The Book of Earth

What happens when four mages go looking for trouble but find more than they bargained for?

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Jake
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The Book of Earth

Post by Jake » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:20 am

Our heroes decided to get the earth artifact next, seeing as the other artifacts were still needed by those in possession of them. So it was off to the Hare.

When they left Yoso no Tera, they found themselves on a riverfront, and decided to leave their newest companion, Atsumori, to guard the temple while they made their way to the nearest village. Shortly after finding the road they were accosted by a lone Scorpion guard. He immediately asked for their papers, in the rudest way possible. After a brief discussion, the group returned to their epic quest.

While on the road, the group of heroes met a traveling puppeteer that offered to give them a show. Despite Natsu's feeling on the matter they decided to watch the show anyway. It was a grim play, foretelling the deaths of a group of heroes that eerily mirrored the group. The puppet master bowed and then went on his way.

A little further down the road, they met a lone man, sitting on the side of the road. They offered him a rice ball and a few blessings then continued on their journey.

They reached the town of Medoichi, the capital of the Hare Clan. After eating and resting for the night at the only inn in town, the heroes went into the common room to eat their breakfast. Only to be interrupted by an Imperial messenger. Mia-sama realized that Matsuo wasn't a ronin, and was in fact Akodo Matsuo, and told him that he was needed by the empire, and that his current quest wasn't nearly as important as returning home. Matsuo then left the group reluctantly, and returned to the lion clan.

After Matsuo's departure, the group met with the Hare Daimyo. Both parties realized that they needed the help of the other. The Hare decided that he would give the Earth artifact to the group if they could bring back the head of the Maho Tsukai. The group, being confident in their abilities, accepted the deal.

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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by Jake » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:00 pm

After being on the road for an hour or two, Kuni Asuna communed with the earth Kami, and discovered that the location they needed to go was off the road. So the heroes left the easy terrain of the road and headed in the direction they were advised to go.

Another hour passed, and the group came across a giant earthen dome. Then, as if from nowhere, a voice called out to them. A battle ensued with a supposed Maho Tsukai.

After a rough battle, the group managed to defeat their attacker. Only to find out that he wasn't the Maho user, but his companion had a very unique ability.

The group formed an impromptu alliance with the ronin shugenja and his eta cohort. After resting, eating, and seeing to their wounds, the alliance continued on their journey.

In the late afternoon, the group and their new found allies saw a horde of undead marching towards the location of Yoso no Tera. Kuni Asuna decided that she would delay the horde and meet up with Atsumori, and the two of them would keep the temple safe and secure. The rest of the group continued on their way.

Less than an hour had passed, and the group found themselves at the entrance to a cave. Their senses were overloaded by the scent of death and despair.

Into the darkness they went.

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wollywoo
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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by wollywoo » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:04 am

Awesome recap, Jake! There are several things in there I had forgotten.
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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by Andrew » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:19 am

A little more detail on Kuni Tadashi is probably warranted. If no one else really remembers details, I can post later on in the day. But this is a good opportunity for Greg/Holly to pitch in a bit more... HINT HINT.
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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by Jake » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:00 pm

Through the dark passageway the light of the sun faded into memory, and the group found themselves alone in the darkness. Up ahead, the faint glow of torch light beckoned them. The small cave opened up into a giant room with a stage at the end.

Upon the stage stood a familiar face, the puppet master. He laughed, and exchanged some words about how stupid the group was to come in uninvited, then he showed them something dark, something twisted.

Four corpses. These corpses stood, as if they were ready to attack. Two in robes of the Phoenix, one in the robes of the Crab, and another in the robes of the Fox.

The Puppet master then shouted at Kuni Tadashi, and said he wasn't supposed to be here.

A fight broke out. Undead rose from their slumber within a pit.

Kiba, a brave and noble boar, charged into battle and was then sealed in the pit of undeath by Kuni Tadashi.

The boar killed many a zombie, but ultimately fell in battle. Joji, the boar's master became enraged, and started to prep yet another spell. Natsu and Kazuko kept the Maho Tsukai at bay, while Tadashi was taking all the focus of the undead horde.

Sensing his doom, the Puppet master made a desperate manuever, and interupted Joji's spell. While Joji regained his footing, the strange man grabbed a puppet and a blue light lit up the cave. It was as if all of his wounds had never happened.

Green light flooded the cave as Natsu called forth the Earth kami to strike with the power of Jade. The Puppet master screamed in agony. The scream twisted, then became laughter. Another puppet was seized, and a dark feeling grabbed a hold Kuni Tadashi. Natsu let forth a fireball, searing the air as it shot towards it's target.

Screams came from behind the group. Tadashi was barely standing.

The laughing of the puppet master got louder, heavier, bolder. Natsu was enraged. His spell had hurt his own compatriot, and his enemy looked no worse for wear.

Tadashi, with his last bit of strength, pulled the attention of all the undead and sealed them within a dome, with himself as the bait.

The goup pushed the loner deeper into the cave. until he stood upon a ledge overlooking the chasm of blood. Natsu and Joji both struck the crazed man with a gale of wind while Kazuko delayed his thoughts. Over the ledge he went.

His body was sprawled out on the floor beneath them, broken. No life was left in his eyes. No more laughing.

Natsu summoned the fire kami and burned away the body, until nothing was left but scorch marks. The group then healed Tadashi, and returned to Yoso no Tera. They healed themselves and went looking for Asuna and Atsumori.

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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by Jake » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:08 pm

They found Atsumori sprawled out on the ground. Surrounded by the bodies of recently reanimated corpses. Atsumori was healed, then sent to get torches so they could purify the bodies.

After introducing Atsumori to Tadashi and his eta cohort, the group took care of the bodies, and went looking for Asuna.

They found the remnants of a battle, but no sign of Asuna. They decided to go back to Medoichi and get their long awaited reward.

The hare immediately travled to the cave, and started to search for something. Finding the proof of the maho Tsukai's death, the hare thanked the group and tried to weasel out of their end of the deal, but to no avail.

The Hare and Joji sifted though a pile of corpses and found the relic, then washed themselves off in a river.

The hare gave it to them, then told them to return to Medoichi in a few days.

The group went back to yoso no tera, and began to study the earth relic.

After a few days, they heard a shouting from outside.

It was Matsuo. He had news of the empire.

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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by wollywoo » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:08 pm

The Hare in Medochi Villiage handed over the Earth Relic to the group. They returned it to the temple and placed it on the Earth room table, where there was an indent made especially for it. The relic was a jade bowl with the power to cleanse tainted objects and kill tainted animals. Many times has it been stolen and recovered by Maho-Tsukai, and its magical nature is above the crafting abilities of humans.

After being notified by Matsuo that much time had passed, he told the companions that the situation in the Empire is much improved - in fact everything seems stable now that Matsuo defeated the undead horde and became a hero recognized by all Rokugan. The Emperor had been told of the group's great deeds and had set the Empire to looking for them. They were summoned with honors to the capitol.

After being recognized by the Emperor in a grand ceremony, the group was immediately summoned to a meeting of the clan leaders. Long arguments ensued while each clan vied for their own plans for the temple and its relics. The Lion desired to martial a huge army to protect it, while the Crab wanted to use it in the never ending war against the Shadowlands. The Crane were intent on using it for non-violent means, while the Phoenix wanted to move it to Phoenix lands to be studied. The Hare wanted it to stay hidden and its relics to be dispersed secretly. The Dragon stayed notedly silent, while the Mantis seemed to take great joy in egging on the arguments. The Scorpion took the opportunity to maneuver themselves into being in charge, and the Unicorn pointedly argued with everything the Scorpion said.

Growing weary of the bickering, the companions threw deference aside and asserted their own opinions, much to the consternation of many in the room. While Joji spoke mysterious words, Kazuko and Natsu argued that Yoso no Tera should stay hidden. Unused to the political intrigue of Otosan Uchi, Natsu gave away information about a relic that sparked more bickering, and both he and Kazuko caused their Phoenix leader to lose face...once they realized what they had done they knew there would be hell to pay.

After the meeting, Miyo was escorted back to the companions' rooms by the Imperial Herald, and appeared to have developed a liking for her. Once the group was alone, the Dragon Daimyo appeared magically in their room and sealed it off from listening ears. A veteran of Otosan Uchi, he informed the group that the meeting would not decide anything, that it was a farce. The decision had likely already been made by three important officials - the Shogun (Hida Kiyoshi, a Crab), the Emerald Champion (Isawa Suzuko, a Phoenix), and the Jade Champion (Soshi Natsumi, a Scorpion.) These were the ones who ultimately would make the decisions, and, though difficult to approach, were the ones they needed to convince.

Perhaps a bit fool-hardy, Kazuko had been carrying the Mirror Relic and pulled it out to seek information. Joji had noticed it earlier and made a cryptic hint about it being dangerous to carry it. One by one the group looked into the Mirror and saw visions. Kazuko asked about the Shogun and saw him complaining that no one appreciates the crab and their sacrifices on the front lines. He wanted to expediently make use of the temple and relics to protect the Crab from the Shadowlands.

Natsu enquired about the Phoenix Emerald Champion, and saw that she was actually unsure of what to do, but was driven to look like she had a plan and to stay in charge. He would need to be careful to let her believe he wasn't telling her what to do, and that any ideas were her own.

Joji, when enquiring about the Jade Champion, found that her intentions were actually to do what was best for the Empire.
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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by wollywoo » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:31 pm

(Please correct any mistakes and add what I've missed)

The next day Natsu and Kazuko were summoned to the Phoenix Daimyo, Asako Rui. Joji blessed them with a boon of social eloquence. As Expected, Asako-sama was not happy with the two, and informed them they would be promoted and married off as she saw fit, to benefit the Phoenix. Kazuko was handed an Inquisitor's Strike and made an Inquisitor, while Natsu was set to study under the Fire Lord.

Looking in the mysterious mirror herself, she was convinced of the same thoughts as the companions. The temple must stay hidden, and the relics should continue to be collected for the great danger ahead. She would put a word in for the companions to have an audience with the Shogun and the Champions.

Joji was summoned to his Daimyo, and informed that a bride would be selected for him as well.

After leaving their respective Daimyo, each of the 3 Shugenja was summoned to meet with an official. To their surprise, they didn't all speak to the one they had prepared for. Kazuko spoke with the Emerald Champion and was careful to approach her humbly as one seeking knowledge and advice. The tactic paid off, and Isawa-sama quickly warmed up to Kazuko. Kazuko was sure to get her point across while making her feel important. Isawa-sama made an interesting point to give Kazuko marriage advice, which would make all too much sense before long. Kazuko was soon engaged to Isawa-sama's Uncle, a quirky bachelor, rogue, and war hero. She later found out that he had been engaged 9 times already, and each time the bride's side had broken it off. It did not bode well.

Natsu, who had planned on speaking to the Emerald Champion, ended up being summoned by the Shogun, Hida Kiyoshi. Hida-sama was brusque and practical, despising any attempt at playing games. Natsuo related to him the understanding of the difficult position of the Crab and their need for power to defend the Wall. He promised to provide help at the Wall in order to lessen the blow of taking their relic.

Joji was summoned to the Jade Champion, Soshi Natsumi. At her side was a Scorpion woman Joji had met before, and Soshi-sama indicated that Joji would be married to her. This turned out later to be a deception, and she was instead engaged to Natsu. Joji would marry another. He successfully convinced Soshi-sama of the importance of keeping the temple hidden and seeking out the relics.

The group was in need of a water shugenja, and one was selected via a great tournament. Yoritomo Arashi, an enigmatic Mantis, joined the group. It was decided that the group's next endeavor would be to visit the Fox lands and obtain their relic, while simultaneously celebrating Joji's wedding.
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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by wollywoo » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:40 pm

It was decided that the group would stay in Otosan-Uchi for one month at a house in the Hito District. Each person was given a room with an office and official Kimonos of the Elemental Guard, their new appointments. Kazuko's bore the symbol of the Void, Natsu's fire, Joji's Air, and Arashi's Water.

Kazuko went to the Imperial libraries in the Ochio District where the Asako Records were kept. There she scoured the scrolls for any mention of the Air Relic, and discovered it may be the Ribbon of Truth. There was no history on it before the Unicorn returned with it from their travels. They kept it for many years, then presented it to the Fox Clan to honor their watch over Rokugan in their absence.

The Fire Relic was more elusive, but what she did find indicated that it fueled the Crab war efforts against the Shadowlands. Incomplete statements were found: "Gear of war...equal to that of the Crab Clan." Kazuko could only guess what it meant.

While there she also took the opportunity to access the records of her betrothed, Asako Shuichi. He was a 31-year old bachelor who seemed to have some kind of a reputation. To Kazuko's astonishment he appeared to have been engaged 9 times already and had never broken it off himself. He was an acclaimed warrior and loremaster, but something of a rogue. She got the impression that he would have a higher station at this point if he acted more like a normal Samurai.
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Re: The Book of Earth

Post by Andrew » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:22 pm

The Fire Relic was more elusive, but what she did find indicated that it fueled the Crab war efforts against the Shadowlands. Incomplete statements were found: "Gear of war...equal to that of the Crab Clan." Kazuko could only guess what it meant.
One minor point of correction. The quote actually read as follows:
...gear of war equal to that of Crab clan champions.
“Do not be wary of men who take risks with titles and land; be wary of men with nothing to lose.” Shinsei, the Little Teacher

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