The Immortal Game
Lion Master swordsman of Nezha
Strength: 5 Epic Strength: 5
Dexterity: 6 Epic Dexterity: 5
Stamina: 5 Epic Stamina: 4
Wits: 5 Epic Wits: 4
Huong Xiang was born in a small province in central China called Henan. He was the son of a retired Major in the People’s Republic of China and the daughter of a local mayor. He had a decent childhood, rough with his father, but loved his mother and honored his family whenever he could like a proper son.
He was trained by his father in the ways of wushu, specifically Black Tiger Fist, which is the common martial art in the province. He was also trained in the wushu style of swordsmanship. He was also trained by his father in the use of bows as well.
At the age of 16, he was enlisted in the army as being all Chinese men of that age. His first unit was a mountain division where he learned about surviving in the harsh mountains of China as well as guerrilla tactics used in the mountains of China. During the unrest near Tibet, his unit was called in to quell protesters near the border. During the operation, Huong’s CO commanded his platoon to open fire on the protesters believing that they were becoming too violent.
Huong begged his platoon leader to talk to his CO and tell him that the protesters weren’t violent. His Platoon leader told him that a good soldier obeys and does not question orders. When his platoon lined up, Huong decided that it wasn’t right to do this and took off from the firing line. He walked right into his CO’s tent and killed the man right there.
Knowing that he was now a wanted man, Huong grabbed some supplies and took off for the mountains. For the next six months, Huong scrounged and scraped to survive the harsh Chinese Mountains. Knowing that his pursuers had stopped coming after him and also knowing that most of China doesn’t have TV, he decided to come out of the hills into a nearby village and start over.
He was 18 at the time. A couple of years later while helping the local blacksmith, a few of the Army MP’s came into town. Unlucky for Huong, they were looking for him. Apparently you can’t shoot a Colonel and get away with it, no matter how long ago it was. The villagers denied knowing him. The army, being a repressive state apparatuses, did not believe them and rounded up all the men of the village who would have been around Huong’s age. One of the men fought the Army MPs with everything he had. When it looked like they were going to kill him, Huong stepped forward and said that it was him they were looking for and that he would come peacefully.
The MPs took him and the other guy who happened to be younger the Huong to the nearest Army base. While on the way, seeing it was a one day trip, him and the other prisoner started talking. Turns out that they were from the same village and that the other guy who knew who Huong’s mom and dad were. Seeing as they weren’t that far apart in age, he asked how they were doing. The other guy said fine, worried about you but fine otherwise.
The Army did come in and ask them questions but let them go seeing as his dad was a retired officer in the Army. Then things got a little odd in the conversation. The other guy started listing things off that he should not know about Huong, his childhood, intimate stuff about his mother. Huong, being a pretty smart guy, put two and two together but didn’t believe what his mind was telling him. So, he asked who he really was.
The other guy got a sly look in his eyes and said, “Come on. You haven’t figured it out by now? I’m your dad stupid.”
Impossible, Huong thought, I think I would know if my dad wasn’t my dad.
“I know what you’re thinking, Impossible, this guy is not my dad. I would know if my dad wasn’t my dad. Well, it’s true. I’m your real father. I’m Nezha, the Child-faced fire god.”
Huong gave him a blank look then said “Okay, if you’re a god, then why did you get captured by mere mortals?”
“How else was I going to talk to you? I knew you would step in to save those people. I would. I hate authority figures. Always have.”
“So, what do we do right now? We are still going to an Army camp to be thrown in prison.”
“Oh, right. I was never good at planning. I’m more of a think on my feet kind of person. Anyway, you got your visitation. You’ll find your stuff in the prison cell you’re thrown into. You can take it from there.” With that, Nezha vanished.
When they arrived at the prison, the other guards didn’t ask about the other prisoner. It seemed like they only had Huong the entire time. They told him that he would be spending the week here before being taken back to the city to be put on trial. He was unceremoniously tossed into a small cell with little light. As he was sitting there contemplating what would happen to him, he remembered what Nezha said to him about his stuff. I wonder what he left me, Huong thought. He snooped around his cell and found a loose set of stones in the floor of his cell.
Over the next few days when he had free time (which was a lot), he dug at the stones until he got them loose and up. Inside was a suit of ornate armor and a beautiful sword that looked like it had been made out of clouds and snow. The armor looked like it had been carved straight from the bones of a lion and then forged with steel. It was surprisingly light as well considering it was the classical lamellar armor typical for ancient Chinese soldiers. It also had a slight shimmer to it as well.
Upon closer inspection of the sword, he noticed that it was a white and blue blade and had an unnatural chill to it. When he grabbed a hold of the sword, the chill crept up his arm and seemed to seep into his soul. Scared, he dropped it. Then he noticed something odd. The stone floor seemed a lot less chilly and he felt lighter on his feet as well.
Weird, he thought.
Taking the armor he decided to put it on. At that moment he saw blurring images of a giant cat of some sort. He couldn’t make it out, but he knew that this was a powerful animal. He figured lion or tiger. Then the strangest thing happened. His armor turned into a set of presentable clothes.Huh, thought Huong, I can change the appearance of the armor. That’s handy.
With that Huong decided that he had been in prison too long. He looked at the wall and felt that he could get through that wall pretty easily and with a single punch, he broke through the wall. Huong was always stronger than most, but this was incredible. However what was on the other side of that wall was not so great. 30 feet in the air, he stared at the ground. Oh, boy, now what? Well, I punched through a wall, lets see if I can survive a 30 foot fall. So with that, huong gathered himself and jumped and landed perfectly on his feet without harm. Unfortunately, he did not look where he leaped and landed right in the middle of a guard tower. Oh shit, thought Huong, I’m in deep. With that Huong drew his sword and took a stance. The soldiers drew their guns and Huong struck, chopping the gun barrels in half. He started moving in and out of the soldiers, taking gun barrels and dodging bullets. Weird, they should be overwhelming me, but they aren’t. And with that, Huong broke out of prison. After a few months of running, he found himself in Hong Kong, a city where if you were in trouble, people could help you, for a price. Huong ended up getting in with a local street gang that was associated with the Triad, albiet very loosely associated. After a couple of years doing grunt work, he moved up in the ranks until he caught the eye of the local Triad lieutenant. He got a job from the guy. Job was to eliminate a local gang leader who was getting too big for his shoes. At this point, Huong’s mastery over cold, sky and animal had improved and he had grown in legend as a fierce fighter with no mercy. He was very rarely taken by surprise and was freakishly strong and agile. With his knowledge of the martial arts, he was a force to be reckoned with in a fight. When he arrived at the local gang’s headquarters, he noticed that there were a lot of guys there. After fighting through the gang he kicked in the gang leader’s door and there he was. With a swing of his sword, he frosted the guy and his office. Hearing about the hit, the other local gang leaders pledged loyalty to the Triad. Huong became the personal bodyguard and eliminator for the Triad Lieutenant. After 3 years of this, Huong decided he wanted to do something else. He talked to his Triad leader friend and asked to be let go. Knowing Huong would never say anything, much less be caught, the leader agreed. So, Huong struck out on his own, plying his particular talents to whoever had the most money. After several lucrative hits, all ruled either environmental or animal deaths, he got and interesting contract. One in Japan. Never been there, he thought. His target was a local business man that refused to deal with the Triad. The guy’s second though was more than willing to cooperate and it was this guy who had hired Huong. While tracking his prey, as all predators do, Huong noticed someone odd. A larger guy who definitely was tracking the same guy. He was also not of complete Asian descent. Gweilo, he thought, what is he doing here? Whatever. I’ll continue with my job.
After a week of tracking the target, he decided to strike at the guys home. Sneaking in was easy, as was taking out the guards and disabling the security system with the code given to him by the hiree. As he snuck into the target’s room and saw that he was near the window talking on the phone. Huong snuck in close and then out of nowhere, the guy’s head exploded. Huong hit the deck, but just before hitting the floor he thought he saw a moving bush in a tree across the way. With that, Huong beat a hasty retreat out of the window. The next day he got a phone call from the guy who hired him. “I thought you were going to make it look natural. A gunshot to the head is not natural.” “There was another person. He was the one who shot him.” “Well I didn’t hire another person. I was told you were the best.” “Apparently, I’m not”. After going back to China, Huong called up his buddy. “Did you hear what happened?” “I did.” “Well?” “His name is Delmar. He’s an assassin. Real good with a rifle. Never misses.” “Hmmm. Looks like I have competition.”
A few months later, Huong’s father showed up with a problem. “I kind of messed up.” “Messed up? How?” “I sort of maybe released a demon lord.” “Okay. Sounds par for the course for you, but how did you do that?” “Ummm. I’d rather not get into that. I need you to put it back.” “So, I have to fix your mistake. Fun. What do I need to know.” “Luckily, you should be fine. He’s an ice demon lord. I just need you to put his skull back in this box.” Nezha handed Huong a small ivory box with ornate carvings. “Seems easy enough. Where was he last seen?” “East of Henan. He hasn’t done anything crazy yet. I was hoping you could nip this in the bud.” “Sure.” “Oh and you have one week.” “Why one week?” “Apparently I released him the week before some prophecy. I don’t know. Just fix it.” “What happens in a week?” “Don’t worry about it. Just make it happen.” “I, I. Seriously? Where did you go?” Nezha was nowhere to be found. Huong started out and arrived a couple of days later. While on the way, he studied up on this ice demon. All he could find was a tale of a white snake which was known to all chinese people. I hope it isn’t this one. That would be terrible. Little did he know how right he was. He noticed the people were nowhere to be found when he arrived. As he walked farther into town, he saw the devastation that had been set upon the town. “Whoa, this is bad. Hope someone lived.” He looked around and found a few survivors holed up in the town hall. “What happened?” “The White Snake has risen. It’s the end times!” “Okay. Which way did she go?” One person stood up and said that the snake went towards the local monastery. “Well, that’s where I’m headed.” After a few hours of travel, he arrived at the temple. “Well, no use fighting in the dark, might as well get some rest. I’ll set up a couple of miles away. If anything happens, I’ll be able to get there pretty quick.” As he was settling in for the night, he thought he heard a rustling in the bushes. “Just my imagination.” After what seemed like a few minutes, Huong’s lizard brain went haywire. With reflexes that only he had, he dodged out of the way as a giant club smashed down where his head was. As he drew his sword and summoned up the power of his spirit beast, four other people hopped out of the bushes, surrounding him. “That’s not very smart.” “We’re the ones that have you surrounded,” a female voice said. “Seems that way. What do you want?” “We were about to ask you the same thing.” “I’m here for whatever destroyed the town. I was sent by my dad.” “So are we. Who’s your dad?” “Nezha.” “He’s the one…” “who released the damn thing I know, he told me. Didn’t say anything about help though.” “You have no idea what you are up against do you?” “I didn’t at first. Father was not so forward with info. But looking at the evidence I would say it’s the Legendary White Snake. But I thought she was a good spirit.” “She is. It’s the green snake that’s loose.” “Well, that changes things. Who are you guys?” “We are also children of the Shen. I’m Huifen, child of Chang’e. The big loud guy is Sammy Hong, child of Guan Yu. The smallish woman is Jie Lang, child of Guanyin and the guy with the big ass stick is Donny Ling, son of the Monkey King.” "He looks it, said Huong. "Watch it, said Donny. “You were lucky I missed.” “Like you could ever hit me.” "Anyway, if the dick measuring is over, let’s kill a snake god shall we, Huifen pointed out. “Okay, so what’s the plan?” “We smash it, duh.” “I expected that out of a monkey. Now let the adults talk.” Sammy spoke up. “The obvious thing is to lure it into the woods and go from there.” "Makes sense, said Huong. “How do we do that?” “That’s where you come in. We’ve read about you. You’re obviously the best choice for that. Quick on his feet and with his tongue apparently. You should not have any issues making that thing come after you.” “Oh, boy. Well you better have something else besides me running.” “Oh we will.”
After getting to the temple, Huong wasn’t sure why he was trusting these guys. He always worked on his own and did quite well that way. But even he knew that he couldn’t take a demigod on his own. He walked into the temple and his lizard brain went crazy again. A huge tail came crashing down where he had just been standing. “You are fast little one, you must be a child of those incompetent Shen.” “You have me dead to rights on that one. You must be that green snake thingy I’ve been hearing about.” “Thingy?! Thingy?! How dare you insult me like that, mortal. I will destroy you!!!” “Well that was easier than expected.” As Houng ran out of the temple, he heard a resounding crash behind him. The snake was after him and quickly. “Hope I’m fast enough. And let’s hope they have something planned. I sure didn’t.” When he made the forest, he summoned the strength of his spirit lion and called upon the powers of the highest mountain and got ready for combat. About that time, he felt a slight tingle and dodged quickly out of the way as a giant tree trunk came flying out of the air, and nailing the snake right in the face. Surprisingly the snake not only took the hit and shook it off, she laughed. “Is that all the children of the shen of for me?” "No, said a voice, “We have som much more.” With that, a whistle was heard and Donny and Sammy came crashing out of the trees. Huong turned and started to move in. Then things got difficult. What was supposed to be a pretty simple fight became a fight for survival. Demons and undead rose from the ground and surrounded the group. "Well, this wasn’t in the plan, pointed Donny. "Ya think, said Huong sarcastically. “I’ll take care of the snake, you guys deal with this.” Huong charged the snake. With his sword in hand he was able to damage the snake, albeit it was very little. “Time to rethink this strategy.” Huong decided to turn away and run into the woods on a sheet of ice. This caused the snake to slip and slide all over the place. After seeing that, Huong had an idea. Since he knew these woods pretty well, he knew of a small mountain lake nearby. He dove straight into the water luring the snake in to the water. When the snake leapt in after him, he called upon the northern chill and slammed his sword into the lake and froze the snake into a giant block of ice. “Well, that was pretty simple.” As he walked over he heard a small cracking that got louder and louder until the snake burst from the block of ice. ‘Did you really think that would hold me?" “I was hoping it would.” With that, Huong charged in a started slicing and dicing the giant beast. After a few minutes, it looked like Huong hadn’t done much. “What the hell? I’ve thrown everything at her and nothing.” As he was wondering what to do next, the group came through the trees, having taken care of the undead and demons. “Thanks for showing up.” “No problem. Looks like you could use some help.” “Yeah. You could say that.” “Let’s finish this up. I have plans.” “Oh really? I was hoping they would be with me?” “Calm down Don Juan, maybe some other time.” With the whole group there, it became a fight that legends are made of. I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say that the mountain lake got a lot bigger after this fight. They were finally able to defeat the demon snake by Huong and Huifen combined their frost powers and froze the snake in a giant block of ice and Donny and Sammy smashing that block. Huong was able to get the skull back into the ivory box, thus sealing the snake back into the box and ridding the world of the green snake demon until the next time some fool decided to open it up.
After the fight, there was a huge flash and the group was standing in a court hall surrounded by the main players in the Shen. “You have done well as was your duty. Considering that it was one of us to unleash this horror, luckily you caught up to her before the prophecy took place.” "What was the prophecy, asked Sammy. “Doesn’t matter. Issue solved. Oh and you are now all demigods. Simple matter of filling out the paperwork.” As Huong was wondering what he was going to do, his father came up to him. “Hey, Huong, thanks for helping me out.” “You owe me huge, dad. Huge.” “Well, I have this giant guardian lion I could give you for helping me out. And I could improve your sword. Make it sharper and your armor sturdier. Oh and info about that shooter from a few months back.” “Okay. I’ll take that stuff and the info.” “Head to America. New York City. Here’s the ticket for the plane. Just turn on your TV and go from there.” “New York, huh. Glad I speak English.”