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Occult Murders

Chapter 2 of “The Soul of Iuchiban”

A One Round Low-Rank
Living Rokugan Tournament

by Robert Hobart

A rash of murders and disappearances plague the lands of the Miya, the Emperor’s peacemakers and
heralds. You have been summoned to bring an end to the problem.

LEGEND OF THE FIVE RINGS and RPGA are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast,
Inc. Scenario detail copyright 2001 by Wizards of the Coast, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

This scenario is intended for tournament use only and may not be reproduced without approval
of the RPGA Network.

<Title> <Round #> Page 2

then this denotes a entire packet. as have proven that Iuchiban’s soul can. so voting is required for multi-round adventures. It is set in an age of honorable samurai. The game master rates the scenario and China. you may present it as written to the players. of Ranks 3 to 5. and GM's Information gender at the top. Remember does not rate the players as a team or vote for that family names come before personal names. This makes it easier for the players to This adventure should not be run cold!!! keep track of who is playing which character. including voting for best player. or when the adventure is run in tournament needs. This method is used when the money. “The Falling Darkness” and concludes at GenCon 2002 with “Fate of a Hantei. Multi-round merchandise is an exchange of “gifts. while other text is for your eyes only. be about three hours. There will also be Low-Mid Rank 2. in fact. or the game master wants feedback on A note on female designations: If a samurai has the his or her own performance. be freed some of the text is general and must be adapted to the from the tomb where he has been imprisoned for so specific situation or to actions of the player characters. No-vote scoring: The players write their names and anticipate what these characters may bring to the table.” adventures usually required advancing a smaller number of players than played the first round. designation of –ko. but the convention coordinator wants is Toturi. Akodo players.) and the scenario on their player voting sheet. information as to how the game masters are performing. then the samurai is a female. but don’t vote for The world of Rokugan is a cross between feudal Japan other players. if you see Samurai-ko. numbers on the scoring packet grid. It is a good idea to ask each player to put a name tag in front of him or her.” Although it is not necessary for The players are free to use the game rules to learn about the players to have participated in other events of the equipment and weapons their characters are carrying. For 3.This is a RPGA Network adventure game. This (Low Rank is characters of Ranks 1 or 2. long. so that you are not influenced by their comments Iuchiban” story arc which began at GenCon 2001 with on your abilities. When using Voting. Consult your that only Rank 1 and Rank 2 characters should be convention coordinator to determine which method to allowed to play. especially minutes for voting. but serving their Lords (Daimyos) and Empire. Scrolls stolen a bold italics. be sure to allow about 15-20 minutes for the players to briefly describe their A note on commerce in Rokugan: Samurai are not characters to the other players. rank the players in order of Adventure Background your voting choice while they are completing their This adventure is the second chapter of the “Soul of forms. Now the Cult is gathering all its strength in preparation for an attempt to do just that. but the actual playing time will rulebook. That is all. Occult Murders Page 3 . and completes personal and event information. This adventure was not written with use: Rank 3 through 5 characters in mind and cannot 1. It is strongly recommended that you few months ago from the strongholds of the Phoenix paraphrase the player text. you will time block has been allocated for playing the game (or need to be familiar with the Legend of the Five Rings this round of the game). Scoring the game for RPGA points: The RPGA This adventure is a Low Rank adventure. The tag should have the player's name at the bottom. instead of reading it aloud. you fill in the top of the grid. a concession to the commoner’s silly them. story arc in order to play this one. and provide personal information. and the character's name. This method is used when there is no Toturi is from the Akodo family and his personal name competition. and about 5-10 supposed to care about worldly possessions. This means has three ways to score this game. Text for the players will be in The Bloodspeaker Cult is on the move. Between samurai. Voting: Players and game masters complete the example. Mid Rank is method is used for people who are just playing for characters of Ranks 2 or 3. method is used. No one is rated. Partial scoring: The players rate the game master adventures. A samurai pays a commoner as if the money is players want to know who played the best amongst meaningless. If this female samurai. race. the exchange of money and format with winners and prizes. their enjoyment will Some of the text in this scenario is written so that probably be enhanced if they have done so. and High Rank is characters fun. A four-hour In addition to the text of the adventure below.

the Imperial heralds and severe has the problem become that I was forced to cut peacemakers. Emperor’s heralds and peacemakers. TN 15 notice a scowl briefly cross the face of Miya Satoshi. Because these are the lands of the Miya. The amulet was storm-wracked expanse of the Plains of Thunder. Ahead lies the humble two-story castle of the the beloved Emperor. PCs who roll Simple Perception at joining you in answer to the Miya’s summons. apparently task. Servants take your mounts and lead you to a bath- The cult has been using the Amulet to learn both the house. In the process they have audience. in the guise of a monk. “Unfortunately. He spends most of the conversation sitting silently. Miya poor family in rooting out the criminals responsible for Yoto. possesses an no Soshi and the Unicorn Clan’s Shiro Iuchi. an almost Miya Yoto. lies the vast enhanced with blood sacrifice. the Cult’s local cell has been Mountains. Ronin PCs have come in response to an offer of these atrocities. snowflakes still blowing from Yoto explains the situation. He still and get into the spirit of things before proceeding to the lives here. beyond the small Miya territories. To the Obsidian Amulet whose divinatory powers can be south. Seated behind him is a much The Miya have requested help from the rest of the younger man. the imperial capital. who was Miya fostered to the Matsu family and has only recently returned to Miya lands. clean garments before your Uchi. Yoto can impart the following information: Occult Murders Page 4 . As you draw rein in the castle our family has never been one for fighting or enforcing gates and shake the snow from your shoulders. skies the color of dirty silk. Even on the pale. shugenja named Aguchi betrayed his oaths. observing the PCs with It is the twenty-eighth day of the Month of Bayushi (the carefully concealed hostility. PCs can roll Intelligence+Heraldry (or an appropriate Part 1: Arrival at Kyuden Lore skill. where you are able to cleanse the dirt of travel location of Iuchiban’s tomb and the defenses of Otosan and change to fresh. “In the last few months. the aged daimyo of the Miya family. the Miya lands are In the lands of the Miya family. bitter end of a long short my sojourn at the Emperor’s Winter Court and winter.” At this point. and Thankfully. the Miya lands are beautiful. midway between the Scorpion Clan’s Shiro particularly active.) acknowledge your bows.” employment – the Miya family are well known as good and generous patrons to Ronin. originally the property of the Scorpion Clan. at the local next scene. the effort which return here to see to the protection of my subjects. the local authorities you in a small audience chamber. Snow dapples the manes of beginning in the autumn. Few Clans. and brought the amulet here. “I have asked those daimyo who know only that their presence represents the repayment are my friends to dispatch trusted samurai to assist my of a favor their lord owed to the Miya daimyo. the Son of Heaven was most field into an aesthetically pleasing symmetry is clearly understanding. but a Yogo . (It doesn’t through his thick white beard and nods politely to help that one of the Miya samurai is himself a cultist. Hantei XXXVIII. such as Miya or Imperial Families) at TN 20 to recognize Miya Yoto’s son Satoshi. The old man smiles lack the strength to deal with the problem. Miya family daimyo. February. Month of the Hare. the smallest of the three located on the southern slope of the Spine of the World Imperial families. a made numerous human sacrifices. Finally you are led into the castle proper. although it passes so quickly they cannot be Clan PCs have been sent here by their daimyo. a rash of murders and your shaggy Rokugani ponies as you ride through the disappearances has plagued our family’s lands. handsome in a fierce. The cult leader. their peasants put into sculpting every slope. would willingly refuse the needs of the that somehow seems cold. and remembrances of generations of Miya. Peace and spreading the Emperor’s word is our that several other samurai are arriving. The fading end of winter. you see the law. intent way. copse. So lands of the Miya family. joined the Allow the players a chance to introduce their characters Bloodspeakers.” He inclines his head at the mention of visible. Chio. awaits completely non-militaristic family. in the common usage). I am glad you have arrived so quickly. glittering brightly as he greets you with a ready smile after all. If anyone asks where they are. and sure they really saw it. monastery. a rash of murders small but excellent place decorated with the artwork and disappearances that is terrifying the local peasants. and their call has brought the PCs. his eyes Empire.

as a Shisha (Herald). a garden. not to mention the humiliation The House of Miya Takozawa and dishonor in failing to fulfill his duty to protect his subjects. and a small stable. penetrating voice while his young wife sits red-eyed and silent Occult Murders Page 5 . Crane. which was the event that a disapproving eye on those who promote or condone finally prompted Yoto to seek help. However. servants’ around the area and show them the various crime quarters. such as Phoenix. the peace. a young samurai of the Miya small territories of the Miya. she gets along famously with peaceful clans assault. Normally Yoto would rely on his friend Koan. the PCs’ investigations. they are admitted to the house. and carries no weapons. but have had no luck. It has been marked in those front door and takes their names and business. violence. travel the Empire spreading the Emperor’s word and • Most of the murders took place in one incident bringing an end to conflicts and violence. It appears the victims were foolishness. house is a typical samurai dwelling.• In the last four months. and have been unable Investigations to investigate the crime scenes in that fashion. the victims stabbed and beaten to death in Kotomi will immediately step in and try to end such a most brutal fashion. deceptively delicate by the loss of his child. • Most of the victims were peasants. after a locations where crimes have been worst. village and the clues which can be found with each one. On the law enforcement) were murdered in a single other hand. and describes the cultists located at the various villages. last Kotomi is a woman fiercely dedicated to the traditional month a samurai’s child was abducted. (a front “public” gate and a smaller side gate for servants) surrounds the entire complex. It was news Miya goals of peace and harmony. but again. and there may be still more which have not Miya Takozawa is a pleasant-faced young man. and answers questions in a soft young woman with a plain face and intent. His map showing the locations of the worst crimes. violence (especially Matsu and Crab) and will try to including a doshin (armed peasant. charged with enlighten them about their misguided ways. Kotomi turns about twenty days ago. to lead the PCs building of a half-dozen rooms. • The Miya have no shugenja. Yoto fears next year’s Mujitsu Village: harvest is in danger. This is unprecedented – in the past it only a fan and a small pouch of money and personal was a rare year when even a single murder tainted belongings. but Yoto will wait of a few minutes. “They are Handout #2. from the Miya school of peacemakers who stay at Winter Court and return. and several others vanished. A polite The MAP of Miya lands is located in the back of the middle-aged servant named Goshu meets PCs at the scenario (Map #1). She is a trained of this crime that prompted Yoto to break short his Shisha. there have been six eyes. a large one-story along with a guide. • The handful of Miya samurai have tried to search (A master list of all the cultists may be found on for the killers. Four people. If inter-party • The four murders were committed with great conflict ever threatens to disrupt the investigation. he is clearly still shaken The proffered guide is a small. Yoto will provide a family. • Many of the peasants are terrified. A gentle fellow. and some from Tenraku Village have even fled the region despite the laws against their travel. caution the PCs that other villages have also reported incidents. but Koan is absent This section describes the various villages on the map on a pilgrimage of learning and may not return for of Miya lands. who resides on the edge of Mujitsu Village. berating the PCs for letting their tempers killed trying to stop the kidnappers. trained been reported. Yoto is sure the Part 2: Locations and crimes are all connected.) The subsequent section (“Consequences greatly unaccustomed to such things. Miya Kotomi. She dresses in a practical traveling kimono murders and at least fifteen disappearances in the inscribed with the Miya mon. a ronin shugenja of great power. out of fear or error. A low wall with two gates scenes. The missing samurai child was taken from the residence • The incidents have been scattered throughout the of Miya Takozawa. great violence was used. • The other two murders were isolated incidents. outlines the crimes committed in each some time. and Sparrow.” Yoto and Confrontations”) describes some possible results of explains regretfully. who has only recently become master of this household (his father having retired to a Miya Kotomi monastery). interfere with their mission. Miya lands.

His family (which includes his son. However. while sculpted artistically into the hills. and Water elements present in the taken (if the PCs think to ask) was southwest. If a PC mentions the silk deliveries If the PCs question Yopparai’s family. they can get a visual image of a pretty young woman in a quality Danshou Village kimono (the garment of a successful commoner) offering the boy a piece of candy and then leading him A medium-sized village of about 150 residents. “That’s right. or whether there were any visitors. backwater village. they can Danshou is a cheerful place. they will get the on the day of the abduction. “Mm. if they interrogate the shugenja. Order is three years old. Even the recent crime wave has done her. a place where servants here are part of the cult. “We can barely pay our weavery. a • He was last seen playing in the house garden. noble samurai. dragged away by “two men. No. couldn’t expect to cheat the Fortunes forever) until they that she was. She must work for the silk and his irresponsible behavior. full of friendly roll Intelligence+Investigation at TN 10 to recognize conversation. I’m past the discovered. he simply didn’t come out to the fields to work • If the PCs specifically ask the regular servants or one morning. clearly meager. The peasants look startled and kidnapper was the samurai-hating Yuri of Jouzousho alarmed at a visit from strange samurai. will cooperate with the was gone. I don’t think she’d been here before. and “a woman” gave Water spirits are too localized for the PCs to find the the boy something and then led him out the servant’s correct ones). looking quite alarmed that their humble village • If the PCs ask whether anything was happening has attracted such attention from samurai. he Gobo and the headman. geisha house”) in the area a couple of times prior to the abduction. he vaguely recalls seeing one. Only the garden in abundance. beaten. and the actual few travelers ever come. are The following information is available from Takozawa. he isn’t. more roundabout version. Mikaihatsu Village which may encourage the PCs to suspect Goshu is involved in the crime. Toku. and mention a pretty young really misses Yopparai – if all the cult’s victims were maiden. they of course find nothing – it was two Interrogating the Elements: If the PCs have a months ago. they might never have been there was a young woman with them. The surrounding rice fields. barely enough to support this place. PCs. behaving suspiciously. maintained by a single doshin (armed peasant). souse. and successful Raises (since the event was some time ago). age where I notice such things.” The direction he was There are Earth. the sort as usually gets sold to a heard rumors of disappearances in other.behind him. great samurai. if they see her after this.” No one in the village deliveries that day. (In fact. they can question the elements in the garden Air spirits of the area with two successful Raises. these sorts of people. This will require two get a brief account of a “man” set upon. and later in the afternoon a the disappearance three months ago of an old farmer small shipment of silk came in from Jouzousho named Yopparai (“Drunkard”) who was a notorious Village (which has the local silk works). All the elements can report that “a Air spirits can provide this information (Earth and boy” was playing in the garden. they about the boy’s disappearance. and three grandchildren) assumed he whether they noticed anyone lurking around or was sleeping it off in a ditch. none of the This is clearly a tiny. thickheaded but well-meaning young man named Gobo. a few of them will recall The village chalked it up to fate (an old drunkard seeing a strange peasant maiden (“a real pretty one. gate. and was Mikaihatsu has barely fifty residents. When his mother went to fetch him for dinner. If they have seen Yuri before. Air. servants blinks in remembrance. to answer many of the PCs questions. Goshu. that day. Goshu recalls that a delivery of foodstuffs came from the The two peasants explain that the sole mystery here was village earlier that day. the local peasants (not the samurai or Goshu) daughter-in-law. she complete with many tales of Yopparai’s drunken habits was here that day too. and the other servants: • The child was named Urashii (Happy). after all. larger villages. the roll to identify her little to suppress the light-hearted spirits of the peasants from their memories of the spirit’s image is TN 15. but he never came back. and then he would waste all • If the PCs ask Goshu about the specifics of the our money on cheap shochu. out by the hand. and many of Village) them hurry inside their huts. Occult Murders Page 6 .” If the PCs search the area for signs of Yopparai or his abduction. yes. one of the house same story in a longer. He will rely on Goshu. If the PCs interrogate the Water spirits. No one heard him cry out.” taxes as it is. his major-domo and head servant.

and asked why Bondo’s weapon. The first victim was a child. heated water PCs search carefully (and make a Perception+ for him to bathe. probably over 200 people. but everywhere he was turned away as alone. “What more can we ask for?” the wise can learn that it belongs to an “older man” with no hair peasant said. a five-year-old named a tea house. however. and none of was a samurai (or at least looked like one).here. and discussing them is just about the only thing that can bring the This is a large village.” And it never (Bondo. so peaceful is the village. despite their poor harvest. he placed a blessing upon the village: If the PCs question the spirits in and around the hut. Danshou’s upbeat nature stems in part from a the local monastery). Tracks have been obliterated by time. At the time. They had little food. “So long as you meet all the Fortunes present you with they can get descriptions (and visuals. discovering the jitte will give the PCs All else is distraction.” The monk was deeply a reason to interrogate all the local doshin. although no one recalls it now – he was so struggle. “Why should we not be happy? None can on his head. The husband explained that his wife and children were all alive and healthy. approach and prostrate small statuette of Inari that was given to him by a monk themselves before you. As you walk up the main him. His absence was noticed when he failed to show an untrustworthy vagabond. As one might expect. when he reached up for the festival of the New Year on the fourth day of our village – which had a different name then. not from that day to this. been two Aian Village disappearances in Danshou Village. great samurai. It will be clear from the visuals. which he lost during the struggle. large family. However. Once. great samurai. Occult Murders Page 7 . local legend. but if the shared their food with him nonetheless. spirits in the jitte (it contains only Earth spirits) they even if only just. He had traveled long. and a merchant’s shop. Miya Kuboti. impressed by their good spirits. If a PC interrogates the was enough food to see them all through the winter. and assumed he had either gotten lost or been street you glimpse tense peasant faces peering from taken by a wild animal. and it had been a poor If the PCs search Jakunen’s hut. If the PCs the locals are even aware that a cult exists. Finally. despite The jitte is a peasant weapon and is habitually used by many illnesses and injuries which had plagued them doshin (peasant law-enforcement) as a way of non- through the year. our village had just finished the rice harvest. and the stains of daughters who married into other families – rather than the road covered his robes. here. and his children were all humble village. Any of the villagers will be eager to The other disappearance. an aura of fear and unease villagers searched for the child but could find no sign of seems to hang over this place. and the family evidence of a struggle. the appearance of prosperity. If the PCs speak with Chiisai’s shuttered windows. abducting poor old Jakunen. The monk was amazed to see how happy the lying half-covered by an overturned basket. or from descriptions that the spirits provide. you spot two samurai residences on the outskirts as you approach. As it happened. much more recent (less than recount the tale: three weeks ago) was Jakunen. despite the during the rice harvest last autumn. and Nigai from Aian village) has. a strange monk came to our Jakunen’s wife died long ago. There are ask. they do indeed find one. despite collectors had taken much of the modest crop. a man who lives in a village to the east of desire more than that their loved ones be safe and well. He knocked on the door of a hut. so the villagers reported the crime to the weary and cold that all he desired was a place to shelter authorities. and your harvest will never falter. In any case. and when he departed the next morning. but they his age. The center of the town boasts a black smithy. they will mention that he always carried a clutching jo staffs and jitte. all advertised with Chiisai who vanished when he ran off in the fields crude but vigorous signs. and gave him a warm place to sleep by Investigation roll at TN 15) they notice a broken jitte the fire. Investigation of his hut showed signs of samurai. This was family was. He had stopped at many be a burden on them. for the tax and broken pottery – Jakunen did not go quietly. if they question good cheer. There have. the blessing of Unari will be upon this the Water spirits in the damp earth) of three cultists place. a kindly old man who lived alone in a small hut on the village’s edge. who welcome the PCs with smiles and offers of passing through the village (probably a monk visiting help. and locals down from their cheerful nature. Jakunen was taken away to the southeast. great this month. including overturned furnishings there admitted him. from the rain while he slept. in this happy place the that two of the abductors were peasants while the third Bloodspeaker Cult has made no inroads. he chose to stay in his own hut other villages. they kept such good cheer. and while the harvest was poor there lethally disarming samurai. not even any doshin (armed peasants) here. Two anxious-looking peasants.

Bondo the doshin. can be invoked with two Raises. Moto bushi). busy with their own hut.g. There is some Taint evening. This suggests a woman’s kimono. (armed peasants). It happened two months ago. that night when he stopped. He never spirits on the site as well. and his family. but he had come alone instead the night of the disappearances. probably trying to sweet-talk the serving spirits here. no one heard or saw anything strange didn’t stay that late. will sense a very faint residue of it in the ashes. blurry image of the assault. a tough young man obviously strange about the ashes (if the PCs named Kou who was coming home late from the examine them) but they do carry some residual teahouse.” The Water spirits here young man returning from a visit to a neighboring arrived after the incident. that they were invoked by “the shaven-headed man. the tearful maids remark that he usually • Strangely. His body was found in a ditch on the Taint from the spell used to kill Kou. The doshin will show the PCs to the house • If the PCs ask about Kou’s last night at the if they wish. as though his whole body was • If the PCs examine the place where Kou’s body bathed in flame at once. There is nothing employee at the black smithy. (The cultists used of with his friend Nigai. There are residual Fire farm where he was courting a maiden. Witch Hunters. It must have been magic. or Perception+Investigation at TN 20. and Kuboti. • The murder took place on the same night as the • Kou’s body was cremated and the ashes placed in assault on the headman’s house. Yuri from the sake works. and their young and will provide a dark. they found a place torn up by PCs. but two sets are in there has been one murder here. If the PCs search identify their owner as “a woman” who lives in the the ground around the hut. The spirits in the cloth can (the villagers regard it as cursed).” Other clues and information that the PCs can learn here • The cloth. they marks. and four sandals. Kozo and hut by six people: their descriptions match Miya Mukitsu are obviously frightened by the situation. great samurai. If the PCs invoke the Air or Earth teahouse. which are imprisoned in The doshin can provide the following information: the frozen mud. the village doshin weather was warmer on the night of the abduction). were forced by magic to dampen the sounds around the hut. and other signs of struggle.” Neither of carpenter (see Handout #2 for physical descriptions them has ever had to deal with anything worse than the of these NPCs).) him into going home at a more reasonable hour. they can get descriptions of an assault on the affairs. daughter all vanished on the same night fifteen PCs who roll Perception+Investigation at TN 25 days ago. among which was the local headman who was missing his left big toe. to notice some Occult Murders Page 8 . who usually could talk magic to cloak themselves. covered in strange burn detect Taint (e. When the doshin searched the route kansen and will not willingly cooperate with the between the two huts. The Air spirits can report that they occasional peasant family quarrel or drunken samurai. they discover the ground is scorched • If the PCs ask what Kou was doing earlier in the and that snow melts upon it. One of the bare prints came from a man disappearances. either a scuff marks. Aian village lives in a state of fear – Most of the prints are barefoot. house. The victim was an an urn behind his house. The Water spirits. they can roll “place of rotting rice.” Perception+Hunting at TN 15. pattern. and some scraps of cloth. and was a struck down by “dirty fire. shouted (in the • There has been one other disappearance in the direction of the headman’s hut). noble samurai. was are as follows: torn from a good quality kimono. but they are Tainted made it home. can catch recognizable glimpses of Nigai and Miya • There were obvious signs of struggle in their Kuboti. footprints in the frozen mud around the hut (the The two men are Kozo and Mukitsu. They still with four Raises will be able to force them to admit have the cloth. dyed in a flower • The headman’s hut contains tumbled furnishings. teahouse. Asai practically fall all over themselves in their haste to hand the monk. No one samurai or a non-peasant commoner (it is from one has visited the hut in the time since the abductions of Yuri’s kimono). his wife. which was found in Kou’s hand. a shugenja who can manage a Commune spell a struggle. they can learn that Kou was walking maids (a frequent activity). and Chu the the problem over to “brave. if the PCs can outskirts of the village. The doshin describe them as “unnatural. have largely ignored the problem). and then was village. the doshin say that he was drinking at the here as well.” was found. • The headman Shidou. Nigai the laborer. The doshin are the only remaining local • If the PCs interrogate the spirits in and around the authority (the outlying samurai.

has shaken Nigai’s dedication to the Bloodspeaker cause. because other jitte was stolen and lost by a neighbor child (a he carried jitte (peasant weapons). monastery. he will allows the three doshin to handle any problems. There is also another large glory. is Village. who lives in the PCs who have seen Nigai in Water-spirit visions (here. He does not know the samurai’s name. a thirteen-year-old boy who also works there has never been allowed to attend the meetings – and is secretly Yuri’s lover. and one and a tonfa (club). Miya Zusan. Sabishii. insisting he was home sleeping that night The doshin. at Danshou village. one a young man and Tenraku Village last month. cautiously approach of the headman’s family in his own village. while Bondo carries only • He knows only a few names: Bondo. and so dedicated men who are well over their heads trying to forth. Koujou Village.The Cultist: Jouzousho Village There is a cultist in Aian Village. loudly declaring his innocence. and the and bow to you. in a small hut near the teahouse). found out and killed if he does so. he sincerely denies it. because when they abducted the headman’s family a man helped them who looked If the PCs ask about jitte. or about Rokugan. Shin. elsewhere) they can roll Perception+Hunting at TN 20 • Last year the cult only made two sacrifices. Occult Murders Page 9 . Yuri. (If the PCs ask the child.) can recognize him with a Simple Intelligence roll at TN 10. all” – the Rokugani equivalent of career beat cops. Law is enforced by a trio of doshin (armed peasants) who report to a samurai. large house outside the village. aloof woman trapped in the classic If the PCs speak to Nigai about the death of his friend loveless political marriage that is the norm for Kou. and you can always envied the samurai who visit the teahouse. about why he wasn’t with Kou that night. If the PCs have been they don’t trust him that much. breaks down and confesses. if asked. a bristly-haired. He thinks there is also a cultist in the a clever cultist. he has developed doubts structure. crimes he has committed. become very anxious and nervous. all appear to be (he lives alone. The slaughter of the family in Three doshin (armed peasants). He doesn’t know why. and • There is a samurai in the cult as well. clearly a business of some sort. If they have only Miya Zusan is a dissolute man who spends his time in verbal descriptions from other (non-Water) spirits. barely old enough to be considered an adult. Nigai resents this – keeping an eye out for beautiful peasant girls (as a he thinks (rightly) that the rest of the cult regards result of the evidence they gained in Mujitsu Village or him as stupid and unreliable. however. He claims. they his residence drinking. this is genuine. and have What Nigai knows: a world-weary air about them of men who have “seen it • There are cultists in Aian Village (himself). In Jouzousho Village. beautiful young woman working at the sake brewery.) and to assault the headman’s hut). winter they’ve suddenly been making many. He and Ota. His actual wife. but guesses he is a Miya Besides Bondo. Zusan generally ignores the village and the disappearance of the headman’s family. and Bondo. and he has his mother says he was playing in the house that day worked with the samurai twice (to abduct Jakunen and never left her sight. doubts made worse by the large samurai dwelling on the far side of the place. failing that. is a cold. slightly stupid man named Nigai who works days at the This large. reading poetry. that his Chu. and Tenraku the case of Matsui. murder of his friend Kou. but this to notice Yuri at the brewery. Bondo balding as well. followed by the abduction the other two well into middle age. Matsui. but fears he will be brewery supplies much of the sake for the Miya lands. He is now seriously Jouzousho has over 200 residents. himself with his geisha concubine. prosperous-looking village is located teahouse as a handy man and general laborer. etc. a – at least he dresses like them. Matsui and Bondo are both older. however. and the town’s sake considering trying to leave the cult. If the PCs press him closely he will try to bolt. Shin is a young man. Nigai has squarely on the road to Kyuden Miya. Shin and Matsui carry a pair like a monk. there are two other cultists here: Yuri. of the disarming weapons. many more. Bondo. • The cult meets in the mill in Koujou Village. and easily spot both an inn and a geisha house to cater to the was recruited by the cult with promises of power and needs of visiting samurai. lie). You can see a and fears about the cult. or deal with the Bloodspeaker cult. He thinks Bondo must be a doshin. Since joining. and indulging will need to roll TN 20.

they can learn it was written by “a abduct him. Awareness).There have been three disappearances here. she admits that visual images from the Water spirits. Hana (“Flower”). then denies everything if caught. not even her treasured personal belongings. woman who believes that Hana ran away. speaks in distressed roll Perception+Investigation at TN 15 to notice the tones about the expense of having his business cleansed thirteen-year-old boy Ota listening in with an angry and purified after the incident. they will be Noroi was pursuing her. She confesses that the to live with some samurai lover. but could learn nothing and used it to kill “the man. a Lore skill at TN 20.” then remembers she is speaking to spirits are available) with at least two Raises. thirty-three days ago. Sui. back. away. a • If the PCs question Yuri about Noroi. The second disappearance: The victim this time • If the PCs Commune with the spirits in the knife was a geisha. but isn’t quite so sure. Spotted. He still has it. and one garments.” conclusive. he claims to know nothing about • If the PCs question other employees at the brewery. found in the building stabbed to death one morning Awareness+Acting. • Ota will angrily deny any involvement in the • The madam will admit that Hana took nothing with murder. the boy who delivers sake to the house from their son has changed. they can roll Perception+Investigation at TN Occult Murders Page 10 . have them pudgy merchant named Akogi. but she didn’t make the connection. who disappeared from (Earth only). but any PC who rolls Intelligence+Calligraphy at TN 15. is a sour old will eventually be able to track it to Ota’s mother. they learn it belonged to “a woman” the local geisha house seven weeks ago. murder. Hana’s disappearance. the letter (under a tree at the edge of the village). “Joufu never did have any tact with Perception+Investigation at TN 20 to find a letter women. She has no idea where he was Perception roll at TN 20. Bondo was on duty that night. (A lie.” If the PCs have not already questioned folded and hidden away beneath Hana’s spare Ota. going that night. to be from a samurai. she remarks angrily that they find no physical evidence. Matsui is inclined to as well. The letter purports investigate. Bondo and who used it to cut vegetables. The PCs can roll remarks. they • The madam of the geisha house. • Shin found the murder weapon. the brewery. and Water sake brewery. tossed in a corner of the sake works. he will try to run crime. he actually helped spirits only).) woman” (Yuri) and was brought to the geisha • If the PCs speak with Noroi’s family.) they will mention that Joufu often spoke with Yuri. He was quite aggressive chamber (she has not yet purchased a replacement in his actions. Questioned further on this. • If the PCs ask to search Hana’s room. or a suitable The first disappearance: The victim was Noroi. Earth. Bondo (of course) knife disappeared at around the same time as the supports this theory. can tell that the writing is too somewhat clueless young peasant who left his house to plain and direct for any samurai (save perhaps a go for a walk one night last autumn and never came Crab). but the PCs can easily see through his lies her. Sui will telling her she should marry him rather than grumble but eventually show them to the small continuing to work here. become sullen and strange. and says she never saw him. and searched for • If the PCs interrogate the spirits in the letter (Earth the man. Shin investigated this expression on his face. If the PCs question Ota year. a cooking knife. but claims she wasn’t able to see the two attackers clearly with a Simple encouraging him. sister will tell them she thinks Noroi’s “walk” was • If the PCs go to the rendezvous site mentioned in actually supposed to be a visit to a woman. was Contested roll of Perception vs. Then a “boy” took it Matsui investigated the report. If carried off by two men (Chu and Asai). they can potentially learn a great deal. one worker shakes his head and for Hana). Joufu. themselves. • Matsui will mention that Hana was friends with • If the PCs question Ota’s family. as the PCs can determine with a The murder: A sake brewery employee. (A lie. can gain a description of Hana being ambushed and • Noroi was trying to court Yuri at the sake works. • If the PCs question the locals about the knife. with a Contested roll (Perception vs. probably an ordinary peasant woman. If they get the PCs question Yuri about this. his younger house by “a boy” (Ota). but found nothing. This is all lies. they admit that Ota. they samurai and cringes in terrified embarrassment. The manager of the brewery. Depending on how the PCs choose to to meet the writer at midnight. if they Noroi was “mooning over that little doxy at the interrogate the spirits here (Air. but the boy said she told him nothing since he started working at the sake works last about her intentions. However. It is an anonymous love-letter asking her murder.

She has also noticed (unknown to Yuri) that cuts across the road to Kyuden Miya. A peasant boy Yuri is a fanatic. perches on the banks of a small stream which her. feet of many samurai visiting the Miya family. and insists that she was home Cult’s leaders. The third disappearance: The most recent crime. and Yasuragi Monastery (the monk Asai). She has been making sacrifices to it her mother. she will bite (relatives) who were sick. claims she says she has sent messages to the Bloodspeaker complete innocence. If long as Yuri lives. she will stonewall them and about the magical defenses of Otosan Uchi. she will flee to Chio if possible. waterwheel. • If the PCs question Yuri. Earth spirits who report “a man” (matching Bondo’s description) stopping “a boy. laborious “thump. If captured. a fact which is common knowledge in the regularly. If there seems no chance of avoiding huts. one that has clearly seen the boy Ota. can eventually find Air and all he knows. there. 15 to notice him listening to their conversation Perception+Investigation roll at TN 15) a small with an angry expression. The other important member woman (who was once very pretty) speaks well of of the cult is the monk Asai. this one took place just 20 days ago. An elegant arched her daughter seems to spend a lot of time with the bridge crosses the stream. But any PC rolling Simple Awareness at TN 15 can tell that she has Koujou Village reservations.” then Bondo and Ota have the following information: picking him up and carrying him away. village). he will never crack. anymore) and supports her with her job at the sake • They know that Chio is their leader. they learn that no struggle or incident took place Bondo will try to bluff his way past any accusations. Her mother has no idea of her true nature. asking it questions. Ota will fight to defend Yuri. but lacks her fanaticism. she confesses that in recent years her daughter has A medium-sized village. meal. his will breaks and he stops fighting. one of them a torn and damaged garment within – clearly a mill. She denies any They do not know what answers it gives her. to stay and care for her. Yuri is Chio’s deputy and a capable Maho-Tsukai. never told them. • Besides themselves and Yuri. They will also find (with a Occult Murders Page 11 . She and Miya Kutobi). statuette of Inari (fortune of rice) which matches the one carried by Chiisai at Danshou Village. and she worries about people. but involvement with any of the crimes. spilled in the street. who has foregone marriage in order them advice and leadership. Investigating Yuri. that matches the shreds of cloth taken from Kou in Aian Village. • Bondo can point out where he found the spilled If she is killed. and put up a brave front until tortured. If she is somehow taken alive. however. The boy never arrived. but found only the meal. but he is lying (Bondo himself seized the telling everything he knows in a dull. listless voice. off her own tongue to kill herself. and as it slowly turns you can hear the they find three good quality flower-woven heavy. who has given all of her daughter. twenty feet away from the false location). • Chio asks it about the location of Iuchiban’s tomb. Bondo will PCs who interrogate spirits all along the route. If she can be persuaded to speak. and that she brewery. Tenraku Village (the carpenter lives with her aged mother (too old to labor in the fields Chu). To one • If the PCs search Yuri’s room (which comprises side of the bridge is a large building mounting a one half of the hut she shares with her mother). So boy. Bondo searched for him. they find no clues. calling on his fellow doshin Matsui and Shin to speak • If the PCs look all along the route between the two for his innocence. If the PCs accuse her or attempt to named Mattou vanished one evening while carrying a arrest her. the PCs interrogate the spirits in the false location. the old peasant • Yuri is Chio’s deputy. there are Bloodspeaker cultists in Aian Village (Nigai). then cracks and tells ask the right questions. and Bondo: Koujou Village (Chio. • If the PCs question her mother. Ota. fight to the meal from his family’s hut to that of another family death if not. with her family on each and every night that a • They do not know where Chio got the amulet – she crime took place. thump” of a mortar and pestle kimonos. her granddaughter Amiko. to the best of her ability. probably a hundred or so become cold and remote. She hates samurai (she is herself the bastard has a magic amulet made of some shiny black child of a Miya samurai who forced his attentions on stone. Exceptionally stubborn arrest he will try to flee to Chio.

relying on his status as a samurai and a 15) can trace some old drag marks leading from here to Miya to protect himself. He still wears a daisho set.” eta. most of his actual duties have fallen attached to the building. Chio. and reports that The other cultists here are Chio’s pretty granddaughter nothing seemed amiss at the time. If they summon Water spirits (there are some in the damp earth). to his hut. Another roll (this time at TN investigations. they can buckwheat for the local villages). Due to Kishin’s age and woman who looks after the mill and lives in a small hut growing infirmity. feverish eyes and sallow skin. a young peasant boy of about fifteen who sometimes If the PCs search Chio’s hut. will explain slowly that the victim was Higaisha. Higaisha had begun to suspect that his sister If the PCs watch Amiko or Kuboti. but any PC rolling Occult Murders Page 12 . Amiko. any PC who can sense Taint will pick up a maintain it. Amiko. Koto rather than be taken prisoner. a of Amiko killing Higaisha with a small knife. grandmother. and Chio are all cultists. an old blind peasant the edge of the village. a of her without strong evidence. they can show a visual image The law here is enforced by a single doshin. and a Maho-Tsukai of some skill. Majime. they can identify Kuboti with a Simple The corpse has decayed only a little in the cold winter Intelligence roll at TN 15. and he often helps However. Chio measures out the grain to his sons. In reality. The PCs may village respects her and will tolerate no ill to be spoken occasionally see him striding through the village. the town also boasts a learn that Higaisha was ambushed by “a girl. reason.” who run single inn/teahouse to serve the needs of samurai up behind him. and the samurai Miya Kuboti (who Amiko seduced into the cult). and will fight to the death If the PCs ask about the one disappearance here. He was on his way home from a day of work at the currently using it for a ceremony). and hid the body. Chu. with only one disappearance. Kuboti lost his wakizashi during the battle at Tenraku Village. Higaisha’s older sister. obvious clues (she always wears the Obsidian Amulet (Higaisha was not a carpenter by trade. is and flour by hand for each person who uses the mill. The whole authority mostly falls on Kuboti.Besides the mill (which grinds rice. since touching a dead body makes one unclean) can see that his throat was cut. of ambushed him. where he was helping repair the water wheel. and If the PCs interrogate the spirits in this area. On his way home. but what is even more shocking is that Kuboti is clearly the weaker of the two. usually away in the courts of Rokugan. they may be able to was more than she seemed. then cut his throat and dragged his body visiting the Miya. if wave. Amiko between samurai and peasants are shocking enough. However. as the “samurai cultist. the eldest. However. Nigai can also identify him. dark-browed young man with burning. burdened with age and blindness but still cell. into the ditch. very worked at the mill. Chio. and the home of its nominal leader. Chio will Crimes: never tell the PCs anything. course. Takura. Takura and Kuboti. if the PCs saw the a ditch behind one of the village huts. He vanished one evening six weeks sharp knife hidden under some baskets (unless she is ago. they can roll Perception+Investigation (or Hunting) at TN 20 to discover a patch of ground Miya Kuboti will try to stonewall any questions or discolored with old blood. wheat. millet. For this carrying out her role in the Celestial Order. Koto was appointed fifteen years ago by Miya Cultists: Kishin. deferring to Amiko and If the PCs try to retrace Higaisha’s steps from the mill referring to her as “Ojo-sama” (“mistress”). and anyone who looks at it (with the help of visually. Affairs against her that evening. She will try to put on the front of a kindly Koujou Village is the current headquarters of the cult old woman. gray-haired man who defers carefully to his betters. Village. weather. they will find a large. but his on a woven thong under her shapeless peasant garb). Amiko. Koto. so local and her measurements are never wrong. where Higaisha’s visions at the crime scenes in Aian Village or Danshou body has been concealed with heaped stones and earth. took dinner to him about an hour before he left work. There are no other mill. available) at TN 20 after speaking to her senses that hatred and envy boil just beneath the surface. an aging Shisha who resides in a large house on The main cultist here is Chio. humble.) The other workers on the wheel were Chu very faint residual of it both in Chio’s hut and within (the carpenter from Tenraku village) and his apprentice the mill itself. killed him. and leveled accusations witness one of their clandestine meetings. it has been spared the worst of the current crime any PC who rolls Simple Awareness (+Ichi Miru. lives at the mill. Chio is the leader of the cult. of course.

partially finished furniture. Chio was recruited into the Bloodspeakers by the Tenraku has about 170 people. weary-looking and balding. He has some actual The mill is where the cultists hold their meetings and experience with investigating crimes – he was involved make sacrifices. the doshin Bondo (also from Jouzousho). and can be detected by PCs with that If the PCs ask about jitte. for this was the scene of the violent massacre taught her the ways of Maho. she will attempt to flee to her grandmother strangely still. it matches Kuboti’s katana. up any evidence of their crimes. See “Consequences better prepared. can learn that “many people” gather in the mill. resurrection of Iuchiban must be near! The cultists wound up murdering the doshin and most of the family. He has kept the hut of the crime-scene untouched backdrop any time the PCs are inside. has never been allowed to attend). with claim that he seduced her. barrels. • Yuri is Chio’s deputy in the cult. If they right on the roadside. In answer to Chio’s demands for ever more sacrifices. Toshu explains sharp knives. and the carpenter Chu (Tenraku This village was the scene of the cult’s greatest mistake. who gave her the Obsidian Amulet and in fear. and Asai. Toshu still has both of his. She will do her best to rebuff any PC questions. • Her grandmother Chio is the leader of the cult. As you walk closer. and a large inn is positioned the PCs name her as the murderer of her brother. the spirits can say that there are usually He gets quite agitated if the PCs mention his swords eight people at these gatherings (three women and five (for any reason) and will rush off afterwards to meet men) and can describe all the cultists except Nigai (who with Amiko. her will proves to be brittle. they have been involved in any crimes. thump” of the in the investigation of a murdered samurai many years huge waterwheel-driven mortar-and-pestle is a constant ago. The (armed peasants). but some residual Taint still remains. If the PCs ask. one of the incidents that finally brought the • Besides Chio. who rushed in to attempt a rescue. and professes shock and horror if road to Kyuden Miya. for whenever they happen “bad spirits” tell that the weapons do not match. Accusing and arresting Miya Kuboti will be more When they struck in Aian two weeks later. since he is samurai. hope that magistrates or shugenja might be able to glean something from it.Perception+Kenjutsu (or Weaponsmith) at TN 10 can incidents. the sake-brewery workers Yuri and Ota unauthorized travel. If the PCs actually interrogate the spirits inside will be quietly offended if the PCs suggest he might the mill (there are plenty of Air and Earth spirits). Miya Kuboti. Amiko is a sadistic and bloodthirsty girl who revels in Tenraku Village the power she has over Miya Kuboti. She knows the following: measured tread. the other PCs to the area. however. Toshu. often staying for days afterward. the family resisted fiercely. and the Amulet to try and learn the location of Iuchiban’s ensuing violence attracted one of the local doshin Tomb and the defenses of Otosan Uchi. The endless “thump. and took the entire family. and Confrontations. He ability. “What was I to do. A couple of families have even fled the members of the cult are the laborer Nigai (Aian area in defiance of the Empire’s laws against Village). they were problematic. last month. (Jouzousho Village). • Chio has been making many sacrifices to the Unfortunately. samurai.” If the PCs try to scattered about outside. of cheaper quality.” The village’s one remaining doshin. can see that at least one of the huts looks abandoned. If the PCs found the lost wakizashi at the Tenraku crime scene. a decision he will explain to Chio and her granddaughter are always careful to clean the PCs with quiet dignity while he leads them there. a weary-looking old man emerges If the PCs capture Amiko. from the village and walks toward you with a careful. The villagers here live monk Asai. is an older The Mill man. and wagons sama? I am only a poor peasant girl. village). as Occult Murders Page 13 . perhaps flirting with This medium-sized village sits just to one side of the them as a distraction. and all surfaces (except for removing and cremating the bodies) in the are dusted with old flour. The spirits don’t like talking about these that the peasants were stabbed and hacked to death. and as you look closer you for help. and sometimes they bring other people and kill them with If the PCs ask how the victims died. and she will quickly confess. she tries to building which is clearly a carpenter’s shop. the wakizashi being (kansen) come. securing only two sacrifices for Chio. The whole town seems arrest her. they attempted to abduct an entire family. You can also see a sprawling mention her relationship with Miya Kobuti.

“Higaisha accused her of lechery.” and a woman” attacked the house. near-bestial ferocity. one of PCs may think of questioning the local eta about the the carpenters who works at the village shop. he simply glares hatred at everyone. didn’t say a word. they can easily speak to its to follow). Chu will refuse to say anything. buried under the wrecked furniture. If the PCs check the ashes (kept in urns at the local they can roll Perception+Investigation at TN 15 to graveyard). were at least four attackers. The scale of the denies them (while fingering his carpentry hammer). the young man had a strange confrontation picture him. and Yuri attacking the house. He doesn’t know This weapon belongs to Miya Kuboti. local samurai. And my master boiled for soup). • Chu often goes out late at night. The crime scene itself is covered in dried blood. hilt wrapped in the colors of the is). and the Water spirits can Village. He does not know he left (the Lore: Shadowlands or Lore: Maho-Tsukai skills) tracks in Asai Village and. with his sister Amiko. version of a normal Fire spell). Any PC with knowledge of Maho Chu is missing his left big toe. he can Miya. If the PCs invoke Yasuragi Monestary the Water spirits. furtive behavior) explain that all the deep-set eyes burn with a life-long resentment against bodies were horribly killed. Earth spirits.though with knives and blades. Chu’s apprentice Majime is a fearful. a Maho lumber. the flesh blackened and flaking afford to pay their Imperial taxes. he stolidly rotting due to the cold weather. The blade is provide the following information: still stained with dried blood. If the PCs search Chu’s room at the carpentry shop. blood and. It also contains residual Fire and Water • He’s seen Chu speaking with the monk Asai. A conditions of the bodies they cremated. fearing the uncleanness of the dead. said he’d seen her go to the house of the If the PCs Commune with the elements in the hut itself. oddly. surrounded by Kuboti. not look closer than that. while his fellow doshin her arm to cast forth a bolt of black fire that incinerates (whose name was Yujin) was burned to death. “She just laughed they can speak with Air. or Water spirits (there at him and told him he couldn’t possibly are Water spirits in a kettle which was scheduled to be understand what was happening. buckwheat flour (from the mill). not yet If the PCs make accusations against Chu. they get a visual of Nigai. and that off to a geisha house because her family could not one was terribly burned. not returning until the wee hours of the morning. stabbed and hacked apart the samurai caste – his childhood sweetheart was sold with great violence. Captured. Chu. Any PC who rolls Faced with arrest. have that severe an effect. and that the woman “called bad fire” to kill the doshin. if asked about his foot.” Majime explains. growling voice. If the PCs invoke where these nocturnal expeditions lead (too scared the spirits in the sword. violence here is obvious. he fights or flees as seems Intelligence+Battle at TN 15 can surmise that there appropriate. will may roll Intelligence+Skill at TN 15 to realize that the admit that he lost the toe many years ago while cutting spell was probably Elemental Maho (that is. and spirits from its forging. The spirits can report that “three men just watched. Occult Murders Page 14 . He will speak to the away. Earth. Chu’s much anxious. Moto. the hair coming out in great clumps when the PCs in a low. etc. anxious young If the PCs search the scene. those with the ability to detect Shadowlands discover the simple white clothing of Etoku. Yuri slashes trees. heavy-set man with a drum-like belly.) will be able to sense vanished monk. unless they are cast by a high-ranking Adept. He did the doshin. If the PCs speak to him away from Chu. offering the minimum body was moved. The garments are stained with both a faint residual Taint in the ashes of the burning victim. (two Raises). He realizes his master is up to no good Perception+Investigation at TN 20 to find a good. Cultists There is one cultist in Tenraku Village – Chu. they can roll fellow. and that they fought with even under torture. PCs may roll Intelligence+Shugenja politeness required. A shallow stone staircase climbs the slope. but these are harder to invoke with Yuri and Ota from Jouzousho Village. his apprentice Majime hovers Lore at TN 15 to realize that Fire spells usually do not nervously in the background. Miya The monastery perches atop a low hill. Only one body was intact. All the spirits can loosely describe the • On the night Higaisha disappeared in Koujou blade’s owner (Kuboti). the Taint (Witch Hunters. (although he does not realize just how bad the situation quality wakizashi. The eta (with muscular.

If the only the chop and the letter. He is a retired Scorpion. perhaps to educate the villagers or teach the ways of The Other Villages Shinsei.” (Gaikou. This monastery is home to many retired Miya samurai. These villages have no assigned to a new monk). the box will contain a Scorpion village made a delivery of some furnishings that kimono (Yogo mon). There was no sign of a struggle. Uso (“Lie”). a ask for a description. Exactly how they react will Occult Murders Page 15 .passing beneath seven Torii arches representing the name. will also know that the “scandal” involved an Obsidian PCs may suspect (accurately) that his mind has been nemuranai (magical item) that disappeared while under magically clouded. distracted air about him. no trouble at all. and the paper with a strange. “Asai Intelligence+Shugenja Lore at TN 25 (or Scorpion Clan was his friend. and the PCs are the head abbot. or Yogo Family Lore at TN 15) to recall things in common. then nods.” he says. sort of hushed-up scandal. they Aguchi’s protection. or if they disappearance here: a recently retired Miya who had have already shut down the rest of the cult. he suspected of being someone other than who he claimed. I suppose two retired samurai have some Lore at TN 20. “There are many magics which can founder of the Bloodspeaker cell. rather than pursue the true If the PCs visit. If they question other monks.” hearing about a Yogo shugenja by that name who was forced to retire about fourteen years ago due to some If the PCs ask the abbot about Asai. a heavy-set man with bushy unlikely to see through his facade (which would require eyebrows and a vague. No cultists are based at any of them. Shinsaku. Asai will smoothly deny any involvement with crimes.” He will never crack. PCs ask whether any monks in particular shared his Any PC who hears the name “Yogo Aguchi” can roll company. he will try taken the new name Etoku (“Perception”). no trouble from him. the box contains retirement to the monastery the month before. Fukai a Contested roll of Perception vs. Part 3: Consequences and The Cultist: Confrontations Asai appears to be a normal monk. Fukai. speaks sadly and with some embarrassment of the one If the PCs seem to be about to arrest him. who won’t violate was noted that evening when he failed to appear for Asai’s privacy without good reason). he seems vague. Etoku had no visitors that day – in fact none since his • If Asai has fled the monastery. the last and largest Torii is If pressed hard. Fukai thinks for a moment. A roll of locals are only vaguely aware (through frightening but Intelligence+Poetry at TN 15 will perceive the meaning indestinct rumors) of the crime-wave afflicting their of the poem: Etoku was deeply suspicious of Asai. the readily admit this. a shaven-headed man in white robes. as well as true monks who have spent their lives here in and will suggest that the PCs have been deceived by the contemplation of Wisdom. he identifies himself falsely as Bayushi dedicated to Fukurokujin.” and a letter from Yajinden (Handout #1). Perception+Investigation at TN 25 to find a box hidden in the ceiling. and says there are people there “of great wisdom for their lowly station. the Fortune of Wisdom. change appearances or create false clues. He will Once the PCs have begun uncovering cultists. claiming he left that life behind when he retired. He does not recall the name. He favors Koujou Village. arrived here last autumn and disappeared one afternoon less than a month later. Perhaps you were meant to suspect me. they can roll significance to the scenario and are there as red Perception+Investigation at TN 20 to find a piece of herrings. he describes Chu. but if the PCs containing Aguchi’s normal (non-Maho) spells. and Tabi) There are three villages on the PCs’ map where no If the PCs search Etoku’s room (it has not yet been crimes have occurred. His absence will require approval from the abbot. A Yogo or Soshi family PC “Oh. that day. Awareness+Acting). unfinished poem. Fukai recalls that a carpenter from Tenraku • If Asai has not fled. The contents of this box will depend on If the PCs ask whether anyone visited the monastery whether Asai has tried to flee the area yet. they are conveyed immediately to meet criminals. while working alone in the If the PCs get permission to search Asai’s room (this garden. they can roll meditation. learn that Asai sometimes goes out to visit the villages. seven Great Fortunes. but will not reveal his old samurai Bloodspeakers will react. Etoku to use his magic to escape. several spell scrolls afternoon. the Bloodspeakers. It is also home to Asai. who neighbors. personal chop with the name “Yogo Aguchi.

who sees the amulet At the end of the scenario. This will give the PCs another chance to joins in the praise. Magistrates. the PC acquires one If the PCs try to have Miya Kuboti arrested and additional point of Taint. unlike Chio. Miya some suitable victim (probably from Jouzousho Yoto congratulates them for proving his trust and Village) and preparing another ceremony in the Koujou fulfilling the task he asked of them. He can identify Honor (-3 Honor for Scorpions) unless the almost all of the cultists: Chio. Whether he acts on them depends on how Experience Points: much (and what sort of) evidence the PCs have Playing through the scenario: 1 XP accumulated. Yuri. Emerald of being a dishonorable. having long suspected his sibling family (+2 Honor if they are Crane. not warriors. but does not know his name (he can identify him by sight). Given Chio and Yuri’s toughness and magical Amulet is the property of the Scorpion Clan. will try to escape as soon as he realizes “the jig is up. the cultists will ignore these “foolish samurai” Aftermath and attempt to continue their sacrifices. or Imperial Family). they will have to apply to Miya Yoto for an Order of Appearance. however. this could be a rougher fight than the PCs be returned. TOTAL POSSIBLE EXPERIENCE: 4 XP If the PCs confront Kuboti himself with his crimes. questioned. He will try to take the Obsidian Amulet with him (this Rewards and Consequences may provoke a conflict with Chio. too terrified of the Bloodspeakers to do more than In the latter case. PCs who do not realize this (or who do not expect. Yoto will listen carefully to their reasons. such Finding and destroying the Bloodspeakers: 1 XP as the missing wakizashi. His son Satoshi Village mill. and should abilities. Shadowlands Taint must make a Simple Earth roll with a TN of 5 + (5 x Taint Rank). track them down (the Hunting skill could be very useful and he follows up with a few cutting remarks about here.” using his magic to best effect.” The PCs If the PCs do begin to expose the cult. his weak spirit betrays him. defenses of Otosan Uchi. Chio will take alarm and try to summon all her minions for an all-out fight. kidnapping If and when the PCs unearth and destroy the cult. one of considerable importance and magical skill. If the PCs do not seem to be figuring out where the cult is based. decide what to do with it. and Chu. Asai. the amulet. The claims of peasants are meaningless – Good role-playing: 1 XP the PCs must have personal or physical evidence. Nigai. His father. PCs successfully stopped the Bloodspeaker his older brother Takeru. Ota. a soft-hearted old fellow nearing the age of retirement. will back him up. jealous. Outside help will not be available – the Miya care) may instead decide to turn the Amulet over to the are diplomats. Arresting Miya Kuboti If the roll is failed. along with spells). Bondo.depend on how much the PCs have found and whether to learn the location of Iuchiban’s Tomb and the they seem to be on the trail of Chio and Asai. or to keep the Amulet for themselves. is only too ready to murders: +1 Honor for helping the Miya believe such things. He also knows about the Obsidian Amulet. but in his case it is obviously false. or their own reports of tailing Learning what they are plotting: 1 XP Kuboti to a rendezvous with other cultists (like Amiko). He knows that a monk at the monastery is a cultist. PCs who keep the Obsidian Amulet after If Kuboti is arrested. he Honor: denies them heatedly. It If the PCs capture the Obsidian Amulet. deceitful dog. of tracking down its leadership. PC is militantly anti-Scorpion. Amiko. give the appropriate PC the cert for cower in the background. PCs who learned Yogo and whether they stand and fight or try to scatter and Aguchi’s true history will probably realize that the flee. and that the cult was trying very hard Occult Murders Page 16 . and peasant doshin will be Miya authorities. they must is up to the GM how many she manages to assemble. any PCs with as the Cult’s property). “how unfortunate it is that we did not have the resources to solve this problem for ourselves. and he learning it comes from the Scorpion Clan: -1 confesses without being tortured. and show signs gain Minor Allies: Miya Family.

Glory: +1 point of Glory for fulfilling their mission to the Miya family by uncovering and destroying the Bloodspeaker infestation. and gain Minor Allies: Miya family. Other Consequences: If the PCs succeed in unearthing and destroying the Bloodspeaker cell. they have the gratitude of Miya Yoto. Cert: Obsidian Amulet (see Handouts) Occult Murders Page 17 .

Social (Bloodspeaker). sandals. Athletics 1. Iaijutsu 1. Equipment: Clothing.7 TN to be Hit: 10 TN to be Hit: 15 School/Rank: None School/Rank: None Honor/Glory: 0/0 Honor/Glory: 0/0 Skills: Acting 1. Sincerity 1 Advantages/Disadvantages: Crafty. tonfa (1k2) Chu: Miya Kuboti: corrupt carpenter: corrupted Samurai FIRE 2 AIR 2 FIRE 2 AIR 2 Agility 3 EARTH 3 WATER 2 EARTH 2 WATER 2 Strength 3 VOID 1 VOID 1 Shadowlands Taint Rank: 0. jitte (1k1). sandles. Stealth 1 Advantages/Disadvantages: Large/Dark Secret Advantages/Disadvantages: Quick/Dark Secret (Bloodspeaker).2 Honor/Glory: 0/0 Skills: Archery 1. Sincerity 1. Craft (as appropriate) 1-2. tonfa (1k2) or hammer Weakness (Void) (0k3) Equipment: Daisho set. Defense 1. Defense 2. Social Disadvantage (Heimin) (Bloodspeaker). light armor Occult Murders Page 18 . Nofujutsu (peasant Law 1. Kenjutsu 2. Amiko) corrupt Doshin FIRE 1 AIR 1 FIRE 2 AIR 2 Agility 2 Reflexes 2 Reflexes 3 EARTH 2 WATER 1 EARTH 2 WATER 2 VOID 1 VOID 1 Shadowlands Taint Rank: 0. Social Disadvantage (heimin) Disadvantage (heimin) Equipment: sandals. Skills: Athletics 2. Nofujutsu Etiquette 2. Strength of the Advantages/Disadvantages: Dark Secret Earth (rank 1)/Dark Secret (Bloodspeaker). Stealth 1 Law 1.8 TN to be Hit: 10 TN to be Hit: 10 School/Rank: None School/Rank: None Honor/Glory: 0. Stealth 2 weapons) 1. Investigation 2. Seduction 2 (Amiko only). Athletics 1. Courtier 1. (peasant weapons) 2. NPCs and Villains Average Cultist: Bondo: (use interchangeably for Nigai. fine kimono. Ota. Skills: Acting 2.4/1. Horsemanship 1.5 Shadowlands Taint Rank: 0. Craft (Carpentry) 2. Jealous (of his brother’s inheritance). Sincerity 2. jo stick (0k2) or knife (1k1) Equipment: Clothing. Athletics 2. Nofujutsu 3.

Lore Skills: Acting 3.4 Equipment: Robes. Seduction 2. Tempest of Air. Sincerity 4. Etiquette 2. Lore (Bloodspeakers) 3. sharp knife (1k2) Wind. Etiquette 1. (Fire) Fury of Osano-Wo. Craft (sake brewing) 2. (Water) Path to Inner Peace. No Pure Breaths. Dark Secret (Bloodspeaker). Know the Shadows. Lore (Bloodspeakers) 2.3 Shadowlands Taint Rank: 3. Heartless.Yumi: Asai: Cult Deputy corrupted monk. Advantages/Disadvantages: Dangerous Beauty. Calligraphy 2. Hurried Steps. (Air) Essence of Air. Kenjutsu 1. Spells: Sense. Stealth 3. Chio: Reversal of Fortunes. Innate Meditation 2. knife (1k2) TN to be Hit: 5 School/Rank: None Honor/Glory: 0/0 Skills: Acting 1. Knife 3. Strength of the Earth (rank 2)/Blind (-2 dice on any rolls involving vision). Inflame. sandals. Summon. all Maho spells)/Bad Reputation (lost a nemuranai). Pain. Dark Secret (Bloodspeaker). Stealing the Intelligence 3 Awareness 3 Soul Advantages/Disadvantages: Benten’s Blessing. Innate Abilities (Essence of Air. bo staff (2k2). Stealing the Soul Advantages/Disadvantages: Innate Abilities (all Maho spells).7 TN to be Hit: 10 TN to be Hit: 20 School/Rank: None School/Rank: Yogo shugenja 3 Honor/Glory: 0/0 Honor/Glory: 0/2 Skills: Acting 2. Social Disadvantage (heimin) Equipment: Clothing. Craft (tending the mill) 4. Pain. Knife 2. Precise Memory. Lore (Shugenja) 2. Heaven FIRE 2 AIR 1 Has no Justice. Cult founder (formerly Yogo Aguchi) FIRE 1 AIR 2 FIRE 3 AIR 4 Intelligence 2 Awareness 3 EARTH 3 WATER 1 EARTH 4 WATER 2 Perception 2 Perception 4 VOID 1 VOID 3 Shadowlands Taint Rank: 2. Secrets on the Equipment: Kimono. large knife (1k2) Occult Murders Page 19 . Know the Shadows. Ties that Bind. Defense 2. Commune. EARTH 5 WATER 2 Crafty. Theology 2 Abilities (all Maho spells)/Dark Secret (Bloodspeaker). (Maho) Cult leader Corruption of the Earth. Courtier 2. Bojutsu 3. Fires of Corruption. Stealing the Soul Knife 2. Sincerity 2 Spells: Corruption of the Earth. Pain. Bland. Social Disadvantage (heimin) Forgotten Murmurs. (Bloodspeakers) 2. Spells: Fires of Corruption. Yogo VOID 2 Curse Shadowlands Taint Rank: 3. No Pure Breaths. Sincerity 2 Craft (gardening) 2. Meditation 2.

Duration (4 more rounds per forth a pillar of black. Duration (ten minutes per raise). Heaven Has no Justice Lost Ranks return when the spell expires. pain. the caster increases a mental Trait (caster’s choice) by an amount equal to the victim’s Honor rank while Occult Murders Page 20 . victims of this spell must roll Simple Fires of Corruption Earth at TN 15 or cry out in agony. Effect: This spell is a ritual. Number of Targets (one per raise) Effect: The caster knows that the Celestial Order is a joke. interacting with the victim. who must be visible and within 100 yards. PCs trying to escape must Duration:1 Round roll Simple Earth at TN 15 to move three feet. Pulling free of the mud Effect: The target (who must be visible and within 25 requires a Simple Earth roll at a TN of 5 times the feet) is suddenly wracked with terrible. For each caster keeping Fire. Number of Targets (one per raise) Effect: The air within the target suddenly corrupts and Corruption of the Earth explodes out of the body. For the duration of the spell. Base TN: Target’s Honor x 5 Casting Time: 5 rounds Duration: Caster’s Taint rank in hours Mastery Level/Wounds Required: 4 Raises: Casting Time. Raises: Area (3 feet diameter per raise). Damage (one non-kept die per they spill. Casting Time: 3 Actions Duration: Instantaneous Stealing the Soul Mastery Level/Wounds Required: 9 Base TN: 15 Raises: Casting Time. maho-powered version of Mastery Level/Wounds Required: 8 the shugenja spell Fires from Within. The victim may not act for the duration of the spell. Number of Targets (one per Casting Time: 2 Actions raise) Duration: 8 rounds Effect: This spell is a twisted. Each Mastery Level/Wounds Required: 4 attempt to move (whether successful or not) requires a Raises: Duration (1 round per raise). Number of Simple Water roll at TN 10 to avoid sinking an Targets (one per raise) additional foot into the mud. Maho spells are cast by rolling Earth+Taint Rank. The target suffers wounds of a DR equal to the Casting Time: 3 Actions caster’s Taint rank. the target of the spell loses one Rank from each Ring and Trait. and gains Base TN: Target’s Earth x 5 Taint equal to twice the Mastery level. raise). Further. The caster calls Raises: Casting Time. keeping Earth. down to a minimum Rank of one. and uses the foolish beliefs of others to manipulate them. and more than one Maho- The spell’s DR is equal to the caster’s Fire+Taint. This is the spell which Asai GM’s Note: Casting Maho Spells has used to keep the Abbott from suspecting him. dishonoring Base TN: 20 themselves. Tsukai may participate in casting it. Casting Time: 2 Actions Duration: Instantaneous The caster may take Free Raises for each additional Mastery Level/Wounds Required: 5 amount of blood (equal to the Mastery level) which Raises: Casting Time. The victim also suffers a +10 Duration: 4 rounds penalty to all TNs until magically healed. The caster must spill blood (their own or No Pure Breaths another’s) equal to the spell’s Mastery level. Duration (4 more rounds per raise) Pain Effect: This spell causes the earth within three feet of Base TN: 10 the target to turn to mud and swallow them up at the Casting Time: 1 Action rate of two feet per Action. participating. due to the Mastery Level/Wounds Required: 8 pain of ravaged. rupturing the lungs and Base TN: 15 tissues. Tainted lungs. pulsating fire which smites the raise) target(s). Casting Time. debilitating number of feet the victim has sunk into the mud.

The future will be ours. Make as many sacrifices as you have to in order to divine these things for us. We have found the magic which can free his soul. Yajinden Occult Murders Page 21 .Handout #1 Brother Aguchi: The time draws nigh for the resurrection of our great lord Iuchiban. The amulet which you secured from the Yogo at such risk shall now prove its worth. Now we must learn the location of his lost Tomb. I may be reached through the usual methods. for only through the blood of the accursed Hantei will our lord be freed. Once you have results. for we must have the jade from his coffin itself. We must also learn of the defenses of Otosan Uchi.

Kuboti will deny everything until arrested. angry 13-year-old boy who works at the sake man in his forties or fifties. middle-aged man with a world-weary air. so local authority consequence. Asai is a normal monk. then fights to the death. she will quickly break and (club). Asai will never Chu the carpenter (Tenraku Village) break down or confess. then ruthless fanatic who will die before confessing anything. His deep-set eyes burn with a life-long resentment against the samurai caste (his childhood sweetheart was sold off to a geisha house because her family could not afford to pay their Imperial taxes). brother. toothless woman who takes care of the the local teahouse as a handy man and general laborer. offering the minimum politeness required. who stands to inherit. Miya Kuboti. heavy-set man with a drum-like belly. bloodthirsty cultist who killed her own brother to keep him Bondo plays the role of a “tired cop who has seen it all” from learning the truth about the cult. an aging Shisha. not allowed to attend their ceremonies. the fallen samurai (Koujou Village) Yuri from the sake works (Jouzousho Village) Kuboti is a dark-browed young man with burning. Takura is knowledge in her village) and hates the samurai caste in usually away in the courts of Rokugan. Amiko. If Yuri dies. this anger made Yuri is the bastard child of a Miya samurai (common him a willing recruit when Amiko seduced him. however.) If pressed.” If Amiko is arrested. She is a cruel. Yuri recruited him by becoming his secret lover. claiming he left that a fellow worker at the brewery for trying to force himself life behind when he retired. He often meets secretly with over the cult cell after Chio dies of old age. brewery. She seduced Miya and uses his friendship with his fellow village doshin Kuboti into the cult and meets with him secretly on a (Matsui and Shin) to cloak his activities. Occult Murders Page 22 . Takura. blind. He is a retired Scorpion. He will never confess anything to samurai. a glory. He is the younger son of Miya sake brewery to support her aged mother. and out grain and flour by feel with pinpoint accuracy. He bitterly resents his older wears good-quality kimono woven with flower patterns. Amiko the seductress (Koujou Village) Bondo the false doshin (Jouzousho Village) Chio’s pretty teenage granddaughter is a malicious and A balding. slightly stupid man who works at An old. Ota will immediately give up and tell he stole the Obsidian Amulet from the Scorpion Clan. and if threatened with arrest (or if the PCs have shattered the cult cell) will try to use his Chu is a muscular.Handout #2 Master List of Bloodspeaker Cultists Nigai the doubter (Aian Village) Chio the leader (Koujou Village) Nigai is a bristly-haired. their relationship is one of “mistress-to- his jitte (disarming weapons) and replaced it with a tonfa slave. he will break down and choice. He has lost one of regular basis. His left big toe is missing. he gives a false on Yuri (the murder weapon was his mother’s cooking name: Bayushi Uso. he knows less than the Amulet on a thong around her neck. Since joining. founded this cell of the Bloodspeaker Cult when he retired to this monastery almost two decades ago. he has developed doubts capable and dangerous Maho-Tsukai. breaks down and confesses. She will play the and fears about the cult. She is Chio’s deputy and will probably take mostly falls on Kuboti. Chio was recruited by the cult with promises of power and was Asai’s first recruit and is now the cult leader. He murdered will not reveal his old samurai name. a shaven-headed A sullen. but if arrested and tortured confess (she lacks her grandmother’s fanaticism). His actual name is Yogo Aguchi. Unfortunately. and knife). Asai the false monk (Yasuragi Monestary) Ota from the sake works (Jouzousho Village) Superficially. and he was shapeless peasant garment. concealed beneath her other cultists – the cult never fully trusted him. He is stubborn and wily. She always Kishin. growling voice. He everything he knows. will eventually confess. She wears the Obsidian confess everything. feverish A lovely young commoner maiden who works at the local eyes and sallow skin. doubts made worse by the crimes role of a harmless old woman until she has no other he has committed. He village mill (the only work she’s capable of) and measures has always envied the samurai who visit the teahouse. Her mother has no idea of her true nature. magic to escape. He speaks to samurai in a low. If confronted. dressed in simple white robes. even under torture. and will readily admit this (but Ota’s commitment to the cult is tied to Yuri.

Map #1 Occult Murders Page 23 .

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