RECAP OF SESSIONS 3-9I am behind on my session logs so to recap what as occurred in sessions 3-9 of the City of Dee Campaign: Flying Dagger and Red Mantis shifted their loyalties from the Iron Kings to the Holy Killers in Dee. They didn't cut ties with the Iron Kings entirely but found the Holy Killers were more their style. They were given special tattoos by the Holy Killers that enabled them to safely handle spirit orbs for capturing demons. Both were afflicted with consequences. Flying Dagger's skin turned purple. Red Mantis' hair turned bright red. They then decided to go south to the city of Lebdek to meet the Devouring Queen, and were also asked by the Holy Killers to meet-up with a man in the region called White-Browed Tiger. They took a guide with them named P-Duk and a member of the Holy Killers named Long Stinger who ate incessantly.
When they reached Lebdek the Devouring Queen told Red Mantis (who wanted to be her disciple) to kill Granny Ox Tail, a wicked giant with three eyes and horns. The party went to her mountain and slew her (they also released some merchants she had imprisoned) then they returned and Red Mantis became the Devouring Queen of Lebdek's disciple. She began teaching him the Devouring Winds technique.
From there they went to find White Browed Tiger. They learned he was at Thunder Palace so travelled south. They made their way through the Endless Swamp where they were attacked by an enormous head and reached the palace. At the palace White Browed Tiger spoke with them and offered to share some of his demon hunting knowledge with them. He told them to go improve their demon hunting skills and then come back when they were ready. They asked if there were any known demons in the area and he mentioned the Glimmering King along the Southwind River.
They went to the Southwind River and found a huge tower of treasures erected by the locals as offerings to Glimmering King. From the pile they stole two objects: The Dagger of the White Phoenix and the Claws of Cha. They explored the river and encountered a demon called Swimming Priestess (who they captured). Then they found Glimmering King, a terrible crab demon. They were able to capture him in one of their orbs.
From there they headed north. As they traveled they were approached by a man who said his master wished to speak with them. They appeared at a small make-shift pavilion and garden where they met Flower Prince. He explained that his sister, Notorious Fox, wanted the Claws of Cha (the party saw a suspicious owl nearby when they pulled the treasure from the pile and killed it--this alerted Notorious Fox to their acquisition of the claws).
They refused and went on their way north. As they went around Mount Bao they came upon an inn they hadn't seen before and got a room. The inn turned out to be a trap and their servers attacked them. In the fray, Red Mantis' tiger (he had purchased a tiger in Dee) was knocked out by a poison and Red Mantis himself was paralyzed by the wine they served. Flying Dagger resisted the effects of the wine and chased off their attackers but P-Duk was killed in the fight. One of the servants grabbed the Claws of Cha and fled with them. They followed the trail and found the group staying at a nearby cave.
They demanded the claws and a man emerged who said they belonged to his sister. Swords were drawn. People were wounded, and the man was killed under a hail of daggers. The party took the claws and continued north.
As they made their way over the hills, they were ambushed by a group of masked people. The folk were lead by a woman with a strange painted mask who called herself Western Phoenix. She presented a chest of taels and said her master, Southern Dragon, wanted to buy the claws from them and also take them into his service.
"You will be paid well," She said. "He admires your talents, but has a prior relationship with Notorious Fox and must help her secure this item."
The players managed to secure an advance of 30,000 spades on the promise that they would meet Southern Dragon by Beggar's Creek in two months time after Flying Dagger made a pilgrimage to the Tree Dwelling Nun sect.
The party then went to Dee, where they found P-Duk's wife and son. She wept but asked Flying Dagger to describe the people who killed her husband to her son. Flying Dagger gave him a set of daggers, promised to return to train him, and explained that his father was killed by Notorious Fox and her Crescent Moon Sect. He then tried to teach the boy a technique and they left for the Banyan to find the Tree Dwelling Nuns.
THE EMERALD CROWN OF THE ETHEREAL BANYANIn the Banyan they reached the Tree Dwelling Nuns. They were given an audience with Ferocious Flower (the head Abbess of the sect) and Flying Dagger recognized her voice as that of Western Phoenix. He asked to learn her techniques. She said he would have to join the sect.
"Men can only be monks in our sect, and they must marry one of our nuns, this is our rule," She said.
"I will only marry a woman who can beat him a duel," Said Flying Dagger.
A nun stepped forward. But he quickly beat her.
Ferocious Flower Leapt down from her dais and said "Very well, you will have to spar with me then."
Flying Dagger persuaded Ferocious Flower to duel with him outside and said "If I can withstand three of your attacks, I would like to be your husband but your equal."
"This is fair," Ferocious Flower said, "But that only proves my worth to you, if I win you would still need to prove your worth to me."
Flying Dagger nodded, "Please, let's begin."
"Any technique is permissible?" She asked.
Flying Dagger nodded.
She then closed her eyes and the forest came alive with storming debris and flower. As they flew in a heavy gust toward Flying Dagger, he slid back to evade the attack.
Ferocious Flower clenched her teeth, then unleashed her Storming Daggers technique. This quickly dropped Flying Dagger to the ground. Luckily she restrained her attack or it would have been fatal.
"Take him to a bed and tend to him, bring him to me when he recovers" she said.
The nuns gathered him up and tended to his wounds. He awoke later with Red Mantis near him. He then went to see Ferocious Flower who said she still wanted him as a husband but he would be a mere monk in the sect. She said to prove his character and intelligence, he would have to do two things. First find the Emerald Crown of the Ethereal Banyan. Second he must perform a righteous deed.
He and Red Mantis departed to find the Emerald Crown of the Ethereal Banyan. They asked Long Stinger about it, but he had never heard of the object. They then went to the Hen-Shi Tea House in Zun City. There they happened upon the aftermath of a fight and spoke with a scholar who said he too hadn't heard of the object.
"It occurs to me brother," Flying Dagger said to Red Mantis, "This object has a very strange name, perhaps it doesn't exist, perhaps I am meant to devise a solution on my own. This is a test of intelligence after all".
They talked it over and decided to try making a crown from Banyan Branches. They gathered the branches up in the forest then found a woman named Madame Lau who was a skilled basket weaver. She taught Flying Dagger her skills and he made a crown, adorned with an emerald supplied by Red Mantis.
They brought the crown to Ferocious Flower and she placed it on her head. "I am the first to wear the Emerald Crown of the Ethereal Banyan, you have done well. Now you must perform a righteous deed and I will marry you and take you into he sect."
The party left once again. They inquired about bandits in the area, and learned that a group called Stone Cutter Fortress Gang was terrorizing the people two days to the north.
Traveling north they were walking along the road when a child stumbled out from the trees filled with arrows*. He wore a Yan-style crown and cried out "The King of the Kushen is dead!" then pointed west.
They tried to save the boy buy were unable to do so (Long Stinger failed his Medicine roll). Flying Dagger instructed Long Stinger to bury the body while he and Red Mantis investigated to the west. Following where the boy pointed they found a homestead that had recently been attacked by bandits. There was a dead man in the room and a book on the shelf called "The King of the Kushen". They found a wounded man in the stables, but he died before they could ask him any questions (another failed Medicine Roll). Searching around they found a trail leading from the homestead.
Long Stinger returned to them but with an old lady at his side. He explained that she was the matriarch of the family and her son and grandson had been killed. Her daughter in-law was kidnapped by the bandits.
Red Mantis, Long Stinger and Flying Dagger followed the trail. As they made their way through the woods a group of archers surprised them and fired arrows through the trees. Then a wave of axe-men charged forward, some hurling axes and others swinging. Red Mantis was hit in the chest and Flying Dagger was struck in the shoulder.
It was a difficult battle but they eventually overpowered their attackers (the archers managed to escape). Red Mantis' Tiger killed a man who was trying to escape as well.
They interrogated the survivors, threatening them. One was willing to talk and explained that his master was Cleaving Devil Yao Fu. He told them where the fortress was and said they had the farmer's wife there. Red Mantis let the man go, and Flying Dagger killed him with a hail of daggers as he ran away.
This is where the session ended.
*This appears in two in my Disposable Disciples campaign as well. It is part of something I am trying to playtest. The book this encounter comes from is built around my City of Dee Campaign.