[Exalted-China] Story Three: Episode One: Beauty of Yunnan, Beast of Dachanghe

Lev Lafayette lev at rpgreview.net
Sun Feb 3 10:50:01 AEDT 2019

Story Three: Episode One: Beauty of Yunnan, Beast of Dachanghe

Scene One: Planning a  Brief Visit

Once again the four heroes, with their mortal companion, the diplomat
GǔnShí, and four-goat square zun, Sì Yáng Fāng Zūn. To re-unite China they
must recover the Sanghata Sutra which can be found in Khotan. But the path
to Khotan is through dangerous lands frought with demons, barbarians, and
worse.  In order to succeed the scrolls also refer to artefacts located in
the Invisible Fortress in the Shilin Stone Forest; the Merchants cloak for
diplomacy, the Eyes of the Dog for navigation, and the Golden Soldiers for

>From the court of Ma Yin, the travellers wents south, some ten days by
foot, their load helped by their sturdy horse Cǎonímǎ, who is fond of
grass and mud. As they travelled closer to Dali City the strange pull on
their essence increased even to the point that Shí Rén, the stone man,
could feel it. GǔnShí, the diplomat, made no suggestion of this, but the
goats of Sì Yáng Fāng Zūn, did.

There was increasing traffic along the roads, with rumous abound of great
treasures. At the gates they were stopped by several guards and questioned
by a mountain of a man who introduced himself as Wǔyuè, who wanted to know
the business of the travellers. "Just travellers", said Qian Die Zhi,
unconvincingly, as four-bodied bronze goat in the shape a table walked
alongside him.

Within the city Hěnānjìng commented that the place seemed overcrowded and
that there was an abnormal number of barbarians present. The others
concurred; the city was very different to what the were used to. Their
Buddhism was peculiar, following the diamond vehicle path, and their
buildings and sculpting should influence from holy India. Indeed there
were traders there who claimed to have come from this mythic place, and
offered many interesting herbs for sale, of which Hěn purchased a small

Prices were heavily inflated because of the overwhelming number of people,
so Qian sought out a local Buddhist temple for a place to stay with Hěn
offering his healing services. A great commotion drew Qian's attention to
a surging crowd; a temple guard informed him that Longwei of the ruling
Zheng family offered a free meal to all in the city who lacked enough
money themselves. The Zheng family had recently come to power having
engaged in a bloody coup that ended the Nanzhao kngdom.

Scene Two: Curious Questions and Healings

Being short of coin, Qian made his way to the service tents, where by his
quick calculation there would be around two thousand people being fed in
such a manner. Receiving a nutritious meal, he was asked about his visit
to the city, and whether or not he had felt an urge to come here.
Deceptively answering in the negative, Qian observed that another
individual answered in the affirmative, and he took it upon himself to
find out where this person was staying, noticing also that a young boy had
been sent by the food servers to follow him, eventually to some simple

Meanwhile Hěn healing skills were called for for a person who had suffered
a great spear wound, and was too pained to visit the temple itself. On
visiting the unfortunate victim, they said the they were blessed by the
sun, and had felt an urge to head to The Invisible Fortress for First Age
artifacts. Unfortunately they were set upon by demons who demanded either
one of their number as food, or an outrageous sum of money. Refusin both,
the demons attacked the party, and the Solar only just managed to escape,
returning to the city. As Hěn applied his healing magics, both Hěn Liko
the dawn Solar considered it  unusual that the demons would want money.

The following day, early in the morning, Qian made his way to the house
where the other man with the strange pull from the food tents was located.
Alas, he was not there, and nor was most of the building. A large crowd
had covered around, and by asking those present, the individual in
question appeared to have been murdered in the night. It must have been an
extraordinary and magical battle given the destruction.

Scene Three: A Trap is Set

It seems to the exalted that someone is trying to put an end to the
sun-blessed, as there are too many coincidences not to be a correlation.
Putting a plan together, Qian returns to the daily meal at the food tents,
answers in the affirmative and takes the advice to stay in Chunhua's
restaurant homestay, which is paid for by Hěn, naturally enough. The
building is strong with a courtyard, although questioning Chunhua leads to
no further information being revealed. They know the city, and the lands
around, and they have been here for the entirety of  their life. "Normally
it is such a boring city", she mockingly complains.

A watch is set and preparations made. As expected, in the night a group of
three individuals, black clad, two women and a man, come into the
courtyard at night, one carrying a great sword, another a mighty kama, and
the third with bow....

Hěn for story three, episode one = 5
Qian for story three, episode one = 5
Xiǎo for story three, episode one = 0 (not present)
Shí for story three, episode one = 1

Lev Lafayette, BA (Hons), GradCertTerAdEd (Murdoch), GradCertPM, MBA (Tech
Mngmnt) (Chifley)
mobile:  0432 255 208
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