The Brotherhood Of Thieves

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The Brotherhood Of Thieves

Post  Legend on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:59 pm

Overview

Affiliation: Black Clan (unaffiliated as far as any know at this time)

Clan Headquarters: Tai Shan Mountain, Zhongyuan Province.

Current Leader: Black Panther, Overlord of The Brotherhood

Lost Dragon: Ji Longfeng, “The Divine Spear”

Weapon: Ji Longfeng used a spear.

Kung Fu Style: The Brotherhood’s Kung Fu is based on The Six Harmonies combined with Ji Longfeng's Divine Spear techniques. It revolves around the correct concentration of one’s Chi and one’s physical driving force, much like the thrust of a spear. Disciples are taught to reach an opponent as quickly as possible, then drive through them with shocking attacks and direct footwork.

Location: Tai Shan is the Eastern Mountain among the Five Great Mountains of Zhongyuan. With its rugged terrain, the mountain provides a natural stronghold for the heroic bandits of The Brotherhood of Thieves.

Clan Overview
The clan is an organization of thieves, robbers and brigands unified by a noble purpose: To overthrow corrupt officials and redistribute their wealth to the defenseless poor. Noble indeed, but their methodology has resulted in them being labeled a Black Clan in the eyes of Shaolin and Wu-Tang, and as outlaws wanted dead or alive by the government.

As with any organization comprised of and run by criminals, there are many undercurrents of corruption and violence boiling just beneath the surface. The clan leaders use coercion to ensure loyalty, and punishments levied out against disciples who break the clan’s rules are swift and severe.

The Brotherhood consists of Eighteen Fortresses, as well as hundreds of small dens. Their widespread network rivals that of The League of Beggars. Every three years, a competition is held among all the dens and fortresses, which serves to expel the weak and promote the strong into their eighteen council members.

“The Brotherhood is the hope born of poor people everywhere.” In the wake of the new dynasty, The Imperial Emperor instituted many new taxes and levies across The Land. Many commoners were drained beyond their means by greedy local officials who abused their power and demanded unjust amounts of money. Peasants who had scraped all their lives to provide for their families suddenly had their lands and meager savings taken from them. As a result, many merchants were forced into bankruptcy, and honest men and women had to become bandits, merely to survive. For a time it seemed there were more criminals than honest men in Zhongyuan Province. But, with the formation of The Brotherhood, a flicker of hope was born. The criminal elements were brought together under one banner and their efforts were directed against the tax collectors, not the common man. Now, at last, the peasants could walk the streets, no longer the targets of thieves, and receive riches back from The Brotherhood…riches that were wrongfully taken from them in the first place.

Style: When the philosopher Gu Long once said, “The most fearsome enemies are your closest friends,” he may very well have been referring to disciples of The Brotherhood. All the members of this clan are thieves, and they think as criminals think, despite the noble ends of their thievery. Though they are loyal to their clan, that loyalty stems from fear, coercion, and the knowledge that a friend today might become your assassin tomorrow, if you were to offend the wrong clansman. Since most peasants and criminals have little, if any, formal education, their speech is typically of the lowest caste. Indeed, a brutish manner and mentality is almost considered cultivated behavior among them. Since they are used to living in harsh, mountain terrain they are quite skilled at turning nature to their advantage. It has been said that The Brotherhood is invincible on its own ground. When disciples are not training their martial arts or marauding in packs, you may find them engaged in rough but friendly competition, or playing games of chance.

Clan Slogans:
"A noble thief steals not for his own relief."

Common Farewell: “Take what you will, share what you can!”

Membership Requirement: Since there can be grave distinctions between common and noble thieves, one can only join the clan through reference and recommendation. This helps to protect the clan’s secrets and also makes those who give their recommendations liable for those who are inducted. If a clan member offers his recommendation of a disciple, and that disciple turns traitor, both will be subject to the same punishment, which could be either banishment or death. Since the clan has recruited many disciples who are ex-government officials, they have access to plenty of information about newly joined members. One may join the clan on achieving Cheng 6 of Losing Self.


Clan History

"Divine Spear Answers The Cry Of His Brothers"
The Brotherhood, so legend has it, was originally a dream shared over a campfire by two men, Ji Longfeng and Ma Taichun, aided by a stolen bottle of wine…

Ji Longfeng grew up in an orphanage in a small village at the base of Mount Tai Shan. It was said that his caretakers were dishonest and were often abusive. So, Ji Longfeng would pay any wandering warrior he could find to teach him Kung Fu with money he had stolen from the collection box. By the time he reached young adulthood he had mastered several styles of Kung Fu, and so he attempted to enter Shaolin. He was offered discipleship, but turned it down once he truly considered what would be required of him. He felt wine, women and meat were gifts given by God, and was he also a believer in Confucianism, not a follower of The Buddha.

Later, while on one of his many adventures, he discovered a secret manual written by a man named General Yue Fei during the Song Dynasty. Ji Longfeng recognized the truth of the principles transcribed within the manual and The Six Harmonies were revealed to him. Combining Six Harmonies technique with his spear skills, Ji Longfeng became a great master, and earned the title “Divine Spear”.

Claiming allegiance to no clan, and disgusted with the ways of The Imperial Emperor, who was reportedly taxing his Province to death, Ji Longfeng set up his camp on rural Mount Tai Shan, where no tax collector dared to venture.

One night he heard a commotion near his campsite, and saw a man being pursued by a dozen mercenaries. Thinking the odds unfair, Ji Longfeng interceded, and quickly sent the mercenaries fleeing. The man he rescued was Ma Taichun, a man who had lost his farmland to the tax collectors and had become a thief with a price on his head. Over the course of several weeks, the two became friends. Ma Taichun told Ji Longfeng that the tax collectors had grown so greedy that there were now more wanted men than honest men left in his village. This troubled Ji Longfeng considerably, and so one night, sitting by the fire, they drank a bottle of wine that Ma Taichun had stolen, and created The Brotherhood.

Before a week had passed, they had over a hundred men camped atop Mount Tai Shan. Soonafter, Ji Longfeng led the first attack against the corrupt officials and their tax collectors, defeating their highly trained mercenaries. Though the Imperial Emperor quickly sent reinforcements, forcing Ji Longfeng and his men to retreat back to the mountain, their attack gave hope to the common people whose lives had otherwise become hopeless.

From this point, The Brotherhood of Thieves grew steadily to encompass eighteen different fortresses throughout the region.

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