The rain falls over the city of Sweet Melancholy, rhythmically pitter-pattering on the tile roofs and stone pavements. The melody of the rain mixes with the music coming out of the willow houses and wine shops of the pleasure district. Courtesans and patrons walk out into the street, laughing and splashing with their every step. The light of red lanterns reflects in the canal waters alongside the face of the full moon, like a host of fairy maidens tending to the moon goddess Chang'e.
The rain grows heavier and heavier, the sound of falling drops drowning the music. The clients and their companions search out refuge anywhere they can. The street clears except for one man sitting by a street stall.
He has a rugged appearance and wears tattered hemp clothes. An old straw hat full of holes falls over his shabby face, shadowing his features. He lifts his head as he downs a cup of wine in a single gulp. His eyes are full of drunkenness and melancholy. His mouth sports a half grin full of self-pity and nostalgia.
A sheathed sword rests on the counter of the stall. It is his only companion across the World of Martial Arts, the Jiang Hu . The shopkeeper serves him a steaming bowl of hundun; the dumpling soup will warm his belly on this rainy night and the wine will warm his heart.
The name of the man is Wang Xiao Lan. He is known across the Wulin, the fraternity of Martial Artists, as the Wolf Swordsman. He is a Wandering Blade, a hero set to forge his own destiny by the fire of his passion and the strength of his kung fu.
A gust of strong wind breaks through the wall of rain. Wang Xiao Lan leaps to the side with amazing speed as the street stall is blown to splinters and its shopkeeper is thrown aside by the impact. A long chain retracts back to its owner, a hunchbacked man with a large nose in a black cloak.
The shadows around the hunchback seem to come to life and four cloaked figures suddenly stand besides him. "The Five Vultures of Sand River!" the swordsman exclaims as he recognizes their attire. He knew they would be chasing him, but he didn't expect them to find him so soon.
"I spent all my remaining money on that wine, and I was quite enjoying it! Can't you fellows give a man a minute of respite?". Without answering one of the Five Vultures dashes towards Xiao Lan. A fierce spear bathed in gold Chi lunges forth from his sleeve. It furiously cuts through the drops of rain as it lunges towards its target like a hawk hunting a sparrow.
Heavenly General Style !
The spear seems to multiply as it slices the air around it. In a flash hundreds of golden spear afterimages break through the darkness of the night. The assassin yells the name of his technique, his voice louder than the thunder in the sky, furious enough to all but silence the rain; "
No Mercy for Hares !"
Like a pack of hunting dogs after a hare, the spear chases the swordsman. It does not reach him. He staggers and slides out of the way with a drunken sway, sliding and splashing across the wet street. At every moment he seems about to fall, but he never does.
The Drunken God effortlessly evades all the dangers of the world!
Using his mastery of the Plum Wine Swagger Style he effortlessly avoids the lunging assassin's spear. Slivers of gold Chi cut the rain drops. The tip of the spear crashes on the street, cracking the stones. As the swordsman continues his drunken dance, he gets closer and closer to the assassin.
The spearman attacks high, aiming at his head. Xiao Lan crouches low and spins around with a kick, knocking the spearman off his feet and making him fall with a splash onto the increasingly flooded street.
"Hmm Golden Heavenly Vulture seems to have gotten dizzy, and I was the one who was drinking. What a disappointment!"
A shadow leaps towards the swordsman. The second assassin's mastery of Lightfoot allows him to cross the distance in a single leap. In midair he unsheathes two short sabers. The blades move at an astonishing speed, trailing sparkles of Crimson Chi like twin falling stars against the night sky.
This attack is not as easy to evade. The swordsman is forced to leap aside to avoid being decapitated. Just as he seems to be running out of street, he back flips into the nearby canal. His feet gently tap the water's surface without sinking, demonstrating that he, as well, is a master of Lightfoot.
As the assassin gives chase he spins around in midair, becoming like a whirlwind of crimson blades. The water of the canal is drawn into this attack, the splashed water becoming as blades itself, as Xiao Lan lands on the other side of the canal His opponent's attack emerges from the water like a dragon made of sabers.
This is a merciless style, famous for only leaving orphans and widows in its path. Yet despite his apparent power, Xiao Lan's opponent's style marks him not as a dragon of the Jiang Hu but merely as a raging beast.
The true dragon is patient and calm and his majesty cannot be denied. It is just so with Xiao Lan, who soars across the street, skating on the wet stones, his feet barely touching them, soaring as the name of his stance suggests, like a Dragon in the Ocean!
Suddenly he stops retreating and dashes ahead, his sword lounging forward, yet remains sheathed dancing with a blinding rhythm, shielding at once the seven most vital points in his body. This is the masterful defense of the dragon style: Seven Star Rotation! The false dragon falls from heaven as his twin sabers scatter across the street..
As the second assassin falls, the three remaining assailants leap across the night sky; suddenly Xiao Lan is besieged by a rain of daggers, a swirling chain lashing at him, and claw-like fingers.
His Chi Aura expands around him, splashing the water in all directions and shielding him from harm. His internal strength is truly something to behold: his eyes are no longer sleepy, and they shine with murderous intent. The thinnest string of blood runs across his lower lip.
"This has gone on long enough. Now you will see why they call me The Wolf Swordsman. The wine cannot warm my heart tonight, but maybe your blood will warm my blade."
As he unsheathes his blade the moon reflects across its length, making it shine brighter, and in one swift motion the air is cut, with a howling sound...
LEGENDS OF WULIN
Welcome to Legends of the Wulin— a whole new and exciting pen and paper Role Playing Game brought to you by EOS Press.
Enter Shen Zhou: a land filled with challenge and adventure, based on an Ancient China that never was. Join the Martial Arts World to roam the land as a Wandering Blade with a shining sword as your only companion; a Traveling Monk searching for enlightenment through the path of Kung Fu; a Noble Courtier whose words are as powerful as his Chi; or a Daoist Scholar seeking to understand the higher mysteries of the world.
In these pages you will find.
- A brand new Wuxia setting full of history, locations, treasures and mysteries.
- Loresheets that provide useful story hooks and advantages while tying characters to the setting background.
- Eight new organizations of the Martial Arts world for beginner characters to chose from, from warrior monks to kung fu beggars.
- A revised Wuxia Action System, designed for high flying Kung Fu action.
- Brand new Martial Art Styles ranging from powerful but simple forms to earth shaking Chi-based attacks.
- The powerful Secret Arts a system that allows characters to manipulate the human body, passions and emotions, the flow of battle, and even predict the future.
- An array of sample characters and factions, to use as allies or enemies, or to serve as inspiration to create your own.
Leave the mundane world behind and join the Wulin, a world where your destiny will be decided by the fire of your passions, and the strength of your Kung Fu. Face the challenges ahead if you have the courage and become a legend that would live forever in the history of the Shen Zhou.
It's a wonderful time to be a hero!