For hundreds of years the renowned warrior monks and demon hunters of the Temple of the Mists have ranged far and wide across the west of Yunshan keeping it safe. They have repelled foreign armies, hunted down murderous Gaki, and battled upstart wujen. Every time some charismatic bandit lord has risen to power and tried to carve his own kingdom out of Yunshan, they have been involved in crushing it.
The temple lies at the east side of Bartertown. It’s a massive compound, a maze of interconnected temples, shrines, craft halls, gardens, corridors and the homes of it’s thousands of residents. Bartertown is actually comprised of 2 parts, the eastern part is mostly taken up by the temple and its sprawling grounds. Western Bartertown has a nasty reputation for violent changes in leadership and accompanying periods of rioting. It is not known to be a peaceful place, and the more cultured nobles of eastern Yunshans clan lands often refer to it as an embarrassing but necessary remnant from the past. It was the only great Shinto city that was not fully purged in the Shu Ha Rebellion. It is a place tainted by wild ideas, and influenced by greedy merchants who are in a constant struggle for power. How the Temple of the Mists has played in these power struggles has had everything to do with whoever was leader at the time. Some High Priests have embroiled the temple in these struggles, even becoming the king makers of Bartertown. Other High Priests of the Temple of the Mists have stayed out of these conflicts, taking a hands off approach. Either way, the temple has always been a refuge for the downtrodden whenever conflicts flare up. Also, while there are many poor in Bartertown, no one ever goes hungry thanks to the Temple of the Mists.
The Temple of the Mists is not just an army of priests and monks. Thousands of lay servants, craftsmen, administrators, scribes and accountants are permanently employed by the temple and many live in villas upon its grounds. The Temple of the Mists is the master money changer between foreign and local merchants, and so has great power over the trade between Yunshan and the outside world.
Like many orders in Yunshan, the Temple of the Mists is shrouded in Mystery, but they do have some obvious goals which have been made apparent by hundreds of years of consistent action.
-The Temple of the Mists wants to keep trade open between the local Nozufoo merchant clans, and the merchant companies of foreign lands. There have been many times in Yunshan’s history when it’s rulers sought to shut it off from the outside world. Thanks to its geography it is an easy thing to do. The Temple of the Mists is the youngest of Yunshan’s great temples, founded mid way through the rule of the first Shinto king. Ever since it’s rise to power, it has always pushed to have contact with the outside world and to foster trade.
-Helping the poor, particularly orphans. The Temple takes in hundreds of orphans every year, feeding, clothing, and putting them through rigorous schooling which usually ends in a job of some kind at the temple. This has been going on so long that some speculate all within the order were once orphaned children.
-Maintaining a large corps of professionally trained warrior monks. Small bands of the orders warrior monks frequently patrol the surrounding roads and keep the pass into Yunshan secure. There are whispers that the Temple can field 3ooo warrior monks if it combined its forces. This rumor, which the Temple of the Mists does nothing to quell, has effected the other temples and the clan lords of the mist in different ways. Some are concerned, others jealous of such power, others grow suspicious. The people of Yunshan in general are not used to seeing formations of 500 or more marching down a road, but those who live near Bartertown see this all the time, and no one there minds the strong, army like presence of these brave warriors, except perhaps the bandits.
-Aquiring older Tein Ming magic and relics from the past. The temple is said to have vast catacombs filled with vaults that contain ancient magics. Some of these items are quarantined, sealed away from the world, but others are ready to be distributed among the orders defenders should the temple come under attack