Doorich cottage

Welcome to Tuesday where we look at the NPCs of this week. This week we look to Doorich cottage, a small establishment that serves as a home away from home for passing through dignitaries. In particular we will look at Yulve, the caretaker and her husband Peruve as they help Kyoko, the party and co.


Doorich cottage

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“Make yourself comfortable. You seven have been through quite a lot” Yulve said in soft tones as she busily hurried around from person to person.

“There is no need to fuss Yulve. You have done more than enough” Kyoko said as she accepted the hot tea that was handed to her. Glancing towards Kuang she could see that the venerated general was regaling stories of past conquests and battles with Yulve’s husband, Peruve – one of the first foreigners who Kyoko had met all those years ago. Hana busily tried to help Yulve who just as quickly tried to shoo the young Harimasu family member back to her seat.

“Now we don’t have much,” she explained, “but we have some venison stew”. The stew itself may have been plain but it was delicious and hearty and the party could not refuse a warm meal. After explaining what they had encountered on the streets, the shape shifters, Peruve looked up at Yulve.

“Wasn’t there an old folk tale that your folks used to tell me about?” he asked. “You know, the one about the monk who refused any offers of help on the road or something.”

“Yes, you’re right. The Quaigin. A race of cheeky shape shifters who take the form of any they touch. They are immortal spirit folk who unfortunately serve the Shadow.” she continued to explain as she collected cups and plates. “I say unfortunately as the legends say that they once stood against the Shadow but because of their nature no one trusted them to keep their word. They dissolved all ties and retreated back into the mountains I think was the last we heard of them.”

Night fall

After supper and the last of the light had faded from the sky the party retired to the three rooms that were available with Kuang opting to sleep in the hallway outside of Kyokos room. As Peruve walked through the building he heard a scratching on the wood. Moving to the front door with a short blade in his hand he opened the door. Outside the nights sky was cold and contained no clouds whilst guards and refugees walked outside. Closing the door behind him and locking it he didn’t notice the glyph scratched into the door or how it glowed slightly.

Mugrave watched the Doorich cottage from across the road as she ate some bread. Transforming her finger down from its Oni sized to a form more fitting a humans she waited for her pets to visit the house.

“The plan is in motion. We have tested them and found that they are formidable but none have survived the four of them before.” She mumbled to the dark, a cold tendril of shadow touching her arm. “We will have our answers soon, from their living lips or driven out from their dead flesh.” she said after chewing through a chunk of bread and salted meat.

“You there. Miss.” a guard said as he approached Mugrave.

“what can I help you with guardsman?” Mugrave asked in a cheerful sweet one.

“I want to warn you that some refugees have been reported to be going missing. So I wanted let you know that we have placed extra guards around the refugee camp in case you need protection.”

She smiled – humans had the potential for great kindness and great malice. “That’s very kind of you. I shall send my thanks to the guards tonight.”

The guard smiled and shook his head, handing a flask of liquid to her. “No need to thank me, Lady Kyoko ordered it and we are happy to oblige.” he said before walking off down the street.

Closing thoughts

Well as Mugrave makes her second move we can only sit back want wait for the party to react to what lies in wait. As I mentioned last night in our Night prowlers post this week is about the next move. We see a bit more around the tactics, see different creatures and see a different side to Mugrave – well maybe.

Having an enclosed “safe spot” with confined rooms and areas help sets up for a interesting combat encounter later this week. It also gives some questions around how to get the creatures into the house, or the party out. Much more to work on in the last days of this week.


Thanks for once again joining me tonight to read through the happenings in Ryokughan. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for our mid week twist as we uncover more of Mugraves plans. Also, don’t forget that we have a new breed of creatures to look at, ones that may appear familiar from those encountered in Faerun. But finally, don’t forget to keep coming back, following along this journey and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Skin Walker

Hello and welcome back to a Tuesday NPC post. This week we follow the party as they follow the trail of destruction and havoc left by the minions of The Shadow. In particular, we are following the plots and ploys of Mugrave the Skin Walker as she tries to complete her mission to prevent the party, and Liz, from stopping her masters plans.


Skin Walker

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Mugrave the Skin Walker
Created in Artbreeder

Walking through the streets trailing the foreigners and the Harimasu princess was easy. Dressed as she was, with the skin she was wearing she could blend in any where. Mugrave moved through the streets, appearing hungry and confused, a look of fear and a touch of despair tugging at her voice helped to sell the act.

As she moves from door to door, vendor to vendor she asks for food, spare coin or clothes to keep her warm. Her comely appearance, soft voice and youthful skin draw more than one glance from the men but that doesn’t concern her. She watches as one of her agents moves closer to the party, glancing back knowingly towards the her and receiving a signal from Mugrave before lunging at Kyoko.

The panic that ensued was sheer bliss. Mugrave relished in watching the streets erupt into chaos as the adventurers and Kyokos guard erupted into action easily cutting down the would be assailant. As she pretended to scream and scramble to safety as the violent response came Mugrave studied them. She watched their moves and the assessing their capabilities as was her plan. She could not attack the group without knowing what she was up against and now she knew.

As the day went on more of her agents attacked the group and she learnt more about their strength. She would need to be careful with this lot.

Settling down in a refugee camp for the night she enjoyed the comforts of poverty. Free food, blankets and different faces, emotions and personalities to learn and perfect. For a skin walker such as herself having a supply of inspiration and a list of faces and voices to use was of most importance.


Skin Walker

Legend has it in Ryokughan that under the right circumstances one can become a skin walker. In fact the ability to shape shift and assume any form, voice and personality is not something that is unobtainable but in some cultures, it is something that is routine.

The Oni and those who are born tied to the shadow are frequently blessed with the ability to shift appearance, taking a new form and voice to help reach their goals. These Skin walkers form the strongest and most prized of The Shadows champions and are frequently the cornerstone of its plans.


Closing thoughts

Tonight was more about setting up tomorrow and this weeks encounters. Having Mugrave reveal some of her pawns and test the party may become evident quite early on to the party, and I would hope it would be evident, and they would perhaps become more suspicious of their environment.

The use of these micro-encounters. These mini flashes of fire in the pan is to really make the party feel like they are being tested, each attack should be coming from a different angle or approach. But.. I probably reveal too much about tomorrows twist so I will leave it here.


Thanks for another night with you dropping in to read up on the happenings in Ryokughan. Don’t forget that we will be adding to this weeks adventure each night this week, as normal so you need to come back tomorrow night. And the night after on that note. But most importantly, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Payment is due

Welcome to another Tuesday where I want to explore the events that occur a few days after the party clash with the Laelóng. Now with the beast gone one can expect I’d expect some bigger changes in the village and the Kunagi ranges. However these changes doesn’t always bode well for those who inhabit these cold lands and time is up for some, and payment is due.

But this gives me an opportunity to employ one of the concepts I use in almost all my adventures, NPC permanency. Now, the concept at its core is the understanding that the villain, guard or innkeeper aren’t just sitting around. No for us, the masters of plot and the story, we recognise that nothing should wait for the Party to find them.

This is what I mean by NPC permanency. When the party isn’t in the village, the innkeeper still serves customers at his Inn, and the Villain still moves their pawns to collect payment – the world continues with or without he party being involved. This can drive plot, aid in immersion and enrich the story for all but if incorrectly managed then it can lead to a pretty underwhelming dungeon where the bag guy isn’t there.

So let’s explore NPC permanency when we look back at the village, currently with no name, where Hugh is locking up for the night…


Change of ownership

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Hugh pushed the last of the chairs in under the table and sighed when the chair leg caught on some dried mud. Hugh knelt down with a sigh as he fished out a small knife to try and dislodge some of the caked on dirt to make the cleaning of it easier. Calling it quits he stood up to go get a glass of wine and a broom, it had been a quiet day but the visits from the creatures had lessened since the wagon and adventurers had passed through. As he moved about the kitchen he passed by a bottle of wine that he had nearly forgotten about, nearly except for the price it had cost him.

Reaching for the amber coloured glass he used the same knife to uncork the bottle as he did to scrape the dirt off, after a cursory clean on his shirt of course. Pouring himself a bottle of the rich red liquid he stuffed the cork into the bottle to try and savour the wine and sipped from the permanently chilled liquid.

A small bell chimed signalling that the front door had opened. Looking from the kitchen through where the meals were kept he couldn’t see anyone standing in the door immediately so he placed his glass of wine down on the bench and sheathed his knife on his belt. Moving through the kitchen he called out with only the silence to reply to him. Moving to the front door and checking outside the front door he scratched his stubble as he closed the door behind him. “Must have been the spirits tripping the bell.” he said to himself as he locked the door closed as he decided that he should head to bed as the sun was nearly set.

“The spirits don’t care for trickery these days,” a chilling voice said behind him ,”they serve a new purpose now. My purpose”.

Hugh knew who, or what, was behind him saying the gold words before even turning around and as he did he sank to one knee and bowed. “Queen Yukri, I did not expect you” he stuttered, his nerves and survival instincts kicking in with a heartbeat.

“Nor did I expect you to aid my enemies.” she smirked as she floated to stand in front of the man. “I must have misjudged you for a coward but you appear to have fight within you, enough to stand against the blizzard with but a candle.” she snapped, her calm demeanour changing for a moment making the glass on the windows frost over.

“I don’t care that they killed the Laelóng, the creature was arrogant to say the least” Yukri began as she walked into the dining room and moved a chair out from a table and sat down, winning her body to stop floating.

A Laelóng!” Hugh had heard of these creatures from the woman he followed to Ryokughan, they were cousins of the ancestral dragons that fell from the good graces of the family. He couldn’t believe that those adventurers had bested a creature that was related to the most revered creatures of this land. Gulping he moved into the dining room anxious for the frost maiden to leave his inn. “May I ask what I can help you with?” he stuttered.

“Payment. Payment is due Hugh. I let you and this village keep your lives if you ensured that my army moved through unimpeded and yet I have an army that report that they can’t cross the valley and that the one thing that was keeping the rebellious spirits under control is dead. I heard that you had the opportunity to contain and capture these would be heroes but you let them go.”

Hugh was shaking by this stage, he turned to run but bounced into a mountain of flesh – a man that stood as tall as his doorway. Faster than his eyes could catch cold, frost bitten skin grasped around his neck and pushed him against the wall. “You cant run from a contract Hugh. You bartered for your safety and for peace and yet here we are. A war that you have chosen sides in your inaction and now I will take what I am owed.” Yukri whispered in his ear as she floated just in front of his face.

As the cold lips of the Yuki-onna pressed against his a deep unsettling cold spread through his core. His skin cracked as the excruciating pain began as his life was sucked from his body by the frost maiden. He dropped to the ground like a sack of salted meat and one of his ribs snapped. The shock of a broken bone was nothing to the fatigue and exhaustion that washed over him – but he was alive.

“Thanks for the meal innkeeper. Keep the door unlocked for when I decide to visit again.” Yukri said as the door unlocked and she floated through, the hulking undead man following just behind her. Hugh lay there and shivered, shock and cold radiating through his body. Getting up he slowly crawled towards the desk where he kept a mirror, but everything looked so blurry as if looking through a frosted window. Finding the polished plate he gasped as he saw a shock of white hair had replaced his blonde locks. His eyes had turned older and milky and his face was a maze of wrinkles and rough skin.

Holding his hands in his hair he sobbed.

Hugh Grohw - A Innkeeper who's now understanding the price of a broken contract and now that Payment is due he cant pay the bill.
Hugh Grohw, made in Artbreeder

By having little side stories like this for our notes our game management and storytelling benefits greatly. The impact of this may not be wildly known or felt and the party may never find out about Hugh. But as DMs it does give a feeling of what’s going on outside of the little bubble where the party moves and helps drive the story and plot for us.


Thanks for dropping in to read tonights blog and for joining me on this adventure. Don’t forget to come back for the rest of the week as we wrap up the months content and look to move onto one of the last of 4 monthly updates before we wrap up the year. So don’t forget to look for ways that your story can progress outside of your parties influence and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Rear guard

Welcome to NPC night where on Tuesdays we look at the NPCs that may have some insight for our party, plot against our party or interact in some meaningful way other than being another target for spells, slings or swords. This week I planned to have an interaction between Hana and the creature, the mute and the mountain queen – but as I started to write it an idea for a third interaction came into it and so the story expanded and, sadly as with most nights for me, a re-write occurred. So hopefully you like todays content and it provides a bit more insight into what’s happening this week.


White Tidings

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The cold wind nipped at her exposed nose and ears as she looked up at the wagon in the distance and sighed with relief. After finding her aunt half eaten by the creatures that came at night she didn’t care about the warnings of the Yuki-onna or even the creature that had been destroying her village – nothing had bothered her, even the cold didn’t bother her half as much as normal. But the things she had seen on her pursuit of the adventures and the wagon had worried her, the creatures big and small, malicious and marvellous all threaded upon everfrost like grim warnings of what travellers in the valley could expect between the valley walls.

That is why she needed to find them, those foreign adventures the one from the same place as Hugh and Jason, her aunt had tons her the night before that they were the only ones that could stop the attacks and had left a single talisman out for their good fortune. Ester was sure that is what had drawn the creatures to her aunt’s room and they had decided to make a spectacle, a statement from her defiance. And now she was racing to them, making up lost ground as they seemed to be moving slower now, whether by choice or not was yet to be determined but it gave her a chance to catch up and ask for help.

Running across the snow was nearly impossible but she moved as quickly as she could, holding her fathers bow with a notched arrow ready to defend herself if anything thought her an easy meal. The talismans and charms draped around her neck should keep most things away or help her natural senses keep her from harm but there was always a cost to such enhancements and she had trouble hearing anything over the wind in the valley. Her heightened senses seemed to be picking up the overwhelming noise of the mountain itself, animals and creatures as well but the wind, groaning trees and cracking twigs – everything was loud.

Surprisingly so she didn’t notice the massive white creature until she nearly bumped into it.

Large thick claws adorned the rear feet and powerful legs, claws and a large blade made of everfrost capped the middle of two large wings that where covered in feathers and scales that made it blend in perfectly to the surrounding snow and frost. A large avian head and sharp beak with Jagged teeth contrasted with the highly intelligent eyes that looked down upon her with amusement and mirth.

Raising her bow she pointed it at the creature who’s beak twisted into the mimicry of a smile. “A brave one to point such a small arrow at the mountain itself” the massive creature said in a chirpy song-like voice. “You get one shot so I’d make it count. But to shoot me results in only your death and not mine little creature” and Ester knew it was true. The creature was as big as the trees, the scales were like metal plates and the volume of feathers made it hard to see where flesh was beneath them. She considered her options and looked towards the wagon, a few hundred feet away, the wind whipped her hair and covered her eyes as it fanned out in the direction of her gaze. A carrying wind she thought. Grabbing one of her talismans, one of luck, she wrapped it around the arrow slowly as the large creature watched her with amusement and curiosity. “I’m afraid to tell you that those talismans don’t work on me little one” the monster said as it moved forward, the everfrost blades biting into the snow and earth giving its massive form purchase. As quick as she could, drawing from her talismans to augment her speed and skill with a bow Ester raised the bow and loosed on a single shot, carrying the talismans with it.

The arrow soared past the creatures head who turned its to watch the arrow fly off into the distance, a breeze pick it up and push it into the wood of the wagon next to the rear door.

“Very clever” the creature said as she turned to look at he girl. “Very clever indeed” it repeated as it lunged upwards grabbing Ester and carried her in her powerful hind claws into the sky, the sudden appearance of a flurry of snow blocking visibility and shrouding the creature and Ester in white as it ascended into the mountain peaks.


Hana stared at the snow as the talisman swung backwards and forwards in the rocking motion of the wagon. She had seen it, she was sure she saw a massive creature fly into the sudden snow flurry and ascend into the sky. As the party arrived around her, and Kyoko gripped her shoulder she realised that she was shaking. Grabbing a quill, a pot of ink and some paper she started to sketch what she thought she saw, but no matter how she tried to describe it with words, or she tried to draw it no one had a clue of what was out there – but they recognised the charm attached to the arrow embedded in the door.

After half an hour the party returned with a bow and reports of the same large scrape like markings in the snow.


Revealing the creature to the one person who can’t talk, and who happens to be not very good at drawing I might add, is a way to keep the mystery there and gives us, the DMs, the opportunity to ramp up the excitement around the encounter.

Tomorrow night we will expand a bit more around it as dusk falls and the party are almost out of the valley…


Thanks for visiting and reading tonight, a bit of a bigger writeup compared to some of the last ones but I hope it was worth the read. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and the next few nights for that matter so you can see how the adventure unfolds and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Everfrost

Welcome to Tuesday night where we get a feeling, hopefully just that, for what is the antagonist for this months adventure. Yesterday we found a shard of ice that permeates cold and refuses to melt, tonight I will try and put out something that maybe adds to it but still keep it a mystery. Well that’s the plan so let’s see if I can pull it off.


Everfrost

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Created in Art Breeder

The cold air blasted along the rocky outcrops high above the valley below like a great exhale from the frost itself. As the mountains awoke, small creatures scurried forth from their dens to begin a day of foraging for food and keeping an ever watchful eye above and around them for predators.
The trees braced against the wind as flurries of snow and frost spattered their frozen trunks with the white powder, great long icicles growing from branches like teeth from the jaws of a many jawed creature that waited for the foolish or unprepared to wander within. As the wind jostled the branches high in the ranges a wagon crossed beneath down far below the edge of the lip of a crater that has been carved out by sharp ice over many years.

The groan of axle and call of great of burden could not be heard over the wind, the mountains song, but creatures spooked by the presence in the ranges dashed for cover, a fox cowering under the roots of a tree that clung onto the edge of the cliff. Scenting the air around it the fox moved out on soft deliberately placed paws, its eyes darting around as the sense of danger was strong and it had a burrow to return to.
Dashing across the snow, its twin tails leaving a wisp of a trail as it moved from hiding hole, to bushes, to ledge as it slunk towards its den. A final check to see if the coast was clear before it darted for the base of a tree where the entrance of its den lie. The Fox should have moved slower, or kept one eye on the sky or simply should have waited between the cage of frozen roots as no sooner than it leave the seclusion of the ledge a sickening thud followed by a crunch as a row or everfrost descend down upon it, piercing and severing multiple organs at once.
The warm red blood splattered across the snow, a similar contrast to the colour of red of the for from the fox as it died shredded by ice.

The creak of an axle, groan of a wheel and cry from a hawk high above the scenes below joined the wind in praising the strength of the mountain, a song for its power and its unquestioned rule.


Trying to give the mountains themselves a personality rather than following one or two individuals was a challenge that I found enjoyable. Hopefully the hints about the antagonist, a few and scattered as they are, start to get some creative sparks going.

The mountains themselves are dangerous, hazardous even and given that the environment itself kills then the creatures within its rocky and frozen peaks must be just as ruthless.


Thanks for joining me tonight for what I hope is a bit of creative provocation. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the Wednesday twist for our week where I put more mystery and disturbing occurrences for our party. This all leading up for next week and the end of the month which I hope you don’t judge me too harshly if I build it up too much and its underwhelming. So don’t forget to not miss a day and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Those that bowed

Hello and welcome to Tuesday night, and tonight we will look at the NPCs that are present in our quaint village near the Kugani Ranges. Following on from last night we investigate who remain in the village, what motivates them and why do they reach out to the party so openly.

Merchants and Mice

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Ester Yukimono

One of the Villagers who was willing to talk to the party as they approached her store that sells predominantly hand-crafts and some minor blessed talismans that her aunt creates.

After the party show interest in her wares, or not, she reveals that these are the last of the talismans her aunt would be making as the villagers wont let her make any more. She specialises in warding talismans that keep the spirits and fey-folk away but according to the deal made with the Toshio Yuki-onna spirit all such wards and talismans were banned in the village until further notice to avoid the queens wrath. She explains that her house was the first one to be destroyed by the wind, but she seems a bit uncertain about this

Jason Keening

A seasoned merchant in Ryokughan, Jason travels across the main roads within the central area of the continent taking wares from one city to the next bringing back his profits to get items from port cities to take them inland for resale.

Well versed in the land and handy with a sword and bow he doesn’t shy away from conflict but is highly superstitious and based on what he has seen and gone through no one can blame him. Although able to defend himself he would rather barter for a peaceful approach and keeps a bunch of oddities and trinkets behind his seat at the wagon for the fey and spirits that would request a trade – his life or something of value.

Hugh Grohw

Hugh is not native to Ryokughan and came over on a trading vessel chasing his then love of his life. Older and more jaded now he doesn’t chase beauties any more and instead runs the local inn at the village before the Kugani Ranges take hold and travellers decide to run the gauntlet between the towering peaks.

Nervous and more cowardly than the average mouse Hugh is susceptible to intimidation, persuasion by force or any form of deception – probably how he found himself running an inn at the edge of civilisation – but he fears the safety of others more than his own. He believes that to die with blood on your hands by any means will leave a debt upon his soul and in doing so he wont be able to pass on, cursed to wander the world as a vengeful spirit who prays on those braver than he was in life.

Thanks for joining tonight to look at three NPCs for this weeks encounter and perhaps for some more in the future. Don’t forget to join me tomorrow night for more content – twists and turns that change our perspective on the situation and perhaps illuminate a bit of this mystery that covers the Kugani Ranges. Thursday we will look at additional content and that leaves us with Friday where I need to work out what we can encounter in something that, as planned, won’t full of combat.

I want to try something a bit different this week and put off the naming of the village to my readers. If you have a name for this village, the one at the end of civilisation before the famous Kugani Ranges then leave a comment and I will select the best name and add it into our adventure. So don’t forget to think of some great name and at the end of the month I select one, and, as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

For Family and Honour.

Welcome to the Tuesday where yesterday we explored a brief glimpse of the party and Kyoko travelling outside the walls tonight I want to shift perspective to perhaps seven hours earlier, the previous evening as everyone had just been graced by the frost queens presence.


Parting Gift

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As the hulking man cut down another guard, despite the fact his innards were spilling out a gash below his ribs Siu turned to the other Shadow Cursed, standing there with swords, knives and daggers as they cut, stabbed and based the last of the guards in front of the door. Siu rushed forward his serpentine body flickering with a dull light as he glided through the air and heaved the door open with the help of Choi and another of the Cursed, Saem.

“We need to get Kyoko out of here.” Choi cried over the racked of the fight as he plunged a carving knife between helm and breastplate on one of the House guards. “The fallen are rising as undead,” he said as he pointed towards the hulking man – his wounds no longer bleeding profusely and his gate and janky movements indicative of the curse of the dead, “they will be up on shortly and we wont be able to out run them” he said as a battle cry rang out – the last of Kyoko’s guards running forward to make room, and buy some time for his princess, commander and the heroes he had been in awe of since joining their mission to these forsaken halls.

The young man cut down a few of his opponents, most of them undead, before a spear run him through but not before he summoned the last of his strength and courage and separated head from body of the attacker. Siu cursed, a waft of smoke sizzling from his nostrils as he looked across the room to assess the situation. Realising the last ploy, the last scheme he had up his sleeve he cursed that it wasn’t to save his own hide but the thought of seeing his cousin, Siuten – Kyoko’s grandfather, in their ancestral halls with her dying due to his cowardice was a worse fate than death.

Flying above the ground he grabbed Kyoko and Kuang by their backs and heaved them backwards, his bestial form having substantially more strength than his human self he had no issues pulling them through the door before noticing the mute, Sasha he had heard he been called before but he knew her to be Hana – a family member. Bowing deeply towards Hana he rumbled a mournful request “look after our family from here on our dear cousin…” and with that he rushed into the fray, separating limbs from bodies and disembowelling a walking corpse before dodging back from a lucky swing from one of the few living guards – his eyes glazed over from the affect of the charm of the Yuki-onna. As he moved back to join Choi and two, yes one two, glancing around he saw the bodies of two of the shadow cursed at the feet of the undead brute – Lucian.

“That one can see us Siu” Choi said.

“Call me Jung, in the end I think its fitting that I die again being known by my own name” he said glancing at the sailor who held a pilfered axe and short sword in his hand – the man nodded and clasped the scaled beast on the shoulder. Turning around to ensure nothing got past him and the dwindling supporters of the Harimasu family he saw that the party had joined Kyoko. “Choi, help me with this door.” he said as he pushed a straggler through the door with a not-quite-gentle nuzzle. “I am sorry my friends” he whispered as he saw their eyes connect with his as the door was closed, shutting him off from his friends and remaining family. “We can not help them now but buy them time” he said looking at Saem and Choi. “They are in good hands but they will be pursued until the frost queen has her will done. Let’s at least dwindle her forces whilst we have this gift. This Curse will be the minions of The Shadows undoing ” he said as he looked forward, the living having stopped advancing as they glanced around for the source of magic or wind that has closed and barred the door from the inside.

“For Kyoko!” called Choi as he charged the front ranks, his axe and sword separating man from life as he pushed forward through the guards. Saem and Tam followed suit, shouting loudly as they crashed into the guards, a spear by chance found Tams stomach as he pushed past the first rank but using his momentum he pushed onward, using his pain and adrenaline to fuel his fight.

Jung sensed it before the sword struck, rolling through the air and coiling his body around him like a snake as the sword connected with a fallen corpse instead of his head. “Right, the dead,” Jung said as he brought himself up tall using his tail and long limbs to batter the lesser zombies into the ranked behind them as he roared into the roof above them – a sound of unbridled anger, commitment and wrath. “For the Harimasu!” he called as he dashed forward roaring, embers sparking either side of his open maw.

The next few minutes were a constant dance of attacking and retreating and try as he may he couldn’t get past the Zombie-Lucians defences, he just wasn’t up to the standard of the heroes that he had travelled with. As his bites connected with the other dead creatures that were grabbing at his tail or limbs they caught aflame and began to burn as if dried tinder, the smell of burning flesh and blood quickly filled the dining hall.

“Jung!” called Choi as he pushed through a few more zombies and revealed several large wounds on his torso. “The queen she is coming!” roared as another guard swung directly at him. It looked like time was up and their ability to stay undetected was being overruled by the queens power over her puppets.

Hearing heavy footsteps he turned his head just in time for his reactions to catch the arms of the Lucian zombie, the sword he was bringing down at Jung’s head mere moments from sending him to his master and ancestral halls, if he would be welcome back.

A cry of pain signalled Saem taking a sword through the chest, and a moment later a roar of anger ended with the clatter of steel on stone -and the room was quiet other than the strain between the undead hulking man and the dragonoid.

Cold immediately began to seep through his scales and he knew it was too late, turning his head he went to exhale, hoping the embers were a predecessor of dragon fire and he was greeted by the eyes of Yukri she she grabbed his snout and held if firmly, the chill was immediate and he felt the Lucian zombie apply more pressure keeping Jungs’ focus on the sword a few inches from his neck. As the Yuki-onna looked at him with curiosity she leaned forward. “I doubt your little ploy here was worth it, you will join that Harimasu princess soon enough in the shadowlands as his darkness spreads through the lands and a new era is brought upon Ryokughan.” She said as she brought her head intimately close “It really is a pity, you have such beautiful scales but, I guess I can always cut them from your dead corpse” and with that she kissed him.

A spike of cold shot through his scales from the point of where her lips touched him and raced towards his heart and all at once his strength failed him, the point of Lucians sword plunged into his neck and his heart beat its last as his blood turned to ice.

As he fell to the ground his eyes fell upon Choi, his friends frozen eyes and the frostbite on his lips evidence that he too fell to the Yuki-onnas touch. As his vision darkened Jung wished that Kyoko was far away by now, that they had brought enough time for his family to escape, that he may be able to one day look Siuten in his eyes and seek forgiveness for the wrongs he had done and then all was silent except for the shuffle of undead and the opening of a door.

A world away, a great golden dragon lowered his head to the crystal orb held in his claws and as his great snout and whiskers touched the smooth surface so to did the tears he wept for the loss of Siu, no he could not be given that name any more as his repentance was over, Jung, for in the end he had proven his worth to his family and had finally realised what it meant to be a part of something bigger than himself.


Thanks for following me through tonight’s write-up and sharing what I hope was a fitting end for the remorseful creature that Jung had turned into and the growth he had undertaken since meeting the party on the streets of Daye. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for more content and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Queen approaches

Hello and welcome to Tuesday night, where we look at the NPCs that are present in our weekly game. This week we are looking at those who are present in the dining hall who do not have a presence, those who watch and wait for their fate to be sealed as the ominous click-clack of hard souled shoes walk down the stairway at the end of the room.

Lady in White

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Siu looked towards Choi and the other three of the cursed that had made it to the hall as each of them glanced between Kyoko, the Party and the girl who stood behind them against the wall. The girl moved like one of them, invisible but present, undetectable but wanting to be seen and she could see them and them her.

As Siu turned around to wards the girl she made a symbol of respect, something that the Harimasu family would do towards his kind and it the copper piece dropped. Who ever was walking down those steps wasn’t Kyoko’s cousin and judging by the smell of fear and apprehension in the room she wasn’t a being that you wanted to be on the wrong side of.

click-click-clack

As the footsteps came closer an eerie silence filled the room, Kuang stood and moved towards the back of the room but a quick nod from the man, Lucian, “Choi” confirmed for Siu as both watchers of Kyoko noticed the man signal his men to intercept the captain who smiled and gestured that he was after something near the kitchens – the guards did not budge but commanded him to return to his seat – which he did begrudgingly.

The uneasy feeling quickly rose in Siu as the first pure white shoe and portions of a robe could be seen at the top of the stairs and sensing the tension in the air he involuntarily let out a low growl-like hum which the companions who he had travelled with for quite some time heard and jumped at the noise.

Kuang had asked the cursed to come with them to the hall, something about a chance to gain perspective and perhaps prove that they are more than just cursed. Siu didn’t understand but looking at the nod that Choi gave him as he moved off and started to pickpocket weapons, daggers, swords and the like from the guards standing close to Kyoko, Kuang and the party he thought that it made sense.

Without being able to be spotted, with people magically unable to recognise or detect them due to The Shadows curse they made the perfect people to keep Kyoko and those who can make a difference safe. Nodding towards the other cursed members he grabbed a few of the smaller weapons of the party members and some that they may be able to use, daggers, short swords and the like and moved over to place them next to the party out of sight. On the way back he noticed a few guards coming to surround the party of adventurers and intercepted them using his sharp claws to cut belts, draw strings to purses and the like and as they scrambled to stop their weapons and items falling to the ground the party was alerted to their movements.

Siu had his head turned towards the back of the door, working on the lock that had locked when he heard the footsteps stop, the steady clicking that was signalling time passing had finished and an audible gasp could be heard from the room.

Turning around his head and vision seemed to move in slow motion as his vision fell upon a woman in complete white at the bottom of the stairs that made his blood freeze like ice.

Thanks for joining me tonight for a small update as I have more to reveal tomorrow and as the week goes on. Don’t forget that as we wrap up this month we have effectively two weeks of writing to do before we get to the end of month writeup and I hope that you wont miss a day here with me and, as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Toshio Fort

Welcome to a Tuesday night here at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop where tonight I have planned a small update as I don’t want to take away from the other plans I have for this week. In an effort to stop myself from revealing too much during the NPC night I will add a few NPCs to our existing known list of characters to hopefully sate your hunger for more content for this weeks adventure.

Lord Toshio’s and ‘His Court’

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Lord ‘Teng’ Toshio

Teng Toshio is a a cousin to the heir to the Toshio family and holds some small amount of power and influence over the court. Given his title and the family lands near the Rimespire mountains he is tasked with guarding the families lotus pond which lives at the peak of the mountain where the keep is situated. He married the cousin of Kyoko Harimasu several years ago at an attempt to have mutual bonds between the two great families however due to the distance from the main families inheritance and status neither he or his wife hold much power in either family.

Ruben

One of the newer and younger into the Toshio’s house guard he rides With Lucian – both of who were hired (or purchased as slaves) by the Toshio family to guard the keep and in doing to the Lotus.

Not as jaded or hate filled towards the Harimasu family he is extremely confident in his ability but hold no animosity to anyone other than the spirits and their shadowy puppet master.

Lucian

Unlike Ruben Lucian has grown up to hate all other families other than the one who he serves, the Toshio family. Bitter, resentful and sick of the cold he takes particular delight in goading people who be knows he can outmatch in a fight, or those who would lose face if they were to dare to fight him. Generally unpleasant he has a fondness for animals and will care for them above all else, except for power – power is what he cares for above everything else.

Lord Ten Toshio trusts Lucian and they can be seen walking together with Lucian being the muscle to Teng’s quick wit.

Sasha

A mute girl who works in the Toshio household – a familiar face to some she goes by the given name of Sasha and can be seen following and watching the Harimasu heiress and her party of adventures from the shadows.

Thanks for joining me tonight to get a glimpse at the NPCs that we will work with this week. This week I will have two different encounters set up, one starting with tomorrow nights plot twist and the other on our regular fight night as we set the final stage for the closing act for this Month. Don’t forget to come back each day this week as we continue to develop and grow our adventure and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Cursed warden

Welcome to another Tuesday where tonight I want to look at laying some more ground work for this weeks session and leading up to this months adventure. We will be introduced a bit deeper into a gruff man that has joined his ward, Kyoko, on her quest to save her people and those who she saved from the Oni in Jade Point!


Shadow blessed

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Moving through the tents, caravans and bedrolls – hastily put down and then abandoned just as quickly as people huddled near the fires to shake off the chill that seemed to be rolling down the ridge above them.

“Look alive, I don’t like how the chill settles on the grass while the sun still pokes her head above the horizon” the Captain, Kuang Ping, muttered as he placed hot soup in the hands of the handful of troops he had with him to protect Kyoko.

Reaching the bubbling pot in front of a gathering of refugees from Jade point he turned around and started to place bowls of the hearty meal in their hands. The people stared at him in shock as he jiggled the bowl around in front of them. “You going to take it so I can continue to monitor the perimeter or not?” he asked a tired, gruff man who had the appearance of a sailor.

“How can… ” the man began looking at his fellow shadow bruised, “Is the curse lifted?” he asked a tinge of excitement touching his voice as he grasped the hand of Kuang.

Smiling down at the man and those who clambered around him he shook his head, his smile unable to mask the sadness in his voice as he spoke “The Shadows taint has not yet left your body, but you are not cursed.” the man said as he sat down in front of the gathering of men and women. “When I was a child I wandered the Forest of screams, not its actual name but when the moon was dark and the wind pushed through those twisted branches,” he stopped a warm smile appearing on his face, “My brother used to tell me that there was nothing in those woods, he was strong, one of the last blessed by the lotus in my clan before the harrowing…” his smile dropped. “One night one of our dogs, my mothers prized bitch, ran into the woods at night. She was ready to pup you see and tried to find a place that she could get away from the other dogs. I couldn’t handle seeing my mother that distressed and so I chased after he dog into the woods. It wasn’t long until I became lost, but I was not alone in those twisted branches for like I chased after something that gave my mother joy my brother did also – and he chased after me into those woods.” a crowed gathered, people who could not see the shadow bruised and those travelling with him and the adventurers and, Kuang paused as his eyes met those of Siu, the ancestors emissary, after a nod of reverence towards the golden scaled creature he continued. “My brother was so fast, I did not even see the Oni and the Gaki before they were on me,” Kuang stood up and drew his sword as he began to spar with the fire – his movements like if a snake and the wind had created a being of war, “he drew his sword, this sword, and defended me for hours. Constantly in motion; striking, fading, feinting before decapitating another horrid creature as we constantly moved out of the woods. He was a being of fury, or righteousness but a beacon of light.”

The old mans voice wavered as he stared at the fire dancing along his polished silver of the blade, the reflection of the moon on one side and the flickering flames on the other. “As he pushed me out of the woods he drove his blade through the throat of the most monstrous Gaki I have ever seen but not before one of its limbs pierced him in his side causing him to lose his grip on the blade as he was thrashed around. I did what any brother would do, I rushed forward and ripped the blade out before cutting my brother free, wrenching the limb out as the beast thrashed and wailed. I stood and attempted to lift my brother up but the beast wasn’t done with us yet. I received another one of its barbed limb through my thigh, severing it and pulling it through I moved myself and my brother to a safe distance, bandaged our wounds with my robe and we made as much haste to the safety of the walls of our keep, supporting each other until we made it through the gate.” Kuang sheathed his blade and sat with his back facing the fire a dance of light and shadow. “The wound carried some taint of the shadowlands. I was wracked in pain but I refused to leave my brothers side,” he scoffed with a smile, “they set my bed next to his so I could be next to him as he fought for his life.”

“he did not make it.” Kuang said looking up towards the gathered audience to his tale. “Before he did he imparted some wisdom to me which I want to share with you now. Do not dwell on what can not be changed. Every power in the land has both a light and a shadow, a yin and yang, and only when there is balance and understanding of such can true power be realised.” Kuang stopped and swallowed. “you see, the power of the lotus that he had received was balance. He could see both sides and in some way that night, the taint of the Gaki that courses through my veins is also a power. After my brother died I could see spirits, benign and malicious, light and shadow and I thought it a curse. But after joining her ladies guard I can tell you now – that the curse has a light to its shadow. Being able to see the taint in others, to see the dark has saved my life and hers more times than I care to count. Don’t view your curse as one, but look for the light to its shadow. You are unseen, unremarkable, unnoticed whilst you bear that taint. That’s a blessing. Imagine what you could do with the power to be a presence in the crowd, maybe you just need to make use of the curse for it to no longer be one.” he said as he stood, looking towards a few men who were meant to be on patrol with a frown.

“Captain,” a timid voice, a young boy who survived Jade Point but was lucky to be untainted. “What happened to the dog?”

Kuang grinned. “The bitch had nine puppies, she had returned home at the first howl of wind through those cursed branches.


Well that was a bit of a longer one tonight, I think when it come to introducing communication between NPCs, or at least dialogue the write-up tends to be longer and more complex. Let me know if you like what you’ve read tonight and what you think of Captain Kuang Ping! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for this weeks twist, well maybe some of you already can see what’s coming, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe