Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Jwar Tales - Kitsune (part 3)

The small fox padded silently forward, her paws barely leaving imprints in the fine sand of the Takashi family's zen garden, those prints she did leave were gently brushed away  with a slow swish of her ruddy brown tail. Vulpine senses straining, the vixen scanned the inky black night air for any signs of Ryu guards.

Somewhere in the Takashi compound, her brother Kyuubi would be doing the same albeit in his humanoid form.  As a male Kitsune, Kyuubi was unable to fully transform into fox form and instead relied on his Ki to enhance his already phenomenal stealth. The Kitsune prayed to the Kamis to keep her brother's tread light and his blade sharp.

Kyuubi stalked through the gnarled trunks of the cherry trees that lined the pathway leading to the Takashi Manor House.  The perimeter guards had been half asleep and far too easy to bypass, no challenge to his supreme stealth.  How easy it would have been for him to slit the throats of all of them, he thought to himself.  He hoped the house guards would prove to be more fun!

Up ahead, a fat guard shifted his yari to a more comfortable position and gazed boredly out into the night, answering Kyuubi's question.  Unfortunately for the sentry he happened to be standing in the male kitsune's entry point to the property.

Reaching beneath his billowing cloak, Kyuubi plucked a razor sharp disc from a pouch and flung the deadly shuriken with fatal accuracy. With barely a sound the missile crunched into the soft bones of the guard's nose, the cruel, jagged points of the "throwing star" breaching the cartilage and tearing the delicate brain tissue behind.  The guard, dead before he  even perceived a threat, folded at the knees and fell sideways into a shadowy doorway.

Kyuubi's muzzle split into a toothy grin, revealing rows of needle like fangs. "Let the fun begin" he thought to himself.

movement trackers were used in the pre Kickstarter game to predict movement turns, but serve my purpose here...

The Kitsune slunk ever closer, padding softly up to a simple shoji screen door.  With a sharp claw, she slashed a small tear in the flimsy material and pushed her sensitive nose through the opening.  With no guards in the room, she carefully eased through the screen and into the Manor proper.

The Kitsune in fox form (FF) uses a stealth dice to open the shoji door (4+) required. Due to her stealth bonus in this form it becomes (2+). She then uses another stealth dice to roll against the number on the objective marker again adding her stealth bonus.

Glancing around the darkened private prayer room, sharp eyes piercing the shadows, she spotted her first opportunity.  With a quick push of her Ki, she semi transformed her paws into clever, furry fingers.  Reaching underneath the thin blue collar around her slender neck, she withdrew a small leather pouch. Taking a couple of the almost translucent red scales from the bag, she stuck them to the side of the wooden dais as if caused by the passage of a large serpentine body knocking the simple furniture.  Tucking the pouch away, she once again resumed her full fox form and headed toward the open doorway.  Little did she know that her canine lined smile matched that of her brother who at that time was standing over the prone body of a Takashi guard.  

The moon was high in the night sky, it was time to make mischief!

and reveals an objective!
The Kitsune's sensitive ears twitched as she heard the quiet mutters of the guards as they conferred in the further recesses of the house. So far she and her volatile sibling had been undiscovered.

at this point the guard player is on a very low level of alert (the scale at the top of the player board) and so they simply buy cards with their action points. Cards can be played to hinder ninjas or buff guards
The Kitsune made her way slowly into the main prayer room, gliding across the ceramic tiles without a single click of her sharp nails on the hard floor.  On the far side of the room, the silhouette of a Takashi guard stood unmoving, back lit by a small lamp in the corner, the tiniest snore coming from his throat as he dozed.

Hin swayed slightly as he woke with a start, he had fallen asleep at his post again! The Gunso (sergeant) would tear him to pieces if she found such dereliction of duty. Shaking his head, in an effort to clear it, he spotted  a small shadow detach itself from the deeper darkness of the private prayer room. The Takashi guard barely opened his mouth to yelp in surprise as the night exploded around him, the shadow dissipating in flash of bright Ki, before feeling the press of twin blades against his throat. A beautiful woman with reddish brown hair and sharp fox-like features appeared before him, her eyes tinged with regret as she swept the swords across his neck.

The Kitsune uses a movement point to transform to humanoid form (HF) and uses one of her force dice and her only stealth dice (in this form) to take out the guard quietly.  So far so good! no noise raised anywhere....
Reaching into her patterned kimono for the small leather pouch, she cursed as she dropped the bag to the floor with a slight thud, the noise carrying out the door and into the corridor beyond the prayer room.

disaster! as she fails to flip the objective (she is definitely not stealthy enough in this form). she creates a noise token and the objective isn't revealed.
 Kyuubi, pressed up against the outer door, counted the heavy steps of a guard as they paced the inner courtyard.  One of a pair of soldiers who guarded the well lit area, they had made several cardinal errors in their placement and it would cost them dearly.  Too far apart, they would be unable to support each other, unable to watch each others backs.  Not only that but they had placed a bright lantern in the middle of the courtyard, which they then faced! With no night vision and no support they were simple obstacles to deal with.

The volatile vulpine once again reached for a shuriken and spun swiftly around the corner, releasing the deadly missile in a single movement.  The guard, caught unaware, barely felt the passing of the razor sharp disc as they sliced through his carotid artery and toppled him into the shadowy recesses of the far corner of the courtyard.  With extraordinary grace, the male kitsune ghosted along the wall and into the small storage rooms that lined the building.

Like his sister, Kyuubi had a variety of items stored under his voluminous cloak that would incriminate the Ito Clan for this little raid.  With that in mind he dropped a little snake fetish, such as would be carried by a bushi, under a shelf in the corner of the small room.

Kyuubi (K) eliminates a guard with a shuriken and reveals a yellow objective (I forgot to photograph the event cards in the last photos when a successful objective is taken) and an event card that allows K to remove a door by the treasure room.

due to KH's noise token the alert level is raised as well as the turn marker (right hand side of the player board) the guard can also use the noise token as an action point and it gets added to their pool
 Hiroto tilted his head and strained his ears.  He had heard a noise coming from the storage rooms behind him, a soft scrape that was definitely not the background noises of the manor house.  Gripping his yari in both hands, he tentatively moved toward the open doorway, the blade of his weapon leading the way.  "Who goes there?" his voice barely more than a whisper, quavering with a modicum of superstitious fear, nonetheless carried into the room.

Absolute silence was his answer, unnatural silence in fact and Hiroto's hands began to sweat as they held his spear.  A shift of his foot and a tilt of his body allowed the soft light of the main house to weakly illuminate the tiny closet only to reveal a creature from the guard's deepest nightmares.  Bent in a slight stoop, cloaked in a billowing cape stood a being with the snarling face of a demonic fox.

Reflexively he thrust the heavy blade of his spear at the beast in an effort to ward it away, the sharp edge slicing into the furred arm of the creature and drawing a line of bright blood along it's length.

the black crescent around K's base is the detected token and means the ninja can now be attacked by the guards
which the guard promptly does and scores a wound on K

the wound goes on the ninja's board and covers up a dice space meaning K only has one force dice to use for the rest of the game

Kyuubi pulled back from the surprised guard, the wound on his arm throbbing with pain.  Planting his left foot, he snap kicked the human in the sternum driving his breath from his lungs with a quiet whoosh.  In a single movement, the vulpine assassin drew his katana and slashed the throat of the poor guard before returning the blade back to it's protective sheath.

Quickly he pulled the corpse into the room and threw it into the corner in a minimal attempt to hide it.  Grimacing at the slash that led from wrist to elbow, he licked it clean with his long tongue before wrapping it loosely with a rag.

note the blue crescent token on the guards base marked with a "!" this is an alert status and the guard is now aware something is wrong, even if they don't know what.  He will now find it easier to detect ninjas and harder to take by surprise
To the Kitsune's sensitive hearing, the fight that had erupted on the other side of the house was horrendously noisy, although in truth it had barely been above a whisper. Her brother, it seemed had been discovered somehow.  She wasn't worried, her sibling was more than capable but it did increase the risk of discovery by the household guards.

With a shrug, she shrunk down into her favourite form and once again stuck snake scales to the side of the dais. As she stepped back from the platform her foot brushed a loose tile, dislodging the ceramic and causing it to scrape gently across the floor.   Her phenomenal reflexes kicked in and she withdrew her foot before too much damage had been done but she glanced quickly around in a panic. She heard footsteps coming from the corridor running alongside the room and cursed again for making noise that sounded like a herd of goats clanking through the room to her sharp hearing.  However no alarms were being raised and she settled down a bit before slinking out into the corridor.

Ahead of her, the bulky form of a Takashi guard moved gently from foot to foot in the time honoured manner of the perpetually board sentry.  Shaking her head minutely at the ineptitude of the guard, she scampered into the small study that adjoined the main dojo and out of sight of the human.

FF flips the objective and gets a trap counter, rolling a dice it doesn't wound her but it does generate a noise token.  I interpreted this as a loose tile...

however her special ability allows her to exchange a stealth die to cancel the token and as she had one left I used it.

an overview of the action so far...the guards in their turn move a bit closer and the guard next to FF absolutely whiffs his detection roll and is blissfully unaware
to be continued....


  1. Great instalment Andy, plenty of tension and really enjoyed how you've written up the action. look forward to next weeks insalment

    1. Thanks Dave, this game is a solid 8/10 when played against another player as it does got super tense

  2. An excellent batrep, Andy. I,too, am looking forward to the next part.

    1. Thanks dude, it’s a good episode coming up too.... 😉

  3. The encounter is coming along nicely. I like the fact that the tension in the game is from lack of action. I know some guards have been killed but the main thrust of the game so far is the stealth with which the Kitsune are moving around. Mind you those guards are incompetent, wouldn't want them guarding me. :)

    1. Me too John, if you really worked at the game you could attempt to play it purely without stealth and I believe one of the missions requires it (I’ll need to check that)

  4. Lovely report mate. Really enjoyable read :)

  5. As I read through this, I got drawn into the shadows by the game; I could feel the mounting tension as Kitsune probed deeper into the house - and it's not all going her way !
    Looking forward to the conclusion of a great game.

    1. Two more parts Joe as the game was really quite long and full of action

  6. That was brilliant Andy! As everyone has mentioned, you really captured the tension! Well done :)

  7. Lovely write-up Andy has a real feel for the game and the action too.

    Cheers Roger.

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