Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils Factions
Shaolin Order (少林派 Shàolínpài) was a Buddhist monastic organisation from Mount Song in Henan. Abbot Xuanci was the leader of the Order.
Beggars’ Guild (丐帮 Gàibāng) 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.
Despite being made up of beggars, the organisation was not poor. The Guild invested in many projects and properties.
Qiao Feng was the Guild Leader of the Beggars. At that time, the twin pillars reigning the jianghu could be surmised in the phrase, “Qiao Feng in the North, Murong in the South.” His stature and martial arts prowess boosted the reputation of the Beggars’ Guild, especially with his mastery of the Guild’s legendary skill, Twenty-Eight Dragon-subduing Palms.
However, he discovered his Khitan heritage. The shame of being a tribesman of the despised barbarians forced him to step down as Guild Leader.
Xiaoyao Order (逍遥派 xiāoyáopài) was founded by Xiaoyaozi. Based on Mount Wuliang, the Order was known for its extraordinary members. The men were handsome and the women beautiful. All possessed easy elegance, uncommon intelligence, and profound wisdom.
The Order’s teachings emphasised on agile grace and refined elegance. However, Xiaoyao neigong required channeling qi from the Shaoshang acupoint to the Yunmen acupoint, the reverse of how neigong is usually practiced. Xiaoyao neigong also had high inner energy requirements.
Xiaoyaozi had three disciples, Tianshan Child Granny, Wuyazi, and Li Qiushui. He passed on the position of zhangmen to his second disciple Wuyazi, who took two disciples, Ding Chunqiu and Su Xinghe.
When Ding Chunqiu realised that he had no chance in becoming the next zhangmen despite being the eldest disciple, he pushed Wuyazi off a cliff and created his own faction, the Xingxiu School. Meanwhile, Su Xinghe established the Deaf Mute Sect to search for a successor to Xiaoyao Order.
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 shifu’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.
Lingjiu Palace (灵鹫宫 Língjiùgōng) was located in the Piaomiao Peak of Mount Tian, 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. Such was its influence that the it was referred to as the Palace1宫里 gōnglǐ – This term is usually used to refer to the Imperial Palace. in the jianghu.
Piaomiao Peak was not a snowcapped peak. It was a lower and warmer spot on Mount Tian. This meant it was often obscured by clouds, hence the name Piaomiao.2飘渺 piāomíao – Barely discernible. Ethereal.
The Palace was more like a fortress city in reality and its numerous disciples lived there. The Palace’s authority in the region meant that blades were never drawn in the Palace. It was a peaceful and cheerful place.
Tianshan Child Granny was the only divinity worshipped on the mountain. She was rarely seen. Most people have only heard of her name from the bloody tales in the jianghu.
Lingjiu Palace was renown for its uncanny martial arts. To commoners, Tianshan disciples seemed like ghosts. Tianshan gongfu was actually external style but only the opponent would feel the effect of the frost attacks. Moreover, the attacks would become increasingly devastating, so most who encountered Tianshan disciples would not live to tell the tale.
The most terrifying skill Tianshan disciples had was the ability to conceal themselves during combat, and deal the finishing blow or seal their opponent’s acupoint at the right moment. This concealment ability could also be applied to their companions, allowing a team of Tianshan disciples to conceal a whole army.
- Duan Clan of Dali (大理国段氏)
- Murong Clan of Gusu (姑苏幕容氏)
- Mount Mantuo Manor (曼陀山庄)
- Wuliang Sword School (无量剑)
- Shennong Guild (神农帮)
- Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities (万劫谷)
- Penglai School (蓬莱派)
- Qingcheng School (青城派)
- Western Xia First-rank Hall (西夏一品堂)
- Bull Subduing School (伏牛派)
- Dalun Temple (大雪山大轮寺)
- One Character Hui Sword School (一字慧剑门)
- Heroes’ Manor (聚贤庄)
- Mount Heaven Order (天山派)
- Kunlun School (昆仑派)
- Tiantong Temple (天童寺 Tiāntóngshì)
- Alliance of the Thirty-six Caves and Seventy-two Islands (三十六洞七十二島)
- Qin Family Stronghold (秦家塞)
- Qingliang Temple (清凉寺)
- Ruan Family of Hubei (湖北阮家)
- Crimson Flame Cave (赤焰洞)