Path of the five tails

Welcome to Tuesday night where we will explore Shiku, the last of the monks who formed the Shuimu’s tails martial arts order. This week our party are finishing their travel up the mountain to see the monks who call them home, who also are perhaps the only people who may know anything about the shadow bruise curse and how to fix it. 


The Last of Shuimu’s Monks

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Shiku – The Guardian of the five tails

Shiku is all that remains of the monastery order known as the Shuimu’s Tails, a order of monks who trained in martial arts under the instruction of the ancestral dragon, Shuimu. These monks are trailed to use spears, whips and Kawanaga and the Kusari-gama – striking swiftly, accurately and with the force of a dragon swiping with its tails.

Able to commune with nature, particularly those aligned with the water spirits that roam the land


The path leading up to the mountains where Takeo had scouted what remained of the monastery wound around the mountain like the tail of a giant serpent and it climbed ever upwards. Despite their exhaustion from the night before it wasn’t long until the party were looking at the worn but sturdy looking buildings that seemingly was carved from the mountain itself, flowing with great curves and lines that blended with the landscape around it.

Walking forward the shallow wall’s gate lay open, one side obviously repaired but damaged too far to be closed fully.

“You should not be here” a voice called from somewhere near the gate, “it’s not safe in these mountains, not any more” the voice, a females voice, called again.

“We seek the monks that call these halls and mountains home.” Takeo replied, his eyes narrowing at the rafters of the roof that covered the gate. “I believe that these sages, people of wisdom and greater understanding are the only people who can help us unravel the mysteries of the Shadow bruise curse.” he continued as he drew a small thin throwing blade.

“The monks are gone, only the golden beast calls these halls home at night and I during the day, to repair the damage done during the night before, to honour those who once called this place home.” The voice called back but from lower down as a lady with silver hair that shimmered with gold in the sunlight walked between the doors and stood blocking the path into the monastery. “You wont find what you are looking for here, I suggest you leave before it’s too late.

Takeo bowed deeply and turned around as if to go before spinning on his heel and flicking the throwing blade towards the woman. In the blink of an eye a large blue tinged chain flicked out from the sleeve of the woman and slapped the blade into the ground beneath it, the woman movements were so fluid and graceful that the chain moved as if it were an extension of her arm rather than something gripped and wielded in her hand.

“I thought you said all the monks were gone” Takeo said bowing as a sign of forgiveness, revealing the emptiness of his palms.

“they are, I am all that remains, she who protects the history of the monks and tries to protect fool adventurers from getting killer by the golden beast. If you seek the monks wisdom for a cure then you are on a fools errand. The great library has been sealed for years, it also happens to be where the beast has created its den and it is not safe to be as it will hunt down all that trespass into its lair..” she continued. “To seek the wisdom of the monks is to spar with death itself and that is not something I want to be responsible for. So leave now before it’s too late.”


So there is a bit more going on here than I have written about but I am sure it’s plain to see what I have planned for this week, well some of it atleast. Don’t forget to come back again tomorrow for the twist and competition of the plot for this week and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Maneater

Hi all and welcome to Tuesday where I wanted to shift focus away from the bustling city and into the wilds outside of the safety of Shuimu.

I want to go back to one of the favourite points of view styles for a few of my favourite novels


The Damp Dark

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Drip, drip, dip… The darkness made an excellent chamber for reflecting noice from the other side. The warm, wet dark contrasted to the slightly immuninated ice cold pools of water that had worn away at the rocky surface of the cave floor forming mini reflections of the pool and waterfall that had given life to the cave hundreds of years ago.

A bald hard scalp pierced the waters surface causing the watcher in the dark to narrow her eyes, staring intently at the potential intruder as she lounged in a worn out groove against the back of the cave. Several other protected thick scalps appeared in other connected pools throughout the cave, “ah, they made it back” she thought as she relaxed her guard and picked up what she had been chewing on a few minutes earlier, a femur, broad and strong with some scraps of meat left on it. Her powerful jaws causing a splinter to occur in the bone before she used a sharpened rock to crack open the bone to expose the marrow. A long sharpened finger nail on her right hand made quick work plucking out the rancid congealed goo from the hard casing.

Slowly the figures emerged from the pools, each clutching a body, or body part from something they hunted beyond the cave before they dropped it in a pile on a central smooth and flat rock. The hunched figures showing no sign of weakness of injury, to do so infront of the others would be yo invite canabalism that cost the last tribe more than half its members, no, this time she would not allow it. Despite their scaled limbs which ended in clawed webbed hands and fingers they moved quite well above the water, their thick, heavy shelled back and partially covered torso the only thing that held them back from being as swift on land as in the water of the pools they lived near.

Standing up her thick scalp touching and scraping painlessly along the roof of the cave, being the tallest and strongest here she got the first pick from the pile.

Pushing aside pieces she deemed unsuitable for her she eventually stumbled upon the top torso of what was once a human, the clothes and skin suggested it had sat in water for quite some time but her constitution was not questioned. Dragging the decaying meat, offal and bones back to the wall she ascended the piles of bones from years of eating like this. The bones and other refuse from her meals forming a slope upwards towards the highest part of the cave. Sitting down and sinking her teeth into the cold flesh she looked down at the others like her as they fought and scrapped over the pile of carcases and corpses. Her eyes fixed towards noting the strength in a few of the males in the cave she wondered if they could find enough food for next years brood – they may need to become more n aggressive and start stockpiling food in the frigid pools which means attacking the humans more regularly.


Thanks for joining me tonight for this brief glimpse at the creatures and antagonist of the week. If you know what they are comment below, lets see if how I described them did them any justice and don’t forget to come back each night for the rest of the week to see if you’re correct – and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The knowledge of the Lotus

Hi all and welcome to Tuesday where I wanted to bring in something I have been looking at on the side for some time now and with the return of Takeo it feels right to bring it out more.

So in the interest of time let’s kick tonights write-up off.


Takeo of the Lotus

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As the door opened and closed, Kyoko going out to mingle amongst the treaty of the crew and people of Jade Point, Takeo looked over the party, Siu and Liz who sat in infront of him.

“my teacher’s have a phrase for that mark, Shadow Bruised, those who have had shadow touch them but not take them.. yet..” he began looking at the confused and concerned faces before him. “Likely started with one, probably not the one who took his life, and its infected the others. Thats about the extent we do know of it, but some monks and shamans may know more. We know you are not the cause or threat but to ensure your safety we must keep you locker up. Until we reach the mainland.” He said looking thoughtful.

“have there been any other people with that mark, the err, shadow bruise?” Liz asked quietly, concern for their health evident on her face.

“one or two, but I suspect there is more. What worries me with our first victim,”he gurstured to a room that was currently closed and locked up, “is that I lost sight of this person, could not see, smell or hear them as if they ceased to exist until that knife pierced his chest. I will need to talk to my master about this to understand how to track those inflicted with the mark.”

As the people present started to discuss the options available to them the door rattled, but no one was there. A few moments passed as the group discussed what they could do Siu stopped mid sentence and stared across the room before lunging forward and pouncing towards the corner of the room, closest to where Liz was standing. As he collided with something a flurry of claws and teeth accompanied a guttural screech. Blood, fabric and the occasional golden scale fell to the floor as the room bore witness to a haggard looking man with eyes sparkling with madness slashing and stabbing as the golden beast did its best to disarm or kill the would be assassin.

A moment later and a snake-like lunge was followed by a crunch and crack and both Siu and the man fell to the ground. Siu stood up slowly before backing away from the dead man. “I tried to remove the knife but it wouldn’t come free.” He said, panting and looking mortified “he was muttering when I realised he was in the room about snuffing the light and being freed.”

“I didn’t notice him until the blood hit the floor.” Takeo said looking concerned towards the door he swore was locked. At that moment Kyoko pushed open the door in a hurry.

“the key’s missing..” she began before seeing the body in the ground “looks like you found the source of the disappearance” she added.

“Siu.. whats that on your neck?” Liz asked as she pointed at a polished black stone that looked like it had been adhered to his scales, a tarnishing to the scales around the stone gave the appearance of a bruise.

“Well. We now know how they get the mark and know what to ask the monks and my masters” Takeo continued as he stared at the stone.

Siu just stood still as he felt a presence sneak up his spine and as he felt the stone grow heavy on his scales a chilled whisper drifted past his ear “hello Jung..”


Thanks for joining me tonight and don’t forget to come back the next few nights as we begin this months new adventure with a few plot driving moments. Don’t forget if you do play thorough this campaign to let me know as I am excited to see how others find it! and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The importance of survival

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

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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

Darkness Encroaching

Hi all and welcome to an Tuesday for what feels like a very short April. This week, the last week of the content for this month (has it really been that many weeks already?) we are covering two things in one, the arrival at Jade Point – the now named Port Town where the Dancing Drake was on its way to – and the.. well, you’ll see.

So without getting all mysterious and broody let’s kick off with the content!.


Foreign Blessing

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Jake Hart stood on top of the obscured lookout that had once been landing platform for ships coming into the docks and stared out towards the ramshackle ramparts that the Oni had constructed on top of a hill to the west.

Four days ago the first attack came under the cover of a storm and the darkness that the thick clouds had provided the marauders attacked the outskirts of the town, burning pillaging and capturing people of Jade Point. Jack, Captain Hart to most, had heard the screams and seen the fire and with forty of his men had come to the towns defence.

Now after four nights and the dawning of the fifth day Jake’s men, all soldiers for the Harimasu family, had suffered casualties and were now numbering in the twenties, twenty three according to the last count. “Captain Hart!” A voice bellow from below him, turning he looked down the ladder at the private who stood there, shielding his eyes from the light that beamed from the open hatch to the lookout. Jake noticed the urgency in the eyes of the young man but couldn’t place a name to his face which caused him to frown as he made an effort to remember the names of all the men he served with and those who served under him especially – you never knew when you would have to talk to a soon-to-be grieving family.

One last glance across the no-mans land between the town of Jade Point and the ramparts confirmed that there was no attacks at this moment and with a sigh, and a crack of his back from a potentially over-zealous stretch he turned to go down the ladder to greet the private – who had since climbed the ladder and was slowly standing up in front of him. Something wasn’t right, he could feel it but as he noticed the regalia, family crest and the manner in which he held himself Jake couldn’t be sure what he was uncertain about.

“Sir,” the private began as he waited for Jake to acknowledge him.

“Go on Private, what news do you bring?” Jake said, clasping his hands behind his back, where they were close to the hilts of his daggers just in case his feeling proved to be correct.

“Sir, we have spotted movement at the jungle to the South.” the man said, he gestured towards the trees that had formed a barrier of sorts for the town. Jake slowly turned towards the trees and turned his spyglass from the Ramparts to the jungle. After a moment and some directions from the man standing a respectful few feet away from him he noticed a group of 4 or so people resting and eating at the base of a few of the jungle trees. From the looks of it they were foreigners, perhaps from across the great sea – perhaps Lady Kyoko had brought back more than just knowledge and wealth to assist their war he thought to himself.

“Sir there is something else you should see. The Ramparts are stirring, it looks like we aren’t the only ones to notice these visitors.” he said and as Jake whirled around to look at the ramparts a chill crept down his spine, causing him to shudder even before his spyglass could look across the ramshackle wooden palisade and walls. Indeed, the walls were abuzz with movement, Oni spears visible behind the walls moving backwards and forwards.

“How did you notice this, forgive me private I am having a momentarily lapse in your name?” Jake said as he looked back towards the man in front of him.

“Yu, I go by Yu.” the man responded as he saluted Jake – a strange non-regulation club swinging from his hips back and forwards from the gesture of the salute. When Yu noticed Jakes Gaze he responded with a grin “Took it from an Oni that I defeated and cost me my blade. It’s a bit hefty to swing with our normal elegance but it packs a punch” he said looking at his feet.

Nodding Jake looked back through the spyglass and noticed a shadow creeping across the open fields and ruined buildings heading to the foreigners. Jumping to action he whirled around and grabbed private Yu. “We can not let the Oni get to those foreigners, they may have news of Lady Kyoko or bring news that would win us the war” he said as he jumped onto the ladder and slid to the ground, his thick boots causing a plume of dust to rise up which was joined by a second plume a moment later with Yu running on his heels.

“What makes you say that Sir?” Yu asked, sticking close to the captains flank as he ran towards the barricades they had put up to slow the tide of Oni into the city.

“Why else would foreigners come here? They are clearing experienced, they are dressed as adventurers, warriors and such and we were expecting Kyoko and her crew to pass through here yesterday. Their appearance can mean two things. One, they need help or two, they are the help.” he said as he pushed through the choke point, the lack of sentinels or guards around for some reason didn’t disturb him as much as the though of the Oni getting their hands on the new comers.

“So they are the key to us winning Sir?” Yu asked from just behind him.

“If I was a betting man I would go all in” Captain Hart responded just before the a sharp pain in the back of his head burst forth with a Crack – the sound of a Oni club smacking into his head.

“That will do nicely Captain Hart.” He man said, Yu, as he grinned and knelt next to the captain has his vision blurred and everything faded to black.


Well I hope that helps paint a picture for what I have planned for this week, for now. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a double-whammy – Two twists in one so I can keep on track with my planned schedule for this months adventure. It was good to use artbreeder again, after failing to find portraits or images, created, self drawn (not my strong suit at all!) or otherwise sourced for the Toad-kin (I picture them as short, robust ugly creatures who look upon the world as I would expect most druids would) it was good to have a quick rummage through the site and create something that is similar to the vision I had for the NPC.

I would expect that this isn’t the last we see of Captain Jake Hart so don’t forget to come back to check what we post here and, as I have made a habit of saying it here, as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Bog light

Hi all and welcome to an unconventional Tuesday as this week the heroes at trekking across the marshlands to reach the port town where they hope to muster aid to return to the Dancing Drake and conduct emergency repairs. Now that doesn’t sound unconventional by any stretch on ones imagination but what if I told you that I was going to throw the story line in the dice bag, scramble it and then take it out in a different order.

So sit back and see if you can work out the missing piece.


Shamans Harvest

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The old toad-kin hobbled around the little mudbank hut using a large cane to support her missing foot as she walked from shelf to shelf.

As she grabbed the last flappy appendage from the dried bundle she frowned, the ingredient was a hard one to locate and harder to retrieve. Shrugging and tossing it into boiling pot she began to stir the green-brown slime until it bubbled with a earthy meaty smell.

A large frog appeared in her windowsill between her and the mossy natural curtain that hid her windows and hut from the outside world. The frog looked at her and began to croak loudly and rhythmically.

“two toads approach you say, its about time they come to see me I am almost out of the good stuff.” She croaked back at it. The frog croaked in return conveying its message more urgently. “What do you mean humans approach as well. Do not think that although I may not move around as I once did that I can’t catch you and cook you up too” she replied as she walked to the window and peered through the curtain of moss. “Oh, you’re right. There is humans there…”


The party having limped, injured, through the swamp through most of the day and into the night looked around the large heavily vegetated marsh flat where a chest height hill had formed to support the only tree for miles around. The two toad-kin pointed and croaked deeply, a reverberation that seemed to dance across the grass and moss and then towards the mound. Slowly the clack of wood came forward from the mound and a one footed ancient, short female toad-kin hobbled out.

The toad-kin looked from one party member to the next she spoke in elven. “These Toads tell me you seek passage through the marshlands, I believe I have a solution”..


Well that’s the end of tonight’s writeup, the hardest one I had planned for this week. Thanks for joining me tonight and don’t forget to join me here for the next few nights this week.

With the Easter period approaching I’ll find myself with more time to go back and refresh some previous posts that I feel may need a bit more. So don’t forget to come back to check what we post here and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Mire-strider

Hi all and welcome again to Brazen Wolfe Tabletop where Tuesdays we look at NPCs and instead of focusing on a crew member of the Dancing Drake I wanted to tie some things in together and drive a bit more of the worlds narrative.

So sit back, sip on some coffee and enjoy!


Talking Moss

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Kiri hoped across the marsh using his powerful legs to jump from one clump of reed to the next trying to keep his bare feet dry as the sun set across the marsh and the night creatures began to howl and call to each other in the jungle beyond. His head bounding above the grass he gripped the sharpened harpoon in his hand as the smell of roasting meat hit his nostrils and he slowed down from a bounding leap to a hop from one dry perch to the next.

“you’re late Kiri” a voice grunted from his left. Startled he whirled around and stumbled onto a dry mud bank that had been flattened with many feet pushing down the reeds to form a carpet under their feet. The creature that stepped out, it walked on thick meaty webbed toes that made crossing the marsh and navigating the deep, cold, treacherous waters easy for it whilst its ankle bent backwards much like a cat.

“Trip, I could smell your fire from across the marsh. You’ll attract company if you don’t keep it under control” he chided the creature in front of him, grinning his broad toothed mouth at his fellow hatch-mate.

“I did. Well, to be precise, company has been called.” Trip said, a touch of sadness and bitterness coating his words. “The shadow has called and the people answer. We have not forgotten our debts and its time for us to make amends” Kiri sighed, reaching into the pot upon the fire and bringing out a questionable chunk of meat, still with rat like tail attached.

Confirming it was indeed rat Kiri swallowed it with glee, it was his favourite meat after all, before turning to his friend. “What does the shadow want of us?”

Trip nodded in approval at his friends respect for the old ways. “There is a boat crossing the marsh tonight, we are to make sure it doesn’t reach port.” the old toad-like humanoid said with a sigh as he drew out a long slender blade.

Nodding Kiri reached into the pot again, this time turtle, and handed it to Trip who grabbed it with his three fingers. “Well, if one night of bloodshed can mean that out people, children and their children can leave in peace as we have these past centuries then let the debt be called.” Kiri asked as he waited for his friend to finish picking the meat off the bone. “How many is coming?” Kiri asked at last.

“The clans” Trip responded slowly looking across the marsh as the sun set, similar little camp fires could be seen glowing amongst the reeds in the quickly encroaching darkness, the marsh a sea of small fires that reflected the glowing stars above. Following the river with their eyes as they begin to focus on the surroundings as darkness flooded the land, a gift from the shadow from when their ancestors made the first pact with it. “All of them” Trip continued as he stood up staring at the large ship, lanterns being lit to illuminate the deck, masts and oars as it made its way down the river.

Kiri and Trip glanced towards the stars, sacred to their people and a thing of great worship and respect. Their kind was peaceful and wanted nature to flourish and life to prevail but to overthrow their past masters, the Oni, they made pact with the Shadow which gave them the strength and power to overthrow their aggressors and captors which dwindled over time with peace taking over their culture. But tonight it was war, he just hoped that he would see his family again after the pact was honoured and that he could look at them even after spilling blood of a humanoid.

A great reverberating croak resounded over the still marsh and Trip, like presumably everyone else, put out their fires and plunged the marsh into darkness. The croak of the war chief was to be respected cause only they truly help any semblance of their kinds power and it was power that they respected and feared.


Well that was a lot of fun to imagine and I am excited for this weeks writeup! Let me know below if you enjoy the focus of this week so far as the next few nights will expand upon yesterdays and tonight’s content to flesh out the toad-like race of humanoids that inhabit the jungle and marsh as well as how they relate to the current situation in the continent.

Don’t forget to come back the next few nights to follow along as this adventure grows and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Lost Ship

Hi all and welcome to Tuesday where we look at NPCs and the development they can give our adventure.

This week the ship and crew the party was travelling with had to stop by an island to make emergency repairs after they ran into pirates and a storm. After setting down anchor in a deep cove on an island they sey about looking for materials yo repair their ship and some crew members returned to announce they had found a shipwreck that they could salvage from. However the crew were superstitious and captain Kyoko had warned them not to adventure to far onto the island as it had a bad reputation for sailors going missing.


Forgotten goods

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As the party leave the piles of wood, fibre, ropes and food that the ships crew had gathered already they looked ahead in the direction that the crew members were taking them outside the cove they were nestled within and towards a thick line of trees.

The sandy pebble ridden shore was picturesque, golden sand, smooth rounded pebbles and the gentle lapping of waves at their feet as they walked along the shore line. Marks littered the sand as they walk and the party identified them as some kind of snake slithering from waters edge towards the thick vegetation to their right, and the centre of the island.

Pushing their way onwards up a small embankment and up through the rows of trees they come across the remains of a ship, a large hole in its hull nestled against the sand in a similar beach. The large tattered but mostly intact sails hung and danced slightly in the breeze that washed across the party – making the leaves around them hiss as the wind caressed plant and person a like.

“See, the ship. That hole in the side, that breach. It’s not natural. No reef or pirate could have made that. But we should get the mast and check to see if we can salvage some parts of the hull and deck to make repairs to the Dancing Drake” the crew member they had met on board the ship and fought along side when the pirates attacked said.

“If you can get us there we can direct you to what we need from the ship, give you the tools – but we can’t go on board – its a bad omen for us to stumble upon a wreck like this and the signs aren’t good.” he continued. As the party moved forward they found bits and pieces of equipment, a broken shield, a snapped sword, a half of a spear but no head and scattered clothing, bags (mostly empty) and crates. It looks like the people may have made it some distance from the ship, or these items had washed up the shoreline quite a distance from a significant amount of water.

Nearing the ship they looked up at the deck, seeing a clear entrance to the beached ship through the breach in the side as they marvelled at the size of the large trading ship.


Out of sight a whisper of cloth moved as she moved over the wreckage of the ship, her hand gripping the blade tightly as she stared at the face of the new comers. She recognised sailors when she saw them but those in front, looking as if to board the ship were different. They had the appearance of people who were from the land, adventurers perhaps, none of them walked like the others, chanting under muttered breath or glided across the ground with unnatural movement to chill her blood.

As she looked through the hole in the hull, looking for signs of the beasts she almost sighed with relief that they had not found her hiding spot again, nor found the people that walked so naively across the sands. They never killed their prey immediately always took them back to their nest deeper into the island, but no one made it back once they had set their fangs into them, except for her as she was too small for them to notice as she slipped out when she saw her chance.

She let a bloom of hope flutter in her chest. Maybe she was able to leave this wreck, leave this island and perhaps return home to warn people.

Do not come to Ophidian Island.


Thanks for joining me tonight and thanks for sticking with me for the twelfth week of my journey through 2022. Don’t forget to come back again tomorrow to look at the twists and turns I have in store, those who read the introduction to the island and linked it with a previous post may already know where this is going. If not, then let us know what you think is happening on this island.

Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Crew

Welcome one and all to a Tuesday night here at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop. Tonight is generally reserved for NPCs, people or creatures that people run into during the weeks adventure and tonight is no different – except tonight instead of a single NPC I have a few options in play for us this week.

The idea behind tonight’s post is to look at a few frameworks that we can apply to a character, or several for the party to interact with while avoiding fleshing out thorough and compelling backstories for each person.


The Red Fleets crew

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How to use the below. Roll once on each table to establish a brief backstory on the person, or people, for who the party is interacting with. Assign Gender and appearance based on the portrait selected but the other characteristics can be chosen or rolled from the table to make it a quick NPC generator *(except the name.. I am poor with names..).

Visual characteristic

d6 resultCharacteristic
1The person walks with a slight limp, seeming to favour their right leg as they walk across the ship. Despite the obvious impairment they are still quick to move across the deck
2The person is exceptionally timid and will shy out of the way from all other crew members, passengers, the party and especially the captain. When the captain is around they seem to stutter, mumble and rush off to do what ever order is backed at the first chance that’s presented to them.
3The person is nimble, unnaturally so. They swing from one side of the ship to the other and climb ropes with effortless ease.
4The person is broad and strong. Able to move almost any crate, barrel, person or piece of cargo by themselves the other crew mates seem to rely on them to do the heavy lifting.
5The person is lazy. Plain and simple. They can be found laying down when the captain is not around napping or ignoring their duties. Despite being lazy they are extremely adept at the ship life and are first to fix something if there is trouble.
6There is nothing too obvious about this person, except their broken common. They barely speak and when they do its fractured sentences and very few words

Background before joining the ship

d6 resultBackground
1They are a third generation sailor and have spent most of their life on the waves.
2Joined the crew at the last port, they are very green to this type of life.
3Used to be a soldier back home but gave that up for a simpler life on the waves.
4Family member of the captain – seems to be treated the same if not more harshly than the other crew members.
5Farmer who is now seeking their fortune.
6Not much is revealed, they wont tell any one but they are jumping from ship to ship to avoid being sent to prison for a crime they committed.

Role

d6 resultRole
1Helmsman
2Deck hand
3Cook
4Medical officer
5First Mate
6Chief engineer

Otherwise notable thing

d6 resultNotable thing
1Has a tattoo of a wingless dragon curling up their shoulder onto their neck.
2Singles sea shanties almost any time they are working (or whistles/ hums if they don’t otherwise talk)
3During downtime they whittle wood with a small knife they keep at their belt. A small statue of a child (their son/daughter) can be seen on a string around their neck.
4Missing a hand of foot – a crude tool/replacement has been fashioned for them that they use deftly as if they have had the foreign appendage most of their life.
5Barely wears any clothes (just enough to be modest) – can be found praying to a deity and chanting prayers during their downtime.
6Nothing stands out in particular.

After the quick-rolls are made from the above pick a portrait from below (or any) to help describe the NPC to your party.

And that’s it, using the above and picking the more-blonde women from above we could have a NPC such as..

Visual-3-Strong, background-5-Strong, Role-2-Deckhand, Otherwise Notable – 4- Missing a Hand/Foot.

Kim

Kim is an impressive specimen, broad, strong and tall and able to carry and shift things around the boat with ease. The rest of the crew can be heard calling out her name when something is too heavy or bulky for regular people and she rushes over to help her crew. What makes it even more extraordinary is that she is missing her left hand and a set of short spikes are on a metal plate where her hand used to be. She uses these metal spiked nubs to help grip onto wood and other cargo and to also fend of those who are daft enough to want to brawl with her.

She hasn’t always been a sailor but when she lost her hand in her families farm she decided to try her luck elsewhere, the sea – using the first pouch of gold she earnt to pay for her spiky replacement she now considers the ship her home and being a deckhand her true calling.


I am relatively happy with how that panned out, I am a fan of random generators as a way of driving, steering or even assisting me in coming up with a new something for the table top and I find that, in a pinch, they are especially handy. Now all that is left to do is come up with a name….

Don’t forget to come back each day this week for the ship bound adventure, tomorrow we look at twists and turns that may affect our party out at sea (an obvious writeup this week I might add). If you do use the random tables above let me know how it goes! If you like what you create don’t forget to let me know in the comments below and I will look at creating a few more quick tables for NPC generation down the track.

Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Exiled and forgotten

Hi all and welcome to a, maybe too short, Tuesday night where we look at NPCs and how they interact with the setting. Tonight I want to look at Jung Harimasu and his families guardian dragon, Huangdi.

So without too much stalling, delaying or waffling on let’s crack on with tonight’s writeup.


The Golden Dragon – Huangdi

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Huangdi curled around the large dais that was at the back of the temple that he resided in, his long scaled body curling around a statue that shared a lot of characteristics of himself. Clacking his claws on the stone floor he watched as the spirits, the ancestors of the Harimasu family, flittered around the room, sitting, talking or meditating as they attempted to guide a favourite of theirs to success, or at least prevent momentous failure. Sighing he cast his gaze the the bowl of scented oil that sat at the base of the statue and looked in it – willing the oil to show him his servant – the cursed one called Siu.

He had expected the man to be in the city looking for a way to redeem himself, in a foolish errand but one that the old dragon could not help but admire as he would do the same thing if he had been in the mans situation. What Huangdi had not expected to see was the man in his humanoid form, a gift that the gold dragon had blessed him when he had selfishly saved those who had once scorned him from an assassination attempt – the first true indication of the man’s willingness to repent. The gift however was something that he could activate very infrequently and the dragon new for sure that it was something the man treasured above all else so to see him in this form was a surprise.

What also surprised the dragon was how still and patiently he knelt in in front of a ship and one of the heiresses of the Harimasu ambition a girl called Kyoko. floating forward to wrap his long serpentine body around the oil to block the view from the others he looked more closely at what his servant was doing. It was evident that his body was shedding magic, his human form was about to expire but he seemed to be prepared to kneel there and reveal himself. Interestingly enough the man looked relieved as the vision on the viscous surface drifted up towards a group of eight humans walked forward, two blazed like the sun and, two looked ordinary enough and four walked with purpose and a surefootedness that even the dragon was impressed with. Smiling, his large golden whiskers crackling with energy he could see the plans and machinations of his servant.

Another selfless act it seemed, spending his most cherished gift to try and convince humans who owed him nothing, and more importantly those who he owned nothing to, for the sake of his family who still refuse to speak of him. It was beginning to be an interesting time, perhaps the large golden dragon wouldn’t have to fly out to meet the darkness, a sure forfeit of his life given what lay within the shadows.

Muttering a series of word, the taste of magic on his forked tongue as he willed the magic to drip through the sigil’s towards his servant a world away. Another blessing for the man, one easily taken away if the old dragon was mistaken in the true intentions of the once-mortal but just as easily extended for good behaviour.

Severing the connection to the oil his four large, clawed limbs effortlessly supporting his weight he slowly weaved his way out of the temple – he needed to think away from the noise, drama and feuding of the family he had looked over for centuries and wished, not for the first time this century, that his master had not gone to fight the darkness by herself.


Siu Harimasu

And a bonus picture of Siu in human form


And that’s it!

Thanks for joining me tonight, I do love writing about such fantastical creatures as dragons, their insight, power, forethought and general awesomeness makes it for an easy writeup that makes it hard to actually stop writing.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow where we pickup from Mondays writeup, but true to the nature of Wednesdays with a twist!

Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe