Welcome to another end of week writeup with our first venture towards the conflict between the adventurers and the shadow directly, well as directly as The Shadow gets for now.
As I mentioned in last nights post I almost went too deep this week, exploring and delving too deeply into several additional complexities once I started to try and put together a logical reason for the creatures (crew, refugees and the like) to be shadow bruised and both undetectable yet not invisible or silenced. But I think settling on the points that I have will be a good middle ground for the adventure so, let’s kick it off.
Haunted by Shadow
As the ship sailed down the widening River the last signs of the marsh retreated into the wild under a chorus off toad-kin singing songs of praise, protection in and victories to be come.
“It’s nice isn’t it. To be nearly home and be with the first glimmer of hope we’ve had in quite some time” Kyoko began, breathing deeply and looking out across the water and slowly approaching fields be and farmland. “I bet you were be staying to worry weren’t you Takeo” she said turning to the tawny hawk next to her. After a ruffle of feathers Takeo Mei stood next to her.
“When my birds returned without delivering a message I worried, when Jade Point was under siege I also worried. But now I am glad to see that you have made some stalwart companions to usher you home, I knew that they were a good omen, but I don’t remember the Priestess being amongst them earlier.. ” he frowned looking towards the Lizbet as he could sense a strange energy about her.
“She is something else. Single handed turned the Toad-kin into allies. They call her a fallen Star” Kyoko said as she sipped from a cup and watched her. Takeo nodded to Kyoko before walking towards Lizbet and the party of adventurers he met weeks ago.
“I could sense something about you from across the ship. You have a light about you Miss Priestess, one that the darkness and shadow will try and snuff out” Takeo said, nodding to the party as he stopped to stand amongst them, tilting his head listening to a sound that only he could hear.
“Well they have tried already, luckily for me I have had these adventurers, heroes if you will, protect me and shepherd me from harm for now. Even Siu has taken to following a few feet behind me to ensure that I am safe.” she said as the golden scaled beast moved forward making Takeo startle if only for a moment.
“No, I can’t. I won’t. She is the light that will protect us.” he muttered under his breath as he shook his head – the whispers getting louder with each passing moment. His legs walked on their own carrying him next to the railing, around the back of the gathering where the adventurers stood with the person made entirely of blinding light. “No, don’t please. Its a price I cant afford” the man continued as he felt the change happen – suddenly people stopped moving aside, no one looked at him and even the astute and watchful gaze of the man talking to the priestess and the party frowned as if something was missing.
As more people bumped into him he cursed the card game that had won him the stone that was now in his possession, again, a pain on his neck forming as the stone took its mark on him. He couldn’t live like this again, not in the shadow, not without the warmth of others and so with a shuddering sob he drew his long knife, a memento from his father – a fisherman – and drove the point into his chest. He shuddered as the stone fell from his hand and clacked against the railing of the ship and then over the side as he felt his body go cold. All of a sudden people were screaming, the man who appeared to have been watching him before the shadow enacted its price was there in the space he drew his last breath. “The shadow…” he managed to whisper to the man as he felt his eyes close.
Takeo knelt next to the man he remembered seeing, hearing talking to himself as if a mad man then nothing – as if his existence had been wiped from the world. When the body hit the ground he remembered what had been witnessed and heard and as he heard the words “The Shadow” he searched the man for marks – a large, deep bruise had formed on his neck where it met his left shoulder as if a large round object had been forced onto him for some while.
“Kyoko, we need to restrict the priestess and her companions at once. There is darkness afloat these waters”
Areas of note
The Boat – Confined to the lower decks where there is the ability to limit the access to both the passengers and the crew.
After the appearance of the first shadow bruised Kyoko assisted the party of adventurers in finding a place that could be secured and easily defensible before returning to the deck to work with the crew and Takeo in looking for more of the Bruised.
Elizabeth “Lizbet” Scaulder
Liz is worried about the attacks, especially the nature of them as they appear out of no where but generally only as they are killed.
Her concern is two fold, concern for her safety and the safety of those around her as well as the concern for those afflicted by the curse that gave them this shadow-like quality and if they would be able to be cured from the curse.
Siu spends his time defending and sticking as close to Liz and Kyoko as possible trying to defend them both – when Kyoko goes back above deck to talk to the crew and the other passengers Siu sticks close to Liz.
Takeo, after uncovering the initial attacker and talking to the party about the next best steps goes to see his master, where upon finding his clan hall empty returns back to the ship just in time for it to dock.
Environment and running the adventure
The Boat– see map
The first encounter, on deck should be like a script, if the party roll a successful Charisma Saving throw vs Stealth check OR Insight vs Stealth will reveal the creature to the one who made the check – but otherwise they don’t see the first shadow bruised until they hit the deck dead.
Takeo and Kyoko will take the party, Liz and Siu downstairs and into one of the sealed crews quarters to discuss the situation. The end goal here is that Takeo will reveal that he doesn’t have all the information and that he will need to talk to his masters further to get more information – he will then leave after that.
Kyoko will ask the Party to pick a place to defend Liz for now, a lockable or sealable space would be good. The closed off quarters are good options (one with two bed is where Liz would be staying currently), the crews quarters with hammocks may be also suitable or even the sealed in holding cell in the centre of the floor. On their way there they would get attacked by one of the Shadow Touched (see above encounter mechanics) who would try and attack Liz (depending on how the Party are moving) if they decide to stay in Liz’s chambers then the attack happens there.
If the Party move around, or change watch, or, every 6 hours another attack will happen until they have been attacked four times in total where the fifth has two shadow touched attacking at once – which is unusual for them,
Shortly after defeating the last of the shadow touched Kyoko appears saying that they believe they have accounted for everyone including those stopped from attacking Liz and the party. While the party have been dealing with the sudden attacks the ship has moved on and the next destination, the final port, lays ahead of them.
Well that’s it for tonight, thanks for dropping by and sticking with me this week while I recover and begin to feel better again. The next few days may also be slow but I plan to still create daily content this next.
Don’t forget to come back each day this week and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe