Exalted: Modern – The WyldMay 11, 2011
An exploration of the Terrestrial Directions of Creation is essentially meaningless when discussing the modern Earth. All five Elemental Poles have been broken, wrapped up in the shell of the world, and their traits redistributed throughout. Likewise, the Blessed Isle… isn’t. A discussion of its salient traits involves the words “absent,” “annihilated,” and “right out.” However, the remaining Celestial Directions all bear mention, as the alteration of Earth has made some changes to them as well.
The Wyld, in particular, has changed. Ever since Creation first came into being, it has rippled its influence out through the formless Chaos, giving it form whether it wanted it or not. Time, cause and effect, physics (such as they were)… these things had never been issues for the Wyld, until Creation arrived to inflict them on it. This, of course, is why the Unshaped hate Creation so.
Earth has no less influence for being isolated. With the Elemental Poles shattered, the Wyld no longer corresponds even partially to their themes, at least not within directional limitations. “East” and “West” mean nothing to the Wyld, since all Wyld is omnidirectional from the spherical Earth. As a result, while elemental themes still pervade the Wyld, they are not as neatly divided as they once were.
Further, the Wyld does not ebb and flow into Creation as it once did. The Silver Chair hangs in the sky, lifeless and dead, suspended in the midst of the Dead Zone just beyond the borders of Earth. Its influence still taps the Wyld, but less than it once did, and the Dead Zone itself holds back most of the Wyld like a dam. No longer are there Bordermarches or Middlemarches. One steps from the edge of the Dead Zone into Deep Wyld, and from thence into Pure Chaos. While the proportions of those two do change with the pull of Luna, the Wyld is not as nuanced as it once was.
The Elemental Courts have suffered as well. With their Virtue and Elemental themes less cohesive than they had once been, members tended to drift from one Court to another, even more than had previously been common. Hannya wandered the spaces between freeholds more brazenly, feeding on those Raksha impertinent enough to travel, and yet their stories, their lack of connection to Creation, forced them to travel. The Way Grace grew ascendant across all four Courts, and conflicted journeys became the order of the day.
The Hannya forced many Fair Folk to seek refuge with the alien colonies of the Lunars now scattered throughout the Wyld like miniature Creations, each one sending out its own ripples of influence on the Chaos. In exchange for protection from the Hannya (if they were lucky), the Raksha forged pacts with the Lunars, breeding strange beasts for them to breed with or use as cattle or labor. They inserted themselves into those societies, feeding as the Lunars would permit (or as they could get away with), and forging new lives for themselves.
And yet, the beasts and chaos of the Wyld cannot be so easily stopped. Its touch still changes that which it encounters, and there are none, not even the Lunar Exalted, who can wholly tame it. The Fair Folk still shape the dreamstuff of the Wyld to their whims, behemoths and stranger things yet wander the depths of Chaos, and its pure, untouched potential remains as a valuable tool for those who can reach it. As the Solars return and the Lunars make the trek to Earth, the Wyld suddenly has new avenues to reach the once-isolated world. What changes might it wreak?