This week, the group decides to hold a friendly spar, both to exchange technique pointers and to settle the matter of who really deserves the magical hammer. Their training continues when they meet a mysterious old woman, who promises to show them a special set of skills that will further enhance their shaping abilities; of course, there must be some reason a little old lady is hiding out in the woods.
The party continues their trek north, stopping in the once great city of Za Ming to rest following the events of the Wandering Forest. Things seem to be going well until Orb mysterious disappears to the west. Something is calling out the the strange spirit, something that they must respond to. Unfortunately, they aren't the only ones interested in what lays to the west of Za Ming.
The party arrives in Gaiyan, a city on the edge of the Empire and the Warka horse lords of the north; its unique position gives its governor a strange power, as he can easily side with the Phoenix Lord, the remnants of the Companions, or throw in his lot with the Warka. So, a strange truce between the guardians of the two empires exists in Gaiyan, enforced by an unspoken agreement. It is here that the party stops one final time, before they enter the lands of the horse lords.
On their way north, the group stops in Chiza, a small farming community in the fertile Fuzhou River Valley. But instead of finding a place to restock and rest, they find a community in transit, as the Fuzhou, famous for its timely and predictable flooding, has started flooding the entire valley. What's causing the flooding and can they stop it?
A storm of malevolent spirits forces the party to take shelter in a cave; while Rulon deals with his injuries, Nari and Aisuse have a heart to heart, before a strange whispering prompts them to explore deeper into the cave. What they find takes their breath away and changes their understanding of the world.
Having fled Anlu without alerting too many of the Phoenix Lord's men, the party decide to take stock and resupply in the small farming village of Waisha. Unfortunately, they find themselves caught in between a conflict between the remnants of the town's old guard, now turned bandits, and the Phoenix Guardians under the mysterious Humaar Rama. All they have to do is keep a low profile, make contact with one of Rulon's old revolutionary buddies, and pick up some horses to quicken their trip north; of course, not all of them are good at blending in and things quickly spiral out of their control.
Following the disastrous events at the Tournament of the Four Elements, the ad hoc group flees to Anlu, where Aisuse promises that the Torchbearers, his band of freedom fighters (or a cult, depending on how you look at it) will be able to shelter them and provide them with aide and direction. Instead, they find that Anlu has been not only flooded with refugees, but the minions of the Glorious Phoenix Lord.
The Tournament of the Four Elements, held in the capital of the Raohu Empire, is a chance for shapers from all over the world to display their ability and fighting skills on a world stage; it draws competitors from such distant lands as the Sunset Empire and the Yangai Kingdom. But this year, strange things are afoot and the fate of the world falls on the collective shoulders of a peasant rebel, the champion of a cult, and a foreign noble; spirits long forgotten by the world have started to stir as they prepare to make their return.
The second part of character creation for our playtest of Shape of the Elements; this time we do some collaborative world creation and discuss the cultures that each player comes from. If you'd like to playtest Shape of the Elements (and send me your notes and impressions about it!) you can DM me over on Twitter, @lesbiathan.
I'm working on another game! This is the character creation for that game, known as Shape of the Elements. Its a mix of wuxia and Avatar: The Last Airbender, Powered by the Apocalypse. The game isn't released yet, but if you want to playtest it (and send me your notes!) send me a DM over on Twitter, @lesbiathan.