Jung Harimasu

Tonight I have a little something that has been a few months in the making. Yes the return of Siu, no Jung Harimasu but not quite focusing on what he is doing back but the why and the how. So sit back, have a cup of coffee and welcome him back to the storyline.

Jung Harimasu


As the blade from the freshly killed hulking goliath of a man cracked through his rib-cage Siu felt the warmth from within his body fade. As he watched Choi’s lifeblood seep out of a deep gash on his chest the doors that were barricaded behind them splintered open and the freshly dead soldiers rushed out.

“Please let Kyoko be safe” he muttered under his breath as he felt darkness close in upon himself. But that wasn’t the end. As he felt his consciousness recede he felt his body grow lighter until he was floating as if on a pillow of light. With a slow realisation he opened his eyes and looked around at the marbled walls and jade statues that were familiar as if a distant memory.

“Welcome home Jung” a deep voice rumbled, one that he would not forget so readily. Around him on several raised benches stood his ancestors with heads bowed in respect. “We have been watching you and what you have endured in your endeavours to redeem yourself.” The great dragon rumbled.

“Great Huangdi.” he began as he struggled to raise from the floor. His body weak and his coordination felt off as he realised his lithe dragon-form had disappeared and was replaced with his matted, hairy bestial form. “Before I meet my judgment I have a single request.” he asked as he managed to get his too-long legs under him. “Can you tell me of Kyoko and the adventurers? Are they safe? Did they get out?”

Huangdi smiled and lowered his head to Jung, stretching out a great claw and lifting the head of his servant. “Only because of the actions of their ancestors.” he said. Jung nodded and let out the breath he didn’t realise he was holding.

“Then with that knowledge I accept the fate that the ancestors and you deem fit for me.” he said before adding after a moment. “But I am confused why I was brought back. My actions as you said were my own and served my purpose. But why have I returned to my families halls?”.

“Because little one,” the dragon replied, “your actions may have been born from selfish need and want but along the way, in your journey to prove yourself and save your own soul you realised something. What we do in our life isn’t for our betterment but for those who follow us. You looked out for your cousins descendant. You put her life ahead of your own and even were willing to sacrifice yourself so that your Kin could continue to live.” The great golden dragon rumbled, a near-purr like sound coming from his great throat.

Jung nodded as he listened before speaking. “But its as you said. My actions..” he began before another voice cut through the crowed.

“Jung, Enough.” the voice brought upon a tremor of a murmur from those gathered in the temple. “You never learn to you.” Turning slowly Jung looked upon the stern and angular face of his cousin, much older than what he was when they were young men but wouldn’t forget his face. “You need to listen, Jung.”

After a moment Jung frowned. “you said my name… but that’s been made forbidden by Lord Huangdi. Cousin please don’t lest you face further anguish on my behalf.”

But Siu, his cousin, just smiled and looked towards the great dragon. “If your cousin can forgive you and see what you have done for your family then you should also be able to see your worth Jung” the great dragon added as he exhaled a puff of smoke that began to coil and drift around Jung. “Your punishment has been decided. Your external form will reflect what you truly are within”

As the smoke touched his brown fur it began to shrink and change. As it fell to the ground it smouldered, turning into golden powder as it fell. Fine, hard and light scales spread across his body and he felt his bestial body shifting and growing longer. Within a matter of moments his fur had disappeared completely and a layer of golden scales had appeared.

As the process finished Jung shook the sensation of vertigo from his head and looked down upon the body of an ancestral dragon. “Welcome home Jung, guardian of the Harimasu Lotus.” Huangdi said. “Welcome home Jung” echoes his ancestors that stood above him but their voices were lost as he gazed into the eyes of his cousin. “Welcome home brother. Thank you for looking after my kin.”

In the palace…

behind the forgotten walls of the lotus pond tiny buds pushed through the watery veil and as the first rays of moonlight touched their budding petals they began to shine.

Thanks for joining me tonight. For a while now I was wondering what the best time to bring Siu back would be and the troubles at the Heavens reach castle provided me that opportunity. Although not something that the party would see it is something that Jung, not Siu, would be able to tell them about. Don’t forget that this week we look to wrap up the month and we still have some exciting content to provide. So I will hope to see you back then if you don’t forget to come back and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Lómipilu

Tuesday night is here and with it brings another weekly NPC night. Now tonight I want to introduce you more to the Lómipilu. The creature is not always seen as vicious or violent but there are few who survive an encounter with them, they are after all demonic…

The Lómipilu


The creature stalked the maze like halls that it had constructed with but a thought the moment it created a rift to its lair. Melding and knitting shadow and reality together to create something of its own was childs play and these foolish mortals were stepping into a realm that they had no hope of contending with the power it had here.

But as the light flooded from the previous room and the tendrils of shadow struggled to knit the opening back together the Lómipilu felt a trickle of fear for the first time in centuries. Soon the creatures moved into the dark interior of the dimension it had created, a little pocket of shadow and the Lómipilu’s fear quickly began to disappear. Soon a plan began to form in the mind of the creature as he released its hands from the old man and summoned forth dense shackles that bound his mouth and limbs so he could not speak or move.

Stalking one of the many halls the creature climbed higher into the dimension it had created and watched a the party one by one drifted further apart from each other as the dimension they found themselves in constantly folded out before them forcing them to loop around until they were back in the starting room that they entered. The creature smiled and watched the creatures looked baffled at what had happened. In fact the creature was so amused by the wonderment of the adventurers that it giggled. It knew these halls better than any and that the only path forward as the least obvious, all others led to confusion and death.

The creature lay on its stomach and watched the adventurers move around and start discussing their predicament – each one of them not aware that those they were talking to were not what they seemed to be.

Thanks for drifting into my little rift of fun. Don’t forget that this week is the final week for September and we are quickly approaching the end of the year. I will also look to post a writeup of the games I had the weekend and perhaps even do a writeup of something new. So don’t forget to come back every night and, always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Wisdom of the Dark

Welcome to NPC Tuesday night. Tonight we get a glimpse at two NPCs where the main interaction will be tomorrow night. Tonight we meet those with wisdom of the dark as the dark ones move in to enact their plans.

Wisdom of the Dark


Che was born a very long time ago and remembers the first wars with the shadow. The son of a Ryokughan Merchant and an elf he has an extraordinarily, some may say unnaturally, long life span. Because of this he is looked after by the Harimasu family and guarded constantly because of the knowledge he holds.

The wars of his younger days may be over but the horrors he saw live with him today. Now that there is a call to arms again he may be the only one who remembers how The Shadow was pushed back last time.

Master Fukiyomo stirred in the dark. His eyes and ears moved about the cities, towns, castles and halls as he struggled to hold onto the connection he had outside of his confines.

Takeo had proven himself useful but the creature, his captor, had began to thwart his efforts in the castle and the spy worried.

The sound of ripping fabric snapped him out of his connection as the creature pushed its way into the dimension where he was kept.

“you know you’re tricks won’t save you forever” the old spy said to the faceless creature as it moved around the room. “The emperor will see through your illusions.” The creature ignored his words and brought forward a bowl of food. The old spy knew there was no poison in it and that the food was a way of keeping the man alive. Resigned to his fate he ate the food quietly.

“What is light and warmth but can’t be seen or touched. What pushes back the darkness but is brittle and breaks with pressure?’ the creature asked as it suddenly appeared crouching over the old man.

Master Fukiyomo considered the creatures puzzle before shrugging and eating the remainder of his food “I guess some form of magic crystal?” he replied. The creature exhaled in frustration before leaving the dimension, the sound of ripping fabric resonating through the small chamber.

The old spy smiled. “Hope” he said to himself as he finished the last of the food. “There is still hope…”

Moving forward with the plot and theme of this month we have the objective of this week we have a bit more detail coming on Wednesday with Catching a Shadow.

Thanks for yet again joining me for another night here at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop. As I prepare for a two day Warhammer tournament I wanted to still give a little something for tonight. In order to progress the story and have a mixture of content I settled for some images and a few bits of insight. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for our twist and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Faces of the void

Welcome to a Tuesday night where I return to something that I find, quite relaxing actually – creating NPC portraits. So tonight I have more than one face, several faces of the void to be exact to represent some of the different faces that the creature in the castle can take.

Faces of the void


Tonight is a bit of a creative content night rather than one full of writing. This weeks baddie, the Faces of the void, can make anyone see what they want to see. The faces, the forms and even the environment around them is all one grand illusion for this creature. So the ability to make the party, the guards and even the Harimasu family heads believe what the creature wants them to is second nature.

As discussed in Forgotten treasure and the other adventures that week where we introduced, well part of the focus for this month – the Blades of radiance and Potion of Radiance the creature is quite the artist when it comes to illusion. However it is not infallible.

All images created in Artbreeder

Unlike Mugrave and the Quaigin who physically change shape of someone that they have met this creature can create unique faces or copy those of one they have seen. This makes them a potent threat for the party and, to be honest, a difficult thing to do right as a DM.

Thanks for visiting tonight to gain some insight into this weeks adventure. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and each day this week to see how we expand our adventure. Don’t forget that this is the third last monthly adventure as we move rapidly towards the conclusion of the year and a final confrontation… and, always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Forgotten Treasure

Welcome to a Tuesday night special where tonight we look at the outcome of Kyoko sending a request for Aid to Takeo. With her spy looking about for weapons and items to help his lady and her allies Takeo stumbles across some forgotten treasure that are likely to tilt the scales in their favour.

Forgotten Treasure


As Takeo finished escorting Liz around Heavens Reach castle he closed the door behind himself and left her to the protection of the royal guard and several of his kinsmen. Having been unable to locate or contact his master, the head of the Lotus clan, in weeks. The absence of his master was felt heavily by his students but the head of the Harimasu family seemed unperplexed.

“Koshimako has always disappeared for some time every once in a while.” Kyoko’s Father had said, “he normally comes back after uncovering some foul plot or a nest of spirit folk planning an attack at our border”.

Takeo wanted to believe the emperor, but this time it was different and he wanted to find out why. As Takeo was deep in thought he nearly bumped into the messenger that was racing towards him. Taking a step back in shock the messenger bowed deeply and held out a letter. “Lord Takeo, a messenger hawk came for you an hour ago. I have been trying to find you since its arrived as its addressed to you as a matter of urgency.”

Taking the letter from the panting messenger Takeo bowed deeply before taking a look at the rough parchment. Flipping it over he could see Kyoko’s seal on the back, but the wax looked as if it has been disturbed. Looking up to catch the messenger he cursed when he couldn’t find the boy immediately or was it a girl? To be honest he wasn’t sure as he tried to remember something about the person who had delivered the message his mind seemed to have trouble remembering anything distinguishing about them. Kyoko had an uneasy feeling about it but ripped open the letter and retreated to a well lit windowsill.

After reading the letter he clicked is fingers and summoned a spark of magic which consumed the dry parchment. Kyoko was in danger and needed items that were used to finish the first war with The Shadow. Such items were thought to be forgotten treasures but Takeo knew better and knew to retrieve them from the Harimasu vaults. Taking off at a sprint it wasn’t long before he arrived at where the items were kept. Finding the guards standing to attention gave Takeo a sense of relief after finding the seal on Kyoko’s letter broken.

“I come with an urgent request from Lady Yoko.” Takeo said to the guards as he neared them. No response. “I need to enter the vaults and retrieve certain items that she needs to combat The Shadow.” he continued. The the guards moved, breathed and continued to act as if everything was normal but they were oblivious to Takeo’s presence. Then he noticed that the door was slightly ajar.

Rushing forward past the guards his fears were realised they didn’t move or react to his burst of speed. ‘Enchantment‘ he thought to himself as he raced passed them and through the door. On the other side of the wall the vaults contained scrolls upon scrolls. Hundreds of them that documented the history of the Harimasu clan. It also contained weapons and armour.

Approaching the weapon rack which held the weapons forged to combat the dark masters puppets the first time around he hesitated. Reaching forward he grabbed one of the blades, a long two handed sword that was expertly crafted, and as his hand touched it the blade turned to sand and fell to the ground. Grabbing the other weapons around him he started to yell in frustration as blade after blade turned to sand. The armour was no different and soon Takeo was on his knees surrounded by piles of sand.

Closing his eyes he tried to calm his mind through a series of exercises he had mastered from an early age. That’s when he heard it, the slight tinkle of glass on stone. Looking up and towards the direction of the noise he noticed five glass orbs that seemed to glimmer as if containing the first rays of dawn. Approaching them from down the row of scrolls he noticed that they were little vials, each with a crimson stopper that held back the golden liquid.

Bending down and looking at them there was a scrap of parchment that had a symbols, glyphs that were etched in a glowing ink written upon it. The language was a secret one that only the Harimasu family knew – one said to have been passed down to them from their ancestors. As he grabbed the potion he could feel the warmth of the sun that banished the rising dread that he knew was at his core.

Suddenly his missing master, the spy in his midst and the discovery of the destroyed forgotten treasure of the Harimasu didn’t seem so much of an issue any more.

As he turned to leave, planning on sending the potions to Kyoko he failed to notice the long golden serpentine tail that coiled around the rafters above his head. Or the smile of the being that the tail belonged to.

Thanks for joining me tonight for a further glimpse into the behind the scenes activities that drive the story. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow as we explore a shadowy figure in the Harimasu halls and Thursday night where we look at some additional content that you wont want to miss. And lastly don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Shadow Born

Welcome to Tuesday night where I have a bit of a weird one this week. Tonight I wanted to touch on something that can be done extremely well and may D&D Influencers do is superbly. It’s something that I have tried to work into my own games with quite a good degree of success and that “Wow” moment for my players. So let’s see how we go with it tonight as we experience a dream of the Shadow Born.

Shadow Born


Mugrave in her shadow form - also known as Shadow born.
Made in Artbreeder

The dulcet sounds of laughter seem to reverberate through her the room and hearing those notes of mirth caused goofy grins. Her laughter, her grins. It had been quite some time since she was able to speak or laugh and it felt like the last days after the attack from the weird cats had opened up something within her. Hana looked from her cousin to their protector, Kuang and to their new allies, the adventurers from across the seas and she couldn’t help but laugh.

In the past hour alone she felt her jaw cramping from over exertions her her talking. “Enough Cousin. We wont be able to get any rest with you talking to use all night.” her cousin laughed as she sipped on a rice wine.

“Why do we need rest? I have rested for years and now that my voice has returned I don’t want to rest it!” she laughed back. “Besides the escort from home will be here tomorrow and we will be on our way home without a fret in the world.”

The laughter and reply from those around her grew quiet as she felt a cold seep in from behind her. Looking over her shoulder she saw nothing except for a shower of dust from a lose plank above them and she returned to her talking. But her voice was quiet and people didn’t appear to be able to hear her.

A creak somewhere down stairs caused her to stand as her body told her to run. “Did anyone hear that?” she asked but her question fell on deaf ears as they kept talking and drinking. Peruve was making noise down stairs as he shuffled through the house. A result from the injury he sustained during the attack from the Night Prowlers. As she descended the stairs she looked towards the front door just as Peruve reached it. The urge to flee, to run, to get as far away from here grew in sudden urgency as he reached for the door – a soft tapping noise now audible over her heart beat. With a shower of splinters and dust the door burst inwards. Spears of a black shadow like energy burst forward and impaled the poor old man in so many places it was surprising that he was held together at all.

A figure stood in the door and a realisation sank into Hana’s chest when she felt the sensation of cold and darkness grow. In fact it was the same cold and darkness as the last person she spoke to at the Toshio family keep – one of Lady Yurki’s retainers or aides. Turning she fled up the stairs screaming out for help but to also run but no one answered her calls.

As she reached the top of the stairs she could see the party, Kuang and Kyoko were laughing and merry with alcohol. Her screams and cries for help unable to reach them as she was tripped by a tendril that was shadow born. As she pushed and strove upwards she called out again, her voice failing and disappearing as darkness wrapped around her.

Starting awake with a scream Hana sat upright shuddering with tears coming down her face.

“Whats wrong!” called Kyoko who sprang awake with a sword in her hand. A moment later Kuang and the party appeared in the door all dressed for battle. “Hana tell us. What’s the matter”

Hana sobbed. Between her sobs she looked up as she felt her kins arms wrap around her shoulders. “She comes for us. The one that is blessed by The Shadow. A shadow born now hunts us and there is no place we can run.” she managed to get out between the sudden inhales of breath.

Thanks for joining me tonight. Dream sequences are fun to use and if done well they can both be beneficial at driving plot as well as enriching our players experience. In fact some of the most amount of wonderment and that feeling of “Being special” I have seen on my players faces has been as a result of a dream sequence. Generally I use them as a way of explaining the sudden surge of power upon achieving a new level, but I have also used them for explaining plot, or hinting at things to come for those who are arcane or divinely blessed. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more content and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

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


“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


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


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


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