This was the seventh session of my Celestial Plume Masters campaign using the Sons of Lady 87 book, which was just released in print. You can see the first session HERE. You can see the fifth and sixth sessions HERE.
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 Tiger: The newest member of the party, sent by Night Thorn to help them expand. He has a longstanding friendship with Iron Beggar Sun Kang, whom he wants to leave his lap of luxury in the House of Flying Lanterns so he can train with the Nature Loving Monks and improve his Kung Fu. Iron Beggar in turn wants Iron Tiger to leave the Celestial Plume Masters. Grudge: Pei Ye (he murdered her favorite client, Golden Cobra).
THE TIGER AND THE TOAD
Iron Tiger went south with Wei Ziying in search of Li Liang, the daughter of Hei Ling. His aim was to find her and defeat her in a duel so that she would lose her confidence in her Toad Kung Fu. The two searched and were told that Li Liang could be found on Boulder Hill. Going there to seek her and hopefully catch her by surprise, she appeared suddenly behind them and demanded to know who they were. Iron Tiger had kept his face concealed the entire journey and gave her a fake name saying he wanted to try her Kung Fu.
|Art by Jackie Musto|
The battle proved one sided*. While Li Liang was able to poison Iron Tiger with her expulsion of the toad technique, the venom was too slow and had little effect during their duel. Iron Tiger used his Iron Tiger Destruction to break her leg so she could not crouch low (he had seen her use this stance against their leader). He then countered one of her strikes with Defense of the Tiger, breaking her sternum so she would be less able to generate power. His purpose in breaking her bones was to make sure she would need to spend months recovering and be unable to train for her appointed duel with Hei Ling.
WANG HAOYANG MEETS SIMA HAO
Wang Haoyang needed a treatment to improve his martial arts so he went to Sima Hao, who re-aligned his meridians. Initially when Sima Hao saw Haoyang demonstrate his martial arts in order to prepare for the procedure, he offered to do it in exchange for his assassination services. But Wang Haoyang said he would need to speak with his boss first and instead paid Sima Hao in spades**
Hei Ling also met with Rong E'hua and her men, sending them on a mission to Mai Cun to burn Lady 87's storage and rob a bank***.
Hei Ling was informed by Leng Ziying that a new source of plume had entered the city and that it was being sold by beggars (possibly of the Nature Loving Monk Sect). Wang Haoyang searched the city and met with a woman named named Drunken Cricket who seemed to be a beggar. He gave her taels in exchange for information the next day.
Later Hei Ling and Wang Haoyang arranged a meeting with the local chief of the Nature Loving Monks, Qu Wanli. They asked about the celestial plume source and Qu Wanli said he had no reason to lie, that he had obtained it from the Black Sun Gang and was selling it to help a greater cause. The party investigated the Black Sun Gang and learned they had set up shop in Jinsa at the White Cloud Mountain Teahouse.
Hei Ling then met with Iron God Meng, who told his friend to 'be still' as he was handling a venomous cobra for some mysterious aim. He explained his intention to go to Jinsa and deal with the Black Sun Gang, asking for some of Iron God Meng's men to accompany him (which Iron God Meng allowed).
The next morning Wang Haoyang went to meet with Drunken Cricket who asked for more money for her information. He refused, they got into an argument and he threatened her by saying he never forgot a face. She seemed uninterested in his threat and told him to take a good look so he would remember her.
A RIVAL IN PLUME****
The party headed to Jinsa to confront Black Sun Gang. There they went to Nie's Tax Contracting Services after hearing he was a local bully. Iron Tiger dueled with him, breaking bones as he had done with Li Liang. This time he used a kick to break Nie's pelvis. This intimidated Nie and impressed Nie's men. Their plan was to recruit men for a school, and the public display was successful but only attracted men who were not very promising recruits. They arranged to work with Nie and his men, and went to the White Cloud Mountain Teahouse to learn about the Black Sun Gang.
They were told by Nie Guiying that Black Sun Gang was led by a woman, and that the men all wielded the legendary Flying Guillotines.
At the White Mountain Teahouse they got a private dining room on the second floor. Above them, on the third floor, they could hear a loud group, who they soon learned were the gang they were after. However in the din of their laugher, Hei Ling heard a familiar cackle, the voice of his daughter's mother, Qixia the Candied Fruit Vendor.
This is where the session ended.
*The techniques used by Iron Tiger are experimental and being play tested. They seemed overpowered in this initial fight and the one that happened later in the session. I made one adjustment to a key technique and will probably make others as we go. This is usually how I handle techniques players make for their own characters (something I often allow) because it can be harder to gauge than when I make the techniques myself.
**What Wang Haoyang didn't realize, though the player may suspect as he has encountered this character in prior campaigns, is that Sima Hao used his Pulse Ending Fingers technique to set Wang Haoyangs final heart beat to one year's time. He intends to use this to demand the assassination services he had requested.
***She succeeded and stole 2 million spades from a local bank but this information has not yet reached the party. To determine if she succeeded I had the Hei Ling's player make a series of rolls based on Rong E'hua's Qi Rank and the difficulty of the tasks. The 2 million was determined by a roll I made based on the level of success the player had made (successes are either Normal or Total, and in this case there were several rolls so that gave me room to interpret things according to results).
****This was the product of the Sect Shake Up roll at the start of the session which resulted in "A new source of celestial plume enters the region". Unlike other results on the table, this one does not ask for another roll to determine who is involved, so I decided that Qixia the Candy Fruit Vendor was most appropriate as she has been trying to get revenge against Hei Ling the whole campaign.