Posted by: markfender | September 14, 2011

Legend of the Five Rings – Session 5

In which combat occurs for the first time…

Moshi Ryoko speaks with Matsu Yoshino, who has found one of her matches for marriages suitable. He is willing to consider a marriage to Yoritomo Sachai, court musician, provided of course that she’s not just a court musician. She’s the best candidate for a Mantis representative in the Imperial Court, so Yoshino and Ryoko begin plotting how to raise her position in the court. Part of this involved Moshi Ryoko speaking with Doji Beniha and Doji Shizuka as they sit doing their embroidery. As a bushi, Moshi Ryoko has few manners that the two Crane can agree with.

Shinjo Yokatsu visits Moshi Ryoko and humbly asks her if he can borrow her Unicorn steed. He wishes to show Doji Domotai the majesty and glory of the Unicorn, but he only has his own horse from Unicorn lands. Moshi Ryoko agrees. Shinjo Yokatsu invites her along on their picnic, but she politely refuses.

Isawa Toshi discovers Kakita Ruri outside their home. She confides in him that she knows quite a bit about looking into the Void and the things that look back. She also informs Toshi that she knows about the prophecy relayed to him from the mad heimin he met in the Unicorn lands and that the prophecy relates to her husband’s place in court. Toshi is confused by this and consults with some of the other PCs for help in making sense of this interpretation.

Soshi Kazuno meets with Togashi Masote, an ise zumi monk from the local monastery. He has just learned the terrible news from the Dragon lands that Mirumoto Toraizo, the Clan Champion, is dead. He died in his marriage bed with Otomo Chisami, his new bride, beside him. Togashi Masote does not feel up to the task of telling Seppun Jinsei about his sister, so he asks Soshi Kazuno to relay the information. She promises to do so.

With the Jade Champion still away on business elsewhere in Rokugan, Seppun Jinsei and Isawa Toshi are unable to further their investigation into the strange ronin sightings and mannerisms of the ronin. All that they do know is that Bayushi Izuru is returning to Otosan Uichi with a squad of these ronin. Seppun Jinsei decides to send the party out to meet them, if only to have witnesses on the scene if anything strange happens. Isawa Toshi has managed to convince the party that these ronin are not what they seem, especially after his talk with Kakita Ruri, so the PCs leave in all haste. They soon realize that the path the ronin took will intersect with Doji Domotai and Shinjo Yokatsu’s party and that they might be in trouble. They hurry to meet up with them, fearing the worst.

They manage to catch up with the Crane and Unicorn party to find Matsu Fumiyo there as well. They await the arrival of Bayushi Izuru alongside the road. When he does arrive with several ronin, the parties join together to travel back to Otosan Uichi. They stop in the village, where the Empress has come to meet her brother and ask him what he’s doing with a company of ronin. He declares that they are his new Empress’ Guard that will help guard his sister. She does not take to this idea and very quickly begins having a heated conversation with him in private. Meanwhile, Kakita Ruri makes herself known to Isawa Toshi. This is, of course, when things go awry as the ronin morph into shadowy forms and attack the Empress and Isawa Toshi.

The Empress immediately has all of the powerful samurai protecting her (with Doji Domotai’s katana being the only one that seems to be doing any serious damage), leaving poor Toshi to be protected by the PCs. He puts up a valiant fight, but doesn’t last long against the brunt of the attacks. Matsu Fumiyo fares much worse, dying protecting the Empress. Finally, the shadow beings are put down. Seppun Jinsei takes over, commanding that Bayushi Izuru be put into custody for bringing these shadowy beings into the Empress’ presence. Medical care is summoned for Isawa Toshi and the other injured survivors. He also dispatches someone to inform Matsu Yoshino that his sister is dead. After the situation is under control, he takes the PCs aside and tries to figure out what to do.

Isawa Toshi has convinced them all that Kakita Ruri is responsible and they have no cause to doubt him. However, it’s a lowly Status 2 samurai’s word against hers. While plenty of high Status people saw Bayushi Izuru’s look of surprise and shock when the ronin transformed, no one witnesses Ruri’s conversation with Toshi. Izuru will probably be punished and then released, but exposing Ruri and her husband, the Kakita daimyo, will be much more difficult. To make matters worse, Bayushi Izuru has pretty much ruined his chances to be the new Empress’ Guard and Matsu Fumiyo is dead, leaving the obviously-evil Kakita Yuito and Tsuruchi Mori as the only remaining candidates. The PCs plot on how to make their accusations stick. They might not have time to do this, however, as the Emperor has announced that this year’s Winter Court will be held at Kyuden Shiba, and the party must begin their travel arrangements.

(This one didn’t go according to my notes at all. Pretty much the only thing that survived was that Kakita Ruri was responsible for the shadowy things. All the rest was heavily improvised, and not because I was unprepared. But the PCs seemed to be really good and disrupting all of my notes with their conversations and plans. We also had combat. It went about as well as I thought it would, with a party with only one bushi in it. Toshi’s player did a good job at neutering the shadowy things advantages with his spells, but he’s still just an unarmored shugenja and I was rolling AMAZING (Seriously, he reduced them to 2k2 to attack him with a 20+ Armor TN to hit, and I still managed to roll double 10s every single time).)

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