Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires

1/12- Temple of the Celestial Cloud

The next night within the Grottos was a productive, but costly one for the Wu.

At the start of the evening, Takeshi sacrificed some of the park rangers to appeal their fiery Nushi and earn his way back into the Wu, which he did. Almost as important was Konda’s discovery of a lineage within the park rangers of those who had watched this sacred place for generations. They worked out a simple code to ensure, in the future, when mortals shouldn’t be present.

Further in the cave structures, the newly united Wu began exploring once more. They found a series of tunnels and traps. The path to the right led to a tiled sort of puzzle rigged with fire and arrows and moments of blindness. The path ended in a workshop to further create more traps, to which Johnny quickly fell victim to his own impulsiveness and nearly halted the advancement of the Wu. Instead, the spirit of creation was appeased and the way forward unlocked. The path to the left held traps of animated statues and jade creations that either granted or stripped Chi from those that interacted with it. The purpose of the way seemed to be to tell a story, and an important one. However, like a puzzle without a framework, the Wu still seems to be struggling for the wisdom to interpret it correctly.

With all the trial’s passed, the Wu came to a moonlight garden filled with ghosts of the dead and their ceremonial markers. This is where the LuShang line had been paid homage for their years of dedicated devotion. The ghosts of the area guide the Wu to the greatest treasure found in the grottos to date: the fallen Temple of the Celestial Cloud.

In times long past, this area had served as a school where multiple dharmic paths could come and discuss their differences and collectively work to attaining enlightenment. This place had once been the center for dharmic creation and growth. Forgotten for years, it lay in ruin. The Wu quickly took up the task of establishing this area as their new base of operations.

The area was cleaned, mapped, and arranged to show growth possession. Most curious were spots for shifting creatures, specifically a fox and shark. The shark area was burned and scarred. The history of the place is still somewhat elusive, but the wu was able to piece together stories of the past where the traitorous Xao Lot had infiltrated this place with his childer. The shark of old had tried to warn others only to find deaf ears. There was a battle and this place was abandoned shortly after. A curious area to be sure…

As the Wu settled in, they began bringing what few mortal followers they had into the Grotto to establish trust and their new havens. The place would need to be modernized a bit to contend with the world they currently resided in, of course. And they would need to find their army as in nights of old. But they had a good start…

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RobBennett

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