Logo Courtesy of J. Scott Pittman
The Online Source for Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game
Logo Courtesy of J. Scott Pittman
|Issue 9||April 2002|
Well, it certainly didn't take me long to break my New Year's resolution and come out with a late Pride. But it's here now and that's what matters.
We have a new word editor, at least for now. Galin_ra took it upon himself to convert Prides seven and eight to .doc format. I haven't actually looked over his conversions, but they've got to be better than what we had before so he gets credit in this issue. Whether or not he keeps the job is up to him.
Arkon, the writer that never sleeps, has once again given us what I've taken to calling 'The Arkon Three'. I'm particularly fond of this issue's Fortunes of War, which has the best line of the series so far.
CONTENDERS: JOE RANKIN
It changed his life. He began selecting digs based on legends of battles and managed to discover a great deal of lost knowledge, not only hand to hand combat but also of bladesmithing, tactics and strategy. He also joined one of Maurice Jackson's Kung Fu schools (see SF:STG).
Currently he is working on creating his own personal martial art style from scratch. The problem is that there are very few socially acceptable ways to test the effectiveness of your ideas. So he turned to the underground street fighting circuit. Not for fame, glory or any of usual reasons, but for science.
Appearance: A tall, rake thin man, who is always dressed in light clothing that rarely matches. He has sandy brown hair that has never seen a comb and pale green eyes. On the few times he feels it's important enough, he can be quite handsome, though much of the effect is lost due to his 'why am I in this suit?' attitude.
Role-Playing: You're a geek. A martial arts geek, but a geek never the less. You view fighting very academiclly and analytically, like any other scientific experiment. You are quite willing to take a severe beating to prove or disprove your latest theory. Despite this approach, there is still a large part of you that simply hates loosing. After your theory is tested you will then 'get serious', though often too late to turn the fight to your favor.
|Warrior's Pride Character Sheet|
|Name: Chad LaMontain|
|Style: Kung Fu|
School: One of Jackson's Schools
Signature: Inch thick glasses
Style Lore: 4
|Languages: English (Native), Latin, Mandarin, Klingon|
Monkey Grab Punch
Drunken Monkey Roll
|Backing: A couple of universities fund his digs|
Fame: He's written a book on the history of Kung Fu, with moderate success
Resources: Some of his achaeological finds are quite valuable
Sensei: Thanks to events told in SF:STG Maurice Jackson is spending more time on the martial aspect of his business
FICTION: FORTUNES OF WAR: ACTS OF SACRIFICE
|Episode Five: ...For the Kill|
"Knowing of nonexistence while knowing of existence is emptiness."
"But now it's not so fun, it's got you on the run
Like the barrel of a gun's at your head
And now the moment's fadin'
There's no need for hesitatin'
Cause' if you do you just might end up dead"
-Save Ferris, 'Angry Situation'
"I'm sorry you're here, lass," the man behind Xi said. She only half listened, her thoughts we consumed by the ring of cold steel pressed against the back of her neck. She thought she smelled gunpowder. "Now, I don't care why you're here. You're leaving, NOW."
Xi's heart was still for a second. She heard a voice, and took a moment before she realized she was talking. "I saw your death."
The world spun as the man slammed her against the wall. His single eye glared at her as he pressed the gun barrel to the bottom of her chin. "You're about to get yourself shot, little lady."
She tried hard to look into his remaining brown eye, but the patch over the empty socket kept drawing her attention. His Irish features would be handsome if she couldn't see the panic in his eyes. She briefly wished she had the luxury of his denial, even knowing that would be suicide. Again, she spoke without thinking. "Listen to me," Xi begged, it was hard not to think of the gun. "I had a vision, I know about the man you're chasing. He's worse than you think."
"Who am I chasing?"
"He- I don't see much of him. The Outsider did something to him. He's hollow."
"You're talking yourself into the Nut Hatch. You know that, right?"
Xi winced, and swallowed back the inhuman cold rising from her heart. "I know how you lost your eye."
"You have no idea who you're talking too."
"No, but I know you're important. You're also an idiot, but that's besi-"
"Ok, maybe you missed something, but I'M THE SON OF A #@&*\\$ HOLDING THE GUN here."
"Is that why she ate your eye?"
Something alien seized Xi's mind as the gun clicked. Just before the thunder of the bullet's launch filled the room, color drained out of Xi's body. The bullet ripped through her like a missile. The shockwave of the bullet's wake tore her apart, leaving her splattered in puddles all over the room. He backed away, gaping in horror as the waters of the room flowed together, reforming into a sprawled female form. Xi chocked back bile as she tried to rise only to fall to her knees. She dimly realized her jacket was gone, then the thought drowned in nausea.
Xi started to say something, but instead of forming words she fell forward as her stomach purged onto the rotted floor.
"What- You-," he managed. He spent a moment to think as she vomited again. "What the hell are you?"
"You shot me." She weakly croaked. "You sick @*\\$#%. You tried to kill me." She tried to stand, but barely raised her head before she collapsed on the floor.
"D-don't change the subject. What are you?"
"SCREW YOU!" She yelled as she shakily rose to her feet. "I don't want any of this! GODS! Do have any idea what that felt like?"
"It. Broke the sound barrier. IN MY DAMN HEAD!"
"You're still alive, mo-."
"SHUT UP!" She shouted with almost inhuman fury.
He feebly raised the gun and stepped back. "Look, you shocked me for a minu-"
"Put that thing away."
"Or what? That hit took a lot out of you. I don't care what kind of freaky-"
Xi glanced at him with a malevolent gleam in her eyes. "You are SO dead," she hissed.
She moved fast, grabbing his gun as her hand became an enveloping wave of water. He only managed to pull it out after it was completely saturated. Before he could get away, she locked her solid hand on his elbow and hammered her liquid arm into his face.
He tried to yell something, but only made a gurgling sound as fluid tendrils began probing his lungs. She shoved her victim against the wall. "You tried to kill me!" she accused him in a cold voice as his lips turned blue.
What am I doing!?
She tried to release him, but couldn't tear away.
He tried to KILL ME!
Cold hate radiated from her, creating crystals of frost around his mouth.
Stop me. Buddha, stop me from doing this.
Her paralysis was shattered by a distant scream that filled the house. She released him, letting her now bare arm reform into flesh and blood. He started to fall, coughing up blood and water. She caught him, held him up.
Their eyes met, and he followed as she ran to the source of the scream.
The hooded figure lifted the still-beating heart with bloodstained gloves, intoning guttural blasphemies in a loathsome language that burned Xi's ears as she rushed into the room. The open-chested body of the man lying on the strangely arranged tables gave a final shudder, and was still.
Her companion drew a second gun from his coat with blinding speed. "Daniel!" he cried as he sent a bullet through the hooded man's head. The bullet ripped a gaping hole in Daniel's skin, which hung in empty tatters. There was no blood in the wound. No bone, no muscle. Only empty skin.
Somehow the empty, faceless thing kept intoning its vile litany as it cut open the heart it held.
Three more shots were fired, leaving massive holes in Daniel's empty chest as he dropped the ruined heart in a bowl of burning coals.
Xi started to march toward the empty thing, when it reached toward her. It closed its hand around nothing, and was gripping Xi's throat. She felt a wave of vertigo as it lifted her in the air. Somehow, she had been pulled thirty feet in the blink of an eye.
"Pretty little pawn," it whispered. "Pretty little pawn. Pity I already found donor for the second sacrifice. Pity I have to kill you. But I can't have the Guardian interve-" a shot drowned out its words as a bullet tore off it's wrist. Xi fell unceremoniously fell to the ground with the hollow, gloved hand clinging to her.
"Pathetic," it softly assured them. "The master can enter at anytime now. He just needs a new set of senses. I almost picked you for that, demon-child, but He wanted an ear for music. Good night."
It turned away, seeming to slip away between nothingness. It escaped into the spaces between.
Next: The Sacrifice of the Senses
Ah, welcome back, Dearest Reader. As you can imagine, tracking down the stories of the Street Fighter circuit can be most difficult work. I have become rather professional at it, yet it seems more and more stories slip through my fingers each day. This story being a case in point, I only recently heard it, though it seems everyone else has heard some variant. I have not, Dearest Reader, been remiss in bringing this tale to you. I simply had not the fortune to hear it until recently.
I had been trying to unwind following a... disturbing encounter, and found myself nursing a drink late one night at the First Round. Antoine, knowing this to be far outside of my typical behavior, joined me at my table. With him came his lady friend, a petite Asian beauty whose name I did not have the fortune to learn.
We talked late into the night, about the parties at the First Round that I always seem to just miss, about some rising stars of the Circuit, and stories, of course. The dear lady called this an old one, and was surprised I had not heard it before. And so, the lady began the tale....
|The Lost Gym|
|"I suppose it's rather common, there are too many Fighters looking for some kind of 'edge' rather than stand by their own abilities. It's sad, really. They coast through their fights with their mind's eye on ‘the perfect move', or 'the unbeatable combo'. Or a 'secret technique'.|
"There was an earthquake in San Francisco. 1906, I think. A part of the town was swallowed into the Earth. Among the lost was a gym run by a man named 'Qualain'. Qualain was supposed to be a man ahead of his time, a boxer who had spent his youth seeking out practitioners of other styles, and testing himself against them. With each fight, he refined his methods, seeking to perfect his art.
"He had mostly settled down by the time of the quake, and had started teaching his own variant to any who had the discipline. He was, unfortunately, a better fighter than a teacher. The city was distraction to his students, and most couldn't understand the need for meditation- these weren't exactly the golden days of Western Martial Arts.“ Some say that when the quake hit, he went to some of his most dedicated students and offered to teach them everything he knew in the seclusion of the ruins. Those who accepted the offer helped rebuilt the gym, and they started learning, and then experimenting in their style. At some point, they were said to have abandoned the pretense that their style was still boxing.
"Now, I don't usually put too much stock in these tales, but one of the fighters Sagat beat to untie the Titles was supposed to have been an unusual Kick boxer in California. And I still haven't placed the style of one contender I met; and he was good, he almost had me.
"On the other hand, I know about a lot of fighters who went looking and never found anything.
"Or maybe that's just the first test."
I'm Your Boogeyman
Contributed by Arkon
Hook: The PCs meet a child wandering alone after a tournament. The child will wordlessly follow them, but has a knack for disappearing whenever the PCs meet with anyone else. The child will never speak, and seems oblivious to most of what goes on.
Line: With some investigation, the PCs will find that the child is a missing person from the early 1900's.
At night, the child becomes very agitated, and will always stay with one of the PCs, taking steps to frighten others away if needed. At some point when the PC's let their guard down at night, a clearly inhuman being tries to take the child away.
Sinker: The being exists in another world, and can only crossover at night. The child was taken to become a protégé to the creature; but slipped back to this world. The creature will try to take back the child any way it can, and has a vast array of Focus powers to use. It can only try on three nights (which don't have to be consecutive), so it will plan each attempt carefully. It will make full use of deceit, power, cunning, and will even bargain.
Even if the PCs thwart the creature, they have to deal with the child. The child has lost all grip on reality as we know it, but has learned some rather impressive alien tricks over the decades....
...Up My Sleeve
Contributed by Arkon
Hook: A flamboyant stage magician challenges one of the PCs to fight in a tournament. He wins the fight with a final, desperate move.
Line: Sometime after the match, the PCs are mailed a tape that shows the winning move from a different angle; the tape depicts the magician pulling an object out of his sleeve to enhance his move (such as brass knuckles). The specific object drawn does not have to be against the rules (if any) of the match, but should be something that will offend the PC's sensibilities and would be frowned upon even if used openly.
Sinker: The tape is a fake, close analysis will show it was digitally altered; but any questioning will quickly prove the man is obviously hiding something. In truth, the magician himself made the tape. He intends to publicly make himself seem a victim of a vicious slur, and privately convince the PCs he is being unjustly blackmailed. Will the PCs see though his elaborate plans? Or will this Machiavellian schemer become one of their confidents?
Nerve, Part 3: Wolfe's Artist
Contributed by Arkon
'Nerve' is a series of adventure outlines that can be added to a Chronicle or used as the basis for a new Chronicle. Comments would be greatly appreciated, particularly on how different teams came through each part. I will attempt to take into account as many possibilities as possible in this outline.
Part 3 requires the PCs to have attracted the interest of the mysterious Mr. Wolfe.
Mr. Wolfe, a man of mystery and dark schemes (See Part 2)
Lena, an obsessive artist with an suppressed, but incurable, mental disorder, she works for Mr. Wolfe in exchange for a unique medication that keeps her from slipping into a permanent catatonic trance.
Hook: The PCs notice an artist sketching them at their matches. If they ignore her, she'll begin sending them her paintings as she finishes them. This will continue until they talk to her or Wolfe dispenses with her.
Line: When the PCs talk to her, Lena tells the PCs that she's using them for inspiration. She will thank them for paintings they inspired and will offer them each a private session. If none of the PCs accept, she will single out the most charismatic (or artistic) PC and act as though attracted to them.
Sinker: Lena has been ordered to get the PCs alone and drug their drinks, or her medication will be withdrawn. She feels sorry for her victims, but cannot openly defy Wolfe, though she will try to covertly warn the PCs. If the PCs manage to obtain the formula for the medication she needs, she will enthusiastically aid them against Wolfe.
The drug she uses on them has two parts. She delivers the first, which lies dormant until they receive the second part, which Wolfe will deliver himself in a public place. The full effects are up to the Storyteller, though the compound is experimental; Wolfe's own expectations of the effects are only speculation.
No matter how his plans turn out, Wolfe will try to murder Lena; he fears she knows more about him than she actually does.
Next: Heart of Darkness
And so another issue of Warrior's Pride comes to a close. Coming soon to a Pride near you will be my second article. It may not be in issue ten, but it should be in eleven at the latest. I'm sure Arkon will continue to supply us with our much needed Legends and Fortunes fixes, not to mention more Hook, Line and Sinkers. We may even be able to swindle another logo out of Pittman.
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