Monday, June 10, 2024


These are the 12th and 13th 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 party leapt into the garden where Gentle Sage was enjoying the fragrant air. Taken completely by surprise, brutally cut and then his heart impaled by Bao Long's Blade of the Dancing Fox. 

Art by Jackie Musto 
Searching his body they found a manual containing his Tai-Yang Finger and Greater Toe Strike techniques*. In addition they found a jade talisman with a palace carved into it around his neck and a gourd filled with bolus pills**. They hid the body in the pond, weighing it down with stones, then crept through the door to the next hall. 

They saw a Yao Guard but surprised him. Little Guan Hua blinded him with her fly whisk then hit him with her Endless Cloud technique. A battle ensued and it was ended when Bao long impaled the Yao on his sword. 

Looking around they found some monks huddled in a hall, and convinced one of them to show the party where Gentle Sage kept his belongings. They found a jade basin and bath beads, as well as a display of skulls with the names of heroes beneath them. In Gentle Sage's bedchamber they discovered vials of poison. 

They promised to take the monk with them away from the temple and he led them down to the treasury. He explained that the jade talisman could disarm a trap in the room if thrown up to the ceiling, which they did. Entering the treasury freely they found a vast sum of silver taels. 

Taking the bath basin they left the temple then had the monk make a copy of Gentle Sage's manual so Fu Yao could take it with him as he had business elsewhere. Bao Long kept the original Manual and went with Little Guan Hua to Tung-On to train. 


Fu Yao traveled tot he Vermillion Bird Teahouse. There he met with Hua Yin and asked her to train him. She explained that not all of her repertoire was suited to his style but that she could help him track down manuals and select other masters to teach him individual techniques if he would take no other teachers and agree to her terms. Among her terms, she told him that should he go to River Village with his companions and happen upon men selling Celestial Plume, he should work to keep them from being interfered with. 

Fu Yao agreed and began learning from Hua Yin. She taught him Flight of the Bat and he also learned Tai Yang Finger from the manual they stole from Gentle Sage. In addition he perfected a new technique with his staff he had been working on. Before he left she gave him a trained pigeon to use if he needed to send her a message. She also suggested that he needed more training before confronting Fan Batu. 

Bao Long presented a tribute to Iron God Meng, who provided him with more snakes (his snakes had been killed by the Sandstone Nun's Thundering Palm) and taught him Belly of the Iron God. He also instructed him in the Thousand Pound Finger Technique. 

Little Guan Hua trained as well, mastering the techniques in Gentle Sage's Manual and working to improve her overall abilities. 

Bao Long learned from Iron God Meng that Fan Batu was staying at the Swallow's Nest Inn in Gao Cun and had several men there with him. 

Bao Long went to Dancing Corpse Wan Mei and informed her about Fan Batu's location. There he found her using local villagers tied to posts for target practice. She was greatly pleased and happy to learn that Bao Long had destroyed the Sandstone Nun. She told Bao Long that she wanted to bring his kung fu to the next level, that she wanted him to be her exclusive disciple. 

However Bao Long was reluctant to betray Iron God Meng. She told him that if Iron God Meng agreed to be her disciple as well, then he could continue learning from both of them. 

Before heading to Tung-On, Bao Long expressed concern about Wan Mei's ruthlessness with the villagers saying they were innocent. 

"There are no innocent people in this world," She said. "Everyone deserves death!"

"Do you then also deserve death Master?"

"As long as my foe is worthy, then they can defeat me for the crimes I have committed," She paused. "But that should not be you! Betraying your own master in this way, that is the most heinous deed a person can commit."

Persuaded by Wan Mei's reasoning, Bao Long embraced her philosophy and went to Iron God Meng to present her proposal. 

"I will need time to decide," Said Iron God Meng. "But you may train under her freely, you have been a good student and I am happy to let you go if you can take your martial arts to greater heights under her instruction." 

Later in the evening Wan Mei took Bao Long to a small village to practice Five Ghost Fingers. He killed 8 villagers and accepted her as his sole teacher. 

She welcome him saying they were now part of a single sect. She then told her more about her martial arts philosophy, explaining that instilling fear was crucial, as terrified opponents were easier to defeat and less likely to confront you. She then began instructing him in the Breath of Death. 

After he returned, Fu Yao explained to the others, including Wan Mei, that Hua Yin felt they were not ready to take on Fan Batu. Everyone agreed to go to the Vermillion Bird Teahouse to discuss the matter. 


The Party went to the Vermillion Bird Teahouse, where Hua Yin expressed her reservations. Wan Mei objected saying that Fan Batu would also be improving his Kung Fu and would simply get more powerful the longer they delayed. It was decided they would take a few weeks to train before confronting him but that they wouldn't delay any longer than that. 

Passing through Tung-On on the way, Bao Long went to receive Iron God Meng's Answer, which was he would not take Wan Mei as his master. However he agreed to help them deal with Fan Batu for 100,000 spades. 

When they reached Gao Cun, they learned that Ravenous Nun Xue Xuanji was staying at the inn too. While she had a reputation for despising all criminals, they thought it might be possible to form an alliance with her to deal with Fan Batu. 

They scoped out the inn and spoke with her. There they saw Fan Batu with his men, enjoying wine and song. The Nun agreed to speak in private away from the Inn. 

When she learned that the party was connected with Lady 87, she said she would agree to help them fight Fan Batu but wanted to duel each of them to the death individually after the battle. 

The party decided to stage an ambush. 

Wan Mei and Bao Long went inside, while Iron God Meng stood ready at the door and the rest of the party were spread out in anticipation. 

Seeing Fan Batu, Wan Mei did not notice that his men were her adopted children, but grown, and this possibility did not occur to Bao Long either. Bao Long was still learning Breath of Death and proved incapable of using the technique, but Wan Mei breathed a heavy and deadly cloud into the room, killing many, innocent patrons and Fan Batu's men both and forcing everyone to flee through the front door. 

The ambush worked. Some of Fan Batu's men survived to fight in the streets, but not long, and Fan Batu was overwhelmed by the party's size and skill. He managed to unleash a terrible attack with a massive seismometer he carried, injuring some of the party, but in the end, they had him surprised and surrounded. 

"Don't kill them!" Shouted Wan Mei. 

Her disciples merely knocked out his remaining men and Fan Batu himself. 

When the fight was done, Wan Mei took the Dawn Sabre of the Yao Yun Sea from Fan Batu's belt and cut off his head. Bao Long took the seismometer. 

Weeping, Wan Mei instructed Bao Long to dig graves for the 8 men killed in the fight. "As for the rest of his men," she said. "These traitors can live."

She then etched a tablet for each of the men. 

Before the bodies were finished Ravenous Nun demanded her duel. Bao Long agreed if he could be the first. 

Fu Yao tried to reason with the Sandstone Nun, saying it wasn't worth it. But she was adamant and said she didn't fear death. 

Bao Long and Ravenous Nun squared off. She managed to slash him with the blades on her shoes, but he quickly responded with a fatal impalement. 

He was covered in blood. 

They dug another grave and buried the bodies. 

Wan Mei seemed upset and said she would need a couple of weeks before she could resume their training. She left to go off on her own saying she would join them shortly. 

The rest of the group began to travel but a couple of days out, Bao Long started feeling unwell. So they returned to the town and sent a message to Wan Mei. 

Believing he had been poisoned, Bao Long and the rest of the party searched the inn for an antidote. The proprietor led them inspect Fan Batu's room and the nun's. In the Nun's chambers they found a stack of papers from a physician and some pills. They learned she was being treated for a unique illness. The papers mentioned taking the pills regularly to stave off the effects, so Bao Long swallowed one. However the papers also mentioned that no cure could be found. 

Little Guan Hua suggested they seek out Physician Zi in Mai Cun. Because she was banished from Lady 87's territory, she would have to remain outside the city but could give them instructions on how to find him. 

Wan Mei arrived before they left and said she wanted to take him to Mount Dao and see if the immortals there would help heal him. However she feared it may not go well as the immortals were quite righteous. 

They decided to head to Mai Cun first. There they consulted with Physician Zi. He said he saw such an ailment among the Zhun and provided Bao Long with more of the red pills they found at the nun's. He also told them it was highly contagious through the blood that he would break out in pustules within a month, perhaps be dead soon after. While there was no known cure, he advised seeking a powerful Neigong Master as that was likely the only hope Bao Long had of survival. 

When they gathered together outside Mai Cun, Little Guan Hua said the most powerful Neigong specialist she knew about was Crescent Phoenix. Wan Mei said she knew how to find her so the group set off. 

*I rolled randomly to determine if he had such a manual

**Through a Medicine Roll they learned that the pills were antidotes to Gentle Sage's poison. They also learned, through an Alchemy roll that the talisman had magnetic properties 

***Note that these training periods are usually happening over weeks or months. In this campaign I am using downtime regularly so the party can train. 

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