Kikonu the Travelling Merchant

I am currently running an Oriental Adventures (OA) campaign called The Divine Heir and the Jade Regent loosely based around the Pathfinder Adventure Path the Jade Regent with strong influences from Sekiro.  The first adventure is called The Ashina Legacy and is essentially the The Brinewall Legacy set in and completely converted to an OA setting.

I had to rewrite the adventure intro and re-theme the monsters but it worked well.  Here is the flowchart of the adventure:

Book 1: Ashina (Brinwell) Legacy

  • PCs track bakeomon (goblins) to Omikura Swamp. 
  • They either kill the goblins and track the fallen samurai back to their cave or find out from the goblins about it.  If required the kami of the Amatatsu Seal will appear and lead the players to the cave where the seal is (Lord Kuro is from the Dragon Clan so his seal kami appears as a small silver-black dragon).
  • The PCs find the warded seal in the cave protected by Dragon Clan armoured skeletal undead and learn that their prince is not dead but held in Ashina Castle – a former crane castle which fell to monsters about 50 years ago.  
    • The seal gives them a flashback to what happened with the previous and last emperor and I actually had my PCs play the dream sequence out and they got a taste of Anumaramon’s power.
  • They then travel to Ashina Castle, find the prince, liberate him and are granted the castle by the prince as a reward.  He can do this as he is the rightful heir of Caroa (Japan analogue).
  • Guarding the prince is Kikonu a raven themed oni.
  • The prince suggests they compete in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament held in Bruul (China analogue) to win the mortal blade which is the only weapon that can permanently kill an oni.
  • They also raid the treasure vault and recover powerful nemuranai to help in their cause.

One of the “random encounters” between the swamp and the castle was this traveling merchant who is a reoccurring character in my campaigns – a disguised oni who sells cheap magic items which are invariably cursed.  But PCs can’t resist how cheap they are. Here is the encounter:

THE TIAN MERCHANT

An old man pulling a cart approaches you from up ahead – some kind of trader or tinkerer. His eye gleams when he sees you and he starts waiving at you.\ 

“I have precisely what you need. You can say you do not need anything? That is only because you have not yet seen what I have to offer good sirs!”

“My stock has a lifetime guarantee and a two-day warranty!”

This is Kikonu in disguise and he is trying to pawn off some cursed magic items to the players. If asked where he got these, he will take his hat off and mournfully explain that he found a band of dead adventurers not far from Ashina Castle. Seems they didn’t survive some battle. He gave them a proper burial – washing their bodies and cleaning them up which of course means he had to strip them first – there is no reason to let the equipment go to waste. He has a +6 Deception score and due to this perfect disguise, he has advantage on the roll. The bull pulling the cart is the blazing bull.

Items he has for sale:

  • Armor of the Lesser Oni (Partial 15 + 2 dex) (vulnerability – P/S, claws a do 1d6 damage as bonus action and are magical) (300 sen) “the hodge-podge nature of this black and red armour does not diminish how fearsome it looks. It maybe barbaric but it looks cool”
  • Belt of Oni Strength (STR 20, cursed, reverses gender) (200 sen). “This bright red and black belt is more a girdle than a belt the buckle area has a sneering oni on it”. Once the gender is flipped the oni’s gender changes to match and now has a smug smile.
  • Axe of the Oni (Berserker Axe) (200 sen) “this pristine weapon is clearly of masterwork quality but otherwise looks like a woodsmen’s axe. Close inspection of the blade reveals fine etchings of oni doing terrible things to their enemy. More disturbingly the etchings move and change when you are not looking”.
  • Javelin of the Oni (Backbiting) (100 sen) “the sleek black javelin is so dark it seems to absorb light”.
  • Tate of the Oni (Missile attraction) (200 sen) “this shield bears the face of the same oni as the belt glaring angrily at any who dare attack you”.
  • Gekido Sugar (Vulnerable all, -2 to AC but Advantage on attack rolls, maximum damage with +10 damage bonus, lasts 1 minute) (50 sen)
  • A collection of talismans– none are cursed. See pg. 28 of Oriental PHB.
  • Dousing Powder (1d4). “Medicine for treating burns. When fire is used on the battlefield, Dousing Powder is crucial for survival”.(30 sen, provides fire resistance for 1 minute or cures the burn condition. Bonus action to use).
  • Eel liver (1d4). “A miraculous drug capable of banishing lightning offered at the Ashina Clan altar. Lightning is a force of the gods. Eels, while small, are relatives of dragons. Even a god’s force can be suppressed, though probably not for long”. (50 sen, provides lightning resistance for 1 minute. Bonus action to use).
  • Antidote Powder (1d4). “A powerful Antidote concocted by the Sunken Valley clan. Magnetic deposits are found in the Sunken Valley, but the place is dangerously toxic. Antidote Powder is essential for anyone attempting to mine the ore.”. (50 sen, cures poison or grants resistance for 1 minute. Bonus action to use).
  • Contact Medicine (1).“Powdered medicine with poisonous effects used through the ages of by Ashina shinobi. By inflicting a weak poison on oneself, all other forms of poison become ineffective. Some shinobi also use this medicine for a specific technique. Poison is said to expand the mind”. (100 sen, grants poison immunity for 1 minute. Bonus action to use).
  • Pacifying Agent(1d4). “Powered medicine for calming nerves, used by those who deal in unspeakable deed. Grave keepers, executioners, the memorial mob… all who keep death close keep this powder closer, adhering to a simple rule: If seized with fear, cover your rear.”(50 sen, cures frightened or provides advantage on the roll. Bonus action to use).
  • Pellet(1d4). “Medicinal Pellets that slowly restore Vitality. A secret treatment passed down for generations in these lands, records say it has been used in battles since times long gone and lent to the famed resilience of Ashina warriors. A pill case full of these pellets would also serve as a battle charm”. (200 sen, provides regen for 1-minute equal to your proficiency bonus. Bonus action to use).
  • Snap Seed (1). “Fumewort seeds that make a loud noise if you snap them. Useful for breaking the effect of illusion techniques. If an illusion occurs, it is because someone created it. To crush the phantoms and return to reality, one must defeat the creator of the illusion. Snap seeds can be of great help in that regard”. (200 sen. Acts as a 7thlevel dispel magic that targets all illusions in a 20-foot sphere centered on the user. Illusory creatures flinch and have disadvantage on attack rolls for 1 minute).

All cursed items can be redeemed via a 9thlevel remove cursespell cast by a shukenja. If restored in this way the items retain their magical qualities without the curse.

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