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The Solar Exalted are a sub-category of semi-divine heroes from the high fantasy role-playing game Exalted published by White Wolf Game Studio. Their powers and cultural outlook are detailed in the game's core rulebook (ISBN 1565046234). Unlike the other types of Exalted, each of which has their own "fatsplat" (hard-cover sourcebook) that goes into painstaking detail about the group in question, the Solars are given relatively short shrift. Most of the core book is given over to game mechanics and setting overview rather than an in-depth analysis of the Solar Exalted, despite their starring role in the series.
The central premise of Exalted is that gods have the ability to infuse ordinary mortals with a shard of their divine soul, exalting the individual into a demigod. The Solars derive their powers from the strongest of the gods, the Unconquered Sun. In terms of raw power, the Solars clearly outrank the Lunar Exalted, Sidereal Exalted and Terrestrial Exalted , or Dragon-Blooded. They are evenly matched against the Abyssal Exalted , who are actually corrupted Solars.
In the First Age, the gods chose men and women to fight against the enemies of the world: the Yozis, demons from beyond creation; the Malfeans, monsters on the other side of death; and the Fair Folk, creatures of formless chaos and madness. The gods won, and the Solars, the greatest of the heroes, were appointed as rulers to the Realm, an empire that spanned all of Creation. But the enemies of the gods pronounced the Great Curse upon the Chosen of the Unconquered Sun, twisting their souls and planting a predilection towards overbearing pride.
Centuries passed, and the Solars grew arrogant. The Sidereals and Dragon-Blooded rose up and slaughtered their masters, and exiled their seconds-in-command, the Lunars. Centuries later, the servants of the Malfeans, the Deathlords, would unleash the Great Contagion, a disease that wiped out much of the population of the world. The Fair Folk chose that moment to invade, and Creation itself would have been destroyed, had a single Terrestrial Exalted not puzzled out the secrets of the murdered Solars and repelled the invasion. That woman became the Scarlet Empress, and would rule the Realm for 800 years, the Second Age of Man.
Under the Terrestrial Exalted, a new religion was formed, the Immaculate Order, which re-wrote history and claimed that the corrupt Dragon-Blooded were the most powerful mortals alive, and that the noble Solars were, in fact Anathema, or demon princes. Those mortals unlucky enough to be exalted as Solars during this period of history were instantly pinpointed by the magic of the Empress, and before they could master their abilities, were ambushed and slaughtered by the armies of the Wyld Hunt.
Five years ago, the Scarlet Empress inexplicably vanished. As the remaining Dragon-Blooded began to vie for the throne, ignoring the looming threat posed by the Deathlords, the Solars returned to creation, to usher in the Third Age.
There are five castes of Solar Exalted, each corresponding to a different face of the Unconquered Sun. The Dawn Caste are soldiers and generals; the Zenith Caste are preachers and hermits; the Twilight Caste are teachers and sorcerers; the Night Caste are spies and assassins; and the Eclipse Caste are diplomats and couriers. (Some players have cited this typecasting of character roles, which is so common as to be nearly universal in fantasy games, as the most disappointing aspect of Exalted.)
All Exalted have the ability to manipulate Essence, the building-block of creation, through the use of Charms. These range from the Rain of Feathered Death, which magically multiplies a single arrow into many, to the Foul Air of Argument Technique, which slows a bureaucracy to a standstill. In addition, many Exalted have access to sorcery, but only the Solars can cast the awesome spells of the Solar Circle, such as the Benediction of Archgenesis or the Rune of Singular Hate.
The Solar Exalted have a natural affinity for the magical material of orichalcum, a supernaturally purified form of gold, which they use to make powerful artifacts, such as gigantic swords called daiklaves.
The Solars do not have any society of their own, as they have only recently returned to creation. Some are worshipped as messiahs by the millenial Cult of the Illuminated, while others become adventurers.
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