In the shadow of the great famine. (Inactive)

Game Master Havocprince

L5R campaign set during the great famine, all ronin.

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The towering stag stares down at you with sadness in his eyes and snorts a foggy mist at you, seconds later the water droplets form into a still pool in the air. Shadowy Images of crops withering and animals starving fill the pool, as the water swirls and shifts you watch as the seasons change again and again, in perpetuity till the land is so sodden only fish still live upon it.


"Something is wrong with the land. Famine. Without end, Kami-sama?"

The water in the pool swirls once more, becoming a wheel turning. The wheel cracks and breaks in two before the pool clouds over. You find yourself once more in the dreary clearing, body and altar remain though you are suspiciously without the walls and ceiling that kept you dry just moments ago.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

Looking up from the bodies, the young bushi sighs. "We should see if we can find anyone who escaped the bear. We'll need to collect the mons and possessions to return to their lords and families. I think that can wait until after we see if anyone is alive at the end of your trail, though."

Storyteller-sama wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Ryuk bites his lower lip in an attempt to check if he is hallucinating. "O-kami-sama, where am I?"

Need a hunting check if you are following the footprints out.

The clearing only answers you with silence.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

Because the last Hunting roll went so well for me!

Hunting 5K2: 5d10 ⇒ (10, 4, 6, 4, 6) = 30
Explosion(s): 1d10 ⇒ 2

Again, just a mahvelous result. 18 total is my best Keep.

"Everybody ready? Let's see where these go, shall we?" And the young Samurai begins trying to follow the new trail.

Naga manages to keep the trail of footprints, only having to circle at a couple of points to pick it back up. After a half hour of trailing the small group comes upon what looks to be an eta curled up in some brush at the foot of a tall tree. He is obviously wounded and unconscious. A large bruise dominates the right side of his face and there is a bone sticking out of his leg.


"What's an eta doing here? Is he even alive?"

Inoue comes closer, checking if eta is alive and if he is, how much time he has.

Medicine, 3k2: 3d10 ⇒ (9, 10, 10) = 29
Explosions: 2d10 ⇒ (8, 5) = 13
Total 33. Damn. I've just wasted a great roll.

The eta is indeed alive, and he should survive if his wounds are treated. He will never walk without a limp, but at least he will walk given time.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"I have seen several magistrates with eta servants to help in their investigations. This one should know quite a bit about what happened, and where we should return things to get them to the magistrate's superior. Do you need help tending his wounds?"


"Help is always welcome. Let's immobilize his leg for now and move him to the temple."

I don't have a medicine kit, but maybe just first aid? Then we can bring him to the temple where I might use Path to Inner Peace.
Medicine, TN 15, 3k2: 3d10 ⇒ (9, 3, 9) = 21 Total 18. Will remove 1k1 wounds.
Wounds removed, 1k1: 1d10 ⇒ 6

With a little work, Inoue is able to get the era's leg bandaged up. He will not regain conciousness without stronger aid; time; or the intervention of the Kami. It is hard work moving back to the temple with the eta in tow, but the group will return to find the simple stone altar sitting in the middle of a clearing and Ryuk asking the spirits where he is.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"Before we take him back to the shrine, we should gather the material to return to the lords and families. Their weapons, mons, and anything else that looks significant. No need to keep bouncing between there and here."

No real issue with gathering the stuff and moving on, just can't see leaving it all behind. Returning it is most of the proof of our story.

True enough. Thorough search finds three sets of crane daisho; One scroll case like your shugenja carry; two pillow books; and one furoshiki wrapped object with an Imperial Chrysanthemum pin binding it together. You still return in time to hear the above exclamation.

Ryuk looks for any tracks. Or anything unusual, besides being with the body and no wall and no ceiling.

The clearing seems undisturbed. You can see where your group entered and exited the "shrine", but the area where the floor once was is dry and undisturbed around you. You notice the rest of your new companions entering the clearing with an injured man in tow, he has the dirty malnourished look of a heimin.


"Were you talking with someone?" Inoue looks around but sees no one except the familiar faces.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"Are we in the right place? Where did the shrine go?"


"Huh?" Only after Hikonaga's question Inoue notices that the shrine is gone.

Oops, missed that.

The hint of flowers and a single cherry blossom waft on a lazy wind between the returning group and the shugenja keeping vigil.


"I think we should go to the village." Shugenja quickly grabs his pack.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"I believe that was the plan. We should seek out someone in authority to report these deaths to. Ryuk had remained with the body to protect it. Do you plan to continue this task, or do wish to help us report these events?"

The trip to Rengai Mura is uneventful, though the trek through the mud is hard going. The group arrives to find it rather quiet. There are some female Heimin working hard to remove stains from their wash. Off in the distance rises the brick castle of the Katai family overlooking all.

I need an Athletics/Earth roll (Yes earth.) from everyone making the trip and if everyone wants to continue the conversation in the clearing feel free to do so. Also, I really need to know if anyone opens the wrapped object or plan to respect the binding on it.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

Athletics/Earth 4K2: 4d10 ⇒ (8, 9, 9, 1) = 27 =18

Curious? You bethca! Willing to risk my neck to find out? Nope!
Though I do wonder if a blade could be used to make it look like it was ripped open by the bear . . ..

Give me a Sleight of hand/intelligence roll and lose 6 pips of honor if you plan on trying it. You come out of the trek fine with that roll.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

Nope. Already said I'm not gonna do it. But I'm not the only one here, am I?


Athletics/Earth 3K2: 3d10 ⇒ (4, 5, 9) = 18 Total 14.

Not messing with the wrapped thingy. Will only bring troubles.

"This brick castle is probably our destination." Inoue looks around and asks one of heimins. "Oi! Is this castle where the authorities reside?"

Wound Track - 10/14/18/22/26/30/34/38 (24/38) - Injured Honor: 4.5 | Glory: 1 (gain at 1/4 rate) | Status: 0

Taki quietly trudges on with the others, keeping his thoughts to himself as they approach the castle. He hangs back, and lets the ronin do the majority of the talking.

Not touching a thing.

Athletics-Earth3k2: 3d10 ⇒ (1, 4, 5) = 10 Total 9

Keeping her eyes down an old heimin woman, looking to be somewhere in her fortieth year or so, approaches at Inoue's call.

"I must apologize kizoku, please forgive my ancient ears. I did not clearly hear your question for the wind carries so few words to me, would you honor me by repeating your good question."

Taki and Inoue will be suffering a +5 TN penalty till they can get a good rest, the slogging through mud to get here has tired them both something fierce..


Inoue repeats his question. "Is this castle where the authorities reside? We have important news to deliver."

"Please forgive kizoku, the brick castle is home of the honorable Katai family. Her righteous glory, the honorable Lady Katai Wakako is the authority from these lands. She is in residence at this time." The older Heimin seems to shrink before you as she speaks.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"Thank you, grandmother. Have you seen any samurai in blue here recently?"

The older heimin bends even more deeply at the small nicety of shown gratitude. "Oh, I am not a grandmother yet kind sir. My Aki-kun is still a few years away from finding himself a young love. Blue lords you say... I do not believe we have seen any such lords come through."


"The Lions didn't know about them. That is never good." Inoue whispers to his companions.

Ryuk listens at the exchange to get a better feel of the situation. He withholds commentary for later.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"So, the question becomes do we notify the local lord of the loss of a magistrate within her territory, hoping she doesn't assign fault to us, or run for it like honorless pigs and hope they don't blame us and chase us down?"


"If we notify them - we have a chance they don't blame us. If we don't - they will definitely blame us. I'd like to take the chance."

Wound Track - 10/14/18/22/26/30/34/38 (24/38) - Injured Honor: 4.5 | Glory: 1 (gain at 1/4 rate) | Status: 0

Taki raises an eyebrow at his new ronin associates. "I agree with Inoue san. The right thing to do is tell them, regardless of the risk. Our honor is at stake if we do not, even if our lives are not."

As the group nears the castle they find the front entrance guarded by ten armored and armed lion samurai standing at the ready, yari held prepared for any trouble. A single unarmored lion Bushi walks between them, obviously the the nikutai, using his fan in the way most would use a crop to check their attention and posture.

The fact that they have this many on the front entrance is a sign that there is some worry of trouble. The lion would not close up as that would lose face, but they can have a large "honour" guard without showing their concerns.


Inoue approaches the bushi.

"We are sorry to disturb you, samurai-sama, but we bring grave news of an incident in the woods."

The nikutai holds his ground and waits for you to report why you are there, giving a slight nod for you to go on.


The shugenja bows and continues.
"We were resting after our travels, when we heard a woman fighting. When we came to her aid, we discovered that she was fighting a wounded bear. After we defeated the maddened beast, it was too late to save her life, but we tracked where she made camp. To our horror, we found several samurai lying dead there. They were all Cranes. We also discovered a wounded eta nearby."

"The woman was a emerald magistrate yoriki, here is her badge," Inoue nods to his companions to show the belongings of the Cranes. "We brought what we could, in hope that it could help the local authorities to find out what happened."

The nikutai looks over what has been brought before him.

"You will bring these items inside and wait to speak to my Daimyo, she will decide the truth of your words and what will be done."

The samurai turns to leave and walks directly between his men heading into the castle.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

And I'm thinking we all choose to follow him.



Inoue follows the nikutai inside the castle.

You are escorted to a dark room, the only light coming from a single lamp that a servant lights as you enter. As soon as you all enter the servant walks out and the simple paper screen is slid back in front of the door. You are alone and waiting.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

'Naga takes a position near the center of the room and tries to relax into a simple meditation. He doesn't say anything, but he seems resigned to the idea that there will be a significant wait.

Ryuk meditates as he tries to listen for approaching footsteps.


Inoue sits near a wall, relaxing after a travel and waiting patiently.

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