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L5R Children of Destiny – Episode 3 “Of Lion and Ghosts”

25 November, 2013

Hidden DangersHaving dealt with the not-goblins, our heroes are preparing to head back to the capitol when they are met on the road by Otomo Shitaro, a courtier, and a Kuni witch-hunter sent by Doji Akira with a new task in Lion lands.  Akodo Shinno, son of the former Lion Clan champion and in competition with his siblings to become the new Champion, has requested Doji Akira’s aid with a supernatural problem (as asking for aid from the Phoenix would be problematic).   They find Akodo Shinno in the midst of a Lion military camp preparing for war, not against the Crane or Phoenix but in the far North, against the Yobanjin.  He explains that some of the villages in the newly conquered territories have fallen under the influence of evil spirits, the Kitsu have confirmed such, but Shinno cannot spare the Kitsu needed to solve the problem as they are needed for the war effort.  So, that is what the new yoriki, with assistance, have to deal with.

They set off up into the hills and found the area ahead of them blanketed in clouds.  Arriving in Blue Heron Village, they find it deserted, no person nor animal anywhere around.  The village has been abandoned in haste, things were overturned and scattered, but no bodies.  Moshi Wo found evidence that someone was using the inn, but they escaped leaving a very small cooking fire behind.  The Boar, Monkey and Kuni find tracks circling the village, which are recognized as onikage, a ghoulish horse.  Doji Miwako investigated the shrine, where the cleansing  bowl had cracked, she picked it up and was overwhelmed by waves of terror, collapsing unconscious after a short but intense scream.  Wo questions the kami of the inn’s fire (while Miwako is cooking) and learns that fear chased the villagers away and that the person staying in the inn was a girl and “pure of spirit”.  They finally lure her out with food and learn that her name is Ryuujou (“willow twig”) and that everyone fled but her and that she was too scared to leave.

Demon horse!They set a trap for the onikage, which seems to return every night, and lure it into the village.  The ambush works, but slaying the creature is not as easy as expected, with the Otomo denounces the creature under Imperial law in a long and inspiring speech while the bushi systematically dismember it.  However, some damage is dished out by the creature before it is destroyed.  Just as it is reduced to a burning wreck, there is a terrible scream and the horses come pouring in a panic out of the stables.  One of the ashigaru (recruited from the bandits in Episode 1) is found dead in the stable, apparently scared to death, another is missing probably dragged out through a hole in the back of the stable.

The next morning, they pursue the missing ashigaru and what took him away, which they come to suspect is a wugong sui, or spirit centipede, a creature that feasts on fear becoming more powerful as it does so.  They make it to White Lotus Village, which has been slaughtered, the corpses torn apart by wide teeth.  They continue on towards the Monastery of Eight Virtuous Men, through area devoid of animals and eerily quiet.  A break in the oppressive cloud cover illuminates a location off the road and the characters investigate.  They find a nearly abandoned ancient shrine, inside are three Lion samurai perhaps two weeks dead, who all seem to have perished from fear.  It is also noted that the Lions were horsemen and that their mounts are missing.  After removing the bodies from the shrine -without touching them- Miwako bravely contacts the kami of the shrine and learns that one of the crypts (for it was build before the Rokugani burned their dead) was broken into and a great evil escaped.  The kami has sensed it moving by outside but it has never come back to the tomb.  It gives Miwako a spear fitting to aid in the task of destroying the evil before fading back into its realm.

Thus ended the session, come back in two weeks for the dramatic conclusion!

Notes:  Z was sick and thus, no Hare for the game, M finally joined with an Otomo courtier, providing some more courtly skills to the group.

Onikage stand-in photo by Jcdubya and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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2 comments

  1. This game sounds seriously creepy.


    • Asia is full of strange and disturbing monsters . . . all of which I am happy to pull into my L5R campaigns.



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