- caste: The word Caste is derived from the Portuguese word casta, meaning lineage, breed or race. The term "caste", when used in human culture, is usually in conjunction with the social division in Hindu society, particularly in India.
For Celestial Exalted, a caste (pronounced as "kast," not "kayst") is a marking of one's role under the auspices of one's patron at the moment of Exaltation. For example, the Solar castes define different aspects of rulership: general, priest, sage, secret policeman and ambassador; simultaneously reflecting the different phases of the Sun's path through the sky. Caste has little impact on personality, but instead represents ones skills, charms and role. An Exalt's caste may be identified by their caste mark.
- Dawn Caste: The leaders and champions of the armies.
- Zenith Caste: The priest-kings, prophets and mystics.
- Twilight Caste: The scholars, sorcerers and craftsmen.
- Night Caste: The spies, assassins and thieves.
- Eclipse Caste: The diplomats and bureaucrats.
The Abyssal Exalted are made from corrupted Solar essences, and divided into the following dark reflections of the Solar castes:
- Dusk Caste: The leaders and champions of the armies.
- Midnight Caste: The priest-kings, prophets and mystics.
- Daybreak Caste: The scholars, sorcerers and craftsmen.
- Day Caste: The spies, assassins and thieves.
- Moonshadow Caste: The diplomats and bureaucrats.
Historically, Lunars were, like other types of Exalted, divided into five castes. However due to the time spent in the Wyld, the silver tattoos used to "fix" an Exalt to a single caste only work with Full Moon and No Moon castes. The other three phases, Waxing Moon Caste, Half Moon Caste, and Waning Moon Caste, were forced to combine into a single caste, the Changing Moons.
Some Lunars remain Casteless.
Terrestrial Exalted, the Dragon-Blooded do not have castes, but rather Aspects. Aspect does loosely define one's social role but also has a stronger impact on personality. It's possible that the Dragon-Blooded specifically chose a different term to further separate themselves from the "Anathema". Alternately, as they're not chosen but rather born under the auspices of the Elemental Dragons (themselves chosen by Gaia), they may be considered sort of second-class Exalted with the five Elemental Dragons being the "true" Terrestrial Exalted.