Out of the Darkness

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Introduction and Homecoming, In Which Our Hero Arrives on the Field of Contest; Happenstance Dictates a Chance Encounter With a Mysterious Stranger; New Friends Are Made; and The Papers Are Signed

__I have arrived. It is nice here, but there are so many people. I met an interesting old man on the road, he and I shared both wisdom and tea. I met a nice ronin with a pet pig, I am hoping one day I will get to ride him. The pig, not the ronin. He seemed a nice enough sort, and much friendlier than the clannish jerks that didn’t want to talk to us. The guards at the bridge tried to be mean to him and his pig, I was about to throw down on them when a Dragon came along and said the ronin was cool. I think he did it mostly to shine them on. Anyway we got signed in, I think I’ll be staying with the old man who I just met on the road and fed me tea. -I am trusting and dumb as hell, I hope I don’t get molested. - I will write more either way.

Your student, KU__

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Dearest Mother (1)

Dearest Mother,

I have finally arrived at the bustling metropolis of Tsume, where the Topaz Championship will be held. It has the biggest buildings I could have imagined—some of them are over four stories tall! And the temples are so beautiful, much more ornate than the tiny shrines in our village. One of the priests even took me along while she was doing her daily rituals. She seemed awfully wise and knowledgeable about the kami and the Fortunes, though I don’t think she was fond of having Inoshi along. Perhaps next time I go to light incense for father, I’ll leave him outside.
Not only are the temples and the Kakita Academy incredible, but the people are too—even the peasants here are incredibly wealthy. One heimin man we met was offering gifts to the samurai traveling to Tsume, and he even invited us to stay in his home during the tournament. So many people here are so very courteous and virtuous, just as I imagined. When I got to the Tournament grounds, the guards wanted to turn me away, but fortunately Kitsuki Kage, the Dragon Clan Champion, was there, and he told the guards to let me it.
Other than Kitsuki-sama and the nice peasant, the other person I’ve talked to a lot is Kakita Uragiri, who says he’s going to be the next Emerald Champion! He offered to help me with my iaijutsu (sword) training; he’s quite nice for such a brave and influential samurai. It’s exciting to know someone so powerful—maybe he’d even offer me fealty to the Crane, if the Dragon don’t offer first.
Next time I’ll be sure to tell you how the Tournament goes, and which Clan I will belong to.

Your devoted son,
Shika

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Dearest Mother (2)

The Topaz Championship competition has finally begun, and so far I am doing quite well…though not as well as my best good friend, Uragiri. He seems to know so much, but I thought all the questions about the strange samurai symbols and customs were hard. Who knew that you weren’t allowed to accept gifts when someone offers them to you? How does anyone ever give their friends anything, if that’s the case? Maybe I’ll have to ask my friend Mirai, the priestess I told you about before. She probably knows the answer.
At least I did well with the wrestling and the obstacle course, even against a really strong Dragon samurai and a really fast Crab samurai. And my friend Shiko (she’s a Unicorn!) offered to teach me how to ride horses, but it’s quite a bit different from just leading one through the fields. It may take a while for me to figure that one out.
By the next time I write to you, the competition will be finished. If I don’t win, I hope Shiko or Uragiri does.

Your son,
Shika

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Another Day In Paradise

Dear Diary,

Today was the first real day of the competition. As was to be expected, I acquitted myself magnificently. After touring the Kakita Academy, I had a chance to meet the locals and get a taste of the local flavor. The students I met seemed somewhat dull and lackwitted; perhaps it is the ease of living in such magnificent quarters. I would not speak ill of any I met, of course, but I was forced to decline to aid the master artisan in his preparations as my own duties required attention. Still, it is gratifying to know one is appreciated and some of the work they were doing was on par with my own. It bodes well for the future of the Empire, I tell you what.

Oh, dearest diary, there was a surprise! The Emperor must have heard of my prowess in the arts, because he added a whole section of competitions to the tourney. That is good news for me, but bad news is that I heard that a certain someone high up in the courts, like, SUPER HIGH UP, has a dose of the clap and it is not to be repeated. Except to the very trustworthy, of course.
I am staying in the residence of the fellow I mentioned last time with a ronin who has a pet pig and a shugenja who resembles one. Still they are both very pleasant and I look forward to dealing with them, in particular the Phoenix who seems to know a lot about things.

Anyhoo, back to the competition. I was brilliant, amazingly so, and blew through the trials like I was knocking out a set of crunches. The only real trouble I had was in the obstacle course, with a smelly Scorpion but he was brutal and foolish and I am magnificent and I smoked his ass like a trout. So as of now I have qualified for adulthood, but my eyes are on the prize to see far. Perhaps I will make allies of the Phoenix and the ronin, they seem like aces and know about housekeeping. Except the pig, but that is at least kind of interesting.

More later, diary. For now I must practice with my bad as sword.

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Musings of a Phoenix

It seems there is more to these contests than I realized. The fact that someone was seeking to have me dishonor my clan by deliberately losing to a ronin shows the dishonor present. Now I have to worry about all the ronin and others to see what dishonorable activities are going on. I am trying to tread the path of honor but it gets very tricky.

Still, I have proven to my daimyo that me coming here is not a clan disgrace. That as first shugenja in my family line, I will be worthy even if I know that certain contests are not my strong point. Thankfully the water kami were with me during the Sumai and my scholarly learning helped during the tests of law and heraldry. I feel bad for those that feel they are driven to win every match in every area. We all seek to be credits to our ancestors and our ancestors guide us in many ways, (I admit that this is a worry at times) that if our ancestors never rode to guide us and our daimyo and sensei never saw fit for such training, then it is foolish to expect to beat one whose sensei stressed it.

It is interesting how this ronin that shares my place is doing. His ancestors were disgraced and such dishonor is what guides him and yet, he is thriving almost as well as I am in these contests. He was better at athletics and I better at law but we both are passed gempuku when perhaps there might some that fail completely.

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Dearest Mother (3)

I have very good news, mother—I have now become a man in the eyes of all the other samurai, and the Emperor has decided that my friends and I are going to be Emerald Magistrates! The man I thought was the Dragon Clan Champion was not in fact the Clan Champion, but that’s OK—it turned out he’s actually a high-ranking Emerald Magistrate, and he wants us to serve under him. He says that I may even be allowed to officially join the Dragon Clan sometime soon! I think I impressed him when I captured a local brigand who had been trying to disrupt the Topaz Championship competition.

Speaking of the competition, I acquitted myself well in the rest of the contests. The dueling tournament was hard, and I didn’t win it, but lots of other things went well, like the horse-riding and sword-fighting and even a talking competition. I’m not quite sure how I won that one, but I guess my competitor was just tongue-tied. My friends and I were also the only group to succeed at the “hunting” challenge—at least, the only ones who succeeded despite being attacked by that band of brigands. Don’t worry, we’re all OK—it helps that I can run really fast, which meant that all the brigands tried to chase me while my friends made it back to the Tournament grounds safe and sound. What’s also very exciting is that one of the friend that I saved from the brigands, Uragiri, is now the Topaz Champion (there are so many Champions running around everywhere, sometimes it’s hard to keep them all straight…). Anyway, Uragiri did even better than I did during the challenges; the only thing he didn’t win was the dueling tournament, but he impressed everyone enough that they awarded him the rank of co-Champion anyway.

Unfortunately, there were some tragedies during the tournament too. My Unicorn friend Shinjo Shiko got into a duel with a Scorpion after she accused him of lying and murdering some important diplomat, and he ended up killing her. Which is really too bad, and we still don’t know who the real assassin was. But at least Shiko died defending her honor—there are a lot worse ways to return to one’s ancestors. And there are a lot of other people that I got to know well during this time too. Another ronin, Kamahime, is really pretty and quite fun to be around—I hope I get to see lots more of her. And Shiko’s clan-mate Joseph wants me to visit him if I’m ever in Unicorn lands. Probably the strangest of all, the old peasant man we met on the way to the tournament turned out to be some supernatural bird thing! After our successes in the tournament, he even blessed us with his beneficent blessing—Shiba-san (the priestess) tells me that my antlered kabuto is now “Awake”, whatever that means. Maybe it means I don’t have to worry about sleeping in dangerous places, since my kabuto will stay on guard all night. Usually Inoshi is good at that sort of thing too, but I guess having an extra guard is never bad, especially when there are Ogres running around.

Yeah, now that we’re Emerald Magistrates-in-Training, we are on official business for Kitsuki Kage, which has included facing down a real live escaped Ogre! Alas, I couldn’t get much of a trophy form my Ogre hunt, since he might have been really Evil, and I didn’t want to get any of his Evil on me. But I did get a piece of his huge club. Inoshi helped out a lot in that fight with the ogre—every day I’m more and more glad that I decided to rear him instead of cooking him.

Your dutiful son,
Shika

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Diary Triumphant!

Great news, diary! I am triumphant! Your humble epistolarian is none other than the new Topaz Championship, the most prestigious of young men and on the rise indeed. It was a magnificent tourney, and not without twists and turns. I have been made a sort of Emerald Magistrate; a Topaz Magistrate if you will and I have been given a staff of a ronin and a shugenja to aid me in my duties as one of the Jeweled Champions of the Empire. It is fitting. I also have an experienced Emerald Magistrate to aid me as a kind of mentor and advisor, I should be well set going forward.

As to the nature of my triumph, it was amazing. My acting, my poetry, my origami, all a dazzling blur. It was uncanny. Even with the unannounced tasks I was masterful. I had been told the competition would be better here, but it turns out I was just as dazzling as I was back home. Perhaps the wandering monk who claimed that peasants are just as good as samurai has some merit! I should discuss this with my old master, he was often given to philosophical meditations and that might interest him. That is a tale for another time, perhaps.

I saw some new things! I saw a duel between two of my fellow competitors, one of whom got her throat cut for her troubles, and I saw an ogre, who got jacked up for his. All in all things are going pretty well for yours truly, and I am off to another competition. I am sure I will be something of a celebrity there as well, but I assure you diary that this has not gone to my head. I am still the same simple country squire as I ever was.

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An Unexpected Gift

My Honored Sensei Nori,

I am humbled by your gift, but I must decline. Such a magnificent blade is well beyond the deserving of one such as I. Surely there is some other student who is more worthy of the steel than I, I who could not even prove victorious in the tournament of Kakita steel. I thank you once more for your regard, and look forward to our next meeting.

Thank you once more, your student,

Kakita Uragiri

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Return To Sender

Dearest Sensei Nori,

It seems the blade you sent me was returned; this must be some mistake. I bear the blade my father had commissioned for me after his blade had been given to one of my many older brothers. I could not bear to part with the steel he selected for me, it is nearly two years old now and I have only recently really gotten it broken in. The masterwork blade you propose is much older and would totally be tougher to work with, I am sure, even if it is so light. And well balanced. And breathtakingly sharp.

Until we meet once more,

Kakita Uragiri

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