The map in Tuesday’s blog post comes from my first Exalted chronicle, “Ten Thousand Broken Dreams,” which ran from late 2003 to early 2005. In that game, four Solars and a Lunar—Li of Orchid, Thorvald, Tepet Aekino, Zera Thisse, and Fetek Breath-of-Midnight—traveled across the Scavenger Lands, struggling with demons both real and metaphorical. For all of us, it was our first experience with Exalted, and we still talk fondly about the game’s characters and events.
While we largely played First Edition’s mechanics by the book, by and large we were more interested in setting and story. Creation was a rich sword and sorcery world where PCs and antagonists alike had ambiguous motives, problems had no simple answers, and acting with righteous intent often did more harm than a pragmatic approach.
For all that fans like to play up Exalted’s high power level, the PCs in “Ten Thousand Broken Dreams” weren’t world-shakers. While they were certainly capable of slaying hundreds of soldiers, battling mighty monsters, or twisting the wealthy and powerful around their fingers, stories were largely personal and took place on a small scale.
The chronicle’s peregrine character was part of its appeal but not something I plan to repeat. With the PCs all hailing from different corners of Creation, none anywhere near the game’s starting point, no one was especially attached to the people and places they encountered over the course of events. (The most powerful story arc dealt with a PC’s former girlfriend, who he had broken up with during his prelude.) So two of the PCs in my upcoming Zhaojun chronicle were born in Zhaojun, a third has family there, and a fourth’s Realm ties connect him to the satrapy’s various Dynastic factions.
For those interested in reading more about the “Ten Thousand Broken Dreams” chronicle, you can find my session write-ups in the original thread on RPGnet. Click here to have a look!