The Ānjao Ascendancy

The secretive group that works in the shadows across the continent to destroy advanced technology and its supporters wherever they are found


The Ascendancy's organizational structure has shifted over its centuries of operation, but at its core has retained the free-flowing, libertarian belief system that gave rise to it over 800 years prior to the modern day, founded as it was in the aftermath of the War of Boiling Skies, in which Thorgrom Blackgranite and his Ezdhûl machines of mass-extinction rolled across the land, murdering tens of millions. Though the Ascendancy's popularity and emergence into the public eye of Zheng-Kitar has risen and fallen across the centuries, their organizational structure has more or less remained intact, and is described below.   Though specifics may vary, there are on average ten ranks to membership in the Ascendancy, with lower ranks equating to lower standing and lower degrees of mastery over the Ascendancy's philosophical and martial teachings. However, the biggest strength of the Ascendancy is also its largest weakness - though it was once a broad and singular united organization, it has become a much broader, spread-out series of groups bound together by the philosophical and ethical teachings of the Ascendancy's code itself, with broad "factions" within the Ascendancy serving as semi-autonomous independent organizations(Typically identified by the geographical region in which they operate) that loosely communicate with each other and coordinate when the need arises.  


  • Sage: The secretive and unconfirmed eleventh rank of the Ānjao - also known to some as "The Grandmaster". In theory, this rank would grant total control over the Ānjao Ascendancy, and while it is believed to have been filled and actively utilized in the past, the nature of the Anjao of the modern day has led many to believe that it was rendered obsolete and nonfunctional after the Ascendancy underwent a radical restructuring and diaspora centuries ago to prevent their enemies from striking at them in concentrated power centers.
  • Mentor: A rank reserved only for the special, masterful few who not only demonstrate superb martial prowess and mastery of subterfuge and secrecy, but who come to a sage-like understanding of the Ascendancy's teachings and how to apply them to one's everyday life. The Mentors are often put in charge of a given faction within a given geographical area, and are broadly responsible for coordinating with other Ānjao factions across the world. The Mentor occupies the tenth rank of the ascendancy, and is extremely few in number - only single-digit numbers are believed to exist at any given time, with new Mentors being trained up from prospective Masters when previous Mentors either die or come close to retirement.
  • Master: Only those of unfathomably skill and standing have ever been able to reach this rank in the Ascendancy, occuping its ninth rank alone - the Masters stand below the mentors as those who have completely mastered the Ascendancy's martial and subterfuge teachings and demonstrated a total grasp of all disciplines of the Ascendancy's combat teachings. Typically, this rank comes with great achievements given on the field of battle or in the field of espionage - either way, accomplishing great deeds in protecting the land of Zheng-Kitar and its people from the influence of those who would attempt to "modernize" the land's technology and bring the dreaded "rumblers" back into the world. When the Masters are dispatched on missions, the world is sure to take notice of their deeds - for they will shake the very foundations of that very world.
  • Veteran: Occupying the sixth, seventh, and eighth ranks of the Ascendancy, the Veterans are those who have served for long periods of time in the Ascendancy while also proving themselves capable, trusted members of the organization. Like many ranks in the Ascendancy below master and sage, it is not strictly limited to martial combat or assassination - even those relegated to support roles or information gathering roles and the like can reach up to veteran status, though their upwards ascent is of course stymied if they lack the ability to master all aspects of the Ascendancy's values. They are often trusted with the jobs and assignments too dangerous, intensive, long-term, or otherwise complicated to give to Adepts or initiates, but can also be sent on tough missions alongside Adepts if the need arises. They are also almost exclusively the ones trusted with taking the Disciples out on training exercises supervised and organized by the Masters or Mentors.
  • Adept: Occupying the third, fourth, and fifth ranks of the Ascendancy, the Adepts are the most populous members of the organization - those who have either joined by birth or recruitment, they are dispatched on a wide range of missions and carry out all kinds of jobs ranging from assassination, political espionage, alchemy, poison-making, intelligence gathering, and more.
  • Disciple: Occupying the first and second ranks of the Ascendancy, the Disciples are the initiates, novices, and newcomers to the Ascendancy, whether by birth or by recruitment. They are ideally trained from as young an age as possible in the ways of the Ānjao to attain mastery over subterfuge, secrecy, bladed weapons, and all the deadly tools of their trade utilized to move unseen across the land and deliver death to all those who would dare to re-enact the cruelties of the War of Boiling Skies on the world at large. Once they have undergone years of training under a Veteran or Master, they are uplifted to the rank of Adept and given the signature thinblade of the Ānjao to call their very own.


The culture of the Ānjao Ascendancy is that of a tightly knit brotherhood rather than that of the secretive assassin's group that it is often likened to - each member of the Ānjao is inducted into its secretive ranks in one of two ways, with no exceptions: either by birth into a family that has already embraced the code of the Ānjao and is thusly trained from a young age in the ways of the Ascendancy, or by recruitment at an older age by an existing member of the organization.   Regardless of the means of one's initiation into the Ānjao, the organization's culture is equal parts religious and equal parts practical and dogmatic - the members of the Ānjao do not neccesarily believe in adherence to religious creeds and ideals blindly, but promote wisdom and free-thinking while maintaining their zealous stance that no society can exist in the grip of advanced technology(Better known as "Rumblers" to the people of Zheng-Kitar) that will not, in time, become subject to cruel inhumanities or unfathomable cruelties. The Ānjao believe that the only true way that a civilization or a people can truly find utopia for themselves is either wholly outside the yoke of a modern, mechanized world, or by melding its benefits with that of other schools of advancement such as magic or nature-based civilization such as that of the Baltairan and Ezdhûl people. To them, all that the rise of a mechanized, more modern and industrious nation brings is more opportunities for cruelty and suffering - more tools to enable the rich and powerful to oppress the common people.   However, this does not mean that the Ānjao completely deny the benefits of the modern technology they fight against, either - their culture simply holds that no such benefit derived from advances in technology alone cannot be reasonably replicated with other means; if it cannot, then it is a moral imperative of a free society to derive the means to do so themselves by other means that are more friendly to not only themselves, but to the world and the environment. For example, whereas many of the Ezdhûl might espouse the virtues of modern medicine, the Ānjao would deny those very benefits if it meant the war machines of death will come alongside them to roll across the land - much better to see if such things were doable through druidic magic or divine magic, or through some other means.   To many, the culture and beliefs of the Ānjao easily seem to be cynicism or nihilism - that their belief that even the benefits of advanced technology are meaningless by virtue of the mortal greed that will inevitably turn them into machines of war to better destroy and slaughter is nothing but a nihilistic outlook that puts no faith in the mortal ability to struggle and better themselves in adversity.   However, the Ānjao would claim the exact opposite - that their libertarian, freeing views place the greatest emphasis on the people of the world, and their deep, uniting philosophy that seeks to help the lands of Zheng-Kitar and indeed the world reach a utopia with their own efforts; they do not wish to control the world and direct it according to thier whims, and instead prefer to nudge events and people along the path that they believe will allow others to grow in the best ways that do not require such compromises of "modern medicine, but modern warfare" to be made.

Public Agenda

The Ānjao place the destruction of all advanced technology and the death of all who create or support such a thing above all else - making them natural enemies of groups such as the faithful of Zunairah the Hundred Mind.   To this end, no means are beyond their grasp to achieve such things - most commonly, assassination is utilized to destroy those who attempt to further the goals of advanced technology, though countless other more subtle methods have been employed in the past as well depending on the circumstance. Making matters difficult for the rest of the world is the Ascendancy's lack of any formal identifier - nothing besides adherence to a creed binds them together, meaning they are incredibly different to locate and destroy.


The assets of the Ānjao Ascendancy are known only to its leaders, but are seemingly infinite - a vast array of custom weapons, tools, and armor is made available to most all factions within the Ascendancy with little difficulty, and they have been known to easily and repeatedly infiltrate the highest eschelons of societies and governments across the continent. In addition, some of the Mentors of the various Ānjao factions(Most notably, a former Ustanan Mentor of the Ustana Ānjao) have donated hundreds and even thousands of Gold and similar currencies to charities and other public works projects to increase their reputation and social standing.


The history of the Ānjao is a famously murky thing, known only to the Ānjao themselves and kept a viciously guarded secret - however, from what little is known they were formed in the aftermath of the signing of The Dûlhralian Accords that ended the War of Boiling Skies...or, were possibly formed shortly before the war's end - the details are unfortunately unclear.   What is known, is that they were originally founded as a more outwardly exposed and militant group who formed in the wake of public talks of what to do with the technologies of the Ezdhûl Empire under Thorgrom Blackgranite - arming themselves and organizing under the banner of keeping Zheng-Kitar free of such vile inventions, they continued like this for a time in centralized keeps and citadels until eventually, after their growing popularity and fame earned them powerful enemies, their last known Grandmaster demanded their disbandment and dispersal to ensure the continued existence of their code and beliefs.   Ever since, they have broken up into various Ānjao factions across the continent and beyond - each united by a singular code and belief but no longer bound to a centralized leader.

Silent blades for a silent world.

Founding Date
Exact date unclear - founded around 3706 ASK in the wake of the end of the War of Boiling Skies.
Guild, Assassins
Alternative Names
The Terminus Collective, The Rumbleblades, The Ānjao
One - The machines of death and those who make them must meet their end.   Two - Our blades are meant to silence conflict; Never to begin it.   Three - Secrecy is your shield; Subterfuge your weapon.   Four - Never compromise the Ascendancy.
— The Ascendant Code

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Neutral Competitors

Though their exact relationship is unknown, the Ascendancy has been on neutral terms with many dark guilds, and Necro Shroud is no exception - the two groups have kept a wary distance of each other, especially after probing each other's capabilities and finding each a worthy match for the other.


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