Byron Tabletop

The Doom of the Hare

In which the PCs save the Hare...briefly.

Unfortunately, my adventure notes with this one are incomplete, so this will have to be a little more skeletal than the others:

Major Npcs encountered:
Usagi Ozaki
Bayushi Tomaru
Matsu Chukoku

Possible Allies gained:
Usagi Ozaki (everybody)

The adventure began when the PCs were approached by Matsu Chukoku, a prominent Lion Officer attending the Festival at Kenson Gakka in the previous adventure. It seems that Usagi Ozaki and Usagi Tomoe, the heirs of the Hare Clan, had stolen a scroll of some value from him during their stay in Ryoko Owari. He requested that the PCs find and return the scroll to him. Being heroes, they agreed.

Nearing Hare lands, they came across a young man fighting an ogre. They helped him dispatch the creature, only to discover that this was Usagi Ozaki. Ozaki discovered that the ogre was bearing a scabbard marked with Hare clan mon, and asked the PCs to come with him to report this to his father at Shiro Usagi. Pleased with this serendipitous circumstance, they agreed.

Long story short, it turned out that the Ancestral Sword of the Hare was in the Shadowlands. The greater part of the party accompanied Usagi Ozaki on an adventure to Shiro Hiruma to recover the sword in order to get into the Hare’s good graces. Meanwhile, Asahina Zenko and Shosuro Hitaki remained in the castle to try and find the scroll.

The adventure into the Shadowlands involved a few interesting moments. The PCs secured the help of a nezumi to distract the goblins so that they could slip into the castle. There was nearly an Indiana Jones moment as a troop of goblins tried to roll a massive stone down some stairs in order to crush the PCs, but Kitsu Ai rolled up her sleeves and stopped it through sheer brawn. She pushed the rock back up the stairs and the PCs wiped out the remaining greenskins and recovered the sword to bring back to the Hare.

Meanwhile, many adventures were had by Shosuro Hitaki and Asahina Zenko as they struggled to befriend Usagi Ozaki’s sister Tomoe while the castle prepared for an assault by the Scorpion. they were able to find the scroll inside one of her puzzle boxes. However, curiosity got the better of them and they opened it. Turns out that it was written in code. Much code-breaking ensued, until the PCs discovered that the scroll was a set of orders to murder a magistrate in Morikage Toshi.

Hitaki took the scroll and slipped out of the castle just as the Scorpion arrived. He used it as a bargaining chip to get the Scorpion to depart by negotiating with an Emerald Magistrate from his own family. The adventure resolved happily when Ozaki returned, and the PCs were able to slip away to try and find Chukoku, only to discover that he had disappeared.

Several weeks later, however, the Scorpion returned with testimony from four prominent samurai that Hare clan members had been practicing maho. The castle was burned to the ground, Ozaki escaped and went into hiding, and Tomoe disappeared.

Repercussions:
The PCs grew to hate the Scorpion just a little more, but I think that I failed to get them to care for the fate of the Hare. In any case, there is clearly a conspiracy at work in the Empire.

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