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Legend told that Hsin Fu Chan discerned the trigrams from patterns in the back of a great lizard as it slept. After this inauspicious start, the trigrams were developed over time into a more sophisticated, less lizard-based method.
Use of the Book of Change was common to all levels of Shou Lung society. It was also an important aspect of the magic wielded by priests of the Way. It functioned rather like the spell fate known to shukenja, but could be used by anyone, though perhaps less reliably.
By 1357 DR, it was common for one to toss a handful of broken and whole chopsticks into a circle, and choose six from the top, producing a pattern of broken and unbroken lines. The user then consulted the Book of Change, finding two out of six possible trigrams that best matched the pattern. Each of the eleven possible combinations corresponded to a symbol and an explanation or recommendation for the future; those in the middle were common than those at the extremes.
|2||Destruction||"Forces are at hand to unmake your fortunes. Use great care."|
|3||Fellowship||"You will meet or find allies in your cause."|
|4||Simplicity||"The best course is that which does the least."|
|5||Discipline||"You must resist the impulse to give up. Strive harder to succeed."|
|6||Patience||"Do not begin unprepared. Wait for the right time."|
|7||Love||"Strong passions call you. Turn to one who shares your feelings."|
|8||Mountain||"Stand fast in your principles. Do not yield at this time."|
|9||Sea||"Always shifting. Be untouchable, make your position flexible, adaptable."|
|10||Anger||"The Fire leaps within you. Use this force to your purpose, but do not let it destroy your judgement. Do not be consumed by hate."|
|11||Fear||"Indecision tears at you. Turn away or stand and face the fear."|
|12||Creation||"Great forces may be used to your benefit."|
The Book of Change is based on the I Ching, called Changes, which presents a similar system of divination using a system of hexagrams.