Things to do:
1. Recover Isawa Kaho for Shiba Fumiko – either help her figure out her problems and deal with it or calm her down.
2. Find the missing caravan Yoritomo Nasue – might be just late. Has lodestones.
3. Bayushi Taka – just wants to know whats in the caravans. Asako Fumiko and Doji Bakuto believe that it is in their best interest to do this because he knows stuff about them.
Utaku Sarnai (young woman who bragged she could ride to Smoking Waters in a day) and Shoto (storyteller).
Three villages on the way, Compassion, Tranquility, and Wisdom. Tranquility is the nice one. Set out on the road. The Unicorn are very wary.
Two ronin merchants notice the party on the road. They have a ribbon from the Emperor’s coronation robe and a cobblestone that was the first he stepped on after he became Emperor. Agasha Hotako buys the cobblestone for 10 koku. The ronin is a shugenja. He casts the I-Ching. Says that we are on a mission of intrigue and the hands that shaped the stone hold the answer.
We get to Compassion on the road later. Has warehouses and a couple of tea houses. Also a carpenter, smith, and wainwright. The wainwright is likely the wealthy man in town because of the wagon business. Doji Bakuto checks in on Yoritomo Kasue. (Lady Ayame suspects that Kasue is a brother to Nasue).
Isawa Zanpachi is the Major Domo who runs the castle. He’s been really cracking down on everything. Run out the ronin and a bunch of peasants. Trying to get back to peace and quiet. Forbidden dueling. A crab and unicorn were publicly flogged for fighting.
At the wainwright’s, we discover a busy shop. She knows Kasue. He had an axel replaced last month. She says she hasn’t seen him since he bought lunch 15 days ago on the way to Kyuden Asako. This is backed up by other merchants and the headman.
Make Tranquility by nightfall. Walled manor house. Symbolic gate where they ask for our papers. 2 samurai inns and 3 merchants. One inn is phoenix (Quiet Pool of Reflection), and the other is for everyone else (Wayfarer’s Rest). Theres a grilled fish place along a small river. Yoritomo Kasue was here just about 2 weeks ago. New garrison commander is collecting taxes for the Isawa. There is going to be a play tonight. Kabuki style and people are excited. Probably a gambit by the commander to distract from the taxes. There are stands for a small number of people. Few guards nearby. The play is good and the intermission is taiko drumming. The second act is wild and makes not sense. Lady Ayame makes friends with the family of Shosuro. Isawa Zanpachi expedited their travel by boat. They’re telling people that they’ll be here for a week.
Lady Ayame offers to trade gossip with the Shosuro. She gives up the info on Yasuki Takai and they say a high ranking lady’s servant came to them and offered them four digits of koku to assassinate someone. They don’t say who. They do mention that it’s gotten a lot more restrictive at Kyuden Isawa.
Asako Kagura – a fixer in Kyuden Asako. Retired courtier. Permanent seat at a Go emporium where the old farts hang out. Respects people that can give her a good game. The innkeep’s brother in law runs the Two-Bucket inn. Outside the city walls. Recommended to Lady Ayame.
The night passes uneventfully. Wake up and get grilled fish to go. Sarnai and Shoto want to gallop a bit to get ahead of the pack. Road to ourselves until midday until we meet people coming from Wisdom. We get to Wisdom just about midday. Surrounded by bamboo groves. See a stone tower among the bamboo. Find out that Yoritomo Kasue was here 6 days ago. Two inns (samurai and merchant), wainwright, teahouse, and restaurant. Stone pillar suggest there is a shrine nearby. See a Shosuro and an Isawa chatting at the restaurant. They perk up when Yoritomo Kasue is mentioned. Shosuro Ken introduces himself and macks on Lady Ayame (he’s Bayushi Taka’s brother in law). Says he’s a friend of Yoritomo Kasue. The other is Isawa Heihachi.
At the inn Asako Fumio at the inn finds out that Yoritomo Kasue was here 6 days ago.
At the shrine of the Bamboo Princess Isawa Mattyu and Lady Ayame get the blessing of the Bamboo Princess. Divination: the man you seek is alive and well, but his fate hangs by a gold thread. He is somewhere high, but not cold. Dark, but open to the sky.
We head out back towards Wisdom. While we find nothing, Isawa Mattyu talks to rocks. This is an ambush spot, but hasn’t been used recently. They did sense lodestones go by.
Thank you Ben for sake +3 XP
Thank you Ben for music +1 XP
Thank you Paige for bao +3 XP
Thank you DJ for dinner +3 XP