Originally posted by Lerinome
Quick question about the exaltation "spark": Is it tied with a soul and they keep on joining with every reincarnation? Or are they independent of each other?
I hope the question was clear enough.
It's probably clearest if I answer this with an example.
In the myth-shrouded glories of the First Age, a humble mendicant throws herself between a shambling many-faced monster and a group of young children it would make its prey. Seeing this act of heroism, the Unconquered Sun chooses our mendicant to be his divine champion, and she is Exalted. She goes on to become the famous Dawn Caste warrior-vagabond Kills Many Devils.
The First Age grows long, the Sun turns his face from Creation, and the Solar Exalted are betrayed by their lessers. Kills Many Devils dies, and her Exaltation is sealed away in a prison of jade. Her soul passes on through Lethe, which washes away all memories of her life, and is reincarnated as someone-or-other. That process repeats a few times - live, die, lethe, reincarnation - until the modern day. The present reincarnation of her soul is Bower, a street food vendor in the Imperial City. He's not particularly important.
The jade prison is broken, by means not yet revealed, and the Solar Exalted return to the world. Xhin Ba, a former mercenary drowning his sorrows in wine, drunkenly provokes the ire of a Lintha reaver, and manages not only to defend himself despite his intoxication but humiliate the pirate before everyone in the dockside teahouse. The Unconquered Sun sees this, and he smiles down on Xhin Ba, who is Chosen as one of the Solar Exalted. He is the heir to Kills Many Devils' Exaltation, and as its divine power fills him, a measure of her memories and legacy become his.
Xhin Ba's soul is not the same as Kills Many Devils, which is presently incarnated in Bower. And yet Xhin Ba is Kills Many Devils' reincarnations in a very true sense.
Also, how hard is it for a god to change its portfolio? (I'm probably stealing the term from another game, but I don't know how to say it). How expencive is it? Does it lose its previous charms?
It's a matter of finding (or creating) an opening in the celestial bureaucracy, and arranging to get yourself promoted or appointed to it. The difficulty of this varies with the particular position you're aiming for - I'd expect it to be much easier to be appointed the god of this particular hot springs than to supplant Ahlat as the Southern God of Warfare.
A newly promoted (or demoted) god will gain Charms to suit their new position, although the details of this process haven't been addressed. Some may be able to retain Charms related to their former position, although ultimately I think the analysis is going to be whether the Storyteller thinks it's narratively appropriate for, say, Ahlat to retain some Charms from his former position as god of walrus mating habits.