Crouching Cultist, Hidden Heretic
Daxing Cheng covers a large stretch of countryside which contained over half a dozen port cities and dozens of fishing villages before they were all swallowed up into a single urban megacity. As such, Gangwu Qu is far from the only port district in Daxing Cheng, but it is unquestionably the greatest. Hundreds of ships move in and out of port every day here, where the city’s river feeds its great harbor. Marshes and muddy banks have been paved over with smooth stone walls that embed themselves in solid ground forty feet or more below the surface of the waves. The streets constantly bustle with sailors unloading cargo into storage where merchants then load them onto barges for the trip down the river and vice-versa, and all of them spend their wages in taverns, tea houses, brothels, and inns that crowd the entire district. Those who work there buy their food, clothes, and other necessities from the teeming masses who live inland, making up over 80% of the district’s landmass and population (even counting itinerants).
This port is overseen by the Eagle Talons, but curiously enough their leader is never seen in public. This detachment of the Eagle Talons is as skilled as any other, but all know that something is clearly off with them, they who are usually so eager to stamp themselves on the city. What leader of the Talons wouldn’t want to claim boldly where all the Wulin can hear that he and those who follow him are the mighty vanguard who hold Daxing Cheng’s wealthiest district against all comers? Perhaps there is some sort of affliction, rumors say, or something else that shames their leader, yet his skill and wisdom is so unparalleled that none will challenge him. Or perhaps he the Eagle Talons are rogue from their orthodox brothers and up to some nefarious scheme which none of their leaders wish to be associated with should they be discovered. Or perhaps, others say, the Eagle Talons are suffering an internal power struggle, and merely pretend to be united to deter opportunists like the Black Lotus or Southern Dragons from taking advantage.