This campaign is set ten years after a previous set of adventures (HERE). This is the second session of the campaign (see the first entry HERE).
Xue Lingsu (Purple Cavern Sect)
Kang Xi (Affiliated with Mr. Red Claw)
Zhi Zhu (No Sect)
Long Shu (Purple Cavern Sect)
Rong (Tree Dwelling Nun Sect)
We continued where we left off with Zhi Zhu dragging Kang Xi and Long Shu from the Golden Grotto Academy and Xue LIngsu bringing the daughter of the city engineer (Su Long) to Poet Hong's residence after rescuing her from the Grotto.
As the three party members stumbled out of the academy they met a Tree Dwelling Nun sect member named Rong, who offered to assist Zhi Zhu carry her incapacitated friends. Reluctantly she accepted, handing Kang Xi over.
Upon their return to Hong's residence they connected with Lingsu and asked Rong about her background, who expressed further interest in traveling with them. Though suspicious of her motives, they brought her into the party.
Poet Hong toasted the party for rescuing Su Long's daughter, Yuyan. He gave them several hundred taels in a well crafted box and hosted a meal in their honor. They decided to take Yuyan with them to the Inn of the Emerald Monk where they still needed to dismantle the water clock so it wouldn't activate and drain the local martial heroes of their Qi. But before they departed, Long Shu arranged a meeting with Headmaster Mu, hoping to convince him to take a different path. By Long Shu's account of the meeting, he appears to have succeeded.
As they left Chen on the southern road, the party was confronted by a group of mystic sword disciples led from the rear by a man on horseback (who they would later learn was Lying Tiger). Lying Tiger demanded they turn over the report of the Phoenix Crown and attacked when they refused. The battle was quick, with the party dropping the disciples right away, but Lying Tiger released his Sword Whipping Strike, allowing him to strike everyone in the party with a green ribbon of energy. They did manage to wound him with a blasting blade attack and tried to retreat. Zhi Zhu nabbed him with her Arms of Silk technique, unfurling her robes to engulf him. This worked for a time, but he struck with his Whipping Blade once again and the party thought it safer to let him flee.
When they reached the Inn of the Emerald Monk, the party reunited Yuyun with her father (who had been onsite building the Water Clock). They also detained the foreman of the project, a Golden Grotto Academy master, who Lady Tao had beheaded.
Lady Tao thanked the party for their performance and assigned an easier job of transporting the body of local bean curd merchant to his ancestral home in Rong-Yao. The body would require the Spirit Keeping Rites for the journey's duration, which meant they had to hire a Yen-Li priest or shaman.
They went to the Celestial Spirit Temple, where they met the head priest. He talked them into hiring him personally for the job at about 80 spades a day. The first day of travel went well, but that night the Celestial Spirit priest looked sick and said the Spirit Keeping Rite was more difficult than usual to perform. Because the ritual appeared to be harming the priest, they decided something was amiss and opted to bury the body there in the road. As they were digging a grave, the priest keeled over and the coffin began to shake. Zhi Zhu tried to contain the coffin with her Arms of Silk but it burst open and the stiff body emerged with a gaping mouth. Kang Xi recognized it as a Hopping Ghost, and told the party to burn it. They took torches from the camp and oil and set to the task. Though it nearly managed to bite a few members of the party, they escaped certain death and put it to flames. When the fire died, they inspected the body, opening an incising that had been made on its chest. Inside they found a paper note attached to a bronze rod that read "REMAIN".
They purchased another coffin at a neighboring village and continued to Rong-Yao where they delivered the body. Then the party headed back to the Emerald Inn and explained what had happened. Lady Tao believed the note was left by the man's wife and said she would take care of the matter. She also informed them that Lying Tiger had been to the Inn looking for them, and that she couldn't employ them so long as they had a dispute with Mystic Sword Sect.
After discussing the issue, the party decided to forge a copy of the Report of the Phoenix Crown identifying false locations for its possible current whereabouts. They didn't want Lady White Blade to obtain the crown because it might enable her to claim leadership over the martial world. Xue Lingsu spent the night making a forgery and when he found out Lying Tiger was staying at the inn, he brought it to him. Lying Tiger accepted the book and thanked Lingsu. He also asked if Lingsu knew anything about the disappearance of his sect member, Iron Ghost (who the party had helped kill in Chen). Lingsu lied that he did not, but said he had heard One Armed Fiery Demon was after him. When pressed further he described the one armed swords woman in greater detail.
After their meeting, Zhi Zhu remained on the roof near Lying Tiger's room and eavesdropped. Speaking with one of his junior disciples, Lying Tiger speculated that One Armed Fiery Demon was his former traveling companion, Min, who had stolen the Wind Saber of Sunan from Heiping Temple (her own sect) to give to her husband Leng. In the end, Lying Tiger betrayed his companions to his own master, Lady White Blade and they were defeated in the Battle of Je Valley where Min lost her arm, Leng was killed, and Shu (the third member of the group) was blinded before falling to his death in a deep canyon. The final result was Lady White Blade took the Wind Saber for herself.
After resolving the matter, Lady Tao was still reluctant to hire the party until she knew there was no issue with Lady White Blade. So the group decided to investigate the whereabouts of the Phoenix Crown. The book mentioned three places it might be: With the Kushen, With One Armed Fiery Demon and with Heiping Temple. They decided to find One Armed Fiery Demon as their first point of investigation.
The group went north again but on the road to Water Village (Naam) they were ambushed by the Nephew of Master Ta, Flying Hawk, who wanted revenge for Madame Hamaya (someone they killed last session). His men blocked their path and he struck from behind. Luck was not with Flying Hawk as the players quickly overcame him and dispatched his men (without killing them). They bound Flying Hawk to a tree and made it to Naam where they found One Armed Fiery Demon at the local Inn.
This is where the session ended.