Wei Ziying: A skilled poisoner and physician, with ties to the Relentless Corpse Sect, Wei Ziying is a disciple of the Celestial Plume Masters. He also has a longstanding friendship with Kuo Qingzhao, who wishes to know more about the poisons that killed his wife (poisons Wei Ziying knows the secrets of). Grudge: Ravenous Nun Xuanji (for the murder of Red Eagle)
Wang Haoyang: A master of stealth, Wang Haoyang is one of the Celestial Plume Master disciples. He has a lifelong friendship with Pei Ye of the Vermillion Bird Teahouse, but has attracted the affection of another member of that organization, Fan Zhen'er (he does not return the affection but wishes to avoid creating friction within the Vermillion Bird Teahouse, and possibly creating enemies). Grudge: Guan Nuan (for a duel he escaped, she feels she lost face because he was weaker than her and should have been an easy victory)
Hei Ling: A one-eyed chief in the Celestial Plume Masters, Hei Ling is the father of Li Liang, whom he wishes to cease practicing her Toad Style kung fu because of the physical toll on her body. He had Li Liang with Qixia the candied fruit in his youth and since then Qixia has grown hostile. He has a working relationship with the Wu Sisters. Grudge: Qixia the Candied Fruit Vendor (of Hai'an). Grudge: Qixia (many reasons related to their pre-existing relationship)
IRON LU LOSES SOMETHING IMPORTANT
At the end of last session, they had confronted Iron Lu about his attack on the Zun Escort Company's caravan. Wang Haoyang rained down an attack with his Whirling Blade Technique, only for Iron Lu to deflect it with his spinning parasol. Then Iron Lu stabbed the parasol towards Wang Haoyang, who lept upon it with his Weapon Stride. They briefly disengaged, Iron Lu asking if there was another way to resolve the matter but Hei Ling commanded "Blood for Blood!" so the fight resumed.
Wang Haoyang charged with his Whirling Blade once again, slicing Iron Lu and cutting off his head in a crude, uneven chop. This unsettled Iron Lu's men, who begged to be spared*. Hei Ling told them they could go, but said they should instruct their organization never to attack the Zun Escort company again. He kept the head but gave them the body.
Heading back to Tung-On, Hei Ling gifted the head to Gu San, who was grateful. She had succeeded in getting the proprietor of the Wood Chip Teahouse addicted to celestial plume. Hei Ling told her to turn the teahouse into a place to use and buy plume so that Iron God Meng would see its value and see that there was a market in Tung-on for the substance.
Gu San informed him that the Seven Demons had encroached on the Eighty Seven Killers territory with some caravan robberies near Daoxu. This was a problem because it was the area that the Zun Escort and Celestial Plume Masters were themselves encroaching on. Hei Ling and his men went to investigate the matter.
ONE BIRD, SEVEN DEMONS, AND A SWORD
As they searched the woods near Daoxu, Hei Ling tracked the Seven Demons. They were nearly an hour in the group's reach when a song familiar to Wang Haoyang began to float through the trees. It was a melody played by Fan Zhen'er, a courtesan at the Vermillion Bird Teahouse who was romantically interested in him (a person he was seeking to avoid). Haoyang disappeared into the forest so he would not be seen, and the group was soon greeted by Lu Fu, Fan Zhen'er's maidservant. She told Hei Ling that they had prepared food and tents for them to stay nearby, that her mistress had something very important to tell them.
In clearing they found Fan Zhen'er seated at a banquet table, surrounded by servants and all the comforts of the teahouse. She motioned them to sit and asked where Wang Haoyang was. Hei Ling told her that he was performing an important mission and could not attend. He then asked what she wanted.
Fan Zhen'er said she had a tremendous gift for Wang Haoyang. Something she wanted to give to him personally. Hei Ling said he could convey the message and asked what was the reason for the gift.
They talked and slowly in the course of conversation she revealed that she had the Dawn Sabre of the Yao Yun Sea, which she was willing to give to Wang Haoyang as a dowry. Though reluctant at first, Hei Ling realized the weapon's power and told Fan Zhen'er that as Wang Haoyang's master the decision was his to make. He said he would agree but only if Wang Haoyang was willing.
At this point Wang Haoyang reappeared and greeted Fan Zhen'er. After a bit of discussion he accepted her offer. They were given tents for the night and in the morning Fan Zhen'er departed to the Vermillion Teahouse to have Hua Yin procure them a matchmaker and set a date. Wei Ziying noticed a similarity between some of Fan Zhen'er's servants and members of the Relentless Corpse Sect.
That morning they continued to search for the Seven Demons. It took them several days. They had a run-in with merchants who informed them of a rumor that a manual with the ability to turn Yao into normal men could be found in Zikang Grotto. They also bought wine from the merchants. Again it took them time but they found the Seven Demons in a clearing, all of them it seemed. It appeared that the one wearing the mask of Fubai was their leader. Wei Ziying leapt in and poisoned them as he had the Demonic Venom Sect. This was followed by Wang Haoyang who quickly dispatched the leader of the Seven Demons. Immediately the remaining members pleaded for mercy and claimed to have only just joined the organization. They slaughtered them, then Wei Ziying wrote calligraphy in the trees reading "The corruption of the Seven Demons has ended".
As they were departing they encountered Lu Fu again who said that Hua Yin had decided to have the wedding on the 8th day of the Phoenix Moon (the beginning of the Phoenix Festival). She asked where Hei Ling intended to host the wedding and he said Lucky Mountain Gambling Hall. This pleased Lu Fu who said she would bring the news to Fan Zhen'er and Hua Yin.
Hei Ling then decided they would head to Zikang Grotto to retrieve the manual they learned about, hoping to use it as a gift to bring to Iron God Meng when they asked to use his hall for the wedding.
*I called for a Command roll from Hei Ling to determine how much he was impacting the enemy morale: because Hei Ling was giving orders, I assumed his Command mattered most, as Wang Haoyang was obeying him.