Session 47

Taian (5/5)

Seeing the outmatched guards attempting to fend off the dragon and its zombie followers, the characters spring into action. Kumiko runs up, tells the guards to flee, and then attacks one of the big, growling zombies. The guards, not knowing who this young girl ordering them around is, decide to stand fast and attack the dragon with their spears. They all miss horribly.

Three of the four zombies gang up on Kumiko, but their makeshift clubs — broken bits of wood and metal from the wreckage of the market — fail to connect. The last zombie, however, bashes in the head of one of the guards, killing him instantly. At this point, the dragon screeches and blasts the remaining guards with a noxious cloud of necrotic gas, causing their flesh to bubble and burst. They all scream and writhe in intense pain as they collapse — their faces frozen in agony.

Asami joins the assault and attacks the first big zombie, ripping a huge hole in its abdomen. Saeko follows up on Asami’s attack and almost, but not quite, drops the zombie, so Miyo steps in and destroys it with a fire bolt.

The zombies attack and miss Kumiko. The dragon, however, does not. It rends her armor with its claws and fangs, but Kumiko stands firm.

Asami continues to focus on the zombie threat. Between her sneak attack damage and Miyo’s fire bolt, they almost manage to take out another one. Saeko attempts vicious mockery on the dragon, but her potent words don’t find a home in the dragon’s ear.

Kumiko finishes off the zombie standing between her and Asami, does more damage to another zombie, and then uses menacing attack on the dragon. It recoils in fear from the sight of the mighty samurai standing before it.

Because it is menaced by Kumiko, the dragon has disadvantage on all of its attacks, and therefore misses. It’s a tactic that dramatically shifts the balance of power in the fight. With the dragon on the defensive, the characters gain significant momentum.

Sako moves out of range of the dragon’s breath weapon and opens fire with her longbow. Asami takes advantage of the dragon’s distraction to land multiple blows in vital areas. Miyo supports her companions with her ranged spells.

The rest of zombies die quickly, and Kumiko keeps the dragon menaced throughout the rest of the fight. Though it attempts to defend itself, the dragon succumbs to the combined might of the characters, finally falling to Kumiko’s blades.

Saeko revives the guard who was smashed by the zombie, but realizes that the other guards are too far gone to be helped. The characters catch their breath and tend to their wounds while Saeko plays a song of rest.

The group doesn’t debate for long before they decide to run to the Palace District to engage the third dragon. They get to the gardens in front of the palace, where they are confronted by a sea of carnage. Dozens of dead guards and zombies surround the very-much-alive, black, shadow dragon. Two brave guards stand between the dragon and the doors to the palace.

The characters spot Fujiwara Shizu, the daimyo’s sister, lying on the ground — her ornate kimono scarred by a blast of necrotic acid. Kumiko runs straight up to the dragon and focuses all of her resolve into a powerful scream that causes it to cower in fear.

Saeko, on the other hand, runs over to Shizu and checks for signs of life. Unfortunately, it appears that she took the full brunt of the black dragon’s breath to the chest, and is beyond help. Kumiko tells the guards to save themselves, but, bound by duty, they stand fast.

Miyo hits the dragon with a crackling, blue, witch bolt, shocking it and sending arcs of electricity cascading over its scaly hide. Kumiko follows Miyo’s attack with one of her own, and Asami gets in a particularly well-placed sneak attack. Saeko hits it with an arrow from her bow, and one of the guards actually manages to slip the point of his spear between the dragon’s scales.

Unhappy with the sudden onslaught, the dragon disengages and takes to the sky, flying in the direction, the characters realize, of Mizuta. With the dragon no longer a threat, the characters breathe a sigh of relief, and then switch into triage mode, trying to help out where they can.

In the hours that follow, the find out that Watanabe Isako, the Captain of the Guard, was seriously injured, and most of the city guard were wiped out. Sagawa Sadako, the four-tailed kitsune who ran the Shrine of the Southern Wind and advised the daimyo on matters spiritual, was killed. Mitsuhide, their shugenja kitsune companion who now runs the Shrine of the Frog King, was injured. They also find out that Suzuki Ichiro, the big boss of the Golden Hornets, is now dead, though his son Tetsuo survived and has assumed control of the organization.

As the characters discuss the increasingly severe attacks on the city, Kumiko becomes convinced that the city manager is behind the cult and doesn't believe that Ichiro is really dead. She believes that going to Mizuta is the next logical course of action.

They return to the Dancing Fans district to clean up the theater and take a long, well-deserved rest.