L5R Children of Destiny – Episode 2 “Night Goblins”

16 November, 2013

320Having achieved the first task set before them, our heroes finally arrive in the capital where they are immediately set to training in the laws of the Empire and understanding of matters courtly (no montage sadly).  Doji Akira meets with each of them personally to learn about them, he does not like surprises.  Then they are gathered, with the new Seppun, and invested with the rank of yoriki and given a jitte to symbolize such (though only the Hare has the proper skill to use such a weapon well).  Then Akira tosses a bag to the group, which the Soshi grabbed it, so he placed the Soshi in command of the group for their upcoming mission.

They are sent to the northern Crane lands where there are reports of bakemono (monsters) raiding some of the villages.  Traveling north on the Imperial roads and through a Crane military camp, which is mostly composed of Gull Clan mercenaries, where they are preparing to ship out to the northern front to punish the Yobanjin (for trying to take their country back, ungrateful bastards).   Then they following the Winding River up to Village of the Yellow Shrine, which is famous for the shrine to Inari, Fortune of Rice, with a beautiful roof made of yellow glazed tiles.  There they meet the priest of the shrine, Moko, who welcomes them.  They learn that the attacks are happening every four to six days to various villages in the local area and are perpetrated by ‘black skinned man-like creatures with long noses and glowing eyes”.  Moshi Wo speaks to the kami of the river and is given a vision of the monsters arriving on small boats.  They had been told to contact Daidoji Rohata, the samurai assigned to protect these villages, and find that he is in Pine Needle Village, so they ride to meet him, arriving just before dark.

There they meet the Daidoji, an experienced warrior who walks with a limp, he informs them that the defenses of the villages are quite weak, first from soldiers being sent to fight the Lion and now from troops being moved to the northern front, and he confirms what Moko told them about the monsters.  Pine Needle Village had been attacked a few days back so our heroes decided to return to the Village of the Yellow Shrine and hope to catch the monster there, riding though the night.

Their fear of attack proves unfounded, but is welcomed by the villagers all the same.  The next day they scout out north-west along the river, finding a place on the river bank where something with big animal feet placed its paws, near to where a small boat may have landed.  Nearly as far as they can go before having to turn back to make it back to the Yellow Shrine, they hear approaching horsemen and take up a defensive formation.  It turns out to be a patrol of Lion Wardens, five of them, searching for ashigaru deserters at least officially.  The characters suspect they are using it as an excuse to scout the Crane lands, the Soshi informs the Lion that they will search for the deserters and send them back to the Lion if found.  The Wardens are not happy but not willing to challenge an agent of the Imperial Magistrates either and so wheel their horses and head back for Lion territories.   Our heroes returned to the Village of the Yellow Shrine where the peasants have prepared a feast for them, at least, as best of a feast as peasants can.  Afterward, they take up their posts and wait.

Monster MaskThe attack begins with an outlying hut going up in flames.  All of the yoriki, apart from the Boar and the Seppun, rush to help fight it.  The water summoned into existence by the shugenja above the burning hut goes a far way to extinguishing the fire.  Wary for danger the Boar and the Seppun spot four of the bakemono approaching and rush to engage them, after the Seppun launches a humming bulb arrow to alert the others.  A brutal melee follows in which the Boar is badly wounded but the monsters are revealed as people in black clothing with masks but they are defeated as the others arrive to join the fight.  Other raider are killed or captured before they can escape and they end with four prisoners who are revealed to be Gull ashigaru who have been sailing up the river from the Crane camp to raid.

The false monsters are taken back to the Crane camp where they are executed by the samurai officers as a warning to others.  While the raiders would not reveal anything concrete under questioning, our heroes suspect it was the Gull samurai Kanome Katamara behind the raiders.

Notes: It looks like we have stabilized at seven players, though that is liable to change.

Image from Wikimedia commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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