[L5R – Never a Dull Blade] Actual Play 2: Bureaucratic Brouhaha

Posted: September 18, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Actual Play, Articles, Legend of the Five Rings, Roleplaying Games

Session2 of the L5R 4e campaign picks up from where the team left off, with the original cast joined by an additional Akodo Bushi played by a college buddy of mine, Paulo.  Sadly I don’t think we had a name for his character yet (a troubling issue that tends to happen in our group, but I digress.)

So, when we last left off the original team of four already knew the faces of the suspects, and presented their findings to the minor daimyo that was in charge of the city, Akodo Isamu.  Strangely, after being presented with artist’s sketches of the faces of those responsible for the rape and murder of Matsu Michiko, Isamu took one portrait, and set it aside, telling team that they are free to pursue the remaining eleven suspects and punish them to the fullest extent of the law, but this one was not to be approached.  Furthermore, the original four player characters were instructed by the daimyo to not discuss the exempted one with anyone.

When pressed for a reason, Isamu stated that the one suspect that was exempt was Gonta, the scion of an influential merchant house known as the Three Leaves that operates in his city.  He did not want any form of scandal that could cause chaos in his city, but the four samurai were not buying that as a sufficient excuse.  Nonetheless, as Lions, they were duty bound to obey (to an extent.)

Broly and Tetsumi set off to break the bad news to Matsu Jin, while Kenji and Mappy’s Matsu Shugenja set off to round up the remaining suspects.

Broly and Tetsumi arrived at the inn where Jin and his retinue were staying, and gave their apologies.  They explained that his sister had been assaulted, and violated by peasants and sailors.  Tetsumi went on to explain that the grief and anger that she must have experienced in her death was so great that her soul was not able to pass on, and she turned into a ghost instead of being able to rejoin their ancestors or the great cycle of reincarnation.

Jin was devastated, and thanked them, informing them that if such as the case, then he would take on the duties of a Deathseeker in an attempt to purge their line of this dishonor.  Tetsumi asked him then, if they would prefer to have her handle the case, of if they would rather strike down her ghost, to keep it within the family, as it were.  Jin replied that he would rather have it done by a Kitsu Shugenja, but will be sending some of his men to assist in the matter.  He would request for the right to serve as the executioner for those that had been caught.

At this point, the game shifted to Kenji and Mappy’s shugenja, who had rounded up the city’s magistrates to conduct a series of raids to arrest the guilty.  Kenji broke off from the raids to pursue and interrogate the youngest suspect, a boy of barely 18 summers.  After a bit of intimidation (a preferred method of investigation in this campaign) Kenji was able to get information that Gonta enjoys going on these “hunting expeditions” and all of the suspects were employed in one way or another by the Three Leaves Merchant House.  He was also able to draw out information of a certain Noritoshi, and old man who was also an accountant for the Three Leaves.

Kenji took this information and paid a Kasuga smuggler to send the boy somewhere far away, with words that he will not be so kind if he ever saw the boy in Lion lands again.

Meanwhile Tetsumi and Broly returned to the temple, whereupon they confronted Michiko’s ghost.  The undead spectre of the Samurai-ko manifested in a form of a broken woman, all her injuries fresh on her body as she held a bokken made of bone.  She moved swiftly, attacking a matsu samurai that had come with them, her strike leaving a trail of frostbitten flesh.  Broly struck then, scoring a massive blow (55 wounds) and banishing the spirit in a single strike.  Tetsumi proceeded the purify the temple, doing as best as she could to coax the kami back to bring some semblance of holiness back to the ruined temple of Bishamon.

The team regrouped, where they were met up with Paulo’s Akodo Bushi, and they went over the salient details of the case.  Michiko was banished, and majority of the guilty were in prison.  Only Gonta was there as the last niggling detail, and they’ve been ordered to not pursue him by a higher ranking officer.  The team was not in good spirits, knowing by this point that Gonta was the mastermind between the attack.  Unwilling to sit idly by, Paulo’s character left that very evening to pursue Noritoshi, scaring the old man into admitting certain interesting facts with regards to Akodo Isamu, who had apparently been taking hush money from the Three Leaves Merchant House to allow Gonta’s habits to continue.

Paulo’s Akodo Bushi then took Noritoshi under his personal protection, leading the old man back to the team, and the group, now having a possible witness decided to make a break for it back to Akodo Ginawa, in order to give a full report on what had been going on.  Kenji volunteered to stay behind, in an effort to make sure that Gonta doesn’t make a run for it, as the ride back to the Akodo capital was several days.

Next session will deal with the team making their report to Akodo Ginawa, Kenji’s solo efforts to make sure that Gonta is held liable for his crimes, and the fallout on Akodo Isamu.  This should be something to look forward to, as it will also deal with their next assignment, Shiro Ikoma, where they were to serve under the first lady of the Ikoma family, Ikoma Yasuko.

  1. I had fun. I know some people might go “But you don’t send Lions to do this! We’re supposed to kill things!” but it’s not true. This was a Lion clan matter, and it would be so out of character to expect the Crane, Scorpion, or the Kitsuki magistrates to fixing their own domestic problems.

    That aside, the intro storyline help me get rid of the usual Lion stereotypes of being two-dimensional choppy-choppy characters.

    • I believe that if anything the Lion Clan is the biggest victim of stereotyping in all of the setting. It’s easy to just dismiss them as war-hungry fightmongers with an average IQ of 40, but that’s rarely the case in any of the Clans. I’d say that if anything one advantage to running single-clan campaigns like this and our Phoenix Civil War game is the fact that people are now exposed to just how broad the cultures are in each of the Clans.

  2. Hikkikomori says:

    Lions don’t maintain their Honor by just sitting around in a vacuum until the next war comes along.

  3. Sounds like a nicely convoluted situation. I hope that Gonta gets what he deserves next episode.

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