The Guardians of Traitor’s Grove

   Traitors Grove has long been a place created for the terrible, unending, vengeance of the Scorpion clan. It is a place of unrelenting horror and misery, of entrapped and agonized spirits, of black magic, and of evil. It’s an attempt to turn a piece of Ninjen-Do into a private version of Jigoku – and like calls to like. With it’s power now focused and augmented by the presence of the Bloodsword Revenge it has become a terrible source of power for those who swear themselves to vengeance.

   With the millennial dimensional conjunction underway, the barriers between the worlds are all too thin already. The current Scorpion Clan Champion, influenced by Fu Leng, has been busy attempting to turn the grove into a full-fledged gateway to Jigoku, another Festering Pit from which horrors can spring. There have always been those who were condemned to the Grove for reasons other than vengeance: nothing is immune to political and personal factors. Over the years the current champion has been in power, the supply of condemned “traitors” has grown immensely. Innocents – even children – have been bound to the trees. The most psychotic Samurai and Ashigaru have been recruited to defend the grove – and those seeking vengeance above all else drawn to partake of its power in ever-increasing numbers.

   The Bloodswords have always been able to mask their nature and the nature of the power they supply. The power of Revenge now infuses the entire grove and its environs. Within that compass you may swear yourself to the power and perpetual maintenance of Revenge, and so draw upon its power – receiving up to 30 points of Taint and access to the School of Uttermost Vengeance, below. So long as the sword endures within the grove, it moderates the taint it has passed on: its presence is masked within its servants and its level will not increase. If the blade should be removed from Traitor’s Grove, or be destroyed, it is likely that the powers of the school will decrease. If the trapped and tormented spirits are freed from Traitor’s Grove, new avengers cannot be initiated and the slowly-forming gate to Jigoku will dissipate. In either case there may be additional effects, but such secondary considerations are less than certain.

The School of Uttermost Vengeance

   School Benefits: +1 Agility, Chosen Weapon Skill 2, Any two other Weapons Skills 1, Athletics 1, Hunting 1, and Investigation 2.

Rank One: Vengeance Never Dies
   Double effect when spending Void to buy off damage (5), Spend as much void as desired on buying off damage (5), buy off effect extends to each attack for a full minute (10)

Rank Two: Vengeance Strikes True
   Pool of free raises with a chosen weapon type equal to the relevant skill per skirmish (5), usable by others (+5), troublesome to regain (must take grave offense at something, -5 cost), +4 Void to normal total, only usable for buying off damage (10), Extra Attack when using chosen weapon type only (5).

Rank Three: Vengeance’s Cold Rage
   May trade in one or more extra attacks with chosen weapon for 5 free raises each. (10), weapons of your chosen type operate as if they were one quality level higher than they actually are in your hands (5), Gain SR free raises with Investigation, Athletics, and Hunting checks when using those skills in pursuit of an opponent you have sworn personal vengeance against (5).

   The school is normally a secondary one – becoming available when someone visits the area of the Grove and swears himself or herself to vengeance – but it is possible to be raised in it if you either have a sufficiently twisted guardian or if you swear yourself to vengeance as a child. It’s been known to happen, and it rarely – well, ok, never – turns out well.

   Is this overpowered? OF COURSE this is overpowered! It’s a school for psychotic loons, it has a variety of inherent limitations, and it’s meant to let said loons stand up against a group of extremely experienced player characters. To this end, they can take massive amounts of damage, hit extraordinarily high armor classes, and still inflict quite a lot of damage. Fortunately, persistent attacks – such as from a large force, or hit-and-run tactics – will overwhelm them in fairly short order.

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