This campaign is set ten years after a previous set of adventures (HERE). This is the Thirteenth session of the current campaign (Session XIII can be found HERE). It was an interim session conducted online. This adventure was very much inspired by the three Dragon Gate films (Dragon Gate Inn, New Dragon Gate Inn, and Flying Swords of Dragon Gate Inn).
Xue Lingsu (Purple Cavern Sect)
Xi Kang(Affiliated with Mr. Red Claw)
Zhi Zhu (No Sect)
Long Shu (Purple Cavern Sect)
Min (Purple Cavern Sect)
Rong (Tree-Dwelling Nun Sect)
In the last session the party had arrived Ogre Gate Inn, where they were surrounded by imperial soldiers and an official who demanded they hand over the Calamity Child. They were trapped inside with a group of Kailin tribesmen and bandits.
Arrows continued to rain down. Zhi Zhu used Storming Daggers unleashing a hail of blades on the official, only to watch them tear through his clothes and leave his body unharmed. For the first stages of the confrontation their attacks uselessly tore his robes while he seemed impervious. Eventually the party rushed out to attack, with Long Shu using his I Am The Arrow Technique to appear in a flash above the official and fall from the sky with his spear thrust out. He was rebuffed by a Spinning Back Kick and knocked to the ground. Kang and Lingsu came out as well, as did Rong. Zhi Zhu used turn of the caltrop to drop several of the soldiers. In the end they managed to drop the official and whittle away at enough of the soldiers that they started to flee.
The official was just barely alive and was wearing a faceplate to conceal his idenity. When it was removed, Long Shu recognized him as a personal guard of the Queen of Hai'an. They interrogated him, eventually having to break limbs to get him to confess that the Queen wanted to confuse Long Shu, so he would think they were imperial troops. She wanted the Calamity Child for her own purposes.
The party took the official into the inn where Kang held him prisoner. Eventually Kang read the wine and decided that the official had to die, so he killed him (after which he and Long Shu found the seal of the Queen of Hai'an on his neck).
In the wake of the attack the party noticed exchanging glances between the bandits. Lingsu demanded an explanation from them and the Kailin. The leader of the Kailin tribesmen, Princess Samga, said that the Bandits had stolen one of their tribe's treasures, an important ceremonial belt, and sold it to a Hai'anese official. Reluctantly the Bandit Leader, Sun Blade, said he had sold the item to the Vice-censor-in-Chief, a man named Jing. Satisfied the Princess spoke with Lingsu and promised to send him a gift.
Speaking with Sun Blade, they learned that he was there to steal the Emerald Empire of Zhang, a horde of wealth that belonged to the legendary bandit king. According to most accounts he was so filled with greed that he sealed himself in and asked the gods to give him eternal life so he could be with his treasure forever. The tales spoke of a warped being still residing inside. Sun Blade claimed that the Bandit King's treasure was in a vast chamber below the inn, created long before Ogre Gate, with enough wealth for everyone. He initially offered a 50/50 share if the players characters agreed to help him check for traps (he lost about 9 men already to poisoned arrows and spoked pits). The trapped areas were not part of the original chamber but of a more recent tomb structure. This tomb is what the players were after so they agreed.
It took some time. They had to slowly worked their way through arrow-trapped hallways, collapsing pits and walls of hurling spears. Long Shu was poisoned by Spiny Toad Venom and had to return to the inn in search of ingredients for an antidote.
Eventually they found the tomb of General Duo Lun. There they discovered a body dressed in armor. On closer inspection the skeleton was female. They also found the elixir mentioned by White Qirin, the one meant for the Calamity Child. It was in a jade bottle shaped like a guard and appeared inky black. In another room they found a book titled "The Stratagems of General Duo Lun". There they noticed a portion of wall was askew. On inspection this seemed to lead into a long hall separate from the tomb.
Sun Blade told his men to go into the hall at the request of Lingsu. They marched in and minutes later the party heard their screams, followed by silence. This left the party and Sun Blade. They went in on their own, eventually finding a wide and long hallways lined with concealed pits. The bodies of the men were on the floor covered in spears. Zhi Zhu took to the ceiling and dealt with the traps, triggering them enough that they ran out of spears. She then made note of the locations of the concealed pits and their triggering plates. At the end of the hall they found an enormous polished Iron door with intricate line patterns on it. They puzzled over it for a while before searching two passage ways off from the hall. In one they found a giant ritual vessel flowing with mist but dared not venture near it. In another they found a chamber filled with finely crafted pots surrounding a bronze statue. On close inspection the statue had human like eyes that darted around in a panic. When Lingsu asked if it was okay, he felt a presence try to invade him and backed off. On a hunch he stood behind it and used tried to flow healing Qi into the statue. At first this seemed to be working but then the eyes burst and blood poured from the face. Looking inside all they saw was decayed organic material.
They decided to attempt dragging the statue into the other chamber to see if it could be used to open the door, but as they did, Kang, who had been busy puzzling over it, fiddled with the grooves and the doors opened. Inside that saw an expansive chamber containing two small items: a three foot horse statue made of white jade and an iron spear tip. Immediately the spear tip took to the air and attacked. It nearly struck but Zhi Zhu used turn of the caltrop to redirect it at one of the dead bodies on the floor. When it struck they used Arms of Silk to drop the body in a pit a concealed pit. It worked but the spear tip continued to bang on the pit door.
Kang grabbed the White Jade Horse and carried it into the hall. Then he demanded that Kang Zhang show himself. Off in the distance from another corridor closer to the entrance of the complex, they heard a yawning sound. They eventually saw a massive creature with the body of an ape, the head of a man, horns, tusks and writhing snakes in his eye sockets. He slowly approached them and demanded they leave.
Kang refused the order and said he was a fellow bandit who deserved the treasure himself. The creature continued on and was about to attack when it noticed the thumping at one of the pits. As it was bending to open to door to release the spear tip, Zhi Zhu used Arms of Silk to trip him, while the rest of the party worked to open the pit door and shove him inside. He feel in as the Spear Tip rose out and struck the bandit leader in the chest, killing him. Before it could strike again they threw the Bandit leader into one of the trap doors and ran away. As they were fleeing, they heard the creature say "I will find you."
The party left the inn and decided to travel through Li Fan, an imperial client kingdom. They made their way to a port city and were able to connect with a member of the Red Claw Gang (Kang's sect) who agreed to take them by boat from Hu Qin (another imperial client) to Zun City (going from the coast then up the river).
When the party arrived in Zun City they learned that the meeting for the tournament had taken place. This was a tournament they had arranged with Bronze Master of Golden Dragon Sect to determine who can control the Wind Sabre of Sunan and Phoenix Crown of Boa. They invited all the orthodox sects and Purple Cavern Sect to the meeting, but Lingsu sent a secret message to the Demon Moon Cult, informing them about it. The Demon Moon cult had arrived and stirred up trouble, resulting in accusations against the Golden Dragon sect and a three faction brawl that turned into a sect war. There were a number of accusations but the most significant was a claim that the Golden Dragons had found the Calamity Child and were concealing that fact in order to secure the Throne for themselves. The factions were: The Demon Moon Cult Faction, The Righteous Faction and the Golden Dragon Faction. They were told that Lady Plum Blossom of Purple Cavern had sided with the Demon Moon Cult.
This is where the session ended.