The Celestial Twelve
The Twelve are the ex-celestial protector of ancient China. All were exile from their homelands and unwritten from Chinese lore. They all served different roles while protector, but have now scattered and taken on new roles of their own choosing. All are immortal being who carry aspects to one of the Chinese zodiac animals. All children of the Twelve are born as normals but all have lived blessed long lives.
In ancient times when one of the twelve died a candidate was selected from matching birth years and given one of the twelve celestial rings. The only power of the rings is to have the heavens aspect the candidate with celestial gifts. Not all the candidates are blessed with celestial power. The heavens have their own fickle ways of deciding, but even failed candidates go on to live long blessed lives. Once a candidate received his or her gifts, they would swear an oath to serve the empire unto death.