The Face of the GodsEdit
The history of this Dharma is actually divided into the much older Indian tradition of the Celestial Tribe, and the heretic visions of the mad poet O. According to both Dharmas, twin souls are more than cleaved demons. Instead, the Hun and the P'o are remembrances of a divine state once achieved. Cast back into human form for a lifetime, the Godlings return from death as blessed immortals, gifted with superlative powers but also with infinite desire. To return to the godhead, one must find the seat of divine power—and this means mediating between the lusts of divine passion and the awareness of incipient omnipotence. Calling upon the universal energies of Yin and Yang, the Godlings shape the universe around themselves, seeking to hone their forms back into the sublime. Both expressions of this Dharma are classified as heresies by the Quincunx and hunted without mercy.
The Celestial TribeEdit
The Celestial Tribe is far older than the Quincunx, and may even predate the mortal birth of the Grand Arhat Xue—that is, if you believe what these heretics say. Those that side with orthodox teachings often scoff at the latter idea (though they grudgingly admit the heresy existed before the formation of the Five August Courts). The Godlings of India tell a story of Sita, who was exiled by her husband, the solar prince Rama, for rumored perfidy. Despite her innocence, Sita accepted her husband's orders and lived as a hermit for a long time. Each night, she prayed to the gods and eventually, the god Narayan answered her. Asking what he could do to ease her suffering, she asked that her children should become beloved by the gods. In time, Sita's children became a mighty brood and built palaces for her mother. The gods, however, came to see these new beings as a threat to their rule and asked Yama to kill them. But Death wasn't able to locate Sita and her children didn't stay dead, reanimated by their own virtue throughout the shackles of reincarnation. When the first of the Indian Wan Kuei, Shiva-Ohm, became aware of his state as a child of Sita and assembled others like him to avenge his mother and make Heaven see the error of letting Sita suffer by storming it and retaking their rightful place as denied gods, the current practices of the Tribe were formed.
The Celestial Tribe is - in its core structures – very similar to the authorities of the Quincunx. They crave validation from other Dharmas, despite seeing them as pretenders and fools, and before the political upheavals from the Week of Nightmares, a tenuous treaty with the Infinite Thunders Court existed against the Ravnos rakshasas that struggled against the Cathayans. The lack of bodhisattvas within the tribe, however, leads to the unfortunate situation that the Tribe is not taken seriously by other Dharmas that follow the Fivefold Way. The Divine Faces themselves, irritated that these newcomers should dictate their behaviour when they are oblivious to their true nature, are trying to find a way to produce a bodhisattva or similar enlightened spokesman, but, as they tell that the most powerful members of the tribe, like Shiva-Ohm, seclude themselves before their ascension to divinity, no reliable way exists within their structures to actually achieve this state of enlightenment. This has resulted in much discontent among followers of the Dharma, and experimentation on how to reach this state of enlightenment has undergone some dangerous vacillations, with some Kuei-jin trying to mimic the Kin-jin practice of Diablerie.
The Celestial Tribe also has no real eschatology comparable to the Quincunx within the Final Nights. Granted, the Eye of Demon Emperor is surely a bad omen, but not a sign of the end of the world. Nevertheless, the supernatural situation on the subcontinent is stressed and many cults of Godlings take more apocalyptic undertones to draw more followers.
The Celestial NailEdit
The other variant of this Dharma originates in the writings of O, a mad poet who had great insights into the spirit worlds. In his work, the Celestial Nail, O alleged that the true nature of the Wan Kuei was that of imprisoned gods and that all the trappings of their heaven-mandates society served only the purpose of distracting them from their divine nature.
The followers of the Celestial Nail are more often than not selfish creatures that hunger for attention and admiration. The arts of Prayer-Eating grant them this satisfaction and more than a few have become dangerously close to be coerced by the Yama Kings to join them fully.
Face of the Gods TrainingEdit
Indoctrination of a new follower of the Dharma comes when an existing Godling takes it upon himself to reveal the truth of divinity to another. The Divine Faces favor philosophical and occult knowledge, mastering the energies of their transient bodies. Courtly graces and etiquette are also taught, as the Godlings must properly attend to their mortal followers.
Face of the Gods WeaknessEdit
Arrogance and whimsy mark the Godlings. Convinced of their superlative destiny, they find the notion of living as cursed beings repugnant. Followers of other Dharmas are seen as deluded mystics who miss the opportunity for true greatness, so no small amount of friction results. When a Divine Face feels generous, bounty flows from his hands; when enraged, though, his godly wrath tumbles down ally and enemy alike. For this reason, few trust or willingly associate with the followers of this Dharma. Other Kuei-jin even secretly fear that the Godlings may be right.
Auspicious Omens and Symbols for the Face of the GodsEdit
This lists the most important symbols and omens of the Dharma that are sometimes integrated into their homes and temples. The symbols are: Temple ceremonies, stands of burning incense and candles, shooting stars.
Affiliations for the Face of the GodsEdit
The Heavenly realms, the color violet, and the south direction.
The Tenets of the Face of the GodsEdit
- Develop your divine nature
- Expand both godly and demonic consciousness
- Accept the venerations of mortals, but answer their prayers in return
- Harness Chi to bring back divinity to your divine form.
- Act according to the tenets of your Godly Voice, and your Godly Desires shall be fulfilled.
- Visit the Heavens to remember what you have lost.
- Practice ritual and tradition to empower your own essence
- Commune with the spirits; learn of their messages from Heaven
|Allied to Yomi Wan|