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  • The Three Kingdoms Settings & Diyu

    I love the Three Kingdoms write-up in Dark Eras, and I just wish there'd been more room so we could have gotten more on Diyu and the Yama Kings (the 10 Kereboi who lord over the Dead Dominions known to the era's Wuchang Gui (Sin-Eaters)). Obviously there's some conceptual overlap here with Kindred of the East (partially just due to some the same source-material), so I feel free drawing on that, with the note that the degree to which some of the Yama Kings may be corrupt and Diyu thrown into chaos during the Three Kingdoms era is due to the fall of the Mandate of Heaven on earth. Once "proper" imperial rule under Heaven is restored, Diyu may be brought back to order under Yanlou, with all the Kings serving their proper function in the cycle of purification and reincarnation under their realms' Old Laws.

    My thinking on the official distribution of sinners to the Second through Ninth Court is that the rules are convoluted and esoteric, and thus not incredibly worth dwelling on. Something as minor the person's age when they committed a sin, the age of a given victim, what time of year it was, what emotion they were feeling, etc etc etc can all influence some fine-print legalize that determines the hell they're technically supposed to sent to, and the fact that Qinguang is corrupt leads to a great deal of exploitable juggling in the interpretation of those rules.


    First Court- judgment of souls, King Qinguang's main agenda is the collection of bribes from the living, the dead, and other Yama Kings

    Second Court- Blistering Cold, King Chujiang's main agenda is to achieve enlightenment in oblivion for himself

    Third Court- The Upside-Down Hell, King Songdi's main agenda is a mystery, but information is his currency

    Fourth Court- crushing labor pit of salt and iron, King Wiguan's agenda is to reign supreme in Diyu through the usurping of souls from his brothers

    Fifth Court- artistic mutilation, Yanlou himself just wants order restored to Diyu and the dead brought back into line on earth

    Sixth Court- rampaging beasts, King Piencheng is a game hunter who just wants to amuse himself

    Seventh Court- boiling oil, King Taishan vehemently hates Geists and the Bargain, and wants all Bound destroyed

    Eighth Court- burrowing maggots, King Dushi desires life, and seeks to cultivate an organic form that can support him out of the consumed essence of the dead

    Ninth Court- being skinned alive, King Pingdeng wants to inflict the vendettas of the dead upon the living

    Tenth Court- reincarnation, King Zhuanlun wants to help all the dead facilitate their release for reincarnation


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  • #2
    So, no one has their own thoughts to add on the Yama Kings and Diyu of the Three Kingdoms of Darkness era?


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    • #3
      Alas no cuz I'm not terribly well-read on Kindred of the East, but I can say that as I play on Kuei-Jin as being Sin-Eaters in my games which mix-matches old and new, I intend on drawing from this to help shape them further. Thanks for taking the time to write it up; by all means do continue =)

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      • #4
        My biggest problem is that the First Court should be the highest, but as a bureaucratic court room it needs the most Old Laws.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Karavolos View Post
          Alas no cuz I'm not terribly well-read on Kindred of the East, but I can say that as I play on Kuei-Jin as being Sin-Eaters in my games which mix-matches old and new, I intend on drawing from this to help shape them further. Thanks for taking the time to write it up; by all means do continue =)
          It's not super-based on KotE where the Yama Kings are just nefarious my evil for its own sake.


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          • #6
            A positive in my book. Though I have no problems with people -thinking- they are super-evulz. Anyhow carry on; what's the problem with the First Court? Thinking up what the Old Laws will be?

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            • #7
              If they're the first in the descending series, the need the fewest Old Laws, but thematically need the most.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                If they're the first in the descending series, the need the fewest Old Laws, but thematically need the most.
                Thoughts:
                • Diyu is actually a "tower" with the Courts ascending from the entry-level of the First Court (in counter to the usual Underworld logic). Figuring out why that is, is another great mystery to unravel.
                • Diyu is actually only a single Dead Dominion with internally nested layers, and some of the Old Laws are only applicable (or their exact nature/interpretation changes) in regards to certain layers.
                • The Old Laws of the First Court include/reference/allow other statues to be declared (IE. OBEY ALL JUDGEMENTS ISSUED BY THE MINISTERS). This allows for comparatively few Old Laws, but for a tangled body of legislative statues and by-laws to still hold sway. The "Never face right when entering a red bound archway" law might not be an Old Law, but since a Minister issued it, disobeying it violates the above Old Law. Is it tantamount to cheating? Sure, but that seems to be the point.


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                • #9
                  I thought about the idea of the First Court being at the bottom, but given how the Underworld works, how would Ghosts and Sin-Eaters get there first?


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                    I thought about the idea of the First Court being at the bottom, but given how the Underworld works, how would Ghosts and Sin-Eaters get there first?
                    All access points to the upper Courts from the surrounding Lower Reaches are inaccessible. The only entrance to these layered Domains, is via the First, which has access points to the Second, and so on. If you did find a secret access tunnel though...


                    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                    • #11
                      How does someone get to the first though, if not crossing a river from the Autochthonous Depths.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                        How does someone get to the first though, if not crossing a river from the Autochthonous Depths.

                        Oh, they still cross rivers. But lets say the Tenth Court is coterminous with Level 1 of the Underworld. You cross the first river, and are technically next to the Tenth Court, but there is no way in you can see. This repeats until you cross 10 rivers (Level 10), where you can gain entry to the First Court. Inside there, you can find an entry way into the Second Court, and so on.

                        Personally, it is the most confusing option. But it should work, right?


                        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                        • #13
                          Well it requires 10 additional Dead Domains, that would be more accessible and imminent than Diyu.

                          I like the idea of a model like you are describing existing in the underworld, but since Diyu needs to be the primary realms interacted with for the given setting, I don't think it works in this case.

                          I'd use your model for some series of descending hells, and then ascending paradises, accessible once a soul is "purified".


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                            Well it requires 10 additional Dead Domains, that would be more accessible and imminent than Diyu.

                            I like the idea of a model like you are describing existing in the underworld, but since Diyu needs to be the primary realms interacted with for the given setting, I don't think it works in this case.

                            I'd use your model for some series of descending hells, and then ascending paradises, accessible once a soul is "purified".
                            Purgatory is the lobby, eh?

                            What about the other models? 1 Dominion with zones for each of the Courts, or the First Court's Old Laws allowing other things to tie into it?


                            Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                            Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                            • #15
                              It's a bit much to cram into one realm (especially with the 10 Kereboi). I'm leaning toward "all rulings are final" "wait your turn" and "all forms filled in triplicate" as the Old Laws of the First Court - the first one covering most legalese administration.
                              Last edited by glamourweaver; 05-29-2016, 03:13 AM.


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