Period of Time
The Big Swords Society (a.k.a. Big Knives Society in English) is a network of traditional peasant self-defence militias, widespread in North China during the Qīng Dynasty, and noted for their reckless courage. Their members are drawn from small-holders and tenant farmers, who organise to defend villages against roaming bandits, warlords, and tax collectors. In spite of its apparent secular aims, the Big Swords Society has a religious foundation in Chinese folk religion; its Grand Masters claimed to make the members invulnerable to bullets by magic.
Much like the Elders' Society, the Big Swords Society becomes active against the foreigners' encroachment at the end of the Qīng. On 1 November 1897, members of the Big Swords Society attacked German Catholic missionaries in Shāndōng. In retaliation, the German East Asia Squadron caused mass destruction (burnt villages, etc.). This swayed the local members of the Big Swords Society even more into an anti-foreign mood, paving the way for the Boxer Uprising a few years later.
As described above, wealthy peasants with a penchant for sword-fighting and vigilantism.
- Must be sponsored by someone who is already a member of the Big Swords Society.
- Wealth level must be at least Affluent.
- A fighting skill in cold weapons of at least 65%.
- Allegiance in Chinese folk religion +10
- New skill: Knowledge (Group: Big Swords Society) at a starting value of 25+3D6% - Can be used to find shelter, recognise fellow members, etc., but it only works in the region where the character underwent his initiation, as the various branches of the Big Swords Society are quite independent of each other.
- Must take part in the defence of one's village