Welcome to the last Monday night in this months Ryokughan adventure where, as promised, we reveal what I think is the biggest twist of the year. This week we find the party joining Kyoko, Kuang and a few cursed guests hiding at the edges of the room just in case they are called upon as Teng Toshio, lord of the Toshio families sacred halls welcomes the party to dinner, and awaits his wife to descend into the dinner hall to join him and his guests.
Following the stragglers down the carpeted hallways towards the dinner hall the party became ever so faintly aware of a few of the Shadow Curses refugees, Sailors and even Siu who floated through the halls whilst people moved around them oblivious to the presence of those afflicted.
Entering the dinner hall was a grand affair, people were announced as they entered the room with their weapons (obvious ones at least) taken and placed to the side of the room in a storage rack after which the party were eventually shown to their seats. Looking around the Large room with a crescent cut into the roof above them which revealed a second floor that was connected to the dining room by mirrored winding stairs that ended just at the end of the table, where an empty large throne-like seat sat next to a smaller but equally grand seat.
Judging by their previous scouting and the layout of the room their backs were to the kitchens and they sat opposite Kyoko and Kuang who looks worried but smiled when they realised that people were looking at them. A few moments later and Teng Toshio entered the room descending from stairways that were built in such a way that you could only see him when he was twenty feet from the dinner table, flanked by Lucian and Ruben who wore ceremonial armour and weapons that were polished but still looked functional.
The presence of the cursed and occasional flicker of Siu, who had all but disappeared since entering the walled fort could be felt from the back of the room, where the party had entered but the party caught Kyokos eyes wandering the faces at the table and along the walls as if searching for someone. When the Party caught her eye she smiled and whispered across the 5ft table. “I was hoping my cousin would be here by now, I haven’t seen her in quite some time and we get along well. She was a lot younger last time I saw her so I might just be misremembering her face and looking for a younger woman when she has blossomed into something more.” She said with a nervous smile.
After personally greeting his guests Tend eventually moved to stand between the two large seats “Lords, Ladies, Men and women and guests,” Teng said as he reached his seat after personally greeting his many guests, “It’s not often we get visitors let alone the Daughter of Harimasu family and it gladdens me that we are given this opportunity to give them our hospitality.” A few cheers and scattered claps came forth from the crowd of proud Toshio family servants and soldiers. “But, there is a arrow of sorrow in my side as my wife has been away from the family halls for a few weeks now as she extends the hand of aid and friendship to nearby towns. Let us rejoice now as my wife has returned and will be joining us tonight!” With this the room cheered loudly, but the party noticed that several servants and soldiers looked uneasy if they did or didn’t celebrate the lords wife returning.
A figure moved through the crowd, her head tipped forward as she carried a glass of water and a small scrap of parchment as she presented it to Kyoko before retreating to the back of the room, near where the party entered.
Kyoko sipped from her water as she looked confused and uneasy at the reaction and the party and her guardian, Kuang, felt it too. As the noise died down the click-clack of shoes on the stone steps from the second floor leading into the dining hall could be heard. Kyoko looked down from the stairs to the parchment the lay in front of her, unfurling it and reading it for a moment she was slow to mask her expression of alarm as she looked up at the party before whispering to Kuang who nodded and moved to the back of the room, excusing himself as moved through some guests and servants who stood transfixed as they looked towards the stairway as a glistening white pair of shoes and a robe appeared as Tengs’ wife descended the steps into the dining hall.
Thanks for dropping by tonight as we look to move towards the closure of June as we continue on our journey through Ryokughan and onwards. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for NPCs of this week and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe