- In the mysterious East, in the steamy jungles and open plains, the forgotten temples crumble under the weight of vines and lurking creatures, and civilization flourishes in the crowded cities. Here is the Orient, the land of ancient secrets. Three pantheons hold sway - the Chinese, Indian, and Japanese - and they've managed to work their way to a powerful spot in the multiverse, with worshippers spread across hundreds of crystal spheres.
- These three pantheons are known as the "Reclusive Pantheons" for their gradual isolation and withdraw from planar politics.
On hundreds of prime-material worlds, emperors establish rigid dynasties, claiming to have received their rulership by a mandate from the Celestial Emperor - a clear sign of divine favor. Their duties are to act as mediators between the powers and mortal sods not fortunate enough to have more direct access to the gods. Emperors must also keep unruly spirits of the land in line, and when natural disasters befall their worlds, it means the people have displeased the powers in some way.
Fact is, the mortal bloods do indeed receive a mandate from the Celestial Bureaucracy, an organization of powers who work for Shang-ti, the Celestial Emperor. Each of the deities performs certain assigned tasks. They all report to their superiors, who report to their superiors, and so on up a chain of command that stops with Shang-ti, who receives the veneration of the mortals and immortals alike. The Emperor then returns the favor, using his gathered strength to nourish his servants. If a berk fails in his tasks, he can be replaced. Thus, all involved have a vested interest in making sure their jobs are done well.
The Celestial Bureaucracy (Chinese Powers)
|Chung Kuel||Truth, testing|
|Fu Hsing||Happiness, joy|
|K'ung Fu-tzu||Veneration of the past, social behavior|
|Kuan-ti||Diplomacy, protection, fortune-telling|
|Kuan Yin||Childbirth, mercy|
|Lao Tzu||Mystic insight, nature|
|Lei Kung||Thunder, vengeance|
|Lu Hsing||Bureaucracy, social order|
|Shang-ti||Creation, social order|
|Shou Hsing||Long life|