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Exalted: Modern – Malfeas

May 14, 2011

In the Demon City, the fall of Creation reverberated throughout every layer of Malfeas.  Tens of thousands of demons died as the Demon City contorted in on himself, frustrated by his impotence, and hundreds were summoned to the dying Creation to help save what they could by cultists and akuma alike.  The Yozi frantically mobilized every resource at their disposal, even going so far as to attempt to save some humans within the Demon City, anything to preserve even a fraction of their precious toy.

As the new Earth formed, the demons continued to suffer at the hands of the Yozis.  They raged against their imprisonment, made even stronger by the sealing of additional gates.  Thaumaturgy and sorcery were almost entirely unknown.  Demons made the journey to Earth all too infrequently, and so most of the Yozis’ agents were stymied.  With all the Exalted gone or imprisoned, akuma were nearly nonexistent.

However, after the Yozis’ initial rage (and the thousands of lives it claimed), the Demon City settled back into business as usual.  For the subsequent centuries, your average citizen did not even hear about Earth except in passing.  While the Yozis schemed, and their Third Circle souls plotted, the First and Second Circle demons were content to live their lives in (relative) peace.  Of course, Malfeas has never been a pleasant place to live, but demons are a hardy lot, and they can adapt well to a variety of hardships.

The humans taken into Malfeas, for a variety of reasons, did not live long, but their descendants, Demon-Blooded for the most part, continued their lines.  In time, some of them became First Circle races themselves, common enough in the Demon City to fail to occasion comment.  Layers of Malfeas rose and fell.  Octavian conquered what he could, until his empire grew too large to hold, and he was driven back to his original Quarter to begin again.  In short, life carried on.

With the coming of the Green Sun Princes, all that has changed.  Malfeas now experiences a hubbub of activity not seen since the Usurpation.  Third Circle demons whip their subordinates into frenzies, building helltech weaponry, geoforming manses, and training First Circle troops.  The Conventicle Malfeasant has displaced hundreds of First Circle demons, and the Green Sun Princes walk the streets of Hell like the rock stars of the Reclamation that they are.

However, over the more than eight thousand years of their imprisonment, most demons have grown, if not fond of, then at least accustomed to Hell.  Few enough are those First Circle demons who have survived since the Time of Glory, so many First Circles do not even remember Creation.  Even the Second Circle demons who have survived rarely look back with fondness, instead looking at the history of Malfeas itself.  Octavian, for example, no longer wishes to return to Earth, save to find those worthy of challenging him.  The Demon City is his home; why would he want anything else?  Most demons agree with him.

Of course, the Yozis have never taken their eyes off the ball.  Their warped obsession will not permit them to, and they, in turn, have never permitted their Third Circle souls to do any less.  The leadership of the Reclamation is wholly dedicated, and if they are troubled by the fact that their soldiers find the idea of victory to be less than enticing, they have not let it slow their preparations.

Of course, they are not the ones who will have to deal with the recalcitrant soldiers.  Green Sun Princes, who would otherwise have found willing slaves in their First Circle brethren, now find the bindings on their sorcery to be imperative.  Coadjutors provide reluctant assistance, or sometimes outright lies.  Even Demonic Familiars have shown a desire to return to Malfeas rather than walk Earth at the side of their Infernal master.  Bound demons struggle against the letter of their bindings, where once they would have served their masters more freely.

With the Yozis fractious and short-tempered, the paths to Earth sealed off to all but the Green Sun Princes, and the foundation of the Reclamation hesitant at best, can the demons ever hope to escape Malfeas?  Or is the Reclamation doomed to be nothing more than yet another diversion and futile attempt by the all-too-obsolete former Primordials simply to matter?

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