Welcome to another end of week writeup where we look towards the citadel known as The Shadows Throne. This week our party moves towards a hidden path into the shadows Throne, or the front door, and prepare to confront the being that has haunted them for almost a year now. So sit back, have a cup of coffee and lets catch up on what was created this week.
Path into the Shadows Throne
The party stared at the sheets of paper in front of them. The small droplets of blood that clung to the parchment left a trail as they slid to the ground. The letters, maps and notes that lay out infront of them revealed a side yo the Oni that they hadn’t seen. And one they wished they hadn’t.
Diagrams for a ritual in a large antechamber were revealed. A large altar or pedestal looked to be in a large bowl or recession in the chamber. The drawings indicated sacrifice of spirit folk, oni, humans and other races deemed lower than the oni.
The ritual looked to be one of creation. Binding bones, flesh and blood together to form a new body for something. The ritual pages finished here but there other pages that looked to be schematics for a fortress within a mountain. It mapped plans for guard rotations as well as the hidden path for escaping the citadel in case of emergencies.
Taking the plans, Gin and the surviving members of the plan they head back to the wall. The captain, Kyoko and the messenger for Kuang were all eagerly waiting for the party when they arrived.
After some time they started discussing what it could mean in hurried conversation before they turned to the party for advice.
Blood Bone and Shadow
The creature stirred from the warm granite and ash on the stone floor. Slowly the nerves in its muscles fired and it pushes its face from the ground and looked up at the creatures that served it. They stood around it in reverence, not wanting to be the first to approach the fallen figure that had, until this moment, lay crumpled on the ground.
“Master. The humans. They have pushed us from the wall. I.. er.. some of the others feared you had fallen and ordered a retreat.” A large, although cowardly, oni spoke as it shuffled forward towards the large humanoid figure. “What would you have us do? We may be able to rally the spirit folk and have them take back the ground we lost when the ice witch..” his speech was cut short as the creatures hand shot forward and plunged into the chest of the oni. With a look of shock and horror the oni watched as its heart was pulled from its chest, all but one artery detached as the figure drank deep from the pulsing organ.
“I would have you shut up” the creature said as it drank its fill from the warm blood. “I would have you all not have retreated from the wall. It was ours to take. Victory was within our grasp and you let it slip through our fingers.” The creature said as it shuffled to kneel on the ground.
No creature dared speak or move for fear of suffering its wrath. Although it wasn’t the shadow itself it was a vessel for embodying its unholy form within this plane and its power was unfathomable to the mortal creatures that served it.
Finally a ogre like creature spoke. “Master. The humans. They are come here…” The rest of the servants moved from the avatar.
It slowly looked up at all those who were gathered. “The ritual must be done again. Before they get here. I will need to bolster this body and prepare to do what you can not. Kill a party of humans. Take the slaves, take the captives. Grab the weak and injured. Their bodies will renew my strength. Go now” The avatar if shadow barked and delighted in the creatures panicked scurry.
Herald of Light
Liz and Jung travelled with a small army of Harimasu warriors as Kuang directed them towards the shattered mountain up ahead. Since Jung has appeared as a dragon Liz had begun to notice that her connection to her deity, Chauntea, had increased. Her Goddess had started to grant her more powerful blessings and miracles and she had the feeling she was being drawn towards the dark mountains.
What Liz hadn’t counted on was the aura that seemed to resonate from her causing creatures to shy from her and humans to flock to her. Her presence when General Kuang and the Harimasu warriors met the Toshio family guard, mercenaries and soldiers caused the majority of them to lay their arms down and surrender to the Harimasu force.
When travelling through the western pass and even past the wall towards the shattered peak ahead creatures, Oni and other dark servants of the Shadow retreat from her presence. That or maybe it was the fifteen foot dragon that floated or walked next to her at all times.
Jung, once called Siu, had increased in size since being with the humans. What’s more he had noticed that whilst being with Liz he was stronger, faster and seemed to radiate a light much like she did. As the two of them approached the front ranks of the soldiers – a mix of Harimasu and the defected Toshio soldiers – the full extent of the mountain came into view.
“We believe that they are already in there. Or close to being so we believe.” Takeo said as he appeared suddenly next to Liz in a flutter of feathers. “Some of the Wall guard have begun to siege the wall at the entrance to the mountain, well what remains of it.” he continued as he looked across Jung and Liz. “I am glad that you have come. We could use your help. The men and women will rejoice in just seeing you, evidence of our ancestors being on our side as well as the light that radiates from you Liz is a direct affront to the Shadow.”
Looking forwards towards the skirmishes ahead Liz reached out to Chauntea. With a prayer on her tongue she asked for the light to shine on Ryokughan.
Elizabeth “Lizbet” Scaulder
Liz appears at the frontline with the golden dragon form of Jung Harimasu as they prepare to assault the citadel known as The Shadows Throne. As a distraction or aiding the getting the party in it doesn’t matter as her presence alone rallies the troops.
Environment and running the adventure
Smoke and dust fill the sky as you gaze up at the entrance to the mountain. The flow of Oni and other servants of the Shadow are constant, scurrying backwards and forth across the rough stone. Deep within the mountain a red glow and the chants of an unholy ritual resonate through the cold stone as you stand and watch. As you look at the remnants of the crumbled façade of the citadel before you its not evident whether it was constructed after of before the rock fell, but you can tell that it was made by a master craftsmen.
The creatures that move through the area don’t pay you any attention but they seem to be directed by an unseen hand. As the pounding of air and chanting of magic continues the feeling of unease settled in your bones. This is not a place for mortals. This is not a place where the sunlight wants to tread for fear of being swallowed up by the shadow that has penetrated the stone.
Inspiration – Map less adventure (245ThKnOShDo)
Encounter – The Trenches and Sentinels
Oni, Bakegamoto, Butatō, Oni Sentinels and bound river trolls guard the front entrance. The Butato provide ranged support from the walls and pepper the ground with arrows whilst Oni defend the gate, wall and operate the defence. The Bakegamoto act as shock troops and charge in to disrupt the party.
The trolls are interesting, they are chained a little way from the wall in a small trench. When those foolish or unaware walk near them the trolls attack with a ferocious hunger but they are chained to the trench. These chains however can be released by mechanisms that the Oni control (but the trolls attack Oni and humans alike).
The Oni sentinels are the best marksmen of the Oni. They are positioned in watch towers and are crack shots with a heavy crossbow. However there are not many of them. As the mountain fell many of those on watch were lost as the towers were crushed by the rock.
Oni, Butatō and Bakegamoto
Oni Sentinel, Bound river Troll
Both created in tetra-cube
The hidden passage
The hidden passage is along the wall towards the north of the entrance. This requires the party to cross a trench, dodge crossbow shots before entering into it. Having or memorising the notes from the Oni camp will enable them to find the entrance with no issue. Once in there is nothing within the passage way itself apart from some Giant rats and perhaps a starved Oni or Butatō.
Another week has come and gone and we find ourselves at the precipice of the end of the year of content. This week we revealed the intel gathered from the Oni camp, made our way to the citadel and hopefully saw our party make their ways in. Next week we confront the creature at the heart of the ritual which is a pretty big deal. So don’t forget to join me for for this coming week and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe