Topaz Magistrates

Clan War part 1
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Bells of the Dead Part III
The Quest to Clear Usagi Ozaki and the Hare Clan

The group follows the ghost of Hu Xiang for the better part of a day when it suddenly stops and disappears. There seems to be nothing around, but Yasuhiro’s sharps eyes and uncanny perception realize that they stand before an old fortress. Magic seems to have hidden it.

The group approaches the front gates and Yasuhiro knocks. The residents of the fortress do not take kindly to visitors and attack the group. It goes poorly for them.

The group makes it way into the fortress where they are trapped in a room with archers and murder holes. Yasuhiro channels the power of his Blaze tattoo and smashes the locked door and they escape, easily dispatching the archers.

They explore the fortress and find very little except for the storage room with various forms of poison. Much to Yasuhiro’s dismay he learns of the poison in the honey the hard way.

After much searching the group finds a secret tunnel leading into the mountain. They follow this tunnel and interrupt a ritual being performed which required the sacrifice of eight victims. Here they meet Daidoji Dajan and Asako Nakiro, leaders of this Kolat cell. Dajan explains that the ritual is nearly complete but they need the blood of a hero to finish it. It was nice of the group to show up to fill that need.

A fight breaks out and Dajan falls to Nori’s blade. Nakiro lets out a laugh and explains that even a dedicated Kolat member is a hero is his own mind. Dajan’s death as completed the ritual, freeing the oni that was possessing Nakiro.

This oni was affected by the power of the Bells of Hu Xiang. It normally was immune to all normal weapons, but ringing the bell left him slightly vulnerable.

In the end the oni was defeated, the eight victims freed, and the day was saved. One of the victims was Usagi Ozaki’s sister Usagi Tomoe.

The group returned to Yasuki Taka with the news and he was good to his word. He recanted his testimony claiming that Dajan was blackmailing him.

The Hare Clan were once again a legitimate Minor Clan.

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Bells of the Dead Part II
The Quest to Clear Usagi Ozaki and the Hare Clan

As the tsunami hits Friendly Traveler Village, everyone tries to find shelter. Some succeed, some don’t. People are taken into Yasuki Taka’s home and others pack into the inn. Some ride their horses onto the roof.

Winter, from the vantage point gained from the back of her horse on the roof of the inn, spots a small boat out in the harbor. She also sees that the tsunami is very localized, hitting only the area around the village. This is more than a little odd.

The group checks on Usagi Ozaki and are able to get one bit of information from him: “Fox has Hu Xiang.”

But before the group on act on this, another tsunami hits.

The group decides they need to get out to the boat in the harbor and they request the use of Taka’s Iron Turtle boat. They catch the boat and a fight ensues.

It is here they learn the fate of Kitsune Hamato and see the reappearance of Koda. Hamato is behind the tsunami attacks and Koda is in his employ. The group subdues the crew, kills Koda (again), and capture Hamato. Before they can learn much from Hamato, he collapses in pain and a small creature (obviously an oni) bursts from his chest. It looks like a small hairless fox. Before it can flee, Kyuzo smashes it with his tetsubo.

On the boat, the finds one of the 12 Bells of Hu Xiang.

They return to the monastery and use the bell to free Ozaki. They learn more on the bells and worry that a Shimushi Gaki (ghost with many faces) is loose.

The group along with Ozaki confronts Taka and he confesses to being a part of the conspiracy known as the Kolat. He lied about the Hare’s involvement with Maho because the Hare were already doomed and he saw an opportunity. Years ago, he saved a dying Phoenix shugenja who was involved with Maho — Asako Nakiro. He then blackmailed the Phoenix for years and used the money to build up the Yasuki holdings including Friendly Traveler Village. He agreed to denounce the Hare to remind Nakiro that he was still around and still knew what he was.

Taka asked the group to take care of his problem (Nakiro) and in return he would recant his testimony and help the Hare Clan clear their name and pay to rebuild what they had lost. The group and Ozaki agree.

The group sets out for the Shrine of Hu Xiang in the hopes of learning of Nakiro’s whereabouts.

After a few days of travel they reach the shrine and learn that all 12 bells were replaced with fakes and confront the priest at the shrine. They ring the bell and it like Hamato an oni bursts from his chest. This one looks like a huge fish with 12 mouths and tentacles that it uses for legs. This oni proves tougher than the last one, but the group prevails.

Then the ghost Hu Xiang appears before the group and tells them to follow him.

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Bells of the Dead Part I
The Quest to Clear Usagi Ozaki and the Hare Clan

The group finds itself traveling to Shiro Suzume, home of the Sparrow Clan. They meet with Emerald Magistrate Miya Katsu who asks them to track down Usagi Ozaki who has been accused of a crime that Katsu doesn’t believe he committed. They also agree to take Miya Sasame with them allowing her to map the areas of the Empire they visit.

The group learns of the 4 people who condemned the Hare Clan and on whose testimony the Clan was disbanded and destroyed. Toritaka Bonugi was found killed in his library. Kitsune Hamato has gone missing and is presumed dead. Daidoji Unoko and Yasuki Taka (head of the Yasuki family) are both believed to still be alive. They have reason to suspect that Ozaki has already or soon will visit them.

The group makes it to the Crab lands where they find Ozaki and the strange man Koda who attacks Ozaki. Koda is defeated, but Ozaki is comatose and seems to be possessed by a spirit of some kind.

The group travels to Traveling Peddler Village where there is a monastery that may be able to help Ozaki and happens to be where Taka is living.

Before they can do much there, a tsunami hits the village.

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The Haunting of Shiro Usagi

The Topaz Magistrates are reunited, though some could be considered worse for the wear.

Isawa Sora takes her quest to find information to free her grandfather’s spirit from Jigoku to the Imperial Capital where she finds Hida Kyuzo. Shinjo Winter is also near the capital as she is training with the Unicorn troops.

Nori, still reeling from the loss of his family and village is visited by Togashi Yasuhiro who bears a message for him. Shiro Usagi is haunted and the ghost needs their help. Having tried to save the Hare Clan, Nori feels a strong need to help. They travel to Otosan Uchi to get passage by boat to Ryoko Owari where they can travel overlans to the ruins of Shiro Usagi. They meet up with their friends at the capital.

The group travels to Ryoko Owari where they meet Miya Katsu who requests they visit him at Suzume Castle when they are able.

The group travels to Shiro Usagi and find a small village still remains. They meet Muso, a former Hare bushi. He explains what has transpired in the two years since the clan was dissolved.

They learn that Otu, the son of one of the village farmers, has seen the ghost(s), but his description doesn’t match what a ghost should look like. They learn that Otu is really the youngest son of the late Clan Champion Usagi Oda. The farmer Genko took in Otu to protect him.

The group investigates the ruins of the castle and find where people have been digging looking for who knows what. The ghost of Oda appears to Nori lamenting the loss of his sons and the clan sword. The group realizes that Oda means that his youngest son is in trouble, right now, and head back to the village.

A band of Scorpion ronin are attempting to kill Otu for telling others of the “ghosts” and the magistrates step in to stop them. When the dust settles, the Scorpion have been vanquished and Otu saved.

The Scorpion were looking for maho artifacts in the ruins and created the ghost story to keep people away. They didn’t realize there really was a ghost.

Having satisfied the Oda’s wishes, the group heads back to meet with Miya Katsu.

XP 3

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