Legend of the 5 Rings Smoking Waters

Session 45 7/24/2018

Asako Hotako runs to Kyuden Asako and gives an EXPLICIT letter to Iuchi Kazai about the origin of the Sword that Cuts Open Worlds and it’s whole sordid history and the undead that showed up in Smoking Waters. It also details the missions to look into Isawa Shingen, what they found, and the rolls of the dead. The plan to hide the populace of Smoking Waters “in the Isawa Mori”. (Chikushido and the Saru Tribe are not mentioned.)

He hands the letter off to Iuchi Kazai who writes a bunch of letters and then goes to talk to Isawa Junko. She pennagalans Iuchi to death, and he’s seen walking out of her quarters later. Asako Hotako is attacked by someone carrying a letter from Iuchi Kazai (with his chop).

Desperate for allies, Asako Hotako goes to Yoritomo Nasue, The Peacock. Nasue can’t do anything to help, but offers both money and his diplomatic abilities, but he doesn’t “have an army in his pocket”. Yasuki Takai is EXACTLY as helpful as anyone would think he would be. Kaiu Nasume is also not helpful, but is at least nice about it. There’s just nothing she could do.

Asako Hotaku runs back to Smoking Waters, and delivers the news – no help will be forthcoming, but at least the Empire has been warned.

We see the army coming. They’re about 30 miles away. There is a heat-haze over them, and they smell like the Wasting Disease. Plague zombies. That’s bad.

Isawa Asano and Hotaru and Mother of Sparks go to the top of the mountain. The chains of paper amulets are weak and sun-bleached. Mother of Sparks says if the amulets are destroyed, Yume no Yama will wake. The lava would destroy the town, BUT it would destroy the approaching army. However, there are fire spirits with the army and they might not be inconvienced by the volcanic fire. (Mother of Sparks miiiiight be able to make the volcanic fire magical, but it would consume her.)

+3 XP for adventure
+1 XP for log
+3 XP to Ben and Paige for soup and cheesetoast (each)

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Session 44 7/11/2018

Hotaru takes the kids and jumps up a 15’ cliff to hide from the road.

Asako Boladai has pleasant conversation with a person who called himself Yansuke. Bolodai bolted back from whence he came. Yansuke dives into earth to follow him, and then casts a spell to cause his lungs to burst out of his mouth. THen Bolodai draws blood, slicing him with a scimitar. Hotaru heard Bolodai say name him as the fourth son of Iron Shou, and say he was a coward and a blood mage. Afterwrards, there was nothing but blood, torn earth, and disturbed snow.

Hotaru walks with the kids talking about their family. THey are descendants of an Iron Smith, Shenjuko, about 100 years after the 4 thunders battled Fu Leng. that the Isawa brought in as a minor vassal family.

At Blue Well, Hotaru and the kids are thrown in a cell with Akodo Tokaji and Shosuro Dakane. We sadly realize that Bolodai and Ran are dead.

Togama-Sama has a cough, and Isawa Kei-Ichi handles the debriefing. Hotaru isn’t particularly coherent but Akodo-san gives a cogent scouting report.

1. Militarized undead.
2. Multiple blood-mages.
3. Big campground of military
4. Undead carrying heavy baskets (supply train)
5. The whole history of Isawa Shingen, baby with taint, crazy wife,

Hotaru is racked and tortured for a night, because they can’t decide if she’s obtuse or lying to them. (Spoiler alert – she’s SUPER obtuse.)

Blue Well is attacked from the east. (Not the west, goddamn it!) A terrible shout makes everyone make fear checks. Most of the Phoenix lines break in fear. There is a crescent shaped rent in reality, and a big monster steps through. There is a bonfire behind it. The smoke roils upward, then dives down toward the town.

Even Akodo Tokaji says we fuck right off, and we fuck right off right now.

Hotaru goes back for the kids, who are freaking out. The smoke quickly numbs them. Akodo Tokaji decides to go north, and stealth through the mountains. Blue Waters starts to burn. The samurai retreat to the castle and green flashes (JADE STRIKE!!!) indicate the supernatural combat.

There’s an exciting week of travel and all of the characters meet up in Smoking Waters. Agasha Hotaka uses his centipede tattoo to run to Kyuden Asako. Then a huge blizzard hits, and we are snowed in for 3 days. Smoking Waters is next.

We encourage the people of Smoking Waters to GTFO. We’re got an idea that the blizzard will stop on the night of the full moon. Hotaru suggests that maybe they can escape to Chikoshudo. Mother Azoku, Teiko, Golden Hand Wei, Madame Yuki, the head of the dragon guards, and the head of the peasant militia are informed. People are told that they need to bribe the spirits.

In the meantime, the mountain is rumbling.

Isawa Asano recalls that the obsidian spirit told him about the Sword that Can Cut the World. That might be making portals and pulling monsters through them.

Isawa Asano notices that Shiba Ran and Asako Bolodai were not prooved dead. THey might come back.

Agasha Hotaka gets to Kyuden Asako. Shiba Fumiko and Miya Haruma are gone.

Spend up XP and get characters advanced. Dakane and Asano can trade spells. Kaori knows rank 1 and rank 2 earth, air, and water spells – mostly supportive spells.

Iron Shou’s remaining sons give us 25 obsidian tipped arrows and an obsidian tanto.

3 XP
1 XP for log

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Session 43 07/04/18
Searching for Isawa Shingen

Ran, Tokaji, and Dakane head off to find the valley were Isawa Shingen is building the outpost. Boladai and Hotaru take the children and head back to Blue Well.

Shiba Ran decides that they will take an overland route. The group is caught by a blizzard and take refuge in a bear’s den to ride out the storm. It takes 3 days for the weather to clear enough that the group can push on.

a couple days after leaving the Bear’s den the group camps out. When Ran went out to get fetch water she sees O-Kappa-O. The kappa tells her that if she brings him Akodo Tokaji he will let her know a secret that will help them survive the next day, otherwise they are doomed. Ran goes back and tells Tokaji.

The next day Samurai Team San find the valley. The area has been heavily deforested. They shadow a deep rutted road further into the valley. They stop when they see watch towers in the distance. The watch towers are flying banners the look like the personal crest of Isawa Shingan but the colors are wrong. Shingan’s banner should be red phoenix on a orange field but the banners they see are of a black phoenix on a re d field.

Shiba Ran decided that they will wait until night fall to make their way closer to the towers. As evening approaches they see two different groups heading towards the watch towers.

The first group is several wagon loaded with trees as well as several large figure paired and carrying tree boles. Two people even as large as the ones they see should not be able to carry that weight.

The second group is several people walking in a awkward gait and carry large baskets on their backs. In the front of the group is a figure dressed in dark/black rob, carrying a staff, and face obscured by a takuhatsugasa.

Both groups pass go between the watch towers and head deeper into the valley.

As sun sets it starts to snow as the group making their way towards the towers. The snow quickly grows heavy severely hindering their vision. Shiba Ran decides that they will press on using the heavy snow fall as cover to get them pass the towers.

Getting closer to the towers they here a woman’s voice singing a lullaby as if to a child. As the group gets closer the song changes. Tune is now one that taunting them for trying to stealthily approach. They can not see who is singing the song but it grows nearer to the group as seems to be above them.

Ran orders Dakane and Tokaji to escape. What they have seen must be reported Blue Well and Smoking Waters. Shiba Ran prepares to fight. “Shosuro” Dakane calls upon the power of the kami and drives into the earth. Akodo Tokaji heads back the ways they came.

Ran hears rattling coming from the direction of the towers as if people are clumsily making their way down the ladders. She can not see the singer but the voice is getting nearer. Ran lets loose an arrow. It knows it’s way to the target and strikes true but this creature is a tainted thing of Fu Leng and cannot be harmed by regular arrow.

The foul things attacks. it looks like a flying head with it’s entrails hanging underneath. The creature wraps it’s entrails around Ran and she can no longer use her bow. She draws her wakizashi and continues to fight, She knows she has to give Dakane and Tokaji enough time to escape. Ran fights until she has nothing left as the creature slowly drains her of life. For Shiba Ran all goes dark.

Dakane uses the power of the kami to swim through the earth. He travels quickly and by dawn makes it back to the bear’s den where they took shelter from the blizzard 3 days earlier. Once Dakane has secured the cave he uses his influence with the kami to send messages to Tokaji and Hotaru. He tells Tokaji that he has made it back to the bears den and will wait 4 days for him. After that he is heading to report what has transpired. He then sends a message to Hotaru making her aware of the situation.

Akodo Tokaji makes his way along the rutted road at his best speed. After traveling for a couple hours her hears the vile baying of wolves. He knows he is being hunted.

Tojaki races through the night eluding his stalkers. Shortly after night gives way to dawn a small bird land on his shoulder. It is the work of the kami delivering Dakane’s missive.
He press on for 3 days, never stopping for more than moments as he tries to evade the tainted beast the hunt him.

Making his through the mountains Tojaki comes to a stream. He searches for a place safe to cross and quickly finds an area where the course narrows. Tokaji runs and bounds from boulder to boulder to cross the river. When he is half way across he hear a chortle from behind. Deftly leaping to the bank , he looks behind and sees O-Kappa-O grasping the rock on whick he stood moments ago. He continues on.

He runs from dawn to dusk and through the night. never stopping but neither do his pursuers. Tojaki pushes on but time and the elements take their toll and Tajaki stumbles and cannot get back up.

Dakane spends his first day laying wards to protect his refuge. He can finally rest. Days pass while he waits to see if Tokaji makes it back to the cave. On the morning of his third days waiting he hears the sickly bay of wolves near by. Using the power to move through the earth he goes out to see what the creatures are hunting. He soon finds a fetid looking wolf stalking towards the unconscious body of Tokaji. Using the same magics that he use to move through the earth, Dakane pull Taokaji into the ground as the creature pounces.

Dakane gets back to the cave with the body of Tokaji. He uses his magics to restore Tokaji, saving him from the ravages of frostbite and reinvigorating him after his ordeal. They quickly prepare to leave.

Time goes back to several days earlier. Hotaru and Boladai are making their way towards Blue Wells escorting the surviving children of the Iron. They travel for two days and are caught be the blizzard. They ae able to find refuge in the first village they come to and stay there until the weather clears enough for them to get back on the road.

On the first day back on the road, shortly after leaving the village. Something to hotaru does not seem right so they move off the road to find a spot to shelter. Up the road comes a figure dress in black robes and a takuhatsugasa that covers his face. Behind the figure moves people moveing in a strange gait carrying baskets.

Don’t remember being told what the XP was for the session. I presume 3.

Thank you

Ben – for making burger
Dave – For bringing Greek tater salad
Ron – For bringing fruity drinks
Paige – For making Tornado cake
.

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Session 42 6/26/2018

We head into the mountains up a heavily rutted track. We find abandoned homes and the mine entrance. After some deliberation and setup, Chuda, I mean Shosuro Dakane decides to commune with the earth kami. A big dude with a spiral mask and a gaping chest wound runs out at us. Akodo Tokaji and Moto Bolodai take it out. Chuda, I mean Agasha, I mean Shosuro Dakane summons up an earth spirit, and it puts a trail out for us. We find three kids fourteen, twelve, and six, and dead child.

Uncle Rojiro was reanimated as a hyakuhe, a kind of revanant. We burn him that night.

Tetsu Hoshi (12 yo girl), Tetsu Ichigo (9 yo boy), Tetsu Akemi (6 yo girl). Tetsu Daisuke (dead).

Hagane clan is the Iron clan.

We send Akodo Tokaji, Shiba Ran, and Shosuro Dakane go off to scout the valley.

Hagane Hotaru, Asako Boladai, and the kids head back to Lost Traveller castle.

About 50 adults and 30 children and 15-20 commoners in the village. Could play with commoners but couldn’t marry them.

3 xp for the game
1 xp for the log
3 xp for DJ for dinner
1 xp for Ben for music
3 xp for Ben for charcuterie and wine

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Session 41 6/6/2018

Before we start, Shiba Ran finds a good shooty spot, and Chuda-san hands Akodo Tokaji a katana of fire, and Hotaru a tetsubo of earth. Chuda Dakane importunes an earth spirit to answer our questions, and then the tree in the courtyard starts moving and turns red. “That’s a lava tree. Don’t let it squeeze you.” It snatches up Shiba Ran and starts to squeeze her.

The ground near Chuda Dakane starts to rumble… but nothing appears. Hotaru runs toward the tree but Shiba Ran breaks loose and runs like hell. Hotaru smacks it and it seems to hurt. It grabs up Akodo Tokaji AND Hotaru but Shiba Ran fires two rope-cutter arrows at once and cuts both of them free so Chuda Dakane can splat it with a spell.

Chuda Dakane comes tearing down the hill running away from both maggots Niku-Mizu and a terrifying land-octopus Gari Gosu no-Bakemono. Hotaru and Akodo Tokaji go into the smithy to get oil to light on top of the maggots. She crashes the oil in the alleyway and burns a lot of them, but the octopus grabs her and takes her behind the smithy, and two maggots start burrowing beneath her skin. Dakane slays it with a spell, and Akodo Tokaji starts slapping the worms away and stomping them flat.

Dakane starts doing surgery with his wakazashi but Hotaru slaps it away and hands him a knife. It becomes a battle of emergency surgery vs the crawling worms, while even more worms swarm around looking for receptive orifices. One burrows into Akodo Tokaji’s arm and Hotaru limps over into the fire to hide from them. Chuda Dakane blasts a bunch with Jade Strike. Once Shiba Ran finishes them off, Chuda Dakane quickly pulls one out of the Akodo Tokaji.

Wearily, Chuda Dakane heals up everyone while the earth Kami watches dispassionately. We are left with three realizations.

1) Whoever did this was poWerful. (Powerful with a capital W.)
2) Whoever did this skilled in maho.
3) Whoever did this knows how Phoenix would investigate.

The earth kami says that there was another monster, and it went up into the mines.

3 of the children iron went to the mines
17 were killed but walked west
13 were carried through a wound in the world that was carved by the blood of the moon (obsidian, particularly that deposit at Smoking Waters).

We decide that we need to rescue the people in the mines because they’re Iron Clan/Asako.

+1 for log
+3 for adventure
+1 to Ben for music
+3 to Ben for sake
+3 to Paige for mochi

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Session 40 5/30/2018

Aaaand we end up fighting a water gaki that is part angry woman, part water bug, and part scorpion tail. She poisons Hotaru but Chuda Dakane and Shiba Ran take her out. We find a hut that was home to a samurai. Ota the ronin was retiring here.

O-Kappa-O drags Hotaru underwater in the pond, and tells her to bring him Tokaji. Chuda Dakane says that if O-Kappa-O brings him a fish THIS big, he’ll fetch Tokaji. O-Kappa-O summons a five foot long tuna into the pond. Dakane fetches Tokaji and the kappa flips the fish out of the pool and knocks over Dakane with it. Tokaji trades words with the kappa, and says he’s not going with the kappa. We sleep in a hut, having gorged ourselves on fresh tuna.

At daybreak, Shiba Ran hears the sound of a squad fighting far to the west. We don’t know what it is, and can’t find the source.

We leave in the morning going to the mining villiage to the north. It looks like the populace fought, but was all taken. They look like they fought. Find a secret compartment with a shrine and a flint in it. Chuda Dakane ignites it and finds that it is a nemurani. Mother of Sparks says that the children of Osano Wo started three families to make things that are either Beautiful, Deadly, or Useful.

Beautiful – became Crane
Useful – Iron – Tetsu (Shoru), Phoenix vassal family
Deadly – Steel – Aki (Smoking Waters), Phoenix vassal family

Hotaru is apparently part of the lost child of the Steel clan from Smoking Waters. She is to rescue the Tetsu, marry “Genji’s son”, and reunite the family.

1 XP for log
3 XP for adventure
3 XP for cookies from DJ
3 XP for dinner from Ben

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Session 39 2018 05 22

We decide to take a day at Lost Traveller castle. “Yogo” Dakane gets spells. The horses are left behind. We take the path to the first village.

It looks like something happened in the night. No blood or arrowheads or evidence of violence. Since then someone came and took tools and valuables. The hill above town has had a big fire. with big pines not available here. The boles are soaked in blood and opium. “Yogo” Dakane sumises that it would be a way to spread the taint through the air. When cracked, it bleeds smells terrible. Would take the blood from three people to soak into all the wood.

Kamanu Oni – The Killing Maw. A killing machine. Mostly mouth and grabby arms to get you in dat mouf.

Afterwards we find a paper amulet that indicates that this is a major binding earth spell.

Kami said that he was young, bound to corrupted earth, his blood was the blood of many.

3 XP for adventure
1 XP for log

3 XP for DJ for soup
3 XP for Paige for chicken and biscuits
1 XP to Paige for music

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Session 38 2018 05 16

Hotaru, Chuda Dakane, Moto Boladai, Shiba Ran, and Akodo Tokaji are at the Bon festival and are banished to go north to spy on Isawa Shingen.

Was fighting in the clan wars down south. Wounded by shadow creatures in Otosan Uchi. Because he was one of the Phoenix nobility left, he was given a daimyoship. His most recent wife, now dead, was making a fool of herself asking about him. Learned that he had a mistress, who disappeared, who was pregnant and wandered into the Isawa Mori. The wife was maybe trying to hire an assassin, but hired a bounty hunter to track her, but he gave up. We found a lot of blood by he pool/portal into Chikushido. (The other group found a huge amount of Jade Tea being smuggled into Isawa lands). Found that the shadow wolf had contracted the taint after taking in a baby abandoned into the Isawa Mori. Found an alabaster hairpin, likely carved by Isawa Shingen. The baby got away after we killed the shadow wolf.

We take winter clothes and gear. Isawa Mattyu also gives us unsigned travel papers.

We get out of town, and go through the first peasant village without stopping. At the second village, there’s a Miya rest stop. 

When we get outside of Blue Well, we find tea, vegetables, and spices that have been grown and harvested. See a hamlet with people and we go to one of the peasant houses and comandeer it. A group of 8 trained Shiba cavalry rides up and the village tells them we’re here. Shiba Kurunai challenges Asako Bolodai.

Isawa Kei-ichi invites us in and lets us know that his scouts have disappeared to the north. He gives us travel papers.

1 XP for log
3 XP for advenure

3 XP for DJ for amazing Tsuruchi Noodles
3 XP to Jack for Pocky
3 XP to Ben for bluberry cake
1 XP to Ben for music

If I could award XP I would for the “that horse has cumquats…” joke from Ben.

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Session 37 04-17-2018

We return to Smoking Waters about 3 d later, we lost one day in the Isawa Mori.

Shiba Hatchi – checks in with the town guard and the Dragon rangers. Nothing to report OTHER than a peasant has gone missing.

Isawa Mattyu – Has recieved gifts from the Bon festival, including a 250 bu gift from a rude guy. (Likely Golden Hand Wei.) Madame Yuki wants to get fancy furnishing to upgrade a few rooms to noble quality. Shiba Hatchi asks Isawa Mattyu to join him to look at the strange, very square hole.

When we are heading that way, we see a flicker of red heading through the bramble up the mountain. It’s Mother Azoku. Where she runs, we run. We pull up at an enormous hole – 50′ × 30′ × 4′ deep. There’s a kid with a broken leg. Azoku comforts him, and Mattyu heals his leg. The kids say they had human scapulas for divination. And they found arrowheads.

Growl Badger finds lose earth in a clearing, spot where there was bonfires. The peasant man is gagged and drained of blood, through wounds on his wrists and neck. Isawa Asano thinks that it might have been obsidian. Whoever did it knew what they were going for. Isawa Asano says that it is maho. We tell the wife a comforting lie, and comfort her with Tsubaki’s bao.

The Isken-do communes with the original hole. No body there.

The Dragon Rangers say that a patrol to the north, heading to Blue Well, has disappeared. The Dragon Rangers want to send a larger force to find them. Yoriko is the leader of the Dragon Rangers. We take it to Isawa Mattyu.

Agasha Hotaka and 10 dragon samurai and one dragon shugenja find the patrol. One is exsanguinated, three are torn up by blunt claws. One person in sandals and three heavy guys. Then there was a fight, and 15 guys left. The guy who was exsanguinated froze during the battle. The 15 guys left heading west toward Blue Well.

The Dragon shugenja confirms what happened with help from the water kami. A maho tsukai in a cloak and broad brimmed hat with a regal and proud bearing and three zombies were walking down the road. The dragon attacked them. Each zombie was carrying a huge crate. They ripped people apart. The maho tsukai cast a spell to freeze one samurai, and then a zombie bashed him over the head. The zombies were wearing masks as a spell focus.

A shook Shiba Hatchi heads to Smoking Waters to let Isawa Mattyu and Isawa Asano know…

3 XP
1 Log
3 XP for DJ for dinner
3 XP for Ron for Nutter Butters

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Session 36 3-28-2018

There are about 80 Agashi samurai across the road and 200 peasants. 40 are bushi, 30 courtiers. They’re farming. But their taxes flow up to us.

Nesting Swallow – Isawa Tsuko manorhouse, “elite” village. Kinda like Davos.

Blue Well – a bunch of Shiba. Closest to Lost Traveller castle where our daimyo is. Enterprising shiba is setting herself up as the military commander for the province. Shiba Ino. Does a lot of drilling. 70-80 Shba bushi. 20-30 courtiers. Undefeated duelist. She must have a very capable courtier, her husband, Shiba Kazuo lobbying the daimyo.

Kaiu Nasume is staying at the inn. There’s some idea of doing a “historical rendering” of the castle and some estimates of how much wood went into it’s original construction. Iuchi Kazai is going to see if we can get clearance to rebuild.

Kaiu Nasume and Miya Haruka are playing in the snow with Asako Fumio who very nearly smiles. They are stunned to see Isawa Asano. Then Isawa Asano floats away to find Isawa Mattyu. They discuss matters of magic – including what to do about O-Kappa-O.

Isawa Matyyu knows where the ginseng hunter lives. We set up dinner with us and Tetsuo. The ginseng hunter sometimes sells ginseng to Kaori and Iuchi Kazai. Fang and Growl Badger will come with us.

We find the dead form of the ginseng hunter, having committed seppuku by the river. He looks resigned, and not at all in pain. The most perfect ginseng root is next to him – it looks like a little person with breasts and a penis, and is glowing green. The hunter smells like rich growing plants. It is the great root of power, the ultimate ginseng. It is the ultimate medicine – it could cure anything, even death.

In the morning, the body of the ginseng hunter is gone. A green shoot is in it’s place. We take the katana and wakazashi. It has a yin/yang makers mark like the fancy sword at the castle (Koganshi vassal family of the phoenix clan)
.

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