The Sun Kingdom

Seeking Narcissa

Monks preaching piety, devotion and the donation of 20% of your gold to holy causes are never the most welcome of dinner guests and such has been their fate throughout history; trying to convince the rich and powerful to be their patrons instead of their executioners on the promise of coming back as a sea turtle in the next life. Since leaving their mountain-top aeries across the Himalayas, they spread like a gentle bubbling tide across East Asia with varying amounts of success. Some convinced kings and warlords to embrace the rotational concept of the universe and thus became holy lands where slavery and piety were more or less intertwined, whereas other lands saw them as nothing more than shaved head robe-wearing dissidents and favoured the slash and burn method of monk management. Yet hardy were their hearts and well-wearing were their sandals as they trekked ever on, forgetting the smell and taste of yaks butter and milk.

The nascent kingdom of Narcissa proved quite fertile ground for their order, which had been reshaped by the landscape, and they had a timely arrival during the 7th War of the Soybean in the Year of the Fetid Monkey. The Yoon clan was all chagrined with the Go clan who had somehow insulted the honour of the Yoons one Lunar New Year Festival and had not sent the 12 sacks of dried soybeans in penance as dictated by tradition. Naturally, this had erupted into the bloodiest war ever suffered on the peninsula and left countless thousands dead and dying. The monks acted as superb mediators, demonstrating that since soybeans grew absolutely everywhere in the country, they should simply give each other a field large enough to yield the 12 sacks. Joy rang throughout the land, and temples were erected on every available hilltop at the sense and logic these brave holy strangers had brought. Pax Deorum reigned. For exactly 42 years. Modern young kings with modern young ideas saw the monks as nothing but relics with nice art and too much influence over the minds of the people, and using a few well-chosen concubine-based rumours, had them chased from the cliff tops. Seizing all their knowledge and sacred texts, the monks fled to the coast and prayed for divine intervention. The beach they landed on seemed to fit the bill. A gentle and curious people greeted them and nursed them to health on a diet of raw fish (which was the first thing they banned when they regained their position) and green tea. Thriving in this strange island of intense politeness and well-meaning helpfulness, the monks acclimatised to the point they no longer felt foreign, and the gentle yet dramatic landscape shaped their thoughts and beliefs as much as their history books did. Warriors, lovers and fortune-tellers visited them to receive and give various wisdoms: the most important being the total lack of sin, which was novel for a monk to believe. 200 years after their arrival, the blended culture of the Sun Kingdom was born based on the mistaken belief that rather than a rich melting pot of influences and sources, they had, in fact, been born fully formed from the sun itself and were therefore basically, gods.

Misguided beliefs allow incendiary personalities to rise to the fore, and fractures become insurrections until a young boy king is little more than a symbol of office around which the wolves circle waiting for the right time to strike. Sleeping dragons could easily fall prey to the nighttime terrors across the water.