The Beginning Over 6,000 years ago, when mankind was already old, but their spirits were young and lustrous, a great darkness set upon the world. For in their naivety, they had looked to the stars in search of a divine being to guide them: And something infinitely wicked looked back. For out there in the depths of the cold, black expanse, the purity of the human soul glared like a lantern… and was coveted for its power. They found no God, for what came to them instead was a devil. The Devil. He was Chomolungma, The Phoenix King, and an unrelenting tyrant. He descended from above like a sharp arctic wind, and tore through the human race until it was barely the gristle of its once great number… and he drank their departing souls as though they were wine, and fed upon their energy. And yet, The Phoenix King was not happy with his prize. For they were souls that knew not hardship, and so they were unrefined… he would fix that. Many fled, but most were captured, and slowly the human race was locked in cold, unfeeling irons. Unable to oppose Chromolungma, humanity was forced to toil in his name, instead: As loyal servants, erecting great monuments in his honour, and being slowly destroyed through labour. And when their pain peaked, and their spirits were at their strongest… he broke them, and devoured them whole, from his mountainous throne in Zhangzhung. He harnessed the raw energy of every human being, and every animal, that called the mortal plane their home. He worked them by day, and by night, in gelid dark and unrelenting daylight… slowly bringing them closer, and closer, to the edge of extinction. Until he arrived. If ever he had a name, it has long since been lost to history. But his title resounds throughout it as though it were whispered in a great cavern: Always there, echoing with a serene humbleness. He was the Qi Zhǔ, the first and most powerful. An ancient Bon monk, who had- from the moment Chromolungma had reared his hideous head, until the day it was severed from his neck- laid in waiting, meditating deep within what would, one day, be The Kunlun Mountains of Tibet. But he was no ordinary monk. For, in his intense studies- which had spanned over a great many hundreds of years- he had tapped into the fundamental laws of the universe, and the essence of all life it bore: The ebbing and flowing power of the all-encompassing life force, Qi. And with it, he descended upon Chromolungma like the storm, and after a lengthy battle, defeated him with all the brutality of the soft sea becoming the breaking wave. In one battle, two thousand years of brutality were brought to their end. But alas, even he could not truly kill The Phoenix King, lord of all demons. For he was a power more astronomical than any mere monk, no matter how blessed, could ever hope to overcome. So instead, he severed Chromolungma’s head from his body, and sealed both away beneath a layer of unerring, hoary stone: His body, folded upon itself, would become Mt. Chromolungma, and later, Mountain Everest… and his head and neck would flank it, as The Himalayas. In doing this, The Qi Zhǔ bound himself eternally to the beast: His Qi would become The Phoenix King’s prison, and the two would be destined to join one another again in an endless struggle when the ever-turning wheel of life and death finally came to claim him. But until that day came, the Qi Zhǔ still had much to teach. The Zhǔ would, with his Bon disciplines in tow, construct a mighty temple of a mysterious sapphire stone upon the seal that would forever bind The Phoenix King away, so that- even once the centuries had past- it would always be protected. It was hidden among the newly formed Himalaya mountains, invisible to all but Qi Zhǔ’s discplines, who would live there with him. But soon, The Zhǔ’s followers became many, and the temple became a monastery, that monastery a village, and that village, a city. And he imparted unto each citizen of said sapphire city his knowledge of The Qi, and how to wield it against evil, so that- should the seal falter, and The Phoenix King ever return- their mightiest warriors might once again battle him back into an eternal imprisonment. These teachings would eventually form the basis for the martial art Qi de Yìshù, “The Art of Qi”, and the city in which he taught them could become… Shambhala. Eventually, The Zhǔ died, and slowly his students, and their art, faded into obscurity, hidden amongst The Himalayas… And for a thousand years, humans grew and forgot. The Legend of The Qi Zhǔ became a myth, a theistic story told by Bonists solely for didactic purposes. But then, 3000 years ago, native Tibetans began to move higher into the mountains, bringing with them teachings that seemed abstracted from the ancient, shamanistic way of The Bon. By the second millennium of peace brought about by The Phoenix King’s defeat, the Bon faith had been almost totally absorbed by a new wave of enlightenment: The Buddhists. The battle between The Qi Zhǔ and The Demon King was one of many stories they adopted, adjusted: And in time, the legend of the spiritual city of Shambhala, along with it. Shambhala would still remain a lost relic for two thousand years more… but the same could not be said of the secrets it held. Fearing that the Qi de Yìshù would die with them, the Bon monks who’d made their homes there ventured out into Tibet, to teach their art to likeminded folk, before their religion truly died. But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. They found that Buddhists were equally fascinated by their art, and the Bonists who undertook the study of it and later became a part of The Buddhist faith shared it with them, betraying a four thousand year oath of secrecy. Foreigners who visited the land- explorers, or invaders like the Turks and Chinese- would sometimes learn of it, too. And slowly, but surely, their four-thousand year secret became a global phenomenon. Qi is the life essence of all things, the previously intangible energy which flows through all like water, and- in the right hands- can become a potent tool… and a potent weapon. When controlled by somebody who- through genetics, luck and spiritual practice- has a high enough quantity, it presents the ability to achieve fantastic superhuman feats: To fly as though almost weightless, to move at unfathomable speeds and punch as though made of granite. And- if they truly embraced the martial artist’s style of Qi- perhaps do even more. Men have been known to turn their whole bodies to stone, and other peoples’ to ice. Some have even been known to cause great storms with their own breath… In legends, of course. Since Qi’s secret got out, two millennium have passed, and now Qi is no longer just a tool for a sect of monks, dedicated to skulduggery. If you are blessed with the Qi to use the Qi de Yìshù, you’re now a star in the making. Over a thousand years ago, knowledge of The Qi arrived in The West, and with it came a new genre of entertainment: Because whenever humans discover a talent, their immediate response is to decide who is best at it. Eventually, glorified boxing matches would evolve into television shows and live arena events, broadcast around the world and promising Qi user duking it out to prove their mettle… But nowhere was competition fiercer than the God Fighter Tournament. The God Fighter Tournament In the year 2035, Dutch Qi users on a pilgrimage to Tibet- the birthplace of Qi de Yìshù, and a spiritual cornucopia for its practitioners- stumbled across an amazing find: The crippled, collapsing remains of the legendary city of Shambhala, desolate and abandoned… save for a vast library, created to preserve documents detailing The Legend of The Phoenix King. Obviously, they showed the place the deepest respect, sending word home to the Netherlands with the intention of launching a program to restore the city to her former glory… … however, when the message was intercepted by a Chinese entrepreneur, The People’s Republic of China hurriedly asserted a right of ownership over the territory, citing that Tibet was theirs. Since then, the city has been disfigured, surrounded and engulfed by modern monstrosities of architecture: An Olympic city all of its own, which draws Qi users from around the world, some there to pay respects to the remains of Shambhala waiting within the city’s centre, some to test their strength within its expansive stadium. They called it… Battle City Battle City was the host of The God Fighter Tournament, the single most intense, brutal and conclusive assessment of strength in the modern world. There, the planet’s finest Qi users duked it out for supremacy, fame and the chance to win the title of God Fighter – The Master of Qi, and strongest warrior there is… Until disaster struck. In 2042, the winners of the 2039, 2040 and 2041 God Fighter Tournaments were all killed in a highly dubious automotive accident during a tour of Battle City, and the tournament was resultantly put on an indefinite hiatus whilst Tibetan authorities investigated the event. For ten long years, Qi Fighters were forced to test their strength in smaller venues, dreaming of the glory days… Well. The year is now 2053, Battle City has just reopened her gates, and Qi is pulsating from Shambhala’s ruins as if it were a signal drawing its disciples home. Are you prepared to try and become God Fighter? Do you have what it takes to be the best? And if you do… will you avoid the grizzly fates of those before you? The Laws of Qi – Rules of Combat Qi Combat functions based around a series of consistencies. Everyone practices a different form of Qi de Yìshù, unique to their families or teachers, but there are universal similarities between each style, which are addressed as follows: [You can sense Qi, and your Qi can be sensed] The first thing to address is the fact that nobody has ever practiced a form of Qi de Yìshù that has been without a “signal.” Every Qi user has what is referred to as a Qi Quota, a level and quantity of expendable Qi that can be called upon in combat. It’s subject to fluctuation and change: Your Qi Quota is never set, it can increase and decrease dependent on the consistency and intensity of your training and spiritual wellbeing. Regardless of how low it is, however, you will always exude a signal: Even people who cannot use Qi (who often have a bare rating of about 80 QQ) can be sensed in close proximity. The higher your Qi Quota, the greater a distance you can be sensed from and the more intense your presence shall be. You can often get a grasp of how strong an opponent is based just from how high you predict their QQ to be. Qi is also physically visible to other practitioners of Qi de Yìshù, most often in the form of a potent energy field. The exact nature of said ‘aura’ differs from user to user, however. [You have two pools of Qi, spiritual and physical] The Qi you produce from training comes in two forms, spiritual and physical Qi, otherwise known as “internal” and “expendable” Qi, respectively. Your Spiritual Qi is a constant supply, it never dwindles so long as you train regularly, and serves the focus of sustaining you. Spiritual Qi is what fuels rapid recovery, and what permits an extended lifespan to Qi users. Although the Qi Zhǔ is said to have lived for thousands of years, the average Qi user actually just lives to around 200, their aging slowing to a quarter of the usual rate after passing 30. Spiritual Qi flows constantly through the body, but pools somewhere near the abdomen: Because of this circulation, a Qi user has flesh like stone compared to a none-Qi user. Your physical Qi is a different affair. It will dwindle over time, and can only be regained through two methods: Transitional properties, and recuperation/meditation. How it dwindles is your choice, however. When you “power up” at the beginning of a Qi de Yìshù match, you tap into your physical Qi. Any attack you launch with Qi behind it, ie a neutral Qi blast or else an elemental attack, for example an ice spike, will expend your physical Qi (of which there is a finite amount). Alternatively, if you take flight either in or outside of battle, this also expends your physical Qi. Interestingly, it also intensifies your presence, making you easier to sense. This is why most combatants only take flight outside of match days, and meditate often. [The Three Stages & The Transitional Properties of Qi] Herein lays the catch of Qi: Your QQ does have the potential to raise spontaneously and rapidly, but only on one condition… your physical wellbeing is in immense danger. For whatever reason, whenever a Qi user has taken a substantial amount of physical damage specifically from another Qi user, they enter what are known as the Qi Er and Qi San states, or- internationally- as The Level Two and Three states. During these states their powers will gain a massive power up in proportion to the damage they’ve taken. This has led to a group of fighters utilising something known as the “Bomb” strategy, in which they will refuse to fight and simply take their opponent’s punishment so that they can reach Level Two as quickly as possible and begin dishing superior damage before their opponent reaches the same point. Once you reach these levels, you’ll often find that your physical QQ is actually much higher than it was at the match’s start. This is because of The Transitional Properties of Qi. A long time ago practitioners thought that the reason they grew stronger is because pain bred higher QQs, as though that pain was transformed into Qi somehow. We now know, however, that this is not the case. The Qi is actually being given to you… by your opponent’s attack. See, Qi is interesting because it moves between living things like water: When one person expends Qi to hit another, half of the physical Qi they’ve burnt up will then transition into their opponent. This is what makes the Art of Qi so unique as a fighting style: Although the attacks performed can be immensely powerful amongst combatants with higher QQs, you often cannot hurt an opponent without also giving them some mild advantage over you. This is why many people bring weapons into the arena with them: Although those weapons will do meagre damage at best against the hardened skin of a Qi user, at least a weapon-based attack won’t give them any of your Qi. [Every Qi User possess certain abilities] But how does somebody know they’ve inherited a talent for the Art of Qi? After all, not everybody can do it: Whilst the martial art has really gathered speed around the world, it doesn’t promise an inherent ability to perform supernatural feats. The way to unlock that talent and potential within people was lost thousands of years ago, along with the original Bon faith: Now, we attribute much of it to genetics and luck, and thank spiritual cultivation for the growth of it. One might think we recognise it because of the intensity of a child’s presence, a particularly high QQ: But it’s been observed that none-users can have surprisingly high levels, particularly if they share common ancestors with those who’ve shown a capacity for Qi de Yìshù. These people exhibit a natural finesse for fighting, but little more. No, children with Qi-related powers are usually recognised because everyone who uses Qi can do a number of things regardless of style, such as: - Take flight, hover and levitate - Endure great physical damage from every day attacks with skin as hard as granite - Develop and train muscle with only spiritual training - Move and leap at great speed, almost thrice as fast as an average person before training - Sense others with high Qi Quotas - Fire Qi Bolts, neutral blasts of energy that stun but cannot kill Children who exhibit these abilities are usually trained by a relative, or else can seek training elsewhere if so inclined. It’s because of these natural abilities that, often, the battles that take place in Battle City are filmed in slow motion so that viewers at home can actually see what’s happening, and usually the cameras are fitted with filtered lenses to make Qi fields and Quotas visible to the audience, as well. [Powering Down/Up and Weighted Clothing] Fighters who are prone to using deceptive forms of Qi de Yìshù often ask the same question: If my opponent can sense my QQ, how do I fight them? The answer is fairly simple: You lower your QQ. The arena of Battle City changes dependent on the combatants of the day, but one thing is always consistent: You will always have an audience, and most of them will be your fellow combatants, meaning they’ll have admirable QQs of their own. So how do you mask yourself, and render yourself unreadable? Well, powering down is the most popular choice. In this scenario, you temporarily forfeit some of your Qi, exhaling it and making your movements laxer. Cooling down, instead of warming up… don’t worry, your opponent can’t steal it! By doing this, you are also forfeiting much of your destructive power: The further you lower your QQ, the harder you’ll be to sense, but you’ll also be making yourself physically weaker, slower and opening yourself up to take more damage by exchange. When you want to raise yourself back to full power, however, you’ll need to somehow evade your opponent long enough to stand still and gather your energy back from the air around you. This is called “powering up”, and requires intense concentration and immense psychic energy. The process involves staying rooted to the spot as you drag your Qi back into you. It’s taxing, and your power will return slowly: But soon you’ll be back to functioning at full capacity. Although powering down certainly doesn’t give you the combat edge, and having a low QQ doesn’t necessarily mean you’re invisible, it’s important to remember that- unlike weighted clothing- this choice is temporary and if used in conjunction with more tactical styles of Qi de Yìshù it could prove quite potent. Weighted Clothing is an alternative, but an unpopular one. Many Qi de Yìshù practitioners use weighted clothing in their day to day lives, because it supresses your QQ and means you can make yourself stronger whilst doing every day activities. It also creates a new level of difficulty when training is involved, as moving quickly and performing combat action becomes incredibly physically taxing. Learning to adapt to these situations facilitates strength growth… over time. But nonetheless, in actual combat all weighted clothing can do is hinder you. Whilst it does mask your QQ, this is because- for as long as you’re wearing it- you’re being actively weakened by it. Weighted clothing will make you slower, and your attacks will do less damage. Furthermore, you will be unable to power up or down whilst wearing weights, and cannot remove them yourself: An opponent must damage them, or else you’ll have to carry them for the whole match. This said, the QQ-supressing nature of weighted clothing is prized by some “bomb” fighters for its ability to absorb impacts and Qi-related attacks, meaning it does provide some meagre defensive bonuses. [Qi can be used to fight, but never to kill… unless you’re fighting demons] Qi is the all giving life force, an energy which penetrates and leaves everything in due time. Because of this, it is regarded as the great equaliser. Undoubtedly, The God Fighter Tournament is some form of blood sport, violent and brutal… but never fatal. Because of Qi’s life-giving nature, it can never be used to take the life of another. Surely you can injure them to the point of death, but no Qi blast will ever kill another human being: Only seriously harm, and rarely ever permanently. This is permitted because of Qi’s infinite healing capacity, too. Given time, a Qi user can recover from any Qi attack… so the only way to kill a Qi user is by conventional means, which is very hard given their strength. Of course, this rule only applies to living things, to things that Qi has blessed with its presence. Demons are the exception. The Phoenix King was undoubtedly the strongest of the demons, but he was not the only one. All about the world there are malevolent entities made of a different stuff, an energy that serves as Qi’s antonym, designed only to wreak destruction: Dark Ether. They are few and far between, but immensely powerful: Most Qi users will never meet one, for they survive in distant planes, feeding on the Qi of the weak and dying… but if ever they do, they’re in for a real fight. Fortunately, demons, and any other child of Dark Ether, including Qi users corrupted by its influence, are susceptible to mortal damage from Qi blasts. -- And, well… that’s all there is to it. This is a sort of mixed roleplay, half combat and half slice of life, as we follow a group of fighters assigned to the same team in the God Fighter tournament. Sharing a team doesn’t mean you’ll never fight one another, it just means you live in a particular region of Battle City, and represent it. Like being dorm mates. The combat will be roleplayed out on Pirate Pad on a turn-by-turn basis, preferably with me reffing. The winner is whoever roleplays best outcome, I suppose. I look forwards to some good fights! Your CS follows. FIGHTER'S APPLICATION, 2053 Fighter’s Name: Fighter’s Gender: Fighter’s Age: (no younger than 20, no older than 180) Fighter’s Nationality: Fighter’s Technique: [You will need to name your Qi de Yìshù technique in your native tongue, and describe its origins, how it works and whether it focuses on attack, defense, speed etc. This is your personal style, and within reason it can be anything you want, from an elemental fighting style to something of immense speed but poor strength, something that plays on light, or sound. Be creative!] Fighter’s Move Pallet: [Due to the rules of The God Fighter Tournament, you must exclaim the names of your more powerful attacks before using them. You can have a max of four of these at the moment. You do not need to cite basic elemental attacks ie ice bolt, but if you have a particularly powerful one (eg Blizzard), that goes here.] NOTE: Using these moves will severely drain your Qi, and whoever is reffing the match will be sure to monitor this. Fighter Levels: [Name of Level Two]: [What level two does. You may pick one stat from attack/speed/defense to double at this stage, and combine it with your technique of Qi de Yìshù.] [Name of Level Three]:[At this stage every stat is doubled, except your original selected stat which is now quadrupled. At this point your ‘super moves’ listed in our fighter’s pallet can be used liberally. Keep in mind that when the opponent reaches Level Three, both of your super moves will do half of their original damage, and possibly less if their secondary stat was defense.] Fighter’s QQ: (Having a high QQ does not guarantee victory. As starting combatants your QQ will be around 1000, no greater than 1100 and no lower than 950. This will change as combat goes on, for every victory will add a quart of your opponents QQ onto your own. A loss will result in an equal loss of QQ.) Fighter’s physical description (include frequent outfit for identification purposes): Summary of personality: Fighter’s Bio: Fighter’s Goal: You may not be related to the Qi Zhǔ or any prior victors of the God Fighter Tournament, but you can be a returning participant. So have fun, think up some interesting characters! Remember that not everything will be about fighting, though, be prepared for long stretches of social interaction and/or training. If you’ve got questions, feel free to ask ‘em!