It is the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom. It is a time of great prosperity and cultural advancements. Philosopher kings reign, the arts reach their peak, and wars between neighboring states have all but ceased. Unfortunately with this state of tranquility comes a sense of affluence and complacency never before witnessed. People become increasingly lethargic and arrogant, quickly forgetting the sacred customs and traditions of the ancients. Heaven becomes increasingly alarmed.
It is at this time that Nuwa, Queen of Heaven, concerned with the happenings on earth, decrees a celestial banquet to be held for the leaders of Heaven. The event, known as the Peach Blossom Banquet, is attended by all the gods of Heaven, their various ministers and servants, and a select group of mortals. The event begins peacefully but soon calamity strikes...
It begins with the action of one man. A highly decorated and arguably one of the most powerful militarists in Heaven, The Crimson General of the Heavenly Navy, drunkenly begins harassing the Moon Goddess asking her for a dance. The Goddess, nervous and frail, finds herself defenseless from the advances of the inebriated General... but as Heaven does not stand for such improprieties, the God of Decency, enraged at the General's heretical actions, banishes the immortal General to the human planes.
Following the General's disturbance, Nuwa calls for a toast and requests that her most cherished possession, the Divine Peach-Wine Chalice, be brought to her to settle her mood. Her servant, in his haste to please the disturbed Goddess, trips and accidentally drops the sacred vessel shattering it into thousands of pieces; all which immediately fall to the mortal realm below.
During the commotion, the Treasure of Heaven, which had been on display in the banquet hall, suddenly disappears without a trace. The treasure, a sacred ark infused with special magical seals to prevent any evil from coming near it, has now vanished.
These are the events that led to a state of emergency being declared within the Heavenly realms. Calamity, chaos, and accusations of corruption ensue. Dignities point fingers at one another, each accusing the other as the culprit.
A Heavenly decree is made stating that an expedition will be sent to the Western Lands to seek the knowledge, wisdom, and blessings required to calm and purify the Heavens once again. It is decided that a monk will lead the journey, and that he will be the one to retrieve the blessings which are inscribed on magical scrolls. Strong and virtuous warriors of the Earth's three races are to accompany and protect the spiritually advanced, but physically weak, monk.
In preparation for this mission, the three races of the earth the Renzu, Yaoh, and Shenzu are called upon by Heaven to perform specialized tasks to prove themselves worthy: the Renzu are given the task of gathering the shards of the broken chalice; the Yaoh are entrusted with the duty of tracking down the sacred ark; and the Shenzu are commissioned to locate the now-banished General who has now been deemed of great importance.
When these tasks set forth by Heaven have all been completed, each race will be given the honor of choosing their respective candidate to take part in the Holy Mission.
On a side note: Fate is a funny thing as it turns out, a great error occurred during the reincarnation process of the General. The Reincarnation Wheel suffered a rare glitch and caused the General to be reborn in the form of a pig. Undeterred, the General remained true to his nature, and soon dark whispers of a powerful demon-pig terrorizing the countryside came to be...