Early the next morning the group gathered up their stuff, said goodbye to new acquaintances, friends and allies, and set off to Shiro Daidoji where they would meet up with a ship to sail down the coast to Yufuku na Heigen.
The next five days of travel thru the the Heigen Osari (Plains of the Crane Clan) were quiet and uneventfull. Although during this time a variety of topics was discussed each day and brought up by all the members of the party individually:
*Different training techniques used by the clans.
*The Carpenter Wall
*The merits and different kinds of hand to hand combat.
*Geishas. (Kitsu Kasai was very interested in this topic)
*What past accomplishments had each person performed.
*If anyone knew anything about “wolves running acroos water” (Akodo Akio had once seen a Dragon trained ronin dance across a river)
*Each individuals personal lineage.
*What traveling had each person done
*The current events affecting the Empire (like the possible upcoming Lion-Crane War)
*Oni (Hida was interested and more knowledgeable on this subject)
*The most impressive samurai that each person had had the honour of meeting.
*Feeling honor vs duty
*Unicorn Horses (Shinjo Luke was very smug on this one)
*The Tortoise clan and their role in the Empire.
*The use of tetsubo and other bludgening weapons within the Crab clan.
*How to improve his kenjutsu skills.
*The different breeds of horses in Rokugan.
*The significance of the color green in Rokugan.
*How scent travels along the wind.
*That sake is root of all evil.
*Ghost stories (Kitsu told a story about a family that was forced to dig a mout around their house and not go outside at night due to a haunting.)
*How to properly tie an obi
*How to pick the right play for an audience
*Most famous play per clan
*The variety of Scorpion clan stories.
On the evening of the 5th day they arrived at the Shiro Daidoji on the coast. Upon thier arrival in the vicinity a Daidoji informed Isawa that the ship had arrived and was awaiting them in order to get under way. The convoy quickly moved to the docks and preceded to board the barge that was to take them down the coast line. The horses on the other hand did NOT want to get on the barge. As Shinjo prepared to lead them aboard Isawa Masanori proceeded to TALK to them and persuade the horses to follow Shinjo. After this they quickly stored away all the horses and precious cargo the barge got under way. They were introduced to the Captain, Daidoji Kaito of House Hiramori, and his four Hiramori officers. The barge also had 25 hemin sailors and 10 bodyguards in light armor and naginatas. The bodyguards spend most of their time playing dice and looking bored.
The next morning the party woke up to find a storm brewing on the horizon and quickly moving towards. Also it seems that although Shiba loves the ocean and has no issue with sea sickness Isawa Masanori does. The shugenja has locked himself up in the most dry, dark and stable part of the ship and does not seem to be coming out. The rest of the party looks around the barge although Shinjo, also not a fan of the ocean apparently, decides to spend must of his time with the horses. Kitsu spend a lot of time staring out at the ocean and acting a little strangely.
As the afternoon progresses and the storm aproaches Kitsu seems even more preocupied. Finally he goes to everyone and tells them to keep their weapons on them. Everyone except Shinjo, who is busy keeping the horses calm, armors up and gathers up thier weapons. Akodo Akio questinos Kitsu more thoughly and Kitsu explains that he had a really bad feeling about something and thinks that someone is going to attack them that night.
Right after dinner the watchout calls out a warning. Three kobune were aproaching fast from behind. Over the next hour everyone watches as the 3 ships get closer and closer untill they are finally less then a mile away. At this point 2 of the kobune spread to either side and continue aproaching the barge as the third kobune hangs back. The two kobune come closer and closer untill they equal with the barge. Meanwhile Shinjo tries to get his steed to calm down and go back up the ramp to the top deck. Although he is successful in getting his steed to get calm and attempt the ramp, the mount and rider are unable to navigate it together and Shinjo is forced to leave his steed down below unless he risk injuring him in further atempts. As Shinjo aproaches the top deck he is joined by Shiba and 5 of the Tortises (the remaining 7 stay below to safeguard the scrolls). When they reach the top the captain tells them that he and his men will take the right so therefore the party should take the left.
The group moves close to the side railing and arrange themselves as follows: in the center is Hida with his naginata and heavy armor, flanking him on the right and left is Akodo with his No-Dachi drawn and ready and Kakita preparing for that deadly first strike. To the left of Kakita is Shiba preparing to defend his charge. Behind Akodo is Kitsu who asks if Akodo is prepared to fight by his side. Kitsu had taken the time to summon a couple ancestors and now stood with both wakizashi and katana drawn in the Mirumoto bushi style. To his right stood Shosuro with her katana. About 15 ft behind Hida stood Shinjo with his Dai-Kyu ready. One of the Tortoise arrange themselves to the right of Akodo while the other four arrange themselves behind and to the left of Shiba.
As the defenders position themselves the two kabune draw closer and closer. Once they are close enough they wait till the barge is at the bottom of the swell and surge together and slam against each side of the barge. Most of the group keeps their balance except Akodo and Shosuro who stumble a bit. At this point 15 men from each boat leap over to the barge and prepare to do battle with the defenders. As quickly as they had come the two kabune separate and fall back slightly behind the barge. Among the attackers on the left side were 5 ronin in light armor armed with katanas and 10 unarmored assailants wielding bo staffs. The ronin in the center in front of Hida, and obviously their leader, is using the Mirumoto dual style and has a long green scarf.
DM NOTE: UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE BATTLES WILL BE BULLET-POINTED. IF SOMEONE (INCLUDING MY OWN LAZY BUT) WOULD LIKE TO NARRATE THEM PLEASE FELL FREE TO AND I WILL RE-POST!
Shinjo: Arrow thru chest of captain dropping him (1 raise)
Kakita: Slashes and downs opponent in front of her (1 raise)
Hida: Finished captain with quick stab and twist.
Shosuro: Attacks and downs minion moving to attack Shinjo.
Kitsu: WAS going to attack captain but already dead.
Akodo:WAS going to attack captain but already dead.
Shiba: Defends attack from and attacks ronin in front of him
Ronin: 1 attack Shiba, 2 (1 hits) attack Akodo, 2 downed.
Minions: 2 move and attack Shinjo (1 downed by Shosuro), 1 attacks Shiba, rest engage Tortoise
Tortoise: Engage minions.
Kakita: Charges across boat and downs minion attacking Shinjo.
Shinjo: Finishes his attacker.
Shosuro: Goes to defend Shinjo.
Hida: Uses void point and punches and drops one of the ronin (right) attacking Akodo.
Kitsu: Attempts to attack ronin attacking Akodo but misses.
Akodo: Is dazed by Hida’s “Touch of the Void” (ToV)
Shiba: Finishes opponent in front of him.
Ronin: 1 is finished by Shiba, 1 dropped by Hida, 1 attacks (miss) Akodo.
Minions: Engage Tortoise.
Tortoise: Engage minions.
Kakita: Runs back across the deck and slashes opponent attacking Akodo and drops him.
Shinjo: Arrows one of the last minions engaging the Tortoise.
Shosuro: Stands and defends Shinjo.
Kitsu: Was going to attack last ronin but does not feel its honorable to finish him off.
Akodo: Was going to attack last ronin but does not feel its honorable to finish him off.
Hida: Finishes just now dropped by Kakita.
Shiba: Finishes the one previously dropped by Kakita.
Ronin: All dropped or dead
Minions: Defeated by Tortoise
Tortoise: Defeat Minions.
As they finish the last minions off they look behind them and see that the barge captain and his officers along with the barge’s bodyguards have eliminated their opponents although 2 of the bodyguards are down and 2 officers are injured.
What will the party do with the living ronin? And the kabunes?