- Jian Wu aka Two (played by Christian G.): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Jiao Ting aka Eight (Played by Chris D): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Liang Jing Min aka Five (Played by Randy H.): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Nongmin Chushi aka Seven (played by Rory F.): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Sheng Yi aka One (Played by Calvin J): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Zhiyu Zhige aka Nine (NPC): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- He Bohai aka Eleven (NPC): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- He Donghai aka Twelve (NPC): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Ko Lenfan aka Four (NPC): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Laoshu aka Mouse aka Three (NPC): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Meiyou Ren aka Six (NPC): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
- Rang Baozhai aka Ten (NPC): TBA. Tagline: TBA.
Previously . . .
It’s been three years and everyone has been training hard with unarmed styles, some armed styles, some basic meditation and breath control, and at least one has trained in a strange unarmed style. He Qing ended up being transferred to another team as Rang alerted an elder that she was afraid for her life. Teams were rearranged and the Tiger Creche gained Ko Lanfen, a dedicated student of martial arts. Zhiyu has grown closer to Mouse, gifting the small stabby child her tinctures that tempers the body while Ting has done the same with Rang, recognizing that they need her intelligence.
Jian Wu, the son of a blacksmith, has made some items for his creche-mates, including a rather nice bow for Sheng Yi and a good amount of arrow from the antlers of the deer that Sheng had managed to kill.
The group has been sent to pick up supplies from outside the valley, at a small village. It’s quite a sign of trust that they’re being allowed outside the valley. They’re expected to be outside for at least eight days and are given the average twelve days of rations. Jing Min manages to request a spear while Nongmin gets a fishing pole and staff while Zhiyu requests additional rations and gets an additional healer’s kit in with the supplies. Nongmin takes charge of the wagon they’re using to pick up supplies.
There’s not much around for the first day and they eventually stop for the night and set up camp, despite Ting’s horrible attempts to help which is thankfully balanced out by everyone else pointing out that he’s a fool and not to listen to him. Sheng Yi sets up a watch and sometime in the middle of the night, there’s the sound of bells jingling. With Nongmin being the one on watch, he tries to figure out what the bells are from and determines it’s from a khakkkara staff coming down the road. Nongmin alerts Zhiyu who decides to sneak towards the person from different directions.
A Chance Encounter on the Road
Jian Wu, Jiao Ting, Liang Jing Min, Nongmin Chushi, Sheng Yi, and Zhiyu Zhige
In the Wilderness
Ninth Month 12th day, 1001 Zao Dynasty
They see an old woman dressed in faded jade green robes. They’ve never seen the woman before and it’s still on the Order grounds. When Nongmin steps out and greets her, she stares at him for a moment and then, after speaking his full name, asks him to take her to their camp which he acquiesces to with Zhiyu’s help. Back in camp, something sets off Jing Min’s weirdness sensor and he wakes up before they get back to find their camp to have no one on watch and several others waking up.
She arrives at the camp and sits before the campfire and sniffs at the soup inside the pot that Nongmin has made for dinner. Nongmin tries to ask her name and says that she can be referred to as Ma’am. She says that they’re going to be marching to their deaths and she’s not happy about that since she spent so much effort on them. Nongmin and a few of the rest identify her as the moon spirit, a rather powerful spirit. Nongmin gets the urge to try to feel her aura while Zhiyu moves to prevent him from doing something stupid.
Ma’am alerts them that there’s bandits at the end of the valley where the village is. That they’re horning in on the year’s harvest and taking people from the village. There’s more than the children and they’re better armed. She calls forwards Ren and Zhiyu who starts an argument with her when she disobeys the powerful spirit. Dragged forwards, Ma’am ties red strings around the ankles of Ren and Zhiyu and then severs the string with a pair of silver sheers, it disappears.
With Zhiyu arguing even more, she’s handed a mooncake to shut her up. Mouse and Jian Wu undergoes a similar arrangement and is given a mooncake to split with Mouse and is given a disappointing look when Jian Wu hands Mouse the entire thing. Ma’am then drags everyone before her and throws bones where Zhiyu keeps a close watch on how the fortune-telling occurs. And while Ma’am doesn’t inform them what their fortunes are, she also gives a raised eyebrow at Zhiyu to not tell them either. Zhiyu argues back that she doesn’t care about if they know, she only cares about knowing them so she can protect the others. This impresses the spirit enough that she throws her bag of bones at Zhiyu.
It’s fairly obvious to all that she’s rather disappointed in everyone and dislikes being there and when she takes a bowl of the soup she complains that there’s too much garlic which crushes Nongmin slightly but he makes note of it. Afterwards Ma’am speaks with Sheng Yi and tells them to go into town normally and keep an eye out for archers. The leader is ex-Order that never completed their training before running away and is a dangerous opponent. Jing Min comments to Ren that he thought that Ma’am liked them. Everyone is given a single silver coin, a rather old design even though it seems to look brand new. She tells them that if they survive what’s coming, then to throw the coin into any pool of water and Ma’am will grant them one favour. With Zhiyu’s constant arguments about what is needed, Ma’am tells her that she’s trouble and that Zhiyu’s sister was right. Not knowing what they’re talking about, Zhiyu questions Mouse and Mouse denies that anything has happened and narrows her eyes at the moon spirit as though she’s a good target for stabbing. Before leaving, she chastises Nongmin for being entirely too friendly and Zhiyu for being far too willing to stand up to her and gets bopped on the head by Ma’am staff as she leaves with a threat to see them in two years.
Zhiyu and Nongmin get into bringing strangers back to the camp while he argues that she was nice and kind. Ting, meanwhile, just shoves the coin he was given into the bottom of his pack and heads towards his bedroll while the rest seem to want to discuss how to turn the ambush around. They discuss camouflage, stealth, teamsters and what to do. Their tactics require that they need to scope out the town and figure out where the best vantage point would be for foes with bows. Jing Min suggests making a shield for protection against arrows but they have no tools which complicates matters. They end up with nothing major decided and go back to sleep so they can break camp after dawn and head for town.
The Village of Wind’s Pearl
Jian Wu, Jiao Ting, Liang Jing Min, Nongmin Chushi, Sheng Yi, and Zhiyu Zhige
Ninth Month 14th day, 1001 Zao Dynasty
They find a rather large amount of people awaiting them and several of them trying to scout out the location with Mouse sneaking in and scouting out people. There’s exactly twenty-five bandits that are heavily armed and armored, they know where the people with bows are and who the leader is. There’re several villagers there being reprimanded for having a low harvest. There’s two bandits dragging a screaming woman into a house to the north of the village. Zhiyu tries to shield Mouse from seeing the event to the best of her abilities.
They split up with Mouse, Zhiyu, and Ren heading north towards the screaming woman. The He twins are moving around the back of a house along with Jian Wu. Rang is on the wagon with Nongmin behind Sheng Yi, Ting, Jing Min, and Lanfen moving forwards. The He Twins climb over the top of the roof to ready pouncing onto opponents with Jian Wu moving around the side.
The group moves in for a surprise attack. Ren going for one of the bowmen and decapitating him. Jing Min moves in, stabbing the closest bandit with his spear in the torso. He Bohai drops from the roof onto a bowman with neck snap, breaking it completely beneath his feet. Zhiyu runs forwards and jumps over a fence to strike a bandit in the jaw with a pressure point strike. The bandit leader lets out a rallying cry while Mouse moves ahead and stabs into one of the bowman. Sheng Yi lets loose an arrow that misses its target while Ting charges into one of the bandits and nearly knocks himself down instead. Lenfen strikes at the same bandit that Jing Min struck but the blow is dodged thanks to the bandit leader’s rallying cry. He Donghai jumps down on the bowman below him and breaks the bandit’s neck. Jian Wu’s swing of his massive sword takes out one of the bandits with a decapitating blow while the second manages to get out of his way. Rang, still on the wagon, takes a defensive posture while Nongmin abandons the wagon and moves off the wagon.
The surprise over, Ren moves over a hedge into a group of opponents to take out the bowman, dealing major damage to their neck. Jing Min slips past the melee between the bandit and Lenfen to stab another bandit in the back twice. He Bohai springs from the body he landed on and charges across the square. Zhiyu grapples her bandit and throws him into a barrel, injuring his leg. The bandit leader leaps towards He Bohai and strikes him in the arm while Mouse stabs the bowman in the vitals to no visible effect. Sheng Yi draws and nocks an arrow while Ting clinches with the bandit and then knees him in the groin. Lenfen strikes the bandit twice in the head, killing him. He Donghai charges forwards and strikes into another bowman that dodges. Jian Wu attacks the bandit again and cleaves through the man’s neck and causing a fountain of blood. Now it’s the bandit’s turn, surrounding there are three blows that put him into danger, taking a few of them on the chest as the rest of the bandits move in. Jian Wu gets attacked, but in parrying the spear, he continues through the now broken weapon and kills the bandit getting the highest kill count so far.
Ren, surrounded, performs a greater whirlwind attack, striking five of them down. Jing Min steps back and stabs at a bandit’s belly, missing by inches. He Bohai turns around and grapples the bandit leader by the throat. Zhiyu casts a foxfire on one of the bandits that manages to dodge by falling out of the window. He Bohai manages to resist the bandit leader’s attempt to break the grapple of his neck. Mouse does some fancy work and stab into the bowman’s vitals again who finally dies. Sheng Yi, with a nocked arrow, moves forwards and lets loose into a bandit’s vitals, killing him. Ting gets kneedy and does a double blow to his grappled opponent’s groin dealing major damage, both physically and psychologically. He Donghai strikes one of the bandits with a punch while Lenfen moves up. Jian Wu misses his blow against a bandit’s neck when he dodges. Mouse manages to dodges an arrow from a bowman while the one that dodged out of the room stands up while the bandit’s attention is now turned to Zhiyu. More bandits surround Ren while a bowman misses Jian Wu. Another strikes at Jing Min who manages to dodge out of the way. Another bowman fires at Lanfen who parries the arrow. Jian Wu strikes through another bandit’s attack and kills him. The grappled bandit struggles against Ting to no avail while a spear charge to Ting’s rear results in the bandit’s grasp on his spear being loosed. Nongmin, with an opponent close, strikes a bandit in the torso with his staff.
Ren moves past his opponents, cutting down two with blows to the neck. Jing Min strikes again to a bandit’s vitals, getting a good blow and killing him. He Bohai continues to choke out the bandit leader. Zhiyu’s firefox comes around and burns the bandit with his pants around his ankle and then kicks at him in the groin. The bandit leader manages to break free of Bohai’s grapple. Mouse strikes again at a bandit’s vitals, killing them. Sheng Yi quick draws another arrow and nocks it. Ting continues his crusade against the bandit’s groin with his knee. Lanfen attacks a bandit successfully with a punch while He Donghai misses his blow when the bandit dodges out of the way. Jian Wu deals a neck strike at the bandit that Donghai was attacking. Bandits come after Zhiyu from the doorway from the man that jumped out the window and gotten thrown into the barrel manage to grapple her. Jian Wu breaks through another weapon and dies to his wide sword as Donghai dodges a blow. Lanfen gets attacked in her shoulder while Nongmin moves to attack a bandit, managing to kill him.
Ren moving forwards, strikes at the bandits that have Zhiyu grappled and beheads them. Jing Min moves forwards and stabs at the bandit leader from his rear, striking him in the vitals and causing him to pass out from the combination of the choke hold and the pain. He Donghai misses with a punch while the bandit dodging Zhiyu’s fire but gets grappled in return. Mouse moves south, losing her balance on a small bridge and falling into water. Sheng Yi moves forwards to get a better aim while Ting continues to kneebag the bandit’s junk. Who knows what the heck the NPCs do due to lack of description. Jian Wu misses as he charges forwards at the final bowman. The pantsless bandit punches Zhiyu in the chest as the one behind her attempts to initiate a choke hold. The bowman manages to hit Jian Wu in the knee while the grappled bandit fights desperately. Chushi charges forwards and smacks a bandit.
Ren cuts off the neck of the man grappling Zhiyu and strikes down the other. Jing Min moves to watch Ting kneebagging the man he has grappled. Zhiyu moves outside to try to foxfire the bandits outside but misses. Mouse drags herself out of the water crying out that she’s ok. Sheng Yi gets the bowman in the vitals. Ting finally manages to cause enough damage to the bandit to kill him with a blow to torso. Lanfen takes revenge and kills the bandit that stabbed her in the should. He Donghai moves for the bowman and misses with his charge. Jian Wu moves north towards the remaining bandits. Who knows what the bandits do. Chushi moves forwards and strikes at the remaining bowman, but it doesn’t get past his armor.
Ren moves to kill the bandits surrounding Zhiyu, but they manage to dodge. Jing Min moves past the remaining bowman and towards the north alongside He Bohai. Zhiyu manages to burn one of the bandits, catching him on fire and killing him. Mouse stabs a bandit in the vitals from behind, killing him. Sheng Yi nocks and arrow and keeps an arrow on the leader while Ting slams the life out of the final bowman
After Action Report (GM)
Another fine game where I introduced the PCs to some of the elements of the campaign setting. The village was just a blank spot on the map, but I’ll have to change that now. I’m thinking it sits right outside the Green Seer’s forest at the end of the Valley of Shadows. The combat against a bunch of foes (it was 2.5 to 1) was also fairly brutal. But not BADLY so. The PCs took some hits, but the fact they were aware of the ambush and got a surprise round off really helped (as it always does in GURPS). I need to get more RP in for the PCs who are looking for teachers, but I wanted to do a bandit hunt since the beginning and right now their power level is where it’s just about perfect.
Bonus report here.