The adventure of Flying Dagger and Red Mantis continues as they make their way to Stone Cutter Fortress to rescue Yu Guanyin in order to perform a righteous deed*. Last session they had come upon a boy riddled with arrows, and then found his family slaughtered in a nearby homestead. They followed the trail and were attacked by axe wielding bandits and archers. They learned that the bandits had taken the mother of the boy, Yu Guanyin, to Stone Cutter Fortress.
As they made their way through the forest the party found itself surrounded by archers in the trees. The archers fired, striking Red Mantis, and missing most of the others. As the battle unfolded, Flying Dagger was able to deflect most of the incoming arrows with strands of cloth. They killed the archers fairly quickly and Flying Dagger scouted the area to see what was ahead of them.
He found a long stone stairway leading up the hill to the fortress. At the top of the stairs were two axe men and two archers. He managed to pick off two and lured one of the axe men to chase him. Running back toward the rest of the party, Long Stinger fired a shot at the axe man and killed him.
Then they heard the ringing sound of a gong emanating from the Fortress. Red Mantis strode up to the stairway and screamed a challenge to all inside. Around 35 men poured from the fortress gate and lined up at the top of the stairs. This provided a perfect opportunity for Long Stinger to launch a Rain of Arrows upon them, dropping most of them to the ground.
As a mass melee unfolded, Flying Dagger made his way past the gate to inspect the area and positioned himself beyond its wall.
A man strode out from the fortress (really just an elaborate courtyard house). He wore green robes with sleeves of golden thread and carried a long axe in his hand.
"What is the meaning of this?" He shouted.
"Come down and fight me!" Red Mantis replied. "Just you and me."
The man, Cleaving Devil Yao Fu, motioned for his men to step aside and walked down the stairs toward Red Mantis. He crouched low and delivered a fierce, belly slicing attack that Red Mantis narrowly avoided.
The two traded blows, but Red Mantis dug his fingers into the Cleaving Devil's body and restrained him in the air.
As this was occurring, Flying Dagger started picking off men at the wall (who were pre-occupied watching the duel).
Cleaving Devil slipped from Red Mantis' grasp and crouched low for another belly slicing attack, this time cutting deep. Red Mantis bled profusely and the blood flow showed no sign of abating. He continued his attack and struck Cleaving Devil once again, but Cleaving Devil suggested they discuss the matter. He pointed out that Red Mantis was sure to die soon without medical attention.
Yellow Mantis pondered and reluctantly agreed. They walked up the stairs.
When they reached the landing, Flying Dagger stabbed Cleaving Devil with a dagger, killing him instantly.
The men all backed off, their numbers already greatly depleted. The party ransacked the fortress, taking gold, jewels and and a letter from Dancing Bixie of Bixie Manor, thanking Cleaving Devil for his new bride. They also found a woman hiding in the main hall. She said that the bandits had kidnapped her. They told her they were here on a mission from the Tree Dwelling Nuns and that she was welcome to return with them. She agreed telling them her name was Yu Guanyin.
As they walked out with the woman she saw the dead body of Cleaving Devil and her eyes filled with tears.
They walked through the forest for a day and Red Mantis spotted Yu Guanyin reach for her hairpin. She jabbed it at his back, but he easily pulled her aside and restrained her. Flying Dagger demanded to know why she attacked them. She spit in his face and said it was revenge for her father, Cleaving Devil Yao Fu. Flying Dagger slit her throat and they continued on their way after she died.
Talking about the matter they decided that she was clearly not the real Yu Guanyin (who was most likely at Dancing Bixie Manor). However they felt that they already had met the requirements of performing a righteous deed, so they would return to Tree Dwelling Nun sect.
This is where the session ended.
*Flying Dagger must perform a righteous deed so he can marry Ferocious Flower.