What follows is a shred of a draft that was part of the initial world building document for Heroes of the Falling Star, a Wuxia RPG for kids that I’m planning to release this year. In tune with the RPG Blog Carnival theme for June of “Summerland” I’d like to present an annual event that is held in the coastal province of Nanyu.
The writing for this section is a little “older” in tone than what will end up in the book as it was initially created for a wuxia game targeted towards older audiences. This makes it a fun setting element that can be used in nearly any fantasy RPG
Once a year during the summer solstice, a great many people gather at Nanyu’s capital to watch and participate in the Azure Dragon Festival. This competition is one that involves a great deal of local pride and prestige (as well as gambling money), and every Martial Arts school in the city is expected to send a champion to participate. The Azure Dragon Tournament takes place on an oversized floating bamboo raft, festooned with various dubiously constructed structures lashed together with rope. Each successive year has seen stranger and more elaborate bamboo structures upon which the participants must fight each other to either a knockout or by sending the their opponent out of bounds and into the sea.
Last year’s tournament even featured strange contraptions where rich patrons can pay to use a clever series of levers and pulleys to swing bamboo poles around to interfere with the match. Already there has been talk that next year’s tournament will feature actual archers in nearby boats firing blunt-tipped target arrows at the participants!
The winner of the Azure Dragon Tournament brings much honor to their name, and is generally treated as royalty in the city for the rest of the week-long Summer Solstice Festivities. This often translates to free food, wine and lodging in any number of establishments who wish to capitalize on the champion’s new-found fame. Many Champions also find that they are approached by various merchants seeking out capable fighters to serve as bodyguards for their businesses or perhaps even be offered a post to serve as an officer in the Imperial Navy.