This FAQ on the Exalted theme and its details is being created for the benefit of Multiverse Crisis MUSH's players, who do not know and/or are confused by what they see from associated characters on the grid. This is a work-in-progress, and will not be entirely complete at the time that it is posted. If there is anything you would like to know that is not on here (or something you think that ought to be added), please let us know via @mail. With that said, please bear in mind that the vast majority of the information communicated here is not in-character, and should not be assumed by anyone without a reason to know about it.
Note: It is possible that in the future I will put together a more exhaustive and in-depth explanation of Exalted and its setting. However, for the most part this is meant to be a simple guide for outsiders that answers questions that they have from their IC interactions. As such, I will try not to overload on any one subject, but there will probably still be a lot.
Table of Contents
Q: What is Exalted?
Answer: Exalted is a high fantasy tabletop roleplaying game by White Wolf. It combines aspects of mythology, wuxia, and any other number of "tropes" to create a setting that runs heavily off of Rule Of Cool.
You may also find Multiverse Crisis MUSH's Exalted House Rules here. Note that this may not be too comprehensible to someone not familiar with Exalted to begin with.
Q: Why do you guys roll dice so much?
Answer: It's mostly because we want to. Nobody is obliged to put together an Exalted character sheet in order to participate in a scene in Creation, nor is somebody without one assumed to be without similar capabilities to an Exalted character. However, we (the Exalted cast) usually have reference material on-hand for our own characters at least and in some instances like to use the dice.
For example: Many characters on the game suffer from the Great Curse (see 'What is an Exalt?' for more information.) and the way to determine how it affects your character is by rolling specific traits and adding to yout Limit counter, which is essentially your Insanity Meter. When the Limit counter reaches 10, the character goes nuts temporarily from the Great Curse, the counter resets to 0, and we start all over again. The exact effect of the Great Curse varies from character to character - check a character's +flaws for details!
Q: Why do you guys all have weird/long/funny names?
Answer: It's a staple of the Wuxia genre from which Exalted derives much inspiration. A similar naming scheme can be found in (to give one example) Bioware's Jade Empire: Sagacious Zu, Dawn Star, Radiant Jen-Zi, Silk Fox, Black Whirlwind, etc.
Actual given names vary by region. The mortal name of Viridian Sunrise was Karal Yat-Sen - note that "Karal" is his family name, and comes first.
Q: What is an Exalt?
Answer: An Exalt is a human being who has been supernaturally empowered by any one of a variety of gods, and they represent the most powerful figures of the setting, as well as being the main protagonists in most games. The exact mechanics of the Exalted in question varies based on their patron, but several rules are strictly adhered to regardless of the kind of Exalt in question:
- The Exalted always have free will, unless they throw it away. They are not reliant on their patrons for their power in the long run (and usually not even in the short run), and Exaltation may not be withdrawn after it is given. Someone cannot be "de-Exalted" without killing them outright.
- The Exalted are always great heroes, and those who receive Exaltation are always people who will use their power. Note that "heroism" here does not mean modern conceptions of heroism, but adheres more strongly to the heroes of greek legend - they can be irresponsible jerks.
- Most of the Exalted suffer from a thing called the Great Curse, laid upon them when they threw down the Primordial/Titan creators of the world, slaying a part of them and imprisoning the others. This will be explained in greater detail later in the FAQ, but for now it bears mentioning that all kinds of Exalted (even those not cursed) suffer something similar to the Great Curse.
Q: What kinds of Exalts are there?
Answer: There are seven kinds of Exalted that all have their own distinct powers and abilities.
- The Solar Exalted: Empowered by the highest of the Gods, the Unconquered Sun, the Solar Exalted are the most powerful variety of Exalt in the setting and have a core thematic of "human perfection". They are the most 'vanilla' of the Exalted, and also have the most straightforward powers - it would be accurate to compare them to Superman in terms of how they function. They are also the default protagonists of the setting and the main character type in the core rule book. There are one hundred and fifty Solar Exaltations. In ages long since past, the Solar Exalted ruled the world, but went mad and were overthrown by the Dragon-Blooded and Sidereal Exalted.
- The Abyssal Exalted: Created by foul creatures of death inverting the powers of one hundred Solar Exaltations, the Abyssal Exalted are champions of the dead. They bring death with them wherever they go, and serve the ghosts of deceased Solar Exalted called Deathlords, and their Neverborn masters. They are called "Deathknights", and while their powers are similar to those of the Solar Exalted, they are perversely inverted and reflect death and destruction. There are one hundred Abyssal Exaltations. Like the Solar and Infernal Exalted, they occupy the upper echelons of power in the setting.
- The Infernal Exalted: Created from fifty Solar Exaltations tithed to the imprisoned creators of the world by the masters of the Deathlords, the Infernal Exalted are the Champions of Hell. They wield the powers of the fallen Primordials (called "Yozis"), and resemble the Solar and Abyssal Exalted in passing. There are fifty of the Infernal Exalted, and they are often called "Green Sun Princes". Like the Solar and Abyssal Exalted, they occupy the upper echelons of power in the setting.
- Note: Although there are other kinds of Infernal Exalted, when this FAQ refers to the Infernal Exalted it refers to the Green Sun Princes and not to Akuma. See the section on Akuma for details.
- The Lunar Exalted: Empowered by the Unconquered Sun's second-in-command, Luna, the Lunar Exalted are bestial bastions of survival and perseverance. They take the shapes of animals and can develop this power further, to steal the forms of humans, demons, and even other Exalts. Each of the Lunar Exalted has a Solar mate, to whom they are linked through their Exaltation. There are three hundred Lunar Exaltations. They once ruled the world alongside the Solar Exalted, but were forced to flee when the Solars were overthrown.
- The Sidereal Exalted: Empowered by the Five Maidens, the agents of Fate and Destiny, the Sidereal Exalted are the wise old mentors of the setting. They specialize in tweaking probability through the Loom of Fate, the engine which keeps physics functioning correctly in Creation, and once served as the Viziers of the Solar Exalted. They overthrew the increasingly mad Solar Exalted, and currently rule much of the world through the Realm.
- The Alchemical Exalted: Empowered by Autochthon, one of the two Primordials who sided with the Gods. They are champions of the people of Autochthonia, and are counted among the Celestial Exalted in terms of power. Instead of being chosen randomly from worthy mortals, Autochthonians undergo a controlled cycle of reincarnation managed by a device called a 'soulgem', which houses their soul after death and allows it to be smoothly monitored between reincarnations - only people who have demonstrated heroism across multiple lifetimes may be transformed into Alchemical Exalts.
Alchemicals themselves are an amalgamation of their previous lives, inserted into machine bodies and entering life as mature adults. They know their names upon the completion and activation of their machine bodies and the joining of such with their soulgems. Their powers are industrial in nature, and modular - an Alchemical must install mechanically themed charms to use them, but most have many more than they are capable of installing. They serve in Autocthonia however, rather than ruling, and as they advance in power they eventually transform into mecha-sized machines, and then into cities.
They are frequently referred to as Autobots jokingly.
- The Dragon-Blooded: Empowered by the Five Elemental Dragons, the Devas of Gaia (See: What is a Primordial?), the Dragon-Blooded are also called the Terrestrial Exalted. They are the most numerous of the Exalted host and also the weakest, carrying their Exaltations through their blood and lineage rather than receiving them because they achieved something extraordinary.
In the First Age the Dragon-Blooded numbered in the millions and were more powerful because their bloodline was unsullied by the blood of humanity. Their numbers diminished drastically during the Usurpation, and was devastated further in the age that followed. One of the largest powers in the world - The Realm - is controlled by the Dragon-Blooded. Though their powers are lesser than the other Exalted, they possess great synergy between one another and gain much from working in groups.
Q: What classes can you be in this game?
Answer: Exalted as a game has no classes like you might expect out of Dungeons & Dragons. Each kind of Exalt is split up into a number of different "Castes" of Exalt with their own advantages and disadvantages. Rather than choosing a class, an Exaltation seeks you out on how appropriate it is for you to receive that kind of Exaltation.
That Said, Exalted is a skill-based game rather than a class-based game. Each Caste has a number of traits associated with it based on the particular kind of character you're playing. For most, this will be five Caste Abilities, which cost your character less experience and which you learn faster as a result. But, you may also select up to five additional Favored Abilities of your own choosing to flesh out your character as you wish. As such, no two Exalts are quite alike, and even the Warlords among them can also be scholars, or poets, or what-have-you… and the poets can also be Warlords.
- For example: The famous duelist Death At High Noon becomes one of the Solar Exalted. Because he is focused at fighting, he becomes a Dawn-Caste Solar Exalt, famed for their skills in combat and war. His Caste Abilities include four different fighting skills, and the war skill. From there, Death At High Noon picks his Favored Abilities. Let's say that he takes Awareness because he is good at keeping ahead of a battle, Ride because he is never without his favored horse Silver, Presence because he is exceptional at intimidation, Survival because he's good at surviving on his own in the wilderness and tracking down those who commit injustices, and Dodge because he always manages to get out of a firefight unscathed.
As you can see, although Castes do lock you in to an extent to certain roles (since you cannot change your Caste abilities), there is nothing stopping the Fighter from also being the Face, or the Face from also being the Fighter.
Q: What is an Exaltation, exactly?
Answer: An Exaltation is the metaphysical object which empowers an individual and makes them one of the Exalted. Depending on the kind of Exalt we are talking about, the form that this takes varies. For example: Between the Solar/Infernal/Abyssal, Lunar, and Sidereal Exalted there are 700 total Exaltations. Thus, there can never be more than 700 of them collectively at a time.
When a person experiences Exaltation (the act of becoming one of the Exalted) the metaphysical "shard" that is the Exaltation grafts itself to their soul. This shard bears memories of the previous bearers of the Exaltation in addition to the phenomenal cosmic power that it grants them. In the case of the Alchemical Exalted and Dragon-Bloods however, their Exaltation is impermanent and strictly physical - it doesn't go on to a new host when they die, it just ceases to be.
Q: What does the Great Curse do?
Answer: It depends. The great curse mechanically is attached to one of the four Virtues of the individual Exalt, and those four Virtues partially codify the behavior of the individual. Valor represents courage as well as bullheaded behavior, Temperance represents self-control and truthfulness, Conviction represents determination and a willingness to do what needs to be done (even if it's ugly), and Compassion is pretty self-explanatory. When the Great Curse is triggered, it exaggerates or inverts the strongest of the Exalt's traits and thus causes them to act crazy.
Regardless of which Virtue a person takes, Limit accumulates whenever an Exalt resists unnatural mental influence (mind control, essentially), utilizes powers that inflict limit, acts against their nature (a compassionate person murdering somebody in cold blood), and a few more circumstances I'm probably forgetting. Whenever the Exalt acts against a high Virtue, they roll that virtue and gain limit.
For example: Bob the Barbarian is challenged to single combat by a hated foe. Because he knows that he cannot win however, he decides not to. Because Bob the Barbarian has a Valor of 5, he must then roll 5 ten-sided dice (5d10) and every dice that comes up at 7 or higher (10 counts twice) adds one to his Limit rating. When his Limit rating reaches 10, he experiences what we call Limit Break.
A Limit Break is what happens when somebody's Great Curse goes off. In the case of Bob, he is probably going to fly into an uncontrollable Berserk rage and attempt to murder everything in front of him. Depending on the character's Virtues however, it may be different - a Compassionate character would instead dramatically throw themselves in the way of a slave being abused by their master, or a Temperate character might lose their mind and start indulging in every vice they could possibly imagine and some that they couldn't.
It bears mentioning that to a person who indulges in a Limit Break, it is extremely cathartic - you regain Willpower if you simply submit and go nuts. Although I don't think it warrants an individual entry, Willpower acts both as a measure for how strong-minded your character is and acts as a power pool for certain powers, so this is a big deal.
Q: What about Exalts without the Great Curse?
Answer: They still experience limit break, but it is usually of a different kind than the cursed Exalts.
Abyssal Exalted: Abyssals experience a form of Limit Break called "Resonance", and it is triggered when they commit certain Sins of Life. Essentially, they are forbidden to do a great many things (use their pre-Exaltation name, sire children, attempt to kill or fight their Deathlord or Neverborn masters, etc.) and doing those things causes them to accumulate Resonance. Unlike most kinds of Exalted they can trigger their Limit Break early so that it isn't as bad as it could be…
But also unlike other kinds of Exalted, Abyssal Limit Breaks are horrible in a unique way. Sometimes they simply blight the land around them so that nothing will grow there while they're in the area, and other times they receive wounds called stigmata. Yet other times, a mortal pet, friend, or loved one is brutally slain by the Resonance eruption. Being a rogue Abyssal is accordingly a dangerous business.
Infernal Exalted: Infernals experience something different, called "Torment". It is triggered when they don't work towards their Urge, which is a supernatural order codified into their Exaltation by their Primordial/Yozi masters. Note that Infernals are not required to obey this Urge, and this is where they get Limit from. Infernals may mitigate their unique form of limit through Acts of Villainy, which is basically acting like a saturday morning cartoon villain in a way that pleases the imprisoned Primordials.
Alchemical Exalted: Alchemical Exalted did not exist when the Great Curse was levied upon the Exalted. They were simply a blueprint that had not been executed to create anything yet. Instead, they have a mechanic called Clarity. Clarity is not like traditional Limit Breaks, but instead accumulates and causes the Alchemical to act less human and more like a machine. They do not experience actual "limit break", instead reaching Clarity 10 and capping out there. They may mitigate this through interaction with non-Alchemicals.
Q: What is an Akuma?
Answer: "Akuma" is a term for a character who has sold their soul to the imprisoned Primordials/Yozis in exchange for power. This bumps the character up a power tier from where they were originally, and gives them access to the Charms of the Yozi that they sold their to. This is the exception when it comes to the Exalted being free willed - if an Exalt becomes an Akuma, they become the servitors of the Yozi just as surely as any other Akuma.
In short, an Akuma is a person who has sold their soul for power and no longer possesses free will of their own, or even their own independent motivation for existence. Their supernaturally reformatted motivation is called an Urge, and can be anything from 'murder all the First-Born of Egypt' to 'Serve and obey your Primordial master.'
While Akuma are sometimes referred to as the Infernal Exalted, they are not counted among the ranks of the Green Sun Princes and do not even have to be Exalted prior to selling their souls.
Q: What is a Creature of Darkness?
Answer: It is an entity that has been declared by the Unconquered Sun to be an enemy of Creation. Holy powers have special effects against them, such as inflicted more damage or frightening them more easily, or something similar. Likewise Creatures of Darkness cannot access Holy powers under normal circumstances (or any, by rules as written.) Akuma and the Infernal Exalted are Creatures of Darkness.
The arbitrary nature of being a Creature of Darkness in Exalted is also why off-world Holy effects aren't necessarily as effective against them as native Holy effects. They may not actually be Unholy creatures by the standards of other worlds, after all.
Q: What is an Incarnae?
Answer: The Incarnae are the most powerful of the Gods, called the "Most High" at times.
- The Unconquered Sun: Also called "Ignis Divine", the "Guarding Star", and "Sol Invictus". The King of the Gods, and almost unarguably the most powerful entity in the setting. He is the embodiment of Perfection and Virtue, and most of his powers are linked to one of these concepts somehow. It is for this reason that his Exalted and those derived from them are the most powerful of the Exalted host. He lost his faith in the Solar Exalted thousands of years ago, and has since focused exclusively on the Games of Divinity.
- Luna: Also called the "Changing Lady", and the Unconquered Sun's second-in-command. She brings with her the Cloak of Night, and is the only being who has gazed unharmed upon the unrestrained splendor of the Sun. She is a mercurial creature, infused with the power of the wyld and taking on many different guises and persona depending upon the time and circumstances. As she is linked to the Sun, so too are her Lunar Exalted linked to the Solar Exalted. She loves the Primordial Gaia, and brought her into the conspiracy to overthrow the other Primordials.
- The Five Maidens: Once called the fates, the Maidens oversee various aspects of Fate and Destiny. Mercury oversees Journeys, Venus oversees Serenity, Mars oversees Battles, Jupiter oversees Secrets, and Saturn oversees Endings. They are the patrons of the Sidereal Exalted, and they are rarely straightforward - though they are the overseers of fate, they are also bound to its dictations.
- Gaia: Although not a God, Gaia is sometimes counted among the Incarnae since she is the last of the Primordials remaining in Heaven. She is the lover of Luna. Although she did not contribute Exalted of her own to the Primordial Wars, the Elemental Dragons - her sub-souls - were allowed to do so. Creation's geomancy is heavily connected to Gaia.
Q: What is a Primordial?
Answer: Primordials are very similar in concept to greek chthonic deities. Gaia is the most glaring example of this, being the most recognizably derived from Greek mythology. In essence, they are the first generation of Gods who put their heads together to make Creation, and while some of them are ambivalent and others are even benevolent, they are idiot-savants who can only conceive of things that are within the scope of their personal themes.
Primordials often have bodies the size of worlds themselves, but usually have smaller bodies to better facilitate direct interaction. They also have sub-souls called Devas, which assist them in interacting with things outside of their immediate scope of understanding and make up various parts of their minds while maintaining an independent physical existence. Examples include: Adorjan, the Silent Wind, Malfeas, the Demon City, The Ebon Dragon, the Shadow of All Things, She Who Lives In Her Name, the Perfection of Hierarchy.
The Primordials who were defeated and imprisoned in the body of Malfeas are called Yozi, and their Deva are called Demons, while the Primordials that were killed outright are called Neverborn.
Q: Primordials have more than one soul?
Answer: Yes, sort of. Although they have an independent existence from their patron Primordial, Devas/Demons are the sub-souls of Primordials rather than completely independent individuals.
- Third-Circle Devas/Demons are the most important sub-souls of the Primordials. They define major facets of a Primordial's being, and if killed what they represented will change. The most important Third-Circle Deva is called the Fetich Soul of a Primordial. If a Fetich Soul is killed permanently, the Primordial will experience a total reformatting of their existence and themes. It bears mentioning that a Third-Circle Deva can simultaneously be landscape and person - Ligier, the Green Sun, is both the sun of the Demon City and an auburn-haired nobleman who walks through it.
- Second-Circle Devas/Demons are the sub-souls of Third-Circle Devas/Demons. Though their deaths can hurt or inconvenience their Third-Circle Deva, it is not as crippling as it is for a Primordial to lose a Third-Circle Deva.
- First-Circle Devas/Demons are not sub-souls of Primordials at all. They're just servitor races created because they were needed or wanted for whatever reason at a particular moment in time.
Q: What is a "Jouten"?
The term 'Jouten' is used for the physical body of a Primordial, regardless of its scope or immediate awareness. For example, the Demon City is a Jouten of Malfeas, but so is the humanoid Brass Dancer that walks the city streets. Any given Primordial is likely to have multiple jouten.
Q: What are Gods like in Exalted?
Answer: The Gods are spiritual beings, a core of Essence held together by willpower. There are Gods for everything, from the least gods of individual blades of grass to War Gods whose influence covers the entirety of the Southern section of Creation. In terms of powers, the Gods vary wildly based on their station and role - the God of a small village is not going to be as powerful as the City-God of a sprawling metropolis.
Gods are divided into Terrestrial and Celestial Gods based on their specific domain, and Celestial Gods tend to have more conceptual or abstract and wide-spread areas of influence. It bears mentioning that Gods were created based off of Primordial sub-souls, and they can be just as alien and terrifying as any Demon or Deva as a result. A God of Murder is rarely any more welcomed than a Blood Ape.
Q: What is an Elemental like in Exalted?
Answer: Elementals are spirits similar to gods, but are subordinate to Gods in authority… but not necessarily in power. Like Gods, their powers are based on their domain and the elemental overseeing a specific stream is not going to be as powerful as the elemental overseeing a whole lake. Like Demons, Elementals are available for summoning by the Exalted, and tend to be much more cooperative.
Q: What is a God-Blood?
Answer: A God-Blood is a lesser type of supernatural mortal whose power comes from being the progeny of a God or an Elemental. Though their powers are not as great as that of the Exalted, they do have limited access to the Spirit Charms used by Gods, Elementals, and Demons. God-Bloods are capable of ascending to Godhood with sufficient growth.
Q: Are there other Half-Breeds?
Answer: Yes! Yes, there are. Though it bears mentioning that they are invariably weaker than proper supernatural creatures - half-breeds are simply not capable of exceeding or even equaling their sires in most cases - this is particularly true of Exalted Half-Castes. Here is a list of them:
- Exalted Half-Castes: Particularly powerful Exalts are capable of siring supernatural offspring capable of channeling Essence and learning a limited selection of charms based on the kind of Exalt who sired them. Because of the nature of their exaltations, there are no Alchemical or Dragon-Blooded half-castes.
- Demon-Bloods: These are essentially identical to God-Bloods, save that they have themes appropriate to their demonic parent and ascend into First-Circle Demons instead of a God.
- Ghost-Bloods: The half-breed offspring of Ghosts who have particular charms to allow them to sire offspring. Where God-Bloods and Demon-Bloods ascend to Godhood and become Demons respectively, Ghost-Bloods simply drop dead upon ascending and… become ghosts. They are able to learn ghostly charms, called Arcanoi.
- Fae-Bloods: DETAILS FORTHCOMING.
Supernatural Powers & Objects
Q: What is "Essence"?
Answer: Essence is the basic building blocks of everything in Creation. It is also the trait that magical entities use as their power bar. An individual's "permanent Essence" is rated on a 1-10 scale. Mortals begin at "1" and can never be rated higher than 3 without becoming something else (A god, for example) while the Exalted begin at 2-4 and only temporarily cap out at 5 before incrementally being able to increase in power all the way up to 10 once they are sufficiently old.
Q: What are "Motes"?
Answer: Motes are basically your mana bar. Almost all magic in Exalted requires the expenditure of motes to function, and the more Essence you have the more motes of Essence are available to you.
Q: What is a "Charm"?
Answer: 'Charm' is the term used to refer to the innate magical powers that all supernatural beings in Exalted possess. Each charm has a particular function, cost, and usage. The simplest kind of charm is called an Excellency, and just makes you especially talented at a specific type of action (such as using a melee weapon, or putting on a performance). More complicated charms also exist.
For example, Running to Forever is an Infernal Charm that allows the person who has it to run forever without ever getting tired, and eventually it grows more powerful so that running actually counts as rest to the person who is using it. Most players will not have a comprehensive Charm list in their +powers, for the same reason that most people who play Wizards do not list every single spell available to them - the list would be too long, and some of those things just don't warrant an independent power entry.
Q: What is an Excellency?
Answer: It is the most simple kind of charm that anyone can get in the entire game. Firstly, you must understand that Exalted runs off of a d10 system - everybody rolls a number of ten-sided dice for a given equal to their Attribute (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, etc.) and Ability (Martial Arts, Occult, Crafting, etc.) An Excellency enhances these basic rolls the more motes you put into it, and each kind of supernatural being gets access to some kind of Excellency.
There are several different kinds of Excellencies: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for most types of characters. The first allows you to add dice to your roll, the second allows you to succeed automatically within limits, and the 3rd allows you to re-roll if you are not satisfied with your original roll.
Solar, Abyssal, Sidereal, and Dragon-Blooded Excellencies: These character types use Ability-based Excellencies. So for example the charm they take to add dice to their Martial Arts roll is the 1st Martial Arts Excellency.
Lunar and Alchemical Excellencies: Rather than having ability-based excellencies, these two character types have Attribute-based Excellencies. So for example a Lunar or Alchemical Martial Artist would instead use their 1st Dexterity Excellency to enhance their ability to strike an opponent.
Infernal Excellencies: Instead of the Ability or Attribute-based Excellencies, the Infernal Exalted possess conceptual Excellencies derived from their patron Yozi (see 'What is a Primordial' for information on Yozis) that may be applied universally as long as they behave in a certain way. So for example an Infernal using the 1st Malfeas Excellency could get extra dice for a martial arts action only if he is fighting in an unrestrained manner - this also means that he has to buy a minimum amount of dice with the excellency or it will not activate.
Q: What is an "Anima Banner"?
Answer: When the Exalted spend motes of Essence (see above), their power gradually spills out into the world around them and activates passive powers unique to the particular kind of Exalt they are, and this is accompanied by an iconic display of power called an "Anima Banner". This is essentially a battle aura, which manifests itself as something appropriate both to the type of Exalt you are, and the type of person you are. It also completely prevents you from doing anything stealthy because you glow with the radiance of a thousand suns.
For example: Viridian Sunrise's anima banner takes the form of a chinese-style dragon made of brass with emerald flames pouring from its eyes. It is easily big enough to wrap itself around mountains, and flies through the air above him as he moves. A Solar might instead have a golden phoenix, or a stampede of stallions, or so on and so forth.
Q: What is an "Artifact"?
Answer: An Artifact is a specific kind of object in Exalted that is identified as such because it is a magical item. Although there are many examples of artifacts, the most simple of these is unquestionably the Daiklave. Daiklave is the Exalted term for, essentially, a magical sword. Artifacts from Creation cannot be used without committing some kind of mystical power to activating their special properties.
Another low-powered artifact is called the Traveler's Staff. It serves as a walking stick and a quarterstaff, but it's true use is that it may be planted at sunset to produce a full-sized apple tree that can feed up to five people and may then be used for firewood. Come the following morning, the staff will re-form from the branches of the tree and be readily snapped back up to be re-used.
Q: What is Creation? How is it different from Earth?
Answer: Creation is the world in which the game "Exalted" is set. It is a flat plane with a dome set over the top of it that "simulates" the sky - there is no space. Outside of Creation proper (by simply sailing or walking in the same direction long enough) is the Wyld, and eventually Pure Chaos, from which the world was forged.
Q: Are there any worlds other than Creation?
Answer: Yes! There is Malfeas, the Demon City, which is the world-sized jouten of the Yozi called Malfeas. It is often called Hell, and serves as the prison for the defeated Primordials. You can enter there through the world-jouten of the Yozi called Cecelyne, the Endless Desert. There is also Yu-Shan, which is basically Heaven, and is the home of the Gods and the Celestial Bureaucracy.
Finally, there is Autochthonia, which is the world-body of Autochthon, the Great Maker, one of the two Primordials that turned traitor and joined the Gods in their rebellion. Before Creation, the Primordials also entertained themselves in a now-lost world called Zen-Mu, though whether there is anything left of it or not no one can say.
Q: What is the typical political system in Creation?
Answer: Most countries are either monarchies of some kind or flat-out dictatorships, though some of the dictatorships are benevolent at least. There are some limited forms of democracy, but it depends heavily on where you go. One of the biggest powers in the world, The Realm, is basically an inefficient bureaucracy set up by one person to make herself so vital to the running of the country that it would collapse without her while simultaneously making everyone else feel important. She has several dozen potential successors and they all hate each other to varying degrees.
Q: What is Creation's technological level?
Answer: Varies wildly. You can find (or create) anything from tribal-stage civilizations to an Atlantean paradise depending on who you are and what you are capable of. Note however that modern (or better) technological conditions basically require active maintenance by the Celestial or even Solar Exalted to maintain because it relies heavily on magitech that practically no one else is capable of dealing with long-term.
Q: What is the Wyld?
Answer: The Wyld and Pure Chaos are the infinite plains of potential from which the Primordials were birthed, from which the Fair Folk are derived, and from which Creation was sprung. With the right powers you can make anything from the roiling chaos of the wyld… and without resistance to its effects, it can turn you into anything.
Describing the Wyld is extremely difficult. It is not like the Volatile Wastes as some have supposed - the Volatile Wastes are not typically productive. People who go into the wyld without defenses against it come out mutated, but can come out of it alive - perhaps even with a few perks derived from the mutation.
Or they can have their spinal fluid replaced with snakes. Which you get is a roll of the dice, in the end.
Q: How does fate work in Exalted?
Answer: Fate is physics. Fate is how things interact with one another and how Creation defines itself solidly against the Wyld. This is not to say that Fate never works in the "traditional" way, with people having destinies that they cannot avert, but much of its purpose is to make sure things like causality is enforced.
Sometimes fate glitches, a man falls off a roof and simultaneously dies and does not die - people around him react both as if he had died and as if nothing had happened and generally causing a big mess. The Sidereal Exalted figure fate heavily into their powers and may even manipulate it as a part of their power set.
Although the Exalted may have destinies, they disrupt it by their very nature - Elites in the Multiverse interact with fate in a similar manner. Although they are powerful and may defy it, they are not altogether outside of it and thus cannot automatically shrug off the powers of the Sidereal Exalted that rely upon manipulating fate even though they are naturally resistant.
Q: What does it mean to be outside of fate?
Answer: It means that you are so alien to the fate of Creation that it cannot incorporate or factor you into its design in any way - as far as fate is concerned you simply don't exist. Very few entities are like this: Primordials, Third & Second-Circle Demons/Devas, Akuma, and the Infernal Exalted.
It bears mentioning that although Autochthonians and Alchemical Exalted are outside of fate, it is because they are a part of Autochthon's loom of fate rather than that of Creation, not because they are external to the concept. Spending too much time in Creation causes them to be integrated into Creation's loom of fate, after which they are outside of fate in Autochthonia until they spend enough time there and being re-integrated into the local system.