The Celestial Order
The Realms of the Celestial Order
The Realm of Man is but one of the realms of the celestial order. There are six known realms. Five of the realms, Heaven, Way, Spirit, Man, and Hell are part of a ladder with Heaven at the top and Hell at the bottom. The last realm, Void, is an outside realm, filled with darkness and the unknown.
Heaven - Realm of the Celestial Bureaucracy - This realm is the pinnacle of order and law. All that reside in this realm are officers and enforcers of these ideals. The main purpose of the residents of this realm is to bring harmony to the other realms through order and law.
Way - The Crossroads - This realm is filled with many paths. At the center is a multi-path crossroad leading to all of the other realms. Members residing here are those that have fallen from heaven, those that are seeking heaven, or those helping others find their way. The only path to heaven is through the Way and those seeking entry to heaven must pass through the Way first.
Spirit - Realm of Supernatural Beings - Those without a corporeal body or of a supernatural origin tend to reside here. This realm closely parallels the realm of man and sometimes is intertwined. Beings of this realm often interact with those of the mortal realm due to the close connections between the realms.
Man - The Mortal Realm - This is the physical plane of existence where mortal beings reside. This realms physical nature is governed by the five elements. Their presence helps to maintain all physical things. Even though the elements are strong, they are not in control. Due to the will of the heavens and several major conflicts, this realm has become ruled by humans.
Hell - The Prison Realm - The residents of this realm are of three types: the wardens, the dead, and the evil. The wardens are the beings charged with watching over the other members and punishing those of wicked deeds. The dead are those that passed from the mortal realm without a strong enough presence to be noticed by heaven or a strong enough essence to reside in the realms of Spirit or Way. The evil are those that committed heinous acts that go against the will of heaven.
Void - Realm of Non-Existence - This realm is outside the celestial ladder where the unknown resides. This is realm where the original kami arrived from and where beings outside of the celestial order reside. This realm is chaotic in nature and has no true form. Beings that come from this realm are powerful in nature and tend to have a hatred for the Celestial Order.
The Creation of the Realms
From the start of existence there was the realm of the Void. From the Void came the realm of Heaven. Shortly after Heaven was created, the beings of Heaven created the realm currently known as Man. While creating the realm of Man, the realms of Spirit and Way formed between Heaven and Man. The realm of Hell did not come until much later.
Originally all evil spirits and bad things were cast into the realm of Void, never to be seen again. Unfortunately, some things did return from Void and were extremely powerful and difficult to subdue. The Celestial Order at the time took heavy casualties from these returns and nearly lost.
The members of Heaven decided that to prevent these events from occurring again, created the realm of Hell. This realm was to be a prison where the dead and evil were to watched and monitored and possibly reformed through severe torture, showing the wicked the error of their ways.
Oni and Bakemono
Oni - To protect the other realms and watch over the residents of Hell, these creatures were created. Powerful and loyal, these beings are the wardens and enforcers. They were created to be fierce and cunning to keep the dead and evil trapped within their realm.
Not all oni are created equal and sometimes they escape from the realm of Hell.
In the upcoming expansion, these kami can enter play causing problems for the players and the Lord's units. These wardens seek to punish those that they see as wicked. If any player of their interest is visible, then the oni will attack, causing heavy damage to the player.
Players are able to convince these creatures to leave, but only after bribing them with ingenuity. As a courtesy, upon leaving, they will remove one stack of the player's choosing from play.
Bakemono - While the oni are powerful and the wardens of Hell, they needed minions to assist with their duties. Bakemono were created. These creatures are small in stature, but are much faster and usually found in larger numbers. They can be crafty and cunning when needed and often have minor magical powers.
Due to their lesser value and importance in the hierarchy of Hell, they often get overlooked by the wardens and escape into the realm of Man. While in the mortal realm, they tend to cause trouble as they are not accustomed to the ways of Man.
In the expansion, when a bakemono enters play as a kami, they tend to block access to ki. Players which draw their attention will not be able to use ki or abilities that require ki while the bakemono is in play. Players are able to bribe these creatures with Ingenuity to send the creatures away. Players that do so are rewarded with a refill of their ki and are granted a card from the bakemono's preferred deck.
The Hierarchy of Kami and Conflicts
As mentioned in a prior post, there are only five openings for kami to occupy during a game. If a kami is drawn and there are no open spaces for the being to reside, then a conflict if created.
Conflicts are resolved by determining where the kami is in the Celestial Hierarchy. Is the kami a named being or a common creature? Is the kami from the realm of Heaven or Hell?
First determine if the kami is a named being or a common creature. If the kami has the word "common" listed under its traits, then it is a common creature, otherwise the kami is a named being. Common kami are weaker and are easily displaced by named kami. If there is ever a conflict between a common kami and a named kami, then the common kami is always displaced by the named kami.
Next, determine if the kami is from Heaven or Hell. Kami of the realm of Heaven like to enforce law and order over the realm of Man. The kami of Hell are the wardens of the wicked. When a kami of Hell arrives, it is normally to take a being of powerful evil back to the lands of Hell. Out of respect for the kami of Hell, the kami of Heaven will vacate their position.
If there is ever a conflict between kami of the same type (common or named), then the Heaven kami will always leave and allow the Hell kami to take their place.
So to recap, when placing a kami into play:
1. Determine if there are any open locations of the kami's preferred element or elements. If there are, then place the kami on a vacant location.
2. If there are no vacant locations, then determine if the kami is common or named. If the kami is named, see if there is a location with a common kami. Remove the common kami from play and replace it with the named kami. If there are multiple locations, then the current Lead Ninja determines the location.
3. If the kami is still in conflict, determine if the kami is of type Hell. If the kami is of Hell, then see if any of the preferred locations are occupied by a kami of Heaven. If there is a location, then remove the kami of Heaven and replace it with the kami of Hell, once again having the Lead Ninja determining any ties.
4. If there is still a conflict, then the kami is unable to find a location and does not enter play. Discard the kami from play.
Over the next several posts, we will be introducing more of the named kami and the remainder of the common kami.
There will not be another post until the middle of January due to the holiday season. While there will be no new posts, it does not mean that we will be halting our work. We will continue working on the various games and projects, but would like to allocate some time away to visit with family and friends.
Hope you have a joyful holiday season!