A Minor Faction for Feng Shui
By Gerry Saracco
Note: The name Wu-Keng was originally featured in White Wolf Games The Book of Crafts. It was partly the initial inspiration for this group.
Many thanks to Christopher Pound; his Chinese name generator was solicited for names for the characters featured below; David Eber, for creating the Path of the Extended Fist; and Colin Chapman for the 1850s weapon conversions.
The Night Watch are a minor faction that first appeared in the 69 AD juncture. Then known as the Wu-Keng, they were a group opposed to the Eaters of the Lotus. Members of the Wu-Keng originally came from the outlying regions of the empire; the founders of the group were a bandit chieftan, a village priest, and a shaman. These three men all knew that the eunuchs in the emperor's personal service were abusing their power, and the common people suffered. They formed a group to try and combat the Eaters of the Lotus, and thus the Night Watch was born. Its original goal was simple: To counter the actions of the Lotus, and to aid the comman people. While never able to match the raw might or power of the Lotus, the group was able to counter some of the Lotus' plots, particularly in the outermost reaches of the empire. They even took control of some minor feng shui sites, but none were on scale with the average site controlled by the Lotus. The Night Watch for the most part is uninvolved in the secret war. They are aware of it, and they have sent agents to both the 1850 and contemporary junctures. They have learned that the Wu-Keng still exist in these times, though their goals may not follow the same road. The Wu-Keng do not exist in the 2056 juncture. Therefore, the Wu-Keng may follow different goals depending on the juncture. While the predominant goal is to keep the Lotus from controlling the future (the Wu-Keng in all 3 junctures do agree that this must never happen), all three branches of the group follow specific goals.
The original Wu-Keng come from this juncture. Their goals were simple: Oppose the Eaters of the Lotus, and aid the comman man. The ringleaders of the original Wu-Keng were: Wei Jaw-long, a bandit chieftan who first became a bandit over excessive taxes (and prefers to steal from the tax collectors over the commoners, much like Robin Hood), Shing Lixue, a young but powerful shaman, and Zheng De-shi, a priest who used mystic powers to combat supernatural creatures that terrorized the people he preached to. It was these three who founded the original Wu-Keng to combat the atrocities committed by the Eaters of the Lotus. A mixture of heroic bandits and good natured mystics, the original Wu-Keng was not very organized. Wei Jaw-long supervised raids against Lotus activities, imperial tax collectors and the like, while Shing Lixue and Zheng De-shi saw that money and supplies taken in these raids were distributed to those who needed it most. They also supervised the network of other mystics who spread the word to the common people that the Wu-Keng would aid them whenever asked. They also saw that supernatural creatures were driven from lands they protected.
Please note that I tried not to make any of the original Wu-Keng leaders overly powerful. They are not major players in the Secret War, and for the most part, they don't face off against the heavy hitters in the Lotus. While the Lotus wants to wipe them out, they are still a minor irritant compared to the likes of the Architects of the Flesh, Ascended, Dragons or Guiding Hand.
Notes for Wu-Keng player characters: Typical character archetypes for the 69 juncture Wu-Keng are: Archer, Bandit, Big Bruiser, Everyman Hero, Martial Artist, Masked Avenger, Magic Cop (usually crusading priest type) and Sorceror. If you're using other archetypes, I suggest Karate Wizard (especially if you don't have Back for Seconds; this can replace the Magic Cop archetype) and Ring Fighter.
The Wu-Keng of 1850 have slightly different goals than their ancestors did. Originally, the Wu-Keng of 1850 had the dual purpose of opposing the colonial powers in China, while preserving the magic that existed throughout the land. This brings them into conflict with both The Ascended and The Guiding Hand. Occasionally the Hand and Wu-Keng will set aside their differences for the good of China, but these are short lived ventures at best. As long as the Wu-Keng use sorcery, they and the Hand will never be permanent allies. When the Wu-Keng of 69 found the Netherworld, and the other junctures, they sought out any Wu-Keng in these timelines. When they found the Wu-Keng of 1850, they warned them about the Lotus, and thus a third goal came into being: Prevent the Lotus from obtaining power of 1850. The 1850s juncture Wu-Keng are led by Wong De-shi, an Old Master (descendant of Zheng) and Lung Jaw-long, a martial artist (descendant of Wei), and student of Wong. They are sometimes aided by Law Lin, a mysterious woman with mystical abilities. The Wu-Keng of 1850 control less feng shui sites than their 69 ancestors did, and work to recapture those they lost (as well as take others from the Ascended and/or Guiding Hand).
Notes for Wu-Keng Player Characters: Typical character archetypes for the 1850 juncture are: Big Bruiser, Everyman Hero, Karate Cop, Magic Cop, Martial Artist, Masked Avenger, Maverick Cop, Old Master and Spy. Again, Karate Wizard and Ring Fighter are also acceptable for this juncture. I added the two Cop archetypes and Spy to reflect the Wu-Keng's influence in the government of China at the time, and their recruitment of government types to aid them.
The Wu-Keng of the contemporary juncture originally had two goals: to protect the chinese communities around the world from criminal elements, and the eventual return of democracy (and the return of magic) to China. The Wu-Keng oppose the tongs and Triads that terrorize the local populaces, and any supernatural threats that exist to this day. They have aided in the training of Magic Cops for various law-enforcement agencies around the world, and quite a few Wu-Keng trained (or even became) Masked Avengers that opposed the Tongs/Triads. The Wu-Keng of the contemporary juncture are led by Qiu Jaw-long, an Old Master (and descendant of Wei and Lung), Jade Tiger, a Masked Avenger, and Cassandra Chan, head of the NYPD's Paranormal Investigation Division (PID), a Magic Cop.
Notes for Wu-Keng player characters: Typical character archetypes for the contemporary juncture include Big Bruiser, Everyman Hero, Ex-Special Forces, Gambler, Journalist, Karate Cop, Magic Cop, Martial Artist, Masked Avenger, Maverick Cop, Medic, Old Master and Techie. Bounty Hunters and Ring Fighters would also be acceptable
Last modified: May 9th, 1999; please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.