tanithryudo: (Gods at Play)
[personal profile] tanithryudo
So I have been reading a lot of Worm fanfics on the Spacebattles Creative Writing forum. A lot of the best crossover fics I've seen have been with the Exalted RPG. The discussions on those threads invariably get inundated by Exalted game mechanics, so I've learned more about those than I've wanted to.

Anyway, so then I was watching CA:TWS. And throughout the movie, I kept thinking - My god, Cap is such a Zenith (Exalted "sub-class" for the Solar "class"). He would make a great Exalt expy. And then afterwards I ran a google search to see if any Exalt games/fans have tried to create a character sheet for Cap and came across this discussion.

So anyway my imagination runs away with me and I think about what a Captain America(MCU)/Exalted crossover would look like...

So there are a few places where Steve could have exalted.

1. Project Rebirth is an obvious one. He exalts as a baby Solar (Essence 2) after telling Howard not to turn off the process and toughs it through the conversion. Instead of (or in addition to) the SSS (which in exalted mechanics is a kind of mutation I guess), he gets an exaltation. Zenith would work here since that is the caste which has the stamina/endurance-type focus. Of course, if that is the case, then the first point of divergence in the timeline would obviously be that Steve should be able to save Dr. Erskine from the assassin or capture the assassin an save that sample of the serum. This may lead to further super-soldiers (though of the non-exalted variety) in WWII and a completely different modern MCU. Great for world building, but not what most people want to read.

2. Second option is the rescue mission for Bucky & the 107th. If everything goes according to canon, it might be more appropriate for Steve to exalt here as a Dawn or Night caste at Essence 2 or 3. Zenith is still possible though, if events are altered a little. For example, extend the confrontation with the Red Skull, with a dollop of social combat in their interactions.

The rest of the WWII you can still sort of handwave away any divergence by keeping the SSR on strict anti-Hydra duty and less general WWII fighting - though it will take some doing to still keep the 70 year timeskip since the exaltation would prevent Steve from being cryo-frozen. Maybe throw in another Tesseract handwave and have it warp/fast-forward time or something, or zap him into Creation for an adventure or two (though that would probably change him too much).

3. Third option I can see is at the end of CATWS. After Cap completes his mission with the Insight carriers blowing up around him and just has the last personal goal left of bringing Bucky back to himself. That is a totally Zenith moment. An exaltation would just make it more awesome, and also probably prevent him from almost-drowning. He would probably exalt as an Essence 4 "adult" Solar (he's already completed one grand motivation arc - WWII - in his backstory). His new motivation would be something like "Save those that that Hydra has broken, and shine the light of Truth upon the lies of evil".

Personally, I prefer option 2. With an extended social combat scene where we see more or Red Skull's ideology (he always struck me as a kinda "meh" villain as it was, so more characterization would be nice). Maybe also throw in a kerfluffle over the Tesseract (actually, that macguffin is a good way to bridge Exalted!Creation and MCU!Earth and explain how the exaltation got to Steve).

So, have Steve reject everything Red Skull stands for, exalts and promptly no-sells the reality warping of the Tesseract, then Skull manages to get away with it while Steve is busy saving the rest of the POWs. Later on, on the Valkyrie, they fight over the Tesseract again and it goes a little haywire. This forces Steve to put the plane down after radioing in to HQ, and then try to stop the Tesseract from eating the planet or whatever. Cue magical explosion and the next thing we know, SHIELD in 20xx is investigating a massive exotic radiation spike in the Arctic and finds the time-tossed Valkyrie & Cap. (They can still keep the frozen in ice thing for 70 years as Steve's cover story to the public. =P)

That way, things remain more or less the same when we get to Avengers. Of course, when Iron Man is blowing up the Chitauri mothership via the Tesseract portal, you have room for another magical boom handwavy thing where another exaltation pops out of the macguffin bridge.

Yes, Tony Stark hits all the points of a Twilight Caste Solar exaltation. All the points in Craft and Lore. He'd probably still start as an young Essence 2 or early Essence 3 solar though, since his previous 2 movies are mostly personal level conflicts (just writ large) and not quite the large scale motivations that Solars are more renowned for.

At the same time, you could also throw in a Night Caste exaltation to Natasha, and/or an Eclipse exaltation to Coulson (no need for mad science to revive him!). Maybe even a Lunar exaltation on Loki if you want him to turn good eventually (though personally I wouldn't go for it since I'm not a Loki fan). An Avengers Solar Circle would be loads of fun going forward.

Or, with a lot of world building, you could also do a full on fusion with MCU=far future of Creation.

In that case, you can have Peggy as a Sidereal/Chosen of Battle. Howard could be the previous incarnation of Tony's Twilight exaltation instead of being his father (yay past life shenanigans). Colonel Phillips, the Howling Commandos, Falcon, Agent 13 could be Dragon-blooded. Bucky as the Winter Soldier might end up a Soulsteel Alchemical exalt.

If the Loom of Fate exists, then our heroes in SHIELD could potentially exalt as Sidereals. Fury as a Chosen of Secrets, Natasha as a Chosen of Endings, Coulson as a Chosen of Serenity, Melinda May as a Chosen of Battle... Also, having too many Sidereals can often turn out bad thing, which makes for plot.

A lot of backstories will need to be worked over though, and it might turn into a completely different story.

EDIT: For my own reference
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