L5R - Great Stone Bridge

Session 9

Ambushed Unicorn

Game Time: 3 March 1175 (Afternoon)
Location: Shorai no Kiban (Bridge Village – Foundation of the Future)

The party leaves the Genial Blossom Tea House a short while after the Lion party. Prior to leaving, the party notices that the Unicorn samurai appear to have snuck out a back door during the tussle with the Lions. The party is directed north through the town toward the bridge construction camp, where they will meet the Otomo sisters.

Walking through the village, which is nestled amidst a series of steep, forested hills, they begin to near the construction camp. Just south of the camp is a short forested path, which winds along a tall, forested hill on the east. As the party rounds the hill, they begin to hear sounds of a struggle, and are startled by a riderless horse charging past them from the north. Shoutaro calms the horse, and eventually mounts it as the horse pulls him back north from whence it came.

Behind a large boulder and series of trees, the party discovers the two Unicorn samurai beset by an ambushing party of peasants, who seem strangely well-armed. The female Unicorn lays unmoving on the ground, surrounded by peasants, and her male companion sits up against the boulder, wounded.

During the battle, the party notes that while the peasants have clearly advanced weaponry, they are poorly trained. Additionally, the bows wielded by the archers seem to be very brittle, as two of them snap when the peasants attempt to wield them. While most of the peasants seem desperate and willing to fight to the death, one (on seeing the party) drops his unused knife and huddles in terror against the boulder, while another appears almost rabid as he repeatedly stabs the fallen female Unicorn. The male Unicorn is saved by the party, but by the time they arrive, the bloodthirsty peasant has killed the armored, female Unicorn and her horse.

After the battle, the party inspects the peasant’s weaponry, revealing a few interesting pieces of information. The bows, while well crafted, appear to be exceedingly old and dry. The Naginata and Swords are of odd designs and also seem very old. The Naginata are inscribed with serpentine patterns, and one of them seems awkwardly over-sized, as if intended for someone significantly larger than even Utamuro. The swords are even more odd, seeming to be at best distantly related to the shape of the familiar katana.

Behind some stones and shrubbery, Toshiro also finds a narrow path into the hill, which leads to a hidden valley with the remains of an encampment. In addition to personal goods, there is a large crate of additional weaponry (including 12 jade armor piercing arrows, two jade tantos and a very brittle scroll containing two spells (Minor Binding & Jade Strike), all inside a very ancient, wooden crate. Also, in the camp is found the bloody tonfa of a village Doshin (presumably Junpai). Utamuro’s keen eye also spots the remnants of some additional scrolls which appear to have been used as kindling.

Summoning a very sedate air kami that lives in the hidden valley, Toshiro is able to confirm that the weapons crate had arrived a few days past, and that the burned scrap was an earth-oriented scroll of some sort. The spirit mentions that it particularly liked the arrows, but comments that they contained very little water.

Shoutaro and Masataro attempt to tend to Yori’s horse (before tending to his wounds), which he seems to actually view positively as he also attempts to calm the horse. Meanwhile Byakuya introduces himself while he tends Yori’s wounds. Yori explains that he and his companion were sent to establish more permanent relations in the area, and brought a contingent of Unicorn peasants along to help with the bridge construction, as well as a small herd of horses. Both the peasants and horses are still on the Lion side of the river, but Yori, and the late Keira were on their way to discuss things with the Otomo sisters when these peasants ambushed them.

Four of the peasants are captured alive, two archers (one who attempted to run), the cowering youth and one of the naginata-wielders who was knocked unconcious. The party disarms and secures them before questioning the youth. He reveals that they are local peasants (ferry operators) who are afraid that the bridge will steal away their livelihoods and that they’ll starve. They were incited to revolt by one of the others who now lies dead, and who also was somehow supplied with the weapons crate which was dropped off in a small cove north of town a week or so ago. He doesn’t know who was supplying them, but knows that another shipment is supposed to be dropped off there in two days time. He, and the others, were stirred up with stories of the poor treatment of peasants who were not needed by the Lion clan, and promises that as soon as the bridge is completed, they will all be left to die as the river trade withers.

Wounded, and limping severely, Yori asks for assistance re-mounting his horse, but offers to lead the bound peasants back to the garrison for imprisonment/judgement.

Notable Attendees:

Iuchi Keira – Utaku Battle Maiden (Deceased)
Iuchi Yori – Horsemaster

Session Rewards:
All Players receive 4 XP
All players receive 3 honor for merciful treatment of the peasants
Byakuya receives +1 additional honor for skillful interaction with Yori
Toshiro receives +1 additional honor for attempts to incapacitate the enemy rather than kill and save the fallen samurai-ko
All players receive +3 glory for winning the battle and saving Yori (a status 2 diplomat)
Shoutaro, Masataro and Byakuya gain an Influence 1, Devotion 1 ally in Iuchi Yori
The party finds 2 jade tantos (see above)
The party finds 12 armor piercing jade arrows and 40 willow-leaf arrows (see above)
The party finds a bloody Doshin’s tonfa set (see above)
The party finds a crate of 12 strange swords (see above)
Toshiro finds a scroll containing an un-encrypted copy of the Minor Binding and Jade Strike spells and a charred scroll containing part of at least one additional earth spell



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