This is the campaign log for the seventh session of a google+run Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate campaign. The previous session is described HERE.
Note: I am running two campaigns in the same setting and treating them as occurring in different realities with some vague similarities. Characters in one may appear in the other, but there are no direct causal effects from one campaign to the next. Partly this is to playtest, but this is also partly due to the multi-dimensional aspect of the universe I run all my games in. It would theoretically be possible for the party from the Blood of the Demon Moon cult campaign to dimension travel to the Secret of Je Valley Campaign, in which case direct interactions could occur (and they could even meet their counterparts in the alternate dimension). I point this out because a character, Long Shu, from the Secret of Je Valley campaign makes an appearance in this session but his circumstances are quite different from what they are in the regular campaign.
Mofeng: A young wandering Hero who is frequently at odds with his traveling companion Zhang Wan
Zhang Wan (Bone Breaker): An unpredictable and violent martial expert who is the brother of Zhang San
Zhang San: A wandering hero and sister of Zhang Wan, more calm than her brother
Chen: A poisoner and healer known for his lazy ways.
This session the party began a campaign of establishing alliances and building a network. But first they had to return to the Ogre Gate Inn to restore some semblance of order and rescue Jade Priestess.
After recruiting Abbot Firebrand and Niang the Demon Hunter, they returned to the Ogre Gate Inn where Bone Breaker used Pei Hai's flute to summon the Sand Demon and formed an agreement with the creature. He promised to give him "accommodations" at the inn and
to provide him with fresh victims to feed upon in exchange for the Sand Demon's services.
They went back into the Emerald Empire, where Bone Breaker asked to speak to Zhang Kang. He wanted to form an agreement with the bandit king as well but it proved challenging. He had to promise to give back the White Jade Horse and to serve Zhang Kang on the surface. In exchange, Zhang Kang would share knowledge and magic. He gave Bone Breaker his giant ritual vessel and he also brought Bone Breaker into room with a number of withered heads that could speak. He gave Bone Breaker the head of Hai, an old woman knowledgeable about demons and spirits. Zhang Kang agreed to release Jade Priestess as well, but said the only way to do it was to have another person lose to her at a game of Go (they restored her later by convincing a scholar at Ogre Gate Inn to play Go against Jade Priestess).
Going to the inn itself they found the customers were furiously waiting to be served. Bone Breaker explained that he was now the proprietor of the inn. Abbot Firebrand assisted by managing the kitchen and taking orders. They decided to go back to the salt deposits and recruit builders there to repair and expand the inn.
When they got to the salt deposits there was a woman leading the men who said she was Xun, second Chief of the Qui Pan Bandits. In exchange for calling off the Sand Demon, she agreed to send some of her men to help them build a new section of the inn. However she also said that Qui Pan would want to speak with them.
They returned to the inn again and spoke with Niang about her husband (they had previously agreed to help her find and restore her husband, a hero who had been turned into a Yao). She had learned that the leader of Zhaoze Sect, Shan Lushan, had once been a Yao but figured a way to reverse the process. However last she heard he had died in Yu Zhing.
Before leaving, they sent word to a nearby city that they were hiring cooks and staff.
The group traveled to Yu Zhing and went to the Laughing Mountain Tea House at the Towering Chrysanthemum (a kind of giant pagoda-like market place built over the center of Yu Zhing). From one of the scholars there they learned that Lushan had last been seen at the residence of General Dee. They went there and secured an audience, making a favorable impression. They basically formed an agreement with the general where they would go to the Banyan and kidnap or murder some key martial heroes, if he gave them information about Lushan and what he knew. The general revealed that Lushan had perished along with some companions attacking his home and that he had one of the companions, Long Shu, imprisoned on Turtle Island. He brought them Long Shu and said they could extract whatever information they needed from him provided they killed him when done. They learned that Long Shu had been taught a melody by Lushan and this melody could reverse the process that afflicted Niang's husband. He showed her the song and then the party killed Long Shu.
They travelled to the Banyan with the aim of kidnapping Bronze Master. In the village of Ro, they learned that Bronze Master was in love with Lady Plum Blossom and would often spy on her. So they hosted a banquet in honor of Lady Plum Blossom under the pretext of seeking her forgiveness for a prior offense. She came and accepted their apology but Bronze Master also fell for their trap, appearing in disguise as a waiter.
With the help of the Sand Demon they surrounded Bronze Master and were prepared to kill him, but he talked his way out of it. He admitted he may have been rash with his past actions and that he had underestimated the party. He admired their cunning and thought they might be able to work together. Bone Breaker demanded 100,000 Spades and an alliance with terms favorable to the party, otherwise they'd send him to Yu Zhing. Bronze Master not only agreed, he suggested that he and Bone Breaker become sworn brothers.
After becoming sworn Brothers, Bronze Master offered to assist the party by helping to ambush and kidnap the leaders of Hai'an Sect and Heiping Sect. A week later a caravan with 50,000 spades and the two masters arrived. The party went back to Yu Zhing and presented them to General Dee.
Impressed General Dee felt they could have a strong working relationship going forward. When the party requested 10,000 spades, he was more than happy to supply it.
They went back to Ogre Gate Inn, discovering that Abbot Firebrand had impaled the new cook with a cleaver and generally caused a mess. They decided to fulfill their end of the bargain with him and went to the Qui Pan fortress to help him join. It turned out that the bandits had never intended to let him become a member and had just sent him to find 1,000 goji berries knowing that none were in the area. Still they spoke with the Bandit Leader and he agreed to take Abbot Firebrand if they beaches 3rd, 4th and 5th chiefs. They would also have to agree to give him 15% of their revenue from the Inn and other profits as well. He also made them promise to give 50% of their wealth to the local population on a regular basis and to refrain from cruel methods against the innocent.
This is where the session ended.