Gao Lin

A Harrowed martial artist


A somewhat pale young Chinese man with a wiry body, cloudy brown eyes and short black hair. About 5’9" tall. Usually wears traditional Chinese clothing. Currently wears a sleeveless, hooded uniform of the 37th Chamber, black cloth pants and black cloth shoes. Also wears hand and leg wraps.

Wields a pair of D-shaped fist weapons very much reminiscent of knuckledusters. The handles of the weapons are made out of wood taken from the lair of a powerful Indian voodooist known as Papa Rattlesnake. The “punchy” parts are made out of silver-plated steel with hanzi inscriptions on them. The inscription on the right one reads “Heaven” and on the left one “Earth”.


Gao Lin was born 16th of June, 1856 in a small village called Yangzi near the city of Xianggang. His parents died shortly after he was born, so his uncle, Sun Lin, handed him over to an orphanage in Xianggang. The life in the orphanage wasn’t easy, but it was the only life Gao knew.

When Gao turned ten, he decided that he had had enough of the life in the orphanage and so he escaped in to the streets of Xianggang, now known as Hong Kong. Gao noticed soon that street life was even harder. After three weeks of living in the streets, Gao was seriously considering about returning to the orphanage, but before he could make up his mind, a monk came to him. The monk introduced himself as Cheng Long and that he was a Shaolin monk from the province of Guangxi. The monk claimed that he had seen something special in Gao and wanted to train him in the ways of the Southern Dragon style. Gao agreed.

Gao travelled with the monk to a small monastery near the border of Laos. The monk told him that this was the Southern Shaolin Temple. On the very next day, Gao took the temple vow and began his training under the guidance of Cheng Long, the master of the Southern Dragon Style. The monks and the other students soon discovered that Gao’s chi was more volatile than usual. When he would channel his chi, it manifested as an aura of brilliant blue flame. No one knew why Gao’s chi manifested itself in such a way. Some said that it was because of his quick-tempered nature while others claimed that he was cursed and would bring doom and destruction upon the temple. Other than that, the life in the temple was pretty good, at least compared to the orphanage or the streets. Gao even learned a bit of English from an old British gentleman who was staying at the temple.

The years went on by peacefully enough. By 1876, Gao Lin was one of the most promising practitioners of the Southern Dragon Style in the temple. He could have become one the best in all of China, if things would have played out a little differently. On the 6th of May, the Imperial Army attacked the temple under the cover of night. No one knows why. Perhaps it was an order of a general gone rogue or maybe it was the will of the Emperor. The monks didn’t stand a chance. They were outnumbered and outgunned. Most of the temple inhabitants were slaughtered mercilessly and the temple was burned to the ground. Only a handful of students were able to escape and one of them was Gao Lin. To escape the Army and to keep the legacy of the temple alive, the five remaining students went on their separate ways and Gao ended up in America. More specifically Salt Lake City, Utah. There, he lived among the Chinese denizens of Salt Lake until in December 1879 he heard a rumor that another student of the Southern temple was alive and in America. He then boarded the Denver-Pacific train from Salt Lake City to Cedar City. Little did he know where that train would take him…

Gao Lin

Deadlands: The Flood Ridge