The Vajrapani are one of the sects of the Akashic Brotherhood. They are the most martial of all the sects, and pursue Drahma through duty. They are also known as the Scales of the Dragon, the Warriors and the Warring Fist; the last name, while common, is considered something of an insult.
The original Vajrapani believed hard physical labor would lead to enlightenment; the fact that it also made them very adept at combat slowly transformed them into a military order. By the period of the Himalayan Wars, the Vajrapani had the specific mission of protecting the Brotherhood from all possible threats, and their general, Chan Ng, lead the initial assault on the cults that would one day become the Euthanatos.
After this period, the Vajrapani fractured; the Li-Hai split off from the rest of the order, while those who remained spread throughout eastern Asia, becoming enmeshed in local culture and local politics. In Japan, they were tightly intertwined with the samurai class, and rejected calls from mainland Akashics to cooperate with Mongolian invaders, leading to a schism that lasted until the Grand Convocation. In Korean, they attached themselves to the Hwarang warrior class. In China, the rise of the Ming dynasty sent many Vajrapani into monasteries, convinced that the world had no more need of their military prowess; they later worked with the Shi-Ren to mount an underground resistance against the Manchu dynasty and the Wu Lung who backed them, and later still, against Western imperialism.
The twentieth century saw Vajrapani fighting one another as Japan invaded both Korea and China, but like the rest of the Akashics, the horror of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought them back together.
Traditionally, the Vajrapani preferred to recruit from within their own family lines, but this is increasingly difficult; of the 36 families historically associated with the sect, less than half of them have any Awakened members at any time. Particularly in the West, they may operate out of martial arts clubs instead, recruiting Sleeper allies who can teach the fundamentals of Do and other martial arts while the Awakened sifu seek out apprentices. They still tend to see each other as an extended family, and this solidarity makes them particularly dangerous.
Moreso than any other Akashic sect, the Vajrapani use their fighting skills to focus their magic. Some of the most noteworthy Vajrapani societes are:
- The Tenshin Arashi Ryu, a Japanese martial fellowship that focuses on archery, swordsmanship and mounted combat. Their bodhimandala is open to any Vajrapani and, except for those from Korea, most take advantage of the chance to study there.
- The Banner of the Ebon Dragon, based in China, treads a fine line between state-sanctioned martial arts practice and state-banned spirituality. Their North American arm is called the Heilong Athletic Society.
- In Korea, the Sulsa are a secretive Vajrapani sect that shares a lengthy tradition with the Kannagara and the Jnani. Members of the Sulsa forge their own blades, and combine precision swordplay with invisibility and mind-control. Unlike most Vajrapani groups, they have no Sleeper allies supporting their efforts.