The Imperial Court
YEAR OF THE
The return to Baamebu Daa. MeBe receives a visitor from the Imperial Court. It is lady in waiting and Head retainer for the Imperial Princess Easilo who is the fiance of MeBe they have come to see if MeBe's house is suitable for and Imperial Princess. Being a small house outside the Baamebu Daa main complex, it is completely unsuitable, and they let this me know. MeBe decides to look for a suitable location in the local area for a new house. Having found what he thinks is a good location, he invites the Imperial representatives, Lee Ho and Tokyo to inspect the site, and to ensure it has good Fengu-Shui. They all approve that it is a good site. MeBe now approaches Lord Krappi to buy the plot of land for the house.
|Here is Lord Krappi's response to MeBe's request
I am afraid that I cannot sell you the piece of land you have found. All land must belong to either a Daimyo or the Emperor. It is my ability to grant loyal clan members authority to settle areas of my holdings. They are in effect given leases and pay me rent.
However. I although foremost I am a Daimyo, I am also proud to have you as my closest friend. Not only shall I grant you permission to use the land for the building of a house, but I shall let it to you for no rent in perpetuity until your line has no more sons to pass it down to. This I give for our friendship.
As a wedding present to both you and your wife, I shall have the new home built for you. Constructed by the best craftsmen in Kurokawa.
There are but a few provisos.
|Here is MeBe's response to Lord Krappi's Offer
You do me a great honour, by giving me and my future wife permission to have a house and live on your property. I would never dream of having a house anywhere near as grand as my great lords.
I gladly accept your offer to build the house, the gardens I had always intended to be for contemplation, with some small water feature. The only food that will be produced there will be from one and hopefully more Peach tree's that I will attempt to cultivate, In a quite corner.
After much soul searching I will agree to become a member of your clan, although I have little knowledge of how a senior advisor should act. But I will endeavour not to cause any problems while I learn. While also trying to become a cultured man, so that I will not cause the Emperor have regret about giving me his 2nd cousin to marry.
Your Humble Servant MeBe.
|Word reaches the party that the city of Kyoto has been destroyed by Altuzu's forces. The only building that survived was the The Golden Pavilion Temple, where the Emperor needs to preform the ceremony of Ot the rice. There is no indication that the Emperor know's of the destruction or that he plans to go and preform the ceremony to bless this years harvest.|
Lord Krappi magically summons a Kirin and the party travel on mass to Yedo to see if there is any reason why the ceremony was not performed. When we arrive, we are summoned by the Emperor for an audience. Lord Krappi then inquired about the ceremony but was told by the Emperor that the ceremony did not have to performed at Kyoto. Which was not what Lord Krappi knew to be the truth. So Lord Krappi asked for it to be checked, the minister of the left, took exception to this, and said that every thing was in order, and what did Lord Krappi know about it. Lord Krappi said he had been informed by a Kami about the state of the ceremony, and if the minister of the left would only double check, and if Lord Krappi was not correct he would commit Seppuke right there. This offer seemed to sway the court and a check was made and Lord Krappi was found to be correct. The Emperor then dismissed Lord Krappi while he considered this new situation.
The party then returned to our compound to prepare for what was to come?
While waiting to be summoned by the Emperor again, the party mingled with the locals in the castle.Toriyoshi reports some rumours that he had heard to MeBe concerning his future wife. Which seemed to indicate sympathy for MeBe as he was getting the Princess Easi ko, because see was becoming a embarrassment to the court because she had little or no moral character (palace bike) and she had been though most of the palace guards!
|MeBe took this badly and over the following few days spend his free time in the form of a mouse looking for who ever was spreading these scurrilous rumours. MeBe also attempted to get in to see Princess Easiko in the form of a cat. He crept passed the main Imperial compound guard, and was walking down one of the corridors, when he was confronted by a Buddhist priest, trying to shoo him out of the compound. He retreated and tried to go round the priest. The Priest then pointed at the main doors and said 'Out', and then began casting some form of spell. MeBe guessing that the gig was up returned to his human form, he bowed respectfully to the priest, and left. The Priest followed him to close to the door where he then sat on a stool and watch.|
|Toriyoshi and Lee Ho are attempting to get maps for the journey to Kyoto and of the city of Kyoto, and also how the ceremony needs to be performed. They do not have much success, but Toriyoshi manages to make contact with one of the priest who may have access to the ceremony information, but can not let Toriyoshi have a copy. But he is interesting in seeing Toriyoshi's bell. Toriyoshi agree's to let him see the bell, and later that day the priest arrive, he also brings a scroll with him, that is the ceremony information, so while the priest studies the bell, Toriyoshi studies and memorizes the ceremony.|
Lord Krappi and MeBe then go into town to buy some gifts. Lord Krappi buys a some gifts for Lady Mi-Lan and there son. MeBe buys a single perfect Chrysanthemum, a exquisite porcelain Vase to contain the the flower, and a exquisite lacquered Box to contain both, he also buys a exquisite piece of Chinese porcelain.
|The next day MeBe puts the Chrysanthemum in the Vase and puts the Vase in the Box, and had a note written to say who it was from, and seals the box. He then put the box and the Chinese porcelain in a sack, and turns into the form of a cat. He then returned to Imperial compound. Shortly after entering he was approached by the same priest, who tried to shoo him out of the compound. MeBe then returned to his human form. And spoke to the priest, saying. Hello honourable sir, I have come looking for you to beg a boon. I have a small gift for the Princess Easi Ko, and if he would agree to make sure see gets it, He would give the priest the piece of Chinese porcelain for the inconvenience. The priest agree to do it this once, but warns MeBe to only return to Imperial compound when formally invited.|
Lord Krappi gets very worked up about the fact that the Emperor has not summoned him, to let him know what is to be done about the ceremony at Kyoto. Tokyo decides to go astral and investigate the Imperial compound. After some searching he finds a room where he can observer the Emperor, talking to his family. While listening one of the Emperors defenders also goes to the astral plane and attempts to dispel Tokyo, There is a struggle while Tokyo attempts to listen and the defender tries to remove him. After a few minutes of this Tokyo decides it was time to leave, and returns to out compound to relate what he has heard which is disturbing news.
|The Emperor has Decided to Retire|
This causes Lord Krappi, even more anguish. He attempts to get into see the Emperor, but the guards will not let him pass without a official pass. Lord Krappi begins to think there is a plot buy the Kuge, to keep him from seeing the Emperor, and he is almost ready to resort to violence. In exasperation he goes to see Lord Xinji to invite him and his men to a Basho that afternoon. He agrees to come. During the Basho, Lord Krappi talks about the problems he has been having getting to see the Emperor or his brother. Lord Xinji, says he will organize a Paper Dart throwing contest for the following day, and will invite the Emperor's brother, as he is very keen at Paper Dart throwing. That night Lee Ho and Krappi practice building paper darts, until they have come up with the best design they can in the time available. In the morning Lee Ho blesses Krappi for the contest ahead, so that he does not embarrass himself in front of the Emperor's brother. Lord Krappi and a small group of his body guard go to Lord Xinji's, and a find contest is had the Emperor's brother wins (as is right) and Lord Krappi and Lord Xinji come second, with about the same proficiency. After the match they are talking and the Emperor's brother asks why Lord Krappi has not been to see the Emperor, Lord Krappi explains that he can not get into the Imperial compound with out a pass, and he does not have one. The Emperor's bother find this strange, as the Emperor has issued requests for Lord Krappi's presents but when ever they were delivered to Lord Krappi's compound there was no one there to receive them. This confused Lord Krappi as there have always been people at his compound. The Emperor's brother decides to give Lord Krappi, a pass then and there for the following day. Lord Krappi thanks the Emperor's brother, and promises to see the Emperor the following day. On the way home from Lord Xinji's some one attempts to shoot Lord Krappi luckily one of his body guard notices something and throws his shield in the way of what could have been a fatal arrow for Lord Krappi. The Arrow was retrieved, and they returned to Lord Krappi's compound.
The arrow had the Mon of the Hikidunot clan on it. Lord Krappi decided not to confront the clan fearing that it may be part of the Kuge plotting to throw suspicion on an innocent party.
|Next day MeBe turned into a dog before the party went to the Emperors compound. The party present the Emperor's brother's pass and we were admitted, and taken to a room where a scribe was busy writing something. He ignored us, which infuriated Lord Krappi. MeBe attempted to see what he was doing by walking over and trying to look at the table top. The scribe looked at the dog, and forced it aside, while muttering about never getting it finished with all these interruptions. After 15 minutes of waiting for some for of response or recognition from the scribe. Lord Krappi takes matters into his own hands. Behind the scribe are 2 doors Krappi approaches the right hand one, as he does so 2 Kuge Samurai step out of the left hand door to block his way.|
Lord Krappi show them his pass and tells them to stand aside or die. Lee Ho goes forward and explains to the samurai, that Krappi is very annoyed and it might be best to let him past. The samurai have a moment of indecision, which is a Krappi, needs to brush pass then and into the corridor behind. The party follow, as we leave the scribe is heard to say 'Wait, Wait your map is not finished'. After a moments thought the Kuge samurai chase after Lord Krappi, Lord Krappi approaches another member of the house hold staff, asking directions to the Minister of the Left (there is murder in his eyes). Eventually the party arrive at the office of the Minister of the Left, just before the following samurai. Lord Krappi requests to be taken to see the Emperor and show him the pass from the Emperor's brother. The Minister of the Left reads the pass, and then explains the pass is for admission to the Imperial compound not for admission to see the Emperor, Lord Krappi begins to turn red, seeing this the Minister of the Left agree's to escort us to see the Emperor.
We are escorted to the Emperors audience chamber, where the Emperor ask Lord Krappi why he has not responded to any of the Emperor's invitations, Lord Krappi say that he had not received any invitations, and he looks accusingly at members of the Kuge, who feels have been doing every thing they can to get in his way. The Emperor say he will have some one investigate what has been happening with messages. He then gets down to business.
The Emperor is sending 3 of his sons by 3 different routes to Kyoto, and when the first one gets there, he will resign in favour of the one who can perform the ceremony. Lord Krappi is to escort one of the son's, and he should make preparations to leave. Lord Krappi agree's to do this, and is escorted out of the imperial compound.
On route to his compound Lord Krappi is again attacked by archers. There appear to be 5 archers in a building overlooking the court yard. MeBe and Lord Krappi run towards the building to engage them. Tokyo concentrates while this is happening, and as MeBe performs a heroic leap to enter through one of the windows the archers are using, Tokyo sets of a 60 magic point Metal Storm, in the area where the archers and MeBe are, fortunately Lord Krappi was outside the area of effect, and MeBe heroically avoids the whirling metal blades, But the top floor of the building and the archers are turned to match wood. The arrows are then investigated, and again they have the Mon of the Hikidunot clan.
Lord Krappi then return's to his compound, and composes a letter to Lord Xinji apologizing for the destruction of his property, and offering to pay to have the building rebuilt. While this message is being delivered Lord Xinji summons Lord Krappi to an audience. Lord Krappi takes the arrows that have been fired at him, in the last two assassination attempts, and goes to see Lord Xinji. When he gets there he again apologizes for the destruction and offers to pay for the repairs. He then goes on to explain that it was destroyed out of self defence, and produces the arrow to show who may have been shooting at him. Lord Xinji takes one look at the arrows, and immediately understands what is going on, and forgives Lord Krappi for the damage, he then explains that some months ago the Hikidunot clan had asked for permission to declare a blood feud against Lord Krappi for killing there Daimyo while he was trying to kill the Emperor, Lord Xinji had refused them permission, but it appears that they have gone ahead anyway. This makes things allot clearer for Lord Krappi because the Hikidunot clan is the official messenger carries for the Imperial court, so they had every opportunity to intercept the Emperor's invitations. Lord Xinji then gives Lord Krappi to handle the situation any way he feels appropriate. Lord Krappi then returns to his compound to consider what is to be done.
The party decide to attack on the town house of the Hikidunot clan who have sworn the blood feud against Lord Krappi, for killing the last Daimyo.
|In preparation for this assign 2 of MeBe's budoka, to watch the house. So we know if anything changes. Later that night before we finished planning the attack MeBe decides to go and spy on the Hikidunot clan. He turns himself into the form of a cat, and enters the clan compound. He searches the compound and finds many empty rooms., eventually find the barracks, he over hears the samurai getting drunk on saki, and cursing Lord Krappi for decimating, the crack archer group, using fowl magic. MeBe continues his searching, and find the room where the Lord of the Hikidunot clan is talking to two advisors. The Lord is cursing the dishonourable way that his assassins were killed, An Lord Krappi must die because he dishonours us all. MeBe begins to leave the compound, but notices light on in the tea house. So go climbs into to roof to find out what is happening. In the tea house is a Shugenja and tow elders of the Hikidunot clan. MeBe uses his 'Master Foe' Ki power to knock out the Shugenja. The elders leave to get help, while they are gone MeBe jumps down from the roof, bits the unconscious Shugenja on the right ear, and picks up the some of the incense sticks he was using, in his mouth and makes his escape.|
Back and Lord Krappi's compound MeBe explains what he has seen, and Lord Krappi decides to attack at dawn. While the samurai are still recovering from the saki from the night before. The party approach the compound of the Hikidunot clan. we try to locate the Budoka who is watching the front but he cannot be found. MeBe is very suspicion about this. MeBe leads the second attack wing to the rear gate, to await Lord Krappi's signal. At the back the other Budoka is also missing, this cause MeBe to decide to investigate. Before Lord Krappi sends the signal, MeBe goes over the back wall, and finds there are no guards on the rear gate. He starts to approach the main building just as Lord Krappi knocks on the main gate. The gates are opened in front of Lord Krappi, and he is immediately shot at by a archer. And the attacked by the two guards who opened the gate. As Lord Krappi fights his way though the two guards at the door, the archers fires another shot at him. The archer is then attacked by MeBe and knocked out. Lord Krappi, then brings the rest of the assault team into the compound to do a search, but it has been deserted. Thinking they might have gone to attack out compound, Tokyo goes astral and travel to our compound to make sure all is OK, which it is.
Dave, being a nasty GM, had learned from his previous mistakes and had the clan leader commission a divination (the Gakusho power). When the divination resulted in their total extermination, the elder fled the clan home, leaving an archer and two samurai just inside the front gate where it was foretold I would single handedly assault. Thank the Kami Lord Krappi is a master in Arrow Cutting.(Yadomejutsu)!
In the centre of the compound the bodies of the two missing Budoka were found. After examining the compound, it appears that there were two groups that left the compound, one of 10 or more men left from the front gate, and a smaller group of 5 or so left from the rear gate.
MeBe and Lee Ho took the bodies of the two dead Budoka to a temple to have give them a proper ritual send off. Toriyoshi, decides to stay at the Hikidunot clan compound and prepare to summon the clan Kami, to try to resolve the situation. Lord Krappi and Tokyo return to their compound, to question the unconscious captive archer.
Dave left the adventure on a cliff hanger with Tokyo, myself and my ten bodyguard returning to our residence inside the emperor's castle. Ten archers have sprung out of ambush and are about to fire.
The ambusher's are members of the Hikidunot clan. Lord Krappi barks out a command and sends four of his bodyguard to face backwards ready for a rear attack. At the same time the remaining six guard form a line across the seven yard wide path ready to receive a charge from the ambusher's. Lord Krappi himself stands in front of Tokyo to protect him from arrows.
The ambush has been sprung in the perfect position. The group is halfway up a rising road with thirty foot walls on either side. The archers are at the top and have a clear line of fire. The bodyguard would be unable to retreat down the road without being devastated by archery.
Lord Krappi orders his guard to stand their ground, expecting Tokyo to cast a Bar Arrows spell to protect them. Those with Yadomejutsu try to cut the first volley out of the air, but several arrows slip through. One finds a soft spot in the back of one of the rear guard and he collapses without a sound. The second is struck away from Tokyo by Lord Krappi. Many arrows hit the samurai guards but fortunately they are still wearing heavy armour from the raid on the Hikidunot town house.
A second volley is fired and the guards are now beginning to look like pin cushions. Tokyo completes his spell but somehow it fails to work!, he must of been distracted by a member of the Hikidunot clan flashing his red underwear. Lord Krappi curses and leads a charge up the road to engage the archers before they wipe out his entire bodyguard. A third and a fourth volley of arrows tears into the samurai. Fate does not favour those who fail, and Tokyo takes an arrow through an eye for his wasted efforts. He dies instantly. Lord Krappi could not protect him whilst leading his men to combat.
Meanwhile the rearguard spot a group of five Hikidunot warriors scaling down a rope to launch a surprise attack at their backs. Two of the remaining three Tenwa samurai shoot their bows at the climbers while the third grasps the end of the rope and jerks it too and fro. The majority of the ambusher's fall off and injure themselves badly. Between them the three bodyguard kill all of the climbers but with some injury to themselves.
As Lord Krappi and his vanguard closed against the archers, the Hikidunot archers dropped their bows and readied weapons for close combat. Five samurai engaged the bodyguard, leaving five gunning for Lord Krappi himself. All of the Hikidunot samurai were veteran Bushi of great experience. Most of Lord Krappi's men were outclassed by their opponents, but they were inspired by their lord's presence and fought hard.
Lord Krappi was incensed not only at being ambushed, but also at the loss of his Shugenja. He called upon the Buddhist blessing that Lee Ho had given him that morning and danced the supernatural war dance of Fudo-Myoo. Using both swords he tore through the Hikidunot archers like a bolt of lightning. Decapitating and severing his opponents with single strikes. Such was his anger that once he'd finished of the sword and yari masters ahead of him, he turned and vented his spleen at those still engaged with his bodyguard!
In less than half a minute the entire battle was over. Lord Krappi had the bodies of all who were slain taken to the compound given to him as residence. The injured were doctored as best as possible and a brief head taking ceremony held. The loyal bodyguard were rewarded for their actions with artworks taken from the Hikidunot town house and the slain samurai.
Krappi and most of the party return to our compound to recover from the fight. MeBe and Lee Ho return to the temple to complete the rituals over the two dead Budoka, and the newly dead samurai bodyguard. Toriyoshi returns to the house of the Hikidunot clan with 2 body guards to prepare to summon the clan Kami to try and resolve the blood feud, he spends some of the night in ritual dance. While Lord Krappi is having a bath to remove the blood and grime from the recent fights, three Hikidunot samurai burst in and try to kill him. Krappi picks up his sword, and disarmed the first assailant, and then half cuts the second assailants head off !. The remain assailant fails to get a good blow in. Krappi then turns his attention to the remaining armed assailant, which allow the disarmed one to retrieve his sword. A quick skirmish then occurs where the third assailant his body slashed repeatedly before he passes out. Krappi then gives the final assailant who has now recovered his weapon the chance to surrender, the assailant screams 'I would rather die in the service of a bad lord' and lunges in attack A brief fight then occurs at the end of which Krappi severs the assailants hand in a spectacular blow. Krappi then leaves his room and finds 2 of his bodyguards bleeding but alive with 2 other assailants who are dead. He then binds the wounds on the one assailant who has not died yet. He summons the household to make sure there are no other injuries, and then send a runner to get a priest to heal the remaining assailant, so he can be questioned. After he was healed, he and the captured archer from the Hikidunot house, are taken back to there house to be confronted by there house Kami.
After the party arrive at the Hikidunot house, Toriyoshi summons the house Kami, who is uncooperative, we ask the Kami to confirm that the previous lord that tried to assassinate Lord Xinji was a Dia-Bakemono in disguise. The Kami said that the assassin was a far better lord than the one he replaced, and the messenger clan would rather serve Altuzu, than allow the evil that was Tenwa to return to Nippon. He then demands to be allowed to leave or he would kill the summoner. We let him leave and then confront the Hikidunot captives with what we have just learned, we give them the option of committing Seppuke now or wait until the following day and do it before his lords lord. They select to do it the next day, the senior of the two ask Krappi to be his second, which he agrees to do. The party now decides we need to get a message to the Emperor, because his message system has been compromised by Altuzu.
Lord Krappi writes a formal letter to the Emperor asking for an audience. He attempts to have it delivered, but the Kuge on guard at the Imperial compound will not let anybody pass who has not got a valid pass, which we do not have. After some thought Tokyo goes astral and travels to the imperial compound, after some searching he find the Emperors private area, where there is a writing block and parchment, he projects an invisible physical presents, and writes a note saying the Lord Krappi has a note for the Emperor. While he is doing this the Imperial bodyguard Buddhist are trying to dispel him. While this is happening Toriyoshi also writes a note inviting the Emperor and his brother to see the spectacular Shin'to bell that he brought with him. Having written this note he delivers it to Lord Xinji, for him to pass on to the Emperor. Shortly after this an unhappy member of the Kuge arrived at Krappi's compound to collect Krappi's note.
At dawn Lee Ho performed a resurrection ritual to bring back Tokyo and the dead member of Lord Krappi's bodyguard. The entire party prayed for their return. There is a moment of doubt that Fudo-Myoo would allow his priest to resurrect the dead, especially those who had died well in battle. But Buddha gladly returned their spirits to their bodies as they have a greater destiny to play. Although Tokyo's karma was great, Lee Ho still managed to bring him back from the gates of death. As always, a resurrection is the most holy of miracles and all those in attendance were awe struck.
After the Buddhist ritual, Lord Krappi changed into a sombre kimono and went to witness the Seppuke of the two Hikidunot prisoners. He seconds the hari kiri of the senior samurai and feels great honour in being asked by his enemy to perform the ceremony. The samurai manages to do two cuts before he signs for assistance. To give the loyal retainer a fine departure Lord Krappi uses flashy sword play to add to the artistic poignancy of the moment. It is a touching moment.
Lee Ho supervises the Segakki rite to send the noble souls onto their next life.
Toriyoshi spend the remainder of the day preparing for the Emperor to view his Bell. The following morning all is prepared. MeBe positions his Budoka around the edge of the viewing area, telling them to keep an eye open, but to be discrete.
The Emperor and retinue arrive and take up position, at one end of the viewing court yard. Lord Xinji and his retinue take up position at the opposite end. And Lord Krappi and the party are on a third side. MeBe notices that the Princess Easiko seems to have picks the wrong set of colours for her Kimono, as the colours clash. Toriyoshi invites the Emperor to approach the bell for the ringing. The Emperor and body guard approach and sit a few meters from the bell. Toriyoshi then has the priests under his supervision ring the Bell. A perfect clear tone is produced, and ways of blessing are felt to ripple out from the bell, Toriyoshi is very pleased. He directs the priests to strike the Bell a second time. But as he does so Lady Amora stood up from Lord Xinji's retinue, pulled a dagger from her kimono, and charged at Lord Krappi. MeBe acting quickly steps between Lord Krappi and Lady Amora, and knocks her out easily.
Unfortunately while this was going on, a member of the Emperors retinue took a throwing knife out of her kimono, and threw it at the Emperor. It struck him in the neck and he collapsed. The assassin then jumped up onto the roof of the court yard. Two of the Emperor's bodyguards attempted to strike her but failed. The two closest Budoka attempted to get to the assassin, but more of the Emperor's bodyguard attacked them, because they were approaching the stricken Emperor. MeBe having finished off the combat with Lady Amora, jumps up onto the roof, and gives chase to the assassin. A spectacular battle then ensued with the Assassin throwing Shuriken, at MeBe, and MeBe attempting to knock the assassin of the roof, before she could be picked up by a Tatsu, who had come down for that purpose. When it became obvious to the Tatsu that the assassin was not going to make and easy escape, It attempted to roast both MeBe and the Assassin. Eventually MeBe overcame the assassin, buy breaking her leg, and sliding off the roof on here, causing here to land chest first on the ground killing here self. MeBe landed gracefully, in a spectacular move, and dodged under the eaves of the roof to avoid a further toasting from the Tatsu. After a quick breather, MeBe picked up the assassin, and starts to carry her body back into the Bell Compound.
While this was going on, Lee Ho had started to walk towards the prone Emperor, realising that he could not get there in time, he goes astral, and attempts to see the extent of the Emperor's injury. He arrives to see the Emperor spirit departing on it's final journey....
|The Emperor is Assassinated !|