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 

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Ren (top) Fubai (left) and Lao (right).

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Ming, Demigodess of the Rabbit rescuing a nomad from Itami assassins.

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Demigoddess of the Ox, Empress of Shilon

Lao

The Unbreakable

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Demigod of the Dragon, former Emperor of Shilon

Ren

The Mighty

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Demigod of the Snake, currently a locked vessel in the Gateway of Kindao

Fubai

The Vessel

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Demigod of the Wolf, Shilon general and assistant to the empress

Han Yu

The Loyal

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Demigoddess of the Rabbit, freely roams the Midora Woodlands.

Ming

The Wanderer

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Demigod of the Boar, oldest guardian standing and watch guard of Shilon's border.

Mao Rang

The Juggernaut

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Demigod of the Tiger, warlord of Monkhu, and former Emperor of Shilon

Hushin

The Onslaught

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Demigoddess of the Goat, Sacrificed her physical form to become Kudao's nature spirit.

Jing Lee

The Curator

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A Statue Commemorating Mao Rang

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The Throne of the Twelve Sons and Daughters, depicting all 12 of the Guardians including the current ruler; Lao.

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A statue of Shenhai, the father of all twelve guardians.