Our heroes face many days travel before reaching the rebel base of The Red Lotus Ronin. They encounter a small Ginsu patrol whose leader had lost his horse, and quite grateful to Kumori and his companions for its return. Another obstacle is the heavily traveled and patrolled Forest Road, easily crossed with Banlak’s ingenious illusions ensuring no other travelers would spot the group.
A much enjoyed respite amongst sympathetic and like minded warriors await the party at the Red Lotus encampment, secluded in a canyon cave, well protected from the outside world. The group turns over all the stolen katanas and the stolen naginata. They disclose information regarding the Five Storms oni and their plans to dominate Ginsu. The group also makes a few contacts in the camp, notably Master Takeshi, a self-renounced necromancer turned generalist wizard who teaches Banlak a few new spells during the respite.
With hearty thanks, the Wheelbreakers leave the camp for the small town of Chow Yau, where they will take possession of their small junk, The Laughing Crow. But before they are able to leave the wooded hills near the camp, they notice smoke ahead. A fire blocks their way. As they attempt to bypass the conflagration (one too large for them to combat), the heroes discover a tight pack of salamanders and the flying fire wizard who summoned them. The cowardly summoner promptly takes his leave before an assault can be launched, but the group struggles with the fiery salamanders, eventually dispatching the flaming monsters before themselves succumbing to heat and suffocation from the awful smoke.
Tired from the battle and the hard day’s trek through the wooded hills, our heroes arrive at Chow Yau, crossing the Tuumna River by the famous Chow Bridge. The guard at the town wall receives the password given to them by the Red Lotus, and entry is granted with no questions asked. The Laughing Crow is docked just where they were told it would be, and the Wheelbreakers settle into their new, river-borne home.
Next session, after a brief side-trek, our heroes continue their mission, to locate the ancestor of the monk, the only one able to perform the ceremony and reactivate the Braid of a Hundred Masters. They depart downriver – ON HOSTILE WATERS.
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