Story

blade and soul wulin

Blade and Soul is filled with stories of allegiance, morals, retaliation and salvation. Proof enough that it is more than just assaulting people with Kung Fu. It is based on a Wuxia tale, a kind of Eastern literature that is told in a modern way that is quite familiar to Western and present day action movies, keeping it roots deep in Chinese culture. This can be compared to playing FPS, where it is still doable if you don’t have any background with military tactics, but you are probably missing out on stuff. Playing Blade and Soul without any knowledge of Wuxia is similar. Therefore, we have compiled this basic introduction to the world of Wuxia.

Jianghu and Wulin

Jianghu in English means rivers and lakes, and that is where a Wuxia usually happens. It does not pertain to a specific location but more of a representation of the nature of the world. It represents chaos. It represents the decay of mankind as it befalls war and corruption. It represents men at its worst but also an opportunity to rise from the ashes. Instead of law, people follow codes of honor as those in positions are too corruptible to have faith on.

The Wulin is a society of martial artists and they are permanent fixtures in the Jianghu. This is a group of people who have devoted their selves to martial discipline, although they are not that organized enough. A variety of factions, sects and brotherhood headed by many masters are what consist the Wulin. Each one of these component can be allies, enemies, or neutral to each other.

Neigong, Qinggong, and the Secret Scriptures

Based on clans, the Wulin’s martial arts, or Wushu, are therefore varied. Students need to prove their worth to masters in order for them to receive skills. There are many specializations for the different schools, it can be either hand-to-hand combat, swords, staves and other weaponry, some even supernatural skills. Heightening speed, strength, and stamina and receiving healing powers can be done by focusing qi with the use of Neigong, or the internal skill. Going against gravity, propelling martial artists high into the air, running up walls, or even running across water is made possible by Qinggong, or the lightness skill.

A Secret Scripture or Tome is composed of ancient text that records the greatest martial arts techniques. Finding this tome will give the reader superhuman combat abilities. These secrets need to be guarded ferociously though as they can be rather dangerous if they fall at the wrong hands. If used inappropriately, they can prove fatal to the practician and even to the whole world.

Xia

The Xia is a code of honor that is reminiscent of the moral teachings of Confuscius and is what separates the forces of good and evil. Xia in english translates to honorable and swordsman. Followers of the Xia require its members to be allegiant, upright and be beacons of justice for the poor and the oppressed. The Xia must dictate the actions of Wuxia heroes and they should be faithful to their clan, their family, and their true love. Usually, the heroes in such stories are young and not yet experts in their field. Their growth and development, is what the story will be about, including them mastering their arts and realizing their full potentials.

The denouement in such stories will usually be how a person who has followed the Xia will defeat the other who has become unchaste and becomes a danger to the world. Aside from that, the internal conflict that the character has go to through is an underlying story of similar significance. Frequently, what will define the heroes from the villains will come from how they decide to resolve these conflicts in loyalties. A villain will not hesitate to betray, while a hero will seek righteousness and uphold moral teachings. These stories are also about redemption, where those who have chosen the path if villainy will still be given a chance to redeem themselves.

But, not every one can be saved, and a true hero will not hesitate to kill if that means righting the wrong. This is the true essence of Wuxia: a lone hero who persists against the world to make it a better place, regardless of what it takes.

History of Jianghu

There is a lengthy and multifaceted story as to how the Earthen Realm came to be. Empires have risen, fallen, and lost so much. History has been formed by tyrants to their own will. When the dust has settled, many generations was lost in the tragedy. Scriptures cannot account for what entirely happened leaving many questions. Those who are left behind can only put the pieces together and assume the conclusion. Not many can give accurate re-tellings as they are laden with personal biases. Only a neutral party can give the ultimate truth, scraped clean of legends and lies. In the heart of these stories, true warriors can be uncovered.

blade and soul xia

The Four Guardians

More than a thousand years ago, there is only one ruling power in the whole world – the Naryu Empire. What brought them into global importance is their creation of technological wonders made possible through Soulstones, which can be harnessed from the bowels of the earth. At present time, what remains of this empire are ruins and buried wrecks of these machines. The Nary went too far. They have contorted the essence of the continent by mining Soulstones excessively and they provided a bridge to the gap between the Dark Realm and the Earthen Realm. From the Dark Realm, Dark Chi exhumed, putting the world to intoxication and releasing demons upon the people. These dark influences are what made the Naryu Empire to fall, and now the world is suffering the same risks.

Nonetheless, sitting idly by, watching mortals suffer under the demons is not something that the Divine Realm are planning on on doing. The Divine Realm rallied their forces while the habitats of the Dark Realm wanted to open a permanent path between their world and the mortal world for seizure. Four powerful martial artists, from the Earthen Realm, were chosen to fight against the darkness – Mushin, the Divine Fist and the heir to the Naryu bloodline; Jiwan, the Righteous Blade; Iksanun, the Realmwalker; and Hong Sokgyun, the eldest of the Four Guardians and the so-called Earthbreaker based almighty power. The Twilight’s Edge is a weapon of immeasurable power and unknown origins that the divine spirits have granted the Four Guardians. It was told that the weapon can drive back the darkness and can change its form to suit whoever wielded it. The Four Guardians met the demons in glorious battle brandishing the Twilight’s Edge and empowered by the mystical blessings of the Divine Realm.

It would be nice to know that good triumphed over evil. But things can never be simply so. The Dark Lord was summoned by the demons to the Earthen Realm through a Dark Gate. The heroes and the world was overwhelmed by its power. In his desperation, Mushin jumped into the Dark Gate and closed it from within, making a sacrifice of himself and the Dark Lord. Those who have remained finished the fight, not even allowed a moment to pause to mourn the loss of a friend. This they have done to their victory. However, all they have really done was postpone the inevitable. With the Dark Chi corrupting the world, they have cleansed the world of evil for now, but no one can say the same for the future.

The Stratus Empire

Time passed, the Four Guardians became legends. Where the Naryu once stood, new empires rose as the world reconstructed itself. In the Southern Continent, the Stratus Empire came to importance and extended its power throughout the Earthen Realm. While the Emperor himself remained upon the throne at the Southern Empire, the Northern, Eastern, and Western Continents were each ruled by one of the Emperor’s sons. Prince Wan, the youngest, remained by his father’s side as he was not yet ready to rule and is still learning the ways of leadership and royalty until his day would come. As the Emperor met an untimely end, Prince Wan was compelled to take the throne for the sake of the people.

Tragedy and loss besieged the Stratus Empire from then on. Young Emperor Wan’s older brothers wanted to subvert their own brother, borne out of jealousy of him ruling in their father’s wake and their self-confidence in believing their selves to be a more befitting candidate to the crown. The toxic influence of Dark Chi returned, coming from the discord and upheaval of the Stratus Empire. As man turned on each other, the Dark Chi seeped into their hearts. Some great disaster befell the Eastern Continent, while the exact nature of the incident is unknown. Thirty years ago, the Highland Central, its capital city was invaded by demons. As malicious forces overran the city and menaced to open another Dark Gate, Prince Sobu and his sister, Princess Solaan, were both killed in the event. The remaining Guardians once again rose to their divine duty, just as they have done before. Along with the Sacred Beasts of the land, and with the energy of the Divine Realm sustaining them throughout the centuries, they managed to seal away the dark forces once more. Although the world was safe again, the city was already lost.

That did not mean the troubles of the Stratus has already ended though. The empire became unable to control its own army as it was in such a impaired and disordered state. Within the Stratus itself, defectors rose. Yunma Kahn, one of its mightiest generals, resigned from the Stratus Empire and established his own Talus Dominion in the east. To this day, the Talus Dominion of the Eastern Continent has become empowered and a true enemy to those who oppose it. On the other hand, the Stratus Empire of the Southern Continent is barely grasping for a foothold to existence. Despite both being troubled with civil upheaval and corruption, the two kingdoms remain at each others’ throats.

The World Today

The bones of fallen warriors and the ashes of ruined lives will serve as foundation for the modern world. Territory and resources are the causes of war between factions. While the population was exploited by smaller clans to their advantage. Martial artists have grown in population and influence in these times of discord, especially those that defend the weak and stand up for the people. The Eight Masters, righteous warriors, have banded together, uniting their clans behind them to help the innocent. However, penetratingly felt was the absence of the Guardians. Years earlier, Jiwan had been slain by the wicked Jinsoyun for the Twilight’s Edge she wielded. Before Jinsoyun could claim the mystical blade, Hong Sokgyun struck her down. Meanwhile, Iksanun was badly wounded in the succeeding battle and retreated from the world.

It is unknown what will become of all these. Poisoning the world is Dark Chi. Corrupted empires make the people suffer. Legendary heroes are unable to defend and fight. Maybe the world is ending. Or maybe, new heroes will rise up to the challenge.

blade and soul land filled with dark chi

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