Ochimo

The Heroes receive word that their services are required: their families have loaned them to the Ko family of the Mantis Clan in return for the clearing of some debt or another. The Ko, having seen their capabilities and friendly ties, approach the group with word of a problem they have. A dangerous problem.

The samurai journey to Ikari Isle, nearly a week’s journey over harsh seas to the southeastern most of the Mantis’ Islands of Spice. They learn of disappearances, ghostly warriors, flying spectral nightmares, blighted crops and slain livestock.

The Heroes explore the lush jungle island, tracking down clues and fending off dangerous panthers, snakes, quicksand and other jungle dangers. A strange, speaking serpent crosses their path after several frustrating attempts by the shugenja to contact the spirits for aid. The serpent goes to great, hissing lengths to explain that the Kami of the Island, and all the lesser kami, could not possibly be enslaved into silence by the newly returned Opawang…the Dead Spirit King. Appraised of their enemy’s name and power by the serpent’s tongue, the heroes continue.

Eventually, they make their way to the hidden heart of evil within the jungle: a corrupted, ancient city within a stinking, twisted swamp. A Garegosu No Bakemono strikes at them, nearly killing the entire group. Within the three walls of the tainted Opawangchicheng, the heroes face dark attackers, eventually penetrating to the lair of the four Ochimo – the Spirit Warriors. The heroes engage them, defeating them, but losing Soshi Anaga and Kuni Bukijo in the process.

With the dawn, aid comes in the form of Shuzento and Mariko, delayed from an earlier meeting. Their ranks refreshed, the group spearheads its way straight to Opawang’s lair, engages him. Shuzento-san, having been meditating on an earlier clue, receives sudden enlightenment: Opawang has hidden his black Shadowlands heart in one of the thirty lanterns about his haven. He shoots out two, to no avail. Closing his eyes and letting the shot happen, his luck holds true – the arrow strikes and destroys the foul heart and Opawang fades as his city begins to crumble.

(Ochimo was based on elements of Ochimo: Spirit Warrior by TSR, Inc.)

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