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The Chinese Pantheon

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Chih-Nii

The Seamstress, the Heaven-Bound Lover

Symbol: A spinning loom

Colors: Red and blueHome Plane: The Loom of the Celestial River, located on Olympus the first layer of Arborea

Pantheon: Chinese

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Portfolio: Weaving, love

Worshippers: Principally spinners and weavers worship Chih-Nii, though lovers, especially those separated from each other, often pray for her blessing. Housewives also pray to her, for aid in their weaving and husbands at the same time.

Cleric Alignments: Neutral Good and Chaotic Good

Domains: Charm, Protection, Alteration

Favored Weapon: Dagger

 Chih-Nii has been appointed by her father, Shang-ti, to weave clothes for the gods, a task which is very demanding and time-consuming. Long ago, when her sister could no longer stand to watch Chih-Nii work herself to exhaustion, she convinced the Seamstress to take a break and relax on a pristine Prime world. Chih-Nii eventually agreed and the two went down and found a stream to soak in. They so enjoyed themselves that they did not notice an impetuous cowherd come and spirit away Chih-Nii’s clothes, which were lying on the bank. The Seamstress was trapped by propriety in the stream, unable to leave and let the cowherd see her naked. The sister rushed back to tell Shand-ti what had happened, while Chih-Nii bantered with the cowherd. She came to love him over the next few days, and when Shang-ti’s demand that she return to the Planes came, she did so with reluctance. The cowherd returned the clothes but then proceded to follow the goddess, only to be stopped by Shang-ti himself at the banks of the celestial River Oceanus. Chih-Nii had to return to her task of weaving clothes, but was allowed to cross the River every seven days on a bridge of magpie wings to visit her waiting lover.Dogma: Since finding love herself, Chih-Nii seeks to help lovers separated by great distances as much as she can. She will send messengers to manipulate events on the Prime to bring such lovers together. As the goddess of weaving, she also has power over mortal garment-makers and will aid any particularly-skilled weavers.

Clergy: The clergy of Chih-Nii travel greatly, searching for estranged lovers to reunite and skilled weavers to commend. Many great weavers serve the Heaven-Bound Lover in the clergy, but some clerics are only moderately skilled with the loom. Temples of Chih-Nii are most often found in trade cities where the priesthood can buy and utilize exotic materials to weave fine garments commissioned by wealthy nobles.

Chung KuelK’uei Hsing, the Watchful GodSymbol: A ruler with a writing brushColors: White and orangeHome Plane: The Ministry of Virtue, located on Solania, the fourth layer of Mt. CelestiaPantheon: ChineseAlignment: Lawful GoodPortfolio: Truth, examinationsWorshipers: Professors frequently worship Chung Kuel to ensure that their classrooms remain in his attention. Students and bureaucrats also pay the Watchful God homage, hoping to benefit from his goodwill.Cleric Alignments: Lawful Neutral, Lawful Good, and Neutral GoodDomains: Knowledge, Law, TruthFavored Weapon: QuarterstaffChung Kuel was once a mortal, a brilliant student who excelled in his studies. Though he consistently finished first in his examinations, however, the Emperor of his home nation refused to raise him because Chung Kuel was very ugly. Such an exceptional student would normally be placed in a top position on the Emperor’s staff, but the current ruler did not want Kuel’s pock-marked and hair-lipped face to be associated with his prestigious reign. After many rejections from public office and watching less-qualified students moving past him, Chung Kuel despaired and threw himself from a tall cliff into the sea. He was saved, however, by a sea turtle which dragged him back to shore.

Recognizing this as divine providence, the Emperor hastily appointed Chung Kuel as a top adviser and found him to be an invaluable and honest servant. When the loyal adviser’s time arrived on Shou Hsing’s great tablet, Shang-ti granted Chung Kuel immortality and made him the assistant to Wen Chang Ti, the god of literature. When the Celestial Bureaucracy expanded, Chung Kuel was raised to the head of the Ministry of Virtue to oversee examinations and honesty.

Dogma: Chung Kuel remains very honest and has no tolerance for cheating. On worlds of the Prime where the Chinese Pantheon holds sway, his scrying eye roams in search of dishonest students. He usually punishes these students harshly and memorably, often making some noise to call attention to the cheating or even causing the test to burst into flames.

Clergy: The Watchful God maintains no steady temples, only shrines in universities and administrative offices. He benefits from the worship of nearly every student and most professors, so his clergy is small and rarely seeks to convert people. Clerics of Chung Kuel are called to serve as proctors for examinations and to settle bureaucratic disputes.

 

Fu Hsing

Yang Cheng, the Joyful Magistrate, Joybearer

Symbol: A bat

Colors: Yellow and blue

Home Plane: The Land of the Immortals demiplane in the Deep Ethereal

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Portfolio: Happiness, good will, charity

Worshippers: Beggars and other people down on their luck will often call upon Fu Hsing for aid. Bards frequently offer him prayers for his blessing on their entertaining.

Cleric Alignments: Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, and Chaotic Neutral

Domains: Joy, Luck, Wealth

Favored Weapon: Dagger

Fu Hsing was originally a magistrate named Yang Cheng, who served under a greedy and unjust Emperor. Yang Cheng fought against the Emperor’s severe taxes and saved the people from certain poverty and famine. As a reward for his efforts, Shang-ti raised him to the Celestial Bureaucracy as the Minister of Happiness. It is Fu Hsing’s job to make sure that every mortal receives his share of life’s joy, a task he enjoys immensely.Dogma: The Joybearer often takes it upon himself to approach mortals on behalf of the less fortunate. He might send an avatar or proxy to inform some noble warriors of an evil lord oppressing his people, or a farmer unfairly imprisoned. In this way, Fu Hsing can bring salvation to the less-fortunate and provide heroes with the chance to achieve glory.Clergy: The priesthood of the Joyful Magistrate travels in search of unfortunates to help and maintains a large number of churches throughout the land. These buildings will always open their doors to travelers in need and strive to provide them with enough to help them on their way. In order to remain open, churches of Fu Hsing will rarely allow a traveler to stay more than one night.

Kuan-ti

The Armored Lord, the Peace-Bringer, the Prophetic Warrior

Symbol: A black-winged chariot

Colors: Green and red

Home Plane: Valourhome on Amoria, the first layer of Elysium

Alignment: Neutral Good

Portfolio: War, diplomacy, protection of the weak, fortune-telling

Worshipers: Generals, rulers, and diplomats all keep Kuan-ti in their prayers hoping for victory and peace. In particularly war-torn times, worship of the Armored Lord increases as victimized peasants pray for peace.

Cleric Alignments: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, and Chaotic Good

Domains: Good, Knowledge, War

Favored Weapon: Longsword

Kuan-ti (sometimes spelled and pronounced “Huan-ti”) is a curious mixture of violence and peace. He is a war deity, but also utilizes fortune-telling to determine the impacts of decisions and victories. Most of the Armored Lord’s time is spent intervening to prevent wars from starting in the first place, he is a kind god whose chief motivation is the protection of the weak. When war is inevitable he uses his powers of divination and his immense wisdom to determine which side is most deserving of victory. Often, Kuan-ti will watch a war without tipping the scales to see which side fights more bravely and thus has a more righteous cause to fight for.Dogma: The Prophetic Warrior conducts himself as a model ruler. He is just and cautious with delicate situations, thinking of the common people before committing himself to anything. However, once his anger has been provoked, he is a ruthless and unforgiving enemy. Because of his foresight, Kuan-ti’s actions sometimes seem strange, but he always has a good reason and will go to great lengths to defeat evil.Clergy: The chief responsibility of Kuan-ti’s priests is to act as impartial diplomats between powerful lords. Though widely varied in tactics, all clerics of the Peace-Bringer share his desire for the victory of just causes. They use their divine spells and vast knowledge to discern the wisdom of their decisions. Shrines to Kuan-ti always will aid victims of war and have large rooms devoted to this process.

 

Kuan Yin

Sung-Tzu-Niang-Niang “the Lady Who Brings Children”, the Great Mother

Symbol: Infant lying on a lotus flower

Color: White

Home Plane: The Lotus Garden on Solania, the fourth layer of Mount Celestia

Alignment: Lawful Good

Portfolio: Childbirth, mothers, healing, mercy

Worshippers: Most mothers maintain a shrine to Kuan Yin in their household, as do woman hoping to become pregnant. Households with sick family members may also erect a shrine.

Cleric Alignments: Lawful Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral Good

Domains: Healing, Protection, Family

Favored Weapon: Staff

As the goddess of families, healing, and mercy itself, Kuan Yin is a rather popular deity and a forgiving patron. Many of her worshipers are only temporarily offering prayers, hoping for a newborn or the easing of a sick family member’s illness, but the Great Mother is understanding and is just as willing to help them as lifetime worshippers. Enough mothers, midwives, physicians, and people just looking for her blessings offer her regular prayers that she is hardly bereft of attention.

Dogma: The Lady is in charge of delivering the souls of newborn infants, and so has a personal hand in every birth. She also makes sterile women fertile if she feels that they deserve it. These women do not have to offer her constant, or any, prayers, but if they truly want children and are sincere in their intentions, she will take pity on them. Because she also oversees the distribution of mercy upon the Prime, Kuan Yin is more than willing to use her divine hand to save those she feels deserve help. Shipwrecked sailors who are earnest and friendly might be rescued by the Great Mother, or she may put in a good word with Liu for an honest, hard-working farmer. Any children placed in peril are sure to come under her immediate attention.

Clergy: The priests of the Lady serve as midwives, nurses, or healers, bringing help mercy to the needy and suffering. Sometimes, her clerics are simple travelers, wandering the land in search of individuals deserving of their goddess’s attentions. Other priests of the Great Mother serve as village leaders, acting as mothers to a whole community, as it were. Churches to Kuan Yin are rarely grand, but are usually placed where they will be seen by the most number of people, inspiring comfort and peace in whoever passes by.

 

Kung Fu-tzu

The Great Philosopher

Symbol: A scroll and a writing brush

Color: Grey

Home Plane: The Land of the Immortals demiplane in the Deep Ethereal

Alignment: Lawful Good

Portfolio: Veneration of the past, social behavior

Worshipers: Rulers, advisers, and village elders all frequently offer sacrifices to Kung Fu-tzu in search of guidance.

Cleric Alignments: Lawful Neutral, Lawful Good, and Neutral Good

Domains: Community, Family, Good

Favored Weapon: Spear

Once a great mortal philosopher, Kung Fu-tzu was sought after by many rulers across the realm. His teachings, centering around social propriety, inspired a time of peace, and earned the Great Philosopher a place in the Celestial Bureaucracy. His task is to advise the leaders of the Prime to behave courteously and unselfishly, doing the best thing for their people.

Dogma: Kung Fu-tzu will send proxies and avatars to aid leaders on the Prime. He is not a very powerful deity, so few give him their full devotion. The advice of the Great Philosopher, however, is invaluable so shrines to Kun Fu-tzu are common throughout the Prime. No rulers want to neglect their worship of Kung Fu-tzu in the chance that they will need his help later.

Clergy: The clerics of Kung Fu-tzu make up the majority of advisers throughout the various nations. They are invaluable servants, possessing great insight themselves and also having access to the wisdom of Kung Fu-tzu.

 

Lao Tzu

The Enlightened One, Keeper of Cadence

Symbol: A circle split by a curved line into equal black and white halves.

Color: Green

Home Plane: The Land of Immortals on the Ethereal Plane

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Portfolio: Intuitive knowledge and mystical enlightenment

Worshipers: Philosophers and seers make a good portion of Lao Tzu’s worshipers. Monks often hold the Enlightened One first in their prayers seeking his gift of intuition in their unification of body and mind.

Cleric Alignments: Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral

Domains: Balance, Meditation, Spirit

Favored Weapon: Sling

Lao Tzu was once an esteemed mortal philosopher. His teachings centered around enlightenment and the tuning of one’s mind to the universe itself. The unity that his teachings inspired made him popular in prime courts settling disputes and advising rulers on unclouded decisions. After watching the philosopher for a long time, Shang-ti decided to induct him into his Celestial Bureaucracy. The deity sent a green ox to carry Lao Tzu to the Land of the Immortals where he attained his godhood and a position bestowing the mystical enlightenment he advocated during his mortal life.

Dogma: The tenets that were central in Lao Tzu’s teachings during his mortal life are still the focus of his existence. He advocates unifying body and soul and viewing issues from a balanced and unbiased position. The Enlightened One frequents the Prime often, traveling and engaging his followers in debates to test their faith and commitment. When he is too busy to give omens in person, he often speaks to his followers through natural signs, showing how the universe is disrupted by foolish or clouded decisions.

Clergy: The clergy of Lao Tzu often serve as mediators in courts or even small towns, making sure that clear thinking prevails above tempers. When not in permanent positions, they sometimes travel the land, helping with disputes that they find and stopping rash judgments. Churches devoted to the Keeper of the Cadence are few and small, but can be counted on as buildings of sanctuary. Fugitives from angry mobs think first of the Enlighened One’s building for safety.

Lei Kung

Duke of Thunder

Symbol: A hammer and chisel

Color: Blue

Home Plane: Resounding Thunder on Avalas, the first layer of Acheron

Alignment: Lawful Evil

Portfolio: Thunder, vengeance

Worshipers: Anyone wronged, fairly or unfairly, or individuals with hated rivals may resort to offering prayers to Lei Kung.

Cleric Alignments: Neutral Evil, Lawful Evil, and Lawful Neutral.

Domains: Wrath, Thunder, Pain

Favored Weapon: Hammer

An ugly, brutish deity, Lei Kung is somewhat disdained in the  Celestial Court. He is, however, a very effective dispenser of vengeance and punishment and Shang-ti is not going to replace him any time soon. The traditional depiction of the Duke of Thunder is as a tall, blue-skinned savage with scaled wings. He carries a chisel and hammer to strike criminals dead. Hanging from his waist are a pair of booming drums which he beats to frighten his victims.

Dogma: As the god of vengeance, Lei Kung is very cruel and quick to strike when he gets the chance. He mainly targets mortals committing undetected crimes, or evil deeds not covered under mortal laws. He also punishes evil spirits when they interfere on the Prime by possessing mortals. He does not punish these wrongdoers out of a desire for justice, however, but out of a demented desire to inflict pain. As such he grows restless when there are not enough criminals to punish. In these “dry spells” he will often listen to wild rumors from rivals or suspicious neighbors.

Clergy: The priests of the Thunder Duke share his desire for inflicting pain in the name of punishment. While they are usually too eager to rebuke to be judges, they frequently serve as undertakers or jailers. Most churches and shrines devoted to Lei Kung are, in fact, found in jails or gallows. The threat of being given over to priests of the god of vengeance is enough of a deterrent in many areas to keep crime down.

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