The Wu T'ian, the Family of Heaven, are the Asian counterparts to the western mummies. They do not owe their allegiance to Osiris and were in turn not affected by the creation of the Amenti and the new Spell of Life.
History and CreationEdit
Even before the rise of Egypt and South America, the Chinese searched for eternal life. With the lore of Taoism, eight persons finally succeeded and became the Eight Immortals, servants of the Celestial Bureaucracy and advisors to the August Personage in Jade.
But with the turning of the Wheel of Ages, things get darker and now, the Wan Xian fell from grace and the Yama Kings get more and more powerful. They know that the Sixth Age is approaching and that denying this won't change it. But they seek to save what is worth saving and to prolong the Fifth Age as long as possible to achieve this.
To this reason, the Eight Immortals searched for the descendants of wise men and worthy adherents to the way of Tao and gave them the Elixir of Eternal Life. They tasked them with protecting the Ten Thousand Things, be it in the Middle Kingdom, the Yin World, the Yang World or even the Hells of Yomi Wan.
The Elixir of Eternal Life transfers the soul to the Gates of Heaven, where the would-be Wu T'ian is confronted by a Jing Shen (a servant of either the Ebon Dragon or the Scarlet Phoenix, in regard to their orientation), who will fuse with the soul of the Reborn and turns him into a Wu T'ian, strengthen the soul. This will make him able to pass the gate and get his instructions from the Eight Immortals.
A Wu T'ian who dies leaves no part of them behind when they journey to the Gates of Heaven. As they go once more to meet with the Eight Immortals and contemplate their purpose in the world and the battle against the Demon Emperor, no portion of the Wu T'ian remains behind to protect his physical shell. Fortunately, Heaven watches after its own. The Wu T'ian are protected by joss, or luck itself. Like the illi of the Teomallki, this represents an outside, abstract force that causes misfortune for those who would disturb the rest of the Reborn. Any action the interloper attempts against the Wu T'ian's body is met with accidents, as though everything he tries goes wrong.
The First Lives of the Wu T'ian were universally spent in contemplation of the ways of Tao. Most of them were philosophers or religious men of some form or another. Although there's still great room for personalization, the Wu T'ian will probably appear more similar to one another. In contrast to the other Dynasties, they have no Tem-Akh or similar soul fragment and so only the Second Life to begin with. They follow the forces of Fate with the way of Tao and let fate guide their way. All Wu T'ian have to adhere to the Ten Mandates of Heaven.
The Wu T'ian see their place in the divine order very differently than do either the Amenti or the Teomallki. The meditations required to maintain inner peace and to comprehend the worlds around them — to say nothing of the services demanded by the Eight Immortals — require that the Wu T'ian spend longer between reincarnations than the Amenti. Because their spirits are whole, however, and because they tend to more fully understand their own natures, they find it easier to pierce the veil between the Lands of the Dead and the world of the living when they attempt to return.
When a Wu T'ian completes his task, he has to return to the Gates of Heaven in order to await new instructions and tasks by the Eight Immortals. To this end, he has achieve a complete lifeless state.
The ultimate goal of every Wu T'ian is to gain total Balance between the Yin and Yang forces within him and, in turn, to give the world the same balance.
The Taoists have a rich tradition of funerary rites and rituals. The burial of the dead requires substantial ceremony. They don't, however, have a tradition of entombment such as the Egyptians or the Incas. Their dead are simply buried (or, in some cases, cremated). The Wu T'ian, therefore, have fewer universal tendencies when it comes to their selection of tombs. They prefer, where possible, to be near a site of religious significance, but this is of secondary importance to choosing a location that will be difficult to locate and easy to protect. The principles of Feng Shui are often invoked in choosing the location of a tomb. Feng Shui practitioners maintain that a hillside is the most auspicious site for a burial — the higher the better — and the Wu T'ian prefer to obey this tradition when circumstances permit. The sanctuary of a Wu T'ian is frequently substantially smaller and more cramped than that of another Reborn. It's often barely large enough for the body and the few items the mummy feels he may need in his travels to and from the Gates of Heaven and beyond the Middle Kingdom. Less bound by ancient traditions of burial, they are also more likely to rely on modern, high-tech alarm systems for protection, rather than traps and hazards of a more ancient sort.
Differences to other RebornEdit
The Wu T'ian don't practice Necromancy, having developed unique arts to their Dynasties to reflect their purpose in the world.