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In contrast to Angels, Exiles have no single-minded objective and experience their existence similar to an Unchained, but still in service to the God-Machine. Instead of a clear mission, Exiles experience Parameters, urgings often tied to their Incarnation that push the Exile to adopt a purpose that it is able to construct for itself. Some Exiles thrive in their state, cultivating allies among angels, demons and other supernatural beings, appearing before cults to secure servants. Exiles are more frightening in their unpredictability. Their motivations are not simply to serve in the most direct and efficient way possible. Those turned loose in the world without strict mission objectives instead work as they see best and come to adapt their own methods, each feeling like he, she, or it best serves the will of the God-Machine.
Exiles lack the close connection to the world that Demons enjoy. Since they have no self-referential Primum, their focus is unnaturally distanced from the way a human perceives the world. The Abandoned have to remind themselves that atoms and molecules interact. They have to remember that humans are largely ignorant of the occult physics of the universe. They have no intrinsic feelings of connection or empathy. Boredom is a real affliction for exiles. They don’t sleep, have no real need to eat (and rarely understand it until they’ve been exiled for several years), and don’t begin their existence with any drives except to follow their programming. Systems and hierarchies are comforting to exiles. Parameters function as an internal system to help limit their own unwanted freedom; but external systems attract them like magnets.
Because of their precarious position, Exiles are always in danger of Falling (although an Angel that was severed from the God-Machine lacks the capacity to rebel, and therefore can never Fall), a situation that demon rings could easily exploit. The temptations are many: in the mortal world, the physical pleasures that flesh and money can bring offer excitement, but even angels are susceptible to the desire for power. In some ways, they can be like children learning to control emotions, their experiences shaping them and their perspectives changing with time. Others struggle with the growing compulsion to return to the God-Machine and become repurposed, making the life of an exile a careful act of balancing the two extremes of Falling and being recycled. In the case that an Exile fails to maintain the balance, he can be reduced into a Sliver.
Exiles have many different beginnings. Sometimes the God-Machine creates or releases an angel, but gives it no mission. Angels are sometimes let free deliberately, perhaps as an experiment by the God-Machine. This is an exceedingly rare occurrence for angels, but has happened often enough over the millennia that quite a few exiles live on Earth. They are released into the world with no mission save to exist, which causes them no end of frustration. Others are severed from their Creator through no fault of their known, either through destroyed Infrastructure or an intermission of their orders through unknown turbulence. Each Exile has a single Cover that was assigned to it during its original mission, but they lack the ability of the Unchained to construct additional Covers or alter their original in any signficant way.
- , p.217-218
- , p.63-75