Big Trouble in DnD China

Episode 1
To China!

This weekend we had Scott join us from North Carolina via Skype. It went smoothly so we’ll continue to run with it. Scott joined the party as Searos the elven rogue.

I’ll go over the “important stuff” first then get to the story elements.

So the “important stuff” is first.

Phil, Cody, Hui, Scott and Courtney each gained 2,670 exp last session. This will put Hui and Scott at lvl 5. Try to have your characters leveled up for next session.

The lightning scepter found on the Kua-Toa priestess works as follows:

Simple Weapon (no proficiency required to use)
Counts as a magical weapon for overcoming resistances
1d6 damage
Bonus Effect: On a melee hit the scepter deals an additional 2d6 lightning damage to the target. The scepter can do this 3 times a day. After the third time it hits it will cease doing lightning damage until the next sunrise.

We’re retconning the Jiangshi transformations just a little. Stage 1 Jiangshi still have white fur. Stage 2 Jiangshi now have black fur. Stage 3 Jiangshi lose their fur and have black skin. This should help to identify the Stage 2 Jiangshi from the Stage 3 “jumping” Jiangshi more easily.

Ok now for what the party did story-wise:

Everyone got on a boat at the harbor of the city of Neverwinter. You all met Captain Jack, Cookie (who people assumed was the cook) and the rest of the no name red-shirt crew of the vessel Skylark.

On board the Skylark were two other passengers heading to China. Searos the elf(played by Scott) and Nina Glimmerdeep a young gnome woman who identified herself as a “Tinkermancer”. She said she makes clockwork devices mixed with arcane magic. The other gnomes in her college were none too impressed with her so she decided to set out on her own and explore the world.

The voyage was two weeks long. During the time Kai and Captain China attempted to teach Balrog, Audrey and Searos how to speak Chinese. The dice determined that Balrog and Audrey knew enough Chinese to hold a conversation and sound like young children and Searos learned enough Chinese to sound like someone with a learning disability.

The Skylark was attacked by a Sahuagin raiding party one week out near a mysterious island full of dozens of shipwrecked vessels of all sizes.The Sahuagin raid was thwarted but the leader, a Sahuagin Baron, escaped along with two of his men.

China is divided into 3 kingdoms. The White Lotus Kingdom, The Red Tiger Kingdom and The Kingdom of the Sun. Captain China, Kai and Gae are from The Red Tiger Kingdom.

The Skylark was approached by a customs vessel of the harbor patrol as it approached Jīhuì harbor. This is the capital city of the White Lotus Kingdom.The captain of the vessel was a human named Jean-Claude VanDamme. He was amicable, performed a routine inspection of the ship and hit on the female party members.

When the party stopped in port they found an inn and agreed to stay the night and set out in the morning. The inn patrons told them that a plague was taking its toll on the population and the government officials were keeping the extent of it quiet. In the early morning (around 2-3am) the party was awoken by the sounds of rioting in the streets. The city had been quarantined by the government and they were unable to exit.

The party rushed to the harbor to try and find the Skylark. They saw a mass of people gathered at the harbor as well as the city military. Anyone diving into the harbor to attempt to escape was being shot by longbows. The Skylark was seen drifting away from the harbor. Captain Jack was bloodied and lying on the deck next to a sobbing Nina. Cookie and the crew of the Skylark were engaged in combat with panicked citizens who boarded the ship as it tried to flee.

As the party set to return to the inn Searos was approached by a shady individual named Genesis Drake. He told Searos that he could manage for the party to leave the city but they would need to do as he said and pay a fee so Genesis could bribe the appropriate guards.

They agreed and met Genesis’ contact at the harbor near the city clinic. A middle aged goblin named Gobag greeted them and offered to take them out of town on his “boat”. Gobag ferries the dead bodies from the plague out of town on his small raft. The party got on board the raft, hid under the tarp and pretended to be dead.

They made it safely out of town and were deposited at the cemetery near a large open grave where the plague bodies were being tossed. Gobag made a comment that some bodies were missing and upon investigating the party noticed that things were being drug out of the pit and towards one of the mausoleums.

The party setup a trap, defeated the Kua-Toa and Jiangshi stealing bodies and followed their tracks back to a large underground crypt. Inside they found frightened souls, crypt guardians and an undead Bone Naga with Kua-Toa leadership creating Jiangshi in bulk. The party defeated the Bone Naga and the Kua-Toa through teamwork and finished off the remaining Jiangshi. They were able to save 2 of the 8 captured townspeople who said they came from a nearby village.

That’s where we’ll pickup next session, slated for the 23rd

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Episode 2
Kua-Toa Nursery

The party returned to the village near the cemetery to discover it under attack by Jiangshi.

The Jiangshi were in the presence of another bone-naga. During the encounter they met a Taoist monk with a strange type of magic and a monkey as a pet.

The monk and the party proceeded back to the cemetery crypt to investigate further and were told they could seek the assistance of the cemetery guardian the Caleb-Dur (Bob) should they have need of him.

A trail was found leading away from the cemetery and into the nearby woods. Upon investigation the party uncovered a cave being guarded by two Kua-Toa.

Upon entering the cave they stumbled across a Kua-Toa staging ground complete with what appeared to be hatcheries. A ritual was underway to open some type of portal but the party was able to disrupt it before it could be fully opened.

At the back of the nursery complex was a captured and beaten Guardian Naga named Bai Su Zhen. The party was able to free her and learned that her offspring were being killed and resurrected as the Bone-Naga they had been encountering. Due to her unconscious and weakened state she is unsure just how many Bone-Naga may have been created.

This is where the party will pickup when we meet next session.

Phil, Cody, Scott, Nick and Hui, Award yourselves 2,900 exp for completing this session.

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Episode 3
Homecoming

The party escorted Bai Su Zhen to the crypt with “Mr. Cheng” (Cheng Liu) and “Bob”. There she will regain her strength and try to remain out of sight.

The party left the crypt and made their way to Meigui Gu (Valley Rose), the hometown of Captain China and Kai Lee. The party learned Captain China’s real name is Bruce. Upon arriving Captain China was knocked unconscious by his mother and later, at a dinner feast, knocked unconscious by his father. Details are sketchy but they do seem relieved to have him home.

After the feast Captain China had an attempt made on his life by an invisible stalker in his bedroom. Searos was able to contact the underground thieves guild and learn that it appears the Black Hand has a contract placed on Captain China for his life.

Captain China and Kai’s father has come down with the plague and is currently confined to his bed chambers.

The party sought out the monks of Gae’s monastery for more answers about what was going on in China. Along the way they passed into the sacred grove of Inari. There they met Zhenxiang and Kikku. Kai learned that she had a fox for a mother, the sister of zhenxiang. Kikku informed the party that a strange structure had appeared in the grove. Upon investigation the party discovered it was a facility for creating bone-naga. They destroyed the facility and learned that the demi-god Inari was missing and had not been in contact with the foxes of the grove for quite some time.

The party left the grove with Kikku joining the party. They arrived at the Lianhua Si monastery and met the childhood rival of Gae Ju Nu Pem and his teacher Pen Mai San. The party learned Gae’s real name is Kim. The party stayed the night at the monastery and early the next morning learned that a force of Jiangshi and Kua-Toa were marching towards the gates. The party fought alongside the monastery monks and were able to repel the attackers.

A Ba made its appearance at the end of the battle and the master engaged it in melee combat. Despite warnings from the master, Kim and Ju attacked the Ba and sustained significant injuries from its necrotic aura. The Ba was defeated and the skies over the monastery began to clear. This is where we will pickup the next session.

*Balrog, Adria, Searos, Kai, Kim and Captain China all earned 3,000exp for this session

Kai, Kim and Captain China earned an additional 400exp for the encounter with the Invisible Stalker.*

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Episode 4
"It's mah boat."

The revelation of the undead threat has caused the militant order of monks to accept the rest of the party’s story about the strange happenings throughout China. As the dust settled after the encounter with the Ba other delegates from the various factions of China arrived at the monastery.

Long Fong arrived with two pupils from the Taoist order of monks. Truth arrived from the Inari grove foxes. Long Fong greeted the wise masters of the militant order and expressed concern over the current situation. China is far from unified and the monks are the only group that they know of which has encountered the forces of the Kua-Toa and survived. The kingdoms need to be warned.

Truth expressed continued concern over the disappearance of Inari. She said the foxes will help the resistance against the Kua-Toa but they would like to regain contact with Inari to get guidance on how to proceed.

A new darkness was gathering far in the distance towards the lands of the Kingdom of the Sun. Master Pen suggested the party seek out other individuals that could help them stem the tide against this new threat. The Ba are too powerful for the average person to hope to overcome. She was barely able to survive the encounter with the one at the monastery gates. She told the party they should seek out a man named Yasuo who she feels may be able to do battle with a Ba. He’s the only person she has ever known that she respected as an equal.

The party traveled to find Yasuo in the Kingdom of the Sun. Upon reaching his hilltop village they found him and his students defending themselves against a horde of white and black Jiangshi. The Jiangshi were supported by a mysterious human female with a large scythe.

The party engaged the Jiangshi and the woman but she escaped through some method they were unable to see. The woman demonstrated the power to resurrect fallen Jiangshi.

Yasuo agreed to aid the party and decided the best course of action would be to attack the darkness in the mountains before it could make the first move against them. The party recommended they avoid a direct confrontation at this time and described the Ba’s power. Yasuo insisted he would take his men and go alone if the party was unwilling to go now.

After some pleading Yasuo agreed to call in a favor and enlist the help of The Thunder Chief . Yasuo approached the domain of The Thunder Chief and convinced him to assist them in attacking the darkness.

The Thunder Chief, his 10 best men, Yasuo, Diagoro and Ogami proceeded with the party into the mountains. They came upon the ceremony which was leeching some type of essence from Inari into a dormant Ba. The party devised a plan to rescue Inari and defeat the Jiangshi at the ceremony site.

They did not count on the mysterious woman with the scythe being at the ceremony. The woman was defeated and slain by The Thunder Chief. She cried opened a portal with her scythe and cried out the word “Hadar!” into it before being slain. A few moments later a monstrous worm-like entity descended out of the portal, almost crushing the Thunder Chief. The worm also showed the ability to resurrect Jiangshi.

The group defeated the Jiangshi and the monstrous worm only to have the Ba awaken. Yasuo prepared himself for a powerful strike against the Ba. His attack was impressive but it proved insufficient to destroy the Ba.

The Ba ‘fox blinked’ on top of Yasuo, destroyed his sword, and roared at him and Ogami. The roar knocked Yasuo off the alter and onto the ground. Ogami died instantly.

As things seemed hopeless a voice called out to Adria from somewhere. She heard Jim telling her to ‘look up’. Unnoticed in the dark sky and chaos, a floating ship was descending on the party. On the deck of this ship was Nina and Captain Jack. Nina tossed a metallic sphere at Adria’s feet and told her to “throw the bomb”.

Adria rolled a natural 20 and threw the bomb directly in the mouth of the Ba’s fox aura. A moment later the bomb detonated and destroyed the altar and surrounding terrain. The party made it’s escape up ropes lowered by Nina and the crew from the airship.

Upon climbing on deck the party was greeted by Gobag. When queried about what was going on and how any of this was possible Gobag interjected that “It’s mah boat.” and we’ll pick up next session with this state of events.

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Episode 5
"I see dead people."

In the weeks since Balrog, Kai and Adria departed in search of Yasuo the remaining party members trained at the monastery.

Kim prepared with the master for the annual martial arts tournament. She taught him to call upon his inner strength and provide his body with a burst of minor rejuvenation once per day.

Captain China was taught how to cast the “See Dead” cantrip from Master Long.

Searos furthered his contacts within the thieves guild and met the Black Hand defector, Ayami.

Balrog’s brother arrived in China. Word of Hadar’s minions operating in China reached the ears of his temple elders and they dispatched him to learn what he could.

Upon the re-uniting of the party, the decision was made to set out for the fighting tournament. Kim’s childhood rival,Ju, joined the party to compete in the tournament.

The party advanced through the initial stages of the tournament, only losing Balrog’s brother in round 1. The reigning chamption “The Oni” faced off against Ju and almost killed him if not for the interference of Kim.

Kim and Balrog faced each other in the semi-final with Kim emerging victorious. Kim and the party gathered together and pooled all of their inspiration to empower and motivate Kim in his final match. He faced “The Oni” in one on one combat. Kim emerged victorious after a vicious battle and was awarded a visitation with the Jade Emperor to request a favor.

Upon arriving he was greeted by a young woman named Xiannu. She explained she was the daughter of the Jade Emperor and that he was missing. She had been watching over the heavens in his absence but she was woefully underpowered to do so.

The party requested a way to reach the rabbit on the moon to seek a cure for the plague affecting the land. She agreed and transformed into a giant white dragon, her natural form. The party climbed on her back and traveled to the moon.

Once they reached their destination they entered the castle of Chang’e and the Jade Rabbit. The rabbit was convinced to provide a cure for the plague to the party despite the absence of the Jade Emperor.

Upon their return trip back to the tournament grounds the party was ambushed by Black Hand agents in the company of Captain China’s former teacher, Master Goku. After a fierce battle the master was forced to flee and the agents all slain. As we leave the party a badly sounded Xiannu is spiraling down towards the surface.

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Episode 6
The Gods Must Be Crazy

The party landed safely on the training grounds but the princess was gravely wounded. She reverted to her human form and took refuge inside the oracle chamber.

The combatants and tournament organizers gathered outside of the chamber and learned of the story regarding her current situation. Kim told those gathered that the princess was the actual Jade Emperor and that they would lock her inside the chamber to naturally heal since their healing magics had little effect on her.

Leaving the princess secure in the chamber, the party proceeded back to the Kingdom of the Thunder Chief to meet with his ‘alien’ blacksmith. The alien turned out to be an orphaned dwarf. With dwarves not being native to China he and the rest of the Thirty Thieves had no idea what he was.

The blacksmith agreed to assist the party in their quest to craft a sword capable of harnessing Yasuo’s inner light. The thieves guild network informed Searos that they had narrowed down the location of the necessary ore to a cavern in the White Lotus Kingom.

On the way to the White Lotus Kingdom the party stopped by the hometown of Captain China to deliver the cure for the plague and heal his parents. They arrived too late to save his father however.

Captain China and the party visited the mage tower of his teacher and Balrog and Djerik had an encounter with one of their deity. They learned that the celestials they worship are actually refugees from the realm of Hadar himself. They fled eons ago when he rose to power and defeated all who opposed him. Having found the material plane, they founded a church of followers to promote their benevolent ideals and hope to marshal a force to resist Hadar if he should ever locate them again.

From the hometown of Captain China the party proceeded to the White Lotus Kingdom and dropped off a detachment of Militant and Spiritual monks to assist the Port of Opportunity in the encroaching Jiangshi/Kua Toa invasion that the thieves network warned the party about earlier. It appears the Kua Toa have marshaled an army and are moving in full force and out in the open finally.

The party located the cavern with the magical ore. Inside they found a nesting ground of wormlike creatures. The party destroyed the central nest that resided inside the chamber with the ore. This causes the mother creature to erupt from the wall of the cavern and chase the party back to the entrance. Upon exiting the cavern the party decided to turn and fight the creature. They were victorious and boarded the airship just moments before being overwhelmed by the legion of young worm creatures pouring out of the cavern.

We’ll pick up there next session.

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Episode 7
Parting the Veil

The party returned to the monastery and pondered their next move. Information delivered to Searos from the thieves network indicated that a large army of Jiangshi and Kua-Toa were gathering north of the port of Opportunity. Indications were that a Baa was with the army.

The party learned of the real nature of the Baa. They were not simply undead killing machines. The Baa we constructed to serve as compasses to locate the descendants of the Yellow Emperor. The offspring who could harness the ‘light’ of the country. The first two scion turned out to be Master Pen and Yasuo but the 3rd scion remained a mystery and it was indicated that he or she was in the Port of Opportunity somewhere.

The party narrowed down their choices to two options:

1)Reinforce the city and confront the army approaching Opportunity.

2)Investigate the area in northern China that the celestials of the Silver Flame could not peer into.

They opted to investigate the mysterious area in Northern China. Kiku and Master Pen went to Opportunity to search for the 3rd scion of the Yellow Emperor.

The journey north ended at a large chasm surrounded by high mountain walls. At the top of the walls the party was able to peer down and see the figure of a dragon trapped on an altar by a strange energy field being generated by two crystals atop pillars on either side.

The altar was guarded by flying Jiangshi, some Kua-Toa and a mysterious human figure in all black platemail with a red cape. A battle ensued in which Captain Jack assisted the party. The dragon was freed, the Jiangshi and Kua-Toa defeated by the mysterious figure escaped through a portal to Hadar’s realm.

The dragon turned out to be the Jade Emperor himself. He explained he came to investigate this strange area when he sensed Hadar’s presence. Upon arriving he was trapped by a power that seemed to come from the Yellow Emperor. The only problem was the Yellow Emperor had been dead thousands of years ago. None of this made sense to him but the party returned him to the airship and set off for the monastery to discuss their next move.

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Episode 8
"You're saying Captain China is WHAT now?!"

The Jade Emperor had many revelations for the party. He was weakened by the powers given to the Yellow Emperor eons ago. The implications of that are unknown. The Baa are compasses seeking out the last of the Scions of the Yellow Emperor. Two are known but the third remained hidden.

Also, Captain China gave the current events in his life some consideration. Ninja were trying to kill him, repeatedly. His master was trying to kill him. The spirits of the afterlife were hoping he’d die horribly. He had a feeling he was missing something…

The party returned to the monastery with the Jade Emperor. They witnessed the completion of Yasuo’s blade. Kim’s master was in the port of Opportunity searching for the 3rd Scion with Kiku. The army of Hadar was quickly approaching.

With little time to spare, Captain China requested the party visit this home town, he needed to speak with someone. Captain China sought out the ghost of his father. Captain China’s father revealed to him that Master Fong had been called to help him during his childhood.

Captain China revealed to the party that he seems to be some type of focus for the spirit world. The spirits of the afterlife are able to perceive the world more clearly when they are near him and almost make themselves tangible. Master Fong told Captain China that he and the other Taoist monks are able to perform a ritual that would allow Captain China to manifest the spirits of the afterlife back into the physical world. It’s a risky undertaking however and could result in his death.

With this knowledge, the party set out for Opportunity to locate the final Scion and rescue him from the forces of Hadar. They arrived at the city, located the final Scion and safely extracted him from the besieged town. Now the party departs on their airship to regroup at the monastery with the allies they’ve gathered for the final confrontation with the forces of Hadar.

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Episode 9

With the Queen’s death the Jade Emperor and his daughter awaken along with the Scions. The Jade Emperor focuses on Captain China and the Taoist monks. With him attending them Captain China is no longer required to make Constitution checks to continue the ritual and is able to summon his maximum (12) spirits a turn.

With Captain China’s spirit army full summoned and the awakened Scions you are able to take the fight to the forces of the Kua-Toa and Jiangshi. The courtyard is stabilized and slowly the Jiangshi are pushed back. Each member of the party leads a group of spirit warriors and fox monks down the 6 major causeways of Opportunity meeting again at the main gates.

Jean Claude Van Damme, from the back of the princess, in dragon form, is able to rouse the remaining captured citizens and beleaguered troops to join you. Together you all push outside the city, through the main gates, and capture the enemy army between your forces and the remaining forces of the Red Tiger and Rising Sun kingdoms.

The Kua-Toa are routed and some manage to escape in the ensuing chaos. The Jiangshi fight to the death and are eventually destroyed. The Kua-Toa have returned to China but for now they are broken and fleeing to the wild north once again, their Jiangshi army and the manner to create them in any large number destroyed.

China’s kingdoms have been brought together as a unified force for the first time in a millennium. Where the nation goes from here is anyone’s guess but it’s a promising start.

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