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Whispered Secrets

An Adventure for the L5R RPG, 4th Edition


A GenCon 2012 Exclusive

Welcome, GMs and Players! Welcome to a new experience designed exclusively for you
to celebrate the release of our most ambitious product yet, the Second City Boxed Set for
the 4th Edition of the L5R RPG. The purpose of this particular adventure is threefold.
First and foremost, we hope to provide a unique and enjoyable experience for you, our
beloved fans, as you attend the greatest gaming convention on the planet. Secondly, we
want to provide a preview of the manner of content that you can expect from the Second
City Boxed Set, content that you may have already seen previewed in the Naked Steel
online column at RPG.net. Finally, we want to provide you with a means to offer direct
impact on the setting of Rokugan and its Colonies, while at the same time tying your
experience in with the primary storyline event taking place for the L5R CCG at GenCon
2012.
Those of you who are reading this are either preparing to be part of this
experience at the convention as a GM, for which you have our enormous gratitude, or
you participated in the experience and have received a copy of this module as part of the
experience. Either way, we are delighted that you now have the opportunity to take this
adventure with you and find other ways to use it. Whether you utilize the NPCs and
setting as part of another game, play the adventure through as written, or even just keep it
as a journal of your characters exploits, we hope that you will remember the experience
fondly for a long time. Thank you for being a part of it.

A Note about Presentation


The material included in this module uses certain standardized formats in order for you to
better understand how the material should be utilized. Italicized text is presented as in-
character information that can and should be read aloud to the players. Information
included in sidebars is meant exclusively for the GM or players reading the module after
the fact, and will include not only background information about the events depicted in
the module, but previews from upcoming products as well.

Adventure Overview
The adventure begins in the Second City, the shining jewel of the Colonies and the
representation of the Imperial City in that distant land. The characters, whomever they
may be, are relatively recent arrivals within the region, which results in them being
largely unfamiliar with the political hierarchy of the city and the clans that make their
home there. Because of their unfamiliarity and their reputation from the Empire (fame or
infamy, whichever is more suitable to the characters in question), they are recruited by a
powerful agent from within the Ministry of the Left to conduct an investigation on behalf
of the Imperial Governors bureaucracy. It seems a figure within the Governors court has
been acting very strangely in recent weeks and seems to be operating with an unknown
agenda that the Ministry wishes to ensure is not malevolent, but the intricate web of
politics that mires the city is such that a relatively outside group is required in order to
ensure that the investigation is not compromised before it begins.
The object of the investigation is a prominent and popular courtier named Doji
Nikaitsu. The Cranes behavior has been somewhat unusual in past weeks, not enough so
to warrant direct action, but certainly enough to inspire suspicion and concern among
certain circles. The truth of the matter is that Nikaitsu has been acting rather strangely,
and there is a very good reason for it: he is being mentally manipulated by an immortal
sorcerer from a distant land. This incredibly unlikely scenario was brought about by
suspicious but completely innocent means: Nikaitsu was presented with a gift by an old
friend from the Scorpion Clan. This gift took the form of a crystal netsuke crafted from
an outcropping the Scorpion discovered during their recent explorations of the southern
reaches of the Colonies. What no one, not even the Scorpion, realized is that the crystal
was part of a sorcerous network created by an ancient member of the immortal race
known as the Ashalan, and used to monitor the Colonies during his centuries-long
slumber in a place of seclusion in the Colonies. Using Nikaitsu as a pawn, the creature,
who is known among its people as Crystal Wind, is attempting to create sympathy among
the people of the Second City so that it can make a more overt attempt to reach them and
establish diplomatic relations with the Colonials, to its own benefit of course.
As the investigation progresses, the characters will come into conflict with the
Scorpion, who are beginning their own investigation into the matter, as well as with the
various individuals who are succumbing in various degrees to Crystal Winds influence.
This, in addition to the typical social difficulties that accompany any a stay in any city of
such size and political importance. However their investigation proceeds, however, the
characters and their inquiries are part of the mounting pressure that ultimately drives
Naikatsu to commit seppuku during a moment of clarity. The mans death causes no small
amount of consternation among the citys residents, and specifically among those who
employed the characters to investigate the matter discretely. Presumably the death should
spur them onward to find out the truth, however. This presents them with a case of
strange bedfellows in the way of the Scorpion Clan.
The Scorpion Clan is aware that Crystal Wind exists, but they are not aware of his
continuing awareness of the world and his attempts to influence others through the crystal
that have unwittingly brought back to the Second City. The Scorpion are content to use
the characters as a resource initially, but as they discover more about what is going on
they attempt to misdirect and confuse them in order to preserve the secret of their own
involvement in Crystal Winds influence. This will inevitably lead them to a
confrontation with a cabal of Scorpion who have come fully under Crystal Winds
influence, and who are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that the misguided
idealism of their manipulator is brought to fruition.

Part 1: Welcome to the Second City


In this adventure, much like in the Second City Boxed Set, the characters are new arrivals
to the Second City and should not be overly familiar with the intricacies of its unique
customs and traditions. It is not at all unusual for new arrivals to be given a period of
time to acclimate to their surroundings; indeed, many lords within the city have found
that this is in their best interest, since it ensures that newly arrived samurai are not
distracted from the execution of their duties during these first few weeks. An entire
tradition has arisen regarding new arrivals, wherein agents of certain clans, most notably
the Crane and Scorpion, attempt to earn allies and gain favor (or at least place others in
their debt) by assisting with the acclimation process.

Other Concerns in the Second City


The matter of Doji Nikaitsu is the pressing matter of this adventure, but by no means is it
the only thing transpiring within the city. There are any number of diversions and
interests that the characters may seize upon, and you are encouraged as a GM to build
upon them in order to make the experience more robust. For your convenience, here are
some broad ideas about things going on in the city, arranged by clan, that may be of
interest to the average player character:
Crab: The political agenda of the Crab is somewhat limited, given that the clan
of Hida has virtually no interest in such things in the first place. The increasingly
infamous attitude of the Kuni daimyo, who oversees the clans activities in the
Colonies, has made for interesting relations in the Ivory Court of late. The
Phoenix and Mantis in particular have taken issue with his scorched earth policy
of gathering resources, and this has become something of a stressor in the
activities of the court.
Crane: Coincidentally, the Cranes interests in the city presently are heavily
influenced by the affair with Nikaitsu. The Cranes growing obsession has led him
to abandon several matters of lesser importance that his lower-ranking kinsmen
are eagerly trying to pick up and run with. This has created a sort of power race
among the lower echelons of the clans ranks, the prize of course being increased
rank and status within the clan. Some among them may consider the characters
investigation of Nikaitsu a threat to their potential advancement, while others will
wish to recruit them into their schemes in order to try and secure success at any
cost.
Dragon: Inscrutable as always, the Dragon consider themselves stewards of the
Colonies in many respects, and their efforts in the Second City are largely
centered around this notion. They are keen to maintain the peace at all costs, and
often play mediator between other clans. At present they are desperately seeking a
means to end the conflict between the Crane and Mantis clans, and are constantly
attempting to alleviate the hostility of the other clans toward the Spider.
Lion: The Lion in the Second City are much like the Lion everywhere else, which
is to say extremely traditional and highly inflexible. They likely have little use for
most non-Lion arrivals, although characters with a strong military background
and a reputation for a highly honorable nature will doubtless attract their
attention. Those who recognize the accomplishments of the Lion in the Colonies
or who are disdainful of the non-traditional customs in the Second City will
doubtless earn the Lions favor.
Mantis: The disposition of the Mantis in the Second City is generally one of
unpleasant entitlement. Despite all that has happened, or perhaps because of it, the
Mantis regard the Colonies as their land, and resent the intrusion of the other
clans even though they have been commanded by the Empress to settle here. The
Mantis are understandably quiet about this opinion, since some clans, particularly
the Lion, might regard it as treasonous, but their attitude is unmistakable. The
principle concerns of the Mantis at this time include their ongoing trade dispute
with the Crane and their general attempts to minimize the impact of trade goods
arriving via land routes, emphasizing instead their own dominance over sea
trading routes.
Phoenix: At the time of this adventure, the Phoenix are primarily concerned with
trying to expand the influence of their newly established Colonial temple of
Asako Inquisitors. The Phoenix are convinced that great dangers exist within the
Colonies, and that only they are equipped to deal with them (of course). The
Inquisitors seek to ensure that other clans are not corrupted by these secrets, but
the other clans are somewhat understandably reluctant to allow oversight for a
group historically known for hunting the corrupt and the blasphemous. Also, as
described above, the Phoenix are taking issue with the Crabs environmentally
destructive policies regarding resource harvesting.
Scorpion: Like the Crane, the Scorpion are intimately tied to the events
surrounding the peculiarities of Doji Nikaitsu, and are presently engaged in their
own investigation. They are familiar with the oddities and tendencies of the
Second Ministry, and recognize that new arrivals may be recruited to investigate
the Cranes strange behavior. Any Scorpion among the characters will of course
be contacted for information about the investigation, but any others over whom
the Scorpion hold influence will likely be put to use as well. Beyond this, the
Scorpion are of course continuing their typical series of manipulations and
deceptions, as in any political environment.
Spider: Ironically, the Spider are among the most welcoming of all the Great
Clans in the Second City. They are very defensive, of course, and for good reason:
most clans have not forgiven them for the sins of their past. However, they are
extremely interested in gaining allies who are willing to work with them on
accomplishing their ends in court, which is a general advancement of their
position without further sacrifice of their status. Most characters will be reluctant
to deal too closely with the Spider, of course, but the quite well acquainted with
making enemies into allies. It is something of a survival mechanism, after all.
Unicorn: The Unicorn have a very strong presence in the Second City, as they
were one of its founding clans. The clan is likely already familiar with any
character who arrived over the land route, as the caravan masters keep very
careful records about such things and pass them off to agents in the Second City.
Although generally more benevolent than most, the political arm of the Unicorn
within the city is still interested in preserving the clans political status there. They
generally accomplish this by ingratiating themselves with newcomers, and they
are also looking for talented young samurai without extensive political
connections who can join the ranks of the newly founded Ivory Legion.

Points of Interest in the Second City


In addition to the agendas of the Great Clans, there are several locations within the
Second City that might be of interest to adventure-hungry player characters. The
following are just a few of the locations described in much greater detail in the
forthcoming boxed set that might be expanded upon for the purposes of your adventure:
Blades (Imperial District) This simple weapon storehouse is a holdover from a
previous era when the city feared attack by unknown forces at any moment.
Weapons of all kinds are kept here, carefully maintained by a mute ronin known
as Knives, who also forges weapons. Knives is particularly fond of other ronin,
and often performs work for them without cost.
Flawless Blossom (Imperial District) Unquestionably the finest tea house in the
Second City, the Flawless Blossom is also where most teas unique to the Colonies
have their origin. Its ownership is unknown, and it is one of the only recreational
businesses located in the entire Imperial District, which has little room for such
things in its limited space.
Fuan-tis Tower (Imperial District) Perhaps the Second Citys most notable
landmark, this massive building has the distinction of being perhaps the tallest
structure ever created by Rokugani hands. It is said to scrape against the sky and
the Heavens beyond, and houses dozens of samurai who are unable to secure their
own estates in the crowded Imperial District. Particularly wealthy characters or
those who have significant political connections may be housed here.
The Dojo (Military District) Lacking a more specific name, this enormous dojo
is the result of all clans pooling their resources to create a single location for their
soldiers to practice their arts and grow in strength. Even clans that are
traditionally enemies can be found practicing side by side here, out of sheer
necessity more so than anything else. All are welcome at this dojo, although
finding a time when it is not overly crowded can be something of a challenge.
Ivory Daggers (Military District) This combination of barracks and dojo is
maintained jointly by the Crab and Scorpion, and specializes in long range
scouting activities. For this reason it is strongly linked to the Imperial Explorers
organization and is frequently a center for their agents within the city. The
Explorers are frequently on the lookout for young, highly skilled samurai with
limited political involvements in order to recruit them to their cause.
The Imperial Library (Temple District) This massive repository of learning is
the largest library in all the Colonies. Although technically an Imperial holding,
the Dragon and Phoenix clans have a tremendous role in maintaining and
organizing the information contained within. New information arrives regularly as
new lore and secrets are discovered throughout the Colonies.

[Begin Sidebar: The Second Ministry]


The Imperial bureaucracy that governs the Second City is radically different than what is
found within the Emerald Empire itself. The various concerns that must be addressed by
the bureaucracy are organized into Ministries, which govern specific areas in accordance
with their size and structure. The Second Ministry, the Ministry of Rites, is responsible
for oversight of all civil appointments and political positions within the city and the
Colonies as a whole. Although the ministry often works with magistrates, it does not have
direct oversight over them (that falls under the banner of the Fourth Ministry, the
Ministry of Defense and Justice). Because of their desire for discretion, the agents of the
Second Ministry do, on some occasions, recruit independent agents to conduct their
affairs, such as the matter of Doji Nikaitsu.
[End Sidebar]

An Appointment with the Ministry


A short time after the arrival of the characters in the Second City, approximately a week
after their entrance through the arrival gate, each of them receive a formal invitation to
take tea with an unspecified member of the Second Ministry at one of the many small
buildings devoted to its duties in the Imperial District. Inquiries by the characters into
what exactly the Second Ministry is can result in the information contained in the
sidebars below, but for the most part no one should consider the invitation all that
unusual. This sort of thing happens with new arrivals often enough that it is not
something most samurai take particular notice of.
The invitation specifies a time and place, which turns out to be a modest building
in the western quarter of the Imperial District. The building is somewhat humbly labeled
The Western Office of the Ministry of Rites, and seems quite at odds with the normal
preference for quiet displays of wealth that the Imperial families normally prefer. Upon
entering, read the following text for the players:
The small building is well-constructed by not particularly well-appointed. It
might be best described as humble, which is not normally a term that one would use in
describing anything associated with the Imperial Bureaucracy, but perhaps things are
different in the Colonies. Upon entering the office, you discover that the main chamber
has been emptied and prepared for a traditional tea ceremony, which is not exactly what
you expected, but makes sense given a literal interpretation of your invitation. A servant
appears at your side and gestures silently for you to take your place. The scent of the tea
and of the simple but rich fare being offered is extremely enticing.
Assuming that the characters take their place for the ceremony, they will be
greeted by the individual who sent the invitation, an attractive woman in her late 30s
named Otomo Haruko. Haruko wears conservative robes that appropriately depict her
allegiance both to the Otomo family, the Empress, and the Imperial Governor of the
Colonies. She politely defers all questions until after the traditional tea ceremony is
complete, at which point she becomes more conversational.
Haruko places the tea to the side and sips lightly at her cup. She smiles at you
with apparently fondness. I am greatly pleased that you accepted by invitation, she
says warmly. I am one of the members of the Second Ministry who is tasked with
keeping track of new arrivals to the city. The formal census is the duty of others, of
course, but we enjoy maintaining our records as completely as possible. She sips again
at the coolly tea and nods to a servant, who places a small dish of sweet rice cakes on the
table. How have you found your arrival in the Second City?
This is an opportunity for the characters to ask any questions they have about the
workings of the city and the agencies who oversee it. Groups or individuals that the
characters may have encountered can be discussed as well, although Haruko is a painfully
proper lady and will not discuss any degree of impropriety. Gossip is for lesser souls.
After the conversation runs its course, Haruko will move on to the matter at hand.
The reason for my invitation is not entirely altruistic, Haruko says, seeming
somewhat pained to admit it. There are many things afoot in a city of this size and
importance, as you might imagine. The Second Ministry has as part of its duties the
oversight of certain essential individuals who hold positions of power within the city and
the Colonies as a whole. She hesitates for a moment, then continues. There are times
when we must, in the execution of our duties, ensure that strange activities have no
greater significance. Unfortunately, the political intricacies of this place causes certain
restrictions brought about by the number of eyes upon us. As a result, we occasionally
have need to bring in samurai who are not yet embroiled in the citys political intrigues to
perform small services for us. She smiles apologetically. We are not permitted to
maintain our own magistrates, you understand. Regardless, the truth of the matter is that
I have a minor curiosity that I need to be pursued, and skilled individuals such as
yourselves can be of tremendous assistance in this area. If you are willing, you would
have both the gratitude of the Ministry as well as my personal thanks. If you came to the
Colonies hoping to secure allies, this would be a most auspicious beginning, I think.
Haruko is being completely sincere in this encounter. She does not enjoy
embroiling young samurai in the affairs of the Ministry; indeed, she feels it is both
irresponsible and somewhat predatory, but operates under the guidelines that she has been
given by her lord, and will not display even the slightest disloyalty regardless of her
personal feelings. She is willing to discuss the nature of the debt that the Ministry will
have to the characters, although she shows clear and obvious signs of distaste if the
characters raise the question of monetary or material rewards for their service. Once they
agree to assist Haruko and her Ministry, she will get to the matter at hand.
Unfortunately, there is a member of the local Crane delegation who has been
exhibiting some strange behavior of late. He is not especially important in the grand
scheme of things, but he holds enough importance that his behavior is troubling to those
who monitor such things. The mans name is Doji Nikaitsu, and we merely wish to ensure
that his behavior is not a symptom of some greater malady that might threaten the work
he does on behalf of the Crane and the Ministries. She smiles, but it is a sad expression.
I have no desire to see this mans reputation suffer. I have no desire to see his works
undone, or his family shamed. I am merely under orders to ensure that there is nothing
taking place that could threaten the great things we have in motion here in the Second
City. I have instigated many investigations of this nature, and it is quite rare for anything
truly scandalous to be uncovered. The majority of the time it comes to nothing, and likely
will again in this instance. Still, we must be sure. Do you think this is something you are
capable of accomplishing?
Any Crane samurai among the group may well find this turn of events unpleasant,
but unfortunately for them, Haruko is canny enough to have secured their agreement in
advance, and although she will never overtly threaten anyone, it should be quite clear that
she has the ability to cause significant honor loss to those who break their word. Although
Haruko herself will not take action against any who do so, she has any number of agents
and underlings who will take it upon themselves to see such individuals ruined in court.
Even the most obtuse individual should be able to recognize this with a simple Courtier
Skill Roll. Once the initial shock has worn off for any who take issue with this manner of
think, Haruko will continue.
The Imperial lady smiles. Thank you, she says. You have made a wise
decision, and one that will not soon be forgotten. The gratitude of the Otomo is exceeded
only by the length of their memory. The unstated threat is subtle, but unmistakable.
Haruko sips at her tea again. What would you ask of me about Nikaitsu-san?
Haruko will answer any and all questions she can about the Crane courtier, for as
she said she bears him no ill will whatsoever and genuinely believes this investigation
will come to nothing. The information she can impart includes the following:
Nikaitsu is a thirty-year old who has served in the Colonies for eight years. He is
very well liked by almost everyone and although he has a few rivals, he has no
true enemies that Haruko is aware of.
Nikaitsus best known rivals are currently members of the Mantis Clan,
specifically the courtier Moshi Madoka. This is an outgrowth of the current
hostilities between the two clans, although Nikaitsu and Madoka have known
each other for years and were friendly prior to the outbreak of trade difficulties.
He also has a rivalry with a courtier named Asako Tatsu, over an unknown issue
from their youth. Again, however, it is not a passionate disagreement.
Despite his age, Nikaitsu is not married. He has been courted many times and has
pursued particularly valuable brides-to-be in the past, but has never married. He is
currently one of the favorite potential matches for Crane matchmakers, who hope
to capitalize on his popularity in court before he becomes too old.
Throughout his career, Nikaitsu has made a policy of being overly warn to clans
that most find suspicious or untrustworthy, and as a result has a larger than
average number of allies among the Scorpion and Spider clans, who appreciate
his consideration over the years.
Nikaitsu is a noted patron of the arts, and has sponsored many artisans and
playwrights in their work. He is known for his exquisite clothing and accessories,
and often uses his appearance to advance his political agenda with smitten female
courtiers throughout the Ivory Court.

Otomo Haruko, Scion of the Second Ministry


Air: 3 Earth: 2 Fire: 3 Water: 2 Void: 4
Awareness 5 Willpower 3 Perception 4

School/Rank: Otomo Courtier 3


Honor: 6.4
Glory: 2.8
Status: 3.3
Advantages: Clear Thinker
Disadvantages: Doubt (Sincerity)
Skills: Courtier (Manipulation) 6, Defense 2, Etiquette (Bureaucracy, Conversation) 4,
Intimidation (Control) 2, Investigation 3, Lore: History 3, Lore: Theology 2, Medicine 2,
Meditation 3, Sincerity (Honesty) 4, Tea Ceremony 4

[Begin Sidebar: Master of the Second Ministry]


Although it is relatively unlikely that the characters will come to the attention of the lord
of the Second Ministry, if there is one thing that is certain, it is that players are utterly
unpredictable. For that reason, we present the background and mechanics for Seppun
Ishitata, the Minister of Rites for the Imperial Colonies.
Seppun Ishitata never foresaw himself as the head of an important government
ministry. In fact, he didnt foresee himself traveling to the Colonies at all. Ishitata had
hoped to join the Imperial Guard and live a simple life in service as a samurai. A low and
uncomplicated station such as that would have suited him just fine. Fate, however,
dictated otherwise.
The second son of an important Imperial diplomat, Ishitata grew up in Toshi
Ranbo in close proximity to power, but never showed any kind of ambition. His family
had long held important diplomatic positions, and while his brothers and sisters went on
to exemplify this tradition, impress their sensei, and achieve high stations throughout the
Empire, Ishitata was content to merely perform adequately. Unlike his siblings, he did not
want any political power or glory for himself. He did not like to draw attention. His
parents had hoped he would take to politics or diplomacy, and arranged for him to meet
with the sensei of several different courtier schools. But these attempts were fruitless.
Ishitata lacked the attention and intelligence for politics and diplomacy. The only thing he
was good at was making a plain face. The sensei all praised his skill and then quietly
suggested he join a bushi school. Eventually, his parents gave up and enrolled him among
the Miharu of the Seppun.
Ishitata showed much skill and promise in the arts of combat. He was clearly an
excellent pupil, rising above his peers and excelling in the ways of the warrior. However,
his successes caused embarrassment for his parents. Courtiers chuckled when they spoke
of their second son, praising him back-handedly for breaking family conventions.
Eventually, his family decided he was simply too much of an embarrassment to deal with
any longer, and when they learned there was a need for trained guardsmen in the new
Imperial Colonies, they made sure Ishitatas name was spoken.
Ishitata didnt particularly mind being exiled to the Colonies by his family. In
fact, he had high hopes that perhaps there he could finally live a simple warriors life.
Unfortunately he was recognized as his fathers son almost as soon as he arrived, and the
reputation of his family of diplomats preceded him wherever he went about his duties.
Many assumed that because the rest of his family were such accomplished courtiers, he
was surely one as well. It must have been poor luck and circumstance that left him stuck
with the duties of a simple guard! When it came time for the Imperial Governor to
appoint a Minister of Rites, she asked for names of skilled diplomats who could be
entrusted with the granting of titles. Ishitata was named purely due to his familys
reputation, for by then speculation had grown into conviction. Suikihime was moved by
the story of a skilled diplomat who due to unavoidable necessity served as a simple
guard, an honorable man who did not complain about his lowly duty. She summoned
Ishitata to the court and immediately promoted him to Minister of Rites while he stood
silent, transfixed in horror. To refuse would be an insult, and so he simply bowed his head
and accepted.
Ishitata enjoys a high reputation in the eyes of the court. Most see him as a great
warrior who rose through the ranks through hard work and perseverance. They know he
is not an outspoken or glib courtier like many of the other Ministers, but he is nonetheless
admired for his steadfast, quiet, and stoic warrior manners. When asked a question, he is
silent for a long while before answering; the court sees this as a demonstration of his
wisdom, carefully considering everything and formulating the best course of action
before speaking. They know he is an accomplished swordsman and they believe his
warriors eyes have made him a good judge of character. So high is the courts respect for
him, in fact, that a few brief words from his lips will sway virtually the entire trend of
opinion toward that position. His subordinates look up to him as an ideal samurai, a man
who was appointed for his warrior spirit and honor.
How the court perceives Ishitata, however, is of course not how he truly is.
Beneath his flawless On is the soul of a man who trembles under the pressure of his
position. He secretly doubts his every decision, questions whether he can perform his
duties successfully, and fears the great power he wields. His lengthy silences, which
others interpret as the careful consideration and contemplation of a wise man, are actually
born of uncertainty and indecision. He sits quiet in court because he hopes he will be
overlooked. He says nothing when addressed because he can think of nothing meaningful
to say. He often makes his final decisions based on sudden whim, followed by weeks of
crippling uncertainty. His greatest fear is that he will make some great mistake that will
cause the entire Ivory Court to fail and shame his family for generations. He keeps such
fears closely guarded, of course, and not even his closest subordinates know the truth; if
they did, they would be horrified.
However, none of his decisions have backfired yet. Perhaps he is unknowingly
good at his job, or perhaps he simply benefits from skilled and knowledgeable
subordinates. Perhaps his reputation and image as a stoic samurai inspires others to rise
beyond their own limits, and thus no matter which option he chooses, all beneath him
push to ensure success. Or perhaps he is merely lucky. Whatever the reason, Ishitata is
certain he will eventually fail, badly, and the entire facade will come crumbling down.
Until that day comes, he moves through the court cautiously and quietly, never speaking,
avoiding attention, and always with his flawless and stoic on in place.
He does not know whether or not the Governor is aware of his secret uncertainty.
However, though she has made no outward sign that she knows, the way she looks at him
and smiles makes his skin crawl and fills him with doubt. Notwithstanding his deep
unease with his current office, Ishitata remains a very confident and competent warrior.
On the very rare occasions when he is called upon to defend himself in combat, all doubt
instantly washes away, and the uncertain Ishitata is replaced by a true fearless samurai. It
is a very subtle change, as his stoic outward expression remains in place even in the midst
of action and carnage. But those who are watching closely can see the shift in his eyes.
Every morning, young aspiring bushi and admiring courtiers gather before the gardens to
watch Ishitata perform his daily kata. His technique is nearly flawless, every movement
rife with confidence, discipline, and skill. Some whisper that he even allows himself the
slightest parting of the lips, a smile so faint one would easily miss it passing by.
This warrior transformation has cost one political enemy his life, a man named
Bayushi Taji. Taji always suspected Ishitata was not the man others made him out to be,
and being an ambitious sort believed he could take advantage of this weakness. One day,
watching Ishitata forced to make a decision before an anticipating court, Taji gleaned his
uncertainty and realized the wisdom of the Minister of Rites was a sham. Empowered by
his discovery, it was effortless for him to manipulate circumstances that forced Ishitata in
a duel of honor against him. Taji believed the ministers indecision and hesitance would
translate to cowardice on the dueling grounds. On the day of the duel, Taji was shocked
to discover a very different Ishitata standing before him. The courtier was cut down in an
instant, and Ishitata has remained unchallenged since. Only one other time has this
transformation ever taken place, and it went unnoticed by those present. While returning
to the Second City after an important errand, Ishitatas caravan was surprised and
ambushed by desert raiders. The raiders targeted the courtiers accompanying him, among
them Otomo Nami, the Governors youngest sister. They seemed intent on taking her
hostage and killing her handmaidens and advisors, and they would have succeeded
except Ishitata and his sword were there. Within moments of overtaking Namis personal
guard, two of the three attackers lay dead by Ishitatas blade, and he single-handedly
disarmed and drove off the remaining one. This bought enough time for the guards to
rally, and the raiders were driven off.
Ishitata was hailed as a hero upon returning to the Second City. His actions seem
to have won the admiration of Otomo Nami, and she takes every opportunity to sing his
praises in public, much to his quiet and desperate horror. He tries to avoid her as best he
can, knowing she will inevitably draw more attention to him, the one thing which he most
dreads. The story of his single-handed defeat of the raiders is still one of the most popular
tales at court. The Imperial Governor requests its telling often, especially if Ishitata is
present. He is always silent and plain-faced during these retellings but surely, the court
says, this is just a sign of his noble humility.

Seppun Ishitata, Minister of Rites


Air: 3 Earth: 3 Fire: 2 Water: 3 Void: 3
Reflexes 4 Willpower 4 Agility 4

School/Rank: Seppun Bodyguard 3


Honor: 6.0 Status: 5.0 Glory: 6.3
Advantages: Allies (several), Quick, Fame, Social Position (Minister of Rites)
Disadvantages: Dark Secret (in over his head), Doubt (Etiquette)
Skills: Athletics 3, Battle 2, Calligraphy 2, Courtier 2, Defense 4, Etiquette (Courtesy) 2,
Iaijutsu 3, Investigation 2, Kenjutsu (Katana) 5, Kyujutsu 2, Lore: Bushido 3, Lore:
Theology 3, Meditation 3, Sincerity (Honesty) 2
[End Sidebar]

Part 2: The Investigation


Once the characters have met with Otomo Haruko and have accepted the challenge of
discretely investigating the courtier Doji Nikaitsu, they are politely dismissed; Haruko
has other business, naturally, but she agrees to meet with them at their discretion if they
need to speak with her about their findings. As long as they are able to give her at least a
couple of hours notice, she will accommodate them as quickly as she is able and meet on
very short notice. This sets the stage for the investigation to begin.
This portion of the module is likely where the bulk of the player-directed action
will take place, which is both liberating and problematic for a GM. Fortunately, this
module is designed with the Heroes of Rokugan GMs in mind, and theres no one better.
Toward that end, we are designing this chapter in a sandbox fashion, presenting all the
information that might be reasonably come up, and letting the GM and players direct the
experience accordingly.
A Note for GMs: This portion of the adventure is presented in somewhat of a
sandbox format, designed to allow maximum freedom for player characters to pursue the
secrets of the module in a manner of their own choosing. We have endeavored to present
all the information you will need to make this happen, but it is of course impossible to
anticipate everything player characters will think of. You are encouraged to fill in any
blanks as you see fit, and we have absolute faith that your creativity and initiative will
only enhance the enjoyment of this experience. Thank you again for all you do to help
spread Legend of the Five Rings to other people.

Potential Opponents
One of the most significant opponents during the characters investigation of Doji
Nikaitsu is one that they may never recognize, and certainly they will never understand
his motivations. Otomo Akio is a powerful man within the Second City, and holds the
position of karo to the Chancellor of the Left. He is well known in the Governors Court
and throughout the city as a whole. His demeanor suggests a Crane heritage, but that is
just one of the many deceptions that he maintains. In truth, he has much more in common
with the Scorpion than any Crane.
Akio is keenly interested in Nikaitsus behavior because it is atypical and it breaks
the routine of the Second City, something that he considers both unusual and potentially
dangerous. Akio has a hand in a great many endeavors and events within the city, and
anything that disturbs the routine is an unwelcome presence. His interest in the
characters investigation is not a wholesome one, and he will attempt to find out what
they have discovered and, if possible, derail their investigation to pursue the truth
himself. Although he has a large number of staff and agents who serve him as a result of
the status he commands within his family and the Ministry, his dealings with the
characters will be through his other staff, a number of ronin who work for coin and who
either will not disclose the name of their employer or who, in many cases, actually do not
know whom they serve.
The reasons for Akios interest, his agenda, and the truth behind what he does and
how he does it is considerably more sinister than it first appears. More about Otomo Akio
and his organization can be found in the Second City Boxed Set.

Otomo Akio, Karo of the Left


Air: 3 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 3
Awareness 4 Willpower 3 Intelligence 3 Perception 3

School/Rank: Otomo Courtier 3


Honor: 3.4
Glory: 7.3
Status: 4.0
Advantages: Allies (many), Gentry, Servants, Social Position (karo to the Chancellor of
the Left), Wealthy
Disadvantages: Compulsion (collect gaijin artifacts), Sworn Enemies (many)
Skills: Calligraphy 3, Courtier (Gossip, Manipulation), 6, Etiquette (Bureaucracy,
Courtesy) 6, Games: Sadane 3, Intimidation (Control) 4, Investigation 2, Lore: Ivory
Kingdoms Art 3, Lore: Heraldry 3, Lore: Law 2, Meditation 2, Sincerity (Honesty, Lying)
5, Temptation 4,

Otomo Akios Agents


Air: 2 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 2
Reflexes 3 Agility 3 Perception 3
School/Rank: True Ronin (Insight Rank 1)
Honor: 1.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 0.0
Advantages: Crafty
Disadvantages: Social Disadvantage (Ronin)
Skills: Athletics 2, Defense 3, Investigation 4, Kenjutsu 2, Knives 3, Stealth (Sneaking) 4

Bayushi Tanzaki
Another potential opponent is a Scorpion courtier named Bayushi Tanzaki. He is a bit
more knowledgeable about the situation than Akio, but vastly less powerful in terms of
his level of influence and resources. Tanzaki is aware of Crystal Winds existence and
fears that the entitys influence has somehow extended to members of his own clan,
although he has no idea how such a thing might be possible and has absolutely nothing
but his own intuition to support this theory. Thus far he has not even informed other
members of his clan about his suspicions, but he has been keeping a very close eye on a
magistrate with whom he has worked before, and who is close friends with Doji Nikaitsu,
named Bayushi Manami.

Bayushi Tanzaki, Suspicious Courtier


Air: 3 Earth: 2 Fire: 3 Water: 2 Void: 2
Willpower 3 Perception 4

School/Rank: Bayushi Courtier 2


Honor: 3.3
Glory: 4.1
Status: 2.2
Advantages: Wary
Disadvantages: Hoteis Curse
Skills: Calligraphy 2, Commerce 2, Courtier (Gossip, Manipulation) 4, Etiquette 3,
Forgery 2, Intimidation 3, Investigation 2, Kenjutsu 2, Knives 3, Meditation 1, Ninjutsu
1, Sincerity (Deceit) 4, Stealth 2, Temptation 2

The Object of Our Affection


The man that is the target of the characters scrutiny is a popular courtier who has made
the Second City his home for a number of years. As mentioned above, he is well known
and well liked. He is not among the highest ranking members of the citys Crane
contingent, but his mid-level status actually gives him a great deal of freedom in terms of
his daily activities. This, of course, makes him the perfect tool for an extremely powerful
manipulator such as the one who has recently begun altering his actions.

Doji Nikaitsu, Scion of the Second City


Air: 3 Earth: 2 Fire: 3 Water: 3 Void: 3
Awareness 4 Willpower 3
School/Rank: Doji Courtier 2
Honor: 6.8
Glory: 5.2
Status: 2.3
Advantages: Bentens Blessing, Darling of the Court
Disadvantages: Here
Skills: Artisan: Poetry 2, Calligraphy 2, Courtier (Manipulation) 4, Etiquette
(Conversation, Courtesy) 4, Games: Letters 3, Perform: Storytelling 2, Sincerity (Honest,
Deceit) 3, Tea Ceremony 2

Doji Nikaitsu actually requested an appointment to the Colonies, which is


virtually unheard of for courtiers of significant promise. Nikaitsu has always had an
interest in what merchant patrons might consider a burgeoning market. Where others saw
political exile, he saw a new and growing political landscape that could be shaped and
influenced by those who had sufficient will and cunning, and he wished to be a part of it.
The gamble has proven wildly successful, and Nikaitsu has quickly proven to the rest of
the Crane that the faith they have demonstrated in him is well deserved indeed.
One of the most prominent features of Nikaitsus daily appearance is a large
crystal pendant that he wears constantly. He frames it with a number of different settings
to ensure that it goes with whatever he is wearing, and as mentioned above it has inspired
a significant amount of imitation among younger, easily influenced members of the citys
court.

Daidoji Baiko, Devoted Yojimbo


Air: 2 Earth: 3 Fire: 3 Water: 3 Void: 2
Reflexes 4

School/Rank: Daidoji Iron Warrior 2


Honor: 6.1
Glory: 2.4
Status: 1.7
Advantages: Dark Paragon of Determination
Disadvantages: Insensitive
Skills: Athletics 2, Battle 2, Defense 4, Horsemanship 2, Iaijutsu 3, Intimidation 3,
Investigation 1, Kenjutsu (Katana) 4, Kyujutsu 3, Spears 2

Brooding and sinister, Daidoji Baiko is never far from Nikaitsus side, and is
perhaps the only thing in the world that can turn some people away from his company.
Baikos sensei was a unique individual whose controversial teachings instructed his
students to be as menacing as possible, and Baiko was his greatest pupil. Despite her
demeanor, she is a lovely woman and is perhaps the best-read member of the Crane
contingent in the entire Second City, save the members of the clans priesthood.
Academically, Baiko recognizes that she might be in love with Nikaitsu, but she has
never spent any time genuinely considering the matter.
Gaining general information on Nikaitsu is very simple, although more detailed
information can be slightly more difficult acquire. All the information that is given in
Nikaitsus description above can be very easily acquired through an Investigation or
Courtier Skill Roll (TN 5). More in depth information can be acquired as follows:

Courter Investigation Information


TN 15 TN 15 A short time ago, Nikaitsu began composing poems
related to the pursuit of gaijin lore and lost tomes
from the Ivory Kingdoms. He has been actively
promoting these ideas in court, with more force
than his normal demeanor generally allows.
TN 20 TN 25 Somewhat less recently, Nikaitsu caused a bit of a
Sensation in court with his new love for crystal-
based netsuke. Many others have followed suit, but
Nikaitsu at least is never seen without at least one
major piece accompanying his attire.

Nikaitsus recent change of heart and wavering focus has left his personal affairs
in a general state of chaos. Nikaitsus perspective, altered as it has been by external
influences, finds this largely irrelevant in the interests of his greater goal, even though he
does not fully comprehend why he feels that his new passion is so overwhelmingly
important. Because of his shifting focus, there are a number of endeavors throughout the
Second City that have recently altered as a result of his involvement. Any of these can be
identified by a simple Investigation Skill Roll (TN 10), although a separate roll is
required to learn of and gain information on each individual one.
The Twin Masks Playhouse This particular business is a theater in the Artisan
District. Until a year ago, it was very minor, but Nikaitsus patronage has turned it into
one of the up-and-coming playhouses in the entire city. Or it had, anyway, until Nikaitsus
abrupt disinterest left the Twin Masks foundering and in desperate need of patronage. On
the one hand, a cabal of interested patrons have descended upon the playhouse and
offered their combined influence and sponsorship, which has exceeded that even of
Nikaitsu. On the other, unfortunately, the new sponsors are more much more hands-on,
and their combined and conflicting influences has reduced the quality of the works
performed at the Twin Masks to a shadow of their former selves. The playhouse has
already lost the interest of a great many fans of the arts, and many members of the
playhouses staff and artisans are extremely upset about the matter. Naturally, they blame
Nikaitsu. To say there is some hostility toward the Crane courtier would be something of
an understatement.
Suzume Harutai A young Sparrow trained by the Kakita, Harutai is an up and
coming duelist in the Second City. His reputation has been kept very low-key, partially by
Nikaitsus influence. Nikaitsu encouraged him to remain quiet and maintain a low profile
in order to ensure that he could one day be used as a champion by a Crane and shock the
entire city with his completely unexpected victory. Nikaitsus rather abrupt recent
abandonment of their plans in this area have left an extremely bad taste in Harutais
mouth, and he is now virtually without allies in the entire city. He is scrapping for a fight
in an attempt to prove himself, and will seek any excuse to have a legitimate duel with a
recognized duelist (potentially including the player characters). Even if the player
characters do not prove suitable targets, they may have to deal with his presence
otherwise, as he is considering provoking a confrontation with Nikaitsus yojimbo.
Moshi Turako This beautiful young woman is from an extremely wealthy but
otherwise unremarkable branch of the Moshi family, and one that has profited to great
extent by embracing the mercantile traditions of the Yoritomo family. Nikaitsu had been
courting the young woman for some months, interested in the wealth that such a union
would bring and, later on, the potential political ramifications if marrying Turako could
impact the dispensation of the Crane-Mantis conflict brewing in the southern Colonies.
So interested in this was Nikaitsu that he made some overtures to Turakos father,
overtures which were very positively received, but like so many of his other interests, he
abruptly stopped courting Turako some weeks previously. The Moshi are furious and
some discussion has been had about a possible duel to avenge the slight to Turako and her
fathers honor.
The Sacred Blade The Sacred Blade is a merchant ship that plies its trade along
the river connecting the Second City to the southern coastline of the Colonies,
terminating at the Crane port called the Aerie. The captain of this vessel is a Minor Clan
samurai named Kasuga Kyo, a member of the Tortoise Clan and a man of both profitable
enterprises and questionable moral fiber. Kyo and Nikaitsu entered into a patronage
agreement six months previously, when Kyos business was suffering considerably in the
wake of an unseasonable storm that damaged his vessel and other holdings. Since that
time, Nikaitsu has placed a number of restrictions on him that, while increasing his
business, have left Kyo feeling somewhat unsatisfied. However, Nikaitsus recent
disinterest and allowed him to return to business as usual, which pleases the Tortoise
captain greatly. He is highly evasive regarding the topic of Nikaitsu, fearful of bringing
the Cranes attention back to their joint endeavors. However, he is more than happy to
point out that the Cranes recent odd behavior coincides with a hunting trip he took with
an old friend named Bayushi Manami some weeks ago.

Potential Distractions
In addition to the normal goings on in the Second City, there are several events that might
distract the players from the matter at hand but which can be added in to increase the
diversity of the experience with this module. Some suggestions for additional events that
might attract the players interest include the following:
The Festival of Fresh Waters During the characters arrival in the Second City,
the residents are in the midst of celebrating ht Festival of Fresh Waters. This week-long
event lacks the elaborate revelry that accompanies major holidays in the Empire, such as
the Bon Festival, but does tend to generate a reasonable amount of merriment on behalf
of the citys denizens during the evening hours, when the heat abates enough to permit
celebrations to be enjoyed. The festival celebrates an incident more than a decade ago
when the Second City, still largely under construction at that time, was attacked by
insurgents from the Cult of Ruhmal, which was still a significant threat in the Colonies at
that time. The fighting throughout the region was fierce and lasted the better part of three
days, during which time the river immediately west of the Second City was contaminated
by blood and corpses. It took an additional three days after the battle was over before
shugenja declared that the river was safe to drink once again. This was the occasion of the
first Festival of Fresh Waters, which was as much a celebration of victory and glory as it
was the actual sanctity of the river itself.
The Festival has a great deal of rituals involving the purification of water, and
there are numerous ceremonies concerning the river and other sources of water, including
wells and small streams and creeks that feed the area. The pious spend their time
venerating the water kami. Everyone else spends their time drinking and making excuses
to have a good time. This may either be to the benefit of the player characters, if
individuals they wish to speak to may be somewhere along the spectrum of inebriation
and thus feeling uninhibited, or to their detriment, as those pious individuals may be less
inclined to tolerate interruption during the festival.
Ivory Legion Trials The recently appointed Ivory Champion, Shinjo Tselu, is in
the process of building his own military force, an arm of the Governors influence that
can operate independently throughout the Colonies without weakening the defenses of
the Second City by calling away those soldiers barracked there for that purpose. Since the
great majority of bushi within the city are fulfilling duties either for their clans or in the
citys defense already, it is a difficult process to find suitable candidates for this duty;
many who are not otherwise committed are not of an acceptable caliber to serve in such a
prestigious post, Tselu believes. Thus, he holds regular trials, once per month, wherein
candidates who are interested in joining his organization can prove their mettle in a series
of challenges that are designed to weed the weak from the worthy. Tselu, rather
inexperienced in matters of this nature, has patterned his trials after more prestigious
events such as the Topaz and Emerald Championships. Although the trials are primarily
martial in nature, they are not exclusively so, and no one is prohibited from participating.
A great many ronin can often be found here, attempting to secure their future by
impressing the Ivory Champion with their diverse skills.

The Key to the Whole Affair


As described in the adventure description at the beginning of the module, the key to the
unusual behavior exhibited by Doji Nikaitsu is the crystal netsuke he has been wearing of
late, which is a conduit through which his mind is being manipulated by the slumbering
Ashalan sorcerer known as Crystal Wind. The netsuke is mentioned by a number of
different individuals during the course of the investigation, and it is relatively easy to
discover that the appearance of the netsuke coincides with the strange behavior as well as
that it was given to Nikaitsu by an old friend, a magistrate named Bayushi Manami.

Part 3: The Truth Uncovered


Although there are a number of different paths that lead to the end of the road, there is
only one end of the road that can be reached in this investigation. In the majority of
circumstances, it is quite likely that the characters will suspect that Nikaitsus strange
behavior is the result of a Scorpion plot of some sort. They may believe that it is a case of
manipulation, blackmail, or even that a Shosuro agent has replaced the real Crane
(always a popular choice in lurid plays and works of fiction). Regardless, at this point in
the investigation, it is quite probable that the Scorpion are viewed as the culprits. The
truth is much more complex, obviously, as the characters will discover shortly.
Present evidence suggests that Doji Nikaitsu is being manipulated by the
Scorpion, specifically his friend Bayushi Manami. To some extent this is correct, of
course, but only in that Manami is manipulating Nikaitsu because he himself is being
manipulated by Crystal Wind. Manami has been exposed to much more concentrated
sources of Crystal Winds power, and for much longer than Nikaitsu; as a result, his
subjugation by that entity is much more complete, and is on the brink of being absolute.
The characters are about to intrude upon a struggle the likes of which they most certainly
have not anticipated during the course of this investigation.
Manami has become reclusive of late, passing on important assignments to lesser
subordinates and retiring to his private estate within the Second Citys Imperial District.
It is a simple matter to discover where he lives, and although the estate is obviously that
of a man with considerable wealth, it appears to be in a state of slight disrepair. There are
no servants or guards in evidence, and gaining entry is a relatively simple matter.
Once the characters enter Manamis estate, read the following:
The situation within is not at all what you expected. The magistrate is indeed
present, but his condition is entirely different from anything you have experienced.
Bayushi Manami is sitting in the lotus position, seemingly meditating, but a large piece of
crystal appears to be what he is meditating upon, and his rigid posture and the all-white
visage of his eyes implies that something is terribly wrong.
An examination of the room reveals nothing that the cursory glance did not, and
the kami are not a great deal of help. They are swirling all around the room in a highly
agitated state, and do not wish to speak to a priest. It is a unique phenomenon, unlike
anything most priests of the kami have ever encountered, but a Spellcraft or Lore: Crystal
Skill Roll (TN 20) can reveal that a multi-elemental item such as jade or crystal that has a
powerful enchantment upon it can cause such a disruption among the kami, although this
seems dramatic even for something of this nature.
The true nature of the situation will not reveal itself unless someone touches the
crystal or, failing that, attempts to Commune or Sense with it (any other spell can have
the same effect if it helps the GM expedite the situation). The character who
accomplishes this feat will quickly find him or herself in a radically different location.
The chamber disappears around you, and you instead find yourself in a chamber
of pure white. There are no distinguishing features whatsoever, and even the walls and
ceiling are difficult to discern. There is a slightly faceted nature to their distant image,
however, which makes it seem as if you are within a crystal. The only other distinguishing
feature at all is Bayushi Manami. Or rather, two Bayushi Manamis.
The magistrate appears exactly as he did when you saw him only moments ago,
or very nearly so at least. One of them appears battered and slightly disheveled, as if just
returned from the battlefield. The other appears pristine and perfect, but the few bits of
flesh exposed around his mask and armor are covered with strange, arcane tattoos that
are difficult to look at without causing discomfort and blurred vision. The battered
Manami is the first to notice your arrival. What? he exclaims. No, no, no! You cannot
be here! You must flee! Destroy the crystal!
The tattooed Manami turns to regard you curiously. Who are thou, to interrupt
mine work? he says, his accent strange and utterly unfamiliar.
It should become immediately obvious to whatever character experiences this that
there are two conflicting consciousnesses battling over control of Bayushi Manamis
body. Although the character might be somewhat uncertain, the strange accent of the
tattooed Manami reveals it as the imposter. If the GM wishes it, it is entirely possible that
more than one character might be brought into the crystal, even the entire party if he is
concerned about the combat abilities of the false Mamani. Regardless, the imposter will
attempt to parlay before resorting to violence, which Crystal Wind considers an absolute
last resort.
You have to get out of here! the battered Manami repeats. I have tried to fight
it, but it is too strong!
Be silent, weak one, the tattooed Manami replies, and turns its attention
toward you. I know thou now. I have seen thy efforts among those have felt my touch. It
seems that I didst underestimate thou, and for that I offer my apologies. With a wicked
smirk, the tattooed man bows slightly, never taking his eyes from yours. I mean no harm
to those like thee, he says, his accent remaining strangely alien to your ears. I have
merely extended mine influence in an attempt to create a network of thy people who will
be receptive to overtures from mine own.
At this point the characters doubtless have questions about what exactly is going
on, and Crystal Wind is surprisingly willing to discuss the affair with them. Of course, its
equally plausible that some among the characters will wish to attack immediately, in
which case the Ashalan will defend himself without holding back. In the event that the
characters are in a conversational mood, here is the information that Crystal Wind is
willing to impart to them:
Crystal Wind will reveal his name (or alias, as it may be) and the name of his
people, the Ashalan. He will reveal that his physical body is far away, although he
will not be particularly specific and will even hint that it is not within the
Colonies, which is not true.
He will repeat his intention to try and create a network of sympathy for his people
should they attempt to make overtures to the Rokugani in the near future. He will
imply that this is highly likely, because the omens indicate that there is something
terrible on the horizon for the Colonies and those who dwell within it. The
Ashalan, he says, have a vested interest in trying to prevent the horrors from
coming to pass. What those horrors are, he will not say, and refuses to even hint at
their true nature (truthfully he does not know, although he will never admit to
ignorance).
Crystal Wind will grudgingly admit that some who have been exposed to his
influence for a particularly long period of time, such as Nikaitsu and Manami,
will not fully recover and will always be at least partially susceptible to his will. It
is an unfortunate necessity, he insists, but one that is essential to ensuring that the
Colonies survives the coming difficulty (this is a hint that Crystal Wind is in fact
within the Colonies themselves).
Although somewhat reluctant to address the matter in detail, Crystal Wind will
eventually admit that, in the absence of proximity, the crystals that Manami,
Nikaitsu, and others bear are a means for him to ensure that they are susceptible to
his influence.

Eventually, combat is almost certainly the outcome. Crystal Wind will only accept the
characters agreement to remain out of the affair, which of course they are honor-bound
not to do. The only possible outcome that they would be able to agree to would be to drop
their investigation and then promptly inform Otomo Haruko of everything they have
learned. Unfortunately for them, Crystal Wind is supernaturally adept at detecting lies,
and will know their intentions. When this occurs, he will regretfully attempt to kill or at
least incapacitate them so that they can be removed from the matter until he is satisfied
his influence cannot be proven.
The following profile applies both to the true Manami, who is gravely wounded and
will not be a great deal of assistance in any combat despite his wish to contribute, and the
representation of Crystal Winds consciousness, who will utilize both its own natural
abilities as well as Manamis skills.

Bayushi Manami, Compromised Magistrate


Air: 3 Earth: 3 Fire: 4 Water: 3 Void: 3
Reflexes 4

School/Rank: Bayushi Bushi 2 / Soshi Magistrate 1


Honor: 3.1
Glory: 3.3
Status: 2.7
Advantages: Blackmail (Several), Social Position (Magistrate)
Disadvantages: None
Skills: Athletics 2, Courtier (Manipulation) 3, Defense 3, Etiquette 2, Iaijutsu 1,
Intimidation (Control) 3, Jiujutsu 2, Kenjutsu 4, Lore: the Colonies 4, Lore: Law 3, Lore:
Underworld 4, Sincerity 3, Stealth 3
Ashalan Abilities:
Ashalan are immune to all poisons and diseases.
Ashalan are capable of bending shadows to enhance their stealth abilities,
although within the crystal there are no shadows to be so manipulated.
Ashalan are capable of using arcane tattoos to enslave others, although again, due
to the nature of this encounter, this ability is highly unlikely to come up.
Additional Skills: Artisan: Tattooing 6, Lore (pick any three) 5, Spellcraft 6

Part 4: Winds of Crystal


With regards to the events of this module, Part 3 is certainly the most open and likely the
one in which the most time will be spent by the characters. Once they receive the
information from Bayushi Manami, they will know the source of their problems. It is
entirely likely that they will choose to go there to deal with the problem directly, although
it is also possible that they will instead choose to refer the matter to the Otomo and leave
it at that. This seems an unlikely choice for typical player character behavior, however. In
the event that the characters do choose this course of action, the Otomo minister finds
herself in a position of having few field agents available and must, reluctantly, request the
continued assistance of the player characters. This could well place them in the position
of investigating a matter they had hoped to wash their hands of. On the plus side,
however, one can never have an Otomo or a member of the Ministry too indebted to
them!
The information that the characters have in their possession is highly valued by
the Scorpion, and the clan will react poorly to the realization that their secret has been
exposed should they discover the truth. It is possible that the party will include a
Scorpion character, in which case presumably he or she will inform the clan of the events
taking place in this module. If this proves to be the case, the Scorpion will reluctantly
permit the characters to enter their territory (although the characters will never know that
they have tacit approval; they will simply think the Scorpion have not noticed their
entrance into the region).
Traveling to the Scorpion province in which the crystals were first discovered is
no mean feat, for the distance is several days travel at best and the location in question is
inside the region known as the Frontier, and the dangers in that region are significant.
How much difficulty you wish to inject into this scenario is dependant upon your desire
to provide appropriate challenge for the party as well as your desire to ensure that the
game session finishes in a timely manner (of course, this latter portion is only applicable
for those of you experiencing this adventure as part of the GenCon 2012 experience). If
you find that you need additional encounters to provide a complete and entertaining
experience, consider adding something from the following table.

Optional Additional Encounters


D10 Event Relevant Mechanics
1-2 Scorpion patrol (may be staged, see above) See stats below
3-4 An Ivory Kingdoms native wanderer None (treat as True Ronin)
5-6 Rogue bull elephant Enemies of the Empire, Ch. 1
7-8 Dark Naga Abominations Enemies of the Empire, Ch. 5
9 A hunting tiger Enemies of the Empire, Ch. 1
10 A dormant guardian statue Use summoned Earth spirit, ML4

The Power of Crystal


Although Manami has directed the characters to the site of a large crystal outcropping,
and may indeed have informed them that this is the site of the Ashalans slumbering form,
that is not the case. The sorcerous entitys control, even when waning, is such that
Manami (who is one of only a half-dozen Scorpion who do know of Crystal Winds true
location) cannot reveal the truth, even when he believes that he has complete self-control.
Instead, the outcropping in question is the site of one of Crystal Winds most powerful
rituals, conducted before he entered his slumbering state. As a result, even though they
are not particularly close by his physical form, the crystals are the primary means by
which he extends his control through the Colonies, and it was from this outcropping that
the crystals affecting Manami, Nikaitsu, and the others were taken.
Unfortunately for the characters, the fact that Crystal Wind is not physically
present at the outcropping does very little to lessen their danger, for the concentrated
power of the crystals in this location has allowed the Ashalan to assemble a significantly
dangerous group of completely enslaved servants to protect his interests, and they are
expecting the characters. Upon arriving at the southern outcropping, the characters will
discover that it is well defended indeed.
The first hint that you are approaching your destination is the rapid decline in the
sounds of wildlife in the region. The bird sounds are the first to go, then the insects, until
there is no noise save for the wind in the jungle. The rich, dark jungle soil gradually
gives way to sand, in which fewer and fewer plants grow until the canopy itself gives way,
and within the jungle, like an oasis, is an expanse of sand such as one might find within
the desert. Only instead of rich vegetation and blessed water, this clearing his home to a
massive outcropping of crystal, breaking free from the ground and reaching skyward as if
to try and escape the bondage of earth. And protecting the crystal are a half-dozen
warriors clad in Scorpion colors, as well as several animals from the surrounding
woodlands. All have eyes that are completely white, and the men speak in terrible unison.
Thou should have listened, the chorus sounds. It needed not to have come to this.
The influence of Crystal Wind over these men and beasts is absolute and
unwavering: they will not stop until they are dead or the characters are. This is not the
outcome that the Ashalan wished, but he will not allow beasts such as the characters to
intrude upon his plans and diminish his ability to influence the world beyond his slumber.

Compromised Scorpion Samurai


Air: 2 Earth: 2 Fire: 3 Water: 3 Void: 3
Reflexes 3

School/Rank: Bayushi Bushi 1


Honor: 4.5
Glory: 1.3
Status: 1.1
Advantages: Quick
Disadvantages: Obligation
Skills: Athletics, Defense, Jiujutsu, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu (Note: The Skills of these
individuals have been reduced and in some cases eliminated due to the degree of control
being exercised over them by the Ashalan Crystal Wind.)

[Begin Sidebar: Stacking the Odds]


It is never a simple matter to gauge potential success against a large number of enemies.
In this case, the competence of the mind-controlled Scorpion is offset somewhat by the
wild card that is the wildlife. If the combat seems to be going poorly for the characters,
consider having the influence of the Ashalan wane with the stress of the fight, causing
some of the wildlife to flee or even to attack the Scorpion if things are going particularly
badly. Conversely, to use the animals as a barometer for the combat, you can have them
flee once they become more than superficially wounded, showing that their natural
instincts cannot be fully suppressed even by immortal sorcery.
[End Sidebar]

Dominated Apes
Air: 1 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 1
Reflexes 3 Stamina 4 Agility 4 Strength 5

Initiative: 4k3
Attack: Smash 5k4 (Simple) or Bite 4k4 (Complex)
Damage: 5k2 (smash) or 3k3 (bite)
Armor TN: 20
Reduction: 4
Wounds: 10: +5; 20: +10; 30: +15; 40: Dead
Skills: Athletics (climbing) 3
Special Abilities: Fear 1

Dominated Tiger
Air: 2 Earth: 3 Fire: 2 Water: 3
Reflexes 4 Stamina 4 Agility 4 Strength 4

Initiative: 5k4
Attack: Claws 6k4 (Complex) or Bite 4k4 (Complex)
Damage: 5k2 (claws) or 3k3 (bite)
Armor TN: 25
Reduction: 4
Wounds: 24: +10; 48: Dead
Skills: Hunting 4, Stealth 4

The Crystal Outcropping


Despite appearances to the contrary, the mind-controlled minions of Crystal Wind are not
the greatest threat facing the characters. Indeed, the greatest threat they face in this
encounter is the outcropping itself. It is an incredibly potent repository of ancient gaijin
sorcery, the strange and alien magic of the Ashalan race. In particular, it has become such
a focus for Crystal Winds magic that it is now, in a very real sense, an extension of his
personal power and influence. Much as his race can enslave others with their mystical
tattoos, Crystal Wind can enslave the minds of others through prolonged exposure to the
crystal. The characters are well aware of this fact at this point in the game, obviously, but
what they may not yet realize is that physical contact with the outcropping dramatically
increases the Ashalans speed and potency in terms of his ability to subvert the will of
others.
During the combat, the mind controlled vassals will make every effort to separate
the characters so that they can attempt to force the characters into physical contact with
the outcropping. They will do so one-by-one if necessary, and will likely start by using
the animals as shock troops so that two of the Scorpion can Grapple with one opponent at
a time and force the contact to take place. The first Round that a PC is in contact with the
crystal, he must succeed at a Willpower Trait Roll (TN 15) or become Dazed. If the PC
succeeds at the roll, the TN increases by 5. A new Willpower Trait Roll must be made
each Round the PC remains in contact with the crystal. If contact is broken, the process
begins again at the TN where it left off if the character comes into contact with the crystal
once more.
A character who is Dazed as a result of contact with the crystal must continue
making the Willpower Trait Roll, including any relevant penalties. A second failed roll
results in the character becoming Stunned, and then a third failed roll results in the PC
falling unconscious for a number of Rounds equal to his Earth Ring. Upon recovering
from unconsciousness in this manner, a PC is completely dominated by Crystal Wind and
will be under his mental control until the crystal is destroyed or the character is rendered
unconscious and exorcised of the Ashalans control. How this last part might be
accomplished is something of a mystery, although it will certainly involve high-level
magic and require a great deal of adventure throughout the Colonies.

Outcomes
As with most adventures, it is impossible to predict exactly how this affair will end,
although there are several safe conclusions to be drawn. Assuming that the characters
behave in a manner commensurate with the relatively honorable samurai they are
depicting in the adventure, the following can be roughly assumed:
The outcropping of crystals used by the Ashalan to extend his influence over
various samurai is destroyed. This is likely a high priority for the characters,
although it is possible that less scrupulous shugenja or perhaps Scorpion might be
interested in preserving some of the crystal for further study. This can lead to an
interesting epilogue conflict between the player characters if desired.
The influence of Crystal Wind within the Second City is disrupted. No clan
would wish to see the influence of an immortal gaijin sorcerer allowed in their
most important political landscape, so it is a safe assumption that the characters
will take steps to end this. This can be achieved in numerous ways, the simplest of
which is to inform Otomo Haruko of what has happened. If this is done, she will
see to it that the crystals are quietly taken and destroyed by Seppun shugenja, and
her gratitude, as well as the gratitude of the Ministry, will be significant. Some
characters, such as the Crab, Phoenix, or Scorpion, may instead wish to inform
their clans and allow them to deal with the matter in the body of the Witch-
Hunters, Inquisitors, or Kuroiban. This can also be done, although it will create
friction between those clans and the Second Ministry in the process. This can
create interesting hostility between the characters and important people within the
Second City.

[Begin Sidebar: The GenCon 2012 Connection]


So, what is the connection to the primary event at the convention this week? The main
storyline tournament revolves around one clan having the opportunity to choose an
alliance with a gaijin faction from the Legend of the Burning Sands. If the clan does
choose to do so, in the form of the tournament winner making that decision, then the clan
will receive a potent prophecy accompanying an item that the clan is given from the
faction in question. Will it be the Ashalan that the winner selects? Will he or she choose
to forge an alliance, or will they instead choose to reject it? We will not know the answer
until GenCon 2012 is concluded, but this adventure may very well give us a taste of
things to come, and if the winner does in fact choose the Ashalan? Well lets just say
youll probably be seeing more of old Crystal Wind before its all said and done
[End Sidebar]

Pre-Generated Characters
For the purposes of this adventure, we are supplying a number of pre-generated
characters for players to choose from in order to make sure that the events of the module
are balanced against the power level of the characters, and to prevent any unfortunate
complications arising from particularly unique character backgrounds. This is not to say
that we do not celebrate the ingenuity of our players. Far from it! But we want to ensure a
smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Furthermore, we will be taking
information from the results of each table participating in this event, and the personalities
introduced as a result of this adventure will have a life beyond what takes place with your
game. You are now participating in the living storyline of the Legend of the Five Rings
brand! Congratulations (and/or condolences, depending upon your personal views).
Please keep in mind that while we have created these characters with an eye
toward ensuring that they are unique and possess the tools necessary to complete this
adventure, we have not supplied a tremendous amount of personality or background for
them beyond a few hints and suggestions. Everything there is subject to change, and we
encourage you to make these characters your own.

The Crab: Yasuki Ju, Musician of the Wall


Air: 2 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 3
Awareness 3 Perception 3

School/Rank: Yasuki Courtier 1


Honor: X
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Inheritance, Sensation, Voice
Disadvantages: Epilepsy, Fascination (Unicorn music), Small, Soft-Hearted
Skills: Courtier 3, Defense 1, Etiquette 3, Intimidation 1, Sincerity (Deceit) 1, Craft:
Musical Instruments 3, Perform: Throat Singing 3

During a visit to a maternal uncle who lived in the Unicorn lands, young Ju was
entranced by a strange sound emanating from the Moto estate where he was staying. The
sound was beyond addicting, and he began studying all manner of music from the
Unicorn lands, soon earning a place among the clans finest students of the arts. However,
Ju and his family neither wished to see him abandon his studies with the Yasuki courtiers,
for his duties would certainly one day lead him to the courts of the Crab and beyond. Ju
managed to accomplish both, although it was clear to his sensei that he court would never
be his great love. Still, he fulfilled his duties admirably, and his musical abilities
enhanced his presence in court, so there was no harm done.
Recently, Ju has traveled to the Second City in hopes of finding more musical lore
from the dead nation that he can incorporate into his performance abilities. There are
certain courts in the Empire where such things would be in very high demand indeed, and
Ju has great hopes of advancing the cause of the Crab by doing exactly that.

The Crane: Kakita Kyoya, Ill-Mannered Duelist


Air: 2 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 3 Void: 2
Reflexes 3 Agility 3

School/Rank: Kakita Duelist 1


Honor: 6.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Tactician, Wary
Disadvantages: Brash, Disbeliever, Fascination: Military Strategy
Skills: Battle 2, Iaijutsu (Focus) 3, Kenjutsu 1, Kyujutsu 1, Lore: War 1, Polearms
(Nagimata) 3, Sincerity 1, Tea Ceremony 1

Kakita Kyoya is a far cry from what people expect when they encounter a Kakita
duelist, and strangers are not the only ones to think so. Kyoyas own family hardly knew
what to make of him. His poor demeanor, foul temperament, and general disregard for
sacred traditions ensured that he had little place in any court of importance anywhere
around the Emerald Empire. Only the most minor courts in unimportant regions were
deemed suitable for his presence, and even then only when there was no possible loss he
could incur on behalf of the Crane. Eventually there were no more suitable placements
for him, and he was banished to the Colonies, where he would be comfortably out of
sight.
Kyoyas true interest is in battle, although his personality is such that he will
never receive a military appointment without some significant, life-changing event. He is
of course a more than competent duelist, and enjoys putting his skills to use. When not in
a formal duel, however, he prefers to use his naginata, which confers upon him superior
reach that he finds most useful in combat.

The Dragon: Kitsuki Raya, Enigmatic Magistrate


Air: 3 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 2
Perception 3

School/Rank: Kitsuki Investigator 1


Honor: 5.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Clear Thinker, Gaijin Gear (Spyglass), Language (Mekhem), Precise
Memory, Sage
Disadvantages: Cursed by Yomi, Disturbing Countenance (Gaijin Features), Gaijin
Name
Skills: Courtier 2, Defense 2, Etiquette (Courtesy) 2, Investigation (Interrogation, Notice)
3, Kenjutsu 3, Lore: Medinaat-al-Salaam 1, Meditation 1, Sincerity 2

Years ago, during the early days of the ere that gave rise to the War of Dark Fire
and the Destroyer War, the Dragon Clan maintained a meager embassy in the distant
metropolis of Medinaat-al-Salaam. There were never more than a half-dozen Dragon in
the city at any one time, and many years passed with solitary samurai keeping watch over
the so-called Jewel of the Desert, alert to any possible threat to Rokugan. Raya was born
there, and some allege that her mother was in fact a gaijin. The truth has never been
disclosed, and Raya will not speak of it, but her exotic features lend credence to the idea.
Regardless of the truth, Raya has always presented as an excellent student of the Kitsuki
method, and her results have never been questionable. Despite this, the rumors of her
parentage have cast a shadow over her career, and ultimately she was deployed to the
Colonies in hopes that the environment there would be less of an obstacle for her duties.

The Lion: Ikoma Harumi, Surly Deathseeker


Air: 2 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 3 Void: 2
Awareness 3 Agility 3

School/Rank: Deathseeker 1 (egress to Matsu Berserker)


Honor: X
Glory: X
Status: X
Advantages: Bentens Blessing, Darling of the Court (Second City), Sacred Weapon,
Virtuous
Disadvantages: Bitter Betrothal, Dishonored, Lost Love
Skills: Acting 1, Battle 1, Etiquette 1, Heavy Weapons (Tetsubo) 2, Iaijutsu 1, Kenjutsu
(Katana) 3, Kyujutsu 1, Lore: History 1, Perform: Storyteller 1, Sincerity 1

Ikoma Harumi was a man in great demand. Even since childhood he was the
picture of a virtuous samurai, and for this reason he was betrothed to a noble Asahina girl
several years older than him. Harumis youth was spent training with his Matsu cousins,
with much of his free time spent absorbing all he could find that about the arts. It was in
this pursuit that he met Shosuro Tenkuro, a shy and demure Scorpion. The young
womans demeanor was, to Harumi, precisely what a lady of the court should be, and he
could not help but fall in love with her. Sadly, one of his letters to her was eventually
exposed to his betrothed, and the Crane demanded satisfaction. Harumis bride-to-be
arranged the death of his true love.
Harumis demeanor since that day has been much changed. His is brooding and
surly, and has abandoned the dojo and taken up the mantle of a Deathseeker. His sensei,
however, has ensured that he has not abandoned his duties, and so while his behavior of
late is somewhat scandalous, he has not yet progressed into a full-fledged disgrace.

The Mantis: Kitsune Kyosuki, Aspiring Artist


Air: 2 Earth: 3 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 2
Awareness 3

School/Rank: Kitsune Shugenja 1


Honor: 4.5
Glory: 2.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Fame, Friendly Kami (Water), Imperial City Citizen, Touch of Maigo no
Musha
Disadvantages: Bad Eyesight, Bitter Betrothal, Idealistic, Small
Skills: Artisan: Sculpture 3, Calligraphy 1, Courtier 2, Defense 1, Etiquette 3,
Horsemanship 1, Hunting 1, Investigation 2, Medicine (Herbalism) 3, Spellcraft 1
Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon; Armor of Earth, Bo of Water, Courage of the Seven
Thunders, Fury of Osano-wo, Jade Strike, Path to Inner Peace

Kitsune Kyosuki is something of a modern day sensation, although he is not so


foolish as to believe that plays will be written of his work. No, he is content to be a very
minor celebrity in the Empire, particularly in the Imperial City of Toshi Ranbo, where he
was born, raised, and has spent much of his life. For years, Kyosuki has been very happy,
as his minor celebrity has allowed him to pursue his passion, sculpture, without the
burden of unpleasant duties to distract him. The Mantis have capitalized upon his gifts on
many occasions, and are quite pleased with his service. Unfortunately, his most recent
service to the clan came in the form of a betrothal with the daughter of a minor branch of
the Otomo family. Although not without beauty, the woman is an insensitive boor,
obsessed with gossip and the manipulation of others in court, and Kyosuki cannot stand
her. He has fled to the Colonies, under the pretense of exploring new techniques for his
art, simply to avoid her.

The Phoenix: Isawa Chenko, Sumai Enthusiast


Air: 2 Earth: 2 Fire: 3 Water: 3 Void: 2

School/Rank: Isawa Shugenja (Water) 1


Honor: 4.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Friend of the Elements (Water), Great Potential (Jiujutsu)
Disadvantages: Doubt (Meditation), Fascination (Sumai), Wrath of the Kami (Fire)
Skills: Athletics 1, Calligraphy (Cipher) 1, Divination 2, Etiquette 1, Investigation 1,
Jiujutsu (Sumai) 2, Lore: Theology 1, Lore: Nemuranai 1, Medicine 2, Meditation 1,
Sincerity 2, Spellcraft 2
Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon; Elemental Ward, Fires of Purity, Natures Touch,
Never Alone, Path to Inner Peace, Reflections of Pan Ku, Stand Against the Waves

For centuries, sumai has been a popular form of entertainment among the samurai
caste, and there has perhaps never been a greater fan than Isawa Chenko. The otherwise
polite and retiring young priest of the kami becomes an animated, manic lunatic in the
presence of a sumai match, and enjoys discussing it with anyone who has even the most
passing interest in the subject. The normally voluminous robes of a shugenja conceal the
most ardent display of Chenkos passion: he is quite the passing sumai practitioner
himself. Although his actions are not inappropriate in the eyes of most Phoenix, they are
at best socially awkward and terribly embarrassing, so it is perhaps no surprise that
Chenko has found himself in the Second City, where a great many socially questionable
young people have found themselves rather than continue to bring unwanted attention to
their clans.

The Scorpion: Soshi Toshitsugu, Perplexing Puzzle


Air: 3 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 2
Reflexes 4 Agility 3

School/Rank: Shosuro Infiltrator 1


Honor: 1.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Quick, Silent
Disadvantages: Compulsion (Sake), Dishonored, Failure of Honesty
Skills: Acting 1, Athletics 1, Kenjutsu 2, Kyujutsu 2, Ninjutsu 2, Sincerity (Deceit) 1,
Sleight of Hand 2, Stealth (Sneaking) 3

To most, Toshitsugu is an unassuming yojimbo to a minor functionary in the


Scorpion delegation of the Second City. As with most Scorpion, that is hardly the full
story. Among the Scorpion, it is known that Toshitsugu was allegedly a student of
enormous potential in the Shosuro dojo until he botched a vital task entrusted to him by
his sensei. Even that, however, may not be the real truth. Among the Shosuro of the
Colonies, there is some discussion as to whether the alleged failure was legitimate or
some elaborate hoax concocted to ensure that Toshitsugu arrived in the Colonies to
pursue some secretive agenda that no one else is privy to.
Honestly, being a Scorpion can be sort of exhausting.

The Spider: Buraindo, Blind Monk


Air: 2 Earth: 3 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 3
Reflexes 3 Agility 3 Strength 3

School/Rank: Order of the Spider Monk 1


Honor: 1.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Absolute Direction, Hands of Stone
Disadvantages: Blind, Consumed by Insight (Divination)
Skills: Athletics 1, Defense 3, Divination 3, Jiujutsu (Martial Arts) 3, Lore: Theology 1,
Meditation 3, Polearms 1
Kiho: Earth Needs No Eyes

Buraindo once had a different name, and a much different life. He could see, then,
but there was precious little worth looking at. When a fever took his vision, he found it
difficult to care. His family could not bear the burden of a non-working mouth, however,
and he soon found his way to a monastery, a monastery of the Spider Clan. It was there,
within the cold stone walls, that Buraindo found a new name, and his life truly began.
His training with the Spider has awakened in Buraindo a zest for life that he
previously could never have imagined. He seeks to forget his past, relishes his present,
and is obsessed with the future. The elements have allowed him to overcome his
shortcomings, and given him new strength, but he always strives to see what might come
next.

The Unicorn: Ide Kamino, Frustrated Merchant


Air: 3 Earth: 2 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 2
Willpower 3 Perception 3

School/Rank: Ide Courtier 1


Honor: 5.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Advantages: Allies (Hida Maki (1,2)), Gaijin Gear (Exotic steed), Languages (Rhuumal,
Invindi), Wealthy
Disadvantages: Fascination (Battle), Idealistic
Skills: Acting 1, Animal Handling 1, Battle 1, Calligraphy 1, Commerce 3, Courtier 2,
Etiquette (Conversation) 2, Horsemanship 1, Kyujutsu 1, Sincerity 1

Kaminos family has risen to prominence within the Ide by conducting a brisk and
successful trade with horses in the Second City, and expanded to the devastated lands
around the city to breed herds in the new territories of the Colonies. Kamino has dreamed
of finding glory in battle since he was a child, and his fondest wish is to ride into battle at
the side of his Utaku, Moto, and Shinjo kinsmen. Unfortunately, the success of his
familys business ensured that he would be pressed into service maintaining the herds and
caravans of their network of holdings. Presently, Kaminos only real source of joy in his
life is his friendship with Hida Maki, whom he constantly presses for lurid stories of
battle and suggestions on honing his tactical knowledge.

The Ronin: Iso, Simple Ronin


Air: 2 Earth: 3 Fire: 2 Water: 2 Void: 2
Strength 4

School/Rank: True Ronin (Insight Rank 1)


Honor: 3.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 0.0
Advantages: Crab Hands, Large, Strength of the Earth
Disadvantages: Gullible, Social Disadvantage (Ronin), Weakness (Intelligence)
Skills: Defense 1, Hunting 2, Jiujutsu 1, Kenjutsu (Katana) 3

Iso is a simple man in every possible sense of the word. He leads a life of simple
pleasures, such as a beautiful sunset or the company of laughing children. He enjoys
simple fare, with no taste for sake or extravagant foods. He has no ambitions or agendas,
for he is simple in thought as he is in life. Iso has lived much of his life on the charity of
others, others who recognized the benefit of having a man with such sheer physical
power as an ally. But things never seem to work out long-term, and Iso has moved around
his entire life. Recently, he found himself working alongside a Unicorn merchant caravan
and ended up in the Colonies. Things here are very different, and Iso is not altogether
sure that he likes it, but there are still those who treat him with kindness, and that makes
up for all the others who are cruel and hateful.

Questions to Be Answered!
As part of your GenCon 2012 experience, we would like to gather some information on
how this adventure played out, so that we can incorporate certain elements into the
overall story of L5R. If you are receiving this after the convention, please ignore this
page. I mean, you dont have to ignore it; you can totally send in your answers, but the
data were collecting will just be from the convention, so probably all that will happen is
well look at your sheet, smile in appreciating that people are enjoying our game, maybe
say something vaguely paternal like oh, this is adorable, and then move on with the
process of making games. But know that you are appreciated no matter what! We love
you guys!

1. What character(s) took the lead during the investigation in the Second City?

2. What character(s) led the fight against Crystal Wind during the fight inside the
crystal?

3. Did any characters succumb to the Ashalans influence during the battle at the
crystal outcropping?

4. Did any characters die during the events of this module?

Thank you for participating!