Posts Tagged ‘Legend of the Five Rings’

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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.

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Review – The Girl with Ghost Eyes (novel)

22 February, 2018

The Girl with Ghost Eyes is a fantasy set in the San Francisco Chinatown in the late 19th Century. It follows the troublesome situation Li-lin, daughter of a Daoist exorcist and practitioner of the Maoshan tradition quickly finds herself in.

The author handles the situation of the Chinese in the 19th century US with a light touch, weaving the cultural threads of Chinese tradition and the problems faced by the immigrants deftly, so they inform but never overwhelm the story. The magic and the spirit world play a major role in the story are fascinating and well drawn from Chinese myth and legend.

My only problem was that it was difficult for me to track what was happening in some of the action scenes, which are notoriously difficult to write, so it may be more me than the writing. But overall an enjoyable book and I look forward to reading more of the adventures of Li-lin and how she adapts to America and America to her.

The book is an excellent resource for anyone playing game set in a fantastic China (such as Feng Shui) or even a mythic version of Japan (such as Legend of the Five Rings), the description of the spirits and the magic of the Maoshan is quite evocative.

Note: The link in an affiliate link and this site would receive a small amount if you purchase using it.

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 12 “Northern Spirits” (L5R Campaign Report)

28 February, 2017

Having survived the Phoenix Winter Court, making only one (known) enemy, things are looking good for the unit as spring begins to arrive as does Mirumoto Daremo, having traveled up the coast in terrible weather to bring news to the unit and a promotion for Hida Kenta, who is now a nikutai (lowest ranked officer) in the Imperial Magistrate’s Office and officially in command of the unit.

Looking forward to a swift return to the capital, their hopes are dashed as Togashi Shisõ sends them  into the new lands to the North, when an Imperial road has gone missing, except for the Otoku and the Tonbo who are dispatched to deliver some vital messages to the Dragon lands.

Rough terrainThey travel north with the spring thaw, the the edge of Pheonix lands, and the old Empire, and then beyond.  The shugenja notice it almost physically, as if the quality of light shifted, it does not seem dangerous just . . . different.  As they travel further, first through Phoenix managed lands, the lands become less like Rokugan and less Rokuganized.  The older buildings are of a distinctly different architectural style, the peasants do not converse in a proper language and this are just not right, not entirely unfamilair but not proper either.

After some weeks of travel, they cross into Iron Mine Valley, a Lion holding ruled by Matsu Terumoto, where they are met by Ikoma Koji and his patrol who route the unit to the work camp, which is comprised primarily of impressed local peasantry, near to the road way.  They investigate and talk to people about the missing road, a mile stretch of which just vanished one night, was replaced and then -even though it was guarded- vanished again!  No one can explain it and the peasant and none to keen on doing the work again and the local quarry has been exhausted so a new source of stone must be found.

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 11 “To the North and Winter, Part 3” (L5R Campaign Report)

29 October, 2016

This episode opens with the arrival of the missing Tonbo and the aftermath of the attack by podlings on Asako Neko and Bayushi Kaeru as guards and samurai swarm into the room, which is stripped and ritually cleansed, and the Asako decides to stay with the other yoriki.

OrigamiThe Tonbo is informed of what is going on and their current plans.  They suspect that Isawa Nobuhide is not the only member of the conspiracy here but they are not sure how to track down any of the other members, then they remember the creepy watchful peacock in his room.  So they troupe en mass to Otomo Mariko, Imperial Nakodo, to see if she know who might have given such a distinctive gift.  She spends some time sounding out the Tonbo but does manage to recall that the peacock was a gift from Doji Tatsuzo, a Crane courtier with interest in artifacts from Gaijin lands.

The following day, while their main suspect Isawa Nobuhide is off at the origami competition with Hida Kenta, the Bayushi and the Tonbo investigate the Isawa’s room, covering the watchful peacock with a cloth, they find a scroll recently coated in red dye that is drying in a case and a multitude of small knives but nothing firmly incriminating.

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 10 “To the North and Winter, Part 2” (L5R Campaign Report)

22 October, 2016

The SRIU unit pushes through the inclement weather, having outmaneuvered thieves and outfought an oni on their way to Kyuden Isawa.  The Tonbo suffers a serious wound in a ‘bandit’ ambush and is left behind in Kyuden Asako to recover   Our heroes finally arrive, cold on exhausted at Kyuden Isawa where the Imperial Magistrate, Togashi Shisõ, greets them and assigns a young Phoenix to act as their guide:

Asako Neko, a fiery Phoenix, outgoing, overconfident and convinced that she knows it all.  Almost started a blood fued between her branch of the family and one of the Isawa branches, under the wing of Togashi Shisõ until she can be redirected.  (Isawa Shugenja 1, played by L2 who is new to L5R but not Japanese culture.)

It is cold in northern Rokugan

Our heroes settle into life in Winter Court, being formally presented to Isawa Soh, “the Gentle Wave”, Master of Water and Hostess of the Court, who serene and beautiful, seemingly untouched by her sixty years of age.  They have time to partake of some of the pleasantries of court while helping with the search for potential bloodspeakers among the guests.  To that end the Shrine to the Fortune of Truth is set up in the library where it may be used to observe some of the guests without being too obvious.

Otomo Mariko, one of the Imperial Nakodo (matchmakers), makes time to meet with all of the characters to sound out their future plans and amiability to marriage much to the characters’ discomfort.

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 9 “To the North and Winter, Part 1” (L5R Campaign Report)

27 August, 2016

The core unit is back in the capital, having sorted out the mystery of the missing paving stones (and covered up an embarrassment to the Crane).   It is now late Autumn and the skies have become grey and the winds howl, winter is almost here.  They are looking forward to a relaxing winter in the capital but it is not to be.  A new member arrives:

Tonbo Sanetomi, a Dragonfly without talent for speaking to the kami or divination and thus trained as a Miromoto swordsman.  Unfortunately, he is prone to be both argumentative and less than truthful and after a small altercation at a minor court has ended up with the SRIU.  (Mirumoto bushi 2, played by M back from exile.)

Just in time to join the next mission: to take a set of files to the Imperial Magistrate Togashi Shisõ (the only Togashi to serve as an Emerald magistrate) at Kyuden Isawa.  And, as they are already going to Kuyden Isawa, they can escort Doji Akira’s cousin, Asahina Chiaki, to the Phoenix Winter Court being held there so she can meet her husband to be.  Chiaki is accompanied by her Yojimbo, Kakita Noriko, they are also transporting a portable shrine in semi-secrecy though they do open it every morning to preform prayers and sacrifices.

As they pack up their horses the next morning, Doji Akira gives each bushi a pot of jade paste and Bayushi Kaeru, a scroll of Wrathful Glare of the Sun, with a note from one of her sensei.  Hida Kenta explains the use of jade paste to his companions as they travel.  The route takes them north, a road out of the capital they have taken many times already.  They travel first to Dragon’s Guard city, then to the Palace of the Emerald Champion (who was absent) and into the mountains.

Through the mistThe travel through the mountain pass is slow and unpleasant due to rain and mist.  On the last day of travel through the pass, the last watch notices that the shrine is missing!  The Tonbo shouts an alarm and casting around, see a shape moving away in the mists.  He points this out to the others and get two shuriken in the chest for his troubles.  The Akodo, Hida and Otaku (who leap strait from her bedroll to her horse) close and find a line of grey clad men between them and the group carrying away the portable shrine.  The thieves trying to slow the samurai are not warriors and two are quickly cut down and another badly wounded.  The ones carrying the shrine drop it and run when the Scorpion summons the air kami to disperse the mist around it.  Most of the thieves vanish away but the injured one is captured by Hida Kenta who prevents the thief from taking his own life.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Lady Sun’s Blessed Yari (For Pathfinder, D&D5 and L5R)

21 June, 2016

Steel as gright as the Sun

The blade of the yari blazing like the sun as the samurai spun and thrust, each strike of the spearing bringing down a monster.  But the number of the enemies seemed endless and even with all their skill and a weapon blessed by Lady Sun herself, and slowly the heroic warrior was forced back, armor torn and body covered in cuts and scratches.

At last, one of the mightiest of the monsters, a creature the size of a house, decided to end this and charged.  The samurai leapt to meet the monster, like a shooting star, and like the shooting star, there was a burst of light and then darkness as the samurai was crushed under the now unmoving bulk of the creature, victorious even in death.

Lady Sun’s Blessed Yari

These fine spears are crafted only during the day, all work on their construction if done with the light of Lady Sun shining upon the process.  The tempered steel of the blade is polished to a mirror brightness, the wooden shaft oiled or waxed to a warm glow and decorated with charms.

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