Legend of the 5 Rings Smoking Waters

Session 19 3/29/2017

Various shenanigans occur. You don’t want to know.

The next morning comes easily. Yoritomo Nasue leaves his wagons in Wisdom and heads into Kyuden Isawa. He recommends Two-Bucket Inn because it’s boisterous and fun. It’s very large and has accommodations for up to 200 people.

We set off with Yoritomo Nasue and he’s good company. He recommends noodle shops and teahouses. Court is very formal and spends their time on high matters. They’ve been serious about restoring peace in the empire. Isawa Zanpachi was proper, stern, and strict. Isawa Kaho? Maybe he saw her train as she was coming to take residence in the palace. Bunch of Crane merchants shuttling between the port and Kyuden Isawa. Fistfights with the Mantis merchants because they’re after the same contracts.

On the road meet a couple of cowardly Lions that insinuate that Lady Ayame is a prostitute and that she’ll be fined in the city as law and order is being restored. Run into Phoenix and Unicorn laughing it up on the way out of the city. They’re drunk and they say that Isawa Zanpachi has outlawed drinking (fighting, gambling, music, girls, dueling, and noise.)

One of the Unicorn says “we’re gonna go see our lady. Our lady is back and yours isn’t coming back.” He says that Lady Shinjo is back and she’s pissed off. Rallying all the Unicorn out in the desert somewhere. Shiba Kiba (of the broken nose) says that they’ll be at Tranquility watching the show.

We get to Kyuden isawa. It’s a big monastery looking palace with many temples. The town outside of the wall is being torn down – with shugenja. The Two-Bucket Inn is outside the wall and and people are building a wooden wall around the cluster of buildings that is the Inn. A small merchant town has been isolated from the surrounding town. There are farming villages a couple miles away. There are small squad of Isawa troops come up and ask our business. We leave the explaining to Isawa Mattyu. (Our mission to recover Isawa Kaho is secret.)

They let us know that the Rule of Harmony has been reinstituted. The rules are on the city wall and at the Two-Bucket Inn. Yoritomo Nasue says that this is pretty sudden, but that it’s not entirely unexpected. It used to be a monastery. All kinds of peasants and notes go back and forth through the wall.

No drinking, gambling, no loud noises, no fighting, no dueling.
No music after dark.
You must be purified at the gate to come inside the walls.
No weapons inside the walls except for guardians on duty.
Plus fidgety rules about prayers and proper conduct.

Inside the Two-Bucket Inn, Yoritomo Nasue is everybody’s best friend.

Fumiyo takes drinks with Nasue and friends, and finds out the inciting incident for the recent unpleasantness – murder most foul! A body was found the morning eight days ago. Despite the war this is the first violent death in Kyuden Isawa in forever. The ronin’s throat was slit. Isawa Zanpachi has decided that this has polluted the whole place so he’s purging all negative influences. They were seriously thinking about abandoning the place. (The Shiba have kept the war away from Kyuden Isawa, often at great personal cost during the war).

About 10 pm a bunch of old farts in Phoenix colors come in. They are somewhat rowdy compared to the crowd.

+1 XP to all for a log
+3 XP to DJ for awesome Korean tacos
+3 XP to Ben for Sake
+3 XP to Paige for Crane Cakes
+1 XP to Ben for music

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Session 18 3/22/2017

We identified 3 ambush spots. The first location yielded nothing but that the lode stones had moved by.

North, rolling hills and plains. To the south, in the distance, a green furze of vegetation. Midway between Tranquility and Wisdom about 5 pm (1-2 hours before sunset). Thickets and dells might hide people. Sarnai finds a game trail with only 3 days of deer tracks. What kept them off the trail? Isawa Mattyu summons an earth spirit on the north side of the road and asks it two questions.

How long since lodestones have been by? It cannot answer because it has not been here long.
How long have you been here? Four days. #banishment, AHA!

Story of Bamboo Princess – Woodcutter cuts down bamboo and finds a baby. The couple raise her and she’s beautiful. The parents marry her off to a jealous suitor who locks her in a tower. She and the land start dying. The suitor lets her go and she ascends to heaven and blesses the land. Beauty is meant to be shared. Metaphor for spring. Her main ability was softening hearts hardened by selfishness and greed.

Agasha Hotaka casts a divination by beating wood to a pulp and reading the fortunes in the splinters. He suggests going south. We go a couple hundred yards to the south and Isawa Mattyu calls up an earth spirit.

A figure of bracken and brambles rises from the ground. Four of the stones which love iron have gone south, and four have gone east in the days since. These were the same stones and they were carried with great haste. They circled around the edge of my domain carried by eight feet.

One lodestone is a worth kobune (trade ship) and four lodestones is enough to buy a manor and lands.

Original caravan was three carts, each pulled by two oxen, three drivers and Yoritomo Kasume.

Do we head south to recover Yoritomo Kasume? Or east to recover the lodestones? Sarnai and Shoto find a trail of cart tracks.

We sleep rough, keeping watches. In the morning there are calisthenics and everything is frosted over.

The trail goes to steep bluffs and there is a canyon that would otherwise be hard to spot. Find a ronin camp for “The Rushing Winds”. They have horses and a couple dozen tents. Camp discipline is lax.

Leave to go get the party. Come back and walk up to the camp. The camp scrambles onto immediate war footing. A man and a woman agree to parley with Doji Bakuto, Asako Fumio, and Lady Ayame.. The scarred woman is ostensibly in charge. She calls Doji Bakuto a Crane dog and says she’s unwilling to cross her most recent employer by dealing with Crane. She might think the war is still going on.

Sakake Gunso of the Rushing Winds Company. Her aide is Left-Ear. She says she’s acting commander while the officers are on the road. She offers to send a letter to his family asking for ransom. She says that she doesn’t believe talk of the new emperor or peace. She calls bushido an antiquated tradition when Fumio challenges her to a duel. She says she knows the value of the people that are her guests. She also says that she’s unwilling to work with the enemies of her most recent employer. Lady Ayame knows that the most vicious fighting was between the Mantis and the Crane. She confirms that she took the caravan and that her patron says they were stolen and she is returning them (also indicates that her employer is female).

Lady Ayame invokes the Bamboo Princess and a breeze ruffles her hair. (She has 5 raises on her next roll to convince someone to be generous.) Lady Ayame makes an eloquently sincere speech. Sakake says we can confer with her guest and she will negotiate in the morning.

Lady Ayame and Shiba Hachi walk in to camp and to a man that looks a lot like Yoritomo Nasue. He talks loudly and gestures by hand signals that he was betrayed and he doesn’t know by whom. (He uses a secret hand signal language.) He’s very concerned for his men and says they must come with him too.

Sakake shows Lady Ayame and Shiba Hachi their quarters for the evening. They send a runner to our camp to get Lady Ayame’s biwa (and see two Unicorns, two phoenix, a crane, and a dragon hanging out). Shiba Hatchi is funny, ingratiating, and pours sake. Lady Ayame takes Sakake’s measure. She wants to take care of her men. She is angry that the empire has gone from a path of strength to a path of dissolution and decadence. She has a personal animosity towards the Crane. She is worried that the captain might not come back, and has been seduced by their employer.

Next morning, Lady Ayame talks Sakake into selling them Yoritomo Kasue, his men, his carts, and his oxen. He wants to go to Tranquility.

On the road, Kasue tells his tale. He’s been carrying goods back and forth with no problems. He was carrying lodestones to the Phoenix from the Mantis isles so that the masters of earth could learn more about them. The Rushing Winds seized them. A hooded woman cast a spell. He thinks she might have been a Moshi Windcaller. (Was this the female mantis that the ronin were working for?) She didn’t seem at home in the saddle. Spend a good deal of the ride in conversation with Sakake (not Sakaki, the captain-db). Immediately took lodestones and left the next morning and rode out (eight feet). Without the captain camp discipline became lax. While lodestones are valuable finding a buyer is hard. The Crane have tried to learn the secrets of compasses. He’s not sure why a member of the Mantis would do this. He says he has no particular enemies. It is a significant loss. Agrees to go to Wisdom because it’s closer to our errand and that way he can offer thanks to the Bamboo Princess.

We roll in after dark to the young man with a lantern and a spear. We get into an inn. Lady Ayame and Nasume settle their business and provides a letter to Kasume saying he was ransomed for 40 koku. There is also a letter to the Rushing Winds for 30 koku (for his oxen, carts, and goods).

Lady Ayame has a dim memory of the name Raddish. Hatchi confirms that poor Raddish was into smuggling. 5,000 koku worth of Jade Tea, enough to keep one person safe for years.

Thank you Ben for stir fry +3 XP
Thank you Paige for sake +3 XP
Thank you DJ for cookies +3 XP
Thank you Ben for music +1 XP
Thank you Paige for a log +1 XP

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Session 17 2017 03 15

Things to do:
1. Recover Isawa Kaho for Shiba Fumiko – either help her figure out her problems and deal with it or calm her down.
2. Find the missing caravan Yoritomo Nasue – might be just late. Has lodestones.
3. Bayushi Taka – just wants to know whats in the caravans. Asako Fumiko and Doji Bakuto believe that it is in their best interest to do this because he knows stuff about them.

Utaku Sarnai (young woman who bragged she could ride to Smoking Waters in a day) and Shoto (storyteller).

Three villages on the way, Compassion, Tranquility, and Wisdom. Tranquility is the nice one. Set out on the road. The Unicorn are very wary.

Two ronin merchants notice the party on the road. They have a ribbon from the Emperor’s coronation robe and a cobblestone that was the first he stepped on after he became Emperor. Agasha Hotako buys the cobblestone for 10 koku. The ronin is a shugenja. He casts the I-Ching. Says that we are on a mission of intrigue and the hands that shaped the stone hold the answer.

We get to Compassion on the road later. Has warehouses and a couple of tea houses. Also a carpenter, smith, and wainwright. The wainwright is likely the wealthy man in town because of the wagon business. Doji Bakuto checks in on Yoritomo Kasue. (Lady Ayame suspects that Kasue is a brother to Nasue).

Isawa Zanpachi is the Major Domo who runs the castle. He’s been really cracking down on everything. Run out the ronin and a bunch of peasants. Trying to get back to peace and quiet. Forbidden dueling. A crab and unicorn were publicly flogged for fighting.

At the wainwright’s, we discover a busy shop. She knows Kasue. He had an axel replaced last month. She says she hasn’t seen him since he bought lunch 15 days ago on the way to Kyuden Asako. This is backed up by other merchants and the headman.

Make Tranquility by nightfall. Walled manor house. Symbolic gate where they ask for our papers. 2 samurai inns and 3 merchants. One inn is phoenix (Quiet Pool of Reflection), and the other is for everyone else (Wayfarer’s Rest). Theres a grilled fish place along a small river. Yoritomo Kasue was here just about 2 weeks ago. New garrison commander is collecting taxes for the Isawa. There is going to be a play tonight. Kabuki style and people are excited. Probably a gambit by the commander to distract from the taxes. There are stands for a small number of people. Few guards nearby. The play is good and the intermission is taiko drumming. The second act is wild and makes not sense. Lady Ayame makes friends with the family of Shosuro. Isawa Zanpachi expedited their travel by boat. They’re telling people that they’ll be here for a week.

Lady Ayame offers to trade gossip with the Shosuro. She gives up the info on Yasuki Takai and they say a high ranking lady’s servant came to them and offered them four digits of koku to assassinate someone. They don’t say who. They do mention that it’s gotten a lot more restrictive at Kyuden Isawa.

Asako Kagura – a fixer in Kyuden Asako. Retired courtier. Permanent seat at a Go emporium where the old farts hang out. Respects people that can give her a good game. The innkeep’s brother in law runs the Two-Bucket inn. Outside the city walls. Recommended to Lady Ayame.

The night passes uneventfully. Wake up and get grilled fish to go. Sarnai and Shoto want to gallop a bit to get ahead of the pack. Road to ourselves until midday until we meet people coming from Wisdom. We get to Wisdom just about midday. Surrounded by bamboo groves. See a stone tower among the bamboo. Find out that Yoritomo Kasue was here 6 days ago. Two inns (samurai and merchant), wainwright, teahouse, and restaurant. Stone pillar suggest there is a shrine nearby. See a Shosuro and an Isawa chatting at the restaurant. They perk up when Yoritomo Kasue is mentioned. Shosuro Ken introduces himself and macks on Lady Ayame (he’s Bayushi Taka’s brother in law). Says he’s a friend of Yoritomo Kasue. The other is Isawa Heihachi.

At the inn Asako Fumio at the inn finds out that Yoritomo Kasue was here 6 days ago.

At the shrine of the Bamboo Princess Isawa Mattyu and Lady Ayame get the blessing of the Bamboo Princess. Divination: the man you seek is alive and well, but his fate hangs by a gold thread. He is somewhere high, but not cold. Dark, but open to the sky.

We head out back towards Wisdom. While we find nothing, Isawa Mattyu talks to rocks. This is an ambush spot, but hasn’t been used recently. They did sense lodestones go by.

Thank you Ben for sake +3 XP
Thank you Ben for music +1 XP
Thank you Paige for bao +3 XP
Thank you DJ for dinner +3 XP

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Shadowrun Anarchy Interlude

It’s Thanksgiving in NYC. Everyone has a reason to get out of town. Happy Jack calls everyone. The Johnson wants to meet us at the Soybucks at Grand Central Station. He will have a white hat and blue flower in his lapel. Gives a round-trip ticket to Vladivostok and gives us the name of a guy who can get our guns aboard.

Hardpoint – dwarf rigger, sunglasses and a big coat
Kix – elf razorgirl, fetishwear and gloves and tats
Coydog – elven coyote shaman, hippie throwback
Bit-bucket – ork decker with some serious attitude
T-Rex – small arms dealer, dapper with a gatorhide jacket

The Johnson buys us coffee and says that the job is to retrieve something someone on the train has. We agree to take the job and he explains. A student of his has stolen some research material. Work on improved firewalls for comments. He stole the prototype and erased the research notes. Sends us a com photo of a young, clean cut Asian guy with a data jack. Toshiro Owada, a grad student. Bonus for live recovery – a new firewalled comlink. Erika elite comlink and any other data files should be returned. He gives us a comcode to contact him.

Rico the baggage handler stacks up our illicit goods and gives us the info for his man Snoopy. Snoopy will be able to get us our gear on the train.

A bunch of Columbia students are in the car with us. Lots of metahumans. Train is a double-decker. Dining car is also the observation car. The train rolls out. It’s a vacuum assisted tube train. Coach is 2/4/2 seats for most. We’re 3/2 near the bathrooms and the vending machines. Each car is 8 m wide and 20 m long.

Engine, 4 cargo cars, 2 sleeper cars, 9 coach cars, diner car, 2 first class cars, engine. We’re in #3 coach.

Columbia students are going home, and a lot of them are going to a conference/vacation sponsored by Evo. They are have a public persona of being very pro-transhuman rights and trying to making the world a better place.

T-Rex talks to undergrads to look for Toshiro Owada. No luck. But he does find out that Evo has sponsored this conference, but that it’s undergrads only. Toshiro Owada was a grad student.

+3 XP for everyone’s L5R character except for Ron
+3 XP to DJ for Korean Tacos
+3 XP to Jack for macarons
+1 XP for the log
+1 XP to Ben for music

Dramatis Personae
Hardpoint – dwarf rigger, sunglasses and a big coat
hardpoint.PNG

Kix – elf razorgirl, fetishwear and gloves and tats
kix.PNG

Coydog – elven coyote shaman, hippie throwback
coydog.PNG

Bit-bucket – ork decker with some serious attitude
bit-bucket.PNG

T-Rex – small arms dealer, dapper with a gatorhide jacket
trex.PNG

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Session 16 2017 02 22

There we are, in the rose garden.

Isawa Tsuko, the daimyo candidate
Isawa Toshiji, the castellan, dueling judge

Bayshi Taka is in the area.

Yasuki Takai shows up nearly late. He apologizes because he slipped and cannot duel. He’s flanked by Ishii as his champion.

Isawa Toshiji asks the parties if they will be reconciled. They won’t. He leaves before the duel starts. Shiba Hachi politely warns Isawa Tsuko that she might want to leave, but she says she wouldn’t miss this.

While Asako Fumio is reciting her lineage, Yasuki Taka grunts and groans and rearranges himself.

Asako Fumio acquits herself admirably, striking Iichi’s left hand. Isawa Tsuko is very, VERY appreciative…

Iichi is very nearly enthusiastic.

Bayushi Taka shows up and the party starts. He says that someone famous is coming to talk to us, at his behest. Then the party erupted. Lady Ayame showed up to play as well.

The next day Isawa Mattyu gets an invite to call on Isawa Shingen. They ask for our weapons. Which is fine. But apparently asking for Isawa Mattyu’s scroll pouch and then a scene is made.

Shiba Fumiko has been pleased that Lady Ayame has been invited to tea with Doji Inoue a couple of times. Shiba Fumiko asks to talk to Shiba Hachi.

Isawa Kaho – letter indicating that she may be losing her mind. At Kyuden Isawa. Lay her concerns to rest or calm her down so she’s not embarrassing when she gets here. Shiba Fumiko knows what’s wrong, but won’t say exactly. Fumiko believes that Kaho’s fears are baseless. Provides an origami chrysanthemum as a letter of introduction, travel papers, and a post writ so we can get mounts and remounts, and 20 koku..

Asako Fumiyo and Doji Bakuto meet with Shinjo Todaji. They want a few samurai to accompany us to Kyuden Isawa. Shinjo Todaji agrees if we’ll go hawking with him.

Yoritomo Kakeko approaches Agasha Hotaka. She says the Peacock wants a favor from him. He is looking for a caravan headed by Yoritomo Kasue. Wants to know if they’ve left Kyuden Isawa. Find the caravan or the people and bring them back. Was carrying lodestones, which are very valuable. Small chest with gray rocks. Gives him 30 koku as well.

Bayushi Taka comes by as Doji Bakuto is leaving. He asks for a small favor. He wants to know what the caravans that have been taken by bandits are carrying. Someone has been hiring all the ronin since midmorning, hints it’s Yasuki Takai.

Shiba Hachi sets up with a gossip that we are leaving to look for caravans. Asako Fumiyo sets up messages to the samurai in Smoking Waters.

Thank you Ben for music
Thank you Ben for Sake
Thank you DJ for soup
Thank you Ron for dessert SUPER DELICIOUS COOKIES!

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Session 15 2017 02 15
In which we talk to the Noble Isawa Tsuko and get jumped

Isawa Tsuko arrives, and has Yasuki Takai in tow, and invites him to join us for tea. He is gruff and lasciviously gazes upon Asako Fumiyo. Takai attempts to disrupt the tea ceremony, and throws Fumiyo off her game and nearly succeeds. Takai proceeds to insult Doji Bakuto into challenging him into a duel to first blood.

Shiba Hachi ran into an old acquaintance, Ayame. He has a “fond memory of many happy handjobs.” She is a member of Shiba Fumiko’s retinue. She is currently a ronin courtier. She is here to offer her services and friendship.

After the duel is declared to be at noon tomorrow in the gardens, Yasuki Takai leaves and Doji Bakuto is able to speak with Isawa Tsuko about becoming a leader for Smoking Waters. Tsuko reveals that she is looking for a quiet retirement. Bakuto lures her with opportunities of the hot springs and the potential of returning to a resort town. Bakuto issues an open invitation for her to visit at any time – she is interested in visiting in spring. Tsuko is coming to the duel, and will get permission for Fumiyo to duel.

Shiba Hachi and Ayame arrive, and Doji Bakuto regales them with tales of what happened over tea. Hachi says he saw Takai laughing on the way to the garden, and when hearing about the duel, he rushes off to the Plum Blossom with Agasha Hotaka to so if Ichi is set to be his champion.

On the way, they are assaulted by thugs! “I HOPE THAT GOLD SPENDS WELL IN HELL!” Shouts Shiba Hachi as they engage. Two of the thugs run, and Hotaka pummels one down. Shiba Hachi goes down in the fight, and the two remaining thugs run.

Hachi and Hotaka made it back alright. Ayame offered to take a note to Madame Yuki about whether or not Ichi is employed tomorrow to be a duelist to get an idea of if he is Fumiyo’s enemy tomorrow. The gunso of the guard accompanies Ayame to the Plum Blossom tea house. Madame Yuki once more tries to attract Ayame into her service, and in the conversation lets it be known that she is going to Smoking Waters to help it become a premiere spa in the following year. Until then, she expects a slow winter.

Hotaka speaks with the guards about what happened, and they thank him for taking out the trash.

Doji Bakuto and Asako Fumiyo went to visit and perform some medical attention on Shiba Hachi, and heard that they were assailed by five dudes.

Isawa Mattyu came and healed Hachi, and then re-applied fire to Hachi and Hotaka.

As Asako Fumiyo prepared for the duel the night before, Bayushi Taka sends a message offering time to walk with him in the night garden before she may meet her untimely demise the next day.

The next day, Asako Fumiyo heads to the rose garden, and many samurai and courtiers. Bayushi Taka and Bayushi Tetsuro wait at the entrance to the rose garden. She offers to walk with him in the garden that night after she wins.

Isawa Tsuko is there with a servant holding a parasol and the other is packing her pipe.

Isawa Toshiji is also there to watch.

By the time noon rolls around, there is no show of Yasuki Takai. Just on the ragged edge of too late, there is a grunting noise. Around the corner on a massive litter with a wounded leg, comes Takai. He announces that he fell and has elected to have a champion. It is of course, no other than Ichi, who steps to the edge of the dueling circle in a preparation to fight.

XP
3 xp for all
1 xp for all log
Bonuses
Ben 3x for Sake
Paige 3xp Bao
DJ 3x for Udon Soup
Ben 1x for music

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Session 14 2017 02 08

11th day of the Month of the Dog (Octoberish)

Akodo Tokaji has lost the tracks of the O-Kami, though it went in a straight line towards just north of O-Kappa-O’s lands. Isawa Asano, Shiba Kasai, Hotaru, and Moto Bolodai are also going.

Iuchi Kazai volunteers will stay back in the village and take care of things. Shiba Ran will assist in the village defense. Badger Brothers and Sister and Kaori are left in the village to defend it.

Jade lump – only 20 damage max. Makes a crude jade dai-tsuchi. Isawa Asano tells Moto Bolodai that the miners can start mining, but should leave the big lump of obsidian whole.

In the morning, we get to O-Kappa-O’s lake. The spirit wolf pads along the lake. We head from a cedar forest to a bamboo forest. Dead spots where the critter has brushed up against the bamboo. Across a scree field, we find a vertical cliff face with a crack in the rock and the tracks go inside. This is consistent with the descriptions from O-Kappa-O.

===
Month of the monkey is busy in Kyuden Asako. Unicorns are heading west, and there are rumors of trouble in Unicorn lands. Phoenix troops are coming home from the south. There is an air of chaos and change. Three members of the phoenix aristocracy have arrived to be assigned to three provinces to the north.

Isawa Shingen – Military Leader, ashigaru had heavy losses because he sent his peasant troops off to die. Mme Yuki says that his wife Isawa Kaho is coming and has been behaving oddly in Kyuden Isawa.
Isawa Tsuko – Diplomat. Mme Yukii has met her before in the capital. Consummate politician. Had a string of lovers. Was never hurting too badly when the capital is starving.
Isawa Togama – Poet. Mme Yuki has a high opinion of him. Collects his poetry. He doesn’t deserve the shadow that follows him.

Smoking Waters, 2 days and caravan to Nesting Swallow, and 1 week and a very large caravan to Blue Well.

Isawa Goemon and Miramoto Tomoe – Nesting Swallow. Isawa Goemon was calling on Yoritomo Nasue and the Yoritomo is filthy rich.

Isawa Junko and Isawa Kaechi – Blue Well

Utaku Chien-do (unicorn general) is heading back to the west next month.

Shinjo Tadaji will be the permanent ambassador to the phoenix and is staying with about 20 unicorn samurai.

Yasuki Takai is the official crab envoy and also staying is Kaiu Nasume.

Bayushi Taka is formally invited to be the scorpion envoy. Bayushi Tetsuro is his yojimbo. Shosuro Shizune is there too with a half dozen functionaries.

Kitsu Jin is the official dragon rep, Mirumoto Yoma-shi is his yobanjin. Has a half dozen servants, including an eta, and three or four samurai. All bushi.

Doji Inoue is the official crane rep. Her yojimbo is Doji Shigeyuki. Asahina Takuma is the second bannana and air shugenja and women like him. Makes and animates origami. Looks at the moon with Doji Shigeyuki a lot. Have 2 bushi, 3 courtiers.

Akodo Fuma and his advisor Kitsu Jin. Smallest delegation with 3 lions, no bushi, no matsu.

Yoritomo Nasue is the lead of the mantis delegation. Yoritomo Kakeko is his boisterous yojimbo. Moshi Ikako is his right hand and shugenja, and never speaks. 2 bushi and several other courtiers and entertainers.

Miya Haruka is in and out, but hasn’t committed to stay.

Asako Nisobu is the Daimyo. Isawa Toshiji is her right hand man. Shiba Tsukimi is the daimyo’s yojimbo, and Yasuki Takai wants her something fierce.

Shiba Takeshi is the odds on favorite to become master of earth. His wife Shiba Fumiko is the darling of the court and is trying to remediate. She has a great dislike for Bayushi Taka.

Asako Chukage is the monk with a prize for anyone who can tell him a worthy riddle.

Asako Kaiten is the head of the phoenix courtier school and has a prodigious memory and is quoting the library back to scribes.

Madame Yuki – Plum Blossom teahouse and her bouncer Ichi the duelist.

Lucky 8 Cricket gambling hall – run my Golden Hand Wei.

Doji Bakuto ruins Isawa Goemon’s sendoff party surepticiously, and then slanders Yasuki Takai publicly. Yasuki Taki tries to intimidate Doji Bakuto and fails. At that point, Doji Bakuto never walks the halls alone – he takes Asako Fumiyo with him frequently and sometimes Shiba Hatchi.

Make an appointment for tea with Isawa Tsuki. Find out that Yasuki Tsukai was working the kitchen staff but Doki Bakuto and Shiba Hachi GTFO. Shiba Hatchi goes to Plum Blossom Teahouse to get a teaset for the tea and is hounded by ronin. As we get ready for the tea we see Isawa Tsuki talking to Yasuki Tsukai.

Thank you DJ for Ice Cream
Thank you Ben for Dinner

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Session 13 1/18/17
Akodo's Fate

We start with the benevolent DBrain laying out how, upon losing his bet the Kappa immediately jumps towards Akodo Tokaji with the clear intent of feasting upon his flesh.

A brief discussion of whether Akodo breaks his word commenced, and was decided to still be able to go either way.

Akodo gets bitten by O Kappa O. He was willing to give his blood, but seemed unwilling to be eaten. Hotaru leaps to the lions defence, bowling the Kappa over but not damaging it despite a mighty wack. Then with glowing eyes Isawa san reads a spell from a scroll and the Kappa disappeared. isawa the reminded Akodo his debt was still present. Isawa throws the treasure of interest to the emporer back into the lake. Hotaru indicates she is unhappy with this whole situation, although she does not have any specific logical basis to stand on.

On the way back, Akodo discovers tracks of a samurai that went to visit the Kappa, and Hotaru remembers that she had found the corpse of a samurai at O Kappa’s lake. Everyone is surprised that she would forget such a thing but she does that. So they go back and find the starting of the Unicorn obsidian dig site.

Isawa starts talking to the monk about what the Kappa had told him (last session). Akodo rounded up some eta. Hotaru and Isawa told our spirit expert about the experience he was non plussed. He said we should stay away from water and could expect his allies to attack. We may be able to get a hold over him and relinquish all debts. He indicated that Hotaru and Isawa were both culpable in bet welching. (In O Kappas mind)

Hotaru, Akodo, and Shiba go back to the lake and retrieve the body. It had a shattered scimitar and a scroll tube. Hotaru touched stuff. Akodo looked at the scroll but it was in cipher. Hotaru protested. The body was safely brought back. Hotaru was eager to tell on Akodo even though he wasn’t being sneaky. The body was burned because we couldn’t get him to a unicorn in time. Prayers were said and a eulogy was said for the body. The body was big. Moto Chagati was the corpse based on Iuchi sans take on the chop. Hotaru protests again. The scroll is passed to Iuchi to translate. He promised on his honor to tell us if it concerned the village. Isawa thought that was a good idea. Shiba and Akodo tracked Chagati’s horse all the way to the west to plains that were pretty far away. Akodo thought to bring rope. The horse was found with Daikyu. Horse was secured successfully.

Isawa starts planning the expedition on the second day. Isawa doesn’t want us to dig up obsidian. Hotaru tries to get firework trade secrets from the fireworks people. There is a planning session for the spirit expedition. A baby is born! Iuchi goes and gives the peasant parents a gift of saki and unease. He is inspired.

We are all awakened at night. There are peasants looking around. They are wailing and the baby was taken. The mom is died. Some thing took the baby. Everyone went to look.
No baby corpse. It appears to clearly be an Okami. Iuchi thinks the baby was not killed. The door was not damaged, and may have been opened from the inside. Isawa asks Iuchi to talk to the husband. Onso, the husband, saw smoke come through the door, it turned into a wolf, Chie attacked it and got killed for his troubles and it left with the baby.

The tracks were followed into the forest. They indicate that the okami is probably heavily tainted. Apparently Hotaru had some Jade but managed to find it. Akodo is currently having his armor and stuff carried by the Badger brothers. Isawa cautions us about the danger. Hotaru thinks about breaking up the jade into various parts. We are currently deciding who will go after the baby. Shiba archer has made a strong case that some defenders remain.

1 xp for log
3 xp for the game
thanks Paige for dumplings
thanks Ben for Sake
thanks DJ for mochi

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Session 12 1/11/2017

(HOLY CATS BRYAN IS HERE!)

We make our way through the Isawa Mori as the moon starts rising over the treeline. The tunnel starts to glow and and a troop of ape warriors strides out. Chimpachi (armor and daisho), and a half dozen warriors (haramaki and clubs).

Shiba Kasai and Iuchi Kazai are near the front of the group. Everyone else is in a loose semicircle behind them. Chimpachi looks very severe and stoic, but the rest of the troop is ooking around.

Iuchi Kazai wades into the breach, saying that he wishes there to be peace. He broaches the idea that the O-Kami are a problem for the O-Saru, and although the Saru think we’re weak, but we’ve killed two of their number anyway. Chimpachi says that we have one month to bring him the head of the chief of the O-Kami tribe. He says that even if he has to fight a war on two fronts.

We leave, and a conversation is had. Akodo Tokaji wants to solve the O-Kami problem and then turn on the O-Saru with our O-Kami allies and wipe them off the map, like the base honorless bastard that he is. Hotaru wants to deal with the O-Kami and the sue for peace with the O-Saru (like we said we were going to do). Moto Boladai translates that as “dig more obsidian”. Ishkendo-san says that he can’t get us to Chikushido.

As we get back, Badger Sister Fang says we’ve been gone for a week and that Shiba Ran is in over her head. We realize we now have 3 weeks left til the next full moon – which is our deadline and as well as the Bon Festival. We hear a boom, and Fang allows that a whole bunch of performers have come back with Teiko. There are fireworks specialists, gymnasts, and dancers now in town. Shiba Ran is looking a little frazzled, and keeping accounts on a lap desk. Taiko has helpfully written them all IOUs.

Shiba Kasai takes over Shiba Ran’s lapdesk, and then after a while Iuchi Kazai takes it over. The fireworkmakers want 20 koku, the dancers want 12 koku, and both want food and lodging if they get snowed in. The monks don’t want koku, but they want food and lodging as long as they’re here.

Iuchi Kazai and Shiba Kasai discuss inviting people from either Nesting Swallow (south, home of Isawa Goemon) or Blue Well (west, living in tents) can come, or our favorite Daimyo candidates.

Lost Traveller Castle is the provincial seat, and it’s a town and a castle. Ideally, Smoking Waters is the wealthiest town in the province. The other towns are Blue Well and Nesting Swallow and they’re just farmland.

Taiko and Isawa Asano talk and Taiko says it’s very strange that the O-Kami have done these things. Perhaps it’s only one pack that has gone mad. Taiko says the O-Saru have a small and very discrete territory. Taiko says O-Kappa-O would know how to get to Chikushido.

The Unicorn have come by, with peasants in tents, headed to Blue Well. They also had letters (and Taiko, and performers). There are two miners that showed up at Moto Bolodai’s behest. Iuchi Kazai directs them to dig in the

Shiba Kasai, Akodo Tokaji, Isawa Asano, and Hotaru head into the Isawa Mori to talk to O-Kappa-O. Isawa Asano offers to wrestle O-Kappa-O, for 5 questions if he wins, and 2 questions if he loses. Sadly, Isawa Asano realized that he didn’t ask for them “entirely honestly and without attempts to misdirect”.

During the fireworks, Hotaru finds a body of a mauled Unicorn with a broken saber. He was face down in the mud.

Akodo Tokaji makes a bet (DUMB!) with O-Kappa-O. If Akodo-san can guess which of three treasures is most valuable, Akodo-san can keep it. There is a smooth round stone about the size of a cobblestone with one flattish side, an ornate jade scroll case, quite large, with golden dragons, and a sword hilt with no blade.

The sword hilt Not a broken blade, but one with no blade, it smells very faintly of old blood, smoke, and sweat. It looks to be very simply and crudely made. Plain oak handle with cord wrapped around it, sweat stained. No tsuba. The blade is gone-gone. No chunks left. Could have shattered and all fallen out, could have been removed. The sword hilt did not look wet when examined.

Scroll case has no smell. Incredibly elaborate workmanship. Ruby, onyx, diamond, emerald, and opal? eyes in the little golden dragons. Individual scales are etched into the dragons (size of the head of the pin). Jade is very thin, somewhat translucent, and there is a thick scroll inside. The endcaps are not endcaps – its one solid piece of jade.

The rock smells like clean lake mud. It is a smooth, nondescript river rock. Very slightly flat on top. There are no rivers nearby that would make this kind of rock. Yellow-brown bread colored rock.

Isawa Asano asks how to get to Chikushido to the O-Kami territory. East one day in the Isawa Mori is a stone hill that curves up to the sky. It is a favored place for the O-Kami to sing to the moon. At the base of the hill is a cave that goes to the O-Kami’s lands in Chikushido.

Akodo Tokaji chooses the rock, which turns into water. Akodo Tokaji slices his wrist, spraying his blood all over O-Kappa-O and then O-Kappa-O leaps on Akodo Tokaji with intent to murder.

+3 XP for game
+1 XP for log

Thank you DJ for chocolate tubes and spongecake-icecream sammiches
Thank you Ben pork stir-fry with glass noodles.

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Session 11 01/04

The Saru Tribe want a duel, the murderers, or a battle. Much brainstorming is had. The BEST idea we have is to marry Shiba Kasai off to the monkeys as a hostage. Isawa Asano also volunteers but the idea of going back to Kyuden Asako without the ishkendo seems like suicide.

Mother Izoku is sternly disapproving, but offers no concrete advice other than to try to reach a peaceful solution. Taiko’s apprentice suggests (through sign language) that we go into the forest to enlist the help of a kappa against the apes. She implies that Teiko was getting information from the kappa. And the kappa like to wrestle so that’s why Teiko was so beat up. Supposedly if you can spill the water from the bowl on the kappa’s head, they are powerless.

O-Kappa-O is about 4’ wide or 4’ tall, with a turtle shell and a tree trunk arms and spindly legs with flippers. Iuchi Kazai offers up 7 days of Hotaru’s blood as a prize for either a wrestling tournament or a game of riddles.

O-Kappa-O vs Iuchi Kazai in a game of riddles, three riddles each.
Mighter than the moon, more caring than sun, more malice than Fu-Leng, the poor have too much of it, the rich don’t have it. If you eat it, you’ll die. What am I? Iuchi Kazai answers “nothing”.

While the unicorn is thinking, Moto Bolodai tries to wrestle him. It’s close, and O-Kappa-O drags him into the water. While Moto Bolodai tries valiantly, O-Kappa-O wins.

Iuchi Kazai asks O-Kappa-O a riddle he doesn’t know.

In the garden of the celestial court there is a pear tree that is renowned because of the wisdom in it’s fruit. A strong wind shook heaven, and then there were neither pears on the tree or on the ground. Before the wind blew, how many pears were on the tree? Two. (Pear/Pair)

A poor peasant farmer has two fields. One for rice and one for barley. Has only one bag so he fills it half with rice, ties it off, and the other half with barley and ties it off. A merchant wants the rice only. The peasant won’t cut his sack, and the merchant doesn’t want to trade sacks. Pour the barley into the merchant’s sack and tie it off and turn it inside out.

Eventually Iuchi Kazai wins the riddle contest.

Hotaru fights O-Kappa-O, after a long fight, she taps out.

Akodo Tokaji proceeds to make some particularly callous and patronizing comments and stomps off before she punches him in his smug fat face.

Iuchi Kazai asks about the weaknesses of the Saru tribe. They are vulnerable to the three sacred materials. Some also like shiny things.

Iuchi Kazai asks what the Saru tribe wants. Says the Okami tribe are raiding and killing their children. They want to secure their borders against the Okami.

Iuchi Kazai asks O-Kappa-O about the weather and the best time to harvest and plant. He says the snows will be late, but they will be hard when they hit. We have a month after the Bon festival til the snows hit. He’ll come back in the spring to update the forecast. He gives pretty specific dates.

People disperse to get some sleep. Iuchi Kazai tells people about O-Kappa-O’s predictions for weather and the peasants scamper happily off to plant another crop of buckwheat. That means the carpenters can’t be building granaries, but we can (temporarily) put the grain in some of the houses for a while while we’re building granaries.

Okami are the wolf tribe, and have a strong connection to Lady Sun. They are gentle protectors of the forest, particularly of children. This is seems extremely unlike the Okami as described to us by O-Kappa-O. Taiko’s apprentice seems to agree with O-Kappa-O’s description of the Okami, and says that the Okami have gone weird. She suggest that we join forces with the Saru Tribe to fight the Okami.

And we’ll try that next week!

Thank you Ben for pad thai!
Thank you DJ for dessert!
+1 xp for log
+3 xp for the game

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