Beyond the Empire


Across the Sea
The party purchases supplies and prepares to sail to the northern island Hokkaido to explore what is marked on the map they took from the Bloodspeakers. Chun Gao has an outbreak of boat phobia and decides to stay home. Before she leaves, she locates a trustworthy captain and ship. The party bids farewell and embarks on their voyage. Halfway through the journey, the ship is attacked by sea trolls and the party defends the ship and crew. When they arrive at the port of Hakodate, Captain Moto gives them a partial refund in thanks. They get some supplies in town and Konni finds a mapmaker and they get a much better map of the island. They also find out they will need to cross the mountains through a pass controlled by the Sushen barbarian tribe. They buy supplies like arrows, food and saki to give the barbarians as gifts to buy passage. They travel north to the town of Furano, the last outpost of the empire before heading up into the mountains and the Tokachi pass.

Over the Hills
Climbing the pass, the party realizes they are being watched. They are stopped by the barbarians and ask to be taken to their chief. The party meets the barbarian leaders, offers their gifts and asks for passage. The barbarian chief accepts their gifts but says they must prove themselves. A group of ogres has taken one of their border fortresses, clear them out and they shall get passage. A guide will lead them to the fortress, but the party must leave hostages, so the cook and samurai guardsman must stay behind. They grumpily agree and head out to the fortress the next day. Along the way the are attacked by a giant centipede, but deal with it quickly.

Through the gate
The "fortress" is a small border keep, ogres patrol the walls and a guard stands outside the open gate. They hide their horses with the guide and Rei and Riku cast Invisibility on everyone. After the wu-jen rest to recover spell power, they attack. They walk up to the gates and sneak past the ogre guard. Inside they confer and split up. The monks climb the wall to attack the ogre archers covering the gate, Mai and Hiro will attack the guards on the back wall and Konni will attack the gate guard. The party attacks and arrows, spells and fists fly and the guards are rapidly dispatched. They move towards the keep entrance and meet more ogres coming out. The first couple ogres are easy, but they are followed by a new monster, an armored giant monkey with goat like legs. Reku accidentally hits Konni with a Fire Shuriken during the battle. Another comes onto the wall and hits Jeffakou with a staff that sets him on fire. The new monsters carry potent weapons and fight hard. After the first two fall, a third attacks from Invisibility in the keep but is defeated. The party search the rest of the keep, gather up all the tresure they can find and depart. After Nagai heals them, the party returns to the barbarians and the chief gives them tokens of safe passage. They thank him and depart. After they are away, they examine the treasure, they found a magic ring, cloak, headband, nodachi, wakizashi, wand and three-section staff, but the two wu-jen lack the ability to identify them.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Hearing about chasing the oni in the last adventure
Kevin "Demons do like to party"

Looking at his new stats, including his relatively low hit points
Kevin "I could do enough damage to kill myself in one round"

Fighting sea trolls, JoAnne hits twice in one round
Jo "Got my sea legs, I'm good"

Discussing oriental barbarians
Kevin "They're like regular barbarians, but they do more calligraphy"

Trying to follow the map
Michael "Just point your sword and go that away"
Jim "You're not Inigo Montoya"

Buying supplies to use as gifts to the barbarians
Jo "What should we get as gifts?"
Kevin "Smallpox blankets"

Kevin "And there was much rejoicing"
Jim "You don't have any minstrels this time"
Kevin "Let's go back to town and get one"

Michael "Does anyone have…"
Kevin "Troll Repellent? No, I forgot to ask for that in town"

Planning the attack
Kevin "We could get a giant wooden badger"

Discussing the range of the Iron Scarf spell and that at 15th level, it would reach 210 feet
Chris "And I still wouldn't hit"

The party is attacked by a Wang Liang
Kevin "Is that a giant, samurai monkey?"
Kevin "Plan B: Kill the monkey beast"

Lee's monk was hit for 20 points of damage, taking him from full health to six points. Jim was running him as an NPC so the monk withdrew and used his Nightingale tattoo to partially heal himself
Michael "We need to text Lee and tell him in the battle he had to run away and touch himself"