In the mountainous heights of the Wilderness, peasants toil over barren fields and tend to emaciated flocks; struggling to eke out what meager lives they can amongst the rubble of their ancestral villages. Ancient family homesteads lie in burnt ruin, destroyed in the violent clashes between the Song and Jin dynasties in their struggle for dominance over the Heavenly Kingdom of China.
With the remnants of the once mighty Jin armies now in disorganized retreat across the mountains, villagers in the Wilderness lands must hide themselves behind barred doors at night. Quaking in fear at the slightest noise that drifts in through their windows, and praying it isn't a band of Jin deserters coming to pillage what little they have left to survive through the winter, or desperate Jin Captains with press gangs, forcing able-bodied peasants into service as slave soldiers to help bolster their army's dwindling ranks.
To the north, Snow Mountain Clan bandits and other criminal elements smuggle stolen Song dynasty weapons to Jin insurgents from across the mountain range, raiding nearby farms for what little supplies and scraps of food the villagers still possess, and waylaying pilgrims on their way to holy shrines in the hills.
To the south, a secretive sect of religious zealots defends a stronghold in the shadow of a massive stone colossus at the mountain's peak, rumored to have been their ancient god who was cast down in a celestial war eons past. Bent on the revival of their dark god and expanding the dominion of their demon-worshipping religion across the desperate Wilderness, nearby village live in terror as fanatical monks slip into remote homesteads at night. Ripping screaming children from their mothers' arms, only to take them back to their compound and forcibly indoctrinate them into worshipping their false gods with profane rituals.
The sole hope of succor and protection for the displaced peasants scattered across the Wilderness lies within the mighty walls of the fortress to the east, the ancient citadel of the Sunglow Clan. Legendary masters of the Healing and Light Martial Arts, the Sunglow are the last and best hope for those brought to them on the verge of death.
With their fantastic healing skills however comes an innate sense of pride of in their own abilities and an almost crippling defensiveness in regards to their perceived lack of mastery in the arts of combat. With their Martial Arts Clan not actually knowing any combat-applicable Martial Arts, the prideful Sunglow clan forces payment on those they heal. Trading the visitor's teaching them the secrets of offensive Martial Arts in return for the lives they save, in an attempt to assuage their pride and gain a reputation for mastery of Martial Arts in all its forms.