OA OSR Outline: Black Temple of the White Mountain
PC's: Level 8. Two ronin (a Duelist and Archer by class) and a peasant hunter (Scout.)
They are well known as mercenaries, adventurers, and treasure seekers hiring out to local lords for special missions too difficult or too distasteful for their clan honor.
It is Fall in a year of the early Edo period. The PC's are wandering through Aki Province when they are summoned to the small manor house of a poor fief manage and his sons. The small Sonoki clan has a problem: a village near the fabled White Mountain is being raided. Men killed, women and children kidnapped, rice that would be used for taxes stolen.
The clan is already poor and understaffed: the majority of samurai from the clan has been summoned by the Daiymo of Aki to fight in a skirmish to the east. If these raids continue or spread further word might reach the Daiymo and the Sonoki's could be dissolved and their meager lands confiscated.
The rice must be recovered to add to the fief's taxes to the Daiymo.
As many people as possible must be recovered to work the fields for future crops and taxes.
The PC's are given this information and accept and offer of 150 ryo (gold) each for their services and their silence once the job is completed. They accept. The Sonoki's are honorable: if the PC's live and keep silent in the affair they will not betray their contract.
Thus the PC's head off towards the village of Kiko near the base of the White Mountain, 12 miles from the fief manor.
The PC's arrive a few hours later at the village. The 78 population village is surrounded by rice paddies and vegetable fields on the south, east, and west. To the north is rolling hills turning to forest and then the mountain looming above everything.
The village headman Isu and a popular farmer Hosimo meet the PC's in the town sqare next to the village shrine and stone Buddha. They are quickly invited into the headman's home for food and drink when they reveal why they have come. They also leave coins at the shrine seeking the Buddha's favor.
- Favor of the Buddha: if an offering is given sincerely the PC rolls a 1d6. If a 1 is rolled the PC receives one of the following: Gain a +1 to attack/attribute/ability rolls for one hour OR reroll one roll including attack, damage, etc. The PC must choose which is gained.
They gain the following info from Usi and Hosimo:
- Raiders came down from the north trail from the Mountain. With the raiders were Sohei (guardian priests) in black armor and a large half-oni. They have attacked twice in the last week.
- The villagers managed to kill a Sohei and have the body pickled in a barrel. The PC's examine the body, weapons and arms. They discover the Sohei's arms are covered with strange glyphs and strip the skin. They give it to an old woman who handles the dead to tan the skin so they can take it with them.
- When asked about the Black Temple Old Man Isu tells of a villager who crept up the mountain decades ago. The villager described a strange black stone temple at the mountain top and of fighting horrors to escape. They produce a white scalp that they claim the villager took from an oni on the mountain.
- Rumors have swirled over the years from various sources such as priests and wisemen: the Temple is home to a terribe Sorcerer known only as The Wickedest Man in the World and he used his dark powers to raise the temple stones from the heart of the cursed mountain, etc...
It is near dark and there are screams across the village: the Raiders have returned.
Waiting for them in the center of town the Duelist prepares his dotanuki (warsword) for combat. The Archer climbs atop a storehouse for a sniping position, and the scout hides in the alley between the store houses to backstab anyone he can.
Over twenty raiders sweep into the village square. Among them are:
Raider Chieftain Mitseru (Raider-5)
Sub-Chieftain Garuto (Martial Artist-6)
The half-Oni mercenary Bo'San (1/2 Oni Warrior-6)
Over a dozen footmen
Mitseru leaps from his horse in front of the Duellist and the two throw down a number of verbal threats before Mitseru attacks and a massive battle begins.
The fight is brutal.
During the course of the fight the Duelist kills Mitseru, Garuto, several footmen, and two horsemen all near the Stone Buddha shrine (which is broken by Garuto in a missed drop kick attack.)
On the roof of the storehouse the Archer fires methodically cutting down or wounding a number of foes across the town square. He aso smashes a cask of oil on a horseman and his mount then lights them on fire with a paper lantern igniting both and causing the horse to bolt through the town with the flaming corpse on its burning back. (Between this and Mitseru's death many of the footmen flee from a bad morale check.) The two Sohei manage to make it to a ladder to the side of the storehouse and try to climb up. The Archer rolls a barrel of rain water onto the first Sohei who falls onto the second Sohei smashing both to the ground. The first is killed and the second is badly hurt. The Archer pins him to the ground with a war arrow killing him as well.
The Scout backstabs Bo'San and goes one-on-one with his great axe versus the half-oni and his vicious tetsubo. The Scout is in bad shape before Bo'San realizes the others are dead or fled and he attempts to flee taking a parting arrow from the Archer in his calf. The Duelist and Scout chase him down to the edge of the village, to the path in the hills north of the village, while the Archer recovers non-broken arrows. The Duelist and Scout cut the beast down in a bloody three way duel.
The PC's bind their wounds and accept medicinal healing from the Old Woman. They are given Isu's house to rest for the night as several days food (almost the last of the villagers supplies) are prepared for their journey. Cold weather clothing, blankets, ropes, hooks, etc are also prepared.
The PC's are sleeping soundly when the Scout is awoken to the noise of the house door sliding open. He awakens the others as two ninja enter the house. The Duelist waits for then to slide the bedroom door open before slicing through the rice paper killing both.
Outside ninja light the roof on fire as others break through the windows, the roof and the floor panels. The fight is bloody as the Duelist engages the ninja leader, dodging blinding powder and following him outside and almost onto caltrops and taking a poisoned shuriken to the arm. The two engage in a short but epic sword battle as a hidden ninja begins to pepper the Duelist with shuriken.
Inside the house the Archer and Scout kill the attacking ninja and flee out a window as the flaming roof collapses. The Scout heads round the house as the Archer runs into another ninja. The two begin to wrestle but the Archer prevails flinging the ninja through the flaming winow into the house inferno.
Meanwhile the Scout knocks out the last hidden ninja (the shuriken thrower) as the Duelist finishes off the leader, revealing him to be Hosimo, the highly regarded farmer who greeted them with the Headman.