Shadow over Rokugan

Rude Villagers and Evil Spirits
All mirrors are evil
  • Takeshi, Nuro Byushi, and Umaba Takito continue escorting the people they rescued from the shadowlands fortress. Among the captives are Yuji, the emperor’s heir, Byushi’s mother, Taikito’s sister, and Toritaka Nozomi, a crab shugenja.
  • The samurai notice a large storm covering the land ahead. It seems unnatural and sinister, so they decide to take a detour to avoid the storm. This leads them close to a village in what used to be crane territory. This village has survived despite all of the troubles plaguing Rokugan.
  • The samurai arrive at the village around midday. Takeshi wishes to continue on, but Yuji overrules him. They enter the town, and Yaushi, the village leader, offers them lodging in the lord’s house. He explains that the lord is missing. He went to a shrine to pray and disappeared.
  • During the night, someone hurls a torch though a window. Byushi, Takito, and Nozomi go to investigate. They head to a bar, and overhear someone bragging about throwing the torch. Takito confronts him, but the man is not intimidated, not even by Takito’s obsidian claws. The men head outside. Byushi ambushes and kills some of the man’s friends, and the rest surrender. Takito mentions that the emperor is staying in the big house.
  • Meanwhile, Takeshi hears whispers from another room. He sees a faceless figure standing over Byushi’s mother and Takito’s sister. He kills the figure, throws it out of the building, and takes the two women back to his guard post. The other samurai return, and they talk about what happened. They hear whispers downstairs. Takeshi and Nozomi go to investigate, while Takito attends to his sister in a different room. Byushi is approached by a faceless monster. Takeshi and Nozomi go back up to help her, but they are swallowed in an illusion. A woman thinks that Takeshi is the lord of the village, and that Nozomi is his attendant. Takeshi plays along, then dumps water on his head. This wakes him from the illusion. Nozomi remains in the illusion until she summons a kami. She wakes up outside town. Takeshi and Takito notice that Byushi appears pregnant. Takeshi awkwardly brings this up. Byushi denies being pregnant, and the awkwardness builds.
  • They are interrupted by someone ringing the gong downstairs. It is the man who threw the torch. He has a gift for the emperor, a large mirror. The samurai are suspicious, but eventually, they accept the mirror. The samurai agree to take watches. During Takito’s watch, he slashes the mirror with his claws. In the morning, it is unharmed. Takito attacks the mirror with his sword. Takeshi rebukes him. The emperor says he is meeting a woman who crept into his room last night. They go to the meeting place and wait all day, but the woman does not appear.
  • The next night, Takeshi suggest that the samurai post two guards around the house, instead of one. Nozomi and Takito agree to be first, and Takeshi goes to bed. Byushi sneaks into the emperor’s room. A creepy figure attacks her. When she fights back, the emperor attacks her too. He does not appear to be sane, and his eyes are made of glass. Byushi is soon in grave danger. Nozomi and Takito burst into the room, but everything seems fine. They approach Byushi, who appears to be crouching in the corner. She attacks them. This fight wakes Takeshi. When he enters the room, the illusion dissipates.
  • The samurai decide they should leave immediately. Takeshi goes to convince the emperor. When he tries to wake the emperor, he is greeted by some other entity. This entity attempts to convince Takeshi to take the mirror with him, and offers him anything in return. Takeshi turns him down, and the entity allows Takeshi to speak to the actual emperor. The emperor agrees to leave immediately, if the samurai leave everyone else behind. Takito refuses to obey this order. Takeshi smashes the mirror. The emperor decides it would be better to leave in the morning.
  • Everyone sets out in the morning. Takeshi notices a mirror shard in his backpack and throws it away.
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The Dark Mirror

Takeshi, Umaba Takito, and Nuro Byushi converse with Abdul. Abdul takes Takeshi’s refusal of a katana in stride, and offers them a map. Takeshi looks at the map. It is blank, so he points this out. Abduhl explains that the map needs blood to activate it. Takito offers his blood, and the map becomes visible. Takeshi locates a likely entrance to the fortress, but realizes Abdul is hiding something. Takeshi gives Abdul all of his food, and Abdul reveals that the fortress is made of flesh. Further questioning reveals little, since Abdul wants more payment for more information. The samurai decide not to do this, and depart.

  • On the way to the tunnel into the fortress, Byushi scouts ahead. She sees a ten foot tall, horned oni, with melting flesh. She leads the group another way. The samurai arrive at the entrance without further incident. It is at the top of a large sand dune. Inside, the samurai see a broken ladder and several skeletons. Takeshi ties a rope to a nearby tree and climbs down. Byushi attempts to follow, but loses her grip and falls to the bottom of the pit. Takito is also unable to hold himself and slides down, landing on top of the already injured Byushi. This last blow renders her unable to move.
  • Takeshi decides he cannot leave Byushi unconscious in the bottom of a pit. he climbs out and instructs Takito to tie Byushi to the rope. Then, he attempts to lift Byushi out of the pit. The rope slides off Byushi’s body, and she falls back down, crushing Takito underneath her. Meanwhile, Takeshi notices a large demon approaching. It looks similar to the one Byushi saw earlier. Takeshi whispers a warning to Takito, and prepares to face the beast. Fortunately, it does not attack, and eventually wanders away. Takito ties Byushi to the rope again, and this time Takeshi successfully lifts her out of the pit. The samurai use Abdul;s map to locate a safe resting place. The first cave they visit appears to be inhabited by giants, although no one is home at the moment. The samurai think better of hiding here, and look for another place to rest. They find another cave that hasn’t been visited for three days, according to Takeshi’s best estimate.
  • Takeshi and Takito attempt to fortify the cave as best they can. They find a bottle and smash it at the entrance. Takeshi asks Takito to guard Byushi and recover from his own wounds while Takeshi goes to rescue Yuji. The samurai rest for the night, then Takeshi leaves. He tells the others to assume he’s failed if he’s not back within three days. Byushi says they won’t even wait that long.
  • On his way to the fortress, Takeshi meets a strange, whistling man. The man asks Takeshi where he is going and if he is alone. Takeshi is truthful but vague. The man claims not to know who he is or where he’s from. Their conversation is interrupted by the footsteps of a large creature. “Prepare yourself” says Takeshi. “I don’t remember how to fight” says the man. “Then run.” Leathery wings sprout from the man’s back and he flies off with astonishing speed. The creature comes into view. It is the ten foot tall demon from earlier. A wave of fear washes over takeshi, but he tells the monster to step aside, albeit with a trembling voice. the oni says nothing but continues to block the way. Takeshi draws his sword and advances. The creature still does not move. Takeshi attacks and cuts a gash in the creature’s chest. It closes up. The monster retaliates. Its tail connects and sends Takeshi flying.
  • Meanwhile the winged man arrives at the cave where takito and byushi are hiding. He tells them that their friend is in grave danger. He tells them, that their friend is in grave danger. He tells Byushi that she will face grave consequences in the next life for killing the emperor, even if it was by his own wishes. Byushi still does not regret her actions. The man heals Takito’s and Byushi’s wounds, and tells them to grab his hands. After some discussion they do so. Both Takito and Byushi sprout a single wing from their backs. The man’s own wings shrivel up and disappear. Byushi faints briefly from the pain. After a little more discussion, Takito and Byushi set out to rescue Takeshi.
  • Takeshi has made little headway with the demon when Taktio and byushi arrive. Despite their fear, they dive-bomb the demon. Takito uses his knowledge of the Shadowlands to cut a hole in the demon’s armor above its heart. After their initial attack, Takito and Byushi’s wings shrivel up. due to the demon’s terrifying presence, they are unable to effectively attack.
  • Another creature appears on the horizon. it’s tall skinny frame is covered in boils and filth. It attacks the demon, and quickly fells it, then begins to feed. The samurai move on. They arrive at the entrance to the fortress, and climb down the hole without incident.
  • The samurai walk down the tunnel to the fortress. Strange, naked humanoids climb over the walls,. the samurai avoid their tongues and continue on. They pass through a large gate, and follow their map until they come to a large, dark mirror. It forms the door to the prison where Yuji is probably being held. Instead of handles, the door has spikes. takeshi sees his family in the mirror, Byushi sees herself killing her allies, and takito doesn’t look.
  • Takeshi convinces himself that his family is an illusion, and shoots an arrow at the door. It pierces his daughter in the chest. She collapses to the ground, to the dismay of her mother and brother. Takeshi drops to his knees. his yumi clatters on the ground. “I can’t. I just can’t,” he whispers. Byushi charges the door and stabs it. She runs her mother through. Takito charges the door without looking at it. Obsidian claws burst from his hands and pierce the glass. He hears a faint whimper and looks down. He is stabbing his long-lost sister in the stomach. Takeshi walks towards the door and tries to pull it open. he cannot get a good enough grip on the spikes. On closer inspection he notices small holes in the spikes. He cuts his hand and bleeds on the spike. The doors swing open.
  • Inside are the samurai’s loved ones, as well as several other prisoners, including Yuji. Most of the prisoners keep a good distance from Takeshi’s family and Byushi’s brother. The three samurai attempt to patch up their injured loved ones. Suddenly, Byushi and Takeshi are attacked by their families. Byushi strikes down her brother, but Takeshi cannot bring himself to do the same, even as Byushi’s brother is revealed to be a changeling. Byushi attempts to kill Takeshi’s fake wife, but her attacks do no damage. takeshi realizes he must kill the impersonators himself. He destroys his son and daughter, and turns to slay his wife. takeshi’s wife strikes him, and the samurai splits into two people. He is not aware of his dual nature. The two Takeshi’s simultaneously move to attack the changeling, but they cannot bring themselves to take the final blow. their swords clatter to the ground as they resign themselves to their fate. Byushi intervenes, and the last changeling is destroyed. With that, the samurai lead the prisoners from the room. their way is obstructed by a shallow pool of water. The two Takeshi’s cautiously poke the water with an arrow. When nothing happens, they begin to cross. One of them is swallowed up, and the rest of the group crosses without incident.
  • The group escapes from the fortress, and returns to the cave where the samurai spent the previous night. the strange man who had wings is there. he is cooking over a fire. The prisoners eat eagerly, but Takeshi doesn’t eat anything. takito realizes his sister is pregnant. The mysterious man tells Byushi the gods will forgive her for murdering the emperor if she gives up her recently rescued mother. Byushi refuses.
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A Music Box and A Trap
  • Twenty-five years in the past, ten years before the death of the emperor, young samurai from all over Rokugan gather to show their talents to the emperor. Among them are Akodo Takeshi, Nuro Byushi, Umaba Takito, and Soshi Trayak, a shugenja from the Scorpion Clan.
  • The young samurai are told they have until tomorrow night to plan a display to impress the emperor. They will be split into teams, and they have to come up with something unique for the emperor. Takeshi, Byushi, Takito, and Trayak are placed on a team. Takeshi suggests a demonstration of swordsmanship. Byushi suggests killing a bear. Then the youngsters remember that they were to report to Togashi, the man in charge of the young samurai, once they found their teammates.
  • Togashi suggests that they retrieve a music box from a nearby abandoned village. Legend says that those who spend the night in the village hear a haunting tune. He mentions that it will be dangerous. The young samurai are undeterred. Takeshi and Trayak recall additional details about the legend, involving a disgraced lion samurai.
  • The youngsters head to the village. Only three buildings remain standing. Takeshi and Byushi begin preparing the campsite, while Takito goes off to gather firewood. While he is alone, he is nearly hit by a falling branch. He turns around to see a woman standing in a tree. She is dressed in white and does not respond to his questions. She falls out of the tree and breaks her neck. Takito calls for the others. When they arrive, they see nothing.
  • The children decide to investigate the abandoned buildings. The first building appears to have someone living in it. Byushi helps herself to an old bottle of sake. Takeshi waits for the occupant to return, while the others go to the next building. In that building, Trayak finds a strange, magical sword that once belonged to a lion samurai. He cannot draw it from its sheath. Suddenly, Byushi collapses on the ground. Trayak looks at her strangely for several seconds, then takes her pulse. He tells Takito that she’ll be alright, then moves on the the third and final building.
  • Takeshi is confronted by an unknown man. The man tells him that it isn’t safe, and challenges Takeshi’s unwavering obedience to his superiors. Takeshi recites the relevant portions of the code of Bushido. The man asks Takeshi what he is doing in the village. After Takeshi explains, the man heads back upstairs. Now that the mystery of the occupied building is solved, Takeshi heads to join his friends.
  • In the third building, Trayak finds a music box. He conceals this and the lion sword. Meanwhile, Takeshi is convinced that Byushi is poisoned. He manages to wake her from a dream where an older woman that looks very similar to Byushi presents her with the emperor’s dead body. Takeshi announces that he will be taking Byushi back to the main camp for medical treatment. Byushi insists she is fine. Trayak returns, but says nothing about his discoveries.
  • Upon exiting the building, the samurai see the silhouette of a head protruding from a well. Takeshi and Byushi go over to help. They hear a voice calling for help. Takeshi grabs at the shadow of a hand, and grabs a stick instead. The head slips into the well. The children see another head on the ground. It is a grotesque wooden head, similar to one from a scarecrow. It begins making faces. Takeshi wants to burn it, but Trayak overrules him. The head directs the children back to the second building. There, they discover a book in a secret compartment.
  • The book is about the dark kami Fu-Leng. As this is forbidden knowledge, Takeshi suggests burning the book. Trayak says that such books often have protective spells, and burning it could be dangerous. The other youths agree to let Trayak look at the book. Magic emanates from Trayak, and the other children are unable to look at him. When they can gaze on him again, the book is gone, and in its place is a music box. Trayak says that the music box was disguised as an evil book. Satisfied with this explanation, the samurai head back to the main camp. Strangely enough, only Takeshi and Trayak remember this sequence of events. Byushi and Takito remember killing several dangerous creatures. In either case, the emperor is pleased with the young samurais’ gift.
  • In the present, Byushi, Takito, and Takeshi are summoned to see Lord Hakona. She tells them their next mission is to rescue Yuji, the emperor’s heir from a shadowlands prison. They know he is there because Trayak has just escaped from there after ten years in jail. Trayak looks worse for wear. He is still carrying the scarecrow from twenty-five years ago. Hakona gives Takeshi a scroll with Yuji’s picture on it.
  • The group heads south towards the prison. The journey passes uneventfully until the party comes upon a group of goblins lying face down around a campfire. Byushi, Takito, and Takeshi have seen this before, and warn Trayak. He casts a spell that tells him there are figures hiding underneath the goblins. He throws a fireball at the goblins, and five ghouls climb out of the holes they were hiding in and attack the party.
  • Eventually the party is victorious. Trayak surrounds himself with gusts of wind, conjures whips of fire, and calls down bolts of lightning. Byushi is seriously wounded. After the fight, the party is approached by a man from the burning sands. He identifies himself as Abdul, and explains that his trap was meant for shadowland creatures. He also explains that he is skilled with swords and spells. He invites the samurai to his camp. They accept, except for Byushi, who follows stealthily.
  • At Abdul’s camp, which is a pit in the ground, he asks the samurai why they are here. Trayak lies to the man, but Takeshi corrects him. Abdul asks how they will infiltrate the prison. Trayak produces a disguise spell. When Abdul asks, Takeshi admits that Trayak had not told anyone else about this plan. Abdul asks Takeshi if disguising oneself is honorable. Takeshi says that any tactics are acceptable against shadowland monsters. Abdul notes that humans fight alongside shadowland monsters. Takeshi says he will need to think about that. Abdul notes that the river to the south is guarded by some strange power. The samurai will need to cross the river in order to reach the prison. Abdul asks for a katana in exchange for information about the river guardian. He says the samurai can tell him their decision in the morning.
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Return to Rokugan
Nipple Rings Make Excellent Trophies
  • Fifteen years after the emperor’s death, his killers prepare to journey back to Rokugan. As the years have gone by, most of Rokugan has fallen to shadowland monsters or barbarians from The Burning Sands. The Jade Champion has decided that the time is now for the so-called Dark Jade Order to return. The must travel to a stronghold in Mantis territory, and report to a Lord Hakana.
  • Nuro Byushi and Akodo Takeshi are joined by a monk, Togashi Uji. Byushi and Uji work on recruiting others to join their cause. Uji recruits several monks, and Byushi convinces several Scorpion samurai to join. Takeshi sits on the dock and mopes, but even that inspires some samurai to join the Dark Jade’s mission.
  • The ship sets out for Rokugan. On the way, it is ambushed by a large sea creature. Takeshi shoots arrows at various eyestalks that rise above the water. Everyone else watches helplessly. Then, a large mouth begins to engulf the ship. Byushi and Uji begin to hack at the monster. The other men cower in fear. Nothing seems to help. Takeshi yells at the other men, “At least die like samurai!” This shames a few people into helping. When the ship is almost entirely engulfed, the monster decides this meal bites back too much, and slinks off.
  • The ship lands, and the Dark Jade Order disembarks. They begin heading inland to the Mantis stronghold. On the way, they walk into a village. Fires are lit in the houses, but no one is around. Upon further investigation, it appears that the village is populated by invisible people. The Dark Jade Order decides to leave this haunted village well enough alone, but Uji is troubled by an invisible weight. As the Order moves further and further from the village, this weight grows heavier and heavier, and begins to affect the monk physically.
  • Finally, Togashi admits that he cannot go on. The party returns to the haunted village. After some investigation, they discover a secret underground passage. It leads to a cave underneath the town well. Looking up, the adventurers can see the well water. It is held in place by an invisible forcefield, except for a spot where it slowly drips into a cup. The cup is on a pedestal in the center of the room.
  • The party cautiously enters the room. While inspecting the cup, they accidentally knock it over. Black goo spills out of the cup, and forms a duplicate of Byushi. This shadow duplicate attacks the party. Soon, a duplicate of Takeshi spills from the cup, and deals Byushi a deadly wound. Takeshi reaches out and stands the cup back up. Without the threat of new duplicates, the party is able to defeat their shadow counterparts. Then, they destroy the goo inside the cup with fire. With this evil defeated, the invisible inhabitants of the town become visible. (Much like the dufflepuds in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.)
  • The now visible Mantis samurai join up with the party and they all head to Lord Hakana’s keep. Once there, The Dark Jade Order is given a new mission. Infiltrate a nearby enemy fortress, and slay the leader. The leader is a tactical genius, and without him, his army would pose little threat.
  • The four members of The Dark Jade arrive at the fortress. Takeshi and Uji make a fire. While they are doing this, Byushi sneaks inside. She is terrified at the sight of the monstrous oni, and sneaks back out to rejoin her companions. Takeshi and Uji set part of the fortress on fire, hoping to cause a distraction. Then, they enter the fortress to seek out the oni lord.
  • Conveniently, the oni lord is right by the front gate, with a woman standing next to him. After a bit of trash talking, the fight begins. Fortunately, the woman turns out to be an ally of The Dark Jade. She heals the warriors, especially Takeshi, who the oni lord throws around like a ragdoll. When the oni lord falls, the party cuts off his nipples (with rings!) as proof of their deed, since the oni lord’s head is much too large.
  • The oni lord’s army is enraged by their leader’s death, and pursues the heroes down the mountain. The heroes manage to outrun the enemy, and a great battle begins for the Mantis keep. In the end, the forces of good are triumphant.
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Death of an Emperor
Taboos were Meant to be Broken

Akodo Takeshi looks into the room. It is dark, so he holds a candle into the room. The light does not illuminate as much as it should, but everyone can still see a small child sitting with his back turned to the door. Akodo’s outstretched arm feel unnaturally cold. Over the protests of his companions, Akodo draws his sword, challenges the demon child, and attacks. The child turns, revealing a disturbing visage. However, with two cuts of Akodo’s blade, the child is dispatched.

The party heads downstairs, to investigate the scream they heard. The lower floor of the inn seems normal, except for faint noises coming from behind the bar. The mute innkeeper silently begs the party to stop searching. Akodo and Moto Hitaken go over to investigate, and notice a few floorboards that seem displaced. They lift up the floorboards and see a woman’s body at the bottom of a hole. Akodo climbs into the hole, and notices that the woman is surrounded by evil arcane symbols. So, he kicks them until they break. With the evil magic gone, the woman begins to stir. Akodo picks her up and begins to climb out of the hole.

Meanwhile, the party’s mute hostess speaks a single word, then goes upstairs. She returns, but is transformed into a hideous demon. Nuro Byushi battles the demon, while Hitaken and Umaba Takito help Akodo climb out of the pit. The three men then rush to battle the demon. The demon casts fire at the samurai, and eludes their sword strikes. Nuro and Takito cannot master their terror, and strike ineffectively. Several strikes from Akodo and Hitaken eventually destroy the demon.

The party looks outside and sees that the night has cleared. Strangely, a horse is tied up outside the inn; a horse that happens to belong to Hitaken. After a joyous reunion, and a decision not to investigate the mysterious tracks leading away from the horse, the party continues toward the imperial city. The mysterious woman from the bottom of the pit is left behind at the haunted inn.

The party travels into the lands of the Scorpion Clan. They arrive at a castle, and are invited inside. The castle turns out to be Nuro’s home. The visiting samurai are treated well, and Nuro is summoned to speak to her superiors. She is asked if she has completed her mission. When she says she doesn’t remember, she is informed that her mission is complete. The Scorpion apparently have predicted that the Shadowlands Wall would be breached, and they have a plan to combat this that involved Nuro leading several samurai from other clans into The Shadowlands.

The party regroups at a formal dinner held by their Scorpion hosts. At the dinner, the daimyo announces that tomorrow he will hold a tournament for the hand of his daughter, Nuro Byushi. Akodo and Hitaken decline to participate, since they are already married. Akodo says he must leave before the tournament, but is persuaded to stay with the promise of a horse. Hitkaen is informed that his wife is dead, and he agrees to participate in the tournament in order to settle an old debt. Akodo indirectly asks if there is anyone who knows about Shadowland Taint, and arranges a meeting with such a person. Everyone meets a Phoenix Shugenja named Isawa(?). This one-armed man will be competing for Byushi’s hand tomorrow.

For various reasons, everyone goes with Akodo to his meeting. The Scorpion Sage indirectly confirms that Akodo, and likely everyone else in the party has been infected with the Shadowland Taint. He tries to get the party to think about the strange events that have lead them here, but “a samurai obeys without asking why,” so the conversation goes nowhere.

At the tournament, Isawa and Hitaken compose lewd haikus, Isawa produces an impressive calligraphy scroll, and Takito and Hitaken make a mockery of the proud tradition of iaijutsu dueling. In the end, Isawa is awarded Byushi’s hand in marriage. She does not seem pleased about this outcome. With this resolved, the party leaves for the imperial city.

On their way, the party accosted by a man wielding two katanas. He tells the samurai to go back the way they came. The party tries to get the man to let them pass without a fight. When the man reaches for a musket, Isawa conjures a stone block around the muzzle. The man is then completely unprepared for the onslaught of four bushi, and is quickly cut to pieces. Isawa identifies the man’s katanas as belonging to the dragon clan. Neither he or Akodo is able to draw them from their scabbards, suggesting that the blades belonged to a legendary dragon hero. Akodo takes the blades, with the intention of turning them over a noble dragon.

The party arrives at the imperial city, and is greeted by the jade champions. The party is brought before the emperor, who asks them about their journey. Then, he has them place their hands into candle flames. The flames do not burn the samurai. Akodo admits that he fears he has been infected by the shadowland taint. The emperor commands all of the jade champions to leave, except for one.

The emperor explains that Rokugan is in great peril. The Crab Clan has been overrun by shadowland creatures, and the barbarians of the burning sands are invading from the west. The Scorpion Clan foresaw these events, and devised a plan for Rokugan to endure. “Kill me, and drink my blood,” commands the emperor. After some hand-wringing, and further explanation, Nuro cuts the emperor’s throat. One by one, the samurai drink the emperor’s blood. Akodo tells Nuro, “I swear by my ancestor, Akodo One-Eye, that if this is a Scorpion lie, I will take vengeance on the entire clan.” The jade champion reveals a secret passage out of the throne room, and leads the party out of the city. He takes them to a previously undiscovered island, and tells them that the mixture of shadowland taint and divine blood inside them will allow them or their children to save Rokugan from the dangers which beset it.

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Crabs in a Castle
Samurai: polite and rude at the same time
  • The party heads north towards the imperial city. They stop for the night, and make camp in the woods. Moto Hitaken and Akodo Takeshi find themselves in a creepy dream. Nuro Byushi and Umaba Takito unsuccessfully try to wake them up. Hitaken and takeshi fight a creepy demon baby, and confront the faceless bodies of their friends. Eventually, they take themselves up by pouring water on themselves. This dream makes Takeshi and Hitaken suspect they have been tainted by the Shadowlands. They examine their blood; it has flecks of black in it. Takeshi announces his suspicions about himself to the group. Hitkaen remains silent.
  • The party journeys on in a torrential downpour. They approach an inn at the top of a hill. An old woman looks at them from inside the inn. The samurai decide to go and warn the local daimyo about what has happened. The local Crab Lords receive the samurai politely enough. Everyone surrenders their weapons, as is customary.
  • After delivering their message, the samurai are anxious to leave, but the Crab Lord insists they stay for dinner the following night. Everyone reluctantly agrees. Takeshi tries to find a Shadowlands expert, and is strung along.
  • A crab samurai attempts to poison Takeshi. Hitaken convinces the Crab to give him his scimitar for a stroll outside the castle. he wanders into a creepy building, and encounters a creepy demon girl. His scimitar doesn’t harm the girl, and he returns to the castle.
  • The samurai keep tyring to leave, and the Crab keep refusing to let them go. The Crab daimyo orders Takito to perform seppuku. He refuses. Eventually the Crab relent, and the samurai are allowed to leave. The weather is still terrible, so the samurai stick to the longer path back to the inn, instead of cutting across the rice fields.
  • the party arrives at the inn. The old woman beckons them inside. Everyone quickly realizes she is muste. Through a long series of gestures, she reveals that she has a demon child that ate her husband’s face. It also draws creepy pictures. there’s one for each PC. The samurai go to investigate the child’s room.
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Escape from the Shadowlands
  • Akodo Takeshi, Nuro Byushi, Moto Hitaken, Umaba Takito, and Moshi Iva wake up in a swamp. When they get their bearings, they realize they are in The Shadowlands. They have no memory of how they got there. Two of the deathseekers in Takeshi’s charge are still alive. This group begins the journey back to the wall. Takeshi sees a scarf his wife knit for him wrapped around a spear and on fire. The group heads on from this ominous sign.
  • One of the deathseekers realizes she has been tainted by the shadowlands. Takeshi offers her the opportunity to perform seppuku. She does so. The group continues on. Byushi scouts ahead. She hears cries for help and steers the group away from them. The party comes to the edge of a vast morass. After poking it with sticks for a while, they decide to head in a different direction.
  • The party comes upon a group of dead goblins in the middle of a clearing. Takito begins examining the corpses, when the “dead” goblins jump up and attack. Takito is grievously wounded. The other party members kill the goblins, but before they can leave, they hear the telltale signs of an oni approaching. The samurai engage the oni in combat, but are unable to harm it until Takeshi notices a weakness in the oni’s armor. He cuts a strap holding the armor on, and the oni is defenseless. It falls soon afterward.
  • The party travels onward and finds the tunnels leading under the wall. They enter the tunnels and prepare to rest for the night. In the middle of the night, the remaining deathseeker tries to sneak away from the camp. When he is confronted, he claims fear as his reason for desertion. The samurai believe him. Once most of the party is asleep, however, he tries to run from the group. The samurai give chase, and eventually kill him. Upon dying, his true form is revealed. The second deathseeker was actually a changeling.
  • The party emerges from the tunnels on the northern side of the wall. A horrific sight greets them. The wall has been breached, and the Crab clan fights a desperate battle against the forces of shadow. The party is approached by Lord Hiyashi of the crab. He commands the party to deliver this dire news to the emperor.
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