At the Door of Justice
The adventures of Yan Ching, a swordsman who lived in the shadowy world of Wulin during the Song dynasty of China (AD970-1279). The subculture of Wulin emphasized the practice of martial arts and fighting evil...they were the superheroes, gang-bangers and avengers of ancient China. More
Three episodes of the adventures of a swordsman who lived in the Song dynasty of China (AD 960-1279). This period was one of the most turbulent and interesting periods in Chinese history due to foreign invasion and internal weaknesses. The Song dynasty ended with the invasion of the Mongol, who eventually went on to invade most of the civilized world.
The story timeline was before the Mongols, at that time the threats were from the Kingdom of Liao (Northeast, present day Heilongjiang) and the Kingdom of Xi Xia (Northwest, present day Gansu region). These two threats would eventually along with the Song Empire fall victim to the mighty Mongol hordes.
The Song civilization had a strong focus on art; the military elements in the administration were neglected and placed low in the hierarchy. The Imperial Authorities were also wary of a powerful army, thus creating the perfect opportunity for foreign intruders.
The weakness in the Imperial administration led to the rise of the informal subculture of Wulin. Wulin consisted of Martial Art practitioners from all over the Empire whose main purpose was to uphold justice where and when the authorities could not. This bunch of people was not organized in any way; they dished out justice in whatever way or degree they considered appropriate. They were the superheroes, gang-bangers and avengers of ancient China.
Wulin had their own core code of conduct, though not readily enforced this code consisted mainly of things like helping the weak, and fighting evil. They existed simply because the authorities were not able to provide the security to the people, overtime; it became fashionable for the civilian population to be well-armed and trained to fight for themselves. But most of these people did not have any political ambition; they were just romantic good doers.
In the first story Yan Ching was working for a wealthy merchant in Luoyang, disaster hit when an Imperial treasure entrusted to the merchant was stolen. This theft brought Yan Ching on an investigation that spanned three generations and across the entire Empire.
As he untangled the knots of deceits and shameful secrets of the wealthy household he discovered that the victims of a crime committed three generations ago had came back to seek justice. Through his experience and connections in the shadowy world of Wulin, he worked fast to avert a disaster for his employer. Not because he loved them, he had to save them in order to save his own neck.
With the backing of unlimited wealth from his employer he was able to make use of the most expensive and sophisticated underground communication network to conduct his investigation. He activated his contacts in the remote frontier region and in the ancient capital of Xian. His resourceful team tackled corrupted provincial authorities and ventured into the den of the elusive grave robbing community.
When he finally traced the perpetrators of the theft back to his home base of Luoyang, he had to negotiate through the delicate minefield of acute hatred of an ancient clan.