Five Hills and Five Tribes : A Tale of Ten Falling Stars

Conversations and Confusions, aka Dealing with Sknchangers
From the Mouths of Babes

- In the Spirit Realm Hiro communicates with weird spirits and meets the spirit of creature that can take the voiceless form of those he knows from life.

- The group defeats the impressively vicious Bog Hag

- The group finds out the fate of Shin, his two parents, a Noriaki Man, a Ghao Woman, and Elder Shu, they were skinned and killed by the Bog Hag. She may have been impersonating him for awhile. The Hag was producing many relics of magical nature from the rendered flesh of the dead people.

- The group spend time with Iseula and family.

- In the spirit world Hiro seems to with the help of Badger open a barrier from Meido to Sakkakku, or so it seems.

- In Sakkakku Hiro encounters many vicious and malicious creatures, and rides a gigantic grass covered creature.

- Back in Ningen Do, the group takes the remains of Elder Shu to the Elders Village and tell Elder Byeol what has occurred. She is very troubled that a Bog Hag could be in the valley and one that Headman Eun may have known about, and more so that the Bog Hag could have been very near her for a long period of time.

- In the spirit world Hiro comes upon somewhat aggressive and confusing Mujina. Hiro’s faceshifting companion seems to put them at odds, or perhaps it was his closeness to Charming Badger….

- They also come upon a strange circle of young girls clapping together in tandem. Their circle is broken and seem to be nonsensicle, but the sound is familiar. Avoiding them at Badgers telling they continue on. They soon come upon another, and pass it, and then another. Knowing something is strange Hiro investigates and decides to sit down. The musical rhythm is not that far off from the “pulse” that all spirits and kami seem to emanate. He reckons that it is some form of ritual or spell. As he joins in and adds his hands to the rhythm he gets the sensation of being in a chain, that this is happening repeatedly in many areas, that this ritual is infact what was keeping them bound and unresponsive to anything else in the circle. Like a room with two mirrors opposite each other, continuing on and on and on for eternity.

- With focus and his added spiritual attunement to this ritual trap Hiro manages to break the spell and “shatter” the mirror spell/curse breaking the realms barrier and releasing him and all others trapped in it, seemingly albeit.

- They find themselves back in Meido, the realm of lost spirits, surrounded by the hundreds of lost souls that Hiro had freed from the potentially timeless trap. They have no knowledge of who, what, or where they are. Completely lost for so long from their past lives. Finding a reflecting pool Hiro tries to see into their past life like he was able to with Badger’s help see into his worlds current time. And he is successful. Each time he does this, the person eventually sees enough of themselves to remember who they are and disappears promptly after. Hiro does this over and over again, freeing more lost souls. Each time he does a piece of him fades and a part of them remains within him. His knowledge grows seemingly. Worried Badger and his Faceshifting friend ask him (or motion to him) to stop and see what it is doing.to him.

- In the Valley Elder Byeol and the other elders speak to the gather group and tell them that the needs of the selfish Shu (and any others) directly conflict with the safety of those who will stay behind, that it is the destiny of the majority of the Children of Dong to inhabit this valley, and that all the marked, and any who are recalcitrant about leaving must leave. They will go so far as to directly call out Headman Eun with the help of the young heroes and whatever the outcome all people who are marked will leave, peacfully or by force. This will happen in one weeks time.

- As Hiro pauses in his efforts to set more souls free and return them to what they once had, to the heavens, or to be reincarnated he encounters a woman, with green snake scales, yellow serpent eyes, and legs which turn into a tail. Badger immediately warns that she should not be trusted. Hiro seems to feel a pain in his head and she looks at him, is it an attack or communication ? Hiro meditates and tries to call upon his connection with the spiritual energy she has to communicate with her. The messages are disjointed, but seem to warn him or Danger, and the word Foul. She attacks him and during the melee both Badger and the faceshifter (in the form of the monstrous Oracle of Water) defend him, before she claws and spits venom into his eyes. as he wipes away the venom and clears his wound he can see he is bleeding Obsidian, as if it were in his blood. And as he bleeds it coats hims hands and slowly creeps up his body until it covers him entirely, in his seizures he can hear pounding in his brain the words “Danger, Foul, Foul, Foul, Tainted, Purge the Foul”. And everything fades as the Obsidian encapsulates him.

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Approaching the New Moon
Disappearances and Encounters

- The protagnoists after sharing a light repast and commiserating over the untimely death of Hiro decide to have runners sent out into the winter snows to each of the tribes to begin collecting resources and evacuating the valley.

- the aforementioned “Star Mark:” begins to appear on all the members of the 5 Tribes who have broken the convenant, or had their bloodlines mingled with outsiders.

- Worried that the Shu may choose to be obstinant and not leave the valley (and thus bringing the wrath of the spirits down upon the “spriritually clean tribesmen”) Makoto, Sang Woo, Arung and Ling head to the Shu tribal lands.

- After an unpleasant snowy trek the group comes towards Headman Eun’s Lodge. He has guards posted, most likely because of the disappearances.

- The Shu seem to be more openly wearing foreign trinkets and garb, things they once before kept hidden. The Shu even seem to have “servants” that no one was previously aware off.

- After terse comments and exchanges (somewhat half formed and not entirely clear on Eun’s behalf) it doesn’t not initially seem like The Shu will leave the valley. Eun does not accept that this “prophecy” is even real. He even refutes the events of the strange beast that attacked the Elder’s Village, and it’s obviously magical origins.

- On the matter of the disappearances the identity of a few of those persons is given, and that they are geographically closer to the edge of the Shu lands and the river that leads through the mountains to the distant sea. It is told that there are many caves and hidden bluffs in that area.

- Elder Shu is not present, but it is said that he is in good health and Eun and the Shu have done him no harm.

- staying the night the group is housed outside of the lodge. At the height of the waning moon a sound is heard, after investigating they find a women being pulled from her but by a large shadowy form. It’s faceless visage is similar to the beast seen twice before,but this one is more human like. With the crystal they traded from the Zokujin in the oracle of earth’s mountain they are able to kill the beast. All that remains is a bracelet,which belonged to one of the missing women. The rescued Shu women is in a coma and strangely pale. All the light (and colour) in her eyes are gone.

- The group asks Eun for a tracker to assist them in the search for the disappeared. He sends them to a small house on the outskirts of his land, there a person named Shin lives.

- After encountering Shin the group see’s but a small boy, curiously alone with no parents. His mannerisms are strange, and slowly as he talks to the group and leads them where they wish they soon discover Shin is no mortal boy, but something wearing a boy’s skin…. Shin may very well be a Bog Hag

- Elsewhere, Hiro awakens in a realm of mist and memory (The spirit realm of wandering souls, a unending purgatory for souls with unsettled kharma and memories), Badger is as always by his side (and strangely whole and with apt knowledge of the realm and how to leave it, alive and intact). There they encounter Hiro’s mother (who died birthing him, her last memory the screams and crying of the elder daughter she was leaving behind). Her grim visage that of a woman torn from childbirth and covered in viscera. Also, Hiro’s father, disapproving as ever for having such a “unnatural” child. Hiro manages to speak to his mother’s shade calmly and send her to a place of rest, to be reborn into the world. His father’s shade is less approving, but leaves him be.

- Badger and Hiro form a vow, in which Badger will instruct Hiro in how to traverse this spirit realm, and into many others in search of a “gateway” into the Mortal Realm. Luckily The Valley of Dong is a nexus of the spiritual borders and it should be possible to literally walk back to the world of the living.

- Badger uses magic to allow Hiro to look into a pool of still water and see his friends continue on their quest.

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The Mountains Cold

- The group journeyed into the western mountains and encountered many things. mainly ice, cold, wind, and ice spiders.

- B’ard was gravely wounded

- The protagonists found there way into the deepest of the tall mountains and encounter tunnels filled with crystals.

- Zokujin were met, strange small coppery hued reptilian peoples of the deep earth.

- The oracle of earth was encountered and spoke many truths to the group.

- Hiro was literally pulped by the Oracle of the Earth and asa result died.

- Charming Badger skull fetish was cracked as well, and the group can no longer see or hear him.

- The group leaves to return with the omens from the Oracle of the Earth,and before parting with their zokujin guides trade for awesome crystals and gems !!!

- The Zokujin ride mighty worm steeds that melt rock.

- Upon returning to the Elder’s Village more reports of missing villagers have come in (iut has been nearly a month since they set out on this journey).

- The Elders (who remain) enact a ritual to commune with the Great Spirits of the Lake. The Spirits speak through Elder Byeol and tell all present that in the coming days the mark of the impure blood of the broken convenant will appear in the shape of a falling star upon the cheek of all who bear it and those marked must leave the valley by the next new moon (3 weeks or so) and are never to return in their lifetimes. They will not be protected by the spirits any longer and that the actions of a few have tainted their lot and damaged the boundaries of the spirit worlds in the valley.

- The characters, some of their family, and many of the Shu and Noriaki bear these marks.

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March 9th

- They prepare to embark into the western mountains in search of the Oracle of Earth’s shrine.

- 5 Shu villagers have gone missing, seemingly abducted in the snowy night with nary a trace.

- The group “entombs” The Last of Dong near the shrine in the cliffs.

- Some knowledge of the lands Dong arose in, and travelled through is spoken about.

- Elder Shu has not returned from Headman Eun’s house in the 2 weeks the group was most recently in the mountains.

- Hiro was able to communicate with the last vestiges of his spirit.

- The Kitsu watches them from afar.

- He is trying (admittingly, poorly) to imbibe the essence that was stolen from him. There seems to be no consciousness in him anymore, except concerning Charming Badger’s skull.

- The Walking remains of Founder Dong were……found……

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February 16th
- Founder Dong’s remains have been removed.

- An attack at the Elder’s Lodge by a strange shadowy creature.

- A quest has been undertaken. The group must travel to the other Elemental shrines to rebuild the oaths that have been broken.

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February 8th Placeholder

- The group encounters Hiro’s Dead Body.

- Oracles are super big jerks and hard to understand.

- The oath is broken and the Oracle of Water shows little in the way of reforging it.

- The group returns to the valley and reburies Dong’s remains.

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January 26th Placeholder

More to come

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January 19th Placeholder

- Hiro, with the help of Sang Woo, sacrifices himself to open his soul to the Oracle of Water, in a puddle.

- Wei Kim drinks from the font of eternal life.

- The group comes up the stream that sends the holy essence of founder dong back into the word.

- The Kitsu “helps” Hiro upon request, and removes the strange obsidian liquid that has ennured itself into his heart.

- The group was rescued by a Kitsu and he help mend there bones.

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Placeholder Jan 12th

- Group returned from Plateau shrine.

- At Elder’s Village all was told concerning the Shu’s trading and exchange with the outlanders. Headman Eun was not present.

- Group tasked to travel to the hidden shrines in the mountains and seek to right whatever was imbalanced and to ascertain just how near the outlanders are.

- Each member of the group was entertained by one of Headman Eun’s brothers, in attempts to curry their favour and explain why worship of the spirits and heeding the old ways is setting the Five Tribes back.

- En route back to the plateau the group again encounters Headman Eun who reinforces all that his people have gained and how it would benefit all involved.

- The group encounter and fight an eyeless Ogre in the hilled forests of the the Shu lands.

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Placeholder Jan 5th

More to come

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