The characters find themselves a few weeks after the terrible War of the Rich Frog, and the Lion Clan and Unicorn have both retreated to lick their wounds. This isn’t a time of complacency, however, as the team must now gear up for what promises to be one of the most difficult challenges they have ever faced: The Winter Court.
To those unfamiliar with the setting of Legend of the Five Rings, the Emperor holds an annual imperial court which is often hosted by one of the Major Clans. The Emperor stays over as a guest for the Winter season, and as such the event is marked with all sorts of events, festivities and political maneuvering as the various clans attempt to curry the favor of the emperor or bring up their disputes for him to adjudicate. Where many see this event as a season-long social event, the courtiers of the various clans know Winter as one of the bloodiest of times as their battles in court are equally as dangerous and often have higher stakes than the ones fought by the soldiers in the field.
What makes matters worse is the fact that this year’s Winter Court is being held in the capital of the Scorpion Clan. Well known as dangerous and duplicitous villains, the Scorpion nevertheless are remarkably capable courtiers who aren’t afraid to use methods like blackmail and such to press their advantage. The Lion consider the Scorpion to be one of their most dangerous opponents, as the Scorpions hardly ever bother to fight in an honorable fashion. The fact that the Emperor has chosen the Scorpion venue is one that has led to no small amount of stress to those in the team, with the Idealistic Akodo Senji (played by Paulo) always on edge, expecting all sorts of unpleasant things from the shadows.
The session also sported a full compliment of players characters. With the aforementioned tactician Akodo Senji, the wily Bard / Spy Akodo Kenji, the sodan-senzo pugilist Kitsu Tetsumi, the gigantic duelist Matsu Broli and the one of a kind Matsu shugenja, Matsu Hiroto. Together they made up the bulk of the Lion Clan delegation to the Winter Court, along with the head Lion Ambassador Ikoma Sume, and the matriarch of the Ikoma family Ikoma Yasuko.