Ten Thousand Jade Petals B-Team: Season 1, Session 1 – An Auspicious Beginning

Dramatis Personae

  • An Rang (Played by Chris D): Genius doctor, decent artist, escaped fugitive. Tagline: “They’re still alive if they aren’t dead yet.”
  • Gushou Miren (played by Rory F.): Chains of lightning, drums like thunder, refreshing as a gentle rain, swift like the wind, bring on the Storm! Tagline: “My chain goes Snap, Crackle, Pop!”
  • Shen Feng (played by Christian G.): This white haired warrior’s calm hides the fury of a thousand winds. Tagline: “The ground is your pillow and the sky your blanket.”
  • Xhai Kiyun (Played by Calvin J): Stands head and shoulders over others. Solider, horseman, Swordmaster, merchant, leader, and he very tall. Tagline: “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt..”

Previously . . .

The tale of Ten Thousand Jade Petals begins with the group of four travelling during the 6th month of the year of 1012, the year of the Dragon, travelling from Sincheon towards the foothills of the country coming into a smaller farming village named Karajing. Searching for wanted posters or rumors floating around with Gushou going into a Taoist temple to fill people up on news and get information back while An Rang gets his normal disguise set up for town usage. Xhai and Shen Feng ends up heading into the local tea house where he schmoozes with the locals as An Rang sets up an impressive performance to attract customers.

They’re New In Town

An Rang, Gushou Miren, Shen Feng, Xhai Kiyun
Karajing Farming Town
Sixth Month 14th day, 1012 Zao Dynasty, 9th hour
Karajing, Tengzou Province

Folks seem to be staring upwards, quite visibly at Xhai, with the teahouse owner’s son being the bravest by climbing the bean pole giant and exclaiming at the man’s height asking if he’s a demon or giant while the teahouse owner is saying that Xhai can let the small child back down on the ground. Greeting the owner, he asks for a meal but owner wishes to see the money first. Providing it, they’re told it will take some time to make giving Shen Feng and Xhai some time to mingle with the others who are curious about the two while Shen Feng plays a flute.

An Rang has managed to entice multiple people to his wagon where they’re suffering from a small plague known as rice grinder where it feels like their lungs are full of rice. He quickly diagnoses them with the proper medication and then offers them some artistic drawings as a souvenir, trading them in exchange for food for his horses. After they disperse, An Rang heads into the teahouse.

In the temple, Gushou hears news of bandits hanging around a bridge that have killed several locals and he is warned away from heading there. Meeting back up with the other three at the teahouse, they sit down to one of the best pork bone soup meal which inspires An Rang to draw a portrait of it. Gushou shares the information with folks and then goes to entertain the locals while An Rang presents his artwork as thanks to the owner for the best meal that he’s had for ages. Gushou’s singing and drumming have attracted folks from outside while An Rang moves his cart back around the rear of the teahouse/innhouse trying to avoid the sudden downpour of rain.

In the middle of the night, Gushou wakes up to hearing several footsteps, but when he looks he sees nothing until he rolls over and finds a severed head in his bed causing him to stop breathing for a moment in a stunned moment. The head seems to chant to find its killers and then lets out a loud moan waking up the rest of the group in the room, hearing the word ghost and seeing a spectre has An Rang freaked out enough to get out of the room, pursued by ghost.

The head tells Xhai that Ye Huang killed them, it’s a Wutou Gui that is a decapitated ghost that wishes for vengeance while An Rang runs around outside the inn cursing at the headless body chasing him. They’re now up for the day, well most of them. An Rang is passed out in his own vomit in the middle of the road still screaming. The teahouse owner explains the ghost is his brother who was killed by the bandits and he was retired army. The ones that are still conscious and not covered with vomit promise the teahouse keeper that they will avenge his brother.

Finally awake back in the room that had the ghost inside, An Rang wanders into his wagon and starts to cleanse himself while the others try to convince him to join them in defeating the bandits with Xhai trying psychology on him only to get shut down as An Rang knows psychology as well.

Bandits on a Bridge

An Rang, Gushou Miren, Shen Feng, Xhai Kiyun
Purgatory
Sixth Month 14th day, 1012 Zao Dynasty, 14th hour
Karajing, Tengzou Province

They eventually manage to drag him along with his wagon and confront the bandits where they’re found on the bridge and a toll is demanded. An Rang’s attempt to draw them in closer is foiled when Xhai refuses and charges forwards into combat against multiple opponents armed with crossbows, decapitating the frontmost bandit while Shen and Gushou head forwards with An Rang throwing a shuriken as he moves closer.

The last line of crossbowmen are aiming at them while the first two lines fires at Xhai who blocks the bolts and then charges forwards into the first line of crossbowmen and slice through two more necks, decapitating another bandit while the other writhes in agony. Shen Feng runs forwards and grapples onto one of the bandits as An Rang leaps forwards with a Flying Leap and throws two spike shuriken into a major artery of a close bandit as the others are trying to flee.

Xhai keeps hold for a moment as Shen transfers into an armlock, crippling the man’s arm while Gushou moves forwards and strikes at one of the men with his chain whip, killing him while An Rang moves forwards along the bridge railing and throwing a large amount of shuriken into the line of bandits, sheering off the left arms of two bandits while Xhai rides up and lops off another neck like it was butter with a few men still trying to fire off arrows to hit Xhai who manages to dodge while one arrow strikes him dead center in the chest to only bounce off harmlessly.

Shen moves forwards, dragging the bandit behind him as Gushou leaps forwards and runs along the ledge forwards towards the grouping of the bandits as An Rang prescribes amputation for one of the bandit’s knees, planting a shuriken into it as he falls over in pain. Xhai charges forwards again and decapitates another bandit, blocking a bolt and parrying the crossbow of another bandit while Shen and Gushou dodge incoming bolts.

Shen takes the opportunity to throw a bandit into the one that just attacked him, knocking out one of them out. Gushou takes the opportunity to step forwards and whip two bandits while An Rang steps forwards and throws a shuriken into the foot of one of the disarmed bandits while Xhai’s attempt at intimidation results in a rather bad falsetto not impressing the bandits. Two more bolts head at Gushou who manages to dodge one while taking another bolt into the shin while the rest are trying to run away.

Shen’s attempt at a knee strike is parried by the bandit while Gushou changes his shenshou into a shortsword. An Rang steps forwards throwing a shuriken into one man’s skull, stunning him quite hard, and into another’s foot sheering off yet another. Xhai sheers through another neck while Gushou gets another bolt to the shin causing him to drop his shenshou.

Shen knee strikes the stunned bandit with a powerful blow obliterating a knee while Gushou retrieves his weapon and An Rang throws a shuriken into the leg of a man trying to run away. Xhai continues to slice his way through necks while Gushou gets shot at again.

Aftermath

Shen steps back and throws one of the footless bandits into another as Gushou carves into the last standing bandit, only managing to hit once but still carving into his chest through his heart. An Rang, looking over the battlefield, cries out that if they surrender now, they will be treated for appropriate compensation. They finally give up with An Rang treating all the wounds in exchange for appropriate compensation. The living brigands direct them to the site where the brother was killed, they haul the body and the living bandits back to town to face proper burial and justice. An Rang distributes the crossbows the bandits handed over for treatment to the villagers that seem competent while the bandits are placed somewhere secure to keep them until the magistrate visits. They stay in town for another day with An Rang staying out in his wagon instead, frightened in the middle of the night when someone moaning knocks on his door. It’s only a bandit that started bleeding from his leg again being escorted for treatment. Relieved, An Rang just treats the bandit, saving the bandit’s leg.

After Action Report (GM)

Ahhh, that new campaign smell. I ran the first session of my new campaign “Ten Thousand Jade Petals” tonight. It was fun. Like I always do with my first session I toss the PCs into a combat. Depending on how much combat I expect in the campaign I either do 2-3 or 1-2. This one is going to be three. Next session the PCs will have another combat (well, a potential one) this time a bit more difficult and then in session three there will be something VERY difficult. Why? Because it lets me calibrate the player characters against the setting. It also lets me shakedown the characters to make sure they have everything they need to survive combat. This is very important in modern day campaigns with firearms but downright crucial in fantasy/low-tech games.

The session itself was good with some light-hearted moments (An Rang – who has phasmophobia as a foible – being chased by ghosts), the town’s reaction to Xhai Kiyun, and when Shen Feng beat a motherf*cker with another motherf*cker. The PCs also did reasonably against an entrenched enemy with ranged weapons. They got in their and wuxia’d it up and I was really happy to see that. Xhai Kiyun has the highest combat skill in all three games of the campaign so far (he’s rocking a skill of 30 on horseback with his dao) and I was really happy when his player’s turn came around he said “-10 for Deceptive Attack” each time. That’s what you do with excess skill. Sure, you can hit valuable targets like the vitals (and he did going for the neck each time), but even a mook can dodge. When masters (and that’s what the player characters in Ten Thousand Jade Petals are) go at it they should absolutely be using Deceptive Attack, Feints, Beats, etc. to hammer down the defenses of their foes.

The combat took about 2 hours total (I had 4 PCs and 13 NPCs) and went pretty well with only Gushou Miren taking any damage (bad die rolls and the bad guys had repeating crossbows so reloading didn’t take long). Overall, the game was good and it was nice being back in the saddle again (so to speak).

Other Notes

Bonus report from Rory.

Soundtrack

“Joker and the Thief” by Wolfmother

“Black Betty” by Ram Jam

“Following The River” by The Rolling Stones

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