Legend of the Tiger Generals

3 - Tigers In the Middle

A Cinnabrian Cardinal leads the way to a three-way confrontation with the Iron Stampede and a False Tiger.

On a Cinnabrian phoenixship, the Blackbird Teppa, a chameleon-type Scaled Folk, explains the situation. The pair of Cinnabrian knaves they’re pursuing have apparently fled to Chalcedon, where they undoubtedly feel the Cardinals will have a harder time reaching them. Lunos Dreamshaper could be anywhere and in any guise, but he’s likely to be in the company of the swordsman Wandering Gale. The Cardinal’s mission will have the greatest chance of success with the assistance of the local paragons.

Rubican agrees.

The phoenixship docks in the plains city of Ivory, where they are met by Guard-Chief Darjaba. Rubican announces that he requires the assistance of local paragons, and she takes him to an open-air restaurant. There some of the paragons of the Thunder Plains are already assembled, including a pair of Tiger Generals. At one table sits the veteran Bouda Khan, surrounded by her daughters Gaira, Tisa, and Lecta and her son Kiba. At another, Gemma Fleetwind is putting away a surprising number of vegetarian dishes, far more than one might expect from her petite form.

Rubican’s entrance can’t be missed. He draws the attention of both Tiger Generals, as well as the restaurant’s proprietor, the martial artist Ironscale. The Cardinal explains the situation, and the likelihood that his fugitive may have more allies.

Bouda Khan steps forward, presumably to offer her help, when a cicada-form Coleoth in stealth raiment appears in a puff of smoke. It informs her that she is needed elsewhere first, as the town of Platinum is under siege. She gathers her three daughters and responds to that call.

Rubican still gets the assistance he’d sought, though. Gemma offers her assistance, and Ironscale gladly sets aside his apron and places his sous-chef in charge.

Gemma carries Teppa to two distant point in Ivory so that he can use the compass pointing to Lunos Dreamshaper. Triangulation points to a distant mountain, specifically the Riven Snow monastery. As they take a veloxen transport there, they find that a crowd of pilgrims is gathering. Apparently a wandering adventurer, a white Rajara with apparent amnesia, has surfaced, and there are rumors that he is the latest incarnation of the Tiger Heir.

The three paragons assemble at the outer stair of the monastery, where the Rajara wanderer Snowcoat appears to make a speech. He speaks about how he can promise nothing, but if he does indeed regain his memory and turns out to be the Tiger Heir, he will be delighted by the honor. The heroes note that he has a pair of advisors, a robed figure named “Castario” and a swordsman named “Fujin,” who seem suspiciously similar to the roles of Lunos Dreamshaper and Wandering Gale. The three are still contemplating the best move when the Iron Stampede shows up.

Three members of Overkhan Attilus’ paragon elite — Vald the Peltast, Crazy Dragon and Aurinta Goldfist — make their way through the parting crowd, appraising Snowcoat. As they chat, they decide that whether false Tiger or true, the Rajara would make a useful captive either way. Somewhat nervous, Snowcoat and his backers prepare for the worst — and then the heroes get involved.

A three-way fight breaks out, with each side splitting their members between the other two fronts. Rubican draws Crazy Dragon’s attention, but isn’t sufficiently flammable for the flame-slinging Hanuman’s tastes. “You don’t burn, huh?” he says. “Well, let’s see what your melting point is!”

The back-and-forth brawl goes mostly against Snowcoat, Lunos and Wandering Gale. Wandering Gale defends himself only so far against the Stampede before Ironscale intercedes with a vicious elbow strike to the top of his head, dropping him. The myriad illusions don’t hide Lunos from Rubican’s tremorsense, and with a massive haymaker, the Cardinal plants the trickster in a temple wall.

Seeing these victories, the Iron Stampede calls a retreat. The three heroes let them withdraw, being sure to secure Snowcoat and his accomplices.

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