Chornalth Adventures - Liga (Current: Emerald & Diamond)

Mirumoto Katsushiro Report 1
Mirumoto Katsushiro Report 1

My Lord Daimyo

As instructed I am sending you reports on the moon and its people and events within.

As you are aware the Emperor asked us if we would be willing to travel to the lands of the Diamond Throne and continue on the Songbird and her owner Irda Na-Helena. We all accepted this as an honor to both our Houses, Clan and the Empire. The trip to the large arch was pretty uneventful, once we arrived at the arch itself we saw two of the larger flying ships, these ships where designed for battle and armed as such with what I can only describe as cannon beyond anything we ourselves make and use. On the other side there are two more of these ships similarly armed as the ones on our side.

Once we arrived on the moon we quickly made our way to the capital of the Diamond Throne De-Shamod. As impressive as it is it pales in comparison to that of Otosan Uchi. We spent a few days in their capital which included a diplomatic dinner where representatives from all over the Diamond Throne, Liga and other areas of Chornalth. One such peoples where the representatives of the island of Granbretan, a group of brazenly egocentric individuals, that seem to anger everyone they come in contact with. This includes defaming both my personal, our houses, the clans and the empires honor. As such I demanded a duel which they brazenly and loudly mocked so everyone could hear. Unfortunately due to the situation I was not able to follow up on the challenge, something I hope to rectify when I am able. Now the situation was not a complete loss as I learned that our ambassadors suspect but can’t prove that it was these Granbretan’s who destroyed the tower. After that incident the evening went without a hitch and we left the capital the next day.

For the most part this trip has been uneventful, the Empire of the Diamond Throne is smaller than I expected but it has its beauties, including a library that has writings everywhere including its walls, ceilings and the like, as I do not read their language it was not much of use to me. Our stop after that was the epicenter of “The Event” which were a bunch of crystalline structures that resonated to both our Shugenja Tsugumi Kirigaya and Wu Jen Cortana Tsunoaru, beyond that not much of note outside of the human in is center. We spent a day there before we continued our fairly uneventful trip.

We traveled for a time, before we made our way to the Ra-Lento Fighting Academy which is nestled in the mountains, we spent a good number of hours at this Academy, its members through professionals and both Seppun Ozawa our Monk and myself had sparring matches with one of their students respectively. There fighting style is interesting but in the end both of us defeated our opponents, even if defeat they were honorable, this honor was shown when the academy’s headmaster Hs-Parad gifted me a book detailing the footwork and fighting they use that would best fit my/our fighting style. I believe with enough study it will prove useful to myself and others. After our enjoyable time at the academy we decided to travel to the port city of Khorl.

Khorl has a reputation of being a disreputable city of crime and criminals, it was in this city that Cortana our Wu Jen learned a rumor that the local Imperial Magistrate had been replaced by a doppelganger as he had been acting unlike himself. Once Irda Na-Helena was informed of this, she decided the next morning she was going to pay a visit to this magistrate to see if the story is true.
What we find will be in my next report.

You’re most honorable Samurai Mirumoto Katsushiro

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Cortana's Journal - Entry One
Cortana's Journal

Cortana_s_Journal.jpg

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Chapter Two, Session 10: Moon Circuit

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 22nd of Coldeven, 1150 I.C. (22 Ai-Gebbon, 6973 G.T.)

The group was notified early the next day of a diplomatic dinner being held at the Lady Protector’s palace the following evening, and was provided with the expected dress code (and vouchers for acquiring clothing if necessary). The group arrived on time, and was thrown into the vast melting pot of people and cultures represented there. Most of the major civilizations of Liga had a team present, as well as groups representing interests on Beregond & Krynn (as well as several delegations from Luna, the inner moon).

While mingling, the group spotted a group of metal-clad ‘ambassadors’ wearing elaborate cobra helmets. One had obviously picked Cortana out of the crowd and called attention to her to one of his fellows, which aroused some suspicion, through a few diplomacy rolls revealed that the strangely garbed group was from a place called Granbretan, one of the islands that appeared on Liga after the Night of Fire shortly after the cultures currently occupying Celene had been catapulted out of the distant past. It was also revealed that they were pretty much considered boorish louts, particularly disliked by the ambassador from the Dragaeran Empire, their neighbor to the immediate south.

While trying to gather information on these unique ‘ambassadors’, Katsushira noticed one of them walk past Cortana while her attention was elsewhere and point a strange, rectangular apparatus at her from behind, from which he noticed a small flash of light. When he later tried striking up a conversation with one of them, he was roundly insulted, then further insulted by the self-proclaimed ‘scientist’ who sarcastically apologized for any offense she might have given (while slowly upping the volume of her voice so that everyone nearby could hear her words). The excuse that she offered is that her nation had sent scientists, not diplomats, because nobody else in her nation could be bothered to attend the gala. Though the encounter did not result in combat, senior members of the actual Rokugan diplomatic contingent assured Katsushiro that no loss of honor had been suffered; the Granbretanians clearly had none themselves.

The following day they set out once more aboard the Songbird, flying north to visit the Library of Erdaenos, then skirting the edges of the Harrowdeep Forest until they arrived at the site of the Event, the shattered domes and pyramids of the site described in some historical texts as “Prime Arctic Node 843-3.2”. Also present at the site were several other airships and a trio of spelljammers, one plainly matching the esthetic of the Granbretanians. Several entry points to the ruin already boasted guards, one group of which were clearly from Dor-Erthenos, so the party proceeded inside to survey the ruins there.

After several hours of walking and climbing, they finally arrived at the most active region, a vast hollow cylinder descending into the ground beneath the main dome. They skipped past an argument between a Granbretanian ‘scientist’ and a giant who was clearly the local director to view the site where the event happened; a small chamber where two metal-clad telescoping crystal apparatus were separated by the arc-bright outline of a humanoid figure that had clearly stretched out both hands to complete some arcane circuit that had blown out the Node’s power source (and, if suppositions were to be believed, the entire inter-planar Spellweaver Nodality). By using her staff, Cortana identified the area as being the junction of at least five major ley lines, all of which were ‘locked’; one for Maximize, another for Quicken, and even one that would allow a caster to substitute a Will save for a Reflex save. Eventually the group abandoned the site to the scholars, and continued their journey.

Next the group visited the port cities of Ao-Manasa & Sormere, before detouring inland to Ka-Rone, so as to visit the Ra-Lento Fighting Academy located in the nearby hills. There, after the more martially inclined members of the group oversaw numerous mock combats, they also participated in single combat themselves, where both defeated their opponents. The Steward of the Academy, Hs-Parad, gifted Katsushiro with a large picturebook that outlined the footwork and forms that best accommodated his own personal style of weapons (from which he could possibly learn feats from next time he advanced in level).

Their next stop was the port city of Khorl, a mostly human city with a dire reputation. Cortana, overhearing a rumor that the Steward of the city had actually been assassinated two years previous and been replaced by a doppelganger brought the story to Na-Helena, who vowed to visit the Steward (An-Redachan) in the morning to discover the truth of the matter.

While cooling their heels in the outer office with the Steward’s secretary, Katsushiro overheard the distinctive sound of a Granbretanian accent modulated through one of the masks that they wore, seeking to secure a secret base within the ruined fortress overlooking the harbor. He then relayed this to his companions silently via their Bonded Mind ribbons. Quickly deciding to push the matter, Na-Helena indicated that she intended to barge in, and as Cortana cast a prep spell on Katsushiro, the secretary’s cry of alarm alerted the Steward and his ‘guests’ that trouble was brewing. Within were several Granbretanians wearing stylized Boar helmets.

We ended the evening mid-fight, with one of the seven Boars dead, two more prone & blinded, and another dazed and dazzled. The Steward, victim of a Hideous Laughter spell, lay on the floor behind his desk, unable to flee out of the window he’d managed to open. But the battle as far from over. It was the morning of the 12th of Planting I.C. (12 Ko-Fenas 6973 G.T.)

xp after combat finishes.

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Chapter One, Session 09: Onwards, Upwards

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 17th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

Still in the Cauldron, the group saw to their wounds, then eventually backtracked to reconnect with what remained of the band of samurai that Clan Phoenix had sent with them. The six remaining samurai were soon located, one carrying the sole infant to have survived. Leading the group back to the sacrificial chamber, they quickly recognized the meteoric stone altar and hematite dagger that they’d encountered at the crater where the first hag coven had been performing sacrifices in the Shadowlands. In a nearby chamber, several robes were found with stitching on the hoods that resembled the comet tattoo the gauth had sported, but otherwise the ritual area was curiously devoid of ritual or scriptural texts of any kind. The only written records of any sort proved to be a tally of the sacrifices brought by Glasatru’s minions.

After returning the Phoenix samurai to the City of Remembrance, they spent several days resupplying while the local bureaucracy tried to figure out the identity of the one child they’d recovered from the Cauldron. They departed the City of Remembrance on the 21st, visiting several other cultural sites in Phoenix lands, including Kyuden Isawa, where they searched the Temple complex’s extensive libraries for clues to the cult using the comet symbology. Little was found, but one scholar did advise them that a former colleague, one Ichiro Fusar, had retired to a monastery in the lands of the Fox Clan, and that he might know more.

Eventually, their course led them to the city of Heibeisu on the eastern edge of the Dragon Clan lands. On Katsushiro’s recommendation, they stopped and identified themselves before penetrating any deeper into the territory. They soon found themselves at the fortress known as Shiro Mirumoto, Katsushiro’s home. Late that afternoon, a runner brought news that Katsushiro’s father, the dragon Tatsuya Nakadai, had invited them to his private estates for dinner that evening. They wound up spending the night, and Katsushiro’s father had a long private conversation with his sun, subtly hinting that the spirit of his swords would only awaken if he made more of an effort at being a hero, rather than merely applying bushido as a hammer to solve every problem. Katsushiro spent the next several days meditating on the matter.

After visiting several more cultural sites in Dragon, among them the immense volcano known as the Wrath of the Kami, the Songbird crossed into the lands of the Unicorn, where, as before, a number of fortresses and culturally important sites were visited, before turning south into the lands of the Fox Clan.After a few days of travel, they arrived at the monestary known as Tulpa Hediko, where Ichiro Fusar was said to reside. Fusar spoke of what knowledge he had, namely that some 30 years past, a number of murders locally had eventually been tracked to a cult of human and kitsune who utilized similar tools/iconography (the meteoric altar, the hematite daggers, and the comet symbol.

From what he remembered of the cult, there was a direct command that nothing ever be recorded, lest such records fall into the hands of unbelievers. One cultist in particular, a woman whose name was unknown, had gone so far as to cut out her own tongue after abandoning the cult, so that her former associates would not feel it necessary to silence her more permanently. Unfortunately, she had died of apparently natural causes 3 years ago.

After touring the Fox Clan lands, the group decided to overfly the Shinomen Forest, despite (or perhaps because of) it’s mysterious reputation. After several hours, an abandoned city was spotted, and the group spent several hours investigating the empty Naga city. Several things were noted; the city was very clean – not as overgrown or taken over by wildlife as it’s 3000 years of abandonment might indicate. The large ley line that the group had followed to the city went from un-typed to strongly chronomantic just outside the city, and the group as a whole thought it a bad idea to investigate the large, domed temple(?) that sat at the city’s center/confluence of ley lines.

After several more days, the group eventually arrived once more at the Imperial capital, Otosan Uchi, were they spent several more days being debriefed on their travels both by Imperial bureaucrats as well as representatives of their own families/clans. Eventually they were summoned once more to the Emperor’s presence, where they were offered a new mission, one where they would accompany Ambassador Na-Helena back to Celene, where they might, in turn, see the lands of her people and experience their ways. And so, several more days later, the Songbird set out once again, this time in the company of a second airship, the “Ba-Shuul’s Radont”, in the long journey across the Celestial Sea, stopping several times, briefly visiting the island nation of Behow, as well as the nations of Tvosk, Changol, Sa’han, a long push over the Sea of Dust, until finally arriving at the Celestial Arch of the Heavens, and thence to the city of De-Shamod, the capital of Dor-Erthenos, the Empire of the Diamond Throne.

As we broke for the evening, it was the 21st of Coldeven, 1150 I.C. (or, as the Huchard would phrase it, the 21st of Ai-Gebbon, 6973 G.T.) The party had had several days to grow acquainted with the city, explore it’s streets, and learn of the native races. A meeting had been arranged with the Lady Protector, Ia-Thordani, to officially welcome them to the Empire.

1600 xp (5th level, start of Chapter Two)

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Chapter One, Session 08: The Hunt for Hurn

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 17th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

We began the evening with the group searching the upper caldera in the area indicated by Tavescu for some sign of entry into the lower depths. A small shaft was eventually found, but it was clearly designed to be used by smaller folk than any of the party members. Regardless, Zeshyn wriggled into the tunnel, exploring it while the rest of the group searched for another way in.

After about 10 minutes of crawling through tight quarters, Zeshyn finally found himself hanging head down over a fair sized chamber some 300’ deeper into the caldera, one partially lit by a small pool of lava in one corner. beneath him, he quickly spotted (and was spotted by) a lone lava mephit, who promptly began ringing the hand bell that sat nearby. At this point Zeshyn began trying to make a hasty retreat, as he could hear more mephits coming to join the original one, and, as he crawled backwards with all due haste, could hear them fluttering and scrabbling along the tunnel in pursuit of him. Just as his feet caught sky again, one mephit breathed flame in his face, but none of the mephits saw fit to give chase after he left the tunnel.

After seeing to Zeshyn’s wounds, the group decided to return to the Songbird and scan the mountain for other access points. After about 15 minutes, a larger tunnel was located on the mountainside, and the group (and the forces that Clan Phoenix had sent along) entered in search of Hurn and his minions. Soon enough, they found a chamber with two exits, and the group split up, the Phoenix samurai going one way while the party took the other.

Working their way deeper into the mountain, the group soon found the same chamber Zeshyn had found earlier, now empty except for the alarm bell, which they muffled and took with them. Having their pick now of five exits, they chose the one that was marked by a symbol, which eventually led them to actual stairs carved into the rock, and from there into a modest chamber from which music could be heard playing. There they found two young women who introduced themselves as Meya and Nikla. When questioned, the women claimed to be associates of Hurn’s, and offered to lead the group to him. Each member of the group was then given a flower (pinned or otherwise affixed to their chests) that, unbeknownst to themselves at the time, carried a curse (that only really affected a few members of the group, as they made their saves).

After leading the party downstairs and into an ambush, the two women fled, joined by a third woman who had been lurking invisibly in the room they’d entered.The mephits who led the ambush proved to be weak overall, but their incessant breath weapon attacks were wearing the party down (unhelped by the fact that the center of the chamber as a lava pit, over which the mephits flew, and when felled, would fall back into and then regenerate). The three women (eventually revealed to be hags) congregated at the far end of the room, and used their combined powers to trap Zeshyn in a closed Forcecage (they’d been aiming for Cortana, but she leapt free of the area). After one of their number was slain, and the rest pressed by melee attacks, they eventually fled up a chimney in the far end of the room.

Electing to pursue the hags, the group left behind a number of mephits that had either fallen victim to Sleep, Fascinate, or were regenerating. On reaching the top of the chimney, they soon found the hags arguing over a wand of Cure Light Wounds (which they broke in the process of arguing over it). The hags were soon joined by Hurn, a Gauth(Beholder), but the party managed to dispose of all of them quickly enough. By the time the mephits caught back up with the party, the sight of their master laying dead at their feet routed them and they fled.
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Exploring the chamber that Hurn had emerged from found a small cache of magic items, including a dozen potions of Cure Serious Wounds, 10 +1 Arrows, 2 Oils of Keen Edge, a Magic Fang potion, some Dust of Emulation, 2 potions of Mage Armor, and 2 magical contracts. (The first contract bound someone named Lothar Marrot to an unspecified task lasting no more than 72 hours, the second bound someone named Y’gonth for 24 hours.) Also found was 3000 gp worth of coins and script.

As we broke for the evening, it remains the 17th of Reaping, 1150 I.C.

2600 xp

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Chapter One, Session 07: The Soulless and the Stolen

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 12th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

Soon after arriving in the City of Remembrance, the Ambassador and her associates were invited by Governor Isawa Hitori to the home of Shiba Mirabu, the Phoenix Champion, to witness the birth of his first grandchild. The Ambassador agreed to attend, and so, after arranging for lodgings in the city and selling off some of the loot they’d acquired, they arrived at the Champion’s estate at the appointed hour.

In addition to the midwives attending the birth, there was also an elderly monk with several attendants gathered at the far side of the chamber where the birth was taking place. As the Champion’s family as well as the monk were all Samsarans, it was explained that near the moment of birth, the monk would commit seppuku, hopefully reincarnating into the body of the child as it was born; a high honor being offered to the monk, who, in his youth, had served as an honored family retainer. Soon enough, the monk was duly honored, presumably reincarnating into the body of newborn Shiba Haratha.

During the celebrations afterwards, the group learned that one of the reasons that the Rebirth ceremony was being brought back into vogue was that across the Phoenix lands, several Samsaran children had been recently born without souls, their physical bodies dying soon thereafter. In addition, someone (or something) had been kidnapping Samsaran children (newborns and infants up to four months old) across the breadth of the Phoenix lands, vanishing in the night, sometimes from guarded rooms. Most of the kidnappings had been from noble or wealthy merchant families (details of what might be happening among the peasants was unknown).

When the Ambassador expressed outrage at these facts, she and her associates were invited to partake in any investigations they might care to indulge in, as local authorities were stymied. The following morning the group investigated four locations where abductions had occurred, eventually finding evidence at the most recent that not only had something come down from the rooftops to the window of the nursery, but some blue fibers were found, that were similar in texture to what might be left behind if feathers had been brushed too harshly against a surface.

That evening, not knowing what else they could contribute, they elected to stake out the rooftops near the Champion’s estate, in case the kidnappers chose to strike again. While said kidnappers did not choose to test the defenses of the Champion’s estate, both Kirigaya and Na-Helena spotted an odd, low-flying cloud dipping low over the city perhaps a mile from the estate. Summoning the Songbird to their location (an ability the Ambassador had not previously demonstrated), the group set out to investigate this strange cloud.

As they approached, said cloud disgorged two figures that unfurled large wings from their back as they landed on a rooftop, and then soon surged airborne again, this time bearing a burden about the size of an infant. Zeshyn, Katsushiro, and Kirigaya let loose arrows and crossbow bolts, quickly bringing down one of the mysterious fliers, and gave chase to the cloud as it attempted to flee with the child. The Songbird eventually caught up, but no sooner did they board the vessel and scoop up the infant (who had been dropped by the miscreant carrying it when he died) than the final Avariel (as the winged figures would eventually be identified as) launched himself into the air, carrying the crystal orb that he had been using to steer the cloud along with him.

Cortana quickly hit him with a Dispel Magic, which coincidentally turned the Cloud barge on which she, Zeshyn, and Kirigaya were standing back into mist, and only a quick application of Feather Fall saved them all from splattering over the streets below. Those still aboard the Songbird peppered the last Avariel with arrows, sending him and the orb crashing down to those same streets. The orb shattered, the Avariel splattered. After being hailed as heroes by the locals and promised literally anything their family could provide by the parents of the abducted child, the group finally retired to their rooms for the night, promising to return to the local offices of Watch in the morning.

The following morning they met with the Watch and after giving more detailed statements, waited for the trio of shukenja who had arrived to question the dead to come back with whatever information they managed to glean, which turned out not to be much. The Avariels all claimed to serve someone who called themselves “Glasatru”, who owed a debt to “Hurn of the Cauldron”. Based on Cortana’s analysis of the shards of the orb they’d carried, the most likely location for the Cauldron was Mt. Javal, a dormant volcano some 100 miles northeast of the city. The group soon adjourned to the Songbird, and set out to see what they might see.

Arriving in the shadow of Mt. Javal, they soon spotted a fair-sized cloud castle drifting among the clouds encircling it’s summit. Not wishing to draw undue attention to themselves, they took a circuitous route around the mountain, seeking to peek over the edge into the caldera of the volcano looking for signs of habitation, but could see none. As the Ambassador could see little return in attempting to storm the castle alone, the Songbird returned to the City of Remembrance to notify the Governor of the cloud castle’s presence, and to brainstorm their response.

While Governor Isawa could raise a force of nearly 150 samurai, bushi and shukenja, they had no means by which to storm a fortress in the sky. Finally, after consultation with the Ambassador, it was decided that a force of thirteen samurai and a pair of shukenja would return to the site aboard the Songbird, to hopefully take the castle by surprise. While this taxed the capabilities of the Songbird, it was the largest force they could possibly deliver.

On returning to Mt. Javal, and lining up the Songbird to drop over the battlements, many Avariel could be seen manning the walls, and ballistae could be seen tracking the vessel as well. Soon, a lone, unarmed Avariel flew out to the Songbird, introducing himself as Tavescu, the Herald of Glasatru. He politely bantered with the group, pointing out that the children that they sought were below the mountain, that his people were merely deliverymen, and that as soon as thirty more infants were brought to this site, he and his people would depart, as they found the circumstances “distasteful”. Clearly it was only the tightly packed conditions aboard the Songbird that kept the Phoenix samurai from killing Tavescu, but after informing the Ambassador about how and where his people would leave the abducted infants to be found by Hurn’s servants, he returned to the battlements of his master’s citadel.

As we broke for the evening, plans were being laid to land in the caldera and see if Hurn’s servants could be drawn out, or barring that, access to the lower reaches could be located on their own. It is now the 17th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

800 xp

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Chapter One, Session 06: Blades in the Night

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 6th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

Relaxing in Tokigogachu after the Battle of Ja’mer on the night before the Ambassador planned to leave, the group heard many folk in the tavern turn their conversations towards concerns that had preceded the attack of the sahuagin; a series of murders involving young Samsarans, and the discovery of a murdered human male, whose body was discovered near a cache of papers that many speculated were coded messages intended for the Kolat. Ultimately, it was decided that these were local matters for the locals to solve themselves. The group boarded the Songbird on the morning of the 7th, and set out for the lands of the Crane Clan.

After many hours, they returned to the coast of the mainland, sheltering for the night in a cove. The next day they arrived at the Daidoji Training Grounds, where the Ambassador toured the facilities and ultimately decided to spend the night. Sometime after midnight, as Kirigaya meditated in the gardens, he noticed figures moving furtively through the halls, moving towards the wing where he and his companions were housed.

He was still bringing up the rear as the vanguard of the figures tripped the Alarm spell Cortana had warded the Ambassador’s door with. Combat ensued, but as the fortunes of the assassins slowly turned against them, the last of them took poison rather than be captured. One, however, had merely been knocked unconscious, and under questioning he revealed that he and his companions (all of whom were Bamboo elves) were members of what he called Clan Widowmaker, who had been hired to kill the Ambassador. Among the effects of the leader of the group was a scrollcase containing excellent sketches of each member of the group, with notes detailing their Clan affiliations, favorite food/drinks, and other personal information.

Katsushiro thought that perhaps Clan Widowmaker was an offshoot of the Spider Clan, which he remembered as having been destroyed some 300 years previously. Leaving the elf in the custody of the Daidoji, the group went out the next morning to leave, but found that someone had planted object on the hull of the Songbird that proved to radiate faint divination and illusion magic. After removing the object (and affixing it instead to a merchant’s cart), the group also spotted a flash of light from a stand of trees 500 yards away. When observing the area via Cortana’s spyglass didn’t reveal any information, they flew the Songbird in that direction for a closer look.

Flying 30’ above the treetops, Na-Helena gazed down into the foliage with the spyglass, then suddenly handed it back to Cortana and leapt overboard, plunging 100’ to the forest floor, drawing her greatsword on the way. As she landed (with the most of the rest of the party slowly Feather Falling behind her (Zeshyn remaining behind, as he could easily fire his bow at that range)) she struck at the trunk of the tree she was next to, pinning a Vanaran to the tree.

Under questioning, the Vanara owned up to being the leader of the elves who had attacked them the night before. He refused to answer any other questions, and he, too, was turned over to the authorities at the training grounds for justice. Later that evening the group arrived at the famous Seven Fold Palace, where, after sending a message back to the capital asking after the Ambassador’s delegation, she spent three days training and painting with the artisans there.

Once the painting was finished, the Songbird visited the village of Musume Mura, where a shrine to the First Hantei Emperor exists, memorializing his proposal to the woman who would become Empress Mioko. Departing mid-afternoon, the Songbird arrived at Kyuden Doji (Esteemed Palaces of the Crane) before nightfall.

Once there, they found that the Ambassador’s message had been answered; negotiations continued, one junior ambassador had returned home after a “severe allergic reaction” to something he had eaten, and one senior Sibeccai assistant to the Senior Ambassador had vanished without a trace. Katsushiro availed himself of the library, researching the fall of the Spider Clan, learning that most of their remaining strength had been absorbed by the Mantis Clan as they rose to power. The librarian had no further documents, but referred Katsushiro to a collegue of his who specialized in the minor clans, named Gantashi Goru.

After engaging in the Tea Ceremony, Goru proved to have more information than the books in the library, revealing that the parts of Spider that didn’t join Mantis wound up divided among the Scorpion & Crab clans. Clan Widowmaker was mostly an unknown, though he agreed they might be a sub-clan.

After several days in Kyuden Doji, the Songbird sailed northwards, following the coast, passing Otosan Uchi, and eventually making port at Toshi no Omoidoso, the City of Remembrance. There we ended for the evening, on the 12th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

1000 xp

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Chapter One, Session 05: Baby Shark, Do do do

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 24th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

We began the evening with the group being feted at Kyuden Hida, the principal fortress of the Crab Clan, and one of the wonders of Rokugan. Excess loot was sold, purchases made, and after two days the Ambassador set a course for the Islands of Silk & Spice, the lands of the Mantis.

After the better part of a day, the Songbird finally arrived at the island known as Tsaedo, in the Tokigogachu province, where they found the village of the same name. However, the famous village was obviously overcrowded, as it was surrounded by a sea of tents nearly as large as the town itself. The group soon learned that the lesser fishing villages of the island had all been suffering predation by a sudden influx of sahuagin, who had apparently driven off the merfolk of the Nurai Clan that had been friends and allies of the residents of the islands for as long as anyone could remember.

Katsushiro & Ozawa sought out Suguru Mirona, the samurai in charge of Tokigogachu’s defense. Though his first impression of Mirona was dis-favorable (Mirona was of middle years, and grossly overweight) Katsushiro eventually saw that he still carried himself as a samurai, though perhaps one soon to retire. He appealed to his visitors to ask the Ambassador to use her flying vessel to travel to Dol-garvai, a larger island further east, as he feared that the vessel he had sent there to plead for reinforcements had been sunk by the sahuagin. He also gave them a requisition for the herbs that the local shukenja would need to brew a potion (a Free Action/Water Breathing hybrid) that would allow him to take the fight to the sahuagin if necessary. The Ambassador of course agreed, and set off the following morning. As Mirona had feared, the vessel he had sent had not arrived, but the local Magistrate assured the Ambassador that aid would be forthcoming. The herbs needed were stowed aboard the Songbird, and it returned to Tokigogachu the next morning.

Three days later the group, along with the remaining five samurai and perhaps sixty bushi and shukenja waded into the sea near where the principal undersea village of the Nurai was known to lie, and soon found that it, too, lay in ruins. A sign proclaimed that these waters were now under the ‘protection’ of King Moti. Unable to track the sahuagin effectively under water, it was agreed that there was sufficient time to visit the next village that was known to the land dwellers, and it was near this second village that the sahuagin attacked, aided by many sharks.

In the resulting battle, both Na-Helena & Cortana were grievously wounded, but the group ultimately prevailed, and a group of Nurai warriors were freed to help rout the sahuagin. As we wrapped up the evening, the group had returned to Tokigogachu to be hailed as heroes of the Battle of Ja’mer (the name of the Nurai village where the battle had taken place).

As we ended for the night, it was the 6th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

4th level. By popular demand, we reset xp and began using the Medium xp track at this point.

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Chapter One, Session 04: The Claw of Fu Leng

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 19th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

We picked back up where we left off, in the middle of a battle with the hag, who , after calling for aid in the form of three hellhounds that rose from the earth around the altar, promptly used her innate Invisibility, Pass Without Trace, and Pyrotechnics to cover her escape. After slaying the hounds, they realized that she was long gone and searched her hut.

The hut proved to be a pit of debauchery, where the bodies of two more dead dwarven children were found freshly butchered. The only item of note found inside was the staff she had brandished to drive them south before (Cortana would eventually Identify the staff as imparting the feats Ley Line Magic, Howling Spell, and Ley Line Walker).

Meanwhile, Kirigaya investigated the altar at the base of the crater, discovering (and promptly shattering) a dagger made of hematite. He very much wanted to destroy the altar, but it was too heavy to budge. It was eventually decided that the Songbird should be brought to bear on the problem, which it accomplished by tying the altar, lifting it 500’ into the air, and then dropping it onto the hag’s hut.

Returning to Hadrik’s Folly, the group explained that while they had likely broken the hag’s base of power in the area, she had escaped and would likely return to work more misery against the town soon enough. While several members of the group clearly wanted to pursue the hag, Katsushiro clearly disapproved, and only his vow to protect and defend the Ambassador brought about his somewhat lackluster agreement to embark on the mission. After reviewing some maps of the local area, the group decided that the hag’s coven, if it were nearby, likely was based in the hills further southwest of the crater, along the same ley line the town and the crater shared. (The crater itself had served as a nexus for three ley lines).

On returning to the crater, it was quickly discerned (by Cortana, using her new staff) that one of the ley lines had already drifted free of the nexus, and that the remaining one would likely soon follow suit. Advancing along the stable line soon brought them to a low range of hills, one of which proved to have a number of fallen stone pillars near a cave entrance whose details were occluded by a spell of permanent Darkness. venturing into the cave proper soon found the group faced by three branches; the leftmost having a breeze of fresh air, the center the scent of brimstone, and the right the stench of decay. The group chose to explore the center. Zeshyn remained with the Songbird as guard.

Another 60’ of gentle downward travel brought them to a chamber with a spiral stone staircase hewn into the center of its floor. The stairs led another 200’ downwards, ending abruptly in a large cavern (it’s full dimensions eventually being discovered as being 100’ wide, 250’ long, with a ceiling of 50’). the remains of the collapsed stairs could be seen scattered on the ground beneath. A piton was driven into the wall, a rope attached, and the party descended…

One feature which quickly caught the eyes of the party was a formation of black jade located near the center of the cavern. Several members recognized it as a representation of the Claw-hand of Fu Leng, the Dark Kami who not only brought about the formation of the Shadowlands, but had been it’s erstwhile ruler since before the formation of the Empire of Rokugan.
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A deepening cold affected the party as they approached the formation, making their breath visible. Standing atop it, Kirigaya noticed a network of small aqueducts overhead, that emptied themselves into a raised basin at one of the far ends of the cavern. Numerous stone buildings also surrounded the Claw, most of which were empty and deserted, but several showed signs of recent occupancy, based at least on bare footprints in the dust and other indications. One building, however, was a bit cleaner than the rest, and they found two notable locations inside. One small chamber held a pile of skulls (mainly Human and Dwarven, but a few Nezumi as well), and another had a trapdoor that led down to a chamber larger than the house itself.

Said chamber had two walls of books and scrolls (mainly histories written in Nezumi), and two murals. One depicted the fall of Fu Leng and his “unification” of the Shadowlands. The other was a quabbalistic pattern showing magical symbols and strange portraits. While searching that wall for hidden doors, Ozawa touched one of the portraits, failed a save, and soon was heard having a one-sided conversation with a voice in his head, a voice that was predicting the death of his older brother in a year’s time and his younger sister’s claiming the family’s titles for herself; why should this happen, the voice asked, when Ozawa was clearly more worthy?

Exiting the basement and emerging once more into the cavern, the group quickly spotted the figure of a young woman in a diaphanous gown (that seemed to flutter in a breeze no-one else could feel) standing atop the Claw. She hailed them, identified herself as Atamma, the Guardian of this cavern, and told the party that they could not depart while “Munil” rode in the mind of Ozawa. However, the spell she cast to ‘free’ Ozawa of his possession instead put his consciousness to sleep and left Munil in charge of his body. Combat quickly ensued.

Cortana quickly put Ozawa/Munil to Sleep, while the rest of the party brought Atamma down, her death revealing her as the hag that had escaped them before. Exiting the underworld and returning to the Songbird, they returned to Hadrik’s Folly, informed the headman that the hag had been dealt with, and sailed northwards once more, finally sailing over the Wall and eventually arriving at Kyuden Hida, the capital of the Crab Clan.

As we ended for the night, it was the 24th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

1200 xp.

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Chapter One, Session 03: The Hag
Stormclouds Gather

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 16th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

The Songbird set down outside the small village of Hadrik’s Folly, some 15 miles south of the Wall. After alleviating the fears of the community, the ambassador spent some time learning about life beyond the Wall from the headman of the village, Hyou Tadageri. he told her that while life was hard, the main threat to his village came in the form of a hag who had been stealing cattle and children. While he did not know the exact location of the hag’s lair, he offered to send along one of the villagers who would recognize it if he saw it again.

The next morning the party set out, and soon located the hag’s hovel, perched above a huge crater with a stone altar at it’s base. On spotting the Songbird, the hag quickly fled into her hut, returning with an ornate staff that she used to somehow manipulate the ley line the airship floated on, causing a surge the flung the small vessel nearly 80 miles further south.

Once the party recovered their bearings, it quickly became clear that they were not only lost, but that they had been flung free of the line, causing the ship to barely be able to gain altitude and to handle quite sluggishly. A new, weaker line was soon found, and it led them to another village. At the second village, however, no sooner did the alarm bells that had rung to signal the Songbird’s citing cease, then new alarms rung out, signalling an attack.

Four oni, led by an ogre mage, approached the village with torches, which they quickly used to begin setting the villager’s homes ablaze. while the villagers evacuated their homes and fled to the keep on a nearby hill, the group took on the attackers, killing the oni and eventually driving the ogre mage to retreat. The group then helped the village put out the fires and salvage what they could.

The next morning the Songbird set sail, trying to find the attackers lair. Helena, guided by the force, soon located a pit a few miles away, one that angled down into the ground. Traveling down into the pit, after several hundred yards the party found a huge cavern, stocked with stolen supplies, livestock, and a working forge. Unfortunately, the smith who ran the forge, a huge cyclops, was also present. The party wisely retreated and returned to the village they’d left earlier that morning.

After telling the villagers the location of the pit, the village headman offered to put the party up for the night, and in the morning offered them a reward. He led them to a cleft in one of the nearby hills, where the guardian Kami bestowed on each of them a gift; a ribbon that conferred the Iron Will feat for so long as it was worn. The group spent the remainder of the day traveling north to return to Hadrik’s Folly.

Not willing to risk the Songbird again, this time the group approached the hovel on foot. Arriving at the crater, the sighted the hag dragging a dwarven child by one leg out the door of her hut. Katsushiro & Helena instantly charged, drawing the rest of the party along behind them. As we broke for the evening, the hag had vanished, the samurai and the ambassador had reached the hut, and Katsushiro heard a voice saying “While you waste time here, I am off to the village to claim another innocent…”

As we ended for the night, it was the 19th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

1300 xp.

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