when the Elemental Dragons granted the Exaltation to their Chosen, the first generation of the Dragon-Blooded Host, it was a prelude to a war the likes of which had never been waged. Each Elemental Dragons carefully chose to Exalt 20 strong men and 9,980 mortal women (10,000 in total). This was strategic as the Dragons knew that this entire race of Exalted had to reproduce quickly to attain the numbers necessary to fulfill their martial obligations to the Unconquered Sun. (Bronze Faction Sidereals take pains to see that the Immaculate Order never uncovers that part.) The extreme disparity between the sexes was to make sure that this new army might grow as quickly as possible. A single male Terrestrial could impregnate several female Terrestrials in a short span of time, but every child represented a minimum two year investment for the Dragon-Blooded woman who bore it. Accordingly, the very first generation of Terrestrial Exalts was Chosen not for combat prowess (though many were warriors of one sort or another), but for their overall mental and physical fitness and their ability to breed. As part of that initial Exaltation, all of the Chosen of the Dragons were granted libidos of epic proportions. (There are those who say that this gift of the Dragons has been passed down through the generations.) The Elemental Dragons themselves expressly and forcefully forbade all Terrestrials from mating with mortals, lest the gift of Exaltation be watered down with weak mortal blood and thereby sullied. At that time, none could even fathom such a perversion of the Dragons’ will.

For the entire first year of their existence, the lives of those who composed the Dragon-Blooded Host were more akin to never-ending orgies than anything resembling warfare. Solar generals found themselves fi tting combat training in between the Terrestrials’ extended bouts of rutting. Once all of the female Terrestrials were impregnated and well along in their pregnancies, however, the situation changed drastically. Mortal women might have been forbidden to the lusty Dragon-Blooded men but everyone (and everything) else was fair game, and historians claim that the frequency of homosexual relations among the Dragon-Blooded dates back to this period. For centuries, the Dragon-Blooded Host reproduced only among their own number, at the behest of the Dragons themselves, so that every child born to them bore the spark of Exaltation.

At that time, all 10,000 Terrestrial Exalts possessed what would be considered, in game terms, legendary Breeding. The marks of the Elemental Dragons were strong upon them, and the potent elemental blessings of the Dragons ran thick and strong in their veins. It was a given that every child of such a union would Exalt, and usually by the age of seven, because both parents were pureblooded Exalts.

The first wave of births began to rectify the sex disparity among the Dragon-Blooded, and two years later, the 9,900 Terrestrial mothers handed their little Exalts-to-be to a small army of mortal and elemental nurses, and the breeding cycle began anew. To further expedite the growth of the nascent Dragon-Blooded Host, the second generation was pushed to breed as soon as its members had both Exalted and gone through puberty.

The fertility of that first generation of Dragon-Blooded women was and remains legendary. The average number of children born to each of those Terrestrial women is just over 30, and the most fertile of their number—a Wood Aspect called Masira, the Tree of Many Branches—bore over 100 children in her lifetime. She remains a figure of legend even in the Second Age. In a short period of time (as gods and Exalts measure it, anyway), the first generation of Terrestrial Exalted was well on its way to creating what would shortly become a vast and powerful Dragon-Blooded Host.

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