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Silk Brocade [M-VLS]


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[SIZE=1][CENTER]A secret story has been passed down for generations? Mothers sing gently to their small daughters, whispering words of a tale that is a secret hope. In a land and age where daughters were worthless, and sold off into cruel marriages, there seemed to be only one unhappy fate. But then?word started to snake through the villages. Somewhere in the high valleys, in a small village between two hills, came a new story to sing. And mothers could sing to their small daughters a sweet secret?

[I]?In a hut built for outcasts
Live women who combed up their hair.
Independent spinsters strong as mountain pines,
Capable women merciful as Gwoon Yum.
Talk to them and you will know
That for daughters with courage and vision,
Old laws can be swept aside,
New laws can be made.?[/I]
~The Moon Pearl

For years China has sentenced daughters to the cruel fate of arranged marriages, to be exiled from their families, and to be happy only through luck. For generations women have had no more use than to produce a son, a male heir to carry on the family name. But long ago, three women took vows of spinsterhood, swearing to never marry, but to live independently, free to decide their own fates. They challenged the very base of their culture, shaking the roots of masculinity. Eventually more young girls joined, taking the oath as well. However, they were forced into isolation and hiding, for families feared that more daughters would join these free thinkers. The village drove out the spinsters, and the girls retreated high into the mountains?

But now, many years later, whispers again are being heard, sung by the small streams that pass the villages. Mothers again can sing to their daughters, and daughters have another hope?


It is said that when the first three spinsters took their vows, they made their living by embroidering fine patterns onto silk cloth from the villages. Their work was rich and perfect, the finest ever seen, and each had their own signature. The three were first the [B]pine[/B], the [B]bamboo[/B], and the [B]plum[/B], otherwise known to the Chinese as the Three Friends of Winter. Other symbols were added as more girls joined: the [B]chrysanthemum[/B] and the [B]wintersweet[/B].

Over the years the spinsterhood has now evolved and grown into secret organizations for women, sheltering those who would choose a different path than marriage or nunnery. Along with rich embroidery, they have also started to emerge as an underground group well-educated in martial arts. Skill with the needle is parallel with their skill with the sword. The aristocratic government of China sees these groups as rebels, and has ordered that all members be captured and executed. Thus, the [B]Pearls of Winter[/B], as they have come to be known, have now turned into enemies of the government, and are fighting a vicious guerilla war to defend themselves, and revolutionize the entire country itself. For even in the deepest cold of men?s hearts, the Pearls of Winter still bloom in defiance of the frost.


The Pearls of Winter are organized into five sub-groups, or houses, referring to followers of the different women who originally took the vows of spinsterhood:

[COLOR=Navy][U][I]Winter Pine Pagoda[/I][/U] -
It is the most secretive of all of the members of the Pearls of Winter, but it is because they guard the most wisdom. Having derived its entirely own style and art form of fighting techniques, the style of combat used by members of the Pearls of Winter all originated from the Winter Pine Pagoda. They have in their keeping all forms and manuals of their martial arts, as well as stolen manuals that tell the secrets of other techniques. Thus, the Pearls of Winter are well-versed in almost any style of combat. Winter Pine members are especially adaptable to various forms of combat, and interchange almost unnoticeably.

All weapons used by the Winter Pine are made out of pine wood, usually black pine. They have uncovered a secret fire technique that can make the wood harder and sharper than metal, and it is characterized by the ash streaks it leaves behind after hitting something. The Winter Pine Pagoda also produces all explosives that are used by the Pearls of Winter, and seem to work easily with fire and the forge. They are also manufacturers of firecrackers, and send these bright, colorful creations to the Snow of Plum Blossom to sell.
The members wear robes of white, with a black pine print outlined in gold embroidery.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen][U][I]White Bamboo Forest[/I][/U] ?
Members of the White Bamboo Forest are swift and subtle in their movements, hardly noticeable. They have a reputation for disappearing and reappearing out of thin air, and seem to easily camouflage themselves in almost any surrounding. Of all the Pearls of Winter, those of White Bamboo Forest are the most difficult to catch, and are the easiest to lose track of. White Bamboo Forest is also very skilled in picking locks and getting out of binds; there are numerous times where their members have escaped out of locked cells when the guard was absent for a single moment.

Combat with the staff is particularly excellent among these members, as well as spear, javelin, and other long-distance weaponry. They are comfortable carrying heavier weapons as well, and this doesn?t seem to hinder their agility and ease in movement. White Bamboo Forest also contains the largest number of male members compared to the other groups of the Pearls of Winter, and White Bamboo also has the swiftest messengers.
The members wear robes of a mossy green, which are embroidered at the sleeves and collar in a coppery, rich brown.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=Indigo][U][I]Snow of Plum Blossom[/I][/U] ?
The specialty of this house is the production of tea. Of all the groups, Snow of Plum Blossom is the money-maker and economic supplier of the Pearls of Winter. Snow of Plum Blossom produces a rare and sought-after tea, called ?Snow Drop,? with a secret recipe that is kept under guard by the Winter Pine Pagoda. Because the tea has been outlawed by the Chinese government, Snow of Plum Blossom makes even more money because of the inflated price on the black market. Snow of Plum Blossom also makes secret exports to Japan, cementing its financial security. Even nobles in the aristocracy of China secretly buy snow drop tea, because of its refined taste and perfect blend of the palate. Snow of Plum Blossom has opened many teahouses under different names, and serves many high government officials. Here the Pearls of Winter can gather information and needed services.

Other than tea, Snow of Plum Blossom also produces the most embroidered work and silk. Bolts of cloth bought from Snow of Plum Blossom carry the richest and fanciest designs, and no two are the same. This makes cloth from Snow of Plum Blossom extremely popular among the rich citizenry, who then never have to worry of the richness of their dress. Snow of Plum Blossom gathers a large following amongst nobles who visit their teahouses, and is the most valuable of the Pearls of Winter.
Members wear robes that are a deep, dark violet, which almost looks black. They are embroidered with silver and pale pink threads.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=RoyalBlue][U][I]Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum[/I][/U] ?
The healers of the Pearls of Winter reside with the Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum. Herbal remedies and traditional medicines are all kept with the Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum, and they continually discover new medicinal properties. The most liked of all the houses, in the presence of a member the scent of chrysanthemum will pervade and calm the senses. Of all the houses, they are the most alert, and are quick to be aware of threat or danger. As most are knowledgeable in the art of healing and dressing wounds, the Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum are often the most reluctant to kill, but will do so if it is necessary by the Pearls of Winter.

Not only this, but Frozen Chrysanthemum also supplies some economic support, by giving medicines and tonics to Snow of Plum Blossom to sell. Their medicines can always be counted on, and always heal in some way. Of the houses, Frozen Chrysanthemum is also the most spiritual, and members seem to have a special bond with nature and the wilderness.

But along with the production of medicine, Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum also harbors the knowledge of secret poisons, the remedies of which are only known to them. All recipes, as with Snow of Plum Blossom, are kept with the Winter Pine Pagoda. They are gentle and loving in nature, but at the same time can be deadly with their skill. Thus, their members are almost perfect for infiltration and assassination, but most are unwilling to do so, except in most important circumstances.
The members will wear robes of a pale, delicate yellow. Their robes usually show no sign of decoration or embroidery, although sometimes individual members will change it to their liking.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkOrchid][U][I]Wintersweet Pavilion[/I][/U] ?
Often called the ?sister of plum,? the Wintersweet Pavilion is the least well-known of the houses. However, they work the closest with the Snow of Plum Blossom, sending beautiful, mysterious members into the teahouses, and - more often than not - undercover into various government positions. The number and majority of members of this house are not known to the other Pearls of Winter, but only to the Elder of the Pearls of Winter. They are immersed in covert operations, and the majority of their members are involved in planting moles in the government and other positions.

Usually the only way to get into contact with the Wintersweet Pavilion is to go through contacts among the Snow of Plum Blossom or the Winter Pine Pagoda. Indeed, Plum Blossom acts much like a shield that veils the Wintersweet Pavilion so that they are able to carry out their goals effectively and quickly. Those of the Wintersweet Pavilion are skilled in the art of disguise and imagery, and most are very skilled in acting and deception. Some may even pose as members of the other Pearls of Winter.
Because of their ambiguity, those of Wintersweet have no uniform robe - they are usually immersed in disguises. However, when they do wish to congregate safely and with other Pearls, members will tuck sprigs of the wintersweet blossom in a visible place on their personage.[/COLOR]

Each of the Pearls of Winter will uniformly wear robes that have the crest of their designated house embroidered somewhere, unless it jeopardizes their position. Thus, the wearing of the robes is not very common unless one is with the Winter Pine Pagoda. Otherwise, they are too much in contact with the public. Not only this, but at any scene of their doing, the Pearls of Winter will always leave a calling card: a piece of rich silk brocade, embroidered with the symbols of each of the five Pearls. Thus, the government has come to fear the once honored symbols of pine, bamboo, plum blossom, chrysanthemum, and wintersweet.
Also, all Pearls of Winter are connected universally. Upon acceptance into the Pearls of Winter, one will be given a string of seed pearls; all members have these.

[B]- Sign-up -[/B]
[B]Name:[/B] (surname first)
[B]Sobriquet:[/B] (Like a pen-name; it is what you are known as to the public, or a formal nickname). This is not required, and can also be made later.
[B]Gender:[/B] (There can be males among the Pearls of Winter ? it is quite common now).
[B]Appearance/Description:[/B] A picture or general description.
[B]Affiliation:[/B] This can be almost anything that can be concocted among that time and culture. One does not have to be with the Pearls of Winter; you can be a soldier of the government, in the law enforcement, a sympathizer, a member of royalty or nobility? The list goes on. Be creative, and make your character interesting and original.
[B]Brocade:[/B] (only for those among the Pearls of Winter) ? this designates which house/sub-group of the Pearls of Winter that you are included in. In this, please also describe the piece of silk brocade that you leave behind as your calling card.
[B]Weapon(s):[/B] (Please don't over-do this... I am not setting a limit, but please remember that the Pearls act more through subtlety than force).
[B]Circumstances:[/B] This is like the biography. Please tell me why and how your character came to be wherever they are at the moment. This really doesn?t have to be all that long ? just a brief summary will do. More of your character?s background will be fleshed out in the rpg itself.
[B]Introduction:[/B] A trial posting in which you can exhibit your style of writing and sense of character. This is probably the area I will look most critically at, so please make it your best effort.
I do not have an area to describe personality because that usually integrates itself well into the circumstances and the introductory post. However, if you wish to do so, you may include a personality line.
This RPG will progress in a hybrid form of the chapter system and freestyle posting. At every chapter I will either designate the order and characters of the chapter. However, in some instances in which I feel there need to be more openings, or perhaps the going is a bit slow, I will announce the characters, and will allow them to post willy-nilly.
There are also other times in which I will be PMing characters on how to proceed, so please remember to check those.

At this point, sign-ups are open indefinitely[/SIZE].
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[COLOR=Plum][B]Name: [/B] Wu Lei Wei

[B]Sobriquet:[/B] Coming...

[B]Age:[/B] 25

[B]Gender:[/B] Female

[B]Appearance/Description: [/B] Lei Wei is moderatly tall for a Chinese woman, five foot four. She has a pleasant face that can't be qualified as beautiful, but it has it's charms. Her build can only be discribed as average. Her eyes are her best feature - they convey her moods exactly; like reflections in a pond.

[B]Affiliation[/B]: Pearls of Winter

[B]Brocade:[/B] Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum. Her calling card is pale blue silk with gold lotus blossoms.

[B]Weapon(s):[/B] Because Lei Wei is of the Chrysanthemum Brocade, she does not generally use weapons. However, she does carry one thin bladed dagger.

[B]Circumstances:[/B] Lei Wei joined the Pearls of Winter after her older brother was killed by government soldiers for insolence. Her parents were poor, and had planned to marry her off the the village's head's son...one of the soldiers responisble for her brother's death. Outraged, Lei Wei ran.

[B]Introduction: [/B]

[I]Lei Wei sat in the garden. The sun was bright...but not exceptionally warm. She sighed as she stared into the reflecting pool. The water trickling through the rocks was meant to have a soothing effect...this day, it didn't. It was the second year to the day since her brother's death. She tried very hard to not be sad, but sometimes it was hard. She wouldn't cry. She hadn't cried, not since that day...not since her beloved brother had been cut down.

She'd run from the village, joined the Sisters...they couldn't see her cry...they'd think her weak; not fit to be a part of such an estemmed organization...her eyes began to water as if the very thought had conjured her tears...

"Lei Wei?" Lei Wei looked up to see one of the Sisters looking down at her. She tried to brush the tears from her eyes, almost ashamed to be caught weeping. But the oldster merely looked down at her with a gentle smile.
"Don't be afraid to cry, my child...it's a part of life." And, like a child, Lei Wei clung to the sister and wept.

That was two years ago. And she hasn't feared her tears since....[/I][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkOrange]Hope this is what you're looking for...sounds interesting![/COLOR]
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[B]Name-[/B] Xiao Heng Ran derives from the Chinese goddess of the moon and Jun Yi is her Korean name given to her by her mother, but she is more commonly known as White Lotus. Those who knew her mother and father well and partially raised her call her either Ran or Jun Yi, either way, she responds.
[B]Sobriquet-[/B] She is known as the Yu Huang* for the beauty that she resembles and the death that she brings to the Pearls of Winter and those who stand by the Pearls, but she is more commonly known as White Lotus for her intricate ways.
[B]Age-[/B] Her exact age is unknown, but it is said that Jun Yi is to in her late 20s to early 30s, although her image is as young as a late teen.
[B]Gender-[/B] Female

[B]Appearance/Description-[/B] [URL=http://www.animegalleries.net/albums/media/226/rk_misao003.jpg]Jun Yi[/URL]- Being a woman of imagination and disguise, Jun Yi has a reputation of wearing clothing outside of the Pearls of Winter's wear. She does not like to dazzle herself, making her stand out more than others, but she is conserved and resorts to only wearing urbane clothing or having a sophisticated look upon her, giving her a gentle, yet mysterious, look to her.

She has an unorthodox look about her. Her face is of a porcelain doll, which seems to be uncommon among the Wintersweet Pavilion, and her body is limber and thin, similar to that of a dancer. She possesses characteristics unlike any other female for her style and image is given to her by the heavens, blessing her with a creative mind. Her dark brown eyes are calm and distant twinkling like the stars at night, her raven black hair waves in the breeze like an eagle that soars in the winds, her pale red lips that have volume is similar to that of an empress', and her face in all is a variety of sorts, one can never make out exactly who she is.

Sophistication, elegance, mystery, and grace are all what she wears upon herself. Jun Yi does not necessarily dislike wearing feminine clothing. She'd rather wear clothing that comforts her and move freely in. In this case, she'd prefer to wear a Chinese fighter's suit when she feels safe in the presence of those she trusts, but she also wears comfortable clothing, which looks surprisingly refined.

[B]Affiliation[/B] Pearls of Winter
[B]Brocade-[/B] Wintersweet Pavilion- Jun Yi leaves nothing behind, not even a calling card for her house demands secrecy and therefore it cannot be traced back to her, but she wear a sprig of wintersweet blossom along with a white lotus, one of the more interesting flowers that the Snow of Plum Blossom had created for her, that is kept in the front of her clothing.

[B]Weapons-[/B] A master of disguise is who she is and nothing more. She merely uses the devices given to her that is present and uses them to her liking, whatever they may be. But she also likes to carry two dual fans, made from the Winter Pine Pagoda, which has an engraved picture of a lotus on each fan. She also has several poisoned kanzashi pins in her hair as well as in a pouch that are marked with the calling of the lotus flower, taking the lives of those around her, and she also carries seven small vials with certain ?potions? in them that create different effects, depending on which one she uses. Somehow, Jun Yi is immune to any such poison, it travels through her blood but it does nothing to her.

[B]Circumstances-[/B] A mother of the Korean descent and a father of the Chinese lineage, yet both were in the Pearls of Winter. Her mother, Kim Yuh-Reum, was a member of the Snow of Plum Blossom, because of her love for tea and the marketing business, and her father, Xiao Lin, was a member of the White Pine Pagoda, because of his brute combat and known ways of fighting. They met within the Pearls of Winter and the leaders of the houses saw the love in their eyes and could see that they would become a family of happiness, prosperity, and grace. They saw to it that the two become intimately introduced and given time, marry.

As the years went by, Jun Yi's mother and father did not completely leave the Pearls of Winter, but they had taken an absence of leave for a period of time to become a family and raise their child, a child that was born within the Pearls of Winter.

At this moment, Jun Yi's parents are still living, but no longer in the service of the Pearls of Winter for their old age have caused them to, not necessarily abandon, but leave the Pearls of Winter. They have sent their daughter to them, in hope that she would bring them honor and glory to their name.

[B]Introduction-[/B] The sun rose as Jun Yi sat in the white carpeted garden, the snow still falling onto the ground. A sly smile slowly made its way onto her face as she watched the final ray of light hit the top of the trees. Time had set itself into her hands and the day had begun with her mission. Jun Yi stood and walked away from the stone bench on which she sat upon, dusting off the snow that fell onto her. She left the vicinity of the garden, only to return after her mission, to watch the sun set.

It was an hour past the time that the sun had rose and Jun Yi was preparing for her mission, packing various items that may be of use to her during the time. With a final check, Jun Yi was ready and her disguise was set, White Lotus would step out of the house as Jun Yi stayed home. Her ways would be that of the disguise, which was a geisha girl at the moment, a concubine if you must, who was finding her way into the world. With a final breath of the fresh air and sprinkling snow, Jun Yi began to walk the streets.

Arriving at the Forbidden Courts, Jun Yi unfolded her fan and covered her face, watching the movements of those around her. She was careful in the environment around her and was watchful of those that came to her. The movements of the people were distinct and knowing, it was easy to pick out the victim who should fall to Jun Yi?s hands. It was only a matter of time when the plot will thicken and everything will take place, leaving only Jun Yi and her prey, leading them into a trap that they wished they had never seen.

[B]Other-[/B] Yu Huang was known as the Jade Emperor of Chinese Mythology. He ruled over all of heaven and Earth, was known as the most powerful and revered of Chinese Gods, and his administrators are the Cheng-Huang, Tu-Di, and various other deities in charge of wind, rain, thunder, etc.
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- Sign-up -
Name: Chen Jie-Ling
Sobriquet: Gal
Age: 19
Gender: Female
Appearance/Description: Jie-Ling's average stature and broad, plain face denote a modest origin otherwise belied by pale skin, plump figure and long, thick hair.
Affiliation: Pearls of Winter sympathizer and trade contact
Weapons: Her wits and a small dagger more accustomed to rending open correspondence than assailants
Circumstances: The third of five daughters born to an aspiring merchant, Jie-Ling plays the role of dutiful daughter, cultivating her ailing father's business in the interest of the Pearls and encouraging the political enthusiasm of her young husband, Bao-Zhi.
Introduction: Jie-Ling seated herself in her father's office with ease. On the pretext of cleaning, she had seated herself beside her husband and father in the dim glow of the dying fire, rustling papers in an innocuous fashion and remembering to drop something now and then to earn a chastisement for her feminine incompetence. Her husband began an animated recount of the latest meeting of town's liberal faction, and her father's failing vision and mind were soon engrossed in the tale. Jie-Ling smiled indulgently, occasionally interjecting a cry of awe at some such 'progressive' theory even as she made minute corrections to the next day's objectives. The clerks would find them in the morning, and all but the shrewdest would think them her husband's. All the better, then, to have bought the loyalty of every remotely clever clerk in the household; it was a wise investment. She rifled through a handful of reciepts, selecting a few to tuck away into her sleeve, and was about to review the day's records before she realized that her husband's narrative had stumbled from its easy pace over the stone of her name.
"Jie-Ling? Are you listening to me?"
She smiled politely. "Forgive me, husband. What may I do for you?"
"I had just remembered. Another package arrived from your friend in the mountains today."
Her demure smile brightened minutely as she grasped the parcel, tearing it open delicately to reveal a folded length of richly embroidered amethyst silk. The expression of pure delight that crossed her face was not entirely manufactured, especially as her ears caught the faint crinkle of parchment concealed within the fabric's folds.
"Thank you very much, dear husband." She rose to her feet. "If you will permit me, I must begin my reply. It would be unseemly to keep such a friend waiting."
(Er, not to seem overly precocious, but will there be an opporunity to play several characters?)
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[B]Name:[/B] Ke Na

[B]Sobriquet: [/B] Philosopher's Lily.

She is called this because of her love for knowledge. However, due to the fact that it is unfitting for a woman to claim to be a philosopher, she added the "Lily" so that those who heard her sobriquet would be misled.

[B]Age:[/B] 20

[B]Gender:[/B] Female

[B]Appearance/Description:[/B] Na is sort of forgetable. She's nice enough looking, but nothing really stands out, which is helpful. She's five foot two.

[B]Affiliation:[/B] Pearls of Winter

[B]Brocade:[/B] White Bamboo Forest . Her calling card is ivory brocade with silver eyes embroidered on it. It looks a bit like [url=http://www.celebrationgroup.com/products/linenrectangle/napkinsdeluxe/pic010.jpg]this[/url], except it's not napkins.

[B]Weapon(s):[/B] She uses the quarterstaff, and also carries two stilettoes.

[B]Circumstances: [/B] Na is the daughter of a silk merchant. Her parents sent her to live with her betrothed's family, another merchant house who they wanted to have an alliance with; but she did not like the Li's, her betrothed (Chen) or his mother (Ling). Not to mention Ling did not like her - she showed more intelligence than was right in a woman, and did not work fast enough and she was "sly", not to mention she was above the usual age for a bride, horrors! So she ran away to join the Pearls of Winter where she figured that her intelligence and "slyness" would go to good use.

[B]Introduction: [/B]

[I]"The blossom grows
The cherry blooms
Spring dances in the air."[/I]

There. Her poem was complete. Not too complex. Simple. The way it should be. Na smiled. Before she had come to her betrothed's family home she used to sit behind the screen that seperated the women's half of the room from the men's and listen when her brothers were being taught. Her family said it wouldn't do, but Na couldn't help listening, she liked to learn, but oh it was costing her now.

[B]"Stop your useless writing, girl!" [/B] Girl... Chen's mother never called her by her first name, it was always "Girl". Make the tea "girl". Take care of the family shrine "girl". Did she not understand that Na had a name?

[B]"You will not make a good wife for my son if you do not learn how to cook! Writing will not help you!"[/B] Na got up from the floor from where she had been kneeling to write her poem.

[B]"Yes, Mother-in-Law." [/B] Outwardly, Na bowed meekly to Ling; in her mind, however, she was composing a poem about mother-in-laws.

[B][I]Mother in law, so not dear to me, your nose is long, please sit on a bee. [/I] [/B]

She didn't even bother trying to put any beauty in the poem. Why should she? She wasn't going to repeat it to anybody anyway.

[B]"Since I have repeatedly told you not to waste your time writing, you will cook dinner by yourself."[/B] Ling scowled and went on. [B]"And Chen informs me that last night when you were serving him and his friends dinner that you behaved very improperly when they were discussing tactics and tried to join in the conversation."[/B]

[B]"I did, honored Mother-in-Law."[/B] Na was trying not to smile, their ideas had been so stupid, most of the young men had never even been out of Hangzhou.

[B]"Do not do that again. It is foolish to think that you, a woman, could know better."[/B] With that Ling left the room.

[B][I]I have to get out of here. This house is trying to control me...[/I][/B]

[i]Some Time Later...[/i]

[I][B]"It is right and good that children should be taught, but duty takes precedence over most of life"[/B][/I]

Na hurried towards the pagoda that housed the members of White Bamboo Forest. She was going to start teaching some of the children there what she had learned during the many years she had spent listening in on her brother's lessons. She walked into her rooms where she had arranged for the children to meet her...only to find no children and one slightly harried looking Lin Yao.

[B]"I know that you were going to be teaching the children today but you will have to wait for a more opportune moment."[/B] She handed Na a scroll.

[B]"You are to memorize that and then go directly to Chang'an, to the Teahouse of Xiang, where you are to relay what you memorized to Xiang and Xiang only. You will know she is Xiang by this brocade."[/B] She showed Na a piece of cloth.

[B]"Go once you have commited the scroll to memory."[/B] With that Lin Yao left the room; leaving Na to study the scroll.

The scroll, she saw, contained what seemed just poetry...but to those of the Pearls of Winter that knew the code, it would tell them that the next shipment of explosives and weapons from the Winter Pine Pagoda would be arriving three days after she relayed the message. But it was better not to be caught carrying it around; which was why she was memorizing it. It didn't take that long and Na was soon on her way to Chang'an.

Once there, she wove her way through the streets with the skill that befitted a member of the White Bamboo Forest, and was soon at the teahouse. Na bowed respectfully to the woman who opened the door to her.

[B]"I am Na from the House of Wu...my mistress heard that Lady Xiang wasn't feeling well and thought that some reciting of poetry would make her feel better."[/B] The woman nodded.

[B]"Follow me."[/B] She led Na through the teahouse to a screen, and pulled it open.

[B]"She is in there."[/B] Na thanked her and entered, pulling the screen shut behind her.

[B]"You are the Lady Xiang?"[/B] Na waited for the proper response from the lady seated in front of her.

[B]"Yes... I am the Lady Xiang. I suppose you need to see my brocade?"[/B] Na nodded

[B]"It is required, yes."[/B] Xiang got up and walked over to a chest next to the screen. Na watched somewhat suspiciously, they'd been having trouble with spies other than their own lately. She took the piece of brocade that Xiang offered to her, it was a purpleish colour with a single swan embroideried on it. Na smiled, this matched the calling card that Lin Yao had shown her.

[B]"Now that you know I am who I said I was, don't you think you should behave like a normal poetry reader and do what you told my maid you were here for?"[/B] Na nodded and began to recite.

[I][B]"'The blossom opens
Three days after the moon
Late but beautiful
In its firey splendor.'"[/B][/I]

Xiang smiled.

[B]"That's lovely. Already I am beggining to feel better. But tell me, do you have any proverbs?"[/B] She looked over at Na.

[B]"Yes. I recently learned this one...[I]'The sharpest child is the one who listens to his elders. This is one of the three great truths.'"[/I][/B] Xiang nodded.

[B]"Very true. And which great philosopher wrote this?" [/B]

[B]"Feng."[/B] Xiang nodded again. After a few more lines of poetry, a couple of proverbs, and a short snippet of random gossip, much as one would expect from any poetry reciter, the Lady Xiang smiled.

[B]"I very much enjoyed your recitation. You may tell your mistress that you did well." [/B] Na took that as leave to go and did so, first bowing as was fitting of someone leaving the presence of a better.

She hurried to retrace her steps back to Lin Yao, taking less care of not being seen this time. After all, she was supposed to be seen on the return journey, sometimes it was easier not to be remembered if you didn't try to sneak...and all the more so when the moon was full...

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[size=2][font=Verdana][color=black][b]OOC: [/b]Editted for Cyriel's request.[/color][/font][/size]

[size=2][color=navy][font=Verdana][b]Name:[/b] Li, Ying Fa[/font]
[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Sobriquet:[/b] Sakura[/font][/size]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Age: [/b]19[/font][/size]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Gender:[/b] Female [/font][/size]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Appearance/Description:[/b] [/font][/size][url="http://img91.exs.cx/img91/4927/ai9yl.jpg"][font=Verdana][size=2]Here[/size][/font][/url][font=Verdana][size=2], without the goggles and she wears the usual white robes of the Winter Pine with the black pine on the front. She also wears [/size][/font][url="http://img169.exs.cx/img169/5079/rensq0247p0101026ez.jpg"][font=Verdana][size=2]this[/size][/font][/url][font=Verdana][size=2] ring on the ring finger of her right hand.[/size][/font]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Affiliation:[/b] Pearls of Winter[/font][/size]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Brocade:[/b] Winter Pine Pagoda.[/font][/size]
[font=Verdana][size=2]Ying Fa likes to leave behind a navy blue piece of silk with a pale pink cherry blossom print on it.[/size][/font]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Weapon(s):[/b] Ying Fa carries two types of weapons on herself, one is a shukusen (a heavy fan which is covered in navy blue silk. It's made of the specialised Black pine and is razor sharp and pointed at the top but blunt and dull at the bottom, and the other is a set of small throwing daggers, made of the same specialised pine.[/font][/size]
[font=Verdana][size=2]Other than that, she uses herself as a weapon, being highly skilled in all the martial arts and the unknown ones. She's been trained since young and has almost all of the combat methods of Winter Pine mastered.[/size][/font]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Circumstances:[/b] Ying Fa was a mixed child as her parents were from different countries. Her father was Chinese, and her mother was Japanese. Her mother wanted to name her Sakura because of the beautiful flowers that bloomed in Japan, but then her father wanted her to have a Chinese name, so they compromised, naming her Ying Fa, which meant almost the same thing as Sakura. and when she joined the Winter Pine Pagoda, she made her Sobriquet, Sakura.[/font][/size]

[size=2][font=Verdana]Ying Fa's parents were killed when she was 10, and she didn't know where to go, because her parents hadn't found her an arranged husband yet. She was taken in by her mother's best friend, who took her to live with her at the Winter Pine Pagoda. She still stays with her adopted mother and hasn't been married off because her adopted mother says that she shouldn't choose since it should have been her own parents', though they died so she didn't consider it right for her to choose a husband for Ying Fa. Ying Fa herself was very happy because she doesn't want to have a husband to 'protect' her.[/font][/size]

[size=2][font=Verdana][b]Introduction:[/b] Ying Fa stood in the courtyard and looked around, it was deserted except for a few bird that were perched in the trees, they sang melodiously and Ying Fa watched them for a few minutes. The birds finished their song and flapped away to somewhere else that Ying Fa's eyes didn't follow. Sighing she closed her eyes and took deep breaths, concentrating her mind. She let her mind become empty of all thoughts and sharpened her sense of hearing. She heard the song of the birds again but it was further away, she tracked their position by their song and opened her eyes, looking toward the tree near the roof at the other end of the courtyard, and there they were, chirping happily.[/font][/size]

[font=Verdana][size=2]Ying Fa's ears twitched as she heard the soft pad of footsteps. Spinning around slowly she looked for the source of sound but couldn't see them. She smirked and reached into her robe, producing one of her many throwing daggers. The blade of the dagger didn't look like any metal, and it wasn't, it was made of a type of pine, Black Pine to be exact. They were the only clan of the Pearls of Winter that made weapons out of special pine that they forged, all members of the Winter Pine Pagoda used weapons made of the specialised Black Pine.[/size][/font]

[font=Verdana][size=2]Ying Fa closed her eyes and concentrated again, she heard a rustle and snapped her eyes open, spinning and flinging her dagger into the branches of a tree there. The rustling became audible and a man leaped out of the tree, landing crouched on the ground. He stood and examined the sleeve of his white robe, the uniform robe of the members of the Winter Pine Pagoda. There was a cut in his left sleeve and a small trickle of blood, along with the dark ashy lines that any weapon made of Black Pine left behind.[/size][/font]

[font=Verdana][size=2][b]"Your aim is getting better, Ying Fa." [/b]he said.[/size][/font]

[font=Verdana][size=2]Ying Fa bowed to him, thanking him for his compliment. The man's name was Namura, and he was her master, teaching her all of the arts that members of the Winter Pine were expected to know by adulthood. Ying Fa had 2 years, but had almost mastered all of them already.[/size][/font]

[font=Verdana][size=2][b]"I'm ready for my lesson, master." [/b]Ying Fa pronounced.[/size][/font]

[b][font=Verdana][size=2]"Very good, I shall test you in all of your arts today, Ying Fa. Are you ready?" [/size][/font][/b]

[font=Verdana][size=2][b]"I'm always ready." [/b]Ying Fa said, sliding into her fighting position. Her left arm a few centimetres off the ground, her right arm reaching toward the sky, and her feet spread, her right leg was bent and her left was stretched out at an angle. She titled her head up and looked at him. He smiled and nodded, sliding into his own fighting position.[/size][/font]

[font=Verdana][size=2][b]"We will begin with Kung-Fu." [/b]he called, Ying Fa nodded and he rushed toward her.[/size][/font]
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[Color=DarkBlue][Size=1]Name: Hirada Naoto

Sobriquet: Alone

Age: 16

Gender: Male

Appearance/Description: See attachment. He doesn?t normally wear the headband, but on occasion he does, only when it fits the costume. He is usually seen with jeans and a sweatshirt on, because he likes to keep things casual, so as not to rouse suspicion.

Affiliation: Pearls of Winter

Brocade: Wintersweet Pavilion Naoto has no brocade, for the Wintersweet are those of secrecy and mystery.

Weapon(s): Naoto keeps small throwing knives in whatever costume he wears, sometimes also carries shurrikens, for those most dire of times. He doesn?t like to carry more than what?s needed, so he enjoys the pockets that every costume seems to have, filling them with that which is necessary for the mission. Naoto has only been on one mission, so he?s not up to par with all the gadgets he deals with.

Circumstances: Naoto was raised in the Pearls, for his mother was also a member of the Wintersweet Pavilion. Everytime she went out, Naoto would not do anything, sitting in a state of worry for her. After he turned eight, he began to worry less as his training increased. On the night of his twelfth birthday, he received word of his mother?s death on a mission. Naoto fell into a state of close mindedness and hasn?t spoken with anyone that?s not close to him since.

Introduction: Hirada Naoto sat solitary on his bed. His mouth was one of someone that was pouting, and his arms were crossed at his breast. He was also shaking his head, making the woman crouching in front of him throw her hands up. ?What is your problem Naoto? Why won?t you eat, or move at least??

?Not until Momma comes home.? Naoto said, recrossing his arms, as if to make a point.

?Your mother wouldn?t be happy to hear that you won?t eat. I beg you to at least drink a little bit of tea.? The woman said, offering the cup to him.

Naoto leaned over as if to take the cup, and batted it away from the woman?s hand, scowling. ?I told you, not until I know that Momma is safe.?

?You?re hopeless, and I?m going to tell your mother.? The woman said, getting up. She seemed very flustered, her checks with a slight tint of red showing. She quickly left the room, leaving the young boy to spread himself out on the bed. A single tear fell off his cheek, and the boy then put his face in the pillow.

Fast-forwarding two years gives you an eight year old. He sits in the same spot, but not for the same reason. Standing over him is the same woman, but instead of a look of exasperation, it?s now one of anger. ?I told you, in order to leave; you had to perform the throw correctly. So, you toss me HARD on my back, and run off. That doesn?t fly with me.?

Naoto cringed as the woman took her wooden reed to his back. The woman then looked at Naoto and started to walk again, speaking over her shoulder, ?I?ll be informing your mother.?

Naoto cringed again, and laid himself on the bed, once again allowing a single tear to fall down his cheek. A dark shadow fell across the wall, and revealed itself to be a member of the Chrysanthemum, with herbs for Naoto?s back. ?You know you need to just do what she says. You can?t run from your problems forever.?

Hitting the fast-forward button once more shows us a boy of ten, standing proud in front of this once harsh woman. She bowed and said, ?You have finally mastered all that I can teach you. It is time for you to move on to your next teacher.?

Naoto beamed, and glanced behind him. There sat his mother, in all her beauty, smiling. To him, it seemed like she couldn?t have been any more proud. He smiled at her, and accepted the small ribbon his master offered him. It was a sign that one had completed part of their training. Once someone had finished everything, they could combine the ribbons to make a design pattern. Naoto had only one at this point, but he treasured it as if it was his last one.

Fast-forwarding for the last time, we see a boy of twelve seated at a table. Around him are a couple of other girls, and they all seem to be joking and laughing, enjoying themselves. A man in robes of green suddenly walked into the room, his breath gone. He walked over to Naoto and set a message down. Naoto stood up and walked into the other room to read the message. He hissed out breath, and rushed back into the other room. He dropped the scroll, and made a run for his room. One girl tried to follow him, but he had shut and locked the door, leaving her gaping.

Naoto sobbed, and cried. His only parent, dead. How could he ever go on? His mother was his life. His goal in life was to please her and to follow in her footsteps. He sobbed and cried the rest of the night, the rest of the house giving him space, knowing well what happened.

The next morning, a new and harder Naoto appeared from his room. Only that one girl that tried to follow him the previous got any more than a polite yes or no. The two of them sat in Naoto?s room and he cried on her shoulder, her listening to all his problems. The day unfolded, and Naoto made a promise. He would find his mother?s killer, and destroy them, even if it meant destroying himself.[/size][/color]
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Hope you don?t mind terribly if I join your tango, Cyriel, you lead, of course. ;)
Sign-up -

[b]Name:[/b] Tzu Sun

[b]Sobriquet:[/b] Twister of Wrists; Fighter?s name is Amorphous Crane

[b]Age:[/b] as he has no birth record he cannot be sure, but it is guessed around 27

[b]Gender:[/b] Male

[b]Appearance/Description:[/b] A tall, lithe man of Chinese decent, Tzu Sun is very muscular and solid. His face reminds one of famous actor Andy Lau, and his voice like the Asian equivilent of James Earl Jones. His hair is very long and very black, tied in a pony-tail with the Chain of Pearls that his lover gave to him before they parted ways. His eyes are are stone gray and very hard to read. His garments vary day-by-day, but he prefers fighter's robes over other things.

[b]Affiliation:[/b] Fallen House of Tzu, seeks vengeance for his family against the government. He has been known to work with the Pearls of Winter, but does not entirely back them.

[b]Brocade:[/b] Not a Pearl, so it doesn?t really apply, although when working with the Pearls, he usually disguises himself among the White Bamboo.

[b]Weapon(s):[/b] A Phoenix-wing Trident Halberd, forged in the fishing hamlet of Banpo by Wei Wushu. Sharp and durable, this fearsome weapon possesses no curse or blessing.

[b]circumstances:[/b] When he was merely an infant, the entire Noble House of Tzu was slaughtered at the hands of the Wu (Picked a random dynasty, tell me which one our story is in, and I will change) Emperor. However, the soldiers of the emperor did not know that his amah had taken him to the market that day, and so missed killing the Heir to the House of Tzu.
Upon receiving the knowledge that the family had been slaughtered, Ah Tat, agent of the White Pine, took him into hiding. She raised him as her own son, knowing the value of a Noble Heir to the Cause. He received the finest education, everything from equestrian skill, to Confucian and Lao-Tzu philosophy, to the entire scope of the martial arts.
At first Tzu Sun joined the Cause with gusto, seeking vengeance for his family. After a while, he began to question his traditional values, and compared them to what he was doing. The young man was torn by vengeance and tradition. Alone, he could have worked out his problems and carried on, but when his affair with one of the most respected and elite agents of the Pearls of Winter became public (among these shadowy circles), he could not take the pressure, and fled to parts unknown.


?Who are you??

?I am the Amorphous Crane.?

?[b]Aiyeaaa![/b] Scion of some house or other I should imagine. Tell me true, have you some princess or magistrate?s daughter waiting for you here??

??? Tzu replied, rapidly tiring of the guard. [i]If he didn?t hold the power over this gate, he would be dead by now. Sigh? I need to be controlled here, any word of my return could spark an incident[/i]. ?In a way.?

?Awww?. That is so sweet. [b]Gaaaahhh![/b] You still aren?t coming in here,? The guard paused and spat loudly. ?Present your papers or [i]no[/i] Shanghai for you.?

?Mighty Official, please spare me the odious process of papers, when perhaps a little bit of heueng-yau (frangrant grease) could smooth the process??

?1500 taels of silver.?

?But mighty lord, I am but a poor, insignificant man. Perhaps.. 50 taels will do??

?700. I will not budge.?

Sensing the avarice in the man?s voice, Tzu cajoled him, ?700 is far too much, but I can?t leave my princess waiting. Send her a sight draft.?

?[i]Gffffaaahhhh[/i]! Send her a sight draft indeed! 900 taels now. Or I shall call the captain and we will see about papers.?

?I have it here, please honored lord, open the gate so that I might give it to you.?

?Aiyeaaaa! Of course, my son,? the guard stepped out of the door, and smiled, exposing two rows of filthy black teeth. ?Give it to me, now!?

?Certainly.? Tzu Sun thrust his trident-halberd into the man?s throat, unflinching in the shower of blood that followed. ?Here it is, all 700 taels right here.? He dropped the bag of coins, which contained only 699 taels, onto the guard and entered the teeming hive of villainy known as Shanghai. He resolved to have the 700th tael made into an amulet as soon as possible.

The White Bamboo girl, only half trained, but widely respected for her wisdom, crept away, hurdling through the shadows until she reached the inn. She shot up the stairs into her mistress? room like silent lightning and retold the night?s events with perfect accuracy. After a few questions about the Amorphous Crane?s appearance, the girl was dismissed with a pat on the back and a ?good work do better.?

After she was alone, the mistress of the inn chuckled to herself.

?So the Scion of Tzu has returned to us. Perhaps? well perhaps many things, but this must be some sort of omen. Aiyeaaaa! If only I believed in such nonsense.?


The Amorphous Crane fingered his necklace as he stared into the night sky. The myriad thousands of stars, stars noble and far away; stars melancholy and haunting, inspired him. He felt his soul stirring inside, seeking release, seeking the eternal promise of death.

"It is not my time to go. When I am truly content, then I shall die. But vengeance comes first."

A shade from his past called out to Tzu's mind, [i]Vengeance is a terrible path, you shall wreck all that you love. Is killing one bad tree worth burning an entire orchard? Is the death of one man worth the death of a city?[/i]

"Yes, old man. I would murder all of our beloved Middle Kingdom to avenge my father. Be it as it may, as much as I burn, I pray that someone stops me. O Buddha! May I die with honor, may I die knowing that all is well."

It was then he caught the scent of the lilly perfume. "Heh. A girl tailed me? I should return the favor."

I wanted to add something to clarify his emotional state. Anyway, maybe you should state an Arena Underground Thread for the Silk Brocade? Just a suggestion.
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Name: Chung Sei
Sobriquet: Lady of Beautiful Scents
Age: 20
Gender: Female
Appearance/Description: I have a pic, see attachment* Sei stands only a rough 5 feet. Like many other women of China she is very short for her age. It is said among her village she has stopped growing now. Dei doesn?t really care about her height. She mostly cares about becoming a tough older woman.

Affiliation: Pearls of Winter
Brocade: Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum
She leaves behind a single peice of silk with small pink blossoms printed int teh corners and oen big one in the middle.
Weapon(s): Two simple fans. Not used much but Sei will use them if excessive force is used one her. She carries them tucked away in her sleeve for easy access.

Circumstances: Sei joined the Garden of frozen Chrysanthemum mainly because of her mother. When her mother was her age, like many Chinese women, had an arranged marriage. Her mother hated her father. He was a lying dirty pig. When her mother heard about these young Chinese women speaking up she quickly sent Sei away to join them. She told her a bold sentence right before she left. See introduction

In a small village in North China. Fiddlers play their soft music in the background.
? Chung Sei my daughter? listen to me carefully for I will only tell you this once..? Sei?s mother hissed into her ear. Sei nodded slowly.
?You must go out there and live your life as a proud Chinese women, find a man who you truly love, for I will not choose one for you. Let them ban me from the land we live in! But I will not follow that wicked rule that led me into this life of hell.?

Sei slowly turned around and started out of the small village. A tear rolled down her cheek as she left the small village she grew up in. She turned around and waved at the city wich now looked like a miniature. Sei is not a lady of words. Farmer women bowed slightly with respect to this strong woman.

Sei saw a sign, she read it cautiously and went the right way. She looked up as the small cloud passed the sun. As the cloud dissipeared she raised her hand to shield her eyes. ?What a wonderful world??. Sei bent down and smelt a flower, she let out a sigh of happiness. ?I love scents..?. The wind blew slightly blowing up her dress, the smells of the flower swarmed around her and she laughed.
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[SIZE=1]There's been a bit of confusion I believe about this, so I will clarify. The time setting of this RPG is not in the modern day - [I]not even close[/I]. It is still set in the time where China was still ruled by its emperors in ancient dynasties. If I had to name one, I'd say that this will be held closest to the Tang Dynasty, but it's not going to be strictly there. Stylistically, just think of the movies [I]Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon[/I] or [I]Hero[/I]. (I know it's not the right dynasty, but that's kind of what you should be thinking of when writing). Please make corrections to your sign-ups if it is necessary.

Also at this time, let me say that I am very picky about posts, and that they have to be up to par. I [B]do[/B] look at grammar, spelling, punctuation...etc, so please check them over. You may edit your sign-up at any time until the closing date (which still hasn't been specified).

I'd also prefer to have a few more male characters in this story, (maybe gov. based?) so if you know anyone who would be willing, please encourage them to sign up. You may also sign up more than one character, so if that interests you, please do so; although I can't guarantee that all of them will be used.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=1][COLOR=RoyalBlue][CENTER][B]Name:[/B] Hua Lian
[B]Sobriquet:[/B] Peony (the "King of Flowers")
[B]Age:[/B] 23
[B]Gender:[/B] Female
[B]Appearance/Description:[/B] attached

[B]Affiliation:[/B] Pearls of Winter
[B]Brocade:[/B] Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum
She leaves a piece of light blue silk with two, pale yellow chrysanthemums embroidered on it, with a peony seed folded inside.

[B]Weapon(s):[/B] Includes a variety of poisoned darts and needles, as well as seemingly innocent accessories, such as: hair pins, brooches, jewelry, and perfumes. The main constant is the poison that she applies carefully to each.

[B]Circumstances:[/B] Born in the brothels of a nameless city, her mother died soon afterwards, too weak to go on. Lian was raised by the other women and whores in the brothel, until she was old enough to sell her own body. They sent Lian to work, but during the first night she was "working," she became frightened and refused to cooperate. She was violently raped and beaten. The next morning Lian was no where to be found. She fled, still wounded, into the mountains, where she was found and treated by the Pearls of Winter. She joined their ranks a year later as a member of the Garden of Frozen Chrysanthemum, and has lived and worked with them since then.
She has vowed to never again be so weak and unable to defend herself as on that night when her innocence was taken. Lian is one of the few members of Chrysanthemum that are willing to take on assassination missions and undercover roles. Currently she has been cloistered among the aristocrats and royal family as an entertainer and courtesan inside the walls of the Forbidden City.

The candlelight flickered, barely lighting the dim room. A slender hand held a thin, silver needle into the flame, and smoke hissed and curled into the air, dissipating in a silky fashion.

The door slid open silently, a dark figure waiting in the night air, "[B]Ready?[/B]"

She nodded, and slid the needle into the bamboo tube that she held in her other hand. She stood, dark robes falling into place; just another shadow running alongside the hour of midnight. A bad dream, perhaps...

"[B]Let's go[/B]." The four others led the way, and it was not long before they arrived at their destination. It looked deserted: the well was empty, and the bucket was hanging by a few strands of rotten rope. The windows were open invitations, the rice paper long gone, and no doors or shutters remained. It was perfect. The five figures silently slid inside, and lay in wait.

They heard the distant horse hooves, and hands tightened on weapons. Their prey was approaching...


"[B]...these are so boring, Father! I want Peony![/B]" The face of the son was twisted into a scowl as he whined - it was not a pretty face for the son of one of the provincial governors.

But at this point, Governor Chen didn't really care. All he wanted was for his son Haobo to stop in his constant nit-picking over which courtesan would accompany him to the evening meal. The governor waved his hand, and one of the servants bowed low, and went to fetch his son's favorite.

She was not long in coming. "[B]Master Chen..?[/B]" a voice called, silvery and perfect in depth and tone. The figure stepped through the lacquered doorway, the hangings held aside by the servants.

"[B]Peony! Oh, now I will really be able to be entertained! These ninnies can do nothing but flap their arms around while they pretend to dance, and their voices hurt my ears! Please, oh please play something for me! I already have your instrument here![/B]" Haobo clung to her hand, pleading persistently. Governor Chen wanted to leave, but didn't. His son was... Well, let's just say that he was a lusty young man, and had to be supervised around beautiful young girls.

Patiently, 'Peony' allowed herself to be led to the silk cushion by the wall-screen. Seating herself gracefully, the folds of her fine gown of yellow silk settled itself around her in a pleasing array of soothing color. As always, two bright yellow chrysanthemums decorated her dark tresses. In all aspects, her name suited her perfectly, for she was indeed the royal flower among all the other beauties at the palace. The samisen was placed into her hands, and she held it gently. The thin, polished wood was inviting to her fingers, and she plucked a note.

The room fell silent, and she took a breath. Then, her slender hands started to move across the strings, dancing as she played a haunting melody in time to her pulse and breath. And then she started to sing...

She closed her eyes as her voice moved in harmony with the notes she was playing. Before her audience, Peony was a beautiful flower, the brightest and most graceful in the field. Her voice was like a siren's, bewitching, calming, perfect. But behind her delicate face, her soft lashes, her closed lids, lay the images and memories of dark nights, silent footsteps, and the silken voice of death. She truly was Peony, the royal flower that grew among a frozen garden.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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Congratulations, Cyriel, for creating such breathtakingly beautiful rpg. I'm just curious if this game will include Wuxia-style overdone battling and magic, or will this take a more realistic approach?

Here is my sign-up:

[SIZE=1][COLOR=DarkOliveGreen][B]Name:[/B] Trang Ten
[B]Sobriquet:[/B] Ten has gained the name [I]Jade Cat[/I] from his astoundingly green eyes and soundless movement
[B]Age:[/B] 19 years
[B]Gender:[/B] male

Ten is as short and lean as most women, but his bodybuilt has enabled for him to gain his current position. He has long, rich black hair that he usually ties over the top of his head. As said, his eyes have a remarkable light green shade, and it is rumored that they gleam in dim light. His face is fair and delicate, which he has found a great asset, for he can believably transform into a young woman with a simple change of dress and little make-up. Thus he has charmed several men to believe him to be just a harmless girl.
He joined the Pearls of Winter as a spy of the government, but after spending time with the women of the Pearls, he is torn in two, not knowing who to be loyal to...
He is a member of the White Bamboo Forest, acting as a messenger, although many of those secret messages reach the ears of the imperial government as well. His calling card is the moss-green of his house, and it has a black cat embroidered to it.
Ten has mastered the use of the imaginative two-bladed spear, a deadly weapon capable of piercing enemies left and right, back and front. Basically it is a reinforced bamboo stick with a sharp circular blade in both ends.
Trang Ten was born to the family of the Emperor's Ceremony Master. Being the youngest son and thus having no position in the family, he was sent to the imperial army, where his exceptional talents in stealthy. He went through the hard training of espionage, and was finally sent to join the Pearls of Winter in order to help the Emperor take down the organization from inside. He was given a false biography to tell to the Elders of the five houses about his parents being enslaved by the Empire. But the more time he spent in the House of White Bamboo Forest, the more he began to understand the reasons why the men and women there resisted the imperial government. For now, he will continue betraying the Pearls of Winter, but only time will tell how long it will last...

The young Ten was sitting on a fork of a tree, gazing the setting sun, when he heard his name being called. He looked down and saw Mistress Meing, a proud woman with piercing cold eyes. Sometimes she stared at Ten so mercilessly he was sure that she knew his secret, but he reckoned he would be dead in that case.

Ten jumped down in front of Mistress Meing, who didn't as much as flinch. Ten was not surprised.

"Jade Cat, deliver this message to the Elders of the White Pine Pagoda. It contains information that is meant for their eyes only. I can trust this only to you, [I]you [/I] must carry it all the way. Understood?"

Ten bowed consently. What a naïve fool she was...

Mistress Meing gave the parchment to the youngster, who put it inside his tunic and dashed into the forest.

In no time Trang Ten, loyal to the Emperor, handed the message to his contact, Captain Fu, a hard-boiled veteran of the imperial army. Carefully Fu rolled the parchment open and read it through quickly.

"Worthless! This is old information!" the captain groaned.

"Not my fault, captain. I am only the messenger", Ten replied.

"Keep that attitude and you'll be delivering messages to the Ancestors soon!" With those words Captain Fu turned and left the meeting place. Ten closed the parchment and continued his way towards the White Pine Pagoda, bothered by the question why Mistress Meing entrusted him with a insignificant message while claiming it was highly important...

The answer came to him when he reached the Pagoda and gave the parchment to one of the elderly women who led the house. The Elder read it through like Captain Fu had. A frown distorted her already wrinkled face.

"What on earth... Ah, that mischievous minx Meing! She used that invisible ink the sisters of the Plum Blossom developed! Read between lines, I'll say..."

Suddenly the woman seemed to remember that Ten was still present. "Are you still here? Oh, no reply this time, now off you go..."

Ten bowed respectingly and left the pagoda. Now all he could think about was how to get the formula for that invisible ink...

I sincerely hope this will suffice. This is going to be one great game, I know it will.
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[SIZE=1][B]Eh, sorry about all the changing, Cyriel, I really haven't had time to write but I hope this is up to standards.[/B]

[COLOR=RoyalBlue][B]Name:[/B] Bei Xiang
[B]Sobriquet:[/B] Blossom
[B]Age:[/B] 21
[B]Gender:[/B] Female
[B]Appearance/Description:[/B] [URL=http://hyung-taekim.org/displayimage.php?album=15&pos=13]Xiang[/URL]
That is her dancing and formal outfit, usually she is just seen in a plain light green dress with an embroidered water lily on the bottom right.
[B]Affiliation:[/B] A servant girl for the Royal Family, she longs to join the Pearls of Winter but is not permitted to leave the building unless she is with someone.

[B]Brocade:[/B] NA
[B]Weapon(s):[/B] Xiang has been practicing Kendo in her spare time being taught by some of the servant boys who studied before they arrived at the palace. She can wield a Shinai moderately well.

[B]Circumstances:[/B] Xiang was born in a village not too far form the main city itself, though the village was poor and could barely keep up with the way the city was moving forward in agriculture and industry. There came a point where the village people were desperate, and when guards from the palace came on their usual route of inspection, five girls from the village, all sixteen at the time, were sold to them to become servant girls in the palace. Some tried to run, others merely bowed their heads and departed on the backs of proud horses. Xiang was a weak girl, she didn't put up a fight and never once questioned her parent?s decisions, she assumed that what she was doing was for some greater good.

Though she is quiet, she is a hard worker and has grown to be a graceful dancer. The Emperor and his son enjoy her company and though she is still considered a servant, gets on well enough with them. She sometimes travels out when there are festivals; she usually takes part as one of a group of dancing girls. Though Xiang has grown used to a life of servitude, she longs to join the fabled Pearls of Winter and become her own woman; independence is something that she often dreams about.

[B]Introduction:[/B] A soft wind whispered through the trees as crumbs scattered across the short clipped grass. A young woman stood in the centre of a flock of doves, all kept and fed by the palace servants. A small smile flickered across her face for a moment as a young bird hopped along, it's head twitching in curiosity as it watched it's brothers and sisters feed on the small portions of food. It chirped and hopped forward, pecking feverishly at a crumb. Xiang knelt and held out her hand, the majority of the birds already used to her by now. They ignored her, but this young bird showed a mixture of fear and intrigue in its beady black eyes.

It watched Xiang, her slender hand held perfectly still with only a few crumbs settled in the palm of her hand. The young bird chirped again and sensing no danger, hopped onto the woman's fingers, pecking happily at the crumbs. Xiang's smile broadened as the bird finished it's meal, looking up at her with a hungry stare. She flicked her hand and the bird took to flight, landing in a willow tree not too far from the feeding frenzy. Xiang clapped her hands together softly so as not to scare the birds, she then emptied the last of the breadcrumbs and left, walking towards the koi pond near the back entrance of the palace.

She passed one of the gardeners and nodded to him, he was an old man but very sweet, Xiang knew him well. [B]"It's a wonderful day for gardening, Jin."[/B] Xiang spoke up, her voice quiet yet clear in the still afternoon air. Jin looked up and grinned at her, smile wrinkles creased up his cheeks and dimples formed. He nodded and dipped his head out of courtesy, leaning on his broom to study the young woman. [B]"Indeed it is, Xiang. I heard that some government officials would be visiting this afternoon." [/B] The woman nodded and blew back some hair from her eyes.

[B]"I know, I imagine that's why you're here tending to what looks to be a perfect Jasmine bush?"
"Ah, gardens can't ever be perfect, remember that, dear."[/B]

Xiang chuckled and waved to Jin before turning on her heel and walking to the palace. She knew about the government officials, apparently the Emperor had some big business with them, the Pearls of Winter, no doubt. Xiang sighed wistfully casting her gaze to the horizon, searching for an answer to a question that would never be answered. Every night she prayed for someone to take her away form this place. Someone who would let her go and be free.

She knew that day would never come, when her parents sold her to those palace soldiers Xiang knew that it would be her fate. There was no use in thinking about it now, what has been done cannot be undone. [I]'I can still dream...'[/I] that was all she seemed to be doing lately, dreaming.

Large maple doors towered ahead of her and Xiang had to crane her neck to study the ornate decorations the covered the top, the golden statues of dragon?s heads that seemed to guard the entrance glimmered in the sunlight. She realised that existence in this place was not so bad, but freedom would always be something that any servant would wish for no matter how well they were treated.

The sound of voices drifted through the granite floored corridors, a sign that the government officials had already arrived. Xiang noticed Ming Lei, a woman in her early sixties who was head of the female servants. She ushered Xiang along quietly whispering, [B]"They do not want to be disturbed, go out and enjoy the sun."[/B] Xiang nodded in obedience and left.[/COLOR]

Hurrah, I'm done. PM me if I need to change anything.[/SIZE]
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Zhou Tao
He is sometimes referred to as the Silent Viper.

Except, you know, Chinese. Minus the neck-thing, the wristbands, and the crossbow. Put him in more period-design clothes of a similar type. Change the sunglasses to glasses. Give him a [I]jian[/I]. That's Tao.

An assassin hired by the Government to take out the Pearls of Winter in exchange for an erased police record.

Tao is a master with the [I]jian[/I] (Chinese straight sword). His paricular blade, his only cherished possession, is a piece of art. A long black ash handle, laced with steel and iron. Carvings of a wicked snake, and a viper making the handguard. The blade is slightly waved at the edge for extra bite.

He is also fairly skilled with a staff, a spear, and a bow, not to mention his ability to turn many normal items into weapons. In addition, his body is a weapon with his skill in Snake Style Shaolin Quan.

In the dark underworld, one name is whispered from place to place, tinged with shivers and fear. Zhou Tao. The Silent Viper. The assassin. A killer by nature and by profession, who'll take any head for a suitable price. He's never lost a target, never failed a job. He's never lost a fight. Never failed to kill an opponent.

Almost nothing is known of the assassin's past. He's said to be from a poor family, killed by soldiers or bandits or the like. He left his home and dedicated himself to a life of death. A life of shadows. It's known that he's a master swordsman, and is highly skilled in the Snake style of Shaolin Quan. He's probably from Wudanshan, say most, as it is where the Snake style is prominant.

Sadly, his infamy has brought him trouble from the government. Soldiers track Tao across China. And they have apparently captured him, bringing him to the government head. And a proposition has been made. Kill the Pearls of Winter, and his police record vanishes. Kill them all, or die himself.

Zhou Tao does not fail.


Smoky and dark. Such is the way of the lairs of criminals. The only places that take in scum and villains, murderers and theives. The violent, the greedy, the deranged, the brutal. All the filth from the streets of China, gathered into small shacks and burrows. Filthy.

The liquor in his hand was heady and bitter. The smoke trailing from his pipe foul smelling and acrid. But it was the best he could buy in the rundown old town, filled with drunks, vagrants, and killers. Zhou Tao could always pay for the best. Assassins were well-payed no matter where you went. Tao knew the truth quite well.

The door creaked open. Eyes flickered to it, and a small boy moved in. Dirty, disheveled, and nervous, his eyes grew wide as the thugs watched him. His bare feet slapped against the grungy floor, and he bowed his head low as he approached the Silent Viper. He spoke, voice shaking like the earth during a quake.

"M-Master w-w-will s-see you n-now, g-great one," he stammered.

"Good," was the assassins curt reply. He spoke with a cold voice, sharp like his blade but with a smoothness that did not fit his reputation. Neither did the lazy elegance with which he rose from the old chair, nor the slow gait that he walked. For the deadliest assassin alive, he gave of a startlingly calm disposition. None of the bloodlust or agitation that filled most. He was simply a man going about his work.

It was blood-chilling.

The sword clinked lightly as Tao walked, his sandals sqeaking with each step. The patrons marveled. How could this be the great Silent Viper, when every step he took made noise? At last, several rose, drawing up their arms. Tao stopped immediately, speaking in the same calm tone.

"Is there a problem?"

"We don't think you are really the great assassin," one growled. He stepped forward, towering over Tao. The unwashed thug brandished a massive sword, and bore many scars.

"I assure you, I am," Tao said, a placid smile on his lips.

"Prove it!" another man screamed, swinging a long polearm at the assassin.

It cleaved through the floor, but Tao was untouched. He stepped to the side of the swing, dancing forward and drawing his [I]jian[/I] silently, driving the sword into the thug's stomach.


With inhuman skill, he turned slightly to bring his foot up into another attacker's face. The large sandle shattered his jaw, and the man staggered back. Tao pulled his blade loose, bringing it forward to pin the broken man to the wall. Blood splashed onto Tao's hands and face.

He still had the same smile.

Five minutes and the rest were dead. Cleaved, stabbed, broken, and bruised. They lay upon the floor, slumped over tables, bleeding from countless wounds. Tao stood in the middle of the carnage, untouched save for the blood of others. Smiling calmly, he took a puff on his pipe and snuffed it by pressing it to a carcasses back 'til it stopped sizzling. He turned to the young boy, who flinched at a single glance.

"Shall we go, my boy?"


OOC: I was going to have Tao be a government official, but then I decided that an assassin would be much more fun to play. And then, he changed again, from your typical cold, heartless killer to...this. A calm, fairly cheerful man without a care in the world, save the government perhaps. Tell me if anything at all needs to be changed.

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[size=1][color=darkred][align=RIGHT] [b]Name:[/b] Xhaiou Jian
[b]Sobriquet:[/b] he Sapphire Knight
[b]Age:[/b] 23
[b]Gender:[/b] Male

[b]Appearance/Description:[/b] [URL=http://www.capcom.co.jp/devil3/download/devil3_vergil_2.jpg]The Sapphrie Knight[/URL]
Xhaiou Jian is an outsider, and has outside clothes. His azure and black visage is put down by the commoners, who wish not for a tide of strangers to come through their lands.

[b]Affiliation:[/b] Xhaiou Jian is a liutentant in the army, working his way up from his rather pagan settings. The Emperor, having no son, seems to have grown on to his rash, but affirmitave decisons. He treats him like a son, though has no ties, nor lets him join in royal activies. His arrogance has led many to regret this decision, but his brilliant stratigic commands, stealth, and pure combat ability has kept his posision. For now.

[b]Weapon:[/b] Tenpu-Kosai-Ryu Kai+Manji Ninjitsu

He uses a Nodachi, a slightly larger katana made in the fashion of a demonic sword seen [URL=http://www.angelfire.com/goth/devilmaycrytonite/weaponalastor.jpg]here[/URL]

[b]Circumstances:[/b] On the side that every one sees like it or not, Xhaiou Jian is there. War, blood and sacrifice is all that The Sapphire Knight knows, and all he seems to care about. Cruel, bloodthirsty and sadiastic on the battlefield, his demeanor is quiet, reserved, and cold otherwise.

Xhaiou Jian is rumored to have come from The East, but this is yet to be confirmed. He'd killed several Unknown and Unmakred soldiers, appearantly from his homeland. He had appeared on the Plains of Battle, where territories were being fought over by private armies, one belonging to the emperor.

Xhaiou Jian watched the battle for several days, and finally approached the commander that seemed to have the most sense. He was accepted, as the Commander's reserves were running low.

Xhaiou Jian proved his worth, and got an audience with the Emperor. In private, he told his tale. No one save the Emperor himself has heard it. However, what many had heard of, his Xhaiou Jian's prowess. The Emperor gave him the posision of a normal soldier in the Emperor's private army. Before leaving the Audience Chamber, several people heard Xhaiou Jian's name.

[b]Introduction:[/b] [i]The wings are white, with crystals of ice, and frozen roses so red. Roses of blood from an innocent soul, on the plain lies an angel, dead.[/i]

Xhaiou Jian walked out of the courtyard. Several blossoms from a white ash tree blew into his hand. He closed it, grinding his fingers into the soft leaves. They gave in, the fragrant water still coursing in their dying veins making a small wet mark on his palm. He turned his hand out, and let them fall away.

However, a needle in the side of peace that the nature of the Garden provided, a messenger's steel spiked running boots ripped up the stone and wild plants, like a bear through a thick of needles. Punish earth and be punished.

The messenger, having passed through the Rose Sanctuary, had several nicks and cuts on his arms, legs and face. He stopped short of Xhaiou Jian, and bowed low. However, Xhaiou Jian caught the man's chin, and rpped it upward, his fingers digging into the man's flesh.

"You are no common maggot. Do not copy their filthy habits." The Meseenger nodded, and began to deliver the message.

"I see. The Pearls of Winter....this should be fun..." Xhaiou Jian laughed, a tarnished laugh. "Round up the common maggots, and have them on the lookout."
Xhaiou Jian turned on his heel as the messenger ripped through Garden again. More blossoms fell from the tree high above. The red petals from the roses minging with the falling white from the tree, created a look into a soul misgiven by blood.

Xhaiou turned away, as the trees bore mute witness to his colorful display of arrogance.[/color][/size][/align]
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[COLOR=White][FONT=Verdana]Name: Zheng Mao
Sobriquet: Called Master Zhen by subjects and Fujin which means wealth and money by companions.
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Appearance/Description: [URL=http://hyung-taekim.org/displayimage.php?album=10&pos=1]Zheng[/URL]
Affiliation: The Emperor's Son
Brocade: None
Weapon(s): A Katana that he nicknames "Rahuji" that he has carried since childhood.
Circumstances: Zheng is the second born into the Mao royal family, he has an older sister by the name of Mingmei which means smart and beautiful. Despite being the oldest, Zheng is said to be the heir of the family, the next to take the throne after his father. He has always lived a pampered life, living in luxurious palaces, and traveling to far away places. He's much naive about poverty around the area, the winter pearls and everything in the outside world. Happy-go-lucky, He's always been very close to his older sister since his parents were never at home, although he hates to admit it, and has since been depressed when his sister had an arranged marriage and had to move away. He's constantly trying to compete with her, and be good for her sake. Otherwise he's known as the one who always gets into trouble and causing mischief all the time. Like his sister, he has good looks which attracts alot of onlooking-females and also he is a HUGE flirt but he has no interest in relationships for he feels they are only attracted to him because of his money and status.

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  • 2 weeks later...
[COLOR=RoyalBlue][SIZE=1]Silk Brocade has now officially been opened in the Square. Please begin as soon as you are able, and I hope you enjoy.

Neuvoxetere/ Xiao Heng Ran
Cahoots34/ Chen Jie-Ling
JJRiddler/ Hirada Naoto
Raid3r/ Tzu Sun
Sage/ Trang Ten
Unborn Lord Xion/ Zhou Tao
Starrstruck/ Ke Na
Saishi/ Be Xiang[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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