In the North of Zhongdao…
The party continued northwards a number of days. As they began to near the foothills of the northern mountains, their path crossed with a trail recently cut. A large number of heavy footfalls has tread the ground, and Steve believed that the trail markings showed it to be caused by a tribe of orcs, likely marauding.
Deciding to continue on their way, the party continued north, entering the lands formally controlled by the Shogun. Later that day, seeing evidence of a cart being turned off the road, the party was ambushed by cyclops, who attacked the party from the hills with boulders.
Though Akemi’s horse was crushed, Steve managed to pull her back to safety, and Grozem threw himself into the fight furiously. As the rest of the party retreated, Grozem managed to barely extricate himself, battered and bloody, from the cyclops.
A little while later, as they slowed their horses from their flight from the cyclops, they arrived at the town of Jejin, and deciding that it was time to stop for the night, entered the town. The town, loyal to the Shogun still, asked about the cyclops, and whether the party were merchants carrying medicine needed by the town.
Lu Bu went to heal the diseased in the town, while much of the party spread out to find rumors and information through the town. The townspeople were divided. Most seemed convinced that the Shogun would restore order and reappoint Prince Yuudai to the throne, but were frustrated with the orcs, cyclops, and ‘bandits’ who were affecting the nearby area. They were especially upset that the Shogunate had done little to help with the recent troubles, but most were convinced that they could endure until the Regent was removed, Acheron was driven back, and order was restored.
One young girl, however, told them more about the ‘bandits’, a group led by someone called ‘General Ren’, who fought against the orcs and other forces in the area, including the Shogun’s armies. Public sentiment, however, was not strongly on the side of General Ren.
After staying the night, the party awoke to find a proclamation being given in town: 500 gold would be awarded by the Shogun to anyone who killed the cyclops and removed that threat. As Lu Bu claimed that the party would deal with the cyclops, not for the Shogun, but for Princess Akemi, and refused to acknowledge the Shogun’s authority over the north, the governor of the town had guards escort the party out of the town.
The party then turned their horses southward once again, to deal with the cyclops they had left behind just the previous day._