D&D 4th Edition Path of Enlightenment [D&D4E]




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    Path of Enlightenment [D&D4E]

    Lucky Leng and Shen Rui
    It is a sunny and clear day, no clouds in the sky, of a deep blue color. The scent of spring feels strong in the air, and the first flower petals started to fall from the trees about a week ago. The 4 big trees in the school, old trees, even older than the school itself, blossom with such intensity you can’t see their leaves. Master Jiem once told you, that when he arrived to the island, he choused this place in the island to make his school, because of the beautiful trees that welcomed him. You can hear the sound of birds, flying over the master’s house, as they sing their mating songs. To your ears comes the sound of water too, flowing from the little cascade next to [3th characters name]’s house, just outside from the school. There was also the scent of recently baked bread for the dinner, which was waiting in the student’s house until lunch time. As every day, Lucky Leng was the one in charge of going to town in search of the beard and one of Mei Fu’s smiles.
    Some of the students are practicing focus and meditating under the pagodas, while three of them are battling in the arena. You and two other senior students are on your knees, hearing Master Jiem’s tales, about ancient times, about heroes and villains, and about the story of the empire.

    “I will told you the story of the Great Empire once more my students. I know very well that you already know the story, but details are very important. And there is always something to learn, even from a well known tale.” He said, before kneeling in front of you. Master Jiem placed his right fist, closed over his right opened plam, in a posture he always adopts when sitting. He started his story after watching your faces for a moment “Since history is written with ink, there were four nations, which fought each other, for the control of the huge land they shared. Countless skirmishes, countless battles, but no obvious winner.
    Peace was nowhere to be found, until a hero rouse among the common people. His use of the jian, and his straight and clear mind, his focus in battle and his honorable behavior lead him to the throne of his nation.
    Hear his name my students, he was Lu Ian Su, a wise ruler, a great strategist and also, a great warrior. Through smart political moves, he convinced three of the nations to join and create the Great Empire. But the forth nation, the people of the north, brave and proud, didn’t hear reasons; most of them were hunters and nomads, lead by a ferocious ruler, To Mi Fan, the Horse. Lu Ian Su was forced to bring war to the north tribesman. The war extended more than he had thought, because, even in technological disadvantage, and outnumbered, the north people fought for their culture and independence.
    But after 10 years of conflict, with their leader fallen in battle, the north people surrendered, and there was peace for the first time in history.
    The rule of Tenacious Su lasted many years, full of prosperity and peace. Only the heavens could break the harmony of the new empire.
    Some said it was because of the Emperors vanity, or because of his limitless proud, but the heavens were certainly angry with Tenacious Su, and sent The Great Drought to struck the empire. The crops started to wither, the cattle to starve. Eventually, the people starve to death. All that Tenacious Su had built started to crumble and fall apart in his hands. The peasant’s corpses started to pile outside the cities, the land devastated by the drought, converted into an endless wasteland, where no crop could grow.
    Consternated by the situation of his empire, the old Tenacious Su died of a mysterious illness, and his elder son ascended to the throne. Some people think he was poisoned, or even killed by his son, Lu Ian Li, Sagacious Li, the elder of his sons, the actual emperor, who had the political strength of his father.
    Tenacious Su had three more children: Lu Ian Tien, Mastermind Tien, the general of the imperial forces, who had the strategist mind of his father; Lu Ian Sin, Sin Dancing Swords, commander of the elite guard of the emperor, who heir the physical strength and martial arts of his father; and Lu Ian To, Glorious To, High priest of the monastic Order of the Yellow Veil.
    Emperor Li had one great deal of troubles when he took the crown from his dying father. The empire was at the edge of chaos and anarchy, and worst of all, there was no enemy to blame for it, only the merciless will of some forgotten god.
    No one knows exactly how, but after a strange military campaign to the northern wastes, the old homeland of the nomads, the drought was over. The sages predicted 4 more years of drought, but Sagacious Li ended it in just 6 months.
    Some vague tales of this campaign were, eventually, told. Bards sing about the great deeds of the Emperor and his three brothers, who ventured into the wild north, and fought monsters and evil creatures, opening they way to the temple of the Unnamed god. This terrible entity, summoned dire creatures, which killed most of the emperor forces. Mastermind Tien, and Glorious To were murdered in the battlefield, fighting to save their Emperor.
    Sagacious Li prevailed after the Epic Battle, and destroyed the temple for good. It is told that once the temple was destroyed, the waters came back, the rivers ran and the rain fell. In few months, prosperity and balance were restored, bringing the empire to a new golden age.
    Ending his tale, Master Jiem steps up and makes a little bow. “Thanks for listening” he says to you four, before walking away, to the entrance of his house.
    When you step up and look at him, you see that face you could recognize even half sleep. Master Jiem’s face was saying “I need to speak to you two” . That could mean punishment of reward, so that face keeps having the same effect in you, which it always has, even after so much time. Master Jiem enters his house, leaving the door open.
    The other students also recognize that face, specially Go Tao one of the other two senior students. Go Tao is son of Go Tao the Great, a known slave dealer and head of a criminal organization called “The Hidden Claw”. Master Jiem accepted to train Go Tao junior because he thought he could redeem him, for the crimes his father had done. But Go Tao always probes to be more a son of his father, than a student of Master Jiem. He usually claims that the old man never pays any attention to him, and that he prefers both of you, making him aside. Whether he is right or wrong, Go Tao he uses any chance he have to mock you two, since he can’t defeat either of you in battle any more. When Leng was a child, it was Go Tao who usually beat him.
    When Go Tao saw Master Jiem’s face, he turns to you “The old man is calling you ‘boys’, make me a favor and go to his house, may be when you are done there I could receive some education. This is a school right?” He mocks.


    Koryo

    After your agitated past, the life in Tiger’s rest is good. You could have spend the rest of your days there, lonely, just you and the nature. So much time passed, that the days in which you ran over the roof of the houses, pursing a dire enemy of the royal house, seemed like strange dreams in a bad night.
    One day, during your morning meditation you hear a strange voice. You instinctively turn, dagger in hand, ready to cut the throat of a hidden enemy. There was much surprise in you eyes, when your blade pass through an image of Daejo. He was a ghost, and was standing there, looking at you with sadness in his gaze. A terrible sense of surprise, mixed with sorrow, struck you, in such way you have never experienced. A tear ran through your cheek, as you slowly understood what was happening.
    “My dear Koryo, as you can see, I’m dead. Remember when you swear to protect my child, if something ever happened to me? It is time for you to honor our pact my friend. I… I was found… But not by Mask… I was found by an old friend. I had no chance against him, he killed me with one blow, and took my child as his. If I’m right… then he did what he must, and my death was for a greater good. But I fear for my child, please… protect him old friend… I… I need to sleep now… I’m so tired… ” and the spirit banished, leaving you with your eyes staring at nothingness.
    Last edited by Voda Vosa; Monday, 10th August, 2009 at 12:42 PM.
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    Spoiler:


    Shen glared at Go Tao with piercing eyes. Master Jiem had told him that he had the "eyes of the warrior." What that meant he wasn't too sure, except that his stare seemed to make some people crawl.

    "Hold your tongue Go Tao. If the Master wanted you to be educated, he would instruct one of your superiors to do so. Maybe when we come back, he will have Leng offer his help to you."

    He glanced over to Leng quickly and tossed him a sly smile. Shen knew that Go Tao resented his seeming loss of power. He resented Leng's newly developed strength as well. All of it made Shen proud. He had a true friend in Leng, and Leng's victories were Shen's victories.

    Shen rose slowly, turned and walked quietly behind Master Jiem. He glanced back quickly, making sure that Go Tao did not grow too brash.

    http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1683986/ (it's an intimidate roll, didn't know if he would need it or not. Just figured it was easier to roll it and not need it then roll it later )


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    As the warriors took the weapons from the box, Jien approaches Wei Dan “Please weaponmaster, give me my box.” He said. The giant woman turn in surprise, but quickly nodded, and walked away to a particular spot on the north wall of her house. There was secret compartment there, behind the wood planks. Another heavy secret box came out, and the weaponmaster, puffing for the effort, placed it on the floor. She step aside, leaving Master Jien with it, as she walked to the first box, to close and store it again, once the others had chosen their weapons.
    “Shen, Lucky, come here my sons.” Jien commanded. As the two men approached him, the old master introduced a special key in the large box’s lock, opening it. Inside, a glitering set of interlocked armour and a longspear. Lu Ian Tien took the spear “This belonged to me, now it’s yours Shen.” He said giving the weapon to Shen. “It’s the Imperial Longspear, only carried by the Imperial family guards.” He explained, as he kneels to pick up the armour. “This was mine too, It protected me against the enemy weapons. Now it’s yours Lucky, I know it will be though to learn to move proficiently with it, but you’ll get used to it.” He said delivering the set of armour to Luck Leng.

    As Ban Lu peers into the box, Kin Wu spoke to him. “You need no weapon. I shall provide to you, what steel provides to these warriors.” After saying that, Kin Wu gaseous form started flying and introducing itself into the monk’s staff one again. A shiny red dragon glyph appeared on it.

    Trying the balance of their new weapons, the group prepares to leave. As he warriors step outside Wei Dan’s house, both the woman and the old Master watched you leave from the doorstep.

    OOC: If there’s any other provision you’ll like, this is the time to name it. I’ll wait until you put your weapons on your characters. Also, as Covaithe suggested, there’s a new training: Stone Palm Technique, see the OOC thread. You’ll be able to take it after the fight. Given that you survive it, of course. -*Evil DM Laugh*-
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    Ban Lu

    Ban Lu takes up his Gun with reverence and strides outside. "So my friends, we are armed and as ready as can be. Where to do we find this mysterious foe?"

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    Shen bowed to his Master, accepting the weapon as an epic honor. "Where should we start Master?"

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    Kaoru

    "Perhaps where we last saw him?" Kaoru offered, remembering the confrontation and flight away with their master.

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    growing wiser
    For a short eternity, Koryo stands motionless in the small clearing. No sound but the sound of the wind in this bamboo forest. No movement but the clear black outlines of his shadow wandering as the sun slowly rises towards the midday point.

    “By three methods were we taught to learn wisdom my old friend, back when our days seemed easier" Koryo speaks to the empty glade. "First, by imitation, which is easiest; second, by reflection, which is noblest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.”



    "Always, you were the wiser one. Someone I could look to and learn at times when my wisdom was wanting."

    "No more."

    "For 17 years, this grove has offered my the peace and solitude for reflection."

    "No more."

    "Now rest my friend. Rest, and do no longer worry about your child. I will find her."


    As the sun passes it's zenith, Koryo turns and moves towards the small cottage that had served as his home for 17 years. Before the sun had set, he had left the island.

    "My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death"

    -- Smaug, the Dragon, "The Hobbit"

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    Koryo of Tiger's Rest in Path of Enlightment: IC
    Khoros, of House Tharashk in Keep on the Shadowfell: OOC; IC
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    DM, Shen

    "What a beautiful day," exclaims Leng as he follows Shen, a smile playing across his battered face. That smile has been there all day, ever since Mei Fu not only smiled at him that morning, but actually touched his hand while helping him load up the students' bread. He hardly noticed Go Tao's sneering barbs. "Have you ever seen the flowers so fine? And best of all, they'll turn into cherries soon, and we can just reach overhead any time we get hungry! Ah, but we're keeping Master Jiem waiting."

    With that, he ducks through Master Jiem's door, taking care not to hit his head on the low lintel again.
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    Lucky Leng and Shen Rui
    You walk your way to the door of Master Jiem’s house. It’s made of wood, and humble but nicely decorated in the outside. On each side of the door, there is an always burning incidence, on an iron support, so the smell of it fills your noses, and evocate memories from past times. You remember when you two first saw Kaoru in the arms of Master Jiem; you were mere boys, with no more than 4 years each, but you felt this same smell, from the master’s clothes, as he kneels next to you, and showed you your third brother.
    You shake the old memories from your head, Master Jiem was waiting.
    Leng and Shen enter the room (not without certain difficulties for Leng), to see Master Jiem keel next to his tea table. With a gesture, he offers you a place in front of him, and as soon as you keel there, he starts speaking
    “My students, I have called you before me once more.” He places his hands over his lap and continues “The fool man tells everything at the first chance, and the wise man do not tell everything he knows, until it’s the right moment to tell it. I would not be so self-centered as to call myself wise, but I have done something I hope to be, the wisest thing.” He takes a moment, and watches each of you in the eyes, as if he was searching for understanding. He moved on “Have you ever asked yourselves about your past?” he asks, but waits for no answer “I have kept you living a lie my dear students. I speculated that this would be enough to protect you two until your training was over, until you grew stronger and wiser. But the world is changing more quickly than I have calculated; this is why I am telling this to you now.” The old man sighs. Now you really note how much has Master Jiem aged. He has an average stature, his skin is tanned, and he uses a long beard, which covers his entire chin. His grey hair is tightly braided, and a small green hat decorates his head. His robes have seen better times too; they are grey and green, with a white shirt beneath them. He uses no shoes, and his hands are naked as well. His eyes glitter with wisdom, and he has a big scar, starting from the upper part of his nose, to the end of his cheek. No matter how many times you asked him about it, the old man always found a way to elude your interrogations. The only thing he ever said about it was that it was a well deserved wound that will never heal.
    “There is a dichotomy in combats, that can’t be eluded, you either win, or lose. But there is much to learn, no matter if you win or lose. There is balance in this, as it is in many other things. But sometimes the only thing that you learn from your defeat, is that you have been defeated. This world is out of balance my students; there is no equilibrium, no peace for the dead, nor for the living. You may have not notice this, living in Singing Spring. That is my doing. I have kept you two and the entire island unaware of the world’s disgrace. Probably you remember of the story about the assassin that came to this island, carrying Kaoru, as a baby. You may as well recall that I killed that man, unintentionally. It might had been an accident, but isn’t it strange that an assassin flee to this remote island? If such criminals are escaping from the continent, what is happening there? Our weapon master, Wei Dan, also came from the continent, as well as many inhabitants of Smiling Spring. But I have spoken to them, and make them swear they will not tell anyone what was happening in the rest of the empire. The truth my students, is that something happened, many years ago, and as consequence of that, there is no peace for our dead. They are restless, and aggressive. They turn mad, becoming no more than mindless ghosts.” As your master was finishing the last sentence, the door opened wide, and a student rushes in. Agitated, the young man was not able to speak. It was Tai Pan, a new student, he came to the school about tho months ago.
    “What is the meaning of this intrusion? There are important things that must be said. Explain yourself student Tai Pan” Master Jiem demanded.
    “I’m sorry Master Jiem” the boy bowed respectful. “Mia Min is injured, the bandits, they came in a big ship, and landed on Wu Fan sand beach! I was with her, but I couldn’t do anything, she said I must warn you. They… they are trying to break into the town! You must help us Master Jiem, Mia Min needs you.”
    The events cough Lucky Leng and Shen Rui by surprise, and only Master Jiem was able to say something, as he stood up. “You have done well Tai Pan. Quickly, Lucky Leng, Shen Rui; look for Kaoru. Go to Wei Dan and take a weapon. Then try to stop the bandits from breaking in the town; I’ll go with Go Tao and Lu Len to rescue Mia Min, we well join you in the sand beach, go there as soon as finish those bandits.” Master Jiem looks at you, with haste in his eyes, his gaze was asking if you had anything to say before he leaves.



    Kaoru

    Life was fairly easy in Singing Spring. You always tried as hard as you could to help the town folks in his matters, physically and mentally. Since small age, you had some talent to perceive the world of the spirits, a gift, Master Jiem said was a present for you, from the heavens. You didn’t quite understood the words of the old master, and certainly, the nights that you spend hearing some long dead man’s spirit weren’t pleasant at all. There was not much to do in the island, excepting contemplation and meditation. Except on Fridays. Fridays are your favorite days, because Master Jiems comes to visit you, and train you in the ways of what common people call “sorcery”. He thought you how to channel your chi, how to shape it and mold it, how to project it and transform your chi in a powerful energy ray. Just recently you mastered the technique. You humble beginnings when you were 6 years old were…. Lets just say, humble. About a year ago you finally could project your chi, in a blast of energy that send Master Jiem flying to the town healer. Fortunately it was nothing serious, but you felt terrible for the entire weak, afraid of using you power. Master Jiem and you agree that this was your secret, and that you should use your power, just in times of need.
    It was a beautiful day, you stared empty minded at the small waterfall in front of your house, just 100 meters away from the school. Other memories came to you. Those were darker, obscured by the mist of doubt and time. You recall the stories of your rescue from the hands of a cruel man. You also recall the face of that man, sad eyes looking at you. You recall a woman’s face. That was your picture of the mother you ever met. You recall her happy, smiling. There are may blanks, but you also remember the face of another man, maybe your father, a man of hard face, small beard, and black hair. Those are sad memories, from a lost past, a life that could have been, but that was never meant to. “Its destiny” Master Jiem usually said “There are no accidents my student. Chance is a measure of our own lack of information”. As soon as you remember Master Jiem, you remember Lucky Leng and Shen Rui. You are like brothers, even if you don’t live or train together, you are always next to each other. Memories of you growing up with them and the other students fill your head with happy times.
    But a sudden explosion takes you out of your dreams. At the same moment you step out of your house, Tai Pan, a new student from the school pass running at all speed, heading from the town to the school. You had no time to ask him anything. You stare doubtful as the young man starts to shrink in the distance.


    Koryo

    There was no time to lose. You enter your hut and grab only the most needed things: Food, the few coins you had, your weapons, your traveling staff, some clothes, your old armor, and your veil. That was an object that evoked memories, but you had no time for them. You close the door, and run to the docks. Tiger’s rest has a big dam, which was built by Emperor Su, many years ago. It was built to prevent some of the Great Drought effects. Closing the river would have created a great lake for the growing fishing activity of the island. But there was some unpredictable event. The dimensions of the lake, calculated by the imperial architects, were wrong. As a result, the lake flooded the town of Tiger’s rest. Many people lost their lives under the cold waters, preys of panic and fear. But eh people who survived built a new Tiger’s rest, and the lake was a blessing for the growing town. The Dam allowed the boats to reach the see, navigating throw it course.
    You had a hard time trying to find a ship that was going to Singing Spring. But eventually, a few silvers granted you a pass on merchant ship. In order to travel, you should work in the boat, as another sailor.
    Some days passed, until you reached open sea, but eventually you did.
    The work in the ship was overwhelming, but your physical strength and harsh training had prepared you for almost anything. Soon, you owned the respect of the other sailors, even with your shy and reserved manners. One night you hear a conversation of two sailors, you step next to them.
    “… Yes I have heard that the Black Veil assassins came to Tiger’s rest last month.” One of them says
    “What? ” the other says in surprise “What would they possibly be searching there?”
    “That I don’t know, but the captain saw their lieutenant speaking with the mayor, of what he didn’t tell me.”
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    DM, Shen
    Lucky Leng was shocked and frightened at the notion of bandits terrorizing this sleepy little island he called home, but at the same time his heart pounded and he found his hands quivering with eagerness. At last, all of his training would be put to use in a good cause. He leaps to his feet, exclaiming "Don't worry, master! We'll take care of them! Come on, Shen!" Turning, he ducks out of the door and begins to dash off in the direction of the beach, before catching himself and turning toward Wei Dan's home.
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