Precise law and governance is the primary property of civilization.The capacity for large scale coordination is that which has allowed the men and women of the Imperium to not only rise to supremacy but also to maintain that supremacy in the face of the savagery of beasts and barbarians alike. The Thousand Precepts Sect is the foremost institution for the study of law and governance in the Empire. It is from our halls which come the scholars and gentlefolk who manage the grinding wheels of society and ensure that all things continue to run in their place.
The Thousand Precepts Sect offers only the most highly curated courses. Disciples may choose from a number of career paths, each staffed by advisors and elders well suited to shaping a young mind into the desired Way. In addition to the Imperial Law courses, the Sect also offers several other highly accredited courses, such as Natural Law Studies, Formations Engineering, and Commerce Management.
Graduates of the Outer Sect program may expect to find employment across the Empire in various roles. Graduates of the Inner Sect program will invariably find positions as District or even County magistrates and ministers. Those who complete the Core Sect program may easily expect employment in the Imperial Court itself.
The Thousand Precepts Sect’s origins lie in the tumultuous period following the fall of the first dynasty and the Strife of Twin Emperors. Knowing that the chaos of that time was, at least in part, wrought by unclear and variable law within the Celestial Peaks, Emperor Wei appointed six wise scholars to aid him in developing a comprehensive legal code which could be enforced throughout the Peaks. Together with the Emperor, these scholars saw to the spread and enforcement of these new codes, which has since become the foundation of what is today known as the Ministry of Law.
When the deed was accomplished and even the most recalcitrant lords had signed an accord to follow the new codes, the scholars were granted a charter to attract and train apprentices. Throughout the second dynasty, the Thousand Precepts Sect remained a prestigious center of learning and scholarship, and from its ranks, the majority of the Ministers of Law have been appointed. The tireless efforts of its disciples and elders have spread the light of Imperial law to the farthest flung corners of the Empire.
The Sect rose to greater prominence in the waning days of the second dynasty. The Ao dynasty, much reduced by the Cataclysm, had begun to decline greatly, and the emperors began to grow cruel and unrestrained. During those unfortunate days when the Empire might see a new face on the throne every other decade, it was the efforts of the Ministry of Law and Minister Hu which allowed the Empire to continue functioning despite neglect.
It was Minister Hu’s legal advice which allowed the mantle of the Imperial throne to be passed on during the reign of the Mad Emperor, last of the Ao, without great war and bloodshed. For his service, Minister Hu became the most trusted advisor of the first Mu emperor, and in turn, the Thousand Precepts Sect has prospered. In the millenia that followed, the Sect remained loyal in its service to the throne and has overseen the many generations of peace in the Celestial Peaks.
In more recent days, the Sect has been integral to shaping and training the early agents of the Ministry of Integrity, fostering a strong relationship with the new Ministry.
Enrollment in the Thousand Precepts Sect is a two stage process. In the first step, a prospective disciple must complete a series of exams, held once each year in the Scholars’ Pagoda within the Imperial city. Applications for exam slots are unlimited, but prospective examinees must pay the nominal fee. Upon passing the exams, the remaining applicants must undergo a rigorous interview process with senior staff of the Sect to determine if the disciple is of suitable temperament. Those who are determined suitable become Outer Sect Disciples.
To advance into the Inner Sect, disciples are required to apprentice under a senior in their chosen course line, and upon satisfying the instructor, they may apply for their mastery exams.
In accordance with Imperial Decree Sixteen of Empress Xiang, the Thousand Precepts Sect has also begun the operation of communal schooling for residents of the Imperial Capital. This program is intended for younger children and is not related to the Sect enrollment. To inquire into this program, please instead approach the designated regional education agency.
Judge Magistrate: Vital to the day-to-day operations of the Empire, judge magistrates oversee and rule upon all cases which are beneath their lord’s notice, offer advice to the lord on cases that are noticed, and advise their lords when new laws and ordinances are being drafted to avoid conflict.
Master Architect: The pinnacle of formations engineering are those who design the mountain cities of the Peaks and their expansions, master architects are highly sought after by all lords who have ambitions of expanding their holdings or simply restoring aging structures to new glory. Without the fine work of such individuals, it would be truly impossible to extend civilization to even the most spirit-haunted corners of the Peaks.
Commercial Manager: While not the most prestigious position, it is nonetheless an important and profitable one. It is beneath the lords and ladies of the Peaks to see to matters of mercantilism and trade themselves, but nonetheless, it is important for those of high virtue and stern eye to keep a watch over such endeavors and ensure that coin flows through the proper paths. Such managers are well treated by canny lords and can often rise to high positions in their courts.
Prominent Sect Members
Sect Master Zheng Hu: Former Minister of Law under the Divine Emperor An, Sect Master Zheng Hu was one of the two individuals who oversaw the initial establishment of the Ministry of Integrity, alongside Master Sima Jiao, now of the Argent Peak Sect. As a member of a ducal clan, many regarded his choice of career strangely, but as Minister of Law, Zheng Hu proved an inestimable genius, carrying out Emperor An’s many legal reforms with clarity and efficiency. In the wake of Emperor An’s ascension, Zheng Hu retired with great honors to take up the position of Sect Head and educate new generations.
Minister of Law Sima Wen: Grand-niece of former Minister of Integrity Sima Jiao and the apprentice of Zheng Hu, the recently appointed Minister of Law Sima Wen already shows the signs of her grand-uncle’s finesse her master’s genius. As a close advisor of Empress Xiang, the Minister maintains the dignity and prestige of her station well and aids the Empress in her revaluations of Imperial law.