Heroes of the Five Ways: Index
Five Ways Brotherhood
Huan Mi Su
Huan Mi Su
Huan Mi Su
Who walked on Clouds
Over his knees a simple Ax
As a figure in the epic sagas written by the Bard Hun Li Po over the course of the Dragon Blooded Shogunate, Huan Mi Su came to be known as a wandering hero of the northern reaches of creation. With no fixed home land ever referenced there, the eventual array of plays, poems, fables and stories written about Huan Mi Su and his counterparts saw them travel not only the full breadth of their own lands, but that of their chosen neighboring aspect (With some occasional tales putting them in a grab bag of other parts of the world.)
Whether it was accurate or even possible for these characters to have adventured as broadly as they have been reputed, the fact remains that in the historical legends built throughout the rise of the Shogunate there was some measure of consistency in character and representation for each figure, and Huan Mi Su was no exception.
Known for his resolute nature and cold, though not callous approach to his challenges, Huan Mi Su became an exemplar of the Northern way of life in his early sagas. A survivalist who carried his life on his back, and asked mercy from neither God nor enemy, legends such as Huan Mi Su and the White Whale and Huan Mi Su and the Icewalkers paint a picture of a man who does not let even the most daunting challenges or unwinable odds prevent him from triumphing over threats and conflicts, to himself, his Shogun, and to Creation itself.
Lauded as the Hundred Years Chumyo in his final northern saga, where he finally felled his once great enemy Gohur the Tusked, aging in his den after commanding a legion of the north to defeat the Anathema's armies, Huan Mi Su saw a rise through tale and legend from a newly Exalted Dragon Blooded to the commander of mighty forces of men.
Many men and many beasts had fallen in the struggle
Between the forces of light and dark upon the desert frost
Within the caverns cold and dark the two of them did battle
One adorned with silver flame and the other wreathed in wind.
"Chumyo call off your men and leave my kind in peaceFor me and mine take up the pike so you may yet live free."
We fight a war for sanctuary that you have all but ceased
The world you know is yet beset by foe you do not see
His ears were deaf to hear those words, his heart was cast in iceThe deeds enacted by Gohur had cost too many lives.
And with a swing of mighty Frost, he cut from it its life
For whether else the beast told true, or simple grumbled lies
"Hear my now my ancient foe, who struggled with me longBut should they cross into my lands, their time shall number days." Translated: Cynis Oraius 702.
I know your age has come for you, your time has come and gone
Your kin beyond these walls of ice may yet struggle for their ways
In the early legend Huan Mi Su and Frost, a stranger, not his family's housecarl as was the tradition of the era, set before the rising hero a set of five challenges of character that would, in time, lead him to claim a forgotten artifact from the all encompassing snows and use it to defeat a terrible Cave Bear who had been terrorizing a northern community for nearly a generation. This stranger, Juko Ro Ten, became an occasionally recurring character among subsequent stories and served as something of a writer's plot device to direct the Dragon Blooded hero in a particular way, or provide context for a specific quest. It was this figure who led Huan Mi Su to the remote tea house where the Five Ways Brotherhood stories began.
While in the Seven Scrolls saga, Huan Mi Su is referred to as evolving to suit the climate over days, the rest of the supporting fiction of that period has him indulging his adventures in the south over the course of years and eventually decades. The tales of how he first came to adapt his northern training to the southern climes came early, and accounts of his frustrations with the absolute reversal of temperature extremes paint a picture of hardship for one out of his element as all the Seven Scrolls sagas seem to do. His subsequent adventures pit him against slavers, heretics and barbarians much like those in his northern tales, almost as a retelling, but the culture and supporting details of those figures are so drastically different as to paint entirely new stories, as to not bore the readers and interpreters.
Though he never, apparently, controlled the same scale of forces in the southern adventures, Huan Mi Su is noted for having taken up his counter part Ten Ti Tzu's passtime of Sand Sailing, and the tale of his crew and their adventure finally culminating in an epic struggle against the fleet of a Southland Fire Fae Lord is one of the most enjoyed and retold in ports in all directions.
Jiu Sung Li
Jiu Sung Li
Jiu Sung Li
Who swam the Depths
At her wrists, Fans of War
Painted as Pearly Shells.
During the Dragon Blooded Shogunate era, a series of plays, poems, sagas and fables were written by the Bard Hun Li Po, some of the most notable being those outlining the Five Ways Brotherhood and their various adventures. The tales of Jiu Sung Li, a Water Aspected figure known for grace, beauty and artistic talent, carry within themselves a somewhat staggered dichotomy. The poems and stories written by Hun Li Po often couch the poems and snippets published and written by Jiu Sung Li herself, elegantly highlighting her skills and insights in such a way as to accent them rather than overwhelming them. This is accomplished in such a way as to neither seem pandering nor graceless and makes for their reading to be one of the more relaxed of the Five's various epics.
A renowned courtesan across all of the west, leading as a tactician rather than a general when she took up arms, some of the more notorious accounts of this woman were of single duels with other characters in the tales. Descriptive songs about her beautiful and graceful battles are still among some of the most listened in the Scarlet Dynasty. While she did not, by all accounts, lead her forces at the forefront as did characters such as Huan Mi Su and Ten Ti Tzu, most universally end with her personally interceding between her forces, or those of her representatives, and a more supernatural threat.
Poems exist too that laud her skills as a dancer, a flutist, a painter and a singer, and many of her works have been emulated, reprised and re-enacted over the centuries since her death. One of her greatest works of art, a set of Black Jade Warfans with a thousand hand painted screens, was acquired in the third century of the Dynasty, and given as a gift to the Empress by the scholar Cynis Oraius on behalf of his house. These remain on display in her public gallery.
While stories of her homeland in the early tales of Hun Li Po are most often of courtly intrigue and tout the ethical prominence of Dragon Blooded Shogunate forces, there are some that see the heroine trafficking with fickle and restless Western Gods, as well as the occasional dalliances with pirates. (Both with and against them, as is noted in the absolutely explicit tales of Jiu Sung Li and Mao, wherein she takes an Outcaste Earth Aspected pirate as a lover.)
In the story of her exile, Jiu Sung Li is cast from her father's court for her lack of propriety and decency, and more specifically, reverence for her Aspect and Exalted status. As the myth goes, Jiu Sung Li was caught by her father, dancing over a holy pool in his Manse, singing a heretical song of her own composition.
Water sings a falling song
Tears from the sky that will not hold her
Water dances a wispy dance
Over flame that will not touch her
Water runs a flowing course
Over stone that cannot clutch her
Water grows within the veins
Of all that would but taste her
Water sparkles in the light
To show the Sun his brilliance
Water dances shining bright
To show the Moon her beauty
Translation: Cynis Oraius 676
Reverent or not being a matter of much debate and interpretation by many scholars and artistes since, but in the tale, her father found her favoring the bodies of the sky over the elements of her kin, and cuckolding the Earth, bid her bear a skin of purest water to the peak of Meru, and there fill a basin out of respect for Pasiap.
In her later tales in the Seven Scrolls Saga, Jiu Sung Li travels the width and breadth of the Blessed Isle, and by historical documents from the era, single handedly helped save crops from flooding on two separate occasions by directing a force of inspired workers and soldiers to the fields to harvest while dancing with the flood waters, and by teaching workers how to float baskets to make pontoons between rows of crops.
One of her most notable contributions to modern society however remains the cultural impact she left on the men women and children in what were, at the time, known as the "Province of Dawn" and "Province of Dusk", which lay in the shadows of Mount Meru for a significant part of the day. Having taught the arts she so loved to the people of the land where she was laid to rest, The Festival of Jiu Sung Li is held once every five years around the base of the Imperial Mountain, where celebrants enact dances both new and historical, write odes and songs, and paint beautiful fan screens and lanterns before making a pilgrimage to either the north or south of the mountain (depending on the year) to share these things with their distant kin.
A more specific and dedicated class of these citizens, known as The Order of Shadow are practitioners of the mortal martial art styles she taught as dances to help farmers fend off raiders and brigands. In emulation of her grace and 'One-ness' with her war fans (and in some accounts, scythes or threshing claws), the choreographed demonstrations of the forms and Kata of the unique style are always some of the most impressive of the festivals, and the accompanying music often the most inspiring. Given to the tradition of wearing masks, dark blue gi, and braiding blue ribbons into their hair, some have questioned the propriety of permitting the 'Order' to lay claim to an identity of an organization. Others, however, have pointed out that it is not irreverent to emulate Dragon Blooded heroes, and that Order of Shadow practitioners number prominently among the best forces in the mortal militia, police forces and road-watchers in the foothills regions of Mount Meru. Furthermore, those Dragon Blooded children who are introduced to its disciplines and forms early in life show a notable adaptability and marked grace later in life.
Ten Ti Tzu
Ten Ti Tzu
Ten Ti Tzu
Who sailed the Sands
At his back, flame fletched bolts
And a Powerbow, Phoenix Pinion.
Ten Ti Tzu's outrageous adventures are commonly held as Comedies by the savants of the accumulated works of Hun Li Po. Despite the generally low brow concept of 'Comedy' being being parallel to 'Humorous', in the case of Ten Ti Tzu it's less the blatant humor of the adventures, and more the flavors inherent to the themes.
Ten Ti Tzu is the name of not one, but two subsequent heroes in the Shogunate era, one being the elder sire of the other. In some of the earlier works it's not completely clear which of these two men is being referenced but some indicators such as age, cadence and experience among the subjects lends to clues which have set subsequent scholars a standard for classification. Ten Ti Tzu the senior was already aging during the rise of the Shogunate, with many of his exploits being lost to the cataclysm at the end of his age. As such, most scholars reference him as Mu Ti Tzu, an appellation that indicates respect for an elder, and greatly simplifies codification of the adventures of specific figures in the stories.
Ten Ti Tzu the junior, held as the primary figure of the subsequent stories, and the one who came in time to membership in the Five Ways Brotherhood, was known for his long career as a Sand Admiral in the kite fleets of the deep south. His rise to power spanned from Haichei to Taimyo under his father's oversight, taking on the role of Chumyo only when his father finally died after long successful campaigning years. Known for boldness and confidence, but NOT for mercy, Ten Ti Tzu engaged his forces in battle after successful battle for the full course of his service.
In The Battle of Jumei Duseppe, The red ships of Ten Ti Tzu's forces clashed with the white bone fleet of the Five Sands Clan on the plains of Jumei. The incredible danger presented by predators, in the form of Sand Rays, Desert Wasps and Swarming Fleas have made it nearly impossible to salvage -any- of the vessels downed in the battle, and while the flags have long since been shorn by winds and the wood carved smooth by time, there are still days and places where hulls, masts and relics of that great battle can be seen by bold sand sailors. The bone-white construction of the Five Sands forces makes their ships seem like dead monsters cluttering the dangerous sands, hulking relics of a shattered fleet.
Legend holds that while there was a great respect between the two men, Ten Ti Tzu and his father made a wager on the old general's death bed, that while his son was an apt hand at life in the Southern reaches, where his element was strongest, he would be well served by the humility imposed by subjecting himself to another, and learning how to operate far from his base of power. And though it took him many years, and the inspiration of his father's old Man-At-Arms, Tu Ru Baa, Ten Ti Tzu did finally travel out of the southern reaches to the Blessed Isle, where he made his pact and adventured with the Five Ways Brotherhood.
The Fire Aspect's journals on the differences on sailing both by ice and sea from that of sailing desert sands are held to be among some of the most insightful technical journals of the age, and paint him as being very intuitive and insightful to the physics imposed by the elements on their various vessels. His personal notes, made often on the opposing page from his technical notes, present a very wry sense of humor and a penchant for ranting, often passionately, about whatever subject or device had his attention.
In the Seven Scrolls saga, Ten Ti Tzu begins his boisterous and entertaining journeys in the far western isles, lending to the more traditional climate of 'humor' for which the stories are known. Hun Li Po as an author seems to find his own entertainment in depicting the Fire Aspect being doused by waves, steaming when upset, and pokes fun once even at him making his own hot spring, "So long as you don't ask where the bubbles come from."
Despite the entertaining contrast of his survival in the West and comparisons to life in the South, the tales of Ten Ti Tzu always conclude with a dramatic flair, and always manage to bring the hero up from the role of the jester or clown and into the forefront as a savior, his martial prowess and tactical genius cutting through layers of implied ineptitude to highlight him as a man of incredible skill and capacity.
In the story which pitted him against a fickle and angry Goddess of the Sea who found her domain being invaded not only by Siaka, but by a rising volcano in the midst of her domain,
Ten Ti Tzu, his sails ablaze
Bore flaming ship over boiling seas
With Siaka churning in the waves
And nipping at his rudder.
Ten Ti Tzu, his eyes burning
Looked on Mu'ee and decreed
"Ho, Goddess, I can see up your skirts
And can smell the fish you hide there."
Ten Ti Tzu, glowing fiercely
The volcano below giving glow
Saw Mu'ee fast draw up her skirts
And the Tsunami fled with them from the land.
Translated: Cynis Oraius 688
three recurring elements of the Ten Ti Tzu epics are demonstrated. The first, a lack of regard and reverence of the women of the West, who he considered to be "too wet" for his liking, the second, a brash and cutting sense of humor, and the third, a quick wit which, carefully applied, became renown for saving the lives of many threatened by the hard conditions and frightful forces that threatened those living in the Western lands.
The legendary Powerbow named Phoenix Pinion which Ten Ti Tzu bore with him until his death has long been considered lost to the sea, along with its bearer. No official date of death has been referenced for the Fire Blooded Dragon of the epics, because he sailed out of port in Avery one year, and simply never returned. The fate of himself and his ship have never been known, but recently, Phoenix Pinion has been whispered to have been found, and rests in the hands of a bold young flame aspected Dragon Blooded pirate named Blood on Water.
Mi Yang Lu
Mi Yang Lu
Mi Yang Lu
Who traveled the Branches
At her hip a satchel
Fat with soothing herbs.
Of the many and extensive medical texts and journals published in the era of the Shogunate, some of the most widely referenced and thoroughly expanded are the works of Mi Yang Lu. Born in the river provinces, and trained as from birth as an apothecary and a herbalist, the Wood Aspected Mi Yang Lu was renown for her compassion, drive, curiosity and of all things, self deprecation. Never satisfied with her work, never feeling she had reached her potential, always seeking out new remedies and suffering, reputedly, from great bouts of depression and fits of panic, Mi Yang Lu seemed to be fighting a pre-cognitive struggle against a black tide she seemed to feel was coming.
Even going so far as to explore the potentials of Wyld remedies, Mi Yang Lu traveled the world more extensively than any of her Five Ways Brotherhood companions, and her early tales all seem to place her in different lands, under different guises, in strange markets, at forgotten shrines, looking for bits of this and pieces of that to make some concoction against some frailty. Many of the modern medicines put to use in the five directions are attributed to her research, and much of the research done since her disappearance is built on the framework of her references. Modern medicine in the Scarlet Dynasty would not be what it is without her extremely well documented work.
In time, Mi Yang Lu's tormented nightmares unveiled themselves in the form of the Great Contagion, and she reportedly went mad in the face of what she perceived to be an apocalyptic prophecy. While most of the original works of Mi Yang Lu in the chronicles of Hun Li Po tend to be lighthearted and optimistic, full of beautiful descriptions of the cornucopia of glorious sights of the eastern pole, adventures into old shrines, stories of helping and healing and gentle benevolence, later stories see a harsh bitterness settle over her, and culminate in her decision to seek out some means of stemming the Great Contagion in the North, rather than her beloved East. Her shift in character was perhaps best characterized by her decision to walk away from the sickness of the people of Jotunvael, suffering not from contagion, but from Gray Fever, a sickness she had means with her to cure.
I have seen the people of this place
Sick and scared and crying
I have watched them cast their stones
At cages hung above the streets.
Within those cages hang the damnedSuffering to spread their sickness.
Blighted souls with, sick with fever
Blamed for the death of those before them
The do not know, these hollow soulsStems the plague that they all so fear.
Who will come to wheeze in days to follow
That from their cages, full of victims
It is in the air, it is in the waterAnother day of death awaits.
It is in the copses of the dead
And so for each that they parade
I hear them crying, hear them swayingFor it was they who cast the first stones.
Faces gray and pale and drawn
And know that they are beyond saving
Translated: Cynis Oraius 666.
Despite her eventual mental and emotional sickness, she reportedly suffered perfect health from the day of her birth to the day she vanished into the mists of a Shadowland at the height of the Great Contagion, though there are some whispers that in her final days she bore with her a the Contagion itself without suffering its effects. Despite her best efforts, the Glass Orchid she struggled so hard to find and pluck had been nothing more than a red herring, and could not stave off the blight of the Contagion.
Among the five heroes of the tales of Hun Li Po, Mi Yang Lu's are by far the darkest and most tragic. Hers are tales of woe on the horizon, of death by the greatest plague our world has known, and of the dark chasms into which even the most benevolent will fall, should they permit despair to claim their hearts.
Ran Fu De
Ran Fu De
Ran Fu De
Who trod on Stone
Before him a great Tetsubo
Bone of the Earth.
In one of his best known verses about the Stone Aspected Ran Fu De, Hun Li Po had this to say;
Peace comes not from siting atop a stone
But from sitting as a stone.
Progress comes not from rushing ahead
But from rolling forward, undaunted.
In the world we live in, many things change
But slow to change are the mountains
And beautiful are they when carved.
But know that while a resolute mountain
May be the most stable option
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Translated: Cynis Oraius 651.
The quote taken from the midst of a very long, very wordy, very uneventful set of stories based around reflections Ran Fu De had while sitting on a rock on the southern face of Meru, served to highlight that the man, Ran Fu De, was if nothing else, very very very patient.
Unlike his counterparts in the fables, the tales of Ran Fu De are not backed by nearly as much historical record. He was renown as a strong man, though one who did not enjoy the heat of battle. He was known as a man who could lift great boulders, throw long distances, and stand unflinching in the strongest rivers, but also for being very slow to act, slow to speak, and for his deep love of sleep.
Staring contests, sitting contests, tests of endurance and feats of strength all number among the tales told of Ran Fu De. Few and far between are occasions when the quiet giant could not solve a conflict with a single demonstration of his mighty tetsubo, Bone of the Earth, in action. One tale tells of how he sat for three weeks, immobile, unflinching and unmoving as he grappled with a rogue Earth Elemental, until the elemental grew tired, forgot what it was doing, and fell asleep. Another tells of a game of Krakat, played with a bored Mountain God, to keep him from covering the roads and high passes with rock slides. On the whole, most of Ran Fu De's stories laud patience and levelheadedness, and persistence, over unnecessary violence as a solution to a problem.
Though his love for his homeland and all its glories was deep and resounding, Ran Fu De was said to have had an equally abiding love for all things that the earth could become. In the stories of Hun Li Po, though he maintained an extremely well balanced stone garden, one day he found a seedling growing in the very middle of it. While his first thought had been to clear it away and restore the pristine balance of the garden, his mentor, Mihn Gi Pao, advised that he should instead wait and see what might come of the plant. At first he seemed reluctant to let something unbalance his garden, but when it was pointed out that the plant grew from the earth beneath, Ran Fu De was fascinated and intrigued.
Over time it is said that a sapling sprung up from the seedling, and that it grew into a small tree. When Mihn Gi Pao asked why Ran Fu De did not remove it now that he knew what it was, the Stone Aspect responded; "I know what it is, but I have yet to see what it can be." To this day, a tall and mighty oak tree, trunk thick, timeless and implacable against the elements stands in what are known as The Stone Gardens of Ran Fu De, and is now one of many such trees that have sprung up in the acres of garden, and had the garden's balance changed to support their fruitful growth.
The chronicles of his journeys throughout the eastern provinces read something like a tour guide, with the mighty Ran Fu De rumbling along his path, seeing the great sights of the Shogunate era and recounting on the beauty of their construction, stonework, and roads. Often he would stop to comment on the quality of the soil that gave birth to such beautiful flowers and lush crops, and the caliber of the bedrock that held such ageless rivers.
In later tales, it's told that the sturdy hero, having helped build towns of stone in the wooded East, and turning back entire armies by collapsing a pass with a single swing of his weapon, sought out Skyfall Lake, yearning to find a stone that had been cast down from the heavens. In his travels to find it, he staved off the predation of a giant Lion in The Tale of Mbube, later to find that the creatures lair had been over-run by thorns, and by clearing the, gave the creature back its home. Later, an eerie, chilling tale of a forest of mushrooms, so dark, dank and gloomy as to have never seen the light of a torch, and of the terrible things he found in the dark.
At the climax of Ran Fu De's trials, he comes across a rogue river god named Kappa, an imp who's rage at having had his river crushed by a falling star saw him terrorizing the lands around it with great floods and hardship. It's said he tricked the imp into bowing, as gods are meant to do for the Dragon Blooded, and spilling the life-giving water from his crown. He convinced Kappa of the benefits of the lake when he was able to refill his crown in one of the many beautiful water falls that adorn the historic site.
It is not known where Ran Fu De's final resting place is, but it's said in myth that he finally chose to sit down somewhere, tired from his journeys, and moss, stone, and hills covered him over, making of him a mighty mountain topped by a single mighty oak.
Hun Li Po
Hun Li Po
NOTE: The character profile of Hun Li Po is a work in progress, and I am putting the information here as it develops. Partly as a matter of reference and as a means of researching the material attached to her.
By all means, if you're interested, feel free to peruse the materials I have posted in relation to this character, and I welcome any constructive criticism and feedback.
Tremain Francis Avery
Hun Li Po is if nothing else, a master of the art of disguise. An actress, a courtesan, an assassin and above all, a Sidereal, her identity flows and shifts with a natural lucidity that comes only to those deft at the Loom of Fate. Having exploited this asset to its utmost means in the Shogunate era, Hun Li Po is an established figure in modern literature, known for being a man, woman, child, god, demon, fairy, anathema, dragon blood, hungry ghost and once, a tree.
Despite this obviously entertaining endeavor to completely obfuscate herself, Hun Li Po does have some inherent traits which, graced by birth, still linger under the layers of deception.
Hun Li Po was born of eastern parents from the provinces which now host modern Sijan. Her figure is lean and graceful, her frame sturdy and strong, and she moves with a dancers gait, when she moves in her own shoes. Her hair, worn commonly shoulder length with a small bun held by chopsticks, is mousy brown and simple, and her eyes match it in both color and nature; stray locks always seem to fall free to accent her smiling, genuine face and laughing joyful eyes.
Taller than the average woman but by no means a tower, the easiness with which she bears herself lends a sense of confidence and amicability to those around her, making her an easy ear and a comfortable shoulder, as the case may need be. When in her house in Yu Shan, she prefers simple colors that match her complexion, and favors a scandalously plain kimono of brown and cream, an emerald sash her only concession to brighter colors.
Occasionally for reasons unknown she's been said to wear masks of various form and origin, and while some of them are obviously meant to mess with people -- The bold red demon face mask worn with a white spring dress on one occasion about the Heavenly Promenades-- by far her most notorious is a kabuki mask, painted to her skin, and worn most often when making entreaties for concession to more powerful heavenly officials. Some swear that the mask imbues her with unnatural talents, for even in the lawful absence of enhancing charms, the Bard is hard to refuse, and hard also to loathe.
An impish child, Hun Li Po was born at the end of a golden era, under the yoke of a corrupt Solar master. Her exaltation was a curious enough affair, wherein she surprised her Sidereal inductor by declaring that she had been expecting his arrival. While she has never discussed her insights or deductions that may have led to these conclusions, her first Sifu maintains that "She bluffs like a faceless cardsharp, and I'll be damned if you'll ever catch her in a lie" (after several well enjoyed and deceptively deep cups at a Gala during the height of the Shogunate.)
Her Sifu being fond of citing truisms and koans of blithe common sense with the more important lessons of her training fed into Hun Li Po's eventually vast repertoire of idle colloquialisms, both meaningful and ridiculous. One such a thing, reputedly cited during a meeting between the Bronze, Gold and Silver factions, Man who smoke too much pipe choke on faucet, is held to be one of the single most brazen insults ever couched upon a fellow Exalt. Myth holds that Chejop Kejak sneezed, and vows he did not laugh.
A mercurial, if resolute supporter of the Bronze Faction, Hun Li Po was too young to partake of the finer points of the Usurpation when it took place, and instead defends the acts as necessary evils to stem the corruption of their world. A dam against flood waters makes too for calmer fishing. In her writings, poems and plays, Hun Li Po is an adamant supporter of the heroic image of the Dragon Blooded forces, feeling them to be under-appreciated for their heroic contributions to legendary sagas now housed only (optimally) in heavenly vaults. This does not preclude however her respect for those Solar and Lunar heroes of legend, for while she does not publish them in Creation, her odes to the Gold and Silver Princes are as impassioned and respectful, while her tirades at their tyranny and corruption are brutal, ruthless and damning. Some have questioned the true depth of her alignments, but most have simply accepted that Hun Li Po is very confusing.