The Great Leap Outward is the result of various factions within the Quincunx that seek to avenge the various humiliations that the "Middle Kingdom" had to suffer in the aftermath of the European colonialism of Asia, as well as the various wars that were lost. Many of the combatants took the Second Breath and their view of Western culture was, in most cases, one of animosity that mixed well with traditionally held feelings of cultural superiority among the Courts.
In 1997, Ancestor Ch'ang of the Blood Court issued a council to address the intrusion of kin-jin, as well as other western shen, into the Middle Kingdom. Two factions were present: The "Righteous Foreigner-Vanquishing Crusade" wanted to implement the Ash Plan, which saw attacks against the kin-jin as means to stop the Wheel of Ages from turning any further. The "Harmonious Menders of Broken Fences" instead argued that it was necessary to protect the Middle Kingdom first and proposed the Two-Fang Serpent plans, which proposed means to reconquer the cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as learning more about the kin-jin and their ways. The Bestowed Ancestor chose a compromise by creating the Extraordinary Commission for the Rectification of Borders, which incorporated elements of both camps. The leader of the Menders, the Bone Flower Jiejie Li, was appointed the leader of the new commission, while the head of the Crusaders, Resplendent Crane Hao Wei-Liang, was put in charge of the Glorious Ocean Crossing Warriors, the force of the Jade Invasion that would try to take Los Angeles and establish it as a Kuei-jin Court. The Jade Invasion, however, was to be a focused venture, with no actions outside Los Angeles and adjacent areas approved.
At January 1, 1998, the first Kuei-jin were shipped from Chinese ports across the Pacific. Clashes across the American West Coast proved to be most successful in California, where the wu could surprise the unorganized bands of Anarchs. Wu who traveled to Mexico were introduced to Sabbat Mass Embrace tactics and those few that managed to survive fled for their lives. All in all, it appeared that the Crusaders had the upper hand, given their successes compared to the arduous reconquest of Shanghai and the resistance of both kin-jin and Kuei-jin of Hong Kong against attempts to reinstall the Flame Court. At the summer of 1998, resistance became more organized. Even within Los Angeles, the Kuei-jin were caught unprepared by the Anarchs' defense. Unfamiliar with the concept of a tight Masquerade, their attempts at subterfuge were quickly figured out and several wu were exterminated in these early struggle. To make things worse, a Maelstrom hit the Yin World in 1999 with unprecedented force and without much warning, throwing the wraithly support of the crusaders out of their advantage and making passage through the Spirit World extremely dangerous. In July 1999, both sides of the conflict were weary and tired of bloodshed. Propaganda tactics of Anarch icon Jeremy MacNeil against the Kuei-jin, often rank and file, mere Disciples in the ways of their Dharma, fostered the belief that Kindred and Cathayans were not so different like the Ancestors back at the Blood Court would make them believe. Parleys among both factions allowed the Kuei-jin to stake out Chinatown as their territory, but nothing more.
In September, Shanghai was back under Quincunx control, proving a victory for the Fence Mender faction. Hao Wei-Ling faced the Eye of Heaven for his lack of successes in October, weakening the Crusader faction significantly. Jiejie was pressed to succeed where Hao failed, otherwise, she would have to share his fate. The Bone Flower traveled to San Francisco, where a sizeable Kuei-jin population already existed. Choosing it as neutral ground, she entered negotiations with Salvador Garcia, one of the Anarch leaders. Garcia had long become weary of the Free State and was convinced by Li that she and her Kuei-jin could bring peace to the region. In exchange, Garcia demanded the destruction of the Sabbat pack under the leadership of his enemy Mohammed al-Muthlim. By November of 1999, Louis Fortier had also joined the supporters of the Kuei-jin. Interjecting between supporters of the Bamboo Prince movement, Anarch ideals as well as the original plan of the Fence Menders made this transition largely bloodless, installing the New Promise Mandarinate as an alternative to the lawlessness of the Free State.
The Camarilla, having taken in San Diego during the initial Jade Invasion after several proponents of the Anarch Movement had fallen, began negotiations with the Quincunx. Justicar Guil and Mandarin Li sent their agents, the Archon Vidal Jarbeaux and Mandarin Fun, to officially recognize the Cathayan domain within Los Angeles and recompensate the Quincunx for its efforts to "free the renegade domain". The meeting was attacked by parties unknown (most suspect Anarchs under MacNeil), leading to the annexation of San Francisco by the Kuei-jin under orders of the Blood Court Ancestor. Camarilla Prince Jochen Van Nuys was reinstituted as a representative of kin-jin interests in San Francisco, while the Camarilla appointed a new Prince, Sara Anne Winder, tasked with retaking the city for the Camarilla. Los Angeles soon saw the installation of a new Prince, the Ventrue Sebastian LaCroix, to administrate the areas outside Chinatown. In 2001, Monkey Trip Wu vanished and Ming Xiao came to Los Angeles to replace him as the local Ancestor.
Having taken the city, of course, the Fence-Menders now face the challenge of holding both Los Angeles and San Francisco while dealing with affairs at home. To worsen matters, the Quincunx expects them to expand their holdings in North America — against the better judgement of Jiejie Li and her advisors. The Two-Fang Serpent Plan is something of a victim of its own success, leaving the Kuei-jin stretched thin across California’s coast. The Kindred have regrouped from their early defeats, and the Camarilla now makes the Cathayans a greater priority than before. Robbed of the chance to gather intelligence while maintaining the element of surprise, the New Promise Mandarinate faces the prospect of organized resistance and an inevitable Camarilla counterattack while they fortify their holdings.
Australia was not targeted by the Quincunx, but by luminaries of House Genji, who heard of the endeavour and sought to repeat it. Their invasion started with the assassination of Prince Miranda of Adelaide in December of 1999. This started a conflict between the new Kuei-jin Court and the Sabbat diocese of Brisbane, the independent city of Sydney and the Camarilla domain of Melbourne. The Prince of Melbourne, however, chose to betray his compatriots after he received an offer of aid from the Green Courts, who offered him aid against the gaki in exchange for Brisbane. As it stands, Melbourne is still part of the Camarilla, Adelaide is Genji territory, Sydney remains independent and Brisbane is officially controlled by a Green Courtier, although there is still a sizeable Sabbat force that continues to fight. The conflict is mainly fought via espionage and intelligence gathering on the opposing sides.
Even as early as the Victorian Age, there had been sightings of Wan Kuei in places like Istanbul and St. Petersburg. In an age of ever greater interconnectedness, some Kuei-jin choose to leave the Middle Kingdom altogether behind. Expatriates have reached Chinatowns all over the world, though the concentration is highest in the United States. Cities that have a Kuei-jin population are Boston, New York City and London (any attempts of the Kuei-jin to colonize Chicago, however, have failed due to mysterious influences). Vancouver is a traditional stronghold of House Bishamon among the Clans of the Sun, and the main center of activity of the gaki on the American continent. Many of these Kuei-jin have dwelled there before the Great Leap Outward, and are resentful of any aggressive newcomers.
The Resplendant Cranes, regardless of their regional affiliation, after seeing the success of the New Promise Mandarinate, have begun to discuss what regions of the world should next be targeted. Some suggest Peru, others want to focus on India and its various heretical dharmas. Others have noticed that the strange force that once barred entry into Russia has vanished, and want to investigate. Other rumors place a new Kuei-jin invasion force in the Kosovo.
Voices among the Wan Kuei have risen to decry the Great Leap Outward as futile, wasteful and, overall, simply stupid. Devil-Tigers criticize that it is not the duty of the Hungry Dead to travel abroad and try to kill foreign supernaturals, distasteful as they might be, when akuma infest the Courts and the Sixth Age draws near.Enemies among the Wise Centipedes see the Great Leap Outward as an attempt of (mainly) young Cranes to lay blame for the Middle Kingdom's woes at the feet of someone else. The Jade Court within the Quincunx recently had a bodhisattva prophecy that the Great Leap Outward would only weaken the Blood Court in the long run, although no one listened to him.
Observations in San Francisco show that the Kuei-jin carry the reach of the Yomi World with them. This allows the Yama Kings to access resources that they do not have within their traditional domains. The Yama King that most profits from the Great Leap Outward is Mikaboshi, who has several Broken Mirrors within San Francisco. Some Kuei-jin have made the connection, but fear of voicing their suspicions too loud as to not be declared akuma.
Though the Kuei-jin are not as monolithic as outsiders believe, there has been an amount of cooperation among them in the Great Leap Outward unprecedented since the mid of the Fifth Age. Naturally, the various forces have their own agendas.
The Blood Court was the main instigator of the Great Leap Outward and is still its most ardent supporter. Outside of Beijing, however, support becomes more scarce. The Flesh Court and the Flame Court have their own problems, both being only recently reintegrated into the structures of the Quincunx. The Bone Court sends only token forces to appease the Blood Court Ancestor, while concentrating mainly on finding a way to enter the lost territory of the White Tiger Court. The Jade Court is mainly passive, with one of its bodhisattvas voicing criticism against the campaign. Despite this, Kuei-jin of all Dharmas and Courts have volunteered to take part in the effort, most hoping to escape oppressive Ancestors and traditions into places where they can carve out new domains for themselves.
The Clans of the SunEdit
Among the various uji, House Genji is the most active within the Great Leap Outward. While they do not openly collaborate with the Quincunx, numerous Genji wu's have left for the New Promise Mandarinate. The aim for House Genji is twofold: First they can dispose troublemakers and other rough members, and second, they can try to advance their own agenda by exerting influence in various companies abroad, gaining resources that their own economy lacks. Their rivals, House Bishamon, instead focus on strengthening existing gaki communities around the globe, hoping to gain their support back home.
Those Gaki who already had established domains outside the Middle Kingdom, however, are outraged at the Quincunx imperialistic effort. In San Francisco, the gaki openly cooperate with their conspecifics, but in secret hope to aid the Kindred in ousting the chinese occupators and sending them back where they came from.
The Green CourtsEdit
The vampires of Korea’s Green Courts take a keen interest in the Great Leap Outward and the renewed vigor infusing the Quincunx’ s August Courts. For centuries, the Green Courts remained carefully nonpartisan in the politics of the Middle Kingdom, a strategy that served them well. Now the creation of the New Promise Mandarinate threatens to upset the Green Courts’ long-standing monopoly as a safe haven for those on the fringes of Kueijin society. Many outcast or rogue vampires make their way to Los Angeles and San Francisco, either to lose themselves among the press of the mortal herd or possibly redeem themselves in their elders’ eyes. The Green Courts sends its wu to undermine every effort of establishing permanent Courts outside the Middle Kingdom, fearing what it will bode for them.
The Golden Courts have no involvement in the Great Leap Outward, although individual wu might flee from the Penangallan into foreign lands. In their eyes, the Great Leap Outward is a political ploy of the Chinese to gather more influence. If it lastingly succeeds, then, perhaps, the Golden Courts will become involved, but not at the moment.
- , p. 180