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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
    To the South

    “I will go with the Southern Maniac, master.” You speak your words calmly and loudly, despite the confusing mix of emotions in your heart. You feel that it is a disservice to leave before you have repaid your master and Cao’er for all they have done for you, but you would never be able to live it down if they risked their lives for your own folly.

    Yao turns, looking at you and through you with his wrinkled eyes. Then, he nods. “You have made up your mind.” It is a statement, not a question. He understands why you have come to this decision. Your master returns to his seat. “If you are serious about this, I cannot stop you. I do not think this is the wisest choice to make, but it may well be the kindest.”

    You walk over to the table. The teapot is still warm – picking it up, you refill Master Yao’s cup. “Please accept this last gesture from your disloyal disciple.” With the briefest hint of hesitation in his aged hands, he takes the cup from you and drinks it with a firm nod. Then, he draws out a pale brown pill from his medicine box and tosses it to you. Catching it, you swallow the medicine. The mark on your wrist begins to fade almost instantly. You are now free from the Killer Physician.

    You turn to Cao’er, forcing yourself to smile. She looks confused and shocked. Her mouth opens and closes like a fish gulping water, as she can find no words to say to you. Grabbing your sleeve, she casts her red, watery eyes downwards and begins glaring at the floor in silence. “Cao’er-“

    With a sigh, Master Yao’s fingers stab into the side of Cao’er’s neck. Her eyes roll back up in her head as she slumps into his arms. “I will have some words with her. She will be in a stubborn mood for a while, but it’ll pass. Go with your new master before he gets bored.”

    Zhang stands up, his bulky body straightening out with a surprising grace. “That would be a wise option, master physician. Perhaps we may call upon you some day, when he is nostalgic for his old friends.” The Southern Maniac walks out of the room without looking back. It is clear that he expects you to follow. You see no point in dragging out the farewell any further. With a quick bow to your old master, you hurry after the new one.

    ***

    Zhang Jue leads you out of the city and towards the river. At the bank you see a crude raft lashed to a rock. He stops and turns around. “Sisters of Emei. Why do you persist in following us?”

    The six nuns stand a safe distance away, having tailed you from the inn in Xuzhou. “I am afraid we must ask for that sword to be given back to us,” says one of the nuns.

    “I’m afraid that question has to be posed to my new master,” you say, smiling. “By the way, I am curious; how did you know I had it?”

    “We have been investigating its whereabouts for a long time,” says a nun. “It was only recently that we found out that the great grandfather of Rong Muben was responsible for its theft. We visited Songfeng Sword School recently, and Master Rong pointed to you, saying that you slew his son and took the sword. You haven’t exactly been conspicuous in Xuzhou; you were easy to find.”

    “Actually, both the young and old Rongs gave it to me, but that’s besides the point. So, master,” you say acidly, “is it alright for me to return the sword now? Or does the Great Southern Maniac care so much for a fish knife?” Now that Master Yao and Cao’er won’t get involved, you see no reason to hold back your tongue.

    “That is an interesting tone you’re taking with me, my apprentice,” smiles Zhang Jue. “Do you think I will not kill you for being rude?”

    “I think that you will not kill me over mere words. Judge a man by what he does, not what he says.”

    “A lofty standard. Would that all men held such views. Unfortunately, words are in themselves deeds. They are spoken, and speaking is amongst many actions a man can do,” laughs Zhang, challenging you to rebut him.

    “I hate to interrupt,” says the nun with slight trepidation and annoyance, “but can we have the sword back?”

    “Xu Jing,” says the Southern Maniac with a bored look on his face, “draw the Yuchang Sword and fight the Emei nuns with it.” You bite back the urge to let out a cry of “What?”, instead settling for, “Yes, master.”

    The nun frowns. “That would be… inadvisable,” she mutters. “We do not seek bloodshed here.”

    “Neither do I,” says Zhang. “Defeat the boy and the sword is yours. I am sure you can accomplish that without killing him. As for my apprentice… well, be careful with where you point that blade.” He winks. “I will try not to wound anyone with a sharp sword,” you say sarcastically as you draw the Yuchang Sword from its sheath.

    “That is right. If you wound any of the nuns, I will inflict that wound upon you in return.” You are not sure if the Southern Maniac is serious, but you have to assume that he is. The rest of the nuns begin stepping back, leaving their leader at the fore. As she assumes her stance, Zhang frowns.

    “A duel? I want all of you to attack my apprentice at once.”

    “Master Zhang,” says the nun testily, “Emei does not gang up on a child. I alone will be enough.”

    “If you do not attack him together, I will join the fight. This is a good chance to gain the sword you so desire. Besides, he is my apprentice. Do not underestimate him.”

    “I may be your apprentice, master, but I have yet to learn any skills from you,” you say. “I do not think I will be able to handle all of them at once.”

    “We’ll see about that,” says Zhang confidently. “Lose and I will kill you.”

    The nuns retreat away to confer. When they come back, they seem to have made up their minds to secure the sword today. “We will make this quick, Xu Jing.” They spread out, getting into formation.

    “The Guihe Formation (閨鶴陣 ,Maiden Crane Formation), eh?” muses Zhang. The nuns begin to surround you, as if enclosing you in the wings of a crane. As the first nun leaps to the attack, Zhang calls out, “Two steps backwards.” Confused at his words, you dodge the nun’s palm strike by jumping to the left, only to run right into the clutches of two others. Redirecting your motion, they spin you about and toss you to the ground. You rapidly scramble to your feet, sword at the ready. “One step to your right, then three steps forwards,” calls out Zhang again. You decide to follow his instructions. You take one step to the right. A horsetail whip narrowly misses you as you do so – surprised, you decide to press the advantage and grab the whip. Before you can do so, a nun strikes at your spine from behind, sending you sprawling to the floor again.

    “Roll to the left before getting up, leap to the right, then take four steps backwards,” says Zhang lazily. He’s leaning back on the rock, looking rather bored with the whole thing. You aren’t so stupid as to not perceive what he is doing. Casting away any misgivings you may have, you devote your body wholeheartedly into replicating the Southern Maniac’s instructions. You roll, avoiding an outstretched hand aimed at grabbing your crotch. Stumbling to your feet, you immediately jump to the right, evading a nun’s flying kick. You take four steps backwards the moment your feet touch the ground, barely taking the time to balance yourself. The head nun’s leg sweep barely misses your feet. It looks like the bastard knows what he’s doing after all.

    With a snarl of irritation, the nuns continue their attack, and Zhang continues calling out his directions. You will yourself to follow his words as faithfully and as precisely as you can; the nuns’ formation is too fast and confusing for you to fight alone. As you dart, dodge, and roll around the battle, you find it easier and easier to catch their movements, but there is still no opening for you to attack. You cannot hit them, but neither can they hit you as long as you follow Zhang’s directions.

    Suddenly, the nuns stop, retreating back into a single line. Their old faces are scowling heavily.

    “Hm, what is this? Have you gotten bored already?” asks Zhang.

    “We will not be training your apprentice for you, Zhang Jue,” snaps the head nun. “This mockery is pointless.”

    The Southern Maniac just laughs. “Do you not want the sword, then?”

    “We have waited for years. We can wait a little longer,” she hisses.

    “If you do want the sword, the Abbess will know where to find me,” says Zhang cheerfully. “I have not changed my residence. I would suggest that you try again regularly as once we reach my island, I will not lift a finger to direct my apprentice. That would be your best chance.”

    Glaring at the both of you, the nuns retreat, muttering decidedly unnunly curses from their mouths.

    “Island?” you ask, when they are out of sight. “That is the place where your talent will blossom.” Zhang Jue’s grin is now cruel and wide, his eyes gleaming with mad glee. “I will turn you into a peerless warrior, my apprentice.”

    He leaps onto the raft, laughing in anticipation. “We head now to Yinhu Island, Xu Jing. Be prepared.”

    ***

    Yinhu Island is located some ways to the south – it takes you half a month to reach the island, braving the waves along the coast. The locals call it Maniac Island; it is the home of the Southern Maniac when he is not wandering the land. The climate of the island is humid – the greenery is more jungle than forest.

    Zhang’s large house, built in the style of a mansion, is perched near a precipice. You do not know how it remains standing; it looks like it would fall at any moment. As you gaze at the sight, your new master speaks up.

    “Let us not waste any time getting started.” His fist buries itself in your stomach. You can feel a snap as he channels his qi into you, inciting your dormant internal energy beyond the pills’ capacity to suppress. Your qi gushes forth – this is the first time you have experienced it while conscious. It is as if a million knives are shredding you up from the inside. Forced to your knees, your numb fingers reach into your clothes, fumbling for more of your medication. You spill the pouch onto the ground as another sharp wave of pain tears through your body, causing you collapse to the muddy ground, unable to even scream from the pain.

    “This is your nature, Xu Jing,” says Zhang Jue calmly. “Embrace it, even as it kills you…”



    ---CHAPTER END---
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
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  2. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    ...this will be awesome. I'm loving this guy already.
     
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  3. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    :salute:
     
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  4. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Sent the hags packing! Good stuff, that.
     
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    "Embrace it, even as it kills you..."
    And chapter end. Masterfullly trolled, treave. :hero:
     
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  6. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Heh. Seems going with the maniac lent a rather hefty bent to this scale..
     
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  7. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    it exceeds 2 mosquitoes by 3 days so lets say 3.
    :troll:
    6 would be funnier.


    Btw 22 people vote here that is something.

    Edit. Btw where did that escape tech vanished? Fused with wolf step? It was Golden Snake Shedding Skin.
     
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  8. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Looks like it. Some other changes to the character sheet too. Big increase in unarmed among them.
     
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  9. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    And a Neigong skill. Yep. There are changes already, from training with the madman. Neigong was earlier limited to 1, now it's 4. So Jing's better at controlling it now, but he isn't anywhere near his peak I suspect.
     
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  10. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Maniac Training

    The first thing you were taught under Zhang Jue’s tutelage was how to accept your chaotic inner strength. You spent seven days and seven nights writhing in pain in the jungle as Zhang Jue systematically broke down your meridians, the channels by which a person’s qi travels.

    “Vessels are useless,” he said. “All you need to do is to unshackle your qi from the narrow channels that constrain it. Your qi has transcended the need for a path. The harmony of the Way is heresy to your being. Let your strength flow freely; embrace the discord and chaos, and you will become more powerful than you can ever imagine.”

    Then, he added, dispassionately, “If you survive this.”

    You did, somehow. In the blinding pain you somehow found in yourself the will to cling on to life. By the end of it, however, streaks of white had appeared in your hair, far before your time. You had always looked slightly older than your age, but now, at merely fifteen, you could pass for a man of twenty. The agony may have shortened your lifespan, though you do not know for sure. Without meridians it meant that any injuries you suffer to your internal system can no longer be healed by the qi of others. You would have to cope on your own.

    However, you gained power out of it. For the first time in your life, you were now able to use your inner strength. The Southern Maniac named it Yuanshi Hundun (原始混沌, Primordial Chaos). The orderly world was born after yin and yang came into perfect balance and harmony; before that there was nothing but dark and undifferentiated chaos. Befitting its name, the Yuanshi Hundun coursing through your body is unpredictable and barely controllable even at the best of times. When channeled, however, it gives you a burst of strength and speed at the expense of making your strikes and movements erratic. Due to its nature, it is impossible for you to cultivate your neigong via calm meditation and docile practice.

    Master Zhang praised you for surviving; that lasted for all of two seconds before he set the tigers on you.

    ***

    Training on Yinhu Island is harsh and deadly. You often find human bones during your training; no doubt scattered remains of your master’s former apprentices. The first part of your training was spent in the jungle that you shared with countless deadly beasts. You approached this obstacle mainly via:

    A. Trapping. By learning to identifying the lay of the land and the tracks of the animals, you placed traps with which you could capture or kill the beasts. To do this you needed a keen eye and a mind for constructing and placing traps. (PER+1, INT+1, Traps+2)

    B. Stalking. You turned the jungle into your own playground, hunting the animals that hunted you without their knowledge. Your senses became keener, and your movements quicker. (PER+1, AGI+1, Sneak+2)

    C. Head-on assault. You contested the beasts’ territory in a show of strength. You beat them down in a direct fight, though you only managed it after downing copious amounts of alcohol. (STR+1, END+1, Drinking+2)

    D. Befriending. In a stroke of rare good fortune, you somehow managed to befriend the animals. Your master was slightly amused at your approach, and proceeded to kill all of your animal friends. You were inspired to compose a great poem to lament their passing. (CHA+1, LUC+1, Artistic Skill+2)

    ***

    After your ordeal in the jungle, during which you developed a combined qinggong skill out of your fundamental knowledge, your martial arts training began in earnest – your regimen was strict and brutal, with no time to even sleep. You were kept awake and functional by ingestion of raw snake and bear gall bladders that Zhang ripped out. At times you wondered why the island was not yet depopulated, and then your skull was cracked open because you were not paying attention while sparring with your master.

    The Southern Maniac had plenty of techniques, and all of them were ones designed to kill. He was less of a swordsman, preferring to relish in flesh-to-flesh contact, though it did not mean he was not handy with a sword. Your training focused on your unarmed and sword skills, the ones you were already proficient in. The first technique he taught you were the Shouwang Claws, (獸王狂爪, Mad Claws of the Beast King), his signature technique. With it, Master Zhang could rend flesh from bones, dig out a man’s heart, or tear off a limb. You do not aspire to that much, but even in your inexperienced hands the technique is lethal. Besides that, you were also taught another technique:

    A. Fanfeng Feixue Sword (反風飛血劍, Counter-Wind Flying Blood Sword). Developed by Zhang Jue as an unorthodox variant of the Huashan Sect’s renowned swift sword technique, it is meant to counter their rapid slashes with even wilder, more furious and brutal attacks of your own that would spill their blood across the arena. It has never been tested against Huashan in actual combat.

    B. Chuzhan Fist (除斬拳, Dividing Sundering Fist). Developed by Zhang Jue as a counter to the Taiji Fist of the Wudang Sect. Zhang believes that it is possible to disrupt the gentle negation stance of Taiji, breaking their harmony by applying more force, faster than they can handle, and thus this technique focuses on ruthless, straightforward attacks that attempt to overwhelm the enemy with sheer power and speed. It has never been tested against Wudang in actual combat.

    C. Wuni Fist (五逆拳,Five Deadly Sins Fist). Developed by Zhang Jue as an answer to the famed Luohan Fist of Shaolin Temple. In response to the straightforward, direct attacks of the Arhat, the Deadly Sins movements focuses on attacking the weak points in such a straightforward technique by utilizing a variety of clutches, grabs and throws in addition to quick, jabbing strikes. It has never been tested against Shaolin in actual combat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
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  11. Ifeex Scholar

    Ifeex
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  12. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Hah, I love the idea of befriending the animals and mourning them with poetry!
     
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  13. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    I've only missed a day or two and we are already this psycho's apprentice? And I see Stockholm syndrome is already in full force.

    Oh fine. Voting DA. Maybe having a little less shitty luck will do us some good, and we already got an unarmed technique in this update.

    Edit: Actuality make that DA > BA > AA. I don't like C.
     
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  14. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Master Yao :salute:
    I wonder if chaotic qi means we're going to be crazy at some level, not good.

    Awesome, the Emei are going to be paying constant visits! Maybe we will seduce a young nun then. They're going to be bringing the heavy guns next time.

    Guys, I think I know why his apprentices last so shortly... they're not apprentices, they're test subjects, and Zhang is the Wushu equivalent of a mad scientist testing techniques.

    Voting CA.
     
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  15. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Bros, I have a feeling we're going to have to choose about the use of the Primordial Chaos during fights. It is my opinion we should only use it in fights to the death where we are surrounded by enemies, I'm afraid we might kill a ally by accident.
     
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  16. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    AA - INT and PER, what else needs to be said?
     
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  17. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    I can already tell that for the skill boosts, C is going to be quite popular. Another point in STR and the neigong would allow us to max out strength for brief periods of time. However, I really think that we ought to mitigate our terrible luck at least somewhat. I'm a bit loathe to get another CHA point after we had already invested in one earlier, but I think that the hilarious description makes up for that; I can just imagine a displeased Zhang murdering all of our new animal friends, just as we had been enjoying an extremely rare occurrence of good luck. Oh well, I suppose CHA 8 will allow us to seduce lots of impressionable young nuns.

    Also, with that much charisma, we'd be the perfect white-haired bishounen:

    :desu:

    As for the technique, well, in the end, we're going to have to fight all sorts of martial artists, but since we're developing our own sword style and we had lost our kicking technique earlier, I'd rather go for an unarmed one. I know we just got one, but this would be Zhang's specialty, so I'd go with another unarmed technique. Overwhelming the enemy with power and speed sounds right up Jing's alley, and it'll counter the Wudang style (which our nature is inherently in opposition to), so I think that's the appropriate choice here.

    BB
     
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  18. kazgar Arcane

    kazgar
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    Wondering if technique B (second B) also seems to match our primordial chaos ability, as its less finesse based then A. Also, the Southern Maniac is better with unarmed than sword its best to go with his strengths?

    While the luck point looks interesting, its already low and 2 will still be low, wondering if we should take the bigger boost to already higher skills, specialise instead of aiming for a broad base, for example we could have strength 9 which would match most in the land.

    While our low luck has lead to some interesting situations, its nothing we haven't gotten through so far, and shouldn't be seen as the game ender some may be seeing, as a matter of fact, a luckless journey could be seen as a boon as we survive our trials and be stronger and wiser for it.
     
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  19. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    First choice A > D
    We wish to become self taught? Skills what help us are Int, Per and artistic skills. We get both stats in A and traps for small bonus the weakest part of it. B is ok to as its gives us Per, let us get 10 agi with used wolf step and neigong and increase our sneak rank to 3 with possible bonus from wolf step to rank 5. C is waste in my opinion it lets us get to 10 str with neigong, gives us endurance to 6 but looking that our neigong is caped at 4 even if we have 5 points looks like it wont increase neigong and drinking... D in my opinion is very interesting gives us artistic knowledge helping us decipher poem techs, increase charisma helping our most developed skill and somewhat decrease amount of fate trolling. Would love to see that poem btw.

    Last C > A
    I believe that each tech here is good still. We have ultimate tech of Beggars in long term and Mad claw rank 4 so we have direct approach covered making B bit less usefull but with C we should be able to use those throws non lethal with could come in handy. A switching from agile tech to bruta can be good as we saw in our duel in Songfeng.
     
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  20. kazgar Arcane

    kazgar
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    fake edit: the endurance boost from C could also be useful as our healing options are now limited due to the lack of meridians.
     
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  21. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Great point, kazgar.

    treave, what would coping with things on our own entail? If the qi of others can't heal us, what options do we have?
     
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  22. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Hair turning white with grief or pain is a traditional genre cliche predating animu. :rpgcodex:

    E.g. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bride_with_White_Hair

    Edit: Your healing will be slower than other pugilists. This applies to internal injuries mainly, not superficial ones. In this context internal injuries refers to the sort that disrupt your qi and weaken you. You'll have to let things recover of their own accord.
     
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  23. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    I wonder, will D give us an advantage with other animals in the future?
     
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  24. Kashmir Slippers Magister

    Kashmir Slippers
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    Here, obviously
  25. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    I think I'll go CB, bros. We won't have many chances to raise our strength given how absurdly high it is already (I think this is the first opportunity we've had to boost it) so we should try to max it if possible. We were tied at one of the four strongest characters to start out with, we may as well carry on with that road instead of ditching it. The endurance helps too, we need to boost that at some point.

    It seems like this guy is the opposite of what Wudang stands for, and we sill probably need to challenge them at some point. Given that our master additionally is better with the unarmed combat, I think this is the best way to go.
     
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