Saturday was a hell of a day for the L5R game that I am a player in. We resolved the first major story arc of the current generation we're in, which involved a Mass Battle with our force of 60 troops attacking a force of nearly 300 in the dead of winter, at night, during a snowstorm, across a river, and under the cover of cannon fire. Yes, cannon fire.
The session was full of heroics. Whether it was the Mirumoto Bushi and Tsuruchi Archer just barely holding the bridge back across the river as the enemy rallied and tried to push us back, the clutch shooting of the Scorpion Bushi/Ninja/Alchemist with the cannon, or my own Utaku Battlemaiden killing the opposing army's sensei in a duel. Only one PC made it out of the fighting at better than +15 (almost +20) wounds, and that was because the character has Touched by Gaki-do and managed to heal up in the fighting at the last second.
In the aftermath of the battle though I find myself at an interesting position. My character has accomplished all of the goals they'd set for themselves leading up to the battle and, well, never really expected to survive the masscombat in the first place.
To explain it, my character was down in the "south lands" of Rokugan looking for the man who had killed her mother. It wasn't revenge for slaying the mother per se, but more for the recovery of a family heirloom that the man had taken from the mother's body. For Utaku Battlemaidens having a man use a weapon passed down from Mother to Daughter isn't the happiest thing, and so she went after it. In the process she got involved with the PCs, the giant cluster (@(@ going on in Crane lands, and the war that emerged from it. She has escaped the other side havng avenged her mother's death, recovered the sword, and even made a name for herself.
So, what now?
Fortunately for me the character has enough depth that they have some other goals. She dared to think beyond tomorrow and had been working towards certain objectives. She wants authority and respect - even if they don't know it - and to raise her own herd of horses. She wants strong daughters. She also wants to see what life has in store for her.
This, essentially, solves the problem for me and in this case it happened because somewhere along the way my character became a person as much as she was a character. For others though the task is the same, you need to find new objectives and goals - more ambitious ones too, often enough - and strive for them. Otherwise, what's the point of playing a character with no wants or ambitions to go after?