A Contest of Nisse and Release
The gods are the Spirits that embody and oversee Creation. They always represent facets of Creation, a characteristic that can also be used to classify them.
The Celestial gods represent abstract, creation-wide concepts, such as Love, Frowning or the Joy of Good Work. They reside in the Heavenly City of Yu-Shan and the most powerful of them, and all the gods, are the Celestines or Celestial Incarnæ.
The Terrestrial Gods represent physical and more narrow facets of the world, such as a particular city or a forest. They usually reside at a physical location in Creation or their sanctum. They are often considered second-class gods by their cousins, the Celestial gods, for having to live in Creation. Among them are the least gods, small beings of little or no intelligence or importance. They live in and oversee the most tiny and unimportant of things such as individual blades of grass or chairs.
Anthropomorphic Realities of the Gods
In Exalted, immortality does not often come with omniscience, perspective or selflessness. Gods, by their very nature, are biased in specific ways. Because each god was created to watch over a specific area or item in order to protect and supervise it, they naturally have a desire to strengthen, protect and improve the standing of these items and areas. This leads to a severe lack in perspective toward anything not related to their guiding motivations, to the point where they are often prepared to take bribes (in the form of praise, service or favors) to advance their own interests. Feuds among the gods are also often common, whether over the worship of mortal followers or attempts to decrease one deity’s standing in order to increase their own. Gods are capable of quite astonishing levels of pettiness and living forever makes them equally qualified for holding grudges.
Theoretically, Heaven functions in perfect order and morality. The Celestial Bureaucracy is meant to be directed by the Five Celestial Bureaus. The higher gods of the Bureaus issue directives to the lower ones, the elementals ensure the proper behavior of weather and other natural phenomena, mortals provide worship and praise, and Creation moves smoothly from day to day.
In practice, however, all levels of both the Celestial and the Terrestrial Bureaucracy are riddled with corruption. In the First Age, the Celestial Exalted kept order among the gods. With the Solar and Lunar Exalted gone after the Usurpation, the same level of control was not maintained, because it was not possible for the Dragon-Blooded to do so for all of Creation.