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

  1. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    This is the Xiaoming Jiuyang technique though. We were able to detect Xuxian's massive neigong immediately. It seems that the Xuanming Jiuyin technique specializes in concealment while the Xiaoming Jiuyang is extremely overt.

    There are decent odds we could detect a practitioner by ourselves.
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Yeah, you could, but it's not the lack of persuasiveness so much as it is that little mental problem where Xu Jing can't resist the occasional jab at people who he thinks are being too serious over something that shouldn't be taken seriously (in his opinion). No amount of speech skill is going to negate that personality flaw, it just makes him insult them in a more eloquent manner.
     
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  3. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    B + Xuezi > A sans Xuezi.
     
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  4. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    What's the point of that?
     
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  5. Elfberserker Liturgist

    Elfberserker
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    Bring in the CHILD ELDER.

    It might not be the wisest move, but it should bring some cute or hilarious moments.
     
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  6. Grimgravy Cipher Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Bring the runt, even if just for giggles.
     
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  7. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I don't know why people think she would hinder the negotiations. Who would take offence at child's antics? One pat on the head, and she will be back to sulking silently.

    We did promise her to help her return her powers, and she might be reminded of something that could be helpful to us both.
     
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  8. Tribute Arbiter

    Tribute
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    So what you're saying is we should have left Zhang Manxing alive so he could do this and then we could have had the entire Zhang Clan eliminated all at once?

    We may have made the wrong choice guys +M
     
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  9. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Information? I've been skimming though, is it that we can't trust Xuezi to keep quiet? Well, fine, B without Xuezi.
     
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  10. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    What I meant was that B with Xuezi is pointkess, since B is all about disgiusing or girls as men and sneaking them pay Shaolin. Xuezi is allowed there anyway since she is a cold, so it's really pointless to disguise her on the first place.
     
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  11. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    Xuezi is going to reflect badly on us for bringing her along.

    We also don't want to explain why she's with us. With our rep, odds are people will believe we kidnapped some noble's daughter who is going along with it because she thinks it's a great adventure. At the same time, word gets out that we're traveling with someone who could be the Tianshan child elder, and the people involved in that disaster will know.
     
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  12. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Not if she calls us Big Bwother :desu:
    She certainly has the IDGAF rating to be related to us and our LORD.
     
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  13. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    This actually sounds like a good cover. treave, would it be possible to use this story I'd wet need to?
     
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  14. kazgar Arcane

    kazgar
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    hah like she's gonna agree with that, she'll just clip us over the ears and tell us to shut up.
     
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  15. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Yeah, a big part of my wanting to bring her is for the d'awww.
    :love:
     
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  16. Akkudakku Arbiter

    Akkudakku
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    I vote for bringing Xuezi with us. Lets jog that memory of hers
     
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  17. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Masters of Shaolin

    Finally, you enter Shaolin Temple. You leave the girls at the gates, under the watch of the monks – while you are within the temple, they will be considered to be under Shaolin’s protection. Yunzi had been rather displeased that you were leaving her behind, and you asked Armaiti to keep an eye on her; you had spotted the Holy Maiden taking out a false moustache in secret, thinking that she wasn't being observed.

    A nervous junior monk leads you into the temple grounds, past the training square, where you see a few dozen monks practicing their daily exercises, and through the pagoda forest. Xuxian follows behind, head bowed, while Xuezi walks conceitedly in front of you, glancing at the relics of fighting saints with disdain in her eyes. “Short-lived fools,” she mutters.

    Before long, you reach the main hall of the temple. The monk scurries away wordlessly, leaving you to enter the dusky hall by yourself. Faint smoke wafts through the air from the burning incense, and a large statue of the Buddha is placed prominently, towering over the monks standing within. You see Xuzhan and his friends – they look very surprised to see you with Xuxian, but do not forget their manners and bow. Xuxian bows deeply in return, while you give a friendly nod. There are other monks here; perhaps half a dozen elders, in addition to twenty strong, youthful lads, and standing over them all is Abbot Fangci, the man who now leads Shaolin after Fangzhang’s death.

    He is… not what you expected.

    Where Fangzhang had been a venerable looking man – despite his private disposition – with an elegant, long white beard and a wiry, ascetic frame, Fangci is quite different. His robes fail to adequately hide the strong, muscular build underneath; despite his age, here is a man that is every bit as physically imposing as Master Zhang. His beard is not long and scholarly, but a great white bush sticking out fiercely from his jaw. In fact, were it not for the nine dots burnt onto his gleaming, shaved pate that mark his monasticism, he would seem more like a legendary warlord of the Three Kingdoms than the abbot of a monastery. Or some Buddhist avatar of destruction, from the way he glowers at you majestically.

    “So, is that muscled baldy the current abbot?” asks Xuezi, her voice loud in comparison to the hushed whisper of the monks… a whisper that drops into utter silence immediately after her question. You tense up slightly, wondering how Abbot Fangci would react.

    The muscled baldy gives a grunt of acknowledgement. “Yes, I am, little girl. Who might you be?” His voice is deep, like the rumbling of a rocky mountain.

    “Your granny-“

    You grab Xuezi and cover her mouth, laughing. “Oh, children nowadays!”

    Xuxian’s face is deathly pale, sweat pouring off his face as he stares at the polished wooden floor.

    The abbot chuckles drily, one furry white eyebrow arched high. “I did not know that you had a child, Xu Jing. She should not be here for this.”

    “As you can see, Abbot, she has a spirit that is hard to repress.”

    “If that is the case, I will say no more. You are not of the temple. I have no right to instruct you on how you discipline your young ones. Xuxian!” he barks, causing the lad to stiffen up in fright. “Kneel.” Fangci points to a padded cushion of the sort the monks commonly use for prolonged prayer to spare their knees.

    “Yes, Abbot!” squeaks Xuxian, who falls to his knees on the cushion immediately and puts his palms together in repentance.

    “We are glad that you have returned to face your judgement, Xuxian,” says Fangci as he places his hands behind his back, “but know that it will not be lenient. The laws of the temple must be followed.” Turning his head, he glances at you. “I think you did not come here just to stand by and watch, Xu Jing. If you have anything to say, now is the time.”

    You take a deep breath. “I do not truly understand where his sin lies, Master Fangci. Could you explain it to a layman? Is it because he injured you?”

    “That would warrant punishment, but it is not the whole story. The Xiaoming Jiuyang Divine Skill is something forbidden for any of our monks to learn, as it promotes imbalance and aggression if not studied in a careful, measured manner… and the temptation to rush its practice is something no man has ever resisted. Even the best of our monks have fallen to its lure, centuries ago, and it has only led to pointless bloodshed. It is a dangerous skill that should be wiped from existence, along with the other two.”

    “Yet rumours remain that Shaolin has kept the skill till now,” you comment.

    “And we have always denied it, because we thought we truly did not possess it. It was by mere luck that young Xuxian discovered those pages,” replied Fangci. “His first mistake was in not reporting it, and hiding it for himself. That is covetousness.”

    Xuxian has no response for this – he seems to regret that action.

    “I understand why he would do so,” continues the Abbot, his brows furrowed. “As a novice he was falling behind his brothers in martial prowess. But it was not the right thing to do, and that is the truth. His second mistake was in practicing the manual, and being unable to control its power. That lack of control will ruin him one day, and all those around him.”

    “T-that’s not true, Abbot Fangci,” Xuxian says tremulously, “I’ve learnt to control it better now.”

    “Have you now?” Fangci is unconvinced. “Does that mean you still want to keep the power of the Taifeng Zhenyang neigong within you?”

    Xuxian does not answer – it looks like despite what he has said, he is not entirely ready to give up the power he has achieved.

    “Simple human nature,” sighs the Abbot. “But you will accept your punishment nevertheless?”

    “Yes,” replies Xuxian hesitantly, his head lowered.

    “Are you going to strip him of his neigong?” you ask.

    “The skill is bound so tightly within him that we will have to cripple him to remove it,” states Fangci matter-of-factly. “He will not be able to move his limbs again, but the temple will take care of him from now on.”

    “That is… a very harsh thing to do,” you say.

    “It is our law, Xu Jing.”

    “Can you not teach him to control his power, and to use it in moderation? I thought Shaolin was the best at teaching martial arts.”

    “I will not risk having this heretical art spread throughout the temple. As the Abbot, it is my duty to remove whatever traces of it that I can.”

    “The only thing he learnt were a few pages. The entire manual is still out there, perhaps in the hands of people who would gladly raze your temple to the ground.” You attempt to sway Fangci, downplaying what Xuxian has learnt.

    “Yes, I have received news from Master Qi. That does not concern Shaolin. We will match them without needing to rely on such techniques,” says the Abbot bluntly.

    “…match?” Does he mean that Shaolin Temple is preparing to fight?

    He shakes his head, folding his arms. “I have said enough for now, Xu Jing. If you have something else to say, it can wait until after Xuxian has received his punishment. Now…”

    “Are you citing Shaolin law, muscled baldy?” pipes up Xuezi suddenly. Fangci gives her a glowering stare, but she does not back down.

    “I happen to remember something about that,” she grins, walking about the hall with her hands placed behind her back. “Reverend… Huichan, was it?”

    “That is… the name of my fighting master. What of him?”

    “Wasn’t he accused of learning some unorthodox technique of some sort, but the abbot of the time allowed him to go free when he demonstrated he was able to use it in accordance with Shaolin's Buddhist principles?”

    The monks murmur loudly, as the older ones amongst them begin reminiscing about that event.

    “That is…” Fangci falls silent for a while, before saying, “Trial by combat. First, face the Eighteen Bronze Arhat Formation, and then battle the current Abbot. Huichan was the first in temple history to convince an Abbot in such a trial.” Then he adds, with a wry smile, “After that, Fangzhang followed suit, and was the only one to ever actually defeat a presiding Abbot soundly.”

    “There you have it! Precedent! Why do you monks insist on shaving your ugly heads bald, I do not know, since exposure to the winds certainly does not help your dulled, scripture-obsessed brains think better!” exclaims Xuezi proudly.

    “Just who are you, little girl?” The Abbot’s eyes narrow suspiciously.

    "Your moth-"

    “She’s a smart girl, isn’t she, Master Fangci?” you say, covering up her mouth again as she struggles. “So, would you be willing to grant Xuxian such a chance to prove himself?”

    Fangci’s booming laugh echoes around the hall, amused by your request. “Do you think it easy, Xu Jing? This trial necessitates that you prove you are worthy of using a technique in a way that does not disgrace Shaolin’s name. It means that you must not harm or kill your opponent in the trial, that you demonstrate skill and mercy in your wugong. Are you confident that you can defeat us in such a manner, with your half-hearted mastery of martial arts, Xuxian?”

    “I… I do not know,” mumbles Xuxian.

    “Didn’t you beat the Abbot before? Just go even more lightly on him this time around,” you whisper.

    “I am pretty sure he was holding back at the time,” mutters Xuxian nervously. “To take both him and the Eighteen Arhats on without injuring any of them… I don’t know if I can do that.”

    “If you cannot, you must submit to your punishment. If you succeed, I am willing to spare you on the condition that you can never impart that skill to anyone else… I may trust you to use it wisely, but any disciples you take are another matter,” says the Abbot.

    “Can he not have assistance in this trial?” you ask, attempting to seek out any loopholes in the trial.

    “That would defeat the purpose entirely! The point is to prove he is worthy and redeem himself from punishment!” says Fangci, making a large gesture. It looks like he is getting displeased at your constant stalling; his courtesy may not extend much further. “One’s sins can not be shouldered by others.”

    “Ah, is that truly so?” you grin. You remembered at least one story, thankfully. “Did Mu Lian not perform meritorious deeds on behalf of his mother, who he wished to save from suffering in hell? Surely you will not reject an act performed under the same principle!”

    “Er… I suppose,” grumbles Fangci. “Well, it is not that I wish to forbid it, but if you are to share in the trial, you must also share in the punishment, should he or you fail. Are you willing to do so, Xu Jing? If you fail, we will consider you as having failed our precepts, under our teachings, and inflict upon you the same punishment as Xuxian.”

    “Oh.” That is probably something you should consider.

    “If you accept, then the two of you may pick which part of the trial you would like to challenge: would you face me, or the Eighteen Arhats? Do not worry. The difficulty is nearly equal, for I am not as strong as my predecessor, Abbot Fangzhang,” says Fangci as he stands there calmly with his bulging muscles.

    Perhaps the old man has a sense of humour after all – just because he is not as strong as Fangzhang doesn’t mean that he is not strong.

    You look at the sweating Xuxian. “What do you want to do?”

    “I… I’ll give my best and fight, but I cannot expect you to risk your own wugong to assist me, Young Master Xu. Just the help you rendered in providing this chance for a trial by combat is sufficient. Asking you for more help at this point would be improper,” he says.

    “Are you sure you want to do this? If you fail, you will be crippled for life,” you remind him.

    He still seems conflicted; part of him probably does want to leave. Leaving now, however, would likely incur Shaolin’s wrath.

    ***

    A. You will accept the challenge and assist Xuxian in this fight. Why else did you come? Failing the trial just a risk you will have to take, though given the strict conditions of the fight, it may be a very real risk.
    1. You face Abbot Fangci. Xuxian seems to fear him plenty, and that may be a mental block if he is to duel the Abbot. His comment about being weaker than Fangzhang does not necessarily mean he is weaker than the Arhats, too. He also seems like the beefy sort who is less likely to be injured by your techniques, compared to the rest of the skinny monks.
    2. You face the Eighteen Bronze Arhat Formation. It may be easier for Xuxian to deal with one opponent than with several, and he has fought the Abbot before this. Besides, each individual Arhat is definitely weaker than the Abbot, and if you rely on your speed you should be able to take them apart without causing them too much harm. Take one down and the formation should crumble.
    B. You let Xuxian take the challenge alone; it is his burden to bear, after all. You will provide him with any aid necessary in the short amount of time you have before the trial, perhaps by trying to improve his skill and control together with Xuezi. but after that he is on his own. You cannot risk your own martial arts for his sake. If he succeeds, good. If he fails, then that is just how it is.

    C. You grab Xuxian and Xuezi and run. It would likely start a brawl with all of the monks here, but fighting to escape is probably doable – they won’t be trying to kill you after all. You have no patience for their numerous rules and regulations, and it is just a waste of Xuxian’s power for it to be destroyed here.
     
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  18. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    I think I'll go with B. He doesn't want our support and thinks this is something he should pull off himself, and we're way too likely to hurt someone accidentally.

    edit: And yet A1 seems to keep on calling out that it'd be really badass. I'll just hold off on voting for now.
     
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  19. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I'm sorely tempted by C...
     
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  20. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    B

    Xuxian is a big boy now. Jing and Xuezi (damn, that child is smart!) helped him a big deal already by allowing him trial in combat, he would've been crippled instantly otherwise without Jing's help, The stakes are too big here for Jing to simply go along with him, Jing has other responsabilities - to himself, to the EMPRAH, the Fire Cult, the harem, Chief Jiang, poor Fu Xia's sister and the swordmaster couple's twins, etc. Pretty sure we could take either of these challenges, but it simply ins't worth it. Its like the first duel against Bai Jiutian - the stakes are too damn high and the return is not high enough. Same could be said of the Hundred Man Battle, true, but we got immense returns from that and are still getting, in fact. I don't think we can, or should use the WQS against those shaolin dudes. Xuezi made Jing smarter with peculiar application of the WQS, she probably knows how to exploit Neigong as much or even more than Wang Zhengchong.

    The problem with C is that it probably destroys our chance to co-operate with Shaolin. The Abbot Fangci seems like a p. cool guy, clearly not one of the douchebag generation. He's also strong enough and NOT interested in the manuals except as kindling, which beats having people we don't like obtain SUPREME POWAH with it. We need to befriend Shaolin.
     
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  21. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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  22. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    B - It means we will get to spar with Xuxian, right? To teach him. Why don't we use WQS at the same time in order to learn a bit more about the Xiaoming Jiuyang Divine Skill
     
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  23. Akkudakku Arbiter

    Akkudakku
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    B>A1>A2 - The abbot might be a god damned tank here
     
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  24. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Fangci looks somewhat similar to this:

    [​IMG]

    Except with a less pointy, more bushy beard.

    His neigong is on a much higher level than yours, so you can't use it on him. And you don't have time to teach him self-control through full sparring anyway, it's more of Xuezi giving him verbal pointers and hoping he can understand how to follow them with a little hands-on practice from your side.
     
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