The Golden Panda
The Quest for the Golden Panda
Che, Urim and I opted for a Fiasco game one time, given the deep desire to game after a long tiring week. We opted to try The Quest for the Golden Panda playkit given we were feeling the Wuxia bug after talking gamer talk on the upcoming 3rd edition of Exalted and wishing it was already out.
Xiao Kun by Tobie
The Warrior Returning Home to his Spouse
Xiao Lin by Che
The Spouse Waiting for her Prominent Husband
Mao Ling by Urim
Brother of Xiao Lin and in love with her
Xiao Lin is exiting the window after another night of the passionate affair. Xiao Kun is walking down the rice fields with Meng Yo's private pagoda in the distance. Xiao Lin arrives and knocks at the door. Mao Ling slips out of the window. Xiao Lin is combing her hair, prettying herself up. She opens the door and sees Xiao Kun outside. He rushes inside and smothers her with a powerful hug. "It has been years since I have seen you, my beloved."
"I know, I have missed you so," she replies. "Come, I have prepared dinner." Xiao Kun notices her hair is wet and asks if she just bathed. She claims to have done so because she was waiting for him. "Come! Tell me about your adventures and your exploits. I have heard a lot from the other villagers. They seem so proud of you." Xiao Kun tells her that such stories can wait given the many nights that have passed with her seeking a moment with her once again for passionate love making. "I need to feel your warmth, Xiao Lin. Shall we retire to bed?" She insists that she desires to feed her husband first. "What kind of a wife would i be?"
"You can feed me with your passion. Can you not feel my passion for you?"
"Yes I can feel it. I can feel it. Is that not your spear?"
That's when Xiao Kun sees a red scarf on the bed. Xiao Lin explains it is Mao Ling's. Xiao Kun is surprised that her brother was here. She, however, explains that they had lunch. Xiao Kun insists to return it to him... and that's when he sees Mao Ling on the horse, Dreamer, leaving the area. Xiao Kun calls out for him. When he turns to look back, Xiao Kun realizes it is him - his warrior instincts kick in and he senses something is wrong - and he slaps her out of impulse!
Mao Ling sees Xiao Kun slap his sister so he turns the horse, Dreamer, to ride back and meet him. Xiao Kun hears the horse pounding on the ground, he leaps and his Lightfoot technique to land on the horse's head. "Mao Ling," Xiao Kun confronts the man. Mao Ling attempts to slap him in anger for hitting his sister, but Xiao Kun easily dodges it by somersaulting over Mao Ling and land behind him on the saddle. His martial arts is greater than Mao Ling's. He slaps the red scarf on Mao Ling's face. "Is this not yours?"
Mao Ling admits it is and does not deny it. He admits he left to give the two time given how long he had been gone. "How dare you slap my sister!" Xiao Kun counters that he is her husband as per the Emperor's edict and he has every right to discipline her. Xiao Kun commands Dreamer to stop. Xiao Kun admits that in the past he and Mao Ling were Rivals. Competitors even. He knows Mao Ling feels slighted that the Emperor chose Xiao Kun over him. But he knows something is going on.
"You realize you are accusing me and your wife... my Sister.. of having an affair! Do you have any evidence of this? I do not deny being in your household."
Xiao Kun is chided. He apologizes and claims his passions overwhelmed him. However, Mao Ling is happy that his lie was accepted as truth. "Go now to your wife. Tend to her and ask for your forgiveness."
And eventually, the missing Golden Panda is brought to their attention. The Emperor asked Xiao Kun to handle the investigation. He, however, is unaware that Mao Ling himself is the one who stole it with the plan to pass the blame to Xiao Kun and eventually run away with Xiao Lin and be together. The plan falters, however when Xiao Kun himself is too dumb to realize the Golden Panda is not an actual animal, but instead a statue. And Mao Ling makes the huge mistake of leaving a strand of his red silk scarf on the Panda when he tucks it into Dreamer's pouch to implicate Xiao Kun.
It is the evening when Mao Ling plans to accuse Xiao Kun when the warrior in his drunken state enters Mao Ling's bedchamber to talk to him... and ends up having an eyes-closed admission to Xiao Lin on how much she means to him and how much he hopes to be a better man for her. He does not realize Xiao Lin is there, on Mao Ling's bed, naked and waiting for her own brother.
The Emperor's Magistrate and his men soon find the Golden Panda, and Xiao Kun is arrested for the theft.
Mao Ling finds himself given an audience with the Emperor. However, the Emperor is not without his cunning and he notices the red silken thread. Being once a man who practiced needlework, he admits he recognized the rare thread to be from a specific province - and that place is one where Xiao Kun had never been to. Mao Ling realizes the Emperor knows and plans to escape with Xiao Lin as soon as possible. However, tragedy strikes when Xiao Lin confesses to Xiao Kun the feeling Mao Ling has for her, and she then admits she realizes she loves Xiao Kun more. Xiao Lin chooses to declare herself GUILTY of the crime, believing to do so is the only way to protect Xiao Kun from being punished. "Your eyes remind me of the sun rising when we first met, Xiao Lin. And until now, you realize you are my Sun."
"You are better off without me."
"I will burn myself to be with you," Xiao Kun draws his blade and attacks the guards, and asks Xiao Lin to escape with him. The alarms ring. The Emperor knows.
Xiao Lin shakes her head as Xiao Kun reaches for her hand. "No.. if I do that, none of us will survive." Xiao Kun fights against the guards and yells for Lin to take his hand. She pushes him out and shuts the door behind her. The guards find an opening and bring Kun down to the ground. Kun blacks out.
Since Xiao Lin had spoken out of turn to the Magistrate and declared herself the thief of the Golden Panda, she is whipped, tortured and disfigured. She will never be the same again.
Mao Ling is forced to resign as a Scholar under the Emperor given the theft that his sister had been found guilty of doing. He brings Xiao Lin home, but she never speaks to him again. Mao Ling feels a pang of guilt and made plans to allow Xiao Kun to be secretly exiled instead of killed for his transgressions.
In the streets and dividing paths of the seven kingdoms, a man once named Xiao Kun wanders aimlessly. Never sleeping at the same place each night, he carries a broken sword. Bandits fear him. His warrior skills remain greater than anyone else's. But he never speaks or says anything to anyone. There were times the guards accosted him, or people would beat him up thinking he was a vagrant, and he would simply stare back and endure. If there was anything he speaks of or confesses, it would be to a scrap of red cloth... of the scarf.. that he had pulled from Xiao Lin in the prison when they saw each other for the last time.
He thinks it still smells of her.
But he realizes there is no going back.
In the Emperor's garden, the Golden Panda has been replaced.
The Emperor smiles, turns to his magistrate and tells him, "All is well. All is well."