The session resumed from where we ended last week with the characters continuing south the speak with the head of Nature Loving Monk Sect about an alliance with Zhoaze Island. They stopped briefly in the town of Redi, where Leng began learning Blasting Blade Technique from his wife Min. Shu begged for coin meeting Cao Bai, a scholar, in the process. Cai Bai offered to pay for Shu’s food, room and tea, and brought him to the Emerald Cup Tea House. There Cai Bai explained his was a scholar of the Era of the Demon Emperor, with a particular interest in Sunan and Bao and their Wind Sabre. Cautiously Shu tried to obtain more information about the Wind Sabre. He learned it belonged to the martial Hero Bao (who famously fought against the Demon Emperor alongside her husband Sunan) and had been a wedding gift. It apparently was paired with another object called the Phoenix Crown of Bao. According to legend, they are meant to be combined.
Cao Bai revealed he was fleeing from General Qiang, who controls Rong-Yao a city in the south in the heart of Nature Loving Monk Territory. He was looking for martial heroes to help protect him against the General. Sensing the hand of Fate, Shu introduced Cao Bai to Leng, Weng and Min. They revealed the Sabre to Cao Bai and offered to protect him. He agreed to go south with them and seek the protection of the Nature Loving Monks (who are enemies of General Qiang).
The party set off southward and had an encounter with giant shapeshifting birds called Nao Ren. These creatures ambushed the party by having one of their flock contort its body to look like a wounded child and cry for help. Min, Weng and Leng were wounded in the battle. There were six birds in total and they killed four, causing the remaining two to flee.
After the encounter the party continued to Rong-Yao, where they left Cao Bai outside the city gates with Min and Leng. Inside the city, Shu found the head of the Nature Loving Monk Sect (his order) and relayed all they had experienced. His master sorted through the possible alliances in play, concluding the numbers on either side to be about equal. So he told Shu to seek an alliance with the Tree Dwelling Nun Sect and to do what he could to increase their number of heroes.
This session we realized the healing rates need hammering out more. I didn’t want to use the standard Sertorius rates, so going to shift to a heal rate of 1 wound per rank of Qi a day (with characters who do not have Qi using the standard 1 wound per week).
I was also able to play more with Fate. Because the characters possessed the Wind Sabre, I figured a fateful meeting with Cao Bai would be appropriate. However I was careful to make Cao Bai’s motives murky in the beginning. Shu basically needed to guess whether Cao Bai was after the sword for sinister purposes or a genuinely honest and helpful man. He betted on the latter and it paid off.
The Nao Ren encounter was interesting. I basically just wanted to inject some supernatural elements to the game, and took our Sharhi Blackbirds from Sertorius and retooled them for the setting. Aside from the shapeshifting ability, Nao Ren don’t have any special attacks. They just have solid bites and claws that do pretty good closed damage. They also have three wounds so are a bit tough. Six of them was more than enough challenge for the party. A few more good rolls and the birds would have easily taken out 1-2 player characters (and had that happened early in the fight, even more PCs might have died).