Thread: General Tso
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Default General Tso

Ha. You know what you thought of.

And that's cool. The Demon of Chinese Food thanks you for the Essence. It's spicy.

In fact, there really was a General Tso. Hsiang has even met the guy: he's earned command of a squad in Gehenna. Vicious bastard, put down more than a few Chinese rebellions, killed enemy leaders with the "death of a thousand cuts" and everything. There'd probably be a couple more Muslim nations in the world if it weren't for him. What he wasn't was a bleeding chef, and he never tasted anything called General Tso's chicken in his life.

Hsiang brought him some, just to see his reaction. He said it was okay, but nothing fancy.

And that's the point, really: General Tso's chicken is an adaptation of a poor man's dish eaten by the Chinese that came to America, which is to say, guys who needed jobs, bad. What Americans call "Chinese food" is about as Chinese as French fries are French. That's one reason why the Balseraph loves it so much -- it's Chinese because it's what Americans want Chinese food to be. That's his Word, as a matter of fact, in literal translation: not "food eaten by Chinese people," but "Chinesefood," the ubiquitous menu of Chinese restaurants across the United States and the Western Hemisphere. Actual Chinese food is, he is sorry to say, hideous -- fried grasshoppers, bird's nest soup? You know it's gross. I hear they eat dog, too. Or maybe that's Koreans. Or is it whale meat? I don't know. Here, have some crispy beef. Now that's good stuff, isn't it? You can have some more later.

And you can, too. That's the second reason Hsiang loves Chinese food. Because you can eat it... and still be hungry! Isn't it great? It's the perfect cuisine: eat all you want, there'll be room for more! How can you not love this stuff? It's the tabula rasa of food -- what you want it to be, empty of essence until filled with your desires, giving everybody a little taste of what it's like to be a Balseraph all the time. What it's like to be Hsiang.

Now, admittedly there are some sourpusses down on Chinese food for this or that reason. Sodium, calories, blah blah bah. MSG? Please, Hsiang started that, or at least he'll tell you he will. Gotta keep people on their toes a little, that's all. But MSG's everywhere anyway. How do you think Chinese food stays so cheap? It should be cheap, too -- it's for everybody. Hsiang wants it to be for everybody, all the time. Of course you can live on it -- Chinese people do, don't they? Breakfast, lunch and dinner, appetizer to dessert. Here, have a fortune cookie.

Fortune cookie. Oh God. Oh god oh god oh god. Hsiang still loves fortune cookies. Just the whole concept. Genius. Who cares if they were Japanese to start with. They're Chinese food now, buddy. Hsiang's a forward-looking sort of demon, with an expansionist approach to the Word. He hasn't quite figured out where to go with the Word of "Commercialized Cuisine of the American Chinese Diaspora," but that's okay. There's always potential. Blank page to be written on, and all that. Yeah.

Say, you hungry? How about we do Chinese?


Balseraph Knight of Banquets
Demon of Chinese Food
Vessel: Short, rotund Chinese male/4

Corporeal Forces: 5 Strength: 12 Agility: 8
Ethereal Forces: 3 Intelligence: 4 Precision: 8
Celestial Forces: 4 Will: 11 Perception: 5
Word Forces: 6

Skills: Artistry (Cooking)/5, Computer Operation/1, Emote/4, Knowledge(Restaurant business)/6, Dodge/2, Fighting/3, Languages (English/3, Chinese(Cantonese)/1), Ranged Weapon (throwing knives)/2, Small Weapon (meat cleaver)/4

Songs: NC: Fangs/3, Blood(Corporeal)/3

Role: Role/4, Status +2 -- Tsang Li, wealthy wholesale distributor to Chinese restaurants

Relic: Meat cleaver, Corporeal artifact/6, Summonable. If Hsiang needs to get rid of a human body, he does have a lot of orders to fill.

Haagenti's Consume and Insatiable Attunements

Fortune Cookie: Although rather low on Word-Forces for a Word-bound to have an Attunement, Hsiang has managed to research this aspect of his Word. If facing a decision, he, or a being to whom he grants this Attunement, may spend 1 Essence, make a Perception roll, and sample a single fortune cookie from a large group (which must contain at least as many fortune options as there are choices to be considered); the chosen fortune cookie must be eaten and the scroll unrolled from the mouth. If still legible (and the original Perception roll was passed), the fortune revealed will be that one among the available options most relevant to the problem at hand. This is not necessarily all that relevant, given fortune cookies' usual content, but it's as accurate as a Song of Symphony for the current plane, and better than nothing.

Haagenti's basic Rites
Haagenti's expanded Rite "cause a human to expend all his resources on food"
Hsiang has not discovered his Word-Rite(s) yet. (He spent the time researching his attunement.)

Discord: couple of Geas/2 to random Lilim for sundry favors; use as desired.

Hsiang is a low-ranking Word-Bound of recent vintage (the 1970s), still proving his worth. Like many of Gluttony's specialized Word-bound, he was in the right place at the right time to introduce Haagenti to a new style of dish, and was promoted for his luck. He has no particular vendetta against any given angel, and his only notable rivalries with any demons are with the demons of the "real" Chinese cooking traditions. They regard him asa pretender, and he regards them as as effete poseurs trying futilely to preserve a static art, when adaptability is vital. He is usually more concerned with getting people to eat more Chinese food than any particular Fates, so he can make a good, low-contrast supervisor for demons of Gluttony. He can command the services of unranked demons of Gluttony that aren't doing anything else in particular at the moment, or may be hatching a plan to boost the Word and his stature -- while he greatly enjoys his Word, he nevertheless sees it as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things.
Hsiang has a few connections in China for "authentic" ingredients, insofar as customers ever demand them, but most of his suppliers and work is done in the U.S. He can be found in any U.S. town or city, and occasionally other towns in the Western world, whether supplying the Chinese restaurant down the street, peddling his wares to shops intended for the tourist trade in Chinatown, or making a deal for farm produce. He claims credit for the "Jews order Chinese food on Christmas" meme, though who can say? The advent of the Olympics in 2008 is giving him some excellent marketing opportunities, that is for certain.
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