9.1: The Battle for the Empire's Soul

Riding across the land bridge at the next low tide, the heroes reached the end only to notice large shapes waiting for them in tidal pools just onto the Shadowlands side. Ranneko sent her spare quasi-real horses forward to attract attention, then attacked the center pool with her ensnaring plants. Marsh trolls spluttered to the surface, struggling to avoid being pinned down, yet still to be able to reach their foes with their clubs. As the Kill-Stealers held back out of their reach at the shoreline, Chan’ju’tem was swallowed by an oni ooze that had escaped detection. But thanks to their superior mobility, the samurai were able to defeat all their foes without any casualties.

The next day, they reached Shinsei’s Last Hope to see it surrounded by goblins and undead. However, that day, Ranneko’s conjuring of horses had gone so well that they could run over water, so the Kill-Stealers rode in from the sea. Mountain goblins rushed to intercept them on the narrow strip of land before the walls there, but the samurai slew the goblin king oni enslaving them, leaving the belligerent but unwilling monsters to escape their servitude. The humans and ratling were hoisted over the wall by the defenders before more Shadowlands forces could catch them.



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