The Jade Regent

The Night of Frozen Shadows, Part One: Into the North

...or: Organized Chaos

This session took place over a month. Travel time to Kalsgard was 12 days, and the Wayward Sons have spent 18 days in Kalsgard so far. Autumn in the region around Brinewall was unseasonably cold, with snow already falling. Once the caravan traveled further north, temperatures climbed somewhat as the area around Kalsgard was having a late autumn heat-wave.

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger

The Wayward Sons and their caravan were in the Brinewall Castle courtyard. The Sons, along with Ameiko Kaijitsu (or Amatatsu Ameiko), had just experienced visions granted to them by the Amatatsu Seal, a powerful artifact discovered in the secret vault under Brinewall Castle. in their vision, they saw the Kaijitsu/Amatatsu family sword Suishen being sold to a Rashaman merchant years past. After discussing their plan with Ameiko, the Sons and the caravan decide that going back to Sandpoint would be too risky. With the Seal possibly being tracked by the Oni of the Five Storms, personally taking care of unfinished business in Sandpoint isn’t a viable option. Instead, the Sons decide to head straight for Kalsgard.

Three days into their travels, the caravan was beset by a storm. Wind, freezing rain, and snow began falling heavily. While Warlug was scouting ahead, he noticed four winged humanoids flying toward the caravan. As the flying figures neared them, the storm’s violence increased. The Sons were being attacked by Hala demons!

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With Warlug’s warning and Whiskey’s leadership, the caravans were circled up to protect the travelers from the aerial attack. The Halas called down hailstones first, then dove down to attack the Sons. The cover of the wagons protected them from the hailstones, which forced the Halas to more direct attacks. While Ameiko readied attacks against the Halas as they swept down, and Warlug and Johnny used their ranged weapons against the fiends, Mogmurch the goblin began throwing his bombs against the demons as they flew by. Unfortunately, the goblin’s aim was never true; his bombs started several small fires in the surrounding forest.

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As the Wayward Sons dug in their heels, their defensive tactics began to pay off. Kryspin was able to taunt a couple of the Halas. Johnny channeled divine authority to compel one to land in an advantageous position for the group. Warlug began using magical outsider bane arrows on the Halas. Ashik’s continued improvisational hate-fueled spoken word bolstered the group’s resolve. That is, until a Hala swept by and began to carry Ashik to the quickly spreading fire started by Mogmurch! Warlug boldly fired at the demon carrying Ashik toward the fire, only to strike Ashik instead! A prayer from Jambro mended some of Ashik’s hurt, while Kryspin taunted the Hala carrying Ashik. Ashik was dropped into the edge of the fire, but avoided the worst of it. “That’s not my fault, it’s how it goes!” being the oft-heard cry from Mogmurch’s hiding place under the supply wagon.

In spite of Mogmurch’s attempts to help, with the group now united in their defense, the Hala demons couldn’t stand up to them. The Sons defeated the Halas and recovered the covetous demons ill-gotten goods. Once they got the fire under control, they got back under way and on the trail.

They soon ran into a familiar face on the road: Jack Burton and the Porkchop Express. The Porkchop Express was heading toward Kalsgard, as well, laden with guns from the western dwarven clans for sale. Traveling with Jack was a wizard named Morokei. Jack and the Sons decided to travel together the rest of the way to Kalsgard.

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As the united caravan was drawing near to Kalsgard, they heard the sound of thunder over a nearby hill. The sound resolved into a rampage of rhinos! The caravan circled up and defended themselves as best they could from the power of the stampeding beasts. Once the animals had passed them by, the caravan was in need of serious repairs, which were tended to by Ashik’s mending spell, over the course of hours.

Two days outside of Kalsgard, the group noticed the ubiquitous ravens were flocking ever more closely. Jambro noticed a single raven, one as large as a small dog, with a single blood-red feather on its chest. Once noticed, the raven disappeared into the flock. Brevelek and Vankor both commented on the raven’s appearance as a bad omen.

That night, while camped at the crossing of the Skalsbridge, raiders dispatched from Kalsgard crept up to the camp in quieted boats. Despite their precaution, Ashik heard the noise of the raiders soon enough to give the Sons a few precious moments to prepare for the hostile’s arrival. Warlug prepared his bow, Johnny and Kryspin a defense, and Ashik began to invoke his performance. Jambro gave Kryspin night sight and then unleashed the first of several fireball spells at the raiders.

Even with the advantage of numbers, the Rashamani raiders were broken against the Wayward Sons. The Sons discovered that the fallen members of the raiding party each wore distinctive golden arm-rings: The rings each had the head of a lion on them. Further up-river, the Sons found the raider’s longboat, Aril’s Hammer. They briefly discussed keeping the longship, but decided (partly on Morokei’s advice) that the ship would be difficult to bring into Kalsgard and dangerous to try to sell, being that it belonged to someone. Johnny and the caravan members gathered the dead, put them on the longship, and set them off down-river in a blazing funeral pyre.

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After resting for the night, and tending to Jack’s friend who had dropped from a grievous ax-blow, the Sons and Co. made the final push into Kalsgard. They found themselves in a metropolis, a bustling commercial hub on the shores of Lakes Ashane and Mulsantir. The Wayward Sons caravan, along with the Porkchop Express, found their way to the Bone Quarter. Johnny, disturbed at the hunger and despair symptomatic of the quarter’s poverty, immediately set out to start making deals to begin employing more people. Warlug began his own exploration of the city, heading toward the Jade Quarter. Ashik similarly began his own exploration. Jambro went out on a sales call, seeing how the peoples of Kalsgard took to dwarven ’shine. Kryspin went off investigating about the lion-headed arm bands. Mogmurch took it upon himself to help Jambro with his sales: he found a local Gnomish distillery, which produced a whiskey called Throatburn. Mogmurch attempted to set the building on fire, and was promptly seized by city guards.

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Kryspin and Ashik independently learned of Mogmurch’s arrest, both of whom went to take care of the problem, in their way. Kryspin was arrested while trying to break Mogmurch out. But as luck would have it, a guard had slipped Kryspin a key in the struggle. Clearing knowing that Kryspin had committed no crime, and that even Mogmurch surely was repentant for his attempted crime. The Kender monk had little problem getting the two of them out of prison. One holocaust cloak later, and they were quickly out of the Stone Quarter and found their way back to the Bone Quarter.

While this had been going on, Ashik had also learned that shadowy people about town had been asking questions about the Sons. He was unable to learn more tangible information than that, however. After going by the jail and finding Kryspin and Mogmurch both gone, he began to head back to the Inn the Sons were staying at. On his way there, he was attacked by a rooftop sniper! He was hit once, but quickly found his way into cover. After spending time evading the mysterious attacker and using magic to disguise himself, Ashik made his way back to Johnny.

Before Johnny was re-joined by his comrades, he was confronted by a drunken man. The man, Gorvald, claimed that his favorite hunting hound was poisoned by Johnny. He demanded payment and an apology. Johnny was able to calm the man down and get more information from him. Gorvald was told by a hooded stranger, but once confronted about the facts, realized he had no grounds to accuse Johnny of the crime. Gorvald apologized and offered a small payment for making such a claim without proper proof.

When they were all back at the Inn, they decided to go out and check on Warlug, who no one had seen since they had gotten to Kalsgard (a few days had passed at this point).

Warlug, meanwhile, saw that he was being shadowed. Warlug used his ranger skills to not just lose his shadow, but ambush it! He was face to face with a Tian boy, no older than 15, named Kei. kei.jpg

Kei freely admitted to having followed Warlug and other members of the Sons. He said that a hooded man was paying him 5 gold pieces a day to keep an eye on them and leave a short written report under a hiding place in the Jade Quarter. Warlug demanded Kei lead him there, which he did. Once there, they found the barrel Kei reported under moved, and they were leaving by means of an alley when they were jumped. Warlug and Kei immediately went back to back, as eight tattooed, club and knife wielding thugs meant to kill either or both of them. While he was heavily out-numbered, with Kei’s quick help (mostly by distracting a few of the thugs) Warlug was able to beat down the thugs through brute force. A captured thug revealed that they received their orders from a hooded man in a tea house, the Golden Leaves. Kei knew where that was, and lead him there.

Once inside, Warlug accepted the hospitality of the hosts. That turned out to be a mistake, however, as his tea was poisoned. Warlug began to sense something was amiss just as he lost consciousness.

Outside, Johnny, Kryspin, Ashik, and Mogmurch were on the run from the law from a second arson attempt. This time, Mogmurch set a ramen stand ablaze with a torch he managed to get his hot little hands on. While another intentional fire was possibly spreading, Ashik noticed men in black bodysuits dragging and unconscious Warlug into the back of a wagon. They charged in, fighting with the ninjas of the Frozen Shadow Clan.

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The ninjas were forced to retreat, but managed to get away with Warlug and they left no bodies behind in the smoke.

Once the Sons returned to the caravan, they put Mogmurch in a kennel with strict instructions to Whiskey to keep him out of trouble. Kryspin began chasing down another lead, trying to discover exactly where Warlug was being held. Johnny and Ashik went to go check on the sword _Suishen_’s location, to talk with Fynn Snaevald, who bought the sword nearly fifty years before.

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After finding out that Fynn had been burglarized, with only Suishen missing, the Fynn and the Sons came to an agreement: If Suishen were recovered, it would almost certainly repay the blood vengeance owed Fynn. Since he cannot pursue his own ends in this, he would award the party with Suishen should they recover it in his name. They agreed to those terms, and Johnny and Ashik left after discovering the name of the man who sent the raiding party after them: Asvig Longthews. They also learned the general location of Asvig’s farmstead. They left, ready to meet up with Kryspin again, hopefully knowing where Warlug was being held, now.

Once they left, however, they were attacked by a ninja assassin! First, a trio of poison darts hit Ashik, then exploding shuriken briefly ignited Johnny. Once the duo got their bearings, they saw five ninjas hiding in the rafters of a nearby building’s overhang. The battle’s distance was closed up, as Johnny channeled his divine gifts to teleport the distance needed to close to melee. Ashik quickly moved up to back him up. After an intense fight and some serious prayer, they were able to weaken the assassin enough to put her to sleep. They bypassed the traps on her gear and took her bodysuit and weapons away. They burned a writ they found giving her emergency power to act signed by the King himself!

Simultaneously, Kryspin was in for a fight, as well. He was attacked by the same rooftop sniper that had attacked Ashik earlier. Kryspin closed the distance and began fighting her on the rooftop. Though she was a strong opponent, she sensed that Kryspin would take the fight. She took a moment that he offered her and the two spoke. In exchange for enough money to leave the city with, she told him that a man named Jorgan the Axe paid her to kill one or more members of Kryspin’s party. She agreed to take Kryspin’s money and leave town.

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Johnny and Ashik took their downed opponent to the City Watch. She nearly escaped the bonds that Johnny had placed her in. She was arrested, but the Sons heard that she escaped jail that very night. Whether they may face her again seems a forgone conclusion, the only question is under what circumstances.

At this point, the Sons have spent a total of 18 days in Kalsgard. Warlug was kidnapped yesterday. Mogmurch is still a wanted fugitive from the law. The raiding party that attacked the Sons was sent by a chieftain named Asvig Longthews, who holds a farmstead a couple hours walk from Kalsgard. Suishen was taken, most likely by ninjas of the Frozen Shadow clan. You all know that the Frozen Shadows are a clan of assassins, thieves, and spies from Tian Xia. Also, you all realize that you haven’t seen Jambro for nearly a week and a half.

Jambro won nearly 2,500 gold pieces in a game of Tian Xia dominoes at that time. He’s been in the Lily Bloom Pleasure House the entire time, in various stages of intoxication, enjoying the company of Iriyama Noriko, a courtesan.

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Comments

This was a great update. Thanks Josh!!

I think the city of Viking, ninja warrior, sage/seer like metropolis is pretty cool. Im torn between coming up with shit to do vs. realizing I will have to move on soon. I suppose first thing is first we get Warlug back. That means more Ninjas I bet. Hmm. Those guys have been a thorn in our side since we got to town.

I will be very leary of anyone in Pajamas when we get to our destination…

 
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