Glossary of Terms

Some of the words used commonly in Exalted may be unfamiliar or even unknown to players, so this glossary exists to serve as a reference for unusual terms.

Blessed Isle: The continent at the center of Creation. The whole of the Blessed Isle is ruled by the Scarlet Empire, so most people consider the Blessed Isle and the Realm to be equivalent terms. The tallest mountain on the Blessed Isle, Mount Meru, is the location of the Pole of Earth.

Bordermarch: An area where the Wyld is thin enough to allow for human survival, but can cause mutation through prolonged exposure.

Creation: The world of Exalted, a flat plane larger than the whole of real-world Earth. The world is kept in balance by five Elemental Poles: the central Pole of Earth, the northern Pole of Air, the eastern Pole of Wood, the southern Pole of Fire, and the western Pole of Water.

Daiklave: A magical weapon forged of one of the six magical materials. Most daiklaves are swords as tall as a man, weighing dozens or even hundreds of pounds, but attunement to a daiklave allows an Exalted to wield it as though an extension of his own body.

Demense: A place where the geomancy of Creation naturally pools, creating uncontrolled manifestations of elemental power. A demense can be harnessed by efficacious architecture to become a manse.

Dragon-Blooded: Another name for the Terrestrial Exalted. Dragon-Blooded are divided into five elemental aspects, determining the focus of their powers. Unlike other Exalted, Dragon-Blooded pass on their powers through their lineage, which manifests at puberty. Not all of a Dragon-Blooded’s children will Exalt; many are obsessed with matters of breeding in order to keep their numbers high and their bloodlines strong.

Essence: The mystical energy that is the lifeblood of Creation. All things are composed of essence, and some rare beings have the ability to manipulate their own essence or the essence of others for magical effects. The ability to resonate your personal essence with an inanimate object is called “attunement.” Individual units of essence are sometimes called motes by scholars.

Exalted: One of the Chosen, a being empowered by an outside agency, such as a god or primordial. They are divided into Celestial Exalted (Solar, Lunar, and Sidereal), Terrestrial Exalted (Dragon-Blooded), and Primordial Exalted (Abyssal, Infernal, and Alchemical), depending on the origin of their powers.

Geomancy: The concept that the land itself has power. In Creation, energy naturally moves across the land between the Elemental Poles, creating “dragon lines” of elemental power. Where these lines cross, they create “pools” of elementally-attuned essence called demenses.

Hearthstone: The physical manifestation of a manse’s power. A hearthstone is a gem smaller than a child’s fist that produces magical effects based on the manse from which it was taken. The heartstone also acts as a magical conduit to the manse’s essence. To be harnessed properly, a hearthstone must be fitted into an attuned artifact, such as a hearthstone bracer or a daiklave.

Incarna: One of the seven most powerful gods of Creation, also known as the Most High. The Incarnae include Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), Luna, and the Five Maidens (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). They inspired the creation of the Celestial Exalted and rule Yu-Shan.

Magical Material: One of the six mystical substances from which the Exalted can forge weapons, armor, and other items that resonate with their own essence. The magical materials include orichalcum (Solar), moonsilver (Lunar), starmetal (Sidereal), soulsteel (Abyssal), jade (Dragon-Blooded), and Adamant (unknown). Jade is the most common of these (even being used as money in the Realm) and adamant and orichalcum the rarest.

Malfeas: The proper name for the otherworldly realm that most simply call Hell. Malfeas is the prison of the primordials and the dwelling place of demons. It is a place of torment and pain for its inhabitants, many of whom can be summoned to Creation by powerful sorcerers.

Manse: A structure or landscaping effort that rearranges the natural geomancy of a demense in order to harness its power. A manse has a controlled elemental affinity, though it still “bleeds” essence, coloring and flavoring the world around it. A manse is a source of great power for its owner, and most of them produce hearthstones.

Mutation: The process of being exposed to unnaturally powerful energies, which causes beneficial or harmful changes to the body, mind or soul. The Wyld is the most common source of mutation, but powerful demenses can also cause elemental mutations. Mutants are the poor souls whose bodies and minds are twisted by this process.

Neverborn: A slain primordial. The Neverborn were killed by the Exalted, but cannot rest so long as Creation exists. Thus, they are trapped in the Underworld, caught on the cusp of death forever. Their dreaming-dead whispers are responsible for the creation of the Abyssal Exalted.

Primordial: The nigh-omnipotent creators of the world. The primordials crafted Creation and Yu-Shan for their own ends, then created the gods to act as custodians of their work, and mortals to act as servants and playthings. The gods grew restless as slaves and acted to overthrow their masters; the Exalted were created as weapons and soldiers in the war against primordials. After their defeat, the majority of the primordials were cast into Malfeas, where they became known as the Yozis. Several were slain, resulting in the creation of the Underworld and the Neverborn.

Raksha: The proper name for the Fair Folk, or faeries. The raksha are beings of chaos, given form in Creation by the power of the elements. The stability and order of Creation is poisonous to the raksha, requiring them to devour human dreams and souls in order to stay alive while they remain in the world.

The Realm: Sometimes called the Scarlet Empire, the Realm is the mighty nation that occupies the Blessed Isle. Its power reaches out into the Threshold, demanding tribute and subservience from many nations. The Realm is ruled by the Great Houses of the Dragon-Blooded, and by the Scarlet Empress.

The Underworld: The land of the dead, a shadowy reflection of Creation. Most people reincarnate after death; those who cling to life for whatever reason instead become ghosts. Eventually, every ghost finds its way to the Underworld, a gloomy place with little hope or light.

The Wyld: The formless chaos beyond Creation’s edges. The Wyld is the raw substance from which reality was crafted, but its nature is toxic to Creation-born creatures. People exposed to the Wyld mutate, warp, and even die from its effects. An area where Creation’s defenses have become thin enough to allow the Wyld to leak in is called a Wyld zone, though some use the archaic term bordermarch.

Yozi: A defeated primordial, cast into Malfeas as an eternal prisoner. The Yozis are responsible for the creation of demons and the Infernal Exalted.

Yu-Shan: The proper name for Heaven, the realm of the Celestial Gods. Yu-Shan is a majestic city larger than the Blessed Isle, filled with the gods and their works.

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Glossary of Terms

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