The Secret Vault

Summary

The road brings us together
In the town of Jinchon, Mai, Hiro, and Daikai are called before their commander, Hachi Takahira. He tells them that there is word of an attack on the clan's border fortress at Hiroldani and he wants them to investigate. The fortress is near the border of an allied clan, so it seems an unlikely location for an attack. He orders them to take some new personnel with them, the monk Jeffakou and the priest Nagai. Check with the fortress commander and report back. They gather supplies and horses and set out for the fortress.
Meanwhile, something has been preying on hengeyokai villages nearby. The villages decide to send a group to the Hachi clan fortress nearby and ask for help. Konni leads Rei, Chun Gao and their human ally, Riku to speak with the commander at Hiroldani. Travelling to Hiroldani, the two parties meet and journey on together.

Darkness has fallen
When they arrive, they find the fortress is silent, no guards are visible. The main gate has been blown down by fire magic. They enter the fortress and find soldiers killed by arrows and spells and weapons. In the courtyard, 12 bodies lay around a magic circle painted with their blood. When the party approaches, some of the the bodies rise as zombies and attack. The party fights and destroys the monsters, then explores the keep. Inside, the commander, his samurai subordinate officers and their priest have been crucified on the wall of the dining hall with their own swords. Four Jikki-nikki-gaki are eating the dead bodies and they attack the party, hungry for living flesh. Again, the monsters fall to the party. On the wall, their blood has been used to paint the words "Daigotsu will rule". Searching the keep, in the basement they find a secret vault hidden at the back of a supply room. The walls of the vault have been covered with magical symbols, the wu-jen decide they are a spell of concealment. The pedestal in the vault is empty…

Report
With no survivors to aid, the party arranges a funeral pyre for the fortress' slain garrison. Mai takes possession of the swords of the fallen samurai, so they can be returned home to their families. The party returns to Jinchon and reports to Takahira. He says he did not know anything about the secret vault and asks that the hengeyokai party remain in town while they investigate.

Quotes and Smart Remarks
Talking about how some of the characters are distantly related to the Emperor
Kevin "If 10,000 people die, I will be Emperor"

Matt stopped to buy wine on the way to the game
Lee "Ooh, fancy D&D"

Michael's character is the leader of his group
Michael "I am the monkey-king"

Michael kept messing up and saying things that indicated his character wasn't human
Michael "Hello human… I mean…"
Lee "Worst. Shapeshifter. Ever"

Rolling for initiative, most of the party had high dexterity and got very good rolls. Lee got a "9"
Kevin "Nine? Does it even go that high?"

We didn't have a healer, so Jim put in an NPC Shukenja. Which turned out to be a good thing, two characters would have died
Kevin "Otherwise it would be so hard carrying these bodies around"

Discussing writing secret notes, they couldn't be a ninja note
Matt "Secret Samurai sticky notes?"

Talking about how hard it is for Matt's fire magic specialized wu-jen to study
Jim "I tried to read magic, but…fire…"