L5R : Jade Winds

All Eyes on the Prize

After a great deal of wrangling, our fearless leader, Mirumoto Yonaka, decides1 that the Tamori will take her own fire potion and use it on the door with the five kanji, while everyone else stands back. His reasoning is that the lost Phoenix is hiding behind it2.

Tamori Yuriko does so and immediately erupts into a ten foot diameter ball of blue flame. She puts her hand in the door, and it sinks in. The stone begins to pulse, becoming pinker and ruddier, and the kanji become incandescent. There is a smell of ozone, and the door irises into its frame. The kanji hang in the air for a moment before fading away. The room is dark, and the air is old and stale3.

With her glowing orange eyes4, Shosuro Naoki can see that the dark room is a hemisphere. There are archways around the perimeter, but these are misted over. A bowl sits on a pillar in the center of the room, and floating above it is a black sphere, covered with irregular knobs. Flakes of something are falling off the sphere.

Creaks and pops can be heard from the statue of the centipede near the door, which is also shedding flakes of accumulated detritus. The creature is waking up, coming out of its long sleep in response to the opening of the door. Other noises can be heard throughout the building, indicating that the other “statues” are awakening as well.

The party retreats into the room as the centipede finally breaks free. While the Tamori studies the sphere, the others do battle with the centipede creature, except for Ernestu, who hangs back to “guard” the Shosuro5. As the Tamori is looking at the sphere, it opens a huge central eye — she realizes that it is alive, and a threat to everyone. She turns her attention to the bowl, which is covered with strange lines and symbols6. Using the spell Reflections of Pan Ku, she learns that the bowl is a powerful mechanism7 that controls the elements and the island.

Beholder
(Classic D&D Beholder cough Oni)

After a brief battle, the Hida is able to strike the final blow8 on the centipede. At about the same time, the Tamori turns on the bowl, focusing all the fire kami within on the black sphere, which is actually a powerful Oni with many eyestalks9. The fire kami burn the creature badly10, but before it can be destroyed, one of its eyes shoots a beam at Franku, who has just asked “Do you think we’re safe now?” The beam is Balefire11, which disintegrates Franku and wipes his very existence from the timeline12. Then the fire kami deal another devastating blow to the Oni, and it is no more. The loss of Franku shocks everyone into silence for a moment13, but soon sounds of more creatures approaching stir the party to action.

Two Oni with the torsos of a cuttlefish and a lamprey charge towards the door from opposite sides, as the Tamori uses her command of the bowl to slam the door shut. The cuttlefish gets through and does severe damage to the Hida with its many pairs of legs. The Tamori, trying to be helpful, unleashes chain lightning on the creature, vaporizing it but damaging everyone else except the Hida in the process14.

As the party stands down and regroups, they see that the Tamori’s eyes are glowing pools of Void15. She has been slightly wounded16 while experimenting with the bowl, but otherwise appears unharmed. The outside arches are now open, and filled with steam and water vapor, as the Tamori has turned on all of the fire aspected magic. This also causes a large part of the surrounding area to lift into the air, although the steam makes it difficult to determine how much of the island is involved, and how high it is flying. The Tamori determines that she can actually direct the fire kami to shoot at various targets using straight trenches cut into the earth17.

A discussion about what to do and where to go begins, with the Tamori gleefully contemplating the possibilities for striking against the gaijin and their Mitanaka allies18. The first target, suggested by the Shosuro, is the bridge built by the gaijin to facilitate their invasion of the Dragon lands, and the Tamori agrees.

Though he is his usual taciturn19 self, the Hida makes sure to keep the Tamori in sight at all times.

1 i.e. overrules everybody
2 um… no.
3 this color text brought to you by kugelblitz
4 just pretend not to notice
5 and by “guard” we mean “attempt to keep out of the fight as much as possible”
6 like a circuit board
7 i.e. artifact
8 FINALLY!
9 i.e. a Beholder
10 104 points damage!!!
11 see Balefire
12 THEY GOT FRANKU!
13 “I dip my sword” (KoDT)
14 ow ow ow ow ow
15 uh-oh
16 well it RHYMES with uh-oh…
17 “Stay on target”
18 “Well, I don’t know where Ramsgate is!”
19 broody

Three experience pointsA1

A1 No! Ramsgate is a PEACEFUL planet.

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