The Hunting

Session 1
The Hunting Begins

In the morning, the group woke having fled from the Children of Life. Koizumi, while still asleep had hidden her tail and ears. Tai had meditated, not having needed sleep. Cahaya woke up first. The first thing that Cahaya did was to check outside for the Children of Life. They were gone. However, the group determined that they probably shouldn’t stay in the same place, so they woke up Koizumi. The group headed away, but not directly away, namely west, towards the mountains. There was not much civilization on the way, although the group discovered that the area had been charted by official explorers before.

While the group was traveling, Koizumi mentioned that she is running from someone, namely, someone female.

The group ran into people who we don’t know who they are. Koizumi sneaks ahead and finds that there are 6 of them, 4 adults and 2 children and a donkey. The nomads felt worrisome to her, but the group was hungry so they went to speak to them anyway. Koizumi hid in a tree.

The nomads were frightened of Tai at first, and deferential towards Cahaya. They offered Cahaya food, and he accepted their offer, but asked them if they wanted to eat with him as well. Meanwhile, the littlest child had spotted Koizumi and started throwing rocks at her. Needless to say, the two of them did not get along. However, when Koizumi shape-changed back into human, they were deferential to her as well. Cahaya hadn’t noticed until then that she was dressed as Unmoving. Cahaya deferred to Koizumi, as is proper, him being low unmoving caste and her being higher. The group journeyed with the nomads west, perhaps taking them away from their original path eastward. The group warned the nomads that an eastward journey might not be safe, due to the Children of Life. The nomads did not know much about the Children, but Cahaya told the nomads that they were angry about something and Koizumi mentioned that the CoL were looking for her because she refused to join them.

The group traveled west for half a day, coming to a river. Determining that past the river was not safe, they turned back. The group traveled to the south-east, while the nomads separated from the group, travelling in a different direction. Koizumi stayed on Tai’s shoulder, afraid of the water. Eventually the group slept for the night.

In the morning, the group arrived back in civilization. Cahaya smelled fire ahead, smoke that was recent but from a flame dying out. He also sensed that there were no strong spirits ahead, but there was a spiritual anomaly.

Ahead, the group found a village, smoldering. Koizumi and Cahaya headed straight for the spiritual anomaly, while Tai headed for the field. Koizumi and Cahaya found a man where the spiritual anomaly is. Both Cahaya and Koizumi independently discovered that the man was cursed by a spirit. Koizumi worked on healing his body of the burns on it, while Cahaya went to go find out what Tai was doing.

As it turns out, the field was full of bones of the dead. Tai was using magic to give them a proper burial, cremating the bones into ash. Cahaya offered to help, but was not really in the state to do so.

When Cahaya and Tai returned, they found that Koizumi had been unable to heal the man of his curse, but was somewhat successful in healing his physical injuries. The man mentioned that the CoL had wanted him to serve them. He did and followed their orders and then the pain and burning followed. Cahaya began a prayer to the Spirit of Death, but the man told him that his prayer had no one to reach.

Eventually, the group left, and the man ended up coming with them. He gave us some more information on the motives of the CoL. He told the group that they chose him because he was strong and well suited to her purposes. He also mentioned that they had no particular reason to attack the farm, but they are making an army of spirit nobles.

The way they are doing this is by trying to create nobles, out of people who are loyal to them, for the domains that do not currently have a spirit noble attached. We determine that the only way to stop the CoL is by gathering an army of our own. Koizumi knew where to start. She called out to the spirit of Compassion and Justice to help. Although the group got no response, they were sure that something heard her.

At this point, Tai realizes that the group hasn’t actually introduced themselves to the man or gotten his name. He is called Goro.

The group ended up following Goro to the temple of the Spirit of the Breeze that blows through the Leaves.

Inside the temple there were four people, a woman at the hearth, a farmer, and a couple at the table. Koizumi went to the woman at the fire, Goro and Cahaya went to the farmer, and Tai watched. While Goro seemed to know the farmer, the farmer was insulting and condescending to Goro. Now, being quite insulted that the farmer was insulting his traveling companion and someone who was clearly a friend of his, Cahaya informed him not so kindly that Goro had fallen on hard times and the farmer had stepped out of line. Koizumi helped Cahaya in insuring that the farmer understood this fact. Tai, on the other hand, may have scared Goro with the fact that he is a fire elemental. The farmer agreed to help us find lodging and brought us to the old lady, the spirit noble of the place.

Cahaya tried to recruit her in the morning, but she proved unwilling, being afraid of the risks to her and hers.

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Session 2

Notes:

We begin at the Temple of the Spirit of the Breeze that Blows through the Leaves
It is morning
Koizumi did not sleep easily in her tree
Tai tends the temple
Cahaya and the proprietor are talking
—>Koizumi falls out of tree on her
-Babbling about the Spirit of Compassion and Justice

They leave in a hurry to the southwestish following trails
-Koizumi is dashing around from tree to tree
-Cahaya and Tai are exhausted; Tai tries to stop them
-They are gaining on a group; Koizumi investigates
it’s a hunting party
Koizumi sneaks around the group
Cahaya and Tai pose as a noble entourage
—>Koizumi rejoins as a pet

They enter the group
-They have bows, spears, and things
-We push our way through w/ class
-The unmoving stops us “haven’t I seen you somewhere?”
—>Cahaya claims to be from Mallakah, have been gone 14 mo.
—>Milaka has burned “I am afraid that you no longer have a home”
—>It is dangerous for one so young to travel alone. Would you join us? (no)
Someone thinks they recognize Koizumi
—>Koizumi runs away; we chase + 3 servants
—>Cahaya turns them away

Once we are out of sight, Koizumi shifts
The trail is getting smaller
We reach a clearing with a hedgewall
-a stone wall around it
Koizumi tries to fireball, and then gnaw it
Tai tries to force it open
Cahaya magics a sponginess
Tai and Koizumi put fire into it

A person arrives
-Teenager (16, male) with booming voice
-I put this wall here and will not be removing it for the likes of you
-Kenta – under orders from Hotaru
-He is a spirit noble created by the Children of Life
—>He agreed to it rather than death
Koizumi very angry, demonstrates power
—>Demands entry
Cahaya requests entry as well, Tai follows

Koizumi is greeted by a mixture of people inside quad-sized clearing
-Human, spirit, etc
-Tacklehugs the old wizened main in chair (animal features)
-“This is my father”
Warm and accepting environment, but gloom overhead
Koizumi asks for his help
—>This is all my fault. That I didn’t do the right thing when I was with her"
—>Have you learned nothign from our years together?"
Koizumi and Cahaya are fed.

What can I help you with?
-She’s gathering spirit nobles by producing them
-How do Spirit Nobles work? People can assume positions if necessary
-She is forcing people to try to be spirit nobles

The man we met was the Spirit of Siege
Spirit of C&J will stay to ensure C&J remains
—>Some may join our cause

Cahaya wants to find his mother
—>A mystic foretold that he would becomea spirit noble
C&J assures him mother is physically safe, emotionally distraught
—>Father is dead
CJ suggests forming a list of potential allies: Brainstormed List of Spirit Nobles
—>Their positions may be researched
Also mystics and other diviners to speak w/ spirits

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Session 3

The group started with waking up in the grove of Compassion and Justice. They were offered food and drink before needing to plan how to get out of the grove. The group considered many options. Eventually, they dug their way under the wall. However, widening the hole for Tai to get out took considerable effort and time. When Kenta (siege) came around the wall, Cahaya made loud conversation with the Spirit of Compassion and Justice in order to hid the sound of digging. The spirit of Compassion and Justice had been very distracted and focused on something else.

Eventually, the group discovered that Cahaya’s family had traveled north from Milaka. The group got out of the grove, and heard Kenta speaking with the hunters the group had encountered previously. The hunters were the reinforcements for the siege.

Unable to do anything to help Compassion & Justice, the group headed north-north-east, towards the town just north of Milaka.

It was a two day trip to go to Milaka, so the group decided to stop on the way at the Temple to Hospitality. It had felt corrupted, or… broken somehow? A shadow of its former self was what the group eventually settled on.

The group then moved on, feeling very uncomfortable. They ran into a man with poor clothing and a hunting bow.

Tai approached the man, and the group offered him food. He wanted meat (not allowed by society). The man was danya. Koizumi got him more food. He also called himself by Danya.

The group had been going to bring Danya with them, but Cahaya realized that it may not be safe for Danya with his family.

The group showed Danya what he should eat, and then left, saying their farewells.

The crossing across the river was a ferry crossing, and rather nervewracking for Tai and Koizumi, although Cahaya seemed to enjoy it.

After the group crossed the river, they made it to the village just north of Milaka. It felt like death and there were fewer people than normal. The guards in the town were wearing CoL colors. The guards were also paying close attention to the merchants. There was a spirit presence in the manor house that felt familiar to Cahaya. At the gate were two stone elementals. Tai recognized them and they recognized Tai.

The group went up to the stone elementals and asked to be let in. The stone elementals would not let the group in. Cahaya mentioned that it was a friend of his who was not expecting him, and one elemental went to check. The other elemental spoke with Tai briefly, saying things like “traitor” and such.

Eventually, the group was let in. There were many more elementals than most would expect. Cahaya did not recognize the noble sitting there very well. They played politics for a while, making small talk. Cahaya learned that she was named Yuushi and this town was Karodake.

The group was eventually brought to a small room. Under the bed was a trap door. The group moved the bed to block the door, and then went under the trapdoor. Down a secret ladder there were crates that had people inside of them. Inside the room there were three spirit nobles, one which Cahaya recognized strongly, one spirit touched, and one spirit touched spirit (Koizumi). There were many elementals patrolling the room. The group needed to get the people trapped there. The group did this while the guard shift was happening. During the escape, the enemy spirit noble froze Tai. The group escaped to hide in a shed, with Putra, Intan, Ratu and the Voice.

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Session 4

So, the group woke up, having barely escaped from The Man in the Blue Shirt. They woke up slowly, Cahaya first, then Koizumi and then the others, one after another. They talked for a while, Koizumi noticing that the Voice seemed rather not well. Eventually, Intan and Ratu left on their own, going to rally humanity. During this time, Ratu revealed that she was the empress and that Cahaya, Putra, and Intan are her children. Eventually, Cahaya, Putra, Koizumi and the Voice left to go check out a spirit noble in the area.

On the way to find the spirit noble, Cahaya revealed that he was actually Lestari, heir to the empress. (And Putra revealed that he was actually she, not he.) Koizumi also convinced the Voice to let her heal him.

The group eventually got to the spirit noble’s domain, which was covered in birds. Koizumi chased some of the birds around for a while. The group got to the spirit who appeared as a swan. The spirit transformed into a young man, in response to Koizumi transforming into her human form. They convinced the spirit noble to help the group’s cause, partially by Koizumi apologizing to the turkey she wronged. As thanks, Cahaya tried to summon bird seed and eventually summoned a veritable river. The group asked to stay the night at the spirit of Birds domain, and before going to sleep Koizumi attempted to heal the Voice.

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Session 4 (Retcon)

Cahaya, Tai, Putra, Intan, Ratu, and the Voice escaped to a gardening shed on the edge of the property. Koizumi had headed back to the Spirit of Compassion and Justice instead. In the shed, Cahaya revealed to Tai that he was actually Lestari II, heiress to the empire.

Ratu was very suspicious of Tai, and pressed him for information until he revealed that he had been tasked by Tauno with protecting and serving Lestari. This upset Lestari considerably, because she felt she had lost one of her few friends.

Lestari, Putra, and Tai went into town to get food for the group. After spending some time bumbling around, Tai finally managed to successfully express (or at least he think he was successful) that he wanted to be Lestari’s friend.

It was revealed that Tauno (now dead) was the Spirit of Peace. The group considered replacing the Spirit of Peace (which would require returning to the Spirit’s home), but decided that they shouldn’t do that yet.

Lestari, Putra, and Tai determined that they would set out and find spirits to try and ally with. The Voice provided them with a map of the Spirits in the region.

[This abridged log brought to you by procrastination and lots of character drama]

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Session 5: A Story to be Told

Game started out with the group leaving the warehouse where we were camped out. We traveled northwards towards an inn. Inside the inn was a girl, playing with toys, and several people standing around drinking and eating. In the corner there was a sketchy guy standing around. Putra snuck behind the sketchy guy, while Lestari played with the girl, eventually beginning to swap stories with her. Meanwhile, Tai volunteered to help out at the inn, volunteering his services at the hearth for food and drink. Eventually, Putra grew curious, and tapped the sketchy guy on the shoulder. The sketchy guy turned, pulling a knife on Putra, Lestari jumped up, instinctively calling on magic, and teleported to Putra. On the other side of the room, Tai walked in carrying tea.
The sketchy guy was terrified by Putra, who was being scary. Lestari tried to be comforting, but to no avail. Eventually, we learned that the sketchy guy was named Michi. Lestari tapped Michi on the shoulder and said, “Good Luck”. People got freaked out and started trying to leave. Meanwhile, Lestari and Putra sat back down with the girl, who had since been deduced to be the Spirit of Stories. We learned that her name was Chouko. After telling stories back and forth, Chouko eventually forgot a story, and went to the back room to remember. We asked her what was back there, but she said she wasn’t supposed to bring people back there.
We snuck back there anyway. In the back were a lot of unwashed sleeping people and a large wooden chest. The spirit opened the chest, which was full of scrolls, and read to us the story of the spirit of Clouds that look like Ducks.
We then went to go try to find the next spirit noble, only to find it empty, the spirit noble dead. The place was a tower with no door, but Putra still climbed up to the window and climbed in. Tai got lost in thought and then remembered that he’d been to several spirit noble rituals, namely the spirit of Humanity, at coronation. We decide the best option may be Michi, whom Putra found out was to the south.
We, however, determine we wouldn’t be able to find him. Putra found an entrance, and we went in. Tai determined that the spirit inside was killed by blunt force trauma, and Lestari determined that Strength was behind it. We decided that to replace the spirit noble of Defense, we should find a royal guardsman who was still loyal. Lestari focused and found several royal guardsmen camped to the forest in the south west.
We headed first to the spirit of birds. The turkey aggressed, Putra responded, contending with the turkey. A swan in the lake moved forward, aggressing. Tai attempted to interpose himself between the swan and the turkey, while Putra locked it down. Lestari moved towards the turkey. Then the swan transformed into human form, participating in a verbal duel with Putra. Lestari, as a gift, attempted to make some bird seed, but ended up with far more than expected. We are invited to stay for dinner. Diplomacy happened, and ended with Putra having to apologize to the turkey and the swan.

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Session 6
Questions in the Form of Answers

They awoke in the domain of Birds, Lestari woke up first and created a handful of birdseed for the chickadee that has taken a liking to her. Later Putra woke up and tried to do the same, but when he did the remainders of Lestari’s seeds sank into the ground as some seeds appeared in his hand. Fortunately for the chickadee, Lestari noticed that Putra had accidentally created poison before the chickadee could eat them. Lestari then made breakfast of fruit for the group before they moved on, looking for the spirit of Stealth.
They found Stealth in a small grove, and after talking to him he agreed to not act against humans, but would not agree to join their cause.
Moving on, the group journeyed to the domain of Mysticism, a small mountain surrounded by fog with a hot spring at the peak. Several spirits and humans were meditating around the waters of the spring, and an aether and a water spirit welcomed the group to sit around the spring and drink of its waters. They sat by the water and Lestari meditated while Tai and Putra took in the scene. Putra decided to drink of the water, and Lestari did as well. When they did they entered into a shared vision. They saw a road before them, one path leading to the imperial palace, one into a forest that was spring on one side and winter on the other. Though they felt a slight draw towards the palace, Lestari and Putra followed the forest path. Eventually they came to a split again and Lestari stopped to meditate and faded from the vision. Putra continued down the winter path, and found he felt like he belonged there before he too left the vision. Upon awaking Mysticism spoke to Tai, Putra, and Lestari, and tried to help Lestari and Putra accept that they may be supposed to take up the mantles of the spirits of Life and Death respectively. After this conversation, Tai drank from the pool, but stayed quiet about what he saw. They left Mysticism’s domain knowing that he would almost certainly stay neutral, and having learned more about themselves.
They then headed to a nearby town to buy a cloak and hood for Tai. They caught the attention of a shoe peddler, but managed to go with their identities undiscovered. The cloak they bought for Tai was expensive for the amount of money they had with them, but Putra managed to pickpocket several people in the busy marketplace to recover the cost.

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Session 7: The River and the Stone
In which we are taught about persuasion

We journeyed further to the north, and stopped at an inn to speak with the spirit living there. The inn was tended by a little old lady, with the help of her fire elemental Yong. While taking tea at her insistence, Lestari determined that the woman is the Spirit of Words that Convince the Most Stubborn of Minds. We requested a room for the night, hoping to get a chance to talk to her. She pointed us back to the room, saying that she would be back there in a bit.

After an hour or so, we got impatient and prepared to leave, planning to return in the evening to speak with her. However, she stopped us on our way out, saying that she was just coming to speak with us. We went back to the room, and she talked with us about persuasion. Persuasion, she said, is about changing what people think they need. Simply trying to make arguments to change their actions won’t be good enough. While she would not give her allegiance against the Children of Life, she gave this lesson about persuasion, as a blessing.

After she left, Lestari wondered whether we should keep talking to spirit nobles, or do something else. After some discussion, we determined that we would visit the Sanctuaries of Life and Death, to see if we could figure out more about what had happened before the Children of the Life had begun destroying the land.

In the morning, we headed out. We stopped by a village, intending to get supplies including better clothing for Putra. Lestari and Tai posed as an Unmoving and his elemental, and entered the market. Meanwhile, Putra was picking pockets. Putra attempted to sneak the money into Lestari’s purse, but Lestari noticed someone at her purse, and hit him, shouting “THIEF!” The local guards took notice of the scene. Tai “threatened” Putra away, but Putra was grabbed by the guards. Putra attacked them with death magic, knocking one guard to the ground.

Lestari shouted “FREEZE” in a commanding tone, and approached the guards. The fallen guard struggled to his feet and drew a blade on Lestari. Putra attacked him again, and he collapsed. Tai picked Putra up and moved him away from the guards. He then turned and snapped the fallen guard’s neck.

Lestari spoke to the other guard, telling him to let Putra go rather than killing him – she will have no more conflict today. As a sign of this, Lestari released healing into the area, healing the guard’s broken leg. The three of them left the marketplace, and bought clothing for Putra.

Afterwards, in a camp outside of the village, after Lestari went to bed early, Tai took Putra to task for using death lightly. Putra protested that death was his profession. Tai wished that Putra had met Tauno, but Putra pointed out that’s not his fault, and Tai deflated. Putra mentioned that not all deaths are easy, and Tai became enraged once more: what does he know of difficult deaths. Has he ever had to kill anyone he cared about? Putra stormed out, and Tai stewed silently. And if Lestari was awake, she probably was upset too.

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A Grove in the Forest

The night passed uneventfully, however everybody slept apart. Tai woke up first, and we ate dried fruits. Tai tried to break the silence with small talk, but got little response. the group arrived in a small cleaning that people had been around two or three days ago. Lestari suggested that the group separate to look for clues. She found a small group of people, about 20 or 25 of them. However, she takes a while, hoping that Putra and Tai work out their differences. They don’t, Putra follows Lestari sneakily, and Tai hears the people and follows. A lot of the people had old scars, like from battle. Some had otherworldly traits. The group went back to follow some shod prints. They found a place where some people slept, then heard a scream and panic from the village behind The village/group was being rampaged through by guardsmen. One was chasing after a kid. Tai went after the guard, trying to stop him to no avail. He called out a few times, but then grabbed the guard by the hair. The grabbed guard was aggressive and called Tai a slave. Tai asked if Putra or Lestari would like to talk to them. Putra went over to ask what was going on, and they reply that they were honing their skills. Putra got them to leave and go try to take the nearby town back from the Children of Life. The villagers were terrified. One of the children approached Putra, but he ignored them. Tai was unhappy about this.
From there, the group arrived at the sanctuary of life. It was very desecrated. Putra and Tai noticed that something was moving, out of the corner of their eye. Lestari told Putra and Tai to talk out their problems and keep watch while she tried to figure out what was going on. Putra and Tai see the skeletons moving, and ghosts. Putra tries to wake Les, but to no avail. Tai heats up the ground, and the skeletons move in. Tai lights two of the skeletons on fire. Putra attacks one of the skeletons. The skeletons attack back. At this point, Lestari woke up and did some more mysticism, then exhuded life energy. Combat continues…
One of the skeletons burned Lestari’s leg. Eventually, the skeletons were dropped. Tai and Putra attempted to cremate the dead. They consider whether to do it in the sanctuary. The spirits get agitated at that idea. Tai, while Putra continued to work on the graveyard, tends to Les. Putra makes a pyre, and put the bones in it. Lestari reveals what she learned about the place. The Spirit of Life had died. There was a new spirit of Life appointed. There is no flavor or personality to their life, just life itself. Then the grove was desecrated.
Tai goes to the pyre and lights it. In doing so, he says some words. As Tai does so, the spirits approach, then vanish.
Putra brought Lestari to the center of the grove, at her bequest, where she fell asleep. Putra tries to pull out death, but doing so hurt Lestari.
Tai went nostalgic, and Putra went to go learn more about Tauno. In the morning, Lestari suggested that they need to see the spirit of fire.

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Session 9: On the Hill
In which negotiations almost break down

Following Lestari’s suggestion, the group determined that they would travel to the Sanctuary of Mysticism and request a meeting with the Spirit of FIre there. They travelled first to the Sanctuary of Birds, to request that the Spirit have a couple of birds carry their letter to Fire. While Lestari penned a letter, Tai opened a latent connection to Fire to determine her location. He chose to keep this connection open, despite that FIre took notice of the connection. They rested for the day, having travelled through the night to reach the Sanctuary of Birds as quickly as possible.

That evening, they travelled onwards to the Sanctuary of Mysticism, arriving before daybreak. Mysticism was unsettled when the group explained their intent; the Spirit feared what would happen should the Domain of Mysticism fall into the hands of Fire.

The Spirit of Fire arrived with a small force of guards (elementals & humans), and six of her generals. After formally acknowledging each other, Lestari requested that Fire drink from Mysticism’s lake with the group. Fire accepted, on condition that she be allowed to ask questions of Lestari afterwards. Four of Fire’s generals joined the vision as well.

The five scenes from Lestari’s memory played. I don’t have these on hand currently.

Fire seemed to take particular interest in the final three scenes, replaying them several times. Afterwards, the group started sharing other memories, of the Sanctuaries of Life & Death, as well as their recent dreams. In particular, Putra shared his dream of five words: Danye, Ambition, Life, Death, Dragon. Two of the generals began to share their own memories from the destruction of Malakah, but were mildly rebuked by Fire.

Gradually, people exited the vision. Fire questioned that she was expected to change her intentions based on this information. In particular, she dismissed the threat of a Danye in any capacity. At this, Tai started to protest, but was compelled to silence. Fire continued, saying that regardless of the individual who is responsible, her force would be capable of handling it.

Lestari argued the point, and tensions rose. For Fire, the issue is very personal, and she took offense at many of Lestari’s words. While Fire became more angry and agitated, Lestari seemed to become more collected. Finally, she collected her energy and released a burst of life into the area, demonstrating the path she had chosen. This angered Fire further, and a fight seemed imminent

At this point, Putra and one of Fire’s generals interceded and brought the two apart, determining that no good would come of the debate continuing.

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