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New Interactive Story: White Night

posted by Nitric on - last edited - Viewed by 3.7K users

White Night is a story based during the Dawn Age of the ASOIAF setting, and is based around the region of the Further East of Essos, focusing on the Great Empire of the Dawn on it's final years before collapse, and the following Long Night arrives to terrorize the world. Yes, the world, meaning not only Westeros! The Great Empire of the Dawn once held control of all the Further East, their reach stretching from the mountainous border of the west to the port city of Asshai in the east. However as generations have passed, the Great Dawn Empire has slowly degraded into a mere kingdom of size, with occupation over Yi Ti and the Shadowlands alone. Many neighboring lands have sought to take advantage of this decrease in power, arising kingdoms and empires of their own, and have began to turn their eyes towards the dying empire at the heart of the Further East.

The Kingdom of Hyrkoon, led by the infamous warmonger: Markus Hyrkoon, has been building his army and forging alliances to one day march down from the mountains and conquer all of the Far East for his own...

The God-Empress of Leng: Lerela, has recently come to inherit her crown from her deceased mother, and has been expected to continue ruling in her mother's stead for the isolation and security of Leng, assuring that the Great Dawn Empire never bring harm to their people again. Yet with the fall of the Empire on its way, Lerela looks into the opportunities that arise over the horizon.

The Kingdom of N'Ghai has began to prosper like no other since the Empire of the Dawn has began to cease in power, in a sense they have become one of the wealthiest kingdoms too with the Grey Plague that has spread over the Shadowlands and deterred merchants and explorers from travelling to Asshai. King Neferion has kept N'Ghai as a reasonably peaceful land, trading with the Dawn Guard of the Five Forts for protection from the lands beyond. Yet with the Jogos Nhai growing restless now that the army of the Great Empire has diminished to a mere bunch of untrained boys and old men, Neferion finds himself having to take matters into his own hands for the good of his kingdom, and those around him.

Finally, the Great Empire of the Dawn has plunged into a time of chaos and fear as the late Opal Emperor has finally passed, naming his daughter: the Amethyst Princess, his heir. There are many among the empire that have found this decision unfathomable, and while many eyes from outside the empire are looking to take advantage of this chaos, there are just as many eyes within that are looking to utilise it for their own benefits.

Yet with all this terror stirring up in the land, the legendary Dawn Guard of the Five Forts stand tall and strong within their over-powering forts, warring with the Lizard-men of the Shryker lands, yet it does not take a tutored eye to see that something dark is coming, and the valiant and honourable men and women of the Dawn Guard are the first and only defense between the realms of the living, and the unknown.

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You can submit characters here

It might also be added that this story will only focus on the further east of Essos. Your character may come from west of this region, but must actually be based somewhere in the Great Empire of the Dawn or somewhere near it. Westeros is only recently founded by the First Men, with legendary figures, such as Garth Greenhand and Bran the Builder still alive, and Essos is in a similar stage of development. The Valyrian's have not come to be yet, currently only herding sheep along their lands, and that means that with the Freehold not yet coming to be, there could be no Valyrian colonies, so the Free Cities of Essos do not exist yet. So the Iron Bank cannot get involved in this story as it does not exist!

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Book 1: The Glimmering Amethyst - current

Prologue: West Wolf - Finished

Chapter 1: The Shattered Opal - current

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Characters:

Point of View characters are displayed in bold.

In Tiqui: Princess Mulan Nhi Jidao, Prince Remi Zhi Jidao, Gen Ji, Raqhis mo Ahzi, Khaidu Kan, Kiaan Samar, Xara Dexi Xhan, Zhen Ju, Princess Ria Jidao, Prince Shen Jidao, Old Mei, Nesta, Chi-Chi, Si Ma, Prince Fhang Ji, Prince Jia Jidao, Princess Fei Min Jidao, Princess Koko Lin Jidao, Princess Jing Cha Jidao, Yang Wuhan, Qiu Wuhan, Shao Wuhan, Prince Jingim Jidao, Jia Lai, Meirong, Prince Jalhar Zhad, Galor the Giant, Kaliza Rakhan, Driznor zo Rakhan, Kreqnir Ahzi

In Samyriana: King Markus Hyrkoon, Alexandros Karalis, General Aegis Nothos, Prince Hykerus of Hyrkoon, Khristos Laskaris, Virtus Obilix, Cleon Kotas, Jason Grivas, Notus Raptis, Dalton Dunn, Harrys Majeword, Leobald Graves

In the Bone Mountains: Crokus, Harridan Pyke, Darren Spyre, Sygirr Dargur, Zhali

At Jogos Nhai: Nithral Raeltheon, Damien Dardowl, Vesemir Nightstar, Ugnak

At the Jade Gates: Old Man

In Qarth: Dickon Stark, Remmo, Prince Rhaedon Thoxi Rhos, Captain Hanse na Zhol

In Asshai: Eldric, the Grey Lady, Elda, Vellera Essaar, Jaeron Galiar, Nkos, Gilma the Bearded, Sarlzo, Vorro "Eagle's Eye", Corysu, Erin Erenford

Deceased or unknown:

To be introduced: Eldon Graves, Larra Graves, Derran Graves, Shaw Flowers, Jack, Raqzi Lavaar, Lerela, Beloro, Jacques Meroi, Xiang Wuhan, Mamoru Sozui, Lord Merid, Mitch Merid, Wolf Merid, LiLi Merid, Lisa Merid, Noir Carlo, Hao Wuhan, Tao, Mako, Jian, Lyudmila, Xharrar Dor, Zobha Ra, Daenera Naer, Verro, Quon Zhai, Kai Thonu, Rayuli Xan, Sonq, Saetrus the Blessed, Than Mioq, Mi Mioq, Aethon Cosmas, Crysto Nothos, Vyrano Nearthe, Alkiiri, Flea Bite, Riyat Mantos, Sain "The Knight", Hionor, Nianha, Raquest, Zhenya Luyen, Zeyan Luyen, Shui Luyen, Li Luyen, Chen Luyen, Lian Luyen, Mao Qiang, Fang, Ren, Lara, Lyser

115 Comments
  • Book 1: The Glimmering Amethyst

    Prologue: West Wolf

    Dickon

    The glowing city grew larger to the eye as their damaged vessel gently drifted toward it, the crew weary and parched, yet all the men on board could agree they had seen enough water for a lifetime. Merchants and sailors of the Ghiscari Empire had sworn that the Jade Gates were a calm strait to pass from the Summer Sea into the Jade Sea, but the gods had frowned on this assurance from the seeming of it.

    A great storm had thundered down onto their inferior vessel once they had entered the pass way, lightning crashing down all around them and striking their mast, leaving them at the mercy of the many gods of the seas. Many had died trying to douse the fires the storm brought to their ship, including the captain, who was thrown overboard with a great wave. Now the ghost ship only consists of a handful of men, the rest abandoning their posts once the conditions had calmed.

    Dickon gritted his teeth, running a dry finger over the edge of his bronze blade. He had travelled for months only to be stopped at the gates by the gods, and slowly but surely, their driftwood remains floated towards the glimmering city of Qarth, whose light reflected off the cloudy night sky and stretched for miles without dimming. All they could do now was wait, and Dickon hated waiting.

    He pulled himself up, turning his glare to the shattered remains of the mast, sharp shards of pointless wood staring up to the clouds. A groan built in his throat and converted to a furious yell as he smashed his weapon against the broken wooden stump, sending wooden splinters flying around him. The tired crew watched with intimidated eyes until they became disinterested, and Dickon lost his strength to persist.

    The result was a bent and dented blade, barely worthy of being called a sword, and bloodied fists with additional splinters. Dick threw his blade down, crumbling onto his knees. His mind drifted back to home, where no doubt his witty brother was constructing yet another grand keep, after already laying down the foundations for his own in the land they called ‘the North.’ He had earned a title from a young age, and saw it through still as he grew into a man: the Builder. Their father too had earned a name which was renowned across the land, one so formidable it was cursing to utter, which only made being his son a bad omen.

    Dickon let out a sigh, crawling across to the damaged balustrades of the ship and looking down to the black liquid below. It was a terrifying thought that just a day ago, these calm waters had stretched ten metres high, battering their ship from side to side, carrying her up with the giant swell only to drop her once it had passed. Now all that remained was a crest of waves, and a trail of unsettled water in its wake.

    He stared long and hard to identify the figure that was shaped in the reflection. Had he perhaps had a torch he might have been able to see clearer, but alas he was left with nothing but his wet eyes, which only disrupted the calm water further. He brought his forearm to his eyes, desperately rubbing away the tears, but to no avail. He smashed his fists against the floorboards with distress, gasping in agony as he wept. He was weak, he was a disappointment, and though never outright claimed it, he was an exile.

    “Dick,” a rough nonchalant voice uttered from behind him, forcing the broken man to turn his wet gaze to the older sailor, “get up,” he spat, pulling at Dickon’s narrow arms before he could argue. “What the fuck are you doing?” Dickon tried to avoid his piercing glare, but after a slap to the cheek he was forced to look into the old Ghiscari’s eyes.

    “We’ve lost everything, and what’s left of us… We are nothing,” Dickon muttered in defeat, dropping his gaze to the man’s old bloody feet, but he lifted Dick’s gaze again. “We are not defeat yet, and we are certainly not nothing. We are the crew of the Winged Harpy!” he cheered weakly, patting Dick’s shoulder, but it failed to lift his spirits.

    “The crew of a dead captain and broken vessel,” Dickon corrected in melancholy, passing the old man and returning to the mast. “I am not your crew, nor am I of Ghis. I’m nothing,” he repeated, sinking by the mast. The old man followed him, shaking his head with frustration. “That is mule shit, every word of it. You are the brother of Bran the Builder! Son of Brandon the Bloody Blade, grandson of Garth Greenhand. You are the offspring of a grand legacy of conquerors and great men,” he assured him, but Dickon just shook his head.

    “And what have I to show for it? Who will remember Rickon Stark, the coward who ran away from his abusive father and cocky brother, only to drown in some foreign fucking sea,” Dickon spat, which the brought a chuckle to the old man. “You are young, and stupid. If you want to die, be my guest, I’ll be sure to send the great Wolves of Westeros word of how you came to your end,” the Ghiscari grinned, tapping Dickon’s cheek, which only infuriated him further.

    “That won’t happen,” Dickon promised, pulling himself up. The Ghiscari smirked, crossing his arms and staring out to the glowing city. “Good, because I forbid you to die. As I said, you are young and naïve; your time for glory will come once we reach the Great Empire of Dawn! The Amethyst Empress will surely love a wild wolf of Westeros to warm her bed,” the old man jested, making Dickon snarl.

    “I will kill you, old man,” Dickon vowed to him, which clearly amused the Ghiscari. “With your point being? I am just as much a slave to the Empire as you are, and once we reach Qarth we will be brought back to Ghis, or sold off somewhere else, who knows,” the old man grinned, but Dickon shook his head with frustration.

    “My destiny is with the Great Empire old man! I’ve seen it!” he spat, which made the old man laugh again. “Ah yes, by… What do you call them again? Green eyes? You Westerosi are indeed strange for following the imagination of children.” Dickon shook his head with growing annoyance, running his hands through his hair.

    “I’ve told you a hundred times already, it’s not like that,” Dickon growled, but the Ghiscari just shrugged his shoulders. “Sure,” he smiled, placing a hand on Dickon’s head. “Well your vision is going to have to wait, West Wolf, for the chains of Qarth await. Now, let us remaining few enjoy a few hours left of freedom before we return to the shackles,” he muttered, removing his hand and leaving Dickon to stare at the city across the water.

    He clenched his fists, staring at the city with menacing eyes as they slowly approached it. I won’t go back to the chains, he vowed, and I won’t fight in those fucking slave pits again, he added to his ireful thoughts before lowering his head to the floor. He tucked his arm under his weary head, taking a final glance at the city before shutting his eyes. I will not be forgotten.

    No decision.

    • Whoa, I can't express how happy I am to see a new interactive story here. Even better, one that looks seriously promising and has an interesting premise. That just came a complete surprise. First of all, noticing you joined just today, welcome to the forums. Second, I wish you much success with this story. You can count on me as a reader, because I like this prologue very much and see a lot of potential in your writing. Hopefully, there will be a lot of people willing to join. This prologue laid out some nice foundations, it's really interesting to see someone so closely related to mythical heroes, such as Bran the Builder and Garth Greenhand. Dickon seems to be a likable character from what I can tell so far, I like to see more of him and his journey in the future.

      Having always had a soft spot for the far east of the Ice and Fire world, I am excited and would love to submit one or two characters. I probably won't manage to write them down today though, but I should be able to come up with a concept in the next few hours. Can I send it to you via PM, so that you can check right away if you can use these characters?

      • Whoa, I can't express how happy I am to see a new interactive story here. Even better, one that looks seriously promising and has an interesting premise. That just came a complete surprise. First of all, noticing you joined just today, welcome to the forums. Second, I wish you much success with this story. You can count on me as a reader, because I like this prologue very much and see a lot of potential in your writing. Hopefully, there will be a lot of people willing to join. This prologue laid out some nice foundations, it's really interesting to see someone so closely related to mythical heroes, such as Bran the Builder and Garth Greenhand. Dickon seems to be a likable character from what I can tell so far, I like to see more of him and his journey in the future.

        Thanks!

        Having always had a soft spot for the far east of the Ice and Fire world, I am excited and would love to submit one or two characters. I probably won't manage to write them down today though, but I should be able to come up with a concept in the next few hours. Can I send it to you via PM, so that you can check right away if you can use these characters?

        For sure. I don't have a lot of time so I probably won't get back to you ASAP, but I'm excited to see your ideas.

    • Well this is certainly an interesting idea for a story! Dawn Age is pretty much as far back as you can possibly go in this world, and it certainly opens up some intriguing possibilities for storytelling. It's also one of the eras that I know the least about in the canon (not that there even is that much solid info), and it's so far from the time of aSoIaF/GoT that it almost feels like a completely different genre of fantasy =) That's not a bad thing though, I'm eager to see how you'll create a unique feel and athmosphere for this era.

      I liked your writing on this prologue, and it did get me interested for Dickon's journey. I'll submit you a character or two soon, but I think I'll read up a bit on the Dawn Age first to get some insipiration :p

    • Nice prologue, this is certainly going to be interesting!
      I also submitted a character, may submit more. :)

  • It's good to see a new Interactive Story on the forums, and from what I've seen in the prologue it seems like this should be an interesting one. I would like to join but since my knowledge about the Dawn Age is basically nil, I will have to refrain from submitting a character xD. Still, I hope you have a great time writing the story :)

    • Hehe, my own knowledge on the topic is not the best either, basically just what can be found on the Ice and Fire wiki. Perhaps, if you're interested but just don't feel like you know enough on the matter, I might be of help. Here's what might interest you about the Great Empire of the Dawn and here's what is known about the empire that succeeded them, the Golden Empire of Yi Ti. Not all that much, but maybe it means you'll be a bit more free than in other stories. I'm sure the story could greatly benefit from having you as a reader, if you can think of a character, because more readers is what every story needs and I bet this one is going to be quite fun. I know, I myself have to put quite some work into my characters, given how little I know on the scenario, but that's what makes it so fun for me :D

      • Thanks for the help Liquid, you sure made things easier for me and I'll definitely give the links a read later! :) Hopefully I'll be able to get a better understanding of how things work and submit a couple of characters. They'll probably be very clumsy but oh well... at least they'll have lots of room for character development :D

        • You're welcome! My own knowledge is not that great about this time period, but the characters I plan to submit have been sort of influenced by ancient asian cultures and media that portrayed this time period, maybe you'll find some inspiration there. I know, I look forward to my characters and hope you'll find some nice ideas as well. Given your FoT characters, I doubt they'll be clumsy in any way :)

  • This certainly was interesting. I will try to follow this as good as I can! This is probably one of the areas in the timeline I know the least about, so getting to know a lot from your perspective will be very nice! Generally, reading stories about things that happen in the timeline makes me admire the world of Ice and Fire even more, and I also greatly need to work on my knowledge in historical events in Westeros and Essos as well, since I am writing a story set in the future of where the books/Tv-series ends, I really should know things better, and this story will certainly help.

    The prologue was a good start, Dickon is interesting for sure, and I will be sure to follow it closely!

  • Hey it was not bad!I'll stick reading it for sure.

    I already submitted one character,more are coming. ;)

    • Awesome, can we talk about them? They're very good but just a little out of context. Westeros won't be featured in this story, so will your characters come across to the Empire at some point? Otherwise I can't really make much use for them. The Free Cities of Essos also don't exist either, since the Valyrian Freehold has not come to exist yet so pretty much all of western Essos belongs to the Kingdom of Sarnor and Empire of Ghis.

  • Eldric

    The bright coals of the forge brought sweat around his brow as he momentarily hovered over it, clutching onto a pair of iron tongs that held a red hot piece of steel over the fire pit. When it was ready, Eldric pulled the steel from the pit and onto the anvil, where he took the hammer to it before dunking it in cool water, only to repeat the process again, and again, and again.

    He sighed, leaving the steel sit in the bucket a minute as he took his break, staring out to the city around him. Asshai, as gloomy as always, he thought grimly as he stared over the dark and hauntingly quiet city. No doubt his works disrupted that quiet peace, but it felt like a favour to keep the demons of the Shadow City at bay with the thundering of metal on metal.

    Eldric pulled off his gloves and placed them on his crafter’s table, taking a seat and pouring himself a cup of cool water. He stared over the ghost city with stern eyes, it would be a miracle for an event to happen, for a spark to ignite the life that hid away. Or just a building, Eldric thought humourlessly as he grew tired of staring at the grey domes. He dropped his gaze back to his drink, burying his muzzle into the tankard and finishing his cool beverage. When his eyes lifted, he was met by the cold gaze of a dark cloaked customer, her entire body coated except for her eyes, large and golden.

    “Can I help you?” Eldric muttered after a moment of hesitation, to which the woman lingered a moment before answering. “I’m looking for someone willing to take up my offer,” she stated inconspicuously, revealing a paper scroll to Eldric, which he reluctantly took from her. Carefully unrolling it, his eyes met the long list of orders, ingredients for a very specifically designed dirk. Eldric lifted his gaze to the woman, raising an eyebrow.

    “Can you make it?” she asked with a touch of impatience on her tone, to which Eldric rolled his eyes and scoffed at her. “Are you kidding me? Half of these materials I would have to travel passed Stygai to get. Dragon steel? Do you know how much it costs to import that kind of works from Ulthos? And as for your dragon bone hilt… A man would have to find a dragon first, preferably a dead one at that, and that would mean travelling up the Ash,” Eldric claimed, passing the scroll back to the customer.

    “I’m sorry, I’m not mad enough or nearly rich enough to afford or even consider your request. Best of luck,” he bid her before rising to pull on his gloves, and turning back to his work. Before he could move, however, a large leather bag thumped on his desk, the sound of jingling metal inside. Eldric peeked into the bag, a glow of gold luminesced, making the blacksmith’s eyes widen in shock. Never had he seen so much gold.

    “Will this cover the costs?” the woman asked as she crossed her arms, making Eldric gulp. “For the Dragon steel, without a doubt, and you could buy a thousand ruby pommels for this amount, but…” Eldric stumbled on his words, making the customer raise an eyebrow. “But?” she asked with a touch of impatience, to which Eldric sighed and shook his head. “I won’t be able to find anyone mad enough to travel into the Shadow Lands to find dragon bone. No amount of coin will sway anyone to that level of madness,” he assured her, to which she sighed.

    “These are desperate times, blacksmith. With the grey plague on the spread, we must do whatever we can to survive, and while you are positioned almost alone up on this hill, I can assure you it will not protect you from the greyscale for long,” she stated, pulling off her glove to reveal a threatening and fearful sight that made the young blacksmith stumble back. “I could, perhaps consider going out there,” Eldric mumbled, making the woman furrow her eyebrows.

    “Consider? I thought you said only a madman would travel out into the Shadow Lands, and I’d hate to put you out of your comfort,” she claimed, moving her infected hand close to Eldric’s face, as if to caress his cheek. Eldric gulped as he realised he was pinned against the wall, sweat streaming down his face as her hand grew near.

    “I’ll do it!” he blurted in panic, halting the approaching hand, and bringing some amusement to the golden eyed customer. “Great!” she beamed, lowering her hand and approaching the forge. Eldric wiped his brow of what must have been a glass of sweat gathering, his breaths heavy. “I want you to prioritise this job… what was your name?” she asked with a careless and sarcastic tone, but Eldric felt unable to leave her without an answer.

    “Eldric,” he mumbled awkwardly, to which the customer pulled down her face mask and removed her hood. Eldric had to admit, there was some beauty to the infected woman. Her golden eyes were accompanied by large luscious eyelashes and thin eyebrows. Her nose small and delicate, and her lips forming a cunning smile as she extended her clean right hand to him. “You can call me the Grey Lady,” she stated, offering her hand to shake, but Eldric refused it.

    “I’d rather not take my chances,” he muttered, making the Grey Lady grin. “Of course not,” she smiled understandably, pulling her gloves back on. Her dark blonde hair was tied back into a loose bun, with a few strands hanging over her prominent cheek bones. Yet her beauty ended where the greyscale began, crawling up from the left side of her neck and greying the left side of her face. It appeared her left eye was also blinded because of this.

    “You’d best get started then, Eldric. I’d like to have my dirk as soon as possible,” she stated warmly, pulling her hood over her head. “I will send some of my men to collect you once you are ready to embark on your travels,” she added as she declined the steps from Eldric’s smithy, making his eyes widen. Before long, the Grey Lady disappeared back into the shadows of Asshai, and Eldric was left alone to his forge and his thoughts.

    He turned his gaze to the grey leather bag which sat on his desk, and it quickly struck him just how rich he had been made with her deal. He quickly grabbed the bag and hurried inside, away from possible prying eyes. He uplifted the bag on the kitchen table, and surely enough, hundreds of gold coins with the Great Opal Emperor’s head on all of them flooded across the black wooden surface. Eldric gulped in marvelled disbelief, picking up a glimmering gold coin with fascination. Unbelievable.

    Eldric turned his attention back to the list the Grey Lady had left him. With the time left in the day, he would only have enough time to get one of these jobs done, and that was either to run down to the jeweller and secure himself a ruby or to the harbourmaster to order Dragon steel. Both had their risks, with the jeweller being located in the upper districts of Asshai, where many strange people lingered, akin to that of the Grey Lady, but at least he was assured that there would be no greyscale threats there. At the docks, his chances were riskier, but he would have to do it eventually.

    [Go to the jeweller] [Go to the docks]

    • Another wonderful part! I like Eldric as well already, even if the Grey Lady admittedly stole the show here. She's a very intriguing character, if sort of terrifying. The greyscale seems to affect her heavily and having reached part of her face already, I wonder if she is already in danger of losing her mind. I also wonder what she needs the dagger for. Maybe it is some way to cure her? If so, Eldric has to hurry indeed, because I doubt she has all that much time left. But given how mysterious she seems to be in general, I would not be surprised if she has some trump card that gives her at least a bit more time. Else, I think she might have approached Eldric a bit earlier. Or maybe this is her last, desperate attempt to avoid succumbing to the disease.

      [Go to the docks]

      There's no way around it, he has to do this sooner or later. I doubt ruby's are in such high demand that he won't get one later, but Dragon steel sounds like something that is not all that easy to find. Imagine how frustrated Eldric will be if he travels to the docks and learns he put himself under such danger for no reason. Other than that however, both indeed hold some risks and no matter what, he cannot avoid either, so one way or the other, he has to go to the docks and to the jeweller. But the docks sound more risky and I would like to get the risk stuff out of the way first.

    • And the voting is closed! Eldric will go to the docks first. I won't say much about where this may lead, as I'll leave that for his next part to show. I do have the next part ready, and it goes to a new PoV, the second last of my own that I plan to introduce: The Amethyst Princess; Mulan Nhi Jidao.

  • Wow another interactive story

  • [Go to the jeweller]

    as both has thier risks.I think going to the jeweller will be better

  • Mulan

    The funeral service of the passed Opal Emperor would last seven days and seven nights until the coronation of the new emperor, or in this heirdom, empress. Mulan Nhi Jidao sat calmly as the round table of her father’s court, a room she was well familiar with, but a seat she was only just adjusting to. While many of the court had accepted her near-coming inheritance of her father’s titles and empire, there were a few misogynistic minded members that fully disapproved of her rule.

    Now, Mulan eyed them all from the throne of the First Emperor, the seat of the ancient capital: Tiqui. The many noblemen of the court murmured among themselves as they waited for the hearing to begin, and admittedly the court was ready to commence, save for one missing member: the Bloodstone Prince, Mulan’s little brother, Remi Zhi Jidao.

    Patiently, Mulan studied the remaining members of her court that stood before her. Many were emissaries of the trading ports from Yi Ti, belonging to her cousins and distant relatives that did not have the time to travel to the capital to attend trivial court hearings, but she expected to see a few more with the recent passing of their emperor, and the nearing coronation of a new one.

    The familiar faces she noted were those of her father’s council. My council, she thought with some awkward tension, worry touching her heart. Chancellor Gen Ji was the head of the council, and stood nobly with a hand over his stump wrist. Beside him was the Grand Steward: Raqhis mo Ahzi, a Ghiscari and a eunuch, and next to him stood General Khaidu Kan, one of her father’s most trusted advisors and friend. He looked directly at her with stern eyes, to which she gave him a nod.

    Her eyes drifted across to the other side of the court, where she quickly spotted Kiaan Samar laughing with Xara Dexi Xhan, and the humble justiciar, Zhen Ju, standing placidly beside them. Kiaan Samar was in a sense her adopted brother, only a couple of years younger than herself, and their father had given him a place on the council as the exchequer. Xara however was a foreigner, a lady from Qarth, and a woman that could seduce any man with her cultural gown that revealed one of her magnificent breasts. She however was the Mistress of Secrets.

    Other members of the court were low nobles and guests blessed with a pointless seat to throw their pointless words into the ears of the emperor, whom oft ignored their opinions. A mistake that Mulan would not repeat. She sighed, running her smooth fingers over the velvet trimmings on the arms of her throne. This would be the life she would have to live for the rest of her life. Part of her didn’t feel ready for it, but as the eldest child of her father, it was her duty.

    She looked around the court a final time, now certain her brother was not going to attend, before clearing her throat. “We shall begin,” she announced with a firm tone that silenced the crowd. Her gaze turned to Chancellor Gen Ji, who faced her gaze with loyal eyes.

    “Chancellor, what are the reports to the east?” she began with a curious but reserved tone, one which Chancellor Ji frowned on. “My Empress, the Grey Plague continues to spread across the Shadow Lands, and our vaccines appear to be making no difference to the disease,” he stated with regret hanging thick on his voice, making Mulan sigh.

    “What of the infected? What measures are being taken to keep them contained?” she pressed on, to which the Chancellor frowned, shaking his head. “None, your Majesty,” he informed her. Mulan raised an eyebrow at him. “So you’re telling me that the Shadow Lands simply has a growing mass of contagious stone men roaming around to spread their infection? Why have no quarantines been put in place?” Mulan snapped with frustration, making the chancellor gulp. General Khaidu answered in his place.

    “With all due respect, my Princess, it would be unwise to send our armies to quarantine the infected. We run the risk of our own becoming infected, and spreading the plague into our Great Empire.” The majority court murmured in agreeance with him, but Mulan called for silence, rising from her throne.

    “General Khaidu, come forth,” she ordered him, silencing the crowd. The general followed her order with obedience, leaving the mass of people and presenting himself before her. He was a decade older than herself, but still maintained an aspect of his youth with his stocky build as a warrior. His long black hair fell in curls over his shoulders, his cleanly shaved face revealed his strong jaw, matching his angular facial features.

    He kneeled respectfully and then rose, a solemn expression on his face. Mulan stared at both of his dark brown eyes, then descended down the steps of her throne, meeting her general eye to eye. He stood a good foot taller than her, but she knew that she needed the respect of her father’s general, and that came from an understanding.

    “You served my father faithfully for his entire reign, never questioning his actions or wavering your loyalty to him. Yet since his passing you have changed. Have you forgotten that the Shadow Lands are a part of our Great Empire?” she asked, to which the general shook his head. “No, Princess,” he answered sternly, facing his gaze forward.

    “Right,” Mulan turned her gaze to Kiaan Samar, a smirk on his lips. “Kiaan, where does the majority of our income come from?” she asked plainly. “Our port cities,” he stated, to which Mulan nodded, “and which port city earns the most wealth from trade?” Now Kiann grinned, crossing his arms. “Asshai,” he answered with a cocky tone, making Mulan turned her gaze back to Khaidu.

    “We cannot lose Asshai, and we cannot lose the Shadow Lands. Not from pirates, not from war and certainly not from the Grey Plague. So with that in mind, General Khaidu, what should the Great Empire of the Dawn do to prevent the fall of Asshai?” she now asked with impatience, making Khaidu scowl at her.

    “Quarantine the infected,” he muttered, which brought a thin, mocking smile to Mulan’s lips. “Get to it then,” she commanded, and for a moment the general glared at her with his dark eyes, until finally turning and exiting the court room. Mulan let out a sigh, she knew it was wrong to shame the man, but she had heard the stories from her father. She needed to show her strength, only then would a man like General Khaidu come to respect her.

    “How much have we lost so far, with the Shadow Lands in turmoil?” Mulan asked with concern on her tone, which was answered by Kiaan. “A lot, my Princess. Traders are deterred from Asshai because of it, and we are finding fewer traders sailing this far East for our Yi Ti ports. If we fail to maintain trade routes we will lose our Empire,” he grimly informed her, making Mulan shake her head.

    “This Empire has come too far to cease with a loss of trade routes. If merchants are fearful of travelling east, then we must travel west, to Qarth and beyond,” she announced, arising murmurs in the crowd. “My Princess, assuring trade routes takes time, something we are running short on. We should start rationing, and looking to different routes,” Raqhis stated with a concerned tone, making Mulan raise an eyebrow.

    “Different routes?” she asked, making Raqhis nod. “Both Qarth and the Ghiscari Empire are some of the most powerful regions west of the Bone Mountains, and both engage in slavery,” he noted, gulping as the murmuring crowd turned to an outraging uproar, and the guards of the court held them to their boundaries.

    “SILENCE!” Zhen Ju hissed, raising his hand. Reluctantly, the crowds clamped their tongues as the justiciar moved to the centre of the court. He was a small man, but his appearance deceived him, and there was certainly a lot more to him than what met the eye. His black moustache and chin beard were the only hair he displayed, the rest hidden under a crimson bandana. He wore a beige gown with maroon lotus patterns, and a steel katana hung from his sash.

    “My Princess, I understand the situation we find ourselves in is less than acceptable, but our traditions and laws have frowned on the acts of slavery for a millennia. We must not stoop to a depth that would bring us down to that of the Ghiscari Empire, or else we truly deserve to fall,” he stated calmly, and the crowd roared in agreeance, making Raqhis shake his head.

    “You are an honourable man, Zhen Ju, but I am the Grand Steward of the Empire, not you. I understand your traditions and culture fully, but we should not make the mistakes of previous empires and kingdoms that crumbled due to bankruptcy,” he stated, and a few members of the crowd muttered their agreeance.

    “We will consider all options before coming to any conclusions,” Mulan assured them calmly, motioning them back to their positions. Mulan turned her gaze to Xara, who watched Mulan with emotionless eyes. “Mistress Xara, Qarth is your home, what are your thoughts on our chances in securing a trade route with the Qaathi?” Xara took a step forward, clasping her hands. The majority of the seen crowd focused on her tit.

    “Difficult, but not impossible depending on the connection, and what we had to offer,” she stated calmly, making Mulan nod. “Would you like me to send word to my birds?” Xara added in question, to which Mulan shook her head. “No, I would like you and Kiaan to go Qarth as representatives of the Great Dawn Empire, and secure a deal that will assure the survival of our Empire while we deal with the troubles in the east,” Mulan stated, and Xara nodded placidly, returning to Kiaan’s side.

    “And the west,” Chancellor Ji added with a concerned tone, making Mulan to her gaze to him. “The Kingdom of Hyrkoon grows stronger while we become decrepit. They are preoccupied now with the Jogos Nhai, but it is only a matter of time until they turn their eyes to our weakening Empire,” he stated with a doomed tone, and Raqhis spoke up.

    “The Kingdom of Hyrkoon holds all of the Mountains, from east to west. They not only pose a threat to us, but to the Ghis Empire,” Raqhis claimed, making Zhen Ju roll his eyes. “Which empire do you serve, Ghiscari?” he spat, making Raqhis scowl at him. “The Empire of the Great Dawn,” he stated defiantly, making Zhen roll his eyes. “Really? Because it seems that you are more interested in your homeland than ours, perhaps you should return to where you belong," Zhen sneered, but Raqhis just turned his gaze to Mulan.

    “What I am trying to say is that our two empires face a common enemy, and together, we could tackle this threat from both sides,” he clarified, and Mulan nodded. “We can of course fund the Jogos Nhai, keep them engaged in their war with the Hyrkooni for as long as we can, but that depends on how much we are willing to spend,” Kiaan spoke up with his suggestion, and a few murmurs from the crowd agreed with him.

    “Yes, and if we could manage to provoke the Dothraki, we could potentially get them to war with Hyrkoon as well,” Zhen Ju added, to which Chancellor Ji frowned. “Or we could send an emissary to negotiate with King Hyrkoon.” Zhen Ju rolled his eyes to this proposition, crossing his arms. “You are mad if you believe that King Hyrkoon will be willing to negotiate,” he muttered, to which Chancellor Ji shot a glare at him.

    “And you are mad to believe that preventing the inevitable by spending more than what we have will save our Empire!” Chancellor Ji spat, clenching his fist. “Enough!” Mulan yelled, lifting her open-palmed hand in the air. “I will not tolerate us bickering over ourselves. You have presented your suggestions and it is I that will have the final say,” Mulan declared, lowering her hand.

    Choice 1: [Send Raqhis to propose an alliance with the Ghiscari Empire] [Don’t send him]

    Choice 2: [Send an emissary to King Hyrkoon] [Fund the Jogos Nhai and provoke the Dothraki]

    • Good chapter! I'm hyped with this Yi-Ti story!

      1[Don't send him],2[Send an emissary to King Hyrkoon]

      Let's remember we are on the game on the thrones and this Raqhis I smell is going to play a Theon Greyjoy...
      According to the second choice the Jogos Nhai threatened the Empire of Yi-Ti for a long time and an alliance with the Patrimony of Hyrkoon seems more safe to me than savages plus provoking the Dothraki is not the best thing to do.

    • [Don’t send him]

      [Send an emissary to King Hyrkoon]

    • Ah, the future empress herself as a PoV. This is a nice surprise and I surely like her already. So far, each PoV had a very distinct feel and Mulan is no different in these regards. It was a nice read, getting to meet her and her council. I'm always one for political strategies and intrigue, so I like this a lot.

      [Send Raqhis to propose an alliance with the Ghiscari Empire]

      I was debating about this for a bit, not really sure what to pick. I believe Tunak23 has brough up a good point and i am not sure if we can fully trust Raqhis. At the same time, they have indeed a common enemy and this means a mutual interest in this. At least I am not sure what kind of information Raqhis could give to the Ghiscari that could put the Great Empire of Dawn at risk. But well, I surely understand the other choice as well and won't be too unhappy if it wins.

      [Send an emissary to King Hyrkoon]

      Yeah... funding the Jogos Nhai and outright provoking another savage horde is guaranteed to backfire. At least the Kingdom of Hyrkoon is a somewhat civilized region, whereas the Dothraki and Jogos Nhai fully deserve being called savages and probably wouldn't even see this as an insult. Maybe an emissary, though likely to fail, will buy time for the empire to gain other allies, maybe the Ghiscari, or it will give the Jogos Nhai time to become more of a threat to Hyrkoon on their own, to the point where King Hyrkoon won't be able to direct his attention towards the Great Empire of Dawn.

    • [Send Raqhis to propose an alliance with the Ghiscari Empire]

      [Send an emissary to King Hyrkoon]

      Just found your story. Made me pretty hyped like nothing else recently. I will submit a character soon.

    • The Voting is Closed! Mulan will choose not to send Raqhis to the Ghiscari Empire, and have Chancellor Gen Ji send an emissary to King Hyrkoon. Now obviously, these parts were pretty important for the Great Empire of the Dawn, and choosing what direction the empire should go in. With these choices, it keeps a very modest and civil approach, as opposed to stooping to lower methods. However, it may not be the best choice overall, and only time will reveal whether this was the right pair of choices to go with.

      The next part is ready, and it goes to a new PoV, the first from a character submission as well. Her name is Princess Ria Jidao, and she is a distant cousin to the Amethyst Princess. I hope you enjoy her part!

  • [Don't Send him]
    Tunak is right Raqhis is not believable

    [Send an emissary to King Hyrkoon]
    I think it is the best thing to do for many reason

  • Ria

    The nobles of the court remained sickly silent as the Amethyst Princess contemplated heavily on her choice. “Raqhis, while I respect your council, the Great Empire of the Dawn will not become like the Empire of Ghiscar, and we will not align ourselves with their vile ways,” she announced, and the majority of the crowd murmured in agreeance. Admittedly, Ria was relieved with this decision, but she kept silent.

    “Chancellor Ji, have an emissary of sent to the Kingdom of Hyrkoon to negotiate an alliance. I would rather us ally ourselves with that ambitious king than nomadic savages,” she claimed, and this was the decision that Ria forcefully bit her tongue to remain quiet. “That will be all for today. Court dismissed.”

    The crowds ushered out of the courtroom in a great conglomerate, flooding out the doors into the main hall, and then going their own separate ways. Ria was taken with the current, flowing down the great steps that led into the royal district of Tiqui, with a view of the Great Dawn Sea at the edge of the great capital, a city that spread far and wide.

    By the time she had reached the main district, the crowds had split off into their own directions and she was left alone in the middle of the street, high nobles and royal guests walking passed her without flinching an eye to her, what reason did they have to? Princess Ria Jidao, distant cousin of the Amethyst Princess, and 117th in line for the throne of the Great Empire.

    The Wayward Princess let out a sigh, moving herself away from the centre of the road as a merchant cart rolled passed, and finding her feet dragging her back to her father’s mansion. Prince Shen Jidao, was a distant relative to the late Opal Emperor, like how Ria was a distant cousin to the Amethyst Princess and Bloodstone Prince, and a man who sought to bring his family line of Jidao back into the royal palace.

    Shen’s mansion was a large establishment, with many servants, bards and personal guards that attended their duties under his command. Ria had come to know many by name, but had never truly enjoyed the company of many of them, due to them either being too old or too different to her own unique personality.

    One of these examples was Old Mei, a crone that had served as a house maid for three generators of Jidao’s, forbidding to drop dead. She had become the dreadful hag of Shen’s estate, the one Ria had hated as a child, and pitied as an adult. The truth behind this woman was her love for Shen’s father, the man of her dreams, and the man that had manipulated her into something so related to slavery that she had never found the courage to leave. Eventually, she found love for his children, being a nanny for them, and then for their children.

    Ria spotted Old Mei attending to the gardens, her back turned to the main doors of her father’s mansion. The Wayward Princess watched for a moment before quickly darting across the stone pavement walkway to the main doors, as silent as a feather, and as quick as a lion, yet somehow the old lady always knew her presence.

    “Ria!” she screamed, lifting her old wrinkled finger in the air and waving it back and forth. “Where have you been?” she moaned, slowly turning around and lifting her old eyes to the young girl. Ria sighed, rubbing the back of her neck awkwardly. “Attending the court, Aunt Mei,” she mumbled silently, making Mei squint her eyes.

    “Huh? Offending the poor? You damn rascal you!” she hissed, taking a few painful steps forward to whack Ria on the arm. “Don’t harass the unfortunate!” she lectured, placing a hand on her back, hunched over and sour. Ria rolled her eyes, placing a hand on Old Mei’s shoulder.

    “Lesson learned, Old Mei,” she assured her, to which Mei gave a dominant and condescending nod, turning back to her flowers. Ria shook her head pitifully, watching as the old woman felt for her rose cutters. She was losing her hearing, her sight and her bones, yet still she knew when a rodent entered the household, or a young servant pocketed one of Shen’s jewels, or when Ria snuck home late.

    “Those are such lovely roses,” a woman admired from the iron fences, the guards turning their gaze to her momentarily before Ria called them off. “I wish to start a garden of my own one day,” she stated wondrously, turning her dreamy brown eyes to Ria. “Well, if you enjoy prickling your hands and staring at greenery for hours, I’m sure you’d love it,” Ria quipped, and the woman’s dreamy eyes now focused on the princess.

    “It’d be a dream. Is that how you cut your hands, Princess?” she pried, staring at Ria’s healing wounds. Ria closed her hands, tucking them behind her back. “Yes,” she mumbled dismissively, quickly observing the girl’s features. “You’re foreign from Yi Ti, where are you from?” Ria asked, genuinely curious, and the girl’s smile faded.

    “Asshai.” Ria could see the hurt appear on her pale face. She was a strange looking woman, as most Asshai’i were, with four birthmarks on the side of her face. She covered her hair with a bandana, and had no eyebrows. “I’m sorry,” Ria quickly apologised, “I’m aware that your home is under some hard times currently,” she stated, but the woman just shrugged her shoulders.

    “They reap what they sow,” she muttered, lowering her gaze. Ria raised an eyebrow, but made an effort not to investigate further, seeing it as a touchy subject for the girl. “What’s your name?” Ria finally asked, and the girl’s eyes lifted momentarily before answering. “Nesta,” she revealed, to which Ria gave her a warm smile.

    “Nesta, it’s a pleasure to me you. I’m Ria Jidao,” Ria introduced herself, extending her hand, but Nesta’s eyes widened and she stepped back. “Jidao?” she asked, a look of horror on her face, but Ria just smiled and shook her head. “A distant relative of the family,” Ria explained, but Nesta still looked shocked. She backed away, tucking her hands in her cloak.

    “Good day,” she mumbled, turning away and disappearing around the corner. Ria watched after her with a bewildered expression on her face. Odd, she thought as she took a step back. “Ria,” a familiar voice called, the voice of her father. Ria turned her gaze to meet the chocolate brown eyes of her father, the eyes she inherited. “Father!” she greeted warmly, approaching the man and walking into his embrace.

    “You attended the court hearing today, I presume?” Shen asked, and Ria nodded. “Any news?” he asked, to which Ria shrugged. “Princess Mulan has decided to seek an alliance with King Hyrkoon,” Ria informed him, making Shen raise an eyebrow. “Hyrkoon? That man wouldn’t ally with the Great Empire if his very life depended on it,” Shen muttered, and Ria nodded in agreeance.

    “Shen-Shen? Is that you?” Old Mei screeched, placing down her rose cutters and turning around. Shen frowned, crossing his arms. “Just Shen, Aunt Mei, and yes it is me,” he stated impatiently, and a tear came to Old Mei’s eye. She stumbled forward and fell into his arms. “Please don’t leave,” she pleaded into his shoulders, clutching onto him as if it were the last time she would ever see him. Perhaps it would be, given her deteriorating eyesight.

    Shen sighed, patting her on the back as she wept into his shoulder. “There there, Aunt Mei, I’m not going anywhere,” he assured her, running a hand through her wiry grey hair. Mei pulled herself away, shaking her head. “No, don’t go square!” she screamed to herself, returning to her roses. Shen turned his concerned gaze to Ria, who just shrugged in response.

    -

    Ria awaited her father in the dining room while he attended to some errand, listening to the servants gossiping as they attended their duties. “Did you hear about the Bloodstone Prince?” one of them asked, dusting a birch counter. The other shook her head. “Apparently he also passed away, rumour claims it was the grief of his father which killed him,” the girl stated, to which her partner rolled her eyes.

    “The Bloodstone Prince is not dead,” she claimed confidently, making the first servant raise an eyebrow. “And how would you know, Chi-Chi? Have you seen him?” she asked, to which the second shook her head. “No one has,” she reminded her, to which the first nodded, proving her point. “Exactly! Maybe he was assassinated by the Pale Lotus!” she theorised, making the other roll her eyes.

    “The Pale Lotus isn’t an assassin, she’s a vigilante,” the servant corrected her partner, but the girl just shook her head. “How would you know, are you her?” the girl interrogated, making Chi-Chi smirk. “What if I am, Si Ma? Would you be afraid of me?” she teased, making Si Ma roll her eyes awkwardly. “No,” she scoffed, unconvincingly.

    “Come here!” she screamed, lifting her broom in the air and smacking it down at the table Si Ma was cleaning. A framed painting fell off the table, shattering as it hit the ground. “Hey! You bitch!” Si Ma screamed, slapping Chi-Chi, who laughed her head off. Ria turned her gaze to the two servants, now bickering amongst each other.

    “Chi-Chi, where is my father?” Ria asked with impatience, to which Chi-Chi shrugged. “With Prince Fhang Ji, isn’t he an absolute darling?” Si Ma answered, her eyes dreamy. Chi-Chi smiled. “An absolute dream, and single too! I hear he takes after his father, and wants peace for the Empire,” Chi-Chi claimed, and the two giggled before leaving the dining room.

    Ria groaned, standing herself up and walking to the shattered painting. She knelt down, picking it up and looking at the beautiful woman that stared into oblivion. She was beautiful, with long black hair and pale jade eyes, wound up in a beautiful green gown. Mother, she thought sadly as she stared at the painting of Lian. She had always been ill when Ria came into the world, but her suffering had lingered until Ria’s twelfth year.

    Ria sighed, staring into one of the broken shards of glass, and staring at her reflection. Much of her mother’s looks had transferred across to Ria as she developed into a mature young woman. Ria possessed great beauty, with high cheekbones and full lips, and overall a well-structured face. Her skin complexion was pale, something considered beautiful by many Yi Ti, and her hair was pitch black in contrast.

    “Daughter, are you alright?” her father asked from the doorway, seeing Ria on the floor amongst glass and a broken painting. Ria nodded, picking up the frame and placing it on the table. “I accidentally knocked the frame over,” Ria lied, taking a final glance at her mother before turning to Shen, but her gaze immediately fell onto the young Fang Ji.

    “I’m sure you remember Prince Ji?” Shen announced, nudging Fhang forward. The young man smiled, clasping his hands. “Please, just call me Fhang,” he requested, his dark eyes staring at Ria with wonder. Ria rolled her eyes, turning her gaze to Shen. “Really?” she asked with annoyance heavy in her tone, and Shen frowned.

    “Fhang, could you excuse us for a moment?” Shen asked calmly, and Fhang nodded. “Of course,” he answered, a warm smile on his lips, and egressed the room. “What?” Shen finally asked, crossing his arms and staring at his daughter impatiently. Ria looked around the room hopelessly, frustrated and bitter. “What do you mean, ‘what?’ We’ve talked about this!” Ria spat, making Shen shoot a glare at her.

    “For years, yes. You’ve said you would find yourself a suitor, and I’ve waited patiently, but from what I seeing, you’re not at all interested in furthering our family line!” Shen grumbled, and admittedly, he was right. Ria did not live for ladyship and service to a husband, she was much more than that. “Then maybe you should’ve had a son if you wanted our line to further,” Ria muttered under her breath, making Shen raise an eyebrow.

    “What did you say?” he warned her, making Ria shake her head. “Nothing, Father,” she sighed, but Shen was not convinced. “Mind yourself, Daughter. I may give you a lot of flexibility, but that does not give you the means to disrespect me,” he stated, and Ria nodded, honestly apologetic.

    “I’m sorry,” she claimed, and Shen nodded. “Prince Ji!” Shen summoned, not taking his eyes off his only daughter. His only child. Ria clamped her tongue as Fhang Ji returned, awaiting to endure yet another.

    -

    Night had fallen, and the Pale Lotus leaped across the rooftops under the moonlight, as silent as an owl gliding through the sky, and as fast as a falcon. She blended into the night like a duck took to water, naturally and elegantly. She wore black fabric from neck to toe, with a large black hood to cover her head. Yet her face was covered by something else, a white mask, only revealing her chocolate eyes, while the rest remained a featureless face.

    The screams of the poor echoed across the city, those who needed saving, those who cried for justice. The Pale Lotus fought for them. Her soft steps lunged forward, leaping across another building until reaching the alley that the screams echoed from, a woman and her child cornered by three men.

    “Please! I’ll do anything, just don’t hurt my daughter!” the woman wailed, clutching the little girl close to her. The men chuckled, their arms widened, ready to catch them if they ran. “Don’t worry, you won’t hear her screams after we’re done with you,” one of the brutes assured her, and the woman trembled. “No!” she gasped, pulling the girl behind her.

    The Pale Lotus effortlessly leaped off the building, landing between the three men and their victims. One of the men backed up, his eyes widening. “The Pale Lotus,” he exclaimed in shock, taking another step back. Their ringleader rolled his eyes, taking another step forward. “That means one each boys, come on!” he roused them, and threw his first fatal mistake towards the vigilante’s stomach.

    The Pale Lotus dodged the strike with ease, before thrusting an open palm into his throat, crushing the windpipe instantly. As he crumbled to the ground suffocating, another took his chances against her, this time putting up more of a fight than the last. He threw large and heavy attacks which the Pale Lotus dodged without effort, and when he began to tire, she unleashed on him.

    First came a heavy strike to his rib, winding him, forcing him to stumble back. The second move brought him to his knees, and the third included her leg slamming against his skull had full pelt. As he fell, the Pale Lotus turned to see the final brute plunging a dagger into the leg of the little girl. Ire in her eyes, the Pale Lotus ran towards him, striking her foot at his chest.

    He stumbled back momentarily, but caught her next attempt between his arm and waist. Before she could react, he lifted her up and threw her down, slamming her against the ground. The breath escaped her lungs, making her gasp in shock as she failed to pull in air to breathe. Meanwhile, the final brute chuckled above her, freeing her sword from its sheath and pointing it down to her throat.

    “To think, I will be the one to fuck the corpse of the Pale Lotus, it will be-” he was abruptly interrupted by a gurgling sound that he made, and when the Pale Lotus lifted her gaze, the brute stood frozen, blood spraying out of his neck, where an arrow was lodged. He stumbled a moment, his eyes widened in shock as he pointed the Pale Lotus’ sword at the perpetrator, and then fell heavily to the ground.

    The Pale Lotus lifted her gaze to her rescuer, a small woman hidden in the shadows, a bow in her hands and pelts hanging off her belt. Before the Pale Lotus could rise, the woman sprinted off, leaving the Pale Lotus conflicted. She quickly turned her gaze back to the mother, who clutched her daughter’s leg while her child wept, but a look of appreciation was on her gaze. The Pale Lotus grabbed her sword, sheathing it and turning back to where her rescuer was. She needed to know who it was.

    [Chase after her] [Stay with the mother and daughter]

    • Ria! Oh yes, this is great. So far, I am more than happy on the way you portray her. There were so many small moments that stood out to me there, but the essence is that you wrote her just exactly the way I imagined her. I particularly loved the talk with the servants and later with Prince Fhang. Yet another unlucky suitor, I wonder if he's an one-off character, or if we're going to see more of his hopeless attempts at courting her XD I also enjoyed Aunt Mei. Quite a tragic character, as I must say, but at the same time weirdly enjoyable. I feel slightly bad for smiling at her antics, given that Ria is right, she is pitiable. And of course, there was the fight scene, an amazing one at that. As expected, she bit off more than she could chew there, but held her own well enough for me to be proud. Although she got really lucky that there is someone else to save her. In any way, I look forward to read more about her in the future, you got me quite hyped for her storyline there.

      [Chase after her]

      Huh, who's that? Whomever saved her life seems to be quite mysterious and I am just too intrigued by this. I mean, what are the chances that just randomly, there is another person out on the streets to save her life? I doubt this was a coincidence and the fact that her saviour ran away right after the act makes me believe there is more behind this. This woman has something to hide and I want to find out about it. She could be a potential ally, that much is clear, as I doubt her intentions are bad, but to know for sure, we have to catch up to her. Not doing so right now would mean losing a chance at gaining this potential ally, or at least catching up to her and maybe finding out more about her intentions.

      • [Stay with the mother and daughter]

        After this random attack on the street is better to keep a low profile.
        Plus the one that could be an ally could be an enemy,she saved her life but the objective was not clear.

    • [Chase after her]

      Wonder who she is, seems like Ria as well. Let's find out.

    • [Chase after her]

      We might as well find out who this woman is. I'm betting it's the woman from Assai who talked to her earlier. She could prove to be useful ally, Ria's fight for justice.

      Anyways, I'm really enjoying this new interactive story. I've got a few characters in mind that I can't wait to submit.

    • The Voting is Closed! The Pale Lotus will chase after the rescuer. This is certainly an interesting choice outcome, and I'm surprised more people weren't interested in a bleeding to death kid. Though then again her mother was with her, and she could likely get her somewhere safe, but it just makes the Pale Lotus' actions seem a little strange. Anyway, I have the next part ready, and it goes to hopefully the final PoV to be made by me! His name is Nithral Raeltheon, and he is a Valyrian hunter/sellsword currently based in Jogos Nhai.

      • Ah, damn it, it appears I have underestimated the wounds of the child and overestimated the ability of the mother to get help for her. Well, that makes me a bit conflicted, but I am not sure how much Ria could have done for her either way. Probably not more than the mother, but now I am concerned that we might have chosen wrong already. But hm, at least we might find out more about this mysterious saviour.

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