L5R – JRTB Campaign Report 2230 October, 2010
Arrival at Samuzora
Having fought off the walking dead and dark magic, the new magistrates arrive at Samuzora. The characters work their way through the shanty town that has sprung up around the old village of Samuzora. Arriving at the old village inn, ‘the Golden Carp’, they are met by Akodo Katsu who had been attempting with his assistant Ikoma Sen’yuu to keep order in the town, with minimal success. The Akodo greets them and welcomes them to town, the innkeeper prepares rooms and a meal.
They get a report, which confirms the basic situation and fills them in on the criminal groups in town:
- The Seventy-Seven K, marginally the most powerful of the syndicates, they control the ‘entertainment’ segment of the underground economy.
- The Gatherers, a mixture of a self-help group of miners and gold-panners and a criminal group, the largest in raw numbers.
- The Tetsujin, ronin, mercenaries and thugs. They sell their services to others, including the other two syndicates but never so far as to upset the balance of power.
The Moto goes out beyond the town to get a lay of the land while the others go to talk to the Tetsujin. The leader of the Tetsujin, the Tetsujin, waits for them in a sake house. They talk, threats are implied, and nothing is immediately resolved. Meanwhile, the Moto finds a pair of corpses on a side road among the rice paddies that have had the front of the heads removed and their brains consumed. The horrified Moto fitted a signal arrow and fired.
The team rushes out to find the Moto. They investigated the dead bodies and tried to work out what had happened. Fining a massive footprint, apparently of a large person, on the trail and hand prints around the skulls of the victims they knew it was not something entirely human. Using tracking and the aid of the kami, which showed a huge pale man walking beneath the full moon, they followed the being’s route to a small ancient shrine on a lonely windswept rocky hilltop. The shrine is to Lord Moon and has a polished obsidian sheet rather than a statue to Lord Moon. While it appeared that the shrine had been abandoned for some time, recently someone had cleaned it up and left and offering of rice on the altar. The Kitsune commented unfavorably on Lord Moon’s sanity and the Moto sees a face in the mirror for a split second. The Moto promptly prays and burns incense to the moon to avoid ill fortune.
The Hida and the Moto returned to Samuzora. The others went to talk to a group of miners whose dig they could see from the shrine, who saw a person in white up by the shrine last night but though nothing of it, and another group of diggers fled before the magistrates could talk to them. As that night was the last night of the full moon, they decided to stay and watch for the creature. The Kitsune sends an air kami messenger to fetch back the Hida and the Moto (who was just about to go off with a prostitute and was . . . upset about being called back to duty).
They wait and wait and wait . . . and then there is a huge white skinned man up by the shrine. He is watching the moon and starts walking down the hill to the east. The Hida and the Toku run toward him, followed by the others, and are ignored until the Hida shouts at him and he focuses on the Crab and savagely attacks. Out numbered six to one, the Moon-Gazer falls without causing significant damage. His dead body is struck by lightning called by the Kitsune and it vanishes afterward.
Toku Kobo goes to pray to Lord Moon asking what was going on and is knocked unconscious by a vision. The other leave offering for Lord Moon, hit the obsidian mirror behind the ‘gift’ of a fan and take Kobo back to the inn. The next morning, Kobo awakes and tells everyone that he dreamed of the Moon-Gazers and as long as they are left alone, they will not harm anyone, they just want to watch the moon in peace.
The next day was mostly organizational and recovering from the long night. Interrupted only by the arrival of Toku Sakurako, Kobo’s wife, and her servants here to make sure that the Monkey Magistrate’s household was properly run. The innkeeper was delighted to see her and his inn has become the de facto magistrates compound for Samuzora.
Notes: The one-sentance description I am using for Samuzora is “think Deadwood with pagodas.”
The Moon-Gazer was adapted from Caribbean mythology and the dead bodies were just suppose to alert the characters to there being a supernatural threat in the area, I did not expect it to end up as the focus of the session.