Sohei

The Sohei consider themselves the heart of the Empire. In the Dragon's Islands, the Sohei have always been a separate power, keeping their privileges in front of the Kuge and the Buke. For several centuries, they have trained warrior monks to protect them from any interference they consider as opposed to their way of life or their morality.

When the conflict between the Kuge and the Buke started to devastate the fields, the peasants, helpless, had to seek shelter and beseech Sohei monasteries and temples to help them. As they contemplated the people's suffering they started to position themselves beside them, "in favor of the most disadvantaged". Then they started to preach about a new era of darkness and about the need to protect themselves from that era. Thus they were increasing their power and attracting more and more people who entrusted the Kami of that temple with their souls. They imposed their own rules over their territories, based on religion, and the stopped following the Imperial Law. Some Buke Daimyo, sorry for their way of life joined their cause and they were ordained monks, built temples on their fields and give shelter to the refugees coming from other lands. The first Sohei clans were arising.

The Sohei consider themselves the protectors of faith and tradition in the Dragon's Islands as opposed to foreign preachers, who sell firearms to the Kuge, and the Buke oppressors, who believe themselves superior to the Heinin. But these clans are divided into uncountable sects, who struggle among themselves for trivial issues such as who is to be in charge of the performance of the spring ritual – the famous confrontation between the main temple complexes in the Heian-Jo mountains to see who was in charge of the Ayanami millennial rites. A lot of temples were burnt to ashes in this clash, some of the most famous rooms and the Great Statue of Ayanami. Moreover, more than five thousand bonze, both men and women, died, most of them because of the blade of the spears. It was an irreversible loss for both the temples and the art in the islands.

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