Session 3 Recap

General Summary

On the 15th day of Hare, Togashi Chiyoko visits the Temple of Kenro-ji-jin in Toshi No Naishou to inform them of the dire state of Panchu Mura's temple to the Fortune of Soil. The abbot is grateful for the news and swears that help will be dispatched within the day. Afterward, she takes a ferry across the Itochu River to review the situation in the Hinin Village. The first 3 rows of huts along the river in the eta village are flooded to at least waist deep, accounting for some 60% of the settlement being underwater. Even the portions of the village that aren't underwater are muddy, soggy, and damp. There is an unhealthy pall over the whole affair and the residents are sullen and furtive.   Late in the afternoon on the same day, the everyday hustle and bustle of the Samurai Quarter is pierced by a crystal clear shout, "Doji Ayumi daughter of Kohaku and Tomomi" The voice is high and feminine, the words a challenge. A moment later, a sonorous, masculine voice follows in a laughing tone, "Bayushi Itaru, son of Asuka and Shou". A parade of 40-some announcements follow these two, alternating Crane and Scorpion samurai.   The sound of marching feet picks up as the last voices fade away and in short order, 2 columns of back banners (1 Crane, 1 Scorpion) are visible approaching the Palace gate. They halt as they reach the gate, none of them are wearing armor, Crane or Scorpion, but all look prepared for a fight. The short, wiry woman at the head of the Crane column steps forward and demands, "Where is Shosuro Genjiro?" As she glares at the guards, the bald, masked man at the head of the Scorpion column steps up and calmly adds, "Taisa Bayushi Itaru to see Shosuro Genjiro, please."   In short order, the Taisa of the Crane and Scorpion legions are meeting with Genjiro and Chiyoko in the main court chamber of the palace. Ayumi is irate, tense, and can't stand still. After Genjiro delivers Miya Ansho's proclamation to her, she quiets down some but is still furious. Itaru is calm, friendly, and understanding. He seems disappointed by the new Governor's proclamation, but hopeful. Both taisa indicate they will remain in the city to meet directly with the Governor upon his arrival.   Chiyoko then takes the opportunity to take Ayumi to task for the behavior of her samurai in Panchu Mura, suggesting the taisa might wish to remediate her troops' education in Honor. The Crane turns purple at the suggestion but holds her tongue.   Bayushi Itaru then takes a turn needling the Crane taisa, telling her "It's too bad we won't find out who's better, my hard, little Crane." Genjiro and Chiyoko both sense that Itaru is deeply disappointed by something. Ayumi snarls, "Any time you wish to die, you know where to find me," and storms out of the chamber. She can be heard bellowing commands to the Squadron waiting for her in the courtyard.   After this confrontation, Itaru and Genjiro have dinner together and Genjiro shares the orders and evidence he was provided to deliver to Itaru. Genjiro also discovers that for an incredibly skilled warrior and commander, Itaru is also a very skilled courtier.   Also on the 15th, but happening a full day's ride away in Koso Mura, Isawa Kazue is receiving a tour of the city from its governor (at least for now), Shiba Gaijitsu. Having expressed interest in them, Gaijitsu is showing her the 5 elemental temples, each of which rivals the Seven Fortunes Temple in Toshi No Naishou in size. The temples are far larger than a city the size of Koso Mura needs, which becomes a running theme that Kazue notices. The city's Marketplace is also much larger than simple use would demand and the city's famous new inn, Water Upon the Stones, is larger than the largest inn in Toshi no Naishou.   Near the Marketplace, Kazue spies a monk preaching Fortunism to a largely skeptical crowd. There are 1 or 2 heads nodding along with him, but many more peasants grumbling and catcalling the monk's preaching. While in the Marketplace, the Governor is approached by a Moshi family samurai-ko, Moshi Masako, who complains to Gaijitsu that she has been unable to get goods from outside the province that she's been expecting for some time. The Governor apologizes and assures her that he is doing what he can about the issue and will take it up with the new provincial Governor during his first meeting with Ansho-sama. This is Kazue's first hint that there may be some trouble between Toshi no Naishou and Koso Mura.   Later, they have lunch at Water Upon the Stones and Kazue gets to meet the chef, Otsu. The inn has quite a crowd of Phoenix samurai, but there is also a Unicorn samurai-ko enjoying a quiet meal. Kazue and her yojimbo, Daisuke, both notice that the inn has several Phoenix samurai guards, which is unusual, to say the least.   During the remainder of the tour, Kazue learns from the Governor that the people of Koso Mura, unlike in the rest of the province, are willing to socialize and inter-marry across tribal boundaries. Because of this mixing, one can find peasants practicing the rituals and traditions of the Taru Mountains, the Kawa Forest, and the Takanobu Tribe here in the city. Koso Mura also appears to have better relations with many of the outlying villages of the province than does Toshi no Naishou.   That evening, Gaijitsu escorts Kazue and Daisuke back to the Marketplace to witness its conversion to an entertainment pavilion. All of the colored lanterns are lit and the merchant stalls have been replaced with open-air sake houses, tea houses, games of chance and skill, and entertainers of all sorts. Peasants and samurai alike are mixing, enjoying the evening and the entertainment. Between the day and the evening, Daisuke is able to identify for Kazue 4 influential peasants within the city.   From her time with the Governor, Kazue intuits that Gaijitsu cares deeply about the city and much less about his own position or standing. He is also devoutly Taoist and actively supports the city's temples and religious education. Kazue offers to extend invitations to a number of monks she knows to visit the city and give guest lectures and sermons, which Gaijitsu graciously accepts.   On the 16th day of Hare, Genjiro and Chiyoko depart Toshi no Naishou for their border meeting with Ansho on the 18th. Kazue departs Koso Mura on the same day for the same rendezvous.   Across the province, Kitsune Sou, Hida Haundo, Kitsune Yukika, and Kuni Taka depart from Sujuu Mura and the Lion legion camp of Matsu Tadanobu to skirt the Kawa Forest on their way to the border. They pass through several small farming villages (50-75 inhabitants) and see lots of wildlife (foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits, prairie dogs, crows, hawks, and songbirds). That night, they hear wolves howling from the forest.   On the 17th, the entire party spots, in the distance from the edge of the Kawa Forest, the glint of sunlight off glass. Glass being a rare good, they alter course to investigate. After a 45 minute ride due to barely adequate horsemanship, they reach the general area they were seeking and investigate. Looking around, they conclude that a lone man was watching them and he rode off on a horse when he realized he'd been spotted. Sou communes with a fox and gets a good description of an average sized man wearing earth tones and no armor and having a beard and loose, long hair. He also receives confirmation that the man was holding a tube up to his face and looking about and that he'd been looking around for about 45 minutes (before the PCs would have been in sight of him) before the group noticed him and he took off.   The group decides they have 5-6 hours to spare without becoming rudely late for their meeting at the border with Ansho-sama. Sou decides to use his Born of the Earth technique to summon his consciousness into a fox and try to follow the rider's trail. He succeeds and after about 4 hours, comes upon a small camp deep in the woods. There are 13 men and women in the camp and 3 horses. 3 of the people are engaged in a discussion; 1 of them is the rider. Observing the conversation, Sou learns that the group's leader is named Sononsuke, the rider is Nimuro, and the woman arguing with Nimuro is Mei. They are arguing over whether or not to break camp since Nimuro was spotted. Nimuro is of the opinion that they are safe, while Mei wants to break camp and hide. Sononsuke agrees with Mei and gives the order to break camp. In less than 30 minutes, the 13 people have efficiently packed up their tents and kit on the horses and eliminated almost all traces of their camp from the small clearing. Feeling that he is unlikely to learn anything else at this time, Sou ends the Born of the Earth technique, comes out of his meditation back at the forest edge, and informs Haundo and the others of what he learned.   The different groups all meet up with Ansho-sama early on the 18th. Even Miya Iaimiko and Toku Masashi make it back, informing the group that they read Ansho-sama's proclamation to both armies, having missed the legions' taisa (who were riding to Toshi no Naishou), then took a leisurely trip toward the border, documenting and scouting the small settlements they encountered along the way.   Miya Ansho receives the party and their reports and thanks them for the information. He then informs them of the numerous requests he's received from the various Clan delegations to race ahead and enter Toshi no Naishou ahead of him and the 75th Imperial Legion. He has denied all of the requests and forbade any of the groups accompanying him from preceding him through the province.   Ansho and the PCs discuss how to house and quarter all of the delegations and the Imperial Legion and what to do with the 3 Clan legions in the province. The party recommends that the Lion legion remain quartered in Sujuu Mura while the Crane legion is moved to Oichi Mura and the Scorpion legion to Moku Mura. Ansho thanks them for their input and will make his decision by the time the group reaches the capital. The 75th Legion, at Akodo Konomi's discretion, will be primarily quartered close to the capital, but not entirely in the capital. Small units will be posted to all of the province's major settlements and border posts will be established along the river near Panchu Mura and in the foothills of the Taru Mountains where the pass lets out. The deployments will be rotated regularly.   With that settled, Ansho next wants to talk about magistrates. As he has named Sou, Taka, Genjiro, and Chiyoko the equivalent of clan magistrates, he intends to create more clan magistrates, these from the ranks of the delegations. He wishes to ask each delegation to submit some number of names to him for consideration. The party would then evaluate the nominees and guide Ansho in selecting a number of them as clan magistrates for various postings around the province.   The governor next wants the group's thoughts on his inclination to make the clan delegations negotiate with the Phoenix Clan to acquire homes, estates, and embassies in the province. He believes the province will make up for the lost income (letting the Phoenix have it) in increased taxes on the occupied and improved properties. The group expresses concerns about the Phoenix not offering all of the clans a level playing field and Ansho sees this as a feature, not a bug, because it will tell him more about the people vying to win the province for their clan. But he also agrees with them that it would be a good idea for him to review all sales/purchases. He also intends to set aside some number of rooms in the palace for each of the clans, probably 2 for each. When Genjiro brings up the theming of the rooms' decor, Ansho decides to limit each clan to picking no more than 1 room dedicated to any given Fortune. If it turns out all 9 delegations want a room for the same Fortune, he'll have to decide who to disappoint.   Then he asks each of them if they want to live in the palace or in a house. If they want houses, he'll acquire them from the Phoenix, within reason. The group eventually settles on a single estate or compound with room for them all and located as close to the river as possible. Sou insists on having a separate home/building, while the others are content to live under the same roof. Ansho agrees to the request and will acquire an appropriate estate as soon as he reaches the capital. He will also ensure a few rooms are set aside for their use in the palace.   On the subject of the dead Phoenix samurai the group found before reaching the Naishou Province border, Ansho informs them that Toritaka Kano will handle that end of the investigation because it crosses province borders, but anything within Naishou province, the PCs can and should investigate.   With old business now settled, Miya Ansho springs his next assignment on the party. He intends to host a welcome ball in the palace on the 7th day of Dragon, 14 days after their arrival in the city. The theme of the ball will be springtime and new beginnings. All cuisine, refreshments, and entertainment will be local from the province and local customs will be observed. All clan delegations will be requested to bring a 'gift for the province'. Personally, Ansho-sama wants a poetry competition to take place, whatever else the group decides on. He wants the PCs to submit to him by the 20th a first draft of a guest list. He will announce the ball on the 21st, the day after he arrives in the city...

Rewards Granted

5XP for session
1XP bonus for each PC that sent me a summary of their report to Miya Ansho

Campaign
Who Shall Rule?
Protagonists
Hida Haundo
Isawa Kazue
Shosuro Genjiro
Togashi Chiyoko
Kitsune Sou
Player Journals
Initial Reports to Ansho-sama by Isawa Kazue
Session III - Preperations begin by Shosuro Genjiro
Report Date
21 May 2018
Primary Location
Toshi No Naishou
Secondary Location
Koso Mura

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