Legend of the 5 Rings Smoking Waters

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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Session 35 3-21-18

In Smoking Waters, the day dawns gray and a few snowflakes are falling.

Anslan, Bolodai’s groom says the ronin’s horse is sick. Shiba Hatchi tells him to take it away from the rest of the animals.

Peasant Sichi, someone dug a hole in his yard and he fell in it. Sent him to mother Azoku. His field is fallow and rocky.

Isawa Tsuko leaves and invites Shiba Hatchi to Winter Court in Aoijiroi Province (Nesting Swallow). She’s been neglectful of the watchtower from what Hatchi hears.

Then there’s a small temblor. Swinging signs and tumbled crockery.

Iuchi Kazai is at the Lotus and Koi. Kazai catches Hatchi up on the story.

Agasha Hotaka,

In town – a young Phoenix couple, every one else left. Also Bolodai’s wife.

Isawa Asano talks to Teiko at length. O-Kappa-O pops up and Teiko bolts out of the pool and down the hill, stark freakin’ naked and runs into the inn. Isawa Asano talks to Shiba Fumio and Agasha Hotaka about the fight with Chin. Isawa Asano says that Chin was probably tainted.

Elemental council is reformed – at Kyuden Isawa.
Master of Earth – Asako Fumiko’s husband
Master of Air – Shugenja Kyuden Asako, guy who dealt with Shiba Hatchi
Master of Fire – Agasha clan Dragon shugenja – very political.
Master of Water – Sea shugenja who is more like a battlemage
Master of Void – in seclusion.

We assign Teiko to clean up in town. We head out to where Anslan and the horse are. He has a lean to and small fire. He pulls a knife to cut it’s throat and it hocks a loogie of grossness into Aslan’s face and mouth and turns to attack. Fumio and Hatchi cut it up. Isawa Asano then starts ham-handedly cutting Anslan’s head off. Hatchi gives the man a clean death. We clean off in the icy creek, and drop our bloodstained clothes. We have the eta burn the horse and Anslan IN PLACE without touching them.

Ayame is a woman with the Dragon Militia. Shiba Hatchi commends her on the response to the fight with Chin. He also tells her that the horse was sick, and had to be put down. Hints at magical crap. He strongly opines that the matter is handled. Mme. Yuki makes sure the most gossipy server is waiting on them to spread the word.

Note to self – name a yoriki.

Tsubo is in the Inn as well. Shiba Hatchi goes tochat with him. He’s filthy rich at the moment, but won’t say how. He did a favor for someone powerful and got papers to travel through Phoenix lands. His travel papers are approved by Lord of Kyuden Asako (Asako Nisobu).

Six peasants come by and wait for orders. Shiba Hatchi sent them out on patrols and told them to beware the tiger and come get him if they see it.

Sparrowhawk – from Crane lands. Looking for her brother Obito. Lost in Phoenix lands somewhere. Send her to the A Team. Give her a letter of introduction. Told her to be careful about the area – dark magic.

Isawa Asano talks to Iron Shou’s son #2. His wife, Kaori, is sooooo pregnant. Second Son says the prospectors came in with a big chunk of obsidian and youngest brother was the most skilled with working with obsidian. Youngest brother and father were closeted about it for a while. He woke up as his arm was being lopped off. His father was dead, his other brothers were crippled, and he saw youngest brother leaving in the night with a black blade. The good side is that they found the Tsi smith who is setting up the papermill.

Isawa Asano notes the big kami that was associated with the obsidian is gone, but there is a large earth kami. He says the obsidian is gone, and that the kantzen have recently come back.

3 XP for game
1 XP for log

3 XP Thank you Paige for eggrolls
3 XP Thank you DJ for dinner
3 XP Thank you Ben for sake
1 XP Thank you Ben for music
3 XP Thank you Jack for Pocky

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Session 34 3-14-18
Pie day!

We are meeting and hear a cry from the village. We rush down, and find two ronin – Chin and Sparrowhawk – fighting. Fumiyo interposed and it turned into a combat! Chin swelled with unnatural strength and slew Kochako Yoshi before being cut down from a combined might of Fumiyo, Sparrowhawk, and Agasha Hotaka.

At the eta, we investigate Katsu’s body as Chin’s body burns. We find a scratch on the back of Katsu’s neck, which leads to an abscess from his neck up his skull which is curious. We have an eta cut the head off, and then burn the remains. They comply with much choppy choppy and then burny burny.

Mother Izoku comes running up (UNUSUALLY FAST) to inform us that a woman in town had had a miscarriage and has brought the child’s body to be burned by the eta. They create another fire and Matyu calls another meeting, and instructs the bath attendants to encourage as many people as possible to take baths so they can see in case they have an abscess.

There is a great exodus from Smoking Waters now that the fight has happened.

That night, there is a funeral for the lost baby from the samurai who came to visit. Fumiyo is the only PC team samurai to attend.

you to[/u]

DJ for Sapporo beru!
Jacku for cupucakyu
Ben for dinner
Ron for Grapes that no one ate.
Ben for music
Ben for log

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Session 32 2/21/2018

At the Bon festival

Asahina Takuma – Crane Shugenja
Bayushi Taka –
Bayushi Ryonosuke – Young samura serving as Taka’s yojimbo
Isawa Junko – Part of the Blue Well Delegation, Shugenja
Isawa Tsuko – New Aoijiroi Daimyo
Kaiu Nasume -Young engineer, on her own.
Yoritomo Nasue – the peacock. His yojimbo Yoritomo Kakeko (7 mos pregnant)
Villagers from Smoking Waters, Blue Well, and Nesting Swallow

Dragons help keep order because they’re very austere. Peasant guard also helps keep order.
The food here is good and eclectic – dragon peppers and Iuchi Kazai is bring in unicorn spices.

Golden Hand Wei set up sake and tea stalls. The river of gold flows upward to Iuchi Kazai.

A couple of thousand people here.

Miya Haruka is in town as well. Trying to dip a goldfish out of a barrel, but she’s quite drunk.

A dragon peasant/ashigaru comes to the Lotus and the Koi saying there has been a murder. Shiba Hatchi and Agasha Hotaka bug out to go check on the body, leaving Iuchi Kazai to wake Isawa Matyyu.
Kochako Yoshi helps distract the peasants. The body has a wakazashi in hand, and a katana in his belt. His throat has been raggedly torn open, and he has an angry grimace on his face. Maybe a shovel or a hoe did it. Someone strong, someone skilled, and it doesn’t look like a panicked attack. He’s a very plain ronin, average size, average height, with a faint scar on his chin and fighting scars on his knuckles. The fact the ronin had his sword out implies it’s not an assassination. It’s right by the edge of the forest, so there wasn’t much room for swinging a large sword. Wakazashi is the better weapon. He has a gold koku, as well as bu and zenni.

Where is his room? And where is his pack?

The eta take the body off to the place where bodies are burned, and Isawa Matyyu is fetched. Shiba Hatchi gives his report, and Isawa Matyyu remembers that this isn’t very far from the place where the obsidian was dug up.

We head back to town, and collect Iuchi Kazai. Kochako Yoshi provides a letter of introduction from Shiba Fumiko to Shiba Hatchi, and Hatchi gestures for Yoshi to join him.

Isawa Matyyu bemoans that he hasn’t appointed a magistrate, and Shiba Hatchi threw himself on that grenade for Iuchi Kazai. Hatchi suggests Kazai maybe should check in with Golden Hand Wei. Wei has no information and looks shocked, but agrees to ask around. His place is the Smiling Cricket.

The master of baths says that there were four or five ronin in the baths, maybe our guy is one of them. An older man with a large nose came into some money. His name is Tetsuo. We ask the master of baths to see if he can find out where the ronin are staying, and to have them lunch with Hatchi at the Lotus and Koi the next day. Shiba Hatchi asks Kochako Yoshi to take a look at the blades. Apparently the sword is scorpion made, the wakazashi is crab made. They’re middling quality, well cared for, and maybe 100 years old.

Iuchi Kazai learns about 4 ronin from Wei
Tetsuo – came into money and has been treating people.
Woman – Sparrowhawk, is looking for her brother.
Katsu -mooching off Tetsuo, has a scar on his chin.
Chin – Gaijin, bandy-legged ronin.

Iuchi Kazai sends info about Tetsuo and Katsu in cipher to Shiba Hatchi.

Isawa Matyyu notices a small crowd near where the body was found, but on the other side of the stream, where the obsidian was found.

1 XP for log
3 xp for game
3 xp for Jack for seaweed
3 xp for DJ for old clothes
3 XP for Ben for strawberries
3 xp for Paige for beer

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Session 31 02/14/2018

We’re at the Lotus and Koi. Madame Yuki hustled us off to clean us up. Shochu has a strange makers mark of a golden hand and it’s good (for Schochu).

Iron Shou is dead, son #1 is dead, son #2 & #3 are greviously wounded, and son #4 is gone. Rumors are that they killed each other. Smithy was a bloodbath. Teiko and Azoku burned the place down. New smithy nearby. Obsidian is mined out.

Isawa Mattyu has been on top of it. Iuchi Kazei has been on top of merchant things.

Akodo Tokaji sees a smirking kappa-face in the bubbles. Chuda Akane is more-or-less introduced as a Ronin. Shiba Kisai was apparently lost in the mists.

The alabaster pin we found on the torn up phoenix robes (where the mystery pregnant woman came into the beastlands) matches Isawa Shingen’s style and materials. In all likelyhood, Isawa Kaho was chasing Hitomi (who was bearing Isawa Shingen’s style). Hitomi was sick, and was likely dying from the taint. Did she pick up the taint from the baby? Is Isawa Shingen tainted? Was the Jade Tea we picked up headed to Kyuden Asako for Isawa Shingen from Kyuden Isawa?

lays in a pool of her own blood, and is hallucinating that the lantern boats contain people. An old man in phoenix colors with a hammer mon stares at her. He has a wrinkly face, marred by sparks from the forge, and has his hair in a old-style topknot. Hotaru bows the the ancestors, and asks them if she can help them. They’re wearing red and yellow kimonos, one with massive shoulders is wearing a gray kimono, they all have hammer mons. We don’t recognize that mon. The grey-kimono one is the most important, and regards Hotaru gravely. The rest sneer at Hotaru.[i]

Isawa Mattyu recognizes the spirits from Hotaru’s hallucination as ftom the Koganshi vassal family. The weapons from under the castle in town (Shiro Koganshi) were made by these guys. The one in gray was probably the family founder and he made the rest join the Phoenix clan.

Isawa Mattyu tells Madame Yuki to extend full courtesy to anyone who claims to be a fox spirit. We owe fox spirits a favor.

Shiba Hatchi and Iuchi Kasei know that Isawa Shingen is assigned to build a fortress in the northern mountains to keep the yobanjin barbarians out. Reports are nominal. Troops and tools go north. The drovers don’t come back south – troops and scouts come south and deliver reports. The troops don’t stay long. He has a couple of courtiers working the home front.

The Unicorn haven’t been heard from in some time, and even Iuchi Kasai doesn’t know much about them. Shiba Hatchi has heard that the Unicorn are fighting among themselves in Unicorn lands. Many raids on other Unicorn settlements and tribes. They’re keeping it hush-hush though. There is a rumor that Otaku is back. Maybe that’s why they’re fighting. Half of sources say that they’re mad Toturi (who has no kami ancestors) took the throne and she’s purging elements loyal to Toturi out of the Unicorn so she can take the throne as she is a kami.

Recovered from the castle 6 daisho Koganshi marked, 4 suits o-yoroi armor (platemail) Koganshi marked, war fan, weird spear, set of smithing tools that were not burned in a shrine. The tools were given to Iron Shou. Maybe Mother Azoko and Teiko know what happened to them before they burned the smithy down.

The Bon festival continues with fireworks. Children dressed as tigers to scare off disease. People start to disperse into the fields and lantern boats go downstream. Far more boats than we have people, so clearly Teiko has been getting people to propitiate the spirits of the people who lived here previously (and he’s likely selling boats). In the past two years the only deaths have been from old age. No floods. Rain has been entirely enough, but not too much. Record harvests every year. Rats and other vermin are largely absent. Bolodai’s stallion has had two foals with one of the Unicorn mares that we found at O-kappa-o’s. Iuchi Kasei has been accepting “donations” for nobles to park their mares in the same paddock as the stallion. Lots of babies have been born with thick silky hair, large hands, and large feet (monkey spirits anyone?). Also lots of fraternal twins.

Isawa Mattyu wants to send Moto Bolodai, Akodo Tokaji, Isawa Asano, Chuda Dakane, and Hotaru to Isawa Shingen’s redoubt and see what’s up. We think he’s still looking for a good site. We know where the supply caravans are going to though. It’s west of Lost Traveller castle. We’re not even getting a full night’s rest.

(Remember that we have 3 points of advantages – up to 6 points with 3 points of disads)

Thanks DJ for the Italian Wedding Cake

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