L5R : Jade Winds

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.

A Water Kami of some sort forms in the air nearby, looks, and goes away.

Suddenly the Tamori realizes that the fire kami are not merely lifting the island, but are being consumed in the process… her burned hand still gripping the edge of the bowl she falls unconscious.

Nakamuro rushes in from the outer wall and grabs the Tamori to remove her from the bowl as Yonaka removes her burned hand from it, and for an instant Yonaka touches the bowl and burns not only his own hand but some part of his mind as he sees into the dimension that the Tamori had so recently gazed into. In spite of her burns Yuriko seems unharmed, except for the lack of color in her eyes.

Slowly the level ground seems to be tilting, the horizon is uneven and loose pebbles start to roll across the floor.

Realizing that the last command the Tamori had thought of was to roll the island there is a quick scramble to find a way to secure themselves and prevent a fall should the island suddenly crash to the ground below. There is only a moment where Toro is tying a rope made of ruined sailcloth to the Tamori before something has struck the island. The floor suddenly tilts forward and and causes everyone to fall and lose their footing, their bodies in a kind of free-fall as they can see through the open balcony window the ground rushing towards them.

There are a few moments as the sounds of groaning walls and doors holding something back are happening on the other side of the door to the chamber. Some contact with a pillar here or a floor there is managed in order to reach each companion as they all tumble through the air. While the Hida keeps his grip on the sailcloth Yonaka manages to get a hold of him with one hand and the Shosuro-Mantis with the other, the Osana-wo Monk managing to form the last part of the chain so that they circle the pillar that holds the silvery bowl in the middle of the room.

The last that is seen of Hikozaemon the Ashigaru he is curled up and braced against the walls of a stairwell as the doors burst and a flood of water and debris rushes into the room and out through the balcony windows.

The flood is powerful and the water plentiful, and after a few seconds is unwanted as the group starts to drown in it, making every effort to hang on and avoid being washed away. Amongst the debris a troll washes by and tries to wrestle the Monk from his hold on the sailcloth, but is rebuffed by Toro’s technique and is flushed away with the rest.

When the flood clears there is a channel of clear water running through center of the muck and mud that covers the rest of the floor, the room now tilted at an incline that matches the angle of an overdrawn Utaku bowstring, and below through the balcony the ground is evident and the island seems to have stopped moving.

The floor is slippery, but the Hida chances the climb and finds a guard room outside of the chamber where the group may recover and start to clean some of the mud from their clothing and armor. It is only once they are able to drag the limp shugenja into the room while the Monk is busily healing others that someone notices Tamori Yuriko is no longer breathing.

The sun has set by the time Yuriko is cleaned and her body wrapped in the sail cloth, a silent purification ritual performed by the Mirumoto. The remaining four quietly mourn, each in their own way, as the Hida offers to take the first watch.

Yet even the mountain must rest when surrounded in darkness.

One Experience Point



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