Dreams and Waking
Lu Bu had a nightmare, remembering his time as an imperial observer during Shogun Shouta’s suppression of a rebellion in the heart of Middle Valley. While the Shogun’s lieutenant was able to take the head of the rebellion’s leader, and the remaining rebels surrendered, the lieutenant took it upon himself to make an example of the village where the uprising had started, putting it and all its inhabitants to the torch.
Akemi awoke, still recovering from her injury, and spoke with Huijin briefly. While Huijin was apologetic for her perceived failure, the Princess did not seem to know how to react to the deference offered by Huijin and Strawhat. A traveling monk approached the party, on his way to the shrine within Middle Valley, and asked to be permitted to travel alongside the party for better protection from bandits.
As they entered the fresh growth of Middle Valley on their way to the Sacred Grove, the party came across an area of recently cleared land, chopped by woodcutters in the area. Huijin was upset by the discovery up further human encroachment into the forest, but the party set this aside for a time and pressed forward.
As they traveled through a sea of bamboo, the party was set upon by blights. Huijin demonstrated her ability to assume the form of a fierce beast, and a taxing battle followed. Both Ivellios and Strawhat were brought close to death, but the blights were defeated. Shiro, the recent addition to the party, discovered the nature of the party’s mission, and asked to join them, to help serve the Empire.
The Circle of the Second Moon
Upon reaching the Sacred Grove, the party met the members of Huijin’s circle, Soli, Nako, Te-Jia, and Ji-Bao. While Soli and Nako welcomed the newcomers, Te-Jia was outraged to find that two sorcerers had been brought into the Sacred Grove. The stress caused Ivellios to lose temporary control of his power, assuming a hideous beast form before being locked by Nako into a sheep’s body until he calmed down.
Huijin and the other druids began their Moot, and decided that Huijin must continue her quest to find the Darkwood Sphere, and discover the cause of the unrest in nature. The circle would protect the Princess for a time.
Before the party had a chance to rest, a great desecration was felt through the leylines. Soli and Nako set about maintaining the barrier around the Sacred Grove, but Te-Jia dashed into the woods to search for Ji-Bao. Without a third master druid to hold the circle, a stampeding presence outside the Grove threatens to breach the barrier.
The party prepares to step outside to confront this menace.