Exalted has a large vocabulary of specialized terms. Most of the books include a lexicon of those terms. For ease of use, I am collecting them here on the wiki. Each term will have its own internal link as described here on the Obsidian Portal help site. This information can also be found on White Wolf’s Exalted Wiki.
|Warning||Here there be spoilers, read freely at your own risk!||Warning|
This Lexicon currently has the entries from the second edition core rule book and the following books:
- The Books of Sorcery, Volume 2: White Treaties & Black Treaties
- The Books of Sorcery, Volume 4: The Roll of Glorious Divinity I
- The Books of Sorcery, Volume 5: The Roll of Glorious Divinity II
- Graceful Wicked Masques: The Fair Folk
- Manuals of Exalted Power, Volume 1: The Dragon-Blooded
- Manuals of Exalted Power, Volume 2: Lunars
- Manuals of Exalted Power, Volume 3: Sidereals
- Manuals of Exalted Power, Volume 4: Abyssals
- Manuals of Exalted Power, Volume 5: Infernals
- Manuals of Exalted Power, Volume 6: Alchemicals
- The Scrolls of Esoteric Wisdom, Volume 3: Scrolls of Fallen Races
Abscissic Binding: When a summoner binds an elemental to herself for a month (or binds a demon for a year and a day). Compare to task binding.
Academy of Sorcery, the: Lookshy’s answer to the Heptagram, this institution produces the sorcerer-technicians and sorcerer-engineers — and their mortal thaumaturge assistants — who are so vital to the upkeep of Lookshy’s dwindling reserve of First Age armaments.
All-Seeing Eye, the: This organization is the Realm’s elite secret police force, guarding the Scarlet Throne against corruption, sedition and treason. Though it employs countless mortal and Dragon-Blooded agents, its core is composed of spies and assassins from both House Iselsi and the Sidereal Bronze Faction.
Anathema: The term used by adherents of the Immaculate Order to demonize the Celestial Exalted. According to Immaculate teaching, the Solar, Lunar and Abyssal Exalted are individuals who have become conduits for the power of evil spirits. Their souls forever tainted by dark power, they must be destroyed before they can use that power to destroy Creation. This doctrine is believed almost without question on the Blessed Isle. Although the people under Imperial domination in the Threshold are forced to pay lip service to the Immaculates, few Thresholders accept Immaculate doctrine without question. An individual’s deeds are more likely to determine the reaction there. Were any known to still exist, Sidereal Exalted would also be deemed Anathema.
anima: A normally invisible aura that surrounds all living things. When an Exalted uses Essence, that Essence often spills into his anima, making it visible. Therefore, Exalted who expend a great deal of Essence are often surrounded by a brilliant display of power that can be visible miles distant.
arbiter: See the Splendid and Just Arbiters of Purpose.
Arcanos, Arcanoi: The name ghosts sometimes use for their Charms. Each tree of Charms is always called an Arcanos; ghosts may call an individual Charm an Arcanos too. Ghosts who want to be clear call a Charm a Charm and reserve Arcanos (singular) and Arcanoi (plural) for mystic arts that include multiple Charms.
armiger: An armiger is a supernaturally puissant arms-bearer assigned to protect a sorcerer-technician by the Seventh Legion. Although most are merely skilled thaumaturges, more fantastic beings, such as demons, elementals, God-Bloods and automata, sometimes serve in this capacity.
aspect: This term is used to describe the five elemental orientations of the Dragon-Bloods. It is functionally identical to the caste division among the Celestial Exalted, but it is more a distinction of physiology rather than the direct intervention of the gods.
astrological house: The five groups that comprise the 25 constellations and colleges. Each house also corresponds to a division in the Bureau of Destiny, which has jurisdiction over those aspects of fate. The five houses are as follows:
- The Golden Barque of the Heavens (The Division of Journeys): The constellations in the house of Journeys are the Captain, the Gull, the Mast, the Messenger and the Ship’s Wheel.
- The Cerulean Lute of Harmony (The Division of Serenity): The constellations in the house of Serenity are the Ewer, the Lovers, the Musician, the Peacock and the Pillar.
- The Crimson Panoply of Battles (The Division of Battles): The constellations in the house of Battles are the Banner, the Gauntlet, the Quiver, the Shield and the Spear.
- The Forbidding Manse of Ivy (The Division of Secrets): The constellations in the house of Secrets are the Guardians, the Key, the Mask, the Sorcerer and the Treasure Trove.
- The Violet Bier of Sorrows (The Division of Endings): The constellations in the house of Endings are the Corpse, the Crow, the Haywain, the Rising Smoke and the Sword.
Autochthon: The Primordial Great Maker, Autochthon betrayed his hated brethren and conspired with the gods to grant them the secret of Exaltation. He also shaped the Mountain Folk who coined the sobriquet above. After the gods and their Chosen triumphed in the Primordial War, Autochthon sensed the Great Curse and attempted to evade the growing paranoia of the ruling Solar Deliberative by withdrawing into the void of Elsewhere and hibernating. Always a weak and sickly being, the Machine God’s long slumber has served to exacerbate his illness and now threatens to destroy the mortals of the Eight Nations of Autochthonia and their Exalted Champions.
Autochthonia: Consisting of the Eight Nations, this is the human civilization that exists within the Great Maker himself. The Autochthonians are descended from mortals whisked Elsewhere by Autochthon as he fled Creation millennia ago. Autochthonia’s people live in a highly regimented society led by the Tripartite and protected by the Alchemical Exalted.
azoth: The more rarified chalcanth of a Second or Third Circle demon. (Also see chalcanth.)
barbarian: A person, usually from a tribal culture, who lives without the customs and appurtenances of city folk and large nations — or at least the customs of the people who use the term. (Editorial Note: Mechanically, the Barbarian Flaw is defined as being an uneducated individual – no Lore Ability allowed. Not everyone who is a Barbarian ICly possesses the flaw.)
Blessed Isle: This is the continent-sized island located at the center of Creation. Surrounded by the Inland Sea and weeks distant from the closest Threshold port, the Blessed Isle is the center of the Realm and the unquestioned dominion of the Dragon-Blooded.
Bureau of Destiny, the: The organization within the Celestial Bureaucracy that plans history and oversees cause and effect within Creation, it’s more formally called the Most Excellent Designers of Destiny and Sidereal Conjunctions. The Bureau’s greatest tool is the Loom of Fate, and its most important agents are the Sidereal Exalted. The Five Maidens technically lead the Bureau, but delegate its administration to other gods and Sidereals.
burnt offering: A sacrifice made to a ghost by his descendants in the form of an object burned in the ancestor’s name in the living world that appears to him as a black jade token in the Underworld and may be used by him to regain motes or Willpower. It is a form of memoriam.
The five Solar castes are as follows:
- Dawn Caste: The leaders and champions of the armies of the Unconquered Sun.
- Zenith Caste: The priest-kings, prophets and mystics of the Unconquered Sun.
- Twilight Caste: The scholars, sorcerers and craftsmen of the Unconquered Sun.
- Night Caste: The spies, assassins and thieves of the Unconquered Sun.
- Eclipse Caste: The diplomats and bureaucrats of the Unconquered Sun.
The three Lunar casts are as follows:
- Full Moon: The warriors of Luna, masters of physical force, agility, toughness and endurance.
- Changing Moon: The tricksters of Luna, masters of social influence, force of personality, persuasion and deceit.
- No Moon: The savants of Luna, masters of knowledge, thought, inquiry and the arcane.
In the First Age, Lunar Exalted had five castes. The Changing Moon caste fills the position of the three lost Lunar castes (Waxing, Half and Waning).
caste mark: All Exalted are branded on their foreheads with a sign of their status. This caste mark, like the anima, is usually invisible, but can be seen when an Exalt spends Essence. No two types of Exalted share a caste mark (although those of the Solar and Abyssal Exalted are similar), so they may be used to distinguish one type of Exalt from another.
Celestial Bureaucracy, the: The structure of the divine hierarchy of Creation and Yu-Shan. Compare to the Celestial Order.
Celestial Bureaus, the: The Bureaus of Destiny, Heaven, Humanity, Nature and Seasons are the five Celestial Bureaus, and together they manage and oversee all things in Yu-Shan and Creation… or once did. Now they’re largely bereft of the Incarnae’s guidance and rife with corruption and cronyism. Nonetheless, in the eyes of all gods save the Incarnae, the five bureaus are the reason Heaven exists at all, and every legitimate Celestial spirit claims membership within at least one.
Celestial Exalted: A catch-all term for the Solar, Lunar and Sidereal Exalted—so called because of their patron gods’ celestial nature. Though it’s a bit of a misnomer to group them as such, the Abyssal Exalted are also often referred to as Celestial Exalted as well.
Celestial God: A god in the Celestial Court. Celestial gods oversee universal concepts. Compare to Terrestrial god.
Celestial Order, the: The structure of the divine hierarchy in Creation and Yu-Shan; also, that hierarchy’s ideal state. Used most often by those who don’t wish to imply that the divine hierarchy is now disordered. Compare to the “Celestial Bureaucracy”http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/creation-et-all/wiki_pages/lexicon#CelestialBureaucracy.
Chrysalis Grotesque: An indestructible shell of demon flesh that encompasses a candidate for Infernal Exaltation after he agrees to become a Green Sun Prince and serves to keep him safe from harm while he undergoes his dark metamorphosis.
circle: A circle is a group of Exalted bound together by oaths of loyalty and mutual need. Most modern Celestial Exalted circles are merely renewals of circles formed in the First Age. Circles of Terrestrial Exalted are more commonly called sworn brotherhoods after the spell used to sanctify them.
college: One of the 25 areas of fate that correspond to the constellations in the astrological houses. Also, the groups of pattern spiders who specialize in these types of fate. Sidereal Exalted can learn to invoke certain effects associated with each college, either to alter the destinies of others or to give themselves false identities with various special powers.
constellation: Simple and stable patterns of stars associated with particular manifestations of fate and destiny, as well as classes of Sidereal Charms and divisions of pattern spiders. (Also see astrological house.)
coven: A group of Infernal Exalts gathered together for a common purpose; the Infernal equivalent to a Celestial Exalted circle. Covens are generally ad hoc groupings that exist only for a particular mission, as Infernals typically operate solo.
Creation-Ruling Mandate, the: See the Mandate of Heaven.
Cselenite pact: A summoning pact between a spirit court and a group of sorcerers (or a group containing sorcerers), following the set of ethical guidelines developed by the lesser elemental dragon Cselenine.
Cult of the Illuminated, the: A cult devoted to the worship of the Shining Ones, mystical saviors who are prophesied to lead mankind into a new golden age. The Gold Faction of the Sidereal Exalted has subverted the Cult in order to use it to find, shelter and train newly Exalted Solars.
Dark Fate: A flaw the Neverborn engineered into the Abyssal Exaltation, replacing the Great Curse. It results in deathknights accumulating Resonance that erupts to harm the Abyssal and anything physically or emotionally close to her.
Deathlord: The thirteen mighty ghost-kinds of the Underworld, souls of Solar Exalted who died in the Usurpation. Their power springs from their Neverborn masters to whom they have pledged to destroy Creation and from their own great age and unmatched knowledge. They select, empower and train the Abyssal Exalted and are, collectively if not individually which may also be the case, quite possibly the greatest threats to Creation in the Second Age.
demesne: A place where Creation’s dragon lines have eddied together and formed a nexus of magical power. These places possess a surfeit of Essence, which may be tapped by those who know how. Exalted typically raise manses atop such sites to harness their power.
destiny: The sequences of events that have befallen a person, place or thing, and are expected to befall it in the future. The way things work, on a broad scale. (Compare to fate.)
Devonian: One of the three major schools of thought about sorcery. Followers of this school treat sorcery like an extension of natural sciences, including mortal crafts or mathematics. Devonians are less numerous in the Age of Sorrows, because modern sorcerers are often more concerned with effectiveness than the theory of the cause.
Eight Nations, the: These are the eight great states of Autochthonia, built around the heroes who initially served as the Great Maker’s human champions prior to leaving Creation. These heroes’ souls provided the templates for the first Alchemical Exalted, and those Alchemicals eventually grew to become the initial metropoli and patropoli at the heart of each nation. The Eight Nations are Claslat, Estasia, Gulak, Kamak, Nurad, Sova and Yugash.
elemental: An elemental is a naturally materialized spirit of one of the five elements: air, earth, fire, water, or wood. Elemental personalities tend to reflect some facet of the element whence they spring. Although many elementals are quite powerful, they are looked down upon by many gods as rustic and provincial.
Elemental Dragons: The offspring of Gaia, the Elemental Dragons are the lords of the Terrestrial Bureaucracy, responsible for overseeing its hierarchy of spirits. Like most gods, the Dragons have become decadent and self-absorbed in the time since the end of the First Age. The Elemental Dragons seldom inquire into the state of their subjects, and the Terrestrial spirits ignore their duties more and become more independent with each year that passes. The Immaculate Order venerates the Elemental Dragons as the Immaculate Dragons, the apotheosis of spiritual development and the lords of Creation.
The Elemental Dragons are Mela (Dragon of Air), Pasiap (Dragon of Earth), Hesiesh (Dragon of Fire), Daana’d (Dragon of Water) and Sextes Jylis (Dragon of Wood). Unlike the lesser and greater elemental dragons, the Five Elemental Dragons are not elementals.
elemental pole: One of the five cardinal points of Creation. In the North is the Elemental Pole of Air, in the East is the Elemental Pole of Wood, in the South is the Elemental Pole of Fire, and in the West is the Elemental Pole of Water. These four poles act as the boundaries of shaped Creation, beyond which lies only the Wyld. At the center of the Blessed Isle lies the Elemental Pole of Earth, the central axis of Creation, upon whose stability all else relies. As one moves closer to the four active poles, their elemental effects grow stronger, so only the mightiest of Exalts and elementals of the appropriate type can survive in close proximity.
Enlightened: Mountain Folk touched by the genius and inspiration of the Great Maker. Historically only Artisans composed this group, but the number of Enlightened undercastes is on the rise, threatening to upset Jadeborn society.
Essence: The most basic building block of Creation, Essence is the energy that unites all things and from which all magic springs. To channel Essence is to work miracles, and the might of the Exalted comes from their ability to do so.
Exalted: (Also called the Chosen.) The champions of the gods, who were given power to stand up to the Primordials at the beginning of time. The victorious Exalted were given custody of Creation at the end of the Primordial War. The prominent types of Exalted include:
- Abyssal Exalted: Also called deathknights, these Exalts are the champions of the Deathlords and their Neverborn masters. The Abyssal Exalted have only recently appeared, but they appear to be dark reflections of the returned Solar Exalted, with dark mockeries of the Solars’ caste marks, animas and even Charms.
- Alchemical Exalted: The souls of Autochthonian mortals who have proved themselves heroes over the course of multiple lives are captured in special soulgems, that they might be reborn as Champions to serve their god and nation. Through a complex alchemical process performed by representatives of each of the Five Sodalities, a being made up of aspects of these heroes is given life once again via the clay flesh and brass bones of an Alchemical Exalt.
- Lunar Exalted: These mighty savages are the champions of Luna. The Lunars were once the mates of the Solar Exalted, as well as their bodyguards and commanders of their armies. The Lunar Exalts either fled to the hinterlands of the Threshold after the murder of the Solars or died alongside their mates in futile battle. Today, most of these shapeshifting warriors live as barbarians, blaming the downfall of the Solars (and even their inability to save them) on civilization’s softening effects.
- Sidereal Exalted: The Sidereals are the champions of the Five Maidens. The Chosen of the Maidens are the savants and astrologers of the Exalted, as well as matchless martial artists. It was the Great Prophecy of the Sidereals that led to the murder and usurpation of the Solar Exalted, and the Sidereals have lurked in the shadows since then, manipulating the course of not only the Realm, but Creation as a whole. The Sidereals have been split into two factions, Bronze and Gold, since a disagreement over the fate of the Solar Exalted 1,500 years ago, and the Solars’ return has led to a renewal of outright hostility between the two groups.
- Solar Exalted: Known also as the Lawgivers, these Exalted are the champions of the Unconquered Sun. Once the masters of Creation, the Solars were betrayed and usurped by their trusted advisors and soldiers. Most Solars were unable to be reborn until recently, and the Wyld Hunt was organized to slay those few who did find a way to reincarnate.
- Terrestrial Exalted: Also called the Dragon-Blooded, these are the champions of the five Elemental Dragons. For the last millennium and a half, they were the unquestioned rulers of Creation itself. Despite being the weakest Exalted in terms of raw power, the Terrestrial Exalts are the most numerous by far. Once the soldiers of the Exalted armies that fought the Primordials, the Terrestrials murdered the Solar Exalted at the behest of the Sidereals and took over the reins of Creation.
Fair Folk: The most popular term used by Creation’s denizens to refer to the raksha who dwell beyond the elemental poles in the Wyld in order to avoid drawing the alien creatures’ attention. Raksha only refer to themselves with this term as an act of self-aware humor.
The unshaped Fair Folk who remain beyond the edges of Creation are hostile to all things of constant shape and form. A great number of Fair Folk, however, have entered the world and taken on shape. The vast majority of these beings are inimical to the beings of Creation—hunting down humans and feeding on their hopes and dreams—but a few do live among men as either lords or simple citizens. During the Great Contagion, the Host of Faerie rode out in a great crusade to bring an end to the blasphemy of shaped existence. It might well have even won had the Scarlet Empress not succeeded in bringing the Realm’s magical defenses to bear against them.
fate: The way things work, on a narrow scale; the properties of any person, place or thing. The fate of wood is to split when struck by an axe; a tree might have a destiny to fall on the man who chops it down. (Compare to destiny.)
First, the: The original Jadeborn birthed by Autochthon who was the first ruler of his people. After having sought out the Great Maker to give his people a purpose, he was caught and vivisected by the other Primordials, who modeled a new race — humanity — from his form. Seemingly immortal, he survived this treatment to become the twisted creature now known as the Clay Man and never returned to his people.
First Age: This was the Golden Age after the Exalted defeated the Primordials, when wonders and magic undreamed of in the Second Age were commonplace. The First Age is commonly considered to stretch from the end of the Primordial War to the time of the Great Contagion, nearly eight centuries ago. Most learned savants place the fall of the First Age some 600 years earlier, however, with the murder of the Solar Exalted.
First Sorcerer: The mythical individual who discovered or invented sorcery and taught it to the rest of Creation. Most stories say the First Sorcerer was female. Some versions name a First Age Solar, Brigid, as First Sorcerer; others claim it was Mela, Bar-Izahd the First Sorcerer-King, Jomesha Har or others.
Five Elemental Dragons, the: See Elemental Dragons.
Five Maidens: These five deities are second in power only to the Unconquered Sun, though Luna is rightly considered an equal. The Maidens are Mercury, the Maiden of Journeys; Venus, the Maiden of Serenity; Mars, the Maiden of Battles; Jupiter, the Maiden of Secrets; and Saturn, the Maiden of Endings
Five Ordeals: Also called the Five Unavoidable Challenges, the Five Stations of Sorcery or the Five Sorcerous Initiations. The Five Ordeals compose a series of tests or difficulties a sorcerer must go through in order to gain or demonstrate the enlightenment needed to wield true sorcery.
Five Sodalities, the: Properly known as the Five Magnificent Sodalities of Penultimate Truth and Intransigent Gospel, these are five brotherhoods of skilled craftsmen, similar to guilds or trade unions, that provide Autochthonia with its skilled laborers, tradesmen and engineers. The Sodalities compose one of the three governing institutions of Autochthonia, along with the Theomachracy and the Olgotary. They include the Glorious Luminors of the Brilliant Rapture, the Illustrious Conductors of the Consecrated Veins, the Pious Harvesters of the Hallowed Flesh, the Prolific Scholars of the Furnace Transcendent and the Meticulous Surgeons of the Body Electric.
Four Tokens of the First Sorcerer: These tools represent the First Sorcerer’s accomplishments. They include a sword, a jewel mounted on the brow, a girdle and a mantle. Sorcerers in the First Age often used these symbols to proclaim their own prowess in sorcery, and these items were often artifacts. Many schools in the First Age also used unique versions of these four tokens as symbols of a student’s initiation into the school’s style of sorcery.
Gaia: She is the spirit of Creation, the mother of the Elemental Dragons, and godmother of all living things born of Creation. Gaia is, in fact, one of the Primordials, but she sided with the gods out of love for her consort Luna.
Games of Divinity: A competitive, structured recreation devised by the Primordials. It is played in the Jade Pleasure Dome in Yu-Shan. So unparalleled is the exquisite pleasure and joy derived from playing the Games that a mere glance at one of the playing pieces is sufficient to incinerate a mortal’s body and annihilate his soul. To beings of greater spiritual potency, the Games are merely phenomenally addictive. Because of this, the game now distracts the Celestial Incarnae. Contrary to the beliefs of many mortal savants, the Games of Divinity have nothing to do with manipulating events in Creation.
ghost: This is the soul of a human being that lingers on after death because of some attachment it has to its prior existence rather than reentering the natural cycle of reincarnation. Ghosts are aberrations to the proper course of existence, and they have existed only since the deaths of the Neverborn.
Glorious Luminors of the Brilliant Rapture, the: One of the Five Sodalities, the group is in charge of the secrets of light and illumination. Its members are renowned for their tendency to make their necessary job into a holier act than is entirely necessary. The Luminors are associated with the magical material orichalcum.
god: A god is a naturally dematerialized spirit of some facet of Creation. As many gods exists as there are things and concepts, though few are of significant might to challenge the Exalted. Those gods who represent universal concepts dwell in the Celestial City of Yu-Shan, where they look down in scorn or pity upon their Terrestrial brethren. Since the end of the First Age, the gods have become increasingly decadent and remiss in their duties, often extorting worship, and the Essence it brings, to perform their rightful duties. The Immaculate Order has striven with some success to impose order onto these rogue gods, but truly, it is the recent return of the Lawgivers that worries many of these spirits.
God-Blooded: God-Blooded can refer to any kind of child born from the union of a mortal and a supernatural being or a specific type of those children. These children are regular humans for all extent and purpose, but possess a modicum of their supernatural parent’s power.
The types of God-Blooded are as listed below:
- Demon-Blooded: These hellspawns are the children of Demons. (Also see Demon-Blood and hellspawn.)
- Fae-Blooded: Known as Changelings, these are the children of Fair Folk.
- Ghost-Blooded: Often called Ghouls, these are the children of Ghosts.
- God-Blooded: These are the children of Gods, Spirits, or Elementals. Because they are the most common sort of God-Blooded they share their name collectively with other mortal offspring of supernatual beings.
- Half Caste: These are the children of powerful Celestial Exalted.
- Beastmen: These are a special kind of Half Caste that any Lunar can sire in areas where Wyld energies hold sway even if the Lunar is not powerful enough to sire a regular Half Caste. (Beastmen who are the child of a Lunar powerful enough to sire regular Half Castes are both Beastmen and Half Castes.)
Great Contagion: This supernatural plague was engineered by the Deathlords in the hopes of ending all life. Although the world survived, much of the glory of the previous Age was lost, as well as 90% of Creation’s population. In its wake, the Fair Folk invaded the world en masse and would have destroyed it had not the woman who would become the Scarlet Empress dared enter the Imperial Manse and gained control of the Realm’s First Age defenses. The Great Contagion is popularly considered to mark the fall of the First Age.
Great Curse: As the Primordials fell to the Chosen of the various gods, they cursed their Exalted killers. The Curse was elaborate and vast, but its core was that the Exalted would forever be cursed with the hate, immoderation and treachery they’d shown in the Primordials’ murder. The Great Curse has dogged all the Exalted since that day, but it settled most squarely on the shoulders of the Solar Exalted. Ever since, the Solars have been subject to terrible melancholy and violent emotional outbursts.
Great House: One of the noble bloodlines that make up the Scarlet Dynasty. There are 11 Great Houses, and together they form the aristocracy that governs the Realm.
Great Maker, the: A title used to describe Autochthon.
Great Prophecy: It was this prediction made by a conclave of all the Sidereal Exalted that set the course of the Solar Exalted’s murder at the hands of the Dragon-Blooded. Concerned with the Solars’ increasingly erratic behavior, the Sidereals prophesied three possible futures. In one, they did nothing, and the world was destroyed. In another, they tried to guide the Solar Exalted back onto the path of righteousness and had a small chance of success, though the world would become a place of darkness and misery if they failed. In the third, they eliminated the Solars and the world continued on, diminished but whole. It was decided by the Sidereals that this last future was the safest bet to ensure Creation’s survival, so they conspired with the Terrestrial Exalted to bring it about.
Guild, the: This organization is a vast network of merchants, trading in goods of all form, from foodstuffs, textiles and metalwork to addictive drugs and human slaves. The Guild is unconcerned with good and evil. Its only concern is profit. If it is profitable to do something, you can bet the Guild is doing it, has done it, or will do it as soon as it is brought to the merchant princes’ attention. Though based in the city of Nexus, the Guild operates Creation-wide.
hearthstone: This is an egg-sized crystal of pure solidified magical energy accreted at the center of a manse. If an Exalt attunes to the manse whence the hearthstone comes and carries the stone on his person in a focal device constructed from one of the five magical materials, he can draw on the capped demesne’s power to perform miraculous feats. The power and nature of these feats depends on the aspect of the demesne. The precise manifestation of power, however, is based on the geomantic Essence-focusing of the Manse’s occult architecture.
House of Ancient Stone, the: One of two Realm secondary school’s for incorrigible Dragon-Blooded youths, the House of Ancient Stone is located outside Lord’s Crossing. Using a combination of back-breaking work and harsh punishments, the school is much more effective at turning out productive members of Dynastic society than its sister school (i.e., the Palace of the Tamed Storm).
Illustrious Conductors of the Consecrated Veins, the: One of the Five Sodalities, the group is responsible for managing the resource and waste disposal taps into the veins of the Great Maker and the storage and transport of the tapped products. The Conductors are associated with the magical material starmetal.
Immaculate Order, the: This is the state religion of the Scarlet Empire. The Immaculate faith preaches that the soul is reincarnated again and again over successive lives until it reaches perfection and joins with the Five Elemental Dragons. The final incarnation before joining with the Dragons is as one of the Terrestrial Exalted, making the Dragon-Blooded the pinnacle of the Order’s Perfected Hierarchy and the natural rulers of Creation. The Immaculate Order frowns upon the popular worship of spirits of any sort, because it is believed they are merely celestial functionaries rather than true gods. Instead, the Order itself propitiates these spirits at predetermined times. It is the Immaculate Order that branded the Celestial Exalted as Anathema during the period of the early Dragon-Blooded Shogunate. Immaculate monks are known for their martial-arts skill, and Dragon-Blooded monks are rightly feared for their mastery of elemental style martial arts.
Immaculate Order also serves as a front organization for the Bronze Faction Sidereal Exalted, allowing these Exalts to continue shaping the destiny of the Realm. The existence of the Order has let these shadowy Exalts manipulate the course of the Realm for nearly 800 years.
Lethe: A state or condition of forgetfulness. The higher souls (or hun) of the dead normally enter Lethe and forget their past identity before they reincarnate in a new person — provided some powerful emotion or connection to the living world does not make them linger in the Underworld as a ghost.
little god: All gods less than the Celestial Incarnae and the Five Elemental Dragons. Rarely used in practice. Immaculate monks say “little god” as a matter of policy and dogma, as do peasants in areas where the Immaculate Order is strong. Savants and the urbane say “little god” when they speak amongst each other. However, no god enjoys being called little to its face. Those both wise and used to dealing with gods personally—priests, shamans and many mortal rulers—use this term only to remind the Terrestrial gods of the Mandate of Heaven, and then only when in a position of advantage. Where the gods are untamed, the common folk say it only within Immaculate earshot. Across most of Creation, gods are simply gods.
lost egg: According to the Realm, any Dragon-Blood who Exalts outside of the 11 Great Houses of the Scarlet Dynasty.
Lumpen: The Lumpen are Autochthonia’s recidivist criminals and miscreants. A caste of laborers ranked below the Populat, the Lumpen are tattooed around their soulgems to mark the reasons for their degradation. Some few are soul-flayed and have their soulgems removed, but only the worst offenders are so punished.
Luna: Luna is a many-faced trickster god, appearing equally male and female. Luna is the consort of Gaia, is a ferocious warrior nearly the equal of the Unconquered Sun, and is the mother and patron of the Lunar Exalted.
Lunar Mate: When Solar and Lunar Exalteds were created they were made in pairs that bear a special, spiritual bond. In the First Age, Solar and Lunar mates often did marry, but at least as many were merely friends or partners who found it easy and natural to work together.
magical materials: Orichalcum, moonsilver, jade, starmetal and soulsteel comprise the five known magical materials. These materials are all easily enchanted, and each one resonates with a particular type of Exalted. This resonance makes any item that is both constructed from one of the magical materials and attuned to an Exalt’s anima preternaturally deft and sure in that Exalt’s hands. It also gives the Exalt access to the powers of any hearthstone mounted on the item.
magistrate: A plenipotentiary official acting with the authority of the Scarlet Empress herself. Magistrates investigate corruption within the Imperial government at home and abroad, bring charges against and sentence criminals and watch for signs of treason.
Mandate of Heaven, the: The proclamation made by the Unconquered Sun at the end of the Primordial War, which states the rulership of Creation falls to the Exalted. Also called the Creation-Ruling Mandate.
manse: A manse is a structure of occult architecture used to cap and channel the energy of a demesne. The demesne’s energies are geomantically focused by the manse into the creation of a hearthstone and also to power various features of the structure itself.
Meticulous Surgeons of the Body Electric, the: One of the Five Sodalities, this group of technicians and maintenance engineers is responsible for the upkeep and repair of both Autochthonia and its denizens. The Surgeons are associated with the magical material moonsilver.
necromancy: This is a form of magic that harnesses the dark Essence of the Underworld to generate powerful negative effects. Necromancy is practiced only by the Deathlords and their Abyssal Exalted servants today, but it was originally developed by Twilight Caste Solar Exalted of the First Age. Like sorcery, necromancy features three levels of initiation: Shadowlands Circle, Labyrinth Circle and Void Circle. Necromancers may also practice sorcery, but advancement in one art inhibits development in the other. (see sorcery also)
Neverborn: Cousins to the Yozis, the Neverborn are the dead-but-dreaming ghosts of those Primordials slain by the Exalted in the time before history. In dying, they birthed the Underworld and possibly Oblivion as well. They sleep forever in their enormous sepulchers overlooking the Void, dreaming of the day when they can complete the plunge into Oblivion that began when they died, but they cannot do so as long as creation exists.
Olgotary: The administrators of Autochthonia’s Eight Nations, these scientific bureaucrats, along with the Sodalities and the Theomachracy, compose one of the three governing institutions of Autochthonian society.
Palace of the Tamed Storm, the: One of two Realm secondary schools for incorrigible Dragon-Blooded youths, the Palace of the Tamed Storm is located in the Imperial City itself. Though ostensibly devoted to reforming Dragon-Blooded troublemakers and ne’er-do-wells, it is more concerned with them mastering the art of keeping up appearances. Most graduates merely end up more skilled sadists and criminals.
Pasiap’s Stair: Located atop Gray Mask Mountain, this military academy forges found egg Dragon-Blooded into elite Realm legionnaires — or it kills them. This school has a long-standing rivalry with the House of Bells.
Path: One of the Paths of Draconic Enlightenment that reflect a Dragon King’s intellectual and spiritual growth as well as her degree of supernatural power. These Paths are divided into the Ten Paths of Prehuman Mastery and the five Dark Paths.
patrician: Non-Dragon-Blooded members of the 11 Great Houses of the Realm as well as members of lesser noble houses.
Pious Harvesters of the Hallowed Flesh: One of the Five Sodalities, the group gathers offal and trash for recycling and prepares the food served to the masses in Autochthonia’s cafeterias. The Harvesters are associated with the magical material jade.
po: The animalistic lower soul of a person, which separates from the hun upon death. See hungry ghost.
Populat: Autochthonia’s working class, it is tasked with the manual efforts involved with propitiating the Machine God and providing for the needs of Autochthonia’s people. The vast majority of the Autochthonian population is part
of the Populat.
primary school: Each primary school is an academy with a general focus curriculum attended by patrician and Dynastic children between the ages of 9 and 14. After graduation, most Exalts go on to attend one of the Realm’s four most prestigious secondary schools, while patricians and un-Exalted Dynasts either begin training with their families for the roles they’ll fill or attend a less prestigious secondary school in order to continue their education. Most Dragon-Bloods Exalt during primary school.
Primordial: This is the term applied to those who came before the gods and first wrenched Creation from the chaotic stuff of the Wyld. Only two Primordials survive intact, Gaia and the Great Maker Autochthon. The rest were either slain, becoming the Neverborn, or imprisoned, becoming the Yozis.
protocol: Powerful reality-altering effects that are created by submitting command-prayers to the design weavers, the divine automata that weave destiny in all of Autochthonia. This ability approximates the sorcery practiced by Creation’s Exalted. Autochthon saw to it that his Chosen could also issue identical commands to Heaven’s pattern spiders that work the Loom of Fate, allowing protocols to work in Creation as well as they do in Autochthonia.
Prolific Scholars of the Furnace Transcendent, the: One of the Five Sodalities, this group of craftsmen and machinists manufactures the parts that make the Machine God function smoothly and the wonders that allow Autochthonian society to exist. The Scholars are associated with the magical material soulsteel.
Realm, the: The empire that, until quite recently, controlled the whole of civilized Creation. Called also the Scarlet Empire, the Realm never officially “ruled” more than the Blessed Isle directly, but it exacted tribute from countless local governments, which paid it homage. Those governments were independent in theory, but they were actually little more than puppet states.
Since the Scarlet Empress has disappeared, the Realm has been paralyzed by indecision. There is a weak regent on the Scarlet Throne, and the various Houses of the Scarlet Dynasty plot endlessly, each attempting to gain enough power to place its own candidate on the Throne.
In this Time of Tumult, many of the Realm’s tributaries have had their garrisons recalled and been left to their own devices. While some remain loyal vassal states, a few have openly declared their independence. Many more have effectively done so quietly, withholding their tribute under flimsy excuses. Whoever takes the Throne will be faced with the monumental task of re-conquering a majority of the Realm’s old territory.
Salinan: One of the three major schools of thought governing sorcery. This school considers the Essence of Creation to be part of a vast mind and believes that observing its natural and divine processes can provide enlightenment in the ways of sorcery.
Salinan Working: An epic act of magic in the First Age. The Working imbedded the Five Ordeals and the potential for the Exalted to wield sorcery into the very fabric of Creation, so that the art would never be lost.
Scarlet Dynasty, the: A collective term for the scions of the 11 Great Houses that rule the Realm. Each House may trace its lineage back to the Scarlet Empress herself.
Scarlet Empress, the: During the Great Contagion, it was she who braved the Imperial Manse and used its control of the Realm’s ancient magical defenses to save Creation from the invading Fair Folk. She then crowned herself Empress of the Realm—using her control of the Realm defenses to crush all opposition—and proceeded to rule the world for the next 750+ years. Her disappearance five years ago has upset the status quo of Creation, and the return of the Solar Exalted has only complicated the situation.
Scavenger Lands, the: The Scavenger Lands is a disparaging term the Realm coined for an alliance of petty kingdoms and city-states in the Eastern Threshold more properly named the Confederation of Rivers. Located in the First Age River Province, these nations have never bent knee or offered tribute to the Scarlet Empress or her Realm, despite repeated attempts by the Realm to subjugate them. The most powerful of these states are the enormous trading metropolis of Nexus, home to the Guild, and Lookshy, home of the surviving Dragon-Blooded Shogunate Era Seventh Legion and its enormous cache of First Age armaments.
Second Breath: When a baby draws its first breath, the soul enters that child’s body. When a person is Exalted, the influx of divine Essence is very similar. Thus, Exaltation is often referred to as taking the Second Breath.
secondary school: Each such school is a more advanced academy than a primary school. The majority of Dynastic Dragon-Bloods attend one of the Realm’s four elite secondary schools, while patricians and un-Exalted Dynasts typically attend less prestigious institutions.
Seneschals of the Sun Kings: A Lunar faction that reveres the memory of the Solar Exalted and seeks revenge for their overthrow. The Seneschals are in transition, now that the Solars are no longer dead icons from the distant past.
Seventh Legion, the: A rogue Shogunate-era legion that rebuilt the ancient city Deheleshen into the powerhouse of the Scavenger lands, Lookshy, following the Contagion and the subsequent wars with the Fair Folk. It is directly because of the legion’s interference that the former River Province remains free of Realm control to this day.
shadowland: A region where Creation interpenetrates with the Underworld. They are caused by constant or massive amounts of death, possibly augmented by negative geomancy. They are invariably dismal, haunted places that are plagued by hungry ghosts and the evil spirits of Creation, drawn to the local by the areas’ negative energy. On the plus side – if there is one – ghosts and mortals are able to meet in shadowlands with ease.
shinma: A concept, entity or property of the Wyld (savants dispute in which category the shinma fall), in five of which the Primordials anchored (among other things) will and the four Virtues. Inhabitants of Creation draw from other shinma similarly essential aspects of being such as the properties of possessing identity and location. The savants of the Second Age understand the shinma poorly.
Shogunate, the: A loose confederacy of Dragon-Blooded daimyos who collectively ruled over Creation following the Usurpation. Wars were constant during this entire period and it was a rare period indeed when the Shogunate was united under a Shogun.
The Shogunate’s final years saw the release of the Great Contagion and the Fair Folk invasion that followed, called the Balorian Crusade. The Shogunate was truly and finally dead when the Scarlet Empress bravely took control of the Imperial Manse and turned the Defense Grid against the invading Fair Folk.
Sidereal astrology: The astrology known to mortals merely tries to predict the future through the movements of the stars. Sidereal astrology decides the future by manipulating the Loom of Fate, usually with the help of the pattern spiders.
Silurian: One of the three major schools of thought governing sorcery. Its adherents regard Creation as an arbitrary system of symbols they can manipulate to create whatever meaning—or physical effect—they want. The school emphasizes magic words and sigils.
Silver Pact, the: The collective body of Lunar Exalted who possess a caste thanks to their magical moonsilver tattoos, and follow the Silver Way. It is not a government, but it does have informal leaders.
Solar Mate: See Lunar Mate.
sorcery: Sorcery is a more sophisticated and demanding form of Essence manipulation than Charms. With Charms, the Exalt focuses Essence through her Abilities, while, with sorcery, she focuses it through sheer will alone. Sorcery features three levels of initiation: Terrestrial Circle, Celestial Circle and Solar Circle. Sorcerers may also practice necromancy, but advancement in one art inhibits development in the other. (see necromancy also)
soulgem: All Autochthonians have one of these artifacts implanted on their foreheads just after birth. A soulgem serves to contain the soul of its bearer upon death, that it might be recycled. The pattern of a soulgem is indicative of a person’s position and rank in Autochthonia’s rigid society.
Spiral Academy, the: This is a secondary school devoted to preparing students for a career in the Imperial Service. Its student body is also a source for cheap bureaucratic labor for the Scarlet Empire.
spirit: Term used by savants to mean elementals, demons, ghosts and gods. Some savants argue the Fair Folk, too, are spirits, but Heaven disagrees. Like little god, “spirit” is a term little used amongst the uneducated, who often call all gods and elementals (and any other obviously supernatural being) “gods,” and who think of demons and ghosts as entirely different orders of being.
stalker: A term used to describe the bestial Raptok who inhabit the lost city of Rathess and its environs, thought to just be a swift, lithe breed of cunning reptilian predator inhabiting the East. Likely considered derogatory by any Raptok with the intellect to consider such things.
strix: Thought by Eastern tribesmen to be harbingers of doom, strix are enormous forest owls, with 15-foot wingspans, mottled dark-brown feathers, wicked claws and a small (for its size) but incredibly powerful beak. Their large round eyes are perfectly adapted for nighttime hunting, and the birds have been known to carry off lone travelers to devour at their leisure.
Stygia: The capital of the Dual Monarchy and the largest city of the Underworld, located at the center of the Underworld on an island continent that corresponds to the Blessed Isle which is also known as Stygia. Although the Dual Monarchy technically rules the city, it is actually dominated by the Deathlords.
task binding: When a summoner binds an elemental to a task for a year and a day (or binds a demon to a task forever). Compare to Abscissic binding.
Terrestrial god: A god in the Terrestrial Bureaucracy. Terrestrial gods oversee tangible phenomena. Compare to Celestial god.
Terrestrial sphere, the: The Terrestrial gods’ sphere of responsibility. As Yu-Shan is either part of Creation or not part of Creation depending on who one asks, the Celestial gods often say “the Terrestrial sphere” when they wish to refer specifically to Creation and not Yu-Shan.
Theion: Vitriol in Old Realm.
Threshold: Savants referring to the Threshold typically mean all that lies between the shores of the Blessed Isle and the elemental poles that mark the boundary of Creation. More commonly, it is the term applied to the ring of kingdoms, principalities, satrapies and city-states that abut the Inland Sea.
true form: A Lunar Exalt has at most three true forms: the human form she was born with, the spirit shape she gained at Exaltation and an optional war form that combines aspects of the two. True forms determine the degree to which a Lunar can augment her Physical Attributes, and the Lunar must stay in her true forms once her anima achieves a certain degree of manifestation.
tyrant lizard: Found (rarely) in the Southern jungles, the rumor of a tyrant lizard is enough to panic a caravan or village. The enormous lizards are swift-moving, ravenous predators too stupid to fear anything but fire. They run on their two back legs and use their smaller front limbs and enormous mouths as weapons. Tyrant lizards are solitary predators and will pursue and attack anything if they are hungry.
Unconquered Sun, the: Greatest of the gods, the Unconquered Sun inspired the gods to revolt against the Primordials. His champions, the Solar Exalted, led the charge in the war that followed. After the war’s end, the Unconquered Sun continued to advise his Chosen in their rule of Creation until their pride grew so great he turned his back on them. After the murder of the Solars, his temples were pulled down and his worship banned.
Underworld: The land of the dead whose geography mirrors that of living Creation and is dominated by the 13 Deathlords. The Underworld is a land of long shadows and vast, still seas—a dark wonderland full of dangers foreign to the world of the living.
unwoven coadjutor: The remains of the personality of the demon who bore the Green Sun Prince’s Exaltation and formed his Chrysalis Grotesque, the coadjutor still serves to motivate and advise its Infernal.
vitriol: Referred to as Theion To in Old Realm, vitriol is the only natural element of Malfeas. The dark liquid is transcendent acid infused with the consumptive hate of the Yozis that naturally consumes all it touches. When properly purified, however, it catalyzes and transforms materials to their core essence.
Whispers: The dreaming thoughts of the Neverborn echo through the Underworld. Abyssals can develop the ability to sense and learn from this stream of cryptic thoughts and dream-images from the world’s dead creators. Oblivion itself emits a similar psychic whisper, but whereas tuning into the thoughts of the Neverborn brings both madness and wisdom, the Whispers of Oblivion bring only madness.
Wyld: The term “the Wyld” is used to describe both the formless chaos that exists beyond the elemental poles and the places where that chaos has intruded upon Creation, most notably in the wake of the Fair Folk invasion that followed the Great Contagion.
Wyld Hunt: The Hunt is a group of battle-hardened Dragon-Blooded gathered both from the Immaculate Order and the Realm military for the express purpose of hunting down Anathema. With the disappearance of the Scarlet Empress, the Wyld Hunt’s effectiveness has begun to suffer, as those Dragon-Bloods who would be most effective in the Hunt now choose to stay at home to lend their support to their Great Houses in the contest for the Scarlet Throne.
yeddim: Originally found in the Southeast, yeddim have long been domesticated and are now found over most of Creation as beasts of burden. Even tempered and stoic (also dumb as posts), the huge animals can go for days without food and water and can carry hundreds of pounds of gear. Like mammoths, herds of yeddim defend themselves by circling around their young.
Yozis: Cousins to the Neverborn, the Yozis are forever imprisoned outside Creation in their twisted kingdom of iron and black marble beneath a mad green sun. The Yozis constantly plot to escape the demon realm Malfeas and to overthrow the gods despite and limited by the oaths they have sworn upon their own names.