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The Villainous Lich of the Orient Options · View
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2018 6:00:12 PM
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Location: Time
It burned.

Oh god it burned.

I gasped for air, I gasped for water, anything to quench the fire within me that threatened to use my up as fuel to leave only a husk.

I was sick with fever.

Or at least, that is what I was told while I was still lucid by the Doctor my family paid to come and see to my condition.

They were kindly people, the Doctor himself was also a kind older man. With soft smiles and honest intentions, he saw a patient dying in front of him and tried to do everything in his power. He provided medicine, care, and advice.

However it would be all for nought.

This was no simple fever even though all the symptoms were clearly there, a Doctor in medicine would not be able to see within me, my meridians, to within my soul, to see the true illness.

My magic had rebounded on me, simple as that.

I am a Mage.

I thought to myself as I was hit by one of the many muscle spasms that would routinely hit and envelop my body since my the beginning of my condition.

Ah, if I am a Mage, how do my family not know?

Simply put, there are regular human beings, having normal human lives.

My father was an originally Russian engineer for a local company here in Shenzen, my mother is a local highschool teacher.

As for me? Well.

I was adopted.

I was very young when my original parents died, I honestly don’t remember the cause, I was old enough at six to know I was a part of a family that practiced magecraft.

Without identification, the government had no way of knowing how to contact my extended family, additionally it wasn’t even certain which nation they were originally from.

So the government did the only thing it could do, shrug, and make me a ward of the state.

However it wasn’t long before a young couple came by interested in me. A Eurasian girl with red hair was very rare afterall, and since I was quite precocious they absolutely wanted to take care of me as their own, since they couldn’t have children themselves.

Ah, they were good people, everyday I was filled with regret though, I try my best to not let them down but, from the very beginning I knew that there would always be a wall separating us.

They dote on me and I accept it gracefully, it is all I can do for them is return what affection I genuinely can feel for them.

And now… and now… and now…

I clench my fists weakly. I don’t know how much time I have left.

When I was adopted the State also provided me with whatever possessions they found in my birth parent’s hotel and on their persons, not much, some books, and knickknacks of no obvious value.

To them.

To me though, my eyes immediately saw different, I saw and could read text that they could not, I could feel a warmth and energy from the baubles that they could not, interestingly I had never read or seen such writings before. Vaguely I remembered something about something that gets passed down, parent to child, that allows the child to continue their magecraft from where the parent mage left off when the time is right, I suppose it also happens on death as a survival mechanism.

Another spasm. “Urgh” I let out.

And so, for the next nine years in my spare time I carefully read these texts, my parent’s legacy and meditated on the knowledge that was just under the surface of my conscious memories.

To be honest, I knew magecraft was incredibly dangerous, even the simplest of cantrips felt like I was stabbing my own heart with a knife, to live with pain is what it takes to be a mage, at least at first, it takes time to fully develop your meridians.

What had happened was an experiment in trying to fully activate my ‘core’, a small generator and computer like entity within me, necessary for higher level spells. After reading about it and encountering a block on my progression I thought that perhaps if I could just ‘turn it on’ I might be able to access more knowledge, I had no intention of using it while my meridians were still developing.

I was foolish, and as a result I am dying.

A spasm hit me, the pain as my muscles randomly locked and released momentarily distracted me from the fever.

I tried to gather whatever moisture was in my mouth and swallow, and choked for my troubles.

My father and mother as their jobs allowed came and visited me. At some point I was moved to the hospital, with huge effort I managed to get them to bring with them my Aurory.

A small crystal ball insight a mechanism, I wasn’t sure what it is or what it does. I couldn’t peer within it with my senses, a mage can interface with any magic item through their meridians, but if the usage of the item is of a much higher level than your current skills, or if it is bound to another, then you’ll hit a wall, quite literally. Trying to interface with it fully is like smacking your head on a wall, the pain serving as a warning to go no further.

As far as I could tell, this almost clocklike item was my original parent’s most treasured possession, keeping it with them at all times.

But at my current skill, it is merely a fancy steampunk style fidget rubix cube like thing.

Weakly I manage to drag it from where it is presently on my bed, and brought it up to my chest, holding it as tightly as my weakened body would allow.

Another spasm hit, and now my vision was slowly blurring.

This is it, I figured.

I didn’t want to die.

With the last of my effort.

“Please” I inaudibly whisper.

I try to connect my meridians again to the Aurory.

I have to know, what is it, the dearest thing my parents left for me.

As I am doing so, though, my consciousness begins to fade.

Darkness has come for me.

“I’m sorry.” I think to myself.

I’m sorry mom. I’m sorry dad. I could never be the daughter you wanted.

To my mage parents, I’m sorry. I’ll be seeing you.

*Click*

Connection Established.

Azoth Core going critical.

Attempting healing countermeasures. Failed.

Attempting communication with nearest healing specialist mage. Failed. Out of range.

Attempting to shut down Azoth Core…. 3…. 2…. 1…. Failed. Shutting down Azoth Core would result in destruction of the body.

Attempting to divert mana away from Azoth Core…. Failed. Meridians not responding.

Querying Nascent Soul for backup… Failed. Nascent Soul not activated.

Activating Nascent Soul…. Failed. Permissions denied.

Overridding Permissions, emergency measures…. Success.

Activating Nascent Soul… Success.

Querying Nascent Soul…. Success…

Activating algorithm to back up and restore host…

Searching for suitable candidate… Failed. No Candidates found.

Querying… Success.

Importing Chrono library… 3… 2… 1… Failed. Permissions denied.

Emergency Measures. Override. Success.

Permissions denied, not an Archmage.

Emergency Measures. Request Archmagi Role…. Success.

Importing Chrono Library… Success.

Searching… 3… 2… 1… Candidates found.

Selecting candidate… 3… 2.. 1… Failed. Incompatible body.

Activate Koschei protocol…. Successs. Body is now compatible.

Selecting candidate… Success.

Commencing backup process…. Success.

Transfering… 3… 2… 1… Success.



Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2018 6:01:53 PM
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I awoke with a scream.

“I don’t want to die!”

I bolted up from the bed, sitting with my back straight. My face frozen with what must have been rigor mortis. Oh no! I’m a zombie now! I despaired for one confused moment.

Breathing heavily, I stayed like that for what seemed like an eternity, staring at the empty wall within my room.

Gradually slowly, I relaxed, my face muscles slowly softened and with my arm shaking, brought my hand to my cheek where I caressed my numb face.

A new wave of confusion would hit me though, huh, I had thought to myself, and realized that something was wrong.

Where was I?

A few panicked glances around the room just seemed to result in more questions than answers.

This wasn’t my hospital room, nor was it my room at my foster parent’s place.

The floors were wood instead of ceramic, the walls also were lined with old looking wooden planks; and the very bed I lie in seemed overly extravagant compared to the Western style beddings I’ve used before.

I desperately grabbed at the curtains that surrounded the bed, hanging from four wooden poles that stretched near to the ceiling in some form of canopy. The frame of the bed had a sort of mesh like wooden pattern stretching between the four poles from the canopy.

My hands were barely responding to me, every movement felt slow and sluggish, my muscles felt weak.

Was I in a hotel? Did we decide to go on a trip? Was I well enough to go on one?

As I was feeling the curtains some strange girl dressed in traditional Chinese clothes entered the room.

I looked at her in confusion, and she also seemed startled to see me.

She started speaking rapidly, and I could barely make out the words, damnit girl speak Cantonese properly.

Ah, she’s speaking some coastal dialect of Mandarin. This flipped a switch in my head and she became much easier to understand.

“Mistress your eyes! What happened?! Your… Your eyes… They are so striking now… Like emeralds… And… You’ve awoken from your long sleep!?” She clasped her hands together excitedly. “Oh! Perhaps the Gods of the Mountain visited you in the night, hearing our prayers and accepted our offerings at long last!” Damn girl spoke like an old man from a wuxia film.

Eh.

Haven’t I always had red hair and teal-green eyes?

I glanced around but I couldn’t find a mirror, almost as if reading my mind the girl walked over to the drawers of a nearby and pulled out a fancy hand mirror. A polished reflective surface surrounded by a wooden frame decorated with Chinese dragons encircling it.

She handed it to me, I struggled but I managed to extend my arms out, clawing the mirror into my hands with exaggerated movements; it was although I had to put explicit thoughts into moving each and every muscle one by one.

Gradually, I managed to hold up the mirror.

I look at myself in surprise, this was “Me” but also “Not Me”.

If it wasn’t for my hair pigment and eyes I don’t think anyone who knew me, or even my foster parents could possibly mistake the young girl staring back at me.

Where I was originally a Eurasian girl of mixed bloodlines, presumably Greco-Russian and East Asian previously, with slightly tanned skin and almond like eyes; my crimson hair and turquoise eyes clearly had downplayed my more Asian facial features and emphasized my more European features.

Here and now, my eyes that stared back up at me were the same as before...

However… My face though, my hair… Were no longer me. I no longer looked like the lonely girl in the crowded orphanage with the strange hair and western facial features.

I put down the mirror with mixed feelings. While the resemblance was still there, as though I looked more like my biological mother than my father, I now looked like any other girl I’ve met in the orphanage, or at school, or walking around. Only my eyes seemed to remain as a reminder of what was.

I breathed deeply and then sighed for a long time.

I looked at the girl standing happily next to me.

“Who are you?” I asked.
She dropped the mirror that I had passed to her.

The sound of it shattering pierced the silence of the early dawn.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 6:00:22 PM
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The Eternal Jade Gemstone


The look on her face.

It was as though I kicked her favourite pet. Distraught would probably be the best way of describing it, I kept the grin that was slowly encroaching on my face suppressed, tact would be necessary.

“I am sorry to say this to you, it appears I perhaps have lost some of my memories, how have I came to be here?” I copied her manner of speech.

Another look of confusion that quickly passed.

“My lady, I am Shi Meiling, I have been your personal attendant since you were born.”

What horseshit is this, as some of my classmates would say on the internet, I am not a learned person please don’t lie to me!

I’ve never had a personal attendant! I wasn’t a part of some bigshot political or nouveau riche family! My foster parents only drove a Sub**u!

Ugh. I am getting upset, this is no good.

I rub my face with both hands. “I see.” I deadpan.

I look up to the ceiling and sigh.

“And my name?” I ask with a smile, clearly I was not myself, perhaps I am someone else.

She instantly looked like she was going to cry. I quickly cover my mouth as much as my numb arms would let me, I pretend to be covering a cough.

“My lady…” She began, wiping her tears with the hem of her sleeves. “How horrible…” She continued.

She breathed in deeply, and nodded to herself with a determined expression. Did she make a decision?

“You are a daughter of the Tang clan, your precious name is Yong-lin. With the characters... “

She drew in the air with her fingers, they were clearly the overly complicated strokes of traditional Chinese but I recognized the water radical to mean ‘eternal’ for Yong, and ‘fine jade’ for Lin. The Eternal Jade of Tang I see.

“Oh and mine of course is written as…” She continued with her own, Shi as in Stone, Mei as in beautiful, and Ling as in “Spirit”.

I decided to remember this, she seems a devoted one, and if I am to figure out where I am, or even when I am, then I need her as an ally and it is best to not do anything necessary to alienate her. If I am some sort of bigshot now then it is best perhaps to play the role.

I vaguely recall that there existed the Tang dynasty in the past, between the 7th and 10th centuries, have I time traveled a thousand years? Does Wu Zetian rule the Dragon Throne?

I glanced around the room and aside from maybe the mirror I don’t see anything that could possibly imply that I was still in the modern era, and her old man way of speaking implied to me that perhaps this is indeed the past.


My first goal will be to orient myself, and I will need to question my currently sole sympathetic source of information.

“What year is it?” I just blurt out. Wow, how subtle.

“It is currently 4097 of course.” She said happily.

Wow I wish I could see the look on my face, if there was ever a time to recover control of my facial muscles that would be then! Are we in some sort of dystopian far future!?

Oh… I wish I could smack my head.

We’re in the year 1401 according to Chinese lunar character. I don’t know if that is better or worse, can I freeze myself to get back home?

I sigh.



Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 5:47:33 PM
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Joined: 11/17/2007
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The Dream


I am Yonglin.

I told this to myself in the mirror I held in my hands.

And each time I did so, the face in my reflection seem to yell back at me…

No! Your name is…

And then I would wake up from the dream.

However waking up from one dream, only seemed to result in being present in another.

For I have been mysteriously transported back to the past, 700 years into ancient China, losing my body in the process, only my eyes seemed to have stayed in my new body.

Only one conclusion exists.

I died.

My last memory of my old life was a vivid memory of hell.

Muscles that spasmed uncontrollably, a constant shortage of breath, a fever that burned away my sanity.

I clenched and unclenched my fist.

So this isn’t my body.

It would explain my initial mobility issues that went beyond mere muscle atrophy. Being in a coma for supposedly many years, there’s no doubt that the human body would have great difficulty moving, in fact it is a surprise I could even sit up or hobble my way across the room with assistance. I cannot support my entire weight, but I could support a little.

In fact my movement feels sluggish not so much because of the atrophy, but something else.

My issue is that it feels like I am not moving my own muscles, I have to *think* and articulate the thought of movement before the limb will move in addition to what normally people think as “moving”.

If I was to describe it simply, it felt like I was relearning how to walk all over again.

Something however was still “off”, with my mind no longer being seared by my out of control magecraft, various thoughts that could be described as my ‘common sense’ began to slowly trickle in.

Did I have parents in this world?

My first “day” awake was uneventful, very soon after our ‘introductions’ between me and my attendant I found myself to be extremely tired and was placed back to sleep. Strangely I was ‘asleep’ and not asleep. I could dream but it felt like an ‘opened browser tab’ with other processes in the background, while my eyes were closed I could still see my surroundings and hear ‘them’.

After my attendant had made sure I was comfortably sleeping she left, and soon others trickled in. Other young girls who went around and cleaned, and then Shi Meiling came back with a beautiful woman and a handsome older man who a face carved from granite, with a black beard and fine clothes.

He gestured towards me.

“That one, my most previous and eternal gemstone and only daughter and sole child, she is awake from her cursed slumber?” His sounded harsh… Was that a hint of hope? Everything sounded muffled.

The woman seemed to have grasped his sleeve and remained silent.

I could imagine that these two were my parents, but I couldn’t focus on them.

I couldn’t focus on much, and fell back into the dream.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 5:31:30 PM
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Moving About


Finally, after what seemed like years I had awoken from my slumber.

It is rather ironic, had not this body been in a coma for years after all? Like sleeping beauty waiting for a prince, except the princess would be waiting forever, as a demon has taken her body.

Haaaaah.

I force myself up from the bed, every muscle hurts to do so, however I refuse the assistance from my ‘servant’, I’m not even sure if I want to even think of her as a maid.

She is a stranger to me, a helpful one, yet, I no nothing of her, how can I trust her when we’ve just met no matter the theatrics she uses to express her commitment to my health?



I grab my staff.

I didn’t have one originally, the room after all, did not have one. However in the moments of lucidity I possessed, I made sure to request one based on my own self-assessment. It would not be possible to travel even to the toilet without some sort of assistance, my muscles were either far too weak, or too alien to my will at this time.

Before I couldn’t even leave the bed without assistance, but today, finally, I could move with just the staff.

Supposedly a grand uncle was a monk or some such, and when he passed on his staff was placed into storage. It was a fine staff, hardwood with metal bands, carved with the head of a dragon.

I’ve yet to determine if I was still capable of any sort of magecraft, but this staff… Felt comforting to me.

The eerie situation though, was the presence of “that”.

The aurory, upon my bedside.

A strange and complex contraction, where every press, every switch, twist, pull, rotation, and so on, changed its shape in seemingly unpredictable ways.

I was obsessed with it in my previous “life”, and it motivated and drove my efforts to learn magecraft.

It was thus in some ways the cause of my death.

Such a stupid thing.

Dumbfounded I was to discover it next to me, was this transported with me?

I tentatively asked her.

“Oh that.” She seemed to have forgotten or not even noticed it’s presence.

“I believe… Yes, it was a gift, a gift from an admirer.” She nodded with the certainty of an idiot.

I let the matter drop, and quizzed her no further. Either it was transported here, or indeed, as Meiling insists, it was always here.

The plot thickens.

No I make my way traversing my “home”, today was an important day.

It was time to meet “them”.

My new “family”.

Haaaah.

My home was very Chinese, the kind of house in the modern era you had to be very rich to own. Most people settled for modern western style houses or condos, but *this* was something else entirely. It took a special kind of rich person to desire to feel like a character in a wuxia film.

I sigh.

Who are my new family I wonder, are they kind? Are they strict? Loving or cruel? I believe I now have a new father, and a new mother.

Will I die again too soon to get to know them? Will they be disappointed with what they see?

Regardless.

It will be of no use to try to explain that I am not who they think they are, I will maintain the ruse, and take this new secret to the grave.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2018 5:48:28 PM
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First? Meetings




I bow the traditional Chinese way. Clenching my fist into the open palm of the other hand in front of the center of my chest, Meiling steadying me.

I have had to carefully ‘re’-learn many important facts and concepts before this meeting with my Honoured Father, the position and status of our House. Our businesses and interests, likely threats and opportunities.

My initial guess that I was born into a wealthy family is perhaps a grave understatement.

We were one of the principle governing families of Zhejiang province!

I had inwardly beamed a shit eating grin, how could I not? I would be living the dream! My old family forgotten in an instant. Nobility! Titles! Wealth! Power! Handsome boys asking for my hand in marriage cap in hand with downcast dainty eyes…

Gugugu~ I giggled inwardly.

“Is there something wrong, mistress?” She had asked me back then.

“Hm?” I inquired.

“You’ve blinked once or twice mistress, but the information… Does it upset you? I do not believe you have changed your expression from anything other than a stone carving this entire time…” She fidgeted with concern.

I made my way to the mirror and…

Try as I might.

Putting every effort.

Straining against the heavenly dao.

I could not smile.

My face was perfectly still.

I could talk, I blinked as was required, I could move my mouth. However… I could not show anger, I attempted to frown and could not notice anything more than the most minor and imperceptible of muscle moments.

Sadness, Anger, Joy, Surprise, Bashful, Sleepy, all of the seven dwarves and more, my face could not be shaped to reflect any emotion.
Well whatever.

Here in the now, in the great hall of our manor, I bowed towards my father, and bowed once more to my mother who was by his side.

“It is fortuitous news, that my only daughter has finally after many years of accursed slumber has awoken!” He slapped his hand on the railing of his seat.

“I am happy and honoured to have awoken, the heavenly dao has saw fit to restore my consciousness and rejoin the world of man.” I replied.

“We of course have much to discuss in due time, you are soon of marriageable age, your brothers have all been summoned to return to greet you, they are your protectors and mentors.”

Eh?

Brothers?

I glanced at Meiling, and with surprised look she hurriedly nods.

“I see honoured father, I would be pleased to meet them and renew my filial bonds with them.” I bowed once more.

Haaah… I never had brothers before, maybe they’re cute… But more likely they are probably rude and arrogant. I had hoped I was a lonely child and upon my awakening would absorb all of their attention and be doted upon…

However, being not only a girl and just another of many children? I might as well not exist.

I sigh inwardly. This could be good or bad depending on our circumstances. No doubt I was to be married off, but I needed the resources of our House, our money, and influence, if I was still capable of magecraft, then, that is once again what I would devote myself to, there are too many unanswered questions about my present situation.

Most importantly, I would not allow myself to die in vain.

“Father.” I ask.

“Hm. What is it honoured daughter?”

“This may perhaps be most impertinent, but as I am just awakened, I am tired and perhaps physically quite weak, while my marriage would perhaps be a boon to our fortunes, I don’t think it would be in our interests for my marriage to be rushed… Especially if there is any question about my health… And my mysterious long slumber to may raise questions, suddenly reaching forth now for applicants, and we may only receive riff raff and con artists; I hope it is not an insurmountable mountain, to request this impossible favour…”

I bow once again, allowing my hair to partly hide and obscure that I have one eye open, peeking out to see my ‘father”’s reaction.

“Hm.” He ponders.

“You raise an excellent point, no doubt from my daughter, and your mother’s daughter, you mind is sharp despite years of stillness that would rust any blade or tool. We shall consider your marriage at a later date, and perhaps maybe interested parties will approach us on their own accord, yes… That sounds better. You may return to your room and prepare, a feast shall be had this evening when your siblings arrive.”

“Thank you honoured father.” I bow. Well that was easy.



Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2018 5:58:06 PM
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Brothers in Arms




I leaned up against the railing from within the courtyard, and listened to the sound of drums heralding the return of my brothers.

The first to arrive, at the head of a procession of gleaming soldiers loyal to our house, Huangfa.

I had quickly quizzed Meiling about all of my newfound siblings, all seven of them!

Fufufu~ I chuckled inwardly. It was the way of things, for ones brothers to pamper and spoil their little sister in the case of an older brother. While younger brothers were respectful and looked up to request your wisdom for all sorts of matters. Things would be so much fun, if I could smile I would.

Meiling shivered by my side and glanced at me.

“Mistress, you seem very happy about learning of your brothers…” (Mistress’s face looks scary for a moment there…)

The heavy front gate had opened, and Hungfa strolled in, the soldiers would return to their barracks as it was forbidden for soldiers under the command of any other than our Honoured Elder to enter our home, all are equal under heaven, and all but bow to our patriarch.

Meiling sought to guide me to the bench where I could be more comfortable, but I kept batting her away like a annoying gnat. I would stand to receive my cute brothers.

Huangfa greeted me.

“Honoured sister, I rejoiced by the news of your awakening. Our ancestors have blessed us this day, it is the will of the Dao... ” He glanced at my hands and pursed his beautiful lips in concern.

“Are you tired little sister, perhaps you should be resting.”

I waved my hands negatively.

“It is fine, that bench is not as enticing as it looks, and only be standing can I hope to see your face properly.” I bowed, to illustrate the point, he was a tall and handsome man, broad shouldered, clearly a soldier used to a blade.

“Very well, though please do me the honor and allow me to present you a gift.” He said.

Ohohoho~ Gifts!? For once my hands seem to reflect my subconscious and gripped the railing tightly. Perhaps I am getting used to this body.

“Very well, I shall gracefully accept Honoured Older Brother’s gift to me, and with this we shall get to know each other anew.”

Huangfa called for an attendant, while soldiers may not cross the threshold of our home, it is normal for highly ranked members of our House to have retainers.

The retainer ran up to us and bowed.

“Sir! My Lord! My Lady! I come bearing my Lord’s gift to the Honoured Sister of my Lord!”

He immediately dropped to one knee, and presented a wrapped object.

Huangfa turned to his attendant and solemnly grabbed the object and turned towards me.

He seemed to hesitate for one moment, with his hand upon the gift, clearly he was unsure whether to unwrap it before me, or to give it to me to unwrap.

He passes it to me, I take it while gesturing to Meiling to hold me steady.

My hands begin trembling from the strain, I had leaned my staff against the railing and was now instead leaning on Meiling for support to free my hands.

I unwrap the object and find a gleaming silver dagger.

“Exquisite…” I whispered quietly, I carefully wrapped my numb fingers around the handle and felt a warmth from within.

Ah.

I was so surprised I dropped it with a clatter on the patio.

My brother quickly scooped it up for and by his own hand before I had a chance to say anything, returned the dagger to it’s sheath, and wrapped the leather belt attached to it around my waist.

“This way it won’t fall to the ground ever again.” He whispered sternly into my ear as he straightened his back.

He bowed and gestured, fist in palm, “I must see to mother and father now.” and then left.

Sigh, I wonder if he’s angry with me. He made a scary face, I glanced over at Meiling.

Her face was red as she fidgeted with her gown.

Don’t be so obvious as a bitch in heat! He’s my brother! You must cross the threshold of my authority before reaching for the top of the mountain!


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 5:15:02 PM
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Brothers in Learning




First came the soldier.

And then he departed to see my father.

Next was Hengda, a scholar in the Confucian bureaucracy.

The gates once more opened and in stepped a robbed young man along with others, he too seemed to have attendants, I had learned quickly that after passing the Imperial Examination he rose quickly in rank and prospects.

“Huehue~” Meiling smiled next to me. I began to suspect something might be afoot with my retainer.

I glanced over at Hengda as he approached, and he too seemed to be looking at me, first my face and then our elder brother’s dagger that he has bestowed upon me that I now wore at my side in the Western style before his gaze returned to my face.

“You could look happier my dear Yonglin.” He smiled sadly.

I scratched my nose clumsily with the side of my hand and shifted my gaze away while Meiling spoke up.

“It cannot be helped my lord, my lady’s body can barely move on its own power, even smiling takest the greatest of effort.” She bowed.

Hengda’s face became stricken, and covered his face with his hands in shame.

“How could I not realize, of course, remaining asleep for so long would leave many of your muscles weakened…” He apologized.

“It is fine dear elder brother.” I gripped the railing to steady myself and curtly bowed as best as I could.

“It is not your fault, my condition would of course be difficult to ascertain from just a glance.” I remarked.

“Nonsense, as your brother I should be the first one to notice anything amiss, and as a member of the civil service, I should be knowledgeable in all manners of topics.” He bowed.

It was only natural I supposed, I wonder how much like a bureaucrat he is, is he the sort to take bribes or is such a thought heresy to him? There is much to learn.

“I have a gift for you of course.” He interrupted my thoughts suddenly, his eyes kept glancing towards the dagger on my hips.

I chuckled inwardly. Of course, he would.

He gestured to his attendant, a… Hrm. That’s interesting.

At first I thought it was a boy, well… No matter…

The “attendant” bowed and greeted me before turning to present a wrapped bundle to Hengda.

It was a burgundy bundle of cloth around a rectangular object. He carefully unwrapped it and held it out for me to see.

This time it was not passed directly to me but to Meiling to hold for me.

It was a book!

A real book!

My happiness must have flickered across my eyes or perhaps a minor twinge of my lips as Hengda chuckled.

“I am glad you seem to like my gift. I was unsure, after so long asleep, what sort of person you would wake as, it seems though I was wrong to worry, it was as though you were awake all this time, and most importantly, you appear to like my gift. I spent a lot of effort restoring this work, it is only partially translated from a barbarian script, much of it is like heavenly script to our brightest scribes however…”

He went on happily about the difficulty and challenges in storing the work, how the book was originally about to disintegrate if all but the lightest of touches.

I carefully studied the tome before me, a western style tome in roman characters, with Chinese annotations.

He and those scholar did not grasp the value of this tome it would seem, and most importantly, I could see why they could not make much progress in translating the clearly latin script.

This was a spellbook.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, May 06, 2018 6:01:44 PM
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Brothers in Arms


The next few meetings went by quickly.

The first two were Huangfa the General, who gave me a fine silver dagger.

And then it was Hengda, the Scholar, who gave me an ancient latin text. It’s true value unknown to him.

The remaining five brothers came in one by one as the first two, entering the courtyard with their entourage of servants and retainers. For the most part, every footstep was filled with a pride befitting nobility. While each one could not hope to one day rule over the threshold of the walled compound they called home, each could claim with verifiable pride that they served it faithfully.

Chaojiang, the Warrior. Broad shouldered like an ox. Where Huangfa had entered with a stoicism befitting a natural born leader, Chaojiang was more brazen, almost kicking open the doors with his feet as his servants rush in to make way.

Chaojiang presented me with a sword. His face beamed happily with pride.

He cleared his throat. “Girls like fans usually, think of it like a fan that can cut off heads.” He said gruffly, with a small hint of embarrassment. A sword isn’t what you give to a lady! Meat-head! Jock!

It was big and heavy, a jade guard, fine leather handle, and steel of truly fine quality, was it Damascus steel? It was surprisingly light.

Huijing, the Politician. Dressed in colourful robes, instead of a stern look, Huijing possessed a bright smile. Though his eyes were stern, always watching, always reading, always on the lookout. Each movement was practiced, every word smooth as silk.

Aiya~ If he weren’t my blood relation he’d be a catch, I thought to myself, glancing at Meiling who was beat red.

He presented me with robes, unlike the flowing dresses of the servant girls and noblewoman I’ve seen so far, these seemed more of a man’s style. Leggings and all, the top was similar to a cheongsam I’ve seen in martial arts movies.

Did they mistake my gender? I can only internally shrug and accepted it.

Then was Donghai, the Sailor. He commanded our ships out of Huangzhou, protecting trade entering the province and our city. He was tall, almost too tall to be a sailor, and walked like one. Tall leather boots and more western style clothing, he seemed like a dashing figure.

He presented me a hardwood box and a key, promising a variety of trinkets he had acquired from around the various seas near the middle kingdom.

Additionally he presented a oil lantern, which was interesting, now I could study at night, very pleasing this is.

After Donghai had bowed and left, came Yangsong, the Hunter.

Much younger than the others, though not quite the youngest, dressed in leathers suitable for the outdoors. He commanded the cavalry in addition to his groundskeeping duties, protecting the hunting grounds of the Royal Family.

Now this was a man who knew a woman’s heart! As he presented various pendants and necklaces and the like, rings, and bands.

But in the end, his last gift was a fine bow and arrow, and my praises of him were dashed.

The last who came though, was Mingyu.

Mingyu the Merchant.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
King of Men
Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2018 3:33:12 AM
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I wonder if you can make the relevance of this story to the game events a little more obvious in future installments?

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The Professor
Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2018 4:50:53 PM
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Well I'm trying to catch up to current events, but its slow and I don't have a lot of time currently to do much other than these, and these sorts of stories are the ones I have the creative energy to put out.

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Then so be it who else can see it done.
King of Men
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 5:15:13 AM
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Ok, but... I don't get how these are related to the game at all, not even as past events. At least give us a screenshot or something so we can relate the characters to your rulers, or whatever they are.

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Norway Rome The Khanate Scotland Scotinavia Christendie the Serene Republic has always been at war with the Bretons False Empire Caliphate Persians Russians English Hungarians Oceanians Saracen Jackal! Death, death, death to the Frogs barbarians infidels necromancers vodka-drinking hegemonists Sassenach nomad menace Yellow Menace heathen Great Old One!
The Professor
Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2018 12:40:01 AM
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King of Men wrote:
Ok, but... I don't get how these are related to the game at all, not even as past events. At least give us a screenshot or something so we can relate the characters to your rulers, or whatever they are.


They'll get there, this is a prelude.

This is an artistic creative work and I think it works best if I'm not being told what to write especially when I am usually at least 500 words and even include art stuff; if it doesn't seem particularly relevant what does it matter, I'm the only one and at least the effort is being put in.

Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
King of Men
Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2018 4:12:51 AM
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I mean... we're reaching the end of EU4, here. I don't object to preludes, per se, I've written them myself, but usually they do not go on until the game is two-thirds finished. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that your AARs, while maintaining their artistic integrity, have a relevance to the game that is visible at least to someone who played the same sessions.

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Norway Rome The Khanate Scotland Scotinavia Christendie the Serene Republic has always been at war with the Bretons False Empire Caliphate Persians Russians English Hungarians Oceanians Saracen Jackal! Death, death, death to the Frogs barbarians infidels necromancers vodka-drinking hegemonists Sassenach nomad menace Yellow Menace heathen Great Old One!
King of Men
Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:27:17 AM
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All that aside, please cross-post to the Paradox thread, the purpose of AARs is to be propaganda for the game and recruit new people, and I think not many non-players read the Ederon AAR subforum. Smile

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Norway Rome The Khanate Scotland Scotinavia Christendie the Serene Republic has always been at war with the Bretons False Empire Caliphate Persians Russians English Hungarians Oceanians Saracen Jackal! Death, death, death to the Frogs barbarians infidels necromancers vodka-drinking hegemonists Sassenach nomad menace Yellow Menace heathen Great Old One!
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