Shattered Empire: In the Shadows of the Dragon Mountains

The Prisoner
Final Days of Summer
  • Everyone gained 4xp, xp count of 97.
  • Mid Autumn (Month of the Dog)

Tensions run high as the Samurai of Toi Koku try and figure out what to do with the prisoner, a former ronin on the run form the Phoenix. When confronted with his actions, it unravels as some believe he stole from the great clan, preformed unsanctioned study into the Void and broke his newly forged oath with the Phoenix. A debate sparks over what to do about him, just as the Phoenix send an Inquisitor to the village.

In the end, the ronin is sent up the Great Climb, so he can go through his three deaths, and so the two Orders might help him master his understanding of the Void. The Inquisitor and Kitsuki Rokuro come to an understanding and declare the man dead and the stolen material returned, in thanks the Phoenix share the ronin’s stolen magic with their allies.

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Bounty Hunting
Meeting of the Lords
  • Everyone gained 4xp, xp count of 93.
  • Mid Autumn (Month of the Dog)

Tonbo Suzume returned to her clan’s lands to meet with the other Dragonfly.

Meanwhile Hoshi Ryojiro met with the lords of Gentle Slope Farms and High Slope Farms. The lord of the first line of defense (Gentle Slope Farms) are all honored to have been given the positions they have been, these lords are: Kitsuki Dorei, Kitsuki Shiyounin, Kitsuki Kerai and Mirumoto Tou.

He later met with the lords of high slope farms: Kitsuki Riku, Kitsuki Rikujou and Mirumoto Rando. He found that Rikujou’s experience in court may be necessary in the future and he had Jitsuna create a link with her, should she need political aid during the winter months. Realizing that Riku was both young and beautiful, she needs to be married off since her husband died so early. Ryojiro invited her to the Mirumoto Winter Court and she accepted. Rando offered to watch her fortress for her and hold it in her name while she is gone, but Riku declined that offer.

Mirumoto Kinji met with one of the lords of High Slopes and arranged to teach Rando’s youngest son.

Isawa Nozomi spent time aiding Shiba Niban with understanding the elements of air. He started to take grasp of them, and have begun to find his balance once more.

Meanwhile Kitsuki Rokuro took on a bounty from Kitsuki Mizuochi, as a test of his skill to end a hunt for a fugitive for the Justicars. He found that the Phoenix had sent out a bounty of a man they declared was using dangerous magic. They went out of their way to not say blood magic, which would be more nominal. Nozomi was able to look at the bounty and discovered that the Voice of the Council arranged for this bounty and not the Champion or the Elemental Council. Rokuro then questioned Kitsuki Suko who thought he saw a man matching the description of the hunted while on patrol, but couldn’t follow due to a swarm of quail.

Rokuro then enlisted the aid of Agasha Meiling and the other members of the city to hunt down Garandu. They then followed his path into the southern woodlands, and were attacked by birds who stole their food and water, a tiger who stalked them, and mice who ate their sandal lacings.

While camping, Agasha Nyokazu had kept looking for an animal spirit and found that one was near by. He went out and discovered a Spirit of Chikushudo, a Ki-rin. The spirit made a deal to meet three times more with the group (Nozomi and Rokuro by extension who were present) so long as they didn’t tell Kinji. He was then brought Kinji’s sandals and he licked them and they were returned to him.

The next day they met Garandu, who was surrounded by a pack of wolves, and after a brief talk they came to know that he was a ronin, who swore fealty to the Phoenix. He attempted to learn how to become a void shugenja, and this disturbed the Voice of the Elemental Council, and as such ordered him imprisoned. Fearful, the former ronin fled, and took back his scrolls (which he had donated). The samurai took him back, offering him perhaps a chance to survive this. Togashi Mitsu offered to allow him to climb to the High House of Light which would mean he had died, in a sense. Some thought he should do to the Agasha family. Some thought he should be hidden form the Phoenix, but all though the spell scrolls should be returned.

They arrived back home, and things ended with Kinji putting on his sandals to find that hair grew on the soles of his feet.

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Harvest of Gold 1129: Part 3
Closing of the Negoations
  • Everyone gained 5xp, xp count of 89.
  • Mid Autumn (Month of the Rooster)

The final week of the event is filled with much activity.

Hoshi Ryojiro is contacted by his necklace which tried to make clear it’s intent and use to the governor. The two of them make plans to have him ask his ambassador about the things in the shadows when the event is over. The Governor also makes a deal with Yasuki Garou to have someone of the Dragon Clan learn with the Kaiu family in the future, with the death of Kaiu Kokkaku. This action he feels will draw the Crab and the Dragon Closer.

Isawa Nozomi meets Shiba Niban, who is now her new ward and student over the winter. She realized that in his awakening to the Void was traumatic, and now his Void threatens to unbalance all of his other elemental connections. He constantly comforts himself by drawing forth a puppy from the void to hold onto.

Mirumoto Kinji allows his students to talk with the other guests and collect ribbons from them, as they discuss Bushido. They show the wisdom of the Dragon this way. He then encourages them to explain what they in turn learned.

Agasha Meiling spends much time with Otaku Naiku-bu who begins to become closer to her, and relates some of her philosophy.

Agasha Nyokazu makes peace with his two allies, Doji Sakka and Mirumoto Iatsu. Sakka expresses to the Dragonfly that Iatsu has deeper feelings for Nyokazu. He also crafts a gift for Matsu Kasseia, and uncrush-able fan.

Tonbo Suzume gets some alone time with Ikoma Kiobito, and the two of them conspire to see if they can convince the Lion for a marriage in time. Her brother, Tonbo Naoki, causes some minor havoc and gains Kaiu Kokkaku’s shiba dog.

Kitsuki Rokuro is locked in many meetings working out the trades. He manages to fast talk almost everyone, and leaves the Dragon in a great position of power in the trades. He manages to feed the dragon for the year and to make huge leaps in stored food for years to come. He also meets with Kitsuki Kiyushichi and learns of a bounty he is set to collect on and bring justice.

Ikoma Kiobito and the daughter of Otomo Hoku, Hana, discovers all of the hidden meditation circles. The Lion defers to the young maiden and she chooses to ask for a crafted item from Agasha Nyokazu in the future.

The two debates end with Imperial Taxes will continued to be paid, with Otomo Hoku winning. Yasuki Garou champions the discussion for Hoshi for Emperor, and wins. Both these choices leaves the crowds convinced, but their words will mean only so much to their clan heads.

Finally, in celebration of a successful trade, the tournament of radiant blades made by Agasha Nyokazu are decided by a duel, and the finals are between Utagawa and Kakita Risupu, with the Crane winning. During the duel, the crane did manage to put the eye of Ikoma Kiobito out, but his would be lover was able to save it with her water magic. Although the Crane’s words seemed sincere, he smiled at the Dragonfly in a way that made her question.

The guests left, and the rice slowly came back. The city seemed too large for itself after three weeks of so many guests, but a pleasant and pleased serenity spread through the Dragon’s lands. Every peasant and samurai knew, they would be fed, and could focus on rebuilding and growing with great honor and strength.

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Harvest of Gold 1129: Part 2
The Deadly Games We Play
  • Everyone gained 4xp, xp count of 84.
  • Mid Autumn (Month of the Rooster)

Agasha Meiling spends a great deal of time with Otaku Naiku-bu and Shinjo Miruko hawking and hunting.

The court of Toi Koku was excitedly moving forward, bounding closer and closer to the conclusion. The courtly game of letters is going about, as the court excitedly makes use of the grand new winter court building. There Tonbo Suzume entertains, cultivates alliances and glows under her work. Her companion, Bayushi Kenzo is called away, so the Scorpion is sadly unable to play the courtier games, however he doles out many rumors and gossips and hidden truths before he leaves.

As such, Kitsuki Suko is sent on patrol by Hoshi Ryojiro, before his love triangle could become too complicated, as Kenzo discovered.

Agasha Nyokazu finds himself drawn into an interesting competition where it would appear that Doji Sakka and Mirumoto Iatsu vying for his attentions. He called upon Togashi Iriyou to aid him in settling the dispute, challenging both women to show their skills in both tasks. They are now both challenging one another, and it has yet to see how this shall play out.

Isawa Nozomi is approached by Asako Okashii, and he attempts to bridge the coolness she has shown her kinsmen. He makes arrangements for a child who has awoken to the Void to come study with her for a while.

Mirumoto Kinji remained resolutely apart form the courts, focusing on the training of his students. Even when Suzume Iwaku tried her best to get him to interact with the court. Sakka eventually approached the sensei and asked to make a mural for him, and he agreed.

In the early weeks a riddle contest ended with Ide Ma-Chanto winning with a clever understanding of riddles.

Shiba Shounin managed to channel his angst with his aid into a beautiful poem that both amused and provoked thought.

Tsuruchi Tsukau won in a Go championship, beating the governor, where as many allowed their host to win.

The contest to discover the hidden meditation circles within the city has become all the rage, that and glass fans. Currently, Togashi Iriyou, Otaku Jiei and Ikoma Kiobito seem to be the closest to uncovering the hidden places.

Togashi Mitsu arrived, a celebrated hero of the Dragon during the Clan Wars and current head of the Togashi Order. Mirumoto Hitomi had sent him to express her words to the assembled ambassadors and to relate her last moments in privet with each ambassador to allow them to know the bravery and glory so that their Clans may honor their deeds properly. Mitsu’ s presence pressed the issue over the Mantis’s great clan status to the forefront, and a great debate spawned forth.

koma Kiobito and Agasaha Nyokazu both drew lines and spear headed the debate. Everyone expressed with passion their views, and despite the dragon’s best efforts, the crowd sided with Kiobito’s views that only an Emperor can grant great Clan status.

A few days later a second debate rose, one over which if the Naga should be exiled form the Empire, and in the end the Crab managed to convince the assembled that they were allies that should be sided with.

As Kitsuki Rokuro continued his work, voting blocks began to arise, with the strongest being the Crane and Lion. The Crab and Mantis also rose into being, and both threatened to draw the Phoenix and Unicorn into their folds, splitting the blocks into two opposing groups. Susume sensing that, that may be too much power, managed to manipulate the Phoenix and Unicorn into their own block. Ryojiro however did not like the Crane and Lion having so much power, so he managed to break their block, showing that the Crane were trying to make choices for their alliance without the Lion’s approval. This action gained the favor of the Lion, but left the Crane far from pleased.

Kaiu Kokkaku begins working with Suzume to see the peaceful return of some of the Crane’s artwork taken during the Clan Wars by the Crab. The talks turn sour, and while attempting to salvage this, Kakita Risupu took offense of the Crab’s insults and a challenge was offered. As Suzume came upon the situation, Risupu smiled at her with victory shinning in his eyes. When she had suggested that this might strain situations, Ambassador Daidoji Akiudo expressed, “How terrible it would be that something of value become broken.”

The Dragon struggled with this challenge, because they had just gained the service of Kokkaku, and yet to not accept the challenge was to grave an insult to both her and the Crane. So they allowed the duel to occur.

Susume came to realize from Otomo Hoku that he was the favored student of Kakita Ichoro, who many of the Kakita family recall her disrespect of him. It would appear he ‘may’ have manipulated events legally to attempt to kill the Kaiu in a fair duel.

First though, the Crab had their only celebration on their grounds, and many drank themselves in a living wake given to the Kaiu, who many realize is not nearly so skilled in her blade as the Kakita is. When morning came, many had difficulty recalling the evening, a few were made fools of themselves, but all who attended the party seemed closer in many respects.

In the mid morning, before the mists had fully disappeared, the Crane and the gift of the Crab went to a hill over looking the village, and dueled. Risupu was the victor, and the Kaiu was laid to rest.

Yet… the third and final week lays before the assembled.

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Harvest of Gold 1129
First Days of the Guests
  • Everyone gained 4xp, xp count of 80.
  • Early Autumn (Month of the Rooster)

The Crab ushered in the seas of the guests, and soon the last of the clans arrived with the Crane. There was much celebration as the town of Toi Koku swelled with numbers not seen since decades before the Clan Wars. Only the city now boasted many new accommodations, and the guests were in awe and wonder as they explored the new vistas.

The guests are:

Crab Delegation: Close allies with the Dragon, the Crab Clan is pleased and feels it enjoys an advantage with the Dragon.
Yasuki Garou, Hiruma Keigo, Kuni Araarashii and Kaiu Kokkaku.

Crane Delegation: The Crane are distant with the Dragon, and not favorable with them, and not openly antagonistic either, but the settings are right that should friction occur a fire could easily be sparked.
Daidoji Akiudo, Kakita Risupu and Doji Sakka.

Lion Delegation: The Lion are mildly antagonistic even when they are allies, but the Lion started off the gathering in a very unfavorable position, as they are lacking rice, and seemed to have shown to not loose face while the other Clan’s gathered.
Ikoma Kiobito, Matsu Fushubi and Matsu Kasseia.

Mantis Delegation: The Mantis have struggled hard to come to this position, and they have come and expect to be seen as equals with the great clans. They bring much in the way of food stuffs and for once are invited as gusts for these meetings.
Yoritomo Akyuudo and Yoritomo Jinbou.

Phoenix Delegation: The Phoenix enjoy a good relationship with the Dragon, however some feather are ruffled with the Samurai of Toi Koku. They have come with their best, but lack the size of a delegation compared to other great clans.
Shiba Shounin and Asako Okashii.

Unicorn Delegation: The Unicorn have come on their swift horses, and offering food, but they seem to be excited to draw in others much closer as well as trade with the Dragon.
Ide Ma-Chanto, Otaku Jiei, Otaku Naiku-bu and Shinjo Miruko.

Minor Clans Alliance Delegation: The Minor Clans have been invited for the first time, and they have banded together to present themselves. They have come seeking modest gains.
Ichiro Kirai, Moshi Shishou, Tsuruchi Tsukau, Ichiro Yarikoi and Suzume Iwaku.

Other Guests: A imperial family guest and ronin also have come to the town.
Otomo Hoku and Utagawa.

Many came to pray at the new temple, their gardens and to view the the Tao of Shinsei meant for the people. The geisha house is all the rave, and many samurai have been missing the feeling of a scorpion run one for ages. That is not even including the new festival grounds, and the new actors present. The dojo and its students have been appreciated, and many of the guests have are looking forward to a display from the youths. The Void Dragons’s Shrine has been a marvel that even the Crab have been in marvel of, and the art work within have left many samurai speechless with appreciation. The new court rooms have made a vast improvement, and the courtly intrigue has been able to sprawl from the central garden to the new third floor’s open aired observatory. The military too has been accommodated, for it’s many boasts of combat prowess and its vibrant military campiangs in the spring to summer. The pottery, the new markets, the fine weapons, economy of all the peasants is booming and coin flows freely.

That is not to say that there is no complaints or ruffling of feathers. The Mantis Embassy is seen as an affront to many of the great clans, and the Minor Clan Alliance Embassy is seen as queer. These points of contention have lead to a great number of debates, and the hackles of the great clans are rising.

  • Agasha Nyokazu spends his time working in his shops in the morning, in the afternoon he comes to the courts, and in the mid afternoon to evening he works once more, and in the evenings he goes out to be social with the guests. He has picked up Utagawa as a worker, who was bought for a bowl of rice a day, and instead has gotten three meals and a new set of clothes for the young woman. Kakita Risupu, Yasuki Garou, Kaiu Kokkaku, Doji Sakka and Ichiro Yarikoi have all come to visit, test and learn from the Agasha, and visit often.
  • Hoshi Ryojiro found himself dreaming at the start of this, Jitsuna speaking to him in a porcelain mask and tells him to look into Mad Scrawlings in the Blood of a God, to speak with the Dragon Fly who grows pale so often when the shadows are spoken of, and to be cautious and not tell others of this study least they be damned by it. Besides his unsettling dreams, he finds himself meeting with each of the delegations in turn, the Crane are social, the Lion gruff, the Mantis trying to not make his life more hell then what it is and choosing to fight their own battles, the Crab pragmatic and offering information, the Minor Clans thankful, the Unicorn wishing to become closer, the Phoenix wishing the Dragon to remain neutral and hand over the scrolls they obtained from the Mantis’s caravan. The governor attempts to promote peace and tells others that Yoritomo’s words are true and verified by the Thunder Mirumoto Hitomi. The Crab take this to heart and send word back to their Clan Champion.
  • Kitsuki Rokuro deals with the ambassadors of each of the clans, and after navigating the tricky issue of determining who went first to last, he and Tonbo Suzume navigated the issue by cutting a deal with the Crab to go last to get insider info on what everyone else was offering. Then they dove into the meetings, as far as things go, the peasant adviser and assistant suggests that these requests are all normal, although the Crab have never had this much rice to work with, and the Mantis and Minor Clans are a new factor. They learn that the Crab plan on taking the southern rice fields of the Scorpion Clan’s abandoned lands to pay their offerings, they have made a pact with the Unicorn Clan to move their rice through their lands, and this seems to be the start of an alliance perhaps. Beyond this, Rokuro makes friends with Shinjo Miruko, and picks him and his trading caravans to sell his wares far and wide, for 10% off the top.
  • Isawa Nozomi avoids the Phoenix out of protest for their actions. She assists a number of the guests with their spiritual needs, goes to court regularly, and grows close to Matsu Kasseia who is dealing with some discomfort dealing with the courts. She also grows close with Moshi Shishou and Suzume Iwaku, as the shugenja offer to trade spells, and the later stories with the shugenja’s and brings stories form the south.
  • Mirumoto Kinji spends his days being a teacher, and rarely interacts with the frivolity of the courts, save on Sundays which he is active. He does make his rice balls for Hachi Joio, who hands them out as favors through our the court.
  • Tonbo Suzume is the belle at the ball, and rushes about making sure everything is as it should be. There is not a guest she has not spoken to, and she has been working with Otomo Hoku to try and keep the Clans focused away from becoming too agitated, but there are limits. She attempted to head off one of the debates which has gained momentum, but it was too widely supported to not come forth. So far four court debates are coming forth: Lord Hoshi should take the throne, Mantis Clan’s claim to be a great Clan, what to do about the Naga and should Imperial taxes still be collected.
  • Bayushi Kenzo was active in the background, his grand debut has been withheld until he decides to make his grand entrance as one of the last Scorpion. (OOC may be edited later).

The next phase of the negotiations tend to be made when alliances have formed, currently one major alliance to rise up so far was between the Crane and Lion, the Crane will feed the Lion’s bellies and stores and in return no aggression will occur between the two, both Daidoji Akiudo and Ikoma Kiobito have ratified this. The Unicorn and Crab, the Crab and the Mantis, the Crane and Phoenix, the Mantis and the Minor Clans Alliance are all alliances that seem to be forming naturally, but such relationships may not actually form into blocks who will make demands of who gets what for what. Only time and chemistry will tell.

The spirit of competition is rising, Tsuruchi Tsukau is agitating a number of number of those who speak out against the Mantis, Kakita Risupu seems to leave many wondering if they had been overtly threatened or not, Moshi Shishou seems to be pressing the Phoenix about their over reaching, Mirumoto Ukime has been boasting of his skill in battle and some of the bushi seem to wish to test him.

Events to come are the first Scorpion play seen in five years, the Crab Embassy Party (not held in five decades), two more meetings between the ambassadors and the ending celebration.

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Final Days of Summer
Mad Scrawlings in the Blood of a God
  • Everyone gained 4xp, xp count of 76.
  • Early Summer to Autumn (Month of the Horse to Month of the Rooster)

The samurai of Toi Koku explore Silver Crow Mines, and while Hoshi Ryojiro gets Mirumoto Hitomi out of the Mines, who becomes very agitated, the rest begin to explore.

Isawa Nozomi studies the mad scrawlings of the kuni, who apperently was ingesting the blood of Hitomi and then writing with it to ask the blood of Togashi questions. The writings are recorded as the Mad Scrawlings in the Blood of a God.

Mirumoto Kinji discovers the Ancestral Swords of the Dragon and the Mirumoto Family, which were attempting to be despoiled by a room of filth. The light within the Ancestral Swords of the Dragon kept this filth at bay.

The group withdrew, as Agasha Nyokazu began to purify the temple with his magics and fire.

When outside, Hitomi takes back the blades, with some minor protesting, and then her agitated state. She is clearly hearing voices and acting erratic, and seeing things that are not there. They return back to the village, to allow the Thunder to recuperate.

When they arrive back, they find the delegation of Daimyo’s is awaiting them. They were surprised to find Hitmoi, and Togashi Hoshi goes aside to talk with her and Togashi Kokei.

Mirumoto Daini is anxious about his sister, but keeps his distance and reviews the dojo, tea house and eventually the sake house. Tonbo Naoki suggests that a beautiful snake woman will die in his arms.

Agasha Tamori reviews the new Temple, promises to help with the switching of the the Taos between Still Water Temple and the village. He also visits the Shrine to the Void Dragon.

Kitsuki Yasu reviews his vaults and the new city. He gets to see his new shops and talks economics. All in all he withhold’s his judgement until later.

The Dragon celebrate the return of the Thunder with a feast, and during the feast, there is much boasting, bragging, jokes, humility, and then Ryojiro gains some status for his efforts in the provenance from Yasu.

Hoshi says that the Thunder has his father’s blood within her, and that to master it she will go to the High House of Light. She also has much darkness in her, and as such, to master that he has welcomed Kokei back in, who is revealed to be Togashi Kokujin, a famed mad Togashi who mastered the taint of the shadowlands, as well as his tattoos.

Everyone departed then, heading in their own directions, the Thunder went north to the Togashi lands, the Governor and his Daimyo toured the lands, Kinji expanded his dojo and finished his garden. The court was tripled in size, while Tonbo Suzume spent her time replying to letters. Nozomi focused on expanding the temple grounds, and begins discussing the training of students for the Dragon. The city’s market places bosom and prepares for massive influxes of trading, under the careful watch of Kitsuki Rokuro, while he duels with Agasha Kusaba over control of the pottery artisans. Agasha Meiling travels with Otaku Naiku-bu and Kuni Araarashii and hunts down one of the surviving ogres, leaving two. Nyokazu then goes to Water Hammer City and learns how to forge with them crafting a set of Dragon Sacred Swords and a pair of Radiant Blades, then he went into the Agasha Libraries, and understood some deep forgotten knowledge.

Bayushi Kenzo focused on expanding the Smile, final preparations of the acting troupe and then finally corresponded with his brother.

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The Discovery of the Dragon Thunder
Silver Crow Mines
  • Red Line Info Within!
  • Everyone gained 5xp, xp count of 72.
  • Early Summer (Month of the Horse)

Upon the return to the city of Toi Koku, the samurai found they had a number of visitors and new arrivals. The four puzzle makers awaited the samurai, the two old magistrates Kitsuki Nazo and Kistuki Hanjimono, the young samurai-ko Kistuki Pazuru and the strange Togashi Saji. They set to work with Agasha Nyokazu hiding the meditation sites of the city, and decided to leave clues to puzzle boxes that would lead to an unknown prize for any who were able to puzzle the clues within.

The old gruff Kuni Araarashii arrived in town and interviewed everyone in the local area of their shadowlands experiences. He then made allies with Otaku Naiku-bu and they planned to work with Agasha Meiling to go investigate some loose threads and confirm reports.

Jitsuna told Hoshi Ryojiro of conflicts arising within the Phoenix lands that led to the death of two Mantis guards. Tonbo Suzume heard of strife arising within the Otomo and invited her ally to make her way out of the conflicts between her clans in the form of a visit. Bayushi Kenzo heard that Crab were patrolling and scouting the Scorpion lands, his spies suggested that the Crab may be thinking of military expansion, he passed word along to his father. Kenzo also heard of the strife in the Imperial Court.

Much changed when the enigmatic Togashi Kokei arrives within the town. He sees Kenzo to ask odd pointed questions trying to find a Shosuro or Soshi, asking about a very secretive ritual done by those two families. Kenzo asks for time to gain information, making Kokei remain in town while, while Kenzo sought answers form his sensei. During that time he unnerved Isawa Nozomi, by appearing unreadable. He gained the attention of most of the court, and in doing so related that he was the traveling companion of the Thunder Mirumoto Hitomi. He had expected her to have returned by now while he saw to a final task for her, but she has yet to have returned. He related a strange thing she uttered before she left him, “meeting under a tarnished crow” and the samurai eventually made enough sense of the riddle to puzzle out that perhaps Silver Crow Mines was worth exploring.

The party then set out to find the missing Thunder. They passed through High Slope Farms and Three Stones. Along the twisted path that leads to the remote monastery, Kitsuki Rokuro realizes that they are being watched. The group can do nothing about it other continue on.

When they arrive before the gates of the old monastery, they knock of the door and speak with a shaded monk within. After a few moments discussion and near dismissal, Mirumoto Kinji and Suzume talk their way inside, leaving the others outside. Once within Kinji becomes enamored with shrine and its carved murals. The shrine is dedicated to the wisdom of the Tao of Shinsei, especially built around the influence of the Earth. While the sword master looks on with adoration of the stone work, Suzume’s soul is chilled to the bone, noticing that the faces on the shrines have all been polished smooth, making them features dulled and almost blank. The two arrive in the central area and see that the shrine has the honor of holding the first Tao penned by Shiba that was meant to be a gift to the original budding order of holy men dedicated to Little Teacher. When looking away, Suzume catches a glance of her mother caressing the Tao in the corner of her eye.

Meanwhile, Nozomi suspecting treachery takes a very dishonorable path and tries to cast her magic in stealth, however, the gamble turns out to be worth the cost of her honor when she realizes that many creatures not of the natural order of the elements are within the monastery and that someone is outside with them. As she advances upon where the person is she cannot find them, then suddenly, Togashi Okkio unblends form the rock face and breaths fire on all of those outside, just as Nozomi unleashes the fury of the Fortune of Fire and Thunder. Chaos unleashes, with half of the party trying to get into the temple, while the other half turns to deal with Okkio.

Within the temple, Susume and Kinji find they are swarmed by monks who are rotting and hungering for their flesh. In a moment of luck or perhaps being guided by her ancestors, Susume launches an attack of fire and naturalizes the magic of the Kuni who appears to have risen all of the dead. He flees as he forces his minions to attack the two. Kinji bottle necks six of the undead horrors, while Susume is nearly beaten to death by four of the cannibal corpses.

Outside, a terrific fight is occurring between the mad monk and half of the samurai. Spells are hurled, blades drawn, but few are skilled enough land on the monk’s flesh even while he is dazed and half cripples with magical laced effects, such is his skill and the power of his magic tattoos. However, Nozomi had prepared for the monk, and she used a spell to undo his madness for a time, and in that moment of serenity she appealed to his honor and the monk chose to end his life in honor.

Meanwhile the reinforcements arrived and saved the two samurai within the monastery, and as a united front found the corrupted Kuni and ended him as he scrambled to get into a door way in the mines. When they opened the mines they found Murimoto Hitomi within, half mad, sighs of torture and bound in obsidian chains. They freed her and saw to her, as she ravened slightly, and Togashi Kokei carried her out.

Nozomi took the Tao from the shrine, with Isawa Unshina whispering within her ear of how to restore her name and let her rest. The shugenja set aside her ancestor’s pleas to began to try and undo the mental damage done by the torture and warned Kokei should his intentions not be for the best of the Thunder that she would see to him. He said that he was her loyal companion, for she is destined to become a god.

RED LINE: Due to his unfortunate lack of energy and sleep, your Story Teller left out some important features within the temple’s mines. When we start the next game, I will pick up the story line form there, rather then the group splinting up with half remaining to purify the temple and half returning to the city. My bad

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The Yobanjin in the Great Fall
The Ise-zumi Hunter...
  • Everyone gained 5xp, xp count of 67.
  • Early Summer (Month of the Horse).

As the forces gathered in Toi Koku, the Samurai met the Legion of the Wolf, who brought out the remaining members of the famous 12 Samurai. The last of these 12 are:

  • Asuma (Skilled swords man and life long ronin)
  • Takuan (Leader of the 12 – elder of No-Name City, and leader of Eyes of Nanashi, head tactition)
  • Mokoto (scout, keen eyes and kata master)
  • Hasame (kolat hunter, and scout)

As the Dragon Samurai began to get to know the Ronin, Dairya challenges Mirumoto Kinji to a duel for the Dragon’s Claw Katana. As the duel occurred, Kinji’s students were attempting their weekly tries at trying to meditate in the falls of the river. Togashi Iriyou, is watching over the children when she is ambushed by Togashi Okkio, and as she is attacked she tries to breath a gout of fire to drive off the attacker and instead warns the town, as he began to skin the tattoos from her flesh.

The two duelists, lost in the moment do not notice the conflict raging near by, and Kinji and Dairya remain locked in the stillness of the focus. However when the blades flew, Kinji bested Dairya.

Everyone else rushes to face Okkio, a brief combat ensues, where all but one of Kinji’s students faces off against the madman, as his tattoos blazed to life, and the vest he wore made of stolen skin inked with tattoos began to glow as well. Tonbo Suzume arrived first and after a volley of jade strike failed, went to go try and save the partially skinned Iriyou. Isawa Nozomi arrived and was able to locked the insane Okkio up in her void magics, and in doing so saw more into his true nature with her void sight, and was horrified by what she saw… the void twisted in upon itself, an empty endless thing of hunger. Hoshi Ryojiro came after, and tried to strike the mad Togashi but his defense blocks were too great even while dazed.

Okkio then broke free of the void spell, shaking it off, and cursed the group for saying, “You cannot stop me from getting to the Thunder, I will have her Void!” and then he used one of his mystic tattoos, and disappeared in a blur of motion.

The children were saved by the combined healing practices of the shugenja’s and even Iriyou was saved. It turns out the nervous and timid Kubo was the single student who stood against Okkio. Kubo noticed that coal dust was on his feet. The group decided to go to bed, knowing that Okkio is gone… for now… and that he claims to know where Mirumoto Hitomi is.

The next day the army headed into the melting Great Falls. Finding that the once winter locked mountains had become a wet mess of newly forming rivers, land slides and morasses of thick mud. The army linked up with Mirumoto Yoku, and he advised Agasha Meiling on the terrain.

In the end, she chose to send units up the mountain cliff to prevent the Yobanjin form fleeing, sending the two Calvary units to flank the island the Yobanjin had taken, while the foot units stormed the main gentle slope. The battle however did not go as planned, and the army started off in peril as it turned out the Yobanjin had two wyrms and two wyrm riders. A number of heroics occurred during the battle that saved the army of the Dragon:

  • Agasha Nyokazu witnessed the skirmish of a very determined and stalwart warrior who nearly disarmed Kinji, all while being disemboweled. Kinji pulled out the win by using his Wakizashi and cutting the man’s throat, and then bowed to the warroir respecting his strength.
  • Kitsuki Rokuro and Nozomi faced and dealt with the enemy shaman is quickly the foe may not have realized he was in a skirmish.
  • Ryojiro faced a single Yobanjin screamer, and disarmed the man and knocked him unconscious, taking him prisoner.
  • Meiling fought the warlord of the Yobanjin in single combat, and although the fight was fierce, she managed to kill the other warrior and restore the honor to the Dragon.
  • Later Yoku will claim that he dismounted the warlord from his Wyrm, but the warlord was lost to him.
  • The Legion of the Wolf fought bravely, holding their lines, and the Dragon pressed the battle restoring their honor, and goth armies gained much glory.

Without their warlord, the barbarians crumbled, and save for the captive and the other wyrm rider (who escaped by flying away), it was a complete rout with no deaths on the Dragon’s side (although there was much injury and a few loss of limbs).

All but the former Governor’s diasho were reclaimed. Only a handful of gold was lost, when Rokuro counted it. The Legion of the Wolf walked away with their promised 10% and are very wealthy now.

The Governor ordered his armies back, and Yoku and his forces departed back to the Mirumoto lands.

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The Katana of the Void Dragon...
Just before the Great Fall
  • Everyone gained 8xp, xp count of 62.
  • Late Spring to Early Summer (Month of the Serpent – Month of the Horse).

This is two episodes, that spanned a total of four weeks. Although many social interactions occurred, I will list only the most important of interactions, to give the feel of this prolonged downtime.

This was a time to get to know the second tire of the Samurai cast within Toi Koku.

  • Mirumoto Iatsu has taken to training her men next to the forge. She seems to be fancying Nyokazu. The two have been repairing arrows in their off time.
  • Te saw his lady and Nyokazu to express that he thinks the village should be shaped to reflect the blessing of either the Earth Dragon or the Void Dragon. Some talk occurred, and it was an idea that has been planted but not made any fruit as of yet.
  • Bousan and Kin go to seek training with sword forging with Nyokazu, and he in turn has started to study their works.
  • Teruyoshi introduced his master to what lays right under his nose, ‘The Smile,’ and thus the Geisha house began to bloom early.
  • Shinjo Miruko writes to let his ‘friend’ Bayushi Kenzo , and lets him know that the Shinjo are looking towards The City of Lies.
  • Ryoudu discovers that the peasant’s of Bear Foot Village are wishing to build the Empire’s greatest shrine to Ebisu. The temple was once part of No Name City, but as it was destroyed during the Clan War, it could relocate. Ryoudu has a fondness for the peasants and wishes to aid them. As thus Kenzo agrees and begins politicking in its favor.
  • Seigi begins to teach some of the ‘students’ of the Scorpion Embassy old scorpion songs.
  • Jitsuna comes Kenzo to make sure that they both understand one another and that no shame will be allowed on the Governor, and suggests that Kenzo suggest a craft to be exempt of taxes to draw crafters, to forge the understanding.
  • Mirumoto Suka comes to the Govenor to ask to increase the towns defenses, and to see to replacing the missing unit. Also asks where his men should be deployed. It is decided he will train two units of Ashigaru, and until the threat of the Yobanjin in the Great Falls passes, the units will only loosely patrol the lands.
  • Kitsuki Nageken comes to ask to wed, quickly before war arrives, and gets a Crab bride.
  • Kitsuki Mizuochi arrives to suggest the Lords are scheming to claim Lordship of Great Falls Mines, and thus Kitsuki Uso is made Lord of the Great Falls Mine. Mizuochi also denotes abandoned fortifications in the low lands, and has secretly began to map them out (as they seem to have all been stricken from the maps)
  • Hiro comes often and preys at the Temple to Jizo the Fortune of Mercy. He asks that Nozomi build a shrine to Hofukushu the Fortune of Vengeance. She does so, and he returns often to prey before both.
  • Netami would like a chance to prove himself to the Dragon and take his healers and himself to tour the Sinjutsu Provenance. He is given leave to do so.
  • Sabu comes to pray, and make sure how the expenses at the Temple are going for his master, he also goes about the town making sure his accountings are correct for when Rokuro returns.
  • Mibae is upset that Naoki flung mud on her new kimono.
  • Naoki insists that he was fighting evil Lion and mud just happened to get on Mibae.
  • Hachi Joio arrives, and she immediately begins assessing the city, but to the dislike of most of the city. However, Suzume is proud of her new secretary.
  • Senkensha Oko arrives and expresses that she wishes to aid Suzume and scheme with her how to best match the samurai of her court.
  • Togashi Iriyou has been spotted by the curious students, as she meditates in the waterfalls to sooty her anger. The stidents of the dojo sneak out at night to try this meditation, causing sleep loss.
  • Shukke is heard crying in the morning. Woke from a dream where he saw his wife. Kinji comforts the man.
  • Roku is seen by Kinji arming himself, hiding knives, a tanfa and keeps his bo on him.

Of events that occurred:

  • The Legion of the Wolf is hired, with %10 of what gold is recovered will go to them. Toku agrees and sends his best tactical minds to aid the Governor in reclaiming the stolen gold.
  • Agasha Nyokazu hosts a tournament, to see which duelist in the lands is worthy of wielding Dragon’s Claw Katana. In the end, Mirumoto Kinji wins the tourney. The competitors take word back of the Dragon’s hospitality.
  • The peasantry is told that all pottery will be tax free for seven years within the village of Toi Koku, and the news spread like wild fire.
  • Preparation for the coming of the ‘guests’ to the city has caused a number of changes within the sleepy village. Its boundaries begin to swell, as new attractions, shops and looks alter the town drastically.
  • The samurai prepare to march on the Great Falls, which has begun its thaw, and they know that little time remains if they wish to face the thieves and raiders of the Yobanjin.
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The Thunder of the Mountain
Barefoot Village and Ronin's Way
  • Everyone gained 5xp, xp count of 54.
  • Late Spring (Month of the Serpent).

The Governor leads a host towards [[Ronin’s Way | Ronin’s Way]] to deal with the ogre issue. Along the way, the host is delayed in Bare Foot Village when they realize that there are no children in the town.

A quick investigation shows that the town is in control of a band of Ronin, who have taken the village’s children hostage. Even the samurai’s children. Mirumoto Kinji confronted and challenged two of the ronin, one met him with steel and Kinji found that the other was a very skilled duelist, however Kinji was ever so slightly better. Afterwords, the other Ronin bowed before Kinji’s stance and was honor bound to explain why they had taken the children hostage.

He explained their leader, Shittai, had led them to the village and through the Clan War they had served the town faithfully. When the war ended, they found their work was no longer required and they grew hungry. So they found a way to feed themselves, by honorably taking hostages, and training the children. Hoshi Ryojiro went and confronted the leader and offered him war or a life of service to end this. Shittai chose to serve, saying that is what he desired all along.

Ryojiro made a vassal family, named the Shittai who serve the Hoshi family, and sent them to the Wall to serve there. Shittai was happy to have a name that meant something again, and explained he had reoccurring nightmares where he had forgotten his own name. Tonbo Suzume, nerviously asked about the dreams and he went on to explain he once had a waking nightmare where he could not find his own face, as she paled in fear.

The host then moved on to Ronin’s way, and combined forces with Toku and his Legion of the Wolf. Agasha Nyokazu had replaced and reforged the armors of all of the commanders of the Legion and half of the troops. There they met three new Ronin who made up the command of the Legion of the Wolf: Sanzo (an anxious and driven Ronin with a fine sure footed pony), Ginawa (a feirce and gruff Smaurai with a very tactical mind) and Otomo Yayu (the Legion’s shugenja). There they discussed tactics on how best to face the Ogres, eventually deciding to draw the Ogres out of their lair.

The next day, the combined might of the Legion and the Dragon stood against the forces of the Thunder of the Mountain, a huge ogre that was violent and intelligent. The whole of those who followed this shadowlands creature were not the simple brutes they had expected. The battle that followed was known as The Battle of the Thundering Mountain.

During the conflict, Ryojiro, Kinji and Nyokazu faced a fierce and talent ogre lieutenant, gaining much insight into the workings of their enemy.

Meanwhile, Bayushi Kenzo, Isawa Nozomi and Suzume stood against a hag (female ogre shaman). The trio gained much glory striking the ogress down.

In the aftermath three of the ogre’s escaped, the lair fell and revealed a baby ogre who was slain by Kenzo.

With the ogres routed, Ryojiro returned to Ronin’s way and offered fealty to the Legion of the Wolf’s members should they wish it. Four of the Ronin rejoined the Dragon: Sanzo (who regained his grand father’s stolen blade from the Thunder of the Mountain himself), and Kiriai along with two others. They asked to serve in the Legion of the Wolf and help bind that ronin organization closer to the Dragon. As such, Ronin’s Way was renamed Samurai’s Way.

After that, Governor returned back with his host to Toi Koku, to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Two weeks later….

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