Sho

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History

On Ispar

Founding

The history of the Sho is intertwined with their mythology. For more information on the Sho creation story, see Religions and Beliefs. The legendary founder of the Sho Nation was Shou-Jen Rian. According to their beliefs, after dishonoring the Dragon of Power, Shou-Jen Rian and his kinsmen were driven west and south by the Dragon, who burned their crops and destroyed their villages.[1][2] The people were driven southwest for years, all the way to the sea.[1][2] There, the Shou-Jen family established a kingdom and named it after the Dragon (Ryujii) to placate the Elder.[3] However, six families instead sailed across the sea and founded their own kingdoms upon islands named after the Firebird (Iiwah) and the Unicorn (Chiran-tou).[1][2][3]

While the dates of the founding of the Sho Nation are unknown, we can some assumptions. The first is that the Ryu Jou Gai, the Order of the Dragon Temple, was founded after the founding of Ryujii since the Ryu Jou Gai is based at the Dragon Temple in the Sho homelands.[4] In Leafcull, 10 PY (1286 RC) the Ryu Jou Gai was said to have been founded over one thousand years ago, giving us an approximate date of 286 RC for the Order's founding. Thus, one can assume that the events of the founding of the Sho Nation took place at some point prior to that.

Given that this is a fantasy setting, it is entirely possible that the Sho creation story and their Elder spirits are real beings and the story of Shou-Jen Rian is true. However, if interpreting their mythology from a more secular point of view, it is possible that the Dragon destroying their crops and home and driving them to the sea is a metaphor for a stronger nation expanding their territory by claiming the old Sho homelands. If the Sho Nation was founded some time prior to 286 RC, the Roulean Empire could certainly be the rival nation. Another idea, presented on Warcry's Crossroads of Dereth's Sho introduction article is that the Dragon was a metaphor for volcanic activity.

Three Kingdoms

For centuries after the founding of the three kingdoms warlords feuded amongst themselves, mostly in the name of one of the Elder spirits or another.[3]

Over a thousand years ago (286 RC or earlier), the Ryu Jou Gai was founded.[4]

Around 800 years ago (approximately 486 RC) Jojii received a vision from Unicorn of Grace on how to reach Paradise by following four primary precepts: Humility, Discipline, Detachment and Compassion.[3] [5] This new religion, called Jojiism, would gradually become the guiding school of thought for the Sho.[3] For more on Jojiism, see Religions and Beliefs.

No more than 500 years ago (approximately 793 RC or later) the Tanada Clan of Nanjou Shou-Jen arose in the midst of a minor territorial war between the warlords Fansin Hanu and Kosu Jainan.[6]

300 years ago (986 RC) a split occured in the Chiran Jou Gai, the Order of the Unicorn Temple. While the Order focused on healing magic, the new group, the Chiran Jishui Dan or The Ranks of the Unicorn's Battle focused instead on battle magic.[4]

Unification and the Kou Dynasty

200 years ago (approximately 1086 RC), the Emperor Kou rose to power in Ryujii at the age of fifteen. Kou united the Sho people under his banner. Iiwah he took by force, invading with a massive fleet; Chiran-tou he took by peace, marrying the daughter of its ruler and moving his throne there. Then, he quickly began reforming Jojiism and encouraging its spread. Thus began the Kou dynasty, and the Sho people were at last unified under one Throne and one vision.[3]

At a very approximate date of 1176 RC (based on average human generational span and the ages of Kou and Kou-an) Empress Kou-an, great granddaughter of the Emperor Kou, ascended to the Throne of the Sho Empire at the age of fifteen. Guided by Jojiism, Kou-an in turn guided and refined the Sho culture. During her reign, Kou-an sen the Thousand Emissaries to the other nations of the Iron Sea, including Gharu'n, Milantos, Viamont, and Aluvia. Kou-an also decreed that the common trade language of the other nations, Roulean, be taught to all Sho.[7]

Present Day

As late as 1286 RC, the Sho still enjoyed the stability brought by the Kou Dynasty. Monasteries and temples provided a foundation of education and training for the populace.[3] The old rivalries between the three Elders and their associated Jojiist principles still remained. There were also rumors of secret groups who despise both Jojiism and the Kou Dynasty, and are loyal only to the Dragon.[3] Trade had begun with the two closest kingdoms, the Gharu'ndim and the Milantos, and the Sho were growing increasingly aware of the vast lands beyond their borders.[3]

In 1292 RC, the Gharu'ndim realm was shrinking as Viamontians aggressively expanded their territories. Some in the Sho Nation worried the Viamontians may target their lands next.[8]

On Dereth

Rulers

Name Bloodline Rank/Title Years of reign Notes
Shou-Jen Rian  ??  ??  ?? Legendary founder of the Sho Nation

Kou  ?? Emperor 1086 RC - ?? Emperor who united the Sho Nation under one banner.

Kou-an Granddaughter of Kou Empress 1176 RC - ?? Regarded as very wise. Sent 1000 emissaries to other nations of Ispar.

Sources: Sho Introduction, The Glorious Reign of Empress Kou-an,The Shou-Jen and the Founding of Ryuujii Version 1 and Version 2 & other sources cited on the Timeline of Ispar.

Culture

Religions and Beliefs

The Sho believe in a divine creator referred to as the One.[1][2][3] The One created the three Elders to rule the world: the Unicorn of Grace, the Firebird of Splendor, and the Dragon of Power. Humans were created as servants to the Unicorn of Grace.[3] But mankind forcibly rose above his station and seized the domain that Grace once ruled.[1][2][3] Grace left the world and was hidden, Splendor fled and became elusive, and the Dragon of Power became a treacherous ally to man.[3] This action by man caused the pillars of Heaven to shake so hard that many evil beasts, once imprisoned by the Elders in the darkness, to break free of their chains and come rushing back to the world of mankind.[1][2] Of these creatures the most feared was the Wind Serpent, son of the Dragon of Power. He had seven heads and rode upon the wind, breathing fire that consumed entire villages.[1][2]

The details of what came next are debated (see The Shou-Jen and the Founding of Ryuujii Version 1 and Version 2) but what is clear is that Shou-Jen Rian, aided by the the Unicorn and Firebird, was able to defeat the Wind Serpent.[1][2] The Dragon, seeing the people rejoicing and the remains of his son, was enraged and leaped down from Heaven. Though forbidden to destroy them, he drove the people across the land, burning their crops, destroying their homes, and forcing them to move on, until mankind was driven all the way to the sea.[1][2][3] There, the Shou-Jen family and others settled and named their kingdom after the Dragon (Ryujii) to placate the Elder. However, six families instead built boats, sailed away, and founded the island nations of Iiwah and Chiran-tou, named after the Firebird and Unicorn.[1][2][3]

For centuries after the founding the three kingdoms, the three Elder Spirits dominated the beliefs of the Sho. Around 800 years ago a man named Jojii received a vision from the Unicorn of Grace on how to reach Paradise.[3][5] In his vision, he saw four stones around him in a square: a stone named Humility was in front of him. A stone named Discipline was to his right. To his left was a stone named Detachment. And behind him was a stone called Compassion.[5] On this vision, Jojii said,

"I knew then that Humility must always be before me; that Discipline was my weapon to cleave through all foes and vices, and that Detachment was my shield against all hurts and sufferings. And ever supporting me and following me was Compassion, which should be the only footprint that I should leave behind in life. These Four Stones I saw as the foundations of living, the stones that pave the way to our return to Paradise." - Jojii Zhen Gai Comments on the Teachings of Jojii

After his vision, Jojii began to teach the Four Stones of Humility, Discipline, Detachment and Compassion. This new religion, called Jojiism, gradually became the guiding school of thought for the Sho.[3]

Customs and Traditions

From Winter Festivals from Ispar:

South and west of the Naqut, over the tall mountains, the Sho lands brace as both the water and the air grow cold. The weather can shift with little warning from clear skies to torrential, wind-driven rains that leave towns flooded and in ruins, and on the coldest days, snow falls from the sky and blankets the ground in a thin layer of white. Some say the first pure snow of the year is the funeral ashes of the Wind Dragon, slain so long ago by Shou-Jen.

During this time, the Imperial Capital traditionally threw open its gates, and the last of the fresh harvest was brought forth, after the bulk had been pickled, smoked, or dried for the rest of the winter. But seeing that many used the time purely for culinary excess, Emperor Kou, the founder of the Kou Dynasty, saw that wisdom's touch was needed. Believing that the Four Stones of discipline, compassion, detachment, and humility were the true foods of the soul, he decreed the celebrations must ultimately honor the Elder Spirits and the teachings of Jojii, for without truth, even the best of harvests means very little. He also decreed that the temples must release their students and acolytes during the celebration, not only to reunite families but also to permit them to glean wisdom from their students' studies.

So the temples and monasteries across the land now release their students and acolytes, who travel homeward amidst the first snowflakes to meet their families, share some of their hard-won knowledge, and enjoy days of feasting. Travelers began carrying lanterns and torches, and the waiting towns would welcome them home with a myriad of bright paper lanterns. Children too young for the monasteries especially seem to enjoy the season, when their elder siblings return home and all can engage in the festivities together. Some towns have gone so far as to host parades, celebrating the return of loved ones and another year of abundance. Thus, the Festival of Lights, starting at first as a gluttonous spectacle, grew moderated by wisdom, and came to be the celebration it now is.

The Sho lands are bright and bustling places during this season, with small groups of torchbearers walking the roads. For the Sho, the Festival of Lights is a time to accomplish great things, and reach out to assist one's neighbors.

Ranks

Rank Male Title Female Title
10 Koutei Koutei
9 Ou Jo-Ou
8 Taikou Taikou
7 Kou Kou
6 Kun-Chueh Kun-Chueh
5 Ta-Chueh Ta-Chueh
4 Shi-Chueh Shi-Chueh
3 Nan-Chueh Nan-Chueh
2 Jo-Chueh Jo-Chueh
1 Jinin Jinin

Real World Basis

The Sho culture is based on East Asian cultures, in particular the cultures of Japan and China.

Numerous names for Sho places and items are Japanese or Chinese. The word Ono is Japanese for "axe".[9] The word Yoroi comes from Ō-Yoroi, Japanese for "great armor".[10] The name of the forest town of Lin most likely comes from the Chinese name Lin, meaning "forest".[11]

The Sho naming system of having the surname first and the given name last is based on the naming traditions of China,[12] Japan,[13] Korea,[14] and Vietnam.[15]

The three elder spirits have basis in reality as well. Ryujii, the Dragon of Power is most likely based on the Japanese dragon god named Ryūjin. Chiran-Tou, the Unicorn of Grace, is most likely based on the Japanese and Korean Kirin, derived from the Chinese Qilin, sometimes called the Chinese unicorn. Iiwah, the Firebird of Splendor, may be based on the Fenghuang, the Chinese phoenix, although the names are not similar.

The Four Stones of Jojii are most likely based on the Taoist Three Jewels, which could be interpreted as compassion, humility, and frugality or simplicity. The four stones of Jojii change frugality or simplicity to detachment from worldly things, and add the fourth stone of discipline.

The four houses of the Tanada Clan of Nanjou Shou-Jen, Air, Earth, Water, and Fire, correspond to four of the five elements of Japanese philosophy and the four great elements of Buddhism.

Texts

  • Firebird's Splendor (Text) Icon.png
Firebird's Splendor (Text)
  • Jojii Zhen Gai Comments on the Teachings of Jojii Icon.png
Jojii Zhen Gai Comments on the Teachings of Jojii
  • Ken-Gou and the Curse of Attachment Icon.png
Ken-Gou and the Curse of Attachment
  • Letter From Home (Sho) Icon.png
Letter From Home (Sho)
  • Loka Jii Learns to Hunt Icon.png
Loka Jii Learns to Hunt
  • On the Four Stones and Three Elders Icon.png
On the Four Stones and Three Elders
  • Reflections of a Portal Icon.png
Reflections of a Portal
  • Scrawled Note (Jojii) Icon.png
Scrawled Note (Jojii)
  • Stone of the Firebird (Text) Icon.png
Stone of the Firebird (Text)
  • The Collected Writings of Jhong Mi Icon.png
The Collected Writings of Jhong Mi
  • The Emperor's Blade Icon.png
The Emperor's Blade
  • The Journal of Nandesu Ka Icon.png
The Journal of Nandesu Ka
  • The Rise and Fall of the Tanada Icon.png
The Rise and Fall of the Tanada
  • The Story of Ben Ten and Yanshi Icon.png
The Story of Ben Ten and Yanshi
  • The Story of Koji and the Dragon of Power Icon.png
The Story of Koji and the Dragon of Power
  • The Story of Koji's Sword Icon.png
The Story of Koji's Sword
  • Unicorn's Grace (Text) Icon.png
Unicorn's Grace (Text)


  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Sho (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Baishi (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Freehold (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Hebian-To (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Kara (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Kryst (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Lin (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Mayoi (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Nanto (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Sawato (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Shoushi (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Tou-Tou (Town Network Sign)
  • Generic Sign Icon.png
Yanshi (Town Network Sign)

Internet Articles

Factions

Items

Generic Weapons
  • Dagger (Weapon) Icon.png
Dagger (Weapon)
  • Jitte Icon.png
Jitte
  • Jo Icon.png
Jo
  • Ken Icon.png
Ken
  • Light Crossbow Icon.png
Light Crossbow
  • Nekode Icon.png
Nekode
  • Ono Icon.png
Ono
  • Shou-ono Icon.png
Shou-ono
  • Shouyumi Icon.png
Shouyumi
  • Shouken Icon.png
Shouken
  • Tachi Icon.png
Tachi
  • Tofun Icon.png
Tofun
  • War Hammer Icon.png
War Hammer
  • Wand (Sho) Icon.png
Wand (Sho)
  • Yari Icon.png
Yari
  • Yaoji Icon.png
Yaoji
  • Yumi Icon.png
Yumi


Generic Armor
  • Kabuton Icon.png
Kabuton
  • Kote Icon.png
Kote
  • Yoroi Breastplate Icon.png
Yoroi Breastplate
  • Yoroi Cuirass Icon.png
Yoroi Cuirass
  • Yoroi Girth Icon.png
Yoroi Girth
  • Yoroi Leggings Icon.png
Yoroi Leggings
  • Yoroi Pauldrons Icon.png
Yoroi Pauldrons
  • Yoroi Sleeves Icon.png
Yoroi Sleeves


Generic Clothing & Accessories
  • Kasa Icon.png
Kasa
  • Suikan Robe Icon.png
Suikan Robe
  • Yifan Dress Icon.png
Yifan Dress


Heritage Masks
  • Ogre Mask Icon.png
Ogre Mask
  • Koji's Beast Icon.png
Koji's Beast
  • Koji's Fiend Icon.png
Koji's Fiend
  • Koji's Visage Icon.png
Koji's Visage
  • The Dragon of Power Icon.png
The Dragon of Power


Weapons
  • Feathered Razor Icon.png
Feathered Razor
  • Fist of Enlightenment Icon.png
Fist of Enlightenment
  • Green Mire Yari Icon.png
Green Mire Yari
  • Jitte of Law Icon.png
Jitte of Law
  • Mi Krau-Li's Jitte Icon.png
Mi Krau-Li's Jitte
  • Mi Krau-Li's Improved Jitte Icon.png
Mi Krau-Li's Improved Jitte
  • Mi Krau-Li's Remastered Jitte Icon.png
Mi Krau-Li's Remastered Jitte
  • Moriharu's Kitchen Knife Icon.png
Moriharu's Kitchen Knife
  • Orb of Splendor Icon.png
Orb of Splendor
  • Pillar of Fearlessness Icon.png
Pillar of Fearlessness
  • Serpent's Flight Icon.png
Serpent's Flight
  • Sword of Soroku Icon.png
Sword of Soroku
  • Tachi of Grace Icon.png
Tachi of Grace


Armor
  • Breastplate of Grace Icon.png
Breastplate of Grace
  • Breastplate of Power Icon.png
Breastplate of Power
  • Breastplate of Splendor Icon.png
Breastplate of Splendor
  • Greater Koujia Shadow Breastplate Icon.png
Greater Koujia Shadow Breastplate
  • Greater Koujia Shadow Leggings Icon.png
Greater Koujia Shadow Leggings
  • Greater Koujia Shadow Sleeves Icon.png
Greater Koujia Shadow Sleeves
  • Green Mire Yoroi Cuirass Icon.png
Green Mire Yoroi Cuirass
  • Lesser Koujia Shadow Breastplate Icon.png
Lesser Koujia Shadow Breastplate
  • Lesser Koujia Shadow Leggings Icon.png
Lesser Koujia Shadow Leggings
  • Lesser Koujia Shadow Sleeves Icon.png
Lesser Koujia Shadow Sleeves
  • Koujia Shadow Breastplate Icon.png
Koujia Shadow Breastplate
  • Koujia Shadow Leggings Icon.png
Koujia Shadow Leggings
  • Koujia Shadow Sleeves Icon.png
Koujia Shadow Sleeves
  • Nexus Koujia Breastplate Icon.png
Nexus Koujia Breastplate
  • Nexus Koujia Leggings Icon.png
Nexus Koujia Leggings
  • Nexus Koujia Sleeves Icon.png
Nexus Koujia Sleeves
  • Pathwarden Yoroi Leggings Icon.png
Pathwarden Yoroi Leggings
  • Pathwarden Yoroi Hauberk Icon.png
Pathwarden Yoroi Hauberk
  • Prismatic Koujia Breastplate Icon.png
Prismatic Koujia Breastplate
  • Prismatic Koujia Leggings Icon.png
Prismatic Koujia Leggings
  • Prismatic Koujia Sleeves Icon.png
Prismatic Koujia Sleeves
  • Shield of Power Icon.png
Shield of Power
  • Shield of Truth Icon.png
Shield of Truth
  • Shield of Yanshi Icon.png
Shield of Yanshi
  • Shou-jen Jika-Tabi Icon.png
Shou-jen Jika-Tabi
  • Shou-jen Shozoku Jacket Icon.png
Shou-jen Shozoku Jacket
  • Shou-jen Shozoku Mask Icon.png
Shou-jen Shozoku Mask
  • Shou-jen Shozoku Sleeve Gauntlets Icon.png
Shou-jen Shozoku Sleeve Gauntlets
  • Shou-jen Shozoku Trousers Icon.png
Shou-jen Shozoku Trousers
  • Sollerets of Grace Icon.png
Sollerets of Grace


Clothing & Accessories
  • Channeled Tanada Medallion Icon.png
Channeled Tanada Medallion
  • Colosseum Master's Robe Icon.png
Colosseum Master's Robe
  • Dansha-Ki's Gem of Portal Recall Icon.png
Dansha-Ki's Gem of Portal Recall
  • Dansha-Ki's Ring Icon.png
Dansha-Ki's Ring
  • Gem of Balance Icon.png
Gem of Balance
  • Miyako's Moonstone Icon.png
Miyako's Moonstone
  • Pathwarden Robe (Sho) Icon.png
Pathwarden Robe (Sho)
  • Suikan Creature Apprentice Robe Icon.png
Suikan Creature Apprentice Robe
  • Suikan Item Apprentice Robe Icon.png
Suikan Item Apprentice Robe
  • Suikan Life Apprentice Robe Icon.png
Suikan Life Apprentice Robe
  • Suikan War Apprentice Robe Icon.png
Suikan War Apprentice Robe
  • Suikan Creature Master Robe Icon.png
Suikan Creature Master Robe
  • Suikan Item Master Robe Icon.png
Suikan Item Master Robe
  • Suikan Life Master Robe Icon.png
Suikan Life Master Robe
  • Suikan War Master Robe Icon.png
Suikan War Master Robe


Decorations
  • Bending Willow and Setting Sun Icon.png
Bending Willow and Setting Sun
  • Falling Leaves Icon.png
Falling Leaves
  • Fat Vase Icon.png
Fat Vase
  • Font of Jojii Icon.png
Font of Jojii
  • Jade Shrine Icon.png
Jade Shrine
  • Screen Icon.png
Screen
  • Sho Festival Light Icon.png
Sho Festival Light
  • Sho Floor Pillow Icon.png
Sho Floor Pillow
  • Sho Lantern Icon.png
Sho Lantern


Miscellaneous
  • Brazier of Power Icon.png
Brazier of Power
  • Crystals of Grace Icon.png
Crystals of Grace
  • Enlightened Master's Medallion Icon.png
Enlightened Master's Medallion
  • Golden Shuriken of Tanada Icon.png
Golden Shuriken of Tanada
  • Grace and Power Icon.png
Grace and Power
  • Jade Medallion of the Depths Icon.png
Jade Medallion of the Depths
  • Jojii Shrine Icon.png
Jojii Shrine
  • Medallion of Breath Icon.png
Medallion of Breath
  • Medallion of Earth Icon.png
Medallion of Earth
  • Medallion of Metal Icon.png
Medallion of Metal
  • Medallion of Stone Icon.png
Medallion of Stone
  • Medallion of Storms Icon.png
Medallion of Storms
  • Medallion of the Sword Icon.png
Medallion of the Sword
  • Medallion of Wind Icon.png
Medallion of Wind
  • Power, Grace and Splendor Icon.png
Power, Grace and Splendor
  • Pure Water Icon.png
Pure Water
  • Rock of Splendor Icon.png
Rock of Splendor
  • Scroll of Air Icon.png
Scroll of Air
  • Scroll of Earth Icon.png
Scroll of Earth
  • Scroll of Water Icon.png
Scroll of Water
  • Stone of Compassion Icon.png
Stone of Compassion
  • Stone of Humility Icon.png
Stone of Humility
  • Stone of Discipline Icon.png
Stone of Discipline
  • Stone of Detachment Icon.png
Stone of Detachment
  • Tanada Clan Master's Medallion Icon.png
Tanada Clan Master's Medallion
  • Tanada Gate Medallion Icon.png
Tanada Gate Medallion


Art & Images

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2001/11 Dark Majesty - The Shou-Jen and the Founding of Ryuujii (Version 1)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2001/11 Dark Majesty - The Shou-Jen and the Founding of Ryuujii (Version 2)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 1999/11 Release - Zogblaster Archive/Heritage Groups/Sho
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 1999/11 Release - Zogblaster Archive/Heritage Groups/Sho/Sho Factions
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 1999/11 Release - Jojii Zhen Gai Comments on the Teachings of Jojii
  6. 2006/11 Remembering the Past - The Rise and Fall of the Tanada
  7. 2001/11 Dark Majesty - The Glorious Reign of Empress Kou-an
  8. 2005/07 Throne of Destiny - Letter From Home (Sho)
  9. Wikipedia - Ono (weapon)
  10. Wikipedia - O-yoroi
  11. Behind the Name: Chinese Names
  12. Wikipedia - Chinese name
  13. Wikipedia - Japanese name
  14. Wikipedia - Korean name
  15. Wikipedia - Vietnamese name
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