In this adventure the PCs were Sun Wukong (m; battle mage), Li Kui (m; human barbarian), Hu San (f; ranger), Shi Qian (m; thief), Miaoyu (f; cleric), and Zhuge Liang (m; wizard). Astute readers will notice that these are characters from the four classic Chinese novels, A Dream of Red Mansions, A Journey to the West, The Water Margin, and The Three Kingdoms.
The PCs are off to the town of Adurath for the Arcane Challenge. When they get there, a local group is campaigning against some stone giants who have established a camp near the town.
The company doesn't exactly agree on what they ought to do about the situation, if anything. It seems that the Company of the Shining Stone, who are issuing the warnings about the giants, are probably looking for the tomb of a wizard called Harseth of Neverlost.
The other members of the party go shopping, but end up following a similar line if enquiry about Harseth's tomb. They end up speaking to Vanorunca, a descendant of the wizard, who commissions the party to find out what the giants are doing and what the Company of the Shining Stone is plotting.
Miaoyu and Shi Qian meet the giants, who don't speak a word of Common. The others learn that their companions are a step ahead of them, and also that the locals are worried.
The party sees Vanorunca, who happens to have an amulet which might allow them to understand and by understood by the stone giants. They also spend some time looking for Hu San who reports that the Company of the Shining Stone may be planning to use some disease which has been killing sheep to infect the stone giants.
The band speak to a shepherd who explains that the sheep are infected by red ribbon disease. After that, they go and speak to the stone giants, who discovered the Company of the Shining Stone looking for Harseth's tomb. They warn the giants that the Company might be going to cause them trouble.
The party tell Vanorunca what they learnt from the stone giants. She wants to see the tomb, but also takes steps to hinder the Company of the Shining Path. Zhuge Liang then goes to participate in the first of the events in the Arcane Challenge.
Because of the magic which has been cast at a cliff face, a stone giant unexpectedly emerges from it and after a short conversation, it's decided to visit Harseth's tomb.
The band enters Harseth's tomb and must make its way past various traps and illusions.
The stone giants are quite interested in some blue crystals which the adventurers found. When they get back to Adurath, things are not going so well with the Company of the Shining Stone out of prison – temporarily. The crystal itself is important in wands of silence.
The Arcane Challenge resumes the next day with Zhuge Liang slipping back to third place after the second round. The next day is the third and final round of the Arcane Challenge, which Zhuge Liang wins to the general annoyance of the locals.
This was the point at which I started treating these tales a little more fully although each part tends to be about a (A4) page and a half in length.
The title of the scenario interested me because China has a very weak sense of ethics. At the same time, the ethics of Toril can't be much different if this is meant to be a medieval-style fantasy setting. Thus I portrayed Adurath as a town where people may be arrested for the most flimsy and arbitrary reasons and where police brutality is quite normal.
Next time: The Treasure of the Black Veils.