5. The First Gate…


The road to Stoneplow is still broken only with a gentle breeze amid the tone of buzzing insects in the distance. As you venture off the old cobbled road, the black goats seem to take notice of you – one by one they stop, look up and stare.

As you come to the altar at the foot of the mountain, everything has become quiet. Looking over the altar itself, you see some old scraps of silken paper faded from exposure. No one has been here for a while. A goat bleats and Seedbearer Sing stands, seemingly out of thin air, beside two black goats.

“You passed the first gate…cowardice. Don’t be too impressed with yourself, few make it this far, fewer still reach farther. The lotus blossoms must be bruised to bring forth all the chi – just as you must prevail bruising to have any chance of becoming a Jing-Xi. You will need lantern blossoms and they can only be found by being attuned to the Shadows.”

She lights a small fire by the altar with a bundle of twigs and grass she pulled from her satchel; she was prepared. A equally small iron pot filled with some dry purple herbs and water from a skin sits to boil – enough for one. She pours it into a  pestle-looking ceramic cup and defiantly hands it to you with the slow, cautious precision as if repeated countless times.

“There is another ‘Hidden Master’ who dwells in the Paoquan Hollow. You will bring an offering of Lantern Blossom along with some of the Lotus now that I’ve shown you how to prepare it. The rest is your choice.”

“Don’t you mean fate…destiny?”

She laughs. “Destiny and fate are mere currents and those who accomplish anything by riding their current are the laziest of fools. A Jing-Xi chooses their path, working WITH destiny when it suits them. We will see how badly you desire this path.”

  • Drink Shadow Lotus Tea 0/1
  • Find Lantern Blossom grove 0/1

6. Illuminating the Way

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