5.1: Reinforcements

Using Iuchi travel magic to reach a Shadowlands location near Hiruma Castle, the heroes attacked the besiegers to break through to the defenders. This time they destroyed the beastmaster Shinjō Shōta, but Utaku Randachi (who claimed to have become undead of her own will) escaped to rejoin the other Shadowlands forces.

After some time defending Hiruma Castle, the heroes were given special duties to help returning scout Hiruma Botan reach the fortress. They saw that she was bringing an unconscious Crane, and her horse was killed by a Lost warrior. The heroes healed the Crane and slew the Tainted human, but not before several oni were on their tail. The loyalists managed to collapse a tunnel behind them to prevent the oni from catching them. The rescued patient explained that he was a member of Daidōji Rekai’s forces who had been sent to report to the Crane Champion about their assistance of the Crab before trying to rejoin his daimyō in the Shadowlands. He also brought news that the Imperial City had been conquered by a surprise attack from Daigotsu’s forces, and the survival of the Tsi family was in question.

4.2: The Village

The next night, Ohaitsu found the maids at the Fortune’s Mercy doing “weird stuff” (as she reported), Hogosha Kengetsu and his entourage arrived in town, and a maid and the innkeeper from the First Wave were killed. After testimony from a dog, the heroes determined that all of the killings were related to the Crane’s inn, so they had Lady Wa’ako set up an undead ward around that one. The Crab forces all stayed up to watch, and were rewarded with seeing the ghost before a surviving maid reported where it had originated. It was Daidōji Meru, who, upon finding this out, received permission from Ohaitsu to draw her sword to commit seppuku.

Later, it was found that Akodo Kaneka had been declared as another possible heir to the Yasuki family, but had used his military might to claim the Black Crane Estates and the title of shōgun. Various factions were courting his favor, and he had given some holdings there to the Hogosha family, so Ohaitsu and her cohorts were sent as to watch this court. They researched the Nothing in the library, and Ohaitsu and Skaar Aokiji were tempted by a minor oni, suggesting there was a blood mage in the area.

There was word that the Carpenter Wall had suffered a major Shadowlands offensive, and all military personnel were sent to reinforce, but the heroes remained in Yasuki lands as their magistrate’s deputies. Meanwhile, Kaneka defeated Yasuki Hachi and Kakita Kaiten in duels to claim the region and its resources to support the Crab. Iuchi Hari arrived to ask for further reinforcements, as an oni lord had besieged Hiruma Castle as well, and was joined by Daidōji Rekai and the Class of 1159.

4.1: The Village

The Class of 1159 was seconded to the magistrate Hida Shara on the neutral ground of Friendly Traveler Village. On one patrol, the samurai were alerted to a dispute of Imperial law by the shugenja Mōshi Hama and the bounty hunters Tsuruchi Ren and Tsuruchi Sara. The problem turned out to be that the Crab were not accepting the Imperial Families’ decree that the Yasuki belonged to the Crane, so the automatic Emerald Magistrates were hunting the patrolmen. The former was killed, the middle captured, and the latter escaped. Ren was taken back to the Crane base at the First Wave Inn, where he committed seppuku in protest for his employers’ truce with the Crab. Hida Kinashita also returned Ri’pi’tituk “Ripper” to the Mantis as a token of goodwill.

Another day, Ohaitsu received an anonymous invitation to a meeting at midnight. However, the spot was swarmed with guards cleaning up after a duel where Kihe’e killed a Kakita swordsman and decided to work for the Crab. The next night, the heroes met with Yoritomo Sen, who claimed that the Yoritomo Élite Guard had also been ordered to defect from the Crane to the Crab. However, ninja ambushed the meeting, claiming that Sen had been leading the yōriki in a trap. Sen fought against them to his own death to prove his innocence, and all the ninja were also killed. Wa’ako suggested that they may have been Daidōji scouts or possibly Scorpion assassins, as Bayushi Hannya had been overstaying her welcome as well. Nothing could be proven. However, while Dōji Kazō and Daidōji Meru were out checking the scene, their Yoritomo mercenaries vanished without a trace.

The next day, the yōriki were given a break from patrol. They heard rumors from Yasuki Jinn-Kuen about that many people had been acting strangely at night lately, including a drunk who claimed to have punched a spirit straight out of his opponent’s body. The team then went out to tour the Friendly Traveler Sake Works while keeping an eye on Hannya. They met Oshuko (the proprietor) and Hiroko (the untouchable handler of the secret ingredient), tried some sake, and parted ways with Hannya without incident. Mako and Kieron were wagering that a monk (Jun’ichi) would defeat a samurai (Tsuruchi Shinnosuke) in a duel over a theological discussion, but no one would bet against them, so Ohaitsu broke up the fight.

In the morning, one of the Crab inn’s maids was found clawed to death. The next night, Jun’ichi attacked a patrol of dōshin and killed two before being subdued. The third night of attacks, Shinnosuke attacked the owner of the First Wave, then came to his senses when the innkeeper’s scream awakened everyone nearby. Wa’ako suggested that the culprit could be a spirit created by the dreams of someone under stress. The magistrates set up a system for the next night by which the inhabitants of the area would watch each other to see whether a spirit would appear from any sleeper.

3.2: Clash of the Titans

Botan was called back to the Hiruma, while Moshibaru Kieran and Tsi Skaar were seconded to the Class of 1159. The Crab forces then took to the sea to deal with Crane/Mantis/Badger strike forces. Although they were attacked by Yoritomo Sukina, Tsuta, and Raita; Ichirō Ribae and Torako; Crane Yasuki Ganju, Hibana, Rin, and Warashi; a skull tide; and an orochi; the heroes slew all in their path. They also captured Ri’pi’tituk “Ripper,” a ratling who had been hired from the Crab Yasuki by the Mantis. The enemy force broken, the heroes were sent back to keep the peace on land.

3.1: Clash of the Titans

The Class of 1159 went into battle on the front lines of the Crab-Crane War. In addition to numerous ashi-garu and unidentified infiltrators, they slew the archer Asahina Karuta, the noncombatant Asahina Heihachi, his bodyguard Daidōji Kirika, the Heavy Regular Daidōji Masuta, and the cavalry Daidōji Fujiko and Daidōji Kemari. Due to the necessity to warn of Crane reinforcements by sea, they let Heavy Regular Daidōji Meru free on the pain of not fighting for a year.

With the Crane outnumbering the Crab, the latter’s Clan Champion, Hida O-Ushi, sacrificed her life in a duel against her opposite number, Dōji Kurohito, in return for allowing her forces to retreat. Her son Kuroda ascended to clan leadership and declared that the Twenty Goblin Winter would remain open. The Crane having retaken the eastern plains, Yasuhiro and the Class of 1159 were sent to defend against them and the Shadowlands on the southern seas.

2.2: We Don't Wanna March No More Today

The heroes investigated Demon Village, dealing with various gaki, carpenters, and an oni.

2.1: We Don't Wanna March No More Today

Information from the introduction can be found here:

After the new year, Botan, Ohaitsu, Ranneko, and Mako were put in charge of one of the scouting parties to watch out for Shadowlands creatures while troops moved through the tunnel to East Mountain Village. They encountered and defeated a megada no oni, as well as small ashi and byōki no oni. Toward the east end, they encountered saboteurs plotting to cave in the tunnel and managed to stop them without complete structural damage. The infiltrators had clues pointing to the Daidōji family, but no hard evidence.

The next day, the forces arrived at Demon Village, where they were informed by the peaceful inhabitants that O-Ushi was away to the north, while the Toritaka Ghost Hunter and his guards left behind had gone into the old village and never returned. The tale was that an oni had besieged the village with its army of goblins before the Clan War, and the survivors now shunned that area, suspecting the demon still lurked within. A ratling shaman trying to contain the evil pointed out the strongest areas as being the temple and the former headman’s house. While waiting for their clan champion’s troops to return, Ohaitsu’s team considered going into the old village to investigate.

1.3: Twenty Goblin Winter

Ohaitsu, Ranneko, Botan, and Mako moved northeast through the Shadowlands, procuring the last few goblin heads they needed and fighting some undead humans. As they neared Hiruma Castle, they were chased by various zombies led by a hyakuhei who claimed to be under orders from Utaku Randachi. After verifying the heroes’ identity, the Hiruma rescued them and took them inside. With their successful Twenty Goblin Winter and the valuable information Botan had brought back from the Shadowlands, the heroes went honorably into the service of the Moshibaru family, visiting their new home before marching east to support the Crab’s efforts against the Crane.

1.2: Twenty Goblin Winter

Entering the tower, Ohaitsu and Ranneko were separated from the others, then met Mako and Hiruma Botan while fighting undead goblins. They continued where the passages allowed them, going through a room themed after each of them, as well as two related to Fu Leng. After hearing that Shura and Chan’ju’tem had escaped, the heroes were transported in the tower to Big Stink, the Ruins of the Kappa. There, they were welcomed by Thuk-Kigi and the descendants of Basher, who had made the alliance with the Kuni family of the Crab Clan.

Thuk-Kigi told them of the new “deep Shadowlands” goblins, with the leadership of the humans Omoni and Kokujin, who were emissaries of Daigotsu, the new Lord of the Shadowlands about whom Botan needed to report back to Rokugan. Instead of visiting Omoni’s flesh-sculpting exhibition, the heroes chose to use it as a distraction during which they could escape the city. They later saw a two-headed goblin also leaving and chose to ambush him/them. During the battle, Ranneko saw a goblin taking notes and attacked him, resulting in many more goblins joining the fight. Only Ohaitsu escaped, but she was able to save the others after the goblins started arguing among themselves. The heroes continued back toward the Kaiu Wall, hoping to find the last goblin heads they needed on the way. They were attacked by more during the night and slew them all, except one who used tattooed monk powers to escape.

1.1: Twenty Goblin Winter

Ohaitsu and Ranneko attended the opening ceremony of the 1158–1159 Twenty Goblin Winter in Shinsei’s Last Hope, meeting numerous rōnin as well as Crab officials and ratling ambassadors. After teaming up with Chan’ju’tem and Shura and testing their mettle in combat against a few other entrants, they ventured into the mountains, where they met Old Man Ebi the hermit. He gave them the location of a small goblin band, and they killed all of them, as well as another who arrived with an ogre. On the way back, they were ambushed by two other goblins but chased them off. In return for the goblin leader’s silver sword, Ebi gave them a bag for carrying some goblin heads, an ointment that would animate goblins to follow them, and directions on the friendly goblins in the Ruins of the Kappa. He led them to a shortcut through an obsidian tower. As the adventurers entered to examine some bas-reliefs of goblins, the door closed behind them.


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