|Sobriquets:||Children of the Shadow of All Things, Dissonant Voices, Vitriol Falcons, Quills of Hell, The Deceivers|
|Caste Abilities:||Bureaucracy, Linguistics, Ride, Sail and Socialize|
|Signature Character:||Manosque Cyan|
|Associations||Serpents, shadows, obsidian, Calibration and the season of Wood, the color black, the descendants of the Ebon Dragon.|
|Yozi Patron:||The Ebon Dragon|
The Fiends deviate from their Solar counterparts perhaps more than any other Infernal caste. The Eclipse Caste Solars were created to serve as agents of unity and order, spreading diplomacy and society wherever they went. The Chosen of the Ebon Dragon serve neither unity nor order but only their own selfish desires concealed by a veil of false diplomacy. For it is the nature of the Ebon Dragon to transgress boundaries, to defy order and to exalt the self over the community at every turn. Fashioned in the image of the Shadow of All Things, the Fiends cannot help but spread disunity and chaos wherever they roam.
The Fiends are the Chosen of the Ebon Dragon, the architect of the Yozis’ great plan, and as such, they assert a position of first among equals. Whether any of the other castes are prepared to recognize any such question has yet to be decided, but that does not stop the Fiends from claiming the position. Typical Fiends are chosen from those who defy social conventions and hold traditional moral values in contempt, individuals for whom the casual lie and the easy manipulation are as innate to the character’s self as breathing. The Ebon Dragon himself rejects morality as Yu-Shan defines it as a mere contrivance, a means of social control designed to render humans subservient to the gods as they once were to their true Primordial masters. As far as the Fiends are concerned, there is no controlling law other than “do as you wish,” and manipulation of others to get one’s way is not merely practical but desirable.
Fiends who carry Malfean Urges are most commonly bullies and sadists who revel in carnage and violence and who demonstrate nothing but hatred for pacifism or any other restraint on the right of the strong to rule. Such Fiends often serve as warmongers, inflaming the passions of the people against some hated other merely for the pleasure of watching the ensuing bloodshed. Cecelynian Fiends are slippery bureaucrats who insinuate themselves into existing power structures and destroy them from within, always with an eye toward personal advancement and the destruction of any rivals. Pyrian Fiends manipulate bureaucracies and social structures against those who seek to change them for the better, turning would-be reformers into pariahs and outcastes. Adorjani Fiends manipulate on a more personal scale, crushing their enemies (real or imagined) by insinuating themselves into their targets’ lives and then taking everything from them. Finally, Ophidian Fiends perfectly reflect the Ebon Dragon’s contempt for morality. They typically work to spread transgressive sins among the populace for no other reason than to watch society collapse under the weight of its own debauchery.
Fiends, like Eclipse Caste Solars, are chosen from those skilled at social interaction. The Unconquered Sun chooses Eclipse Castes to use such skills to bring peace and stability. The Fiendish Exaltations, guided by the wry malice of the Ebon Dragon, seek those who will do the opposite—the selfish, the venal, the gadflies and the corrupt. The ability to lie with utter impunity and a willingness to do so, often when the truth would better serve, is prized among Fiends.
The caste mark of the Fiend is a black disk so dark that it hurts mortals to gaze upon. The anima of a Fiend is a mix of dark greens and purples, dominated of course by the purest black. Fiend totems tend to resemble demons descended from the Ebon Dragon.
While their Yozi masters no longer have the power to directly manipulate the destinies of Creationborn, the Fiends still have the power to sanctify oaths in a manner conceptually similar to that of the Eclipse and Moonshadow Exalted, drawing upon their status as agents of the architects of Creation itself. The mechanical effects of the Fiend oath are functionally identical to the oaths sanctified by members of the Eclipse and Moonshadow castes.
In addition, the Yozis are, in many ways, the personification of inauspiciousness, and they have granted their diplomats the power to remove the burden of existing Eclipse and Moonshadow oaths and transfer the penalty for any transgression onto the Yozis, for whom such penalties have no purchase. By committing five motes to a person who has sworn an oath sanctified by an Eclipse Caste Solar or a Moonshadow Caste Abyssal, the Fiend can free the oath swearer from the effects of violating that oath, but only for as long as the Essence remains committed. The Fiend can end the commitment at any time. Violations of the oath that took place while the Essence was committed will have no effect on the oath breaker, but if he violates the oath again once the Essence is withdrawn, he will suffer the normal effects of violating an Eclipse or Moonshadow oath.
In other words, an oath swearer’s continued immunity to the effects of his oath are entirely dependent on the Fiend’s continued largesse. This power can also be used to protect one who has sworn an oath sanctified by any deity of the Celestial or Terrestrial Hierarchies or sworn to the Fair Folk. However, a Fiend cannot shield an oath breaker from the effects of breaking the oath unless the oath was sanctified by a being (Exalt, deity or Fair Folk) whose Essence is less than that of the Fiend himself. Also, under no circumstances can a Fiend use this power to circumvent the oaths of surrender that bind the Yozi themselves and their demonic offspring.
Finally, Fiends, like their Solar and Abyssal peers, are talented generalists and can learn Charms from any type of Exalt or from spirits. The only limitation is that a Fiend can never use any Charm that carries the Holy keyword. She can learn holy Charms as prerequisites to other Charms that are not intrinsically holy, but holy Charms activated by Fiends automatically fail to function. As with Eclipse and Moonshadow Caste Exalted, the cost for learning non-Infernal Charms is equal to double the normal cost for a Favored Charm, and each such Charm costs an additional two motes to use. Fiends may not begin play with any non-Infernal Charm without Storyteller permission.
Fiends, understandably, are protected by diplomatic immunity in the Yozi realm just as Eclipse Caste Solars are, and they also serve as honored diplomats in both the Underworld and the courts of the Fair Folk. They carry no such immunity in the spirit world, where gods will almost certainly slay Infernal Exalts on sight once they realize what such strange beings are.
Cunning and seductive manipulators, Fiends excel at Bureaucracy, Linguistics, Ride, Sail and Socialize.