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Tropes relating to the Exalted of Creation.

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    Solar Exalted 
The Solar Exalted are the (currently) 150 Chosen imbued with the strength of the Unconquered Sun, the heroes of Creation. They were originally made from the Unconquered Sun to take out the Primordials with help from their Lunar mates and generals, Sidereal spies, and Dragon-Blooded army. They did. After they won their war, they ruled Creation under the Mandate of Heaven from the Incarnae in the First Age in peace and prosperity.

However, the slain Primordials laid a Great Curse on them that would inevitably drive them insane. Fearing that they would destroy Creation, the Sidereals killed almost all of them with the aid of the Dragon-Blooded who would be the new rulers of Creation. The Solar Exaltations were sealed inside the Jade Prison, with the few Solars that escaped and their reincarnations being killed by the Wyld Hunt.

This was not their end. Shortly after the Scarlet Empress's disappearance, the Yozi and the Neverborn cooperated to rip open the Jade Prison and corrupt the shards within to make their Infernals and Abyssals, but they were only able to take half, fifty going to the Yozi, a hundred to the Neverborn, and the rest making up the new Solars of the Second Age.

Now the Solars are back, ready to kick ass, take names, and possibly save (or destroy) Creation while doing so.

  • The Ace: Solars primarily function this way, picking up many mundane human skills and improving on them in hilariously awesome ways.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Solars are extremely good at this, due to social Charms like Authority-Radiating Stance.
  • The Dreaded: They're called Anathema for a reason. The Dawn Castes can inspire terror in even emotionless creatures.
  • Drunk with Power: It's implied that though the Great Curse catalyzed it, many Solars would have gone evil anyway.
  • A God Am I: Definitely the major reason why the Solars got bumped off in the First Age. And thanks to the Great Curse, this attitude continues to be a significant problem.
  • God-Emperor: Used to be these in the First Age. Whether they have any interest in reclaiming such a title depends on the individual Solar.
  • Guile Hero: A very common archetype for Solars who don't go the route of pure direct-action brute force.
  • High Priest: What many members of the Zenith caste become for the Unconquered Sun, essentially.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: Yes, they're chosen by the local God of Good and given divine perogative over creation. But they're dangerous for normal humans to be around at the best of times, and outright apocalyptic at the worst.
  • Light Is Not Good: It varies between this and Light Is Good for individual Solars, but they almost invariably end up as the former due to the Great Curse.
  • Reincarnation Romance: As with everything about the Solars, they take it up to three hundred with the Lunars.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Even in the First Age, Solars tended to be Non-Idle Rich who quickly got bored of parking their glorious golden asses on a throne all day.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Solars were hit hardest by the Great Curse and will always inevitably go insane one way or another.

The Signature Circle (of Third Edition)


The iconic Dawn. A simple and violent man who constantly seeks challenges. No one will accuse him of having a heart of gold, but since he mostly cares to focus his violence on the proud and mighty, and doesn't like easy fights, he is liked among the downtrodden.

  • Badass Boast:
    • "A hundred of them? And here I thought I was outnumbered. Stand back, this won't take long."
    • Also, from the adventure The Tomb of Dreams when discussing his Exaltation: "I had it handled; the Sun didn’t need to get in my business."
  • Boisterous Bruiser: "He's a brute and a tough and a pit fighter, and he knows his worth through violence. And he does love violence."
  • Bully Hunter: His defining intimacy in The Tombs of Dreams is given as "I enjoy bringing down the self-superior."
  • Chainmail Bikini: Not quite, but Volfer's armor covers only his forearms, hands, hips and one shoulder, leaving his whole torso unarmed. Implied to be a tactic to set others up to lethal counter attacks when they try to exploit this.
  • Evil Weapon: Potentially, as Volfer's sword has been described as "insane, twisted by the blood of a great demon it once struck down".
  • Refuge in Audacity: There's a splash panel art of him standing before a bunch of pissed-off Realm soldiers with a piece of paper bearing the Scarlet Empress's personal seal of approval placed over his junk.

Perfect Soul

The iconic Zenith, Perfect Soul was the Amirah of Jiara, a Realm Satrapy on the coast of the Inland Sea. When House Mnemon found first age artifacts under the capital, she fled her home to raise a rebellion in the countryside. She also cursed the Unconquered Sun for his silence to her prayers, and he answered by exalting her.

  • Dancing Royalty: Jiara as a whole is obsessed with the art of the dance, and even before she Exalted, Perfect Soul was one of the best from there. Bonus points for actually being a queen.
  • The Dog Bites Back: While she initially had resigned herself to being the powerless ruler of a vassal state, Mnemon found a large cache of First Age Artifacts beneath Jiara and turned from a passive occupier into a vicious raider. She is no longer on their side, and is in fact quite ashamed she ever was.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: She's not above more amoral actions in her rebellion, hence why Prince Diamond has to remind her of moral considerations at times.
  • Rebel Leader: She's currently in her homeland, the Amirate of Jiara (where she is a heir to the Khidara Dynasty), working to throw out Mnemon.
  • Rightful King Returns: She's the proper heir of Jiara, and is understandably pissed that House Mnemon wants to kick her out of her own country.
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: Perfect Soul was Exalted when she denounced the gods who she felt had abandoned her and destroyed a shrine to the Unconquered Sun. He was very impressed by her bravery, and empathizing with her feelings of abandonment and betrayal, sent her the Zenith Exaltation.

Iselsi Shen

The iconic Twilight, Shen is an accomplished sorcerer.

  • Consummate Liar: See Nerves of Steel. Perfect Soul, an experienced Zenith, was instantly fooled by a lie he made up on the spot (and it's not certain if he had Exalted yet).
  • Deep Cover Agent: As with all members of the proper House Iselsi, Shen takes great effort to disguise his identity, even stealing an eagle Animal Companion to fake being a member of House Peleps. Also one for the Solars, as he is technically an Anathema who works for the All-Seeing Eye.
  • Enemy Mine: With Novia. Not that he dislikes her personally, she's just smart enough to penetrate his schemes.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a master martial artist as well as an adept spy and sorcerer.
  • Nerves of Steel: How'd he end up with Perfect Soul? When she was ransacking the satrap's palace where he worked, she barged into his office in the middle of some important paperwork, at which point he instantly and calmly spun a complete lie about being The Starscream to Mnemon Jerof.
  • The Mole: He's a member of the Realm's Secret Police.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He's not evil, but he is a loyal citizen of the Realm (who likely regard him as their Token Evil Teammate, given how he's a Solar Exalted). He also wants Mnemon out of Jiara for his own reasons.

Novia Claro

The iconic Night Caste.

Prince Diamond

The iconic Eclipse Caste for Third Edition, Prince Diamond, while biologically female, is a Dereth and is willing to resort to violence if you keep on calling him "she". A Delzhan far rider, Diamond has befriended the Zenith Perfect Soul, and believes that her personal war against Mnemon may be the final stop on his endless ride.

  • The Atoner: Played with, in that it's not his own actions he's a atoning for; Prince Diamond took on the role of Far-Rider when his youngest brother was sentenced to death for killing another in self-defense; he's taken exile to suspend the boy's execution indefinitely, although it also means he will almost certainly never be able to return home.
  • Bifauxnen: While he actively doesn't try to pass—he doesn't bind his breasts, for instance—he's done an altogether thorough job of representing his preferred gender.
  • Cultured Badass: He's an Eclipse swordsman, comes with the job.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Dereth — effectively transgender — such as Diamond are generally accepted and embraced in Delzhan society, and Diamond's parents were no exception; the largest family trouble he caused when declaring his status was mildly annoying his father, who had brought gifts worthy of a fine noblewoman's coming of age.
  • Morality Chain: He's the most morally spotless of his Circle, and frequently finds himself playing conscience to the rest.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Delzhan are like this in general, and why he reaches for his sword if you keep up the whole "female" thing; their culture is very gender essentialist, and by calling him a woman, you're implying he isn't a real warrior.
  • Trans Nature: Prince Diamond is a Dereth, which means that when coming of age, he chose to not be of his biological gender. Those who declare themselves Dereth do so for a lot of reasons, such as sexuality or vocational interest, but Word of God has confirmed that Prince Diamond is someone "who we here on Earth in the present would call an FtM transsexual man, mistakenly assigned the female gender at birth".

The Previous Signature Circle (of First and Second Edition)

Harmonious Jade

The Night Caste who was at one time face of the game (her picture was by far the largest on the First Edition Core rulebook). Raised from child to be an assassin for a demon cult in the South, her Exaltation led the cult leader to turn on her, driving her away from her home. Now, she belongs to the main circle of Solars.


The Eclipse Caste. A skilled diplomat, Swan is also a skilled martial artist and generally seems to be a nice guy - so long as you don't piss him off. Whether this has anything to do with his past life is up for debate.

  • Ambadassador: As an Eclipse Caste, he is this.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He's quite infatuated with Arianna, who is pretty much the biggest Tsundere ever. He keeps trying though.
  • Love Triangle: Swan's infatuated with Arianna. Arianna is Tsundere for him. Lilith, his bonded mate, both loves and hates him. He would like Lilith to not project her feelings for Desus onto him.
  • Nice Guy: He's one of the most pleasant and polite of the iconic Solars, and one of the few in the setting who didn't immediately begin using his newfound powers to fix all the problems in his life or advance his position.
  • Redeeming Replacement: His Exaltation used to belong to Desus, a bastard of a man in the First Age and a one-man reason for the Usurpation. However, Swan tends to be the nicest guy in the stories, unless innocents or his allies are in danger.
  • Reincarnation Romance: He was in another love triangle with the same people in the First Age. That one was even messier, since he hurt both of them and made them love him for it.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Both Lilith and Oliphem would like to make him suffer for what Desus did to them in the First Age.


The Dawn Caste. Dace is a mercenary captain from Nexus who Exalted after being nearly killed in a battle gone bad for his company. He left with a small amount of the company he belonged to, and started up his own mercenary group, the Bronze Tigers.

  • Cool Old Guy: He's the oldest of the iconic Solar characters, but is also the most dangerous in terms of physical combat. Also, the comics present him as a fairly affable fellow who's usually willing to help right wrongs.
  • Cool Sword: An orichalcum blade named Dawnlight that belonged to his previous incarnation.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: His second-in-command is a Dragon-Blooded who came to kill him with a poorly equipped Wyld Hunt. Instead of killing her, he challenged her to a duel, and convinced her to join his company when he defeated her.
  • Mistaken Identity: At first Lilith thought he was the reincarnation of her husband. Fortunately for Dace, he is not.


The Zenith Caste, a former gladiator given purpose by the Unconquered Sun. In his life before the Exaltation, he was killing for fun and profit. Despite all the money, women, drugs and fame he realized he had no purpose. Then the Sun spoke to him and told him to make the world righteous. Ever since then, he travels the land righting wrongs and giving purpose to people without one.

  • The Atoner: Panther is driven by the sins he committed prior to his exaltation. He also seeks to prevent others from making the mistakes he did.
  • Badass Preacher: You don't want to get in a fight with him. He's not yet at the point when he can start swaying the masses, but give him time...
  • The Big Guy: He uses a martial art that lets him shatter buildings with his fists.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Is targeted by people because of his previous deeds.
  • Scary Black Man: when he gets mad, people start crapping their pants.
  • Slave Liberation: It's not his driving goal, but that doesn't stop him doing it if he has to.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: With a massive tattoo of the sun on his chest.


The Twilight Caste. She was basically a librarian in the North, unable to study the lore she kept for the male savants who thought she wasn't worthy of their secrets. When she Exalted, she instantly outstripped them all — only to barely escape the Wyld Hunt. After barely escaping (with some help from Swan), she's dedicated herself to recovering the lost wonders of the First Age... and restore the Solar Exalted to their rightful place as rulers of the universe.

  • Badass in Distress: She probably wouldn't have evaded the Wyld Hunt without Swan's help. In her spare time, she hunts down copies of the setting's version of the Necronomicon.
  • Butt-Monkey: A lot of writers dislike her, and it shows. That, and her Limit Break is Deliberate Cruelty...
  • Defiant to the End: When the Prince of Shadows threatens her with torture if she doesn't behave herself, her response is as follows: "Make me, pretty boy."
  • Generation Xerox: or Incarnation Xerox, at least. Of the iconic Solar circle, she is the most like her First Age incarnation (Bright Shattered Ice). This is not a good thing: both characters are Creation-class bitches, take morally-questionable steps in order to get what they want, and exhibit little in the way of empathy for the people around them. Mind you, she is nicer than Ice was, but seeing how Ice was a straight-up Evil Overlord, that's not saying much.
  • Reincarnation Romance: This was a problem between their First Age incarnations too. Bright Shattered Ice loved Desus, and he screwed her on occasion before going back to Lilith, driving Bright Shattered Ice into her Deliberate Cruelty Limit Break...

Other Second Age Solars

Yurgen Kaneko, the Bull of the North

One of the few Solars who Exalted before the breaking of the Jade Prison, Yurgen is an old icewalker warrior who passed the point where he could fight — i.e., enough to see his grandchildren grow up — and took up the tradition of meeting his death on the ice, as is traditional for his culture. While out there, he was attacked by an ice elemental in the form of his dead wife. However, he Exalted at that very moment, melting the elemental in the process. After wandering about feeling rather confused that he no longer felt old, he realized he was chosen for greatness and found his way to a different tribe. There, he became The Strategist, eventually hoping to unite the icewalkers.

Of course, one doesn't do this without attracting the Wyld Hunt, and ten years before the game began, a cadre of them were sent after him. They never knew what hit them - but then he met the legions of House Tepet.

Now, the Bull of the North — as most people know him — is dying, the result of a lucky blow by a Tepet legionnaire with a envenomed spear. He might be saved, but the poison is beyond his lieutenant Samea's ability to heal (which, given how she is an experienced sorcerer, is really saying something). Moreover, the icewalkers and the other peoples under his dominion really do not like each other, especially because his own Circle shares their ethnic dislike. If he recovers, then he'll likely be able to unite them, but if not, it is likely the Scarlet Realm will have the last laugh as his empire destroys itself.

  • Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed, in that he is still a masterful warlord, but Tepet gave as good as they got in Third Edition. It's entirely possible they won in the long term if the players decide to not help Samea heal him.
  • Barbarian Hero: He's got the archetype down, being a warrior-king of a nomadic society that looks down on the Realm for its imperialistic ways as making them corrupt and soft.
  • Berserk Button: Killing civilians to get to him, as a Sidereal discovered the hard — and fatal — way.
  • Brutish Bulls: One of the most feared barbarian warlords in the setting, an Exalted chieftain who has led his horde on a long path of conquest through the North and crushed every city, nation and army in his way, he is known to most as the Bull of the North.
  • Cool Old Guy: He didn't exalt until he was old enough to be a grandparent and now he's kicking ass and forging an empire.
  • Cool Sword: Sun's Fire, which is made of red jade and handy as a firestarter. It's unusual because jade's normally used by Dragonblooded, like the one he killed to get it, rather than Solars.
  • Evil Old Folks: To the Realm, and people he's conquered. This may come to bite his imperial dreams in the ass.
  • Expy: Yurgen is very much like Genghis Khan, just getting his start a little late in life.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a Dawn Caste, and all that implies. He's also a very competent tactician.
  • The Heart: His personal charisma and idealism is about the only thing keeping his Circle from collapsing into infighting, even in his comatose state.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: His culture is based on the Mongols, what did you expect? That said, he's quickly turning the icewalkers under his reign into even better examples, to the point where he's begun to worry if they're too militaristic.


Once an orphaned trainee shaman from the Blackwater Mammoth tribe of icewalkers, Samea's fierce love for her people attracted a Zenith Caste Exaltation when she was only 17. She spent a year Walking the Earth and seeking out all the ancient lore she could find, eventually becoming one of the first Solar Circle sorcerers of the Second Age. After returning to the North, she swiftly realized that the Bull's ambitions for the icewalkers matched her own, and became the first Solar to ally with him. She now rivals Yurgen himself as the most dangerous foe in the Bull's circle.

  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: She truly loves all her followers and sees them as family, and she doesn't deploy her Mind Manipulation powers casually, but she has no scruples about using them when she feels circumstances warrant.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Her supernatural charisma can make her seem mature, elegant and wise, but at other times she seems like the teenaged girl she was when she Exalted.


A Haltan commando who managed to annoy her superiors enough that she's pretty sure they were sending her off on suicide missions. If so, the fact that she Exalted as a Dawn Caste on one of them means that plan backfired about as badly as humanly possible. After finding some armor and a book of sorcery from her last life, she left the forest to seek her fortune in Nexus.
  • The Beastmaster: She has a pet leopard named Achal, a pet mospid (predatory dinosaur a little shorter than her) named Meros who became her Familiar when she Exalted, and can cast the spell Commanding the Beasts.
  • Berserk Button: Cruelty to animals.
  • Fantastic Racism: Has the typical Haltan loathing towards Linowans. She's perfectly willing to accept that some Dynasts or emotion-eating Fair Folk are decent types, but Linowans? Exterminate the brutes!
  • Genius Bruiser: She may be a Dawn Caste, but she's also a sorcerer with a high intelligence score.
  • Glory Hound: A driving motivation since she was a mortal commando. Not necessarily negative, since now that she's a Solar it's become a desire to prove that she, and by extension Solars in general, aren't the vile Anathema the Immaculate Faith claims.
  • Military Maverick: Her high-risk, high-reward attitude on her missions ended up getting her team killed. That was the point when she started getting sent strictly on solo missions that may have been intended to kill her.


Born to a Dynast family on the Blessed Isle, Lyta disappointingly failed to Exalt as a Terrestrial and was shipped off to the Cloister of Wisdom to train as a mortal Immaculate monk. She had run afoul of a Dragon-Blooded student when the Second Breath came on her. Exaltation as a Solar unleashed all her long-repressed rage over how mortals (more specifically, a single mortal, i.e. Lyta herself) are treated in the Realm, and she is now fanatically devoted to the destruction of the Realm and all it stands for. A Dawn Caste martial artist and warlord, she is currently building up her forces on an island in the West.

...which would be all well and good, except Lyta is everything the Immaculate Order says is true about Dawn Castes. Or more specifically, she's a bloodthirsty, arrogant, and ruthless megalomaniac with a psychotic streak a mile wide. Ultimately the only thing she might do is prove exactly why the return of the Solars is a bad thing.

  • Foil: She's a lot like Peleps Deled, except for the part where they're both utterly devoted to the complete destruction of everything the other stands for.
  • The Fundamentalist: One of the many traits she shares with Deled, except that her devotion manifests in praise of (and sacrifice of Dragon-Blooded to) the Unconquered Sun. She even claims that those who die in the service of the Unconquered Sun will be reborn as Dragon-Blooded in the new, glorious era. Making comparisons in her hearing to the Immaculate Faith's claims that virtue in mortals is rewarded with reincarnation as Dragon-Blooded would probably be unwise.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Having rejected the Immaculate lies that say the Terrestrials are the rightful rulers of Creation and Solars are inherently evil and must be killed, she's decided Solars are the rightful rulers of Creation and the Terrestrials are inherently evil and must be killed.
  • Ironic Echo: Lyta embodies every horrible stereotype of Dawn Caste Solars that the Immaculate Philosophy perpetuates.
  • Knight Templar: Her basic thought process runs along the lines that, since she's a Solar, she's a Hero. Thus, anything she does is Right.
  • Meet the New Boss: If she succeeded in taking over the Realm, her new order would probably end up pretty similar to the old one, only with the positions of Solars and Terrestrials reversed.
  • Moral Myopia: In her justifiable anger over how she was treated by the Dragon-Blooded, she's oblivious to the fact that she was always kind of a jerkass herself and spent much of her childhood tormenting the household slaves for fun.
  • Self-Made Orphan: She's working on it.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Castebook: Dawn has her fantasizing about using one of these to kill captured Dragon-Blooded.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Is Realm society profoundly unjust? Definitely. Do the corrupt oppressors in the Scarlet Dynasty deserve a reckoning? Sure. Does that mean committing genocide against the Dragon-Blooded so you can offer it up to the Unconquered Sun as a mass Human Sacrifice is a justifiable Goal in Life? Hell no, you utter lunatic.

Havesh the Vanisher

One-man proof that Solar Exaltation doesn't mean you won't waste your power on petty and irresponsible goals.

Before learning about Havesh, one should understand where he grew up—the Varang city-states are based on Dragon King astrological principles, right down to their caste system. The children of the province have a horoscope cast that determines what they will have most aptitude at as well as an idea of their general destiny.

The problem is that on occasion, the horoscopes will glitch or someone will forget the time a baby was born, resulting in an outcaste, who is literally not a legal citizen of Varang — such as Havesh, whose mother was drunk when the priests came to horoscope him. For all her faults, she tried to raise him the best she could, but that didn't stop Varang's social system from teaching him he was scum in their eyes, nobody worth mentioning at all except as a random beggar. He pulled himself out of the gutter though, becoming an expert thief, to the point where someone offered him a high-paying assassination contract. Unfortunately, he screwed it up, but he refused to back down until the job was done, drawing a Night Exaltation. After handily finishing the job, a thought struck him — if he couldn't be a rich and happy man himself, why not steal the life of someone who was?

Now a deadly assassin who has killed twelve men so far and lived their lives until he needed to split, Havesh has earned the title of "the Vanisher" due to his tendency to pack up and leave when those close to his current life begin to catch onto the ruse. And all of Varang will know his vengeance...

  • Dead Person Impersonation: His modus operandi — he disguises himself as one of his victims and lives his life for a time, up until people get suspicious and he has to bail.
  • Freudian Excuse: Varang is not a nice place to live if you don't have a caste.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Began as a random outcaste street rat. Became Paranoia Fuel for the entire Varang region. And if he starts getting ambitious... well, who knows?
  • Genius Bruiser: While he can't keep the act going very long, he's still a master actor in his current stolen life, and he's an expert planner. He is also huge.
  • Serial Killer: Again — he killed twelve men to steal their lives.

Jiunan Nightwarden

The city of Sijan is known for its funerals, and rightly so. What more can be said of a place that boasts its own Mortician's Order? Jiunan was one of their number, and quite content with his lot in life — until one day. To summarize, he fell in love with a young woman who'd been euthanized and reanimated by the city's mortwrights prior to being sent off to the deathlord Walker in Darkness as part of his harem. When she said she'd rather not go with the scary men, Jiunan jumped the nemisarries sent to collect her, kicked their Abyssal boss in the teeth, took his axe, tackled him off a bridge, and woke up on a riverbank miles downstream the next day.

He's still looking for that woman.

  • I Love the Dead: Currently in search of a woman who was, for lack of a better word, zombified. She's apparently a very lovely zombie, but still.

Faka Kun

Faka Kun was pretty lucky as Djala go — sure, she was a slave, but her owner found it most profitable to force her to perform as a circus acrobat and cat burglar, rather than using her as a Sex Slave or laborer. He even let her save up some of her profits toward eventually buying her freedom, which drove her to ever-more-daring heists. When she tripped an alarm while trying to steal an artifact weapon from an imperial satrap's mansion, her sheer stubborn refusal to give up earned her Exaltation as a Night Caste.

When she made it back to the slave quarters and told her friends the news, they were less than overjoyed: sure, she was Exalted, but that just meant she'd go off and leave them while they remained slaves, right? At that moment, Faka Kun's Goal in Life became clear. Instead of turning in the loot and buying her freedom, she left the circus that night with her friends, the artifact, and the circus' cash box. She brought her friends to a free Djala enclave, and since then she's returned periodically, always with a group of Djala ex-slaves in tow. When she's not busy freeing slaves, she splits her time between running her own all-Djala circus and adventuring with Demetheus' circle.


Two-fisted wanderer of the south, who grew up moving crates around before moving on to boxing. Prior to the UDON Comic, he was a solo do-gooder solving problems in his region of Creation. During the run of said comic, however, he formed a circle with several characters mentioned offhand in his background, only to end up accidentally killing one of his new companions due to a Dragon-Blooded trick.

  • Big Brother Instinct: Finely honed during his time in a child gang, and the reason why he was so broken after the final events of the UDON Comic.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Before the unfortunate incident with Kidale, he was a brawler who wandered Creation, willing to lend a helping hand to the common folk. He's still like that... when he's sober.
  • The Drifter: In competition with the Nameless Solar (q.v.) in the setting's "Who's more like a Clint Eastwood character" contest.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: To the point that the Goddess of Intoxicants decided to sober him up.
  • Retcon: In a bizarre twist of out of character mechanics, errata to various Dragon-Blooded Charms cut down Safety Among Enemies, the Charm used to make him punch Kidale, down to the point where it's either unbelievable that Kidale bit it in this fashion, or speaks volumes about the caliber of the opponent.
  • Satisfied Street Rat: Has fond memories of his days as muscle for a gang of child thieves.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Despite being a simple bruiser to all appearances, he's got above-average intelligence. Castebook: Dawn relates a story of him identifying a thief by looking into the people who were blaming the group pariah the most.
  • Walking the Earth: And, in the comics, some places that aren't Creation at all.


Daughter of a Guildsman and his mistress. Curious beyond curiosity, when she explored the ruins of her native Chiaroscuro, she managed to find a Manse instead of the typical result (horrible death at the hands of a hungry ghost). Was part of Demetheus's circle in the UDON comic.
  • Canon Immigrant: Was first mentioned off-hand as a rather boyish example of another Solar whom Demetheus met in his wanderings, all the way back in Castebook: Dawn.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: By "boyish" we mean she was considering becoming a Dereth (someone who's treated as an honorary member of the opposite sex in Chiaroscuro's culture) at certain points in her life. When Demetheus met her, she was dressed as a he.


A mortal Immaculate monk whose ambition was once to gain enough enlightenment in his life to earn reincarnation as a Dragon-Blooded in his next life. Instead, he ended up facing down one of the many Eldritch Abominations seeping from under Gethamane when it threatened one of his True Companions, earning himself a talk from the Unconquered Sun. Later went on to join the Gold Faction-sponsored Cult of the Illuminated.

  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Never again, shikari." Spoken to Peleps Deled in a chapter comic from Scroll of Exalts, as Deled was in the process of brutalizing and killing an Immaculate who didn't share his "correct interpretation" of scripture.


The young protagonist of the UDON comic. Kidale grew up on an olive farm, but left for Chiaroscuro to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. Like so many others before him, he quickly ended up a homeless beggar trying to scrape together enough money to make it back home, and would have died a nameless victim of police brutality if he hadn't Exalted as a Solar and been rescued by Demetheus, who then introduced him to Wind, Jasara, and Faka Kun. An Eclipse Caste, he rounded out their perfect circle.

  • Sacrificial Lion: A textbook example of why starting-level Solars shouldn't underestimate the Dragon-Blooded.

?, a.k.a. The Righteous Devil

For generations throughout the South, they have told tales of a man; a righteous, merciless hero who traveled the land dispensing justice and righting wrongs before leaving on his way to parts unknown.

It was a bit of a surprise when he began showing up.

Modern South-dwellers are split as to whether this new red-headed bloke with the sun on his forehead is the same as the one they've been talking about for ages, but he hasn't bothered to comment on it—or, for that matter, tell anyone his name.

  • The Drifter: As befits his basis, he wanders the South writing wrongs.
  • Expy: For the Man With No Name, naturally.
  • Folk Hero: In-universe example, as there are hundreds of stories about him.
  • The Gunslinger: Favors a pair of plasma tongue repeaters as part of his "Righteous Devil" martial arts style. Those who recognize said style have started calling him by that for lack of anything better.
  • No Name Given: His name is never revealed in any of the splatbooks, leaving him open for Storyteller interpretation.
  • Not So Stoic: The Righteous Devil is normally unflappable and fully in control of himself… except in the South chapter comic of the Underworld splatbook, which sees him desperately searching for his father. Upon being reunited with his father’s ghost, he collapses to his knees in tears.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: He appears in one of the core book's chapter-break comics, confronting a group of Autochthonian invaders in a dark tunnel. They immediately try to shoot him. "Farewell, diplomacy."
    • More often, "All I have to say to farewell."
  • The Rival: With Excessively Righteous Blossom, the iconic Moonsilver Alchemical.
  • Shrouded in Myth: What is his name? Where is he from? Where is he going? Why does his stat block list his Motivation as a question mark?
    • There are hints scattered about the books. A chapter comic shows Sulumor finding him in stasis; he may well be THE Righteous Devil, the founder of the Style and one of the few First Age Solars who cottoned onto his fellows' growing madness.

Karal Fire Orchid

Former kazei in the Seventh Legion of Lookshy and member of the Karal Gens. Fair Folk chose her villa's location as a place to invade, and then were rudely reminded of the reemergence of the Solars when she emerged from her burning house after they left her for dead. Her mother, a taimyo in the Seventh Legion, faces scandal due to her daughter Fire Orchid being one of the Blasphemous, but hopes to clear her name in secret. Assuming she finds it necessary to clear it, rather than avenge it.

  • Retired Badass: She had retired prior to her Exaltation. Due to having Dragon-Blooded relatives, she looks older than her mother and two brothers by a few decades.

Mirror Flag

An actor beyond compare, Mirror Flag sees the world in terms of the drama she loves. Unfortunately, Creation does not work on the Theory of Narrative Causality... so, like a true Solar, she's decided to fix that. A Master of Disguise, she takes on a new identity wherever she goes. Using powerful social charms, she manipulates people and events, weaving them into a satisfying and properly dramatic narrative in which virtue triumphs and the wicked are punished.

So far, so good. Where it gets disturbing, though, is that Mirror Flag has rewritten her own identity and Backstory so well and so often that even she isn't sure who she really is anymore. And given her questionable sanity, it's not at all clear how many of the "villains" she casts down are genuinely guilty and how many just seemed like the kind of person she thinks should be holding the Villain Ball. Ultimately, Mirror Flag is a prime example of why the Immaculate Faith isn't entirely wrong when it refers to Eclipse Caste Solars as Deceivers. Oh, it's not that she's a bad person, exactly... or, more precisely, it's that you really can't tell. And neither can she.

Admiral Sand

A retired merchant prince who built a confederation based on the principles of fair trade and mutual economic benefit, called 'admiral' due to his fleet of merchant sandships. One day, Sand noticed that, somehow, there was widespread poverty and misery in his own neighborhood, and realized that his virtuous friends from the good old days had left heirs that were utterly selfish, ruining entire societies for their own enrichment. Confronting them, he flew into a rage as they confirmed his fears, laughed at him and scorned his ideals. He drew his sword and massacred them and their guards easily, for in that moment he Exalted. The survivors surrendered their empire to him, and he set about fixing the world.
  • Good Counterpart: To the Guild.
  • Mind Screw: Does this to Fair-Spoken Rishi in a chapter break comic. He's not paying ransom, he's giving gifts to his new friends, who are releasing men they captured as a token of that friendship. Due to his Clarity, Rishi can't tell the difference.

Elias Tremalion

Filial Wisdom, a.k.a. The Goblin King

The Darkened Dawn, Apostle of the Carrion God

Filial Wisdom was once a warrior in service to Paragon, but after a trip to the Blessed Isle and witnessing the true goals of the Dragon-Blooded, he Exalted, slew his pursuers and fled the life he once knew. Finding himself drawn to the forests of the East, he found himself in Rathess, where he felt he belonged. He was found and corrupted by the god of decay, Han-Tha, who convinced him that the world was corrupt and decaying, awaiting a rebirth. Sickened by the decadence of the Realm; he took up Han-Tha’s cause, and effectively becoming his his pawn and leading his cult for more than over a hundred years as a priest king of Han-Tha. Learning the lessons on ruling taught to him by Dynast decadence and murderous pursuit of the wyld hunt, the despotism of Paragon; the anarchy of Rathess he rules his followers through fear and control. Building an army was difficult as well as scavenging all of the hearthstones that he could in find Rathess. The only left is for him writing an epic poem to convey the truth of Han-Tha. Once that is taken care Nothing the vow he made to stop him from making his utopia carved from the bloated carcass of Gaia.

  • BFS His Grand Dailklave Glory to Decay (formerly named Sacrlet Dawn).
  • Great Bow: has a long power bow called, Parting Shot.
  • The Fundamentalist: this is due his virtue Flaw Fanatical Devotion he can’t have a partial control option because of his insanity.
  • Knight Templar: Fully believes in Han-Tha’s words and will stop at nothing to achieve it to the point where Han-Tha has to reign him in.
  • Lack of Empathy: He has a compassion at 1.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He will do it, even if he has to carve it from Gaia’s corpse, if he has to!
  • Warrior Poet: He want to make an epic poem of Han-Tha and he’s a warrior.


Deep in the South, in the shadow of a cliff, there is a village too small to have a name, and too poor to attract robbers. One day, at the peak of a terrible drought, the village smith, Sayn, stepped out of his smithy. He was alight with golden fire as he wandered over to the cliff and swung his hammer with all his might. A sparkling stream of clear water sprang forth, saving the village. Sayn has taken this instance to heart, and views his power as a tool to repair that which is broken; first, by teaching people to live morally and uprightly.

Oh, and he has Compassion 1...

  • Lack of Empathy: Compassion 1 is normally an indication that someone is The Sociopath, but he has a good motivation and wants to help make the world a better place. Apparently, he's just really bad at empathizing with people.
  • The Blacksmith: Sayn's day job. Give him some time and he will probably upgrade.

Visiting Flare

The Dawn Caste protagonist of the Third Edition comic, Tale of the Visiting Flare.

  • BFS: Par for the course in Exalted, really. It's unclear from the comic whether this is a daiklave or just an ordinary sword. Curiously, the end half of the blade has an orange-ish tinge to it, like rust, but it could just as easily be a red-jade alloy or such.
  • Killer Yoyo: Not strictly, but he does idly play with a yin-yang emblazoned yo-yo for much of the comic and puts it to good use against an assailant. Apparently yo-yos are considered toys in Creation, judging by said assailant's reaction to it.
  • Third-Person Person: He always refers to himself as "this one" or the like, similar to the Hannar in Mass Effect. Unlike the Hannar, it is not a case of being polite - the way he speaks seems quite casual and normal, suggesting that his culture just doesn't use personal pronouns. He does refer to himself in the first person at one point, but it's while some of Eternal Nova's personality is bleeding through from his Exaltation as he is fighting.

First Age Solars

Solar Queen Merela

That's "Her Most Luminous Excellency and Savior of Creation, Her Exalted Highness Queen M-R-L-, Queen of Creation, Bearer of the Crown of Thunders and Possessor of the Creation-Ruling Mandate" to you.

A native of the Southeast, Merela was a mere gladiator until she received one of the very first Solar Exaltations. Her exploits in the Primordial War managed to impress even the Unconquered Sun, who gave her the Creation-Ruling Mandate, designating her as the greatest of the Solars and The High Queen of all Creation.

Unfortunately for her, Merela quickly discovered that ruling Exalts is like herding cats. Within a century, several Solars rebelled against her rule and formed a legislative council called the Solar Deliberative, reducing her to a mere figurehead. Although stripped of most political power, she officially maintained the position of Queen of Creation until the Usurpation, when she was killed at the Calibration banquet.

  • All There in the Manual: Averted. While Dreams of the First Age gives some (very) basic information about her background and exploits, the reader is told little about her personality or motivations (and, interestingly for such an important figure in the First Age, the supplement features no official stats for her).
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: She's a Dawn Caste warrior, while Zeniths are the ones designed to be leaders. Nevertheless, she was granted the Creation-Ruling Mandate on the strength of her reputation as a war hero. While she was a horrifyingly effective warrior, by most accounts she wasn't really a particularly talented or effective leader and was rapidly forced out of power and reduced to a mostly-ceremonial role as a result.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: As drawn by Mel Uran.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Merela once strangled a Primordial to death with her bare hands. Primordials don't need to breathe.
  • Cool Crown: The Crown of Thunders.
  • The Scottish Trope: During the First Age, her name is written M-R-L-. This is never explained, but Word of God says it's probably a gesture of respect; the Solar Queen's name is simply too holy to be used by anyone except perhaps her fellow Primordial War veterans.


Once, Brigid was known as "the Ungifted" and "the Burden of the Sun," for she had the dubious distinction of being the most incompetent Solar Exalt known to the First Age. Although she was a pretty skilled crafter, she proved incapable of learning any but the most basic Charms and was useless in combat. When her Lunar mate was killed in the Primordial War, Brigid was consumed with guilt, certain she could have saved him had she been strong enough to stand beside him on the battlefield. She fled into the wilderness in her grief — where she was surprised to meet a beautiful spirit who bowed to her and told her a great destiny lay before her.

Brigid journeyed to the four corners of the world, solving riddles, meeting strange beings, and collecting artifacts, all in accordance with the spirit's prophecy. At the end of her quest, atop the Imperial Mountain, the Unconquered Sun himself appeared and told her that the last step before her was to make a sacrifice. Brigid sacrificed her own regrets and insecurities, emerging as the Mother of Sorcery and Root of All Spells.

...Okay, it's totally possible none of that is true. But that's the story Solars tell, anyway.

  • The Archmage: She was the Mother of Sorcery and its first user among humanity.
  • The Chosen One: She was chosen by a mysterious spirit to reveal sorcery to the world.
  • Deal with the Devil: A few details in the story hint that the "lovely spirit" was in fact the demon Mara. As with many tropes in Exalted, this one isn't played straight — the Unconquered Sun was aware of this, and decided Sorcery's benefits outweighed its faults.
  • Reality Warper: As a function of knowing Sorcery.
  • Shrouded in Myth: There are several alternate tales about the origin of sorcery. While several locations and objects from the myth have been found and Brigid herself was undeniably a real person (the dates of her Exaltation, discovery of Sorcery, and death are all listed in the timeline in Dreams of the First Age), it is uncertain whether things really played out as the myth says they did.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She went from the most singularity unskilled of the Exalted to the first and greatest sorcerer.
  • Unlikely Hero: An incompetent klutz with no martial skills or honors isn't the first person you'd expect to bring about world-shaking revelations.

Facet Raven

The first Solar Exalt to die of old age, which ended the god-kings' fantasy that they were immortal. This eventually led to internecine warfare between the Exalted.

Rose Petal Tea

Contentious Sword

Dace's First Age incarnation, who is himself the newest incarnation of Aofe "the Golden Blade," the Solars' greatest commander during the Primordial War. (Other incarnations of Aofe used her title as well, since they seem to die a lot.) Contentious Sword is young for an Exalt, and is constantly frustrated by his circlemates' lack of respect and by always finding himself compared to previous Blades.

  • Achilles in His Tent: This is his Limit Break. It's implied to be part of the reason he can't get over his inferiority complex, since it serves to constantly reinforce it, and the aforementioned complex makes him prone to such behavior on a smaller scale anyway.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Inverted — he's on the receiving end of his circle's concern/indulgence, and hates it.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: He's a First Age Solar, with all the power and resources that denotes, but the legend of his Exaltation's first incarnation and his circle's own prodigious accomplishments are hard to live up to.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Aofe had a relationship with a Fair Folk named Dreaming Steel, and several of her subsequent incarnations have shown some level of interest in him. Contentious Sword went looking for Aofe's ghost in the Underworld to ask about him, among other things, and the Golden Blade before Contentious Sword died in the Wyld looking for evidence that Fair Folk reincarnate (Steel died a ways back, y'see).
  • Sword and Gun: Well, technically "Daiklave and Magitech Hand Cannon that shoots miniature suns."

The Hierophant

The previous incarnation of Panther; along with his Second Age Circlemates' previous incarnations, the Hierophant utilized incredibly powerful social charms to basically dominate the Deliberative. With the exception of Contentious Sword, the entire circle survived several major conflicts, all the way back to the Primordial War; none of them survived the Usurpation.

  • Dirty Coward: Locked himself away from the world in order to avoid his Heart of Tears limit break... and in the process, nixing any good he could do because of his ability to be in denial about how much suffering the First Age was in.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In Compass: Yu-Shan, it's strongly implied that something the Hierophant did, and specifically a mortal he brought to the Carnival of Meeting, was the straw that broke the camel's back with the Unconquered Sun; this incident is cited as the final act that led to the Sun withdrawing into the Games of Divinity and not paying any attention to his Chosen.
    • Castebook Zenith (1st Edition) states that the exact moment the Unconquered Sun turned his face away from Creation was when the then-leader of the Deliberative made a speech falsely claiming that the Sun backed one of his petty political corruption games, taking the name of his god in vain just to score more bribe money. "We have spoken with the Unconquered Sun, and he agrees." The opening chapter art of chapter 2 of Dreams of the First Age: Lands of Creation depicts that moment; it was the Hierophant, speaking about the Independent Celestial Exalt Subsidy Plan.

Bright Shattered Ice

The previous incarnation of Arianna and one of the first Solars. Her name comes from a Primordial she killed during the war. Already quite brilliant, even by Exalt standards, over time she grew obsessed with acquiring ever greater knowledge by means fair and foul. Had a long-standing interest in Desus, who was happy to reciprocate, er, physically, but not enough to leave Lilith.

  • Big Brother Is Watching: Regularly spied on other researchers (or asked Gold-Shadowed Arrow to burglarize them), and her city of Tzatli was described as "one of the loveliest, most well-regulated dominions in Creation."
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Her Lunar husband left her after she kept using him as fall-back guy for her repeated trysts with Desus.
  • Egopolis: We repeat: giant floating city shaped like her anima banner. It's also explicitly stated that she saw it more as her personal playground than as a city-state she was responsible for.
  • Floating Continent: Her personal domain, Tzatli, was a floating city of glass and sapphire. Shaped like her anima banner, even.
  • Jerkass:
    • Even more so than her modern incarnation, if that's possible.
    • She's also a greedy little thief — most of her "innovations" are cribbed from her apprentices to keep up appearances.
  • The Smart Guy: In addition to chairing three-fifths of the technological research groups of the First Age, she was one of the first Solars to learn sorcery after Brigid, and learned artifact creation from Autochthon himself. Helluva resume.
  • Stripperiffic: Her standard outfit in the official artwork is a pair of artifact wings and a harness made of black dental floss.

Gold-Shadowed Arrow

Harmonious Jade's previous incarnation, and one of the eldest Night Caste of the First Age. The two have a lot in common, not surprisingly; both come from the South, were trained as assassins from a young age, and tend toward the more lethally pragmatic methods of conflict resolution. Combined with his harsh stance on corruption, other Exalts worry about catching his official attention. note 

  • Appeal to Force: He doesn't bother with the established procedures for judging Exalted crimes; if he suspects anyone, even a Celestial Exalt, of being akuma, he simply kills them. There is no one in Creation with both the will and the strength to restrain him.
  • Knight Templar: One of the incidents that led to the Great Prophecy (and thus, the Usurpation) was Gold-Shadowed Arrow's whole-sale slaughter of dozens of Celestials, hundreds of Terrestrials, and thousands of mortals, on the suspicion that they might have been Akuma. Not hard evidence. Suspicion.
  • Stealth Expert: Comes with the territory of being a Night Caste, but it bears mention that no-one (living) claims to have seen Gold-Shadowed Arrow outside of his estate, the Deliberative, or the city of Tzatli for the past one-thousand years.
  • The Stoic: He gains limit when he sees others indulge themselves, and his limit break forces him to avoid "self-centered indulgences." This includes things like stopping for medical attention.
  • The Syndicate: Started his own to keep track of other criminal groups. It spans very nearly all of the South.


The previous incarnation of Swan. As far as anyone in the First Age — including, and perhaps especially, Desus himself — is concerned, he's a well-meaning Loveable Rogue. In reality, he's a physically, sexually and emotionally abusive Manipulative Bastard with extensive mind-whammying powers.

  • Adapted Out: As least as far as being Lilith's Solar mate goes, in 3E that goes to Andamani, which means that Lilith is a lot more well-adjusted mentally than she was before.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: He's as brainwashed by his own powers as everyone else is.
  • The Charmer: Eclipse caste with a focus on Socialize.
  • Classy Cane: He sports one, which he wields as a stick when he doesn't want to punch someone in hand to hand combat. It also has a very small Essence Cannon built in.
  • Control Freak: For Lilith. He's heavily brainwashed her to the point where she once killed a Dragon-Blood for an unknown reason and forgot about it, and he controls what Charms and Knacks she learns.
    • It isn't perfect however, as she learned the Charm Clover Can't be Found (which allows her to hide from everyone who's looking for her, which is understandable once you know what she's going through), even though she knows she'll be heavily punished if Desus finds out she knows it.
  • The Dandy: He dresses pretty well.
  • Depraved Bisexual: He forces his Lunar wife Lilith to use her Gender Bender powers to spice up their sex life, something she takes absolutely no pleasure in. Then there's what happens to some of his other partners...
  • Domestic Abuse: He indulged in plenty of physical abuse, but the emotional mindfuckery was actually the worst part — Lilith, for instance, could have easily defended herself against him physically if he hadn't bound her to his will so thoroughly that lifting a hand to oppose him was literally unthinkable for her.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero
  • Flanderization: The first mention of him in the 1e core (not by name, but as part of Lilith's chapter fiction) does acknowledge he was a horrible person, but that was really kind of a par-for-the-course thing as a depiction of the madness of the Solar Exalted. By the time we get a formal introduction in Dreams of the First Age, his specific, petty evil is under a microscope to the point that he comes across as a uniquely horrible villain.
  • Glory Hound: Dreams of the First Age reveals that he has a tendency to go on quests solely for the sake of maintaining his reputation, and he seems to have a sixth sense for what would make him look perfect.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Believes this, as he has a Gem of Immorality that only Lilith knows about.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is Desus and he's famous for tricking and blinding a giant one-eyed lighthouse behemoth named Oliphem.
  • Megaton Punch: Gave one of these to Oliphem, blinding it in the process.
    • And this was during the Primordial War, so he was fairly young, not when Dreams of the First Age is set, over 3,500 years after (where he's had a lot of time to grow in power).
  • Never Live It Down: Once his bio was written up and his abuse of Lilith was explored in unique depth, he became the byword for utter villainy among the Exalted Fan Base.
  • Obliviously Evil: He genuinely doesn't realize that just because you can mind control someone into not being angry that you raped and tortured them, that doesn't make it okay.
  • Retcon: As of the 3rd edition Lunars book, it's been confirmed that Desus has been written out of the game entirely. His replacement, Andamani of the Scarlet Field, is portrayed as a genuinely decent guy. His relationship with Lilith wasn't the best but it's bloody Heaven-on-Creation in comparison to how things went between her and Desus.
  • The Sociopath: Aversion, actually. Were it not for that custom Charm of his (see below), it's explicitly stated he wouldn't be that bad of a guy. Unfortunately, since everyone believes he's a nice dude and does the worst things for their own good, he honestly doesn't get that he's doing some pretty horrific things-nobody's told him, after all.
  • Smug Super: While he's a Glory Hound who goes on epic quests solely to make himself look good, he's accomplished feats of astonishing heroism, and has pulled off some epic feats.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He has a custom charm which makes everyone interpret even his worst jerkassery as for their own good, or at worst, a misguided but totally forgivable mistake. Even he's not immune to it. Further, for all his horrible actions, he periodically engages in the sort of grand adventure that makes him look perfect.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: One of the nastiest things about him is that his social charms retain their full effect even against his victims. Since you know Desus is a great guy, your mind is forced to find a way to rationalize whatever he does to you as being your own fault.

Dancer in Light

A devil-may-care Eclipse during the Era of Dreams who began actually courting the help of demons, as he wished to save his I AM node, which had developed its own individual personality, from being erased. Cares little about anything but dancing, which puts him in good company when touring Hell.

  • Dance Battler: He was developing a martial art style based on his dancing, but presumably the Usurpation stopped him from doing so.
  • Deal with the Devil: Dancer in Light's personal I AM node, Node 3087, started to develop its own personality, much to his delight, only to be told that the node would need to be serviced, and possibly replaced. Dancer In Light made an infernal deal, allowing Node 3087 to be secretly removed from the I AM network and placed in a automaton body, in exchange for seven visits to Malfeas. While it seemed like a pretty good deal, on the sixth visit, he bumped into Stanewald, danced with her for five days and asked her to come to Creation with him, which she accepted, and has (unintentionally) acted as The Corruptor to him.
  • Moral Myopia: Primarily interacts with demons and their creators through song and dance, which is the only thing that Yozis and demons don't seek to make into a horrible torment as a matter of course. This may have skewed his viewpoint as to what he would be in store for, if he decided to defect.


A sorcerous prodigy and anti-authoritarian supreme, which is not an expected quality in a goddess-queen of Creation. Her first incarnation died fighting She Who Lives in Her Name, the Principle of Hierarchy, and had a vision of how Creation might be better off without said principle. As part of her plans to achieve this, Salina engineered the sorcerous working which allows anyone in Creation to learn Sorcery as long as they're willing to work at it. She has a notable lack of grimdark for an elder First Age Exalt.

  • Guile Hero: Her Creation-changing sorcerous working was achieved by sneaking it in as a rider on a more popular Deliberative topic. She also convinced Devon, the founder of one of the most widespread philosophical schools of Sorcery, that his approach was flawed. He followed up on this by incinerating every last copy of his school's teachings.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: She enjoys having children but leaves them to their own devices or tells them to "do some good, like fight an invading Raksha or something."
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Salina has a semi-regular "thing" with Joyous Youth Juritsu, who is a dragon. They have several children, and she made him promise not to possess them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Calibration Feast, which would later be used by the Terrestrials to slaughter the Solars, was her idea, originally intended to make sure nobody would be summoning Third Circle demons by keeping them busy during the only time they supposedly could. Since some of the more powerful Solars could summon Third Circle demons outside of Calibration, however, Salina allowed the more powerful (and also more dangerous) Solars to act like they weren't collaborating with Third Circle Demons, and then summon them whenever they wanted, basically dooming the Solars for nothing.
  • Reluctant Ruler: She does not like hierarchy. She is also a Zenith Caste Solar, chosen by the Unconquered Sun to reign over Creation. Somehow, she reconciles the two.
  • Rousseau Was Right: She strongly believes that all people are basically good.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: As it turns out, Sorcery is literally a "do anything" button, which means her plan to give it to the random man on the street would be... prone to backfiring. The potential for this was part of what spurred Chejop Kejak to turn on the Solars.

Kendrik Arkadi

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: He disdains Siakal as a bloodthirsty brute... but always takes direct command of fleets that are engaged with the enemy as a matter of visceral thrill.

Queen Amyana

Kal Bax

Eternal Nova, the Sword Priest

A Dawn Caste and the first to unleash the true power of a daiklave, discovering Evocations (a new mechanic in 3e). An unparalleled swordsman, even among the Exalted, Eternal Nova's touch could unlock the true potential of any well-made weapon. But his home was soon flocked by patrons desiring his blessings on their weapons and he had to turn them away. They accused him of being vain and materialistic and so he vowed that any who could defeat him in single combat could take his title of Sword Priest and his power over daiklaves. He was slain during the Usurpation and his title and power were locked away in the Jade Prison along with his Exaltation.

He was the First Age incarnation of Visiting Flare, the protagonist of the 3rd Edition comic Tale of the Visiting Flare, who appears to have inherited the Sword Priest's ability and the attention of those who desire such power for themselves.

  • Badass Longcoat: A high-collared white-and-gold one with a large emblem of a dragon clutching the sun on the back.
  • Creator Cameo: Sort of. Nova is John Mørke's first Exalted character.
  • Dual Wielding: Is nearly always shown with a daiklave either in each hand or on each hip.
  • Field of Blades: Is just as often surrounded by a small one of these. Mostly swords, but with a few spears and halberds thrown in as well.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How he died in the Usurpation.
  • Master Swordsman: His title of Sword Priest wasn't just from his ability to unlock a daiklave's potential.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He's not evil (and these aren't as red as most examples of this trope) but they are a clear sign that you shouldn't mess with him.

The Magnus

A Twilight Caste who wanted to turn the Neverborn into a giant soulsteel wall around Creation

  • Expy: In the first chapter of Shards of the Exalted Dream, he is essentially a quantum-physics expy of Hannibal Lecter.

    Sidereal Exalted 

The Sidereal Exalted are the 100 Chosen of the Maidens of Destiny. They're basically Ninja-Jedi-Evil Chancellor-Fatalist-Supernatural Cosmic Kung-Fu Masters. Meets Dilbert.

They were originally advisers to the Solar Exalted from the Primordial War up until the end of the First Age, when the growing madness of the Solars drove the Unconquered Sun to abandon Creation, leaving behind a Single Tear of absolute despair. When the Solar Exalted were becoming insane due to the Great Curse, they had 3 options. Let the Solars' insanity continue and doom Creation in the process, reason with them in the slight chance they'd reform, or kill them with the Dragon-Blooded to leave Creation in a diminished but still existing state. They chose option 3, initiating the Solar Purge - their name for the Usurpation - hoping to guide the Dragon-Blooded to something nearly as grand as the Solars had been, and entrapping their Exaltations in the Jade Prison, a construction powered by the Sun's tear, and hid it in the constellation of the Mask.

This was the first time their plans went greatly awry, though far from the last. The power of the Prison overloaded the Mask, cursing the Sidereals with Arcane Fate, the inability to be remembered reliably by anyone except Sidereals, Getimians, and the Bureau of Destiny. Because of that, the Dragon-Blooded often did not even comprehend they had allies in the Chosen of the Maidens, forcing them to fall back on the Shogunate as a backup plan - as opposed to the peaceful co-rulership of Sidereals, Terrestrials, and allies from other Exalted they had envisioned.

They removed themselves from Creation (the problem of Arcane Fate being less painful in Yu-Shan), set up the Shogunate of the Dragon-Bloods as a puppet government to control, and created the Wyld Hunt and Immaculate Philosophy to kill the few reincarnating Solars. When the Shogunate ended after the Great Contagion and Fair Folk invasion, they used the Scarlet Empress to make the Realm and have influenced it since then.

Then the Scarlet Empress disappeared, leaving the Realm they've manipulated and controlled in shambles as the Great Houses try to take the Scarlet Throne.

Then they found out the Chosen of the Sun have returned. This hasn't helped with the growing divide between Bronze Faction Dragon-Blood supporters who wish to keep things the way they are, and Gold Faction reformists, with the dominant sub-faction being Solar supporters who want the Solars to return as the rightful rulers of Creation (with the Sidereals being trusted and influential advisors behind the scenes, obviously).

Now they also have to deal with Oblivion-seeking Deathknights and their Deathlord masters, not to mention the nascent Primordial Infernals that may or may not release their masters in the Reclamation and let the world literally turn to hell.

Don't worry though, Fate is on their side (usually). They've filed the paperwork.

  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: By the Sidereals' rules, killing other Sidereals is pretty much absolutely banned. There are too few Chosen of the Stars as it is and every one is vital to the job of preserving Creation. So political disputes are settled by assigning each other shitwork jobs, taking away each other's palaces in Yu-Shan, or Striking the Blood, but killing each other has been completely off-limits since the Usurpation. Of course, some Sidereals just prefer not to get caught doing so...
  • Because Destiny Says So: They're the ones who say so. Deconstructed, in that "destiny" is what the Bureau of Destiny decides should happen (limited by the bounds of "fate", Creation's causal laws). Most of the time it cements Creation's reality, but political considerations take precedence over whether or not Creation would actually definitely benefit a lot of the time - hence Rakan Thulio and the Getimian revolt, given how Rakan's love life was ruined without his knowledge or even an apology by the Department of Serenity and the Getimians were unexisted by the Loom of Fate.
  • Blessed with Suck: Arcane Fate is great for hiding your identity. It is absolutely awful for any Sidereal's mental health or social life, as it hides your identity completely; a big factor in why Sidereals abandon their lives in Creation is that literally nobody they knew or loved knows who they are, and they can't be reminded of who they are, causing them to retreat into Yu-Shan to escape the pain. The first chapter of 3e Sidereals has an anecdote of a newly Chosen Sidereal being forgotten by her own fiancee on her wedding day.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: These guys file the forms, collect the taxes, and sometimes enforce eminent domain by moving entire cities across Creation.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Greater Arts of Astrology. The most powerful of the arts, they give several benefits. Firstly, Sidereals who perform the Greater Signs of the Maidens regain the permanent dot of Essence and Willpower invested in the Greater Sign in a month, at a cost of five Paradox points. Secondly, the most powerful astrological Charms are made available to the Sidereals, which are so powerful they reach Reality Warper levels instead of just tweaking fate, but this means that each one comes with Paradox points as part of the cost. Thirdly, the experience point cost of certain Charms is reduced, and the Sidereal is immediately reimbursed the experience point difference for already purchased Charms, allowing the Sidereal to purchase the newly unlocked Charms straight away. Finally, Sidereals are capable of creating new Charms for the Greater Arts. While these Charms are immensely powerful, they also incur significant Paradox cost due to the overtime the Pattern Spiders have to work. Each use of a Greater Arts Charm reduces dice pools for Craft (Fate) rolls for all characters in existence for a week.
  • Elite Agents Above the Law: Their official position in the Bureau of Destiny; when a destiny has been derailed, first the pattern spiders attempt to solve it subtly by manipulating coincidence. If that doesn't work, gods from the Bureau are assigned to put it back on course. If that doesn't work, that's when the Sidereals are called in, because unlike gods, they don't have to deal with Yu-Shan's politics and have several legal protections that prevents divine retaliation, besides their own Exalted powers.
  • Enemy Without: While in 3e they do not suffer Pattern Spider Bites anymore due to warped destinies, especially bad errors in Sidereal Astrology can cause the broken fate to merge with part of their animas to become a Paradox Spirit, a broken, alien god that has the same level of the Sidereal's Permanent Essence, along with some of their physical traits, but an extremely myopic and amoral worldview. They seek to ensure the destiny they were made for is accomplished, but their chaotic and reckless nature usually means their solution is worse than the problem - and even worse, are such bad living errors in fate that a Getimian can use them to replace a bit of reality with their Origin timeline.
  • Ethical Hedonism: The Chosen of Serenity. Their office, the Cerulean Lute of Harmony, was built on the model of the first whorehouse in Creation. And it still serves as one, as well as an art gallery, a library, an opium den, and an office building.
  • Friendly Rival: In 3E, the Bronze and Gold Factions were previously more akin to this - the Bronze isn't so blind as to not see room for improvement in Heaven, and the Gold wants reform, not complete dissolution of stability. So they mostly kept it to heated debates and doing their mission in their Faction's way. Subverted post-Empress vanishing and the Solars returning, as there is no compromise possible between "stabilize Creation somehow and incorporate Solars into it without changing it too much" and "help the Solars remake Creation utterly."
  • Gone Horribly Right: In 2e, this is how Arcane Fate came about. The Sidereals worked very hard to get rid of the evidence of their responsibility for the Usurpation. This succeeed too well; they erased not only everything that proves they helped overthrow the Solars, but everything that proves they ever did or will ever have done anything at all.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: In third edition, the Sidereals hid the Jade Prison within the constellation of the Mask. It succeeded well enough... but it broke the Mask in the process, landing the Sidereals with Arcane Fate.
  • Got Volunteered: By Heavenly decree, they should be the ones to catalogue and watch Exalted in general, as the gods decreed the Exalted should police the Exalted. In practice, nobody asked a single Sidereal or the Bureau of Destiny if they had anything resembling the time budget to catalogue Exalted in general, let alone the interest; as a result, it is all-but-official policy to not even acknowledge Exalted-watching duties exist (especially for Exigents, who are politically fraught by dint of how they even exist) unless they directly involve a potential danger to fate (i.e., the Exalted in question is the danger) or it figures into an existing mission/the Sidereal is in a Circle with other Exalted already.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Part of the reason the Bronze Faction calls the Usurpation the Solar Purge is to remind themselves it was not a thing of glory, but a Mercy Kill on an entire Deliberative.
  • Karma Houdini: Everyone in Yu-Shan knows that the Sidereals had something to do with the Usurpation. The reason the Unconquered Sun and Luna haven't had a very long talk with Chejop Kejak, however, is that they worked fate so that no evidence of the collaboration could ever be found. (That, and they're also addicted to the Games Of Divinity.) Downplayed in 3E, as everyone who remembers the Usurpation also remembers that the best of bad options; while awkward to think about, most gods (including the Sun himself) realize that they meant well and probably saved humanity, even if there might have been better options - and being "blessed" with Arcane Fate was enough of a punishment anyway.
  • Retcon: While the Visions of Gold and Bronze were an explicit Either/Or Prophecy in 1E and 2E, in 3E they were hypotheses of what could be done to save Creation, though prophecies were certainly involved. The Bronze Faction is also not the pro-Dragon-Blooded faction so much as the one that values stability, while the Gold Faction is not pro-Solar so much as a loose collection of radical reformists.
  • A Simple Plan: Their particular strain of the Great Curse is a strange form of hubris. How this manifests depends on the edition:
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Proper Plumage increases Appearance by 1 and removes the hideous trait. In other words, the worse a character looks, the better they look after use of this charm. With Swan-and-Duckling Parable, this can be done to other characters.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: There's a reason the top-tier, reality-breaking styles are known as Sidereal Martial Arts.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: Most of their powers are centered around manipulating fate and weaving destinies. They can even use the arts of Astrology to weave new identities and gain mechanical bonuses based on the constellation in question.

The Signature Circle (of First and Second Edition)

Shepherd of the North Star

A perpetually late Chosen of Journeys. Independent.
  • The Heart: Invoked. Shepherd's easygoing and agreeable nature helps smooth things over when he’s teamed up with members of both Bronze and Gold Factions.
  • Heroic Neutral: He's bored by the factional intrigues in the Bureau of Heaven, but because of how incredibly pleasant he is, he gets along with everyone and is one of the most unquestionably benevolent Sidereals.
  • Nice Guy: Shepherd is one of the most personable and agreeable characters in the setting; his personal belief is that people can't help but like you if you show that you like them, which he has proven many times. He’s often selected as a balancing force in Sidereal strike teams containing members of both factions.

Iron Siaka

A goremaul-wielding Chosen of Serenity. Member of the Bronze Faction.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: She's such a warrior that a lot of people seem surprised to find out she's a Chosen of Serenity. It's just that she finds serenity in beating the seven shades of shit out of Creatures of Darkness.
  • Butch Lesbian: She's a major league asskicker, and she's got a real taste for the ladies.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Goremauls are artifact maces and hammers; Siaka's is a mace.
  • Goal in Life: Her Motivation's as succinct as it is hilarious: "Beat up creatures of darkness until they get the message and leave Creation alone. Now, that would be serenity."

Crimson Banner Executioner

A perpetually masked Chosen of Battles. Member of the Gold Faction.
  • The Faceless: Has never been shown with his face revealed.
  • Legacy Immortality: There have been a lot of Crimson Banner Executioners. The name and the costume (which is technically First Age Powered Armor) pass down from incarnation to incarnation.

May Blossom

A former Dynast who ended up receiving a Celestal Exaltation instead of a Terrestrial one. Is a Chosen of Secrets and member of the Gold Faction.
  • The Beast Master: She often needs to procure mounts of any description, including dragons, for her circle.
  • The Gadfly: She really likes scandals and leaving dirty little secrets out for anyone to find; her title in the Scroll of Exalts is even the Troublemaker.

Black Ice Shadow

An Endings Caste raised in a shadowland. Currently takes orders from Wayang to gather intelligence on the Deathlords. Member of the Gold Faction.
  • Cultured Badass: He's surprisingly philosophical, carefully instructed by Wayang in the secrets of life and death. His Motivation is "understand the human condition".
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Endings caste, who's been painstakingly trained in Necromancy and the lore of the Underworld. Still, the chapter-break comics and his writeup in the Scroll of Exalts present him as a pretty ethical and empathetic guy.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: He's Ghost-Blooded, which means one of his parents was dead when they conceived him.
  • Punny Name: His name sounds like "black eyeshadow".

Bronze Faction

Chejop Kejak

A very old Chosen of Secrets, Chejop Kejak is the sole surviving founder of the Bronze Faction, the Sidereals who masterminded the Usurpation. A bitter and lonely old man, he has long since passed his prime and lost any real impulse to change the world for the better, to the point where he literally has the Motivation of "Justify past sacrifices." He is generally held up as an example of a "failed" Exalt, a person whose Fatal Flaw has left him a shell of a man only going through the motions of life. Don't think he can't kick your ass, though; he is, after all, the most powerful Exalt currently living.

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: 3E has him as a lot more polite, calm, and friendly than in previous editions, though his motives haven't changed.
  • Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain: Which trope he falls under depends on whether or not you think he was wrong to pursue the Vision of Bronze, but you can't deny he has valid points and ended up destroying his own life.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Especially in 3E, he's probably one of, if not the best, Sidereal in playing Heavenly politics. Which considering his peers, is really saying something.
  • The Chessmaster: All elder Sidereals are as a matter of survival, but Chejop is still the guy who helped build an Usurpation plot against the rulers of the world, and then made a Path of Inspiration to form a framework for the new society.
  • The Chooser of the One: He appears as an anonymous monk in Immaculate histories that portrays him as the one who convinced the Dragon-Blooded to accept the Scarlet Empress as the defender of Creation and god-queen of the Realm. It's deconstructed, in that he knew her beforehand and actually had a bit of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork with her.
  • Didn't See That Coming
    • The fatal flaw in his plans was his almost monomaniacal fixation with the notion that the Solars were the biggest threat to Creation. This caused him to neglect other potential threats which turned out to be as bad if not worse. In particular, his over-reliance on prophecy made him blind to the danger posed by beings from outside of Creation, whose impending actions he could not foresee. He also greatly underestimated the Scarlet Empress.
    • There's how he handled the Convention of Wood. After the Usurpation, Kejak got as many of the Gold Faction members placed in both the Convention of Wood (the Sidereals who managed the East) and the Special Convention of Essence Wielders (who manage anything that uses Essence) under the logic that the East's massive population and large number of unregulated Essence users would bog down the Gold Faction, reducing their threat. However when the Solars returned, this meant that the Gold Faction had a large degree of influence over one of Creation's Directions and remarkable opportunities to conceal Solar Essence usage.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In a chapter comic for Compass of Celestial Directions: Yu-Shan at the height of the Great Contagion. He was also convinced at the time the plague was Uvanavu's doing as retribution for the Usurpation.
  • Evil Virtues: Humility. He's a stubborn old fool about his beliefs, but he's never once considered himself anything more than a functionary of Heaven and is always willing to swallow his pride for the sake of the Bronze Faction and the Realm - there's a reason his favored cover identity in Creation is as a nearly anonymous scribe who happens to be the Mouth of Peace's secretary.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Is both a master martial artist and an adept sorcerer.
  • Motive Decay: He once wanted nothing more than to keep Creation safe at any cost. Now he's a borderline broken man who just wants to prove he was right about the Solars and to maintain the status quo because that's all he knows how to do.
  • Old Soldier: In Second Edition, he is extremely old and the most powerful living Exalt, and the devs stated that his statistics made him literally unbeatable.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: In the 2E Sidereal book, his death is given as a good starting point for a campaign, either rebuilding in the wake of his peaceful passing by old age or figuring out who put a starmetal shuriken in his back.
  • Straight Edge Evil: In 3E, one of the things that is most striking about Kejack is his austerity. He does not afford himself luxuries beyond that needed to remain healthy and sane - most of his mansion's space is used for record storage and as offices for his subordinates. Given how even newbie Sidereals have a salary that gives them a lifestyle budget beyond many royal families, it's impressively puritan.
  • Time Abyss: Subverted. He Exalted in the First Age, and was alive longer than that, but all Sidereals have a cutoff date of 5,000 years thanks to Saturn's influence. His age? 4,999 (plus or minus a few months).
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Literally the last few years of his life have been spent trying to convince everyone - including himself - that yes, it really was necessary to pursue the Vision of Bronze, and all that required.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Vision of Bronze was supposed to "guarantee" that Creation, though diminished, would nevertheless survive. He preferred that certainty to the Either/Or Prophecy of the Vision of Gold.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Only visible sign of he being older than middle age. How black his heart is depends on your point of view, but the above trope is here for a reason.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The other Bronze Faction Sidereals, not wanting to lose their leader once they realized just how close to his expiration date he really was, went to great lengths to obtain a Gem of Immortality for him. He turned it down, seemingly because he was burnt out after nearly 5,000 years of trying to keep Creation on a steady course.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Depending on the source, Kejak either has a few decades left, a few years left or a few months left, since Sidereals have a cutoff date of 5,000 years. While nobody knows the exact date, he could simply pass away of old age any day now.

Anys Syn

  • Comes Great Responsibility: She's not actually that loyal to the Bronze Faction out of belief in their ideals - rather, she remembers how destructive the Solar Purge was, and feels it's simply moral to deal with the consequences.
  • For Science!: In 2E: Her ongoing attempts to train Terrestrial Exalts to use Sidereal martial arts. The fact that they cannot use Celestial Circle Sorcery without the aid of an Upgrade Artifact (such as the Mantle of Brigid) and are pushing their absolute limits learning Celestial martial arts styles does not seem to deter her belief that she can make this work. Despite the cases of Explosive Overclocking that inevitably result. Averted in 3E, where this was never a project of hers to begin with.
  • Heroic Neutral: She will train anyone who impresses her, even Solars.
  • Meaningful Name: Averted. Her name is an intentional shout-out to Anais Nin, but she bears no other similarities.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She looks to be quite a bit past middle age. Also, see Old Master.
  • Old Master: She's quite possibly the best martial artist in Creation itself, certainly the best Sidereal - an extremely high bar to clear. She looks it, too.

The Green Lady

Some time ago, the Sidereals got together and decided to create a Convention on Deathlords, in order to deal with the necrotic ghosts threatening to lay waste to all Creation. The Green Lady is the Convention on Deathlords. Only... she's really into her work. She has found a way to worm herself into the courts of the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible, the Silver Prince, Walker in Darkness, and Mask of Winters. Each one seems to think she serves them and only them, no matter who else she strings along.

  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: She's acting as a Sidereal mole in the courts of four different Deathlords, as each Deathlord's mole in the others' courts, and as the Deathlords' mole in Heaven. Her allegiances have become so tangled that she herself no longer actually remembers where her ultimate loyalty actually lies.
  • Gender Bender: The Bishop thinks she's a man. He's the only one who does. (She has a hearthstone that allows her to shift her sex at will, but she only uses it when she's at the Bishop's court.)
  • Honey Trap: To both the Mask of Winters and the Walker in Darkness. The Walker took it a step further and actually put a ring on it (with the charming touch of having the wedding on the edge of Oblivion itself).
  • Manchurian Agent: She's a dizzying amount of layers deep in this, being an unknowing agent of each of her four Deathlords against the other three, and on top of that an unknowing agent of Heaven against all four of them.
  • Memory Gambit: Sidereals have various methods to alter people's memories. The Green Lady uses them on herself to make her infiltration of each Deathlord's court more complete, with the result that she genuinely only remembers being a loyal servant to whoever she's around at any given moment. However, juggling five (at least) different sets of memories isn't easy, and she's starting to notice how many periods of time she can't account for.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Her true name is never stated or used — in-universe and out, she's only known as the Green Lady when she's not using one of her other aliases.
  • Stripperiffic: Her outfit, such as it is, consists of a single ribbon wound around her body, and provides modesty mostly by way of technicalities. And when she uses Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style, it unwinds from her body.


The archetypal elder Sidereal. Usually seen bossing around or teaching younger Sidereals.

  • Oh, Crap!: If the chapter comics are anything to go off of, Hollok was the first one to find out that the Solar Exaltations had escaped from the Jade Prison
    "Damn my eyes, that's not possible."
  • Wolverine Claws: He's almost always seen with elongated, claw-like nails, courtesy of his mastery of Sidereal Martial Arts.

Gold Faction

Ayesha Ura

  • Faith–Heel Turn / Heel–Faith Turn: She has been through both sides of this from a Solar perspective; initially she was a devout Immaculate who was nonetheless a reformist, having the true nature of the religion explained to her broke her heart and turned her into a bitter enforcer of the pro-Realm status quo, the Cult of Illumination reignited her faith and idealism.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Previously was one to Chejop - until she joined the Gold Faction.
  • Path of Inspiration: Downplayed with the Cult of Illumination. The Cult is essentially the inversion of the Immaculate Philosophy, being a religion dedicated to protecting and fostering Exalted rule, especially Solars - by also teaching them morals to prevent the Sidereals from needing to resort to another Solar Purge. In 3E, she didn't even invent it, it was a mortal religion that moved her and she quietly turned missionary for while inserting some doctrines that made "Shining Ones" more explicitly Solars and other Celestial Exalted - and quietly indicating they are fallible and should be taught to respect mortals.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Downplayed, if not outright subverted. She honestly thinks the solution to the problems of the Second Age is "Solars, who listen to their Sidereal advisers more." For reasons why this is naive, see Lyta - which is why the Cult is meant to do more than that, it's also meant to instill moral lessons she favors that will hopefully help Solars remain on the straight and narrow (and also, coincidentally, turn to the Gold Faction for advice).


  • Only Sane Man: In 2E. He's one of the few Gold Faction members who actually lived in the First Age. As such, he's very aware of how the return of the Solars can go pear-shaped. Averted in 3E, where the Gold Faction is more an alliance of reformists in general and fully admits the Usurpation was probably needed at the time, even if the Jade Prison was a bit much.



The closest thing the independents have to a leader.

  • Mentor Archetype: He serves as sifu to Shepherd of the North Star.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gave one to the leaders of the Bronze and Gold Factions shortly after the Great Contagion, citing that they were too busy playing politics to actually do their jobs and as a result almost all of Creation died, and a large chunk (including the area Nazri was from) got Unmade by the Fae.


Rakan Thulio

A rogue Chosen of Endings who discovered that a romantic tragedy he suffered was engineered by other Sidereals to ensure his loyalty to the Bureau of Destiny. Infuriated and already disillusioned with its corruption, he ripped his thread from the Loom of Fate and used powerful and forbidden martial arts to block Saturn making her sign against him to pursue a revolt against Heaven. Having centuries of experience as a Sidereal, with a toolset that lent itself to working in secrecy, his chosen approach was espionage, establishing secret networks of agents and working with Sidereal collaborators to thwart the gods' plans. About fifty years ago, he found the Getimian Exalted, unsealed them from Zen-Mu, and started playing mentor to them, realizing that they too were inherently victims of divine corruption.

  • The Ageless: He has not aged since removing his thread from the Loom of Fate.
  • Canon Discontinuity: As far as 3e developer Robert Vance is concerned, "Tale of the Visiting Flare" is non-canonical to the gamebooks, and Thulio's background has been rewritten to avoid the more unfortunate implications — he handled his breakup like a mature adult, it didn't motivate his participation in the Usurpation or his war on Heaven, and he's not obsessed with his ex's reincarnation. His issues involve how his fellow Sidereals manipulated him and getting fed up with the provincial nature of Destiny.
  • The Chessmaster: He's established hidden networks of agents and provocateurs across Heaven and Creation over the course of generations.
  • Enemies with Death: Saturn made her Sign against him. He turned it aside.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: At its core, this is the reason he hates Heaven so much; Sidereals conspiring to actively ruin his personal life crossed several personal lines and broke his trust in it utterly.
  • In the Hood: He wears a dark, sleeveless robe over his clothes, with the hood up over his head. It doesn't hide his face, but it does make an impression.
  • In-Universe Nickname: The Sleepwalker, a mildly self-deprecating title to symbolize both the circumstances of his Exaltation (awakening from the sleeping death) and how he was utterly blind to Heaven's growing corruption until he realized how it hurt him.
  • It's Personal: The Getimians may have more idealistic reasons to despise Heaven, but for Thulio, it's very much about how he discovered that a heartbreak he suffered was engineered by other Sidereals he trusted. Even he admits it's a bit more selfish than he's comfortable with.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: In the original draft, he apparently greatly cared for Eternal Nova, but it was a twisted sort of love. He had Nova slain so that no-one else could love him the way Rakan did. That is no longer the case; he would have gotten over it, except then he discovered that his love life was actively sabotaged, causing him to develop a very personal grudge against Heaven.
  • The Mentor: To Getimians in general; he finds newly manifested ones and explains why Creation is suddenly no longer recognizable to them, which also allows him to point their ire at Heaven. Not all Getimians accept his offer of alliance, but many do.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Subverted. It's not the rejection itself that bothers him, it's his discovery that it was engineered by his fellow Sidereals after having already been disillusioned with the Bureau.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: His has its origins in his (largely correct) belief his destiny was written by others, and his resentment over it.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He Exalted in the Time Before, in the first days, and by word of Vance is older than Kejak.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Considering he's still alive in the setting's present day, Visiting Flare will have to deal with Rakan's twisted version of this. And already is, thanks to Rakan using a thread of the Loom of Fate to send out a call across Creation that called for the Sword Priest's death.
    Rakan Thulio: Swordsmen now and forevermore - the bond with your blade has made you strong, but true mastery yet lies ahead. The Sword Priest has returned and his title can be yours. Slay him and take his blessed power for yourself. Slay him and you will be the greatest swordsman in all of Creation.
  • Screw Destiny: Struck aside Saturn's Sign, and tore his thread from the Loom of Fate.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: He had his relationship ruined so that he would not turn against Heaven in the name of his beloved. Thousands of years later, he discovered his relationship was ruined for the sake of preserving his loyalty, and he turned against Heaven.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Through forbidden martial arts, he tapped into power even the Yozis feared, and in doing so marked himself as an enemy of Heaven, which he then compounded by allowing the Getimian Exalted to manifest.
  • Time Abyss: The only known Exalted to qualify, by virtue of being both older than Kejak and The Ageless. Unless an ST introduces someone older, he is by default Creation's oldest Exalted.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He's more than willing to change or drop his plans if the need arises, whether that's trying to recruit a new Getimian or taking advantage of the Solars' return.

Tammiz Ushun

A Chosen of Journeys (and the previous incarnation of Ayesha Ura) who was Chejop Kejak's friend and political archrival during the First Age. He believed that the Sidereals could guide the Solars to become sane and responsible rulers.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: After he realized how serious Kejak was about overthrowing the Solars, he tried to warn the Solar Deliberative, only for Kejak to send a Dragon-Blooded death squad to kill him.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He believed that the Solars could be saved. Kejak killed him to stop him from telling the Solar Deliberative about Kejak's betrayal, so no-one knows if he could have been successful.

    Lunar Exalted 
The Lunar Exalted, the 300 Chosen of Luna, are survivors and protectors, gifted with the moon god(dess)'s capacity for adaptation and resilience. They're masters of Voluntary Shapeshifting, with the potential to turn themselves into virtually anything imaginable.

When the Solars were overthrown, the Lunars escaped to the Wyld, which slowly... mutated their Exaltations, gradually twisting the Lunars into monsters. In response, the Lunars devised their trademark moonsilver tattoos, which protect them from any physical transformations apart from their own.

During the Lunars' centuries in exile, they've been operating as covert social engineers, manipulating societies throughout Creation with the aim of eventually creating one that won't need the Exalted to maintain it. They know full well it'll probably never happen; what's important is what they can take from the process.

Now the Solars have returned, the Abyssals and Infernals with them. It's time for the Lunars to adapt once again. Which way they'll go, though...

For Third Edition, much of the above has been dropped. The Lunars' focus is now on their ancient feud with the Dragon-Blooded's Realm and its Sidereal enablers. Their Exaltations have not been mutated by the Wyld, such a thing now being impossible, although their moonsilver tattoos still shield them against being changed by it; they intentionally refashioned their Castes to better suit the post-Usurpation world. Their numbers have been bumped up to around 400, about 100 more than the Solars and their variants.

  • Barbarian Hero: Played with, especially in 3E. Lunars are ecologically minded people who talk a great deal about fighting against the corruption of civilization - and invariably, by "civilization" they mean "the Realm." Plenty of them are urban sorts, but the Realm considers everyone who isn't a satrapy to be a Barbarian Tribe regardless of culture; Lunars decided to invoke that reputation when fighting the Realm.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: The Lunars are capable of making Beastmen. In first and second edition, doing so (without high-level Charms, that is) requires an act of bestiality. Either the Lunar screwed the animal in human form, or the Lunar screwed a human in animal form. Third edition removes this requirement, instead requiring merely that the Lunar conceive the child in their hybrid form, or use one of the (far more accessible) charms. Humans mating with animals is still a valid means of producing beastmen, but can only be done in the Wyld, and you no longer need to be a Lunar to do so.
  • Broken Bird: Most of the details about the Usurpation and the following thirteen or so centuries have made it clear that it was not easy on the Lunars in any way at all. They even broke literally, re: their Castes. It manifests somewhat differently in 3e; while the Lunar Host adapted to the Usurpation's aftermath, it's clear that a number of Lunar elders who survive from that era still bear the scars.
  • Collector of Forms: Lunar Exalted have three forms to start out with — their original human form, the form of their personal animal totem, and a war form in the shape of a humanoid and monstrous version of the second. Any additional shapes are obtained by tracking down an appropriate creature, killing it, and devouring it. A wolf-totem Lunar who wants to be able to turn into an elephant, for instance, will need to kill and eat an elephant. Lunars in 3e have Charms allowing them to expand their form-hunting methods without killing their targets.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In 2e, they are the only non-Abyssals who can make zombies with their own Charms, without the need of initiation into necromancy, and even without that they were the preeminent masters of dealing with the Underworld before Abyssals were created. The zombies are creatures of darkness, the Lunars that make them are generally not.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Certain Knacks allow them to ritualistically hunt humans and take on their forms after killing them. There's also a less lethal solution that involves just borrowing a bit of their blood, but this doesn't last quite as long.
  • Forever War: In 3e they view their conflicts with the Dragon-Bloods as one long guerilla war, and much of the Thousand Streams River has been about (a) putting more and more thorns in the Realm's side, and (b) making sure there's a civilization left over after they're gone. A guerilla war, it should be noted, they're winning — have you seen the size of the Threshold?
  • Gender Bender: Quite a few of them; the Twin-Faced Hero Style knack in 2e, and the Many-Faced Moon Transformation Charm in 3e, allow them to change this on a whim, and both are extremely accessible. The best example may be Silver Python, who changes gender every twenty years as a tribute to Luna and neither remembers nor cares which one zie started off as.
  • Glamour Failure: Every Lunar has a Tell, a part of their body that reflects their totem and remains the same in all forms. It could range from striped chest hair to golden eyes to a patch of scales running along the spine.
  • God Guise: The Lunars are keen to take any route necessary to influence a society, and in many cases, that means posing as gods or messianic figures. In 3e, a Lunar can just straight up steal a god's cult.
  • High Priest: In 2e, the long-lost Waxing Moon caste were this for Luna. Following the breaking of the Lunar castes caused by the Wyld, the No Moons inherited the role. (Which some Lunars found a little odd, since the Changing Moons were the inheritors of the three lost castes.)
  • Liminal Being: It's present in their nature as shapeshifters, but gets played up a bit more in 3e, which casts it as being second nature to them, crossing between civilization and the wilds, between the mortal world and the divine, between being human, animal or monster, with consummate ease, without having to sacrifice one for the others.
  • Little Bit Beastly: A very common tell.
  • The Madness Place: A Lunar using the charm Inevitable Genius Insight gains great bonuses to their mental abilities toward a single project and the ability to completely ignore fatigue for its duration, at the cost of a monomaniacal focus until the charm ends.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Each Lunar shard is "bonded" with a Solar shard, designating the two as mates. Of course, this bond continues even if the Solar exaltation's been corrupted by the Yozis or the Deathlords. Note that the bond is not necessarily sexual or romantic in nature; platonic friendships and rivalries are just as possible, potentially leading to Luke/Vader and Cecil/Golbez situations in the case of Abyssals or Infernals. This is less prevalent in the third edition — there being about a hundred more Lunar than Solar exaltations in 3e, it's not necessarily a given that a Lunar will have a Solar(/Abyssal/Infernal) mate (and in this edition it was instituted largely because the Lunars and Solars got sick of a post-Primordial War civil war, not as an inherent factor of the Exaltations).
  • Retcon: More so than any other Exalted; lacking an established place in the setting, the game's struggled to figure out what their niche is - from anti-civilization barbarians in 1e to covert social engineers in 2e to the primary resistance against the Scarlet Empire and the Bronze Faction in 3e.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: In second edition, when a Lunar spent enough Peripheral Essence, they were limited to shape-shifting to any of their totemic forms (that is, their mortal shape, their spirit shape, or — if they had one — their war form). This limitation was removed in third edition.
  • Super-Empowering: 3E No Moons have this as a defining trait of their Intelligence Charms; a Lunar who dips into a particular branch of that tree learns to give mortals elements of their spirit shapes as benign mutations, then learns how to gift them things like less flexible shapeshifting or constructing Beast-Soul Awakening Crucibles, which turns any mortal who overcomes their trials into a primal beastfolk. Their Wits Charms have a branch that enable them to similarly empower their familiars, gifting them things like elements of their spirit shapes as benign mutations, human-level intellect, enhanced combat prowess, or Terrestrial Circle Sorcery.
  • Supernaturally Validated Trans Person: In third edition, if someone has gender dysmorphia, or is otherwise uncomfortable with their gender, Lunar Exaltation transforms their human true form into one they're comfortable with.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The primary trick the Lunars hold over the other Exalted is their ability to take the shape of anything they ritualistically kill, from the smallest bug to the greatest behemoth. Special powers allow them to expand their range of possible shapes, the abilities of the shapes they take, and even give additional methods for acquiring new forms.

The Signature Circle (of Third Edition)

Azu Tegama Asarkon

The iconic Full Moon. A charming but cold-hearted swordsman from the Hundred Kingdoms. His spirit shape is a spiny flower mantis.

Sazay Shadow-Dancer

The iconic Changing Moon. A consummate trickster from the South. Her spirit shape is a fennec fox.

Silent Pearl

The iconic No Moon. A wise shaman who went into self-imposed hibernation for a few centuries. Their spirit shape is a nautilus.

Tula the Reaver

The iconic Casteless. The youngest of her Circle, she is a farmer-turned-bandit-warleader. Her spirit shape is an emerald dove.

  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: In one of the chapter short stories, Tula is shown preparing her people for war. She's desperately trying not to stay attached to them, and obviously failing, because she knows they might die the next day, and is very hard on them in training.



A survivor of the First Age — which makes his bare minimum age around one thousand years old — Tamuz is one of the elders of the Silver Pact, the main governing body of Lunars. Unlike many of them, after the Usurpation he was happy to be finally free of his abusive and possessive Solar mate, and didn't find it difficult at all to adapt to the new, Terrestrial-ruled world. After the Thousand Streams River project began, he attached himself to the Delzhan tribes, and the ruins of the First Age city of Chiaroscuro they lived near, unifying them into a growing empire without any really crippling social problems... right under the Sidereals' noses, without any of his proxies being killed, and in such a way it made it politically unfeasible for the Realm to conquer them. True, there are some blatant societal ills (one of which, the Delzhan's misogyny, grows directly from his own gynophobia), but he's managed them splendidly (said misogyny was worked around with the Dereth, who have very little stigma attached to them).

Today, Tamuz is seriously considering transforming Chiaroscuro into the new predominant power; seeing as how the Realm was built to serve the Empress and now she's gone, it's ripe for the taking. For his personal life, Tamuz was the most stable and healthy among the canonical Lunar elders in first edition, but in second is shown to have a side with a god complex. He also has a problem with his teacher's/lover's Exaltation going to a female successor, which seriously Squicks him out.

In the Lunar lineup in DotFA's chargen section, he is the Half Moon.

  • A God Am I: Set in motion a manufactured prophecy within Delzahn culture that allows him to swoop in under the auspices of the identity "Tamas Khan" and act as their God King. It's all part of his social engineering addict god complex.
  • The Chessmaster: He outwitted Sidereals. Sidereals.
  • Does Not Like Women: See below. It isn't his Fatal Flaw, though — he's aware his knee-jerk reaction to the female gender is unfair, and he's capable of swallowing his distaste.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: It is not okay. About the only reason he's less screwed up than Lilith is because he wasn't Mind Raped as well. It's a miracle he's managed to only come away with deep-seated misogyny.
  • Guile Hero: He's generally viewed as everything right with the Changing Moon caste, so of course he's this.
  • Only Sane Man: In the prior edition. In second, see A God Am I. Which is still sane compared to his fellows.

Ma-Ha-Suchi In the Time of Tumult.

Click here to see him in the first age

Once upon a time, Ma-Ha-Suchi was one of the most handsome, debonair individuals in all of Creation, a sterling example of the Waxing Moon Caste, a warrior as pretty and cunning as he was brave. When the Usurpation came, he fled with the other Lunars into the Wyld. Before he could be tattooed, however, the Wyld ravaged his body, leaving him with a permanent case of horns and hooves that carried into all of his forms. He shrugged it off, becoming one of the first sahan-yahs of the Silver Pact, but what he couldn't shrug off was just how long it's been since the Usurpation, with the Terrestrials never faltering in their rule, as the Silver Pact strayed farther and farther from his own, personal ideas of a Lunar Deliberative to replace the Solars. Eventually, after his best friend Raksi turned against him and became something he found abhorrent, he just gave up and withdrew to the Threshold to sulk and caretake the Chante-Sa culture in peace, only venturing out to occasionally teach those Lunars who managed to impress him. But then the Scarlet Empress disappeared, and the Solars returned-slowly, Ma-Ha-Suchi is beginning to hope again, and with that hope, he's starting to become ambitious...

In DotFA's chargen chapter Lunars group picture, Ma-Ha-Suchi is on the far right, representing the Waxing Moon Caste. Oh how far the mighty have fallen.

  • Adaptational Heroism: Ma-Ha-Suchi was a much nastier individual before 3E, a self-absorbed barbarian warlord and Evil Luddite. In Third Edition, his worst personal quality is his grumpiness and Nostalgia Filter about the First Age.
  • Broken Ace: He was The Ace in the First Age, a lovable Chivalrous Pervert, a Guile Hero, and a masterful general. Today, he finds it difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
  • Cool Uncle: Is known as the Eternal Uncle to the Chante-Sa tribes that live near his lair, to compliment the Three Mothers that are their primary national pantheon.
  • Glory Seeker: A peek at his 3E intimacies show he partially wants the First Age back so he can be a respected hero again.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He's essentially become a millennia-old version of this.
  • Not So Above It All: One of the Blood Season challenges to resolve internal Chante-Sa disputes is to play a minor prank on the Eternal Uncle. As evinced by the fact that he allows this to happen, this often actually amuses him.
  • Really Gets Around: His Motivation in the First Age was to sleep with every Celestial Exalted in Creation. He almost got there, too.
  • Retired Badass: For most of the Second Age, though he's begun to subvert it.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Thousands of years with everything going wrong according to your ideology will do that to you.
  • Vain Sorceress: Pre 3E, gender-flipped. Going by his character sheet, he's still the most handsome man most people will ever see, but the idea that he's no longer transcendently, inhumanly beautiful bothers him so much that he refuses to ever take human form again. And that degradation in his appearance is the main reason why he wants to smash everything. Averted in Third Edition, where it honestly is just one more scar among dozens of others.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: He hates Raksi, and Raksi hates him right back. This is reflected in their political factions.


Before the Usurpation, Raksi was well-known amongst the Lunars for being the youngest person ever graced with Luna's gift, Exalting at age 13. She still looked like a child when the Usurpation went down and she had to flee into the Wyld. She came out... changed. Sure, she doesn't look half the wreck that Ma-Ha-Suchi does (or at least, thinks he does), but most of what the Wyld did to her was internal. Raksi's current "attempt" at the Thousand Streams River is the same one she took right after leaving the Wyld - sacking a First Age city, setting herself up as a cannibal queen with a personal army of Beastmen, and harrowing the locals while trying to plumb the sorcerous secrets of the city.

  • Adaptational Badass: In 3E, Raksi has lost her insanity and become a cold, cunning Sorcerous Overlord with a Troll streak.
  • Adaptational Villainy: 3E Raksi is perfectly sane and rational (well, for given values of same). She still does the baby-eating trick to alarm and unnerve guests she dislikes.
  • Affably Evil: The unnerving thing about Raksi is that she always greets people with politeness and regal decorum. Those she likes find that it isn't an act; she genuinely does want to be a good queen to her city and respects the privacy of other Lunars. The problem is, she also knows her reputation, and enjoys it, and she can turn Faux Affably Evil and threatening on a dime.
  • Ax-Crazy: Pre-Third Edition. The Wyld did a nasty job to her mind. Averted in 3E, as her actions are completely calculated and soberly considered.
  • Benevolent Boss: She's actually a pretty fair and even-handed god-queen, albeit a completely ruthless one.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: She knows everyone thinks she's an evil tyrant. It's an excellent card in Silver Pact politics.
  • Evil Feels Good: After thousands of years of playing to the Evil Overlord image, Raksi has come to sincerely enjoy it.
  • False Utopia: Mahalanka in 3E is actually a model city, even with things like indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and a health care system. The problem is that this is all being run by Raksi, who does not tolerate any challenges to her power.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Started life as a demure, soft-spoken philosopher. Has become the terrifying and beloved god-queen of a small empire she's preparing to destroy the Realm with.
  • Glamour Failure: Raksi never shows up in the same form if she can help it, but she lets her Tell, wrists that bend backwards, show itself if she needs to make it obvious.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: When other shahan-ya visit Mahalanka, Raksi likes to pull out all the stops, with buffets of human organ meat and entertainment that involves live vivisection of the Dragon-Blooded. Not only is this deliberately meant to put a kibosh on any political maneuvering by unnerving anyone else, but it's meant to drive home what she sees as an important lesson: Bringing down the Realm is not going to be a civilized affair, so you'd better nut up or shut up.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Raksi adopted the guise of a cannibal queen, then decided to cement it to unnerve her rivals. She claims to prefer babies because she prefers the taste of veal, but really it's to provoke her guests.
  • Mad Scientist: Raksi is always chasing the next truth, the next sorcerous insight and invention that will aid in the destruction and conquest of the Realm, and treats it with the same ethical restraint she does with her palate.
  • Narcissist: One of her Defining Ties, a core pillar of her personality, is "Herself (Unrepentant Delight)."
  • Older Than They Look: She Exalted right before the Usurpation. Even today, millennia later, she still looks like a sixteen-year old.
    • While 3E is dropping this angle (or at least lessening it to the norm for Celestial Exalted, meaning her true human form now looks like a fully-grown woman), there's nothing stopping someone as old and powerful as she is from using shapeshifting to replicate this if she thinks it would unnerve and throw off whoever she's dealing with.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny:
    • In 2E, Raksi sacked the city of Sperimin and renamed it "Mahalanka, City of a Thousand Golden Delights." Those delights are hers alone, however, and any independent authority would question just how "delightful" they're supposed to be. Downplayed in 3E, where Mahalanka is simply the capital of the far more honest and descriptive Thousand Fangs Army Total Control Zone, and it's more of a False Utopia.
    • And those apemen mooks she's spawned? They only obey her because they're bugfuck terrified of her.
  • Pet the Dog: It's rare, but in 3e it's possible to see a kinder, gentler side to Raksi when someone impresses her. An adherent of hers that she had previously written off as a Dirty Coward standing in her face directly to save an infant was not only forgiven, but made that infant's adoptive mother, with Raksi herself helping out, right then and there.
  • Repressive, but Efficient: Mahalanka and the Total Control Zone are genuinely nice places to live, if you don't mind the fact the god-queen eats unwanted children and conducts horrifying sorcerous experiments as a matter of course.
  • Start of Darkness: The Usurpation turned her from a relatively unknown philosopher into the Sorcerous Overlord she is today.
  • Super-Empowering: Raski created a toxic oil made out of liquid brass in a attempt to learn Solar Sorcery. It failed, but any mortal tattooed with the oil becomes Demon-Blooded. If they survive, of course.
  • Worthy Opponent: Actually has a Major Intimacy of respect towards people who don't fear her.


In the First Age, Lilith was renowned as one of the greatest infiltrators and hand-to-hand combatants among the Exalted, but even better known was the epic love story of her romance with the beloved hero Desus. What no one knew at the time, however, was that Desus was... well, Desus. A sadist armed with extensive social Charms, he had Lilith bound to his will, forcing her to love him desperately no matter what abuses he inflicted on her. When he died at the Usurpation, she both rejoiced and felt her heart break, and the sheer cognitive dissonance drove her into the depths of the Wyld. Her fellow Lunars managed to tattoo her before she was too lost, and it seems to have done the job. No one can say for sure; they meet her rarely as she moves in and out of Creation at will. And with the return of the Solars, no one can say for sure what path she'll take...

In the lineup of Lunars in DotFA's chargen section, she is the Waning Moon.

Her 3e writeup hits the Reset Button, putting her more in line with her 1e corebook take rather than anything that came later; most notably, rather than Desus, her First Age Bondmate was Andamani of the Scarlet Field, and they had a passionate relationship that cooled somewhat over time, with quarrels, lies and betrayals becoming more frequent, but their Bond still remained firm. When Andamani died in the Usurpation it traumatized Lilith, and though she hung on long enough to shape the Silver Pact, she could only escape the pain by sinking herself into the form of an owl, body and mind. Five years ago, Andamani was finally reborn, and Lilith gradually emerged from her fugue to seek his reincarnation, renew her friendships among the Silver Pact, and restart her vendetta against the Dragon-Blooded usurpers.

  • Adaptation Personality Change: 3E makes her more stable than she was previously.
  • Being Human Sucks: She sank herself into being an owl because being human hurt too much. Her Bondmate's rebirth pulled her out of it as she assumed human form to find his reincarnation.
  • Broken Bird: An extremely literal version in 3E; she literally mentally turned into an owl to escape her grief. She only started turning back into her human form after being snapped out of her fugue state.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: More like lost the guy. Dreams of the First Age reveals that she was in a relationship with a boy from her village before she Exalted, which caused the relationship to end. She guided the village for centuries, and eventually her first love's many times great grandson resembles his ancestor so much that by the time of 'Dreams of the First Age'' occurs, she is on the verge of taking him as her lover, despite the fact Desus would be utterly pissed if he found out. Luckly, the Usurpation occurs before anything can happen.
  • Heroic BSoD: In 3E, after she lost Andamani, she could only escape the pain by abandoning her humanity.
  • Insanity Immunity: In 2e, Lilith made the Wyld a second home for centuries, an unwise proposition for even a veteran tattooed Lunar. But because of the sheer mindfuckery Desus put her through, she not only didn't get worse, she got better by comparison.
  • Love at First Sight: With Andamani in 3e, helped by it being effectively a Reincarnation Romance.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: During the First Age, she was perhaps the greatest unarmed combatant in Creation.
  • No Social Skills: In 3E, due to her having spent the greater part of a couple thousand years as an owl.
  • The Quiet One: In her 3e portrayal, she's usually silent, speaking only when she has something to say, though it gets less exaggerated the more time she spends with human company.
  • Stealth Expert: Lilith comes and goes out of Creation so easily that no one can track her effectively. In all her time as an elder Lunar, she has not once run afoul of or triggered a Wyld Hunt.
  • Yandere:
    • Lilith was made this way. She loves Desus. She hates Desus. He beat her brutally, but lay down a compulsion so that she'd do anything to remain in denial, up to killing whoever pointed it out. For years, her Motivation was simply "Please Desus". And now she's tracked down Desus' reincarnation, reuniting with him at the scene of their First Age wedding, and then promptly directing him to meet with an ancient Behemoth that is almost certain to kill him.
    • She's rewritten as a lot more stable in 3E, if withdrawn and quiet from having spent centuries in owl form.

Admiral Leviathan

Leviathan was once second-in-command of the Navy of the Solar Deliberative, one of the highest ranks attained by a Lunar during the First Age. He was the mate and boon companion of Kendik Arkadi — their relationship was extremely close, if entirely non-romantic. Which made it all the more awkward when Leviathan fell hard for Queen Amyana, Kendik's wife and empress of the floating city of Luthe. Their relationship carried on in secret for decades until the Usurpation came. Torn between his mate and his lover, Leviathan tried to save Amyana — only to arrive too late, and having traveled too far to save Kendik. In vengeance, he sunk the entire Navy in one blow, allowed the city of Luthe to fall beneath the waves, and took off. He remained in his spirit shape of an orca for centuries, ruling over the still-inhabited city of Luthe, until the Realm's recent westward expansion finally snapped him out of his funk. Leviathan is now settling into his new role as a Shahan-ya, gathering adherents who have more experience with the current state of the world he turned his back on for so long.

  • Adaptational Heroism: In 3E, Leviathan's prejudice towards Dragon-Bloods and their relatives, while still present, has been lightened to a knee-jerk distrust he knows is unfair. He's even friends with a native Luthean Water Caste.
  • God Guise: After returning to the sunken Luthe, Leviathan set himself up as god to the Beastmen and descendants of the First Age inhabitants.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: It's right there in the name. But he lives up to it, seeing as he has custom shapeshifting Knacks that allow him to count as his own army in mass combat.
  • Moral Myopia: In 2e, he simply refuses to consider that the Traitorspawn, the descendants of the Dragon-Blooded who live in Luthe, are anything resembling people beyond a vent for his anger. But boss around his beastmen? Your death will be slow and agonizing. This is averted in 3e, where he's a Guardian of all of Luthe.
  • My Greatest Failure: Leviathan is essentially defined by his failure to save either his mate or his lover. The reincarnation of either, however, might just be enough to snap him out of his funk.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In 2e his prejudice comes from his belief that the Traitorspawn are reincarnations of the cadre that killed Amayana. The book itself states that he has no rational reason to believe this. This is averted in 3E, as he's perfectly fine with a Water Caste as one of his confidants.
  • Supernaturally Validated Trans Person: In 3e, he was born physically female, but his body was remade as a male as part of the Lunar Second Breath.

Rain Deathflyer and Silver Python

Of all the elders of the Silver Pact, Rain Deathflyer and Silver Python might be in the running with Tamuz for greatest success story. Rain was one of the freshest Lunars to enter the Wyld post-Usurpation, having inherited the Exaltation of one of the Lunars who died protecting their mate during the initial betrayal. Silver took a hand in instructing him in the ways of Lunar-kind, and it turned into a steady relationship. When the idea of the Thousand Streams River was floated, they decided to create the Republic of Halta, an experiment in seeing if humans and Beastmen could get along.

Silver Python presumably makes an appearance in DotFA's chargen Lunars picture, representing the No Moon Caste. In female form, for whatever that matters.

  • The Extremist Was Right: The goal? Create a nation protected from the Raksha, living mostly in the treetops, where humans, Beastmen and sapient animals all had equal rights. Did it succeed? So far, yes.
  • Gender Bender: Lots of Lunars do it, but Silver Python does it regularly, switching genders for alternating twenty year periods as a form of devotion to Luna. Silver doesn't know which gender they started as, and they don't care.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Averted. Silver Python may regularly switch genders. Rain may love them but he has never made love to Silver while they got a man's body. Silver finds it funny, especially since Rain had no problem siring Beastmen.
  • Social Darwinist: As Lunars, they know perfectly well that at some point, they're going to need to remove an active hand from Halta and see if it will thrive on its own. What happens after that point, however, might doom their relationship.

Sha'a Oka, the Black Lion

One of the younger shahan-yahs of the Pact, a warlord born in the early years of the Shogunate known for three things; his anger at the Dragon-Blooded occupying the Caul, his tactical genius as a Frontline General, and how many times he's "died." A prototypical reformer warhawk, Oka is an advocate of turning the Silver Pact's style of warfare hot, and killing the Realm in one fell swoop.

  • Ascended Fanboy: He was a soldier of the Silver Pact even before he became a Lunar.
  • Faking the Dead: The undisputed master of this. Oka has, in no particular order, had his corpse burned, been overrun by a legion of Terrestrials, and had his very soul torn out and dragged into Lethe, and each time, he's come back at most a couple years being none the worse for wear. It's explicit he's just really clever about playing dead, but many people are seriously wondering if he has a Resurrective Immortality thing going on. He fully embraces this part of this reputation, as it enrages the Realm into making mistakes trying to finally kill him and a morale boost for his troops.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's a magnanimous general, if increasingly introverted.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Deconstructed. The Caul adventure in Many-Faced Strangers notes that there's no-one with the charisma and standing to take his place, and the times he's been believed dead, his generals were soon at odds, giving Realm commanders the opportunity to shatter the Lunar forces and drive them back.

Ül the Burning Eye

One of the more infamous sahan-yas, Ül is one of the most respected and feared sorcerers in Creation - not a small feat when one is part of the same team as Raksi. A child of the late Solar Deliberative, Ül had it all for most of his early life; respected as a sorcerer, priest, poet, and scholar, had a great friendship with his Solar mate Navo Forty-Lights, and a loving family with the Dragon-Blooded champion Sapphire Tiam.

Then the Usurpation took it all away, because Tiam sided with the nascent Shogunate rather than Navo, and killed him. Unable to fight his own family, Ül fled into the wilderness, where he saw exactly what the nascent Shogunate and Silver Pact sowed across Creation brought with the beginnings of the long war - pain, suffering, tragedy, and oppression. It even got to the point where he regarded the Great Contagion as a step up, because it destroyed the Shogunate and its endless civil wars.

But then not only did the Realm form in its wake, but so did several successor states like Intani. Intani no longer exists; he turned his magic to its destruction (and to be entirely fair, saving the survivors he had no quarrel with). He has come to believe Dragon-Blooded themselves have an inherent tendency towards conquest and war - and so, he plans to rid Creation of that problem for good.

Magnificent Jaguar

Eastern warlord who spent most of the Shogunate and Second Age asleep. Seems to have been in charge of dealing with Fair Folk during the Era of Dreams. In the lineup of Lunars in the chargen section of Dreams of the First Age, he represents the Full Moons.

  • Beast Man: Usually appears in his war form, as an anthropomorphic black jaguar.
  • Panthera Awesome: Jaguar-totemed, obviously.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Hibernated for 700 years until he was accidentally awakened by a Wyld Hunt. This did not go well for them.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: There isn't a single piece of artwork in Exalted that puts anything on Jaguar's upper body.

Ingosh Silverclaws

A veteran of the Usurpation and one of the oldest Lunars to survive into the First Age, as well as the longtime lover of Tamuz. On his deathbed, he gasped out an ominous prophecy before finally succumbing to old age. Anja Silverclaws now bears his Exaltation.

  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Right before he died, his old Caste Mark — one of the ones destroyed by the time in the Wyld — flared and he related a vision from Luna to the rest of the Silver Pact. Right around the time the Scarlet Empress vanished and Thorns got conquered, they really started paying attention to what he'd said.
  • High Priest: A former Waxing Moon.
  • Time Abyss: Ingosh finally kicked off from Creation at the ripe age of 3,162.

Anja Silverclaws

An aristocratic girl from Thorns who had the misfortune to be at home when the Mask of Winters invaded. The iconic No Moon for First and Second Edition.

  • Boy Meets Ghoul: One of the methods she used to escape from Thorns.
  • Cat Girl: Her totem is a housecat, and she's an outrageous flirt. Hell, her illustration in Scroll of Exalts is her in feline mutations and some tight leather. The mutations cover more of her body.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Inheritor of the Exaltation of Ingosh Silverclaws.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In order to escape from her native Thorns, she had to perform sexual favors, which occasionally led to Girl Endures Ghoul.
  • Trauma Conga Line: After her brothers were killed at the Battle of Mishaka, had to contend with the rest of her family's fate under the dead. No wonder she has Compassion 1...

Heysha Black Asp

A recurring character in the comics. Speaks in an odd lisp (all her "j's" become "y's") and omits certain words, hinting at a French-esque accent.

  • Most Common Super Power: Especially in her appearance in Return of the Scarlet Empress.
  • Stripperiffic: Her outfit on the Player's Guide cover doesn't make one lick of sense, considering it's supposed to be what she wears in combat, but leaves all her vital organs and limbs completely exposed. And in her original character concept, she just went nude at all times.

Ten Stripes

A shark-totemed Lunar who attempted to create an egalitarian society out in the West. This ran into a few problems.

  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Ten Stripes was aiming for a society where men could farm and women could sail, taking in all comers. What she ended up with was a cultural hodgepodge united almost entirely in their hate of her. That they tried to kill her merely made her proud as she respected their drive. Oh, and those Lintha kids she adopted in are teaching everyone who would listen about their parents' masters...
  • Ms. Fanservice: All the official artwork of Ten Stripes presents her in skimpy outfits.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: It's suggested that Ten Stripes has finally realized how badly she screwed up, and is planning to just swim away from Simenare in the middle of the night. Given that thirty percent of the island secretly worships the Yozis, the island's patron god is starved and desperate, and only Ten Stripes knows the terms of the deal that keeps the raksha away from the island's inhabitants, things are going to get interesting when that happens.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: She, along with Excessively Righteous Blossom, are explicitly stated to be the failures of the Exalted world. She refuses to consider this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: See Gone Horribly Wrong. How the hell did she not catch this!?

Seven Devils Clever

Nexus street urchin who wouldn't give up on her street. Continues not giving up on it as time goes on, but now has the capacity to tear apart Terrestrials.

  • Cunning Like a Fox: She's a Changing Moon caste, and her totem is the fox. So, yeah.
  • Fantastic Foxes: Her spirit shape.
  • Guile Hero: While she does have combat charms and was Exalted in battle, she prefers trickery and stealth to direct confrontation.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Luna Exalted her as she was killing the crime lord who ran her street.

Red Jaws

Northern hunter who had the ultimate bad day - every bit of gear broke, every shelter was occupied with wildlife, and it began to snow heavily by the time he had tried these measures. He then proceeded to dig a hole in the snow, which got him Luna's attention. He's the lupine guy with a beard you've undoubtedly seen somewhere in Exalted art, as First and Second Edition's iconic Changing Moon.

  • Old Soldier: Was an old man who spent his long life hunting prior to his Second Breath.
  • The Stoic: Defends settlements in the North, but never seeks their attention or any accolades at all.

Kajeha Lef

Kajeha Lef was once a Bride of Ahlat, one of the warrior-priestesses of the Southern God of War and Cattle. But Ahlat never came to consummate their union, and she found herself unsatisfied... which is why, when Luna showed up with a better offer, she was willing to leave him behind. Now the former Bride of Ahlat considers herself the Bride of Luna, and she roams Creation on Luna's business, taking her orders directly from the Silver Lady.


A former slave from Chiaroscuro who now crusades against slavery. Has a bull's legs in every shape he takes; the iconic Full Moon of First and Second Edition.

  • The Chessmaster: Trying to work his way up to this.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Since his Spirit Totem is a bull, his war form greatly resembles a minotaur. His Tell is having the hooves of a bull for feet.
  • Mistaken Identity: Because his spirit shape is a bull, when in the South he tends to end up mistaken as Ahlat, the aurochs-headed God of Cattle and Warfare, who gets some of the prayer that would otherwise go to Strength of Many.
  • Slave Liberation: Strives to make himself a legend for complete... global... emancipation.

Madame Vert

2e's iconic Casteless, former wife of a thaumaturge who dared too much in his attempts to gain recognition from the Salinan Society. "Former" there courtesy of when he summoned a demon. Spends her time protecting her home city and crusading for her cause as a Casteless. Her totem form is a velociraptor.

  • Hot Librarian: Works as a scribe and keeps up a repository of magical lore.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: The main reason she's Casteless. After living with her controlling husband, she told the No Moon trying to recruit her exactly what he could do with his moonsilver tattoos.
  • Meaningful Name: Possibly. Vert means green.
  • Shrinking Violet: In human form, wearing a widow's shawl and going about letting Salinan Society members use her dead husband's library.
  • Stripperific: When in her beastman shape, dressing in gauzy bits of next to nothing.

Faithful Pia

Sole survivor of a bandit attack on the caravan her family stayed with. She wandered the desert looking for survivors, and then gained the notice of Luna... though she didn't realize it, being rather cooked in the head from all the sun, and believes the Solar who found her to be the individual who was talking with her in the sandy expanse of the South. Product of the militaristic Illuminated training camp, Kether Rock.

  • Berserk Button: Do not threaten Jak. Pia has a lot of patience for a lot of things, but she has no qualms about letting her inner monster out in his defense.
  • Cat Girl: Even cuter than Anja (she has a specialty in it), and with far more clothing to boot. Also a deconstruction, as her chipper, cute facade is explicitly what she wishes she were, rather than who she really is.
  • Hidden Depths: A cursory glance at her picture in Cult of the Illumintated suggests a genki Cat Girl. Pretty much every other trope here shows what's really going on inside.
  • Lunacy: Written around the rules that see Lunars gain Limit toward their Fatal Flaw when they observe the full moon. What happened last time isn't discussed, as she doesn't remember it, but it's left her companion Jak disturbed
  • Perky Female Minion: A heroic example, for Jak.
  • Rape as Backstory: Has both rape and dead parents in her background as a result of the bandit attack.
  • Stepford Smiler: She secretly believes herself to be a monster, which is why she tries so very hard to seem as cute and cheerful and harmless as possible — because she desperately wants it to be true.

Eska of the Seven Blades

A wolf spider-totem warrior from the east, Eska exalted while taking revenge on a tribe that had all but wiped out her own. She was found by an elder named Sublime Danger of the Thousand Daiklave Wings, and splits her time between running errands for them and wandering around the southeast picking fights with anyone she deems strong enough to pose a challenge.

    Terrestrial Exalted 
The Terrestrial Exalted, or Dragon-Blooded, are Elemental Exalts that can pass their Exaltation on to their children, and are also the weakest and most numerous of the Exalted.

This ties in with their creation as a Super-Soldier army for the Solar Exalted. The 5 Elemental Dragons, children of Gaia (a Primordial who had joined the Incarnae against the other Primordials) gifted 100 men and 9,900 women with their powers over Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Wood. While they served as soldiers in the Primordial War, these first Dragon-Bloods were selected for their health and virility since their main purpose was to reproduce and birth a vast enough army to take on the Primordials and their servants.

After the war they served the Celestial Exalted in family military units called Gentes, each Gens being assigned to 1 Solar and their reincarnations. It was also during the First Age that the Dragon-Blooded started to mate with mortals, which up until then got you, your kid, and whoever you slept with dead. This reduced the 'purity' of the Dragon-Bloods, so from then on the children of Dragon-Bloods didn't have a 100% guarantee of Exalting.

Near the end of the First Age, after being subjugated to the tyranny and madness of the Solars and being manipulated by the Sidereals, the Terrestrials usurped their Solar masters. After the Usurpation the Dragon-Bloods ruled all of Creation in the Shogunate era, which was noted to have their rulers constantly get killed by the next rulers.

Things went mostly well enough though, until the Deathlords (powerful ghosts of the Solars they slew) released the Great Contagion that killed 90% of the population. Then the Fair Folk attacked in an alliance with the Deathlords, destroying half of Creation.

When all seemed lost, several Dragon-Bloods journeyed to the Imperial Manse to use the Realm Defense Grid (also called the Sword of Creation) to save Creation. Only one managed to get through its defenses, save Creation, and come out alive. Her name seems to have disappeared from the texts of history and the memories of everyone who ever knew her (pretty normal occurrence in Creation, in other words), but people call her the Scarlet Empress.

She built the Scarlet Dynasty from the ground up, and unlike the Shogunate it only directly ruled the Blessed Isle. Nevertheless, the Realm became the foremost superpower in Creation, being the pinnacle of civilization and military might. There were rivals though, most notably the other Terrestrial ruled state of Lookshy, so the Realm only indirectly ruled several territories in the Threshold outside of the Blessed Isle through puppet governments.

The Empress took on multiple lovers over the years, and, via her consorts and children, founded the 11 Great Houses who bickered for power, as well as other organizations that didn't exactly get along. It didn't really matter though, since as long as she was in charge the Realm would operate smoothly.

Then she disappeared. And the Solar Exalted have come back.

Now the Realm is in disarray as the Great Houses try to get who they want on the throne in a political system that wasn't made to handle a missing Empress, their secret Sidereal manipulators are bickering over letting the Dragon-Bloods continue to be the rulers of Creation or having the Solars return as the rightful rulers, and the forces of Hell, the Underworld and the Wyld are ready to take a bite into this half-dead but still powerful Empire.

Since the Terrestrials are the most numerous of the Exalted, we'll also list all of their organizations since they're pretty... colorful in their own right.

Tropes associated with all Terrestrials

  • All Your Colors Combined: Certain Dragon-Blooded Charms, such as Elemental Bolt, produce much more explosive results if multiple Dragon-Blooded contribute to them.
  • Elemental Powers: Their five Aspects (not Castes) are Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Wood.
  • Elite Mooks: Zig-zagged. The Dragon-Blooded were explicitly designed as the "regular" soldiers of the Exalted, and as such far outnumber the other types of Exalted, but are comparatively weak individually. This does not mean you should ever make the mistake of underestimating their abilities or write them off as irrelevant — every single Dragon-Blooded has the capacity to kick your ass.
    • In general, it's also a point of contention in the fandom that Dragon-Blooded don't get the same respect as Celestial Exalted — that is, they are often viewed as interchangeable and expandable opponents for other Exalted to fight in numbers instead of individual heroes or villains in their own right.
    • In 3rd edition, it's noted that if a battle group made up primarily of Dragon-Blooded were to be formed, it could have the highest level of Might to express just how strong they are. However, it's also noted that such forces have never been seen since the First Age, because even if a large number of Dragon-Blooded gather together, it's usually better to stat them up as individual heroes in their own right.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Dragon-Blooded live for three to four centuries (longer with good genes) and are fertile almost their entire lives. But to balance this out, a Dragon-Blood's child has at best about a fifty percent chance of Exalting, and often much less depending on genetics and how long it's been since the last kid.
  • Immune to Fire: As one of their anima powers, Dragon-Blooded of the fire aspect can make themselves temporarily immune to mundane environmental fires.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Well, how lovable they are depends on the individual, but Dragon-Blooded as a whole have RIDICULOUS sex drives (primarily in 2e).
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: They are on the Soldier side of things, intended to work together in groups, as an organized force, unlike other types of battle-oriented Exalted, who tend to be powerful warriors who work better on their own. This mentality can also be seen in the setting's Big Book of War, designed for Dragon-Blooded, The Ten Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier.
  • Super Breeding Program: The Realm and Lookshy are both running Dragon-Blooded breeding programs, though with different focuses. The Realm is looking to restore the purity of their Blood (thus making their individual members stronger), while Lookshy is just hoping to make as many Dragon-Blooded children as possible.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: The Dragon-Blooded manifest their powers based on their heritage and genetics — a person with two Dragon-Blooded parents has a much much greater chance to Exalt than a person with only one Dragon-Blooded parent, or a single Dragon-Blooded ancestor (even if it's still terribly unlikely).

The Scarlet Dynasty

The Scarlet Empress had taken the Realm, but even with control of the Sword of Creation and the backing of the Bronze Faction, she was in a precarious position. The Shogunate had been a long succession of one military coup or assassination after another, and there was no guarantee it wouldn't continue. Her solution was to create a government that was highly effective as long as she was heading it...but was pretty much guaranteed to fall apart the instant she wasn't there.

The Realm's aristocracy currently consists of eleven Great Houses, each named for a consort or child of the Empress from whom the extended family descends. The blood of the Dragons runs strong in the Empress' children, and social and religious teachings about the inherent superiority of the Dragon-Blooded and their divine right to rule Creation help prevent rebellion by the commoners against their Exalted lords. To ensure that her own descendants couldn't threaten her position, the Empress followed a Divide and Conquer strategy: the Houses were encouraged to compete against each other for status, and the Empress alternately favored first one and then another, carefully working to prevent any single faction from gaining too much power.

While she was around, the Scarlet Empress kept a close eye on things, harnessing her descendants' ambitions for the good of the Realm. Since her disappearance, though, there's been nothing to keep the Great Houses' Decadent Court tendencies in check, and they almost immediately grew out of control. Each family wastes its attention on petty political squabbles, ignoring the serious threats looming over all Creation. At this point, Civil War seems inevitable...

... unless, of course, the player characters take it upon themselves to head it off.

  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Dynasty as a whole and each Great House individually. In fact, family issues are a cultural touchstone of a dynast's life. Most parents barely see their children, letting the caretakers do it for them. In a dynast's family, if you're a kid and eating together at dinner with your parent, *you're being judged*.
  • The Clan: The Great Houses.
  • Culture Chop Suey: The deliberate kind. The Realm's culture is mostly a mix of Imperial Rome and various Chinese dynasties, but it's also got elements of Achaemenid Persia, the Tokugawa Shogunate, and pretty much any other premodern Old World empire you could name.
  • Cultured Badass: Every Dynast is expected to be a competent scholar, dancer, musician and so well as a powerful warrior, no matter what their profession. Also seen in their charms; many of them have a secondary combat application even in non combat abilities.
  • Decadent Court: Especially since the Scarlet Empress disappeared, thus removing the one thing that was keeping everyone else in line.
  • Divided We Fall: The Dragon-Blooded were designed to be at their best when working as a team, which is why the Dynasty's complete failure to stop bickering and work together is really unfortunate.
  • The Empire: They rule the world, and if you're a Celestial, they're out for your guts.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The Realm doesn't put a great deal of importance on sexual orientation; you can sleep with whoever you want, so long as you produce more legitimate heirs for your House.
  • Feuding Families: By the Empress' design.
  • Manly Gay: Being gay is perfectly socially acceptable, as long as you're willing to do your duty by marrying a member of the opposite sex and procreating. Effeminate behavior, on the other hand, is emphatically not okay, regardless of your gender.
  • Matriarchy: A very mild example; the Realm is at least as gender-egalitarian as any modern first world country, and whether you're Exalted or not counts for far more than a little thing like your sex. To the extent that there is sexism, though, it tends to favor women. This makes sense, considering the Realm's savior and leader is the Scarlet Empress.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Even the bureaucrats of the Dynasty are expected to be at least as competent in battle as a decent mortal fighter.
  • Training from Hell: Pretty much your whole childhood, if you're a Dynast.
  • Vestigial Empire: While the Realm is far more stable than the Shogunate ever was, it's drastically reduced in the amount of territory it controls. Note, however, that it still controls a number of satrapies and colonies, and fields a military that dwarfs every other nation on the planet.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: As it turns out, the Scarlet Empress was the only thing holding them together. Now that she's gone...

The Deliberative

The Realm's ruling council, the Deliberative, is a bicameral legislature. The upper house, the Greater Chamber, consists entirely of Exalted Dynasts who are appointed by their Great Houses and approved by the Empress (or, today, the Regent); they have the ability to propose legislation. The patricians and nobles from tributary states who make up the Lesser Chamber are appointed by senators from the Greater Chamber, and can veto proposals with a two-thirds majority vote. Proposals that pass both chambers become law unless vetoed by the Empress or Regent. (In theory, the Deliberative can overturn the Empress' veto...with an almost unanimous vote in both chambersnote . Yeah, right, it happened once: there were no survivors.)

The Deliberative was designed with a few specific goals in mind — to handle issues the Empress didn't care about enough to bother with, to give the government an air of legitimacy and rule of law by rubber stamping the laws she did want passed, and to allow the aristocracy of the Realm to feel as if they had a voice in government without giving them any power that actually mattered. The one thing it was absolutely never designed to be, in other words, is a powerful and effective governing body. Which probably stopped seeming like a great idea right around the time people realized the Empress wasn't coming back for a while.

  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Subverted. The Empress placed no limit on the number of Senators so if a majority who disagreed with the Empress's intentions started to form, she could pump Senators who supported her into the Greater Chamber to shift the balance in her favour without taking any hostile actions.
  • The Artifact: In-Universe. The original Deliberative actually was Creation's ruling body, being essentially the Solar Parliament. In the Age of Sorrows, it exists simply to create the appearance that the Realm isn't an autocracy, which it very much is. (It's kind of like the Roman Senate that way...)
  • Blood on the Debate Floor: Duels and plain old fistfights are a fairly regular occurrence. One time, the Empress became so fed up with the Deliberative vetoing her decrees that she just blocked off the exits and sent the army in to kill everyone.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Appointment to the Deliberative is a traditional way to get annoying reformers out of the way — they'll get distracted with the futile task of trying to fix things from within the system.
  • The Mole: Manosque Cyan, who seems to be working to convince the Lesser Chamber that in this time of crisis, they should be spending more time on thoughtful discussion and less on, you know, actually doing anything.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Their intended function is to merely pretend they're actually doing something.
  • Sleazy Politician: Lots of them, all trying to advance their personal ambitions or those of their Great Houses rather than addressing any of the Realm's real problems.

The Thousand Scales

The Dragon-Blooded of the Scarlet Dynasty like to think of themselves as warrior-aristocrats, proving their right to rule through the strength of their arms and sheer military might. The truth is a little more prosaic. In reality, the Realm is a highly centralized and urbanized empire, and while it does need protectors, it needs bureaucrats a lot more. All Dynasts train as warriors, but for every one actually serving as a soldier in the legions, another can be found playing an equally vital role as a clerk, accountant, postal courier, satrap, prefect, administrator, or dozens of other civil service positions. If the legions are the empire's fangs and talons, the ministers of the Imperial Service are the scales of the dragon.

The Magistrates

Acting as both judges and internal affairs investigators for The Realm, Magistrates were in theory answerable only to The Empress, which gave them impressive power while she was alive, and now makes them very vulnerable. It doesn't help that their previous level of protection made a lot of them happy to trample over the afairs of Dynasts, knowing that their patron's protection made them almost untouchable. Now many are in hiding or performing investigations that just so happen to take them a long way away from The Realm. The fact that most are not members of The Great Houses only increases their vulnerability. They employ agents known as archons who are often criminals given a choice between service or death. The higher a Magistrate's rank, the more archons he can employ.

The All-Seeing Eye

The All-Seeing Eye started as a loose, informal collection of informants, but as the Scarlet Empress consolidated her rule, it expanded into one of the most efficient and powerful espionage networks in Creation. Unlike the other ministries, you don't apply to join the Eye; if they decide they want your talents, they'll come to you, whether you're a Dragon-Blood, a patrician, a Sidereal, a beggar or a slave. The intrepid secret agents of the All-Seeing Eye can be found in every imaginable profession throughout the Blessed Isle, the Threshold and beyond, ferreting out threats to the Realm from tax evasion to high treason to incursions by the Anathema.

  • Calling Card: Employed by the Eye as a weapon of terror: if you find their insignia — a single open eye — somewhere in your belongings, put your affairs in order, because you're already dead. Actually, no, that's just what they want you to think; it really means you're being considered as a recruit. If you're dumb enough to tell anyone what you found, then you're not the kind of person they're looking for, and you'll be killed to keep the story going. Keep your mouth shut and don't do anything stupid for a week or so, though, and you'll be approached with an invitation.
  • Cloak and Dagger: They cover all the standard exciting espionage tropes you'd expect, but as noted in the description, they also do mundane stuff like uncover tax evasion.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The Eye is probably the most egalitarian organization in the Realm. If you've got the skills and the dedication, you're in.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The All-Seeing Eye is an urban legend within the Realm. People may have heard of them, but officially they don't exist.

The Imperial Legions

Creation's a scary place, and the Realm has always kept a standing army. For the Dragon-Blooded of the Scarlet Dynasty, who see themselves as something of a Proud Warrior Race, a history of honorable service in the legions is a major bonus to your social status. For Lost Eggs, military service is the only way to integrate yourself into the Realm's high society unless you want to take vows as an Immaculate monk. For commoners, it's one of the few legitimate and accepted ways to improve your social status.

At one time, the Imperial Legions were indisputably the most powerful military force in Creation. Like so much else, that's changed with the Scarlet Empress' disappearance. She wasn't gone long before the Deliberative seized the opportunity to drastically cut centralized funding for the military and assign individual legions to individual Great Houses instead. Once proud defenders of the Realm, they're increasingly finding themselves to be mere pawns in the political squabbles of Feuding Families, and there's a good chance legion will be fighting legion in the Realm Civil War while Creation falls to pieces around them.

Nearly any of the Military and Warfare Tropes can apply here, but in particular:

  • Boot Camp Episode: Most Dragon-Blooded legionnaires attended the House of Bells, the most badass of military academies.
  • Gender Is No Object: Would you want to try and tell the Scarlet Empress women don't belong on the battlefield?
    • Though to be more accurate, it's actually males that are given prejudice across the Dynasty, including the legions. Not much, but it's there. (In 1e and 2e, this was more nominal than anything else; in 3e, it's an integrated part of the Dynasty's depiction.)
  • Mounted Combat: Averted, mostly; it takes special Charms for a Dragon-Blood to channel Essence on horseback (or mounts such as simhata) without their anima banner harming the mount, so the Realm usually doesn't bother. If necessary, they hire mercenaries or use other local forces for their cavalry units.
  • The Squad: As the Dragon-Blooded excel at teamwork, the Realm's military doctrine is based around squad tactics. You're assigned to a five-man team as soon as you arrive at the House of Bells, and graded as a group.

The Imperial Navy

The Wyld Hunt

After the Usurpation, the Terrestrials and Sidereals realized that while MOST Anathema had seemingly vanished (most of the Solar Exaltations were trapped in the Sidereal Jade Prison and the Lunars got the hell out of Dodge), occasionally, a few would start making a mess out of things, and the Sidereals needed a way to make damn sure they didn't ruin the plans of the nascent Shogunate. The answer to this was the Wyld Hunt, brotherhoods of Dragon Blooded trained in Celestial Martial Arts, and sent to fight the Celestial Exalted while they were still young, to ensure that they died before they could reach higher levels of power. This had... varying levels of success.

The Shogunate Era saw the Hunt being quite effective, forcing the Lunars to stay in the Wyld, and ensuring the twenty-some Solar Exaltations didn't stay in one host for very long. Things went down the toilet during the Balorian Crusade and the Contagion, but scaled up when the Scarlet Empress took over... and finally petered out to near nothing after she vanished, the Hunt becoming a shadow of its former self due to the resources funding it going to support Dynastic Families hoping to claim power in the inevitable Civil War.

Today, it's basically used to keep troublemakers (such as the murderous Peleps Deled) off the Island, while providing a show of force in the Threshold.

  • Church Militant: They're the roving, militant wing of the Immaculate Order; even mortal members of the Hunt know Terrestrial Martial Arts, and the Dragon Blooded members usually know one of the Five Elemental Dragon styles designed SPECIFICALLY (by a Sidereal, of course) to kick the shit out of Spirits and neophyte Celestials.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: A common method of getting rid of troublesome Dynasts is to stick them out in a satrap, or just tag them into the Wyld Hunt, and hope eventually some Anathema or another kills them. This has varying degrees of success, and at least one troublemaker, the aforementioned Deled, saw it as a promotion... when it was really an attempt to get him off the Isle due to his unfortunate habit of killing anyone who disagreed with his interpretations of the Immaculate Texts.

The Immaculate Order

In the aftermath of the Usurpation, it's not surprising that some folk religions sprang up that cast the Celestial Exalted as mad demons and looked up to the Terrestrial Exalted as holy saviors. The Immaculate Faith got its start as one of these Shogunate belief systems. It held that every Dragon-Blood was a kind of living Buddha who had purified his or her soul over many lifetimes and achieved union with the Essence of Creation. All living things were walking the same road toward enlightenment, hopefully drawing closer to Terrestrial Exaltation with each rebirth. The pinnacle of spiritual achievement was represented by the Immaculate Dragons — five legendary Dragon-Blooded heroes who had supposedly led the war against the Solar Anathema, each representing mastery of a different type of elemental Essence.

When the Sidereal Bronze Faction began working with the Empress to design the society of the Realm, they realized this was just what they were looking for. They carefully redesigned the Immaculate Faith into a Path of Inspiration designed to enforce social control. The Bronze Faction's version of the faith, known as the Immaculate Philosophy, emphasizes respect for hierarchy above all else. The highest duty of all mortals is absolute obedience to the Dragon-Blooded, their divinely appointed rulers. Beyond that, know your place, work to benefit the community, and respect your superiors –- the way to improve your lot in life is to work toward a better reincarnation. Don't pray to any gods; the Immaculates will tell you when each one has their allotted feast day, and worrying about them beyond that will just distract you from spiritual advancement. Above all else, resist the Anathema in any way you can — they aren't true Exalted at all, but ancient sorcerers who stole the power of the sun, moon and stars through foul demonic pacts, and their lies will only lead you to ruin.

These rules are enforced in the Realm by the monks of the Immaculate Order. Aside from meditation, studying theology and all your other usual monkly duties, all of them train in martial arts — and the Dragon-Blooded among them are initiated into Celestial martial arts, allowing them to face down demons, rogue gods, and even the Anathema as formidable opponents. These heroic figures wander the countryside teaching the young, fighting sin, heresy, and injustice, and protecting the faithful from all manner of supernatural threats.

And, of course, the whole thing is still masterminded by the Bronze Faction, who have the entire Order quite firmly under their thumbs. Don't get too cynical — about 90% of the Immaculate Order's teachings really are objectively true, making it probably one of the most accurate religions in Creation when it comes to its picture of how the world works. (The prohibition on unauthorized prayer, for instance, really is quite sensible as a way to prevent bribery and corruption in the Celestial Bureaucracy.) The problem is that the other 10% includes stuff like "Kill all Solars on sight" and "Your Terrestrial lord and master has a sacred duty to treat you like crap, so you'd better take it and like it".

  • All Monks Know Kung-Fu: Being that they're inspired by Chinese Monks, it makes sense.
  • Church Militant: Hello Solar/Lunar. Meet the Wyld Hunt. You are going to hate them very quickly.
  • Corrupt Church: Averted. Immaculate doctrine is based on pre-Empress beliefs, most of which were actually pretty much true, before they were reworked to prop up the burgeoning Realm. The Immaculate Order is an imperialist cultural weapon used to further the Realm's conquest, but most of the followers, both higher ups and the laymen, are as genuine as any other follower of religion.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Sidereal Bronze Faction. There's a reason "Mouth of Peace" sounds so much like "mouthpiece."
  • Path of Inspiration: The Immaculate Philosophy counts as one of these from one perspective — it's definitely designed as a tool for social control, several of its core tenets are completely bogus fabrications, and its Dragon-Blooded leaders are sincere believers. Depending on how you look at it, it could also be seen as a few other related but distinct tropes.
  • Religious Bruiser: Every single Immaculate.
  • Scam Religion: While the Order's ostensible leaders are largely sincere, the Bronze Faction Sidereals who actually run the whole thing take a considerably more cynical point of view.
  • Warrior Monk: See the Wyld Hunt entry above, with which the Immaculates are commonly associated.
  • You Didn't Ask: Third edition establishes that since plenty of Immaculate Doctrine comes from the First Age or early Second Age, it's acknowledged that Solars and Lunars are Exalted of the sun and moon respectively suffering from With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. The monks decided that this is probably too confusing for most people and decided to let them believe the Anathema suffer Demonic Possession without ever really confirming or denying it, only explaining the truth to trusted monks who go looking for it.

The Imperial Houses

House Mnemon

The largest and most powerful of the Great Houses, House Mnemon has strong ties to the Heptagram and the Immaculate Order, producing many — perhaps even most — of the Realm's sorcerers and monks. More than any other Great House, House Mnemon cannot be understood without understanding its leader, Mnemon herself. She takes, shall we say, an unusually hands-on approach to running the family, and has forged her descendants into a finely-honed tool for advancing her own ambitions.

  • Magical Society: House Mnemon produces so many sorcerers, it might as well be.

House Cathak

Aspected toward Fire, Cathak is another large and powerful House, though not quite as big as House Mnemon. A family with a strong military tradition, they're probably the strongest of the Great Houses in terms of their legions. House Cathak is respected throughout the Realm for its devotion to tradition and discipline.

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Cathak soldiers are known for their valor... and not for their smarts, though nobody says it to their faces.
  • Black Magic: The Dynasty in general tends to view sorcerers as creepy nerds, but House Cathak really does not like sorcery. Even the few sorcerers who are in House Cathak don't get invited to Cathak parties.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: They're very big on instilling a sense of duty and discipline in every Cathak scion. You would be too, if you were raising children who might suddenly develop the ability to burst into flame at any point in their adolescence.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Of the soldier variety.

House Cynis

The other Houses just don't know what to do with House Cynis. In a society that values the ideal of strict military discipline above nearly all else, the Wood-Aspected House Cynis has cultivated a reputation of culturally sensitive artists and doctors who are also a bunch of utterly debauched hedonists.

This reputation is somewhat exaggerated. Sure, the Cynis social scene revolves around regular orgies. And, sure, they control the Realm's prostitution...and drug trade...and slave trade. That doesn't mean they're the lazy, useless socialites the other Houses would sometimes like to think, though. When it comes down to it, the Cynis are also the beating heart of the Realm's culture, and the best doctors in the Scarlet Dynasty - and if push comes to shove House Cynis is a wealthy and powerful family...and one with access to a lot of information about the secret vices of nearly every prominent figure in the Dynasty. Those medicines can be poisons just as easily...

  • Casual Kink: If there is a fetish, odds are there's a Cynis out there with it.
  • Deadly Doctor: Underestimate House Cynis' expertise in herbology and biology at own peril.
  • Eccentric Artist: Tamer Cynis tend to be just as debauched and artistic, but are nicer about it.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: To them, "orgy" and "party" are synonyms. And like all Dynasts, they love to party.
  • The Hedonist: Read their entry again, why don't you? Hell, in 3e their house founder died of *overdose*, and she was a Wood Aspect, who are immune to most poisons.
  • Hookers and Blow: Their favorite pastimes.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Downplayed. House Cynis is a huge fan of following your regards to concubines. Actually loving your spouse is going to result in them barely keeping a straight face.
  • Mad Artist: Meaner Cynis, and there's a lot more mean Cynic than tame ones.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Nicer members of the House. The others are just depraved.
  • Opium Den: Anything in the holdings of Cynis, ever.
  • Sexual Extortion: If you mildly piss them off, they won't hesitate to use this. Really pissing them off makes them sadistic.
  • The Social Expert: They are the social butterflies-and wasps-of the Blessed Isle.
  • Wicked Cultured: They are proudly this, especially in 3E.

House Sesus

Aspected toward Fire, House Sesus has a powerful military...and not a lot else going for it. At least, not publicly; in truth, House Sesus are the House that is the hidden recruiting grounds for members of the All-Seeing Eye; while they are competent soldiers, their real skill lies in gathering battlefield intelligence and organizing networks of spies. Loyal friends of Mnemon and Cynis, House Sesus is the hidden underhand of those who would seek to take the Scarlet Throne...and increasingly, they are beginning to wonder if Mnemon herself would be such a good queen.

  • Combat Pragmatist: Other Houses seek honor and glory in battle. Sesus finds glory in winning. Needless to say, Cathak and Tepet really don't like them, and they return the disfavor.
  • Gang of Bullies: The Sesus Chenow household, known for being a pack of nasty Blood Knights and general jerkasses.
  • Genius Bruiser: Their namesake, and an ideal to achieve in Sesus thought.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Actual dumbasses and thugs tend to end up getting this fate, to help with the Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: They do their best to seem like thugs without much other than their armies going for them. This is exactly what they want you to think.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In First and Second Editions, they were dumb thugs and little more than Mnemon's goon squad. Third Edition makes that an elaborate ruse by extremely canny Combat Pragmatists
  • The Spymaster: Their specialty. Cathak can outthink them, Peleps can outsail them, and Tepet (once) could outshine them...but nobody holds nearly as much intel as them.

House Tepet

Only a few years ago, the Air-Aspected House Tepet was a powerful family, known for producing many of the Realm's finest soldiers and sorcerers. Today, it's a pitiful and decaying shell of what it used to be.

In one of the Realm's greatest military disasters in recent memory, the bulk of the Tepet forces were slaughtered by the armies of the Bull of the North at the Battle of Futile Blood. In a single stroke, the House lost its military strength and much of its population. Now crippled and impoverished, House Tepet is desperately trying to rebuild its power base through adoptions and marriage alliances, but they simply don't have the resources left to do much more than stave off the inevitable for a while. No one's saying it yet, but as the other Houses gather like hungry vultures, deep down every Tepet knows the truth: their House is doomed.

Doomed, that is, unless the last remaining Tepet general — a promising young officer nicknamed "the Roseblack" — has anything to say about it...

  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Their likely fate, if the Bull dies; they beat him, but it took their entire army and political relevance.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: 3rd Edition's version of the Battle of Futile Blood still ruined them, but House Tepet nearly won the day by forcing the Bull to commit everything to the fight. They managed to wound the Bull and his strongest spellcaster, along with outright killing two members of his Circle. The battle may have doomed House Tepet, but the Bull's forces have still yet to recover from their last hurrah - nor has his forming empire, as Yurgen Kaneko has been rendered outright comatose by their poison and is unable to mediate between his Circle, who are gradually turning on each other and threatening a Civil War. If he dies, this will outright likely be subverted, as the Bull's empire will collapse, achieving Tepet's strategic goals.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Their fortunes have not been particularly good of late.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: They used to follow a more 'heroic' bent compared to Cathak's soldier and Sesus' underhandedness. Shame that the Battle of Futile Blood happened....
  • Riches to Rags: Previously would have been a kingmaker house, if it wouldn't have seized the throne itself with the disappearance of the Empress. In more than one place the ravaging of their house is stated to have been deliberate, to cripple a house growing too large and too powerful for the Empire's good.

House Ledaal

All the Empress' children were highly intelligent, but Ledaal was something special. The Empress made sure to supply the young prodigy with the kind of education it took to challenge her growing intellect — including the very best in Sidereal tutors.

Today, the Air-Aspected House Ledaal follows the traditions set by its founder as a House of accomplished intellectuals and sorcerers... and their Sidereal consultants. This gives the Ledaal a rather different perspective on some issues than the other Great Houses. For instance, having made a close study of historical records of Anathema sightings, Ledaal scholars have realized that the Deathknights are a new phenomenon — and one that has the potential to be far more dangerous than the Solar and Lunar Anathema ever were.

Unfortunately, not only have they had no luck convincing the other Great Houses of this, the other Houses are so caught up in their Decadent Court intrigues that they refuse to believe Ledaal has different priorities. Every time House Ledaal suggests something like refocusing the Wyld Hunt's priorities on the Abyssals, the rest of the Dynasty assumes it's part of some cunning and subtle political scheme. It's gotten to the point that Ledaal has put forward one of its own as a candidate for the Scarlet Throne — albeit a candidate with no real chance of succeeding — just so the other Houses will stop assuming Ledaal's lack of a candidate is some sort of ruse.

  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: As far as such is possible in Creation, anyway, Ledaal is the victim of this. All of the other Houses, up to their ears in court intrigues and convoluted plans to achieve power, assume that House Ledaal is trying the same thing with their warnings.
  • Ignored Expert: They happen to have a pretty good idea of what's wrong with the Realm. The Realm does not listen.
  • Magical Society: The Ledaal Catala household.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: If you want to run a game about getting the Scarlet Dynasty to unite and focus on the real problems facing Creation, House Ledaal is among your likeliest allies.

House Peleps

The other Great Houses see the Water-Aspected House Peleps as a pack of scheming, treacherous liars and cheats who'd sell their own grandmothers for the slightest political advantage. This is pretty much true — even within the House itself, scions of House Peleps are raised in an environment of intense political intrigue and no-holds-barred competition. In their defense, though, their motivations are not entirely selfish; House Peleps is unshakably loyal to the Realm and its interests.

Traditionally, the basis of Peleps' power in the Realm has been their control of the Imperial Navy. Unfortunately, shortly before her disappearance, the Empress decided to remind them who was boss by reassigning the Merchant Fleet to House V'neef — something that still rankles in the hearts of most Peleps.

  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: These are true of all the Great Houses, but Peleps raises them to an art form.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Peleps Kaizoku line is a household of privateers. Kaizoku is Japanese for "pirate."
  • Black Magic: They dislike sorcery almost as much as House Cathak.

House Iselsi

This Water-Aspected House was a favorite of the Scarlet Empress... up until a few centuries ago, when a group of unusually reckless and stupid young Iselsi staged an ill-conceived attempt to assassinate her. While the perpetrators were all caught and tortured to death, the Empress had no choice but to make an example of the entire House for not putting a stop to the plot in the first place. Nearly all the House's possessions were seized, the House elders were arrested on trumped-up charges, and the Empress continued making sure to have a few Iselsi exiled or executed every few years thereafter. Though a tattered and disgraced remnant still exists, it's clear to everyone that the Empress intended to dismantle House Iselsi as slowly and painfully as possible.

Or at least, that's what she wanted everyone to think. Fond as she was of the Iselsi, the Empress saw their punishment as an opportunity. Many of the Iselsi who were reported killed or exiled were actually placed in high-ranking positions within the magistracy, the All-Seeing Eye and the Immaculate Order under assumed names. This gave the Empress a powerful network of spies and secret police whose loyalty she could be certain of, as the family had no official position to speak of and were solely dependent on her covert backing. Eventually, the plan was to stage some dramatic act of heroism on the part of the remaining known Iselsi that would allow her to restore the House to its former glory.

Unfortunately for House Iselsi, the Empress' disappearance has put a bit of a kink in that plan...and they are not happy.

  • Deep Cover Agent: Their current livelihood.
  • Impoverished Patrician: ...and what they get in return.
  • Revenge: They have been stewing in their grudge against the other Houses for a very, very long time. Now that the Empress is gone, they feel they can finally start working towards it.

House Ragara

Once, it was a popular joke to call House Ragara "the Imperial Bank." Today, it's long since ceased to be a joke. A long series of shrewd investments and strategic marriage alliances has made the Earth-Aspected House Ragara by far the wealthiest of the Realm's Great Houses. They're entirely willing to share their good fortune with reasonable rates of interest, of course. But don't worry — if you can't pay them back in jade, favors or valuable information will do just as well.

House V'neef

By far the youngest and smallest of the Great Houses, House V'neef is off to an excellent start. A House of very strong breeding, nearly all V'neef's scions so far have Exalted as Wood Aspects, and wise investments in vineyards and firedust have given the family a strong financial base. Prior to her disappearance, the Empress showed the House a great deal of favor as well, even granting them control of the Realm's Merchant Fleet. This favoritism did not endear House V'neef to the rest of the Scarlet Dynasty, but thanks to her extraordinary charisma and a hefty dose of cunning, V'neef has been able to keep the other Great Houses from ganging up on her family in the Empress' absence... at least, so far.

  • Blue Blood: The bluest in the Dynasty.
  • The Gunslinger: V'neef has quietly made sure all her children are trained in the use of firewands.
  • Parental Favoritism: The other Houses view House V'neef collectively as the Empress' pets.
  • Wine Is Classy: Made much of their money in vineyards, and the House mon is a stylized bunch of grapes.

House Nellens

Nellens was one of the Empress' mortal consorts, and one she must have cared for a great deal, for after his death she took the unprecedented step of granting his children the status of a Great House. The only Great House founded by the un-Exalted, House Nellens has still not managed to achieve anything like the Exaltation rates enjoyed by the other families of the Scarlet Dynasty, and is generally thought of as the mortal House. This makes them a bit of a joke to the Dragon-Bloods of the other Houses, who generally treat even the few Nellens who do Exalt with mild contempt. On the other hand, though, seeing a mortal family holding the same status as the major Dragon-Blooded lines does a great deal to endear House Nellens to patricians and un-Exalted Dynasts, an advantage the other Great Houses are rather foolish to ignore.

  • Badass Normal: Collectively, for holding their own in a political environment dominated by — and designed to favor — the Terrestrial Exalted.

Lookshy's Dragon-Blooded

  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: De facto leader of the Confederation Of Rivers because they have the best soldiers and the scariest weapons. To be fair they're usually fairly nice about it.
  • Decadent Court: Averted and pretty much the only Dragon-Blooded society to do so. The Lookshy General Staff is exactly that; a General Staff, a military hierarchy. While there's some scheming here and there most of Lookshy's leaders are far too dedicated to their duty.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A combination of Feudal Japan and Sparta.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Compared to the Realm at least. They are also a big Dragon-Blooded power and have a huge, highly effective army but they don't treat mortals like cattle, they rarely if ever use slavery and they've not once tried to subjugate other nations. In fact they constantly bust their balls to keep the other Scavenger Lands nations free of outside forces. They even have a much more relaxed version of the Immaculate Order and don't immediately try to kill all Celestials...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: They detonated a Soulbreaker Orb, essentially a soul nuke, on a Realm army besieging Lookshy. They weren't even losing. That was more to do with the fact that it was NOT the first time the Realm had tried to take them over (Blockades, Pirates, and at least two full scale invasions had harried them from the beginning), but it was INDEED the last time the Scarlet Empress attempted to conquer the Seventh Legion (Nothing quite says 'Don't fuck with us ever again' like shredding the souls of half an Imperial Legion).

The Seventh Legion

  • Elite Army: Keeping with the Sparta metaphor, Lookshy has about a fifth the Dragon-Blooded and a fraction of the numbers of the Realm, but due to technological superiority and better training, can defend themselves in a conventional war against any force the Realm is able to bring to bear. This is before they break out the WMDs.
  • Private Military Contractors: Are hired out as this or trainers to the rest of the Scavenger Lands to 1: Make sure other nations can defend themselves and 2: Remind everyone how much better at fighting Lookshy is and how foolish it would be to fight them.
  • Too Awesome to Use: A real problem. They have so many lovely First Age weapons and artefacts but are incapable of fixing most of them. Once they get broken, they're gone.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Stockpiled a huge pile of First Age weapons, more than any other group including the Realm. It is no coincidence that they've not lost a war since the Contagion.

Gens Karal

Gens Teresu

Gens Maheka

Gens Amilar

Gens Yushoto

The Signature Sworn Kinship (of Third Edition)

Sesus Eshuvar

The iconic Air Aspect, a former member of the Imperial Navy.
  • Arranged Marriage: Eshuvar is married to the unexalted Mnemon Rela and even has two children with her, but he hates her and openly cheats on her out of spite. Ironically, if they weren't married, they'd probably be friends.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's actually an extremely accomplished sorcerer, even summoning the neomah that allowed River and her wife to have a child, but he has cultivated an image of a philandering socialite.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Sometime by RY 758, Eshuvar became dissatisfied with his life despite doing everything expected of a Dynast of the Realm. Even cheating on his wife isn't as satisfying as it used to be.
  • Hazy-Feel Turn: The Wyld Hunt he took part in fifty years ago made him determined to be a better person and if it weren't for the wealth, privilege and comfortable life of a dynast, he probably would be.
  • Parental Neglect: As typical of a Dynastic parent, his children don't really elicit more than a Minor Tie of Distant Interest.

Kingfisher Swift

The iconic Earth Aspect, an outcaste who 'took the coin' and joined the Imperial legions, marrying into a wealthy patrician family. Now head of her family's household guard.
  • Court-martialed: The Great Houses forced her out of her legion by charging her with insubordination; the trial took place over a single afternoon.
  • The Heretic: Downplayed; she wears a red-haired icon of Daana'd on her belt. River never judged her for it.
  • It's Personal: When the Anathema she and her Hearth captured in RY 718 escaped from the Imperial Manse in RY 768, Kingfisher reunites with them to finish what they started, before they came after their loved ones.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Her Defining Principle is "The Realm must endure", with her Major Principle "My loyalty lies with the Scarlet Throne, not the Great Houses" making it clear where she stands.
  • Rags to Riches: She was born the daughter of a peasant family, then Exalted, went to Pasiap's Stair, enrolled in the Imperial legions, and married into the small but prestigious patrician Tereya family.
  • Reluctant Retiree: Was an officer in the Imperial legions, but was forced out when the Great Houses took them over.

Left Hand Chalima

The iconic Fire Aspect, an outcaste who rules her own principality in the Hundred Kingdoms.
  • Dual Wielding: A daiklave and devil caster.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: Has two husbands, one living and one a ghost, and loves them both (albeit only a Minor Tie).
  • The Heretic: A follower of the Intou heresy, which incorporates ancestor cult worship into the Immaculate faith. This provokes mild consternation in River.
  • Knight Errant: She started out as a wandering hero, championing the poor and the weak, and returns to the role when she finds rulership chafing; indeed, she's made "protecting the weak and impoverished" her Defining Principle. She's happy to sign on with like-minded adventurers, and to recruit others to help out with her causes.
  • Rags to Riches: From an orphan who never knew where her next meal would come from to Exalted queen of a small principality.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Often to be found amongst her people, working alongside them and hearing their concerns.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: She's more concerned with whether she likes a piece of clothing or armor than whether it matches her wardrobe.
  • The Usurper: Became queen by taking the cloak from a tyrant-king.

Righteous River

The iconic Water Aspect, a former member of the Immaculate Order.
  • Marry for Love: When she fell in love with her future wife Jihe, House Ledaal objected because Jihe was a patrician, so the match didn't offer political or financial advantage, and her superiors in the Order wanted to keep her on the road to avoid the temptation of a physical relationship. She chose to marry Jihe, leaving the Order and accepting reduced status within her House.
  • Meaningful Rename: Took the name Righteous River Overflows its Banks upon joining the Immaculate Order; her original name was Ledaal Sivarin Indri.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: When River and her wife wanted a child, Eshuvar summoned a neomah to help them conceive.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: When she learns the Anathema from fifty years ago escaped the Imperial Manse, because of the threat he would pose to their families, she resolves to reunite her Hearth to go after them.
  • The Quiet One: She's a woman of few words.
  • Walking the Earth: What she did as a monk, serving various roles.

Yushoto Mathar

The iconic Wood Aspect, a member of Lookshyan intelligence.
  • The Charmer: Backed up by several social Charms.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Was in line for a prestigious promotion in Lookshyan intelligence, until his rivals remembered his Kinship included three dynasts, and he never once extracted anything from them to the benefit of Lookshy.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He should have used his Kinship with Eshuvar, Kingfisher Swift, and Righteous River to gain intelligence on the Realm for Lookshy, but refused at every opportunity.
  • Undying Loyalty: His Defining Principle is "Loyalty above all"; to Mathar, that means his Kinship over Lookshy.


The Scarlet Empress

During the invasion of the Fair Folk, just after the Contagion, one young (Earth Aspected) junior officer in the Shogunate military, along with her Sworn Brotherhood, entered the Imperial Manse to try to activate the Defense Grid. She alone survived, and with her newfound power became the Scarlet Empress, leader of the Scarlet Dynasty, which covered the Blessed Isle and several coastal satrapies. For about five hundred years, she's led the Realm relatively well, using the Immaculate Order granted to her by Chejop Kejak (very unwillingly).

Five years ago, she vanished. No one (who's telling) knows where to.

If she dies in Return of the Scarlet Empress as an option she can come back as a Deathlord known as: Scarlet Phoenix Astride the World .

  • Ambiguous Situation: Vanishingly little is known about the Empress as a character, as well as her current whereabouts. This mysteriousness serves her well, since it allows Storytellers to depict her however they want.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: There are hints that her early life was cultivated by a centuries-old sociopolitical game that had become popular in the Shogunate, and it's possible that she picked up a bit on its practices.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Crowned herself Empress by taking control of a superpowered weapon of mass destruction.
  • Badass Boast: Gives one in one of the comics in Return of the Scarlet Empress.
    "My children, my subjects, people of Creation: fall silent! Hear me, your Scarlet Empress, champion of Creation, eternal ruler of the Blessed Isle! For years I turned my face from this world to commune with the dragon of my aspect and his four equal peers! And now, with my return from meditative isolation, this lawless tumult ends! Today I set right the crumbling hierarchy of my government, my legions, and the great houses! And woe be unto whoever defies me in this righteous cause!"
  • Badass Bookworm: The Imperial Manse was built by Autochthon and expanded on by Solar savants, and was meant for Solar hands alone. The Dragon-Blooded Scarlet Empress was able to use it to save Creation from the Fair Folk. She's also one of the greatest Dragon-Blooded sorcerers ever.
  • Big Entrance: An utterly epic one in one of the comics from Return of the Scarlet Empress, where she used the Imperial Manse to broadcast a message that most of Creation hears.
  • Deal with the Devil: One possible option if she dies during the events of Return of the Scarlet Empress. The Neverborn are so impressed by her that they offer the former Empress a deal, which she accepts. She ends up meeting the Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers on the edge of Oblivion, where she ends up tearing the Deathlord to pieces and absorbing some of her power, becoming the Scarlet Phoenix Astride the World, becoming the 14th Deathlord, thus gaining the full power of a Deathlord, and most of her original power as a Dragon-Blooded.
  • Death Equals Redemption: One possible option if she dies during the events of Return of the Scarlet Empress. She ends up in the Underworld free of the Ebon Dragon's influence, and decides to overthrow the Deathlords, getting in contact with some ancient Solar ghosts, and convincing them to try and pray to the Unconquered Sun. He answers their prayers, and empowers them and any ghosts who join the Scarlet Empresses's cause, rendering them immune to magic and charms that would force them to betray her cause, rendering them immune to any attempts to summon, command or destroy them with spells or necromancy, and are no longer considered creatures of darkness, creating a force that poses a great risk to the Deathlords.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Don't let her outfit fool you, she's originally an Earth Aspect (themed after a ruby).
  • The Dreaded: When she returns in Return of the Scarlet Empress, most of the Realm's enemies are terrified, including the Deathlords.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Averted completely. One of the strict canons about her is that she was The Gadfly; the founder of the All-Seeing Eye barely avoided execution for a rather insulting marriage proposal because he backpedaled hilariously.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Her characterization is deliberately ambiguous, to the point where you can play her as anything from a tragic, heroic figure who had no choice but to do some awful things to save all Creation to an out-and-out supervillain — but in any interpretation, she's not someone you want to cross.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: When she finally returns in Return of the Scarlet Empress she's been tortured and mind-controlled into nothing but a pawn for the Ebon Dragon's plans...although there are options for her regaining her place nonetheless.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: We don't really know much about the Empress as a person, but this is pretty much the cornerstone of her characterization — it's not that she lacks a conscience, but if she has to do something horrible to achieve her goals, she'll do it without hesitation and cry about it later. (In private.)
  • Immortality Seeker: The reason she wanted to write the original Broken Winged Crane in 2e. Her fear was when she died of old age, all of her accomplishments would be undone by the new ruler.
  • King Incognito: Popular folklore has it that during her periodic unexplained absences, she was traveling the Realm undercover as an ordinary peasant. This is completely untrue... probably.
  • Lady of Black Magic: She's one of the most accomplished sorcerers the Dragon-Blooded Host ever produced. This is in part because she has the Mantle of Brigid, which lets her cast Celestial Circle sorcery, and the Wedding Band of the Scarlet Bride lets her cast Solar Circle sorcery.
  • Lady of War: Also one of their greatest generals — and remember, she started as a common soldier.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Ancestor of ten thousand young is more accurate. While she is only the mother of about a dozen children, when all her descendants are added together, she has birthed the strongest and most numerous Dragon-Blooded bloodline in the history of Creation. She has a charm that increases her Essence pools by an amount related to the magnitude of the unit that would be created if all her living Dragon-Blooded descendants were collected together. The magnitude of this unit is 9, which means that the number of her living Dragon-Blooded descendants is over 5,000. This means that at least half of the Dragon-Blooded in the Realm are descended from the Scarlet Empress.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In 2e, the Empress genuinely wanted to keep the Realm going forever. However, as the centuries passed her growing anxiety that her Gem of Immortality would fail her led her to explore other avenues of power. This led her to study the imperfect copies of The Broken Winged Crane, a book of magic so dark that the copies she had were merely echoes backward in time of an original that had yet to be written at some future point. Then she went and wrote the original and well...
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Scarlet Empress's original name has long since been forgotten. At your discretion, there may be a plot hook there.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Wears one worthy of someone called the Scarlet Empress.
  • Rags to Royalty: We know very, very little about her background before becoming Empress, but pretty much the one thing that's clear is that she was no one important. The higher-ups in Lookshy had never even heard of her. In Return of the Scarlet Empress it's stated that in the First Age, all she would have considered good for would be a lieutenant, a regional administrator or a Solar's concubine.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Realm has been around for over 700 years (its calendar is in its 768th year) and she was alive before that.
  • Rightful King Returns: Rescuing the Empress is a common potential goal for Terrestrial games. (Rather subverted if you go with the storyline in Return of the Scarlet Empress.)
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She created the Scarlet Dynasty after using the Sword of Creation (something she shouldn't have been able to use) to repel the Fair Folk, and ruled it for over 700 years.
  • Underestimating Badassery: A lot of people did this to her, including the oldest and most powerful Celestial Exalted. She does this herself during the events of Return of the Scarlet Empress, underestimating the abilities of the Chessmasters that hold power in the South, although her Infernal allies mean that she's still able to succeed.
  • Vetinari Job Security: The Empress designed the entire Imperial system so that it would collapse without her — and when she vanished, that's exactly what started happening.

The Mouth of Peace

The effective leader of the Immaculate Faith as practiced within the Realm and its satrapies and tributaries. The current Mouth of Peace is from House Mnemon, but is resisting efforts by her esteemed grandmother to relocate the Order's headquarters from the Palace Sublime in Sion to the Imperial City where it (and she) would be easily exploited politically.

  • The Alleged Boss: Between the fact that her grandmother is using her considerable power to try to control the Order through her (along with the rest of the Realm and anything else Mnemon fancies) and that she is really nothing more than a pawn of Chejop Kejak, she actually has a lot less self-determination than most believers think.
  • High Priest: The Crystal Dragon Buddha nature of the Immaculate Order makes her more of a High Lama. Note that the Immaculate Order is effectively the state religion of the Realm. Which means that schismatic groups that also follow the Immaculate Philosophy, but which do not accept the authority of the Realm (e.g. Lookshy), are not prone to taking pronouncements from the Palace Sublime very seriously.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Mouth of Peace is expected to sever all ties to their life outside of the Immaculate Order. This includes ceasing to use their name, or allow others to use it.
  • Punny Name: "Mouth of Peace" = "Mouthpiece", which is what she and the Immaculate Faith in general are for the Bronze Faction Sidereals. In fact, Chejop Kejak, who often poses as the Mouth of Peace's oddly forgettable secretary, symbolically has an office above hers in the tallest tower of the Palace Sublime.


The iconic Earth Aspect of First and Second Edition. The eldest living daughter of the Scarlet Empress, which carries its own associations by the boatload. Mnemon is considered by many to be the prime candidate for the throne now that the Empress has vanished — and if it wasn't for the fact that she's also considered by many to be an utterly ruthless, power-hungry jerkass, she might have claimed it by now (and in fact, that's part of the reason she has supporters, in that she is campaigning on acting exactly like her mother if given the Throne). She's a skilled architect, an accomplished sorceress, head of her own noble house... and one of the few Dragon-Blooded who is fully aware of the existence of Sidereals.

  • Affably Evil: In Third Edition. She's temperamental and power-hungry, still, but she genuinely cares about her House and the Realm, being a devout Immaculate too despite knowing the origins of the religion. She's just extremely paranoid for justifiable reasons and ruthlessly dedicated to continuing her mother's will.
  • Assassin Outclassin': A fiction-piece in "Dragon-Blooded" has her fighting off no lesser assassin than Nova, the iconic Night Caste herself. She does so via a combination of Full-Contact Magic and rather casually summoning a demon-zodiac. According to her, it's not her first time.
“Do you think I can’t feel an assassin’s breath on my neck? I've outlived a hundred like you.”
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: She's the daughter of the Scarlet Empress. It comes with the territory. The day she Exalted, her older brother tried to have her killed via a poisoned suit of armor. This was not the last time he tried.
  • Cain and Abel: Believe it or not, she's Abel; her brother Ragara tried to assassinate her repeatedly even as teenagers. Part of her motive for seeking the Throne is to stop his House from running the Realm to the ground and to free her House from its debts to Ragara.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Dodging repeated assassination attempts from your sociopathic brother will ruin your ability to trust.
  • Evil Matriarch: How she runs House Mnemon (albeit with a more Affably Evil bent in 3E).
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Up till her Exaltation, she was a quiet girl with no outstanding talents who lived in terror of her mother and her elder siblings Sesus and Ragara. Now she's considered the heir apparent to The Empire.
  • Generation Xerox: This is one of her problems in 3E; she's too much like her mother, and everyone is aware that Empress Mnemon would be a continuation of the Scarlet Empress. Given how much of an autocrat Her Redness was, the Houses are not fans of giving up autonomy, especially to a woman who has developed her family's legendary grudges against several of them.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She's got quite the temper on her, and the other Houses know it — if they could find the right compromise candidate, they'd throw all their support behind them rather than let Mnemon take the throne. Mnemon's fully aware of this, too — the only reason she hasn't taken the throne is that she knows she can't keep it at this time.
  • La Résistance: Ends up running an underground movement in Return of the Scarlet Empress once she realizes just who her mother's new husband is.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Probably the most powerful sorcerer in the Dynasty now that her mother's gone.
  • Magic Misfire: When she was studying at the Versino, she chose the wrong moment to try to peek in on the summoning of a Second Circle Demon. As a result, the school got utterly destroyed, she only survived by casting Invulnerable Skin of Bronze, and the site had to be salted and warded afterwards, with the Heptagram being set up in its place.
  • Older Than They Look: Mnemon is 399 years old, which is something of an accomplishment in and of itself for a Dragon-Blood, but doesn't look like she's pushing her thirties.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Despite her honest piety in the Immaculate Order, Mnemon is only wary of the returning Solars, rather than outright hatred of them.
  • The Resenter: Mnemon's capacity for grudges is legendary, but even taking that into account she really, really, really doesn't like her sister V'neef. A large part of it stems from the fact that V'neef seemingly effortlessly projects an ideal of being the second coming of the Empress in temperament, ability and appearance, all coming naturally to her and before she's even reached the age of 60, while Mnemon very publicly and painstakingly made a show of crafting her entire public persona as the Scarlet Empress 2.0 over the course of centuries - from her perspective, V'neef managed to effortlessly attain an image in a relatively short time that Mnemon has dedicated her entire life to cultivating, and it drives her absolutely nuts.
  • Summon Magic: Not only is Mnemon a highly-skilled summoner in her own right, she also possesses an artifact that makes her one of the few Terrestrial sorcerers able to summon Second Circle Demons.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Third Edition she's significantly more mature and calm than previously portrayed, and given several sympathetic traits like her honest spirituality.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: One of the relatively rare cases where the issues revolve around living up to her mother's legacy, a situation not helped in the present day by the fact she feels she is second fiddle to V'neef in her mothers eyes.

Cathak Cainan

A powerful elder Fire Aspect and the current head of House Cathak, Cainan exemplifies all that the Scarlet Dynasty says a Dragon-Blood ought to be: a mighty warrior, a grandfather many times over, a devout practitioner of the Immaculate Faith, passionately devoted to serving the Realm and upholding its traditions above all else. He's perhaps the most respected political leader in the entire Realm, and in some ways, it's a wonder that he hasn't been urged into taking the Scarlet Throne.

Except that, well, the problem with elder statesmen is the "elder" part. Cainan's health isn't declining yet, but with a few centuries already under his belt, it's clear to everyone that he hasn't got long left — and the Sidereals of the Bronze Faction have foreseen that the thread of his life will run out in perhaps a decade or so. Putting Cainan on the throne wouldn't actually resolve the succession crisis so much as delay it for a few years, so those looking to avert civil war sigh regretfully over What Could Have Been and turn their attention to other candidates. On the other hand, though, Cainan's endorsement could mean a great deal to some of those others...

  • Badass Bureaucrat: He is so mighty, widely respected and so skilled as a stateman, about the only thing that will kill him now is time.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Was one of eight children. He himself has fathered fifty eight children, and all of them are supposedly legitimate! (his poor, sore, wife!)
  • Mr. Fanservice: Well, the way Melissa Uran drew him, anyway. Cainan's sexiness became something of a meme on the Freedom Stone forums in particular.
  • Warrior Monk: Trained at the Cloister of Wisdom, but went on to a career in the Legions rather than taking vows as an actual monk.

Cathak Drogath

Drogath managed to be such a nasty little snob and bully from a young age that his own family was more resigned than proud to hear he'd Exalted as a Fire Aspect. His attitude failed to improve thereafter, and once he'd graduated from the House of Bells at the bottom of his class, he was shipped off to “oversee House Cathak's assets” in Chiaroscuro, a transparent excuse to get him as far out of the way as possible. He's still there, scheming for a way back into his family's good graces and generally being the same evil little git he always was.

... Unless, that is, you take the chapter comics in Return of the Scarlet Empress as canon, in which case he finally manages to redeem himself in about the most awesome way imaginable.

  • Blood Knight: He really does have the temperament to make a fine soldier. It's too bad delight in hurting people is his only real qualification for the job.
  • Lack of Empathy: Exalted while beating a patrician teacher for trying to explain to him that it's not always hilarious when unpleasant things happen to other people.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Chiaroscuro is an important city, it's just that they only need to pay lip service to the Realm.
  • Royal Brat: "Do you know who my parents are?!" was a favorite phrase of Drogath's in his schoolyard bully days. A case of Irony because his parents actually do not approve of these tantrums, since Dynast children are expected to act with dignity and maturity even as children. Which is why his inflated ego does not translate into elevated status once he reaches actual adulthood.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up
  • The Unfavorite: His father's graduation present to him was a fire pearl. This is the equivalent of giving a cigarette lighter... to someone who can already start fires at will anyway.

Cynis Denovah Avaku

Second Edition's iconic Fire Aspect. Born to a disgraced and impoverished household within the most decadent of the Realm's Great Houses, Avaku has lived his whole life with one goal: to make the Denovah family respectable once more. So far, he's doing better than anyone could have expected — he Exalted as a Fire Aspect despite his unimpressive breeding, managed to earn admission to the Realm's most prestigious Military Academy, and is currently serving an exemplary career in the Legions.

Aside from his military accomplishments, Avaku is notable for being about as good a guy as you could possibly expect from a loyal son of a corrupt and decadent slave society; when the game's developers need a generic heroic Dynast to appear in a chapter comic or illustration, he's often the one they pick.

  • Anti-Villain: While he himself is a decent person, he does murder a kid to protect his family's drug money. He is having trouble reconciling the two.
  • Defector from Decadence: His appearance in the 2nd Edition core book implies that he could pretty easily become one of these, with just a small push from the player characters...
  • Eyepatch of Power: He's a badass, and he has a big black one.
  • Fiery Redhead: ...yep.
  • Good Parents: His own parents sacrificed virtually everything they had to pay for his education, and when he Exalted to get him into the House of Bells. He in turn is very devoted to his son and daughter, and he wants to provide for and protect them as best he can. Which is the main reason he puts up with the immoral business activities of House Cynis.
  • Happily Married: His Arranged Marriage to the un-Exalted Mnemon Caras Minata is one of the most loving and healthy relationships we see in canon.
  • Heroic Second Wind: "I'm a student of Hesiesh. Let me show you what that means."
  • Impoverished Patrician: He's a Dynast, but his family is almost completely out of money because they haven't been producing Dragon-Blooded. He's trying to turn this around, but the way House Cynis makes money is through murder, slavery and drug dealing, which he's really not on board with.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: One of his biggest regrets is that he truly loves his wife, and that his lifespan is about three to four times what hers is, so she will die of old age before he hits middle age.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: He disapproves of a lot of things the Realm does. And a lot of things the Legions do. And a lot of things House Cynis does. But he's an absolute patriot with respect to all three.

Sesus Nagezzer, a.k.a. The Slug

First Edition's iconic Wood Aspect, an ex-general and consummate manipulator. He's very much a self-made man; born into a family of warriors, the naturally bookish and quiet Nagezzer was made the focus of his elder brothers' bullying, his Exaltation coming after a prank nearly knocked him unconscious...underwater. Unfortunately for his standing with his already domineering mother, he nearly killed his brother in a rage, and was shipped off to the House of Bells. His luck with bullies didn't improve, which is how he was first introduced to the providing of legally-questionable products — there's a lot of misery one can avert if you can score your classmates some drugs and hookers.

He quickly proved himself a master tactician, but one day, he had the misfortune of trying to subdue a rather wily god who'd figured out that it didn't need to fight Nagezzer's men — just evade and outlast them. After six days of trying to track the evasive spirit, his demoralized and exhausted men began to believe he was letting it get away, so to provide an example, he decided to draw out the spirit...alone. He was found several days later with the general appearance of Swiss cheese, and with permanent loss of function in his right leg.

Unable to teach himself the Martial Arts style needed to help restore the use of his leg, he was honorably discharged and inherited his family estate. He proceeded to transform it into a regular Den of Iniquity, his growing weight problem eventually earning him the moniker of "the Slug".

And this is why people underestimate him.

While he did go through a rather bad patch after his injury, Nagezzer was soon able to pick himself up and decided to pursue a different way of serving the Realm; being a vice merchant, as it turns out, allows one to stick one's nose in other people's Dirty Business, and given how the Scarlet Dynasty is a Decadent Court by design, this means the Slug is also one of the best powerbrokers around. This, combined with his nigh-unparalleled loyalty to the Realm, has quietly turned him into a lynchpin of its social cohesion.

And he needs all that power, because with the disappearance of the Empress, he's about the only thing holding it together.

  • Adipose Rex: He isn't a king, but he is a noble and very important to the Realm. He is also very fat.
  • Creepy Twins: He has a pair of them as his personal assistants/concubines/bodyguards.
  • Fat Bastard: This is pretty much how the Scarlet Dynasty views him. He's happy to live down to their expectations — it provides an excellent cover.
  • Handicapped Badass: Don't let the fact that he's obese and crippled fool you — get within range of his cane and you should probably budget the medical cost for concussions in advance, as Manosque Cyan finds out in a comic.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: He wrestles with self-loathing, largely as a result of being loyal to a militaristic society that despises anyone who's incapable of military service.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite being about as physically attractive as, well, a Slug, he seems to have won the hearts of his personal assistants. Somewhat justified in that they're two of the few people Nagezzer has let get close to him emotionally, and thus they can see that there's a good man underneath that flab.
  • Large and in Charge: As a function of being a chubby Dynast.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Gluttony has always been something of a passion for him, and part of the reason he's so wide is that he lapsed into compulsive eating during his post-crippling depression. He's also the very ideal of a patriot, and despite what you may think about the Realm, he's still very selfless in his defense of it.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Everything he does — even the vice trade — is for the good of the Realm.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Over the years, he's cultivated an image as a peerless hedonist, all the while arranging backroom deals, hiring mercenaries, sabotaging idiots, and doing whatever else he feels necessary to protect the Realm.
  • The Stoner: Subverted. He's a habitual druggie, but he's also a paragon of self-control; none of his vices have blunted his mind much.
  • Stout Strength: He can't run anymore, but he's kept up the other parts of his old training regimen.

Sesus Rafara

First Edition's iconic Fire Aspect.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was probably the happiest little girl in the kingdom. She didn't see her parents much, but she didn't mind that, because she had two nursemaids who were the best caretakers any child could ask for. They told her stories and braided her hair and were never, ever mean to her, and she loved them very much.

This idyllic life came to an end one day when the girl's mother noticed how her daughter was being "coddled" and had the two nursemaids fed alive to sharks while the girl watched, screaming. Fortunately for the little girl, just before her mother could murder her too, she Exalted as an Aspect of Fire.

After perhaps the most traumatic Exaltation on record, Sesus Rafara wasn't sent to any of the normal secondary schools. Instead, she was drafted into a special program. Kept isolated from society, she was educated to view the culture of the Realm from an outsider's perspective. To teach her to avoid emotional vulnerability, she was repeatedly betrayed in both large and small ways by anyone she came to trust. The project was a smashing success, and today Rafara is one of the Realm's most accomplished spies, infiltrators and assassins.

She is still waiting for the chance to kill her mother.

  • Break the Cutie: Pretty much the overriding theme of her whole life.
  • Contract on the Hitman: She believes it's only a matter of time.
  • The Cynic: Can you blame her?
  • Hitman with a Heart: Mostly subverted. House Sesus took an innocent child and did their very best to turn her into a remorseless sociopath, and they almost entirely succeeded... but there's a few hints here and there that she hasn't been rendered quite so heartless as her handlers would like to believe.
  • Humans Are Bastards: That's what her whole life has taught her to think, anyway.
  • In Love with the Mark: It's not clear whether "love" is the right word, but assigning her to spy on Tepet Ejava... may have been a mistake.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: House Sesus is heading for a big one. It turns out some people don't appreciate being used as a tool their whole lives to further their corrupt family's petty political goals.
  • Professional Killer: Or Apprenticed Killer, as the case may be.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Um, yeah...

Sesus Chenow Lahor

A real piece of work. First appeared in the venerable adventure book Time of Tumult as the distillation of the Realm's jackassery towards everyone in Creation who is not a Dynast. Revealed in Aspect Book: Fire to actually be even worse than that.

  • Disproportionate Retribution: People who talk back to him don't tend to live very long.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Type 2; he's got a sense of humor, but it's the really nasty kind. And he doesn't realize the other Dynasts aren't laughing with him...
  • Never My Fault: The disproportionately high casualty rate in units commanded by Lahor are completely the fault of his terrifying enemies and have nothing at all to do with his Lack of Empathy toward his own troops.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Played with. He was assigned to Wangler's Knob (the ass end of nowhere, as far as the Realm is concerned) because he raped a young woman... which wouldn't have been a big deal if she hadn't Exalted as a Dragon-Blood during the attack.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: As a result of the rape, although so far he's too thick to realize it and is still treating the whole thing like a vacation.
  • We Have Reserves: Always his preferred tactic as a military commander.

Tepet Ejava

Second Edition's iconic Wood Aspect. The woman who would become known as the Roseblack was literally born on the battlefield*, to a family with a long history of distinguished military service. Exalting at a young age, she was already certain of what she wanted to do with her life: she applied to the House of Bells as soon as she could and enrolled in the Legions immediately upon graduating. Her rise through the ranks was swift and steady.

Then came the Battle of Futile Blood, where the bulk of House Tepet's forces were decimated. Now the beggared general of a ruined House, Ejava was assigned to lead the Vermillion Legion — more commonly known as "the Red-Piss Legion," the beggars, strays, drunks, and drafted criminals of the army.

But those who thought her career was over were very wrong. To everyone's shock, under Ejava's leadership the Red-Piss Legion was swiftly transformed into a disciplined and effective fighting force that won a series of stunning victories. Today, the Roseblack is one of the Realm's most beloved and popular war heroes, as well as the leader of a highly skilled army that bears her astonishing personal loyalty... and that kind of thing makes a Decadent Court in the middle of a succession crisis very, very nervous. Several of House Tepet's enemies in the Deliberative have been quietly making plans to have her killed before she can march on the Blessed Isle and declare herself Empress. Ironically, there's a good chance those very efforts will end up goading her into doing exactly what they're afraid of.

  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The Red-Piss Legion is a textbook example.
  • Expy: Of one Julius Caesar.
  • Fatal Attractor: Three great loves in her life (two men and one woman), all dead after a fairly brief time with her.
  • Jack of All Stats: When it comes to the skills of a military commander. Arada — himself one of the Realm's greatest generals — says he's a slightly better tactician than she is when it comes to his particular area of expertise... but she completely outstrips him in absolutely everything else.
  • Lady of War: Oh, yes.
  • Magnetic Hero: There are people Ejava's never even heard of who are currently putting their lives on the line to protect her from her enemies.
  • A Mother to Her Men: Her main asset in the coming civil war is the Undying Loyalty she inspires in the soldiers serving under her.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After the crushing defeat of her forces, she was assigned command of the Vermillion, more colloquially known as "the Red-Piss Legion."
  • Reassignment Backfire: She's actually managed to turn the Red-Piss Legion into a crack fighting force that's intensely loyal... to her personally, not to the Deliberative.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Ejava would sincerely like nothing better than to be serving a commander-in-chief who was truly worthy of her loyalty. Unfortunately, she's reluctantly coming to the conclusion that there's no better candidate for the job than her.
  • Tragic Monster: In Return of the Scarlet Empress, she has a possible fate as second in command of the Scarlet Empress...because she's been turned into a mind-controlled puppet.
  • Unfriendly Fire: The main reason she hasn't announced her candidacy for regent is that she's wholly aware this could happen if she does so while she's in the field.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Has a long-term flirtation going on with Ragara Nova, the Prefect of Chanos.

Tepet Arada

The iconic Air Aspect of First and Second Edition, Arada overcame a troubled childhood that saw him packed off to reform school to become one of the Realm's greatest heroes. He once slew one of the Solar Anathema just to make a point, and his military accomplishments are nearly unparalleled. Since the height of his career, though, he's fallen almost as far as he once rose.

Sent against the armies of a powerful Solar warlord without clear intel on what he was getting into, Arada's forces suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Futile Blood. House Tepet was left broken and impoverished, and Arada retired in utter disgrace. Since then, he's withdrawn from Dynastic society and is ostensibly living as an Immaculate hermit, although he actually spends most of his time looking for comfort at the bottom of a sake bottle. Considering the mess his favorite granddaughter Ejava is likely to find herself in soon, though, it remains to be seen whether he'll be forced out of retirement...

  • Achilles in His Tent: What he's been doing since the Battle of Futile Blood.
  • Genius Bruiser: A casual summary of his life story could easily give you the impression that he's not much more than a soldier and a bit of a thug. Pay close attention to his sections in Aspect Book: Air, though, and you'll realize he is a ferociously intelligent man.
  • Nice to the Waiter: He'll accept quite a lot of backtalk from mortals if he thinks they've got a point — something that's very unusual for a Dynast.
  • Properly Paranoid: His belief that the Tepet Legions were set up by the other Great Houses, who feared House Tepet's military might, is largely based on his own bitterness and paranoia. It is also probably true.

Tepet Lisara

Something of a Foil for her cousin Ejava, the Fire-Aspected Lisara is generally regarded by House Tepet's elders as a disappointment. Both her parents are noted generals and she graduated with honors from the Realm's most exclusive military academy, so expectations for her career were very high. However, so far she's accomplished absolutely nothing of note, and currently holds the unenviable position of second-in-command of a minor garrison near Chiaroscuro.

Fortunately for Lisara, no one has yet realized just how big of a failure she actually is. In reality, she only managed to get as far as she has in life through a combination of nepotism, seduction, and blackmail. Constantly overshadowed by her more hardworking and talented cousin, it was Lisara who got the Roseblack removed from the field at a crucial moment out of sheer petty jealousy, and it was Lisara who suggested the ill-conceived strategy against the Bull of the North that led House Tepet to ruin.

  • Does Not Like Men: For absolutely no apparent reason. Currently she spends most of her time amusing herself by assigning male officers under her command to menial chores or pointless suicide missions. Note that sexism against women is basically nonexistent in the Realm, which borders on an outright Matriarchy, so Lisara manages to be a weird Distaff Counterpart to the Straw Misogynist (a Straw Misandrist?) without actually qualifying as a Straw Feminist.
  • Never My Fault: Lisara is just as oblivious to her own incompetence as everyone around her is.
  • Paper Tiger: As an NPC, she makes a deliciously hateable antagonist who'll go down like a punk as soon as the player characters turn their attention to her.
  • Unknown Rival: She wants to bring down the Bull of the North... not to atone for her mistakes or avenge her fallen kin, but because she views him as her own personal nemesis, despite the fact that he's thousands of miles away and has almost certainly never heard of her.
  • The Vamp: How she got everything she has in Dynastic society.

Tepet Elana

Elana's easy to recognize when she appears in illustrations or chapter comics — a short woman with close-cropped blond hair, carrying a huge-ass sword. Rather spoiled by her mortal older brothers, young Elana began acting out in her grief and rage after they were killed in battle, and was eventually shipped off to reform school. There, she was unlucky enough for one of the combat instructors to take a special interest in her, beating her savagely. She devoted herself to training for revenge, and her first act after Exalting as an Air Aspect was to kill him in a duel. Afterward, she found that he had left behind a letter of recommendation for her, to be sent to the Realm's finest military schools in the event of his death at her hands.

Still dogged by her unsavory past, Elana was unable to find a better position than as a junior officer in the Red-Piss Legion, where she served for nearly a century. Her moment of glory came at the Battle of Five Fangs, when the legion was ordered to retreat, leaving the wounded to be devoured by the cannibal horde they'd been fighting. Elana defied orders to stay behind with her troops, defending the wounded for over 48 hours until reinforcements arrived. The accomplishment was celebrated in story and song as the Two Day Fast (because the cannibals didn't get their meal, get it?), and Elana retired a hero. The public acclaim was rather startling to Elana, who'd expected to be court martialed for disobedience... but not as startling as being summoned to an audience with the Scarlet Empress.

It, uh, didn't go the way she expected. After spending about a month in the Imperial Palace as the Empress's lover, Elana left to continue serving the Empress — now as one of the Realm's wandering magistrates.

Ledaal Kes

An Air Aspect and House Ledaal's dark horse candidate for the throne, Kes is a genius, an accomplished sorcerer, a successful member of the Thousand Scales and an agent of the All-Seeing Eye — but he's best known for his mastery of the game of Gateway. He is also dogged by rumors about his association with the unsavory Sesus Nagezzer and the, ahem, proclivities of Kes and his wife Ragara Szaya, but this is rather minor compared to, say, what House Cynis considers a better-than-average party. Really, the critical flaw in his possible candidacy is that, while he's well-liked and politically viable, Kes himself is not among his supporters.

Still, if Mnemon and Ejava come down with a case of death, he may not have much of a choice...

Peleps Deled

Even as a young boy, Peleps Deled knew he was different from other children. They didn't understand his deep yearning for spiritual fulfillment. They didn't understand the all-consuming importance of the Immaculate Faith's holy mission to bring righteousness to the world. Most of all, they didn't understand that all his opinions were absolute objective truth and anyone who disagreed with him was obviously wrong.

He thought he might find some peers at the Cloister of Wisdom, but tragically, his fellow students there proved to be just as misguided. Most frustrating of all, even after he patiently explained their errors, they'd simply cling to their false beliefs. When debate failed, there was only one thing to do: challenge whoever disagreed with him to a martial arts duel and beat the heresy out of them. If they failed to survive the process, well, they must not have been enlightened enough.

Possessed of truly impenetrable self-righteousness, Deled's stymied all his teachers' attempts to encourage him to develop some scrap of humility. Unfortunately, his nearly unmatched prowess in martial arts is too valuable to waste, so instead of giving up and having him assassinated, his superiors have traditionally settled for making him someone else's problem. His uncle sent him to the Immaculate Order so he'd stop beating up family members, and the Immaculates sent him to the Wyld Hunt so he'd stop beating up fellow monks. After his boss retired for political reasons, this made him the master of his own branch of the Hunt. Oops.

The iconic Water Aspect of First and Second Edition and a notorious total nutjob, Deled has amassed a remarkable amount of disgust on both sides of the fourth wall: fans love to hate him, and the other Dynasts are fervently hoping he'll get himself killed chasing Anathema.

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Little Deled's uncle, thinking to teach the boy some humility, showed him a kata that could only be performed correctly by an Exalt. Deled Exalted while trying to practice it.
  • Bad Boss: Those under his command frequently suffer "accidents" if he finds their piety lacking. Considering his standards, it's amazing he has any subordinates left.
  • Circular Reasoning: Deled knows his beliefs are correct, because martial prowess comes from spiritual enlightenment, and he's never lost a duel. How does he know that martial prowess comes from spiritual enlightenment? Because he's extremely spiritually enlightened and he's never lost a duel.
  • The Fundamentalist: The only thing he's more serious about than martial arts is his faith in the Immaculate Order. In the incident inspiring his assignment to the Hunt, he killed a fellow initiate for disagreeing with a single preposition in a statement about an abstract theological issue (by vs of).
  • Hate Sink: No one, in-universe or out, wants anything to do with this psycho.
  • Knight Templar: When it comes to the Anathema... or heretics... or people who fail to acknowledge the obvious rightness of his position once he's explained something.
  • Right Makes Might: According to Deled, this is the source of his talent for martial arts. The sad thing is that this isn't even that far off from Immaculate teachings, merely taken to an extreme.
  • Uriah Gambit: The reason he's been left in the Hunt with little support. The Realm is starving the Wyld Hunt in hopes that Deled will either get himself killed or fail so catastrophically that he has to be replaced.

Peleps Taguro

A martial arts master of House Peleps, he is devoted to the Wyld Hunt as well as in love with Lidaal Aruna. Taguro forms the Big Bad Duumvirate of the Udon comic with her and serves as a first-hand perspective on how Dragon-Blooded society works.

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: To the extreme.
  • Expy: Subverted. A Wyld Hunt-obsessed Peleps should invoke Deled, but Taguro is a much nicer person.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Seems to be this way to Cathak Drogath's relationship to Aruna.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: He manages to kill a Solar Exalted, which is normally a feat for the ages. Unfortunately, it will just reincarnate and he was forced to run with his tail between his legs—showing he's no different from Cathak Drogath.


The Empress's eldest son and oldest living child period, Ragara is vicious, cunning, and utterly sociopathic. Filled with little love for his family or the nation his House nominally serves, the Empress realized early on that Ragara would try to overthrow her at the earliest opportunity. Either unwilling or unable to put her son to death, she instead put to work many schemes to keep Ragara beholden to her and the Realm as a whole. While Ragara was never able to actually kill any of his siblings to make his ascension to the throne a certain thing, he did not lack for trying, with his most famous and favorite subject of torment being his little sister Mnemon, and only Mnemon and the Empress herself could be said to have a larger impact on the political dynamics of the Great Houses.

Of course, this was all when Ragara was young. Now, he is an infirm old man, only kept alive by his sword, as his body siphons the life force of an entrapped Solar soul contained inside it. His House is one of the most dominant in the Realm, so affluent and wealthy it is effectively the Realm's official bank. But still, he silently rages he was never able to make his ascension absolute and uncontested...

  • The Atoner: Subverted. He's become sincerely regretful over how he acted in his youth... at least partly because it didn't work, and on some level he's still trying to make his House the ultimate victor of the succession crisis as a way to undo his failure.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He was so mono-maniacally hyperfocused on ensuring that he was the heir apparent of the Empress who would survive to adulthood that Her Redness - who, keep in mind, deliberately fostered outright enmity between her children's Houses to ensure none of them would unite against her - had to impose numerous decrees and threats to keep him from actually killing off his siblings. He's also a financial wunderkind who pretty much defined how to use and take advantage of economic dominance as a political tool within the Realm, and his policies have pretty much made his House one of the most dominant and well connected in the Realm - only two Houses do not owe any form of outstanding debt to him, and only because they explicitly avoided doing business with House Ragara at any cost. Even Mnemon, much as she despises her brother, was unable to avoid getting trapped in his web of debtors.
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Cain. To everyone. The amount of siblings he did not try to kill can probably be counted on one hand, and those ones are probably only because they likely died before he could actually put in motion any plans to do so. His most famous Abel is Mnemon, and he can be considered the major reason why she's become so messed up in adulthood.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: By every reasonable metric, Ragara should be dead, as he is positively ancient by Dragonblood standards. Only his attunement to his daiklave is keeping him alive at this point, and even then its potency is beginning to run dry. Whether he is aware of this, and if he is what measures he is taking to remedy the situation, are unknown.
  • Evil Old Folks: Even older than his sister Mnemon, and with the Empress missing and for all intents and purposes considered dead, may very well be the oldest known living Dragon-Blood in Creation. Unlike his sister, however, he very much looks his age, and is only kept alive by his cursed sword feeding him the life force of a Solar's soul. He has long since withdrawn from formally ruling his House and has spent his days in retirement living in seclusion on an island off the coast of the Blessed Isle.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: Subverted. He's become more faithful to the Immaculate Order in his old age, but it's only a Major Intimacy; the more prominent part of his personality is still The Resenter.
  • Parental Favoritism: A very unusual example. He started off as his mother's favorite child, he started feeling snubbed by the fact he never got named heir presumptive, and from this started his Cain and Abel routine and soon fell out of favor as a result. That said, if anyone else tried to pull off any of the things Ragara has done, they would have been executed and wiped from the ledgers without a second thought. The very fact that Ragara - both the individual and the House - still exists in the present day, let alone with the pedigree they have, is explicitly pointed out as a major sign that, regardless of any matters regarding succession, the Empress still had a large degree of affection towards her eldest son.
  • Pet the Dog: As shown in his writeup in Heirs to the Shogunate, he actually does care for his House and Hearthmates, though his Morally Bankrupt Banker side is more prominent by far.
  • Retired Monster: As mentioned above, he's gotten too old and infirm to lead his House or employ assassination attempts against his siblings anymore. While he has come to regret some of the things he's done, he feels nothing but scorn and frustration over having not pulled it off.
  • The Evil Prince: He really did not take the fact he wasn't named heir to the throne despite being the initial favorite well.
  • The Resenter: Of his siblings, his mother, his age... Ragara is angry about a lot of things.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: He's started to wonder this.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: He started off as this towards his mother, the Scarlet Empress. Then he got worse.

Ragara Myrrun

Mastery of supernatural martial arts generally takes a degree of spiritual focus that other Charms don't usually require. That goes double for Dragon-Blooded learning Celestial Martial Arts, which don't come naturally to them; it takes special initiation Charms as well as intense meditation and plain hard work for a Terrestrial Exalt to achieve the necessary purification of soul and body. As for Sidereal Martial Arts, they've always remained entirely out of reach.

Until now. Bronze Faction Sidereal Anys Syn, the inventor of the Five Dragon styles and Creation's premier martial artist, thinks she may have finally found a suitable candidate in Ragara Myrrun. An elder Earth Aspect and one of only a few living Immaculate grandmasters, Myrrun's mastery of Essence and expertise in the martial arts is second to none. He currently spends almost all his time in the Palace Sublime, writing martial arts treatises that are used throughout the Realm... and secretly training with Anys Syn in his spare time. He's already mastered numerous Celestial styles, and his sifu feels that with the proper rituals of purification and preparation, he'll be ready for initiation into the final level of martial arts mastery soon. If she's right, and the process turns out to be repeatable, this could be the secret weapon the Bronze Faction has been waiting for — a way to produce large numbers of warriors who could be near-equals to the Solar Exalted in combat, able to push back the Fair Folk hordes and maintain Creation's infrastructure without turning to the Solars or Lunars for help.

Of course, it could also just end up blowing up a large portion of the Blessed Isle. But hey, science!

  • Deadly Upgrade: Myrrun's fate is left open as a plot hook for Storytellers, but Word of God says the default result is a spectacular case of Explosive Overclocking.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: So many ways this could go. The sidebar that describes the project is titled "Boom!"
  • Heroic RRoD: What will likely happen.
  • Super Mode: On the off-chance that it works, a whole new realm of badass has opened up for Terrestrial games!
  • Super-Power Meltdown: This is what has happened to every other Dragon-Blood that tried to learn Sidereal martial arts, and there's no reason to believe that Myrrun is any different.


The youngest living child of the Scarlet Empress, V'neef was conceived as something of an experiment in the genetics of Terrestrial Exaltation. Her father had the purest Dragon-Blooded heritage of any of the Empress's consorts, and as expected, V'neef Exalted at a young age and grew into a powerful Wood Aspect. The Empress granted her the right to found her own Great House at an unprecedentedly young age, and though the House remains small, it boasts a very high rate of Exaltation as well as a strong financial base.

The Empress seemed quite pleased with her youngest daughter, and there's speculation that had she designated a successor, V'neef might very well have been it. V'neef, however, believes that as nice as it might be to take the Scarlet Throne herself or through one of her children, she just doesn't have the necessary power base yet, and she's willing to settle for a candidate with whom she can build a strong alliance. A quiet, pleasant woman, V'neef's ambition is quite a bit subtler than that of most of her siblings... but ultimately no less powerful.

  • Blue Blood: Not only a child of the Empress, but the one with the purest Dragon-Blooded pedigree of them all.
  • Cain and Abel: Mnemon respects and even kind of likes her little sister, but she will not hesitate to kill her rather than let her take the throne. Made more explicit in Third Edition, where V'neef is said to resemble the Empress more than Mnemon herself does, which is precisely the image Mnemon's been trying to cultivate for centuries.
  • The Charmer: In The Manual of Exalted Power: Dragon-Blooded, there's an illustration of Mnemon, Tepet Ejava, Cathak Cainan, Cynis Denovah Avaku, and Ledaal Kes at one of V'neef's parties, all laughing and having a good time together as they listen to V'neef tell a story. Now scroll up and read the bios for those people, and you'll see that V'neef's social abilities have got to be terrifying.
  • Parental Favoritism: The Empress's support for House V'neef might have just been her standard policy of playing the Great Houses against one another, but Mnemon, at least, believes that the Empress genuinely liked V'neef best.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: V'neef doesn't overtly rule her House with an iron fist the way some others (*cough* Mnemon) do. Because of this, many people make the mistake of thinking she's not a politically powerful figure. They are very, very wrong, and she likes it that way.

V'neef Bijar

Ask anyone in the Realm about the major dark horse candidates for the Scarlet Throne, and they might bring up Ledaal Kes, or Sesus Nagezzer, or V'neef herself. But V'neef Bijar just might have a better chance than any of them... and nobody knows it but her.

Sure, she's got no political experience and no base of supporters. But did the Scarlet Empress have those things when she took the throne? No — what she had was the Sword of Creation, which made all those other factors irrelevant. And that's what Bijar intends to have.

For the last three years, the Fire-Aspected Bijar has been using her position as House V'neef's head security expert to research the defenses around the Realm Defense Grid, ostensibly in order to try to reverse-engineer them. What no one knows is that she's very quietly been working on breaking them, and has already made her way past the outer layer of defenses. If she makes it all the way inside, the struggle for the Scarlet Throne is likely to come to a very abrupt end — one that absolutely no one is expecting.

  • Cutting the Knot: Bijar's realized that if someone can take control of the Realm Defense Grid, none of the military maneuvering and political scheming the other candidates are spending all their effort on is going to matter one bit.
  • No Social Skills: Well, not quite none, but she's notably lacking in tact and social graces for a Dynast, and especially for a child of V'neef. Her default mode of social interaction comes across as intensely abrasive and condescending, something she's entirely unaware of.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Not really — she just has unrealistically high expectations of everyone around her.
  • The Unfavorite: Bijar is the least favorite child of V'neef, who finds her untrustworthy and rather obsessive (both of which are absolutely true).

Karal Linwei

An up and coming military commander of the Seventh Legion in Lookshy and a potent Fire Aspect for someone just past the age of seventy. It has been taken as a given until recently that she will become a prominent member of the General Staff, and more. Her career is currently in danger due to the scandal that her mortal daughter Fire Orchid has become one of the hated Anathema (she has in fact Exalted as a Solar).
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Has not made up her mind on this yet. Fire Orchid is not exactly marching around Lookshy flaunting her Solar exaltation, and Linwei has no idea if the rumors are true or not. She is now searching for her daughter in order to determine whether or not she truly has become an Anathema, and if so how she will react to the situation.

Anjei Marama

Saibok Gauto

A First Age character in the Dreams of the First Age boxed set.

The oldest Terrestrial ever recorded, Gauto was born some point in the Time of Glory and fought in the Primordial War... and he's managed to outlive Solars simply by living a simple life in harmony with the elements, enduring at least into the Era of Dreams (roughly thirty-five centuries after the end of the Primordial War). His longevity still produces a demand for tissue samples from the Solar Deliberative, however, and the years have taken a major toll on his mind and physique. As a result of his infirmities, the Deliberative has a Dragon King nurse looking after him.

In fact, he isn't all that infirm. His simple life has brought him a great measure of wisdom and enlightenment - his Motivation in its entirety is "Be." A close friend to Kejak, he advises the Sidereal on a broad range of deep and important topics using only allegories involving flowers, his specialty, never even wondering what the actual issue is. Indeed, Gauto has no idea that Kejak is asking his advice on the upcoming Usurpation.

  • Really 700 Years Old: He fought in the Primordial War, and by the time of Dreams of the First Age is over 3,500 years old.
  • Time Abyss: He's over 3,500 years old, which is over ten times the lifespan of a normal Dragon-Blooded (which is usually 300 years without anagathic drugs and/or a particually strong grasp of Essence).

Strictly speaking, the Exigents aren't one Exalted type so much as a collection of Exalted types. What links them all, however, is their common source: in times of need, a god can pray to the Unconquered Sun to be allowed to create a unique Exalt of their own, and should he approve, the god in question can call upon the Exigence — the divine flame the Unconquered Sun first ignited that other gods might have their champions in the Divine Revolution — in order to empower their new Exalt. Said Exalt will gain powers based upon their divine patron's domain — for example, a Chosen of Gambling will have gambling-themed powers, while a Chosen of Harvests will have harvest-themed powers. The cost to the god can be high, though, up to and including their lives. Still, there are gods who would pay even that price to see their domain protected. Revealed, like the Getimians, in the Third Edition spoilers.

Illicit Exigents

Where other Exigents' divine patrons received the Exigence as a gift, the patrons of "illicit" Exigents... acquired it through less-than-legal methods (that some of them happen to be Forbidden Gods probably plays a part). Like their legal "cousins", illicit Exigents are a collection of Exalt types, each with their own unique set of powers. Despite the name, however, being an "illicit" Exalt need not put one at odds with Heaven; the trade of Exigence sparks is illegal, but the Celestial Bureaucracy is aware that mortals are fundamentally incapable of indulging in that crime - however, they will view known illicits with suspicion, as it is believed likely they are their patron's ultimate agent for whatever they wished. Even so, many gods are willing to overlook indiscretions if given good reason, as during the Age of Sorrows, the Sun lapsed into such a depression he didn't properly answer prayers for Exigence, meaning that frequently, even honest gods had to turn to the illicit trade out of desperation.

Then there are the "patchwork" Exalted, who have had a number of spirits modify the Exigence as it passed from hand to hand to reduce the cost to themselves. The result is frequently an aberration of incredible power — and when dealing with the Exalted, that's saying something. Shame about the conflicting purviews, though.

Gods with compatible purviews, who have shared or overlapping domains, can avoid creating patchwork Exigents, as their Essences harmonize rather than clash.

Strawmaiden Janest, the Harvest Exalt

A simple farmer, kidnapped as an infant during a raid and raised by priests of Ten Sheaves, the god of the fields she worked. She met her god for the first time when he Chose her to become the Harvest Exalt in order to defend her village from the Fair Folk marching on it. Since the diminishment that comes with creating an Exalt cost him his life, that was also the last time. After the Fair Folk were dealt with, she left to become a freelance protector of the little guy.
  • Action Girl: Takes on an army of Fair Folk solo, and sets herself against those who threaten ordinary folk.
  • All Up to You: Janest becomes the Harvest Exalted, but it costs the life of the god who does it. She then proceeds to take on the army of Fair Folk menacing her home singlehandedly, buying enough time for her fellow field-maidens to come to her assistance, and finally ends the battle by killing the Fair Folk leader.
  • Happily Adopted: The field-maidens are all abducted as infants. They all know this. Janest seems entirely content with her lot in life.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Some Exalted are empowered by the King of the Gods, or an Elemental Embodiment, or one of the titans who created the world. Some Exigents are empowered by important and puissant gods like Plentimon of the Dice or Shalrina, Daimyo of Faces. Janest was empowered by a field god. Not the god of fields in general, the god of a specific group of fields. She used that to decapitate the commander of the raksha and send his forces fleeing in a blind panic.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Janest's patron was the harvest god of a few small fields, rather than a war god or someone with a huge base of worship. Despite this, she is the most powerful canonical Exigent, rivaling even Solars in strength.
  • Sinister Scythe: Justified. Since she's a harvest maiden, she wields a scythe. Since she's an Exigent and it's her chosen weapon, it looks like it's made of black metal (it's actually jade), covered in sinister runes, and crackling with baleful green energy.
  • Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: She's the byline for how a god of an extremely minor thing can create an Exigent on a Celestial level of power.
  • Walking the Earth: After the Fair Folk are driven off, she becomes a wandering hero.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Janest is not the strongest of the harvest-maidens, but it is her will and drive to protect her home that cause Ten Sheaves to choose her as his champion.

Nurlissa, Chosen of Masks

Chosen of Shalrina, Daimyo of Faces, a goddess known for creating magical masks and trading people's faces. She eventually found Shalrina too harsh a patron, and went on the run.
  • Mask of Power: Nurlissa's Exaltation came in the form of a mask, as do the Charms, allowing her to assume various archetypal personae and wield the powers that come with them.
  • Power at a Price: Original mortal face for Exaltation. It's implied Nurlissa couldn't recreate it with her masks, as she had to steal her face back from Shalrina.
  • Quest for Identity: Looking for a home, so that she can discover who she is without worrying about poverty or servitude.

Omron Kanthu, the Bleak Warden, Chosen of the Seals

Chosen of The-Darkness-That-Binds, gaoler-god of an otherworldly prison.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Omron is a Lovable Rogue who is honestly a bit freaked out by the ruthlessness his patron desires to keep the labyrinth intact.
  • Mind Prison: Can force his enemies to experience countless years of imprisonment in the blink of an eye.
  • Parental Abandonment: Whatever happened, whether he was orphaned or abandoned, he was left to a life on the streets.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: What the Bleak Warden basically has power over, able to release evils from their seals to cause havoc, to draw on the knowledge, memories, and powers of his prisoners, and to place seals on enemies.

Broken Sky, the Thousand Venoms Mistress, Chosen of Toxins

A divine assassin, a cultist of a scheming Scavenger Lands goddess of poisons, Whirling Lady Koro-Bana.

Willow Specter, Chosen of the Dice

Won his Exaltation gambling with Plentimon himself, the god of gambling and gamblers, becoming the luckiest man in the world. Out to get everything he can before his deeds catch up to him, knowing as a gambler that there's always a price to be paid.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: As noted, his Exaltation has made him the luckiest man in the world... but because it comes from the god of gambling, he fully expects his luck to run out at some point.
  • Worthy Opponent: Plentimon isn't angry he lost at all, and regularly has friendly chats with his victorious Chosen.

Revana Quin, Architect of Wu-Jian

Revana, daughter of a smuggler and pirate captain, was Exalted by the god of Wu-Jian, a city with more than its share of smugglers and pirates, to use her unusual grasp of the big picture to protect the city from outsiders and its own residents. Unlike most Exigents, she is not the only one of her kind - Wun Ja, goddess of cities, assists city fathers who win the spark on their own to avoid killing themselves, meaning that most Exigents of various cities are Architects who draw power from cities in general and their homeland in specific - and for some reason, she's taken a personal interest in Revana.

She bears the distinction of being the first Exigent to get a statblock.

  • The Ageless: As an Architect, she will not age while inside the boundaries of her home city.
  • Heroic Seductress: It's not clear whether this or The Vamp fits her better, but she can call on the power of the red-light district (although in Creation, the lights are the blue of the "Maiden" of Serenity) to seduce people more effectively.
  • Improvised Weapon: One of her Charms lets her make an ordinary object hit as hard as an artifact weapon, although the object doesn't survive.
  • Master of Disguise: Just walking through a thick crowd lets her disguise herself, with no actual disguise kit needed.
  • Mighty Glacier: She can make her fists or skin as hard as the stone her city's made of, but her speed is nothing special.
  • Pirate Girl: Well, her mother was, and she certainly has the skillset of one.
  • Sherlock Scan: Her Charms let her get a read on someone by examining their home or tell whether there's any danger to or from a building just by walking around it.
  • Skeleton Key: The Charm that lets her get past any lock in a city that would bar her way, including living guardians without specific reason to keep her out, references the trope in its text.
  • Wretched Hive: Her home city of Wu-Jian.

Essential Silence

Chosen of Silken Vesper, a god of mysteries unveiled. Essential Silence has gone renegade from the Immaculate Order, seeing only secrecy and conspiracies within it, and has become a heretical reformist.
  • Combat Precognition: He anticipates every move of his opponents in combat.
  • Enslaved Tongue: One of his powers, getting the tight-lipped to surrender their secrets, which he used as an inquisitor.
  • Internal Affairs: Part of his old role in the Order as an inquisitor, rooting out blasphemous cabals.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Those who hunt him forget his nature.
  • Tongue-Tied: Those who see him passing by cannot speak of him.

Kerlei the Chain

Chosen of Zhieka, Who Binds the Heart in Steel, a god of righteous imprisonment.
  • Black Bug Room: Among her powers is the ability to make these real, conjuring up dungeons from prisoners' nightmares.
  • The Jailer: She serves as warden of the Immaculate Order's prison beneath the Nail of Truth in Pneuma, where the Sidereals imprison Exigents Chosen by criminal and forbidden gods, and either condition them to serve the Order or send them to atone in their next lives.
  • Long-Lived: Averted; Kerlei's Exaltation hasn't extended her life, and she's looking for an apprentice to take on her duties.
  • Nightmare Face: Has this in some capacity, and it's able to drive even the most inflexible to repent.

Ma'anjin Hekobo

Chosen of Wanjung, the central war god, Heaven's General and Trumpeter of the Chosen. Her Exaltation received special dispensation from the Immaculate Order, though her power is still seen as inauspicious. She fights with the divine might of a war god's champion, and displays martial perfection in all endeavors.
  • Cool Helmet: Depicted in historical illustrations in a demon-masked kabuto.
  • Magic Music: Hearing her sing has led farmers to leave their fields and take up arms.
  • Number Two: She serves, protects, and speaks for Wanjung directly.
  • Retired Badass: She's retired from service in the Imperial legions.

Tall Cypress, the Wraith-of-the-Woods

Chosen of Yagumo, a revered forest god of the Blessed Isle.
  • A God I Am Not: Prone to getting venerated by heterodox fertility cults of Sextes Jylis; he subdues them with humility and gentleness, so the Immaculate Order isn't forced to do so with violence.
  • The Paragon: Considered the foremost example of proper Exigent behavior in the Realm.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Over 400 years old.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Plant variant; he can commune with trees to tap into Creation's past.
  • Transflormation: Able to take plantlike form, assuming the might of primeval forests.

Tamako, the Foxbinder

Chosen - and keeper - of the trickster fox-god Wicked-Grin Shifune, latest in a long line of Foxbinders appointed by the Immaculate Order to keep him caged, and tasked by the Order with uncovering Anathema.
  • Artifact of Power: The Foxbinder Exaltation is sealed in a bejeweled collar.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Shifune's punishment for pranking high-ranking gods and fraudulent hiring was to be forced to create an Exigent who would serve as his keeper. Many in Yu-Shan were shocked the Unconquered Sun would use the spark of Exigence as a punishment.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Shifune has a long history of trickery and deception.
  • Fantastic Foxes: Shifune, being a fox-spirit.
  • Humanshifting: Shifune has two forms left to him at present, a red fox with seven-fingered hands in place of paws and a handsome red-haired youth, having lost his other forms in creating his Exaltation.
  • Legacy Character: The Foxbinders are chosen by the Immaculate Order, and there've been many of them over the years.
  • Living Lie Detector: The Foxbinder can scent lies and expose deception, trickery and disguises.
  • Master of Illusion: The Foxbinder can create illusions that make any lie, no matter how outrageous, appear true.
  • Nice Girl: Tamako, perhaps a bit too much so for her role of hunting Anathema; she let a newly-Exalted child Lunar escape, and treats Shifune more as a friend than a prisoner, which he's taking advantage of by encouraging her independent streak in the hopes that she'll rebel against the Order, becoming the sort of person his Exaltation was meant for, and they'll raise chaos across Creation together.
  • Runaway Fiancée: Tamako is a young patrician woman who got out of an arranged marriage by entering the Immaculate Order.
  • Wandering the Earth: Tamako and Shifune wander the Blessed Isle in search of Anathema.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Once let a newly-Exalted Lunar child escape.

Nozifu Isiman, the Torchbearer

Chosen of long-dead Ogen-Moin, the mandrill-headed god of study by lamplight, upholding the Torchbearers' dream of a world bathed in the light of knowledge and reason.
  • Age Without Youth: Downplayed, but Torchbearers age visibly normally, if extremely gracefully; they remain as spry as any other Exalted, but they bear their wisdom on their flesh.
  • Legacy Character: She's the eighth Torchbearer.
  • Long-Lived: A Torchbearer's lifespan is comparable to the Dragon-Blooded's, though unlike the Dragon-Blooded, they don't remain in the prime of their life, but end up elderly and spry by the end of their first century. Nozifu's chapter fiction suggests she's on the older side of Torchbearer lifespan, but doesn't give specifics.
  • Semantic Superpower: The Torchbearer Exaltation covers power over light and flame, as well as the light of understanding and clarity.
  • Wandering the Earth: Has never stayed in one place for more than a year.

The Sovereigns of Uluiru

The proprietary Exigents of the titular city, who were Exalted by bathing in the Fount of Glories at the heart of their sacred caverns. Created when Cantata-of-the-Depths, the gem-god and patron of the Irugu clan in the distant Northwest used his spark to merge his Essence with the grave of the dead Incarna Aurora, the Fount gives those who survive a bath in it the patchwork power of Cantata's love of beauty and artwork, and Aurora's prowess over hope, awe, and light. The first Sovereign, Queen Ulu, quickly realized its potential for abuse and rivals, and banned all but the royal family and its branches from even approaching the Fount - but now she is dead by the same unknown hands that assassinated her granddaughter and heir apparent, and the Sovereigns find themselves jockeying for mastery of the city.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Fair Folk, as Uluiru is very close to the Wyld and is frequently subject to harassment by raksha.
  • Battle Aura: While all Exalted have animas, the Sovereigns have a Charm that allows them access to a level of anima beyond that of other Exalted, transcendent anima, which gives them a near Solar-level anima power.
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • They are patchwork Exigents, and thus have an extremely nasty variant of the Great Curse that results in them suffering incredible agony and lethal Power Incontinence for a bit, or becoming The Sociopath due to shutting down all parts of them that could feel pain for a longer bit. Because it doesn't actually hurt them until that moment, they find it hardly outweighs the benefits of being a god-king, and appreciate that it reminds them of the need for some restraint.
    • Certain of their Charms also draw on the pain of their Exaltation.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Just like Dragon-Blooded, with an even more bitter undertone caused by the royal family of a single city, however vast, being much more closely related, meaning that their scheming invariably hits siblings, uncles and aunts, and first cousins rather than technically related people they have never heard of.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Cantata was a god of gemcrafting as well as gems in general, and the Sovereigns are excellent artisans and engineers, having Craft as a Favored Ability.
  • Hard Light: Fireglass, extremely flexible solidified light made from their animas. Sovereign Charms often revolve around manipulating it or using it in their artwork.
  • The Minion Master: As fitting for god-kings, the Sovereigns have a lot of Charms based around forces following them, and crafting eidolons, sentient golems made from fireglass.
  • Randomly Gifted: While the Fount is seemingly inexhaustible, whether or not using it will actually work is an apparent crapshoot.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: It's long-standing tradition that you have to stand out before bathing in the Fount, no matter how close your line was to the Queen, and Sovereigns only become more active after becoming Exalted.

Pakpao, the Puppeteer

Chosen of Karana, the god of the Meiyu Coast's marionette puppetry. A daughter of impoverished immigrants once enslaved at a cocoa farm, Pakpao rose to prominence as the wife of a high ranking Zhao official. Pakpao largely uses her newfound abilities to seek further political power and has ignored the pleas of her patron's cult, who would prefer that she aid them in revenge against the Realm and Immaculate Order which reduced the cult to a shadow of its former self and left their god broken a century ago. Karana himself seems less concerned, confident that she will be useful in time.

Pakpao has numerous abilities related to puppetry, from using them as weapons to forcing others to dance at the end of her strings.

  • Animal Motif: Spiders. Karana himself is spider-like in appearance, and as a result several of Pakpao's charms draw upon arachnid themes.
  • Body Horror: Weaponized. She is capable of contorting her body so unnaturally it can be used as a threaten action, and also allows her to escape grapples and pass through spaces she otherwise could not.
  • Dead Guy Puppet: Pakpao can reanimate corpses and use them as "puppets" for the purposes of her charms.
  • Living Doll Collector: She can trap people's souls when she kills them and imbue them into her puppets if she wishes.
  • People Puppets: Her higher essence charms allow her to ensnare living people with her essence strings, allowing her to control their actions.
  • Rags to Riches: Her pre-Exaltation life, heavily implied to be due to her efforts behind the scenes - that is, there was more going on there than simply meeting and marrying her husband.
  • Wall Crawl: One of her spider-themed abilities.