Abyssals were made from the 100 Solar shards the Deathlords managed to keep. They're not so much the Chosen of Death as the Chosen of Murder. The Neverborn designed them to destroy the world no matter what - with fail-safes built in just in case if they have a change of heart and start trying to save it. Don't wanna kill people? Yes you do. You have charms like Killing Words Technique, which lets you give people multiple organ failure if they don't do as you say. Going to be lame and use your powers to help people? Then you get hit with something called Resonance, which at best kills all the grass where you walk and at worst straight-up incinerates your wife and kids, unless said wife is a Lunar. Being nice to your Lunar and HER loved ones doesn't count, which is the only lifeline you get in the miserable hell your life has become (unless of course you were born a giggling psycho or are an abused/homeless/unjustly punished young adult/teenager on the verge of death).
You can redeem yourself, of course, which will, if successful, mean turning yourself back into a Solar, except you don't have that "going completely insane" thing to worry about. Good Abyssals aren't, even if they want to be: Good Abyssals are Solars. This has advantages (like being able to train soldiers without turning them into sociopaths) and disadvantages (like forgetting how to cut someone's soul out with a butter knife).
The Yozi, Primordials bound and sealed by the Solars, and the Neverborn, the undead Primordials slain by same Solars, struck a bargain to destroy the vessel containing the Solar exaltations in the hopes of gathering all of those potent weapons for themselves. Something went wrong and about half of the Solar sparks escaped. The Neverborn took a hundred for themselves and paid a further fifty to the Yozis for their help. From these Solar Exaltations, the Neverborn basically threw enough necrotic energy at it until they corrupted them into Abyssal exaltations.
Subsequently these exaltations were distributed amongst the Deathlords, insane and vengeful ghosts empowered by the Neverborn. While the undead Primordials are not exactly a cheerful bunch, the Deathlords are outright the worst bosses in creation. Mainly because they are literal vengeful ghosts with the kind of power that can make an Essence 10 Solar take notice. The Deathlords use the Abyssal exalted as powerful lieutenants both within the Underworld and in Creation.
The Deathlords have wide discretion about who they exalt. The pragmatic ones select for heroism and competency, the nuttier ones do so for shits and giggles. One specifically uses some of the Exaltations he has for revenge porn on his former Circle mates. However two things are always consistent. The new Abyssal must have had a strong connection to death while they were mortal, such as a battlefield surgeon or the resident of a necropolis. Less direct connections like a young slave who thought about almost nothing but their impending pointless death also count. Also the new Abyssal must be literally dying; the Abyssal exaltation is offered during a mortal's final breaths. The Deathlord offers the mortal one chance at becoming an exalted, and if the mortal agrees the pact is made and a new Abyssal is born.
Abyssal games can be tough. For one your leash is not as long as the Infernals. Two you have the worst bosses in Creation to report to. Three your job is the end of everything so success means the end of the game (and Creation). The charm set of Abyssal exalted basically are those of the Solars seen through the Emo Mirror. As bad as Creation can be, Exalts are movers and shakers capable of doing great things. Abyssals on the other hand have only a very slim hope of doing what they personally want to do. In a game series about being Awesome, that can be a bitter pill to swallow. But if you explicitly made a character that agrees with their deathlord master and are comfortable playing that, Unconquered Sun have mercy on your enemies because you wont.
- Get the Ox-Body Technique Charm as many times as possible, as extra health levels are needed against some of more powerful enemies in Exalted.
- Abyssals have one of the hardest times regaining Essence compared to other Celestial Exalts. Expect a lot of Stunts in your games.
- Alternatively your players will turn to vampirism, cannibalism or plain murder to refill their Essence pools. Plan accordingly.
- Abyssal charms are quite similar to Solar charms, just with topsy turvy mechanics sometimes. Good for players who want to play "an evil party" and do not want to stray too far from what they are familiar with.
| Solars - Lunars - Sidereals - Dragon-Blooded - Infernals - Abyssals |
Alchemicals - Liminal - Getimian - Exigents - Fair Folk
Jadeborn - God-Blooded - Mortals