Alright, I’m slightly more alert now than for my previous entry.
Aside : For those that care, my client’s Trial as listed today settled after 7 (!!) hours of negotiation and, frustratingly, settled for an amount that was literally (yes, literally in its proper sense) ONE FREAKING PER CENT different from an offer of settlement which we made in NOVEMBER 2015.
Chigeru and I reach Nara, a city bounded by a cliff face on one side and with an outer wall of ‘stamped earth’.
After making the nodding acquaintance of some well-crafted descriptive dialogue, we come to the (5 storey) denizen of the Daimyo. On the top story we can see a flag, obviously representing our goal.
Chigeru, again using an honourable approach that is both admirable and, you know, stupid, advises me that he intends to make a try for the flag during the daytime since a ninja such as myself will have a greater chance of success during the night.
I can also attempt a daytime assault, wait until night (hoping that he is unsuccessful) or just try elsewhere.
I don’t want to be reliant on another competitor’s failure (also known as the Steven Bradbury method) so I resolve to directly compete with Chigeru during the day.
Chigeru acknowledged my intent and then uses some kind of ninja-hypnosis-fu to bluff his way past the samurai at the gates.
I can climb the outside structure to the roof (Climbing skill not needed) or grab some armour and attempt to bluff my way past the samurai.
I don’t trust my acting ability that match, plus (notwithstanding movies) it is extremely improbable that I could find an outfit which would convincingly fit me.
Naturally, since I am not doing this at night, my black ninja costume attracts some attention from the street below, as they note my ascension up the palace wall. Certain spectators take things a little further than that, with a samurai bowman taking aim at my climbing form.
Not even a cursory phone call to check whether this is part of a David Copperfield stunt.
Anyway, this busybody samurai reckoned without my (apprentice) mastery of the Arrow Cutting skill!
While climbing up the wall, I observe the archer, track the path of the arrow, catch it LIKE A BOSS, throw it aside and continue my climb, making it to the roof.
No comment on whether I bow in appreciation of the undoubted applause from the crowd watching me from below.
I reach the roof, and see that the flag is guarded by a kind of spider’s web, with the remains of various seekers entangled in same, including Chigeru’s severed head (!!)
Some kind of half teenage girl / half spider emerges and makes it clear that her mission is to stop any followers of Kwon from retrieving the flag.
The book’s illustration is the feature image, but can I also just mention the below picture, from the comic book SAGA (Brian Vaughan / Fiona Staples). Its a fantastic mix of Star Wars, Romeo and Juliet and a soap opera.
Read it. Seriously. I’ll wait.
In an event, I have a choice of martial arts moves. Given her body shape (!!) I don’t think trying a throw would be effective. I therefore go for the Forked Lightning Strike kick.
When turning to the next page, I see that anything but three specific moves (of which mine wasn’t one) is apparently ineffective, and I find myself trapped by webbing against the wall.
I have to use a point of Inner Force to strike her with an Iron Fist punch, and then free myself. I can throw flash powder into the fire, go for a Shuriken / Leaping Tiger combo or alternatively go straight for the flag.
I think a ‘run at the flag’ option is foolhardy, given that this woman / spider combo will still be able to kill me, even if I am still holding the flag.
I throw a Shuriken and with a follow-up move try to kick her IN THE FACE.
Her defence against my combo attack is 7, meaning I need 8 or more on two dice. And I get…..
In a result slightly less awful than expected, I’ve lost my shuriken, but still get a secondary option. I can throw flash powder or go straight for the flag.
I still think I need to take out this enemy first, so the flash powder option is a go!
Briefly, while this creature is shielding her eyes from the resulting flash, I grab the flag and manage to scramble down the wall to the street below!
Strike one for the good guys!
Stats : All modifiers : 0 Endurance : 19, Inner Force 2, Shuriken 3