The Somnolent Seas Sect offers welcome to all young scholars who wish to ponder the mysteries of the world within its halls. Located in the high mountains at the center of the Living Isle, just below the great peak which holds the House of the Sleeping Serpent, the Sect has every amenity which the Savage Seas province can provide. The Sect is a place of contemplation, meditation, and learning where experts of many fields come together to discuss their theories and craft new works.
However, a Sect must have its specialties, and the Somnolent Seas is most well known for its advances in astronomy and related fields of formationcraft and navigation. There is no ship whose journey is safer and more secure than one which has a Somnolent Seas navigator. Similarly, our ship builders are without match in the Empire and beyond, regardless of the frivolous claims made by certain parties.
The Somnolent Seas Sect focuses upon that which is the most important: the mind. The Sect’s lessons are primarily focused on teaching disciples how to think and contemplate well before delving into practical pursuits without proper preparation. All disciples are required to complete courses on natural philosophy and rhetoric to ground their theories and convince others of their validity.
Graduates of the Somnolent Seas Sect will easily find positions in whichever field they choose, and those who achieve the highest standards may earn dispensation from Duke Xuan Xu to enter the House of the Sleeping Serpent to join the greatest researchers of the Empire in contemplation of the world’s secrets amidst the sublime dreams of the Living Isle.
The Somnolent Seas Sect has existed in one form or another since the early days of the Empire. A number of the Hermit King’s line were gathered upon the peaks shortly after the Isle passed into slumber and took on roles as caretakers of the slumbering serpent resting on the highest natural peak. Nowadays, the highest peaks of the Isle are not made of stone or soil, but the shell of an Ancestor, carved only with the coaxing and consent of their descendants. So mighty a fortress as this could not help but become important.
In time, the Xuan moved their most precious artifacts and libraries into its halls, one clutch hold at a time. This was the origin of the House of the Sleeping Serpent. With so much knowledge gathered in one place, scholars soon followed, and the dukes of the time formed traditions, ceremonies, and tests for entry as learned men and women from across the Empire trickled in, seeking to immerse themselves in the sublime library.
Over time, many important grandmasters arose here, bringing prestige and honor to the Savage Seas when they chose to remain. These grandmasters were often adopted or married into the Xuan clan, but the tests to enter the House were strict, and the applicants remained relatively few. Under Duke Xu, in alignment with the policies of Emperor An, the Somnolent Seas Sect was organized from among those who lived in the shadow of the House. Headed by members of the House, scholars and students who had not yet earned their place graciously sacrificed their own research time to teach and guide newer generations at the Sect.
This policy has been a great success as the less strict preliminary Sect program draws new talent from even the furthest flung isles, as well as the more discerning individuals from the south. By expanding the pool of applicants and providing guidance from within the House, much prosperity has been brought to the shore of the Isle.
The Somnolent Seas Sect seeks to make enrollment as simple and accessible as possible. In the first week of each year, the Sect opens its testing locations and accepts all comers. Entrance tests are six hours in length and are held twice daily during the testing week. Examinees are graded by the three members of the House selected to perform testing in that year. Those in the top ten percentile of grades are accepted into the Sect at no cost with their tuition paid for by Duke Xu. Those in the twentieth and thirtieth percentile are allowed to join so long as tuition is paid. Tuition fees may be defrayed by a contract of service to the Xuan clan to be paid upon graduation.
For those who score lower, they may attempt the test again in a year's time. In addition, to remain in compliance with the Imperial decrees, the Sect offers talented students of disadvantaged backgrounds a thorough pre-Sect program funded by the Duke. Graduates of this program may choose to take the Sect exam between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. If they have not completed the exam by their eighteenth year, their enrollment in the program ends.
Member of the House of the Sleeping Serpent: Working directly at the behest of Duke Xu and the Xuan clan in one of the most complete libraries in the Empire is naturally the highest prize to be sought by those attending the Somnolent Seas Sect.
Ship Navigator: With the creation of the Imperial Navy and the expansion of the Xuan escort fleets, many lucrative positions requiring skilled navigators who know the stars and winds as well as their own bodies have opened.
Natural Philosopher: A counterpart to priests and priestesses, the natural philosopher studies the world and its spirits and seeks to come to an understanding for how and why they behave as they do, and in doing so, forge agreements more advantageous to both parties. Many courts are beginning to adopt such individuals as court philosophers.
Prominent Sect Members
The youth of the current organization has not allowed any truly prominent individuals to yet come to the fore. However, among the House, many such individuals, such as Grandmaster Wu, Grandmistress Lei, Grandmaster Song, Medicine Saint Hou, and even the Sword Saint Fong have arisen.
Each one is a legend in their field and a credit to the institution which gave them what they required to achieve their heights.