Exalted - The Venemous Monk

Session #14: Awakening Dragons and Rotten Royalty

[Details of their adventure in Jades, to Larjyn, and back to Pine Acre.]

Session #13: Awakening the Beast of Jades [8/9/15]

Our group of heroic Solars are faced with a tough decision right from the start. Do they confront the oncoming Realm army in combat, escape the town, or remain to figure out their motivations for their sudden arrival.

Afraid that the Realm are here for killing Marin and Hyde from House Ragara, Mustang follows Erik and his son Timmy back to the Summers Farm. Lefty and Amy decide to confront the oncoming army while Ruko dons his disguise and stays near Greasy Joan and Kensai.

As Lefty steps forward, the rows of troops come to a halt and separate so that a man with massive green jade armor can approach. This man identifies himself as Amann, the commander of the army of Realm soldiers and a proud member of House Iselsi. Lefty and Amy act as emmisaries and lead them to Mayor Walter’s former home. Along the way, Amann gives his belongings to Kensai to carry, and the brash young Exalted somehow manages to keep his cool.

As the group accompanies the army and its leader to the former mayor’s home, the ruler of Jades, Iselsi Saraban Deris, asks Ruko about a woman and old man that [[Session #6: An Old Man and a Hot Chick Walk Into Jades… [4/25/14] | snuck into Jades some time ago]]. Ruko plays dumb, and they continue on. Lefty goes about town to acquire drinks, Amethyst keeps an eye on the servants, Ken makes friends with some rather goofy twin Dragon-Blooded named Hack and Slash, and Ruko helps Greasy Joan make some of her classic soup.

Before dinner, Amy runs into Erisa, who asks what is going on and why her current meal ticket, Lord Denemor, is so angry. When she learns what is happening, Erisa tells Amy to tell Lefty that she will be just fine and then takes off.

During dinner, Lefty gets some information about why these Realm soldiers and leader are here. It turns out that something terrible living underneath Jades was awoken, and the people of the city have been put under some sort of contagion that turned them into mindless zombies. When Lord Deris makes it known that he left the innocent poor people of Jades to suffer and locked the front gates, Lefty leaves the dinner in anger. His companions eventually follow, and they meet up with Mustang at the Summers Farm.

The group ultimately decides that it would be best to travel to Jades and see for themselves what sort of danger lies there. The “brave” leader had left his people to suffer and possibly perish, and they must be saved if at all possible.

The journey takes many days, but they eventually arrive and find the tall wooden gates to be closed. They find their way up and over the wall and only find a thick green mist obscuring much of the landscape. Lefty went on ahead, moving down one of the towers and into the clouded streets. As he wandered blindly, he heard something moving close by. It turned out to be some of the townspeople, now transformed into mindless zombies. The rest of the heroes followed Lefty’s shouts, and they did their best to subdue the populous without necessarily killing them.

Once they dispatched of the threat, they decided they needed to find higher ground and get out of the vapors. The most logical location was Iselsi Saraban Deris’s mansion in the northern hills of the settlement. They emerged from the fog to find two Dragon-Blooded soldiers guarding the door. Their eyes were clouded green like the mist. A battle ensued, and the heroes managed to defeat these two foes despite their annoyingly evasive techniques.

The enter the mansion to lick their wounds, but unfortunately they aren’t able to do so for very long. A loud rumbling noise steals their attention as outside they see the shadow of something massive flying by. It turns out to be the being living underneath Jades that Ruko witnessed, a massive, shadowy jade dragon.

To make matters worse, as they contemplate just what to do, Amethyst Blind Sunrise falls unconscious, showing symptoms of the green mist. No matter what the others tried to do, they could not wake her.

Adding to the strangeness of the moment, a puzzling figure appears, leaning out one of the mansion windows. The figure shoots an arrow at the flying dragon, and he then warns the others to leave. Lefty recognizes him as Da Zhang “The Lone Whisper”, and the others struggle with whether they should listen to the mysterious man or not.

On top of all that, Ruko drops into a sort of trance. He receives a message from Wei Zhang, saying that he needs to leave at once. A strange silver door that twinkles like starlight appears out of nowhere.

After some deliberation, Ruko decides to go through the door and take Amy to safety.

The rest do battle with the massive dragon. The odds seem ultimately out of their favor, but they work together in order to slowly deal blow after blow. During the fight, Amy’s wolf manages to break into the town and help out, wielding a daiklave. The fight involves blazing fast swordplay from Kensai, outlandish leaps of athleticism and daring from Lefty, precision shots from the bowman Da Zhang, and seering bolts of golden flame from Mustang.

In the end, they managed to bring down their sizable opponent, sending it crashing down along the mountainous grounds of the lower-levels of Jades.

Utterly exhausted, the party drops to their knees, unsure just how they managed to survive such an encounter.

Session #12: To Catch a Thief [5/2/15]

After helping Eternal Fang regain his manse, our Exalted heroes return to his encampment to find the wolfmen guarding Erisa have been attacked. Aside from the dead bodies of some of the wild guards, the manse’s hearthstone has also been stolen.

After looking over the scene and arguing whether Erisa double-crossed her husband or was a victim of a kidnapping, they’re investigation is interrupted by a flock of birdmen flying overheard toward the manse. The circle eventually decides to go back to the manse rather than follow the trail to the west.

The Exalts arrive just at the start of the funeral ceremony for Crushing Paw. All four clans of the Arczeckhi Tribal Lands have gathered for the ceremony. The heroes pay their own respects as Crushing Paw receives prayers and is burned atop a pyre.

After the ceremony, they approach Eternal Fang and the other two leaders, a beautiful hawk woman Noble Wing and a surly stag man with giant antlers. They break the news about Erisa, and Eternal Fang refused to believe it at first. His companions are angered at this, and the Exalted heroes decide they are going to track her down, bring back any necessary information, and promise to return the hearthstone.

They set out, bringing Gorbar (“Buddy”) with them, and head into the forest back west in the direction they first came. They track Erisa all the way to the edge of the forest. There they find one of the wolfmen guards strung up and hanging dead from a tree. Amy analyzes the scene and realizes that someone set it up to make it look like she was ambushed. Even though her blood is at the scene, she is convinced that she was not actually killed.

Outside the woods they find tracks leading southwest. They follow it until the reach the southern road coming from The Crossroads Hostel. Giving up on catching them on foot, they head north to Lefty’s domain.

When they arrive, Ruko goes to visit Mayor Bruce Walters and his daughter Maribell Walters. Bruce tells Ruko that he has given up his position as mayor. He then begs Ruko to make sure someone worthy of taking care of the town becomes the new mayor. He also notes that Alundra is nowhere to be found.

The others grab horses, but before they leave they get in an argument over Lefty’s twin brother Righty and how he will slow them down if they have to transport the giant sarcophagus. They decide on putting Righty’s remains in an aushuary.

They travel south along the road, passing by Larjyn. The city is no longer in flames, so they assume that destroying Blossom solved the problems there. They follow the tracks all the way through another set of wilderness and into the small town of Pine Acre.

Along the way they stop at the Moonsilver Manse. Mustang checks up on his wife Akara, who offers them a place to stay for the night and a hot dinner.

Before entering the town, they are stopped by the farmer Erik Summers. Recognizing Ruko, he tells them that his son Timmy has run into the town somewhere. Also, he says he saw a cart that matches the description they had pieced together of the one carrying Erisa.

Once in Pine Acre, they realize the usually sleepy town is full of activity. After wandering around a bit, they come to realize that people have traveled from near and far to campaign to become the new mayor of Pine Acre. Among them is the very straightforward Greasy Joan. She bands together with a very willing Kensai, and the two of them decide to run together on the issues of defense and lower taxes.

Also among the group of potential candidates is a man with tanned skin and fine clothing and jewelry named Rajik Dellens. A somewhat emaciated man gives Amy a flyer advertising his candidacy. Concerned for this person, Amy snoops around and finds Rajik’s caravan filled with two dozen chained slaves. With the help of Ken, they free the slaves and set them about the town. They also find a marking of the Guild, and more specifically, one that links this man with the Lady of Salt.

Another candidate is a monk who claims to have come from the north on a spiritual pilgrimage. Ruko finds something very familiar about him, and he goes to investigate by coming up for a blessing. When he approaches the monk, named Huan Cheng, Ruko recognizes him instead as one of the Cabal Ganju. He accepts the blessing but keeps his identify secret.

The final candidate is an arrogant man by the name of Lord Yatsu Denemor. He claims to come from one of the families of the Republic of Chaya. During one of his big speeches, Lefty chastises him and gives a rousing speech for the rights of the people over the rich. This leads to a confrontation with Ken and Greasy Joan.

While this is going on, Ruko gets inside Lord Demenor’s cart and finds evidence that Erisa was there.

After setting up the argument, the party decides to check inside Mayor Walter’s mansion. Ruko knows a secret way inside from his earlier travels, and they sneak through the cellar and up into his personal study. There they find Erisa sitting behind Mayor Walter’s desk.

An argument breaks out between Erisa and Lefty. She tells them that she is now working for The Guild, and she stole the hearthstone and delivered it to a man heading to Nexus. Things take a turn for the worse when Ken acts on his anger and goes to kill Erisa. She manages to slip out of his grasp and tries to retaliate with her dagger. Lefty and Mustang step in, and the tense situation steps away from dissolving into pure violence. The party leaves, and Erisa assures Lefty that she’ll be just fine.

As they are trying to decide what to do next, they hear Erik Summers yelling and rushing into town. He tells them that an army of Realm soldiers are amassing outside the city.

Episode #11: The Showdown [8/31/14]

Our heroes wake after a mostly restful night (Lefty excluded), scrounge up some breakfast, and prepare to meet with Eternal Fang to discuss military strategy. During breakfast they bond a bit more with the sociable drinker and smoker, Gorbar.

Meanwhile, Amethyst and Kensai, the two Solar travelers that Mustang met some time ago when dealing with the Abyssal Exalted, are still on the trail of some elusive bandits. They stumble upon the same lumberjacks as our three heroes and also ignore their warning. They head into the wilderness and find the other’s original camp. Amy starts to piece the events that transpired together, and they are soon met by menacing-looking wolfmen. It turns out they smell Mustang’s scent on Amy and offer to take them to their camp.

As the time to meet with Eternal Fang arrives, they notice a commotion as Amy and Kensai are led into the tribal lands. Mustang introduces them to his companions, and Ken for some reason doesn’t recognize the man he fought beside only weeks earlier. They all meet with Eternal Fang and hover around a crudely drawn map of the enchanted forestland around the Arczeckhi’s manse. They hatch a plan to keep Eternal Fang’s army back while the group of Solars try a very direct approach and speak with Crushing Paw in person.

Eternal Fang leads our heroes and some of his wolfmen up the winding road toward his old manse. Eternal Fang and his men hang back a bit, and the group of Exalts make their way toward the manse. They are met by a group of bear men, and with some quick talking and thinking, they are led toward the manse.

When they arrive, they enter what looks like a large assembly hall filled with tables for festivities. Across the room is a tall platform with a large, wooden throne. Sitting there is Crushing Paw, who seems a bit out of sorts. As they talk some sense into him, they are ambushed by two fair folk, one of which appears out of nowhere and attempts to cut the heroes down where they stand. The attempt is ultimately in vain as he is quickly brought down by our circle of Solar Exalts.

This does not sit well with the female fair folk, who introduces herself as Blossom, the woman that is at the center of the issues in Larjyn. She orders the brainwashed Crushing Paw. A battle ensues, and unfortunately the group of Solars is unable to subdue the Lunar without ending his life.

Unable to escape in time, Blossom also fell pray to the might of the newly-formed Solar group. She was soon burned in flaming golden essence as Mustang Thunder ended the being’s life to save those suffering from the madness of the trees within Chaya.

The Solars emerged from the manse to find the landscape slowly turning back to normal. Eternal Fang and his men brought forth the remains of his companion Crushing Paw, and the heroes watched as they returned his body to the encampment.

Episode #10: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? [7/27/14]

As our heroes settle in for the night at the records house in Larjyn, they are awoken to a commotion at the center of town. Everyone in the town has gathered to watch a procession of guards leading five battered women down the road. Each woman is chained to one another, and their bellies and backs are marked with different colored symbols depicting the five elements. They are being led toward a platform set up with five posts facing each direction and the center. Below the posts is some sort of bowl or receptacle.

After spending time arguing whether they should get involved and potentially hurt others, Lefty let’s his compassion get the better of him and rushes out to the crowd. He draws many of them away by flaring his anima banner of a long golden road. He then proceeds to rush away, dodging those that tried getting in his way. He eventually uses his powers to vault himself over the wall and to safety.

Meanwhile, Ruko and Mustang rush off to save the women from slaughter while the people are distracted. Ruko uses his lightning speed and ability to go undetected to sneak attack the guards on the platform. Mustang marches forward, orichalcum hammer drawn, and draws more attention his way. He rushes the platform, calls the horse and cart, which Lefty broke the horses off with a smashing fist on his way out of Larjyn. Smashing the posts holding two of the women, Mustang grabs the falling posts, jumps on the back of his horse, and rides with the added load back toward the records house. Ruko leaps off the platform onto their barreling cart, sending it flying toward the other shackled women. He tosses them inside and uses it like a rickshaw. The two manage to get back to the records house and save the five women from certain death.

Lefty is awoken the next day by the Goddess of Chaya and is granted a jade leaf compass that will guide them toward the source of the trees’ energy. After resting up, the three then sneak out of Larjyn with a bit of shennanigans.

They travel back to Moonsilver Manse in order to check up on Akara Thunder and get supplies. Ruko and Lefty repay Mustang’s kindness of a place to stay by doing some work around the ranch in the morning. After a meal they head off in the direction shown by the leaf compass, which takes them about a week to the edge of the forestline to the northeast.

They run into a group of lumberjacks and their leader Larek. They warn our Exalted heroes about strange beasts that have hampered their gathering of firewood. The heroes ignore the warnings and head to the north away from the lumberjacks and make their way into the wilderness. The wilderness is untamed, so the going is slow. They build a make-shift camp and spend each day making inroads into the forest.

On the third day, Mustang decides to try and commune with the local spirits. He is answered by a snarling voice of the Arczeckhi Tribal Lands God Mokuu. He senses their powers and decides to send an envoy of beastmen to accompany them.

That night the three are surrounded by wolfmen and a beautiful woman wearing tribal garb. She says they are to follow her and that the travel would last another week. They pack up and follow, and during their travels Letfy seems a bit disturbed. He eventually makes his way to the woman and tries to talk with her, but she acts as if he doesn’t exist. Lefty tells his companions that the woman is Erisa, a woman from his past, and he is flabbergasted when she then says that she is a queen to one of the tribal leaders.

They eventually arrive at a native encampment filled with tents and longhouses. They make a friend with one of the more friendly barbarians before being led to meet the leader of the wolf tribe, Eternal Fang. Erisa rests at his side, grinning every now and then at Lefty. After some discussion, he reveals himself as a Lunar Exalt, and the three reveal themselves as Solars. This seems to shock Erisa.

Eternal Fang explains that the once strong alliance of the Arczeckhi Tribal Lands has fallen apart. His close friend Crushing Paw, who is the leader of the bear tribe, has broken their alliance and has taken up sole residence of the tribal confederation’s manse. The landscape has also changed to become mountainous. The already large bearmen have become much larger and stronger than before.

They decide that the Fair Folk and perhaps Blossom have something to do with the sudden change, and they promise to work together to try and snap Crushing Paw back to his former senses.

That night while the rested in their tents, Lefty awakens to find Erisa giving him a bit of a “massage.” Lefty wakes up his companions with his shouts, but he talks them back to their own tents. Erisa tells Lefty that she is after a hearthstone as part of a contract, leading to her bedding Eternal Fang. Lefty is unhappy, but if he says anything he would be a the mercy of the angry Lunar.

What will happen when the heroes take on a legion of barbarians and beastmen?

Session #9: Madness in Larjyn [7/20/14]

Following the battle with Hyde, they decided to investigate the happenings at Larjyn. They pack Righty and Mustang Thunder in the back of their cart and head off.

They arrive the next day to find the city completely closed. Ruko climbs a tree along the wall and walks along the edge of it toward the front gate. There he uses some flashy moves to dispatch the angry old man watching the gate and opens it for his companions.

They find the normally peaceful people of Larjyn to be affected in a very negative way. They see violence in the streets, boarded up houses, and a large bonfire with people serving up the town’s animals. The people give in to impulses of anger, lust, and gluttony. Lefty tries blending in with the savages and gain some information.

Meanwhile, Ruko and Mustang hear a familiar voice. They move toward the mansion of the Dumas family and find its matriarch, Scarlet Dumas in nothing more than a sheer nightgown. Lefty joins them, and they invited into the mansion to find a rather roaring upper class orgy.

A bit thrown off by the affair, they manage to find out that the strange actions have gone on for as long as Scarlet Dumas can remember. Everyone seems affected aside from Octavius. Once again, Lefty stays to “gather some information” while Ruko and Mustang head to the record library.

Ruko distracts the men patrolling the outside of the library, and Mustang talks Octavius into letting him in. Octavius has minor warding magics at his disposal, keeping himself and a few others safe during this time. The contagion spans the 12 cities of The Republic of Chaya and has been going on for at least the 50 years that he has lived there.

Mustang gets Ruko and Lefty, and they all go back to Octavius to do some research in the library. Among the books and talking with Octavius, they find that a fair folk by the name of Blossom arrived over 200 years ago. It planted seeds around the 12 cities. They discerned that the blossoms of the flowers might have something to do with changing the people in the town, affecting them like some sort of drug.

The three Exalted head to the city’s temple and speak with the nature God of Chaya. They almost decide to leave the town as it is rather than cause harm by simply burning the trees down. Those that have left the town for a long amount of time eventually go completely mad when deprived of the pollen of the blossoms. They ask the God to pinpoint a direction into the forests to the East. They now plan to track down this Blossom and see if they can reverse the effects of the contagion.

Session #8: Coming to a Crossroads [7/13/14]

Our next chapter begins with Ruko setting the plans of Maribell’s suicide into action in Pine Acre. Part of the plan includes Alundra disguising herself and Maribell so they can ride off toward The Crossroads Hostel. That night, a horse comes riding into town, carrying the exhausted body of Akara Thunder. Ruko offers her assistance and takes her to Greasy Joan’s shop for the night.

The next day as the town begins to mourn the “loss” of Mayor Walter‘s daughter, a familiar man in a cowboy hat rides into Pine Acre looking for his wife. Disguised as an old man that looks oddly like Akara’s dead grandfather, Ruko leads Mustang Thunder to Greasy Joan and his wife. After a humorous revealing of his true identity, Ruko fills Mustang in on everything going on, including the recent events in Pine Acre with the demands of the Dragon Blooded from House Regara, Hyde. Mustang sends his wife back toward The Moonsilver Manse and decides to follow his friend Ruko.

Alundra and Maribell arrive at The Crossroads Hostel half a day before their Exalted companions. They meet up with the modest and boisterous proprietor of the manse, The Left-Handed Vagabond Who Travels With His Twin, better known as Lefty. He helps Maribell settle in, and Alundra tells him that she has other business she needs to attend to but will wait for Ruko’s arrival.

Ruko and Mustang eventually find their way to The Crossroads and meet up with Alundra, who is enjoying some whiskey from Nexus straight from the bottle. They are introduced to Lefty and take a bit of time to get to know one another. During their talk, Alundra informs Ruko that she has to leave on business, but she will return to check on Maribell and get the rest of her payment. Mustang provides the payment with money that he received by selling some horses to a caravan of gypsy travelers there at The Crossroads. They eventually are led to see Maribell. She is doing well, but she is less than happy to see Mustang and still holds ill will toward him for ruthlessly killing her lover Marin.

Mustang sneaks away from the awkward situation to “visit the trough” when he hears a commotion outside the gates of The Crossroads. Two men enter town dragging the body of a third. Upon closer evaluation, the body has been violently ripped to shreads. The body is taken inside the manse to a triage area where Ruko, Mustang, and Lefty take a closer examination. They find that the body was not the victim of an animal attack, and the killing wounds appear to have been made by a human. They are told that the man was found outside one of the cities of The Republic of Chaya.

Mayor Bruce Walters arrives the following day, and the heroes go speak with him and his daughter once again (with Mustang standing in the hall away from Maribell). They decide to use Lefty’s contacts to spread the word that Ruko has been sighted in the city of Larjyn, which is one of the twelve cities of The Republic of Chaya.

They then travel back to Pine Acre and question the archer that Ruko had once kept tied up above Greasy Joan’s shop. Mustang reveals that he his an anathema by showing his orichalcum hammer. The town guard freaks and rushes off, and they tell the fearful archer that they are headed to Larjyn, leaving the key to the cell within reach. The archer falls for the bait and sneaks out that night, taking off to warn Hyde about their soon-to-be-whereabouts.

They wait the next several days in Pine Acre for Hyde to eventually arrive. He does with only half of his archers, and they meet with Ruko, Mustang, and Lefty at the center of town at high noon. Hyde asks where the traitor is at, and when Ruko asks him what he means, he disregards his own comment and says this will be the end of the troublesome monk. He will have his revenge for the death of his brother Marin. The battle lasts little more than a few moments as Mustang breaks free the horses at the nearby stable, rides one forward and then lunges over the archers at Hyde. With his anima banner of a wild horse raging in golden glory, he proceeds to pound Hyde’s skull in. Ruko takes down one of the archers, and Lefty punches the ground, sending the rest of them tumbling off their feet.

The seven remaining archers throw their weapons down in surrender. They question the remaining archers to find out that their numbers were reduced when they made their way into the barricaded city of Larjyn to find its people ravenous and wild. They promise not to work with House Regara again and agree to try and spread the word around to other mercenaries.

Where will the heroes go now? Will there be retribution to pay for the second death of a member of House Regara? What is going on in the cities of The Republic of Chaya? Will the people of Jades seek their own revenge? What of Po Shiang? Find out next time.

Session #7: A New Plan & the Archer of House Regara [7/12/14]

The three arrive at the cave entrance in the forest by the next morning. Exhausted, Maribell Walters falls asleep, and Ruko takes the opportunity to meditate. He eventually awakens and allows Alundra a chance to sleep. Maribell Walters awakens and clings to Ruko, telling him what she had seen.

According to her, the beast in the pit below the city of Jades was a serpentine beast with sharp fangs. She reveals that Po Shiang believes the fake medallion is the real one and that Ruko has been taken care of by Junichiro. When he got what he wanted, Po Shiang sold Maribell Walters to the Dragon Blooded leader of Jades, Iselsi Saraban Deris for a very large sum of money. She was meant to be some sort of sacrifice to the creature living below the city.

Ruko vows to return her to Pine Acre and suggests they evacuate the town for their own safety. He allows her to get some more sleep, and then Alundra awakens from her rest. They discuss matters, and during their talk he tells her about his history with Maribell Walters and how he and Mustang Thunder killed her lover, Marin.

Alundra seems suddenly wary and wants to leave immediately, staring out the cave entrance. They pack up their supplies, wake the girl, and leave at once. On the third day of their travels, both Alundra and Ruko hear a commotion overhead. Alundra takes Maribell Walters and rides off away from the forest, leaving Ruko to monkey leap into the trees and grab hold of an archer. He uses him as a shield and gets some information out of him, including the fact that they came from Jades and that they are working for someone. Before he can get their boss’s name, an arrow flies from a different tree, and Ruko jumps down onto his horse and takes off.

He eventually catches up with Alundra and hangs back, watching her interactions with Maribell Walters. He follows her into the wilderness, perhaps a bit unsure of her intentions and eventually returns to the camp. He gets a slap for being inconsiderate and not returning at once.

They eventually make it back to Pine Acre, where father and daughter are reunited once again. Ruko strongly suggests that they both leave the town for their own safety. They decide to head to the safety of the Crossroads Hostel. It is then that Ruko hatches an elaborate plan. After they sneak Maribell Walters out of Pine Acre, they are to fake her suicide. That way Mayor Bruce Walters can send a letter to Iselsi Saraban Deris telling him of his daughter’s death and to offer recompense for the loss of his sacrifice.

They are interrupted by a servant saying that 20 armed archers are here looking for the monk. He disguises himself as the old man once again and goes forth about the town. The archers tear things up a bit, and he uses his disguise to follow a guard around into Greasy Joan’s shop. Ruko knocks the man out, and they tie him up and store him in the shop for later.

Unable to find his quarry, the Dragon Blooded, Hyde from House Regara, leaves and vows to return in a week, demanding that Ruko be handed over at that time or else.

Disguises himself…greasy joan…knocked out and tied up archer.

Session #6: An Old Man and a Hot Chick Walk Into Jades... [4/25/14]

Both Ruko and Alundra find safety in a small cave opening. They manage to slip the persistent archer and get some needed rest. Ruko awakens to find a note from Alundra saying that she is going to scout ahead, and he should wait here.

Having some time to kill, Ruko hunts for some food. As he goes along, he hears voices. He hides in a tree, and below him comes a girl on the back of a wolf and a tall man with a large sword. He overhears the two talk about chasing bandits, follows them for a bit, and then decides they are not a threat and returns to the cave.

On the second day, Alundra returns and tells him that there are wild beasts that have been stalking near the town of Jades. Ruko reveals his seeing the two travelers and the issue with bandits. They head off and by nightfall arrive at Jades. The town is surrounded by a tall wooden wall with a bronze gate with the symbol of The Realm.

In order to get past the posted guard, Ruko disguises himself as an old man. Leaning on his “granddaughter” Alundra’s arm, they talk their way into town. The town is a dingy, worn former mining village. On their way to The Dusty Cavern, the local inn, they notice carts with the symbol of the Cabal Ganju.

They get to their room and hatch a plan. Since Ruko cannot show his face for fear of being identified, Alundra will scout around the next day and see what information she can gather.

That night Ruko has a strange dream where he is standing beneath a vast sky of stars. A shooting star flies off to the east and explodes over a vast forest. He hears a whispered message from Wei Zhang saying, “Head toward the west. You will find that in which you seek.”

Ruko is then awoken not only by the dream but by a single piercing scream. He rushes to the window and sees two cloaked forms dragging a woman to the western part of town. Ruko climbs out his window and follows them into an abandoned mine that has been barricaded off.

The path is pitch black, but Ruko uses his keen hearing to follow along. They get to the bottom of the interminable tunnel system, and they pass through a second tunnel past some guards with the help of his kung-fu antics.

When he reaches the end of the last tunnel, he sees the two cloaked guards holding the woman, who turns out to be Maribell Walters, near a vast pit at the center of the room. An unearthly growling comes from the pit, and the Mayor’s daughter looks horrified as she stares down into it.

Ruko rushes toward the men and pulls Maribell Walters aside to safety. He mule kicks the two men and then sweeps one of their legs, and he tumbles into the pit. The ground begins to rumble, and the other soldier rushes off. Ruko helps Maribell Walters up and runs with her down the tunnel. Using his monkey leap technique, he leaps up to the rising platform being controlled by the fleeing cloaked soldier. Ruko kicks the man to his death, and as they reach the top and escape, they sneak past more men saying, “My God, has it been awakened?”

Ruko manages to get himself and Maribell Walters back to the tavern, and he steals some clothes for her to disguise herself with. They start to sneak away, and as they attempt to get away, a line of soldiers accompany a regal-looking man in effeminate purple and gold robes toward the center of the town. The man, who Alundra recognizes as the Dragon Blooded ruler of Jades, Deris, tries to calm his people and urges them to go back to heir homes.

There is a shout from the caves, and during the uproar, Ruko and his two female companions manage to sneak off. As Ruko escapes, he sees the caravan of the Cabal Ganju heading off toward the south. Wanting to keep Maribell Walters safe, he leads them back to the cave in the forest to rest.

Session #5b: The Nameless Lair of Ma-Ha-Suchi
Involving Mustang Thunder and 2 Strange Travelers

Two strange travelers, an Unknown Swordsman and a Girl and wolf are out traveling the wilderness when they run into an angry, fretful Mustang Thunder. The young man and woman are currently on the trail of bandits, and Mustang Thunder reveals that he was led away from the Moonsilver Manse by a group of wandering travelers seeking refuge. When he came back found, his wife Akara Thunder had been taken from her garden by soldiers. Mustang dispatched of the refugees and has been trailing her this direction ever since. The two travelers, who reveal themselves as Kensai and Amethyst, decide to follow him and give him aid.

They find that the bandits that they are searching and those that took Akara Thunder were described as clad in mostly black with distinctive red masks with a skeletal design stitched into the material.

They follow the trail to an abandoned ruins hidden deep within the forests. They find several animalistic totems and a crumbled statue of a wolf. They encounter a group of the bandits at the outskirts of the ruins. They seem content with staying outside and not heading into the ancient structure.

They dispatch the bandits and then head inside to search for Akara. They find a disturbing place that once looked like a great underground manse. However, something had corrupted this once magical place. Wandering the tunnels, they eventually find themselves in a room with hanging cages. In one of them is a weakened Akara. They have to fight their way through some undead creatures here, but they manage to save Mustang’s wife. Mustang puts her on his horse and sends them back to his ranch at the Moonsilver Manse.

They eventually find what was once the hearthstone room of this old manse, and there is a sarcophagus in the center of the room. The lid is broken up, but it is still somewhat intact. No one is here, so the three of them decide to hide about the room. Mustang hides within the sarcophagus, and Amy and Ken hide in other places about the room.

They eventually hear some noise, and in comes a horrifically pale man with shimmering black armor. Ken lunges from his hiding place and brings the group into a combat with this strange-looking man. The man, who they later find out was one of the rumored Abyssal Exalted, reveals himself as The Pestilence and Destruction of the Lord Red Death, and he puts up a good fight. However, he was no match for the three Solars, and he was defeated.

Once the fight came to an end, the spirit of the manse was released and declares himself the ancient Lunar Ma-Ha Suchi. He thanks them for their help, and the party leaves on their separate ways.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.