Campaign:Minor Clan Alliance
"Fortune favors the mortal man."
In the year 1157 of the Toturi dynasty, seven representatives of minor clans gathered in a small teahouse in Ryoko Owari to meet and speak of the troubling times they all expected to come. The Imperial Bastard, Akodo Keneka, had recently revealed himself to be the illegitimate firstborn of Emperor Toturi, and a time of tensions had arose amongst the empire. In this delicate political climate, all the minor clans feared for their safety from the protection of more powerful major clans. In a small act of unity and bravery, each save the badger and tortoise sent a delegate to the City of Stories, to find what must be done.
Upon the first meeting of the delegates, the foundation of the Minor Clan Alliance was layed. Electing Toku Hideki as the leader and processions master, the six delegates decided upon three actions, which would safely remove them from the suspected danger ahead. First, economic safety would be achieved through preferential trade with their fellow minor clans. Second, Safety in the courts would be sought through an appeal to Emperor Toturi, who favored the Monkey clan, and thus would protect them and their allies. Last, to safeguard against military dominance by the predations of the larger major clans, all would present promised a mutual protection pact, and swift vengeance on any who would dare strike one of their allies. So sheltered from danger, they convened for the day.
However, not all things that occured that fateful day were so pleasent. Morito Shinnosuke was found murdered in the leatherworking district, by an iron needle stabbed through to the back of his brain. Foul things are afoot in Rokugan.
Hare Clan Representative. Loves frogs. Hates scorpions.
Fox Clan Representative.
Dragonfly Clan Representative.
Younger Sparrow Clan Representative. Likes turtles.
With his 19 years of age, he's the youngest of the four sons of Suzume Genma, daimyo of the prefecture of Norikura. Not feeling the burden of his older brothers responsabilities and duties, he often wanders around his countryside among the bonge, even helping them out if there is necessity. This outdoor life manifest itself on the slight tan Juuza has, uncommon inside most of the samurai houses. His passion for nature has its apex in the night sky and its marvellous paintings of constellations, where he strives to read the Fortunes' will. This unorthodox way of living regardless of his caste left him untrained for the sublety of court talk and politics, and when he finds himself in a diplomatic situation he often trusts too much too many people and does not keep his cards covered.
Elder Sparrow Clan Representative.
Monkey Clan Representative.
Scion to a wealthy family from the Monkey clan, Toku Hideki was raised from birth to be the perfect practitioner of Bushido. Honorable, compassionate, and ever honest, few are more loyal than the young bushi. For all his virtues though, his naive idealism and stubborn adherence to the code could cause disaster for him in the wide world. His meteoric rise to power inside the clan, has secured several eyes on him from the masters of the Toku family.
Since his marriage to his wife, Raiko, his hot headedness has cooled, though the up and coming samurai still continues to fight for the honor of his clan and the stalwart loyalty to the Emperor remain as unceasing as always. Only twenty years of age, Hideki was recently elected head of processions and leader of the Three Fold alliance. Only time will tell if his youthful idealism will lead the minor clan alliance to a brighter and more secure future.
The first meeting that begins the formation of the Threefold Alliance was successful. Toku Hideki was elected as the leader of proceedings and showed a level head in cooling Ujina Koshin's fiery rhetoric. Eventually it was agreed that the Alliance will include mutual defense, if one clan is attacked all will rally to his defense, presenting a strong political front by forming a united bloc in the courts and using their favor with the Emperor to consolidate any gains, and lastly Economic unity by showing preference in trading with members of the Alliance over outsiders.
Concern was voiced over the delegations that were not present, most notably the Ox delegate who was supposed to be present. The keen ears of Kitsune Nobutsugu picked up a snippet of conversation about a loose Unicorn steed. He decided to step out from the meeting to investigate. In doing so he learned that a horse matching the description of their missing delegate was spotted near the Leatherworker's Quarter. On re-entering the meeting Nobutsugu explained what he had learned and after the meeting it was decided that he and Ujina Koshin were going to investigate.
After the meeting Toku Hideki and Suzume Kojiro learned to their surprise that their wives were visiting the same friend, Soshi Kyoko. They enjoyed some fine sake with Soshi Kyoko and here husband, Soshi Mitaka. Mitaka mentioned that it seems Ryoko Owari is filled with Minor Clansmen as in addition to a Sparrow and Monkey, he met with an Ox samurai and arranged for a shipment of medicines to be sent to his lands.
Meanwhile Suzume Juuza decided to take in the night sky from one of Ryoko Owari's many fine parks. While there he met an old monk named Roksaburo who serves at the Temple of the Sun. They discussed the omens of the night sky and the inevitability of change. As they parted, Roksaburo invited Juuza to visit the Temple of Sun.
Lastly Koshin and Nobutsugu's investigated the rumor of the Unicorn horse. Nobutsugu found he had trouble calling the kami in the filthy environs of the leatherworker's quarter but did manage to importune a rat spirit that pointed the way in exchange for an offering of a bowl of rice at Daikoku's Temple the next morning. The found the horse and it was indeed their missing Ox's steed. After calming the angry horse, they found she was protecting her master's body. Morito Shinnosuke had been assassinated. The instrument of his demise was an iron needle stabbed up through the back of his next into his brain. They summoned the city guard so that Shinnosuke's body could be properly disposed of and a formal investigation into his death could be launched.
The morning after the discovery of Morito Shinnosuke's body began with a summons to the Head Magistrate of Ryoko Owari, Bayushi Ritsuko's Office. In addition to the Minor Clansmen two Great Clansmen were present, Soshi Mitaka and Iuchi Ryoma. While waiting for their audience with the Magistrate the group determined that the dead Ox samurai was the common link they all shared. Ritsuko confirmed this once the audience began. During the discussion, Nobutsugu mentioned the murder weapon, which Koshin had taken. When questioned, Koshin revealed that he had it and gave it to the magistrate, earning her suspicion. Ritsuko also requested that all involved stay in Ryoko Owari until her investigation is completed, informing the group that their lodging would be taken care of by her office and their daimyo would be informed of why their vassals were delayed.
After leaving the Magistrate's Office the group came across an unusual event, three groups of trade ships had arrived at Ryoko Owari's river port and the port could not service them all at once so the an impromptu contest was being held to see whether the Mantis or Unicorn would be served after the Scorpion (who own the port and therefore had the right to dock first). A festival-like atmosphere quickly developed with local merchants taking advantage to sell refreshments and trinkets. The contest was a duel to first blood, Shinjo Kuo stood for the Unicorn and Tsuruchi Nobane stood for the Mantis. The combatants agreed to allow any weapons and that the winner would see to the healing the loser's injury. Hideki found a great vantage point to watch the match and was kind enough to share the view with a couple heimen. That match began with a surprise twist, the Mantis pulled his bow and snapped a shot at the Unicorn, who amazingly deflected the shot. Fortunately Hideki's training was strong and he evaded the errant shot. Shinjo Kuo managed to get in close and accidentally cut Tsuruchi Nobane bowstring, enraging the Mantis. Tsuruchi Nobane drew his knives and the fight continued.
As the combatants sparred, the group noticed that several Mantis in the crowd were going to fight dirty and try and distract the Shinjo Kuo by throwing rocks. Hideki and Koshin moved to intercept them, when confronted the Mantis threw his stone at Hideki. This would have sparked a riot as stones started flying, but Koshin ended it with a deadly serious threat of real violence. Unfortunately interruption took most of the fight out of Tsuruchi Nobane and Shinjo Kuo defeated him, securing the Unicorn's place at the port. There was another injury, a stray stone struck the Unicorn's Shugenja and knocked him out, leaving them unable to meet their obligation to heal the loser. Nobutsugu volunteered his service to the Unicorn and the kami blessed his kindness by completely healing Tsuruchi Nobane and even repairing his damaged clothing. Nobutsugu was also able to bring the Unicorn's shugenja around and earned Shinjo Kuo's respect and a promise to return the favor someday.
Once Tsuruchi Nobane was back on his feet, he offered to share a drink with Hideki for nearly hitting him with a stray arrow. He takes the group to a Tea House near the docks called the One-Winged Crane. The restaurant got its name from its owner, Doji Chirico, an old Crane who lost his left arm. The jovial atmosphere inspired Hideki to compose a haiku, which unknown to him triggered a tradition at the One-Winged Crane. Whenever someone composes an original haiku, they must put it to paper to be placed on Chirico's Wall of Poetry. Hideki is at first resistant to having his poem displayed, but when warned that they would get him drunk enough to lower his inhibitions and ruin his calligraphy he acquiesced. Hideki took advantage of his artistic skills and added a nice drawing of a one-winged crane to his haiku. This delighted Chirico who placed Hideki's work high on the wall for all to see.
After their lunch with Tsuruchi Nobane the group parted ways for the afternoon to prepare for their evening on Teardrop Island.
We rejoin the Minor Clansmen as they visit the House of the Evening Star on Teardrop Island, a Scorpion owned Geisha House. There they enjoyed the entertainment and hospitality of the house in the common room. While they were enjoying their meal they were interrupted by an announcement that there was a fire on the island. Suzume Kojiro provided escort to safety for the wives while the rest went to assist in fighting the fire. Kitsune Nobutsugu used his magic to assist the Firemen in creating a fire line while Toku Hideki and Ujina Koshin helped in a Bucket Brigade.
While helping Hideki and Koshin heard a cry for help and leapt to the needy person's aid. Hideki sensed something wrong and they hesitated, forcing the assassins to spring their trap early. They managed to wrestle with their assailants long enough for Nobutsugu to arrive and provide support magic, arming the minor clansmen with Katana of Fire. Once armed they quickly subdued the thugs, though their apparent leader, a female shugenja, escaped. They managed to take one of the thugs alive, the other died while trying to flee when a section of wall collapsed on him. Hideki braved the flames and unstable building a pulled the man out of the rubble, hoping that he was still alive for interrogation.
Meanwhile Kojiro got the wives ashore, though in a bad neighborhood. They found themselves accosted by a gang of local toughs. Using his natural gifts of storytelling Kojiro spun a tale of how the Magistrates would be arriving unsettling two of the men. The other two he convinced to act as bodyguards and escort them to their inn. After insuring the safety of the women, Kojiro raced back to Teardrop Island. At the docks, he met Bayushi Ritsuko, who was preparing to cross to investigate the fire as a possible arson. She was not happy to hear that he was accosted by a gang and assured Kojiro that they would be brought to justice.
Joining Ritsuko, Kojiro crossed back over to the island and met up with the rest of the group, now recovering from their fight. On seeing their prisoner, Ritsuko asked what had happened, making a pointed comment at Koshin due to his fingers sticking to evidence before. She looked over the items the prisoner had and took bag of coins he had. Seeing a potential link Koshin asked where the coins were minted, in response Ritsuko tossed Koshin one of the coins, it was marked as being from the Boar Clan. Koshin then checked the body of the dead thug, finding several Boar coins there as well. This seemed to confirm that they were sent to kill them in the chaos of the fire, implying an elaborate plot.
With this new mystery revealed, the session ended.
12 exp reward for Sessions so far.
2 exp for Character Picture
2 exp for a 3x3 of people known.
4 pips of honor