Shen Zhou Twilight

Heaven Burns, Hell Awakes - Session 3

Burning spirit is the order of the day! Die in a fire, or burn the injustice?

Opening Monologue

After a week of breaktime, none this week! DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Game Recap

  • The party begins on the outskirts of an Iron Citadel, which Studious Zhao figures out that it has been completely altered from six months prior when he last was here. They enter the town as night falls, the gates opening ominously to pour forth gold and crimson light.
    • The buildings and roadways have been completely reconstructed out of stone in a Western style (but nobody knows what Europe is in this game), and lava from below illuminates the streets! In the center of town lies an octagon formed of eight blazing iron pillars, where people are being sacrificed!
  • Familial Ties: Huojin and company encounter someone who appears to be the leader of the Hell Clan organization in this area. He is non-hostile; though, the party did see an innocent man driven into the blazing irons, where he was incinerated! What cruelty does is this man capable of?
    • Shocking news! Hell Clan is pursuing the Han Dynasty Seals, and making a bid for the Imperial Throne!
    • Huojin recognizes this person! He killed him before – so why is he here now? It is revealed that this person is responsible for the reconstruction of this town. He makes an offer to the party – fight in the arena, and he will surrender his life and deactivate the blazing iron pillars! Similarly, the deserted town will have its people released. What his true motives are remain unclear, but it is obvious that this is a dangerous man to come back from the dead, and one so mentally unstable poses a serious threat to the stability of the region!
  • A fight ensues! 18 Faction Rating 5 Hell Clan Halberdiers and 1 Hell Clan Lieutenant (Rank 5). He was unarmed, and wielded the Blizzard Fist and the Eagle’s Claw!
    • Fight location: an underground arena with iron platforms jutting out from the walls or hanging in suspension from the high ceiling, where if one falls to the floor, they will be engulfed in lava! There is no escape from this arena, save victory!
  • After the fight, Huojin unceremoniously decapitates the man who he had already killed once and throws him into the lava pits, where he burns and sinks beneath the surface of molten rock. So much for that plot thread!
  • Returning to the iron pillars, they have been deactivated! As Jing Hai announces the victory to the deserted and desolate stone streets of the town, a single girl runs up to collect the ashes of the dead man that the party had seen earlier. She cannot speak; only write her name as Emptiness An-xi, and only answer very briefly cursory questions by writing her reply.
  • The last thing that the girl writes when asked about the Hell Clan is a shakily written set of characters that read: THE BURNING BRAND. After writing out the characters, she clutches her head and curls into a ball on the ground. Studious Zhao can see that on the base of her neck and along her spinal column, fine needles were inserted at some point and removed – clear signs of medical experimentation!
    • Studious Zhao, upon looking at the writing on the paper that he had provided to An-xi, finds that the characters were written in such a way that, when read from another cardinal direction, say something different: “ALL UNDER HEAVEN HELL”, and “A PORTRAIT OF THE SOUTH”. What could this mean!?

End of session (total runtime 3hrs).

Current Elected Plot Threads

  • Story of the Self: A Shadow of Regret – Huojin’s old unit, the Burning Brand, is still alive!? These people who he had fought in Hell Clan for his freedom may still be around and stronger than ever, headed up by none other than his own father!
  • Story of the Forbidden Arts: The Weeping Crane – Studious Zhao has taken what they assume to be an orphaned girl, Emptiness An-xi, under his wing, that she may travel with them as they search for a doctor of great repute to heal her mute ways and trauma!
    • Story of Lost Texts: Qin Dyansty Secrets – There must be an explanation for how this town was transformed in such a way in what must have taken years to craft! Is it some kind of secret from a Lost Text?
  • Story of the Liberator: Han Dynasty Seals – Jing Hai seeks to liberate this town from the oppression of Hell Clan, and has succeeded – but how many lives have been lost? The Han Dynasty Seals must be recovered, and a true Emperor must rise to the throne to bring Hell Clan to bear!

Party Rewards

  • Everybody showed up and we started on time! +2 Destiny.
  • Everybody rockin the encounter in the lava pit! +2 Destiny.

Individual Rewards

  • Huojin nominated for a Force Deed. Granted! +2 Destiny.
  • Jing Hai makes an insane roll to chop the pillars up with a single tree branch, forming the words for a poem of his choosing (tbd for bonus points and possibly a Deed)! +1 Destiny.
  • Studious Zhao with the ending plot thread and new NPC introduction! +1 Destiny.

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