GM’s Log: The Topaz Report, Part VI
Yokubo, Onisu of Desire
GM’s Log: The Topaz Report, Part VI
Experience and Rewards
- Experience (All) [Special]: 10 (40 Total) [+1 to raise a Trait from 2 to 3]
- Karma Points (Cumulative Bonus XP):
- Hiruma Renzo: 1 (4)
- Bayushi Konitsu: 1 (4)
- Bayushi Kiwadoi: 1 (4)
- Asako Fujiko: 2 (8)
- Doji Seiyami: 1 (4)
- Ikoma Jun: 1 (4)
- Honor: Konitsu lost honor for being a part of a minor crime
- Glory/Infamy: Kiwadoi +3 Glory for Iaijutsu;
- Other/Extra XP based on Disadvantages: Konitsu gained Ginawa as an enemy (TBD); Asako Fujiko gained Dependent (Kaeshimi); other PCs gained Glory and Nemuranai as noted on their handouts
In Character Events
Day 2: The Dinner and Side Plots
- Doji Seiyami
“It is said that these daggers were a gift from some unknown Daidoji lord…they are believed to be able to pierce any Tainted flesh.” – Doji O and Seiyami discussing the Jade Aiguchi
Doji Seiyami and Doji O (Mikohime) wandered the back passages of the Kakita Dojo while they discussed rumors and politics. O revealed to Seiyami the hidden chamber that leads from the Main Court Chamber to both the Artist’s Display and Outside the Dojo. O expressed a desire for Seiyami to start a rumor that evening – O wanted the court to believe that she and Ide Tang were going to have a secret tryst immediately after the Iaijutsu Contest the following day. Seiyami understood that O was actually going to meet with Shosuro Jimen and that the rumor would serve as a cover.
At Court, Seiyami learned that her Kitsuki “Lover” was the target of her spurned paramours’ attentions. She crafted careful rumor about the Kitsuki and succeeded in quashing all negative comments about him.
- Ikoma Jun
“Do not wear the Haori during the Iaijutsu contest…”
Ikoma Jun set aside his differences and spoke with Yasuki Uboe in an attempt to draw his Dependent’s cousin to his side. Uboe believed Jun to be sincere and honest and, later, after Jun performs a grand story detailing the prowess of Komaru/Tadaka Eideiyohime and increased her glory, Jun was gifted with a powerful ally. The Imperial Daughter awarded Jun with a personally made Mantle of Fire (Haori) possessing her personal chop on the collar (capable of being hidden by being turned down). Uboe, seeing this exceptional rise in Status, gave quick notice to Jun while the Bard was regaling the court with his story that he would accede and accept Jun as an ally instead of continuing to engage him as an enemy.
Jun used his skill at Storytelling to enhance Utaku Lao-Kira’s glory and reputation as well.
- Bayushi Kiwadoi and Asako Fujiko
“Hello Asako. Take the Carp as my gift for your perceptive abilities. Leave the mask as I am ever fond of it. Please, tell Ike-san that this is what happens when you pry.”
On the wishes of Yoritomo Ike, head of the Gray Chrysanthemums, Asako Fujiko and his ally, Bayushi Kiwadoi, made their way with stealth to the Crab Pavilion. They discovered that the Crab tent is prepared for war and could smell an odd fishy scent coming from Yasuki Jinn-Kuen’s domicile. After moving aside a carefully hidden coin alarm on the tent, the duo made their way into the heart of the tent and discovered two boxes, one small and one large. Careful examination revealed that the smaller box, about the size of a human head, was trapped with a thin gold wire – Kiwadoi was successful in removing and replacing the wire and the two discovered the nemuranai mask of Master Coin. As they planned to leave with their information, they discovered a note hanging from the tent flap that encouraged them to look in the larger box. Opening it with great trepidation (they believed that the box was trapped to emit a smell of fish thus preventing their arrival in the court later), they opened the box. Inside was a fat carp corpse stuffed with Yasuki koku (50) and a note (see quote above). The note grew warm and flashed, burning away (flash paper).
- Asako Fujiko
_At the court dinner, Jinn-Kuen made a subtle hint to Fujiko that the Phoenix should give up his quest and instead join with the Kolat. Master Coin seemed unconcerned with the Phoenix knowing who he was, taunting the young monk.
Later, after Court proceedings, Fujiko returned to Yoritomo Ike’s merchant house, the Naga’s Gaze, to discover a bloody massacre. A woman, Kaeshimi (Ike’s wife), was bound with her hands behind her back in a seiza (knees under the feet) facing away from the door; she had been beaten mercilessly and the floor was covered in blood. Scattered about the storefront were the bloody remains of fresh red liquid dripping from the rafters and walls. Yoritomo Ike’s body was torn apart as if by a terrible beast. His head was mounted on a small spike wedged in front of Kaeshimi, staring directly into her eyes. Fujiko walked through the blood carefully only to discover that Kaeshimi’s eyes were gouged with her own chopsticks from her hair. Hanging upon them were two koku with the Asako mint. Kaeshimi is blind and her will shattered by the event. She begs Fujiko to give up against Master Coin and the Kolat sobbing into his kimono. Lastly, Fujiko sees a note on the ground about Ike’s death being long in the coming and a katana with a Kolat mark upon its saya. Yoritomo Ko, Ike’s yojimbo, is nowhere to be found.
Fujiko set the storefront aflame and fled with Kaeshimi, seen only by Atari Uchigon as they fled into the night.
- Bayushi Konitsu
Konitsu arranged with Yoritomo Zenwadi for the Lies to be told and Hitomi’s “cheating” to be exposed. In return, Konitsu arranged a “date” with Doji Seiyami for Zenwadi at the Court Dinner and aided the young Crane in starting the rumor about Doji O.
Later, at the Inn of the Last Light, Konitsu and Hitomi sat for drinks as the Bayushi tried to show the Akodo he no longer held animosity towards him. As the two drank and others looked on, Zenwadi arrived with Kitsuki Mizuoshi, the daimyo of his family and the head of the Investigation game. Zenwadi revealed to Mizuoshi the plot – Hitomi and Konitsu had a document with all the names of the gifts and their intended recipients. Hitomi shows genuine surprise and Mizuoshi perceives that Konitsu is lying about some aspect of the entire affair, but Konitsu is able to bring doubt to the proceedings by throwing himself in with Hitomi as culpable. He also reminded Mizuoshi that Hitomi was renowned for his gift with Sincerity and that if anyone could lie, it would be the young Akodo. Before Mizuoshi could delve further, a servant rushed into the building screaming that a store was on fire in the city. Mizuoshi left, stating to Heigai/Ginawa that neither contestant would be allowed to continue and that both were disqualified from the tournament.
Rumor spreads of a Bloodspeaker found in the city and the stones were taken up by Isawa Mitsuko, the Jade Champion/Master of Air. It is revealed that the occurrence four years ago which caused the Topaz to be delayed was a plot by Bloodspeakers to corrupt Contestants and the city. The following day, at dawn, the Bloodspeaker monk (a monk of Megumi, the Fortune of Heroic Guidance) was executed without fanfare.
Day 3: A Game of Gifts (Investigation) and Iaijutsu
The honor of the Game of Gifts (the Investigation Contest) was overshadowed by the dishonorable cheating by Bayushi Konitsu and Akodo Hitomi. The game was rushed and those who succeeded received their points.
A number of contestants were either disqualified from entering the Iaijutsu or were unable to compete for other reasons (Cheating). Because of this, some of Round 1 functioned as a Bye
- Round One: Komaru defeats Kohatsu; Seiyami gets a bye from Uchigon; Kiwadoi defeats Lao-Kira; Jun gets a bye from Retsuhime; Fujiko defeats Iweko; Tsukimi gets a bye from Konitsu; O gets a bye from Hitomi; Renzo defeats Zenwadi.
- Iweko loses honor as she tried and fails on an Honor roll and Kiwadoi used a Karma Point against Lao-Kira to win; he hit her twice and gained +3 Glory_
- Rumor spreads that Akodo Hitomi, not present at the Duel, is found dead in his room. He committed seppuku without permission and brought further shame upon the Lion._
- Round Two: Doji O and Komaru manage to achieve a remarkable Kharmic Strike, knocking each other out of the Duel; Jun used an Honor Roll to win against Doji Seiyami; Asako Fujiko bows out against Kiwadoi; and Shiba Tsukimi defeats Renzo.
- _*Round Three:* Jun gets a bye and Kiwadoi defeats Shiba Tsukimi
- _*Round Four:* Ikoma Jun loses against Bayushi Kiwadoi and the Scorpion becomes the Topaz Champion. Jun is only 1 point behind. Before the proceeding congratulations can occur, Isawa Mitsuko stops the contest with a subtle, but firm demand: “We must pause…a pressure…is building. I can feel the threat….the threat is not contained! Halt the Tournament!”
An Interruption of Events
As the Court waited on the Jade Champion to clear the events, another mysterious death occurred. Daidoji Hei is found dead in his room, assassinated. Everyone is ushered out of the Dojo, but Doji Seiyami sneaks back in via the hidden pathway and discovers a man in Jimen’s armor and mask trying to sneak out. She realizes that it is Atari Uchigon (later to discover that he is an activated Kolat Sleeper Agent) and sounds the alarm. Chase is given and the heroes track down Uchigon to the Inn of the Last Light. While present, a servant is noticed by Ikoma Jun to be wearing Lotus flowers under her robes (Master Lotus, Mikado; former servant of Shosuro Atari). Fujiko and Kiwadoi are requested at the Inn of the Last Light as Jun and Seiyami escort Konitsu back to the Dojo.
- “I was wrong. I was so wrong.” – the last words of Isawa Mitsuko, Jade Champion and Master of Air
As the above words are whispered on the wind to the assembled court, a massive implosion/explosion of air kami rocks the top of the Kakita Dojo. The Jade Champion is slain. All across the town of Tsuma, the small circles carved into the ground where the statues were held begin to shift and turn into Spirit Portals. A flood of Tsuno pour into the city led by three Onisu, Yokubo (the Onisu of Desire/Crane), Kyofu (the Onisu of Fear/Crab), and Hakai (the Onisu of Death/Phoenix)
Fujiko and Kiwadoi witness a hunted Hiruma Renzo racing towards the Empress’ Barge – the site of one of the portals – and engage a Tsuno that is chasing him. They defeat it and take its weapon, only to notice Renzo racing back towards the Kakita Dojo with the unconscious form of the ‘Empress’ over his shoulder. They race with him and stall other parties from reaching him while he brings the body to the Dojo. Renzo is finally brought down at the gates of the city and it is revealed that the woman in his arms was a decoy for the Empress’ Guard to get the real Empress away from the Barge. Renzo is revealed to be alive (Great Destiny).
Ikoma Jun, Bayushi Konitsu, and Doji Seiyami are present in the court when Kyofu and dozens of Tsuno take it over – effectively making hostages of the Court. They reveal that the Shadowlands army is present to kill or corrupt as many powerful individuals as possible while in the city and specifically are seeking out the Topaz Champion and the Empress.
The PCs, along with a few contestants, hatch a plot to throw away the lives of a few unneeded courtiers in order to get the rest to the secret chamber and out of harm’s way. As they are succeeding in their plot, Kakita Noritoshi bursts from the hidden alcove and engages with Kyofu as a sacrifice. His death weakens Kyofu and banishes him out into the city along with the Tsuno.
- Daidoji Hei, the Steel Champion (Kolat Assassin)
- Isawa Mitsuko, Jade Champion (Onisu Plot)
- Akodo Hitomi, Contestant (Seppuku)
- Kakita Noritoshi, Kakita Daimyo (Self-sacrifice against Kyofu)