Archive for November, 2011

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Exalted Modern: Magical Materials

November 29, 2011

In Exalted, there are Five Magical Materials that are associated with the various types of Exalts.  These wondrous materials are derived from more or less (some much, much less) common phenomena throughout Creation, and can be distilled, refined, and worked by master craftsmen to make Artifacts, Manses, and much, much more.  Once worked, the Magical Materials are nigh indestructible.

On Earth, those materials are significantly less common, but by no means out of reach.  Each one can be created by specific rituals or by rarely occurring phenomena, but beside the ore itself, many Artifacts and Manses were created before the Cataclysm.  While rarely left in easily accessible places or completely intact, much of the Magical Materials yet remain.  Dedicated, crafty, or lucky artisans can still find or produce significant wonders with the materials at their disposal.

Orichalcum: Associated with the Solar Exalted, orichalcum is a magically purified gold that shines with the light of the Unconquered Sun and radiates heat when touched.  Raw orichalcum can occur naturally when deposits of gold are exposed, over the course of decades or centuries, to flows of magma and frequent sunlight.  As might be expected, naturally occurring orichalcum is rare.  However, artificial orichalcum can be created by dedicated ritualists as described in Oadenol’s Codex.  The procedures, while rare and difficult to find or recreate, still exist and still function exactly as described.  While no one has produced artificial orichalcum in anything resembling mass quantities since before the Usurpation, the Shogunate has, from time to time, found itself requiring small amounts for their projects, and some remains in storage facilities throughout the world.

Moonsilver: Favored by the Lunar Exalted, moonsilver is a pure, almost liquid silver metal that adapts rapidly to stimuli.  Some believe it may possess a trace sentience.  Naturally occurring moonsilver is rarer even than orichalcum.  When the moon’s light shines regularly on a tract of the Wyld, the purity of the light may distill the raw chaos into an argent form.  As there are almost no Wyld zones on Earth, moonsilver is almost unheard of.  However, in the Wyld, the Lunars have found ways to harvest the material from the hostile environs of their own worlds, so the processing of moonsilver does still continue.  The rituals for doing so function exactly as described in Oaedenol’s Codex.

Jade: Associated with the Dragon-Blooded, jade is more than simply the precious stone we have come to know.  Once, jade was found in deposits regularly, and Terrestrial Artifacts abounded.  However, with Gaia’s departure and the slumber of the Elemental Dragons, that jade has decayed into the stone with which we are familiar.  Naturally occurring magical jade can be found in places where strong currents of elemental energy revitalize the dull stone, most often in uncapped demesnes (which are rare enough).  However, the stone can be worked intentionally be exposing it to powerful sources of elemental energy.  Elementals, demesnes, Manses, some Artifacts, and the anima flux of a Dragon-Blooded Exalt can all function.  The thaumaturgical ritual to do so (2, Charisma, 3, one day) requires the artificer to meld the elemental Essence with the small god of the jade, convincing them to work together to form something greater than the sum of their parts.  This ritual is well-known throughout the Shogunate, and less common outside that. 

Starmetal: This Magical Materials is associated with the Sidereal Exalted, and, as such, has seen very little use since the Cataclysm.  Starmetal occurs, as the name suggests, when a star falls from the firmament of the sky and falls to Earth.  The whys and whens of these occurrences are known only to the Maidens, though it happens only seldom.  The Sidereals were once able to track these falling stars with eerie accuracy through the Loom of Fate, though they have obviously not been able to do so since Yu-Shan was sealed.  With the return of the Sidereals, the (relatively) numerous accumulations of starmetal over the millennia remain untapped and waiting for their use.  Of particular note, a blue ice field in Antarctica seems to collect an unusual quantity of fallen stars.  The methods for refining starmetal remain as described in Oaedenol’s Codex, and are known only in the most obscure libraries and, of course, in Yu-Shan.

Soulsteel: Before the advent of the Abyssal Exalted, soulsteel had no associated Exalt type.  A curiosity in the First Age, soulsteel has become the most common Magical Material in the Modern Age (though “common” by necessity remains somewhat rare).  Soulsteel does not occur naturally, but is a composite of ore from the depths of the Labyrinth in the Underworld and beaten souls, usually ghosts.  The Deathlords all know how to forge soulsteel, and have been doing so industriously for centuries, in anticipation of arming their soldiers.  With the coming of the Abyssals, those soldiers have come.  Abyssals themselves are capable of forging the soulsteel as described in Oadenol’s Codex, though the difficulty of entering the Labyrinth naturally makes acquisition of the raw materials somewhat difficult.

Others: Some other materials are not officially Magical Materials, but bear special mention.  Vitriol, one of the naturally occurring elements in Malfeas, is often associated with the Infernal Exalted, and can be used to taint the other Magical Materials as described in the Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals.  Adamant is a crystalline substance often associated with one of the Alchemical Exalted castes.  While it does not resonate with any of the major Exalted types as a whole, it is often used in Artifacts intended for use by mortals, and occurs as discussed in Oadenol’s Codex.  Gossamer is a product of the Wyld and human dreams, and is used by Fair Folk to create splendid wonders as described in Graceful Wicked Masques.  Finally, though the gods rarely received prayer (and certainly not enough to fill their coffers as they once did), quintessence and ambrosia do still occur in Heaven, as described in the Compass of Celestial Directions: Yu-Shan.  The few remaining natural collection locations for quintessence are hotly contested areas in the otherwise decayed and ravaged streets of Yu-Shan, and individual gods hoard their meager supplies of ambrosia like violent misers.  After all, who knows when the next desperate prayer to a long-forgotten god will arrive?

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Exalted: Modern – Headlines, Week Ten

November 14, 2011

All fictional.

Latest Report Indicates Vatican Disturbance was Self-Inflicted

Last week, the Vatican released a report indicating that representatives from the Independent Protectorate of Itzlan assaulted Vatican guards and stole several important religious items from the Vatican itself.  Latest reports, released by individuals within the United States government, indicate that the perpetrators were not, in fact, representatives from Itzlan but were rogue agents of the Vatican itself.  More damning evidence suggests that they had previously been employed by the Vatican as religious assassins, though the Catholic Church has long denied any such organizations.  The reply from the Vatican has been described as “apoplectic,” and has officially denounced both the report and the Independent Protectorate as “Anathema-manipulated tripe.”

Angola Announces Space Program

The Republic of Angola, still recovering from a recent military coup, has released reports of a new space program with the intent of reaching the moon.  Though the nation lacks significant educational or even governmental infrastructure, the reports do indicate that it has at least one functioning space shuttle and the means of launching and recovering the shuttle once its trip is completed.  Independent investigation by the media-active protectorate of Itzlan has confirmed these reports.  The U.N. has openly condemned such “frivolous” use of resources, though the current warlord of Angola, calling himself the Bull of Angola, has assured representatives that the space program is not depriving the nation’s economic and social programs of any funding.  The announcement follows a similar announcement from Japan, as well as a renewal of the space program from the United States with a manned mission to the moon planned for an indeterminate date.

Alien Structures Appear on Moon

Scientists at NASA reported earlier than an unusual, apparently man-made series of structures have begun appearing on the lunar surface.  Initial investigation is made difficult, but the report suggests that the structures are some manner of pre-fabricated settlement, conforming to basic requirements of human life.  Though electronic scans have been inconclusive, NASA experts have indicated that a vessel similar in appearance to the alien vessel that appeared over Mexico City earlier this year was sighted near these structures.  Whether it is the same vessel or a new visitor has yet to be confirmed.

Massive Sinkhole Swallows Siberian Village

A seismic sinkhole has erased a Siberian administrative center from the Russian map, geologists say.  Bolshoy Uluy, the administrative center of the Bolsheuluysky district in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, was literally swallowed by the seismic activity early Wednesday morning.  Investigators have produced a preliminary report, noting specifically that no such seismic activity was predicted or even likely.  No survivors have been found, and, according to the report, none are suspected.  Investigators were unable to measure the depth of the sinkhole, though their initial readings suggest it is more than a mile across, making it the largest recorded sinkhole in the world.  Reports suggest the sinkhole is a perfect geometric circle, with smooth sides and no visible bottom.  Noted geologists from the International Union of Geological Sciences have not been able to provide any explanation for this event.