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[LP CYOA] 傳

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

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,311
    Codex 2012
    Regarding NPC stats, it'd really be too much work to type out. I might give a few numbers here and there for comparison, but there won't be a full stat sheet.

    As for an overworld map, yeah, just get any map of Tang China, more or less. If there is a deadline or any important event coming up, and you might miss it if you take a particular choice because of travel time, I'll usually mention it in the update. I'll also try to point out where a location roughly is if it's the first time I'm introducing the place in the LP.

    And about flexibility... it's not all that flexible to be honest. There are certain important branching points that would give you a very different experience and send you through wildly different aspects of the plot (with the most important of all being the orthodox/unorthodox choice back at the start) but besides that it's mainly structured around quests, sidequests, a bit of freedom in when and where you encounter them and the possible ways they end, and how that will affect future scenarios.

    Now for the vote tally:

    ERYFKRAD - A
    Azira - A
    Jester - A
    Kipeci - A
    Stygian Lurker - B
    Lambchop19 - B
    Zero Credibility - A
    Baltika9 - A
    XenomorphII - B
    Nevill - A
    asxetos - A
    Esquilax - A
    Elfberserker - B
    Absinthe - A
    a bear named spigot - A
    Anabanana - A
    Tigranes - B
    ScubaV - A
    Grimgravy - A
    RealDDc - B

    ***

    Current tally:

    A - 14
    B - 6

    Barring any sudden changes I'll be closing in about three hours or so to prep for the update.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11,311
    Codex 2012
    The Imperial Agent

    Without a word, you place the silver crest on the table lightly, face down. “What is that?” asks Hei Zuolong suspiciously. You lean back, gesturing for him to flip it over. A scowl on his weaselly face, he does so – and the master of the Black Dragon Society instantly goes pale as the crest makes a dull clink against the wooden table. “T-this… where did you…”

    “Good, it looks like you recognize it. Hei Zuolong, Hei Youlong, you are fully aware what this emblem means, don’t you?” you say.

    “Brother,” whispers Hei Youlong nervously. “What should we do?”

    “Leave this to me. It could be a fake,” mutters Zuolong.

    “We know that is nearly impossible. The design of the emblem is not known to many, and too difficult to forge. I grant you, there might be those who can illegally replicate the symbol of the Emperor’s secret police, but I do not know of any. Do you?” you declare, more confidently than you feel.

    He shakes his head slowly, beads of sweat slowly appearing on his forehead. “You could have stole-“

    “Are you accusing me of theft, Hei Zuolong?” you ask sharply.

    “No… no, of course not,” He shakes his head and backs down. His gaze is wary – he does not seem entirely convinced that you are the real deal, but he is too cautious to assume that you are not what you claim to be. It seems that the Black Dragon Society is – interestingly – rather concerned with court opinion of them. Taking a few deep breath, he calms himself and begins to speak. “This is a most curious turn of events, Xu Jing. I did not think the young disciple of Zhang Jue would be an agent of the court. You must have started your training at a very early age.”

    “Who knows, Master Hei?” you grin.

    “Who knows indeed,” he sighs. “Now, why do we have the pleasure of your presence here today? I am sure you revealed yourself for a reason. What business do you really have with us?”

    “I met a colleague of mine on his way back from Wufushan,” you reply.

    “Ah.” Hei Zuolong raises his eyebrows. “Wufushan. We had little part in that… only a dozen men or so were engaged for that mission.”

    “It raised some questions amongst my superiors,” you continue. “They did not know it was going to happen.”

    “I was certain Mao Sanjiao would have informed them. He is their liaison within the Eight Sects after all, isn’t he?” grumbles Hei Zuolong. You are about to ask who Mao Sanjiao is, but stop yourself. There is a sudden glint in the man’s eye as he looks at you – you are probably supposed to know who this man is, if you are involved in this clandestine business. You decide to file his name away for further investigation later; it could be a false lead meant to trick you into revealing yourself.

    You smile at Hei Zuolong. “It is not my business what other people get up to – all I know is what I am ordered to do. If that is the case, I will send news back to Taiye Hall that the Black Dragon Society had little involvement, and allow those smarter than me to decide their next course of action.” Taiye Hall is the headquarters of the secret police, dug underneath a lake near the palace – you have been there only twice, and found it damp and altogether unwelcoming.

    He nods sagely, seemingly satisfied with your answer. “Yes, of course. That would be wise. I am curious, however… why did you need to go about things in such a roundabout manner?”

    “A force of habit. I was coached to never reveal myself unless necessary. Besides, my companions do not know I am an agent of the court,” you say nonchalantly.

    “I see.” Zuolong falls silent, looking at you. You can tell that deep down, he is still unconvinced – the man does not seem to trust easily. “Rest assured your secret is safe with me,” he grins suddenly. “So, you are not really here for Liu Chanfeng?”

    Watching his face, you sense that it would be a mistake to claim that you are; you have very little knowledge of the Liu Chanfeng issue, and pretending you are involved with this case would probably catch you out in a lie. Again, you decide to be vague – it works to your benefit to keep Hei Zuolong unsure, since you do not have any actual facts to convince him with. “My friend is. It is wise of Taiye Hall to have me keep an eye on him, no?” you laugh.

    “Oh, very wise indeed,” agrees Zuolong. “Still, if that is the case, I am afraid you have stumbled into a situation you have no business being involved with.”

    “That is not a problem. I will have my companions away from here by tomorrow.”

    “They can be away from here, but you… you I cannot set free.” His eyes are cold and his grin now frosty. In the end, it looks like your little gambit hasn’t worked out as well as you hoped.

    “Master Hei, what do you mean?” you ask calmly, taking another sip of the wine.

    “You may be an Imperial agent, but I do not answer to you, Xu Jing… if that is indeed your real name. We have dealings here that are rather… delicate. We cannot have you making the wrong sort of reports to Taiye Hall now, can we?”

    You laugh, placing the cup down on the table gently. “I will report as I see fit. Are you going to try and attack me?”

    “Nothing of the sort, Xu Jing.” Zuolong shakes his head, though Hei Youlong has already gotten up. You give him a dismissive glance, though you keep your guard up. “You must understand… we need to present a coherent narrative to Taiye Hall, don’t we?”

    “I can’t say I disagree. What do you have in mind?”

    “You see, it’s not what I have in mind that matters. It is what your colleague thinks,” he replies. “It would be much better for everyone involved if you would be our guest until he arrives and clears things up.”

    “And if I refuse?”

    “You cannot.” The reply comes from the younger Hei, now standing behind you – low, like the rumbling of thunder. The older Hei continues, “It could mean our heads if it was discovered we just let you walk out of here. If that is the case, I would rather take my chances with subduing you here and now.”

    “You make a good case,” you sigh. “How long is it until he arrives?”

    “Tomorrow night.” He does not seem to be lying about this, though it would be to your advantage if the real Imperial agent arrived even later.

    “And my companions?”

    “They can stay here if they wish, or go back to the city. I am sure they will not be leaving Xiangyang soon, in any case,” smiles Hei Zuolong thinly. You weigh your chances of escaping, and fighting your way out: it still does not seem any better than it was the last time you considered this issue; in fact, the odds are probably tilted against you even further now. It looks like you now have no choice but to stay and wait for an opening to escape.

    ***

    “But, dear, you can’t expect me to leave you here,” trills Yunzi falsely upon hearing your explanation. She leans in close to your ear and hisses, “I won’t be sent away just like that. I’m not yours to order around.” It looks like you won’t be able to get rid of her right now. Xiahou Yu, on the other hand, only responds calmly and agrees to leave. “Watch out for their people,” you whisper. “Don’t worry. We’ll see each other soon,” replies the scholar. You notice that the umbrella is no longer with him; he may have something planned.

    After you bid the scholar farewell, you are led to a guest room, located on the upper floor of the main building. “Are you not going to take my weapons?” you ask Hei Youlong, towering over you as he plays the guide. “What for?” he laughs. “You are a guest here, as my brother said. Besides, no amount of blades you carry will help you against the entire fortress.”

    “Thank you.” You bow your head in gratitude.

    “Wait a minute,” says Yunzi. “We are sharing a room?”

    Youlong raises one bushy eyebrow. “Is there a problem? I thought the two of you were-“

    “N-no, of course not!” You jump in quickly to correct the misunderstanding. “What my beloved means is that she couldn’t believe that you are so kind as to keep us together instead of separating us!”

    “Yes. That is what I meant,” says your apparent beloved awkwardly.

    “Ah, is that so?” shrugs the large man. “No thanks needed. Well, if you will excuse me, I must be off. I have drills to oversee.” Without any exchanging any further pleasantries, he stalks off, his heavy footsteps resounding across the wooden floorboards.

    You enter the room with a disgruntled Yunzi.

    “Let me make this clear-“

    “-if you do anything stupid-“

    “-I’ll throw you out of the window,” the both of you say at the same time.

    “Well, I’m glad we’re in agreement on that part,” you say, and she nods.

    ***

    “So the Eight Sects have something to do with the attack at Wufushan?” murmurs Yunzi as she goes over what you have learnt. “Some man called Mao Sanjiao appears to be involved. Have you heard of him?” you ask, but she shakes her head. “No. Actually, this is the first time I’ve been in the Central Plains…”

    Suddenly, you find yourself wondering just what happened after you left the Ashina. You are about to ask her when there is a knock on the door. A young slave girl introduces her presence; she is bringing dinner. You let her in, noticing that she looks Han. As the girl meekly sets the plates, you begin talking to her. “So, where are you from?” She looks down at the floor, answering in a quiet voice. “Jiangku Village, m’lord, by the sea to the south.” You give her a reassuring nod. “How did you end up here anyway?”

    “I…” She gives a nervous look at the door, then at you.

    “Don’t worry,” says Yunzi. “This man may be a dangerous lecher, but he won’t tell on you to your masters.” The slave girl looks at her worriedly and takes a deep breath before responding. “I was taken while out gathering herbs. They…” She does not seem able to finish, as tears well up in her eyes. Instinctively, you get up and wipe her tears away gently. “I’m sorry to hear that,” you say softly. “But you have been a strong girl to make it through so far, haven’t you? You’ll be alright.” She nods, her face turning red. “T-thank you, m’lord. You are too kind.”

    As the slave girl leaves, she casts you one last glance, smiling shyly as she closes the door behind her.

    “Huh.” Yunzi grunts. “What was that all about? Ooh, you’ve been a strong girl. Ooh, let me wipe away your tears. You are truly a pervert, through and through.”

    “It’s called being kind,” you retort. “Besides, I was suspicious about the slaves they had. Slavery is only legal when it is done to foreigners, criminals and traitors.”

    “I’m a foreigner,” she points out.

    “Yes, which means I’m well within my rights to make you my slave,” you reply casually.

    “Ha, as if you could. We both know who’s likely to be the slave here, dog.”

    “Anyway,” you glare at her, attempting to get the conversation back on track before the two of you enter yet another lengthy derailment, “it looks like they have been kidnapping Han commoners and enslaving them. That is highly illegal, and punishable by death.”

    “Why haven’t they been caught then?”

    “At first glance I would say that the prefect of Xiangyang is closing one eye to their activities,” you explain, “but perhaps there are more hands working behind the scenes. Still, if we publicize this, either the government or the sects would have no choice but to act. It is not something that can be done in the blink of an eye, though I wonder if there is anything I can do about this…”

    “You seem rather concerned about the slaves,” says Yunzi, glancing at you with a strange look in her eyes.

    “I was, for all intents and purposes, a slave. Bought by the Emperor and placed in his son’s hands, my life was no longer my own from that moment onwards. I do not regret it one bit, of course, but having Shun as my master made me realize that I had it lucky in comparison to the other slaves. Even a slave deserves a good master. These Black Dragons are not, and I doubt their clientele are any better.” You sigh. “I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Forget it.”

    Yunzi giggles lightly in response, her clear laughter suddenly reminding you of that rainy night in the Ashina camp. “I didn’t expect to hear those thoughtful sort of words from you. I almost see you in a new light.”

    There is another rap at the door. Is it the slave girl again?

    “Mistress? Mistress?” calls out a nervous voice, repeating herself. “Are you there? It’s me, Xiaoqi.” It is a girl, but not the slave that had brought your dinner. Yunzi narrows her eyes, suspicious. The both of you get up quietly and pad towards the door. With a sudden movement, she throws the door open and you pull the newcomer inside, holding her firmly by the wrist. Yunzi closes the door just as quickly as the girl stares at you in fright. She is young, perhaps of Cao’er’s age, and possessed of a wide-eyed innocence that induces strong feelings of protection in certain types of men.

    “You’re not my mistress,” she murmurs. “Wait, I know your face! You’re-“

    “He’s the pervert Man Tiger Pig,” explains Yunzi seriously. “Be careful, girl. He’s so perverted that if he touches you, you will become pregnant.”

    “It doesn’t work like that!” you retort exasperatedly.

    “I-I don’t want to be impregnated!” cries the girl as you let her go. She sinks to her knees, sobbing as she touches her belly. “I-Is it too late?” You grit your teeth – you have an idea who she is. “You’ve seen me before, right? Was it in Luoyang?”

    The girl stares at you defiantly. “I’d rather die before being impregnated by a man!”

    You can only get impregnated by a man in the first place – you almost shout out, but restrain yourself. Yunzi is looking away, feigning innocence. “Come on, help me out here,” you sigh. “Please.”

    “Oh, if you insist,” she says smugly, and kneels down in front of the younger girl. “Xiaoqi, was it? If you don’t answer my questions, I’ll get him to touch you all over. Aaaall over, from your pretty hair to your tiny toes. You’ll be pregnant with twins, maybe triplets.” She begins whimpering in terror. Yunzi smiles – sadistically, you think – before asking, “Who is your Mistress? Is it Liu Chanfeng?”

    “Y-yes, it is. Do you know her? I thought she would be here, some wandering scholar told me that she would be in the guest rooms.” She must have met Xiahou Yu somehow. You do wonder what your friend is planning. “If she isn’t here…” Xiaoqi’s face drops in despair. “The dungeons, then? That’s a bit hard to get to… I knew I shouldn't have trusted a man! Oh, Mistress, I have failed your teachings!”

    “Second question,” continues Yunzi. “Do you belong to the Wunan Sect? How did you get in here?”

    Xiaoqi nods her head. Before she can offer any further explanation, however, there is yet another knock at the door. “Xu Jing, are you there?” It’s Hei Zuolong.

    “Hide!” you hiss. The frightened girl is shoved under the bed unceremoniously by Yunzi, who then swiftly drapes a blanket over the gap.

    “Xu Jing?” he asks again.

    “Just a minute!” you shout out. You walk to the door and open it. The weasel-like man is standing there, grinning. “I am sorry, but I heard the screams,” he leers unapologetically. “Far be it for me to intrude on your personal time with your wife, but I have to bring you some good news. Your colleague is already here. It was a surprise to me too, but he arrived early.”

    “Is that so?” you say. This might make things harder.

    “That is so,” says a smooth voice. A young, delicate looking man steps out of the darkness, dressed in dark blue finery. “I will speak with this man alone, Zuolong.”

    The master of the Black Dragon Society lowers his head slightly in response. “As you wish.” Casting you a suspicious glance, he retreats without a further word, keen to get away from this agent of the court. The young man looks at you, then at the room. “May I come in?”

    “Of course,” you reply. “Go ahead.”

    He does so, stepping in elegantly with his hands folded behind his back. You get a whiff of a sweet perfume as he passes by you – it smells familiar. In the well-lit room, you realize that the man is more of a boy; he looks about your age. He looks at Yunzi, then at you. “Well well, this is interesting,” he smiles. It is the smile of a viper, poisonous and threatening. “The Holy Maiden of the Fire Cult is travelling with the disciple of Zhang Jue. This is unexpected.”

    Yunzi takes a stance, scowling at the Imperial agent. “No,” you warn, your hand stretching out. “Don’t.” There is something about the guy that makes your hair stand on end. Though his posture is casual, you get the feeling that he is always ready to strike. This man is a dangerous killer – she would be putting herself at too much risk if she started a fight.

    “A smart decision,” he murmurs, still with that smile playing about his lips. His gaze is penetrating and deep; it makes you feel like a rat confronted with a hypnotic snake. “Now, we all know that you aren’t really a member of the secret police, Xu Jing, so do not waste our time with any attempts to claim otherwise.”

    “I wasn’t going to,” you say, although you were going to try.

    “Where did you get that crest, I wonder?” he muses, “No matter. I will investigate that later. You probably waylaid one of our men and killed him before picking it up anyway. No, what really interests me is that you recognized it for what it is, when by all rights some uncouth fist-fighter wouldn’t and would probably just pawn it off for money. In fact, you knew enough about it to impersonate a member of the secret police convincingly enough that Hei Zuolong was almost taken in… Just who are you, Xu Jing?”

    “An unabashed man-lover,” says Yunzi before you can reply.

    “I thought I was a pervert!” you exclaim in surprise.

    “Oh, so you admit that you are a pervert?” she asks, cocking her head to one side in a mocking manner.

    The Imperial agent laughs. It looks like your exchange with Yunzi hasn’t lowered his guard any. “You two are so entertaining. Now, let’s be serious. I will not be distracted. You know too much about us to be some normal pugilist, Xu Jing. I am certain you are not a member of the secret police, or any agent of the court.”

    “How can you be so sure?” you ask.

    “I have my ways,” he chuckles confidently. “You know, your name does sound familiar. Perhaps-”

    “Speaking of names,” you say, “you haven’t given me yours. Wait, it’s alright. No need to tell me. I think I can guess.” You sniff the air again, and look at his features. There’s no mistake about it. “You’re called Ball-less, right?” This agent is an eunuch. You’ve spent enough time around them to tell.

    “That is an apt description,” he says, still calm and smiling despite your crude provocation, “but that is not my name. I am Gao Ying.” You have never heard of him before, though his age means that he is your peer. You have no doubt that he was trained to kill just as you were, though. Gao Ying shakes his head gently. “Anyway, that does not matter. I have made my conclusion. You are a dangerous man, Xu Jing. Your prowess and cunning combined with your knowledge of the court’s internal apparatus makes you a threat to the security of the empire.”

    “That is a pretty big conclusion to jump to, my friend without balls,” you say.

    “For someone of your caliber, there are only two paths you can take,” replies the eunuch. “Friend or foe of the empire. Tonight I will decide which you are-“

    “I’ve had enough! I can’t breathe!” shouts Xiaoqi from under the bed, surprising everyone. A small round ball rolls out from her hiding place and begins spewing choking smoke everywhere – the lass brought along a smoke bomb. Good for her. Gao Ying begins coughing, holding up his sleeve to his nose.

    There is a loud crash as the wooden window frame is shattered. You hear a loud commotion from outside – it cannot be because of what just happened in the room as the noise appears to be coming from far away. Perhaps Yu has started something? A shadowy figure – Xiaoqi – darts past you in the smoke and leaps out the window. “Come on, Jing!” shouts Yunzi as she follows the girl. You begin to move, but the eunuch shouts out.

    “Wait! A man of your talents is wasted wandering the land like this! The times are changing. With your strength and smarts you could play a vital role in renewing this country! I said that I wanted to determine whether you are friend or foe – now I am asking you this: my prince has great need for talent like you. Will you join us?”

    You pause in your steps. You know you should be fleeing through the window right now, but you cannot help but ask. “Which prince?”

    Through the smoke you can faintly see the silhouette of Gao Ying, but you have the feeling that he is staring right at you, seeing you clearly.

    “So, you know enough of the Imperial family that you would take an interest in which prince I serve. Another reason that I must decide your allegiance here,” he says amusedly. “Of course, I serve the only prince that matters, the only person that is worthy. The Crown Prince Li Shun.”

    Could he be lying? You do not know. You have been away from the palace for far too long, but when you left this Gao Ying had never been part of Shun’s entourage. Of course, many things can change in three years…

    ***

    A. You blow off his offer with a snarky response and leap out of the window. Best make your escape while the smoke still helps to obscure you.

    B. You reject his offer and flee, but mention that you also serve the Crown Prince; you get the feeling that if this man regards you a foe, you will have made a terrible enemy.

    C. You give in. This is a chance to get back into the palace circles and meet Shun again. And on the off-chance that he is lying for some reason, you might be able to turn this into an opportunity to spy on one of Shun’s enemies and help him from within.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
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  3. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
    Joined:
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    Codex 2012
    So... this rather lengthy update was actually meant to be at least two separate updates, but halfway through I realized that the cut-off point for the choice would just make it a repeat of what was done the update before the last: accept offer or reject and try to fight your way out (with even more of a disadvantage).

    I decided to press on with the writing and take away player agency. :rpgcodex:
     
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  4. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
    Joined:
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    :popamole:
    D'aww, Yunzi is getting jealous. That's adorable.
    Right now, I'm leaning towards B, since pissing this guy off is a horrible idea, but so is abandoning the Changfeng lead and our friends. Maybe I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too, but I doibt it. Shun sounds like the type to not hedge his bets on only one person.
     
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  5. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    Vicksburg
    I kinda like all the options... this choice is hard. Great update!
     
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  6. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    vote B

    A-
    If he is ally and start fighting us, prince will loose power and resources needlessly.
    If he is enemy he will remain confused who we are working for, mby deciding that we are dangerous wild card for him.

    B-
    If he is ally no damage to any side and we will continue our investigation. Looks like there is planed jailbreak, if this will work scholar will be only one to know where our target is.
    If he is enemy he can start to work against us, but that will be later.

    C-
    If he is ally we can get in touch with our boss, but what for?
    If he is enemy we are screwed and scheduled to annihilation.
     
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  7. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
    Joined:
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    The only option that I dislike is C, for two very simple reasons:
    If he is really Shun's agent and will take us to him, then that is pointless bexause Shun sent us to infiltrate the pugilistic world. If he needed us on the Gestapo, he'd assign us to the Gestapo. Besides which, I doubt our skills with ripping people's hearts out will be of much help to him in a court setting. :lol:

    If this guy is bullshitting and works for an enemy of Shun's, then C is pointless and extremely dangerous. Jing is an intelligent guy (props for taking the Reikan, it seems like the increased PER is giving Jing more chanxes to use his brians), but nowhere near good enough to spy on the Secret Police and get away with it. Especially if they're staffed with guys like this.

    Besides which, I think that either way this guy already has a good idea of just who we are, it's just a matter of confirming now.
     
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  8. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    Vicksburg
    I've thought about it a bit more and I'll be voting for B. I don't think revealing that would screw our crown prince over even if this guy isn't legitimate.
     
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  9. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I'm a call B, for now. Let him know where we stand.
     
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  10. Anabanana Augur

    Anabanana
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    Would it damage Shun for his enemies to know that he has agents out in the wild? Could our activities in jianghu be used against him? A bit apprehensive, but I think I'll hop on the Bandwagon too.
     
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  11. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
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    9,850
    I have a queer feeling that should we go with A, we'll receive a knife in the back just as we tumble out in the smoke. At least the commotion hints that we might make it out of BDS OK, but if the agent is unhappy with us we might well find BDS actively hunting us down for the time to come. Gao Yang definitely seems ready to kill.

    Impossible to tell what cause Gao Yang actually serves, he's got some kind of Righteous going on with his words but that's hardly cause for trust. But it might have to be B.

    I actually think C could work - in the sense that sure, it doesn't seem great to go back to the court instaed of staying outside, but it seems to be more of a narrative arc choice should we decide we'd like to see some court stuff for a while. Seems like court business has now gotten so complicated there's a lot of stuff to be done, too. But I myself would rather stick around and work out the Changfeng business and ZJ's challenge.
     
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  12. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
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    11,120
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Finally! The time to introduce a new female character to drool over was long overdue.

    And what a character she is! I didn't know whether to go all d'awww, or to be wary, because no one can be that clueless and wide-eyed and stay in this line of work for more than a day. And where could we have seen her? How come Jing has an idea where he had met her while I have none? Wait a minute, is she our impostor friend from that tournament night? How could even such a frail body contain a killing intent that strong? But the smoke bomb seem to imply that she may indeed be the one. Maybe we've finally met the rogue and the master of theatrics?

    Either way, she is my instant new favorite!

    Heh, I figure that Yu have guided the girl to us to provide us an escape route while he breaks Changfeng out. As expected of our scholar friend.

    And it isn't just Yunzi that feels jealous, I do, too. How could you, Shun, how could you?! Forsaking our Tigerbro in favor of some Snaketranny, exchanging the power of raw awesomeness for some slimy intrigue and poisonous cunning. I want to scream 'Betrayal!' at the top of my lungs. :cry:

    But maybe he didn't, and the man only stumbles in the dark, trying to guess our allegiance? Our name did sound familiar to him, after all, and he would compromise himself by claiming that by saying 'my prince' he meant anyone other than the crown one. His little snippet about the changing times and renewing the country, coupled with him seemingly employing the services of a bunch of slavers to do his bidding, does not make me see him in a better light.

    Fuck it, A. We need some real antagonists instead of that wussy narcissist Bai Jiutian. Some smug overly-talkative slavery-abiding eunuch is never going to be our friend. For that matter, it is better not to reveal our connection, since we expect the prince to come visit us on the island some day. If Gao Ying indeed serves the crown prince, our bro will call his dog off us. If not, well... wouldn't it be a shame to reveal our deepest secret to someone who has zero bro potential and is working for our enemies?

    All in all, that was one awesome update. :salute:

    Edit:
    Jing is already thinking about bringing BDS down hard, by revealing their activities. There will be no hugs between us either way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
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  13. Ifeex Scholar

    Ifeex
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    189
    Leaning towards B.
     
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  14. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    9,537
    I dunno about that, Nevill, pissing off the Gestapo seems like a retadred idea in the extreme. One would have a better chance of surviving all five Greats coming at him.
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,120
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    If Gestapo works for Shun, he will take care of it. If it doesn't, I am not revealing our prince's trump card - it would be better if they didn't know we are reporting to him directly.

    Actually, we can not be sure where the roots of the conspiracy lie, can we?

    We have survived Zhang, we can survive this. We do not have any family to hold hostage against us.

    Although... we will be travelling with Cao'er in two month's time. Damn it.

    Eh, by the looks of it, B will win anyway.
     
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  16. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,345
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    I'll cast a vote for the unpopular option here. C

    C>B

    Yes, you've read it right. It's a conditional vote....
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
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  17. Stygian Lurker Liturgist

    Stygian Lurker
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    577
  18. a bear named spigot Arcane

    a bear named spigot
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    779
    how about keeping our mouth shut as we bail out?
     
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,120
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Jing can't keep his mouth shut if his life depended on it. He made a snide remark to Zhang minutes after being coerced into an apprenticeship. He is hopeless. If he is caught and thrown in a pit with hungry lions, he'd still find time to give his captors a middle finger inbetween dodging the beasts.

    That's why we love him so much.
    :love:
     
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  20. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,359
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
  21. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    9,537
    The question isn't what this guy will do when he gets into contact with Shun, the question is "what will he do right now?" As things stand, he is a liaison for the BDS, most likely here for Changfeng, so if their stronghold is being sabotaged/attacked, he will automatically side with them. Unless, of course, another agent of Shun is already working on it, in which case he will probably let us be. I think Tigranes' sense is right, in that we may very well catch a dagger in the back (figuratively or literally speaking) if we just bail on him and let him assume Jing is screwing up Shun's plans. He reeks of fanaticism.
    I'm pretty sure that's exactly what happened when Master Zhang tossed us to the tigers. Goddammit, why didn't we pick drunk-fighter Jing?
    Definitely. Jing's two greatest assets are his neiggong and his swag. The dude just bullshitted some of the most dangerous men in the nation while in their territory on pure balls alone. Massive Respect.
     
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  22. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    820
    Location:
    Greece
    We are the prince's hidden ace. I dont think we should risk revealing ourselves just when we start learning what is going on in the palace between the different factions.
    My best guess here is that this eunuch is having a hunch about who we really are, and is bluffing to confirm it.
    Voting A.
     
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  23. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,336
    Location:
    Estonia
    He knows about slavery and probably also about the shoddy deal the Black Dragons have going on. So revealing our benefactor will make it easy for him to isolate from prince and who can say if they find him enough threat to kill him. Besides being a unknown factor/troll is better and keep them guessing and i have a feeling we want to kick his ass.

    Voting A
     
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  24. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,826
    For all intents and purposes, that's A, a bear named spigot. We're either a friend or a foe here, according to Gao Ying.

    Well, Shun couldn't really assign us to the Gestapo after we'd been exiled. But still, I agree that C doesn't make much sense from our point-of-view; Shun needed an agent in the pugilistic world, he's got plenty of agents in the palace already. We're in a unique position here where we are able to dig into info among the worst of the worst in the pugilistic world, which is one of the reasons why we went unorthodox to begin with. Really, between our unique position deep in the pugilistic world and having our balls intact, I'd say that Gao Ying is jealous of us.

    Nevertheless, I believe that C might be the right call here. Gao Ying knows that we aren't exactly as we seem, but he can't seem to pin down our actual allegiance. I think that even if he's lying and part of a different faction, we might be able to turn things to our advantage by infiltrating that group instead. Our reputation has proven that we're a wild, unpredictable type - we might plausibly spin the situation such that we want to be a mercenary for hire and we don't give a fuck who he serves, so long as we are rewarded.

    This is just a jumble of thoughts right now - still not sure what to vote for. Imperial politics seems to be a game of Russian Roulette, you have no idea whether every person you meet could be ready to take you out.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  25. RealDDc Learned

    RealDDc
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Germany
    "...but you have the feeling that he is staring right at you, seeing you clearly."
    This alone let's me think A could be a really bad choice, Jing still in a quite bad condition and highly likely it won't be a simple escape as it may appear currently.

    I don't see the point in B, beholding the same risk than A but playing in the hands of our enemies. I have no doubt that Gao does NOT work on Shun's order. Pretty much he collaborates with the Hei brothers.
    This just can't be coincidence.
    “How long is it until he arrives?” - “Tomorrow night.” [...] "your colleague is already here. It was a surprise to me too, but he arrived early.” [...] "convincingly enough that Hei Zuolong was almost taken in..."
    Really? No.
    Now if Jing was in a perfect condition, A should do good, but his reflexes won't even allow to dodge well right now.
    "...In your current condition there is no way you could evade it even if you see it coming..." And here the room is full of smoke, yet Gao appears not to be affected much by that.

    That leaves me with C
    All options are open with C, we do not reveal anything at this point. I doubt this will grant us the chance to meet with Shun, we'll most likely accept a pact with a possible traitor but to our luck Jing isn't a pure righteous orthodox guy.
     
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