Path into the Shadows Throne

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

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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

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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

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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.


NPCs –


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)

Made with Inkarnate.com

Encounter – The Trenches and Sentinels

Oni, BakegamotoButatō, 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

Herald of Light

Welcome to our second-hook day of the week, Wednesday, where tonight we witness the herald of light joining the fray with an impressive ally. So let’s dive into Ryokughan and what’s happening at the foot of The Shadows Throne.


Herald of Light

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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.

 


Thanks for another night where you have spent some time here on my blog. Don’t forget tomorrow we look at the extra things that make the RPG just that little bit more, more-some and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Blood, bone and shadow

Welcome to a npc Tuesday where tonight we are looking at the creature summoned from blood, bone and shadow. Tonight the avatar of shadow stirs and begins to prepare to undergo a ritual to boost its power, but is it too late? Is the party and their allies too close to its lair? Let’s find out this week


Blood, bone and shadow

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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.

 


Thanks for dropping by tonight. A short one but it helps set the scene for us DMs as we move forward into the final push. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to get more info and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Intel of the Oni

Welcome to the home stretch. This month are taking the fight to the Shadow while it’s weakened. This week we made the first move in this quest, we are searching for the intel of the Oni and their plans. This week we have a choice that leads the party into the camp of the Oni as the spies or as the saviours – but the initial choice is theirs.


Pursuit of the Oni

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With the retreat of the Oni and the cracking open of the mountains peak the party woke up feeling refreshed. After the defeat of the ice queen and defence of the wall against her magic the wall guard offered them the best room and comforts available to them. Four walls and a bed each.

In the morning the party emerged to find the wall quiet. The land beyond the wall was even more so with only the occasional movement at a forward base camp the shadows minions had on the ridge further towards The Shadows Throne. The oni and their slaves, the Butatō, were the only things that could be seen as left over from the battlefield. The Spirit folk and other creatures that had been fighting the party and the wall guard had disappeared which gave the wall guard a day of repairs to the wall.

“Message from the General. Lord Toshio was found dead in his tent and his troops had surrendered. Apparently they have all claimed enchantment and enthrallment from the Yuki-onna and the warriors claim that Lord Toshio took his own life when he heard his wife had been killed.” The messenger from the general recited to wall captain Hou and Kyoko. “The General has begun to detain and question the Toshio troops but Lord Harimasu has pardoned them on condition that they return to their homelands and begin to broker peace between the two families again. The general is on his way here to make an attack on the mountain. He will be here in two days however he needs what ever intel we can provide him.”

Kyoko frowned at this and asked for a map of the battlefield from what the scouts had been able to map out. “This camp of Oni. How defended is it?”

“We estimate that it would be a few dozen Oni, their leaders and slaves at a minimum. A frontal attack would go poorly but if there is another way that we can get the intel without risking more lives or leaving the wall undefended then I am all ears.” Captain Hou replied as he pointed towards the map, indicating where he would suspect the intel to be kept.

“Sir, I volunteer to lead the operation to retrieve the intel.” a voice said from the door. Wall Guardsmen Gin Seng stood there looking determined and fatigued. “I’ve grown up training to fight these creatures, to defend this wall. If I can help finish the war then I want to be involved… Sir.” he added with a moment hesitation.

“This mission is too crucial to leave it to one person. But too difficult and risky for a large scale attack.” Kyoko said as she nodded to Gin Seng.

“Perhaps these heroes from across the sea would be able to be of assistance once again?” Kit Hou said as she smiled at the group. “They seemed to have saved half of Ryokughan already from the Oni and the Shadows influence so what’s one more mission?”

General Hou frowned at his daughter. “We put too much pressure on them. They have done enough. We can not rely on them forever and I fear that there may be worse things up in those hills which we just haven’t seen yet.”

Kyoko smiled to the party. “It’s up to you. But we may need help distracting the main force if we were to send in a smaller group of wall guard to retrieve the intel. If you can help with either endeavour I would feel more confident in our success. The entire Oni force would know of you by now and surely they would want to have a chance at gaining the Shadows favour by attempting to best you in combat.”

Rejoicing Spiritfolk

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“Sir, I volunteer to lead the operation to retrieve the intel.” His voice echoed in his mind as he looked over the battlefield. In four hours the sun would begin to set and he would begin the mission.

As he looked across the soldiers clearing the battlefield of their dead and piling the enemy corpses onto a pile he called out. “Place the spiritfolk in a separate pile. They dont burn their dead with the Oni. They think it an offence to the spirits who guide them.” He said to Kit who, as punishment, was in charge of the bloody duty.

When the party and Kyoko looked his way he smiled sadly. “I spent some time with the spiritfolk when I was young… Some things you cant forget.” He began. After a moment he explained further.

Gin was born the son of an alchemist, two infact. His parent’s were non-conventional to say the least. His mother was a human but his father was one of the Spiritfolk who fell in love with the human woman who kept foraging in his forest.

Intially it was professional completion amongst each other. Finding the best reagents or herbs before the other could. But before long it blossomed into more.

Their son looked completely human except for a light covering of fur across his torso. His fathers goat legs, horns and tail were not gifted to his son but his reflexes and inhuman strength was. In the village they lived in the villagers quickly accepted Gin and his parents union. Especially when the quality of potions, charms and lotions were as high as his parents. However, happiness – like most things can’t remain for long.

Halfway through Gin’s tenth cycle an oni raiding party attacked his village. His parents locked him away and kept him hidden from the oni. But the Oni eventually found his parents. When they worked out that a human and spiritfolk were a could they made a sport out of their torture. It was ok display to the whole village yet Gin couldn’t see his parents in their last moments. But he could hear them.

The following month he pledged himself into the service or the Harimasu military and dedicated his life to hunting Oni.

“and I’ve been here ever since..” he said with a touch if pride on his face.

“sir! We have movement!” A guard shouted as they hurried towards the wall.

“Hold! It’s the spirit folk to send off their dead.” Gin called out to his fellow guardsmen. “See. Wait and watch”

A few moments passed and gradually all types of Spiritfolk appeared around the pile of their dead. Then slowly they formed a circle and began to sing and dance around their fallen. “They are celebrating the reunion of their parents, elders, children and friends and the spirit world. Where they believe they will hunt in the endless plains of their ancestors.” He explained. “This will last until sunset at which point they will take the bodies away and burn them amongst the rest of their kin.”

Sure enough as the sun set the spiritfolk gathered their dead and singing out in joyous tones they carried them away from the battlefield and into the wilds beyond.

The Oni’s Camp

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Moving forward as the sun set Gin and those who followed behind him looked anxiously at the oni camp. “We will be there soon. Remember. If we get into trouble or the mission is at risk to fire a drift globe shaft into the air and aid will come.” Gin said to the people standing nearby.

With agreement from those gathered he began to creep across the battlefield once more, signalling to stop periodically when something moved up ahead. Soon they were in the shadows of the tents. The setting sun and the shadows of the hills, mountain and nearby forest aided in their mission by creating pockets of shadow.

As the sun hit the edge of the mountain it plunged the camp into a mixture of amber glow from the setting sun and dark shadows. A few hundred feet away war horns trumpeted signalling that the second part of the plan had begun and that it was now or never to enter the camp.

The camp

As the oni and butatō left the camp in a hurry to meet the attackers head one. Slowly Gin and his entourage crept forward towards the main tent and waited for the oni captain to leave. As the captain stormed out with its armour buckled in tight a few slave Butatō followed in its wake. Taking this moment as the one to move Gin and his companions skulked forth once again and cut a hole in the canvas tent. Once the coast was deemed clear they entered silently.

None of those present realised the mistake that had been made until it was too late. A deep unholy growl rumbled forth from the shadows of the tent which threatened to bring the entire oni warband to the captains tent. A neat table lay in the centre of the room and contained a map, documents and scrolls. For their brutal use of weapons and mastery of war and savagery the oni were also expert tacticians.

As they stared at the multi limbed creature that confidently strode forth Gin prepared his drift globe shaft in a hand crossbow and prepared to state the words that would activate the arcane device. Looking between his compatriots and the creature he hoped that he didn’t need to call for aid and that they would be able to deal with this threat quickly and quietly.


NPCs –

Wall Guard Gin Seng

Gin heads straight to the Oni camp with the party or with a small group of warriors from the wall. He is determined but nervous at the mission ahead.

Wall Captain Hou

Managing the repairs and defence of the walls Captain Hou makes the necessary plans to ensure that the party and the other warriors joining them near the Oni’s camp are well supplied.

Kyoko Harimasu

Kyoko stays back at camp and works with Takeo to ensure that General Kuang arrives quickly so they can press the advantage.

Miss Hou

Assisting her father, Captain Hou, Kit spends most of her time near the wall coordinating the warriors to provide cover fire, fix walls and prepare if there is a counter attack.


Environment and running the adventure

Gin He has five drift glob shafts which are small drift globes that are crafted into arrow or crossbow arrow/bolt shafts so that when they are shot they activate the moment they start to slow from being launched. This causes the bolt to slowly fall to the ground whilst the drift globe emits a light (of pre-determined colour).

If the party go with Gin they are in the tent when the creature reveals itself. It’s not a hard fight but as it falls it calls out loudly (unless silenced in some manner – Player and DMs decision).

If they don’t the Party are with some other warriors fighting Oni, captains (a larger one in full plate with a large shield and battle axe) when they see several drift globes activate above the Oni Captains tent signalling Gin needs help.

The camp is built on an incline, rather sharply so. The tent are setup in a rather ingenuous way where they form a solid slab-foundation of wood, earth or even snow under the tents to level the tent.. to some degree.

The snowy hills pose an interesting mechanic for us. One way difficult terrain. Moving up the hill through the snow towards the camp is considered difficult terrain where as moving down isn’t. Patches of snow pose a further hindrance as fighting in these areas would impose disadvantage to dexterity checks and strength contests (not checks) due to the slippery mud and shin-to-knee deep snow.

Map – Encounter over the wall (244ThOnCaLa)

Made with Inkarnate.com

Encounter – The Bakegamoto

The Bakegamoto is a large dog like creature with a pushed in snout, large bat like ears and at least two large tusks jutting from their bottom jaw. The males are generally endowed with larger tusks and are a mixture of faun with a ruddy brown light mane that sprouts from the neck.

Females are generally lighter in colour without the mane but their tusks are shorter and generally thinner and sharper than the males. Trained bakegamoto are extremely obedient, strong and powerful. Normally kept by Oni captains or chieftains as a sign of power and strength they defend their master completely and obey orders to the best of their ability.


The other creatures that fight the party are Oni, Oni Captain and Butatō.



Thanks once more for reading my end of week writeup. This week see’s the party taking the fight to the Oni, next week being the aftermath of the fight as well as the leadup to the second and last week of the month. This week may be a bit sketchy with the first few days being broken and different schedules my normal ones. I will endeavour to provide a regular flow of content as we make our first steps up into the mountains where the Shadow Calls home. So don’t forge to come back each day this approaching week and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Afflictions True Nature

Welcome to Wednesday night where we look at Afflictions true nature, the madness that was spread from the Wrath Wraith. Tonight we look at Hatoi Yuon and get a delve deeper into what she saw, what she felt and what she remembers from being afflicted.


Afflictions True Nature

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Officer Hatoi Yuon created in Artbreeder

Hatoi sat down and held onto the cup of warmed liquor like it was an old friend. After some time and the gathering of people around her sat in silence she looked up and spoke. “I don’t remember much before the madness overtook me but I do remember being bound and lead into the infirmary.” she began staring at the cup. “I don’t remember what I was doing but I do remember flashes of a lit room encased by dark rock. Oni and other minions of The Shadow were walking around the rooms and bowing to me. The strangest thing is that I felt powerful when they bowed. It was something I craved and something that I lived for.”

“The madness gave you visions? Hallucinations?” the guard Gin asked before Captain Hou and several others present glared at him to be silent.

“No. It was more than that. I remember flashes of the battlefield, commanding troops as if I was hovering over the shoulder of a lady in white.” Hatoi blushed at this “to me she was the most beautiful and powerful woman I had ever seen and I helped her… somehow to achieve what she wanted to do.” she continued. “That’s when I realised. I was feeling what the Shadow was feeling and seeing what it was. When you,” she nodded towards the party, “slew the Yuki-onna I felt a great exhaustion. A crippling feeling of powerlessness as the energy I was pouring into the Yuki-onna was ripped away.”

“The same thing happened when we fought the Shadow Blessed Oni…” Kyoko said. “When she was defeated the shadow energy didn’t return. It was destroyed”

As the party absorbed what was being said the sounds of celebration could be heard from the wall outside. The Oni, undead or Spirit folk hadn’t returned. Reports had come from other parts of the wall that spirit folk had been seen celebrating in tribal manners – almost joyous that the Yuki-onna had been defeated.

“Well. I think this much is clear. The Shadow is weakened and its keep lies open and vulnerable. What do we do about it?” Kyoko asked looking around those gathered at the table.


A nice easy one tonight as we talk and get some insight into the afflictions true nature. Being a puppet for the Shadow mustn’t be a fun thing and I think it leaves us with an interesting opportunity to explore. What would happen if one of the players had been afflicted?

Food for thought and perhaps something to add into the end of month writeup. Don’t forget to come back the next few nights, last nights of the month in fact and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Shadows Throne

Welcome to the bonus week Tuesday where tonight I wanted to have another go at Artbreeder and have some fun creating weird stuff. One such outcome was the image of the mountains known as The Shadows Throne. Oh and a super creepy image of The Shadow itself. Enjoy!


The Shadows Throne

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Created in Artbreeder

It’s hard to find images of a mountain that recently had a great swath of its peak crack and fall to the ground below. Let alone one that is glowing red. This image however after toying around with a few cross breeds and manipulation of what else was out there came up a winner in what could constitute the image I was going for. So I give to you, The Shadows Throne.

This image should hopefully bring thoughts of a grand conflict to the foremind of our players as they gaze upon its shattered and discoloured peaks. That is in fact the reason I create images for these campaigns to help the players and the DM get into the world. Sink in and really feel what it would be like for their characters. Immersion is a big thing for me and I hope the next image does just that too


The Shadows Avatar

Created in Artbreeder

Now apart from maybe the occasional slipup The Shadow does not have a gender. Blending a previously used image used to create Mugrave’s imagery as well as a dark shadowy image I give you. The Shadows Avatar.

This is hopefully enough to give the players a shiver down their spine and create that atmosphere where we don’t quite know what’s going to happen. But we are all there for the ride regardless.

The Shadow is more-or-less a minor deity and to simply walk upon this world is not an option. But to have a mortal body be a vessel for your power, that’s something we can get behind.


As we get closer to the end of the month I find myself looking at where I can add, tweak, correct or change content. Tonight I wanted to add something to help describe some events or narrative description that could come as a result of the defeat of Yukri. Also, with those afflicted, who weren’t slain, recovering from their madness they have some more details to reveal… But that can wait for another night so don’t forget to come back for that. And, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Siege of the Ice queen

Welcome to the last weekly write-up for October where we look at the siege of the Ice queen. This week finds the party at the mercy from the Yuki-onna as she commands a frontal assault on the wall. Perhaps the Ice Queens rage and fear of defeat will make her vulnerable it’s not the same little humans that fought her last time.

As always portraits are created in Artbreeder and the normal wonderful tools like Kobold-fight-Club, Inkarnate and D&D Beyond are used frequently.


Siege of the Ice queen

242MoChCaOfThQu

As the Onikage snorted with barely contained violence and hunger, Yukri watched the humans from its back. The yuki-onna knew that the Shadow, the one who had given her powers to rule as the Ice Queen, wanted these humans dead. But killing these humans had proven difficult, even the enlisted help from the Laelóng but the vain beast failed.

“Queen. The humans have escaped back on top of the wall. They have powerful weapons and we have to retreat…” a hesitant voice spoke from her side. The Oni looked down at its feet and braced for the worst but it didn’t come. A second voice spoke, much older, darker and more influential than the lowly Oni.

“You must stop them. Those weapons are cursed by the dragons and elves of old. Their magic has the power to bring down your kingdom. You must kill the wielders and stop them from taking everything you have fought for” The Shadow whispered in her ear. The sound of its voice so filled with power and malice that all other noises, thoughts and reason drifted from her mind. Eventually the sounds of screams, pleading and The Shadows intent washed her thoughts away until there was nothing left but overwhelming rage.

All she had worked for. All she had sacrificed and for what? A group of humans and magic swords to take it from her. Not likely. She watched her warriors and the creatures she commanded flee from the wall, all except the mindless undead, and her frustration grew. The frustration and rage boiled up within the Yuki-onna and it overflowed. Screaming her hatred and rage across the battlefield her intensity of her thoughts mixed with her magical abilities and a wall of frost formed over the fleeing warriors.

“Cowards…” she muttered as she looked upon her frozen troops. “Tomorrow they will take the wall. I don’t care how many it takes I will not have everything I worked for taken from me.”

Call of the Dragon

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As Kit sat down at the table with her hands crossed in front of her face she met the uneasy stare that her father was giving her. “So before you begin I want to explain why first…” she said as she accepted a hot cup of tea. “I had a vision…”

“A vision of your death?” her father, Captain Hou interrupted bluntly. His displeasure mixed with concern evident on his face and in his voice.

“No. If you’d let me continue, I had a vision of a golden dragon asking me to find out why there was a demon at the wall. It asked me to have faith and stay on the outside of the wall and watch the enemy as they went by with their attack. And I did.” she stopped to blow on her tea before sipping it slowly.

“They were studding the wall with these.” she aid as she reached into a torn pocket and deposited what appeared to be a shard of obsidian like material that had been carved into a thin stud. “I wasn’t sure at first but I watched them firing arrows towards the wall and us. I almost gave up when suddenly an arrow hit one of the fragments and this cloud of shadow sped across the ground and attacked all who stood above where the arrow hit. The next wave of attackers did the same thing. Ran up, those that got to the wall embedded another shard and then they would launch a few volleys of arrows. Each time the Shadow demon, the Wrath Wraith, would appear.”

She paused for a moment and let it sink in. “I though that if the creature just did as it was told and attacked where the shard was broken then we may be able to use it as a weapon. So I tried it out and it worked. The wrath wraith appeared and attacked the oni when they appeared over the ridge. They must have worked it out because I was retrieving one of the shards when they attacked. Lucky these adventurers appeared in time and saved me as during the commotion the shard I had scavenged broke in my pocket.” she paused to sip from her tea.

“I grabbed a few more shards on the way here so we can analyse them but if the wrath wraith is dead then there is no ability to summon it again.” she added. “But I think I did what the dragon ancestor had asked as I could see the glow of the ancestors on these adventurers. I decided that my task was complete so I didn’t need to stay out there any more.”

As if to punctuate the closure of her story the room dropped in temperature suddenly and a horrible scream broke through the night air outside. Racing up the steps the party looked over the edge of the wall to see walls of ice littering the battlefield. As they trace the direction the walls seemed to point in the Yuki-onna, Yukir Toshio and a huge Onikage stalked away from the battlefield.

The first flakes of snow began to drift down from the darkened clouds.

Tides of Shadow

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As the snow began to settle on the wall the movement of hundreds of feet broke the eerie silence. The drone of stampeding feet rose to a thunderous roar as spirit folk, oni, demons and undead rushed towards the wall.

As the humans manned the defences and shot arrows into the oncoming horde the oni and spirit folk that fell quickly rose again as undead. The tell-tale signs of the Yuki-onna’s magic appearing as steam, frostbite and ice clinging to the freshly raised bodies.

As the bodies hit the wall the undead began to pile up the oni and spirit folk used their bodies to climb towards the top of the wall. But, the bodies concealed the real threat. Dark tendrils of Shadow crept along the ground under and around the feet of the humanoids. As they touched the wall they began to feel for cracks, gaps or holes in the wall in which they quickly filled the crack with their shadowy mass.

All across the wall the masses of bodies rose and fell as they were expertly cut down as the shadowy tendrils pierced the walls. The shadows weaved from the wall across the battlefield and back to the Yuki-onna.

With a surge of magic she gathered the shadow energy and merged her own power within it. Forcing the shadowy tendrils to freeze as if dark permafrost the ground erupted and cracked as the shadow expanded. As the ice rushed forward beams of light shot from the sky and the weapons and items of the heroes which banished the shadow, shattering the ice as it formed.

Where the shadow and ice wasn’t banished it cracked the wall and created walls of ice that protected the shadows minions while creating a ladder for them to climb up.

Appearance of a hero near the tendrils sent the ice and shadow into splinters to the ground and the invaders crashing down behind them. But more bodies brought more tendrils of shadow, their bodies leeching it across the ground where they ran, shuffled, fell and died.

The constant flow of shadow magic and the influx of dark ice came from the Yuki-onna who commanded the battlefield from a raised perch surrounded on all sides but one by jagged ice. One clear path to confront the source of dark magic and end the siege before it brought the wall down.


NPCs – 237TuWiotDa

Wall Captain Hou

Captain Hou commands the wall troops to push back the attacking creatures but starts to struggle as the Yuki-onna’s attacks begin to bring down the wall.

Kyoko Harimasu

Kyoko fights with Captain Hou as she sends Takeo to the capital to warn them that the wall may fall and to provide the current status to her father.

Miss Hou

Captain Hou’s daughter reveals the reason she was hiding and scavenging amongst the battlefield. She joins Kyoko and her father in defending the wall and the Harimasu princess.

Wall Guard Gin Seng

Gin Seng simply defends the wall.


Environment and running the adventure

Tonight the encounter was balanced assuming that our party would have levelled up after reaching the wall and the fights along the way. This sets us at around 30000 xp for a daily encounter budget and around 6400 for an encounter.

Map – Encounter over the wall (Surveying the Battlefield)

Made with Inkarnate.com

Encounter – Warriors and Wrath

The first waves is straight forward for us.

The Shadow Tendrils move as fast as they can towards the wall and then take the dodge action until the Yuki-onnas turn. They always act on initiative 10 and wont attack creatures. They also always stealth up using the creatures above them as cover.


Our first lot of encounters is the wall – Oni (hobgoblins), a captain and some lesser creatures (gnats or zombies.. something that is CR1/4) can flesh this part of the encounter out. If we treat them as coming in waves with the waves being 5 rounds apart it can make it feel like the tides are endless – just need to describe the creatures taking some time making it across the fields.


The second encounter is when the party realise that the walls are being torn apart by the Yuki-onna and so they leave the wall to take the fight to her. Now if the party has ranged weapons, abilities or spells it makes this part of the fight easier so I would enforce that the spikes summoned (see last nights map Sieged under snow) provide 3/4 cover for the ice queen from range where there is spikes between her and the attacking party.

Apart from fighting through the waves of Oni, the captains and zombies or lesser Gnats once they reach the ice queen she is quite formidable. I would have the waves still come, our party is level 9 after all, but maybe have supportive arrow fire dwindle the horde a bit from the wall.

For the Onikage as this one is meant to be huge, a more impressive specimen, change the size to huge and HP to 60 and that will just about do it for us.


Thanks again for joining me for another end of week writeup. Next week I will work on some bonus content as we work our way up to the end of the month. Next month is the end of the road for us so don’t forget every day between now December 1st. And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Warriors and Wrath

Welcome to the 7th last (I believe) end of week writeup!. This week we followed the party along the road to the wall as they were attacked by creatures after the dragons tears items. Despite the ferocity and unrelenting creatures they came out on top and perhaps learned a thing or two about the items they carry.

As always portraits are created in Artbreeder and the normal wonderful tools like Kobold-fight-Club, Inkarnate and D&D Beyond are used frequently.


Warriors and Wrath

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As the party arrived at the wall the first thing that they noticed was the sheer lack of people. For such a crucial point in the defence of Ryokughan it was shockingly unmanned. A head appeared at the edge of the wall twenty feet above the ground before calling out. “Princess Kyoko is here! Reinforcements have arrived!” the voice was overcome with emotion before several others echoed with joyous cries of relief.

“Kyoko. I don’t think our message hawk arrived here safely. They believe we have more reinforcements for the wall” Takeo spoke in a hushed whisper to Kyoko and the party. “How did you want to handle this?” he added looking from Kyoko to the party who were in fact the reinforcements.

After a few moments a platform was lowered over the side and the party, the princess and the spy were lifted atop the wall. Despite the low numbers of people on the wall they all were veterans. Heavily armed, armoured and trained they carried themselves with a martial poise that was lacking in many. As they rushed towards Kyoko they greeted Takeo and the party, the exhaustion on their faces replaced by joy and relief.

“Before we continue the pleasantries I believe I need to have a word with you lady Kyoko” a particularly grizzled and hard man said from a nearby door to a small tower. “There is something that is of great urg…” he began as he held up a fist and listened to the quiet that his signal instilled. “It comes!” the wall captain roared as every single soldier drew their weapons and surrounded the party and princess.

In a moment of chaos clouds of shadow-smoke appeared around the wall in sporadic bursts. Soon the sound of steel clashing, grunts and combat rang out around the party as the unknown adversary launched itself at the walls defenders. After a few moments the creature disappeared and the shadow-smoke dissipated soon after.

“To your posts. Prepare for combat!” roared the captain who eyed his men and women closely, inspecting for wounds. Finding one he pulled them aside “to the infirmary,” he said with a sigh as the realisation set into the face of the woman in front of him. “you’ve been stung. You won’t be seeing battle again until you’ve recovered” he added as he clasped the soldiers shoulder.

“yes sir!” the soldier barked obediently as with a great deal of sadness she handed over her weapons in resignation to the captain before retreating down a nearby set of stairs. As she disappeared into the bowels of carved and fortified stone.

“We are hounded by a creature that does not kill, it barely wounds but what it touches quickly dies. Normally at the hands of the victims allies.” the captain said as he grabbed a helmet and moved to the wall. “Those unfortunately enough to get injured by it recover after some time. Normally after heavy sedation. Some don’t and they choose to live on the outside of the wall so that in their condition they can still benefit their brothers and sisters.”

“What do you mean wall captain Hou?” Kyoko asked as she moved over to the wall before clasping a hand to her mouth.

“They go mad. Their blood boils and they cant detect friend from foe. They will kill anything in sight. Lethally trained warriors who can’t tell friend from foe and who have a lust for blood that a demon would envy. I haven’t seen it before. Our healers can only sedate and hope that their spirit is strong enough to fight the affliction. If they can’t resist then they spend their final days ripping into our enemies and serving us in their death.” the captain said with great reverence as he saluted a human who stopped pacing by the base of the wall, bloody froth covering its mouth.

After a moment the human, one a warrior that defended the wall turned and charged away from the wall, picking up a crude looking sword as it charged headlong into a mass of charging Spirit folk. The brutality in which the warrior cleaved into the fey creatures was outstanding and hard to watch. But that wasn’t only sight on the other side of the wall. Dozens of injured and dying lay strewn about the battlefield on both sides. Humans, those afflicted as well as the minions of The Shadow, all of them calling for help or crying out in pain or fear.

“We have tried to recover our wounded or dead and we started to lose more men than we saved…” a wall guard said from next to the party. Nodding towards the captain who pulled on a helmet and drew a magnificent longbow as he climbed a nearby watch tower. “He lost his daughter. She was a fine warrior and led the last recovery mission. She was cut down by a Oni.” The guardsman nodded towards a banner that stood high amongst the bodies, rocks and toppled trees. “She lies somewhere over there. Some men swear they have seen her moving about the battlefield but I think they are just seeing things.” he sighed. After a moment he ran off down the wall to continue to guard as creatures started to reach the wall.

The edge of torchlight 241WeThEdOfTo

As the party stood atop the wall they thought of the day that they had witnessed. Twice more the shadow creature had struck but by luck, skill or divine grace they had not been inflicted with the affliction. The woman in the infirmary howled with rage and even while heavily sedated it only eased the peaks of her fury.

They also had to witness the dead rise from their broken and battered forms and assault the wall, beaten back and slain by either the warriors on the wall or those afflicted driven mad by rage who hunted the no-mans land between the wall and the rocky mountains where the attacks came from. Even while the party watched from the wall and aided in driving back the dead or the twisted spirit-folk there was little joy in the tasks they did.

It was at this point, at the edge of torchlight that the party saw movement. To precise and too careful for undead or afflicted. Too subtle and tactical to be spirit-folk or beast. As the party watched the shadow approached the edge of the light cast by the braziers and torches that lined the wall and it quickly darted forward and grabbed a pack from a fallen oni warrior. The distinct human colour skin flashed from under layers of tattered and ripped cloth as a sudden gust of wind caused the light cast by the fire to flash across the face of the creature and a human Ryokughan female looked up at the party startled.

The figure pressed a finger to her lips before skulking off towards a crest in the battlefield.

Bonus – Over the wall

“That’s her! That’s the captains daughter!” The wall guard from earlier that day announced. Gin Seng pointed at the captains daughter as she hurried across the battlefield towards a rocky outcrop. Moments later several shapes started to move towards her and the rock rise in the battlefield, she appeared unaware.

“we have to do something” Gin said as he hurried towards the crane. His voice causing a commotion amongst the other guards.

“What’s going on here?” barked Captain Hou.

“Kit is out there Sir. We saw her” Gin said, the party confirming with him.

“It’s probably a trick of the Shadow…” The captain said, his own voice betraying the hope he held deep inside. “Kit is gone…”

A scream erupted from the battlefield. The shadowy-Kit had been ambushed and the sound of combat could be heard. “KIT!” her father screamed as he threw the platform over the side of the wall. “Man the defences. Ballista and arrows trained on the battlefield. Nothing comes up whilst I go down.”

“Captain Hou, the plan can’t succeed without you. The adventurers are veterans at combat and have surprised me more than once. Besides it will be a test to see if the simple presence of the Dragons Tears artefacts can draw forth the shadows minions…” Kyoko said as she stepped out in full armour.

“I hate to ask this of you my friends. But are you willing to rescue the captains daughters and see what happens when the dragons light erupts forth from you?” she asked with a tinge of guilt and regret.


NPCs – 237TuWiotDa

Wall Captain Hou

Captain Hou is a rugged veteran commander of the wall guard for decades he has led the elite troops in defending the land from the Shadows Influence and was so honoured that his own daughter joined him. This was his biggest regret as his daughter was just as head strong as he was in his youth and led a foolish mission to retrieve the wounded from the battlefield only to be struck down herself.

Kyoko Harimasu

Kyoko keeps herself hidden and defended by many guards. Captain Hou and Takeo spend most of their time talking tactics into how to lure the Ice queen towards the wall and a trap.

Miss Hou

Captain Hou’s daughter…

Wall Guard Gin Seng

Gin Seng is one of the warriors in the Wall Guard. He is well trained and a natural in combat but perhaps a bit too emotional for the captains liking.

Leading with emotion rather than discipline Gin Seng is sure that the captains daughter still lives and swears that he has seen her at night.


Environment and running the adventure

Night time shouldn’t be a hassle for the party with their level, abilities and gear by now so it’s another night time encounter.

Map – Encounter over the wall (Surveying the Battlefield)

Made with Inkarnate.com

Encounter – Warriors and Wrath

Any creature from our vaults can be used here. I would suggest some Oni and perhaps an afflicted human warrior (see gladiator stat block with affliction template added). The Wrath Wraith also comes forth and attacks the party as they reach Kit Hou – she seems to be untargeted by the creature but the party are less fortunate.

Aftermath…

As the party defeat the wrath Wraith the all too familiar haunting call of the Onikage echoes through the battlefield and Yukri Toshio – the Yuki-onna appears on the back of a huge Onikage. She points towards the party as the crest of the hill she is standing on erupts into dozens of shadowy shapes running toward the party. Kit pleads for the party to retreat as the guard on the wall start to call for them to run back as well.


Thanks for joining me again for another end of week writeup. The second last week and of the second last month see’s us drawing things to a close. Next week we go over the wall and further into enemy territory as we try and draw forth the Yuki-onna and her dreadful mount. Don’t forget to come back each day this coming week and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Wall Guard

Welcome to Tuesday night NPC special where we look at the wall guard. It’s been a few weeks(?) some time any way since I played around with artbreeder and there is an influx of new pictures to modify. So be sure to check it out! Tonight we look at Wall Captain Hou, an image of his daughter (for reasons yet to be disclosed..) and the wall guard that spoke to the party lastly before they descended. I may create a few more of them for later on but that wont be for tonight. So sit back, enjoy and feel free to use these portraits in your own campaign!


The Wall Guard

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The more I look at the portraits created in artbreeder the more I forget that I used to never use this tool. Being able to describe someone and have a face to put to the name and description to show to a party member is awesome.

However… Captain Hou definitely looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger…

Wall Captain Hou
Captain Hou’s Daughter
Wall Guard Gin Seng

Thanks for joining me tonight for a few portraits. Don’t forget that tomorrow night is plot twist night where I hope to shock the RPG world with a revelation!! But its probably already obvious to my awesome readers so it wont be any surprise. Regardless don’t forget to come back for it and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe