Before we start, Shiba Ran finds a good shooty spot, and Chuda-san hands Akodo Tokaji a katana of fire, and Hotaru a tetsubo of earth. Chuda Dakane importunes an earth spirit to answer our questions, and then the tree in the courtyard starts moving and turns red. “That’s a lava tree. Don’t let it squeeze you.” It snatches up Shiba Ran and starts to squeeze her.
The ground near Chuda Dakane starts to rumble… but nothing appears. Hotaru runs toward the tree but Shiba Ran breaks loose and runs like hell. Hotaru smacks it and it seems to hurt. It grabs up Akodo Tokaji AND Hotaru but Shiba Ran fires two rope-cutter arrows at once and cuts both of them free so Chuda Dakane can splat it with a spell.
Chuda Dakane comes tearing down the hill running away from both maggots Niku-Mizu and a terrifying land-octopus Gari Gosu no-Bakemono. Hotaru and Akodo Tokaji go into the smithy to get oil to light on top of the maggots. She crashes the oil in the alleyway and burns a lot of them, but the octopus grabs her and takes her behind the smithy, and two maggots start burrowing beneath her skin. Dakane slays it with a spell, and Akodo Tokaji starts slapping the worms away and stomping them flat.
Dakane starts doing surgery with his wakazashi but Hotaru slaps it away and hands him a knife. It becomes a battle of emergency surgery vs the crawling worms, while even more worms swarm around looking for receptive orifices. One burrows into Akodo Tokaji’s arm and Hotaru limps over into the fire to hide from them. Chuda Dakane blasts a bunch with Jade Strike. Once Shiba Ran finishes them off, Chuda Dakane quickly pulls one out of the Akodo Tokaji.
Wearily, Chuda Dakane heals up everyone while the earth Kami watches dispassionately. We are left with three realizations.
1) Whoever did this was poWerful. (Powerful with a capital W.)
2) Whoever did this skilled in maho.
3) Whoever did this knows how Phoenix would investigate.
The earth kami says that there was another monster, and it went up into the mines.
3 of the children iron went to the mines
17 were killed but walked west
13 were carried through a wound in the world that was carved by the blood of the moon (obsidian, particularly that deposit at Smoking Waters).
We decide that we need to rescue the people in the mines because they’re Iron Clan/Asako.
+1 for log
+3 for adventure
+1 to Ben for music
+3 to Ben for sake
+3 to Paige for mochi