Rokugan SRIU Episode 3 “Temples, Tigers and Trouble” (L5R Campaign Report)25 May, 2015
Six weeks have passed since the Hanami and the Empire moves into early summer. The new members of the SRIU have been spending their days training as yoriki. After several weeks of alternating training and relaxing in the capital, the characters are giving a solid grounding the duties and responsibilities of an Imperial yoriki, including such tasks as checking travel papers, filling out the proper reports in the proper format, road building and repair and jitte fighting. The Bayushi spends her evening indulging in theatre, the Hida practices origami and watches some sumo and the Lioness, writes letters.
The Otaku is ‘requisitioned’ to inspect Imperial cavalry units by Taisho Seppun Bachin and the Doji is sent along to act as her minder (explaining where this two characters were during this adventure as the players were out). The rest of the unit are tasked with escorting Kaiu Taura, an engineer, to Ryu Bannin Toshi (Dragon’s Guard City also called Treacherous Pass City) to build a fortified Temple for the Order of Harmonious Work at the last Imperial way station before the mountain pass leading to the Phoenix lands. The journey is uneventful, apart from getting wet from a few sudden storms, and they arrive at Ryu Bannin Toshi and partake in the wonderful fish for which the city is justly famous.
The next day they arrive at the way station which is in sight of the pass, near by is a collection of basic building belonging to the Order of Harmonious Work, who has been helping the local peasantry expand their fields northward into the foothills. The local branch of the Order is overseen by Abbess Hasuko, who is fairly young for the position but seems dedicated and hard working, and is very welcoming. But she also has a problem, the Order and local farmers both have been suffering attacks from a tiger that has become man-eaters, traditional traps have failed. The characters agree and go out to check the site of the last tiger attack, where one of the monks was watching over a tiger trap and killed. It was four days ago, so not many surviving clues beyond claw marks and a few footprints. As it is getting dark, they retreated back to the way station for the evening.
The next morning, they suit up and head into the mountains with two guides (“we had better bring a spare,” said the Hida) and two monks from the Order armed with spears. They find a side pathway that looks to have been used by a tiger and follow it into the narrow byways. The Hida stops the tiger just before it leaps but not soon enough to save one of the guides who is torn apart. The tiger’s teeth are shiny, black and jagged, they are made of obsidian and there is an obsidian growth on its neck. The tiger manages to tear off the Akodo sleeve but not do serious damage before the heroes can react and start to inflict damage upon it, they are pressing it back when a second tiger appears! It kills one of the monks and slashes Wuya with its claws. But the numbers of the characters tell and they are put down and decapitated. The Bayushi is careful cleaning the wounds to make sure none of the obsidian remains embedded in people’s bodies. They track down its lair and retrieve a wakizashi, a pouch of messages and a damaged prayer scroll from the detritus of the lair before packing it with brush and incinerating it.
Returning to the waystation, they report to the Order, who take the monk and guide off to cremate. The Abbess pledges to investigate the mountains and try to locate the source of the Dark corruption that infected the tigers. They spend another day helping start to work on the temple-fortress before heading back to the capital, another job well done.
Notes: The basic structure of the campaign here Rokugan SRIU and the first game (and the core three characters) described here: Episode 1 “. . . and a monkey“ and the last adventure here: Episode 2 “Cherry blossoms fall . . .“. Episode 4 “Paper Street“ follows this adventure.
We were down two players, thus the Otaku and the Doji being away this episode.