Thousand Knife Tongs
(Lore Sheet)

Gangs of young fighters with skill, but very little discipline, the Thousand Knives catch many who fall out with other more storied sects. Some simply want to learn, but because of their temperament, no teacher would have them, but the Thousand Knives take in everyone. Fiercely territorial, they can sometimes be a bad neighborhoods best defense, but more often they’re the reason the neighborhood went bad to begin with. They typically live among the outskirts, extorting money with protection rackets, and petty theft, but careful not to cross the triads with their efforts- some tong members even graduate into the ranks of the Hundred Flowers. Many dismiss them, but the Thousand Knives can be very dangerous, and most of them have very little to lose.

Image: A rough looking miscreant with his chest out and hand on his blade, looking for an excuse to draw blood.

Trigram: Earth

Founding: Late Autumn

Founder: Gangs of misfits and petty criminals have always been around, but what changed everything was a man with the charisma to unite them and establish ground rules in how they dealt with one another. No one knows his name, where he came from, or even his race- they simply knew him as “The Knife”. His skill with a small blade was legendary, and rumor has it he learned much of it as a butcher, and he could skin the arm of a man who had the gall to grab him faster than he could pull it back. The Knife was smarter than most ruffians, and perhaps even more importantly, he was patient. He never went for the quick score, or the easy score, he waited for the score that mattered. It didn’t take long before others realized that it was a good thing to be in The Knife’s gang, it paid extremely well, and his reputation alone kept other gangs at bay. Those that grew jealous or covetous of The Knife’s wealth paid dearly for their greed, The Knife was generous to his friends and ruthless to his enemies. When the time came that The Knife ruled all the gangs of the city, he created a code, a kind of honor among thieves, that was the protocol in how gangs talked, how they split territory, and even how they fought. Other cities could see that by adopting these rules less men died, and more men split the wealth to be gleaned. And so the Laws of The Knife became the unwritten rules of the cities underbelly, and while not every petty criminal follows them, there are advantages to playing by some rules- and terrible penalties for ignoring them.

Leadership: Each gang has its own leader, and turf wars are common. Occasionally, a leader does rise above the petty gang warfare, but the Hundred Flower triads work hard to prevent this kind of unification that can be a threat to their bottom line.

Head-Quarters: There is no headquarters for the Thousand Knives, although Bi’an, and in particular- “the Sinking City” are a well known stronghold.

Relics: It is doubtful the Thousand Knives have very many powerful relics, but they are, however- full of surprises…

Virtues: Ferocity & Individualism

Fortune: Gang-Colors. The Thousand Knives know that there is strength in numbers. Your gang is your family, and your life. A tong member may spend joss to summon up a number of fellow gang members; these are minions equal to the characters rank minus one. Each point of joss summons one group.

Specialization: Street-Cred. On the streets, reputation means everything- all members of the Thousand Knives receive a free specialization in confidence related to their fearlessness.

Internal Kung-Fu: The Thousand Knives have no Internal Kung-fu of their own, but they shamelessly steal the techniques of others. A member of the tongs may create their own internal style by cobbling together techniques form other styles. They may use any combination of techniques, up to level three- the limit being that they can have no more than one technique per level, and the chi cost of each is +1. They are unable to advance their internal kungfu until they study under a proper shifu.

External Kung-Fu: The Thousand Knives have no preferred external martial arts.

Secret Technique: A Mixed Bag. Gang members of the Thousand Knives rarely have a shifu guiding them along a martial path. Theirs is a patchwork quilt of techniques sewn together by ragged threads. Their versatility however, allows them to use any weapon tag with any style of external martial arts.


GHOSTS OF YIN-JIN QuietlyQuixotic