The Union Of Noble Families - Advanced

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The Union Of Noble Families - Advanced

Post  Legend on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:38 pm

Overview

Affiliation: Neutral

Current Leader / Dragon: Nangong Hui

Weapon: Nangong Hui uses a fan as a weapon.

Kung Fu Style: Nangong Hui is the successor of an ancient noble lineage, his forefathers having served as the martial arts instructors to The Imperial Court during the ancient Tang Dynasty. Though the clan’s leaders each bare the noble bloodlines of one of the Five Noble Families, its disciples need only be acquainted with their vast collective knowledge of history, politics and literature. Though these disciples become high-level initiates of Five Family Kung Fu techniques, they are also permitted to study other disciplines. Disciples master many weapons, but in emulation of Nangong Hui, the deadly fan is a current prerequisite. The Graceful Fan has stood the test of ages as the preferred weapon of scholarly, noble warriors.


Clan History

The Five Noble Familes are Huangfu, Murong, Nangong, Sima and Zhuge. Each of these Five Families claim ancestors that served as the keepers and trainers of The Imperial Court’s martial arts since the Tang Dynasty. They continued to enjoy the favor of the government, to whom many of them had become entwined by marriage, until The Ming Dynasty, where their royal retainer was severed. Having amassed a great deal of wealth and power in their own right, The Five Families continue to prosper. Emperors have come and gone, but the Families remain, powerful enough to remain immune to the pitfalls of each government’s treacherous politics. As time passed, however, without unification of purpose, the various branches of the family took up residence in different Provinces throughout The Land.

When Nangong Hui’s father died, young Hui, the only male in a family often bereft of male children, became head of the Nangong Family. Less than a year later, the honorable Choi Huangfu, leader of The Union of Noble Families, was killed in a duel. With the Union’s leadership vacant, a secret summit was called between all of The Familes, which was held at an undisclosed location in Beijing. Here, over tests of combat between the chosen delegates of each family, Nangong Hui proved his Kung Fu and Fan techniques were superior. And so, for the first time in over two centuries, The Nanchong Family took the mantle of power within The Union.

Unlike other clans, with their strong religious ideals and ever-shifting alliances, The Union remains indifferent to The Imperial Emperor’s will. To them the current Imperial regime in Beijing is “But a momentary breeze in a gathering storm.” This autonomy remained for many years until The War of Nine Dragons, where the clan was eventually pressured into conflict with both the White Clans, led by Shaolin, who demanded their allegiance in the name of nobility and under the threat of annihilation by the Black Clan forces of both Heavenly Demon and Black Dragon clans. Both sides swore there could be no neutrality, and hence The Union became caught up in their war.

So it was that Nangong Hui became one of the legendary Nine Dragons who stood ready for combat at the infamous final Duel of Nine Dragons. Though many of the clan’s heroes disappeared following that event, Nangong Hui simply returned to his clan, never speaking of the incident to any but his closest advisors. Though officially disbanded by Nangong himself, The Union continues to secretly operate throughout The Land. Membership is by special invitation only.

"A Male in The House of Nangong"
Too many female children, and the rare occurrence of male children, has plagued the House of Nangong for many generations. The family faces near-extinction nearly each generation. Many tales of almost comedic proportion have been written on their accord for this oddity: Stories of Nangong girls forced to masquerade as boys, or Nangong boys, who are their sole heirs, being kidnapped for tremendous ransom. Nangong Hui, the current leader of The Union of Noble Families, has an interesting past as well.

The story goes that Hui was the only son of eleven children born to succeed Nangong Chan. Chan’s wife and daughters, enjoying their great wealth, and having never held power, nor become desirous of it, continuously spoiled young Hui. Chan himself, who spent little time in the study of martial arts, gave his son little attention.

Then one day, in session with the family fortune teller, Chan was informed that his girlish twelve-year-old son would one day not only succeed him proudly, but would become head of The Union of Noble Families. Chan was beside himself for many days, for Hui knew nothing of Kung Fu, nor would he himself be a capable teacher. He dared not tell his wife of the prophecy, for risk of her dispelling it. And so, on the evening of Hui’s thirteenth birthday, Chan arranged for his son to be kidnapped.

For three years, the wails and moans of The Nangong women were heard throughout Beijing. During that time, Hui was placed in the care of a retired assassin named Buko, who cruelly trained him in the ways of Kung Fu. At least once per month, Chan would arrange business trips and observe young Hui’s training from afar. When Buko assured Chan that Hui was becoming capable with his chosen weapon, The Fan, Chan decided to visit his son.

Sitting alone, they embraced, and Chan revealed all to his son, begging his forgiveness. Much to his surprise, young Hui thanked his father and asked that he might remain with Buko another year before returning to public view, to complete his martial arts studies. Chan gladly acquiesced to this request. One year later, a ransom letter arrived at the House of Nangong from Buko, demanding his final payment. Chan paid Buko, and Hui was returned safely to his grateful family.

Unfortunately, Chan would never live to see the fortuneteller’s prophecy unfold as pronounced. He died on Hui's twenty-first birthday, the very same day that Buko came out of retirement as a commander in the service of The Thunder Emperor.

During The War of Nine Dragons, Nangong Hui, now the leader of The Union, unknowingly came to do battle with a war party under Buko’s command. Buko was slain during that engagement by an arrow unleashed by a young boy. Ironically, that boy happened to be Nangong Hui’s only son.

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