Echoes of Osano-Wo

Over a month and a half have passed since the new Magistrates convened.  They have spent the time in pursuit of training or relaxing and enjoying their rewards.

It is heading towards mid-summer when three of the gathered Magistrates learn of the death of an Imperial Tax Collector.   The body was found in the distant lands of the Tortoise Clan, along Rokugan’s Southern Coast.  Concerned with this serious breach of the Emperor’s Law, they set off to investigate.

Arriving in Tortoise lands, the magistrates meet with the Daimyo of the small Clan, who explains that it was likely their aggressive neighbor, the younger brother of the Sparrow Daimyo, who has done this thing. The Dragon’s yojimbo is, strangely enough, blamed with murder of a Tortoise samurai. While he is proven innocent, his katana has mysteriously disappeared. The matter of the Tax Collector forces the Magistrates to press on.

Introduced to Tento Rengenjo, the young son of the Tortoise Daimyo who currently guards the mines from a small holding, the Magistrates find him to be an honorable, if naive lord. They are told that the Sparrow should be questioned, as the nearby lord, Suzume Kaishu, is an aggressive warmonger. The young Heroes note that there are only fifteen or so samurai in the holding; the rest of Rengenjo-sama’s forces are local heimin ashingaru. Some of the spearmen practice with boken. Kaishu-sama explains that he does not have enough samurai, thanks to the bandit and Sparrow attacks. In this way, he can quickly name new samurai who have some knowledge of the katana for bravery and service in battle. “After all,” he notes, “they are but boken, not katana.” The Emperor’s Law has not, technically, been broken.

The Magistrates head out quickly, determined to avoid being caught in the Tortoise Castle during an assault as well as to solve the weird case of the Tax Collector. On the advice of Rengenjo-sama, they head directly for the Sparrow Clan Palace, seeking audience with the Clan Daimyo rather than his hot-headed younger brother. They head north through the mid-summer mountain passes, detouring to the holy site of Suzu Sano Shinda (Bells of the Dead) to light some incense. There, they encounter a wandering monk. They are also waylaid and ambushed by twice their number of bandits. The black armored bandits are slain to the last, but Mirumoto Kunto takes two grievous spear wounds to his abdomen and shoulder. Unable to heal him properly, the Magistrates are forced to detour from their intended destination of Kyuden Suzume to the closer Shiro No Sansharro. Read the rest of this entry »

Secrets of the Mists

The heroes journey to Seioku-Sanmyaku on courtly duties. There, they learn that the daimyo of this historic province has taken ill. The Phoenix suspect sorcery and foul play, perhaps on the orders of Umai, the Bakemono “daimyo”. Who better to look into this dangerous yet discrete matter than the Heroes of Opawangchichang? The only additional clue they gain is the daimyo’s nighttime blurting of “…the eyes….the eyes…”

The heroes adventures in the pursuit of the unknown assailant take them from the province to the mountains lairs of the Bakemono; to the Valley of the Hidden Twilight and the Winter Temple of the Seven Fortunes.

A full month passes, along with the life of Ashina Fujiko – and other lives, nearly – before the new special Imperial Magistrates (so named on their last report at the castle by an Imperial Courtier direct from the Emerald Champion) finally learn of and confront the master enemy:

The newly ascended Kumo-kunshi of these lands. Capable of spirit walking, the evil creature is attacked and slain outside it’s lair before it may inflict any more damage upon the daimyo or the sacred pale oak of the 17th Hantei. Nearly defeated to the last man, the Magistrates commit all in the conflict, and are rewarded with victory.

The rewards of the Phoenix follow naturally, along with Imperial confirmation of their positions as special Imperial Magistrates to the Emerald Champion.

(Secrets of the Mist was based on elements of Valley of the Mists, by FGU, Inc.)