Monday, June 13, 2016

Magnificent Samurai: Session 3

Magnificent Samurai was last Sunday but I just finished the log.


  • Augustus Scitiori - A former centurion, and a dual-weapon master of shortswords.
  • Catonio, a Catfolk Swashbuckler searching for the Six Fingered Man who killed his parents.
  • Eliot de la Frau - A Saber-master and pirate.
  • Erland - a Jotun wrestler.
  • Markus - A Hobgoblin Paladin of the God of Chivalry.
  • Melek - a Nephilim (half-angel) greatswordsman and user of Imbuements.
  • Tonokai - a Kazanjiman horse-archer (but not technically a Samurai as she has no Status.)
  • Gortak, a Jotun master of the Greatsword.

Rumors Abound

The party spent a week asking around to gather information to see what was going on in the area.  They also wanted to head to the village where a strange murder had occurred and check out what was going on. 

They picked up the following rumors:
  • The treasury at Yellow Lotus Abbey wasn't found by the bandits who destroyed it so there should still be some valuable stuff there.
  • The local Governor, Lord Mao Haoren, is missing after going off with the Imperial Loyalist Army about three years ago.  No one knows if he's dead or not, and his wife, Lady Mao Dihuang is running things unofficially until he gets back or is replaced.

Travelling to the Abbey and a Detour

So, the party decided to head out for the abbey and see what was left there.  They first decided to travel to Long Pines, the village mentioned by farmers in Session One where a strange murder was committed.  They questioned several villagers, and found that the farmer had been confined to his home until a magistrate was present so he could be tried.  The consensus seemed to be that it was strange that he'd murdered her, as he had seemed normal till this happened.  Some of the farmers even thought the woman could have been a fox spirit, but no one seemed to think she was beautiful enough for that.

The party's hired Priestess was asked, and she thought it sounded more like a case of possession, and that the victim could have been one of the Serpent People from the Underworld, as they have a bad reputation and are said to sometimes replace victims on the surface for unclear reasons.

The party had the Priestess exorcise the murderer, and a blue-skinned demon popped out.  On his turn, he summoned three Vrocks and combat was on.  No one in the party had Demon Lore, so they couldn't aim for vitals or other weak points that weren't obvious (limbs, the neck, etc.)  They all turned out to be resistant to normal weapons, but not immune, so the party was able to win after a bit of a slog.  No PCs were killed, though a couple suffered Major Wounds and a Vrock's Screech stunned a few of them for a couple of turns.  When the blue demon died, it uttered a phrase in the ear of Markus: "Muu Shidten."  Locals said it sounded like a Meng name but no one was familiar with it.

After the victory, the party headed to the murdered woman's original home (she had been a remarried widow and had held her deceased husband's home and land.)  They found a hole, three feet in diameter, heading downwards with a sulfurous smell coming from it.  They warned the villagers to fill in the hole and were rewarded for their troubles with a feast in their honor and a place to stay the night.

They heard the following during the party:
  • Xinghong, the Scarlet Wizard, one of the two local magical movers and shakers, is offering a $4,000 reward for his missing scrying orb, and any interested parties should inquire at his tower.
  • Imperial Loyalist forces are expected to be moving into the area in the next six months.

The next day out, the party was ambushed by a large number of strange Ant-men, but the party seemed to be faster on the ground so they fled and avoided a fight (a strange coincidence I'm posting this now since Dungeon Fantastic just had a post on fleeing.)  They then met a travelling Alchemist, Liulang Zhe, and they bought most of his healing potions and asked about the local area. He warned them that:
  • Yellow Lotus Abbey is haunted by the ghosts of the slaughtered nuns and is very dangerous for the unprepared.
  • He also knew a basic version of the legends of Muu Shidten: he was an evil Meng wizard who lived for two hundred years and had vampires for servants.  When he finally died he was buried in a mausoleum just the other side of the mountains on the Meng Plateau.  One of the merchant's grandmothers had been Meng and told him the stories.

They asked the Priestess if she could deal with spirits, and she said she could probably put Affect Spirits on the weapon of one party member without taxing her resources too much.  Any more than that and she might not be able to heal much in combat.  She wasn't sure they could be flat-out Exorcised since as the unlamented dead, they probably had a right to be there.

The Scarlet Wizard Xinghong

The party decided to take a detour to the pagoda of the Scarlet Wizard, to see if he could provide them with anything that could affect spirits, as well as check on his job offer.  Xinghong informed them that one of his apprentices had stolen his six inch scrying crystal and fled to the provincial capital of Shoudu, about a month's travel upriver.  He offered to Create Gate to the city to speed their journey there if they agreed to the mission.

They asked him who might be interested in buying his orb there, and he admitted that he had originally been a member of the Shoudou Mage's Association, but had a nasty argument with two of the other leaders of the group which ended with him Mindlessness-ing one of them and using Shapeshift Other (Toad) on the other and leaving the city in disgrace.  Either of them would probably pay fairly well just to embarrass him.


Arriving in Shoudou, the party were warned by the gate guards to immediately travel to a lodging house and store their weapons and armor, as the city was under martial law.  They also had to bribe the guards to get a civic travel pass, but it was fairly cheap, only 1 silver a person ($20.)  Augustus spent some unfruitful time in the Magistrate's Quarter later trying to get a provincial travel pass, but it proved too expensive for the moment ($1000 a person.)

The party did some searching for a few days until they narrowed down that the fled apprentice was staying in the Foreign Quarter, and traveling to the Magistrate's Quarter to meet a contact to sell the orb.  There were only three bridges crossing the bridges from the Foreign Quarter on her most likely travel path, so the party split up into teams to cover them (only three party members bought Observation so it worked out just right.)  

This almost ended in disaster, as two-of-three of the team consisting of Markus, Melek, and Gortak have Impulsiveness, and they just happen to be the Giant and the Half-angel who glows like a torch.  The goal was to steer her to the other two groups, as Catonio and Eliot both had good skill levels in Shadowing and Stealth.  When they spotted her, The Terrible Duo started moving towards her, and so she turned and fled back into the crowd.

They tried again the next day, made the decision to use the twosome to steer her in the direction they wanted, and luckily spotted her again.  They herded her to the bridge where Catonio and Eliot were waiting and they were able to follow her to where she met her contact.  They overhead her arguing about money, and she left without concluding the deal.  It was pretty obvious from her body language that she was getting desperate, so Eliot decided to sneak into her apartment that night and see if the orb was there.  He used a Potion of Invisibility that the party had looted from the bandits and extracted the orb.

My Notes

It took the group a good week in the city to track the girl down and finish the mission.  Their skill levels as a group of fighters were a bit low for the task at hand, but they managed fairly well (Eliot's player even made a joke about how "Future me is so good at this adventure.")  I rolled 2d for the number of days till she sold the orb, and I had a d12 sitting next to me I was using to countdown the days until the sale was made and they ended with three days to spare.  Had the girl sold it, the group would have had to fight a group of mages to get it so it's just as well for them they succeeded.

Post edited 6/13 at 8:00 pm: I forgot an important point so I edited the post to put it in.  I also rearranged the rumors a bit.

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