Creation is falling apart. Led by a mysterious entity - Ishvara? Primordial? Sidereal? Who can say? - known only as the Nowhere King, an unaccountably vast army of the Fair Folk known as the Thousand Empires (for they are just that, a thousand bickering nations of laughing djinni and hungry ogres and yellow-eyed facestealers) has launched an invasion of Creation, seeking to unmake Creation into formless Wyld as it once was. They ravage mortals, drawing them into endless fantasy games and eating their dreams. They birth gossamer nightmares and send them roaring into civilized lands. They sing strange songs that shift leylines and draw unbidden gasps from unwed maidens. And they would make all their mad desires into reality - or reality into their mad desires, more appropriately - except that...
Creation is dying. They call themselves Deathknights, the Abyssal Exalted, Chosen of the Void - the worldkillers, the Underworld's lifelorn champions. Behind them are vast armies of undead abominations, hungry ghosts, zombified war machines, awful plagues, memetic suicide religions...and worse, the Deathlords and their petty tyrannies, their disagreements and hatreds and ancient agendas. Their eagerness to tear each other apart is all that keeps them from enacting the will of their unspeakable masters. The Neverborn...what can be said of such horror? They lie in their hideous tomb-bodies and whisper to each other of how glad they will be to die at last, when all that ever is and was and will be is reduced to nothing at all. They whisper, and sob, and scream, and would have their way if they were not stymied by the fact that...
Creation is being devoured. The Locust Crusade came from nowhere, a shattering of a great Seal heralding the arrival of the Alchemical Host and their technoturgical Harvest Engines, boring deep into the earth and ice and sand and water and loam to drain away its resources and Essence, returning all that they take to their coming Great Maker far beyond the mortal realm. Oh, and souls: they need those, as many as they can buy or steal, to expand their hopeless slave-society. Perhaps something could be found to spare them in a less dire Age, and perhaps they'd agree to help the world that would help them in term if their time was not also short...and if they hadn't brought IT with them. Gremlin Syndrome. A biomechanical desecration of life that aggressively spreads itself and terrifies even the undead, and worse: the Locusts don't know how many of their own have already been infected. Or what else aside from their hateful operation they are about to bring through. Not that it matters, because...
Creation is under siege. The Realm is collapsing into petty tyranny, backbiting, betrayal, and assassination; as always, it is the citizens who suffer first. The Lunar Exalted and the Sidereal Fellowship fight an interwoven and shadow-bound civil war over what to do with the returning Solar Exalted. Something stirs in the dark jungles of the East from where it has slept beneath Denandsor. Gem is moments away from being completely destroyed. Sacherevell's sleep is troubled and restless. The Solar Exalted run amok, overturning kingdoms, butchering legends, forging things best left unimagined. And He is nowhere to be found. Creation's greatest defender, once its most dedicated, always its strongest, is missing...so say some. Others whisper a thought not entertained since the Primordial War itself:
The Unconquered Sun is dead.
Oh, Holy still functions, still provides some small measure of comfort against the growing darkness - but it is a paling light compared to that of Sol Invictus. How could this be? How could this come to pass? Some say that it could not, that the Sun only bides his time to strike in the perfect moment and sweep away all the world's enemies at once. Some say Luna devoured him and keeps his principles burning hot in her belly. Some say he was slain by the Sixth Maiden, just now arrived from potentiality, who embodies an idea no one has yet dared to voice. Some say he was assassinated by Queen M-R-L reborn, who skinned him alive and wears his light for her dress. There are so many sayers, and so little truth...all that is for certain is that where sorcery and thaumaturgy fail, the world is dark.
The Yozis had grand plans for Creation. They would siege its strongholds and shatter its strength, and as the sole power left to march across Creation they would sear its geomancy down to the shinma and recast its gods and elementals into forms of infinite, endless suffering. They would drink Celestial Wine from the skulls of the Maidens and use Sol Himself to turn his favored children to ash, and then even the ash would be irradiated and poisoned against hope for all of eternity. They would Reclaim the Games of Divinity and make of their once-favored kingdom a charnelhouse. Now...they know not what to do. They could do nothing. They could turn their face as the Sun did. They wouldn't have to lose...but for the Titans who once worked inviolate truth from indeterminate chaos, how could they stand not to win? They argue and scream and tear at each other...and while they busy themselves with deciding how best to ruin everything for everyone, their once-human Exalted turn their eyes to their once-home and realize that they cannot wait. Some serve Hell and seek to sanctify what can still be saved while they await further instructions. Some have betrayed it for the memory of families, friends, and the painless love unknown to any of the demon realm. Some seek to build, dance, or carve their own legend into Creation. Some are simply bored...but all are moving, and although they number only two-score-and-ten, they are mighty enough to have their say. All that remains is to decide for yourself: what will I say? What will the stories of whatever survives - if anything does - say of me?
Creation is dark. But Sol is not the only light. Whether they comes to save or slaughter, to enlighten or enslave, loving, hating, or to simply laugh or dance or hold tight that which is precious one last time - they will come. Should the Sun not rise, an emerald dawn will sear the horizon.
Hi! This is an interest check - and an ST request, before anyone gets too excited we need one of those - for an Exalted game set in the twilight of the Second Age. It need not be exclusively or even mostly Infernals, they're just my favorite splat and this is written from their perspective. Other folks will have other perspectives, and every Exalted is a hero capable of shaping the path of history according to their desire. If you wish to open this hypothetical to other Exalted types and if they turn out to be a majority that's acceptable, my only requests are that Infernals are at least open as a choice, 2.5 and the Ink Monkeys are used, and that the game start off with Exalts of middling power - say, a hundred XP on top of standard creation.
Desired but not insistently so would be the use of flat XP costs to retain the value of Abilities, Attributes, and growing Virtue, Revlid's Mutations, using Solar costs and creation for every splat should you open the game to other Exalted types so that everyone gets to have fun at the same rate if not quite the same raw power, and that Essence be a fixed number raised automatically after various XP plateaus are reached: IE, starts at 4, increases to 5 at 250xp, increases to 6 at 400xp without cost but also without allowing players to jump ahead of the curve. I find these make for a smoother and more enjoyable experience all-around, including on the ST's side of the screen, but as noted, these are not hard requirements.