We decided to go and look for the missing geisha. Her ‘little sister’, a girl in training, told us some things about her. For one, she had the power to forsee the future. And she had left something behind. it was some kind of compartimentalised box. The bottom was carved in the shape of a mangolia flower, the top as a kappa (a creature half man half turtle). Inside were the cocoon of a silkworm, two stone rings of yellow and blue, and a string with three beads. I reasoned it must be clues. The box was also signed, and with the name we could find the merchant who’d sold it.
Fishermen told us the island was guarded by monsters that sink every boat approaching. So we traveled by land. They told us to follow the coast till we reached a huge magnolia tree.
When we reached the tree, I decided to look for a kappa. We found one, and he did know the geisha. He’d found her as a babe, and raised her until she was old enought to go to a temple of Irori. He warned us the merchant was a wizard, and obsessed with chess. He also gave us an item that would let us chanel the knowledge of the greatest chess player. This might be of assistance.
When we reached the mansion we found it empty. But we managed to reach the shadowplane with the owner’s magical chessboard. In there, it was a maze with loads of traps. But eventually we managed to use O-Yasumi’s clues to get through this maze.
We found O-Yasumi and her mother’s bodies, the soul apparently ripped out. And we found the merchant. he admitted to have trapped her soul with a magical ritual, but that the mother’s soul was lost on the shadowplane. We ended up killing him, and found out he was a lich. I reasoned his phylactery must be his chessboard, seeing as how it was magical, and how he obsessed over the game. So I broke it. And it turned out I was right.
We revived O-Yasumi. She asked for help reviving her mother, and we promissed we would as soon as we had the means. For now she should shelter the body.
Back in the city, the geisha guild was through to it’s word. They summoned a great many merchants and lesser nobles for a meeting with Ameiko. And she managed to convince them. The next morning an enormous caravan made ready to leave for the fortress.
It pained me more then I will ever admit, but I sent Ameiko with the caravan. The next two steps are not for her, and she will be safe in the fortress; or so I tell myself. But this will be the first time in over a year I will be away for more then a few hours or a day at most. Before she left I had a private talk with her, and I gave her a magical ring I had crafted. I’ve had it crafted so it will put her in a ‘shield other’ spell, so it should help keep her safe. Dara has proven enough how good this spell is. And I’ve used the matching rings we’d found earlier to have this made; the engagement/marriage rings. I’m sure Ameiko understands my unspoken message in this gesture.
The rest of us set off for the next city and it’s two objzctives: depose or kill a daimyo; and get three ninja clans to either join us or at least stay out of the picture.
At the gates Dara thought it was a good plan to provoke the Typhoon guards and test their mettle. This ended in a fight, which in turn showed those how know this stuff in our group that the typhoon guards are oni in disguise. It made things a lot harder to get in.
I decided to first go for the ninja; and we went to have lunch in the restaurant. Not knowing how to get in touch, I tried sending a message by just writing it down on a piece of paper and leaving that in my empty ricebowl for the servants to find. Next I remember is waking up on my back in another room. Some of us had had a talk, and we were invited to diner that evening. there we met the three heads of the clans. They promissed help if we managed to stop the Oni Mask ninja sent out to kill Ameiko and the rest of us.
But how to find a ninja? I have no clue about this; and I hope I can find an answer before it’s too late.
But first, there’s still a daimyo.