Jade Empire spoilers follow…
- Early in the game Zu has a conversation with Hui, where he reveals that about twenty years ago he delieved a baby to Hui and then kept watch on the baby from a distance.
- He reveals that he was one of the ones ordered to go and kill Master Li’s family, which consisted of his wife and child. This order is what triggered his departure from the Lotus Assasins and led to his life as a swamp hermit.
- At one point you ask him point-blank if he really killed Li’s family and he evades the question, saying he’s done many things he’s not proud of but never admitting to killing the family.
- When you first meet him, he doesn’t want anything to do with you until you reveal that you’re after Dawn Star. Then he agrees to help out.
- Dawn Star was born twenty years ago. When she was young she moved around a bit, but was eventually left at Master Li’s school in Two Rivers. She remembers no firm details about her time before Two Rivers.
It seems to be astoundingly obvious that the baby must have been Dawn Star. Zu most likely killed Li’s wife, but couldn’t bring himself to murder an infant. So he disobeyed the order, made off with the baby, and tried to get it somewhere safe. He left the baby with Hui, who eventually took the baby to Two Rivers. Zu stayed in the swamp nearby to keep an eye on her.
If this is the case then it means that Master Li unwittingly raised his own daughter, who he believed to be dead. Zu (indirectly) delivered the baby to her father, who he believed to be dead. Zu had no idea who master Li really was, so he did not engineer this arrangement on purpose.
However, I’ve worked on the dialog a bit with various characters, and nobody ever reveals this explicitly. I doubt my guess because the game is so good at misleading you and playing against expectations that the conclusion just seems to obvious. Am I missing a sidequest someplace where this gets all cleared up? I’ve finished the game now, but maybe I missed some details somewhere.
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