View Full Version : [Exalted] Tartereals

Lord Raziere
2012-01-08, 01:40 PM
Abyssals do not redeem into Solars.

Instead, they become Tartereals, the true Champions of Death. They guard and maintain the cycle of life and death, making sure life is born, grows, ages, dies and reincarnates to once again be born and start the cycle anew.

Their Castes:

Sower Caste
Grower Caste
Decayer Caste
Reaper Caste
Renewer Caste

Sower Caste:

They are the beginners of life. They start all things, they shepherd in new beginnings. They herald beginning of the day, and the beginning of the night. To the Sower Caste, everything is a new beginning, and death is just the beginning of the afterlife, which is the beginning of reincarnation, which is the beginning of birth, which is the beginning of life.
The Sowers always like to start new beginnings, from birthing newborns, to killing someone to start their ghosthood, to start a new nation to starting a new trend, to start a new belief. The Sowers believe they are always at a beginning to something, even if its just the beginning of another new moment. They are leaders and revolutionaries, always bringing new beginnings to everything.

Their caste mark is a black seed

Caste Abilities: Presence, Craft, Performance, Socialize, War

Grower Caste

The Growers always like improvement. They grow and improve upon everything, strengthening defenses, working their own bodies to become better, improving their own skills and always proving that one can work to be better. However they also view improvement in another light: is not the death of an enemy improving ones safety? Is not the destruction of an obstacle improving the road? Is not the destruction of a disease improvement of ones health? Death and destruction improve things in their own ways quite easily.
Growers always like the growth, spontaneity of youth. of learning, studying and improving while people are still young and strong so that they can grow up and improve the community. The Growers are always looking for something to improve upon and make better.
Their caste mark is a black growing sapling.

Caste Abilities: Martial Arts, Athletics, Resistance, Dodge, Awareness

Decayer Caste:

With age comes wisdom. All things decay, the Decayer Caste knows this. The Decayers job is to make sure all things eventually decay. To prepare all things for their inevitable end, to make sure the empire slowly falls from its golden age, to make sure that a mine eventually runs out of gold and to signal that something's end is starting to near.
However, the Decayers are also teachers and keepers of wisdom. They are the old wise sages, passing down their old traditions, preserving what has already gone and making sure some things are never forgotten. They make sure that the old does not drown in the constant deluge of the new so that people hold onto the old things that are important, and that such traditions continue to be passed on.

Their caste mark is a black decaying tree.

Caste Abilities: Lore, Integrity, Linguistics, Survival, Larceny

Reaper Caste:

All things eventually come to an end. Everyone eventually dies. The Reapers job is to end things. The final destruction of a nation, the final breath of a life, the execution of a criminal. They make sure all things end. They end the most shining of utopias to darkest of tyrannical regimes, and they end the greatest threats to Creation. All things eventually end, and the Reapers make sure that end comes when it is needed.
They are the executioners, hunters and soldiers.

Their Caste Mark is a black axe

Caste Abilities: Melee, Archery, Stealth, Investigation, Thrown

Renewer Caste:

The Renewers, start things all over again. They make sure ghosts will eventually reincarnate and renew the world, the manage relations between the living and the dead. They bring back things forgotten, and heal those near the edge of death. The Renewers remind people of things lost, and bring back into light that which has been forgotten in darkness. No other caste knows the cycle of life and death better, for they see it every day, people constantly dying and renewing in reincarnation while the living grow then age.

Their Caste Mark is a black Phoenix.

Caste Abilities: Medicine, Bureaucracy, Occult, Ride, Sail

On Exalting into a Tartereal:

The Tartereal's Exalt when they have decided to accept the cycle of life and death after an intensely traumatic experience. Namely, it is earned through the will to accept thats how life and the world works and to move on despite the death and tragedy that occurred around them.

However there is always the threat of regressing and falling into depression over the tragedy once more, temporarily experiencing the memories of that traumatic experience once more, acting out as if they were there again this is called Trauma.

It works like normal Limit, but once it gets to 10, the Tartereal Limit breaks, experiencing their Trauma again for one scene before returning to normal.

The Tartereal gains Limit by:

- suppressing their primary virtue
- Spending willpower to resist unnatural mental influence
- doing nothing when witnessing things that remind them of their Trauma


The Animas of the Tartereals, like the Abyssals are dark. However they are not the darkness of the Void and the destruction of all things. They are instead the comforting darkness of Lethe, the creepy otherworldly grey's and dark colors of the Underworld, the darkness of when one goes to sleep, the relaxing sensation of the night, the images are ones of crows, ancestors and crypts, of history and and heroes long past.
However they can also be creepy and sometimes even disturbing, being like a fog, or with imagery of bones and the sounds of a beating heart and other such things.

Specific anima powers:

Sowers: like the Dawn anima, but it instead makes them charismatic and inviting rather than terrifying and scary
Growers: can use their anima power to strengthen others
Decayers: can use their anima power to weaken others
Reapers: As Day or Night Caste anima power
Renewers: can use their anima power to help Ghosts pass on to Lethe

They mostly work like Abyssal charms, except that charms that reduce limit are gone (or if are a secondary effect of the charm, doesn't reduce limit anymore) and charms that make one gain limit, simply don't. Unconquered Heroes Faith is gone as well.

The Tartereal Castes are interconnected like no other Exalt; they represent the very cycle that they maintain.
A Tartereal can create new charms, but only ones that are within their Castes theme- in any skill of course. Once they have created said charm though, any Tartereal can learn it, but only the Tartereal of the appropriate Caste can teach it. Any Tartereal can learn a Grower-theme charm but only Growers can teach said charm to Tartereals of other castes for example. This is far from limiting the Tartereal's: they simply need to seek out the appropriate Grower who learned it by themselves.
Thus, because the Tartereals need other Tartereals to learn charms with themes outside their own caste, it fosters in somewhat tighter teams and a stronger mentor tradition in the Tartereals, cross-pairing and cross-training the Tartereals so that they have better access to everything at their disposal. This can even result in Tartereal partnerships to teach each other their charms.

However the remaining Abyssal charms left over are accessible to all Tartereals naturally. They are simply the old roots of the Tartereals, the memories left over from their darkest days that they will never forget, the old tools that are the most easily rediscover-able, yet also the ones that will be the most easily discarded once better charms more suited to the Tartereals are rediscovered, if any hypothetical future event kills all the current Tartereals.

On Tartereal Redemption:

While the Tartereal Castes don't exactly map to the Abyssals here is what one is most likely to redeem into:

Dusk > Grower
Midnight > Sower
Daybreak > Decayer
Day > Reaper
Moonshadow > Renewer

However this isn't set in stone and its perfectly possible for an Abyssal to redeem into an unexpected Caste within reason. a Dusk can easily redeem into a Reaper, a Day can easily become a Decayer but an Abyssal cannot redeem into a Tartereal Caste that doesn't make sense for them. No matter how they redeem though, the Abyssals would all eventually redeem into an even 20 for each Caste.

On How Tartereal Redemption itself works:

It mostly works like normal, except that when the Redemption finally happens, the Abyssal instead pulls out both the darkness of Oblivion and the Light of the Unconquered Sun. They then examine both closely….and declare that both of them are lies. The destruction of Oblivion is pointless and petty, while the shining excellence of the Unconquered Sun is full of arrogance, pride and hubris that would only lead to their downfall.
So the Abyssal expels them both and meditates that which is left: Death. Cleared of the lies of both the beautiful light and the nihilistic void, the Abyssal sees death as it truly is: just one part of a bigger cycle, and uncaring unbiased part at that. Seeing the whole of the cycle of life, death and rebirth all across Creation in an epiphanic flash, they internalize the wholeness and complexity of life, death and Lethe into their souls and Exaltations, accepting the world as it truly is: an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth in all forms physical, mental, spiritual and metaphysical.
For one moment, their dark animas brighten to white, then become a rainbow, then become grey, then finally fades back into the comforting darkness of Lethe. Their caste marks during this sudden burst of color change along with it, resting upon one of the Tartereal Castes, while their appearance has changed to match their new Exaltation.

The new Tartereal then gets up and continues on with their new life.

Tartereals are still creatures of death, still immortal and still need to feed to regain motes while in Creation and all that which entails.

They still have access to all three Circles of Necromancy and only up to the Sapphire Circle of Sorcery.

Tartereal Hero style is different from Dark Messiah Style, as Tartereal Hero style is about emulating the Tartereal's and the natural cycle of life, death and Lethe that everyone goes through.

and thats pretty much it. Why? mostly because this is a more interesting thing to redeem into than a Solar, at least for me. As for story hooks, tons:

If your a redeemed Abyssal, what are you going to do now that you are free of the Death Lords and the Neverborn? Will you finally fight back in the open, or will you keep yourself secret so that they don't stamp down on other Abyssals and prevent them from achieving the same redemption?

How will you deal with competition from the Chosen of Endings? Will you work together? would Heaven consider you illegally doing the Endings jobs? Do the Sidereals even distinguish between Solar, Abyssal and Tartereal?

If you have just Exalted, what was the tragedy that you had to accept and move on from? Why did you accept the Tartereal Exaltation's offer? Did the tragedy change your views of life and death, or did it reinforce them?

What are your views on the Underworld? Will you set out to completely repair Lethe and keep the cycle of reincarnation flowing as efficiently as possible, or should some ghosts be kept around? How will you solve the Underworld's problems?

All the Tartereals stop aging in some way:

The Sower and Grower Castes often start looking younger and more full of life than everyone else as they rise in Essence.

The Decayer and Reaper Castes tend to lock into rotting or older visages as they rise in Essence, still showing age and the effects of it towards the end of the life while still not dying from old age.

The Renewer Caste has an odd ghostly ageless feel to them, looking the most similar to the pale Abyssals they once were.

2012-01-08, 03:10 PM
I have a slew of disagreements with this, but if I had to choose just one to point out, it would be the name.

"Exalted: Now with real tartar!"

I assume you're naming them after Tartarus, but it's... well, personally, I think there is great deal of room for improvement, if only because the addition of 'ereal' makes little to no sense.

All the other exalt types follow a very consistent naming scheme. Each title is an actual word, a very concise descriptor of their basic theme- Solar, Lunar, Sidereal, Terrestrial, Alchemical, Abyssal, Infernal.

"Tartereal" sticks out like a sore thumb.

Lord Raziere
2012-01-08, 03:31 PM
ok then. come up with a better one, if you think you can. :smallbiggrin:

as for myself:


thats all I can come up with.

2012-01-08, 03:51 PM
Spectral and Phantasmal were on my list of suggestions. I would also like to propose Ethereal, though that doesn't have quite as much of a death implication.

I'd like to find a good word based off of "Cthonic" but I can't, which is unfortunate.

Spectral is probably the best there, because again, it's actually a real word, and fits without too much fuss among the others.

That said, I still believe the basic concept is fundamentally flawed. Abyssals are inversions of Solars. If they undo what was done to them, they simply become Solars. To become a new exalt type would require some much more radical change.

2012-01-08, 05:05 PM
ok then. come up with a better one, if you think you can. :smallbiggrin:

as for myself:


thats all I can come up with.

A few suggestions
Funereal (relating to a funeral, solem)

Now on the exaltation type, I can see this working as a fine alternative option compared to redemption into Solar hood, but I see no reason to remove the later option for those who prefer it. Especially because that would make the Solar-Abyssal road a one way street, which I feel would be bad.

Thematic question, If they throw away the core of excellence what is their power source?

No matter how they redeem though, the Abyssals would all eventually redeem into an even 20 for each Caste.
I must say that I disagree strongly with this part. The transformation should not be an eventuality for every Abyssal, and if you don't tie the castes of each kind together then there also should be no guarantee that the castes end up divided equally.

Sowers: like the Dawn anima, but it instead makes them charismatic and inviting rather than terrifying and scary
So not really like the Dawn anima at all then, given that the effects of it are strongly based on terror and awe:smallwink:

On their charms:
While I understand the reasonable desire to not have to write a complete charmset for your Exalts, just giving them access to Abyssal Charms have some unfortunate effects, namely it means that they end up having all the abyssals themes of world-destroyer ,murderer and the pain and horror of death that they supposedly rejected. Instead I suggest stating that they can take Abyssal and Solar charms whose theme and mechanics aren't to strongly interweaved with thematical alteration andonly slight mechanical alteration where necessary.

Also I think you should be careful about stating what will happen in the future definitively, I mean it is at least as possible that instead of making mentor student relationships they might simply decide that each caste is a different exaltation and not interact with each other.
Oh and by the way, not being able to learn charms from other castes than your own is a huge limitation and pretending otherwise is silly.

More thoughts likely to follow later, but now I am to tired.
Finally I would like to offer encouragement. There is potential in this, so good work there:smallsmile:
and also note my amusement at making exalts connected to Lethe who rejected oblivion talk about representing the ultimate fairness of death. What with Oblivion being the one which treats everything the same and Lethe being the one used by the mighty to reward their favorites in the next life.:smallwink:

Lord Raziere
2012-01-08, 06:16 PM
well one of the themes of Tartereals/Post-Abyssals, is "Memory" that there is some history that should not be forgotten and that everyone should learn from the past lest it be repeated. They remember what they once where, they have to unless they become so again. Thats why they still have access to Abyssal charms….however these are closer to memories of such charms

and No, no no….they can learn charms from other castes, a Reaper can create charms for any skills a Sower can do, they just have Reaper themes, while any charms that a Sower makes for Reaper caste skills merely have Sower themes, a Reaper, Renewer, Decayer or Grower could all craft as well as a Sower, they would just have different variations on the same thing.

for example, a Sower just creates a daiklave. A Grower takes a normal sword and improves it into a daiklave. a Decayer teaches the little god inside to make it become a daiklave, a Reaper takes a bunch of raw materials and destroys them, making a ghostly daiklave. A Renewer take a bunch of ghostly materials and reincarnates them into a real daiklave.

however this is not really a problem, a full Circle of Post-Abyssals can learn each others charms quite easily.

or you could take the other option and just allow them to learn whatever Post-Abyssal charm you want, that was just an attempt at something more flavorful but whatever.

their power source is Lethe, and they are the same strength as Solars. They just draw their power from all the memories and such from the eternally reincarnating dead is all.

and I would like to design a complete charm set….but charms are freaking hard to do. if it were something easier, I would do it but, the most I can do are thematics. so yes, maybe it would be better to allow both Solar and Abyssal charms that aren't overly associated with themes or whatever….thanks…

fine, they all redeem into one caste and one caste only.