Creation, the Second Age. It is an time of desperation and woe, where heroes are born into a doomed world. The battle is lost. The enemies are at the gates and the land is but days away from being plunged into total darkness. It started at the dawn of the First Age. The Gods, beings of great power created by the Primordials who shaped Creation, were given the job of custodians to watch over the affairs of Creation and its creatures. However, the Gods grew tired of being slaves and sought to bring down their masters. Incapable of raising their hand against the Primordials however, the Gods instead invested some of their power into mortal men and women so that they might wage war and defeat the Primordial masters that resided in heaven above. Among the many kinds of Exalted, the greatest were the Solars, the Chosen of the Unconquered Sun, the mightiest of the gods. So powerful were they that the power which imbued their soul with Exaltation did not die with them, but rather sought a new vessel. Reincarnation, but choosing a mature adult rather than a newborn, one which was fated to influence the entire world. After years of war and much destruction of things Creation would never again possess, the Exalted triumphed and the Gods rewarded them with dominion of Creation, taking the heavens as their own home. But at what cost? In their final breath before defeat, the Primordials uttered a dark curse that influenced the souls of the Gods and Exalted alike. Like a blight upon the hearts and souls of the Exalted, it ate away at them and their righteousness, causing the benevolence which they used to rule their vast empire to become tyranny. Soon, Creation was again wracked by war - but this time, it was civil war between the Exalted. Knowing that if they were not stopped they would usher in the demise of both Creation and Order, the weakest but most numerous Exalted (the Terrestrial Exalted called the Dragon-Blooded, champions of the Elements) betrayed their corrupt Solar masters and kin, murdering them and trapping their souls so that the cycle of reincarnation would fail. This was the beginning of the Second Age. The present age. The decadent champions of the Gods were lost, and the select few Solar Exalted who managed to escape exclusion from the cycle of reincarnation were quickly eradicated by Dragon-Blooded inquisitors known as the Wyld Hunt before they could gain any power or make any difference in the world. The Realm, location of the great Empire of the First Age, was now in the hands of Dragon-Blooded, and while still great, it was but a shadow of its past. A beautiful, powerful, and superannuated Dragon-Blooded known as the Scarlet Empress rose to become the ruler of Realm and the mortal plane of Creation, shaping the world into a firm Empire under her control, and also the limited control of the eleven Dynast families, houses founded and led by her numerous consorts and claiming direct descent and blood relation. In short, tremendous power (whether or not it was warranted.) The Scarlet Empress went on to rule for over seven hundred years, outliving four great generations of Dragon-Blooded like her. However, without warning, the Scarlet Empress would suddenly vanish - and it could not have been at a worse time. Without a proper ruler, the Scarlet Dynasty's many families began squabbling for control over the Realm while the world seemed to be unraveling at the ends and tearing at the seams. Ancient enemies were returning for revenge, and new, perhaps exotic threats were emerging as well. And the world was without its champions, the Solar Exalted, who lie defeated and trapped for centuries. Until now. This was five years prior. It seems as though the gate of the Solar Exalted's might have been somehow opened, for now they trickle back into Creation, able to rise in power more effectively with the Realm's grasp over Creation compromised by the lack of a worthy ruling body. And as ancient enemies return, so too do ancient allies. However... great though the Exalted are, how can they hope to save Creation, which now faces more enemies than it ever has before? How can they save a world already dangling on the precipice of oblivion, and lift it back into the glory of the First Age, especially when it appears that their numbers have greatly declined? This is where the story begins.