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Times of Treachery
By Shawn Carman

A Scenario for the Legend of the Five Rings Role-playing Game Intended for Use with Rank 1 Characters

Synopsis

This adventure is set during the late Diamond, early Lotus period. Although the events of this adventure are somewhat disconnected from the Empire at large, the conflict between the Emperor and Shogun is the backdrop for the events taking place in tiny Rojiro Mura, a village on the open plains west of the Shinomen Mori, south of the Unicorn Clan provinces and north of the Toritaka provinces that fall under the Crab Clan's jurisdiction. In this distant, forgotten corner of the Empire, a bitter and resentful magistrate has turned his back on the oaths he swore to his family, his clan, and his Emperor, and has carved out his own petty fiefdom from the surrounding area. Now, his plans to extend his sphere of influence are almost complete, and he finds himself threatened by the most dangerous sort of individuals: a roaming band of player characters.

This scenario is decidedly less linear than most, and can be used in a number of ways. The events in the area are detailed on a timetable, and may be changed or prevented entirely depending upon the actions of the player characters. Individual GMs are encouraged to modify the events or timetable to suit the needs of their campaigns as they see fit.

Scenario

Rojiro Mura has never been a particularly prestigious post. It is small, and extremely removed from anything of any importance. Because of the ever-present threat of invasion from the west (primarily in the form of roaming Shadowlands beasts, but also from the Moto family's many enemies beyond the Empire), the inherent dangers from the Shinomen Mori, the fertile farmlands in the area, and a variety of other reasons (including, at one time, the relative proximity to the Tomb of Iuchiban), Rojiro Mura is home to an office for the Emerald Magistrates. Unfortunately for the village, the Emerald Champion and his subordinates rarely squander a talented magistrate on such a remote post, and instead the villagers have seen a steady stream of incompetent, untrustworthy, or simply insubordinate magistrates sent to oversee their village. One year ago, a new magistrate arrived, and Kitsu Tengoro has proven to be a different sort altogether.

Given his background and the unique political situation in the Empire at the present, Tengoro quickly decided to make the most of his poor fortune. With the conflict between the Shogun and Emperor in full swing, Tengoro quickly rationalized two things: the precedent had been set for a powerful military mind, such as Tengoro believed himself to be, to take power for no other reason than that he was able to do so, and that given this conflict, no one was going to pay any attention whatsoever to tiny Rojiro Mura and the surrounding lands. Tengoro quickly made it clear to the villagers and the residents of the even smaller farming settlements around it that he was the unquestioned ruler of all he surveyed.

Ironically, the villagers in the region saw nothing unusual about this incident. The magistrates to which they had become accustomed tended to have large egos and controlling, even cruel, natures. Tengoro asserting his authority came as no surprise. When he insisted that all adult villagers begin weapons training, however, they quickly realized something was amiss.

After nearly a year, Tengoro has honed his small, private army into a reasonably well-trained fighting force supplemented by his magic. He has earned their loyalty by misreporting the harvest and allowing them to keep more food. When an Imperial official came to investigate the change in crop reports, Tengoro killed him. He and his men now know that they cannot turn back. They have stepped up their timetable and are planning to conquer a village two days' ride to the north. Once there, they will cement their position and move to the next. Tengoro's visions of a western fiefdom of his own are quickly growing.

Rojiro Mura is a small, remote location with little to offer for travelers, even those who find themselves in such an odd corner of Rokugan. Involving the characters may seem difficult, but there are several options. The characters are Emerald Magistrates sent to investigate the disappearance of an Imperial tax collector. The characters temporarily in the service of a Miya cartographer, are scouting the area to confirm the accuracy of his maps. The characters may be guests or servants of a Crab or Unicorn daimyo, and have been asked to assist in securing the border by checking up on the handful of villages that lie between the two. The characters may be made aware that something unusual is going on in the area by Muhitsu, a monk from the Order of Heroes who has been monitoring Kitsu Tengoro's activities. Muhitsu will not tell the characters exactly what is happening, but will only tell them that they are needed in Rojiro Mura.

Locations in Rojiro Mura

The Magistrate's Office This is Tengoro's headquarters and the center of his tiny empire. He keeps all his personal belongings here, including a number of weapons that seem odd in the hands of a shugenja, even a Lion. There is a hidden chamber in the floor beneath a rug under Tengoro's desk. There, he keeps his journals detailing his destiny and the progress he is making in honing his men, as well as the blades of the tax collector he killed only a few months previously. This door cannot be found without a dedicated search that would involve moving both the desk and the rug.

The House of Green Tea This is the village's social center, such as it is. It appears normal, save for the number of yari standing in a cluster in the corner. The owner of the teahouse and his family are calm, reasonable people that Tengoro trusts to put visitors at ease in order to make them easier prey. The owner's wife has been struggling with a guilty conscience ever since the tax collector's murder. Any character with the Notice Emphasis of Investigation will recognize something is wrong with her on a roll against a TN 10.

Empty Warehouse This large building seems oddly out of place in the village. The villagers claim that it was constructed years ago during a particularly bountiful harvest, and was used to store excess rice and grain until tax collection. Inspection of the interior (which Tengoro will be reluctant to permit) reveals hardpacked dirt and signs of recent use. An Investigation/Perception roll (TN 15) will allow any bushi or magistrate to determine that this building is being used as a dojo.

Timetable of Events

Day 2: The monk Muhitsu infiltrates the village and speaks to the wife of the local teahouse owner. He shares with her that the characters are on their way, and encourages her to help them in any way she can. If they do not uncover Tengoro's treachery on their own, he asks her to have them meet him on a hill one mile southwest of town so that he can guide them in the right direction.

Day 0: The characters arrive in Rojiro Mura. Tengoro meets with them and seems delighted to have guests. He claims that the tax collector never arrived, and appears genuinely concerned to hear of his unaccounted for disappearance. He arranges for rooms for the characters in the local teahouse.

Day 1: If by the end of the day the characters show no signs of leaving the village, Tengoro orders the teahouse owner to poison their tea. He uses a light dose of snake venom gathered from the plains (see page 162 in the L5R RPG). Assuming the characters survive, Tengoro kills the teahouse owner and plants clues blaming the tax collector's death on the owner.

Day 2: Angry at her husband's death and guilty over what has happened to her village, the teahouse owner's widow delivers the monk's message to the characters. Muhitsu meets with the characters outside of town and explains what Tengoro has done.

Day 3: If characters are still in the village, Tengoro grows impatient and gathers a half-dozen men. He and his men attack the characters openly in the street in an attempt to capture or kill them.

Day 5: If he has not been stopped, Tengoro and two-dozen trained ashigaru march north toward the first village on their agenda. The monk Muhitso challenges Tengoro to a duel in a desperate attempt to stop him, but is overwhelmed when Tengoro instead orders his men to attack.

Day 12: A force of Unicorn cavalry descend from the north after hearing tales of Tengoro's campaign. The rogue magistrate and his followers are killed, as well as a large contingency of innocents who are caught in the midst of the battle or who are mistaken for Tengoro's supporters by the Unicorn. Many lives are lost, and the Order of Heroes mourns for their failure to prevent it.

NPCs

Muhitsu
Air: 2
Reflexes 4
Earth: 3
Fire: 3
Water: 2
Perception 4
Void: 4
School/Rank: Order of Heroes
Monk 2
Glory: 3.6
Status: 0
Honor: 2.3
Advantages: Bland, Clear Thinker, Luck (6)
Disadvantages: None
Kiho: Cleansing the Spirit, Flame Fist, Slap the Wave, Way of the Willow, Will of Destiny
Skills: Athletics 3, Etiquette (Sincerity) 4, Defense 3, Jiujitsu 4, Lore: Heraldry 3, Meditation 2, Stealth (Sneaking) 3, Theology (Fortunes) 4, Underworld 2

Kitsu Tengoro
Air: 4
Earth: 3
Fire: 3
Water: 3
Perception 4
Void: 2
School/Rank: Kitsuki Courtier 2
Glory: 2.6
Status: 1.8
Honor: 1.7
Advantages: Heart of Vengeance (Imperial families), Magic Resistance (4)
Disadvantages: Benten's Curse, Black Sheep
Skills: Courtier (Gossip) 3, Defense 3, Etiquette (Bureaucracy) 2, Investigation (Notice) 3, Kenjutsu 4, Lore: History 2, Meditation 3, Theology 1

Peasant Insurrectionists Air: 2
Earth: 3
Stamina 4
Fire: 2
Water: 3
Void: 1
School/Rank: Ronin Warrior 1
Glory: 0.0
Status: 0.2
Honor: 1.1
Advantages: Crafty
Disadvantages: Overconfident
Skills: Athletics 2, Deceit 3, Defense 3, Hunting 1, Knives 2, Spears 3, Stealth 3
Note: Tengoro's training for his followers has not included training with the katana or bows, as he has no such weapons to offer his men, nor the resources to make them. Instead, they have been equipped with yari. This is why they lack the Kenjutsu and Kyujutsu Skills from the normal starting Skills of the Ronin Warrior School.

New Mechanics

The Order of Heroes
The Order of Heroes was, until rather recently, a distinct splinter group within the Order of Strength, the monastic sect devoted to Bishamon, Fortune of Strength. The sect's origins are unclear, but it is believed to have been created by a monk named Koan, a former shugenja who won the Tournament of Thunder in the year 912. After honing his art, the shugenja retired and joined the Order of Strength, where he sought out others who shared his strange beliefs: Koan believed that samurai, while noble and capable warriors, could not truly achieve their potential, and thus their destiny, if they were not presented with adversity. Koan and his adherents began seeking out dangerous problems throughout the Empire, bandit groups, Bloodspeaker cells, unchecked oni and the like, and arranging for samurai to come into contact with them. When it was revealed that Matsu Goemon had become the Fortune of Heroes, the current head of the sect, also named Koan, petitioned the Brotherhood to form a new sect devoted to the Fortune. The Brotherhood agreed.

Other more traditional sects within the Brotherhood denounce the Order of Heroes for the activist role they take in events throughout the Empire. Many believe that achieving an enlightened spirit can only be accomplished by finding one's individual path, and that the Order's actions force samurai to follow a predetermined path. Recently, Koan gathered together a select group of samurai and aided them in defending the tiny Crossroads Village from a large band of ruthless bandits. When word of the incident spread throughout the Empire, the Emperor declared the seven samurai to be the Champions of Bushido, and credited each one with embodying a different tenet of that code.

Monk Temple: Order of Heroes
Primary Devotion: The Fortunes (Specifically Goemon, Fortune of Heroes)
Honor: 2.5
Skills: Athletics, Jiujitsu, Lore: Heraldry, Meditation, Theology, any two Skills
Technique: You gain Glory normally through skirmishes, despite the fact that most monks do not. When spending a Void Point to gain 1k1 to a roll, you may add an additional bonus to the total equal to your Glory Rank.

New Kiho: Will of Destiny
Element: Void
Type: Kharmic
Mastery: 5
The Order of Heroes believes that each soul's destiny is dormant, and requires guidance and shaping in order to truly achieve that for which it was created. By drawing upon your inner strength, you may overcome virtually any obstacle. By spending a Void Point to activate this Kiho, you may roll a number of additional dice equal to your Glory Rank on any Bugei Skill roll. This bonus is only conferred to a single roll per Void Point spent. Activating this Kiho does not count as an action, and may be done immediately before the roll in question is to be made.


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