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  #1  
Old Sep 14th, 2018, 03:37 PM
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Kang Ji-hwan, hwarang of Koryo

Author's NotesThis initiative had its origin in an application made for the game Hoard of the Dragon Queen,
and I'll write it in small episodes. The short version is available in the application itself, here I intend to bring more content and define important details that shaped the personality and
the class choices of my young warrior.

I hope you all enjoy and have fun with this unpretentious journey.

Since I am an English student, my native language is Korean, I will do my best and hope to learn a lot as I create these stories.

And now, towards Kara-tur!
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Old Sep 14th, 2018, 03:49 PM
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Chapter I - Humble Beginnings

The scents enveloping the Dojang were almost irresistible.
The smell of sweat from the arduous training was mixing with the sweet and spicy one of the kimchi made in the temple kitchen. This calmed the pain he felt in his muscles after punching and kicking for so long. He was good at it, but he needed to learn much more with the sword to become a sacred knight and finally gain the right to be someone.

"You would be an excellent monk, I do not know why you insist on this nonsense of the way of the sword.".

That soft, sweet voice came once more to torment his training. He was exhausted and hungry, but he had not finished his hyong routines yet.
He looked reprehensively at the young Soo-nyeo. She quickly hid behind the small mossy wall from where she was observing Ji-hwan training.
She knew how difficult it was for him the life in the temple, and she felt that such a beautiful face did not deserve so much suffering.

As the illegitimate son of one of the strongest noble warrior of the kingdom and the most beautiful concubine of Xi Hulang, the young man had inherited the beauty of his mother and the strength and courage of his father.
However, he had also inherited the status of a bastard, something that barred all his opportunities in a society like Koryo's.
His training was more difficult than that of his colleagues, he was mistreated and his tasks were always
the most complex.
If society's contempt for being a bastard and the envy of his natural beauty were not enough,
there was still the rumor that his mother had been a powerful shaman in her youth, a bridge
between the world of spirits and the mortal world, and had left this life to become the lord Kang's concubine.

And few there really liked shamans.

"I saw you there, Soo-nyeo! You do not have to hide. I was already stopping my training, anyway.".

He did his best to hide his feelings, but her visits were all he had of emotional support.
His mother had disappeared a few years ago, rumors said she had been taken away by the demonic spirits
because of her shamanism, others said that she had run away with who had paid her more.

And Lord Kang, his biological father, gave him no support, despised him.

In the queue of the cafeteria, as usual being pushed to the end of the line by the other children, he
met the person who would change his life, the newly arrived Master Chun.
The old master had observed Ji-hwan's arduous training and fervent prayers since the beginning of the day.

"You, little one ..." - said the monk - "... come sit with me. Take your rice bowl and come here.".
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Old Sep 21st, 2018, 09:59 AM
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Chapter II - The Journey to Pyong Do

Master Chun guided the young man for the rest of his stormy years as a student.
He had two goals. The first was to strengthen the body and mind of Ji-hwan, because in order to win in life and win his rightful place he should be more, be better than the rest.
And the second was to polish the heart of his pupil and develop his empathy towards life. All that training and the foolish hatred of society was turning the young man's heart into stone.
With the permission of the masters, they traveled to Pyong Do, and that was one of the most wonderful events of Ji-hwan's life.

That was the first time that he left Xi Hulang in his life.
They boarded a colorful caravan that always smelled like spices and always sounded like happiness. Music the whole time, people dancing during the stops, and no one there to call him a bastard.
The only thing that squeezed painfully his heart was the longing for Soo-nyeo. He did not even have time to say goodbye properly since they traveled so suddenly.
Either way, he could shake his thoughts away from this pain with the events that were happening at all times. The long journey passed through Tu Pe, the largest city he had ever seen, and he was used to the capital of the kingdom itself. In the large central market, where a cacophony of infinite sounds mixed with a landscape of vivid colors, he was sure he could find anything from anywhere in the world.

Passing in a small tent that stood out from the others around it due to its simplicity and torn rags, he saw an old lady, sitting on the floor and selling small wooden sculptures and seashells. With her eyes practically white and even seeming to be completely blind, she looked directly at him, and Ji-hwan never felt so exposed, so deeply watched.

"It took you longer than I expected to get here, sacred knight. I kept what I promised here..." - and she stretched her hands to give him something.

"You must be mistaken... I am only a disciple, I still have years of training until I can become a sacred knight, and I do not even know if... "- but he froze at the beauty of what the lady was giving him.
It was a small wooden dragon, its scales were tiny seashells. Was a craftwork of a mastery he did not even think existed.
And one detail caught his eye even more than the rest: the dragon had five heads.

"What is this, exactly? It's beautiful... but it's not mine... I do not know about it...".

But the tent was empty in front of him. There was only a small rag on the floor where the old woman sat moments ago, with an embroidered ideogram that meant "destiny."
He felt more frightened than happy at this gift. He remembered what his mother had told him, her words were always present in his mind and heart, she taught him about the spirits and how they bring us warnings. But that, although very beautiful, did not make any sense to him. And so, like a cold rain, the voice of his master calling took him out of that trance.

The trip continued to Pyong Do. For days he had been immersed in a life that did not seem to be his, and that made him wish he could never leave.

Arriving there they went straight to the Do Jang of Won Kwang, the most respected martial training center in the kingdom.
The monks there did not care about social standing, past history or political intrigues. The training of the path of Foot and Fist and its primordial philosophy were all that mattered.

Even reducing his training with the sword, which was truly his greatest passion, in there he was at peace.
There, he could become what he was meant to be.
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