Real Time: 7 July 2016
Game Time: 5 March 1175
Location: Shiro Katai (Mysterious Island)
Roused by sounds in the alley between the keep and armory buildings, the party emerges into the courtyard. One of the naga scouts stands with a bow drawn and Moshi Takuji appears between the buildings clearly severely injured and slumps against a wall, while one of the naga arrows pierces the ground at his feet.
The party rushes to Takuji’s aid, with Akiyama climbing to the roof of the armory for a better vantage. The party manages to hold off the Naga from directly attacking Takuji, though that is clearly their default response to the situation. Once she emerges, the Interfaces hisses “Do not approach him! He reeks of the foul,” and as the party gets closer, they can see that Takuji is drifting in and out of consciousness and is covered in blood, ragged cuts and blackish sludge. Just before passing out, his eyes flutter open and he mutters “Help… Attack…” and gestures weakly towards the rear entrance to the castle complex.
As all this is happening, a dozen naga can be seen rushing about towards the walls, appearing to take up defensive positions. The Interface asks the party to guard the north while her forces take care of the rest of the castle. Meanwhile, two forms stagger around the corner of the armory. One appears to be the other Mantis sailor, though he appears covered in an unnatural film water, and when is mouth opens to speak more water dribbles out in a sickening fashion. As the second figure steps into the light, the human form appears covered in black sludge similar to that seen on the Mantis sailor. Closer inspection also reveals a broken arrow protruding from the figure’s chest.
The figures stagger towards the party, groaning. As they gets close to the party, they swings wildly and begin to attack. With clearly otherworldly forces at work and the battle joined, Akiyama fires a humming arrow to attempt to alert the crew of the White Sparrow. A chance blow by Shoutaro revealed the second figure to be Domogu. A lucky blow by Domogu landed a minor blow to Shoutaro’s arm, but quick work by all with newfound Jade weapons and spirit-fighting spells made quick work of the tainted attackers.
While the party engaged Domogu and the mantis sailor, two additional muck-covered figures emerge. These new figures appear to be not just covered from head-to-toe in black muck, but instead formed directly out of it. Their unnatural composition, complete with shifting patterns of horrific sights, threatens the resolve of the party, and shakes Shoutaro to the core.
As all three assailants are damaged, they seem unaffected by their wounds until completely overwhelmed by them. Sword wounds are immediately filled in by the muck, allowing full functionality of their limbs until the whole thing falls apart as the surface tension of a water droplet being overcome.
As the battle concludes, the party sees that the naga have been fighting similar creatures at various points along the wall. A slightly wounded Interface appears to check on the party. The interface singles out Shoutaro (the only wounded party member) and quickly cuts off the arm of his kimono and dusts the wound with a powder which burns, but appears to remove the tainted portions of the wound.
The Interface then rushes forward to put Takuji out of his misery, but is stopped by Akiyama leaping from the rooftop to stand in the way. After some negotiation, Takuji is left in the care of the naga, who pledge to watch him, and do their best to stop the spread of any taint infection. After some tending, he comes to and groggily explains that he and his companion were startled when Domogu’s body fell from the cliffs, but it fell into the surf and was lost from sight. They debated for some time whether to remain with the boat or scale the cliffs in search of the party. The debate was cut short when Domogu’s arm shot up from beneath the waves and strangled the other Mantis sailor. Domogu and Takuji fought for a while before Takuji knocked Domogu back into the water and scurried up the cliffs to seek aid from the party. Briefly before Takuji drifts back into unconciousness Akiyama cheers him up with a fortunes and winds joke.
At the beginning of the battle, and again at the end, Byakuya is subjected to brief flashes of his previous mind-meld with the Naga group consciousness, helping to reassure himself (and the party) what the Naga were doing, and that they seem genuine in their promise to attempt to care for Takuji.
The Interface then summarizes that the boldness of this attack is alarming, and further underscores the urgency of the party’s task to retrieve the Void Stone which was taken by the “scented one in the colors of autumn leaves” who had previously invaded the island along with Domogu.
On the way out of the castle, an inscription over the sally port can be read “Set forth in strength and honor from Shiro Katai.” Byakuya recall that Katai is a vassal family of the Lion clan, which once had holdings in this region, but long ago retreated to the north. Various party members jump on this finding to assert that all of these issues are essentially due to the Lion clan failing to uphold their duty.
Just before leaving, Utamuro retrieves Takuji’s fallen kama and brings it back to one of the guardian Naga who seems to understand to deliver it to Takuji.
The ship’s boat was damaged slightly in the skirmish, but can be used to attempt to make it back to White Sparrow. As dusk turns into twilight the party embarks back towards the White Sparrow.
Moshi Takuji – Friendly Mantis Sailor
The Interface – Naga speaker
Domogu – for the last time
XP: All players get 4 exp
Honor: All players receive 5 total) because his starting honor was much lower
Glory/Infamy: All players receive +2 glory