When we last left our intrepid ninja, he was ascending a spiral staircase to an unknown destination.
At the top there is an insignia with four symbols – a snake, tiger, pegasus and dragon.
Aside : Serious Game of Thrones flashback right about now.
For some reason, I have to turn the dial to one symbol, and then note my choice for further purposes. A tiger is the obvious choice. Almost too obvious. Wary of a bluff, and while thinking of Daenarys, I choose the dragon.
I then enter a dark room, only lit by moonlight from a single window. There is an exact double of me (!!) resting in a casket, with a dragon symbol marked in ash on his (its?) chest.
Just as I’m taking all this in, a shadow rises from this figure and flies towards me. To counter this threat, I have to select a single martial arts move from the Way of the Tiger. I guess that ‘Block’ and ‘Dodge’ aren’t eligible options, nor is ‘ignore shadow because a shadow can’t hurt you’.
I go for a Dragon’s Tail throw, as (1) it corresponds with my choice of dragon and (2) it combines evasion (as in ducking to the floor) together with aggression.
I meet the ‘deadly shade’ with my chosen move, and send it flying off into the distance, while adding 2 to my Spirit score (up to 17).
My double rises in its casket, as I awaken from the ‘nightmare of Vile’.
I (re)materialise in an enclosed chamber, with a glowing Orb doing the job of a light bulb in the ceiling.
I can divide my ‘Spirit’ score between Endurance (maximum of 20) and Inner Force (maximum of 4). I select Endurance of 13 and Inner Force of 4.
A gigantic glistening brain (!!) manifests itself on the floor. After apologising for being a left-over prop from a 90s horror movie, it does a standard villain monologue, where it admits that, in an attempt to stop me, it acted as a conduit between my mind and the Abyss (ie. hell) to summon my greatest enemies to face me. I guess that explains why people like my shieldmaidens and Grizell didn’t make an appearance.
In any event :
- The brain transforms itself into a snake, probably because the book’s quotient of spiders had been well and truly exhausted;
- Glaivas and Dore reappear from the spiritual realm, presumably having won their own spiritual battles.
I decide that a throw is not my preferred option against this creature.
Gee, and I thought that a Dragon’s Tail was going to work against a snake (!?)
Since I’m here as part of a team, I elect to dodge out to the tail while Dore and Glaivas meet it head on.
In the next paragraph I learn that this creature has the delightful name of ‘Mind Maggot’ (and you just know there is a teenage heavy metal band somewhere in Europe with that name) and that while I attack, it counters Glaivas’ blow by wrapping him in its coils.
More importantly, another Dore appears and battle the first, who is apparently a projection under the control of the Mind Maggot.
In something fresh out of the original Alien movie, a miniature form of the Mind Maggot (hereafter MM) drops from the mother’s (!) body and launches itself AT MY FACE. Luckily my skill of Arrow Cutting comes to the fore, and I manage to twist its head off at my first attempt.
Yes, the mild-mannered Avenger doesn’t take any guff from baby Mind Maggots!
I can hurl my Blood of Nil vial at the MM, throw my vial to Glaivas for his use or summon up Inner Force for an Iron Fist blow TO THE FACE.
As attractive as the last option is, I prefer to utilise the potential of a team effort by tossing the (deadly) vial over to Glaivas.
Glaivas manages to smash the bottle open over wounds he has caused to the MM. As the MM writhes in agony, the evil Dore double (who presumably has a wicked moustache / goatee combination) vanishes, as the real Dore performs a sweet Highlander-eue move and removes the MM’s head from its shoulders.
The remainder of my allies from the Rift appear, as the scene once more dissolves.
Stats : Endurance : 13, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 4