This was the fourth session of the Demon Spear of Yao Yun. The third session can be read HERE, and the first can be read HERE.
Zhaofeng Yu: A junior disciple of Mount Zun Sect.
Wandering Owl: Daughter of Feng Yaochun and an initiate into Mount Zun Sect.
Feng Yaochun (Hardened Bull): Father of Wandering Owl and an artisan who joined Mount Zun Sect.
Shui: An initiate into Mount Zun Sect who wields the meteor hammer.
Feng Yaochun and Wandering Owl continued to follow the trail of the spear of Yao Yun, through the hills leading to Plum Tree Temple. They were assisted by Master Wan, a man they had met in Fan.
As they approached, Zhaofeng Yu and Shui (their sect brothers) caught up with them and offered to assist. By mid-day they found the trail of Red Sword and her men and set up an ambush in the hillsides.
Red Sword was carried in a covered sedan chair by four toad demons assuming human form. The nature of the demons was obvious to the party as they had dealt with such creatures before. Zhaofeng approached and told them to hand over the spear. When they resisted he stamped a paper talisman on one of the demon's heads and chanted strange words. The talisman failed to activate and a very long battle broke out.
The fight went on for a great length, with most of the party moving around to the front of the Sedan chair to attack the Toad Demons. Wandering Owl spotted a masked woman encircling the melee from the rim of a hill. Shui smashed a toad into the sedan chair with Blast of the Dragon, destroying the cabin in a hail of cracked wood. Red Sword leapt from the side of the chair and landed nearby. From there she launched a spiral attack in the air, cutting everyone twice. Some of the party deflected her attacks, but a few were wounded.
Master Wan flew into the remains of the Sedan chair and grabbed the spear shaft. The fight continued. Feng Yaochun skewered three Toad Demons on his blade, but they were tough and remained standing. Zhaofeng finally (after many failed attempts) managed to activate his talisman and gain control of one of the Toad Demons. Soon after he also stunned another toad demon with his bian. Wandering Owl whittled them down with her Kick of the Golden Elephant Technique. Shui focused on dealing with Red Sword, who ended up cutting him terribly with a scissor-like strike.
Wandering Owl and Zhaofeng spotted Master Wan take flight again and land on the rim of the hill by the woman with the mask. A few moments later they were gone and the party became desperate to end the fight. After taking more punishment from Wandering Owl and Feng Yaochun, two of the Toad Demons ran away, leaving the other two either stunned or controlled.
They managed to deliver several devastating attacks against Red Sword forcing her to surrender. They demanded information and bound her. She refused to go with them to Mount Zun, saying she would rather die. They talked, and she revealed that the spear was either taken to Plum Tree Temple or to Emo Chung. But she didn't know anything about Master Wan and why he'd taken the spear. When she continued to refuse capture by Mount Zun, Zhaofeng told Feng Yaochun to kill her swiftly. He slit her throat.
Because both of them had attained high levels of Kung Fu and internal cultivation, they knew their actions lost them merit. Zhaofeng was particularly troubled after the act and expressed a desire to atone. He went and spoke with the Toad Demons (now having both of them under his control). He told them he was going to reform them and take them to Mount Zun. Asking them about Plum Tree Temple, the toads told him that it was too dangerous for mortals. They also mentioned there was a gate there leading to Supreme Judge Yu's realm. Their names were Mu and Gor.
The party headed back to their headquarters (which took several days) to report to their master. They appeared before Gaozi and presented him with the Life Taking Bian of Zun (the gift from Master Wan). Puzzled because the device was clearly authentic but handed to them by someone who later betrayed his disciples, Gaozi asked who was best suited to wield such a weapon and Zhaofeng stepped forward and received it. He was told that it was now his responsibility not to lose it. Zhaofeng thanked his master and mentioned the two Toad Demons under his control that he wished to reform. Gaozi said these were also his responsibility, that he would need to take them with him and help direct them on a better path.
The party reported everything they knew and was instructed to investigate Plum Tree Temple and Emo Cheng. To save time, the four ritual masters of the sect flew them to the area. They headed to Plum Tree Temple and found no one inside. Wandering Owl used Stealth of the Spider Demon to infiltrate the courtyard, and inspect the living quarters. There she found a used Ritual Vessel that had charred the ceiling (though it was moved over several inches). Looking under the bedding of the abbot's bed she found a luminous void of clouds. When she poked her head through the mist, she could see a barren landscape about fifteen feet below her.
She then went outside and reported what she found, and returned to inspect the dining area. There she found the remains of human bones on the table. While she was there, they heard men approaching over one of the hills. Peering through the window she saw monks of the temple carrying a monk of Hen-Shi against his will. Wandering Owl rejoined the group and they spied to learn more. Using one of her abilities, Wandering Owl sensed that they were very powerful, too powerful to fight (perhaps gods).
The party decided it was too dangerous to intervene, but the Zhaofeng insisted they help the man. Shui used Strength of 100 Oxen to lift a tree and slam it into the temple and make a distraction. Then Zhaofeng used Swift Stride to grab the monk and flee. The party ran through the hills, with the monks on their trail. They were chased for a full day. They barely escaped but eventually eluded them (due to two Total Successes on a Survival Roll by Wandering Owl). When they reached a river, Zhaofeng used his Water Dragon shadow tattoo to take them safely below the surface, where they traveled upstream to Mount Dao. The monk told them his name was Cheng Gao.
At Mount Dao they brought the monk to the peak and were met by Abbess Tu Bao at the Celestial Heart Sect gate. She let them in and held an audience with them as they were members of an allied sect. Cheng Gao told everyone that the temple monks wanted to eat him to increase their power and lifespan. When pressed for more information he got nervous. He spoke in private with Zhaofeng saying he could not reveal his secret at this time, as he was sworn to silence on a very important matter.
Abbess Tu Bao offered them rooms for the night and spoke with the party at length. Shui asked to learn some of their famed meteor hammer techniques. She said she would have to ask their leader, Ox-Hearted Widow, but his tone became commanding and this seemed to sour her disposition toward him.
This is where the session ended.