Chinese Zodiac [8 SPOTS STILL OPEN]

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by firejay1, Jan 25, 2016.

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  1. The city of Beijing was imposing and dark on the evening of December 24th, 2015, the towering skyline obscured by the thick smog that remained undeterred by the biting cold of the winter air. The streets were bustling, as they always were, however, its people used to such a state of affairs this time of year, and some of what clouded the air were also rich scents of roasting potatoes, and the noisy honking of perpetually backed-up traffic. In other words, it was just another regular wintry day in the city. For most, anyways.

    For the thirteen children of the zodiacs who had gathered here today, it was quite a different story. Following the address they had been given in the strange message from the Four Pillars of Destiny would lead them all to one of many tall buildings. Stepping inside would reveal a shockingly luxurious interior, complete with glossy orange marble on the floors and a fancy chandelier on the ceiling. It was a high-end hotel, and it was not a particularly surprising choice, as most such establishments had large gathering rooms available for hosting events. The Thirteen had been instructed to go past the lobby and to the thirteenth floor, but upon entering the elevators, they would find no such thirteenth floor existed. The numbers went from 12 to 14 without pause. Many buildings in China didn't have an official thirteenth floor. It was considered unlucky.

    Were they to ask the man who worked in the elevator, however, pushing buttons for people, his eyes would glow white and he would respond in a tongue only members of the zodiac would understand. A tongue none of them had ever heard, but all of them knew. The same tongue used in the book each household owned. He would ask them if they had come for the Gathering, and a simple yes would cause him to reach over and press a button between 12 and 14 you were quite certain was not there before. It held not the Arabic number 13, but a single Chinese character: 星.

    The thirteenth floor comprised of a long, carpeted hallway with two elegantly carved wooden doors set into the right-hand wall. The wall on the left, however, was suspiciously bare. This being suspicious, because on the first floor that had been quite a lot of room to the left, so there was no reason for there to simply be a wall when the building clearly had more space than that. The two doors were both open, and bright, yellow light shone from them, illuminating the hallway much better than the electric lamps on the walls. Inside these doors, they would all find a large room, with an enormous round wooden table and thirteen, squashy red chairs evenly spaced around it. A name card was in front of each placing, each one with a name of one of the houses, in the language that the representative understood best. Cross-legged, sitting on the smack center of the table, was a little girl with features that were difficult to assign to any particular race, though for certain it was not Western. She had medium-length black hair tied into two braids on either side of her head, and her eyes were closed, though she was facing the doors.

    One by one, the representatives of the houses trickled in, and when finally they all were seated, the little girl floated off the table and began spinning very slowly in the air. She did not open her eyes but she opened her mouth and from it came four, deep voices, reverberating ominously through the air, in that language they all understood. "Welcome, representatives of the Thirteen Houses." A single voice, a man's, came next, though the girl's lips were not moving. "It has been too long a time since last we met: the first, and what we had hoped would be the last time. As according to the agreement with your ancestors, we have watched over the Houses silently for all the years of your existence, keeping you from meeting with each other, and waiting for such a time as this, when we would have to overturn all of the rules that were set in place long ago, to save you all from a power too great for any of you to handle on your own." The next voice was that of an old woman, a gentle voice, but a warrior's voice. "We, the Four Pillars of Destiny, have called you all here today, twelve days after the twelfth day of the twelfth month by the solar calendar, to tell you that you have only one choice and today is the day you must make it: Leave here, forget the other houses, and consign your houses to their inevitable doom, or pledge yourselves to follow the letter, join together, and find the one who threatens us all." The next was yet another man's voice, this one a little sterner, but younger. "Such was the last decree of the Emperor of the Heavens." They did not explain that further, but a last, sibilant, hissing voice came snaking out of the girl's mouth. "Make your choice." And with that, the girl vanished with a small poof. That was all.
    #1 firejay1, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
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    Chiyo stared at where the little girl sat as she looked around at the faces in the room. She fidgets and twiddles her thumbs. She felt uncomfortable, so much for brothers. She shook her head viciously. She murmured, "Get your mind out of the gutter."
    Chiyo didn't really want to 'follow the letter' but she didn't want to perish either, along with the thought of her brother disappearing pushed her along. Also her instincts told her that even if she went home the person who painted the letter on her wall wouldn't like the idea of her staying home. She felt divided between interacting and facing relationship and humanity problems or just perish without a care. She fiddled with a strand of hair and didn't look up at the other children of their houses.
    "Why didn't I just make Kichi come.." She said murmured even more silently.

    She had no idea of what to think about the elevator man, or the girl with four voices. She just wanted to crawl under the table which explains her fidgeting.
    She sighed and jumped a few centimeters in her seat when she realized what she did. She looked around the table wondering if anyone saw her. More than a thousand thoughts ran through her head.

    Did I screw something up? Are they suspicious of me now? Do I need to know any other languages other then Japanese and English? Her questioning thoughts ran endless as she set her head on the table her mind twisting and 'exploding'. "しっかりしないと" Chiyo murmured aspirated. She felt half asleep but decided that falling asleep was probably not appropriate in this case. She then looked up at the 'children' of the other zodiacs. She then took out her sketch pad and got ready to 'communicate'. She wouldn't dare say anything directed even though she'd whisper and murmur a few things. She bit her lip as she finally took interest in what the rest of the children might, or might not be talking about.

    *I need to get my life together
    #2 xLarius, Jan 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
    • Thank Thank x 1
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    Kwang-seok had one leg elegantly crossed over the other, leaning back with one arm casually slung over the back of her chair. She watched the entire display with a sort of annoyed apathy. The Four Pillars, their ancestors, the Emperor of the Skies. What was the point of saying all of that if they were just going to tell them all that they had to work together and follow the letter. She'd been planning to follow the letter in the first place, having to work with the others was nothing more than an unpleasant addition to her plans. What a useless waste of time it had been coming this far just for that.

    Standing up abruptly, she shoved her chair back with her hands on the edge of the table, caring little for the grand furniture. Pushing her hair back with one hand, she gave the others an unconcerned look. She opened her mouth and said, "I'm going," but she stopped herself from saying anything else, because the words that came out of her mouth weren't in Korean, as she'd been expecting, but in that other language. Her eyebrows shot upwards in open surprise. It seemed hearing the little message from the Four Pillars wasn't the only reason they'd been summoned. She had to wonder just what else had really happened during their time here. Recovering quickly, the Korean tiger spoke again, "I'm going to be going. It's your choice to join me or not." She pulled her leather jacket off of the back of her chair and slung it over her shoulder. "But one thing I'd like to know first." She pulled out the very crumpled note and put it on top of the table. "Is this the same as the note you all got?" Follow the letter, they'd said, but if she was going to do this, she had to at least know that she had all the clues.

    Language of the Stars - After the disappearance of the "Four Pillars," everyone present finds that whenever they try to actually address the other members of the zodiac, their words come out in the language of the stars. Other members of the zodiac can understand it, no matter what their native language is. Is this the work of the Four Pillars or some other power? What else might this ability imply?

    Author Note: You can refer to this language as the language of the stars or the zodiac language in your posts from now on, but your characters still don't know what exactly it is, so please keep that in mind.
    #3 firejay1, Jan 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  4. Appearance (open)


    "Be careful ." .

    I always am careful , Father .

    "I meant the other members of the Zodiac . No one , that is alive , know what they are like . You need to focus on the task at hand and nothing else , understood ?" .

    Oh . Yes , Father .

    A small frown pulled at the ends of Choi Hye Gyeong's face as she stood in front of a tall building . Good to know that at least these Four Pillars or whoever they are , work fancy , at least , she thought to herself before forcibly plastering her usual smile back , at the sight of a few Chinese people walking out of the building .

    "您好 。祝你有美好的一天。" .

    Hello . Have a nice day .

    "谢谢 。请享受你的一天。" , she replied with a Chinese accent she was taught from a young age .

    Thank you . Please enjoy your day .

    Once the brunette made her way into the building , she felt almost thankful at the fact that her tutors had drilled her to the bone on Mandrin , Japanese , English and obviously , her mother tongue , Korean . Looking around , she finds two elevators to the right and hurriedly entered the one that was open , not wanting to waste another minute on waiting for one .

    "The thirteenth floor please ." , Hye Gyeong said politely in English .

    As though the porter was possessed , he turned to her and asked whether she was of the Zodiac houses . "Why , yes , I'm from the House of Rat ." , she replied with a smile , but it seemed that he was only bothered by her answer and not her explanation . Without a word , she was directed to the 13th floor whereby she opened the door to find , who she presumed was , the other members of the Zodiac seated .

    "Good morning , everyone ." , the female greeted once with a friendly grin before taking a seat .

    To her surprise , the girl who was seated on the table begin to speak in a language that she's never heard of , but one of which she understood . How peculiar , she thought to herself as the girl disappeared .

    "I'm going to be going. It's your choice to join me or not."
    "But one thing I'd like to know first."
    "Is this the same as the note you all got?"

    Tiger or Dragon , no doubt .

    Hye Gyeong merely took her smartphone out before unlocking it and going through her inbox . Finding what she was looking for , she held up the device before showing the same message that was sent to her , but through a different medium . "I presume these people wanted to try out Korean technology ." , she joked .
  5. Kwang-seok looked over at the girl who had spoken and was a little surprised to find that the message was also in Korean, there. Were all the other houses in Korea? It was a useless, thought, though. More important was the flippant tone in which she spoke. She gave the other girl a brief, dark glance, but made no comment on it. No sense in making enemies now. Besides, the girl was a Rat, judging from how many name plates she was away from Kwang-seok. There was more to them than met the eye. "So it's the same, then." She said, breathing the words quietly, but making sure her voice was loud enough for the whole room to hear.

    She looked down at the note again, and said aloud, "As I thought. It's going to be at either Mount Everest or Mount Fuji, but which one...." She looked up at the others, "Or do any of you has a better idea of what the note might mean?" She scowled. "Though I hate to have to play by this bastard's rules."
  6. Appearance (open)


    "As I thought. It's going to be at either Mount Everest or Mount Fuji, but which one...."
    "Or do any of you has a better idea of what the note might mean?"
    "Though I hate to have to play by this bastard's rules."

    Just by the authoritative and sneer tone the other female used confirmed her suspicion of her being in the House of Tiger . Quite the mouth , but each to their own , Hye Gyeong thought to herself before giving the smallest of smiles , as though to show that she was comforted at the fact that she knew the other zodiacs were normal-behaved human beings .

    Hm , the note did mention about going up a mountain . Choi Hye Gyeong had already told herself that this may undoubtedly result in a reincarnated race , but she had to be careful to keep her thoughts and demeanor to herself .

    "I reckon it is Mount Everest , considering it is geographically the tallest mountain in China . To add onto that , we are of the Chinese Zodiac ." , was all she replied before her eyes wandered to the other representative of the houses , but they didn't linger too long as she did not want to dub herself suspicious on the first meeting itself .
  7. Kwang-seok took in the Rat representative coolly. The other Korean girl seemed to be the only other person with the mouth to speak in this room besides her. She seemed very relaxed about everything that was going on, smiling at the room in general. Were they indeed of the Chinese zodiac? Her pride fought the sense of subjugation. Who knew, perhaps it was the Korean zodiac, or the invisible zodiac. The Chinese zodiac only had twelve, after all, and they had thirteen, exactly as the book had said. As for the Rat... "He simpers and smirks and makes love to us all." - Mr. Bennett. She thought in quiet amusement, for once able to appreciate the relevance of an English book, but indeed, the other girl made Kwang-seok nervous. Rats. They knew their way around people, if the legends were to be believed. No. Don't let preconceptions about the other houses cloud your judgment. She scolded herself. This is exactly the kind of thought process that makes our House so despicable. I'm not doing this for them. Remember that. "Be careful of what you think, for it can become a dangerous weapon, Kwang-seok."

    Turning to the Rat straightforwardly, she offered softly, but her face serious and unsmiling, "Well then, shall we go to Mount Everest." It was not really a question of, would she go? More a question of, would the other girl, and maybe even the other representatives, come with her?
  8. [​IMG]

    She decided this would be her moment if she wanted to go with both the overconfident person, and the serious glaring type of person. She didn't know if the others were going though.
    She held up her sketch pad resembling the English words.

    " Are we heading off soon then? By boat probably? Since the threat said to watch for the air. "
    Chiyo looked ridiculously arrogant with her green crayon in hand, with her sketch pad facing the two people, looking away but in reality she was freaking out. She was biting her lip and blushing furiously. Her eye was twitching as she cursed her brother for not replacing her.
    #8 xLarius, Feb 21, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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    Kwang-seok turned to look when she sensed movement to her left, and saw the girl with a sketchpad. Her plaque said that she was of the Rabbit House, and by her behavior, she most certainly fit. She looked a weird combination of nervous and ridiculous, with her big, green letters written in English. Can't she speak? Kwang-seok wondered, in a kind of irritated fashion. The other girl having to write things down would make communication with her slow and cumbersome. Still, she had to give the other girl points at least for being ready to come along. "Actually," she said, still speaking in the Language of the Stars, "I was thinking to use a different mode of travel." She pulled out her own phone and opened up a navigation system, turning to show it to first the Rabbit, then the Rat. "Train."

    The train tickets from Beijing to Tibet were expensive, a little over 700 Chinese Yuan (110 US Dollars), and the trip was set to take two entire days. Kwang-seok was not short on funds, and for those who were, she didn't mind paying their share as well, at least for this time, but the two days honestly made her a little apprehensive. She was going to be... living with these people, traveling with these people, perhaps it would even come to the point where she would have to rely on them - the words "if you try it alone, you will surely fail" had haunted her from the moment she'd read them - but she knew nothing about them. If the time came, and she turned for support that no one was willing to give.... It was an uncomfortable thought. How were the other houses structured? She didn't know, but if they turned out to be like the people she'd grown up knowing.... She shook her head, acknowledging the reality that her own fear of discovering them to be just like the members of the House of Tiger was what was really bothering her. She watched the scenery flash by darkly. Two days. That would give them plenty of time to... get to know each other.

    As the meeting had been set at 6 pm to begin with, and the train left at 8, they hadn't had to spend too much time together before boarding the train, but now they were stuck together. She looked over at the other representatives, who were cramped together in one space, and together took up three whole sections of the train, and clenched her jaw slightly, trying not to let her apprehension show on her face.

    Setting Note: This is the basic route we're planning to take: LINK. The train we are all on looks like this: LINK.There was a more comfortable option available to you all, but practically speaking it was significantly more expensive (almost double), and would not allow you to keep an eye on each other, because it had closed doors. You have whatever luggage you decided to bring along. The trip duration will be two days, which will give you plenty of time to interact with me and each other, and there will be stops here and there.

    GM Note: Since there are actually so few of us and the posting speed is still not yet really established, I'm not going to set a date for when we're definitively going to land in Lhasa and then take the bus to Everest, so take this time to really explore your characters in this kind of calm, but tense moment, where they're all stuck together with no escape, for the first time really getting to know each other and facing the reality that there are other houses, and they are not all the same.
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    APPEARANCE (open)


    The train ride had started out as a calm one for Choi Hye Gyeong . The representative of the House of Rat actually fancied the use of transportation . Probably thanks to their history with the House of Ox . Although the others and herself was cramped up into three sections of the train , her demeanor wasn't that of discomfort . In fact , she was quite relieved that she even resolved into taking a paperback version of her all-time favorite classic - The Odyssey .

    Biting her bottom lip , she flipped to the next page before her eyes rose from the book to look at the others cramped up with her . Some were uncomfortable , some resolved to taking a nap , while the others were keeping an eye out for anything , but they concealed it by taking everyday actions - eating , reading , even staring out the window . "So , what is the course of action once we have reached the foot of the mountain ?" , she asked , curious as to see what the others think was fit to do .
  11. [​IMG]
    Lee elected to remain silent during the meeting, his eyes watching the others carefully. He had quickly deduced who was who by simply following the order of the Zodiac; it wasn't hard. When Ms. Tiger spoke up, everyone was surprised to hear her speaking in the same tongue as the While it perplexed him strongly enough, he quickly passed off the information as convenient but not necessarily important. Perhaps it would become so later, but he would address it when appropriate.

    With everyone following the sudden leadership of Ms. Tiger, they quickly found themselves aboard a train bound for Mount Everest. As the scenery whizzed by in a blur of greens and browns, among other colors, Lee contemplated the individual risk associated with his new acquaintances. So far, no one seemed to be particularly threatening, but looks could be deceiving. He made no effort to hide his observance, as he knew anyone that was also watching would notice even the most discreet of glances. To him, there was no point in trying to hide it, though he did not exaggerate the action.

    His phone buzzed in his pocket--a message from his mother. She asked him far too many questions, so he elected to give her a simple answer. (I'll be off the grid for a few days. Will check in if possible.) He left it at that, opening his photo gallery to look at the picture he'd taken of the gold-lined plate. On December 12, they'd received a shipment of silverware and plates inlaid with gold. One of them had not been like the rest, with the gold containing the message quite spectacularly. Whoever was threatening his family had gone to great lengths to make a show of it.

    His thoughts were interrupted by the Rat Girl. Lee hid his resentful feelings well, keeping a neutral expression as she inquired about their next course of action. "It would quite depend on whether they mean for us to climb the mountain itself or find it somewhere along the base. We should obviously ask if anyone has recently endeavored to climb it recently, as it's not a particularly common venture. I do hope no one is afraid of heights if it should come to that."
  12. [​IMG]

    She sat and sighed. If Chiyo would just talk it would be more efficient but it was a pain. She took off her sun hat and placed it in her lap as she watched all the scenery pass by.

    "So , what is the course of action once we have reached the foot of the mountain ?"
    She looked up at the person from the rat house.

    "It would quite depend on whether they mean for us to climb the mountain itself or find it somewhere along the base. We should obviously ask if anyone has recently endeavored to climb it recently, as it's not a particularly common venture. I do hope no one is afraid of heights if it should come to that."
    The dragon replied. She wondered what the Dragon was afraid of, the heights? Or maybe the thought of death. She took out her DS and started playing Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney out of boredom. She twirled her light blonde hair while reading the characters text. She begged her mom to be able to dye her hair but her mom disproved so badly Chiyo got grounded for a month. She couldn't imagine a punishment for actually doing it.
    Besides her brother adored her hair. Well at least he politely lied about it. Then she beat the case. She threw her hands up and stood up and forgot for a second she had her DS in hand. Well it flew, and when she thought flew she meant it ended up hitting the person from the rat house.
    The train went quiet, Chiyo didn't mean for that to act like an assault. She quietly walked over to the rat and held out her hand for the DS as she looked away.
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