Hi all and welcome to an Tuesday for what feels like a very short April. This week, the last week of the content for this month (has it really been that many weeks already?) we are covering two things in one, the arrival at Jade Point – the now named Port Town where the Dancing Drake was on its way to – and the.. well, you’ll see.
So without getting all mysterious and broody let’s kick off with the content!.
Jake Hart stood on top of the obscured lookout that had once been landing platform for ships coming into the docks and stared out towards the ramshackle ramparts that the Oni had constructed on top of a hill to the west.
Four days ago the first attack came under the cover of a storm and the darkness that the thick clouds had provided the marauders attacked the outskirts of the town, burning pillaging and capturing people of Jade Point. Jack, Captain Hart to most, had heard the screams and seen the fire and with forty of his men had come to the towns defence.
Now after four nights and the dawning of the fifth day Jake’s men, all soldiers for the Harimasu family, had suffered casualties and were now numbering in the twenties, twenty three according to the last count. “Captain Hart!” A voice bellow from below him, turning he looked down the ladder at the private who stood there, shielding his eyes from the light that beamed from the open hatch to the lookout. Jake noticed the urgency in the eyes of the young man but couldn’t place a name to his face which caused him to frown as he made an effort to remember the names of all the men he served with and those who served under him especially – you never knew when you would have to talk to a soon-to-be grieving family.
One last glance across the no-mans land between the town of Jade Point and the ramparts confirmed that there was no attacks at this moment and with a sigh, and a crack of his back from a potentially over-zealous stretch he turned to go down the ladder to greet the private – who had since climbed the ladder and was slowly standing up in front of him. Something wasn’t right, he could feel it but as he noticed the regalia, family crest and the manner in which he held himself Jake couldn’t be sure what he was uncertain about.
“Sir,” the private began as he waited for Jake to acknowledge him.
“Go on Private, what news do you bring?” Jake said, clasping his hands behind his back, where they were close to the hilts of his daggers just in case his feeling proved to be correct.
“Sir, we have spotted movement at the jungle to the South.” the man said, he gestured towards the trees that had formed a barrier of sorts for the town. Jake slowly turned towards the trees and turned his spyglass from the Ramparts to the jungle. After a moment and some directions from the man standing a respectful few feet away from him he noticed a group of 4 or so people resting and eating at the base of a few of the jungle trees. From the looks of it they were foreigners, perhaps from across the great sea – perhaps Lady Kyoko had brought back more than just knowledge and wealth to assist their war he thought to himself.
“Sir there is something else you should see. The Ramparts are stirring, it looks like we aren’t the only ones to notice these visitors.” he said and as Jake whirled around to look at the ramparts a chill crept down his spine, causing him to shudder even before his spyglass could look across the ramshackle wooden palisade and walls. Indeed, the walls were abuzz with movement, Oni spears visible behind the walls moving backwards and forwards.
“How did you notice this, forgive me private I am having a momentarily lapse in your name?” Jake said as he looked back towards the man in front of him.
“Yu, I go by Yu.” the man responded as he saluted Jake – a strange non-regulation club swinging from his hips back and forwards from the gesture of the salute. When Yu noticed Jakes Gaze he responded with a grin “Took it from an Oni that I defeated and cost me my blade. It’s a bit hefty to swing with our normal elegance but it packs a punch” he said looking at his feet.
Nodding Jake looked back through the spyglass and noticed a shadow creeping across the open fields and ruined buildings heading to the foreigners. Jumping to action he whirled around and grabbed private Yu. “We can not let the Oni get to those foreigners, they may have news of Lady Kyoko or bring news that would win us the war” he said as he jumped onto the ladder and slid to the ground, his thick boots causing a plume of dust to rise up which was joined by a second plume a moment later with Yu running on his heels.
“What makes you say that Sir?” Yu asked, sticking close to the captains flank as he ran towards the barricades they had put up to slow the tide of Oni into the city.
“Why else would foreigners come here? They are clearing experienced, they are dressed as adventurers, warriors and such and we were expecting Kyoko and her crew to pass through here yesterday. Their appearance can mean two things. One, they need help or two, they are the help.” he said as he pushed through the choke point, the lack of sentinels or guards around for some reason didn’t disturb him as much as the though of the Oni getting their hands on the new comers.
“So they are the key to us winning Sir?” Yu asked from just behind him.
“If I was a betting man I would go all in” Captain Hart responded just before the a sharp pain in the back of his head burst forth with a Crack – the sound of a Oni club smacking into his head.
“That will do nicely Captain Hart.” He man said, Yu, as he grinned and knelt next to the captain has his vision blurred and everything faded to black.
Well I hope that helps paint a picture for what I have planned for this week, for now. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a double-whammy – Two twists in one so I can keep on track with my planned schedule for this months adventure. It was good to use artbreeder again, after failing to find portraits or images, created, self drawn (not my strong suit at all!) or otherwise sourced for the Toad-kin (I picture them as short, robust ugly creatures who look upon the world as I would expect most druids would) it was good to have a quick rummage through the site and create something that is similar to the vision I had for the NPC.
I would expect that this isn’t the last we see of Captain Jake Hart so don’t forget to come back to check what we post here and, as I have made a habit of saying it here, as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe