Zhao Shou Lung : A Personal Timeline of El-Hazard
Like it or not, there really isn’t much available on the history or development of El-Hazard. It was a very nicely drawn anime, but it never really explained anything and the details of the setting were pretty sketchy. That wasn’t entirely satisfactory in a role-playing setting – ergo…
Earth, ~8000 BC, Japan. Ifurita, cast through time and space by the malfunctioning Eye Of God arrives on earth. Agriculture and the domestication of animals are introduced. Primitive humans, dimensionally “exchanged” for Ifurita, colonize El-Hazard. The enhanced talents of the first generation give them a substantial “jump-start” in the development of civilization. Their interaction with the native Bugrom will, after several thousand years, unbalance the Bugrom’s eons-old static society. Ifruita creates, and enters, a statis-chamber.
El-Hazard, 7000 PW (?) (Earth; ~6400 BC (?)), probably the Old North Capitol. Humans begin building cities, chiefly occupying the lands the Bugrom find uncomfortably humid or subject to excessively cold temperatures. There is little interaction between the two species, but it is likely that the Bugrom hives partially inspired the construction of human cities. The ancient biotechnology of the Bugrom – derived from millions of years of patient selective breeding – proves less adaptable to human purposes.
Earth, ~5000 BC, the Fertile Crescent and the Far East. The first true cities are built.
Earth, 2697 BC, China. Huang-ti, The Yellow Emperor, ascends to the throne in China.
El-Hazard, ~1847 PW (Earth; ~1223 BC), Mt Muldoon. Muldon Masso, religious philosopher, descends from meditation on Mt Chals – later known as Mt Muldoon in his honor – bearing his doctrine of an unknowable ultimate god and his more easily comprehended elemental aspects.
Earth, 563 BC. Lumbini, now Nepal. Prince Siddhartha Gautama, later to be known as The Buddha, is born.
Earth; 551 BC, China. Birth of K’ung Fu-tzu, AKA; Confucius.
Earth, ~550 BC. China. Lao Tzu (~580-480 BC) pens the “original” version of the Tao Te Ching.
Earth, 247 BC, Northern India. Emperor Asoka, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya – conqueror and first emperor of India and the vicinity – converts to Buddhism and sends missionaries throughout the far east.
El-Hazard, ~300 PW. (Earth; ~324 AD). The industrial revolution. Human activities – ranging from pollution to outright border skirmishes – begin to infringe on Bugrom territories.
Earth, 58 AD, China. The Emperor Ming-Ti “officially” introduces Buddhism into China.
Earth, 445 AD, Mongolia. Attila The Hun kills his brother to become sole ruler of the Huns, and then proceeds to cause massive destruction everywhere he goes.
El-Hazard, 33 PW, (Earth; 591 AD). Jurash Han Muoy develops the first bio-energy channeling circuits. Over the next thirty years his revolutionary discovery is employed in neurally-controlled cyberware, biopowered technologies, and psionic amplifiers. Such augmentation technologies eventually lead to the creation of the “Demon Gods” – cyborg super-soldiers with vast destructive powers and severe mental instabilities.
Earth. ~600 AD. The Young (Shao-) Forest (-Lin) Temple, China.
He was hungry and cold and miserable, and very young to have come so far – but there hadn’t been any choice; with the rest of his family dead in the plagues there was no one else who might take him in except Uncle Wong – and he was a monk here.
The monks were fairly choosy about who they admitted as a student. Many of the teachers had studied under Bodhidharma himself, adding his mastery of Zen and C’hi to their own great scholarship – and his martial skills to their own. Already the fame of ShaoLin Kung Fu was widespread.
The boy was very young, dirty, and hungry – but he was strong for his age, healthy, and had a strong spirit, as well as being something of a Legacy. He was almost seven years old.
The monks of the temple took him in.
El-Hazard, 23 To 14 PW, (Earth; 601 to 610 AD), The Temperate Zones. The Holy Wars. The competing nations of ancient El-Hazard employ their augmented agents against each other, initially as special operatives – but escalation is rapid. Under such stress many agents have full psychotic breakdowns; the destruction is massive. Attempts to create fully controllable “Demon Gods” thru total transformations – transferring the life-energies of carefully selected “volunteers” into powerful robotic bodies with computerized brains – simply introduces an element of logic and careful calculation to the destruction of total war. It is during this period that Metira, later to be known as Florista, begins the construction of the Eye Of God.
Earth, 601 to 615 AD. Zhao Shou begins training as a Shaolin Novice. The temple, thanks to the martial skills of the warrior-monks, exists as an island of tranquility in the midst of political chaos and rebellion. The daily peaceful and well-ordered routine of meditation, exercise, studying the classics, chores – and a certain amount of play for the younger students – passed quietly. Zhao Shou slowly transcended his personal tragedy and threw himself into the study of Zen, the Chi Gung Prayer, the Rejuvenating Manual, and the Eighteen Movements. An exceptional student, he also studied Taoist mysticism, and would earn the Dragon and Tiger brands of a Shaolin Master in 616 AD, having easily passed through the eighteen chambers – and set out to find his place in the world.
El-Hazard, 14 PW (Earth 610 AD). Treaty Of Andor. Peace, and a ban on “self-willed weapons”. All acknowledged “Demon Gods” are placed in stasis chambers subject to international inspection.
El-Hazard, 6 PW (Earth ~618 AD), Metira, Later Florista. Completion of the Eye Of God. Metira soon begins exploiting the “leverage” of having an “Ultimate Weapon” in their possession to build a world government – with themselves at the top of the pyramid.
Earth, 622 to 624 AD, China.
Zhao Shou, deeply sympathetic with the local farmers and their orphaned children, becomes the leader of the resistance against Hiang Xilan, a local warlord. Teaching self-defense to the local farmers, along with minor acts of sabotage, and active resistance, eventually led Xilan to agree to meet with Shou – but only as a pretext for a massive effort to seize him. While successful, this tactic forced him to concentrate his forces to the point where he was unable to maintain control of his realm. In the face of Shou’s calm, statement that he had expected this, Xilan was unable to control his temper either – and stepped forward to execute Shou.
Shou had expected as much. He faced his death with calm serenity, knowing that what he had purchased was worth the price. He closed his eyes and reached for Satori, oneness with the cosmos – and sensed a discontinuity. An unnatural void, a hole in creation. Curious to the last, he reached out with his C’hi and Taoist training and drew it to him.
The power of the Eye Of God flooded Xilan’s audience chamber. The implosion destroyed the fortress from within – and hurled Shou and Xilan into the interdimensional void.
El-Hazard. Year 0. Later known as “The” Holy War (Earth, 624 AD). Dashom, “The Western Capital”, launches a pre-emptive strike on the Eye Of God with the aid of the Bugrom (Who saw the “Eye” as the ultimate threat to the hive), and their hidden Demon Gods. Metira, refusing to accept defeat, activates the Eye Of God, but proves unable to control it with an ongoing battle raging through the control center. The Eye “fires” at random an unknown length of time – Hours? Days? Weeks? – devastating El-Hazard and totally destroying the ancient civilization. The Phantom Tribe is drawn from it’s own world and into El-Hazard – as are Zhao Shou and Hiang Xilan.
The Interdimensional Void and El-Hazard. Year 0 / 624 AD. Shou, with his expanded consciousness, Saw. He Choose, and he was Chosen. The power of creation flowed within him. Xilan’s mind, unprepared, shattered under the strain. He too was Chosen, albeit with no voice in that choosing. Much of his mind destroyed, consumed with insane hatred, he became a vessel of destruction – a channel for the power of the Death Dragon. Zhao Shou awoke to find himself in El-Hazard. A terrible potency burned within him, his inner strength had increased a hundredfold. The power of creation, of the Phoenix and the Dragon, a wild and unfocused might, pulsed like blood within his veins. Hiang Xilan, filled with the power of destruction, was not so swift to recover. To kill him would be to unleash that power into the world. Shou seized the moment, and called on his new, wild, powers to entrap Xilan in the dark realms.
Later Zhao Shou Lung would become known as Khan C’hi Lung – the Demon-God Of Chaos.
El-Hazard. 1 AW. Adrift in pocket of interdimensional space, Hiang Xilan awakens to futile rage. Zhao Shou had escaped him. There was no world for him to conquer and ravish. The unresisting fabric of the void offered no target for his fury. Without a foothold in a world to anchor him he could not even open a portal for himself. The best he could do was to reach out and imbue occasional mortal agents with some portion of his hellish might. Their hunt would be unending. Someday, somehow, vengeance would be his.
Meanwhile Zhao Shou found scattered survivors in a devastated world. The children of a futuristic urban society, they possessed scientific knowledges and devices that bewildered him – but lacked the skills they needed now.
Zhao Shou had spent his early childhood on a primitive farm. The Temple had been self-supporting; the chores of every novice had routinely included helping the masons, weavers, carpenters, metalworkers, herders, leatherworkers, cooks, miners, and farmers. His skills were no match for the marvels of the sciences of El-Hazard – or even for the talents of the monks who had found their vocations in such things – but they called for nothing more then simple hand tools of stone, bone, wood, and hammered iron.
Reserving his erratic powers for emergencies, Zhao Shou became a teacher, and a leader, once again. Few natives of El-Hazard were interested in the more “mystical” side of his teachings. The technological mindset was too strong, and the remnants of past knowledge too common, for that. Shou’s few displays of power were simply taken as proof of his status as a human bioweapon – a “Demon God”.
Mad perhaps, but obligingly and usefully so.
El-Hazard, 18 AW. Zhao Shou marries for the first time. He will later become aware of his near-immortal status – as opposed to the “expected” longevity inherent in his mastery of C’hi and Taoist Mysticism – when he begins to see signs of age amongst his grandchildren.
El-Hazard, 385 to 417 AW. The Bugrom had “rebuilt” far more quickly then the humans had. It would be eons before their most specialized bioconstructs and variations could be re-evolved, but their surviving “technology” was self-repairing – and breedable. They still controlled the rich, tropical, zones of El-Hazard. They had not depleted their natural resources as the humans had. They had not forgotten the human disaster.
The humans would not be permitted to reach such heights again.
Primitive technological weapons were no match for the innate abilities of the Bugrom. Their advance was slow, methodical, and steady. They did not seek to exterminate humans – their natural talents were too valuable to squander so – but controlled they would be. The uncoordinated efforts of the few remaining wakeful “Demon-Gods” slowed them down locally – but could not stop them. The bloodline of the operators of the Eye Of God had not yet been rediscovered – and the control center had been one of the Bugrom’s first targets anyway.
El-Hazard, 418 AW. Zhao Shou – now commonly known as Khan C’hi Lung – saw his options narrowing every day. His abilities would not suffice to protect his immediate family and friends, much less his community and more distant descendants – but he could not accept the permanent enslavement of the human race. Even four and a half centuries of meditation hadn’t made him that serene.
He decided on a desperate gamble. He would tap into the latent energies of the greatest power source within his reach – the Eye Of God – and use them to strike at the core of the Bugrom Empire. Without supplies and support from their tropical homes, the weather itself would drive them back.
He gathered a dozen of his more – “talented” – descendants and trainees to aid him.
The ritual was a “success” – and the greatest disaster since the Holy War itself. The forces he unleashed twisted the energies of the world itself, transformed the lush tropics into an arid wasteland smothered beneath an unrelenting shroud of darkness, devastated the ecology and weather systems of the planet, caused massive natural disasters, and killed half the members of his ritual circle. Magic and incomprehensible technology did not mix well. His control – tenuous at best – had not sufficed. The Bugrom had been driven back – their resources and ability to rebuild crippled for millennia – but the price had been very high.
Too high. Shou renounced his power, and retired from leadership. He would still teach – but he would not risk unleashing such destruction again. Hiang Xilan himself would have been little more devastating. From now on he would concern himself with home and family.
Khan C’hi Lung was dead.
The last of the Demon-Gods receded into mythology.
El-Hazard, 420-947 AW. Civilization had been slower to rebuild this time. Two such catastrophes, the loss of knowledge across centuries, depleted resources, the slowly-fading effectiveness of the old Jurash Muoy Bio-energy circuits powering the relics of the ancient civilizations (Which is why their energy reserves are so limited and difficult to recharge today), and the subsistence existence resulting from centuries of wild weather disturbances held science back for many centuries. The Bugrom – unable to understand what had gone wrong the last time – hesitated to attack again.
Zhao Shou taught, meditated, and raised his children. Beyond his peaceful village the world passed him by – while he struggled to control his raging inner power.
But the minions of Hiang Xilan pursued him. Civilization advanced – and someone foolishly awakened Makaran Ti – one of the sleeping Demon Gods.
And Makaran Ti was mad.
There was no more time to seek perfect inner control. Zhao Shou reached back to one of the earlist lessons of Taoism and the martial arts. A force too strong to control could still be channeled. He had made minor arcane devices – such as his ancient Master’s Belt – for his students and his children. Perhaps he could make something to focus and direct his wild powers. Such a project would, of course, require a far greater investment of time, energy, and materials then the simple devices he’d created in the past – but he saw little choice.
Shou invested enormous energies in the creation of a pair of sorcerous “gauntlets”. He could improve them later – but he needed a reliable focus for his powers NOW. He had never had to face a Demon-God directly before.
El-Hazard, 949 AW, Fountian Of Arliman. Zhao Shou finds, confronts, and defeats Makaran Ti – employing the Demon-Quelling Hand to release Makaran’s unnaturally-sustained spirit and life force. Along the way he had found several allies, and had provided them with lesser devices of their own.
El-Hazard, 962 AW, Barage Market. Shou, now known as Solon The Artificer, settles down to creating minor “relics” for his family, better (and more responsible) students – and for what he regards as worthy causes. This gradually draws a great deal of unwanted attention, especially from the phantom tribe and the Minions of the Death Dragon/Hiang Xilan.
El-Hazard, 963 AW, Mt. Muldoon. Having survived 2800 years and the passing of two civilizations, “The Faith” faces it’s first major challenge; a charismatic theologician advances a doctrine stating that God not only has elemental aspects, but that these have distinct personalities – and often work at cross-purposes. Among many “proofs”, he points at the chaos of the world around him. Her ideas are persuasive; The unified church splits into five elemental orders – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Wood/Spirit – although the upper levels of the priesthoods remain united in the holy council.
El-Hazard, 984 AW, Barage Market. Shou, harrassed, targeted by kidnappers, blackmailers, and unwanted recruitment offers, “dies of old age” and quietly relocates. Many powerful organizations, including the five elemental orders, retain samples of his handiwork however. The unfortunate revelation that his coffin is empty inspires a massive hunt for him or – failing him – his laboratory and/or notes, which becomes legendary. Tales of Solon, his amazing devices and his many spectacular feats and escapes, become popular tales throughout El-Hazard – much like the tales of Sinbad or the Arabian Knights on earth.
El-Hazard, 999 AW, Doros. Shou, recognizing the ways in which his creations, and the more dangerous ancient relics, are being abused, begins quietly working on recovering them – and creates the vault in which to store them, recognizing that attempting to destroy them may be even more dangerous then trying to hide them. He does, however, continue to aid his best students and his family in focusing their own energies through minor “relics”.
El-Hazard, 1027 AW, Florista. The royal bloodline – and the ability to control the Eye Of God – is rediscovered.
El-Hazard, 1116 AW, The Council Of Varis, Mt Muldoon. The Orders Of Earth and Spirit abandon the Holy Council. The priests of Earth to become a mendicant order, renouncing luxury, status, power, and holy isolation, in favor of working more closely with the people under their care. Earth priests, with their begging bowls, leaf-green robes, and medical pouches, are a common sight in El-Hazard today. Those seeing one are expected to offer their support. The priests of Spirit – inspired by the doctrine supposedly expounded to their founder by an extremely persuasive old man – have embraced a far more mystical path, and are rarely seen.
El-Hazard, 1162 AW. The Phantom Tribe enters a loose “alliance” with the Bugrom. While there is no great trust between them, the Bugrom had never had ANY real source of intelligence before. With Bugrom bioweaponry added to their own illusory powers, the Phantom Tribe begins a campaign of sabotague and intrigue designed to weaken the human alliance.
El-Hazard, 1334 AW. With his longevity once more beginning to attract attention, Shou “dies”, and relocates his Dojo.
El-Hazard, 1376 AW. The current day.
Special Notes :
The Phantom Tribe rarely appear in the history above. This is because of 1) The nature of their powers, 2) Because they’re apparently not all that numerous, and 3) To leave open a major source of mysteries.
The Bugrom tend to feel that Humans have an INCREDIBLE talent for destruction. They’ve been around for eons. Humans have nearly destroyed the planet THREE TIMES in less then ten thousand years! The side-effects of their “technology” – which will not even maintain itself, much less grow by itself – are almost as destructive, if slower. An inexperienced and untrained human teenager makes a better general then any the Bugrom have ever produced.
The Bugrom want to survive. Human technology, and massive attacks on humans, seem to be inherently counterproductive to that goal. At the moment, escape, or simply trying to get out of the way while they destroy themselves, might look like good strategies.
Zhao Shou Lung’s Past Identities:
As the Demon-God Of Chaos Khan C’hi Lung (“Dragon King of Energy”):
Taoist Magic VI : Erratic (+2 penalty on casting checks, +2), Wild “Side Effects” (+1), Includes “Innate” Mystical Senses (-1), Requires Concentration (+1). Level 6 (6 Pts). All taoist sorcery is based on the eight “trigrams” of the I Ching; Heaven, Thunder, Mountian, Fire/Sun, Earth, The Deep/Water, Wind/Wood – and The Marsh/Mist. Each can be used once in any given scene, truly powerful castings may require the use of two or even three of them. Currently Blocked by the Dragon Guantlets, as they were designed to do. (-6 Points).
Arcane Senses: Heightened Senses/Sight (1 Pt) and Heightened Awareness (1 Pt). These talents may be presumed to have faded with time; his senses are no longer as sharp as they were when he was younger.
Shaolin Kung Fu: Massive Damage I (+5 damage, 2 Pts). This too has faded. He is much much older now – and somewhat less in practice.
Shaolin Master’s Belt: Relic 1/2 (10 Relic Points), Super-Strength II (6), Heavy Armor I (4), Flight I (Jumping/Acrobatics/Breakfall/Light Foot, ONLY 2), and Untrackable (1)). A minor focus for the user’s C’hi, but often useful when adventuring – Provided that you can make the Soul check to draw on it’s powers (-3). (2 Pts). He no longer wears this, since the Dragon Guantlets are far more powerful.
Eliminate; Aura Of Command due to youth at the time, Net -4 Pts.
Eliminate; Dragon Guantlets since they were not yet created. -20 Points.
Optional; Net current cost of Taoist Magic and Arcane Senses = 2 Points. These could be counted as derived from background contributions.
As Solon The Artificer:
Artificer: Provides an excuse for character’s to convert CP into “Owns A Relic”. Also accounts for why his CP total isn’t far higher; he’s given quite a few away. No cost.
Special Note; Solon’s Artifacts are mystical, rather then technological. Eliminate the usual “Relic Flaws” and replace them with Must be “Attuned” before use (The character must “invest” at least one CP in establishing a psychic bond with the item even if someone else contributed the CP to make it, -3), requires skillful focus of the mind and body to employ (User may not have the “Addiction”, “Compulsive Behavior”, or “Phobia” defects, must spend time on a regular routine of meditation and exercise, -1), “Recharge” limited to a maximum of level 1, cannot “mimic” technological powers (Or, for that matter, be mimiced by normal relics), and Minimum Soul of 6+ to use (-1).