Jaith is always portrayed as a slender young man of indeterminate age. He is usually shown with black eyes and white hair. He always has a broken (seven pieces) infinity knot around his eyes (a birthmark or tattoo), and a jade flute. He is usually shown playing the flute in the middle of a chaotic scene, a favorite being his surroundings falling apart around him.
“In the third year of the boy-Emperor Alexander’s reign, a man named Jaith came to the Imperial Palace, claiming to be a messenger. He was sent away three times before His Imperial Majesty saw him. Jaith’s message was simply this: A change comes. Two days later, the Circle of Ministers put into action a failed plan to assassinate the Emperor and replace him with a puppet king under their direct control. This sparked the Great Reform which spread through the government like a fire…”
- Excerpt from Chapter XXV,
The Great History of Daesson
A hundred years ago, the historian Isandin of the Order of the Opal Tower, compiler of the Great History, noticed a peculiar circumstance. In several major accounts, the same name, Jaith, had a tendency to frequently appear. It was always in conjunction with some account of a major change: revolution, assassination, war, etc. With one or two exceptions, it was a minor mention that would not have attracted notice save for the sheer number of times it appeared.
Upon closer inspection, it seemed impossible that it could be the same Jaith; the references covered centuries. However, no one by the name of Jaith ever appeared in census records, tax rolls, or records of births or deaths. When physical descriptions were attatched, they were suspiciously similar.
Curious, Isandin investigated further. He turned up more mentions of Jaith, always in the same proximity of a great change. Then the scholar found the account of the cult of Che’la, a minor goddess of a tribe long ago absorbed by the Empire of Daesson. A goddess of chaos…
“It is said that Che’la saw that the world had stagnated. Her followers were loyal, and sought to forment change. This seeming act of rebellion was harshly supressed by the tribe’s conquerers. Che’la saw this and took a direct hand in things.
A young man bearing the symbol of Che’la on his face came to the main temple soon after. “My mother sends me with a message…”
-Excerpt from Chapter XXV,
The Great History of Daesson
According to the mythology, Che’la’s son, Jaith, was sent to the mortal realm as a herald of change (some accounts say he’s a cause of change, but most use the term messenger). If Jaith appears, it is said, then great change is coming. Such a change could be for good or for ill, but it is garunteed to be major.
Isandin’s personal theory is that Jaith is more of a title than a name: a tiny fraction of the original cult survived, and adherents used the mythology to disguise themselves in order to cause anarchy. However, when the story became common knowledge after the publication of the Great History, the common folk tended to believe that Jaith was, in fact, the child of a long-forgotten kami, an immortal wanderer amusing himself by watching the chaos caused by his presence.
A whole series of myths and folklore has arisen around him; Jaith currently enjoys a reputation of a trickster hero, turning the tables on the arrogant and foolish. He’s also become a popular figure to paint.
Some of the sages of the Order of the Opal Tower have voiced fears that Jaith’s popularity might indicate a deep seated discontent with the set order of things, and that the people might decide to soon make their own changes. Few others credit this, however.
The only thing that all visual representations show him as having is a jade flute. The flute is not mentioned in any of the early mythology; in it’s earliest reference, it is said it was a gift from a king who credited Jaith with his rise to power.
Perhaps Jaith isn’t a figure of mythology; maybe he’s real. Sometimes he actually causes the change, giving rebellions or conspiritors a little nudge, sometimes he just watches. Maybe it’s time for him to put in another appearance.
Isandin’s idea could be correct, and Jaith might be nothing more than a title given anarchists in a small cult. But perhaps they should be watched carefully…
A rebellion might break out as the people become bolder. Inspired by the folk hero, ordinary men and women might do great things.