Welcome to another Monday-plot night where this week sees the party arrive at the all and, well, it’s not looking good. Atop the wall they find themselves looking out across a warzone there the injured lay dying from both sides. Whilst the party investigate what’s happening they are attacked by a mysterious creature that vanishes as quickly as it appears. Can the party provide a glimmer of hope and act as a beacon from atop the wall to rally the bastions of humanity under one banner? Well this week we find out.
Atop the wall
As the party arrived at the wall the first thing that they noticed was the sheer lack of people. For such a crucial point in the defence of Ryokughan it was shockingly unmanned. A head appeared at the edge of the wall twenty feet above the ground before calling out. “Princess Kyoko is here! Reinforcements have arrived!” the voice was overcome with emotion before several others echoed with joyous cries of relief.
“Kyoko. I don’t think our message hawk arrived here safely. They believe we have more reinforcements for the wall” Takeo spoke in a hushed whisper to Kyoko and the party. “How did you want to handle this?” he added looking from Kyoko to the party who were in fact the reinforcements.
After a few moments a platform was lowered over the side and the party, the princess and the spy were lifted atop the wall. Despite the low numbers of people on the wall they all were veterans. Heavily armed, armoured and trained they carried themselves with a martial poise that was lacking in many. As they rushed towards Kyoko they greeted Takeo and the party, the exhaustion on their faces replaced by joy and relief.
“Before we continue the pleasantries I believe I need to have a word with you lady Kyoko” a particularly grizzled and hard man said from a nearby door to a small tower. “There is something that is of great urg…” he began as he held up a fist and listened to the quiet that his signal instilled. “It comes!” the wall captain roared as every single soldier drew their weapons and surrounded the party and princess.
In a moment of chaos clouds of shadow-smoke appeared around the wall in sporadic bursts. Soon the sound of steel clashing, grunts and combat rang out around the party as the unknown adversary launched itself at the walls defenders. After a few moments the creature disappeared and the shadow-smoke dissipated soon after.
“To your posts. Prepare for combat!” roared the captain who eyed his men and women closely, inspecting for wounds. Finding one he pulled them aside “to the infirmary,” he said with a sigh as the realisation set into the face of the woman in front of him. “you’ve been stung. You won’t be seeing battle again until you’ve recovered” he added as he clasped the soldiers shoulder.
“yes sir!” the soldier barked obediently as with a great deal of sadness she handed over her weapons in resignation to the captain before retreating down a nearby set of stairs. As she disappeared into the bowels of carved and fortified stone.
“We are hounded by a creature that does not kill, it barely wounds but what it touches quickly dies. Normally at the hands of the victims allies.” the captain said as he grabbed a helmet and moved to the wall. “Those unfortunately enough to get injured by it recover after some time. Normally after heavy sedation. Some don’t and they choose to live on the outside of the wall so that in their condition they can still benefit their brothers and sisters.”
“What do you mean wall captain Hou?” Kyoko asked as she moved over to the wall before clasping a hand to her mouth.
“They go mad. Their blood boils and they cant detect friend from foe. They will kill anything in sight. Lethally trained warriors who can’t tell friend from foe and who have a lust for blood that a demon would envy. I haven’t seen it before. Our healers can only sedate and hope that their spirit is strong enough to fight the affliction. If they can’t resist then they spend their final days ripping into our enemies and serving us in their death.” the captain said with great reverence as he saluted a human who stopped pacing by the base of the wall, bloody froth covering its mouth.
After a moment the human, one a warrior that defended the wall turned and charged away from the wall, picking up a crude looking sword as it charged headlong into a mass of charging Spirit folk. The brutality in which the warrior cleaved into the fey creatures was outstanding and hard to watch. But that wasn’t only sight on the other side of the wall. Dozens of injured and dying lay strewn about the battlefield on both sides. Humans, those afflicted as well as the minions of The Shadow, all of them calling for help or crying out in pain or fear.
“We have tried to recover our wounded or dead and we started to lose more men than we saved…” a wall guard said from next to the party. Nodding towards the captain who pulled on a helmet and drew a magnificent longbow as he climbed a nearby watch tower. “He lost his daughter. She was a fine warrior and led the last recovery mission. She was cut down by a Oni.” The guardsman nodded towards a banner that stood high amongst the bodies, rocks and toppled trees. “She lies somewhere over there. Some men swear they have seen her moving about the battlefield but I think they are just seeing things.” he sighed. After a moment he ran off down the wall to continue to guard as creatures started to reach the wall.
A few things for this week. A creature that attacks by teleporting which aims to spread an affliction – a blood rage if you will. Those afflicted by the blood-rage affliction who cant shake it being amongst the dead and rubble of the battlefield fighting non stop for their last few days. And lastly, a missing daughter to the captain. All of which can help drive action from the party. But what will they do? Maybe Wednesdays post will help us tease that out.
Thanks for joining me tonight. This week looks to be a big one with a few different roads to follow but its all leading up to what’s approaching at the end of this month. So don’t forget to come back each day this week to find out what’s in store for the party and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe