The petals of the snowy tung tree lie still and silent on the forest floor. They know what sleeps inside the Cave; they know what happens when it is disturbed. The Wind doesn’t blow here any more. It, too, is nervous.
The beautiful rolling mountains of Western Hunan are pierced by labyrinthine cave systems. The Fallen Flower Cave is the biggest cave of them all. According to legends, this is a strange and mysterious place where the veil between worlds is frayed. Local residents believe that a powerful spirit dwells within, a phantasm that emerges once every year to abduct the souls of young maidens in the area. Without a soul, the women slide inevitably into uncontrollable madness and, eventually, perish, screaming hysterically with their final breaths. Local women are encouraged to remain indoors after dark and to avoid the cave at all times. Not all people heed this advice and some fools stray too close.
Some days ago, the wealthy Zhu family - aloof, but held in high esteem by most - stopped visiting the marketplace. Rumour has it that the Zhus had been cursed by sinister Gu magic, and that their eldest daughter had been abducted to be made the latest Maiden of the Fallen Flower Cave. This strange disappearance has caused quite a stir among the townsfolk, who believe that the curse is spreading, flowing from unseen magical fissures...
The Words of Power shape our reality. Speak these Words and the trees and the rocks will bend. Write these Words and the ghosts and spirits of this world will be driven out. Even the unfathomable gods revere the Words of Power.
The Book of Rites is designed to prepare novice Yanling practitioners - including you - for the dangerous trials yet to come.
It will teach you how to perform a Purification Ritual, a process that takes roughly an hour to complete.
The first trial will take place in the Fallen Flower Cave of Hunan, China. You must succeed.
The Sun and the Moon must not witness the Ritual. Draw the curtains and shut the blinds, work by candlelight only. It is safest to proceed dressed in purest white.
Purify the air by ringing the Ceremonial Bell and playing the Yanling Ritual Music.
Yanling words can be revealed through gaining Insights. Insight can be gained in a variety of ways, such as putting vengeful spirits at peace, solving puzzles, or discovery via exploration.
Each Yanling Practitioner must choose a Character with one of the Four Roles:
Responsible for reading out the stories and events during the Quest.
Responsible for the creation of a Fulu magic Talisman at the end of the Ritual by writing down the Yanling words on a piece of Joss Paper in red ink.
Responsible for shouting out the Power Words (Qi / Kiai) during combat and intimidating opponents with their fearless fighting spirit.
Responsible for investigating and revealing the Yanling clues after gaining an insight.
Feared for her power and often called a "Heretic Witch" for her controversial method of creating original Exorcist rituals by fusing elements across different spiritual practices (Daoism, Pure Land Buddhism and Gu Magic), Bai is the most multi-talented Shamaness that her tribe has known of this generation.
Studying under the guidance of the Elder Liuf Shamanesses, Bai learned many of the ancient secrets and rich traditions of Miao Chinese lore, how to communicate with insects and how to purify the vengeful spirits that dwelt in dark places. Her bewitching beauty is a product of transformational magic which had been acquired through the ancient Butterfly Worship practices of the Liuf clan.
After the Shamaness Chief of the Liuf Clan revealed a horrifying prophecy of “The Darkening of the Light”, Bai embarked on a dangerous journey to find the Fallen Flower Cave.
Being a well-known forensic scientist for the Regional Criminal Court, Luo takes her role very seriously. Unknown to many, Luo possesses an uncontrollable power of retrognition. When she touches something, she triggers a flashback of memories or sensations which allows her to experience what has happened to it in the past. She used her skills to help bring some of the most infamous murderers to trial.
However, it has been difficult for her to cope with heightened extrasensory perception - experiencing violent flashbacks every single day has taken a toll on her wellbeing, but her hatred of injustice and her instinct to protect the vulnerable overwhelms everything in life.
Recently, Luo has been pulled into a series of strange incidents associated with the House of Zhu, and the local residents are reluctant to give information. However as much the people of Hunan may distrust outsiders, they desperately need help against the horror that is manifesting itself on this beautiful land.
A highly sought after narrative designer-writer, Wen had a troubled past and was haunted by terrible visions and nightmares. She sought escape, both by running away from home, and by turning her experience into games.
Seeking inspiration for her new game from the Miao Chinese group and their "Three Ancient Mysteries", Wen ventured into the mountainous regions of Hunan.
As she sinks her teeth into research, weird incidents started to happen and the seemingly tranquil paradise gradually transformed into a sinister nightmare..
The youngest child of the Yan Family, a wealthy group of land developers which capitalised on the rapid urbanisation of rural China. Recently they have set their eyes on an undeveloped piece of mountainous land in Hunan, despite the local opinion that this act will bring great misfortune.
Yongchun feels guilty about her background and couldn’t care less about inheriting the family business - all she wants is to be a professional fighter. She loved the adrenaline rush of overcoming tough challenges and hated the idea of having to deal with sociopathic businessmen in formal clothes.
Throughout much of her life, Yongchun has trained in various Neijia martial arts - a Chinese practice which utilises the "Power Word" Qi principle to overcome opponents. Yongchun participated in many martial arts competitions as a child and continues the discipline into adulthood, much to the dismay of her parents. In the fighting ground, people often underestimate her because of her small stature and end up paying a heavy price for it.