In the shadow of the great famine. (Inactive)

Game Master Havocprince

L5R campaign set during the great famine, all ronin.

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By the time you are seen, your bodies have become sore from inaction. Not having any good place to sit, and not being used to brick flooring did not help the discomfort. You are escorted in to the main hall, were an older woman sits in council listening to the worries of those much lower than her. and yet again you wait as three others are seen ahead of you. A samurai who wishes permission to duel another, denied; a heimin offering a gift to their daimyo in thanks for her continued benevolence, found acceptable; and a heimin couple wishing to marry, given a blessing and told they would be given a plot of land to look after in the name of the Lion.

Then, your party is seen...

Each of you will relate your tale in turn, and I will need sincerity checks for each person. Taki is exempt from this requirement as he is a monk and will not be questioned, but he may attempt to vouch for any one person who completely flubs their sincerity.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

Hikonaga bows before the local lord.

"Lady Katai. I am Hikonaga. My associates and I sought shelter from the rain at a shrine, where we met, actually. As we were preparing to rest, a Crane with a spear and an angry, injured bear ran into a clearing where we could see them. We raced to save the Crane, but the bear finished her before we could stop it."
"Looking at the samurai-ko, we realized that she had been Yoriki, though we know not to whom. We chose to gather her important possessions, and attempt to follow the trail of their fight back to her camp, to report her death to any she had left behind, hopefully even her Magistrate."
"We found a scene of destruction. It seems the bear had torn through their camp, killing all who got in it's path. It must have chased the yoriki because she was fighting back. This allowed the eta we rescued to escape the death given to his master."
"Knowing that such a thing had to be reported, we gathered the mons, daishos, and anything else which seemed it would be important to their families, and brought it to the closest Lion Lord we could find to report the incident. And thus we are here."

'Naga indicates the stack of material the group brought with them before settling back into a waiting pose while the others take turns speaking.

Spend a point of Void, because this is important.
Sincerity 4K3: 4d10 - 5 ⇒ (6, 5, 7, 9) - 5 = 22

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

As the time passes, Taki tries to clear his mind and wait patiently for their hosts, but the trouble of the situation is distracting to him. He strands up and stretches his bones when they are called forth, and stands quietly off to the side as the ronin testify, offering silent nods to Hikonaga's story at key points.


"I only have one more thing to add to what Hikonaga-san have said. The air spirits in the camp did say that an angry and hungry bear attacked them."

Sincerity 4k2: 4d10 ⇒ (8, 4, 10, 2) = 24
Explosion: 1d10 ⇒ 9
22 total. +5 TN penalty from fatigue.

"Alas, I was late to the scene and could only invoke Osano-Wo's wrath to fight off the beast that mortally wounded the lady so. But I stood vigil for the lady. With prayer and rites proper did I attempt to smooth her passage to heaven."

sincerity 2k2: 2d10 ⇒ (5, 9) = 14

Taki, please do make a sincerity roll and attempt to step in for Ryuk. It becomes very obvious from her expression that the Lioness finds something amiss about his truth.

It looks like Taki has disappeared from the forum. I am going to continue without him and we will phase him back in if he shows back up. I'm having to make some adjustments to what I had planned, but let's get this back on track.

"I am sure your tender ministrations were much appreciated. We will make sure their souls find their way back to their clan. your aid will be noted and passed along." The head of the Katai nods and you are escorted back to the same bare room you had been held in before. Hours pass and a servant finally comes with a meager meal for you, a small amount of rice and fish that only reminds you of your hunger. As night falls and the world grows dark you are escorted out to the edge of village and allowed to leave, left with the mystery of what just happened.

All of the items you showed Wakako will be returned by the Lion to where they belong.

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

Sorry guys. Work is a beast this month.

Taki clears his throat ever so slightly and steps behind and to the side of Ryuk. "Indeed, the Fortune of Thunder was with us as we fought to save the woman's life, sadly too late. I am a monk of His order, and I can say it is only divine providence that we together came upon her in the first place, or it would likely be another presenting far more bodies to you this eve, ours among them."

Sincerity2k2Untrained: 2d10 ⇒ (7, 9) = 16

Glad to have you back. Taki did not seem to help the lion's mood any, though she didn't outright negate what he said.

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 looks to see if anywhere in the room, on the woman, or on any samurai as a witness present is wearing anything religious, or there are any atlers present.

Lore (Theology - Fortunes Special)4k3-Reroll1: 4d10 ⇒ (4, 4, 2, 4) = 14

The Lions do not wear anything out of the ordinary showing extra piety over what is expected of any samurai. Nor are there alters within the chambers used to hear day to day issues.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"Well, at least we're not being blamed for anything. It feels . . . unfulfilling, though. Anybody want to see if we can find the camp again, and see what's in the area? It just feels like we've missed something important. Something that's probably not our problem, though."


"It's best not to involve ourselves into Clans' matters, it might end badly for us ronin."

"On that cheerful note, what should we do next? I, personally, do not have any particular destination in mind and might accompany you in your travels."

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"Everything in Rokugan is Clan matters. I have no desire to leave, so I must involve myself in Clan matters. But when it is obvious that the Clans intend to do nothing about something like the unexplained attack and rampage of the bear, well, that is something I could look at without causing harm."


"Or they do intend to deal with the situation, and we will interfere," counters Inoue and shakes his head, but continues. "But if you still want to take the matters in your own hands Hikonaga-san, I will help you. This might be a spiritual problem."

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"I'm just curious at this point. Don't know that there's anything to do or not. But I do know the lord promised nothing more than to return the Samurai's possessions. Didn't even seem to care about the rampant beast. That makes it a peasant problem normally, doesn't it?"


"It does normally," the shugenja nods. "We can at least see to it, that there are no other maddened beasts threatening the settlement."

After a night's rest the group heads out again, making its way back to the clearing where they met not long ago. A chill wind blows, and storm clouds amass once more on the horizon.

Feel free to rp out the conversation you are having and any conversation along the way to the shrine and the location of the dead.


Inoue is the first to break the silence on their way back to the forest. "Hikonaga-san, Senno-san, if I may ask, how did you end up here, in this forest? Were you traveling somewhere in particular?"

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"In particular? Not to a specific location, but I am looking for a way to be recognized as a fully honorable Samurai, so that I can fulfill the duties that shaped my youth. I am seeking my destiny." He loses his face enough to clearly look embarrassed. "Or does that sound too staged, too much for Ronin such as ourselves?"


"That sounds like a noble aspiration. It is always nice to be recognized for your abilities, not your ancestry." Inoue smiles gently. "But it will not be an easy task. Most of the time Clans value their blood too much to notice any outsiders."

"Takishiro-san, Ryuk-san, what about you, if you don't mind me asking?"

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"What of you? Following a girl? A dream? Your nose?"

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 rolls his eyes ever so slightly at Inoue's comment about ancestry, but says nothing, walking along with the others.

"I was simply following the storm, as is my wont, in honor of the fortune of my temple. Usually the thunder leads me to someone I could help. I had hoped it was the woman fighting the bear, but as we were too late...perhaps it is one of you?"

The clearing sits ominously quiet, the body of the young crane still sits untouched where you last saw it. A quick reconnoiter of the camp proves less stately, each of the honored dead there have been gnawed on by wildlife and have begun to rot as slowly they sink into the saturated soil.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

The young bushi looks at the Crane's body in confusion. "That's not normal. I was thinking about trying to figure out if there are more rampaging animals, or something causing it. THAT I know something about trying to see."


Inoue gives the bodies a more attentive look, trying to figure out how natural is all this.

Is it a medicine check, or something else?
Medicine 3k2: 3d10 ⇒ (2, 3, 6) = 11 Total 9.

"Mhm, that sounds most reasonable."

The bodies seem to be rotting away as you look them over, a slimy green substance is consuming the flesh slowly but surely, you are not sure what it is.


"Something is consuming the bodies. This is most definitely not natural. I can consult with the spirits, while you search for any other tracks."

Sense Water 4k3 (Spellcasting TN 10 +1 free Raise): 4d10 ⇒ (9, 10, 2, 3) = 24
Explode: 1d10 ⇒ 2
Total 24.

Inoue hears the drip of moisture falling from a cool rock and splashing against a small puddle. The Kami awaits your call.


Inoue attempts to ask the Kami what it knows about the green substance.

Commune 4k3 (Spellcasting TN 15 (1 Raise) +1 free Raise): 4d10 ⇒ (3, 2, 2, 3) = 10
Total 8. Nope.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1


Hunting 5K2: 5d10 ⇒ (5, 4, 3, 2, 5) = 19 For a 10. Ah, well.

"I am not seeing anything unusual at this point. The bear chased the Crane that way" as he points back in the direction of the vanishing shrine "so, with nothing else to go one, we could assume it came into their camp from that way." He points in the opposite direction.

"{b]There are no certainties, but it is a place to start.[/b]"

No kami rises to Inoue's call. Naga points off in to the dense forest brush, a inquisitive squirrel twitches its nose back at him.


"I am afraid spirits are not in the mood for talking. Let's go deeper into the woods then."

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"It does seem the best option, unless you see anything I missed, Senno?"

Unless she provides some revelation that we've missed, Hikonaga will start finding a path in the direction the bear might have come from.

Hikonaga pushes aside foliage and heads out deeper in to the forest. After an hour of pathfinding, climbing up and down hills and following the deer paths that he finds, the party stumbles upon a fast flowing river that cuts through the forest floor here, on the other side of the river there looks to be the hints of a cave mouth obscured by brush.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"Anybody see anything nearby? Places where the bear worked his claws int the trees?" 'Naga looks around quickly. "I hope the cave is shallow. Light will be a problem pretty quickly."


Inoue shakes his head. "Only one way to find out, I guess."

The drip of moisture greets your ear as you approach the cave,a damp murkiness shrouds the passage past the foliage. It is obvious the bear came from here, claw marks mar the wood of a nearby sapling and there are long areas where lichen has been worn off the rock wall.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

The young man draws his blade, putting caution as far forward as he can, as he moves slowly into what he hopes will be an empty cave . . ..

Little rivulets of water run down the walls, forming a small pool towards the back of the cave. What little light you can get to filter in shows a large furry form laying still not far from the water.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

Near a whisper, 'Naga talks to the others. "By the bureaucrats' paperwork. Looks to be another bear in here, but I can't tell, yet, if it is breathing or dead."

He will attempt to tell just that . . ..

In case I need to:

Stealth (6k3): 6d10 ⇒ (10, 5, 4, 10, 9, 6) = 44
Explosions: 2d10 ⇒ (5, 6) = 11 For 40!

Hikonaga sneaks masterfully upon the furry mass, it turns out to be a bear and two cubs. They don't seem to be moving, and there is a stench to the whole scene. A single fly lands on your cheek and flits off again as you swat at it.

New guy getting this on my campaign page.

Hojo Kosaku: True Ronin Character Sheet


M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

'Naga recognized the fly, and what it usually represents. He stopped where he was, and watched the shilouttes of the other bears, looking for the movement of flies on corpses.

If he sees them, he'll sheathe his katana and say "Mate and cubs. Dead. We might want to make a fire for better light so we can see what they would tell us."


"So that's probably why the bear went rampage."

Inoue steps outside the cave to collect branches and makes fire. "Let's hope that's enough."

The fire tells a sad story, one of illness and death. It looks as if the cubs went first, then the mother. The large male that had destroyed the magistrate's camp most have gone mad with whatever sickness had moved through this cave. The oppressive drip of water and the flickering of the fire you have made are the only sounds that intrude upon this somber sight.


"That's horrible."

Inoue examines the bodies up close - he didn't studied animals much, but maybe he can get a general idea of what killed the bears.

Medicine? 3k2: 3d10 ⇒ (9, 10, 7) = 26
Explosion: 1d10 ⇒ 7
Total 26.

Whatever disease ravaged these poor animals, it killed them slowly. Their bodies had become mere shells before finally succumbing to the ailment. Insects have started their work upon the carrion, maggots squirm and wriggle about in eyes and mouths making the skin crawl and writhe.

M Rokugani Hiruma Bushi 1

"Were the beast a man, the loss of his family could have caused the rampage, but that's not how beasts behave, is it?"

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