[Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:13 am

Dewang looks at the others, when they are out of earshot.

"There must be something useful in the records," he says. "I'll see if I can find anything."
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Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:42 am

"We must find out more about the Huis," Baozi adds in a low voice. "And if they are so powerful here, they don't need to fear being investigated. They might have brought their prisoners here. I think one of us should go to the Hui Quarter, in disguise, and see what we can find. I... I could do that."

Wenchang looks like he is about to protest.

"I can disguise myself so that no-one would ever recognise me, or take any notice of me," Baozi goes on. "I would be able to go almost anywhere." He catches Dewang's eye.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:22 am

"Yes, you could," says Dewang slowly. It's terribly risky, but since when has that stopped any of them before?

"Perhaps it would be better if you helped me go through the records first," he adds. "Then you won't be going in completely blindly."
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Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

Hosea 3:1
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:03 am

"Of course -" Baozi hesitates just a moment, "Dewang."



A week or two ago...

"Ge* Zhiteng, I wondered if I-" Baozi stops. Dewang is staring at him in shock. "I'm sorry. I.. is something wrong?"

"Oh, no, Baozi," Now Baozi is the one to be startled. That isn't proper. "It's just, could you not call me that?"

"But... you are my elder brother."

"Well then do as he tells you!" Wenchang interjects. "Baozi." He is obviously amused.

Baozi looks at his shoes. "But... what else can I call you?"

"The same that you always did, of course," says Wenchang. "And me too."

Dewang puts a hand on Baozi's shoulder. "It's ok, call me what you want to - I won't mind." But he looks pained. "It's just... you and Wenchang are the only people who call me Dewang. And it's not as though we aren't still friends."

"Well... I..." How can he respect his elders when they tell him not to? And what will people think? "Of course I'll do whatever you ask," he says, slowly, "Dewang. And Wenchang. But... you don't mean in front of other people, do you?" Please don't... "I'm sure you wouldn't want them to think I had no respect for you... would you?"

Dewang almost sighs, but stops himself. "Of course not. But between the three of us."



*Elder brother**

**If I've gotten it wrong please just correct me in private so I can hide the evidence.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:42 pm

They don't find a great deal from the records that they didn't already know about the Huis. Hui Jiao is heir to his father, the magistrate, and his chief administrator. His twin Hui Qiao is sought by many suitors, but so far none have been successful - some indeed have been most unfortunate, having died of illness after attempting to court her.

"A most tragic coincidence," Baozi remarks with a sideways look. Perhaps is is nothing more than that, but in the circumstances he wouldn't be entirely sure of it.

There is a little more to learn about the cult of the Forest God. It seems it's a relic from the distant past, of the worship of places and other spirits, besides ancestors. Baozi remarks a little on the apparent similarity with the nature worship of his Di ancestors, and the magic that shamans are capable of by calling on animal spirits.

There are four different stories about the Forest God. The first says that it is a tree, a giant tree producing both healing, life-extending fruit, and poisons with no cure. This, given some of what they know about the Huis, is certainly of interest.

The next story is of a dragon which can cause either floods or bountiful harvests, if angered or soothed.

Other tales tell of an exiled daughter of the Jade Emperor, seeking a man. A husband, in one version, to please her father, but to court her and fail is death. Or else, a warrior who will kill her father the Jade Emperor and claim his throne. These stories, and especially the first, they all agree seem to have an uncanny resonance with what they have just learned of Hui Qiao. But all in all this raises more questions than answers.

They leave and return to the camp outside the city walls where they have left Wenchang's soldiers.

"The magistrate will probably hear that we have been there asking about his family," Dewang warns.

Baozi nods. It almost went very badly, but he is not unduly concerned with how it did turn out. "Surely. But the Huis would learn that we are here sooner or later anyway." Especially as they now realise they are camped right outside their quarter of the city. "In war, you should make both a direct and a secret approach," he quotes from his books. "Now I had better disguise myself and see what I can find out that way."

"Now?" Wenchang asks, concerned. "Baozi, be careful."

"Now that we may have announced our presence, there is no time to lose. Besides, haste may sometimes be foolish, but long delays are never clever. I will go and prepare my disguise and then slip away quietly - I can't talk to you afterwards, I mustn't be seen with you if I'm not to arouse suspicion." That is not the whole truth.

"You must take one of the potions," Wenchang insists, but Baozi shakes his head,

"That's no good. We may not be ready to move against them within a day, but we can't wait a whole week, so if I take the potion now I can't be protected when we'll need it most. I promise, I will not be recognised. I will be in less danger than if I stayed with you, looking like myself."


He bids his brothers farewell and disappears into his tent, where he divests himself of his sword and kneels on the floor to meditate and pray. Minutes later, a small brown tabby cat slips out of the tent and darts for a clump of tall weeds he had previously noticed and marked out for this purpose.

He freezes, crouched low to the ground, and looks around. No sign that anyone has noticed. He trots quickly to the next bit of cover, and looks again. One more time, and he is clear of the camp and can move freely.

He is careful not to look too purposeful as he moves through the city. It is a delicate business - he must let the cat behave like a cat, to avoid any possibility of suspicion, while his true self must keep his focus and think like a human. But he is well practised.

He jumps onto walls and runs along the tops of fences, even sometimes roofs: good vantage points, as well as the natural path of a cat. When a feline resident challenges the newcomer, he stops to spit defiant curses before contemptuously turning his back and moving on. No time for fighting, only to demonstrate that he is not afraid. The rival is sufficiently impressed or sufficiently cautious not to rush him from behind. At another spot, he sits to wash his face in front of a tied dog which pulls at its rope, barking, but cannot reach him. Two children point him out and laugh, and he stalks by them with a dignified purr and a tail raised in greeting - just out of their fingers' reach. He has already resolved not to allow anyone to touch him, remembering Dewang's discovery. However unlikely magicians these little ones might be, there is no particular advantage in making an exception.

But all the time he is keeping eyes and ears open. Listening for the name Hui in conversation, or for his brothers' and his names, or the captured men's, or even Liang Ju or Dr Hua. Watching for anything that might indicate where two prisoners are being hidden. As a cat he can go freely through gardens and stare at anything - or anyone - he is curious about. Even if he is so bold as to peer into windows or try to enter open doors, it is only the natural impudence of a cat, perhaps to be cursed at or have to dodge a thrown object, but not suspected.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:18 am

Hearing the name 'Hui' in conversation is not very helpful. The family is large, with several branches tracing linage back three or four generations to Magistrate Hui's grandfather. All told that means dozens of Hui's by blood and many score more servants and close cousins, most of whom hold some status in the community.

Every block has a Hui or two in charge from the smallest clutch of homes and shops to the garrisons and scribes.

And at the center of it all sits the Hui estate, a sprawling collection of beautiful buildings, splendid gardens and parks with walls of different sizes and stones to separate each part. All told the estate takes up a third of the entire Quarter and houses thousands of people from the magistrate himself down to the groundsmen and scullions.

It would take Baozi days to prowl across it all but since he doubts the gardeners are whom he needs to follow he can focus on the inner manor where the main family lives.

Each gate has guards with more and better armed ones closer to the center. The outer gates, with their low walls, have no more than five men with spears and padded caps who seem more like traffic directors than soldiers. But even there Baozi's keen, feline senses can see that other men lurk about under the guise of laborers and peddlers who seem even more watchful than the guards.

By the time one reaches the inner gate to the main house the walls are 30chi high and half as thick with no fewer than a dozen visible soldiers in quilted armor with spears, halberds, shields and sabres as well as officers in coats of iron plates with iron helmets and horses. The walls there also have guard towers manned by archers armed with heavy crossbows and some few even have catapults.

Cavalry with dogs patrol the fortification in pairs every few minutes as well and more than once Baizi has had to leap away from the thundering hooves and barking hounds.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:17 am

If this is where the two teachers are being held, he had better find some plan other than a direct assault to get them out. But first he'd better try to find out if they are here at all, or anything else he can.

With so much watchfulness, Baozi considers the possibility that even a cat might be noticed, and spends a little time, not too far from the inner gates, stalking through gardens as though he had nothing on his mind but mice, and sunning himself in the open without a care in the world.

Another cavalry patrol passes by noisily, and the cat opens half an eye to watch the dogs with an expression of haughty irritation. They bark a little and sniff in his general direction but are too intent on their tasks to take any further notice. They pass, and he gets up, yawns, and slowly stretches his front and back legs in turn. Then saunters casually along the path to the gates.

They are high, solid, heavy, and locked, but a smaller postern is open - guarded - to allow the not-infrequent foot traffic in and out. Baozi strolls up to the gate in the middle of the path with his tail straight up in the air as though he were completely unaware of the guards, and not alert to the possibility of having to dodge a kick.
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