L5R JYTB Campaign Report 15

13 July, 2010


With the successful completion of their mission to the far north of the Empire, our heroes were distressed to find that Otomo Takama was not ready to release them from his service (for fear of further attacks on his life).  For the next three months, they serve as his yojimbo (bodyguards) as he travels the Phoenix lands.  A summer moves towards its peak, Otomo Takama and his entourage arrive at Pale Oak Castle.

It is the night of the new moon that they arrive upon and that night, all in the castle awake from nightmares with a terrible sense of foreboding.  On the western horizon, a terrible storm rages.  Those that try to go back to sleep find sleep difficult as shadows and noises haunt their perception.  In the early hours of the morning, a Miya herald arrives on a tired horse.  He calls all to hear his words and states that a Kaimonyami incursion was under way, a literal gateway to hell was pouring out hostile forces.  The Sixth Imperial Legion was moving to stop them and all samurai in Imperial service were to report to the legion immediately.  Our heroes along with six Phoenix samurai departed directly and soon found themselves under the edges of the still continuing storm.  Led to the command tent of Otaku Makino, the Taisa of the Sixth, she assigns Toku Kobo and his force (including the Phoenix) to bolster the right flank (while the nun moves off to assist the medical staff).  The Legion is to hold the invaders in place while the Phoenix do . . . whatever it is they do and close the Kaimonyami.  The force they are facing consists of pale humanoids armed with strange, primitive weapons and a few war chariots.  Luckily they can be harmed by normal weapons but there are a lot of them.

The opening stages of the battle were fairly uneventful for our heroes, they saw off a few probing attacks and suffered a few minor wounds but nothing major.  As the day wears on, the brave yoriki find themselves blocking a major break through attempt as the entire legion is pushed back.  They are pitted against three huge axe-wielding warriors whose muscles and limbs expand and shift as they move allowing them to make powerful blows and ignore pain.  It is a hard fight and the Toku is dropped, but not killed, by a second axe blow before the attackers are finally dispatched.

Pulling back from the frontline to have their wounds treated, the heroes find themselves as the last line of defense between the command tent and a last push by the invaders.  Joined by the warrior-monk Ichiro they manage, just, to hold the line as the Phoenix arrive and close the portal.

The next day, heaped with glory, they return to White Oak Castle with the two surviving Phoenix to recover.

Notes: We converted over to 4th edition as everyone seems to prefer its clean system.  I let them rebuild their characters as some of the changes were pretty major.  So, Season 2 of JYTB begins with a major shakeup in the writing and production team and a new actor playing the newly rethought Crab, Hida Yo (formerly Kiau Yo in the first season).  Ichiro joined late, just in time for the last fight, and he and his player will be back at random intervals (we hope).

This adventure came about since Yo’s player wanted to see what the mass battle rules could do.  I let the players in turn roll for the Otaku’s command/battle roll and then, since they were acting as a unit, roll for the battle result for each round so each of the three main players each got to make both rolls once.

To Report 16.

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