Legend of the 5 Rings Smoking Waters

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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Session 30 1/30/2018
Game of Questions!

Someone came to Smoking Waters for healing but the healing failed. Who is it? What happened? How do they feel about Smoking Waters? (Ron)

DJ: It was a Jade Magistrate. She came after the spa was up and running. Rumor is that it was a curse. She was not happy with Smoking Waters. Not a smear campaign, but she’ll have a nasty opinon to share.

What has everyone’s favorite irascible monk Teiko been up to? (Jack)

BH: He took it upon himself to make sure the obsidian mine was mined and it’s tapped out. He distributed it through the monk brotherhood. Iuchi Kasai has a stash of it, and he will return it to us. He thinks that’s all there is – but he’s wrong. But now there are some monk brotherhoods stockpiling Smoking Waters obsidian. Teiko has been here and then away.

Who, other than the Smoking Waters delgation, benefitted most from Smoking Waters paying all their debts early and having a surplus for the following year? (Ben)

PL: Shiba Fumiko did well because she was the patron of the SW folks. She’s viewed as having a head for good governance, and her name is being floated as a daimyo in 10-20 years. Mme Yuki has done extremely well with the traffic in her new inn, the Lotus and the Koi. it has a large koi pond with lotuses. She has a picture of the principals of smoking waters in the inn. Peasants are doing very well – they have more money and food than they’ve had in years. They’ve taken the surplus and are getting their kids married, and are beautifying the town. Nice lamp-posts, cleaned and improved peasant housing.

How did the initial bon festival go?

JL: It went really well. People got super drunk and had a great time. The other villages came by and it strengthed friendships between people of all the villages.

Is Tasuki Takai, our favorite Crab, still around? (DJ)

RF: He was being his onerous self. The people that were there were beginning to plot against him. BUT he was promoted and pulled back to Crab lands. They don’t like him, so they’ll send him back to Kyuden Asako.

Who is the daimyo of Kugen province? (Dbrain)

DJ: Isawa Togama, the poet, became the daimyo. Iuchi Kazai helped make this happen so that the daimyo will be an absentee landlord.

What sort of baggage, curse, vengeful spirit, magical powers, et cetera does the sword found in the castle foundation have? (Ron)

BH: Was weilded by a famous Lion general who never lost a battle. It was said that as long as the bearer was righteous they would never lose a battle. However, it broadcasts the user’s fears and sins to those “closest” to them. The weirlder doesn’t know this. That general was murdered in his sleep and the sword was stolen. Then the next guy was murdered in his sleep as well. Then it was given to Phoenix swordmiths to hold onto so it won’t cause more trouble. This sword is not widely known to be in circulation or what it is.

Asako Boladai’s widow – Shiori – what powerful politcian did she marry? How does she continue to show her displeasure with Smoking Waters? Who does she secretly support in Smoking Waters? (Ben)

PL: She supports Yasuki Kisai in Smoking Waters. She married Asahina Takuma. He’s still pining for Doji Inoue, but she’s great with that because she gets all the good parts of the marriage – money, political clout, lovely Crane accoutrements, but without the actual husband part of the deal. She’s a shugenja, and so Yasuki Kisa doesn’t mess with her. It’s rumored that she used “evil magic” to get rid of Bolodai.

Golden Hand Wei – how have business relationships with him developed? (Paige)

JL: After our first harvest where we had so much buckwheat, he funded a shoju brewery in Smoking Waters. He uses the route between Smoking Waters and Kyuden Asako as part of a smuggling route. That’s how Teiko got the obsidian moved. He sells the sacred water from the springs. He’s doing a lot of this to help poor people in the area.

What have the Dragon Clan defectors (Agasha) up to? (Jack)

RF: Their thing is experimental magic. They’re mostly doing well. A pocket of them in Nesting Swallow are experimenting with blood magic. A few peasants have gone missing. No one knows this yet. They left Dragon lands one step ahead of the fuzz. This is only a small group. The rest of the Agasha at Kyuden Asako are fitting in great. They see a wrong that can only be righted by blood magic.

Who was the famous duelist that came to Smoking Waters? How did he die or never leave Smoking Waters again? (Ben)

DJ: A Scorpion named Shosuro Sanzo. He’s blind. He came for the healing and now he can see. However, that completely made him unable to fight because vision distracted him. He died in the very first duel he fought with sight.

Did anyone ever retrieve the Jade Tea? (DJ)

BH: None of the three people that knew about it went to go get it. BUT Mme Yuki occasionally has some Jade Tea for special guests. Never answers how she got it or where it came from.

Did Chimpachi and the Saru clan return to Smoking waters? (DJ)

PL: The tribe can brachiate between times, so they’re aware of what’s going on. There’s a split in the tribe between the Ook-Ooks and the Ah-Ahs. One part of the tribe belives in Chimpachi. The other part belives that the humans succeeded where the Saru tribe was too cowardly to even try. The Ah-Ahs convinced the monkeys to leave the people of Smoking Waters alone, and the people of Smoking Waters made a special hot spring for the monkeys, and leave gifts for them there so they’re never hungry. Monkeys are now symbols of happiness, luck, and fidelity, and the village mascot of Smoking Waters.

What was prize of the ruins of the castle that was given to the daimyo? What is the second best peice that’s now in use and who is using it? What is the third best peice on display in the gift shop? (Ben)

JL: A sword with the handle and scabbard wrapped in dragon skin. Daimyo has top men looking into it. Second best was a war fan – Isawa Matyu gave it to Iuchi Kisai, but it was stolen. Third best peice is a spear, not of Phoenix make. Has a jade head. Hangs above the picture of the Smoking Waters delagation. Could be Gaijin. Could be from the spirit realm. Peasants guard it at all hours. Special sword given to nobility in other villiages.

RF: The other village heads are as hapless as Isawa Mattyu. They love to get together and bitch at the Bon festival (2 men, 1 women) because no one else can stand listening about how hard it is to be first banana.

How did the daimyo lose his arm once he got to Smoking Waters? Who was blamed? What happend to them? (Ben)

RF: The Artist is more used to being in the big city, but he toured Kugen province. The first time was all pomp and ceremony. Second was a smaller group. Third time, him and two bodyguards. He limped back into Smoking Waters from Nesting Swallow clutching his stump, and his guards were killed. It looked like his arm has been bitten off by a beak.

What resource has been a suprising source of wealth for Smoking Waters? (DBrain)

PL: The paperworks. Tsi Nodeshko has been making TERRIBLE paper for a year. But she’s VERY nearly got it. The lumpy paper was good for peasant stuff and grocery lists -
but the lumpy paper has become popular with some religiously oriented painters because it’s made from paper from the Isawa Mori. Golden Hand Wei also uses it for opium and he and Iuchi Kazai sell it.

The peasants took up a collection to create a shrine. Who or what is it dedicated to? How does the priest make life hard for samurai? (Ben)

JL: It’s to the people of Smoking Waters who left to go to the spirit realm. The Ah-Ahs were taking care of the village, so they scared off some bandits, and people thought it was the restless spirits of the dead samurai. Bolodai’s groomsman was walking his horse and a snake attacked him but the horse stomped it, which must have been the part of Bolodai’s ghostly spirit. All of their houses have been turned into secondary shrines.

How did Bayushi Taka do in Winter Court? (Paige)

RF: He’s not doing well, because he got crosswise with Yasuki Takai. Yasuki Takai got away with being a huge ass at a party that Bayushi Taka threw. It’s not his fault, but it was his party.

Shiba Fumiko (nee Bayushi) vs Doji Inoue – who won belle of the ball at Winter Court? (Paige)

DJ: Shiba Fumiko, by a mile. Her star is rising and continues to rise. Her husband has taken to the political games (Lady Ayame helped tutor him) and he is the Elemental Master of Earth. She spends a lot of time on the road between Kyuden Asako and Kyuden Isawa. Spends a lot of time in Compassion. She also visits Smoking Waters frequently.

Did Shiba Hachi finally bed Tsubaki? Pregnancy? Relationship? (Paige)

BH: Yes, and there is a kid, and she’s pregnant again. Shiba Hachi’s wife is so happy that there are children that she’s thrilled with the relationship. The family has never been happier. He is truly blessed!

What new superstitions have popped up among the peasants?(Ben)

PL: Monkeys are good luck. It’s a pilgrimage to leave a sweet at the monkey spring for good luck.
When a baby is born, the friends of the father guard the house the day before and a week after so it’s 8 lucky days of help for the new family. It’s starting to be a bit like a party and they drink too much sochu.
“I hope you get as lost as Hotaru-Bolodai-Tokaji-Asano.” It means you have a wild adventure and come back safe and covered in glory with wild stories. Each name has a connotation. Hotaru – changed. Bolodai – lucky in love. Tokaji – cautious. Asano – wise.

Shiba Hachi offered a favor to a mysterious air shugenja in Kyuden. What’s up with that? (Paige)

JL: Favor not called in, but the air shugenja is a maho user who works with the Agasha. He wants a baby.

Free advantage of 3 points. Or an extra 3 point advantage with an equivalently priced disadvantage. Can buy higher than that using XP. Must be related to what you were doing in the downtime.


NEWS:

Isawa Kaho is dead. Died in her sleep after a brief illness and was quietly burned.
Isawa Tsuko (the courtier) is daimyo of a Aoijiroi province/Nesting Swallow and Watchtower. She comes up frequently. Been to all 3 ban festivals.
The year is 1131.

Thank you Jack for sesame snacks
Thank you Ron for bread
Thank you DJ for soup
Thank you Ben for dessert

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Session 29 10/4/2017

Tokaji alights in a tree a half mile away (Jack suggests a whomping willow).

We hear Yamaneko grumbling behind a rock how our blood will cleanse the taint. He steps out from behind the rock. He looks like an oilslick in the shape of a cat the size of a rhinoceros. He’s slopping taint out into the water and the woods behind him. He’s much further along in taint which means he’s been calling on taint powers, which means he probably has a suite of “exciting” taint powers.

We convince Yamaneko that it’s O-Kami’s fault and he agrees that she’s got to go. He charges us and people scatter heading for O-Kami. Chuda Dakane goes up the cliff yelling the equivalent of “fuck fuck fuck”. Isawa Asano goes scrambling up the cliff. Moto Bolodai tries to ride Yamaneko up there. He misses at first but flaps his mighty pinions and lands astride his back. Yamaneko keeps on going, but is clearly trying to buck the Moto off so he can murder him to death.

Hotaru, jumps up to the dam, balances, and then bounds across the lake like a cat, with her tail puffed up. She skitters across the island, and whacks O-Kami in the snout with her Jade Dai-Tsuchi. She connects with earth-shattering force and the jade explodes inside the wolf with green fire. The jade fragments and bits go spinning off into the night. She bares her claws and hisses at the wolf, and spots a baby with a huge head glaring at her from inside the cave. Chuda Dakane summons up a magical jade Ono for her and she whacks the wolf again, but the wolf tears her up and she falls.

Isawa Asano summons up the power of the void and the wolf tears itself up from the inside, turns into smoke, and the smoke tears itself up. He is cheered on by pink, green, and gold fireworks in the sky. The baby tries to push up, and poofs away.

Akodo Tokaji sees people coming down the stream in lantern boats as the fireworks burst overhead.

In the meantime, Yamaneko and Moto Boladai are locked in a dance of death. Chuda Dakane picks up the Ono and faces off against Yamaneko. Isawa Asano sets Moto Boladai on holy fire, which Yamaneko objects to most strenuously.

Hotaru 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.

Chuda Dakane heals Hotaru and hands her back the axe. She leaps up to get between Yamaneko and Isawa Asano and calls out Yamaneko as the source of the taint. From behind her, an explosion of void energy tears into Yamaneko. Akodo Tokaji fires a shot at Yamaneko but it seems to do no damage.

Moto gets flung off of Yamaneko’s back when he went into the water and rolled. He spears Yamaneko in the chest and his roar is cut off in a choking cough. The cat is damaged, but not done. He keeps getting larger and larger, and is just a swollen mass of black filth, with a long fanged mouth. However, Chuda Dakane casts a spell that makes Yamaneko dissolves into a black mass. A massive multistage firework goes off, lighting the sky in red, gold, and white light. The white light from the fireworks catches in the water and along the filth, and along the crater. More figures and boats seem to be pushing against something, and as the boats go downstream and the water clears. They kick down the dam, wiping the bones and black sludge away except for the areas where Yamaneko and O-Kami died.

Chuda Dakane casts a spell for an hour to clear taint from the crater. The boats hang up at the mouth of the lake waiting for the spell to conclude. Once it’s done, the boats continue through, but they taper off. One, in Phoenix colors, gestures for us to come upstream. See one moon above, and it sparkles on the snow and ice as we get to the snowline. We see a pool, which sparkles with moonlight as if it was a pool of silver. Kitsune san reminds us of our promise to let in a fox when the fox needs help. Our guide looks like a more-or-less modern Phoenix man with smith’s scars and he gestures us into the pool. We find ourselves standing knee-deep in a pond in a moonlight glen. There’s a red-orange flicker of torchlight. Chuda Dakane is still with us! Hotaru pokes him to make sure he’s real and he shrieks, as is normal. Moto Boladai, Chuda Dakane, and Hotaru all retain characteristics of the animals of Chikushido.

We follow the stream towards town. Second harvest has been brought in, and the fields are full of tents. Crowds of people and torches and bonfires. We see acrobats and jugglers and musicians. We smell grilled food and priests are chanting and kids are running around with masks on. We have arrived in the middle of the Bon festival. Paper boats and lanterns still fill the stream. We are treated well, and given food and drink, and bowed at. Perhaps three weeks have passed – and three silos are now built. Some seriously noble people are here – a palanquin goes by. Handsome woman in her middle years smoking a pipe with a handsome young samurai. It’s extremely cold. One of Madame Yuki’s entertainers sees us, and takes off.

We are each greeted by a geisha who chivvy us up to the bathhouse. She says it’s been a year.

After the Bon festival last year, there was an earthshake. The foundation for the castle cracked and swords and tools were found. The Crab Miners got excited and locked themselves in the forge. When the farmers got impatient and broke down the door. Iron Shou and the crab miners were dead. Three sons were unconscious, fourth son missing. They were slashed to death, nearly to death, but there was no blood at the scene.

Isawa Asano flees to the spot where the obsidian was being mined, but it’s just a buckwheat field now.

5 XP
1 XP for Log
3 XP for Bao for Ben
3 XP for Pumpkin Soup for Paige
3 XP for Cake and icecream for DJ

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Session 28 9-27-17

In Chikushido, we wander closer to the volcano. As we come over the rise, we spy a stream that is black and flows like molasses. On the edge of it, there is a black smear and the plants are misshapen. Chuda Dakane points out it would be best for the group to head toward the head waters to see if they can find the source of the taint that is running through the land and purify it.

Bolodai spots something long and swimming in the stream, and Akodo Tokaji calls out and a head on a long, serpentine body emerges, oily and gross. They converse a bit, and while doing so, Dakane and Isawa Asano converse and think it’s an oni, potentially a very powerful one.

We press on along he ridgeline, with the snake following us in the water. We also think we are being followed by something else, but trying to figure out what takes time we don’t have.

As we press on, we see something bobbing in the stream. We investigate but the snake shoots forward to consume it before we can see what it is. We talk to the snake more to find it plans to expand through the whole realm.

On the other side of the river, we see something coming our way. It is walking drunkenly and going into the river upon occasion. Akodo Tokaji fires an arrow at it as a warning shot – and then it shoots back! We scramble because we did not expect that! It keeps firing and we discover it is a goblin. On the second round of combat, the snake creature goes to converse with the goblin. Dakane goes “this is bad,” and makes jade rocks fall out of the sky onto the snake and the goblin. And the goblin goes splat but the snake is perturbed by the strike. Isawa Asano fires void at it. It spews venom at Dakane, who makes a lucky dodge, and then sinks into the water.

We press on, and find a fog-covered valley where we believe the water is coming from. We see some washed up bones on the shores of the fog. As we go, a ways behind us we hear a feline roar behind us.

We press on, and hear a second roar which sounds pained. Up ahead in the fog it looks like an impact crater. Akodo Tokaji and Chuda Dakane elect to climb, and we see the crater is all dammed off by what looks like bones. We also hear things scrambling around at the top of the foggy dam – probably goblins. One goblin leaps down and stands up, stunned, and Akodo Takaji shoots it and blows its brains out.

A second goblin starts climbing down and Takaji shoots it, too. He kills the second one, hail the conquering hero. Takaji climbs up to scout. At the top, he finds a lake (from the dam of bones). In the center of the lake is a spire of rock with a cave in it. The cave is very dark, surrounded by black water that is very still. There is a grey haze filling the area around the area, and there is a dark black smudge that the sludge seems to be coming from and then a goblin came out. The goblin looked around and then went back into the patch.

The shadowy form of the wolf pokes out of the cave mouth. After a long moment, she catches the scent of Takaji and rushes him across the water. As he starts to climb down, there is the sound of a child’s cry that rips through the air like thunder.

Takaji frees from the thunder, leaps down, and flaps on his skin opens and he sails away while the wolf approaches the rest of the party.

3 xp
Thanks to Ben for sake and the log and music
Thanks to DJ for DELICIOUS COOKIES

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Session 27 8/3/2017

Wake up and Shiba Kisai is too grumpy to join us.

Tsugumi says that her people are all over. Including over toward the Sunswept Plain and the Windswept Sea.

As we travel, Tsugumi is tackled by a Kitsune and flies off. We agree to host her in the real world and she will be our guide. She says Yama-Neko is really mad at mortals because he says that mortals started the trouble with the O-Kami.

She indicates that perhaps we should visit the Well of the Moon – an oracle. We get to a cedar forest and are very tired. It’s very dark. Hotaru believes we’re in Yama Neko’s territory. Kitsune suggests we sleep outside of his territory.

Find a big spring, but it’s dry and a cracked stone lays on it. Kitsu says that the world stone used to float at a height of ten men above the spring, Black splotch on the far side. The Ishken-do finds an alabaster hair pin with a sun and flowers and a broken tip, and a partially severed umbilical cord. It’s not likely that the mother lived through it.

O-Kami found a human child at the well. She took it away. The waters turned black and the world stone cracked and fell. Suneyes killed her packmate when he told her to leave the child be. When her packmate rotted, the flies and maggots spread through the land. She wants to make sure the whole world feels her loss. She lives to serve the child and give it what it needs. The insinuation is that the baby from the well ate the baby from our village. He will seal all the gates to the realm of mortals with mortal blood, and the child will starve. Isawa Asano says that Yama Neko is contaminated.

Kitsune says that Yama Neko, Ossuma, and Suneyes were the three strongest beasts in Chikushido. For all three to be infected is a bad sign.

Some of the O-Kami went to the mortal realm because they heard the time of the Kami was over and they wanted to set it right. Not all of them came back and there was sad howling.

That night Suneyes attacks but runs off after Chuda Dakano hit her with a spell – though she started healing.

We head into O-Kami territory. By this point Moto Bolodai is fully peacock and Hotaru is fully a brindle cat. We jump down to join the fight with Suneyes like the animals we are. Isawa Asano sets Bolodai and Hotaru on fire. Dakano hits her with a huge jade spell, and Asano hits her with the force of his void.

+3 XP for DJ for dinner
+3 XP for Ben for sake
+1 XP for log
+3 XP for Ron for ice cream

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