Exalted is a game of epic fantasy set during the Second Age of Man, a time before our own.
It is an age of magic and adventure, when heroes of legend are reborn into a time of woe.
At the dawn of the First Age, the gods gave power to men that they might slay the gods' Primordial enemies. Anointed by the gods, these beings were thereafter known as the Exalted.
The greatest of the Exalted were the Solars, the Chosen of the Unconquered Sun, the mightiest of the gods. So great was their power that, when a Solar died, his power was quickly made manifest in a new individual - a reincarnation of sorts, but into a mature adult rather than a newborn.
The Exalted triumphed over the enemies of the gods, and in reward, the gods gave the Exalted dominion over the Earth. For a timeless age, the Exalted ruled justly over Creation, and their kingdom was invincible.
But the enemies of the gods had pronounced a terrible curse against the Exalted. This dark magic ate away at the hearts of the Chosen. The benevolence of the Solars turned to tyranny, and peace turned to civil war. It was prophesied that the madness of the Solars would bring about the destruction of the world. Seeing no other alternative, the lowliest of Exalted, the Dragon-Blooded, murdered the decadent Solar Exalted and locked their souls away.
And so, a Second Age descended upon Creation.