Rules and Laws of the Exalted Buffyverse
A/N: Okay, I found myself getting confused about events in this story as compared to the Buffy show, and was getting absolutely confounded by the myriad changes I've been making to the magic/physics systems, which means I should probably just give you all the explanation I'm writing for myself, so that we can all be on the sameish page.. So, here's the dealie. CanonBtVS started early March and ended late May/early June, I believe. This gives a rate of roughly one week between Episodes, which is pretty standard. Sadly, my writing style is a bit too chaotic to make any set passing between 'episodes', but a good rule of thumb would be to assume between one and two weeks if not stated otherwise, or if the chapter appears to be following immediately after the previous one.
My story, however, started in August, at the start of the school year. The reason for this is that Buffy was never expelled, so they weren't running around trying to find a place for her to be accepted. The only reason they moved was because of Buffy's near constant unconscious use of her Social Excellencies combined with her heroism drawing media attention, something alluded to in earlier chapters. She exalted in mid-September of 1994, which means that she had been an Exalt for eleven months when she started at Sunnydale High. Giles found her in mid-November of 1994, giving her 10 months of tutelage prior to her arrival in Sunnydale. As of now (December 17th, 1995) she's been a Solar for 14 or so months, and been studying under Giles for a year and a month.
Now, to the magic system:
The magic system is a massive blend of Buffy, Exalted and bullshit. Exalted limitations generally stand, i.e. no time-travel, no true resurrections, ect. Similarly, the Buffyverse magic system is almost ignored, due to its incompatibility with Exalted. I'm just gonna cover some general rules and specific instances, and beyond that the only limits will be what I decide to input or lift for my own convenience.
Wish Magic: Wish magic is the domain of the Infernal Exalted and Demons of Cecelyne. First, we;ll deal with the Infernals:
Infernal wish-granting is limited to the power of the Exalt in question. For example, an Essence four Infernal could grant up to four dots distributed according to the Exalt's whims and the wording of the wish, the former moreso than the latter. Alternatively, the Exalt could choose to, instead of boosting the person making the wish, simply solve the problem himself.
Infernal example 1: 'I wish that bitch could get what's coming to her'. As the Infernal, I have a lot of leeway for this wish. I might decide, if the 'bitch' in question is a particularly virtuous person, to use my social abilities to ensure that the target gets a promotion at work, or, in the case of a romantic triangle, I might convince the contested romantic interest to choose the target, rather than the wisher.
Infernal Example 2: If the above doesn't fit, I might decide, if the wisher is female, or a weak-willed or shy or submissive male, to interpret the 'bitch' as the wisher. It's a stretch, but as long as I can justify my interpretation in any even vaguely logical way ('she's always negative', or 'someone else called her a bitch, so I assumed it was her name, my bad', or 'he's the sub in a BDSM relationship') I can pretty much do whatever I want with my interpretation. In a case like this, I might decide to steal dots of attributes/ability, up to four, and no more than two in any one stat (Cecelyne is the Yozi of arbitrary rules, and she is the one who set the limits for her charms). Alternatively, I might simply inflict the wisher with Green Sun Wasting, or shove them in front of a car heading in their direction. As an Infernal, it's pretty much up to me.
Higher Essence Infernals can invoke the Charm to create reality warping effects that they might not normally know how to do. For example, an Essence five or higher Infernal could invoke the Charm's effects to extend their social charms/social attacks to effect everyone within EssencexMiles, thus permanently convincing (or not so permanently, if they use UMI) to convince everyone in the AoE that the wisher is a terrible person who should be shunned.
Either way, the wisher is now in my debt, per the Infernal 'As you Wish' rule, but more powerful. The debt, at its weakest, is exactly as in the original charm. However, it grows more favorable towards me as I put more effort into granting the wish. It doesn't matter whether the effort is beneficial to the wisher or not, so long as the effort is expended towards fulfilling the letter of the wish.
For the demons of Cecelyne that are based in wishes*, they are much more limited. They must abide by the letter of the wish in it's strictest meaning. For example, instead of twisting the wish to target a male wisher, they could interpret it to mean any nearby female dog, and the person would be indebted for giving a nearby dog a steak, or, if the dog was being naughty, a swat on the nose with a newspaper.
*First Circle Wish Demons would be an analogy to Anya, i.e. wishes to a particular subset of people. Second Circles would rule over a particular subset of wishes, i.e. D'Hoffryn.
One of the direct sub-souls of Cecelyne (specifically the one in charge of wishes in general) and Essence 10 Infernals (though none yet exist), however, have a unique power with wish magic: They can create limited universes. They would not create an entire, functioning universe, but they could create a city-sized universe in the theme of the wish Cordy made in Season Three. This would, however, cost all of the being in question's Essence, as well as, in the case of the Infernal, a permanent dot of Essence, unless the Infernal has progressed to the Essence Nine level of the Devil Tiger Tree, in which case they could do it for the same cost as the initial charm.
By this, I mean the assault Willow made on Glory, or her fight with Giles, i.e. throwing lightning, blasting with knives, ect. This is far more difficult to use, and is mostly limited to the Charms of the Exalted. There are, however, exceptions.
Certain parties have managed to manipulate certain Terrestrial Circle Sorcery spells to make them quicker to cast, as well as much less powerful. A good example is Death of Obsidian Butterflies: Certain parties found methods to weaken the spell, limiting it to perhaps a dozen inch-long Butterflies, rather than thousands. This reduces the cost to the point that an Enlightened Mortal could cast it three or four times before burning through their motes/willpower. The difficulty lies in finding a teacher, not in the spell itself. It isn't easy to alter sorcery, and only three or four groups ever really managed to do much more than copy those who came before them.
Beyond these examples, the magic laws will generally favor the Exalted side of things.
These laws are the reverse of the magic rules: The Buffyverse almost always wins out. Creation as a whole stretches to the edge of the Andromeda galaxy in a massive, ever expanding (though it's doing so rather slowly) sphere. Beyond the bubble is the Wyld. The Fair Folk cannot simply invade, because Earth is at the center of all Creation, which is many, many trillions of miles away from the borders. Certain bypasses exist, but that's to be dealt with later.
Another important thing: The crazy-awesome silliness of Exalted has been reduced to just the crazy-awesome. The anime style of things isn't done in this story, mainly because I don't particularly care for anime. It ruins the serious tones of certain situations. The weird hair styles don't exist; hair is pretty normal. The martial arts retain their awesome insanity, but are done in a more down-to-earth style. Similarly, the acrobatics of Buffy is also toned down. Running up walls, back-flipping over people, ect, ect, isn't going to be emphasized. What will be emphasized is speed of movement on foot, the alien geomitres that the Exalted utilize for their combat styles (Lunar dodge charms, Lunar Hero Style, ect) and the superhumanness of the high-dotted abilities/attributes. Examples include the casual display of power Giles gave in early chapters, or Buffy's supreme reflexes, even without charms. Angel in particular almost never uses Charms unless he's fighting Exalted, he rarely even has to use Excellencies. A good example is his fight with Giles a few chapters ago. Angel only used a Perfect Defense and a single Strength Excellency during that entire fight. He is, naturally, powerful enough to throw Giles through a brick wall.
Hellmouths: I've already clarified that they're particularly powerful demenses/manses matched to whatever Primordial created them. They're access points that lead to pretty much anywhere, but Malfeas and other Hellmouths are the easiest to access.
Malfeas/Demon Dimensions: This is the single most radical change I've made, so listen up:
Malfeas refers to the Yozi and the Demon City, as in canon Exalted. The main change, however, is with the demon worlds.
Malfeas is vast. The demon city alone is larger than most planets, and that's just the heart of the place as it is perceived through our limited perspective. Besides the city itself, the various other Yozi's are also planet-sized entities, with Cecelyne being literally infinite. Within Malfeas, however, are innumerable pocket worlds, ranging from the size of a city to moon-like sizes to being considerably larger than Jupiter. There are literally more pocket worlds in Malfeas than I have time in my life to express in scientific notation. Not all, nor even most, are inhabited. Those that are are generally run by a second circle demon, who are in-turn controlled in 'blocks' by the Third Circle souls. The best comparison would be individual planets in a solar system, or states/cities in a country, with Malfeas as the overall universe.
Time Dilation in the Demon Dimensions: Each demon world has it's own passage of time separate from what is known as Earth Standard. Malfeas itself isn't too radically different, with a rate of one minute in Creation to every ninety seconds in Malfeas. Cecelyne is perfectly matched to both Malfeas and Earth Standard, a fact which annoys SWLiHN to no end. Quor-Toth, on the other hand, has a difference of seventy-three weeks in Quar-Toth for every one week in Creation. Anyone who wants to bother with a duration in seconds, be my guest;)
Exaltation: Exaltation is largely the same, but with a few differences. For one thing, Solar and Lunar Exaltations can be tracked and predicted, though imperfectly. For another thing, all Celestial Exalted save Abyssals have some memory of their past lives. It doesn't always manifest, depending on the individuals, but it's always there. Lytek doesn't have access to the Exalted shards, so no one can purify them. This has hit the Sidereals hardest, because they are the only ones who've been regularly active since the Fall of the Solar Deliberative. The Solar Exalted don't usually access their memories, because there is an unconscious knowledge that what they remember won't be good.
The Underworld: The Underworld is a direct mirror of Earth, with an atmosphere-like dome marking its boundaries. Beyond that, it's basically the same as in Exalted.
Akuma: This is an important one. I HATEHATEHATE the Akuma rules (so friggin' contradictory) so I said 'fuck it' and made my own version.
Akuma are both Terrestrial traitors and home-made Terrestrials, originating from the Yozis copying the Terrestrial schematics via trial-and-error physical and spiritual vivisection. The result is that the Yozi-made Akuma tend to be...imperfect. The Ebon-Dragon did his best, but Yozi-Akuma tend to be unpredictable sociopathic compulsive liars with access to both Terrestrial and Celestial Circle Sorcery. The only good part of this is that they're largely spread out through the various hell-dimensions, having made a break for it as soon as the Ebon Dragon unleashed them on Creation. Now most of them run feudal states in the lower dimensions, where the time dilation is so extreme that entire Terrestrial lifetimes pass before anyone notices that they've disspeared. Perhaps one hundred remain in the claws of the Ebon-Dragon, but the damage done by the traitors during their escape was enough that Malfeas ordered the Ebon Dragon not to start anymore brilliant projects on pain of getting the crap beat out of him by the other Yozi. There are NO MORTAL AKUMA, PERIOD.
Seriously, that's the last time they get brought up, 'kay?