The Immortal Game
The Handsome Monkey King
Associated Abilities: Athletics, Brawl, Fortitude, Larceny, Melee, Survival
Associated Epic Attributes: Strength, Stamina
Associated Purviews: Animal (Monkey), Chaos, Illusion, War
Sun Wukong and Bodhi
Sun Wukong was born from a stone that had been formed by the very ancient essence of chaos itself; he burst forth whole and uncontained and proceeded to race across the world, doing just as he pleased. He discovered a clan of monkeys and so impressed them with his great abilities and keen mind that they crowned him their king; however, he was not content to remain a mere king of monkeys and departed, traveling across all of the lands of humanity until he learned human speech and behavior, looking for the secret of eternal life. Eventually he found Bodhi, a wise man of great intelligence, and demanded that he be taught all of his secrets. Bodhi could tell that Sun Wukong was not human and hesitated to allow him into his house, he was so persistent and charming that he gave in and Sun Wukong began to climb to the top of his class, learning many secrets and the art of magic from the old sage. He was so pleased with his many spells and abilities that he boasted of them to the other students, and Bodhi, ashamed that he had allowed such a creature under his roof, cast him out after making him promise never to tell anyone where he had gained his powers.
Sun Wukong and Yanluo
The Monkey King rampaged across all of the earth, invincible with his new magical powers; he eventually happened across the great magical staff the Ruyi Jingu Bang and, seeing that it began to glow in recognition of his arrival, took it as his own. It was an incredibly powerful artifact able to grow to any size and to fight even without its master wielding it, and the gods began to be uncomfortable and fear the amount of power Sun Wukong had amassed. Hoping to curtail his disruptive activities, they called upon Yanluo, king of the underworld, to collect Sun Wukong’s soul and hold it there; however, he not only eluded Yanluo’s grasp but ran all the way into the underworld and scratched his name and the names of all his monkeys out of Yanluo’s great book of all souls so that they could never die.
Sun Wukong and the Jade Emperor
Hearing all the things that Sun Wukong had been doing, the Jade Emperor decided to invite him to heaven, reasoning that such a powerful demon was better off as one of his servants than running wild across the world. Sun Wukong, believing that he would be given the same status as the gods, agreed, but when he arrived found that the Emperor was planning to make him the stableboy. Furious, he loosed the Emperor’s horses and demanded that he be given equal status with the gods. Though they could see that he was powerful, the gods still thought he was too disruptive and instead offered him the job of heavenly gardener. This insult, combined with the fact that he was not invited to the great banquets of heaven, caused Sun Wukong to again turn against the gods, this time stealing Xiwangmu’s peaches, Lao Tzu’s pills and the wine of the Jade Emperor himself before returning to earth, where he gathered all the demons of the world to act as his army.
Sun Wukong’s strength was so great that even when heaven’s armies marched against him he was undefeated. He defeated all of their celestial warriors, and when the god Nezha came against him defeated him, too. Finally, the most powerful of the gods came against him on the battlefield and he was captured, but he proved too difficult to execute despite their best efforts. They tried imprisoning him in a cauldron in order to render him down over the sacred fires, but after seven weeks he emerged from the cauldron stronger than ever, and in despair the Jade Emperor appealed to the Buddha, who came from his temple to speak to Sun Wukong. He offered Sun Wukong a bet, declaring that the Monkey King would be unable to escape his palm if he placed him in it; knowing his own prodigious speed and strength, Sun Wukong arrogantly agreed. Once he stood in the Buddha’s palm, he made a single great leap and came to an empty place where only five pillars stood; assuming he had come to the end of heaven itself, he scrawled his name on the pillars, urinated at their bases, and leaped back in triumph. To his amazement, however, he found that he had never left the Buddha’s hand; the five pillars had merely been the Buddha’s fingers, and he was imprisoned beneath a mountain for five hundred years for his behavior.
Sun Wukong and Guanyin
Guanyin once called throughout heaven for any disciples or bodyguards who would be willing to protect a certain pilgrim that she served as patron for while he journeyed west through China and into lands unknown. Sun Wukong, desperate to escape his prison, volunteered; Guanyin’s heart was softened by his plea and she agreed, but she was not foolish enough to let him run rampant and tricked him into putting on a magical headband, which her pilgrim could cause to constrict and cause him much pain if he began to misbehave. Sun Wukong, pleased to be free, accompanied the pilgrim through many lands and protected him faithfully, and was so repentant and well-behaved upon his return that he was again allowed to ascend to heaven, this time to become one of the gods in truth.