Everyone gained 5xp, xp count of 32.
Kitsuki Yasu calls upon Kitsuki Rokuro to aid him in reviewing documents from Kitsuki Furui. This will draw him away for some time, as Yasu discovers that Furui is altering documents to make himself look better. Yasu charges Rokuro to review every document that the Governor has writen and over seen since the year before the Clan War on.
Mirumoto Daini and Kitsuki Yasu hear of skirmishes along their respective boarders as the issue of Mirumoto Yoku‘s actions have been fanned by Furui’s outrage. In response they send Agasha Meiling along with a number of mixed samurai from all of the Dragon Clan (retainers at Still Water Temple who had arrived as escort to the daimyos, is sent to quell the infighting. She shall be away for a time to secure peace and end the quarreling.
Governor Hoshi Ryojiro spends the new day trying to strengthen ties between Toi Koku and the Crane and Lion Clans. Given the difficulties with the interference with the duel, the Crane dismiss Ryojiro politely, but firmly. The Lion however are more receptive and listen to the Hoshi’s offer of trade.
Isawa Nozomispends time trying to figure out if anyone has found the missing Toa, but is only met with frustration. She instead turns her efforts to increase a stronger relationship with the Minor Clans, mainly spending time with Moshi Wakiza.
Bayushi Kenzo gets a rare chance to meet with the new Scorpion Champion, in a ‘face to face’ dinner. He talks of a possible alliance with the Mantis, but wants Kenzo’s thoughts on the matter and for him to investigate fully into the issue. He also gets to witness the Ancestral Sword of the Scorpion returned to the Champion, as Bayushi Yojiro had been holding onto the blade since the Scorpion Clan Coup. Yojiro is told he is a hero.
Tonbo Suzume attends to meeting after meeting, speaking with layers of dignitaries, and a few of the Minor Clan Champions themselves. Most wish to know more about Governor Ryojiro, as no one is clear what the Hoshi family is like. Beyond the normal conversations, Suzume smooths over issues with Yoritomo, and accepting his ‘gift’ of the minor Clans and allowing him to build within Toi Koku. The Badger Clan Champion Ichiro Kihongo who is poor in terms of rice, offers to be hired by the Dragon to have his men guard caravans of rice or gold in return for Dragon Steel and gold. Finally she convinces Kitsune Ryosei, the Fox Clan Champion and a Representative of the Wasp Clan to give their over abundance of rice to the Lion Clan so that their numbers do not starve.
Suzume either meets or hears of a number of the Ambassadors that will be within Toi Koku: Daidoji Akiudo, Ikoma Kiobito, Ide Ma-Chanto, Yoritomo Akyuudo, Yasuki Garou. She also meets a Lion adviser to the Lion ambassador, Matsu Fushubi.
Agasha Nyokazu spends his time among the other shugenja and smiths of the gathering, building relationships and reaching out to trade what information he can. He finds success with the Unicorn’s Iuchi Family and has a long talk with a Yasuki Garou about what mining costs and the two quickly become friends.
Mirumoto Kinji and Dairya focus on who poisoned the Emerald Champion, Kakita Toshimoko. Their investigations lead them on a deadly slope, when they begin to suspect Kakita Ichiaro (Toshimoko’s highborn son). Assisted by Yojiro, the honest scorpion, finds that his honor now allow himself to write his own warrants, so he deputizes Kinji and Dairya as Emerald Champions for the day. The two then become locked in the investigation.
The Brotherhood’s heads go into seclusion to discuss who would become the next Abbot of the Brotherhood of Shinsei.
The Imperial Court reconvenes, but under the leadership of Otomo Banu, who spends the day trying to sort out where the Shrine of the New Thunders will be, the Crane loose their bid due to a few subtle words from Kenzo, and it will be placed near the old Shrine to the Thunders, a few miles north of Biden Pass in control of the Brotherhood of Shinsei.
Yoritomo when comes into the court, and declares himself the Clan Champion of a Great Clan and not a Minor Clan, as part of an arrangement made by the Thunders and himself. The Great Clans go into an uproar, until Yoritomo says he will answer any accusations of him being a liar in person. Togashi Hoshi surprises everyone when he declares the Dragon’s support. This causes a number of reactions, with Banu trying to regain control of the court being the largest display. The Mantis declare the Dragon allies, the Crane and Phoenix forge an allaince, the Lion become insulted, and the Crab and Unicorn start talking privately. The alliance between the Phoenix and the Dragon becomes strained. As the Court spirals into brash shouting, The Son of Storms leaves, departing to Toi Koku to found his Clan’s embassy, promising much food to the Dragon.
Knezo finds Kinji and Dairya, offering them his skills to help in the investigation. The group finds poisonous leaves in Ichiaro’s tea set, and a servant testifies to seeing the Crane Lord add it into his father’s tea. Given how he arranged the set up with Dairya it becomes obvious that Ichiaro had tried to kill his father. The group goes to Yojiro with their evidence.
Nozomi and Ryojiro warn Yoritomo of Norikazu’s Ravings, and try to convince him from seeking war. The Mantis Clan Champion however must meet these challenges to his name and his Clan’s Honor and sees little choice but to allow the fortunes to decide the outcome, but says he will use it as a last resort. He departs fully along with Ryojiro’s write.
Meanwhile in the courts, the Fox and Sparrow pacify the Lion with a gift of rice, and the Great Clan finds itself humbled.
Yojiro speaks with Doji Kuwanan about his coming accusation and the Crane Clan Champion tells the Scorpion to proceed. Ichario fights the accusation and he challenges Yojiro to prove his innocence, and the two agree to a duel in the garden, with Kinji overseeing the duel. Kinji has both men write a letter as to why they think the Emerald Champion was poisoned before the duel and he holds onto these words while the two draw steel. The duel is over quickly, with a khamic strike, leaving both men dead. Kinji reads the letters out loud and says publicly that Ichario was guilty.
The Brotherhood elders come out of seclusion with the name of the Abbot, Takao. The Court celebrates, this fact and tries to set aside the duel as best they can. The Crane are noticeably subdued in their shame. Hoshi approaches Takao and publicly gifts them with the original Tao. Isawa Unshina’s spirit goes nearly mad with frustration at her goal being taken from her hands yet again. Takao honors the Dragon Fly and gives Tonbo Toryu the True Tao, along with holding the New Tao (which was recorded by Isawa Osugi when Takao and the Hooded Ronin spoke). Otomo Banu makes it known he does not like this idea, as the Tao both belong in the Imperial City, but his comments are never addressed.
While everyone else is celebrating, Shinjo Yokatsu approaches Ryojiro and informs him that he accepts his offering of a Kitsuki Magistrate, and wishes to know which family he wishes within Toi Koku to held administer the Emperor’s Justice and Laws. Since this is so public, it draws much of the Court’s eyes. Ryojiro says a Battle Maiden will do, and the two agree. This causes the Unicorn and Dragon to become closer, but makes the Lion more distant.
While Agasha Tamori and Nyokazu are watching over the Emerald Champion, the Hooded Ronin (the decedent of Shinsei) comes into the room. He speaks briefly with Nyokazu and revives the Emerald Champion, he then leaves and vanishes from the Empire completely. Nyokazu is the last person the Hooded Ronin speaks to in the Empire.
Revived from his coma, the Emerald Champion comes to know what his son had done to him. He then seeks out Dairya to finish their duel. The two meet in the morning, with Kinji overseeing once more. The two great masters of the duel settle in, and although Toshimoko moves first, it is to merely lower his hand from the blade and not draw it, Dairya rushes forward seeing the movement, and cuts the Crane down. Dairya then turns on the older duelist, screaming in frustration, never knowing who was the best duelist in the end. The Emerald Champion dies, and Dairya is released innocent of his charges.
The Samurai of Toi Koku then depart, a number of them heading in different directions. Kinji departs with Togashi Mitsu and Togashi Hoshi to the High House of Light. While there he gets some sand from Togashi’s garden and gets a plum. He also sees the tree’s unique leaves and realizes that the tea merchant that he spoke with earlier in Toi Koku is Hoshi. He speaks with a number of his peers on his way down the mountains and promises of students are given to him. An ally from the Brotherhood has been sent to him to aid his students.
Ryojiro makes plans to aid the Mantis and the Minor Clan Embassy to settle in. The Minor Clan Embassy is chosen to not be a part of the Mantis Embassy but a separate building, and one removed from the main roads. He also now finds his silos full.
Nyokazu focuses on studying the blade of given to him by the Void Dragon, and realizes the task set before him. Although undaunted, he realizes how much respect the Dragon must have for his skill.
Suzume returns to her letters, and planing of her courts, finding her game of letters turned into an ally in the Imperial Courts, Otomo Hoku.
Nozomi sees her Temple finished, and finds the Brotherhood have sent her some support.
Kenzo polishes up the Embassy of the Scorpion, and pens a new play about the events at the naming of the Abbot. He receives an attendant from his father as a gift.
Two weeks pass form this, and Mid Spring is upon the Samurai of Toi Koku, with Yoku’s day of returning come and gone…