L5R : Jade Winds

The Red Foxes Undone!

Using pregen characters and pregen adventure “Writ of Justice” plus some stuff kugelblitz made up, originally posted on LJ

“We will resume in the AM of the day the Lord is supposed to meet with the Yakuza Red Fox kidnapper/blackmailers.”

Ha, ha. No. Instead our intrepid adventurers decide to shake down the Drunken Phoenix after midnight, by the clever ploy of just walking in and killing the heimen bouncers there. Oh and the Crane finds a helpful loitering peasant who is quite willing to toss some smoke pots into the front yard of the neighboring house. After the Crane gives him the smoke pots, the peasant eagerly lopes off with them in hand. This is not considered strange by the cultured Crane because I have no idea why.

(Conveniently loitering peasant was a yakuza from a rival gang, the Smiling Tigers.)

The break in just happens to end the lives of two roused Red Fox bouncers very suddenly, apparently confronting a fully armored Crab in a darkened room is quite a fatal event. The rest of the PCs charge upstairs as the sudddenly roused geishas flee in horror, or at least they are convincingly scared at the sudden application of bushido at 4am.

Ronin Doji tosses the back room of the Inn and locates a worn accounting book. The Drunken Phoenix’s gambling ledger.

The PCs are now out on the roof and making agility rolls to jump the narrow gap between the old Gambling/Geisha House (where excited geishas are exiting below) and the two story house directly behind it. The jumps are made, with the Crab just about crashing through the aged tiles on the houses roof. Fortunately spending a void point or two keeps his armored self from plunging into the walled garden below. Shouts of “Fire!” and smoke are coming from the other side of the house.

The PCs jump through the second floor’s shuttered windows. Mirumoto Takehito finds himself confronting three men moving small sturdy cases. Two of them scream defiance and leap at him with drawn swords (of poor quality noticeable even in bad lighting). The third, an older, fatter peasant, screams “SAMURAIIIIIIIIII” and flees down a dark hallway. Uh oh. Time to fight.

Inside samurai

The Crab enters through the other window, with the screens and shutters draping over him, obscuring his vision briefly. The other PCs enter also, and a short brutal fight erupts. As Mirumoto Takehito draws his two swords, a desperate lunge from a yakuza wounds him, a void point spent by Takehito reduces the damage to something manageable and between him and his cousin (Mirumoto Yonaka) they make short work of that yakuza. Meanwhile the Crab, having had the screens torn off of him by Dohi, draws his katana (a first since heretofore he has been using A HAMMER) and one-shots the other yakuza. Blood is everywhere, and as the lone lantern tilts crazily, shadows loom and veer across the spattered tatamis.

Mirumoto Yonaka grabs the lantern as Dohi busts down a screen on the far side of the room to discover a darkened 4-tatami sized area with a dirty, smelly, bound and gagged captive-Kokare! The ronin ungags him and is treated to cries for mercy as Kokare begs for his life. Otomo Kokare cannot walk, so the ronin drags him bodily over to the windows.

Meanwhile Mirumoto Takehito leads the fight into the darkened hallway, charging forward, he fails to see a roused yakuza lying in ambush in front of the captive’s quarters, and the yakuza gashes him with a well-aimed knife stroke. The Crane Duelist and the Dragon find themselves suddenly fighting at close quarters with two enraged yakuza at the top of some stairs. As they swiftly cut down the guards, shouts and footsteps herald the arrival of more confederates bounding up the stairs from below.

Dragon two (Mirumoto Yonaka) makes his way across the room and slides back the shoji so he can engage fighters at the top of the stairs. A good thing too as now four men, screaming charge up the stairs. One lunges at the second Dragon, brandishing a wicker shield, well, a wicker table. The Dragon rocks backwards and cleanly decapitates the table wielder. Spearmen quickly seek to use their reach advantage upon the Crane and the other Dragon, except that Mirumoto Takehito has gone into Full Defense Posture and cannot be touched, even when I cheat. There appears to be a brief standoff forming when suddenly the Crab, watching from behind everyone simply leaps through a nearby window, and swiftly moves around the roof to a position behind the spearmen.

The Crab sees leaping flames below and firemen showing up. Fire alarms. Havoc. Flames?

Now the Crab lunges through the screen and slashes one spearman from behind. At this point Chickenhat mentions that “He is going to throw the dead spearman down the stairs.”

“There aren’t any dead spearman.” I respond.

“There is now.”

He then neatly bisects the distracted and flanked yakuza and flings his upper torso down the stairs at his brothers forming up for the next charge below. Ew. The downstairs yakuza decide to come up with a different plan than one involving charging up stairs at a fully armored Crab and blood-drenched pair of Dragons. The last two yakuza in the hallway, now outflanked are swiftly slain. Ten dead (including the lookouts).

The Crane and the ronin drag Otomo Kokare’s complaining self off of the roof, to the wall snd then down to alleyway, where, surprise, two more yakuza lookouts can be found.

The Crane Duelist gracefully glides into a fighting stance and the yakuza on his end of the alley takes a look at his gently smiling face and decides he has better things to do and just flees. The ronin, standing with Kokare draped over his left shoulder, stares blankly at the hatchet-bearing yakuza approaching on his side and flicks his sword an inch out of its scabbard with his thumb. The hatchet bearer flings his weapon to the ground and also runs. Ho! Our Crane and the Ronin lead Otomo Kokare up the alley passing a freshly dead lookout (?) and then left through a motley collection of oddly loitering men (odd because they are not firefighting).

As the PCs round the next corner they see the mob of loiterers closing behind them and then proceeding away up the street to where a pretty decent fire is underway. Otomo drops his soiled kimono into the gutter as they walk back to the Inn, complaining of vermin. He also wants his swords. The two samurai are indifferent to his pathetic whining. Once the three of them arrive at the Inn, the young rake is soon asleep in an upstairs room while the other two samurai quaff some sake, and wait.

Hc001569

Mirumoto Yonaka, Hida Nakamuro and Mirumoto Takehito examine the contents of the now bloodied strongboxes on their way out. Gold koku, silver bu and one has a bunch of books. Hida Nakamuro grabs some of the books and then they jump down off the roof and spend the next two hours fighting the fire with everyone.

Finally the blaze is under control but the Red Foxes den is badly compromised by the resulting damage. If some of the firefighters dousing the flames alongside them are yakuza it does not seem to be an issue now. The three leave the scene, tired and smoke-stained.

On their way back to the Inn of Gentle Blossoms, the Dragons and Crab encounter Kasuga Tenmei, an impeccably dressed, diminutive, whip-thin Tortoise who also happens to be the North Hub Village Magistrate. After properly introducing themselves to one another, she politely asks the group where they have been this evening whereupon Mirumoto Takehito mentions that they were fighting the fire over near the Drunken Phoenix. Taking in his knife and sword wounds, the now dried blood on the armored breastplate of the Crab, the bloody handprint decorating Yanaka’s smoke stained kimono and the still tied-up-for-action sleeves of all of them she calmly says “So desu”.

“I will be attending to the complaints of a certain old gentleman shortly, and perhaps will be occupied until sundown.” She looks the three of them in the eyes and wishes them a good journey, and then stiffly walks off, gathering some of her yoriki to her. The remainder of the walk back to the Inn is quiet.

Of course, Shosuro Adoka arrives as everyone meets in the room where the young lord is sleeping. Of course, Adoka, impeccably dressed and masked, is happy to convey the lordling back to his father and explain all to Lord Otomo. Sadly, now that the Red Foxes are revealed as weaklings, the Smiling Tigers will be stepping in and he would not be surprised if the Drunken Phoenix reopens soon under new management. Shosuro Adoka is somewhat gratified when Hida Nakamuro slides the books taken from the Red Foxes lair across the floor to him. Since the PCs seem to be leaving everything to him, and are indeed leaving, then as a small thank you he humbly offers a gold washed tsuba on a red silk cord as small favor.

The small expensively crafted tsuba features a scorpion with claws outstretched, ready to sting. It is exquisite and could be worth 20 maybe 30 koku alone. However, were it presented to a Scorpion, it could mean a favor is being requested and an obligation closed. An exquisitely open ended gift, one that ensures that in future such valuable samurai might call upon the Scorpions again. So fitting. Ah, so.

Scorpion

On their somewhat rested but well-fed horses the party, finding travel warrants enabling them to return to Dragon’s Guard City decides to do so, with the unfortunate exception of the young Crane Duelist, Kakita Hiro, who finds himself compelled to return to the Crane lands just down the road. Before sundown.

The briefly extant fellowship is broken, and as the rising sun gilds the awakening town, the group breaks up and travels their separate ways.

1XP for the adventure
1XP for good role playing
2XP rescuing Kokare

1 Glory for the daring rescue

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kugelblitz

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