14. Dread Man Walking

Darkmaster Viu’s brows furrow and the flames of his eyes flicker violently, “We should disperse, the Shado Pan will notice if we gather for too long. Meet together here at twilight in seven days when the moon waxes full.”

“Come with me”, Viu growls with a demonic echo.

As the others leave, some taking the form of a mountain goat and others simply walking up the narrow rocky paths, Viu motions for you to stop.

“The Shado Pan have been watching and all of our members are under some degree of suspicion, but you…let us have some tea.”

Journeying to the shore, he ignites a fire and prepares a pot of strong tea with a hint of orange blossom, roses, and peppery spice. “This will quicken your wits. Have you heard of Li Bao Yun?”

Your stare answers and he continues, “Li Bao Yun was the last Jing-Xi hunted down and executed by the Shado Pan almost a thousand years ago.”

As you take a breath to ask, Viu seems to know before you speak, “How are there Jing-Xi then? He wrote his teachings and knowledge into a book – a book that was supposedly captured by the Shado Pan, erroneously called the Book of Beizhing..the Forbidden. They felt if they could keep his secrets under their guard they could extinguish us like a candle. He wrote a shorter version called the ‘Parables of the Razor’. At first glance, they appear as fables, poems but in the writings he hid the teachings if one knows how to read them. I fear Yao will try to steal the scroll from where it has remained a secret in order to purge us. We have come…so far to return to the Chaos and imbalance.”

Viu looks at you intently, “The others would arouse suspicion but you…you have been called to stop him. Journey to the Dread Wastes to the Lake of Stars. In the center you will find an island and there a narrow crevice. You will fit, don’t worry, that leads to a natural stairwell to a chamber. Take the scroll and bring to me for safekeeping. If Yao challenges you, you have been trained in the arts – we will see if Chaos or Choice rules today.”

15. Possession is 9/10ths of the Law

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