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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Once upon a time... » » Story for Tiger & Dragon Mystery by Magic Wagon (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ProfessorMagicJMG
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The "Tiger and Dragon Mystery" by Magic Wagon is a beautiful prop in need of a good story to make it more than just a "mental magic" trick. I posted this in the thread in "Let's Make A Deal" where someone was selling it, but then realized the thread will eventually disappear from that forum after a certain amount of time, so I'm posting it here as well, where it probably belongs. I don't own this prop, but was trying to think of a good story that would make it worth a purchase. I think the key is creating a story, or a setting, that "raises the stakes" for the spectator, to make the outcome of the prediction meaningful in a way that is commensurate with the use of something so arcane and beautiful. Here's what I came up with:

===============================================================

THE TIGER, THE DRAGON, AND THE SAGE: A MYSTERY OF ANCIENT CHINA

"LONG AGO, on the border of Mongolia where the Great Wall of China was still under construction, a Mongol warlord known as The Tiger was raiding across the gaps in the Wall into Chinese territory. His opponent was an iron-fisted Governor in control of the provincial troops helping guard the workers building the Wall. The proud Governor was fiercely loyal to the Emperor of China, whose national symbol has always been The Dragon, and fought desperately to protect the border from what he considered the "savage Mongol horde," and protect the Chinese culture from "pollution" by the "barbaric ways" of the freedom loving, nomadic horse clans on the other side of the Wall.

Caught between the two warring factions, the poor peasants were often crushed by the battles and raids, but since good pay for their labor was the only alternative to a life of poverty trying to grow a pittance of rice, they often became innocent victims of a conflict they could not flee. Finally, a desperate worker who was the father of a large family sought wisdom from a Sage who lived on a nearby mountain. He pleaded with the Sage to help him find a way to protect his family from being casualties of war. The Sage told him to return home and wait for his reply.

A week later, a messenger delivered a package to his small peasant hut, with this instruction from the Sage: "Take this to the Governor and say these words, which are true: 'with this oracle, I will help you ensure defeat for The Dragon.' Ask the governor to place the disc into one of the four chambers in the box, representing the outcome of any of the battles he has fought against The Tiger, with the disc face up to show who won the battle, and where the battle occurred: near a forest, near the mountains, near a waterfall, or near a cave. There have been many skirmishes close to such places, and sometimes the Governor's forces have been defeated, and sometimes they won, so the Governor will see it as impossible that you could know of which battle he is thinking. But hang the Arrowhead of Truth on its chain over the oracle, and as it gently sways over the closed box, you will come to know what he has chosen. He will think the box will give him a way to predict the outcome of future battles, or discover where the forces of The Tiger are hiding. Then, he will reward you richly for the oracle and send you away. But alas, the box only looks backward, not forward, so be sure to take your family far away from here, before the oracle tells him the wrong story."

And so, the peasant did as the Sage instructed, and all happened as was foretold. The Governor rewarded the peasant for so rich a treasure, and he and his armies were soundly defeated in the next battle; he had misinterpreted the peasant's offer, 'with this oracle I will help you ensure defeat for The Dragon.' The Sage quietly sent word to The Tiger informing him of the circumstances that had won him his victory. The Tiger rewarded the Sage with a guarantee of personal safety and a pledge of peace for all the workers...The Tiger became the new shadow ruler of the region and ceased his raids, secretly paying the workers handsomely as they completed their work on the Great Wall. His people began to trade with and marry the descendants of the Wall builders...and when the Tiger's sons and descendants had grown into a mighty force, and mounted their invasion of China, their friends and cousins who had built the Wall simply opened the gates, and let them in.

So you see, this ancient-looking box is actually a replica of the device that became the True Key to the Great Wall of China."


[This story is based in fact; it took so long to build the Great Wall that the Mongols and the Chinese on the border actually did trade and intermarry and so by the time they invaded, the Chinese offered no resistance. It's kind of too bad that the prop has the English words engraved on the inside of the four chambers or else it could be passed off as an actual ancient relic for performance purposes.]
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Clarke's 3rd Law

"Any sufficiently primitive technology can mystify a postmodern audience." - JMG's Corollary to Clarke's 3rd Law
Snidini
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Great story line/routine and thinking for this prop Profesor. It is a great trick from MW and I don't think you'll be disappointed if you buy it. I am working on a story line using the TV show Kung Fu with Master Po and the young "grasshopper" Kwai Chang Caine as a test to become a Shoalin monk/priest. As you may or may not know, his arms are scarred with the sacred dragon and tiger on both arms. I have a little more work on it but hope to post it on here so I too can get some tips/ideas also for making the story line better. Your patter is excellent my friend.
Firestorm60
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I was trying to link a few MW effects togeather
Such as the griffin effect along with a rice / orange production vase. Seems a shame
Not to as a few MW effects with a similar
It would be set in ancient China with a small boy forced
To leave his mother to seek his fortune along the way bumping into
People who set tasks in return for favours and in the end he comes up against the dragon
Puzzle perhaps returning with riches and the Emperors daughters hand.
Sounds a bit like Dick Whittington now I’ve thought abought it .
There is quite a lot around the dragon and tiger story on line that
I started to collect


leaving the rice field
To seek
ProfessorMagicJMG
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Thanks for your reply; I had completely forgotten about writing this.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Clarke's 3rd Law

"Any sufficiently primitive technology can mystify a postmodern audience." - JMG's Corollary to Clarke's 3rd Law
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