L5R – JYTB Campaign Report 10

16 May, 2010

Monkey Clan Winter Court, Part 1 – Arrival and Rivalries

Having consigned the body of their brave companion, Usagi Okakura, to the flames, the next morning Toku Kobo gathers his ashes for eventual return to the Hare Clan.  Oda decides to stay in Copper Tailing Village for a while and help them rebuild.  Arriving back at Bishamon Seido, they receive invitations to the Winter Court held in the Monkey Lands, the Doji and Miya as a guests and the yoriki to join their magistrate Doji Akira who will also be attending.

They leave immediately hoping to avoid the worst of the late autumn weather, traveling down through Beiden Pass, where the Scorpion magistrates take their own time checking the groups traveling papers.  Other than that, the journey was uneventful.  Toku Kobo is a bit nervous as he left on a two week mission, eight months ago even though word has been sent about him being assigned to Imperial service.  Kobo finds that Vigilance Keep looks awfully small after having seen Kyuden Doji, Otosan Utchi and Last Breath Castle.  As it comes in sight, he is extolling the virtues of the Monkey Clan when they realize that a monk wearing the Togashi mon with a spiral tattoo over his right eye has joined them.  He introduces himself as Togashi Ie who has come for the Winter Court though, it turn out, he was not invited but -as a monk- is made welcome all the same.

Kobo is welcomed home and allowed to tell of his adventures by his daimyo.  Over the next few days, the rest of the guest arrive including:

  • Bayushi Mihnzang, newly appointed as a Scorpion Clan magistrate, who bring news of the death of her father.   She has the Kiau tell the story of how they defeated that “foul and dangerous bandit” the Crimson Hawk.  She is accompanied by Yogo Katsuaki (also seen in Episode 3), Moshi Junko and Kanome Suzu (both from Episode 7).
  • Doji Akira, their Imperial Magistrate, and his entourage (last seen in the flesh way back in Episode 2).
  • Matsu Sakurako (last seen in Episode 3) who is acting as yojimbo to Ikoma Onitsura.

Mostly is is just finding out who is here.  The central point of this winter court is finding a husband for Toku Jihime, the new daimyo of the Monkey Clan.  Every major clan, apart from the Scorpion, seem to have sent potential husbands.  Stories are told, games are played, haiku are written:

Night steals in soft gray                                    The lantern glows warm

stars above shine, silence falls                         inside the estate orchard

Lady Sun sleeps at peace                                  blossoms fall slowly

‘Twilight’ – Moshi Junko                                 ‘Lantern’ – Toku Kobo

Snow falls in winter

bringing with it the closure

that leads to new growth

‘Winter’ – Kiau Yo

The game ended with the visiting Kuni witch hunter, Kuni Fuyumi, enlisting the aid of the characters in investigating a local ghost story.

Notes: The Sparrow’s (i.e. Z’s) haiku was so bad I could not bear to include it here.)

Forward to Episode 11.

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