The Union of Noble Families is one of the Advanced Clans in 9Dragons.
They are believed to not be allied with any clans, but rather, are completely neutral.
Their preferred Weapons are Fans.
Little else is known about them.
The Five Noble Familes are Huangfu, Murong, Nangong, Sima and Zhuge. Each of these Five Families claim ancestors that served as the keepers and trainers of The Imperial Court’s martial arts since the Tang Dynasty. They continued to enjoy the favor of the government, to whom many of them had become entwined by marriage, until The Ming Dynasty, where their royal retainer was severed. Having amassed a great deal of wealth and power in their own right, The Five Families continue to prosper. Emperors have come and gone, but the Families remain, powerful enough to remain immune to the pitfalls of each government’s treacherous politics. As time passed, however, without unification of purpose, the various branches of the family took up residence in different Provinces throughout The Land.
When Nangong Hui’s father died, young Hui, the only male in a family often bereft of male children, became head of the Nangong Family. Less than a year later, the honorable Choi Huangfu, leader of The Union of Noble Families, was killed in a duel. With the Union’s leadership vacant, a secret summit was called between all of The Familes, which was held at an undisclosed location in Beijing. Here, over tests of combat between the chosen delegates of each family, Nangong Hui proved his Kung Fu and Fan techniques were superior. And so, for the first time in over two centuries, The Nanchong Family took the mantle of power within The Union.
Unlike other clans, with their strong religious ideals and ever-shifting alliances, The Union remains indifferent to The Imperial Emperor’s will. To them the current Imperial regime in Beijing is “But a momentary breeze in a gathering storm.” This autonomy remained for many years until The War of Nine Dragons, where the clan was eventually pressured into conflict with both the White Clans, led by Shaolin, who demanded their allegiance in the name of nobility and under the threat of annihilation by the Black Clan forces of both Heavenly Demon and Black Dragon clans. Both sides swore there could be no neutrality, and hence The Union became caught up in their war.
So it was that Nangong Hui became one of the legendary Nine Dragons who stood ready for combat at the infamous final Duel of Nine Dragons. Though many of the clan’s heroes disappeared following that event, Nangong Hui simply returned to his clan, never speaking of the incident to any but his closest advisors. Though officially disbanded by Nangong himself, The Union continues to secretly operate throughout The Land. Membership is by special invitation only.
Kung Fu Style
Nangong Hui is the successor of an ancient noble lineage, his forefathers having served as the martial arts instructors to The Imperial Court during the ancient Tang Dynasty. Though the clan’s leaders each bare the noble bloodlines of one of the Five Noble Families, its disciples need only be acquainted with their vast collective knowledge of history, politics and literature. Though these disciples become high-level initiates of Five Family Kung Fu techniques, they are also permitted to study other disciplines. Disciples master many weapons, but in emulation of Nangong Hui, the deadly fan is a current prerequisite. The Graceful Fan has stood the test of ages as the preferred weapon of scholarly, noble warriors.
The dragon of the Union of Noble Families, he was born into a family plagued with misfortune - delivering almost all females to their women and resulting in the near-collapse every generation of the family. At a young age, he was prophesised to become the leader of the Nangong clan which terrified his father as his son knew no Kung Fu, and didn't feel capable enough to teach his son. Consequently, he arranged for his son to be kidnapped, where he was trained for 3 years by a retired assassin named Buko. Once a month, his father would arrange "business meetings" to observe his son's progress from afar, and after Buko stated that he thought Hui was ready, he visited his son and told him everything that had transpired. Telling his begging father that he understood, he requested to stay with Buko another year to complete his martial arts studies. A year later, the final payment was delivered and Buko returned Hui as requested back to the clan. After his father's death, Hui became the leader of the Union. In the War of 9 Dragons however, Buko came out of retirement as a commander in the service of the Thunder Emperor, whereupon he faced Hui in combat. Buko fell, being slain by an arrow unleashed by Hui's only son. Nothing has been heard of Hui since.