Man, things are good, bad and ugly in Rokugan. Here’s the highlights
Kaiu Ryo died in service to the Emperor. Trying to restore the balance of worshipers to the fortunes, his last effort was to defy the followers of Osono-Wo (and in doing so the Fortune himself). Lightning coursed through Ryo’s body as he was impaled by a Hida, imbuing both the Crab Bushi and the strange, all metal Yari that he was wielding a part of his soul. Spear dueling on top of a tower during a lightning storm. Awesome!
Kisada will march on the Lost to recover Castle Hiruma. The EXACT opposite direction Rei was trying to get him to go… only she was the one who sent him there. Damn her and her Contrary disadvantage. Plunge into darkness!
Shimizu, after convincing the Daidoji to hold off on their wartime efforts against the crab, met a Kenshinsen and dueled him standing on rocks in a river. The Kenshinsen whooped him, but it was a great duel, by far Shimizu’s hardest yet.
Tso-Lou finally, after years of wandering Rokugan with a horrible secret admitted his crime to the Kitsu. Surprisingly, the Kitsu offered his services to Tso-Lou to try and make amends. So he spoke with his mother, who took it very personally that Tso-Lou would seek to escape from him past and his ancestors. She tasked him to atone for his sins, that he must make Rei atone for hers. Yeah, good luck with that Otomo boy.
Washichi found some spider clan samurai and delivered their mail. He knew something was really wrong but he just couldn’t peg it, so he left the area, hoping for the best. And now he knows something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. The taint of Otosan Uchi spreads!
Finally Shiko was tasked with the minor conundrum of finding the soul of Shiba. The EFFING SOUL OF SHIBA MAN! He’s pretty sure it’s up in the heavens now, chilling with the fortunes and shining down in the constellation of Shiba Aikune, where’s it’s probably been during ALL of Mirabu’s rule.
Character death is pretty awesome. Omar’s got one up on me now. He’s onto his third character. If Rei didn’t have such a giant task on her hands (putting an emperor on the throne) I’d be jealous. But Rei, she’s made of awesome. Treacherous, dutiful, army marching awesome.
We had tough choices. What would we sacrifice to get what we wanted. When would we let something come down to a die roll. Who would we protect if given the choice. Shimizu may not have made it public, but we know he’s forsaken his marriage. One way or another, it’s over. Tso-Lou would rather grovel before Rei than give up his son. An interesting situation as Rei constantly (and proudly) battles with her ancestors, Tso-Lou tried to give up his, and yet he is the one that is so attached to his child. It will be fun to have this all come out when they talk.
I really felt like our characters were powerful in this game. Powerful enough that when big problems came up, we need to step up and take charge, even if we’re not sure what the hell we’re doing!
Rei let, hell she invited, Yasuki Jinn-Kuen to insinuate himself further into her life. She doesn’t really like him, or even trust him per se (mostly because he’s a merchant, not because she has any idea he’s Master Coin) but she believes she needs him. Someone’s got to feed all these soldiers! I like that she’s doing some horrible things that she knows are treasonous but believes she must do for the Empire, while she’s doing other horrible things that seem innocuous, and may be (in the end) even worse than her treason.
Freaking lighting Yari dueling! Supercharged with Osano-Wo
What could have improved
We lost a scene mid stride because of cross talk distracting Steve and Travis. It’s the trouble of a round robin game that when you’re not active in the scene. You can watch the scene in progress but if you interests carry you in other directions, it can really derail the game.