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|A Hero's Death, Chapter One|
|Written By:||Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman|
Annotated Story Edit
It begins in Kyuden Miya, where Miya Shoin is meeting with his aunt, the Miya Daimyo, Miya Yumi. Yumi asks Shoin how his mother is, and Shoin says she is fine. Shoin keeps calling Yumi aunt, even though his father Miya Dosonu was one of Yumi's ancestors. The War of Spirits has left many such issues, and Shoin would prefer it if he simply called her aunt. Yumi notices the bow Shoin is carrying, and asks if his training with the Wasp Clan goes well. Shoin clears his throat and subtly reminds the woman that the Wasp are now the Tsuruchi family of the Mantis Clan. Yumi pauses before continuing to ask him about his training and more specifically the Tsuruchi Daimyo Tsuruchi Ichiro. Shoin admits that he trains with Ichiro twice a week, and Ichiro often asks how Yumi is. Ichiro has also been telling stories about Yumi's adventures with him and Sanzo and Koan during the Clan War. Yumi makes light of her accomplishments, but lets slip that there may have been a romantic connection between her and Ichiro. Yumi finally remembers that she called Shoin here for a reason and hands hima scroll. Shoin recognizes the seal and opens it a reads it. Yumi tells him there are five more scrolls to be distributed per the instructions in Shoin's scroll. Shoin tells her he must make ready to depart at once, and she wishes him good fortune on his trip.
Sometime later, at Shiro Utaku, Utaku Yu-Pan contemplates her past. Everytime something of importance in her life has happened something bad also happened. The day of her birth was the same day that the Steel Chrysanthemum began his war with the Empire. The day she began her training with her sister to become a Battle Maiden was the day she learned her father had been killed in battle against the Spirit Armies of the Moto. The day of her gempukku she learned that Spirits led by Bayushi Tozasu had attacked her home village and killed her mother, brother and three sisters. Has she had her gempukku even a day earlier she would have been there to die. She is standing in the practice dojo as a thin young man enters and asks if she is Utaku Yu-Pan. She says she is and he introduces himself as Miya Shoin. He says he has travelled from Otosan Uchi to meet her and was told where she was by Utaku Daimyo Utaku Xieng Chi. Yu-Pan wants to know what he wants, and Shoin shows her the scroll with a pale red wax seal. Yu-Pan tells him to leave it and she will read it later. Shoin asks her why she is training so late, and Yu-Pan reveals she knows he is a spirit. Shoin tells her he is half-spirit, but she is not impressed and rudely tells him to leave. Shoin attempts to be polite, but Yu-Pan continues and even looks ready to kill him. Shoin wisely decides to leave, and after he has gone Yu-Pan reads the scroll. It is an invitation to the Imperial City, Otosan Uchi, by Otomo Kakasu.
Sometime later, the Izaku Libraries, Shoin is meeting with Agasha Chieh. She wishes to know who Otomo Kakasu is in such a tone that nearby monks are shocked. Shoin explains that Kakasu is a minor functionary in Otosan Uchi. Chieh, an Emerald Magistrate and guardian of the Libraries, has never heard of Kakasu and she wonders why this is important enough to dispatch a Miya Shisha to her through the battle lines between the Phoenix and Dragon. Shoin does not know anything more, but Chieh does not believe him. Shoin reveals he knows there is no Otomo Kakasu, and that someone important among the Emerald Magistrates wishes to see them in the city along with four others. Chieh asks him if he knows why, and Shoin suggests it might be because of their fathers. Chieh agrees to come, but Shoin feels he has to ask her if she is not offended that he kept information from her. Chieh says she is not. Chieh then asks who else the four are but Shoin will not say. Chieh suggests that she has already used the kami to obtain the information out of his mind, so he might as well tell her anyway. Shoin asks why she would ask him if she already knows, and she replies out of etiquette. Shoin reveals that he is heading to the Ox Clan next.
Sometime later, in Shiro Morito, Shoin delivers another scroll to a man named Kijuro. Kijuro jokes about the scroll saying Lord Morito finally recognizes his worth, and Shoin reflects upon the current state of the Ox Clan being situated between two Great Clans at war. The lands they occupy are harsh, and many of the Ox samurai dress in similar clothing to that of the Unicorn Clan, their clan of origin. Kijuro jokes more about his requested presence, and the other Ox around him join in. Kijuro offers to buy Shoin a drink, which Shoin reluctantly accepts. Shoin points out that Kijuro must be ready to leave in an hour, and Kijuro rattles off a list of things he must do by then including feeding and saddling his horse. He asks if he really has to rush, and Shoin presses the issue and in doing so insults Kijuro. Kijuro suddenly turns angry and forcibly tries to politely asks for Shoins name. Shoin introduces himself as Miya Shoin, son of Miya Dosonu, herald of Hantei XXVII. Kijuro tells Shoin a story which is clearly a thinly veiled threat. Shoin is afraid, and when Kijuro asks how long before they must leave Shoin replies three hours. Kijuro grins and as he promised earlier he intents to buy Shoin a drink.
Sometime later, in the Nirukti Ruins, Toritaka Akemi is asked by her sensei if she is ready. She says she is, but her sensei presses the matter further. He tells her of the dangers she might face, but she is still ready. The sensei then tells her that a man named Otomo Kakasu is in need of her services in Otosan Uchi. Her sensei asks if she is ready to meet the Miya now. She says yes, but has one final question.
Sometime later, on the cliffs near Kyuden Gotei, Moshi Kakau asks Shoin why he has been chosen. Shoin is not sure and add that had he known the trip would be so hard he may just have sent a pigeon. Kakau does not wish to leave this place. Shoin presses the issue more, and Kakau says he will be in the harbor soon. Shoin bows an leaves. Kakau contemplates the cliffs and the death of Yoritomo's father on this very spot and the rise of the Mantis as a Great Clan by recognition of Toturi I. Kakau's mind drifts towards a memory of a fateful night, but he shakes himself out of the reverie. Kakau hopes the long journey to Rokugan will put his thougths in order.
Sometime later, in Otosan Uchi, the group finally meet eachother. Kakau wishes to know who they all are and why they are here. Kijuro is pleased Shoin has returned and Chieh explains that Kijuro has entertained them with stories whil Shoin was away. Shoin introduces Kakau to the group. They sit and wait for their host to arrive, and in the meantime Kijuro attempts to learn more about Akemi. Akemi does not say anything, and Shoin changes the subject quickly. Yu-Pan is impatient, and Chieh reveals there is no such person as Otomo Kakasu and that Shoin lied. Shoin is upset, but Chieh continues that lying did bring them all together. Yu-Pan is outraged and threatens Shoin, but Shoin explains that he was merely doing as ordered. Chieh suggests they are all here because of a connection between them, but Yu-Pan is not convinced. Akami speaks suddenly, suggesting it is death and murder that has brought them here. As Shoin asks Akami to explain further they are interupted by a voice. A man in green robes steps into the room with a massive yojimbo with a scar on his face. Shoin and Chieh recognize the man and bow deeply. Yu-Pan thinks this is "Kakasu", but he introduces himself as Hantei Naseru, the son of the Emperor Toturi I. Yu-Pan is flushed with shame as she bows deeply. Naseru asks them all to sit so he may sell them why they are here.
To Be Continued in: A Hero's Death, Chapter Two.
- Miya Shoin
- Miya Yumi
- Utaku Yu-Pan
- Agasha Chieh
- Toritaka Akemi
- Moshi Kakau
- Hantei Naseru
- Naseru's Yojimbo
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
- Miya Dosonu
- Tsuruchi Ichiro
- Steel Chrysanthemum
- Utaku Xieng Chi
- Otomo Kakasu
- Agasha Chieh's Father
- Lord Morito
- Hantei XXVII
- Yoritomo's Father
- Toturi I
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