Prompt: What does being a Solar Exalted mean to you?

To be a Solar is a process, a journey.

A Solar is gifted with power that no human being can truly grasp. It is not only the strength to do the impossible, but the responsibility to do the impossible. But this isn’t going to sink in to a brand-new Solar at first. They’ve lived their entire lives as human mortals in a world where they may as well be a walking sack of meat surrounding gunpowder. The idea that they can change the entire world won’t even cross their mind. They’ll be focused on small, personal things – what they know they can do, and might have been able to do before if they’d been just a bit stronger.

Of course, before long you begin to realize that the things you thought were nearly impossible suddenly are as easy as breathing. Your strength, your intelligence, your sheer power begins to really sink in, and you start to shoot higher. You take on ever greater challenges, testing your abilities and pushing the limits of what you can do, all the while thinking you can make things better for yourself……and still it’s easy as breathing.

And as The Elegant Nova once said, you have no problems, and that is the problem. A solar that thinks in human terms gets everything they want from life and is going to be bored to tears before long. And as a Solar looks for any stimulation they can, they begin to think bigger. A mercenary that wanted to rule a city turns his eyes to ruling a nation. A priestess who converted a village thinks to convert the region. An assassin who killed the south’s worst mortal slaver starts to plan an attack on the Mask of Winters.

And only then, when you find yourself facing an actual challenge to your skills, do you realize just how powerful you are. Because dozens of nations bow to you now. Because a city that speaks a language you’ve never even heard of turns their voices to you and to the sun. Because you wear the Mask of Winters.

To be a Solar is to think yourself weak, to realize you have earth-shattering power, and to learn to use it.

To be a Solar is to learn to be great, because you can no longer be anything less.

To be a Solar is to realize the crapsack world you were born into is not only fixable, but is now yours to fix.

Because the cynics have had their run.

Hope has returned to Creation.

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5 comments on “Prompt: What does being a Solar Exalted mean to you?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Turn down the optimism, bro, you’re drowning in it.

    To be a Solar is to gain the freedom to make choices, a freedom scant few have in Creation. The Solar Exaltation selects based on criteria of Virtue and Will; not morality. You’re just as likely to end up with 300 petty tyrants as 300 heroes.

    And you seem to think the Dragonblooded didn’t try their damnedest to keep things from falling apart. Certainly, their nations are decadent, but when are prosperous nations not? When a Solar is there to brainwash an entire people into industriousness?

    For all her sins, the Scarlet Empress is the greatest hero since the Primordial War – and not because she stopped the Balorian Crusade. Her iron fist is the only thing that keeps Creation from sliding into the petty warfare and technological stagnation that plagues so many other fantasy settings. The return of the Solars and the disappearance of the Empress marks only the return of constant bloodshed, nothing more.

    -G

    • halftangible says:

      Thank you for your comment =) I wasn’t actually commenting on anyone but the Solars here, but if you really want me to…

      There’s no participatory ribbon in civilization. I’m saying that the DB and Sidereals had centuries (millenia?) to try and they failed, not that they didn’t do their level best. And their level best was to keep the world they live in from getting worse… except for those few times where it did (looking at you, Thorns)

      (also, ‘Cynics’ in this case mostly refers to the Sidereals, not the DB. Their cynical view on Fate was the whole reason for their coup on the Solars, if you’ll recall)

      Yes, it is possible you’ll end up with 300 tyrants – but you’ve also got a chance at 300 heroes. (Well, most likely some will be one and some the other, but that’s not the point) The point is that now there is a chance for change, and that that is a good thing.

      The end of empires is always accompanied by strife and bloodshed. And frankly, during Scarlet’s reign, even in “peacetime” Creation drowned in blood. That was part of her ‘stabilization’ – constant (albeit low-level) warfare on the borders.

      Also, the f$#% is wrong with optimism? šŸ˜›

      • Anonymous says:

        Change is a frightening thing, and in Creation, where the cycle of degrading Ages is law, change is uniformly bad unless a PC insists otherwise. Dreadfully boring though it may be, the Bronze Faction version of Creation, even when it degraded into oWoD, was safer than it had ever been for mortals, save for those lucky few who lived in First Age regions ruled by reasonable Solars. With that in mind, change becomes not merely a frightening thing but an outright bad thing – and something terribly foolish to pursue in the name of optimism.

        Worse, you may actually succeed in bringing justice and goodness to all! It will then be all the harder on your people when you’re killed by the one twisted soul remaining, and misunderstandings and infighting shatter your lands. Even the Round Table fell victim to this, just because Lancelot couldn’t keep it in his pants.

        Well, we already know of the Empress’ bloodlust given her former canon destiny, but the point is that she is the most effective ruler since Merela.

        You want the Gurren Lagann negativity quote or the Madoka Magica negativity quote~?

        -G

      • halftangible says:

        To borrow from one of my favorite TV shows: “So… It’s impossible. Good. If memory serves, [they’ve] done the impossible before.” Hell, Solars have to do the impossible just to exalt.

        … wait… Are you actually suggesting that building the golden age would be bad… because it would eventually end? >.>

        And… moreover, why is change an outright bad thing? You try to suggest that the world always gets worse, but then turn right around and say that the Bronze Faction-led creation is the safest it’s ever been for mortals? (i doubt it, but I’ll take your word for it for now) In order for that to be true, things would have to get better, especially given that the very first of these ages was one where human beings were smoked like cigarettes. And even if it were true that the world is impossible to make better, the whole point of having Solars is that they do the impossible.

        Who cares how good a ruler the Empress was (she was an awful person, btw, however effective her Empire might be) when she’s no longer ruling?

        Also, ‘in the name of optimism’? Are you serious with that, G? šŸ˜›

        What are you even arguing against? That what I feel the Solars are is wrong… because it’s a positive view of a character archetype in a morally gray roleplay universe?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Alas~ The reply button is missing, so I must start a new comment chain.

    The constant rise and fall of kingdoms is the rub. A glorious new day for Creation will inevitably be followed by a night of such bleakness as to be unspeakable. Better then that the pattern be brought to a screeching halt. Or so goes the Bronze Faction logic.

    The morality of the Primordial War is another subject. Suffice to say though it was a net improvement for humanity, the situation was not as good as if humanity had been the only species on the face of Creation to begin with. Just the same, things are safer for humanity without Solars wrestling behemoths in your backyard, though without them, mortals lost out on education, medicine, etc.

    Things get safer for mortals as things grow stagnant. Disasters can be controlled if they can be predicted, rather than because they were unexpectedly caused by a magical accident. The Bronze Faction brings safety, but often at the cost of things which would improve quality of life, simply because doing so could cause danger. A caricature of the Bronze Faction would have the whole of Creation become Amish. Entirely safe from disaster – but you are absolutely going to die of dysentery.

    The crimes of the Scarlet Empress are universally excused by virtue of her being totally my type.

    If I’m ever really serious, something has gone dreadfully wrong.

    Moreso that you should be just as afraid as excited. Solars once solved all of humanity’s problems – and then promptly became problems just as great. For me, the concern is (as with the Bronze Faction) the rise and fall. Rather than seeking to flatten it, however, the idea is to lock it at its peak and then remove Solars from the equation entirely so that they can’t break it again.

    Or in other words, I want everyone to be as paranoid as I am.

    -G

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