L5R : Jade Winds

Interregnum Intro

Kirin
The group, formed from disparate Clans now scatters to the four directions, seeking answers and responding to the tug of their various Clans. For now, they must attend to more immediate concerns.

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Blood from a Stone

Even the very creatures of the mountains are still, waiting as the echoes of the landslide fade.

Tomoe gozen

The Horiuchi and his mount are in full gallop, the sure footed stallion easily negotiating the broken terrain along the creek. Another, riderless horse joins them as they pelt clear of the expanding debris cloud and without conscious effort Yohan gathers in the reins of the terrified horse, its eyes large and rolling. After a brief pause, he sighs and begins to trek back to where he watched the melee erupt. Maybe someone survived.

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Hills of Thunder
Footfalls of the Phoenix wake the Mountains of the Dragon

Hills slumber opThe Mirumoto shouts.

“DIE, TRAITORS!”

The waxing moon only provides a quarter of her light as we close in on the Gaijin and their Mitinaka escorts. We were sure there were six of them total. In the dark it was tough to make sure they were all there, even the lookout who had alerted the others to our approach.

Their deaths have already been determined. If not for being traitors to the Empire, if not for assisting the gaijin in their escape from North Wall City, then definitely for the murder of the peasants at Wood Bridge Village. The casual destruction they left in their wake only seals their fate, surrender would only prolong the inevitable.

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Heading West
go until there are no more enemies

Hikozaemon walked slightly ahead of the lady. “Lady, I believe this person may be what you were looking for.” He tried to edge a smile but could not look directly at her, he had seen her angry. The urge to run away from her was still very real. The Lady was more than pleasant on this shopping trip. She asked of family and of his old job, and a measure of pride rose in him.

He did know everyone in this city. He caught himself and his eyes darted back and forth. Mentioning those few, less than honorable people, made him sweat, but the Lady seem to change the subject. Was she being nice to him? Well, she almost seemed cheerful, and if he made a few slips of the tongue, she never let on.

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The Judgment of Togashi Hoshi
You want broody? I'll give you broody.

It is quiet as the Ise Zumi and the Dragon Mountaineers swarm into the square. They surround the Mirumoto, the Shosuro, Hikozaemon, and himself as they stand near the dead gaijin. He has just finished cutting the head off of the tiger sorcerer. Is it the same one he met in the Temple of Air, he wonders? This one seems different — if it were the same he would be surprised he could kill it that easily. But it is difficult to be sure.

The crowd surrounding them is in an ugly mood, their mouths shouting silent curses and their hands on their weapons. He looks to the Mirumoto, who is holding out his scabbard, his sword sheathed, to show his peaceful intentions.

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The Unimportance of Matters
A morning's walk spoiled

Newly liberated of body is the party, we walk to the liberated North Wall city. An ashigarui conveys an invitation from the lord Dragon Tagoshi for us to meet him. We approach the walls with the two children safely among us. I note the walls look like a porcupine, covered as they are in arrows. It is the aftermath of battle, fires burn in the city, the attacker’s dead samurai bodies are wrapped in tatami mats laid in rows like cobblestone on the road to hell. The fire to be provided by the bodies of the fallen defenders in the pits here beyond the wall. So as to not go with renown the washed heads of the defenders are stacked in small pyramids waiting to be tagged with their names, fates and the names of those seeking glory with a claim.

The dojon of the castle on the rise is askew from the passing of the summoned earthquake and through the gate are a number of collapsed structures. We pass a field where the defeated Mitanaka redeem what honor they can in seppuku.

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Matters of Importance

Tatooed man

It is days like today that make me overjoyed that I gave up the world for the humble robes of a monk. I see great sadness about me, but it passes over me as my enlightenment blossoms. My companions have freed me from a great prison of the body, yet each remains trapped in a prison of the soul. Though I, too, am yet bound to the world, my prison bars are looser, and my cell far more comfortable.

Had I still been a general, I would have been obliged to focus my attention on the details of the Togashi’s prowess. He is rarely seen, so accurate intelligence as to his capabilities, limits, and tactics would have inestimable value. My professional duty would have required rapt attention. What little remained I should have bestowed upon his erstwhile gaijin adversaries, lest their survivors someday return.

As it is, I can instead meditate upon things of far more import. Chief among these: the pains of the samurai who chanced to rescue me, that I may stand ready to assist them along the Eightfold Path, and so progress along it myself.

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It Does Not Matter
The Porter Unbound

Dragon monTogashi Hoshi stood in a high place overlooking North Wall City. Behind him in a loose array stood the Tattooed Monks, their tattoos brilliant in the early morning sun. Nearby a lone Hitomi woman checked and rechecked her daisho, while two Mirumoto spoke together in low voices.

The son of the Dragon nodded once, and all around him rose his banners as the forces of the Dragon began their attack. In that moment, those with the the eye of the falcon could see clusters of banners rising in other locations on the perimeter, and one in the center of North Wall City itself. It was like dropping a pebble into a bowl of water. The ripples spread outward from the center to the walls, and as the Dragon army converged on the city the bowl was shaken, and the pattern became more complex.

With a single stroke, the outlying border forces and checkpoints had been eliminated by fanatical Hitomi, determined to cleanse their family’s name with their own blood, so there was little to stop the Dragons’ approach. But those in the city fought with desperation, knowing that a quick death would be the only mercy shown them, and the final outcome was still uncertain.

It does not matter. There is no turning back.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Nari Dreams of Butterflies

Butterflies in flightAll is calm. Walls surround you. You are safe where you are.

All is well. There will be a festival soon. Even the dogs are quiet.


It had been a week since the visit from the Mitinaka Magistrate Kyoshi and his scribe and still there had been no further progress towards returning to Rokugan proper and making a report of both our successes and our failures to a Jade Magistrate. The Osana-Wo and myself being a Mirumoto Dragon in one cell, the Hida and our samurai-ko, we will call her a Companion, in another cell. Hikozaemon the porter tells us there are a couple of other Rokugani in the cells at the other ends, and as Yoriki we have been given linen hakama to clothe ourselves in and opportunities to talk together while taking exercise in the enclosed yard while archers watch over us from the balcony above. My brothers grow restless amidst apologies on behalf of my so-called honor, but I must be the example of patience.

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ROKUGANI FROM LADY MOON

The situation is dire — Mirumoto Yonaka has been carried off by a giant ape; Hida Nakamuro fell foul of a paralysis rune; Shosuro Naoki has been captured by giant spiders, as has The Monk Formerly Known as Toro (still under the effects of ingesting a Shadowlands mushroom) and Ernestu. All have been securely webbed by the aforementioned giant spiders and stowed on flying carpets, and flown to an unknown destination. CAN THEY ESCAPE? And now, this week’s exciting episode of

ROKUGANI FROM LADY MOON

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