Legend of the Five Rings: Suikoden
- As the Magistrates return from Winter Court in Lion Lands in the early spring, they are intercepted by outriders dressed in the ranks of the Emerald Legion. They ask the heroes to follow them into the Emerald Legion camp nearby. The magistrates found this strange, but followed along.
- The outriders lead the heroes to “Saito” Yu, Gunso of the 37th Imperial Legion and Wasp Clan archer. Yu gave the heroes an overview of the situation. Ebi Mura was raided by an unknown army of ronin dressed in Noh masks, who have managed to claim the town itself. Outriders and Scouts have gone to Ebi Mura and Oni Mura for intelligence, and have recently returned. The Oda Family is currently busy defending itself from the horrors inside the castle walls. The report shows that activity inside Oni Mura has grown much worse in the last few months, and the Oda Family is fighting a losing battle. Nobunaga is unable to commit any forces to the Emerald Forces that plan to retake Ebi Mura. The Ebi Family and the villagers are said to be battling within the village, to try and keep it. Intelligence also gathered that a dozen or so samurai have holed themselves within the Eternal Magistrate Yashiki and are currently fending off incoming enemies. When the heroes asked for details, the scout revealed that one had an overly large sword too big to be a No Dachi, another wore bright red armor with a strange mon and a mantis shugenja.
- Toru received a message that a small contingent of Scorpion Samurai were waiting for him at the front entrance of the camp. He arrived to find Sugai with a series of Bayushi trained warriors. The heroes were not happy to see Sugai. Sugai at this point had moved up the ranks of the Scorpion as a diplomat after the loss of his primary sword hand. Sugai had news specific for Toru, related to his missing sister Otomo Beiru. He explained that Beiru was captured by Taira Chikazane who the heroes believed was behind this entire situation in the broken lands. Sugai told of her location deep in Scorpion lands, and offered to take the heroes there when they were ready. The heroes couldn’t help but worry that this was a trap.
- The Magistrates were given the command over Yu’s forces for strategy on where to start. Despite Toru’s desire to help his sister first, Ryu and Inu talked him into concentrating on the effort of Ebi Mura first. In preparation for a full on assault, the heroes decided they wanted to scout inside the walls. As Yu was a master scout, he offered to lead the way into the village. Through Yu’s leadership, the others found inspiration that allowed them to follow his lead as they advanced quietly through the village.
- At first the heroes skirmished against the noh mask enemy that seemed to take considerable wounds before falling. This worried the magistrates who were concerned with a city filled with such an enemy. The heroes made for the Eternal Magistrate Yashiki, finding a series of allies from previous battles including Zhuyasha, Balun, Sanosuke, Tamashi (Little Pebble), Reika and Itto, and Yoji (Big Yoji).
- Sanosuke revealed what they had managed to determine about the enemy. They appeared to be supernaturally created. Removing the noh mask seemed to put an end to the enemy. With this information, Yu’s army had what it needed. They made their way back over the walls and led a charge into the city the next morning. The battle was short, and victory was swift for the Emerald Legion and the heroes.
Ebehdo Castle in Bayushi Lands
- With the immediate threat of the strange mask wearing corpses out of the way, the heroes sat together and discussed the next action. There were two immediate issues they needed to deal with. The first and most obvious was Oni Mura. The second was searching out and finding Taira Chikazane and Toru’s sister Beiru. Toru urged Ryu and Inu to follow him in search for his sister, as both samurai spoke openly about wanting to deal with Oni Mura first. After Toru’s plea, the heroes agreed to travel with Sugai into what was likely a trap.
- The trip with Sugai in this early spring weather was hard and trying. The magistrates present themselves in the Winter Court as Sugai’s unexpected ‘guests’. As Sugai had suggested, Chikazane was present at the Winter Court under his alias as the Bayushi Daimyo, Bayushi Chikazane. Chikazane was heavily guarded and seemed to greet the heroes with a pleasant smile, though they felt the tension underneath. Tofune felt the sheer number of Hitachi Dragons in the vicinity of Ebehdo Castle. This was a true center for their activity.
- Sugai gathered with the others late at night and they agreed to plan a late night scout of the castle. Sugai offered two of his best men, and Otonashi also stepped forward. Through scouting, they were able to determine that the Chikazane present was known as ‘the False Chikazane’ who sat in the place of the real one while he was away. One of Sugai’s scouts was caught and killed, which made them concerned. They also learned that the real Chikazane was en route to a place in Unicorn Lands known as Sleeping River. The heroes ducked out of the castle at night, killing as few guards as possible as they made their swift exit. This was a wise move as the False Chikazane was preparing to have them arrested for involvement in an assassination attempt.
Facing Chikazane at Sleeping River
- The heroes decided to venture onward to the Sleeping River to face off with Taira Chikazane. Hida Fujizaka and Toku came along with the primary heroes on this journey. While on the way through Scorpion lands heading toward Unicorn lands, Togashi Tofune was assaulted by a dragon of the Hitachi that nearly killed him. He survived a massive fall and with the aid of the others, the dragon was slain.
- The Magistrates read up on the Sleeping River on their journeys. The Sleeping River runs down into Mizu-umi Ryo and is named for the sleeping city, Nagashi Naga Toshi, at the bottom the lake. Local peasants believe that if you place sand from the river in a sake bottle anyone who drinks it will fall into a magical slumber. This is in Unicorn lands and the Battle of Sleeping River was the place where the armies of Iuchiban were routed. This took place in the 8th Century on his second rising.
- Arriving in the Unicorn border, a winter storm had hit making the remaining portion of travel daunting. During sleep, Toru dreamed a horrible nightmare where his sister was being chased by a massive dragon. Toru was held in a cell in the dream and unable to save her, pulling at the iron bars helplessly.
- When they reach Sleeping River, a Blue Crane is seen overhead. It is the same as the very first day of the Topaz Tournament. Following the Crane led the heroes of destiny a few miles off course to hilly terrain where they would meet with many familiar faces. Megumi was present along with Balun, Toku, Doji Kuwanan, Mirumoto Uriko and Matsu Ryu. Along with those participants present with the heroes, every participant of the Topaz Tournament that was still alive was present. It was apparent that destiny was about to be seen.
- Megumi told them of Chikazane’s intended to Eight Fold Rune to create the most powerful and obedient Oni Lord Rokugan had ever seen. With an artefact from the Naga known as “The Orb of the Hive”, Chikazane intended to march into the Shadowlands and travel to Jigoku to defeat Fu Leng. The Orb is one thing capable of weakening Fu Leng to a state that this would be possible, at least for someone as powerful as Chikazane. “He intends to destroy the Empire, and replace the Emperor born of the Kami with his own life born of the Celestial Dragons. This is not the way it should ever be. This realm is one for mortal men.”
- The heroes gathered under Doji Kuwanan’s lead due to his proficiency in battle tactics and leadership. The Hitachi were seen at river side by Tofune. Otonashi noticed that they seemed to be guarding the riverside.
- The heroes rode in a flanking formation against the Hitachi who stood their ground. Ryu, Toru and Inu raced for the lead position in the charge. The first charge would end the minor squabble as the small battle erupted into chaos. Hida Fujizaka and Mirumoto Uriko both died in this bloody battle. Chikazane’s right hand man Hiruken, was present at this battle and used his massive tetsubo to deal great harm to Inu, Toru, Ryu and Tofune. The heroes prevailed, but it was a battle that would cause them a great deal of anguish, as well as the loss of their dear friend the Fuj.
- Megumi pointed to Inu’s sake bottle and told him to fill it up with water from the River. Inu did so, and Megumi asked each hero to drink from the water bottle. The heroes found themselves in a dream state at the bottom of the river. An ancient civilization of the Naga existed down here in full majesty. The heroes in the dream state were forced to use their mental fortitude, cunning and prowess in the place of their physical athleticism. They heard a loud hum up ahead and decided to follow that forward through the endless river caverns of the Naga. Chikazane appeared before them as a dark dragon in semi-physical form. The fight was terrible, and Asahina Tadamo’s soul would be lost saving Ryu in this battle, who nearly died as well. Sugai and Toru would fight side by side for the first time in their bitter history. Inu found himself beside the spirit of Fujizaka, able to fight by his side one last time.
- Chikazane was defeated by the heroes, and his spirit was destroyed. As the heroes regained consciousness, Fujizaka, Tadamo’s and Uriko remained dead. Sugai dissapered, and his men and horses were nowhere to be seen. The water of the river boiled for a moment and a great powerful light shot out of the sky and traveled into the horizon. The heroes determined that this was likely the Eight Fold Rune.
- The Magistrates were able find out that Otomo Beiru was locked away in Oni Mura. He warned them that it was ‘Too Late’, but the heroes went ahead and planned for this to be their next great feat.
Oni Mura Castle Part II
- With the news that Beiru was being held captive in Oni Mura, the heroes finally had the excuse they were looking for to risk their lives in attempt to defeat the evil that existed in Oni Mura. Oda Nobunaga and the heroes marched up the path to the castle.
- The march into the castle was very similar to the previous attempt to explore the castle, but the Magistrates were prepared for the first couple of floors. On the first floor, the heroes moved quickly through the hallway of blood walls where they faced the wall painting creatures from the last time. As they reached the stairs, they were faced with a portion of the skeleton sentry that they had faced previous. Oda Nobunaga used the Shield Rune that formed a magical field the enemy could not penetrate, and the heroes marched quickly through the skeleton army to the fourth floor where they were able to collapse the stairwell so that they could not be pursued.
- On the fourth floor the Magistrates had a moment to breath, and opted to investigate the floor. They found a writing room stocked with books of various topics. The rare books that they stock piled explained more in depth lore of runes and the 27 true runes. In addition there was a pillow book on the subject of Ryukujou, the same name Chikazane mentioned when he told Toru it was too late to save Beiru. Toru decided to take this book as the heroes progressed further up the castle.
- Continuing up the path, the heroes encountered numerous obstacles and threats, but none as threatening as the Hitachi members armed with poison. Ryu was injured quite badly from a poison weapon in the open courtyard on the seventh floor of the castle before the threat was eliminated. Tofune was also poisoned, but used his tattoos as a minor pain relief.
- At the eight and final floor, the heroes would face two major antagonists. The heroes prepared to face off against the Oni Lord that had consumed the soul of Oda Nobunaga’s father, Oni no Nobuhide. The second antagonist was Oda Nobunaga’s corrupted brother, Oda Nobuyuki. Nobuyuki’s soul was fully corrupted at this point, giving him powers of the shadowlands, and he still had the Rune of Dark Sword that was destined to bring conflict with the Bright Shield Rune Nobunaga held. Oni no Nobuhide lashed out with more force than any opponent the heroes had faced to this point, dealing great damage to Toru, Tofune, Ryu and Inu. Otonashi weighed the scenario and saw that Nobunaga was no match for his brother. Otonashi then drew an arrow and knocked it, targeting the brother during their duel of kin. Toru, Tofune, Ryu and Inu retaliated with fierce swarms of attacks, cutting at every tendril of the massive Oni. The Oni was a twisted combination of demon and human form, standing nearly twelve feet tall, but shaped as the back of a body save for it’s appendages being on backwards. The head resembled a neck that was broken entirely backward and upside down.
- In the end, Otonashi’s tactic saved the life of Nobunaga who was certain to lose against his brother. Tofune would collapse on the floor dead from a tendril through his midsection. Ryu, Inu and Toru were all hurt, but went forward with enough of a final attack to thwart the ancient enemy. Ryu was nearly dead at this point from the poison.
- Up ahead, they heard humming and made their way to a balcony to find Otomo Beiru with a sick twisted smile on her face. She looked at her brother as if he were a stranger before taking to the air in dragon form. It was clear then that she had been possessed by the dragon Ryukujou. Despite a failed attempt to save Beiru in time, the Magistrates emerged from Oni Mura as victorious Oni slayers. This single rumour would bring their names more glory than any other action to this point.
- In the days following the slaying of Oni no Nobuhide, many things occurred. A great funeral was planned and held on behalf of Togashi Tofune, who died a glorious death. His role was pivotal in the defeat of the Oni. Toru personally funded the funeral and requested that it be both personal and elaborate in the honor of an old friend and rival. Oda Nobunaga sent for Crab Shugenja to clear the taint remaining in the castle. Though the castle would be off limits until it was considered cleansed, he would announce the return of the village to be named Oda Mura.
- Toru spent time investigating the story behind Ryukujou. The pillow book he found in Oni Mura was the most vital piece of information. The tale said that Ryukujou was the daughter of P’an Ku, one of the most terrifying dragons ever to exist. Ryukujou was summoned to Rokugan by the Dark Lord (Fu Leng) just before the Day of Thunder. Ryukujou was too weak to participate in the battle in her new mortal form, and thus did not participate in the Day of Thunder. Years passed and Ryukujou fell in love with a bushi who entered the Shadowlands alone. She considered his action rather foolish and brave. The story told that the bushi’s name was “Ji” which represents love. The story says they spent years together. The bushi wished to return to his family, but Ryukujou willed him to stay. A struggle occurred, and the bushi returned to his family in Rokugan. In the end, Ryukujou attacked Ji’s home, and cornered him. She was intent on killing him until she was his face once again. She froze long enough to be killed by Ji, who remained holding her until her last breath was taken. The author of the pillowbook used the pen name Chuushin which means ‘Heart’. The Author’s mark is followed by a short quote “A day in my mind is enough romance for one thousand women.” Toru had heard his grandfather say this many times when Toru was just a boy, and began to consider that perhaps his grandfather was the author. He considered sending for his grandfather, but remembered that he retired five years ago. Though Toru knew he was a monk, he did not know the location of the monastery.
Three Man Alliance
- After the victory over Oni Mura, the Emerald Champion made a surprise visit to Ebi Mura. Doji Satsume’s presence in the broken lands brought the celebration to the streets as they praised one of the most powerful figures in Rokugan.
- Daidoji Toru, Matsu Ryu and Otonashi are called to a meeting of the Emerald Magistrate Ranks where Toru was proclaimed Chief Magistrate over the Broken Lands surrounding Ebi Mura. Toru accepted the position, and was given right to assign an assistant chief magistrate who would take over in the event of Toru’s death. Toru named Ryu in this position. Otonashi was named a traveling magistrate permanently assigned to Daidoji Toru.
- Inu met with the new Crab Ambassador, Kuni Rihatsu ‘Wisdom’. She is a very short woman dressed in the Kuni makeup, fine clothing and showed a ‘no nonsense’ attitude. She ordered Inu to continue his work with Toru, but also reminded him of Kisada’s interest in reclaiming the Castle of the East from the shadowlands army that has managed to hold it. Rihatsu informs Inu that there is an army waiting for him to command in Crab Lands.
- After the promotions, it was right back to business with the Emerald Magistrate. Satsume explained that General Bayushi Tomaru of the Scorpion Clan has been assigned to lead an army into the Sparrow lands to eradicate the minor clan. He explained that the issue started with a slight at court that grew over the late winter and early spring. And now, war was the way the Scorpion chose to resolve it. Satsume offered his personal opinon on the matter “Though battle is an acceptable duel, I fear eradication is not acceptable.” Satsume asked the Magistrates to stop the Bayushi army at all costs.
- The Magistrates gathered intelligence on the conflict, learning of the slight in court that enraged a very powerful Bayushi Lord. Bayushi Yojiro would make an appearance at this conflict, serving the side of the Sparrow against his own clan. He explained that he was on a warrior’s pilgrimage, allowing him to travel without his rank and mon, and willed to fight against Tomaru in this slaughter. This show of honor from a Scorpion impressed the heroes, though they did not entirely trust him. The Magistrates parlayed with General Bayushi Tomaru, trying to buy Otonashi time to send word to the Suzume allies of the battle to come. Tomaru was particularly rude to the heroes in the parlay. Toru and Ryu vowed to eliminate Tomaru on their next meeting. A great battle ensued near Shiro Suzume between the Suzume forces and the better trained better equipped and better organized Bayushi army. Though the Suzume fought with great heart, it seemed that their eradication was on the horizon. But the Sparrow were not destined to end on this day. The Fox Clan sent a rather large army of yojimbo and shugenja and the Wasp sent their units of archers that turned the tides of the battle in the favour of the Sparrow Clan. Bayushi Tomaru ordered retreat, and the Three Man Alliance was formed. This was a historic battle that would be told for centuries.
Habara of Swan Village
- Ryu received notification from one of the Yoriki that served him that Swan Village had a few reports of people wearing Noh masks at night. Fearing that this was the source of the noh mask army, the Magistrates gathered and set out to gather answers.
- This was the first opportunity for the heroes to meet the Uesugi ronin family that acted as protectors over Swan Village. The last time the heroes ventured to Swan Village, the Uesugi army was making an active presence in the south, dealing with their long time rivals. This allowed the Iaituba Battosai to set up his gang within the village.
- The Uesugi family had heard of the many conflicts surrounding Ebi and Oda mura of late, and decided to increase their security, interrogating visitors before they enter. Despite Toru, Ryu and Otonashi wearing emerald colors, they were still interrogated heavily, much to their dismay. In the end, they were let into the village where they would begin investigating the Noh masks.
- Meeting up with the ronin sensei at her dojo, they learned that a local playhouse hosted weekly showings of noh; a form of play in Rokugan. They also heard rumors that the daimyo Uesugi Kenshin was the head patron of the playhouse, and would likely be there tonight. At the playhouse, the Magistrates learned that a local peasant family has been carving the masks for the playhouse for generations. The family lived on farmland a little ways out of Swan Village.
- Investigating the farm house led to an skirmish with the Rune Witch Habara and her strongest noh mask zombies. Though Toru and Tofune suffered major wounds in this fight, the Noh bushi were cut down and Habara was captured and later hanged by the Emerald Magistrates of the broken lands.
Cult of the Bloody Tongue
- With the many victories behind them, it was finally Inu’s time to shine. Inu asked the other heroes to follow him on a mission from the Crab to reclaim the Castle of the East for his clan. Though this would give the Crab clan a better position on the broken lands, Toru , Ryu and Otonashi agreed to go along.
- Inu received intelligence on the shadowlands enemy. It seemed that a powerful shugenja named Mara was responsible for the experimentation and creation of a new type of oni called “Mara”. The army that defends the Castle of the East was reported as a mixture of tainted bandits, ronin and shadowlands forces.
- After gathering the army, Inu led the army marching southeast for the Castle of the East holding. Despite being outnumbered, this was an overwhelming victory for the Crab. The clan lost an acceptable amount of forces and regained a major holding. This act would make up for the blunder Inu caused by killing his betrothed / Kisada’s niece.
- The Magistrates started to investigate the situation within the castle. They learned that this force was calling itself the Cult of the Bloody Tongue. They also learned that the origin of this cult came from the remnant of the Bandit King’s forces. Though they killed many oni spawned by Mara, they did not find Mara within the castle. The heroes found horse tracks leading south west towards the South Hills and decided to pursue the tracks.
- The Magistrates followed the tracks into the South Hills, until they reached South Hills Mura. A series of houses make up the village, with rice fields surrounding the outskirts. The heroes made their way to the ryokan (traditional inn) within the village. Speaking to the inn keeper, they learn that a mysterious entourage of samurai wandered through this village yesterday. She also admits that they stayed at the inn. Of course, this is all a lie…
- The inn keep was a Maho Tsuki (Blood Mage), and was rather in tune with her power. Her goal was to lead them into her trap. If the heroes succeeded at removing the trap, at least she would likely get away. If they fell into the trap, it would allow her time to escape.
The heroes went to sleep that night, hearing mysterious whispers in their dreams. The next morning, they would awake to a scream… As they rushed to the scene, they realized that things weren’t quite right.
- Matsu Ryu would awake and immediately remember how much he enjoyed the smell of fresh mountain air in the summer. The scent reminded him of his boyhood learning the proper way to hold a bokken from his mother. It was nearly enough to bring him to tears.
- Inu would awake and slowly after some time realize that everyone around him is crazy. Hey, at least he wasn’t affected, right? Other than his unusual need to be loud when speaking, as if his very existence depended on it. It seemed to grow worse as he tried to quiet himself to a whisper.
- Otonashi woke with the realization that he is a Scorpion spy infiltrating the Wasp Clan. And as he’s been told, he knew just what Scorpion’s do best. They lie. And he knew there is a good reason for every lie. Even when the benefit was not immediately seen. So a lying spree seemed eminent.
- Toru woke with the realization that he has not had a drink in some time… His first thought is tea, but then he realized that he didn’t like the stuff. He wants sake. Man it’s been a long while since he’s had it. It’s funny because he didn’t remember being that interested in getting drunk. What the hell is wrong with him, anyways? Oh and the women…man the women…How long has it been? He has a lot of making up to do.
- Chaos ensued as the heroes acted strangely while trying to investigate the murder, pissing off nearly every contact they met along the way, including the four emerald legion bushi that were patrolling the south hills. The emerald legion bushi were led by Otaku Tsao Xiang who Toru took an obvious liking to for her exceptional beauty. Toru slept with the young granddaughter to the inn keep that day in midst the chaos. Otonashi’s peculiar behaviour brought him a lot of negative attention from his fellow Magistrates.
- After losing a whole lot of time to the chaos, they recalled their original reason for being here. It was to find and kill those that got away from the Cult of the Bloody Tongue. The heroes followed a cold trail to an empty Legion Checkpoint. The checkpoint was covered in strange ritualistic blood markings. Changing course after the trails, they made due north for the heart of the South Hills.
- The heroes come across a skirmish between a Scorpion Clan convoy that appears to be in contention with more of the mara oni that they faced previously. In the process of saving the Scorpion contingent, they also managed to rescue Shosuro Tage; a simple but beautiful Shosuro samurai-ko. Tage explains that she is now in debt to the Magistrates. If they ever required a major favour, she would honor the deed.
- Following the tracks led them to a fortified village in the hills. It’s at such a strange place that no one would guess this place was here. Reaching the village, the heroes found the night sky an ominous tinge of red. The air around them smelled funny. Inu recognized this right away as the realm of the Shadow. Somehow this village has become one with the Shadowlands, or at least it seemed so. The heroes speculated that perhaps it was the work of dark magic.
- The village was the host of a ritual suicide, where only one figure remained. A strange looking man was dressed in priestly robes, and covered in blood from head to toe. He smiled and spoke to the heroes, warning them that they were “too late”. And with that, he slit his own throat. As the man pitched over, a strange blood symbol was revealed on the ground. It is the personal mon the old woman used as the symbol for her inn. At this realization, the curse that plagued the heroes was broken, and their chaotic quirks were removed. Immediately hands began to reach up from the ground and swipe at the heroes. They fought valiantly to evade the hands and escape, and did so barely; using great team work to escape. Though the ritual seemed to have completed, the village enveloped and disappeared; so the immediate threat was gone.
- After months of heated chaos, the Magistrates left Ebi Mura for their clan holdings to seek training, answers and orders. Toru and Ryu left orders with the remaining magistrates to make sure things were kept tidy while they took leave for the remaining portion of the year.
- Matsu Ryu met with Matsu Tsuko, his family daimyo. Tsuko demanded that Ryu seek to remarry and soon. He explained the benefit the Matsu family might gain in a political marriage, sending him out to another family or clan. She wanted Ryu’s honest opinion, and he gave it to her. He spoke honourably that he would gladly accept any order but his true desire was to serve in the Matsu. Tsuko granted him his wish. She then stated her intentions to marry Ryu to her younger cousin, placing him closer to the direct family line of Matsu.
- Inu arrived to speak with Kisada. Kisada congradulated Tsairentosuto-n on accomplishing his mission in reaquiring a lost Crab Stronghold. Kisada also inquired about the Bloody Tongue cult, but just the base details. After their meeting, he informed Inu to return to his friend Toru of the Daidoji and uncover what he could about the broken lands in great detail.
- Finally, at the end of the meeting Yakamo burst through the doors and challenged Inu to a duel. The terms for the duel were that should Yakamo be the victor, Inu would confess a formal apology for the death of his cousin at the tournament. If Inu were to win, he would receive no further harassment for her death, and would gain a token of forgetting from Yakamo himself. Kisada approved and the duel was short, leaving Inu with harsh feelings towards the bully of a Crab. When the duel was over, Yakamo tried to lighten the mood, but he had stirred the brash nature of Inu with his blunt method of settling the matter.
- Otonashi met with Tsuruchi, the Champion of the Wasp and Yoritomo, the Champion of the Mantis. Tsuruchi explained that Yoritomo was interested in marrying his cousin into the Wasp as Otonashi’s wife. He also explained that his further goals were to turn Otonashi into the recognized ambassador of the Minor Clans. Otonashi accepted the wedding, and it’s date was set for Winter court in Ebi Mura the following year. Yoritomo continued that he wished to act on having the minor clans work more cooperatively and this would be the first big step aside from the Three Man Alliance. Tsuruchi interjected that the Hare clan was so far against this. Tsuruchi hinted that perhaps the Hare be left to suffer their own fate, and not to bother with bringing the clan into the alliance.
- Daidoji Toru met with Doji Satsume, the [[:doji-Satsume-2 | Emerald Champion]] as well as his family daimyo Daidoji Uji, and Kakita Toshimoko, the head sensei of his dojo. Satsume announced that he would like Toru to coordinate the safety and security of the winter court in Ebi Mura the following year. Satsume also explained that Toru’s accomplishments had caught the eye of the Emperor and he had been inquiring with Satsume about a reward. Satsume told Toru to consider a minor clan animal, and name. He left it at that…Daidoji Uji explained that he would like to arrange the marriage of Toru into the Doji family…And he explained that there was a particular neice in Satsume’s direct line that he would like to invite to the winter court. Though Toshimoko interjected that perhaps his original betrothal was best not to cancel, as it brought two very glorious figures together, and tied the bonds of the Crane and the Unicorn. Toshimoko was present only to honor Toru’s accomplishments in sword mastery. He told more of the tail of Hitokiri Battousai, including the fact that the ronin with a price on his head was a member of the Kenshinzen. Toru already knew how to get in, but he did not know that the ronin was a Kenshinzen. Toru was also be given the whereabouts of his grandfather in a monestary just on the edge of Dragon and Phoenix lands by a letter provided from a servant.
- Toku left a message with Ryu that he would be leaving his service as a Doshin in the Emerald ranks to partake in a warrior’s pilgrimage. He did not specify as to where he planned to go.
- Toru requested that the other heroes come with him to the northern mountains on the border of Dragon and Phoenix lands. He planned to meet with his grandfather and learn what he could about the story of Ryukujou. The heroes passed through a few villages on their way to the monastery. Some of these villages referenced a small village in the mountains where the Battousai might be hiding.
- The path through rigorous mountain terrain was a daunting one. After some time spent traveling, the heroes made their way to the monastery to locate Toru’s grandfather and uncover the truth about Ryukujou. After meeting with Toru’s grandfather and catching up on old times, the topic turned to discussion on Ryukujou and the pillow book. The grandfather did not admit to being the writer of the pillow book, though he did not deny it either. After evading the question, he spoke of his own critique on the story, and offered his speculation that the Clan Samurai ‘Ji’ of the story was actually their direct family ancestor. The grandfather did not know of a means to rescue Beiru. He did speculate that Toru did not understand enough about walking in the way of his ancestors to uncover this truth, and that he would have to seek out answers from someone far more knowledgeable in that subject.
- This truth left Toru with a bit of hope and direction moving forward. The heroes decided to take the faster pass out of the mountains, a decision that proved a fatal mistake for Inu. As the samurai descended down the mountain, a massive rockslide surprised the heroes, and they all reacted in different ways. Some went down the path towards the nearby town as fast as they could in hopes of clearing the mountainside before they were caught up in the crashing debris. Others found shelter to avoid the slide. Inu found what seemed to be great shelter, but there was an unforeseen cave in.
- The heroes acted quickly, heading into the nearby their social status as emerald magistrates to charge the town with freeing their long term friend. The townspeople worked diligently under the direction of Otonashi to attempt to free Inu for three long days. As the magistrates neared Inu’s location, it seemed for a moment as if there was hope. That is when the Star Dragonsword’s fate as the Night Rune took effect, and a second cave in occurred, trapping Inu in a single location. Though the magistrates would get to Inu, it would be too late. A ceremony was held that night and his body was returned to Crab Lands. Key figures withing the village were Sanosuke and a ronin calling himself Kenshin. Many whisper that Kenshin is the true hitokiri battousai.
Events Elsewhere in Rokugan
- Tsuruchi wins the Bowmen’s Wager tournament, and Matsu Agetoki drinks from the “Cup of Defeat”.
- The Agatamori Temple is built.
- Ide Michikane bests Bayushi Otado at a horse race.
- Asako winter court begins at Shiro Gisu.
- Ide Michikane and Shosuro Kimi are engaged.
- Battle of Three Man Alliance
- Asahina Mataro
- Kakita Kyruko
- Hiruma Arawa
- Hiruma Usigo
- Iuchi Taiga
- Shiba Himitsu
- Yogo Bashiko
- Hida Fujizaka