The party was in full retreat, making their way back up through Ravenscraeg. The trolls were still waiting for them. Rather than try to talk their way past the trolls (considering ninjas might be chasing them), they opened up the door and ran for it. The trolls tried to take swings at them, but the party was able to slip past and into the tight hallway, which was too small for the trolls to follow. Rehoofa managed to run past while carrying a chest of loot from the treasure room, though he spilled a few coins jumping over the stream the trolls had been guarding.
They made it outside and retreated down the mountain pass. On the way they found that the cloud of ravens overhead was markedly less thick, and none of the birds seemed to follow them this time. A few of the party made the connection that Wodes, Goti’s familiar, had been dealing with the ravens, and with Goti slain, Wodes and the ravens might not be an issue any more.
The party got back to camp and healed what they could, burning up the last of their healing wand. Fortunately Spivey arrived shortly thereafter with another wand, which they quickly started putting to use. Spivey joined Marcel in grief over Grigori’s death. The party considered sending Spivey out for yet another wand, but then remembered that Suishen was stuck down a well too small for them to fit down, and decided to bring her along on their next foray into the fortress.
When day broke again, the party pulled itself together and went back in, determined to make this the last time in. The party made it down to where the trolls were, this time deciding they’d had enough of having to sweet-talk or run past the monsters each way. They resolved to fight, but they rather unfortunately made their plans just down the hallway from the trolls, and as the party moved to fight, the trolls were fully alerted and prepared. The trolls started by throwing chunks of coal to throw the party off-balance, then pushing their way down the tight hallway to engage. The party was wounded but had the advantage: the trolls were crammed in tightly, and could only come one at a time. The party struck down both trolls and burned them with a Flaming Sphere, putting them down for good.
The party then moved to find Suishen, getting back to the well where the sword was hidden. The sword was still there, its blade bursting into flame as Rehoofa approached. Rehoofa stood guard over the well while he sent Spivey down. No sooner had Spivey headed down the well, however, than tengu ninjas jumped out of the water, attacking them.
The tengu were quick and could turn invisible, but the party had grown used to ninja tricks, and were able to strike them down. As the last tengu finally fell, Spivey managed to squeeze her way back up the well, the flaming blade of Suishen in hand.
Suishen proved to be the real thing, speaking in a gruff, Tien-accented voice, and referring to itself in the third person. It identified the party as scions marked by the Seal, and asked several sharp questions, such as “who sits upon the jade throne” and “what of the other noble families.” It realized from the party’s confusion that a lot of time had passed, and many things had been forgotten which should not have been. It promised to explain, but later, since oni were waiting for them to kill. The party at least appreciated the sword’s enthusiasm.
They tried to figure out who should carry the sword. Suishen studied them carefully, and settled on Elsa as its wielder, since she was the closest thing the party had to a melee fighter. It mentioned that Ulf was not a scion, and therefore was not worthy to wield it. Elsa proudly strapped on the sword.
The party went back through the dojo, where they saw that Omoyani’s body was gone. Suishen was impressed the party had killed a nogitsune, though it mentioned they were lucky there had not been any kitsune nearby when the monster had been killed. Marcel was unsettled by this and wondered what the sword was getting at, but decided that question might be better saved for later.
The party went downstairs, checking the doors on the way to be sure. Rehoofa was ambushed by tengu ninjas hiding behind one of the doors, remarking that that seemed to be happening a lot in this place.
The party fought the ninjas and their invisibility tricks. Suishen revealed one of its powers, granting Elsa the ability to see invisible foes. Unfortunately, Elsa was not trained in the use of katanas, and was swinging clumsily. Still, she managed to get one good hit in, slicing a ninja open and then biting out his throat. The party watched Elsa attack the air, and a dead ninja materialize seconds later.
The party healed up and went down the hall Goti Runecaster had retreated down, engaging the statues. Elsa hung back while Rehoofa fought with arrows, though Suishen, wishing to be wielded in combat, disapproved of Elsa hanging back. In its words, “Suishen feels shame.”
With a salvo of arrows and some acrobatic dodging, Rehoofa managed to bring the statues down. The party then healed up again and approached the door the statues had been guarding. The door Goti had been running for, and the door which, presumably, the prisoners lay behind.
They threw the door open, finding a large, Tien-decorated room with a fountain running out of the wall, and decorative screens dividing up the floor. The head of the Rimerunners Guild, Thorborg Silverskorr, stood waiting for them. An evil smirk on her face, she greeted the party, offering them one chance to turn back. When the party refused, she stepped behind a screen, and ordered the Frozen Shadows to attack.
The party suddenly found ninjas virtually coming out of the walls themselves…