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KakitaKaori

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  1. Part 2 of Beneath the Light of Jade is out. The vote was close: Path of Courage won by 3 votes, according to Tyler. https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/d0/8c/d08c3259-56a6-4823-acc3-e820ea8da8d9/op2_courage_dutys_cost.pdf
  2. The Court Games podcast interviewed David Annandale yesterday morning, so wait for that in an upcoming episode.
  3. It doesn't require gencon tickets, but I don't know if it's affiliated at all.
  4. Court Games RPG Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/2035IyUZAqYQQxmD233gMS This is focused on 5th Edition, and it follows the 5th edition fictions and has a bunch of discussions on specific bits and pieces of the RPG ruleset, running L5R games, and also discusses Japanese cultural references when they are brought into the story. It does talk about old lore, but primarily in context to new fictions, so pre-1122 Old Lore that looks to be consistent across both universes. Each episode is generally between 35-45 minutes. It has interviews with the storyline writers and game designers for L5R as well. Court Games Actual Play - Fortune and Strife: https://open.spotify.com/show/1Is9EQwJ6838bIPz2a2Rct This is an Actual Play series for L5R 5th Edition. It has good drama, I think, but it's also intended as a teaching RPG so we leave in a fair bit of the dice rolling and mechanics rather than cut it all out. Each episode is generally 1 hour, though the most recent one is 1 1/2 hours. Court Games Actual Play - Crimson Gold Agonies: https://open.spotify.com/show/5LyBwPzyjXUo9DwhOEKhvt This is also an Actual Play series for L5R 5th Edition, but it has a different focus than Fortune and Strife. They remove most of the mechanics and focus on emergent game play, where the GM and Players (and the community) all contribute to the setting/story rather than the more traditional mechanics, similar to Powered by the Apocalypse. Primarily it's a different kind of storytelling that other kinds of groups may prefer. Dead Unicorn Games is working on a teaching set of Youtube videos (I attached the first one below) and has some decent content. I hope this helps!
  5. We did get the following confirmation today on Discord: Later, Sam clarifies: That's thursday, July 30.
  6. We did get the following confirmation today on Discord: Later, Sam clarifies: That's thursday, July 30.
  7. The Storm-Tossed Cassia by Kakita Kaori Kakita Nishoko stood on the engawa of her home, the raised porch of the cozy home that her husband, Kashiwa, and she shared. The cassias, for which the village had been named, were in bloom, their nodding crowns of golden showers defiant of emperors and armies and the passage of centuries. A thin line of clouds touched the Eastern horizon, the wet winds from the ocean rising as they greeted the weathered peaks around Kyuden Kakita. The air kami would bring a storm soon. She could sense them, dimly, ready to unleash their power in a frenzied display. Her fist tightened. I would join you if I could! The blood of Isawa flowed deeply in her veins, even though she, herself, lacked the talent for more than sensing the kami that whispered around her. If she were like others of her family, she could reach out to that churning sky and call upon the power of Osano Wo. She’d fly to the gates of Kyuden Kakita and in a voice like thunder make the Lion quail before her. She would demand give him back. She had no such power. The gate to her garden opened, and an armored bushi entered. At first she stiffened, but her shoulders relaxed when she saw it was the familiar form of Doji Ienobu, the village yoriki. “My Lady.” Ienobu bowed, one hand steadying his blades. Nishoko gracefully returned the bow . “What news from Kyuden Kakita?” she asked as quickly could be considered polite. Ienobu offered a tired smile. “The Lion have reinforced a palisade overlooking the gates to the palace. Our armies will move soon. Beyond that…” he held out his hand. It was a plain scroll on white paper. “Daidoji-dono has called you to service as the Lady of Golden Petal Village.” Nishoko accepted, turning the scroll, marked with the seal of the Daidoji family, over in her hand. “Of course. Let me tell nursemaid for the twins, and make sure they are still sleeping, and I will return with you. ----------------------------------- The Iron Warriors at the door pulled the tentflap aside. Within, in a sun-streaked dimness as the afternoon light slipped through the holes in the canvas, a great banner cloth hung on the tent wall, painted with the mon of the Daidojji. Two unlit sconces stood, waiting for evening, and between them, a plain wooden camp chair, upon which sat a man clad in full armor, though his distinctive mempo of blank steel had not been closed into place. Knowing her place, Nishiko knelt on the tatami before the chair. “My name Kakita Nishiko, wife of Kakita Kashiwa, Sonchou of Golden Petal Village. You summoned me, Daidoji Uji-dono?” The daimyo of the Daidoji family nodded. “Yes. I understand your husband was captured by the Lion the day Kyuden Kakita was taken?” Nishoko lifted her head. “Yes, Daidoji-dono. That is our belief. He was travelling alone to Kyuden Kakita that morning before the attack. His body was not found, his swords were not turned over. He was an instructor at the Kakita Academy, but he never reached Tsuma or the Academy that day. We believe he must have been captured on the road, and surrendered himself to protect the students of the academy or to gather intelligence.” Uji gave a non-committal grunt. “With luck, then, Matsu Tsuko holds him with Lady Barahime and the other hostages. It would be good to have a Kenshinzen with her, until we liberate Kyuden Kakita.” “Yes, Daidoji-dono.” “Until that day, I mean to use Golden Petal Village as an infirmary for our wounded and a mortuary for our dead. I have ordered the headmen of all the neighboring villages to send burakumin and healers villages there. I look to you to handle the logistics of housing them and clearing homes for the injured. Is your rice in?” “Not fully, Daidoji-dono. Though we have been bundling the rice straw since the harvest began, and the woodcutters worked all summer. There will be wood enough for burning even if my farmers continue their harvesting.” Nishoko did not add that it had been fears of a harsh winter that had driven their summer woodcutting. The touch of frost or funeral pyres. Either way, it would be a grim winter. The tent brightened as it was pulled aside. One of the guards stuck his head in and said, “Daidoji-dono….Word has come. Doji Kuwanan-sama has awakened from his injuries, and is well enough to speak with you.” “That boy,” Uji muttered as he got to his feet. Nishoko could hear the frustration and resignation in his voice. The general gestured at her. “Very well. I must go. You may leave, Kakita-san. Speak with my quartermasters if anything else is required.” Nishoko pressed her forehead to the tatami mat again to hide her face. “OF course. Thank you, Daidoji-dono.” Daidoji Uji politely waited until she had begun to rise before sweeping past her to leave the tent. ----------------------------------- The golden light of Ameterasu sparkled like diamonds off the trees and tiles of Golden Petal Village, but Kakita Nishoko could not appreciate their beauty. Fatigue such as she had not known since the days following the birth of her twin children weighed upon her shoulders and would cause her head to nod if she allowed it. Even without the battle, could she have slept well the night before anyway? It had been a fierce storm, riven with the bolts of Osano-Wo’s wrath and the roar of thunder. Were my babies frightened? But the fiercest storm offered little to fear when you lay with your children tucked safely into the futon with you, and your husband’s arms warm about you. Last night offered no such comforts. But her duty was not yet done. “Carry her over to Shimashi’s house,“ she called, raising her voice to carry across the village square. The litter-bearers nodded, carrying the softly-groaning woman into one of the larger homes. Each house had been commandeered for the wounded. The dead and the heimin would sleep in the hastily constructed tents for now. “Lion or Crane, Itou?” The burakumin turned to look at her, using his body to shield her from the corpse that he and Ubano bore, bundled in a black cloak. “Lion, Nishoko-sama. From the palisade.” Nishoko nodded and marked a tabulation down on the scroll in her hand. “Prepare him and place him with the others, but do not take any further steps. The Brotherhood will arrive on the morrow, and I have asked that a born-Lion monk of the Brotherhood to supervise the funerary rights and return of the bodies of the dead. The Lion must be assured their fallen are treated with proper respect.” And I am trusting, if Kashiwa has fallen, they would do the same for us. Has that trust been earned, though? They attacked us without honor. What hope have we that they would treat our dead with more honor than they treat the living? She closed her eyes and prayed again to the Fortunes to bring her husband back to her safely. A jingling of harness and tack caused her to open them before she would drift off further. She lifted her eyes to see a brown horse, ridden by tall, handsome young man, wearing battered but finely crafted silver armor. Behind him, a small unit of Daidoji Warrors marched in stoic silence, a furoshiki bundle over their shoulders marking the beginning of their journey. She bowed as the young man approached on his horse. “Rise, Kakita-san,” the young man said. Nishoko straightened and looked up at him. His hair was shorter now than it had been when she saw him last. He must have cut it. Then, he had been weary from the road and consulting with her husband on his journey to Otosan Uchi, but now a grave burden pulled down his shoulders, even as his eyes scanned the horizon to pick out a path of some distant purpose. “You are wise to show such reverence to the dead. I myself will be returning Matsu Kaitokuro’s daishō and death poem, so do not fear if it is not found.” Nishoko inclined her head in acknowledgement. “Yes, Lord Kuwanan. Will you then be returning?” Kuwanan had led a victory at the Palisade, even if the battle at the gates of Kyuden Kakita had been lost. She would any hope that she could that her husband would be returned to her alive. Kuwanan looked down on her with pity. “I do not expect to. From there, I march to the Osari Plains. Keep faith with Daidoji Uji, and be strong. Spring comes after winter.” A tug of the rein and a kick of his heels, and the horse trotted away, leaving Nishoko watching as he and his men disappeared past the copse of golden trees that marked the cassia grove in autumn. You say this before even winter begins, Kuwanan-sama. How long, then, until spring? Will my husband live to see the cassia bloom again?
  8. Bitter Steel by Kakita Kaori ` A cold wind forced its way past him and into his home before Kashiwa could slide shut the shoji screen. It was unseasonable for it to be this chill in the month of Bayushi. It was a cause for worry. The normally bountiful rice crop grown near Golden Petal Village was only average this year. The Emperor’s taxes demanded their timeless toll without abatement, regardless of tsunamis, wars, or displeased fortunes, and the Crane looked to villages like Golden Petal to make up the difference. If the touch of winter had come so early… His thoughts trailed off. There was little enough he could do. Around him, Golden Petal Village itself was stirring awake. Smoke from early morning cookfires painted whisper-thin brushstrokes into the sky as the villagers set rice straw in their hearths to heat a little tea. A village woman, tipping water in a bucket from the village well into a large urn, stopped to bow deeply to him, a bow he returned with a nod. He heard a squawk as one of the village children had to roust a broody hen from her nest to gather up some eggs. Peaceful enough. Leaving the care of his protectorate to his yoriki, the village sonchou Kakita Kashiwa began the walk that would carry him across the six miles of paddies, woodlands, and gently rolling foothills to Tsuma village and his role as an instructor at the Kakita Academy. It wasn’t until the sleepy sounds of the village had been long left behind that Kashiwa noticed that the chorus of birdsong that normally greeted him on his morning walk was subdued. A willow thrush warbled a sweet cry, but no other trills greeted it. Then, a sudden movement...a brace of wood larks, ascending to the sky as a pair, rapidly beating panicked wings. Kashiwa’s hand dropped by reflex to brush the katana at his side. Something is wrong. He took a position, back against a solid oak, and waited. These were no ninja...the swordmaster heard a crashing through the undergrowth long before the forms in brown and gold erupted from the pine shadows. They roared a challenge as they approached, but did not wait for his response. His response did not hesitate either; his first draw sliced one of his attackers from shoulder to hip, then he dived from under the blade of a second. “Why are you here?” he demanded. “Have the Lion lost all honor to attack like bandits in the forest?!” A thrust of a spear was an answer, his retort a leap to close upon his attacker, followed by a pommel strike to crush his larynx. The sound of steel rang through the forest as he moved through the ancient woods, evading his attackers, leaving their crumbled bodies in his wake. I must warn Kyuden Kakita...There are too many for this to be a scouting force…. He switched direction, diving deeper into the woods like a fox headed for its den, dodging the branches and leaves that whipped at him, scrabbling over the dirt covered slabs of shale as he ascended the mountain side. He could hear his pursuers, now closer, striking at him by ones and twos, now further away, but never entirely lost. They knew where he was headed. Blood ran down his arms, but Kashiwa’s attackers eventually fell behind. Even before he broke the final stand of trees before the castle village, though, the Sensei knew he was too late. He flicked the blood from his katana and resheathed it. The screams and the smell of more blood reached him first. Lying, face down on the river bank, was the body of a village guard, his blood pooling around him, his right arm almost severed. Two more Crane bushi lay dead on the small bridge that separated the forest trail from the village. Small units of brown-clad ashigaru carrying spears patrolled the streets, led by samurai armored in gold and steel. On the hill overlooking the village, lines of smoke and sparks lanced the sky in graceful arcs...flaming arrows aimed at the Daidoji manning the walls of Kyuden Kakita. And below those pale gray walls, the hill was blackened with bodies marching in uniformed rows. The Matsu had come for the Kakita. An ancient grudge, fulfilled at last. Behind him, the rustle of bracken. The iaijutsu instructor whirled, hand ready to redraw. “No need for that.” The Lion commander stepped out from the undergrowth, hands far from his own blade. His armor shone in the early morning sunlight, which rippled in the golden mane of his kabuto. A dozen ashigaru archers followed, all keeping their distance while the steely points of of their arrows pointed at Kashiwa’s torso. The commander glanced up at the hilltop. “If you are trying to warn Kyuden Kakita, I assure you, they are aware of our presence. As for you….” The Lion’s eyes narrowed as he assessed Kashiwa’s mons. “....Sensei. You have acquitted yourself well in the forest, but the time has come for you to surrender. If it is the Academy you were headed towards before you ran into us, rest assured, we have had, so far, no reason to cause it trouble. We have secured our flanks near that location quite thoroughly and see no reason to trouble it further. There is no need to deprive schoolchildren of their teachers. Unless those teachers decide to turn a school into a battlefield.” The commander allowed a pause to eloquently emphasize the subtle threat. “It would prove educational.” Kashiwa let his hand, slowly, fall. He thought of his wife Nishoko, at home with their two small children. He thought of his Yoriki and the villagers of Golden Petal. And he thought of his kohei. Hopeful. Idealistic. So eager to defend the glory of their school. So eager to die. It would be effort for the Lion to capture the school, especially with Toshimoko-sensei in command. But children would die. He could not afford retaliation against it for the sake of his own pride. “Who commands these forces?” he protested with a quiet hiss. “To whom would you have me surrender?” The commander gave a bow, only a hair short of what courtesy would expect. “You speak with Ikoma Morinao. But our Champion, Matsu Tsuko, commands these forces. You look on the might of the Lion armies.” Kashiwa reluctantly returned the bow. Champion. Not even Kakita Toshimoko, Headmaster Sensei of the Academy, had the status to challenge the claim. There was no kenshinzen here whose status Matsu Tsuko could not simply dismiss. And Kyuden Kakita could not hold. A single sword would not make the difference this time. “Very well,” he answered at last. “I will go with you. We will find out what the Emerald Champion has to say about this.” As the ashigaru marched him away, Kakita Kashiwa kept his back straight. He tried not to look at the columns of smoke rising from Kyuden Kakita, and prayed that those fires would not find their way back to Golden Petal Village.
  9. Cool. This should make searching for text very easy.
  10. Interestingly, I've scored New5R RPG materials, and I have only found 1 mention of gaijin pepper or gunpowder (unless you can find it elsewhere) and, where it is used, in the flavor text for 'cynicism', the speaker doesn't believe such stuff is real. I don't know if it is really forbidden at all specifically, or if it is just considered unknown and gaijin in new5r. Its late though, so if you remember a better source, I'd appreciate it.
  11. The missing piece to really solidify Shoju's guilt would be a well-placed lie, and the best person to deliver that lie is Miya Satoshi. All someone has to say is that Hantei Joden was considering bailing on the edict at the last minute. Then you have means... even though no one is to be armed in Joden's presence, the sword was right there.... Motive...Joden was going to cancel the edict or deliver regency to another... and Opportunity...Kachiko, at least, was in Joden's presence at the right time.
  12. If you are interested in a more Emergent Narrative podcast with 5th Edition Mechanics, like Powered by the Apocalypse, you can find our sister AP Podcast at Crimson Gold Agonies at ‪Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5LyBwPzyjXUo9DwhOEKhvt?si=B63a_YWCSIea3ganw-KI-Q‬&fbclid=IwAR2InZJJGsVUyeaxYRkSKK7gWbD_P7wbeaS30Pnn6CeMsyGSgCBWevzuU1o ‪Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/.../crimson-gold.../id1517912593‬
  13. Our first episode for an Actual Play Podcast for L5R 5th Edition, Fortune and Strife, began today, with new episodes coming out every Monday. This podcast focuses on strong characters, a classic format with a fun storyline, and 5th Edition Mechanics. Episode 1 "A Father's Love" is out now for Fortune and Strife: RSS: https://pinecast.com/feed/fortune-and-strife Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1Is9EQwJ6838bIPz2a2Rct?si=-P9GM2baRcubActRMavmQA&fbclid=IwAR2AV07qU2-1dGUWEwsLeTXP_BnQmCvd4MEI2R6TKrxidgsCoMeyA15tqAc Patreon (public): https://patreon.com/posts/38256915 Apple and Google to come shortly.
  14. Our Podcast Court Games has an interview with Max Brooke and Katrina Ostrander discussing Building a School as in Path of Waves you might be interested in. https://courtgamespod.com/podcast/5e-school-creation-w-katrina-ostrander-and-max-brooke/ We also built the Kakita Artisan School in there you might want to take a look at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tzYpcgGcLfVCrG_ZEJMg2AJv8mt56NaJ/view Hope you enjoy!
  15. I hope there's not a Shadowlands playable faction, but it could be super cool for L5R to get a cooperative version of the card game where the players go against a prebuilt/self run kind of Shadowlands deck.
  16. I'm cool with it being a very much longer, and more torturous road before we ever reach that point, but if the story does get there, then...I hope Sukune is someone we love and are heartbroken about that he should have such happen to him. And the story could be wild and amazing. It could happen with time. For now, A unifier in the Shadowlands...a tiny foretaste of what might come.
  17. Thanks for the feedback. Tying things to elements was done late in the redesign for L5R since we tested this before in a system that didn't have elemental links like that, so I can definitely work on changing it. As for the size, I've written it in depth because, in part, I felt like I needed to make an argument for /why/ you would use these alternate rules instead of just having the alternate rules by themselves. And as I am not an experienced game master, for me I need things spelled out in more detail to understand it. It is my husband who is the experienced game designer who made the original design and they are many pages longer in his writeup because he's like that. 🙂 I can try to make up a 1 page cheat sheet PDF for the Influence Game and Mass Battle for Small Groups at some point. That could help. Thanks again.
  18. Thank you for the feedback! I'll bring it back and work on it.
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