This will be a quest thread. You will play a newly accepted student of Her Imperial Majesty's Naval Academy. Unique among them, you will not (yet?) be Exalted. The setting will be, obviously, Exalted. The system will be the incomparable Legends of the Wulin. You will not need to be familiar with either of those to play. First, thread guidelines: 1) This is a quest thread; all readers participate to control the actions of one character. 2) Destiny can be gained through completing objectives and also through reader participation. Each new participant gives 1 more Destiny to spend; you may designate what you'd like that to be spent on. Particularly active or insightful participants will receive additional bonuses at my discretion, up to and including Ruling Council seats if the Blade of Udr is awakened. 3) Write-ins, detailed plans/discussions, and fan-works are encouraged. These will grant substantial bonuses given quality. 4) Majority rule is not necessarily the order of the day. A compelling argument can be worth more votes than blank support. 5) There will be deviations from the base Exalted setting and LotW system. In particular, the role of certain problematic NPC types will be diminished. Cosmetic and stylistic changes, especially in nomenclature, will also be common. Character CreationThe Realm is the colossus that bestrides Creation. Sprawling and magnificent, it embodies all the glory and excess of Imperial Britain or Dynastic China. Every year, an ocean of blood is loosed in its wars. Every month, a civilization is ground into dust under its booted feet. Every day, ten thousand men die with its name upon their lips, whether as sacrament or as curse. Cultures shattered, tongues forgotten, cities carved from earth and sky; high society, mountains of silver, fields salted, fire and sword: all these lie within the grand sweep of its history. On the toil of untold millions, the Realm stands as a shining, bloodstained beacon of human and superhuman achievement. It is the grandeur and horror of empire given form. As a citizen of the Realm, you've been taught from birth to idolize and aspire to its heros: the Exalted of the Immaculate Dragons. Princes of the Earth and capable of superhuman feats, they hold every privilege and position of significance - social, spiritual, or military. Many children dream of Exaltation, but the Dragon-Blooded are not made, they are born. The overwhelming majority of Dragon-Blooded exalt before the age of seventeen. As you approach your nineteenth year, it has become increasingly clear that you were not born as one. Though you are doomed to mere humanity, however, you have not resigned yourself to mediocrity. With the reinstatement of Headmaster Zao, the Imperial Naval Academy has returned to his unusual merits-only entry exam. For the first time in many decades, there is the possibility of a fully-commissioned mortal officer. Of course, the inherent skill of the Dragon-Blooded has always meant that such an exam was no barrier to a full class of Exalts. Who ever heard of a mortal commanding a Prince of the Earth? No one, until you arrived. Somehow, you managed to attain a score in the top ten percentile of a field composed entirely of Exalts. Somehow, you were accepted. [ ] Dynast. The Empress may have disappeared, but the power of her eleven Dynastic Houses has waxed if anything. As a Dynast, near-royalty, you were expected to Exalt early. Your cousins and friends certainly did, for all that they worked one-tenth your share. Every year you did not, your parents and mentors turned their attention ever-so-slightly away, until the age of your majority, when you were a Dynast in name only. Determined to prove yourself worthy of that name, you redoubled your efforts and redoubled them again. You were not handed your power. You were not born into it. Through hard work and excruciating practice, you will earn it. [ ] Patrician. The mortal patrician classes are second-class citizens to even the unExalted children of the Dynasty, but they still live in opulent luxury compared to the average resident of the Realm. Before your mother was assassinated, she taught you that every rule was open to negotiation - power was the only law anyone truly respected. With her sixth husband an absentee bureaucrat, you her son have had plenty of time to take those lessons to heart. Only a fool takes the high road. Real winners use leverage. They attack from unconventional angles. They work smart so they don't waste energy working hard. Through a mixture of bribery, blackmail, and blatant cheating, you were accepted where only Dynasts tread. [ ] Commoner. Your father was a sergeant in the Legions, and his father before him. Your mother is a freed scribing-slave. Growing up, you were always different from the children around you. Smarter, sharper, quicker - you possessed a most extraordinary talent, and no lack of will to develop it. Numbers and figures, languages and history: all of it came easily to you. With a desire to rise out of the streets, you threw yourself into your studies. You never imagined that a test you took only for the challenge of it would open a door into the world of the Exalted. Will a life spent worshipping the Dynasty leave you ill-prepared for its challenges? You are not overly concerned, though. You've always been a fast learner.