The Sidereal Exalted, or Sidereals, are the champions of the Five Maidens. The Chosen of the Maidens are the savants and astrologers of the Exalted, as well as matchless martial artists. It was the Great Prophecy of the Sidereals that led to the murder and usurpation of the Solar Exalted, and the Sidereals have lurked in the shadows since then, manipulating the course of not only the Realm, but Creation as a whole. The Sidereals have been split into two factions, Bronze and Gold, since a disagreement over the fate of the Solar Exalted 1,500 years ago, and the Solars' return has led to a renewal of outright hostility between the two groups.
The Sidereal Exalted are the administrators and maintainers of Creation, specifically charged by the Five Maidens to oversee the Loom of Fate and the management of destiny. All Sidereal Exalted are part of the Bureau of Destiny and primarily operate out of Yu-Shan. Sidereals are extremely powerful, but highly constrained; they have a finite number of charms, and many of their abilities require haggling with the Celestial Bureaucracy and Pattern Spiders.
- Chosen of Journeys: Who travel throughout Creation and oversee transportation and movement.
- Chosen of Serenity: Who oversee life, and matters related to joy and pleasure.
- Chosen of Battles: Who focus on combat, conflict and war, serving as military advisors and elite spies.
- Chosen of Secrets: Who focus on arcana and lore.
- Chosen of Endings: Who specialize in death and change, whether mortal, Exalted or society.
The Sidereal Exalted have capabilities which derive from their ability to manipulate Essence and their status in the Celestial Bureaucracy. Sidereal Exalted have a limited number of Charms (all of which are given in Exalted: The Sidereals), and the ability to manipulate fate through Sidereal Astrology. However, their powers are heavily circumscribed: all the Charms the Sidereals used were created by the Five Maidens and no more are allowed. Sidereal Astrology, while powerful, is ultimately a petition to the Pattern Spiders that oversee the Loom of Fate, and the Spiders can ignore or punish the Sidereal for too much mucking about in destiny.
Sidereals compensate for this limitation through Sidereal Martial Arts; Sidereals can create new abilities in the context of martial arts maneuvers, and consequently have created a panoply of unusual and powerful martial arts abilities. Due to their limited number of charms, Sidereal martial arts have unusual katas that allow the Sidereal to, for example, charm an opponent, or heal someone.
Sidereals are also subject to the Arcane Fate due to meddling they did shortly after the Usurpation. Sidereals are forgettable; to anyone who is not Sidereal or a God they tend to slip out of the subjects memory. This makes it very easy for a Sidereal to hide, but hard for a Sidereal to relate to most mortals. Sidereals often adopt Resplendent Identities, archetypal personalities that can develop their own history and allow the Sidereal to engage in more normal relations with the mortal world.
The Sidereal Exalted are the secret masters of Creation; while the average Dragon-Blooded knows nothing of them and, according to the Immaculate Philosophy, they do not exist, Sidereals maintain many tentacles throughout the Realm, particularly through the Immaculate Order which they created and still directly control. Some Dynasts, particularly Mnemon, some higher ups in the Order and the Thousand Scales and Imperial Eye, as well as members of house Iselsi, are aware of the Sidereals and their control, but are not able to do anything because destroying the Sidereals would involve exposing their control of the Order and tear the Realm apart. This is not to say that the Sidereals are universally hated by those who know about them; many senior Dynasts recognize that Sidereal control has helped support the Realm, leading to something of a Mexican Standoff between both sides.
Sidereals are the most highly managed of all the Exalted; where the Dragon-Blooded have some control and use the Dynastic system to ensure that the majority of Terrestrials Exalt within a well-established web of obligations, they still have failures, Outcastes and dropouts. Conversely, the Sidereals know who will Exalt the moment they are born, and watch the prospect from their birth until the moment of Exaltation. These young Exalted are then trained for their bureaucratic position, given a job and work from there. Sidereals are sufficiently rare that they generally all at least vaguely aware of where each other are and what they are doing. It is almost impossible for a Sidereal to escape his destiny, and the rules strongly discourage Storytellers from allowing Sidereals to go rogue.
The emphasis on their duty and responsibilities also means that Sidereals view many conflicts from a different perspective than other Exalted. Most notably, while the Sidereals do have two factions - the Bronze Faction, which endorses the Dynasty and the Great Prophecy, and the Gold Faction, which supports the return of the Solars - the Sidereals treat this conflict in a much more low key fashion than outsiders would suppose. Neither faction is particularly benevolent towards their charges, but is instead seeking the best group to manipulate in order to keep Creation running smoothly, and Bronze and Gold Sidereals regularly work together. The Bronze faction, however, controls most of the major levers in Heaven, and has instituted an unofficial glass ceiling which impacts Gold paychecks and promotions.