Act I Part two

Things remain uncomplicated until they hear the sounds of battle around noon the next day. The wafting smell of rancid goat urine assails our heroes and they find themselves without time to don their armor as they join a Hare Clan samurai in a skirmish with a large adult ogre! The hare samurai leaps up the ogres clubbed weapon as it crashes down to the ground and slashed the creature across the face. He is also wounded, his face pale, and his left arm dangling useless at his side. Arrows fly, swords flash, and lightning crashes from the sky. The monster is brought down, but not before the Hare is bleeding the last of his life onto the dirt road. With a great deal of effort, the Phoenix Ishiken is able to knit his wounds together, and keep him from passing into the land of his ancestors. Unconcious, they put him on the back of a horse, cut off the head of the ogre for a trophy, and take the creatures strangely fine looking saya…

Arriving at castle Usagi, it is quickly apparent that the unconscious samurai is Usagi Ozaki, the heir of Usagi Oda, the Hare Clan Daimyo. The dead ogre lends truth to their actions, making them heroes for rescuing Oda’s son. They are invited to be honored guests. Of course this complicates everything. However, at dinner that evening, Kitsu Busaru, the Lion that Chokoku placed in charge of the expedition see’s an opportunity to turn things around. It is discovered that the saya our hero’s have recovered belongs to the Ancestral Sword of the Hare Clan, lost to them two hundred years ago. Communing with the noble spirit of the weapon reveals that the blade is in the Shadowlands, at Hiruma Castle, in the hands of a goblin named Ugu.

Busaru-san offers to assist the hare in recovering this item, in exchange for Oda’s help recovering the scroll. Tomoe, Ozaki’s sister, and Ozaki (who had regained consciousness), seemed concerned about this plan. However, it is decided. Our hero’s and Ozaki leave for the Kaiu Wall, and then into the Shadowlands. Oda believes this is the last he will see his son alive, and tells Tomoe it is more important than ever that she find a suitable husband. She begins preperations to leave for Oto-san uchi for a second time. A samurai retainer of the Hare, Seiki, begs our heroes for permission to help them, to which they agree, much to Ozaki’s obvious dislike.

Now it seems, Chokoku’s desire for haste is forgotten, as our heroes travel to Crab lands over the next several days. The medical understanding of the Ise Zumi helps Ozaki regain full use of his arm that was wounded during the fight with the ogre (whose head the Crane Duelist has refused to part with as he see’s it as a glorious trophy). They meet a group of Crab at the wall, off rotation for rest. A fight almost breaks out because of their uncouth and brash remarks to our hero’s, coming close to insulting the Lion and Crane’s honor, that forces Ozaki to step forward and keep everyone calm. Once tempers have settled, the story of their valiant fight against the ogre, and its massive head, cause the Crab to view the odd group of travelers in a new light. They are offered three fingers of jade, and are told that it is unlikely they will be able to procure more. It seems that, unlike previous years during the Chrysanthemum Festival, the Shadowlands has been unusually quiet, and the Crab are expecting a large assault of shadowlands forces. Jade is being horded in expectation, and the might of the crab military is marshalling. Three fingers of jade will fully protect only two people from the corruption of the taint on the ten day journey into the dark realm, five days in, and five days out to Hiruma Castle. Our heroes have to make a decision, to go forward, or to turn back…

story Act I Part one Act I Intermission Act I Part three Act I Part four Scene one

Act I Part two

Rokugan: Shadow Creeping caeads