Legends of Rokugan

The Topaz Contestants

Steel Empire: The Topaz Championship

Topaz Contestants

Topaz championship

Contestants by Clan

CRAB

Hiruma Tsai, Pragmatist (Jeremiah Sager)

Hiruma

More detailed information for Tsai located on the Character page.

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The Way of War

Matsu Tadaka absconds with a massive fortune pilfered fro the Imperial taxes. Along with the regalia of the Emerald Champion, Tomoe’s Memento, and the Ancestral Sword of the Lion.

Tadaka swears fealty to Yoritomo under the assumed identity of the ronin Tako.

Yoritomo assigns Tako to lead the Mantis mercenaries tk aid the Crane against the Matsu army. Yoritomo gives Tako specific instructions that he is to spare none of the Lion’s tactical secrets in aiding the Crane.

Hoturi recognizes Tadaka easily and refuses to name him as Rikugunshokan of the Crane armies. Tadaka is assigned to report directly to Daidoji Uji.

Daidoji Uji uses Tadaka’s knowledge of Matsu tactics andthe particular styles of Tsuko, Gohei, and Agetoki to effectively blunt every major Matsu assault.

Tadaka kills Matsu Agetoki on the battlefield to conceal his identity from the Matsu command. Rumors spread among the Lion that a giant berserker fights among the Crane.

Tsuko offers a bounty of a promotion to full kuge status to any soldier in the of the Lion army (of any status) who can kill or capture the warrior, whom she suspects to be her wayward cousin.

Tsuko marches her army north to engage Toturi’s traitorous ronin legion. Gohei is badly over matched and begins to lose ground to the Crane.

Hoturi disappears after being wounded in battle by Gohei himself, Gohei is also injured but less so. Nevertheless the Crane counteroffensive begins to gain momentum in his absence.

Bayushi Kachiko orders Aramoro to send his shinobi to capture Tadaka intending to use the Egg of Pan Ku to create a doppelganger to wreck havoc among the Crane army. Kachiko forbids Aramoro to take part in the assault. Atari’s involvement is unknown.

The attack fails but decimates the Mantis armies. Kachiko instead completes the ritual upon the captured Doji Hoturi.

Without the support of the Mantis Daidoji Uji is forced to split his forces to the south to counter a reported attack on the Asahina by Doji Hoturi at the head of an army of shadowlands madmen and to the north tk support Toturi against the Lion.

Tadaka leaves the Mantis army tk recuperate under (mantis guy) and journeys along to a hidden temple in the Spine of the World.

Tadaka goes to meet with his mother Jun Yi. A former commander of the Lion’s Pride and sensei of Matsu Tsuko.

A small man meets with Tadaka at an inn.

Jun Yi reveals the secrets of Tadaka’s birth to him.

Jun Yi was a celibate samurai-ko and hero of the Lion’s Pride who stained her honor from a dalliance with an unnamed ronin. She was quietly married to Matsu Shotaku, the karo of Akodo Arasou (who had recently died in the assault that claimed the champion-to-be’s life) after the birth of Tadaka, Jun Yi retired to the World’s End Dojo and Tadaka was raised alongside Gohei by Tsuko’s parents.

Jun Gi reveals for the first time that Tadaka’s true father was none other than Osono-Wo the fortune of Thunder himself.

Tadaka begs Jun Yi to mobilize the sohei under his command against the Emperor himself. Jun Yi agrees under two conditions.

Tadaka surrenders the Ancestral Sword of the Lion to Jun Yi and his first born shall be fostered to Gohei’s wife to be raised as a proper Matsu.

Tadaka joins his force of sohei (retired samurai-ko of the Lion’s Pride) with the replenished Mantis force now led by Yoritomo himself and sails for Otosan Uchi.

Tadaka arrives upon the battlefield in the midst of the Matsu vs. matsu slaughter in full regalia flying the banner of the Emerald Champion and demands control of the Imperial Legions from Shijo Usuia.

The Day of Thunder happens.

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Upcoming

Upcoming Act III shall be titled: The Hard Six

The upcoming encounter at Kyuden Togashi, the High House of Light, shall be titled: Welcome to the Madhouse

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Interlude: The Puzzle
What Love has Wrought...

Wisps of steam curled up from the delicate tea cup Ikoma Illya had set upon the low table before her into the cool air of the morning. The year was growing pregnant with the threat of winter, and soon Toturi the Black lion would seek shelter for his army of cast off samurai and other allies. “Perhaps Toturi will call them back…perhaps…he will return to my arms…”

Feeling her face flush with evidence of visible emotion, the historian picked up her courtier’s fan from the stand it occupied next to her and used it to indicate her cup for the attendant kneeling in the corner to fill. The servant quickly moved forward averting her eyes discreetly so as not to suggest attention to her mistress’ indiscretion. Illya quickly brought the fragile vessel to her lips and let it linger momentarily, the fresh warm vapors of the oolong tea providing a cover for her cherry blossomed cheeks.

Recovering her composure as the attendant returned submissively to her corner of the tent, the influence of her longing brought Illya’s gaze to…the box.

Tajiri had left it for her as he departed with the rest of the Shiroi Hayabusa-The Black Falcons-on a mission he could not, or would not, speak of. Immobile in the grasp of the memory of that morning, the swirls of vapor from the cup still held to her mouth drifted up and into her eyes, surely forcing the waters that began to fill them…

“I leave this for you, my love.” Tajiri whispered into her ear as he lay beside her, and rolled to one side.

She raised herself upon one elbow, peering over his muscled shoulder inked with the blood of a dragon into an image of swirling clouds. Following the gaze of his eyes peering from between the claws of the scorpion tattooed upon his face, Illya saw a lacquered box resting on the ground next to their bed. Its surface was intricately carved on all sides as well as the lid with images…a Scorpion bushi, swirling shadowy tendrils, a falcon and several others. Five symbols…each one of the sacred elements…stood out however, in baas relief. The symbol of the Void held the position on the lid, while Fire, Earth, Air and Water each claimed one of the sides.

Gently grazing her lover’s shoulder with her lips, the Lion bard cascaded her discerning gaze across the object, noting the conspicuous absence of hinges, hasp, or even seams.
Tajiri reached up to his elbow where her delicate fingers rested and pulled her arm around him. Illya’s lips escaped the monk’s clouds and she rested her chin upon them instead, her bright eyes still fixed upon the box as her dark black hair chased strands of itself across his chest and neck as it fell.

“I see no way to open it, my wise and canny lord…”Illya said, a warm and happy smile upon her lips as she mischievously traced the tattooed swirls of air currents from one clouded shoulder to the other with her now-free hand.

Tajiri’s fingers found their way from her hand to wind through the tousled ebon locks upon him

“Solve the puzzles, the riddles of the elements, and you will find inside a gift I have made for you. When the time is right, you will know what to do with it.”

With that statement, the ise zumi rose abruptly from their tatami mat bed, the covers falling from his lean but strong frame. He stood with his back to Illya, a large tattoo of a spider between his shoulder blades, two legs extending up the sides of his neck, two across his ribs, and two each across the backs of his arms and legs. The monk’s departure from their bed left Illya’s own body exposed…small perfect breasts now hidden by long black hair that hung down to a narrow waist attached to shapely hips only partially hidden by the scattered blankets. Startled by this strange move, Illya stared, almost hurt inwardly by the abandonment, as she slowly pulled the edge of the blanket up over her bosom…her eyes fixed on Tajiri’s rigid form.

“What is…”

Illya’s question was silenced by the rush of wind in the room as Tajiri suddenly acted. The clouds on his shoulders swirled, and the lines of wind between them roiled. With movements as precise as they were swift, the monk dressed himself and had gathered his satchel across his bear chest. Before her hair had settled, Tajiri stood before his love’s startled face.

“Your name is Illya Ikoma, and I love you.”

With that, Tajiri cupped her face with his hands and kissed her long and deeply. As he pulled his lips away, a chill from Tajiri’s right hand…the one transformed into purest crystal…invaded her blood and carried that coldness straight to her heart. Closing her eyes, she knew that he was gone as the air recoiled from his movements, the sounds of papers fluttering to the floor from her records…

A long moment passed before she opened her eyes, and in that interim the chill in her heart had not faded.

Confused and saddened, she could only punctuate Tajiri’s absence by whispering to nothing…

“Bondai’s words…”

Illya’s reverie was broken by the movements of her attendant. She still held the steaming cup to her lips in both hands.Kneeling, head down, the young girl offered a clean linen raised above her head to Illya. At first confused, the historian then realized her face had grown wet.

“The dew from my lady’s cup has gathered upon her face.” The attendant said.

A weak smile came to Illya’s round face. Her servant’s discretion would be rewarded.

“You may take leave to pursue your personal affairs for the hour.” Illya said as she took the silken linen and began to dab her face.

“Hai! My lady!” the attendant said as she touched her forehead to the ground and quickly rose and moved out the door of the tent.

Setting her cup down and clutching linen and fan in one hand, Illya moved before the box and kneeled before it. Each morning she devoted one hour to its mysteries. Most mornings met with frustration and disappointment. Even if one symbol was unlocked, a mistake made in the solving of the next would reset the previous symbols and all would have to begin again. On this morning, Illya began with four victories…Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Only Void remained unchallenged. Illya sat and merely stared at the raised symbol for nearly the entire hour. Finally it occurred to her…This was the symbol of Void. The solution to solving it simply required…

As the last minute of the hour passed into forever ago, Illya had done…nothing.

Ikoma Illya smiled as the soft sound of a click came to her ears…

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Act II and III: Embraced by Beiden Pass and Choices and Consequences [Toturi's Army Game]

The Clan War Game: Toturi’s Army

Act II: Embraced by Beiden Pass

Hosoku (Bayushi Ishiwari) Abbot of the Temple of Tengen, Fortune of Literature and Writing and Secret Abbot of the Temple of Muzaka, Fortune of Enigmas

Former scorpion monk

Game XIII

Date: 9AUG2012
Players: Chris Hand (Storyteller); Bobby Turman (Togashi Tajiri); Kyle Carroll (Isawa Akihito); Jeremiah Sager (O-Yama)

“When ten thousand men clash with arms and fire, it is always a single man’s actions that make the difference.” – The Tao of Shinsei

Chapter II: Embraced by Beiden Pass

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Act II: Embraced by Beiden Pass [Toturi's Army Game]

The Clan War Game: Toturi’s Army

Act II: Embraced by Beiden Pass

Hida Sasaki, Taisa of the 5th Crab Legion, 1st Army

Hida sasaki

Game IX

Date: 24MAY2012
Players: Chris Hand (Storyteller); Bobby Turman (Togashi Tajiri); Kyle Carroll (Isawa Akihito); Jeremiah Sager (O-Yama); Eric Samuels (Matsu Jirou); Logan Turman (Shinoda)

“It will be the return of an ancient hero that marks their doom. He will destroy the Crab Clan and everything for which they have fought.” – The Prophesies of Uikku

Chapter II: Embraced by Beiden Pass

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Prologue: Watashitachi no Kako no Akuma (The Demons of Our Past) [Toturi's Army Game]

The Clan War Game: Toturi’s Army

Act I: Watashitachi no Kako no Akuma (The Demons of Our Past)

Toturi

Toturi

Game I

Date: 4APR2012
Players: Chris Hand (Storyteller); Bobby Turman (Togashi Tajiri); Kyle Carroll (Isawa Akihito); Jeremiah Sager (O-Yama); Eric Samuels (Bondai)

“Samurai gain glory, and Shugenja wisdom, but what do the people gain from this war?” — Toturi

Out of Character

  • Discussed new rules (Karma Points, Called Shots, Spell Rules)
  • Reviewed character backgrounds and bios

In Game

  • In Media Res:
    - Started combat in the middle of winter warfare. PC’s were on a mountainside, middle of winter, close to nightfall, wind whipping about and fire burning low. A long, sheer drop fell to one side and a cave spewed forth Mountain Goblins. Players were assaulted by a concerted effort of Mountain Goblins, traitor Ronin (including some of their own number – the Frog Killers), an Ogre, a Maho-Tsukai, and an unknown Shadow Panther.
    - PC’s defeated all enemies and managed to keep two of the traitors ronin alive (Chosokabe and Ujutzen)
    - Learned Chosokabe’s Otokodate leader (Frog Killer Tasai Azai Nagamasa)
    - Discovered koku bearing the Imperial mon and Scorpion mon
    - Discovered the symbol of Oni no Akuma on the Free Ogre
    - PC’s retrieve suitable weapons and armor to return to Mura Kendo (Swordsman Village) – village hetman (Masanori); return to the Great Climb and Toturi’s Army with the traitorous Frog Killers in tow

Rewards listed in Rewards Wiki.

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Snippets from the Empire Background Information
Snippets, background, story

Former PC Storylines

Tako (Matsu Tadaka)

• Maintains the position of Emerald Champion for nearly 2 years after the fall of Hantei XXXVIII.
o During this time, Tadaka is convinced to make Shinjo Usuia the First Magistrate to the Emerald Champion (hatamoto). Usuia has a history with the various PC’s from the Kyuden Seppun: Winter Court events in which Isawa Ujina-uo defeated him in an Iaijutsu Duel and prevented the Unicorn from seeking the Emerald Championship itself.
o Usuia gains Obligation (-6) to Atari for his new position.
o Also, during Tadaka’s reign, he appoints Atari to a new position as Imperial Treasurer. Atari maintains his title as Voice of the Emperor, for now, but pressure is beginning to build for him to give up one of the roles.
o Tadaka declares that the Imperial Treasurer’s holdings (Atari’s various Tea Houses and new estates within the old Shosuro lands) are exempt from taxation as honored housing locations for the Imperial Line.

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Absolute Power [An L5R Story by Christopher Hand]

Snippets from the Empire

Absolute Power

There is blood everywhere. Bodies lay cut open, entrails steam upon the cold ground, and limbs sliced free lay scattered about in haphazard fashion. The mon of the Hare Clan glares up from the torsos in angry admonishment and no few Imperial laurel leafs offer their own sympathetic calls. And the baby will not stop screaming.

The ronin, Tako, stands amidst the fallen forms of men dressed in Imperial regalia and Usagi House Guard alike. He looks down coldly, eyes steeled long ago to be unflinching at the sheer magnitude of the violence. Blood drips from his mempo, dries upon his forehead and fills the air with its rich, coppery scent. Tako examines each form, taking in every death and owning it, even though not all fell to his blade. The ronin feels the weight of honor upon his soul pressing down, heavy and burdensome, but refuses to regret. Regret is weakness. His is the road of decisive action.

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