The Unbound of the Golden Lotus Provinces are both blessed and cursed with liberty. Once
protected by a preordained Destiny, these wandering martial artists have become Severed from
Fate. The circumstances of this divergence are always unique – some enter the state through
intense meditation on the nature of Fate; others defy their own deaths through fighting spirit or
calm excellence; still others are brought upon the path of the Unbound by no action of their own.
In every case, though, these people find themselves as part of the World of Rivers and Lakes.
Now embroiled in the ceaseless strife of the River-Lakes, they can never again live calm lives
among the people of the World of Forests and Mountains, despite walking upon the same soil
and looking to the same stars as their still-Bound kin.
Honor, ambition, righteousness, vengeance, and loyalty make up the fabric of the River-Lakes.
Connections between one another are the most valuable and precious thing and, truthfully, the
only thing that binds together the Unbound. Most Unbound choose to swear loyalty to a School:
the Sword-Heart Eccentrics, wandering heroes who cut their own path through the world; the
Jade Water Immortals, spiritual nomads seeking to be-without-being and to
know-without-knowing; the Empty Bowl Fraternity, humble beggars and honest workers always
ready to defend the weak; and the Rotting Corpse Valley, relentless agents of liberty and
vengeance who swear to right the wrongs of the world at any cost. Others join minor schools or
swear themselves to less esoteric causes. Still others choose the path of the Vagrant, embracing
absolutely freedom at the cost of isolation and distrust.
Following the Golden Manifest passed down by the Golden Sovereign who
once ruled all the land, the Unbound come to understand the World of Rivers and Lakes in their
own ways. No matter their path, all Unbound understand one thing: it is their way to pursue
excellence. The Martial Arts are more than mere killing techniques; rather, all human endeavors
can be cultivated in such a manner as to achieve this status. Masterful doctors, skilled musicians,
brilliant scholars, tireless smiths, and all manner of persons can be said to practice the Martial Arts
in an Unbound’s eyes. Alongside the Martial Arts, some Unbound learn of the Five-Element
Weaving Scripture, a Cosmic Power that utilizes the principles of Elemental Promotion to
create various effects both within the self and in the world around.
The Golden Lotus Provinces are strongly based in the wuxia genre of fiction and on the Ming
Dynasty period of China. All Player Characters from this world are Unbound, but were once
Bound to a predetermined Destiny outside of their influence. Any wuxia trope is appropriate here:
wandering swordfighters, forlorn lovers, vengeance-seeking obsessives, unassuming doctors, and
more. The Golden Lotus Provinces is generally a heroic setting, though dark heroes are welcome;
wuxia is a tragic genre at its core.
Read the full Golden Lotus Provinces Setting Packet here.