This campaign is set ten years after a previous set of adventures (HERE). This is the nineteenth session of the current campaign (Session 18 can be found HERE).
Note: I accidentally left an 'interim session' note in some of the prior session logs. These were regular sessions (last true interim online session for this campaign was a long time ago).
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)
Nuan (Xi Kang's Disciple and a former Flying Phantom)
Niang the Demon Hunter (A martial hero who knows how to kill the Yao)
Last session the party had destroyed the lacquered heart boxes of the Yao (the Emperor's impervious body guards). This sent a ripple of fear through the grand palace as the Emperor's guards dropped dead. Only one Yao remained alive, because they left his heart box intact. This was Yuancheng, the husband of Niang the Demon Hunter (who was traveling with the party). After they destroyed the heart boxes they saw the Senior Grand Councilor dispatch a man north toward the capital so they followed him.
They found the man camped by a river and forced him to confess his intentions. He was on his way to kill the Glorious Emperor and convinced the players to join him. He told the party his name was Wei and that the Senior Grand Councilor sent him to kill the emperor as well as retrieve an artifact around the emperor's neck. While the party agreed to work with him in from a shared desire to assassinate the emperor, they could not allow him to take the artifact. Wei agreed to have a duel with Kang for possession of the object after their mission was successful.
They reached Nansun and went to palace, where Wei presented his seal and said he was sent to protect the emperor. They were met by Eunuch Du Wan who informed them that the emperor had taken to his 'invisible ship of pearl' with a select group of guardians the moment his Yao dropped dead. Wei thanked the eunuch and the party left with him to formulate a plan to find the invisible ship.
Because it was a city with canals and waterways, they began by asking local fisherman if they had seen anything. At a local inn, Kang found heard a story about a Mr. Buwei who claimed to have caught an invisible fish. He went to the man's residence and told him he was a poet and was working on a masterpiece that would incorporate his tale of the invisible fish. Buwei was excited at the prospect of being immortalized in verse and happily shared what he knew. He brought Kang to where he had been fishing the previous day and explained that something caught his line, dragging him around the canals for about ten minutes. He also claimed to have killed the fish and cooked it.
During this time, LIngsu went to a Book shop to find information on the heart taking ritual (in hopes of learning a way to save Niang's husband). After some negotiation and bribery he was brought to a back room and shown a manual containing the heart taking ritual with commentaries. He purchased it and read the material, which indicated how to reverse the process. However he would only have one chance of success.
While the party went through the canal system and searched for inconsistencies, Kang went to Golden Sky Pavilion, a Yen-Li spirit temple. He asked the priest, Master Ren, if there were ways to see through illusions. Master Ren told him he knew how to make a pill from Numinous Mushrooms that would show the spirit realm and also allow people to see through enchantments. It was expensive but Kang bought 7 pills that he was assured would last for about seven hours.
Back at their inn, Kang took the pill and immediately began to see spirits in the city, including a massive snake spirit in the canals. He and the party walked through the city, when he eventually spotted a ghostly ship of white pearl moving through the waters. There were also two women in white robes on the deck standing watch. The party walked to a bridge. Rong and Lingsu also took the pill, with the rest of the group following Kang's lead as he jumped onto the deck.
Kang, lingsu and Min made it down first. Lingsu was able to throw one of the women off the deck, but she used arms of silk to hang onto the rail (causing the boat to drag her like a kite). Kang and Mind faced off against the other woman who unleashed a splay of silken threads and needles, wrapping him in a cocoon. As they fought, Zhi Zhu snuck into the ship and found a door, behind which she heard the sounds of people laughing.
Min used Swan Taming Strike to slice open Kang's threads, then attack the woman. She replied with Whirling Blade, wounding Kang, but was soon dispatched. Lingsu cut the clothes strands the other woman had used to clutch the rail, dropping her into the water.
The party followed Zhi Zhu down below and kicked open the door to the chamber. Inside they found the emperor with three concubine guardians and a remaining Yao (Yuancheng, Niang's husband). Lingsu charged in and used Sword Whipping strike with spectacular precision. He killed the emperor almost immediately and nearly killed the concubines. It was a quick matter for the party to follow his resounding sword blow and finish them off.
While the party fought, Zhi Zhu inspected the emperor's body and found two objects, a large pearl pendant and a pendant made of a ruby sphere. She took both.
Once they subdued Yuancheng, Wei inspected the emperor, but found nothing. He seemed irked. The object he was looking for was called the Heart of Yao Feng, so he announced that perhaps it was the emperor's heart. He cut open the emperor's chest and removed the organ.
The ship came to a halt. The party disembarked and saw a gathering of locals who stood in awe of this great pearl ship that suddenly appeared from thin air. They seemed to believe the party to be immortals and followed them before Kang corralled them to another part of the city.
The party fled, with Wei helping them escape through a series of tunnels below the city as alarm bells filled the air. When they were miles from the city, Lingsu performed the heart keeping ritual in reverse, restoring Yuancheng. He seemed to recognize Niang after he awoke and she pledged her service to LIngsu for saving her husband.
Wei and Kang dueled for possession of the heart of the emperor as they had agreed. It was not an easy fight but Kang ultimately proved the better martial expert. Once he subdued Wei, he killed him.
This is where the session ended.