Rokugan SRIU Episode 13 “Teppo and Red Herrings” (L5R Campaign Report)

3 May, 2018

Having survived their mission to the new lands to the North, our heroes return to the Empire proper, gather their missing companions in the Phoenix lands and set sail for the capital.

A beautiful port

Naturally, things are not going to be that easy for the characters and after several days at sea they arrive at Dragon’s Guard City.  To their surprise, there is an agitated Miya pacing the docks and seems overjoyed by their arrival.  It is in fact Miya Miyasako, assistant to Governor Matsu Hotohara.  Miyasako, thin, nervous, totally out of his depths without a strong leader as Matsu Hotohara, Governor of the city, has been kidnapped by demons, the magistrates must help!  The Governor’s bodyguard of Matsu samurai were cut down by black magic.

The very confused group of yoriki is brought to the Governor’s Palace, which is actually not that impressive just a fortified compound, the doors of which have been shattered as though by a mighty blow.  Inside the courtyard the six slain Matsu guards are being placed on a pyre for cremation.  Miyasako tells the story that in the middle of the night, a mostly clear night, two days ago there was the sound of thunder and the guards rushed out to confront demons that stuck them down with thunderbolts and lightning.  Governor Matsu Hotohara was wounded and dragged away.  Since then, there have been not sign of the demons but a messenger ship and a merchant vessel that sailed out the following day were sunk by lightning from a clear sky.  The fishing boats have been left along as long as they do not venture too far.

The team is a bit at a lost, they do not know much of sea demons that throw lightning or how to fight them.  The Otaku when asked says that she has heard of faceless half-oni men who throw lightning and consumes souls from the smoking corpses.  The yoriki talk to local merchants, fishermen and others, finding a legend of a ghost in one of the nearby small bays that fishermen visit.  A second messenger, beyond the one already send by the Miya, is dispatched by land to the capital to inform them of the situation and ask advice.  Umigame Choshu, Gull Clan Captain of the Jade Wave, tried to help them out, as did Ueki, well liked local merchant, and Tani, head of the local fishermen but they did not have any answers except that the demons that attacked the Governor came from the docks.

[There was a lot of intergroup discussion, a lot of debate over what was happening, and what it could mean without getting closer to any final conclusion.  This was highly amusing to the GM, me, but consumed a lot of play time without moving things forward much.]

It all comes to a head when the Hida is visiting a drinking establishment on the docks when the Bayushi head a strange noise like a hiss and shouts a warning before there is a thunderbolt that blows out a section of wall next to the ducking Crab and lightly injures him.  The rooftop assassin is trailed back to a warehouse and the other yoriki are summoned and the warehouse is assaulted.

Players take note, this is a revision of what happened!  The warehouse is defended by a variety of riffraff and lowly mercenaries . . . and a few skilled killers with masks with strange weapons that spark and spit thunder, smoke and death.  The Governor is blindfolded and tied to a cot.  As the characters cut their way through to the masked killers, the Lion goes down to the evil weapons and one of the masked killed thrusts a burning brand into a barrel.  There is a thunderous flash and the building collapses.  The corpse of the Governor and two of the masked killers are recovered but none of the strange weapons are (at least, not in a recognizable form).

The Miya has now demanded that the yoriki serve as interim Imperial government representatives until a replacement Governor can be sent.

Notes: We had almost the full group for this, seven players!  And this is a bit behind, the game was played six months ago but their are rumors we may be getting back to it.  So my memories may be a little hazy and the ending has been rewritten to achieve what my initial aim had been with the scenario but got sidetracked with trying to get everything wrapped up with it being so late.

Port image from Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.



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