Welcome to a night of twists and turns where tonight we throw a spanner into the mix. Many months ago you may remember where Takeo went to visit the Lotus clan, the spy master of the Harimasu family. Here he found only empty halls and more questions where he sought answers and advice. Tonight we spring a surprise for our party and the spy, Takeo, in the form of a reunion.
“Now,” Takeo began as he walked down the halls of the castle, “the creature is likely posing as a servant, a guard or part of your family…” Takeo added as if almost an afterthought. “we must be careful of what we reveal here as to not give away us being aware of it.” He took a breath after checking around a corner for others. “Likely someone it has killed. I dare say that it wont risk being exposed by wearing the form of someone it may have the chance of being in the same room as.”
“But if it was able to so convincingly deceive you how will we tell it apart from the others?” Hana asked, her voice still sounding uncertain of itself.
“I was hoping our friends or Lady Liz would be of assistance there.” Takeo said smiling at the party as he approached a grand double door.
“Fathers through there isn’t he?” Kyoko said as she smiled and walked towards the door. “It’s been months since I have seen him.” she added as she pushed on the door.
“Remember what I said my lady.” Takeo said as he pushed the doors open for the princess.
The room on the other side of the doors was flooded in light, airy and had was almost serene. The dozen or so guards, members of court and family and the assistants at the castle all knelt in front of an kind faced man who sat at the top of a dais. As Kyoko entered the room the man looked up and his face broke out into an enormous smile. “Praise and thanks to the ancestors, you have returned safe and with companions I see. Takeo and Lady Lizbet have explained that you are the reason that I have my daughter safe at home.”
The emperor said to the party. “You have my sincerest thanks. If we were meeting upon better times I would have you dine with me for a week in celebration and you would want for nothing. But alas I have restricted the banquets until we can sort out our supply lines with the wall.” he emphasised the situation with a loud sigh. “We are having trouble sending supplies and food up there. When ever we do the caravans and their guards are ambushed and the brave men and women fighting back The Shadow go hungry.”
“Father I am sure that my new friends here would be able to assist us. They have bested a Laelóng, defended me from the Yuki-onna that has allied herself with the traitorous snakes the Toshio family. And they brought back my cousin safely home. I am sure that investigating the happenings with our supply lines is child’s play to them at this stage.” Kyoko said with a broad smile towards the party.
The emperor smiled. In fact he beamed. “Hana. It has been far too long.” he said as the quiet young woman moved from behind the party. “If I had known what was happening to you I would have sent troops to rescue you from your corrupt husband.”
“I dare say that she would have joined us sooner or later” a voice cut across the tender moment between family members as the rustling of feather and the slightest gust of wind sounded from outside an open door. A short, slightly hunched man stepped forward and guards rushed to intercept him.
“Halt!” The emperor called as he stood and moved down the steps to his dais. “I dare say that if you engage that man in combat you cant hope to win.” he said as he reached the bottom of the stairs. “It’s been some time Master Fukiyomo. What dark tidings do you bring?”
The old man smiled. “You know me too well it seems. Unfortunately armies of spirit-folk are ambushing your caravans, but it sounds like you have a plan for that.” the man said as he nodded to Kyoko, the party and Takeo. “But I also believe that we have more to worry about from our neighbours than what comes form the walls at this stage. A sizeable force is marching through the Kunagi ranges as we speak. Slowed down by the collapse of some of the large peaks I will add.” the man nodded respectfully to the group again. “But on this way none-the-less.”
The emperor moved down to a map of the lands as his war council positioned more wooden blocks on it to represent the new information. “Are you sure of this Master?” Takeo said as he stepped forward towards the table, noticing that there was a lot of dark coloured blocked near the wall, about two days ride from here.
“I saw them attempting to clear the rubble from your battle with the Laelóng myself,” he paused as he rested heavy on the hilt of a cane-sword. “As I chased down a Lóminau. One who is without Shadow. A demon of the shadow fell.” The court hummed with the panicked murmur from those who had attended the court. “But I lost it when I felt the presence of a Shadow born. And witnessed it being felled by a party of foreign heroes. So I went to pick up where I left off but could not find where the creature had gone to.” his statement causing a different type of murmur to spread through the room. One of disbelief and awe.
“It seems daughter, that we have much to catch up on. And I expect that Takeo also will want to have words with his master too.” the emperor gravely stated.
Well I am happy to finally get back into some creative writing. Thanks for joining me to witness the return of Master Fukiyomo. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night where hopefully I have some additional content to help flesh out this weeks adventure. I also have the finals for my local Warhammer league tomorrow night so its going to be a big night! Don’t forget to come back each day for the rest of this week so you can stay up to date with the content and, always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe