metzomagic.com Walkthrough

Jade Empire (XBOX)

Developer:  Bioware
Publisher:  Microsoft

Walkthrough by Steve Metzler (June, 2005)

Note: all images, The History of the Jade Empire section, the text in each chapter heading, and the fighting style descriptions are copyright © Bioware and Microsoft, 2005.

Additional note: all spelling in this guide, except where used in the title of a fighting style or something else that is immutable, is in English as practiced in Ireland. So no, those are not spelling errors ;-)

Introduction
Jade Empire is a landmark console role-playing game. Though the character development and puzzle elements are less rich than in your standard PC fare, the story, pacing, cinematic effects, and dialogue are otherwise excellent. Here is a bit of the introduction from the manual to whet your appetite:

The History of the Jade Empire
The Jade Empire. Fashioned from the Void by the will of the Great Dragon and blessed from its creation, the empire stands at the heart of the civilised world - a cultural wellspring in a sea of barbarity.

The majesty of the Sun Dynasty has guided our people for generations, preserving our prosperity throughout the ages. The peace of the realm was broken only when nature itself rebelled, withering the land in a decade of thirst. But even this the Emperor Sun Hai would not allow. For when he declared the Long Drought at an end, it was so.

Though you were raised far from the benevolent gaze of the Emperor, you have learned much here in Two Rivers - including control over your body and the mastery of your mind. But the end of your time at this borderland school draws near. Now, experience will replace lessons as you travel beyond the shelter of Two Rivers. Remember that though the reach of the Empire stretches far, powerful spirits lurk just beneath the surface, and the threat of chaos is ever present.

It is natural that as an orphan, you would have many questions. And while your enquiries to this point have been met with silence, perhaps on this day, answers at last will find you.

Tips
Firstly, this guide is for the XBOX version of the game. I haven't played the PC version, but here is a pretty good rundown of the differences between the two versions: link to article on GameFAQs.com.

There are a lot of moral choices to make in this game, and you can play it by following one of two main philosophical paths:

The Way of the Open Palm: I suppose this is the 'good' way to play the game. When faced with a choice, put the concerns of others ahead of those of your own. Never demand or accept a reward for a deed you have done when a simple thank you will do instead.

The Way of the Closed Fist: this is the 'evil' way. Just think selfishly, and always accept short term gains, damn the consequences. Make it a point to piss people off at every opportunity. You get the idea.

It doesn't really seem to matter which path you choose. Power in this game comes by the way of magical gems, and there are 'good' and 'evil' versions of each gem. There are one or two fighting styles that are only available to followers of each path, but again, these styles are very similar. In the end, it's up to you. I make no recommendation in this respect.

Character Selection
At the very start of the game, you must choose a character. Basically, you are choosing two fighting styles that complement each other: a martial style and a support style. Martial styles are the flamboyant styles that do all the damage. Support styles are used to slow down your opponents, to set them up for a martial style kill.

There are only six starting characters to choose from in Jade Empire, and there is some overlap to accommodate male/female choices of the same character type. Here are the six characters and their starting compositions. You can accept each character as is, or customise them to suit your needs. You don't even have to take the starting martial style, but you are stuck with the support style. Detailed information on the various fighting styles can be found at the end of this guide.

Tiger Shen

Character Type: Strong
Starting Styles: White Demon, Heavenly Wave
Tiger Shen starts off slowly, but powerfully. You can eventually get him to speed up a bit, but this is definitely your brawn over brains type of character.

Radiant Jen Zi

Character Type: Fast
Starting Styles: Thousand Cuts, Heavenly Wave
Jen Zi is the female version of the fast character. Thousand Cuts is aptly named. Very fast.

Scholar Ling

Character Type: Magic
Starting Styles: Leaping Tiger, Heavenly Wave
Scholar Ling is one of the most formidable starting characters, and the one that adapts the most easily to magic styles, once they become available. Leaping Tiger is great fun to watch.

Lu the Prodigy

Character Type: Balanced
Starting Styles: Legendary Strike, Heavenly Wave
This is the male version of the Balanced character type. Legendary Strike is, of course, a balanced martial style: not too fast, yet quite powerful.

Wu the Lotus Blossom

Character Type: Balanced
Starting Styles: Legendary Strike, Heavenly Wave
This is the female version of the Balanced character type. Again, the martial style is Legendary Strike.

Furious Ming

Character Type: Fast
Starting Styles: Thousand Cuts, Heavenly Wave
Furious Ming is the male version of the fast character. Thousand Cuts is the starting martial style.

General Advice
Wherever you see a yellow flag on your map, speaking to the person at that location will normally result in you obtaining a quest.

In this guide, quests are documented in the area that you receive them in. The area you eventually complete them in may be further afield.

From time to time, you receive or pick up items that you can use somewhere. In Jade Empire, these are referred to as 'plot items', but we all know them more commonly as your inventory. To access your inventory, go to your Journal screen, then use the 'X' button to examine these Plot Items in detail.

There is a mini-game that involves trying to shoot down enemy aircraft while you are in a flyer, en route to various destinations through the course of the game. I have little interest in such things, so I didn't bother to partake. Fortunately, you can choose whether or not to play this mini-game on each occasion.

You will spend a large part of time in the Jade Empire, well, fighting. There are three difficulty levels:

  1. Student.
  2. Master.
  3. Grand Master.

I suppose the difficulty level you choose depends largely on what you want to get out of this game. I would recommend Student if you are here mostly for the story. You can basically wade right in without having to worry about replaying all but the most difficult of battles. Master is doable, but you will have to concentrate harder during your fights, and evade/roll a lot more. You may wind up repeating quite a few fights. Grand Master is only for those with quick reflexes, and great patience. The great thing is, you can change the difficulty level prior to any especially hard battle, and then change back again to your default level of difficulty.

Whenever the journal icon flashes at the top left of your screen, it's a good idea to nick into your journal to see what new quest you have received.

You may only have one 'follower' at a time aiding you in combat. They can either fight alongside you, or assist you by topping up your Health, Chi, or Focus (depending on the follower). I found it best to have them fight. They don't do too much damage, but they at least distract one enemy at a time, taking a bit of the enemy focus away from you.

Whenever you level up, or use gems, consider keeping a bit of balance between Body, Spirit, and Mind. Magic users can bolster Spirit at the expense of other things to fuel their magic attacks, and weapon users can boost Focus to feed their weapon, but I wouldn't go too far off balance. There are situations later in the game where all three attributes are essential.

At least read the section in the manual concerning Fighting Styles. It's important to know what types of creatures are immune to each style so that you can plan ahead for decisive battles.

Harmonic Combos do not play as big a role in the game as they do in the manual or in the on-screen descriptions of fighting styles. Usually, a power attack ('X' button) in a support or magic style can initiate a Harmonic Combo. You then switch to a martial style to finish off your opponent. Nice when it happens, but not such a big deal.

When detailing what you get from completing quests, I did not include either the XP or silver gained from defeating enemies that are part of the quest. For one thing, the amount of silver gained is random. So just consider these benefits to be... incidental.

I almost despair of having to repeat this essential advice, but here goes once again: save the game at every opportunity where you get a breather. You never know when you are about to mess up a conversation, or get yourself killed in battle.

And now, without further ado...

Chapter 1
Wherein a Master foretells of doom,
A rival challenges for station,
And the past haunts the present.

Your training nears its completion in the idyllic setting of Two Rivers. Master Li promises that soon you will know more of how you came here and where your future will lead. All the while, strange tales begin to spread of ghosts that will not rest and shadowy assassins who heed no law.

School
You meet Jing Woo in the sparring ring. Agree to fight him. This is your first bit of training, and you have to follow the instructions given. Once control is passed back to your character save the game, for this is your starting point. You have received Quest 1 below, which is to speak with Master Li, but first a little exploration is in order...

Seek out Smiling Mountain. You can't afford his tutelage yet, but remember this option for later on when you have a few silver. Once you can afford it, you should buy only one technique from him, as they offset each other. I also thought these techniques were, at 400 silver a pop, rather expensive for what you get. For instance, adding 3 to your Chi when you already have 160 points worth results in a mere 2% gain. Though, I suppose every bit helps in a pinch. Anyway, here are the various options:

Technique Cost What you get Most benefit to
Belly of Iron 400 silver Health +3
Chi -1
Any character that feels they need a health boost
Heart of Gold 400 silver Chi +3
Focus -1
Magic users
Mind of Steel 400 silver Focus +3
Health -1
Weapon users

You can fight a few of Smiling Mountain's students for 10 XP, but this soon becomes boring as they are quite easily defeated. You only accrue 10 XP no matter how many times you fight, so don't spend too long here.

This is a good time to become familiar with the mapping system. Use the 'X' key to turn on the mini-map. Hit 'X' again to double the size of the map. If you need to look at the full map for an area, go into the menu. Then you can use the Navigate button to highlight the various points of interest.

If you head for the gazebo in the west and speak to Wen, you get the opportunity to spar with him as well. This proves to be a little more worthwhile, as you get 32 XP for this endeavour. Again, you only receive the XP once, so no use fighting him again and again, unless you feel you need the practice. But for the best practice attainable at this stage of the game, go back to the sparring ring where you first encountered Jing Woo and arrange a match with Lin. You don't get any points for defeating her, but you get a good taste of what's to come! Keep arranging fights with Lin until you can best her most of the time. Then you are truly ready to face your first real battles. One thing you should practice is using the Switch Style ('+' button) to select Heavenly Wave, using it to slow your opponent down, then switching back to your primary style to finish them off. Remember that you can pause combat at any time with the Back button should you need to gather your thoughts.

Once you're comfortable with your fledgling fighting skills, approach Master Li's house to the east, and have your first run-in with Gao the Lesser on the steps as you approach. Go inside and talk to Master Li. See Quest 1 below.

Quests

  • 1.  A Master's Teachings: Speak with Master Li - Quest 2.
    Master Li informs you that it is time to leave the school. You have probably already figured out that you are the premier student. During the conversation, a student approaches to advise that bandits have attacked the town. Master Li then breaks off the conversation, and you get Quest 2. There is a Scroll stand and a Bookstand on Master Li's front porch, whereby you can gain 20 XP by doing a bit of light reading at each.

  • 2.  A Master's Teachings: Find Dawn Star - your first follower.
    Head to the SE, exit via the school gate, and pick up Dawn Star. There is a Spirit Font and Focus Shrine close to here, should you require a top-up of either. Then exit to Two Rivers when you are ready.

  • 3.  The Lions of Two Rivers: An Ancient Test - 1 XP and 1 silver coin.
    There is a lion statue in the room behind where you talked to Master Li. Obtain the figurines from the chest nearby. Then approach the altar:

    (Open Palm) Feed the figurines to the statue according to the colour that is presented. You can do this as many times as you wish for more XP and silver, but really...

    (Closed Fist) Destroy the altar. You get 25 silver worth of immediate gratification, but the statue is destroyed and you lose the figurines.

  • 4.  The Lions of Two Rivers: Playing by New Rules - Gaze of the Lion.
    In the NE area of the school grounds is the tomb of an old master of the school. If you part with the silver you got from Quest 3, you receive a Lion Head Token in return. Return to the lion statue in the back room of Master Li's, and place this Lion Head Token in the mouth of the lion statue. Now it appears that the statue is looking for a green figurine? Well, not exactly...

    1. Place the blue figurine on the altar, followed by the yellow one. You have now produced a green combination, and the statue responds by changing the required colour to orange.
    2. Remove the blue figurine, and place the red figurine on the altar. The statue responds by changing the colour to purple.
    3. Remove the yellow figurine, and place the blue figurine on the altar.

    You have just learned the technique called Gaze of the Lion, which adds 2 points to both your Health and Focus.

  • 5.  Kia Min: Ask Old Ming About Herbs - Two Rivers Quests 3 and 4.
    After you return from the battle on the beach, talk to Kia Min, who is standing next to Jing Woo outside Master Li's house. She was wounded in the battle, and could help to make up a record number of students to face you in order to gain a 'special prize' from Smiling Mountain... were it not for this wound. She mentions that Old Ming might know of a herb that could cure her quickly. So head back to the beach and talk to Old Ming. On your way back to the beach, if you speak to the villager at the end of the path, you get Two Rivers Quest 2. Anyway... Old Ming informs you that a Red Silk Grass Poultice is necessary to properly heal Kia Min. You can buy a Bearded Tongue Grass Poultice for less, but that will not properly heal her and she may become permanently injured as a result. You thus receive Two Rivers Quests 3 and 4. Go to the merchant Fen Do to buy either poultice.

  • 6.  A Master's Teachings: Answer Gao's Challenge - 370 XP and Quest 7.
    Gao is probably the most difficult challenge you have yet to face, but he's not impossible to defeat. At the end of the contest he tries to use a forbidden magical style on you, but Master Li intervenes and expels him from the school for trying this on. You get 200 XP for defeating Gao, plus 370 XP more for completing this quest. You now have Quest 7.

  • 7.  A Master's Teachings: Learn More from Master Li - learn about your history and destiny, and obtain Quest 8.
    Go speak with Master Li once again. Well, this is a bit hard to digest in one gulp. Master Li is none other than a brother of the Emperor! He apparently rescued you as a baby after he rebelled against his brother, who wrongfully killed your people. And now the emperor and his evil minions, including this nasty-looking piece of work known as Death's Hand, have stumbled upon yourself and Master Li once again, even though you two have been hiding out in the furthest corner of the Empire. Bummer, but I suppose it wouldn't be much of a game otherwise, eh?

    Once this conversation has reached an end, Master Li sends you into the spirit cave. See Quest 8.

  • 8.  A Master's Teachings: Explore the Spirit Cave - Dragon Amulet and a magic style of your choice.
    Advance into the cave, and read Master Li's instructions on the gate, which then opens. Head further into the cave and take the Dragon Amulet from the pillar in the north. Equip the Flawed Warrior Gem in the amulet, and this increases your Health by 10... but it also attracts some spirits who are drawn by the amulet's magic power. Defeat them. There is a vase in the west part of this chamber from which you can recover 55 silver, and one to the NE where you get 45 silver and a Health power-up. When you are ready, approach the gate to the north and select the option hold up the Dragon Amulet. You can now read Master Li's inscription, and the gate opens to allow you access to the next part of the caves.

    Soon there is another gate. Save your game before entering here, as a tough battle is about to ensue. Once you defeat the old master and the two demons he has summoned, you are visited by a benevolent spirit. You learn that you are the last of your kind, a Spirit Monk. She will grant you a magic style, but you can choose only one of fire (Dire Flame) or ice (Ice Shard). Once she disappears, you have received Quest 9. But first, access the two Scroll stands for some more knowledge of the spirit world. Get the 100 silver from the bones, and open the chest there to learn a technique called Structured Body (Health +3, Intimidation +1), and also acquire another gem for your Dragon Amulet.

  • 9.  A Master's Teachings: Exit the Spirit Cave - return to the real world.
    The mysterious spirit has created a portal behind you. Once you have finished exploring the spirit cave, enter the portal to return to Master Li. As you are talking to Master Li, Jing Woo interrupts, and you get Quest 10.

  • 10.  The Search for Dawn Star: Find Dawn Star - Dawn Star becomes your follower again.
    Jing Woo informs Master Li that Dawn Star has been kidnapped, apparently by Gao and his men. Master Li suggests that she might be somewhere in the marshlands. He gives you 250 silver, and advises you to buy some more essence gems from Smiling Mountain, which he in turn obtained from Fen Do. These will cost you 200 silver each. Remember that if you un-equip one of your currently equipped gems, you can sell it back to Smiling Mountain for 100 silver.

    Head for Two Rivers then, and as soon as you enter the village you learn that Gao went by here dragging a sack, and that he killed the unfortunate student Si Pat who foolishly tried to question him. It seems you might have a chance of catching Gao before he leaves the village. So make your way to the town gate all the way to the north, and you come upon two of Gao's men standing over a fallen gate guard. You should be able to use Intimidation to get rid of them. If not, you will have to fight them. The gate guard (Yung) has now recovered. Talk to him then, and you get Two Rivers Quest 6.

Two Rivers
Take care of the two bandits, then head through the archway to the north and locate weapon master Gujin's store. Choose either the legendary long sword, Fortune's Favorite, or the famed staff, Golden Star, depending on your fighting style preference. A sword naturally deals out more damage, but a staff is good for keeping opponents at arm's length, as you would have learned by sparring with Lin. Then head back to the town square and dispatch the bandits there. Remember, if you want to use your weapon instead of your primary martial arts style, you need to switch to that weapon style. Weapons also consume Focus points. If you need to top-up after that skirmish, there is a Focus Shrine in Gujin's store and a Spirit Font just north of there. Finally, head east to the beach, and engage in your first major battle. You even get to fight some spirits (also remember that weapon styles are useless against spirits). Use the Block ('B') key in combination with the left-hand joystick to dodge the cannon blasts during the battle. Master Li intervenes at the very end, so you don't have to fight the big bad guy. Awh. It seems that Master Li was recognised by this bandit leader. You thus receive Quest 1 below.

After the battle, talk to Ni Joh:

(Open Palm) Assure him that his father is alive and well, and you get some Open Palm points.

(Closed Fist) Tell him that his father was weak, and deserved to die. Closed Fist points for this.

You can also talk at length with Old Ming for some historical perspective. Then head back towards the village, and you bump into Mrs. Jong at the end of the path that leads from the beach. Dawn Star speaks to her concerning her deceased son. No matter which conversation choice you pick afterwards, you don't seem to gain or lose anything from this encounter. I suppose the point is to just teach you a bit about the spirit world. After speaking with her, backtrack a bit and go through the cave to collect the Bandit's Loot (95 silver).

Back at the village square, the merchant Fen Do doesn't have anything for purchase right now, so only worth it to strike up a conversation if you feel like some more idle chatter. There are some drunks just to the south of the square, Gao's henchmen as it turns out, that you can dispatch for some silver. You don't seem to gain any Closed Fist points for picking this fight. Also 25 silver in a barrel there.

When you are finished exploring, return to the school.

Back at the school, you can purchase a technique from Smiling Mountain if you have managed to amass more than 400 silver as a result of defeating the bandits. Then go in to see Master Li to complete Quest 1 below...

Quests

  • 1.  A Master's Teachings: Return to Master Li - School Quest 6.
    Master Li tells you about facing challenges in a spirit cave to complete your training, but Gao jumps in and demands equal rights. He challenges you to a duel to see who gets the privilege to enter this cave. See School Quest 6.

  • 2.  An Unfortunate Debt - 40 XP.
    Speak to the villager at the end of the path near the beach. He owes Gao the Greater 20 silver - the price of a small pig, if you must know:

    (Open Palm) Use Charm or whatever to coerce him into allowing you to pay his debt. Open Palm points for this, natch.

    (Closed Fist) Tell him that you think he's just looking for a handout. You don't get any Closed Fist points for this, or any XP. But at least you avoid gaining Open Palm points.

  • 3.  Kia Min: Acquire a Red Silk Grass Poultice - Quest 5.
    (Open Palm) Fen Do is asking 50 silver for the Red Silk Grass Poultice, but you can use whichever is strongest of your Charm, Intuition, or Intimidation skills to get the price knocked down to 40 silver. This poultice will properly heal Kia Min.

  • 4.  Kia Min: Acquire a Bearded Tongue Grass Poultice - Quest 5.
    (Closed Fist) Speak to Fen Do and buy the Bearded Tongue Grass Poultice. You can talk him down to a price of 20 silver. By being a cheapskate, you make Kia Min feel well enough to fight knowing that she will become crippled as a result.

  • 5.  Kia Min: Deliver the poultice to Kia Min - Alloyed Body plus 100 silver.
    No matter which poultice you purchased from Fen Do, presenting it to Kia Min will allow her to round out the numbers so that you may win a 'special prize' from Smiling Mountain for facing a record number of students simultaneously in sparring.

    (Open Palm) Accept no payment from Kia Min for Open Palm points.

    (Closed Fist) Lie to Kia Min that the poultice cost you 50 silver. She pays up, and you get Closed Fist points.

    In either case, save your game first, and you can now approach Smiling Mountain, who offers to let you face a record number of 5 students. As a reward you get some silver, and learn the technique Alloyed Body, which adds 5 points each to both your Health and Focus. Not bad.

    (Closed Fist) If you gave Kia Min the inferior poultice, she is crippled after the training, and you get Closed Fist points. Then talk to Kia Min and let her know what you did to her, for yet more Closed Fist points.

  • 6.  The Search for Dawn Star: Pursue Gao to the marshes - 90 XP.
    You receive this quest after talking to the Two Rivers gate guard as you are chasing after Gao, who has kidnapped Dawn Star. So now we enter the swamp. See section on Swamp below.

  • 7.  The Burning Town: Find Survivors - leave the village forever.
    Make your way towards the burning village by heading SW. You come upon two of Gao the Greater's men killing off survivors. Easily dispatched. Keep heading west through the gate. A Spirit Font and Focus Shrine are here should you need them. Continuing along the path, you might bump into Kia Min. If so, she advises you to head to the school to help the remaining survivors. You engage in a fight with quite a few of Gao's men this time, and finally catch up with Dawn Star as she attends to a dying Jing Woo.

    It turns out that Sagacious Zu knows quite a lot about the Lotus Assassins that were sent to capture Master Li, and of their leader, Death's Hand... because he was once one of them! Zu suggests that you all head for the Imperial City in Gao's flyer, as this is the best place to pick up the trail of Master Li.

    You get the choice of whether to attack the flyers between here and Tien's Landing, or to evade. Your choice. Zu crash-lands the flyer on the outskirts of Tien's Landing, and you have made it to Chapter 2.

Swamp
There is a ruined gazebo right near where you enter the swamp, with a Spirit Font concealed inside. As you approach the gazebo you hear voices. Head to the north of the gazebo to receive Quest 1 below.

Continue north from where you met Merchant Hing, and you will come upon a hermit fighting some of Gao's men. See Quest 2.

Quests

  • 1.  The Flower of the Fields - 125 XP and 250 silver.
    You come upon some bandits attacking a merchant. Dispatch the bandits, then talk to the merchant, whose name is Hing:

    (Open Palm) Offer to recover his precious Fen.

    (Closed Fist) Tell him his concerns are of no interest to you, for Closed Fist points. You still get this quest anyway.

    You finally encounter a woman being set upon by bandits in the NE part of the swamp. You think you've just saved Fen, but you would be wrong. The lovely Fen turns out to be none other than Merchant Hing's water buffalo! Chuckle.

    (Closed Fist) You get the XP and the silver no matter what, but if you ask for a reward, you also get Closed Fist points.

  • 2.  The Search for Dawn Star: A camp to the north - 125 XP and you learn the whereabouts of Dawn Star.
    By speaking to Sagacious Zu you can convince him to help you, though he is quite reluctant. He only seems to come around once you mention the name Dawn Star. He joins you as a follower, and points out that the camp where Dawn Star is being held is to the north. Once you locate the camp, take out Gao's men, only to find out from the lone survivor that Dawn Star is no longer there. She apparently fled to a cave, and Gao went after her. Zu says he knows this cave, and it's occupied by ogres and other creatures of ill repute. Nice one.

    (Open Palm) Let Gao's man go after interrogating him, for Open Palm points.

    (Closed Fist) Kill him, for Closed Fist points.

    Note the strange mechanical flyer near here, but you can't seem to do anything with it yet. There are some bones near the flyer that contain a gem and some silver. You now have Quest 3.

  • 3.  The Search for Dawn Star: Rescue Dawn Star from Gao - 200 XP and Gentle Persuasion.
    Head north from the mechanical flyer and enter the swamp cave. Just after you enter, you witness a cut scene whereby Gao has pursued Dawn Star deep into the cave, but inadvertently cut off their exit by causing part of the ceiling to collapse while fighting an ogre. Head to the east, and take on the two ogres there. There are two chests behind where the ogres were standing. Careful, the chest on the left is trapped.

    As you make your way to the north in this cave, you will encounter a toad demon. You acquire the Toad Demon transformation style once you defeat this creature. Fairly useful. Just past there you come upon Dawn Star and Gao. Uh oh. It looks like Gao spirited Dawn Star away from the village because he knows something really bad is about to happen there. You can enlist either Dawn Star or Zu's help in fighting Gao. I found that holding him off with quick attacks was the best way, preventing him from firing off his deadly magic:

    (Closed Fist) After defeating Gao, tell Dawn Star that you hate being saddled with Master Li's cast-off chores, for Closed Fist points.

    You get 200 XP for defeating Gao, plus you receive the powerful gem called Gentle Persuasion (Intimidation +5, Body +1, Spirit +1) from Dawn Star as a reward for saving her. You will also find the technique Viper's Wit (Focus +2, Charm +1) in one of the chests there. You now have Quest 4.

  • 4.  The Search for Dawn Star: Return to Two Rivers - Two Rivers Quest 7.
    Upon exiting the cave, your worst fears are realised as you view a swarm of flyers headed for Two Rivers. Your party automatically returns to the camp and uses Gao's mechanical flyer to return to Two Rivers. As you approach Two Rivers, you are involved in a mini-game whereby you have to try and shoot down as many enemy flyers as possible. You can disengage at any time where you will be taken to what remains of the school and village. See Two Rivers Quest 7.

Chapter 2
Wherein the fall of Dirge is detailed,
The woman in black speaks of Death's Hand,
And Gao the Greater learns the fate of his son.

Two Rivers is in ruins, and Master Li has been taken captive. It is clear that this attack was carefully orchestrated and that shadowy forces have taken an interest in you and those around you. Leaving your home of twenty years, you set out after Death's Hand and his Lotus Assassins, intent on discovering the reasons behind this assault.

Tien's Landing
Take either Dawn Star or Sagacious Zu with you, depending on whom you prefer as company. As you move away from the flyer, you are attacked by spirits.

Note: from here onwards I won't be detailing every enemy encounter, only the significant ones. The first reason for this being that I don't want to ruin all the surprises that are in store. The second reason is that you are probably quite capable of dealing with these matters all by yourself at this stage in the proceedings.

Once you have defeated your attackers, you receive another visitation from the creature you met in the spirit cave. She tells you that there are actually four pieces comprising the Dragon Amulet you are carrying. Three of them are physical, and can be recovered. The fourth piece can only be earned. Head away from the crashed flyer and start making your way south. You will see what turns out to be an open bridge to the west. Head into the covered bridge structure near a Spirit Font. When you get through to the other side, a mysterious woman clad in black attacks you. See Quest 2.

After your meeting with Silk Fox, continue east towards Tien's Landing. At the large marker stone where the road forks, heading north takes you to some old ruins, but you can't get in there yet. So take the south fork to the town of Tien's Landing. See Quest 1.

Upstairs in the teahouse, talk to the exotic chef Chai Jin who is standing by a makeshift kitchen in the SW corner. He challenges you to eat three of his dishes. You can choose dishes that affect the Body, Spirit, or Mind. Didn't seem to matter as long as you were all topped up in each to start with. After you consume the first three dishes, he offers to let you sample a fourth:

(Open Palm) Go for it. He returns your silver and presents you with a gem called The Bronze Tongue (Charm +4, Intimidation +4, Intuition +4). You also get 500 XP.

(Closed Fist) Use one of your conversation skills to get him to try the dish first. Oops. Loot his body for your silver and The Bronze Tongue. Of course, you get Closed Fist points for choosing this turn of events. Even if he refuses to try it first, after you consume the dish you can lie to him that it hardly had any effect on you. He perishes, and you can loot his body. Closed Fist points in either case where he dies.

Talk to Seamstress Lan, just to the north of the teahouse, to get Quest 10.

Down at the Beggar's Pier in the SE part of town, balance artist Darting Lynx has set up shop. In addition to a Flawed Warrior Gem and Inferior Intimidation Gem, she also sells the following techniques:

Technique Cost What you get Most benefit to
Balance of Nature 4250 silver Focus +15
Chi +3
Weapon users
Hawk's elegance 800 silver Focus +7
Health -3
Weapon users
Conditioning of the Body 800 silver Health +7
Chi -3
Martial arts users
Swallow's grace 600 silver Charm +3
Intuition -1
Charming conversationalists

If you chose to close the Great Dam, you can buy some items afterwards from the merchant Cheung in the town square. If you undertook Quest 16, you will also receive a discount. Aside from some decent gems, most notably an Inferior Warrior Gem (Body +2), Cheung has the Storm Dragon style for sale. It utilises electricity to increase the efficacy of your strikes.

Quests

  • 1.  Picking Up the Pieces: Investigate Tien's Landing - find a new flyer.
    If you left Dawn Star behind, she joins up with you at the entrance to Tien's Landing, and presents you with a gem called Good Fortune, the legacy of a master gambler (Intuition +5, Mind +1, Spirit +1). There is a chest containing 100 silver here just near the entrance. Once inside the town gates, head east and across the bridge. You meet Yifong and her daughter. Hmm. You learn that many pirates have been seen in the area with flyers, and that the Great Dam has been opened. The river is now too low, thus preventing any trade ships from entering or leaving. You have just received Quests 4 and 5.

    Continue across the bridge and meet Hui The Brave. You learn a little more of your history, and she teaches you the style Spirit Thief, very useful for draining Chi from your enemies. Follow her into the teahouse. Oh goody, a bar brawl... in a teahouse! After the fight, Hui explains that there is a missing piece of your Dragon Amulet in the ruins of old Tien's Landing. She says that Minister Sheng has a key to these ruins, and that you should go speak to him in the town square. You have just received Quest 3, but you need to look at Quest 4 first.

    Before you leave the teahouse, go upstairs and do Quest 6. Then come back downstairs to seek out Old Mother Kwan, the former owner of the teahouse. See Quest 7.

  • 2.  A Woman in Black: Be Wary of a Second Meeting.
    After you defeat this veiled woman (her name is Silk Fox, by the way) she explains that at first she thought you were allied with the Lotus Assassins, but she now realises otherwise. You suspect that you will meet again, perhaps to become allies as you seem to have similar goals...

  • 3.  Hui The Brave: Search the Ruins - Ruins and Dam Site Quest 4.
    You need to complete Quest 4 first, in order to obtain the Ruins Key from Minister Sheng. Then make your way out of the town, and locate the ruins to the north. You have to fight a few of the Lotus Assassin guards to gain access. After the fight, a man dressed as a Lotus Assassin comes running out of the tower and begs for mercy, claiming that he is not really one of them:

    (Open Palm) Let him go, for Open Palm points.

    (Closed Fist) Kill him, for Closed Fist points.

    In the tower, you will find some Silk Strings in a chest. These are needed to complete Quest 22.

    Use the Ruins Key that Minister Sheng gave you on the ruin gate to enter the ruins. Then refer to section on Ruins and Dam Site below.

  • 4.  The Great Dam: Talk to Minister Sheng - 500 XP, Ruins Key, and Quest 15.
    Go talk to Minister Sheng, at the square in the northernmost part of the town. During the conversation, he slips you a key to the ruins. See Quest 15 next.

  • 5.  Find a New Flyer: Speak with Minister Sheng - Quest 21.
    While you are talking to Shen, if you mention that you need to procure a flyer, he'll refer you to Ru the Boatswain, who may be found upstairs in the teahouse. See Quest 21.

  • 6.  Zhong the Ox Carrier: Speak to Zhong the Ox Carrier - 300 XP and 350 silver.
    Upstairs in the teahouse, speak to the farmer Don Ping, who is with the ogre Zhong in the SE corner, to obtain this quest:

    (Open Palm) Speak to Zhong the ogre, and try to use either Charm or Intuition to convince him to return to the farm, for Open Palm points.

    (Closed Fist) Goad the ogre into fighting, and kill him. Closed Fist points for choosing this course of action.

    In either case, the teahouse owner is well pleased to be rid of the ogre as he was frightening the patrons, and presents you with a healthy payment as reward.

  • 7.  Old Mother Kwan: Investigate Dutong's Writ - Quest 8.
    It seems that Dutong took control of the teahouse from Old Mother Kwan by flashing an impressive looking imperial writ that claimed his family had always owned the land. You somehow doubt the authenticity of this writ. Speak to Three Sheets Dutong then, and question him about the writ. He says that it is safely locked away, and tells you to get lost. Now go talk to the barman (formerly steeper) Yanru to get Quest 8.

  • 8.  Old Mother Kwan: Get Dutong Drunk - 20 XP and Quest 9.
    You need to get Dutong drunk enough so that he will talk, but not too drunk. The following combination succeeded:

    1. Imperial seasoned spirits.
    2. Imperial seasoned spirits.
    3. Peasant's wine (Dutong gets up).
    4. Peasant's wine.

    Now Dutong has had 8 units worth of wine, just one unit short of the amount Yanru said would send him into oblivion. Use whichever of your conversation skills is the most powerful to get him to confess. His guard gives him the restorative then, but it's too late. Yanru overheard his confession that the writ was a fake. The sobered up Dutong offers silver to yourself and Yanru in return for keeping quiet about this:

    (Open Palm) Refuse the silver. Dutong flees. You now have Quest 9.

    (Closed Fist) Accept 1000 silver from Dutong for keeping quiet about what you have learned. You also get 320 XP and Closed Fist points, but of course, you now cannot complete Quest 9.

  • 9.  Old Mother Kwan: Talk to Mother Kwan - 1000 XP.
    (Open Palm) You talk to Old Mother Kwan after getting rid of Dutong. Open Palm points for this.

  • 10.  The Beaten Baker: Investigate Baker Bei - Quest 12.
    Having been impressed by your combat skills, Seamstress Lan implores you to help her fiancĀ, who is set upon by a gang of thugs every day. Head for the pier in the SE part of town. As you approach the gate to the pier, you come upon some thugs that are after Baker Bei. Defeat them, then speak to him. Hmm. It seems that an old friend named Ai Ling is jealous of Bei's recent engagement. Offer to talk to her on Bei's behalf, and you get Quest 12.

  • 11.  An Ancient Game: Impress Mistress Vo OR Impress Jian the Iron Fist - learn an advanced style.
    In the centre of the town, you come across Jian the Iron Fist and Mistress Vo having an imaginary board game of yi. You will need to come back a bit later, when you have sufficient understanding of either the Way of the Open Palm or the Way of the Closed Fist, before either of them will be willing to train you in these advanced styles:

    (Open Palm) Once you have attained sufficient Open Palm points and defeated Vo, she will train you in the style called Stone Immortal. This style is similar to Ice Shard, but allows you to turn an enemy to stone and then shatter the pieces. You can also, after pouring sufficient points into this style, gain the ability to open the ground beneath an enemy and cause it to swallow them!

    (Closed Fist) Once you have proved yourself a worthy follower of the Way of the Closed Fist, defeat Jian and he will teach you the Tempest style. The style invokes great gusts of wind to strike down your foes.

  • 12.  The Beaten Baker: Talk to Ai Ling - 1120 XP.
    Backtrack a bit and enter the boathouse. It's the large building just to the SW of where Jian and Vo are standing. Mention that you have business with Ai Ling, and the guard will let you in:

    (Open Palm) You can quite easily convince Ai Ling that you should bring Bei here to talk to her... so you shortly wind up in a four-way meeting between Ai Ling, Baker Bei, Seamstress Lan, and yourself. A bit of gentle probing uncovers the fact that Bei promised to marry Ai Ling when they were - wait for it - six years old! You then reason with her that it is sheer folly to hold Bei to a promise of marriage made when they were mere children. Whether or not you choose to accept Mistress Lan's dowry as a reward, you still gain Open Palm Points.

    (Closed Fist) You can kill Ai Ling straight off. Then return to Mistress Lan and tell her that Bei had asked this woman to marry him. Ouch. You only get 350 XP and her dowry, which was 250 silver, for choosing this course of action. Another Closed Fist possibility entails encouraging Ai Ling and Mistress Lan to fight over who gets to have Bei. This results in Ai Ling killing both Lan and Bei, and then taking out her wrath on you. After defeating her, get the Boathouse Key from a vase. This key unlocks the gate that leads upstairs, where you will find 750 silver in a cabinet.

    If you chose the Way of the Open Palm and resolved the situation amicably, you can speak to Ai Ling after everyone else has left and offer to find her a husband. Ask her about possible candidates in Tien's Landing. She mentions two: Chumin the Craftsman, who has a house in the SW corner of the town, and Yaoru, whom you may have already bumped into upstairs in the teahouse. You now have Quest 13.

  • 13.  Matchmaker: Find a Man for Ai Ling - 1080 XP and 500 silver.
    I just went straight for Yaoru in the teahouse, arranged a meeting between him and Ai Ling, used a little Charm, and that was it. Might work with Chumin as well, but I thought Yaoru was the least likely of the two suitors, so went with the underdog.

  • 14.  Trapped: Free Captain Ing's Ship - Quest 22.
    Talk to Captain Ing in the SE corner of the pier area. His ship is trapped by the low waters, and he'll pay a lot of silver if you can close the dam. If you do close the Great Dam, you get Quest 23.

  • 15.  The Great Dam: Enter the Ruins to Reach the Dam - Quests 17 and 18.
    As you leave the square after first talking to Minister Shen, a wine merchant named Jiang approaches you. It is in his best interests that the dam remains open, as he has a captive audience of sailors consuming his wine. He will pay you 20 percent of his profits to date if you sabotage the dam controls and bring him proof that you did so...

    You now have two conflicting quests: one to open the dam, and one to sabotage it so that it permanently remains open. See Quest 3.

  • 16.  The Stolen Momento: Talk to Tong - a discount.
    While you're in the merchant's area where Minister Sheng is hanging out, talk to Merchant Cheung. It seems that Tong stole a valuable figurine that belonged to Cheung's mother. Tong is to be found in the NE area of the pier, and he is quite drunk. You can quite easily convince him to give back the figurine though. Return to Cheung with it, and you don't get any XP for this - rather, you have the promise of a good discount on all of Cheung's goods once the dam is closed and trade is restored.

  • 17.  The Great Dam: Close the Dam - 5000 XP.
    (Open Palm) After you access the Jade Heart which controls the dam, you choose to close the dam. This action floods the ruins. But now you can make your escape by heading over the bridge to the east. Just access the bridge control lever in the gazebo near there to lower the bridge.

  • 18.  The Great Dam: Sabotage the Dam - 3000 XP.
    (Closed Fist) Choose to remove the Jade Heart and destroy the dam control mechanism. You should also exit this area via the bridge, and make your way back to Tien's Landing. You now have Quest 26.

  • 19.  Silk Fox: The Silk Fox - 500 XP and Quest 20.
    As you make your way back into Tien's Landing after dealing with the Great Dam, You have another encounter with Silk Fox. In exchange for learning that the man kidnapped from the school was your Master Li, Silk Fox tells you the whereabouts of a wind map, which you will require to successfully navigate a flyer to the Imperial City. See Quest 20.

  • 20.  The Sickened Forest: Seek Out Lord Yun.
    Silk Fox tells you that Lord Yun, the holder of a precious wind map, may be found in the Great Southern Forest. You get there through the gateway in the town square where you met Minister Sheng. See section on Great Southern Forest below.

  • 21.  Find a New Flyer: Find Ru the Boatswain - 1020 XP and Quest 24.
    You should probably complete Quest 20 first, for what good is a flyer without a wind map? Then... Ru is upstairs in the teahouse, and he's mighty drunk. But with a little Charm, I was able to convince him to take me to the pirates. See Quest 24.

  • 22.  The Zither of Discord: Find the Case and the Strings - Quest 27.
    (Closed Fist) You come upon the Scholar Six Heavens in the area NE of Beggar's Pier. He will give you this quest only if you can prove that you are a follower of the Closed Fist. He wants to assemble a powerful artefact called the Zither of Discord, but in order to do this he needs both the zither case and the strings. The case is said to be in the possession of Gao the Greater, and may be at the pirates lair near here. The strings can be located in a tower to the west of town, near the old ruins.

    If you haven't already been, don't go rushing off to either of these locations just yet. You will come to them in due course... once you have both the Silk Strings and the Zither Case, return to Scholar Six Heavens. It would seem you need one more piece to complete the malevolent instrument See Quest 27.

  • 23.  Trapped: Talk to Ing - 500 XP and 2300 silver.
    After you close the Great Dam and return to Tien's Landing, you witness a cut scene of the sailors boarding Ing's ship. Then a messenger runs up and gives you the news that Ing was anxious to depart, so couldn't see you in person. But he does give you the silver that Ing promised!

  • 24.  Find a New Flyer: Explore the Pirate Lair - a flyer.
    Meet Ru at Beggar's Pier in the SE part of town. He takes you to the pirate lair. Immediately upon entering the lair, you overhear a conversation whereby the guards are giving a servant a hard time. Then he comes down into your area, and starts fiddling with a rope tied to a tree. Go speak to him. Turns out he was once a pirate, and is now their slave. He's trying to untie the rope to drop a cannon onto the pier, thus taking them all out:

    (Open Palm) There's an innocent slave sweeping the pier, and you refuse to harm him. Just go attack the guards. There are only three of them.

    (Closed Fist) Help the pirate untie the rope and the cannon drops onto the pier, killing them all. Closed Fist points for unnecessarily killing the slave.

    Make your way along the path to go further into the lair. You'll eventually come upon another adventurer called Sky, and you help him to defeat some pirates. Afterwards, he'll run upstairs to hold a lever so that the two of you can open a mechanically operated door. Meanwhile, you also speak to Yifong, who you met earlier as you first entered Tien's Landing. See Quest 25. Anyway, head up the ramp to the east and help Sky to open the door.

    At the top of the stairs, you witness a very important meeting. The avatar of a mysterious lady called Grand Inquisitor Jia is giving instructions to Lim of the Lotus Assassins, who has your amulet fragment, and Gao the Greater. It appears that a special long-range flyer has been commissioned to transport the fragment to the Imperial City, and work on it is nearly completed. Afterwards, Lim heartlessly tells Gao about the death of his son. Then they both leave the room. Go inside and join forces with Kang the Mad, inventor of the special flyer called the Dragonfly. He agrees to help you as he's angry at the way he's being treated by Gao and the Lotus Assassins. The craft needs an Inscrutable Power Source to go the distance, but hey, we've got on of those, haven't we?

    Head up the ramp, and into the cave if you want to complete Quest 25. Then keep heading upwards. You finally arrive at the workshop. When you advance to the north side of the workshop, some guards will come bursting through a door. After defeating them, head to the NW part of the workshop and operate the Dragonfly controls. This causes the device to drop down and blast open a secret door. It's Gao's treasure room. You just have to get past the elephant demon guarding the treasure, and the gems are all yours. The only item here of note though was a Gem of the Frail Scholar (Mind +1, +100% experience from books, Body -3).

    Once you are done exploring the treasure room, head through the door the guards used and up a ramp to confront Gao and Lim. The latter is pretty tough, as he uses Stone Immortal to keep opening the ground underneath your feet. You recover the missing amulet fragment from Lim's body, and this gives you two more gem slots. One of either Gao or Lim also coughed up a Superior Monk's Gem (Spirit +6).

    Sky and Kang the Mad run up to you then, and they will both join you as followers. Sky also brought along the Dust Inductor that Kang was hiding in his workshop. Before you leave the room, get the Zither Case from the chest (will allow you to complete Quest 22), and access the bookstand to learn the technique Strength of Wood (Health + 2).

    Now return to the workshop and present Kang with the Inscrutable Power Source. You fly to Tien's Landing. As soon as you arrive there, you can finish off whatever quests you have open, or depart immediately for the Imperial City as long as you have Yun's wind map (see section on Great Southern Forest). And thus begins Chapter 3...

  • 25.  Yifong and Fuyao: Find the Slave Breaker - 1000 XP.
    Yifong and Fuyao were unfortunate enough to be captured by the pirates soon after leaving Tien's Landing. Fuyao is being held upstairs by the slave breaker, and Yifong pleads with you to rescue her. Sigh. Once you find the cave where Fuyao is being held, it's easy enough to defeat the slave breaker and guards. Then:

    (Open Palm) Frighten Lordling Lun, who is looking to purchase Fuyao. He flees, fearing capture. Yifong then enters to be reunited with her daughter.

    (Closed Fist) Sell both Yifong and Fuyao to Lordling Lun, for 200 silver and Closed Fist points.

  • 26.  The Great Dam: Talk to Jiang - Gem of Purpose and 2600 silver.
    You get this quest if you chose to leave the dam open and destroyed the controls. Seek out Jiang the Merchant at Beggar's Pier. For preserving his lucrative trade in wine, in addition to a healthy payment, he also gives you a Gem of Purpose (Body +1, Mind +1, Spirit +1).

  • 27.  The Zither of Discord: Find the Zither's Bridge - 500 silver plus Exotic Strains technique.
    Scholar Six Heaven's tells you that the bridge for the instrument may be found in the Great Southern Forest, somewhere near a river, where a scholar could have sought shelter. Hmm. So head into the Great Southern Forest, and go to the gazebo where the Spirit Font is. You meet the spirit Bladed Thesis (the original formulator of the Way of the Closed Fist philosophy, by the way). Choose the first conversation topic, and he agrees to give you the Bridge to complete the Zither of Discord.

    Scholar Six Heavens then appears, saving you the trouble of returning to him. Give him the Bridge, and Bladed Thesis immediately destroys him. Ask for your reward to gain some Closed Fist points as well as the above mentioned items.

Ruins and Dam Site
Upon entering the area, you see a Lotus Assassin conjuring up some rather large vermin to aid in the search for the amulet fragment. Defeat the guards that have been posted at the entrance to the ruins. One of them gives up a Gem of Thief's Sense, which can help you to detect traps when equipped. Get some Dragon Powder from a chest near there. Also, there is a Spirit Font down a ramp to the east.

Behind a house where you first enter the ruins, there are some bones from which you can retrieve a Cameo Portrait.

After completing Quests 2 and 3, go south from the building next to where the rockets are. You can hear the sounds of battle ahead. As you enter the scene where two Lotus Assassins are fighting spirits, you overhear the command word, "Shao Hua", that is used to control the sentry golems at the dam. One of the Assassins flees, drawing up a bridge behind him. Go up on the platform, and use the crane there to move the lever on the other side. The bridge lowers again and you can cross. Keep heading SE to the dam site.

At the dam site, you first encounter a mysterious little girl, who warns you that "the Guardian" is coming. Oops. Too late. Once you best the Guardian (Chai Ka) in battle, he realises his mistake, and knows that you are the one he was actually sent to protect. The little girl is called Wild Flower, and she is the Guardian's avatar on earth - a bridge to the heavens as it were. You accept her as a follower, and then she presents you with an Inferior Scholar Gem (Mind +2), and the Inscrutable Power Source that the Guardian recovered from the fleeing Lotus Assassin. The Lotus Assassins have tricked Chai Ka into giving up that fragment of the Dragon Amulet that you are searching for. You now have Quest 4... but I wouldn't go running back to Hui just yet. We got us a dam to close... or sabotage!

If you head just north of here, you'll find a gazebo containing a chest, which in turn contains the technique River of Time (Chi +5, Intuition +1). Then head to the SE and approach the sentry golems. You previously overheard the command word, which you know to be "Shao Hua". Go down the stairs and approach the Jade Heart, which controls the dam. See either Tien's Landing Quest 17 if you intend on closing the dam, or Tien's Landing Quest 18 if you are going to sabotage it.

Quests

  • 1.  Gems in the Quarry: Find Dragon Powder and Rockets - 500 XP.
    Immediately upon entering the ruins proper, you have to fight a Rat Demon. If you agree to spare him, he tells you about a gem that is hidden behind a wall that the Lotus Assassins are about to destroy using rockets:

    (Open Palm) Spare the little blighter's life.

    (Closed Fist) Kill the vermin. Closed Fist points, and you don't officially get this quest. But that doesn't stop you from destroying the wall anyway and getting the gems.

    In any case, you should now have the Dragon Powder that you found in a chest just outside the entrance to the ruins. And indeed just to the SE of here you find the rockets. Access the switch to apply the Dragon Powder, then pull the lever. Watch where the rockets go. You now have Quest 2.

  • 2.  Gems in the Quarry: Find the Gem - some powerful gems.
    Head into the new area exposed by the rockets. You find the gem called The Soft Petal (Charm +5, Body +1, Mind +1) in a headstone. Advance a bit further and you will be set upon by the ghost of Stabber Yuxi and his convict friends. They all worked in the quarry and were drowned when the dam was closed. Once you defeat Yuxi, head into the quarry.

    Once inside the quarry, keep heading north. You find a tunnel there that leads to another cave in the NE. Here you will encounter probably your toughest opponent yet - a convict named Strangler Jizu who refuses to die... well, almost! You have to kill him with a Power Attack in order put him down forever. Once you have vanquished Jizu, the spirit of the Turnkey appears. Seems he had returned with the key to try and free all the convicts when the place was flooding, but Jizu wouldn't have any of it and strangled the poor guy, thus dooming all the convicts to a watery death As a token of appreciation for killing Jizu and thus freeing his spirit, the Turnkey presents you with The Wanderer's Jewel (Body +3, Spirit +3, Mind -5), a very powerful gem, unless you are depending on Focus. I think there is a broken quest here too. If you found the Cameo Portrait at the back of the building in the ruins, you will note that it is inscribed: "To my beloved husband, Wei. Yours forever". The Turnkey's name is Wei, but I got no conversation choice to bring up the subject of the Cameo Portrait while talking to him.

    Now explore this cavern a little further, and you will find a Thick Skin Gem (Body +1, 50% damage from traps), and possibly two more powerful gems in a vase: Gem of Gentle Mind (only followers of the Way of the Open Palm will find this gem: Mind +2, Intuition +2), and Scholar's Gem of Forethought (Mind +2, lesser chance of Focus power-ups). As you make your way out of the cavern, you get Quest 3.

  • 3.  Stranded Orphan Girl: Knock Down the Supports - 350 XP.
    You come upon the spirit of a stranded orphan girl. She is afraid of water, and wants you to cave in the ceiling so that the puddle in the centre of the room will be covered and she can escape from the quarry:

    (Open Palm) Knock down the supports. Nothing bad happens to you as a result, and the girl escapes.

    (Closed Fist) Tell her she can stay there forever, for Closed Fist points.

    Now make your way out of the quarry, and return to where the spent rockets are...

  • 4.  Hui the Brave: Return to Hui - Hui is released from her service to Master Li.
    Return to Hui and tell her that you couldn't recover the amulet fragment. Nothing much comes of this for the moment, though Hui is relieved that her mission here is completed and she can now depart Tien's Landing.

Great Southern Forest
Once you enter the forest, you're not long in finding Lord Yun. After defeating the first spirits you encounter, he comes running down some steps. See Quest 1.

Quests

  • 1.  The Sickened Forest: Find Spear Catches Leaf - Quest 2.
    Yun wants you to discover what is wrong with his forest, and put it to rights. He is willing to give you a copy of his wind map in return. He instructs you to go up the hill, take the left fork in the path, and find Spear Catches Leaf, who knows how to summons the Forest Shadow.

    Where the path first forks, if you go to the east, you will find some bones holding the Gem of Gentle Mind (Mind +2, Intuition +2), useable only by followers of the Way of the Open Palm. Down a hill here is a Spirit Font. There is also a strange device in the centre of the fork that seems to call forth a mysterious power. However, this is not yet the fork in the path of which Yun spoke. Continue up the steps to the west.

    Next you come to a bridge, and you must kill some spirits that are bothering a hunter. He bids you to take the right fork in the upcoming path, and visit the "Pilgrim's Rest Inn". After your conversation, a mysterious creature appears in the form of a fox, turns the unfortunate hunter to stone, and dispatches him. The creature tries the same on you, but you break the spell and it flees.

    Continue along the path and take the left fork. Defeat the mercenary called The Black Whirlwind, and then you can speak with Spear Catches Leaf. It turns out that the fox that attacked you was none other than Forest Shadow. See Quest 2. You can buy some gems, styles and techniques from him, most notably Hunter's Spirit, which will set you back a cool 4250 silver, but grants you Chi +15 and Focus +3.

  • 2.  The Sickened Forest: Restore the Missing Crystal - Quest 3.
    Someone stole a crystal that Spear Catches Leaf needs to activate the magical furnaces you saw upon your approach. He hopes that activating the furnaces will summon the Forest Shadow. He says that the tracks leading away from where the crystal was stolen bear the gait of a deformed child, and lead to the Inn.

    So head for the Pilgrim's Rest Inn. Under a rock in the west part of the entrance garden, you will find a gem. Enter the Inn, and you speak to the innkeeper. Hmm. He promises to reward you handsomely with silver should you kill the Forest Shadow. But you suspect there is more to this situation than meets the eye. Lie to him that you will kill the Forest Shadow. In turn, he hands over the crystal, and you get Quest 3.

    While you're here, talk to the cook, Henpecked Hou, up the steps in the back. Followers of the Way of the Closed Fist can buy a precious Gem of Struggle from him (Body +2, Mind +2, Spirit +2). There are also some gems in vases up here.

  • 3.  Fox Hunt: Tracking the Forest Shadow - Quest 4.
    Return to Spear Catches Leaf and inform him that you have the crystal. He informs you that you must use the crystal on the pedestal to begin the ritual. See Quest 4.

  • 4.  The Sickened Forest: Complete the Ritual of Seasons - 1400 XP plus Quests 5 and 6.
    Spear Catches Leaf returns to Lord Yu, leaving it to you to carry out the ritual, and imparts to you this rhyme: "Winter skies are crisp and blue, while the fields of spring are green. Summer's heat is burning red, while in autumn, yellow leaves are seen." He also tells you that as far as the ritual is concerned, winter and summer are the two most important seasons. Fortunately, he also leaves The Black Whirlwind behind, who you can now recruit as a follower.

    When you are ready, approach the pedestal at the top of the steps in front of the temple. You use the Temple Crystal on it, and the switches on the furnaces are unlocked. Use the switches on the two lower furnaces to activate the upper ones. Then hit the red switch (summer, remember) on one of the upper furnaces, and the blue switch (winter) on the other. Access the pedestal once more and... hey presto, a portal appears in the rear of the temple. So, you enter... Heaven! Soon after you arrive, you meet Zin Bu, the Magical Abacus. From now on you can use him to buy and sell items. Just think of him as a portable shopkeeper. Now, you can continue up the path. You have to fight several groups of demons along the way. You acquire the transformation style Horse Demon here, useful for instantly shrugging off effects such as slow or paralysis, and then you finally get to meet the Forest Shadow. As you are speaking to her, you receive another visitation... ah, that blue-hued spirit that has been appearing to you is none other than the Water Dragon!

    Now you have to choose whether to aid the Forest Shadow in defeating her foe, the evil manifestation that is known as The Mother (see Quest 5), or kill her (Quest 6).

  • 5.  The Sickened Forest: Enter the Portal - 1500 XP, Quest 7, and Open Palm points.
    (Open Palm) You accept the Forest Shadow's challenge to defeat The Mother. You must return to the Inn, where she will open a passage to The Mother's lair. See Quest 7.

  • 6.  Fox Hunt: Kill the Forest Shadow - Quest 10.
    (Closed Fist) Attack the Forest Shadow. She creates a few spirits in the image of herself to distract you, and then flees. You now have Quest 10.

  • 7.  The Sickened Forest: Destroy the Mother - Quest 8.
    Once you arrive back at the Inn, you are greeted by a bizarre welcoming party. Defeat them, and talk to the cook, Henpecked Hou. He will teach you the unique style called Drunken Master. Then he tells you that the hill heaved a short while ago and dislodged a panel in the kitchen, granting access to The Mother's cave through there. Of course, that was the Forest Shadow's doing! You now have Quest 8.

  • 8.  Cannibals in the Inn: The Mother - 3000 XP plus Brilliant Gem of Balance and 1500 silver.
    Head into the kitchen at the back of the Inn, and through the now open panel into a tunnel. Step on the platform to the right to go down to the caves. As forewarned by Hou, there are more cannibals here. Head through the tunnel to the SE, and confront some rat demons unleashed by a trainer. Then head through another tunnel to the west. Cross a bridge, and more of the little blighters to fight. Then Hou joins you again. Instead of heading back to Tien's Landing, he decided he didn't want to miss out on all the fun. So you can use Drunken Master now. You don't appear to be able to put any style points against this style, but no need to as it's pretty powerful as is.

    When you head through the next tunnel to the NW, you finally encounter... the Mother of All Ugly Toads! You are left to fight her on your own, while your followers hold off the little guys. Now... you will find it almost impossible to defeat The Mother, plus she also keeps spawning more of her ilk. But... there is a trick. All you need do is knock down the three pillars that are holding up the roof of this cavern, and the whole thing collapses, allowing you to make your escape.

    The Forest Shadow meets you outside to congratulate you, and presents you with a Brilliant Gem of Balance (Body +4, Mind +4, Spirit +4), plus some silver. And you now have Quest 9.

  • 9.  The Sickened Forest: Return to Lord Yun - 1500 XP and a wind map.
    After defeating either The Mother or the Forest Shadow, head back down the steps and speak to Lord Yun. If you ask him for an additional reward, and you have at least 30 points in one of your conversation skills, you can get 600 silvers out of him. In any case, he presents you with a copy of his wind map.

    (Closed Fist) Encourage him to visit the Pilgrim's Rest Inn, which you know to be infested with cannibals, for Closed Fist points.

    Well, now all we need is a flyer. Time to tackle Tien's Landing Quest 21. Go to the teahouse and talk to Ru the Boatswain.

  • 10.  Fox Hunt: Track Down the Fox - 5000 XP.
    (Closed Fist) You have decided to kill the Forest Shadow, and she has fled her place in Heaven. Now... this is difficult. You have to fight all her minions on the way back down the hill, and then make sure you have enough Health and Chi left to defeat her when you reach the bottom. I suggest you use Spirit Thief, or you will be lost.

    Once you defeat the Forest Shadow, you are returned to the Pilgrim's Rest Inn. The cannibal leader presents you with the Gem of Earth Power (Body + 5). Hmm. You don't seem to receive any silver after all. You also get Henpecked Hou, who becomes one of your followers and teaches you the style Drunken Master. You now have Quest 9.

Chapter 3
Wherein the Imperial City is revealed,
Silk Fox reveals her station,
And the Lotus Assassins are infiltrated.

The Marvellous Dragonfly bears you away from Tien's landing toward the Imperial City. The fall of Gao the Greater and Assassin Lim will have far-reaching consequences, and your enemy will not let your actions go unanswered. Terrible forces gather ahead, and as you draw close, they will leave their mark as surely as you have left yours.

Imperial City
Immediately upon arrival, you are accosted by two guards. Just as you are resigning yourself to a few days in jail, an attractive woman and her entourage appear. It is none other than Silk Fox, better known as Princess Lian! She gets you off the hook, and hands you a note explaining where you can meet her for a private chat. One of her servants also presents you with a gift, a gem called Imperial Favor (Spirit +3, Charm +1, Intuition +1, Increased chance for getting power-ups from fallen enemies). You now have Quest 1.

As you leave the area where your followers are encamped, head east and talk to Captain Sen at the end of the path. You get Quests 2 and 3 as a result.

After completing both bounty quests for Captain Sen, you will be approached by an old man, who gives you an unofficial bounty. See Quest 7.

During the proceedings here, you will eventually bump into a playwright called Incisive Chorus on the Golden way. See Quest 11.

Be sure to seek out the Blacksmith Shop in the Market District. You can purchase the following items of note here:

Technique Cost What you get
Storm Dragon Style 4500 silver A support style that does damage to your foes over time using electricity.
Dragon Sword 10000 silver A powerful sword fighting style: drains focus, +25% damage over basic sword style. This augments your existing sword style if you have one, so you don't need to spend any more style points.
Flawless 7500 silver A powerful staff fighting style: drains focus, +25% damage over basic staff style. This augments your existing staff style if you have one, so you don't need to spend any more style points.
A Bar of Nickled Iron 500 silver Steel, actually. Read some more about it from the Configuration of the Snake scroll that you took from the Scroll stand at the entrance to the Scholar's Garden. This Nickled Iron is one possible type of fuel for Lord Lao's Furnace. See note below.
Craftsman's Litany 1600 silver A technique that grants you Focus +5.

At some time during your experiences here, Mechanic Hin Goo will appear near your flyer. If you fly a mission for him to get some parts, he will sell you upgrades to your flyer.

Note: after flying a few mini-game missions, you will gain access to Lord Lao's Furnace. The various 'configuration' scrolls (Configuration of the Snake, et. al.) you have been finding scattered about the Imperial City contain clues on how to use the furnace to produce various valuable items, depending on the set-up of the furnace, the material used as fuel, and which of the two switches to throw to start the process. If you're into this mini-game thing, then feel free to knock yourself out!

Quests

  • 1.  Silk Fox: The Heavenly Lily - Scholar's Garden Quests 1 and 2.
    Silk Fox is none other than the daughter of the Emperor himself. Wow, you are mixing with dangerous company! The note says to meet her in the Scholar's Garden. Talk to Bai the Outcrier there, and you learn that you get to the Scholar's Garden via the Golden Way, which is all the way to the SE on your map.

  • 2.  Creative Yukong's Bounty: Speak with Lady Rento.
    Talk to Captain Sen, and you receive two bounties. By using your conversation skills, you can talk him into giving you a bigger reward. For this particular bounty, you're best off going to the Imperial Arena to the west and seeking out Lady Rento. Lord Rento was taken in by this conman, and it is likely that in Lord Rento's absence, Lady Rento is the only one with a possible lead on him. See section on Imperial Arena below for details.

  • 3.  Fading Moon's Bounty: Track Down Fading Moon.
    Fading Moon was last seen in the Necropolis. See corresponding section below.

  • 4.  The Tanners Fong: Remove the Elder - 500 silver and Quest 5.
    You get here as a result of Necropolis Quest 14. Go into the house and talk to the elder tanner. Whoa. He's not dead. The son buried him alive in order to claim his inheritance:

    (Open Palm) Well... just reunite father and son. Happily ever after, and all that.

    (Closed Fist) Kill the poor old guy. Now he's really dead! Talk to the son, and he rewards you with some silver.

    In either case, you now have Quest 5.

  • 5.  The Tanners Fong: Return to Shen - 1260 XP and 1000 silver.
    With a little Intimidation, you can get 1000 silver out of Shen for cleaning up his embarrassing little incident. Shen runs off then. Your work in the Necropolis is done... for now.

  • 6.  The Outlander: Find the Outlander.
    Whilst walking along the Golden Way, you are accosted by a man throwing insults at you for no apparent reason. Speak with him, make him respond rationally, and his master then approaches. His master is none other than the Minister of Culture. It would seem that an outlander is causing considerable grief for the local residents. He is ensconced in the Scholar's Garden, and you are tasked with getting him to leave. See section on the Scholar's Garden below.

  • 7.  Aishi the Mournful Blade: Track Down the Mournful Blade.
    An old man tells you of this Aishi, who has apparently committed many crimes against humanity. He wants you to track her down and kill her. He had followed her, and she was last seen entering the Black Leopard School, which is in the SW part of the city. Hmm. Probably more to this than meets the eye. Isn't there always? See section on Black Leopard Scholl below for details.

  • 8.  The Inquisitors: Disgrace Sheng.
    You get here as a result of Scholar's Garden Quest 3. Henpecked Hou presents you with some turtle eggs, which he suggests you swap for the gift that Sheng is intending to present to Fang.

    (Closed Fist) The Ministry Hostel is in the SE part of the Golden Way. As soon as you enter, you are speaking to Minster Sheng. Convince him that you should guard his honour gift to Fang while he rests, and you will automatically switch the turtle eggs that Henpecked Hou gave you for whatever the gift originally was. Minister Fang enters first thing in the morning, and is suitably unimpressed by the turtle eggs, which are considered to be a great insult in these parts. You get Closed Fist points for disgracing Sheng, but you do fulfill your part of the bargain with the Inquisitor Recruiter. You now have Quest 10.

  • 9.  The Inquisitors: Investigate Fang.
    You get here as a result of Scholar's Garden Quest 3. Dawn Star thinks you should investigate the affairs of Fang, who according to the Inquisitor Recruiter has a seedy reputation.

    (Open Palm) Seek out Gentle Breezes, Fang's courtesan, on the west side of the Imperial Arena. Say you don't want to kill Fang, just ruin his career. She is reluctant to help you, because although Fang has... strange tastes, he also pays her well for her services. You may have to part with 900 silver if your conversations skills are not good enough, but she agrees to help you. She immediately arranges a little rendezvous with Fang, and manages to secure his Imperial signet ring. This is a great potential embarrassment. Talk to his guards there in the same room, and make it known that you have the ring. They will let you pass. Then it is a simple matter to obtain Fang's Resignation. You now have Quest 10, and you will gain Open Palm points for solving the problem in this manner.

  • 10.  The Inquisitors: Report Back to the Inquisitor.
    Return to the encampment. The Inquisitor Recruiter meets you a final time. He informs you that the entrance to the Lotus Assassin Fortress, where you will receive your training, is on the far side of the Necropolis - and now you have access to it. Aha. It must be in that pagoda you discovered if you have previously been to the NE part of the Necropolis. He gives you a Lotus Inquisitor Seal, which is your passport to this place, and bids you good luck and farewell. You now have Quests 16 and 17.

  • 11.  The Play's the Thing: Find an Actor in the Golden Way- Quest 12.
    It seems that Incisive Chorus' play has been altered from the original script to be made into a satire of the Empire, and he wants you to play the part as it was originally written. Head back towards the Scholar's Garden, and talk to Phong outside the pagoda/stage. You show him the script that Incisive Chorus gave you and he flings it back at you. But he also gives you the edited version. See Quest 12.

  • 12.  The Play's the Thing: Inform Thespian Phong When You Are Ready - 1000 silver.
    There is a script stand nearby where you can look at both versions of the play. I went with the original version, because I wanted to help out Incisive Chorus. So, memorise your lines thus:

    1. White banners are flying.
    2. You speak of the heavens sending a message at dusk and the night is coming on fast (Chorus' version).
    3. A decision was reached at the edge of a great plain.
    4. Seasons change from place to place (Chorus' version).
    5. The Emperor turned to the heavens themselves.
    6. Your character comments on how a shooting star traces a border across the sky.

    Talk to Phong again, and the play begins... just try to match your answers as closely as possible to the guidelines above. In doing so, you don't piss off the Lotus Assassin lurkers, since you stuck to the original (politically correct) version of the play. And you please Phong, having read your lines perfectly. Return to Incisive Chorus next. See Quest 13.

  • 13.  The Play's the Thing: Return to Incisive Chorus - 1000 XP and 1500 silver.
    If you delivered your lines 'correctly', Chorus is well pleased.

  • 14.  Jinlin: Meet Jinlin at the Tomb - Quest 15.
    Just outside the doors that lead to the Golden Way, you will overhear a purveyor talking to a child named Jinlin. This Purveyor Shouji wants Jinlin to fetch a certain artifact from an emperor's tomb in the Necropolis. Talk to Jinlin then, and you get this quest. Shouji is holding Jinlin's mother hostage until the artifact is retrieved. The tomb that you agree to meet Jinlin at is in the NW part of the Necropolis, where the two Spirit Fonts are. Jinlin opens the tomb, and you agree to clear the spirits inside. See Quest 15.

  • 15.  Jinlin: Clear the Spirits From the Tomb - 100 silver and some valuable gems.
    Kill the mummies for Jinlin, and then I found 1000 silver and an interesting gem in a chest at the end of the corridor: Spirit Harvest (More XP from killing ghosts. No power-ups from killing ghosts). Then open the Inner Sanctum Door and enter. You meet the ghost of an emperor, and he is mighty tough to put down. You receive another copy of The Wanderer's Jewel for getting rid of him. Then you have to fight your way back out. See Quest 18.

  • 16.  Infiltrate the Lotus Assassin Fortress: Enter the Fortress.
    See section on Lotus Assassin Fortress below.

  • 17.  The Emperor and the Assassins: The Lotus Assassin Fortress.
    Silk Fox will take you to Master Li, but only if you secure the information in the Lotus Assassin Fortress that proves Death's Hand is a traitor to the Empire.

  • 18.  Jinlin: Escape the Tomb - Configuration of the Tiger.
    Fight your way back out of the tomb. Then Jinlin reads what's written on the artefact recovered from the tomb: "Conductor, cog, and a bit of iron. Don't play with the tiger". Hmm.

    (Open Palm) Leave Jinlin with the mysterious artifact so that Jinlin may return to Purveyor Shouji and secure the release of her mother.

    (Closed Fist) Demand that she give you the artefact, for Closed Fist points. Jinlin refuses to give it to you (for it is her mother's salvation), and flees in terror.

    In either case, you now have a copy of the Configuration of the Tiger scroll. It is indeed... cryptic.

  • 19.  The Slave Traders: Speak with Zi Bao - Quest 20.
    Talk to Prefect Jitong on the west side of the Market District to get this quest. He has two men in custody, both suspected slave traders. He is trying to save his friend Songtao from execution, and thus needs to find evidence to convict the other man he is holding, a certain Chandler Ling. He suggests you speak with Zi Bao, also a suspected slave trader, in the Imperial Arena. He is somehow connected to Chandler Ling and may be able to shed some light on this matter.

    Zi Bao is upstairs in the Imperial Arena. Use whatever conversation skill is your best to convince him to take you to meet the slavers... the leader of the slavers, Cao Zeng, tries to have you put down immediately, but it's not too hard a fight. Then you speak to him:

    (Open Palm) You will have to kill him. But you retrieve Slaver Documents from his body proving it was Chandler Ling that was involved with the slave traders, and not Songtao. You now have Quest 20.

    (Closed Fist) Ask for a cut of the action. Cao Zeng then gives you Forged Slaver Documents that implicate Scholar Songtao instead of Chandler Ling. You get Closed Fist points for siding with the slavers. And you now have Quest 21.

  • 20.  The Slave Traders: Take Evidence to Prefect Jitong - 800 silver.
    You present Prefect Jitong with the Slaver Documents, and Scholar Songtao is set free:

    (Open Palm) Whether or not you ask Jitong or Songtao for a reward, you receive Open Palm points and the same amount of silver. Songtao then invites you to meet him in the Scholar's Garden where he has some items for sale. Perhaps the most useful, for 5000 silver, is a gem called Lucky Hand (More silver from human enemies). Everything else you have pretty much seen before.

  • 21.  The Slave Traders: Take False Evidence to Prefect - 500 silver.
    (Closed Fist) Present the Forged Slaver Documents that Cao Zeng gave you to Jitong, for Closed Fist points. Chandler Ling is now free, and he promises to reward you with silver and sell you some goods at a discount if you meet him later on in the Golden Way. You will find Ling on the north side of the Golden Way. As it turns out, he only gives you 500 silver... and he has the exact same items for sale as Songtao!

Necropolis
The Necropolis is a mysterious graveyard off the west side of the Golden Way. As you enter the Necropolis, you are immediately attacked by two ghosts. Then First Gravedigger Shen appears, and wants you to permanently put down three bothersome ghosts for him. Hmm. He appears to be a bit of a shifty character, but you might as well accept his quest. You thus receive Quests 1, 2, and 3. Incidentally, you can buy gems from Shen.

There are a pair of Sprit Fonts in the far NW part of the Necropolis, through a large gate, should you need to recharge your batteries here.

To find Fading Moon, which is kind of the reason you came here in the first place, head up the steps and through a passage to the east of the place where you met the ghost of Merchant Bai (see Quest 2). You'll find Fading Moon standing on the steps of a building across the square. Defeat her, and she gives up the Gem of Pure Flame (Mind +3, Spirit +3). Only followers of the Way of the Open Palm may use this gem. You now have Quest 13.

Quests

  • 1.  The First Gravedigger: A Mournful Ghost - Quest 6.
    The ghost of Miss Chan can be found in the northern part of the Necropolis, just to the SE of the Tomb of the Forgotten Scholar (see Quest 4):

    (Open Palm) It appears that her baby was taken from her, and Shen knows something about it. See Quest 6.

    (Closed Fist) Destroy the ghost of Miss Chan. Closed Fist points for this. Then see Quest 15.

  • 2.  The First Gravedigger: A Fearful Ghost - Quest 8.
    The ghost of Merchant Bai is just to the south of where Miss Chan was standing (see Quest 1). It appears that he cannot rest because the two men that killed him are also buried here, and they are tormenting his soul, even in death. They are buried in a common grave to the south of here:

    (Open Palm) See Quest 8.

    (Closed Fist) Destroy the ghost of Bai the Merchant, for Closed Fist points. You now have quest 10.

  • 3.  The First Gravedigger: A Vengeful Ghost - Quest 11.
    The ghost of Ren Ming can be found in the SE part of the Necropolis. Seems his wife poisoned him, and he wants you to find her:

    (Open Palm) See Quest 11.

    (Closed Fist) Destroy the ghost of Ren Ming for Closed Fist points. See Quest 12 next.

  • 4.  The Scientist: Mad Wen Zhi - Quest 5.
    In the north part of the graveyard, to the east, you come upon the Tomb of the Forgotten Scholar. A mad scientist is in there, and he wants you to find a... wait for it... fresh liver, so that he may cure his ailing daughter. He tells you that the tomb of Ji Xin, to the north, may contain a body 'fresh' enough to suit his purposes. So enter the Tomb of Ji Xin then:

    (Open Palm) You can convince him to give up his liver for a good cause. Open Palm points for this.

    (Closed Fist) Kill him and you get his liver, for Closed Fist points.

    In either event, you now have Quest 5.

  • 5.  The Scientist: Return the Liver to Mad Wen - 550 silver.
    Once you've procured the Preserved Liver (see Quest 4), bring it back to Wen. He cures his daughter. Now... if you obtained the liver the Open Palm way, by getting Ji Xin to give it up for a good cause to redeem himself, the daughter is totally cured. But if you killed Ji Xin to unwillingly take his liver, the girl is slower to heal and becomes tainted by the evil organ. In either case, you will meet Mad Wen and his daughter later on in the Market District to see the results of your labours firsthand...

  • 6.  A Mournful Ghost: A Mournful Mother - Quest 7.
    Go to First Gravedigger Shen's house, which is just south of where you first met him. The first time you speak to him here, he begs you to rid him of a ghost that is haunting his back garden. Oops. Turns out it was the ghost of his mother-in-law. For this, you get 540 XP and a gem called The Mournful Soul (Mind +3, Spirit +3, Body -5). These are the same effects you get from The Wanderer's Jewel. Anyway, talk to Shen about Miss Chan, and all he remembers is that she died in childbirth along with her baby, and that the baby's name was short. Definitely less than three words. Hmm. So head back to the ghost of Miss Chan. Then look at the four family Chan tombstones just in front of her. Well, only two of them could have been babies. It's the fourth one, Chan Tuo. Talk to her again then show her this grave. One ghost, put to rest! You now have Quest 7.

  • 7.  A Mournful Ghost: Miss Chan at Peace - 600 XP and 400 silver.
    Now that you've put the ghost of Miss Chan to rest, return to Shen to collect your reward.

  • 8.  A Fearful Ghost: Defeat Bai's Tormentors - Quest 9.
    Head to the SW from where the ghost of Merchant Bai is standing, and enter the Tomb of the Masses. Defeat the ghosts of the two evil brothers that killed him. Quest 9 next.

  • 9.  A Fearful Ghost: Return to Merchant Bai - Cow Bezoar and Quest 10.
    Upon returning to Bai after killing his tormentors, he presents you with... a Cow Bezoar? Used to treat conditions of the blood and circulation. Well, alright then. Might come in useful somewhere (Lord Lao's Furnace, one presumes). He then finds permanent rest. You now have Quest 10.

  • 10.  A Fearful Ghost: Return to Shen - 600 XP and 400 silver.
    Return to Shen to collect your reward.

  • 11.  A Vengeful Ghost: Vengeance Served Cold - Quest 12.
    Ren Ming's wife lives in the Market District, near the Black Leopard School. You have to exit the Necropolis, then exit the Golden Way, and make your way to the SW part of the Imperial City. You will find Ren Feng standing outside her house here. Well, it seems to have been a case of accidental food poisoning after all. Convince her to visit Ren Ming one more time. She agrees, seeing that you will be there with her to help. The two of you manage to put his soul to rest. See Quest 12.

  • 12.  A Vengeful Ghost: Return to Shen - 600 XP and 400 silver.
    Return to Shen to collect your reward.

  • 13.  Fading Moon's Bounty: Report to Captain Sen - 600 XP and 4000 silver.
    Once you've killed Fading Moon, return to Captain Sen for your reward.

  • 14.  The Tanners Fong: Return the Elder to His Grave - Imperial City Quest 4.
    Once you've put down all three of the troublesome ghosts for Shen, he'll give you this quest. Seems that one of his corpses has upped roots and returned to his family home. Shen wants you to put this ghost back in his grave... you encounter Young Tanner Fong standing outside the very first house on the left in the Merchant District. You now have Imperial City Quest 4.

  • 15.  A Mournful Ghost: Miss Chan Banished - 600 XP and 400 silver.
    You get this quest if you chose to destroy the ghost of Miss Chan. Return to Shen to collect your reward.

Imperial Arena
The Imperial Arena is in the NW part of the city, just to the west of where your followers are encamped. As soon as you go through the entrance doors, you witness a cut scene whereby one of the fighters gets the boot. He encourages you to take his place in the arena, and advises you to speak to Qui the Promoter, upstairs in the third room over or so.

If you're here on the Creative Yukong quest, then you will find Lady Rento in the third room over (west side of the arena upstairs). She disputes the fact that Yukong is a conman. She claims he's just a starving actor, to whom she gave a stipend. He's most likely to be found in the Scholar's Garden, where he's going to try out for a new play. Lady Rento says he's probably dressed as a scholar, but should stick out like a sore thumb... from which you can surmise that he's not very scholarly. You now have Quest 1 below.

As you try to enter the fourth room (NW part of the arena upstairs), you will witness Qui the Promoter having a run-in with the man (Lucky Cho) who threw out the fighter when you first entered the arena building. Qui then bumps into you. See Quest 2.

If you hang on till the bitter end and win the Gold Division, you get to fight The Ravager for the title. Turns out to be the Black Whirlwind's brother, who he had left for dead. Anyway, you gain the weapon style Tang's Vengeance for fighting The Ravager. This essentially gives you the equivalent of the Black Whirlwind's axes. Then Kai Lan, ex-champion and ruthless Guild snake, challenges you to a final fight. You can ask the Black Whirlwind to fight in your place, as he's lusting for Kai Lan's blood, and then you get to take control of the Black Whirlwind for this fight. He's a bit slow, but powerful. Once you defeat Kai Lan, for which you receive a Superior Warrior Gem (Body +6), you are approached by a representative of the Guild, one Sweet Poison Lyn. She wants you to agree to a truce with the Guild. You may as well accept. I even thought I managed to wangle some silver for the deal with a successful conversation choice, but alas none materialised.

Quests

  • 1.  Creative Yukong's Bounty: Track Down Creative Yukong.
    See section on the Scholar's Garden below.

  • 2.  The Imperial Arena: Win Your First Qualifying Match - 300 XP, 300 silver, and Quest 3.
    Speak to Qui the Promoter to arrange fights. Your first battle is against an ogre. No sweat.

  • 3.  The Imperial Arena: Win Your Second Qualifying Match - 325 XP, 400 silver, and Quest 4.
    Next you face four students. Piece of cake.

  • 4.  The Imperial Arena: Win Your Third Qualifying Match - 350 XP, 500 silver, and Quest 5.
    It's a statue next, in a race against the clock to destroy it. Use Chi strike mode to enhance the power of your attacks.

  • 5.  The Imperial Arena: Win Your Final Qualifying Match - 400 XP, 500 silver, and Quest 6.
    For your final qualifying match, you are pitted against Hapless Han, the division champion. He lives up to his name. After this bout, Qui says he needs some time to arrange your first fight in the Bronze Division. This might be a good time to visit the Scholar's Garden and seek out Silver Fox, if you haven't already done so. There's really nothing to interest you here until Qui has arranged your next fight. See Quest 6.

  • 6.  The Executioners: Become the Silver Champion - lots of XP and silver, plus entrance to the Lotus Assassin Fortress.
    When you enter the Imperial Arena next after learning that the Executioner Guild may be interested in your endeavours, you are approached by their recruiter. He says you will only win his favour if you defeat the current champion of the Silver Division.

    OK, let's cut to the quick here. You have to win all your Bronze and Silver Division matches. I'm not going to bother to document each one. After you defeat Iron Soldier to take the Silver Division title, The Executioner Recruiter approaches you, and you get an invitation to the Fortress, the entrance to which is on the far side of the Necropolis, Hmm. It must be in that pagoda you discovered, had you been there earlier. He gives you a Lotus Executioner Seal to grant you passage. You now have Imperial City Quests 16 and 17.

Scholar's Garden
Silk Fox meets you as soon as you step into the Scholar's Garden. She suspects that Death's Hand has commandeered the great factories of the empire, and is using them to his own ends to build a mighty army of golems, which he intends to use against the Emperor. She wants you to infiltrate the Lotus Assassins, as she sees this as the best way to expose the evil doings of Death's Hand. You can approach this in two ways:

  1. By using your brawn to attract the attention of the Executioner Recruiter. You need to advance to the Silver Division in the Imperial Arena to do this. See Quest 1 below.
  2. By using your brains to impress the Inquisitor Recruiter. See Quest 2 below.

Silk Fox now offers to join you as a follower. She is a great fighter.

You'll come upon Scholar Kongyu (get it?) in the NW area of the gardens. After speaking with him for a while, it is obvious that this must be Creative Yukong. You now have Quests 7 and 8.

Quests

  • 1.  The Executioners: Seek Out the Executioner Recruiter.
    Become a fighter at the Imperial Arena, and Advance to the Silver Division. The Executioner Recruiter hangs out in the arena's tavern. See section on Imperial Arena above.

  • 2.  The Inquisitors: Talk to Scholar Dongow - Quest 3.
    Scholar Dongow is just inside the entrance to the gardens. Ask him about the Inquisitor Recruiter, and he arranges a meeting for you where your followers are encamped. See Quest 3. While you're here, be sure to take the Configuration of the Snake scroll from the Scroll stand near Scholar Dongow. It will help you with Lord Lao's Furnace, should you go that route.

  • 3.  The Inquisitors: Meet the Recruiter - Imperial City Quests 8 and 9.
    Return to where you first entered the Imperial City. The Inquisitor Recruiter appears. It would seem that Minister Sheng of Tien's Landing fame is coming to the Imperial City to present Minister Fang with a report that is very damning of the Lotus Assassins' activities. You must pass a test in order to be considered for induction into the Lotus Assassins. The test involves figuring out a way to prevent Minister Sheng from delivering that report, and they would like you to do it without resorting to violence. In other words: you are encouraged to use your wits to solve the problem. You are further informed that Sheng will be staying at the hostel on the Golden Way, and that Fang hangs out in the Imperial Arena.

    Your comrades suggest some novel ways to complete this quest. The Black Whirlwind thinks you should kill one of them, but let's discount that idea as we are trying to apply a more creative approach here. See Imperial City Quests 8 and 9 for further details. It goes without saying that you can only take on one of these two quests, as they achieve the same goal.

  • 4.  The Outlander: Prepare for the Debate - 1000 XP and Quest 5.
    You finally come across the Outlander, a certain Sir Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard, holding court in the south part of the gardens. You need to convince him to leave the gardens. First, you must challenge him to a debate. The important thing here is to answer each question in a different way, so as to appeal to the greatest cross section of the five judges. Ready? All you need do is ensure that at least three of the judges have their hands up at the end of the sixth topic. However, if all of the Judges have their hands up at once, you immediately win. Here is a solution that wins the debate after three topics:

    Topic #1: Sir Roderick questions your culture's use of silver as a currency, when gold is intrinsically more valuable.
    Rebuttal #1: [Factual] "Scarcity proves gold should be reserved for higher purposes." Judges 2 and 3 are now siding with you.

    Topic #2: Sir Roderick wants to know why your land does not impose its obvious superiority of force on the outlying lands to subjugate them.
    Rebuttal #2: [Mocking] "We know Outsiders are uncivilised. Look at you." Judges 2, 3, 4, and 5 have their hands raised. Looking good.

    Topic #3: Sir Roderick wonders why your people have not used their obvious ingenuity to develop sophisticated firearms.
    Rebuttal #3: [Raging] "A coward's trinket! We would feed it to you!" All the judges are siding with you now. The debate is won!

    Now you have to fight Sir Roderick to be truly rid of him. See Quest 5.

  • 5.  The Outlander: Face the Outlander in Single Combat - a gift from Sir Roderick and Quest 6.
    The Outlander has a gun, but you should be able to best him without too much trouble. Either use a long range magic attack, or get in close and keep attacking to prevent him from firing his weapon. Once you've defeated him, he somewhat gracefully concedes and agrees to leave the garden. He presents you with a gift of your choice before departing. Choose wisely. You can even acquire his firearm "Mirabelle" as a style. See Quest 6 next.

  • 6.  The Outlander: See the Minister of Culture - 1060 XP and 1250 silver.
    You must have completed Quest 5. Speak with the minister once more to collect your reward. You can get extra XP and silver if your conversation skills are high enough.

  • 7.  Creative Yukong's Bounty: Eliminate Yukong - 250 silver and Quest 8.
    (Closed Fist) You can kill Yukong straight off, but this is a rather uncreative approach. Better to take the silver that he offers you, and then turn him in at the gate anyway. See Quest 8.

  • 8.  Creative Yukong's Bounty: Aid Yukong's Escape - 1000 XP.
    (Open Palm) You travel with Yukong to the gate, and distract Captain Sen while Yukong makes his... er... escape. Open Palm points for this.

    (Closed Fist) Turn him in to Captain Sen for Closed Fist points. Also, you get the 4000 silver bounty for Yukong this way.

Black Leopard School
Ah, the blessed peace of being at school again! The path up to the Black Leopard school is on the SW side of the Market District. Defeating four over-ambitious students gains the attention of First Brother Kai, who tries to recruit you into the school. Well, you might as well accept. Whether you are on the trail of Aishi the Mournful Blade (see Imperial City Quest 7), or just looking to pick up some new fighting styles, it's probably worth your while to visit here for a time...

There are two rival Masters at the school: Master Radiant and Master Smiling Hawk. First Brother Kai informs you that you must fight your way through the five Brothers (Second Brother is missing at the moment) to gain the attention of the Masters. You begin with Quest 1

Quests

  • 1.  The Black Leopard School: Defeat Sixth Brother Gaoshan - 300 XP and Quest 3.
    No trouble finding Gaoshan. He's just to the east of First Brother Kai. But... while speaking to him, he diverts your attention to a woman meditating behind him who can only be Aishi the Mournful Blade. So you might as well get this over with first. See Quest 2. After that, defeating Gaoshan is a piece of cake, and you now have Quest 3.

  • 2.  Aishi the Mournful Blade: Deal with Aishi the Mournful Blade - 2500 silver and a powerful gem.
    You approach Aishi. Followers of the Way of the Open Palm will find her willing to talk. If you are following the Way of the Closed Fist, one of your conversation skills must be at least at the 50 mark (which will no doubt involve quite a bit of gem shuffling), before she will tell her story... it would appear that Captain Sen was responsible for a very bad deed in his youth and Aishi, being in love, covered up for him. At any time you can elect to kill Aishi and collect her bounty from Captain Shen (2500 silver), but it's much more fun to visit Captain Sen with Aishi in tow:

    (Open Palm) Let Aishi exact her revenge on Captain Shen. You then kill Aishi to put her out of her misery. You can't collect a bounty from Shen now... but as you are walking away you bump into the old man who alerted you to Aishi's presence in the Imperial City. Turns out he is the ghost of Aishi's father. For putting her to rest, you receive 2500 silver, a Gem of Unity (Body +3, Mind +3, Spirit +3), and Open Palm points.

    (Closed Fist) Betray Aishi at the last moment and kill her, preventing her from killing Shen. Captain Shen rewards you with 5000 silver for this, and you get Closed Fist points.

    In any case where Shen is still left alive, he presents you with a Gem of Mastery (Body +3, Mind +3, Spirit +3) which may only be used by followers of the Way of the Closed Fist.

  • 3.  The Black Leopard School: Defeat Fifth Brother Shangjin - 400 XP and Quest 4.
    Head into the school, and you'll find the Fifth Brother's room just to the left. You get Quest 4 after defeating him.

  • 4.  The Black Leopard School: Defeat Fourth Brother Yu - 500 XP and Quest 5 or 6.
    Fourth Brother Yu's room is right next to the Fifth Brother's room. After defeating the Fourth Brother you are approached by the Third Brother, who will not fight you yet, but takes you to see Smiling Hawk instead. You learn that Second Brother has died, and Smiling Hawk wants you to replace him. In order to gain Second Brother's place, Smiling Hawk wants you to eliminate Master Radiant. Hmm. You now have Quest 5 or 6, depending on whether or not you accepted Smiling Hawk's offer.

  • 5.  The Black Leopard School: Defeat Third Brother Renshan - 750 XP and Quest 7.
    (Open Palm) Ignore Smiling Hawk's offer, and challenge Third Brother. Smiling Hawk has promised to make this very difficult for you as you have refused his proposition. You'll find Renshan in the communal/dining area. Puts up a bit of a fight alright. Afterwards, First Brother Kai says you don't have to fight him and takes you to meet Master Radiant who is... wait for it... a spirit! Smiling Hawk stole his fighting style and also his life with a special style of his own that he mastered from reading books. But Master Radiant thinks he cannot use this trick on you. You offer to rid him of Smiling Hawk. See Quest 7.

  • 6.  The Black Leopard School: Kill First Brother Kai - Hidden Fist style and some powerful items.
    (Closed Fist) Master Smiling Hawk wants you to kill First Brother Kai, and then Master Radiant so that he can control the school. First Brother Kai is standing outside where you first spoke to him. Once you kill him, Master Radiant emerges. He is immune to weapon styles, so this can be a very tough fight indeed. After you defeat him, Smiling Hawk teaches you the Hidden Fist style, and also gives you a Gem of Black Flame (Mind +3, Spirit +3). Only followers of the Way of the Closed Fist may use this gem. He encourages you to ransack Master Radiant's room as well, where you will find the Warrior of the Inner Eye technique (Focus +7, Intuition +1). Smiling Hawk has told you that you must now leave the school. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

  • 7.  The Black Leopard School: Kill Master Smiling Hawk - Paralyzing Palm style and some powerful gems.
    (Open Palm) Seek out Master Smiling Hawk in his room, and be ready for a tough fight. For defeating Smiling Hawk, Master Radiant teaches you the Paralyzing Palm style, and gives you the Heaven's Blessing Gem. It surrounds you with an aura of wind that damages anyone who attacks you, and may only be used by followers of the Way of the Open Palm. Then First Brother Kai also presents you with two gifts: a Gem of Inner Genius (Mind +10, Body -5, Spirit -5), and the technique Rote of the Endless Mind (Focus +5, Chi +5). Your time here is finished.

Lotus Assassin Fortress
You need to have been recruited by the Lotus Assassins in order to gain access, via Imperial Arena Quest 6, or Imperial City Quest 10... but before you enter the fortress, a word of caution: you are going to a place where golems are being manufactured. If you have read your manual carefully concerning the fighting styles, you will have noted that golems are immune to all but weapon styles. So, you should either be somewhat proficient at a weapon style already, or be willing to pour all your style points on your next level-up into your weapon style before you need to face a golem. You will at least have some time inside the fortress before this happens. You have been warned. Failure to heed this warning may result in you having to replay a large portion of the game!

The entrance to this fortress is in the NE part of the Necropolis, in the large pagoda there that apparently serves as a tomb. As you approach the pagoda, you witness Sagacious Zu, who had left your party earlier, sneaking into the pagoda...

Use one of the seals given to you by a Lotus Assassin Recruiter on the blessing board to gain access to the fortress. Upon entering the fortress you meet The Watcher, and you get Quest 1 below.

After you have completed Quest 3, the outer chamber of the fortress opens up to you somewhat. Talk to the Keeper of the Archive, in the alcove just to the SW of where Gang is standing. She will at least relate some of the long history of the Lotus Assassins. Make sure you read the bookstands there for valuable XP. The scroll stand there contains another one of these cryptic messages. This one is called the Configuration of the Rabbit.

You can try to get training from Acolyte Trainer Guang, who is standing just to the east of Master Gang. However, you turn out to be much better than she is, and Gang quickly makes you the new trainer. Acolyte Trainer Guang has at least one useful technique for sale. For 5000 silver you get Eye of Inner Darkness (Chi +15, Focus +5). Now you can approach members of Shin's entourage, who are guarding the inner chamber, and 'train' them. After you kill the first two, the rest get mighty upset and all of them take you on at once. You have gained a bit of XP, silver, and prestige for this experience.

Quests

  • 1.  Infiltrate the Lotus Assassin Fortress: Find Your New Master - Quest 2.
    The Watcher tells you to seek out Master Gang, at the opposite end of the Hall of Induction. As you make your way to down the steps into the hall, some students challenge you. After that, Zu approaches and gives you a cryptic warning. You are still not sure which side he is on.

    If you head down the right-hand side of the hall you will meet Merchant Kia Jong. Ask him if he's related to Kia Min. Turns out she's his niece:

    (Open Palm) Tell him she was last well when you saw her, and describe one of her physical attributes (any one will do, I believe), and he will give you a discount.

    (Closed Fist) You don't get any conversation options that lead to a discount.

    You see Master Gang being reprimanded by Master Shin as you approach. You now have Quest 2.

  • 2.  Infiltrate the Lotus Assassin Fortress: Follow Gang to the Chambers Below - Quest 3.
    Master Gang bids you to follow him. At the bottom of the stairs, you receive Quest 3.

  • 3.  Infiltrate the Lotus Assassin Fortress: Defeat the Rampaging Ghosts - Quests 4 and 5.
    For your first task as a Lotus Assassin acolyte, Gang wants you to get rid of some ghosts that were unwittingly released by Master Shin. So head over the bridge and enter the room to the west. Defeat the spirits there, then report back to Master Gang. You now have Quests 4 and 5.

  • 4.  Create a Spirit Shard: Go to the Soul Extraction Chamber - Quest 6.
    The entrance to the Soul Extractor is in the same room where you defeated the ghosts. As you approach the door, Zu appears in order to deliver another cryptic message. He says there is a way to corrupt the spirit shard, and you are to go to the deepest mines and seek out thieves who await you there.

    You speak to Lotus Acolyte Go Rin once you enter the chamber. Ask her if the Soul Extractor is dangerous. She confirms it will not suit your purposes for killing Master Shin as it leaves behind nothing but a spirit shard.

    She also confirms that the lower mines are dangerous and infested with evil spirits. You now have Quest 6.

  • 5.  Kill Master Shin: Find a Way to Kill and Disgrace Shin - Quest 8.
    You must find a way to kill Master Shin, and it must be made to look like an embarrassing accident. Master Gang suggests that either the Soul Extraction Chamber or the Golem Press Room contain dangerous equipment that would help you in your quest. You are to speak with the acolytes in each place, and return when you have found a suitable means of killing Master Shin.

    Go to the Golem Press Room, take the wooden steps up to the operator, and speak to him. You learn that dying in the golem press would indeed be an embarrassing way to go. You now have Quest 8.

  • 6.  Create a Spirit Shard: Search the Lower Mine - Quest 7.
    Access the elevator controls, and go to the prison level first:

    (Open Palm) You can kill the guard there, open the prison door, and promise to kill the Soul Extractor operator so that the prisoners can make their escape. Then go back outside and tell Lotus Acolyte Go Rin that you are freeing the slaves. Kill her, then inform the slave leader. They now make their escape, and you get 500 XP and Open Palm points for this.

    (Closed Fist) Sorry, nothing for you here. I thought you might be allowed to make a proper spirit shard from one of the slaves here to provide yet another twist to the plot... but alas, it was not to be. Even if you free them and then inform acolyte Lotus Acolyte Go Rin that the slaves have escaped and need to be killed, she willfully does it herself, and you get no Closed Fist points.

    Next, go to the abandoned deep-level mine. You fight a powerful Horselord spirit called Zeng Sai, then Zu appears again. Now his purpose is made clear. He wanted to confirm that you were indeed a Spirit Monk. He says that before you present Master Gang with the spirit shard produced from Zeng Sai's body, a shard that will certainly corrupt the golem army as it is made from a pure chaotic spirit, you must first complete the other quest your Master has given you. See Quest 7.

  • 7.  Create a Spirit Shard: Make a Corrupted Spirit Shard - a chaotic Golem Spirit Shard.
    Advance to the back of this area and access the ancient coffin. Take Zeng Sai's body, and you return to the Soul Extractor to create a corrupted Golem Spirit Shard. Now we have to find a way to kill Shin. See Quest 5.

  • 8.  Kill Master Shin: Return to Master Gang - Quests 9, 10, and 11.
    Hmm. Not as easy as all that. Gang thinks it will be impossible to lure Shin into the Golem Press Room. So you propose killing him and then putting his body in the press. Gang thinks your plan might work, but there are three things you must do first to make it possible for you to kill Shin and plant his body in the Golem Press Room without anyone witnessing these events. You now have Quests 9, 10, and 11.

  • 9.  Kill Master Shin: Clear the Hall of Induction - 260 XP.
    The only time Master Shin apparently leaves his quarters is to receive shipments of slaves in the Hall of Induction. You must clear the hall so there will be no witnesses when you kill him. First, talk to the Merchant Kia Jong. Use whatever conversation skill is strongest to convince him to leave. He agrees to move his wares down to the central chambers. Then talk to the Lotus Assassin Sorcerer at the far end of the hall. He tries to summon spirits via the acolytes there to power the golems, but it all goes wrong. You have to kill off the things he summoned, and then he flees. Finally, go speak with the two mold masters. They say the only way they will leave the hall is if the golem press malfunctions. You learn that using the wrong amount of Phoenix Oil in the press will cause this. Use too much in the machine and it burns too hot; too little and the golems crumble.

    So... once I removed the press operator, I made at least 10 clay golems in the hope that it would affect the Phoenix Oil supply, but when I returned to the hall and talked to the mold masters after that, there were no extra conversation choices. Also, I could find no means by which to insert Phoenix Oil into the press. So in the end, I had to resort to violence to finally clear the hall, as below.

    (Closed Fist) You can just kill the mold masters to remove them from the hall, for Closed Fist points.

  • 10.  Kill Master Shin: Remove Press Operator - 200 XP.
    Talk to the press operator. He is, of course, reluctant to leave. Just tell him that his position depends on Master Gang's. You can raise him *if* there are no prying eyes. He then agrees to leave. Now you can try making a few clay golems if you wish. There is only one choice to make at each stage of the operation. Not difficult. But you apparently gain nothing for these efforts.

  • 11.  Kill Master Shin: Stop the Slave Shipment - 600 XP.
    Just exit the fortress and go back into the Necropolis. A short way along the path you will encounter the slave shipment. You can try your conversation skills on the Lotus Assassin to convince her that you should take the shipment inside instead (not a likely prospect), or you can just kill the Lotus Assassins. Then:

    (Open Palm) Let the slaves go free, for Open Palm points.

    (Closed Fist) Kill all the slaves, for Closed Fist points.

    In any case, if you have completed Quests 9, 10, and 11, you have now made the way clear for killing Shin, and you have Quest 12.

  • 12.  Kill Master Shin: Kill Master Shin - 1395 XP and Quest 13.
    When you return to the Hall of Induction after stopping the slave shipment, Master Shin and any attendants that you haven't already killed are there. During the ensuing battle, Shin activates the two nearby clay golems, so you will have to switch to a weapon style to defeat them. Once you have defeated Shin, you put his body in the golem press. Master Gang visits to see the results of your handiwork, and you gain a promotion. See Quest 13.

  • 13.  Infiltrate the Lotus Assassin Fortress: Go to the Inner Chambers - final Dragon Amulet fragment and evidence of treachery.
    You can now proceed to the inner chambers of the fortress, where Gang intends to let you present the Golem Spirit Shard to Grand Inquisitor Jia herself. As the quest info says, make certain you have finished all other business in the fortress before going, including charging up your Spirit and Focus.

    Zu approaches as you leave the Golem Press Room, and confesses that it was he that killed Master Li's family on the orders of Death's Hand all those years ago. But it looks as if he is firmly on your side now...

    Once you enter the inner chambers and Master Gang presents them with your corrupted Golem Spirit Shard, mayhem ensues. The Grand Inquisitor Jia appears and sets one of the uncorrupted golems on you. This is a tough fight, but you acquire the Jade Golem style as a result. Reading the scroll stand there grants you the technique Legacy of Death's Hand, which gives you Chi +10 if you took the time to read all the other books in the fortress.

    Now go up the steps and face Grand Inquisitor Jia. Defeating her nets you the final Dragon Amulet fragment, so remember you now have two extra gem slots. You are going to need them!

    As your character walks to the top of what looks to be an altar to collect the Dragon Amulet fragment, Death's Hand himself appears and turfs you to the floor. Fortunately for you, Zu is there to hold him off while you make your escape, but in doing so he fells a supporting column on top of himself and Death's Hand and the tomb begins to crumble. You must make your way out of the fortress now, and there are a lot of Lotus Assassins to fight on the way. You emerge in the Unfinished Tomb, and then have to defeat The Watcher and his support act. You now have Quest 14.

  • 14.  The Emperor and the Assassins: Return to the Flyer - Quest 15.
    You must fight your way out of the Necropolis, then you return immediately to the flyer. Silk Fox is shattered now that she realises that what you have discovered seems to implicate her father even more so than Death's Hand. She insists on going to the palace right away to confront her father. See Quest 15.

  • 15.  The Emperor and the Assassins: Get Ready to Leave.
    You can choose to leave for the palace straight away, but you have the option to stay here for a while to gather more supplies/experience. Your character should be somewhere near level 15 or 16 by now. Return to the flyer when you are ready to leave for the palace. See Chapter 4 next.

Chapter 4
Wherein the palace keeps its secrets,
An Emperor is met in battle,
And a Master shows his gratitude.

You infiltrated and destroyed the Lotus Assassin fortress, and learned that the Emperor had full knowledge of what was held there. It was a costly endeavour, and the loss of one of your fellows casts a pall across your coming confrontation in the palace of the mighty Emperor Sun Hai.

Palace
You arrive at the magnificent floating palace, only to find it heavily guarded by Lotus Assassins. You now have Quest 1.

Quests

  • 1.  The Height of Power: Seek the Emperor.
    Make your way to the throne room via Princess Lian's private entrance, though now it is guarded by Lotus Assassins. When you reach the throne room, Emperor Sun Hai is there interrogating Master Li. After a brief three-way conversation between yourself, Princess Lian, and the Emperor, everyone clears the room and the Emperor sends several waves of guards against you. Then you must fight a few more tougher guards at the next level. Finally, you get to confront the Emperor alone. But this is your most difficult battle yet. He keeps switching immunities, and you have to adapt by switching between martial, magical, and weapon styles.

    Once you've defeated the Emperor, Master Li approaches... and summarily kills you! Turns out that his part in these affairs was not at all what you were led to believe. You were merely a small yet important player in his grand scheme of revenge. But you don't know the why of it all yet. Anyway, you are dead. Moving right along to Chapter 5 then...

Chapter 5
Wherein the Water Dragon intervenes,
True history is revealed,
And the Spirit Monk legacy is reclaimed.

The defeat of Emperor Sun Hai was supposed to set things right, but with one careful blow, Master Li left you crumpled on the floor, a pawn in his carefully plotted revenge. The spirit realm stretches before you, but a beacon in the distance calls. You are not yet lost to the living.

Land of Spirits
You awake in the land of spirits, with the Water Dragon's spirit beckoning you to a beacon of light in the distance. You have Quest 1.

Quests

  • 1.  The Land of Spirits: Find the Water Dragon - Quest 2.
    Fight your way to the Water Dragon's beacon. The bad news is that you are dead. The good news is that though Master Li now has the physical Dragon Amulet, the 'spirit' of it appears to still be with you.

  • 2.  The Land of Spirits: Find the Abbot in Dirge.
    When you finally make your way to the Water Dragon, she explains some more of Master Li's treachery to you, and has just enough strength to send you to Dirge as a spirit. There, she will be able to restore you to full life once you carry out a task for her. See section on Ruins of Dirge below.

Ruins of Dirge
At the top of the steps you will find Abbot Song. Here you learn the full details of the story of Emperor Sun Hai's massacre at Dirge... and now you know who (or what) Death's Hand is. He was wrought from the slaughtered body of the Emperor's brother Sun Kin by the enraged Emperor himself, using Sun Li's abandoned armour. You now have Quest 1, as the Water Dragon outlined to you earlier. And Abbot Song joins you as a follower.

Quests

  • 1.  The Land of Spirits: Restore the Fountains of Dirge - 3000 XP.
    You must replace the seals of the fountains, which have been shattered by the blood of the dying Spirit Monks. Unfortunately, each fountain has a really tough guardian... or two, that has been bound to it by the treacherous Emperor. The first fountain is in the SW part of the area you are in now. Once you defeat the guardians, you can use the Dirge Fountain Seal you receive on the fountain, and the previously sealed gates to the monastery are now open.

    Head into the monastery, and you immediately meet the Water Dragon. Once past her, you come upon a Spirit Font, thankfully, and then you discover that the seal to the second fountain has been stolen. Then a fearsome demon called the Minion of Suffering appears, and bids you to follow him if you want to recover the seal. This is Quest 3, if you choose to take it now. But Abbot Song has a better plan. See Quest 2.

  • 2.  Gem of Power: Find the Gem - an extremely powerful gem.
    Abbot Song tells you about a very powerful gem that is hidden somewhere on the western side of the courtyard, and would give you an edge in battle against the Minion of Suffering. So head along the path to the west, where there's a Brilliant Gem of Balance in an urn next to the gate (Body +4, Spirit +4, Mind +4), through the gate, and up the steps to confront the spirit of the Red Minister. He's actually quite easy to defeat, and you learn Red Minister style (makes you immune to Support and Weapon styles, but drains a lot of Chi). Then access the gem repository and you get:

    (Open Palm) Eye of the Dragon (Body +6, Mind +6, Spirit +6, Celestial Aura: 5% chance a shockwave will knock attackers down when you are struck).

    (Closed Fist) The Eye of the Demon (Body +6, Mind +6, Spirit +6, Demon Skin: when damaged, the wielder has a 5% chance of draining a small amount of the attacker's Health).

    Now you have a better chance at Quest 3.

  • 3.  The Land of Spirits: Confront the Minion of Suffering - second fountain seal.
    Take the path to the SE here, fighting demons all the way. At the top of the path, you enter a cave. More demons here, and then finally you confront the Minion of Suffering, a dreaded bull demon. You now have another Dirge Fountain Seal, and Quest 4.

  • 4.  The Land of Spirits: Restore the Second Fountain - 3000 XP and Quest 5.
    Head back out of the cave, return to the second fountain, and use the Dirge Fountain Seal on it. Now the gates to the temple courtyard open. See Quest 5.

  • 5.  The Land of Spirits: Destroy the Abomination in the Temple - you live once again.
    Head into the temple courtyard, and you meet the Water Dragon once again. It appears that in order to curtail the powers of Master Li, you will have to destroy her physical body. It is being held somewhere within the floating palace. She divests you of the services of Abbot Song, and you can ask her all the questions you want about what is inside the temple, but you will be none the wiser. All you know is that something especially nasty has been lurking here for 20 years. Time to go find out what it is... well, I don't want to spoil the surprise!

    So head up the large steps in the north part of this area to confront your demons.

    Once you are victorious, the Water Dragon brings you back to life in the real Dirge. You now have Quest 6.

  • 6.  The Return to Dirge: Get Your Bearings - Quest 7.
    As soon as you start to wander, you are attacked by horse demons. Just destroy the glowing orb that is channelling them here, and they will be destroyed. Quest 7 next.

  • 7.  The Return to Dirge: Find the Others - become reunited with your followers.
    You know that the Water Dragon has sent a message to your followers to come to Dirge through Dawn Star. So your next task is to find them. But not so fast, there's a few things you can do around the temple first.

    The statue of Mah Tsung acts like a Spirit Font, and the Heavenly Gate Guardian statue like a Focus Shrine. In various piles of bones scattered around the place, you will begin to find Pages from the Tome of Release. It is relatively important to scour every set of bones from now on until you find the full set of pages if you want to see how this plays out.

    Read the Bookstand between the two statues to receive the Mantra of Inspiration, and then go to the temple entrance where you will find the meditation wheels it mentions. Looks like they're missing some vital parts. If you go down the steps behind the huge dragon head, you'll find some Machined Cogs in a chest there. Then head back upstairs and use the Machined Cogs on the meditation wheels to repair them. You restore 3 of the wheels to working order, but that's not enough. So don't do anything else with the wheels yet. Now exit the temple and go to the bottom of the steps. You witness your friends arriving in (somewhat) majestic style via the Dragonfly. And so begins Chapter 6. Perhaps we will find the remaining meditation wheel parts and Tome Pages somewhere else?

Chapter 6
Wherein a friend is returned to the living,
Dirge is under siege once more,
And the fate of Death's Hand is sealed.

Restoring the fountains of Dirge has allowed the Water Dragon to grant you a second chance at life. Your followers now rush to be at your side, but Sun Li also moves. He knows the threat a Spirit Monk poses. Here, at the ruins of Dirge, history will repeat itself in spectacular fashion.

Ruins of Dirge
Continue searching carefully around the temple courtyard, and you will find more Pages from the Tome of Release. Then exit the temple courtyard, and you will find your followers near some tents they have pitched. After your reunion, they retire for the night to rest for tomorrow's imminent battle. But don't rest yourself yet, we have a little more to do.

Scour this area for bones and you should find the remaining Pages from the Tome of Release and... a set of Beveled Cogs. Let's go perform the ritual from the Tome of Release first:

(Open Palm) Perform the ritual at the statue of Mah Tsung. For releasing the spirits of the trapped imperial guards, you receive the technique The Turning Wheel (Focus +7, Chi +7) and Open Palm points.

(Closed Fist) Use the Heavenly Gate Guardian statue instead. This channels the strength of the dead Spirit Monk guards into your body, forever ruining their chances of attaining an afterlife. For this, you receive the technique The Broken Wheel (Chi +7, Health +7), and Closed Fist points.

Time for the meditation wheels next. Use the Beveled Cogs to repair 2 more wheels. Oops. Still 3 remain to be repaired. Fortunately, you are informed this is the best you can do. So meditate now, and you receive the technique Communion of the Dragon (Health +5, Chi +15).

Now you can complete Quest 1 below, in restful assurance that you have prepared for tomorrow as best you can.

Quests

  • 1.  The Return to Dirge: Retire to the Campsite - bring on tomorrow.
    Go to your tent to rest, aware that this will bring on tomorrow's taxing events...

    Once you awake the next morning, things begin to happen rather quickly. The group decides that Kang should go destroy the lone bridge to the monastery, cutting off the main forces. You can choose either Dawn Star or Silk Fox to lead this sabotage expedition, and that will be the character you take control of... but before you set off for the bridge, a spirit appears to Dawn Star and tells her of caches of powerful weapons that are scattered around the place, open for all to pilfer now that the wards that were hiding them have been broken. I found Blade of Broken Bough in a hidden urn behind the first Dirge fountain. I'm assuming that this is the weapon either Silk Fox or Dawn Star gets to use in the next sequence.

    So then take your party down to the bridge, and Kang sets about mining it. You have to defend him from all comers for a few minutes as he does this. Once the bridge is blown, head back through the gates and...

    You now take control of the Black Whirlwind, to defend the courtyard from a huge Jade Golem and several Assassins that have been dropped in by flyer. You now have Quest 2.

  • 2.  Defend Dirge from Sun Li's Troops: Make Your Way Into the Temple - Death's Hand put to rest.
    As the Black Whirlwind, you now have a small amount of time to search the courtyard before retreating to the temple. On the west side of the courtyard is a hidden urn (that appears as you approach) containing Maker's Bane and Placid Guiju. I never found out exactly what these were, as the Black Whirlwind doesn't have any inventory or styles that you can access. You can exit the courtyard and explore the area around the tents, but there are no more hidden items here - only enemies for the Black Whirlwind to plow through. When you are finished exploring, head back into the temple. As you do this, the temple bell rings...

    Your character gains control again, and you speak to Sky. During his little scouting expedition, he was approached by Lotus Assassins and tempted into betraying you as ransom for his daughter. He made them believe that he was accepting their offer, and that bell ringing was a signal that Death's Hand could approach unopposed. Death's Hand enters then, only to see his accomplices wiped out by explosive charges that Sky had set in ambush.

    You now have to defeat Death's Hand one-on-one, the way you always knew it would be. Not immensely difficult, but no cake walk either. Then the avatar of Sun Li appears, and resurrects Death's Hand. Oh no, not again! But you are the one who is *physically* here, and so are stronger than Li, and you manage to release the spirit of Sun Kin from Death's Hand. You then take control as the spirit of Sun Kin against Death's Hand, and put him down again (a much easier battle this time. But if you lose it, Sun Kin's sprit is finally free, and you don't get any of the choices below). Sun Kin is no longer controlled by Master Li. You now have a choice:

    (Open Palm) Let Sun Kin's spirit rest.

    (Closed Fist) You can choose to have Sun Kin bound to you instead. For this you receive the Way of the Closed Fist (Intimidation +10, Body +5, Spirit -5), and Closed Fist points, of course. When you then go to meet your followers, most of them are very unsettled by what you have done to Sun Kin, and they will not follow you any longer. Now you have another decision to make:

    (Open Palm) Release Sun Kin.

    (Closed Fist) Bind Dawn Star to you as an example to the rest.

    After these memorable scenes, Kang needs some time to prepare the Dragonfly for its journey back to the palace. Meanwhile, Chapter 7 begins.

Chapter 7
Wherein the cost of war is tallied,
A Master is finally confronted,
And the fate of an Empire is decided.

You have come far, from borderland school to the ruins of Dirge, and now the fate of the Empire depends on the decisions before you. Stung by the loss of Death's Hand and the defeat of his siege force, Emperor Sun Li readies for your inevitable confrontation in the palace.

Temple Courtyard
You have Quest 1 below.

Quests

  • 1.  A Master's Fate: Return to the Palace - Quest 2.
    When you are ready, talk to Kang. He flies you all back to the palace...

Palace
You now have Quest 1.

Quests

  • 1.  A Master's Fate: Find the Water Dragon's Body - stop the flow of power to Sun Li plus a powerful gem.
    You must find the body of the Water Dragon and destroy it, to halt the transfer of her power to Sun Li. Keep going until you meet with the spirit of the Water Dragon. She asks you to follow her downstairs to see what has become of her body. The rest of your followers head off for a while, and you head down on the immense lift. Whoa. The family Sun have removed the heart of the Water Dragon, and turned the husk of the creature into a grotesque perpetual fountain. It fuels the Jade Empire with water and power, but at the expense of other places in the world that need her attention. Your followers join you again to witness this scene. You can decide whether or not to end this injustice through conversation:

    (Open Palm) Decide to put an end to the Water Dragon's suffering. Your character then throws a spear into the cogs of the machinery, destroying it and bringing an end to the twisted power being channelled to Sun Li. Open Palm points for this, natch. And you receive a very powerful gem: The Open Palm (Spirit +10, Mind +5).

    (Closed Fist) Well, you managed to come this far by being a total bastard, so why stop now... you can choose to taint the body of the Water Dragon with the blood of one of your followers. But your followers stand together as one, and now you must defeat them all. For choosing this turn of events, you get The Closed Fist (Body +10, Spirit +5).

    No matter which of the options you chose above, you disrupted the flow of power from the Water Dragon to Sun Li, and you can now take him on. By the way, I found a Scintillating Gem of Power (Body + 5, Spirit +5, Mind +5) in a headstone in the northern part of this area.

    When you are finished at the Water Dragon's tomb, exit the area and you are taken to a hall quite close to the throne room. For his first trick, Sun Li conjures some bull elephant demons from stone. These are pretty tough demons, but you can probably just manage to scrape by. Oops, very little Health and Chi left probably. Not to worry though, as next Sun Li turns you to stone, and takes you to the spirit realm. Your energies are restored completely as you take on a few of his avatars in the spirit realm. You can't figure out how to get back to the real world, but the spirit of Sagacious Zu appears to help you out once you approach the column.

    Finally, you must take on Li himself. Just remember to duck or block his powerful bolts as you try to get close to him, then use Chi Strike Mode to inflict maximum damage when you get in close. Once you defeat Sun Li, the game is over. You have saved the Jade Empire... maybe.

    There are two endings, both quite abrupt. Basically, the Open Palm ending has everyone cheering for you, while in the Closed Fist ending they bow in fearsome supplication.

    Be sure to read the blurbs concerning what happens to your followers after the game. Quite amusing if you chose the Way of the Open Palm, quite disturbing for Closed Fist types.

Appendix A: Followers
Here is a synopsis of each follower, roughly in the order that you can acquire them.

Dawn Star

Attack: Long Sword, Support: Recovers your Chi
Dawn Star's attacks can damage spirits.
You have Dawn Star on your side soon after the game begins, and she is handy to have around till the very end.

Sagacious Zu

Attack: Staff, Support: You deal extra damage with weapon styles
Zu's attacks can damage spirits.
Zu is an enigmatic character to say the least. You meet him in the swamp outside Two Rivers, and you are never quite sure of his loyalty to you, though for a large part of the game he proves to be a trustworthy ally.

Chai Ka/Wild Flower

Attack: Demon form, Support: Recovers your Health
Chai Ka's attacks can damage spirits.
Chai Ka is otherwise known as the Heavenly Gate Guardian. You meet him at the Dam Site in Tien's Landing. His avatar on earth is a gentle child named Wild Flower.

The Black Whirlwind

Attack: Dual Axes, Support: None
The Black Whirlwind's attacks can damage spirits.
One of the strongest followers available. You meet him in the Great Southern Forest. Has a penchant for hitting the booze, but it never seems to affect his game.

Kang the Mad

Noncombatant
Speak with Kang to access Dragonfly mini-games and to travel.
You meet Kang at the pirate stronghold near Tien's Landing. He's a great man for the old explosives, and the Empire's premier flyer designer. You need to speak with him to pursue quests in the mini-game.

Sky

Attack: Dual Sabers, Support: Recovers your Focus
Sky's attacks can damage spirits.
Another enigmatic character that you meet at the pirate stronghold, near Tien's Landing. Sky is a competent fighter.

Henpecked Hou

Attack: None, Support: Drops wine jugs that enable the Drunken Master style.
Gotta love this guy. He teaches you Drunken Master style, and is handy enough to have around the place.

Silk Fox

Attack: Long Sword, Support: You deal extra damage with martial styles
Silk Fox's attacks can damage spirits.
Silk Fox is none other than the Emperor Sun Hai's daughter in disguise. An adept fighter who is definitely one of your best allies, even if she is a bit of a spoiled brat.

Abbot Song

Attack: Monk Spade, Support: Recovers your Chi, Focus, and Health
Abbot Song's attacks can damage spirits.
He's with you at the Ruins of Dirge, when you have no one else to turn to... because you're, like, dead at the time.

Death's Hand

Attack: Fallen Blades, Support: None
Death's Hand's attacks can damage spirits.
If you are a follower of the Way of the Closed Fist, and all-around maligned type, you can acquire Death's Hand at the Ruins of Dirge by first defeating him in combat, and then binding him to your will.

Appendix B: Fighting Styles
Here is a summary of the various fighting styles available to you in Jade Empire. I found that sticking to the ones you encountered early on and boosting their capabilities to the max worked best. You mileage may vary.

Martial Styles

White Demon

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Chi Damage, Speed Increase.

This style can complete a Harmonic Combo.

Many martial artists criticise the White Demon style for being slow and ponderous, but in the hands of a true master it can be one of the deadliest styles of all. While it lacks the crowd-pleasing panache of faster styles, White Demon's sheer power and intimidating techniques plow through opponents like an ogre in a teahouse.

Where to obtain this style: one of the starting styles.

Leaping Tiger

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Chi Damage, Speed Increase.

This style can complete a Harmonic Combo.

With the vigor and speed of the animal for which this martial style was named, Leaping Tiger dazzles onlookers even as it carves up opponents. Practitioners of this martial style focus so completely on the strength and quickness of the tiger that razor-sharp claws seem to sprout from their fists. The style's quick, leaping techniques and punishing strikes create a flurry of death that can keep even armed opponents at bay.

Where to obtain this style: one of the starting styles.

Legendary Strike

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Chi Damage, Speed Increase.

This style can complete a Harmonic Combo.

Many in the Jade Empire have heard of Legendary Strike, but few have actually seen it in action. Fewer still have mastered this martial style, but those who have are to be feared; their blows rain down too fast to block, and their kicks can quickly put an opponent out for good.

Where to obtain this style: one of the starting styles.

Thousand Cuts

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Chi Damage, Speed Increase.

This style can complete a Harmonic Combo.

Thousand Cuts is aptly named, though the style does not involve blades. A master of this style relies on numerous light strikes in quick succession instead of singular punishing blows or thunderous kicks. Most opponents reel under such a relentless assault, unable to counter fast enough to find an opening for their own attacks.

Where to obtain this style: one of the starting styles.

Drunken Master

Available upgrades: none.

This style can complete a Harmonic Combo.

Pick up Hou's wine jugs to activate Drunken Master style. This style does much more damage than other martial styles, but is only available for a short time once activated. Picking up more wine jugs extends the duration of Drunken Master style.

Henpecked Hou is a mater bun maker and a former fighting champion. He refuses to fight these days out of respect for his beloved wife.

Where to obtain this style: Henpecked Hou, Pilgrim's Rest Inn, Great Southern Forest.

Support Styles

Heavenly Wave

Available upgrades: Chi Damage, Duration Increase, Speed Increase.

Does direct damage in Chi Strike mode.
This style's Power Attack can initiate a Harmonic Combo that produces a Health power-up.

Fighters skilled in Heavenly Wave learn techniques that can slow their opponents to a crawl. While this Support style does no damage on its own, a master can manipulate the chi in the area around opponents, rendering them sluggish and easily defeated. Even the most lightning-fast of foes can be slowed to a turtle's pace with the application of Heavenly Wave.

Where to obtain this style: one of the starting styles.

Paralyzing Palm

Available upgrades: Chi Damage, Duration Increase, Speed Increase.

Does direct damage in Chi Strike mode.
This style's Power Attack can initiate a Harmonic Combo.

This esoteric style has a sinister reputation, but many more peaceful masters prefer it for its ability to render an opponent helpless without killing him. More unscrupulous masters take advantage of this style's paralysing blows to weaken foes for the killing blow. It is designed around its magical palm strikes, which can stop a man in his tracks with a single hit.

Where to obtain this style: Master Radiant, Black Leopard School, Imperial City.

Hidden Fist

Available upgrades: Chi Damage, Duration Increase, Speed Increase.

Does direct damage in Chi Strike mode.
This style's Area Attack can initiate a Harmonic Combo that produces a Chi power-up.

Warriors willing to tread a darker path learn that a confused mind is a weakened one. This infamous support style is a collection of techniques that render the practitioner's foe disoriented and unable to fight back. A master of Hidden Fist is not above using dirty tricks and forbidden strikes to serve the goal of total domination.

Where to obtain this style: Master Smiling Hawk, Black Leopard School, Imperial City.

Weapon Styles

Golden Star

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Focus Cost Reduction, Speed Increase.

Drains Focus.

Forged under an auspicious comet, this staff was originally a gift for the Water Spirit of the Silkworm River. A young prince named Seng Lo sought to win the heart of the Water Spirit and had the staff created as a gift. He then convinced the Great Eastern Serpent to fly him to the heavens, where he dipped the staff in the golden comet. The light of the comet dimmed, but the staff became more powerful than any before it. To this day no one knows if Seng Lo won the Water Spirit's heart, but there is no questioning the magnificence of the staff he created.

Where to obtain this style: Weapon Master Gujin, Two Rivers.

Fortune's Favorite

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Focus Cost Reduction, Speed Increase.

Drains Focus.

This long sword bears the mark of Shining Fortune, the blacksmith of the gods. Shining Fortune's weapons were so finely crafted that the gods forbade him from creating weapons for anyone but them. When his son was enlisted to subdue the barbarians from the west, Shining Fortune forsook his oaths and forged this marvelous long sword for his son. The gods cursed Shining Fortune for breaking his oath, and he was never again able to produce weapons of any worth. Still, the blade he made for his son never experienced defeat. It is truly Fortune's Favorite.

Where to obtain this style: Weapon Master Gujin, Two Rivers.

Mirabelle

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Focus Cost Reduction, Speed Increase.

Drains Focus.

A strange weapon from a strange culture, Mirabelle is made of wood and steel and emits thunder and fire. Loud and ungainly (like its previous owner), Mirabelle is nonetheless capable of doing real harm at medium range. Etched with undecipherable symbols from the Outlander's language, this weapon is a unique (and dangerous) trophy. The power of some enemies is such that fate itself turns away the cold, foreign steel that Mirabelle projects.

Where to obtain this style: Sir Lord Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard, Scholar's Garden, Imperial City.

Tang's Vengeance

Available upgrades: Damage Increase, Focus Cost Reduction, Speed Increase.

Drains Focus.

When Emperor Fong died without an heir, the Empire became fractured and divided. After years of war, Tang the Merciless rose to become the forerunner in the battle for the contested throne of the Jade Empire. Tang's own father betrayed him into the hands of his enemies, fearing that his son's violent ways would ruin the Empire. Rumour has it that before he fled into exile, Tang the Merciless used these very axes to cut off his father's head. These devastating axes remain extremely sharp, even after hundreds of years of use.

Where to obtain this style: The Ravager, Imperial Arena, Imperial City.

Magic Styles

Ice Shard

Available upgrades: Lower Chi Cost, Damage Increase, Duration Increase.

Drains Chi.
This style's Power Attack can initiate a Harmonic Combo that produces a Chi power-up.

While many warriors swear by the power of Dire Flame, many others seek to master the powerful Ice Shard. By using their Chi to summon forth the soul-chilling cold of the highest mountains, masters of Ice Shard can send daggers of ice flying toward enemies, call a freezing ice storm to slow their shivering foes, or even encase opponents in columns of ice before shattering them with a single blow. Few fighters have the courage to stand up to the cold stare of an Ice Shard master.

Where to obtain this style: Water Dragon's spirit, Spirit Caves, School.

Dire Flame

Available upgrades: Lower Chi Cost, Damage Increase, Duration Increase.

Drains Chi.
This style's Area Attack can initiate a Harmonic Combo that produces a Health power-up.

Practitioners of Dire Flame can throw bolts of fire, project explosive fireballs, and even summon dragon-like burning constructs that immolate enemies with tongues of flame. Sometimes the sight of a fighter wielding the power of flame is enough to reduce the bravest of opponents to begging for mercy.

Where to obtain this style: Water Dragon's spirit, Spirit Caves, School.

Stone Immortal

Available upgrades: Lower Chi Cost, Damage Increase, Duration Increase.

Resonance: Stronger when wielded by a follower of the Way of the Open Palm.
Drains Chi.
This style's Power Attack can initiate a Harmonic Combo.

Fighters who study this style gain mastery over the ponderous element of earth, putting the mighty power of stone and crystal at their command. Masters of Stone Immortal have the ability to attack enemies with crystalline missiles, encase foes in stone, or even open the ground beneath an opponent's feet. To command the power of earth requires a mind centred on balance, stability, and order, and so Stone Immortal is a favoured style among followers of the Way of the Open Palm. It is far less effective if wielded by those who follow the Way of the Closed Fist.

Where to obtain this style: Mistress Vo, Tien's Landing.

Tempest

Available upgrades: Lower Chi Cost, Damage Increase, Duration Increase.

Resonance: Stronger when wielded by a follower of the Way of the Closed Fist.
Drains Chi.
This style's Power Attack can initiate a Harmonic Combo that produces a Focus power-up.

Warriors proficient in Tempest have the winds at their beck and call. Fighters who have faced this style and survived tell tales of blasts of gale-force winds and of powerful whirlwinds that effortlessly sent them flying away from the Tempest master himself. Many practitioners of Tempest face entire gangs without ever taking a wound, as the mighty winds at their command keep their foes at bay. Warriors with the chill of the wind in their hearts find Tempest far easier to command, so it is the favoured style of the Way of the Closed Fist, and less effective in the hands of those that follow the Way of the Open Palm.

Where to obtain this style: Jian the Iron Fist, Tien's Landing.

Transformation Styles
These styles allow you to take on the form of a demon, spirit, or golem , with all the benefits and penalties that are associated with the creature in question. Switching to some of these styles can be especially useful for immediately breaking the hold of a magic user, as demons and golems are intrinsically immune to magic and support styles. On the downside, you can't avail of one of these styles for too long, as they tend to consume a lot of Chi.

Toad Demon

Available upgrades: Chi Cost Reduction, Damage Increase, Chi Damage.

Removes negative effects (such as slow or paralysis).
Drains Chi.

Toad demons may not be the most highly respected demons, but this style proves that they are not to be trifled with. A warrior using this style takes the hulking form of the deadly toad demon, complete with the demon's clawed fingers and its punishing tongue attack. This form also makes the martial artist immune to all support styles, just like the toad demon itself.

Where to obtain this style: Toad Demon, Cave, Swamp.

Horse Demon

Available upgrades: Chi Cost Reduction, Damage Increase, Chi Damage.

Removes negative effects (such as slow or paralysis).
Drains Chi.

Powerful warriors can gain the power to take the form of the fearsome horse demon. This transformation grants the horse demon's legendary ferocity, as well as its mastery of the element of fire and its immunity to the effects of support styles. Faced with the immolating brutality of the horse demon, weak-willed foes cower in fear, helpless against the raging flames.

Where to obtain this style: Horse Demon, Heaven.

Jade Golem

Available upgrades: Chi Cost Reduction, Damage Increase, Chi Damage.

Removes negative effects (such as slow or paralysis).
Drains Chi.

This style imbues the martial artist with the style and form of the towering Jade Golem. Powerful and terrifying, the Jade Golem mauls foes with brutal strikes and inhuman cunning, and the form's complete immunity to magic and martial styles makes it the perfect tactic when facing deadly sorcerers and certain demons.

Where to obtain this style: Inner Chambers, Lotus Assassin fortress.

Red Minister

Available upgrades: Chi Cost Reduction, Damage Increase, Chi Damage.

Removes negative effects (such as slow or paralysis).
Drains Chi.

When an eminent sage dies, its spirit sometimes returns as a ghostly red minister. Taking the form of a red minister grants a warrior the nefarious ability to feed on an opponent's life force and the incorporeal spirit's immunities to weapons and support styles. Few people in this troubled age have the resilience to withstand the spine-chilling touch of a red minister.

Where to obtain this style: Spirit of Red Minister, Ruins of Dirge.

Unique Styles

Spirit Thief

Available upgrades: Chi Damage, Duration Increase, Speed Increase.

Drains Chi from enemies.
Does direct damage in Chi Strike mode. Spirit Thief's Power Attack inflicts damage but does not drain Chi in Chi Strike mode.

Those most adept at manipulating Chi find that even the spiritual energy of others is within their grasp. The strikes and forms of the Spirit Thief style enable practitioners to tap an enemy's vital energies and refill their own reserves. While the techniques of this style do no physical damage to its victims without being charged with the user's Chi, those who face a Spirit Thief master find themselves without the resolve to put their hearts into the fight.

Where to obtain this style: Hui the Brave, Tien's Landing.

See the Quandary Review of Jade Empire.

Copyright © Steve Metzler 2005. All rights reserved.