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L5R – JYTB Campaign Report 24

11 December, 2010

JYTB in A Day in the Life or
Maho-tsukai Really Bug Me (Episode 24)

After getting the tax system in place and having dealt with some bandits, it seemed like it was a chance for the magistrates and their staff to relax.  Alas, the peace was quickly shattered when Kitsune Kyoden found that three scrolls had been left on his futon.  That was not so bad, it was when he opened them and found that they were blood magic scrolls that things started to go downhill.

The characters spent the next three hours investigating, interviewing all the staff, trying to try information from the air Kami, all for naught.  The scrolls were burned, with creepy green flames, and the investigation went nowhere.  The monk, Ichiro, attempted to calm the staff and offer them a safe haven for discussion of concerns and fears where they were not dealing with samurai (with the right of summary execution).  A few of the staff talk to Ichiro and express their fear in dealing with the Hida and ask for advice on how not to anger him which the monk gives.

The Magistrates head off to speak with Tora, head of the local Seventy-Seven K syndicate, about the existence of Blood Cults in the town.  Tora says that he has heard rumors of such people but assures the magistrates that he would never associate with such and he will use his contacts to see if anyone knows anything.  After that, he then played a game of Go with Toku Kobo and then taught the Monkey how to play Crow (a tile game like mahjong).

The next day, Toku Kobo, Akodo Katsu and the Moto ride out on a three-day patrol of the local area, surveying and learning the local area and, surprisingly, avoiding trouble.  The others stay in the city: Ichiro continues working with the people.  The Hida finds a sake house with a good view of the streets and plays sheriff.  On the patrol’s return, a note arrives from Tora requesting the magistrates to meet with him.  There, in a private room over a game of Crow, he let them know that he has heard that a group is planning to meet at the haunted grove at the new moon in two days.

The group meets to plan their tactics in dealing with the cultist.  It is decided to mount a patrol by the grove, during which the Kitsune ties the air Kami of the local area to himself so that he can listen in and know when to close in.  Late at night, the cultists begin to arrive, talking about meaningless things as their numbers grew then falling into silence, presumably as their leader arrived, and began to chant in an obscure dialect.  The Kitsune summons an inu spirit, manifesting (naturally) as a dog, to protect him.  The characters rushed in, the Kitsune listening as the ritual raised to a crescendo just as our heroes arrived to find thirteen cult members in a rough oval with a pile of slain chicken and goats in front of the obvious cult leader, he was obvious as he was taller with better robes and a knife.

The Soshi shoots an arrow into the cult leaders chest which the Toku follows up with a slash from his katana and a blow from his jade fist; as his fist impacts the robe, it just collapses releasing a massive swarm of angry wasps.  Several of the other cultists are put down and the remaining ones go into convulsions and soon join them, all of them vomiting live wasps.  The wasps promptly swarm everyone inflicting a multitude of vicious stings.

Confusion abounds as: the Akodo beats at the wasps with the cult leader’s empty robe, the Kitsune insures that the inu is protected by the fire Kami and romps through the swarming wasps killing them by the score, most of the samurai flee for the protection of the rice paddies and the Toku is belatedly protected by the fires of purity just before the majority of the swarm sacrifices itself attacking him, leaving him covered by burning wasps.

As the last of the swarms, the investigation begins.  Of the cult leader, there is nothing left but a bloodied robe, it seems his entire body became wasps to avenge his death.  The other cultists were dead or dying and incapably of providing any information.  The cult leader’s knife is an ancient, but well cared for, with a straight bronze blade from the early centuries of the Empire.  The trees around the clearing where the ritual was taking place are felled and the bodies burned by the eta overseen by the monk.

Wounds are tended, missing person reports start to filter into the magistrates as people find their husbands, coworkers, and -in one case- wife missing.  Those reported missing are the cultists who did not return from their ceremony.  There is some discussion of arresting the families of the cultists but calmer heads prevail.  The knife is investigated and then stored away in the tax vault.  The village seems more subdued than usual as the news of the blood cult and its execution filter through the populace.

Notes: To Report 25.

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