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

  1. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    We clearly did learn something new if for nothing else than that we nabbed an expansion to the palm technique, and I would definitely say that we made off with much more than that.
     
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  2. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    They might do something missguided like that, but the big picture is that the masters are aware of the plot and it will not work.
    If they have Guo Fu's wife, we might be forced to reveal our identity and draw them to us. That would be the bro thing to do. I will hate it if we lost any of the squad :/
     
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  3. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Chapter end?
     
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  4. Omicron Scholar

    Omicron
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    Maybe after the tournament, the later part of the update would be tomorrow.
     
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  5. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I think it's pretty much certain that Guo Fu is going to be riled up, possibly in connection to his wife; Qilin might be captured, or at best she will come back with some info about what they are doing so that we can actually do something. It also becomes pretty important that we beat Guo Fu to set up our big reveal, since it's easier to believe ZJ's apprentice wouldn't lose in the quarter finals.

    Of course, worst case is if Guo Fu is blackmailed by them through his wife and they tell him to beat the shit out of Jing in the tournament and win...
     
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  6. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    But he has Yandi watching his back and maybe Jing even sent Yifang's sisters to help them out. Hopefully, nothing happens to his wife then.
    Also, the WiBs haven't figured us out yet, so we're not in their crosshairs yet. Probably.
    We'll see.
     
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  7. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    How old is Jing by now?
     
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  8. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    16, I guess, give or take a few months.
     
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  9. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    17. Everyone moves up a year, every year, when the lunar new year comes around.
     
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  10. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    aha

    Three years left, then, though probably closer to two as it looks like we have our work cut out for us if we don't want to have Zhang Jue dismember us with one eyebrow.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    treave, what are the necessary requirements for one to be considered a part of jianghu?
     
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  12. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    You know martial arts and generally hang around with martial arts people.
     
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Could Cao'er be considered a martial artist when we parted ways two years ago? I certainly didn't perceive her as one. She hanged up with Yao (obviously, since he was her caretaker), but I do not remember her having any knowledge of martial arts whatsoever. I figured that Yao only taught us how to fight, not Cao'er, hoping for her to pursue a purely physician's career. Only when we were gone, he had started teaching her non-lethal styles.

    I am wondering if she could have been considered a part of jianghu back then, for apparent reasons.
     
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  14. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    I missed the last round of voting. I can't complain with the outcome. That was an interesting conversation, plus we learned more of Xianglong Eighteen Palms. Can't wait to get the second half of the update.
     
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  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    That's a bit of a grey area since it comes back to an individual's perspective of what counts as being connected, but in general if they have no knowledge of martial arts or self-defense, they're not counted. So Pu'er, for example, wouldn't be part of the jianghu even if Guo Fu was adopted into a sect.

    However, certain people might take a more open-minded view and say that if you know of the pugilistic world and are connected to a practitioner, even if you don't have any skills, you're part of it. Usually they say that right before killing you to cover up their crimes against some other martial artist aka 'you know too much'.
     
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  16. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    So Pu'er can't into self-defense much. Gotta fix that.
     
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  17. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Well that went unexpectedly. Hey treave did we then tell Yifang to grab some friends and go look for Murong and Guo? And possibly to send someone to inform us if something really is wrong? The nuns might not be as good as we are, but some help would be better than none if it really comes down to it.

    Also, this is my 1000th post here. I guess I am now officially part of the old guard or something. What a depressing thought.
     
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  18. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    treave, what generation is the Sword Saint part of? He hadn't competed in the previous Huashan Summit, which tells me that he's rather young for a man considered to be the greatest swordsman alive. Also, who was the previous Southern Great Pugilist that Zhang killed before claiming his title?

    Hopefully both her and the big guy are okay. But yeah, if every unscrupulous person out there knows that they can get to Guo Fu by threatening his wife, she needs to learn how to defend herself. My crazy, totally unsubstantiated prediction is that the two of them are both okay, but that Murong Yandi will die trying to protect them. The attackers will vanish in a puff of smoke, leading everyone to think that Guo Fu murdered Yandi after their match just to really stick it to the Sword Saint.

    Expanding upon the Dragon Subduing Eighteen Palms technique was a pleasant surprise, definitely. But I'm still puzzled as to what we actually learned that was new here - it was all conjecture. Yeah, the theories they had as to why this shadowy group wants to use Zhang as a scapegoat specifically are interesting and they make a lot of sense, but we're still at a loss as to where they are, their identities, that sort of thing. That's what I meant when I said that we're no wiser now than we were earlier. At the end of the day, this was still just a DISCUSS!!! between the Masters where they speculated about what's really going on, and it turns out that they didn't know anything that we didn't.

    Still, we had an opportunity to make a great first impression on the Grand Taoist, the Abbot, and learn more from Qi Liuwu, which should really pay off when we start hitting up their schools in the future. Considering that we're in a unique position to act in their interests against the Zhang impostors without being traced back to them, we could learn more techniques from these Masters down the line, which is huge. Lots of benefits here, just acknowledging that there are tradeoffs too.
     
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  19. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I'll just go ahead and eat crow here, I was absolutely wrong abut these guys. And honestly, I'm shocked by how they actually are, I imagined a group of wise old monks, paragons of their sects, tempered by decades of meditation and discipline. Instead they are, well, a bunch of old war vets that became monks for fights, ho's and lulz[quote and never even tried to even fit the damned role. Wow, Jing's thoughts describe my impressions the best:
    After this shit, we're pretty much obligated to greet all of them with brofists and high fives, they're acting pretty much like homeboys and now we're getting to be a part of their gang.
    And I also love how they're dismissing Zhang, "eh, he's not so bad. We're not ones to judge and we really wouldn't want to cause him too much trouble for something that's not his fault." Then again, with role models like these it's little wonder Zhang turned out the way he is :lol: :
    "Brothels, booze, sloth? Bu-but, when are we going to study? What about training? Am I the only on who takes martial arts seriously around here!?"
    "Fuck that, we're on vacation."
    "Am I the only one who takes martial arts seriously around here?"
    "Pretty much."
    "...you guys suck, I'm outta here."
    "MICROPENIIIS!" (Courtesy of "Iron Rod" Fanghzang.)
    "OVERCOMPENSATING!" (Courtesy of Miecao, as Yao is making out with her.)
    "HE AIN"T GOT NO GAAAAAAAAAAAME!" (Courtesy of Grand Tao.)
    "GET A LIFE, LOOSER!" (Courtesy of the Qi Liuwu.)

    And Wang's reaction to our Yuanshan Hundunis simply amazing, Heavens above, here is something that completely contradicts the Way I've studied (of course he did :lol: ) for all these years, THIS IS JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! YOU DA MAN, JING!"

    Onto other matters, treave, the way you described the Orthodox sects' influence, it stems from them acting as private police forces, they're good for the local communities and that's why they're accepted. My question is, do they "request" tribute/donations in return or is it just Good Samaritan work with no compensation expected. What I'm thinking here is, if the schools want to overthrow the Empire, or install a puppet ruler (which would be actually really bad for the Empire, because Shun Li is shaping up to be a completely badass ruler, just what the Empire needs to get back on it's own two feet), they'll have a pretty easy time of it when it comes down to the actual take over. As you said, bleed the treasury and the Dynasty is fucked. So, if we want to make it difficult for them, we must strike at their influence over the farms and lawless regions of the Empire, which means either completely discrediting them, or introducing competition in the "private security" sector by enlisting unorthodox fighters as peacekeepers against the riffraff, as they can deal with problems much more openly, quickly and extensively than the orthodox sects can just by virtue of not being so centralized and bound by a shitton of regulations.
     
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  20. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    It also seems we have their accept of beating their youngsters, as long as we don't unnecessarily kill and maim.
     
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  21. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    And they're pretty much encouraging us acting up our public asshole persona and making an extremely theatric debut.
     
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  22. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Tournament Quarterfinals: Guo Fu

    By the time you make your way back to the tournament area, Qilin’s match is over.

    “Feeling alright?” you ask.

    “Oh, you are being concerned about me?” Qilin flutters her eyelashes, though the effect is much lessened in her plain disguise. “Amazing. The stupid boy has a heart after all. This is a day to be remembered!” She had lost her match rather quickly, whatever plan she had failing to work out.

    “It’s not like I feel bad about it or anything. I didn’t beg you to help. You could have turned me down,” you say quickly. “I only want to make sure I won’t get hit by whatever it is that beat you.” Qilin chuckles softly, before telling you what you came here to find out. “Well, she was beyond my ability to fight in a proper duel, after my initial trap failed. I underestimated her agility and she was cunning enough not to fall for most of my tricks. That, and the tournament frowns on using snakes in a fight. The girl is good, though if you give me a week to prepare I could probably plan a proper plot to drug her and leave her nicely bound up in your bed. In terms of technical ability, I would put her close to Yifang’s level. What is more problematic, however, is her neigong.”

    She scratches her chest, where she had apparently been hit. Qilin had been downed with one good strike a few minutes into the match. “I said her style was Persian, but now I can be a bit more specific. Her martial arts hail from a particular group… a Zoroastrian fire cult. They have been making inroads into the Central Plains for a while, but the Eight Sects probably don’t know about them just yet. My uncle has had dealings with this particular cult in the past. That’s all I can tell you about. The rest are family secrets,” she winks. “At any rate, in a contest of neigong she could possibly beat most people here except for that big dumb ox. I doubt any of the young pugilists around have enough skill to neutralize her particular technique. Her qi is fiery and burns. In fact, I’m still feeling a bit hot.” As if to illustrate her point, she loosens the front of her vest and flaps it modestly enough not to reveal anything, yet open just enough to allow you a good view of her low neckline. Her eyes are daring you to look.

    “You are just a perverted exhibitionist, aren’t you,” you say.

    “You’re the one that was going around shirtless last night,” she replies sweetly.

    “Should I empty this gourd of water over your head?” you reply.

    “I prefer to fight fire with fire. When I feel hot, I want something to hug to warm me up and comfort me.”

    “Get your snakes and toads to do that.”

    “They’re cold-blooded, stupid boy.”

    “I’m leaving the water here. Cao’er mixed some cooling powder into it,” you say as you put down the gourd by her bed and leave the grinning girl hurriedly before she can taunt you further.

    ***

    Yifang’s match with Xuzhan had ended in a rather anticlimatic way. The young monk had found himself utterly unable to strike a girl, let alone a very beautiful one. He had frozen up in the opening seconds of the fight and found himself sitting outside the ring before he could say anything. You suppose that Abbot Fangzhang does have a point in monks needing to train to fight off temptation instead of avoiding it. On the other hand, you think that if Xuzhan was anything like the Abbot, Emei would be feuding with Shaolin over this match before the week was out.

    Murong Yandi and Guo Fu had arrived during your talk with Qilin. As it turned out, Guo Fu had been attacked. Thankfully the Sword Saint’s disciple was there and fended them off with ease while Guo concentrated on protecting his wife. Between the two, and the Emei nuns that arrived in search of them, they made it to the tournament area without any further problems. Things may have gone a lot worse if Murong Yandi had not been there. He was extremely embarrassed when you thanked him for his help, but stated that you still shouldn’t let your guard down. They may still attack after this. You would probably have to get more help from the heads of the sects to protect Guo Fu – but you can discuss that after today’s matches. The conspirators don’t seem to have tried anything within the tournament area so far.

    Right before your match, Qi Liuwu appears. The head of the Beggars’ Sect walks up to you with a serious face. He places his hands on your shoulders firmly, his eyes gazing at you sombrely.

    “The Abbot and I just made a bet for a lot of money. Do not fail me.”

    “You are a beggar, and he is a monk. What money are you talking about?”

    “Money is where you find it,” replies Qi, “Thus goes one of the Beggar Sect’s creeds... I think. Now, remember, don’t lose.” He gives you a very urgent look before walking off.

    ***

    Finally, it is time to face off against Guo Fu. Entering the ring with your customary pig’s mask to the cheers of the crowd, you wave at them. There are a few more hecklers asking you to strip Guo Fu down to his bare butt. You turn to your opponent, the hulking lad who looks like he could rip you with the barest effort. He gives you a kind smile, bowing. You return the favour.

    As the match begins, you carefully keep your distance. Guo Fu squares off into a stable stance, awaiting you to attack. You have not had the opportunity to analyze any of his matches, but you know that he has high stamina and defensive ability, and that his strength likely rivals – if not surpasses – yours. Getting caught would be a problem.

    Guo Fu continues to wait for you, steady as a mountain. Tapping your foot twice, you shake your doubts away and spring into action. He blocks your first blow easily, raising his arm to block your punch. The counterblow comes quickly – a kick. Leaping aside, you continue to press your attack. Guo is faster than you expected, but it is nothing you can’t handle. Your strikes, however, do nothing. He takes your hits straight on without even flinching. You are not fighting at full strength yet, of course.

    After a few exchanges, you draw back. Guo Fu still has not budged a step from his position, all through your flurry of attacks. You decide to put a bit more power behind your blows. Closing the distance again, you slide under his punch and strike him in the belly. His muscular abdomen flexes as it absorbs your blow, and Guo Fu’s torso jerks back just slightly. He felt that one. Ducking an elbow, you strike again, but this time it does nothing. However, Guo Fu visibly concentrated and clenched his body right before you hit. Another direct hit confirms your suspicions. It seems that his Jinzhongzhao needs longer periods of preparation to summon the inner strength required to take greater hits. If you strike fast enough, hard enough…

    You throw your entire body behind your next blow, sending a punch slamming straight into his abdomen. You feel Guo’s body lift slightly into the air. He stumbles back. The crowd roars, seeing the immovable mountain budge for the first time. Your opponent is still unharmed, however. He looks at you with a smile. “You’re really powerful, Man Tiger Pig. I am glad to be able to fight you.” Raising himself up to his full height, he stretches his muscular arms and takes a different stance. It looks like he will be going all out now.

    “You’re a real monster, Guo Fu,” you mutter, smiling under your mask. He goes on the offense for the first time, rushing towards you. His attacks are slightly quicker this time, and more coordinated. Your first impression of his clumsiness seems to have been sorely mistaken. His fist techniques don’t seem to be self-taught or anything basic, but you cannot identify the school that it is from. The punches are straight and powerful, yet his footwork travels in a circular, sliding motion.

    As you continue to exchange blows to no avail, your concentration begins to waver. You could do this dance all day and tire yourself out without hurting Guo Fu. Is there a way around it? You try to focus and think of a plan.

    Your foot slips, unluckily.

    Your distraction costs you.

    A massive fist is hurtling towards you when you snap your eyes back to Guo Fu. Unable to evade, you raise one arm to block. With your other, you lash out with your Chuzhan Fist. You’ll only make it in time if you use your neigong. There’s no other choice. An agonizing pain radiates from your left forearm as the punch hits home. At the same time, your right fist smashes into Guo Fu’s chest with all your strength, both inner and outer. The both of you are thrown away from each other. You come to a halt nearly ten paces away from where you were, while Guo Fu is knocked off his feet – again, something that has happened for the first time in the competition. The crowd begins to cheer even more loudly.

    As Guo Fu stands back up, you lower your left arm. It twinges in pain – from the sensation, the bones in your forearm are probably cracked from that hit – they may even be broken. Guo Fu gets up and resumes his stance, though his breathing is slightly more disordered now. He definitely felt that blow. He still seems rather happy to be fighting you, however. You think you can understand the attraction behind going all out, without the need to hold back.

    Still…

    The tournament official is holding his flag up, calling a pause to the match. Looking at you, he shouts, “Are you alright, Man Tiger Pig?” He is probably referring to the blow you took – it looks like he has rather sharp eyes.

    ***

    A. You claim to be alright. It’s time to take this seriously. This is a good chance to go all out in a fight for once, in a fight against an opponent that can bring you down with a single blow. Guo Fu can take anything you can throw at him, and you should be able to improve your fighting skills if you do so. You can beat him. Besides, Cao’er can treat you. Probably. (Sword +1, Unarmed +1)

    B. You claim victory by disqualifying Guo Fu for breaking your arm. You would like to advance to the finals and battle Nameless, the Persian fighter. It would be hard for you to do that if you lost now. It is unfortunate, but rules are rules and he just broke it. It would teach him the importance of holding back too.

    C. You hide the injury and surrender the match to Guo Fu. This is as far as you go, sadly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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  23. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Changed my mind, A. If we want the crowd to buy that we're Zhang's apprentice, B is directy counterproductive. We gotta show our game and what we can do for that. In addition to all the other bonuses. Seriously, raising our most important combat skills isn;t something you pass up like that.
    Wow. Is Jing gay? Or just a giant fucking faggot?
     
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  24. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    He's in his late thirties, but he's battled swordsmen in all generations and has remained undefeated in a sword fight. The previous Southern Great was the Southern Gentleman, a Huashan swordsman.

    They don't overtly request any tribute or donations, but it differs. They might take in donations of food or clothing, but they don't usually accept donations of money. As I've said, they usually receive student fees, and they use that to run the sect. More students, more money, more manpower. Shaolin Temple is also subsidized by the government. Certain more remote places like Kunlun will have their students farm to be more self-sufficient instead of buying or obtaining food from the surrounding communities.

    Because he gains nothing by whoring himself out here. :lol:
     
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  25. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Buh-but what about love? :( Did Zhang's obstinate personality pass on to him?
    If he considered that perverted, then I don't know what to say.
     
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