We leave the burned caravan remains – there was nothing to bury. It is only a few hours to the town. We are met by Kento, a magistrate, and other guards. They are very nervous at first, and very very surprised when Vor introduces himself and his link to the town via Riku Shen.
Kento collects Masariku Shen the master of the dojo who talked to Vor, but quick leaves in anger. Vor tells us that the master no longer considers Riku part of the clan, as he disgraced the clan and orders us to leave.
Kento sends up to the inn, where discuss our next steps. Riku’s daughter, Mei, comes in and introduces herself. Vor tells the story of how he met Riku Shen, convincing Mei in the truth in his story.
Mei Shen tells the story that while Grandmaster, Riku killed a man who he believed raped Mei’s mother. But the man was not the man who did the deed, and in his shame Riku Shen cast himself out. We learn that Masihiko is Riku’s brother, and Masihiko Shen burned the monastery to try to purify it.
She will petition her uncle in the morning. Jonah and Alma stay in the inn, Kak’a’tcha and Ubu the barn, and the rest in Mei’s house. The next morning Galadrius accompanies Vor and Mei to the dojo. Mei speaks passionately about how to redeem her father and accept Vor.
Masihiko says that the only way is to “Seek the Heart”.
She asks if there is another way, but Riku sends them away.
The Heart is the Heart of the Mountain. Built with the monastery founding, it was a magical ward that protected the town and monastery. Now the town suffers and is a shadow its former self.
Jonah went out to study for a day, Ka’kak’cha hunted, and Galadrius researched the Heart quest more. The founder, grandmaster Dube Shen, faced seven tests based on the seven tenets of Zokan, and we will have to do the same.
The tests are:
The next morning we climb the hill up to the monestary. Peloniuscasts Atonement on Vor and Mei (since Riku isn’t there) and Bless water, giving everyone a stone to carry until the quest is complete. Mei leaves us as we look for a way down.
The Test of Worth
We go inside and prepare to go down a dark staircase. Below we see the statues. Jonah recognizes them as “Zokan. God of physical perfection and monks.” When he says that, we all hear a voice in our head.
Jonah remembers the mantra of Zokan.
bq). I seek perfection for my honor, but will never attain it."
“What do you seek?”
“Why do you seek it?”
“For our honor”.
“When will you attain it?”
The Test of Understanding
We get locked in a room with 12 faces. We face a series of riddles, and are able to answer most. We get most correct. One that we fail to get knocks Kak into unconsciousness, but he is healed by Pelonius.
We gain rewards from the quest specifically:
- 6 shuriken
- diamond – 3K gp
The Test of Sacrifice
Here we have to give something up to get past the room.
|Jonah||Opinion||+3 circlet of Intellect|
|Pelonius||Skill at arms||no more combat|
|Galadrius||Stealth||elven cloak and stealth skills|
|Ka’kak’cha||Bastard Swords||2x +1 energy weapons|
The Test of Skill
A master knows himself better than anyone – all his strengths and his weaknesses
We are each forced to fight a copy of themselves.
|Jonah||Win||He prepares to counterspell, but is attacked Rod. Uses a Feeblemind to defeat himself.|
|Ka’kak’cha||Loss||Loses initiative and is down in one round|
|Alma||Win||Unknown how, but is very angry|
|Galadrius||Win||Slow combat with lots of laying on of hands and many, many misses.|
|Pelonius||Loss||Used most of his spells as he can’t fight in melee|
We heal the injured (the victors are at full strength) and move on.
The Test of Discipline
The true master can maintain discipline in the face of death
We begin feeling a lot of pain, which gets worse each round. Jonah cracks and drinks a potion, which burns him and he passes out. Just before we died, we stop taking damage and the door opens. There is a status with healing water outside of it.
Note: The room reversed all healing.
The Test of Honor
How do you honor your clan?
This room has a large stone dias in the center that slowly begins to decend.
By following the seven tenets of Zokan and teaching them to the clan.
The Blue room
We see a blue pulsating heart-like reddish-purple stone on a pedestal in a circular room with a small cave-in. Jonah changes in to an earth elemental to explore it and finds a tunnel going down deeper.
Galadrius touches the stone but cannot move it. But Kak can hold the stone, and some latent psionic powers are released.
Then we hear a low rumbling. The tests may be over, but the troubles below the monastery cannot.
To be continued……