L5R : Jade Winds

Last Light Castle Mystery (Part 5)

Skirmishes and skirmishers

Time to see what is going on, maybe the false Mirumoto is with Hakenka (who has actually been grief stricken over his father’s demise) welp, it turns out that after running down and up some goat trails and wide places on a mountainside or two that Hakenka is hunting Unicorns. More to the point he has laid an ambush for a raiding party of horse warriors who have hit the same area (Plum Rain Gorge) the two previous days right at the stroke of noon. This is essentially a gap that opens into a large hollow that has good grazing ground and a village or three. The western end of the gap opens onto some “disputed areas” between the Dragon and the Unicorn.

The young Hakenka has his Dragon archers and ashigaru skirmishers moving into positions even as the PCs arrive. He has stiffened them with a sprinkling of samurai, they form an L-shaped ambush, or will, once they all get into position. What could go wrong?


The Unicorn arriving two hours earlier than planned is what. The Unicorn had shown a pattern and young Hakenka had fallen for it. Sadly, his hatamoto might have saved his ass but he was A) murdered and then B) a missing imposter. So the Unicorn cavalry efficiently roll up the ambush and the orderly plan unravels into screaming ashigaru getting ridden down by lancers and knots of cursing Dragon samurai trying to form some kind of defense. Panic kills many as the PCs choose a small copse of trees to charge out from, hotly engaging the purple and grey clad riders.

The Mantis is picking off horse archers with his powerful yumi as the Mirumoto quickly kills a few dismounted Unicorn, he is then challenged by a Unicorn Nikutai (corporal) and they rush each other after shouting out their lineages. The Corporal is soon slain and now that the Dragons are recovering from the initial surprise the Unicorn quickly fade from the field, leaving their would be ambushers bloodied and feeling like fools. Yonaka takes the head of his worthy foe and his strangely curved sword with yellow gold mountings. He will return this to the Unicorn with a tale about his opponent’s death. A few riderless horses speed by down the hollow, joining their brethren.

The Dragon get a nearby village to drag the dead into piles to be burned. The villagers do not dare complain, the mood is ugly.

Of note was a unit of Dragons that were intended to be a blocking force, stationed near the bottom of the draw. They never joined the melee, and witnesses say they were slain by something before the Unicorn even appeared. Something very dangerous as over a dozen warriors were ripped to shreds; some did not even have time to draw their weapons. The PCs think this over, say “Hoh!” and then proceed to ignore it and move onto other things.*

  • I cried. Maybe. Here is where a plot hook was lying their all succulent and warm and they ignored it, the bastiges, and here I had worked over a hot word processor for hours. OK, one hour.



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