Hi all and welcome to the last Tuesday of the month where tonight I want to look at the leader of the Oni incursion force, Mugrave, and what happens to her after the Party confront her when she is torturing Captain Jake Hart.
This week I introduce a, semi-lasting antagonist NPC who’s primary focus is keeping themselves alive to complete their debt to the Shadow and be freed from its service.
Mugrave the Shadows left hand
The wound across her shoulder, running down her torso and to her hip throbbed and ached – a reminder to not underestimate the allies that the people of this land has called for. Sitting down having walked for quite some time since her shadow-form had worn off she rummaged through the bag she kept on her at all times and picked through the trinkets, plant bits and bits of meat that she kept in there – finding a sliver of torn out bark from an old tree that grows in the marshes she bit off a chunk and chewed, welcoming the bitter yet spicy flavours knowing it will help heal her wounds quicker.
“Well, that puts a dint in our plans then” she mumbled, feeling the cold claws of the Shadow pressing on the skin on her shoulders. “Never mind that though the town suffered enough casualties and it looks like they have abandoned it for now. Plus we got the information we needed from them, even if the Toad-kin never returned with their end of the bargain we still found out what is on that ship – Princess Kyoko has brought home something more than magical trinkets. My agents said that there was a Fallen Star amongst that ship,” Mugrave could feel the shadow recoil at the mention of the star – but the knowledge of its existence in the land was better that finding it by surprise, “quite a shock since you killed the last of the realm bound stars – or so the story goes. Perhaps you missed one?” she teased the shadow – feeling its searing cold anger flash against her psyche.
The bombardment of visions, words, sounds and the urgency in its desire for action washed over Mugrave, she was used to the way the Shadow communicates having been born with a connection to the dark entity. “Let me get this straight, the adventurers who nearly killed me and ruined your plans single handed – you want me to follow them into the heart of the enemies territory and snuff out this light before it realises the truth?” she signed, wiping the blood that dripped from her nose – a symptom of having the shadow in your head. A reassuring squeeze, or controlling she wasn’t quite sure, told her what the deal was.
“If I do this I am free. This is it, no more” Mugrave said, turning to stare at the Shadow – something that she knew it hated. The writhing mass of darkness had taken some physical form, two long thin arms ended in three digited hands that ended in claws. a long serrated beak had formed under two glowing embers that narrowed with not only anger, but contemplation.
“Deal” – the one word resounded out in her mind, like a bolt of lightning in the darkness before the thunder caught up. After the word was hissed the shadow turned to mist and disappeared, floating up and over the rocky outcrop in front of her and towards the dark recesses of the mountain. Mugrave turned to stare towards the capital. To make a deal to release a pawn, especially one like herself, the fallen star must either terrify or concern the Shadow – either way she knew where she was going, the price of her freedom was easy enough – A life for a life, the end of this star for the true beginning of her life away from the Shadow – and all the power that came with unbridled access to her birth right.
She grinned revealing her sharpened teeth as she slowly stood, testing out her wounds as she began to walk back the way she came, her body shrinking and cracking as she walked taking on the guise of a young, somewhat beautiful yet plain woman wrapped in furs and commoners clothes. A trick that she loaded to use as it normally added time to her indenture with the Shadow but since it was effectively paying for this – she was able to go fully out and let go of the restrictions and chains that normally held her back.
This star would stutter out and then there would be nothing that could stop her and the master she was soon to stop serving, the shadow.
Thanks for joining me tonight and getting a glimpse into a bit of the mind of Mugrave, the shadows left hand. The price of freedom is normally pretty great and in this case the party stand between the Oni and her freedom from the contract she walked into at birth. Don’t forget to come back the next few nights as we wind up this months adventure and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe