Forgotten Fate

Rumble in the Forest! Part 1

They have finally arrived, knowing they are less than a day away from the Maho-Tsuki’s tracks that Takashi and Oniji have been following. They know they are outside the safeties of the ronin city, and have either skirted close to or entered the Lion clanlands. This did not stop the group in their pursuit of the Maho.

A few hours in, using the canopy of the forest to protect them from the rain, they finally see her. Somehow she has managed to hire guards again, and a very large man with a katana and an average one with a chain flank the bush she is working from.

The battle is intense, dark magic being flung at our heroes as they rush for the Maho and her guards. Toyan’s swordarm is useless after a spell makes him lose control. However, his training helps and he starts to fight using his other arm, not as precise but better than the one influenced by blood-magic. Yae tries to sneak around from the rear, but is intercepted by the bushi with the chain. Takashi and Oniji flank the large bushi and together strike him down as Toyan charges the other side of the Maho, going for the side her guards have left. All the while, Takosha is casting spells to support her friends; setting one ablaze with intense heat and healing another.

Everything in the battle shifts, however, when the Maho laughs and bleeds herself instead of her guards. In a matter of moments, a rip in Jigoku opens, bringing forth an Oni. She calls to him, naming him Kyonshi no Oni and giving him power.

Yae continues her struggle with the chain bushi after having been grappled. Takashi and Oniji turn their attention on the Oni as Toyan bears his katana on the Maho. It is unclear why, but even though Oniji was getting deeper bites out of the oni with his no-daichi, the creature could not take its eyes (or claws) off Takashi.

In a few moments Takosha breathed, took aim as she spoke the prayers to her kami, and shot an intense ray of Jade at the Oni. The spell hit home, placing a burning hole in the middle of the undead oni’s chest and passing through Toyan harmlessly, striking its second target, the Maho herself. Both cry in anguish as their bodies shrivel, unable handle the taint burning inside.
After their deaths, the chain bushi stops fighting Yae and drops his weapon, an expression of anguish and confusion overpowering the aggression moments before. Yae starts to checks on everyone’s injuries as Takosha casts spells of healing on any of the severe wounds. Takashi and Toyan keep an eye on their “new friend”, but he doesn’t appear to be struggling or resisting as they bind him.

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The Story So Far...
  • Everyone finds themselves, for personal or clan reasons, at the City of the Rich Frog.
  • The city is celebrating it’s 100 year anniversary, and at night there is no shop open as the city meets in the streets to dance, perform, drink, and celebrate!
  • Even drunk, Yae knows something is wrong with her dance partner, as do the others.
  • It is discovered that her dance partner is Kakita Anzuko, and is actually a Bog Hag in disguise!
  • A fight ensues to prevent the Bog Hag from skinning a local ronin girl “it” discovered after being denied by Yae. The Bog Hag is defeated and the group introduces themselves.
  • The group decides to work together to discover the whereabouts of any other tainted creatures, discover what the Bog Hag meant by not being the only creature, and continue to work on their goals that first brought them to the city.
  • Yae receives a wrapped gift of mask paint/ink, sent to her in the way of a court game.
  • Asako Makiya and Akodo Kaoru help Yae try to discover the origins of the present to save On.
  • The group searches through the belongings of Anzuko in hopes to discover who he was before the Bog Hag or to find out it’s goal.
  • Amongst his belongings was an origami lotus flower in a glass box, a “conquest” bag, a normal traveling bag, and an explicit pillow book with complete details and opinions gathered. These belongings are sent home to his family in respect of his death.
  • Their leads take them to a gift shop, where it is confirmed that a geisha named Sajuron from the Jellyfish House purchased the paper.
    -—*Kaoru is sent to the geisha house to investigate, having lost the “who is the worst with a geisha” contest.
  • She explains that a Scorpion with a 2/3 mask asked her to buy last year’s wrapping paper and give it to a client named Tokumo.
  • The man with the mask is identified as Shosuro Kachiro.
  • The group catches (or is caught) by none other than another samurai claiming to be Kakita Anzuko! He was being attacked in an alleyway when Yae discovered/rescued him.
  • Toyan brings up the idea of bringing this Anzuko to the local temple and see if he is tainted.
  • Anzuko does not burn, scream in agony, or any other obvious signs of taint. However, this does not stop Kaoru’s suspicions.
  • Anzuko is challenged to a duel by the men who were attacking him previously, claiming that he shamed their family when he slept with his baby sister. Anzuko wins the duel, having borrowed Takashi’s very blade, since his have been returned to his family.
  • The sister is brought to the temple for fear she could be an oni-incubator if she slept with the Bog Hag instead of the, presumably, man that is Anzuko.
  • The monks give her a quick death when it is confirmed she was producing/carrying/was tainted.
  • Anzuko asks the group to assist him in finding his friend Kachiro in the city. He is missing, and should have seen the difference if a Bog Hag really did impersonate him. The group decides to help, since they will not be leaving his side until they discover how the Bog Hag didn’t skin him to become him.
  • The group finds a piece of his broken mask in the same alleyway they discovered the breathing Anzuko.
  • Tracks down the blood and the ronin who kidnapped Kachiro into a cellar at the edge of the city.
  • A handful of ronin put up a fight as the group enters the cellar, but after being injured they surrender. Toyan and Kaoru force them to drink until they are sick, causing them to be of no concern as they continue into the cellar.
  • Kachiro is found in an empty room, gagged and bound. In an attempt to wake him, Kaoru breaks Kachiro’s jaw.
  • Yae attempts to set his jaw as he uses sign language to explain to Anzuko what is going on, including the “something nasty” in the next room.
  • Anzuko and Kaoru tell the others to go ahead as they take Kachiro to the temple.
  • The next room is a 10×10 room littered with bodies, or pieces of bodies. Toyan and Yae are nauseous by the smell of rotting corpses and the sight of the brutal slashing, dismemberment, and dishonorable use of bodies.
  • 4 people are in the following room; 2 rather large bushi, 1 duelist, and a Maho-Tsuki who is quickly identified when she starts cutting the duelist and summoning forth dark magic.
  • During the fight, the Maho casts a spell that darkens the entire room and uses this time to escape.
  • The group uses this time to return to the temple; Toyen and Takashi are both unconscious from their wounds and Makiya is bleeding from a few of hers.
  • Yae uses Anzuko’s ability to translate Kachiro to find out what he knows. He explains the secret passage he is aware of in the cellar and where it would lead, an old smuggler’s path outside the city.
  • She sends Anzuko back home, to gather his daisho if nothing else, and sends for guards to protect the cellar entrance.
  • While the bushi heal, they meet a priest named Kuni Takosha, who offers her extensive taint information, and cure there of. She offers her healing assistance to those still severely wounded from the Maho fight.
  • Takosha delivers a message to Makiya that she is to return home, after a report is received explaining how much taint is piling up in the City.
  • After healing, the group goes to speak with Sumitomo, the mayor, and let him know just how much taint is walking around his city.
  • Sumitomo starts a bounty for anyone who can bring back the Maho and states he will reward them when they return for bringing this to his attention, so discreetly.
  • As the group leaves the manor, two samurai with over a dozen city guards block the gate. They “request” Akodo Kaoru to return with them so they can complete a proper trial before he is killed for his crimes.
    -—* Toyan asks who they are, in respect of the trial and arrest. They identify themselves as Kakita Izo and Shosuro Mito.
  • The group finds the smuggler’s path. They bury the strange liquids and powder in the ground, for “safe passage”.
  • They find themselves at the Eta Village.
  • After speaking with the chieftan, he explains that the village looks busy because the survivors of the river village are here, seeking refuge. They were attacked by, what is identified as, Kappa and those who could, ran here. They also recognize the description of the Maho, and state she was returning to the village and did not believe she would return.
  • Enter Yasurai, the little girl the Chieftan was hoping to protect. However, instead of losing his head, Takosha and Takashi take a liking to the girl and ask for her help to find the Kappa.
  • A group of hungry wolves attack the group!
  • They reach the Abandoned Village before sunset, although the light rain is not helping.
  • The 5 Kappa are defeated!
  • When Takosha lets Yasurai know she can come out of hiding, the group finds another one of her drawings. This time, it is a drawing of a dragon defeating a “tea cup”, something resembling the cups on the top of the Kappa’s heads.
  • The group rests the night in Yasurai’s old home, her doodling on the wood panels of the floor.
  • They continue their search for the Maho, following the few tracks leaving the village away from the city.
  • The samurai are ambushed by ronin bandits! The group meets Oniji after the fight is over.
  • Toyan spares the bandits, although the one who used Yasurai as a shield will have to search for his katana somewhere in the rice patties.
  • Toyan convinces Oniji to join them in their hunt for honor, maho, and koku. He gladly accepts, wishing to do something honorable for the koku to survive.
  • The group rests the night at a lean-to by the cherry blossom, and discover Yasurai’s fear of the rain. To distract her, Takashi allows Yasurai to draw on his face with some of the mud the “scary rain” is making. She draws the character for “Fox” on his right cheek and adds a tail to it.
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