(After Ting Ting's Gambit, Book 3 Run 10)
Yanyu will get dressed in her new warm, tidy and respectable clothes from the Roof of the World and make her way to the Green Pagoda. Once there she'll politely ask the monks if they might possibly advise her on the sad case she came across recently of the young man from the Roof of the World who was cursed to seem nefarious whilst in that kingdom not through his own wrongdoing but through the actions of a family member. The young man himself seems respectable enough (when not under the curse), honorable, sensible and extremely dutiful. Is there any way he can redeem his family honor and restore what has been lost? (The 'restore what has been lost' wording is a deliberate usage on Yanyu's part. She means the question to be 'restore the name of the kingdom', but she made the wording vague so that the monks who don't know about the kingdom renaming will assume she means something closer to his honor or reputation.) Yanyu will use Astrology, Conversation, Conversational Dodge, Etiquette, Magic Ritual, and KS: Spirit World to get herself through the Green Pagoda filtering system until she either gets an answer to her actual question (What needs to be done to flip the name back beyond just restoring the Line of Kings?) or gets to see Quan Lo himself.
- The monks offer you some advice (hmm, do you know more about the family? Is it just the young man, or anyone else?) and suggest that you talk to other monks in the Pagoda, and suggest to each other that they check something in the library, and so on. It feels like a filtering system, but it's very smooth, and faster than seems quite right.
- Reasonably soon, one of the later monks suggests that you speak to the Master about what you seek, and you are shown into a corridor with a rice-paper floor, and a door at the other end...
OK, well I've seen that movie. I have no Kung Fu, but I do have skill in being Graceful, so I'll try to walk very Gracefully over the rice paper so as not to tear it, and I'll throw my Chi in.
- (Successes: 2.)
- Yanyu tears the paper about halfway down the hall, and the door at the end of the hall leads to another hallway with rice paper.
- OK, I'll try again with Yin fortune dice... 4 successes, which is about as good as I'm likely to get.
- Success! You reach the end of the rice paper without tearing it, and pass through the door into the great jade senshi chamber beyond.
- There is a raised platform that Quan Lo sits upon, and a single slightly less raised platform closer to you.
- He gestures for you to seat yourself.
- "Be welcome, bright weaver of the Phoenix."
Yanyu will bow to Quan Lo and take her place on the lower platform.
"Revered Master, thank you for seeing me. I would welcome your wisdom on any number of things. You have already been very generous with your wisdom to my friends and companions, so I hope I do not impose too much."
- "Your friends and companions have much wisdom among them, as well, but to strive to grow wiser is a path we all walk."
"Indeed, though I do worry sometimes that a few of my companions are over-eager to acquire the Talismans, even those held by allies or potential allies. I think it is not wise for us to have too many with us until we are ready to use them for our purpose lest they draw unwelcome attention.
- He nods. "Every action causes a reaction, like a stone into water. To change the balances of the Cycle in the world cannot but cause great ripples."
"But that is not what I wished to ask you, Revered Master...
"I believe that we will need to restore the names of the twelve kingdoms. To do so it seems that we must undo whatever event was key to the name change, such as the selling of the Red Pagoda to Chang Wuyong or the banishment of the line of kings in..." (slight pause) "the kingdom north of here. This much seems probable to me, and yet I feel as though it is likely not enough on its own and I have no idea how to even approach what else may need to be done to restore the names. Revered Master, what else needs to be done to restore the kingdoms such that this remains the Dragon Empire?"
(OK, now the potentially foolish thing. I'd like to use my Good Listener shtick [...])
- He thinks for a moment, and then says "You fall into the trap that my brother does - there is no going backwards, no perfect restoration of the past, only eternal change towards the future. The question to ask is how to make this empire become the Dragon Empire."
- "To alter the kingdom of the north as you wish, you must change its nature towards both Crane and Dragon, and you must make a related change in the realm of one of these two spirits. You must also have the explicit benison of both the Crane and the Dragon, or their talismans. This is how the unseen changes were instituted, and how they may be made again."
- After saying all of this, Quan Lo looks fairly uncharacteristically perplexed. He looks like he wishes to ask a question for a moment, but then the moment passes and he regains his normal calm demeanor. As he does so, the room brightens, until it's so bright you must close your eyes or look down. When this light passes, Quan Lo is gone, and the door returning you to the temple is open.
Yanyu will lower her eyes rather than close them, as that seems more appropriate. Once he is gone she'll bow to the empty platform and leave. If she sees any monks on the way out she will thank them for their help and ask them to please convey her profound thanks to their master.
- (On the way out, the door leads directly to the outer chamber, with no
rice paper hallway in the way).
- The monks bow and say that they are glad to have been of service; they
will convey your thanks to the Perfect Master.