|Relentless Corpse Queen (center), |
Da Mei Mei (right)
Two-Timing Cockerel (upper left)
King Iron Beard (lower left)
Art by Jackie Musto
Reckless Storm demanded they stop at the Butterfly Pavilion restaurant for drinks. There he ordered wine and the party found a table.
A man named Hidden Arrow approached and said there was someone outside wanting to speak with Reckless Storm. Reckless Storm left to meet with the person and in his absence, Hidden Arrow informed the party he was an agent of Bone Breaker sect. He was sent to help them and tricked Reckless Storm into leaving because he knew something the party did not: the man claiming to be Reckless Storm was not the real Reckless Storm.
Bao Yang went outside and forced a confession from "Reckless Storm" who admitted his real name was Wei Anzhi. He told them he was an antique merchant from Li Fan, in hiding because he owed money to powerful people. Enraged at the deception Bao Yang threatened to kill him if he didn't make up for his lies.
Bao Yang offered his skills at acting and disguise, as well as his knowledge of antiques (which might come in handy when they try to recover the Harmonious Blade). Bao Yang agreed, the party took on Hidden Arrow, and with him, they worked out a plan.
The group would work with Weeping Lotus and his men (bandits they had formed an alliance with the previous session). Some of the party would dress as monks and go in through the southern gate, while the bandits attacked the northern gate (they estimated they had superior numbers to the temple).
Shen Chun and Hidden Arrow entered the south entrance as monks when they reached the temple. They told the monks that they had an important message for the abbot and needed to speak with him. They went inside and examined the tempe grounds finding two significant structures: a pagoda that was guarded by an Abbess. Hidden Arrow spoke with the Abbess and convinced her to take him to the Abbot. Shen Chun stayed behind.
Going into the temple, Hidden Arrow was given an audience with Abbot Lao, who had just finished a plate of meat and was drinking cups of wine. For a monk of Hen-Shi, his behavior seemed strange.
Bao Yang and Weeping Lotus launched their attack, storming into the temple gates directly. It was a bloody clash. Weeping Lotus had 600 bandits with him, and they fought only 120 monks, but 200 of his men fell in the first wave of attacks. However they soon overpowered the monks and broke through.
In the temple, Hidden Arrow warned the Abbot that an attack was imminent, that men were coming to kill him and he should escape to safety. The abbot was convinced by the story, especially when the sound of fighting could be heard. He walked to a wall and pulled secret lever, causing the wall to open wide and reveal descending stairs. He motioned for Hidden Arrow to join him and he escaped through an underground tunnel with several of his guards.
The Abbess rushed to the temple grounds and stood in front of the Pagoda to confront the rushing horde of bandits. As the bandits broke through, Bao Yang stepped forward to fight the abbess one-on-one. They had a series of exchanges, blocking one another's attacks. But he managed to floor her with a variation on deep biting blade and she collapsed. Under threat of death she agreed to help them.
Hidden Arrow snuck back and informed the party of the Abbot Lao's whereabouts. Bao Yang and Weeping Lotus rushed to find him and forced him to surrender. Weeping Lotus wanted to kill the abbot. His reasons were unclear but seemed to be based on revenge. Bao Yang convinced Weeping Lotus to accept the Abbot as a slave, to which the Abbot agreed in exchange for his life.
In the ensuing exploration of the temple they also found a man who was essentially the abbess' husband: Smiling Abbot. They also found the sword. They convinced the temple to work with Bone Breaking Sect. The sect would take a percentage cut of their earnings from the black market artifacts, and in exchange the temple would be protected. Some details were left hanging, but a basic agreement was worked out.
With that the party departed to find White Haired Crocodile and kill him (they agreed to do so in exchange for a weapon last session). On their way they decided to stop by Relentless Corpse Queen's sect and speak with her. They had met her previously at White Haired Crocodile's residence and thought she might help them defeat him.
She dwelled in a cave near mountains and they gained an audience. Her sister, Da Mei Mei, was also present, as was her sister's husband, Gai. Shen Chun had taken an interest in Da Mei Mei and was disappointed to learn that she was married.
Relentless Corpse Queen agreed to work with them, provided they helped her track down the people who killed her father (her sect was originally called River Flowing Sword Sect, but some of its disciples betrayed and murdered the sect leader, her father).
Bao Yang spoke with Gai, the husband of Da Mei Mei, after the meeting. He inquired about Gai's past. Gai claimed to be the son of a Hai'anese scholar named Wong Dai. This seemed odd to Bao Yang because he knew Wong Dai to be an Imperial Official. He brought the matter before Relentless Corpse Queen and suggested that Gai was a spy. She asked him to kill Gai for her.
Bao Yang accused Gai and the two fought. During their duel, Hidden Arrow threw needles at Gai, poisoning him and causing him to die.
Da Mei Mei screamed and rushed to her fallen husband's side. But Relentless Corpse Queen reprimanded her, saying he was clearly an agent sent by enemies of the sect. She had her men carry his body out and left with the party to kill White Haired Crocodile.