Posted by: markfender | September 28, 2011

Legend of the Five Rings – Session 6

This one was kinda boring. So it should really interest you.

Soshi Kazuno goes to talk with Bayushi Izuru, confined to his quarters until his fate can be decided. She questions him on his motivations and he admits that, yes, he’ll probably die but he was loyal to his Clan and that’s all that matters. In fact, despite the issues that sprung up with his bringing the ronin into the city, he still fulfilled his purpose.

When he is brought before the Emperor, he is absolved of bringing the shadowy people into the town (because lots of high-Status people were there and saw his reaction) but there is no way he can continue as a candidate for the Empress’ Guard. He humbly asks to commit seppeku and, awaiting word from his daimyo, is allowed this to redeem his honor. However, word soon comes from his daimyo, and father, that he must live with this shame and is denied seppeku. He returns to Scorpion lands a humble man.

In the meantime, Seppun Jinsei, the PCs’ daimyo, challenges Kakita Ruri of being behind the attacks. He claims that he saw her summon these beings (This is a lie. Isawa Toshi saw and has proof, but he’s Status 2 and no one would believe him. Seppun Jinsei is putting his faith in the fact that Toshi wouldn’t lie to him). Of course, this leads to a duel between Seppun Jinsei and Kakita Yuito, the husband of Kakita Ruri and the premier duelist of Rokugan. Seppun Jinsei barely defeats Kakita Yuito, but the PCs see what this cost him, as black pustules appear on his face (Mechanic-wise: he called on his Shadowlands Taint to armor himself up to avoid taking damage so that he could still claim ‘first blood’ in the duel, as he knew Kakita Yuito would beat him to striking). He quickly hides this and leaves the grounds. Kakita Ruri is given permission, by her husband, to commit seppeku and her ceremony the next day is quite beautiful and moving. Kakita Yuito withdraws his nomination and leaves for Crane lands soon after.

This has several implications. The first is that Tsuruchi Mori is the only person still in line for the position of Empress’ Guard. He accepts the position humbly. This causes a stir within the Crane, as this is the first time the position has gone to someone outside the Clan. The Crane PCs are affected by Seppun Jinsei’s sacrifice differently. Doji Shizuka sees it as him sacrificing himself to end the strife in the Crane (Seppun Jinsei was careful to not accuse Kakita Yuito of knowing anything about his wife’s duplicity), while Kakita Takeshi sees it as a wasted effort, seeing as how Seppun Jinsei had to Taint himself in order to do it. Takeshi’s dismissal of anyone who isn’t perfect causes some strife within the group as they debate the implications of Jinsei’s actions.

In the meantime, Isawa Toshi has been recovering from his wounds. He has his litter brought to the Imperial Records so that he can study more on the Bloodswords. While there, he meets a Lion soden-senzo, Kitsu Ineko, who is working on creating a complete record of the ancestry of the Clans. Using Clan records and her own ability to speak with the ancestors, she is slowly creating a complete history of the Empire’s bloodlines. She assists Isawa Toshi while in the libraries, bringing him books and damp clothes as needed.

Asako Hidemi, the Jade Champion, returns to Otosan Uichi and Seppun Jinsei consults with her on what has been occurring in the Empire. Unfortunately, they’re a bit helpless removing the Bloodswords from those who possess them as they’re very powerful people and the Bloodswords themselves don’t give off any Taint. They maintain a watchful eye. Matsu Yoshino returns to the Lion lands with his sister’s body for a proper funeral, but not before stopping and thanking Seppun Jinsei for his help in punishing those guilty for her death.

And then it’s time to travel to Winter Court in the Phoenix lands. Lots of people from across the Empire are there, including the new Dragon Champion, Mirumoto Genta, who has come to swear his fealty to the Emperor now that his father has died and he has assumed the position of Clan Champion. In his party is Kitsuki Rona, who doesn’t believe that Mirumoto Toraizo’s death was so innocent. She spends a lot of time questioning the PCs on what they know of Otomo Chisami, but they manage to not reveal too much. It is learned, however, that Otomo Chisami left the Dragon lands before Mirumoto Genta did to return to her family, but she hasn’t been seen since. Kitsuki Rona is desperate to learn as much as she can while at Winter Court, as she will be unable to continue her investigation once the Emperor returns to Otosan Uichi. It is only the hospitality of the Phoenix that keeps Bayushi Shigeru, the Emerald Champion, from banishing her, as he hates the Kitsuki and their methods.

The Phoenix have a purification ceremony to begin the Winter Court in harmony. Seppun Jinsei is politely asked to guard the door, but the implication is clear – he is Tainted and cannot participate. He accepts humbly, but there is muttering amongst some of the PCs. Isawa Shioki, the Elemental Master of Water, has also planned for each party to perform a short scene from a play for the amusement of the guests. She asks Seppun Jinsei’s party to perform the story of Shiba Shujin’s final duel against Kakita Tairitsu. Unfortunately, there are several plays involving this famous duel, each that seems to directly insult some of the Clans assembled. The PCs write their own version which makes the whole thing ambiguous and perform it, so as not to insult anyone.

Bayushi Arunsa, Scorpion Clan Champion, speaks with Soshi Kazuno and promises her a boon for her service to the Clan. She was responsible for turning the Dragon against the Mantis, which directly led to the Mantis Rebellion and he has not offered her any gifts for her aid in that. Meanwhile, the Unicorn parties (Shinjo Masafumi, Moto Chagatai, and Utaku Hireku) present ink a deal with the Crane – Shinjo Yokatsu and Doji Domotai are to be married with Shinjo Yokatsu taking the Doji name. This is a bit unusual, as Shinjo Yokatsu is next in line for the Unicorn Clan Champion position after his father passes. The question of an heir to that position is not answered.

(You write it all out and it sounds like stuff happened. But it was kind of a dud session. I assumed, for some reason, that the purification ceremony and the slight dealt to the PCs’ daimyo might force a bit more conversation. It did not. My bad.)

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