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A note from Yrsillar

Almost done with the Sect Promotional Series, Two more and then we'll be launching into some short stories set in the World of Forge

Introduction

The Pearl Coast Sect is without peer in the great Alabaster Seas. With the finest shipyards, the finest sailors, the finest navigators, and the finest astrologers, the Sect’s ships ply the violent and barbarian-infested oceans of the world without fear. Unlike the meek seamen of the desolate isles, the disciples of the Pearl Coast Sect allow no obstacles to stand against our mission to bring riches and prosperity to the great Celestial Empire and the Alabaster Coast.

At the Pearl Coast Sect, disciples may expect to master courses on the many disciplines related to travel on the seas. Masters of shipbuilding, second only to the great masters of the Jin clan, ply their trade here, and slots for apprentices remain always open. Courses on astrology and related forms of divination given the seal of approval from the greatest minds in the art are taught upon the high towers of the Sect, and in the hills below, warriors train for battles upon the sea, drilling for war with the barbarians that would deny our ships passage.

All paths at the Pearl Coast Sect focus on matters practical. While our archives do not lack knowledge on theories and academia, emphasis is put on applied knowledge. It is well and good to know why the wind blows as it does, but what use is it when one cannot tack their sails to take advantage?

Graduates of the Pearl Coast Sect may easily find careers as officers in household navies or find positions in the ducal fleet. In addition, with the recent charter granted for the construction of the First Grand Imperial Navy, demand for skilled naval personnel has never been higher!

History

The Pearl Coast Sect has its origins in the tiny nameless village which once huddled at the mouth of the inlet where our Sect is built today. Known for the rich beds of core condensing clams which line the region’s coast, the village soon rose to prominence on the back of the pearls they gathered. In those primitive pre-Imperial days, the energies gathered in these pearls served a similar purpose to spirit stones, and soon, the village was brought under the protection of the Jing, who taught the folk of the village the ways of the deeper ocean so that they might access deeper and more potent beds.

When the Jing abandoned the Alabaster Coast, the village was left in a poor position twice over. Their pearls had lost much of their value with the introduction of the superior spirit stones, and their patron was gone, leaving their greedy neighbors eyeing the wealth that they had gathered over the centuries. The wise Jin asserted their position swiftly however, knowing that although their ship builders were without peer, they had not the numbers to build a force capable of controlling the whole Alabaster Coast.

In the centuries that followed, the village easily adapted to the structure of a Sect, having never established a single bloodline like a proper clan, and its arts were soon passed down to the carefully selected students brought in by the Jin. It was the ships and divers of the Pearl Coast Sect which rode the raging waves to contain the madness of the Twilight King before it could spread beyond the shallow seas. It was our lives which were spent when the seas boiled. It was our ships which established control of the poisoned salt flats of the coastline against the walking dead while the savaged remnants of the Golden Fields quarrelled and fought battles of petty greed among each other.

It was this cataclysm which gave rise to the Sect’s secondary location, Boiling Bay. Originally established as a barracks and dock, it now stands proud as a city and full sister location to the primary Sect with all of the amenities and teaching capacity of the original Sect. It was here that the troubles with the northerners began. Despite the fact that it was our blood which was spilled to secure the east and our treasure which built the docks, the men of the Savage Seas quarreled with us, claiming that their small contributions granted them the right to our hard won efforts.

Though negotiations were attempted, the northerners’ greed could not be satisfied, and ever since, although we maintain the Imperial Peace, the ships and isles of the Savage Seas have ever been rivals and foes.

Enrollment

Enrollment in the Pearl Coast Sect is open to all as per the Imperial Decree. Unlike most Great Sects, the wealth of the Pearl Coast Sect is such that we require no petty fees from our prospective disciples. Students are expected to provide or earn their own non-spirit stone materials however. For disciples of less prestigious descent, the Sect provides small loans which, while without interest, must be paid back after either leaving or reaching the Inner Sect.

In order to maintain the high quality of our graduates, disciples enrolled must pass through the Outer Sect program, and after no more than three years of instruction, show sufficient mastery of one of the Sect’s core disciplines to pass the entrance exam to the Inner Sect. Rather than shuffling papers or fighting meaningless tournaments, the exam takes the form of participating in a Treasure Voyage to the west. Disciples who impress their officers and captains on the voyage are accepted into the Inner Sect.

The Sect is not responsible for any fatalities which occur during the Sect exams.

Careers

Treasure Captain / Admiral: As the only institution granted charter to sail to the western lands, it is only graduation from the Inner Sect program which allows one to take command of a ship or fleet of the Sect’s mighty Treasure Voyages. A highly prestigious position, the wealth gathered from wrenching exotic riches and holds full of spirit stones from the squabbling barbarians beyond the western jungle and the even more mysterious lands beyond has given many captains and admirals the wealth needed to found truly lasting clans.

Imperial Naval Officer: The Grand Imperial Navy, although new, is sure to become one of the most important positions in the Empire as our control of the Northern Seas expands. New advances may make the seas of the east passable for the first time in millenia, and the growing aggression of sea-going barbarians requires a proportionate response. Join now, and your name may be remembered for many firsts.

Imperial Astrologer: The arts of astrology have many uses even on dry land. Unfortunate events have sadly resulted in the loss of many Imperial astrologers, and so, many positions have opened.

Prominent Sect Members


Admiral Song Ke: Leader of the first treasure fleets, Admiral Song is a fount of endless exotic stories. He has sailed the whole of the west and even driven a ship deep in among the great river that flows through the barbarian lands, survived battle with a great hundred-armed monstrosity within one of the barbarians' foul temples, and returned with idols said to be carved whole from cyan grade spirit stones! Yet even then, Admiral Song’s thirst for adventure was not sated, and he claimed the title of first to set foot on the jungle-shrouded isles of the western continent and brought forth the treasures of the land which its inhabitants call ‘Ban-a-bar.’

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Yrsillar

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