Excerpt: Shards of the Exalted Dream

THE MODERN AGE

On the thirty-third floor of a Nechara office building, the corpse-faced woman leans out a window and pulls the trigger of her sniper rifle of soulsteel and bone, putting a single bullet through a president’s skull.

High over the Southern desert, a Tengese ace pilots a jet with an open cockpit. Dodging fire from a Varangian fighter squadron, he grips the control stick with one hand and hurls lightning with the other.

West of the Neck, a swimmer catches hold of the conning tower of the submarine she’s been pursuing. Taking on a monstrous bestial form, she rips open a hatch against fifty atmospheres of pressure.

At an observatory in the Juche hills, a man sits before a bank of computers studying radio telescope data of distant stars, from which he derives a prophecy foretelling the collapse of a mighty corporation.

In Plenilune, a retired cop with nothing to live for challenges an untouchable drug baron so he can go out in a blaze of glory. Instead he blazes with golden light as he Exalts, his service revolver shining like the sun.

Welcome to the Second Age of Creation. Welcome to the Modern Age.

This Modern World

This shard shows us Creation as it might have been—a world which, despite being a flat expanse girded by Chaos, nonetheless resembles our own. It’s a world of skyscrapers and superhighways, of suburbs and strip malls, of sweatshops and smartphones, and all the other trappings of modern Earth.

But while this Creation is ruled by technology, it’s not without magic. At the world’s edge, aircraft and infantry hurl bombs and bullets against supernatural insurgents. The Exalted walk among mortals, too—shapeshifting Lunars stalk terrorist spirits amid Creation’s cities, while cadets volunteer for arduous genetic experiments to join the elemental Dragon-Blooded. And then there’s the Abyssal Exalted, rising from the mysterious new shadowlands to wreak mayhem and murder.

And now, in a world wracked by war and poverty, by blind ideology and ecological decay, a new cadre of Exalted have appeared from nowhere, burning bright as the sun. Can these “Solar Exalted” sweep away the darkness of this modern age?

Published July 2012 by White Wolf Publishing

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