Kuei-Jin WRAITH Lexicon


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 Ci Mèi Wâng Liâng
Old form for ghosts in general. Ci is the classical word for a dragon without horns. The word Mèi by itself means a beautiful and terrible spirit that cannot exist without stripping mortals of their soul or life-force, usually through sexual intercourse or by taking of the blood. The benefit to this is that with every ravaging, they grow in power. The words Wâng Liâng separately mean a demon or spirit that resides in mountains or rivers.
Dà Chén
A high ranking official in the Emperor's court; Royal Courtiers.
Dà Rén
A polite form of address to an acknowledged superior (i.e. a city official or wealthy merchant). This is the old form for "sir", "madam", "lord", or "lady".
Dào Jiào
The name of the religion based on Daoist doctrine. It takes the philosophy of Dào and makes it accessible to the everyday man. Through ritual-laden ceremonies and conjunctional magic, the Dào priests (specially trained laymen) maintain the spiritual and social harmony of the community they live in. Daoist temples are exquisitely ornate and colourful as they are the homes to countless numbers of gods and demons.
Dào Shi
A Daoist priest.
Dì Fu
The entrance to the City of Bones, which is the center of the Asian Underworld. Literally, Dì Fu means "earth court," and traditionally is the place of Judgement where new souls' Fates are decided. In the Underworld, this is the place where it is determined which part of the City of Bones a wraith will reside in. Once this judgement is passed, the wraith will never be permitted to enter a different area. There are 18 sections total in the city (see Ku Lû Chén for more). Judgements are overseen by the 4 Sî Wàng Pàn Guan ("death-judges"). Because of the sheer number of souls being trafficked, the Sî Wàng Pàn Guan are served by whole armies of lesser judges (who are not as dedicated to their profession as their masters are).
Dì Yù
The general term for the Chinese Underworld, and in the World of Darkness it is the Underworld for all of Asia. It's a derivative of Shì Ba Chén Dì Yù, which means "the 18-story earth prison.," or "Hell." Traditionally, souls only end up in hell for one reason: They were not allowed to move on because of the sins they committed in life. Moving on took one of two forms: Reincarnation (Tóu Tai) back into the mortal world, or Ascension into Heaven. These judgements were decided in the Court of Hell, or Dì Fu, by Yén Wáng, the Emperor and Final Judge of the Dead. In the China of Darkness, judgement of the dead is generally overseen by the 4 Sî Wàng Pàn Guan. Only is extreme cases will wraiths be judged by the Emperor, and these judgements always occur in his palace.
A bushel. The traditional amount of an offering to the gods.
Fêi Cùi
Ancient jade. The most expensive (and purest) jade one can find. In the Underworld, this kind of jade is intensely sought after by Enchanters for its unique mystical properties. It is the only jade that doesn't change its color when it crosses over into the Land of the Dead. Any wraith caught with pieces of this kind of jade is sent immediately to the Weavers as it is very illegal for the common wraith to own (this by imperial decree). Specially enchanted pieces of Fêi Cùi are used in various construction projects in and around the City and only officially authorised handlers may posses it. No-one, though, knows what purpose they serve (despite the various speculations).
A sacred password used to identify oneself to the gods. A talismanic symbol. All wraiths living in the City of Bones carry these as identification of rank, ward, profession, etc.
Gong Dé
Spiritual virtue as measured by the gods.
 Gong Fu
"Meritorious action." The almost supernatural skill some people possess at performing skills of the body, such as martial arts.
Gong Tíng
Imperial court. The actual physical place where the nobles gather.
Gu Hún
The orphan soul, trapped between life and death. They seek to bring everyone and everything down with them as they descend into the eternal darkness of unlife. In W:tO, it is a wraith's dark side, the mirror inverse of her Psyche: the Shadow. The Gu Hún forms after death if a Hún doesn't have the spiritual fortitude to resist the weaknesses of the flesh (Pò). Embittered at having not moved on, or transcended, a cancer forms within the Hún, and it eventually grows into the Shadow.
Gu Hún Yê Gûi
Wraiths born of violent deaths. Often times, like drones, they tend to perpetually re-act their death scene. However, this is not always the case and many tend to be quite free-willed (albeit extremely rotten tempered). These wraiths are well along their way to becoming spectres.
Ghost. Can be the ghost of any living thing, whether it's a tree, an animal, or a person.
Gûi Hún
Wraith; The ghost of a human soul.
Gùi Fei
The highest ranking imperial concubine. The queen, but not the empress.
Húang Dì
Emperor. Comes from the name for the first (mythological) Emperor of China.
Húang Shàng
Used when addressing the Emperor. Similar to "Your Majesty," or "Sire." Note: This word is never used when addressing Western royalty.
"Cloud soul." The eternal soul that is born over and over again through many lives until it eventually ascends into heaven after having learned the lessons it needs to. This soul is composed of 3 parts, according to tradition, and is the higher soul of divinity that guides us as we try to break out of the cycle of birth-death-rebirth. In W:tO, this is a wraith's Psyche. The dark side of this, its inverse, is the Gu Hún, or Shadow. The Hún cannot know the living world first hand, and it is too vast in spiritual scope for the meat brain of humans to cope with, so the Pò forms, acting as an intermediary. The Pò is the "bone soul" formed from physical, spiritual, and mental environment around it and is actually the personality that constitutes who we are in this life. However, because it is a product of this world and this life, it is inherently tied to the here and now, and as such is considered a detriment to the advancement of the Hún. In the world of the living, a person without Pò, or at least a fraction of the Pò they should have, is quite insane as the Hún has lost touch with the world that imprisons it (within the mortal coil). In the Underworld, this insanity takes the form of the Gu Hún.
Hún Dùn
Primordial Chaos. Oblivion. Nothing formed out of the disparate sum of Everything.
Jiang Shi
Chinese vampire. A blood-sucking revenant or a wraith trapped on the living side of the Wall between Worlds. It is a cross between a Western vampire and a ghost.
Ji Tóng
A trained medium who opens herself to spirit possession.
Kòu Tóu
To prostrate oneself before an acknowledged superior, such as the Emperor or a particularly powerful city official.
Ku Lû Chén
The City of Bones, the heart of the Asian underworld. It is here that most wraiths ultimately end up, in the gargantuan city-building of interwoven bones and jade that makes the great arcologys of many a science fiction tale look like toy blocks. It is a place where every nightmare ever dreamt takes form. From the Battlefield, the massive city spires and towers always loom in the distance. There are 18 sections (or Wards) to the city (whether this is intentional or, in fact, the source of much mythology, one can only speculate) which are segregated according to different "sins", and only wraiths with the appropriate deathmarks are allowed into the corresponding areas. Wraiths with multiple types of deathmarks are very rare and are assigned special jobs between the Wards. Vertically, there are rumoured to be over 10,000 levels. Sometimes the city is called Dì Shì, or the Undercity. The city, and the Underworld for the most part, is controlled by Yén Wáng, the Emperor and Final Judge of the Dead. He is served by the 4 Death Lords, the Sî Wàng Pàn Guan.
Ku Hún Zhàn Châng
The Battlefield of Withered Souls, one name the wraiths of the Asian Underworld give to the Tempest. To them, it is an infinite plain shrouded in a thick, perpetual fog of tormented souls. Here is where a wraith fights her greatest battle - the one against her own Shadow.
Kwéi Lêi
String dolls or puppets used during Daoist ritualistic plays to represent the gods. In W:tO it is a person being ridden by a wraith using Puppetry.
Líng Hún
Living soul.
Líng Tî
A wraith's corpus. Literally, "afterworld body."
Miào Hùi
A temple procession honouring a god on his anniversary of becoming a god (his holy day). This procession takes the form a loud parade through the streets with temple followers setting off fireworks to scare away evil spirits and impersonating other lesser gods acting as the god's escort.
Míng Jiào
"Clear teaching. A good faction or temple.
Mó Fâ
Sorcery or witchcraft. The Dark Arts. Arcanos.
Mó Gûi
Demon; devil; monster. To various people it has equally various meanings. To the wraiths of the Underworld, they are the vilest and most powerful of the spectres (or even the monstrous Malfeans).
Mó Lì
The powers of spectres and other shadow-eaten souls. Translated literally, it means "evil-spirit power."
Mó Líng
An evil spirit of the Nether-World. This is the most common word for spectres among the wraiths of Asia.
Ní Gu
A Buddhist nun.
Pû Dù
Festival of Universal Salvation to help orphan souls move on. Held on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month, (Ghost Month).
Pú Rén
Servant. Traditionally, poor families would sell their children to the wealthy merchant class in order to make extra cash. These children would then be slaves for the rest of their lives unless the families could afford to by them back.
"Bone soul." The soul formed during a person's life, influenced heavily by the physical, mental, and spiritual environment. According to tradition, there are 7 parts to this soul, each part corresponding to a major area of the body (i.e. the legs, the arms, etc.). Where the Hún is eternal, lasting through every lifetime, the Pò is not. When a person dies, their Pò is supposed to dissipate like a breath of air. However, this doesn't always happen, and Pò that don't fade tend to follow the Hún into its next incarnation. Because of the fleeting impermanence of the Pò, it becomes very attached to the material world of the body and does everything in its power to bind itself here, thus dragging down the Hún. During funerary rites, the Daoist priests take measures to bind any undissipated Pò to the body so that it can't follow the Hún, or even worse, hang around and bother mortals. This soul acts as the buffer between the living world and the divine soul, and as such is seen as inherently bad because it is so short-sighted (it only knows and understands the here and now of a single lifetime). However, it is not conscious enough nor clever enough to be the Shadow. Rather, it is more or less the irresistible spiritual craving that binds one to the world of the living. In W:tO, it is the sum of a wraith's fetters.
Qing Míng Jie
Grave Sweeping Day. A day to honour the spirits of your ancestors (who are more than likely in Hell and need all the moral support they can get). Held on the 5th day of the 4th solar month (April).
San Hún Qi Pò
"Three souls, seven spirits." An ancient Daoist belief about the nature one's spiritual existence. The Hún aspect is eternal, while the Pò is fleeting, like a breath of air (in the grand scale of things).
Shì Ba Chén Dì Yù
The traditional word for Hell, literally "18 storey earth prison."
Shì Fù
Master worker. A polite form of address for Buddhist monks and nuns, as well as masters at some meritorious action (skill), such as martial arts.
Sî Gúo
The Kingdom of the Dead, another word for the Underworld.
Sî Wàng Pàn Guan
The Death-Lords of the City of Bones ("death-judges"). They number 4 (an ominous number in Chinese culture - it's the same sound as 'death'), and they determine which Ward a wraith will reside in (although hardly alone: The sheer numbers of dead being trafficked daily prohibits this. Instead, they each have a massive staff of underlings who perform most judgements). The Death Judges are notoriously wicked. Each one directly controls 4 Wards. No-one knows who or what resides in the remaining 2, though it is expected they are ruled directly by the Emperor himself.
Tài Jiàn
Tài Píng
The Great Peace. Transcendence.
Heaven; sky.
Tóu Tai
Wáng Hún
Dead soul. Revenants. The Risen.
Wáng Shì
Royal court. The people comprising the Emperor's imperial circle of advisors, lovers, and friends.
Wû Shù
Martial arts. Tradition maintains that the First Form was taught to a small monastery of monks and nuns by the Bodhi Dharma when he came over from India for a visit. Originally, it was a series of exercises designed to unify a healthy body with a healthy mind, but as the centuries passed, the monks refined it into the 5 Animals style of martial arts, a highly acrobatic and flashy combat form that uses moves inspired by the natural, uncontrived movements of different animals (monkey, snake, tiger, etc).
Xìan Zháng
City or provincial magistrate. The old form is Xìan Lìng.
Xi Xîe Gûi
Strictly vampires of Western origins. Never refers to native Chinese-style vampires.
Xíe Jiào
"Wicked teaching." An evil faction or temple.
Xîe Shí Bâo Zùo
The Blood Throne, the seat of ultimate power and destruction in the Asian Underworld. It is here that the Emperor himself sits, shrouded behind a gauze veil to prevent others from gazing upon his terrible visage. It is whispered in the shadows that the throne is all that keeps the wraiths of the City from descending straight into nothingness, and that its power is fuelled by souls of the dead. The traditional word for the Emperor's throne is Lóng Yî, or "dragon seat." Most wraiths dare not say the throne's name for fear that it will hear them and remember' them when the time comes to feed it. Instead, they call it the Hóng Yù Bâo Zùo ("red-jade throne"). No-one save the 4 Sî Wàng Pàn Guan has ever seen the Blood Throne, and it is allegedly carved from the purest piece of red jade ever found.
Xíe Qì
An evil presence possessing a location.
Yén Gûi
A kind of spectre. In classical China, these were beautiful and terrible spirits that received sustenance from human souls. Used only with females and implies extreme beauty and shrewdness. The old form is Mèi.
Yén Wáng
The King of Hell, or to be more exact, the Emperor and Final Judge of the Dead. This figure has ruled over the City of Bones and the Underworld for as long as the oldest wraiths can remember. No-one has actually seen the Emperor in many, many centuries, although this being's presence is often felt quite strongly. No knows it, but something happened to the original Yén Wáng during the T'ang Dynasty, and a mysterious woman replaced him and has sat on the Blood Throne ever since. The Emperor has 4 Death Lords serving her, called the Sî Wàng Pàn Guan.
Yén Wáng Diàn
The palace of the Emperor of Hell. Where all Final Judgements take place. It is located at the center of the City of Bones, where all the Wards meet in one common nexus.
Yìn Bíng
Soldier of the Nether-World. Doomshades.
Yìn Jian
The ghost world which overlaps the living world. The Shadowlands.
Yìn Qì
An evil presence possessing a person or animal.
Balance or harmony. Yìn represents the female, or dark, aspect while Yáng is the male, or light, aspect. One cannot exist with the other, and, in fact, one is an intrinsic part of the other. When one aspect reaches its apex, it turns into the other. The most basic, fundamental law of existence.
Jade. For Chinese in general, this material has almost holy significance. People wear it everyday in some form or another, whether as perfectly circular bracelet worn since childhood, or as amulets dedicated to certain gods. Believed to ward of ghosts and evil spirits. In the China of Darkness, most wraiths speculate that jade originates in the Underworld, coming from deep within the Labyrinth, and that the jade in the mortal world is that which was caught on that side before the Sundering. When a mortal dies, her jade always crosses over with her into the Underworld. In the mortal world there are many different kinds of jade, ranging in color from light green to deep, deep red. However, in the Underworld, it all becomes one color: a sickly vein-streaked blue. One kind in particular, Fêi Cùi, is especially prized as its colours never change. This kind of jade has many unique, mystical properties that can be utilised if one knows the proper Arcanos. In the Underworld, the King of Hell confiscates all jade, and any wraith caught with Fêi Cùi is immediately sent to the Weavers (except Enfants, who bring it over after death and don't know any better).
Yù Húang Dà Dì
The Jade Emperor, the mythological ruler of Heaven. Popular folklore in the Underworld often relates tales of how the Jade Emperor sometimes descends into Hell to claim souls unjustly imprisoned there and take them to Heaven were they belong. Each time this happens, a maelstrom is sent to punish the inhabitants of the City and their Emperor.
Yù Xî
The Imperial Jade Seal.
Yúen Fèn
Fate. A person's fate is tied directly to their Hún and the soul-debts racked up in previous lives.


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