The Beginning of the End

Game 7: The Beginning of the End

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Game 7

Experience and Rewards

  • Raise a Trait from 2 to 3
  • Kinotu gains +0.3 Shadowlands Taint for casting ML 4 Maho Spell
  • Kinotu loses Honor for Being accomplice to a minor crime [murdering an eta for the spell] (-0.1) and Use of a Low Skill (-0.1)

Honor and Glory
Ejio

  • Glory Loss (downtime): -1.5
    Kinotu
  • Glory Loss (downtime): -1.7
    Spectre
  • Glory Loss (downtime): -1.7
    Koutetsu
  • Glory Loss (downtime): -1.5

Downtime Notes

Pregnant Scorpions
Doji Ejio began created little pregnant scorpion statues and spreading them about with the phrase “You never know what will come out of a Scorpion.” This is an effort to counteract the effects of the Scorpion slander machine.

Akedare’s Acting Troupe
Bayushi Akedare revealed his acting troup, the Silver Orchid, which operates primarily out of Shosuro’s Tear.

The New Heavenly Message
The cult appears to have dropped off the radar since Usagi Kinotu’s deal. The murder rate in the Juramashi dropped considerably over the past two months.

The Dark Passage
The PCs create (Ejio) and placed a statue of Inari in the Dark Passage in order to return the blessings of the Fortune of Rice upon the ruined fields. Unknown to the other PCs, Usagi Kinotu orchestrated this to happen concurrently with his use of a maho spell which renewed the land with the blood of others. A shugenja, Kitsu Okura, was brought in to bless the fields (the touch of the kansen may have dark ramifications upon Okura in the future).

Metallurgy and Agasha Hiroshi
Agasha Hiroshi finally came through for Doji Ejio and offered a new specialized style of metallurgy that could work in conjunction with the Ashidaka smithing style. It is unique to the Ashidaka method and requires an alchemical siver to go along the blade during the processing to speed up the process. Hiroshi granted 5 vials to start. Each vial can be used on one blade and decreases the time needed to make a blade by 1 week per Insight Rank of the craftsman.

Out of Character Notes

  • Date: 19 JUL 2015
  • Year 1113, Month of the Doji/Goat (Aug), Day 14
    (Approximately two months since previous game)

In Character Events

*Year 1113, Month of the Doji/Goat (Aug), Day 22
(Roughly 2 months Since Previous)

The Preview: Under a Blood Moon (Chi-Tsuki)
They were everywhere. They pressed into Spectre from all sides, an endless mass of arms and hands and stinking breath. They called out to him in fear and filthy need. Hundreds, no thousands! He shoved forward, shouldering through them all. It felt like fighting against a tidal pull. The ronin charged the wave in what he felt was a vain attempt to reach his goal: to end this terror. He looked up into the open sky, not a cloud present, and saw the blood moon staring back.

The blood-red light sliced through sword stands against the open window. Ashidaka Koutetsu felt a heat pouring forth from that moon and the weight of horrid duty. All around him the one-hundred-ninety-nine blades lay scattered across the tatami floor. In the center, a box upon a body.

Usagi Kinotu’s lungs felt like they were on fire. He leaped from one roof to the next sliding down clay tiles. His breath came heavy, his body ached with the pain of running. He leaped again kicking off a wall, running sideways over an open alleyway. He landed wrong and twisted his knee. In his head the voice laughed and laughed and laughed. He turned and saw a puddle of water and looked down at his own reflection. A plain white mask stared back up at him, the blood moon framed in the background.

The lake rippled before Doji Ejio and for a moment he could see a face, an empty white face with a burning red halo. Then, the water lapped at the shore and the vision was broken. He smelled the dusky stone and watery mix of the underground lake. He took it all in without the blindfold. Behind him, waiting for him to turn, she stood. Destiny stood. A slithering sound of flesh across rough rocks sent a shiver of fear up his body and he turned.

The Kurotema Scenes
Note: These scenes took place over the course of the games. They are all listed here for convenience.

(Ejio): “The Emperor has requested my recommendation on whether to allow you to push for the Turquoise Championship. I have his ear in this matter. If I were to speak negatively, I may not be able to prevent the tournament – but I am certain I could prevent you from being invited as a contestant. Perhaps instead as a judge…”
“I don’t see the value in that, however. I see value in aiding you in the ascension of that post.”
Ejio and Kurotema come to an agreement.

(KInotu): “I know where your heirlooms are located. They are in the Forbidden City. If you follow me, you will be given the chance to find them. If you don’t, I will ensure that you never see them again.”
Kinotu proves willing to aid Kurotema for return of the blades.

(Koutetsu): Detailed in Part 2.

Sabotage in the Dark Passage
At first the Untethered Goat otokodate failed to respond to the PC’s trap. It was there hope that the ronin band would come to deface the statue of Inari. After nearly two months, when security around the statue had become more lax, the Untethered Goat pushed sabotage into the Dark Passage. The PCs were ordered to investigate mid-afternoon of the night of the Blood Moon.

The Untethered Goat hired peasants from outside the region, ronin, and came themselves into the Dark Passage. At first, they created a diversion that drew Kinotu away leaving only Spectre and Koutetsu at the Shrine to defend it. Before Kinotu could return, an ambush led by the Crimson Mountain Oni (Oyami) and Satouru, the Bitter, assaulted the Shrine to Inari. The group was disguised as peasants in basket hats trying to salt the earth of the Dark Passage.

The two swordsmen held off all attacks upon the shrine and turned back every blade meant to deface the structure. As they began to get overwhelmed, Usagi Kinotu returned. The Hare sneaked up behind the Crimson Mountain Oni and cut his throat. Then, he turned upon the ranged attacks of Satouru, chased, and cut him down.

The Artisan Split (Ejio)
Kakita Rishoma, the poet from the Night of 100 Candles, came to Doji Ejio to offer information regarding the split of the artisan group that Ejio created. He tells Ejio that Bayushi Akedare is using every method at his disposal to pull some of the artisans from Ejio’s “court” to create a rival group in power. Rishoma suggests that if Ejio promises to reward him (as the son of the Crane Champion) (Obligation 3) with wealth and resources, he (Rishoma) will quietly infiltrate Akedare’s rival artisan “court” and feed Ejio information.

Ejio agreed to Rishoma’s offer and was able to determine via Investigation that the poet’s primary motivations seem to be based upon greed.

Spreading Out

The Voice whispered violent urges for Kinotu to speak to Osai immediately. The Hare departed to visit his friend.

Old Geshiki summoned Koutetsu to her shop about Chi-Yomi.

Spectre spoke to Ichita’s Boys about the Untethered Goat’s possible plans.

The Killer in Me is the Killer in You (Kinotu)

Part 1: Chasing Osai

In the first part of this scene Usagi Kinotu was confronted by Osai. “I was once Hiruma, my friend. I can recognize the signs.” The monk blew jade dust upon the Hare causing pain and the revelation of the Taint. The Voice in Kinotu’s mind immediately yelled at him to kill Osai. For his part, the monk Osai turned and ran, not knowing what powers Kintou might have.

The Chase required endurance, speed, and no small measure of agility. Eventually, the two ended up passing the Temple of the Dark Moon, racing across rooftops, and ending up in Tenari’s Ruins. Kinotu caught Osai before he could escape and brought him to a special, hidden room that the Voice guided him to, below the Ruins.

It All Comes Crashing Down (Koutetsu)
Part 1: Murabai

Near dusk, Ashidaka Koutetsu arrived at the house of Old Geshiki who seemed concerned about Kakita Chi-Yomi. Seppun visited upon her that day and then Chi-Yomi gave Old Geshiki something to give to Koutetsu. “She asked me to give this to you,” Old Geshiki said as she handed over all the deeds to Chi-Yomi’s properties and estates. Each was turned over to the care of Koutetsu.

Mechanics Note: Ashidaka Koutetsu is sole sole proprietor of Chi-Yomi’s Forge. Gentry (Unique Holding) (Forge)

_Koutetsu arrived at Chi-Yomi’s home to see it in chaos. Light slid through the slats in the walls and mixed with the light of the rising Blood Moon to spatter down upon Seppun Kossori’s body, dozens of scattered weapons, and a missing Twilight Blade. Chi-Yomi’s broken Kakita Blade rested in a box atop Kossori’s body with a message: "I can take it no longer. Come find me and let me give you one last gift. I will see you in the home of flickering lights and candles.”

Before Koutetsu could leave, a shadowy figure moved out from the walls to reveal himself. The man was obviously an assassin waiting to kill Koutetsu with one of the blade and blame the matter upon Chi-Yomi. For some reason, the assassin chose instead to reveal himself, bow out, and depart, leaving Koutetsu to his misery.

Ayami’s Betrayal (Ejio)
Soshi Ayami requested to meet in private with Doji Ejio on the matter of their child. She revealed to Ejio that the pregnancy was a happy coincidence and that Bayushi Akedare is forcing her to use it for Scorpion advantage. Ayami is a true friend to Ejio, but her first loyalty is to the Scorpion.

Ayami further revealed that Togashi Mirashi, the singing ise zumi, is a child of Scorpion parentage as well. Mirashi has spoken at length on his belief that conflict inspires greatness. He sees Ejio as attempting to accomplish a destiny in gathering the artisans of Otosan Uchi into a political group. Mirashi does not think they can achieve their true potential unless they have opposition and the greatest opposition would be themselves.

Mirashi has spoken at length to Akedare on this matter and the Bayushi is taking advantage of the situation to use Mirashi to leverage the artisans into two “courts.”

Ayami assures Ejio that the child is his and departs.

The Syndicate Assassin (Ejio)

A Seppun Emerald Magistrate asked to meet with Ejio in private about Kurotema (suggesting that he has dirt on Kurotema). In the course of a particularly visceral conversation, the Seppun revealed that he was secretly hired by the Sentaku Syndicate to kill Ejio and to make it look like Kurotema was responsible. Ejio stalled for time giving signs for aid. Eventually, as the Seppun rose to attack Ejio, the ronin Simple appeared from the shadows to defend the Doji.

In the course of the conversation Ejio saw Simple appear on one side of the Seppun and, just as the man was turning to defend himself, the ronin vanished, only to reappear behind the Seppun’s own shadow. Simple destroyed the Seppun in the darkness and then gathered Doji Ejio into a secret passage, taking him down into the tunnels without a blindfold and to Ide Tenseko’s island home.

The Stinking Press of Bodies (Spectre)
The ronin Spectre spoke with Ichita’s Boys on the matter of the Untethered Goat at the Library.

“I have my ways of knowing things. You might want to check the statues at the Outer Wall. Someone has been tampering…making it look like Kaiu Metsumoto is doing it, too.” The ronin Ichita revealed that someone has been placing gunpowder in the Outer Wall.

Note: The following did not happen in game, but would have occurred if Charlie had been able to play.

The Untethered Goat set fire to the Dark Passage and as Spectre and his subordinates went to respond, they ambushed the ronin. They also spread fires in other parts of the Lower Juramashi all near the Outer Wall. The attackers were seen near the Headman’s Home and as Spectre raced there to save his heimin friend, the leader of the Untethered Goat and her remaining otokodate attacked.

Spectre defeated the remaining otokodate, but afterwards Governor Metsumoto’s yoriki came to arrest the Headman’s Daughter with suspicions that she had secretly been leading the riots. The men told Spectre that the girl would be executed publicly.

The Beginning of the End

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