Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires
According to one long-held theory about the origins of Asia’s caste system, Aryans from central Asia invaded other parts of Asia and introduced the caste system as a means of controlling the local populations. The Aryans defined key roles in society, then assigned groups of people to them. Individuals were born into, worked, married, ate, and died within those groups. There was no social mobility. In our World of Darkness, the caste system is alive and well, though not often discussed openly, even among mortals, it is just an ‘understood’ part of many Asian cultures.
Which caste your character came from in their first life will inform how they treat, and are treated by the other characters a little.
Choose the caste that best fits your character’s origin and concept as a mortal. Though the caste systems in Japan, China and other Asian countries differ, I’ve chosen the Indian caste system’s wording to express these concepts.
Castes are expressed from 1-5 like a background, but cost nothing unto themselves as long as they fit your character background.
Caste O – Untouchables – perform tasks associated with disease and pollution, such as cleaning up after funerals, dealing with sewage, and working with animal skin.
Caste OO – Laborers are called Sudras.
Caste OOO – Merchants and producers are called Vaishyas
Caste OOOO – Warriors and nobility are called Kshatriyas
Caste OOOOO – Spiritual leaders and teachers are called Brahmins
Brahmins in some cultures were considered the embodiment of purity, and untouchables the embodiment of pollution. Physical contact between the two groups was often absolutely prohibited. To put this into perspective, in some cases, Brahmins adhered so strongly to this rule that they felt obliged to bathe if even the shadow of an untouchable fell across them.