Rise of the False Dawn
Among shapeshifters, cross-species alliances are rare. The most notable exception are the Beast Courts, sworn to defend the Emerald Mother (another term for Gaia). Each of the courts is divided along regional (rather than species) lines. A majority of Hakken (Garou), Khan (Bastet), Nagah, Nezumi (Ratkin), Same-Bito (Rokea), Tengu (Corax) and Zhong Lung (Mokolé) belong to the courts, as do many Kitsune. The Stargazers (formerly of the Garou Nation) have also recently joined the courts. Still, the Hengeyokai don’t have much business with “Sunset People”, almost never showing themselves, unless necessary.
Within the Courts is a society similar to the imperial cultures of mythic Asia, complete with regents, courtiers, and common folk. Their methods usually differ greatly from the western ways of battle and pride. They are more based on discussion and silent threats. Any hengeyokai (shapeshifter) is free to join the Beast Courts, provided they swear to follow a communal system of honor and renown known as the Way of Emerald Virtue. Its First Mandate and Final Mandate are considered the most important. The mandates of this path are:
Way of Emerald Virtue:
- Shirk not the tasks which have been given you.
- Guard the wheel that it may turn in fullness.
- Presume not to instruct your cousin in his task.
- Honor your territory in all things.
- Let mercy guide you in our August Mother’s court.
- Honor your ancestors and your elders.
- Honor the pacts with the spirit world.
- War not upon human or beast.
- Let no one violate the sacred places.