Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Prologue: The Age of Sorrows (part I)

Long ago, before the curse of Caine, before the Sundering, before the Impergium, before any Kuei-ren escaped the Thousand Hells to haunt the living world, there was a time of myth and legend. It was a time when heroes walked the land, raised up, Exalted above the ranks of ordinary men and women. It was a time when the mortal had put on immortality: the first age of the world.

At the behest of the gods, the Exalted led an uprising against the Primordials - those who had fashioned the world out of chaos - and though the struggle was long and difficult, the Primordials were indeed cast down, some slain, others imprisoned, all conquered save for Gaia and Autochthon, who had sided with the gods.

From the ashes, the Exalted created the world anew, and they made it in their own image. For over a thousand years, they ruled the world in peace in the glorious civilization that made up the First Age, each of them like unto the gods themselves.

But power, as they say, corrupts, and the Solar Exalted, chosen of the Unconquered Sun, displayed the worst of this corruption. They grew uncaring and decadent, and ere the end they had become a horror to their own people the likes of which had not been seen since the Primordial War. Guided by the Chosen of the Maidens, the rank and file - the Dragonblooded - rose up in revolt. The Solar Empire had stood for over a thousand years, but it fell in a day. Three hundred Solar Exalted, three hundred tyrants and despots cast down and killed, with their Lunar consorts scattered to the Wyld places of the world.

Fearing that the Solars would simply be reborn, their souls were sealed away in a great Jade prison, and there they rested for centuries as the world rushed on, rocked by plague and by cataclysm, and invasion from both the Outside and from within. Though the Primordials had been slain, that is not dead which can eternal lie, and within strange aeons, even death may die; too large to simply be drawn into the cycle of reincarnation, their deaths spawned the Underworld, and with it, Oblivion, and now their armies of the dead, led by their new Death Knights, have begun to move in force upon the living world.

The Spiritus Mundi cries out for salvation: surely some revelation is at hand! Surely the second coming is at hand. The second coming...! And now, unexpectedly, in the hour when all hope seems lost, the souls of the Solar Exalted have been freed from their prison and have begun to be reborn; for the first time since the fall of the Solar Empire, the Chosen of Helios walk within Creation once more.

Welcome to the world of Exalted.

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