Table of Contents
Exalted: Modern Info Page
This wiki page has for goal to maintain a comprehensive list of all Exalted: Modern information, from the basic theme information to the player-contributed additions, including changes to the land, major world figures and organizations, etc. It'll probably get pretty spammy, but you should be able to navigate it by following the titles.
Many years ago, there was Creation. At the end of its First Age, Exaltations fought amongst one another, and buried beneath the ruins of their wars most of their glories. Its Second Age was much darker, as the heroes of old returned to challenge the world that was built in their absence, and as forces both immense and terrible tried ruining the world. Its Third Age wiped it all away.
The sheer scale of the war called for Lytek's office to be locked in an attempt to trap the errant Exaltations, just as the Incarna readied themselves. In the resulting battle, the Yozi were destroyed, warped into Neverborn; Yu-Shan was shaken, and every Celestial Exalted killed, their Shards now locked in Lytek's office. The Incarna never returned to Heaven; where they went, none knows. The Deathlords were broken; the Wyld warded off. And then… the Neverborn found sleep once more. Creation was left in the mortals' hands.
That was thousands and thousands of years ago.
Modern Earth, 2012.
Mankind has all but forgotten its heritage. Great beasts and magical beings remain, but none so powerful the mortals cannot contend with them. Through their numbers, humanity has risen to conquer Creation and call it Earth, and the years have defaced it. Superstitions have it that this is the end-year; old writings from ages past predicting a great shift, that humanity's age is over. The sun slowly sets on Creation's Fourth Age.
The lock on Lytek's office has been broken. 100 Sidereals, 150 Solars, 150 Abyssals and 300 Lunars find themselves hurled into the modern world, having only gotten to watch it evolve from afar. In some mortals, age-old genetics start awakening, Dragon-Blooded making their reappearance too. The Neverborn shift in their tombs, as some of their Deathlords finally take physical form again. And at the outer edges of the world, the Wyld starts moving once more.
After the Age of Glories, the Age of Sorrows, the Age of Destruction and the Age of Man… what will you do to ensure the Fifth Age is named after your victory?
OOC: This is a very primitive 'Modern Exalted' setting, which stars primarily Abyssals, Lunars, Solars, Sidereals and Dragon-Blooded. There are no FCs left other than the Deathlords and the Neverborn, and they are not appable. Any backgrounds or advantages granting access to your past Exaltations' memories cannot be selected. Elder Exalted cannot be applied for (they haven't been back long enough). Knowledge of the past Ages must be earned in RP; no stats, Charms or macguffin will suddenly grant you information on things that aren't around anymore.
The Intent of the Theme
The Exalted: Modern-1 setting is meant to be something of a sandbox everyone in the theme can influence. While I'm going to do my best to update the map and this page as changes happen, it is strongly suggested that people personally input the changes they make (for example, creating Shadowlands, destroying cities, etc) on this page so that they are easy to find. While I (Blossom Rose) more or less hold a kind of veto in terms of "what passes and what doesn't" when it comes to messing with the theme, I really don't want to have to use it, and I'd rather if people responsibly ran around and did things to the theme without going overboard.
In terms of lore, this setting discards almost everything that would otherwise be considered "required reading" if you wanted to app Exalted. All you need to know, LITERALLY ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW, is that this is modern Earth, with fantastic creatures, gods and demons running around, and suddenly random humans are finding themselves empowered into champions of epic proportions, the Exalted. What they do with that power past that is more or less up to them, but that's basically all you need to know to app in, besides obviously doing some research on the powers/abilities available to Exalted, etc etc.
Mind you, just because you don't NEED to know doesn't mean the lore isn't there to be found, but since characters wouldn't know about it, it's OK not to know about it OOCly too. You don't need to know what the Deathlords are beyond 'big bad undead-commanding ghosts'. You don't need to know what the Neverborn are beyond 'angry not-quite-dead superbeings'. You don't need to know what Exalted are beyond 'empowered heroes'. Etc, etc.
Info Files: The Theme
This is Creation… thousands and thousands and thousands of years after a great war ravaged it. And now, it's Earth. It's still flat, and surrounded by the Wyld; "space" exists, and it's possible to explore the local Solar System, but past that it turns into Wyld again. Since the Earth is flat, space isn't "all around" Earth but rather "up" and only up. Trying to go left and right constraints explorers the same way they would be on Earth, i.e. they'll wind up in the Wyld past a point.
For the most part, Earth is still Earth, and most RL cultures and locations exist, barring some very slight modifications to adapt them to the fantastic creatures that wander about (lesser gods, tyrant lizards, elementals, you get the idea). Most living beings with half of a brain co-exist with humans, since there's not really a reason not to, and human technology has gotten good enough that if they really want to, they'll wipe out your species, environmental damage be damned. So basically, it's Earth! With awesome stuff running around and being, for the most part, "normal".
Artifacts are occasionally dug up, but they are rare. Still, they have a tendency to find their way into the hands of the Exalted, so their rarity is not really a problem. On the other hand, new artifacts are often crafted; guns, rifles, and more modern equipment, etc. The Magical Materials— and any other materials unique to Exalted, can be found on Earth in decent enough quantities that they're almost an economic standard, like gold; and while mortals can't really get anything out of making weapons out of them, their durability makes them excellent for military equipment and collector weapons… which typically end up being artifacts.
The Exalted have been locked up in Lytek's office essentially since Creation's 'end'. The Dragon-Blooded returned roughly ten years ago (~2002) while the Celestial Exalted are just now breaking out (~2012). NONE OF THE SHARDS HAVE ACCESSIBLE MEMORIES IN THEM, so there's not really an age or technology clash to speak of. You're a mortal, and then you're superpowered; go. There's no displacement to talk of.
THEME VILLAINS: Abyssals/Deathlords/Neverborn (primary), Dragon-Blooded/Wyld Hunt (secondary, can be allies), The Wyld/Rogue Beings (tertiary); it's also possible for independant Exalted to form their own sub-group of villains, but this is the basic framework. Sidereals fit pretty well in the role of superspies, and may be heroes as much as villains depending.
For more specific information, consult the three million other info files I have set up for this theme. They are named so as to quickly identify what you think you need to know.
This is a rough guideline, but if you're looking to app into this theme, it goes something roughly like this:
Heroic Mortals can reach up to 31, with large amounts of training and top-notch technology/artifacts, making them fairly significant.
Gods and most other creatures can reach up to 32.
Exalted would generally start anywhere between 30 and 33-34; Dragon-Blooded cap at 34, while most Celestials would cap at 35-36; however, Celestials have NOT been back long enough for any of them to be remotely close to old enough or powerful enough to go beyond 34 just yet, barring a TP app and a lot of RP to justify it. It is suggested that Exalted start around 32 to give themselves a lot of room to upgrade. As a general rule, Exalted in the service of the Deathlords have access to slightly more resources and artifacts, and so can justify their PL a bit easier.
Raksha can go up to 33, ish, but if they rely on Shaping a lot in their powersets, would need to have a +flaw that reduces their effective PL against Exalted with the proper defenses.
The Deathlords, while unappable, have PLs anywhere between 34 and 36, with appropriate boss modes or sig moves. If they come up in a TP, more details will be given then. The Neverborn can't exactly fight, and so have no proper PL to speak of (they're more like scenery). Still, taking them on would be a bad idea.
The Deathlords and the Neverborn
All Primordials are now Neverborn, but not all are awake. Likewise, not all Deathlords have regained physical form yet. Those that have, however, are the only beings in the whole world to know the truth of Earth's past, and they do not trade that information lightly— for that information also holds the key to their defeat through study of the past Ages.
Their goals have not changed, as they still seek the annihilation of all life. However, without the Primordials in their way, and with Earth being so small compared to Creation, they stand a much better chance of succeeding if they are allowed to continue.
Deathlords know when their Deathknights Exalt, but they do not really have a way to leverage them into servitude. Instead, they offer them knowledge, power, tutelage and whatever they may desire, generally winning them over that way. Over time, they can normally corrupt the Abyssals into serving the Neverborn of their own free will. Or, for that matter, other Exalted who come into their service.
Yu-Shan and the Underworld
Yu-Shan is essentially in ruins, and the access gates are lost. The Loom of Fate still exists, but can only be accessed by meditation (Sidereals only), as a sort of astral plane. Charms that transported to Yu-Shan now transport to a chosen safe haven of the user, and Charms that require Yu-Shan to be activated or that affect Yu-Shan in some way instead affect that haven.
The Underworld not accessible anymore, and is overflowing due every single Primordial being in it. Occasionally bad things manage to gush out of it through dark, geyser-like openings in the real world, but those don't usually last very long. Charms that transported to the Underworld now transport to a chosen Shadowland instead, and Charms that require the Underworld to be activated or that affect the Underworld in some way instead require or affect a Shadowland.
Although the Underworld is no longer accessible, Shadowlands are still created by Deathlords and their Servants. Shadowlands do not stop non-Abyssals from regenerating Essence, but rather halve the rate at which it is regenerated, after all bonuses are added. Likewise, being outside Shadowlands only halves Abyssals' Essence regeneration, it does not stop it outright.
In a similar vein, Shadowlands are no longer as physically obvious as they used to be. Large areas, especially cities, usually seem to be fine on the surface due to the fact pretty much everything is concrete or covered in some way; life still has difficulties thriving in these areas, but the superficial advances of humanity cover up the Shadowlands' presence for the most part.
Obviously, Shadowlands which are out in the open without much cityscape to hide them still appear quite ominous; the clouds blot the sun quite often, life is rare, the dead rise from their graves, so and so forth.
Manses and Hearthstones
Still exist, but the truly powerful ones are heavily guarded and usually in government hands. The reason for this is that Hearthstones and their Manses make amazing sources of electricity, far cheaper to run than any other human-built facilities… so they use them.
Dead. Or missing. No one knows. Likely, no one will ever know.
Although the Primordials themselves are no more, they still exist, and generally form small bands which do whatever they want. They can be summoned and are still bound to serve, but most of the demons that still exist have a more modern-flare to them and can offer their expertises as such. For example, somewhere out there there's probably a mafia run entirely by Blood Apes.
Info Files: The Exaltations & PC Splats
For information on the various Exalted types, their history and roles in Exalted: Modern-1, and that of potential non-Exalted PC types, please go here.
Info Files: Adjusted Mechanics
House Rules and mechanical tweaks (including character creation, crafts changes, background tweaks, etc.) may be found here. The following subjects are covered, but this list is subject to change at any time: Character Creation, Starting XP, Shards rules that are used, New Abilities, Backgrounds, Altered Mechanics, Charm Prerequisites, Holy Charms, Burn Legend Martial Arts, Breeding, Artifacts, and Craft.
Info Files: Supplementals
How does one develop complex science in a world where anyone with Essence can completely circumvent any established rules of physics? The simple answer is, "the rules apply until they don't". The world obeys most conventional rules of physics. The simple reason for this is that there are gods whose purview is "making science work".
Just because there is an abundance of people who can use Essence to circumvent physics doesn't mean the rules aren't there anyway, after all. It just means some people can completely ignore them. And this is fine, because the fact an Exalted can run at the speed of sound doesn't make the fact a car can do it too any less spectacular, nor does it make the car suddenly break down and be unable to do it because the rules of physics that allowed it got ignored.
On the other hand if you find the god responsible for a certain rule and you kill him, you can screw the rules up until a new god takes their place! Don't like gravity? Kill the god who maintains local gravity laws! It might not launch everything into space but you might suddenly feel like you're on the Moon for that area until a new god shows up.
So TL;DR: "science" is still a thing. Essence, Charms, Sorcery, what have you, are another thing altogether that science cannot quantify or explain, at least not yet, and they allow you to do things that would normally be impossible.
The Daystar, the Silver Chair and the Planets
In a world with space shuttles, how would man not have conquered the astrological signs, found the keys to the Daystar and laid eyes upon Luna's secrets? The simple answer is the constellation of the Mask.
Thousands of years after it was broken, it still hides the Sidereals, and before the Celestial Incarna disappeared, they put their greatest treasures and identities behind the veil as well… a little bit more literally than anyone could have imagined.
For indeed the Daystar has sprout an incredible protective shield spanning thousands and millions of miles across, turning into the Sun that the world so knows and cannot approach safely. And the Silver Chair has grown a rocky shell, its shrines and secrets deep in the core. While the astrological signs have become manifest, barren worlds with seemingly nothing on them, and inhospitable to life and exploration, at least for now.
Perhaps one day their secrets will be pierced.
Calendar and Calibration
Due to the use of temporal weaponry during the end of the Second Age and the start of the Third Age, Creation's flow of time has been significantly damaged. As a result, several days have disappeared from the calendar outright, and one hour of every day has been consumed by Oblivion itself.
That means this setting now obeys Earth's standard calendar, timezone and time rules!
Calibration, meanwhile, happens every first day of every season AND during the night between December 31st and January 1st. The skies grow dark, as not a single star can be seen in the night sky, nor does the Moon even rise at the end of the day. Astrology becomes completely useless, demons are much easier to summon, etc.
Elemental Pole of Fire
BUT IT'S IN THE WATER!!! I can hear you proclaim. Yes. Yes it is. At around that point, the water begins boiling and if you go far enough it turns into liquid fire. Not lava. Liquid fire. Australian hunters are world-renowned for their combat prowesses against fire elementals, for that matter! Their local militias and police forces often make use of them even. And fire kangaroos are plentiful.
The Wyld Hunt
It is the US government's special task force, manned primarily by Dragon-Blooded. Though they do not hunt the Celestial Exalted just yet, there is a racial supremacy movement going on internally that may yet snowball into something much bigger than simply being a task force that hunts rogue supernatural beings.
Not something to be simply lost in time, it has managed to stay the single most prominent trade operation in the entire world. Though the Guild does not have a monopoly on "trading", concurrents often find themselves disappearing or mysteriously dying in their sleep sooner or later. The Guild doesn't just deal with the legal trading (from shipping to distribution, and sometimes even production, of goods) aspect of things, but has a branch entirely dedicated to the illegal as well (slavery, drugs, weaponry…).
Not an organization so much as an extremely large faction of beings, the forces of Oblivion answer to the Neverborn, who in their newly awakened states are twice as vicious, vengeful and cunning as they once were. Directly under them on the totem pole are the Deathlords and those they choose to be their right-hand men. Under them, the Abyssal Exalted and the Alchemical Exalted, the Champions of Oblivion who do most of the dirty work. And then under them, other Exalted, mortals, undead, demons, and whatever forces they can rally.
Unfortunately, despite having an unified goal for the world, that being its total obliteration, not every Deathlord, and not even every Neverborn, agrees on how exactly it should be done. Some believe it should be done slowly and carefully, while others (like the First and Forsaken Lion) believe the answer can be found through simple military might. This has caused minor splits among the forces of Oblivion, and the Deathlords themselves often fight over territory or ownership of powerful slaves and artifacts, see even over trying to prove to the Neverborn their methods are superior.
The Abyssal Exalted seek power, not just over all things living, not just to serve Oblivion, but to overthrow their Deathlord masters and make their own story for the future. Founded by two dozen Abyssals in complete secrecy, Ouroboros as an organization sought to decipher the means the Deathlords and Neverborn used to corrupt Solar Exalted Shards, and to apply the process to other Exalted. The brazen Deathknights used forbidden rituals to obtain pieces of the Engine of Extinction, and captured a living Lunar Exalted to begin their experiments. Project 666 Cascade, named after the coincidental desired end-result (six souls corrupt in six ways in six days), thus began.
After a spectacular failure with the prototype, Ouroboros refined their method and created the means for a Lunar Exaltation to be twisted into a new kind of Alchemical Exaltation. Unfortunately, the process was not entirely in their control, and some of the Shards fled to the open world. Other Shards which were contained now await a proper host to be "conditioned" to receive the gift of Exaltation, for the Abyssals do not want their new creations to have free will and to serve masters other than them.
But Exaltations are powerful things, unlikely to be bent so strongly.
Ouroboros is now known to several Sidereals and other Celestial Exalted in good standing with the Abyssal Exalted. The Deathlords have caught wind of the projects, but have so far dismissed them as the incompetent baby steps of their Abyssal servants, simply trying to emulate their greatness.
Refer to this page.
Gods & Monsters
Al-Qaum, Western War God
Also known as the "Caravan God", and the "Western God of Ground Transportation", Al-Qaum is one of the most powerful and influential Gods of the Middle East. Though he benefits directly from the mass-bloodshed brought about by the "War on Terror", he intensely dislikes the foreign corporate interests that have driven (and by proxy, caused) many of the recent conflicts in his area of influence. Despite his power, Al-Qaum does not have the ability or influence to overtly oppose foreign interests, but he does whatever he can to subtly tip the odds against foreign interlopers wherever possible. He would never do so enough to prevent the bloodshed from going on, but as far as Al-Qaum is concerned, the more greedy foreigners who die on his soil, the better.
Roughly six months ago, Al-Qaum openly confronted a mercenary named Amir in the streets of Islamabad, Pakistan. The pair fought until sunrise, at which time Amir struck Al-Qaum through the heart with a fist wreathed in golden flames, and the battle was done. Though not permanently slain by Amir, Al-Qaum is currently regenerating from that disastrous battle with his mortal foe.
The Viator of Nullspace
Shortly after the return of the Exalted to Earth, the bio-mechanical horror known as Viator of Nullspace sprung whole from the Shadowland at Chernobyl and began to rampage across the Ukraine. It eventually made its way into Russia and fought with Russian Special Forces, joined by the Terrestrial Exalted of the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs (BSA). Though the bio-mechanical monstrosity was driven away from Moscow by this joint effort, it escaped destruction and has been an international problem ever since. It was last spotted in Latvia, headed southwest towards Poland.
The Beast of Styx
The Beast of Styx, Cerberus, is no god, no demon, and no guardian of the Underworld. The prototype of Project 666 Cascade done by Ouroboros, The Beast is a Soulsteel Alchemical Exalted infused with the malice, hatred and rage of the Engine of Extinction. How and why the Lunar Exaltation reacted so poorly to the corruption process when it was in a living, tortured host, the members of Ouroboros do not know, but now they know to corrupt Lunar Shards before, not after, picking a host.
The Third Breath was almost lethal to The Beast— its Second Exaltation caused his body to erupt with streams of Essence. It made his blood boil, his organs grew to twice their normal size and burst out of his body. His brain was crushed inside his own skull. The pain was immense, but the Exaltation would not allow its host to die. The Soulsteel exoskeleton that formed sealed all injuries as though metal plates grafted onto his skin, while Essence slowly conditioned his body to start growing to accomodate the now overgrown organs. But even in this state, the pain was such that it rendered The Beast completely and utterly insane, no more than a vessel for the Engine of Extinction's dark will.
Overnight, while in containment, The Beast's exoskeleton grew into a full suit of power armor, whose arms sported cannons capable of drawing Pyre Flame out of the Underworld, with a tail sporting a minigun-like cannon capable of leveling a building within seconds and firing strange, necrotic ammunition. And the helmet, shaped like the head of a great, hellish dog, mouth and eyes hidden behind a burning green veil of fire, from which only The Beast's twisted screams can escape. Breaking out of containment, The Beast disappeared into the world to act upon the only thing it knows other than pain: hatred.
Its current whereabouts are unknown, but the Abyssal Exalted make it a point to try and track it down whenever possible. While they cannot control or hope to contain such a monster, with the right plan it can be steered in a direction that suits them, at least temporarily.
MECHANICALLY, The Beast of Styx is an Essence 5-6 Soulsteel Alchemical Exalted whose twin Pyre Flame cannons instantly incinerate beings with unawakened Essence (i.e. mortals, non-Elites) and cause grievous harm to others, as Pyre Flame fires cannot be put out through mundane means. Its long, pointed tail is capable of acting on its own (and would represent a second opponent in tabletop combat) and ends with a wicked minigun that fires necrotic ammunition. These trails of fire change properties depending on what The Beast has need for, whether it's standard incendiary ammo, or ammo that turns victims into mindless ghouls, explosive rounds, anti-holy rounds, etc. Its power armor highly resembles a bulky, villainous Kamen Rider or Guyver design, and while it is otherwise unarmed except for the cannons and miniguns, The Beast can pay 1 health level to forcefully twist, bend, crack and reshape parts of its body into other weaponry, such as extending a Daiklave out of its hand. All of The Beast's weapons count as Soulsteel, and drain motes as normal. Too insane to be reasoned with, The Beast is essentially immune to social manipulation or influence, but may be guided along certain paths if the promise of carnage is sufficient. The Beast cannot be killed through normal combat, though it can be temporarily incapacitated.
The Beast does not have access to many Alchemical Charms due to the twisted nature of its Exaltation. Instead, it uses a variant of the Righteous Devil Style called the Relentless Cerberus Style, compatible with its Pyre Flame cannons and minigun, along with a few Charms from the Dark Messiah Style, Infernal Monster Style and Lunar Hero Style in an unholy, monstrous blend of raw strength and terrifying presence.
Information to be found here.