The Kaizen

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The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Wed May 20, 2015 8:29 pm

The sun was warm on Master Jin Shi's face, counterpointing the cold air of the high peaks.

The sound of children's laughter sang as they played in the small hallow, playing whatever game they had made up today.

A figure sat next to him, the only thing he could see, and clearly visible.

The beings four arms in the traditional positions for meditation. It body as always reflected the area around them, The colors of the mountain, with flecks of gold scattered about its stone like skin. Its head was the mirror of the avian it spoke too.

"I am glad to see you Master Kifu" he spoke, but not in words.

"I do believe i told you to not call me 'master' , I've yet to master the Final Path" the divine being chastised tiredly. "Even you Jin, have made greater progress down that path than I."

Jin gave the entity a disbelieving look, "It is far easier to comprehend a drop of dew, than the entirety of a storm."

"Hmm, True. You have grown much in wisdom than when first we met."

Master Jin looked down sadly, "I'm afraid i have very little wisdom to give all the same. Lord Xai is troubled and i have little to offer. We are truly grateful for our lives, make no mistake, but we are in a new realm. No longer do we rest deep in the heart of the mountains, where only the most fool hearty, and determined might seek us out. But instead we stand at their doorsteps."

Kifu Nodded. "Yes it would seem like your position in the world has changed fairly drastically. No longer isolated. It will be good for you."

The master was shaken slightly,  "What do you mean it will be good for us?" He asked incredulously.

Kifu Smiled, "A fish in a pond will never grow beyond its shoals, nor grasp the size of the world around it."

Jin nodded, "But they ask for my wisdom, and i do not believe i have enought to give.?"

" A sound opinion is always beneficial, and wise words are never wasted so long as they are listened to. It is not that you have too little to give, it is that you realize how much there is to be had. It can be intimidating," The deity consoled.

A peaceful silence fell between the two.

"I miss our libraries," Jin Zhi admitted, "I used to be able to snatch an apprentice to read a scroll to me. On a good day, i could get them to think about what they read. Now it seems that it's all i can do to even get their attention, Our world is new, and the wisdom of the old, is far less interesting."

The god got himself up and began to walk away, "That," he said. "Is a much simpler problem to answer," Kifu announced, before producing a small leather ball.

"Think fast." He added, and in an instant had flung it directly at the monks face.

Unthinking, the monk reached out to protect himself, only to find the ball firmly hitting the center of his taloned palm, his claws firmly gripping it, almost as though it where real.

He away to ask what was going on when a child's voice called out.

"That was amazing Master Jin!" Before a flock of other young voices joined in around him in agreement, all demanding to know, how he managed to catch it without looking.

Looking about, and seeing no signs of the deity, he quirked a smile, and began to play to his audience.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Wed May 20, 2015 10:21 pm

Master Jin walked down the stone halls of their mountain home the sounds of clicking filled the air as prehensile talons tapped against the stone floor.

The thin mountain air was the only thing familiar to him as he walked the halls. The earth smelled different. the paths through the mountain all twisted wrongly. He had been given an aid to help guide him through, although the poor girl seemed to be too flustered to even speak to him directly. He would have to get her out of that habit, awe was something he personally didn't feel he should inspire, nor deserved.


His afternoon had been enjoyable, however now he was needed. As he entered the room he heard a familiar voice.

"Master Jin, you do me honor with your visit, have your meditations given you any insights?" he probed.

"Oh for Kifu's sake, just speak plainly," Jin interrupted "I've plenty to meditate upon without adding your words." He chastised lightly, to the slight gasp of his aid.

"Of course Master Jin," Emperor Xai responded with humor. "What did Kifu advise you then?"

"Mostly to stop fluttering around our mountains like a bunch of chicks who refuse to leave the nest. We will gain nothing staring at our stone walls, and talking just to ourselves."

He pictured his reagent nodding, "In so many words?"

He nodded back, "In so many words.

"Ever since the cataclysm Kifu has been remarkable straight forward on several topics. Although a direct answer does not seem to be anywhere on our horizons."

Xai hummed an acknowledgement. It had been very strange of late, Kifu had often visited his people during times of personal crisis to help them work out their problems. But what used to happen only a few times in a lifetime for all but his most devout monks, had been happening almost regularly.

The only constant was the tendency to remain cryptic, only revealing the paths, and allowing his followers to choose which to walk.

When Master Jin had asked why, he smiled and told him the reason is easily worked out, and if he can't work it out, someone will certainly tell him.

Emperor Xai spoke, "So, who do we approach first?"

"We should approach the humans who've taken up residence on the lone mountain to our north. "

The immidiate response had clearly surprised him, "Very well, But why?"

"Simple. Because they are closest"
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Fri May 22, 2015 1:03 am

Emperor Xai looked over a map with tired concern.

Not a day had he sent out Master Jin with a message of peace when more signs of civilization had been spotted.

His people may of been isolated, but even they had heard of the animosity of the Goblins and the Lizardfolk, The very lizard folk whose hubris cut the divine realm itself, and consumed the world. He was to extend the olive branch, but did they deserve it? How could he ally with such selfish beings? And what of their splitted faction, and of the goblins? He couldn't befriend them all could he? Sooner or later they would demand he choose.

His head sank to match his heart..

His people no longer sat tucked away in ther mountain temples, surrounded by the knowledge of generations, but instead they laid adjoined to a tenderbox.

Who knows what destruction this new world would bring.

A familiar presence pushed his senses.

"Lord Kifu" he acknowledged, coupling his hands and taking a knee to bow deeply.

"I felt your distress, what troubles you young Jin?"

"I..I fear for my people lord Kifu?"

"Oh," The deity asked. "How so."

"I...war is at our doorstep. Three factions, all who hate each other are our neighbors. We are surrounded by unknowns. And i do not know if we can take it."

"Is that so? That doesn't seem like the words of an emperor, you should have faith in your people."

"I DO!" The emperor shouted.

"Then what actually troubles you."

Xai spent a moment in silence before answering.

"I am unsure what to do. I wish to ally with those around us. To learn from them, as we would do from each other. But the beings around us are driven by the very things we seek to minimize in ourselves. Their love of conflict between one another, their greed for power, They seem to idolize the very things we shame. I fear, more than anything, we will soon be drawn into war."

"Why do you fear war oh King of Wings," Probbled Kifu.

"I gained my position not as the kings from the other realms, but because each clan house would account me of one of their own. I was chosen by my people, and my people are my family. The honor they give me is immense, but they pain i can cause them is far more so..." He paused before continuing.

"How can I call soldiers to battle when every loss feels as though i've sent my own brothers and sons to their death? How am I to to tell my uncles and my aunts of their childrens passing." He said, his voice raising " And each will belong to maybe a dozen houses, a dozen houses that are as much family to me as they are to those lost, "Every battle cuts not just our people, but my own family!" He finished half shouting and half accused at the being, who sat passively next to him before deflating.

"We are a people who cherishes our bonds, but now that may very well be our downfall. It may be my downfall." He finished emptily.

"Change is good for you," Kifu began as if in non-sequencer " it forces you to shift your world views. Had the last world not of been consumed, would you of ever left your mountains? You have all learned very much, about a great little. It was time well spent, do not be mistake, but do not consider your journey here to be a negative."

"My advice in what to do about your potential allies? Is nothing.

Xai looked at him at a loss.

"They have traveled their own path, and it has brought them exactly where they needed to be as a result of their actions. They have never raised sword against you or your loved ones. Who are you, little Emperor of your mountain peaks, to judge the scaled ones? They have made their enemies, they have divided their people. That happened from their own choices."

"Now is when you have your own choices to make, make them independent of theirs, because they should be made by your own will, and not influenced by the actions of others."

Xai spent a long time in silence

"For your other problem I give you this" A vision overtook his eyes. Great four armed creatures of stone and metal and wood, all woven together with a spark of something greater to form unyielding defenders, who would never balk, nor fear, nor morn. And who would die for his people. He felt hundreds of other consciousness at the same moment, his people, Kifu's priest, and he knew the had shared the vision, and the knowledge therein.

"Thank you Lord Kifu," he said in heartfelt earnesty, to the empty hall.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by Admin on Fri May 22, 2015 11:02 pm

Seeking Wisdom

Meditation, mastery, understanding. The Xai'Kifu were pioneers of self actualization. For how could one achieve mastery over the world, without first achieving mastery over oneself? And they would need all the wisdom they could acquire in these times. The new world was full of dangers and opportunities. And for once, Kifu was willing to teach directly. The many peoples from the old world had many lessons to teach.

But first, a candidate and an area of study had to be chosen. Conflict, Deception, Greed and Stealth. What element of understanding would be pursued?

A god's Instruction
Kifu has offered to instruct one Hero of the Xai'Kifu in the ways of understanding. If his people will choose a Hero and field of understanding, he will give them a task and instruction so that they might learn. At the end of the task given, the disciple will gain a rank or trait connected to the field.

Conflict
By understanding conflict one can channel energy into action, and achieve change.
-- In order to learn conflict the disciple must travel to a strange kingdom called the Sycorath Dynasty and observe its rulers and people. He will learn about the nature of conflict among those who adhere to it too well. Spend 2 turns studying in Sycorath.

Deception
To deceive is to know deception.
-- To learn deception one must hide among deceivers. The disciple must travel to the realm of dwarves known as the Reforged and live as one of them for 2 turns. Do that, and learn of deception.

Greed
Greed is desire. Desire the right thins, and you will achieve enlightenment.
-- In order to learn of greed one must see the results of the one with the greatest desire. Spend 2 turns studying among the priests of Tikal.

Self
We should learn of ourselves before learning from others.
-- Meditate among that which is without effort. Travel deep within the mountain wilderness, and meditate upon the self without distraction. Spend 3 turns studying in peace, and unlock personal potential.

Decline the Offer
While enlightenment is a noble goal, there is too much work to be done.

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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Sat May 23, 2015 10:56 pm

Xai sat in his office overlooking reports when an aid burst in.

Lord Xai, We have news from our village to the west, They have discovered Silver Ore.

Xai Nods. "That's good."

'They currentely could use more mundane resources, but perhaps once Jin and the Fei sisters returned they would have a better prospects. Worst case senario, they could offer up the yield on one of their mines in payment.

His thoughts returned to the aid who hadn't left his office yet.

"Is there something else?"

"I'm...not sure sir. Those who are living in the area have reported numerous strange markings, It has them a bit worried.."

"I see." Xai acknoledged. It didn't take him very long to work out a solution.

"I have a few missives to send."

"First send out word that i wish to put together an investigation team. hunters, scholars, magickally inclined. Any historians who feel like going as well, this might be a new world, but they could have useful insights. "

"Secondly, send out a call for any who are willing to escort them. I'm certain we will still have some of our scout gear somewhere. A mix of Archers, along with some light Spear and shields. Tell the village to be on alert once they begin to investigate."

The aid looked a little surprised, "do you believe this will all be necessary?"

Xai shook his head. "No. but i would rather be known for being overly cautious, than for being unwary. The markings could be from a creature of some sort, or a magical trap, or even nothing, and are the sign of some long forgotten event.

"Perhaps they will explain why the area is so much flatter than the rest of the mountain range."

"Oh and tell Feng he is going as well. He gets undertalon too often enough as is.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Wed May 27, 2015 1:38 am

Master Jin walked into lord Xai's office, where the ruler was hard at work trying to keep their people orginized as they setteld into their new lands.

"Hello Xai" he said, and took pleasure in his reagents supprise.

"Master Jin, I'm supprised to see you, did something happen? You had just set out to seek out the humans in the north not all that long ago."

"It would appear that we arn't the first to leave the nest. Not even out of the mountains and we ran into the humans diplomat!" he said with humor. Xai looked shocked, however before he could start rattling off questions Jin held up a talon to hold him off.

"Be at peace, She is currently in the house of Lao, and is fully welcome in their midst. "

Emperor Xai contemplates that, and nods. "Very well, I'll get to it as quickly as possible. It's probably for the best I've sent Feng out then. He would likley cause problems just to irritate me."

Jin frowned, "What has you sending him out?"

Xia told him of the strange markings found among the silver ores.

"Hmm, that is strange, perhaps i should accompany- " His words where cut off, and the stary fields that had seemed to fill his blind eyes lit up in movement for a brief moment.

It took Jin a moment to center himself.

"Master Kifu has offered to teach me if i should wish it...I could still accompany Jeng if you wish..." He trailed off in reluctance.

It wasn't a choice for Xai "No, if Lord Kifu has offered his wisdom, it would be foolish to refuse without good cause." He stated with certainty.

Jin nodded.

"He offered me a choice as well, Locations where i might go to further my learning.  I saw Elves to the far west, the where wrapped in a cloak of conflict that they wore to fend off any who would oppose them. I saw Dwarves in a southern mountain range, they wore masks so well, it defined them. And i saw the Lizards, near and to our east, their desire consuming the world around them like a fire."

"It sounds terrible" Emperor Xai commented, the sound of these races made them seem threatening to say the least.

"Actually it was fairly beautiful, to see these people through Kifu's eyes. The path to true understanding is blocked by the traits of these peoples. But they have found balance in the purity of such traits. It was like watching a great storm in the distance..."

"Then, have you decided which to seek out?" Xai probed.

Jin sighed regretfully, "I've elected to take the fourth option. Master Kifu also showed me a place of great serenity that I may travel to and meditate, within our very mountain range. But his conditions for it was i must both go by myself and without aid, and i must travel on foot. Thus the shortest journey will be the longest. Likley a part of the lesson to be had. Truthfully i wish i could visit all three races, and learn from them, but we simply do not know enough of them to make such a gesture, nor do we know if they would take offense at our visit."He said sadly

After a moment he continued in a serious tone, " Be warned King of Wings," He said using the formal title, "All the peoples i was shown felt like honed Temple Blades, they are no stranger to destruction, and just as the storm, they could be a deadly force to recon with. I would advise caution in your dealings with them. "

Xai pondered the elders words for a time, before nodding.

"Do you believe Lord Kifu will take offense at our using the information you may of gleaned from his offer for our own purposes?"

Master Jin let out a guff laugh, "I believe he would be far more annoyed if we didn't take as much from our experiences as possible. Leading one blind bird through the mountains is trouble enough, much less an entire people who insist on being so.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Wed May 27, 2015 6:29 pm

Kifu sat upon a platform of his will, as he watched the remaining bits of the old world distintigrate against the tides of power from the divine realm.

Great mountains crumbled, swamps boiled away. Forest froze and shattered, and the waters turned into impossible eddies of arcing electricity that played over the surface.

A part of him was guiding he people in the mortals new realm. But the vast majority of his being was taking in the last shuddering breath of Allis.

There was a great majesty here.

Such a frail and ephemeral beauty. One the being dearly hoped not to see again soon.

He hadn't seen any other gods at this place, tho he hadn't looked very hard.

His people had made him strong over the years, their great monuments, and regular worship empowered him.

He was weak now, far weaker than he had been, then again most deities rarely met him with conflict. He was fine letting them be if he was able.

He had used most of the strength that had built up saving as many mortals as he could, even if they and their gods held him in no reguard. Many of the weaker gods he'd helped strengthen to save their people had seemed to mistrust him, and gave him no thanks or praise.

They may well come back and destroy him one day simply because the opportunity arose.

But such is life, he supposed.

The old mountains that held the many statues of his own person had at last broken down from the vast contienent of peaks into crags that floated in the sea of power like teeth.

The gold of his statues, divinely conductive as they where, wipped around like pained snakes, cutting into the rock around them.

He always liked gold, Too much was a bit austintatious, but it was pretty to look at, and it was somewhat heavy. Those two qualities always made it seem a bit more valuable than the normal stone and metal.

Not as much as the mortals seemed to like it, but all the same. He put his followers down in an area with strong veins that flowed deep because of it. Hopefully they liked their new home.

The lands of the goblins and lizards seemed to be warring with one another, so entrenched was their conflict that their beliefs soaked into the very earth itself with the blood they had shed. The lifegiving substances forming into singular beings of their respective races to have one last go as the land collapsed around them.

He would miss his first statue the most from the old world, he thought.

When he first appeared to his people they did not understand his great plight. His first priest so taken that a god had molded his face to match his own that he had the statue commissioned. It was smaller as they didn't yet have the knowledge to create such large monuments, but his reaction when he found out that the uppermost part of his being, reflected all things that viewed him, was most humorous.

To everything that saw and heard him, his face was their own. His words spoken in their voice.

If he viewed a mirror, he would appear as a mirad of shining surfaces, cracking and sealing as he moved, his voice of shattered glass.

Water would show ice and cloud and waves.

Mercury a sphere of liquid steel, with numerous rings of tiny droplets.

Even other gods saw themselves.

Perhaps that was why the gods he'd given power to distrusted him so.

The rest of his body was his own design. He found more than four arms and two legs inconvienent. He needed no wings to fly. No gills to breath water. But the true form of the crown of his own divine soul was a mystery, even to him.

Not once had he seen his true form.

Which lead to his quest of self discovery.

For he was Kifu, God of Reflection.

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Re: The Kaizen

Post by MissMilkMaid on Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:47 am

As Kifu sat upon his platform his visage shifted, taking on a scaly, reptilian form and a sense of dread fell over the god. Behind him he heard a heavy wump-wump of enormous flapping wings and then a jet of flame shot down, adding to the chaos and destruction below, sending a few stray trees, which hadn’t yet shattered up in scorching flames.

A deep satisfied laugh sounded and the dragon flew into sight, gliding on the updraft of the fire he’d just created. Golden scales shimmered and red demon eyes smirked at Kifu and then winked at him.

“Aren’t you looking especially handsome today,” he said and turned, supernaturally graceful for his size, looping in the air around Kifu. “And what a beautifully awful day it is! I love the smell of an apocalypse in the morning.”

The demon dragon, Rorik Hellflame, laughed again, shooting a spout of fire several miles to knock the precarious top off a crumbling mountain and sending the whole thing down like a house of cards.

“I’m glad you are here, Kifu,” Rorik said. “There’s a little favor I was hoping you could do for me, or not do. I don’t really care either way, but it might interest you.” Flicking his tail toward one of the last mountains remaining, he nodded at it. “There’s a cave over there. One of yours and one of mine, - well it’s half mine anyway - shelter there. I kept her from you earlier. It was fun to torment her, but I’ve lost interest and if you want her and the baby back, I expect you have about five minutes before they perish with the rest of Allis.”

Rorik let out raucous and malicious laughter, before swooping away on a sudden gust of destruction from the world below.

Kifu only needed to cast his mind toward the cave the dragon had indicated to become aware of what huddled within, attempting to hide from the destruction of all the world around them.

It was a female aivan. She been young and beautiful once, maybe not even that long ago, but abuse, starvation and terror had left her shriveled, aged and weak. She was covered in blood and old wounds showed red and infected all over her body. She would surely die soon. Kifu recognized her, a young girl called Song Ai, who had disappeared shortly before his people had immigrated.  Ai’s family and many others who were close to them had nearly refused to leave, but despite all their efforts and many long hours of searching and praying they hadn’t been able to locate her and time had run out.  

Sheltered in the woman’s shaking wings was a wrapped bundle, a bundle that shifted slightly, as a beak pushed up toward her chin, a beak weakly searching for food, with the soft desperate croaks of life. Looking closer, Kifu could see the baby wasn’t completely avian. Golden scales ran from the edge of the beak along brows, which hooded reptilian eyes. Feathers and scales, a dragon tail, an avian beak and talons, all combined on this tiny body. I could easily be described as a monster, demon spawn and nothing but trouble. And yet it’s movements were just as any other youngling fresh from the egg, weak, dependant on his mother, searching for food, searching for affection. There was power around this baby. Kifu could sense it and, while it held the taint of his dragon father, it wasn’t wholly corrupted. How could it be? The baby must have hatched only a day or two ago. And it would die today, along with its poor mother and the rest of Allis, unless Kifu took immediate action.

---

While overlooking the final destruction of Allis, Kifu discovered the spawn Rorik Hellflame, and one of his own people, Song Ai, who had been captured and lost. The baby is half avian and half dragon and holds potential for great powers. If brought into the community of the Kaizen, he may either become a powerful hero or a great threat and source of corruption, because awesome as the power is, it is tainted by his father’s evil. Song Ai is all but dead already and it’s unlikely she will live long, even if she is saved from the apocalypse.  

Kifu may:

Spend 12 divinity to save both Ai and the child, bringing them out of Allis into the new world. Ai will be reunited with her family, even if it’s only briefly at the last hour of her life. The baby will be given to the community to be cared. The rescue of this innocent child and the potential of his redemption and allegiance are worth the risks he brings.  
- Song Ai’s family will be grateful and donate 4 gold to the construction of the next holy monument.
- The Kaizen may eventually gain a powerful hero, or raise a dangerous demon spawn into their community.  

Spend 6 divinity to save Song Ai alone. The baby is demon spawn and it will be best if it dies here in the ruins of Allis. Ai probably won’t survive, but at least she can have some last hours of peace, reunited with her people, before dying.  
- Song Ai’s family will be grateful and donate 4 gold to the construction of the next holy monument.


Spend 6 divinity to save the child alone. The mother’s life is already clearly done for, but the baby can still be saved. It’s true that there’s a great risk, bring the demon spawn out of Allis, but for the time being it’s still just an innocent baby. If the Kaizen raise him with wisdom and teach him the right paths to walk, maybe he will cast off the taint of his father and become a powerful hero when he grows up and an example of goodness triumphing in the face of evil.
- The Kaizen may eventually gain a powerful hero, or raise a dangerous demon spawn into their community.


Save his power and leave them both to die. Rorik has left only a dying shell and a tainted beast of his own making in order to taunt Kifu. Kifu has no intentions of playing the dragon’s game, or wasting his strength trying to save what is clearly lost. Nor will he bring Rorik’s evil into the new world, in the form of his half-demon spawn.
- Gain nothing.

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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:04 pm

Kifu saw no choice to be made.

He moved through the storm of warping rock and metal as a stone does through the water, and burst into the cave.

The woman looked up to him, with dead empty eyes.

Amrs without strengths still managed to hold the child to the being who had appeared to her in dreams. In her times of greatest strife.

He took it calmly, Cradling it two of his arms.

Another pinprick of life, saved from a dying world.

Then he scooped up the mother, just as the child, cradling her form to his chest, just below her child.

And perhaps a second to join it...

He expanded he senses for a moment. Looking for the reflection of a patern of divinity.

He finds it.

And with a flex of his might, The cave implodes as he opens a portal to his destination.

[Spend 12 divinity to save both Ai and the child, bringing them out of Allis into the new world. ]
[Total Divinity: 7]

Continued in (Diplomacy)
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:54 pm

The night was dark, as she moved stiffly as she got out of her bed.

Song Ai's body still hadn't fully accepted she was alive and well, and was still slow to respond despite her health being restored to her. She took the tiny bundle in her arms and hummed tunelessly as she sat down to look out a window while she  rocked her daughter back to sleep, while looking at her hands.

Her restored skin seemed to be a mockery of her ordeal at times. The only real sign of her ordeal was the tired look in her eyes.

It was just after the cataclysm had began to spread she was taken by that...Monster. It was an apt word for the being.

The monster had caught her out alone, and had then made it his personal mission to pass the time inflicting pain and harm, whenever it struck the beasts fancy. Trying to corrupt her, offering her an out if she would simply give herself over to his power.

Once it became apparent she would break long before, he decided to give her his child to bear. The attempt would likly of killed the mother to be if the divine realm wasnt slowly leaking in through the crumbling stone she had once called a home strengthening her body.

It was a double edged sword, as just as it strengthened the flesh, it tore at the soul, soon she would of crumble as well once it finished with the great stones around her.

Even birthing his daughter didn't stop the Monsters wipers. He had alternated between acting as though he where the vain benevolent patriarch, and talking her into smothering the new life born in that wretched place.

She had held out until the very end. And even then she held her close silently apologizing that she had been brought her into a world where she couldn't take care of her.

Then came the final blow, the Monster said the Kaizens god, Kifu, was nearby, he would let her own deity make the decision that she apparently could not.

Kifu entered the cave like fury incarnate, the light of the destruction of her home filling the entrance he had made, his face reflected her own looking completely zen. With one final burst of effort she burned the last of her strength, to push her child onto him, begging him with her eyes to save her child with a voice that wouldn't speak.

For the briefest of moments she thought he was going to abandon her child, all for the sin of being born, but then he took the bundle from her arms.

Relief filled her being as she voiced a silent thanks and resigned herself for her inevitable fate, when strong arms picked her up and Immediately she felt the corrupting aura of untamed divine energy violently ejected from her being as Kifu injected his own steady one as a wave of tiredness crashed into her.

The rest only came in bits in pieces, Kifu speaking, strange looking creatures looking her over, and being given something to drink that seemed to burn through her like a purifying fire. She fell dead asleep instantly, the strength of her body only existing in the near death state where it no longer tries to preserve itself, suddenly changing back to some semblance of normal operation.

She was vaugely aware that the world shifted, The only thing she recalled was Master Kifu's voice, "I have brought one that was lost and her daughter. Please raise her with love and understanding. The details can wait till sleeping." and without any fanfare he left.

Several of her houses Priest took it upon themselves to aid in their care-taking, and although she was not conscious, an impromptu celebration had began, and soon spread its way to cover half the city.

The people needed something to celebrate she supposed.

Unfortunately the high was short lived as that evening everyone saw the events from Kifus eyes in their dreams.

As a whole the Kaizen where...not upset, but less than optimistic with the way the Goblins had acted.

To show such callousness to someone begging help, especially when it would of cost them nothing They sought only their own advantage in her misfortune, Her life was nothing more than a bartering chip for their own agenda.

It didn't sit well with many of the Kaizen, and the mood of the people had soured somewhat.

They where not ungrateful, make no mistake, but any interest in befriending the goblins had withered on the vine.

She sighed. Fortunately such things weren't her problem.

Her attention turned to her daughter fussily wiggled in her grip, completely unlike how she had with Kifu, and who was already stronger than she had any right to be, although she still was at the level of a very young child.

Her father made her as a tool to break her. He told her patron deity of her existence only in the hopes that she would grow to be another plague on the word, so that he might birth destruction by proxy if nothing else.  

Because he believed that any spawn of his would hold nothing in their hearts, but rage and violence.

But she understood something he did not; A child is not their parent. And whatever strength and weakness she may of gained from them, nothing would change that.  No one could determine who she was but herself. And her people knew much of how to determine ones self.

Her little bundle was fussy, loud, and made her worry constantly.

She was the only good thing to come from such tragedy.

She was her precious Kaida.

[AN: It has been rewritten! *Thud/collapses on ground*
Yea some parts better some parts worse i guess. Still mad i lost my first version, it flowed a lot better IMHO. Also its like 1k words, that many words i reserve the right to put an authors note >_< I'll probably come back later and edit it a bit.]
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by MissMilkMaid on Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:49 pm

Emperor Xai sat cross-legged on his sleeping map. It was well after midnight, but he couldn’t sleep. He’d been attempting to meditate, to clear his mind, but even that was eluding him this night.

He’d visited Song Ai and her daughter today.

He’d known the girl before she disappeared. Like so many of his people, Ai had been family. He’d wept for her when they were forced to flee Allis without her. It’d been terrible not knowing her fate, not knowing had happened to her. Now that he did know, the truth was a just as terrible to think about. She would always be haunted by what had happened to her and a normal life was probably out of the question for the pour girl. Her body was healed, but the scars on her mind and soul would last forever. Yet she was still so strong and so brave. His heart ached for her, but he also felt pride for her courage, her strength and her undying love for her child…. Her child.

Xai shivered slightly and it wasn’t just because of the cold night air seeping through the screens of his palace. He’d looked upon that child and a vision had struck him. Without really trying he’d senses the heart and soul of the half-dragon baby. Not just as she was, young and innocent, but a shattered array of so many futures and possibilities that may be in store for her. All of it was filled with rage and hate, all of it stained red with blood. However, beside the rage he’d seen other things scattered among the possibilities, courage and strength like Song Ai, devout loyalty to her family and people, a stubborn unwillingness to give into darkness, a burning hatred for her father and all he stood for. He’d also seen madness, bloodlust, death, sacrifices on stone altars and then the malicious, laughing face of a golden dragon with red eyes. He’d seen Rorik.

The demon dragon was connected to the child still. It was in a way Xai couldn’t fully see or understand, but as long as the Kaida lived in this world, Rorik maintained a thin threat of connection. Xai could only speculate on what this meant, or what would become of it in the end. This he did know, Kaida would grow into a powerful and violent warrior and would never be able to fully shake her connection to Rorik Hellfire.

---

Magic is very strong in Song Kaida child of Rorik Hellfire the demon dragon. She will mature and age somewhat faster than most children and display dragon/lizard like features, along with the Aivan features of her people. This power stems from her demon father and taints her, but the devoted love and strength of her mother, along with the support and teaching the community will temper that and allow Kaida the freedom to choose a difficult path of righteousness and heroism. However, hate and rage, even if it is righteously channeled, will be a driving force in her soul and a source of her power.

Xai saw visions of Kaida’s future involving blood, sacrifice and dragons. This prophecy was clouded and uncertain, but it seems Rorik’s intentions with the child are not over yet, and Kaida may become a key to him entering this world himself. When the dragon asked Kifu to do him the “favor” of rescuing the child, he meant more than mere mockery.
Assuming Kaida lives until turn 12, at that time she will become a Warrior Hero (+I Warrior) with the following traits.

Young Child: -II in all hero ranks

Bloodlust: After killing an enemy in battle Kaida gains +III ranks in warrior, but also gains a touch of madness, making her emotionally unstable and unusually violent. –I Rank in General and a risk of accidently attacking allies. The bloodlust lasts until the end of a battle.

Destined One: Kaida’s soul is wrapped in conflict and destiny. Rorik Hellfire has plans, but the power of Kifu, the love of her mother and the power of the Kaizen community has twisted the treads of fate in another direction. – More to be revealed in time.

On turn 24, if Song Kaida still lives, the trait “Young Child: -II in all ranks” will be changed to “Child: -I in all ranks.” On turn 36, the trait will be removed completely.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by MissMilkMaid on Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:09 am

A warm breeze ruffled through his feathers and bright mountain sunshine gleamed off the rocks and glinted in the stream gurgling close by. Cherry blossoms and a strange but lovely flower Feng didn’t recognized were filling the little valley with sweet smells. They’d spent weeks trying to uncover the mystery of the strange runes, but the longer he stayed in this place, the harder it was for Feng to believe any curse could be at work. Curses, monsters, ancients evils, could they really exist in the same place as such beauty and tranquility?

As he walked past the stream, Feng saw a sparkle in the water. Quickly he bent down and fished the nugget out. More silver. He’d been finding nuggets here and there in the stream since they arrived and every time he discovered one it seemed lovelier than the last. This valley had to hold the most beautiful silver in the world. Generally, the Kaizen preferred gold to silver, but Feng was feeling differently now days.

Smirking, he held the little nugget up, admiring the way it sparkled then placed it carefully in the pouch with the handful of others he’d collected. Technically, they weren’t suppose to take the silver until they’d determined the true nature of the runes, but the scholars were taking forever and far he knew they weren’t any closer to understanding the strange markings than the day they started. Very likely they never would be able to read them. Anyway, he was pretty sure nothing bad was going to happen.  

Just as the thought passed through his mind, Feng heard something in the foliage near by. It was a laugh… well more like a giggle really. Arching a raven brow, Feng flew up to a tree so he could see more clearly into the brush. It’d sounded like a woman’s voice, or maybe a child.

A flash of silver caught his eye and Feng saw a silvery-white fox trotting through a near by dell. She paused and swished a bushy tail, before looking up at him with intelligent green eyes. They sparkled with a mischief that Feng found strangely alluring then she winked at him, before bounding through the thicket. Another laugh touched his ears, enticing him and then fox stopped twenty feet further away, before looking back at him. She swished her tail invitingly and eyed him.

Feng gave a soft laugh of his own. "Oh my such a beautiful fox. What a rare sight. I should certainly run after it." he deadpanned.

The fox cocked her head at him and Feng mirrored the action, not moving an inch.

They stared at each other like that for a few moments, until finally the fox let out a frustrated breath and stepped closer, before sitting down and primly wrapping her long tail around her feet. “You’re supposed to follow me,” she said.

Feng gave another cawing scoff, “Indeed, but if i may be so bold, why would I actually do that?" he asked skeptically.

The fox scowled at him. “I’m a mysterious, but irresistibly alluring spirit,” she said primly as though it where obvious.

“Clearly,” he drawled back, “So irresistible, I’m all the way up in this tree. Can you give me one good reason I shouldn’t fetch a few archers to share in our awe of your irresistibly alluring self. ”

“You’re people are interested in the runes,” she asked with a smile, “Follow me now and I will show you answers.”

Feng hesitated. Though he was no mage, he could sense magic about this creature. Mystery and allurement hung around her like the sweet scent of perfume, trying to draw him in, like a fish to a lure. She was more than she appeared and while he didn’t get a sence of maliciousness or ill intent, there was certainly mischief and hidden motives in this creature’s heart.    

----

A strange creature, claiming to be a spirit, has invited Feng to follow her in order to learn about the runes in the Silver Valley. She's up to something, but he can't be sure what.

Feng may:

Follow the Fox: This probably isn’t too dangerous. She seems like fun and figuring out what she’s really up to will make her all the more interesting. All the Kaizen’s best scholars can’t make heads or tails of the runes, if she says she can give answers then Feng has a responsibility to follow this lead.

Go get Back up First: Tell her you’ll go, but only if you can bring backup. Feng isn’t going to be stupid enough to walk into an obvious ploy. She might not want stick around, if he gets more men, but if she wants to show him something so badly, she can put up with his conditions.

Dismiss her Completely: Feng’s heard too many stories of magical spirits leading people off to their deaths or some other terrible fate. He’s no fool and won’t fall for this.

((Or just write whatever ever reaction you like. No real need for fixed options here.))
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:30 am

Follow the Fox: This probably isn’t too dangerous. She seems like fun and figuring out what she’s really up to will make her all the more interesting. All the Kaizen’s best scholars can’t make heads or tails of the runes, if she says she can give answers then Feng has a responsibility to follow this lead.

Feng sighed, and tied a note to a tree. Before gliding down.

This was a terrible idea, and would likley end in embarassement. Oh well, if he lived Master Jin would enjoy the story.

"Well then my truly irresistible fox. Let us see where you lead me then" he smiled.

It did sound like fun at least.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by MissMilkMaid on Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:07 am

She smiled at him and turned to lead the way.

Since the fox couldn't fly, or at least didn't show any signs of being able to fly, it took them a while, but she led Feng to the top of the valley, where the sides steepened to a narrow canyon then to a crevice only a few feet wide. Feng could hear the sound of water flowing somewhere close.

"Almost there, smarty pants," the fox said and gave him another wink, before ducking into the small opening of a cave, mostly hidden by lilac bushes.

Her silver tail whisked out of sight and Feng was forced to crawl on his hands and knees to follow.

It was a tight fit, but once he got through the entrance, the cave opened to a large grotto where green light filtered though vines and foliage high above and a waterfall cascaded down to a pool of clear water. He could just catch the gleam of more silver in the dim light and at the edge of the pool was a small alter made of natural stone.

Upon the alter was a silver statue of a fat human, smiling in a cherry but rather smug fashion. It was maybe a foot in height and beside him were two tablets covered in several more of the strange runes and markings his party had been sent to investigate. There were more carved along the walls of the grotto. Finally standing in one corner by the waterfall, leaning alluringly against the wet stone was a female human with long white hair and sparkling green eyes. She had a white dress on, with a slit in the skirt that showed a lot of leg and Feng also though he saw the silver of a bushy tail.

“Here’s a clue,” she said and lifted a hand to draw symbols in the air. Glowing silver lines depicted one of the mysterious runes and then one of the most common symbols of Feng’s own written language. “If you can’t figure it out yourself, Smarty pants, I’m sure one of your dusty historians will.” Then she gave him a last wink before, fading into the mist of the waterfall and vanishing completely.

---

The fox has shown Feng to the shrine of an unfamiliar god. There is a lot more of the strange runes to study here and the fox gave Feng the first key to decoding the strange language. However, if she’s a spirit in service to this strange god then he must still have power and sway over this area. Dealing with gods may be a little more than Feng and his crew and chew on their own.

Feng May:

Try to decode the language himself. With the clue she gave and as much marital as the grotto contains, it shouldn’t take too long. Once he can read the runes and find our more on what this is all about, he can bring it to the scholars. It will be good to show the dusty old birds up.

Go get the scholars and historians and have everyone work on this as a team. That’s why Xai sent you after all. Together Feng and the crew will figure this out and then report back the emperor, who can decide what course of action to take.

Pull out and consult, Xai, Master Jim or even Kifu himself, before doing anything further in the area. Strange gods, spirits and the like shouldn’t be taken lightly. These runes are clearly connected to a god with as least some active powers and it will be best to let the emperor and Lord Kifu know as soon as possible.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:57 pm

Feng Lao walked around the chamber as he looked at the various symbols.

Help was something he could always ask for later. He took in the symbols on the wall, letting them flow in and out of his mind, gaining a picture of the markings as they lay.

Checking once more for little bits he sad down as though in meditation and looked at the largest array. Trying to work out the meaning.

He focused on the hint, both what it meant, and what it could mean...

He would only ask for outside aid if he couldn't figure it out himself. He wasn't too worried about doing so though. He had technically been given permission.

Try to decode the language himself. With the clue she gave and as much marital as the grotto contains, it shouldn’t take too long. Once he can read the runes and find our more on what this is all about, he can bring it to the scholars. It will be good to show the dusty old birds up.

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Re: The Kaizen

Post by MissMilkMaid on Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:22 am

Feng worked on the trying to decipher the runes and writings for hours, engrossing himself in the problem completely. He hardly even noticed the passing of time, until it grew too dark to see. He'd only made marginal progress and still couldn't read the strange writings, but decided to remained in the grotto and continued the next day, as soon as it was light.

And so it continued for three more days and nights. Gradually, after more than one set back where he realized half the words he thought he'd translated were actually incorrect, Feng deciphered the scrip well enough to read the runes on the walls of the grotto and the stone tablets by the alter.

His food was all gone and his mind felt like a wrung out rag sticking to the inside of his skull after so much intensive study, but the excitement of success was giving him renewed energy, as his scribbled notes of translation came faster and easier and the narrative opened before him, like a locked chest finally revealing it's hidden treasures.

The runes along the grotto walls told a story. It was about a noble, or possibly a princess who owned the valley and all the silver in it. The silver had been granted to her family by the god as a reward for saving one of his holy servants, or possibly his hands - It seemed to be an analogy or concept Feng hadn't been able to translate well.-  

In any case the silver was abundant an considered quite beautiful by all who saw it. The noblewoman was being courted by a man, who claimed to love her dearly and gave her many gifts to prove his devotion. However, on their wedding night, a servant told the woman that her new husband had only married her because he coveted her silver. At first she did not believe it, but, as months went by, suspicion grew like a seed in her heart and their marriage began to whither. Then one day she saw her husband kissing another woman and she believed the everything the servant had told her.

"Take the silver and may it poison your life!" she cried and ran away from the valley and her husband, leaving that place forever. She journeyed a long ways to the south and found the dwelling of the god, in the place, where one walked upon the sky and saw the earth far above. - Feng still wasn't sure if he's translated that correctly, but it was this was the best he could make out. -

At this place she entered a holy temple and promised to dedicate herself to the god in exchange for him cursing the silver her husband had so cherished. Her wish was granted and she joined her soul to the god - or possibly gave her life to him. Again Feng hadn't been able to get a clear translation of what exactly she gave in exchange for her wish, but it seemed to be the end of her.-

Back in the valley the curse ruined her ex-husband, bringing conflict, war and finally poverty and humiliation upon him and all of his family. He died alone and poor, a beggar sheltering in a farmer's stable yard. The curse remained on the silver and brought - or the silver became - greed and conflict cursing anyone who laid claim to it or tried to use it to increase their wealth.

That was what the walls had to say. The tablets seemed a bit more direct.

Upon the silver of this valley, (god's) Curse of Conflict has been placed. Anyone who claims or uses the silver shall have the seeds of greed, suspicion and jealousy planted in their hearts. The more one takes of the silver, the more one shall want it and cherish it, until it's beauty is all one can love. Friends and family shall seem like enemies in one's eyes and jealousy shall eat his soul. So says (god), on behalf of (the noblewoman) of the valley, who's heart was broken by greed, suspicion and jealously.

Let all beware of this curse and steer clear of the silver of the valley, or if one comes, who is full of ….

- Feng wasn't sure what the next few words were, but he thought they might translate to determination or a strong mind -

…. then let that one journey to the holy dwelling of (god), where the sky is underfoot and one lifts one's eyes to the earth. Let this one who is so determined make …

- Again Feng was baffled by the words, but he assumed the god wanted some kind of offering or bargain, perhaps like what the noblewoman had done when she cast the curse in the first place -

... And the curse shall be lifted.


He was still puzzling over this, when a voice spoke out behind him.

"Took you long enough, but I guess your kind can learn to read eventually."

Starting, Feng turned around, he'd been so engaged in the work he hadn't noticed her, but she was standing right behind him. A lovely young human woman, with white hair, green eyes, a white dress with long, pale legs and a silver fox tail showing through the slit of the skirt. She was eating an apricot and Feng hadn't realized how hungry he was, until she handed him a second one and he smelled the sweet scent of the fruit.

"So?" she asked and gave him a wink, "Now that you know what this is all about, are you going to go break the curse? Hann thought you might need a guide."


---


Feng has worked out the mystery behind the runes and discovered a foreign god has placed a curse of conflict upon the silver. The fox, now in the guise of a human has reappeared, offering to help guide Feng on a quest to break the curse. The cost and risk of this quest is uncertain, but success may mean he never returns.

--

Feng Takes on the Quest:  Feng journeys south to a mysterious place where the sky is underfoot and the earth is above and the Kitsune will be his guide and companion.  - A quest topic will be opened and if Feng succeeds the curse on the silver will be broken. If he returns, Feng will become a hero, with ranks and traits according to his accomplishments or setbacks in the quest. However, the writings indicated he may have to end up sacrificing either his life or soul to break the curse and this quest may well involve other risks as well.

Someone else takes on the quest: Perhaps someone a little more experienced and reliability  should go, or even a whole army unit. Leaving such an important and dangerous task in the hands of Feng and a mysterious spirit of an unknown god does not seem like a wise idea. Or if Feng is allowed to go, he certainly shouldn't go alone  - The Kitsune won't go, if anyone besides Feng takes on the quest. Without her as a guide, finding the right place will be more difficult and you won't have whatever knowledge or insight she could have given, but a hero or a large company of men will have a better chance of overcoming the obstacles and risks. - A quest topic will be opened and if the chosen party succeeds the curse will be broken and rewards such as hero ranks, traits or items will be given according to the acompliments or setbacks of the quest. This may still end with a sacrifice to pay the final cost.

Destroy the shine and runes and purify the valley: This will reduce the god's power and counteract the curse with Kifu's superior strength. - Spend 4 divinity to overcome the power of the curse and 1 divinity/turn to keep the god's curse from emerging again. The silver will be safe to use, but the god may become an enemy and there's a chance that one day the curse to emerge again, despite Kifu's efforts, or that it may show up somewhere else, or in another form.

Do Nothing: There's been no proof that this curse is actually in effect. It's just poorly translated stories and old relics of some long-ago-god. This sounds like a fable not a real curse. Go ahead and mine the silver and see what happens. If a little strife does break out, the Kaizen will be able to handle it with less effort and cost than going off on fairytale quests or draining divinity every turn. - If the Kaizen use the silver without breaking the curse, the nation shall begin to develop the "Internal Unrest" flaw, due to greed, suspicion and jealousy that shall arise among the people.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:21 am

Feng walked the path back to the camp, only partially acknoledging the relieved looks. Not out of callousness but out of excitement.

Old gods, and the curses of jaded lover. Sacred places hidden by riddles and mystery.

A strange companion, who's motives where suspect at best.

And with a sense of humor just like his own.

He wanted this.

He really really wanted this.

"General Feng!" came the feminine voice of one of his officers.

"Sorry I'm late. I take it I missed dinner?" he asked innocently as he made his way to the mess tent.

"Sir" she said in an annoyed voice that came up behind him.

"You went missing for several days. We found your note but couldn't find you. Do you have any idea how worried we were"  she started on him.

The downside of working w/ Family and Friends he supposed.

"I can guess." He nodded, trying to cut off the whole affair before it gained steam.

"I found out the source of the marks. You can send everyone home."

"What?!" the Lutenient was shocked, as she drew attention to the pairing. A number of Kaizen apparently noted Fengs return and the gossip mill began to do its work.

'Ahh, gossip. The fastest means of communication to the known world.'

His people where really bad about gossiping.

Nothing provides a better wellspring of information than a Kaizen with something juicy to share. The camp would know of his return in a few minutes.

"I'll give directions in my report. I'll send what happened along with the rest of our reports. "

"Well...?" the officer demanded, the growing croud leaning in.

"Well what?" he asked.

"You can't just walts back in and not explain anything Feng Lao! "

Feng made a face as though mulling it over. He did like to play an audience.

"Well, the silver is cursed apparently. Slowly drives you mad with Greed. " He said meaningfully, as some of the soldiers flinched ever so slightly.

'Hmm, strange reaction. I bet some have been pocketing some. May of caused some strife already between a few. I'll drop some words in with the right people before I leave to keep an eye out for any strange behavior. Maybe bring in some priest to help them get over the feelings of greed. A few ruffled feathers from interventions is better than the alternative.'

"I'd strongly recommend anyone who happened to gather some 'samples' , to put them back before its too late..." he said a bit loudly. That would get the ball rolling for the majority, as he noted several quietly excusing themselves.

He wrote out his report, and sent it with the general bundle, as well as directing his fellows to the cave

After resupplying, and a short meeting with a few outside the box thinkers, and setting up who would be in charge in his absence.

He gathered up some extra gear.

Feng put less emphases on weight than normal due to not having to fly constantly, so the pact that would be a burden for a long flight, would still be easily hauled for his overland journey, or for an hour or so of exhausted flying.

The last items he picked up was his sword, and bow.

Three days of good meals and company, he said a few heartfelt goodbyes, and headed back out once again to meet his silver companion, to unravel the secrets to the cursed silver.

Feng Takes on the Quest:  Feng journeys south to a mysterious place where the sky is underfoot and the earth is above and the Kitsune will be his guide and companion.  - A quest topic will be opened and if Feng succeeds the curse on the silver will be broken. If he returns, Feng will become a hero, with ranks and traits according to his accomplishments or setbacks in the quest. However, the writings indicated he may have to end up sacrificing either his life or soul to break the curse and this quest may well involve other risks as well.
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Re: The Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:33 pm

Lord Xai slumped on his "Throne."

His people only vaguely knew of what a proper throne should look like. Some had proposed to make the thing of solid gold and silver, or as some massive intimidating affair.

The children who suggested it were politely declined as such a thing would just be an eyesore, and would be incredibly uncomfortable to boot.

The Kaizen lived fairly long lives, for a mortal race. Reaching over 100 years in age was common, and double that wasn't unheard of, although mobility dropped fairly swift to those past 125 who didn't put forth effort to keep fit.

Artistry was one of their most vaulted skills. Fine details came naturally, and his people would often seek to outdo themselves with every little project, by either form or function.

The "Throne" was no different. It was made of tanned leather from one of their Warhawks that had died of old age. Silk threads emblazoned the surface, the cushions managed to be both comfortable while not inducing sleepiness from being overly so.

It was one of the few things Xai had enjoyed of late.

He never imagined running an empire would be so massively stressful. Gentle reasoning to keep the peace, a strong will to keep his people together. That was what he was expecting.

The constant paperwork, the inane problems that cropped up.

They changed the way they built an entire city, just to accomidate the trade in the only city they had that was accessible without braving the mountains.

Why is there always at least one merchant who got it in his head to travel through them anyways. And then they get it in their head that because of their lack of reasoning, the Kaizen should be able to accommodate and compensate them for their trouble.

Roads just waste space when you can fly everywhere,and a clever system of pullies makes it far easier to move the truly heavy loads at such lofty altitudes.

Only Kifu knows what those traders are thinking, because he certainly doesn't.

Especially given it keeps happening.

He would like to think his own people where smarter than that, but the mere fact that Feng drew breath sent that hope crashing to the ground.

The damn fool.

He was Xai's best friend certainly, but that didn't mean he didn't humor the notion of drowing him in a shallow puddle from time to time.

First he takes it upon himself to negotiate with a new race, without any authority to do so.

Granted he actually did a good job, but still, the problem remained.

Xai sent out a few official document to keep someone competant who could initiate negotiations on their behalf at each village after the incident.

That didn't stop the fool from starting trouble though. He dissapears off the face of the earth following a fox spirit of all things. Then he shows up and runs off on some grand quest before anyone can inform him that his "plan" is stupid and hasn't a chance in any hell of working.

The door slamed open, interrupting his thoughts as the sound of angry squawks filled the air.

"Lord Xai, We are being robbed, Our lands plundered!" Yelled one of his aids.

He took a deep breath.

"Calm yourself. And only once you have, please explain."

His aid took almost a full minute to do so, which was fairly impressive given the temper she had worked herself into.

"Lord Xai, Our people have arrived to set up the village at the location we had set up half a year ago. However shortly after they had done so, a band of humanlike beings began to slowly come out of the water and dig up the countryside. They have found what looks like a great statue, just as the one in the vision Kifu showed to us. They dig up the lands that are rightfully ours!" the aid finished, her calm diminishing as she continued.

Xai sat in his chair, and strained his face.

It was too much. He had to do something. But he didn't want war. It was just too much.

He had been thrown into this position unprepared for it. But he couldn't step down, his people needed a unified leader, the old system of pure discourse wouldn't work by itself. It was too slow, and the world too fast.

He didn't know what to do.

He simply didn't know anymore.

'Kifu...Give me strength' he though hoplessly.

'Granted' A voice ecchoed.

Time seemed to slow down as a gentle warmness filled him. He remembered joyful days spent with Feng in his childhood as his friend got them in trouble, and he smoothed things over afterwords. Lessons from Master Jin became clearer and more insightful. But more importantly than any of that. He felt okay again. Like the burden was lifted. His problems hadn't gone away. But they didn't weigh upon his heart so heavily. His spirits lifted.

"Sir?" asked the aid, his long silence disconcerting.

He prayed the most heartfelt thanks he could remember giving, and returned to the aid his full attention.

"This is distressing yes. But it is manageable. This is what we shall do." he began before laying out the courses of action to take, both near and far.

Ladend with his instructions, the aid took several scrolls with her as she left.

Xai looked at his paperwork. Perhaps a new approach was in order. If the merchants insist on coming, he might as well take advantage of it. If they wan't to cut out the "middle man" as they so eloquently put it, his people should get a cut for playing host. Another dozen ideas popped into his head.

He nodded before drawing a new set to write down suggestions and tweaks to previously made plans.

He wanted to ask Kifu about why he had been bestowed with his blessing. But he was given it to perform his duties. They would come first, his own curiosity would be sated later.

Shifting his weight he got back to work.

His "Throne" still his favorite part of his office.

[Lord Xai promoted to Hero(Governor), listed within turn actions]
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