The Bigger Picture

They had taken every precaution in the ceremonies that attended each burial. No one had been laid down without the prescribed prayers & every grave was supplied with at least a minimally protective marker. Even those who left no one behind didn’t go unattended; the groundskeepers made sure to leave everyone pancakes, eggs & flowers at all the appropriate holidays.

What no one had thought to watch was the pattern in which the graves were being laid out. One evening the final necessary tombstone had been placed & all that remained was for the specially graven bricks to be fit into the gap in the cemetery wall.

Crash, whoosh, & all at once the gate was wide open.

At the Temple of the Goose Goddess

If you seek swiftness, ferocity, implacability, then make the trek over the granite hills to the abandoned lakeshore, given over to the dozens of birds that prowl it in tireless rage, where all that now remains is the idol to the Lady of Geese. If – big if – you manage to withstand the gauntlet of bone-shaking blows & bloody pecks & reach the sanctuary of the temple grounds, leave an offering of cracked corn, oats & grapes. Your eye will blacken, your voice harshen, & you will neither sleep nor eat until you have run down your foe & lit into them with a flurry of blows & jabs that reduce even the stoutest to a quivering wreck.

The Cruel Tutelage of the Gnarled Sifu

Those who have sworn an oath to exact vengeance even at the cost of their own souls may find their way to the Gnarled Sifu.

It stands at the edge of a forgotten burying ground surrounded by the tangled forest beyond an almost depopulated village. On certain days in the depth of winter when freezing fog fills the air & settles in the branches, a black mu ren zhuang (also known as a mook jong) appears beneath the Sifu’s lowest-hanging branch. Techniques practiced on this mu ren zhuang become increasingly lethal over time. Train on it long enough & your strikes become poisonous, curdling the qi of anyone struck by them.

There are those who say that you don’t even have to have any kung fu before you come to the Sifu. It’s more than happy to teach you, new & ever more vicious techniques simply entering your mind as you practice.

Of course your qi has been equally contaminated by your unholy training. If you’re lucky, on death you’ll be able to purge your self-inflicted curse by spending a few decades in Hell. If not, there’s no amount of good feng shui that can keep you from rising as one of the dreaded Jiangshi (or hopping vampire).

When you want to drop boiling oil on intruders but don’t have the budget for a full on castle

When you want to drop boiling oil on intruders but don’t have the budget for a full on castle

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