The Immaculate Philosophy is the state mandated faith of the Realm’s sphere of influence, a reincarnationist creed which teaches that individual souls become spiritually enlightened over multiple incarnations until they are reborn as Dragon-Blooded. Immaculates believe that after reaching perfection as Terrestrial Exalted, a soul unites with the Five Elemental Dragons. These terrestrial deities, the Immaculates claim, spawned the world and are masters over all of its elemental Essence flows. The soul is then said to strengthen Creation and serves to bring forth new souls.
The Immaculate Philosophy purports to provide a framework to encourage individuals’ spiritual advancement. It does this by developing strong, supportive, orderly communities in which individuals can prosper materially—perceived as the first step on the road to spiritual prosperity.
This philosophy holds that Dragon-Blooded are inherently suited to rule mortals, by right of their superior spiritual station. The Immaculate Order, the world’s leading proponent of the philosophy, enforces practice of this religion everywhere the Realm’s banner flies. The Order is a centralized, bureaucratized faith based on the Blessed Isle. Schismatic sects are tolerated only so long as they differ not from the Order on the matter of Terrestrial spiritual and political primacy.
As well as justifying Dragon-Blooded political dominance and Dynastic imperial ambitions, the Immaculate Philosophy also serves an important role by restraining selfish or wicked deities from enslaving mortals. Left to their own devices, many gods would demand ruinous tributes from every mortal they could force themselves upon. Some gods delight in consuming humans as sacrifices or forcing victims to pray themselves to death. The Immaculates dictate to gods that they will receive their fair share of devotion and prayer, while restraining their more inhuman appetites and checking their gluttony for Essence.
In the Immaculate understanding, the Five Elemental Dragons were incarnated in five specific individuals—the Immaculate Dragons—during the destruction of the Anathema and immediately afterwards. Their heroism helped banish the Anathema from Creation, and to rebuild civilization after the war.
Immaculate dogma holds that the Immaculate Dragons are not just historical figures, but the eternal ideals that persons of the faith are to strive to hold themselves up against. Veneration of the Dragons in these avatars is important to Dragon-Blooded culture, and many Exalted strive greatly to emulate their examples. Later Immaculate thinking introduced the notion of the antitheses—the spiritual opposites of the Immaculate Dragons. These are not presented as real, historical figures, but rather as abstract examples of behavior to avoid.
Daana’d, Arbiter of the Immaculate Complaint: A headstrong youth whose spirit gave her the determination to swim to the bottom of the sea and lock the Anathema away in the Underworld forever. Devotees of Daana’d expose themselves to hardship, seeking to perfect their Essence through challenges. Daana’d’s antithesis is the “Unmanly Babbler,” who whines for others to fix their problems, when the real answer lies within—the individual is generating the situations they wish to be rescued from.
Hesiesh, Reciter of Loud Prayers and Efficacious Hymns: Hesiesh was a powerful Exalt who used his powers only once, burning Creation clear of corpses after the first marches of the war against the Anathema, so the slaughtered billions would not breed hungry ghosts. His careful husbanding of Essence is held up as the core lesson for Fire Aspects, who have a tendency to dissipate themselves by racing in every possible direction. His antithesis is the “Illiberal Churl” who hoards up treasures without reason, and follows traditions blindly without truly understanding their wisdom.
Mela, Petitioner of Clouds Accordant to the Call of Battle: Mela was the first and the eldest of the Immaculate Dragons to appear. She first introduced the rigorous training that underlies mastery of the Immaculate Forms, and her protective winds defended the Terrestrial armies against the fiery wrath of the Anathema. Her antithesis is the “Sickly Whore” who squanders natural gifts in dissipation and selfishness rather than sharing them with the community
Sextes Jylis, He Who Hath Strewn Much Grass: After the war against the Anathema, Sextes Jylis wandered Creation, planting the seeds of great forests and vast meadows. Where the fires of war had scorched, he brought life back. He is seen as the exemplar of Exalted stewardship among Terrestrials, laboring endlessly—and successfully—to renew the world. The antithesis of Sextes Jylis is the “Inconsiderate Horseman” who rides directly in the ruts of the road, giving himself easy passage but making conditions worse for everyone who comes after him.
Pasiap, He Who Illuminates Both Worlds with Majesty and Power: Pasiap was the last of the Immaculate Dragons to emerge. He appeared just as the war against the Anathema ended. He taught the Dragon-Blooded the secrets of geomancy and led them in constructing great manses and feats of civic engineering. He instructed the Dragon-Blooded in the perfection of their Charms, and is the ideal of the Dragon-Blooded who masters difficult arts and labors endlessly to transfer secrets to a new generation of heroes. The antithesis of Pasiap is the “Ostentatious Peasant,” who gathers up the treasures of knowledge and skill, and spends her life extracting wealth from that knowledge without repaying society by passing it on.