Shen

The Shen is a religious and temporal position, and the ruler of the Liang state and leader of the Angjao religion. It's holder sits upon the Jade Throne (item), one of the Three Thrones of Macalgra - considered the most ancient and important royal lineages on the planet.   The Shen's seat of power is presently located in Dien Chen and the current Shen of Liang is Lian Jia (person). The title has been fought over in civil wars and between competing claimants, but has been recognized for over six thousand years.

Appointment

The Shen's present line is a hereditary position. It has not always been. Previous Shen were elected by the nobility, appointed by the priests of Ochino, chosen by their armies, among other forms of government that have existed in Liang's history. The present royal line of the House Liu has ruled since the time of Kusha (person), taking the throne in 2889.   The House Liu was chosen by a congregation temple leaders of the Angjao religion, one of the few times the religion's leaders have organised in such a way. It is presently handed down to the first born child of the preceding Shen, with no regard for gender.

Duties

The Shen is the absolute ruler of Liang, within only the limitations of their popularity. Like many monarchs, the ability to exert ones power is limited by backlash from an angry populace. However, in day to day duties, the Shen has ultimate authority. Most Shen choose to appoint a inner council to assist in the realms governance, but retaining ultimate say.   All levels of Liang's bureaucracy ultimately answer to the Shen. The various instruments of government are led by ministers appointed by the Shen, and report to the Shen. As well as undertaking the leadership of government, the Shen is responsible for certain sacred ceremonies for to honour Ochino, including leading festivals, rites and prayers. Shen often gives these duties to their second son.   The Shen's Wuzin (organization), the national academy for mages, is under the Shen's direct control, outside of the national ministries. The Shen oversees direct control of the academy, its curriculum and teachers. In addition, the military of Liang ultimately answers to the Shen, though day to day operation is within the remit of the Old Admiralty (organization).

History

The origin of the title of Shen is murky. It is stated that the Pele (ritual) Ochino (ritual) was the father of the first Shen, and this demi-god emperor united the early tribes of Liang. The date for this supposed first Shen is around 5000 RC, based mostly on claims of his marriage to Tamenei (person), daughter of the legendary first mage Anenky.   The first historically documented ruler was that of the First Dynasty of Liang in 3000 RC, but most of the names of these Shen have been lost to time. The title evolved over subsequent dynasties, from a high priest who wielded power, to a more temporal ruler.   For a time in the Intermediate Age, the Shen ruled only the capital Akachi (settlement), while Liang was plunged into a dark age. The Shen Aterui (person) led the initial expansion beyond those walls around 1000 RC, creating the Second Dynasty, and the first true empire of Liang. Upon her ascension his daughter Sutsa (person) founded the great city of Dien Chen to centralise governance of her new empire.   Aterui's ancestry is entirely unknown, and the scant records from the period claim various divine lineages instead of true familial trees. The House of Sutsa ruled for an unprecedented fifteen centuries.   The House of Meng gained control of Liang in a palace coup during the long conflict in Okinochi (location), and ruled until the 19th century. They failed to solve the Okinochi situation, leading the nation to only gain meager and ultimately costly colonies that they would lose centuries later. Then the Xiao dynasty, cousins of the Meng family, seized control in another palace coup.  

Liang - royal image

The Xiao dynasty's most most notable Shen was Shinuru (person), who led the nation into the Gold Blood War (militaryConflict) with the Sura Empire. The costly war, though perhaps justified, led Liang towards a dark age that was ultimately confirmed with the Dark Plague in the 26th century. Despite Liang's ultimate victory, the cost of the war included their colonies on Okinochi, and many of Liang's naval trade routes.

  The Xiao dynasty was entirely killed by the plague, and they were followed by the Quan dynasty (organization). The Quan Dynasty led a period of extreme conservatism, and were staunch traditionalists. They ultimately were succeeded by the Linghua dynasty, who inherited the throne from the final childless Quan Shen by marriage.   Progressive dynasties followed, slowly driving Liang further into debt and traditionalist isolation. The nation remained mostly cut off from the world. The Yahui dynasty was the last of these in the 29th century.  

House Liu

The house of Liu rules as the presiding Shen of Liang. Liang had faced a long, slow decline over the preceding decades before their appointment in the 2889. Multiple dynasties rose and fell, generally through inheritance, but not without palace coups either. The disastrous rule of Hao Yahui (person), who led a court renowned for excess and corruption and accumulated vast debt, proved enough to push the citizenry close to openly rioting.   Hao died without heir in a situation thought ironic by many; victim to food poisoning following one of his extravagant dinner parties. In response a gathering of the priests of the nation's thousands of shrines and temples was called by the temple of Ochino (ritual) in the capital of Dien Chen. With the public confidence in the monarchy eroded to almost nil, this unprecedented action was the last chance to restore faith in the monarchy.   The gathering convened for over a month before they elected Shen Kusha (person) of House Liu. Kusha was a minor noble, the young head of a family known almost exclusively for their small rice alcohol export business, yet they were neutral, traditionalist, unrelated to the previous monarchy, considered outstanding businessmen and without reproach in reputation.   The congregation was unable to choose among more controversial candidates with both strong support and derision, and so decided upon a compromise in House Liu.   Shen Kusha would lead the nation to great success, primarily by taking advantage of the Golem crisis ten years after his reign began. He re-positioned the nation from being in many ways decades behind the world to leading golem technology. Where other nations tried to stall the progress, he pushed Liang to embrace it.   The Shen's Wuzin (organization) were instructed to copy Juventian golems, and did so with haste. Their early adoption led to improvements in every field of industry, while their neighbours still struggled with religious or political debates over the technology.   His descendants still hold the throne, their reign secured by his quick action. The ruling Shen is Lian Jia, who took the throne in 3230 upon the death of her father.

The Shen is the cultural, political and religious leader of the nation of Liang and the Hingen people. It is a title steeped in respect, tradition, and sometimes overwhelming expectations of its holders.  

Glossary

  • Dien Chen - Capital city of Liang, famous for its pink walls.
  • Pele - A peh or spirit that has reached godhood in the Angjao religion.
  • Liang - Ancient western nation that follows the Angjao religion.
  • Sura Empire - Largest empire in the eastern world.
  • Akachi - Ancient capital of Liang.
Type
Nobility, Hereditary
Status
Extant
Equates to
Emperor, Uhmumanshah (rank).
Related Locations
Related Organizations

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Comments

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21 Dec, 2018 22:39

I dont know the code sorcery to make my comments look as good as yours do and i apologize for that lol but I'll give the same attention you gave to mine :)     Grammar wise the first sentence is a little iffy. "religious and temporal title and position, an ancient title, and the ruler of the Liang state and leader of the Angjaoreligion" i didnt notice it didnt have a space between angja and religion but copy paste reveals it needs one i guess. The main issue is the use of the word title. I can't determine if its part of the list or a reference to the religious and temporal title. I almost feel it's a remnant of a revision that snuck past orrrrr i read it differently than you intended.   Then there is this "The title has not always been unanimously possessed by one person, with civil war and competing claimants throughout history..." So i don't think it matters but it implies that more than 1 person has held the title and backs it up with references to civil war. I don't think unanimously is the best word it says what you want yes but it also has connotations that say the power can be divided which isn't the case in the minds of those with the title i imagine. Maybe "At some points in history, not all were in agreement of who the she is leading to civil war. Etc" just an idea.   "And the position of Shen has been defined variously" this sentence read clunky as well. All in all, there are some clunky sentences. Not a big deal. I'll move on to content here.     What other forms has it been handed down in? It's hereditary now but what other ways was it passed? I'm also curious as to what kind of power this oscillation comes with. Do these houses share power or are they beholden to the shen entirely. You have a detailed history but i feel like know so little about this position. This is due to not reading more articles and not your writing, but some detail is always good. It's a good article and makes me want to know more which is a win in my book. The clunkiness is easy for me to look past so dont fret on it too much. I didnt notice spelling errors course i never do lol great job and i hope i gave some a good critique.

22 Dec, 2018 14:12

Thank you. I've made some edits to clear up some of those clunky sentences. A big help that you pointed them out. Sometimes you read your own work and see it how you imagined it, not how you actually wrote it haha.   I'll expand on how it has been chosen in the past a bit. And definitely elaborate on its powers. Thank you.

23 Dec, 2018 01:38

I like how detailed and well-thought out this article is, it honestly seems like a real position of power a country/religion might have. Good job!

23 Dec, 2018 01:56

I liked the article. As much as I appreciated the references to "Journey to The West", I think it was the final few lines that really caught me. Golem technology in ancient Japan? Awesome! Although it makes you wonder; how did the technology to make golems come into the kingdoms in the first place? Was it through trade? If so, are there other races outside the main kingdoms? Wizards or alchemists? Did someone invent the golem technology inside the confines of the kingdom? Who is he/she? I liked the story, but I think I focused more on the fantastical elements more than the historical drama. Overall, good worldbuilding.

23 Dec, 2018 03:57

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. You might like my golem article then! It answers most of those questions.  

Golems
Technology / Science | Jan 23, 2019

Magically enchanted rock, replacing humans in mundane tasks.

23 Dec, 2018 19:02

A simple but overall well-detailed article about a Chinese title with a lot of details on how everything works. Like said before, a little bit of clunky text sometimes to read, but overall a good read. Were there any notable holders of the title? Maybe you could apply that to keep a track of all important figures and their accomplishments as a Shen. Also dunno if the bold texts are links, but otherwise I feel a bunch of links would improve the article a lot more, especially with excerpts. Cause Chinese is a bit egh with me :p

23 Dec, 2018 21:16

Yep! Bolded is all links I've yet to write the articles for. Glad you enjoyed. I do need to clean up the terminology a bit more to be less confusing. A notable holders list is a good idea. Thank you.

23 Dec, 2018 19:39

I have to admit that I sometimes have trouble with the words you chose (I'm not a native speaker and actually had to look a few up) and sometimes I get confused: "Progressive dynasties followed, slowly driving Liang further into debt and traditionalist isolation. " I would have thought that progressive dynasties would have been more open to new things and less traditionalist?   Another sentence that strikes me weird is this: "The house of Liu rules as the presiding Shen of Liang." I thought a house couldn't be a Shen, only a person could?   "The citizenry were to near riot, as the nation began to unravel, culminating in the disastrous rule of Hao Yahui, who led a court renowned for excess and corruption, and placed the nation into deep debt." The way I read this is that the citizens rioted and that culminated in the rule of Hao Yahui?   Apart from that, I loved it. The history is really in-depth and reminds me a lot of Chinese history. It really "feels" real, like all of this with all the rebellions, ironies and power struggles feels as if it's taken right out of a real history book. You successfully convey the feeling of an ancientpeople and its office. That being said, it sometimes does suffer from the textbook disease that all those names flow past you and all you remember is "it was a wild and complicated ride". Details like Hao Yahui dying from food poisoning really stuck out and made him come alive, so maybe some quotes from old history books, or a peasant remembering a wild tale of one of the more ancient rulers may help with making it easier to read!

23 Dec, 2018 21:18

Those are all awkward wording on my behalf. Thank you for pointing them out, I'll fix them and make them make more sense.   More quotes is also a really good idea, its something I champion then regularly forget to do as much as I should. Going to put that one on the list of additions when I polish this article in the coming days.   Thank you for your good feedback. Much appreciated.