The Dragon's Village 2017

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Shadani
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Shadani » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:25 pm

Following the defeat of the horde, Ning returned to the beginning.

She did not bother with goodbyes. She knew that they would meet again, somehow. Perhaps years from now, but that mattered little. The path would lead them where it willed. This and more, she had learned.

The river of her birth seemed small, now. Its spirits did not hold the same menace they once had, but they did not welcome her. They were too stubborn for that, and far too prideful, but in time, she made them sing. They shared with her their secrets, and their fears.

In all, the months she spent with the spirits were quiet ones, though not uneventful. After the turmoil of war, she more than welcomed peace. This was what she had longed for, in truth - a chance to remember who she was and what she was for. She knew, though, that it would not last. There is nothing in this world that does.

Occasionally, she would travel to nearby villages and earn her keep as a healer and mediator, but she never stayed for long. Often, she would vanish in the night, and leave the common folk she left behind to whisper of her deeds. She had little interest in their rewards and their praise, but all the same, tales of the Lady of the River began to spread. That was how the Emperor's messenger managed to track her down, and present her with His summons.

Briefly, she entertained the idea of declining. It would be a simple thing, really, to disappear. The life of a hermit held no small appeal. But this, she knew, was not her path. Not yet, at least. There would be many turnings of the wheel, still, before she would know anything like genuine tranquillity.

smartalec
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by smartalec » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:08 pm

Meng Wen carried three blades, and that was two blades too many. On the second day of his stay in the Capital, Wen returned the Sword of a Thousand Blossoms to the sage Wang Yen, with many thanks. It had slain the browl; it had cut the hag of the eastern swamps; it had beaten back spirits of earth, and wind. And how, it was time for it to rest.

The second blade needed a journey. On the fifth day of his stay in the Capital, Wen bid farewells, and promised to return. He walked in the distant footsteps of Ning, back to the Village. The Way, it is said, is the way of returning.

***

"One thing I must ask before I travel, Master Wang," Wen said. The sword he had given back had no storied lineage, no great magic, no famous name, but the return was deserved. "I have mastered the seventeen forms, the seven grips, and the fourteen stances, as you taught me. But there is one thing I still do not know. I did not learn it before we had to leave. I ask you, master: what is the one eternal truth of the swordsman?"

"You have not learned it?" Wang Sha, soldier, farmer, seemed surprised... before nodding apologetically. "I understand. Meng Wen, I served in the army. I trained for many days, and sometimes spoke to learned teachers of the sword. They spoke of it, but only as something known by the true masters. I do not know it either."

Meng Wen was surprised at this, and for some moments he did not know what to say. But he bowed to his master, thanking him for his honesty. "I understand too, Master Wang. But if there is a truth - I will find it."

***

The very next morning, Meng Wen bid farewell once more to many. He had given news and good wishes to Wang Sha, Abbot Shen, Priestess Ning, Lady Jiang, and others. With a pack now full of Widow Lu's finest, and Fighting Steel slung over his shoulder, he set out once again. But he paused at the bridge upon the west road, to look back at the village again - and to meet the faraway, stern look of Lady Jiang's servant, Ma Li.

One day we will fight a second time, Wen thought, holding the look of the unmoving, qipao-clad figure in the distance. And that day, it will not be so unequal. He gave a nod across the field, to the porch where she stood, and turned away.

And then he was gone; for such ambition could wait. There were wrongs to right, a Way to walk, and a truth to learn.

***

For ten years I have been polishing this sword;
Its frosty edge has never been put to the test.
Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir:
Is there anyone suffering from injustice?

Topato
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Topato » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:42 pm

The battle was great and the struggle was long, but they had prevailed, and Tainlong couldn't have been more pleased.They had been showered with honours and glory, and the very experience of it was making him feel more... whole.. already.

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Vanya Mia
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Vanya Mia » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:53 pm

"It is not yet time."

Sitting over a quiet pool below where a gentle stream trickled over rocks Moriko watched each of them leave. She sighed deeply and held her hands out wide from her side. The broad tree above her shook gently and pink blossom fell into her palms. She sprinkled this upon the water of the pool and stirred them with her fingers.

"When will they come back?"

"Soon."

Perhaps the reply came quickly, perhaps it was months later, but things changed before it did. The the tree gardens of the capital suffered a mysterious series of thefts much bemoaned by the nobles of the city. No one could explain how or why but large or small many of them were seemingly uprooted and taken, leaving little more than disturbed earth that once had anchored them in their place. The larger parks of the palaces seemingly immune to the crime with the thieves choosing those trees whose growth was stunted, confined by walls and paving as they were.

No trace or clue was left behind but the thefts were attributed to the poor taking them for firewood. Though many claimed it was the spirits of nature, and to have seen any from a whole menagerie of wild animals prior to the theft, these were treated as fanciful imaginings. Not least from those who claimed to have seen dragons. Yet the grove around the stream thrived and expanded quickly throughout this time. Greenery filled out a thick canopy above the pool where a diminutive figure wriggled her toes in cool water while lying in the sun.

"Is it time?"

"Soon."

The figure sighed when the reply was received, sitting in the lower branches of the broad blossom tree swinging her legs and watching as the canopy turned from green to a glorious array of colour. Curling leaves tumbled and fell around her down into the stream and pond. She laughed, watching them floating away as a myriad of tiny boats on the crisp water.

"Are they there yet?"

"Soon."

This time the pause may have been longer until the reply and in the time it took things were still and white and a small figure lay curled in the hollow amidst the tree's roots. But then birds began to flock to the tree and rabbits emerged to play beneath its branches as the blossom swelled and burst on their tips. She stood blue eyes were tilted to the sky and laughter on her lips, twirling in a dance as the pink petals tumbled once more.

"It's now!"

"Yes."

The reply came after the still twirling form had and skipped away. Two rheumy brown eyes looked up as a deep voice rumbled.

"For now. There is more to learn still."

This time the reply came quickly and with a resigned sigh the elderly panda lumbered on his way.

Klasa
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Klasa » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:12 am

All the laud and acclaim was perhaps to be expected considering the part they all played in defeating the great Khan. And while Huo Da was not one of the warriors chosen by the Dragon it was still true that he played a significant part towards ending the life of the Khan once and for all. He made the visits of show as required to show his respect, but once the initial celebrating was finished he was content to return back to a quiet life of study and meditation at his Master's side.

Yes, a quiet existence once more. At least as quiet as studying and practicing the Arcane Arts could be, anyways. He would perhaps miss the group, for despite their oddities, and they were indeed very odd individuals, perhaps it was for the best that the stories being dispersed among the people were not entirely accurate descriptions, or even close to being accurate, as if they knew what they truly were like. . . Jya, where was he? Right, missing the group.

They were an interesting group who had somehow managed to gain the favor of a dragon and contributed greatly to the defeat of the Horde, despite being supremely unorganized and consistently squabbling like children. It was still baffling to him how well their unorganized approach worked out in the end. But perhaps the madness of their method proved there was a method to their madness. Still, he was glad to be back to the peace and calm of his Master's Sanctuary. Yes, it is good to be back before he could grow too used to their madness.

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Lazybones
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Lazybones » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:19 pm

Session 24

+1050xp for full party IC posting.

We begin TDV4, Rage of the Spirits, tomorrow. You have traveled far and done much since you saved the Celestial Empire from the Horde, but the Emperor's messenger finds you nevertheless. This time you travel to the northeast frontiers, to Cloud Mountain, a place where it is said that the boundary between the physical realm and the spirit realm is particularly thin, and strange sights are not uncommon...

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Vanya Mia
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Vanya Mia » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:18 pm

((Sorry, forgot to shout out and change the password. Server is up.))

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Mirgalen
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Mirgalen » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:05 am

Tenko was unable to find a fellow kitsune so for the time being the Fox Queen was to remain out of reach. A call for help took him back to the city and somehow reluctantly he rejoined the group.

A few days later he found himself in a snowy forest far in the North. He was scouting with someone he could understand but perhaps never trust. Nevertheless, he always enjoyed the company of Gojiro even if the feeling may not have been mutual. For the time being it was preferable to stay away from the rest of the group and perhaps interact with humans as little as possible.

They eventually met an old witch who told them about the spirits and asked the group to fetch components for her that would help entering the spirits world or something of that nature.

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Karvon
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Karvon » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:26 am

Gojiro had mixed feeling about working for the emperor; the pay was generally good, but he didn't like thinking about the consequences of failure. In any case, the group was off to cold north to investigate some outbreak of wild spirits or something - he wasn't fully sure he understood this. In the icy forests, they ran into transformed beasts and men running wild. They eventually found a witch who claimed she could help them deal with a rift which these spirits were coming thru, provided they tracked down and acquired a number of ingredients. Their first stop was a nearby canyon and as Gojiro scouted ahead he spotted several icy golems standing silently as sentinels in the snow. He retreated down the trail to relay the news to the others.

Shadani
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Shadani » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:36 pm

If there was ever any risk of Ning romanticising her time with the Dragon Warriors, it was soundly squashed when Tenko proved that he had learned absolutely nothing in their time apart. They were still as they had been - a band of strangers brought together by fate and circumstance rather than means or purpose.

And yet, she felt different, though. Her connection to the spirits had... deepened seemed the wrong word, but she had grown wiser in their ways, and more accepting of their presence. That had been one of the hardest lessons to learn. She wondered if the spirits who had crossed the barrier felt as she once had, terrified by a whirlwind of alien sensations. If the witch spoke true, then they were not to blame for all this chaos. Ning wished that there were some less violent way she could ease their suffering, but that did not seem likely to happen.

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