Born to Revengeance

Session 2015-08-19
The Traitor Monk: Part I

Three for Breakfast

It is the morning after the Dragon Boat Festival, in Brick’s small room in Chunking Mansions. Julie Li is there, wearing one of Brick’s T-shirts—a Rush concert shirt—brushing her shoulder-length black hair til it is straight and shiny.

There is a knock on the door. Akiko stands, dripping in a puddle in front of the door. She is wearing a pretty yellow Summer dress with flowers on it, but she is soaking wet. Her hair is bedraggled and her makeup has run.

In her hands she holds a bag which is steaming hot and smells delicious—it is from a local bakery in the neighborhood.

Akiko tells Brick she woke up early thinking of how brave you were at the Dragon Boat Festival and she wanted to make you a big breakfast. Her room is small though and doesn’t have a kitchen so she went out this morning to the bakery and got caught in a surprise rain on the way back.

Akiko shivers a bit as she holds out the bag of food and coffee for Brick to take. From inside, Julie Li peers out at her and watches to see what Brick does.

Julie gets dressed and slips out the door, almost bumping into Akiko. She gives Brick a big, demonstrative kiss and leaves.

Akiko comes in Brick’s apartment and asks him if he’s ever experienced that feeling of first love.

Guiding Hand in the Netherworld

Later, the heroes head into the Netherworld to seek information from the Guiding Hand at their Temple of Boundless Meditation.

Exorcist Monk Madam Ko guides them part of the way to the Temple through the Netherworld’s tunnels. Along the way she gives them advice about the Guiding Hand:

  • You have to give them face!
  • They’re very proud and strict.
  • Treat them with respect, kowtow and don’t make jokes.
  • Only then might they grant your request for information.
  • Oh, and you might have to fight them.

“You know what martial artists are like, they think everything can be settled by having a punching contest.”

Thunder King

Madam Ko shushes the heroes as they encounter Huan Ken, King of the Thunder Pagoda, and his massive retinue of soldiers.

She explains he is one of the Four Monarchs of the Netherworld, not to be trifled with. The heroes watch as he throws a disloyal minion into a Pop-Up Juncture which closes behind him, trapping the poor soldier somewhere random in time.

The Jungle

They reach an area which has been shaped into a dense, thick jungle. Barely any light passes through it and it echoes with the calls of wild animals. Madam Ko says they should find the Temple on the other side bids them good luck!

She also advises they move carefully through this jungle so as not to disturb its residents.

The heroes sneak carefully and pass through the jungle undisturbed.

The Guiding Hand

The heroes reach the Temple of Boundless Meditation, an area of the Netherworld which has been shaped into a place of meditation and kung fu practice in the style of the Shaolin Temple.

Bald Chinese monks in simple tan canvas tunics are using straw brooms to sweep up outside the temple. They drop their brooms and adopt kung fu stances when the heroes when they approach.

They say nobody’s allowed to enter here without belonging to the Guiding Hand. This is a holy place!

Fletcher greets the monks and uses his knowledge of Chinese Philosophy and culture to convince them to allow the heroes to make a request of the Abbot of this temple.

The monk leads them into the front hall of the Temple, where calligraphied sutras adorn the walls and sculptures and paintings show monks training in kung fu. They pass through into the practice courtyard. Rows of weapons stand along the edges as dozens of monks perform kung fu exercises in unison.

They meet Shi Yongchan, an Abbot in red and yellow robes, with a long moustache, inside the temple.

Abbot Shi says to earn access to the Guiding Hand’s Temple, they must face the Guiding Hand’s 18 Diagram Buddha formation.

18 Diagram Buddha Formation

When he says this, 18 monks in bright red uniforms leap up into a formation. Each monk has a weapon which is a large brass ring on a long robe. In their formation they have the ropes wrapped around their bodies. As soon as they start to fight, they’ll unwrap the rope and fling the weapon.

18 lower-level monks in tan uniforms form up in front of the 18-Diagram Buddha Formation.

The heroes fight the 18 Diagram Buddha Formation successfully and with honor, earning the Abbot’s respect.

The Traitor Monk

A Guiding Hand acolyte tells the heroes that Master Gan Nuwang disappeared around 2 years ago, and the monks haven’t heard from him since.

Around the same time as Master Gan’s disappearance, another monk named Li Shuang betrayed the Guiding Hand and stole a powerful kung fu manual which includes their secret amnesia pressure point technique.

The Guiding Hand believe this can’t be a coincidence, but the reasons are unclear. Master Gan could be dead, he could have been kidnapped, he could be working together with Li Shuang.

There have been reports from the Past Juncture of a drunken monk carousing and getting into fights. The most recent stories are from Jizhou, in northern China. This would be the heroes’ best lead.

Bandit Attack

The heroes travel through a portal from the Netherworld to the Past Juncture.

They’re on the road travelling toward Jizhou when they’re jumped by bandits. They fight the bandits when a dashing young martial artist wielding a large white fan interrupts and helps the heroes to beat the bandits.

He introduces himself as White Fan and says he has business with Li Shuang. The heroes tell him what they’ve heard and together they travel to Jizhou.

Teahouse Heroes

At a teahouse in Jizhou they learn that a couple of months ago a rowdy monk was drinking and eating meat and causing trouble. He would say “Meat and wine don’t matter if Buddha is in your heart!”

He fought with three local masters—the waiter points out that the 3 Masters are at a nearby table.

Brick tries to talk to the three burly martial arts masters but they get him drunk on powerful wine and he accidentally insults them. A fight breaks out, with the heroes and White Fan beating the three masters.

The Three Masters give the heroes face and tell them that this monk used pressure point kung fu to immobilize one of them, requiring an acupuncturist to cure him. The monk bragged about leaving town with his entourage of young fighters, saying he was heading toward Raoyang.

The heroes failed their third Advancement roll, giving them a +1 to the target on their next roll.

Sites Attuned: 1
Sites Burned: 0
Advancements: 1
Failed Advancement Rolls: 3
+1 to next Advancement roll target

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Session 2015-08-12
Dragon Boat Rumble

Aftermath

The situation since the Community Centre:

The Norman Road Community Centre was burned to the ground. In the debris were discovered several bodies, identified mainly through dental records.

Natalie Chan

Natalie Chan, administrator. Died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The news indicates that triad warfare is suspected.

Employees and Volunteers

6 Community Centre employees and 4 volunteers. Best indications are that all died of either smoke inhalation or from burning alive. 1 body was found in the gym, 1 body in the lobby, and the remainder were found tied up in the break room.

Eyebrows Chang

Sgt. Eyebrows Chang sees the heroes in hospital. He asks them what they know about the Norman Road Massacre.

If they tell him it was Ugly Shing, he’s furious about it. Shing is powerful and connected. The cops don’t have enough hard evidence to bring him in for questioning, much less to arrest him.

Gordon Chan

Natalie Chan had a husband, Gordon, and a daughter, Siu-Ming. Gordon Chan meets the heroes in hospital. Natalie told Gordon about the help the heroes had given her and thanks them for it.

Toto

Toto is on life support in the hospital. She was badly wounded by a sword in the battle.

She is in a medically-induced coma until she can be stabilized. Her condition is critical.

Dragon Boat Festival

Several weeks have passed, Fletcher has recovered and the Dragon Boat Festival is coming up.

The heroes have to fight off some low-level street triads looking to move up on their way to the Dragon Boat Festival. Brick is wounded but Fletcher helps patch him up.

The heroes meet their friends at the Dragon Boat Festival:

  • Brick meets Julie Li
  • Fletcher meets Geomancer Xiahou Yan
  • Mitsu meets Akiko
  • Agent 47 goes solo

Festival

The event is festive and the heroes play carnival games. Fletcher wins a big stuffed dragon from a shooting gallery.

Mitsu wins a big stuffed dragon for Akiko. Akiko buys a love charm which she gives to Brick as a necklace.

Akiko and Julie Li have Brick in a tough spot as they vie for his attention.

Chickens and Frogs

Chaos erupts as a bunch of loose chickens start flapping around in the street. The owners of a nearby food cart insist they brought only eggs, not chickens.

Some frogs are discovered hopping around near a tadpole-pond.

The Painting of the Eye

The VIP who is painting the eye of the dragon boat is the Chief Administrator of the hospital where Natalie Chan works.

As he paints the eye he starts to writhe around and, before everyone’s eyes, he transforms into a large Chinese dragon!

The Dragon

The dragon seems pained and weak, diving immediately under the water.

The heroes fight off more random animal occurrences as Fletcher makes a connection with the Dragon, trying to convince him they can help him.

A man transforms into a Bear and Mitsu and Brick wrestle it into submission.

Brick calls Couch Potato and gets a message from Madam Ko—if you see a Transformed Dragon, kill it!

Eventually it becomes clear that the Dragon may be in pain but it can’t transform on its own. The heroes fight the Dragon and Agent 47 ends its misery with a shot to the eye.

Mop-Up

The heroes discover an old magician selling charms who claims he didn’t know anything about there being Transformed Dragons or Bears here. He was just performing some simple spells as a trick, to make baby animals grow up into adult animals.

Eyebrows Chang takes the Magician into custody and thanks the heroes.

Advancements

The heroes fail their second Advancement roll.

Sites Attuned: 1
Sites Burned: 0
Advancements: 1
Failed Advancement Rolls: 2

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Session 2015-08-05
Community Centre on Fire

The heroes attempt to attune to the Norman Road Community Centre, a minor feng shui site in Hong Kong run by Chief Administrator Natalie Chan.

The Community Centre is infiltrated during the night by ninjas, who kill some of the young staff and drug Brick and Fletcher with poison darts.

The heroes meet a little girl named Toto who is an orphan living on the street. She sneaks into the Community Centre sometimes, where Natalie Chan gives her food.

Eventually the lights go out. It becomes clear that Natalie Chan is missing and ninjas attack the heroes, doing their best to protect Toto. Toto is wounded by a ninja’s blade.

Fletcher wakes up and discovers that a bunch of gangsters led by Ugly Shing himself have entered the building.

A massive fights ensues in which Fletcher takes the brunt of the weapons fire from all the gangsters. Shing has Natalie Chan hostage and calls for the heroes to come out.

Natalie is badly wounded and in the ensuing chaos the heroes are unable to prevent Ugly Shing from emptying his machine gun into her body, killing her.

The ninjas deliver Toto to Ugly Shing as a hostage. He forces the heroes to kneel to him and tosses her body out, allowing the heroes to barely escape with their lives as Shing destroys the Community Centre.

The demoralized heroes fail their first Advancement roll.

Sites Attuned: 1
Sites Burned: 0
Advancements: 1
Failed Advancement Rolls: 1

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Session 2015-07-29
Fight For The Mine Part II

Final Fight

The final fight consists of spending time with the machine as it processes iron ore into steel, while under assault by Elias Conroy and his entire crew.

The Chinese geomancer turns out to be an actual Sorcerer!

Fix the Converter

The Converter device was broken in the chase and repaired, so it breaks down during the fight and Agent 47 is able to use his mechanical skills to get it working.

Help the Miners

The Sorcerer Cao Zhang collapsed the opening of the mine. A couple of men are trapped in the rubble and will need help being freed. More men are trapped inside the cave but their air won’t start to run out until after the fight.

Mitsu successfully saves most of the miners from being trapped by slicing up the collapsed rubble.

Cao Zhang

Lotus Sorcerer Cao Zhang at first spends his shots doing damage to the structures. He’s trying to prevent the Converter from working and he’s trying to wound or injure the miners working on it.

Enemies

Brand Larson is back. So is Diablo, he’s perched somewhere out of sight, sniping with his rifle.

Many of Elias Conroy’s roughnecks are riding throughout the camp, firing on the heroes and the miners and trying to destroy the converter.

Showdown

Agent 47 calls out Elias Conroy and the two of them face off in the midst of the chaos. They have an intense staredown and Agent 47 draws first, seriously wounding Elias, who falls to the ground, unconscious.

Walton Conroy

Walton Conroy sends some men around the mountain with dynamite to try to blow up the mountainside.

At this point Cao Zhang resists, because the feng shui of this site is strong and he doesn’t want to ruin that.

Fletcher

Fletcher is almost-mortally wounded but he makes continued appeals to Cao Zhang that they don’t want to fight him. Cao Zhang eventually relents when he sees what a dope Walton is and Fletcher and the heroes clearly have more honor.

Cao Zhang kills Walton Conroy.

He tells the heroes they may meet again, but perhaps not on such friendly terms.

A new site

The converter is working, producing steel from the mine’s iron!

Stanley Manly’s invention is proven and his workers are enthusiastic about continuing to develop the mine.

The heroes attuned to the Manly Mine, a minor feng shui site, making this their first attunement and granting them their first Advancement.

Mop-Up

They return to the Contemporary Juncture, where they learn that Manly’s family went on to become prosperous and wealthy. Ed Masterson never became involved in the Chi War and he lives happily at home, chief foreman of the mine.

Brick Manly became embroiled in the Chi War when investigating the suspicious characters offering to buy the mine. He’s estranged from his wealthy family because of his rambunctious adventures.

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Session 2015-07-22
Fight For The Mine Part I

Mission Briefing

Couch Potato tells the heroes he’s found a possible way they might be able to keep the steel mill out of Ugly Shing’s hands without destroying it—going back in time before it was built!

The Conroy Steel Company was founded after the Civil War by Walton Conroy. Walton was the son of Elias Conroy, who had developed a process to make purer steel from iron ore. Elias Conroy was killed in a duel with a red-headed man in 1850.

The Steel Mill itself was built in Hidalgo, New Mexico a few years before that. The iron mine outside of Hidalgo wasn’t officially claimed until 1852—if you went through a portal into the Past Juncture, the mine is still free and open land, not to mention a fledgling feng shui site.

Elias Conroy had a reputation as a strong, powerful businessman. He also was interested in exotic mysticism and consulted with a Chinese geomancer to run his business.

His son, Walton, wasn’t nearly as bright as his father. Walton was a drunk, and eventually he sold the company after the Civil War because he didn’t think steel was going to catch on.

If Elias Conroy had lived, his son wouldn’t have run his company into the ground and it would be in a much stronger position and they wouldn’t have needed to sell the business to Ugly Shing’s gang.

Find Elias Conroy and make sure he doesn’t die in that gunfight.

Into the Netherworld

Couch Potato gives them directions to a portal to the Past Juncture which comes out in the New Mexico Territories. They’ll need to find their way to Hidalgo from there.

Act I

  • Hidalgo
  • Stanley Manly
  • The Manly Homestead
  • Visit from Elias Conroy

Hidalgo

The heroes come out of the portal in a cave in the New Mexico Territories. The land is mostly rolling hills and flat prairies, with green scrub and red, jagged outcroppings of rock.

They walk for most of a day and find the town of Hidalgo. It’s a small frontier town:

  • Sheriff’s Office
  • Rose’s Hotel & General Store
  • Telegraph office
  • Stable

Stanley Manly

The heroes find the town of Hidalgo and trade in some of Agent 47’s silver for local money. They head to Rose’s Hotel and General Store and have a drink.

Agent 47 plays a game of cards with some miners at the bar. They tell him they’re doing some work at a local iron mine but they haven’t been getting paid regularly and they’re thinking of quitting.

Brick asks Rose, the bartender, if she knows anything about the local iron mine. She starts to point to a redheaded man sitting down the bar from him and says he should ask—

The front doors of the saloon open and a voice calls out “Manly!”

A handful of lowlifes led by roughneck Brand Larson approach the red-head and tell him they’re here to take him to see Conroy. Manly doesn’t want to go, but the lowlifes take him by the arms and start to lead him out the door.

Brick attempts to get Manly out of the way without a fight, but his diplomacy goes unheeded and Brand Larson punches him in the jaw. In the ensuing fight Agent 47 is tossed over the bar and Fletcher puts several arrows into Brand Larson’s legs. Mitsu knocks out lowlifes with his sword in its scabbard.

Brick and the remaining lowlifes cheese it and the heroes let them go.

The Manly Homestead

Stanley suggests that they should all leave. He’s got a horse cart in town and he takes the heroes back to his homestead. A few working men are moving about the workshop, going in and out.

  • 3-bedroom house
  • big barn/workshop
  • small well

They meet his family:

  • Ana, his wife
  • Daniel (6 months old)
  • Stanley Jr (5 years old)
  • Rosalba (his mother-in-law)
  • Carlos (his brother-in-law)

Stanley Manly is an inventor, but he is shy and has little self-respect. He has a wife named Ana and two young sons, Daniel (6 months) and Stanley Jr (5 years). Ana’s wife is a beautiful young Mexican woman who loves him.

Stanley has ideas for a process of producing steel by removing impurities with air blown through molten iron. He’s got a prototype of the converter needed to do this, but he doesn’t have much money. His prototype is massive, it looks like this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bessemer_5180.JPG

Bessemer_5180.JPG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessemer_process

Stanley has been attempting to get the local iron mine into a profitable state, which he is sure he can do if he can just get this Converter up and running.

Stanley’s got a homestead and a workshop where he does some blacksmithing for the town and also makes inventions. His wife’s family live with them, including her mother Rosalba and her brother Carlos, who works with Stanley in the workshop.

Stanley lives with his family in the New Mexico Territory in 1850, in the frontier town of Hidalgo. The population of Hidalgo consists mostly of Mexican and American farmers and settlers. There is a small population of Chinese in the town as well.

Hidalgo is threatened by a bigshot rancher named Elias Conroy who is trying to expand his territory and wants to buy Stanley Manly’s land as well as his rights to the Converter.

Fixing the Converter

Agent 47 and Mitsu share their knowledge of mechanics and metallurgy with Stanley and together they work through the night to finish the Converter device and prepare it for its test run at the mine.

Visit from Elias Conroy

Elias Conroy and a few of his men stop by Stanley Manly’s homestead.

With them is Conroy’s Chinese geomancer, Cao Zhang. Conroy calls him “Jimmy”.

Conroy just wants to have a friendly chat and convince Manly that Conroy should be the one to control the rights to his mine and that Manly should sell him the rights to his converter.

Stanley refuses and Conroy’s men tromp away.

Convoy to the Mine

Stanley Manly has completed his Manly Converter and he has hired a few men to do some work at the nearby iron deposits, where they’ve dug a small mine.

He just needs to get the Converter to the mine.

They have it connected to a cart with six horses and they have to take it a couple of miles from the homestead to the mine. Along the way they’re assaulted by Conroy’s men who are trying to steal or wreck the device.

There are a dozen men on horses with rifles and pistols attacking the cart, including Mexican brawler Enrique the Fist and Apache sharpshooter Diablo.

Stanley, Carlos and the heroes are riding a horse cart, pulled by 6 horses, with the massive Converter device harnessed to the back. Brick is riding alongside on a horse.

During the chase, both Enrique and Diablo are badly wounded but Carlos, driving the cart, takes a gunshot wound and drops the horses’ reins.

Mitsu does somersault leaps over the heads of Stanley and Carlos, bouncing off the horses, grabs the reins and tosses them to Brick, riding alongside.

The terrain is rocky and although the pursuers are badly wounded, they manage to drive the cart over some rocks, toppling it to the ground and cracking the Converter device.

Brick Manly fashions a rope into a lariat and tosses it over Enrique’s head, pulling him from his horse and breaking his neck.

The badly-wounded Diablo and the 2 remaining roughnecks on horses decide to cheese it and ride off.

Stanley is distraught but Brick calms him down. Together the heroes fix the wagon wheel and get the Converter to the iron mine.

Starting the Machine

Again the heroes work through the night to patch the damage done to the Converter when it was broken. In the morning they set it up and start it working. It will need to run for a couple of hours to produce as much steel as older processes could make in a week.

After the machine is started, Stanley tells the heroes he feels very confident about the situation—when they see massive dust clouds on the horizon.

Elias Conroy and dozens of men on horseback stand on the horizon, with Cao Zhang the geomancer as well.

Conroy tells them they’ve had their chance. “Jimmy, light ’em up!” he says.

Cao Zhang raises his hands and fires enormous glowing bursts of energy at the mine, collapsing the entrance and trapping several men in the rubble.

He’s not just a geomancer, but a Sorcerer as well!

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Session 2015-07-15
Netherworld Ghost Story

Brick and Julie Li

Brick was sliced up pretty badly by Indonesian silat master Arif at Gold Star Studios.

Pretty nurse Julie Li looked horrified when she saw the extent of Brick’s injuries but she patched him up and tended to him till he got better. Her English is improving, with Brick’s coaching, and Brick is teaching her slang terms like “colder than a witch’s tit”.

Julie Li tells Brick her English class has its final next month and she’d love it if he could go with her for moral support.

Gordon Chu

Couch Potato finds a report that the body of Gordon Chu, their contact who let them into the Gold Star Music Studios, was discovered in his Mongkok apartment, apparently a victim of a home invasion and robbery.

Magdalena

Couch Potato shows the heroes a video posted to YouTube called “alien reptoids EXPOSED Magdalena freakout COVER UP”

It features news footage of Magdalena being interviewed leaving a hotel, sometime after the events at Gold Star Studios.

Rose Yang is nearby, wearing dark glasses, and walking with a limp, possibly with a bruise on her face. Arif, the silat master and Claudine and Sophie, the identical twins, are also part of the group.

Already in a surly mood, when Magdalena is caught off-guard she kinda growls at the reporter, and the video camera experiences what looks like a glitch where her face changes briefly into what could either be artifacts of garbled video editing or strange reptilian features.

Magdalena hurries into her limousine with her entourage and drives away. The voice on the video proclaims this clear evidence of Magdalena transforming into a shape-shifting alien reptoid, and then rants for another 40 minutes about ethics in videogame journalism.

The Thing

Couch Potato has the device recovered from Gold Star Studios open in his workshop (incidentally, you can’t put your fingers on it but the layout of the Dragons HQ seems subtly different than you remember. You’re not sure there was room in this workshop for this extra table before.)

He tells you it’s definitely encoding several layers of subliminal signals into the music. There’s the surface layer, a repeated sequence of numbers which seems based on a sophisticated mathematical formula. Underneath there are strange garbled sounds which don’t seem to make any sense.

The music encoded with these signals implants code into your brain with repeated listens. Couch Potato believes the code can be activated by a transmitted signal somehow.

This explains why the maniacs weren’t running around crazy all the time, but they seemed to start and stop their rampages.

He also thinks there may be magic encoded into the signal as well. It’s possible the transmission may be magical in nature.

Couch Potato is working on a way to triangulate the location of the transmitter.

Ed Masterson and the Steel Mill

Ed Masterson tells Brick:

  • I’ll be all healed up in a week or two
  • I want to go back to the US
  • Clear my name
  • and burn that mill so these GHIDORA bastards don’t get that power!

Akiko and Mitsu

Akiko has taken Mitsu to remote mountains in China to train.

Fletcher Truls and Master Gan Nuwang

Fletcher’s master, Gan Nuwang, is a member of the Guiding Hand, an ancient order of martial artists dating back to the Shaolin Temple. They are notoriously strict in their Confucian values. Master Gan was also sympathetic to the Dragons, having worked together with the Prof and Kar Fai on a number of occasions.

Into the Netherworld

Meet Madam Ko at Ying’s

Couch Potato sends the heroes into the Netherworld to meet Madam Ko, an exorcist monk who can help them reach IKTV, the Inner Kingdom Television station.

Columbia and Laurel Towson, the sisters who run Inner Kingdom TV, have their fingers on the pulse in the Netherworld. They might be willing to share some information about some of the Dragons’ ongoing investigations—

  • Kuna Hisashi, Mitsu’s nemesis
  • Gan Nuwang, Fletcher’s master
  • The Prof and Kar Fai, members of the Dragons missing in action

Couch Potato has a contact in the Netherworld named Madam Ko, a Taoist monk who will help guide the heroes to IKTV. They’re to meet at a restaurant called Ying’s. Couch Potato gives them directions to Ying’s.

Hard Drive for IKTV

Couch Potato gives the heroes a hard drive filled with important, valuable data that they’ll be able to trade to Columbia and Laurel Towson at IKTV. The Towson sisters are notoriously stingy about trades but if the heroes can get this hard drive to them, they should be suitably impressed and willing to help.

The Dragons’ Guardian

When they pass through the portal into the Netherworld, they’re confronted by an oversized, snarling creature, about 4 feet at the shoulder and 6 feet long.

It is a giant corgi named Ein, called “Einie” by Couch Potato.

This is the guardian of the portal leading to the Dragons’ HQ. It protects their portal from members of other factions or Netherworld wanders from just letting themselves in.

At first it’s aggressive, but when Couch Potato greets it, the beast calms down and is friendly to the heroes.

The creature stays by the portal as the heroes venture into the Netherworld.

Traveling the Netherworld

The heroes travel through the strange portals of the Netherworld for what seems like most of the day. They’re tired, hungry and thirsty.

Most of the tunnels they travel through are standard Netherworld—cave-like but infused with a strange glow from everywhere. Moist and damp.

Sometimes they pass through areas which seem like they looked different at one point but have since faded—

  • strange face-like sculptures on the walls, barely visible
  • columns or doors which are vanishing into the rock
  • moss and trees in larger chambers

Ying’s Restaurant

They reach Ying’s Restaurant, an ancient Chinese tea house bustling with activity. People from all different time periods are eating and having conversations here:

  • Japanese men in suits
  • bald monks in robes
  • a couple of guys with cyborg arms or hands
  • many Chinese people in ancient robes

The heroes are hungry and thirsty so Brick orders some chicken and water, Fletcher and Agent 47 order noodles and tea.

Ying

In the restaurant the heroes see an elegant Chinese woman in lush silken robes of brilliant colors. Her hair is piled high on her head with an ornate jade hairpin in the shape of a key, and her skin is flawless, like porcelain. She’s truly one of the most beautiful creatures the heroes have ever seen.

Something’s Not Right

Someone spills some tea on the ground, and in the reflection Brick Manly sees the people in the restaurant have grey, disfigured skin and a ghastly pallor. Out of the corner of his eye he notices the noodles in a bowl seem to be squirming about—they’re maggots!

As he’s looking down they see one of the servers catches his eye in the reflection on the stone floor and fixes him with an evil stare.

Zombies!

As this happens, everyone in the restaurant starts to stare at them and begins creeping toward them—they’re being attacked!

Zombie Fight

The heroes battle the patrons and employees in the restaurant as well as its owner, Ying, and a couple of tougher Ghouls.

Eventually Brick smacks Ying to the ground and Fletcher’s arrows turn her into a pincushion—she’s defeated!

However she immediately rises from the floor and continues to fight!

The heroes find that the undead in this restaurant can’t be harmed by normal means. After they seem to have taken damage, the creatures all rise up and continue fighting as though unharmed.

Madam Ko

Midway through the fight, Madam Ko appears, bursting into the restaurant in a massive whirlwind of robes and arms and feet.

She’s got a big wooden backpack filled with magical paraphernalia, including a hexagonal Taoist mirror, a small metal bell, and brushes and yellow paper for spells. She carries a wooden sword in one hand and her bell in the other.

As the lands in the restaurant, she asks the heroes if any of them is a virgin. “I need some urine!”

If nobody steps up, she says “Fine, I have some I collected!” and draws a small vial from her backpack and throws it on the ground.

She quickly writes a small spell on a piece of yellow paper, stabs it onto the end of her sword, and stabs the ground where she smashed the vial.

Magic flows outward from that point and the glamour of the restaurant disappears—it is old, run-down, decaying, and the customers and wait staff are all rotting zombies!

Ying is still beautiful but her black hair is now solid white and her fingernails are long and grotesque.

Madam Ko tells the heroes she’s got spells that will help them fight!

On her subsequent shots, she takes 3-shot actions (no checks needed) to write a spell and get them onto either the heroes’ weapons.

Send More Zombies

More zombies appear and continue to swarm over the heroes. Eventually the restaurant’s balconies begin to collapse. The heroes use their magically-upgraded weapons to do real damage to Ying now, and she explodes in a ghostly fireball of anguish as she is destroyed.

The building’s second floor collapses onto Brick and Agent 47!

Brick pulls himself loose and takes the jade hairpin in the shape of a key from the scattered remains of Ying. Fletcher fastens it to an arrow and shoots it toward the door, unlocking it and magically unsealing the haunted restaurant.

The ghouls and zombies inside evaporate into grisly piles of viscera.

Mop-Up

When the heroes escape, Madam Ko greets them properly and tells them about Ying’s haunting of this restaurant. She used her magic to shape the Netherworld tunnels around it in a recreation of a restaurant from her time period, the Ancient juncture.

She tells the heroes that they’ve now earned the ability to shape the Netherworld, and gives them guidance on how to do it. Together they shape into existence some food and some drink, and they rest the night to recover from their wounds.

In the morning, Madam Ko guides the heroes to the IKTV building.

On the way to IKTV

With Madam Ko, the heroes travel through the Netherworld to IKTV.

IKTV

IKTV headquarters presently looks like a cable modem the size of a skyscraper, marred by bazooka fire. A surrounding fortified wall covered in super-hard rhenium dioride viewscreens shows a disorienting feed of adorable cat videos. Atop its parapets patrol fanatical so-called ickies, members of the Netherworld rabble sworn to protect IKTV net neutrality.

Columbia and Laurel Towson run IKTV.

They are sisters, fraternal twins, who bicker but get along and have many in-jokes which they laugh at together, at the expense of everyone else.

They’re skeptical about the hard drive but they plug it in and they’re happy to discover it is terabytes full of Korean drama torrents!

They’ll do some asking around see what they can find out about Kuna Hisashi, Gan Nuwang, and the Prof and Kar Fai.

They tell the heroes about the Temple of Boundless Meditation, the Guiding Hand’s enclave within the Netherworld, which is where they might find some clues about the fate of Gan Nuwang.

Pop-Up Juncture

They might encounter a tunnel leading off their path with a glowing portal at the end of it. Madam Ko pulls out a J-meter, a small device with an IKTV logo and a sticker of a cute kitten on it, and taps a few buttons on it.

The portal is a Pop-Up Juncture, going back to 1954, but it’s going to be open for about three more minutes. Enter into that portal and you’d be stuck back then forever!

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Session 2015-07-08
Musical Maniacs with Machetes

2015-07-08

Recuperating

Nurse Julie Li

Brick Manly was attended in hospital by Nurse Julie Li, a pretty young Hong Kong native. As he got better she asked him to help her study for the English class she is taking at night school.

Sgt Eyebrows Chang

As the heroes finish convalescing in the hospital, Sergeant Eyebrows Chang tells them that he’s grateful for all their help capturing the criminals who killed Rookie Lau and the other cops at the Museum.

He’s kept them out of the paperwork and he’s pulled some strings to make sure they won’t be implicated in any of what happened.

Sgt Chang knows there is some weird shit going on in Hong Kong these days. He tells them he owes them a favor, if they ever need one they can call on him.

Mitsu and Akiko

Akiko and Couch Potato have been doing research and tracking down leads to try and locate Kuna Hisashi, Mitsu’s nemesis. In the meantime Akiko and Mitsu have been training in the hills of the New Territories.

Brick and Ed Masterson

Ed Masterson is recovered from his injuries now, with a slight limp. He tells Brick:

“When I was looking into the takeover of the steel mill, I talked to a weird Chinese magician who called himself a geomancer. He gave me a list of feng shui sites that included the steel mill. Those GHIDORA bastards who kidnapped me were trying to get that list.

“What’s worse, since I’ve been here, Couch Potato has caught me up to speed on the whole Chi War business and what you Dragons are fighting against.

GHIDORA are involved in drugs, human trafficking, and racketeering all over the world. The more of these feng shui sites they control the more powerful they get. They’ve gotta be stopped.

“Couch Potato tells me that it’s possible to ‘burn’ a feng shui site. You can either fuck up its magic power through some kinda ritual, or you can just burn it to the ground… either way we need to burn that steel mill.”

New Blood

Fletcher is an archer whose teacher was a guardian of a feng shui site which was burned to the ground. His teacher is missing and Fletcher is looking for him. He has his own connections to Sgt Eyebrows Chang and to Couch Potato.

Couch Potato told the heroes about Fletcher and suggested they meet. He could be a potential recruit for the Dragons in their fight.

Chaos at the Tram Station

A meeting was set up between Fletcher, Brick and Agent 47 at the Victoria Peak Tram Station.

As Fletcher was waiting, he noticed an unusual grouping of garishly-dressed punks with earphones. The punks became manic and began attacking people with machetes, very much like the maniacs on motorcycles at the Art Museum several weeks earlier.

Brick and Agent 47 arrived as this was beginning, and together the 3 of them finished off the punks. A little girl who tried on the headphones screamed uncontrollably. Agent 47 took the headphones and the music player.

Musical Mayhem?

Couch Potato has determined that something in Magdalena’s music seems to be driving these people to violence. He’s discovered that she uses a special process in mastering her songs which is only done at Gold Star Studios in Hong Kong’s Central District. He’s made a contact at the studio, Gordon Chu, who will let the heroes in for a low price of HK$5,000.

To make this work, the heroes need to be a musical group. They decide on an identity as the Steel Mill Boys, with Agent 47 as their manager.

Behind the Music

They visit the studio in Agent 47’s Rolls Royce and meet Gordon Chu, who takes their money and leads them into the studio were Magdalena records her music.

In passing they meet Rose Yang, the owner of the studio. Agent 47 tries to bullshit her in French, but she sees through it. She gives them 5 minutes to leave.

The heroes locate The Thing, the device which processes the music, just as Rose Yang’s henchmen Arif and Samson head down the hall toward them, looking serious.

A fight ensues, in which Fletcher triggers the fire alarm, drenching the studio in water. During the course of the fight, Brick Manly attacks Samson with a xylophone, smashing the instrument to pieces. Arif the Indonesian silat master nearly kills Brick and Brick attacks him with a Les Paul guitar.

Rose Yang and a set of armed goons fire on the heroes and cause some collateral damage in the form of several sound engineers and two members of a Japanese girl group.

Agent 47 secures the Thing and gets it to the Rolls Royce. Fletcher elbows Rose Yang down the stairwell, where she falls 3 flights. Twin assassins Claudine and Sophie follow the heroes in a souped-up SUV.

A chase follows, in which Brick leaps the Rolls onto a freeway overpass and Sophie is thrown from the roof of their SUV. The heroes escape as Claudine turns back to rescue her sister.

They return to the Dragons HQ with the Thing, and Couch Potato sets to work studying it to see what he can find.

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Session 2015-07-01
Art Attack: Part II

Setting: HK Museum of Art

Brick, Mitsu and Agent 47 fought enemy spies Agent 23 and Agent 46, who were attempting to steal a sculpture called the Jade Dragon of Virtue.

They met Hong Kong Police Detective Sergeant “Eyebrows” Chang, Rookie Lau, and other members of Chang’s squad. Rookie Lau was killed and Sergeant Chang was badly wounded in the fight.

In the museum they fought machete-wielding maniacs on motorcycles, who were listening to Magdalena music on earphones.

Agent 46 was killed when Brick Manly put him on a motorcycle and crashed it into a helicopter on the roof of the museum. The helicopter exploded, fell off the roof, and exploded again.

Mitsu fought Mr Chalk, a big bruiser wearing spiked knuckles, and killed him in the antiquities section.

The heroes were being sniped by Emily Sato, but she had very little luck and many terrible shots. She survived and escaped the scene.

During the fight, after her helicopter was destroyed, Agent 23 demolished the Jade Dragon of Virtue sculpture as part of her attempt to escape. She was subdued by Mitsu and taken into custody by Sergeant Chang.

Sergeant Chang made friends with the heroes and invited them to join the interrogation of Agent 23.

Agent 23 and Agent 47 had a conversation in which she revealed that the theft of the sculpture was never the objective, rather it was a cover for a string of assassinations across the world. She let him know that GHIDORA was now in charge of the Agency they worked for, and that Agent 47 was burned when he got too close to learning this truth.

Agent 47 had been involved in an assassination which helped GHIDORA take control of a powerful feng shui site in Egypt, but he hadn’t known this was the real objective. Agent 47 was cut off by the Agency before he could discover the truth.

Mitsu’s ancestor Akiko has been working with Couch Potato to track down leads on where his nemesis Kuno Hisashi may have gone, and they believe he might have traveled into the Netherworld.

The heroes also asked Couch Potato to see if he could determine the identity of the sniper who was firing on them in the museum. She escaped the scene.

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2015-06-17
Art Attack: Part I

Brick Manly and Agent 47 scope out the Hong Kong Museum of Art, site of a reception that evening for the presentation of an ancient artifact called the Jade Dragon of Virtue. Akiko and Mitsu train his swordfighting techniques in the woods of the New Territories.

Agent 23 and Agent 46, enemy agents who belong to Agent 47’s former organization have been attempting to steal the Jade Dragon Virtue multiple times in various cities, leaving a high body count each time.

Brick and Agent 47 spot the enemy agents who are also doing reconnaissance of the art museum. The enemy spies steal a speedboat with a child in it, and Brick and 47 chase them across the bay.

The enemy spies crash their boat into a beach and set it on fire with the child still inside. The enemies escape while the heroes rescue the child.

Later, the heroes prepare for the reception at the museum. They all dress up in their finest clothes and infiltrate the star-studded event. Magdalena is present, as are several other faces familiar from the GHIDORA meeting at the concert.

Before the Jade Dragon of Virtue can be presented, the enemy spies assault the museum, causing chaos.

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Session 8
Undercover at the House of Maids: Part II

Undercover in the home of eccentric triad elder Charlie Hui, the heroes find Ed Masterson being brought into the house by Ugly Shing’s men. They take him to the basement and begin to torture him.

Mitsu convinces Charlie Hui to resist Ugly Shing’s influence, and the heroes rescue Ed Masterson.

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