Here we go.
As this incarnation of name-to-be-inserted-later-by-Grandmaster embarks on this quest, I’ve decided that my character is, while fundamentally a ‘good’ person, still blinded to a degree by youthful ambition.
To that end, I will be having a narrow focus on the individual achievement of attaining the ‘flags’ and winning the contest, rather than necessarily stopping to help every oriental damsel in distress.
I do select the same three skills as for attempt 1, and resolve carefully to avoid losing my shurikens, ninja equipment and dignity.
I strike out on my own towards Nara, eschewing the party assisting Singing Wind and following instead the route chosen by Chigeru.
As I stroll past various villages and farms, I eventually make my way past some beautifully written descriptive dialogue before discovering three worshippers of Vile tormenting a bound figure who is clearly Chigeru.
For some weird reason I observe one of them stab Chigeru without drawing blood. As I leap into the fray, I note that Chigeru manages a Teeth of the Tiger maneuver (while tied up!) breaking the neck of one of his torturers. The third enemy falls back as I engage with the ‘lead’ villain.
I first hurl a shuriken AT HIS HEAD but roll a 2 (!) meaning that the Shuriken sails off into the wood.
I opt for what I hope is the surprise option, remembering that Yaemon, the supreme follower of Vile, was vulnerable to the Dragon’s Tail throw.
I need a 6 or more to succeed, and get a 4.
His responding Cobra Strike jab hits, and does 3 damage.
Leaping Tiger kick!
Both the Vile follower (in all senses of the word) and I roll a 7, meaning we are both unsuccessful.
Alright, this dude has a starting Endurance of 12, and I roll the maximum (6) for damage, giving me 6+2 = 8 damage worth of kick TO THE FACE!
The responding roll of 3 means I laugh in the face of his ineffectual assault.
Endurance : Me 17, Reverencer of Vile 4
Stick with the kick!
My roll of 8 (to hit) and the 3 + 2 = 5 for damage make this combat a piece of history.
The final enemy dashes in, having waited, in true action movie fashion, until I had disposed of his ally before initiating an attack.
Without breaking stride, I slam him with parallel chops onto either side of his neck, now watching as he begs for mercy.
My ambitious attitude doesn’t extend to flat-out murdering people who have surrendered to me, so rather than adminstering the coup de grace, I demand information in return for my mercy.
My submissive enemy admits that they were sent to patrol the area, searching for followers of Kwon to waylay.
Aside : Waylay is just one of those cool words, isn’t it? Conjures up images of gentleman robbers like Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood. Speaking of which, did you know that Olivia De Havilland, Flynn’s frequent co-star, just turned 100 (!)
Anyway, my captive admits that he understands a follower of Nemesis tipped off their weaponmaster as to our movements. ‘He’ (and I’m unsure as to whether it means the follower of Nemesis or the weaponmaster) is known as ‘the Dagger’.
As scary nicknames go, I’ve seen better. At least his nickname wasn’t ‘Truffles’ or ‘Marbles’.
Since we’re not gonna kill this dude, we cut him loose and watch him make his humbled way off down the road.
As I turn to the next paragraph I get the disappointing but unsurprising news that my shuriken has vanished into parts unknown.
I compare notes with my fellow competitor, before plotting his (non-violent) downfall.
Stats : Endurance : 17, Inner Force 3, Shuriken 4