Tide of Honor

From the travel log of Kaitatsu

We journey south out of the Forest of Spirits and reach a waystone, the point of no return before entering Minkai. Miyaru suggests we seak Hirobashi Jiro, the leader of a group of Ronin, who is somewhere in the grasslands north of Kasiai. Bragg drunkenly suggests that Lini's shadow extends far further than it should as we cross into Minkai. We arrive at a settlement on the northern edge of a riverbank, workers building things. Some conversation uncovers that this is Hirobashi's encampment. We dine with Hirobashi and convince him to speak to Ameiko passing a test of honour first. He offers to help us against the Jade Regent if we can clear the area of bandits that plague the encampment - he will ambush the raiding bandits while we infiltrate their base, the fortress of Seinaru Heikiko, and kill their cheiften who is in league with the local Daimio. Ameiko and Hirobashi get suspiciously close over the course of the night.

We decide to scout out the fortress, using flight and invisibility to do so. For a standard assault the fortress is well guarded, and easily defendable. There also appear to be wood golems inside. We attack four days later, and are ready waiting when the bandits leave. We sneak in, trapping the guard at our entrance point inside a sphere of force. We disable 2 more guards, one dying to an overeager barbarian. Sneaking into a large wood filled room we provoke a fight against some golems a shaman and his were-tiger friend. 

The Shaman, Kamuy Paro, surrenders to us rather than die, giving us information on the complex. We do not trust him, but use the information to get a key to the armory and directions to Gangasun's room. Lini sneaks inside and paralyses Gangasun and we kill him. The mercenaries surrender and agree to work for us, as does Kamuy Paro. We decide that Sandru should become quartermaster/merchant for the fortress and Hirobashi asks us to open the box the seal is in to reveal a secret cache of weapons, including an ancient weapon belonging to the Jiro family. We decide to delay opening the cache until we have secured more help - though Hirobashi begins trying to put a divide between us and Ameiko.

From the travel log of Kaitatsu

Hiro has three things that need to be accomplished :

Neutralise or bring to our side the ninjas
Make an agreement with the geishas to gain access to the merchants
Combat the daimyo Sekutsu Sanaka

Two weeks into our journey we're traveling through desolate plains when we happen across a hut in the middle of nowhere and are stopped by an angel of desna. He tells us that if we succeed in our quest the future of the world is unclear, clouded in entropy and darkness and that Desna has ordered our deaths.

The evil angel returns and fights him, winning, saying that she supports us for now.

We reach the city and head to the House of the songbirds where we're O'hakami greets us. We convince them to talk to us by asking to be entertained by the geisha. We arrange to come back in two days.

We meet with O'kahaku, mistress of the house is unimpressed by our attempt to broker a trade agreement, but I leave a message to encourage her to talk to us again. We're invited back to a party, a cover to speak to us. We're less circumspect this time and she agrees to help us if we investigate the disappearance of one of the geishas. She disappeared while entertaining a pearl merchant. She owned some kind of magical instrument.

We're given a note which contains an Inro, containing a silkworm cocoon, two interlinked rings, three landed beads and a poem: "I must discover what lies inside of myself, to enter your place, through dark and shadowed gates, but the reflection is not me. "

We go to see the maker of the Inro, who gives us a vase full of cucumber bath salts. We head to the port and ask around, finding that the geisha did board the boat to the Pearl dealers island. We get a captain to take us to the island, a four day journey. We arrive but are attacked by two dragon turtles. We dispatch one quickly but the other gives use more trouble.

We rest overnight then head over to the main island. There are aquatic ghouls that fish for pearls on behalf of the merchant - we think he's a necromancer! As we get closer to the house we see some of the hob goblin type Oni. He's definitely evil!

We explore the house, which seems largely abandoned, though an undead servant takes us to a room to await " the master ". We explore further, finding a tunnel down, and two routes onward. To the north is a corridor that becomes black and white, making all things devoid of color.

Lini enters the ethereal realm and sees two women, including the geisha, with a tiger/snake thing prowling between them. We explore a maze.

From the travel log of Kaitatsu

Inside the maze we use the naginata to check for mirrors around corners, making our way through it smelling the bead doors till we find the correct one. Through it we come to a mirror that looks different to the others, the reflection is in colour! As we step though into the room Lini saw, a Neu attacks us, its serpent tail hissing from the end of its tiger body as the monkey face insults us in Tian- we dispatch it, Suishen taking the kill.

We discover O'Sayumi with no soul, under the effects of gentle repose. We hide her in a rope trick and move on. Some way down the corridor we find a room with the pearl merchant, Ugareda.

I begin to cast a spell and he tips a jar of pearls onto the floor, starting a fight. Two shadows appear and Dren dispatches one using his sword. Ugareda chain lightning's us and I almost die from strength drain from the second shadow. After an epic magical battle we prevail, Bragga beheading the necromancer and I heal those of us that were drained.

Dren takes the pearl that contains O'Sayumi's soul and grinds it underfoot, absorbing her soul, unbeknownst to the rest of us. Were return her body to the geisha, apologising that we were just too late to help her and tell her we will have Ameiko visit to bolster our cause. We journey north to Kakabi to meet with the ninjas.

Diary Of Knuckles The Uber Weasel (aka The Deathdealer Lord Of Mehana and the 7th Sub Hell)

Crickets’ hair looks pretty, and she walks nicely, she tells the most wonderful stories, I think I love her, but how do I reconcile these feelings with my general evilness! Plus it would probably break a few oaths I have taken, but what are oaths if not promises yet to be broken? Life on this mortal realm is difficult, I am so conflicted!

Anyway back to the generally unexciting story about a party of incompetents led by the beautiful Cricket.

One of the lummoxes says we need to go find some people who dress in night time clothes. I find this plane so wearisome. If only they could see the big picture they would realize their meaningless meanderings mean nothing. Squirrel!!!

Oh look some tasty horses with beetles on their backs have surrounded a caravan, Cricket the luminescent flies up to get a better view the wind makes her hair billow out beautifully. Ooooo she summons a dragon she becomes more powerful each day, soon she will rule all the Nine Hells with me by her side. We however retreat to allow them to save face and retreat in good order. She is so benevolent. We then proceed back to the caravan looks like some people died in the caravan (boring). Looks like they took the easy way out. Life is full of pain and hardship and best to just check out quickly, I am going to recommend that Cricket suggest it to her minions.

We enter the city of some place I can't pronounce, Egg Nogg or something. People keep on looking at the beautiful Cricket. They have good taste! They look at the big blonde thing more though, I shall have to kill him once I get back my true form, no one takes my mistresses limelight! Once again the back stabbing Lini suggests that my mistress do something that is not in her best interest and would potentially hurt her!! We only suffer her impertinence due to the matters instructions, what did he say about leaving a records of our thoughts, ooo ooo fire jugglers!

Oh while we are on the subject of the minions I have decides the monk Terri can live, he amuses me. We shall make him our Jester once Cricket rules the Nine Hells. We are still trying to find the men in pyjamas, this is so tiresome!!

Some bald old man has come to talk to the minions, my mistress is sat on a different table due to her elevated status. Fat man leaves. Something about black locusts?? Sorry I wasn’t really paying attention I was busy watching the flees jump up and down on the blonde things head.

One good thing from the fat man talk it looks like we have a week off! My mistress decides to take this time to meditate and study. Not sure what, lots of words though. So I head out with the minions. The monk Terri is carrying me like a good minion, he smells like death, it smells delicious. Lini the Betrayer also comes with us. At first I thought the monastery would be full of souls wailing but it appears it is one of those boring ones with lots of meditation and not enough killing!

Due to Knuckles not being with the other minions we have skipped their stories. Plus they bored me to tears.

I have been told to summarize from the discussions they have when they come back to inform my mistress of their progress (apologies for the brevity but I fell asleep during some of it).

Rumours of the rise of the Amatatsu line

Evil Bragg goes to play songs and make friends which will be nice for her. Everyone should always have at least one friend. Oh coincidentally Bragg smells for those who don't know. She smells like a goody two shoes!!

The walking food source goes to find others of his kind to pick up on rumors of fly catching and stuff like that.

Lini the Betrayor unearths some usefull information from the monks actually on the pyjama gangs. Dragon Shadow and the Emerald Branch? Sound like hippies to me.

Amon Ra and the Raven Prince are the two right hand men of the Jade Regent. He has a female seer, now that is interesting, her heart would be delicious.

Dumb and Dumber, aka Morticia and Lars Ulrish get held up by some guardsman, they get in a fight, they win. Oh and one was a Blue Oni.

We go back to the market to see the pyjama gang at last. Most boring week ever!

We meet Ishi, Kas and Kondo, representatives of the pyjama gangs. Cricket takes over the conversation isn't she glorious! She allows the other minions to talk sometime she is so generous(to make them feel better). Looks like another clan wants to kill us all, now this is serious. Kai (an uber assassin) belongs to the Oni Mask Clan, a new clan.

We go camp outside the city, and are attacked angels x2. That's just rude, bloody interfering morons, in my normal form I would eat their very essences. Fight on!!!!

So we are under assault by 2 angels when a Solar turns up! Now that gives even the mighty Deathdealer Lord Of Mehana and the 7th Sub Hell pause, however the interfering dark one turns up to deal with him. She is not all she seems though as a lowly erinyes would be mincemeat to a solar but she is holding her own. how I abhor this form, this chaos and battle fury makes my blood boil!

Eventually under the direction of the most magnificent Cricket the lesser angels fall one by one. However the Solar looks to strike the black angel down. Whats this! Lini jumps in front of the Solar, I get a passing wink in at him as Cricket bowls Lini over and out from the way of the descending sword. This gives enough time for the dark one to kill to Solar.

After thanking us she informs us that the uber pyjama man is closing in on Amiko. Cricket informs Amiko that she is in danger (see master I don’t leave evidence written down!) The dark one offers to transport us one at a time to the whimpering ones side to make sure she doesn’t die (why do we care? Lini quite clearly is the important one, she is just the route to access the throne and we can use Bragg for that? Or Morticia!)

So anyway what should have been a simple teleport results in us all having to swear an oath to deliver Lini to the jade throne room intact. My mistress has a slight diversion to speak to her father in his bastion, she doesn’t see me at the back of the room in my true form thankfully, I must introduce her to the idea of my true form slowly!

So Ends Chapter XXVII of “Rise Of Cricket” as written by The Deathdealer Lord Of Mehana and the 7th Sub Hell, Prince Consort To Cricket Empress And Ruler Supreme Over All The Hells Past and Future

1 I must remember to remove this from my notes

From the Narrator

The party spent several days in the fortress which had become full of people flocking to the banner or the Ameiko. Each day more and more people were arriving, some to make money from the growing settlement others to offer what resources they had to the cause.

 During the lull the party assisted Ameiko in doling out justice to a farmer who had kept a hoard of gold he found instead of handing it over to her as law and honour dictated he should have. The party convinced Ameiko that she should stick to the current laws and execute him. She did so grudgingly and shed a tear as the sentence was carried out. The local populace have learnt that she is not to be trifled with but is also compassionate as she insisted the farmer’s family was taken care of.

 They were also visited by an injured Ronin who told them of a failed coup by the Daimyo’s brother, he died in the attack along with seven other Ronin.

 The increase in numbers at the fortress made it more and more difficult to seek out anyone who wanted to harm Ameiko or the party, especially a ninja who was a master of disguise. The party setup various methods to bait and find the ninja but he was able to sneak into Ameikos quarters and stage a distraction. Fortunately several members of the party stayed to ensure Ameiko was safe whilst the guards, Drendor and Bragga chased the decoy.

 After a brief fight the Assassin was caught and killed having only managed one attempt to use is Assassination Ninja ability against Ameiko (she survived).

 The Ninja carried with him a strange old coin that was picked up by Morticia who now seems to have gained several new powers, at the same time it is slowly changing her personality to a more chaotic and evil nature.

 The negotiations with the 3 Monkeys (the emissaries for the Ninja clans) was progressing as expected with them demanding large sums of money to fight on the side of Ameiko when Morticia showed them the coin. The Black Lotus and Dragon Shadow clans recognised it and were willing to drop their fee for the item but the Emerald Branch warned that the Artifact could prove a danger to the empire if it fell into their hands.

 Mortica negotiated in private with the Black Lotus and they have now agreed to support Ameiko for no fee. The characters remain unaware that Morticia has joined the evil ninja clan with her powers from the artefact and her proximity to the future empress (and her own place in the line of succession) they leapt at the chance to have her as part of their organisation.

 Ameiko promised the agreed amount to secure the services of the Emerald Branch clan but the Dragonshadow went away less than happy.

 When the party returned to the fortress they were greeted as heroes for the work they have done in securing the aid of the local populace despite failing to secure all three ninja clans or to unseat the local daimyo. I celebration was planned in their honour.  

During the party the Jade Regent sent a force to attack the fortress. A band of Oni attacked first seeking to break through the defences and leave the population hiding within exposed to the attack by the forces of the Daimyo.

 Fortunately the party was able to hold of the Oni slaying their leader and with the help of the defenders drive off or kill the rest of his band. With the aid of walls of stone the keep held and then counter attacked destroying the army of the Daimyo taking many prisoners who were more than happy to swear new oaths to Ameiko and Jiro.

 Thus ends book five of the Jade Regent.



Last Updated: Feb 2013