Celestial Directions – Yu-ShanJune 3, 2010
In the Western world, we often think of Heaven as a place of eternal reward, where the righteous dead go to live out eternity after a life of virtue. This is not so in Exalted. To Creation, Heaven (more properly known as Yu-Shan) is the home of the gods, and was once the home of the Primordials. It is more Mount Olympus and less divine reward.
Yu-Shan is the home of the Celestial Bureaucracy, the massive series of bureaus, divisions, and internecine conflicts that govern Creation itself. It is a single city roughly the same size and shape as the Blessed Isle, populated by nearly every god in existence. It is the home of the Incarnae, the location of the Games of Divinity, and the stomping grounds of the Sidereal Exalted.
Geographically, Yu-Shan is a large, semi-oval island of space set beneath the Sky Dome, where the heavens shift and change depending on which Incarna is ahead in the Games of Divinity. There is no set length of day or night, and sometimes starry night is followed by the moon and then immediately usurped by the Sun’s bright light. Travel is accomplished by means of magical canals, some faster than others, with the fastest restricted to those gods of the most puissance.
The Celestial Hierarchy is awash with corruption and indolence, and Yu-Shan reflects this. While some areas, usually those nearest the Bureaus or those gods of highest rank, are pristine and even opulent, the slums of Heaven are dangerous places where the deiphages lurk, surviving off deposed gods whose domains have been usurped or destroyed. Celestial Lions keep the peace in the city, but they are overworked and outnumbered, and more of them fall to the bureaucratic corruption every day.
In general, Yu-Shan is a blissful place, where visitors from Creation can experience wonder and awe in all its flavors. It is also a place of mystery and danger, both for those unaware of its darker side as well as for those steeped in the politics and backstabbing of the hierarchy. Fundamentally, however, it is the seat of power for all Creation, and the place where any sweeping changes to the status quo will eventually be answered.