After breaking into the Imperial Palace and laying waste to some mooks, all that remains is the Throne Room itself. Should be a breeze, right? Not so much.
We enter the room, all 11 of us (including Chilly the Ice Elemental, who is still chilling with us) coming through the door to take in the sight of six jade columns and three mean-looking individuals. The Jade Regent sits atop a dais with the Jade Throne, while a woman sits at the foot of the dais. Another guy is in front of them, though he reveals himself to be Anamuramon, the 15-foot oni.
The Jade Regent tells us that if we surrender, he’ll spare all of us except for Ameiko. We politely decline, deciding to battle him to the finish in spite of his warnings that he will give us “swift and brutal” deaths. With that, our final battle begins.
Alban quickly notices that a Tengu is hiding behind one of the pillars before lighting up Anamuramon a few times with his powerful boom-stick. After Penelope adds a few arrows, Anamuramon appears to fall defeated to the ground in agony. We have no time to celebrate, however, as Sandru attacks the Raven Prince before said prince vanishes. Meanwhile, the Jade Regent stands up and challenges Titus to a one-on-one duel. Only by smiting him is Titus able to stand up to this mighty enemy, and they duel as the others battle around them.
Four oni guard commanders show up to aid our enemies, though Caiatus is able to protect Faragel from them by blocking the door with spinning blades. Alban unloads on one of the guards, but isn’t able to completely finish them off without acid or fire. He keeps knocking them down while Koya frantically channels to heal the group.
Part of the way into the fight, Anamuramon wakes back up and transforms into a sort of cloud. Not liking the looks of this, Koya attempts to teleport across the room to stand beside Ameiko. Her attempt is thwarted by the invisible Raven Prince, who deals her a harsh blow. Meanwhile, the opponent we kindly refer to as Bitch McCuntface continues to heal the Jade Regent and dispels Chilly.
Things truly take a turn for the worse when one of the guards attacks Sandru with a human bane. Landing a critical blow, he decapitates poor Sandru. Ameiko had been singing her bardic performance to inspire us to greatness, but her song turns melancholy as she cries about Sandru’s death. Alban continues shooting guards while Penelope decides that McCuntface has been left alone too long. She peppers the woman with arrows, thoroughly irritating her.
Faragel started the fight with some necromantic spells that would probably have greatly disturbed us if we had had ample time to think about them. He continues to impress, creatively deciding to dominate the Raven Prince’s mind. In theory, controlling this masterful ninja assassin seems like a solid plan. In practice, the Prince had already been wounded and walks right into a brutal attack of opportunity from the guards. Koya heals him with her channeling, but just standing up proves too much for him as he is killed before he regains his bearings.
Penelope by this time has irritated Bitchy to the point where the woman makes her vanish and appear in a cherry blossom maze. Penelope is lost and confused for a time, while our battle continues. Another of the guards kills Koya in dramatic fashion, nearly bringing Ameiko to her knees in horror and despair. As some consolation, Caiatus brings down Bitchy McCuntface. Interestingly, she also kills the fetus within said McCuntface. Bitchy calls out to the Jade Regent to avenge her and the baby before she drops dead. This brings down the wrath on Caiatus, who finds herself targeted by almost all of our enemies. Anamuramon even changes back to normal form and attacks. Caiatus stands up to the onslaught for a time, temporarily snaring Anamuramon in an ice storm.
Penelope finally figures out the maze and manages to fight her way back to the battle, where she reappears within the ice storm. She staggers out of the ice in time to see Anamuramon closing in on Caiatus. Titus and the Jade Regent have been battling this whole time, the Jade Regent backing Titus closer and closer to the spinning blades. Seeing that the false ruler is on his last legs, however, Titus power-attacks and drives his glaive into the mask of the Jade Regent, ending his tyranny once and for all. Faragel also possesses the body of the one of the remaining guards.
All of us now converge on Anamuramon, who continues to press the attack. He temporarily traps Shalelu in a tornado before the elf is able to acrobatically extricate herself. In a particularly brutal turn, Anamuramon kills Penelope and snares Faragel’s body in his tornado before smashing him into the wall outside the throne room. He even manages to knock Caiatus unconscious (though luckily doesn’t kill her) in spite of us ganging up on him.
In the end, Alban proves to be the finisher with his musket. He fires once, twice, and thrice at the giant oni and finally brings Anamuramon back down. With the combat complete, we exhaustedly coup-de-grace Anamuramon and the remaining guard bodies. Faragel survives the tornado, and Penelope is given the option of exiting that long line beyond this life and chooses to return to us. Sadly, Sandru and Koya are past the point of return, and it is with a heavy heart that Ameiko strides to the Jade Throne and takes her rightful seat.
Ameiko’s eyes glow the color of jade, and we hear the screams of all the oni in the castle as they are thrown into the sky. When Ameiko comes out of the sort of trance she seemed to be in, she informs us that the hostages are safe and that Hirobashi Jiro has triumphed over the Typhoon Guard. We paid a steep price in the fact that only Ameiko and Shalelu survived the entire journey from Sandpoint to the Jade Throne, but we have triumphed.
Ameiko offers to reward us for our service to her cause. While none of us are particularly sure what to ask for, Caiatus and Titus agree to take on roles within her new empire. Penelope simply wants some land and a house to settle peacefully with Albert. Still feeling out of his comfort zone here, Alban wishes to return to his home land and finish the mission he had been on before all of this. Ameiko agrees to all of this, and we move on to helping the prisoners (including Asakai’s daughter) return to their homes.
The next day, we hold funerals in Kasai for Koya and Sandru. Dressed in royal attire, Ameiko addresses her people for the first time as the Empress, promising that we will rebuild and recognizing our fallen friends. The rest of us say a few words on this solemn occasion, and the hard work continues. It takes a great deal of time for Minkai to return to its powerful state. Ameiko’s rule is a good one, but that kind of damage is hard to recover from. The good news, however, is that our campaign has been a success. Where our journey continues from here is a story that is as of yet unknown. At least for now, however, the forces of good have triumphed.