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Backstory

        During the war fought between Gods and Demons in the distant past, a convicted evil deity was imprisoned in Dark Cove. For a lark, he ripped out a tiny bit of the greed within his mind to create the gluttonous Taotie as his companion. But Taotie was discovered by the Gods, and they ordered the evil deity to execute it. Discontent, the deity asked the Sabbatic Goat to bring the small Taotie away. It was sent to the realm of men where it survived by devouring crops. It was soon driven out by people as a vermin. Taotie was found by the evil ascetics at the ancient time who then imprisoned it and fed it with souls, in order to harness its power through evil sorcery.

        The ancestor of the Hermit of Noble Authority was one of those evil ascetics. In order to claim Taotie’s power all for his own, he drained its power and secretly carried the dwindled Taotie away with him. However, he soon died from a curse he was put under by other evil ascetics after escaping to a village. But his kin settled and took root there over the years. As time passed, they eventually forgot the sorcery of the evil ascetics and treated Taotie simply as a long-lived mythological beast.

        Taotie lived peacefully with people until the fire of war spread to the village. A brigade of the Gods discovered Taotie’s power and demanded the villagers to hand it over, but they refused to comply with the request as they considered Taotie as the patron of their land. Being rejected, the Gods tried to take Taotie by force. Although the villagers fought to their last breaths, they were no match for their strong enemies. Children of the village went in all directions as they fled in the chaos; little Taotie only managed to escape with a child whom it carried in its mouth.

        The child swore revenge on the Gods. He studied evil sorcery using Taotie as a media and became an evil ascetic himself with the help of Demons. The evil ascetic gained his power through the dark art of evil wizardry and shared it with Taotie. Taotie and the hermit walked together on the path of evil sorcery, owing allegiance to neither Human, the Gods nor the Demons. They were called by other ascetics “the Sage of the Center”.

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