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The House of Bob

Spelljammer 22 -- Extra

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Jake

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

To: Shaun

As David is very unsubtly dancing around, Sunday was a pretty busy session (between the three of them they spent 8 hero points...) and there are some potential major changes. I wanted to do a quick mini session with you to get Asmundr caught up. I'll send you something later today.   


Shaun

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 9:24 PM

To: Jake

Awesome


Jake

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 1:52 AM

To: Shaun

Through the thin paper wall of your accommodations in Fubuki Castle, you see a small silhouette drop to it's knees and bow deeply before sliding the door open. The girl announces she's been sent to bring you to the council room. Since you and the others agreed to help Goro deal with his Oni problem, you have been invited to sit in on today's war council.



In the council room, Goro sits with a serious and thoughtful expression at the head of a large rock garden. Along the width of the garden are a dozen men and women, all wearing the Kumadan livery and looking very important. Goro's ministers and generals, you presume. Away from the main gathering along one wall is a more mixed group of mercenaries and civilians, where you are invited to sit.



The council session is already in progress and they are discussing the other mission you and the party opted out of; an attempt to break through the Empress' blockade of Kuma to meet with potential allies. As they talk, one of the ministers uses his magic to move the stones and draw designs in the sand. You realize it's placement is deliberate and shows the position and strengths of the cities, nations and armies of Senro. It does not take a strategic genius to realize the difficult situation they're in. Their forces are outnumbered and cut off from friends and supplies, and it's unclear how long they can hold out.



Eventually they come to the Oni problem. Whatever scheme the Oni are up to in the spirit realm beyond the temple must be stopped and the area secured. To this end Goro has committed 150 soldiers, plus a select group of mercenaries, to travel by ship to the temple and remove the Oni presence. This operation will be led by the samurai Ryoko. The young woman, who you noticed nervously playing with her robes through the session, is taken slightly by surprise as Goro calls on her. She blushes and bows, and thanks Goro for the honour of being assigned this command. You also notice the painful looking burn scars that cover much of her face and extremities.



At this point, the council is ready to adjourn, though the floor is open for anyone to speak. If Asmundr has anything to ask or say, now is his chance before the mission begins.

[Quoted text hidden]


Shaun

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 11:17 AM

To: Jake

Asmundr is very nervous about going back to war, especially after what happened to him last time. Seeing now the true severity of the situation, Asmundr shrinks into the Background of the meeting, hoping to avoid being picked out to lead the charge against the Oni.
When the call to speak goes out, Asmundr stares straight ahead and quivers in shame.
The meeting adjourns, and Asmundr heads to take his place on the departing ship.

[Quoted text hidden]


Jake

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 2:45 PM

To: Shaun

You're directed to a large platform that juts out from the side of the castle where the soldiers are gathering. The soldiers are loading materials and supplies onto the waiting spelljammer. The ship looks simple with a stout frame and a wide hull. The top half is covered in a wooden dome and reinforced with metal plates, though you see no weapons but for a number of arrow slits along the perimeter. The name Gero is painted on one side in an old script. You're reminded of a very old folktale about a giant turtle named Gero who gave safe passage to the trickster Hunwa across the sea so he could be reunited with his lover. When it was revealed that Hunwa's story was fake and he was instead fleeing capture for his crimes, Gero swallowed the thief whole.



As the last of the supplies are loaded on, Ryoko returns. The girlish and naive mannerisms you saw of her at the meeting are gone and replaced with the serious look of a battle hardened warrior you've seen in other soldiers in your time in the army, and she's joined by an owl companion that perches sleepily on her shoulder. The decorated o-yoroi armor she's loading onto the ship reveals her status as a noblewoman, likely belonging to a family of great power and wealth. That being said, the armor seems ill-fitting for her, as if one size too large.



With that, the last soldiers are loaded up and the Gero flies away from the castle. The interior of the ship is very spartan and simple, little more than bunks and storage. You pass impressive mountain vistas and a journey that would have taken months on foot passes in just a day and a half. The ship settles down beside the temple... you can see the remains of the linnorm still decaying in the snow. It looks like the teeth, claws and scales of the beast have been harvested and most of it's flesh eaten away by scavengers Yorick harvests a rib bone and Capo a fingerbone, thinking it might be used to craft a unique weapon or instrument respectively. As the ship lands, soldiers immediately unload and begin setting up barricades around the temple. Ryoko is not interested in wasting any time and leads the bulk of the forces into the temple.



Within, the temple is in bad shape, not being maintained in many years. At the far end is a red gate, where a sheen of light shimmers across the surface like a mirage. This portal will take you to the spirit realm. In front of the gate are two foo dog statues, flanking a slatted wooden donation box. Each soldier stops at the box to offer a small prayer, many of them offer a few copper coins before disappearing through the portal. You see Yorick drop a gold coin into the box.



You brace yourself as you pass through the portal, but the transition is painless. You emerge on the other side to find a mirror image of the temple. Beyond that, the forested valley, though it's not exactly as before. It appears to be a bright summer day, and the forest is full of vibrant life. Flowers, small animals and birds flit about. The biggest difference is the sky, which seems to have a rainbow hue that swirls across it. Not all seems well, and in the distance across the valley you can see the towers of a foreboding black castle built into the mountainside.



Once again the soldiers set to work securing the area, and Ryoko motions you and the others over to a small fold out table where she rolls out a parchment scroll. An animated quill darts back and forth across the parchment drawing lines and symbols, it takes a moment to realize but it appears to be drawing a crude map of the area. What it reveals is worrying, it seems the Oni have been hard at work. There are many structures set up throughout the valley; mines, temples, large lumber mills, fortresses and a large farming complex. The massive castle at the far end of the valley seems to have a busy construction site near it... whatever they're working on, it's huge.



Ryoko says that if we have any chance of securing this area we'll need to capture some of the facilities scattered throughout the valley. To accomplish this she'll be splitting up her forces to cover more ground. Yorick, Capo and Zook are resistant to the idea of being under anybody’s command and negotiate the opportunity to travel ahead of the main force to secure a nearby lumbermill. Ryoko does not seem too concerned with the mercenaries. You suspect this may be due to an old fashioned stigma about those who fight for wealth instead of honour... However, as a vet and loyal subject of Kuma, she treats you with more respect. She wishes to combine your skills with her own bear cavalry, where you can quickly cover ground to the farming complex to secure this key location.



She does not wait for you to offer your opinion, and moves to speak with her lieutenants. You see Yorick and the others start heading into the forest, and another Ursine warrior at your side motions to lead you to his squad.



Sorry, that was kind of a wall of text, do you have any responses to the above?





[Quoted text hidden]


Shaun

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 4:32 PM

To: Jake

I refrain from touching the linnorm. It's too scary. Haha

I'll put a gold coin into the foo dogs bowl, as well as three of my chin hairs. This is in honor of an ancient folk tale about a tiny firefly spirit that helped an ursine warrior find his way home, asking for three of his chin hairs in order to repair her torn dress.

I respectfully consent to Ryoko's placement of me in the Calvary unit and join my Ursine brethren. I ask the unit commander what our goals and directives are for this particular key location.


[Quoted text hidden]


Jake

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 6:21 PM

To: Shaun

The unit commander is an older, grizzled ursine named Boota who's obviously seen a lot of combat. The fur on his sides is shaved into tribal patterns, an unusual and daring style that would draw disgust from more traditional senro denizens. The unit consists of you, Boota, and six other ursine warriors. Boota explains that your objective will be to secure the farming complex to cut off Oni supplies while bolstering our own.



The unit marches off into the forest. Periodically you catch glimpses of movement in your peripheral vision, but can't find the source. Boota sees your gaze darting back and forth and explains the forest is full of spirits, but not to worry as they should leave a large group like this alone, especially during the day. Nonetheless, you can feel Emily's nervous grip tightening on your fur.



After a full's day march you've managed to avoid any trouble but are still some distance from the farms. Boota orders the team to make camp. As the sun sets the forest becomes eerily quiet. During your watch, you occasionally see white, smoky silhouettes in the trees that vanish as quickly as they appeared, and small wisps of light that rise from the ground and dart through the woods. The experience is surreal and unnerving.



Close to the end of your watch, you hear a faint voice coming from the woods. It seems like the voice of a child... as you listen carefully, you can hear a young girl calling out for her mother. Emily stares after the voice in rapt interest with a sad expression on her face. But before you have time to decide what to do, the voice is gone and it's silent once more.



In the morning the march begins again and you arrive at the farms before long. There are about a dozen muddy pens crowded with pigs. Unpleasantly, they oink and squeal constantly. There are a few farm houses and a small stone tower near the centre. You see close to 20 small creatures minding the fields.

The creatures are hunched humanoids with oversized heads. Their skin is leathery and come in shades of blue and red, with horns and sharp teeth. From the stories you've heard these look like the lowest class of oni, little more than labourers. They chatter excitedly amongst themselves about mundane things and tend to the pigs. Boota says they're no threat, and gives the signal: charge! Head for the central tower and mow down any oni that get in your way!

[Quoted text hidden]


Shaun

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 9:57 PM

To: Jake

I follow Boota into the farm, charging any Oni that attempt to take up arms against us. I refrain from raging, knowing that I'll need all my senses intact in case reinforcements arrive to aid the enemy. Even still, the power of battle trigger's my Oracle Curse, and I am unable to speak to or understand my allies (unless they know celestial). I try my best to follow visual cues, but I am most interested in getting into the farm house and securing it. I worry that bigger, badder Oni may be inside, and don't want the other Ursine to be led into a false sense of security here.

[Quoted text hidden]


Jake

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 10:34 PM

To: Shaun

Boota leads the charge and barrels through one of the pen fences, smashing into one of the small oni that falls backwards, spraying mud over Boota's fur. Indeed, these opponents seem like small fry and many begin to scatter and run at the first sight of trouble. A brave few stand their ground and fight back with sickles and clubs. You kick up mud and your paws sink into the ground with each step, but you ignore the mess and unpleasant smell and  charge through the rickety fences towards the main structure. You hear Boota shout commands but the meaning is lost to you as you bust through the tower door.

Though probably once a stable, this room looks like it's been re-purposed into a makeshift mess hall of sorts. The place is filthy. Tables and chairs are arranged haphazardly throughout the room and covered in discarded bones, sticky messes and rotting food. Swarms of flies buzz around happily and you can smell the stench coming from piles of feces in the corners. A few of the smaller oni stand guard here, with clubs and bows. On a raised area on the far side of the room, sitting atop a massive throne constructed from bales of hay, sits a hideous creature. A massively obese half man with the face of a boar who smiles and snorts at you. A string of drool hangs from his mouth and he dangles a squealing piglet by the tail from one massive gloved hand, eying it hungrily and licking his lips. His other hand scratches behind the ears of a very content looking and rather large warthog that is curled up beside the throne.


Your fears of bigger badder Oni inside was accurate... the creature looks at you and speaks. remind me about your curse, can you understand him?

[Quoted text hidden]


Shaun

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 6:57 AM

To: Jake

In an combat encounter I can only understand and and soak celestial. I would speak to him now, saying "Your time is at an end, demon. The blades of Kumadan seek you out."

[Quoted text hidden]


Jake

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

To: Shaun

Well, then the creature spouts gibberish at you. You can see his increasing frustration when you don't seem to understand, and looks thoroughly unamused when you speak celestial and take a hostile stance. He tosses the piglet aside which squeals and scrambles through a hole in the side of the building. He lifts himself to his feet and grabs a vicious looking greataxe from the wall, and uses the dull side to slap the huge warthog's flank, who growls and postures offensively.  With surprising grace despite his bulk, the creature hoists himself onto the warthog's back and charges! Tables and chairs are pushed aside like nothing as they barrel towards you. The four oni guards on the back wall begin knocking arrows.

How do you proceed?

[Quoted text hidden]


Shaun

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 3:45 PM

To: Jake

1. RAGE.

2. If I have the time before he gets to me, I will position myself in front of a support pillar or load bearing section of wall. I'm ready to jump out of the way at the instant before he reaches me, hopefully faking him into smashing his dire boar right into the wall.

[Quoted text hidden]


Shaun

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

To: Jake

also: Indomitable Stance: An armored hulk gains a +1 bonus on combat maneuver checks and to CMD for overrun combat maneuvers, and on Reflex saves against trample attacks. She also gains a +1 bonus to her AC against charge attacks and on attack and damage rolls against charging creatures.

[Quoted text hidden]


Jake

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

To: Shaun

1. I thought you might!

2. You ready yourself, backing towards the wall. The oni guards let loose with their arrows and two of them stick in your shoulder, but in your rage you hardly notice. The creature's ample belly undulates as the hog-rider closes the gap and raises his axe to swing. You jump out of the way but underestimate his speed and reach and feel a sharp pain as his axe cuts a deep gouge in your side. Quickly assessing the damage, you see a green liquid dripping from the axe and your wound that burns at your flesh and causes the surrounding fur to die and fall off.  However, your plan may have had some merit and the boar, not having bowled you over like he intended, has too much momentum and loses his footing in the slick mud, smashing into the wall. Though the building remains intact the duo are seperated, disorientated and will take a moment to regain their footing. As fortune would have it, it's at this time that Boota breaks through another door and pounces on one of the oni archers, tearing at it's leathery skin with tooth and claw.

You have the advantage, make your move!


Shaun

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM

To: Jake

I Charge Through, knocking the boar down again with a powerful kick as I leap off of the beast and with a MIGHTY POWER BLOW I slam my Earth Crusher into the demon's skull! Once I've made contact with the vile oni, I cannot be stopped, refusing to be distracted from my quarry. My Earth Breaker continually slams at him from every angle, attempting to break his bones, crush his weapons and bring him to his knees.

[Quoted text hidden]

--
Shaun


Jake

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 2:44 AM

To: Shaun

You press your advantage, giving no quarter. Your MIGHTY POWER BLOW strikes true and the oni is pushed back by the force, his helmet flying off and clattering to the ground. Despite this, he manages to parry your next blow and regain his ground. Though he doesn't seem particularly quick or smart, the strength and endurance of your foe is unmatched by any opponent you've fought before. He fights back with titanic punches that send you reeling and guillotine like swings of his axe that could cut through a giant, and the battle is long and exhausting, but your superior speed and unyielding assault begins to get through his defenses.

As the battle rages on you're getting more tired and slowing down. You know that all it'll take is for you to slip up once and take an axe blow and it'll be all over... you have to end this soon. Luckily the oni is in no better shape, his armor is dented and battered, blood streams over his face from a vicious head wound and he clutches his side where your earth crusher broke several ribs. You capitalize on a moment of weakness and strike! You're able to get in close and and tear at his throat with your teeth. As you start to taste his blood you feel an immense pain and the wind rush out of you as his fist smashes into your chest. He grabs and throws you several feet away, where you land winded and dazed... but is the damage done?

The oni drops to his knees, covered in blood and struggling to breathe. As you slowly get back to your feet, the oni smiles and laughs through ragged breaths. His eyes meet yours and he speaks calmly for a few seconds, but in your rage the words are meaningless. Before you're able to regain your strength you see the oni pull a gold-hilted dagger from a sheath at his side, and in one smooth movement he pushes his armor aside and plunges the knife into his stomach. He drives the blade further in and moves it back and forth, not breaking eye contact. He cries some final words before collapsing forward, blood pooling around his motionless body.

Your foe is defeated!  You see Boota finishing off the last of the oni guards, and can hear the sounds of battle outside the farmhouse dieing down. Your rage begins to subside, leaving you exhausted and in quite a bit of pain. Boota rushes over and provides you with enough first aid to keep you going, but you're definitely in rough shape. Boota is massively impressed by your performance, and says that Goro chose his allies wisely.

The battle is over. If you have anything to do, say, or examine before we continue, now's the time.


[Quoted text hidden]


Shaun

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 9:23 AM

To: Jake

"Boota! That creature, he spoke to me but I could not understand. I fear that his words were important, that his suicide has a terrible meaning. Did you hear what it said to me?" I also look to Emily for reassurance, thinking that she might also have some wisdom to give.



As I catch my breath, the realization that I've been poisoned dawns on me, and I search the demon's body for an antidote.

[Quoted text hidden]


Jake

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 1:50 PM

To: Shaun

"I apologize, brother, but I was in the midst of combat and missed most of what he said. ...his last words were that you were just as dead as he, and in his final moment he cried out the name Chimon. I know of nobody by this name.  Worry not, I'm sure it's just an idle threat as he faced death."  Boota tries to reassure you, saying "besides, we've seen there's no oni that could be a threat to you!"

Emily, however, doesn't seem as convinced and shrinks away at the name Chimon. She says that he was a legendary dragon that once ruled over the shadowlands and very nearly killed Shoten and conquered the material plane. But he was defeated long ago.

You realize that instead of poison it was just an acidic substance, and with Boota's first aid the wound is cleaned out. You search the demon's body looking perhaps for some clues and find:


-His greataxe, the edge chipped from use, with a red sash tied to the head that billows behind the weapon as its swung. The blade occasionally drips with the green acid. This is a +3 corrosive burst greataxe.

-The armor appears well made, though it's heavier than you're used to and would slow you down. +3 o-yoroi.

-He wears a cloak, that on closer inspection appears to be made from full pig skins cured and tied together. It's gruesome and unnerving, but does radiate magic. +4 cloak of resistance for those willing to wear it.

-His belt is made of tanned leather with iron studding. You feel stronger just touching it. Belt of giant strength +4

-The helmet you knocked clean earlier has a single gold coin fashioned to the front. A common good luck charm. You think that might explain how he was able to weather your MIGHTY POWER BLOW. the Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier gives +1 luck bonus to AC and negates the first crit or sneak attack suffered each day.

-Finally, searching the area, you find 756 gold pieces in a small chest behind the creature's throne. You also find a couple objects that may be valuable: a bronze rice bowl with intricate carvings of oni along the side, and a libation cup made from a large horn with gold trimming. Additionally, his blood-stained dagger is gold plated with small rubies embedded in the hilt.

As you and the other ursine finish securing the area, you see a figure rushing towards the farms from the forest. He wears dark, covering clothing, and looks like one of the scouts that accompanied the army. He approaches Boota, and tries to catch his breath. You're within earshot of the conversation. The scout has a look of desperation as he explains the situation... "Boota, m'lord, dire news. The three mercenaries that went ahead... they doubled back and infiltrated the temple. They stole our ship! They just grabbed it and left! Ryoko has already sent our fastest messengers, but we're weeks from the capital. We're on our own."

The good mood that Boota's been in since the battle fades quickly into anger. Then, dawning realization as he turns to look at you. "Asmundr. You came to us with those mercenaries... no, those pirates. Tell me you had nothing to do with this, brother?"


okay, quick ooc. They definitely stole the ship. They definitely ignored the entire valley of encounters i had planned  haha, said fuck it, and put on an ocean's eleven level heist instead. They also knew we had split you into another group and they were leaving Asmundr behind. They thought you'd never go along with it (which i think is probably true) and maybe even try to stop them.  That being said, they most definitely screwed asmundr over.   Though it worked narratively, i don't think it's ever fair to do something that'll massively affect another character while the player isn't there. so i'm happy to work with you to change things or make it right by you. What do you think?


Shaun

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 7:07 PM

To: Jake

BAHAHAH OMG
That is fucking awesome. I'm like "Holy shit!" as you drop four or five insanely powerful items on me, I had no idea they were consolation prizes for being abandoned.
Let me think on what I want to do with Asmundr re: the campaign, but I like the way this has played out narratively, it's appropriate for Asmundr.

Asmundr gazes into the skies, wondering where the others has flown to... "No brother, I traveled with them, and trusted them to help our people. I thought they were friends to me. I see now that I was wrong. They were nothing but arms dealers and pirates."


[Quoted text hidden]


Jake

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 8:03 PM

To: Shaun

haha, not so much consolation prizes. before the session began I had decided to up the treasure levels a bit since I really wasn't giving out much for level 10. And then since they left you're the only one left to claim any loot. So it's all yours!

Boota eyes you up, but seems to believe you. Or at the very least wants to believe you. He drops the subject though doesn't get quite as friendly with you as before.

I think we can probably leave it be for Asmundr for now. There is more stuff to do in the valley if you want to do just for fun, but he can't really affect much right now haha. think where you want things to go with him. When you get back from the mission (assuming everything else goes well) you could be rewarded with land and live out the rest of your life comfortably, or maybe given your own command in the army. Perhaps even a ship of your own...



Sat, Jul 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

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