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Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.




Long ago, the realms lived in harmony under the Great Republic. Then everything changed. The nation shattered in countless warring pieces, and the whole continent plunged into chaos. More than a hundred years have passed, and new kingdoms have begun their rise. In the south, the Steel Empress' legions march from victory to victory. In the east, pirate lords vie for control of the Emerald and Inland Seas, with the wealth of the world up for grabs. In the West, the Golden Circle tightens its grip on the last bastion of the lost Republic. New technologies upend tradition, and forgotten powers stir. What comes next none can say, only that the last vestiges of the old ways are about to be swept away - or about to return to their lost glory. No matter which song is to be sung, the time to ring the note of change has come again.

North and east of the great city Shengsigonghe lies Yunhezhenhu. During the heyday of the Republic, it was a bustling town, built to service the Grand Lock and manage the trade that flowed from the Inland Sea into the great city and to the world beyond. After the Fall, it became little more than a backwater, and for a time was even abandoned. In the last few years, as the factories of Shengsigonghe turned out ever more impressive innovations and daring traders reopened the famed Three Waters Path, it has begun to grow.

It remains a small, remote settlement, its citizens provincal and superstitious. A smattering of higher culture and wordliness comes from the trade houses and travellers that pass through, and the Golden Circle's administration, though that is little better than a dumping ground for disgraced officials. Like the Relams as a whole, Yunhezhenhu teeters between a brighter future and abject ruination.

It here that five would-be heroes have come, for their own reasons. Have stopped for a meal at the noodle shop near the center of town as they consider their future. And it is here that their story begins.

Please include your character sheets in your first post, and let us know what you're doing in Yunhezhenhu. You'll want to decide if some or all of you know each other before now, or if you're just meeting for the first time now.

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Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.




This post contains various resources for the game.

Important People In Yunhezhenhu
Magistrate Liao - Liao Shu was an up and coming official of the Golden Circle until she misjudged a relationship and insulted her rival - who turned out to have more powerful friends than she had expected. Since being banished to the hinterlands, Liao has spent the last two years trying to worm her way into the good graces of her current superior and secure a posting back in Remembrance City.

Big Feet Zu - The local crime boss, who poses as the owner of a legitimate import/export business. He has the biggest house in town, really more of a walled compound. All the merchants in town pay him incense money so nothing unfortunate happens to them or their goods, and he has real sway with the Magistrate. However, unlike the prior incompetent to hold the post, Liao isn't a complete fool and has her own power base; it's not clear Big Feet Zu has adjusted to this reality.

Maps

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2017 around 17:57

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

Aynur
pre:
Level: 1	EXP: 0
HP: 10/10
AC: 5	

STR	13	+1	8
DEX	16	+2	5
CON	16	+2	5
WIS	14	+1	7
INT	13	+1	8
CHA	10	+0	11

Hard	13	
Eva	13	
Spirit	14	

Effort	2/2
Inf	2/2
Domin	0/0
Wealth	0/0

Words
Gun
Beast

Gifts
Bow
	Omnipresent Reach
	Bar the Red Descent
Beasts
	Eyes of the Cat
	Untamed Will

Deception
	Deceiver's Unblinking Eye
	Veiled Step
		

Armor: Light armor
Weapons
	Pistol, Shotgun
		Range as far as is visible, +3 to hit, 1d10+2 damage
	Boot knife
		+1 to hit, 1d6+1 damage
	Fray
		1d8
It was a funny world sometimes, Aynur thinks.

Here she was, dozens of days' travel from home, even by boat, up north and in a whole different world. And yet she bumps into another person from down south, on the road to a new assignment, and here they were, chatting and ambling along like two old friends out on the hunt.

The old fellow was pleasant, even in his cups, and his accent rang out through the slurring. The other one was blind, yet he refused a helping hand. Not that he seemed to need it, maneuvering with a sure foot and a sure hand for someone of advanced years, let alone someone without sight. She pondered as they walked into the noodle shop, wondering if she would ever been that comfortable without the gift of sight.

The soldier leaves her gun by the door; it's weird to have to leave one's tools behind, but these northerners always get antsy when someone walks in to their business visibly armed. The elder with the beard was telling a story, something about a prank at his school. She wasn't clear on the details, but it was polite to laugh and smile when prompted.

Not many people in here, which was nice. The two old men, the cook, a busboy having a cigarette out back, a merchant stopping for a meal, a man in need of more clothing, and-

"Excuse me, sirs," she says to the old men. "I will be right back."

Aynur removes a handkerchief from inside her jacket. It's frilly, expensive silk with embroidered edges depicting flowers in season. There's also a hole in it, with a brown stain ringing the edge. She holds the cloth to her face for a second, then takes a deep breath. Well, there you go. Right there, below the booze and the noodles and the smoke and the dirt.

The soldier steps up to the hunched figure in the corner, bundled in their heavy clothes. Aynur's hands are open and palms toward the subject of her interest. It really was a funny old world.

"Are you Bai Xianli?"

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




This town was dreary. Sun Hai hated it already. The sort of backwater village where nothing ever happened, where nobody aspired to do anything interesting because they were either lazy in their contentment or miserable with their pitiful lives. Thank the heavens he was only passing through. Despite the occasional stare he got - his outfit, breezy and light, was hardly appropriate for the climate up here; despite the winter having passed, it was still occasionally quite chilly. But the cold never bothered him, and he liked being looked at. Still, he was grateful that this was nothing but temporary shelter. He was looking for glorious adventure, not to be an interesting novelty to unimaginative peasants. The noodles were excellent, though. Arrogant rogue though he may be, he could appreciate the diligence of a craftsman. So he slurped noisily on his sizeable bowl, unconcerned with much besides the rapidly declining contents of said bowl.

Once-a-day Luck Die: 20.

Wahad fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2017 around 22:58

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





Well. It isn't as if this wasn't expected, though the messenger is unusual.

A southerner, and one of the rumored mountain people of that far corner, if Xianli was to guess. And the uniform is not that of the so-called Republic, which makes it all the stranger. Why would some other army be seeking her? The old men in the doorway make it even more confusing. This is either the world's oddest assassination squad or some sort of horrible prank.

There's no use trying to contradict her, Xianli supposes. That's her handkerchief, left behind over the face of Haomei. This disguise of spilled alcohol and crusted clothing has been doing a fine job fooling the idiot of a magistrate they've assigned to his backwater- A drunken failed river guard is beneath all notice- but Xianli knows she is a miserable liar. She's been lucky that nobody here cares enough about strangers to probe beyond the simple question of "another drink?"

"I am not much of an actor, and will spare you the attempt," says Xianli, quietly. "If you have come to kill me, I suggest we move outside. The dumplings here are quite good and I'd hate to ruin them."

K Prime fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2017 around 19:37

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

Aynur

The soldier's white-gloved hands stay out and still.

"No need. I only needed to find you," she says. She tilts her head back, gesturing to the two old fellows. "Would you like to join us for a meal?"

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


quote:

Fu Qian: Wizard, Priest, Drunkard
Stats
Strength 8 -1 13
Dexterity 10 0 11
Constitution 13 1 8
Wisdom 14 1 7
Intelligence 16 2 5
Charisma 13 1 8

Saving Throws
Hardiness 14
Evasion 13
Spirit 14

AC 3
HP 9
Attacks
Luck: +3, 1d10+2
Melee: +0, 1d6-1

Facts:
Prodigy Among the Wandering Priests: Raised by the priesthood that patrols the Nightfall and dealing with its dangers (Curse-eater Low magic)
Archmage to Kings and Empresses: After the Steel Empress' victory against the Night, the Void Academy was famous
Former Head of the Void Academy: Headed the Void Academy and its R&D division for decades (Theotechnician low magic) until he was deposed

Words: Sorcery, Luck, Fate
Gifts
Drawing Out the Line[Fate]
Someone Else's Name[Fate]
Read the Signs[Fate]
The World Against You[Luck]
The Subtle Eye of Knowing[Sorcery]
Adept of the Gate(Bright God’s Canticle, Sunder the Lesser Spell, Barred Gates of Forbiddance,
Seal of Regnal Dominion)[Sorcery]

Opportunity. It lay in the northeast, the tiles told him, in the shape of a disturbance in the spirit world. But since ‘opportunity’ could also be written ‘life in chaos’, Fu went prepared. The old blind bastard was up for a bit of adventure, and a small redirecting of the Winds of Fate brought him a strapping young bodyguard. A Weurzhuese, for maximal amusement. But much to his annoyance, the tiles refused to disclose any details even on Yunhezhenhu’s doorstep. Time to rattle some chains and see what rose to the surface of the wine. Speaking of which, lunch!

Fu eyed the ‘disguised’ woman his bodyguard was speaking to. The Winds of Fate blew in fierce eddies around them, echoing the storm only Fu could see above the town. He focused, and the woman’s life opened up to him. Hmmm, powerful *and* useful. I can see why we stopped here. Fu suddenly appears at Aynur’s side, throwing a companionable arm around her shoulder. “Ah Aynur, you found *hic* Disciple Li!” His voice carries like all drunks’ do, and he winks at Xianli. “*hic*Disciple Li, we were so sad to see that you left your training! But now we see you’ve walked the Rightful Path, and are here to help us in this time of need.”

He maneuvers Aynur into sitting down next to Xianli, and sits across from them. He waves over to the blind swordsman, indicating their new table. “Brother Li, *hicDisciple Li is here to help us with the purifications! Come and let's enjoy a meal together.” He looks around the noodle house and frowns drunkenly. “Hmmm, four is a poor number.’, he says in a quiet voice, and holds up a leather bag to his ear and shakes it. “Ah, there. Aynur, be a dear and keep an eye out for a fifth. Bright eyes, yearning for adventure, that sort of *belch*.”

Use an Action to Read the Signs on Xianli. Roll my Luck die for the day:
SidekickBOT - Today at 5:49 PM @PoultryGeist: 1d20 Luck die = (14) = 14

Rent-a-Bot
Oct 20, 2012

FOOL! DOCTOR DOOM DOES AS HE PLEASES!




Drifting between towns, Yun’s curiosity was piqued when Fu told him about a disturbance to the northeast. Not having much better to do, he figured he‘d join him for an adventure.

A Weurzhuese soldier smelling of wintry forest clashing against gunpowder joined them. Probably Fu working his magic on the tapestry of fate, or whatever he feels like calling it. Depends on how drunk he is that meal.

He sizes up this "Disciple Li". Covered in the stench of booze but something about her qi... well Fu wouldn't drag her in this if she wasn't important.

“Four people huh? We can start playing Shai Po." Yun scratches his chin in thought. "But if we get a fifth, we can finally play Elements style.”

Yun turns to the rest of the noodle shop and shouts, "Hey! Anyone know where a bunch of vagrants and drunks can play a game of Shai Po?!"

Rent-a-Bot fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2017 around 00:00

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





"Keep it down, curse you," hisses Xianli. "The magistrate in these parts is an incompetent but one excellent at seizing opportunities to grovel for power. Do you want to get us all arrested?"

She casts desperately around for a way to make this look reasonable. This is either a prelude to a very unusual assassination or some sort of horrible dream. "There is a tile set behind the bar for when the gang comes in with their latest stolen haul. You can probably borrow it, if you promise to behave," she manages, casting for control of the situation. "We can play while we eat. Well, you can play. I don't know the game."

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

Aynur

Aynur cocks her head and gives Fu a long look, but eventually shrugs and sits down to dine and play.

"Is this a bluffing game? I do not have much money," she says, guilelessly.

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


Fu smiles at Disciple Li’s discomfort and takes a deep swing from his wine jug, speaking softly through the vessel. “Everyone knows that folks with something to hide sit by themselves in dark corners. Loud old drunks with friends can’t possibly hide anything. A bit of wisdom for my student.” He sets the jug down and belches. “Besides, you would have been discovered when you were the only survivor of that boat capsizing. In… three days?” He takes another drink. “Depends on what day today is really.”

Fu then winks at Aynur. “You and *hic*Disciple Li don’t have to worry, Brother Li and I will show you how the tiles slide.” He pauses for a moment. “Well, worry about Brother Li, ‘cause he’s a cheating bastard.”

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.




Fu Qian's shouts draw less attention than Bai Xianli fears, but more than she likes. Loud drunks and vagabond monks are uncommon but hardly unknown to Yunhezhenhu's noodle shops, nor is the intersection of the two. Still, the impromptu gathering of travelers draws the eye. Such events have a way of portending trouble - or opportunity. For the moment the observers seem to be thinking only on the local level. None have slipped out to alert the minions of Big Feet Zu or Magistrate Liao, at least.

One of the waiters comes over with a practiced smile on his face that almost looks sincere, in one hand a string of beads so he can take their order, in the other a box of shai po tiles of indifferent quality.

In the courtyard across the way, townsfolk are beginning to gather, under the eyes of Magistrate Liao's bailiffs.

Fu Qian's gaze doesn't reveal any active low magic or theurgy at this point.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2017 around 18:08

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


Fu has seen the waiter’s expression in villages all across the Realm. An advantage of being a drunken vagabond by choice instead of necessity is that bills are easier to deal with. He smiles drunkenly at the man and produces a variety of small coins from his robes. “Ex-*hic*-lent timing my boy. The Winds have been kind lately, four bowls of your finest and wine all around. And might your fine village have a local Curse-eater? Should pay our *hic* respects to a local guardian before we start our work.”

He untangles the waiter’s destiny with his gaze, running the strands of the man's life forwards and back. Not that Fu expected much, but he’d been surprised in the past by what the Goddess of Fate had in store for a humble servant. And leverage of any sort is useful in his line of work.

Use Read the Signs on the waiter, and the rest of the table is welcome to take advantage of Fu’s ‘generosity’.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

Aynur

Aynur is not one to ever turn down a free meal, but it's rude to interrupt an elder while he's drunkenly haranguing someone, especially to ask about the surplus shai po tiles in his sleeve. Instead, she turns to Li. Actual-Li, rather.

"Master Li," she says. "I do not believe I asked this question earlier: how did you and Master Fu come to be traveling together?"

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





Xianli shifts to cast her gaze outside, watching the gathering crowd. "Have the dumplings. They're excellent. And I'll have a drink- a proper one, not this... dongxi. By which I mean some tea. Not alcohol. Because that is a mob outside."

Rent-a-Bot
Oct 20, 2012

FOOL! DOCTOR DOOM DOES AS HE PLEASES!




Hm, well if Fu's already talking about going to a Curse Eater, might as well tell the kid what she's in for. "I know Fu from a ways back. He comes to me every now and again when he needs help dealing with 'disturbances.' There seems to be something big near the town, though 'what' that is a secret Fu hasn't puzzled out. Maybe he should ask the tiles in his sleeve?"

Flashing a wicked smile to Fu before turning back to Aynur, Yun says "Truth be told, Fu's divination isn't really giving him much about how big this threat is supposed to be, so we're looking at getting some extra hands on deck. Might be nothing but smart money says it's going to be a pain in the rear end. We could use the help, if you're offering."

"Anyway here's how you set up a hand in Shai Po..." Yun begins teaching at Disciple Li and Aynur.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




The gathering outside draws his attention, but not in any way beyond the repositioning of his gaze. "Another cup of tea, if you please, darling," he mentions in passing to the waitress, as he cautiously examines the people in the square, while continuing to slurp his noodles. Sun Hai's eyes don't waver from the crowd, though, and he watches carefully to figure out what's going on. The noisy old men in the corner were distracting, but a life on the rough seas wouldn't be much of a life if you didn't learn to tune out the noise. The crowd outside was more important, anyway. If there was going to be some sort of event with official presence, it would be best to make a subtle exit.

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


Fu rolls his eyes at the swordsman. “You can be extraordinarily loud for a blind man Brother Li.” He shrugs and turns to the young women. “But he does have the jist of things. I am here to ensure deal with whatever darkness I might find, and the Winds of Fate tell me that you two and our shy fifth will be of great assistance in this matter.” He neglects to tell them that he may of twisted Fate slightly to get them involved. His speech was also completely non-slurred, which he realizes. “*hic*Disciple Li, you’ve been here for a while, have you heard any rumors of dark spirits about?”

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.




For those watching the crowd, especially Sun Hai, it becomes clear its a collection of about a dozen families. After a bit, the bailiffs start moving through and getting people organized. In short order a dozen young men and women in white robes and black caps are lined up at the front, all looking quite miserable. Their families are gathered behind them, grim faced or quietly weeping depending on their nature.

A bell is rung and Magistrate Liao appears atop the steps of yamen. She pulls out a formal scroll, and begins to deliver some remarks in a somewhat bored tone. She commends the filial devotion of the youths, and how their decision to study under the scholar Real Man Xiao will bring them great spiritual merit, even as it liberates their families of the burden of overdue taxes.

It takes a moment for the shouts and cries from the other side of the plaza to be noticed, but eventually they become too loud to ignore. The Magistrate trails off, looking annoyed, as everyone begins to peer in that direction.

The reason for the commotion becomes apparent then. A robed woman, wreathed in black smoke, is descending from the sky. The dark mist billows behind her as the bystanders - including the would be scholars - scatter, and the Magistrate's bailiffs quickly hustle her back inside and shut the yamen's gates.

The woman is creaming in a voice that is both sound and smoke, her words incomprehensible, but clearly filled with fury. A shout goes up for guards, but all of the Magistrate's men have disappeared into the yamen with her, and summoning more will take time.

There's a surge as everyone in the noodle shop immediately tries to back away from this apparition, leaving only those brave or fool hardy enough to involve themselves by choice.

The woman is so infused with theurgic energy she almost hurts for Fu Qian to look at. For the moment she is still flying above plaza, but will land soon.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




Sun Hai doesn't seem quite as panicked at the sight of the Smoke Lady as the rest of the patrons, casually standing up from his seat at the window table to drink the rest of the broth from his noodles and leave the empty bowl, with some coins, on the table. "Hey, old man," he calls out to the drunkard in the corner, his eyes shining with arrogant mirth. This would be exciting. Gesturing over his shoulder at the floating apparition, the rogue continues: "I think I found your dark spirit. Good luck with that, mm?"

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


Fu waves at the prettyboy. “Well spotted Master Wu, I think you have a knack for this work!”. Turning to the others at the table, he’s serious once more. “We’re dealing with some idiots that are meddling in things they can’t control. I will try to break her mantras, but they’re unstable so keep her away from the crowds.” Taking one last drink from his jug he steps out into the plaza, floating a few inches above the stones.

His voice carries across the open space, filling it with chanting. He throws four talismans into the air, which hover in place and define a shining rectangle. Still chanting, he begins tracing glowing Curse-eater ideograms onto the rectangle with precise hand motions.

Committing Effort for the scene to invoke Sunder the Lesser Spell in one round. It will finish after Smoke Lady's turn.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





"8 Immortal's 13 Balls," mutters Xianli. "Bad to worse."

She's already on her feet, the instinct to interfere having taken the place of caution. Sighing, she sheds her ragged outer cloak. "No one here will die as I so will it. Do not worry about the crowd."

My Constant aura of Withholding the Mercy is on, as always- nobody here can die completely unless I let them. Unless otherwise specified, anyone dropped to 0 stabilizes. I can also heal wounds with a glance, though only once per person for non-worthies and one per expenditure of effort on the part of a Godbound.

Rent-a-Bot
Oct 20, 2012

FOOL! DOCTOR DOOM DOES AS HE PLEASES!




Yun turns his head towards Disciple Li, "First rule of Shai Po kid, a winning strategy is a hitting strategy." Pulling his sword from seemingly nowhere, Yun takes a stance, focusing his qi on his feet.

In the blink of an eye, he leaps towards the woman shrouded in smoke and with his sword seemingly a flash of blinding light, cuts through her in a single stroke. He lands gently on the other side of the woman, sheathing his sword.

"Still got it."

Rolled 1d20+3 to hit, got 18 which beats her AC
1d8+2 came out to 7+2= 9 damage

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.




Li Yun's attack catches the woman by surprise - she flails at him, but inexpertly. His sword strikes home easily and the she immediately drops to the ground, trailing smoke.

Bai Xianli feels the woman's life force start to fail, but her own abilities prevent it from dissipating entirely. This gives Fu Qian just enough time to complete his work. The effect on her begins to unravel as soon as Li Yun touches the woman. Without the power of the godbound, it would have failed with explosive and deadly results.

But because they are here, her fate follows a different path. As the woman crumples to the ground in the middle of the plaza, unconscious. Smoke continues to rise from her mouth for a moment before it blows away on the wind.

The woman is quite young, but has clearly had a rough time of it recently. Her clothes, once the white robes of a scholar, are torn and dirty. Her hair is tangled and greasy under her black cap, her hands and feet smudged with dirt. She stirs weakly where she lays but does not get up.

With the return of quiet, faces begin to peek around corners and out of doorways, looking to see what's happened. It will only be a few moments before the town guard arrives or the bailiffs come back.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Feb 22, 2017 around 02:42

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

Aynur

Aynur finishes slurping down her broth, then leaves a handful of the Empress's coin on the table.

Gun held in the crook of her arm, the southerner stands behind the elders and her target, pointedly not menacing anyone. Despite the meal, her gloves remain immaculate.

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


Effort 1 Committed 1 | AC 3 | HP 6/8 | Inf 2 Dom 0 Wth0
Fu lets out a wheezy grunt as his chi energizes the counter-mantra he’s invoked. As he waits for the mystic energies to dissipate along the five Directions, he studies the poor fool that lies unconscious before him. Her fates are twisted into the ebbing mantra, but enough can be seen to know she was not alone. Swearing softly to himself, he straightens up leaning heavily on his staff. “Well cut Brother Li, but I’m afraid our work isn’t done yet. Corporal Anyur, Disciple Li, if you’d be kind enough to gather up Miss Fei so we can sort out her foolishness without interference of the less trained.”

He stifles a cough with the the sleeve of his robe, and the keen-eyed can see a bit of red at the corner of his mouth.

Action to use Read the Signs on the former Smoke Lady to get some basic info
@PoultryGeist: 1d10 backlash damage = (5) = 5. 2 damage from dispelling the theurgy.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





"I am not gathering anybody!!" snaps back Xianli, perhaps slightly too quickly. "...sorry. You, Actual Li, grab her shoulders- don't even try to tell me you can't find them, you just cut her down in midair. I'll get her feet. If we hustle, we should be able to get to the East Alleyway before the magistrate gets her hair fixed up."

Rent-a-Bot
Oct 20, 2012

FOOL! DOCTOR DOOM DOES AS HE PLEASES!




"Whatever you say Suspicious Li," Shrugging (With his sword mysteriously gone from sight), Yun follows her directions and grabs the unconscious girl's shoulders. "So, where is this East Alleyway?"

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





"It's due west of here, down that street," says Xianli. "It used to go to the Old Town before that got swept away by the canal."

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




The handsome rogue watches the whole exchange with curious eyes. As the woman emerges in the outfit of a student, he recalls something in the back of his mind about the temple that he heard when he first came through this area. And then the odd band absconds with the poor smoke-infested lady. On the one hand, Sun Hai really had no interest in small-town problems and politics. On the other, finding out what was going on at the temple that had Big Feet Zu so scared might create an opportunity for profit. So he gathers his sword from where he'd left it, winks goodbye to the cute waitress, then follows the mysterious group at a slight distance - close enough to keep them in sight, but far enough to keep plausible deniability in case the guards stopped them. This was a bit of a risk, after all.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.




The group reaches the East Alleyway without further trouble, but it's clear the town is working itself into an uproar behind them. This is an older part of Yunhezhenhu, its streets narrower and in some places unpaved, its buildings paradoxically taller but huddled together, their rooms smaller. More of them are ramshackle structures with their roofs thatched rather than tiled. The inhabitants give you a wider berth, but more open stares.

When Xianli and Li set the woman down, she finally begins to stir. After a moment, her eyes snap open and she stares at all of you for a moment. Then she gives a small shriek of surprise and fear and scoots back until she hits the wall behind her. "Who are you? Where am I?" She looks wildly around then suddenly tries to get to her feet. "I have to warn the others!" She doesn't have her strength though, and can barely stand even with the wall to support her.

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


Effort 1 Committed 1 | AC 3 | HP 6/8 | Inf 2 Dom 0 Wth0
Fu leans against the wall, trying to catch his breath. He pats his robe for a moment before producing a grubby gourd. Sniffing its contents, he grimaces before drinking it anyways. “Well Miss Fei, if you were smart enough to acquire a sympathetic token from one of your fellow idiots I can contact them from here. Are you going to surprise me by saying that you in fact took basic safety precautions? If not, tell us where the others are so we can warn them ourselves.” He straightens up and move's into Fei's personal space.

"And to answer your question, I am Fu Qian, Master of the Eightfold Schools. My associates and I are the only thing standing between your soul and The Night, so please cooperate."

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





"What in the eightfold hells is the Night?" mutters Xianli. "Whatever. The more important thing to note is we have very little time. Where are your associates?"

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.




Fei Lan stares at Fu Qian like he's grown a second head, which is probably something he's used to. "The Night? I don't - how do you know my name?"

She shakes her head to try and shake off her confusion. "I have to warn my friends! The ones the Magistrate is sending to Real Man Xiao! He did this to me! He- I can't remember, it's all so hazy. But he's doing something terrible, and if I don't warn them they'll die. Or worse!"

Rent-a-Bot
Oct 20, 2012

FOOL! DOCTOR DOOM DOES AS HE PLEASES!




Not feeling he can add anything to this interrogation session, Yun stands back and let's Fu take the lead. Hearing about this Real Man Xiao, Yun focuses his senses onto Fei Lan, trying to place a scent onto the traces of smoke on her. Agarwood and ash with a hint of rot. Pleasant bouquet for what is sure to be a pleasant fellow. Yun plays with the handle of his sword absentmindedly.

Committing effort for the rest of the scene into The Unveiled Truth to ask the GM "What does Real Man Xiao smell like?"
Gorbash:
uhm
probably incense
agarwood probably
agarwood and ash
over a bit of a smell of rot

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





"The magistrate is sending people to some mystic? Why would sh-" Bai Xianli pauses for a moment. "There must be some advantage for her politically in this. We need to find out who this Real Man Xiao is, and probably stop him before this gets any worse. The magistrate being involved means that this must be cruel, incompetent, and powerful."

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

Aynur

Aynur loops her thumbs through her gun belt. "As long as you do not get yourself killed, please."

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009





Xianli pauses for a moment. "I could just leave."

Then she sighs. "No, I need to see this through. I like that noodle shop."

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




The ex-pirate had casually been listening around the corner, while keeping an eye out for guards where necessary. As the story reached his ears, though, gears began spinnning in his head. Magistrate sending people to this Xiao fellow, the gathering of students in the square during lunch with the magistrate's proclamation...and Big Feet Zu's acquaintances stressing the importance of avoiding the temple on business at all cost.

"Sounds to me," he says casually, coming around the corner, "you'll be wanting to look into the students at the temple." He takes another quick look down the street, before closing in. "While you folks were busy gambling and drinking, back in the noodle shop, you might've noticed that the magistrate was congratulating some students on their decision to go to the temple. The name 'Real Man Xiao' got dropped, too." He flashes everyone a brilliant smile - especially the distraught young girl. "What an exciting adventure! I can't wait to see how that turns out for you. Probably at the end of a tight rope, if I had to bet. Magistrates are touchy like that, when it comes to prying into their private business."

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PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?

Fun Shoe


Effort 1 Committed 1 | AC 3 | HP 6/8 | Inf 2 Dom 0 Wth0

Fu’s noncommittal grunt is his only acknowledgement that Fei and her friends were not the idiots that created the dark mantra. At the stranger’s entrance he just snorts. “How kind of you to join us Master Wu. This Xiao is unknown to me, but given his lack of skill I am not surprised. And if you’re frightened of this magistrate, feel free to let me handle her. Once you’ve had the Steel Empress express her displeasure with you, back-country officials cause less concern.”

Fu bends over Fei with a grunt and plants a talisman on her heart chakra and mutters a quick chant. “This will purge any lesser magics this Xiao may have placed on you. Purely precautionary, Miss. Wouldn’t want to be surprised by a mesmerize spell, would we?”

Straightening up, he indicates the rest with a swing of his staff. “Well, shall we?”


Using Curse-eater magic to dispel low magic effects on Fei. Mostly for flavor/paranoia

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