Ancestor's Guide to the Kuei-Jin

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To most of the Vampires of the West, there are rumors of a strange lineage of creatures with unusual disciplines. These myths of gthe bane of Clan Ravnos and the enemies of Cainites are curious, but to most, they are but a simple, fanciful fairy tale, an odd myth of the Ravnos and the legends of Neonates. But the truth?

The Truth is the Hungry Dead are far more powerful than the Western Cainites could imagine.

What are the Kuei-Jin

The Kuei-Jin are most easily known as 'the Vampires of Asia', but the reality is more complex than that. The Kuei-Jin are demonic undead that have escaped the hellish domains of Yomi, once mortals that had died, but managed to escape the Hells of Yomi, and emerged as the Kuei-Jin. Kuei-Jin, at a glance, seem like vampires, but they behave very differently. Whereas Cainites burn in sunlight, Kuei-Jin rot, becoming a corpse again. Where vampires drink blood, the weakest Kuei-Jin must eat flesh, until they grow in understanding, next being able to drink Blood like other vampires, until they can drink souls themselves, until at their final level of understanding, they may feed on the ambient energy of creation. Rather than 'Embracing' chosen mortals, Kuei-Jin of Yin Balance can have children called Dhampyrs, and mentoring younger Kuei-Jin, other survivors that freshly escaped hell.

Kuei-Jin, in place of blood, use Chi in Princes of Darkness. Chi empowers their various abilities, which is what leads to their personal source of power. Yin Chi is the Chi of Life, and Yang Chi is the Chi of death. You get Yin Chi from the living, and Yang Chi from the undead. A Kuei-Jin usually focuses on one or the other, but your current 'balance' can be changed through a decision.

Kuei-Jin otherwise use similar buildings to vampires, but are less concerned about the masquerade. In game terms, you have the same buildings as the Cainite Vampires, but in place of religious buildings, you have the Low War Building, which gives Intrigue and Learning based on stress, but otherwise, buildings are the same. You also have a unique Duchy Building, called the 'Dragon Nests' that are weaker points between the Umbra and the Skinlands. The wall rating (which you can lower with lifestyle perks and chi, accessed through the Umbra tab) must be 3 or lower to make the initial building.

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These can then be upgraded later, and can offer a truly massive bonus going forward. If you can, these buildings can be an incredible boon to hold and construct, equal to the Princedoms.

Dharmic Paths

Just like Cainites have their Roads of Morality, Kuei-Jin have Dharmas. Dharmas are the Kuei-Jin True Faiths, and the path they take to achieve enlightenment and ascend to the Thousand Heavens. In game terms, they are religions, with different tenets and the like. 5 Dharmas, the Song of the Shadow, the Thrashing Dragon, the Thousand Whispers, the Devil Tigers, and the Resplendent Cranes are of the Fivefold Path, the more accepted Dharmas, who consider each other Righteous, similar to the Gnosticism tenant.

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Meanwhile, the 'heretical' Face of the Gods, the Rising Phoenix, Inward Way, and Ten Thousand Screams represent Dharmas not regularly accepted in the Middle Kingdom Interior. As CK3 takes place on the fringes of Kuei-Jin society, with their heartland in China, Japan, and Korea, the Kuei-Jin of the Steppes, India, and Tibet have potential to deviate from their fellows in the East. Do note, if you create a Dharmic Path, even if you were once part of the Fivefold Path, you no longer will be, and will thus fall into being considered a Heretic by the practitioners of the Fivefold Paths.

Succession

As Kuei-Jin cannot embrace mortals, they are a bit different from other Vampires. For one to become a Kuei-Jin, they must escape Yomi. But that's not to say you have no way to secure heirs.

For Kuei-Jin, their parents are their mentors, called a Sifu. For dynasties, your children are your students, and your parents are your mentors. In order to find students, you must have at least 500 gold, and fulfil a court position called a 'Infant Devil Civilizer', whose purpose is to find Kuei-Jin that recently escaped Yomi, and bring them to the Ancestor-Elders. There, you will be adopted into the families of the Kuei-Jin.

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Beyond this unique form of adoption, Kuei-Jin have one final interesting trait. If a Kuei-Jin is focused on the Chi of Life, they become fertile, and may have Dhampyrs, Half-Kuei-Jin, so for those of you on the Path of Yin Chi, be careful with rampant seduction and playing around. Unlike Cainites, you may leave behind a child...

Dharma

Where Cainites have Generations, how far they are removed from the first vampire, Caine. Meanwhile, the Kuei-Jin have Dharmas, how close they are to enlightenment. For a comparison, think of a Kuei-Jin's Dharma as Generation, with their Dharma being roughly equivalent to a Cainite of 13 - their current Dharma. For example, a Kuei-Jin with 0 Dharma is roughly equal to a 13th Generation Cainite, a Kuei-Jin with 5 Dharma being equal to an 8th Generation Cainite, and a Kuei-Jin with 10 Dharma being equal to a member of the 3rd Generation, give or take.

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Unlike Cainites, all Kuei-Jin started at 0 Dharma. But as they grow older, they rise in Dharma. While Kuei-Jin can consume each other, it is less useful than if a Cainite commit Diablerie. Given time, Kuei-Jin can ascend past their elders, and grow more powerful. Your Arts, your lifestyles, are dependent on your Dharma. For example, if you have Dharma 5, you can have 5 perks in a Soul Arts tree.

In order to go up a Dharma, you usually need one of two things, a TON of piety, or a 'Dah' Modifier, which you get whle exploring the Umbra. Dah is a flash of enlightenment, that one can use to ascend Dharmas. However, there reaches a point when even the greatest Kuei-Jin struggle to breach the final barrier. At 9 Dharma, the final barrier to becoming a Kuei-Jin with 10 Dharma is difficult, one which only the most pious of people can attain, or those with a very unique insight. For those of a Dharma of pain, a thousand souls may have to be spent to attain enlightenment, or for the others, the insights must be found another way. Perhaps in the wilds, or among the regular mortals, you may find these precious insights...

With these principles in mind, you may be able to last as the Hungry Dead. The Cainites are pressing against your lands, and are becoming more and more of a threat. They push further and further, and threaten the Middle Kingdom. They interfere in the paths of dharmas, and threaten the sanctity of creation.

Apotheosis awaits.