Exalted – The Silver Fates and the Victory of Samsara

Fractal tree (Plate b - 3)

The Axis Mundi, Tree of Worlds

The Loom of Fate binds Creation.

For each event it binds together billions of possible timelines and outcomes, fusing them into one consensual – or averaged – reality. By virtue of those interwoven threads of time creation becomes more “real” than the chaos of the Wyld.

Unlike the creatures outside fate, the peoples of Creation do not normally easily shift from timeline to timeline, experiencing a myriad worlds at once – dying perhaps to one, while continuing in another.

By virtue of the Loom – and of Samsara, which demands ONE outcome, and no other – a myriad lines of time are wrapped around the fixed points of the Celestial Exaltations, feeding them gargantuan energies.

By the manipulations of Gaia, some otherwise common folk are not averaged, but added – giving them access to the strengths of many, if not to the colossal energies of the Celestial Exalts. Such are the Dragonblooded.

Despite Samsara, sometimes the actions of outsiders – creatures of the infinite wyld and it’s endless streams of divergent time – cause glitches in the Loom.

A few timelines may exist unaveraged for a time – or escape the tightly-woven skein of Creation to wander off on their own.

Most such vanish shortly – reabsorbed into the Wylds or bound back into Samsara.

A few such divergences become strong enough to break away on their own – forming a fractal tree of Creations, each with it’s own Samsara – the Axis Mundi.

Such are the many alternate creations, where Alternate Exalts contend and adventure against an equally myriad differing aspects of those who exist Outside.

Once relatively recent divergence was especially troublesome.

The Usurpation – involving as it did vast amounts of essence, and the even more enormous numbers of possible outcomes that essence made possible – was a tremendous strain upon the Loom.

As the Solar Exaltations were locked away – presumably forever – the Maidens opted to look upon Samsara – and Creation trembled. Sealed away in the Jade Prison, the Solar Exaltations were sealed away from most bonds to the Loom and Samsara as well.

And their power did not care for being eternally sealed away.

There was a major split – and, this time, the Sidereal Exaltations and the Maidens were not reduplicated; the Sidereals and the Maidens were already linked to the monolithic vision of Samsara – while the Solar Exaltations, locked away as they might be, adamantly rejected it…

On one side of the fork, the Solar Exaltations were – indeed – gone forever, and the Lunars – dragged along with their Solar Mates and their rejection of Samsara – vanished with them.

On the other… the sealed-away Solar Exaltations awaited their eventual release – and the Maidens and Sidereals… had vanished.

The Lunars, the Stewards of Creation, saw reality tremble. With no one at all to man the Loom of Fate, Creation would soon fall into the Wyld.

They returned to Yu-Shan – and took desperate measures.

They had no real attunement to the Loom. Without competent operators – and some way to find and fix errors – the Loom would fail completely, and reality would dissolve.

They were master shapeshifters however.

The vast majority of the Lunars – at least those not too traumatized by the deaths and sealings of their bondmates to respond rationally – agreed on a plan.

They wove a portion of themselves – in the form of shapeshifted moonsilver threads – into the great tapestry of the Loom, bonding their exaltations to it.

This battle – for the preservation of reality – they won.

Today, the “State of Creation” in the Silver Fates timeline looks a lot like the default version – with a few subtle differences.

  • The Lunars – or at least the two-thirds-plus of them who weren’t driven mad by the Usurpation and the loss of their Solar Mates – have indeed been busy since the Usurpation; they’ve been doing the vanished Sidereals jobs as well as their own.
  • The Lunars doing those jobs are now linked to the Loom; they can find fate disruptions, use Sidereal Astrology, and have gained access to a fair number of the (less buggy and questionable) Sidereal Charms (although certainly not the Sidereal Martial Arts).
  • The Realm is far less influenced by the Lunars than by the usual Sidereals – but the Wyld Hunt is at LEAST as active as usual (and is using a far better mundane informant network); with so many Lunars busy in Yu-Shan and running about trying to keep the Loom working, a lot more monstrosities make it into civilized territory.

Of course, on the Samsara Victory side…

  • The Solars and Lunars are both gone for good – leaving the Sidereals even MORE overworked – and the edges of creation vulnerable. While the Neverborn, the Deathlords and the Yozis – shorn of their Abyssals and Green Sun Princes – are far more limited in their ability to affect creation, it’s most potent defenders are gone.
  • Worse, the strain on the Loom has shut down some of the Sidereals most potent abilities; the Sidereal Martial Arts are mostly non-functioning – although, to be fair, given the extent of the problem, the Maidens HAVE added a dozen or so new charms to the Sidereal toolkit.
  • Still, matters are desperate enough that even quite a few Raksha have switched form attacking Creation to defending it; that’s where all the best against-the-odds heroic tales are to be found these days!
  • And with their own powers more limited, the Sidereals desperately need dragon-blooded, raksha, mountain folk, and other supernatural allies. Where raw power is not available, perhaps cooperation and synergy can prevail.