2007-06-11 Yusukami

What a great session! I had lots of fun. :)

I wanted to get away from the dungeon crawling we had done in BarrowOfTheForgottenKing and I think I succeeded.

still U-Tzuki, day 14 – Taiyou-Youbi (Sun Day) – “Good luck will come before noon, but bad look is to come after noon.”

Arrival in Hakone, welcome by Lord Onishi, dinner. Shigeru invites the party onto a boar hunt.

U-Tzuki, day 15 – Tsuki-Youbi (Moon Day) – “Funerals are to be avoided on this day.”

We go on a boar hunt! Shigeru’s servants and whoever does not feel like picking up a yari (spear) participates in the chase, everybody else gathers on a clearing in the forest to the South East of Hakone.

Little random encounter chart:

1-21 boar 3-42 boars 53 boars 61 black bear

Three boars it is! We’re having great fun. Even the sorcerer is wielding a spear and trying his luck.

Once the hunting party has settled down for some tea on a hillside in the first to the South East of Hakone, Shigeru comments on the excellent view of Hakone and its surrounding paddy fields in the distance. He looks at the black mountains across the river and starts talking about marriage, the Yusukami clan in the east, an aliance of the remote strongholds, and Lord Yusukami’s daughter Fumiko. He talks of his fears of treachery, and of the need for secrecy, and the need to keep face. He also talks about the rescue of his clan from the claws of the kumo, the use of arcane magic, and how the party should be careful when using the powers of the onmyo-do (arcane magic).

When Lord Onishi hears of the party going along to fetch the bride, he is honored, and entrusts them with a signet ring of his. They are to wear this ring at the official reception and will surely be contacted by one of his spies later that night. He provides the party with letters of passage, and a sealed letter to Lord Yusukami.

They will ride with commander Toru Hasuke and five samurai. He takes the papers.

U-Tzuki, day 16 – Honoo-Youbi (Fire Day) – “A good day to complete a project, but onlyin the afternoon.”

The party takes half a day to get to the old bridge and spends the night at the Magnolia Inn.

U-Tzuki, day 17 – Mizu-Youbi (Water Day) – “The most unlucky day, on which weddings and unions are to be avoided.”

The party spends the day on the road to Yusukami.

They meet an Owl Mage called Masahura in the forest. He’s praying to a tree kami, accompanied by two owlbears. The ranger Kubo San uses his Wild Empathy to change their attitude to indifferent. Instead of fighting, the owl mage tells them about the Old Imperial Road, the Forgotten Bridge, and warns them of the Moon Folk at the Temple of the Moon.

Later they meet three Kappa. I asked around: Who speaks their language? Some players still haven’t assigned their extra languages. It turns out that the sorcerer Tshin Bo knows both Kitsu and Kappa, because he spent some time in the woods around here before joining the party. He travelled with Umisachihiko, knew Masaru (2007-03-15 Killing Tatsuki), and knew the stories of Itagaki the demon hunter. With so much in-game justification, there was no way these Kappa would attack first. A successful prestige check not only granted passage, but a respectful bow, too.

Yay for peaceful solutions! :)

In the evening, the party arrives at Yusukami, is welcomed, washes, rests, and meets for dinner with all the notables of the region:

Certain questions by Immammura and Takabe indicate that there’s a distrust of recent developments in Hakone. They’ve heard about the demon controlling the Onishi clan and are eager to hear more about it. When the party tells them about their fights with Manabu’s minions and their fight with the kumo controlling Onishi castle, the listeners at Yusukami are impressed.

Takeo wore Lord Onishi’s signet ring and on their first night, the party approached by Onishi’s man. He’s small and ropy, moves like a cat, and tells them that he has been having his doubts about Lady Fumiko. “See for yourselves!” he says and tells them that there will be something to hear down by the river, near the Burning Bird stables.

Takeo and Kubo investigate, sneaking up to a young man waiting. As the hours pass, a messenger arrives, and tells him that “Lady Fumiko sends her love’s butterfly kisses but regrets to be unable to come tonight.” When Takeo and Kubo try to follow Fumiko’s lover, they loose track of him in the shadows.

U-Tzuki, day 18 – Mokuzai-Youbi (Wood Day) – “The most auspicious day.”

Kubo and Aurin visit the Moon Temple. Contrary to expectations, the people there seem peaceful and devout, their religious feelings sincere, and the curative powers of the cleric beyond reproach: He casts Restoration and restores Kubo’s drained Wisdom! Kubo makes the appropriate offerings and pays 460 gp.

Both Kubo and Aurin invest some time into making friends at the temple in order to have some contacts here should they ever be in need again.

At night, Takeo speaks with Onishi’s spy again. No, he doesn’t know Fumiko’s lover. He assumes he’s a young military man, not one of the two commanders. No, he doesn’t know where Fumiko was yesterady night. No, he doesn’t know what to do next.

The rest of the evening was spent discussing the party’s options:

No solution has been found, yet. How to prevent the marriage without either clan using face?

U-Tzuki, day 19 – Kane-Youbi (Metal Day) – “The hours of the horse are lucky, the rest of the day is unlucky.”

More discussion. Aurin tries to exchange a few words with Fumiko. Today is the day when her dowry is assembled and packed. Lots of relatives and retainers offer presents. When Aurin gets her opportunity for a quick chat, Fumiko seems sincere: She’s nervous, excited, no longing sighs, no veiled glances, no men sneaking around in the background. She admires Aurin’s courage to go adventuring but insinuates that she’s to be pitied because she’ll probably never find a husband. A few more comments are exchanged, but nothing comes of it.

The party needs more information, and there are only three more days left. Aurin knows what’s planned:

XP

Challenges overcome:

Thus:

XPs gained:

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