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Exalted: Modern – The Maidens of Destiny

May 27, 2011

With origins shrouded in mystery and powers of divination that span further than even those of their Chosen, the Maidens of Destiny are some of the least understood beings in all the cosmos.  Even the Primordials could not be certain how they came to be.  And yet, when the cataclysm hit, they took no action.  The Maidens watched as their Chosen broke the world, woke the Kukla, killed billions, and changed the fundamental fabric of reality.

As the Sidereals’ magic took hold of the warp and weft of the Loom of Fate, the Maidens stood impassively in observation.  It is said that, for an instant, Mercury held still.  A single tear rolled down Venus’ cheek.  Mars laid her weapons down.  Jupiter whispered softly into Saturn’s ear, and Saturn… Saturn motioned them all to stillness.  “There is always an ending,” she said, words that chilled every living Sidereal to the bone.

Since that day, the Maidens have played the Games of Divinity half-heartedly.  Though they are trapped by its magic as much as even the Most High, their attention is somewhere beyond the Jade Pleasure Dome, perhaps beyond even Earth itself.  They listen to the strains of music played on the winds of Fate, and they watch.  They remain mysterious and enigmatic, beings not fully understood by any who observe them.

Yet, while the skies over Earth are different than those of Creation, the Maidens themselves remain the same.  The people of Earth do not recognize the constellations of the Mask, the Ship’s Wheel, the Ewer, and the like, but they remain nevertheless.  Their configurations changed when the Dome of Heaven was shattered, but their power remained associated with the Maidens, not the icons of the stars themselves.  They have simply rearranged themselves and come to be known by new names.  For example, the constellation most Sidereals knew as the Ship’s Wheel is more commonly recognized as Orion, the Hunter, while the Lovers have come to be known as the constellation Gemini.

However, while mortal astrologers attempt to divine the secrets of reality, the Loom of Fate continues apace.  With almost no gods in Creation, and few enough elementals, Essence use has decreased dramatically.  Demons remain in Malfeas.  Ghosts remain in the Underworld.  The Fair Folk remain in the Wyld.  Enlightened mortals are few and far between, and the tiny errors they cause can be easily repaired by the Pattern Spiders. 

Most importantly, there have been no Exalted.  The Dragon-Blooded are weak and scattered.  The Celestials are imprisoned or banished.  Snarls in the Loom of Fate have dropped to practically nil.  While the Maidens themselves never speak directly of it, it is whispered in Yu-Shan that the Maidens themselves would prefer the Exalted NOT come back.  The cracking of the Jade Prison and the return of Autochthon and the Lunars only means more work, more trouble, more snags in the tapestry of Fate.  Why would they want the Exalted back?

When asked directly about it, the Maidens all refer the questioner to Jupiter.  Thus far, she has answered only with a small smile and silence.

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