Vortex of time Series: Firefight at the Okari Corral, A Wind from the Abyss: Michio, Alex, Shigure, Kochige, and Okari. The Evil Grand Viziers interrogations got them a fair amount of generic information about the Yodatai culture, but little to nothing of military importance. Low-ranking agents simply didn’t have any important information.
Out in the streets, a fair number of the Yodatai had gone back undercover, the priests of the Seven Elder Gods of Senpet were buying slaves to sacrifice – and Michio got a sword blessed by them, so that anyone he killed would count as a sacrifice and reduce the number the priests needed otherwise. Alex returned to Rokugan to try and get some reinforcements, dealt with some potential “vacationers” who’d been put on hold, including a lovesick youngster, a would-be Sake trader, a few Ronin who wanted to try Gaijin lands but who didn’t want to cross hundreds of miles of wilderness, and the fact that most of his own clan thought he was crazy, and Shigure buried himself in plans for defending the city – and kept coming up against the fact that the Sultans forces were just too heavily outnumbered. Even if Alex succeeded in persuading the Dragon that reinforcing the Sultan was an indirect method of keeping the Yodatai from stepping up their probing raids on Rokugan, they’d never send enough men. Meanwhile, Okari helped work on the magical defenses.
Michio came up with a plan: if they used themselves as living bait, maybe they could lure the swarms of desert undead into an attack on the Yodatai. The Evil Grand Vizier had potions that would draw undead to the user and the Sultan had some tireless Ivory Steeds… It was suicidal, but it would certainly be glorious.
While they had to fight some undead along the way, the Yodatai at the first pass were just setting up: it was easy enough to take the undead into them: Shigure snuck in to try and dose the commander with undead attractant, but wound up having to hide in some old tunnels – which turned out to be the remains of an older fortress full of undead… Michio relied on his ivory steed to carry him through and managed to take out the commander with some incredible arrow shots along the way. The next camp was too well fortified to waste the undead he’d collected along the way against it – but the third had a lot of people outside it. The local undead were also pretty organized. Under a commander who’d fought Shinjo. Who still wanted revenge – and who thanked Michio for bringing him extra troops. He was planning to slaughter the Yobanjin during their march and add them to his troops. Wait. Would events in Rokugan – even the ascension of Fu Leng – really affect the sun and moon? The tainted could not ascend to the heavens – but the local undead were reliant on fire, not taint. They lived – er, existed – in a desert of finely divided crystal.
Suddenly Michio was unsure that the Yobanjin were the real menace here. He headed home to talk to the Shugenja.
Shortly thereafter the Yobanjin arrived and started a methodical siege, demanding surrender all the while. In the absence of Shigure, Kochige decided to defend the food and water supplies, Okari started quietly evacuating noncombatants (buying up slaves where necessary), Alex organized the reinforcements, and Michio reported and then slept for two days.
Too damn many Yobanjin. They discarded the idea of storm and flooding – too hard to arrange in a desert, even if they were by the shore – and eventually decided to help the weather mage make a cold snap. With that many mages to help him, that night the temperatures plunged to lethal levels. Most of the group went out to try and help the people of the city. Michio got some protective spells and went out to slash open the roofs the Yobanjin had thrown up over their trenches. Running madly, he opened enormous sections of the roofs before the Yobanjin scouts and the few others who were immune to weather could stop him. Between his actions and the undead, there were several thousand casualties among the Yobanjin, and almost as many in the city.
The biggest sacrifice to the Elder Gods of Senpet in half a millennium. And they answered. The spirit-vortex swept over the city, bridging the gap between the universe and the things outside. Nearly a dozen lesser entities crossed over, and the area was devastated, before the priests of Senpet invoked the ritual of dismissal. Unfortunately, Alex got caught up in it, Michio was fairly severely wounded (and almost eaten) by one of the lesser entities, and Okari was severely drained. The military positions were now nearly even.
10/10 XP, free Lore: Senpet Religion 2. Alex lost in interdimensional space, Okari temporarily out of action, numerous refugees passed through the Shrine, other results pending.