This is a story of a land you know... and a land you do not know. The Land where Martial arts chivalry was born. A story of Nine Clans… Nine lost Heroes… and Nine Heroes yet to be found. This is the Ming Dynasty — The Era of Nine Dragons.

This Land holds many adventures, many wonders, and many secrets, some horrible and others beyond belief. Acts of heroism, romance, and fierce combat will unfold before you, like lotus petals, to nourish…

The seeds of The Dragon within you.

To join the heroes of the Land, join 9Dragons.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Through Fire and Sword - Shen and Mo

Hefei Marketplace - a year before the War of Nine Dragons

Sun has just raised upon the quiet little town. Merchants started arranging their merchandise on the clean tables, wifes began to cook meals for their husbands and children. The wind was soft and brought into the town the scent of the cherry trees that grew in the gardens near.
The blacksmith, a thin but strong man just a lite over fourthy, began the work with the finest steel from The Land. His daughter, a young beauty of fifthteen springs, sat next to him, watching his father as he melted the metal and shaped it into beautiful swords and sabers of the best quality. Mo Tailan, as the little girl's name was, suddenly decided that when she grows up will continue his father's work at the smithy. When her father heard his daughter's idea, he laughed and handed her a sword requesting her to make it shine as the sun; if she could polish the sword to its natural beauty, she could start the apprenticehood at the smithy. She took the sword into her hands carefully and started to clean it. Her hand moved so softly onto the blade as if that wasn't steel the blade was made of, but a beautiful sash of silk.

After a few hours the blade started to shine a beautiful red colour just like the Sun itself forget flames into the sword. Mo Tailan glared at the weapon she held in her hands, wondering if she did good or will she be punished for ruining such a wonderful weapon. Her father approached her and as he saw the flames coming out from the blade he had lost his voice. Minutes after, he took the weapon and couldn't stop staring at it. "My child, you don't belong in the smithy. Your place is among master refiners. You will start learning the secrets of refinement materials and you will learn to master the power to imbue weapons with the blood of the nine dragons." Mo Tailan's eyes glanced sparkling at her father as he spoke those words, untold happiness layed inside her soul. In that moment she knew her destiny is to become the greatest master refiner in The Land and bring fortune and fame to her family.

The very next day the girl packed her bags and left to become a refiner. She was to learn a whole year from the best refiners and after that she could begin forging her own weapons if she would prove herself worthy. Months after she started the apprentice hood as a refiner, a noble man from the province of Jinan, visited the marketplace looking for items of clothing and more powerful weapons. He heard about Mo Tailan's gift and wanted to see for himself if the young girl could really improve the quality of a weapon. But as he walked closed to her, his thoughts began to lose their importance, as the beauty he was standing in front of was beyond anything he'd ever seen before. Was Mo Tailan's eyes that bewitched the soul of the young nobleman, Shen Mo. From that day he came to the refinery every single day until he found courage in his heart to ask for her hand in marriage. The girl approved and preparations for the wedding began. Her father was incredibly happy he had the chance to see his only daughter settle down next to such a noble soul. But.. their hearts were not meant to remain close. Soon after she finished apprentice-hood and could open her own refinery, her beloved Shen was called back home, from where he will be sent to fight in the War approaching. The Clans of the Land held too much anger and were about to burst into a terrible war that will devastate the Land.

With tears in their eyes they've said "good bye" for the last time. Mo Tailan gave him her best weapon, refined with all the nine bloods of the mystic dragons, telling him he could not lose if he will find the will and strength to handle the weapon with his mind and soul. Was a sorrowful day the day Shen Mo left the town of Hefei, never to return to his beloved Mo Tailan.

Tiantan - a village from the province of Jinan - two months after the War of Nine Dragons

Two long months have passed since the terrible war ended, leaving nothing but dust and tears behind. A young warrior arrived in Tiantan Village, wounded and barely breathing, asking for a doctor to heal his wounds. As the villagers layed eyes upon him they had discovered it was Shen Mo, the nobleman of Jinan. They all stepped back. A tale of his evil deeds traveled through the Land, making him a outcast and a murderer. Banished from the village he had found an open field near a lake where he tried to gather herbs for his wounds. A black raven flew above him, cackled with a morbid sound, and set down on the ground next to Shen.

His eyes sparkled like death and for long minutes the silence settled between them two. "I've been banished from my own land, accused of murder, forced to stay away from my love who has my heart in possession... " a tear crawled down his face and burned the dust it felt on. " I will not forgive anyone from this day forward. I will fight even if it's the last thing I do. But I can never go back to Hefei. I can never see my dear Mo Tailan again." With few strength left in him he raised from the ground, the raven flew and set on his shoulder, and they left to find evidence of his innocence.

Meanwhile in Hefei Marketplace

Mo Tailan heard the rumors about Shen Mo's accusations but couldn't believe her love was capable of such things. He was a diplomat sent to war, a young man sentenced to die before his time. And yet he survived and now his own people turned their back on him. She couldn't understand why Jinan people were so cruel to Shen. She didn't want to believe the mean rumors. Her fame as a master refiner traveled fast and soon everyone came to her with their weapons. But her heart was filled with sorrow and the work she had to do was not as good as before. Weapons started breaking in her hands as the dragon blood was imbued into the fine steel, flames of the Sun rarely came back to glow onto the blades of the weapons. Was a dark time for her and for the entire Land, but her heart was far away from all of that. Her heart was traveling in search for Shen Mo, who she knew would never see again, but hoped he is alive and that he won't give up his faith easily.

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