Legend of the Five Rings: Suikoden
Start of the Ebi Mura Campaign
- Emerald Magistrates Daidoji Toru, Matsu Ryu, Otonashi and ally Inu travel at the request of the Emerald Champion to Ebi Mura. Ebi Mura is a large fishing village located in the Broken Lands; a neutral territory that was once contested for rule by the Crane and Crab Clans. Their mission was to investigate the murder of two members Emerald Magistrate office.
- The Investigation was led by Emerald Magistrate Kitsuki Danamo, who the heroes were assigned to for the course of this investigation. They would then learn of an additional aid, Mirumoto Toshiro; who’s cousin was Mirumoto Katau was the first Emerald Magistrate victim of the chain of murders.
- The Heroes arrived in Ebi Mura to see stacks of smoke rising from the docks; an ominous start to their time in Ebi Mura. Spending some time fighting the fire, the heroes thought they should investigate this as well. Rumor had it that this fire was caused by pirates who had come ashore to steal from the merchants. Following the rumor, they met with a Tortoise Clan sailor named Hyobe who referenced a recent encounter with the Dread Pirate King in nearby waters.
- Mirumoto Toshiro and Otonashi were quick to investigate the body of Yoriki Isawa Noroku. The heroes of the Topaz Tournament would recognize her name as one of the Topaz contestants. She was serving as deputy to her brother; to the most recent murder victim, Emerald Magistrate Isawa Oruko. Mirumoto Toshiro recognized that the blade that carved into the deputy was poisoned and the poison should have killed her a long time ago. At that point a green glow filled the room, blinding everyone as the Dragon Rune shifted from Isawa Noroku to Mirumoto Toshiro. Toshiro became the new carrier of the Dragon Rune.
- The others went to investigate further into the Pirates at a local noodle shop, settling a conflict with the spill of blood. After the Ronin were defeated, Daidoji Toru and Inu traveled to the Eternal Magistrate Yashiki; the large estate for Emerald Magistrates located right in Ebi Mura. This would be their home base during the investigation, and they spent time getting familiar with the Ashigaru guard and servant; Saizo.
- The first evening was spent reacquainting with the Topaz contestant and cousin of Inu, Hida Fujizaka. “Fuj” as the players referred to him, was recently assigned as the Crab Clan Ambassador assigned to the Broken Lands. Fujizaka even renamed the place Fujizaka-Yashiki. Fujizaka had gained a great deal of weight and gave off the impression of a failure at life. He had given way to the pleasures of life; alcohol, food and women and all three were present in full. Inu called Fujizaka out on his failures, right in his own home, which would send the heroes out the way they came in rather quickly.
- Inu hears a voice in his head that stirs him from sleep. It is a woman’s voice, and she’s pleading for rescue from Sulphur Island. In a room nearby, Matsu Ryu has a nightmare of being a young boy chased by a wolf. Ryu wakes to find a strange mark on his neck like a bite mark.
Rescue at Sulfur Island
- The next day the group checked in with the Ebi Family, the Ronin family that acts as steward over Ebi Mura. The young Ebi Hoshen, just past his Gempukku seems very pleasant and sincerely happy to see the Magistrates, while his uncle Dapu acts too busy to respect them properly, from all the chaos going on in and around the city. Matsu Ryu inquires with the Master at Arms of the city, Akodo Sentanbi; about the location of Sulphur Island and is told that it is not far from the docks of Ebi Mura.
- The heroes met up with the Tortoise Sailor Hyobe once more who agrees to sail them to Sulphur Island. The voice in Inu’s head seems to notice him close and gives directions up a volcanic mountainside. The woman’s voice warns to be quiet, as not to disturb her captive. When they reach the destination, they find a beautifully crafted No-dachi sword. The sword is the source of the call. Inu was sceptical about taking the sword, but he decided to in the end. The sword was the Star Dragon Sword, the active formation of the Night Rune. The Star Dragon Sword’s previous keeper had stolen it long ago and brought it to the island to guard it carefully, as the sword granted immortality. The sword warned the others immediately “run”. The heroes fled the island with an ancient Lesser Dragon Obushu. As they neared the ship below, Mirumoto Toshiro became aware of his Dragon Rune’s ability to manipulate the minds of dragons, and used it to steer the dragon into the mountainside. The heroes escaped the island with no casualties, but they did suffer in the process.
The Stars of Destiny Revealed
- The heroes spent the night on the ship and arrived early morning back at the docks of Ebi Mura. Hida Fujizaka was there to greet them upon their return. He was sober and appeared to be bathed, a step in the right direction for Fujizaka. Upon arriving at Eternal Magistrate Yashiki, they found that the head of this investigation had finally arrived; and he was not alone. The lead Magistrate was a Dragon Clansmen by the name of Kitsuki Danamo, and his yoriki, Bayushi Yoshimaru (Davery) was with him.
- The group went right to work continuing the investigation. They spent the day asking questions at the right places. There was mention that the mysterious samurai legend known as the Battousai (man slayer); a famed assassin, was residing in Swan Village.
- They heroes questioned the head of the Oda family, Oda Nobunaga. The Oda family has ruled for a long time over Oda Mura (also referred to now as Oni Mura). Decades ago, an Oni took the village for himself, and forced the Oda family and it’s people out. Oda Nobunaga was unable to offer any real information on the murders, though he did seem troubled when they were mentioned. They made note to ask questions about the current state of Oni Mura and thought to follow up on it sooner than later.
- After a full day of investigations, the magistrates thought it best to return for an early night’s rest and start fresh and early for Oni Mura. Matsu Ryu has the same dream, but this time the wolf catches him. He wakes to the fresh smell of blood and is the first on scene to see an assassin fleeing the window of Emerald Magistrate Kitsuki Danamo. Ryu calls for the others and follows in pursuit, but is unable to catch the remarkably fast assassin. The magistrates investigate further the remainder of the night and determine that the slash marks from the assassin were brilliant cuts. They consider the thought that this may be the work of the battousai, and plan to start early for Swan Village the following morning. Meanwhile Bayushi Yoshimaru is faced with the fact that he has inherited a strange power form Kitsuki Danamo; the Rune of Life & Death.
- The following morning was met with a strange man in a full set of heavy armor painted crimson red. The man brought with him a large stone carving and set it in the gathering room of the Eternal Magistrate Yashiki. He then asked each of the magistrates present to step forth and touch the stone. The stone said ‘108 Stars of destiny’ and had 108 placements for names. There were two subheadings, Stars of Heaven and Stars of Earth. As they all did so with hesitation, their names mystically signed on the stone along with a name for their star.
- Daidoji Toru became Tenyu – the Star of Bravery. Hida Tsairentosut-n became Tenko – the Lone Star. Matsu Ryu became Tenbou – Savage Star. Mirumoto Toshiro became Tenyu – Guardian Star. Bayushi Yoshimaru became Tenan – Dark Star. Hida Fujizaka became Chian – The Strong Star.
Battousai in Swan Village
- Upon arriving at Swan Village, they take note that the village is rather orderly. While seeking information from a local inn, they encounter a man with a sword too big to wield known as zanbatto. These blades are very uncommon, but often used out of battle for killing animals. The man goes by the name of Sanosuke and offers some information on the Battousai.
- Sanosuke had been searching for the battousai to face in a duel as he heard of the battosai’s reputation. He offers information on a local dojo that the battousai is running. The students call themselves the Iaisai, and they have spent a great deal of time bullying the local town. One particular local owned dojo had been constantly harassed by Iaituba battousai and his Iaisai for continuing to teach in their defensive style. The sensei of the local dojo was a samurai-ko by the name of Kaoru.
- The Magistrates and Sanosuke confronted Iaituba battousai in the center of the town, between the two dojos. Daidoji Toru challenged Iaituba battousai to a duel and won. Upon his victory to first cut, Iaituba dishonoured himself by assaulting the Magistrates and all hell broke lose. In the end, Iaituba battousai and the Iaisai were slain. Sanosuke remarked that “this was not the real battosai” after falling so quickly to the young Crane topaz champion.
Investigation in Oni Mura
- The Heroes set their sights on Oni Mura and arrive after a hard ride from Swan Village. They make note of the grim situation on the small village that has built itself around the walls of the original village. There is a lot of poverty and signs of madness amongst the pesants. They immediately look for an authority figure to speak with, and find one; Oda Nobuyuki. Nobuyuki is the younger brother of Nobunaga who has been charged with looking after containing the evil that dwells inside Oni Mura.
- Oda Nobuyuki; younger brother of Oda Nobunaga, is the stationed overseer of the remnants of Oda Mura. When the magistrates meet with him, he tells the grim tale of the current situation. Peasants have been disappearing during the night and are haunted during the day. A few men have been sent into scout the inner walls of Oni Mura, but only two returned.
- The Magistrates insist on meeting the two returners. They meet the old survivor first, stricken with madness and unable to offer any real aid. The second is a ronin known as Haku, who tells the tale of the horrors within Oni Mura. In reality, Haku and Nobuyuki are in league with those who control the current state of Oni Mura, but that is not known at this point.
- When the magistrates insist on seeing Oni Mura for themselves, Haku insists that Nobuyuki send a small detachment with them. Nobuyuki agrees, and Haku volunteers to join the detachment. Traveling into the inner walls, the players sense the sheer horror and death that emanates from the castle proper. They enter and wander through the first floor towards a narrow hallway that leads to the stairs on the far wall. The walls are made of rice paper with painted images on them. It isn’t until they proceed further, that the images begin to move on their own accord. White colored haunts begin to leap from the inside of one wall to the next, grabbing Oda guards and pulling them into the paintings. As they are pulled in, the walls begin to bleed red. In the chaos, Inu is pulled in but manages to will his way back out before it’s too late. The contingent takes great loses, but all the Magistrates remain intact. Seeing no end to the whites, they choose to proceed quickly up the stairs.
- A small force of skeletons await the magistrates, and they quickly fight their way through. A loud rumbling sound can be heard behind them, which turns into the sound of marching. Looking down the stairs, they see a skeleton army walking up in rows of three. Mirumoto Toshiro and Daidoji Toru decide to guard the doorway, buying the others more time. But it’s then that they noticed that the room ahead had the same problem. Unarmed skeletons block the path forward. Learning that they are trapped, Inu, Ryu, Haku and Fujizaka all press forward and push through the crowd of skeletons. Toru and Toshiro see the others have a good head start, and move to meet them. Haku presses way ahead and rounds a corner. They hear screams from ahead, and fear the worst for him.
- Inu gives chase up the stairs to which Haku went, only to find further trouble ahead. A giant swirling black tendraled creature hangs from the ceiling. The oni is massive and Inu starts into fighting against it immediately. The others manage to push through and follow in pursuit, using the castle’s furniture to barricade themselves in the room with the Oni. Those who were not severely injured to this point, meet grievous injuries from the Oni. With a combined effort of Otonashi’s arrow, Toru’s blade and Inu’s tetsubo the Oni beast is slain, and drops to the floor beneath it. The beast hits the ground as if it weighed twenty tons, and the stone beneath it crumbles. Seeing more enemies ahead, the magistrates assess their situation and opt to flee Oni mura by way of the exit to which the Oni’s fall just created.
Ebi Mura Continued
- The Magistrates return to Eternal Magistrate Yashiki to rest up and heal after barely surviving the events of Oni Mura.
- In this week of passing, there is an announcement to Inu’s wedding being scheduled for this summer at a Monastery of Osano Wo in Crab Lands. Inu is prompted for the names of guests to invite to the ceremony.
- Matsu Ryu receives grave news that his wife has died, having never fully recovered from the complications at birth of his first born son. Toru is notified that his family is planning to arrange his poetry reading at court.
Destroying the Bandit King
- With the Magistrates rested and a busy late summer and fall schedule, they decide to prepare a campaign against the Bandit King and his pirates who continue to cause chaos on the shores of the Broken Lands.
- Bayushi Yoshimaru secretly lays plans to make this campaign successful. He gathers information on the Bandit King’s island stronghold. After learning that Nobunaga is unable to commit any real forces, he devises a plan to get him on board, kidnapping his only child, Oda Soifon; and arranging for the kidnapping to be blamed on the Bandit King. It works.
- Three ships are procured and stacked full of Ebi soldiers, Ronin and a few major figures including the Magistrates , Oda Nobunaga and Oda Mitsuhide. Mitsuhide is actually of the vassal family Akechi and is betrothed to Oda Soifon. Yoshimaru has Kagome dress as a young boy on the Tortoise ship, and arranges for her to roll a particularly heavy barrel onto the ship last minute. The ship contains the unconscious Soifon who has been drugged and is not due to awake for several days.
- The three ships reach the island by evening, and arrange to execute the plan. The Tortoise ship veers around the far side of the island while the two remaining kobune make a forward assault on the island itself. They are met by smaller bandit vessels and swarmed, serving as the distraction intended.
- The Tortoise ship lands with the Magistrates present at a secret cavern Yoshimaru indicated was there. They force assaults the back entrance, catching the remnants of the bandits off guard. As this is also a rescue mission, Nobunaga begins to look for his daughter and has no luck. Kagome takes the time in this chaos to complete her second order. She wheels the barrel off the ship and into a set of barrels nearby. She then opens it up and calls for Nobunaga and Mitsuhide. The two are relieved to find Soifon alive, even if she is still unconscious.
- With the small force defeated from behind, the Magistrates march forward with a contingent on foot and the Tortoise ship hugs the bay to head to the front entrance. The Bandit King is fought on the beach front. He is gravely wounded. The battle turns tides in the Broken Land’s favour.
- But an unexpected guest arrives. It is the exiled dragon Obushu, and he is still upset about the Star Dragon Sword being taken from him. He arrives in full dragon form, and assaults Inu outright. The heroes ban together and defeat the Dragon. As the Dragon turns to flee after defeat, Mirumoto Toshiro (Joel) uses the Dragon Rune to steer him into two of the major ships that still lay threat to the assaulting army. The ships crumble under the weight of the Dragon, and Obushu does not emerge from the water…
Attacking Oni Mura
- After arriving back in Ebi Mura, Oda Soifon wakes from her slumbered state. Oda Nobunaga hosts a celebration of the victories, and the Magistrates are honoured. Fujazaka drinks heavily for the first time since kicking the habit. Inu is not happy with Fuj for doing so.
- Oda Nobunaga is also drunk and feels in debt to the Magistrates. He breaks down and admits some of the shame on his family line related to Taira Chikazane and the Hitachi. He explains that his brother is in league with the entire corrupt plot, and he believes a ronin named Haku may be the assassin of the Magistrate Murders. Nobunaga also suggests that the state of Oni Mura may have been a plot of Chikazane’s all along. Toru notes the name Haku and Inu vows to kill him for leading them into the trap of Oni Mura.
- Nobunaga and the Magistrates make plans to assault Chikazane’s forces at Oni Mura. To do so, they would need to hire a ronin army with promises of spoils after the battle. Luckily, the Broken Lands attracts ronin by the dozen, so the army was fairly easy to raise.
- The walls to the outside of Oni Mura were small, allowing for more options for the assault. In the end, the assaulting forces formed a wedge at the front entrance, while key athletic figures took their chances with scaling the walls to aid the front wedge.
- With Nobunaga acting as commander, the strategy was very successful. Matsu Ryu was the first of the heroes to collapse on the battlefield, but he was also the first to charge a dangerous vantage point. Four Hitachi members were present on the battlefield along with Haku and Nobuyuke.
- Toru, Inu and Otonashi worked together to defeat Haku and his guards while Toshiro and Yoshimaru worked together to defeat the remaining Hitachi members. As Nobuyuke turned to flee into the inner walls of Oni Mura, Otonashi released one more arrow to the coward who had turned his back on battle. Nobuyuke took an arm wound, but was not killed by the arrow.
- As Haku drew his last breath, a black glow surrounded him, blinding everyone around. An aura in the form of a symbol formed above him. The light shot from Haku to Toru, and then faded entirely. With the victory, Oda Nobunaga regained the outskirts of Oni Mura, freeing himself from the grasp of Taira Chikazane and his brother for the first time since he took the position of daimyo from his father.
Blue Moon Village
- The night after the battle, there was a brief celebration of the victory in the outskirts of Oni Mura. Unfortunately, the terrors inside the castle proper haunted the heroes’ sleep. Nobunaga tallied that he lost roughly a third of his forces to the battle with his brother, and began recruiting some of the more loyal and promising ronin directly into his family.
- The next morning at breakfast, a few key points were made. Otonashi shared that he was after his brother who had a bounty on his head; but did not know what the ‘blue moon’ reference meant. Toru brought up the dark light, worried as to what it meant. The Star Dragon Sword overheard the conversation and asked Inu for permission to speak. Inu agreed and the Sword revealed an answer to both inquiries.
- The flash of light was certainly a rune, and the Star Dragon Sword pointed out that the sheer power and markings revealed that it was a True Rune. He seemed certain that it was the Rune of Punishment. The sword also spoke of Yoshimaru’s rune: that of the rune of life and death. Only Otonashi lacked a rune.
- The Star Dragon Sword went on to say that he knows the location of the Blue Moon Village, set deep in the Spine of the World Mountains near Scorpion Lands. The Star Dragon Sword mentioned that his ally was a scholar on the subject of Runes. If she was alive, she might be able to help them learn more about their new burdens. The Magistrates agreed that this is the next best thing to look into, and so they set out despite the dangers of being near Scorpion Lands, and the beasts that might await them in the Spine of the World Mountains.
- The trip into the mountains was a rigorous journey, but the party pressed on regardless. They came well prepared with numerous provisions and the help of Toku, Hida Fujizaka and Kagome. Not realizing that what they were facing was Rune Vampires who slept at day and stayed awake at night; they decided to set up their last night of camp at the last known landmark before the village. But they weren’t far enough, and the Rune Vampires go far each night from the village to return with any prey they can fine.
- The night watch did not catch the incoming threat, and they were ambushed by six Rune Vampires. The Rune Vampires tore deep into the Magistrates, nearly killing Toku and Ryu early into the fight, but not before both were able to make a contribution to the battle. For the first few moments, it looked as if the Magistrates were destined for defeat, but that changed when Toshiro, Toru and Inu coordinated an attack on a single enemy and dispatched him. As there were only six enemies, this was a turning point in the fight. The Rune Vampires were all lightning fast. Two would escape, fleeing for the village.
- The Star Dragon Sword spoke an apology, saying that the Rune Vampires were not the same once, long ago. They had been a peaceful people, though isolated and reserved. The Magistrates did what they could to help their wounded and considered attempting rest for the night before setting out the next morning.
- The Magistrates were quick to leave in the daytime, and made their way to the village before noon. The village was abandoned, ruined and unkempt. It was nothing like the stories the Star Dragon Sword had spoke of. All the beauty that was once there had vanished.
- Exploring the huts led to a few Rune Vampires that fought against the Magistrates. Their behaviour was instinctual, seeming to lack any concern for diplomacy. In this same hut the Magistrates would encounter Kuni Joben and his entourage of Crab who had followed the tales of Akuma Jou to the Spine of the World Mountains. The Kuni Shugenja offered his healing expertise, but it was not enough to restore everyone to a state of healthy.
- Another hut held a small private library of books that seemed to be specific to the occult. The heroes were still wounded and needed time to rest. They decided that the village settlers were likely all dead now, and this was as safe as any other shelter.
- Through the books, the Magistrates learned of the Twenty Seven True Runes true origin is not entirely known, but they have been around since before the Kami fell. The Twenty Seven True Runes are all sentient and offer immortality for those that bare them. This is an ageless immortality, leaving the wearers looking the same age as they did the day they first accepted the bond with their soul. The True Runes hold a lot of great power, but each has a terrible price. Furthermore the True Runes have their own agenda. There are many other runes that are not True Runes that have spawned from the True Runes over the centuries. These runes offer power, with fewer drawbacks; but are quite specific in nature.
- There was also a journal uncovered pertaining to the situation in Blue Moon Village. The state of the village was once peaceful. Since the Rune Vampires did not age, they moved to isolation as not to cause question amongst the people of Rokugan. With the Blue Moon Rune at the center of the village, all vampires who existed there did not thirst for blood. The bearer referenced was the Star Dragon Sword’s old friend, Shoukei.
- Shoukei was the original bearer of the Rune. After living for centuries, she chose to recruit others to share in her peaceful, immortal life. Those people went on to become the settlers of Blue Moon Village. But one recruit was more ambitious than Shoukei had realized. She fell for a man named Banpaia who had impressed her with his ideologies about the world. After caring on a love affair, she admitted her truth to Banpaia who begged for the right to join her in immortality. She thought at first his eager attitude came from the love he had for her. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
- Banpaia wanted to use immortality to change the world to his ideals. Leaving the rune behind, he journeyed out against Shoukei’s warnings to do just that. But without the Rune nearby, he would hunger for blood; and so he began to kill to live. Banpaia was sent into madness when he began regularly murdering others for survival. This also impacted his entire plan for the future. If he couldn’t change the world to his liking, he could certainly rule over it.
- When Banpaia returned to the village, he stole the rune for himself and left to execute his own plans. With the Rune no longer in the village, the Rune Vampires slowly degenerated into the creatures the Magistrates recently encountered. There was no mention of what happened to Shoukei. This was a sad story, and seemed to have an impact on the Heroes. There was one final mention of Banpaia… It was a reference from one of the elders nearly twenty years after his betrayal. The journal entry was very hard to read, which was likely caused by the madness that came with feeding from blood. “Banpaia…Akuma Jou…Boulder Village.”
- While this did not give the Magistrates an immediate path to pursue, they agreed that further investigation was the next best course of action. Low on provisions and unfamiliar with Boulder Village, the Magistrates agreed to go to Otosan Uchi to seek training, provisions and knowledge. Kuni Joben and his Crab soldiers would accompany them to Otosan Uchi and onto Boulder Village to fight against Akuma Jou.
Events Elsewhere in Rokugan
- Isawa Tadaka bests Isawa Rujo in a duel and takes his place as Master of Earth.
- The half-brothers Akodo Ikawa and Shosuro Ikawa hunt their father down.
- Shazaar awakens in the Shinomen Mori. He is unable to return to the Great Sleep, which has come to an end.
- Matsu Ishimara wins the Topaz Championship.
- Kitsu Norinaga
- Seppun Hotaitaka
- Shosuro Ikawa