A once inhuman creature leaves murder and destruction in its path. A mysterious sword is stolen, a shipment of fine art goods goes horribly awry, as the sinster cult of the Dragon, tries to resurrect its once fallen powerful leader, Fin Fang Foom from the dead.

Will the PCs stop the evil Dragon cult in time, or will the evil Fin Fang Foom, rise again to rule the lands.

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Back in the temple
After Tamiko was killed, we were shocked to discover that Quan had died while minding the horses. My theory is that, although he wasn't with us, he felt Tamiko's death and it sapped his will to live. Either that or he was so focused on his katana that he neglected his furs when nightfall caused the temperatures to drop. We buried him there and took Tamiko back to town.

In town we sold one of the gems we found for 40 ch'ien. I had never held the 8 ch'ien that was my share, let alone 40. I spent about half on some scale metal armor and the rest I will save. Tamiko's family sent along a cousin of Tamiko named Sheito. She is a bushi like myself. We are also honored to have with us a samurai called Kama.

We made it back to the temple without incident. We have been inside a full day and a night now. We have fought and killed many followers of the dragon god, dead and undead. This is not what I expected when I trained in the ways of war. I expected to fight on ordered battlefields against the enemies of our liege lord. But that training has served me well against these dark foes.

We are currently resting in an isolated corner of this place, through a tunnel under a secret trap door. We have discovered some unusual treasure, including a blade that is unlike any I have seen. The handle is shorter than that of a katana and the balance is unusual. We have reason to believe it is an enchanted sword. I intend to wield it in our next battle.

Through an enchanted mirror we have seen a vision of the future that bodes ill for our quest, but we will carry on of course, so long as there is any home of rescuing our great grandfather.

We have also attracted the attentions of an ancient ghost. Only one of our party can see it and hear it (apparently because of a red-dragon emblem he pinned to his robes). He asks us to find a green ruby that is its soul stone. He says it lies with Fin Fang Foom and great grandfather, so it costs us nothing to attempt its recovery. For some reason the ghost has taken a dislike to your son and acts dishonorable toward me (or so I'm told). Of course I honor your teachings by "replying to distain with honor." I admit it is easier to do so when the one who offends cannot be seen nor heard.
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Is there honor in a retreat?
Down in the evil temple we ventured, finding secret room and creatures of the undead. Faan Aap and I could cast no spell or use our divine powers in the accursed place, but the wu-jen was more than capable, saving us on more than one occasion.

We could not save Tamiko. What ever possessed her to leave the safety of our numbers is beyond all of us, but she did and paid the ultimate price. I only hope that she died with some sort of honor.

Outnumbered in the temple by the robed cultist we spied upon, we decided to take Tamiko's earthly vessel to her family for an honorable burial.

Much to our horror, upon exiting the temple, we found Quan frozen to death in the frigid mountain air. He died guarding the temple so it was there that we buried him. Our very own spirit guardian.

Solemnly making our way back to the town without incident, we sought out Tamiko's family and sent word that she had left this world.

While the others tended to bartering and the restocking of supplies for the return trip to the temple, I went to the monastery to seek guidance from Master Kito. I feared that my transgression from my teachings was the cause of my lack of divine power.

Master Kito, after listening to my account of what all had happened assured me I had not done anything wrong which not only restored my confidence but gave me a sense of peace to replace the unease I had felt since entering the dragon temple. I asked what could be the source of this blocking our shukenja power and he hinted that an idol or totem sometimes could be empowered to prevent spells from working.

Giving me much to think about, I returned to the main square in the village to rejoin my companions. They had procured some money from selling a gem and offered to buy me some more protective armor. Normally I would have turned down the gracious offer but our very lives are at stake, not to mention the honor of our families and the town.

Tamiko's father had arrived and was not pleased with the news of his daughter's death, nor would any father be. He claimed not to blame us for her death, but insisted her cousin and a samurai join us on the quest. The cousin to replace Tamiko as his side of the family's honor for the quest and the samurai to make sure nothing happened to her.

We thanked him for the additional aid and went about making our way back the dragon cult temple, explaining to the samurai on the way things we thought he would need to know. He seemed that maybe we all had a scent to us that he didn't care for. He is a samurai after all, but he was less than pleased that he was sent on this mission with us.

On our way once again up the mountain path, we passed the guardian tree and bow to the unseen spirit that resides within. WE crossed paths with out now familiar fur trader from our village. We greeted him and much to my surprise, the samurai also bough furs from him, hearing of how cold it was at our journey’s end. At least the fur trader was seeing some prosperity from all of this! Onward up the mountain we went and back into the temple to tempt fate once more.

We made our way back down into the temple and found the dragon idol that had hidden the vicious beetle and the gem we had come across days before. I told of what Master Kito had said about cursed idols and it was decided we try to destroy this one.

Our wu-jen hurled another of his explosive magics on the idol and this nearly caused the room to collapse upon us. We barely escaped as it rained down stones and earth onto the dragon idol and burying it.

We found, among other rooms and creatures, a room filled with six sarcophagi guarded by skeletons. After carefully searching the burial containers, a trap door was found leading down to a secret room, in which lurked cultist mulling over a plan of unknown importance.

It seems the discussion was about having trapped their own leader in a room and barricading him in there. More mysteries!

We slipped in quietly and dispatched them, but too quickly. We didn't think before we reacted and slew them all without keeping one alive for questioning. The evil of this place has us all off centre.

The question is now: what do we do about the man they were afraid of to the point the trapped him behind a door?
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Still in shock
At a time when I should be feeling nothing but satisfaction and even pride (sorry father), I cannot get beyond sorrow and regret. We've made a successful entrance into this temple of dragon evil, handily defeated a burning beetle the size of a pony, a clutch of zombies, and our first encounter with the resident worshippers. We've collected two gems that are probably each worth the value of a season's bamboo crop back on the mountain.

And yet Lady Tamiko is dead.

She insisted on reentering the temple's first underground room to complete some personal meditation. The rest of us stayed in the entrance area and talked about the latest Noh plays we witnessed during the celebrations earlier this week. Too much time passed before one of us, it may have been Moritake--to my eternal shame it was not me, wondered aloud why Tamiko had been gone so long.

We rushed downstairs to find no trace of her. We retraced our steps from before, hoping to find a sign of her abductors, and we did. Where the had fought with the zombies and worshippers, there was a hidden door now apparent. We followed a very long pathway down into darkness to find a room full of accursed dragon worshippers but nothing else. Someone whispered urgently that he knew she was in water and was in peril. You have always taught us to avoid judging the wisdom or motivations of gods and demons, but this vision seems timed to taunt us rather than aid.

We rushed back to the room where the zombies had been defeated--flooded with a dank water just across from the secreted door. We arrived in time to see her noble spirit leave her body. We opened the door to see the her crumpled in the blood red pool. As we pulled her from the water, her heart beat once more and her story was complete.

We carried her back to the entrance and have been grieving and lamenting our folly in the hours since. But our resolve is strong. We will find our venerable ancestor and exact revenge for what they have done to Tamiko. Doing so without her noble heart, ancient steel, and skill at arms is our challenge.
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Too much....
What foul magic permeates this place. In this temple, the dead walk, beetles spout fire, and mysterious men leap from hidden passages. To top it off, we have lost one of our party, the noble girl, Tamiko. Honor dictates we avenge her death. Why didn't we stop her? No matter her ability, she should not of wandered off alone. The place seems to prevent the devout in our party from healing our wounded, we almost lost our monk too, somehow I mananged to drag him to safety. When those three robed figures sprang from the wall, I just happened to be looking in the direction, I caused the stone to burst with my magic, and either my wording was flawless, the stone was weak, or this place magnifies the arcane, because two were knocked down and a third knocked back. When we searched for Tamiko, we found ten or so of those robed "priests" chanting in a room, we must investigate further....
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Shame and Sorrow
Honorable Father,

This temple has taken the best of us and I am not blameless.

Let me start at the beginning. In the morning we ventured down into subterranean tunnels of the temple. This is a magical, evil place. As we walked down the halls, the very walls shine to light our way, leaving darkness in front and behind us.

At first the area seemed lifeless, but we found a pantry with fresh food--and later some living worshipers. Past the pantry was a chapel perhaps with a dragon-man statue or idol. A fire beetle surprised us and was our first test of arms. We dispatched it easily enough and proceeded down a fateful hallway. We opened a door to find a collapsed room full of water. Faa Aap saw some things moving in the shadows and dove into the water to lure them out. His planned worked beautifully as he lured 4 zombies into the open and escaped without a scratch. Thanks to Tamiko's flashing blade we dispatched the zombies rather easily but not before Hu was struck down. While we were fighting the zombies, out in the hallway Karuka was ambushed by some dragon cultists. I didn't see what happened, but when the dust cleared there were two dead cultists and a no-longer-secret door where they came from.

... (to be continued) ...
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Game Master:
Oriental Adventures (1st)
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