The Dalou'laoshi, also known as the Five Elemental Dragons, is a group of technomancers operating in Asia. Initially its own organization, it was (sort of) subsumed into the Order of Reason (and later, the Technocratic Union). Although it exists as part of the larger organization, the Technocracy is unaware that it still exists as a distinct entity. The Dalou'laoshi refer to the Technocracy as the Five Metal Dragons.
The cornerstone of the Five Elemental Dragon's unifying belief is order. Even the chaotic Water Dragons believe that their actions will ultimately result in an understanding that allows for a greater understanding of random effects and incorporate them into an ordered system. As the paradigm of the Middle Kingdom changes and Western thoughts question age-old traditions, the Dalou'laoshi work to prevent the societies of the Middle Kingdom from turning against each other and forgetting their roots.
Originally inventors similar to the Order of Reason, the modern Dalou'laoshi have instead focused on combining technological advancement with tradition. They are still funding and supporting the development of new technologies, but the see the rapacious speed with whom the Five Metal Dragons progress as counterproductive to public order.
As the chi of the Middle Kingdom is disrupted by human atrocity, shen meddling and catastrophes like the Week of Nightmares, the five Elemental Dragons work to keep any further disruptions at a low point. Chi disruption is, according to them, not only responsible for natural disasters, but also for economic crashes and similar events. If these disruptions could be minimized or controlled, societal control would also ensure.
The Dalou'laoshi claim to have always been present and guided the people of the Middle Kingdom. In fact, they began as a splinter group of Wu Lung following the Dragon River War. Disillusioned with high ritual magic, they instead focused on science to help the common people who had suffered the most in the conflict. These early Elemental Dragons had a tumultous relation with the Wu Lung, whom they supported when Fu Xia aided Qin Shihuangdi built his empire, only to be betrayed during the Burning of the Books, which destroyed much of their earlier advancements.
Seeking allies elsewhere, the Elemental Dragons reached outside the Middle Kingdom and contacted the Collegium Praecepti, reason-mages based in the Roman Empire. The two established a trading relationship centered around the Silk Road. Offering tribute from their growing wealth to the Wu Lung, the Dalou'laoshi became powerful, keeping themselves outside the conflicts of the Wu Lung and the growing Akashic Brotherhood. Thanks to these long standing relations, the Dalou'laoshi were invited to the Convention of the White Tower, with several legalist Wu Lung who sought allies in tow.
The Wu Lung and the Elemental Dragons worked together to resist the Mongol rule over China. The Dalou'laoshi relocated to the trading cities of the coast, where they worked with western traders supported by the Order of Reason. Helping their western allies to strengthen the colonial powers in Asia, the newly invigorated Technocratic Union seemingly subsumed the Elemental Dragons into their ranks. Nowadays, the Dalou'laoshi claim that they were taken by surprise by the rapid technological advancements the Union brought and that they could not possibly have forsawn the way events would turn out.
With the Reckoning throwing the higher organization of the Technocracy into disarray, and the civil war brewing between the New World Order and the Syndicate, the Five Elemental Dragons face an uncertain future. Rumor is that the mental shields erected by the Spirit Dragons begin to fail, and the the Union will soon learn the truth about their oriental colleagues.
The Dalou'laoshi have few overarching ways of organization. The individual conventions have their own hierarchies and in public, most Elemental Dragons act as parts of traditional technocratic hierarchy. Individuality is frowned upon and all Dalou'laoshi are expected to work in groups. Every ten years, each Dalou'laoshi is expected to broaden their knowledge level, with several older members having multiple Ph.d's in wildly different subjects.
The Dalou'laoshi are not subject to Control. Instead, each member is indoctrinated by the Miao Guan at the moment they finish their training in a technocratic faculty.
The Dalou'laoshi have five Conventions which are similar enough to the Conventions of the Technocracy that they can successfully "hide" within them.
- Miao Guan, or Spirit Dragons, who are dedicated to direct mental control of the self and of others to maintain peace and order. Hide within the New World Order.
- Saensaeng, or Earth Dragons, who are dedicated to maintaining art, honor, and cultural purity in the face of globalization. Hide within Iteration X.
- Taiping Tianguo, or Water Dragons, who are dedicated to the pursuit of individual freedom and entertainments. Hide within the Syndicate.
- Zaibatsu, or Fire Dragons, who are dedicated to the absolute elimination of all supernatural entities. Hide within the Void Engineers.
- Zi Guang, or Wood Dragons, who are dedicated to seeking the perfection of the human form. Hide within the Progenitors.