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Exalted – An Abridged History, Part Two

May 18, 2010

Of course, nothing as immense and far-reaching as the Primordial War could end without long-lasting repercussions. The Exalted had made powerful enemies in the imprisoned Primordials (i.e. Yozis), but even they were impotent and unimportant compared to the Neverborn.

Primordials were never intended to die. The cycle of life, death, and reincarnation was never designed to accomodate something as metaphysically huge as a Primordial. When the first Primordial died, that mechanism for reincarnation suddenly had to digest a proportionally impossible entity, and the entire mechanism jammed. The death of something that could not die created a hole in existence which has come to be known as Oblivion, the end of anything that enters, but even that was insufficient to accomodate the dead Primordials. Now called the Neverborn, these comatose titans wedged in the maw of Oblivion, trapped forever just shy of total death.

As the titans died, each cast a final, spiteful curse onto their murderers. As more and more Primordials died, these curses built and accumulated, until finally they broke through the mystical defenses of the Exalted and landed, silently and subtly, on their very Exaltations. Each Exaltation became stained with the death curse of the Neverborn, slowly driving the holder of the Exaltation mad. However, so subtle was this curse that none of the Exalted, Incarnae, or surviving Primordials ever learned of the Great Curse.

Around them, their nightmares coalesced into a dark mirror of Creation, now known as the Underworld. There, new entities, ghosts, began to appear. These ghosts were the souls of dead mortals who, like the Neverborn, chose not to enter Lethe and be reincarnated, nor to enter Oblivion and be annihilated, but to linger in a place neither wholly living nor wholly dead.

Intrigued by these ghosts, several expeditions of Exalted entered the Underworld, seeking to master their secrets. They used sorcery and sheer magical puissance to rip secrets from the unmoving tombs of the Neverborn, mastering what they came to call necromancy. They returned to Creation to explore this new power, while behind them, in the depths of the Labyrinth around the mouth of Oblivion, the Neverborn, roused by the invasion of the Exalted, stirred.

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