L5R - Great Stone Bridge
Captain of the Dawning Moon
(35 F) – Captain of the Akenotsuki (Dawning Moon)
Physical description: stark, austere middle-aged woman with a slightly harried look on her face. Her crew is primarily worn-looking samurai with a few peasants who look far less happy/well than typical mantis peasant crew. The Akenotsuki is a smaller kobune that has clearly been cobbled back together after major damage.
After a spirited negotiation, in which Shara, a very rigid and legalistic Ronin defends her ship’s sovereignty, she eventually relents and begins providing information and allowing an inspection of her ship. The following details are learned:
1) Shara and her skeleton crew are much more disciplined than the Mantis crew appear, but are also tired, and poorly outfitted.
2) The Dawning Moon appears to be very sparsely supplied and has no apparent smuggling capacity or other untoward cargo
3) Shara appears very touchy about her ronin status and the fact that the ship is not flying any flags, and is very offended when it is suggested that they are pirates
4) Shara appears very antagonistic towards piracy and aloof about her vessel
5) Through communing with the earth kami in the ship’s wood, it is revealed that the damage to the ship was due to a massive storm some time ago
6) Shara has had some encounters with local pirates over the last few months, encountering one group fairly closely, and two others at a distance.
a. The first pirate group pilots the kobune Fukushu (Revenge), and was seen in the vicinity of the River of the Hour of the Wolf, a famously haunted river to the south and east that cuts through the mountains towards Scorpion lands. She expresses shame that her ship and crew were not well enough to fight the Revenge when they encountered her. She also seemed fairly uncomfortable speaking of the haunted river area.
b. The second group of pirates is apparently a more rag-tag group that uses local fishing vessels (she states with disdain) and has only been seen from a distance, and/or heard about.
c. The third group she is very loathe to talk about, but eventually Toshiro is able to coax out a description of a winged vessel made of ebony and crewed by dark-skinned demons which spewed fire and thunder. She was uncomfortable talking about this due to the forbidden nature of the taint, demons and spirits.
7) The Dawning Moon is en route to the ferry port, where the bridge is being constructed, in search of honest work. The party is able to capitalize on this encounter, and the desperate nature of Shara’s situation to set a good negotiating position to enlist her aid once she arrives in a couple day’s time.