Sunday, April 22, 2018

Storm of Ashes: Session 1, Scene 1

Series Name Storm of Ashes
Season 1
Series Premise A medieval world populated by lost undead souls cursed to be reborn at the cold ashen remains of pyres.

Current Issue Path of Redemption
Face of Redemption Aurora Bianchi
Place of Interest Cathedral of the First Flame

Impending Issue A Storm King’s Fury
Face of Fury Tiberius the Thundering Echo
Place of Interest Deva Fulmen, the Royal Palace

Series Name Storm of Ashes
Episode Title The Quiet Ember and the Casket of Starlit Strands
Season 1 Episode 1

When does the episode take place?
Rough equivalent to 14th century Europe

Where does this episode take place?
Mount Claustra

What do we know about the setting?
Similar to 14th century Europe, drawing inspiration from Italy and the Roman empire. The entire population is undead, reborn when the pyres are rekindled.

Setting Synopsis

Using the Aladdin Technique with the Dungeon World Adventure Builder, Story Cubes, Story Cubes: Actions, Story Cubes: Fantasia and Story Cubes: Fright, the synopsis becomes:

The character is exploring a ruined tower that lies atop Mount Claustra seeking the throne of an ancient ruler. The character is here to steal The Casket of Starlit Strands guarded by the restless dead and forgotten beasts. Whose manic laughter echoes from the throne room?

Using Fate Accelerated for character creation with Aspects flavored by Spirit of the Century and the Phase Trio of Fate Core:

Name Chiara the Quiet Ember
High Concept Seer of Burning Chaos
Trouble The Cycle Must End

The Quiet Ember and The Scar of Roiling Flame
Phase One Everything Burns...

+3 Forceful
+2 Flashy, Quick
+1 Clever, Sneaky
+0 Careful

Stunt Because I wield The Scar of Roiling Flame, I get a +2 to flashily create an advantage when I am in close combat.

Stress [1] [2] [3]

Using 9Qs with a variety of Story Cubes: Before a closed portcullis, an undead champion takes aggressive action against Chiara.

Too Close to Touch, Burn

Trapped in eternal twilight, the overcast sky is littered with dark clouds. On the slopes of Mount Claustra, the sun is hidden and its light muted. A dirt road leads from the edge of a cliff that overlooks crashing waves to the looming gate of a ruined tower. The tower’s name lost centuries ago, it is just The Howling Tower of Claustra. Entry to The Howling Tower is guarded by Corin the Butcher.

Corin the Butcher has stood before the gates of The Howling Tower almost as long as its forgotten history. Few have tried to fight him, intimidated by the scattered skulls and broken bones that litter the ground around him. His reputation founded on the immense blade he wields in his plated fists. Corin’s ornamented plate armor, visor concealing everything but the glow of his undead gaze, is dark and stained with old blood.

The dead coal of a forgotten fire smolders and begins to glow. Smoke drifts toward the sky as a flame springs to life. The remnant of a forgotten pyre burns, heating the rusted sword left behind ages ago. Embers drift on the wind and the fire cracks, announcing Chiara’s arrival.

Chiara seeps into the world. Leather boots, gloves and top the color of char embroidered with silver, reminiscent of the desert sorceresses. Her skirt and deep hood dyed to match, white hair peeking from the depths of the cowl. She held a targe in one hand, the other available to fetch her dagger or her prized possession The Scar of Roiling Flame. The Scar, a cusped falchion with a blade like molten metal, served as a physical catalyst between her and the pyromancy she channelled.

The Butcher glowers at the materializing form, eyes burning a dull angry red. He reaches for the long sword leaning against the stone wall, the blade alone reaching four feet in length. Corin marches down the dirt road, plates rattling against each other. As he approaches Chiara, his gauntleted fists grabs the hilt and prepares for battle. The open cliff behind her, rock walls bordering the road, Chiara must decide: jump to the waves below or face her armored opponent.

Corin the Butcher
Guardian of The Howling Tower
+3 Forceful
+2 Careful, Flashy
+1 Clever, Quick
+0 Sneaky
Stress [1] [2] [3]

Chiara Cleverly Creates an Advantage opposed by Corin’s Careful Approach.  Result: +3 vs. +2. Corin gains the “Unarmored Throat” Aspect.

Chiara Quickly Defends against Corin’s Forceful Approach. Result: +5 vs. +3.

Chiara watches her opponent warily, pulling the burning blade free. The wind tears fingers of fire from the sword. She watches for an opening, some weakness in the metal shell Corin wears. The largest gap she spies is at his throat between the helmet and breastplate.

The Butcher charges forward and tries to use his mass to knock Chiara to the ground. She deftly sidesteps. The two combatants circle around the burning fire.

Chiara Flashily Creates an Advantage with The Scar opposed by Corin’s Quick Approach. Result: +3 vs. +1 and expends one fate point to invoke “Seer of Burning Chaos” for +2. Chiara gains the “Fuel the Inner Flame” Aspect with two free invokes.

Chiara Quickly Defends against Corin’s Forceful Approach. Result: +2 vs. +3. Chiara marks 1 Stress.

The pyromancer reaches toward the burning flames and pulls on them with invisible chains. The Scar flares with power, adding tethers of its own to Chiara’s effort. Streams of fire snake along the falchion and trace curving energetic lines along her arms.

Corin’s longsword sweeps heavily through the air, Chiara barely avoiding the attack from the undead knight. She ducks beneath the swing and gracefully circles around the fire.

Chiara Forcefully Attacks opposed by Corin’s Forceful Approach. Result: +1 vs. +3 and uses the free invoke of “Unarmored Throat” with the two free invokes of “Fuel the Inner Flame” for +6. Chiara expends one fate point to invoke “Everything Burns…” for +2. Corin marks 6 Stress.

Corin concedes.

Chiara steps around the flames and lunges at the unarmored portion of Corin’s throat. The snaking energy surge from her arms and along The Scar, extending its reach with a talon of scorching fire. The flaming lance pierces The Butcher’s neck, scoring a wound that emerges through the other side.

The Butcher stops. His longsword dips to the ground, its point driving into the earth beside Chiara. Corin’s head hangs loosely atop The Scar, its molten blade scorching the visored helm. He heaves a long, agonized breath and slowly turns to flakes of ash blown by the wind.

Julia Westlin, Zombie (Acapella cover)

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Four Against Darkness Session 1: The Cave of Nyeth

Averil the Paladin, Viranus the Cleric, Tallus the Wizard and Lynuvei the Elf arrive at The Cave of
Nyeth. Averil was tasked to recover gold to give to the local church. The door to the caves were shut,
flush against the stone cliff face. Averil and Viranus pushed against it, and the door slowly creaked

The party stepped in, using Tallus’ lantern to illuminate the cavernous room. It was an expansive
chamber littered with broken tables and shelves. Two trolls, hunched over a late afternoon meal,
glanced toward them with heavy grunts. Averil quickly pulled her arming sword free and cut down
one of the trolls.

The party scattered, quickly surrounding the second troll. Lynuvei drew her curved elven blade and
dispatched the slowly regenerating troll. The other raked its dark talons against Averil’s shield. The
party pulled away, looking for advantageous position.

As they surrounded the troll, it struck Averil with a heavy fist. A malicious laugh followed by a sinister
grin on its face. Tallus seized the moment and drove a dagger into the troll’s back. The troll fell to the
floor where Lynuvei plunged her short blade through its neck.

Whatever the trolls had been eating, a paltry trio of gold coins lay next to its roasting carcass. It was
a small step closer to completing Averil’s Quest. The chamber had three doors, but the one on the far
right was locked. The party took the simpler path and opened the door to the left.

The door led to a four way intersection. An immense orc with ash grey skin seemed surprised at their
appearance. Viranus charged forward, his mace struck the orc brute on the shoulder. The orc
unsheathed a rusty blade and turned to Viranus.

Not as experienced in combat as Averil, the tarnished hooked sword cut into Viranus’ flesh. The orc
continued forward and struck Averil’s shield. Perhaps it was some divine guidance, the Paladin’s
riposte sliced neatly across the brute’s neck. The orc’s decapitated body fell to the floor.

Searching the orc, Lynuvei recovered a scroll. Written on the parchment were the sigils to summon
a fireball. With four possible route to take, the party again chose left. Stepping from a door at the
end of a hall, a figure wearing a dark coat of plates slammed the door shut resolutely.

Averil channeled divine might, her sword becoming a Holy Avenger, but the chaos lord’s shield
stopped the blade. Tallus attempted to put the chaos lord to sleep but failed. The chaos lord
burned and surged with dark energy. Its rapid slashes cut into Averil, Viranus and Tallus.

Averil retaliated, stabbing under the chaos lord’s helmet. The chaos lord slumped heavily to the
floor. Tallus searched the corpse and discovered a handful of gold and a scroll with a sleep spell
written on it. Averil and the others turned to the shut door and stepped beyond.

They were met with a long corridor with a door to the right. Ahead, the corridor opened into
another room. A pair of orcs were coming from the room, unsuspectingly heading toward the party.
Lynuvei pulled back the string of her bow, the elven animosity pushing her to act.

Two arrows flew across the span and struck each orc in the eye. The only sound from the orcs were
the heavy sounds of bodies falling to the floor. The room beyond was empty except for one door
ahead. The party opened the door and walked through the twisting corridor behind it.

As they marched down the corridor, the party searched the floors. Within the darkened recesses of
one corner, they spied a pile of gold. Collecting the pieces of treasure, the party disturbed a series
of thick webs. A giant spider fell from the ceiling and attacked Averil and Viranus.

Averil and Viranus blocked the poisonous fangs with their shields. Tallus stabbed into the back of
the giant spider. Thick green ooze dripped to the floor, and it reared in pain before crawling back
into its dark den above. The spider’s retreat dislodged another treasure, and a small ruby clattered
across the floor.

The next room had no other exits. Inside, a large bison like creature with a warthog’s head squealed
at being disturbed. The room filled with a horrid stench. Though most of the party were able to
ignore the noxious fumes, Lynuvei burst into a series of sharp coughs.

Averil ignored the poisonous gas and slashed into the monster’s hide. Tallus stabbed into the other
flank. The noxious gas began to dissipate. Lynuvei recovered and ended the beast’s life with another
volley of arrows from her bow.

The creature’s makeshift den was filled with refuse. Beneath it all, Viranus found a scroll with a
blessing from the Morninglord and a staff that could create fireballs. The single exit beckoned.
The party retraced their steps to the door next to the pair of orcs.

The door led to a corridor which, in turn, led to a large room. A young red dragon lifted its head
and glared at the party’s intrusion. Averil focused divine wrath into her swing. The sword hammered
futilely against Nyeth’s scales.

Noticing the thickness of the scales, Lynuvei released an arrow into a softer target, the dragon’s eye.
The single arrow inflicted a mortal wound. With an angered anguished roar, Nyeth’s clawed into
Averil and Viranus’ shields then gnashed sharp teeth into Tallus’ chest. Averil saw her opening and
stabbed the arming sword into the dragon’s neck.

The fatal wound brought Nyeth down. Its small trove offered a scroll with an escape spell, an opal
and sapphires set into a silver necklace. Nyeth was defeated and, more importantly, Averil’s Quest
was complete. As the party returned to the small town of Nesmé, a silver light flowed thickly down
Averil’s weapon.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Quill: Forgotten Future #1

Using the PWYW game Tiny Details as a paragraph and word count guide, Quill and Tarot results from Tangent Zero, Zero Tarot, I generated a quick module with playthrough. Initially, it was to be 500 words, but I wanted to constrain myself to the five paragraphs Quill uses.

Word count goal: 300 not including preamble.

The Order of Knights Apparatus are monastic caretakers of dying technology. After The Pulse, higher grade machinery faltered. Failed. Only a dedicated few could maintain what was left or search the country for lost tech.

Knights Apparatus have excellent penmanship, as they're forced to rewrite discovered documents, a strong command of language, but rarely embellish their writing to avoid confusion.

Penmanship Good
Language Average
Heart Poor
Upgrade Inspiring Words: Once per letter, gain +1 dice during a Heart test.


This message will be delivered to Brother McConnell, the archivist in the local chapter of the Order. This is a field update regarding the discovery of some lost technology, to which you were assigned to recover.


Fool began / embarked
Tower brokedown / dissolved
Emperor control / discipline
Star peace / unity
Hanged Man weak / vulnerable
Devil fought / confronted
Lovers feelings / relationship
Strength brave / courageous
Death changed / transformed

-- THE POOL --

Chariot enthusiastic / ambitious
Hermit calm / patient
Hierophant teacher / advisor

Brother McConnell,

As I embarked on this journey to obtain the artifact, I realized just how rare these objects were. This weapon could bring safety for the town surrounding our Order. Unfortunately, it seems, we are not the only ones looking to history to save the world. I came across this new group during the journey.

/ +1 point for embarked, +1 point for paragraph /

It took a measure of discipline to stay hidden while someone else collected the weapon. He was a scavenger, a mercenary, and had little respect for what they took. While I watched, a feral large cat sprung from hiding and jumped on his back. The mercenary and large cat wrestled, the cat’s claws raked through his clothing and opened terrible wounds.

/ +1 point for discipline, +1 point for paragraph /

I stepped from the shadows, shouting to scare off the cat with my pistol drawn. The scavenger was weak and could barely fight off the creature. Hearing another behind it, the cat rushed off through a ruined alley. I stared after it, keeping an eye on the alley, then turned back to the man.

/ no points scored /

The stranger was startled to find he wasn't alone. I confronted him, pistol pointed at his chest, and offered a trade: the weapon for his life. He chose to accept the trade but warned that Jasmin, presumably his boss, would be angered to hear of this trespass. He walked away, leaving the weapon behind, leaving me to wonder who this Jasmin is.

/ +1 point for confronted, +1 point for paragraph /

Learning that there are others similar to our Order has left me transformed. Not because there is competition, but because there are others that seek history. This weapon, this plasma launcher, may mean safety and protection should anything untoward come of this encounter. It is my hope that this weapon will not be used against this, or these, new Order.

/ +1 point for transformed, +1 point for paragraph /

  • Séverin

Final score: 8, 330 words.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Untold: Rokugan 2037 Season 1, Episode 2

Night of a Thousand Screams is an adventure for Legend of the Five Rings set in Ryoko Owari. There are 18 chapters, so I’ll attempt to handle six scenes per session, thoigh just these two scenes seem to be fairly long by my estimation. For now, I'll play through scenes until the post feels too long. Unless I get tired of experimenting with Freeform Universal. I still kind of prefer Fate over FU, but I’m willing to give it another shot. Advancement wise, I’ll use Untold; two more Descriptors after this session, two more after session four then retiring Ritsuko after seven if she makes it that far.

From the images I’ve come across of Doji Domotai, she either has grey-blue or violet eyes. I’ve gone with the blue to keep the Crane theme.

[After the Episode]

What impact does this episode have on the series?
The Shadowlands threat is present with the Bloodspeakers appearing to help Daigotsu for unknown purposes.

What are the loose ends and plot hooks for future episodes?
What did Iuchi Toreru want? How did the goblins get into Ryoko Owari? Who owned the boat Ritsuko was on?

Characters of Interest
Daigotsu, Iuchi Toreru, Iuchiban

Items of Interest

Places of Interest
The Iron Petal, The Two Gates

[Episode Guide]
Series Name: Rokugan 2037
Season 1 Episode 2
Episode Name: The Bon Festival Begins...

When does this take place?
2037, near-future and a few days after episode 1.

Where does this take place?
Ryoko Owari, The City of Lies

What do we know about the setting?
It's first edition Legend of the Five Rings in 2037, roughly around the events of 1165. Iuchiban and Daigotsu are struggling for power, and Emperor Toturi Naseru is in control.

What is the tone of the setting?
Action adventure meets investigative noir. Dark. Bloody. A bit of horror.

Setting Synopsis
The City of Lies. An underworld brought to the surface by the Scorpion clan. You can find just about anything here for the right price. And the Bloodspeakers demand a very high price…

Shosuro Ritsuko
Role Investigative Shosuro Assassin
Motivation Contain the Bloodspeaker Threat
Special The Shadow Has No Mask Technique
Special Steel Katana
Stress [1] [1] [1]

[Episode Open: Wadaiko Matsuriza, Kabuki Gomen-jyo]

I wish I had the time and energy to investigate the boat I had been abducted to.  In all honesty, just surviving had all of my attention. Once I was able to breathe normally, I collected my things and ran to the nearest alley in case there were other goblins or Bloodspeakers nearby. The boat began to pull away from the docks, and I felt I would be better off here in Ryoko Owari than jumping aboard.

Back at my apartment, I undress and relax. Food. Sake. Time to think what my next plan of action should be. I stared out the window, looking down on the shadowed expanse of the city. The afternoon sun burned a vibrant orange behind the dark buildings. Someone had to have information about the Bloodspeakers. Where did they come from? How did the goblins bypass security?

I glance at my wardrobe in consideration. Maybe something less Scorpion tonight. Something that would inspire trust. I have just the thing… and pull out a sky blue tank, black jeans and a fashionable leather jacket with silver lettering on a strip down the left side. Kakita. I complete the look with ankle boots, a wig of straight white hair, and, what girl wouldn’t want to emulate Domotai? Contacts change my eyes from hazel to steel blue. I leave the chokuto and mask at home tonight; a Crane would have her katana at her hip.

Kakita Akane, at your service.

Returning to the waterfront by the Merchant Quarter, Ritsuko finds herself at the Inn of the Orange Blossom on the corner of Saffron and Brass. A small hotel with just a few rooms upstairs and tables below. The burly owner, Hametsu, is a Unicorn that enjoys talking about his prior travels across the mountains.

His wife, Kimoko, and daughter, Hakiku, help him run the place. Both open and pleasant, they smile and don’t ask prying questions. As the time approaches 1730, other patrons file in and prepare for the Bon Festival. The Inn is already decorated with banners and flowers.

Per custom, Ritsuko’s katana is placed in a rack near the door as Hakiku guides Ritsuko to a private room.


“Does Ritsuko recognize anyone in the Inn?”

Ritsuko rolls with one bonus dice from “Investigative Shosuro Assassin.”

Result: 1-, No, and… checks the “Hungry” condition.


Ritsuko looks around the room and sighs. She had hoped to recognize someone here to question. She smiles politely at Hakiku and requests a katsudon with more sake while she observes the Inn. The past couple days, she had eaten sparingly while thinking of her plans.

Some of the patrons pointedly ignore Ritsuko; her curiosity apparent on her features. As Hakiku begins to head back with the bowl and carafe, an explosion rips through the common room. Wood and ceramic cut through the paper doors of the private rooms, and Hakiku collapses, speared through the chest by a length of wood from the front door.

Through the gaping hole in the front of the Inn, an inhuman creature over seven feet tall holds a blue robed form above his head. Three eyes, slithering tongue and fleshy pods along its spine. Covered in slimy black green skin, it smells brackish and foul. Long claws sink into the Crane above his head, tearing through muscle and sinew. Another prone Crane lies at the creature’s feet, blood pooling around it. A third Crane jumps to his feet and begins backing away.

Ritsuko, surprised, also jumps to her feet. Her katana is in the weapon rack that was near the front door. She growls at the cowering Crane, “Get back. Get in the private room,” as she runs toward the weapons rack.

While almost every patron is cowering, screaming or bleeding, one patron runs alongside Ritsuko. The two reach the rack and retrieve your katana. The Oni steps fully into the Inn, crushing the dead Crane beneath its feet. The one above his head slumps to the floor with terrible wounds coating the floor with blood. The third Crane crawls quickly into the private room Ritsuko emerged from.

The two run back into the common room, katana drawn, and attempt to distract the Oni from the cowering Crane.


Oni no Chizaro
Fearful Aura, Razor Sharp Claws
Stress [1] [1] [1]

“Can Ritsuko and this other person distract the Oni from its target?”

Ritsuko rolls with two bonus dice from the potential ally and “Steel Katana” but one penalty dice from “Fearful Aura.”

Result: 4, Yes, but… the debris “Impedes” the smaller humans.

Oni no Chizaro
Stress [x] [1] [1]


Ritsuko and her companion return to the common room and find the Oni at the door to the private room. It kicks in the shoji and sniffs the air, savoring the scent of fear streaming from the Crane. The head turns and eyes the weapons held by Ritsuko and the samurai then leaps toward the new threats.

The two of them part, the demon landing between them. Katana flash as they race through the air and strike at the Oni’s thighs.


“Can Ritsuko keep the Oni away from the private rooms?”

Ritsuko rolls one penalty dice since both bonus dice are cancelled by “Fearful Aura” and “Razor Sharp Teeth,” and the debris “Impedes” their actions.

Result: 4-, No, but… the pair find a clear path to the Oni.

Shosuro Ritsuko
Stress [x] [1] [1]


The monstrous thing moves with serpentine grace and avoids the katana. Sliding between piles of debris, it returns to the ruins of the shoji and tears at the walls with its long claws. Ritsuko and the samurai follow into the open space between the front of the common room and the entrances to the private rooms. The Oni rumbles with anticipation as the Crane screams.

Ritsuko and the samurai look at each other then charge at the Oni to protect the Crane.


“Can the two of them stop the Oni from grabbing the Crane?”

Ritsuko rolls with no bonus dice as they are cancelled by the penalty dice.

Result: 6, Yes, and… the Oni is “cornered.”

Oni no Chizaro
Stress [x] [x] [1]


The Oni steps into the private room. As it reaches toward the Crane with long talons, Ritsuko and her companion rush into the room and strike at the thing with their katana, forcing the demon away.

It reaches back and tears a handful of pods from its spine, flinging them to the floor. Four globules of tar sprout spidery legs, each one opens a trio of glowing eyes. Their jaws part and display sharp white teeth against dark skin as they leap on their targets.


Mob of 4 Minor Oni
Sharp Teeth
Stress [1] [1]

“Can Ritsuko prevent the Oni from approaching the Crane?”

Ritsuko rolls with no bonus dice.

Result: 1, No, and… the Oni slips past Ritsuko.

Shosuro Ritsuko
Stress [x] [x] [1]


Against overwhelming numbers, the two humans can’t contain the Oni threat. Swarmed by the four minor Oni, the two fall back. The larger Oni takes advantage of the situation and slips out to the common room. Heavy footsteps and shouts race toward the Inn, and one of the tiny creatures leaps on the Crane.

Ritsuko and her companion turn their focus on the minor Oni and run to aid the cowering Crane.


“Can Ritsuko save the Crane?”

Ritsuko rolls with one bonus dice from her ally.

Result: 1+, No…

Shosuro Ritsuko
Stress [x] [x] [x]


Sharp fangs pierce soft flesh, and the Crane screams, clutching at the mass of tarry flesh in a futile attempt to save himself. The remaining spiders occupy Ritsuko and the other samurai.

As the Crane falls silent, the large Oni fills the Inn with hideous laughter and escapes through the gaping remains of the front door. The spiders quiver and collapse, becoming dark puddles on the floor. The heavy boots announce the arrival of the Thunder Guard.

“What happened here?” one asks.

“An Oni attacked these Cra- my Clansmen. One minute, everyone is preparing for the Festival, the next… an explosion then chaos.”

The visored helmet, black with its signature broad red stripe, looks around the scene. Kimoko grieving and clutching at her daughter. Hametsu, in stunned silence, sifting through rubble.

“Did you know them?”

Ritsuko shakes her head. “No. I never met them.”

A loud crash comes from the common room, a tray of broken bowls fallen to the floor. Hametsu stammering, “Sorry, my Lord. I… I'm sorry.”

A figure in sky blue kimono and hakama walks among the ruins, pulling his jingasa off his head. White hair pulled into a ponytail, kind blue eyes meet Hametsu’s.

“No, you've been through a lot today.”

Each of the Thunder Guard bows respectfully, the one addressing the newcomer, “My Lord Magistrate Oruku-sama. A pleasure to see you again.”

Oruku’s dark eyes turn from the Thunder Guard to Ritsuko. He offers a slight bow. “Doji Oruku, Lord Magistrate of Ryoko Owari.”

Ritsuko bows deferentially, “Kakita Akane, Oruku-sama. I was just telling the Guard about the attack. The explosion. An Oni. It murdered the three over there.” She points toward the eta collecting the bodies.

“They have been directed to take our Clansmen to the crematorium,” he points at a table. “Please. Sit. Have tea and drink to the fallen Doji.”

Hametsu brings the finest food and drink he has available to the Magistrate. Small talk passes between Oruku and Ritsuko, trading stories about Ryoko Owari, Kyuden Doji and the Dueling Academy. Several minutes later, one of the eta, a young boy, returns and collapses at the feet of Oruku.

“The crematorium…,” he points back toward the remains of the door. “Bandits,” the boy pants, “Samurai-sama, bandits are stealing your friends… attacking my father… please help us!”

On the far side of Ryoko Owari, the eta village is well organized. Neat. Tidy. The eta prostrate themselves as Oruku and Ritsuko race by, getting back to their feet once passed. The crematorium is the opposite. Burning flames spread across the ruined building. Bandits rummaging through the bodies. The three newest arrivals on the ground, their shrouds ripped open, and the corpses of their escort litter the street.

As Oruku and Ritsuko arrive, a few of the bandits scatter and run through the rear exit. The remainder heft hooks and charred bones as weapons, prepared to cover the escape.

Ritsuko runs at the bandits, pulling her katana free.


Gathering of Bandits
Unclean Weapons
Stress [1] [1] [1]

“Can Ritsuko clear the way to the exit?”

Ritsuko rolls two bonus dice from Oruku and “Steel Katana” and two penalty dice from “Unclean Weapons” and “burning fire.”

Result: 5, Yes…

Gathering of Bandits
Stress [x] [1] [1]


Ritsuko and Oruku join the chaos, striking at the bandits with their katana and cutting a couple down. The other bandits part and circle the two warriors, exposing the exit. They brandish their weapons and retaliate, swinging their unclean armaments.


“Can Ritsuko avoid the tainted attacks?”

Ritsuko rolls with no bonus dice.

Result: 5, Yes…

Gathering of Bandits
Stress [x] [x] [1]


Ritsuko ducks beneath a wide swing from a bone wielding bandit. Her katana comes up and slashes down across the bandit's face. Oruku weaves away from the swing of a hook and ripostes with a quick cut across the bandit’s chest. The few remaining bandits back away, looking to escape through the exit.


“Can Ritsuko take one of the bandits prisoner?”

Ritsuko rolls with one penalty dice without her “Steel Katana.”

Result: 3-, No…

Shosuro Ritsuko
Stress [x] [1] [1]


Knowing that they may have answers, Ritsuko tries to capture one of the bandits. Another swings a charred bone at her, which she narrowly avoids. The stigma of touching dead flesh as powerful as being clubbed by a femur. Their confidence renewed, they charge through the smoke at Ritsuko and Oruku.


“Do Ritsuko and Oruku defeat the final wave?”

Ritsuko rolls with no bonus dice.

Result: 4, Yes, but… and gains the “Tainted” Condition.

Gathering of Bandits
Stress [x] [x] [x]


The pair of samurai expertly dispatch the remaining bandits. One desperate swing strikes Ritsuko with the remains of a corpse, marking her with the unclean taint of touching dead flesh. An indignant growl escapes her throat, her katana thrusting into the man’s neck and ripping it open on one side.

Oruku steps aside, head down in sympathy and dismay. “We need to catch one of the bandits and find out what they wanted,” he says softly. “Chase one, I'll take the one going to the village. Meet me at the Orange Blossom in one hour. I will bring a shugenja to deal with…,” his hand gesturing, saying what he doesn't want to verbalize. Not of another Crane. “One hour.”

Ritsuko nods, silently cursing the bandit that touched her. If she catches one, then this may be worth it...

[Episode Close: Derek & Brandon Fiechter, Shuriken]