Amin Khan has entered ‘The Pivotal Moment’
wow…what a great competition…and it almost passed me by, im going to take this one seriously
ok, this is an idea i have been thinking about for a long time, ive never written anything down before but have been just working on the narrative in my mind. The story is quite epic in scale and is set in ancient 7th - 8th century china. I have not included the entire story yet and neither the pivotal moment. What is here is a summary of the main protagonists and a breif background. More to come later. feed back welcome at any stage. thanks.
(apologies for the bad grammer and spelling)
7th century China has just emerged from an era of warring tribes that have littered the landscape with dead bodies. A new emperor has risen to power and has begun a ruthless campaign to consolidate and expand his empire and to crush any insurrection.
The emperor is an old man from a dynasty deposed from power many years previous. His
Family has been waiting quietly for the opportune moment to reclaim what they always thought was their birth right. Making use of the power vacuum and strife that gripped the provinces and with an unholy alliance to a shadowy monastery called the 5 Dragons they take control of the capital. An army is recruited and soon after they march on the neighbouring provinces. The military ranks bolstered with fearsome warrior monks they sweep away all in front of them. The new dynasty is now established but hungry for land and taxes its army presses on into the forests, the plains and the deserts.
Local militias can do little against its growing might. The emperor has a daughter who watches her father with growing apprehension, she notices that he is oppressing the people worse than ever before and is too heavily influenced by the three 5th level monks of the 5 Dragons whom act as his personal body guard.
The 5 Dragons
Many different schools of warrior monks exist through out china, each with their own fighting style. These fighting styles are developed over hundreds of years and the warrior monks act as a defence to the local village/city to which they are affiliated. Most communities have their own monastery. Some monasteries developed better fighting styles than others. The relative strengths of different fighting style were graded into levels. Many, smaller monasteries only have one level , a few have two, the bigger cities often have monasteries with a third level and fewer still have attained a fourth level.
It is thought that there is a fifth level and that only 3 monasteries through out the whole of china have attained this. This fabled fifth level is said to endow the monk with such power and magic that they can only be defeated by another fifth level monk. The 5 Dragons is one such monastery
based in Peking, the seat of emperor. Although the monastery rivals the emperor for power they are not interested in controlling the people or attaining wealth, their goal is simple: to destroy the other two monasteries that have attained the 5th level and thereby secure their style as the most powerful in china. Three of their monks have attained level 5 and have made an alliance with the new emperor, they helped him get into power and now help him consolidate it. In return they use his vast army to track down the two remaining monasteries and wipe them out. The name of one of the other 5th level monasteries is the Blue Forest though their location is unknown. The remaining 5th level monasterys name is not known infact it is not known weather they exist at all.
The Blue Forest
In a clearing on the southern mountains, a small village exists. Just behind the village is the mysterious Blue Forest known only to the locals. The village has existed there for hundreds of years and is often a place where weary travellers and traders find some respite before journeying on to one of the southern cities. Most small villages have been swallowed up into the expanding cities or have been razed to the ground by one of the many bandit gangs that exist in the outer reaches of the empire. This village has managed to avoid those fates firstly because of it remoteness and secondly because of its monastery. The blue forest monastery tucked away in the mountains is affiliated to the village and exists simply to protect it. They have attained 5th level in their fighting style; their monks drawn from selected sons of the village are the most fearsome warriors in all of china. They have a vast number who have attained 4th level and only one elderly monk who is 5th level. It is an important time for them. One more monk will be chosen to learn 5th level by entering the 8 chambers. Although the village is normally untouched by the goings on of the big cities within the empire there is a growing sense of for-boding amongst the villagers and the monastery as the encroaching emperors army get ever nearer. It is time to choose a monk onto who will be passed the knowledge of the 5th level.
The blacksmith and his son
In the village there lives an elderly blacksmith with his son Nu Gun. Although the blacksmith forges weapons for the Blue Forest monastery he refuses to have anything else to do with them, many of the villagers put their sons forward to be considered for the monastery yet the blacksmith keeps Nu Gun well away. Yet Nu Guns knowledge of kung fu is the equivalent of Blue Forest 4th level and this is because the blacksmith has taught him. The blacksmith himself used to be a 4th level Blue Forest Monk and was forced to leave …no monk has ever left the monastery before or since. Now Nu Gun has come of age and although he loves working as a blacksmith with his father he has a growing fascination with the secretive monastery.
Monk Tie Shan and his master Chan Zhang
The Blue Forest monastery has a star pupil in monk Tie Shan. From the moment he arrived as a very young orphaned boy his innate skills caught the eye of tutor Chan Zhang. Under Chans tutelage Tie Shan has grown into a young 4th level monk of unrivalled skill and strength.
Tie knows of the monasterys plan to graduate a pupil to the 5th level and has prepared himself for this moment for years. He has little doubt it will be himself that is chosen, as does Chan because according to the monasterys code only the best Blue Forest fighter is to be considered. However the decision, ultimately, will be made by the current 5th level monk Long Xu Cha. Long is very old, sick and infirm. When Long eventually makes his shocking decision it has a devastating affect on both Tie Shan and Chan Zhang.
There is a belief, especially amongst village folk that a race of demons exist called the . Yaoguai. The exact nature of these demons is the stuff of speculation and fables often informed by wild eyed stories of encounters by passing travelers. Some say they are hideous monsters that prey on people, others say that they are no more than ghosts of past communities; many do not think they exist at all and are simply fairy tales used to scare children into behaving.
The Blue Forest monk Chan Zhang knows they exist, he knows a lot about them, more than anyone. He had an encounter once when he was performing a task in the Blue forest, he become lost and encountered upon a whole community of ethereal beings. He learned that these demons mimic humanity. The village to which the blue forest monastery is affiliated is recreated in the forest by these shadowy demons. The is a ghost for the old fish monger , perched at his stall just like in the real village, and also the old washerwoman making her rounds every morning, also when the human dies so does his demon. These creatures have no bearing or influence on mankind and keep themselves hidden, yet they know every thing about their subjects. Chan Zhang left these demons be and kept knowledge of their existence to himself until now, for his devastated disciple Ti Shan they may prove the only hope.
Zhu Rong and His Shaolin Killers
Zhu Rong heads a notorious and extremely powerful gang of bandits that control a vast swathe of southern china on the outskirts of the empire. He has an understanding with the emperor and his gang are tolerated in return for taxes which Zhu in turn collects from communities in his territories He is cruel and conniving yet extremely cunning. His army is large and his generals are very skilled fighters hailing from different backgrounds. There is even ,amongst them, is a renegade 4th level monk from the corrupted house of 5 dragons.
Zhu has an utter disdain for the monasteries that protect communities and so has nick named his generals the Shaolin Killers after they razed the original shaolin temple to the ground killing all its monks and destroying all their scriptures. He is also wary of the emperor with whom he has a pact; he dislikes the influence the 5 Dragon monks have on him.
Chu Tou the farmer, and his family
Chu Tou is a farmer with a tract of land in the foothills of the southern mountains, he is a simple man with a wife and a daughter and a young son. He grows his crops and sells them in the market of the city. He used to be a rich man but has been made poor by the extortion of the Zhu and his Shaolin Killers who make heavy demands for protection money. He has been specifically targeted by one of the Zhus generals, Lian Dao. Lian Dao is hardened criminal who has been a bandit all his life and is of an especially vicious nature. Yet he has been captivated by the farmers daughter and has had designs on her. He hopes to ruin the farmer and force him to marry his daughter off as payment. He has kept his plan a secret even from Zhu Rong who is solely interested in making as much money as possible.
A ridiculous demand for payment, prompted by Lian Dao, has now been issued to Chu Tou under the threat of killing him taking his farm and enslaving his family. Chu Tou is at a lost as to what to do, in desperation he gathers all his belongings together and all his live stock and heads for the market in an effort to raise the money.
WOW! You’ve set the scene for an amazing story, Amin. Can’t wait to see some images.
Good Luck in the competition, bro.
hey danbert , thanks mate…im keeping an eye on yours aswell
possible sketches for shaolin killers second one could be Zhu Rong(the one with the mohawk)
holy moly, there’s plenty to soak in.
can’t wait to see how this progresses
…you give a thought about lots of detail…congartulation and have fun with the contest
like the details, All the best in finishing this project…
hihi…your question in “sticky” is reasonable, you realy have lots of story here…i think it is part of the contest to manage to fit into the requirements. The best approach perhaps would be to relate the whole story however you want regardless of how large the writing going to be, and then to make synthesys of it, and show it precisely as the contest ordain.
I like the background (suitable for a RPG). it is full of matter. did you figure out already what the pivotal moment will be and which characters will be envolved? good luck.
thanks for the encouragement guys, yeah it could be an rpg with combat and such like integrated. i had a vision of a sprawling epic maybe like the zelda games, where the gameplay losely follows a narrative yet the player is given some lattitude with in that so its not entirely linear…anyway dorkvader and asparta i will be posting much more of the narrative today and then after that will come the pivotal moment. I have written so much just so people get the background as i feel thats imprtant (though i understand long tracts of text can be off putting), however the final submission will simply describe the pivotal moment i have chosen. to be honest ithe story contains numerous moments of poignancy and goes far beyond what i have told yu and will tell you, but i had to decide upon one so stay tuned …thanks for following my thread.
ok here is some more back story concentrating on the story of Tia Chan…(i understand its a long read but its all relevant ) BTW this is just more back story …pivotal moment to follow and will be clearly labelled as such. in two parts…
The Story of Tie Chan
The day has arrived when the monastery elder, the revered Shing Wong will announce his choice for the monk to whom will be passed the knowledge of the 5th level.
Shing Wongis very frail, in fact it is thought he isnt far from death and for that reason it has been decided to pass on the mantle of monastery leader, The other reason is the growing sense of foreboding about the fast encroaching emperors army. The Blue Forest monastery has kept its knowledge of 5th level secret for 500 years and rightly suspects the new emperor is trying to seek it out and destroy it.
Tie Shan has been waiting for this moment for a long time. His usual surly demeanor has given way to exuberance as the moment fast approaches when he will be able to complete his kung fu knowledge and become the ultimate fighter. Chan Zhang is the mentor of Tie Shan and he is happy for his long standing pupil yet also sad for his master Shing Wong, it is to Chan Zhang that the choice of monk will be first relayed, and he has little doubt that that monk will be Tie Shan.
Tie Shan was left as a baby at the monasterys gate and was found by Chan Zhang, who took the boy under his wing as he grew up within the walls of the Blue Forest. It soon become apparent that Tie Shan was special, his innate ability and skill at martial arts was unlike anything the monastery had ever seen before. Under the close guidance and tutelage of his mentor, Tie Shan rose quickly through the levels until at the age of 22 he had become the best 4th level monk in The Blue Forest
or at least he and Chan Zhang had thought
Shing Wong had been bed ridden for much of Tie Shans time at the monastery yet he kept a watchful eye on him and all the other young monks. He knew of Tie Shans prowess as a fighter but was not as impressed with the other qualities of the monk. The Blue Forest creed, like most monasteries, is based on the original Shaolin temples Buddhist origins, stressing a monk had to be mentally pure as well as physically. In this respect Shin Wong thought Tie Shan was wanting. He thought the young warrior monk was given to bouts of arrogance and pride, and besides, although there was no one in the monastery who could come close to him as a fighter, there was another within the village.
Many years ago,When Shing Wong was a young monk he was very close to another young Blue forest monk by the name of Woo. The two were both from families that lived in the village , just like most of the boys that joined. They were inseparable as kids. They ate, played and practiced kung fu together, as if they were twin brothers, indeed they even looked alike.
Both excelled at kung fu and were considered the best monks within the monastery, yet there was no rivalry between them, they were good monks; humble and kind.
When they were both young adults Shing wong was chosen ahead of Woo to learn the fith level. There was no bitterness from Woo infact he was happy for his dear friend. After receiving half of his 5th level instruction from the then monk leader, shing wong, as was the tradition, had to complete his training by entering the eight chambers of the blue forest. These arduous tasks hidden deep in the mountains -the exact location of which is passed on from 5th level to 5th level- have to be completed to equip the monk with the necessary skill to be considered 5th level. If the monk succeeds he returns and assumes control of the monastery if he is found wanting he never returns from the chambers and the 5th level knowledge cannot be passed for another generation. Shing wong returns from the chambers triumphant and takes over the monastery.
At the same time Woo had fallen in love with a girl from the village, sworn to celibacy by his monk creed, Woo had no choice but to conduct the affair in secret. However it was exposed when the girl become pregnant and gave birth to twin boys The village was scandalized and the name of the blue forest monastery was tarnished in the eyes of the very villagers it was meant to protect. The girl was so ashamed of what she had done she ran into the forest taking only one of her boys with her and leaving the other behind in the village and was never seen again. Woo knew he had done wrong and begged for forgiveness but his friend shing wong, but the new leader of the Blue forest was outraged by his actions and banished him from the monastery for ever. Woo was heart broken but settled in the village and became a blacksmith, he raised his one son as best he could.
As time went on Woo grew more resentful of Shing Wong and the monastery that had turned its back on him however he taught his son, Nu Gon, all that he had learned of the blue forest technique.
Shing Wong always harbored guilt for the way he had treated his old friend but thought he had no choice as he was now leader of the blue forest temple and had a duty to honour its code. Although interaction between the monks and the villagers is kept to a minimum —mainly to prevent its inadvertent discovery by outsiders— shing wong made sure he was kept informed of Ting Dings well being and that of his son Nu Gon. He was told by his monk scouts that the son had grown up with a complete knowledge of Blue forest kung fu and was an exceptional fighter equal to Tie Chan. Tie chan , like most of the monks was not made aware of Nu Gon or the scandal that had begotten him.
This is why Tie chan was so shocked to hear that it was not himself that had been chosen but a young man from the village, he thought that Shing Wong had gone crazy in his old age. Yet there was nothing he could do, he felt crushed and now his mentor Chan Zhang feared the worst for him. He became listless and stopped training and meditating. Watching Tie Chans mental and physical decline was too much for his mentor to bear.
Chan Zhang knew that all Tie Chan had ever wanted to do was learn 5th level and now that possibility was gone he would eventually kill himself.
Chan Zhang took the young monk to one side and told him there was still a way he could achieve the 5th level, but it would mean he would have to leave the monastery for good and never come back. He told him that in the forest there was a community of demons who mimic the lives of the monastery and the monks, they copy their routines and rituals perfectly. They are like a reflection of our community and had existed this way for thousands of years chan zhang told tie chan. This meant that they too in tandem with the real monastery would perform the passing on of the mantle of 5th level, tie chans only hope was to find this community of demons and to persuade them or force them to allow himself to be their chosen monk.
On hearing this Tie Chan shuddered with excitement, his dreams may be realized after all! Chan Zhang told Tie Chan that the demon community live deep within the Blue Forest, and to venture in there was dangerous even for a warrior monk like himself.
[size=2][color=white]continued on next post…
Tie Chan decided to take the risk and fled the Blue ForestMonastery before Nu Gon had even been asked to join. His journey through the forest was indeed a dangerous one filled with many incidents that took its toll on him…but eventually he managed to find the Yaoguai. At first he was shunned, and because of his weakened state the journey had left him in there seemed little way of persuading the Yaoguai to accept him. Then a remarkable thing happened, the demon which mimicked Chan Zhang recognized the monk, and the reason he recognized him is because he was the one who had delivered the boy Tie Shan to the gate of the monastery. Chan Zhangs demon explains how a young woman was found dead in the forest still cradling a child. The demons refuse to interact with humans so they left the mother and child there, but chan zhangs demon took pity, went back and secretly delivered the child to his real counterpart in the monastery. Then Tie shans demon was created and lived a life parralell to the real monk , this means that right now his demon had dissappeared just as the real Tie Shan.
So it was that Chan Zhangs demon convinced the other Yaoguai to allow Tie Shan to be passed the knowledge of the 5th level. However, as the Yaoguai are a reflection of their human counterparts so was their knowledge of 5th level, it was inverted, equally powerfull but slightly different.Tie Chan learned it regardless and then went to the 8 chambers to complete his knowledge. There he just managed to pass the eight tests but it had taken him to the brink of death. Exhausted , he returned to the Yaoguai only to find they had gone…dissapeared! he was at a loss as to what to do. He headed out of the blue forest and on the way he came across his demon, the one that had dissapeared from the Yaoguai when he himself had run away from the blue forest monastery. Tie Shans demon now entered Tie Shans being and acted as his sworn protector
.not that a 5th level monk would need a demon guardian
normally. Tie Shan armed with his knowledge of 5th level and also with a demon, a mirror image of himself and his powers, still exhausted by the whole experience stumbled out of the forest, not knowing what he might do with him self.
Tie Shan managed to find the edge of the forest and lay , half dead, by a dusty road that came from the city. He didnt know where he was, it must have been the other side of the forest to the monastery and village. Soon a horse and cart rode by, unaware of the monk lying by the road side , it had almost driven by when tie Shans demon caught the riders attention by throwing a stone at his horses.
The rider of the horse and cart was Chu Tou the farmer. He had just been to the city to sell most of his belongings and livestock in order to raise the money
Zhu Rong had demanded from him. He had managed to do so and was heading back to his family with the funds. Even though he was beset with his own woes Chu Tou didnt take a second to decide to help this poor soul by the road side, after giving him some water he put the barely conscious monk on the seat beside him and rode off.
He hadnt gone far when all of a sudden a group of masked men jumped out in front of his horses. They were dressed like regular criminals, highway men were known to prey on travelers. They demanded a toll for using the road. When Chu Tou protested they threatened to kill him, he begged that he had no spare money, it was all owed to Zhu Rong. The name of Zhu Rong and his shaolin killers would normally strike terror into the hearts of even common thugs. This gang werent put off though , their tall, lean ringleader-who looked familiar to Chu Tou-even laughed at the mention of Zhu Rong , they took everything Chu tu had earned at the market that day.
Chu Tou was devasted, all his belongings were sold and now his money stolen. It seemed hopeless, Zhu Rong would kill him and enslave his family and there was nothing he could do.
Nevertheless he carried on home, still with the monk by his side and once he had arrived home, he put the sick monk into his bed while his wife tended to Tie Chans wounds.
Chu Tou told his wife what had happened and that she would have to flee with their daughter and son. Chu tous wife believed in the good in everyone and persuaded Chu Tou to see Zhu Rong and tell him what had happened, she was convinced the warlord/gangsta would take mercy on the family and allow them some reprieve.
Chu Tou wasnt as sure of Zhu Rongs mercy as his wife though he knew the gangster would be interested to hear of bandits operating in his area…Zhu Rong didnt like others preying on his victims especially those that laugh at the mention of his name. It was decided that Chu Tou would visit Zhu Rong the next day at the drinking house where he sat with his generals, the shaolin killers.
Tie Shan awoke the next morning, startled. He had recovered and regained all his strength. He took a moment to remember where he was. Chu Tou had already set off to see Zhu Rong but his wife bought Tie Shan to the dining room and offered him breakfast. Tie Shan, having not eaten for days readily accepted the meal. As he ate the food he wondered what he would do now. He knew he was no longer welcome back at the Blue forest monastery. He knew that his mother had died in the forest and that he was bought to the monastery by the Yaoguai. But he did not know the identity of his mother and how she had ended up in the blue forest, carrying him.
As he ate, Chu Tous daughter watched him and then something caught her eye that made her start. She saw , branded on his forearms the symbol of aMonastery.
Chu Tous daughter, Miyu had urged her father not to go to see Zhu Rong
knowing he would kill the farmer if he arrived without the money. Seeing the branding on the monks arms she wasted no time in telling Tie Shan of her fathers fate, after all if he was a warrior monk like the marks on his arms suggested then he may be able to help. Little did she know the marks were branded in the eighth chamber of the feared Blue Forest. Tie Shan was unmoved, he seemed to have left his heart at the monastery, his blue forest creed didnt seem relevant any more, he thanked the family for their help and kindness but did not want to get involved in their affairs. Miyu pressured the monk, telling him that he owed her father his life.
Reflecting on her fathers kindness Tie Shan relented and agreed to ride out to Zhu Rong to help Chu Tou. He arrived at the drinking hole where Zhu Rong would sit with his generals as a procession of people came to pay their taxes to him, for those that had not raised the money he would normally kill, take their land /or enslave them. Today he had the three nameless mauy thai fighters with him, they were known and feared throughout china and were wanted for numerous murders. They had now come to Zhu Rong in order to join his gang, Zhu Rong was looking to recruit another general but only one. He told the three fighters, distinguished only by their different coloured masks, that the one who impressed him the most over the course of the day would be allowed to join. So as the people filed in to pay their taxes any that were short of the money were dealt with, in turns, by the fighters. Blue had impressed Zhu Rong the most so far. His technique although not as efficient as Red was far crueler, Green was not far behind. One by one men who had come to plead for mercy were hacked down. In one case, a labourer had bought his two sons to plead for an extension of his payment deadline. As he stood in the pit before Zhu Rong and his baying generals, Blue was asked to kill him, Red to kill one son and Green the other. All three were mercilessly dispatched. Zhu Rong was stumped as to which one to choose, little did he know that the next person to see him, farmer Chu Tou, would decide the matter.
NEXT MY ‘PIVOTAL MOMENT’…
My Pivotal Moment Entry
Ahh! Chu Tou, good! good! You owe me a lot of money , where is it?
I had it
…but I was ambushed on the xian pass and bandits took it
they took it all was Chu Tous weak reply, his voice trembling with fear.
Zhu stared impassively at the broken old man, he sensed the farmer was telling the truth and it did irk him that bandits were once again active on the Xian pass in defiance of him. No matter, he would root them out later…he wanted to finish with Chu Tou now, once and for all. Ling Dao noticed the momentary hesitancy of Zhu and shot him a glance which made up the leaders mind. Zhu snorted dismissively, with a nod he signalled to Blue to finish the job. Blue immediately swivelled his head and wound his thick arms forward in preparation for the kill. If Blue could do this in some style Zhu would pick him, otherwise he it would be Red that would be his next Shoalin Killer.
Chu Tou closed his eyes and said a prayer.
Everybody in the room turned in the direction of the voice.
his debt will be paid
Tie chan stepped forward. The generals growled at the insolence of this strange lean figure. Ling Dao recognised the man as the one Chu Tou carried in his cart the previous night on the Xian Pass. Tang , the general who had once been a 5 dragon monk, perched forward and squinted
…he immediately noticed something remarkable about the stranger that the others hadnt, and as astonishing as his observation was he decided to keep quiet for the moment.
So stranger, I dont care who you are if you have this mans money PAY IT!, and if you DONT have 1000 [size=2]Taels the others burst out laughing at the mention of the amount- then you will die with him[/size]
Unfazed the stranger said I dont have the money, but I offer something more valuable
if you let the farmer go, AND if you NEVER ask of any money of him again then I shall I
he paused, as if what he was about to say had caught in his throat …I shall give my services to you as a fighter
Roars of laughter shook the room. Tang wasnt laughing, if that branding on the strangers fore arms was genuine then there was nothing to laugh about.
Fine , if you survive then you have a deal snorted Zhu. Again he nodded to Blue but his time he also signalled Red and Green. All three loosened up and shaped themselves for what would be a final bloody melee. They thought it would be a last chance for one of them to prove his worth to Zhu. Tie Chan waved the farmer to one side and then closed his eyes, a feeling of shame gripped his body …but only for a moment he decided he was going to do this swiftly and without mercy.
Man amin, dont mean to be rude but that is one big story… I started reading it but haven’t finished, will read the rest another time… I do like all the details and everythin though…anyways, all the best…
ok, if im wrong and i dont have one more say left her eis my concept
well here some more concept stuff…Tie Chan after he has travelled through th eblue forest and seen the Yaugoui…badly needs a shave
ok, had a chance to work on my entry pic a little more…so please take this as my entry thanks