Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dark Clouds At Land's End - Part I

As of now, September has no particular theme. My only goal is to produce more posts this month than my 12 post a month average for this year so far.

I do have things to talk about, so I'm ahead of the game.

(The game! You see what I did there? Wokka Wokka!).

I'd like to start with this post-Labor Day post-game post; I present to you a series of our writes ups, recaps, and overviews of the first, full session of our new Bushido campaign, Dark Clouds At Land's End. I will also run down the PCs, major NPCs and supernatural beings we've encountered (Thus far. More of all of these participants will be joining us soon). I will also review and 'prologue session', which was run a week ago after creating characters together.

Let's begin with...

Part I - The Cast of Player Characters

Mori Clan Mon (Crest)

Fujikawa Yoshi  (Ray)

A travelling storyteller, or Kataribe, Fujikawa goes to city to city, town to town, bringing news from neighboring lands, and pick up new information from the locals in exchange. He is well versed in both history and rumor, and for a commoner, he is extremely well spoken, apparently educated, and seemingly quite cowardly at times. While that last trait does not endear him to the local Samurai, the knowledge he has, and the knowledge he obtains, has proved invaluable.

(Barkley's Fun Fact #1: In our Traveller campaign, Operation: Paladin, Ray plays Dr. Emil Fujikawa).

Kitajima Kai  (Andy)

A Buddhist Priest, this Gakusho has arrived in the Izumo Province after a long journey from the far North East. He is on a personal pilgrimage, and intends on visiting the many shrines and temples in the region (many even for Japan!). His Northern origins go some way towards explaining the Buddhist teachings he has learned, yet his family name is more common in the surrounding region of Izumo, Tottori and Okayama. In addition, he has a family name! Though describing himself as a simple monk and a Heimin man, he bares the air of more noble station. A Priest who formerly served a Samurai family or Daimyo perhaps? Unknown at this time.

Miyamoto Kiwa  (Hans)

The peculiar young woman known as Miyamoto Kiwa is a Miko, or 'Shrine Maiden', at the shrine to Izanami-no-Mikoto, Shinto goddess of both creation and death. The Izanami Shrine is one of the towns' three largest, and tied to a temple that was built along with the very foundations of Tochitokumo.

Kiwa-chan is very serious and straightforward. For a priestess, she can sometimes seem to be stoic, even unsympathetic. She tries, but her voice and manners belie the fact that she doesn't really connect with others the way normal people do.

She has been asked by the Magistrate of the town, and her superiors at the temple, to perform a ritual on the eve of the new moon each month for the home of Mori Taheshi. It would appear that Taheshi-sama's house is haunted by an evil spirit.

(Barkley Fun Fact #2: In our Traveller campaign, Hans plays Amaya Takeda, also a Japanese woman.)

(Barkley Fun Fact #3: Hans almost always plays female characters)

There was a clever, out-of-character comment made when Fujikawa and Miyamoto met.

Fujikawa: "It's a pleasure to meet you. Perhaps in 4000 years or so, our descendants will travel through space together."

Miyamoto: *Stunned a moment.* "That'd be lovely."

Mori Taheshi  (Will)

Our resident Samurai warrior, a Nobleman Bushi, and the only one of the groups number to be of rank and privilege (such as it is in this poor town). Taheshi-sama is a very serious young man with a lot on his plate. In addition to his duties as town 'sheriff', Mori is raising his 3 year old daughter, with the help of his sister-in-law. Mori married a commoner, much to the dismay of his family, and while a very strong woman physically, mentally and spiritually, she died in childbirth.

Exactly one month after the child was born, an evil spirit, some form of yokai, began to haunt the Mori household. Thanks to priests of Izanami, and eventually Shrine Maiden Miyamoto Kiwa, a blessing was placed on the home which protected those within. This did not stop the spirit from making moaning noises, whispering, or scratching at doors.

Mori Taheshi blames himself for this incident, but his reasoning is rather, odd. He believes he and his family are being punished for his turning away from the Samurai ways and marrying a Commoner woman. Also, it is possible the patron kami of his wife's family, a minor kami of the forge, and metalsmiths, is enacting revenge for taking the wife away from his relatives.

Shiro (Steve)

A young man of only 16 years of age, Shiro lives in a hovel in the woods with his old master, a wise man and soothsayer who has lived in or near the town for as long as anyone can remember. Rumor has it the man is a Shugenja sorcerer, but few actually believe this.

Shiro, as it turns of, is not just a 'wizard's apprentice', he is also not entirely Human. Fine, he isn't Human at all, expect periodically, when he feels like. Shiro is a Fox Hengeyokai. Quite different from the often mischievous and troublesome Kitsune spirit, Fox Henge are usually either helpful towards Humans, or largely try to ignore them.

Actually a Fox by nature that can become a Human, Shiro has proven a good natured opportunist. He is willing to do his part to help this curious group of people who, as it currently stands, are an excellent source of clean lodging, free food, and a chance to impress his Sensei, the wise man of the woods. OK, hermit. He's a hermit.

As of now, Shiro's specialty is magic in the Elemental School of Water.


The plan is for at least one additional PC to join the group. The often-mentioned Dave will be joining us with a Budoka, a wandering martial artist who wanders no longer. Now a simple fisherman, he seeks enlightenment and a path to his destiny in the small village where his mother was raised.

More on him another time...

I have so much to talk about this month.

Barking Alien


  1. Out of curiosity, what's their excuse for hanging out together?

  2. My recap of the sessions will explain that, but in a nutshell, Mori Taheshi is the town's sheriff, Miyamoto Kiwa is a Shinto Priestess assigned to his house and family (to protect it from a haunting), Shiro is a 'local' who lives just outside of town, and Dave's character (who have not yet appeared) is a fisherman who has lived on a small island just of the town's coast for the last few years. He trades and sells fish in town, and often breaks up fights in the tavern, and among the other fisherman.

    With the exception of the two wanderers, Fujikawa and Kitajima, all the PCs live and work in this town. And even the wanderers have reasons to be there, though not all have been revealed as of yet.