Tokigogachu Torid-e, the watchtower of the village of Tokigogachu, is both old and new. It’s an image of the eternal changing seas and the Mantis clan that made it his home. The story of this building is linked to the village that lies below it, Tokigogachu. Tokigogachu (M4 on the 3rd edition map) is a famous village thorough the empire. Tokigogachu is a quiet fishing village during most of the year. it produces a substantial amount of the huge stockpiles of fish for the Yoritomo.
The real reason every courtier speaks of Tokigogachu every year are its festivals. During each of the several annual festivals (New Year’s Day, 7-5-3 festival, festival of Inari, Dolls and Kites festival, Chrysanthemum festival, Toshi no Ishi, etc), the village comes to life: fireworks, dragon dancers, parades and night parties are so famous that most of the important courtiers attend at least one of the Festivals each year. It is said even the Emperors have been to the New Year’s celebration in disguise.
No one knows when and how those festivals became so famous and so magnificent. It seems it just happened to be a couple of centuries after the Mantis first arrived in the islands. The size and location of the village wouldn’t allow it to grow into a city. The ruling family of this time, the now infamous Gusai, decided to try to promote the festivals to make them among the grandest spectacles in the Empire.
The Gusai had just been granted their own family name. They needed something to annually celebrate that fact. The second Mantis Daimyo of the Gusai lineage began the tradition of inviting every important courtier and personage to a series of festivals at Tokigogachu. Mantis merchants, mercenaries, and their patrons spread the tales of the parties to all the Empire.
At the same time, the Gusai created strict rules about housing and rooming. They wished to ensure that everyone wanting to spend time in the village during the festivals had to pay a fair amount of money depending of the location he would be spending the night. After all, some quarters had a much better view of the fireworks and parades, and offered more entertainment, better geishas, and better sake.
Part of the unique nature of the village’s spectacles is the large role the peasants have in celebrating together with the samurai. The Mantis has always made sure that even the basest commoners would enjoy the festivals, bringing more ideas and more joy in the village. Since the heimin are those who originated most of the festivals and their traditions, taking the festivals away from their hands would have darkened the celebrations.
So the Gusai visibly established the tradition of allowing the village headman and his council run the actual festivals as they saw fit, and generously financed their activities. At the same time Mantis samurai oversee the samurai-only parties that are set on the side of the main events.
The Hoji vassal family was the hereditary ruler of the village and its castle. They once held a firm grip on what were essentially all of the important inter-clan meetings in the Mantis Isles outside of the Champion’s Winter Court. In the last few generations they lost much of their weight with the rise of Mamoru Kyotei Toshi as an important city for celebrations. The preference of Toturi Tsudao for the celebrations of Tokigogachu slowed this decline, but it has resumed.
One of Kitao’s only popular decisions among the Mantis was her decision to move the ruling of the village to the Hogosha vassal family. She took this drastic action in an effort to counteract the growing prominence of the Phoenix city. Many students of the Hogosha family estates in Ryoko Owari have been sent to Great Song Dojo, the artist dojo of the Mantis clan, to provide more and better quality entertainment. The few Mantis to have attended the Kakita artisan academies are slowly being transferred here as well. While the actions of Hogasha have begun an improvement, the current political state of the Empire limits the number of dignitaries who can attend its events.
Unlike the village the Hoji remain in day to day control of the watchtower, but are subordinate to the Hogasha on festival matters. To the extent other Clans know about it, they might consider it an odd arrangement since it essentially gives a vassal family vassals, but Kitao had her reasons and neither Kumiko nor Naizen have seen fit to change things.
The watchtower was created shortly after the decision of the Gusai to make the village a show-case of the cultural aspects of the clan, to keep the place under the gaze of law and order. Over time it has grown from a simple watchtower into a small shiro. Its walls and towers offer a great view of the festival celebrations.
Function: The shiro serves as both a military and court structure. During the numerous festivals through the year, the garrison patrols the streets to provide security. They are quick to intervene and detain any trouble-makers in rooms for their continued safety. The actual “jail” is a small building that is hidden from sight of the town by the shiro. Mantis call it the “Fire Sake House”, as its occupants can still see the fireworks from it and usually arrived there after drinking too much sake.
As a small shiro built around a watchtower, the garrison is stationed in the center of the building. The courts are held on the east wall in the newest parts of the complex. From the eastern walls and towers samurai can look upon the town and watch the festivals without leaving the shiro and the polite discussions. The best rooms, for the most important guests, are located on the higher floors of the shiro. Many poets have written haiku about the beauty of the fireworks from these rooms, as their flares lit the skies like a blossoming garden.
The shiro has another function that the Mantis refuses to discuss with outsiders. The best sailors of the town, and the Hoji samurai, are responsible for patrolling the Bay of Dark Waters (YYY on the 3rd edition map). They must diligently keep the various monsters that live there away from the mantis’s honored guests and holdings. Most of the Empire thinks the rumors about those monsters are legends, but they are true. Those creatures were once Naga, until the Living Darkness stole a part of their identity. This left the naga vulnerable to all manner of corruption. They are now terrible predators that live in the depths, and sometimes attack ships or even people on moonless beeches. Many Mantis have been lost to them despite the efforts of the Hoji, but never a guest of the village or castle. The castle and village still mourn the loss of the ship of Yoritomo Yunaki’s husband and child.
The Mantis samurai go to great length to keep this a legend. The courtiers of the Clan often blame pirates and bad weather for the disappearance of ships in this bay. If the truth would been discovered, the Mantis would loose not only face but also a comfortable source of income and political favors. Courtiers would stop to pull strings to get to be invited or allowed to the best rooms in Tokigogachu.
Autorities : As an important court position for the Mantis, there is always an important member of the Hogosha vassal family around here. Usually this is a direct member of the ruling family, and a student of both the Yoritomo courtier school and from the Great Song Dojo.
Currently the local daimyo for both the village and castle is Yoritomo Hogosha Niobu. He is the youngest adult nephew of Yoritomo Hogosha, the founder of the vassal family itself. Niobu is a talented young man that has been performed to great acclaim in many Crane courts, demonstrating his skills with the Shakuachi (flute) and his wits. He has a pleasant and nice demeanor, and is always willing to discuss any polite subjects with his guest, no matter how trivial they might be. Unfortunately he is too much kind hearted and carefree to really understand the battlefield that the court is. So far no one of import has noticed. Fortunately, his assignment as a social host in such a place makes that his skills in polite discussions to set up comfortable situations for others to negotiate more important than his own negotiations skills. But one day he may be faced with real decisions, decisions that may create or stop a war, and he is not ready for such a responsibility.
The military commander of the stronghold is Yoritomo Hoji Hiroya, husband of the crippled Hoji vassal family daimyo. By training he isn’t much of a military officer. In fact, he served as the first mate on a trading ship. He obtained the position after dealing with a group of Dark Waters Abominations quickly after they ate his captain. Remarkably he managed this feat without even his passengers noticing it, and persuaded them that the captain’s death was due to too much drinking and an unfortunate accident. This showed the Mantis not only his unexpected martial skills, but also his quick wits and sincerity to create a believable explanation for the noise and the blood. His Crane courtiers passengers reported some disgust at the crew gutting fish on deck, but quickly returned to their routine and enjoyed the remainder of their trip.
As a reward he was married to the recently widowed and crippled Hoji Daimyo, and awarded responsibility for the castle as regent until her children come of age. He is rarely seen at the castle. He frequently sails the “Stolen Wave” across the bay carrying routine cargo. He is uncomfortable in his new position, and does not know how to prepare his samurai. He prefers to make sure the routine trade still come to the village and relies on the heimin groups that are tasked with dealing with the fires to deals with the small criminal element in the village. On a daily basis his second Tsuruchi Takeba oversees the police system of the village. As a former ronin member of the fire brigade before being allowed to swear fealty to the Mantis, he knows well the gang system and rules. So far he has efficiently dealt with all threats or injuries to visiting samurai, so there have been no complaints. However, if the current state of affairs continues it is only a matter of time before an Abomination kills a guest and creates a scandal.
Structures: Tokigogachu Torid-e is somewhat a strange shiro. Everything is built around a main tower that serves also as main position for the garrison and Mantis officials. Around it some slightly newer towers that have been connected to the main one by a series of rooms that are now used as courts for the 1st level and as storage rooms for the ground level. This creates an interesting floor plan of a series of squares, from the central square of the tower with two different bigger squares going around it. Every room has 4 entrances except for the one that are contiguous to an exterior wall.
This unusual layout has always been a popular subject of discussion among the courtiers. It allows someone in one of the towers to see what happens in two different courtroom and servants to go from any door. Sometimes courtiers will even make a game of trying to guess from which entrance servants or expected samurai will arrive. Of course this also allows a pretty quick evacuation of the guests towards the inner rooms and protection. The outer passageways to the other towers can actually be burned and collapsed quickly. It is essentially impossible for attackers trying to enter the main tower in force to do so without being an easy target for the defenders of the inner defensive ring.
Each of the different corners towers has a different purpose. Their first levels are often used for yojimbo and guards for guests. Their upper levels are used only for watching the village and the seas. The ground floors, and the underground levels, are used for military purposes. The west tower’s ground level is used as a dojo, and the underground level of it as a stocking area for weapons. The south tower’s is a guard barracks, but under it there is a small cave that leads to the sea. It was used by the famous smuggler Hartuisun-wo of the Hoji vassal family during the Clans war before the Yoritomo family name was granted. He supported Yoritomo’s war efforts with his great wealth. His smuggling activities targeted mostly the Crane markets. The forces that are trained only to deal with the Dark Waters corrupted nagas are trained and quartered in the east tower. The north tower’s ground floor is actually the main entrance and gatehouse for the shiro. Every guest is forced to go through this massive door showing Suitengu in his wrathful aspect.
Facilities : the shiro is mainly a court structure. It has lot of managements for court function. It has 8 major court rooms, 4 in the outer ring and 4 in the inner ring. Each of the room has a different theme for the decorations, and usually the guests are served foods and see flowers that are linked to the decorations. The 4 outer ring courts are linked to the 4 seasons and the 4 more important fortunes of the wind that serve Kaze-no-kami, fortune of the wind. It’s Jikoju, fortune of the east wind, Komoku of the west wind, Tamon of the North wind and Zocho of the south wind, each being set in the court that face the cardinal point of the fortunes. East also bears the Spring decoration, South the Winter one, North the Fall one and West is linked to Summer.
The inner ring has less important courts rooms, usually used for minor diplomats or small privates court sessions between Mantis clan members and often minor clans representatives. The East inner court is decorated with Water element style and sea representations, the West inner court with Fire and storms, the South inner court with Air and snow, and the North inner court with Earth and mountains. The decorations are changed really often so guests are always finding new stuff each time they come. The Mantis is forced to pay a lot of Kakita artisans to help their own for all this work, but it has always been worth the money.
The military facilities are small for a shiro of this size, with only the dojos for the guards and those trained to fight the abominations. The soldiers are usually going to train in squads near the Fire Sake house, the jail. The angle where this building is, makes that it’s difficult to see it from the courts unless you are actually looking for it, despite being not far away of the tower.
Hartuisun-wo’s cave, named the Unexpect Allies, have a small docking facility. It’s not big enough for a kobune, but small barks can came here discreetly at night and deliver cargoes.
Forces : the tower in herself doesn’t hold that much military forces. They have never been attacked and others clans have little to gain by attacking it. The big amounts of those forces are here to eventually hunt down the monsters that came from the corrupted naga city.
The forces include:
- 2 Kobunes are permanently in patrols, 2 are kept in reserves. 2 more can be called upon in short notice. Each of them has a crew from 6 to 24 depending of the captains who are currently serving in Tokigogachu.
- 14 Tsuruchi magistrates and archers for the town’s police and the tower protection.
- 22 Yoritomo bushis for both the town and the tower, but they are usually nearly all in the tower.
- 3 shugenjas, two of the Yoritomo family and one of the Moshi family.
Stronghold: Souten Biko (Beautiful Dawn Port)
The story of this small stronghold starts centuries ago when the Mantis built the City of Lighting (Toshi No Inazuma, M2 on the 3rd edition map). As the Mantis where seafarers and living on an island, they needed ports. The burgeoning city started then to build a port on the beach just north of their position. The port quickly started to grow into a major installations that seen the birth of thousands of kobunes through the years, and most of the Mantis fleet. And it stayed this way for a long time. Until Yoritomo Aramasu, adopted son of Yoritomo and designated heir of the great hero, decided to reward Yoritomo Watanabe. He was granted a vassal family.
Yoritomo Watanabe, born Watanabe, was a famous Mantis shipbuilder during the Clan war. He has made great improvements in the techniques for shipmaking and allowed some of the best vessels ever seen in Rokugan to be added to the Mantis fleet. Aramasu offered him then a vassal family, and many shipbuilders sworn allegiance to him. But the champion also handpicked peoples to join him as administrators and warriors, advisors and leaders. They helped the family to grow, and were the first to suggest the Watanabe to have their own house.
They choose Souten Biko, the port of Toshi no Inazuma, who was also the port Watanabe worked most of his life. It was already a secure harbour, with dry docks and every resource needed for the Watanabe builders to create ships and support tools. Its proximity to the most important city of the Mantis’ Isles of Silk and Spice made it a perfect choice. Watanabe died 2 years after the founding of his family, and just left the family living here in an unofficial ancestral house.
With the Mantis starting a war with the Phoenix and the depredations of the Dark Wave during the War of Fire and Thunder, the Watanabe daimyo, Yoritomo Watanabe Kazu decided that his family needed a real place to call her own. After negotiating with the Mantis daimyos and governors, the family hired Kaiu engineers and used their own engineers to built Shiro Watanabe, more often called the Lighthouse of Beautiful Dawn Port.
There is a secret to the Watanabe family name. Some of those handpicked by Yoritomo Aramasu were members of the banished line of Gusai. The adopted son wanted to honor them but couldn’t give them their name back, so he catered them among the growing Watanabe family. They are a hidden vassal family. Most of them follow and blend among the Watanabe, but some stand out as warriors, pirates and assassins. Like the Wind of Storm, the Mantis’ group of spies and ninjas, they are given the dirty works no one else wants to do. And they see it as a reverence to those who born their name and ruled once the Mantis clan.
Autorities : Yoritomo Watanabe Kazu rules over everything that goes in and out of Souten Biko. Even if he is rarely in the Lighthouse, his wife Nishiko is always here, following the tradition created by Lady Doji that wives should rules the household and held the purse. She is like a cat, holding everything going in the shiro. She isn’t well-liked for her habits of spying and keeping everyone under scrutiny but Kazu doesn’t care. He has his ships to built, and as long as the finances of the family please the Mantis champion, that all he need to know. Like his grandfather Watanabe himself, Kazu care more for his artisan’s skills than for anything else. He nearly missed his first child’s birth because they were a problem with one of his ships. But he is a talented artisan and sculptor. If he doesn’t match his grandfather’s skills at shipwright, he is still one of the best among the clan. He is also a talented woodworker and is known to sculpt small wood statues as a hobby. They are not shown to peoples outside of his family and friends’ circle, but many have said that is talent is one of the Kakita Artisans. He has recently thought of searching Kitsune Engo’s, a famous Fox sculptor, point of view on his work. But he is shy about it as it doesn’t help the clan as much as the ships he built.
Yoritomo Watanabe Jetse-ku.
Jetse-ku is for many the archetype, the clich of a Mantis Samourai. He is a braggart, often half-drunk, a mercenary and a brawl fighter. That how he sees life and doesn’t intend to change it for anything. As the responsible for the Watanabe’s home security, he always spent hours patrolling both the lands and the seas, and make sure everyone hear his boasts about how he will break everyone’s teeth if they breaks the laws. But there is more to him than just that. Despite bearing the Watanabe name, Jetse-ku is actually from the Gusai bloodline. And a firm believer of the Gusai’s actions who lead to the Gusai’s name be granted and then removed. He finds Naizen weak and too willing to dodge the actual confrontations with the other clans. The whole protect the peasants business is not giving the Mantis anything worth keeping. Jetse-ku wants the return of the Gusai as the clan 5th family, and the ruling one. There is no Emperor anymore on the throne to forbid it. He admires Kitao for taking control of the clan and using every assets she had, even the taint. Jetse-ku was a firm supporter of the Dark Wave, one of the few that survived the battle that ended the war of Fire and Thunder, and his taint came from drinking obsidian petal tea and not the Rain of Blood, explaining how he didn’t submitted to Daigotsu. He is now working on his own secret organisation, seeking mostly the members of the Gusai vassal family and the trained ninjas of the Mantis Clan, the Wind of storms. They are more likely to listen to his tales of military power through dishonourable means for the glory of the clan.
Structures : the actual shiro is nicknamed the Lighthouse for a real reason. It has actually a lighthouse at the top of his structures. It’s always lighted at night, but it is actually useful only during the worst storms that strike the bay of green coral during the monsoon season. Despite it, the light is always here, a symbol of hope and home for all the sailors that face the wrath of Suitengu by going on the sea.
A classical shiro by his general structure, it his constituted of a huge dungeon central tower that has the lighthouse at the top and general walls and protection all around. Despite the usual habits of the Mantis to have strongholds that shines as a show of their fortunes, Shiro Watanabe is classical to a point. The decoration are present, more than on most Crab castle, but otherwise peoples could take it for any Crab fortress removed from the Carpenter Wall. This is due to the Kaiu works during the last generation, and the improvements the Mantis did since. The main function of this stronghold being to protect the port, the base of the tower actually touches the sea and some docks have been built over the water. Like this the Mantis marine troops can actually rush to their boats to fight back every possible threat coming from the sea, and retreat inside. Many ballistae have been bought from the Kaiu as defensive siege machines. The port itself has two towers at the entrance that can raise a chain to block the way of any ships in and out.
On the inside, the shiro actually have only real court room, who is rarely used for anything else than commercial meetings. A second room can be used as a court room, but is for now only used to expose the paintings, sculpting, writings that some of the Watanabe create as a hobby. They are kept here and rarely shown to anyone. Most of the family see this as a childish occupation, like their daimyo, and don’t want to shame their lords by showing it around.
The inside port structure is a marvel that is for now unmatched. The Kaiu that helped built it died in an accident just before the work started, and all the secrets of the construction have been kept by the Mantis workers who helped design it. The newly Mantis Kitsune [Swift in Japanese ?] is now the responsible of those structures. A talented architect, he has a lot of work with the damage of water and salt on the wooden and stone walls. Three kobunes are usually left here in any occasion, but up to 5 can be housed here at need. Some part of the roof can be collapsed to block any possible attacks, and a lot of discreet sea spikes have been set so that entering this port is difficult for anyone trying to speed and not knowing where those obstacles are.
The dojo of the Night Shift is hidden in the part of the castle that barely ever sees the direct sun due to the position of the construction. That where the Mantis bushis and Marines troops affected to the Shiro trains and prepares. It also serve of base to the Gusai counter-intelligence trained members : the Watanabe held precious construction techniques, and some of the guards and yojimbos in this castle do more than just keep an eye on the guests and workers. They have proactive actions towards those they are suspicious of industrial spying. For now, they have never been any incident, but a couple of peoples have been started to be sick, had small accidents and such when the sensei, Yoritomo Watanabe (Gusai) Matsoru, has been lead to believe they were up to something.
Facilities : Souten Biko is mostly a port structure and that can be seen in his facilities. The shipyard, dry docks and all kinds of ship building facilities are spread all around it in many directions, and the building itself have a small port and wood stockpiles. That makes it quite a vulnerable target for any fire starting, and Yoritomo and Moshi shugenjas are always patrolling around to quench any start.
With only one court room, the Lighthouse lacks real facilities for court activities. Even the guests quarters are mostly used by Yoritomo courtiers of the Hogosha family that are travelling or working around, and not left mostly unoccupied contrary to greater houses. Any court session held here would lacks of lots of furniture and activities, and considered a waste of time both by the hosts and most of the guests. The Watanabe have somewhat a Crab view on court intrigues.
Military, the shiro is difficult to defend from any kind of ground assault. With the woods around and all the shipyard, an army that have experienced ground troops can protect themselves among the structures and attack the castle without much danger as they would be protected from arrows and heavy units couldn’t manoeuvre well. That would make Yoritomo soldiers at their best, as fighting in such close quarters is something they are expert in. They could retake the castle more easily than any other forces, but couldn’t defend it in anyway in the position is it actually. From sea assault, with the huge numbers of marine troops available in this castle and the nearest city, and the post system, without the extensive use of magic the Lighthouse can’t be taken by a navy. Those two features make a new Mantis civil war a difficult battle in such a place, as the Mantis’ skills will be the challenge.
The dojo of the Night Shift is the only bushi-training facility of the castle, but secretly in the small series of hills in the heaviest part of the bamboo forest that lies behind the tropical forest is the Dojo of the Concealed Blade. That where the agents of the Gusai are mostly trained, far removed from the main holdings so nobodies can learn of their whereabouts. Officially here is only a small a woodcutter camp, that also why there is never more than a dozen of peoples at a same time.
Forces : permanently the castle house the following troops. But more can be brought from Toshi No Inazuma and the hidden dojo on quick notice. The castle being close to many of the Yoritomo major holdings, it would have a Storm quickly showing up if it were in any dangers.
- 2 Kobunes.
- 2 Shugenjas, one of the Yoritomo family and one of the Moshi family.
- 15 guards of the Yoritomo family.
School / Rank : Yoritomo shugenja 3
Honor : 2,3 Glory : 3,0 Statut : 1,5
Earth : 2
Water : 4
Fire : 2 (intelligence 4)
Air : 2
Void : 3
Advantages : forbidden knowledge (Lore : pearl magic) 7 pts. Fukurokujin’s blessing 3 pts. Heart of vengeance : Naga 3 pts. Langage : Naga 1 pt. Langage : Ningyo 1 pt.
Disadvantages : Fascination : Naga magic 1 pt. Lost love : Yoritomo Juro 2 pts. Dependent : Yoritomo Kazu 2 pts.
Skills : athletics (swimming) 3, calligraphy 2 (Asako Kinto cypher), lore : sailing 5, spellcraft 3, theology 1, peasants weapons 1, medecine (non-human medecine : Naga) 4, lore : pearl magic (water pearl) 8, lore : Naga 5 (Dark waters bay abominations) , investigation 1, anatomy (nonhuman anatomy : Naga) 4
Spells (* are spells know as innate abilities) :
- Naga spells she is attempting to learn : The Pearl’s purity, The Pearl’s Pathway, Path to Inner Peace, Power of the Ocean.
- General spells : Commune, counterspell, Importune, sense and summon.
- Air spells : By the Light of Lady Moon *, Nature’s touch, Call upon the wind *
- Fire spells : The Fury of Osano-wo
- Water spells : Heart of Nature, Path to Inner Peace *, Sympathetic Energies, Rejuvenating Vapors, Wisdow and clarity, Regrow the Wound, Walking upon the waves, Hand of Jurojin and Within the waves.
With her black hair floating free behind a green bandana,Yoritomo Yunaki is a beautiful woman in her mid-thirties, but age has not stolen her beauty. Like many of her Yoritomo relatives, she has always worn very short kimonos that allow her to travel easily while onboard the ships where she makes her home.
Indeed, she has barely touched earth for more than a couple of nights since an accident eight years ago that destroyed the Night Rider, her husband’s ship.
During that fateful night, the ship was going through Wan no Asaguroi Mizu, the bay of Dark Waters (See Secrets of the Mantis, pg. 19). It was a routine transport of cargo–one Yoritomo Juro, the captain and Yunaki’s husband, had done hundred of times.
Their family was aboard with them: Kazu, their oldest son; Kenshiro, the youngest; and their daughters, Anao and Ijiko. The last three were triplets–normally a sign of bad luck, but until that night, fate had never struck the family after their birth.
But, then, eveyrthing changed . . . suddenly, strange creatures started to attack the ship. Soon the crew was overwhelmed and the Night Rider sank quickly. Only Yunaki and Kazu survived.
And, sadly, Kazu was in bad shape. He had been bitten by one of the creatures and infected by the Dark Water fever. Only his mother’s magic prevented him from turning into one of the creatures who attacked them, the Dark waters abominations, but even it could not return him to normal. To this day, deep in the hold of his mother’s ship, he remains, tied to his bed, like a feral creature.
Yunaki was devastated. She had lost so much of her life and all because of those creatures.
She started to start to learn all she could about the Dark Water Abominations. Eventually, she discovered a connection between the Abominations and the Naga. Suddenly, her anger had a focus.
She studied forbidden books and scrolls, scrounging for any hint of a a way to cure her son or gain her revenge on the creatures who had devastated her family. After years, and most of her fortune, she found books on a cult founded by Asako Kinto in Ryoko Owari (Ryoko Owari boxed set, City of Lies GM book pg. 42).
The cult claimed to understand the basics of Naga magic and using pearls of power. It took two more years to decipher them, but she believed it was worth the effort. She believed she knew enough to use this magic, but when she tried to use some pearls, the spell effects only made them explode.
And, of late, she’s noticed something . . . strange . . . about her skin. It seems to dryout very rapidly, and parts flake off, almost like scales. And, in certain lights, it’s begun to take on an odd almost greenish tinge.
Maybe playing with magical pearls is more dangerous than Yunaki thought. But she can’t stop now, she has to save her son. And for that, she will do anything.