Foto
Dream sequence 1: Kakita Yorito: Showdown at high noon.


   Yorito and an unknown Bushi face off, Katana's drawn in Iaijutsu stance. The Chi of his opponent is powerful and opressing, pushing on his chest, tugging at his hair, his hakama and kimono.
   Flashback: Yorito loses his first duel, in front of his Sensei and entire Dojo. He feels naked.
   Que back to the duel: They eyes of both duelists are locked. His opponents gaze pierces Yorito's soul. Their stances shift slowly, Yorito is forced into a defensive stance.
   Flashback: Yorito lies in the dust, spitting blood after the Boken of Seppun Fujiwara's Jojimbo hit him hard. Toritaka Kenzo loses his honour...
   Que to the duel: Tension builds, cold sweat breaks as Yorito realises he chance of winning is small but he has no other choice than to push on. A flash of light, pain and numbness, Yorito is defeated. 
Hida Buruke prepares his sepukku ritual, as his Jojimbo, Yorito has the dubious honour of being his second, forced to chop off Buruke's head. The guilt of losing becomes unbearable.
   Darkness, a floating face of his forefather, Kakita Rensei speaks with a disembodied voice: "This can be prevented when you accept my gift. Pledge fealty and become the most skilled duellist of Rokugan..."

Foto
Kyuden Yasuki
Dream sequence 1: Yasuki Kyoshi: Home is anywhere but nowhere.

   Kyoshi as a small child. Holding his teddy bear by the leg, crying. A grou of older kids, mainly Hida & Kaiu are laughing at him, calling him a skinny Crane traitor.
   Kyoshi as a young teenager. Lying awake in bed, listening to his parent arguing. Kyoshi 's application into the Kuni Tsukai-Sagasu school has been rejected. His mother wants him to train with the Yasuki, but his father refuses. The arguments go on to late in the night, making Kyoshi unhappy.
   Kyoshi as a young adult in Phoenix lands. Despite being at the top of his class, he eats alone, away from his fellow students. Rumours presits that he has gained access to the Shugenja school trough dishonest machinations of his father.
  Kyoshi on the wall. Despite being a full fledged Inquisitor, soldiers around him keep on going to the Kuni with their problems and questions. He is not taken seriously, Crab soldiers are largely ignorant of the office of Inquisitor.
   The Lesser of two evils: Kuni Shidjiro defeats Kusatte-Iru-no-Oni, Hide Buruke defeats the Bog Hag, Yasuki Kyoshi lies bleeding against a wall while faces float around him, repeating over and over: "You are not Crab, you are not Crane, you are not Phoenix, you are not Yasuki, you are not a witch hunter, you are not an inquisitor, you are not..." The faces dance and merge into the image of all his companions, save himself, before the Imperial throne, honoured by the emperor.
   Kyushi floats to enlightenment where the ghostly for of his forefather Kuni Osaku says: "It does not have to be this way. Pledge fealty and join me and you will become the most renown Inquisitor of Rokugan..."

 
 
Foto
Yasuki Ikke
The Magistrates return to Kyuden Toketsu, where they spend Spring preparing the castle.
Workers and ashigaru are hired, letters are sent and recieved, reparations made, etc...
The heroes also improve their abilities by honing their skills.
As part of the arrangements made, a distant relative of Yasuki Kyoshi joins the retainers. Yasuki Ikke is a happy-go-lucky , talkative trader. He is more than happy to help the Magistrates (he recieves part of the profits arranged with the Yasuki family) and he promptly pledges fealty. Ikke is appointed as the caretaker of Kyuden Toketsu when the Magistrates are away.
Kyuden Toketsu is on the right path into becoming the outpost the Kuni Daimyo wishes it to be.
The heroes prepare themselves and travel south towards Mura Sabishii Toshi (lonely shore city, the Crane trade hub) from where they will embark on a ship that will take them to Phoenix lands.

Foto
Hoshi Eisai
Foto
Itako, the blind seer
Foto
Mirumoto Sadamasa
The first stop our samurai make is Shiro Kaotsuki no Higashi (Face of the East Castle).This northern castle which would host the Yasuki's diplomatic endeavors. It was also the major centre for lumber harvesting. The castle stood on a wide hill overlooking the Shinomen Mori on one side and facing the ancestral mountains of the Boar Clan on the other, within the Kaiu Hokufuu province. 
Marketplace
In the town surrounding the castle was the Golden Carp Marketplace. The locals were apathetic about where the merchandise came from, and therefore it was a known place for pirates to rid themselves of cargo.
The magistrates see that many ronin are visiting here and they come up with a scheme. Kakita Mitsurigi will perform an epic play, detailing how the emperor Tutori has become ronin and regained his honour after the 2nd Day of Thunder. The play will end with the glorification of Kyuden Toketsu and proceed to indicate that hard working, honest ronin have a chance of redemption when they would pledge fealty to its lord. 
Toritaka Hideaki meanwhile, has become indisposed after eating from the wrong street food vendor and it remains to be seen how he will react to his companions' schemes.
The Magistrates also visit the castle, where they meet up with its Yasuki lord: Yasuki Daiki who promises to send Ashigaru troops to their Kyuden if they agree to help some refugees from Dragon lands. They agree and meet up with Hoshi Eisai, a nun who has taken a vow of silence, she is accompanied by an aged woman called simply Itako, the blind seer. Hoshi is clearly from a high ranking noble family and is also accompanied by a yojimbo named Mirumoto Sadamasa, who does most of the talking.
Being discrete and polite fellows, the magistrates do not interrogate these refugees and simply agree to take them along to Phoenix lands.

Foto
Goju Adorai
A couple of days on the road the Magistrates are looking for a place to camp when a lone stranger challenges them, stating that his master has noticed their interfering in his plans. He names himself Goju Adorai and dissapears in a flash. At that moment countless of shadow-ninja hurl trough the night sky, throwing shuriken at the travellers, All of the magistrates are hurt badly, the weapons take then within an inch of their death but suddenly, the ninja dissapear.
Puzzled and weary, the travellers continue their path and arrive in the Face of the East Tower a couple of days later.

Watchtower of the East 

The Watchtower of the East was a tower that predated the Kaiu Kabe itself. It once served as a northern guard, looking for signal fires from the south from troops stationed to defend against a Shadowlands attack. Since the building of the Carpenter Wall it had been rendered almost completely useless, and had remained largely abandoned. Those who now served here were mostly criminals, dishonored samurai and those fallen into disfavor. Being assigned here was a great dishonor, as you would be a Crab stationed on the middle of nowhere, rather than where the battles occur.