By Pagoda_Eyeland Comments
Thousands of years ago a great earthquake split China's Baligou Valley, revealing a lost empire from a time before man. Ancient beings returned to the surface world and walked among mankind, settling along the valley. Over time humans came to the knowledge that the lost empire was comprised of remnants of an ancient empire formed long ago known as the 9th Underworld. The queen of the 9th underworld had warred against fellow lords of the underworlds which left her with more enemies than allies, her only way to prevent her destruction was to rebuild in the world of men.
In the world of men the queen was received as a Goddess. Red Maiden was her name, and for generations she and her underlings lived in peace until the imperial court of the Han dynasty caught wind of their existence. Fearing they were demons, the court dispatched a unit of soldiers to investigate the "demons of Baligou Valley" but they were never heard from again. After receiving no word for months the court's fear of Red Maiden had grown. Several more attempts to investigate her were made but all resulted in failure. The court then began a campaign called The Siege of Baligou Valley, waging a war that would last for decades, with millions dead, before finally having an end.
Charged with the heading of the campaign was a general named Iron Clad. He was commissioned with millions of the imperial army's finest armored troops. Upon arrival to the mountain pass the general was met with a barrage of falling boulders and lost half of his men. The loss was great but served as an even greater lesson for the general who responded by ordering his men to ascend the mountain off of the main roads and in small groups to prevent himself from losing any more troops. Unfortunately, as clever as the general was, that first loss was the main factor of his eventual withdrawal from the mountain. After raging on for ten years, and after millions of imperial soldiers perished, the campaign finally came to an end and general Iron Clad was discharged.
The imperial court still feared the presence of Red Maiden, however, so a messenger was sent to shaolin with a mandate to have one of their brave monks venture to the mountain and perform an exorcism. The abbot of shaolin agreed, knowing his selfless and talented disciple, Crested Ibis, would be the best choice but feared the young monk was not ready and requested for a delay period of three years in order to train him. Crested Ibis was learned in shaolin's most powerful arts of exorcism, many of which were considered evil as they were forbidden arts. Only the most disciplined disciples were taught these arts and Crested Ibis is the last known monk to have learned them.
Red Maiden was aware of shaolin's involvement in a ploy to rid the world of her and her kind so as the young monk journeyed into the land of the 9th Underworld she confronted him head on. Their first bout was quick but there was no clear victor. Red Maiden threatened to kill the monk if he did not leave, knowing full well that she couldn't because his abilities matched her own, but the monk calmly replied by asking her to return to the underworld from where she had come from. The queen decided to use her cunning to defeat Crested Ibis, offering a way to settle matters. She proposed a series of trials for the monk to undergo, if he passed them she promised to heed his request. Crested Ibis agreed and the first trial he was given was one of fear. Red Maiden summoned a monstrous serpent from the underworld to scare the monk but he was fearless, and vanquished it into the depths of a volcano within the valley's range. Red Maiden knew she could not get rid of Crested Ibis through fear tactics so the second trial she gave him was one of endurance. Red Maiden called forth a snow storm that left Baligou Valley frozen over with ice, no one dared to enter the land then as it was too cold, but Crested Ibis remained. The queen was flustered but after a period of thought she came up with a third and final trial, one she was sure the monk would fail.
One day as Crested Ibis sat in meditation he was visited by eight succubi who attempted to seduce him with their beauty but he merely kept his eyes shut.. The succubi then proceeded to caress, fondle and grope the him in an attempt to invoke uncleanly thoughts in his mind but Crested Ibis was a master of meditation and thus was able to block his thoughts. Red Maiden was furious then, and broke her promise, challenging the monk to a final bout.
After a furious battle the Red Maiden managed to gain the upper hand, securing the victory for herself. She kept the beaten and battered Crested Ibis as her prisoner and husband, cursed to break the sacred covenants of chastity he swore to protect upon becoming a disciple of shaolin, and breed with the goddess to produce 12 sons and 12 daughters who would one day wreak havoc upon the underworld for Red Maiden as revenge for her exile. Years later, Crested Ibis traveled to the volcano of Baligou Valley and caused an eruption that surrounded the 9th underworld with a sea of flame. It was the only way he could seal the empire from the world of men. He then returned and settled within its borders inside of a canyon.
Since then the empire has come to be known as Pagoda Eyeland due to its resemblance to the eye.