Kyuden Caerdydd - Champions of the Sapphire Throne
The group arrived in Scorpion lands for the impending marriage of Isawa Satomi to Soshi Hisoka only to find the area suffering from a mysterious plague. The group’s investigations into this plague revealed it was being spread by contact with ikebana produced by Soshi (Kobura) Rinako. A search of her home and discussions with Soshi (Kobura) Keilani, the Kobura vassal family daimyo, revealed that Rinako had been possessed by the spirit of Soshi Sakiko, a maho tsukai whose defeat centuries ago lead to the formation of the Kobura family. The group tracked Rinako/Sakiko to Kyuden Bayushi where they were able to prevent her spreading her plague further.
Shiro no Soshi
Soshi (Kobura) Honzo
Soshi (Kobura) Keilani
Soshi (Kobura) Rinako
• During the winter, Kakita Kenichi married Otomo Kamiko, a distant cousin of the Otomo family daimyo.
• By cross-referencing when Soshi (Kobura) Rinako began acting oddly with other recent events, the group were able to determine it began around the same time that there was a fire in sacred grove outside Kyuden Bayushi.
• While exploring Shiro no Soshi, Isawa Satomi was attacked by Chigitsu, who had disguised himself as a Scorpion guard to get close to his enemy. Although she was injured in the attack, Satomi was able to escape using her magic and returned to the castle.
Following the orders of the Emerald Champion, the group accompanied Otomo Arishikage to Kyuden Bayushi, where they were to investigate the fire that burned the Scorpion Clan sacred grove back in 1502. The group suspected Akodo Mako, a Lion Clan general who was in the area at the time, of being responsible, but no evidence or testimony was found to confirm this. The group did uncover evidence that Bayushi Kitari had been possessed by one of the spirits freed from the grove and began tracking his movements since the fire. They eventually tracked him to Crab lands where the spirit possessing him, Bayushi Tanaka, was searching for his long dead sensei. Soshi Satomi was able to convince Tanaka that the group wanted to help him, and he released his hold on Kitari’s body.
Shiro no Soshi
• Despite attempts on her life and an outbreak of plague, Isawa Satomi married Soshi Hisoka. It was later revealed that Satomi’s reasons for marriage into the Scorpion Clan were to hide the fact she had given birth to a child following her brief encounter with Shinjo Akujin. Satomi offered seppuku to atone for her sins, but her new lord, Soshi Akaname, refused. As Satomi’s admission of guilt had been instrumental in freeing Kitari from Tanaka possession, Akaname felt that Satomi had proven her worth to the clan.
• Bayushi Nishari, a Scorpion trapped within the Realm of Thwarted Destiny, returned to request Satomi’s aid. She explained that Bayushi Tanaka was her former husband who she had betrayed in favour of her lover. Nishari convinced Satomi to reveal the truth about her illegitimate child in the hopes Tanaka would see the sincerity of her words, and be convinced to release Kitari. Tanaka later explained that Nishari’s lover had been called Taro, a Unicorn nobleman who had consorted with the forces of the Shadowlands. He had been condemned in his place and declared a traitor to the Scorpion Clan.
Essence of Yume-do
Forced to seek shelter during the heavy spring rains, the group arrived in Kyakuchu Mura. The village appeared in a bad state, its rice paddies left empty and many buildings abandoned. Speaking with Akodo Kushiro, the local karo, the group discovered that the villagers believed their lands cursed by a monk from the nearby monastery. This soon proved to be merely superstition, but it was clear that something strange was happening as the group began seeing visions of the dead. Returning to question Kushiro further, the group learned that his lord, Matsu Tokai, was the source of the disturbances. Tokai, in despair from losing his entire family to sickness, had drawn the attention of a baku-no-oni, a creature from Yume-do, and had withdrawn into his own dreams. The group managed to enter Yume-do through a portal that was opening inside Tokai’s chambers and defeated the oni, freeing Tokai to return to running the village.
• Prior to their arrival in Kyakucha Mura, the group attended the wedding of Matsu Nimoro to Isawa Mariko, a political wedding designed to strengthen the bind between the two clans. Nimoro brought up the subject of Chigitsu, suggesting that there may be answers to why he hates Satomi in the Phoenix Clan records
• While staying at the village, the group met Kaiu Kyujomoro, a Crab Clan engineer responsible for opening Beiden Pass. Kyujomoro travelled with the group for a while before heading into Beiden Pass to begin his survey work
Shadow on the Court
The group arrived at Shiro Mirumoto for the wedding of Mirumoto Nishi to Moto Yutaka, a political wedding arranged as part of the Dragon and Unicorn alliance. A number of thefts occurred during the celebrations and, after Matsu Ukyo was caught searching the Chamber of Tactics, Mirumoto Jinzaki publically accused him of all the crimes. Realising that this could cause tensions between the Dragon and the Lion Clans to erupt, the group investigated, discovering that Mirumoto Kafu, Jinzaki’s advisor, had committed all the crimes while under the influence of a powerful oni. The oni was driven off by the group but it promised to return for them in the future.
• A number of times during the festivities, it was noticed that Mirumoto Jinzaki seemed disinterested in the whole event, performing his expected role but lacking any real spark. He would keep to himself and stayed with his guests for the minimal amount of time possible.
• Matsu Ukyo, cleared of the crimes he had been accused, was expelled from Dragon lands for his attempts to spy on the clan’s battle plans.
• Kakita Kenichi managed to gain access to the Chamber of Tactics and learned that the Dragon were planning a war against the Lion where they would ally with the Unicorn and Crane Clans.
• Togashi Imasu, the Dragon Clan Champion, was expected to arrive at Shiro Mirumoto to bless the wedding. However, when Imasu did not show up, Jinzaki explained that he had been called away to deal with important business.
Miya Shikan’s Proclamation
During the summer, the Emerald and Jade Champions called together the magistrates under their command to discuss the state of the Empire and assign duties for the autumn and winter months. However, the meeting was interrupted by the arrival of Miya Shikan who held a meeting with Kitsuki Jiro and Asako Heichi.
Following the meeting, Shikan addressed the assembled magistrates and explained that, in light of the death of Toturi Hatsu and Toturi Kobashi the previous year, the Emperor had agreed that all magistrates needed additional training in dealing with threats from the Shadowlands. This had come at a time when Kuni Kubota, a provincial daimyo of the Crab Clan, had made similar requests, claiming that the other clans were complacent about the threat from beyond the wall.
Starting from the upcoming winter, all magistrates are required to undergo training at Shinsei’s Last Hope, a Crab settlement beyond the Kaiu Wall protected from the taint by powerful magics. Shikan decided that, in light of their services to the Empire in dealing with the Tsuno that attacked the Emperor’s family, the group would be the first to attend the training in the hope they could impart some of their own knowledge to the Crab.
Strength from Weakness
In the wake of Miya Shikan’s proclamation, the Emerald and Jade Champions sent the group to Shinsei’s Last Hope to receive training with the Crab Clan on how to survive in the Shadowlands. Things went bad for the group when their guide, Hiruma Noiyama, abandoned them at a Ratling village being attacked by a Kyoso no Oni spawn. With the help of Kuni Satome, a shugenja testing new ways of harming oni, they tracked down Noiyama and learned she was working for Kyoso no Oni and had been luring groups into traps to feed her lord. The group managed to kill Noiyama and succeeded in driving off Kyoso no Oni, allowing them to return to Shinsei’s Last Hope
Shinsei’s Last Hope
Kyoso no Oni
• The group were accompanied into the Shadowlands by Kuni Yakuto and Yasuki Hideyori. Yakuto, the son of Kuni Kubota, was attempting to complete his gempukku in traditional Crab fashion. It became apparent that Yakuto’s was not suited to be a bushi and, at his request, Kakita Kenichi petitioned his father to allow training at the Kakita artisan academy. Hideyori was attempting to prove his training with the Daidoji was at least equal to that of his brother, trained as a Hida. Hideyori proved a competent combatant and helped the group drive off Kyoso no Oni
• During the battle with Kyoso no Oni, it was revealed that Kuni Satome had been experimenting with gaijin firearms to harm oni. The group did not confiscate the weapon and Bayushi Ichizo was approached weeks later by Hideyori, representing the Armoured Crane Cartel who requested he not mention anything about Satome’s actions
City of the Lost
After a public refusal to help from Hida Gojiro, Kuni Yuriko, the Kuni family daimyo, enlisted the group to aid Kaiu Sumata in retrieving Hida’s tetsubo from the Shadowlands. The group were able to enter the City of the Lost and avoided patrols of goblins and the Lost, eventually arriving at the Voice of the Lost, an ancient dojo for the samurai who follow the Dark Lord of the Shadowlands. The group secured the artefact and, discovering their way out blocked by a battle between the goblins and the Lost, escaped using the sewer tunnels. The group were able to escape the city with minimal encounters with the Shadowlands forces, and returned Hida’s tetsubo to Yuriko.
Shinsei’s Last Hope
City of the Lost
• Hida Masakazu, the Crab Clan Champion, arrived in Shinsei’s Last Hope to see how the Twenty Goblin Winter was progressing. During the celebrations held in Masakazu’s honour, Kakita Kenichi took offense to the cruel remarks made by Hida Gojiro, Masakazu’s son. When Kenichi called Gojiro on his un-samurai like behaviour, Gojiro attacked Kenichi but the fight was broken up by Yuriko’s arrival
• The Crab held a huge celebration to honour the group’s success in finding Hida’s tetsubo. The festivities ended abruptly when Masakazu choked to death while eating. With Masakazu’s passing, the Clan Championship passes to Gojiro.
Winter Court: Kyuden Doji
• The event of the season was the marriage of Daidoji Kowaru to Toturi Yukihime. On the night of the wedding, an hour before sunset, the guests witnessed a rare eclipse. The Crane Clan were quick to point out this was an auspicious omen for the marriage, signifying the Sun and the Moon favouring the union. Other shugenja and mystics present suggested it was a dire omen for the entire Empire and Togashi Kane was struck down with crippling headaches this day, indicating there may be more to this event.
• During the celebrations, O-Doji Koneko announced to the court that her son, Doji Sarutomo had committed sepukku, but would not be drawn into discussions as to the reasons why. Shortly afterwards, his wife, Doji Akane, gave birth to their first son. Koneko confirmed that Akane would act as regent for the Doji family and Kakita Saburashi would take over as Clan Champion until Akane’s son reached the appropriate age. Koneko followed this announcement by saying she no longer wished to play an active role in her Clan’s rule, and would be retiring to a monastery.
• Following Miya Shikan’s announcement last year that Toturi VI “The Pious” would be elevated to Fortune of Peace, the Emperor announced that a shrine would be built in his honour. The Great Clans all petitioned for the right to build this shrine, and it was a closely fought battle between the Phoenix and Dragon Clans, with the Phoenix eventually winning. Though the construction will come at great cost to the Phoenix Clan, Miya Shikan has publicly pledged to provide the Phoenix with support.
• Having failed to get the Imperial Advisor position reinstated last year, the Scorpion returned to the courts, this time petitioning the return of the Imperial Chancellor position. Unlike last time, the Scorpion were able to get enough support from the other clans to convince the Emperor. Otomo Kazuma, the uncle of the Otomo daimyo was awarded the position
• In response to their veiled threats last year, the Phoenix Clan have taken the Crab Clan’s advice, and have backed out of their agreement with the Hare Clan to help them create a shugenja school, citing a need to provide all of their resources to the creation of the Shrine to Peace. The Scorpion Clan however, have pledged to provide further support to the Hare which will no doubt anger the Crab Clan
• There were rumours from Scorpion Lands that a Phoenix Clan shugenja was murdered during the Winter Court in Shiro no Soshi. No one saw who committed the crime but a note found in the shugenja’s room had “I will not be Forgotten” written on it
• Many courts across Rokugan were visited by representatives of Maeda Kenshu, a ronin soldier renowned for his knowledge of military tactics. These representatives made contact with any ronin they could find and those that met Kenshu’s standards were offered a place in an independent army his is forming. Those ronin that spoke of their meeting mentioned that Akuma, the famous ronin who competed in the last Emerald Championship, had joined the army.