The palanquin explodes, creating a huge dung colored cloud that blankets the rocky gorge. Smoke pots rain down around it, leaving choking fumes behind. Visibility plummets to a few feet only. The explosion echoes around the mountains.
The Monk is undeterred by the fragments that pepper his skin, and emerges from the upper end of the smoke-choked gorge to see the two ronin readied and waiting calmly for him!
He is quickly feathered with several arrows from one ronin. The second calmly walks toward him and strikes him down with a single blow from a naginata. He then turns his back on the monk and nonchalantly walks back to his partner. The bearers are clustered behind them, defending them.
While this is happening, the samurai with Lady Masamune fire humming bulb arrows. Those, and the pall of smoke quickly attract the Horiuchi and Yonaka who arrive on horseback. They can do nothing. When the Horiuchi stealthily rides to a vantage point that would let him spy down the trail to the ronin ambush, he is seen by yet another archer who quickly puts a shaft into his unarmored self. Today he cannot get closer.
The Hida emerges, coughing, from the cloud of dung smoke. As he walks forward he is struck one-two by armor piercing arrows. He surveys the potential fight, and senses more than hears that there are others, not allies, nearby these ronin. He picks up the monk and walks back into the cloud. Another time, then.
The monk is near death, wounded almost fatally. Also he bleeds tainted blood onto everything. Once his wounds are stabilized, he can be moved again. The Lady has taken a roundabout route to where she sees eight men walk around the shoulder of the mountain. Hoh.
Time to return to the keep. The Lord ponders how rashly his men burst from their small fortress and ran pell mell into the hills. Another ambusher could have been very lethal had they known. After some discussion, the Hida agrees to help further their training.
Lord Mirumoto Yonaka looks at the simple house where the Monk almost bled to death. “Burn this down,” he says. The headman, deeply mortified at his terrible luck simply bows in response. There will be two smoke clouds this day.
The mood of the samurai at Last Light Castle is a restless mood. Change is once again upon them and there is little they can do about it. The Lord has asked the Crab, aka the Little Mountain amongst them, to bring more order to their ranks. Which he will do, Crab style.
2 exp points.
Brock used One Bennie Point.