With Sakakabe returned to normal with the rescue of O-Sayumi, our adventure carries on as we try to recruit more aid to our budding revolution. Our session begins quietly in meetings.
November 9: We attend our meetings with various merchants (set up by the Geishas). Many of them are receptive to the idea of financing our cause, and we have earned 35,000 gold in a letter of credit from the nobles by the end of the afternoon. Our last meeting of the day at the Teahouse is with Sikutsu Senakka, the younger and gentler brother of the corrupt daimyo that is on our hit list. Sikutsu admits that his elder brother is doing the people a disservice by serving the Jade Regent. He would support us if he were in control, but he doesn’t care for the idea of becoming a kinslayer by killing his own brother. Instead, he lets us know that the daimyo is spending a few weeks at a hunting lodge not too far from here. Sikutsu also informs us that the daimyo recently released nine samurai from his service that are called the Nine Pawns. These nine are staying near the hunting lodge, too, and they plan to attempt an assassination on the daimyo.
We thank the younger brother for his advice, and prepare to head out for Enganoka in the meantime to meet with the ninjas clans. The four of us depart for the port city, entrusting Titus and Hiroko with escorting Ameiko safely back to the Ronin Fortress.
November 12: After three days, we arrive in Enganoka, finding it to be much bigger than Sakakabe. The city seems clean, though there are many poor people around. Having heard that the three representatives of the ninja clans (also reluctantly called the Three Monkeys) often hold court in a restaurant within the markets, we head straight there.
We work our way through the crowds, seeing hagglers bargaining over prices in the merchant tents. Along the way, we come across six aggressive police officers. One accuses a commoner of lying about where he’s from and prepares to execute him. While the other commoners back away, Jira leads the group in protesting. One such police officer (clearly working for the daimyo) steps up and actually manages to intimidate Jira. From there, the fight is on as Skizzik throws a bomb. The fight quickly turns vicious, one of the police officers decapitating the commoner as he tries to go after Thom. Rika freezes one of the oni officers solid in ice. Skizzik, meanwhile, misfires badly on a bomb that singes Jira and sets two merchant tents on fire. Eventually, we gain the upper hand and the fight ends when the last surviving oni flees from the scene.
We’re left with some distressed peasants and the local authorities as we help extinguish the flames. The two merchants rip Skizzik a new one, demanding compensation for their demolished businesses. Skizzik pays them both what he thinks their tents are worth, but one is not satisfied with his payment and starts to involve the police. They are on the verge of arresting our gnome friend before he caves in and pays the merchant extra.
With the market going mostly back to normal, we continue on our way to the restaurant. Thom cheerfully asks around the restaurant for someone who could help us with some illicit activities, and we are pointed to a nondescript man in grey and black garb. This man who introduces himself as Ishi Basho of the Black Lotus clan seems to know an alarming amount of information about us already. We are able to conduct our meeting very quickly with him since he already knows who we are. He agrees to set up a meeting for us with representatives of the other two ninja clans, but we have 12 days to kill beforehand.
We decide to stay one night in Enganoka. Skizzik opts for the most extravagant inn in all of Enganoka. Given that the police are watching him after the fiery market incident, he changes his appearance to that of a pirate halfling with a long black beard that mightily embarrasses Thom. We rent the Penthouse Suite, a place almost as splendid as a palace. Each of us has a girl servant, our own rooms, and access to all sorts of services. Skizzik “enjoys” an accupuncture session while Rika gets funny looks from the servants in the ladies steam room. Thom watches with rapt attention as Jira has his hair cut in the latest Imperial fashion by a barber named Adolphis.
After we reach enjoy our own services, we reunite down in the bar. We sit down with an old woman who claims to be a fortune-teller. We pay her to tell us the future, drinking the green tea she provides us. A moment or two later, Thom’s head suddenly slumps down onto the table. In alarm, we stand up as the fortune-teller surprise-attacks us with throwing stars. She seems to target Rika, but has less than ten seconds before she is obliterated by a massive Disintegrate spell from the heartless Rika. By the time the others in the bar realize what is happening and call for the police, we are wearing dust particles that used to be the fortune-teller.
Upon closer inspection, we realize that our “fortune-teller” was actually a ninja that has been stalking us for some time and attacked us in a different disguise back in Sakakabe. Adolphis vouches for us with the police and the servants help Thom up to the Penthouse so he can promptly fall asleep in the hot tub.
November 13: Jira wakes up first the next morning, a servant handing him a note from Sikutsu with a map to the worker’s camp where we can expect to find the Nine Pawns. Rika emerges from her room just in time for Thom to awaken, stand up out of the hot tub, and display his birthday suit for everyone. Rika retreats to her room to allow our favorite halfling time to dress and we head off into the wilderness.
November 18: It takes us five days to arrive at the area between the hunting lodge and the workers camp. We camp out near the road, hoping to snatch a worker and find the Pawns. We barely escape notice from the guards when Jira snaps a tree branch, but are able to sneak up behind a group of 40 workers walking past. Skizzik coats a dart in poisonous oil of Taggett and Jira shoots the last worker in line in the neck with a blowgun. We drag him off the road and wait for him to awake.
The worker is terrified when he comes to, but Thom manages to assure him that we don’t mean to kill him. He is scared to death of Jira, but he answers Rika’s questions about the Nine Pawns so that we know how to find them. We all sneak together to the north side of the nearby camp, and Rika turns herself invisible to accompany Skizzik sneaking into the northernmost tent.
Inside, she stays silent as Skizzik addresses the nine samurai. They think he’s joking at first about overthrowing the Jade Throne, but begin to take him seriously when he reveals the Amatatsu Seal. After a short discussion, the samurai agree to stage a roadblock and hold off the daimyo’s 100 other samurai the next day while we sneak into the hunting lodge and assassinate the corrupt leader ourselves. Skizzik and Rika return to the camp and we set up watches overnight.
Not far into the night, Skizzik notices a strange raccoon-man approaching. He manages to warn the others just in time before the Tenuki wanders into camp. He is initially alarmed at the sight of us with weapons. But once it becomes clear we would prefer not to hurt him, he sits down on one of the logs and starts drinking. Jira decides that he seems like a fine drinking companion and the two start to get drunk. The Tenuki asks us if we have any hallucinogenic substances, and Skizzik amusedly starts to make some. The evening turns very interesting very quickly as the Tenuki consumes everything that Skizzik makes. He trips out, thinking that Jira is growing horns, before falling into a coma-like state. None of us are sure what to do about him, and eventually just drift off to sleep ourselves.
November 19: When we wake up, the Tenuki has departed to continue his wandering somewhere else. In his place, we find he’s left a potion of rage for us. We scout out the area of the hunting lodge for a bit before Thom prepares a pre-game session for us with the tea set the Geishas gave us. Once we’re primed and ready, we make our way to the front gate. Jira and Skizzik fly over the gate to unbar it. Unfortunately, Sennaka the daimyo sees us from the window and calls for his guards as we open the door for Thom and Rika. It quickly becomes apparent that he has a blue ogre mage helping him, along with some tengus and mooks. Between Thom and Skizzik, the ogre mage goes down relatively quickly.
Jira and Rika manage to battle their way into the hunting lodge, Jira and Sennaka challenging each other. Outside, Thom unleashes the most massive lance charge attack any of us has ever seen on a poor mook whose face explodes in a shower of bone and gore from the force. Rika continues to throw spells at Sennaka while he and Jira trade kitana blows. Skizzik joins the fight after he flies through the window and hits the daimyo with a madness bomb. It’s unclear for awhile which of us is going to bring him down, but Skizzik lands the final blow with another bomb.
The other mooks commit mass suicide after their commander falls, but the tengus continue working to bring us down. They temporarily surround Jira but find themselves outmatched by our attacks. The battle ends when the few remaining tengu fly away in fear. We quickly collect loot before running for the hills before the cavalry can ride in and overwhelm us.
The daimyo has fallen, and the younger brother promises to support our cause. However, there’s still the ninjas to think about. Plus, what about that vision Rika had of the fortress coming under siege? The answers to some of these questions likely await in our next session of Jade Regent…