Legends of Rokugan

Interlude: Humor (1)
Hidden Chicken

Legends of the Hidden Chicken

The Topaz Championship: Day 2
Topaz Championship

1 September, 2011 18:00

“There is no greater art than the hunt.”Daidoji Masashigi, Eight Century Daimyo

The Test of the Topaz Champion, Day 2


- Caught Jack up with the game.

- Ikoma Zai proclaims to Akodo Unmei that if he (Unmei) succeeds in taking the Akodo Blade from Wakao Zai will offer support. Unmei convinces Zai that he is not allied with Shosuro Atari and Unmei apologies to Zai in a courtly manner.

- Ide Imizu at Medinaat-al-salaam accepts a Favor in return for giving certain items to Isawa Xen-Gbo (a sash tied very thin behind his obi; a pouch with one of the five fingers of jade inside; calligraphies up the pouch in Senpet). Xen-Gbo does some “crazy shit” (muslim paladin crazy bastard style) with it. (I think the character might be going off the deep end!)

- Bayushi Denbe approaches Shosuro Atari regarding Wakao’s defamation (stain the Crane’s feathers) and is reassured that Atari has everything under control.

CONTESTS: Go, Archery, Hunting
- Shosuro Atari and Doji Wakao speak about Kakita Akemi over the Game of Go. Atari wins resoundingly and belittles every single move that Wakao makes during the game drawing out the Crane’s ire. Wakao loses face (and honor and glory) for his extreme show of emotion when he flips the board into Atari’s face (-4 honor for being duped into a show of dishonor).

- Shosuro Atari intimidates Akodo Shotako into throwing her bow on the ground in anger in front of the Wasp Clan Champion, Tsuruchi. Unmei attempts to take her place when she storms away, but Tsuruchi “ain’t havin’ it”. Shotako loses 1 rank of honor when she fails an Honor Roll and 5 boxes of Glory for losing face. Matsu Tsuko berates Shotako for her dishonorable behavior and states that if she performs such an action again she will follow Kitsu Konoko into Meido! When Unmei speaks with her later Shotako vows that she will remove the stain of her dishonor by killing her new enemy, Shosuro Atari (Sworn Enemy!)

- Gossip circulates around the court that Doji Wakao and Akodo Unmei each intend to challenge the other to a Blood Duel (Duel to the death) over the various slights against each other’s honor. Most believe this will occur. Atari is a real dick!

- Soshi Saku (A real bastard) has Doji Wakao (poor man) say that “Usagi Kamahime showed me a good time last night” before a group of Crane further spreading his dishonor and shaming her.

Hunting Parties
Pinchy Pinchy: Shosuro Atari, Soshi Saku, Hiruma Do
Fire Brigade: Akodo Unmei, Isawa Xen-Gbo, Akodo Shotako
Birdies: Kakita Shino, Doji Wakao, Isawa Hanori
Dragon Sex Party!: Agasha Gojinka, Mirumoto Otokan, Togashi Gohan
Guys That Kind of Suck: Hazu, Usagi Kamahime, Yuriko
Dudefellas: Shiba Takako, Moto Xuren, Bayushi Denbe

- Shosuro Atari deliberately falls behind his group to pursue Doji Wakao on his own (in an obvious manner).
- Unmei falls behind his group (not on purpose, he just needs to work out).
- Shino, Wakao, and Hanori encounter Atari while finding a Tsu Fish Egg.

- The same Gaki (Toshigokujin) that attacked Ikoma Zai and Soshi Saku’s group on the way to Tsuma have hunted the group (following Saku’s scent) and taken over the bodies of more ronin. They ambush various parties in the woods.

- Akodo Unmei is assaulted alone and holds his own for a while, but is eventually taken down by a superior foe. The Gaki “kills him” and begins to feed.

- At the same time as the Gaki attack, Atari taunts the “Birdies”, specifically Wakao, and draws out the magistrate. He hopes to cause an attack while he knows that Bayushi Denbe waits nearby ready to retaliate. However, Kakita Shino draws up in defense of Wakao and declares to Atari that if Atari speaks once more he, Kakita Shino, will be force do silence him for good. Of course Atari speaks. Kakita Shino sheathes his blade and begins walking menacingly towards the Courtier, ready to kill. Wakao follows suit while Isawa Hanori watches in amazement. Atari begins to flee and sees Bayushi Denbe and his attendant both ready to strike.

- Xen-Gbo, Saku, and Do arrive in time to see a Gaki “killing” Akodo Unmei. Two more rise up from Tsu Fish pools and the group has to finish off three of the creatures. Xen-Gbo actually commits a finishing blow on one with his crazy muslim paladin technique and his new Soul Sword. Two more (for a total of five in all) begin to arise about a 100’ off and home in on Soshi Saku (BEACON!). They are ambushed by Team Death Dragon and dispatched quickly.

- Asahina shugenja arrive as Shino and Wakao are about to attack Atari. They stop the combat (without realizing it) and survey the situation. They move on not long after. Overhead, the fiery form of a phoenix (Phoenix Master Isawa Tsuke) flies past.

- After all have returned from the woods, the judges and Crane offer apology for the dishonor of being home to such terrible spirits. They declare the Hunting Contest Null and Void and grant 2 points to all contestants.

Deaths: Shiba Takako is found eaten alive. Yuriko is found ripped apart by Gaki. Moto Xuren is found eaten as well, but with a thin-bladed line slashed across his throat.

Severely Wounded: The ronin Hazu in defense of the Mantis. Usagi Kamahime, despite her fantastic run through the woods to retrieve help (it was her call that alerted the Asahina and Tsuke).

- Soshi Saku sends a letter to Isawa Tsuke stating that he believes himself to have been the cause of the attack and that he takes responsibility. Isawa Tsuke informs him that his spiritual disharmony is something he will not be acknowledging to the Crane because he believes it dishonors the Phoenix. He informs Saku to keep the knowledge, like Void magic, to himself.

Experience: 10 (+previous game 24xp): 34 Total
Glory: Shosuro (gains 2 boxes Glory for his Sumai duel, 3 boxes for his tournament courtier experiences thus far Infamy, 2 boxes for the Story at the final contest, 5 boxes of Infamy for Wakao’s encounter)
Glory: Unmei gains 5 boxes of Glory for his place as Second to Kitsu Konoko’s seppuku. 3 boxes for combat in the woods.
Glory: Togashi Gohan receives 4 boxes of Glory for his good showing on the first day. 3 boxes for combat in the woods.
Glory: Soshi Saku receives 3 boxes of Glory for Combat in the woods.
Glory: Isawa Xen-Gbo receives 3 boxes of Glory for Combat in the woods.

Allies: Remind me about these later.
Enemies: Shosuro Atari gains Sworn Enemy (Akodo Shotako)

Interlude: Customs

Interlude 1: Customs of Rokugan

The student turned the small box over in his hands several times, examining it carefully. “Master,” he asked his sensei, “why is it considered rude not to decline a gift twice before accepting? I understand that it is customary, and I would never be rude enough not to observe it, but how did such a custom begin in the first place?”

The sensei smiled. “It is a valid question, and one that shows your intelligence. How many are introduced to things as children and simply never question them? That you question what is presented to you sets you apart from the pack.”

The boy frowned. “Is it not disrespectful to question tradition?” he asked. “That is what my mother always told me.”

“Something said merely to prevent embarrassment,” the sensei said. “And justly so, for it is always good to avoid being noticed, even as a child. Your mother did you a service by keeping you from raising questions among others, but now is the time to cast that aside and question.”

“Yes, master,” the boy said, bowing.

“As to the point at hand,” the sensei said, “the truth is that no one can know for certain. As with most social customs we currently practice, it can be assumed that the tradition was started with Lady Doji, who in turn developed the social graces of Rokugan based upon the styling of her divine family, the Kami, in the Heavens.”

The boy nodded. “I see.”

The sensei raised a cautionary finger. “I said that it could be assumed,” he cautioned. “Assumptions are for the other clans, not for us. Ever assume something that can be questioned.”

“Yes, master,” the boy said. “My apologies.”

“My personal suspicion,” the sensei said, “is that the Imperial families are responsible in some way for the tradition. They benefit from it, as it gives them the impression of largesse and benevolence, as well as generosity when it suits them. That the same benefits are extended to the clans is of course lost upon them.”

“You hold the Imperial families in low regard, master?”

The sensei nodded. “The Emperor and his family are of course excluded, for to suggest otherwise would be blasphemy,” he clarified. “Those who serve him are self-important buffoons, however. The Otomo are obnoxious beyond all comprehension, the Seppun self-assured, and the Miya hopelessly naive.” He raised a finger again. “That said, we must remember to pay them all due respect at all times. They command significant political power and would make terribly annoying and expensive enemies.”

“Is questioning the Imperial families not tantamount to questioning the Emperor? The families serve the Emperor directly, after all.”

“All samurai serve the Emperor.” The sensei waved dismissively at the conversation. “By that logic questioning any samurai is questioning the Emperor, but of course the Imperials have instituted such a belief purely for their own benefit despite how self-contradictory it is.” He folded his arms into his sleeves. “the important aspect of the matter is to understand how popularly held customs can be turned into weapons to use against one’s enemies. Interpretation and execution are powerful tools, and you will need to understand them all.”

“I will try, master,” the student said.

“I should hope so,” the sensei replied. “Now, let us discuss the tradition of bowing, and how it can be used to manipulate those whom you encounter.”

The Topaz Championship: Day 1 (Part 3)
Topaz Championship

August 25, 2011 18:00

“Forget everything you have been told.” – Yasuki Taka

The Test of the Topaz Champion, Day 1 (Part 3)


- Akodo Unmei has Akodo Shotako meditate upon her dishonorable actions (leaving behind her sword). While he meditates himself he is “ambushed” by a mysterious figure wearing a white gi who speaks with him regarding certain letters.

- Content Not Found: isawa-xen-gbo is invited to speak with the ominous Kuni Daimyo, Kuni Yori in his personal chambers. Yori makes subtle suggestions about the nature of corruption, the history of the Black Scrolls and hints that Isawa Tsuke might possibly be in possession of such a tainted artifact. Xen-Gbo is offered a “gift of jade” (five solid jade fingers) in order that he may test others for signs of the taint.

- Isawa Tsuke comes to visit Xen-Gbo later in the evening to discuss important matters concerning the tournament. It is Tsuke’s belief that a Phoenix can win this tournament, even if he is of gaijin blood and a shugenja – especially if he is a FIRE Tensai! He informs Xen-Gbo that he wants him to do well in both the Weapons and Iaijutsu contests and show the bushi of other clans that the Phoenix shugenja are just as powerful. To facilitate this, he invites Xen-Gbo to participate in a ritual to withdraw a from deep within Xen-Gbo’s center of chi (out of his stomach). Soul Sword (Air, Earth, Fire, Water)

- A late group of arrivals comes thundering in on Rokugani ponies later in the evening. The party consists almost entirely of Lion of the Ikoma family, but has a few others among it. Many of the men are injured and thrown over horseback or dead. In the group is Soshi Saku and his now-deceased Shiba “watcher”. The head of the group is one Ikoma Zai who announces the arrival to the waiting Crane. Saku utilizes void magic to make Zai look a fool and departs quickly to visit the Laughing Carp.


Doji Shizue’s prominent ‘mini-contest’ takes place at the The Laughing Carp.

- Shosuro Atari arrives with an entourage in tow consisting of Mirumoto Otokan, Bayushi Denbe, Akodo Unmei, and Hiruma Do. Kakita Akemi arrives and takes up a seat. Shortly after they sit, Soshi Saku arrives and is invited to sit with the courtier’s group. Not far into the evening, Atari personally invites Doji Wakao and Kakita Shino over as well. There is obvious animosity at the table between Denbe, Kakita Akemi, and Doji Wakao. There is also a tension between Kakita Shino and Mirumoto Otokan.

- Soshi Saku tells a confusing story relating to the Void (TN 15).

- Shosuro Atari relates a story/acts a play using Doji Wakao, Kakita Akemi and himself about the Scorpion and the Frog. He makes Wakao look a fool. Doji Shizue finds the entire affair delightful and says so.

- During Atari’s performance, Ikoma Zai and his entourage (including his new wife, dIkoma (Kakita) Dejiko) arrive. Immediately after the remarkable performance by Atari, Zai leaps into a story of his own utilizing his talents as an Ikoma Bard. He regales the group with the story of the Scorpion and the Lion making the Scorpion (and Atari) out to be an untrustworthy and despicable villain. His tale actually increases Atari’s own Infamy.

- Doji Shizue finishes the contest by telling the story of Ikoma and Akodo (coming up with the idea on the spot to soothe the Ikoma’s obvious anger).

- Soshi Saku utilizes his Void spell again to make Ikoma Zai tell an obviously agitated Ikoma (Kakita) Dejiko “You are my whore.”

- Dejiko flees the Laughing Carp in obvious anguish. Later, it is revealed to a select few that Dejiko committed seppuku after fleeing the Carp having been unable any longer to maintain her relationship with a husband she despises in the face of the love she once had (Atari). She leaves a message to Atari with her final haiku stating that she cannot live in a world where she is bound to a mortal enemy, bound as a hostage, without Atari. She sends a copy of both to Kakita Yoshi, the Imperial Advisor. Her seppuku is forgiven, but causes tensions to mount further between the Crane and Lion. Her death is not announced to the court and causes Ikoma Zai to spend the rest of the Tournament brooding, angry, and confused. He blames Atari and vows vengeance.

- Atari receives the news…poorly. He spends his emotions beating his attendant with his fan until she is bloody and then passes out on the floor in emotional exhaustion.

- Kakita Shino and Mirumoto Otokan duel outside of the Laughing Carp while the storytelling competition takes place. They have a Kharmic Strike (neither winning, resulting in a tie) and wound one another. Immediately after, Bayushi Goshiu steps from the shadows of the tea house and demands that, as punishment for their unsanctioned duel each refuse healing and spend the rest of the tournament with their wounds.

- Soshi Saku gifts Hiruma Do with an ornate sake cup.

Day 2: Contests!

Weapons, Perform, Courtier
- Doji Wakao and Akodo Unmei fight. Wakao wins, but is found to be using a tampered weapon without his knowledge. The fight is declared a tie and all tampered weapons are confiscated. The Asahina heal Unmei.

- Shosuro Atari attempts to use “courtier techniques” in the Weapons competition. Judge Matsu Tsuko refuses to allow him to compete in this way and when Kakita Yoshi calls her out she declares that she will not allow the travesty. Yoshi allows it and causes a bigger rift between the Lion and Crane. Atari pens an ornate scroll and sets it before Ikoma Zai, his true enemy. He loses all points for the contest, but a point is made before all.

Experience: 8 (+previous game 16xp): 24 Total
Glory: Shosuro Atari(gains 2 boxes Glory for his Sumai duel, 3 boxes for his tournament courtier experiences thus far, 2 boxes for the Story at the final contest).
Glory: Unmei gains 5 boxes of Glory for his place as Second to Kitsu Konoko’s seppuku.
Glory: Togashi Gohan receives 4 boxes of Glory for his good showing on the first day.
Allies: Remind me about these later.

The Topaz Championship: Day 1 (Part 2)

August 18, 2011 18:00

“On the battlefield, all actions are honorable.” – from Akodo’s Leadership

The Test of the Topaz Champion, Day 1 (Part 2)

Tests and Trickery

Akodo Unmei notices interactions between Bayushi Denbe and Shosuro Atari concerning Doji Wakao. He realizes that the Scorpion are focused on the Doji Magistrate for some reason and aided in causing Doji Wakao to lose face in his Sumai match against Unmei.
– Unmei learns from Akodo Shotako that Doji Wakao’s Akodo Blade was given to him by a grandfather that fought alongside the Akodo many years ago.

- Shosuro Atari’s attendant “cuts him” with the Shosuro Courtier’s wakizashi when he is disrobing to start the Sumai match. He is cuffed and reprimanded for his actions. Atari continues to compete, showing himself “honorable” in the face of adversity. He loses the duel to Togashi Gohan but makes a show of being a “martyr” in the fight. He is granted 1 pt in the fight instead of losing outright for his efforts. - This causes a rumor to start that Togashi Gohan beats up on the weak. - Isawa Xen-Gbo beats Agasha Gojinka easily in Sumai and notices that she is heavily imbalanced in her elemental makeup. She favors Earth strongly and is exceptionally weak and dangerous in Fire.

*Interlude (Sumai and Athletics): *
- Akodo Unmei is given a ciphered message from Akodo Kage that has powdered crystal remnants within it.

Shosuro Atari Intimidates the stalwart Hiruma Do into throwing the Athletics competition. During the match, they encounter vipers (later, Isawa Xen-Gbo discovers that these vipers are native ONLY to southern Crane territory – Daidoji provinces – and must have been imported) and the Hiruma pushes Atari out of the way. Atari briefly considers helping, but instead takes advantage of the situation, wins the match and THEN collects Daidoji to help the poor Hiruma. Atari sends a message to his Otomo cousins regarding the situation.

Kitsu Konoko mysteriously defeats Doji Wakao, a trained rider, easily in this contest. Later, Isawa Tsuke calls out the Kitsu for cheating – she utilized her Kitsu magic to get in touch with her ancestors and handicapped Wakao. She acknowledges the treachery and Matsu Tsuko demands immediate seppuku. Akodo Kage nods in heavy reluctance. Akodo Unmei serves as the Kitsu’s second and does her great justice.


Second Interlude (at the start of the Law, Etiquette, and Bushido contest):
- Unmei finds Akodo Shotako huddled in an alleyway and later learns that she has misplaced her katana. She was invited into the residence of Miya Satoshi and was so overwhelmed that when she left, she left behind her sword. She is distraught. Her emotional state is noticed by Atari and he “offers to help” by distracting the court with a story of honor about Hiruma Do’s actions at the Athletics contest earlier that day. Hiruma Do is uplifted in the eyes of the court. While this occurs, Atari sends his attendant to Satoshi’s home to retrieve the blade covertly. Upon success, Shotako realizes that she owes the Scorpion. However, Unmei declares this is not so – HE owes the Scorpion and she owes him (Unmei).

- Akodo Unmei receives a message from Doji Wakao of an insulting nature that includes a copy of Tangen’s Lies – a treatise directly in opposition to Akodo’s Leadership.

- Other messages are received.

- Akodo Unmei declares publicly that he believes there is a conspiracy against the LION (which most believe to be the Crane’s influence anyway and Shosuro Atari seeds Gossip with 2 Raises that Doji Wakao is responsible).

Experience: 10 (+previous game 6xp): 16 Total
Glory: Shosuro Atari(gains 2 boxes Glory for his Sumai duel, 3 boxes for his tournament courtier experiences thus far, 2 boxes for the Story at the final contest).
Glory: Unmei gains 5 boxes of Glory for his place as Second to Kitsu Konoko’s seppuku.
Glory: Togashi Gohan receives 4 boxes of Glory for his good showing on the first day.

The Topaz Championship Day 1, Part 1
Topaz Championship

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – The Tao of Shinsei

The Test of the Topaz Champion, Day 1 (Part 1)

“Can you believe that we were once the same as these students, Yoshi-sama? Full of hope, proud, and even nervous?”

“Honored Sensei, do you mean to imply that you have lost those traits in the intervening years between now and then? I would be gravely upset to know that you had lost hope, refuse to believe that your pride has fled you, and be surprised indeed if you did not ever feel the nervous giddiness prior to the flowering of possibility.”

“Yoshi-sama, as always, your words express the truth of the matter. Perhaps I am becoming cynical and merely hope that these young students are able to draw forth from my aged and decrepit mind a glimmer of optimism. Let these games begin.”
- Akodo Kage to Kakita Yoshi prior to the start of the Topaz Championship

The characters are young samurai who are about to be tested before undergoing their gempukku ceremony, after which they will be symbolically awarded their daisho, signifying their status as adult samurai.

Arrival in Tsuma
Although there are those who would dispute such a claim, the vast majority of samurai regard the Topaz Championship as the most prestigious gempukku ceremony in the Empire. The ceremony is open to any who wish to attend, but the Great Clans tend to be very selective in determining who represents them at the Championship. To permit just anyone to enter the contest would risk embarrassment, and no Great Clan would risk such a thing in front of their Crane hosts. Minor Clan samurai and ronin candidates require a Great Clan sponsor to be admitted to the competition. The Topaz Championship has been held in the Kakita town of Tsuma for centuries, at one of the largest dojo for the Kakita Dueling Academy.
Competitors typically arrive in Tsuma by land. There is a river that passes through the city, and it does connect to the coast eventually, but it is relatively shallow and quite difficult to navigate. In previous years, the Imperial Barge would make the trek, but the river is rarely used by anyone other than the Crane. Two major roads cross the city, one east-west, leading toward the Dragon and Seppun holdings, and the other southwest-northeast, leading to Lion lands and Phoenix lands. Both roads are heavily patrolled by Doji magistrates, and anyone arriving for the contest will likely have met several patrols during their travels.
Although Tsuma has grown much larger than most descriptions of it in literature and folklore, it is still a relatively small city, little more than a large village. There are no formal embassies maintained by other clans, since most only have business within the city once per year, so the characters probably stay in an inn. The inn, like the city, is extremely crowded during this time of year.

Upon Arrival:

Akodo Unmei was harried by Daidoji guards and various members of the Crane. He convinced some of his fellow Lion to allow the mocking to continue to such an extent as to cause the Crane to be obviously dishonoring themselves for their show of disrespect.

Content Not Found: isawa-xen-gbo ventured to Medinaat-al-salaam and spoke with the proprietor Ide Imizu. Offered a gift of a bu (1 silver; 1/5 koku) in exchange for an unusual small rug from far-off lands. “Blessings be upon you.”

Shosuro Atari and attendant Tokuguru Mokato (female; Shosuro Vassal Family) quickly learn information regarding Doji Wakao, Bayushi Denbe and Kakita Akemi (whose father is a Kenshinzen – Kakita Iaijutsu Master – and instructor at the Dueling Academy). He also learns of and is invited to a Storytelling contest held the first evening at The Laughing Carp by Doji Shizue (invitation offered by Doji Akai, Crane Courtier). Acquits himself as friendly to the Crane and even converses with Kakita Yoshi

Togashi Gohan is challenged by Togashi Mitsu to out drink as many Crab as he can during the tournament. He encounters Hida Jiten (Bushi), Kuni Yozai (Witch-Hunter), Hiruma Do (contestant), and Yasuki Irei (female courtier) and challenges them. He successfully defeats the Witch-Hunter in a test of Alcohol.

Day 1 of the Tournament

Akodo Unmei makes Doji Wakao look like an idiot in Sumai. Bayushi Denbe is pleased at this turn of events and with Shosuro Atari. Unmei also declares his intention to take Wakao’s undeserved Akodo Blade from him. Kakita Akemi looks on with disfavor at Wakao’s dishonorable behavior.

Awards for Session:
Experience: 6xp
Glory: 2 boxes for Shosuro Atari (Sumai Match)


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