Iehachi, the Garden of Heavenly Lineage
- For centuries, the nobility of Iehachi have bred with anyone and anything that might imbue their lines with Essence. A finer mongrel breed cannot be found anywhere else. - Alac Doren
Founded by a minor Dragon-Blooded family from the Shogunate era in the wake of the Contagion, the nation of Iehachi has thrived over the centuries through their practice of accepting anyone who can contribute Essence to their bloodlines. Outcaste Dragon-Bloods, unExalted Dynasts, God-Bloods, ghosts, small gods, beastmen, elementals, Fair Folk and demons: all are welcome if they can abide by civilized mores and provide healthy children.
The Eight Great Houses of Iehachi are each rich with supernatural blood. Most are God-Blooded of some stripe or another, often of a peculiar hybrid nature, and some few Exalt as Dragon-Bloods. Inhuman consorts are common in their halls, as the blood thins unless continually reinforced. God-Blooded strains are also strong in the sixteen acknowledged Lesser Houses, and can be found throughout the rest of the population as well. Upward mobility due to one's bloodline is not uncommon; even a street urchin can marry into a noble house if his blood is strong enough.
The most prestigious vocation in Iehachi is that of the matchmaker. In addition to personal charm and knowledge of etiquette, a skilled matchmaker must recognize the marks of spiritual breeding and understand how disparate bloodlines may be bred to create strong, healthy God-Blooded children rather than unwholesome chimeras. The greatest matchmakers gain enormous wealth and standing, and may even be adopted into a noble house without the usual Essence requirements - though they are not permitted to dilute the house's lineage with their mortal blood.
Iehachi's obsession with breeding has brought the nation great wealth and power. They have the largest concentration of Essence-wielders outside the Realm and Lookshy, giving them great strength in battle and leverage in diplomacy, and their matchmakers have brought in exorbitant sums from foreign nobles and merchants seeking to marry into an Iehachi bloodline. And now, with the return of the Solar Exalted, the matchmakers see yet another opportunity to strengthen their lineages, this time with Sun-touched blood, and some may risk the wrath of the Wyld Hunt to do so.
The Eight Great Houses
- House Azumaya
- House Hanshou
- House Ishimaru
- House Korenaga
- House Mizutani
- House Suzaku
- House Tokikara
- House Umebayashi