Former PC Storylines
Tako (Matsu Tadaka)
Tako (Matsu Tadaka)
• Maintains the position of Emerald Champion for nearly 2 years after the fall of Hantei XXXVIII.
o During this time, Tadaka is convinced to make Shinjo Usuia the First Magistrate to the Emerald Champion (hatamoto). Usuia has a history with the various PC’s from the Kyuden Seppun: Winter Court events in which Isawa Ujina-uo defeated him in an Iaijutsu Duel and prevented the Unicorn from seeking the Emerald Championship itself.
o Usuia gains Obligation (-6) to Atari for his new position.
o Also, during Tadaka’s reign, he appoints Atari to a new position as Imperial Treasurer. Atari maintains his title as Voice of the Emperor, for now, but pressure is beginning to build for him to give up one of the roles.
o Tadaka declares that the Imperial Treasurer’s holdings (Atari’s various Tea Houses and new estates within the old Shosuro lands) are exempt from taxation as honored housing locations for the Imperial Line.
• Matsu Tadaka orchestrates a plan in conjunction with Atari (whom he considers likeminded, if not Honorable) to embezzle roughly 10% of the yearly taxes from the Imperial Treasury.
o Atari arranges via Goshiu to arrange for Tadaka and his koku to be sent to Mantis lands after Tadaka performs “a service” for Atari and meets with Hida Kisada.
o Service: See Atari’s Timeline
o Meeting with Kisada: Tadaka reveals the new Emperor’s growing insanity and Tadaka’s own plan to go to the Mantis to drum up support against the Hantei.
o Yoritomo: Tadaka takes his koku and leaves for Manti territory offering service to the Mantis Champion, Yoritomo. Tadaka secures his embezzled koku within the Mantis lands and accepts a commission as a Rikugunshokan of Mantis armies that are being sent into Crane lands to help fight the Matsu Armies. Tadaka becomes Tako and is especially effective as a general against the Matsu.
• The Test of the Emerald Champion
o Matsu Tadaka arranged for the Test of the Emerald Champion to be setup to take place not long after his mysterious disappearance. However, the machinations of Bayushi Kachiko and Atari effectively stymie the event until further notice. The Emperor shows no signs of being interested in filling the roll.
o The First Magistrate, Shinjo Usuia, takes over the duties of the Emerald Champion in his master’s absence.
Isawa Ujina-uo (former Soshi Saku)
Isawa Ujina-uo (former Soshi Saku)
o Isawa Ujina-uo has recently taken over the position of Elemental Master of Void from Isawa Kaede (who has ascended as the new Oracle of the Void)
o Ujina-uo spends a great deal of his “free time” in convention with the other Elemental Masters (who mostly shun him and exclude him from the politics of their family) and in teaching the small flock (roughly a dozen) young Ishiken of various ages in their magic.
o Ujina-uo also serves as political tie to the Hare Clan Champion (Usagi Tomoe) as her husband. She gives birth to a powerfully void attuned (Ishiken) daughter and becomes pregnant again within the next year (the Hare are…fertile).
o Prior to the “official” start of Clan War (the Battle of Beiden Pass), Usagi Tomoe is assassinated, her daughter missing, and the unborn child slain.
o Ujina-uo must also serve as the Emperor Hantei XXXIX’s official Spiritual Advisor with Seppun Baka’s death. Ujina-uo realizes quickly that the Emperor is slowly going mad.
o When Ujina-uo is gone for more than a few days at a time the boy-Emperor begins to unravel and his madness increases exponentially.
o Sotorii spends a great deal of time talking to some mysterious force named Ujina (Ujina-uo believes it to be the Shadow or some aspect of corruption; the rest of the Court thinks it is Ujina-uo in his mind)
o Ujina-uo is also spending a great deal of his “free time” trying to discern more information about the Shadowlands, the Shadow, and the slow corruption of the Isawa family by dark magic.
Ujina Unmei (former Akodo Unmei)
Ujina Unmei (former Akodo Unmei)
• Master Tiger/Hare Clan Champion
o Ujina Unmei is made the daimyo of the new Ujina family within the Hare Clan by Emperor Hantei XXXIX (Sotorii).
o Unmei officially takes over Akodo Kage’s role as Master Tiger within the Kolat. He has various strong allies to include Master Coin (Yasuki Taka), Master Lotus (Shosuro Mikado), and the new Master Steel (Seppun Soko). The position of Master Chrysanthemum becomes open and has yet to be fulfilled (an individual with strong connections in Otosan Uchi is needed).
o The only two Masters who had major political backing against Unmei are now dead (Shinjo Yokatsu and Akodo Kage). The Kolat has begun to be reformed in the new image Unmei has set for them.
o Upon the assassination of the Hare Clan Champion, Ujina Unmei takes over as the new Hare Clan Champion (see Atari’s Timeline)
• Unmei becomes betrothed to Iuchi Raisuko, cousin to the Iuchi family daimyo and a water shugenja of some renown. Raisuko is also a willing Kolat Agent.
• Fortune Hunter
o The Bloodsword, Ambition, taken from the Imperial Throne Room upon Shoju I’s death (the Usurper) has fully awakened. The sword is sentient and has tasted the blood of the Hantei Emperor (XXXVIII) and now thirsts for greater power. The soul of Hantei XXXVIII is trapped within the blade and the sword continually speaks to Ujina Unmei through that man’s voice, urging him to find more powerful entities to destroy.
o The Bloodsword delves into Unmei’s mind and realizes that the Kolat’s goal of placing Man in prominence over the Kami can be used to manipulate the Kolat Master towards the sword’s bloody desires.
o Ambition convinces Unmei to use the powerful resources of the Kolat to find the mortal avatar of a Fortune, Oracle, or other powerful spiritual creature in order to ambush and slay it with the blade.
O-Shochu, the Fortune of Sake
o Through the use of the entire Kolat resources, Unmei is able to set up a trap for a minor fortune of commerce, O-Shochu, the Fortune of Sake. Near the Friendly Traveler Village, word begins to spread that the most potent, tastiest, sake ever brewed has been crafted and distilled through powerful Yasuki techniques into a single bottle of immeasurable worth. Yasuki Taka himself has stated that no man, woman, or entity within the Empire shall imbibe this beverage on pain of death and that it shall serve in honor to the great Fortune of Sake himself, O-Shochu, only to be drunk by that powerful kami with his mystical nemuranai cup. A shrine is crafted around the bottle inside a small alcove with the bottle residing upon a carefully crafted table.
• The Fortune hears these powerful rumors and crafts an avatar for himself to visit the Friendly Traveler Village. He partakes of various sakes and Shochu in the town throughout the day and the Kolat spies become aware of his presence. When the Fortune goes to visit the Shrine dedicated to his honor, they converge to witness.
o Yasuki Taka waits within the tiny shrine (no more than a little hut elaborately decorated) when O-Shochu arrives and bids him welcome. The Yasuki daimyo offers obeisance to the great Fortune and offers to pour the single cup that can be had from the bottle.
o O-Shochu, greatly drunk and pleased, accepts this gift.
o As he partakes, O-Shochu is unaware that Ujina Unmei steps out of the shadowy alcove behind him. While the minor Fortune of commerce imbibes this well-made, but not really special sake, Unmei removes his head from the body of his avatar and Ambition (Taimou) drinks his soul.
o Taka, Unmei, and the observing Kolat spies become aware that with Ambition they can literally wage war against the Heavens themselves. Ambition sucks on the power of the Fortune’s soul and begins to beg for more.
Atari (former Shosuro Atari)
Atari (former Shosuro Atari)
• Atari has become the new daimyo of the first Imperial family created since the dawn of the Empire (the Atari). No one within the Imperial Court is certain why the Atari line has been left intact after the Usurper’s fall, but the Emperor seems to have his reasons for wanting them to exist.
o Atari has also taken on the roles of Voice of the Emperor (by the Hantei) and Imperial Treasurer (by the Emerald Champion).
o Atari has begun to use his new house to take in various actors, shugenja, courtiers, and “others” from the former Scorpion Clan, not entirely secretively. Many within the court recognize certain members of the Atari family as former Scorpion, but few make comments or gossip about the subject given Atari’s favor with the Hantei.
o Goshiu remains separate from the Atari family as does Bayushi Kachiko and Aramoro.
o Atari arranges for the Emerald Champion to take Shinjo Usuia as the First Magistrate. This action grants Atari Obligation with Shinjo Usuia and favor with Ide Tadaji (Ally 1/4). Usuia is promised a shot at the Emerald Championship when the Test is held.
• Atari makes political arrangements with the Crane Clan Champion to arrange a marriage between himself and Hoturi’s sister, Doji Shizue. Atari is forced to give up a sizeable dowry (primarily obtained from embezzled Imperial funds), but Kakita Yoshi and the Crane Champion agree after Doji Shizue herself shows interest in the arrangement.
o The two are married the year prior to the start of Clan War in an ostentatious affair that holds numerous tournaments of fine arts (all non-visual) for the new couple. Shizue takes on the Atari name.
• Plans Within Plans
o When Matsu Tadaka decides to leave his position as Emerald Champion, Atari offers him a deal. Goshiu is tapped to make arrangements with the Mantis Champion to eagerly accept Tadaka as a new asset and be willing to hide/protect the koku Tadaka brings with him. In addition, the former Scorpion will aid Tadaka in leaving the Imperial regions unnoticed and visit Kisada, the Great Bear.
o In exchange, Tadaka is asked to perform one service for Atari
o Atari sends invitations to Isawa Ujina-uo (knowing he is too busy to accept and making sure that the invitation doesn’t arrive until it would be impossible for Ujina-uo to actually arrive, anyway), Ujina Unmei, Usagi Tomoe, and many others to the reopening of the Silken Smile to watch a play regarding the failure of the Scorpion Clan Coup being put on by his newest Imperial Acting Troupe, the Jade Tear.
o Matsu Tadaka is dressed in Imperial Legionnaire armor, but disguised by mempo from his true identity. Atari arranges for members of the Atari House Guard (former Bayushi he acquired in Crab lands) to accompany the Matsu in disguise. This group accompanies Usagi Tomoe across the dangerous former Scorpion lands to the Silken Smile.
o Ujina Unmei arrives earlier than his daimyo having come recently from Yasuki Provinces in the south of the Empire on “business.”
o The assembled court waits for the arrival of the Hare Clan Champion to put on the play and, instead, receives word that she has been ambushed and killed by unknown assailants along the road. A number of Imperial Legionnaires lay dead around her having defended her with their lives (many of these are the former Scorpion giving up their lives willingly for this purpose; some are former real Legionnaires) . Tomoe’s pregnant form is dead (as is the child within her), however her young daughter is nowhere to be seen.
• Gossip spreads immediately that the Scorpion are responsible for engaging an assassination against Isawa Ujina-uo’s wife and have taken his child.
• Atari remarks to Ujina Unmei that it seems as if he must declare the Ujina daimyo as the new Hare Clan Champion as the Voice of the Emperor (the Hantei later backs this placement).
o Isawa Ujina-uo leaves the Imperial Palace to investigate the death of his wife. During this time, it becomes obvious to him that the assassination attempt was performed by individuals highly trained in the art (probably former Scorpion), but his daughter is nowhere to be found. Traditional divination methods fail completely in the attempt to track her down.
o While Ujina-uo is gone from the Imperial Palace an assassination attempt is made upon Hantei Sotorii. During the night, a single high-pitched and inhuman scream is heard from within the chambers of the sleeping Emperor’s room. It is first accepted as one of Sotorii’s regular nightmares, but upon investigation, the Seppun Guard find the Emperor standing on the balcony of his room, overlooking the breezy night sky, covered in blood.
• Kneeling beside the Emperor, in a full black gi and rent open from stem to sternum, is a man bearing a powerful Shosuro Blade. The Guards watch as the man slowly regenerates his mortal wounds from some shadowy substance, lays down his blade to the Emperor, and offers complete obedience.
o (The former Bayushi Aramoro fails to assassinate the Emperor as the powerful forces of Shadow and the Taint erupt out of the child and tear the assassin apart. Aramoro is claimed by the two dark forces, regenerated, and permanently gains enough Shadowlands Taint to become Lost).
• No other word on the assassination is brought up before the Imperial Court. The Emperor does not even acknowledge that it occurred and the only remnant is a massive bloodstain in his room that he refuses to be allowed cleaned and the occasional mysterious midnight visitor (Aramoro) who brings him news.
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