The Guardians of Shilon
The Guardians of Shilon are demigod-like beings that have been descended from Shenhai in the heavens to protect and rule the humans and have existed since the creation of Shilon itself. Each guardian posses godlike strength, speed, intelligence, and can live for eons without food or water. Once killed, their physical forms lie dead with their memories erased, but their souls are eternal and will be reborn after a thousand-year or longer sleep.
A guardian is born at a mythical waterfall located within a guarded sanctum, a newborn lies in a carriage floating from the fall's mist. There are 12 known Guardians of Shilon, The Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Wolf, and Boar, each guardian carries their own personality, strengths, weaknesses, and a relic. These relics are worn around the guardian's neck at birth and can transform by the owner into an assigned weapon. Lao's relic; The Ox's Shield, is an impenetrable defense weapon that can protect armies. Ren's relic; The Dragon's Claymore, is a massive blade that can summon raging fire. Each relic represents their wielder, and are forged out of dragon-fire from the heavens, no man dares to challenge a Guardian of Shilon with their relic
These guardians are each individually worshiped, and hold the right of emperor/empress upon birth. If multiple guardians are born at the same time, like Lao Ren and Fubai, their skills are to be tested and judged before being announced as Shilon's ruler. If they're no guardians, then a high noble under the right authority will be pronounced
A statue of Shenhai, the father of all twelve guardians.