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Abbot Song's Journal
Something is wrong. The Water Dragon won't speak of it openly, but I can sense that she is troubled by something. No one else suspects, not even her caretakers. But she is the Water Dragon, and if she wants us to know surely she will tell us.

Still, the storm continues to grow. Last week, one of the fountain guardians actually left their post unattended. And there were more conflicts among the monks this past year than I care to recall. The storm is building strength, and it seems poised to strike right at the heart of Dirge. I cannot say for certain, but I believe the Spirit Monks, the whole Empire in fact, is in grave danger. I can only trust that Water Dragon also senses it, and is preparing for whatever may come.
• Inner Courtyard

Black Leopard Style
Zou How grew up in a small fishing village in the south. His uncle was a great warrior, but he died when Zou How was still quite young. The young man longed to learn the ways of his uncle, but his parents did not want him to get involved in such a dangerous life. Despite their caution, Zou How used his uncle's incomplete journals and notes to teach himself how to fight, eventually creating his own techniques to fill in the blanks. His new style was eventually called Black Leopard Style, and it was one of the most formidable styles of his time.
• Black Leopard School First Floor

Cannibal Cookbook, Volume 1
Valued Customer:

While we appreciate your business, the staff of the Heart of the Empire politely requests that you keep your nose out of ours. To assure that you will no longer wish to pry into our recipes, please enjoy this excerpt recently unearthed in the south.

Leg of Ham

This hearty meal was first discovered after Yu Lam the Hunter stumbled upon our community. For five to ten people, use just one leg (the other can be pickled for later or roasted slowly and smoked to preserve it). For larger groups, use both legs of an adult male or female. Boil the legs in a large pot for two hours with the following ingredients: twenty gallons of fresh water, three tablespoons of salt, half a cup of rosemary, three cups of spiced wine (summer wine is best if you can get it), three bags of onions, four whole garlic cloves, and a dash of ginger. When the legs have about half an hour left, add some skinned potatoes and leeks. Can be served on the bone or in steaks.
• Imperial Arena Second Floor

Harmonic Combinations [PC Version Only]
"To fight without thought is suicide. The path to victory is laid out one step at a time, each ahead of your opponent's."
-Sagacious Tien

Harmonic combinations demand the use of two styles in rapid succession. The first must be of the class called Support, the second from the class known as Martial. Timing is the key: begins with a focused disabling effect, and follow quickly with a powerful barehanded blow. The two actions working in concert will create a harmonic channel in your chi and wreak havoc upon your foe. You must be swift, as the window to create the harmony is limited. Disable your foe, close swiftly as you change style, and strike with all available force. Let nothing stand in your way, but beware. Opponents of great strength may possess the training to resist this technique. Thought will guide you to victory. Harmonic combinations will ensure the journey is swift.
• Two Rivers School

Imperial Champions
Gaze upon these words with reverence, for they offer some small slice of the history of the most glorious contest in the arena.

The Ravager:
Deadly, cold, and precise. The Ravager refuses to speak and shows no care for the crowd, but none can question his deadly strength. Wildy popular with the more bloodthirsty members of our crowd, the Ravager's rare flights are always sold out.

Raging Ox:
All of the Imperial City fondly remembers Raging Ox, our recently retired Imperial Champion. Quick with a smile and famous for his antics both in and out of the ring, Ox's legend will live many lifetimes.

Kai Lan the Serpent:
Kai Lan's phenomenal control over magic and his intense focus made him one of the greatest champions to grace the ring of the Imperial Arena. Cold an imperious, Kai Lan played to the crowd to cultivate a love/hate relationship that has persisted to this day.
• Imperial Arena First Floor

Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 1

These curious beasts are not always as dangerous as their looks might imply. Those who confront one of these hulking monstrosities should treat them with caution, however, for despite the ogres' obvious skills at making weapons and armor, they are little more than wild animals. Although ogres are typically resistant to earth and air magic, fire and ice do significant damage to them, and weapons are usually effective against their thick hides.
• Swamp - Gazebo

Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 2
A Thought on Golems

Until recently, very little was known about golems; those few people skilled enough to craft golems keep their secrets carefully. Powerful and deadly foes, golems are feared throughout the Empire. Though their workings remain a mystery, there are several useful characteristics worth nothing about these formidable opponents. These man-made beasts are immune to most types of magic. Their solid exteriors are best attacked with equally strong forces. Weapons and strength are the best ways to defeat these dangerous adversaries.
• Lotus Assassin Fortress - Golem Press Room

Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 3
To Kill a Spirit

A wise monk once asked, "How can you kill a thing that is already dead?" The answer is simple: you cannot. You can, however, disperse a spirit. This is not the same as killing, but it has a similar effect. It is important to remember that spirits are virtually immune to man-made weapons. You must confront spirits with martial, magic, or transformation styles. Never underestimate the strength of spirits. They may appear insubstantial, but they can still be deadly to the living.
• Two Rivers Village - Spirit Cave

Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 4
The Dangers of Demons

The average person is never likely to come across one of these horrific beings. Demons are some of the most dangerous and malevolent beings in all of Jade Empire. Though some demons are not evil, they are all powerful, and rarely can they be trusted. If confronted by a malicious demon, it is important to remember that they are usually immune to magic, especially the larger demons. You can successfully combat them with weapons and simple martial styles. Strangely enough, on those rare occasions when demons and ghosts were seen to tangle the strange magics used by the ghosts seem to affect these malevolent beasts.
• Pirate Workshop

Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 5
Horse Demons

Words are only wasted describing these equine horrors, for their appearances are all too easily recalled from the nightmares of childhood. All the legends talk of these beasts' fiery manes and terrifying strength, but few sources delve beyond the lore to seek out the fact. It was a most fortunate happenstance that led this author into a roadside discussion with the venerable Li Shi Tun, a master warrior who had recently destroyed one of these beasts. His insight proved most valuable, for it was this master who first made clear the true effect of the horse demon's terrifying mane. Holding out blistered hands, the ancient warrior made his point most clearly: to strike a creature who controls elemental fires with such ease is to strike the flame itself. One must be prepared to hurt themselves with each attack.
• Heaven

Mantra of Inspiration
An ancient text penned by some of the first Spirit Monks, this book has taught you how to properly focus upon the Mantra of Inspiration.

"Understanding the totality of being is the only goal worth achieving, and yet it is a goal that cannot be fulfilled in any life. Still, in the striving can be found deep inspirations, and those can aid you in your search. In this paradox, the never-ending journey is made possible.

Think upon what you have read here, and take your lessons to the meditation wheels of Divine Harmony in the temple's hallway. They will help you to find the next step upon the unending path."
• Temple Courtyard

Master Black Leopard
By the time Zou How was twenty, he had already mastered his new style. Rather than leave his small home, he decided to start a school and have the students come to him. Word slowly spread throughout the south of a new master teaching a unique style. In time, the school became one of the most powerful in all the south, and Zou How soon became known as Master Black Leopard. Though he gained many eager students, Zou How never gave away all the secrets of Black Leopard Style, believing instead that his students should create for themselves a new style out of the basics, just as he had. Black Leopard Style died with Master Black Leopard, and no one since has been able to learn its deepest secrets.
• Black Leopard School Second Floor

Music and the Arts
Music and the other arts are vital parts of life in the Jade Empire. As with any truly civilized people, even the common man can enjoy the benefits of music in his daily life. Only the music of the Jade Empire itself truly satiates this primal urge. The lesser, more savage peoples that surround us know nothing of the culture, and their primitive beatings and masterpieces of Water Swallow or the heart-wrenching tragedy of Falling Star. For this reason, if not others, it is our duty as a cultured people to bring civilization and joy of the arts to those less advanced and gifted societies.
• Imperial City The Golden Way

Temple Records
A collection of logs, notes and records maintained by the Yun family up until roughly fifteen years ago. One entry catches your eye.

"My son seems utterly disinterested in the temple, and I worry that he pays no attention to the lessons I try to impart. They key, of course, remains in knowing that the seasons which most affect a forest are summer and winter, and the colors associated with these two seasons. If I am right and my lessons fly from his head as quickly as they can, then I fear for his safety should he attempt the ritual incorrectly. These furnaces are an ancient magic, and ancient magics draw dark attentions."

Another note, entered a bit later, reads, "As I feared, my son pays little heed. Perhaps I will install something to remind him. Violet is not our family color, but I hope it can be a potent reminder."
• Great Forest - Forest Shadow's Temple

Text of War
In the art of war, it is not enough to have superiority in numbers, or strength in arms. True victory, lasting victory, is a cultural thing. To stop a conflict, you must not only defeat armies, you must defeat the will to fight. You must appease your enemy, convince them they have won, or eradicate them utterly. A nation with an expansive population, therefore, benefits from extermination. With a surplus of peasants, a newly cleared land can be rapidly repopulated, and, with an Infrastructure of buildings already in place, made productive in short order. In the reign of Emperor Yuan XI this was demonstrated most admirable in the marshlands to the south.
• Lotus Assassin Fortress - Inquisitor Lim's Chamber

The Dragon of Storms
Being an argument on the origins of Focus.

Min Shi the Dragon of Storms was a master who lived hundreds of years before the formation of the Jade Empire. Legends of her exploits could fill a library and while the veracity of such fables must be questioned, all the yarns agree that she formalized the teachings of the Storm Dragon style and brought knowledge of true focus to the martial arts.

Debates still rage on the subject, but the evidence is there to support such claims. Take, for instance, that harmonic combinations initiated by Storm Dragon invariable allow the user to collect his thoughts and steal some of his opponent's focus essence. Such a synergy is hard to dismiss, and when I questioned Jian the Iron Fist, a master of some renown, he replied, "Only a fool denies legends. They always hold a grain of truth." Jian speaks wisely; would it be so hard to accept that Storm Dragon was developed to make it easier for its adepts to achieve true focus in battle? This author thinks not.
• Great Forest - Forest Shadow's Temple

The Inner Self
The great Wheel of Life turns eternal, bringing one through life, into death, then back around again into life. Though the new life is always different, the core essence, the spirit, of a person remains the same. This spirit, breathed into each person, is eternal. To achieve harmony with the universe, one must perfect their harmony with the spirit. Indeed, the spirit in each individual is a reflection of that greater universe. It is a reflection of the Wheel of Life and the Great Dragon that created it.
• Two Rivers School

The Journal of Abbot Song
There is something disturbing in the air tonight. I cannot be sure of my suspicions, but I wonder at the behavior of some of the younger monks. They seem nervous, like something is about to happen. Not long ago, I spotted one of them leaving the well room off the temple, and when I asked why she was down there she could produce no reason that satisfied my fears. The look she gave me when I assigned her extra chores as penance for being distracted from her duties chilled my heart; it was filled with such menace. Could some of the younger acolytes have discovered the secret path at the bottom of the well? Are they leaving our monastery without my permission? To what end? Troubling questions that will have to wait until tomorrow to answer.
• Temple Courtyard

The Land of Howling Spirits
To the west of the Jade Empire proper lies the Land of Howling Spirits, a range of sheer mountains and desolate, haunted passes. Not many men dwell in this harsh land. It does not support much in the way of communities, and those who dwell there are hardy mountainfolk who rely on themselves and their herds of goats more than trust in nature.

There is one exception to this rule. High in the mountains lies a secluded monastery, home to a reclusive and mysterious order known as the Spirit Monks. They tend an unknown charge in their sealed monastery. No one, not even an emperor, has been able to discover what lies within. The monks possess strange powers, but they exist in balance with nature. Eventually that land will be absorbed, and the Empire shall learn its secrets.
• Tien's Landing - Boathouse Office

The Long Drought
The Long Drought stands as one of the worst periods in Jade Empire's recent history. Ten years of scorching heat and little rainfall took their toll on even the prodigious reserves of the Empire's granaries. The sages predicted at least three more devastatingly dry years, while those in the Ministry of Harmony watched the death toll mount into the hundreds of thousands. Then Emperor Sun Hai declared that the drought was over, and somehow it was. Through the Emperor's divine will, green returned to our parched land, and stability was restored.
• Two Rivers School

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