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L5R Campaign Background Notes

4 April, 2010

Just to fill in some of the background to my current L5R campaign and place it where it is easily accessible to all:

The Battle of White Stag was not fought against gaijin but sea folk who used sea serpents and odd magics. So, no guns and gunpowder in this history and no Imperial ban on them either. Hello fireworks and Agasha rocket teams!

Terms
There are two sorts of oni, normal ‘common’ oni which are malicious, often primary coloured, spirits with horns and sometimes extra eyes. They can show up almost anywhere, they are evil but not evil (as in, not a pawn of He Whose Name is Not Spoken). The Oni who are direct servants of the Dark are technically “Kuroni” (“black oni”) but that term is only used by specialists in such matters.

Kaimonyami (“Open gate to Darkness”, theoretically, I have no Japanese) is when the Dark breaks through into the Empire. Usually caused by rituals used to summon Kuroni going terribly wrong but occasionally just because the stars are right.

Recent History:

The Crane and the Lion Clan continue their traditional rivalry. The Lion Clan’s new Champion, Akodo Tarasi, has been in the role for less then a year following the death of his much older brother. Tarasi seems to take his new role very seriously and has been reviewing and drilling the Lion army constantly.

Tensions have recently increased between the Lion and the Scorpion Clans as bandit activity in the mountains along their shared border has hit both sides. A large group of bandits was destroyed by Lion forces let by the Imperial Magistrate and Topaz Champion, Mirumoto Makoto, but both sides remain on their guard and hostile.

The border between the Unicorn Clan and the Dragon, Lion and Scorpion Clans continues to be ‘negotiated’, occasionally with armed clashes.

Recently, the city of Zakyo Toshi suffered from a serious Kaimonyami incursion, destroying part of the city and killing many.

The marriage between Bayushi Ujichika, youngest brother of the Scorpion Clan Champion, and Akodo Mikizuki, niece of the Lion Clan Champion, was suppose to usher in a new era of friendship between two Clans that had so often been at odds with one another.

But fate had other ideas . . . The wedding was to be at Winter Court in Kyuden Bayushi and so it was. But Akodo Eiji, Champion of the Lion, fell to his death when crossing through the most treacherous part of Beiden Path. Horse and master tumbling over a cliff, the horse having lost it footing on a patch of ice.

The wedding took place, but under a cloud of ill-fortune. The new Lion champion, Akodo Tarasi, does not have the personal friendship with the Scorpion Champion that his older brother had and that had lead to the wedding of such ranked members of both Clans. Some Lion even saw Eiji’s death as a sign of disfavour of the marriage from the Fortunes themselves. In any case, the hoped for friendship between the two Clans failed almost entirely.

The only success of the whole matter is that Ujichika and Mikizuki actually seem to have fallen deeply in love with one another and are tireless advocates for closer ties between their two Clans.

One of Mikizuki’s wedding gifts was the service of one hundred Lion samurai for twelve years. Ujichika has been assigning them to serve with his samurai and magistrates in the hopes of building profession friendships with marginal success.

I will put up a list of important people in the campaign, both people known by the characters and important daimyo and such, shortly.

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