L5R : Jade Winds

Moon, Troll, Ningyo

Dragons Bright red flaming cherry blossom color text explodes about the party as Miromoto, Hida, Shosuro, and Toro make their way towards a pretty, if modest ryokan with an owl on the roof.

They enter a simple but exquisite room. There is a woman behind a screen, backlit by candles. A large figure on the left wears scorched armor, while on the right, an elegant lady puts Crane courtiers to shame.

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Burn and Crash

(a crude drawing on cheap rice paper,
so embarrassing to the artisan as to be unsigned)

Salt island keep opTamori Yuriko has destroyed the beholder with flame and struck down the Mer-Cuttlefish with lightning that also strikes the rest of the group (except for the Hida). The chamber door has been shut against the Mer-Lamprey and Yuriko has caused the fire kami to lift the island, or at least a good portion of it, into the air and towards the West where lies the Gaijin Salt Bridge. Her eyes are pools of Void and her hand is bleeding, and there is no knowing what access to such immense power is doing to her.

The Crab walks the outer parapet where he looks below and sees the shadow of the island caused by the setting sun seeming to form the shape of a burning mountain on the ground below.

There is no humility in the Tamori’s voice or posture as she speaks with her Mirumoto cousin. Yonaka talks of the flying gaijin and their shadow walkers, Yuriko talks of shields and powerful weapons. He talks of trolls and water, she talks of rolling the island upside down to dump them all into the desert of salt. She is not listening to talk of threats to Rokugan, she is asking the Fire Dragon about vengeance.

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All Eyes on the Prize

After a great deal of wrangling, our fearless leader, Mirumoto Yonaka, decides1 that the Tamori will take her own fire potion and use it on the door with the five kanji, while everyone else stands back. His reasoning is that the lost Phoenix is hiding behind it2.

Tamori Yuriko does so and immediately erupts into a ten foot diameter ball of blue flame. She puts her hand in the door, and it sinks in. The stone begins to pulse, becoming pinker and ruddier, and the kanji become incandescent. There is a smell of ozone, and the door irises into its frame. The kanji hang in the air for a moment before fading away. The room is dark, and the air is old and stale3.

With her glowing orange eyes4, Shosuro Naoki can see that the dark room is a hemisphere. There are archways around the perimeter, but these are misted over. A bowl sits on a pillar in the center of the room, and floating above it is a black sphere, covered with irregular knobs. Flakes of something are falling off the sphere.

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Chutes and Laters

DEAR Mom,

The sky seems to be open just above us in this place. The clouds are inharmonious, they are not right. There is no sleep in this place. Place of I don’t know what. Trolls, they are behind everything, under everything.

We moved up the stairs, Mirumoto Yonaka, he was badly hurt, but my Lord stood his ground, he stood me so I put an arrow in the last one. One last one, one less one…

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Learning Experiences
How to bait Trolls and other useful knowledge

Crater lake op Ho! Hear my tale of new companions in this land beyond the Empire.
After learning one can cook blue crabs by the fire of a burning samurai we hiked to the ridge of this ancient Troll city to view a lake in what was once a city’s heart. Along the ridge in this place blessed by the presence of many fire kami, in a land where almost everything seems to die in a ball of fire, we discover black trees. How do they survive here? By being hot as a street vendor’s wok, do not touch lightly.

Here on the ridge we do spy a fortress, with waterfall, and a round tower to go with the theatre temple on the ridge. We travel to the short tower to learn it has a powerful spiritual draw. This mightily effects the Tamori, who apparently carries another spirit within her. The spirit is pulled away, on Takeda Endo, uncle to the Mantis. He informs us the Kolat plotted his death and the Scorpion clan is vulnerable to manipulation. Mantis is in danger because of her eyes? This I ponder.

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Kami, Kami, Burning Bright

“The speech of a Dragon is as clear as the intent of a Scorpion”

Ruins in the Day,
Ruins in the Night,
Toro on a rope,
Others in a fright

Statue standing tall,
Jewels upon its chest,
Stone is growing warm,
Toro flees like rest

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Troll in the Hole
Seeking the Phoenix - Part 2

… the party lands.

The six passengers scramble from the salt skiff and onto the jetty of the island with a quick wave to the swiftly departing Mantis crew. Yonaka explains to Nakamuro that his plan to find the missing Phoenix is to retrace his steps as best they can until they find him or evidence of his fate, and that as a last resort have the Tamori try to contact the spirit of Hiditsugo if he is departed to learn what he was searching for. (He admits he is unsure of the second plan after taking into account what happened last time.)

Quick work is made in discovering evidence of the Phoenix’s path and the base camp is found, with a few fire pits and only a simple lean-to and no tents of any kind. Following the tracks from the camp a single person salt skiff is found, its frame having been smashed to bits and the evidence of claw marks along what remains, a bladder of rudder oil is all that can be recovered. More tracks which are days old, followed by other tracks which seem to belong to a scaled creature, causing the tracking Hida to ready his hammer.

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Waves in the Salt
Seeking the Phoenix - Part 1

Salt skiff op
While Michiko had been investigating Last Village and negotiations with the Yoritomo Mantis were made Tamori Yuriko had been making potions to distill the essence of the Kami, 2 of which she presented to the Mirumoto and the Hida saying it was the same effect as before and one extra to keep for herself.

Kitsuki Kanko, at this point hesitant to be a part of what seemed to him a tangential diversion and not part of his duty to the Emperor, made his excuses to stay and compose a report. He also suggests he may possibly even begin the journey back by going over the mountain, taking the Book of [name spelling needed] with him in spite of encouragement otherwise. At this the Tamori asked that he somehow take Yae with him along with a letter of introduction to her Sensei, Matsumoto Kasumi.

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Unexpected Guests

A dead man’s papers
Shed light on the movements of
Traitorous Dragons

The party examines the documents taken from the samurai at the border post. There are two of note. One is a reward poster with the names and pictures of several of the party (to be added later). The other is a letter, presumably to the leader of the post.

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The Last Village
No really the LAST last Village

Sept 2, 2011

Diary2
(Tosa nikki copied by Teika from wikipedia)

Dear Diary,

We made it through those tunnels and came out facing a walled village those smelly little rock goblins called “Last Village”. Coming down through the winding paths we came upon a sheep tied to a post. We found out later that the villagers put it there, to give giants a bribe to not attack the village.

The village sits on a promontory overlooking a large salt flat with scattered water pools that stretches off toward the horizon north. They rose to our right as we continued toward the Village gate. Walls on three sides, fourth being taken by the cliff down to the salt flats, approximately two thirds of a mile (3500 shaku). Walls are irregular, built between large stone piles. The gate definitely appears to be a later addition.

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