A Legacy of Hunger

Part 3 – Legacy of Greed- 203MoKFT

After sitting in silence for what felt like an hour Kyoko slowly opened the door and looked out at the deck of the ship. The red sails and rich wood were starting to show their colours as sunrise came in full bloom.

Turning to the adventures who had found themselves at the centre of the creature in Daye she sighed and sat down. “The seals that we place upon our doors and windows on our ships are meant to prevent river and sea spirits from entering and playing with our maps and instruments. I didn’t expect to face other creatures, well, spirits from our homeland over here but I am glad for the seals now.” She said as she opened a bottle of a pale, strong smelling wine.

“Hurane, check the merchants and look for those who have no seals on their boats. We will find the family during the day so we can prepare the family for the removal of this possession and send their ancestor back to the heavens to live in peace. We still don’t know what type of spirit it is, my coin is on a Gaki but it may be a Baku or another yokai. The wards we have are mainly created with powdered silver, check with Takeo to see if his teachers have sent word.” She spoke after a minute of drinking the rice wine.

She then turned to the party. “If its offended by our wards we have a priest here who can bless your weapons with the same material. It will help you purify the yokai’s, a bad spirit,” she clarified, “essence so it can pass on. Please go seek out Lee Ping. He will know of which you ask for. I fear that tonight it will come again and angrier, especially if we remove the possession from its tether. Be prepared as they are known to be vengeful.”


Lee moved through the murky, dim lit room as if he had lived here all his life. His quick and nimble limbs allowed him to effortlessly swing from beam to beam on the low ceiling to avoid some of the piles of books, papers, scrolls and ingredients for his alchemy as if he was walking on the ground. Stepping down in front of a large cauldron he began to sprinkle in powdered silver, wormwood, wolfs bane and several mushrooms as he began to rhythmically chant which causes a blue flame to bubble into life under the cauldron.

“Oh I must not forget the Maelroot leaf.” He said to himself as he whirled around to go to a pile of boxes that contained the foul smelling herb. As he turned though his long furred tail knocking off a vial of liquid from the bench. His quick reflexes kicked in and his right foot shot out and grabbed onto the bottle. The tail he had considered removing many times, ever since he lost the use of it in his youth from a disease that only now he fully understood – but it was too late for it. His feet though were a completely different story, the opposable big toe able to grip onto items, walls, rope or in this case, bottles as if they were a second set of hands. Grinning he passed the bottle to his right hand and placed it back on the bench before heading towards the box labelled Maelroot.

A knock at the door and a burst of light from the outside broke him out of his merry tune and he practically jumped onto the roof – his hands and feet gripping onto the worn wood held him close to the recesses in the ceiling.

A voice, several voices called out for him, the smell of fish, soot and a sour scent that only came from the people of Daye meant that he was caught out without his mask. As the people moved into the room he quietly crept along the ceiling to where heft his mask and red robe, the items that his people must wear at all times until it was deemed safe to reveal their true form. His simian features evident in the morning light he tried to keep to the shadows, his large nose proved useful in detecting small traces of what kind of people had visited his tent; adventurers, warriors and the sort of people that would only seek him out if they had been told to do so, or they thought his skills could be useful which meant either Hurane or Kyoko had sent them his way. Dropping to the floor quietly using his hands and feet to buffer this drop he quickly placed his head on and pulled his robe over the rest of his body to hide the abundant fur that grew thickly in patches on his arms, torso and face.

Standing straight he walked across the floor behind the party just as they reached his cauldron that was bubbling with the reagents within. Noticing the silvery bubbles and slightly green smoke coming from the pot he hobbled forward and grabbed the leaf that was missing. “Excuse me you lot, I must get this leaf in there so it doesn’t explode and cover you all with a green soot that taints your skin” he said as he pushed through the party – shorter than the people on average but about the same height of the dwarf and built like an elf, his kind were a folk of varied size depending on what part of the content they came from.


As Kyoko stepped onto the deck of the ship belonging to the Ren family she noticed the harshly burnt and damaged wood above the doors and windows. As she walked towards the door a fishing harpoon sprung from where it lay and barely missed her as a throwing blade deflected it off course. Looking backwards at the masked and robed form of Takeo and the armoured form of her friend Hurane she nodded thanks to both for having her back.

“It looks like my teacher was correct. The family would have had to let the Gaki spirit take possession willingly. This whole ship seems to have been desecrated in order to allow the spirt free reign” Takeo said as he smacked a lantern that flew towards his had to the ground.

“There is no sign of the family here. They must be elsewhere, likely continuing to do as they please to sate their desire and the Gaki’s hunger.” Hurane said, sticking his head through the door only to duck out quickly as the sound of knives on a wooden door thudded from where he was standing.

Cursing Kyoko lead Takeo and Hurane off the boat and watched as the moving objects stopped. “We will need to prepare the adventures before they come back” she said as she turned to head back to her boat only to be met by a pair of glowing eyes as several people grabbed them and a sharp smelling rag was forced across their faces.


Hiro Ren smiled behind his white mask and bowed deeply to the man who purchased the horse pendant that would see the mans endurance increase, or so the talisman was meant to provide that blessing to him. Placing the gold pieces in a pouch tided within his robes he looked across his sister and mother who were also selling similar talismans to other people of Daye, “good”, he thought, “we are doing well. Grandfathers suggestion to sell talismans to ward of evil spirits is paying off well. We should be able to make enough gold after a couple weeks with days like today and leave back for home. As long as there aren’t any more setbacks.” He smiled to himself behind his mask as he greeted the next person to come to his little stall and enquire about the warding talismans. Producing a small silver dragon pendant, a dragon from his home country which had a long serpentine body unlike the dragons of this continent who were lesser winged lizards the dragons back home were like deities who flew above man.

Several hours passed and the Ren family packed up their stall. Hiro sat down as his exhaustion came over him and took a few large gulps of the briny air that surrounded the place they set up their stalls. “Brother you must look after yourself better. Are you still unable to sleep well? Is Grandfather keeping you awake with his requests?” His sister, Hana, asked concerned as she wrapped up the last few items in the silk sheets that they stored them within large heavy chests.

“He is just restless at night, ever since we made the ship more suitable for him he has become less agitated and disturbs me less. But I can go these last few weeks until we have achieved grandfathers and our goal with limited sleep. It will be worth it when our family can return and save our family home from the yakuza.” Hiro smiled sadly, his father having to stay home in order to keep the family business back home occupied and working so the yakuza didn’t move in and take possession of everything they had worked so hard for many years to achieve.

“Hiro, I picked this up from the Kuronami family. It should help you sleep better and get more rest. It’s some form of potion that you pour on a thin cloth and drape over your face as you go to sleep. I have been warned that it can be quite potent so we won’t use too much at once, just enough to help you get rest.” his mother, Saki, said as she handed him the small opaque bottle with a large cork stopper.

Smiling he took the bottle and stood, grabbing the chest that held their wares as his mother and sister walked in front of him, sharing favourite moments from the days sales and being otherwise in a good mood.

As they neared their ship they could see a disturbance on deck, objects were flying around and three figures were retreating off the ship and back onto the dock. Frowning he could make out who they were and he could feel grandfather stirring, a fear, unbridled and raw sprang from deep within him. Placing the chest down he ushered his mother to mind the goods as he and his sister crept forward.

“It looks like my teacher was correct. The family would have had to let the Gaki spirit take possession willingly. This whole ship seems to have been desecrated in order to allow the spirt free reign” the smallest of the figures said, as he nimbly moved across the deck towards the other two, Hurane and Kyoko, he could see Kyoko’s face and would recognise Hurane any where.

Sneaking closer to be at the end of the plank that connected his families ship to the dock he remembered the potion his mother had given him. Quickly uncorking it he risked letting his long dexterous tail coming out to quickly grab some rags he kept in a hip pouch for wrapping sold items at the stall. Coating two of the rags with the potent smelling liquid he gestured for his sister to do the same. An understanding, and fear, crossed her face but a sudden disturbance on deck pushed her fear away, grandfather was impatient and needed these people taken care of.

As they descended the gangplank they discussed his family and his keen hearing heard the word ‘gaki’. He was no fool and the gaki was a hunger spirit from his home continent, they could not be talking about his grandfather, he was a kind and generous ancestral spirit that had come to his family in their moment of need and only asked to be able to walk amongst them during the day to grand them fortune and luck when doing business. Bracing himself for what he was about to do he rushed forward, his sister behind him. Grappling Kyoko and forcing the towel over her face she struggled for a moment before going limp. His tail quickly wrapped around the throat of Hurane and held the last of the soaked Rags to his face too and after a moment all three people; the captain, vice captain and the small nimble one of the Red Fleet, were unconscious in their arms. A calm and soothing voice spoke to him “Take them below deck, I also believe that the mirrors left in the ship will bring a bad omen to us. Destroy them, discard the remains face down on the dock for now. Quickly go my son” his grandfather urged him into action. Moving quickly and using his Vanarian strength and dexterous limbs he quickly did as his grandfather had suggested, it was through his wisdom that they had come this close to their goal.

Environment and Running the adventure

In addition to the normal stat-block that the Gaki has he will be accompanied by the unconscious, yet possessed bodies of his daughter and grand daughter, Hana and Saki. As they approach the party in a shuffling, disjointed manner the party can see a dark mist flickering about them as tears streak down their face and a look of anguish and confusion as one of them, Hana – the grand daughter, breaks the possession for a moment to scream for the party to run, to escape as her grandfather had full control of the ship now and it wasn’t safe. After the warning she would go limp, falling to the floor before slowly standing back up with a the same anguish filled face as her mother as they both stumble towards them.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the Gaki spirit (Grandfather Ren) takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the Gaki can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • Waves of water that are within 5ft of the edge of the ship crash onto the deck before draining outwards under the railing. Any creature on the deck within 5 feet of the railing (edge of the boat) must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 20 feet into the water overboard and knocked prone.
  • A knife, hook, oar, shard of glass, bottle or other object on the ship flies towards each member of the party. Any creature on the deck of the ship must make on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5 (2d4) piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • A wave of dark mist suddenly blows across the deck of the ship centred on the cabin and extending for 30ft on deck before dissipating. Any creature caught in the wave of mist must make a DC12 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned until the start of the creatures next turn as they retch and become overwhelmed with nausea and hunger. A creature that succeeds on their saving throw has advantage on the next constitution saving throw for the same dark mist next time and a subsequent success will grant them immunity to the third time they are affected.


The Gaki will be in the Cabin at the stern of the ship, for reference perhaps check out the ship map in my Ship Life post from November. Hana and Saki are meant really as a morale dilemma for the party. Knocking them out is what is preferred – hence why I have Hana waking up to warn the party to show that 1, they are possessed and 2, they can wake up from it. Their purpose isn’t to damage or attack the party but to try and grapple (likely unsuccessfully) and disarm the silver weapons where possible. Once unconscious, or you know, dead, the party will find Grandfather Ren – Gaki spirit in the cabin wearing his Hiro body and likely holding something valuable that maybe the perceptive party member may recognise from Takeo or Kyoko. Maybe a Short blade with an elegant long handle (wakatashi) that they have seen Kyoko wearing before in almost a ceremonial manner.

This is to trigger the party into knowing that Kyoko may have been here or is somewhere near by. The Gaki would likely be enraged and continue to use lair actions whilst dashing in to attack the party members who fall, slip or otherwise are hindered by the Gaki’s possessed ship lair actions. He would be aware of any remaining silvered weapons and avoid these characters at all cost unless there was no option. Once reduced to 0 HP by a silvered weapon the dark mist would shriek outwards from Hiro and fly into a urn that was the only non desecrated item in this room upon a mantle with a kind, smiling gentleman sitting above it in a painting. When Hiro wakes up (as he will be wounded by not dead – his grandfather wouldn’t let him die now would he) he would rush past the party wanting to check on his family and Kyoko, Takeo and Hurane.

Notes for the Encounter

Note. If the party managed to defeat the Gaki already with a silvered weapon then see conclusion and adjust slightly.

Once the party sit down with the priestess and Kyoko after being chased by the Gaki more information is revealed and Kyoko confirms that its a spirit creature from her home land and likely has inhabited one of the merchant families. She asks Hurane and Takeo to go find the family to report back to her. She advise the party to talk to Lee Ping, their alchemist come Priest, so that they can have their weapons blessed.

They find the way to Lee Ping easily enough and find his room, on a messy Ship, cluttered with no trace of him except the bubbling cauldron. Astute characters (DC 15 perception) would notice a man walking up behind them using his hands and legs to crawl over and around the stuff that is strewn across the ground. The figure will talk to them if they walk or approach the cauldron. Lee will talk in a shamanistic way, focusing on his task of creating a batch of blessed liquid silver for blessing their ships, doors, windows and the trinkets that they sell.

After leaving the party can do what they want but they are unable to find Kyoko, Takeo or Hurane. If they check Kyoko’s cabin they find a note about the Ren family probably being the family in question.

The party may also happen to stumble upon the ship and note that it looks run down and that there is shattered mirrors on the docs next to the ship.

Once entering the ships deck they are greeted by shambling crying women, Hana and Saki. Hana breaks out of her trance and tells the party to run and that her grandfather had grown to strong and that they were in danger and they must leave the ship.

The fight that commences should be straight forward with the lair actions and the Gaki engaging in combat as per its Stat-block.

After the combat is over the party can rescues Kyoko, takeo, Hurane and the Ren family.

The Ren family will explain that they were in financial trouble back home and that they were visitied by their grandfather’s spirit who offered to help in exchange for a favour. They agreed and when they realised what was going on he had grown to powerful and had taken over the ship and Hiro.

They thank the party and offer them a favour that is within their power. Its also revealed that they are Vanara, a monkey humanoid race from across the ocean.

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