THE PATH OF CARNAGE
In this adventure hook the characters happen upon a path of bodies, that is more shocking the longer they follow. If they take the path to its bloody culmination they meet a terrifyingly powerful master basking in the glory of victory and ready to take on anyone who does not submit to his will. This is a very dangerous encounter.
The background is somewhat dependent on random factors. A master named Iron Vulture has just slaughtered dozens, possibly hundreds of men and women. He has also killed two masters with whom he had a serious grudge (choose these masters on the random table below). Whoever the masters happen to be, the issue in dispute was his reputation as the supreme swordsman in all of Qi Xien. Either they dismissed his claim, or stood in his way as rivals to the title. He killed them and many of their disciples in a great battle that the players happen to stumble upon. By the time the players arrive he is still tasting the thrill of his enemy’s defeat.
The Masters who were killed are determined randomly. Decide exactly what happened based on the people involved. But this should basically be a huge battle between Iron Vulture, the two masters and many of their disciples. If the opponents were merely Qi ranks 3-4, Iron Vulture has merely over-estimated their abilities. If they were higher than that, luck likely played a roll in his victory (though he will not accept this, and claim it was due entirely to his skill).
RANDOM MASTER TABLE (ROLL TWICE)
1 Bronze Master
2 Laughing Fox
3 Golden Roc
4 Lu Zhi Queen of Heiping
5 Jade Priestess
6 Iron-Clawed Lion King
7 Venom of Zhaoze
8 Strange Phoenix
9 Master Shan
10 Lady Plum Blossom
The players see a body cut in two on the road (roll randomly on above table to determine who). A little further down they see a lopped off arm and a man who has been impaled. They find dozens of corpses expertly killed by sword. The trail of bodies eventually leads off into the wilderness or hills where they find the severed head of a great master (see above), and the hacked off torso of another. More bodies follow and lead to rising mound where they see Iron Vulture standing victoriously. Every body should feel like a choice. If they keep going the danger mounts, but they will discover the source of the carnage.
“I am the world’s greatest swordsman!” He says to them. “Bow down before me and become my disciples or fall beneath my sword.”
The victims are the disciples of the respective masters. Iron Vulture is quite serious and will attempt to kill the players if they do not submit. Though he may let them go if their flattery is sufficient.
Iron Vulture’s father was a great swordsman but also reckless with money and wine. He sold his son to a local smith, trading him in as an apprentice for a high quality sword in an upcoming duel. His father died at the duel (Iron Vulture never discovered who the killer was, nor does he care).
The smith taught him to craft blades and how to use them. For a time, Iron Vulture trained at Sun Mai temple, then left to follow Hen-Shi, but he decided mercy was for fools when he met Silver Vulture. Silver Vulture was a great swordsman who forced him to kill for the first time and took him as a disciple. Silver Vulture turned Iron Vulture from a merciful monk into a heartless killing blade.
Silver Vulture died gloriously trying to prove his swordplay was the best. He failed, and was slaughtered. And now Iron Vulture seeks to prove that he and his master’s swordplay is unrivaled.
He greatly overestimates his own abilities and is secretly worried that Silver Vulture’s swordplay is beatable. Silver Vulture’s swordplay requires total commitment to the strike (his strikes are always intended to be lethal).
Defenses: Hardiness 7, Evade 5, Parry 10, Stealth 6, Wits 6, Resolve 7
Key Skills: Grapple: 1d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 1d10, Leg Strike: 0d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 4d10 or 6d10 with Jian Sword, Heavy Melee: 2d10, Small Ranged: 0d10, Speed: 4d10, Muscle: 3d10, Athletics: 4d10, Detect: 2d10, Medicine: 3d10, Survival (Wilderness): 3d10, Survival (Hills): 3d10, Trade (Metal): 3d10, Religion (Hen-Shi): 3d10
Max Wounds: 15
Weapons: Jian (4d10 Damage, +2d10 Accuracy)
Key Kung Fu Techniques (Waijia 2, Qinggong 1, Neigong 1): Blasting Blade, Blade Pinch, Clashing Blade, Flight of the Hawk, The Seven Claws of Iron Vulture, Silver Vulture’s Leaping Sword Strike, Swan Taming Strike, Sword Whipping Strike, Graceful Retreat (Counter), Whirling Dodge (Counter)
Profound Techniques: Bloodless Sword Strike of Hen-Shi
The Seven Claws of Iron Vulture: You block a sword strike with your own blade, deflecting it sharply and slicing up to 7 targets in your immediate area. This must be used Cathartically. Make a Melee attack roll with a bladed weapon against Parry. On a Success you deflect the attack and can make an attack against up to 7 targets in your immediate area. If you fail, you take 1 Etxra Wound.
Silver Vulture’s Leaping Sword Strike: You throw your sword into a foe’s chest, leaping after it and pulling it out to deliver a wide slice at any nearby targets. This must be done cathartically. Make a Medium Melee attack roll against the Parry of a target. On a Success you hit the target for 6d10 Open Damage. Then you make another attack against up to 10 targets in your immediate area (Melee against Parry) doing 4d10 Damage plus 4 wounds.