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Exalted Woundgate (nWoD Crossover, in other words):

Anyway, I got Mirrors a week or so ago, and I have to say, it is awesome.

What I really liked was it's dark fantasy nWoD example setting, Woundgate.

Basically, it posits that Earth is actually one of a pair of sister dimensions, called the "Corpse", and the other, the Shatter, which is actually a group of "real" zones with differing laws from one another, such as what technology (rather than magitech) can work or what spirits can exist. These two worlds were originally one, called the Accord, but were broken into two by the titular Wound, a gap in reality filled with Worldblood, the essence of supernature at it's most pure. The Wound, and the strange and alien worlds one can access through it, is guarded by the Incarnadines, bizarre spirits who believe the Shatter should not interfere with the Corpse, though not necessarily vice versa. To do this, they created the Scarwall, an organic and nigh-impenetrable barrier made from the bodies of people who drank Worldblood, becoming mighty god-monsters. It's not perfect, though-one of said alien worlds, Faerie, has learned how to get to Earth and back using Bloodthorn, a plant that creates portals the border-world of the Hedge when it's fully grown.

Naturally, this has a lot of potential for new plots set in motion by Exalted who start appearing and knocking the entire power balance off-base. So, here's my idea:

In this continuity, the Three-Spheres Cataclysm did not function as intended. It certainly caused a rather large amount of Creation to vanish, but instead of dissolving into the Wyld, the primal cosmos-stuff collapsed inward upon itself, reaching a singularity that burst into what we Earthlings know as the Big Bang. This new cosmos, touched as it was by She Who Lives In Her Name's hierarchy of principles, functioned not according to gods and magic, but by inviolate natural laws and rules. She, of course, had no idea this happened, and just assumed she blew up everything. Upon awakening and realizing she had a perfect world to enact her design on but was completely oblivious to it, she indeed asked her fetich to kick her.

Not all the Primordials were so oblivious, however. Einan, now known as the Exiled Demiurge due to his choice to flee the Primordial War, twin brother to the Principle of Hirearchy (think the right lobe to her left lobe), and inventor of Sorcery, found it hard not to notice the results of his sister's temper tantrum suddenly assimilating much of the Wyld over a course of a few minutes and investigated the new phenomenon. Soon, he fell in love with it and opted to merge his essence, what is now known as dark matter and dark energy, into the nascent cosmos, figuring he wasn't going to go back to Creation and get thrown in Malfeas anyway. Once there, he proceeded to mold the gradually developing laws to create a place for his magics, and separated the universe into four realms: The Coil, to contain his ever-ongoing projects, the Supernal, to contain his mind and Essence, the Lower Depths, to collect byproducts of his work, and the Abyss, to toss failed and malignant works of his into. Of course, he deliberately neutered his gods and spirits by creating a separate substrata of the Coil, the Shadow, for them to inhabit, ie, away from the sapient beings produced by evolution-he's a quick learner, as shown by his decision to include ghosts as part of the natural cycle: If ghosts are supposed to exist and he gets blasted to the stone age and back, he won't come back as a true Neverborn since he is still within the bounds of normal reality to exist.

One should not confuse him-at all-with an omnibenevolent and omnipotent YHVH: Einan is still very much a Titan, and while he's not nearly as bitter as the Yozis or even Autocthon, he's no Gaia. For example, when the dinosaurs he went through so many millions of years working on one of his most promising planets were still not turning into Dragon Kings or Alaun after so many millenna of careful prodding, he finally just tossed an asteroid at it during a major period of volcanic eruptions and made humans instead. Weak, miserable playthings of a race that they are, they at least have an easy template to work towards.

Despite being the Unconquered Sun's nightmares made manifest, however, the eventually-dubbed World of Darkness (after the form it's master took in it) was not a terrible place for humans to live, exactly as Einan had intended. Sure, it was a tad irritating when the Incarna Father Wolf's death thickened the Gauntlet into a dimensional wall between the Shadow and the Physical, but nothing he couldn't recover from. More startling were the humans learning to tap into the power of the Supernal World to reorder the laws of the Coil, but this, rather then frightening, was intriguing to the Exiled Demiurge. Perhaps the potential of humans was greater then he had previously imagined? Adopting a wait-and-see approach to the so-called "Awakened City" ("Atlantis" is simply a cultural name), Einan watched with interest as the nation grew in power and confidence, even erecting a Celestial Ladder to make their way to the source of their powers and gain further mastery over them. This, of course, played right into his developing plans-let the power-hungry come to him, he thought. While he had partially built the constraints of the World of Darkness to prevent his direct interference with the Coil, letting it evolve gradually and naturally, he had decided that being some of his favored creations, humans deserved the enlightened rulership of their Creator by way of akuma.

Then, something the Demiurge could have never anticipated happened. Simply put, the other world he had helped create...broke. And part of it's debris impacted his cosmos directly.

To this day, Einan is not quite sure what happened. All he knows is that the Wyld began to swim very oddly before a massive hunk of Creation hit the Celestial Ladder, causing it to shatter. This would merely have been bad, except he had severely underestimated how deeply the Ladder had worked itself into the dimensions of his pet universe, tearing a colossal hole in it's fabric and exposing the liquid form of dark energy, Worldblood. What's more, it also proved to be a Wound in more than one way-like any mortal injury, it was prone to infection, a role that his most misbegotten creation, the Abyss, gleefully filled. There, the dark realm learned how to use the geomancy of powerful Awakened magic and mortal evils to intrude upon the Corpse-the damaged remnants of the Coil-and attack it like a cancer, rewriting reality to match it's own warped image. Far less mortifying, but still terrifying to the confused Einan, was that the Creation-remnant had somehow managed to embed itself in the cosmos, creating the archipelago of Realms known as the Shatter. Panicked, Einan destroyed the rest of the Awakened city to prevent the spread of Abyssal contamination, and set out to find exactly how damaged his little corner of reality was, delving deep in the Wound.

What he found was a nightmare. Besides the disgustingly organic nature of much of the damaged realm, here and there he found mangled pieces of Creation, stuck in a bizarre temporal stasis that froze scenes of horror like a museum of atrocities. Here, a Solar, his right arm missing skin, stood with a look of absolute despair, as if he knew he would not survive some out-of-panel peril. There, Lytek hid in his own cabinet, covered with burns and divine ichor. Another area, two vicious-looking ghosts, which Einan's study would later reveal to him were Deathlords, stood eternally cackling over the ruins of a destroyed city, survivors being rounded up by half-fleshy machines with rusty blades that vaguely resembled meat cleavers. But most disturbing and horrifying to the Exiled Demiurge was the still-breathing humanform jouten of Gaia, babbling incoherently between sobs that would have been full bodied were it not for the fact a quarter of it was gone, leaving only a green wound oozing red pus and the faint smell of burning wood and cooling magma. Even if she had turned on him in the War, Einan was rightfully horrified by his sister's grieving madness and mangling, both for her and himself-whatever happened to Creation could be repeated in the World of Darkness ten times worse, since his cosmos was naturally less resistant to threats then that world. Yet even still shaking from the revelation of what had happened to his former home, the brother of She Who Lives In Her Name's wits did not flee, and he came up with a plan to preserve his world-at any cost. For to protect the world he loved and guided, Einan would have to bind it in chains of despair and fear, so as to create a balance of power that would prevent grave threats to the World of Darkness-for to him, a miserable world was a small price to pay for any world at all.

First, of course, was Gaia. While the Primordial of Life seemed to have been driven permanently insane by watching everything she had loved destroyed, he was able to treat her wounds and put her in a dreamless sleep, his archon souls slowly but surely repairing her while gently combing through her memories, trying to piece together exactly what had destroyed Creation. Next, he used the newly-created Astral Realms, a dimension formed from pockets of the Supernal interacting with the dreaming minds of mortals, to institute an instinctual phobia of the supernatural, so that humans would not stumble onto his plots and foul them up. As part of this, he changed the elemental Essence of Blood from stasis to pure life, setting the stage for the first vampires. Next, he approached the humans who had managed to get to the Supernal and made his planned offer of akuma Investiture, hoping to create regents to assist in bringing it's benevolent denizens under control. Most found their free will too appealing to accept the power he offered, but eleven accepted, becoming the Iron Seals of the Exarchs. Five of their colleagues objected to this, and so used their magics to force Einan to create five Third Circle souls in the form of Watchtowers to disseminate the knowledge of Awakened magic to the Corpse and Shatter, so he instituted Paradox as a deterrent against magics that could allow the Abyss through. For the penultimate stage, Einan sent his Third Circle Soul Thamian, the Adversarial Forge, to take a bit of the Essence of selfishness and rebellion to the Lower Depths, creating the Inferno and the demons that dwell within, so as to constantly tempt those who were brave enough to overcome the created fear of the unknown into their own destruction.

Finally, for the both the most dangerous and most important phase of his plan, Einan had to rework Destiny itself into a form that would prevent true greatness and heroism, and so, upset the balance he had created. To do so, he journeyed to the very heart of the Supernal, where his fetich, Malkani, Keeper of the Wheel of Destinies, spun his wondrous tales of power and courage. With the look of pain of a father forced to murder his own child, Einan broke his core soul into many still living shards, and in his place implanted into his Star-Weaving Ouroboros the Threefold Directive of Apophis-Virtue Comes With Pain, Knowledge Comes With Fear, and Power Comes With Corruption. Only then did Einan retire to contemplate the enormity of what he had done, and the Ouroboros began to spin on it's own, weaving an endlessly recursive path of false hope and disillusionment.

So did the World of Darkness gain all the negative implications of that name, with the Directive spinning it's ever-continuing tale of idealism born from the fall of a corrupt society, the attempted building of a pure society only to have it become corrupt to survive, bloody revolution, and newborn idealism from it's fall. Through all this, those that dwelled within the shadows thrived, feeding on the filth born from this cycle and living within the many and ever-expanding cracks. Even the Shatter, with it's many wonders left over from Creation, was tainted by the filth around it, a forlorn wreck of a once-beautiful world. Occasionally, the cycle was broken, but these instances were few and far between, only making the rest of the world look even more sad by comparison. Even the spread of technology and the resulting improvement of life quality only served to show how much of a festering pit both the Corpse and the Shard were, to the point where things seemed even worse then before.

So things continued for the first part of the 21st century of the common era. But one day, not very long ago an unlikely and unintended savior from the poison of Apophis appeared. While in any other world, they would be treated with understandable dread and panic, but in the World of Darkness, they endanger a strange kind of hope for it's weary peoples, much like how a knife punctures an abscess filled with anaerobic bacteria.

The Yozis and the Neverborn.

You see, while the Yozis are as clueless to the Shattering of Creation as Einan is and the Neverborn aren't telling, they were both protected from it as a function of their natures-the Yozi were safe in the bomb shelter of Malfeas and the Neverborn...are the Neverborn. Neither was particularly pleased with the events for obvious reasons, but they were able to figure out that some of Creation had impacted another world by examining the remains of the Loom of Fate-one that the Principle of Hirearchy found strangely familiar. In one of their occasional alliances, the Ebon Dragon and the Neverborn agreed to combine their strengths to turn Malfeas into a Wyld-faring ship, with the Voices of Oblivion using their knowledge of the Void to dissolve what was left of the tether to Creation. While the process was long and tedious, eventually Malfeas was unfettered from the smoking hole in the Wyld and began to slowly Wyld-shape his way to the World of Darkness, with the other Yozi collectively deciding to fall asleep out of boredom.

When they finally found their way to the other cosmos, it is said that upon waking, the Ebon Dragon created a lake of shadow from his tears of joy at finding a world in such suffering that many within would like it to end. After reluctantly fulfilling his part of the deal with the Neverborn (mostly because the other Yozi were watching him intently after his traitorous tendencies fouled up the Reclamation) and creating a new portal to the Well of Oblivion in the Corpse's Underworld, he conferred with the other Architects on how to remake it in their image. Malfeas, of course, wanted to start a third World War that would create a nuclear winter that only Ligier could warm. Cecelyne was partial to the idea of creating a world-controlling conspiracy devoted to her law. She Who Lives In Her Name suggested studying it first, perhaps learning something about the still-valid oaths imprisoning them in the Demon City. Adorjan...lost interest about halfway through and just said to make "rock music" a governmentally-enforced hobby, seeing as how her first attempt to examine an album left her dazed for hours.

As per usual, it was the Ebon Dragon who suggested the idea that everyone agreed with: Namely, that they should send Exalted into this world's precarious balance, weakening the bonds of it's society to the point where the Yozi could just walk in and dominate it after figuring out how to loosen their prison bonds. The problem with this was that they had no shards, seeing as how they were lost in the Shattering....but they knew how to make them, and the oath against the creation of new things was voided by the Shattering. What's more, they knew of Worldblood.

So, sending their asura (renamed to avoid confusion with the Inferno) into the Wound, they set out on their plan to create new Exaltations in their image. The first attempt was a flop, since they had not realized the existence of Incarnadines, the deva guardians of the Wound, not having looked for Primordial influence (actually they did, but when it was discovered that Earth was a product of Pyrian manipulations, She and every other Yozi assumed that her Essence had formed it purely by itself after the Three-Sphere Cataclysm). The second time was also a failure, as the Exarchs had detected the intruders from another world and turned them to vapor with their magics. The third time, fortified by willing students of the Watchtowers, was a resounding success, with the Yozi gaining enough Worldblood to will into new Second Breaths.

While they initially deigned to create only Green Sun Princes, the Ebon Dragon convinced them that, due to the collective phobia of death and the unknown, to create Abyssal and Lunar shards, releasing the latter into world at random and tithing the latter to the Neverborn (who were currently selecting new Deathlords and unfreezing the ones caught in the Wound). This unintentionally roused Gaia enough for her to, as a barely half-remembered action, to breath her genes into the Corpse and Shatter, creating new Dragon-Blooded lines-but this was viewed as a pleasant surprise by the Yozis, who saw not a threat, but a familiar target for temptation.

So the true setting begins with the first of the Yozi-made shards entering the Shatter and Corpse, the existence of which will likely be taken as a sign of the apocalypse once Earth gets over itself and admits they're real. And they are-after all, they herald a new era quite unlike the World of Darkness has seen before.

But is that a bad thing? True, the average Infernal in the Age of Sorrows was either too grateful to or too afraid of the Yozis to consider rebellion and the Abyssals have Resonance and all it implies...but a Green Sun Prince is fundamentally what he chooses to be, and the Abyssals have within them the capacity to become Solars. And that's not counting the new Lunars and Terrestrials, free from the societal problems that plagued them in Creation, and in the Lunars' case, now free of Wyld taint.

Maybe they shall do as their creators intended, and serve as the definitely-more-than-four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Maybe they shall collectively decide to work for themselves and make their own fiefdoms. Or maybe, just maybe, they shall prove the fearful Demiurge wrong, and show that a risk can make the world better-and shatter the Directive in the process, allowing the World of Darkness, perhaps ironically for Exalts, to make it's own path.

All that can be said is that these shall be interesting times indeed.

As you may have guessed, I request reviews.

Please point out if you liked or hated it, and any plot holes so that smooth over an admittedly rough idea.

edited 13th Aug '10 12:14:40 PM by Leliel

I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
Incredible.

I didn't like the fantasy otherworld idea in Mirrors, but that could work.
 
Okay, how much of imperial mysteries do you want to use? In that book, mages have the power to retcon the universe, and the pax arcana stops the power players from running roughshod over the universe. Do you want to ignore that, or do you think the titan would smile every time reality is rewritten so the exalted past gets further and further away?

What about the faeries? What motivated them from only being interested in humans as lunch, to kidnapping them to become more faeries?

How many remnants of the exalted world do you want hanging around? Do the splats of the nwod get more exalted like as they go above 5 in their power stat?

Vampires and Sineaters gaining abyssal qualities? Prometheans the Alchemicals? The werewolves the Lunar? Mages the sidereals? Do the solars, green sun princes, and dragon blooded manifest as dark heroes?

Unless you want to merge in some fan splats and have the dragons and demons be the modern incarnations of terrestials and green sun princes?

 4 God of Awesome, Thu, 9th Feb '12 8:53:37 PM Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Afro Sun
I don't think their is Solar at all.

The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
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