L5R JYTB Campaign Report 11 – Bloody Night at Quiet Monkey Village

27 May, 2010

Bloody Night at Quiet Monkey Village

Having agreed to help Kuni Fuyumi with her investigation of a possible ghost haunting, Doji Chikako, Kiau Yo and Soshi Utami travel to Lucky Monkey Village.  Lucky Monkey is a fairly prosperous village about a day’s travel from the main castle of the Monkey Clan.  Everyone is mounted, even the Crab on a borrowed Unicorn horse that is actually large enough for him to ride.  Toku Kobo cannot join as he had fallen sick with a fever (i.e., the player was absent) and the Sparrow was unable to secure permission to go as the only member of his clan here (his player was also absent).

What has brought the roving eye of the Kuni to the village (beside her desire to escape winter court) were several mysterious deaths of babies and one miscarriage.  While the Kuni investigates the grave yard, the other characters look around.  The Doji speaks to the woman who miscarried, who still looks very pale and weak even though the midwife said that she did not lose much blood during the miscarriage.  One of the boys in the town said that he saw a small owl-like bird on the roof of one of the houses and that it made a strange noise in the middle of the night.  Others in the town also heard the cry.

After clearing the graveyard and other common occurrences, it is discovered that the attack  started after a village market where the villager of Quiet Monkey Village came over for their twice yearly trade visit.  Quiet Monkey Village located in the nearby hills among rich peach orchards, it is almost a full day’s ride but the characters realize that it is much closer as the crow flies.  It is a small isolated village and uncomfortable around outsiders where young women outnumber young men by three to two.  The characters are cautiously welcomed and offered the headman’s “palatial” hut (meaning it can sleep all four of the characters comfortably) where they were attended to by Little Orchid, the headman’s daughter, whom Doji Chikako told terrible stories about the depredations of Lucky Monkey Village.

The Kuni, Soshi and Kiau investigate around the town confirming that the graveyard was undisturbed and looking for other clues.  Unfortunately, the village was remarkably boring.  The only thing of note was a broken tree branch that looked like something may have crashed into it and was coated with what the Kuni identified as bile and the mention by the headman that crows had not been seen in the local area for months.

The characters were feted that night by the whole village as important and welcomed guests including peach liquor, peach pickle, candied peaches, and more forms of freshly cooked peach than you can shake a tetsubo at.  Almost all of which were being offered to Kiau Yo, the eligible bachelor of the party, continually until he was quite stuffed.  The Soshi was working the crowd in a general way, just keeping a look out when she caught the eye of one of the village girls . . . and saw that her reflection was upside down in it.  Reporting this to the Kuni who promptly said, “Shapeshifters.”

Kiau Yo withdrew to the center of the village with the other characters and started grabbing girls and looking them in the eyes before forcing them to sit in a circle behind him.  He had used this technique on two girls when his shoulder erupted in blood.  The keen-eyed Soshi spotted on of the village girls driving a tanto into the Kiau’s shadow and shot her with a well placed, but not fatal, arrow.

Kiau Yo immediately chased after his attacker while the villagers ran for cover.  The Doji perceived something in the air above them, a moment later, both the Soshi and the Doji were bleeding as if cut.  An arrow from the Soshi failed to bring the flyer down but the Wrathful Glare of the Sun caused it to scream out.  The Kiau caught up with the wounded shapeshifter and missed it as it changed from human into a dog as it fled.  The Kuni went down in a spray of blood as the second shapeshifter attacked her shadow.

The flyer, revealed as a female torso with bat wings and a whipping tongue, dived to attack the Soshi.  It’s tongue driving into the Soshi’s shoulder where it started sucking blood from the horrified Scorpion.  The Doji’s shadow was attacked, the pain causing her to fail to complete her prayer to the kami.  Meanwhile, the Kiau’s tetsubo finished off the shapeshifter and he dragged its dog corpse back to the others.

Between the Soshi’s katana and the Doji’s magic, the flyer was finally put down but not before draining more of the Scorpion’s blood.  The last shapeshifter cut the Kiau’s shadow and then changed into a dog and fled, avoiding a thrown tetsubo but not an arrow.  It vanished, wounded, into the night.  They toss the body of the flyer and the dog-shifter into the flames.

The Kuni survived, another scar added to her already impressive collection, and the characters interrogate the villagers.  It comes to light that the creature was Little Orchid, who was not the headman’s daughter but had appeared a few months ago and bewitched the villagers.  The two shapeshifters had taken the form of two of the village maidens (by killing and eating them according to the Kuni) named Groundnut and Soynut, Soynut having been the one who escaped.  The characters spend the day recovering somewhat, trying to find the Soynut-shapeshift, without luck, but finding the lower half of ‘Little Orchid’ which they salt and burn.

The Soshi gives the Quiet Monkey Villages some basic instruction with the bow and recommends that they arm themselves in case it returns.  The next day, they return to Lucky Monkey Village, and tell the villagers there that the creature that preyed upon them is destroyed and warned them about the shapeshifter (and gave more bow lessons).  Finally, they return and report to Toku Jihime, the Monkey Daimyo, who recognizes their service and bravery.

Notes: The villain of the piece was based on the Manananggal, a Philippine vampire, and the shapeshifters on the Aswang.  Both of which I was introduced to though this fine product: Asuang: Shapechanging Horrors by Nosfecatu Publishing, though considerably adapted (thanks wikipedia).


  1. Wow. When we made Asuang: Shapechanging Horrors, we did not expect it to cross over to other tabletop rpg’s. But after reading this, we are glad that it did. Thank you for taking the time to adopt the aswang and manananggal in your game!

    And yes, there are apparently lots of uses for peaches. Hmm… Now I want to look for some… >.>

    • You did a great job, very inspirational and fun. Looking forward to see what else you do with Philippines mythology.

  2. Awesome!~

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