Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Exalted

Go To
Welcome to Malfeas.
  • The villainous factions (the Yozis and Infernals, the Neverborn and Abyssals, and the Fair Folk) are positively dripping with this. It's a natural consequence of having such massively epic heroes; anything that can make them nervous is going to be terrifying beyond all reason by our standards.
  • Bostvade, one of Szoreny's souls, is a living river of mercury who causes outbreaks of mercury poisoning and cajoles demons to swim through his essence.
  • Kimbery sometimes floods parts of Malfeas, dissolving anything and anyone unlucky enough to be in her path. As if the horrors of Malfeas weren't terrifying enough, demons have to flee from acid tsunamis.
  • The Organ of Agonies, from The Compass of Celestial Directions: Malfeas, deserves special mention. What is it, you ask? It's a musical instrument that you strap innocent victims into before playing... which it will then torture to death, making paradoxically beautiful music out of their agonized screams.
  • The Phylactery-Womb, the storage entity for the Infernal Exaltations. Everything about... it... will torment your mind on the threshold of your sanity. For just a few of the horrifying facts: She was a little girl named Lillun, who was raped, physically and spiritually, by the Ebon Dragon. This process warped her body into a malformed monstrosity that is mostly a semi-transparent flesh bubble with her child-like head, arms and legs dangling futilely outward. And though she is mostly mindless, alternating between staying silent or raving in mad tongues, sometimes, sometimes, she has enough sanity to try and call out to her mother and father for help. Oh yes, and there are pictures.
    • In Return of the Scarlet Empress, readers learned that the Ebon Dragon had her assist with the consummation of his marriage to the Scarlet Empress. Readers are not told the details, but the ordeal was so horrific that Lillin couldn't sleep for five days.
  • The fate of the author of the Broken Winged Crane, as detailed in Return of the Scarlet Empress. The Empress herself penned the original, which was actually a portal straight to the Ebon Dragon's prison. The book describes him skinning her in slow motion as a hello. It only gets worse from there.
  • In Return of the Scarlet Empress, the fate of the world if the Ebon Dragon succeeds in his plan is horrific. The world becomes a place of murder, depravity, and endless suffering, and while their is a slim chance that new Exalts can mount a rebellion, they will face daunting challenges.
  • Advertisement:
  • You do not want The Timeless Order angry with you.
  • Even if we forget about all the Cthulhu-esque horrors from beyond reality, we have such interesting cases as Tomb Beasts, lizards who have the curious and specific habit of eating their prey only while it still lives and never, ever eating any dead flesh. As such, they will carefully vivisect slices of flesh one at a time, so that their prey does not die until as much as possible is consumed.
  • On the bright side, there are hundreds of people with powers far beyond any mortal. Except they're all going slowly insane, and half of the most powerful ones are seeking to destroy/conquer Creation for their dead/imprisoned (respectively) masters.
    • And several of the ones without said masters are still potentially looking to do so. And in the case of conquest, they have a divine right to do so.
  • A special note for the Abyssal Exalts: they've been created with the explicit purpose of destroying all of existence, and their powers have been specifically tailored to maximize their destructive potential. And if they choose not to carry out their ordained purpose, they have a high chance of accidentally killing their loved ones.
  • The Infernal book has to lead the charge, though, with poor Lillun. Squick, certainly, but reading her story gave me the need to put the book down and go watch some cartoons for a while. With the lights on.
    • The Infernals cover. That thing in the bottom right is one guy's right arm. You can go curl up in a corner now.
  • The Ebon Dragon, pictured above along with his sub-soul Erembour, is a walking, talking purveyor of this trope. Remember why that Stephen King short story "The Jaunt" is so horrible? The Ebon Dragon can do that to anyone he kills. Have fun spending eternity in a black oubliette where you will only experience the passage of time, from which you can't be released. No more fun for you, ever.
  • The Compass of Celestial Directions: Malfeas. The whole book, but especially the descriptions of specific locations in Malfeas, such as the Screaming Cathedral.
  • Voidtech: Basically, imagine System Shock where SHODAN and the Many are one and the same, and you've gotten its physical effects. Mentally, it's a whole 'nother story.
  • The Vodak is an Eldritch Abomination that hates all life, can replicate any entity it has eaten, and has Complete Immortality to boot. The only reason it hasn't done more damage than it has is because it burns up in sunlight, and so can't go outside of its caverns beneath Gethsemane. However, it's still the reason the people of Gethsemane refuse to go into the lower city.
  • The sesseljae, a race of demons, serve up a nice big batch of Body Horror, thanks to their ability to crawl through a human body like a worm burrows through dirt, and their appetite for diseased flesh. However, they're actually relatively harmless, and even quite helpful for curing people of dangerous illnesses or ridding their bodies of deadly toxins.
    • Their nickname, the stomach bottle bugs, comes from the tendency of some demonologists to store sesseljae inside their own stomachs, as a preventative measure against poison and disease. While practical, this understandably creeps out many people.
  • Any description as to how the Exalted transformed Theion into Malfeas is terrifying on a cosmic level. According to the books, they castrated him, ritualistically killed his fetich soul, and then turned him inside out to make him into what he is. Thus, it's understandable why he's essentially the embodiment of every anger trope in existence.
  • The mere idea of the Unconquered Sun pulling a Face–Heel Turn.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: