Avenger is not mucking around anymore. Dying twice will do that to a guy. Or a ninja. Once more reincarnated to the roof of Quench-Heart Keep, I screw my courage to the sticking place and attempt a massive leap all the way down to the moat.
I have to roll to see if Fate smiles upon me. Yes she does, and I land in the moat, starting to swim to the other side. Because nothing in this life is easy, what I initially think to be a tree branch is in fact some kind of quasi-squid monster that attempts to drag me down.
I can punch, kick, Feign Death (a skill I sadly lack) or *drum roll* use a Poison Needle!!
Aside : If I want to act like I’m asleep / dead, I guess I could just watch a Michael Bay marathon. Then again, I’d rather not.
I bury a needle in one of the tentacle’s ‘pouting suckers’ which is ‘questing for my face’. I’m now having acid flashbacks to a number of dodgy nightclubs of my youth, but enough of this!
The monster backs off and I am able to swim to the shore of the moat and pause for breath.
I once more set off for the Sea of the Star, and bullet points of summary follow :
- I once more give the chasing bloodhounds a tasty morsel of poisonous Spiderfish. Of the two remaining, I take one out with a Shuriken, while the remaining one does 4 damage (Endurance : 16).
- I, again, swim into the Sea of the Star, get my lucky magical bubble of air and take on the Sea Jackals with some poisonous coral.
- I succeed in killing one shark / manta-ray Sea Jackal while driving the others away.
- The narwhal and I (thanks for the assist, dude!) then rescue the prince of the sea-elves, who rewards me with the crystal vial which contains a sea elemental.
- I am taken by them to the shore of the sea, and continue my journey.
- I once more try to save (God knows why) the four struggling adventurers from the undead Warlord.
- I throw and kick the Warlord (reducing his Endurance to 7) and repeat the dose (reducing his Endurance to 4).
- After he misses three times (where were these rolls in my first attempt!!) I succeed again and put the Warlord down without him landing a blow.
- I once more chat politely with the adventurers, before having my Endurance restored and taking my leave.
- I dispatch the lead brigand with a poison needle (in the woods) while his comrades flee.
- I again trot into the town of Hasith. I note the reward poster, and follow Tyutchev (due to his theft of the Scrolls of Kettsuin) into the death trap (I mean, cellar) below the temple.
- I take Thaum out with a Shuriken, again earning +1 to my Kick Modifier.
- Tyutchev unfortunately wounds me with his sword, to the tune of 8 Endurance damage (down to 12).
- I defeat Mardolh (after getting the assistance of the water elemental), but at the cost of 3 Inner Force, and, after one wound, my Endurance is down to 8.
- I leave town and find Hardred, in the temple of Kwon in the next city, and regain a point of Inner Force. Awake to Mandrake’s plan to assassinate me, I deflect his thrown dagger (with my skill of Arrow Cutting) and again book a cruise to the Island of Plenty.
I simply have no choice. I leave the villagers and their daughter behind, promising faithfully to send a detachment of soldiers to help them.
And let the record show that, when I arrive at the camp of Kiyamo, he does in fact sent a posse of soldiers back down the road, and I relax knowing that “the villagers will be safe”.
I again get a delicious reference to the worshippers of the good Gods ‘laughing up their sleeves’ about the discomfiture of the evil god’s followers and I am informed that I am required to help defeat the evil army of :
- The evil Daimyo Jikkyu
- His evil lieutenant archer Akira (fresh from starring in an AWESOME anime);
- Their many evil followers.
Blah, blah, exposition, exposition. Essentially I am asked to penetrate the enemy camp and kill Jikkyu. Well, since I’m a bad-ass ninja assassin, I can hardly say no.
Interestingly, Gorobei is here, and volunteers to take charge of the Scrolls of Kettsuin, ‘in case I fail’. Suuuure dude, I can here you thinking selfish thoughts all the way over here.
More importantly, the healers treat me and I regain 5 Endurance (back up to 13).
Without much effort, I make my way past the sentries guarding the enemy camp, and kill one, taking his armour and weapons. Going the bluff, I walk boldly towards the main tent.
I have the choice of creeping around to the back of the tent, attempting to kill both guards (quickly and quietly, naturally) or approaching the guards, pretending to be a messenger.
I creep around the back of the tent, slit a hole in the back, and watch the two evil dudes plotting their strategy. After waiting briefly, I realise that I have been seen, so I quickly spit a Poison Needle at Akira.
The good news is that Akira dies on my poison. The bad news is that Jikkyu, apparently because I have successfully annoyed him, decides that this is a good time to adopt his ‘natural form’ of a demonic beast. I am treated to a lovely description of same, including such terms as ‘warty flesh’, ‘ochre-coloured’, ‘curving talons’ and a particularly delightful mention of fetid and rank breath.
Due to my shock, this creature grabs me around the waist and drags me towards its ‘snapping maw’.
Quick as a flash, I realise that the best move is to hurl the Blood of Nil that I salvaged from Mardolh’s death into its mouth. I need to roll a 5 or more on two dice to successfully do this. I get a 1 (yeesh) and a……5! Yes!
Long story short, the evil dude (technical name Arabaru-kami, a demon who can assume the form of a man) has been killed, and his army now scatters.
I am able, as I remember from a past life, to again take up a night’s residence in the guest quarters of Kiyamo, with an honour guard of seven samurai.
I wonder if I will sleep well tonight??
Stats : Endurance : 13, Punch Modifier : +1, Kick Modifier: +2, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 3
Awesome names : I have no idea if the authors made it up, but Arabaru-kami sounds suitably demonic.