Azeshouri

Adventure 1: Claws of Blood and Steel; Session 5

Setsuban Festival: Day 2

With the court session adjourned, Master Fu finds Noboru. The eunuch leads him, Brand, ad Frostwing to a private room and questions Fu about the matter he wishes to speak of. After Fu correctly several questions, a noticeably pale Noboru leaves to arrange a private audience with the Imperial family.

As the rest of the heroes make their way from the court, they are stopped by Prince Yoshiaki – who is unaware that behind him is lurking his younger sister. The heroes are introduced to Iweko Junai, a precocious princess, who eagerly wishes to know more about the fight with the oni, despite her brother’s protests. Prince Yoshiaki eventually requests the honor of the party’s friendship, as thanks for saving his life – he vows to help the heroes as best as able. Meanwhile, Kimiko and Amelia promise to tell the Princess what she knows, in exchange for assistance in learning her courtly manners to which she reluctantly agrees. Both Prince and Princess are called away by a servant.

Fu’s audience is arranged, whereupon he speaks to the Emperor and reveals that his heir, the now-dead Prince Yoshi, is a tormented spirit – his tattered soul is currently being held in limbo by some terrible maho ritual, after the Prince was killed by some manner of treachery. A shaken Emperor issues a decree that Fu is to locate and destroy the ritual, thereby allowing his son’s soul to venture on to Yomi and its eternal rest. Both the Empress and Prince Yoshiaki are horribly stunned by the news.
-———————-
Stepping out into the streets, the various heroes go shopping – though there is still plenty of evidence in the city of the previous night’s attack – smoldering warehouses by the docks, broken windows, bloodstains, and an increased guard.

At Masamune’s Blades and Armors, where Aramith discovers the smith’s interest in working with rare and precious metals and alloys. He also catches a glimpse of Kakita Masamune’s apprentice, Buk, a cloak-shrouded teen whom the smith explains suffered disfiguring injuries from a kicking horse as a youngster.

Watari tracks down Rik’tak, a Nezumi junk peddler, to determine if he has anything currently of value for sale. At the moment, he has nothing to interest the Boar samurai.

Kimiko, Amelia, and Honsu venture into Yasuki Fine Imports to look for a gift for Lady Doji Ayano and are introduced to Yasuki Tono, the shop’s proprietor. While Amelia considers trading her Naga statuette for a pair of rare Phoenix-clan crafted “Fire Bowls,” Kimiko finds a crystalline and metal sculpture in the back of the shop with similar script as the one they found scratched into the bottom of the golden vessel. Tono explains the sculpture was made by the Tengu, an avian race that predated the Kami’s arrival; however, the Tengu are extremely reclusive, and have not been seen by humans in centuries.

As the party steps out of the shop they are approached by a representative from the Lion clan, sent by Ikoma Berii and bearing a fine new artfully-crafted wakizashi. The heroes are invited to attend the Lion clan celebration as guests at the end of the Setsuban Festival. The heroes accept the gift and state they will answer shortly.

Following this, many of the group join up and head over to Jojo’s Emporium and Oddities, wherein the crazed little shopkeeper (and his shop) are up to their old antics. Brand trades in his cloak for an upgrade, Aramith looks to purchase some wands, and Kimiko decides to inquire about the golden bowl from earlier – Jojo knows what she is the moment he lays eyes on her. After some extraction of strange payment, Jojo reveals that the item now gifted to them is a Golden Vessel of Rebirth – an incredibly rare artifact. However, he is “curious” as to how the artifact made its way to the heroes…

Finished up with the shop for now, the heroes head back to Miya Shin’ichi’s home, where they find yet another gift and invitation waiting for them… this time from the Phoenix clan, in which the heroes – specifically, Aramith – are invited to join them for the end of the Setsuban Festival celebrations. Included as a gift is a scroll of several spells.

As the team grapples with how to best respond, the evening’s revels finally begin anew. Initially tentative, the population comes out to cautiously celebrate. Watari competes at sumo wrestling against Huk, last year’s previous winner, and just barely manages to best him. Aramith successfully engages in a test of concentration at the Elemental Temple, as does Master Fu, though Fu is not able to maintain his. He does, however, prove his mastery over the elements to the assembled. Elsewhere several heroes attempt to join in the horse-racing, but the various Miya heralds continue to dominate the event. Amelia manages to startle and please the crowd with an elegant display of horseback archery.

With the evening progressing, the Emperor returns to the Temple to attempt his vigil for a second time – this time, under even heavier guard.

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