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Kinzen

Air-themed Shinomen site?

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This may well be the last hurrah of me asking for help brainstorming ideas for my campaign, as we have our climactic session scheduled for Sunday.

But we have a session before that, on Thursday night (so, like, fifteen hours from when I post this), and I'm stuck on one thing. The PCs are going through the Shinomen Mori, and because of weirdness they're going to pass through one famous or legendary Shinomen location for each of the five Elements. I'm using the Gates of Persistence for Earth, the River of the Sky for Water, and the Fire Pool of Purity for Fire (not that any of them need to be cured of the Taint, but it'll still be an impressive thing to find), and their destination will be the Void component. But I need something themed to Air, and nothing really seems to fit. I've read over the Atlas of Rokugan chapter on the Shinomen Mori, and of the things in there, the closest possibilities are the Leaves of the Forest Dojo (but I don't want this to be a "fight the Forest Killers" scene), Lost Heaven Shrine (but that would mean two Shinseist sites, which seems repetitive), or Eight Worlds Sorrow Path, but . . . meh, none of those really click. And since I wrote that chapter, it constitutes 100% of what I've been able to dig up from canon. :-P

So: did I miss something canonical, that isn't in the chapter? And/or do people have any ideas for things not from canon that would be Air-themed and very appropriate to the weirdnesses of the Shinomen? I don't want this to be a fight or other encounter-type thing, nor anything as major as a Naga city; the focus should be on the wonder of these places, and the actions the PCs take there to prepare themselves for what they're going to do (e.g. praying to Sudaro at the Gates of Persistence, purifying themselves at the Fire Pool, etc). Any suggestions?

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Iyotisha is the city of Astronomy. There isn't much writen about it though IIRC. You might be able to repurpose something from the description of Nirukti in Way of the Naga.

 

Edit: Completely missed you didn't want a Naga City. So maybe the Waterfalls of Shinsei if you haven't used it for water.

Edited by Suzume Chikahisa

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Air can be mischievous and disorienting: go for a maze, that you have to solve by ear. Everything shifts constantly but if you listen carefully you can find your way.

Samurai may even end up on top the greatest of the great trees, with their senses stretching without boundaries over all of Rokugan. There, they share their prayers with all of Rokugan and may  direct them directly to the Heavens.

That's just off the top of my head. If you like it, I can elaborate.

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Alas for the maze idea, neither the character with the Absolute Direction advantage nor the one with high Investigation / Perception is the one thematically associated with Air, and I'd like to have him lead the way during that part of the session.

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I'm drifting toward something illusion-y, since most of the illusion spells are in Air. But not some challenge where they have to see through them -- this is supposed to be more about them preparing themselves for what's to come. Not sure how to make that cohere, though.

 

ETA: not something that involves them being in an illusion of their perfect happy life; we've done that already. :-)

Edited by Kinzen
addendum

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5 hours ago, Kinzen said:

Alas for the maze idea, neither the character with the Absolute Direction advantage nor the one with high Investigation / Perception is the one thematically associated with Air, and I'd like to have him lead the way during that part of the session.

What is the character associated with Air? His strengths and flaws, and a bit of a backstory.

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So this probably doesn't help now, but I am immediately reminded of the Fog of Lost Souls from Legend of Korra.

Alternately, you could make a place where the wind brings all those floating lanterns that people release at festivals. There they rest peacefully, lazily bobbing about the twisted trees, casting haunting and shifting shadows that are sometimes friendly and sometimes maddening.

Or a little abandoned hamlet overgrown by the forest with apparently nobody there but at every house there's the sound of bamboo wind chimes clacking in the breeze, even if there's no wind. And especially more if there is. The chimes can be present or not. Your call. At night, Will o' the wisp type glowies start sneaking about the houses just out of sight. At midnight they all gather at the big headman's house for a great feast.

In either of these places the players can meet their ancestors where they have a chance to talk about the long forgotten past and how it affects the present and maybe the future. Grandma and Grandpa can be proud of one, while a one eyed distant past uncle with half his arm missing is ashamed of the feud he had with his brother that broke the family's standing and caused them to lose their fiefdom and court standing. Others are pining for the loves they never confessed while still others are filled with the wisdom of ages and satisfied that their families have continued in the samurai tradition. I'm sure you could manufacture some good story time for each character and even weave their overall destinies together.

If you need some sort of conflict, you can make it apparent that there are a lot of ancestors gathered here when they should be in other realms or already reincarnated and that there is something stopping them from moving on. Then the players need to solve that problem and say a tearful goodbye to grandma.

Again, you're probably already done with the game, but if you need this for later or if anybody else wants it, feel free to use it.

I hope you had a good story idea all the same.

Let's hear about it.

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Thanks for the help, everybody! I wound up realizing in the late afternoon that the Gates of Persistence were associated with a Fortune, and the Fire Pool of Purity with Shinsei, and the River of Sky could easily be about the kami of the river (in the "big spirit of a natural landmark" sense rather than "little atomic kami" sense), so with that in place, it was only natural to go with an ancestral idea for the Air-themed spot. They discovered the site of a primitive (i.e. pre-Fall of the Kami) ancestor shrine. I really appreciate all the suggestions, which helped me work through different possibilities.

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