Leaf’s Letter (L5R Campaign Report)

19 September, 2018

This is a rather impressionistic report on our last Legend of the Five Rings game from the point of view of my new character, Takeha (Bamboo Leaf), a Nun of the Order of Harmonious Work.  She is still getting to know the group so was not privy to some of the events that happened with them, so the letter is light on such details.

On the riverAbbess Kurako-sensei,

You were correct about the world outside the Abbey and the villages, it is more crowded, more noisy and more strange than anything this one could have imagined. Keeping to your advice, this one has been respectful, helpful and avoided being caught alone with men.

The members of the Crane Clan as a whole have been polite and generous but they are also rather stand offish, as if hard work is catching and they may find themselves having to stoop to physical labor if they associate with a nun. This one does not mean to mock, only observe, but it is rather amusing.

This one was able to secure passage down the river at Kosaten Shiro when one of the paying passengers had to get off. The journey was pleasant and this one learned a little about the work aboard a river boat. Knots are surprisingly complex and tricky.

There is an Ichiro, Hatchi-sama, one of the distant Badger Clan, travelling the same route. The Ichiro is very protective of what she is escorting but there has been no polite chance to ask what task she is on. Hopefully the Tao will provide such.

This one has fallen in with a group of Imperial Magistrate’s agents, one may be a Magistrate but this one does not believe so, who were also about the river boat. They are so unlike the Magistrate Seppun Satsuki-sama who visited us last year and his disciplined yoriki.

Their leader, and possibly a magistrate, is Isawa Chosei-sama, a priestess, who seems to be at the center of some sort of spiritual disturbance. She does not talk about it, but things came and go around her in odd ways, the disturbence does not seem malevolent just mischievous and playful. She seems much like what this one has heard of the Phoenix, self-centered and self-satisfied.

Miya Seishiro-sama is unlike any other Imperial this one has met or seen, he simply fades into the background, watching. Obviously a bushi, this one cannot tell what school he trained in beside that it was not a Lion one nor, she thinks, the Seppun dojo. His demeanor is too withdrawn to be of that forthright school. It is an interesting mystery.

Daidoji Toshiro-sama embodies the nobility and the haughtiness of the Crane but he seems devoted to his companions. So far, he has been a cypher to this one, but time should allow more to be learned. He seems oddly reserved among his fellow Crane, as though he no longer feels that he belongs.

Togashi Keitaro-san is one of that unusual Order, he is usually unusual? Willing to speak to those of all classes and vanishing without warning. He too seems to be involved in the Isawa’s spiritual imbalance but how and why, this one cannot yet determine. This one has not yet been able to get him to speak about his view on the Tao but perhaps soon.

Matsu Keitaro-sama is a Lion and a samurai, he embodies the martial nature of his clan quite well. Obviously happier on field exercises than in posh cities. Among the Crane, he is nearly jumping at shadows, as though the Crane would violate hospitality especially on an Imperial servant. But he is fascinating, this is the family our founder came from and her writings are a world away from how this Lion seems to be. How the Tao can change a person.

This one has been housed near the Magisterial group at Kyuden Doji, even the poor quarters the Crane have provided are more lavish than our best guest rooms in the Abbey. Truly the wealth of the Crane is not understated.

This one hears that the Magistrate’s group had some sort of spiritual encounter the last evening, but the details are few, but this one thinks some sort of portent was offered. She will try to learn more as she can as she knows that omens and portents are of interest to you, Kurako-sensei.

It seems that this one will next be travelling by ship along the coast, perhaps as far as the Capital? Time will tell. This one will write again at our next stop.

Walk with the Tao.

Your dutiful student,
<Chop of Takeha>

Notes: I hope it all makes some sort of sense.

Elstner Hilton took this photo in Japan between 1914 and 1918, found on Wikimedia Commons, and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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