Topaz Magistrates

Bells of the Dead Part II

The Quest to Clear Usagi Ozaki and the Hare Clan

As the tsunami hits Friendly Traveler Village, everyone tries to find shelter. Some succeed, some don’t. People are taken into Yasuki Taka’s home and others pack into the inn. Some ride their horses onto the roof.

Winter, from the vantage point gained from the back of her horse on the roof of the inn, spots a small boat out in the harbor. She also sees that the tsunami is very localized, hitting only the area around the village. This is more than a little odd.

The group checks on Usagi Ozaki and are able to get one bit of information from him: “Fox has Hu Xiang.”

But before the group on act on this, another tsunami hits.

The group decides they need to get out to the boat in the harbor and they request the use of Taka’s Iron Turtle boat. They catch the boat and a fight ensues.

It is here they learn the fate of Kitsune Hamato and see the reappearance of Koda. Hamato is behind the tsunami attacks and Koda is in his employ. The group subdues the crew, kills Koda (again), and capture Hamato. Before they can learn much from Hamato, he collapses in pain and a small creature (obviously an oni) bursts from his chest. It looks like a small hairless fox. Before it can flee, Kyuzo smashes it with his tetsubo.

On the boat, the finds one of the 12 Bells of Hu Xiang.

They return to the monastery and use the bell to free Ozaki. They learn more on the bells and worry that a Shimushi Gaki (ghost with many faces) is loose.

The group along with Ozaki confronts Taka and he confesses to being a part of the conspiracy known as the Kolat. He lied about the Hare’s involvement with Maho because the Hare were already doomed and he saw an opportunity. Years ago, he saved a dying Phoenix shugenja who was involved with Maho — Asako Nakiro. He then blackmailed the Phoenix for years and used the money to build up the Yasuki holdings including Friendly Traveler Village. He agreed to denounce the Hare to remind Nakiro that he was still around and still knew what he was.

Taka asked the group to take care of his problem (Nakiro) and in return he would recant his testimony and help the Hare Clan clear their name and pay to rebuild what they had lost. The group and Ozaki agree.

The group sets out for the Shrine of Hu Xiang in the hopes of learning of Nakiro’s whereabouts.

After a few days of travel they reach the shrine and learn that all 12 bells were replaced with fakes and confront the priest at the shrine. They ring the bell and it like Hamato an oni bursts from his chest. This one looks like a huge fish with 12 mouths and tentacles that it uses for legs. This oni proves tougher than the last one, but the group prevails.

Then the ghost Hu Xiang appears before the group and tells them to follow him.


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