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)
THE CAVERNS OF ZIKANG
The part traveled to Zikang Grotto in search of the Calamity Star Manual. They found it after some searching and wandered inside. There Wang Haoyang accidentally triggered a spear trap but was not harmed. They moved forward more cautiously, finding a skeleton with a precious but rusty sword spearing its ribs. Hei Ling took the sword, and instantly Wang Haoyang and Wei Ziying saw this was a good weapon for their leader. Shaking off the rust repealed a handle with lapis lazuli inlays and a perfectly crafted blade.
They then ventured down a corridor but noticed the entire passageway looked a slightly different color from the surrounding stone. Using an alchemical process, Wei Ziying was able to determine this was not a natural rock formation but a cunning processed material that merely resembled real stones. They thew a rock down the passage and the entire section collapsed 40-feet into chamber intersected by a river.
Wang Haoyang used his crawling tiger ability to reach the other side and secure a rope. However, Hei Ling fell as he crossed the rope and crashed to the ground. He was hurt, but not badly. When he opened his eyes he saw an entry way flanked by two desiccated bodies. The others came down and Wei Ziying was able to determine that the figures were still alive, but holding their final breaths. They seemed to be two lovers locked in an embrace.
The party tried to movie by the figures without disturbing them (this involved Athletics rolls). They were able to do so and found a chamber containing the Calamity Star Manual. Hei Ling grabbed the manual. It was coated in a poison and he immediately felt the effects. Wei Ziying couldn't identify the poison because it was unique but he was able to determine the cure was a mixture of basic herbs and ground up snake bones. This would be feasible to produce if they could reach a town, but the nearest one was two days away. So they set out, with Hei Ling growing sicker each day. They also removed the coating from the manual and took that as well.
Reaching He Yun, they procured ingredients and provided Hei Ling with an elixir to treat the poison. He felt better within hours and they set off for Tung-On to meet with Iron God Meng.
The players met with Iron God Meng, inviting him to the Wood Chip Teahouse, a place they had set up for customers to indulge in celestial plume. Their aim was two-fold: convince Iron God Meng to replicate their Wood Chip Teahouse model in order to create a bigger market for celestial plume (which they felt would benefit their organization, the Temple of Jade Mercies and Iron God Meng's Golden Way).
They held a banquet in his honor, but things started to go poorly shortly after they explained their business plan to him. Iron God Meng was impressed initially then asked why he should invest all the effort in creating celestial plume houses, suggesting they need to also share in some of the investment costs.
|Two heroes using plume|
Hei Ling offered a 100 spade discount on his shipments from the Temple of Jade Mercies (after conferring with Gu San), but Iron God Meng demanded a 500 spade discount. Hei Ling told Iron God Meng he didn't think he honestly believed that was a feasible amount. This angered Iron God Meng who felt he had been accused of lying.
Things began to escalate with words, so Hei Ling suggested they put that aside and hold a sparring contest between his men and Iron God Meng's, to show they are serious. Meng would select two champions to go up against each of Hei Ling's disciples. The matches would be only to first blood.
The first match was Wang Haoyang against one of Iron God Meng's supreme guards. In the initial exchange, Haoyang launched into a spinning attack but the guard used blade pinch and shattered his sword. This infuriated Haoyang, who made an unrestrained attack wounding the guard well beyond first blood. This angered Iron God Meng.
In response Meng sent his only female guard and his most skilled, Feng Shi to spar Wei Ziying. Though she was more advanced than Wei Ziying, she was beaten in the first round. But Wei Ziying respected the first blood rule and things didn't escalate further.
Still Iron God Meng was clearly upset but was placated when Hei Ling asked for a private conversation and bestowed the gift of the Calamity Star Manual to him. To this point, Iron God Meng had been contemplating a way to retaliate for the humiliations he endured that evening. but the gift moved him and erased any bad feelings. He offered to to become sworn brothers with Hei Ling and put aside any ill feelings.
After, Iron God Meng was enthusiastic and heard the second request. Hei Ling asked if Iron God Meng could host the wedding of Fan Zhen'er and Wang Haoyang. Iron God Meng agreed and this is where the session ended.