IC Tianxia: 12 Golden Butchers Redux

EnigmaticOne

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An agent for Imperial intelligence, a wandering poet, an almost disowned noble girl, and a former mob doctor walk into Bao Jiang. It sounds like the opening to one of those cliched jokes that occur around Kung Fu experts - never mind that you stopped in perhaps a week ago. Though really, how did you come together friends? Did Yang and Liushi meet at a party and hit it off? Were Luan and Zhong forced to form an alliance of necessity against a cult of terror with yellow headbands? Or did the mythical Man-Dragon-Pig bring you all together?

Regardless, the reason you're now in the city: Unrepentant Si Bu, a bandit chief with a modicum of Kung Fu and a government bounty on his head. Somehow he'd upset even the easily-corruptible Governor Meng.

Or perhaps Meng just wanted to be seen very clearly doing his job and making a perennial show of cracking down for law and order.

Regardless, your band tracked Si Bu down. A long hard battle, with blood, sweat, tears... and the local Chasing the Megapo festival charging through the street you're in (no idea what a Megapo is, but town tradition says you chase it) - but heroes triumph!

The bounty is now yours. Now, you can rest.

Brother Bo Lin's House of Fine Teas provides all sorts of soothing drinks for your needs, and this unlikely band of comrades and friends can relax.
 

Timon

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[h=2]Burnt Paper Zhong FP:2[/h]Burnt Paper fusses a little with her tea-setting. The habits of tidying and straightening seemed to have passed seamlessly from her servant persona to her military core. She is also a little unsettled by being out of any of her characters and openly associated with Wulin "heroes".

The mission to observe the "subversive poet" was closed. Having attached herself to him as a servant and watched him carefully for several months: she had dedicated one carefully researched report to utterly discrediting the "information provided by a noble source". It had therefore been...unsettling to be forced to reveal some of her skills when they became embroiled with those...unsanitary... Dog-Tooth Bandits. They had fought hard in some perilous moments and she was now not entirely sure what Zhang Liushi thought she was, but meek servant was certainly no longer credible.

It had however been fun.

Spoiler: Show
This links our characters, if that is OK @Glyptodont
 
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Glyptodont

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The Wandering Poet, Zhang Liushi

Zhang takes a sip of Bo Lin's exquisite tea while wincing from the hangover headache that's been oppressing him all morning. After celebrating their triumph for the fourth (fifth? twelfth?) time, the details of their previous adventure is becoming increasingly hazy in his mind. He nudges Smiling Viper Luan and nearly spills his teacup in the process. "Say, Good Doctor Luan, I'm trying to compose a collection of heroic poems to commemorate our victory, but I must admit I've missed a few details. That fine bottle of rice wine I was savoring at the time gave me added strength, but I suspect it has affected my memory. Was it is you who smuggled yourself into the heart of the festival while hiding under a large drum? Or was that fair Lady Little-Flame Yang? The fate of my rhyming stanzas hang upon your answer."

Now that he thinks of it, maybe it was Zhang himself who hid under the drum while intoxicated? That might explain the headache that lasted for a week--those drummers were really enthusiastic with their mallets...
 

Glyptodont

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Burnt Paper fusses a little with her tea-setting. The habits of tidying and straightening seemed to have passed seamlessly from her servant persona to her military core. She is also a little unsettled by being out of any of her characters and openly associated with Wulin "heroes".

The mission to observe the "subversive poet" was closed. Having attached herself to him as a servant and watched him carefully for several months: she had dedicated one carefully researched report to utterly discrediting the "information provided by a noble source". It had therefore been...unsettling to be forced to reveal some of her skills when they became embroiled with those...unsanitary... Dog-Tooth Bandits. They had fought hard in some perilous moments and she was now not entirely sure what Zhang Liushi thought she was, but meek servant was certainly no longer credible.

It had however been fun.

Spoiler: Show
This links our characters, if that is OK [MENTION=23463]Glyptodont[/MENTION]
Spoiler: Show
Works for me! :)
 

MrPrim

Bleak Academic
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Luan raises an eyebrow at the poet's question as she stares over her cup of tea. "Wasn't me," she says, finally, "I was in the alley when the Megapo went through."

"Almost caught it, too," she says, shaking a few drops of something nasty smelling and green into her teacup from a tiny flask. She swirls the cup with her fingers and grimaces in the direction of Yang, "She had to go and spoil it, though. Spotting our guy. Anyone know what you get for catching a Megapo? Nothing I can't cure, certainly." With closed eyes, Smiling Viper Luan knocks back her tea in one quick gulp. Her expression does not change but a little shudder runs through her as whatever she took works its magic.

She grins lazily before turning to level Zhang with a quizzical and penetrating look. She shakes her head and rolls her eyes at the poet, reaching into the pouch beside her and pulling out a little paper packet which she holds in front of him with two fingers. "Drink this with cold... cold... water. Quickly. It's not going to dissolve so maybe just close your eyes and don't look."
 

QuZi

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Little-Flame Yang

Yang slumps in the back of her chair as she wishes the world would stop spinning. Even more than that, though, she wishes her stomach would quit trying to wander around her insides.

Rubbing her temples with one hand, Yang reaches once more for her cup of tea with the other. "I apologize, Master Zhang. The only clear thing I remember from yesterday is drinking some of your rice wine before we all left... and then a lot of wine at the festival. Much of the rest of that day has vanished into the haze. I do not remember drums or drumming at all... but did you punch a dragon? I mean, congratulations if you did."

Turning to Luan, she smiles slightly and adds, "You are too kind. I think that it is less that I spotted him than he attacked me after I spilled my drink on him."
 
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Glyptodont

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Zhang Liushi

Zhang takes the medicine packet from Luan and inspects it carefully. "I have faith in your concoctions, Doctor Luan, though I worry too much cold water might unbalance my Chi. My dear mother was a devotee of the Theory of Internal Heat and warned me of imbibing too much yin-infused drinks." He turns to Burnt Paper Zhong and says, "Auntie, do me a favor and procure a cup of cold spring water from the proprietor? Oh, and make sure he doesn't just give me the dish water. I don't need a repeat of events from Granny Zhao's teahouse--if you know what I mean."

Zhang had thought he lucked out when he found the Aiyi willing to be his servant--especially at the pittance he was paying at the time. But when she expertly deflected those two flying blades that one of Si Bu's goons threw at his face, he recognized the Storm style at once. Obviously the Auntie was a veteran of the jianghu traveling incognito, though he hasn't really found the right moment to politely ask about her past yet. At least now he can pay her a bit more after their recent success.

Little-Flame YangYang slumps in the back of her chair as she wishes the world would stop spinning. Even more than that, though, she wishes her stomach would quit trying to wander around her insides.

Rubbing her temples with one hand, Yang reaches once more for her cup of tea with the other. "I apologize, Master Zhang. The only clear thing I remember from yesterday is drinking some of your rice wine before we all left... and then a lot of wine at the festival. Much of the rest of that day has vanished into the haze. I do not remember drums or drumming at all... but did you punch a dragon? I mean, congratulations if you did."
"Oh, I should hope not! If word reaches reaches one of the Celestial Dragons that I behaved with such impiety, they might just decide to dump rain upon my head for several months."
 
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Timon

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Jiujin Zhong

Burnt Paper, somewhat relieved that Zhang is at the very least playing along, murmurs assent and bustles away, ears sharply tuned to the conversations around her. Altering her gait slightly, acquiring a tray, a wiping cloth and some soiled beakers and bowls she moves smoothly into the kitchen, rapidly does a quick rinse, plates an order and gossips cheerfully with the cook, dropping some hooks for any titbits relating to her travelling companions.

Passing the bar on the way back she snags and pays for the clean spring-water and catches herself being a teensy bit protective of the wastrel poet. He was competent enough, though he spent too much time acting the fool. If handsome officer Sun had been just a little less heroic way back then, not gotten himself killed, there might have been a gangling fool of a son, not entirely unlike Zhang. That would have been... utterly, utterly unprofessional.

"No fool like an old fool" she whispers and with the tiniest of sighs, Juijin heads back towards the group, slowing down and adding a little arthritis to her body language as she hoves into view.
 

Glyptodont

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Zhang Liushi

Zhang takes the cup of water from Jiujin Zhong and says, "Thank you, Auntie. What would I ever do without you?" He warily eyes the packet that Smiling Viper Luan gave him, takes a sniff and pours it into the water. "Gān bēi! ...and good health." With a wild flourish of his sleeve, he drinks it all in one gulp.

"Oh... By the Immortals in Heaven, Doctor Luan... I think I may regret this cure..."
 

EnigmaticOne

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While Zhang shakes off the heady effects of the hangover cure, Yang finds herself approached by a man bearing on his clothing the insignia of one of the major regional courier guilds. He bows, asks to confirm her identity and explains that he has a message for her, deposits the scroll on the table and departs.

Dear Little Flame Yang,

I hope this message finds you well, my former student. I know our lessons were tumultuous, but I am happy to hear you have blossomed into a worthy member of the Jianghu. I have a request to make of you.

There is a powerful artifact in my possession that I wish to see properly dealt with. This object is of considerable value, but it also carries a dark destiny. I have shepherded this item for some years, but it has recently become clear to me that it is no longer safe for me to keep. I have come to the difficult conclusion that I must pass this responsibility on, and after much consideration I realize you are the best candidate to take up this responsibility.

Please find me at Two Thunders Academy.

With Respect,
Lei Si
The Academy of course, is in the town of Red Jade Center. As Yang knows from past experience (and Zhang and Luan from their broad studies) Red Jade Center is a small but fairly prosperous mining settlement near the mountains in western Jiāngzhōu. The town is so named because Red Jade is on a road that eventually intersects the Jade Road and unsurprisingly, produces jade with a distinctive red hue.
 
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