Charles was pretty sure that the Exalted were all cursed or badly flawed or some such… It was kind of hard to miss really!
- The Dragon-Blooded were meant to be a highly organized, disciplined, army. They split into hostile factions at the drop of a hat.
- The Lunars were meant to be able to adapt to anything – but couldn’t manage to adapt to rational civilizations, or the borderlands, or the wyld too effectively.
- The Sidereals were meant to advise and teach, but they were almost always wrong, created major disasters, and taught lessons that often destroyed their students.
- The Solars were meant to be heroes and monster-slayers – but tended to become monsters themselves.
It wasn’t a very big jump to “You know, maybe something has gone wrong!”
Fortunately, Charles was not the only individual who had seen it. Lytek had been researching mitigation for millennia – and Charles had more than enough experience even at his age to suspect that whatever Lytek had done to HIM had probably not been the first attempt. Still, he also suspected that he’d gone a bit off-track and out-of-control.
Charles was heading to visit Lytek… He was pretty much done building Aden for the moment, and he wanted to drop by and show Lytek the finished project!
When he did so, Lytek’s aura of light dimmed to a mere flicker for a few seconds – and his jaw slowly dropped as he took in the scale of the world-body.
(Charles) “Well, you and Grandpa mentioned finding a way to carry manses with me! Isn’t it good? I thought it worked pretty well!”
(Lytek, quickly but not completely recomposing himself) “Err… you’ve certainly exceeded my expectations on that. Well done, Charles.”
(Charles) “I made some guardians and things too!”
(Lytek) “Also impressive… how many of them?”
(Charles) “Uhm… Seventy-two third-circle types in sets of three, about a hundred thousand each first and second circle types.”
The aura of light dimmed again.
(Lytek) “Circles… as in devas? Knowing you, they would be friendly. Please, could you introduce me to one?”
What is this!? I was only intending to fix the structural flaws! This is COMPLETELY unanticipated! Were those flaws… the only thing stopping THIS? Could the child actually be becoming a primordial?
A lot of humans told their children “You can grow up to be anything you want to be”. When you added an Exaltation to that… Was it true? Was that why Celestial Child-Exalts were almost unheard of?
Charles was personally willing to do some introductions… There were visits to three; Elzeard Treeherd, Mishinago the Philosophical Storm, and Chaffri the Far Traveler.
Lytek seemed mildly nervous at first – but Charles’s Guardians were friendly, charming, and reassuring: just like Aden itself. There were no more notable fluctuations in Lytek’s power aura – although he asked them about their relationship to Charles, their purposes, and the hierarchy of Aden.
He also concealed his presence from any Sidereal investigators present, or even within the same region… Fortunately, at more than a hundred thousand square miles, the few Sidereals in Aden were quite unlikely to be anywhere near – particularly when the third-circles took privacy precautions, had perfect effects, and they were meeting in a manse that provided perfect privacy in any case.
The Guardians readily diverted Charles during the bits about “we think he needs some supervision and looking-after” – but personally… Mishinago liked to be helpful, liked to terraform planets (which he was happy to show Lytek), and was a bit of a socialite/party person. Elzeard was kind of… intense, but also likes to build or rebuild planetary ecologies – and gladly talked about the Sahara Sea and his next desert-fixing project. Chaffri was a bit of a tourist / travel agent / tour guide sort, and was full of fun facts about many interesting places. He was currently helping out with the stargate project.
Lytek still wasn’t taking chances. He was startled at the scale of their efforts in Creation – and, as a high-tier divinity, knew that those efforts were barely registering on the Loom.
Since Mishinago, Elzeard, and Chaffri knew him already, they engaged him in conversation about his work – and (while Charles was carefully diverted) asked about what he’d done to Charles so that they could help look after him. They were, after all, basically gods – and so were born mature, while Charles definitely was not.
Lytek gave out some judicious details: albeit nothing that would get him in trouble with the Bureaucracy. Mishinago learned quite a bit about what Lytek did, although he didn’t quite know the Alchemical connnection yet…
Mishinago had gotten Charles to check out one of the nearby Baalgrog patrols. When he got back the deva and Lytek were having a pleasant conversation about office decoration.
Charles suspected nothing. He usually didn’t!
(Charles, to Lytek) “Anyway, the world-body seems to have the Sidereals confused for the time being, and it’s helping me get a lot done anyway!”
(Lytek) “I can see how. You seem to be planning to rejuvenate Creation under their noses.”
(Charles) “Well, it needs fixing!”
Lytek smiled approvingly, while privately wondering if he’d created a new-and-unique terror, the “helpful monster”!
(Lytek) “And with that, create more domains… and renovate Yu Shan.”
OK, he had to approve – but did Charles HAVE to be so blasted obliging? He knew what the boy had been doing for the Bronze, and he was more than a bit ambivalent about it. On the one hand, a safer Yu Shan was good for Exalted survival. On the other, the Bronze had REALLY slighted him. While Charles obviously thought that it was time to forgive and forget, he wasn’t quite sure if that meant much when the boy was fully prepared to do it instantly!
Charles wasn’t worried. If he rejuvenated Yu-Shan, the Bronze Faction’s purpose would fall apart – and possibly the faction with it. He wasn’t really worried about the faction, just the people in it.
(Lytek) “Thank you for hosting me, Lord Mishinago. We should meet again some time.”
(Mishinago) “Certainly! I am virtually always available in Aden, and often elsewhere – and if you should happen to require assistance at some point I am quite sure that Charles would like me to help you out!”
(Lytek) “And the same for you…”
Lytek bowed – and Mishinago, of course, bowed back.
Lytek was most impressed – and delighted by the general benevolence – but STILL. The Guardians were less powerful than the Incarnae – but the margin wasn’t THAT large compared to the gulf between them and normal entities!
(Lytek, away from Mishinago) “I assume your grandfather knows about this? He would be quite interested.”
(Charles) “Oh yes! He took a look earlier! Although the third circles weren’t yet done at that point… I should probably let him know about them too!”
(Lytek) “I haven’t seen him in a while . . . I hope he’s all right. His work keeps him busier than even that position should. It’s an impossible task. Anyhow, I think you are busy, even with a soul hierarchy’s help. Was there anything else you wanted?”
(Charles) “Oh, I just wanted to show you what was going on! You might really need to know at some points – and you might need to know that there was help available at some point too!”
(Lytek) “I appreciate it, Charles.” (He delicately stroked Charles on the head.) “I’ll certainly keep the Guardians in mind.”
HOW had the child made a world-body and his own devas? That was unprecedented! Even his beloved Lawgivers had never reached this height of personal motonic development! Who would have thought that you could carry geomancy so far? Certainly there was fabulous amounts of power lying around, but there was no way to channel it into anything short of a manse!
He would have to speak to both Righteous Hala and Lord Richof as soon as he possibly could. It was VERY good that Charles had found his Lunar Bondmate – or vice-versa – although it would have been nice if she weren’t so busy with Celestial politics and Lunar activities. It would be nice to have someone supervising the child!
Or at least keeping him from filling up his world-body with cartoon characters and “jedi” and other pop culture references! That sort of thing was far beneath the dignity of the Exalted! (The Baalgrogs did raise his hackles a bit. Mishinago said they were quite nice, if a bit depressing, but Lytek still found them hard to take seriously – although he certainly hadn’t told the Deva’s that).
Asking the Sidereals to do it brought up a LOT of political and personal issues, even beyond the Usurpation – but “I was shaping reality while half asleep” was also far less than ideal. At least the Guardians could supervise him in Aden now!
That “Elsewhere Net” thing was kind of worrisome (if fascinating) though… In theory it could retrieve artifacts belonging to Exalts’ prior incarnations – even if, considering the casualty figures for Raksha during the Balorian crusade, 99.9999% of the time you would simply get random Raksha junk. Still, he’d want to see a demonstration when Charles had worked out the kinks!
He’d noted that Charles had some graces (he thought that they were very good for tools!) – but Raksha were not generally a part of his domain… as long as Charles is careful in his dealings with them, and didn’t cart them into Yu-Shan, he wasn’t too concerned. After all, he knew the extent of the boy’s defenses!
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session XXXIX – Gates of the Third Circle (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- [Emergence Campaign] The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session IL — The Sahara Sea (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session XL – Small Gods and Sandwiches (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LI – The House At The End Of Creation (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session VLIII – Testing Theories (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session XXXVIII – Out of the Umbra (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice – Sidereal Stargate Generation One (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XXXVII – Investigating Charles Mansen (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XLI – The Boy Scouts of Siderea (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Session VL – I’m Going To Flurry Manse Construction! There’s No “Rate” Limit On That, Right? (ruscumag.wordpress.com)