While officially known as The Imperial Trials of Fortune, most refer to them simply as The Trials. Run by the Imperial Bureaucracy and sponsored by all of the major organisations within Keimusho, The Trials are an assessment of youth throughout the Empire to determine the creme of the crop to be sponsored into one of the following organisations:
- The Onmyoji
- The Shudan priesthoods
- Members of the various merchant and craft guilds
- The Imperial Army
- The Jade Dragons
- The Itako
- The Imperial Bureaucracy itself
Being offered a full sponsor and scholarship into any of the above organisations is seen as a sign of good fortune and a great honour. In fact, the priestess’ of Ashakar, The Goddess of Fate and Fortune also cast auguries to determine if a child is blessed by fortune. While the parents (and children if they are at least 15 years of age) may turn down the offer to be sponsored into one of the above organisations, it is exceedingly rare for it to happen, especially among the poorer citizens who see this as a great opportunity for their family to advance its position on the Wheel of Life.
The Trials themselves run a wide range of tests and examinations over a one week period, including calligraphy, painting, wrestling, running, climbing, a range of intelligence and aptitude tests, martial arts and poetry.
While The Trials are run in every major city and town once every 5 years, it can be as infrequent as once every 10 years in the smaller or more remote villages. Needless to say, there can be a lot of politics, bargaining and favouritism involved, though even the poorest families have an opportunity for their children to rise in social station.