Bandit Town

Summary

Marching Orders
After returning from the naga tomb, the party turns over the captured materials, especially the map taken from the bloodspeakers' leader. They rest up and train while waiting for their next assignment. Eventually, Captain Takahira calls them in for a meeting. The map they captured has several spots marked. One is the naga tomb, another is a famous battleground from almost two centuries ago. And there is a third in the untamed lands of the northern island. Takahira wants them to check the battleground and head north to the untamed lands. He gives Mai 100 ch'ien for expenses. They decide to take along a couple of soldiers and a cook.
The party travels north to the battlegrounds. It is a quiet valley, set aside as a monument. Prayer arches and statues mark the entrances and a cenotaph stands at the center with engraved plaques telling the story. All is peaceful and quiet and after staying over for a night, the party continues north.

Bandit Attack
On their way to the northern port cities, they meet peasants fleeing on the road. The peasants explain a large bandit gang attacked their town and the merchant caravan that had stopped there. The party rushes forward to the town to help. Many of the townspeople have been wounded, some killed and buildings burned. It turns out a group of monks were travelling with the caravan, they were escorting the Oracle of Maeda on a pilgrimage. The oracle is a 12 year old girl and the bandits kidnapped her. The party examines a dead bandit, he is fit and in good health with well maintained weapons. They decide the "bandits" were really mercenaries in disguise. Jeffakou runs off to follow the raiders' trail and is ambushed by two of them. One sounds a horn and reinforcements arrive and the party gets in a pitched battle with nine more of them, mostly archers. Then more enemy archers come over the hill and open fire. Konni goes in the woods and shifts into hybrid form and climbs a tree to shoot back. The party fights back and some charge the second line of archers. Unfortunately, they are backed up by spearmen behind the crest of the hill. Daikai uses his Katana of Flight to attack from above, but the archers wound him and he crashes to ground and loses consciousness. Two of the spearmen kill him before the party can come to his aid. Rei turns Invisible and sneaks up on the enemy and uses his Pearl of Water to cast Steam Breath and slays many of the enemy. The tide of battle turns and the bandits are defeated, a few surrender and are taken prisoner. The party searches the enemy camp and finds the officer and one of the sergeants have escaped with the oracle. They leave their two soldiers and the cook to help the townspeople and go in pursuit. The trail finally comes out on another road, but the villains' tracks are lost in the traffic. Riku brews a cup of tea and reads the leaves to decide which way and tells Mai to go north.

Prophecy
The road leads them to a small city, much too large to search. Gao asks Mai for a couple of ch'ien and disappears into the crowds. She comes back a few hours later and says local informants told her their quarry is at an inn. The party goes there and they question the innkeeper. They go upstairs and attack the kidnappers by crashing through the paper walls of the inn. The oracle is rescued and they return to the village to deliver her to her escort. Nagai performs funeral rites for Daikai and his body is burned. Before they leave, the oracle makes a prophecy "Daigotsu will open a portal". The party decides to escort the oracle and the caravan to the next city, since it was on their way. One of the soldiers is sent back to deliver Daikai's goods to his family.

If you want something done right…
A few days later, the combined caravan is travelling to the oracle's destination. A group of mountain goblins attack from the woods and the party counterattacks. But Hiro hears a voice casting spells and fires arrows at the sound, one strikes an invisible creature. The voice concludes its spell and the party is struck by magical fire raining on them and an Ogre Magi appears behind the goblins. Mai and Hiro gang up on the Ogre and drop him quickly while the rest of the party fights the goblins. Jeffakou drops one with powerful circle kick, breaking its neck, but it begins to regenerate. The goblins are knocked down, but don't stay down for long. They resort to hitting them hard enough to drop the goblins, then decapitating them before they can regenerate enough to get back in the battle. They finally manage to finish the goblins and search the ogre, taking his spell book, magic items and a large supply of coins. Jeffakou asks the oracle if she knows what was going on, she replies the ogre had hired the mercenaries to capture her. The party travels on and finally reaches the monastery. One of the monks says he will join the party on their mission, since one of their people died defending the oracle. (GM's note- the monk is Callum's new character.)

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Lee's tattooed monk got a new tattoo, Crab
Michael "How do you activate it, do you have to make a crab sign?" <holds up his hands like crab pincers>
Lee "Where should I put it?"
Callum "As a tramp stamp?"

The party has two NPC samurai henchmen
Lee "Can they have red armor?

Kevin "I think we should try to kill him in the most honorable way"

Michael's shapeshifter is in hybrid form
Lee "It's Bigfoot!"
JoAnne "You look like something from Planet of the Apes"

Callum and Lee brought some chips back from their trip to Canada, one was a spicy Indian potato chip
Callum "Tastes like spicy drywall"
Then JoAnne noticed the bag said "best by October 2014". Its March 2015…

JoAnne is talking about being left handed
Lee "Burn the left handed witch!"
Jim "She's not a witch, she's my wife"

Lee drops the goblin, but it gets back up
Matt "You should have killed him better. Burn them with fire! That's my job, you do the killing, I'll do the re-killing"

Lee "You could stabilize my wounds"
Matt "I could put you out of your misery"

The ogre has a magical sash
Lee "It says 'Miss Brazil'"

The ogre has a magical sash and bandanna
Lee "How shall we distribute the magical garments?"
Matt "Start with the nudists"