Oriental Adventures Game 3


Game Master: Adam
Game Edition: 1st Ed. AD&D
Players: Jeff, Andrew, Dave, Elijah, Isaiah
Starting Level: 1
Current Level: 1-2

Quote of the Evening:
"Cakes cooked in destruction often taste the best." - Old Wu Jen saying.

Introduction

Last game Adam left the party angrily heading towards Oka. Lady Maru had betrayed our village of Kibou and disappeared when the Samurai sacked it.

Jo-on the Monk (Elijah) and his Brother Yamashita the Sohei (Andrew), had seen their monastery destroyed. Hitoro the Wu Jen (Jeff), had seen the village he severed burned, and even Kira the Ninja (Dave), was sad to see his childhood home in ruins.

The four were tired, angry, and Couldn't go a step further. They each collapsed into a deep sleep in a clearing along side the road.

As good a place as any for a nap.

Scene 1 A Messenger in the Night. Returning to Kibou.

A bird call broke the silence of the night, but none were disturbed by it except Kira. He alone knew the truth of the bird's song. It wasn't a bird at all but the call sign of his Ninja clan. The clan he betrayed.

Kira opened his eyes, to see a man dressed in black standing over him. the man removed the cloth cover his face, and Kira recognized him as his friend Yakaru. The only person he had made a personal connection with in his clan. Yakaru looked worried and asked if they could speak in private so as not to awake Kira's companions.

Despite what it looks like, we are sleeping, and were not killed by ninjas.
In private Yakaru told Kira that The Clan was angry with him for leaving and was looking for him. He was worried that he would have to kill Kira and begged him to return, but Kira was unwilling to return to that life.

Yakaru gave him a final warning to watch his back and disappeared into the shadows. With a troubled mind, Kira tried to get back to sleep.

The following morning the party awoke with a rumbling in their bellies and Yamashita began to complain about how hungry he was. Annoyed, Jo-on told him to be quite, and thought for a moment.

In their rage they had never found the body of the grand master and had left Kibou without any supplies. The may still be alive, and they wouldn't make it far without any food or water. Thinking it through carefully,  Jo-on decided that they would return to Kibou, search for supplies and try to find the where abouts of the grand master.

After a few hours walking, they returned to the ruins of Kibou and found Kenji fishing by the river. He laughed when saw the party approach, saying that he knew they would return. He then told them about how the Samurai had paid particular attention to the monastery perhaps they were searching for something in the catacombs?

While the others spoke with Kenji, Yamashita went scouring around the village, looking for any scrap of food he could find. Inside one of the houses, as if by some miracle there were 4 hot rice cakes. Just sitting there.

Yum!
Looking around, Yamashita quickly gobbled up two of them and headed back towards the group to share the two rice cakes he had found. They each ate a half.

This is where our quote of the evening comes from when everyone commented on how good the rice cakes were.

Hitoro remarked that, "cakes cooked in destruction often taste the best."

Scene 2 The Monastery. A Thief. A Zombie. A Friend.

After eating their meal, the four made their way towards the monastery. The Once grand buildings stood in ruins, sacked and destroyed by the marauding samurai. Yamashita and Jo-on could barely contain their heart ache. Their home and the life they had always known lay in ruins before them.

Jo-on was able to handle his anger, his discipline as a monk taught him to let go of such material concerns. Yamashita on the other hand, was burning with rage. His anger almost consuming him.

Entering the garden through the main gate, they all heard a rustling coming from inside. It sounded like some one was searching through the remains.

He and Jo-on entered the temple and found someone dressed in red and blue robes sifting through the rubble. Jo-on called for them to identify themselves, but before they could speak and ignoring his brothers cries to stop Yamashita ran at him swinging his tetsubo.

No Yamashita! Don't do it!
The anger had felt at the destruction of the the Temple was flowing through him. He would kill this thief, and preform his duties as Sohei one last time.

Yamashita swung his club with all his might, and it connected with the thief's head dashing the man's brains across the floor as he fell dead.

*On a funny side note here, Adam the DM intended this Character to be Isaiah's Bushi, and thus welcome him into the game. I was not paying attention, and as Yamashita, just assumed Adam was throwing an encounter at us where we would have to fight a lone Samurai in the Temple. The Party is still split on whether or not this was a justifiable action for Sohei defending his Temple. Tell me your thoughts in comments!*

Heaving with victory, Yamashita's glory was only disrupted by Jo-on's scolding. Jo-on was furious with his brother. They would need all the help they could get, and killing people certainly wasn't going to achieve that.

Yamashita shrugged it off and the party made their way to the cellar where the catacombs lay. The door had been busted in, and a dark portal stood before them.

Scene 3 The Catacombs.

The party descended the stairs into the tunnels that the twins had seen only in their youth. The bodies of Monks and Samurai littered the ground leading a path towards the room with the first singing bowl that Yamashita remembered from his youth.

As they followed the trail of destruction, they were stopped by a horrific sight. There had always been rumours of strange creatures in the catacombs, and one of them stood before them: a Jaing Shi, and undead creature that was gorging itself on the body of a fallen Sohei.

OMG! ZOMBIE!
Being a Wu Jen, Hitoro knew that Jaing Shi, are always tempted by coins, and threw a few on the ground. The trick worked to distract the creature for a while, but in the end, a Critical Swing from Yamashita's tetsubo ended the creature.

The party continued their travels until they were stopped by a scuffling sound coming from one of the rooms. Fearing it was another monster, the surrounded the door and listened again. They heard a banging, as if some one was trying to get out... It could be at rap. The party entered the room with their weapons raised, to find a chest pounding and shaking. clearly some one was trapped inside!

Jo-on opened the chest slowly, and found a bushi hiding in it. He cried out, asking his liberators not to kill him! Jo-on calmed the man down and explained who they were. The Bushi, though still shaken, told them that his name was Fugimoto Naoya (Isaiah). He had come to the monastery only the day before and was resting there when the samurai attacked.

His bark is worse than his bite.
He claimed to have been fighting with the Sohei, when their line was broken! The Samurai were slaughtering so many people, fear over came him. Next thing he knew he hid in the chest and thankfully no one found him. It seemed as though the samurai were looking for something in particular!

Inviting the Bushi to come along, the party continued to follow the path of destruction.

After wandering through the ruins, The party came across and old memory from Yamashita and Jo-on's childhood: a singing bowl. Yamashita patted the mallet that he still wore around his waist as a reminder of that day. The day he became a Sohei.


The mallet also counts as a 1d4 weapon!

Knowing the way, Yamashita lead them to where he fought the fish and claimed the mallet. It still stood open, having not been entered since that fateful day almost 4 years ago.

However something was different about the room. Before one of the doors had been sealed shut with heavy stone. Now it lay smashed open and blood covered the floor. There was an empty pedestal, and a hastily scrawled note that lay in the corner. It read:

"Brothers, what you seek lies not in this room, but in the place where brother turned upon brother."

Jo-on was the first to remember the fight they had as children by the river and suggested they look there. Concerned that they had yet to fine the Grand Master, the party left the dungeon and hastened to the river side.

Scene 4 The River. Leaving Kibou.

The river looked calm. It always did, and it was a warm welcome from the harshness of the past few hours. Jo-on lead the party to where he and Yamashita had fought, a tree by the a pebble beach where they kept the fishing boats.

After searching the area, Kira noticed something bobbing up and down in the middle of the river. Yamashita swam out to get it, and gave it to his brother to open.

Jo-on unscrewed the top carefully removed the contents. Inside there was an incredibly beautiful scroll, the likes of which none of the group had ever seen.

Even more beautiful than that!
There was also a note tucked inside of the scroll. Jo-on unravelled it and read it aloud:


He didn't recognize the hand writing, but a path of action seemed clear. They must take the scroll to the Fallen Heron Temple. However, after learning the news, Yamashita wanted to go to Oka to save the Grand Master. He insisted that they owed it to him to go to Oka and save his life. But Jo-on ended the argument with his usual wisdom. He pointed out that they owed it to the Grand Master to do as he instructed. They would take the Scroll to safety, then they would search for the Grand Master.

Begrudgingly, Yamashita conceded his brother's wisdom, but suggested that they rest for the day. Though it was only noon it had been a trying few hours, and it seemed everyone could use the rest.

Yamashita and Fugimoto used the time to search the village for supplies, while the others set up a small camp.

By the end of the day, they were eating fish, and had enough rice to travel the many days it would take them to get to the Fallen Heron Temple along the North Road.

For the rest of the evening, the party chatted with Kenji, and exchanged happy memories about Kibou. The hours waned, and soon everyone was fast a sleep.

The following morning, the Bushi Fugimoto Naoya was gone as well as a small amount of food. Thankful that he didn't take it all, the party left Kibou along the North road.

Kenji waved them goodbye.


Scene 5 Days of Travel. A Kensai.

The four travelled the roads for several days, until the monotony was broken by a man sitting by a small shack at the side of a creek. He was sharpening his Katana on a whetstone, with strong fluid motions, stopping only when he noticed the approaching party.

He also looked pretty badass
The stranger sheathed his blade and hailed the party, as they approached. He greeted them kindly telling them that the woods were dangerous in these parts. Many bandits lurked about, and they would best not travel at night, and keep watch when they slept. Yamashita scoffed at the arrogance of the man, but Jo-on thanked him for the advice, and asked him if he knew where The Fallen Heron Temple was.

The kensai smiled, and a sly look came across his face.

"I will tell you what." he said. "If any of you land a blow on me with a bokken I will give you what you seek. Yamashita immediately accepted the challenge, and the Kensai disappeared into his hut, returning with two bokken.

Fight!
The Kensai was a very skilled warrior, Yamashita was not able to land a single blow against him. With ease, the Kensai then ripped the bokken from Yamashita's hand and pinned him with his own. A little disappointed, Yamashita congratulated the Kensai on his victory and sulked off.

Kira then decide he would give it try.

Round 2. Fight!
Kira was no more successful in his fight than Yamashita, but the Kensai had enjoyed the fights so much that he told them where to go any way.

He mentioned that the monastery was a few days travel up the road, and also suggested that they stay in the small town of Mansuyama. There was an inn there, and owner of owed him a favour. He gave Jo-on a small scrap of paper with a symbol on it.

"Give this to the innkeeper." He said. And with that he returned to sharpening his Katana.

Jo-on thanked him, and the group continued along the trail toward

Scene 6 A Place to Stay. An Attack 

By the time the party had reached Mansuyama, the sun had begun to set. The village was about the same size as Kibou, which meant finding the inn was easy as it was the largest building in town.

The Innkeeper accepted the mysterious note from the Kensai and gave them a room that could fit four. Jo-on thanked the owner and the group went to their room to sleep.

The group dozed off as Kria stayed awake for the first watch, and it was a good thing that he did.

Just as Kira's watch was about to end, he saw the window slowly open. Carefully he stepped into the shadows concealing himself. A black clothed ninja slipped into the room, the moonlight shining off of his drawn blade.

Like a Ninja through a window.
From the Shadows, Kira let out a cry, waking everyone up. Acting instinctively Yamashita grabbed his tetsubo and dived across the beds, striking his opponent. Injured the ninja cried out and stumbled backwards where Kira finished him with a knife in the back.

Searching the ninja revealed nothing of who had sent him. But they all couldn't shake the feeling that maybe the Kensai had been testing their abilities. All Except Kira. he alone knew the true target of this assassin: himself.

Hearing the noise, the townsfolk had come running, arriving to see the dead ninja. Jo-on explained to them how they had been attacked, and worriedly the villagers took the body out and buried him.

The whole town was on edge for the rest of the night, and the party was frequently awoken by the shouts of the villagers who now watched the streets, and jumped at every shadow and sound in the woods.

Scene 7 Murder Most Foul.

The following morning the party awoke late in the day, having made up for the sleepless night. It was almost noon when they were awoken by the sound of shouting outside. Then, footsteps came up the stairs, and the voice of the innkeeper came through the the wall asking for the monk to come and help. Some one had been killed!

The party went down stairs and out to the edge of the forest where a group of villagers had gathered in a circle. In the centre stood Village Leader with a man and woman. On the ground behind them lay the murder victim.

It's murder Sherlock! Murder most foul!
He had been stabbed in the chest, and the man standing beside the woman claimed he had seen her do it. Somberly the woman denied it. Trusting the monks reasoning and logic, The Village leader asked Jo-on if he could help resolve the conflict judge.

Jo-on agreed and spoke to both of them in private. The woman seemed very scared and didn't say much, but Jo-on believed she was innocent, and that the man was lying and clearly the guilty party. He returned to the Village Leader and told him of his decision.

The Leader accepted the monks ruling, and passed him the ceremonial Katana. The sentence was death, and the village wanted him to carry it out. 

*Another Side note here, as it turns out, Monks are not actually allowed to kill in the oriental adventures module, however none of us knew that at the time. So Elijah's character Jo-on did indeed carry out the execution, but will not suffer the moral crisis a monk would normally have for having done so.*

With the deed done the village thanked them, and the party left for the monastery.

Scene 8 An Unlikely Rescue.

On the night of their first day of travel, the party had grown careless, lowering their guard, and chatting amongst themselves loudly as they travelled into the grew night.

Just as soon as it became dark enough that it was hard to see the road in front of them, a shuriken came spinning from the woods striking Yamashita in the back of his left shoulder. In a flash, six Ninja's appeared from the woods. It seemed hopeless, but without a means of escape, the weary low level party struggled for their lives.

And I always thought getting surrounded by Ninjas would be awesome.
As the party was overwhelmed and surrounded, two shurikens whizzed out of the darkness striking down two of the ninjas. Given an equal fight, the adventures gained ground, and were able to fight their attackers off.

After the battle, another figured dressed in black appeared from the darkness. She recovered the two shuriken from the slain ninjas, and then stood to face the party. Jo-on demanded to know who she was, and she removed her hood.

It was the Lady Maru! The one who had paid to have the sake stolen, and most likely the person who had brought the samurai to Kibou.

"Come with me if you want to live." She said.


And that is where we left off for the night.

Conclusion.

What a cliffhanger! Is Lady Maru the villain who stole the sake and brought the samurai? Or the one who saved the scroll from the monastery? What is her angle?

Hopefully our questions will be answered next game, but one thing is certain. We can't trust her, not yet.

With any luck she will help us get the scroll to the Fallen Heron Monastery, but more likely I suspect she will try to steal it from us.

It would be unwise to take our eyes off of her for even a moment. Find out what happens next game!

Written by: Andrew Gregory
Oriental Adventures Game 3 Oriental Adventures Game 3 Reviewed by Jade GamingNews on 2/20/2015 12:05:00 pm Rating: 5

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