As we join this episode already in progress… our intrepid adventurers are on their way back to Enganoka in order to make their super secret meeting with the ninja clans.
Nearby, a petite ranger with a rather large wolf companion are strolling along when the ranger spots two giants wrestling in the middle of the road (because that’s what giants do in the middle of the road right? Right.) This stranger stops to curiously ponder at the action but the gigantic beasts notice her. One immediately gets up in the wolf’s business but the ranger replies with a smattering of arrows.
Off in the distance, Thom, Rika, Jira, Skizzik and Porthos catch wind of the commotion and spring into action like the good little adventurers they are. While getting knocked on our asses, we discover that these creatures are called Earth Yai; a type of Oni with a predilection for shooting rocks out of their eyes.
Jira, Thom and Porthos tackle one of the giants while Skizzik, Rika, the ranger and her wolf companion take on the other one. With combined effort the first giant falls.
Enraged by his fellow’s demise, the remaining Earth Yai starts an earthquake. As we’re shaking, rattling and rolling, Rika manages to dish out some negative levels and, without hesitation, Skizzik takes advantage of the situation and blows the beast straight to the Plane of Eternal Damnation or somesuch.
Standing around the mountainous corpses, introductions are made. The ranger perkily tells us her name is Penelope Spice (or Pepper Spice for short) and Rika has a good eye roll. Porthos is happy to make the acquaintance of her wolf companion Albert and the two quickly become fast friends. After this farcical non-aquatic ceremony of an introduction, we allow Penelope to accompany us to Enganoka as she has nothing better to do and separating Porthos and Albert would be too cruel.
24 Nov. Arriving back in Enganoka, we seek out the Onyx Dragon once more and procure sleeping arrangements. Skizzik promptly heads off to the local wizard’s school to learn some new tricks as Jira, Thom and Rika hit the bar (Rika needing a strong drink after enduring all of Penelope’s friendship advances). After she enjoys the spa a bit, Penelope joins the trio in the bar and promptly annoys Rika enough that the sorceress gets tanked (who needs to concentrate to cast spells?)
After Skizzik has learned all that there is to learn, he joins up with the rest of us in the bar just in time to witness a running boy tell Adolphous (the Inn Keeper/Hair Stylist/Greedy Bastard) of the dimeyo’s demise. The dimeyo’s brother has made an appointment to address the town tomorrow and, after the boy leaves, Adolphous turns to us and has us promise him that we’ll relay the brother’s message.
25 Nov. Prior to the address, we head to the market to sell our wares (FOR THE HORDE)! Pockets feeling much heavier, we head, at the appointed time, to the town courtyard to hear the speech. Almost the entire town has turned out for the affair and the citizens are quickly roused by the dimeyo’s brother as he issues a call to arms in the name of the true heir to the Jade throne (Ameiko). He tells the people that the Jade Regent will be overthrown to much adulation.
Thereafter, Adolphous’s eyes glaze over and a little drip of drool slides out of his mouth as we tell him that war is on the horizon (war profiteering apparently gets him all hot and bothered).
26 Nov. Although the day passes rather uneventfully, the night is filled by a super secret meeting with the ninja clans. As we are ushered into a local restaurant near the stroke of midnight, we find three representatives sitting before us: one from the Emerald Branch clan, one from the Black Lotus Clan and the last from the Dragon Shadow clan.
We open communications and they assure us that the Jade Regent has not been good for their business and they are willing to help us in our cause for the right price. We give a piece of ninjatsu history to the Black Lotus clan to buy their aid and ante up some funds to buy the other two off as well. After we have procured their assistance, they reveal the Jade Regent’s set up and main forces down south, suggest that Ameiko must secure the blessing of the other royal families before assuming the throne and that a deadly envoy sent by the Jade Regent is on its’ way to cause shenanigans back at our fortress.
Having garnered the aid of the three main ninja clans we high tail it back to fortress in order to prevent certain disaster.
1 Dec. Still dragging Penelope along (since Rika hasn’t been driven to boneshatter her yet), we arrive at a still intact fortress. Renovations have been completed since we departed and everyone on the campus cheerily greets us. We meet up with the rest of our party and regale them with our adventures, tell them the good news of the ninja’s aid and then crush their spirits by telling them of the invading force on its way. Seeing nothing more to do than add more security (because that’s a crack idea), we feast like there’s no tomorrow (which there may not be).
2 Dec. That day, as a large group of us are conferring about our next plan of attack, we notice that the once bright day shifts instantly to dark. A horrendous smashing noise rings out sounding as if the very mountains are being rend in twain! At this point, the warning gong sounds from the front gate (way to be on top of things guys), and a deep voice challenges us, demanding Ameiko’s life. We all rush outside to bravely meet our foes and find giants and Oni wrecking up the place.
As the big nasties lumber nearer, we quickly prepare ourselves for the incoming onslaught and launch a few ranged attacks. Fireballs and arrows are soon flying back and forth between the two sides, but our group is quickly separated by a searing wall of fire! (Divided we fall?)
Skizzik manages to deal the first real blow by bombing one of the giants to death but quickly receives a reply from a Fire Yai. The beast, the one that demanded Ameiko’s life, drops a fire cloud on some of our members. Singed, Titus quickly rebounds by chopping off another giant’s head as Thom, riding Porthos, charges the big nasty (The Fire Yai).
Two dual-headed Oni have been hanging in the background but begin to complicate things further as they spawn some black tentacles to grapple people. Able to deftly dodge the slimy arms, Hiroko wades through them so that she can end another giant with some well-placed arrows.
Annoyed at seeing some of his forces fall, the Fire Yai uses a magical ring to summon a ring-shaped wall of fire, trapping Thom, Jira and himself within. Meanwhile, one of the other two-headed Oni drops another fireball onto a handful of us who are grouped close together.
Having none of this, Skizzik is able to get one of the giants to attack himself through his confusion bombs and the beast doesn’t last long through his discombobulation and the abuse he’s taking from the team.
Corralled with the Fire Yai, Thom takes some painful blows to the face, but Jira comes to the rescue in the nick of time and kills the Fire Yai with an impressive strike. Now only the two di-headed Oni remain.
Not to be outdone, Shalelu lands some bitchin bow hits on one of the fiends and Rika polishes it off with a disintegrate ray. Hatsue (Hirabashi Jiro’s right hand lady) completely owns the remaining Oni with her trusty Naginata and and we stand victorious in a partially wrecked fortress. (No one died, YAY!)
After we mop up the bodies, put the fires out and clean up a smidge, we hold a war council to determine our next steps. It is decided that Hatsue will scout ahead to the south, shortly followed by our main party which is to head to Ka Sai in order to help stir more rebellion. At some point, we must also seek out the blessings of the five royal families for Ameiko, but, firm plan in mind, we prepare for the next stage of our journey.
Next time on Jade Regent: Regent-Overthrowing Fools… quick march to the South?! Will Penelope Spice become a permanent member of our elite fighting unit or will Rika’s contempt get the better of her? Will Albert and Porthos become the best bros ever? Will Thom stop falling asleep naked in hot tubs? Tune in next time!