After leaving The House of Withered Blossoms, Shikibu escorts the heroes through the Forest of Spirits. She imparts information regarding their quest, specifically that the route the Wheelbreakers intend on taking is rife with spies and enemies. Now that they have the full attention of the Five Storms Oni, they must take precautions lest they fall victim to revenge, hostile politics and worse.
Shikibu conveys that she will lead them to a Ronin camp, a group known as The Red Lotus, where they will contact the chief, Hirabashi Jiro. The familial sword sets collected from the corpses of the Five Storms Ninja shall be left with Jiro and his men, as will the The Thundering Blade Of The House Of Sugimatu (the blade stolen by Munasukaru of the Five Storms. Also, the Wheelbreakers will disclose the information regarding the Five Storms Oni which they learned beneath the House of Withered Blossoms, in order for these rebels to thwart the Jade Emperor and stop the corruption of Ginsu’s government.
The heroes heartily agree to complete this service, and in exchange for their aid, Shikibu promises that the Red Lotus will provide them with a ship in order to travel down the Tuunma River incognito. Thus our heroes and their guide set out through the Forest of Spirits.
Two days into their journey, the weather turned suspiciously unruly, and before the adventurers had much chance to react, their camp (as well as a large swath of forest) fell victim to a terrible tornado. Horses, as well as companions were carried away on the storm. Shikibu perished, but being a kami, was held together body and spirit by her kami brethren. They whisked her away to have her healed, and she told them it might be a few days before her return. She also imparted, that as she flew through the air, battered against trees and other debris, she heard a wicked, lilting laughter above the storm.
Could the storm, the tornado, have been caused by the ghost of Katiyana? Is it possible that she is in league with the Five Storms oni?
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