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The Dao That Can Be Taught (A Xianxia Teacher Quest)

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Leingod, Jun 4, 2020.

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  1. Epro

    Epro Nordic Dragon Enthusiast

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    [X] Intellectual and patient

    [X] Comprehension +3, Consititution +1
     
  2. Twistedmind

    Twistedmind Know what you're doing yet?

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    [X] Intellectual and patient

    [X] Comprehension +3, Consititution +1
     
  3. Walkin' Man

    Walkin' Man I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] Compassionate and gentle

    I'd like our teacher to be the opposite of the typical cutthroat cultivator culture, cementing their oddball status.
     
  4. The Grey Mage

    The Grey Mage 1,000,000 Years Virgin

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    [X] Compassionate and gentle
    [X] Comprehension +3, Resolve +1
     
  5. NullVoid

    NullVoid Getting out there.

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    [X] Intellectual and patient
    [X] Comprehension +3, Consititution +1
     
  6. DowryA

    DowryA Chocolate girls are my weakness

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    [X] Compassionate and gentle
    [X] Comprehension +3, Consititution +1
     
  7. Crazyone47

    Crazyone47 Getting some practice in, huh?

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    [X] Compassionate and gentle
    [X] Comprehension +3, Consititution +1
     
  8. Negation

    Negation Shameless Pervert

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    I tthought this was dead?
     
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  9. mrttao

    mrttao Connoisseur.

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    well, OP's last post was 50 days ago... during char gen. So yes is ded.

    But people have never stopped voting. So it never manages to go above the necro limit. Since it is from last post rather than last OP post.
     
  10. Happerry

    Happerry The Song to the Flame

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    That's sad. This looks like it would have been fun.
     
  11. Leingod

    Leingod Immaculate Blooming Lotus

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    It's not dead dead, but writer's block + some personal/family stuff happening recently has made it hard to really make much headway. I haven't abandoned this, but I honestly can't say exactly when I'm going to be able to update it.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Character Creation, Part 6
    Leingod

    Leingod Immaculate Blooming Lotus

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    [] Down-to-earth and practical

    [] Comprehension +3, Constitution +1

    [Comprehension 10, Constitution 6, Resolve 8, Fortune 6]

    Right, right, of course. How could I not have remembered your master is the one known far and wide as the “Jade-Armed Craftsman,” Jin Wenbing? Even the Four Pillars showed some interest at the news that a renowned artisan like that was taking on an apprentice for the first time in over a century; after all, they might one day be commissioning great works from you!

    Obviously, a famous loose cultivator taking on a disciple with no preexisting connection to themselves is doing so because that disciple shows a clear aptitude for inheriting their own specialties. And indeed, Jin Wenbing's keen eyes didn't fail him that day. One might liken you to a sponge for how readily you absorbed everything you were taught, but even that would be to sell you short, since you did a lot more than just learn by rote, and instead sought to truly understand the principles behind them and how they could be applied elsewhere. Your early education under your parents saw you in good stead, clearly.

    ---

    Your master has always complained about many aspects of cultivator society, foremost among them the ever-present vain and gossipy nature that lurks just below a facade of cool detachment from the world. Things like the profusion of nicknames, titles, and reams of lists (formal and informal) of all kinds have always annoyed him. Perhaps you might share this attitude, if for no other reason than the fact that the nickname someone coined that eventually stuck to you had little to do with your skills or deeds, but is mostly just a comment on your appearance. Not the most flattering one, either.

    Your arms, you see, are very large; not just with muscle, though that's also true, but in length; when you stand straight with hands at your sides, your fingers actually reach past your knees. What's more, despite the size and musculature of your arms, your hands are exceptionally quick and nimble, even above and beyond that of your peers; this is the result of special training under your master's guidance, as exceptional manual dexterity is required in many aspects of craftsmanship. Because of that, someone coined the nickname “Long-Armed Ape” (通臂猿 tōng bì yuán), and it stuck.*

    ---

    But enough about appearances and nicknames. The real substance of your reputation is in the deeds you've done, and more importantly right now, the skills you used to accomplish them! So, what particular pursuits have you excelled in enough to get people to start talking about them?

    Choose [3]:

    [] Alchemy
    Wanna be a pharmacist? Alchemy is basically the process of creating all kinds of fabulous and fantastical drugs out of flora, fauna, and other, stranger things. The possibilities are almost endless; healing drugs, performance-enhancing drugs, poisonous drugs, mind-altering drugs, body-altering drugs, pretty much any kind of drug you can think of. Successful cultivation in a timely manner generally demands some combination of natural talent, hard work, and drug abuse. And why just be another drug abuser when you could also be the drug supplier?

    [] Art
    Obviously almost everyone specializes in one particular artistic pursuit or at most a few. Painting, calligraphy, dance, various instruments, etc. Even stuff like gardening counts. We can figure the specifics out later.
    Why would you pick this? What, you need a reason to be cultured? Well, art is good for the soul, and those who can express and understand themselves and the world through art tend to be better at comprehending and passing on ideas that would otherwise be too complicated to grasp in ordinary ways. And of course there's stuff like figuring out how to kill people with music and all that, I suppose.

    [x] Artifice
    Where an alchemist creates all the various kinds of medicines and drugs used by cultivators the world over, the artificer makes the tools and equipment used by cultivators the world over. This of course includes all manner of weapons and armor, which are certainly the things that get the most attention and notoriety, but this discipline encompasses pretty much every kind of tool or item made by cultivators, for cultivators, like the “jade slips” used to record sensitive information or the “spacial rings/bags” used to conveniently store your assorted swag. There are even artificers who specialize in making the tools used by other specialists, like the makers of alchemical cauldrons.

    [] Cooking
    Does this perhaps strike you as an odd thing to find here? It shouldn't, because this isn't just knowing how to cook food to taste good. There are countless flora and fauna whose various parts can have beneficial effects when consumed; alchemy is the process of refining and concentrating these into medicine, but this comes at the cost of potentially dangerous side-effects and other factors that make regular consumption a risky game (not that that stops some with more money than sense). Medicine, at the wrong times or the wrong amounts, is no different from poison. And thus, though most cultivators who practice this kind of cooking are given names like “spirit chefs,” they're actually as much dieticians as cooks, and the level of knowledge in identifying and combining ingredients and skill in preparing them is hardly less than that required to be considered an alchemist.

    [] Divination
    Divination is actually a broad term encompassing any discipline or technique based around trying to discern knowledge of things that can't be directly observed. Obviously this is most famously applied to attempts to discern the future, which ranges from trying to discover the path of events centuries from now to precognition that allows you to react to danger coming just a split second from now. But it can also apply to things like trying to discern the character, potential, or aptitude of others through methods like palm-reading or astrology. This stuff actually works in this world, but it's never fool-proof, being more art than science at the best of times and with its accuracy dependent on being able to collect and interpret a lot of information to feed into complex calculations based on countless different factors.

    [x] Geomancy
    The world is alive with the flow of energy; it may be thinner or thicker in some places, it may accrue odd and sometimes beneficial or harmful properties, but it's always there, and those with the right know-how can intentionally shape that flow by altering the physical space through which it flows. Even in a world like this, though, most purported feng shui experts are just scam artists spouting nonsense to fool the gullible. But a proper geomancer is the real deal, a sort of combination of geologist, architect, and landscape artist, who knows how to use physical space to create widespread metaphysical effects. A proper geomantic working is essentially a spell array on a far larger scale (in days past, it's said, there were geomantic workings that altered the flow of energy through the entire world!) and with the physical terrain or construction itself comprising the bulk of the raw materials.

    [] Medicine
    I hope you didn't think this fell under “Alchemy” or “Cooking.” Identifying, diagnosing, and treating illnesses, injuries, and other maladies is hardly something so trifling as to be shuffled under some related field. And you certainly don't need to know how to make food or medicine to know which ones to prescribe to your patients for the best results, though it certainly helps. Of course this also includes knowledge of how to do things like use qi directly to heal as well as more mundane treatment methods.

    [x] Scholarship
    A proper scholar is expected to have an exceptionally well-rounded education. They must, at the bare minimum, be knowledgeable in all of the Thirteen Classics and have attained competence in the Four Arts. They must also have achieved some level of skill in both composition and rhetoric. You have, of course, gone much further than that, and if you wanted to you could easily become a ranking scholar in your home kingdom of Yi, which is widely held to have the highest academic standards in the Eighteen Kingdoms.

    You will find that your foundations of theoretical knowledge extend even into fields you aren't personally trained in, from music to warfare to medicine. Obviously you aren't an expert in those fields (without taking the requisite option), but it is a useful leg up that will make it easier to personally learn something or introduce someone else to the subject and get them started.

    [x] Spell Arrays
    A “spell” is essentially any effect that is created by directly channeling and manipulating energy (we'll call it Qi for convenience's sake, though for some reason cultivators love to come up with names for all the different forms they can make it take as they progress), but it's usually used in the context of doing so without relying on the body, either as the source of energy, the conduit for it, or both. A spell array is essentially creating the effect of a spell indirectly by setting up some kind of apparatus (often taking on the form, if not the substance, of religious rituals) that, once activated, will channel the energy (which may come from the user, someone else, or some other nearby source) to create the spell. Many of the uses of this are obvious and go without saying. As to how this differs from geomancy, apart from the differences in scale and permanence, a geomantic working draws power from the world itself (though they can be made capable of deriving extra power from others), while spell arrays always need some third party to directly provide the power.

    [] Spell Combat
    While a majority of cultivators prefer to fight by channeling their variously-named energies through a weapon (which often includes their own bodies), the more direct use of energy to destroy one's enemies is a perfectly valid and useful form of combat that simply happens to be a bit more demanding to learn. Weapons – or things honed into weapons – most easily lend themselves towards acts of destruction, but eschewing them allows for greater versatility and, if one is skilled enough, greater control. Though some are skilled enough to do away with them entirely, most still need some kind of focusing agent (whether physical – like a purpose-crafted item of jewelry, or specially-treated paper – or not – like a verbal incantation and/or gesturing with the hand in certain ways) to help guide the power the way it needs to be to work properly.
    (The specifics of your fighting style will be determined later)

    [] Unarmed Combat
    Now, any idiot can throw a punch, and most any cultivator has learned at least enough about martial arts and body cultivation to throw a pretty good punch (relatively speaking) by the time they've reached your level. That's not what this is. No, this is the ability to throw a really pretty good punch. And a kick or two somewhere in there. Maybe some throws and grapples, even. Definitely at least a few different discount Hadōkens by now, too. Probably in all kinds of exciting colors! All flippancy aside, your body is a lethal weapon, even more so than usual for a cultivator. Even if perhaps your actual physical prowess is only on the higher side of average, skill can make up for a lot.
    (The specifics of your fighting style will be determined later)

    [] Weapon Combat
    Now, any idiot can swing a sword, and most any cultivator... Wait, have we done this already? Right, so this is specializing in cultivator-tier physical combat using some particular form of weapon as the focus rather than your body. You can be as general (“sword”) or specific/esoteric (“seven-sectioned whip sword”) as you'd like, since there's a weapon art out there for damn near anything. Being general gives you more versatility, but being specific means your skills are more polished. And yes, pretty much any weapon manual suitable to your level has at least one cool-looking special attack.
    (The specifics of your fighting style will be determined later)

    ---X---

    AN: Sorry for the more-than-half-a-year hiatus, everyone. I can't really give much excuse or explanation except that I just haven't been able to get myself in any kind of creative mood for long enough to crank this or really anything out in that whole time. I can't really promise it'll never happen again, either, but I am going to try to commit to at least once-weekly updates after the last bit of character creation (which is going to outline some social options and relationships and then get us started in earnest), which goes up tomorrow. If anyone's still interested (or just now finding this), thanks a ton, it's hugely appreciated.

    *通臂猿 seems to be related to 長臂猿 cháng bì yuán, the Chinese name for a gibbon. I'm not sure what the difference in the first character means, but I derived it from the characters for the “Long-Armed Ape” that is claimed in Journey to the West as one of the “four spiritual primates” that defy the normal categories of existence, alongside the Intelligent Stone Monkey a.k.a. Sun Wukong. Further, one of the 108 Stars of Destiny in Water Margin is addressed by a nickname with the same characters.

    Finally, though there was little chance to really explain it organically, essentially your choice of build and mentor meant that you've ended up with a kind of stereotypical hard-laboring artisan look. Solid build, plenty of muscle, but clearly with the air of someone who works with his hands rather than his fists. If you walked down the street and somebody was randomly asked to try to guess your profession, they'd probably throw out guesses like "blacksmith" or "stonemason." It's a bit of a niche appeal in cultivator circles - even among other crafters - but it's a look that has its fans nonetheless.
     
  13. Atlasofremembrance

    Atlasofremembrance I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] Art
    [X] Spell Combat
    [X] Unarmed Combat
     
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  14. peel

    peel I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] Rounding out
    -[X] Art
    -[X] Divination
    -[X] Spell Combat

    So grabbing art, to hopefully make our building skills looks better. (Im assuming it will be good looking anyways, but I kinda want them to look amazing), Divination to tell the character of either future disciples, or potential clients. Spell combat, because having a combat skill would be usefull and I have a felling it will support spell arrays

    [X] The Untouchable support
    -[X] Alchemy
    -[X] Cooking
    -[X] Medicine

    This plan focuses purely on being such a good supporting person that people wont really attack us. Since with this we are both the person the sects commission to build stuff for them, and the person people go for healing. Plus if we get a really good disciple, we well be the best master. (expect at combat, but Im pretty sure we will be proficient , not amazing unless we pick one of the combat options)

    Welcome back leingod.
     
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  15. veekie

    veekie Connoisseur.

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    [X] The Untouchable support
     
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  16. RainChild1024

    RainChild1024 I have no idea what I'm doing

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    [X] The Untouchable support

    Thanks and welcome back, leingod
     
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  17. LinkOnScepter

    LinkOnScepter I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] Rounding out
     
  18. Bloodalchemy

    Bloodalchemy Know what you're doing yet?

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    Glad to see this continue.

    Ok so we already have these,
    [] Artifice
    [] Geomancy
    [] Scholarship
    [] Spell Arrays

    Scholarship implies we get a rank or two in almost every common field.
    Artifice is basically a physical magic object used by a single person at a time.
    Geomancy is effectively permanent spell effects for a given area.
    Spell Arrays is powerful long cast short duration spells.

    Based on those Spell Combat would get boosted by making our own Artifacts for foci and probably get a lot of sneaky synergy from knowing so many ways to manipulate external energy.

    I want Divination for both learning the personality of students and client, but also for getting even more detailed info about materials for Artifice and an area for Geomancy. Might also be something we can leverage into Spell Combat, learning things about our enemies and their attacks.

    I agree with the comment on Art making our stuff pretty, which means it would sell for more.

    ...oh, that's exactly the options for Rounding Out. I feel dumb for typing this out now.

    [X] Rounding out
    -[X] Art
    -[X] Divination
    -[X] Spell Combat
     
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  19. mrttao

    mrttao Connoisseur.

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    why are a bunch of options crossed out?
     
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  20. Bloodalchemy

    Bloodalchemy Know what you're doing yet?

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    Those are already given based on our background. We pick 3 additional skills.
     
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  21. LordEdric

    LordEdric I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] The Untouchable support
     
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  22. Negation

    Negation Shameless Pervert

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    [X] The Untouchable support
     
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  23. Blonddude42

    Blonddude42 Experienced.

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    [X] The Untouchable support

    Assuming the crossed out options are things we already have, then this is a very good selection to play a more support type of character.

    Does this make us even more of an expert in the fields we do choose?
     
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  24. Leingod

    Leingod Immaculate Blooming Lotus

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    Somewhat. The benefits are mostly supplemental, though. For example with art, it doesn't improve your actual art skills directly by all that much, but it does give you a wider base of knowledge of artistic movements, symbolism, identifying great works and artists of the past, etc. for you to draw on in your own work (or just to impress people with trivia, I suppose).
     
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  25. Marlin

    Marlin wishing to read another story deleted for profit

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    [X] The Untouchable support

    A more support type character interests me. Do not see that often in xianxia.
     
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  26. Negation

    Negation Shameless Pervert

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    Hmmm... with Untouchable support our only means of self defense would be the use of poisons and aphrodisiacs.
     
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  27. Arbitbit39

    Arbitbit39 Not too sore, are you?

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    [X] The Untouchable support
     
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  28. piens51

    piens51 Versed in the lewd.

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    [X] The Untouchable support
    -[X] Alchemy
    -[X] Cooking
    -[X] Medicine
     
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  29. AgentWho007

    AgentWho007 Getting out there.

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    [X] Rounding out
     
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  30. Threadmarks: Character Creation, Part 7
    Leingod

    Leingod Immaculate Blooming Lotus

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    [] Alchemy
    [] Cooking
    [] Medicine


    Your interest in a fairly wide array of different secondary professions has led some to accuse you of spreading yourself too thin, but for now you've made it work quite well for you. So well, in fact, that you've achieved no small amount of local fame. Though you've got other deeds to your name, the one that's drawn the most attention to you overall, and also the one that marked your true entrance into the wider society of cultivators was, as it so often is, a tournament.

    Cultivators love tournaments. It's a confluence of so many of their interests: Struggles for dominance, establishing hierarchies, the chance to vent frustrations or personal grudges through sanctioned violence, and of course the hope of winning fame, glory, and cool swag. But it's generally considered beneath the dignity of the well-established cultivators to partake. So, you have a profusion of tournaments catering to the younger generations, with age cutoffs of anywhere between 15 and 50. Hosting a tournament is also a source of prestige, the more popular the better. As such, the competitions over who hosts a tournament, and the struggles to increase the popularity of a tournament, can be even more cutthroat and deadly than the tournaments themselves.

    Now, in some kingdoms their biggest tournaments might just be your typical series of single-elimination fights, or sometimes even free-for-alls, but the kingdom of Yi takes its reputation as the “Scholars' Paradise” quite seriously, and its most prestigious tournament puts its entrants through a series of challenges that test far more than their skills in a fight.

    That tournament is known as the “Contest of the Eight Immortals,” held every 20 years and open to anyone 25 years old or younger. The most recent one ended just a few weeks ago, but in the previous one, 20 years prior, you managed to become one of the eight finalists, and so were listed among your generation's “Eight Young Immortals of Yi.”

    You didn't do so alone, however. As often happens, many competitors formed factions and coalitions to get through the challenges prior to the final rounds, and in that tournament, two groups ended up dominating the rest of the competition and comprising the Eight Young Immortals of your generation. Those two factions would eventually become the nucleus of a budding alliance, as many of your peers sided with one or the other. Starting out as essentially just fan clubs, these started to take on an almost political character, complete with rivalries and vendettas. Eventually, these two factions were named the “Northern and Southern Courts of Yi,” and the first and second-place finishers in that tournament (who happened to both be beautiful women, which was probably a large part of the reason this went as far as it did) are held up as the “queen” of each court.

    Which court were you (technically) a founding member of?

    [] The Northern Court

    This “court” formed around the 2nd-place finisher, Bian Linxue of the White Lotus Sect. A pale, slender beauty with striking icy-blue eyes and hair and a sinuous, deceptive fighting style married to a razor-sharp wit (and an equally sharp tongue, many say), she is known as the “White Flower Serpent.” Whatever her actual feelings toward her purported rival might be, the “Queen of the Northern Court” hasn't let the notoriety and chance to build her influence pass her by.

    The other “founding members” who joined her during the Contest of the Eight Immortals include Huang Ni of the Three Teachings Sword School and Tian Kai of the Spring and Autumn Scripture School. The former is the son of Yi's greatest general and a skilled leader of men who is completely wrapped around his “queen's” finger, the latter is a calculating diviner and famous musician.

    [] The Southern Court

    This “court” formed around the 1st-place finisher, Fan Yanxi of the Southern Immortal Star School. A bright, passionate heroine renowned for her flame-red hair and incredible skill in battle, she is known as the “Fiery Thunderbolt.” It's rumored she can defeat any two of the best warriors in her generation, and you can say from experience that, for once, the rumors are 100% correct! That said, she hardly seems to notice her “court,” much less think to make use of it.

    The other “founding members” who joined her during the Contest of the Eight Immortals include An Xuan of the Dragon's Gate Sect and Lei Su of the Thunderbird Clan. The former is a serene and insightful young Daoist, the latter is a reckless hellion considered little more than a bandit by some.

    ---

    If you've noticed that, counting yourself, there's one person missing from that line-up of the “Eight Young Immortals of Yi,” good eye! If you'd chosen a background with more “social links” you could have chosen individual relationships from this group of eight, but instead you pick one court or the other and your arch-rival is a member of whichever you don't pick. Said rival is called Zhao Jian of the Heaven's Rain School, BTW.

    (The end of Part 4 of Character Creation lists the names of all the top sects in Yi if you need a quick refresher, BTW
     
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