First, let me be clear. I really, really hate maho – dark magic – hate it a lot! I’ve been a performer all my life and someone in the Doji family thought they could make better use of my talents, so now I’m a courtier. First assignment – travel to some minor clan daimyo’s estate, perform, find out all I can about some secret conference, and, oh, by the way, keep my eyes open for a lost Crane samurai – Tokosuken.
Okay, travel – easy; perform – nobody better; find out about conference – ask around because people love to talk; lost samurai – might get lucky. No problem, right?
So I got there and not only was there a not-so-secret conference led by some weird samurai in black armor, but there’s another group there as well. Interesting band – Samurai from the Dragon, Mantis, and Unicorn clans, a monk, a ronin, and a Scorpion shugenja. Apparently they were there because of the conference but not as a part of the conference. Confusing, right? And everybody thought I was there with them! As it turns out, for an odd mix, it’s a fairly impressive group. Several of them had been heroes at that nasty battle near Kyuden Kakita and they all seemed to be samurai of the first rank. Even the Scorpion seemed to know what honor is.
Let’s see. Travel – check. Perform – well received and much honor to the Crane clan. Conference – not a lot to tell (since there was Crane delegate! Why was I here again?) So, mission accomplished, right? Not exactly.
Remember that maho thing? It seemed that the Daimyo and the secret conference were under attack by dark forces. Peasants wer actually attacking the samurai, and then they attacked the Daimyo and all his guests on a hunt, right near a ravine. I took it upon myself to protect the Daimyo’s children and managed to bluff my way out of trouble. The entire hunting party took heavy losses and some were captured. This group of heroes I’m with? Really impressive. If it hadn’t been for them, all would have been lost. Including me.
Then, the Scorpion using his own magic, infiltrated the camp and discovered that the peasants were really being possessed by samurai using some maho from beyond Rokugan. And they were going to assault the Daimyo’s castle.
We prepared for the siege. A huge army of zombies, possessed peasants and samurai moved in a wave attempting to overwhelm the castle. I can’t say enough about how impressively my new band fought. The Mantis archer, even after being hit by a volley of arrows, took out one of the enemy commanders, and even put an arrow right in his eye. Then he recovered the fallen Sun Tao banner! The Dragon inspired everyone, leading his men into the thick of the fighting and then defeating one of the monstrous peasants single-handedly in a duel. The monk, after demonstrating amazing battle skill, took it upon himself to keep our battle banner flying. The Unicorn fought bravely alongside the delegates from the conference who, although many were less skilled in battle, brought honor to their clans. And the ronin put himself wherever he was needed, at great personal cost.
Meanwhile, the Scorpion and I were deep in the bowels of the castle, interrogating the possessed peasant that the Scorpion had captured. Putting my performance skills to use, we were able to find out valuable information about this threat, not only to the daimyo, but to all of Rokugan.
Meanwhile, just as the enemy forces seemed to be succeeding, an army bearing the Spider mon arrived and fell upon the attackers from the rear. This new army was apparently affiliated with the weird samurai in black armor and with their help the battle was won.
Afterwards, my band was highly honored, and we were given credit for holding the line and saving the day until help arrived. Notably, the Lion commander honored the Scorpion by giving him his warfan, the Spider clan would be presented by the daimyo to the Imperial court, and the ronin was offered membership in the Daimyo’s clan.
But the biggest surprise came when the black armored samurai revealed himself to be Tokosuken!
Thick and heavy void
Utter silence in distance
Nothing is beyond
- Kakita Kyoko