While epic duels against fire, water, and void yai may be the battles players dream of, they’re far more likely to face the oni known as kuwa. Evil spirits who take human form, they are the slothful guildmasters, greedy bürgermeisters, corrupt deputies, and lascivious pimps who skim off the top and wallow in their greedy, vile appetites…until the PCs find them out. (Of course, with abilities like darkness, deep slumber, fly, and invisibility at their disposal, unmasking a kuwa and catching one are quite different chores.)
A famous bathhouse built on the corner of a graveyard begins facing nightly assaults from undead. The owner, an influential citizen (and rumored pimp) hires mercenaries to drive off the undead. Investigation reveals the bathhouse owner is in fact the direct cause of the attacks—he is a kuwa oni, and the dead are rising in protest at sharing their sacred ground with the unclean spirit.
At the instigation of the baron’s tax collector, a corrupt sheriff institutes an “ear bounty,” paying good platinum for the pointed left ears of any elf, halfling, or gnome in the baron’s domain. The reason for the bounty is a pragmatic one: the tax collector is a kuwa, and he fears the more sensitive and sharp-eyed demihumans will ferret out his real identity.
Investigating the disappearance of prominent citizens, a party of adventurers chases several red herrings, including an attic whisperer (who, while loathsome, only targets children, not adults), sewer crocodiles, and the Beggar Queen of the Fetchling Quarter (a matronly albino woman who blesses or curses them based on how they’ve treated her “subjects”). But the real culprit is a kuwa who has turned the missing people into soulbound doll sentries and slaves.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 208
Thought I forgot, didn’t ya? ;-) Sorry for the late entry; I had to make a pilgrimage to the Dirt Church. While I may not be one of those who traffics in “sport” (I know, indie rock DJ who runs a Pathfinder blog; you’re shocked, right?), even I recognize the importance of certain Big Games™.
Speaking of which, I have had dealings with the Enemy, albeit distantly. The Dark One, their Sauron, who built them up—he supposedly went to my college, back in the day. He kindly donated a PSA to our radio station. It was amusing. I dutifully played it.
One of their warriors—nay, their generals—too, I met with. We worked briefly on a project together, back when he lent his sword to another team, one of the Southron battalions. And while he would not know me from Treebeard, his number is still in my phone, and though I have never dialed it again I refuse to delete it.
That said, Yankees suck (especially tonight).