November 29th, 2021
March 19, 2020
11/24/2021 12:54 PM
Drabble - Arrival at Ard-o Ñoldor
// this drabble is based on not only one but several 1x1 SLs I got going with Airi in the LoTR verse, exploring Airi´s , her parents´ and Hou Xin´s story and relationships - this one is set around the time when Hou Xin is about to come across Airi´s parents, at that time still young elves and students at Ard-o Noldor //
Arrival at Ard-o Ñoldor
Fast, swift steps stirred up a few dry leaves strewn across the white, marble platform overlooking one of the impressive waterfalls of the valley, a vigorous swipe with the long, flexible bo-staff sent them tumbling down towards the glittering depth.
One last strike, a few more graceful strides then the fighter came to a stop, leaving the state of deeply focused concentration – only to be rewarded by the sound of clapping hands.
“A very impressive demonstration, Háno Xin (Quenya: Brother Xin) – your skill and grace are nothing short of that of the Eldar, indeed if I didn´t know better but was nothing but an unassuming spectator I would harbor no doubt that you were inherently one of us… - given you hide your ears”, the final, amicably teasing remark did nothing to dampen the genuine respect shown by the lord of these lands, Elrond himself.
A small yet warm smile playing round his lips the addressed, Hou Xin, turned to face the speaker, answering the praise with a respectful bow of his head.
“Hîr-nya (my lord)” – he still used the title demanded by official etiquette, even after a decade of close friendship bonded the two men, elf and Dunedáin. For him it was an expression of gratitude and deep friendship all in one, and thus Elrond accepted it for what is was meant to be a respectful and still amicable moniker. “I´d never dare to compare myself with the grace of the Eldar, yet will do everything to honor the gift of the Valar by making the best of what I was granted so generously in order to utilize it in the service of the free people or Arda.”
“Oh, don´t you sell yourself short, Háno – you easily keep up with the best of my warriors, best them even – this is no easy task…”
“I am sure they went easy on a pitifully, blind human…”, the objection was washed away by a stream of highly amused laughter – “I don´t think so – they looked rather beaten… - anyway, speaking of service – there IS indeed a favor I would like to ask you for, Háno, and actually the reason I came to seek you out today.”
On their way back to the living quarters of the elves Elrond explained that he answered a request sent by their distant elven brethren, one of the Avari Clans, more precisely the Wisdom Clan for aid in their quest to collect as much information as possible about the culture of Numenor and its destruction in order to create a precise and at best complete chronicle of the lost people.
“… so I told them that we have an expert on this topic among us and that he most certainly would be happy to share his knowledge in order to preserve it for the world… - please apologize my anticipation in that matter.”
Hou Xin waved off the apology, reassuring the elven leader that it would be an honor to share all he could about this world and people gone, yet could not hold back a little concern, “… as much as it would be an honor and pleasure to aid in this task, tell me, Hîr-nya, am I wrong about what I know about the Avari as such and the Wisdom Clan in particular. As far as my knowledge goes your elven brethren are rather reclusive and the Wisdom Clan with their abode high up in the mountains even more. As far as word has reached me due to their past and history they are very reluctant to open up already when it comes to their elven brethren, even more to all other races and no other than elves are allowed in Ard-o Ñoldor (Mountain of Those with Knowledge)?”
The chuckle which came in return vividly transported the mischievous smile lighting up the elven Lord´s face even to Hou Xin.
“Well, they asked for help, and I got them the most competent probably available – you are part of our community, so consider yourself an honorary Eldar - also technically as you were granted the gift of the Eldar by the Valar you are more one of us than you are still human by now.”
This time it was Hou Xin´s part to come back with a series of heartfelt chuckles while shaking his head, “You know very well that this is mostly bending reality in your favor – but of course I will accompany you and offer my council. It is on them then to decide whether it is welcome or not.”
Already the next day the two men set off – Elrond considered it his task to accompany and introduce the former royal Dunedáin counselor himself, not only due to their strong bond of friendship and mutual respect but also as he considered it his part to counter any possible objections sparked by the human nature of Hou Xin as it had been his idea to present the human as his expert in that matter in the first place.
Also, only few knew the secret pathways leading up to the lofty abode of the reclusive Avari-Clan located in the icy heights of the Misty Mountains.
For Hou Xin it also was the first time since the Fall of Numenor, since he so miraculously escaped death, saved by the Valar themselves and placed into the care of the Elves of Imladris to venture further than where the elves´ Scouting units he occasionally joined patrolled.
Indeed, besides the fact that was someone with a wide knowledge and insight of the fallen Dunedain people he also suspected that Elrond´s motives to task him with this matter were guided by the attempt to lure the human out of the shell of his self-imposed exile which by now lasted already almost one entire decade.
As happy and content Hou Xin appeared to be and also how eager to overcome the tragedy of the past and its effects on him and his life these days it also was rather obvious to one getting to know him better that he still felt guilty about what happened, that he had not been able to prevent all this, that he considered himself unworthy of the gratitude he received and very much deserved the state of irreversible, eternal blindness. Latter however also still feeling to him not only as the rightful punishment for his past failure but also as a burden for everyone around him. A feeling which both made him train and work hard to utilize his new abilities coming with the granted gift of the Eldar in order to overcome any possible hindrance in his way of being the warrior but also scholar he once was but also on the other side left him rather self-conscious and withdrawn, still after 10 years fearing he was not good enough.
This journey now besides everything else also seemed to be supposed to drag him out of his hiding from the world, apparently was Elrond´s stubborn and resisting while friendly nudging to allow him to see and explore his own potential.
And indeed, challenged like this Hou Xin notice that due to his own work and constant training but also thanks to the benefits the granted abilities of the Valar provided he did well, more than that – often enough those they met needed a second or even a third glance to identify the human part of the illustrious duo as unseeing.
About a week later at the end of a climb arduously even for their formidable steeds they crossed the threshold to what was know only by few outside the Avari community as Ard-o Ñoldor, the place of those with knowledge.
They had just descended from their horses and the animals in tow passed the huge, vaulting gateway leading towards the center and main hall of the academy mostly built into the rocky surface of the summit range when they where abruptly stopped by some guards. It was obvious that they were conflicted between offering the demanded respect upon facing one of the most renowned elven leaders and feeling the urge to tell the human at his side that this was not a place he was welcome, or even allowed to be.
After a little to and fro mostly spoken in Quenya, presumably as the guards assumed that the human was not able to understand the not so flattering demands the little squabble was interrupted by yet another group of Avari elves, the headmaster of the academy himself and a few of the scholars – yet whispering in the background announced that the ongoing arguing attracted the attention of a lot more, scholars and students alike.
A polite yet reserved greeting immediately was followed by the still calm but rather blunt hint that this was an exclusive elven place, a remark being both, literally showing the door to the human and also the inquiry why Elrond in the first place had been bold enough to even considering bringing Hou Xin.
Latter felt how his elven companion took two steps towards their unwilling hosts, and when the elf spoke up it didn´t need eyes to notice how barely restrained impatience and growing annoyance resonated within the usually so calm and soothing voice of the Elf Lord.
“I... no, WE came her to aid your cause – to answer your call for scholars able and willing to create and complete a chronicle about the Dundeain, Numenor and its fall – Did I not promise you the most competent scholar. Therefor I ask you who could be more competent than one of the Dunedain themselves?!” – Later remark caused a murmur going through the crowd that by now was filling the aisles and hallway next to them – “The Dunedain are gone, all that is left are some strewn Rangers – and we already received much information from those willing to leave their secluded life and to answer our questions – so what would your friend here be able to add? – Especially given his… situation.”
Hou Xin did not care much for the final remark, he had come to terms with the fact that others either pitied him or faced him with disdain, sometimes both – he considered it part of his punishment for the failure to lead his people, his former king away from darkness and evil. Yet the way Elrond drew his breath clearly gave away that his indifferent façade was only this, a rather quickly crumbling mask.
“You judge before you even know who you are talking to – Your people has a reputation of being wary and extra cautious, and surely not for nothing. Still, do you really consider me a lighthearted fool enough to bring any random stranger to your doorstep. – This man here, one of the last remaining Dunedain is not just any random Ranger – this is Hou Xin, former advisor of the last King himself. The one who tried to stop the madness imposed by Sauron and his subtle, poisoning evil that eventually destroyed the mind of his King and that of most of his people. He tried to warn the Valar about the planned attack, and for that he was imprisoned, his family murdered in front of his eyes before they blinded him and set him for death through torture… - So, do you still think I just caught you any random person that crossed my path and appeared to be Numenorean? … He…”
At that point Hou Xin could not hold back himself any more – the whole “being made special”-thing went entirely against his nature, even though he could see Elrond´s point and what he tried to achieve with it. He stepped forward to bring himself at least back side to side with the Lord of Imladris, then, intentionally falling back into etiquette of his past, took up the stance used to officially greet higher ranking individuals.
“Thank you Hîr-nya (my lord) for the elaborate introduction – I am sure the noble lords of this place did have their reason and cause to set up the established rules – and I am surely not in the position to question them or even more, to demand special treatment, even less for what I once was. – However, I hereby humbly offer my services to help with this task you and your scholars have taken upon you. Indeed, I am beyond grateful and honored that my former people are interesting enough to have sparked such undertaking.”
He briefly touched his hands with his forehead before going on
“Yet if my presence here is unallowed and unwanted I will make sure to leave this place this very hour and I deeply apologize if I caused inconvenience or even insulted you and your people.”
// maybe continued with a part 2//
09/09/2021 03:22 PM
Headcanon: Before the Fall (of Numenor) Part II
//alright, this has taken me ages - Part II of a headcanon I was writing as Hou Xin´s backgroundstory set in the Tolkien verse for a great SL with my dear Airi (an Avari Elf) - For this setting Hou Xin was made Dunedain.. with a past going back till before the Fall. - How he is still alive ages later (even for a Dunedain an unusual life-span) in the storyline and how he came to be who he is in the story - a blind, human living with a clan of Avair Elves being a Scholar and the caretaker of their Library for them... Part one can be found here, if you want to catch up first: https://www.roleplayer.me/view_blog.php?id=0000507749 /
It was about to end… he felt it, he knew it. There was nothing more he was able to muster, no strength, no life left. Seemingly endless torture and eventually his refusal to accept any of the meager pieces of stale bread and sips of bilgy water brought his body to the point of breaking down.
He eagerly was waiting for this to happen – this was his way out of this hell, out of this cycle of humiliation, pain and suffering.
Maybe his former king – Hou Xin by now refused even to think about the corrupted leader as anything near what he understood a king to be – and Sauron, the corrupting, poisoning voice in the leader´s ear, the former prisoner made advisor, actually had lost interest in tormenting an almost dead man… or maybe there were other things on their minds, things like the conquest of Valinor.
The Edain warrior and former counselor shuddered, he really hoped that the Valar knew how to prepare against such veil deeds – especially as, as far as he knew, it was forbidden to them to actively take the lives of other beings of Arda.
Slowly he sat up, one more time he told himself, tried to motivate his sore, weak body to comply – at least he would not give them the pleasure to find him curled up on the ground like a newborn. Ultimately he managed to maneuver his fading body into a sitting position, crossed legs, shackled wrists resting in his lap, upright, calm; a last display of dignity even despite torn clothes, naked skin and open wounds.
A tiny sigh escaped his lips, a thin smile playing round them while he invited death to take him – the sigh caused by a brief wave of defeat and failure washing over him. He knew he had failed her. Had not been able to keep his promise.
“Remain strong – your place is here – promise me to not allow kindness leave these lands” – his wife´s last words, her final request spoken under dying breath while bleeding to death in his arms.
They took her from him, made him watch powerlessly how his former king´s sword struck her violently – only after they made him, forced him to witness this gruesome scene they bothered to take his sight.
And though the pain when the black blade was pulled across his face followed by the iron grip of Sauron the Necromancer casting his spell to erase even the idea what it meant to see was nothing less than searing agony, it was nothing in comparison to the pain of losing her.
The moment Morgoth´s right hand warrior let go of him, driven by mad determination, seemingly almost unfazed by the horrible deed done to him he´d crawled forward to where he remember her lying.
There was still life left, fleeting though, running out quickly – that was the moment he made the promise to be strong, to stay, to make sure that darkness would not take the upper hand… - he would have to apologize for his failure.
Maybe she would understand… he dearly hoped she would.
The cold blackness surrounding him seemed to go on forever while he waited for his inevitable fate – until the deafening crunching and a noise as if earth itself was moaning interrupted the silence. Tremors as deep as the rocky abyss underneath him followed, made stone crumble and splinter, opened up cracks inside the cave walls and allowed the whole force of the surrounding sea come barging in. - So not a peaceful death then, of course not.
His seemingly weightless body was carried away by tempestuous currents after another powerful quake caused his chains to break lose from where they had been fixed to the ground.
Like a puppet his lifeless form was tossed about by waves, carried upwards and away – nothing of this was noticed by Hou Xin any more.
Neither when strong yet gentle hands reached down to lift the dying man out of his wet grave.
Warmth and being bedded softly underneath silken sheets – that was what the afterlife felt like then? The difference to what he went through during his final days could not have been more striking.
Slowly Hou Xin stirred, then paused in astonishment when he noticed that he was clad in what felt like silken robes – the pain was gone, his body though still weak felt whole again.
Yet when he opened his eyes darkness lingered, his sight still gone. Did that mean that Sauron´s evil spells even reached him in the realm beyond, couldn´t be broken even by death… that or…
“Gi suilon, Nin hir ! (Greetings my lord) – At last, you woke!” a voice, calm, ageless … and vaguely familiar. If it hadn´t been for the use of Sindarin Hou Xin would have needed longer to identify the speaker, apparently situated next to his bed.
“Lord Elrond?!”, it was question and statement both at the same time.
“Your gift of perception is not praised without reason, Master Hou”, came the response, the words lined with a genuine smile,
Lord Elrond – so, he was not dead but very much alive and as it seemed had been brought to Rivendell… but...
“How..?”, Hou Xin was unable to hide his confusion, sitting up more or less straight while trying to get a grasp of the whole situation.
Almost as if he needed to reassure himself that what he was experiencing right now indeed was real his hands brushed over the formerly torn and bruised skin of his wrists where the shackles had left deep, blood traces – nothing but soft skin, and only a faint hint of thin scars prove of freshly healed wounds - not that this came particularly as a surprise considered that his back mauled by endless whipping also felt whole and healed again.
“What happened? - Why I am still here?” Hou Xin´s growing uneasiness and confusion probably was visible by now
The bed softly moved when the Lord of these Lands made himself comfortable at the side, allowing one hand to soothingly rest on one of the beaten Edain forearms.
“A lot happened, and the fact that you are still here and not with the others buried under the sea in a cold, wet grave is to be owed to none less than the Valar and even Iluvatar himself….”
The story that eventually followed about the complete destruction of his homeland, how the All-father himself intervened to stop the madness of Ar-Pharazon controlled by Sauron by drowning the Island of Numenor together with the royal fleet, how whole Middle Earth was re-shaped in the process left the former inhabitant of the destroyed island not short of astonishment but also awe and terror.
When the Elf-Leader had finished it took Hou Xin some time to digest the information – not even noticing hat he had been listening with closed eyes he turned further towards his current host.
So his warning had been taken seriously, the Valar, not allowed to defend themselves saved after all – yet in what manner and to what cost.
“So… everyone of my people is dead?… But, why save me then?”
“No, not everyone is dead, some made it out alive – most of those faithful to Elendil and the Ban of the Valar survived, and so of course you. Ulmo, the Lord of the Sea carried your body to safety and some of my warriors were instructed to bring you here”
Hou Xin bowed his head in gratitude “I must thank you for your good care, my Lord, as I assume it was you and your people to tend to my wounds?”.
“Oh, no that praise is directed to the wrong person – what little of your life was left was re-kindled by the fairest of Ladies, Esté the greatest of healers. - she stayed with you until it was sure that life would not leave you after all and that your wounds would heal without complications… - except… you probably noticed it already…”
“Hm…” - instinctively Hou Xin´s free hand went up to brush across closed lids, nothing felt out of the ordinary though, except from the fact of course, that he still could not see.
“She was able to heal your eyes – yet unable to restore your sight – the dark magic which was used to take it from you is too strong and the spell irreversible – I am profoundly sorry, Master Hou.”
For a moment silence settled, again Hou Xin need a few moments to come to terms with the heard – yet less the fact that he still was and would remain forever blind, rather the very idea that one of the Anui herself had been the one to tend to him, and that it was no one less than the honorable Lord Elrond to take care of further nursing was something he would not have expected in a thousand years.
“There is nothing to be sorry about – I must be grateful and honor the blessing I received when I was sure that I had reached the end of my days…. I might only be a mere human, but still the time I have left I will make sure to honor a pledge I made and the gift I received”
“Oh, talking about gift and mere human – there is something else. Do not consider yourself a mere human, not any more. - Honoring your loyalty, your bravery and the sacrifices you made the Valar and the All-Creator himself decided to grant you the Gift of the Valar – meaning you are now endowed with the same characteristics as we, the Quendi – so, do not worry about given time, there is plenty of it for you now – and maybe some of your newly gained traits might help to compensate your loss. - I am indeed pretty sure that in the shortest of time you will rise to your former expertise as a warrior, if not even surpass it.” the amused but also encouraging chuckle which accompanied the final statement of the elven Lord proved that he very well remembered the former Dunedain Lord and his silent determination and discipline.
A thin smile played round Hou Xin´s lips when he slightly shrugged, “This is a lot of premature praise… and yet will I be nothing more than a homeless vagabond once I am released from this sick-bed”
Suddenly a noticeable hint of indignation rang with the instantly incoming retort
“What are you talking about, Master Hou – I must insist that you are nothing of this kind. Not aiming to trivialize the tragedy of the destruction of your homeland, but please, do not consider yourself homeless. Be assured that you have a home, a family and friends among our people whereever you go – and especially here in Imladris. There will always be a place ready and waiting for you, no matter what you decide to do, where you plan to go next.”
Moved by a wave of deep gratitude but also relieve, knowing that he was no stranded loner in a world without purpose for him Hou Xin put his hand over the elf´s one still resting on his one forearm.
“This means more to me than words can explain, my Lord. - So, when would you think might I able to get up and maybe start doing some exercise again, even some training, should one be found willing to train with a crippled man.”
Another squeeze to his arm was returned, again accompanied by a few, this time genuinely amused, chuckles.
“Master Hou, please, you just barely escaped death, taking a little more time to rest and recover surely will not cause ill thoughts or make others consider you slacking – and let me assure you, the moment you are up and out of this bed and back to train there will be a long row of volunteers eager to spar with you. - And should you be tired of wielding a sword, I´d be more than happy myself to step in for an invigorating exchange of knowledge; as as far as I remember there is no shortage of wits and wisdom to be found with you, my dear brother – that said, may I ask for the honor to address you on a more familial level?”
There was no way Hou Xin would reject such offer and request coming from Elrond the Lord of Imladris. When the renowned elven warrior and healer left him to get some more rest he suddenly noticed how tired he was indeed – and yet his fatigue was still bested by a feeling of utter relieve, gratefulness, joy even. Even despite a lingering sense of sadness, which would never leave him again.
Though despite all loss the fact that he now was able to keep his promise was more than he ever dared to hope during the past months filled with torture - to not allow kindness to leave these lands, he would to anything in his power to stick to these words.
A faint smile playing round his lips the recovering warrior, scholar with a newly gained identity and purpose leaned back and slipped into deep, healing slumber.
06/02/2021 01:52 PM
Headcanon: Before the Fall (of Numenor) Part I
//alright, this is a headcanon of piece of Hou Xin set in the Tolkien verse for a great SL with my dear Airi (an Avari Elf) - For this setting Hou Xin was made Dunedain.. with a past going back till before the Fall. - How he is still alive ages later (even for a Dunedain an unusual life-span) in the storyline and how he came to be who he is in the story - a blind, human living with a clan of Avair Elves being a Scholar and the caretaker of their Library for them... well, those at least next two upcomming drabbles are a bit of his backstory in more detail - warning this one might hold a few graphic parts, so if do not like to read dark stuff, step back now ;D - it was also inspired by the pic below//
Before the Fall - Part I
"Biting, damp coldness was again the first impression he noticed when regaining consciousness – bare, icy stone underneath and the breath of chill gusts brushing across his exposed skin only poorly covered by what was left of his silken robes.
The sensation of agony, a familiar companion by this time, set in only moments later when he tried to open his eyes – again against better judgment. It still was just a simple reflex, a useless one now, a painful one even. The tiniest flutter of his lids felt like someone put hot grinding shards of glass in his eyes.
And then there was the searing, dragging pain engulfing all of his body, mostly his back - the lashing, he remembered. They beat him till his consciousness left him, again…the stones underneath where he had been lying curled up like a fetus were sticky and the coppery smell of his own blood surrounded him in a sickly manner.
Lumps of the cold, crusty substance stuck to his hair cascading down his back and shoulders, a dull, sad, black mass, soiled and tousled.
Weakly he moved, trying to find something to focus on within the numbing, terrifying blackness which had become his new world.
Slowly, his limps feeling like being filled with lead, Hou Xin sat up, the iron shackles round his wrists resounding with a now familiar clang, echoing mockingly along the stone walls surrounding him.
This prison though was not the usual one for any kind of criminal – no, this cell, this place was far worse.
It was a dark place, even for those still able to see and in both the literally but also a metaphorical meaning.
It was located beneath what had become a place of torture and slaughter, a place that should not exist on this realm, the temple dedicated to Mulkher (Adûnaïn for Melkor).
The Dunedain worshiping the Dark Lord… had someone told him this absurdity a few years ago, Hou Xin proably would have laughed right into his face – and yet that was exactly what was happening.
The slowly, seeping poison of dark power and well placed words manged to get the Dundeain´s former prisoner Sauron not only out of his confinement, but also caused their King Ar-Pharazôn to replace his former advisor, him Hou Xin, with the fallen Valar´s closest and strongest warrior – and even more, to urge the Dunedain to worship the Dark Master as their only god.
Those who resisted became human sacrifices at the feet of the statue of the dark god, the centerpiece of the Temple above.
He was one who resisted… and more.
He tried to warn the Valar about attack plans Sauron and Ar-Pharazôn hatched together to attack the Undying Lands in order to conquer and destroy.
That was what brought him down here – that right now was his punishment for treason, as if this pathetic puppet of Evil still was worthy to be called King.
Yet they did not kill him, not yet though. No, they, his former King his new adivsor Sauron and their followers took a sadistic joy in torturing him, over and over again. Spilling his blood across the temple floor, feasting on his pain and suffering, delighting in his humiliation.
First thing that was done to him by the hand of Sauron himself was to blind him – the proper punishment for spies as everyone agreed.
Then he was locked up, shackled to cold walls vibrating with dark power down below the temple - and over and over again they dragged him back into the temple, cracking the thorn-covered whip across his back until he passed out.
How often already, how long he was already at their mercy he was unable to recall at that point. Yet long enough that he felt his body failing, slowly running out of strength and life – merciful, soothing thoughts. Not long any more now and he´d escape this prison, this shaking hull of torn flesh, this searing darkness, forever and there was nothing they could do to stop him - they could have his body, this anyway useless wreck.. they could not have his mind, could not break him though. An idea which made his lips twitch with a weak gleeful smile. "
04/20/2021 09:24 PM
a brief explanation of "Qi"
First of all a quick description regarding the terms Wuxai and Xinxia:
Wuxia literally means “martial heroes” and is a genre of Chinese fiction revolving around a fantasy world of martial art heroes - whereas a similar genre Xianxia is a mix of historical, fantasy and also mythical/supernatural genres heavily influenced by Taoism, Buddhism but also Chinese martial arts, folklore etc… elements – this latter one includes spirits, demons, gods…
And now about Qi:
As the term Qi or Chi is a reoccurring topic and major theme regarding the character Hou Xin I thought it might be fortunate to explain this overarching concept in Chinese Wuxia and Xianxia:
Aside from just normal martial art moves, there's such a thing called "inner flow" or "Qi" (sometimes also Chi).
Powerful moves consume "Qi" - those moves including attacks distributed with seemingly superhuman strength, "flying moves" or actions like "impossible jumps" or blocking hits and projectiles mid air without touching them… - and all other seemingly “superhuman” abilities (e.g. enhanced sensory perception).
When “magic” is used, it is indeed not magic but the powerful control and utilizing of Qi-power with the help of spells or talismans.
The amount of "Qi" a warrior has at his disposal is cultivated and enhanced over years – and some are more “prone” to handle it and have a stronger “natural cores” than others – meaning not everyone has the same “power” and it is not an endless source.
Natural skill and level of training determine how “strong” a Qi-warrior is and how much Qi-source one has to tap into.
Usually the Qi is “stored” within the certain Meridians of a human body (yeah, think acupuncture points)
Once “Qi" is drained like during a fight or by casting spells it regenerates over hours to days up to the maximum level.
Maybe think of it as magic energy pool or Mana in fantasy games.
Though once a warrior “over-strains” his Qi-cores meaning drains them beyond a certain level, or even tries to pull off spells or actions requiring Qi while his “core” is empty it can lead to health or even life-threatening injuries, damaging organs or even breaking meridian points, latter causing the person to lose a substantial amount of their “martial art” or power to cast spells.
“Qi” can be transferred from one person to another, if the “transferring person” is skilled in this kind of action and has a strong enough “core source”.
It also can be used to heal internal wounds or at least speed up the healing process during meditation.
03/31/2021 05:08 PM
Drabble: Cherry Blossoms and Wine
Softly, scarcely audible Hou Xin landed on the glazed tiles forming the roof of the barrack stables.
Following a habit which long turned into a very personal tradition and ritual of his best friend and quasi-brother Ning Chen and himself where they used to meet high up above the bustle of the world to share a good sip, a good laugh or just bonding silence, during warm spring and summer nights, nights they were off duty of course
It was the beginning of spring, and they had just returned form another assignment, looking forward to a few days off, to rest, recharge… well, and tend to all the pesky courtly duties which awaited someone in his position …. - nothing he would allow to bother him tonight though.
Briefly he focused but sensed no other presence nearby, typically Ning Chen was late… some things probably never changed.
A warm smile softened the otherwise mostly so collected and unreadable features while he turned his face towards the gentle, warm breeze coming from the south, carrying spring and the promises of a reawakening world.
The air was drenched with the smooth but distinct floral scent of the ancient cherry tree growing next to the stables, overshadowing the roof with branches older even than the very building. Soft rustling of countless petals announced that the grandmother tree once again had made it through the harshness of winter unscathed to grace the world with unmatched splendour.
Hou Xin reached up until his hands reached one of the bushels of delicate blossoms attached to rough bark – what contrast, and still one inseparable unity… - the epitome of Yin and Yang.
He used to love the sight, a beauty now lost to him… lost for so long that he didn´t even remember what it looked like. Indeed when the pictures started to fade in his mind it was nothing less than desperation which overcame him. This was long in the past now, though – almost two decades without sight caused him to learn to perceive and value such beauty in a different way… like cherishing the feathery touch of a few loose petals brushing across his face on their way to the ground.
His musing was interrupted by the rustling of clothes and the very ungentle thud of someone landing behind him – Immediately his smile widened into an utterly amused grin while he turned round to greet his brother-like friend.
“Dì di (Little brother)”, a hint of laughter accompanied the words, “you got the grace of a crashing heron – are you trying to alert the whole yard?!”
“Xin dá (Brother Xin) - didn´t know we were on a secret mission – next time, let me know if you plan to turn leisure into another mission”, Ning Chen gave back, his own voice not less resounding with teasing amusement no matter how hard he tried to give it a sulking tone.
“Hǎodǎi (Anyhow), did you bring the cups… I got us this.. think that will suffice?”, with that Hou Xin pulled two wine flasks sporting the imperial seal from his belt.
“Ó shì de, shì de (Oh yes, yes)… how did you get your hand on those… did you… you did not…”
“Rènhé (whatever)”, Hou Xin stop Ning Chen´s probing with a wave of his hand while sitting down, making himself comfortable on the warm tiles. “Suǒyǐ (so,) do you want some or not?”
“Hǎo de hǎo de (sure, sure)!”, noisily Ning Chen also plopped down and pulled two cups out of a small bag which had been tugged away in one of the pleats of his robe.
“Here”, eagerly he clinked one of them against one of the bottle to provide a bit of audible guidance for his unseeing brother.
“Gods, this is good”, Ning Chen´s statement came with utter conviction only a short time later and caused another genuine chuckle from Hou Xin´s side.
For a while they just sat there savouring the noble liquid as well as the placidity of the moment – however, being the busy body he was it was of course Ning Chen who eventually broke the silence.
“Gē ge (older brother), I always meant to ask you… - how are you enjoying this?”
The question caught Hou Xin rather off guard, and with a confused frown knotting his brows together he lowered the cup instead of granting himself another sip.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, how can you enjoy it? - I know this place was one of you favourite.. before… well you know… I know how much you loved the sight of the cherry blossoms in full bloom… now though…”
“Dì di, that happened such a long time ago.. we have spent so many nights up here since then… why ask me now?”
The rustling of clothes next to Hou Xin implied a shrug by the man he held dear as his younger brother.
“I... don´t know… it just crossed my mind.”
“Hm… why would I not enjoy it up here? - I admit, there were times when I desperately wished that I could lay eyes on the grandeur of spring one more time… but no more. There are other ways to perceive its beauty. - The breeze on my skin, the gentle rustling of the petals, the whole melody of the night, the song of the owl in the distance, the nickering and stomping of the horses below, the mix of their savoury, musky smell and the floral, graceful scent of the blossoms… all this provides so much to take in…to enjoy”, while he was talking he´d leaned back on his elbows, his unfocused glance directed upwards to the velvet sky, now however turning it towards Ning Chen, the almost cheeky grin returning. “...dàn shì (however)… the company has become rather bothersome these days, though… - too much stupid questions, too little drinking”, with that he sat back up and rose his half-empty cup in direction of the younger Jade Warrior.
“Hǎo ba hǎo ba (alright, alright) I got it” - happy burbling announced a refill.
03/22/2021 03:46 PM
Here we go - finally got some more "what inspired my Original Charcter" Hou Xin boards ready - for now it´s 8 holding most important influences of this character.
7th Prince Ning Yi inspired Hou Xin´s overall demeanour, intelligence and knack for strategy and plotting. Further the fact that he despises roles and priviliges predefined by society and social standing.
General Hou Xin - namesake of "my" OC Hou Xin. Also his backgroundstory and the fact that a tragedy left the renowned and dedicted warrior blinded and yet still goes on pursuing and being successful as a warrior served to inspire much of "my" Hou Xin´s story.
General Commander Wentai. His overall, friendly and forthcomming demeanor is a huge influence for Hou Xin. Also his knack for strategy, outstanding skills as a warrior and the fact that he does not care for such things like gender stereotypes (In the movie he is best friend and strongest supporter of Mulan, despite knowing that she is a woman and traditionally has no place in the military. He is one of the very few to know about her true identiy and protects this secret fiercely)
Wuxai-shows like The Untamed and Word of Honor strongly inspired Hou Xin´s background and story and also the settings I tend to set him up in.
A mashup, original approach, or crossover of those settings also totally is up my alley
Wuxai-movies like those set in the Ying Yang Master Verse strongly inspired Hou Xin´s background and story and also the settings I tend to set him up in.
A mashup, original approach, or crossover of those settings also totally is up my alley
Hyakkimaru, the young Monster/Demonhunter from the Japanese Manga/Anime/RL-adaption Movie
The inspiring parts here are his "profession" and skill and most of all the fact that he is blind as well and how he is capable of working his way around this plus his special skill to "sense" auras, in terms of being able to not only "detect" the presence of living beings but also to distinguishe wether they are magical or not by "sensing" their aura" I have "stolen" for Hou Xin
All kind of teachings, philosphies and principles which lead to the character Hou Xin and the way he behaves, conducts himself around others and define his purpose in life
Last but not least inspirations for modern day/contemporary settings for storylines - Mystery shows like the Shadowhunters or A Korean Odyssey show, where mythology and supernatural mix with modern settings.
03/15/2021 11:19 PM
Character Development Questions
Character Development Questions - source
1. Does your character have siblings or family members in their age group? Which one are they closest with?
He does not have blood-related siblings. However there is one person, Ning Chen he grew up with who is one year younger and his best friend and probably the person he´d consider a brother.
2. What is/was your character’s relationship with their mother like?
He was orphaned at a very young age and hence barely remembers anything realted his mother.
3. What is/was your character’s relationship with their father like?
See above, same like mother.
4. Has your character ever witnessed something that fundamentally changed them? If so, does anyone else know?
He has been orphaned at a very young age, which most certainly left him changed. Secondly he was blinded in his early 20ties (depending on backstory and verse for different reasons in different scenarios) so this most certainly is another event which left him changed, literally even. Both are not exactly events he is able to hide, or to deny, so yes, everyone knowing him also know about his blindness, those closer to him certainly also that he is an orphan.
5. On an average day, what can be found in your character’s pockets?
A fan, a serious amont of Fu Lu-Talisman templates, his Xiao flute
6. Does your character have recurring themes in their dreams?
He mostly dreams of scents and audible senstions he likes, like the scent of herbs and flowers, the sound of the bamboo-forest... images based on visual inputs have long faded into obscurity for him.
7. Does your character have recurring themes in their nightmares?
One is a recurring nightmare where he re-lives the moment of his blinding again and again.. mostly these days the sensation of pain and dispair as visual images have faded away.
8. Has your character ever fired a gun? If so, what was their first target?
No he has not – he prefers other means of fighting
9. Is your character’s current socioeconomic status different than it was when they were growing up?
Yes, indeed - however in what way and to what exented is mainly depending of the infdividual verse, setting and plot of each storyline.
10. Does your character feel more comfortable with more clothing, or with less clothing?
With a decent amount of clothing on.
11. In what situation was your character the most afraid they’ve ever been?
That depens on his backgroundstory of the individual verse, setting and plot of each storyline.
12. In what situation was your character the most calm they’ve ever been?
That depens on his backgroundstory of the individual verse, setting and plot of each storyline.
Gernerally he is the most calm when mediating.
13. Is your character bothered by the sight of blood? If so, in what way?
No he is not, he is blind ;P
14. Does your character remember names or faces easier?
Names and voices – he cannot see faces.
15. Is your character preoccupied with money or material possession? Why or why not?
He is not – his whole world view is based on the idea that amassing money or material possesions only serves to spoil and corrupt the character and that is diverting the mind from more important matters.
16. Which does your character idealize most: happiness or success?
His world view bases on the fact that happiness and success complement each other. Without success there is no happiness – however one must not sacrifice the peace of mind and happiness for the sake of pursuing false ideas of success.
17. What was your character’s favorite toy as a child?
A wooden rocking-toy horse
18. Is your character more likely to admire wisdom, or ambition in others?
Wisdom, as aquiring wisdom, and live and act wisely is the basis and center of his world view and princibles.
19. What is your character’s biggest relationship flaw? Has this flaw destroyed relationships for them before?
He is often too preoccupied with making sure everyone around him is happy and save to care for himself. Which does lead to the situation that he often hardly even notices if someone cares for him. His blindness is another reason he considers himself not worthy to be center of love and affection, which leads to a similar situation... and indeed often enough ends a possible relationship before it even started.
20. In what ways does your character compare themselves to others? Do they do this for the sake of self-validation, or self-criticism?
He generally does not compare himself to others – his main “competitor” is he himself, meaning that he tries to become a better version of himself by training, learning, evolving every day. A state of mind which has been implanted since childhooddays due to the teachings and princibles a grew up with.
21. If something tragic or negative happens to your character, do they believe they may have caused or deserved it, or are they quick to blame others?
His first reaction is to check if his demeanor or his actions could be the source of the matter.
Blaming others mostly is not his way.
22. What does your character like in other people?
Honesty, selflessness, wisdom, patience, honorableness
23. What does your character dislike in other people?
Pomposity, dishonorableness, obliquity, bragging, stupidity, viciousness
24. How quick is your character to trust someone else?
He is not one to generally push people away and tends to initially asume the best in everyone - however to really earn his trust it needs rather a while and corresponding actions
25. How quick is your character to suspect someone else? Does this change if they are close with that person?
He tries to remain objective in his judging no matter how much he likes someone. However before he jumps to conlcutions he is one attempting to investigate thoroughly and to consider everyone´s point of view.
26. How does your character behave around children?
He is rather good with children.
27. How does your character normally deal with confrontation?
He tries to stay calm, get to the bottom of the matter and then act accordingly without allowing to get anger the better of himself.
28. How quick or slow is your character to resort to physical violence in a confrontation?
Very slow. Pyhsical violence always is the very, very last resort for him.
29. What did your character dream of being or doing as a child?
That depends on the individual backstory of each verse, plot and storyline
30. Did that dream come true?
That depends on the individual backstory of each verse, plot and storyline
31. What does your character find repulsive or disgusting?
Dishonorable, vicious behavior – in terms of physical sensations: disgusting smells
32. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most comfortable.
Some peaceful forest clearing, possibly with a small riverlet running through, filling the place with happy gurgling while warm gusts of wind are caressing through his hair, causing the leaves rustle above while he is playing his Xiao.
33. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most uncomfortable. In the face of criticism, is your character defensive, self-deprecating, or willing to improve?
A scenario he feels most uncomfortable would be one where he has to rely on someone he does not trust in order to make up for his blindness.
Depending on the criticism, but he most certainly will try to take it to heart in order to improve.
34. Is your character more likely to keep trying a solution/method that didn’t work the first time, or immediately move on to a different solution/method?
That is very much situation-dependent. Generally he most certainly would try to re-evalute the situation/method for possible adjustments or improvments to make it work. If there is no way to do so, he´d probably try something else.
35. How does your character behave around people he likes?
Friendly, rleaxed even a bit goofy, openheartedly – here he shows his open and outgoing side
36. How does your character behave around people he dislikes?
Very closed up, distant and cautious.
37. Is your character more concerned with defending their honor, or protecting their status?
Defnitely defening his honor, meaning to act honorably and accordance to his princibles.
38. Is your character more likely to remove a problem/threat, or remove themselves from a problem/threat?
That is very much situation-dependend. However if he has the feeling that solely he is causing the problems with his presence, he´d probably remove himself form the situation.
39. Has your character ever been bitten by an animal? How were they affected (or unaffected)?
40. How does your character treat people in service jobs?
As polite and friendly as he would treat anyone else.
41. Does your character feel that they deserve to have what they want, whether it be material or abstract, or do they feel they must earn it first?
He believes that things (no matter whether material or imaterial) have to be earned.
42. Has your character ever had a parental figure who was not related to them?
Yes – he grew up an orphan, and depending on the individual background and verse there is such parental figure.
43. Has your character ever had a dependent figure who was not related to them?
44. How easy or difficult is it for your character to say “I love you?” Can they say it without meaning it?
It is not really difficult for him if his feelings are true – however he really has to mean it in order to say it.
45. What does your character believe will happen to them after they die? Does this belief scare them?
He believes that he will move on into the spirit realm to meet with his ancestors and those who went before him. According to his behavior and deeds during his life he will be reborn or possibly even ascent. - And no, it does not scare him.
03/08/2021 08:54 PM
// Drabble inspired by the "The Untamed Verse" (and Hou Xin´s backgroundstory I created for this verse) and the picture of Magnolia Blossoms below //
The night still carried with it the last remnants of wintery frost in the height of the mountains – yet down here in the lush valleys of the east the vast bamboo forests sprouted already and the first blossoms of the ancient Magnolia trees once part of the former residence of the effaced Chang´an Hou Sect delicately as much as majestically craned their white blossoms towards the warming sun of a new spring.
It was a time of renewal and returning of life – and to him most ironically the month of reminiscence and remembering.
It was the time when the small, remotely located Sect had been obliterated, slaughtered, erased from existence due to not having been willing to obey to back down to the tyrannical Wen Sect. Karma caught up with latter a few years later when all the remaining clans united and subdued and destroyed this scourge among the Cultivator Sects… too late for Hou Xin and his brothers and sisters.
He survived as the only one among them, even despite their tormentors had planned a particularly gruesome death for the young son of the deceased leader – a punishment for speaking out loudest against joining the rampant Wen sect. Blinded and badly wounded he had been left for dead among the dead, supposed to find a slow end filled with suffering.
Had it not been for two merciful souls, to this day unknown to him, who found him and nursed him back to health he would have joined his family, his Cultivator brothers and sisters back then on their journey to the other side, would have met his ancestors already.
Since then every springtime when the blossoms were giving forth their beautiful, gentle scent, when their appearance announced the new beginning of a new cycle of life Hou Xin returned back to the place of his childhood, of his years as a young scholar and where he officially ascended to Masterhood, becoming a Qi-Master, a Cultivator… where he faced destruction and murder and his own near-death experience.
The beautiful, pearly-white blossoms always had been his favourite – as a boy he loved it to watch them swaying in the breeze, gliding elegantly and quietly through the air and eventually flowing down the small rivulets running through the valley like shiny, tiny boats. The scent held the meaning of a new daw, the returning of life… - and he was determined to keep these pleasant memories, not allowing the bad that happened to lessen their splendour.
Savouring the flowery scent pervading the warm air of the valley Hou Xin dropped to his knees in front of the stairs leading up to the shrine which had been built on the fire scarred foundations of the Sect´s former residence by the locals.
The sight of the place, the beauty of the trees in full bloom forever denied to him, and still every time he came here to converse with those who went before him a sensation of deep peace overcame him, held onto him while he knelt there for hours, engulfed in the blossoms´ fragrance, his mind in deep concentration and dialogue.
02/16/2021 01:25 PM
drabble based on cue "you are adorable when you are angry"
His own scream echoed inside his ears when he pulled himself up with the last bit of strength he had left – in fact he was not even sure it was strength but simple, pure anger which made him climb the last few meters of the crumbling wall.
One final major effort and the young demon hunter tumbled over the edge in order to simply fall over right where he only just had managed to leave the sinkhole; panting heavily, pretty sure that someone had cut off the oxygen content of the air.
His whole body ached as if having been overrun by a battering ram… - well, the furious roaring which ascended from way down of what looked like a pretty bottomless black-hole right in the soft green of the Mongolian grassland reminded him that in a way his latest encounter came relatively close to a run in with an enormous battering ram – a tower high, spitting mad battering ram with scales and huge teeth, stinking breath and claws long like daggers.
For several minutes he lay just there, concentrating to not suffer a belated heart-attack, to calm his breathing, unable to move, waiting for the looming unconsciousness to move on… - yet his still burning anger was not directed towards the oversize scaled monstrosity down there guarding what the lovely Miss Shirley Yang had described “a walk in the park”.
A damned death trap, that would have been the appropriate description – especially when your supposed to be ex-partner obviously wanted to make sure your separation was of a very, very permanent nature.
Had he not sworn to himself to never ever again fall for that sweet-talk of hers… - but no, as always she called and he ran… - eventually for his life… again!
So, certainly a good portion of this still burning anger was directed towards his own inability to simply tell her to find herself another idiot to join her on her breakneck ventures.
About an hour later he had managed to make his way back to their base-camp – still not less furious though. And there she was, sitting next to a nice, cozy campfire, probably a sipping a cup of tea, greeting him with the sweetest greeting as if this was nothing but pleasant field trip to pick flowers not wrestle a monstrous guard spirit.
The moment her factitiously innocently purred “Nǐ hǎo qīn'ài de nǐ zěnme yàng (Hello darling, how are you?!) reached him his tired shuffling turned into angry trudging.
“Shirley Yang!! - Gaisí de (Damn it)! - You left me to die in there!” - suddenly every bit of exhaustion was blown away while he stormed right into the little camp.
She did not even bother to get up, instead an utterly amused chuckle came in return.
“Hou Xin – what are you complaining about? You look and sound pretty much alive. - However, it took you a while. A bit out of form, are we?” - was she really audacious enough to dare mocking him!? - After all he went through for her?!
“Out of form?!?… that … Thing was huge.. and fast and strong… and…” -
“Oh come on, don´t be such a baby and stop complaining… You are all in one piece – admittedly one adorable piece, aren´t you?” Another chuckle, and he was pretty sure she was shamelessly looking him over right now – not really a reaction helpful to calm him down.
“One piece?… that monster took quite a good piece off my good-luck-zhiduo (trad.robe)….” Hou Xin growled a deep frown plastered across face.
“See, good-luck-zhiduo… worked, didn´t it? - Without you wearing it it would have taken that piece off you… - what, by the way, would have been a real shame if you ask me”
Another of those deeply self-satisfied and amused chuckles followed which by now left him with nothing more than an angry huff as response while he poked around a rather impressive gap his Zhido was sporting. Then something dawned on him.
“Talking about pieces… - did you get it?”
“What do you think? - Of course I did”, his female companion gave back in a tone which almost made him hear her grin .Then fabric rustled, which was her pulling a small satchel from her own, still pretty intact and clean looking robe.
With a triumphant smile on her face she dangled it in the air in front of his face, aware that the gesture itself was lost on him, she made its content clink slightly, “The seventh piece of the Jade sigil of Emperor Ruizong of Tang”
“You remember, 60/40 for me, right?” - Hou Xin muttered crossing his arms in front of his chest, calmer now but trying to keep up an intimating attitude.
Not that this had ever worked with this woman before though.
“What? – 50/50” -
“Jué bú (no way!) it was my life on the line.. again!” -
“It was not. Not if you are the great demon fighter and Qi-Warrior you claim to be”, she shot back absolutely unimpressed by his deepening frown. “I got the plans, the maps and cover most of the costs… your costs, too… so 50/50 max… - in fact...”
“Hao ba… hao ba.. (alright, … alright..) 50/50… - but the next time you are the bait!” - Did he just say “next time”?!
“Ah, we´ll decide on that when the time is due… - want some tea?”, came the chuckled reply while the little satin-satchel vanished back inside her pocket.
- Did he just say “next time”? - Mentally Hou Xin hit himself on the head, hard, with a big and heavy club…
07/22/2020 05:31 PM
//ooc Rant on Mulitble SL-RPers
Honestly, I´d never thought that I need to write about this... but well, here we go:
I am a live and let live person, and do not tell people how to conduct the way they RP.
I do not judge.
Nor then, should people judge me for being a Multi-SL RPer.
Yes, I am a Multible-SL-RPer.
I am here to write – 1x1-stories and sometimes drabbles just for fun.
DIVERSE stories, DIVERSE verses.
Meaning: none of my 1x1-stories or drabbles are connected, neither do they influence each other nor correlate!
And yes I take over ideas that evolved while writing drabbles into my 1x1stories – sometimes, seldom and not without asking the other player and discussing things before that.
I NOT however copy things from one 1x1-stoy to another, and I NOT use character-development/relationships happening in one 1x1-story in other 1x1-stories
Further: there seems to be one, rather wide-spread, gross misconception and stereotype:
“Being a Multi-SL RPer is just an excuse to f*uck as many people as you want.”
Perhaps this is true for some people, but it isn't true for EVERYONE!
My characters extremely rarely get involved in romantic relationships (and only with characters of other players I have known for a while and if the story we write logically might evolve that way).
If I was here for sex, you would know.- I AM NOT!
I am NOT here looking for someone to f… or be f…ed. If something like a romantic relationship might develop in the course of a story - well, if it fits it fits… but that is something that needs time and never will be the sole purpose and content of one of my stories.
All my characters put together I have been RPing over the past decade they all have been engaged in surely not more than about half a dozen romantic relationships over all those years - so yeah, here we go, got the concept?
Why do I rant about this very topic so much? –
Well, it irks me when people add me with the sole purpose of having my character hook up with theirs, then get annoyed with me when I do not readily delve into a discussion that suggests this very nature of our story.. .and ONLY this very nature – or when, after having written the first few paragraphs, my character doesn't instantly fall head over heels in love with theirs.
That simply is not how I work in general and even more important: that is totally out of character for this very character! So, no!
And one more thing I have noticed in my 15+ years of roleplaying is that Multi-SL characters have the least amount of drama.
No: “You cheated on me... I'm going to delete you and tell everyone not to RP with you because you cheated on me!” No nothing like this!
Honestly. Our characters being in a relationship does not mean the writers are in a relationship.
It is necessary to differentiate between what is fiction and what is RL!
That, being said, ends my rant.
- A Multi-SL Rper.
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