L5R: Chronicles of the Ota

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Discussion Session - Pregame

3 xp for all

+3 xp for Joe for food

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We're all fine here, how are you!
Session 1

The Clan war has been over for about 6 months. We lost a lot of peasants during the Clan Wars, mostly due to disease. Our troops are currently on the way back to the providence but are currently providing support to the rest of the Cranes.

It is the Month of the Rooster. All of the PCs have been invited to the gardens of the main residence by Ota Ekaido. Something seems to be different in the garden. Each PC noticed something different about the gardens the last time each of us was in the Gardens. Ota Ryoko was accompanied by Ota Ayano and Ota Rikimaru.

After enjoying some sugar confections Abbot Fukai joined us in the Garden, he was also called to the meeting with Ota Ekaido. Rikimaru investigated the damaged statue. Ota Ekaido arrived looking very much the worse for wear. Ota-sama would like for us to arrange for a specific list of people to attend Winter Court at Kyuden Mimura. We discussed if we want to get the Keep to the North back into shape for Winter Court, give that it is currently in disrepair. We are currently about 3 months away from winter (including travel time).

Ryoko called Tiko (who is the head Gardener) into the Garden and asked for an explanation about why the Garden was in such a state of disrepair. Tiko told us that Ota-sama had done the damage to the Garden over the last three nights. 

Things out of place in the Garden:

  • The leaves have started coming off the trees early in Autumn
  • A couple koi ponds, and one of the two statues guarding over the koi ponds is missing two arms
  • It hasn’t been raked this morning
  • The garden is walled, and someone has been pulling at the vines
  • There is a nightingale singing in the day, which is good luck

Ryoko was called with meet with an NPC who arrived to talk with Ota-sama, but he is unavailable due to his illness. Ryoko, Rikimaru, Ota Noriko, Favored Chef of Kuwanan and Ayano meet with Asahina Dorai who had a sealed scroll with the markings of the Doji, in fact from the Captial of the Doji family, to give to Ryoko. Asahina Dorai was given the scroll by Doji Natsuki. The scroll talks of Asahina Dorai as the greatest student that Doji Kuwanan has ever seen and Asahina Dorai has been sent to learn what "we do best". Asahina Dorai is from the school of Numbers, which Ota-sama has great skill in.

During that conversation, Utaku Elham and Daidoji Kazomara investigated the vines that were strangely pulled away from the wall. The vines, when pulled back, make the kanji for death. 

Ryoko was called to meet with a second set of two NPCs from the Miya Clan! One who is a middle aged man and younger women who have both cleaned up before meeting with Ryoko. Miya Ryoshu along with Miya Kanae informed Ryoko that they had arrived to assay the Ota lands after the Clan Wars. Noriko informed with the Miya of how dangerous the Ota lands were after the Clan Wars and Ryoko attempted to save face about this misstep, informing them how safe Ota lands are. They also wanted to see the beauty of the Central Gardens.

During that conversation, Elham and Kazomara moved a large planter in front of the "Death Wall".

 

XP

4 XP for all (3 base plus 1 for log)
+1 XP for Joe
+3 XP Paige food
+3 XP Koda drinks

 

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We are having dinner, damnit!
Session 2

In the garden, Ota Noriko, Favored Chef of Kuwanan dashes off a list of things for the servants to prepare for dinner since the Miya are here. 

Ota Ryoko is pulled aside by a servant. She will be very busy with the unexpected guests.

Asahina Dorai is here to learn province management. He was sent by Doji Kuwanan the Crane Clan Champion.

Miya Ryoshu is here to draw our taxable borders. Miya Kanae is his servant, an apprentice cartographer.

Daidoji Kazomara offers to go get the Daidoji scouts, and get current intelligence so we can start planning our route. Also on his list is seeing about building an observation tower to the southwest to see the scar and keep a watch on it. Used to be a waystation to the southwest. Should check in with Daidoji Nezu to check on that waystation and see if that's a good place to put an observation tower. 

Mimura is the central village of the province. It has barley and rice fields, but more barley than rice. The barley is our main source of income because we have a method of taking the barley and making it into field rations that are somewhat expensive.

Jade Cygnets (Hisui Inkan) - live on rafts and attack water traffic. We mostly ignore them. They're orphans from the war and live a boisterous scamp lifestyle. [Macro a conversation about yummy yaoi buttsex!]

Shinku Ōyamaneko (Crimson Lynx) – Ashigaru deserters led by some former clan samurai who are now ronin. One of them is modestly famous Lion warrior who broke bad. She's been ronin since close to the beginning of the war. Conscientious objector – maybe she was an Akodo. She has a grudge against someone local? But also our soldiers are away for a while.

Widow's Path – a oxpath on the north side of the Widow's Break. Currently being maintained because winter is coming. The swamp has encroached and part of the path is sinking, but it's functional. 

Inn of the Many-Petaled Chrysanthemum – Mural in the Inn of a flower and they add a new petal every year.

THERE ARE FATE POINTS IN THIS GAME!!! Free raise, minor declaration, reroll one die.

Daidoji Nezu's office is near the barracks.  She has two attendants that are young Daidoji samurai. Her office is small and full of maps, one with figurines of bandits and troops. It looks like the Ōyamaneko have expanded territory in the northwest. She says that there are Crimson Lynx bandits there. 

Campaign Aspect: "It's worst"

Utaku Elham is house sitting an ostentatious house in town that was formerly occupied by a Unicorn merchant so it's not repossessed for taxes.

At dinner, we have: Ota Atsumi (Ota Ekaido's young wife), Ota Briari (Ota Keiasu's wife), Ota Masami (Ota Rikimaru's wife).  Ota ​​​​​​​Tsuniko is there as first servant. Asahina Dorai is gently dissuaded from making notes. He asks to join Ota Noriko in the kitchen and is also gently dissuaded from it because she's a real witch in the kitchen. 

A herald comes out to read the menu:

  • Sun rise on the mountain
  • Spring maidens hair in the wind
  • Nights' Placid sea
  • Snow monkey at the hot spring
  • Champion's rest

Ota Atsumi is good to Ota Ekaido and is funny and compassionate. Looking forward to being the dowager daimyo. Seems to get along well with Ota Ryoko and is teaching her how to get along in polite society. She seems all sweetness and light and has a meal ticket unless she messes this up.

Ota Briari comes to dinner and is awkward and bitter. She's apparently good friends with Ota Masami. Ota Briari is apparently very friendly with Utaku Elham as well. (And Joe has realized that she's part of the Mean Girls Clique.) Onēsan (older sister). (Or Oni no Onē according to Daidoji Kazomura).

There is a castle bard that performs a musical interlude. (2 influence.) Ota Kiyushi 

Rikimaru wonders why the dessert had to be set on fire. It speaks to life's impermanence – or the colors of the fire represent the loss of so many people in the clan wars.

 

+3 XP Joe for sake

+3 XP Andrew for curry

+3 XP Paige for crane cakes

 +1 XP Paige for music

(Koda will be making edamame next week.)

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Planning
Session 3

Ota Ryoko speaks with her father asking how he will train Asahina Dorai when he hasn't even trained her. Ota Ekaido says that it would be lovely to teach her but she never wanted to learn and was only interested in poetry and swordplay. Ota Ryoko proposes to retrieve Ota Keiasu from the monastery and inspire him to relearn. Ota Rikimaru points out that Ota Keiasu was greatly demoralized by the loss of his hand.

Ota Ryoko returns from speaking with her father and Ota Noriko, Favored Chef of Kuwanan returns to the kitchen to supervise. Ota Ryoko makes Asahina Dorai wait fairly late. She suggests we take him to the South Garden. From the outside it looks like solid wall of bamboo, but the interior is mostly open. It makes you feel like you are somewhere safe. The veil of bamboo is built like a sundial. Some of the foolish peasants believe that the wind that whistles through the garden may be a ghost. It's the only place in Mimura where the night-blooming moonflowers grow. They were a gift from a long-ago guest, but no one remembers who or from where. We go to the garden and it's peaceful. The very pale pink moonflowers are blooming and fragrant.

Asahina Dorai joins us in the garden. Daidoji Kazomara senses no enemies about. Ota Rikimaru bids him read his message. He does so and we do not understand him. A wind blows and the leaves shape into a mock up of Doji Kuwanan with moonflowers for eyes. In four weeks Doji Konishiko the Crane General (and his niece) will come by to learn what we have found and decide what to do for the good of the Crane. 

We're somewhat surprised that Asahina Dorai is a shugenja. Ota Ryoko suggests we find a battle because that's what generals like. Daidoji Kazomara suggests that some Cane generals value subtlety.  Ota Ryoko tasks Daidoji Kazomara with finding out more about the general.

Things to do:

  • Prepare the guest list for winter court with an eye toward getting commitments for people to attend (about 3 months hence). Invitations need to go out in a month for Crane, or six weeks for far-flung clans (Mantis, Unicorn, Phoenix).
  • Prepare the Winter Court keeping in mind that the Imperials might be snowed in with us. Perhaps two plans, one with imperials and one without imperials.
  • Take Imperials out to survey the lands. Talk to the Jade Cygnets about getting the Crimson Lynx to stay away and/or about staging an attack. Crimson Lynx is more active right now, and very unfriendly.
  • Take the Imperials to show them Mimura.
  • Ota Ekaido is ill. Find healing for him if we can.
  • Investigate the scar and find out about it. We have four weeks.
  • Find out more about General Doji Konishiko.
  • Figure out what's going on with the death kanji in the garden.
  • See about building an observation tower to the southwest to see the scar and keep a watch on it. Used to be a waystation to the southwest. Daidoji Nezu says that the waystation is still there, and mostly intact, but the Crimson Lynx have started using it.
  • Run off the Crimson Lynx. 

Daidoji Kazamara and Utaku  Elham head in to town to gather rumors and intel at the Silver Okasan. Doshen Umezawa greets us at the edge of town, having heard our hoofbeats. 

cue cantina music

There are scantily clad men and women dancing. The ronin are playing Fortunes and Winds. The sake is really terrible, but at least it's hot. Five (?) tax men. Some are samurai and some are not. Common gossip says our taxes are going up. People are in good spirits because the second barley harvest is bountiful and no one will go hungry this winter. Crab spotted on the southern border. Ronin should go the castle to look for jobs against the Crab. Otaku Elham learns that there are 4 groups of crab heading north (5-20 persons). Leave the sake with a Ronin.

Utaku Elham is walked back to her home. Daidoji Kazamara has a fun gallop in the moonlight back to the castle.

Ota Shizu (1 point of power), head of the SIlver Owl Guard (looks like the spitting image of Ota Misami). Ota Rikimaru is the captain of the Golden Finch Guard.

Daidoji Kazamara sneaks past Ota Shizu and leaves a chalk mark on the lintel of Ota Ryoku's door to let Ota Shizu (or her guard) know that he's beaten their observation.

Ota Ryoko wants to show the Miya the industry of the merchants, affluence of the nobles, and the obedience of the peasants. She and Daidoji Kazomara lay out a route. Start with the peasants, the merchants, then nobles (34 to lay out a route). In Jingore, we set up peasants to be around to bow and show babies and throw wildflowers in the road. In Ubanoru we go into the opium den Shozen. He asks for 8 koku for the castle pickup of opium (we think it's maybe between 3-5 koku worth).

QUEST LOG: Who's doing opium in the castle?

Shozen is told it's his lucky day to go pray to the fortunes and not come back for a day. House is locked and a note on front says it's closed and for sale.

In the garden Ota Ryoko and Ota Rikimaru talk to the gardener and give him guidance on how to hide or draw attention from the death kanji. Decide to remove statues and add water lilies and bamboo that will hide the broken statues. Suggests a poem on a plaque to talk about the ephemeral nature of life. Carpenters set out to carve the poem into a plaque to be lacquered.

The quiet meditation, the broad wild or bamboo fastness, will father's touch remain?

Suggest painting the scar "go away green" (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/paint-tricks-use-disneys-go-away-green-219276) and to replace the vines.

+4 XP (includes log)

+3 XP for Paige for dinner

+3 XP for Joe for cookies

+3 XP for Ron for booze

+1 XP to Paige for music

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