copies throughout the time stream. Some want to destroy the copies to stop the original from being written; others fear doing this, in case the destruction of those tomes accidentally causes the original to be written.

    Return of the Scarlet Empress reveals that the Scarlet Empress wrote the original, and in so doing created a portal directly into the Ebon Dragon's infernal prison. Now she's the Queen of Hell, and she's here to help with the Yozi Reclamation with the full resources of the Realm and all of her descendants.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The return of the Solar Exalted was marked by the first solar eclipse in 1500 years.
  • Touch of Death: Some charms allow you to literally punch someone's soul(s) off.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Scarlet Empress Voidfighter and its derivatives in Shards of the Exalted Dream are fighters that convert into warstriders, taking about eight seconds to do so. So far only one non-Solar has managed to pilot one.
  • Transhuman:
    • All Exalted are transhuman to some extent, far exceeding human limits of lifespan, Essence, magical ability, resilience, and strength. But Alchemicals and Infernals are especially made of this trope, since they gradually turn into cities and half-Primordials, respectively.
    • Queen K'Tula, a First Age Solar, turned herself so thoroughly into a tentacled squid-monster that several of her charms stopped working on account of her not being human enough to use them. So she invented a way to steal Yozi charms instead.
    • Chimera, of course, lose most of their humanity to the Wyld along with their shape.
    • God-blooded and Demon-blooded Half-Human Hybrids can leave their humanity behind and become spirits if they increase their Essence to 4.
    • Some ghost clans view undeath very much in terms of transhumanism, and teach their living descendants to view life only as an apprenticeship for eternal undeath. Some Abyssal Exalted have a similar attitude.
  • Transsexual: Two notable examples of this.
    • In the West of Creation, because of the prevalence of evil spirits called "Storm Mothers" who jealously attack any ship carrying female crew, a society of trans-men called the Tya has sprung up as a way to give women the opportunity to become sailors. These individuals tattoo their foreheads and cheeks with jagged bolts, symbolic of scars, ingest an extract of shellfish that will temporarily or permanently sterilize them, and give up all feminine protections and blessings to instead be allowed to sail ships and be treated by men. It's not, however, said that they make any other changes to their femininity in a physical sense; they are men from a symbolic sense and that's enough for most individuals; many still sleep with men, if they can find men who are willing to do so out of more than perverse curiosity, or even with water spirits and little gods (pregnancies can occur and are usually accepted, albeit with awkward silences), though just as many instead turn to other Tya for sexual pleasure and comfort or even marry women (mostly for business arrangements).
    • In the South of Creation, the Delzahn people of Chiaroscuro have a recognized subculture known as the Dereth; identifying themselves with a distinctive gray sash, these individuals are legally and culturally recognized as being the opposite of their physical gender. This is because, while the Delzahn have strictly defined gender roles, these roles aren't tied to physical sex — being a "man" or "woman" is more based on your role in society than your reproductive organs.
  • Troperrific: The whole idea is that there isn't just one cosmic force about to destroy Creation, there's a whole bunch of cosmic (and not-so-cosmic) forces that are all about to destroy Creation. Between declining empires of elemental supermen, zombie hordes, vengeful elder ghosts, dead primal gods, imprisoned demon-Titans, Cthulhu elves, Satanic pirates, necrophagic dinosaur-men, miscellaneous ancient artifact-slash-WMDs, international mercantile conspiracies, curse-addled reality ninjas, Conan-wannabe werewolves, assorted Godzilla-knockoffs, well-meaning but terminally misguided anime heroes, mutants up the wazoo, and the Machine God and his Aztec Cyborgs, Creation is about ten seconds away from getting gang-banged to death by every epic-fantasy cliche in the book all at once.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: A recurring theme.
    • The Gods rebelled against the Primordials so they could rule over Creation benevolently. Then the Terrestrials and Sidereals bumped off their Solar rulers and chased off the Lunars...
    • It doesn't even stop in Elsewhere, with Gremlin Syndrome among the products of Autochthon. This is because Autochthon started out sick, and this sickness manifests itself as his body's systems going rogue.
    • Heretical charms eventually let a Green Sun Prince do this very dramatically to the Yozis. They don't see it coming.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky:
    • Averted horribly by the Infernal Exalted, who can punch you over the horizon... but you're coming back down the hard way. And of course they can modify it so the victim impacts with a nuclear explosion that leaves the area irradiated and nightmare-inducing...
    • There is one Third Circle Demon named Orabilis, the End of All Wisdom who hurls people that have learned too much into the sky of Hell, where they spend a thousand years dying.
  • Ultimate Universe: The third edition has been confirmed to involve a substantial setting rewrite, dropping most of the second edition material, redrawing the map to make the Directions less homogenous, and adding new types of Exalt.
  • Unholy Nuke: There are a few of these to contrast with the more enlightened ones:
    • The Solar Circle Sorcery spell Total Annihilation isn't automatically unholy, given who wields it... but it's still the equivalent of a fantasy nuke, and relies on calling on a portion of the energy of Ligier, Hell's green sun.
    • Mouth of the Void, a Void Circle Necromancy spell that does hideous amounts of damage to all creatures over a large area. Given its level, it can only be learned by Abyssals, who usually aren't on the side of goodness and light. Usually.
    • Soulbreaker Orbs, devices that can shatter the souls of everyone within a mile of the explosion, tainting the very Essence of Creation by doing so.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Part of the Great Curse. When an Exalt acts against their character or marshals their willpower against unnatural mental influence, they accrue Limit. When they reach a breaking point, they undergo a Limit Break and act either towards or against their guiding virtue in a fashion that makes "extreme" look mild. It's not necessarily unstoppable rage either. Sometimes it's Unstoppable tears, Unstoppable Protectiveness, or almost any other trait turned up to eleven.
    • There are some Charms that also do this.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Lots of characters believe this. Most notable in the Second Age is the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible, who wants to end all pain by ending all life. (Or at least that's what he preaches.)
  • Variant Chess: Gateway.
  • Verbed Title
  • Voice of the Legion: She Who Lives In Her Name has a charm that permanently changes an Infernal's voice to be like this. It allows the Infernal to hold multiple simultaneous conversations and is a prerequisite for a sonic attack power.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Lunars and Luna.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Meta example. One of the writers used the dedication page of Shards of the Exalted Dream to propose to his girlfriend. She accepted.
  • Walking Wasteland: Abyssal Exalted can cause this without even trying (and if they're renegades, without particularly wanting to do so either). Infernals can acquire charms that do something similar, only with green radioactivity instead of death-Essence.
  • Warrior Monk: Immaculate Monks. Primarily Eastern-styled with a little bit of Western here and there. Their fighting arts can also burn you alive, make you drown in your own blood, or just vaporize your soul, just to name a few tricks.
  • Wave Motion Gun:
    • The Godspear of the Five-Metal Shrike is specifically statted out as doing infinite damage on a direct hit. Also, the main weapon of the First Age's Titan-class aerial citadels — of which, interestingly, the Shrike was designed to be a far more resource-efficient version, in terms of getting that level of firepower.
    • While not precisely a wave motion gun, the Realm Defense Grid/Sword of Creation is capable of the same degree of long-range super-destruction.
    • Above them both stands the Daystar's Apollyon Cannon, which fires "an unstoppable concussive bolt of solar Essence which can span a hundred thousand miles in an instant." It was used to push a rival Primordial's mock Creation back into the deep Wyld. In case you're not familiar with what that means: this is a weapon powerful enough to knock a world equivalent in size to a large rocky planet clear through to another dimension.
    • And there's the Eye of Autochthon. It does... well, something. Nobody's entirely sure what though, because people come to "mysterious" bad ends whenever they try to use it or even find it. It is known to have created the Glittering Desert, however — a region in the far South hundreds of miles long and tens of miles wide in which everything (and everyone) that wasn't a gas has been transmuted into finely shaped quartz.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary: Of course you can do this...
  • Weirdness Censor: Several Sidereal Charms have them built in. For example, a Charm that allows a Sidereal to relocate an entire village by physically dragging it around causes the inhabitants to think nothing of the sudden change in their geography.
  • Weird Sun:
    • Creation's sun is a giant flying battle fortress built to defend the world from the endless hordes of chaos, with enough weaponry to destroy the entire world in an instant. Also, it can turn into a giant robot. And knows martial arts.
    • The sun of Hell is the demon-king's soul, and a demon in its own right. Also, it's radioactive, and its light is blocked by objects only because the demon in question is noble enough to allow this.
  • Wham Episode: Return of the Scarlet Empress.
  • The Wild Hunt:
    • Actually inverted with the Wyld (sic) Hunt. That consists of a force of men, led by Dragon-Blooded and sometimes Sidereals to hunt down and kill Celestial Exalts and other dangerous magical entities. Once upon a time, its original purpose was to hunt the Fair Folk.
    • Played straight (or as straight as they wish it to be) with the Fair Folk, especially in the South.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
    • The Great Curse tends to do this over time.
    • A number of Charms do this to some extent: Black Mirror Revelation, Power From Darkness, Primordial Principle Emulation, several Yozi charms... and perhaps most frighteningly, the Solars' age cap-breaker Charm, Glory to the Most High. Of course, they are completely unaware of the "great insanity" part of this trope.
  • Word of God: The game's writers post on various forums and discuss their vision of what they've written. A huge number of such quotes have been collected on a wiki for anyone who wants clarifications on their intentions.
    • The Ink Monkey blogs contain charms, fluff, mechanics, errata and pretty much anything interesting that the writers couldn't fit into a book. They're recommended reading for anyone familiar with the setting, and are the basis for a lot of Word of God.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: Several Charms let you kill someone by talking to them.
  • The Worf Effect: The Compass of Terrestrial Directions: The North suggests using the Bull Of The North for this. Return of the Scarlet Empress recommends having the agents of the Reclamation worf Chejop Kejak, followed by most of the Sidereals.
  • World of Badass: Creation was created to test the Wyld for badass.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Black Claw Style, a Martial Art based around the 'truth' that innocence is a lie.
  • Wuxia: One of the game's inspirations and influences.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Since this is a Tabletop Game, it happens. Some of the locations of the setting build this right in, such as Nexus, where for some reason there is a strange law that no one can eat alone after dark, so taverns and tea shops seat strangers right next to each other.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • Played with: The Loom of Fate can influence a lot of entities, especially Mortals but including most Exalts. That said, all creatures who can channel Essence tend to direct Fate to adapt to them to some degree as well, and the altered Solar Exaltations (Infernal and Abyssal) don't even bother with it at all.
    • Played straighter with Samsara, the pattern of the world that shall yet be. To the best of anyone's knowledge, it applies to everyone, including the Eldritch Abominations locked outside the world. Samsara is much less well known than Fate, however, and those entities whom we have seen who directly perceive it not only become aware of their future, but become compelled to fulfill it. Word of God is that other entities are not necessarily compelled to fulfill the future that the Maidens see, so much as thus far it's been pretty accurate.
    • If Sacheverell, one of the imprisoned Eldritch Abominations, ever wakes up from his eons-long coma, his visions of the future will impose an extreme form of this on everyone in every world, irrevocably, inescapably, forever. It would be game over for free will, heroic potential, and playable characters. As such, pretty much everyone who knows about this wants to keep him asleep, and one major demon's entire job is to prevent anyone from waking him. It isn't clear whether his visions would be Samsara or something else entirely, but nobody wants to find out.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Unusual hair colors are stated to be common in various areas of Creation; blue and purple in the West, green in the East, etc. These hair colors tend to come about thanks to exposure to unusually high levels of Essence, either from an uncapped demesne or from living too close to one of the Elemental Poles. It can also occur if you happen to be descended from something not human.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • What can happen when an Infernal's Torment gets too high.
    • Also, originally if an Abyssal's Deathlord master had their "Monstrance of Celestial Portion" (soul cage), they could kill an offending Abyssal instantly. The rulebook suggests having the Deathlord treat any minor rebellion as part of their Gambit Roulette, to give them a little slack. This was later retconned, because having an automatic kill-switch pointed at your head at all times isn't particularly cool.

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