First Session (11 page pdf) – We teleport into the capital city, Kasai, to free our thick-necked ally Hatsue and link up with the resistance. We fight the Typhoon Commander, stone tigers, long-necked freaks… Then it goes all Japanese horror movie on us!
In D&D 3.X fashion, we glom onto the ‘scry and teleport in’ tactic as a winning combo. We port in, waste some guards, grab Hatsue, port out. They didn’t even disguise some oni as her or mentally dominate her or anything, which is pretty softball we thought. I gave her the Thundering Blade of Sugimatu so she could kick some butt, we all kinda like her.
Then we go on a rice-liberation run and fight big stone tigers with dimensional gates in their stomachs, or “tao tieh.” I (Yoshihiro) have a pet bag of devouring. Like really – it was a cursed item I got a long time ago, I discovered it wasn’t a bag of holding when it tried to eat my arm. Since then I’ve kept it as a weird pet (Yoshihiro’s Japanese, so weird pets are de rigeur). I feed it odd pieces of loot we don’t want and talk to it. The party tolerates that well enough. But I had to sacrifice it in this fight – I was being attacked by two of these things and knew I couldn’t take all their attacks, so fed it to one of them. I reckoned that it would go bang just like when you mix bags of holding and portable holes and stuff, and I was right. But I did give a good long scream of grief and rage when it happened. “SACKY! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” And thus did my pet bag of devouring save me from evisceration by a big stone tiger.
Then we head off to the sacred island of the emperors, which is nice and Asian fantasy chic. We fight a freaky long-necked hag woman thing what like they have over there.
My favorite part was when we found magical instruments on a little stage on a mini-island in a decorative pond. I proposed we all play the instruments to soothe the spirits. We played well; it didn’t have any game effect but I could picture us all sitting there, in a pagoda with the leaves falling, playing a tune while the many spirits of the imperial island looked on…
At the end we met the ghost of Emperor Shigure, who was hard to deal with, he kept going all shaky-face-staticy on us like ghosts do in modern Japanese horror movies, which was cool. Now we’re off to recover his body from some demon chasm.