Agents of Empress Wu:Sample sheet
Sample Character: Xiao Hu - "Little Butterfly"
Jianghu Rank: 1
High Concept: Exotic Barbarian Girl from the Country of Women
Trouble: Banished Daughter and Sister of her Tribe
Phase One: The Mountains Teach Secrets of which the Empire Knows Not
Phase Two: The Only Foreigner in the Constabulary
Phase Three: The Case of the Singing Detective
Great (+4) Athletics
Good (+3) Chi, Fight
Fair (+2) Physique, Will, Empathy
Average (+1) Stealth, Notice, Crafts, Investigate
Physical O O O
Mental O O O
Mild : _________________________
Moderate : _____________________
Severe : _______________________
Form Aspect: Forest Crane stylists merge situational awareness, circular movements, and defensive posture to create a reactive style that uses the environment and an opponent’s own aggression against them. Forest Crane practitioners are among some of the most graceful and balanced fighters around.
Crane Hides in Reeds: Add a +2 bonus with using Full Defense, giving you +4 when defending yourself or +2 when defending others.
Crane Stuns the Carp: If you succeed on a Fight attack with style, you may create a STUNNED advantage on a target with a free invocation instead of taking a bonus.
Leaves Like Razors: When invoking a situation aspect or environment-based advantage in a Fight attack, you add +2 Weapon Rating to that attack
Honey Works Better than Vinegar: Can use Empathy instead of Provoke to make mental attacks.
Squirrel Thrives in the Trees: +2 on Athletics to overcome or create an advantage in awkward, rough, or dangerous terrain (trees, cliffs, rooftops, balconies, etc.)
All Heed the Beauty of the Mountain Songbird: +2 on Chi to create an advantage on herself or others when singing.
First Phase: The Mountains Teach Secrets of which the Empire Knows Not
The people of Shenzhou like to tell lurid stories of mountain kingdoms where women are tyrants and men are slaves, but the truth is more mundane. Xiao Hu comes from a matrilineal tribe beyond Shenzhou's western borders where gender status is equal, but land and status is passed on from mother to daughter, and the eldest matrons have final say in important village and tribal matters. Xiao Hu and her identical twin sister Da Hu grew up learning the rare Gemini Union kung fu technique that was only known to her people (or so they all thought). When one of the rare caravan traders from Shenzhou came to their village, her (slightly elder) twin sister fell in love with him, but swore Xiao Hu to secrecy lest their family be scandalized.
One day their village was attacked by masked bandits who pillaged and slaughtered nearly everyone. Xiao Hu fought as best she could, but her sister was missing, so she could not fight together with her use their secret technique. Even worse, some of the bandits fought in pairs using the Gemini Union (albeit at low skill). How was this possible? Trying to catch their fleeing leader, Xiao Hu saw his mask fall off and realized this was her sister's lover. Stunned for a moment, Xiao Hu noticed too late her twin sister emerge from the bushes to strike her senseless. Afterwards, she told the tribal matrons what she saw, but they wouldn't believe it--especially since they hadn't know about her sister's affair before this. Believing her sister killed or captured, they accused Xiao Hu of making it up and slandering her sister out of jealously. She was banished from her people for her stubborn refusal to change her story. Now she finds herself working in the fabled Empire, but she has lost the ability of the Gemini Union along with her sister. Still, she follows up every rumor hoping to find her again someday.
Second Phase: The Only Foreigner in the Constabulary
Xiao Hu traveled to the province of Jiangzhou in hopes of finding her sister or the bandit she ran off with. She was dismayed to find the subjects of this supposedly sophisticated Empire of Shenzhou to be a collection of rude, ignorant and belligerent louts. At first, she was often cheated by merchants who saw an easy mark in this barbarian girl from the sticks, but she soon learned to avoid the more obvious scams and even managed to get restitution through judicious use of her kung fu.
One day while in a rough teahouse, following up a (false) lead on her sister's bandit lover, she was accosted by a band of rude local boys who thought they could have their way with a seemingly helpless exotic girl. After thrashing them soundly, she was approached by a local gangster impressed by her skill. He invited her to join his gang, knowing she'd be handy luring in victims to rob. She told him bluntly what she thought of bandits and what he could do with himself. Naturally this started a brawl as the gangster had to recover face from being insulted by this girl in public. Little did everyone realize that agents of Zhuge Zhen-Wo was in the room watching all this incognito. After breaking up the fight and arresting the lot of them, the agent sent Xiao Hu to Zhuge Zhen-Wo himself with a recommendation she be hired. "A foreigner might be useful," Zhuge said, and so she was pardoned for causing a disturbance and joined the force.
Third Phase: The Case of the Singing Detective
General Yang was long suspected of stealing weapons and supplies from the military treasury and selling them to bandits and rebels. But since he was a distant cousin of the provincial governor, the constabulary had to tread carefully and catch him in the act. He was very careful and suspicious, however. Only his close family and childhood friends were in his inner circle, which no one from the outside could enter.
Until... one day General Yang met this foreign maiden singing native folk-songs in a teahouse. Being a music lover himself, he hired her to be a singer at his mansion so he could hear her every night. Since she was a foreigner with a poor grasp of proper speech, she would have no particular loyalty to the Empire and no one would listen to a foreigner accusing a general, right? After gaining General Yang's trust and secretly taking notes on all his illegal activities, Xiao Hu kept him entertained with a concert as agents of the Constabulary rounded up his henchmen and all the incriminating evidence before raiding his mansion. The poor general tried to hold the singing girl at knife point as a hostage, but you can guess how badly that turned out...