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The Court of Brass Weeds

The Court of Brass Weeds is a renegade Spirit Court situated in the Northern Threshold, just East of the Cherak Territories.

Location and Appearance: The Court is found in a bleak forest, on a small hill beneath the roots of a large rotting tree. The entrance appears to be a large hole burrowed by some animal, but is actually the gateway to the Sanctum that houses the Court. Through the gateway, the Court appears to be a large round hall, opulently decorated after the fashion of certain disreputable salons in Nexus: the lighting is low, mainly provided by the flickering Quintessence candles in the elaborate brass candelier floating above through the thick haze of scented smoke, and in the draped cubbyholes that give small groups the chance to speak quietly. Elementals and small gods drift too and fro to the low couches, nondescriptly bringing the reclining patrons their orders of food, drink or drugs. The most well-lit spot is the center stage upon which musicians (usually gods, but sometimes ghosts or even demons) perform celestial dances, songs, or ethereal melodies to accompany the customers' phantasmal reveries. Across from the stage, facing the entrace, is a raised dais upon which rests the Lord of the Court, Xiaolu, Baron of the Forbidden.

Xiaolu normally takes the form of a giant catepillar-like creature with the face and many arms of a man and is rarely seen without his Ambrosial hookah. Once a minor functionary in the Bureau of Humanity, he lost his job when much of that department was annexed by the Bureau of Heaven. For a time, he subsisted in the forgotten areas of Yu-Shan along with other derelict gods, until learning that he had a knack for securing the things that others wanted but could not have. Recruiting allies and building a powerbase for himself was surprisingly easy, but he soon attracted the attention of the Consors and their Celestial Lions when he overreached himself by trying to gain too many dregs of the Peaches of Immortality for his "clients". No fool, he quickly moved his entire operation out of Heaven and set up shop in Creation.

There, he found that mortals were even more needy than the gods and quickly hit upon a way to serve both clientale. Xiaolu now runs a Prayer Racket, where he uses his network of agents and influence to give mortals what they want, while requiring said mortals to pray constantly and earnestly to various down-on-their-luck and forgotten deities (needless to say, he skims a little "finder's fee" percentage off the top, of course...). He also arranges for the "disappearance" of gods who find themselves in hot water in Heaven, smuggling them to safe places, and even setting up new identities for them. In this fashion, Xiaolu has an impressive collection of Favors and Cult in both Creation and Heaven, which he cautiously banks against some rainy day. Such as when Heaven's wrath finally finds him...

Regulars at the Court of Brass Weeds

Whispering Breeze is an unsually powerful and intelligent Wind-Maker elemental who serves the Court as major domo, briskly arranging all of Xiaolu's business affairs and meetings. While tempted to take over the racket for himself, he stays right where he is because it is ultimately safer to have someone else with a target on them. Xiaolu is well-aware of this, and makes a private game of tempting him with opportunities to overthrow him to see if he will take them. Given that most of the pens and paper Whispering Breeze uses to keep the records updated are soulforged from other spirits who have tried, he's not likely to try anytime soon...

Contentious Badger is a Ronin Sidereal Chosen of Battles who left Yu-Shan because he grew bored with weaving Fate. Now, he sells his services in minor skirmisches to stay under the Sidereals' notice, and is patiently waiting for them to offer him a chance to return. Until then, he has a good thing going at the Brass Weeds as Head of Security and Chief Enforcer, as well as summoner of 1st Circle demons for Xiaolu's pleasure. At least until something better comes along...

Ogeode is an Enlightened Mountain Folk of the Worker Caste, who has learned some of the Warrior Patterns. Unusually gruff and cantankerous for his people, he decided he's rather be by himself and struck out for his own fortune. He's still not sure if it's the fact that the Brass Weeds is somewhat underground that allows him to obey the Great Geas, but he's not the sort to look a gift horse in the mouth. He doesn't like Xiaolu (or much of anyone), but the god provides him with a place to stay and plenty of Quintessence and Ambrosia to work with, so he's content. He also repairs and maintains the extensive store of 1st Age devices and weapons that Xiaolu often recieves as gifts and bribes.

Alyssum is a Fair Folk Luminary who is currently suffering the Curse of Namelessness. She has been in this state for quite some time, but only needs to betray herself a couple more times to have her identity restored to her. Her actions then are unpredictable; she could attempt to raze the entire Court to the ground, or attempt to take it over, or even attempt to join Xiaolu in an equal partnership. In the meantime, Xiaolu, who won her in a bet with a Raksha, keeps her chained to his podium and uses her as a dancer to entertain important guests. Her delicately graceful beauty and winsomely innocent manner captivate many and the prospect of a dalliance with her has secured more alliances than all the Ambrosia in his stores. Xiaolu allows her to feed on the besotted dreams of those who attempt to make off with her...