Legend of the Five Rings: Echoes

Session 19: Cliffs of the Dragon

Darkness used for light.
Do Ends justify our Means?
Or are we all doomed?

The Echoes journeyed to Dragon Lands to close the penultimate Scar. Thankfully they had little political opposition. Unfortunately, the lands of the Dragon provided enough opposition for them.

The Scar wasn’t difficult to close, but they ran into a group of Gaki on the way up, and in the fight Sakura was cast from the cliffs. Ineko, their one-time enemy, leapt from the cliffs herself, using blood-magic to sprout wings and rescue the Unicorn Echo.

Several minds changed about the seductress at that moment, and some hardened…

Comments

“Living is jumping off of a cliff and building your wings on the way down.”

I… don’t know how to take Ineko’s actions. I would like to believe that she is penitent and seeking redemption… but my hesitation has cost us dearly before.

My wife is far more troubled than I by Ineko’s presence. She feels that old jealousy, guilt at driving Ineko to this point, fear that we will be betrayed… and I do not know how to assuage my beloved’s fears.

On Sanjuro, what more is there to say? We are a pair of twin blades, working together to cover our weaknesses. I could not ask for a better brother, or a more worthy rival.

Hida’s Honor is a rough, sometimes ugly thing, but it is strong and steadfast. His Courtesy could use some work…

And… Sakura-chan.

Session 19: Cliffs of the Dragon
 

I was useless in the fight with the Gaki.

I had to be; I had to close the scar. I couldn’t waste my spells fighting the Gaki and we wouldn’t want to spend the night on that mountain.

Ineko used Blood Magic. She used it in the fight and to rescue Sakura-san when she fell off the cliff. She used it to help.

She also used it after I specifically told her not to, to stay out of any fights, and that her life would be forfeit if she did use Blood Magic.

Am I supposed to go back on my word, fail at the tenant of Sincerity just because Sanjuro-san is soft-hearted and Ineko has someway wormed her way close to Hida-san? Just because she rescued one of the Echoes, one who would be reborn again and possibly without the influence of the Lying Darkness.

It is our Duty to hunt Maho, to hunt Kage. Not to coddle them, not to reform them, to Hunt them.

I am not fool enough to press the issue now. Not when some, maybe all of the other Echoes would disagree with me, when it would cause tension in the group.

I knew when I started up the mountain pass alone that one of two things would happen.

Either Sakura-san and Ineko would perish and I would morn them.

Or Ineko would use blood magic or Sakura-san would accept help from the Lying Darkness, or both, and they would both have to be dealt with later.

Later indeed. I have resources beyond the Echoes for this.

~

I have now been to many of the Spirit Realms with one Scar left to close. Finding Kakita Katashi-san in Meido should have been expected; his demeanor was not. Bringing him back to Ningen-do might have been a bad idea, especially since he’s seemed to take physical form. We might need his wisdom though, in these trying times. We close the scar in the Badger lands and then we can face down Kage.

~

It occurs to me that echoes aren’t exact duplicates of the original, but are distorted in some way, sometimes quite a bit. We’re not the Songs of Rokugan.

We’re just their echoes, distortions and all.

Ends justify Means?
Wrong thing for the Right Reason
I will keep my Word

Session 19: Cliffs of the Dragon
 

This is an interesting shift in ideals. I am being merciful whereas Yamako-san is demanding for blood. However I don’t believe it is a matter of honor for her as it was with me in past instances. I do not know the history between Yamako-san, Ineko, and Kakida-san but I have heard Yamako-san mention on several occasions that Ineko had tried to have them killed. I also am aware that there is a bit of uneasy history and that the way that Kakida-san looks at Ineko and herself at Kakida-san, that there was something…more.
It is our duty to eliminate Maho and anything tied to the taint however Ineko is also leading us to Kage and I have sworn for her safety in exchange to finding him. Kage is the greater evil that has corrupted Ineko and others into what they are; with Kage gone, the Echoes will have succeeded in their destiny. Yamako-san can be allowed to be cautious, to do so otherwise would be foolish but she should put aside her personal feelings and focus on the main reason why we are using Ineko in the first place. Yamako-san seems to have (oddly) forgotten that Kanshu would take her soul if we were to fail to deliver Kage to him? If she killed Ineko before we found Kage, Kanshu would surely claim her soul. I could not step in as she has made the arrangement with Kanshu (although she seems to not care too much about honor or keeping her word at times). Kakida-san could step in to save her but I do not believe he could withstand Kanshu’s might, regardless of how quick and good he is with a blade.
As for my relationship with Ineko…why did I decide to spare her? Tactfully speaking, it is like I said; she is the key to getting us to Kage and delivering him to Kanshu in order to save Yamako-san from his wrath. Personally…
I have fought on the Wall long enough to see comrades become tainted, some live with this for the rest of their lives with it and lead a fairly normal (as in normal for a Crab) life and others become completely corrupted. I am used to dealing with those who have corruption within them. Granted, she has no honor left for allowing herself to be corrupted however she is not completely twisted and evil and she has proven that several times now by rescuing Sakura-san. Granted, it was against Yamako-san’s wishes but I have seen many comrades use the taint to help turn the tides of a hopeless battle. Is it dangerous? Yes. Does the end justify the means? Only the Kame knows for sure. Is there still hope one can try to live a somewhat normal life…perhaps…one has to hope because without hope, what’s the point of living?

Session 19: Cliffs of the Dragon
Deathfrisbee2000

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