Friday, February 17, 2023


This was the Twelfth session of my Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate wuxia sandbox campaign, the Celestial Plume Masters, using the Sons of Lady 87 book, which was just released in print. You can see the first session HERE. You can see the Eleventh session 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). 


Wang Haoyang, Iron Tiger and Hei Ling gathered their forces around Long Ma Hall and positioned for an attack. Among their forces were the seven demons. Knowing that half the hall's men were in Mai Cun, they felt sure of their victory. 

Inside the hall, a group of nature loving monks dressed in black robes, their eyes filled with glowing numinous mushrooms, gathered around Raging Bear and her men to enact a ploy*. Their leader, Chief Xin Shi had obtained 840,000 spades from the Long Ma Hall treasury, promising to return with auxiliary forces. Instead he returned with 70 Numinous Mushrooms (each costing 12,000 spades) which his men used to make their eyes glow, so they would be mistaken for Yao. Chief Xin Shi had agreed to help but didn't want to risk losing any men, so he opted for deception. Raging Bear had no choice but to agree to the plan, though she seethed with anger at his foolishness. 

Iron Tiger approached the gates and demanded an audience with Raging Bear, which she allowed. He was brought into a dark chamber and saw numerous glowing eyes in the shadows. 

"Greeting to the granddaughter of the Chief of Long Ma Hall. I propose a bloodless way to resolve this conflict, you and I duel, and if you lose, you disband Long Ma Hall."

"I cannot do that," replied Raging Bear. 

"And why not?" asked Iron Tiger.

"Because you are surrounded by 70 Yao, so I suggest you depart. We have an arrangement with the empire and are under their protection. If you and your forces leave, we will let you go in peace."

Calmly, Iron Tiger went back to the camp and told Hei Ling what she had said. They debated the possibilities, ultimately deciding it was likely just a trick. They reasoned that 70 Yao coming to Long Ma Hall would have come to their attention. 

Hei Ling ordered the hall set ablaze with flaming arrows. As the fire consumed the structure, men poured out and met their attack. Wang Haoyang and his wife snuck into the hall. He was unseen but his wife, Fan Zhen'er, was spotted by a guard so rejoined the other forces. Wang Haoyang intercepted Raging Bear and confronted her in the courtyard as she went to join her men. 

He landed a devastating attack, using his Blade of the Dancing Fox. As she bleed he fled over the wall, and she walked out to see her forces surrendering to the enemy**. She stormed towards Iron Tiger and told him she would accept his challenge, which he met. 

The fight favored Iron Tiger Strongly. He proceeded to break her sternum and crack her jaw, but she did relentlessly come at him before over-exerting her Kung Fu trying to counter one of his strikes and becoming possessed by a Qi Demon. She passed out from Iron Tiger's attack. 


Wei Ziying and Big Sister Hong Na made their way back to Mai Cun, passing some Hai'anese merchants and learning from them that the House of Paper Shadows was rumored to have a means of traveling through time at their headquarters. Big Sister Hong Na brought Wei Ziying before Lady 87 and told her of his achievements. She praised him before everyone.

Wei Ziying saw a bearded man near Lady 87, whose eyes stared at him in rage. 

Lady 87 rewarded Wei Ziying with rank, granting him the title of Brother 56. She also rebuked her men, telling them that Brother 56 had only just joined them and already murdered one of her greatest enemies, and that she had not seen such results from them in years. She then informed Wei Ziying that he must also be punished for not bringing her the head of the Palm Mistress. So his first medallion*** would be weighted. He was also given black robes with a golden trim. 

After, Wei Ziying tried to introduce himself to other members of the sect. He looked for others with gold trim on their robe. He spotted one and approached. He greeted him and saw it was the same man who burned with rage towards him****.

He spoke with the man. They never exchanged names. But the man claimed his eyes were simply filled with admiration, not anger. But his tone said otherwise. 


Hei Ling and the party spoke with their captives and found among them the nature loving monks. Chief Xin Shi asked for him and his men to be released, saying they had no feud with anyone, and were just here to help Long Ma Hall temporarily. They decided to let the monks go if they went to Mai Cun and gathered information. Chief Xin Shi agreed then he offered to sell them his numinous mushrooms for half price (just 6,000 each). Hei Ling and Wang Haoyang put their funds together and bought them knowing they could sell each one for 12,000 spades in Tung-On. 

They gave the monks a message to bring to King Archer (leader of Long Ma Hall), who was in Mai Cun with his men. The message said if he wanted his granddaughter to live he would need to come to Zikang Grotto and fight to get her back. 

They debated what to do with Raging Bear on their way, briefly considering taking her to a healer to deal with her Qi Spirit possession. Instead they chose to have Fan Zhen'er use medicine to keep her sedated and asleep. 


For the next several days, Wei Ziying was placed under Big Sister Hong Na's care to train and learn about the sect. She decided to teach him butterfly sword techniques, which he practiced. But it soon became apparent that she admired him and was stretching their training sessions into long walks and picnics. He went along but didn't do anything that would be regarded by the sect as inappropriate. 

On his way back from one such outing, he was passing a bridge back into the Guan quarter of the city when he heard a man shout "Wei Ziying, turn around and face me!"

He turned and saw the bearded man who had stared angrily at him days prior. 

"What is the trouble brother?"

"I can't take the sight of you anymore, this needs to end."

"What are you upset about surely we can work this out brother. Please tell me your name."

"I am Hua Tong but most call me Hateful Sabre," said the man. 

"Come Hateful Sabre let's discuss this somewhere. I want clarity on why you are angry with me."

Hateful Sabre strode towards him, dao in hand. "Here is the clarity for you, you have been spending far too much time with Hong Na and I don't like it!"

"I see, well I...."

"Enough, I will fight you now on this bridge."

Wei Ziying nodded "Very well, what are the rules?"

"To the death!"

The fight began with that but ended before it started. 

With a few easy strikes, Wei Ziying tore Hateful Sabre apart. He charged forward to finish him off. Neither man saw Hong Na arrive to witness the final blow and Wei Ziying did not hear her cries for them to stop*****.

As Hateful Sabre fell lifeless to the ground, Big Sister Hong Na gathered him in her arms and wept. She told Wei Ziying that the two were lovers but she had come to prefer him to Hateful Sabre, especially after seeing him kill the Palm Mistress. She was clearly distressed but told Wei Ziying she would speak on his behalf to Lady 87. 

Later they were brought before Lady 87. She told Wei Ziying that the matter should have been taken to her when the challenge was made, that the duel should have occurred in her presence. So she would punish him. He was to lose his small finger. 

Wei Ziying refused help and cut it off himself, and did so rather bravely******. This was a punishment, but fairly small compared to the other possibilities. And it served a useful purpose for Wei Ziying of bringing him further into the fold of the 87 Killers. 

*I had the players roll 2d10 take the lowest as part of Long Ma Hall's intelligence and counter-intelligence operation, on which they succeeded. So I ruled that Long Ma Hall had learned information about the attack and formed a hasty agreement with chief Xin Shi leader of the Nature Loving Monks in Laonan. 

**I used a modified method, blending elements of the Armies and War section in Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate (WHOG, pages 101-102) with the Sect Battles Section of Lady 87 (L87, page 7). I will discuss this in a separate blog entry. 

***A bladed symbol members of the sect wear. This weighted medallion would impose a -1d10 to Wei Ziying's physical and combat skills. 

****I had the player roll a d100 and he got 76, which happened to be Hateful Sabre on the list of the 87 killers. Because this was pretty coincidental I decided they would have a fated relationship

***** In this instance a player who was not involved in the encounter pointed out it would be very dramatic for Big Sister Hong Na to arrive at this time. I thought about it and decided this campaign has dramatic elements so it is appropriate to consider. I then told the Wei Ziying's player to roll a d10, that a low roll meant she happened upon the fight and a high one meant she didn't. He rolled low, so she showed up. But he failed his detect to see or hear her. 

****** I asked for an Endurance roll, which he succeeded on. So he didn't pass out and he didn't flinch. 

No comments:

Post a Comment