|Issue 5||July 2001|
Well, the fifth issue of Warrior's Pride has finally arrived after a bit of a delay (over a year). This is also the first Warrior's Pride that I have actually had real editing responsibilities for, instead of just creating the text version.
Major kudos go out to Niemand who translated Eric Souza's Multiple Style System and Real Firearms articles into english. Thank you very much, Niemand, it's a lot easier to edit something when you can read it.
And while I'm thanking my contributors, thank you, Arkon, for having submitted a cool fiction piece, not to mention your other numerous articles, to every single issue of Warrior's Pride since it first came out way back when in November of 1999
A character can never begin knowing more than a single fighting style. However, in the middle of a story, a chance to learn a new style can happen (like the Majestic Crow Kung Fu). When that happens, the Storyteller may treat styles like a special Background. These backgrounds can go up to five dots, when the fighter becomes a master in his style. When he reaches the master status (5 dots as mentioned above) in his style background, he can erase the background and write down the style in his character sheet (in the field "Style:") his/her new style
Raise the Style Background costs 10 experience points per level (new level = 10). Note that each point spent this way requires at least one week of intensive training, which gives a 12 month minimum for a fighter to learn a style.
A character can buy maneuvers by his incomplete style, but only those maneuvers which have a power point cost equal to or under his/her background rating. When the Fighting Style is complete, he/she can buy any maneuver legally available to that style.
The advantage of knowing various styles, is, without a question, the flexibility to choose maneuvers. When a fighter wants to learn a maneuver, he/she pays the least expensive one available to him, topped by his style background, of course. Maneuvers that has any other style or "Any" in the cost, but the cost is greater than your style rating must be paid by the most 'accessible' one. If you have the Shotokan Karate style totally leaned and One dot in Wu Shu and wants to learn "Whirlwind Kick" (Power Points: WS 4; SK 5), you must pay 5, since your Wu Shu background rating doesn't permit you to buy the maneuver by this style.
The damage dealt by a firearm must be divided by 3 (round fractions up). This will be the damage done, but it will be aggravated. For example: if Ryu takes 5 points of damage from a shot, he will take only two points of aggravated damage instead (5/3 =1.6 rounded up to 2). Note that there is no normal damage, only the aggravated ones.
This is the first in a series of articles detailing some of the famous (or infamous) arenas of the underground fighting tournaments. I'll present here in complete detail various styles of arenas, from duelists' pits of murder to the most honored traditional dojo. Good luck to you all! Believe me, you will need it...
NOTE: Some of the material presented here has religious matters. They are NOT MY visions on those religions. They are just representations of what the characters presented here believes, and for god's sake: IT'S ONLY A GAME!!!
"Those who defy it ended the way I will someday end your life..."History: Kristhian Kravinoff (aka. K.K. or "Killer Kadmus") after fleeing mother Russia just before the start of the Cold War, needed a way to make profit. He began a quest all over the Europe to find the perfect spot to place a Street Fighting ring and found it in a small farm near Hannover, Germany. After tons and tons of loans and bar fighting he demanded a huge cage to be built. He also demanded that iron spikes to be added to it so the bloodshed could be greater. Not so long ago Kravinoff retired from the circuit and only will fight in very special circumstances. A manager was hired to take control and continue running his tournaments.
-- Kravinoff cursing Vega
Localization: It is located in a small farm near Hannover, Germany, and consists of a pub (with showgirls and everything else), a feminine quarter and a masculine one, and the barn where the cage is hidden.
Personnel: The old champion Kravinoff, who watches almost every fight in his cage, is a huge muscular man, around 50 years old, wears his gray hair long and clean and dresses the most stylish business suits. His distinguishing mark is a scar in the left eye. The actual manager is a tall, blonde, approximately 28 years old man known as Michael Voight, one of the most renowned managers in the Duelist's division (worth 4 dots in the Manager background). Voight is one of the most unscrupulous managers out there.
There are the personnel who work in the pub and the farm. Beyond them there is the actual champion Francois Laibon, small, quick and sharp-minded French wrestler.
Tournaments: Each year a Duelist's tournament is held at the cage called "Winter's Hell". It is considered to be one of the "Four Seasons' Hell" (one of the most important circuits in the Duelist's Division) and it's champion is called "The Winter Christ" (a "joke" played by Kravinoff due to his despise of the Christian Church and the spiked crown Christ wore). In addition some "Tonight's Special" along the year and at least one in the "Winter's Hell". The most famous of those was when Kravinoff fought a boy who now turned to be the World Warrior Vega, this was the only known defeat of the "Gray Smasher" (as Kravinoff is called now)
The Cage: It is a small abode made of steel (resembles a huge birdcage). It's all covered in spikes, which, now, are all dirty of blood. The Cage is one of the topmost ranked arenas of the Duelists' division due to its ability to promote bloodshed and violence and also is one of the rare arenas that hamper movement. Because of this hampering effect the slower warriors prefer it.
System: Any fighter making an aerial move must take a -2 penalty to their speed to avoid the spikes or suffer 1 die of damage (regardless of Stamina). The fighting area is a 5-hex radius sphere. Anyone moving (or threw) beyond this limit is also confronted by the spikes and takes 1 die of damage (regardless of Stamina) as usual (no chance to avoid them)
|Warrior's Pride Character Sheet|
|Name: Kristhian Kravinoff "Killer Kadmus"|
Signature: Intimidate the audience
Style Lore: 4
Flying Head Butt
|Warrior's Pride Character Sheet|
|Name: Francois Laibon|
|Style: Jeet Kune Do (Wrestling)*|
School: The Golden Arm
Signature: Spits on the opponent
Style Lore: 3
Siberian Bear Crusher
* Everybody thinks that Laibon's Style is a Wrestler but his style is in the truth a Jeet Kune Do grappling variation
Welcome back to Warrior's Pride's own story corner. I'm here as always and there are few other storyteller chairs that I'd be happy to dust off if anyone has a tale. I would like to thank SF List members "Soldar", Cliff Rice, Tommy Brownell, Jens-Arthur Leirbakk, and Chris Hoffmann for helping me through my little crisis of confidence. Your support is deeply appreciated. And now it is time once more to turn to the Street Fighter Circuit, and the Legends told among it's members.
Tonight's story is being told by a former Navy Seal named Lucas. He is telling the story to his team as they lounge around the fire place in the cabin they are staying in. They are unwinding following a difficult victory, and intend to spend the next day skiing. As Lucas begins his tale, the snow is falling heavily in the dark of night, the wind is howling, and a wolf calls out in the night.
|The Goddess' Bracelet|
|"A while back, there was Street Fighter a bit down on her luck. She was in the pit of a losing streak, and she found it was because her manager was on the take. She fired him, but she's a head booter, not a promoter. She was getting desperate for a break, when an archaeologist offers her a job working security on an expedition. Easy work, and it pays well, so she thinks it's a godsend. Turned out it was, just the wrong god.|
"They get out to the site, and someone starts shooting at the campsite. She takes care of that, but afterwards it's one crisis after another. After awhile of this, she forces the head of the expedition to "fess up". The place was an old temple, and it's supposed to be cursed. She gets some big concerns about the job at that point, but triple pay is promised, so she stays.
"One night, someone sneaks into the ruins; she finds him and the stuff he took. She turns most of it to the expedition- but she hides one thing in her bag: a ceremonial bracelet. Maybe she figured that since everyone seemed to be putting something over on her that she should start getting them first. Or maybe the choice wasn't hers to make.
"That was the last bit of trouble anyone caused there- no one wanted to cross her anymore. It was also when she started to get a bit unhinged. It started small enough, she began getting a bit more interested in the research and asked for a few perks - have any of you seen a fighter who DIDN'T start getting an ego (present company excepted)?
"The head scientist starts getting a bit worried when she starts correcting his work. He's also concerned that he can't find one of the principal artifacts: a bracelet supposed to belong to a goddess. He starts checking around, and one night follows her out to the site while everyone else is sleeping. He sees her wearing the bracelet - and sees her create a cloud from her fingertips and send it to the sky.
"He thinks about the problem, but not nearly long enough. He hires six Street Fighters to be with him when he confronts her. When he accuses her of taking the bracelet, she laughs and shows it off. She flicks her wrist and the guy is thrown against a wall. One of the hired goons tries to pry him off the wall while the others take stances against her. She looks at them, and just says three words to them: "Kneel before me". And all of them- even the guy trying to get the boss off the wall just drop everything and kneel to her.
"She looks at them, and asks them if they've ever been double-crossed. If their managers ever cheated them. And tells them that if they go with her, she'll give them POWER. She tells them that she'll teach them how to make sure no one ever screws with them again. Three of them decided to go with her. No one's seen her, or the ones who followed her ever since."
This is a new series I'm experimenting with. It's a serial, loosely based on various philosophies of elemental interaction, my admittedly vague understanding of certain Anime conventions, and a few horrid things I found slithering in the back of my mind. The plotline I have seen has three arcs, but they do not divide clearly, and I cannot explain the divisions without ruining certain surprises.
The setting is a large town in Oregon officially listed as Talwood. You won't find it on any map, because this particular town exists only in our World of Street Fighter. It was originally founded to serve the logging industry, then became part of the railroad industry, and presently is one of the United State's largest shipping center. It is a nice town, and more than the average percent of the population are good, law-abiding people. Occasionally they forget to lock their doors, but nothing ever comes of it. They believe that their town is a safe place, a good place to raise their children. They are horribly wrong.
The story introduces elements that will not be resolved for a year or more, and aside from Elementals, seems to have very little to do with Street Fighting at the moment. I apologize for that, but I cannot seem to change that as of yet. This series will not have a fairytale ending: it contains violence, horror, death, and drama. If any of that bothers you, you are free to skip over the story, I won't say a word.
As this is the first story I've told as myself, I must ask that you keep all criticisms coated in several pounds of sugar.
|Episode One: Fortunes of Fire and Water|
"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons, even death may die."
-Howard Phillip Lovecraft.
"It's inside your soul
Taking all control"
-Autograph, 'You Can't Hide from the Beast Inside'
It began with the dream. Even before the kidnapping, there was the dream. That was when their fates were sealed.
The dream started with him stepping out of a room at night. The place could have been any of a thousand motels in America. It was snowing, but he wasn't dressed for the weather. He was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, no shoes. He stepped into the night and snow as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He walked to the next door and gently knocked.
"Girls," he said as the door opened, "I thought we agreed too take turns at watch tonig-" his words fell dead when he saw the empty room. "Illanya? Xi?" he called out to the night with fear in his voice. He was about to dash into the room when her saw her through the corner of his eye. He turned and saw the slender Chinese girl standing in the distance, staring blankly ahead with her deep, brown eyes. She was in a long skirt and a blouse that couldn't possibly be warm enough in the winter night as the wind played with her long black hair.
"Xi?" he called to her as he approached her. "Are you feeling alright?" He quickly passed his hand over her face, and uttered a curse when her eyes remained locked on the distance. He put his hands one her shoulder like an old friend, and softly pleaded "Wake up, Xi. Please wake up." She responded by slowly retracting her arm from behind her back, and then burying the butcher knife in his gut with blinding speed.
As he fell to the ground, coughing up blood, she grinned like a shark. He looked at her with pleading eyes, silently praying for her soul, and she savagely drove the knife into his chest - giggling at the sound of steel crunching through bone.
Recoiling from the impact, he fell on his back. He began to vomit dark red blood as she drove the knife into his rib cage again and again and again, laughing at the crunching sound. She didn't stop until long after his eyes glazed over and the bleeding stopped.
She let the knife fall as she merrily skipped away, around the motel, toward the edge of the road where a man stood by a running car. He was a tall, slender man with platinum blond hair and small sword tattooed below his right eye, the left side of his face was riddled with burn scars. At his feet a silver-haired woman with an odd circular scar in the center of her forehead lay bleeding from two gaps in her stomach and a laceration in the middle of her throat. As Xi approached them, the man gave a vile grin and held out his hand to her. The dying woman tried with all her fading might to say something. As Xi took the man's hand, she drove her foot into the woman's throat and enjoyed the wet snap.
Xi woke up, choking back a terrified cry.
Thus was her damnation foretold.
"So, you killed two people in a dream?", Michael asked, trying and failing to hide his puzzlement. "That's not a big deal, Zee, you can't control your dreams. Dreams are just the brain's way of saying 'I'm bored, I wish something would happen'." He rolled out from under the hideously mismatched collection of parts he called a van, and placed his wrench on the tool bench. Xi looked him in his hazel eyes and tried to think about what he had said, but it was hard to keep from appreciating his tight shirt clinging to his muscular chest. His long brown hair was streaked black as he swept it out from in front of his eyes. "Why are you so worried about this?"
Xi looked up at him and tried to articulate what her heart knew. "Because it's not a dream. I KNOW it's not. I can't explain how, but I know it's not."
"Zee, It's just a dream: I KNOW that. Because I know YOU. You wouldn't hurt a fly."
"Mike, I- I KNOW this is real. I can feel something terrible building."
"Look, can't you talk to someone...," he searched for a word, and decided to go with the blunt truth, "smarter about this?"
"You have to be kidding! My dad freaks if I stay out in the rain, if I go to HIM I'll be writing you from Ocean Crest! And he's still on the warpath from finding that wrapper. I can't anyone else, all my other friends are incurable gossips! This CANNOT leave the garage."
"Zee, remember who's going to be repeating Senior year for flunking Theology! I don't get this stuff! I never will! It's... I'm sorry, but I have trouble believing this."
"Please, Mike," she half sobbed, "It's real, I KNOW it is. I'm afraid of it. I need you to understand. I need you to believe me." Her voice broke as she choked out those last words, and it was all she could do to put her arms around her boyfriend.
He put his arms around her. "Then help me, Zee. Give me something I can understand."
She slipped out of his arms, leaving him covered in sweat. "I don't know what I can do to convince you." As she paced around his workbench, she began to sweat puddles. And she was shrinking. "You think I want to believe this? I'm either a monster or I'm insane!", she said as her arm began to dissolve into clear liquid. "I-"
Michael grabbed her shoulders. He cried out, "ZEE!", and saw that the floor was dry. She was dry, and whole if slightly bewildered.
"Mike? What are you doing?"
"Alright, Zee. I believe you."
"I'm scared now."
Though he knew that she would never do what she seemed to believe so deeply would happen, it did later occur to him that the choice might be taken from her.
That was why, Saturday, he found himself in the public library. Without the clarity of his... vision? hallucination?, belief was harder. But he was trying hard to believe while reading an old book on exorcisms from the reference section. It was hard, the book was giving him a headache, someone had the air conditioning turned far too cold, and the lights seemed to flicker out for a few seconds every time he thought he was finally making some progress without nodding off.
Michael was trying to stay awake through the third consecutive Chapter about the importance of properly identifying the possessing spirit when he felt the hand on his shoulder. He calmly looked up at one of the librarians, a slender Japanese man carrying a walking stick.
"Excuse me sir, but the library's closing in a few minutes."
"It can't be... It's only 3", Michael protested, half certain this was a joke. He checked his watch and saw that it was nearly five o'clock.
"I'm afraid it is," the librarian looked at the book. "And if you're planning an exorcism, don't go with DeBonnae. I think you'd be better off with Matthas. Or, even better, go east on Lincoln past Little Nippon until you get to Logger's Trail 5. Follow that for a few miles until you get to the Buddhist Temple, and ask for Brother Masato."
"Umm..., thank you, I think, but what makes you think I'm planning an exorcism?" He studied the man much more carefully now. He was slightly shorter than Michael, and was more slight of build. His hair was held in a ponytail, and his conservative outfit was impeccably tidy. He had a relaxed grip on his walking stick. Despite his relaxed stance, Michael felt some tension to him. The air seemed to shimmer with motion.
"Because if you were actually interested in that monstrosity, you'd have managed to stay awake. DeBonnae was considered dull by his contemporaries, quite a feat in 13th century Europe."
"You actually read this thing?" Michael edged away from the man. The room seemed to have gotten uncomfortably hot.
"You'd be surprised how popular it is. I used it once, but the building was repossessed.... I'm sorry. I did NOT mean to say that. 'It didn't work' is what I meant to say."
"You actually believe in this stuff?"
"I don't have a choice."
Michael edged further away from the librarian at those words. "What do you mean?"
"Look, I have to close up. If this IS serious, take my advice: don't try to perform an exorcism yourself. It's been known to backfire."
"Just who are you?"
"Nagashima Akihito, chief librarian, part-time enigma."
"Of course you are."
"You've been reading that book for hours, do you believe it?"
"I- I don't know. Why do you care what I think?"
"Because I've seen what this town is really like. Look, if you have trouble, come in Monday. Trust me."
Michael warily looked Akihito in the eye. "Don't wait for me," he said as he walked out.
Sunday was the day fate drew Akihito, Masumi, and Xi together. It was also the day Xi began to learn of her true nature.
Akihito opened the passenger side door of his car for Kiyomi before getting in the other side. He sighed deeply to prepare himself for what he would soon hear. She was lovely woman, even her loose-fitting blouse couldn't completely hide her statuesque figure. Her long, silken black hair had just had all semblance of order brushed out of it, and now mercifully rested on her shoulders. Most of the excessive makeup had been wiped from her face; what was left was smeared in no particular pattern. Even in such disarray, she was beautiful. She was radiant. Akihito remembered when he had loved her deeply. He didn't know if the feeling had become something deeper and more restrained, or had been lost sometime ago.
Kiyomi bitterly sighed as Akihito started the car. "<I hate him,>" she said in Japanese. "<I wear more than that to the beach; how does he expect me to portray a *@&\\$# lawyer in that ridiculous outfit?>" She sighed, "<I can't believe I left the Muse for this.>"
"<Kiyomi, don't get so worked up about it.>"
"<What am I supposed to do? The @* CLAIMS to be a director, but instead of letting me characterize the part I've been given, he expects me to prostitute myself for the camera when he hasn't spent one @#&% minute understanding the *%@& script! *@#&, if I didn't need this job so badly I'd give HIM a fight scene!>"
"<If you hate this job so much why don't you go back to the theater? You were... happier there.>" He diplomatically omitted several things he deeply wanted to say.
"<Because movies are what I wanted from the start. I need to put up with these roles until I get my break. I'm not like you, I can't pretend to be a samurai while I shelve books all my life.>" Even as the words left her mouth she silently cursed herself for them.
The car skidded to a halt. Akihito paced out, his walking stick in hand. Kiyomi followed him out into the empty street.
"<Akihito, I'm sorry.>" She walked quickly after him, reaching out to put her hand on his shoulder - and shedding a tear when he flinched away. "<Akihito, I didn't mean it that way! Please talk to me.>"
He slowly turned to face her. He looked harshly into her eyes as she took a step back. He took a deep breath. "<Kiyomi, I... I... I can't>"
"YOU'RE THE LIBRARY WEIRDO!"
"Excuse me!?" Akihito blurted as he turned around. He did not need this. Not now. Of all times, please, not now.
"Who's your friend Mickey?", the slender Chinese girl hanging onto 'Mickey's' arm said.
Kiyomi stared at the girl for a moment. "Don't I know you from somewhere?" She silently thanked the gods for the distraction.
"Yah...," Xi softly said, then her eyes went wide. "You were at the Muse. You were on staff at my ballet class recital."
Akihito glanced at Michael, who simply shrugged. He noticed the shopping bags Michael was carrying, and envied him happier times. None of them noticed the small, metal canister that rolled to the center of the group and stopped.
Kiyomi smiled widely. "Yes... Xi? You were at the top of the cla-"
A furious thundering sound filled the air, followed by smoke and rough, rasping coughs.
As Michael and Kiyomi fell to the ground, coughing painfully, Akihito twisted the handle of his walking stick and pulled the katana free of it's sheath.
"WHAT'S GOING ON?" Xi cried out as she rushed to Michael's side.
Akihito squinted, the smoke was badly stinging his eyes, but he saw a man's shape approaching them. "GET THEM OUT OF HERE!", he shouted with the steel of a seasoned warrior.
"Stay awhile, Rain," came a cold voice, "the master is eager to embrace you."
"no..." Xi whispered with cold terror. She looked up at the speaker, and saw him for the second time. He was a tall, slender man with platinum blond hair and small sword tattooed below his right eye. He had no scars. He reached out his hand to her, and her own hand betrayed her by reaching out to him. "no..." she whispered, tears leaving her eyes. Instead of rolling down her face, her tears flowed into the air. Towards HIM.
"Step away from her," Akihito commanded as a faint red gleam flickered across his katana.
The man glanced at him, and softly said: "This is not your fight. Don't interfere with our destiny, or your own fate with drip red with the blood of those you love: I have foreseen it."
Akihito relaxed his arcane senses. The gas was not flammable. "Last chance. Leave now." He glanced at Michael and Kiyomi: they were still on their knees, but their breathing was easier. The air was clearing.
Xi took a trembling step towards the man from her vision. She tried to shift her weight, fall to the ground, turn away, anything to free herself from this outsider's control.
"You overestimate yourself, Ronin dog!", the stranger challenged. Akihito recoiled as if slapped. "Cast your scrap of tin aside and face me like a man!"
Akihito cried out "YUKI!" as he rushed forward, his sword ignited in flames as he ran at the man. His opponent rolled under the enraged charger and struck Akihito in the side of his rib cage as he recovered his footing. Akihito winced as he felt his side grow damp, and saw a knife dripping crimson life in the stranger's hand. He cursed himself for falling into such a cheap ploy.
"You're more of a fool than I thought you were," he gloated just as Michael caught him from behind in a bear hug. Akihito rushed at him, as a spine of iron erupted from the man's elbow. Michael screamed as the metal ripped into his arm. Akihito skidded to a halt and lost his sword grip as the man flipped Michael over his shoulder, then fell as the screaming body was shoved into him.
Akihito pushed Michael off and leapt to his feet, recovering his katana as he rose. The man was holding Xi for a moment, then he uttered a single word: "Sleep", and she went limp in his arms. Akihito ran forward as the man carried her to a car.
"STOP RIGHT THERE!", the samurai commanded, his eyes blazing with light. The man glared at him. Their eyes locked, and almost too late Akihito saw the gun. With almost inhuman reflexes, born of truly arcane senses, he swayed out of the bullet's path and a bolt of flame shot from his hand, melting the gun barrel. Someone cried out behind him. He turned pale as he turned to look behind.
Kiyomi stood, gasping for breath, her hands clutching her belly. From under her hands, a red stain grew outward, blossoming like a flower. Akihito heard a car drive off as he witnessed that terrible crimson flower blossom outward. He screamed as she fell.
Next: Fortunes of Earth and Metal.
And so ends another issue of Warrior's Pride. I hope that the articles in this issue are useful to some players out there, or failing that, at least interesting or amusing. Next issue will have a character contributed by myself that I hoped to be able to fit in this issue, but arbitrary deadlines must also apply to the deadline setter else the crusade for justice would perish.
Questions, Comments, Submissions, or Suggestions should be sent to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All nongraphic files should be in .txt, .rtf, .html, or .doc formats. Graphics files should be in either .jpg or .gif formats.
Characters: Characters should have each section (including Skills, Talents, and Knowledges) separate so as to make the transition easier. In addition, try to list notes for backgrounds and any languages known. Also if your character uses home made rules, such as styles, maneuvers, or weapons, please send them along with your character.
Maneuvers: If you are sending in details of a maneuver, follow the format used in White Wolf books, and the format used in Warrior's Pride. Please send in all details of the maneuver, in that format. Beyond running it through a spell checker, I will not modify the text of your maneuver. I will never change the modifiers or any effect that the maneuver has.
Any other submissions can be sent in any format you wish.
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