Jade Regent

Frozen Rest

With the Storm Sphere destroyed and Katiyana as well, the caravan is relieved to be enjoying a day without relentless wind and snow barreling at them. The destruction of the Sphere drew in the polar sunlight and calm winds. No clouds in the sky, visibility stretching to the horizon. And slew of heroes very much needing sleep and food.

Sandru, Ameiko and Shelelu were quick to meet the PCs – bringing the caravan to them to reduce the time to walk back to where they were. Even Ulf got off his lead horse team to help bring Hazuki directly to Koya. Her ministrations were needed now more than ever. Sandru appeared in shock at seeing the woman warrior silent and still as she was carried over to Koya’s wagon. Indeed the rest of the caravan’s passengers were quick to jump down and help everyone get on board the caravan and head to relative shelter near the base of a nearby mountain.

Koya wasted no time, speaking to her god Desnu, she prayed hard and long, setting up ritual and candles and a LOT of incense. Finally achieving the conduit to the other side, she reached out to Hazuki who was still traveling the road of destinies. Puzzled, Hazuki responded.

“Hello? I know your voice!” Hazuki called upward.

“Yes my child you do know me,” replied Koyu. “As do many others who love you.”
“Am I….Is this death?” Hazuki cautiously asked.

“Death has already happened, young one. You are crossing worlds just now. But you do not have to. There is much to do still in this world if you choose to come back to it.” Koya began concentrating harder.

“Come back to it….Hell yeah I wanna get the bitch that did this to me!” Hazuki exclaimed.

“Very well, my child. Do you see the blue intense light behind you? Do you feel the warmth?”
“Yes.”
“Then walk toward it, Hazuki. And rejoin the living!”
“I will! Oh Koya! The Belt! The belt I am wearing! It’s cursed! Can you remove it?”
“I already have. Now hurry back! The portal won’t stay open much longer!”

Surrounded by campfire light and blankets and a few eyes staring at her, Hazuki woke up with a gasp. Sandru was behind her and lent a soft hand to her face- she jerked but then recognized his worn knuckles against her cheek sighing "maybe we can do more than share a meal? she meekly asked.

“All in good time, my love.” as he winked back at her softly.

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Kitayana - Sithud's Agent of Storms

FALL!!!!!!!!!!!

Desperate, tired and overspent from attacking this particular tower within the Nameless Peaks, the party finally made it to the top of the Storm Tower only to be matched by the raw power of the Murkozos Storms and of course, Kitayana herself.

Floating above a platform that itself was floating 50 feet above the party, The agent of Sithud, rained down unholy blight and other dark magicks unto the waiting heroes below. However, feeling emboldened, the PCs surrounded by a Freedom of Movement spell effect, managed to get in close to the transformed sylph and attack her directly.

But, things didn’t go that way. As the party closed in – Kitayana unleashed a greater command spell, with most of the group failing to overcome the spell mentally, they succumbed and tosssed themselves off of the tower – some 210 feet – to their death or severe injury.

Flailing, activating a ring in one case, and otherwise using the wind to lighten the fall — those than were “ordered” off the tower recovered in the wind blown snow below.

With a few of their friends still in peril above, the surivors must decide to risk going up and rescuing their compatriots now – or retreating and getting help – knowing that may never see their friends again…

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Storm Tower

After slaying a coerced White dragon that had her eggs stolen by a local town’s shaman, the caravan say their goodbyes to the Hearthmistress and chief, and headed out over the High Ice towards the maker of these supernatural blizzards. After a 700 mile trek in below freezing temperatures, the party left the caravan behind in relative safety and walked the remaining 5 miles to the base of the Storm Tower complex.

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A River Runs Through It...

After spending a week or so at the ill-fated cabin with the Witchfires, the caravan completed repairs and once again headed north towards Ijuiet; the last village before reaching the High Ice. According to Ulf, if the caravan can make it across the river before season changes – they will make it to the safety of the village in days.

Things don’t go as planned as a pair of Ettin and their bears attacked. Dodging a bullet -the caravan eventually made it the ford at Bearleg River. A mile wide with small islands spread through out, the caravan began to make its way to the river’s edge – but the scouts rode back warning of a large elk and woolery rhinoceros herd coming at them.

It seems, to the ettins, this was their herd. Regardless, the party quickly took care of the two-headed giants and the caravan dispatched the herd before attempting the crossing of the river. Upon crossing, however, the caravan was struck again – this time from above and below! Glacial Toads and giant gar began leaping out of the water and attacking without mercy. It seems to both creatures – this is their spawning grounds! A fact Ulf made as he cursed to himself trying to keep the animals together as they crossed.

Unfortunately, the battle didn’t go without its losses. Kioshi met his end with multiple attacks by the toads. It was a small miracle he survived as long as he did.

After the caravan made it across, Zac took Kioshi to a small outcropping of rocks and pine trees to bury his friend. Sandru said that Kioshi was among the most dedicated of their troupe. That he would sorely missed. Ameiko commented she no longer had anyone to make her laugh. Ulf simply said “its a miracle we didn’t all lose our heads!”

No one wanted an argument.

Instead they spoke underneath their breath – laying plants indicative to the tundra they were now in – and quietly left.

Safety was relatively close by.

Somehow, a goblin raid on a small sleepy town 6 months ago – seems like forever ago…

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The Cabin in the Woods

On the title…I couldn’t help it!

Scouting ahead, Kioshi and Zac came upon a fierce blizzard that was approaching the caravan from the north and east. Noticing a side road off the main trail, Ulf and the others, steered down the road coming upon a summer fishing and game spot for the locals. Tall Pine trees, Bearleg Lake and small cabins dotted crescent moon trail as it wrapped around a large wilderness lodge.

But there was no time to take in the scenery. Day had turned to a gray night as winds and snow had begun to overtake the caravan and its followers, even as they unloaded and secured their horses. However, Zac wasn’t about to enter an unknown without caution. He had thought he had seen a strange candlelight with a greenish glow from afar. But getting closer, he no longer saw it.

At first, investigations turned up nothing. Not quite abandoned as trappers had come in and off the road recently. The Scions of Kaijitsu even ran into two of them as they were settling in themselves. Strange but otherwise harmless on the outside, the Scions came in the rest of the way while the trappers either went to sleep or left to try and get more food despite the hellish blizzard outside.

The storm outside grew more intense. Lightning began crackling outside – scaring the horses and shaking the cabin windows. Sheylelu quickly lit a couple hearths downstairs, while Zac investigated upstairs.

Ignoring various moose heads on the walls and the like, he carefully went into several bedrooms looking for anything amiss. An understatement to be sure.

One room Kioshi discovered had a kind large cauldron. With old runes and journals, most of which were illegible. The cauldron itself was empty. In a nearby room, one of the trappers the party had met earlier snored heavily away – seemingly ignorant of Kioshi poking in and around him.

Silently, however, Kioshi tucked away his weapon and began to methodically go through this trapper’s belongings. A whetstone… ah we all have those, he says to himself. Several thundertwigs…perhaps for scaring game and capturing them…A flask of wine, though the smell seemed a bit off…or perhaps it was his nose still recovering from the frostbite.

A pocket where one shouldn’t be…and…what’s this?

Kioshi pulled out a large translucent purple gem, with a strange symbol on top of it. Counting his blessings, he tucked the gem away inside his tunic and quickly scurried downstairs to join the warmth of his friends and a fire.

But before he could make it all the way down – he noticed something rather peculiar. The snoring abruptly stopped.

Kioshi made his way back up the stairs, and the snoring continued – as did the man sleeping away.

Perplexed, Kioshi left the gem underneath the stairwell and raced back up the stairs to see if the gem and the snoring man were somehow connected. As if to answer his own question. They were. But he didn’t have much time to mull that over.

Going back downstairs, a thunderous pounding of the double oak doors shattered the relative quiet of the lodge. Outside, the other trapper that had gone out to look for more game began screaming to be let in.

Arianna, and others, opened the door to find the man’s face torn in anguish, the lines of his face dark with soot from ash and his brow newly cut.

“One of the cabins,” he exclaimed. “It’s on fire! There are people in trouble back there! I had to warn you!”

Zac and the others quickly began to gather their gear and head outside to confront the flames… but as Zac turned to walk outside, the trapper distorted and changed, extending an arm wreathed in sickly green flame and wailing. He was no trapper at all. But a horror of
nightmares long past. A witch hag that had died in rage and was reborn – into a Witchfire!

Her sister hag wasn’t far behind – dropping small pyrotechnics and bolts of fire everywhere to confuse and divide those inside the lodge. They summoned Wil-O-Wisps to attack their prey from behind!

And as if they all needed another challenge – the semi-supernatural storm raging outside – spawned two undead polar bears – as they charged out of the white darkness and through the front door!

Ameiko, Sandru and the others quickly put out the flames on both the cabins and two of the supply wagons – before joining everyone at the lodge to deal with the assault. In the end, the Witchfire’s grew too confident, and eventually were overpowered.

A long and burning horror of a night had just begun. With the caravan frightened and stopped by fierce weather, they hunkered down, lit hearth fires, and posted guards so a scant few that could go to sleep, could.

Dawn would take forever to come… and Ameiko knew it.

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The Five Storms...

Ninjas & Ravens & HOLY GOD a female Ogre Mage!

…Though Nemkitu had left the party to pursue his quest for vengeance, the rest of the intrepid group continued their assault on Ravenscraeg. Clearing away swarms of demon bugs, endless swarms of hungry ravens and of course Frozen Ninjas around every corner, the group managed to penetrate the dungeon levels looking for Suishen and Ulf Gormundr, the tracker and guide that went missing from Kalsguard.

Their search was met with ferocious force as they walked into a large antechamber with many locked cells. The chamber was filled with Frozen Shadow Ninjas and a woman that resembled the leader of the Rimerunners Guild. The company prepared themselves for a fight – as the woman disappeared behind a Tien (Japanese) style partition that was jet black in color. Luckily, before the fight, the Hakuzi and others discovered lying in a cistern, the fabled sword Suishen. It made its intent clear as it was carefully plucked from a deep well, identifying all of the members of the group – Scions of Amatatsu. The sword grew somewhat impatient as the PCs continue to battle the ninjas throughout the antechamber. Newly liberated member Zac, an elven ranger whose proficiency with a bow is unmatched in these parts, tore through ninja after ninja with deadly accuracy. Kyoshi dodge a few close melees and managed to turn their own game of stealth against them – stabbing one in the back – a look of shock in his eyes as he fell to the cold stone floor. Izme, Hazuki and Arianna continued to look for the woman that mysteriously vanished behind the veil but found nothing. Tenzen, undaunted by the amount of targets, promptly dispatched the remainder from a powerful spell he unleashed. It was at that moment – a hail of flaming arrows began raining down from the mezzanine level above. Invisible, the arrows found a few of the PCs but offered no target to fire back on. Zac concentrated on the firing pattern, then noticing out of more luck than anything, a humanoid form, large, coming in and out of invisibility. Without hesitation, he fired an arrow squarely hitting the concealed form and marking her. The form was no woman of Skald decent at all – but instead a red-faced grimacing ogre-mage. Kimandatsu, an Oni of the Five Storms. She howled in rage at being discovered and dispersed a powerful cone of cold that nearly destroyed everyone else in one blow. (get it…one blow lol!) Zac was out of the way of the blast, nearly everyone else had to crawl and stumble to get their footing – and consequently their life before trying to counter-attack. Kimandatsu tried to fire weapons down again – but she was met by a fierce flying raptor!!! Something straight out of the stories her elder ones would tell. The raptor fought, without mercy, against this abomination. Flanked by Hazuki with Suishen and falling alchemical bombs from Izme, Kimandatsu fell without much of a wimper or roar. She was utterly destroyed. Suishen, Guardian of the Amatatsu Family came alive – rising out of Hazuki’s hands. It lit itself in white hot flames, which then turned to an ice-blue color before dimming and falling back into place in her right hand. Ominously speaking “You have destroyed one of those that has caused much pain and suffering. Your heart has been tested. I have found it worthy. I will fight for you and together we will destroy the Five Storms of Minkai!!” Leaving the chamber, the heroes of Sandpoint ducked into a hidden hallway that led to a stairwell below. Tired, and depleted of spells and food. They cautiously made camp knowing they weren’t out of this yet. The secret door entrance provided some protection. Mostly because they knew they had killed everything above them. Still tired – but recovered, they set once again through a stone carved hallway and continued walking down the stairs. Hazuki led the way to a hidden trap. Unfortunately she triggered it. She fell 10 feet and was pinned against the right of the wall by an inverted spike wall that slammed into her. Bloodied she came out of it but nearly emptied all of her cure potions! Continuing into a nearby Treasure Room – they recovered bars of trade currency for the Rimerunners Guild as well as plenty of Tien and Kalsguard coinage. In the next room, they discovered fine wine bottles and SAAAAAKKKKKEEEE (inside joke ugh) as well! Once again, going down another set of stairs leading to Kimandatsu’s lair, the party had to fight off a pair of Samarai Stone Guardian constructs! Immune to magic and having the ability to shatter weapons, the fight nearly wore out the adventures from sheer breath, as it took a literal beating to cripple and defeat the magical constructs. Defeating them, they wearily continued into the lair, and freed Ulf Gormundr and consequently, a former pet of Kimandatsu was liberated as well. His name is Skygni, and though he is evil somewhat from torment; Zac easily befriends him and a slow building of trust and possibly kindness can set in. The PCs have rescued Ulf and received 2,400XP. For rescuing Ameiko earlier and the Winter Wolf without combat, another 2,400XP was awarded. You all may now prepare for the journey ahead – buy provisions, magic items, caravan equipment etc. Sandru has acquired another 2,000Gp for just that from Sneeval.
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Buttercup No More....

Buttercup decided vikings and ninjas were just too much before and took the next caravan back to Varisa. However, her twin sister, Ezmi (Not pronounced I’m easy), was looking for mischief and bottles to get into when she came upon Kyoshi and the others in the markets of Kalsguard. “Finally, an adventure!” she mused happily.

Taking her good fortune with her…and her bottles and um,, bombs, she followed the party to their current doom. A lone forboding fortress overlooking a cold wintery cliff known as Ravenscreag.

Her sister never made it back to Sandpoint, however. Agents of the Five Storms, realizing she was a member of the Kajitsu caravan, promptly staged a night raid one evening, and properly had her tortured and executed.

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In our last episode...

Having rescued Ameiko from a ruthless merchant crime lord, the heroes are traveling to an old fortress known as Ravenscraeg.

But first a small recap:

Jade Regent began, when you, the party, tried to help the small town of Sandpoint from a rather strange Goblin incursion. Turns out they had went a little crazy after looting some possessed treasure from several ships that once belonged to the Kitjitsu family. Ameiko’s lineage. After an finding evidence of her heritage and wanting to learn more, Ameiko and several of her closest friends joined forces with the PCs and began a long trek to Brinewall Castle.

Once there, and they discovered that the keep had been taken over by a strange Tengu with demonic powers and a harpy that served as both his mistress and his bane. With the help of an unlikely ally, the PCs defeated both baddies, and then delved into the dungeon beneath the keep where they found a confused ghost of Ameiko’s long lost grandfather. Once he calmed down – he revealed the Kitjitsu Legacy, and item that magically made all allies of the Kitjitsu Scions of Power – and freed Ameiko of a strange magically induced coma – giving her all of her historical knowledge of her family – and imparting the truth that she is the Heir Apparent to the throne in far off Minkai.

It was also revealed there is a family sword – one sold a long time ago to pay for the family’s ability to flee Minkai after it was taken over by Oni. The intelligent sword known as Suishan as sold to an old art dealer – and later stolen by a crime lord who also ran the corrupt Rimerunner’s Guild.

After defeating his ally in an old grand hall and rescuing a few maidens, the PCs met with the art dealer yet again – revealing he would relinquish the sword to them if they found it as a matter of honor.

The group then smartly infiltrated the Rimerunner’s Guild directly and discovered the location of a long abandoned fortress a few miles from Kalsguard.

A fortress called Ravenscraeg.

You have made it into this crooked, wind blown and bitterly cold fortress. Now you must see if you can survive this Night of Frozen Shadows….

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Onward to Kalsgard!

The hearty troop heads to an old fortress leaning off a tall blustery cliff in winter. Its halls filled with Tengu and presumably other more ancient terrors sure to test our heroes’ resolve…and their courage.

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Darkness before the Light

Of Trogolodytes & Ogres

A fitting end to things as the party that had set out from Sandpoint seeking to help a friend, finally comes upon their goal. But it was far from easy.

Through a stroke of luck, Nemkitu followed his nose down a hole in the 2nd floor of Brinewall Castle leading to the dungeons below. Having cleared out the castle of the original Oni, Kikoniu, and his Tengu and Dire Corby followers, the party decended into the depths of the dungeon eager to find what Ameiko knew would be here.

Almost racing through corridors and busting down old doors, the company fought bands of Troglodytes and later a strange ogre named Slugwort. A simple ogre that was holding a barbarian woman from the Linnorm Kings lands and otherwise seemigly confused as to why the newcomers were not already in cages.

Nemkitu, not waiting for Diplomacy grabbed one of the flaming burst arrows he had found upstairs, knocked it and fired it from his trusty longbow. The poor creature’s day ended badly. He exploded. Entrails, pieces of ogre flesh burned and otherwise seemed to fly everywhere. There was simply nothing recognizable from him.

Some good came from the carnage, however. Using a key they found in one of Slugwort’s possessions, they freed Keldar, a woman of Linnorm decent. Tight lipped at first – she admitted coming down there to loot the place when her comrades were butchered by the Dire Corbies and she herself was taken prisoner until Kikonui decided what to do with her.

Moving into what seemed to be the vaults – the party was confronted by a beautifully painted blue door with a sort of metal window that looked into the large room. Hearing voices from beyond, the door opened revealing an apparition of Pharasma, a diety known to be of rebirth and Good.

She called for everyone to come closer and to leave their weapons behind in peace. A few of them walked in – though Kyoshi and Buttercup resisted and stayed outside. A wise decision as it would turn out… the door closed and the illusions seemed to get stronger… This time the apparition begged everyone to claim their new gifts of power – some did drop their gear – but the phrase “Cunning like a Fox” – seemed to fit Nemkitu as he held on to his weapons though he could not disbelieve what was in front of him.

Then suddenly, the illusions disappered replaced by two flying octopus looking demons. Speaking in tongues and whispers, the demon began attacking with verocity everyone below. Arianna summoned a spider using her ring – which smartly grappled and stuck the creature to the stalagmite cieling for a time – while Kyoshi and Buttercup cicled around using a secret passage discovered nearby.

Being careless – the creature managed to break out of the web – only to fall entangled to the floor below. His mirror image disbelieved and with Kyoshi rounding the rear corner – the demon became trapped. Though he had nearly killed some of the party – his time had finally run out with decisive blows from everyone.

Recovering their strength from the battle – the party cautiously went forward finally finding the hidden vaults of Brinewall. Kyoshi checked their doors and gained entry…only to find they were empty. But to their east – a secret passage revealed itself – leading to yet another vault… and something else.

A wraith… A soldier that once was called Rokuru. A spitting image of the portrait hanging in the living room of Ameiko’s residence back in Sandpoint. It was her grandfather!

Rokuru pointed further west to yet another passage – hidden – revealing a cabinet inset in stone. Inside…they found the Warding Box. And the secret of Ameiko’s Legacy. The box is the color of Jade and has strange markings including some that match Ameiko’s family. With haste, the party stowed the warding box and heading out of the dungeon through another passage that led to the surface.

As the party walked briskly through the ruin of Brinewall village- something odd was happening around them. The gloom seemed to disappear – the lake near the cemetary seemed even more inviting. Flowers that were not there before had blossomed along the entire trail leading back to the caravan.

A sudden whisp of air startled the company as Spivey decided to make one last appearance.

“Leaving so soon?” she pondered. “You have done what I could not. Many will come here one day to settle. Desnu decrees it!”

“We were glad to be of help,” replied Kyoshi. “We must hurry now, one of our friends still needs help.”

“Not for long,” Spivey retorted. “She is awake, though not speaking yet. Her journey and yours is just beginning!”

Then mumbling something to herself – all of you feel warm and joyful inside as a blessing of Desnu rains upon you. She waves back to you all – as you find your way back to the undergrowth and Sandru’s waiting caravan.

Hazuki looked over at the rest of the company. “They won’t believe us.” she said walking through bushes and high grass.

“They won’t have to, " replied Kyoshi. “I suspect Ameiko will tell everything for us. It is WE that won’t believe – life is full of surprises..and if we’re fortunate, it will be profitable too!”

The Adventure Continues with Jade Regent Part 2: “Night of Frozen Shadows”

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