Saturday, April 27, 2024


This is the eighth session of my Heavenly Fragrance Campaign, a living adventure prepared using tools and procedures discussed in the Wuxia Sandbox blog posts. This campaign is intended to play as a sandbox but with more dramatic elements. It is a two player campaign where run in what I call "Condor Heroes Mode", where characters begin with only one Kung Fu technique, their family background established and connected to the setting, and using a level advancement system based on encounters with higher level masters who train them. It also makes use of a campaign Shake-Up table, rolled once each session, to manage an unfolding background situation (see STATE OF THE MARTIAL WORLD). I will include footnotes to explain what procedures were invoked during play. The campaign is set in Fan Xu, largely using the Sons of Lady 87 book. 


Bao Long: An orphaned street urchin who was adopted by Lady Eighty-Seven's son, Guan Shisu after he came to the aid of Guan Shisu's daughter, Little Guan Hua. All he knows about his background is that his mother died when he was young. Bao Long has been taught some martial arts by Lady Eighty-Four, Yuhuan. Bao Long is a bit dim-witted but tough. 

Little Guan Hua: The daughter of Guan Shisu and the disciple of Guan Nuan. Little Guan Hua is cowardly and feeble, but intelligent.

Fu Yao: The newest member of the party. Not much is known about his past but he specializes in Qinggong. 


In Daoxu they went to the Ro-Fish Inn and seeing Saffron Tigress seated at a table motioned for her. She went upstairs and the players followed. Little Guan Hua explained that Saffron Tigress' account of things were verified by Iron God Meng, that Yun Wan was indeed a villain, and that they should all work together to defeat him. She also told Saffron Tigress that Iron God Meng was waiting outside the village hoping to meet with her. 

"If he helps us deal with Yun Wan, I will speak to him after the fight," Said Saffron Tigress. 

Little Guan Hua said she would inform Iron God Meng, and also asked about learning from the manual that Saffron Tigress possessed, the Gu Ruan Manual. After some discussion, Saffron Tigress said she would instruct Little Guan Hua. 

Nao Yingying; art by Jackie Musto

On their way to speak with Iron God Meng, the party were met by a man in the inn named Fu Yao who had heard about their growing enterprise and need for hired escorts. He offered his services. Little Guan Hua and Bao Long tried to estimate his talents and as they were doing so, Fu Yao impressed them with his ability to intuit their reactions*. Little Guan Hua agreed to his offer of 1000 spades a day, under the condition that he bath, use their bath beans regularly and agree to get new clothes that were more befitting of a member of the Heavenly Fragrance Association. 

They then went to Iron God Meng. Little Guan Hua conveyed Saffron Tigress' message to Iron God Meng, who agreed and said he would return to Tung-On, await a message from them, and help engineer a surprise attack on Yun Wan. 

On her back, Fu Yao climbed atop the inn and shouted down to Bao Long, "Let me give you a demonstration of my talents."

Understanding his meaning, Bao Long got into a fighting stance and awaited the inevitable leaping attack. 

Fu Yao leapt into the air as high as he could but stumbled and crashed into the road, visibly hurting himself**. Climbing back up he shouted "Another round!" and leapt high, this time succeeding and then rolling into a dive striking Bao Long with tremendous force. 

Bao Long signaled that he was impressed and they returned to Saffron Tigress, who gave Little Guan Hua the Gu Guan manual. 

"I will not learn the contents of this manual," She said. "But I understand its principles and can help guide you as you read it. I suggest beginning with the Ten Thousand Finger Strike Technique."

For the remainder of the week Little Guan Hua trained with the manual and Saffron Tigress until she had mastered the ability. At the end of the week they discussed their tactics for contending with Yun Wan. It was suggested that Saffron Tigress fake her death, agree to transport there in a coffin so they could present her to the monk, making it appear as though they killed her on his behalf. She agreed to this and so they set off, but first made a trek to Mai Cun.


Reaching their destination Bao Long and Little Guan Hua presented ten golden taels to Lady 87 and to Guan Guan. 

Lady 87 was pleased with pleased with their progress. When they informed of their intentions to attack Yun Wan, she lent them four of her men and wished them well. 

After checking on their business in town, and proceeding three metallic threaded robes for Fu Yao they went off again. However Fu Yao suggested that they seek out Bao Yingying, who lived in the same district that Wan Mei temple was in. Knowing that she was a celestial plume fiend, Little Guan Hua was reluctant but ultimately agreed, so they went first to Ping Liu Village and the Ping Liu Wine shop to recruit Nao Yingying. 


On the way Bao Long mentioned that they ought to be concerned about Southwind Manor, as it had been weeks since he had met with Razor Handed General. They looked into the matter and discovered that Southwind Manor was actively searching for them***. 

Leaving some of their men outside the entrance of the inn, the group went to Nao Yingying's room on the second floor and were greeted with a waft of celestial plume smoke when she opened the door. After some discussion, she agreed, and was quite satisfied when they promised a steady supply of plume. 

They heard one of the 87 Killers whistle from outside and ran to find the street obstructed by three remaining leaders of the Four Uglies: Gracious Toad, White Naga and Jade Ogre. Razor Handed General was also there. They had approached the inn from four different lanes in the street, blocking off escape from the inn. 

"We are here to speak with the Fragrant Something Something Society about Invincible Pipa and Lady Plum Blossom," Said Jade Ogre. 

"The Heavenly Fragrance Association has been maligned, Her fate was brought upon by herself," Said Little Guan Hua. 

"Then we must seek justice today, and extinguish the Fragrant Something Something Society" Said Jade Ogre. 

"Justice? You call this justice?" Said Little Guan Hua. "By our calculations you owe us millions of spades in damages. Your sect has been harassing us and threatening us, now demanding blood in the streets of a small village. Very well, we will settle this today, and if we defeat you, you shall be allowed to live so you can pay us the millions you owe."

"We offered you a fair hearing and you repeatedly refused," Said Jade Ogre. "But it is inconsequential and so is this sum of money. Should we be defeated we shall pay it, but you won't live to enjoy your wealth." 

As everyone got into an attacking stance Jade Ogre announced "Our quarrel is only with the Fragrant Something Something Society, the rest of your retinue is free to leave or fall back. We don't want to harm innocent people."

Little Guan Hua and Bao Long looked to the four men Lady 87 assigned. One of them nodded "We serve the Guan Family and fight against all your enemies!"

Nao Yingying began to back off as they looked her way. Little Guan Hua reminded her that she had agreed to join them and was being given a full supply of Celestial Plume, so she nodded and stood by them. 

Everyone fell into a defensive line and the two sides prepared to fight. 

*The player was examining the facial expressions of the other players for 'tells' and social cues. We had him roll an Empathy check against their Wits and he succeeded, in one instance getting a Total Success, so he was able to get a clearer read on them. 

**He attempted to launch an attack with Leap of the Swan but failed and fell, taking 2d10 Open Falling Damage. 

***This reminded me to make a Grudge Roll check, which I hadn't done, and the result was Southwind Manor (who occupy a number of lines in the grudge table: my current method is to add multiple entries when grudges are becoming more intense)

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