The Painter's Path
This is something I liked a lot from WotG. Trials that an artist must go through to truly understand the concepts and places they paint about. If an artist achieves the three goals, they can, for 3 victory, produce a piece of art that will be remembered forever as a masterpiece that truly captures the spirit of that location. If you are interested in this, we can modernize and specify.
To learn the north’s deepness, travel to Zhao, to the Eight Mountain Shore, where eight great peaks bracket a sea of blackest ice. There, the Three Powers Sage meditates upon his heartbreak, killing those who disturb his solitude. Share tea with him and look into the sea, and you may understand the depths of K’an.
To learn self-sacrificing vigilance, travel to the City of Molten Serenity; stand guard outside the door of the courtesan and great teacher named the Silver Gate. (Loh Hou-kang, if the Silver Gate is male, or Loh May-ling, if female.) Keep those who would kill him away. Turn back those who would pit their kung fu against his, and seek to drain his skills. Shun the temptation to enter his chambers. Let all others pass. If you have Hou-kang’s favor, then in time one shall come to the door whom you would not wish to see there. Learn discretion, and let them past; learn strength, and hold them back. The Silver Gate is indifferent to your choice.
To learn the cold-defying fire, one must sacrifice a longstanding ambition when almost achieved, understanding at the last moment that it is better thus. Ideally, this should be done in a fashion to entertain the other players and produce dramatic interest.
In the city of Heaven’s Hand in Yang, each spring, the residents hold an all-out brawl. The last man or woman standing may have their pick of the others for a spouse.
To learn the reckless fire, Nine Devil Wine is not wine enough! Only Hundred Devil Wine will do: but the crone who makes it refused the will of Zheng Bei, and now must hide from heaven’s wrath. Taste of this wine, and when the drunkenness clears, you will understand.
The east is home to several nests of martial artist revolutionaries who seek to undermine the authorities and establish a bandit rule. One such is the flesh-eating abbot of Sun and Moon Monastery, located in the Twisted Ground of Zhuo Lu in Yang; another, the marsh bandit Wallowing Snake of Southern Liang, whose kung fu animates the severed hands of his enemies; a third, the scholar Wen Li, whose hilltop library in Northern Liang is a deathtrap that has slain many of the local magistrate’s soldiers. To kill such a man shows little control; to humiliate one, or convince him of the need for righteousness, proves the mastery of the gentle hand.
In a Daoist shrine hidden among the eastern hills of Southern Liang, an eminent sage tends a great tree grown from a vat of cinnabar. Many dream of tasting its fruit, but there is only one, and another will not grow for one hundred years. Take a single bite, and your life force strengthens. Eat three bites and you become an unstoppable demon warrior!
The Rat and the Raven are the two masters of a secret society dedicated to the protection of the Yellow River region from clan recruiters, bandits and corrupt officials who would seek to exploit its people. Unfortunately, the two have fallen in love. Embarrassed by their feelings, each has grown increasingly difficult to deal with, refusing to show any weakness or affection to the other. Aided by their many followers, who regard this as a serious rift and are taking sides, the Yellow River Society stands on the verge of civil war. To resolve this rift — perhaps by healing it, or perhaps by exploiting it — teaches the heart of emotions both treasured and abandoned.
The seven-hook master of the Horse-Hair Cult of Hanzhao claims to have learned kung fu secrets from his castration —without the distraction of sex, he asserts, he has grown more powerful than others can imagine. For twenty years, his cult has kidnapped boys to serve as his disciples, their sacrifice fueling the master’s Chi more than their own. To save one child from his clutches, and see another fight with inhuman prowess to defend him, is to understand paths both taken and untaken.
The west is a place of sorrow and the setting sun. To learn the west’s sorrow, one must bury a friend in its soil.
A lost scripture of the Buddha resides in a casket in the mountains of Western Liang. Many fear that its discovery would produce political turmoil, monks using new moral authority to agitate for greater devotion and donations from the people, destabilizing the balance of power between ascetic and governmental orders. If it contained Buddhist kung fu secrets, the results might be even more troublesome. Yet what glory it would be, to read the Buddha’s long-forgotten words!
The treasure of the west is its hardened warriors — its people merge the fighting styles of all continents, in defense of Shen Zhou! Win the hearts of a great warrior or a legion of followers, and command this treasure.