Friday, May 17, 2024


These are the ninth and tenth sessions 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. 


The group mostly stood at the doorway of the wineshop, with Saffron Tigress' coffin in tow. Four of the 87 Killers stood near Little Guan Hua, who issued orders from the wine shop's portico. Nie Ping and Nao Yinging were also close by. Fu Yao crouched at the peak of the pagoda like structure that was the Ping Liu Wine Shop. There they faced the remaining four uglies, Razor-handed General and a number of South Wind Manor's disciples. 

Little Guan Hua commanded all to attack Jade Ogre at the top of her lungs. 

Before anyone could act, he let his fan fly out in an arc, first striking Fu Yao upon the roof of the wine shop. In a spray of blood that left Fu Yao on the brink of death, the fan curved towards the others. Bao Long leapt out of the way, as did Nao Yingying and Nie Ping. But Little Guan Hua was sliced wide open. The momentum of the fan was finally stopped by one of the 87 Killers. 

Fu Yao leapt high from the towering pinnacle of Ping Liu Wine Shop then performed his Dive of the Falcon technique to flame into Jade Ogre, obliterating his foe so badly, all that remained of his was a pile of bone, meat and blood. 

White Naga was so horrified by the display it disrupted her heart and she stumbled, a hair from death*. 

Sensing her weakness Little Guan Hua commanded Bao Long to charge at her. With a cascade of strikes Bao Long brought her down but let her live. 

Graceful Toad assumed a stance similar to Jade Ogre's prior to his initial attack. 

"I do not wish for more bloodshed," Said Graceful Toad. "I concede defeat and agree to your terms." 

The party remained at the inn and they maintained the pretense of Saffron Tigress death the entire time by having her remain in the coffin. From within the coffin she gave Fu Yao instructions to improve his martial arts, teaching him Drift Butterfly. He then learned a rope dart technique from one of the 87 Killers. 

Little Guan Hua continued to study the Gu Guan Manual. Saffron Tigress provided clarity on key aspects of the manual's principles. After a month she had mastered Endless Cloud of the Fly Whisk. 

One evening before they head out, Little Guan Hua received a message in a gourd saying to go to the fields outside town. There she saw her teacher, Dancing Corpse Wan Mei sitting in a thick circle of fog. 

"Do not approach! Wait for the fog to dissipate"

When the fog faded, Little Guan Hua saw bodies strewn about the ground around her. 

"This is my new technique, I call it the Breath of Death!"


The party then marched with Saffron Tigress' coffin to Wan Mei Temple. Upon arrival they saw smoke coming from within. Fu Yao scaled the mountain with the intent of diving onto one of their enemies when Saffron Tigress made her surprise attack**. 

Yun Wan and his disciple exited the temple. 

"Here is the corpse of Saffron Tigress as you requested!" Shouted Little Guan Hua. 

"Excellent," Said Yun Wan. He motioned and his disciple, Li Yaochen, approached the coffin. As he did so, Saffron Tigress burst from inside it and Fu Yao leapt down the mountain***

Yun Wan was split in half by Fu Yao's diving strike from the sky. 

Li Yaochen attacked Saffron Tigress and the 87 Killers with his staff but missed them all. 

Little Guan Hua struck Li Yaochen with The Ten Thousand Finger Strike, hitting all his meridians so that any movement he made would cause internal damage. 

Li Yaochen adopted a relaxed meditative stance and coughed up blood. "I surrender" he said. 

They interrogated him and discovered he had been forced to serve Yun Wan, after having his heart cut out and replaced with a strange stone. Before that happened he was a member of Sun Mai sect. His heart was held and controlled by Yun Wan. They searched the Yun Wan's remains and found a lacquered box containing his heart****

Little Guan Hua and Saffron Tigress agreed to let Li Yaochen go and give him his heart box. They instructed him not to harm any of their allies or interests and he said he would seek a cure to his condition. 

As he departed, Iron God Meng and his men arrived late to the battle. Looking at the split corpse of Yun Wan, Iron God Meng said "He wasn't much of anything, was he?"

Saffron Tigress decided to go back to Tung-On with Iron God Meng and explain everything to him. Little Guan Hua offered Nie Ping a position in her organization running a shop, but she said she would prefer to run an inn or restaurant. 

Nao Yingying
Art by Jackie Musto

"Find a place and so long as you sell our wares, we will fund it," Said Little Guan Hua. 

Nie Ping said she would write to them in a month and headed back to Ping Liu Village. 

Nao Yingying asked if there were any positions for her in the organization. Little Guan Hua thought and said she would be better suited to the 87 Killers. 

"I will send you back with them and recommend you to Lady 87 as a prospective member."

As they were conversing, a whistle cut through the air and they saw Dancing Corpse Wan Mei on distant hill. 

"I must go to my master and train," Said Little Guan Hua to the four senior 87 killers. "You men take Nao Yingying back to Mai Cun and recommend her to Lady 87 on my behalf."

Nao Yingying and the 87 Killers left, and the party approached Dancing Corpse Wan Mei. They saw the corpse of Lady Plum Blossom erect and swaying in the wind nearby. 

She made a more formal introduction to Fu Yao and seemed impressed with his diving attack. They spent a month training with her. She instructed Little Guan Hua in her Clutch of the Ghost King attack. 

"I am being hounded by the Sandstone Nun," She said. "You will find her and kill her with this technique and after you succeed, I will teach you more from the Ghost Claw manual."

She gave some minor instruction to Fu Yao and trained Bao Long. When they were done the group headed to Mai Cun, promising to find the Sandstone Nun. 


In Mai Cun Fu Yao sought an audience with Floating Sea God Shan Shisan of the Dragon Horse Gang. He was given a meeting. 

Floating Sea God Shan Shisan wore all white, was gaunt but built of lean muscle and had the tattoos of sea gods on his chest and back. 

"I seek to become your pupil," Fu Yao explained. He then gave a demonstration of his martial arts. 

"I value thieves not warriors," Said Shisan. "How much can you steal for me each month?"

"Perhaps 10,000 spades."

"Prove yourself by going to the Tafang District and stealing bolts of imperial silk, then come back to me."

Fu Yao left and was put in contact by the Heavenly Fragrance Society with an old thief named Guan Yu. He asked Guan Yu to teach him and to help him steal the silk. 

"You will be well compensated," Said Fu Yao. 

They went to the Tafang District and found a relatively unguarded warehouse where the old man showed him the trade. When they were done, Fu Yao had a cart full of bolts of silk and the old man took one for himself. Fu Yao thanked the old man and gave him 1,000 spades. He then took the silk to Dragon Horse Gang where he was inducted. 

"You will be given tattoos," Said the chief. 

They tattooed his chest with a likeness of Divine Scholar Wu, then his back with a likeness of Sea Goddess Bing. Then Fu Yao began his training under Floating Sea God Shan Shisan. 

Meanwhile Little Guan Hua went to pay her respects to Lady 87 taking tribute with her. She found herself waiting longer than usual. 

When she was brought in, there was only Lady 87 and three guards. The corpse of Nao Yingying was laid out on the ground. Lady 87 had a gash on her forehead. 

"My dear Grandmother, the 87th Lady of the Guan Family, what has happened?"

"She tried to kill me," Said Lady 87. "You should have looked more into this person's background. She is friends with a man named Hell Burning Sword, the sole survivor of Flying Blade Sect, a group we extinguished years ago. She apparently seized the opportunity your recommendation created*****."

Little Guan Hua rushed over to the body and kicked it, then kowtowed and apologized to her grandmother. 

Lady 87 stood up. "You will be punished."

Little Guan Hua nodded and bowed. 

"I must banish you from Mai Cun, from any affairs of the 87 Killers and from all business related to us, including the Heavenly Fragrance Society, for six months."

"Thank you Grandmother!"

"If you wish to get into my good graces when your banishment ends, be sure to bring the head of Hell Burning Sword upon your return."

*The Four Uglies use the Passionless Heart technique, which requires complete control of emotions. This scene would have been horrifying to her and Graceful Toad, so I made a roll required by the Passionless Heart entry (1d10 against Resolve). Because the roll beat her Resolve, she took 10d10 Open Damage plus 1 Extra wound, which brought her to 2 Wounds from death 

**The Strike of the Diving Falcon technique causes the attacker to do falling damage. This was an unusual opportunity, technically due to the height of the mountain, it would do 6d10 plus 94 Extra Wounds of falling damage. The danger is that the attacker, if they fail, takes the failing damage themselves. The risk was small but not zero. 

***I rolled detect to see if they were both surprised and to see if Yun Wan was aware of the attack from above. Yun Wan was surprised but Li Yaochen was not. 

****I assigned a simple 20 percent chance of the box being obliterated by Fu Yao's attack (this would have ultimately killed Li Yaochen had it been destroyed) 

*****When the player sent Nao Yingying to Mai Cun, I had him roll 4d10 to represent Nao Yingying and I rolled 6d10 to represent Lady 87. One of the player's rolls succeeded, but ultimately Lady 87 defeated the assassin. 

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