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Year 1 of Hantei the 39th/First Year of the Shogunate, Spring

And the third arc of the campaign begins. My current plan is to make it a five-act campaign, but it might end up being seven acts long. Or just fizzle out. Hell, it's taken years to get this far. Anyway, I wanted to run a series of low-level, bushido-heavy sessions to contrast with the demi-gods intriguing against each other that was parts one and two of the Chrysanthemum Road Campaign.
Zatoichi was my nod to the famous series of films...and will return.... A cookie to whoever works out who Abashimori is. :-) Hint: he's related to one of the old PCs. In the earlier campaign, Ed (Henshu) had taken in and trained a ratling. With the Daidoji in retreat, the ratling had joined up with a feral tribe and started harassing the Scorpion armies. Sadly, I rolled badly, and he got taken out with one hit... And there goes uber-bad-guy #1. Nice teamwork from the players. This bit went *perfectly*. It was sooo cool describing the sky turning dark and green lighting flashing over Beiden Pass. There are two ways to run big battles. One, let the players determine their army's tactics. Two, let the players make a moral decision which affects the battle. This was #2. This session included the classic "heal us or die, priests" scene.


My original plan for the campaign involved having the old characters being played every other session. It's been more like every tenth session. Not necessarily a bad thing - Tsuyite's story is pretty much finished, as is Emishiko's for the time being...

Year 1 of Hantei the 39th/First Year of the Shogunate, Summer

Dungeon crawl, L5R style. This was quite a funky political scene, and one I was worried about beforehand. Any time when the GM has to play multiple sides is risky. "We can't use gunpower 'cos the emperor said so, yeah?" "Yep. After the Battle of White Shore Plain, the Emperor - " "we're rebelling against the Emperor." "Oh ****". I never quite figured out why my players hated Tamari so much... He stabbed Hotasu as he was getting off his horse. Bit unfair really. I liked Hotasu. Still, the death of a player character is a tragedy. The death of a million NPCs is a plot point.


Discover being a synonym for make deal with. For purely altruistic and heroic reasons, of course. Yoritomo threw him off a balcony. Ed rolled Agility + Athletics to try to grab onto some part of Kyuden Yoritomo to avoid falling to his death. He throws a few million 10s, and vaults back up onto the balcony. "You are a forceful negociator, Yoritomo-sama."

Year 1 of Hantei the 39th/First Year of the Shogunate, Summer

The Master of Earth wandered in, turned the castle into a tomb, prevented both armies from fighting, and wandered off again. I suspect I was influenced by the dominance of Phoenix in the ccg... "I attack him." "Ok, you're in melee combat with Togashi Hoshi." "Who?" "Him" *shows picture*. "Uh-oh". Which he kept to. He hasn't directly killed a Crane yet. Maimed, blown up, and condemned to death, yes, but not killed. The DARK JESTER OF FU LENG! I got surreal. "You are samurai. Do the impossible. Now." It was all very dramatic and blowy-upy. Burning with Kyuden Daidoji were Daidoji Uji and Doji Kuwanan. Hoturi got captured in the same session. With Satsume poisoned, I'm pretty much out of Crane Champions. This bit deserves a little explanation. The ceremony was performed by the Dark Thunders, seven servants of Fu Leng who are engaged in corrupting the Clans. The seven are Junzo, Karasu, Yajinden, some Phoenix guy whose name escapes me as of this writing, Kitsu Okura, Hitomi, and the ghost of Kuni Yori. The ritual was an attempt to resurrect Yori in some form. The Dark Jester, who'd been tracking the pcs, was also involved. Anyway, the three PCs wandered down to the glowy green light, scaring the Jester away.
    They then jumped into the light. Gah. I rolled a d8. On a 1 to 7, they got teleported to the appropriate Thunder. On an 8, they arrived at the source of the Thunder's power. I rolled. A 6. They teleported to the Lion lands. Masaruk (the Lion spy) killed Kitsu Okura, thus saving the Lion from corruption. Rather than hang around the Kitsu Halls and explain why they'd just murdered a priest, they jumped back into the green light.
    I roll again.
    An 8.
    Fu Leng's throne room.
    Te kills himself on the spot.
    Masaruk charges Fu Leng, hits him once, and is then obliterated completely.
    Kimi falls to her knees and shouts "oh I worship you my mighty master Fu Leng"... Products of Oni no Akasha. The Kuni was played by a new player, Francois, and caused an amount of chaos and death out of proportion to his time in the game. The bloodbath of the final session was partly caused by his attempts to control Oni no Fai Suk. There was lots of stuff to do with Emishiko and the earlier campaigns. In the end, they messed up.
Meanwhile... He was trying to persuade Kachiko to end the war. Awww.

Year 2 of Hantei the 39th/Second Year of the Shogunate, Autumn

"You're an idiot" was said a lot, on both sides. Another three PCs killed. Muppets. I warned 'em, didn't I warn 'em... The letters are reproduced elsewhere. Having lost their characters twice in two sessions, I let the players play their big characters. One big chaotic final session, as always. Notable for actual bushido and loyalty to their lord and clan, and a funky magical bomb disposal scene where Ito tries using the seal from one scroll to contain the dark power of a second.