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Exalted: Modern – The Lunars

April 29, 2011

When the Sidereals led the Dragon-Blooded in the Usurpation of the Solar Exalted, the Lunars were caught in the middle.  Dismissed by the Sidereals as unimportant, many surprised the usurpers by fighting at the side of their mates and dying to the last.  However, many proved the Sidereals correct, fleeing Creation into the Wyld where the Viziers’ Fate-magic could not find them.

A handful of Lunar Exaltations were trapped in Yu-Shan with those of the Sidereals when they sealed off Heaven, but most remained free and incarnate.  Ingosh Silverclaws, the de facto leader of the scattered Lunars, wrangled as many as he could, pulling them into the Deep Wyld and gathering them together for their own safety and security.  He and the other surviving Lunars formed the Silver Pact, a loose gathering of Lunars who would guide those who remained through their exile and would, eventually, lead them back to Creation for vengeance upon the usurpers.

Unfortunately, the Wyld began to harmonize with the protean nature of the Lunars’ Exaltations, and their Castes began to melt, just as in the Creation we know.  The Silver Pact struggled, eventually developing the moonsilver tattoos that fixed the Lunars in their forms.  Many fell to Chimerism, however, and the Pact despaired.  Worse still, slain Lunar Exaltations could not find their way back into Creation, so they wandered, lost, in the spaces between the stars, always seeking new hosts.

In the depths of the Wyld, the Lunars forged new societies.  Believing Creation itself had fallen and been lost forever, the Lunars instead began to shepherd what few remnants of humanity they had led into exile.  They forged planets and worlds out of the chaos, and bred with their people, expanding them across these new worlds.  They made bargains with the Fair Folk, forcing them into lopsided deals, and using them to craft new species.  They drifted further and further from their humanity.

Their subjects were often eligible to receive Exaltation, and so the Lunars did not dwindle.  The beastmen breeds became the standard for Lunar Exaltation, and humanity itself fell into subjugation and, eventually, extinction.  As the last of the surviving First Age Lunars perished of old age, the old ways were lost, and the new generations of chimeric beasts and protean horrors claimed precedence over hundreds of worlds, each ruled by a Lunar in whatever way he or she saw fit.  While these Exaltations retained their memories, unable to reach Lytek’s cabinet as they were, those old habits passed away.

When the Jade Prison broke, the combined might of all three hundred Solar Exaltations broke the barrier to Yu-Shan and began to grace the mortals of Earth with their power.  Lunars across the galaxy felt the tug of their Solar mates’ return, and turned their attentions to Earth.  Long had they passed over the planet inside the dead space, presuming it could not have been their Creation, but now they knew differently.  In addition, the handful of imprisoned Lunar Exaltations were freed to choose mortal shells once more.  The Exalted had returned, and the Lunars once again were drawn to Earth.

If you choose to play as one of these alien beings, how will you define your legend?  Born on a faraway world, bred from beasts and men and stranger things yet, how will you see the people and Exalted of Earth?  With humanity a distant, unknown thing, recollected only in dim memories carried by your Exaltation, will you see the Earth as a thing to be protected once more?  Or is it merely another cosmic jewel waiting to be claimed by the strongest conqueror?

Modern Lunars tend to come from the same archetypes as canonical Lunars: iconoclasts, renegades, and rogues.  Those who come from the Outer Wyld often have bizarre places in their societies before Exaltation, but as the societies themselves are bizarre, generalizations are difficult, if not impossible.  Those few Lunars who come from Earth often find themselves rising amongst those marginalized societies who need a guardian: the impoverished, the displaced, and the outcast.  Native Americans, hobos, and radical protestors (environmental or otherwise) are all examples of those who have a higher-than-average chance of receiving the Silver Exaltation.

Lunar Exalted begin play with one free dot of Resistance, one free level of Ox-Body Technique, and Deadly Beastman Transformation at no additional cost.  At character generation, players may choose whether or not to play a Lunar from the outer cosmos or one of the most recent Exalted from Earth.  Outer Lunars may take the Past Life Background up to three dots, and begin play with a suite of 10 bonus points’ worth of mutations appropriate to their native world.  Lunars from Earth use standard Lunar Casteless character generation rules, though they may earn their Caste in play as normal.  Lunars need no special permission to begin play with high ratings in Backing, Cult or Influence.  The Heart’s Blood Background does not cost any points, but is limited by the ST’s discretion.  The Solar Bond Background is likewise free, letting the player customize the level of his character’s Bond.  However, should he wish to define the traits of the Solar in question, he should be encouraged to purchase the Allies Background at the appropriate level.

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