The Scroll or the Blade

A New DLC Adventure for Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Is Now Available for Download

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Masayo is a bright and sweet child, and she will make a thoughtful and compassionate samurai. I only hope that she is raised by someone who truly cares for the unique and special person that she is.

Every Winter Court is filled with intrigue, schemes, and deadly political games, but this year feels particularly tense. While all eyes turn to the Crane as they struggle to grin and bear the presence of the rowdy Mantis Clan, something is amiss between the normally peaceful Dragon and Phoenix clans and a young orphaned girl is at the center of it all. The child was born of Phoenix and Dragon parents, and her deep affinity for the kami would make her a valuable asset for whichever clan she chooses to align with. Now, tensions are rising between the two sides as both clans seek to claim her as their own.

Which clan will you support? And how will your choices shape the future of these clans and—ultimately—all of Rokugan? 

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce The Scroll or the Blade (10.6 MB), a new scenario to accompany the Winter’s Embrace adventure for the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game, is now available for download!

Fates Tied Together

The Scroll or the Blade is a supplemental storyline for Winter's Embrace that expands the adventure by showcasing how seemingly small decisions can have a dramatic impact on even the most peaceful clans, a theme that shines brilliantly in the Courts of Stone sourcebook. Beyond offering you the chance to participate in the storyline itself, this adventure also gives you an opportunity to make powerful new allies (or enemies) in the political warzone of the Winter Court which may have long-lasting repercussions in your future adventures.

Taking you to the heart of the lavish Kyūden Doji palace, The Sword or the Blade begins during a memorial service for a Phoenix and Dragon couple who have passed where you have been asked to act as guards. All of a sudden, a freak storm rattles the temple, trapping the assembly inside. While waiting for the storm to pass, you learn of the couple’s only child, Masayo, and the great potential for elemental powers she possesses. 

Although the Dragon and Phoenix Clans are usually more focused on spiritual matters rather than inter-clan conflict, the potential that this child represents has put a strain on their traditionally cordial relationship. Both of these Great Clans have faced hardship recently, with the Dragon’s declining birthrate and the Phoenix’s recent spiritual quandaries. Masayo’s link to the kami could be the solution to either clan's problems, or at the very least something tangible to give them some sense of control over their troubles. With so much at stake, both sides are willing to turn to less honorable means to achieve their ends, and the already tense Winter Court is ready to explode. It is up to your group of samurai to step in and formalize the child’s adoption.

A Vicious Rivalry

The Dragon have a strong argument for gaining custody of Masayo as her village lies within Dragon lands, but their choice of guardian may wish to exploit the child’s powers, causing her to suffer later. On the other hand, the Phoenix are also a strong choice since Masayo's blood relation can raise her, but the scandal that still surrounds this potential guardian’s parentage could force the Phoenix to lose face if the adoption goes through. Whichever side you choose, you are sure to leave at least one party with a grudge to bear against you, which will make your time at the Winter Court more difficult. But can you allow your personal gains or losses to influence your decisions regarding the fate of the child?

The Dragon and Phoenix are not the only clans involved in this struggle for the fate of Masayo. Shika Yuki, a Deer Clan matchmaker, has decided to step in as well to arrange a kemari tournament between the child’s would-be guardians. You are to participate as well so you may learn more about the candidates’ natures and determine who will truly be a good match for Masayo. But when tempers flare, there is no telling how far the situation may escalate. If you are not careful, an all-out war may spark between the two clans and any blood shed will be on your hands for failing in your mission.

To make matters more complicated, Masayo herself wishes to be raised by a guardian who does not align with either of her deceased parents’ clans. At least in the child’s mind this may be the best solution for her, but it would leave both the Dragon and Phoenix in a losing position, one that you are personally responsible for. You may also pursue a variety of other options in search of a middle ground, such as granting custody of Masayo to one clan while promising to marry her to the other, but whether or not your plans work is for your Game Master to decide. You will need to rely on all your powers of diplomacy to keep the Winter Court from becoming a disaster and the Emerald Empire from falling into chaos.

Choice and Consequence

An impossible task has fallen into your hands and now the fate of a child is at stake. Will you be able to do what is right by Masayo, the Phoenix, and the Dragon; or will the choices you make now propel the realm into disorder and conflict? There are no easy decisions, there is only The Sword or the Blade!

Pick up your copy of Winter’s Embrace (L5R09) at your local retailer or online through the Fantasy Flight Games website today and download The Scroll or the Blade scenario here!

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