The Drowning Empire, Episode 65: End of the Journey

The Drowning Empire is a weekly serial based on the events which occured during the Writer Nerd Game Night monthly Legend of the Five Rings game. It is a tale of samurai adventure set in the magical world of Rokugan.

If you would like to read all of these in one convenient place, along with a bunch of additional game related stuff, behind the scenes info, and detailed session recaps, I’ve been posting everything to one thread on the L5R forum,

Sad to say this campaign is almost over. There aren’t that many fictions left to post, and then if you want to see how the final session wraps up you’ll need to read my session recaps at the link above. (compiled there, it is literally the size of a novel) This week is from Paul Genesse..

Continued from:

From the Journal of Akodo Toranaka

We are deep in the Wasteland between the Colonies and Rokugan. Dust and bitterness fills our mouths. The Yodotai army stands before us. The vile Kolat, masquerading as Emerald Magistrates, have brought a strong contingent of Unicorn cavalry up behind us.

The heir to the Emerald Throne, Kuroko-sama, is safe in our care, and must be brought to Toshi Ranbo.

We have only one choice, as the Wastes are unforgiving. We cannot go west, as the Burning Sands would kill us and our horses rather quickly.

Our only option is to go east, into the Shadowlands. I have suggested this course of action, and after some hesitance, my friends have now agreed. Perhaps we can go into the Shadowlands and travel east for a time, then go north around the Yodotai army and finish our travels through the Waste. Some are doubtful we could do this, but we must make several plans and see which route is most likely to succeed after we enter the Shadowlands.

I anticipate we will be pursued by the Unicorn and their Kolat masters, but I hope the Unicorn will instead return to Journey’s End Keep. I am very disappointed that Yanai was apparently unsuccessful in unmasking the Kolat who remained under the guise of Emerald Magistrates.

If the force behind us does pursue, I would like to arrange for the Yodotai to block them, but that may prove to be difficult.

Regardless, in the morning we will enter the Shadowlands or face capture by the Yodotai or the Unicorn at our backs. If it seems the best course, we will go straight through to the Kaiu Wall. The Crab Clan may help us once we arrive, and though I do not put much hope in this, I wonder if a Crab army would go north with us and Kuroko-san, to help break the siege of the Shogun’s Castle. Kuroko is the true heir and her father was a most famous Crab. Perhaps her lineage will help us, though I do not know if her identity should be revealed even to the Crab clan. There are spies and double agents everywhere.

The infiltration of the Emerald Magistrates by the Kolat is bad enough. At least my friends and I killed the Lotus Assassins, Atsushige and another Kolat assassin in Journey’s End Keep before we left. The painful poison from their shuriken nearly laid me low, but because of the incredible skill of Shunya, Oki, and Uso, we survived. Kenshiro and I did our part, but the glory belonged to the others.

Since we left, I have been full of worry about my betrothed, Utaku Yanai. She may be in great danger. I hated leaving her at Journey’s End Keep, but at least we rescued Yanai-san and Namori-san from torture at the hands of the Kolat before we escaped. I hope that few ever find out about how we rescued Yanai, Namori, and Dokunsuto from the cruel Kolat. The stain is still very dark on my honor.

Saving Dokunsuto was of great importance, and after my initial skepticism, and his terrible pessimism, he has proved to be an excellent guide.

Tomorrow we shall enter the Shadowlands. If the Fortunes favor us, we shall survive. I have many reservations about bringing the heir, Kuroko, into such a place, but we have no choice.

If we succeed, the story of our small group of twelve, pretending to be ronin and crossing thousands of miles to bring the heir to the capital and her rightful throne, will become legend. If we fail, perhaps no one will know of our fates. My greatest fear now is that we will all become minions of the Shadowlands.

Akodo Toranaka


To be continued:


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