Connections Readings Book Four

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(Underlines, crossouts, and italicized words added by the I Ching)


From Puttering before All My Fault

  • "Spider" is actually a demon wearing a spirit's skin.
  • Spider is spending most-to-all of his demonic power to keep the Great Cycle Spirits (and possibly other spirits) from realizing that.
  • We know this about Spider because of a vision we got through Butterfly's intervention.
  • Butterfly is a Great Cycle Spirit.
  • Butterfly knows Spider is really a demon.
  • Butterfly cannot know Spider is really a demon until Spider's demonic power is distracted.

  • The Marked Thief took the Magpie Talisman as his thwackback when he was defeated.
  • The Talisman went to Spider's realm.
  • The Talisman cannot stay in Spider's realm long.
  • Spider will send the Talisman to his best ritualist, The Alchemist.
  • Spider will send the Talisman to his best martial artist, Tai Lung.
  • Spider will cut a deal with Magpie to return the Talisman to a place of Magpie's choosing.

From Puttering between Night of Gates III and Traveling Without the Butterfly Prince

  • The Forest of Chin is a Demon.
  • The Forest of Chin is the country tied to Monkey.
  • Spider is a Demon trying to replace Dragon in and above the Cycle.
  • Some of the Great Spirits are helping Spider closely.
  • Monkey is a trickster and resented Dragons rules (the "s" is added).
  • Monkey is one of the Great Spirits closely helping Spider.

From Puttering between Traveling Without the Butterfly Prince and Hidden City: Outer Ring

  • There are six candidates for Commander of the North East, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, and 2C.
  • The "1" candidates served locally under Lo Ping, the "2" candidates are from other regions of the Empire.
  • Each set of numbered candidates contains one "grizzled veteran," one "policital hack," and one "plant of the Obsidian Warlord."
  • 1B is a political hack.
  • 2A is a plant of the Obsidian Warlord.
  • 2C is a plant of the Obsidian Warlord.

From Puttering between Hidden City: Outer Ring and Hidden City: Inner Ring

  • The Northern Wall has taken spiritual damage near the border between the Arcade and the Steppes over a period of years which allows the Barbarians greater access to the Empire and will require spiritual intervention to repair.
  • The Northern Wall took significant additional damage on the last day of the year.
  • The additional damage was "Architectural" in nature.
  • The additional damage was not simply the damage from the storm that Commander Mushashi has been informed of.

You fuss about this one for a while, and eventually cross out "not" and draw some lighter squiggles over "simply".

  • The additional damage can be repaired physically, but has not yet been discovered.

You cross out "discovered". Then you draw some unhappy doodles around "can".

  • The additional damage will also require spirtual intervention to fully repair.

You cross this out, as it is irrelevant, and then realize it is true, and cross out your cross-out.

From Puttering between Hidden City: Inner Ring and The Twelve Days of Winter

  • The relationship between Phoenix and Dragon is unusual.
  • Dragon reorganized the Cycle to include Phoenix.
  • Phoenix agreed not to oppose Spider as long as Dragon is kept alive.
  • Phoenix is Female, Dragon is Male.
  • Xiao Fa is Dragon-aspected, and sees the Black Pearl as a Phoenix Concubine.
  • Dragon and Phoenix are in love.

This is all true

From Puttering between The Twelve Days of Winter and Hidden City: Ivory

  • The Northern Barbarians have been crafting Jade Statues charged with the power of lots of ghosts.
  • The jade statue captured at the battle where Qin Mingli fell was claimed as loot by Lo Ping and has since been taken to the Hidden City and was given to the Imperial Alchemist.
  • At Midsummer, the party encountered a raiding party that was attempting to bring another jade statue past the wall.
  • After Midsummer, a northern raiding party carrying a jade statue was caught and destroyed near the wall and the remains of their jade statue from that raiding party were given to the Clear Melting temple for disposal.
  • At least one jade statue has been brought past the wall by the Northern barbarians and buried, and remains buried.
  • The jade statues can be tapped by necromancers to replenish or increase their power.

From Puttering between Winter Has Come and Cavalry Charge

  • Autumn Rose is the daughter of Su Song.
  • Autumn Rose does not want her connection to me and my companions known to her Father.
  • Autumn Rose will be able to find the location of the Magpie Talisman from the name inscribed thereon, and can avoid "Yoshi-ing" herself if properly warned.
  • The Marked will not quickly learn of any dealings we have with Autumn Rose about locating the Magpie Talisman.
  • The name inscribed on the Magpie Talisman will give Autumn Rose some amount of power over Magpie.

You lightly cross out "over"

  • Autumn Rose is unlikely to use such power to either our or Magpie's great detriment.

From Puttering between Cavalry Charge and Wolves in Wolves Clothing

  • The Great Talisman of the Tortise doubles the wearer's Intelligence.
  • The Great Talisman of the Dog doubles the wearer's Resolve.
  • The Great Talisman of the Serpent doubles the wearer's Wits.
  • The Great Talisman of the Crane doubles the wearer's Grace.
  • The Great Talisman of the Spider doubles the wearer's Strength.
  • The Great Talisman of the Bear doubles the wearer's Resistance.

During Wolves in Wolves Clothing

  • Ni Cheng is a sorceress raised by wolves.
  • Wolves are killing Northern Armies in the Empire.
  • Ni Cheng is involved in organizing the Imperial wolves.
  • Ni Cheng wants to protect the Wolves from the Northern Blood Mages.
  • Ni Cheng can be convinced to work with us if approached correctly.
  • The Northern Force Wei Han noticed cross the wall & then disappear was killed by Ni Cheng's wolves.

From Puttering between Wolves in Wolves Clothing and The Party Throws a Party

  • Spider has usurped Dragon's place in the Cycle, and is plotting how to usurp Dragon's place above the Cycle, to create the Spider Empire.
  • Dragon has already been removed from his place above the Cycle.
  • To restore Dragon to his place above the Cycle is a separate process from restoring him to the Cycle, and can be done independently.
  • Restoring Dragon to the place above the Cycle requires renaming the Countries of the Empire in a Dragonish way.

(lightly cross out requires)

  • Restoring Dragon to the place above the Cycle requires defeating the Northern and Southern Barbarians in a Dragon-ish way

(lightly cross out requires)

  • Restoring Dragon to the place above the Cycle requires a new Dragon Emperor.

From Puttering between The Party Throws a Party and Monkeyshines

  • Ezokin is a magpie sorceror.
  • His first named place of power, the Gate of Shen, is mystically important to the empire as the boundary between two countries.
  • He has another major place of power, a Vault.
  • This Vault is also mystically important to the Empire.
  • This Vault contains one of the Flames of the Dragon that Magpie's clue for Li Merit describes.
  • This Vault is tied to the renaming of the Hon'eth Arcade.

This is insufficiently true

From Puttering between Monkeyshines and Midwinter

  • Ezokin is working on a ritual to change what happens to the Chi power generated by the spending of Tael in the Arcade.
  • Ezokin recently acquired the Magpie Talisman.
  • We lost the Magpie Talisman to one of the Ghost Marked.
  • The Imperial Alchemist is a Marked with an interest in what happens to the Chi power of the Tael in the Arcade.
  • Ezokin owes the Marked (and/or Spider) for the Magpie Talisman.
  • The ritual Ezokin is working on is one the Marked want to happen.

This is all true

From Puttering between Favors Owed and Krakenology

  • Mola Ram's successor as Kali's agent intends a worse fate for the Empire than conquest.
  • Mola Ram's successor will gain custody of Kali's Sankara Stones.
  • Kali spoke with Phoenix after Mola Ram's death.
  • Kali is the Goddess of Destruction, and wants to be in charge of the Southern Pantheon.

You cross out "in charge of" and want it to be something else....

  • Phoenix would help Kali against the Middle Kingdom if it was required to save Dragon's life.
  • Kali wants to destroy the Empire to prove her power.

From Puttering between Krakenology and Battle Fractures

  • Lijuan is the last heir of the Bear Emperors.
  • Clan Siew wishes revenge on her line.
  • Members of Clan Siew are planning for Lijuan to be married in formal Imperial Style to one of the Clan members.
  • Spider supports this plan.
  • This plan is part of one of the Imperial Alchemist's plans to make a Spider Emperor.
  • This plan is part of one of the Marked Bureaucrat's plans to make a Spider Emperor.

This is insufficiently true

During Battle Fractures

  • Choosing Commander Yao required much support to defeat the Barbarian invasion.
  • Wei Han's 5 problems have been solved.
  • We held off the Northern Invasion Battles we were involved in.
  • We are nearly to or just into Crane.
  • There should be little need to keep propping up Commander Yao now.
  • The Great Khan will lead a coordinated assault against us next year.

From Puttering between Battle Fractures and Imperial Wedding

  • Dog, Bear, Butterfly, Phoenix, and sometimes-Monkey are on the Dragon side of the battle between the Spider and Dragon empires.
  • We are Butterfly's opposition to Spider.
  • Chochiro is a part of another opposition to Spider, which has been described as Yin to our Yang.
  • No Great Spirit stands behind Chochiro's opposition to Spider.
  • The Sun supports Chochiro's opposition to Spider.
  • Dog would support Chochiro's opposition to Spider if he was made aware of it.

You draw some squiggles over this last "support", it's not quite the right word.

During Imperial Wedding

  • The Alchemist is busy holding Bear back.
  • Ming I is keeping the Chi of the Empire flowing through the Throne Room down the garden to Spider.
  • Xiao Fa could disrupt Ming I if he got to the Throne Room.
  • Disrupting Ming I would take the Alchemist serious effort to reset the Chi flow to Spider.
  • Nothing can keep Bear from attending the wedding.
  • The Alchemist really doesn't want the wedding to be properly Imperial.