Monday, May 1, 2017

DM Report - Oriental Adventures and the Trip to the Perfume Islands

I have been doing a little bit of OA as part of the Seaward campaign. Initially based in Yashima (Japanland) the party consists of:
Jen: a Sohei
Jack: a Wu-jen
Alex: A Yakuza/Ninja
Sam: A Bushi
Nick: A Kensai (bamboo spirit folk)

After a series of adventures where they foiled the humiliation of daimyo, stopped the theft of a lightning fan, toppled a group of yakuza who were not protecting the peasants, prevented a ninja clan from assassinating an imperial functionary, and more they were up in level a bit and had earned a reputation as being trustworthy.


Recently they were approached by a minor functionary of the Imperial Household for a discreet mission. Many generations ago the Emperor of Yashima and the Emperor of Liung Diguo (Chinaland) ended a war by both sides abandoning an island (one of the Perfume Islands) both empires wanted and making a wager that would determine who would possess it in the future. The wager was finally settled 2 years before and Liung Diguo's trading town is established, but troubled.
The peasants are terrified of leaving the walled compound and many soldiers of the Dragon Throne have vanished. There is a whispered rumor in the Dragon Court of Liung Diguo that the Chrysanthemum Emperor of Yashima is trying to go back on the wager and is using agents and magic to drive out the rightful owners.

The party is very well aware they are 'totally deniable assets' who can be slaughtered wholesale to appease darn near anyone, but the Emperor has asked, so....

Off they went on a junk. About 4 days out they had a fight with pirates that was amazingly lopsided - the bushi and kensai were like lawnmowers, the wu-jen used Elemental Burst to blast most of the pirates swinging on ropes into the sea, and the sohei and yakuza were lethal with missile weapons.. Weeks later as they arrived at the Perfume Islands they encountered - an oriental turtle dragon! The turtle dragon was relatively calm ('tribute to pass' etc.) until it spotted the wu-jen - then it was a battle.
Elemental Burst just barely interrupted a breath weapon attack, saving the party. The warrior types all used their ki powers and dogpiled on the stunned dragon that was half-capsizing the boat. In a flurry of blows they did an amazing amount of damage in the first round and in the second round they - killed it before the dragon's initiative.
Well done!
By talking to the crew and doing some exploration they deduced where the creature's lair must be, made it there, and looted the place, splitting the cash 50/10 with the crew (who had all joined in the all-out assault on the dragon). They then arrived at the trading post of Moro in the Perfume Islands, leveled up, and we broke for the night.

When we returned they spent time looking for henchmen while waiting to speak with the governor. Jen hired a monk (tiger claw style) and a female bushi; Jack hired a shukenja (hare hengeyokai); Sam hired a ronin and a bushi.
The governor confirmed what they had already learned - the peasants refused to work the fields, even under threat of torture, and any soldiers sent at night vanished. The party did what any party would do and investigated at first light.
The fort was surrounded by a circle of rice paddies and at that edge was a stone wall reinforced with a a magically-grown hedge. There were two doors through the outer wall. The paddies were obviously neglected so they crept toward the outer wall.

Several long stories short, they soon had a series of encounters where they learned:
-Something has released a powerful evil spirit that had been exiled from the Celestial Bureaucracy 1,000 years ago
-This being has trapped the queen of the islands spirits of the Perfume Islands to cow the island spirits into submission
-This evil spirit has summoned 6 of his lieutenants from exile and bound them with elemental spirits (air, earth, wind, water, wood, and metal) to gather the spirits of mortals on the island
-The mortals' spirits are being consumed to power some great magical working but if the lieutenants are destroyed before the spirits are consumed the mortal is 'saved' and gains a new, healthy body
-Some of the mortals have been transformed into goblin spiders that guard the lost city in the middle of the island's jungles
-In the middle of the lost city is an ancient temple. In the middle of the temple is a large ruby (once the hat button of a high-ranking member of the Celestial Bureaucracy). Inside that ruby is trapped the queen of the Perfume Island Spirits
-They met the eldest daughter of the Queen of the Island Spirits and the daughter blessed their weapons so they will strike any evil spirit for the next 28 days
-If you have a special enchanted bracelet and know the proper incantation if you touch one of the giant stone heads on the island you (and everyone touching you) can Teleport to any other giant stone head on the island

After fighting and defeating three of the lieutenants (fire, wood, and air) where each fight sent them scurrying to shelter to heal up and recover spells the party has an amulet and the incantation. They set up camp to recover from the air lieutenant slapping them around before they try to teleport to the temple in the city.

We broke for the night.

Spoilers Follow - No Players Past Here











This is, of all things, based on Buckaroo Banzai. The spirit that escaped is similar to Lord John Whorfin and the lieutenants are John Bigboote and the rest. OK, I am playing this straight, but still.
The leader hopes to gather enough soul energy to open a portal to the Library of the Celestial Bureaucracy. Once there he will destroy the evidence used to exile him 1,000 ago and he can return to his position and be free from exile. But he only has until the next half moon (in 4 days!); at that point the celestial auditors will confirm the paperwork and his exile will be for all eternity.
With the villagers locked behind the warded walls and the loss of the mortal spirits in the defeated lieutenants the leader needs 10 mortal souls to open the gate - and the party has 10 people in it! He has been manipulating them, even allowing them to defeat 2 of his lieutenants, in order to lure them into the temple so they can fuel his triumphant return!


More in a few days!