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[LP CYOA] 傳

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Haven't counted but pr. sure CA is in the lead, possibly with DA?
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Forward to Xiangyang

    You give your order. Lingshu and the twins break away from the fight, sprinting towards Nie Wuxing. If the Master of Huashan is surprised, he does not let it show on his face. Without a second’s hesitation, he commands his duelists to intercept. Bai Jiutian, Zhang Minyue and Liu Qi close in on the unprotected backs of the girls.

    A step to the left. One step backwards. Halt. Duck. Three steps to the right and jump.

    Giving each of the girls their instructions, you watch as they carry it out to the letter. The twins split up on both sides of their father, pirouetting away from harm and counter-attacking as you call out the Huashan technique names for their benefit. The sudden increase in their speed and skill takes both Zhang and Liu by surprise, and while Nie attempts to keep track of their movements, Song Lingshu leaps over his head, followed by Bai Jiutian.

    The tide has turned, and now Nie Wuxing is on the defensive.

    You continue calling out your orders, keeping each duelist paired up with an opponent: having lost the initiative, Nie is finding it hard to pull the combatants away to an area he can monitor easily as it gives you the opening to focus two, or even three fighters on one. Even if he tries to relocate himself, you shift the battle around him with your orders, successfully keeping him in the center of the trouble. He can only respond, and as a result with every move taken he begins falling further and further behind. You have him cornered.

    Then, he closes his eyes.

    Nie Wuxing’s commands become faster. Sharper. He begins to regain the lost momentum. Are you losing ground because you are suddenly wary? No, that is not the case. You realize that he is calling out his moves a mere fraction of a second after yours – they just happen to be perfect counters, as if he is reading your mind. Nie Wuxing is using a technique that focuses solely on his hearing: from your orders, and the clash of swords, and the steps of feet, he is creating a picture of the battlefield in his mind. Wuxiang Qiankun allows you to understand this: if the two of you were perfectly, evenly matched, this could only be a defensive, reactionary tactic. He would only be able to respond to the orders you have already given, unable to seize the offensive. However, he has the better pieces in this duel.

    Slash. Zhang Minyue corners Nie Mudan with an almost imperceptible flick of her weapon.

    Thrust. Liu Qi gets past Nie Shuixian’s guard, almost pushing her to the ground.

    You begin tapping your foot worriedly.

    “Miss Song, two steps back, then use the Golden Fangs of the White Tiger!” you shout, as Bai Jiutian closes in on her with a predatory smile. A feint, which Bai has expected, but the follow-up comes from a different direction. With her other hand, Song Lingshu draws the hidden Yuchang Sword. Retreating two steps means that the blade passes far short of Bai: a failed attack. As Nie Wuxing calls out for Bai to press the attack, eager to clinch victory, you hurriedly get the twins to retreat from their opponents.

    Then, you have Lingshu dart out of the way.

    Nie Wuxing’s eyes snap open as he turns to face his protégé, his instincts overriding his reason. Without hesitating, he shouts an order to stop. The point of Bai’s blade halts just an inch before Nie’s chest. A bead of sweat rolls down his brow as he stares down at the Chunjun Sword, gleaming brilliantly in the morning sun. “You were confused by Man Tiger Pig, shifu,” explains Bai calmly. Closing your eyes isn’t a bad way to handling a confusing battle, but there is always the risk of becoming over-sensitive to unrelated sounds, like that of a tapping foot.

    Quickly, without giving Nie any chance to recover while he is still in shock, you have the twins dispatch their opponents. Song Lingshu circles around behind Bai Jiutian and holds up the Chixiao Sword to Bai’s neck.

    “That’s over and done with, then,” calls out the Sword Saint quickly, clapping his thigh. He seems to be quite eager to put a lid on the whole bothersome business. There are glares everywhere, mostly directed at you. The orthodox pugilists do not seem happy with the outcome, but their honour demands that they accept it.

    A while later, they discover that Pang Xiaohu and his men had gladly taken advantage of this distraction to escape.

    ***

    After all is said and done, it would be hard for you to continue travelling with Nie Wuxing and his ilk. You agreed to separate from the orthodox pugilists and make your own way. The Sword Saint and the Wudang pugilists would travel together with Nie so as to keep an eye on them. Of course, your paths led to the same city for now: Xiangyang.

    “They are not my daughters anymore, Xu Jing, but I still hope for a modicum of decency from you when dealing with maidens,” growls Nie Wuxing. “Do not mistreat them.” He is not happy at all – losing to a rookie like you was quite humiliating, and his face remains stormy.

    Nie Shuixian and Nie Mudan bow before him. “Father, thank you for your care all these years-“

    “I am not your father anymore. Did you not hear me? You have picked your own path. What comes next in life will be of your own doing.” Without a second look at his former daughters, Nie leads the orthodox contingent off to Xiangyang. You spot Madam Nie looking at you from within her carriage and wave. Her lips merely curl at the edges slightly as she nods.

    At the end of the group is Bai Jiutian, who looks down at the two girls while riding on a white horse. “Shimei,” her addresses them, though they are no longer her sect sisters, “take care of yourselves. If you require any assistance, I am always ready to help.” The twins bid Bai a tearful farewell, and she turns her gaze to you.

    “You do know that your knowledge of Huashan arts has gotten certain people suspicious, do you not?” Bai murmurs.

    “Does it matter?” Your answer is non-committal. Looking at Bai Jiutian in the eye, you ask her a question: “If your Master had not called for you to stop, would your blade have kept going?”

    “Does it matter?” She smiles quietly, and spurs her horse forward.

    ***

    Your group arrives in Xiangyang two days later than Nie Wuxing; the wheels of your carriages came apart thrice on the way here, and on the third time the horses proceeded to vanish beyond the driver’s ability to locate and retrieve. In the end you were forced to walk the rest of the way to the city, trudging through the mud and braving the light but endless rain. Reaching the inn dragged out a feeling of great relief in your entire party. Finally, you could rest.

    Lingshu and Yifang bring the Huashan twins up to their room; you had asked them to look after the girls in your stead. The twins had remained awkward around you even after the duel. Putting them under Qilin’s care would have been like dropping two cute little mice into a snake’s den. They are probably not ready for it.

    Before you can even begin to rest, however, trouble has already found you in the form of a knock at the door.

    When you open it, you see the youngest Wu brother – Wu Tong – standing in front of you with a worried look on his face.

    “We have a message for Miss Song of Qingcheng. She is travelling with your party, right?” he asks urgently.

    ***

    Mao Sanjiao has Yao and Miecao.

    He has arrived in Xiangyang just yesterday, with the two elders in his care. According to him, it is finally time for justice to be done: Song Jiangke must be avenged and here is the culprit at last. To that end, he has invited Lingshu to personally handle the matter.

    All the while you are reading the letter, Lingshu keeps her eyes averted from Cao’er and Yifang.

    “Why is Grandmother dragged into this?” blurts out Yifang when you finish. “Mao Sanjiao is going to make an enemy of Emei by doing this!”

    “That is probably why he has come to meet Master Nie of Huashan,” says Wu Tong. “As the leader of the orthodox sects, he has the power and right to arbitrate the matter. If he handles this properly, Emei would have less complaints.” He must have been in correspondence with Nie to know that he would be passing through Xiangyang at this time.

    “No, that is not all,” says Qilin. “She is serving as a hostage.” It looks like Mao knows about Yao’s granddaughters travelling with you; though your name was not mentioned, the message warned against rash action. Miecao would also be a guarantee for Yao’s good behaviour; you would not rule out the old man being insane enough to bring down the whole of Qingcheng with some crazy suicide pill if he was forced to, but if he had others to consider, that would stay his hand. Wasn’t Shun keeping an eye on them? What happened?

    “…Jing…” mutters Cao’er, tugging on your sleeve. You give her a comforting pat on the head, and look at Lingshu. She is biting her lower lip in worry.

    “Hostages,” snorts Xuezi. “It should be trivial enough to retrieve them. What you do afterwards is more important.”

    “This is going to be a bloodthirsty suggestion, isn’t it?”

    She looks at you haughtily. “Of course. Idiots need to be taught lessons. That is the way of the world. Kill the offenders. Wipe them out. Eradicate them.”

    “Teach them that there will be punishment for taking your people hostage,” says Qilin quietly. “That is the way of the Wudu, too.”

    “For once, I agree with the serpent,” says Yunzi casually. "Once they learn, they will no longer attempt such stupid acts."

    “I’m glad you’re being an obedient bitch,” smiles Qilin.

    “What are you going to do?” You direct a question at Lingshu before things go further.

    Her answer is short, uncertain. “I don’t know.” She turns away and leaves the room – she probably needs to think on her own. Hearing the other girls talk about killing fellow Qingcheng members did not sit well with her, you think.

    Sighing, you lean back. “Armaiti.”

    “Yes, my lord?” She responds to the authority in your voice instinctively.

    “Vairya and Ameretat should already be here. Locate them as soon as you can.”

    She bows, acknowledging your order, and leaves the room.

    The meeting to judge Yao happens tomorrow, at the gates of the Black Dragon Society. Mao claims to have purchased their services to ensure everyone’s safety on neutral ground. There is no other choice: they are the dominant pugilistic institution in Xiangyang, orthodox or not, and at least they are known to follow the money rather than perverse ideals. All of this sounds like attempts at rationalization to you, but you suppose the orthodox can believe whatever they want.

    At the same time, through some strange twist of fate, You’s beggar faction had sought refuge with the mercenaries. If there is a confrontation tomorrow, this will create a chance for Qi Liuwu to draw his enemy out and end the beggar civil war once and for all. There are also stories that Zuo Qingfeng and You Lanhai have been captured in an attempt to rescue their children. To top it all off, Nie Wuxing and the orthodox pugilists will be present, and you have heard from the twins that the Black Dragon Society may have been supplying criminals and slaves to Madam Nie for experimentation.

    Tomorrow would be a busy day.

    ***

    A. You attend the meeting where the orthodox pugilists are going to judge Yao and Miecao. You want to be there in case anything happens; if need be, you will retake them by force.

    B. You infiltrate the Black Dragon Society while their attentions are occupied with the going-ons elsewhere and attempt to find Zuo and his wife, at the same time investigating for clues on their links to Huashan.

    C. You assist Qi Liuwu to finally retake control of the Beggars’ Sect. One fight at a time: you can plan your battles more easily if the beggars are on your side.
     
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  3. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Oh, yeah, I was just going to have auto-allocated teams, but if you guys want to control that part I'm alright with it. Just thought I'd give a break from dividing up the party all the time.

    It would be something like:
    A - Cao'er, Yifang, Lingshu, Xuezi
    B - Qilin, Yunzi, Ameretat
    C - Twins, Vairya, Armaiti
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

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    This is a whole new level of clusterfuck.

    Must ponder the next course of action. It is anything but obvious.

    Meanwhile, I just have to ask. treave, what was the original ending you envisioned for the duel?
     
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  5. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    D. Jing uses himself as a trolling distraction more efficiently against Liu Qi and Zhang Minyue, Nie Wuxing is slower to adapt to Man Tiger Pig blocking his view at strategic times.

    A and B would have bad results.
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Yeah. It would be nice to know. The list of questions I'd like to ask our liege just keeps growing.

    It's probably going to be A for me. Lingshu is undecided and clearly uncomfortable, and even if she knows the whole story, she said she would never forgive Yao. She would not falsify the facts, but we might want to make sure she will not be influenced by the others. Without her support, the case would be a lot harder to make. Cao'er is worried about the outcome as well, and they will probably call her as a witness. The girl might use some support from us for once after all the trouble we gave her. The trial is going to be conducted by Wuxing, with whom we have a rather strained relationship now that we have took the Twins away. And I feel the whole procedure is going to be rigged. There is no such thing as a fair trial where Sanjiao, Wuxing and BDS are involved.

    It feels like this is where our presence is required most. Even though we might lose some important leads and lose sight of the bigger picture, I can't leave the trial to proceed on its own.

    I don't quite understand what happened there. How could Wuxing call his counters before we called our own moves? Are we that predictable that we can be countered before we even act?

    And what exactly did we do to win? Did we confuse him with unrelated sounds, overloading his senses? Or did he mistake that tapping for something else?

    Edit: re-thought my vote. We are unlikely to affect the outcome of the trial, though it might still cost us Lingshu. The other options may be our way out of the situation.
     
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  7. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    B>C
     
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  8. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    vote B>A
    I believe that Song will say truth in A and general knowledge of Yao price would help to make it believable. B sound most dangerous. C is hard to picture, but sound like good distraction if needed.
     
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  9. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    It's my error. I meant after, not before.
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    She probably will. Would it matter?

    Did Yao have the right to claim the price they owed him in such a manner? Shouldn't this matter have been handled through the Eight Sects, just as Lingshu should have handed the culprit over instead of attempting to lynch him?
    The case is not going to be clear-cut. The head of one of the Eight Sects have been murdered in cold blood. Yao still have to answer for that, and Nie Wuxing is the ultimate judge. Besides, knowing Yao, he will not make it easier for himself.

    A lot will depend on how Lingshu decides to go about it. She is the most affected party, after all. If she chooses not to seek revenge, that is one thing. But will she actively speak against it?

    A lot will also depend on how the public views the actions of all parties. Wuxing will probably not pass the verdict that goes against what is considered to be just by the onlookers. His reputation was tested already by our actions.
     
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  11. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Good thing you actually have four out of eight Sect Heads present. Maybe five, depending on how fast the beggars resolve their issue. :M

    If Lingshu spares Yao she will never retake Qingcheng. If she doesn't, however, her ties with your party will be over. But we'll go into further detail on that if A wins.
     
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  12. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Not sure what you are implying here.

    Is it 'there is more then enough to make the trial appear legitimate', or is it 'several of them are absent, so it's not'?

    Seeing how Wuxing, the official pugilistic leader, is present, it is probably the former, but I have no idea how these matters are settled.

    Do the sect heads serve in jury capacity? Is there a vote involved?
     
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  13. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    The former. No votes, but opinions are tendered. Considering which sects are here, however, their opinions will be predictable.
     
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  14. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The Wudang are here, even though their sect head is not. But they have sent Guo Fu as their representative. Does it give him the right to speak on the matter?

    Do we still count as a representative from Emei? Does it affect anything?

    What is it that we are actually trying to achieve here with A? By the looks of it, the only thing we can do for the hostages is to bail them out by force, since the trial is so weighed against us.

    Is there any possibility Jing can see for the matter to be resolved in accordance with the law without giving up on Yao's life?
     
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  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Disciples have no say here. Nie's word is as close to law as it gets for this case. Convince him to help and things may go your way. How likely that is is up to you to judge.

    Otherwise, find a way to have Yao not guilty of the act of killing Song Jiangke. No word games are going to work here though.

    If not, give up or get ready to fight.

    You could also let things play out without you and focus on one of the other options in the hopes that it may change something.
     
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  16. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Wait, does it mean that we will try pursuing all three goals at once? I might have failed my reading comprehension check. I thought we are choosing what to pursue (at a cost of other activities), and not just where to put Jing. But seeing how there is no overlap, it makes much more sense to send three different teams simultaneously.

    Edit: ok.
     
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  17. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    I read it as all goals are pursued. We just need to specify where Jing will be present.
     
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  18. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    treave, could you please post Vairya's and Ameretat's stat sheets?
     
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  19. Elfberserker Liturgist

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    Oh man, what a dilemma.

    I guess one way to undetermine current trial is to cast the jury, accusater and judge to suspicious light. If we can find out and prove that Mao, Nie wuxing and others have dirty deeds by searching black dragon society, we might be able to get more trustworthy judges to oversee the thing like shaolin dudes or Wudang guys.

    I simply have no idea how to save Yao by going to trial, excpect by busting him out.

    There is of course the beggars, who might swing the whole trial around by presenting new master as well using beggar network to bring up new facts, if there are any.

    I wait for more arguments.
     
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  20. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    While this is a great idea, he fact remains that Yao still is guilty of murder and that fact won't change with the jury. The question is, would Wudang or Shaolin honor the Physician's price?
    But I like it. My kmeejerk decision was to go in there and Manly Tiger Roar while Yao escapes.
    B, for now.
     
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  21. Elfberserker Liturgist

    Elfberserker
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    My gut feeling says that we could reach a compromise with shaolin.

    Song did attempt to pay Yao service with coin, so it is not like Yao didn't get anything from healing Miss Song.
    Wudang and especially shaolin seems to have strick no murder tolarance even, if dead Song kind a cheated from his end in the whole conflict.

    We could probably argue that they spare Yao, but either one will most likely keep eye on Yao for rest of his day to work his "redemption" at their sect.
    Probably Shaolin since it seems that Yao was former shaolin monk and they do seem to have stronger dudes than Wudang.
     
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  22. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    On the other hand, if Liuwu wins the sect struggle with our help, won't that make him the most senior pugilist there? And the only actual Great? I think we could use that to our advantage in the trial.
     
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shaolin is not anywhere near here, though. And Wudang is of no consequence, apparently, as the disciples have no voice.

    I can't see how they can help us here.

    Is it relevant to the case? It is well-known to everyone that Yao does not accept coins.

    Maybe. But why would seniority or martial progress matter to the law? Wuxing still holds the position of the judge, and the Beggars were never that much respected in the first place as far as their opinion on the pugilistic matters is concerned, seeing how they are borderline unorthodox. Isn't that why Qi Liuwu was the last in the line of succession for the mantle of the orthodox leader?

    Besides, after a civil war and a takeover, I don't know how much legitimacy the Beggars' leadership have in the eyes of other pugilists. Not to say that they can't be a useful ally, of course, but I would not count on them affecting anyone's opinion.
     
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  24. Elfberserker Liturgist

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    Nie wuxing would still be the leader of pugillist world, because he seems to have better reputation than Liuwu.
    Not to mention losing his hand must lowered his standing as pugilists.

    But he would defninately have a respected voice and you can never understime the beggar network in these situations.
     
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