Court of Jade
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Overview

Perhaps in rebellion to the Sapphire Court, the members of the Chinese supernatural community do not hold themselves as gods, but instead claim to be virtuous guides on the paths to salvation and righteous damnation. Recognised as Buddhas, Taoist Ancestors and Immortals, each of the members of the Imperial Court holds a rank in a great celestial bureaucracy which is subject to change at any time. Most members of the Imperial Court of Jade bind their fate to a specific household or township of citizens and their position within the court varies depending on the success or failure of their patron family within the mundane world.

History

Appearance

The vast majority of members in the Imperial Court of Jade are unmistakeably Chinese, or at least Asian. This especially holds true for any who have developed a level of prestige and reputation within the court. Despite this a growing number of members have joined from around the world due to the spread of Chinese martial arts such as Kung Fu and Tai Chi into all parts of the world. The colours of their clothing can often identify those who adhere most strongly to the ways of the court; these are usually tied to feng shui and the Chinese elements in some way. The members of the court are also known for their superstitious manner, carrying mirrors, jade and lucky pendants with them.

Homeland

All of Asia feels the influence of the Imperial Court of Jade, the group has long dominated over the supernatural realms that overlap China. The court has also had considerable influence over virtually all of the neighbouring realms as well. Like the supernatural beings of India, the Imperial Court of Jade has long had an expansionist policy that has dotted its members across the entire world. Anywhere that Chinatowns have arisen become obvious homes for the court in far off lands. In the time of the Chinese Cultural revolution, it is said that the home of the Jade Court lost a great deal of it’s spiritual power and that it was only through these foreign outposts that the court survived. Recent years have seen a return of Outsider strength to China, which has given many of the other courts reason for concern.

Court Culture

In ancient times, an Imperial Test was formulated for all citizens living in the lands of the Court of Jade. This test allowed any male of any station to attain a role within the great Imperial Bureaucracy, this was one of the first meritocracies, but it had deeper ramifications than most citizens were aware. This test also determined a male’s candidacy fore becoming one of the Outsiders, and a similar though less formal test was administered for women. Those who scored well enough in the test would instantly be granted a position of power and influence, as well as a measure of supernatural talent to perform their heavenly duties. Of course, becoming a part of the bureaucracy was only the start and many members transcended their status through grand deeds, or descended when subjected to shameful deeds. The members of the Imperial Court of Jade all understand their place in the great heavenly scheme, considering citizens a part of the same structure and treating them accordingly. Outside of the test, a second way to join the Court involves joining one of the many religious sects across the Empire, these sects are considered beyond the structure of the courts but still an integral part of them.

Court Operations

In the earliest of times, there were members of the Sapphire Court who had decided leave the lands of rigid caste and ongoing warfare. They made a pilgrimage across the northern mountains to dangerous realms where citizens still roamed in tribal hunting parties and uncivilised outsiders travelled as monsters stalking the wilderness. The pilgrims made a pledge to bring a new civilization to these lands, one where the outsiders could regain their status as divine beings, and citizens could reach for the enlightenment for which they had been destined. Over millennia these concepts were refined, and through successive kingdoms and empires, the structure of the Imperial Court of Jade was developed. Throughout this time, the Courts influence has expanded high into the Celestial realms above and deep into the Underworlds beneath the mundane world. Despite the free spirit with which the Court was founded, millennia of study, spirituality and intrigue have developed a complexity far greater than most other courts. Within the court are dozens of factions, each of whom vie for power in the celestial bureaucracy, virtually everyone who belongs to the court hold rank in at least one of these factions and many of the more powerful members hold rank in two or more.

Common Court Powers

Knowledge is an incredibly important thing to the Court of Jade, whether that is knowledge of the physical world, wisdom concerning the spirit lands or the intimate knowledge of themselves. Those gifts that provide a way to manipulate knowledge are considered of great value. These could include powers that uncover truths, spread them or even conceal them; the Court of Jade has long known that knowledge is power and that those who master knowledge gain a step closer to immortality. Once a court member has mastered a range of powers associated with knowledge, they often find themselves focusing on a specific branch of information; this may be herbalism, geomancy, alchemy, martial arts or any of a dozen other fields of learning. A true master within the court gains all the knowledge of a human lifetime then begins working to understand a new field.

Common Court Havens

Those who belong to the Imperial Court of Jade become very familiar with the concept of Feng Shui, and virtually all will make steps to ensure their home is in tune with these principles. This means that most members of the court are very careful about the homes they choose for themselves and they often select places that reflect the type of elements and powers with which they are familiar (eg. those who study metal will probably live in a specific location near a graveyard, while those who study wood might live in a certain location near a zoo or botanical garden). The size of a residence is also considered a reflection of the status of its inhabitant. It is considered arrogance to live in a house larger than that required by your station; just as it is considered false humility to live in a house smaller than one your station may entail. The court has given each member a position, and they must be in harmony with that position for the Court to function most effectively.

Court Agenda

Intercourt Relations

Blood Court

Chrysanthemum Court

Gold Court

Ivory Court

Jade Court

Ochre Court

Peyote Court

Rose Court

Sand Court

Sapphire Court

Wave Court

Lesser Courts

The Court of Marble
The Court of the Sea
The Court of Ice
The Court of Runes
The Court of Grass
The Court of Greenstone

Significant Court Members

Significant Court Rogues

Organization:

Divine () –
Demigods () –
Supernaturals () –
Half-Bloods () –

Court Elements: Water, Metal, Light
Members:
Air –
Darkness –
Earth –
Fire –
Light –
Metal –
Water –
Wood –

Image Credits:
1st Image - Terracotta Warriors [P Morgan] as found on Wikipedia.

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