china horse notes

Jan 8th, 2015
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  1. 魔影戏 (mó yĭng xì) - Shadow Magic of the Yǐng Clan
  3. Name Dissection: yǐng (影)
  5. Yǐng roughly means 'shadow', but not so much in the sense of the literal shadow you cast (which is, more accurately, yīnyǐng). It's more accurate in the way of a reflection or photograph that is being cast. The character itself comes from two smaller characters, jǐng (景) and the radical to its right, shān (彡). Jǐng itself literally means an image, scene, or view that is being witnessed. The shān to its right, which means beard or bristle or embellish, acts as a radical that slightly changes the character's meaning when placed where it is to mean the darkened, mirrored, or casted image, ie: like a shadow.
  7. This takes its significance in the origin of the original founders of the Yǐng clan itself in ancient Chineigh, with the discovery, practice, and spread of Chineighse Shadow Theater (中國影戏, zhōng guó yĭng xì) as an artform and entertainment. Normally, the puppets are being moved behind the screen so the shadows they cast do the same. However, some of the first magical practitioners to pioneer the art realized it was possible to skip the motion of the puppets and move directly on to altering the shadows themselves. As opposed to pí yĭng xì (Leather Puppet Theater) or zhĭ yĭng xì (Paper Puppet theater), these pioneers dubbed it mó yĭng xì: Magic Shadow Theater.
  9. So the first founders of the Yǐng were indeed mostly entertainers and show-horses, but applauded ones: the direct control over the shadow allowed for more complex and beautiful movements that what could be achieved by hoof, and so móyĭngxì achieved no small amount of acclaim that led to the Yǐng coming to acquire their first lands and titles awarded to them by lords they entertained.
  11. As their success grew, so did their imagination, coming to realize that control over the darkness could be used for more than simple entertainment. Mastering their art to physical manifestation came next, then manipulation and alterations to their forms. Then communications, and so on and so forth. And as their spells became more creative, so too did those who wished to use their services for more than entertainment. Shadow puppeteers were soon called on for using the shadows of others for grunt work, espionage, couriering, protection, and even assassinations in due time. And as their reputation grew, so too did their enemies: it was not before a few generations that the Yǐng had to retreat into seclusion and secrecy, forming their central and branch houses in a hidden valley, known as the Valley of 18,000 Shades, to secure their safety. It has been over a thousand years since their founding in Ancient Chineigh.
  13. Traditions:
  14. -First born family members are usually given single character names like Long or Yin, those following given two-character names like Mei Ling or Lien Hua
  15. -The Ying kin's talent with shadow control is connected to their bloodline: children with those outside the kin will dilute the line and thus weaken their abilities by half. It is for this reason that arranged marriages are commonplace among the kin with distant enough branch members to keep the bloodline pure
  16. -All Ying clan members possess white coats with black manes, a sign of the purity of their shadow-altering bloodline
  18. Fun facts about the current head family (ie Yin's)
  20. 影龍 - Yǐng Lóng (Ying Long, the Dragon of Shadow)
  21. Age: 58
  22. Sign: Yang-Metal-Dragon
  23. Race: 天馬,Tiānmǎ or Tienma (Heaven Horse, a Pegasus)
  24. The head of the kin, an unbroken line of parent to child that has lasted since the founding. Long thing mustache and beard compliment a strong, well built physique. Is the strongest of the Ying, capable of taking shadows from all around him and merging them together into his to form into a much larger, condensed form (often in the shape of his name sake, a Chinese dragon). Is adherent to tradition and duty, takes his position as a head and Yin as an heir very seriously. Prone to frequent shouting but otherwise stoic with any other emotion besides anger. Is hard to please and slow to give recognition or affection.
  25. After Yin left home he kept to his duties but more or less cut off contact with his daughter despite visits or letters: he was willingly to embrace her openly when she returned to her proper place, but until then he resolved to show no support whatsoever for her choices.
  27. 影鳳凰 - Yǐng Fèng-huáng (Ying Feng-huang, the Phoenix of Shadow)
  28. Age: 49
  29. Sign: Yin-Earth-Ox
  30. Race: 地馬, Dìmǎ or Dima (Earth Horse, an Earth Pony)
  32. 影陰 - Yǐng Yīn (Ying Yin, the Shady Side of Shadow)
  33. Age: 24
  34. Sign: Yang-Wood-Tiger
  35. Race: 人馬, Rénmǎ or Renma (Enlightened Horse, a Unicorn)
  37. 影連華 - Yǐng Liān-huá (Ying Lien-hua, the Lotus Flower of Shadow)
  38. Age: 17
  39. Sign: Yin-Metal-Rooster
  40. Race: 人馬, Rénmǎ or Renma (Enlightened Horse, a Unicorn)
  41. Younger sister of Yin, less skilled in shadow magic for her age but more adherent to tradition and proper etiquette of a lady her stature. Is more reserved and is fairly shy around strangers, and even around close family members is less than forthcoming unless prodded. She is more prone to emotional outbursts though, and is more easily flustered or embarrassed.
  43. 影美齡 - Yǐng Měi-líng (Ying Mei-ling, the Beautiful Age of Shadow)
  44. Age: 10
  45. Sign: Yang-Earth-Dragon
  46. Race: 人馬, Rénmǎ or Renma (Enlightened Horse, a Unicorn)
  49. In-depth detail on shadow manipulation howsits:
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