Thursday, September 17, 2009

Defenders of the Empire - Secrets of the Shadowlands

This is a play-by-post game I am advertising on Since it puts a lot of the Legend of the Five Rings Scales of War adventure path material in one place, I am going to port it over here.


At the dawn of the Empire of Rokugan, eight kami, or gods, fell from the heavens. They established the seven Great Clans from the humans they found in this land and the first emperor, the kami Hantei, took the Emerald Throne. Thus dawned a new era of wisdom and prosperity amongst the race of man, led by the sons and daughters of Heaven.

But then the ninth kami, Fu Leng, fell to earth. Unlike his brothers and sisters, Fu Leng had not fallen directly from heaven; his path took him through Jigoku, a realm of evil, of corruption, and of twisted spirits. His divine blood was infected by Jigoku and as a result he lacked all love, wisdom, and benevolence. The site of his impact was a great festering pit from which oozed forth the corrupting influence of Jigoku like pus from a wound. The Taint warped the very earth into the Shadowlands, twisting all life that it did not destroy outright. Ogres, trolls, bakemono, goblins, the undead, and other malevolent creatures spawned endlessly in the Shadowlands and terrifying and powerful oni, or demons, clawed their way free from the Festering Pit, pulled from Jigoku by Fu Leng's whim. Fu Leng and his army of Shadow creatures swarmed across the Empire, destroying everything in their path, and eventually claimed the life of Emperor Hantei. Only through the bravery and sacrifice of the Seven Thunders, heroes from each of the Great Clans, was Fu Leng defeated. And only through the sacrifice of countless Crab samurai, followers of the kami Hida, did enough men survive the initial onslaught to turn back Fu Leng's army. Hida swore that he would battle the Shadowlands until Lord Moon and Lady Sun fell from the sky. His descendants and his followers, the Crab Clan, continue that battle today.

You are a Crab samurai. Amongst your Clan, there is no one who has not lost friend or family to the Shadowlands. And yet you stand strong, day in and day out, year after year, generation upon generation. For one thousand years the Crab Clan has stood as the immovable, inviolate wall between the tainted horrors of the Shadowlands and the Empire of Rokugan. Every day the innumerable bakemono and inhuman oni rally only to crash against the Great Carpenter Wall. And every night the Emperor and his servants in the Great Clans sleep soundly because a toll has been paid in Crab blood.

The Crab fight.

The Crab die.

But the Crab are not defeated.

In this campaign you are a private in the Crab Clan's Army of the West, also known as the Army of the Wall. You are bushi, samurai warriors, from the Hida family. You are scouts from the Hiruma family. You are shugenja, priests of the kami (elemental spirits), from the Kuni family. You are smiths and engineers from the Kaiu family. You are quartermasters and taskmasters from the Yasuki family. You are exorcists from the Toritaka family. You will patrol the Great Carpenter Wall, a barrier that stretches the length of the border between the Shadowlands and the Empire, and you will foray into the Shadowlands themselves to reconnoiter, thin the enemy ranks, or fulfill other missions as assigned. Your team will quickly come to prominence as an elite team that can be relied on for special duties.

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