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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Real Man Xiao furrows his brows at your rejection, his face wrinkling with frustration. Then, he leans back onto his pillow, giving a resigned sigh. "Very well, then. I can't expect you to trust me so readily, it seems." Maintaining a neutral expression, he raises a bowl of broth from the table. "Let us finish our dinner and then I will show you around. You will see that we have nothing to hide." Allowing himself a weak smile, he adds "However, you will find that your healing arts are not needed here, Lady Rem. We live a healthy lifestyle here, and all of us are in peak physical condition."

    Enthusiastic nods come from his students, though less so from Wen, as they all are quick to voice their agreement.

    "Our master has taught us ways to stay healthy!"

    "He's shown us what to eat and how to exercise."

    "You'll find that this is a common truth in most taoist monasteries. As we remove ourselves from the unhealthier aspects of worldly living, so too do we avoid contracting the frailties that come with it."

    "I couldn't have put it better myself, my dear Wen! Now, let us finish this dinner! There is much to show our visitors before we retire for the night!" Glowing with praise for his student, the old monk takes a deep sip from his bowl, eager to move forward.

    The rest of the meal passes quickly and without much conversation. As soon as everything is eaten, and everyone has had a moment to digest, Xiao orders his two lesser students away and proceeds to give you the tour that you desired. Once again, he leads you through the fetid, stinking gardens of the monastery at breakneck speed, barely pausing long enough for you and Wen to keep up as he shows you bit by bit the layout of the monastery.

    Spoiler: Starislav
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    At one point of your tour, when there is a short lull in the movement and both Rem and Xiao are out of sight, Perfect Woman Wen once more walks up to you, handing you one of the stinking, corpse-scented orchids from the row of orchid trays that you saw earlier.

    She blushes slightly and avoids looking into your eyes as she says "Forgive my master's hastiness, Lord Starislav. I only wish we had time to smell the flowers. If you were to, I am sure you would notice the beauty of the fragrance."

    After this, she quickly steps away from you and helps you return to the rest of the group.


    All in all, it turns out there isn't much to see beyond the vast garden and the glorious decorations of this place. The pavilion you were just in appears to be the main center of learning, where during the days lectures are held and exercises and studies are done. At the far end of the monastery, where Rem has earlier felt that strange source of elemental power, Xiao shows you a small, rectangular worship hall, adjacent to a even smaller house. Even from the outside, you can now see the source of the elemental power, which appears to be three red, blue and yellow wooden idols of elderly Dulimbaian men. Their forms shift and waver magically, adding surroundings of stone, liquid waves and curling clouds to the undisturbed elders. Further to the left, along a short path, you also notice a fresher patch of garden, planted almost entirely with beautiful golden lilies, displaying a cohesion that the rest of this place sorely lacks. It does seem to also not be quite finished, though, as there are still several patches where there just is bare earth.

    Xiao, meanwhile, seems more preoccupied commenting on the worship hall. "This here is the Hall of the Pure and Quiet Three! It pays homage to Xun Xie, Xun Que, and Shao Meng, three of the principal founders of modern taoism. I won't bore you with too many details, but suffice it to say that many of the techniques I still practise are based on their writings." Smirking, he gestures towards the idols. "I have taken the liberty to imbue these with mystical power to better show reverence to these communal ancestors. Normally, it might be a bit much, but surely such great figures deserve the extra effort, no?" He leads you into the hall for a moment, showing you that there is a door connecting it and the nearby house. "This here is where I and Wen have our quarters. We have prepared beds for you as well, should you wish to stay the night." Beyond the doorway, you can just about see some simple, but comfortable housing arrangements, all made from seemingly luxurious materials and decorated as heavily as the rest of the monastery.

    Then, once more, he runs off, leaving you barely enough time to follow after him. Wen quietly ushers you along as well, taking care to help out when she feels as though her master's guidance is too confusing. She seems to have a decent idea of exactly where he is going and what his intentions are, in any case.

    Finally, you arrive at another hall, about the same size as the worship hall you were at earlier. This one is more closed off, however, and you can barely make out the basic, makeshift dining and sleeping arrangements inside. It looks livable, but pales in comparison to the arrangements that Xiao and Wen seem to have. From where you stand, you can spot a couple of students resting and talking, though it's difficult to really get a good idea of their numbers.

    "These here are the barracks of my dear students. I apologize if it seems a bit cramped, as I do think we will have to expand it before too long. All needs they may have are taken care of here. Let's not disturb them, however. It has been a long day and they should really focus on their studies."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  2. - Top - End - #332
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Strange. Why does Xiao walk through the garden at such speeds? Rem does dedicate a bit of time focusing on the corpse-scented orchids, seeing if there is anything amiss... but in the end, she does follow -- the worship hall does catch her interest, as she finally comes upon the source of the powers, the three wooden idols. She listens as Xiao explains the Pure and Quiet Three -- and mentions that they were imbued with mystical power. Were the statues committed to any effect that she could sense right now?

    And finally, the matter of the barracks... it is curious, that Wen and Xiao would have much more luxurious quarters. Was the principle of the matter not living simply?

    "I see. Thank you for the tour of the place, Sir Xiao, Lady Wen."

    The students catch her eye too... as a healer, it's the common folk that draw her interest most. They tend to have the most grounded stories.

  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    With Wen-

    Starislav was passed his middle life.
    As a mortal. It didn't meant he has lost all of his desires, but they were tuned down with wisdom and exprience.
    But as ...immortal, or what ever he was... three headed beast resides inside, chanting horrible cravings into his mind.
    An image of maidens sacrfaiced to him, in dark forgotten age, ancient and great bogatyrs failing to save them...
    He held his head with a groan of pain.
    "I am sure, you are wonderful fema- a woman. But I am not a one you should watch flowers with. I wouldn't want to k'harm you'
    -------

    Starislav has similiar doubts to those of Rem's.
    "Thank you." he said simply, breathing slowly, holding his head, trying to force deep inside the verouciouse sounds.
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  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merilan View Post
    Strange. Why does Xiao walk through the garden at such speeds? Rem does dedicate a bit of time focusing on the corpse-scented orchids, seeing if there is anything amiss...
    By all accounts, the orchids appear to be completely mundane flowers, though neither of you are true experts when it comes to matters botanical. Their awful, rotten stench is the only thing that really stands out to you about them. Why exactly Xiao thought it was a good idea to plant so many trays of them in one location is questionable, as their combined smell is akin to an updug graveyard.

    but in the end, she does follow -- the worship hall does catch her interest, as she finally comes upon the source of the powers, the three wooden idols. She listens as Xiao explains the Pure and Quiet Three -- and mentions that they were imbued with mystical power. Were the statues committed to any effect that she could sense right now?
    Beyond the rather impressive visual effect, Rem can't detect the statues doing anything in particular. Interestingly, even that display seems to be more of a natural side effect of how the energy has been locked inside of them, meaning that no power is expended from it. While she lacks the theoretical knowledge of theurgy to figure out how exactly Xiao has done, she can tell that this makes them excellent storages of energy that may come in handy should the sorcerous old monk need to defend himself.

    The students catch her eye too... as a healer, it's the common folk that draw her interest most. They tend to have the most grounded stories.
    Annoyingly, it's hard to tell much about the students from where you are, as none are currently roaming the monastery grounds, rather staying cooped up inside of their barracks. Should you wish to examine them or even speak to them, you may have to disregard Xiao's suggestion and disturb their quarters.

    Quote Originally Posted by igordragonian View Post
    With Wen-

    Starislav was passed his middle life.
    As a mortal. It didn't meant he has lost all of his desires, but they were tuned down with wisdom and exprience.
    But as ...immortal, or what ever he was... three headed beast resides inside, chanting horrible cravings into his mind.
    An image of maidens sacrfaiced to him, in dark forgotten age, ancient and great bogatyrs failing to save them...
    He held his head with a groan of pain.
    "I am sure, you are wonderful fema- a woman. But I am not a one you should watch flowers with. I wouldn't want to k'harm you'
    Spoiler: Starislav
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    Wen's expression stays neutral for a moment after your rejection, but then disappointment quickly spreads on her face. She seems like she is about to say something in response, but then Xiao swirls by at a nearby corner, and she quickly steps away to reunite with the rest of the group.

    Your honed draconic senses pick up on something, though. The orchid that she has given you doesn't stink quite so badly as the field of them did. You can still detect its putrid corpse-scent, yet somehow it doesn't seem quite so bad by itself.





    Xiao bows multiple times your thanks, each time deeper than the last. "No, thank you!" he says, his head nearly touching the ground from a standing position. "I hope everything has been to your wise and divinely noble satisfaction? If so, then I would invite you to rest for tonight in my most humble abode, in quarters suited to house such important guests as yourselves! Today, I have made you many offers and requests, and it would be very unreasonable indeed to not allow you to think them over!" Once more, the old monk is all affable smiles and sparkling eyes.

    Wen observes the situation with a distant neutrality, the faint smile on her face not telling you anything about her thoughts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  5. - Top - End - #335
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I lady Rem won't mind, the barracks will be just fine for an old soldier like me." Starislav say simply.
    "Too soft pillows make me akward. And I don't want to be too far from my steed.'
    Thanks for the OOTSkage of OOTS art, Lord Raziere.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    It did not look like the statues were what Rem was looking for, unfortunately. The mystery of how the monastery itself is concealed remains a mystery; and the flowers themselves did not appear magical, though that is not to say they should not be ruled out. At this point, however...

    "I shall consider your requests that you have made, but allow me to stay with Starislav for the night in the barracks," Rem expresses.

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    In response to your request, Xiao stares awkwardly, then shakes his head with a soft chuckle.

    "Oh, but I fear that is not possible. My students should not be disturbed by outsiders when they've only been here for months or even weeks. It would not be good for them."

    Wen gives the two of you a short bow to accentuate what her master said. "I fear my master is right. Having you amidst them would be a pushback to the newer disciples' education. Lord Starislav, perhaps I could move you to at the stables we set for your horse? It is makeshift, as we do not keep animals here, but blankets can be provided if you wish."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I see," Rem quietly tucks her head down in deference. She lifts it up again, looking towards Starislav. "I believe that would be fair, then. We can discuss those studies you were referring to in your quarter."

    It's clear they don't want them to look deeper into the barracks. Rem can only hope she can distract them for long enough for Starislav to investigate, since he'll be further awy...

  9. - Top - End - #339
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav just nod. They can do what ever they want anyway.
    "Maybe I am too dangerouse to normal k'humans"
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  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Hearing your consent, Xiao actually looks wary for a moment. You get the feeling he's not quite convinced of the idea as he exchanges a glance with Wen, though her pleading eyes eventually get him to agree with a deep sigh.

    "Very well, then. It is not the hospitality I had hoped to give you, but I shall trust dear Wen's suggestion. I see that nothing will change your mind, anyways."

    Immediately, a relieved smile spreads on his student's face. She is quick to bow deeply, and her tone carries an unusual warmth with it. "Thank you, wise master Xiao. Your trust is not displaced." Then, she turns to the two of you, gesticulating for you to follow her. "Please, this way. We can pick up blankets along the way, from the pavilion." You and Xiao follow her as she wanders into the gardens, this time at a lesser pace than the one set by him. As a result, the old monk spends much of your journey dancing back and forth impatiently, but it's better than having to rush everywhere and experience another flora-induced sensory overload.

    After this, things move rather quickly. You pick up a set of comfortable, but not particularly valuable or fancy blankets from the pavilion and move towards the stables where Starislav's horse is kept. As Wen explained earlier, it really is makeshift, little more than a hurriedly constructed bamboo hut with an open side, and two small troughs of water and fresh grass. Of all the buildings that are part of the monastery, it is the closest to the exit, situated somewhere between it and the student barracks. Luckily, it is located nearby one of the more pleasant smelling parts of the garden, which has the advantage of masking the smell of the horseapples.

    As the bogatyr settles in on a bed of blankets, Wen and Xiao lead Rem back to their quarters to spend the night there.




    Spoiler: Rem
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    The housing arrangements of Wen and Xiao are simple, but quite comfortable, each having a set of two rooms, with one slightly larger guest room located at the end of the building. The entire building is crafted from carved mahogany, and finely decorated with scrolls of calligraphy and charcoal paintings of ascetic life culminating in wisdom and ascension. Though the furniture here is simple, no effort has been spared to make it comfortable for easy living, with fine silks and gold threads worked into everything. While it doesn't exactly seem worth a fortune on the level that would interest a god like yourself, it still is rather glamorous.

    As Xiao invites you to his room to further discuss his studies and knowledge, Wen quickly excuses herself for the night. "It is quite late already, and the journey tired me more than you. May you sleep well, honorable sages." With that, she steps back into her chambers, leaving you and the old monk alone for now.

    Making initial small-talk with Xiao, you realize that he indeed knows quite a bit about theurgy, and that he has learned at many monasteries before founding his own. He seems to have a particular knowledge of the healing arts and the manipulation of vital energies within the human body, one that seems to rival even your own. His explanations of how his knowledge and the teachings of Taoism influence his lifestyle are sound. It's a stretch to believe that this would enable him to life for quite as long as he claims he has, but it at least is a good reason for how spry he is.

    "All these things, of course, are achieved by living life properly by the Taoist principles. That is what I teach my students, in addition to the underlying magical principles. You can see the results in Wen, who is my greatest student yet. She may even have the potential to be a proper theurgist, one day.

    Tell me, do you have any other questions, Lady Rem?"




    Spoiler: Starislav
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    After the rest of the group leaves you alone, you cover yourself in your blankets, waiting for a while yet before doing anything too rashly. Your ears and eyes are open, spying for any sign of anybody coming back or guarding over you. For almost an hour, you patiently watch, taking what time you need to make sure nobody is around.

    But just as you've convinced yourself that you are, your draconic senses picking up nothing, and you are about to make the decision of whether to do something tonight, a voice suddenly calls out to you from the darkness of the gardens, barely a whisper above the sound of distant insects.

    "Lord Starislav? Are you awake?" Out of the shadows steps Wen, her presence suddenly known to you. It's bewildering to think that you could have missed her with your divinely acute senses, yet here she is, her expression a fearful frown in the light of the moon. "Please, be quiet! I have snuck out of my quarters tonight to seek your aid. There is a truth that I must reveal to you without my master knowing."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  11. - Top - End - #341
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    Starislav clench his fist, which has turned into claws, through his leather gloves.
    'Zakniti*!' he hissed into the three headed beast.
    And with a painful expression he nod.
    'Very.. well.'



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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem sits with Xiao and commits a time to study; the decorations, once more, make her feel quite odd -- like it were at odds with the whole principle of living simply. Wen has left, and she will have to leave the rest of the investigation to Starislav for the night.

    "I am curious how you happened to meet Wen. You seem rather enamored with her," she does ask. "You trust her a great deal, do you not?"

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    Spoiler: Rem
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    As the conversation switches around to Perfected Woman Wen, Xiao's gaze wanders towards the way to her room for a moment. A short daydream twists his mouth into a delighted smile. "She does have her charms, doesn't she?" Stroking his beard, he fondly reminisces.

    "It was her who sought me out, actually. Shortly after being granted the prestigious position of an immortality researcher, as I was still refitting this monastery for myself, she traveled up the mountain and asked for me to instruct her in the arts of longevity." The old man nods his head, as if to confirm what he just said himself.

    "Do not misunderstand me, I am still her master and she is my student. While we taoists are not restricted from more familiar relationships, my trust for her exists because she has earned it. Wen is capable, obedient, and has no small talent for the arts. I hope to keep her at my side for quite a while longer."

    Despite all his reassuring words, Xiao can't mask the hunger that you note behind his eyes.





    Spoiler: Starislav
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    As you curse and hiss, Wen stumbles back for a moment, clasping her mouth and almost stumbling over her own robes. Her eyes well up slightly, a mixture of concern and fear written on her face. However, she is quick to swallow her fear, and when you declare yourself to be ready, she takes your hand to pull you with her into the gardens.

    "We must move quickly. I managed to leave our quarters without him noticing, but he is a canny monsters. You cannot believe anything he has said today." The path she takes through the rows of plants and stone is familiar, giving you a good idea of where exactly you are heading. "The students, they are not brought here to learn. Even I only have managed to avoid their fate by being useful to him. Oh Lord Starislav, I....." For a moment, she has to stop, out of breath and looking like she is about to sob. But once more, she gathers herself, pushing herself to lead you to your destination. "Quickly, you must see this!"

    Finally, you arrive. As expected, at the corpse-stinking field of orchids. More than ever, the wretched odor of these disgusting flowers drowns out everything else, making even your eyes water slightly. Being so close to them as Wen takes you would make you retch, if your constitution wasn't so divine.

    "Beneath them. I've been trying to tell you, my lord. Beneath these flowers is the proof of my master's horrible rituals. The things he's done....How glad I am that you did not sleep in our quarters." Finally, she lets go of your hand and steps a distance away, looking at you expectantly. Her face is pleading, worried, not at all calm and collected like she usually is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  14. - Top - End - #344
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    There is much Rem would like to say, to repudiate vehemently at the moment, but she trusts in Starislav to do his part and for her to do her part of stalling Xiao for the time being. "It does seem that way," she expresses.

    'Keep her', he says. No matter how much he tries to have a reassuring way with words, some of his feelings slip out -- in little words, in his eyes. Despicable.

    "Shall we continue? I had found your knowledge of the healing arts informative. As you mention, however, you also speak of theurgy - could you get into a bit more detail of some of your pursuits?" Rem shifts to one side.

    "After all, it may be useful to have an edge when we have to move against a rebel such as the Golden Lord."

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    Starislav pant.
    "I never believed k'him. I was wrong about you. You are a brave dame.'
    Starislav kneeled and picked a flower, and digged with his claw hand to see.
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    Spoiler: Rem
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    The old man raises an eyebrow at you, then shakes his head with a sigh. "It's not so easy, I'm afraid. You seem to have some knowledge of sorcery yourself, Lady Rem, so you must know how difficult and time-intensive theurgy is to learn."

    Indeed, he is correct. Even Mistress Zhou, as knowledgeable in occult matters and experienced as she was, had never had a chance to learn the least bit about theurgy without a proper teacher. On one occasion that you still vividly recall, when Lady Sofia received a visit from a scholar of the black academies, your teacher was quick to inform you that she had grown too old to still learn the arts within her lifetime, and that even you would have no chance if you did not at least master the Merciful Hand before your 50th birthday. Though perhaps you did not suggest it at the time, she also warned you against joining with the Black Academies, for quick paths to power are always spiritually corrupting, leaving your soul almost certainly hellbound.

    As you reminisce, Xiao continues. "For the time being, it is simply unconscionable to teach you even the fundamentals! Who knows what chaos the Golden Lord could wreak among the people in that time?" Your divine senses pick up on a faint hint of nervousness to his tone as he hurriedly says those last words.

    "Of course, I could offer you my knowledge later, when we are no longer so very much under pressure. My studies concern the pursuit of immortality. Even a person of divine power such as yourself must be interested in something like that?" A proud smirk forms on his face, even as he looks expectantly at you. "There are certain obscure taoist rites I have already mastered that could be used even by someone not steeped into our traditions. Have you ever heard of the rite known as Shijie?"

    In all honesty, you can't say that you do.





    Spoiler: Starislav
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    "My lord..." Wen quietly mutters, a bit of warmth to her tone. "Thank you."

    You quickly tear aside the trays of orchids, doing your best to ignore their awful scent, and dig down into the loose soil beneath them. Even with only your bare claws, it doesn't take you long until you find something. With every handful of dirt, the stink of decay grows harsher, with every motion you find more worms crawling along your arm.

    And then, your claws suddenly sink into something soft, and a burst of rancid, rotten air shoots into your face. Enduring stoically, you rub away the last bits of dirt. Beneath, you find the half-rotten face of a Dulimbaian youth, staring at you with empty eyes, his skin pale and his mouth contorted into a silent scream of pain.

    Tearing away some more earth, you find more of them. Dead people, all pale and clad in filthy, black-stained white robes. Not a single one of them seems to have died peacefully and the stench of their corpses is worse than mere rot should be. In your life as an adventurer, you have delved into too many tombs not to notice.

    It's the exact same smell as that cursed woman who descended upon Gongfang just a few days ago. Now that the orchids no longer cover it up, there's no mistaking it.

    Wen, covering her mouth and nose with one hand, puts the other one on your shoulder. "His methods of immortality have started to fail him. In exchange, he's drawn upon the lives of others to sustain his own." Her voice carries a determined tone that was not quite there before. "You must stop him. Think of what Lady Rem would want."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  17. - Top - End - #347
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav growl, enraged, his skin wobble, and tear exposing the slik oily black scales.
    His pupil shrink like needles, his nosrils widen and smoke steam off.
    "First let's release the people. I might fail, but they must survive.' he stopped and looked at her.
    'You better run first, dame. K'he won't forgive you, would k'he?'
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Ah, my apologies. I did not mean to ask you so directly of your theurgic knowledge, only what you are happy to speak of -- I enjoy even hearing about theory and others' pursuits, after all," Rem does clarify herself contritely. Theurgic approaches... what little she was able to muster was indeed only because of her godhood, and she would not have been able to master it until very far in her life.

    But the topic changes, and she nods as she says, "Shijie? I cannot say I do. Do tell...?"

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Spoiler: Rem
    Show
    Real Man Xiao nods quietly as you apologize, seemingly satisfied with that response. When she expresses interest in the ritual he mentioned, he is quick to move on and explain himself.

    "It is not a rite the Merciful Hand would teach you." he begins dramatically, gesticulating wildly as he speaks. "By redirecting his aged chi and certain yin energies to his clothes or his blade, an experienced sorcerer may transpose his death into the item. Even the most decrepit elder might thus gain another ten years of hale good health."

    For a moment, Xiao averts his gaze, looking wistfully off into the distance. "Few can master the reverent funeral techniques required to bring about the swap, of course, but those who do may live on well beyond their time."

    While you have no doubt that such a ritual may exist, and that it may even work as Xiao describes, you still get the feeling that he's leaving something out. No perfect ritual for extending one's life exists, Mistress Zhou always was very insistent on that.





    Spoiler: Starislav
    Show
    "But, we can't-" Wen gasps, sounding suddenly shocked by what you are saying, though she quickly regains her composure. "Yes, right. Of course."

    She clasps one fist into the other, giving you a quick bow. "Please, allow me to atone for my actions by freeing the other students while you go on ahead! Lady Rem may be in great danger, left all alone with that horrible sorcerer. You must go to her side!" Her voice is full of certainty, and a level of reverence towards Rem that was not there before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I see. So I imagine this is your lofty pursuit?" Rem expresses in turn. "You are possessed of spry health, and I imagine it is the fruits of your labour. But you had mentioned an 'item' -- what, pray tell, might that item be?"

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    'You are a brave woman. Worthy of a true Bogatyr.' Starislav praise her, simply.
    Other men, would tell her not to mess around.
    But he couldn't help but to respect. She acted with strengh, and aided those in need.
    'I pray you shall meet one, someday.' he say, running to the stables, jumping on his steed, raise his spear, and his tear shaped shield on the other- charging toward the evil craven's room, shattering into nothingness, any object that stand in his way
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Spoiler: Rem
    Show
    "Like I said, the ritual calls for the sorcerer's blade or his clothes. It requires a particularly strong arcane connection, something intimate to him and steeped in his essence. But yes, you are correct. Rituals and methods such as these are the ultimate culmination of-"

    Suddenly, Xiao stops dead in his tracks, his forehead wrinkling as he concentrates. "Wait, did you hear that too?" Indeed, you did. The sounds of something smashing into something in the distance, not too dissimilar to an explosion, but continuous.

    Both you and the old monk turn your heads worriedly in the direction of these sounds, which you now realize are swiftly coming closer. Without so much as a word, Xiao then jumps onto his feet, hastily moving towards the exit.

    Before he's left the room, the wall suddenly explodes into a rain of gold dust and splinters.





    Spoiler: Starislav
    Show
    Wen stays behind one more moment to watch you leave with a quietly contemplative expression on her face. Then, she is out of sight as you swiftly make your way to the stable.

    Using a combination of your draconic might and blasts of destructive energy, you ride your horse on a path of destruction through the stone-walled gardens of the monastery. Walls of stone and fields of brush fall before you like nothing, and the pavilion where you had dinner earlier is split in two with one strike of your spear.

    Finally, you crash into the wall of Xiao's housing like a cannon ball, bringing down half of the house as you make your entrance in a vast cloud of gold dust and splinters.





    When the dust of the sudden impact settles, the entire southern wall of Xiao's home has collapsed, leaving behind only bits and pieces of his two rooms and a large hole in the side of the worship hall to the east. Where moments before there was a wall now stands Starislav, eyes burning with the rage of the Wyrm, seated atop his horse, his heavy spear in one hand and teardrop shield in the other.

    Amid the rubble stands Rem, scuffled by the impact but not injured. Her quick reflexes and experience with danger allowed her to duck away from the worst, and in the mutual confusion of what just happened she is fast enough to get ready for whatever happens next.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Which is to say, there is no surprise round.


    And then, with his back to the Hall of the Pure and Quiet Three crouches Xiao, his back hunched like a cornered tiger and his eyes glaring at the two of you with a barely disguised panic. Though his white robes are now stained and torn, and his white cloth cap has been lost to the destruction Starislav wrought to reveal his balding head, the old man's body is entirely unharmed. The faint aura of wind that surrounded him earlier has picked up, swirling up more dust around him and tossing about small pieces of wreckage.

    "How dare you?" he shrieks, his voice oddly warped with a strength that does not fit his old body. "You are destroying the monastery of Real Man Xiao, the most accomplished taoist in the empire! Rem, call back your beast before I am forced to destroy him!"

    Sparks of electricity flicker at his fingertips as he makes his threat, shooting unaimed bolts of lightning at his nearby surroundings. Where they land, they leave scorched, smoking ash, and your divine senses pick up on the immense magical power behind each and every one. His threat is not idle either, as the way the moves tells you he could attack at any moment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  23. - Top - End - #353
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Ah, I do wonder...?" Rem questions quietly. It looks like it's time. She quietly braces for impact--

    *WHAM*

    When the rubble subsides, she looks towards the pavilion statues and reaches out - and the archangel manifests her divine glow as she rises to full height, shimmering as a beacon amidst the night of the Monastery, using the statue's power to manifest her power. She looks towards Starislav.

    "I take it you have seen what you need to see," Rem speaks to Starislav with trust. "The sins this monastery truly bears, and which you have hidden. Real Man Xiao... you are a disgrace to your profession."

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I'll use the Statue to commit Effort to Body of Burning Light without spending one of my own.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Cease your lies and whines wretch!"
    Starislav eyes turn yellow, as his noserils are steaming.
    "Feeding on the innocent for fake immortality and the corpses... corpses under the flowers...'
    Starislav roar.
    He lower his spear and charge at the wicked wretch.
    -------

    Attack
    (1d20)[11](11)+3


    Damage (1d10)[10](10)


    Fray die
    (1d8)[3](3)
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    At your accusations, Xiao glares with wild, bulging eyes. His face contorts into a scowl of pure rage even as he steps backwards, growling incoherently. He raises his hands, lightning crackling threateningly, only for you to move faster. Rem draws upon the energy of the one of the three statues, shattering it into pieces with a loud boom, and uses this power to fuel her inner light. Blinded momentarily by it, Xiao swiftly averts his head and covers his eyes, but as a result he forgets about Starislav's presence for a pivotal second.

    The bogatyr's spear slams into him with incredible force, punching into his belly before throwing him across the room into the altar on which the idols reside. Burst by the impact, the shrine falls apart, the idols clattering onto the ground luckily unharmed. For a second, Xiao lies motionlessly in place, giving the appearance that this initial strike was enough to slay him.

    However, you are soon dissuaded of that notion when the sorcerer's body slowly rises off the ground, lifted up by some unseen force as the wind that surrounded him already explodes into a gale storm. Pieces of rubble and furniture are shot in your direction by it, though you deflect them easily as you focus on the villain himself.

    As Xiao straightens himself upwards, you notice that although Starislav's weapon tore a large hole through his robes that exposes the old man's chest, there is no wound left on his body beyond some minor scuff marks. Glaring at you with eyes that glow with a terrible power, he nonetheless has a far too wide, manic grin on his face that almost makes his head resemble a skull.

    "Fools! FOOLS! I cannot be harmed! I am invincible! My power is eternal!"

    Lifted up by his powers, he flies up into the sky, where he swirls and dances about in an almost joyful fashion. "You could have had power! You could have had immortality!" he screams in-between shooting random, unaimed blasts of lightning in your general direction, none of which come close to hitting you but each of which tears craters into the ground where they impact. At this point, you clearly can feel the vast, unrestrained magical power this madman has. Were you anything less than divine, you are sure he'd be able to easily dispose of you. As things stand, you still realize that you are in for a tough battle. "But no! You barbarians! Stick your nose! Where it doesn't belong!

    YOU WILL DIE, AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME!"


    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Alrighty then. Time for some actual combat against a divine-level opponent.

    To put it in OOC terms, Xiao just used 1 Effort to invoke the Endurance power Unbreakable. This has made him invulnerable to Starislav's attack, and to any further physical harm until he takes his next turn.

    It may be a good idea to do something to ensure he can't keep doing that.

    Otherwise, he will waste this first round taunting you and hurling insults.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2020-04-27 at 12:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  26. - Top - End - #356
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem stays particularly still, even as lightning crackles through Xiao's hands -- and the bogatyr slams into him with force; for a moment, that seems to be that.

    But then he rises, the magic effecting him becoming rather clear. Something was defending him, something magical --

    And she would tear it apart at long last, just as Starislav had done the first step.

    "... do you know, Real Man Xiao? That is the favourite phrase of the nobility - 'there is nothing you can do'. Always downtreading on those they look down upon... since I came to this abode of yours, I much felt the same disdain. You are no Taoist," Rem murmurs, her voice gaining anger as the glow in her eyes rise further.

    "I shall peel all deceptions of yours away and lay bare the truth of that you are!"

    She extends her hand and channels the power of the other idol, gathering force into a miracle using the power of the Sun to illuminate untruth, attacking straight at the heart of Xiao's magical defence.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I want to use the second statue's power to perform a miracle to suppress the gift of Unbreakable.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz2nZJKk53g


    Starislav jump of his horse, something wobbling under his skin, and it looks like pair of bulges that strech the armor, squirming.
    Blinded by rage, he is starting to give into the hisses- which aren't hisses anymore. Now they are roars.
    kill
    burn
    destroy

    Starislab throw his helmet away, and cry with agony, as half of his face, peels away, exposing scaly hide.
    The bulges burst from his shoulders- long and serpentine necks with ugly crocodile like heads, black as sin (https://66.media.tumblr.com/977b8692...ejxo1_1280.jpg)

    Starislav roar, and the two heads spit with roars of cruel pleasure, streams of fire, black as shadows, hot as magma.




    ---

    Damage

    (2d8)[2][2](4)
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Xiao at first barely reacts to Rem's declaration, fluttering about as if nothing could ever harm him, taking pot-shots that are more focused on showing off his powers than actually hurting you. And though these do their part to tear apart what remains of the building you're in, they do nothing to defend him from your next move.

    When Rem shatters the second idol and sends a bolt of illuminating light at him, the sorcerer can only stare in shock for the split-second before it falls upon him, searing away the false vitality that sustains his invulnerability. His skin blisters and plumes of rancid smoke waft away from him, as his true image is laid bare before the world. Within seconds, you see the true Real Man Xiao.

    Not the spry old man you've known until now, but rather a desicated corpse, limbs lacking any flesh and the skin of his head stretched so thin that it is barely more than a skull. Through eyes that are sunken in so deep they remain barely visible, he glares at you with an immortal hatred for revealing the truth of his state, and over whisper-thin lips he spits terrible curses for your transgressions. His body moves in awkward, jerking motions, as if caught in rigor mortis, only flying about freely through his sorcerous powers.

    Spoiler: Rem
    Show
    Yet, somehow the worst thing of all is that you can sense that this mockery of a man is not some kind of undead, but still alive, fueled entirely by stolen vitality and corrupt rituals. Xiao has extended himself beyond any sort of nature or conscience, existing in truth as a parasite on life itself.


    Still, even his airborn speed is not enough to avoid a blast directly from Starislav's fiery breath. The bogatyr sends a deluge of melting hot darkness into the air, its glow intermingling in the night sky with Rem's unquenchable light. The blast engulfs Xiao, who howls in pain from the horrible strength of the attack. Pieces of the burning magma rain back down onto the monastery grounds, setting flame to the remnant's of Xiao's housing and the worship hall, rapidly spreading into an inferno if you don't do something about it. Starislav's horse, at the very least, does not stay around to see it, dashing off towards safety after its master's transformation.

    Before you can fully burn Xiao to cinders, however, the monk wrenches himself free of the flames and rises higher up into the sky. His skin is scorched badly, yet it does not seem to slow him down yet. "I am a better taoist than any of those fools will ever be!" he screeches, turning to face you. "For decades they tried to hold me back, and now look at the fruits of my labor! You understand nothing of the truth, Lady Rem!" Even his boasts, however, can't hide the fact that he is shaking. Now that he is facing someone capable of bringing him to justice, the old monk is frightened.

    Being frightened, however, does not make him any less of a threat, as he is quick to remind you. Suddenly, the wind he is surrounded by takes on the familiar, horrid stench of decay and rotten chi that you first smelled when meeting that cursed flying woman back in Gongfang. Around Xiao, a cloud of thick, brown-ish black fog begins to form that rapidly expands to cover the monastery and much of the night sky. Just before it covers your sight completely you see the last of the three idols shatter, indicating that the sorcerer has drawn upon its power for this move. Then, everything is darkness and the terrible odor of the smog.

    Oddly enough, for a moment you can hear someone coughing somewhere behind you, but it's impossible to see who inside this mist. Before you can determine more, a blast of lightning crackles through the air at Starislav, filled with all the burning intensity of a thunderstorm. It appears that Xiao isn't as hindered by this new addition to the battlefield as you are.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Since he is a powerful supernatural foe, Xiao can take two actions each turn. He used his first one to spend 1 Effort to create a bank of stinking, tainted chi thick enough to blind you. While it is active, you can find Xiao's general position via sound, but without any further special senses melee attacks are at -4 and ranged attacks are impossible.

    His second action was an attack against Starislav.

    (1d20+10)[15] for a potential (1d6)[3] straight lightning damage. Keep in mind that this damage is subtracted directly from your HP, and is not compared to the usual chart.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2020-04-29 at 04:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem's gaze turns for a moment to Starislav as he manifests the awesome power of the dragon within him. "I am with you," she offers words to him, knowing the struggle with which he might face. "And I trust you, no matter what."

    She turns her attention back towards Xiao in the midst of the splinters and the fire raging; there's a scowl as the darkness starts to take hold, and the rotten stench of the chi within it reminds her of an incident they saw in Gongfang. "I full well know the truth, Real Man Xiao. Dress it however you wish, with whatever philosophy you desire - you only have you and yourself in heart, and to that end, you are smaller than any other man I know."

    She hears someone coughing and grimaces for a moment - was there someone caught in all this? They have to worry about the barracks too, lest the students get caught in this fighting. But first, she has to do something about this foul wind.

    Committing power to the strength of her newfound powers, Rem raises herself to the air and spreads her arms out - and her wings start to beat with supernatural power, aiming to send a powerful, magical wind strong enough to counter the mist and send it flying and away. "Is there anyone out there?! You must flee. It is no longer safe here!"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I'll commit effort to suppress Xiao's tainted mist by blowing it away with the power of the Sky word, if that's appropriate? I assume the fray die won't work on Xiao as well, since he's a powerful foe, but just in case - (1d8)[8]

  30. - Top - End - #360
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav is pushed back, roaring in pain, the elecrtic shock, pilling off more and more of his human hide.
    His face is streched,and have sort of a muzzle, like his other heads have, his right arm, now musculed, oily and scaly mass.

    The dragons now hissed at his physical flash and blood ears. Or what left of them.
    He seemed to go berserk, but Rem's words.
    Starislav panted.
    He raise his clawed hand, and sphere of purple and dark shadows now cover him, as the half draconic bogatyr sinking his claw, lifting a chunk of stone, big as he can lift and toss it with a three echoing roars.

    'DIE!
    'DIE!'
    'DIE! the three heads have roared.


    ------

    Casting Unbreakable, and if possibe attacking-

    (1d20)[10](10)+3


    Damage
    (1d10)[1](1)?
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