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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
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    Codex 2012
    Time's up. I suppose kicking it is.

    ***

    A Call for Help

    Winter turns to spring, and then to summer. As autumn draws to a close and the winds begin to bring a hint of the coming cold, you find yourself on the outskirts of Xuchang, the latest city where Master Yao’s wanderings have taken you. A well-off merchant by the name of Gu Zhan had taken sick and heard of the famed Killer Physician’s presence in the city. Living up to his reputation, Master Yao had healed the man with some efficacious herbal brews. Then, he advised the man rather loudly that he should purchase some of these herbs for his mistress, who must have transmitted the clap to him.

    That did not go well. It took all of your charm and patience - not much of the latter, you’ll admit - to negotiate safe exit from the merchant’s manor. You didn’t even get paid.

    “Master,” you sigh loudly, “did you do that on purpose? I have told you many times to mind your bedside manners. Perhaps it would be better if you concentrated on the healing and left the talking to me.”

    Yao snorts loudly as he lights up the book of alchemy he had brought along to read and tosses it to the roadside with utter disregard for fire safety. “If his mistress is not kept well enough that she attracts stray flies like rotting meat, that is not my fault. I gave him a proper warning, like a physician should do. Rubbish. Utter rubbish, this book is.”

    “Subtlety, Master.” You know you are not the best person to talk about subtlety, but the time you have spent with Yao and Cao’er has been very enlightening.

    “Subtlety, eh?” Master Yao suddenly grins slyly. “When did you do it?”

    “You have sharp eyes, my master,” you say, as you open up your palm to show a little pouch. “You were making a big fuss and crying bloody murder as they tried to beat your head in. In all that ruckus, no one was looking at the box. It was the best choice I could have made, considering the circumstances. I’m not going without dinner tonight; we didn't even have enough money to buy this chicken when we walked into the city." You shake the bag containing your dinner in his face. "The two of you have been spending a lot of taels on buying books and then burning them after reading.”

    “I made that fuss on purpose, stupid disciple of mine,” says Yao, ignoring your concerns over finances and book burning. “You still have much to learn about the ways of the world, but it is good that you no longer hesitate to procure what should be rightfully ours.”

    You open the pouch and count the coins within. “Slightly more than what is rightfully ours, it seems.” At that, Yao frowns. “You know what to do, Jing.”

    You nod. “I’ll pass the surplus coins to one of Gu’s servants. If it makes it back to him, good. If it doesn’t, he was paying his servants too little anyway. You know, they’re starting to call you the Thieving Physician.”

    “And yet they ask for me anyway. How can they complain?” laughs your master. He does have a point. Despite his unorthodox, eccentric reputation, the Killer Physician Yao Shunshi is in high demand. This is not because his prices are cheap. Indeed, they are frequently exorbitant and fluctuate wildly depending on how much he likes his patients. It is rare for him to like his patients.

    Master Yao is sought after because of two traits of his.

    Firstly, he will never refuse a call for help. No matter how minor, how major, or how dangerous the situation is, he will heed the call. Back during the summer, he led you and Cao’er right into the middle of a turf war between two gangs over a peasant’s fever. You had to kick your way out of several excitingly dangerous events that temporarily quenched your thirst for reckless adventure.

    Secondly, you have never seen him fail, not even once. His reputation is such that no one has ever found an illness he could not treat. Master Yao once boasted that if death was an ailment instead of the natural end of life, he could cure it.

    These two traits combined meant that if you called for him in time, he would come, and he would heal you.

    As the two of you approach the abandoned hut outside Xuchang that serves as your temporary - and more importantly, free - lodgings while you are in the area, you spot a pillar of smoke rising towards the heavens. That is probably the last of the books that they bought. Yao and Cao’er have a remarkable memory. The both of them are able to memorize pages and pages with just a single glance. Every year, they would spend a considerable amount of money to purchase all of the updated manuals, and memorize them. Then, they would burn the books. When you asked why, Yao just said that it was an offering, and nothing more.

    You see Cao’er fanning the flames of the fire. When she spots you and Master Yao approaching, she gives a slight nod of the head before turning her undivided attention back to the flames… though you can still spot her stealing glances at you out of the side of her eyes. Your master goes back into the hut, grumbling as usual, while you go over to his senior apprentice. Despite being two years younger than you are, she is far, far better than you can ever be in the arts of healing. She can concoct a good batch of qi-suppressing pills and temporary antidotes for you within hours, while it would take you perhaps a full day of trial and error. However, her excellent memory and enormous skill at medicine is not the only reason why Master Yao took her in - Cao’er had been born with what your master calls Immortal’s Eyes. She is able to perceive the meridians and the flow of qi with just her eyes alone, and he often brags that she will grow up to become an even more famous physician than he is. But for now...

    You sniff the air. As expected, she hasn’t been keeping up her bathing regimen. The girl just seems to hate water in general. Earlier on you had taken it upon yourself to scrub her clean personally, but, well… girls grow, as they always do.

    You blanch at the memory of Master Yao sniggering and pushing the responsibility of explaining a girl’s flowering to a fourteen year old boy. Thankfully she had already learnt of such things from all that reading she does.

    You place a firm hand on her greasy, tangled hair, causing the girl to freeze up and turn red. “...yes?” As always, her voice is meek and hoarse from disuse. She always sounds like a dying frog when she speaks, which is not often.

    “Did you follow my instructions?”

    Head-shake.

    “Why didn’t you?”

    “...forgot.”

    “Go do it now, or the only thing they’ll be calling you in the future is the Stinky Physician,” you order with a laugh. Cao’er bows to you and runs off, keeping her eyes glued to the ground all the while. You had been an only child while with your real parents, and with Shun it was like having a brother your age. This is the first time you’ve had something akin to a younger sibling. It’s a strange feeling - you’re not sure that you enjoy herding her around, but you’re not sure that you dislike it either.

    Of course, Master Yao isn’t anything like a parent. More like a grumpy, troublesome uncle with a malicious streak.

    ***

    The roasting chicken fills the air with a pleasant aroma. As you turn it over the fire, Cao’er returns from her bath. Her hair is no longer greasy, though it is as messy as ever. She has swapped into the other bundle of thick rags that she wears - you’ve put that out to dry. Prior to your arrival Cao’er had taken care of the daily chores, but you soon discovered that she did it rather absent-mindedly. You are unsure how someone so well-versed at the art of brewing potions can be so bad at cooking. Thankfully, you had spent some time with the maids in the kitchen and picked up a thing or two.

    My dear brother Shun, if only you could see me now. I am not sure if you would laugh or cry, you think as you split up the chicken like a good wife. A big portion for the growing girl, a middling one for the growing boy, and the chicken’s posterior for the old master. He raises his white eyebrows as you serve the hindquarters to him. “We need the nutrition, master,” you say.

    He gives a big, dramatic shrug in return and tucks in, muttering about cocky kids. You’ve learnt Yao’s boundaries as a master - he may be harsh and demanding when it came to professional skills, but in daily living he is as carefree as a bird and eats like one. As long as you performed his tasks and did it without complaint, he would be satisfied.

    After dinner had been put away, Master Yao beckons with a finger, summoning the both of you to sit in front of him. Clearing his throat, he begins.

    “We have received two important requests. I never turn down any request, but these are important even by my demanding standards. The first is a request from an old acquaintance of mine in the Beggars’ Sect. One of their brethren is awaiting trial for murder in Kaifeng, and they claim he has been falsely accused. My acquaintance asks for my assistance in obtaining a second opinion regarding the state of the corpse so that they may clear the beggar’s name. The second request comes from the Songfeng Sword School, south of here near Tuzhonglin. The head of the school has suddenly fallen ill and is in critical condition. If I do not save him, he will die. They are aware of my price and are prepared to pay it.”

    Your master smiles thinly. “As you can see, I cannot be in two places at once. Cao’er, you will take my place for one of these requests. I think it is time for you to become more independent. You are definitely up to the task of handling any of these requests.”

    The girl shrinks back, pulling her head into the mass of rags that she calls her clothes. “...but…”

    “Don’t worry. I’ll send Xu Jing with you,” replies Yao with a nasty grin, cutting off any thoughts you might have had about having a few days off from dealing with the two of them. You do not hate them, but they do aggravate you at times, even with your new and improved patience. Cao'er, on her part, seems visibly relieved, the tension draining from her posture.

    “Very well, master,” you answer tentatively, “but a question, if I may. Which request would you prefer to handle?”

    “A wise question,” snorts Yao, though you do not know if he is being sarcastic. “I would rather handle the Songfeng case. I have little interest in looking at those that are already dead. What do you think, clever apprentice of mine?”

    ***

    A. You would prefer to take the Beggars’ Sect request. Despite her shyness Cao’er is rather good at investigating corpses, as you have seen firsthand for yourself a number of times, and this should be something she can handle easily. Furthermore, the Beggars’ Sect are a major sect with an unparalleled information network, and making friends with them would be extremely useful to you - the beggars are noted for their loyalty to their allies.

    B. You would prefer to go to Songfeng Sword School. It may not be a big sect, but it is rather reputable in the orthodox world and known to be honourable. More importantly, Master Yao will follow through with his ‘save one, kill one’ principle in this case. Cao’er is not bound by those principles, and if she saves the head of the school you could be walking away with money or techniques instead of taking another person’s life.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
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  2. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Fucks.. :x
     
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  3. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    A: information networks, staunch friends on the orthodox side and Drunken Fist style.
    B: swords, reputable acquaintances in the orthodox world (I'm pretty sure they won't take too kindly to our unorthodox methods, the beggars probably won't really care too much) and avoiding, well, there's something to be said for sparing a life from Master Yao.
    Speaking of him, he's not such a bad guy actually. Deranged, maybe, but a decent guy. I like him.
     
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  4. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    B, definitely B. Time to get some tips on using a sword...

    And you know, an actual sword.

    Sword and kicking would go well together, actually, come to think of it.
     
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Bugger all. I really wanted that healing finger tech.

    Is it wrong of me to intensely hate about half of the readers/voters in this LP? :M

    Anyway, A. Let's go suck up some info. Fuck the techs. This way we'll also curry a bit of favour with Yao. Possibly, he'll teach us the finger at a later date.
     
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  6. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    I think Yao's downfall will be pretty soon, and I think it will be because of his principle of always answering a call for help regardless of who makes the call. Someone's going to call for him someday and he won't return. Maybe not in this current choice, but soon.
     
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  7. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Each choice will start a different mission. Definitely nothing as simple as go there, cutscene, claim reward. :lol:
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Why no, nothing wrong at all. However,
    Now it flows both ways, eh?
    :troll:
     
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  9. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Its the 'dex at its finest. Always making more butthurt.

    Seriously though, a kicking technique where we "might be able to cut grass with our kicks, once we master it"?

    Weak. :rpgcodex:

    Though I guess we can always end this LP as the Prince's Ultimate Gardener, doing gardening chores with our bare feet..
     
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  10. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    treave
    About these locations- Jiangnan, Kaifeng, Tuzhonglin, some info about them? At least their relative distance from each other?
     
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  11. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    That's what I love about this place. :hug: There, all better?
    Naw, we end as the Ashina Khan (seriously, nobody is pumped for that?). Wiith our technique, we'll starve the enemy's horses and they will be defenseless. :lol:
    I sincerely hope it will be after he cures us of the poison.
     
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  12. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Kaifeng and Tuzhonglin are both less than a day's travel from Xuchang, though one is to the north and one is to the south.

    Kaifeng is a large city and major commercial hub, one of the more populated and important places in the dynasty. Tuzhonglin is just a small, insignificant town out in the countryside. The school itself is located on the outskirts of the town.

    Jiangnan refers to an entire region south of the Yangtze river. To be exact, Yuhua Hall is in Jiankang (or what is now Nanjing).
     
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  13. LWC1996 Learned

    LWC1996
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    Great update, LOL at Jing force-bathing Cao'er LOL

    My choice would be A

    Why? Because,

    1) They mind their own business, and is suspicious of outsiders,

    2) Uber awesome info gathering network. You cannot beat that. This is a valuable asset.Whatever you wanna know about whats going down in wuxia world, high odds are they would know it.

    3) VERY rare opportunity to befriend them. Don't give up the chance to cause you may never get it again given their closed off nature.

    4) As a beggar-friend, you have friends EVERYWHERE. In every village, town - you name it, there's a friend or more. So in case you're on your own again or things go south, you will have a place to go to for resources and information. Definitely more useful than any techniques from a small fry school which wouldn't be that powerful.

    5) They are UBER loyal allies. Count your blessings and luck if they decide you are a Beggar-Friend!

    6) Their numbers and information makes them THAT powerful.

    7) And their awesome Drunken Fist (as Baltika9 reminded me. Thanks bro!) ETA : Confirmed by treave that he never promised this. BUT, they could have other moves that may or may not be offered.

    BEGGAR FRIEND FOR THE WIN! VOTE BEGGAR-FRIEND!

    Time to network, my friend, with the most connected network of the wuxia world.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
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  14. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    Eh, you guys do what you want.

    There's been a voice in the back of my head, which always gets the better of me sooner or later, nagging me for a while that I was wasting time with completely pointless shit, even though I was mostly doing this out of boredom. Now I can well and truly say this has been a waste of time as shouldn't be repeated. At least Vernydar's LP was an exercise in creativity. This has been an exercise in stupid arguments where I don't even feel like my brain's getting the slightest workout because of how spectacularly half-assed people's thoughts can be around here.

    Well, if nothing else, the codex is a good place to shit on inferior intellects, but frankly this all feels too stupid even for that.

    So. You guys do what you want.
     
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  15. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    treave, are these sword masters :obviously: ? They seem like it. Also, how loyal are they to their friends?
     
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  16. Ifeex Scholar

    Ifeex
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    B, because swords.
     
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  17. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Songfeng is a minor school with a good reputation. You're not sure how loyal they are to their friends because they aren't that influential or well-known to gain that many friends from all over the land, but from all accounts their leader is an honourable man.
     
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  18. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    B. I feel like playing it slightly safer. Probably best to avoid a law/justice/convict the guilty/save a friend quandary right now.
     
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  19. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Not that well known, huh? What about their techniques? Any of their students particularly famous for their skill?
    I'm asking because I want to gauge the benefits of going for them over the beggars, since LWC has made a pretty good case for them. He just neglected to add "Drunken Fist."
     
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  20. LWC1996 Learned

    LWC1996
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    I will add that in. Thanks for the reminder. Would brofist you but apparently I can't do that.
     
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  21. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Their most famous technique is the Songfeng Swordplay, a light and breezy style. It is a respectable technique. None of their students are particularly famous, but the leader used to be a senior disciple from Huashan that came down to start up his own school.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
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  22. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    And did this leader part with Huashan cordially?
     
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  23. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Damn, gave away more info than I should, it was meant to be part of the update should B win.

    Oh well. Yes, cordial parting.
     
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  24. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Convinced me
    VOTING beggArs!
     
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  25. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Mount Hua, eh?
    And that's all I'll bother copy-pasting from Wikipedia tonight.
    Don't know if it's the same one, but there you have it. If it is though, then we're encountering them in their infancy. What would be the odds of them having a qi specialist?
     
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