[L5R 4e: Never a Dull Blade] State of the Empire

Posted: November 28, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Legend of the Five Rings, Roleplaying Games

After the events of the Kyuden Bayushi Winter Court that was concluded last week, I think it’s about time to give a summary of the various changes and significant events that have occurred that may be of interest to my players.


The Crab are generally unchanged with regards to this Winter Court, mostly due to their non-participative stance.  That said, Akodo Kenji’s rather blatant accusations to the Yasuki have not endeared him to that Family of the Crab.  As such, Akodo Kenji gains the Sworn Enemy Disadvantage.  Akodo Senji on the other hand, has maintained his good relations with the Hida, Kaiu and Toritaka family.


The Crane Clan have lost much of their ability to support the Lion Clan due to a sudden political incident kicked off by Akodo Senji.  His reveal of the Gozoku documents to Doji Kurohito resulted in the Crane Champion’s investigation on his wife, which revealed that she was truly part of the conspiracy.  Kurohito had his wife executed, and recalled his daughter, Doji Kurohito from her schooling with the Lion Clan.  While the Crane will abide by their earlier agreement to provide monetary support to the Clan, the Lion should not expect much else in further assistance until the Crane manage to get themselves sorted out again.  On the other hand, the assistance of Doji Tanitsu, the Imperial Adviser to support the Lion’s case in court means that the Lion Clan owe the Crane a big favor.


Tamori Shaitung, Daimyo of the Tamori Family has gained the position of Master of Earth, as was her ambition after the existing Master of Earth, Isawa Taeruko stepped down, citing personal reasons.  Her association with both Kitsu Tetsumi and Akodo Kenji makes her a valuable ally if she can manage to take some time away from the various political upheavals resulting from the Phoenix Civil War.


Akodo Kenji bargained for the Mantis Clan’s support in the hearing against the Unicorn, offering her a trading post and lower tariffs for trade with the Lion.  The Mantis Ambassador, Yoritomo Yoyonagi fully intends to cash in on this particular favor, and will most likely come back to be a recurring NPC for good or for ill.


With the death of Matsu Nimuro, the Golden Lion, the Clan’s status has been in a state of upheaval.  The Akodo family, led by Akodo Ginawa, are still suspicious of the Ikoma Family after the Ikoma Vassals turned traitor and caused Nimuro’s death.  The Ikoma, led by the interim Champion, Ikoma Otemi are trying to shore up popular support, and placate both the Akodo and the Matsu before the Clan falls into Civil War.  Kitsu Juri of the Kitsu family has been working with Otemi in hopes that he can stabilize the Clan as well.

Akodo Ginawa’s student, Akodo Shigetoshi has been sent to the Unicorn Clan as a hostage, while Matsu Yoshino, Nimuro’s son is currently studying under Akodo Ginawa’s instruction.  The Lion Clan are also looking at what looks like a difficult start for the year with many of their more fertile lands left unharvested or destroyed due to the War.


The Scorpion Clan in general do not have much interaction with the Lion, but Kitsu Tetsumi did speak to Paneki with regards to the Egg of P’an Ku, and the young Sodan-Senzo must now find a way to retrieve the artifact from her adoptive father.  Matsu Hiroto was given scrolls by a mysterious Soshi Umi, which gave him knowledge of how to create and apply the enigmatic Shadow Brands.


The Phoenix Clan were in the midst of a vicious Civil War, and the unwitting actions of Akodo Senji resulted in the execution of Doji Akiko, the Master of Water.  With her dead, the Council was left with only three original members remaining: Isawa Ochiai, the Master of Fire, her brother Isawa Nakamura, the Master of Air and Shiba Ningen, the Master of Void.  Tamori Shaitung was an outsider, and the new interim Master of Water, Shiba Tsuke, was a known sycophant and could not be trusted.


Ide Tadaji, the Ambassador of the Unicorn has stepped down from his position, allowing the young and ambitious Ide Tang to take his place.  Moto Chagatai, having lost all use of his legs, has given up his position as the Clan Champion to a younger Moto Chen.  Chagatai however, retains an advisory position, determined to at least be of some use to the clan should the Unicorn end up facing the Lion once more.

Overall the Empire is at the edge of some major change.  Unrest and old grudges are starting to fester and despite the peaceful mien of the Winter Court, many are beginning to wonder just how long the era of peace will last.

  1. mythicast says:

    The crane, or at least Kurohito, should owe the Akodo if not for the fact that the Crane clan was saved disgrace by getting the opportunity to sort their problems domestically rather than have it presented in court, in front of the emperor. They should at least leave the Lion alone to rebuild their badly hit economy, before asking favors.

    I think a good angle on the story, especially with the new posts given to the characters, would for them to try to patch up enough of what’s left to jumpstart the suffering trade and economy while keeping maintaining the peace (or some semblance of it) to attract outside trade. If war really is coming, the Lion is militarily capable but economically deficient. Either they prevent war until they are ready, or recover resources hurriedly before war is upon them.

    • Kurohito is grateful for the Lion’s discretion, and that is why he didn’t mention that he received the evidence from Akodo Senji. He didn’t want to put the Akodo commander at risk of possible assassination attempts by the Gozoku.

      That said, the Crane aren’t about to pull favors from the Lion since they understand that the Lion aren’t in any position to fulfill any requests right now.

    • Hrm. I see two issues here.

      Yes, Kurohito may owe the Akodo Senji (not the Akodo family unless Senji plans to tell them of what happened) for the evidence presented to him first instead of presenting it in court therefore allowing the Crane the opportunity to save face.

      However, Senji still gets an honor hit for asking Kurohito that he should not be mentioned in ever receiving the damning material. Remember, part of a Samurai’s duty is to testify to evidence, even if to testify just meant he had received said damning evidence–very risky as it puts the Lion in the spot again, and may be used as material to create tensions with the Phoenix.

      Unfortunately, this is L5R, and Senji’s refusal to testify would paint him as someone not being willing to stand up for the truth.

  2. Hikkikomori says:

    My main concern with the Gozoku is that my personal contact has been executed. So I won’t be able to call on its resources as easy as before since I no longer have the backing to do so.

  3. mythicast says:

    Tricky indeed, depends now on how the Akodo family plays it (As Senji immediately went to his superiors, specifically Zan for counsel). Akodo or Senji could work on an angle that he has performed his duty as a Samurai by giving the letters to an Authority who could do something about it. Samurai (or at least L5R samurai) does not necessarily need to give testimony per se, but must take action when there is a threat to the empire (i.e. Akodo Kaneka kept the information about the Gozoku but he took action along with Doji Takeji when they found out about the Gozoku connection to the shadow tower).

    If Kurohito could accuse Senji of performing inadequate action if there was motivation in it. Senji could take an honor hit, but will inadvertently give leverage to the unicorn since Senji was a key witness during the court session where the Unicorn were implicated with the lost souls (before which the conversation with kurohito took place).

    • Admittedly this is all under the bridge as what is done is done. Kurohito isn’t implicating Senji of anything (since Senji himself requested Kurohito to keep quiet about it) and the Akodo are in no position to leverage for further favors from the Crane. At the same time, the Crane aren’t about to call on the Lion for anything either, given that they’re busy trying to sort things out as Doji Akiko’s execution was most likely only the first step in a greater investigation on the Gozoku.

  4. Hikkikomori says:

    In the yet-to-be-named town by the Twin Rivers, Heaven-Piercing Tea House has just opened.

    *calls for samisen and drum players to make a ruckus outside my establishment to attract attention*

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