The first RPG I’ve discovered after D&D was Exalted- and as such, it left a very strong impression upon me. While it was a fantasy setting, it was just so… different, so mythic and powerful, so wondrous and dreadful. The Chosen of the Gods walk the earth, demigods with the power to change the world. The ghosts of fallen heroes haunt the Underworld, seeking to serve the goals of dead things which were never born, and as such could not truly die. The elements of Creation flow through the ley lines, carrying with them subtle influences upon the land. The gods celebrate in heaven or walk the earth alongside mankind. The fae lurk at the edges of the world, seeking to destroy all form and celebrate in imagine realities. And the most powerful, drawing and impressive of all- the courts of Hell and its demon princes.
See, Exalted’s version of Hell is just so.. different than that of D&D. It is not an evil place, where sinners suffer for all eternity. Demons are not angels who defied some all mighty god and were punished for it. They do not tempt the innocents and do not do evil for evil’s sake. Demons are not evil at all, actually, which means that it is ok to summon and use them for your own benefit. They are simply alien, thinking in ways no mortal could ever do.
Hell is a place of suffering and pain, where trapped gods are bound in the flesh of their own kind, broken images of those who they once were. Hell is a place of celebration and joy, where song means life and silence brings death, where light means safety and darkness fear, where dance means survival and despair means destruction. Hell is a broken place- but also beautiful, in its own way. It is a festival, bound by absurd laws and tyranny where the former rulers of the world torment their own souls in search for a relief from the eternal pain. There is no right or wrong, no truth and false, no past or future- in Hell, you can only live the present, for no one knows what would happen tomorrow and no one cares about where you came from. Hell is alien- but it accepts you in ways no other place would.
As such, it would be a shame to not adapt it somehow to the CofD, right?
Now, I’m not suggesting something like important Malfeas as whole into the setting. Instead, I was thinking about exploring each of the Yozi presented in Exalted (and some of the other Primordials), and how they may be tied to a certain CofD gameline/s in an interesting way. Bellow I’m going to present the concept I have for each of the former Princes of Creation, and how it may be tied to the setting individually, making it a toolbox for people to use 😛 (also, as a side note- I’m still planning on finishing my cosmology blog- I simply don’t have a lot of time lately, out of RL issues).
Anyway, here we go-
Malfeas- as it is the very Hell in which the Yozi are bound, it makes sense to tie the Demon City to Inferno in some way (not to mention its celebrant themes), but the visceral and primordial give me a certain Beast vibe to it. As such, I think about the Demon City as some sort of an infernal phenomenon which manifest itself in the Primordial Dream- out of nowhere, dreamers start having nightmares about a great city, with brass walls and green sun, filled with terrible creatures who sing and dance in a constant festival while being lead by a brass skin dancer. In the meanwhile, in the Primordial Dream itself, the City manifest itself in the Hive, growing out of nowhere and taking over the region. The Dancer becomes the Apex, taking the title for the current ruling monster, while demons start to roam through the Hive, filling lairs with song and dance. Eventually, the City moves on, vanishing as it never existed while drifting in the Dream- but the scars it leaves behind would not heal easily.
Cecelyne- Arbitrary rules? Divine tyranny? Desert themes? Yeah, Cecelyne simply screams “Mummy”! Considering her time twisting nature, and the fact that the Rite of Return did fucked up time so Irem would always exist, I think about the Endless Desert as places where the world “remembers” Irem, either through the creation/destruction of relics, acts of Neithian Architecture or simply because the starts are right (or wrong. Terribly wrong). Suddenly, the Laws of the Judges become manifested, and people feel compulsion to follow behaviors which were destroyed thousands of years ago. Mysterious enforcers come to force those laws, and sometimes, Irem itself comes to life, and the desert rise to devour the careless and opens a path to Duat itself.
She Who Lives in Her Name- The all “heirarchy” theme of SWLIHN feels really Demonic, IMO, and sounds like it could be tied to the God Machine. I envision her as being a Command and Control Infrastructure, a set of 99,997 red, crystal spheres which are scattered all over the world, each containing an eternal flame. The spheres has a strange tendency to enforce certain compulsions upon those who see them, enhance them with certain supernatural powers and form cults to protect them, and are able to summon and command angels, changing Exile parameters or even making angels to fall and rising demons back to heaven. While many demons would like to put their hands over the spheres in an attempt to control, manipulate or destroy to God Machine, they should be careful- three times demons messed up, destroying the crystal- and in the process annihilating anything around them beyond memory.
Adorjan- I can’t exactly say why, but there is something about the Silent Wind which feels very Pangaean like. I believe her to be a former Pangaean called as Song, who had her Omphalus Stone stolen by the Wise, leaving her to die as many like her. However, Song didn’t died- or more exactly, she did, but she kept on moving. She became Silence, and she despise all sounds who remind her of who she once been. Nowadays, she is neither a spirit or a being of flesh, but a wind which makes no sound, and wherever she goes, things drop dead. Those flocks of birds who just fall from the sky? The herd which was found dead with no explanation? People who are found dead alone locked in their rooms? Its the Silence, and good luck at hunting something which you can’t even bite, dear Uratha. As it is the “ghost” of a dead Pangaean, maybe ome connection to Geist and ghosts could be appropriate, especially if it cuts through spirit while leaving flesh intact.
Ebon Dragon- with all that emphasis around dark urges and desires, Beast seems once more like a natural candidate. The Shadow of all Things is more of an event than an entity- something which occurs when there is an “eclipse” in the Primordial Dream, bringing a time of darkness upon sleepers. It could be a matter of days, it could be a matter of weeks, but as long as the Eclipse takes place, people are Devoured by the darkness as it was an Horror- and it leaves behind something else, a shard of darkness which enforce hunger and vice upon the spawn. As those poor souls are driven into self destruct, the darkness manifest itself upon their flesh, giving them draconic traits and make them more shadow than person. Eventually, the eclipse will end- but it may be too late for those Devoured by the dark, for if the crossed the boundary and become darkness, they too would vanish with the return of light, joining the flight of shadows of all things.
Kimbery- Burning waters of vitriolic torment? Yeah, that’s Promethean with no doubt. My concept for the Sea in that of a Birthing Pits- pool of Vitriol which manifest themselves spontaneously through the world. While Prometheans may harvest those sources of naturally forming Vitriol, and Pandorans are drawn to drink from them, weird things happen if you through things into the Pits- body parts, be them animal or human, meld together and create strange monsters powered by Pyros. Not exactly Pandorans, but not Promethean either, those monsters whisper about the “Mother” which gave them life- and while they are compelled to obey the one who made them, they have instincts and wishes born from the love they hold for that mysterious entity. May be tied with Beast, for obvious reasons.
Cytherea- The Ultimate Mystery! That which could never be known! 100% Mage material, IMO. In CofD’s terms, I think it would be expressed as truly as the “Ultimate Mystery”, something which has eluded mage attempts to understand it with all of their wisdom and research capabilities. Some whisper that it is the Key for Ascension, or even perhaps the Door to Atlantis. References to it are found in broken prophecies in High Speeches, scribbles in the hand writes of madmen or in glimpses of vision seen in the stage between dream and reality. Those who become Obsessive toward the Ultimate Mystery start seeing signs of it everywhere, leading them to a self destructive road from which most are never seen again. Whether they have ascended, died or suffered from a terrible fate still is, well, a mystery.
Oramus- The draconic imagery and all of the emphasis about “breaching impossible boundaries” and “going beyond existence” also gives a strong Mage feeling to it. I think about something in the style of the “Cult of the Dragon”, built around faithful worshipers which are mostly proximi and Nameless who are gathered around an Atlantean relic, through which they can call upon objects and beings from worlds which never were. Some sort of a Time Which Never Was which somehow survived to the modern era. The cultists believe that there is a god trapped inside of the relic, bound in there by the people of the Fallen City, and that they are its descendants. They believe that if they were to free it, it would remake the world and bring back Atlantis, making it perhaps a “Lost Oracle” w8ith the relic itself being a Watchtower, and if they were to do so it would crown them as the new kings of Atlantis. And guess what? They may very well be right.
Isidoros- Ammmm from one side, we have something primordial, dark and full of urges, which is pure Beast. On the other, the animalistic symbolism and unstoppable nature give to me a strong Werewolf feeling. As such, I think about a certain combination of the two. Perhaps it is a Pangaean which has found solace in the Primordial Dream after the fall of the Border Marches. Perhaps it is a Firstborn child of the Dark Mother and Father Wolf. Perhaps it is something stranger, a relic of an older world destroyed which had landed upon Earth ages ago, a Void Leviathan adopted by the Mother. Whatever it may be, it serves as the Totem of a very special Lodge- one which includes the Begotten as a part of their Pack, and which recognize them as Family. The Totem itself seems to have strange influences about fate, causality, and the laws of physics, twisting space and time in unpredictable ways, being an incarnation of primal power which simply can not be stopped.
Sacheverel- Ohhhh dear old Sache is so Demonic that it is painful! A power of fate, sleep and prophecy? Yeah, I like it. I think about a strange form of Stigmata called the “Sleeping Sickness”- usually, stigmatics are formed when people who are sensitive to the God Machine’s frequencies stumble upon an infrastructure. However, sometimes the person is too sensitive, tuning them directly to the God Machine’s occult matrices and alien thoughts. Those people fall into a strange sleep from which they can not awake, producing strange signs upon their skin which look like bleeding or tearing eyes. In their dreams, they see all kinds of strange, possible futures, the shape of things to come. Without help, they would simply waste away and die out- but they can not be waken up without some supernatural means. It is possible to enter into their dreams and view their prophetic visions, but if one were to try and awake them from their comma, they would discover that they become target to angelic attacks. The angels don’t try to attack the dreamer- all they want to is to make sure they would stay asleep. Some believe that the God Machine use those people as living computers, calculating probabilities for the future. Others ain’t so sure- when stumbling upon those cases, the angels responsible for securing the dreamers seem to exhibit a strange emotion- fear, and those who entered into the dreamer’s mind has claimed to feel as if something is watching them. And the strangest of it all- on the rare cases someone does manage to awake a dreamer from their sleep, the stigmatics are known to pronounce a single prophecy, after which their stigmata vanish without trace- and that prophecy would always, but always, come true.
Hegra- The combination between the typhoon symbolism and the liquid hallucinations kind of make me think about a combination of Changeling and Promethean, some sort of “Glamourstorm” instead of Firestorm. I think about them forming from a mixture of raw Glamour and Flux, as the dead and chaotic nature of the latter is revived through the gashing emotion of the former. When Glamourstorm takes place, dream and reality mix together, and hobgoblins are brought to life out of emotions and fantasies. The world becomes more like a fairy tale, and those who drink the liquid dreams may gain strange insights about the future- at the price of becoming a character in a story they did not write.
Ellog- With the emphasis of Ellog around speech and written language, I think it would also be a nice candidate for Changeling material. I think about it as some sort of the “First Contract”, a library which contains every pledge, oath and vow every preformed, and which could be used in order to play with the principles of creation. The library usually exists outside out reality, but it sometimes leaks into mundane books, contracts and oaths, giving metaphysical weight for even the most regular promises and bargains. Any pact preformed while the Sphere of Speech is manifested would come true, and it also may have some Mage crossover potential by making all of those oaths being in High Speech, making them alien and strange to the Lost to deal with.
Szoreny- I can’t say exactly why, but something about the Silver Forest feels really “Geisty” to me. Silver trees which grown upside down, their branches in the Underworld and their roots among the living, which practically feed upon the reflected memories and personalities of those around them. The more someone looks in the reflected surfaces of the Silver Forest, the more the reflection becomes real, and the less tangible becomes the original, until they are nothing but a reflection trapped in the Forest’s imaginary worlds.
Qaf- The Endless Mountain is all about Pilgrimage and search for perfection, something which simply screams Promethean. It could perhaps be a mystical location which the Created whisper about, that anyone who could reach its top would gain New Dawn if Promethean, Ascension if Mage and perhaps even stranger transformations for other splats. Once called by the Mountain, one could always end the journey and return to the world- but if they’ll do, they would never find the Mountain again, even though they may learn a thing or two about themselves in the process.
Metagaos- So a place which just eats anything which enters its boundaries, time included? Vampire, please. The Hungry Blossom would be an example for a vampiric place, some sort of “Wicked Dead” in that the vampire is an actual place which slowly gnaws at everything around it, leaving behind a rotten, grey swamp with strange flowers which has some mystical properties for both good and ill. The very water of the swamp are in fact Vitae, even if its taste is rotten and poisonous. Maybe even those who get lost in the swamp rise after death- which means more hungry mouths to feed in the Hungry Blossom. Perhaps it could also be tied to the Contagion, considering its toxic nature.
Achsam- And here we start to examine some of the fanmade Yozi! Achsam is a theatrical demon prince, who loves drama and its face are a yellow mask (King in Yellow, anyone?). As such, it is a little surprise that I think he should be tied to Changeling, something in the style of a Charlatan Parade which roams through the Hedge and the material world, where Fae beings mingle with mortals and shoe them shows of wonder and horror. The Parade accepts anyone, no questions asked, and gives them a mask to wear instead o their face. Well, except of the Showmaster. He wears no mask.
Cabasilis- Another fanmade yozi, the Shrouded Council feels to me as something of both Vampire and Hunter. In our setting, it would be an invisible conspiracy, a political power powered by mystical trappings. In a way, it is THE conspiracy, a collection of individuals who pull the strings, be them humans or monsters. No one knows who are the members of the Council, but both vampires and hunters stumble upon the Council’s plots- and while at first they think they are dealing with just another cult such as Daeva or Cheiron, they quickly discover they deal with something far beyond what they expected. The Council is alive, its strings are everywhere, and you could trust no one when attempting to fight its influence.
Nimozini- While I can’t find a lot about that yozi, it seems to have interest in preserving knowledge and collecting new one, bringing civilization and order wherever it goes. That makes me think about Mage, with perhaps some touch of the Aegis Kai Doru. Hidden museums in secret places which contain and catalog the remains of ancient civilizations and races which never existed, all kinds of potential Atlantisis which were erased from existence when the Exarchs Ascended, and which is guarded by alien the Librarians. Both mages and the AKD may have interest in investigating those sanctuaries of knowledge, but the Librarians care only about preserving that lost knowledge at any cost, and worse- some of that knowledge and artifacts is quit dangerous in the wrong hands. Add some Iremite relics to the mix, and you’ll get a nice Mage-Mummy crossover in here.
Xanichi- Well, the all Mesoamerican imagery of that titan together with its Maze symbolism really makes me think about connecting Mummy to that Devil Tiger. As a creature of betrayal, chaos and change, I think on somehow connect him to Sutekh, the power of Will and Chaos. I think of him as a great, underground maze which disrupts time and space, and which hides all kinds of ancient terrors of Iremite origin, and all signs are written in the long dead language. Beasts of unknown origin roam its paths, and it contains hints of Irem’s past and origin, such as cultures who daily preform human sacrifice where they tear the victim apart into 43 pieces, or strange tablets which contain 42 absurd laws, or caves which full of teeth like stalagmites or even places where the caves open to impossible skies, which show the stars from before the Shaniatu preformed the Rite and twisted the Scroll of Ages. Who built those labyrinths? Why? And why is it that anyone who enters the Maze has a sudden feeling they were betrayed?
Anapuul- The last fan made yozi, there isn’t a lot about that mysterious titan. All we have is that it has some underground themes, shattered beauty turned into bitter ugliness and hive minds/swarms. All of it really makes me to think about Beast. What I think is about some sort of an “invasive specie” which force its ways into local Hives, parasitic swarms which take over Lairs and Horrors and turn them into a legion connected by bonds stronger than Kinship. Worse, the swarm may use Kinship in order to infect other monsters, creating an army of monsters governed by a strange hivemind, where a Family is turned against itself in order to end the threat.
Jheel Khan- And now we start with our dead Primordials. Given his title, the One Whose Laughter Turn the Sky Red Blood gives me both a strong vampire feeling and a changeling one. As such, I think that the Author should be represented in the form of an organization of both Lost and Kindred, or perhaps a Covenant which use Fae Blood in order to produce all kinda of strange sorceries. The Court and the Covenant would work together, blood in exchange for protection from the Huntsmen. Nomad in nature, strange things happen where the Bloody Court walks, and they carry with them their most treasured artifact- books written by the mysterious Author of Troubled Skies, which contain not only strange blood magic, but also the ability to twist fate and time to their will.
Lykkennan- Being called the Cavern That Devours, I get a strong Underworld feeling from this one, so tying it to Geist sounds logical. I think that the Cavern could be a form of unexpected openings between the Underworld and the Living World, ones which are not bound by Avernian Gates, but allow free transition between the worlds. Ghosts can get out, and the living can get in. The problem is that the Cavern manifest itself only for limited times, and those who do not hold the Keys to the Underworld end up trapped among the dead, with no way out, while the Great Bellow slowly leech the life out of them.
Mardukth- Considering that its name comes from Marduk, it only makes sense to tie that titan to Hunter. On the other hand, it is also the most famous Neverborn, which means I can’t simply detach him from Geist. As such, I think about some sort of a conspiracy tied to the Underworld- or, more exactly, a “conspiracy” made out of ghosts of murder victims which devote themselves to hunt for monsters and slashers. Those ghosts seems to be resilient to the Underworld’s leeching effect and its strong pull, but they do seem to be infected by a strange memetic virus, which makes them repeat a weird, non understood name again and again, and the more of them are gathered in the same place, the less individual they become, manifesting the Mountain and the Beast Upon It. While hunters may appreciate the help at first, soon they may discover they are under a threat like which they never saw before.
Ta’akozoka- Even when she was alive, the Great Tentacled One had powers upon the grave, enslaving ghosts and hoarding treasures. That, combined with its connection to the sea, makes it a good candidate for Geist setting material. I imagine it would be an horror from the Ocean of Fragments, which is able to manifest itself in any body of water which holds a strong resonance to Death, with perhaps even certain rituals which exist to summon the Great Tentacled One from properly dedicated sites. The tentacles are the only ones to be seen of that ancient entity, and it has the ability to command and bind ghosts, as well as drawing riches and wealth. The larger the water body, the more dangerous the horror becomes- and in the middle of the ocean, the Great Tentacled One can manifest with all of its might, drowning whole ships for their wealth and even manifesting the Ocean of Fragments upon the real world, which allow it to hide any remains of its violent manifestations.
Ramethus- The self mutilated titan which has turned itself into a living weapon sounds like a great setting hook for Hunter. I’m not sure if an whole conspiracy, but perhaps there is some sort of “underworld laboratory” made of renegade scientists and doctors of different conspiracies (such as Cheiron, Daeva, LDI, etc) which offers “upgrades” for hunters to make them better at the hunt, even up to an inhuman level- even though the price they are required to pay is not only in resources and favors. By becoming the Vigil incarnated, others things, such as your humanity, are need to be removed- and who knows when the boundary between the Candle and the Knife will be crossed?
Hunanura- A fallen titan of ice and frost, she could be easily tied to my Awful Ice project. However, as her slayer is connected to Sorcery, I wonder if perhaps she could also be tied to a magical splat- not Mage, which already shares Promethean with Qaf, but perhaps Mummy. I think about something in the style of the feathered remains of an ancient monster, which are being made of an ice like substance which devours heat and is eternally cold. The gentle bones and silver feathers seem gentle to touch, they are in fact strong as resilient to almost all attacks. Worse, they drain not only mundane fire- they devour the Divine Fire, and eat up Sekhem. Relics are deactivated by them, Athanors perish and die, alchemical formulas shatter and even the mightiest Utterances fail in their presence, as the Sekhem of the mummy is eaten by an alien force. What that ancient beast was once is unknown- but it is clearly a power of hunger, cold and eternal death.
Mabhaddoth- The Architect of Locks and its strong emphasis about faith makes in natural in my eyes as a Mummy material setting. I think about it as a temple of Iremite origin, which slides in and out of reality, which just burns with Sekhem in a way that resonate in every mummy around. Those who travel inside discover ancient idols of the gods and judges, and locked doors which can not be opened by key- but by law. The Temple of Locks is a sacred place of the Judges, and only those devoted to their tyranny could open one of the 42 gates. However, choose your gate carefully- you get only one chance, and whether you’ll get a reward or punishment would greatly depend on both devotion, skill and- most important of all- to good will of the Judges.
Theion- and now the non corrupted form of the titans, the Empyreal Chaos and its holy tyranny gives me the strong and classical “divine hunter” theme. However, the word “theion” also seems to have some alchemical connections, even practically meaning “Divine Fire”. My concept is some sort of qashmalim induced blessing, which is meant to endow hunters with supernatural powers, as agents of the Principle in war against the darkness. Some sort of H:tR translation to Vigil, where the Principle takes a much more active role in fighting against the monsters and leading humanity out of its world of darkness.
Adrian- so a river which induce pain and suffering upon anyone who touch its water? Yeah, that’s some Promethean material. I assume that a River of Torments could be either a place or a phenomena where rivers become infused with Pyros, far above the “safe concentration”, making them to produce Disquiet and Wasteland as if they were prometheans. Regular humans who touch or drink the water suffer from pain and hallucinations, even though that few go through an epiphany which leads them to become Alchemists. Prometheans, however, may achieve great milestones, as the river enforce upon them any Torment they have ever known. Some escape the River in pain, screaming and hateful as they fall back in their Pilgrimage. Other suffer from complete dissolution, as the water consume their very fabric. But those who are successful at crossing the River make great advancements in their journey, and perhaps even achieve New Dawn. Any known attempt by a pandoran to cross the River ended with its dissolution, but who knows what would happen if a sublimati powerful and willful enough would succeed in the impossible task?
Chiskabel- Ah, the most beautiful chime, which her very form is intoxicating and addicting. I think on tying her to Demon, making her into a cult which worship beauty- or, more exactly, worship a very sweet, perfect song. While the Cult of Perfect Note was originally established by the God Machine, it has since went renegade, becoming a place where demons and exiles can find solace. In fact, many demons think about themselves as the masters of the cult, as it spreads across the world in the form of brothels and similar “businesses”- but those demons who dare to take the form of one of the cultists as their Cover discover that they start hearing a strange, almost maddening sound, one which while humans seem to recognize as a perfect melody demons hear as white noise which slowly evolves into a cacophony of screams. What is that “perfect sound”? And, in fact, why did the Machine cared about it in the first place?
Gaia- And finally, let’s discuss those few Primordials which were never harmed during the Primordial War, remaining alive and well. As tying between Gaia and Gaea is the most natural course of action, it is a little wonder that I think she sould be tied to Werewolf. My plan is connecting her to the strange Geomancy of the Shadow, as a form of technique which allow humans (and others) to Influence the spirit world in the same way that Hisil influence the Flesh. A form of Essence Alchemy, it gives humanity some powerful edge over the unseen, something which could also allow to tie them to Hunter- but when they mess up, things could become much, much worse.
Autochthon- Ah, the Eternal Smith, Master of Crafts and many other titles, which makes our dear old Auto-bot into Demon material. I think of him as an high Ranked Exile, perhaps 7-8, which is simply obsessed at crafting new tools, gadgets and infrastructures. It even has made certain attempts at forging Angels, but they have showed themselves unstable for long term periods- even though it did showed a certain.. success at re-forging humans into angelic forms (to their eternal suffering). However, it is so obsessive about its work, that it neglects its Parameters, making it more and more “Silver-like” with each passing day. Still, the Great Maker is still asked by many demons, who wish to gain his tools in order to fight the Machine. It, of course, would be happy to do so (not out of resentment, but simply because it truly love creating new things)- but the demon is the one responsible on producing the raw materials, and it needs something to make new Ministers to help it in its work, right?
Cemunian- The Constellation of Flesh and Sinew is something so visceral and fleshy that immediately makes me think about Chris Allen’s 5 Pounds of Flesh- and as such, about Werewolf. An whole world made of crafted flesh, something on the level of Masquerade’s Tzimisce flesh crafting. I think about an idigam obsessed with flesh crafting, which search to form whole worlds out of flesh and blood. It would definitely be a world of horrors, and with the Uratha’s ability to regenerate they make excellent raw materials in order to grow that place of horrors. I think we could add some Vampire connection, mixing the flesh craft with some Vitae animation as a shout out to the dear and beloved Tzimisce Clan.
Scarlet Phoenix- and while not properly a yozi, I think that the Queen of Hell should be mentioned in here. With her power of dynasty and hell, I think that tying her to the Lucifuge is the most natural course of action. I think with equating her to the Lady of Milan, making her as the she-devil which “blessed” the Lady with the powers which allowed her to establish the conspiracy (if not the Lady herself), and perhaps making it so other other Lucifuge could also gain her blessing, spawning a new lines of cursed blood meant to either fight or serve hell, in any way they would choose.
Oh god, that was way longer than I planned it to be… oh well! I hope that next week I’ll have enough time to finish my cosmology posts, but I make no promises 😛