Kyuden Caerdydd - Champions of the Sapphire Throne
Failure of Courage
At the request of Hiruma Tsukan, the Hiruma family daimyo, the group accompanied Otomo Hiroshi to Hiruma Outpost 16 to investigate rumours that the Outpost’s commander, Hiruma Toshio, was behaving erratically. By talking to the samurai stationed at the outpost and watching how he coped with an impending assault from a horde of goblins, it was clear that the stress of the role had got the better of Toshio, and Kakita Kenichi was forced to take control of the outpost to defeat the Shadowlands horde
Shinsei’s Last Hope
• The family daimyo of the Crab swore fealty to Hida Gojiro, the son of the previous Clan Champion. Where Masakazu was a patient and good natured man, Gojiro is widely considered a bully and it remains to be seen how his leadership will affect the Crab Clan’s interactions with the other Clans.
Journey to the Burning Sands
Following the visions of Kuni Aya, Togashi Kane arranged with Bayushi Ichizo to provide protection for Kasuga Takuma, a Tortoise Clan courtier heading into Senpet lands to negotiate a trade agreement. Upon arrival, the group were contacted by Ferez ibn-Zaif, a member of the Doomseekers who recognised the amulet that Kakita Kenichi was given years earlier in Bugaisha. Ferez explained that the Caliph’s vizier, Al-Azar, was a Khadi, an immortal sorcerer who had extended his life by ritually removing his own heart. The group gained entry to Al-Azar’s quarters and managed to find Al-Azar’s preserved heart. Ferez removed the protective spells around the heart and plunged a dagger into it, killing Al-Azar instantly.
Caliph Jamal ibn-Samar
• During the search of Al-Azar’s quarters, Ichizo discovered a letter from Miya Hanzu indicating that Miya Shikan had come to some sort of arrangement with Al-Azar. While the letter did not confirm the nature of the deal, Ferez believed that Al-Azar had shared his knowledge of the Khadi ritual with someone outside their lands
• With Al-Azar dead, the Caliph turned to his brother for advice regarding the matter of trade with the Tortoise Clan. Kemal urged his brother to focus on helping his people rather than making trade agreements with foreigners.
• During the latter stages of last year’s Winter Courts, the Emperor proclaimed that the use and distribution of the drug known as Crimson Flower was now illegal, and the Empire’s magistrates were tasked with rooting out those that would sell the drug.
• Returning to Dragon lands, Kane learned that the crippling headaches that he felt during the recent lunar eclipse were felt by many other members of the three orders of Dragon monks. None amongst the Dragon are aware of why this disturbance occurred, but the shugenja of the Tamori and Tonbo families are calling on the kami for guidance
• Kenichi asked about the unexpected seppuku of Doji Sarutomo and learned that there were rumours of a ghost being seen at the celebrations and that his wife, Doji Akane, had nearly died during child birth, a fate shared by both of Sarutomo’s previous wives. Kenichi later learned the full story behind the Clan Champion’s death but the Crane Clan have decided to keep the matter private
The group were assigned to the City of Remembrance (Toshi no Omoidoso) to investigate use and distribution of the drug Crimson Flower. Looking through the case notes of Shiba Gyuji, the local magistrate, the group learned that three establishments had been closed for selling the drug but had recently re-opened under new ownership. Investigations into these new businesses and information learned during the group’s work in Toshi Aitate pointed them towards the Smiling Tigers, a gang operating out of the fisherman’s district, and Yoritomo Ikeda, a Mantis noble responsible for shipping the drug from Broken Wave City. Gaining testimony from Ikeda’s accomplices, the group travelled to Broken Wave City to confront him, only to discover he had killed himself moments earlier
Toshi no Omoidoso
Broken Wave City
• At the request of Miya Shikan, Kitsuki Jiro has appointed a senior magistrate to the group to ensure their time in the Shadowlands has had no adverse affect on their abilities to uphold the law. However, Jiro’s assignment of Toku Irui, an incompetent magistrate who is appallingly ignorant of the law, is a clear show of defiance to Miya Shikan.
• Upon meeting the local harbour master, Kakita Kenichi realised the man, Asako Itsuko, was the Phoenix samurai the group had seen a few years previously in Broken Wave City discussing Crimson Flower with a pair of Mantis samurai. It was later discovered that the Mantis samurai were working for Ikeda
• Daniel Hatcherman, the agent of the Thranish king, met up with the group, investigating the Thranish connection to Crimson Flower. Daniel explained that he suspected the drug was being smuggled aboard legal Thranish trade vessels and brought into the Empire by the Mantis Clan. With Ikeda’s death, Daniel discovered the name of a Thranish vessel responsible for bringing the drug to Rokugan and left to explore this lead further.
• Soshi Satomi rejoined the group with news that she had investigated the recent death of a Phoenix shugenja in Scorpion Lands. Suspecting Chigitsu’s involvement and a connection to the Ritual of Forgetting, a Phoenix punishment for shugenja who have betrayed the clan, Satomi looked through records in Kyuden Isawa. The only person to have been Forgotten in recent years was a shugenja called Isawa Suma. While no connection to Chigitsu could initially be seen, one of the shugenja responsible for bringing Suma before the Elemental Council was Satomi’s father.
Tortoise and the Hare
Returning from the City of Remembrance, the group spent the night in Hopeful Rest City (Michita Yasumi), and became involved in an investigation into the death of the local governor. The governor’s wife, Isawa Fumi, gave testimony that the murder had been committed by Kitsu Chuppara, a Lion Clan shugenja whose petition for marriage between his son and the governor’s son had been turned down in a humiliating fashion. Two other Emerald Magistrates present offered different techniques to solve the case: Usagi Hayai, a Hare Clan magistrate, favoured the traditional methods of testimony, while Kasuga Gyuuho, a Tortoise Clan magistrate, favoured the evidence gathering techniques used by the Kitsuki. In the end, Gyuuho’s group were able to gather enough evidence to discredit Fumi’s testimony, and allowed Kakita Kenichi to challenge Fumi’s champion, Shiba Nakago, to a duel. Kenichi won and Fumi was pronounced guilty, committing jigai later that evening.
• During Hayai’s investigation, the magistrate killed the owner of the Kami’s Kindness inn for obstructing his arrest of Chuppara’s son. Unknown to Hayai, the innkeeper had been under the protection of Ekibyogami, the Fortune of Plague and Pestilence, who unleashed a plague on the city. The group had left the city before the plague started so it is unknown what impact this will have on the local area
• While they were enjoying the governor’s hospitality, the group met Hoshi Haitoku, a Dragon Clan monk notorious for his views on bushido. Togashi Kane recalled tales of Haitoku being banished from the High House of Light due to his controversial beliefs.
Harsh Lessons / A Champion’s Heart
The group arrived in Yushosha Seido Mura (Champion’s Shrine) for the tournament to determine the new Mirumoto daimyo. Shosuro Adoko informed Bayushi Ichizo that someone was plotting to assassinate Mirumoto Daikabe, a warlike and aggressive competitor who was hotly tipped at succeeding in the tournament. The group kept an eye on Daikabe throughout the day, and were on hand to prevent Kageko’s attempt on his life at the local geisha house. The following morning, Daikabe was able to win the tournament, beating Mirumoto Kanjo in the final
Yushosha Seido Mura
• Word has reached Dragon lands that the Hida Gojiro has declared war against the Hare Clan. The Scorpion Clan have pledged to support the Hare Clan in this war.
• Following his defeat in the tournament finals, Mirumoto Kanjo announced that he would undergo a musha shugyo, a warrior’s pilgrimage, to rediscover his purpose in life.
• Miya Hanzu met with Toku Irui, the group’s superior, to gather reports on their recent behaviours. Irui provided a report on how the group aided her to complete a number of high profile assignments. It was clear that Hanzu was displeased by this information.
• Kageko killed himself using an explosive device to prevent his capture by the group. Hida Kengo managed to catch a glimpse of Kageko’s face before it was destroyed and was convinced he looked like Miya Hanzu. Further investigation by Kakita Kenichi determined that Hanzu did have a brother who died several years ago when the boat he was travelling on overturned.
• While helping an elderly monk, the group became trapped in the Realm of Thwarted Destiny. There, they learned that the monk was Togashi Setsuo, the sensei of the famed Thunder Mountain Dojo, thought destroyed many centuries ago. The group were able to free Setsuo from the oni who had stolen his name and return the dojo to Dragon lands. Togashi Kane has agreed to take over the running of the dojo when Setsuo retires.
• During the closing ceremony of the tournament, Mirumoto Jinzaki revealed, despite his earlier insistence that he had no heir, that Togashi Kane was his son. Jinzaki refused to comment on the identity of Kane’s mother. Shortly after Daikabe became the new daimyo, Jinzaki committed seppuku with Kane as his second.
The group were honoured with an invitation to spend the winter in Shiro no Yasarugi, the Asahina’s Castle of Peace. To celebrate the start of this year’s Winter Court, the Asahina had arranged a series of tournaments focusing on peaceful ways of using the traditional samurai skills. At the culmination of the tournament, Asahina Yamita cast a powerful illusion spell of his own creation that displayed images of those things everyone loved the most. Bayushi Nishari appeared to the group that evening to explain that the spell had created a living illusion that had become corrupted by some of the thoughts it had read and was now confronting the castle’s occupants with their greatest fears. The group were able to find the illusion and Kakita Kenichi overcame his fears, providing the comfort it needed to depart for Yume-do with Nishari.
Shiro no Yasuragi
• During the tournament, Hida Kengo, Mirumoto Kane and Kakita Kenichi were all able to win events and will be rewarded with their names being inscribed on the Shrine to the Fortune of Peace. Soshi Satomi succeeded in beating all other shugenjas present in a demonstration of summoning her chosen element and was gifted with scrolls from the Asahina archives.
• The other guests at the tournament were also affected by the illusion. While most of the guests either hid, or committed minor breaches of etiquette, Tonbo Ishii and Akodo Tsunoko killed each other in a dispute over the Dragonfly’s loss at the War of Bleeding Flowers.
• While the group were able to comfort the illusion and help Nishari remove it to Yume-do, the nature of the thoughts that corrupted it were not investigated.
• During a recent stay in Phoenix Lands, Soshi Satomi continued her research into the Ritual of Forgetting and Isawa Suma. From her father she learned that Suma had been accused of trying to sell clan secrets and he had been ordered to bring Suma to justice. In this he was accompanied by Isawa Tanaka, who Satomi discovered was the father of Isawa Tsutakito, the other Phoenix Clan shugenja that Chigitsu has been attacking.
Winter Court: Kyuden Otomo
• With the Crab Clan declaring war against the Hare Clan, Miya Shikan made several attempts to negotiate peace. Ultimately he was unsuccessful, mainly due to the Imperial Chancellor, Otomo Kazuma, blocking these attempts, pointing out that Rokugan has a strong history of dealing with its problems through honourable combat.
• Delegates of the Crab and Scorpion Clans attempted to gather support for their respective sides in the war. The Lion agreed to join forces with the Crab Clan, honouring their long standing alliance. Likewise, the new Mirumoto daimyo, Mirumoto Daikabe, pledged to support the Scorpion in defending the Hare Clan, although many believe he is using this as an excuse to fight the Lion Clan. None of the other Clans have pledged support at this time, but many noticed the Mantis Clan delegates negotiating with both sides.
• One of the main attractions of Winter Court this year was a go tournament hosted by Grandmaster Kakita Fujimura in honour of his impending retirement. The winner of the tournament was 7-Dan Shioku who defeated 6-Dan Bayushi Tsukiru in the finals. Unfortunately, the event was marred by the sudden death of Fujimura, who many had noticed seemed unwell for much of the tournament.
• During the tournament, Kuni Aya, who had accompanied her father, Kuni Otango, caused quite a scene when she started convulsing and collapsed. The fit lasted only a short time, and Aya seemed to recover afterwards. Those near her at the time claim they heard her says something about “the voice of the three” but no one was able to decipher the meaning of this statement.
• Otomo Kazuma negotiated a marriage between his nephew, the Otomo family daimyo Otomo Norito, and the youngest daughter of Moto Temujin, the Unicorn Clan Champion. As Temujin has been publically critical of Shikan in the past, many see this as Kazuma forging allies in his political war with the Imperial Herald.