In Chikushido, we wander closer to the volcano. As we come over the rise, we spy a stream that is black and flows like molasses. On the edge of it, there is a black smear and the plants are misshapen. Chuda Dakane points out it would be best for the group to head toward the head waters to see if they can find the source of the taint that is running through the land and purify it.
Bolodai spots something long and swimming in the stream, and Akodo Tokaji calls out and a head on a long, serpentine body emerges, oily and gross. They converse a bit, and while doing so, Dakane and Isawa Asano converse and think it’s an oni, potentially a very powerful one.
We press on along he ridgeline, with the snake following us in the water. We also think we are being followed by something else, but trying to figure out what takes time we don’t have.
As we press on, we see something bobbing in the stream. We investigate but the snake shoots forward to consume it before we can see what it is. We talk to the snake more to find it plans to expand through the whole realm.
On the other side of the river, we see something coming our way. It is walking drunkenly and going into the river upon occasion. Akodo Tokaji fires an arrow at it as a warning shot – and then it shoots back! We scramble because we did not expect that! It keeps firing and we discover it is a goblin. On the second round of combat, the snake creature goes to converse with the goblin. Dakane goes “this is bad,” and makes jade rocks fall out of the sky onto the snake and the goblin. And the goblin goes splat but the snake is perturbed by the strike. Isawa Asano fires void at it. It spews venom at Dakane, who makes a lucky dodge, and then sinks into the water.
We press on, and find a fog-covered valley where we believe the water is coming from. We see some washed up bones on the shores of the fog. As we go, a ways behind us we hear a feline roar behind us.
We press on, and hear a second roar which sounds pained. Up ahead in the fog it looks like an impact crater. Akodo Tokaji and Chuda Dakane elect to climb, and we see the crater is all dammed off by what looks like bones. We also hear things scrambling around at the top of the foggy dam – probably goblins. One goblin leaps down and stands up, stunned, and Akodo Takaji shoots it and blows its brains out.
A second goblin starts climbing down and Takaji shoots it, too. He kills the second one, hail the conquering hero. Takaji climbs up to scout. At the top, he finds a lake (from the dam of bones). In the center of the lake is a spire of rock with a cave in it. The cave is very dark, surrounded by black water that is very still. There is a grey haze filling the area around the area, and there is a dark black smudge that the sludge seems to be coming from and then a goblin came out. The goblin looked around and then went back into the patch.
The shadowy form of the wolf pokes out of the cave mouth. After a long moment, she catches the scent of Takaji and rushes him across the water. As he starts to climb down, there is the sound of a child’s cry that rips through the air like thunder.
Takaji frees from the thunder, leaps down, and flaps on his skin opens and he sails away while the wolf approaches the rest of the party.
Thanks to Ben for sake and the log and music
Thanks to DJ for DELICIOUS COOKIES