Legend of the Five Rings: Accursed Destiny

Session 6 - Dealing With Monsters

The mountain rose from the sea and Kasuga Kiyomi, pulling from her vast education, identified it as an Uzu-me-boshi. It was a troll shaman bound to an oni, and if they could defeat the troll inside, the vast creature would dissipate.

As the others steeled themselves for battle, Bayushi Mamoru escorted Kiyomi below decks as a non-combatant. Believing he would perish in this fight, he surprised her with a kiss before rushing back above. Seeing an opportunity, he climbed into the ship’s catapult.

Sanjuro Yuzuki dashed to the crow’s nest, firing off an arrow that seemed to have little effect on the beast. Sanjuro Tatsuya decided to take the direct route and dove in, swimming to the beast. Toritaka Hitomi, knowing she would be unable to swim in her heavy armor, tied herself to the mast with a long length of rope. Shiba Sagura attempted to climb the rigging, but got tangled.

The Uzu-me-boshi’s back began sparking and a wave of steam engulfed the ship, trying to cook them alive. Kasuga Tomo, the ship’s captain, launched Mamoru at the beast, a gleam in his eye. Yuzuki fired off another arrow, striking the beast, who barely noticed the tiny arrow. Mamoru landed on the chest, his blades digging deep in the creature’s flesh, just as his cousin Tatsuya reached the beast and started the long climb up.

Hitomi tried to reach out and strike the beast with her bisento, but between the distance and the ship’s movement, she was unable to strike it. The beast inhaled deeply, releasing a torrent of water of water onto the ship, cracking wood and nearly washing many of the sailors overboard. Sagura, frustrated with being tangled and inspired by Mamoru’s own flight at the beast, severed a taut rope holding him bound, flinging himself towards the beast. He landed very close to the eye and began stabbing.

Tomo, being the self-proclaimed ‘greatest sailor in Rokugan’, maneuvered around the beast and the Gaijin ship, getting closer, trying to avoid the steam and water jets. Toritaka Benkei, seeing the mast his daughter was tied to start to splinter and crack, wrapped his large arms around it, stabilizing it. The Tortoise sailors began quickly trying to repair and plug the holes in the boat, preventing it from swamping and sinking.

As they were finally close enough to the beast, Yuzuki set her bow down, taking up her meteor hammer, walking the short distance to the same shoulder Sagura was perched upon, swinging her hammer and knocking out one of the beast’s teeth.

Mamoru went to the other shoulder, reaching up with his obsidian weapon, this time in the shape of a scimitar, and popped the beasts eye, warm red liquid spilling out around him. The beast gave a mighty roar. Seeing his opening, Tatsuya jumped in the beasts mouth, surprised to be swimming in dark water and forcing his claustrophobia and an epileptic seizure away, swam downward to the beast’s belly.

Finally close enough to use her weapon, Hitomi sliced open the beast’s side, spilling light into the troll inside. Angry at the damage it had taken, the Uze-me-boshi clawed at Sagura and Yuzuki. She got out of the way but Sagura took the brunt of the damage and began to fall. Shaken, Yuzuki missed striking the beast with her meteor hammer.

Mamoru, seeing his cousin jump down the beast’s throat, quickly followed, just as Tatsuya struck at the troll inside. The beast roared and flailed, the cause of its pain not easily visible. Hitomi, acting out of instinct, reached forward just further than she could reach, snapping the rope holding her to the ship but catching Sagura and saving his life. He managed a quiet “Thank you” before passing out and being set on the deck.

The troll attacked Tatsuya, the beast moving to fight something no one else could see. Feeling a surge from the Void from somewhere, Tatsuya struck again, stabbing the troll. Tomo began steering the ship into the beast’s belly. Yuzuki and Hitomi continued to strike at the beast.

Mamoru, being a sneaky ninja, stabbed the troll from behind in surprise. The troll’s own defenses shocked Mamoru, rendering him unable to fight. The troll, ignoring the wounded Scorpion, instead struck at Tatsuya, almost slaying him. Tatsuya impaled the troll, killing it, getting shocked himself.

The enormous beast roared one final time before starting to fall apart and dissolve just as the ship hit its belly. Mamoru and Tatsuya were washed out of the belly through the cut Hitomi had made. She grabbed Sagura and Mamoru, preventing them from falling overboard. Tatsuya crashed into Benkei. Yuzuki calmly walked back into the crow’s nest, retrieving her bow.

The battle was won and the beast defeated, everyone tired, sore, and soaked.

The Gaijin ship, recovered from their battle with the beast, approached closer. Weary, everyone began to ready weapons for the next pending fight. Kiyomi assured them she could handle it and scrambled up the gangplank, barely hesitating, her father following. On board she met the ship’s captain, Edward Teach from Thrane.

Speaking strictly in Thane, Kiyomi directed the Gaijin away from the Imperial City and towards the Isles of Silk and Spice, specifically Honor’s Anchor. She portrayed herself as naïve, talkative, and not comprehending what she was manipulating him towards. He offered a gift of a cannon, which she had to reject, if only because her ‘companions’ would insist on its destruction. He then offered a gaijin cutlass and barrels of Rum, which she took, offering her old war fan in exchange. Tomo, proud at his daughter’s performance, left two of his sailors on board Teach’s ship.

Yang’s Honor limped to port for repairs. Sagura wrote a letter to the Fox Daimyo and sent it off ahead. Mamoru tried to get on Kakita Kiyo’s good side, with mixed success. Yuzuki, bored at being in port, went fishing and caught a whale.

Deciding not to kill it, she swam next to it to remove the embedded hook. A Ningyo, a Rokugani mermaid, swam up and thanked her, handing her a small pearl.

Kiyomi, watching the battle but not participating in it, told the story of the fight with the Uzu-me-boshi, mentioning everyone’s name but focusing on the deeds of the Minor Clans, especially Sanjuro Tatsuya. The well-spun tale has begun to spread across the empire already, and many now look with interest and some trepidation upon this newest generation…

Comments

I did not think of such a creature ever truly existed. I’ve heard tales in my lessons while I was receiving training in dealing with the supernatural…but nothing to that massive scale! I did learn many things however. When situations are desperate, people act desperately.

That fool (although I mean this in a friendly term) Tatsuya almost got himself killed trying to play the hero. He dove right overboard and swam to the creature. I guess he was lucky on both counts that the creature was focused on the ship than him because we were the ones that got attacked. So it paid off for him this time; but it was still a very risky move. He then dives right into the creature’s mouth! Indeed, that was the likely (and accurate) place this troll was going to be; but to dive right in without anyone to help you or with any plan at all was foolhardy. It was fairly dark in there when I followed him in but there was a spot of light where the troll coincidentally was located at. Apparently someone happened to cleave a spot into the “marionette” and shed some light, otherwise, I have no idea how Tatsuya planned on finding him. I also took the brunt of the damage of the troll’s attack that was intended to kill Tatsuya when I dealt him a critical blow. Thankfully, Tatsuya managed to deal the mortal blow on the creature.

So far I have discovered this of Tatsuya; he is an extremely lucky individual. Otherwise his foolhardy bravery would wind up getting him killed. In that fashion, he is much like his father I have heard about. He will be more difficult to protect than I anticipated if he tends to make more risky heroics in the future.

The Phoenix, the Falcon, and the Mongoose all fought bravely. I will admit, I think better of them now as comrades in arms. I am not sure why the Phoenix’s yojimbo did not join in on this battle. Is she not to protect him? Or is there another reason why she didn’t join in? I am a bit curious but other matters concern me at this time. Perhaps I will sort it out later. At least she treats me a bit more “warmly” than before. So she apparently saw the battle and saw me in action; I am well aware she respects those who are combat-worthy in her eyes; but she seems so obsessed that it appears to be the only aspect of her life. She does not appear to enjoy the simple pleasures of life at all.

Then there’s what I did…I do not know why I did it. It was almost on instinct. As I was helping Kiyome-san go below deck for safety, it’s almost as if a moment froze in time for me. She felt so delicate, she smelled so nice, and she looked so beautiful. It’s almost as if I forgot (or wanted to forget) that there is a dangerous nature underneath that pretty surface. I couldn’t help myself as I realized I was going to die fighting this beast, I guess I decided I was not going to have any regrets before I left this world and I kissed her, ever so tenderly than I have kissed a girl before. I made sure no one was around when I did it because I did not wish it to be a shameful moment for her, but an honest one. She did not really react but I guess considering the situation, she was too shocked to react. I guess in a way, that’s the first time I really surprised her. It was something even she could not anticipate which does amuse me looking back at it now. But she has avoided me since the beast has fallen. So I do not know what she is thinking. I’m not one hundred percent positive no one else saw it either as it was an impulsive moment. At some point, I should talk to her about it and at least apologize for my actions; but timing has not been on my side as of late. We encountered the gaijins on that ship and we have been jumping port to port for repairs and supplies. Not to mention I was severely injured for a while as well.

Like Tatsuya, I will try and make things right. Then we can move forward and help him accomplish his goal and end his curse.

Session 6 - Dealing With Monsters
 

We fought the Uzu-me-boshi together masterfully and the story My Kiyomi told of it was masterful, even for her. Even if she was supposed to be below decks and safe, not watching and putting herself in danger.

Everyone fought well. United. Tatsuya showed extreme bravery, and foolishness, diving into the creature’s mouth to reach the troll. And I will never forget the look of glee on Tomo’s face as he launched Mamoru at the beast with the ship’s catapult.

I saved Sagura from certain death yet again. I didn’t know why fighting in battle next to him felt so natural, so practiced. He said a name after I caught him, before he passed out. Toma.

It somehow feels familiar but I’m not sure how and I can’t ask him, at least not yet. My Kiyomi has been teaching him sign. Teaching him how to speak with me.

My Kiyomi is drifting from me. Our world is getting larger and she’s starting to need me less and less.

I’ve known it would happen, but I still don’t like it.

She’s been less withdrawn and quiet at least. On top of teaching Sagura, I’ve came across her and that new Tortoise sailor several times, closer than necessary, talking quietly. Many times with a gentle smile on her face, one that she doesn’t show to many people. Tomo was watching them too and he didn’t seem concerned, so I shouldn’t be.

She’s been avoiding Mamoru, which does worry me. She claims nothing happened, that he did nothing when he escorted her below deck (which is my job but I didn’t want to go overboard with heavy armor on), but … she looks away when she lies.

And then disappears again. The boat isn’t that big but she somehow finds ways to hide on it.

At least there still is a boat, which after the creature and the Gaijin, wasn’t assured. I don’t know what My Kiyomi said after she scampered up that plank, not caring at all about the danger involved, but it turned the Gaijin away from the coast and away from the capital.

Tomo looked proud of her.

And now we go into the Fox’s Den. More places for My Kiyomi to hide, but more eyes to watch her.

Session 6 - Dealing With Monsters
 

I’m not sure what surprised me more; Bayushi-san kissing me or Yuu-kun being on my father’s boat.

The kiss was forced, but gentle, almost sweet. I might have been angry if it had been my first, but Hiro stole that after my gempukku before traveling back to his home. The kiss from Bayushi-san had been the act of a man who thought he was about to die.

But no one did, not from the Uzu-me-boshi or the Gaijin. Shiba-san came close, but Hitomi saved him.

Watching the two of them fight together was like watching a dance. They seemed to know each other’s thoughts and movements. It reminded me a lot of how Aki and Hiro are. I’m almost sure that Shiba-san and Hitomi aren’t related, so it has to be something else.

During the battle, Tatsuya embodied the tenant of Courage, doing the impossible. I had Faith that he would succeed in gaining forgiveness from Toshiro-sama and Yamako-sama.

All Five of them fought well together, saving … everything. We were within sight of the Imperial Capital. Home. Mother and siblings. Father’s boat and Crew. The Five of them threw themselves into the fight—literally in Bayushi-san’s case—and in doing so, stopped a great terror from reeking havoc on all I hold dear.

I couldn’t contribute to that battle. It’s not my place, not my Duty.

Words are mine so I crafted them like a weapon, this one a story of the battle. I wielded it well.

I wielded them well against the Gaijin too, directing him away from Home and towards the Mantis. If we weren’t so close to the Imperial Capital, if the ship wasn’t damaged, if there wasn’t Not-Tortoise on board the ship, I may have done it differently. It was now something for Father or Mother to take care of, or myself after the task with Tatsuya was over.

I still was not sure what words to craft for Bayushi-san, in response to that kiss. I hid it from Hitomi so the ‘honorable’ way, the way that ends in duel, was out. I was still at a loss for words. It had been so …. unexpected. Surprising. I couldn’t decide if it was unwanted or not.

Yuu-kun being on board was at least a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know what Father was planning, bringing him on board, but I was grateful for it. It wasn’t until the ship was damaged that I even knew he was here. I felt responsible for him and what had happened and I could do something about it with him close.

I was envious of how quickly he was learning. Between teaching him to read and Shiba-san to sign, I had little time to study myself.

But we would be in Fox lands soon and I could bury myself in their library when not wielding words with the other Minor Clans. Or dodging Hiro’s advances.

It will be good to feel as though I’m doing my Duty again.

Session 6 - Dealing With Monsters
 

Why do I feel such a thrill in battle? Never before have I enjoyed fighting or killing, but when Hitomi-san is nearby, I can’t help but feel like this is a dance we’ve done before. During the fight I was even able to forget, however briefly, Daichiko.

Speaking of women, what possessed me to suit Kiyo-san? If things don’t work, it will only strain our father’s relationship. If it does work, she’ll have to live with me knowing of my dishonor with Daichiko. I’m a foolish, foolish man. Curse Bento and his attentions.

But I must put that behind me. By now my letter should have reached the Kitsune daimyo, and if it all works out, I’ll be representing my family as the only Major Clan representative (apart from the Mantis). If not, I’ll be nearby for Tatsuya, but I suppose I could always work on another play.

Session 6 - Dealing With Monsters
 

The beast is slain, and we are on our way to Fox lands. Killing that creature was certainly a challenge. However, it was still no match for us. I knew jumping down the throat of that creature was not the smartest move, but I felt, givin the information that Kasuga-san gave us, that fighting the beast from both the inside and the outside was the best move.

Now I have to get to Fox lands, and I can figure out how to reunite Yukikos soul with her body.

Session 6 - Dealing With Monsters
 

Dear Mom
Hi, it’s Yuzuki again. I hope you got that present that I gave the clan. Well, so we went up against uzu
-me-boshi, I’ll be happy to inform that we all made it out sort of alive. All I can say is that holy Kama that was a horrible creature to slay.
After words we ran a crossed the folks that first ran across the creature, and even though we all didn’t see eye to eye, I think we were all to beat up and exhausted to fight each other so we helped fix each other and went about our own ways.
On our ways to the Fox Clan I did a little fishing again, and I ended up with a whale on the other side of my rod. I felt kind of bad so I jumped in and took the hook back from him. And as I was being brought back up to the ship I think I seen a Ningyo and I believe they gave me a pearl for saving their friend.
Sincerely
Yuzuki

Session 6 - Dealing With Monsters
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