Random Encounters10/21/2003

The Legacy of Aramitama Yurei
(Bonus Oriental Adventures Encounters)

Yurei's History

Aramitama Yurei, his self-given name, came from a rural family. His father was a sohei while his mother worked the fields. When Yurei reached the age to begin his apprenticeship, his father realized Yurei was not a strong boy and could not follow the path of the sohei. Instead, his father petitioned the monks to train him. It was his father's standing with the monastery that made the monks accept him as a student.

Yurei trained to become a monk because his father had told him to do so. But he hated every day of it. The discipline, the self-denial, and the meagerness of it all grated on him. He desired more. He wanted to see what was beyond the hills surrounding the village in which he lived. So upon reaching adulthood, he left the monastery since his duty to his father was completed.

During a cold, wet night shortly after his escape, he couldn't get a fire started. That is when it happened. His anger at himself, the wood, the rain, and even the gods welled up within him until it exploded; he had triggered an elemental burst. While wiping the blood from his face, he almost couldn't contain his fear and excitement. He remembered the stories that humans had to be possessed by demons to have this ability, but he knew he wasn't possessed. He had to be special. He began to experiment and learn. He found his limits and sought to overcome them.

In the meantime, he continued to travel to see new things and meet new people. He saw how most people take advantage of each other and vowed no one would ever have control over him again. He reasoned the best way to avoid that fate was to learn how to use people himself. Along the way, he learned the various levels of control and mastered each one. He also learned of dark secrets that humans should not know, but his arrogance led him to attempt to master those as well.

Yurei roamed the world for close to 20 years before the desire to see his mother again struck him. He traveled home only to find that his mother and many other villagers had been slain during a hengeyokai raid. Yurei found and destroyed them. Upon his return to the village, his father asked him to stay and visit a while. Yurei considered his options, and while boring, the village and valley would make a good place to stay low and hopefully avoid the majority of his pursuers. During his quest for power, he had made many enemies.

The villagers did not know of his most recent past, and due to his trappings, believed Yurei to be a wu jen. Yurei maintained two lives; one as Yinjinko Hiro, the village hero and protector, and his true life, the sorcerer who dabbled in the dark arts during the secrecy of night. Yurei established a home away from the village and explained to the villagers that many of the arts of the wu jen could be dangerous to the village itself.

Everything was well in Yurei's world. A short visit had become 20 years, and he continued his learning in relative peace. Occasionally, he had to deal with an assassin from the past, but for the most part, he was left to himself. But, he just disappeared one day.

They discovered his disappearance after his father became ill and nearly died. The village sent a runner to fetch Hiro, and the runner found the house empty. The runner also found things that terrified him. His tale led the village to believe the Oni had taken Yurei. Since that time, the house has been left empty.

DM Note: If using the Rokugan campaign setting, Yinjinko Hiro belonged to the Dragon clan, though Aramitama Yurei claims no affiliation. The DM should outfit Yurei with the appropriate magic items for her campaign, taking into consideration that Yurei is an accomplished magic item craftsman. (See part 3 for another option for Yurei.)

Aramitama Yurei: Male human Monk 1/Sorcerer 18; CR 19; Medium humanoid; HD 1d8 plus 18d4; hp 49; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 11; Base Atk +9; Grp +8; Atk +12 melee (1d6+1, +2 siangham) or +8 melee (1d6-1, unarmed strike); Full Atk +12/+7 melee (1d6+1, +2 siangham) or +8/+3 melee (1d6-1, unarmed strike) or +10/+10/+5 melee (1d6+1, +2 siangham, flurry of blows) or +6/+6/+1 melee (1d6-1, unarmed strike, flurry of blows); SA flurry of blows; SQ unarmed strike; AL NE; SV Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +14; Str 8, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 19.

Skills and Feats: Appraise (weapons) +4, Bluff +22, Concentration +22, Craft (weaponsmithing) +20, Diplomacy +13, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (religion) +10, Listen +5, Move Silently +6, Sense Motive +5, Spellcraft +20, Spot +5, Swim +1, Tumble +5; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Rod, Craft Staff, Craft Wondrous Item, Dodge, Forge Ring, Improved Unarmed Strike, Scribe Scroll, Stunning Fist, Weapon Finesse.

Flurry of Blows: Aramitama can use the full attack action to make one extra attack per round with an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon at his highest base attack, but this attack and each other attack made that round takes a -2 penalty. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before his next action. If armed with a kama, nunchaku, or siangham, Aramitama makes the extra attack either with that weapon or unarmed. If armed with two such weapons, he uses one for his regular attack(s) and the other for the extra attack. In any case, his damage bonus on the attack with his off hand is not reduced.

Unarmed Strike: Aramitama has Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. Usually his unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage when grappling. Aramitama also deals 1d6-1 points of damage with his unarmed strikes.

Sorcerer Spells Known (6/7/7/7/7/6/6/6/5/3; save DC 14 + spell level): 0 -- arcane mark, detect magic, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, open/close, resistance; 1st -- burning hands, disguise self, magic missile, obscuring mist, protection from evil; 2nd -- arcane lock, ice blast (OA), invisibility, locate object, touch of idiocy; 3rd -- commune with lesser spirit (OA), dispel magic, fireball, suggestion; 4th -- charm monster, detect scrying, heart ripper (OA), polymorph; 5th -- dismissal, fire breath (OA), permanency, teleport; 6th -- spirit binding (OA), spirit needle (OA), true seeing; 7th -- body outside body (OA), commune with greater spirit (OA), power word blind; 8th -- greater spirit binding (OA), horrid wilting; 9th -- wish.

Bringing the Parts Together

Although random encounters usually happen by chance, some DMs may wish to tie these four parts together into something that could lead to further adventures. All four parts of the series work best as a whole, however DMs can easily use any of the four pieces separately in their campaign. While Yurei is no longer with us, party members could be introduced to him early in a campaign before he meets his end. Perhaps they can even help him with an errand to retrieve some special jade he needs to complete the siangham.

Coming in Part 2 of the Legacy of Aramitama Yurei

Aramitama Yurei's siangham is probably the best and least known item created by Yurei. Most everyone has heard of it; they just don't know the true details.

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