Exalted: Blood and Fire
The Scope of Creation
Creation is the world and everything in it. It is bordered on its edges by elemental Poles which stabilize reality and suffuse Creation with their all-powerful energy.
The East, influenced by the Pole of Wood, is the breadbasket of Creation, a land of fertile hills, mighty rivers, and a dizzying array of powerful city-states united only by their opposition to the Realm; as one moves toward the world’s edge, thousands of miles of unbroken forests become mighty cathedrals of impossibly high trees in whose branches savage tribes live, never glimpsing the ground.
The South, influenced by the Pole of Fire, is a land of long summers and scorching winds. Mighty, wealthy trade cities decorate its coasts, while the Southern interior is dominated by a massive furnace desert, braced by arcs of volcanoes. Beyond the desert it becomes too hot for any but spirits and Exalts to venture, and the world eventually dissolves into the purity of flame.
The West, influenced by the Pole of Water, is a vast ocean dotted by distant island nations. The great nations of the West are so remote as to be legendary in the eyes of much of the rest of Creation, who know the West as a land of exotic customs and incredible wealth, of savage pirates and sacrifice-hungry volcano gods. In the utmost West the isles become fewer and stranger, until sea and sky become one.
The North, influenced by the Pole of Air, is a frigid and unwelcoming land of chill mountain winds and long, dark winters. Its people are proud and clannish, raising high stone walls to keep the dead and the Winter Folk at bay, or moving with the migrations of vast herds of elk, caribou, or mammoths. Farther North lie the lands where winter never ends and the land is forever clasped by snow and ice, hiding lost and frozen First Age cities and the gleaming palaces of soul-hungry faeries.
At the center of the world is the Blessed Isle, an enormous continent surrounding the unimaginably huge Imperial Mountain, also known as the Pole of Earth. The Blessed Isle is the heartland of the Realm, a vast Dragon-Blooded empire which subjugates the other Directions and grows fat off their tribute. The Blessed Isle was once the safest and most stable of all the lands of Creation, but is now riven with strife. In the cities the scions of the Great Houses accelerate their intrigues and assassinations, and in the hinterlands there are rumors that troops have already begun to mobilize. Civil war looms over the homeland of the Realm.
Realm Year 768
It has been five years since the Scarlet Empress disappeared…
It has been six years since the Scarlet Empress disappeared during the notoriously inauspicious year-end holiday called Calibration. Some say she was destroyed while trifling with black magic. Some say she is in hiding, waiting and watching to see who will first attempt to seize power in her absence. Others say she was assassinated by one of the ancient Anathema, for nothing else could have penetrated her security. Regardless, she is gone, and a great deal has come to pass in her absence—not the least of which is an epic struggle among the Great Houses of the Realm to seize the throne.
Five years ago, a warlord calling himself the Mask of Winters marched an army into the city of Thorns, in the Scavenger Lands. This army, bolstered by legions of the undead, sacked the city and turned it into the capital of a new empire of the dead. The Mask of Winters is but one of several of his kind, called “Deathlords,” though little is known of them or the shadowy deathknights that serve them beyond rumor.
In the North, in the same year, a barbarian warlord became one of the deadly Anathema and defeated the legions of one of the Great Houses, ending two years of northern war with a resounding defeat for the Realm. In doing so, this warlord, called “the Bull of the North,” destroyed much of the cream of the Imperial military. Perhaps more disturbing, the Bull’s campaign has shown the beginning of a marked upswing in the numbers of the Solar Anathema. With more soldiers withdrawing to the Blessed Isle every day to ensure their homeland’s safety, there are fewer warriors than ever to ride with the Wyld Hunt to keep the Anathema in check.
It is a time of opportunity and risk. It is clear that an age of war is at hand. The armies of the Deathlords stir in the Underworld, the Fair Folk launch raids at the very edges of Creation, and the Lunar Anathema strike with ever-increasing boldness at the fringes of civilization. The world as it was is passing away, and a new world with a new balance of power will soon be born. In most places, the world waits breathlessly for the storm. In some, the first raindrops have already begun to fall.
The World of Creation
- History of the World: How Creation came to exist, and the events of the past. Of course, some tell a different story.
- Compass of Terrestrial Directions: Information about the world and its inhabitants.
- Compass of Celestial Directions: Scholarly lore about the otherworlds outside of Creation.
- Gods of Creation: The spirits that embody and protect Creation.
- The Exalted: The Chosen of the gods and other powers of Creation.
Enemies of Creation
- The Yozis: Demon Princes of the hell-realm called Malfeas, the Yozis were once the Primordials, mighty creators of the world. Now, they fester in a prison of hatred and suffering, eager to inflict the same on their former subjects. The Yozis are comprised of vast soul hierarchies, which include the vast hordes of monstrous creatures called demons.
- The Fair Folk: Native inhabitants of the Wyld, the Fair Folk enter Creation to feed on mortal souls and subvert the pillars of the world. Should they succeed at their goals, all of existence would fade back into formless chaos.
- The Neverborn: The perpetually-dying souls of the Primordials slain during the First War, the Neverborn dream in their deathless sleep. Those dreams rot away at the underbelly of the world, dragging Creation ever closer to Oblivion. Their mightiest servants are the ancient Solar ghosts known as the Deathlords.