Torii no Meido

Entering Stone Hop Village

A surprising summons brings the PCs to Stone Hop Village

Yogo Bengei, an emerald magistrate, requested of your lord that he be provided with samurai to assist as his yoriki (deputies) during an investigation. Somewhat puzzlingly, he specifically requested your services, and now you find yourself heading towards Stone Hop Village in northern Scorpion lands with a fresh set of traveling papers. Per Yogo Bengei-san’s instructions, you are to meet up with Soshi Uguru upon your arrival to receive a complete briefing.

[PCs who are curious if they know anything about Yogo Bengei or Soshi Uguru can make a Lore: Heraldry or Lore: Scorpion roll for one or both of them. Likewise, a Lore: Scorpion roll could reveal basic information about North Hop Village to those who are curious. As always, please feel free to use something else applicable if you have another obscure Lore skill “e.g. Lore: Magistrates”]

As the sun lowers in the evening sky the number of passerbys on the road begins to dwindle, but you gather from their words that you are nearing your destination. The sun has just sunken below the horizon and in the lingering daylight you make out a think chimney of black smoke rising in the distance. Spurning your horse to greater speeds (or rushing on foot) you soon confirm your fear that there is indeed a large fire in Stone Hop Village. Knowing that a small fire can quickly rage out of control with most Rokugani people living in closely-cramped houses made of paper and wood, you fervently rush the last leg of your already tiring journey. Passing under the Gate of Pursed Lips you enter a small city of peasants and samurai alike franticly running hither and thither with a dozen mothers trying to calm down a chorus of babies and children who are belting a crescendo of frightened sobs to a backdrop of a roaring inferno…

33k163f

[Awaiting player actions]

Comments

(I got a 27 on my Lore: Heraldry check to see what I know about Yogo Bengei and Soshi Uguru)

Utaku horses are very intelligent, but I don’t want to risk a panicked stampede or anything like that, so I will dismount my horse (one of the easier tricks to teach an animal is to come when called, and I would assume that, as I’ve bonded with the horse, that wouldn’t require a roll at this point, but I can make an Animal Handling roll if you’d like for the trick) and rush into the city.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

//I’d like to make a knowledge history roll if I know anything about the town, got a 17.

Forgetting about feet tired from the road, Asahina Kazume will increase his pace, rushing into the city, hoping to offer whatever aid he can. If there are any who are in need of medical attention, I will stop to use my medicine skill to administer quick first aid [4k2]. I will save my magic until I know what exactly is going on.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

The last of the able-bodied men are making their way up the hill on the northern part of the town. Taking the main road up, eventually the ground levels off and the congested estates of the slums and market districts slowly began opening up into more spacious (and prestigious) compounds. Streams of fire snaking high into the evening sky illuminate thick columns of smoke, which seem to be mainly centered on a compound which is entirely beyond saving — a small shack in the garden, still ablaze, seems to be the last structure fully standing on the premises. Samurai and common folk alike, being directed by a loud, masked Scorpion samurai standing at the main intersection ahead, have formed lines in the streets, passing buckets of water along while tossing back the empty ones for refills in a surprisingly efficient process.

It seems as if everyone has long since abandoned the nearby buildings, but you do see a rickshaw with a couple of burn victims being carted away from the scene. It is impossible to discern the rank or class of the victims due to burns and fire damage, but one of them has a sword and both are in quite serious condition.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

I sprint on foot to the scene of the fire, looking for any victims. Upon seeing the rickshaw, I explain that I am going to try to help the wounded and hop in to use my medicine skill (5k3) on both victims, starting with whom I perceive to be the most critical. I will use a raise on each roll to make the TN 20. first roll was a 48 to heal 9 wounds, 2nd roll was 35 to heal 17 wounds. After healing, presuming there is no more immediate care that I can provide them, I will get out of the rickshaw as to not add any more weight to it and help push it whilst trying to get information from the victims if they are able (what are their names, if anyone else is in danger yet, what they remember, how the fire started etc).

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

Both men are coughing pretty violently but already seem to be more at ease after you put some ointment on their burns and bandage up the most sensitive areas. The one with no swords or status symbol is racked with heavy coughs, gasping for air in between heavy fits of coughing. He is unable to converse at the moment.

The one with a sword is also a good cougher, but he thanks you and will beg you for some water in response to your early questioning.

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I will help them to sit up to assist their breathing, starting w/ the one with the sword. I will make a medicine roll(22) to decide whether it is wise to offer him water when he isn’t breathing well and proceed as I then see fit. I will say a prayer for them then ask where we are headed and continue trying to wheel the cart faster in order to get them help. If they become able to speak I will try to ask them the aforementioned questions.

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I will offer my services in the bucket duty in an effort to help put out the fire, and offering whatever assistance I can until the crisis has been handled.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

Shiba Inu, you recall learning that it is safe to give water to a burn victim, as long as the water does not come in contact with the burns. The man feels much relieved and is glad to answer your questions between coughs. He identifies himself as Senzu and says he is a ronin in the service of Yuhei, a powerful merchant who resides in this town. He doesn’t know the guy next to him. The fire seemed to start very suddenly, and it surrounded him from all sides at once while he was checking the inventory in one of the larger storage areas.

At this point, the cart has arrived at a makeshift hospital where a few apothecaries and nurses are treating a handful of other victims. Several other injured people soon arrive, and the staff is very busy treating everyone. A short, stocky samurai in Scorpion red silks wearing a full-faced mask keeps the operation running smoothly, making sure that everyone stays out of the way so that the medics can do their work. Despite being hidden behind a mask, you get the feeling that this Scorpion samurai has been leering at you ever since you arrived. Eventually, he will approach with a purposeful stride. “Shiba-san, the Scorpion clan is quite grateful for your…” the man pauses, either to choose his words or merely for dramatic effect, “…assistance. These two are in good hands now, but I trust there are still others out there in need of… assistance.” He bows slightly and walks away before allowing you time to respond, but soon enough you feel him leering at you once again.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

Shinjo Kuriko, as you step towards the line of men and women on bucket duty, you sense a commotion coming from the front of the line. One of the common men in front, overcome by heat or fatigue and unable to keep up with the quick flow of buckets, has caused a disruption, and in doing so has drawn a few choice words from a nearby ronin. You arrive just in time to step in for this man and restore order. [You may make an Athletics/Stamina roll, or a raw Stamina stat roll to have a chance to inspire those nearby with your contributions. Conversely, you can make a Battle/Perception or a raw Perception roll to instead try to deploy firefighters in a more efficient method. You can only choose ONE, but feel free to give yourself a +5 for being a “Hero of the People”]

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

Asahina Kozume will step in to assist wherever necessary. He will offer to help the medics if they will take him. Otherwise he will offer to assist with the bucket brigade. He will allow himself to be directed to wherever he would be the most beneficial.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

I went with the Battle/Perception roll for more efficiently deploying the firefighter’s (got a 45 with your +5 bonus). I will continue to do my best to help with putting out the fires.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

Asahina Kozume, as you approach the chain of firefighters you hear a voice ringing out at you quite clearly, rising out over the roar of the fires and the clamoring of the firefighters: “An envoy of the kami! Come hither, and pray ye make haste!” A small, masked samurai-ko in the flamboyant yellows and oranges of the Phoenix clan is waving to signal your attention. As you get near,

“Flames crackling, bursting
Shunned South, sprinting East and West
The chosen appears”

“The fire kami in this area have been agitated and won’t calm down, but perhaps you could persuade them?”

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

I will look around the ‘hospital’ and see if they could use my help or if they have things under control. If it seems like they are overwhelmed I will try to offer my help polietly to the scorpion without making it seem rude or implying like he can’t handle it…making an etiquette roll if necessary (4k2, rolled a 12). If he seems like he has it under control or he refuses help then I will just say something to the effect of “well it seems like you already know me, but my name is Shiba Inu, I just arrived in town but let me know if I can be of any assistance to you or your village whilst I am here” and bow. does he introduce himself at all? If they allow me to stay and help I do, otherwise I will return to the fire unless I encounter any other injured along the way. If I run in to anybody else outside the hospital I will ask them a couple questions about what happened and what efforts are being done etc…

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

[Etiquette roll failed]

As Shibu Inu approaches and starts talking to the Scorpion, he will interrupt to say loudly to a nearby nurse, “The streets still echo of calls for able-bodied men to report to the Northern district, yet this Shiba lingers here. The body certainly looks capable, so the problem must lie… elsewhere.” Just to make his point clear, he gives a few emphatic taps to his noggin with his forefinger as he speaks the final word. He will make a point of walking around and busying himself.

As for the emergency medical area, there are currently minimally enough staff and supplies to treat the wounded, so there is not much for you to do unless you intend to further insult them by implying that their capability for medical care is insufficient to the task at hand.

[As always, you can make a Lore: Heraldry (lower TN) or Lore: Scorpion roll (higher TN) to read the mon (picture indicating his family) on his kimono.]

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Shinjo Kuriko, you notice the wind is blowing from the West, and capably deploy the men and women to focus on putting out the Eastern perimeter of the fire to prevent it from spreading further. While there are many compounds still ablaze, you have largely staunched the spread of flames and likely saved large parts of the city. Your efforts have earned you 1 point of glory (0.1) and the respect of those who witnessed your deeds (For the rest of the year, enjoy a one point (+1.0) glory bonus ONLY while in Stone Hop Village).

[Remember that you can call raises on almost any roll for added effect in the future.]

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

“I wish it were so easy miss,” Kozume will say, bowing, “but alas, commanding the fire kami is beyond my ken. Do you know what started this conflagration? Perhaps I can ask them?”

//If they don’t know what caused the fire, Kozume will cast commune [water] with one raise [TN15]. On 4k3, the roll was a 24. If the water kami are difficult to rouse, the raise will be to do so, otherwise, it will be for a third question. The questions are as follows:
What caused this fire to begin?
Who was responsible?
The third question will depend on the response of the other two.

If they know what happened, then Kozume will offer to use his magic on anyone that was grievously hurt (he will do that after communing anyway, but only casting three healing spells), that will surely die without his aid. He will cast path to inner peace up to 4 times, with rolls of 15, 31, 15, 24. [TN 10, heals one per point beyond the TN]

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

ok heading back to northern district, will look for any victims along the way. once there I will try to treat any major injuries otherwise haul water or w/e is needed.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

“One of Isawa blood that shuns the fire kami, how odd indeed,” she says in a sing-song voice, as if talking to herself or perhaps to the nearby air kami.

Asahina Kozume, I am assuming you grabbed a nearby bucket of water to cast the commune spell into, as they communicate through images that show up as reflections rather than by using words, and also if you are just standing out on the middle of the road randomly, there are probably not any strong water spirits for you to commune with.

When you pose your questions to the kami, it takes a while for a response to come. The water begins to ripple subtly, then more violently, and a few blurred images flash by too fast to be made sense of. You get the feeling that this particular kami is either somehow agitated or confused, or perhaps it just does not possess the knowledge to be able to answer your questions.

There is nobody around in need of healing.

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If I am confident the bucket brigade can handle things from here, I will ask the first person I see if they know where I can find Soshi Uguru. If not, I will continue to assist with the fire.

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ya i guess ill make some lore rolls to see what i know…
yogo bengei (18)
soshi uguru (18)
stone hop village (20)
scorpion i just met (22)

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“I’m sorry, but it appears you are right, the Kami do seem to be agitated or confused,” Kozume will say to the Phoenix girl. “Once we have finished staunching the fires, perhaps then I can find out more from them. Do you know where I can find Soshi Uguru? I have just arrived and I’m supposed to meet him. Perhaps I will be able to offer him my assistance.”

//If so, Kozume will go look for him, if not he will simply continue helping wherever needed to staunch the blaze.

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“Ah, Asahina-san, perhaps we could hunt for Soshi Uguru-san after ‘closing the curtain’ on this troubled scene?” The Phoenix samurai-ko will glance towards the now-contained fire as she says this. “Pardon my lack of manners,” she says in an enthusiastically apologetic tone while taking a quick, deep bow. “You are speaking with Isawa Eiya, a humble servant of the Phoenix!” Her manner of speech is so energetic that it almost sounds like she is yelling. “Shall we?,” she asks before handing you the bucket and starting to walk back towards the other firefighters.


For those of you helping out with the fire: Though the fire is more or less contained, there is still a lot of work to be done to put out the fire as soon as possible, to prevent further structural and property damage. The Scorpion samurai in charge will try to direct your efforts away from the actual interior of samurai compounds, as you are not of the Scorpion clan. Everyone who helped out (Everyone but Tsuruchi-san) can give themselves 1 point of glory (0.1) for their efforts (in addition to glory already earned).

For those of you who are asking around for Soshi Uguru: some Scorpion will be able to tell you that he was indeed an Emerald Magistrate before retiring a year or two ago. They will inform you that he does not reside in Stone Hop village and have not heard of his presence here.

For everyone: As the final flames of the fire are being extinguished and all are patting each other on the back (figuratively) for a job well done, you suddenly notice the presence of a masked man in mostly black clothing standing right behind you. He silently gives you a small, folded slip of paper and retreats. You open the paper to find a note reading “Meet at the Double Prosperity tea house. Hour of the Boar.” The name-stamp on note is undeniably that of Soshi Uguru, and as you look up to the moon sitting high in the sky behind a thinning veil of smoke, you wager that the hour of the Boar (10pm – 12am) cannot be far off.

Asahina Kozume, you notice that Isawa Eiya also received a note from the man.

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I would like to now make an engineering role to determine what I can about the construction of the similar surrounding buildings and what is left of the burned buildings. I will use a void point to make it 6k4. (i’m assuming I just roll a straight number to determine the amount of information I acquire, if you want me to roll raises to gain more information then this is null and I will do it over). rolled a 28. If there are other people around yet, especially those who may be villagers of this town, I will ask them about the construction style in this area.

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

After receiving the note and finishing the accolades of the fellow fire-fighters, I will leave the city to call my horse, bring it in and arrange for it to be stabled near the Double Prosperity Tea House, if possible. Being that the hour of the Boar is near, I will pass the remaining time at the tea house, keeping an eye out for Uguru-san, or any other samurai.

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The construction style of the buildings is the typical paper and wood of Rokugan. Despite being a Scorpion village, from what you can see the area is too small to merit any exceptional construction. Rather, everything seems to be designed around being functional and efficient.

You all arrive to the Double Prosperity tea house, and after you hang your weapons in the closet, one of the servants will take you to a private and enclosed table where an elderly man with a long, thin white mustache and goatee awaiting you. He introduces himself as Soshi Uguru and once the formalities are all over he will close his eyes as if in a deep meditation until all of the other guests arrive.

Once all 4 of you are at the table (Shinjo Kuriko, Asahina Kozume, Isawa Eiya, and Shiba Inu) he will meditate again and suddenly open his eyes after few moments, looking directly into the eyes of Kozume, who is seated across from him. Though he carries swords and wears Scorpion colors, you don’t see any mons or insigia that mark him as a samurai or magistrate.

“’Don’t burn down the barn to get rid of the mice.’” He pauses, either to let you ponder this or to ponder it himself. “This encounter is one that I have looked forward to for several weeks.” Soshi Uguru, in defiance of the typical Rokugani custom of avoiding eye contact, instead stares into each of your eyes directly, one by one. “There once was a prophet that said good fortune and bad fortune come hand in hand, and now I understand what she was speaking of. Is it not unlike the expression ‘Heroes arise of turmoil; Men grow fat in times of plenty?’” None of you have heard of those expressions, and are half sure that he just made them up now, though he doesn’t skip a beat. “It is my great pleasure to meet you, and I can see why Yogo Bengei chose each of you personally. Now where was I… ah yes! Don’t burn down the barn to chase out a few mice. That was what I had planned to say, but it seems like the mice have already burnt it down. As such, the best advice I can give is ‘Make those motherfuckers pay,’ but please do pardon my language.” He seems to zone out for a moment and lose his place, so now would be a good time to chime in if you wanted to say anything before he starts another rant.

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I will find his manner unusual, but the Unicorn are nothing if not accustomed to… eccentric… personalities and such. I will patiently wait for him to continue.

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“He who profits by a crime commits it.”

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“The intentions are a little foggier in this instance. Even I shall admit to such, Shiba-san. But perhaps we could say that ‘He who prophecized the crime committed it?’ Ever since that monk showed up a couple of years claiming himself a prophet, this village has suffered from trouble, and nothing but! He uses these ‘visions’ to threaten those with wealth and influence, and then fulfills his own prophecies through reckless violence. None but the heavens themselves know what he wants with that poor girl, Sarune, but I can assure you that he used this fire as a ruse to obtain her. That poor child. Those with great talents often find themselves the target of others’ plots, and they say that ‘a needle thief will become an ox thief’ but oh how he is loved by the peasants!! You should have seen it only days ago!” He looks around as if awakening from a daze, then gathers himself and resumes.

“That poor girl. She has had a difficult life, and forged a very unique connection with the kami to endure through tough times. The empire was eagerly awaiting the day of her gempukku in a few short years, but if that monk, Wanaka, is not stopped, who knows if that day would ever come?” At this point he is having trouble holding back tears and trying his best to save face.

“As your lords have kindly lent Yogo Bengei and myself your assistance in this matter, surely you would be willing to ensure the future of this young Sarune of mine? Ah, that’s right. Of course I should request that you look into the nature of this Wanaka as well. Against a holy man such as that one, even one with the status of Yogo Bengei or myself cannot take any action without proper proof. And as I’m sure you know, there is no better proof than the testimony of samurai… I confess I know not why he chose Sarune, but I think finding out his reason is the key that will unlock evidence to prove his guilt.”

Entering Stone Hop Village
 

“I abhor violence in all it’s forms, but especially against an innocent child. Perhaps he has not harmed her physically yet, but as you said, he has not been above violence to achieve his goals. I shudder to think what he might stoop to.” Kozume will look to the others seated around the table. “I cannot speak for the others, but if there is proof of his wrong doing, I will happily assist in finding it. A holy man who hides behind his status is not worthy of the title.”

Entering Stone Hop Village
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