The cheers of the villagers filled the autumn evening. They showed flower petals on the simple hat of the old peddlar as he dragged his hand-cart down the road. Behind him, one strapping young peasant admired the glint of his new sword. A young couple stared into each others' eyes and twisted the cords of their matching jeweled necklaces. In the shade of a verandah, the aged overseer of the village eagerly began reading the scrolls he had bought, looking forward to new wisdom and lore.
The merchant liked making people happy. It had been a good day.
Later, he passed through the ruins of the village again. The minor Oni summoned by the scrolls feasted on the corpse of the big peasant. Near the body was another dead man, chopped in half with a sword. Dangling from a tree was a woman, her face white with frosted tears, her neck black from where the necklace dug into her neck. They were all dead.
The merchant's eyes glinted beneath his straw hat, and his black tongue ran over his too-sharp old teeth. This, too, had been a good day.
The Demon of Unutterable Generosity appears to be an old merchant man, dressed in shabby robes, wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat. If you've seen Ninja Scroll, think of the government agent guy. He pulls a small handcart, and carries several pouches. The Demon is a powerful one, but it gains its power from the desires and needs of mortals.
The Demon is a merchant who can get you whatever you desire - as long as you want it enough. The demon channels your desire through its maho, and conjures what you want. Its gifts are always tainted, though, and become twisted. The new cooking wok you bought starts a fire, which burns down your village. The girl you want falls in love with you, but makes your life a living hell. Nothing good over comes of the demon's gifts.
The Demon's pouches and hand-cart contain a number of trade goods - Tainted items, mostly, as well as "beaned" monsters. The Demon can shrink items down to the size of a bean, allowing it to carry vast amounts of goods in a small cart.
Demon of Unutterable Hunger:
Earth 2 Air 5
Water 2 Fire 4
Attacking: 2k2 Damage: 1k1 (walking stick)
TN To Be Hit: 25
Wounds per Level:
8 -1, 16 -2, 24 -3, 32 Dead
Special Abilities: Speed, Ironic Maho, Demonic Shrinking Spell
Speed: The Demon can move like the wind when it needs to, or perform acts of inhuman agility. The Demon can act three times a round, leap up to 100 feet, run up walls and do similar amusing things. Using this power tires the demon, and it may only draw upon these powers five times a day.
Ironic Maho: The Demon of Terrible Generosity can cast a vast number of Maho spells - but the spells may only be used to fulfill the desires of mortals. These maho spells tend to be slightly more powerful than normal, and include various reality-warping and conjuring effects (think of the Demon as a short, thin, Japanese genie with a hidden streak of black humour and sadism). The demon may also use "normal" Maho spells as if it were a Maho-Tsukai.
Demonic Shrinking Spell: The Demon can use this spell to shrink any creature or object into a small, bean-like thing. The demon may choose to turn the target into a scale model of itself (if an object), or toy or doll (if a creature). If the victim is unwilling, the demon must overcome the target's Earth using the Demon's Fire. The spell lasts until sunrise or sunset, or until the demon releases the spell. The demon can recast the spell on objects to maintain the shrinking. The Demon of Terrible Generosity who visited Ryoko Owari had several ogres in bean form, along with a large number of trade goods shrunk down to toy size. It also used this spell to hurl buildings at those who pursued it.
The Demonic Shrinking Spell can only be used by the Demon.
GM's commentary: Ok, for those who don't have the rather excellent City of Lies book, a bit of context. The Days of Generosity are a festival held in Ryoko Owari involving gift-giving. The above Oni was the centrepiece of a rather bizarre gaming session, which started with the players investigating the mystery of a bloodied bean, and ended with Kuni Abashita dodging flying buildings, and the Fisherman's Quarter getting partly blown up when a dozen beaned ogres turned back to normal within the rather cramped confines of a small pouch. Boom.
Eh. If you're not running a game in Ryoko Owari, you could drop this (admittedly wierd) oni into a mystery fairly easily. Players won't suspect the nice old merchant. Actually, if you wanna be really cruel, drop hints that the merchant is the Fortune who turns up at the beginning of the Topaz Championship scenario from the rulebook. Make them thing the Oni is a good guy... a magical old man who gives them kewl items with which they can smite evil...then let the Oni's gifts turn on them...
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