Demi-Gods & Semi-Devils factions
The Duan Clan of Dali was the ruling family of the Dali Kingdom. The founding Emperor Song Taizu of the Song Empire declared all land south of the Dadu River belonged to the Dali Kingdom. The kingdom supplied the Song Empire with war horses and was famed for its high quality marble.
The Song Empire was the imperial dynasty that ruled the Central Plains with its capital in Kaifeng. Although the threat to its west decreased with the break up of the Tibetan Empire, the empire still had to contend with the Western Xia Empire to the north-west, and the Liao Empire to the north-east. Jurchen nomadic tribes roamed the plains north of the Song Empire. The Tibetans in the west were ruled by warlords who posed little threat, while the Dali Kingdom to the south-west maintained a cordial relationship with Song.
The Liao Empire was the Khitan imperial dynasty that ruled the North and Northeastern Plains. After surviving a rebellion, the Liao Empire’s army marched south towards Yanmen Pass to invade the Song Empire.
Western Xia Empire
The Western Xia Empire was the Tangut imperial dynasty to the northwest of the Song Empire. It occupied the Hexi Corridor along the Silk Road. The Western Xia First-rank Hall were mercenaries recruited to serve Western Xia.
The Jurchen tribes were a semi-nomadic people who roamed the North Plains. They lacked a central authority and were vassals of the powerful Liao Empire. They later united under leadership against Liao and eventually formed the Jin Empire.
Factions and organisations flourished within each country. Some of the royalties became involved in the jianghu due to their power and influence, while others became known due to their family martial arts.
Duan Clan of Dali
The Duan Clan of Dali was the ruling family of the Dali Kingdom. The Duan Clan’s Yiyang Finger was renowned in the jianghu and was a martial art passed down the family.
Shaolin Order was a Buddhist monastic organisation based in Shaolin Monastery on Mount Song in Henan. It was the largest and most reputable faction in the wulin.
The Beggars’ Guild was a fraternity organisation for beggars. The Guild was the largest organisation in the lands with millions of members. Its membership extended across both banks of the Yangtze River, within and beyond the Shanhai Pass to the east and Jiayu Pass to the west. With its massive membership, it had a vast spy network.
Xiaoyao Order was founded by Xiaoyaozi. Based on Mount Wuliang, the Order was known for its extraordinary members. The men were handsome and the women beautiful. Each of them possessed easy elegance, uncommon intelligence, and profound wisdom.
Deaf Mute Sect
Deaf Mute Sect (聋哑门; lóngyǎmén) was founded by Su Xinghe. After his shixiong Ding Chunqiu pushed his shifu Wuyazi off a cliff, he swore a vow of silence. He expelled his eight disciples from Xiaoyao Order and established the Deaf Mute Sect.
The Sect followed his Wuyazi’s teachings, except for one new rule. All disciples had to agree to having their tongues cut off and their eardrums pierced. His former disciples thus joined him under the Deaf Mute Sect and became known as the Eight Friends of Han Valley, each known for their excellence in their preferred field, including music, weiqi, books, painting, medicine, soil works, flower tending, and opera.
Xingxiu Sect (星宿派; Xīngxiù pài) was founded by Ding Chunqiu. Disillusioned by his shifu Wuyazi’s lack of faith in him and refusal to make him the next zhangmen, Ding Chunqiu’s faction specialised in the use of poisons.
The members of Xingxiu Sect performed many evil deeds and became notorious throughout the jianghu.
Lingjiu Palace (灵鹫宫; Língjiù gōng) was located in the Piaomiao Peak of Tianshan, to the west of Western Xia. It was an offshoot of Xiaoyao Order established by the Tianshan Child Granny. The Palace controlled most of the fraternities and secret societies from the Central Plains to the southeastern coast.
Murong Clan of Gusu
The Murong Clan of Gusu (姑苏幕容氏; Gūsū Mùróng shì) originated from the royal family that ruled the Yan states, including Former Yan, Western Yan, Later Yan, and Southern Yan. The Murong Clan was renowned in the Jiangnan for their martial arts prowess.