Corporeal Forces: 4 Strength: 10 Agility: 6
Ethereal Forces: 4 Intelligence: 8 Precision: 8
Celestial Forces: 5 Will: 12 Perception: 8
Vessel: Human male/6, Charisma +2
Elements: Astronomical Concepts (Stars), Society (Culture), Wealth (Gold)
Affinities: Artifice (primal: ‘Machines’), Deception (moderate), Entrancement (strong), Glamour (strong), Light (primal), Luck (moderate), Minerals (moderate: ‘Metal’), Wealth (moderate)
Skills: Area Knowledge/3 (PRC), Artistry/6 (propaganda), Dream-Shaping/3, Dodge/3, Emote/6, Fighting/3, Knowledge/6 (Marxist theology), Language (Cantonese/3, Mandarin/3)
Songs: Charm/3 (Celestial), Dreams/3 (Celestial), Motion/6 (Celestial), Shields/6 (Ethereal), Tongues (All/3)
Personal Rites: Serve the People for four hours in unglamourous labor (twice per day)
Worship Rites: Serve the People for a full day of labor (eight hours); spend five minutes reciting the “Ten Hidden Principles of Lei Feng.”
What? All of the non-Abrahamic religions spawn deities — even the ones that don’t think that they’re actually religions. That’s just the way it is. And the current Chinese ruling dynasty certainly did their best to create a living personification of vague, yet generally laudatory characteristics that were all worthy of veneration. Unfortunately for said ruling dynasty, they’re absolutely unaware of the long-term implications of this sort of thing in a world where ‘dialectical materialism’ is the punchline to a particularly hysterical joke in Angelic. And, sure, the previous pantheon’s priests would have been happy to explain the theurgical lay of the land to the current one’s priests, if only the former hadn’t been slaughtered by the latter as part of the Great Leap Forward. Ironic, no?
In general, Lei Feng would be an absolutely innocuous deity, particularly given that his pantheon tends more to run to death gods with a taste for human sacrifice. After all, the god was used to personify altruism and group effort, with surprisingly little emphasis on military prowess (something that Lei Feng is currently regretting), and successfully so. While his heyday was over forty years or so ago, Lei Feng’s background presence in modern day-to-day Chinese culture is undeniable. If left to himself, Lei Feng would be a cheerful, friendly, and undeniably helpful sort of deity; the kind that will happily lend a hand to any sort of project or endeavour. That was what he symbolized at first, after all.
However, the god’s image and likeness are increasingly becoming objects of derision in this modern age… and so much worse: they’ve become objects of irrelevance. This effectively means that Lei Feng has been sentenced to die – and he is not inclined to go quietly, or at all. Remember that Lei Feng did not begin as a human being, but was created by the beliefs generated by hearing stories about a human being. Those beliefs are in turn ‘flavored’ by the time period in which they were first conceptualized. And, unfortunately, 1960s-era Communist China was not precisely the most open and inclusive era in human history when it comes to things like ‘compromise’ or ‘avoiding jihads.’
All of which means that, when Lei Feng begins to manifest himself more openly in human affairs, he’s going to be encouraging fairly alarming behaviors. People won’t have to worship him; Lei Feng has no interest in forcing that issue. And non-believers won’t be particularly discriminated against, either. But the god’s followers will be carefully groomed to insist that others at least accept that Lei Feng exists. And they will back that insistence up with fists, clubs, guns, and gasoline cans. Also remember: there are over a billion people in the People’s Republic of China. That’s about the same number as those in India, which is currently home to a pantheon with enough raw power to keep both sides of the War thoughtful. If Lei Feng can do something similar, he’d pack quite a punch, metaphorically speaking. Or even not metaphorically speaking.
Both Heaven and Hell would prefer that this not happen, interestingly. Hell doesn’t want pagan religions operating without its permission and ‘oversight,’ and Heaven doesn’t want pagan religions operating at all. Plus, there’s the matter of the existing, pre-Marxist Chinese deities. The members of the various pantheons have been operating so far under the radar that some researchers are not really certain whether gods from those faiths have truly survived into the modern era. But if Lei Feng makes a successful bid to be openly worshipped in China, could he also resurrect the old Emperors and their celestial bureaucracy?
Or, as some angels quietly wonder… would the dragons come back, too?
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