How I Handled One of My Player’s Choosing To Have Lost Memories in L5R

One of my players chose the Lost Memories Flaw and gave me almost free reign over what had happened.This is what I decided.


One of my players chose the lost memories flaw (basically Amnesia) and the circumstances she chose was she went into the Shinomen no Mori (think the Fae Wilds), got lost, got saved by something, fell in love with it and left. she has no memories of what happened or her life before hand and told me i could make up whatever i wanted.

So here's what I decided

A few sessions ago she was attacked by the Order of Death, servants of the Great Fortune of Death Emma-O.
The reason?
Apparently the character Maki had the soul of one who was dead and Emma-O took offence to this. But she didn't know how to take this for she was very much alive, beating heart and everything.

Eventually she brought up to her party that her friend had this issue. The party, in character and without knowing that Maki was talking about herself, pretty much announced that if anyone was being targeted by The Fortune of Death then they were a liability, and would bring death to any near them.

Maki understandably took this very hard and ran away, back to the Shinomen no Mori to find her lost love.

She eventually comes to this pool, the Fire Pool of Purification, a pool of water that can cleanse anything, disease, filth, curses, souls. Anything in it's waters would be cleansed and leave blank and spotless.

In this water however was a beautiful mermaid (a being that doesn't exist in Rokugan the setting), who upon seeing Maki swims over and gently whispers, 'my love it has been centuries since I last saw you, oh how I missed you,' gently caressing Maki's cheek. They share a tender kiss and the mermaid pulls Maki into the water where Maki and the mermaid sink out of sight.

The rest of the party showed up at this time, having braved the Shinomen no Mori to find their lost party member, getting into a fight themselves and almost dying to a ghost and her two zombie handmaidens. The saw Maki sink beneath the water, not rising and so Tenzan, the Crab Clan character and the tank, jumps in after her, bellyflopping but not making a ripple in the water. The other two follow suit.

Junji (Phoenix Clan Character and the mage) and Hikaru (Dragon Clan Character and detective) find themselves in a rocky valley, with a spire in front of them and a light at the top of the spire. As they debate about what to do a figure of inky, tainted evil stands atop the nearby cliff and screams in rage, then another, then another, soon thousands upon thousands are doing this and they charge down the cliff face like the stampede in Lion King.

The two characters argue, Hikaru telling Junji to leave her as she is weak, exhausted and sick, she could not make the climb. Junji refuses and they eventually both start to climb, working together, barely making the check They reach the top to find Tenzan and the source of the light. It is a way to escape but there is a problem, it is too high. One person would have to lift or throw the others through it and stay behind themselves.

Tenzan and Junji throw Hikaru through and Tenzan then boosts Junji through just before the hoard of beasts assaults Tenzan. He manages to fight them off, destroying tens of them but they keep swarming until eventually he finds himself able to climb up their writhing bodies to the light and escapes, though he now carries with him the Taint of the Shadowlands.

Where was Maki when this was happening?

She found herself outside a manor that resembled her current home, where her new lord took her in, though the style and artwork on the walls contrasted. One style felt like youthful naivete, the other jaded age.

Eventually Maki hears some yelling and follows it to her bedroom in the manor, the door is also in two seperate styles joined together by stitches. She goes through the door and finds a younger version of herself, 16 the age she was when she escaped the Shinomen no Mori, arguing with an old decrepit Naga. Both of them arguing that is was their body, and the other person needed to get out.

After talking to the two and some self introspection Maki came to the realisation that she was not truly real. She was a composite of the two souls, the soul of young Maki and the soul of the Naga.

What had happened is that the mermaid lured people into the pool, cleaned their souls and then the Naga would possess them so that the two could always be together even after death. For some reason it didn't quite work with Maki however.

Since she escaped she was half Maki-Half Naga there was a problem now though, when Maki escaped she had half of Maki's soul and half of the Naga's soul, the rest were left in the Fire Pool of Purity. Now that Maki was in the pool the two souls were whole and there was not enough space in the body for two souls. Maki could give the body to either young Maki or the Naga but that would kill her, but neither of those two souls were willing to give up any of themselves to make room for the other.

The players met up at this point.

Maki did her best to convince the two souls, eventually almost convincing Young Maki to give up a bit of herself but Young Maki had a problem. She had made friends with a Demon in the Shinomen no Mori, a Demon that Maki the PC had also made friends with, and one of the players was sworn to kill all demons. She said she would give up part of herself IF Tenzan, the player in question, would allow Maki to be friends with said Demon. Tenzan upon hearing this went 'good, the Demon trusts you. We can use that trust to strike it when it's least prepared,' Causing Maki the player to challenge Tenzan to a duel.

That is where the session ended


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